Being okay with the friendship meant that there would be a new level of honesty in our relationship. That he would be open about his communications. However, it did not come without some rules. Rules that were meant to preserve what was left, which was very little, of my self worth. To this day, I regret how much I let his lack of love and respect for me dictate how I felt about myself.
The truth is, he wasn’t any more honest or open about his communications with her. He still deleted text messages, wrote messages when he was in the bathroom, random trips to the backyard, etc. He kept her number in his phone without a contact name assigned. As if I hadn’t memorized the number of this plague on my marriage.
During that time I witnessed many items that croseds the line – things that really should not have needed to be outlined. The texts complaining about me on Mother’s Day (a day that I thought had gone really well), the texts that spanned a 2-hour car ride, etc.
The event that really stuck out for me was my husband asking to take a walk in the woods after I put the girls to bed. I was on day 3 of being out of work for bronchitis and stomach bug. He insisted that I was always saying he should take time for himself and he used to walk in the dark before we dated, so it wasn’t as “weird” as I was making it out to be. He said he might go for a drink after, “by himself”.
Knowing that his friend was an avid drinker, I asked that he respect me and leave any space she might be if he happened upon her. He insisted that OF COURSE he would do that and started a fight in the process and left our house in anger. I felt that this was his way to have a reason to meet her for drinks (you know, to talk about his awful wife) and I told him this. I could not understand the reason he would not just agree that the right thing to do would be NOT to meet with this woman alone.
A couple of hours into his “walk” I started feeling really terrible and knew that I would need help at home since the girls still did not sleep through the night. He didn’t pick-up the phone but instead texted me back. I called him again and he picked-up after some rings. I asked him where he was and he stated he had driven to Deerfield, “at the gas station parking lot by the red roof”. He said he had a drink and wasn’t ready to come home so he drove there. When I insisted he come home to relieve me, he felt it was necessary to tell me that had it not been for my being sick, he would be staying out.
He then told me he couldn’t speak on the phone anymore because he was going to get into the car and drive. He didn’t feel it was responsible to drive while having had a drink AND adding the phone into the equation (he has bluetooth…)
He called me approximately 10 minutes later because he felt that he was actually fine to speak to me and drive. He went over a bump and said, “did you hear that? It’s the highway construction.”
He came home and without being prompted showed me his phone free of messages from his friend. Because that ought to make me feel more comfortable, right? He then put his cellphone in his top dresser drawer. Something he never did.
It wasn’t until 24 hours later, and one angry insistence that I take off my “detective’s hat” because I wasn’t going to “find anything”, that I was able to confirm my suspicions.