Part VI - The First Obvious Sign I Chose To Ignore

Lee and I wrote and/or called each other once a week while he was stationed in Cuba. I made sure once a month he received a care package filled with pictures and a video of our son so he could watch him grow up. I started feeling better about myself because I was starting to lose my pregnancy weight and I regularly updated Lee about my progress. It was so nice speaking to him on the phone and he always said how much he loved and missed us, but something felt off. He was distant and didn't have much to say aside from short-lived general chit chat.

Once again I started having dreams of my husband with a faceless woman and they became more frequent. I spoke with Lee many times and he reassured me that his lack of communication on the phone was because he was depressed and sad, missing us so badly. It was also the first time he mentioned wanting to kill himself, February of 2005 to be exact. I begged him not to do it, that I loved him so much and as soon as this was over we could be together again. He calmed down and said it was "just a thought."

He had leave twice that year, once in March and the second time in August. Of course the initial sight of each other was a time of much hugging and kissing. Ryan lit up at the sight of his father and vice versa. After about two days on leave though, Lee's distant side started appearing. Often he was solemn and quiet. Though he held my hand and we spent time together, he didn't seem "there." In March I determined it was due to him being sad that he had to go back and he didn't hold Ryan a lot because he wasn't used to changing diapers and comforting him anymore. We made love a few times, but not as often as you'd think considering we hadn't seen each other for three months. In August my husbands changed demeanor really stood out, as did two scratches on either side of his back, equal in length...

I don't remember "the" day, but I'll never forget what happened on it. Lee came to my mother's in Michigan for Ryan's first birthday. Back to my married weight of 150 pounds, my hubby couldn't stop telling me how terrific and smokin' hot I looked--nor could he stop flirting. But, we couldn't make love when he first got there because "Auntie Flo" was visiting.

Several days later my cycle ended and after feeding and changing our son my mother took charge so mommy and daddy could have some special alone time. We passionately kissed and started ripping each others clothes off. Smack dab in the middle of what I thought was a hot love making session, Lee stopped..."Honey, I can't finish. I'm sorry, I feel like I'm with a new woman." Not surprisingly, I was bewildered.

Lee proceeded to tell me that I had lost so much weight that he wasn't used to me anymore. It was then that he sat up, all sad and depressed, and I noticed two scratch marks equal in length across both sides of his back. With tears in my eyes and a knot in my stomach I asked if he'd been with another women and he said "No." I suppose because I loved him so and was so happy to have him there that instead of going with my gut, I believed him when he told me he had brushed up against something at work.

His vacation came and went in much the same unusual manner as it did back in March. The only difference is that when we said goodbye this time, we knew he'd return to get us in December, our family would be together, and we were going to move down south where he'd be stationed next....

To be continued...

Did you miss Part V? Click here

Part V - The Military Opened Doors For Adultery

Even though Lee tried to be kind with words about my expanding waistline, I tended to overreact as though he said them harshly. I would immediately go on the offense and say something like, "It's hard being here alone all day and we can't afford healthy food" or "I don't have time to exercise" and the real kicker "If you loved me you wouldn't care how big I got." I did not make it easy for my passive aggressive husband and conflict avoider to be something I'd want and require, no, demand, further down line--to be honest.

Many adultery experts will tell you that it is never the fault of the betrayed spouse that their partner chose to have an affair, and they're right. Counseling, divorce and separation are healthier choices. However, I think it's important that I at least accept my share of the blame as to the downfall of our marriage.

We shared spectacular superficial conversations together and were always there for one another through hardships and believe me we've had them, i.e.; deaths in the family, bankruptcy, loss of jobs, business ventures and failures, child rearing issues, etc. But the one thing neither of us were good at was discussing our lack of happiness with the other. He dreaded my over-the-top reactions and I didn't want to risk him having a bad day. This is something we will never do again and we're working really hard at being able to do so in an effort to fix our completely broken marriage.The dreams of my husband running off with a faceless woman continued on and off during my pregnancy. I questioned Lee numerous times and he denied the allegations and comforted me by saying he loved me and was just nervous and out of sorts about having our first child...Ryan was born August 7, 1994, just two and half years after we married.

Happy days followed and my dreams of infidelity had come to halt as we were now proud parents of a healthy baby boy. Lee re-enlisted with the Navy for four more years and we chose Cuba for his next tour of duty. Our house had a for rent sign up, Ryan was four months old and we were excited about the opportunity. But then we received word that there was a prisoner crisis in Cuba and military dependents were being sent home and those scheduled to come, couldn't.

We were devastated and tears of happiness turned to those of pain. As unfortunate luck would have it, an offer was accepted for our house and papers signed before we learned the news. Lee, Ryan and I had no choice but to move into an Econo Lodge until December when he was scheduled to and Ryan and I were set to live with my mom and stepfather in Michigan.

No sooner than Lee had his foot out the door, the dreams of him committing adultery resumed....

To be continued January 30th

Did you miss Part IV? Click here

Part IV - Weighty Issues and False Security

It wouldn't be until October 19, 2009, that I learned the nightmare I had of Lee committing adultery, while pregnant with our first child, turned out to be reality. In hindsight, the signs were there. He was still loving and affectionate, but seemed a little more distant. He took on a part-time job as a bartender. At first he was home shortly after closing, then a bit later, and a bit later next time. Now is the appropriate moment to share a bit of back story...

One of Lee's biggest fears (I didn't know this until years later) was that I would gain weight and become a "frumpy" housewife. His stepmother and best friend (at different times) asked, "Lee, are you sure you want to marry Kay? I know you love her but she has the potential to be a 'big girl'." Secure in his love for me and confidant that wouldn't happen, he replied, "Yes, I'm sure. Besides, Kay isn't the type of girl to let herself go."

My weight has been an issue my entire life but when I met Lee I was in pretty good shape; I wasn't tiny by any means though at 5'5, 150 pounds. I gained about twenty pounds before getting pregnant with our first child. Lee used to encourage me to go for walks and take time to exercise but he never teased me or made harsh jokes. And, as irony would have it, around the time I was trying to get serious about losing weight, I got pregnant--and I grew huge. Something I would learn years later made my husband feel embarrassed and ashamed of me and was one reason he used to stray.

Lee and I touched, hugged and kissed on a daily basis, even as I became a virtual balloon. Both of us made sacrifices and were appreciative of one another. I willingly gave up having a career and he willingly supported us on his own. We communicated regularly about current events, work, home life, and all things general from movies to the lives of family members.

I was not the best housekeeper but we didn't live in filth. Everyday when he came home from work he was greeted with a smooch. I cooked his dinners and made him lunch and breakfast each day. I've always enjoyed doing that for him and since I stayed at home, what kind of wife would I be not to? He was not a chauvinist pig, I didn't feel as though I "had" to please him--I wanted to.

Lee's never made me feel guilty for staying home--not even to this day. But, perhaps because he always told me he loved me and showed it through touch, and that we were still communicating, I built up a false security. We didn't have a perfect marriage, but I chalked up my dreams (nightmares) and the slight distance as "normal." What we were missing though was a deeper level of communication. Lee is a conflict avoider and his gentle gestures to help me want to lose weight were actually his first cry that something was about to go wrong, and it did....

To be continued January 30th

Did you miss Part III? Click here

Part III - Dreams of Betrayal

During Lee's Med Cruise we mailed letters filled with hopes and dreams for our marriage and continually professed our love. The months passed by and soon we were both anxious with anticipation to be together once again. When reunion day came we couldn't keep our hands of each other and spent every spare moment listening to music, taking weekend getaways, visiting his folks, etc. On March 8, 1992, Lee came to me and said, "Why wait until June to get married? Let's get married next week!" Stunned but so thrilled he still wanted to marry me I excitedly screamed, "YES!" We married one week later.

Before we married Lee and I had discussed children. Both of us were products of divorce and were still hurt because we missed our mothers as children. We wanted better--I depart the military and would stay home; he would be the bread winner. It wasn't a religious decision, it was one based on our thoughts of what having a happy family entailed.

We bought our first home when we were twenty-one. The love between Lee and I was still very much obvious but we did argue a bit more due to the stress of home ownership and bills. We also had quite a few petty arguments, nothing major, but what married couple doesn't? Our sex life was amazing and we communicated often. In 1993, we decided to try to get pregnant--we succeeded in November.

I woke up in sweats, glaring at my husband through tears because the dream felt so real. He was with a faceless woman, they laughed at me as I cried after him--it was the first in a sequence of nightmares to become reality....

Part II - Drawn to Cheaters

Part I - Support For Those Who've Decided to Stay

Part II - Drawn to Cheaters

Tired of dating jerks, I had sworn off men forever at the ripe old age of twenty. A few weeks later my girlfriend coaxed me to go a club but I didn't want to go. Still in my "man-hating" stage, I reluctantly went but wore no makeup, a pair of shoddy jeans, and pulled my hair back completely from my face. I had put my beer on the bench seat behind me and turned around to grab it for another sip. It was then I saw the beautiful blue eyes that would capture my heart staring back at me.

I was greeted with a smile and for the first time ever I actually made the first move and asked him to dance and he said, "Yes." And that is where our whirlwind romance started. We began dating regularly, doing all the things young people do and then some. A short while later we professed our love for one another and moved into an apartment just four months after meeting.
Lee was due to go on a six month Med Cruise for the Navy. We'd only been living together two months. A week before he was due to leave he asked me to marry him. Without hesitation, I jumped at the opportunity and replied, "Yes!" Lee and I were going to marry the following June.

Looking back, I realize both of us rushed things a bit. Perhaps that was one of our downfalls--we really didn't "know" each other. Between my dad not picking my sister and I up often, after living with a stepfather who shattered my self-esteem with emotionally abusive words, and the fact that every boyfriend I'd ever had cheated on me, I wanted to feel loved--and Lee gave me what I needed.

When I lived in the barracks during our dating period, Lee called me several times daily and would drive forty-five minutes to see me on the weekends, on his motorcycle no less, and despite freezing temperatures. He was gorgeous (still is 19 years later); Lee could have easily spent time with a girl much closer if all he cared about was a piece of ass. In essence, his love for me felt genuine and it was.

He proudly introduced me to his parents, step-parents, half-sisters, and grandma. When he was gone for six months his family took me in. They used to go on about how they were so happy to see Lee finally happy and how excited they were to have me as their daughter-in-law. But, there was one person who questioned the kind of man Lee was--my then best friend Ellen. "Kay, you'd better be careful, he's one of 'those' guys and he will end up breaking your heart." Unfortunately, at the time I thought Ellen was just jealous and didn't give her warning serious consideration. It wouldn't be long before her concerns were justified...

To be continued...

Dreams of Betrayal....coming January 25th

Did you miss Part I? If so, click here

Part I - Support For Those Who've Decided to Stay

My intention for sharing my story is not to gain sympathy or pity, after all, I've chosen to stay and try and reconcile my marriage. However, there are other betrayed spouses--male and female--in a similar situation, trying to make their marriage work despite adultery. We share an unfortunate commonality, one that includes tremendous pain and much growth--they are the people I'm reaching out to.

Those, like me, going over repeatedly in their minds:

  • What went wrong?

  • How could I have prevented it?

  • How could my husband possibly love me and do this?

  • Am I responsible for his actions?

  • Can we really work through this?

  • Do I have to forgive to salvage my marriage first?

  • Should I spy?

  • What are his responsibilities?

  • Should I get revenge on the woman or women?

  • How do I deal with this hate?

  • How do I make it through triggers?

  • Should we tell the children?

  • Will I ever be able to trust him again?

  • And so much more.

Staying or leaving your partner when they've committed adultery is a personal choice, neither are easy decisions. My trust in my husband has been shattered. I'll be frank with you, I don't know if we will stay married. Only time can tell. For the time being, both of us want to try and reconcile our marriage. Make no mistake though, we are not rebuilding our marriage, for it was built upon lies. We need to build from the ground up. But first, a history of Lee and Kay.

Stay Tuned for Part II - Young And In Love... Drawn to Cheaters