There are moments in your life when you ask yourself: “What the hell am I doing here and how did I get there?”. That’s how I felt going to my GP to get checked for STDs. It was probably one of the last reasons I thought I’d be going with to my doctor and I certainly didn’t think Charlie would be the reason for it.
Explaining why I came, I felt embarrassed. Talking to a stranger about the most painful thing in my life I couldn’t stop the tears but I did my best to not let myself break down in front of her. She was very understanding and supportive, advised marriage therapy and gave me some contacts. She also said she recommends her patients to get checked for STDs every now and then because “you just can never be totally sure”.
Oh how I agreed with her now.
I said “If you had asked me a month ago how my marriage was I would have said – perfect”.
This disillusionment with the human state, a more realistic view of what we really are and what goes on behind the closed doors of many married couples is a direct result of the affair. Innocence lost. It’s no longer “somewhere, someone”, it’s us. And if it’s us it could be anyone.
I’m thinking of all those trusting wives who blindly believe in their husbands fidelity. You think that if there aren’t any obvious signs all must be fine. If he is of good character and goes to church, you’ll be spared. Don’t get me wrong, trust is beautiful. How could we live being suspicious all the time? Smelling a rat every time our spouse goes away? Going through their things to check if maybe there is a clue of their infidelity? That’s not my idea of marriage, or any relationship, and I’m sure most people would agree but reality is different, cruel. We are broken human beings. Lust has become the norm, we are taught to desire from a young age and told we deserve it and are worth it. It goes equally for material things as well as other people.
About 6 months after our D-day Charlie went away for a few days. He was invited on a trip abroad, all expenses paid, I couldn’t say no. By then I had recovered enough and gained enough trust to let him go. In any case I made up my mind I would never be a controlling wife. If he wanted to cheat it was his problem and sooner or later it would catch up with him. But I was more aware this time about what goes on at these trips: outings to night clubs, free, unsupervised time, girls and so on, prostitutes even. Men only wait for a chance like that but I had faith that this time he was going as a changed person.
There was a group of guys and they were going out every night to a pub. Charlie kept finding excuses to go back to his room at a reasonable time and we talked on the phone much more then on previous occasions like this. On the last night, however, he stayed with them longer. One guy was pretty drunk and Charlie decided to ‘mind’ him. There were two young Brazilian girls sitting at the next table. After an hour or two of conversation the girls got ready to go home. Charlie’s companion made up his mind to go with them so Charlie went too. When they got to their place, the guy tried to invite himself in but Charlie told the girls to ignore him and they parted their ways. When they were walking back to the hotel they had an interesting conversation.
“What were you trying to do?” asked Charlie, “you are married.”
“My wife wouldn’t know.”
“But you would.”
“Eh, it’s nice to know you still ‘have it’.”
Don’t we all want to know we still ‘have it’? The age, gender or marital status doesn’t matter. Our ego strives for it – to be liked and desired and it’s probably the number one reason behind affairs.
That day I went to the doctor we decided to spend the whole week sharing bread and wine in the evenings, to pray for a full deliverance from lust and addiction. We found a bottle of wine called “Puerta Novas”, meaning New Door and opened it that night. It was like a week of private counselling. Every evening brought something new into our relationship and understanding of each other. We had planned a trip abroad months before that, which was to be the following week and we hoped it could be a new beginning. My new ring was being adjusted at the jewellers and we finally knew where to get rid of the other ring we got back from Ana. The last thing we needed to do was to renew our vows.