I really didn't think anything could surprise me. Until yesterday.
I was at work dealing with a rather messy legal situation that had sucked all my energy and had put me in a rather foul mood, so I wasn't in the best frame of mind when my husband called and said, "Do you have a minute to talk?" Rather than saying something sarcastic like, "What do you think?" I responded to him as I always do when he asks that questions. I said, "I'm busy, but I always have time for you, Handsome. What's up?"
My husband proceeded to tell me that he had just received a call from a woman we know. Let's call her F-ing Bitch, shall we? That's not her real name, but it's the name I will be using for her from now on. He then proceeded to tell me that F-ing Bitch said she was going to call me and tell me about the sex he'd been having with her for the last several years if he didn't give her a large sum of money. WTF?!
Those of you who have been reading the blog for awhile know that there are several things in his statement that were surprising. First, he's having sex? Any sex? With anyone? Wow. Second, he's been telling me he's not interested in sex anymore, yet he's been doing her? Really? Third, she actually thinks that blackmailing him is the best way to get money out of him?
Apparently, after he hung up the phone from talking with her (and telling her that he wasn't going to pay her a dime, by the way), he thought he should call me and tell me about it right away in case she did, in fact, call me.
She didn't. At least not yet.
I assured him that I loved him and we'd be fine. We'd work through this. I told him we would discuss it more when I got home (I knew that would put the fear of God into him for a few hours while he waited for the end of day and worried about what I might say or do). I hung up the phone, closed my office doors and thought about what I had just heard.
A few weeks ago, in response to a post I wrote on tolerance, a reader posed this question:
"Ok, Kat. Honest Question: what would your reaction be if your husband confessed to you (without knowing you had cheated on him at all) that he had carried on a number of affairs? How would that effect (sic) your feelings for him, and how would that effect (sic) your relationship with him."
My response to him was, "I really don't know." And that was the truth. I had no idea how I would feel about it.
As I sat there after talking with my husband, that reader's comment popped into my head, and I thought, well, now I'll find out how I feel about that. How do I feel about it?
I tried to separate my feelings from my thoughts because I'm such a logically-driven person that sometimes it's hard to know what I'm feeling because my brain takes over in difficult situations and sets about the task of solving the problem before my feelings even know what's going on. I focused on my feelings. What was I feeling? What was I really feeling?
Relief. Yes, that was it. I was relieved because now I knew that if he found out about me our marriage wouldn't be over. There would be no lectures or "holier than thou" attitude because we both had cheated. I was also relieved because this meant the door was now open to talk about sex and infidelity and maybe, just maybe, the possibility of an open marriage. It had been killing me not to be able to talk with him about these things, being afraid that he would freak out or worse.
I scanned my feelings for all the things I would be expected to be feeling. Jealousy? Nope. None. F-ing Bitch meant nothing to me and I know she meant nothing to him. Anger? Some, but I was angry at F-ing Bitch for trying to blackmail him. I was not angry at him for stepping out. How could I be? Fear? No. I am still 100% certain that he loves me and he won't be leaving me for another woman. He might fuck others, but he'll always come home to me. Yes, I'm positive of that. Confusion? Yes, a little bit. We are two people who both want more sex and we're stepping outside of our marriage to get it. Why aren't we looking to each other for it? Why can't we talk about that? I made a mental note that we would be talking about that when I got home from work or some time very soon
Then I felt relief again - relief that this wasn't so bad. I wasn't devastated. I wasn't even upset. Of course, I reminded myself that I might be in shock and some other feelings may surface later, but for now I was OK.
I asked myself the big question - Was I willing to leave him over this? The answer was a resounding, "Hell, no!" I knew I needed to tell him that as soon as possible.
When I walked in the front door at home a couple of hours later, he was sitting on the couch looking like a little boy (o.k., a grey-haired little boy) who was about to be taken out to the woodshed for a whipping. I sat down next to him, took his hand and looked him in the eye. He didn't say anything. He just looked at me with big puppy dog tears welled up in his eyes. Now I was feeling a few things - compassion, love, sadness, guilt.
The baseball game had just started and was on TV in the background. I lightened the mood by saying, "Hey! There's no crying in baseball, remember?" We both laughed a little and some of the color returned to his face. Better.
He said, "I don't want you to leave me."
I replied, "I will never leave you, Mr. Kat. I love you. Are you going to leave me for some bimbo?"
"No!" he replied. "I'm not going anywhere, ever."
"Well then," I said, "Let's not worry about that anymore, ok?" He nodded his agreement.
Then we started talking about it, and more information came out. It wasn't one woman; it was a handful of women. It wasn't for a brief period of time; it was over many years. Yes, he had brought some of them to our home to fuck in our bed while I was at work (ouch!). Yes, he had been supporting a couple of them for a couple of years with the money I earned (another ouch). F-ing Bitch had gone the blackmail route because he had cut off her gravy train. He stopped giving her money. Yes, I knew all of the women he had been with (triple ouch).
It was a lot to process (ya think???), so we agreed we'd talk about it more the next day.
Later in the evening, when we went to bed, I initiated sex with him. I knew it was an important part of letting him know that I still loved him and wanted him and wasn't going to kick him out. I also decided it was time to focus (again) on some of my own tips from 10 Tips for Wives to Keep Your Husband from Cheating, so I gave him the best BJ I knew how to give and then I fucked him like a woman who had been starving for sex with him (Ok, some acting and fantasizing about JJ were involved, but it worked).
Afterwards, I thought, "Take that, F-ing Bitch. How dare you try to blackmail my family??? And by the way, you've had your last fuck with this man, Sister." I can't wait to see her and share those thoughts with her in person.
I had a chance to chat with DauntlessD about the whole thing, and he suggested that I use the opportunity to ask my husband for an open marriage. At first I thought, "No way! He'll never go for that and I'm not ready to tell him about my activities yet." But then I thought about it. Dauntless was right. There would never be a better time than this to have that conversation.
So, I sent my husband a text today around lunch time and asked him if we would join me for lunch so we could talk and continue the conversation we started last night. I also said that I have an idea I'd like to discuss with him. He agreed, and we decided on a meeting place.
He walked into the restaurant and looked around for me. I already had a table and was waiting for him. I had been rehearsing exactly what I would say and how I would say it. He sat down across from me and reached over the table to take both my hands in his.
I said, "Honey, I've been thinking and I have an idea......"