The author of this story is known to Mamamia but has chosen to remain anonymous for privacy reasons. The feature image used is a stock photo. Names have been changed for privacy reasons.
I will never know if my husband would have eventually cheated on me had my father’s death not been just eight months earlier. But I knew with total clarity, as I stood on the bustling Balinese road, with locals gathering, tourists helping to redirect traffic around him and my mum praying over my father’s dying body that I was a long way from home and help and that everything I knew about my life was going to be different.
But what I didn’t know was that my husband would start an affair 10 months later, using my grief as a reason 'he didn’t know if he loved me anymore'.
It’s been said before but the loss of a parent rocks the axis on which you see the world. I was suddenly thrust into responsibility, physical, palpable grief and did I mention my firstborn child was only nine months old? It was a lot and at times I felt like I was drowning but in the name of honouring my father’s belief in me and to life, giving up just wasn’t an option.
But as we headed into Christmas and approaching the first anniversary of his death, things were unravelling. My husband had a good old-fashioned case of 'mentionitis' (when you can't stop mentioning someone) about this primary school friend, Rachel, who he had reconnected with on Facebook. He was travelling a bit for work and had taken over running my family’s construction company and was now literally in my Dad’s chair, trying to keep the business afloat. So he was out of town a bit but when he was home he was distracted, distant and no longer looking at me in the same way. A good friend told me kindly that because of everything that had happened, it was understandable that I had, inevitably, neglected my marriage. I took that on the chin and I tried to reconnect.
I wanted to make my marriage work and so I offered to have his family’s Christmas party at our house. He mentioned borrowing a long table from his friend Rachel who owned a deli just down the road. On one occasion when he was smelling remarkably fresh and on his way to the gym, he went to drop the table off that he had borrowed. Before I even knew what happened these words spewed out of my mouth: "What are you and your girlfriend going to do when you don’t have tables to give back?" I remember looking at him, sitting on the lounge, facing me and our eyes holding for a few seconds. He brushed me off. Shrugged and mumbled something about her "just being his friend".
Christmas Eve was when it all went down. We had a couple who were really good friends of ours who had been through it with us. We were at the shops picking up last-minute stuff and again, without knowing why or where it came from my mouth spewed the words to my friend: "I think he is having an affair."