She never saw it coming. One day after 30 years of marriage she discovered her husband had been having an affair.
He was a simple guy who needed very little to be happy. A bowl of Harvest Crunch with a sliced banana every day . A bike ride in the park was heaven. He was happy, settled and content. Every night he would come home and sit with his wife and talk about each other’s day over cheese and bread and a little cup of wine. He was so attached to his wife- often grabbing her for a tight hug or to declare for no reason at all “gosh, I love this woman” to anyone who would listen. So what was it that made him stray from his wife?
He admits later that although he always loved his life, and always and still loves his wife, that sexually he yearned for more and found it no farther from his life than right there in his office. Not very original.
When his grown daughter realized there was another woman- she called her crying and begging, trying to save her parents marriage, “please leave my father alone”. The mistress said with a most demeaning throaty whisper ” You don’t understand, we are soul mates, we have a deep connection.” The daughter wanted to barf.
Later she went to her dad’s apartment one of several homes he would move into, paint, set up and then move out of in a nomadic and unsettled fashion pointing clearly to how he had lost his footing. While the daughter was there she insisted, with her dad watching quietly, on going through his girlfriend’s underwear drawer and her makeup as though this might give her a real sense of who the house-wrecker was.
The wife went to confront the mistress and the husband, she peeked through the kitchen window and saw a most intimate exchange; the mistress on hands and knees scrubbing her kitchen floor as the husband spoke to her from the couch. We women do the oddest things when everything is falling apart. The wife pushed open the door and had shouted obscenities she did not know she knew. Later, she deeply regretted not throwing the bucket of dirty water at her so she could be exposed as the wet rat.
When the marriage ended, the wife was so sideswiped she went into hibernation. She stopped cooking, cleaning and caring for herself. She had no one to her home for over three years except for her grown children who lived out of town. She hid from family and friends. She rarely went out. Her daughter forced her to try on- line dating and knowing the password she responded to those she thought were suitable on her mother’s behalf. This did not go over well. It sort of blew up. She bought herself “dating clothes” but never actually went out on dates. In the meantime, her ex husband had moved immediately in with the mistress turned girlfriend.
Finally, on the snowiest night of this past winter, she agreed to meet at a restaurant with a big group of friends. Hidden amongst would be a man with whom they wanted to set her up . “It is not a date” she screamed to anyone who would listen. In spite of her desire to sabotage any connection at the onset, they liked each other and chatted much of the evening. She told him she had walked because her car was covered and stuck in snow.
The next morning very early and first thing he drove by her home and knocked on her door with a shovel, asking if he could dig her car out. Call it anything you want, it felt like kindness.
In the meantime, her ex husband grew restless. The man once so satisfied and stable, quit his job twice. He moved from home to home and bought a sports car. He grew a mustache, shaved it, grew a beard, then a goatee and then cut his hair to a stubble. He called his daughter and said “I miss talking to your mom, she was my best friend. Can I call her?”
The mom was spending more time with the nice man with the shovel. She had a big party in her home and invited him and all her relatives. “We are just friends” she screamed to anyone who would listen.
(I am so fascinated by this story of her heart opening -whether this is her great love story or not, as she is coming back to life- that I am going to follow it. Stay tuned for ‘she never saw it coming part 2’ later this spring……………)