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.