Since I discovered my husband’s affair in late 2013, I’ve dreaded the thought of ever celebrating a wedding anniversary again.
When he told me post-affair that he loved me, I screamed that a person who loves someone doesn’t sneak around and fucking cheat on them.
I also remember spitting out a short time later that our marriage clearly meant nothing to him and that I never wanted to celebrate a wedding anniversary for as long as I lived.
So this week, when yet another anniversary rolled around (the third since the affair) we treated the day like any other.
My sister (who knows about the affair) and my brother (who doesn’t), along with me and my husband, are in a WhatsApp group. WhatsApp is a chatting app that allows us to swap endless messages and photos without having to send text messages.
When our anniversary rolled around, my brother, who lives in Europe, posted the following message to our group.
“Happy Anniversary to you both. Hope the kids are treating you to a special day.”
I saw the message pop through on my phone and thought “yeah, right”.
I was about to type it in, then figured this was probably a good a time as any to let my brother know what was going on.
So I opened a private message window to him and typed in:
“Hey brother, I should probably let you know that we no longer celebrate our wedding anniversary. We’re practically separated. A few weeks after our third baby was born, I caught him cheating on me with some married skank. We tried to work it out, but it’s not going well. We live together, but we’re not together. I hate his fucking guts.Your sister knows but please don’t say anything to mum or dad.”
I stared at the screen. Even though I could see the words in black and white, I still couldn’t believe this was my life. That I had typed those words. That I was some fucking cheated-on wife stereotype. And did I really hate his guts?
I waited for my brother’s response. At the top of the screen, I could see he was ‘Typing….’ (that’s how it comes up).
And then it popped through:
“So sorry, I had no idea. I hope you’re doing okay. He’s one of the last few people I would thought would do that, but guess you never can tell.
I don’t blame you for feeling like that. I think it would be tough for anyone to let that go.
Hope you and the kids are doing okay, and no worries, won’t say anything to your parents.”
Tough for anyone to let go. Tough for anyone to let go. Tough for anyone to let go. The words swirled around in my head.
I felt the sting of tears in my eyes then warm wet drops rolling down my cheeks.
This was my little brother. And he knew exactly what to say to me, his big sister, in pain. He was wiser than he knew.
My brother will be back home at the end of the year…for his wedding.
All I can hope is that he’s a better husband to his wife than my husband was to me.
I love you, little brother.