Soon it will be one year. One year since he lost my trust. Since I was (was I?) betrayed. I don't know if I will ever know the truth. Does it even matter what really happened? Or is the damage done either way?
Last June, he announced one day that he was going to visit a friend in Traverse City. I wasn't aware he had a friend in TC. He said she was someone he knew in grad school, someone he “ran into” the previous month when he was in TC for work. (I learned later that he looked her up and asked her to meet him for drinks.) He said she was a good friend to him all those years ago; she's married, but separated; and he's going to see her TODAY, take her to dinner, a ride on the motorcycle, catch up, and then come home.
I'm stunned. I've never heard of her in the 9 years we've been together. Yet, with only an hour's notice, he's leaving the kids and me to go have dinner with her. Doesn't invite us, or even just me, to go along and meet this great friend of whom I've never heard. Oh, and he bought a new leather jacket that morning to look good for the trip. But he tells me I have nothing to worry about. Would he tell me where he was going and with whom if there was anything to hide?
He leaves and I go where I know I will find out more. I log into one of his email accounts. I know the password; I set up the account. There they are: her emails to him. They've been emailing through his work account, but he's forwarded and saved all her email here, on the account I set up for him. No big, right? I correspond with male friends and I'm not fooling around. I read the emails; I'm only getting what she said to him, since he's saved only hers to him. His emails to her would've been sent from the work account.
Mostly they seem to be conversing about common interests, people they know in common, parenting. No problem, what was I so worried about? Then I find it Her reply to him says, “I love you too, AS A FRIEND. I love you as a friend but nothing more.” My mind races. What did his email to her say? I'll never know.
I put the kids to bed. I listen for him to return. 2:00 a.m. . . . 3 a.m. . . . 4 a.m. . . . I drift off. The ringing phone wakes me at 6:15 a.m. The machine answers. “Bunny, it's me. Pick up the phone. Please. I'm so sorry. Please. Nothing happened. I swear. Please just pick up. Okay. Okay. We stayed up late talking and it was just too late to ride the bike back. Too cold. I stayed at her house, that's where I am now, but nothing happened. But I realize now that I love you. Do you hear me? I love you. I'm so, so sorry. She's helped me see that I've always loved you. I expect too much, I don't treat you like I should. I love you. Please pick up Bunny . . . .” It goes on like that until the machine times out.
When he gets home, he asks if I trust him. I say I do. But I don't. It's a full week before we have it out.
Him: I told you I love you. There's nothing more to say.
Me: Did you sleep with her?
Him: I didn't have sex with her.
Me: Did you kiss her?
Me: Did you sleep in the same bed?
Me: Did you tell her you love her? Last weekend or ever?
Him: If you can't accept that I love you, I'm here with you, there's nothing more I can say. I didn't have sex with her.
Me: Because you never thought of it or because she said no?
. . . .
Sometime later I say I believe him. I say I trust him. But I don't. I'll never know the truth. He's still here. I'm still here. He says he loves me. I say I believe him. But I don't know.