There were a lot of factors that went into my suspicions that my husband was having affair. He was a professional man, a corporate lawyer, worked at all hours, at work or at home. We had been married a long time and he would go to the movies or get drinks with work friends, just as sometimes I would.
Yet, none of this was suspicious to me.
I started to raise questions when his phone, which he was almost always attached to, became off limits to me. I became suspicious when he had “tv dates” with his friends from work. Constant texting. Complacent about our relationship and friends. The only time I saw him smile for a while is when he would get a text, and hide it from me. Then, the lies about what time he was getting home, where he was going, and with whom.
Before “I knew” I felt like I was having a pre-midlife crisis. (I was too young for midlife and too old for quarter life). I tried some self care. I worked a lot (and I mean, a lot), I started running, did a lot of yoga, and even more therapy.
“What was wrong with me?” was constant question in my head. I told my therapist, “I don’t understand: I have a great husband, a great marriage, a great job, wonderful kids. I mean it’s not ‘perfect’ but it’s all good, so it must be me, right?” I consumed myself with projects and, well, trying to become perfect.
I was trying to figure it all out. It was like a puzzle, but the pieces were too complex. When Christmas came around I threw a dinner party for some of my husband’s work people (that’s what wives do of successful husbands, right?). In the end he only wanted to invite his two closest friends, one of whom was going through a divorce. I thought she was the one he was aways texting.
I was wrong.
As soon as she walked it, I saw the way they looked at each other. She barely made eye contact with me. And I knew instantly.
At dinner, I sat across the table from her. She sat across the table from me. Sat across *my* table, eating the dinner *I* made. I was trying to make sense of it all, and couldn’t. I subtly snapped a picture of her and texted it to my best friend.
“Ummm…. I think my husband is having an affair with this woman.” Processing the situation was being blocked. “No!” my brain said, “this is NOT happening!”
We looked a bit alike and had very similar personalities. That night after they left I confronted him. I didn’t want to know and truly believed nothing physical had happened… yet.
But I saw it all. One wrong decision on his part and it could all fall apart. We talked through all the ramifications. Affair with a superior, a partner in the firm. An end of his job, this marriage and our family. No. It’s ridiculous, no affair was worth that.
I told him what I have advised others throughout the years. “She is not worth more than my marriage and my family.”
Yes, it really is that simple. And that hard.
But a few weeks later there it was. Lies, staying out all night, more lies. I knew it.
The thing about it is, affairs are things that happen to other people. Not my family. Not my husband.
Before we even got married we would talk about how we could see a one night stand happen to people, but affairs? No. Sex wasn’t going to end my marriage. But being in love with someone else? A longterm intimate relationship and my husband lying and being completely complacent towards me? Yeah, that would never happen in my family.
Years later, here I am. It did happen to me.
I dealt with the “stand by your man” complex, a lot. It was 8 months after that dinner my husband said, “I’m done.” Yes, you read that right, HE said, “I’m done.”
If I learned anything it’s this: You have no idea how a couple works or the compromises they make.
I never used to understand Hillary Clinton, or women like her. I had little to no respect for women who stood beside their public husbands and held their hands when their husbands publicly admitted one of the most personal, and heart-wrenching things a husband can do with to a wife.
But it’s easy to judge other people’s marriages. When you’re standing from the outside.
What I now know about Secretary Clinton is this, what she did was one of the hardest things any wife could ever do because we all make compromises in marriage. This was not going to end hers.
That is strength.
I had many friends (although VERY few people knew what was happening in my life) who didn’t get it. “Leave the bastard.” “Why are you letting him put you through this?” were all things I heard on a regular basis.
The answer was simple: He’s my husband.
Here we are, years and years later and not only did she stand by her husband, she kept her head high, and she kept to her dreams and she is now running for the highest office in the country. My marriage was not nearly (understatement of the year) as public as the Clinton’s was, but if my husband had had to do a press conference, I would have been there “betraying the sisterhood” just as she did.
This presidential election has seen more than enough ridiculous accusations, but right before the first presidential debate Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s campaign said it was going to put Gennifer Flowers in the room during the debate. It obviously didn’t happen, but even the gall to bring it up. NO!
Now, I have no love for Trump. None. Zero. I will not even pretend, and if for one second you think my being a democrat has anything to do with the fact this was too low, then you are mistaken.
Her husband’s affairs were not an abuse of power on her part. She was also a victim and if you think for one moment it is a sign of weakness, you are mistaken sir.
I know, because I am strong, and I made it through those 8 months because of that strength. However, thinking that it wasn’t the hardest thing I have ever done, and that it didn’t break me to the core of my being, than your wrong.
I have not had to sit across a table, room, or even see the woman that sat across the table from me at that Christmas dinner. I cannot imagine the plague that haunts Secretary Clinton to see her face and have her husband’s sins thrown in her face on a regular basis.
And my friend Carol, said it best.
Bringing this up will hurt Hillary Clinton, I have no doubt about it, but I pray that it will not hurt her in the polls. Not simply because I am a democrat, but because any human being that resorts to this low of a blow deserves to be handed their hat, and asked to leave this establishment, forever.
May it be every-loving so. Amen