By Single Mama
If you’d asked me 10 years ago If I’d ever be divorced, raising two kids by myself, and going back to college while working full-time, I’d have said you were nuts. But that’s what happened.
We fell into a rut, like a lot of couples do. Communication dwindled down to the same level roommates have – not spouses, not people who are supposed to love each other. When we talked, it was about the kids or what was for dinner.
Then on Mother’s Day 2007, after neither one of us had spoken to each other for almost two days straight because of a fight, I asked him if we could go do something together as a family. There was no response. So I said, “Are you going to talk to me?” And out of the blue he said: “We haven’t talked in years.”
The words made a cold chill go through me. That’s when I started wondering – worrying – about what might really be going on.
My worst fear sprang to life that December – the day he admitted to having an affair. I was standing in our bathroom when he said it, and it felt like someone had punched me in the gut except the pain wouldn’t go away. As his words hung in the air, time seemed to stand still — like a bad dream I couldn’t wake up from. He apologized after he told me but it was a weak attempt at best. I knew his heart wasn’t in that apology — the same way it hadn’t been in our marriage for so many months. Then he left me there, sucker-punched, and went to work.
I went downstairs and tried to keep it together for our 5 and 3-year-old. It was Christmas break from school. We were supposed to be happy. I didn’t want them to see the tears.
When he left for work, I wondered if he’d spend his day with her. He’d met the other woman that January when he hired her to work as an analyst in his office, so the affair had been going on all year. I met her shortly after he did because she came to a Super Bowl office party we hosted at our house. She’d brought her husband and son to that party, which meant two families would explode because of this news. Would her husband feel as stunned as I did?
I wanted to confront her right away, to scream out the rage, to make her see what they’d done. But I didn’t want to be that crazy, out-of-control housewife. I didn’t want to let them turn me into that person. So I kept my composure on the outside and kept the wreckage of my life as private as I could.
This series, Single & Surviving, is written by a Northwest Arkansas mom who is writing anonymously for now. Her story will continue with another post in a few weeks, when she describes the day they told the kids as well as the financial fall-out from this split.