It’s the first question everyone asked. After they heard that the man I’d loved and trusted for 20 years had a secret girlfriend on the side for the past 10, after they’d consoled and comforted me, and told me what a lying scumbag Mike was to betray a terrific woman like me, they’d ask, “How did you find out?”
I was on Facebook. When I left my computer, Mike took the opportunity to log into his own Facebook account and check his messages. But he forgot to log out of his own account.
When I returned to the computer, I had no idea that Mike had been there and that I was now logged onto his account. I thought that I was still logged onto my own Facebook account.
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And, apparently, I had a new message! It was from someone named Maggie Gray. It said: “I’m happy too.”
I didn’t recognise the name and I was curious.
Who was Maggie Gray? Why was she happy?
I scrolled back to the prior message.
It was a message from Mike, my sweetie, to Maggie:
“The sound of your voice yesterday made me happy.”
Which is when I realised that I was in his account, not mine. I began to shiver.
I scrolled back to see the message before that.
It was a message from Mike to Maggie. It said:
“I love you and I have always loved you.”
I’ve re-lived that moment a hundred times. Shock. Horror. Disbelief. I felt like the universe had just gut-punched me.
It was one of the worst moments of my life.
And when I confronted Mike, it was definitely one of the worst moments of his.
“You’re in love with Maggie Gray? Who the hell is Maggie Gray? You’ve never even mentioned her. And now you’re in love with her? How does that work?”
At first, he tried to lie. “She‘s just an old friend from grad school. We re-connected on Facebook a while back. She’s not important.”
But even as adept and practised a liar as Mike apparently was couldn’t explain away “I love you and I’ve always loved you.”
Eventually he came clean and confessed that he‘d been two-timing me with Maggie Gray for the past 10 years.
And that was the end of a 20-year relationship.
I’m an honest person, and trusting to fault. Over the years, Mike had left his Facebook account open on my computer dozens of times. I’d just log out of his account and into my own. It never occurred to me to spy on him first.