In the early days I thought a lot about you. As he sat and told me lie after lie. I wondered what lies he was telling you. I bet he said I was crazy, that he had been unhappy for a long time, you know, to justify what he was doing. I bet he didn’t tell you, we were “that couple”, the one our family and friends envied. I bet he didn’t tell you our life was catered around him, his dreams, his hopes, his wants. I wondered if you cared about the ring on his finger, the years of history before you, the innocent kids, the woman at home waiting with a plate leftover for him in the microwave as he arrived home later and later. I bet you didn’t. I don’t doubt that you didn’t intend to seek out a married man, or maybe you did, after all I don't know much about you, except that you wedged in where you didn't belong. I am sure it began as innocent work “flirting”, as most affairs do. Then he showed a little vulnerability, maybe a day after we got in a small bickment, the way married couples do after a decade together, and you saw your opening.
I imagined him making that stupid smirk to you, the one he makes when he’s flirting or drunk or both. Him holding your hand in the car, just above the cup holder he'd put his ring in when with you. I wondered if he bit your bottom lip gently when kissing you, the way he always did when kissing me. If he would sneak into the shower with you early in the morning, just to steal a kiss. I wondered if you laid in bed with your leg over him, the only way you could feel safe. I wondered what it was about you, that made you so special that you were worth throwing everything away.
As I drove away from your house that early January morning, he storming off too, I wondered if you knew I was miscarrying. Did he tell you he told me to get an abortion? Something he needed me to have so that you didn’t know he was still fucking his wife. That he was still wearing his ring and playing his role as loving husband and doting father. I wondered if you thought about your own daughter, and that you're teaching her this behaviour is ok. That it's ok to emotionally destroy another woman. To play a part (I realize he is mainly to blame) in shattering her ability to trust and her belief in love. I read posts once about how your daughter's dad is a dead beat, yet you have no problem taking my kids' dad away from them. You're teaching her that it’s OK to take whatever you want, with no regards to the people you are hurting. Your actions have forever changed the lives of so many people, not just mine, not just his, not just yours.
I wondered what he told you about my suicide attempt. About the months of emotional abuse he made me endure. Did he tell you the extraordinary lengths he went to make me think I was crazy? Did he tell you the extraordinary lies he told to deny you existed. I thought about him when I took those pills, but I mainly thought about you. How you felt sneaking around, how I knew you intentionally made that phone call that triggered my suspicions, because you knew he was going to try and work on his marriage.
I wondered if you knew how torn up and lost he was the day after you first slept together. That is the truth, he was lost, he is lost, and honey let me tell you, you aren't the answer.
I wonder if you think, that even if by some chance this works out for you, that you will always and forever been seen as the “other woman”. In his children’s eyes, in his family's’ eyes, and in your own when you look in the mirror. You know, I don't doubt this will end in marriage for you, and not because he actually loves you, but because it's the only way he can justify his actions to the world.
Today, I don’t think about you as often. When I do, instead of with hate now, it is with pity. I wonder how low your self-esteem must be to stand by the side of a man who clearly has lost his moral compass. I think how it will now be you questioning if he is actually working late. If he is actually just “out with the guys”. Because you know better than me what “working late” means. How you will never be able to trust him, hell, he cheated on a woman who gave him everything, all because she was struggling. Once in twelve years, she fell, and he wasn’t man enough to help her through it. I hope you never get sad, I hope you never get depressed, I hope you never gain 10 pounds, I hope you can maintain perfectionism every second of every day, because otherwise, he might just find another you.
© 2019 Liza Kurtz