I want to take this time to apologize if I seem to be repeating myself. I tend to associate certain instances from the past with things that may have happened recently and in doing so, I bring them up multiple times. I’m not trying to be redundant or drive home a point, it’s just that it has a bearing on what I’m communicating to you at this moment.
By the time my daughter was attending school, I could feel the dark cloud hanging over my relationship with my wife. I wasn’t really sure what to do so one day I suggested, “We should have more friends.” The reason I said this was because there was only one couple that we would see on a regular basis but every time we were together it was a fun time. My wife would put on her “happy” face and be someone else for awhile. So naturally I thought that if we had other couples to mingle with, we may be able to break this dangerous path we were traveling. Her response was less than enthusiastic. “If you want more friends, go out and get them.”
I was disappointed to say the least, that comment had pretty much shut down the whole idea. But then a thought occurred to me. And when I look back upon that moment I realize that that was the turning point. It was a small thought but it would have repercussions that would change our world forever… big time.
What was that thought? She told me that if I wanted more friends that I should go out and get them. So I did… online. Perhaps this wasn’t the best idea I ever had but it helped me and eventually it would hurt me (us). But in the end, it would be for the best. I’m an avid reader so I joined a site that was about books… books from a particular author. I’m not going to say which one, I need to preserve some anonymity. Anyway, it all started off very innocently. I did a little posting, got to know a few people, had some discussions on books and other topics… I was having fun. My wife didn’t care that I was talking to other people online because this particular website was known to attract mostly men… or so she thought. I was surprised at the number of women who were members at this site but I got used to it.
Then on day, I saw a thread that was asking people to post something unusual about yourself. You may recall that I mentioned that I had 14 surgeries and procedures over my lifetime so I posted about one of them, that I am a cancer survivor. I received a few private messages from other members asking if I was okay now and how I was doing but one member in particular got my attention. She was a cancer survivor too and we got to know each other rather well. At least as well as you can over the internet that is. She lives in Florida and I live in Arizona, so there was no chance for a meeting and I’m glad for that. She sent me a picture of herself and she is a very striking woman. She’s not drop dead gorgeous or a model by any means but she appealed to my taste and I apparently appealed to her too.
I’m not going to go into details but I fell in love with this woman and she said she felt the same way. I was drifting into extremely dangerous territory and I didn’t want to break my vows to my wife. I was conflicted about my marriage for the first time in my life and it scared the hell out of me. But the years of neglect from my wife kept me coming back to my “friend” for more conversations which eventually turned sexual. I hated myself for it but I couldn’t stop. I would save our conversations and hide them in a secret file so I could always look at them later. This would prove to be my downfall. I forgot to move one file and accidentally left it on the desktop. My wife found it and all hell broke loose.
I blame myself for this. I should have never kept talking to my online “friend”. I should have told her that I was married and there was no way I was going to break my vows. It would be almost a month before I told my “friend” that I was married and it crushed her. Once again, I blame myself for this. Looking back on it now though, I’m not sure I would have done it much differently. I would have told my “friend” about being married sooner, that’s for sure but as for the rest, I think I would do it all over again. Does that make me a bad person? Does that make me a bad husband? I tend to think that in certain ways it does and I am ashamed to some extent but in the end, I think it would work out for the best.
The only problem was, I would have to walk through hell in a gasoline suit to reach any kind of redemption… and I’m not sure I’m there yet. What was to come, would be the most painful time of my life bar none and my online “friend” stuck it out with me almost until the end… then I learned a secret that she was keeping.