He was the most trustworthy person one could ever know. They all said he was - his family, his friends, his coworkers. All his life he had been the example to follow, especially for those in the church where he grew up.
My first husband was not trustworthy at all. He was seduced by the other woman and gave up everything to have her. His two little boys, our friends, my family, and me, his high school sweetheart. He was verbally and physically abusive to his sons and to me. After he left, I wanted never to be around someone like him again.
So when I met this man everyone admired and who spoke kindly and gently to me, I let down my guard somewhat. He was totally opposite my former husband, so polite and seemed somewhat innocent. His wife had left him for another man and he was distraught over this. I suppose I felt sorry for him and wanted to make everything alright for him.
So he and I were married 39 years ago. We raised my two sons and his two sons. This was not easy but they all grew up, finished school, and left home. They married and had children. We adored the grandchildren and spent much time with them. All seemed well in our marriage. I thought he would always love me and be faithful to me, because that was who he was - trustworthy.
It started in the summer of 2013. I thought I saw him exchange smiles from the choir loft with a woman sitting just a few rows from the front in the church sanctuary. A woman who was in the Sunday School Class he taught. Her husband died in June. He had visited the husband often in the nursing home over the last year and she thanked him many times for his visits. We argued about the smiles. He said he never smiled at anyone. But I knew what I saw. When she would be near me, she would turn and go another direction, which seemed very suspicious to me. We all had been friends in that Sunday School Class for several years. He said he had no interest in her.
A few weeks later I was folding the white clothes I had taken out of the clothes dryer. I picked up one of his V-neck undershirts to fold it. As I held it out in front of me I was startled to see lip prints at the corner of the V. They were full, wide lip prints that someone with a beautiful smile would make. She had a beautiful smile. When he came home from work I held up the undershirt and asked him what did he see on the shirt. He said "it looks like lip prints but no woman has kissed my undershirt". He said he did not know how the prints got on his undershirt. A few weeks later he wears a white collared shirt to church. I did not look closely at the shirt because I had bought one for him last year. When doing the laundry and taking his shirts out of the dryer to hang up, I took out the white shirt. But it was a shirt I had never seen nor one I bought. I asked him where he got the shirt. He said it was just hanging in his closet so he wore it. I asked how it got in the closet. He said he did not know. He thought I put it there, but he never asked me if I bougth the shirt for him. Can this be happening I wondered? He has told me two lies and acts as if he is telling the truth. We leave that church at my insistance.
But that does not solve any problem. I see him looking at women wherever we go - at church, restaurants, stores, anywhere and everywher. Have I never noticed this before? He says he enjoys looking at attractive women. He says it is natural and all men do it. I disagree with him.
For the first time ever, I look at cookies on his computer. I find cookies for match.com and several other dating websites. He says he never went to those sites. I tell him he did because the cookies are on his computer. He says he does not know how they got there, but he never went to any dating websites.
We argue all the time. His answers are not logical but he is adamant in his denials. I ask him if he has ever had an affair or flirtation. He says he was tempted to once when he saw a woman in the church choir staring at him. He said he thought the way she stared at him made him think she wanted to have an affair with him. I asked how long this temptation to have a flirtation or affair went on. He said "I don't know, a couple of years I suppose". "A couple of years I said?" He said I guess so. But he said he never talked to her or touched her. It was all in his thoughts. He eventually told me he drove by where she worked and where she lived. Her husband was suddenly and unexpectedly transferred to
I look through his Daytimers that he recorded his daily work activities in for the past 25 years. He has gone to lunch alone several times a year for about 12 years with a woman he knew at another job who worked at the same place he was now working. He even went to visit her at her home once when she was sick. I told him not to do this but he did it anyway and never told me he did. I found photos of several women he worked with on out-of-town jobs. They were photos taken of each one as he took them on site-seeing trips after work each day. Just him and one of the women. I tell him this was so inappropriate for a married man to do. He says he never had a romantic relationship with any of them.
Then he says because I asked him to tell me about any woman he had "feelings for", he wanted to tell me about Theresa and Amanda. He said he had an immediate attraction for them more than he did for other women . He said it just happended suddenly and without his control. These feelings lasted several years for each one. They were in their mid-30's, young enough to be his daughters.
This happened in his first marriage also. He told his wife he had feelings for a woman at work but he still loved her. She socked him in the face and he fell backwards onto the bed. Not too much later, she left him.
Then last year in October, he tells me he is leaving because he did not love me, never did love me, and should never have married me.
He basically lived a double life all his life. He lived one life at work and a different life away from work.
What do I desire? I desire to go back 40 years and walk away from him when I first met him. I desire to find what seems to be non-existant - a man who values his reputation and his word enough to never compromise either.
I desire honesty and trustworthiness from who are part of my life.
THE END (for certain)