My husband asked me out to lunch.
He drove, and even paid for the meal. I was shocked.
At our favorite pho restaurant, my husband looked me straight in the eye and explained to me that he had purchased a ticket to France, and his flight was leaving at 8:40 p.m. He was planning on being gone not for two weeks, but the entire month.
I started to interrupt, but he continued.
He said he had done a lot of thinking about the trip. Something about it hadn’t seemed “right”. He then took a deep breath and shared his revelation with me: the way he had been planning his trips had not taken me into consideration, at all. He realized he had been acting as if he were a 22-year old, very single bachelor.
Well, shit on a shingle. He gets it.
Furthermore, he realized that if he left on the plane that night, I would leave him. He didn’t want our marriage to be over.
So he told me he wouldn’t go.
He then asked me to “partner” with him in his career. He wanted me alongside him. He didn’t want to be without me in any capacity. He wanted to try harder. He wanted my support. He wanted to include me in everything he did.
That is what I had been wanting, all along! I almost couldn’t believe that I was hearing it. Maybe God had, indeed, changed my husband’s heart overnight.
Hope, Part Four.
We made a deal. I agreed to be his partner. He had gone out of his way to take a step forward, a giant leap towards a life together. He still had to fly to Australia in a couple of weeks, but would keep me posted on every detail. I was dubious but agreed, since a paycheck from one of his recent stories had come through. We needed more like that to stay afloat.
A blessing and RELIEF, I wrote. I truly would have left him, I believe, had he gone to France. I am so glad I didn’t have to make that decision today.
I did not journal for an entire day. Our exchanges were light-hearted, and full of inside jokes.
The day passed.
Soon after, I found my husband’s unused plane ticket, crumpled up in his backpack. My heart sank. His itinerary did not reflect France, at all. The flight had been headed to Portugal.
Feeling massively disappointed, yet not at all surprised, I calmly confronted him with the evidence. He made up some cockamamie excuse, but I knew he was going back to see the “investment banker”. Still, I didn’t want to believe that he had had an affair with her, too. It was so brazen, so blatant, and SO in-your-face that it couldn’t have been true! I was officially the biggest, bloodiest fool in the entire universe.
My husband had “an affairS”.
Oh, God, even through my daily disappointment, I know deep down that You are by my side, holding my hand and walking me through this.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. ~Hebrews 12:3
The next day was a good one for me, personally. I got a lot of work done, then treated myself to a swim at the Rose Bowl. Feeling strong and confident, I impulsively decided to join the diving team for their nightly practice. I hadn’t been coached on a springboard since competing in high school, so it felt really good to do something fun and productive. For me.
I went home exhausted, proud and happy. I walked in the door to find my husband affixed to his usual spot on the couch. He kept his eyes on his computer screen as I entered the living room.
Immediately, I felt myself shutting down.
We went to dinner at a BBQ restaurant. I pushed the chicken and beans around on my plate and verbalized my feelings — the same old, crappy, tired feelings. How many ways can you wonder if your marriage is going to survive?
My husband didn’t want to talk about it.
I was silent on the drive home, and when we arrived, my husband went to bed. I had plans to go hiking with my friend, Andrea, in the morning, so I went to bed, too – in the guest room. I hadn’t slept many nights in my marriage bed. It was too difficult.
As I lay on my creaky twin mattress, my thoughts started to spin out of control. I became angry, so I got up and started banging around. I stormed into the Master bedroom where my husband slept and started to “pack” my belongings. He woke up and sleepily asked me what I was doing.
“I’m PACKING!” I flailed about the room, wildly.
I shot my mouth off for several minutes, and then stomped back to the guest room, slammed the door, and locked it.
A few moments later my husband pounded the door with his fists. He was livid. I opened it, we screamed in each other’s faces, and then I tried to slam it again. He stopped me. He pushed his way into the tiny guest room, screaming, “STOP IT, STOP IT, STOP IT!” — through his teeth. He then grabbed me with all of his strength, and violently threw me down on the bed.
A moment passed. We stared at each other in horror.
I got up off the bed, rubbing the already-sore spot on my arm where he had grabbed hardest.
I picked up my bag, and moved towards him. My eyes were flashing but I kept my voice low and steady.
“If you ever touch me again, I’ll kill you.”