When we met, Bob had just discovered that his then girlfriend and now wife was cheating on him while my husband now ex-husband was cheating on me. We had gone for a common friend’s birthday party and ended up sitting next to each other. He seemed so unusually quiet for someone at a party so I started a small talk. We ended up talking through the night. A decade has not erased the details of that conversation in my mind. We talked about work, growing up and friendship. The friendship was hilarious as we described the specific relationships we had with individuals in our circles. It was a very honest conversation, a refreshing one. We exchanged contacts in the morning when he dropped my friend and I at home. From then, we talked on phone nonstop. We texted through the day and had the longest phone calls late into the night. My husband lived in another town and we only saw each other on weekends. His girlfriend had enrolled in a medical school as a trainee nurse and visited only on weekends. It was easy to talk through the weekdays.
One weekend after visiting my husband and fighting over him sleeping around with friends of my friends, I came back to the city with a resolve to cheat too. See, it was easier for me to have walked away but I was not ready to be a divorcee barely into my 30s. We did not have kids yet but we were trying. I was planning to quit my job at the end of that year. It was something we had planned out. This however did not stop him from hitting on and eventually sleeping with two of my friends’ friends and other women I learned of from texts, calls and to my surprise, his friend too. So when I came back to to the city and jokingly told Bob about it, he replied that he wanted to be the man I cheated on my husband with. Not that our conversations were not flirtatious enough and calls filled with sexual undertones, we just had not gotten an ice breaker. My husband was my first love and never had I ever dreamed that I would have cheated on him. I was home and done matters dating and always blamed the distance for his philandering ways. For over two years, I cheated too. It was fun, honest and rejuvenating. I found comfort in Bob. I glowed and he flourished not just physically but in every aspect of life. I got new perspectives of life. He challenged my comfort zone, picked me up when I fell and was always there to celebrate my successes. I sat in for him in his businesses when he traveled without a second thought. I picked our bills without feeling it was a burden. I never felt obligated to repay whatever he gave me. In the second year of our rendezvous during my hushed smooth divorce process, I was so at peace partly because of Bob. It felt good to have sought “revenge” with a man who gave me reason to love without reservations. Bob never dumped his girlfriend though. She was a gem who despite being a student, ran businesses and supplemented their income. She encouraged him to invest and chipped in to top up deficits. Bob and I loved her. She never knew I existed.
After the divorce, we decided to call it quits because I knew with my husband out of the way, I would want more. We discussed it and agreed it was the best thing to do. Wasn’t easy and severally we got back together. One morning, I found out that his girlfriend was expecting their first child and it really hit home that whatever we kept on sneaking around about was no more. I moved to a new city to start afresh. Looking back of how I got married and divorced without my family knowing is still a mystery. My ex-husband and I ended up working at the same company. We don’t talk about the past as he is married with two children. He is a good colleague but he has never been able to keep it in his pants. I may have had a very smooth divorce process but the divorce decree haunts me every time I look at it. My therapist told me to allow myself to mourn my dead marriage but I think I am yet to let myself to. By writing this, I hope to allow myself grieve, forgive my ex-husband but most importantly, forgive myself. Forgive my self looks like a non-issue but here is what I have learned through therapy;
- I should forgive myself for making excuses of issues in my marriage including hubbys’ cheating.
- Forgive myself for staying when I should have walked.
- Forgive myself for getting into a marriage that was a secrete; there was no introductions or dowry.
- Learn to admit that I did wrong by cheating and I should forgive myself for that.
- Above all, get closure that the marriage meant a lot to me , that I was broken when it ended and I need to move into the future with no baggage.