Thought he would be home by noon. Nope. I had to squrim for another hour. When he walked in the door, I was sitting at the kitchen bar with a print out of all the phone call records next to me. I'd highlighted them. (I had time to kill) I'd marked days when he was obviously with her. It was easy to tell because those were the only times when there were no calls. I can't remember how the conversation started. I can't really remember much about it at all. I think I said, "Tell me everything and DO NOT lie to me."
He started telling me how he had been spending time with this girl. I still didn't realize that it was Jaymie and that I'd met her more than once. Told me she was only 24 and that he had told her he was only 54. Thinking back, I heard very little of what he said. It's what he didn't say that was alarmingly loud. He never said, "I won't see her again."
I told him to get out. He was shocked by that. Can you imagine? Not sure what he thought was gonna happen. Maybe he thought because he came home and told me the truth (or his version of it at that point) that I'd just find a way to get past it, right there and then. I explained to him that it was what he didn't say that bought him a ticket out the door. I really didn't want him to leave. I kept thinking about my kids. So, for my kids, I gave him a chance to stay. "Call her right now, in front of me. Tell her you can never see or speak to her again. Then, you can stay and we'll try to figure this out." Without even a minute to consider his answer, he told me that he couldn't do that. He needed time to work this out his own way. That pivotal moment in my life has become known as "the Flinch".
This is when I think I experienced the second layer of shock. What in the hell? How could he NOT call her? What does that mean? Just thinking about it now makes me swallow hard. I challenged him. Why can't you do it? What is the issue? Tell me, damn it! Over and over. Finally, he looked right into my eyes and admitted, "I have deep feelings for this girl."
And it just keeps getting better! You could have knocked me over with a feather. This man loves me, at least he has always claimed to love me. We had a great marriage. We were the couple everyone else wanted to be. Does that sound like self-deception? We sure lived the illusion, enough that I thoroughly believed in our indefectible union. It's a huge part of the puzzle. That fact makes the curves on the coaster bank much harder. How can he be in love with me but want to be with her? It took many hours of therapy to make any sense of that particular piece of my new reality.
It was time to face telling the kids. He had to go. I couldn't stand to look at him. Never have I felt so many emotions at once. Agony, despair, rage, confusion and utter disbelief all pulsed though me like acid, burning and melting my heart.
God, help me. What would we tell our children?