Holier Than Thou

Fundamentalist Bible Thumper on Wheels

One morning early in 2003 I woke up at 4:30 a.m. to begin reading the Bible all the way through for the first time. I don't recall how long it took but I read a chapter from the Old Testament, one from the New, one Psalm, one Proverb, and a chapter from James religiously each day. Joyce Meyer became my godly heroine because she was a doer of the word, she didn't just give God lip service, and I watched her every chance I got. At first my studies remained set to specific hours and I was still a laid back Christian. We enjoyed the holidays, watched the latest movies and television shows, drank now and then, etc. In other words, I was still fun. Sadly, I started questioning whether I was a "true" Christian or not. Every time I read the Bible I felt terrible instead of uplifted, I felt as though I was betraying God and started worrying about going to hell and about my friends and family going there too. Instead of working on myself though, I thought God was "speaking to me" and wanted me to share my enlightenment with others. I shared it alright, but made others feel condemned.

Suddenly I didn't think Lee was being "godly" enough because he swore occasionally and I did not crave sex as much. I started getting pissed off with my best friend for saying, "God damn it", and voicing my dislike of her word choice--we started growing a part. I started judging my fellow church family and tried weeding out "the wolves in sheep's clothing." Soon my studies started running in to family time and I quite often left Ryan and Nicole to their own devices while I frantically scoured the internet for interpretations of scriptures. The more I studied and remained unsettled, the more I became a Christian of the law. Lee did everything I asked but we started communicating less. He voiced concerns but I was so determined that I was right no one could stop me from pleasing God.

The gatherings with our married friends both inside and out of the church started dwindling. No one was good enough except mature Christians who I saw following God's commands. I thought anyone who was not following God's instructions from the New Testament was a threat to my families eternal well-being. I didn't want an iota of a chance that someone would lead them astray. It wasn't long before I was on the computer and in the Bible from eight to twelve hours a day. Lee and the children would go to the beach without me because I didn't want to go--one I was studying and, two, my sedentary lifestyle caused me to slowly and steadily gain weight. I didn't care, I only cared about pleasing God. My little family would spend hours watching tv, going to the park, and missing was me (I wish I could get that time back). I was there in body only. Oh, I continued to cook and got up with Lee to see him off to work and make him lunch, breakfast and dinner, and took our children to home school functions, but as soon as my duties were done I was right back to reading.

By 2004 I probably could have been classified as insane. ALL I ever talked about with anyone, including my husband, was God. I canceled cable, wouldn't allow any ungodly movies, and I asked Lee to throw out all of his rock CDs--he did. I no longer allowed our family to celebrate the holidays because I was convinced we'd go to hell for celebrating pagan holy days as God's Holy Days. My husband agreed to all of my demands and though he was worried sick, he told me he trusted I knew what was best because I was "in the Word." Actually, he was worried sick and felt helpless watching the woman he loved disappear from his eyes. The love he had then was that reserved for a dear friend--Kay (I) was so far gone that no one recognized me. I cried daily and worried about going to hell. Lee was not the only person concerned about me, my mother was too and I even caused that once close relationship to be severed. Despite my behavior my husband was loving though I didn't deserve it.

Three Years of a Wife He Didn't Know

Everyone changes, it's inevitable, but my change was so drastic that Lee wasn't the only one who didn't recognize me. My children saw me struggle daily and didn't know what happened to the mother they've always known. As if that wasn't bad enough, my mother (sick with worry for her grandchildren more than anything) and stepfather couldn't understand why Lee didn't put his foot down. Frankly, they were both surprised he didn't divorce me. My bout with religious fanaticism lasted just over two years. The breaking point was a week before Easter, 2005. I sat my family at the table and said I wanted a divorce. Lee, seeing the children with tears swelled in their eyes, bowed his head and replied, "Whatever you want, Kay. Know that I do not want a divorce, I love you." I looked at my small family really hard and removed myself from the table. I walked into the bedroom, read a scripture about being a true follower of Jesus, and shut the Bible while exclaiming, "F*ck you Jesus, I choose my family." I've never looked back.

Though I was finished as a Christian I spent another year on a message board for Ex-Christians and continued to neglect my family--I was there physically but gone mentally. I needed to heal from the pain of leaving the faith I held so dear to my heart for over thirty years and reaching out to others who left Christianity was of tremendous benefit, but I spent too much time doing it.

Lee listened when I needed to talk, he comforted me when I needed comforting. However, though I'd left the faith, my conversations were still all about God. My political views changed around this time also which just added to the distance when it came to connecting physically. We snuggled, but not as often. We said "I love you", but not as much. We were not having fun like we used to. I was an unbeliever (still am) but fun-loving and easy-going.

It wasn't until March of '06 that I came back to my senses fully; except I'd grown huge from my sit-down lifestyle and my self-esteem was shattered and the focus shifted to my weight.

To be continued....

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Part XIV - A Happy Church Family...or not

Shaky Trust, Tight Finances, But Lots of Love

"Pooh-pooh face", "Babydoll", "Bear", "Honey", "Beautiful", "Baby", "Big Daddy", and "Handsome" are just a few of the numerous pet and silly names Lee and I have had for each other over the years. Tortured by unwanted tickles, soft kisses to the neck, and play fighting has always been a part of us. Lee did the same to our children but in a fatherly way. I looked at my husband with pride as those times always made me smile and cry happy tears. Lee never made me feel bad for not being comfortable with him having alone time with the guys, it just became accepted over the years. We weren't without our problems but we always worked through them and we rarely fought. And, although we didn't have a lot of money, we did the best we could by enjoying affordable fun at home, going to the beach, camping, and visiting our families in Michigan and Virginia now and then. By all appearances, we were a couple to be envied even behind closed doors. We'd endured so much together and through it all, we had love, true love.

Lee, like me, was a Christian his whole life but we weren't practicing the faith. We tried a couple of churches in our first eight years of marriage but never felt comfortable with any of them. After my thirtieth birthday in December of 1999, I decided it was time to find a church family and steer my family in the right direction. I wanted to live for God and my children to know Jesus. I never expected Lee to go with me but was thrilled when he wanted too.

A Happy Church Family

Before we even stepped foot into the church we found, Lee and I were closer than ever and we were a very happy family. Things never felt better, my husband retired from the military and had a merchant marine job with a contractor for the military (same building he worked at in the Navy, ironically) we were complete minus our relationship with God. Once we found Liberty, we felt even better about our lives. Our children, then one and four, were making friends and we made a few new ones too. We'd come home each Sunday and discuss the teachings in depth and then just relax and do whatever the rest of the day. After the first year we decided to become more involved with activities offered. We joined a discipleship program and volunteered to be on the bread delivery team (after much persuasion from the Outreach pastor). We did everything as a family, and I do mean everything.

Both of us griped about bread delivery. Lee wanted to quit and I felt obligated to continue so that did bring a bit of friction to our relationship. After I was fed up with it though, we did end up quitting and joined a Life Group with other married couples with children. Lee played the guitar and I always bragged about how good he was. The Life Group facilitator as well as others asked if we would lead worship; we happily obliged. It took my husband no time at all to learn new music and since I loved singing we spent a lot of time practicing throughout the week together. Everything we did drew us closer and made our bond as husband and wife and mother and father stronger. I truly loved my husband, children and my life.

Over the next three years we changed Life Groups, began home schooling, I taught Wednesday night Kids' Church, and Lee played on the church's main worship team as well as coached Nicole's T-Ball team. We were even asked to facilitate a Growing Kids God's Way group because our children were so well behaved, though we turned down the offer. One couldn't have asked for a better, more fulfilling life, but deep down I felt that I wasn't pleasing God enough and my passion for the Word of God was the beginning of major marital problems.

Stay tuned...

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Part XIII - A Guys' Night Out

Sure You Can Have a Guys' Night Out

Lee and our precious Nicole truly had a "Daddy's Girl" relationship and he played with Ryan also--though they never really bonded. It bothered me but Lee was with our son only four months before going to Cuba and considering the turmoil surrounding the year following it seemed natural that he was a "Momma's Boy." In my mind, Lee was still a great father and he was outstanding husband, the past was forgotten. By this time we owned three rental properties but our lives were about to go through financial hell--all of our tenants decided not to pay their rent. Hurried to get people in and have money flowing, we did not do proper credit checks so the problem was self-created.

We were totally stressed out. Our small home was less comforting because the anxiety made us feel on top of each other, we hated it. To keep the mortgage companies and bill collectors at bay I was paying the mortgages on the rentals with credit cards. It shouldn't surprise you to learn that we ended up in bankruptcy. Fortunately, in 1999, we made the decision to move into one of our properties doomed for foreclosure, a 1650 sq. ft. home with a pool, and let the smaller one go. It felt so nice to get rid of the smaller house even though we suffered a financial pitfall. The extra footage allowed us to have space and it was a lot less cluttered so we were actually happier despite everything going on. Lee was still enlisted in the Navy and we were able to "get by" even with a larger mortgage and another child.

Our close family friends still did weekend gatherings and it was even better now, thanks to the pool. Three years out from the affair and having complete trust, my best friend's husband and mine thought it'd be fun to have a guys night out. Who was I to say no? I said, "Sure you can have a guys night out." Boy, did I come to regret it. The next morning while preparing clothes for laundering I pulled a receipt from a strip club and my husband's wedding ring out from his pockets.

"Just Wanted to See if I Still Got It...."

Yep, that was his excuse when he came home from work that afternoon when I confronted him on the findings of his pocket. I gave him the major stink eye over his excuse. Not only was he in trouble for going out sans his ring but he knew before saying, "I do", that strip clubs were unacceptable in my book. We fought, big time and I threw his affair from '95 back in his face. He told me that my friend's husband was the one that wanted to go to a strip club (my friend was fine with her hubby going) and he didn't want to be considered a "pussy whipped" husband so he went. After a few drinks at the strip joint he told me they went to a club and both got the lame-brained idea to see if women would hit on them without wedding rings--they did but nothing happened, no dancing, no dates made, no phone numbers exchanged. It was only after talking to my best friend later that evening that I believed the story because she and her spouse were arguing about the offed wedding ring too. I chalked this incident up to manly idiocy.

We got over the ordeal fairly quickly and were back to family life as normal. My friend and I treated the whole thing as a joke and would make comments to our husbands if they went to the store together for beer, like, "Don't forget to put your rings on before you come back." We all snickered. Joking aside, even though we made light of it, Lee had to deal with the fact that it'd be a long time before he got to go out again without me--trust was once again an issue.

Part XII

Trying To Rebuild Trust

You Don't Know What You've Got 'Til It's Gone

Do you remember the song by Cinderella, You Don't Know What You've Got (Till it's Gone)? We'd barely stepped foot into my mother's home before the phone rang; it was my husband asking if we had made it okay. I really did not want to speak with him so I kept it brief with a simple, "We're fine", and hung up promptly. Lee called every day, sometimes several times a day, to apologize and say how much he loved and missed our son and I--and wanted us to come home. Still reeling from his statement about choosing Pam over me, I chose to ignore his cries--though I broke down after each phone call. I could hardly function but I did manage to get my old job back as a cashier at our local grocery store within the first two weeks.

Each night in my head I thought about Lee and our marriage. Aside from the affair, he was a good husband who treated me well even though he was a bit immature--like many married and unmarried men I know. He made me laugh regularly, he always showed affection, we always talked, we had fun together, we enjoyed each others company, we could sit for hours in comfortable silence. There were other areas, too, that kept me focused on the positive. We made a great team sharing the same parental, financial and political views. Lee was always a great provider and I managed our small but livable income. He never made me feel inferior for being a stay-at-home mom, in fact, he was proud and respected me for doing it.

Nearly a month after receiving Lee's never-ending phone calls begging me to come back, saying he didn't realize until I left how much he truly loved me and wanted to make us work, Ryan and I were on our way back to Florida. I felt loved and wanted by Lee again in the same way I did when we courted. Moreover, Lee was the love of my life I couldn't imagine life without him--so I was willing to give him another chance.

Rebuilding Trust

Our reunion with Lee was wonderful and it felt good to be a family again even though my life as a single mother was short lived. We spent a lot of time discussing the affair and how it happened, as well as my feelings on not being able to trust him and why. He agreed to not going out with the guys until I felt more secure--something we both would have benefited from much earlier on had he been willing to listen to and accept my fears instead of having "mantrums" (an adult male temper tantrum) and feeling as though he were being punished. We both needed to deal with the affair aftermath, regardless of the uncomfortable factor, and we finally reached a place where we could. Or so I thought for years to come--we'd truly only dealt with the one I knew about.

Weeks turned into months and almost a year and half after the Cuba Affair we bought a small, 950 sq. ft. home. Lee, true to his word, never asked to go out with the guys. I was always invited to work picnics and holiday parties. My days at home with Ryan were typically spent walking him to a local park and chatting with other mothers. Even though I was meeting people I never felt drawn to anyone. Then one day my husband came home and said, "Honey, there's a new guy at work and he's married and has children. They're 'your age' (lol, I'm only five months older than my wisecracking spouse) and he introduced his wife at work today, I think you'd like her." Our families became really good friends, the wife and I became best friends, and over the next few months we went to the pristine beaches in the area together, gathered on the weekends to have barbeques, and enjoy other family orientated activities quite regularly. Life was going so smoothly for Lee and I that we decided to get pregnant again and our timing was extra special because my new friend was pregnant too!

During the time I was pregnant we also decided to try and earn extra money by giving the Real Estate market a try. Though I worried about the possible outcome I knew how badly Lee wanted to be an entrepreneur so I gave him my complete support. Our future was something we always discussed and having him retire early so we could relish in joy throughout our Golden Years one day and offer financial support to our children meant the world to both of us. I felt secure, I felt safe in my relationship and in February of 1998 our daughter, Nicole, was born. I didn't gain nearly as much weight as I did with Ryan and I once again worked hard to shed the pregnancy pounds. Not once while pregnant or after did I feel any animosity over my weight coming from Lee. He was attentive, giving, helpful, supportive, and desired me sexually. It took over two years but I once again trusted him completely, until....

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XI- Ignoring Infidelity

Aside from my mother and one friend I had no one to talk to, even so, I was determined not to bad mouth my husband to them. But, the one person I should have been relaying my feelings to was the one who hurt me the most--Lee. I tried to bring up how much hurt and pain I was going through over the next few months but Lee felt as though I was "throwing it in his face" or "punishing him." He wanted to leave what happened in Cuba, in Cuba, and never discuss the topic again. I ended up forgiving his transgression so I felt bad for making him feel bad. However, I put his needs before my own and became resentful because on the inside I was drowning.

While most men he labored with all day headed to the bars after work, Lee came home. We'd talk about the days and current events, eat, watch tv, take Ryan to the park, go on dates, relax, and enjoy life. Lee tickled and massaged my feet nightly just like he always had (and still does to this day), and we showed each other a lot of affection. For the most part, we looked and acted like a very happy couple. Unfortunately all the good in our marriage didn't help me heal or help me trust my husband again. On the rare occasion he would ask for a guys night out, I panicked and expressed my feelings to Lee which eventually led him to feeling as though he were smothered. We had quite a few intense arguments about him going out. He acted like my feelings were meaningless, as though I were treating him like his mother and not his wife.

About eight months after affair discovery day I called my mother and asked how I could know Lee wouldn't screw around on me. She made the following suggestion, "You need to ask that if Pam were here right now and in great physical shape and you were still heavy like you were back then, who would he choose?" I didn't understand my mom's reasoning behind such a question but trusted her advice. I asked Lee when he came home; he bowed his head and replied, "Pam."

To Lee's credit, at least he was honest; to his discredit, he was also a callous, insensitive, selfish ass. The weight I carried pre and post birth disgusted him to the point that he would choose fit over love. I worked hard to rid my weight and although my body didn't look the same at 150 (the weight he met and married me at), I was still the same person, still the same loving wife. Needless to say, hearing those words come from his mouth stabbed me to my very core. I remember crying and then grabbing the phone. First I called my parents and asked if Ryan and I could move back in with them until I was financially stable, next I called the airport and purchased a one-way ticket to Michigan.

Lee begged me not to leave, he told me he could change because he loved me...I didn't think he was capable of it. He told me he wanted Ryan and I to stay, that he wanted to work on our marriage...I didn't want to hear it. When it finally dawned on him that I was out, he wished me and our son well and promised to make financial and custody arrangements. He drove us to the airport the following morning, choking back tears the whole way. By the time it was time for Ryan and I to board the plane Lee could no longer contain the flow of water from his eyes. It was the first time since me learning of the affair that I actually saw a remorseful man. Even so, I was cold, stone-faced, on the outside at least.

I was a hot mess the whole plane trip to Michigan. If a flight attendant told me how precious Ryan was or inquired as to whether I was okay--I totally lost it and started crying. I never shared the why behind the tears with those kind-hearted women but I did thank them for asking. When my mother and step-father picked the baby and I up from the airport, and I saw my mothers welcoming face and felt her warm embrace I came unglued. Neither asked me anything on the way home, I just sat in the back with Ryan and stared out the window thinking about how I would make it as a young, twenty-five year old single mother and how much I would miss Lee in my life. I still loved him.

Part X

Part X - Screw You, I'm Leaving!

Anger and hate consumed me and I practically tore Lee a new asshole when he came home from work after speaking with Pam and learning about the possibility of yet another woman. First I showed him the phone bill, he was speechless. I screamed at him how I could never, ever heal from this or trust him again. He tried to say "Sorry" but I wouldn't have it. I then asked him about having an affair on his affair partner and he adamantly denied it. I did not believe him. I was sick.

After contemplating the entire ordeal I decided I could not be with this man who committed marital infidelity and told him I wanted to leave. The rest of the afternoon was spent in silence. My husband sat in a zombie-like state on the couch and I went to Ryan's room and held him close; with the phone in my hand at the time, I called home.

"Dad?", I said to my stepfather who I grew close to after living with him and my mother for a year while Lee was in Cuba.

"Yes, Kay?"

"I want to leave Lee. May I stay with you and Mom until I can find a job and get settled? Can you come and get me?"

He knew about the affair because my mother was the first person I called when I found out.

"Are you sure?", he asked with skepticism.

"Yes.", I answered, bawling.

"Okay, but I better not drive a hundreds of miles to get all the way down there only to have you change your mind. I'm asking again, are you absolutely sure you want to leave?"


"Alright, I'll head out first thing in the morning."

My stepfather left as promised early the next morning and drove in blizzard conditions when he came through Kentucky and Tennessee so it wasn't until later that evening that he arrived. Lee went to the store when my stepfather called from a local gas station to get directions to our apartment because he was afraid my stepdad would punch his lights out. Turns out Lee had nothing to fear. When he came back home my stepfather asked my husband and I to sit down.

Looking us straight in the eyes with a serious tone in his voice, he asked, "Do you two kids love each other?"

Lee and I looked at each other through teary-eyes and then simultaneously replied, "Yes", to my stepfather's question. He then spoke the following words, "Then you should at least stay and try to work things out. People make poor choices, and regardless of how bad Lee's choices were he still loves you and you him. He's a good man who mad a poor decision. Nothing would make me happier than to drive back to Michigan without you and Ryan."

I couldn't believe my ears. As a then Christian I was astonished to hear those words stem from the mouth of an agnostic, regardless, I allowed them to sink in for awhile. Lee, my stepfather and I had a long discussion about the good things in our marriage and our love for one another. After a few hours I decided to go ahead and give our marriage a chance. My stepfather ate dinner with us, slept a short time and then left early the next morning. After that evening Lee and I hugged and kissed a lot and made arrangements to have a babysitter once a week so we could go out.

I still cried often but nearly as much over the next few months. We were communicating and flirting with each other like we did earlier in our marriage and Lee and Ryan were beginning to bond. However, we pretty much swept my husband's wrongdoing aside after the talk with my stepfather....a HUGE mistake so fresh after what had happened. Trust was broken and the result was me becoming a controlling wife.

To be continued...

Part IX - My Contact With The Other Woman

Several weeks of crying and anger prevailed. Lee and I discussed whether to stay married or not numerous times. He kept telling me how sorry he was for everything, but I was reluctant to believe him--and it's a good thing too. I was adamant and told him that if he wants us to stay together that he must never contact his affair partner again. Lee assured me that although he still had feelings for Pam that he would not contact her again. Lie!

I've always taken care of the bills and maybe because Lee didn't, he wasn't aware that phone calls actually show on the telephone bill. When I saw the country code for Cuba on it, my heart sank. Lee was at work so I couldn't confront him and I also had to take into account that he had male friends too. Maybe he called one of them? "No", I told myself, "it is hers." I developed a plan before calling; I was going to pretend to be Lee's younger sister. I then picked up the phone with shaky hands and sweaty palms and dialed.

Friend: "Hello."

Me: "Hi, is Pam there?"

Friend: "No, I'm her friend Emily, she's on leave at her parents. May I take a message?"

Me: "No, this is Lee's sister. Lee asked me to call Pam and get another number to reach her at because his wife found out about the affair."

Friend: "Oh."

Me: "Could you please give me the number to her parent's house? It's very important."

Friend (reluctantly): "Yes, the number is...."

After she gave me the number I immediately called the other woman. Her father answered the phone and as soon as he said, "just a moment", my heart began racing.

Pam: "Hello."

Me: "Hi, Pam. This is Donnie's wife. Please do not hang up on me, I need to ask you a couple of questions."

I verified all the affair details and learned Lee was truthful with the time frame and how they met. I assured Pam I was not angry with her but rather my husband because who knew what lies he fed her. She began crying and said, "I'm so very sorry. And, you know, whenever I came back from leave a friend of mine told me that Lee was seeing another person each time." We chatted a bit more and she said that she would never contact Lee again or answer his calls.

After I hung up I was both relieved and hurt. Relieved to learn that at least some truth came from my husband's lips and hurt because not only had he contacted her but that there was a possibility of another other woman.

Needless to say all hell broke loose when Lee arrived home from work later that evening and it lead to a special visitor from Michigan to come and take Ryan and I away...

Did you miss Part VIII? Click here

Part VIII - He Loves The Other Woman

"....I love her too." I didn't know what to do. The rest of the day I was numb and couldn't muster the strength to do much of anything except mope around in a trance-like state. Ryan relied on me more than Lee; my mother, stepfather and I were really all he knew and I was all that was left. A pleasant and easy to please baby, even his whimpering had me wishing I didn't have to be his mother. I regretted giving birth to him. Horrible, I know, but it's how I felt.

When I woke up the next morning it was the beginning of an emotional roller coaster that would not be ending any time soon. Anger filled me. "How he could strip me from those who loved me and bring me down here to deal with this shit?! He should have NEVER came and got Ryan and I. He could have ended it in Cuba, it would have hurt but I could have learned to move on." In the kitchen making coffee stood my solemn husband, I glared at him and screamed, "How fucking could you? How could you do this to me? To us?", and then I smacked him hard across his face. He didn't strike me back, he broke into tears--not because I hurt him, but because he hurt me.

Then he was off to work--leaving our son with his emotionally unbalanced mother who was coming unglued at the seams.

In hindsight, I think I was going through depression. Due to the major rift in his life of only having me now, Ryan was a bit clingy--and I found myself resenting him. I went to the doctors about two weeks post affair discovery day and told her I was getting really irritated with Ryan because he always followed me everywhere. She knew I'd never beaten him but could obviously see my frustration and suggested I close the door to his room and ignore his cries. I did. Poor little Ryan, I was a complete wreck. I didn't want to rock, hold or cuddle him. Hell, I could barely muster a smile even when he smiled at me sweetly with his small round face and green eyes. I fed, clothed and bathed him but instead of picking him up, I snatched him up. Instead of holding him gently with warm and loving arms, I basically just let him be on me. He was a good sleeper, but my behavior inadvertently affected him and he wasn't going down so easily anymore because he was upset. Not everyday was like this. On days I was sad I found comfort in my little man. But, he didn't know if Momma was going to look at him lovingly or with hate.

I wish I would have told my doctor what was going on at home; perhaps she would have suggested counseling or anti-depressants. Since I kept my mouth shut though, I dealt with it the only way I knew how. It was almost like I was punishing him for his father's affair. What's done is done, I cannot go back and change my behavior. I've forgiven myself for treating Ryan so poorly, I had to or the guilt would eat me alive to this day.

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Part VII - He Admits Having An Affair

I could not get to the airport quick enough that early December morning when my husband permanently returned from being stationed in Cuba. We must have hugged an hour prior to the drive back to my mother's home, and the pet names flew all the whole trip. So excited to begin our new life, and give my mom and stepfather their home back, we left a day and a half later.

The drive down was uncomfortable to say the least. We listened to the radio, mostly, and were right back to having the typical, "You're driving too fast" followed by "Don't tell me how to drive " arguments. We always made up at rest stops as we've done for years when on road trips. When we got to our destination we stayed in an economy hotel until we found an apartment two weeks later. It was miserable being cramped up and then adding to the misery was the fact Lee seemed distant again, as though he were sad to be with me, and our son.

We moved into our non-furnished apartment, waiting for the military to deliver our furniture. I was happy, Ryan was ecstatic (when we pulled into the hotel on the last day he cried upon seeing it) but Lee was just there. Finally, I couldn't stand it any longer. On December 25, 2005 (my 26th birthday), without any warning, I looked at him and asked, "Did you love her?" With a long face and tears in his eyes he replied, "Yes." My world was shattered....

Before continuing I'd like to express to you at this time that I have not cried over this moment in years, until now. The emotional devastation from actually hearing those words stem from the mouth of the man I've loved with every ounce of my being, and still do, is buried so deep within me that writing it out makes it seem fresh again.

At first I sat there and calmly questioned him. In my mind I already knew between the dreams, his behavior, and the scratches in particular, that he had an affair--I wasn't shocked, yet. I asked him how long, "since February of this year", he replied.

The pieces of the puzzle that would explain my husband's behavior were now falling in place. I learned her name, that she was a coworker and the day after they had sex at a party is the day Lee and I spoke on the phone and he mentioned contemplating suicide. He felt like he was with another woman because it was her body and ways in the hay he'd become accustomed. In essence, I was the other woman to him now. My last question was "Do you still love and want to be married to me?", "Yes", he replied, "but...."

Did you miss Part VI? Click here