Three years ago, my husband (at the time) decided he no longer wanted to be married. Wanted to be with other women was his reason. Is there any other? What I didn’t realize was the job I helped him get with my company a year earlier had opened up what he saw as greater opportunities with other women.
Prior to him leaving the marriage, I paid close attention to the names of two particular girls he spent time with quite frequently at work. Lunch, breaks, coffee chats…the whole nine. I expressed my concern and I had a sinking feeling there was more to his “innocent” break times than just friends.
Both girls were married as well. They didn’t care about the symbol of marriage on their left hand much less the one my husband wore. I know about the flirting, texting, emails….basically the emotional affairs that can creep up in the office environment.
I trusted my husband explicitly and never EVER expected for his head to turn. After 15 years, I figured there was more respect for the life we built than a couple of cute girls at work to jeopardize it.
One of them, he has chosen to start his new life with….the other, well I had heard through the grapevine that she had left the department.
Dear reader, I hope you are still with me here because here’s where my day became extremely eventful! You’ll want to hang in there with me for the rest of this post. 🙂 Trust me!
This morning a coworker approached me about a phone that was left in our cafe. She recognized the girl that had left it but didn’t know her name. When she was described to me, I didn’t know who she was but I knew the department she worked in.
We walked into the adjacent department next to mine and found her. Returned her phone but before I walked away, I recognized her name on the nameplate. She was one of the two girls that worked with my husband and knowingly flirted and acted inappropriately with him knowing he was married as was she.
Let me stop there because I know most of you are thinking I should be upset with him. Oh I’ve battled my anger with him already. He had 110% control over his actions. He could have set her straight but he didn’t. I hold him totally accountable.
Back to the story….I had two choices today. I could act like a fool and blast her with everything I had recited years before if I ever had the chance. Or I could be mature and take the high road.
I walked around to the inside of her cube and said, “I recognize your name. I’m Chelise.” She went sheet white and stumbled over her words, “Um yeah um you look familiar.” I explained it was probably a picture she saw on my husband’s desk years ago in her old department. Told her it was nice to put a face with a name and wished her a good day.
I walked back to my desk not feeling any anger. Not feeling bitter. Realizing I didn’t hold any resentment. Yes, I was slightly sarcastic with her (blame the Scorpio in me <wink wink>) but what I did realize was that I had survived something I thought I would, honestly, never live through.
My divorce almost diminished my will to go on. I didn’t know who I was without my husband. I was enmeshed with another human being and I didn’t know where he began and I ended. My life was him and only him. And the thought of knowing he moved on from me to seek other women hurt horribly. The feeling of unworthiness, abandonment and rejection was heavier than I thought I could bear.
For a slight moment today I wondered if she looked at me like I was the one that lost. I lost my marriage. I lost the man I loved…to sexual advances by other women….and one I just shook the hand of.
That doesn’t make me a loser. That, my friend, makes me a winner.
In the words of Elton John: “I’m still standing after all this time….picking up the pieces of my life without you by my side…I’M STILL STANDING!”