Monday, March 17, 2014

Chatper Three: Devastation, Part III: January 2010

January 10, 2010

I went to church today but only went through the motions. I don’t remember being there. I only remember feeling humiliated. I sat in the back during sacrament meeting. I’m too ashamed to sit where I usually sit—in the front, near the door, so I can exit early to Primary.

Jerry didn’t go to church today, even though he’s in the bishopric. I think he’s afraid I’m going to tell everybody about what happened.

I don’t care. I seriously don’t care. At this point I’m furious and hurt to my core. I never in a million years thought he would ever be unfaithful. When his best friend from high school was unfaithful, he stopped speaking to him.

After church I started taking down the Christmas decorations in the living room. I will never have a happy Christmas because now I’ll think about that message on that stupid phone. That man ruins every Christmas holiday for me.

As I put everything back to the way it was before Christmas, I unpacked photos of the two of us together. I couldn’t stand to look at them. I threw them all in the trash, frames and all.

He came home from wherever he went today instead of to church. I sat at my computer in the dining room office, writing my vitriol in my unnamed, but secured, electronic document.

He poked his head in the room and said, “Can we talk?”

I’m sure wherever he went he rehearsed what he was going to say to me and how he could blame me for what happened or get himself out of the predicament—his usual M.O.

To myself, I said, Not gonna’ happen. To him, I said, “Yes,” and got up from the computer right away. I pushed past him and said, “I am mad enough right now to say exactly what’s on my mind.”

I never say what’s on my mind, I just think it and let it get absorbed into my veins and muscles and organs to wreak havoc and make my hair fall out and my stomach bloat. This time, I let it all out so it wouldn’t damage me.

I walked through the kitchen into the family room. I paced on the new, patterned carpet I just ordered to complete the renovation. I stepped on the burgundy and gold flowers in the navy blue border, all the while crying, blowing my nose, throwing the tissues on the ground. I didn’t feel like walking to the wastebasket.

Ugh! I can’t even stand saying or writing his name now.

Sobbing and trying to talk, I got it all out of me. I don’t even remember all I said. I called his girlfriend a whore. I called him a cheat and a liar and an adulterer. I let him know how hurt I was. I am.

He balked at the word “adultery.”

“Wait a minute. I didn’t do anything,” he tried to say.

“Look up the definition in the Bible,” I said and cut him off with a wave of my arm.

“I really didn’t think you cared,” he said and smirked as he sat on the counter in the kitchen, arms folded. “You said you didn’t love me.” He acted like he was enjoying my little display of raw emotion.

As if that gives you permission to sin, I said to myself. I should have said it out loud. “I thought I had pulled far enough away from you emotionally that nothing you could do would hurt me,” I snapped back. “But I guess I was wrong. I didn’t think you’d go this far.”

And, I thought, isn’t it pathetic that I had to try to break my bond with you so your actions couldn’t hurt me?

I walked into the kitchen, still pacing, and blew my nose. “You betrayed me. You betrayed our marriage and our kids. That’s what hurts.” I went on, crying as I spoke, “We had this discussion before. If you want a new life, you get a divorce first.”

I blew my nose again, then spit out, “You’re nothing but a coward.” Tears wouldn’t stop.

“I know. I’m sorry.” He actually hung his head. Not a good actor.

“You’re only sorry you got caught.” Those words are cliché, but oh, how true they are in this situation.

He tried to put on his aggressive mode and said, “Why didn’t you just come to me about the phone and we could have put this all to rest.”

“Why would I go to you? You’d only yell at me for finding your precious phone and looking at the messages!”

“Yeah. What gave you the right—” he started to say, but I cut him off.

“Don’t give me that. You’re my husband. I found the phone. It had a different number. I wondered why.”

“You were snooping in my room,” he said.

“You invited me to look around just a few weeks ago. I did. And I found something. If I looked in my kid’s rooms and found drugs, yes, I’d snoop around. Instead I have an adulterous husband. Yes, I have a right, as a wife, to look around.”

“Why did you go to the bishop? You should have come to me first.” He stayed his ground, trying to throw me off.

“I went to the bishop because I knew I wouldn’t be able to turn back and write this off like I’ve written off everything you’ve ever done to me. It took a lot of courage for me to do that because I knew this would be the outcome.” I spread my arms out and, still crying, pointed to him with my tissue hand.

He hung his head again. He wasn’t used to me talking back to him, and with such anger in my voice.

Shaking his head, he said, quietly, “I never knew someone could be as evil as she is.” I almost didn’t hear him. He said it as if he wanted me to pity him.

“What? What do you mean, she’s evil?” He was blaming her? I stopped pacing and looked at him as he continued his sad, made-up tale.

“She just caught me in her web and tempted me and I went along with her,” he said, looking up at me, sheepishly. “She told me she likes all types of men and goes after them. She came after me. I didn’t know anyone could be that manipulative.”

I almost believed him. I even almost gave him the benefit of the doubt, as usual, even knowing how manipulative he is. But the lovey-dovey texts I found from him and her were sent and received two days ago. Friday night they loved each other, Saturday he got caught, Sunday she is evil? I don’t think so. Liar!

“You make a good pair,” was all I could heave out between clenched teeth. “What did she do that made you do all this?” I sputtered and could hardly form words, I was so mad.

“She found me on Facebook and kept emailing me. She wouldn’t let up,” he said.

“I don’t believe you!” I shot back. I told him how to “friend” someone on Facebook back in the summer. I am the stupidest wife. I sputtered some more and threw some more tissues on the floor.

I said, “That doesn’t explain why you flew down to Texas to see her. That doesn’t explain why you bought a clandestine phone, does it?”  It made me sick to think about it. I know how obsessive-compulsive he is. He probably spent hours researching what kind of phone to get, looking up her plan on-line, making sure he got the best deal.

It ired me that he bought a phone to talk to her, but we’re not on the same phone plan as our married daughter in Idaho. We have no special phone to talk to her. I would have liked one to do that. He wouldn’t think of it. “It costs too much,” he had said, using his famous last words.

I added, “I don’t believe anything you say. You’re nothing but a liar.”

Then I went even further and got it all out by saying, “I wish you were dead!  Oooo, I could kill you myself!” My eyebrows furrowed in a scowl as I looked at him and stamped my foot.

His eyebrows shot up, questioning.

I answered his look, “Yes! That’s exactly how I feel right now.” I meant it, too.

I thought back to a few months ago, right after I learned of his Texas trip, when I attended that funeral of our friend. I saw Tessa sitting up front in church with her family and friends rallying around her. Every fiber of my being wished I was her and that I was a widow. It would have been so much less complicated. He would have been done with completely. Everyone would have said how strong I was because I didn’t cry at all. My demeanor would have been calm . . . relieved. I would have received flowers and bereavement cards.

What does a woman receive who’s been betrayed?

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