My husband had an affair, and our marriage is better than ever. Read that again. Hard to make sense of it, I know. I really know. And the fact that our marriage is thriving is a real shock to me. I’m off-script. This is not how it goes, and yet, here I am.
I learnt the story of love from the time my hair was long enough to be scraped into a perfectly parted side pony. I grew up in the '80s. Yes, I am now guilty of wearing skinny jeans and parting my hair to the side. I also overuse the cry-laugh emoji.
Watch Sophie Monk talk to Mamamia about cheating. Post continues below.
In the '80s on the big box of a TV screen in the lounge room, I had the Disney princess movies playing through the VCR on heavy rotation. There was always a girl. Usually with a tiara. And always a guy. Usually with a sword.
She could never solve any of the distressing problems on her own. He always rescued her. They always fell in love and lived happily ever after. The end.
As a teenager, I inhaled romantic comedies. Insert the same stereotype Disney plots but with a bit more sexual innuendo, and very attractive straight white people and the same perfectly happy ending.
And then came more girl power. Women standing up for themselves. Having huge and very successful careers. Perms. And shoulder pads. And the power stance. Throwing up the middle finger to the expectation of being at home, chained to the sink, barefoot and pregnant. And with that flipping of the bird came the superpower of divorce. The perfect prescription for a stinking, slimy, dirty cheating husband was kick him to the curb and slam the door loudly as he landed on the concrete.
That’s the story I know, off by heart. So now here I am, 10 years a wife. And there has been infidelity in our marriage. When I found out about it, it was a relief. I had spent the months leading up to the discovery feeling like a bottle of milk that gets left in the car on a hot summer’s day. Curdled.
I was losing sleep. Nervous. And oh the brain fog. And chest pain. I had even been to the doctor and had blood tests to try to get to the root cause. Which Google had led me to believe was either brain cancer or early-onset Alzheimer’s.
So, when the lie was exposed, my shoulders dropped, I relaxed. That curdled milk feeling was not a medical condition, it was my intuition.