I did it.
Last night after the kids had gone to sleep, I lay down in bed with my husband and talked. For hours.
I told him I knew about Audrey and that he had cheated on me while I was pregnant.
He said, “I know, you forwarded the emails to me.”
Huh? I did? Yep, sure enough I had. Guess I was more rattled than I thought when I found them. Facepalm.
I stayed calm.
“How did you feel reading them back?” I asked, ” Because I’m having a hard time reconciling that you now, and you then, are the same person.”
He closed his eyes and shook his head.
“I can’t believe it either,” he said. “I read those emails and it was like a stranger had written them.”
“You were cheating on me while I was pregnant,” I said calmly. “Throughout all the therapy we underwent, you never once mentioned this Audrey. You told her you wanted to explore with her, spend the night with her, lie to me to be with her!”
“I know, I’m sorry. I told you that over that period, I had spoken to lots of women online.”
“I know,” I said. “But come on. You weren’t just speaking with her. You met her — for an early morning coffee!”
He said I could ask him anything I wanted, so I spent the next 20 minutes asking anything and everything I could think of about the mysterious Audrey.
I learned she was the one that cut off contact, he wasn’t intimate with her, and he didn’t even like her.
“Her English wasn’t very good,” I said, for no particular reason.
“She was Asian,” he said, and I burst out laughing.
My husband might like perving at long-legged blondes or brunettes in short skirts, but has never, ever shown any interest in women from the East.
“You didn’t know that before you went to meet her??”
I knew that to be true, as in the email chain, she refused to send a picture or even describe what she looked like.
His expression when he laid eyes on her that morning at Starbucks must have been priceless.
She sent him no messages after that date.
So as we lay there talking, I looked at the man I feel in love with 26 years ago and saw the lines etched deeply into his face.
After a long purge from both of us, I felt at peace.
Except for one little thing.
I had to tell him about Lorna.
In her last email to me, she threatened to expose me to my husband if I didn’t permanently remove this blog from the internet.
There was no fucking way I was taking this blog down. And I sure as hell wasn’t giving her the opportunity to out me.
“I have to tell you something, too,” I said. My voice was trembling.
He looked at me.
“Don’t say what you’re about to say.”
“How do you know what I’m about to say?”
“I can just sense it. You don’t have to tell me anything.”
“Yes, I do,” I said.
I took a very deep breath and began.
“Last year, I developed a crush on someone I worked with,” I said.
“I told them, but they weren’t interested and no relationship came of it.
“But what it did tell me was that I wasn’t dead inside.
“I’m telling you because they threatened to tell you and I couldn’t have you finding out like that.”
He watched my face as I spoke.
“Where does that leave us now?” I asked. “Are were committed to staying together?”
“I know I am,” he said. “I feel sick when I think about what I’ve put you through the past four years. I don’t deserve you.”
Well, that much may be true.
Here’s the thing: I know my own inner strength now.
Him cheating again, or even these additional revelations, won’t break me. Not again.
I’ve come a long way these four years. The marriage still has its ups and downs (more ups) but the overall projectile is upwards.
I love him.
And even though I thought it was all over last year, I stayed because I had not definitively decided what I was going to do.
“I’ve never loved anyone else,” I told him softly.
“Me either,” he said.
I snuggled into him.
Later, we made love, and I crashed out at peace with myself, with him, and our future.