I'm not sure exactly how K's wife found out - I think it was the picture of me dressed in lingerie that he'd accidentally left on the scanner. I truly think that subconsciously, K wanted to end the anxiety. He must have wanted to be caught so the fear would finally subside.
I only remember a 3 hour tear-filled phone call with K's wife in my hotel room while I was on a business trip. K was terrified but it was a phone call that had to happen. She and I had to talk about it.
I let her hate me. I let her call me names. I let her ask questions and beat me up with her pain. It was excruciating but I felt like I deserved everything she was saying to me.
I cried and listened. Cried more. I told her that we never intended for it to happen. I told her that neither of us were planning on leaving our marriages. I told her that he loved her so very much and neither of us wanted to hurt our spouses.
K and I decided to end the affair.
The fear of ending it, however, only threw gasoline on the fire. We couldn't do it. We loved each other too much. It would have to be a gradual subsiding.
We'd worked side by side. Then we'd worked down the aisle from each other. Then he was moved to an office. Then we'd changed jobs, and though at the same company, we didn't see each other every day. Maybe time and a slow moving away from each other would cool things off.
My husband was in deep depression from being out of work for 3 months. We were building a home on my income alone. Our home had sold and we were living with his parents.
He was finally offered a job, with higher pay, and again we were thrilled with our income status. I was making much more money and paying off all of our debt. Our home would be ready in May and we were already purchasing new furniture.
I decided to confide in my friend Marie about the affair. I needed SOMEONE to talk to about it. She was my best friend. Surely she'd understand.
One of the most ironic characteristics of an affair is the loneliness. You'd think with a husband and a lover, the last thing I would be was lonely! But that secret is so isolating and painful... that you almost feel removed from the rest of the world.
She reacted with disappointment and anger. I felt even more alone than I had prior to telling her.
"What are you going to do when (my husband) finds out?" she yelled at me.
"I don't even think he'd care," I remembered the open marriage discussions and how he enjoyed knowing other men wanted me.
"Then I dare you to tell him."
My husband swears that I finally told him while he was depressed and out of work. That is not how I remember it. I suppose both of us have different perspectives of this entire story and for that, I guess you could take my view with a grain of salt. This is only how I saw it. Anyway...
My husband and I were driving one evening to dinner. That's when I told him.
"Well, you've only been with me so I can understand that you'd want to know what its like to be with another man. And hey, none of us is perfect. We all make mistakes."
I remember feeling.... relief? Confusion? Worry? Was he ok with it? Really?
"As long as you're being careful, you know, using protection."
I was stunned.
I now realize that my telling him was for his reaction. I'd always doubted that he truly loved me. He simply... didn't act like it. I *now* know that he spoke a different love language than I did. I *now* know that he kept his feelings deep inside, as his family is like that. I *now* know that my affair was nothing more than a passive-aggressive tantrum on my part because I felt like he didn't give a flying flip about me and his reaction proved it to me.
I didn't know all of that then though.
to be continued...