I think I’ve already mentioned it, but in case you’re new – I had a stroke at 30 and one of the side effects is that I can’t run on a treadmill. When I walk even on a street, I have to say under my breath “Left ,Right, Left Right” and watch my feet as I walk. As you can imagine – I can’t say “Left Right Left Right” fast enough to run on a treadmill. I go flying off the back of the treadmill and can only hope I hit a wall and not a person.
Anyways- that was why I was on the Elliptical Trainer. I always grab the machine nearest the door to the toilet – 5 kids, weak bladder. Earplugs in. Depeche Mode pumping away “Personal Jesus”. I was pushing through those first yucky 10 minutes where you just want to go home when….my phone buzzed.
I looked down and saw an email notification from a strange address.
I had to stop to read it. Which pissed me off because the timer restarts on the elliptical trainer when you stop for too long.
I found your name and email on my computer. Our mutual friend ####### must have forgotten to close his history. But it appears that he was emailing you while in bed with me and straight after we’d just F$$$ed. I consider him to be my boyfriend and it seems – so do you. I thought I should do the right thing and let you know.
I had asked him for months about this “friend” and he’d told me that I was far too suspicious and had trust issues.
All the details are juicy but irrelevant.
The things that stick in my brain aren’t these details.
What I remember is the emotions and the pain – it was physical. It crushed me. Not just the cheating but the lying. Later I found out that everyone knew. The betrayal. My chest actually ached and my stomach felt like it was full of rocks. I cried out loud for days – I couldn’t stop it. And – I HATE crying in public. I felt like I was the problem. In fact, I KNEW I was the problem and had to do better.
What I can tell you is that this other gorgeous woman and I handled our new knowledge very very differently Within 15 minutes she had dumped everything of his that she could find in her house, in a black bag, on his doorstep – along with a very explicit note telling him where he could put it all.
I had a different approach – no secrets – hers was much healthier.
Infidelity is a huge thing. And no matter what you say your boundaries are – you don’t know how you’re going to react to it until it happens to you.
It is so personal to each person and to the relationship as a whole.
And you would be surprised to know that more relationships actually survive infidelity than are wrecked by it. You can recover from it.