It started with a series of text messages sent in the wee hours of the morning.
I would hear his cellphone’s beep and somehow I felt that there was something not quite right about it.
I would say a woman’s gut feeling is one of her most precious gifts. It is what helped me discover what was wrong.
For a time, I kept quiet about what I felt. She could be just a friend. I tried to justify to myself. Don’t be such a little jealous girl. I warned myself. But why did I have such a nagging feeling about the whole thing?
Finally, I decided to ask. There was no point in killing myself over my own thoughts. Didn’t we say we will be open to each other about our problems? All I needed to do was ask so I would find out the truth.
But I did not.
I did my own research and I knew she was not who he said she was. I knew then something was wrong because if there wasn’t it would have been so easy to just say the truth.
I also knew that if I wanted to resolve it I had to be honest with him about what I felt.
We had a heart to heart talk that night.
He said she was just a girl he worked with. She knew he was married but she continued to send him messages anyway. She would invite him to gimmicks and night outs. Sometimes she called him, other times he called her.
I tried to make sense of what I was hearing. I wanted the truth and now I had to bear it.
“Why?” I asked him.
I needed to know why he was allowing this to happen. Maybe I would understand it better from his point of view.
He admitted he was flattered by the attention from another girl. He felt a certain thrill from getting such messages from a woman other than me. For him, it was some form of validation. Something I had been neglecting to give him for quite some time.
I recognized I was at fault too. Ever since the baby came, it was always about the baby. I forgot that I had a husband who needed my love and attention too.
But admitting I was at fault didn’t make what he was doing right.
Maybe they were indeed just friends. But where would that friendship lead? I asked him.
I know his female friends. And I know how to distinguish the difference between a real friendship and a flirting relationship.
As I always say, if you don’t want to get burned, don’t play with fire.
It’s a known fact that married men give that “thrill of the chase” for single women. So why even go near that line?
“We’re really just friends,” he said.
And I believed him.
But I also told him that I wasn’t comfortable about their friendship.
He said, I mattered more to him and he would stop communicating with her.
But he didn’t.
I guess, when something makes you feel good, it becomes hard to stop.
The trust I had for him was slowly crumbling down.
I realized that this was a problem that needed to be worked out over time, by both of us. It wasn’t just his problem to deal with, it was a trial we both had to go through.
Each time I discovered that she was still around, I made it a point to let him know that I knew and I wasn’t happy about it.
I was hurt but I did not let my pain or my pride destroy us.
I love my husband and I knew that it is at his moment of weakness that he needs me the most.
I took us three more heart to heart talks before we finally resolved the problem.
I told him, he needed to stop telling me that he was going to stop, he needed to just do it.
And finally, he did.
But the trust between us wasn’t built right away. I told him that I already gave him my trust and he broke it.
This time, trust was not something I can give, it was something he had to earn.
And earn it, he did.
How do you deal with a broken trust?
You rebuild it no matter how painstaking it becomes. You assure each other not just with words but, more importantly, with actions.
You start over with clean slates. Past hurts and sins no longer exist.
You just keep on loving each other.
My friends told me I was too understanding. What assurance did I have that it won’t happen again?
I told them, I just knew.
Getting married changed my perspective about commitment and relationships.
Before, things were handled carelessly and impulsively. The easiest way out of a problem was just to break up.
But marriage changed all that.
When both of us committed to love each other for the rest of our lives, it meant standing by each other no matter what difficulties come our way.
It didn’t matter who was wrong or who was right, what mattered was how we were going to solve it together.
When we said we would accept and respect each other for all that we are, it meant that we recognize both our imperfections.
We were both humans who can fall into weakness and make mistakes. And when we did make mistakes, we help each other stand up and move on.
It’s easier said than done I know, but love strengthens you to do even the hardest things.
Love empowers you to set your pride and insecurities aside. It allows you to see the bigger picture despite your pain.
Love helps you to grow bigger than your trials.
Love helps you understand.
In the end, love helps you to forgive.
After the darkness has gone and the pain has faded away, both of us became wiser, our commitment became stronger and our love grew deeper than ever.
And that’s all that matters.