Self-Esteem Completely Shattered & An Email from an Unknown Man
The emails I accidentally discovered scanned just over six months--the most recent one written while I was gone at the store that same morning. I went through each one to see if there were any references to "Great time last night" or something along those lines; thankfully there weren't, but there were plans in the making. I demanded Lee close the email account immediately and he did. However, the damage was already done. I already was ashamed of my body but to read those words coming from the man I loved and devoted myself to for over sixteen years made it worse. Aside from my initial reaction, I didn't get angry, I was extremely sad. Lee and I spoke for weeks on end over his online betrayal and it was then that he told me, "Kay, it was never about how you looked, it was your attitude. I tried to support you on your weight loss endeavors but you constantly moped around the house, doing nothing to help yourself. I tried to be kind but you took it wrong...I couldn't talk to you or tell you how I felt because you immediately shut down." He's right, I did and he was right too in that I constantly moped. I brought about my own misery concerning my weight. He also informed me that he felt unattractive because I didn't want him as much anymore and that although we sat and watched our favorite shows together, I spent too much time in the bedroom writing and away from him.
Over the next few months Lee called me more than he used to from work to let me know he loved me. He flirted with me and showed a lot of affection. However, I would not make love to him at all. It didn't matter how many times he said he didn't mean what he or wrote, or how often he said, "I love you." I was too embarrassed and couldn't bear the thought of him seeing me without my clothes on; fat rolls on top of fat rolls. Moreover, I couldn't get over the words I saw on the screen that day written about me to complete strangers. Not forgotten also was the fact he was so close to actually meeting up with internet strangers. Deep in my mind I knew damn well that he would have gone through with those encounters had he not been busted. Lee's attitude changed for awhile after email incident; he was more attentive and went out of his way to be nice. He still came home from work on time and the only time he went out alone was to wash his car every Saturday around seven p.m. He didn't bother asking for a guys night out.
Around January of 2009 I decided to go on my own weight loss program. The pounds started melting away slowly. I didn't do it for Lee, but for myself and to be a better role model for my children. Also, in the back of my head I felt so insecure about my marriage that getting physically fit became a priority in case we ended up divorced. I did not have the strength to leave my husband back then, I felt trapped--normal for someone who is codependent on their partner. Even though nothing was resolved, Lee was asking to give me foot rubs nightly. He was so affectionate I started believing all was going to be okay. Until the Saturday morning, the day before our 17th anniversary, when my gut started screaming that something was wrong.
"Lee, how about I go to the gym with you this morning?", I asked lightheartedly and filled with hope, "I think it'd be great if you could show me some weight lifting exercises."
"Maybe next weekend Kay, I've already got plans to play racquetball with a guy from work." he replied.
My husband loved playing racquetball and worked out early daily so his reply didn't upset. But, when he still wasn't home by 10:15 a.m. after leaving at 7:00 a.m. my stomach became knotted. I was so troubled over him being gone so long that I wrote "Lee gone over three hours to workout?" on our calendar. I called him afterwords and he told me that his friend forgot to reserve a court so they didn't start playing until 9:30--he came strolling through the door at 10:30 a.m. I insisted he explain where he was that morning prior to playing his favorite court game and he told me he and his buddy lifted weights while they waited. Our anniversary came and went. We went to eat at T.G.I.Fridays, had a nice dinner and came home. I still was not having sex with Lee and my feelings didn't change on our 'special day'--he was fine with it and said he understood why I didn't want to.
It was a lovely Friday afternoon in April 2009 that I was chatting with my mother on the phone while still logged into Facebook (Ryan was at my mother-in-laws and Nicole was vacationing with her best friend's family in Tennessee) when suddenly a message from an unknown man showed in my inbox, "I have some information about your husband and it's important you know." From the very depths of my being I knew that I was in for some very, very bad news and that it would involve my husband being unfaithful. I shared the mail with my mother who promptly told me that she'd be there for me after I found out the information. I told her what I thought it would be and she agreed--thank goodness the children were gone because we were both right.
To be continued...