“And if want to cut me down
You know that I might bleed
Cause if you’re trying to cut me down
I know that you’ll succeed
And if you’re trying to hurt me
There’s nothing left to fear
Cause if you want to hurt me
You’re doing really well my dear” – Annie Lennox, “Walking on Broken Glass”
Tuesday, April 19, 2016. You’re going to a dinner with a bunch of friends to celebrate another friend’s milestone. I’m home with our boy. At some point, I’m scrolling through Facebook and I see a photo posted by someone from the dinner you’re at.
One photo posted to Facebook, and everything clicked into place. Of the many that she posted over the course of a year or so, trying so hard to “out” your affair to me (me being the inconvenient bitch wife who could never understand or love you like SHE did, standing in the way of her fairy tale), this photo was the one she succeeded with. The minute I saw the two of you in that picture, I remembered the lie you’d told me a few months before when I asked who she was and why she was posting so many pictures of you. You said she was “just some fan”. You shrugged it off. I let it go because if I worried about every woman who posted photos of you while you’re playing music, I wouldn’t be married to you at all.
But when I saw that picture, now months later, I remembered the lie immediately and I knew. I felt such a sense of impotent rage right at that moment, if you’d been standing in front of me who knows what I’d have done. But you weren’t…you were still out to dinner. I texted you to ask where you were. I both wanted you home right that minute and dreaded the moment you walked in the door. Part of me didn’t believe it could be true, but that was just the habit of implicitly trusting you. You’re my husband. I don’t know any other way to do marriage than to trust you.
I paced the floor, chain-smoking cigarettes in the garage until you got home. I was livid, I was heartbroken, I was afraid of the conversation we were going to have when you got home but I wanted to know the truth. I felt so stupid, how did I not know this? And the fact of the affair was a very public thing, played out in front of our friends and acquaintances for months, maybe a year…I didn’t know yet how long. I just knew that she and I had hundreds of mutual friends on social media and in the community that we both belong to. There’s a special kind of pain that comes with knowing that you’re going to have to walk into a room full of people sometime soon who know all about something so intimately devastating to you. Who knew while it was happening and just watched, waiting for the impending implosion.
I know that people are hesitant to tell someone that their partner is cheating, feel it’s none of their business, whatever. The messenger is often killed in those situations, so I don’t blame anyone for not cluing me in. But I am a person who would rather know the hard, ugly truth than live a lie that can blow up my life at any time. I wish someone would have told me when it first started, but then I also think about all the time that I spent thinking about divorce a year or so before, and maybe things would have gone very differently if someone had told me sooner than I found out on my own.