Well, here it is. My dirty little secret. I am finally ready to talk about it because it has become clear to me and while I thought I was a unique snowflake in this sea of infidelity, I am not. It seems that times are changing. Gone are the days where women stayed at home and engaged in the Donne Reed style of parenting – cooking, cleaning, tending to the family, interacting with very few men on a daily basis. Now, women are in the workplace, women are on the internet, women are reconnecting with old flames through the magic of social media outlets like facebook, women are people in their own rights. So women are doing all the things men can do. So, it seems that infidelity is not just for men anymore. It’s happening all around us, and more than you might think. The next time you are at the office, look around. The woman you work with may be having an emotional affair. The next time you are at the park, look around. The woman beside you pushing her son on the swing may be having a physical affair. So, yes, it happens more than you think. And it happened to me.
But I never thought it would. In fact, I never thought it could.
I suppose to tell this tale, I have to start at the beginning.
When you marry someone you have known all your life, there are hardly any surprises. Our parents have country clubbed together for as long as I can remember. Our dads golf together. Joel was never really on my radar because he was 3 years old than I was, and while we were growing, that number could have been twenty years. Besides, I was really good friends with his little sister Dana. It wasn’t until University, when we were both at the same place, where Joel really started to notice me…and I really noticed the attention he gave me. At some point he stopped being Dana’s older brother, and started becoming my boyfriend. And then he became my husband.
My parents were thrilled. His parents were thrilled. I was thrilled, too. It just felt right. Perfect, even. We had this perfect little life. Joel worked in the family business, and I worked ON the family business, and produced an heir and an heiress that made lovely little additions to our family.
And then Joel got promoted. And then he became busier and busier. And then came the travel. He was away more often than he was home. And to help me out at home with the kids, he brought me Sonia, his childhood nanny, to help with the cooking and cleaning and laundry and bathing. I won’t lie, Sonia was a lifesaver, and sometimes I felt like she made a better husband than Joel did.
And then Joel suggested that I do something JUST FOR ME. The truth is…I had never thought about that. One night over some wine and some Chinese takeout, Joel suggested that I take advantage of having Sonia around. He said I should take a class, or start playing a sport, or, heck, even play mah-jong or something. So, I started to think that maybe he was right. He had so many things…he golfed, he played basketball, he traveled…I mean, heck, he went to an office every day. I never did anything for myself, and he noticed, and he just wanted me to be happy.
That’s the thing with Joel. He wanted me to be happy.
And so I pulled out my dusty old camera and enrolled in a photography class. And I borrowed some golf clubs from my mother and signed up for some Sunday morning golf lessons.
I was on my way.