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.
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....