Even now, three and one-half years after finding out my husband was having an affair, I still occasionally have revelations.
My husband was typical of most cheaters having emotional affairs, in that he tried at first to draw me into his delusion that they were “just friends.” I didn’t buy into that view, because I know intimacy in a relationship when I see it (and am horrified to see it between my husband and another woman).
So this week, I recalled one of the bitter conversations we had right after his affair came to light:
It was just two or three weeks after discovery, and I was furiously considering telling the other woman’s husband and said so. My husband’s face drained of color, because he knew her husband already hated him. (Back story: Years ago when we were all single and they were all friends, the OW and her then-boyfriend broke up briefly, and she and my fellow had a short fling before she reunited with her man. It was a skeevy thing of my husband to do with a friend’s recent ex. Net result: Her husband purely HATES my husband to this day. This was YEARS before my husband and I even started dating, by the way.) So he had legitimate reasons to believe her husband would be particularly pissed at the fact that the “Other Man” was him. So, back to my husband’s white face and worried expression.)
He said, “But Effie, he will KILL me. Seriously. He might actually kill me.”
And my head snapped up to face him and I said, “Then I’ll mourn your ass.” He knew I meant it — that the fact he might get his ass beaten or his ass killed wasn’t going to change my actions in the slightest. It was one of those moments when he really got the extent of the damage he’d done to our relationship and to my beliefs about him.
Ultimately, I ended up not contacting the OW’s husband because I decided she wasn’t my problem; my husband was the one who broke his vows to me. But he knew that I seriously considered it, and he was sick with worry.
I thought of that encounter recently. And it occurred to me for the first time: Here’s another reason for me to call bullshit on my husband’s claim that he really just viewed the OW as a close friend. If he really didn’t think their relationship was inappropriate, why would he be afraid of her husband knowing anything about it, to the point he believed her husband really might actually kill him?
Yeah. “Just friends” is bullshit, and he knew it. He always knew it. He just didn’t admit it to me or perhaps even to himself. But in his gut, he knew he was cheating.