The Exchange

He asked what was wrong.

I asked him if he was sure he wanted to have this conversation now. His friend was waiting in the car.

He looked nervous. He knew what I had to say was bad, but he didn’t know what to expect.

I told him to have a seat.

He did.

I asked the question outright – “Who is she?”

He tried asking, “Who is who?” But the question came out as mumbles as he struggled to figure me out. I stood before him – cold, stone-faced, and dressed for a fight.

“Before you answer, just remember that I know more than you think.” I stared at him, and I waited. His eyes shifted from me to my phone, almost as if the confidant that held all of his secrets had become the loudest snitch ever. I asked the question again, this time letting him know that I needed to know all of the information. “Who is the bitch in your phone that you’ve been fucking?”

He immediately started to deny it. It wasn’t quite crying. It was more like pleading – the way you act when you’re in deep shit, and you know the person you have to plead your case to will never believe what you have to say. He knew he was about to lose it all. He couldn’t contain himself. He tried explaining, and he started to cry. He said she was just a friend. He said it was just flirting. He said he knew it was wrong – that it was stupid. He claimed she meant nothing. He kept saying he never fucked her. He said he loved me and wanted me.

The screaming match was monumental. I’ve never acted in such a way. I thought it only happened on staged reality TV shows. I was outside of myself, watching me from the outside as I cried through my anger, yelled through the pain, and stormed through the house to get past my rage. He kept saying the same things over and over. I had heard his side, and there was only so much he could say that I would believe.

He asked if he should call her so I would believe him. I called his bluff. He said he needed to get his phone from the car. I knew that trick – if he could call her before he got back in the house, he would have time to warn her. Nope, I was going to beat him to it. When he got back inside, I was already introducing myself to her.

She seemed to have been asleep. I was polite – as polite as I could be as I accused her of having an affair with my husband. She said she knew about me. She said they were just friends, and they worked together. She admitted that they flirted heavily, even inappropriately. She said she had invited him to a house party, and they had never been in her home alone. She said they had never had sex. She said she understood why I was pissed.

I told her thank you and that I appreciated her honesty.

And then I told her she would probably hear from him soon because he would be calling her to end their friendship.

I told him to leave, and I showed him the suitcase I had already taken out of the closet. He moved toward me to plead with me to change my mind. I had only been afraid of him once, when he had gotten pissed off about the friendship I had to end long ago with a man he thought was a threat, but I didn’t know what to expect from him that day. I knew I would be putting him out of the house, and I wanted to be able to protect myself. I showed him the knife – a large utility knife I had received from my soldier brother-in-law as a birthday gift. I kept it in my hand and didn’t let it go. I showed it to him every time he tried to move toward me. When I did, he moved back.

He packed his stuff, mumbling under his breath the entire time about how what was happening to him was fucked up and that he didn’t sleep with her.

We fought upstairs, and we fought in the kitchen downstairs. I told him I ended a friendship for him. I had changed my ways for him. I could have had other men. I made up my mind to change before marrying him, and I was stupid for doing so. I wanted him to hurt, to feel the pain I was feeling growing inside of me.

I don’t know when, but I remember telling him that the damage was done. He may as well have slept with her because in my mind he fucked her, and I will never know the truth or believe otherwise.

I also told him that he should be thankful that I was not pregnant. I would have tried to kill him had I been pregnant with his child. To this day, I do believe I would have attacked him. The pain was enough just knowing that I had given my hand to him, and he had already betrayed that union. Had I also been pregnant with his child – a child that I would have to raise with a man I couldn’t trust – I would have been devastated, and even though I know women deal with it every single day, I would have snapped. I wasn’t strong enough for that.

He left with his friend, who saw me with the knife and was too scared to come in the house. They went to their Fantasy Football draft party. I’m sure it was awkward.

As I sat on the couch that night, stunned at the turn my life had taken, I heard the garage door opening. Why was he back? Was he drunk? Did he come back to get revenge?

He came back to plead his case once again and see if he could stay home. He cried in his hands as he sat in front of me. He said he had nowhere to go. At that point, I was numb. I couldn’t deal with it, and I really didn’t care about his well-being. He didn’t care about me when he flirted with her, and I couldn’t care then. He left, and I didn’t know or ask where he was going.

That night was difficult – the most difficult one of my life.

I leaned on my sisters and my brother to get through it. They told me to trust God. They told me to do what was right for me. They told me to decide what I wanted – if I wanted the marriage or if I wanted out. They told me there was hope either way. They had all been through the same things, and people they knew were going through worse. They helped me start to put things into perspective.

But I was angry. The word anger isn’t strong enough to describe what I felt. I was full of rage.

When he sent me a text, I responded with one of the pictures I had taken of his phone.

He continued to plead: “I don’t love her and you know that. I went too far with the texts. Too far. I only love you and you only. I’m sorry & apologize for hurting you and the pain & hurt I saw in your eyes and on your face almost killed me. I never want to see that again. I was wrong & stupid for entertaining that nonsense. I LOVE YOU”

I sent another screenshot.

“I was wrong”

I sent another one.

“I was wrong. I pray that you can forgive me. I love you and only you.”

I sent a picture of the call log.

“I was wrong and I’m sorry.”

Another picture sent, but this time with a message: “Every call is YOU stabbing me in the chest. Call her. She obviously loves you very much and gives you something I don’t. Fuck off.”

I sent him all the pictures of his call log with her.

He responded with “Good night my love!! I love you and miss you dearly. I’m sorry”

“Please don’t tell me you love me. That used to brighten my day and now it does the opposite.”

“Good night again”

I didn’t respond.

Just a few minutes later, two of my sisters showed up to comfort me. They live more than three hours away, but they traveled to see me just to make sure I was okay. We sat up and laughed at things on TV. We talked about how stupid guys can be. They made me feel better – supported. I don’t know where they slept because they made me go to bed first.

I slept peacefully knowing that I was broken,

and it was okay.

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One thought on “The Exchange

  1. […] previous posts take you through the recent downfall of my marriage, the following aftermath, and how I’m slowly but surely trying to find my way back to love, trust, and faith. It […]


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