I don’t know why but a thought suddenly popped into my head. I hadn’t thought about this in years. It didn’t even occur to me either time I was finding out about Harley’s glorious presence.
Waaaaaay back in the beginning of our marriage, like year 2 or 3, I remember seeing an email from him to what was obviously another woman. He was complimenting her breasts and asking for more pictures.
I know what you’re thinking.
Jesus Christ, Sam! You said you thought he’d never cheat on you. The real head scratcher is how on earth you thought he wouldn’t cheat on you?
What can I say? I’m slow in the driveway. I found out five years ago (twice in a three month period!) that he’s capable of betrayal. I’ve been living through this shit show for the last three years. I’ve been busy. With all this trauma I’ve been dealt I think I might have repressed the memory.
Do you want to hear the story or not? I thought so. Let’s stop picking on me and concentrate our efforts on him.
It’s been twenty years or so; the story is a little faded at this point, but some details remain sharp. I remember coming across the email and being hurt, pissed, and horrified. I remember thinking, “Oh God, I need to lose weight! I’d better get started before it gets out of control; right now it’s not so bad, just a few pounds. But if I keep ignoring it he may find someone else and I’ll be wishing I had started losing weight back when I first found out his attention had started to wander.” That’s pretty sad, isn’t it?
I’m pretty sure this happened at the same time we had tickets to go see Patty Loveless. I know we were not talking and I so badly wanted us to be able to communicate. I’m pretty sure we weren’t talking because of this.
When we finally did start talking he told me it was pictures he had seen online. I questioned why he emailed her then and his response was that this was the way it worked. You complimented their pictures in the hopes that they would send you more. That’s all it was. He didn’t know her. He hadn’t ever met her. She was some woman on the Internet, posting naked pictures of herself.
I wasn’t happy about it, and I let him know that, but I bought the explanation. It has stayed safely tucked away for twenty years.
Until now. Now I realize I was quite naive. I so solidly bought into this idea that he was loyal and would never cheat on me, that even when the signs were there I couldn’t comprehend what was going on.
Maybe he was telling the truth and this really was some amateur (or not so amateur) Internet porn star. Maybe he had never met this person. Or, maybe it was a co-worker. I don’t think he ever met up with this person, although why I should give him the benefit of the doubt is beyond me. It doesn’t matter. What’s done is done. Once again I am shown that he was never the person I thought he was. The signs were always there. I was oblivious to them.
I know it’s a fruitless question but I’m left wondering, “Was he ever faithful to me, or was he cheating from Day 1?” The positive side of this is that I keep being given ample evidence that he sucks. It also proves that whatever it is that Harley thinks she’s got, she doesn’t. That man has deep, dark secrets and they just keep coming.
It’s like the scene in Men In Black when the alien takes over Edgar’s body. CF wears a suit of lies. It looks like everything you want. It looks like someone faithful and loyal. Someone who has achieved great things and has much success. Someone who values a partner and a family. It reflects back whatever it is you want. It’s an illusion. The person CF claims to be isn’t real. He’s just an alien in an Edgar suit.