I will never forget the moment I found out my husband was cheating on me. In fact, the memory will never leave me. Every feeling is as fresh and raw as the day it happened.
It started after I found a text message on his phone from a woman I’ll call Margaret.
Margaret and I spent most Saturdays together with our boys at junior rugby league. Our kids had grown up together and gone to the same school. We’d worked side by side at the tuckshop and spent hours in the car, travelling to sports carnivals on weekends. Our friendship was solid and long-lasting. Even when our boys finished school we’d get coffee and catch up at yoga every Thursday.
So naturally, I was curious when I saw her name flash up on my husband’s phone as it lay on the kitchen island. He’d gone to the loo, it went off, I checked it. Why wouldn’t I? We’d been married for 25 years. I thought we were happy.
The message was simple: ‘L8ter 2nite’.
He walked out of the bathroom, his shirt half tucked into his undone pants. He looked at his mobile in my hand and raised an eyebrow. Slowly he strutted over to me. 'What have you got there?'
‘Are you having an affair?’ The trembling in my voice was out of control.
He half laughed.
'Tell me, are you having an affair?'
‘I thought you knew,' was all he could muster.
My husband. The father of my two sons. The man I had started growing old with had been having affair with one of my best friends - and I was the last person to know.
My life fell into tatters around me.
‘For how long?’ I asked.
The details were messy, things that nobody should ever know came up. The reasons were both disgusting and troubling. My question opened a waterfall of emotions he had never thought to discuss with me.
For the most part, I’ve blocked them out of my memory because just thinking about them, let alone writing them, still to this day makes me want to vomit into the nearest pot plant.
But this is what I learned in those brief, shocking moments. For 20 of our 25 years together, husband dearest had seen a few different women.
In The Other Woman Leslie Mann found texts on her husband's phone.
Some, like Margaret, were my friends. I knew most of the others - I'd chat with them in the street or had business dealings with them. One friend - who says she never acted on the invitation - was propositioned by him. I spoke to her every day and she never mentioned it.