I began writing detailed notes to myself on the weekend immediately following The Incident. First, I wrote to organize my thoughts for our upcoming discussion. The day after that, the grief kicked in and I began journaling to survive. I’ve reread some of these notes. It’s really tough to revisit those first few days but I’m so thankful the feelings aren’t so intense now.
Carol went to work the next day. I couldn’t believe it but she had no way to get out of it apparently and had to power through it. Later, gave me the specifics of her first few weeks, her own personal Hell she created. I did not return to work on the day of the incident and thankfully, my workplace is closed on weekends.
So, at home I sat with the kids on a Saturday. I did all the father things I needed to do and the rest of the time I allowed them to play video games and watch TV. My lunch from yesterday remained in the fridge. I had no desire to eat, no desire for anything. I had become a man without a soul.
All I could do was compose my speech to Carol and occasionally attempt to read. A friend stopped by for a chat, a few more family members called or texted. I received so much love and support in those first few days. I told so many people that I love them, in spite of how numb I was to everything.
It was great to know that when times are tough, there are a lot of people in my corner but the one I always counted most for love and support wasn’t there anymore.
Too many times, I would find myself starting to think I need to talk to Carol about this, then having to slam the brakes on that thought. It was like I saw her as two different people. Carol, my loving wife, who I needed to talk to about Carol, the disgusting cheater. Later, she split into three separate people in my mind before I could finally begin to accept that she is all of them.
In the early afternoon, I texted Carol to tell her I was ready to talk. Soon after, she finished work, took the kids to her parents’ house, then came back for the talk.
“So, what do you want to know?” she asked.
“Nothing,” I said, then added, “I typed out my thoughts. I guess I’ll just read them to you.”
I started my speech by commenting on all the love and support I’ve received over the past day. I expressed how proud I am with how I’ve handled it and that I’m in a good place emotionally to get it together and move forward.
I then went on to tell her how deep her self loathing must be to choose Rick for an affair partner. He has always been the most toxic person in her life and he in particular ensures maximum damage in all areas of her life: her job, her marriage, family, everything.
If she was trying to destroy her life, in the end she changed nothing. I told her she still has to deal with work, family, and me. She has all the same responsibilities but now they are all tainted and complicated by her.
I told her how juvenile her actions were and how I lost all respect for her as a person. She had become worse than the people she judged as trash for their stupid drama.
Finally, I said I prefer to continue on without her as my wife and now we must sort out some details as we move ahead as co-parents.
Now it was her turn to talk. She said she was lost and confused but was certain of one thing: she no longer wanted to be married to me.
She also said, “You were a good husband and you’re a great father. I love you but I’m not in love with you.”
I would later go deeper into why she felt that way but at this point I replied honestly, “I don’t feel any love for you.”
We talked to the kids together. We told them how much we love them and that we’re still a family but mommy and daddy are separating. Our oldest was upset but it’s common enough nowadays that he has friends in similar situations so he understood. Our youngest didn’t understand enough to care.
I spent that night alone in the empty house. I played guitar, tried to watch TV, then went to bed on the living room couch since I refused to sleep in that bed. I would only go into the master bedroom to grab clothes when needed.
I tried to sleep but the incident replayed whenever I came close to dozing off. I hadn’t shed one tear over my marriage at that point but a storm was brewing.