On Tuesday, I told Julie, my wife, that I had to make a trip to St. Louis to fix some problems on a new installation. I would fly out Wednesday afternoon, meet with the contractors Thursday and Thursday evening, and fly home Friday. She did not seem very upset by the last minute trip, even though she had always hated me being away. She actually smiled when I told her and wished me a good trip. Strange.
I thought that we could make love that night since I would be leaving for the rest of the week but Julie pleaded fatigue when I suggested we go to bed early and cuddle.
“What’s new?” I said.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Julie snapped back at me.
“Fatigue is getting to be your standard answer when I suggest we make love. I wonder what’s making you so tired. It can’t be work since you seem to love being there instead of at home with me.” I was just getting wound up.
“It can’t be the baby since as soon as I get home, you leave her to me to play with, or bathe, or get ready for bed.” I was sorry to have begun this but I really wanted to have it out with her. This just did not seem like the right time. It had been coming for some time but I didn’t realize how close to the surface my anger had become.
“I don’t know what you mean by that. You love Rachael and I know you like to spend your evenings with her. What’s wrong with that?” Julie’s face was red and her anger was clearly showing.
“I love my daughter, but I only spend as much time as I do with her because you’ve turned away from me. We haven’t made love since you returned to work. Before that, it was not love making; it was a disaster. I tried to talk to you and you pleaded fatigue, you blamed me for being too tired, you even tried to claim that you had orgasms when I clearly know you didn’t. I believe you actually laughed at me a couple of times and called me a wimp!” I waited for her to say something but she just stared at me.
“I wanted to go to counseling but you couldn’t see any reason to. I wanted to ask the doctor to check you over to see if he could find a reason for the fatigue you always seem to have. None of those things were necessary according to you.”
“Now, we have no love life. We go to bed and you turn away from me and just go to sleep. You don’t want to talk to me before or after dinner and you don’t care to spend any free time with me. You are happy as a clam when you go off to work and angry or depressed when you are here with Rachael and me. I don’t know what to do anymore. I wonder if we even have a marriage. Do you want to talk about divorce?” I said the last as a means to try to shake her into some sort of response.
“I don’t think I want to continue this conversation. You’re not being reasonable and you are certainly making some very stupid accusations. I think you should go on your trip and think about what you just said. It appears that I don’t do anything that suits you anymore.” Julie rose from her chair and walked into the other room. Her expression was one of disgust or disinterest. There was certainly no distress at my words.
I just sat there and stared into space, trying to determine what had gone wrong and when it happened. I thought back over the past few years of our marriage and tried to remember what they were like. It seemed like the problems had begun just before Rachael was born. Before that our marriage was strong and times were good.
My name is Bill Montgomery and I am now almost 40. Julie and I were married shortly after we both graduated from college. I had interviewed with a firm in Youngstown that manufactured air conditioning and heating equipment for large installations. The interview went well and I was offered a job with them. Julie had also landed a job at a saving and loan bank, in training as a loan specialist. With both of us working, I proposed and Julie accepted. We were married 3 months later in a small ceremony with a justice of the peace. I wanted more for her, but since her parents had died some time ago, she did not want more than a simple service.
After we were married, Julie and I made plans for a family and a home. The family would come as soon as we had saved enough for a down payment on a home, and by saving very carefully, we were able to make the move a year and a half later and found a home we both loved. While it stretched our income, we were able to swing it and moved in.
While our love life was strong and often wild, Julie wanted to begin immediately to make a baby. She insisted that we abstain until she was in her fertile period and then she wanted me to make love as often as I could get it up. At first, I loved it, but after a few months, it began to become work. No spontaneity, no love, no snuggling, no foreplay, just straight fucking! Three weeks of abstinence, one week of fucking. Then do it all over again.
After 3 months, Julie announced that she was pregnant. I whopped for joy and hoped things could get back to normal. Julie seemed to glow and she welcomed me back to making love. Things were good again for the next 5 months. Because of her developing pregnancy, we investigated new ways to please each other. Our sex life actually got better.
After a visit to the OB/GYN, Julie announced that we had to stop with the sex we both enjoyed and were used to having. From now until the baby was born, only gentle penetration was permissible and no missionary sex. Julie was to avoid strenuous activity of any kind and the doctor recommended she quit work.
Julie did resign from work, taking a sabbatical so that she could return if she desired.
She seemed to resent having to quit and began to become angry with me for little things. I thought at first that it was hormones, but after a while I knew it was more. When I asked Julie about it, she denied anything was wrong and said she was just uncomfortable most of the time. I hoped the birth of the baby would bring back the old Julie.
The time came and the baby was born. It was a beautiful baby girl whom we named Rachael after Julie’s mother. The baby was perfect and was a joy for both of us. For a while.
After Rachael was about 3 months old, I tried to initiate lovemaking again. I wanted to try as soon as Julie was ready, but she kept putting me off. I was patient until I finally told her it was far past time. She finally agreed, but did so in an angry mood. As a result, the sex was terrible and I could not even perform. I was embarrassed and humiliated and Julie did not help by becoming angry all over again. Instead of encouraging me, she belittled me and laughed at me.
I finally was able to complete the act and I tried to have a normal sex life again but it remained uncomfortable and unpleasant. Julie never instigated sex and she seemed not to enjoy it. She wanted little foreplay and no variations. After a while, the frequency of sex declined to only once or twice a month. Until she returned to work.
Julie approached me about returning to her job after one of our more successful sexual unions. Julie had seemed to be more into it than usual and while I knew she faked her orgasm, I was still able to enjoy myself. As we were lying in bed afterwards, Julie brought it up.
“I would like to go back to work, Tom. I need some stimulation from adults once in a while. You know what I mean. You get it all day so that when you come home, the baby is a pleasure.” Julie looked at me for my response.
“I wish you would stay home for a while longer. Rachael is just a year old and she is beginning to develop those traits she will have for the rest of her life. She really needs someone to help her develop good habits and I wanted that person to be you.” I hoped that Julie would change her mind.
“Tom, I have made up my mind. I will arrange for day care for Rachael and talk with your mother about part time babysitting. I have already notified Mr. Williams and he has agreed to give me my old job back.”
“Why did you even ask me? You have already made the decision and to hell with my opinion. If I agreed, good. If not, tough!” I was furious.
“I knew you would not agree with me going back to work. You are happy with me staying at home while you go out in the world and mingle with adults. I think you would just like to keep me barefoot and pregnant.” Julie was almost dismissive of me.
We did not discuss it any further. Julie had made it clear that she was going to do this and I had no say in the matter. She rolled over and turned out the light. I tried to ask her some questions but she refused to answer me so I dropped it, which I later believed was the first mistake I made along the path to disaster.
Julie returned to work and our life changed for the worse. She no longer even pretended to be interested in making love, she rarely played with Rachael in the evenings when we were all home together, she began to let me get Rachael ready for bed and she had me take her to daycare in the mornings while she slept in. Since she started work at 9:00 AM and I started at 7:30, she said that I might as well take Rachael so that I could spend the extra time with her.
While Julie was distant and aloof with me and with Rachael, she was usually almost happy while she was at work and for a short time after she came home. She talked about the people she worked with and some of the people she interacted with during loan applications. She mentioned something about a new department being organized which she hoped to become part of. When I asked her about it, she didn’t comment so I let it drop.
I had met most of the people that Julie worked with and knew John Williams, her boss, socially. I had also met the newest member of the bank, Richard Means. He was a young hotshot that I found to be obnoxious and arrogant. John didn’t like him much either, but apparently he had impressed someone in the main office so he had no choice.
I listened to her talk about work only half the time, spending the rest of the time with my daughter who had become the focus of my life. My wife had deserted both of us by this time and we had nothing to say to each other. My attempts at trying to initiate a dialog about our marriage and our life together resulted in her avoiding me the rest of that evening. She would not discuss it.
I remember one evening after I put Rachael to bed. I had had a bad day at work and was in a very dark mood. I was sitting in the darkened great room when Julie came in from the kitchen and, ignoring me as usual, sat down on the couch ready to watch some TV. I decided to confront her.
“Julie, do you love me?” I asked.
“What are you talking about? You’re my husband! Of course I love you.” She said this with a disgusted look.
“If you love me, why do you ignore me? Why don’t we make love anymore? Why do you avoid Rachael when I am home?” I wanted desperately for her to give me an answer that I could understand.
“There you go again. We can’t just have a peaceful evening together once the brat goes to bed without you getting into more of your paranoid crap!” Julie was angry as usual.
“I want an answer to my questions. Not more of your attack dog attitude. You don’t even pretend to love me anymore and you seem to be sick of your daughter when she is awake. How can any mother call her child a brat? We don’t have a marriage anymore. I just wonder what you are doing at work that makes our marriage unimportant and our daughter a pain in your butt? Is there someone else?” I pressed her for an answer.
“I will not have this conversation with you. You are sick and paranoid. I told you I loved you and our daughter and I love our marriage. I wouldn’t do anything to risk it and I have done nothing that you need worry about. Now, I am going to bed and I don’t want to hear another word.” With that she went to bed without a backward glance. I noticed that while she protested, she never denied that someone else might be involved.
I awoke after a fitful night on the Wednesday of the trip at my usual time of 6:30. My loving wife was asleep as always and I got up to begin my preparations for the trip. I showered, dressed in comfortable traveling clothes and packed an overnight with all I would need for the meeting and for dinner that evening. I got Rachael up and got her ready for day care. She had her breakfast of cereal and juice and was happy as she normally was. She sat and hummed a little tune while she ate. It was hard for me to be sad in her presence.
I got ready to leave and went into the master bedroom to see if Julie had awakened. I watched her for a while, marveling at how beautiful she still was. She appeared to be asleep but I had the feeling she was awake and just waiting for me to leave. With a sigh, I did just that.
After dropping Rachael off at daycare, I went to work to finish up some last minute details before the trip. I talked with Claire, my secretary and gave her my schedule. I told her that I would probably not be in the rest of the week since I was due home late Friday so to call me at the hotel if there were any problems.
I flew out at 2:30 that Wednesday and had an uneventful flight to St. Louis, Missouri. I got a cab from the airport to the hotel and checked in. Once in my room and unpacked, I called my office and asked Claire if there were any messages. She gave me one or two that she thought were important enough for me to know about and then surprised me by saying,
“Your wife called the office about 3:00 this afternoon and asked if you had gotten off on your trip on time. I told her you had and asked if she had your room number and cell number. She said she did and only wanted to know if anything had changed. She said your cell was off, probably because you were in flight and she would call you later at your hotel.” Claire was telling me this because we could count on one hand the number of times Julie had called me at the office over the last two years.
Needless to say, I was surprised and a little confused about that call. Why in the world would she do that? It almost sounded like she was confirming the fact that I was gone. With that thought in the back of my mind, I dressed for dinner with the gentlemen for St. Louis.
Although the dinner Wednesday night was supposed to be just an introductory meeting to get to know a little about each other, we had actually made some progress towards solutions for the problems I had been sent to solve. Thus it was that Thursday’s meeting that began at 8:00 am sharp saw us off to a flying start. By lunch we knew that things were progressing much faster than we had hoped. If things continued, I thought that maybe I could get home earlier than scheduled. I had planned to work all day Thursday and Thursday evening and then leave for home on Friday morning or early afternoon at the latest.
Since we had things going pretty well, we ordered lunch catered in and continued to work. By 3:00, all of the issues had been addressed and the plan for correcting the problems was in place. We worked to finalize the program and at 4:30, we were finished.
I made sure everyone agreed and settled back in my chair. Just to be sure I asked if there were any more issues they could think of while I was still there. To my delight, there were none. I was done! Almost 24 hours early!
I asked their secretary to see if she could book me a flight that evening rather than wait and take the first flight out Friday morning as planned.
She told me that I could take a 6:00 pm flight that would put me into Pittsburgh, Pa at around 8:45. With luck, I could hop on I 78 to I 80, and home. I could be there by 11:00 pm. I told her to confirm the flight and I put in a call to Julie from the conference room. There was no answer at home and her cell was usually turned off during the day while she was at work. I was a little surprised that she didn’t answer since she should have been home with Rachael. It was too late for her to be at the bank so I left a message telling her I would arrive home that evening.
As I boarded the plane, I looked forward to getting home. While I had left under a cloud, I still hoped that Julie and I could work out our problems and save what was to me the most important part of my life. I loved Julie with my whole being and the addition of Rachael had given me a gift that made my life complete. I could not envision anything that could take that away. I wanted to get back and continue what we had begun just before I left. With that thought, I went back to the beginning.
Julie and I met in college. She attended Mt. Union College, a private college in Alliance, Ohio while I went to Youngstown State. We met at a mixer set up by one of the fraternities that had chapters at both colleges. We seemed to hit if off and got to know each other a little that evening. Before Julie left to return with the rest of her group to her dorm, I asked for her number and for permission to call her later. She gave both and left with a group of girls.
Over the next week, I could not get Julie out of my mind. I finally broke down and called her that Friday evening after class. When she came to the phone, I told her who it was and asked if she remembered me. She said she did and had wondered if I would call. I asked her out and she agreed.
I picked her up outside her dorm on the following Saturday morning. We had made plans to go on a picnic to the lake that was just a mile from the college. My parents had a cabin there that I did not tell her about for fear that she would get the wrong impression and back out. However, I knew the lake well and quickly found a quiet spot for our blanket.
The day passed pleasantly and Julie and I were more and more comfortable with each other. We talked of our lives and families and our hopes and dreams and found that we had much in common. I learned that Julie lived with her Aunt since her parents had died in a car crash some years ago. Julie loved her Aunt and missed her parents terribly, but she had learned to accept that they were gone. I told her that my parents were still alive and lived in Boardman. My dad had retired and they traveled often.
We both had enjoyed the day and made plans to get together again as soon as our school schedules allowed. I mentioned the cabin at the lake and Julie immediately wanted to see it. I agreed and we packed up their blankets and lunch fixings and drove to the cabin.
When Julie saw the place, she immediately wanted to go inside. It was quite impressive. It was an A-frame with two floors and an open great room. Once inside, Julie looked up to see the skylights and the balcony that wrapped around three sides of the room. She ran upstairs to see the bedrooms and made approving noises. I remained downstairs as she toured. When she returned from her upstairs tour, I showed her the kitchen and the den. We spent an hour or more just looking over the place and admiring the lake view from the second story porch. All in all, it was a pleasant hour.
As we prepared to leave, Julie looked at me and said,
“I hope that we can come back here some time, just you and I.”
“I hope so too. I want to spend more time with you. Can we plan to meet next weekend and maybe stay here for the weekend?” I paused. “Am I moving too fast for you? Or maybe I’m being presumptuous.”
“You presume correctly, Tom. I would love to spend next weekend with you and spending it here would be great.”
That weekend was the beginning of our relationship. I picked Julie up after her last class and she hopped in the car with an overnight bag already packed. I was also packed and we left immediately for the lake. I drove to the cabin and we entered to find that the fireplace was ready for lighting and the kitchen was fully stocked with food and drinks.
“Where in the world did the food and things come from? They weren’t here last weekend when I first saw the place.” Julie looked at me for an explanation, although she was pretty sure I had done it this week.
“I guess the management took care of it when I called them to get the place ready for guests. They are pretty responsive, you know.” I smiled knowing she was pleased with my preparations.
“Please thank the management for me.” Julie was very excited. She was looking forward to this weekend and was glad I had taken precautions to see that she would be impressed. It meant that she was as anxious as I was that all go well.
We spent some time getting unpacked and deciding where we would spend the night. We were both a little nervous as we went into the master bedroom at the top of the stairs. I carefully put her overnight bag on the bed and put mine in the corner to be unpacked later. I asked her if she would like some privacy while she unpacked. She said yes, so I went downstairs to light the fire and to put some water on for coffee.
I changed into a soft flannel shirt and jean shorts I kept in the closet downstairs. This is what I always wore when I came here. By the time the fire was blazing she had returned wearing a soft, light pink sweater and a plaid skirt. She was beautiful and my breath caught in my throat.
“I have soft drinks, coffee or wine in the fridge. What would you like?” I was glad that I could get the words out without stumbling like an idiot. She made me feel so clumsy because she was so beautiful.
“I’ll have whatever you are having,” she replied. “But if you don’t mind, I would really like some wine.”
“Wine it is. I think this is pretty good since dad is somewhat of a wine aficionado. He had this in the pantry so I just chilled it.” I was beginning to relax, but I couldn’t get over her beauty. She was more beautiful this weekend than she was the first time I saw her. I couldn’t figure what the difference was, unless it was that I was falling in love.
“Why don’t we take this into the great room in front of the fire? It is a great place to stretch out and relax. I’ll grab some cushions and we can settle back until time for dinner.” I had planned dinner in advance and had put the already prepared entrees into the oven with a time delay.
We talked about the cabin and what we could do tomorrow. Julie was impressed with my plans when I told her about dinner and what I had prepared. She was beginning to feel more at ease and began to touch me occasionally as they spoke. Her touches turned into caresses as the wine lowered her inhibitions.
I was fully aware of Julie’s touches and her contact sent electricity through my psyche. I also began to feel the effects of the wine and returned her caresses. I loved the feel of her body through the soft sweater and I noticed her legs curled under her. The skirt she was wearing was fairly short and her legs looked great.
We stopped talking as we looked into each other’s eyes. Without another word I pulled her into my arms, my face hot as I looked at her. Without thinking my hand cupped her breast, while with the other, I caressed her thigh just below the bottom of her skirt. I bent to her and covered her mouth with mine.
Julie responded to my touch with a small moan of approval. She opened her mouth to my probing tongue and allowed entry. She pulled me more tightly to her and one of her hands covered mine as I stroked her thigh. I began to slowly unbutton her blouse and skirt. I slid the blouse off her shoulders and to the floor. I did the same with the skirt until she was wearing only a lacy bra and panties. She reached behind to unsnap her bra and shrugged it off. I put my hand inside her panties and rubbed her mound until she writhed under my hand.
“I can’t wait. I want you so badly,” she whispered, laying her body back onto the cushions that covered the floor.
As my hands roamed her body, I could feel the shivers of arousal running through her. Her hands roamed over my chest and she reached down to feel my erection. She stroked it with her hand and I responded. I slid her panties down her legs and onto the floor. She lifted her hips to allow me to complete the removal.
“Now. Do it now. I want you so badly.” She put her arms around me and pulled me down to her waiting wetness. I spread her legs apart and moved between them. I took my hard cock and moved it up and down the lips of her swollen sex, moistening it with her juices. She opened herself to me as she felt the head of my cock pushing inside her swollen lips. She raised her knees and spread as wide as she could, allowing me to penetrate deeply into her. I pulled back out to her moan of disappointment and then pushed back in as far as I could go. She put her arms around me, grasped my ass and urged me deeper inside her. As I began to move into her, she moaned in pleasure.
I began to move slowly in and out, feeling the warmth and wetness of her. I finally had my cock in as far as I could go and stopped to allow Julie to get used to the feeling and to allow me to gain some control. I counted to 100 by 5s just to stop my urge to plunge into her and let go. I wanted this to last and make sure Julie enjoyed it. I wanted to give her pleasure, even if it meant that I had to withhold my own.
After a minute of holding still, I began to again slowly push all the way in. Once I had reached my limit, I pulled almost all the way out and then pushed back in with a strong stroke. I repeated this until I had a good rhythm going. Julie was moaning and tossing her head back and forth. She wrapped her legs around me and pulled me even tighter against her. As she did this, I reached my hand down between our bodies and found her clit. I rubbed the little button as I steadily stroked into her. Julie exploded! Bucking and screaming, she clawed at my back, and pulled me even tighter into her. She finally tensed and let out a muffled scream. I had still not cum but I stopped to ask her if she was all right.
“I’m perfect,” she said. She looked at me, sweat beading her lip and brow, and said that I should go ahead since she had already climaxed. She smiled and pulled me back down to her.
I began to pump into her slowly and exquisitely. The feeling was unlike any I had felt before. Of course, I had had sex before with other girls, but this time was different. I guessed this was what making love felt like as opposed to having sex.
My own climax came like a shock. I began to speed up my strokes and the feeling overwhelmed me. I pounded into her with total abandon as she urged me on with words of lust. The warmth and tightness was too much and I was unable to hold back. I came more than ever before and as I came, I felt Julie begin to moan and hump back at me. She had climaxed again after saying she wouldn’t. I had to admit I was pretty pleased with myself.
We relaxed in each other’s arms and enjoyed the warmth of the fire and the afterglow of our lovemaking. After only about 30 minutes, Julie felt for my flaccid penis and began to slowly stroke it. It was only a short time before I felt myself respond. I began to kiss and fondle Julie’s breasts until the nipples were hard and she was moaning. She leaned over me and took me into her mouth, using her tongue and lips to drive me mad with desire. I held her head for a few wonderful seconds and then pushed her down onto her back. I entered her, but this time slowly and gently. We moved together to another wonderful orgasm. If possible, it was better than the first time.
The weekend went by so quickly. We made love several times over the next two days and as we got to know what the other liked, we enjoyed our lovemaking even more. That weekend sealed our fates; we were meant to be together forever.
That was just over 5 years ago last week. We had celebrated our anniversary that evening by going out to dinner while my mom watched the baby. We had a wonderful time and had seemed comfortable together. With Rachael not there, we were able to relax and just enjoy each other. It was a great night, except that it had ended as most nights did without lovemaking. Julie had pleaded fatigue and gone to bed before I had a chance to suggest it.
As the plane landed, I was jolted out of my reverie. I grabbed my briefcase from the overhead and joined the queue leaving the plane. I had a short walk to the baggage area and then an uncertain wait for the bus to the parking lot. The plane was on time so, if everything worked out on schedule, I would arrive home at about 11:15. Just about on schedule. I hoped Julie had waited up for me.
The ride home was uneventful and traffic was light. We lived in a comfortable suburb in Poland, just outside Youngstown, where the homes were middle class. We had found a beautiful house in a development that was small and fairly private. We bought it and had lived there ever since. It was a ranch home with about 2500 square feet, plus a bonus room upstairs where I had my workout room and my computer. Overall it was a nice area and a safe one to raise kids. Julie had loved the house on sight and we had been able to swing the down payment and manage the mortgage.
As I pulled onto the street where we lived, I again wondered about our recent lack of lovemaking. Things were not good. I didn’t know how I was going to find any resolution to our problems since Julie wouldn’t consider any kind of counseling or therapy. As a matter of fact, I believed she was content to continue without change. The only thing that I could do was to continue to confront her until things finally came to a head. I wasn’t sure that our marriage was going to survive this but I had to try.
Maybe tonight I could insist on our going to counseling or something like that to get things moving again in the right direction. I felt that this was a move we had to make to keep the marriage alive. With this in the front of my mind, I pulled into my driveway.
I pushed the remote and waited for the garage door to open. I glanced over at the front porch and noticed that the lights were off. Apparently Julie had decided to go to bed not caring if I would be on time. No problem. I would call in tomorrow and take the day off as a result of a successful trip. I could cover everything from home. That would give us time to talk.
The door rose slowly open. I almost didn’t notice the strange car setting in my place in the garage beside my wife’s Volvo. I didn’t recognize the car or the plates, but noticed the vanity name of HOTONE. No one I knew had a plate like that. With a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, I opened the car door and slowly walked into the garage. I put my palm on the hood of the car and determined that it had been there for some time. The hood was cool to the touch. I looked in the car but didn’t see anything to tell me whose it was.
I walked past the car to the door from the garage into the kitchen. I put my key in the lock and turned it. I opened the door and reached in to turn off the alarm. For some reason, I was as quiet as I could be. I felt like a burglar entering my own home. I felt a premonition of disaster.
To get to the master bedroom once inside, I had to turn left and walk the length of the kitchen towards the dinette and then turn left again into a short hall. The master bedroom was at the end of the hall and off to the right. As I entered the kitchen, I could see the glow of our nightlight coming from the bedroom. I closed the door quietly and went into the small pantry located just inside the door. I reached up to a shelf above my head and grabbed a 9 mm pistol I kept there and moved through the kitchen and towards the dinette. I wanted to find nothing out of place. I wanted to find the car to be one of her girlfriends that had stayed over since I was gone. I wanted a lot of things, but did not expect to find anything good. With a sick feeling making me want to rush to the sink, I turned into the short hall leading to the bedroom.
Holding my breath, I walked quietly into the bedroom and stopped just inside the doorway. In the weak illumination from the nightlight, I couldn’t be sure what I was seeing but I could hear moaning and see movement in the bed. I moved into the room and turned on the overhead light by the switch just to the left of the doorway.
A jolt, similar to a strong electric shock went through me as I saw my wife of 5 years underneath a humping man. She was on her back with her legs spread obscenely wide: he was positioned between them and had been grunting and plowing into her as I entered the room. They had not heard me enter and were now looking confused and panicky with the sudden appearance of the overhead light. Julie focused on my face and screamed. She pushed the man off of her and grabbed the covers and pulled them to her chest. The man, a look of total surprise on his face, rolled over and fell off the bed on the side away from me.
“Tom what are you doing home?” Julie struggled with the covers and pulled them around herself as she just stared at me. Her beautiful face was angry as she held the sheets to her bosom. Her eyes were as cold as I had ever seen.
Ignoring the look in Julie’s eyes and her question, I looked directly at the man as I spoke. He was frantically trying to pull his pants on while grabbing for his shirt. He at least seemed to be embarrassed. “I want you to out of my bedroom: get your clothes and get the fuck out of my house! If you are still here in 5 minutes, I’ll kill you.” I held the pistol in clear view.
I than turned to my wife and said, “You get dressed and let him out of the garage. I parked right behind him, just about to pull into my place in the garage before finding out you had given that place to someone else. If I went outside with him, I would probably kill him and I don’t want to go to jail because of a whore like you. But if you’re both still here in the next 5 minutes, I’ll probably kill both of you.”
With that, I turned and walked into the family room. Julie had said nothing while I addressed the man: just looked at him with a small smile on her face. I had never struck Julie or any other woman in my life, but if I didn’t get out of her sight, I was not sure what I would do.
I did not look back as I heard Julie and the man yelling at each other. He apparently took me at my word since he was out of the house within two minutes. I never did get a good look at his face, but I had recognized him and knew who he was. Somehow or other he would pay for this, regardless of what happened next.
Within the time I had given the guy, he pulled out of my garage and Julie came back into the house. She came into the kitchen and looked for me. I had left the family room and had gone into the baby’s room looking for her. She wasn’t in bed so I assumed that Julie had taken her to my mother’s house so she could have the house to herself and her lover.
“So, you have found me out. What are you going to do now?” Julie sat there with that cruel smile on her face and waited for me to say something. There was no remorse, no sadness and no words of apology. I wasn’t even surprised.
“There is nothing that you can say that will change what happened. I don’t want to talk to you tonight. I’ll stay with my parents and then tomorrow I am moving out. I don’t know what I am going to do, but for your own safety, do not talk to me or try to touch me.
“Why would I want to touch you? I haven’t for some time and I don’t care what you do or where you go.” She rose and walked into the kitchen to get something to drink. “You know as well as I that this has not been a marriage for some time and you didn’t do anything to try to change it. You knew I was cheating on you and accepted it. It was clear that you only cared about the brat and not me. What did you expect?”
I looked at this woman that I had loved for most of my adult life. I had no idea what she was talking about and I was totally floored by what she had said. Rather than lash out at her, I stopped cold in my tracks and thought. Has she had a major breakdown? Did someone say something to her about a perceived wrong that I may have done? What did she mean that I knew anything about her cheating? I was at a loss.
“Julie, I loved you as much as it is possible to love anyone. I loved you even more for giving me a gift like Rachael. The two of you were my life. I lived only to make a home for the three of us. There is nothing that I wouldn’t do for you or for her. I would give my life for you.”
“You say the marriage has been over for some time. Only in your eyes. In my eyes we had a problem that I wanted to try to solve. You always turned away when I suggested it. I wanted to have you stay home with Rachael, but she was not enough for you. I was not enough for you, either. I did all I could for you and for her but it was apparently not enough. So you chose to go outside our marriage for what you couldn’t find with us.”
“You say I knew about your cheating. That is simply not true. When you love someone as I love you, there is no way you can consider that the one you love is cheating on you. I never considered the possibility for myself and never suspected it of you. I know now that makes me a fool.”
“Well, congratulations. You get your wish. This marriage is over and I will file the papers tomorrow. I’ll get Jerry Adams as my attorney. You get whomever you want and I will pay the costs. I will have Jerry divide everything evenly and you can have the house. I would suggest you sell it for the equity.”
“Finally, I am going for full custody of the ‘brat’ as you called her. It’s clear that you would rather have the time to fuck your lover, and Rachael is in your way.” I looked at this creature that I had once loved. She still had that arrogant smile on her face. I would never leave Rachael in her hands again! “Don’t even try to fight that or I will name your fuck buddy in the suit against you and go for child support from you.” I was still coldly furious and wanted to hurt her as much as I could.
Julie just sat there listening to me. Her face had become blank as I spoke. At least the smirk was gone. It was as if she wasn’t even in the room with me. I worried about her for a moment, but quickly remembered the scene I saw when I entered the bedroom. After waiting for a minute to see if she would have anything to say, I got up and went into the bedroom to pack what I needed for a few days. I finished in just a few minutes and returned to see that Julie had not moved.
“I’ll come by tomorrow after you go to work and get the rest of my clothes. There is nothing left for me here that you haven’t dirtied, so you can keep or sell everything, including the house. I will pick Rachael up from mom and take her to my place once I find one.” I wondered what else I could say without exploding.
“Is there anything at all you want to say?” I asked finally.
“Just go. I want to see you gone just as much as you want to get out of here. It’s what you have wanted for some time anyway. And you can keep the brat. You love her far more than me and have since she was born.” Julie still appeared to be cold and disinterested.
“It is clear to me that you are a very sick woman. No sane mother would call her child a brat and look forward to being without her. You are driving away the two people in the world that would give their lives for you; that love you beyond reason and feel betrayed by your actions. I would suggest that you get help. In the meantime, you can enjoy what you have earned.” With these words, Julie finally seemed to focus on me. But as I said this with tears in my eyes, it was difficult to see the look on her face.
I turned away from her and our marriage and left.
After Tom left that night, I just sat on the couch not moving or thinking. I think now, looking back, that I was in shock. My husband had just walked out on me and I said nothing to stop him. I actually just smiled at him as I told him that I had been cheating on him and that he knew it. For some reason I expected him to get angry and cry and wail and plead with me to stay and work everything out. That isn’t what happened.
When Tom looked at me after I said my piece, I could see anger and pain in his eyes. As he spoke, I could hear the sadness in his voice and the words were delivered in a manner dead and devoid of any love. I don’t know what I had expected but this was not it. I listened and as he spoke, my mind seemed to awaken from a deep, dark place. A place it had been for the past year or more. I tried to focus on his face and I heard snatches of words as he spoke. I heard words like divorce, whore, custody, and others: words that had no meaning. Why was he saying these things? What had I done to make this man so angry with me? I tried to focus on what he was saying but I couldn’t hold onto the words: they kept slipping away. I knew that something really bad had happened but I didn’t know what at that moment.
Tom left the room while I just sat there with an arrogant smile on my face. I was still angry but I didn’t know why or what. I honestly believe that I had gone just a little insane at that point and as I try now to remember what I was thinking or feeling, it is all still a blank.
Tom came out of the bedroom with an overnight bag and said he was going to his parent’s place for the night. He said he would be filing divorce papers in the morning. With that he walked out of my life. I do remember feeling that my world had collapsed and I remember beginning to recall some snatches of what I had done. I know that I began to panic and to feel something for the first time: remorse and guilt. Other feelings that I had not had for some time came crashing into my consciousness with a vengeance. I know that drove me over the edge for a while.
I remained on that couch for almost 12 hours. I alternately cried, raged, slept and cried some more. In between crying, I raged at the things that I had done and cried because I didn’t know why. I was angry with Tom and then I tried to remember why I was mad at him and no answers came. I remembered being angry a lot but not why. The more I tortured myself with my actions of the last year or more, the less I understood the reasons for actions that seemed so bizarre: actions that I would never have countenanced from Tom. Actions that drove me away from the little girl that I loved more than my own life. That was one of the more bizarre things that I could not explain. As I considered the things that I had done, things that had cost me my marriage and my little girl, I realized that I needed help. I was sick, of that I was sure. Regardless of what happened from this point forward, I needed to understand why I had acted as I had. To not know why I had done these things was not acceptable. As I became aware of my surroundings, I noticed that it was early afternoon. I was confused since the last I remembered it was late at night. Tom had just gotten home, and… Then I remembered.
I got up from the couch and went into the bathroom. I looked at myself in the mirror and almost didn’t recognize the woman I saw there. My mascara had run from my tears. That was the first shock since I rarely wore mascara. More importantly, my makeup looked like that of a streetwalker: heavy mascara, red lipstick and false eyelashes. Who the hell was that person? It wasn’t me. I also noted that I had on no panties or bra. Then I remembered why. I had actually been fucking another man in our bed! At that realization, everything came flooding back and I collapsed to the floor and just sat there in a daze. I must have sat there the better part of the day since I again became aware setting on the bathroom floor with the setting sun coming in the portal window over the tub.
I got painfully up and washed the makeup from my face and pulled my hair back into a ponytail. I put on just enough lipstick to make me look human and dressed in jeans and an oversized T-shirt. I looked like a boy. That was OK with me. Boys weren’t whores! I left the bathroom and called John Williams, my boss at his home.
“John, it’s Julie. Sorry about not coming in to work today or letting you know. I won’t be in Monday and I need to ask you to give me some medical leave. I know it’s short notice, but I am really sick and I need to get help.” I know my voice trembled but I had to begin this now.
“Julie, you sound terrible. Is there anything I can do to help?”
“Yes, John. You can give me the name of a good shrink. I desperately need one to tell me what is wrong with me.” I didn’t mean to involve John in my problems but at this point, I had no one else to turn to.
“Julie, where are you? Are you at home? Is Tom with you? Julie, please talk to me.”
“Tom has left me and I have been here at home for the past day trying to understand how my life has gone to hell.” I was now sobbing into the phone. I was totally lost and I knew my life was out of control.
“Stay right there. I will be over in about 15 minutes.” John hung up before I could say anything.
I thought about Aunt Sophie. I wondered if I could stay with her for a while. It wasn’t fair to Tom and Rachael to make them stay somewhere else. This was their home. I was the one that fucked up so they should not have to pay. That was the first time in a long time that I had actually thought of either of them before myself, but I was concerned about what I would tell Aunt Sophie. I wasn’t sure I could tell her the truth about what I had done because I couldn’t answer the questions she was sure to ask.
I decided I had to call. This was hard but it was the most important thing in the world to me at that time: to do the right thing for Tom and Rachael! I had to do this while I still could! I went to the kitchen and called while I had the courage.
“Hi, Aunt Sophie. It’s me. I really need a place to stay for a while. I need to be away from here for a few days. Can I come stay with you?” To my surprise, Aunt Sophie did not even ask me any questions. She simply told me to come whenever I wanted and to stay as long as I liked. She would be there for me for whatever I needed.
Her kindness was almost painful. Everyone I talked with wanted only to help me. John Williams, my boss was on his way to help. Aunt Sophie only wanted to be there for me. No questions asked. The last words Tom said to me as he left for his trip were words encouraging me to get help or to talk to someone. Even as he left me Thursday night, he said he would be fair to me and would pay for my lawyer. And I? I had lied and cheated on all of them. I lied to John by pretending to see clients while I fucked Richard. I lied to Tom when I told him I had done nothing to jeopardize our marriage. I had broken my vows to him and to God. I had not told Aunt Sophie the truth about needing her. Overall, my record was perfect. Lying, cheating and ignoring my own daughter.
I waited for John to get here. I would start with the truth, telling him every thing that had happened from the time I started back to work. I would take it from there.
After I walked out on Julie Thursday night, I got in my car and opened the garage door. I just sat there for a few minutes, breathing hard and trying to get my feelings under control. I was shaking so badly I didn’t want to chance driving. By the time the garage door was open I had started to cool down. I started the car a few minutes later and backed out of the garage. I wasn’t sure where I was going to stay, but I decided to go to mom and dad’s place in the city, at least for the night. I put in a call to dad and told him I would be there in a few minutes.
As I drove to their home, I thought back over the past hour. What I saw as I turned on the light was a shock, but not a total surprise. I knew something was wrong but I had honestly believed that Julie would never do anything like that. To see her in bed with another man was the worst thing I could have conceived of. How could she do that to me: fucking another man in our bed. In the same bed where our daughter was conceived: where we had spent the best part of our married life. The degree of betrayal that encompassed was inconceivable to me.
This must have been the reason behind the lack of lovemaking for so long. She must have been fucking this guy behind my back for the past year or so. At that thought, a shock went through me, the second of the night. Was Rachael even my daughter? That thought made me pull over to the side of the road and spill my guts out the open door of the car. I heaved my airline peanuts and orange juice over the guardrail of a dark, lonely side road. A fitting metaphor for my life at this point.
As I sat there trying to get a handle on every thing, I realized that unless this was not her first lover, there was no chance that this asshole was Rachael’s biological father. I had recognized him as he grabbed for his clothes as the punk kid Julie worked for at the bank. I knew he had only been hired after she left for maternity leave. So, he was out. That left the rest of the time at the bank. I didn’t think John Williams would have been in the dark if Julie had been having an affair after we were married. She had worked for him ever since graduating from college. He and I had played golf together. John would not have kept me in the dark if he suspected anything. As a matter of fact, a phone call to John should be on my list of things to do. If Richard was Julie’s boss, and he was screwing her, that was sexual harassment and the bank could be in deep shit if I wanted to press the issue. Yes, a call to John was in order.
I pulled in to my parent’s place and saw that dad had left the porch light on over the front door. I grabbed my overnight and went up the steps. My father opened the door as I did. He just reached for the overnight and stood aside for me to enter.
“I told Helen to just go back to sleep and let you and I talk. She didn’t like it, but I told her that we needed to talk first, man-to-man. She’ll accept that.” He took the overnight and put it into the spare room. Rachael had her own room here that dad had fixed up for her shortly after Julie went back to work. He was glad to do it and mom loved the idea. Julie had never commented on it.
“Dad, I want to tell you every thing, and for my own sanity, I have to do it tonight. I will start by saying that Julie and I have parted ways and I don’t think that we can work things out.” I dropped down into the comfortable chair that was moms when she was watching TV. I realized how tired and mentally exhausted I was. It had been an intense 24 hours for me, ending with the collapse of my world. Tough for anyone to take.
“Son, I hear what you are saying but I don’t think any decisions made at this time are going to be very good ones. Why don’t you wait till tomorrow for any decisions: when you are rested and can think clearly?”
“You’re probably right. I can tell you this. After what I saw tonight as I came home and after what Julie said to me just before I left the house, there are going to have to be hard decisions made. They will be necessary decisions, but not good ones.” I was tired and depressed but as I began to talk to dad, the words just began to pour out.
“I walked in on Julie in bed, fucking Richard Means, the asshole she works for at the bank. I had tried to talk to her just before my trip to St. Louis, but she wouldn’t take the time to talk to me. She denied doing anything that would hurt our marriage and then I come home to that. She told me she had been cheating on me for some time and actually had the guts to say I knew about it and did nothing!” I shook my head. “She knows so little about me that she would actually believe I would accept that fact that she was fucking someone else and do nothing about it.”
“We haven’t made love for over a year and a half, since about 3 months before Rachael was born. We have had sex, but never made love again after the doctor told Julie to take it slow just before Rachael was due. Julie has wanted nothing to do with me since the birth and since she went back to work, nothing. She went to work against my wishes and actually made the decision before she even told me. She cares little about what I want and nothing about Rachael. She called her the brat! Can you imagine a mother talking about her daughter like that?”
“This marriage is over. I can’t imagine a reason for Julie’s behavior. Even if there were, she never had the decency to come to me and talk about what was bothering her. She chose instead to betray me and break our wedding vows. She even chose to do it in our bed and in our home.” I had tears flowing down my face by now and did not even try to hide it.
Dad simply listened and heard me out. He rose from his chair and came to me. He reached down to touch my cheek and said, “Son, you are hurting and in deep pain. I can see that. Go to bed and let’s talk tomorrow. You can’t handle much more tonight.” With that, he pulled me to my feet, hugged me tightly, and led me like a little boy back to the spare room. He flicked on the light and helped me to bed. I lay down with my clothes on and dad removed my shoes. I didn’t even notice.
“Goodnight son, try to get some rest.” He turned out the light and shut the door.
I awoke Friday morning in my old bed at home in my parents place. I stretched, feeling drained. I suddenly remembered why I was here and the shock hit me again, taking my breath away. My marriage was over and my life would change from this day forward. I rose and went into the bathroom where I shaved, took a shower and combed my hair. All routine tasks but it was almost more than I could manage right at that instant.
I went out to the kitchen where mom had begun breakfast for her and dad. She smiled when she saw me and asked if I would like something to eat. She knew I rarely ate breakfast and normally took only coffee and sometimes a bagel.
“Thanks, mom but I’m not really hungry. A cup of your delicious coffee would hit the spot though.” She smiled and put the cup in front of me and filled it with steaming brew. I put both hands around the cup to feel the warmth. For some reason, I felt cold inside.
“Your father told me some of what you said to him last night. He said to let you talk in your own time. That’s what I intend to do, so don’t you worry about me grilling you.” Mom smiled at me and for a brief instant, I remembered the safety that I always felt living here. It was just what I needed.
“I want to tell you all about it mom, but I don’t know if I can get my own head around all of it yet. Did dad tell you what I walked in on last night at home?”
“He told me and I wouldn’t have believed it if you hadn’t seen it with your own eyes. I knew something was wrong with Julie, and have known for some time. When she brought Rachael over, she seemed distracted and uninterested in anything but getting away: but not what you described. That is not a thing I would have believed. I am so sorry you had to see something like that.” She watched my face as she spoke. She could tell the pain I was in.
“According to Julie, this was not the first time with Richard. She indicated she had been cheating on me for some time and actually thought I knew about it. She said as much.” I didn’t want to remember last night, but there was no way I was ever going to forget it.
“I think more than her cheating was the way she spoke of Rachael. She called her a brat and she gave me every indication that she was jealous of my love for Rachael. She claimed that I spent more time with Rachael than I did with her. When I told her that she had forced me to spend time with the baby since she had turned away from both of us, she refused to believe it. I honestly think she is nuts!”
Mom listened with a serious expression on her face. I expected anger and disgust, but the look was more concerned and introspective. She obviously was thinking about something that I had not seen.
“Tom, I want to say something to you and I want you to listen. I am not going to try to change your mind or ask you to do anything but I want you to hear what I am going to say. Will you do that?” She would say no more until I promised to hear her out.
“Of course I’ll listen to you. I have always valued your advice and wisdom.”
“OK, here goes. The things that you describe Julie doing and saying make a small amount of sense to me. The timing of her actions also hits me as important. The fact that a mother would resent her child and do something that would cause her child and her husband pain is not easy to explain but it does sort of fit a pattern that I have heard tell of before.”
“Sometime, when a woman has a baby, things change in her chemistry. Her hormones begin to get out of whack early in pregnancy and stay confused through the birthing. Afterwards, things get back to normal. Sometimes! Sometimes they get haywire again but in a different way. They have a name for it: It’s called post something depression, or something like that. In any event, it’s a deep depression that makes a woman do some very strange things. It’s unusual for it to last as long as it seems to have in Julie, and it is rare that the action is directed against the husband rather than the baby, but it happens.” Mom looked at me to see how I was taking this. My expression must have told her something since she continued.
“I know you don’t think I am right considering what Julie has done, but I believe it explains most of her behavior.” She looked at me now. “I don’t know what you will do with this information. It’s not my place to tell you what you should do. I love you and Julie and the baby. I will not judge Julie till I know more, but I do know that she has hurt you and that makes me angry. And, I know you won’t believe me when I tell you this, but the pain that Julie is going to feel when this hits her is going to be awful.”
“You may well be right about what caused Julie to do what she did. I’m sorry but I don’t care about her reasons. I only want what is best for Rachael and to be away from Julie is best.” I paused before I went on.
“I am going to see my lawyer today and begin divorce proceedings against Julie. I am going for full custody of Rachael and I have told Julie that if she fights me on that, I will bring her lover into the mix and sue him for alienation of affections or something like that. I have no malice towards her though and I told her that I would divide every thing 50/50 and give her the house. I don’t ever want to see that house again. I don’t want to hurt her even though she had no such reservations about hurting me and Rachael.”
“Tom, I am so sorry. But if that’s what you feel you have to do, we will support you. You can stay here as long as you want and I will be glad to care for Rachael when you can’t.”
I got dressed before Rachael woke and went into the office. I told Claire that I only wanted to get some paperwork and that I would be gone the rest of the day. Since I hadn’t planned on being in the office that day, there were no meetings scheduled so I was free to go. I only wanted to get my files from my desk. Those were my personal files with names, addresses, account information and bank records. Also all of the information on assets that we held in joint and singly. I would need those for my lawyer.
I spent over three hours with Jerry Adams, my attorney. Once he got over the shock of what I had told him, he was all business. He didn’t want to give Julie as much as I did but I convinced him that custody was my primary concern and I didn’t want assets to be a distraction from that. He agreed and we were ready to file the papers on Monday.
John arrived shortly after I hung up with Sophie. He had his wife Lauren with him. I let them in and we all went into the kitchen.
“OK, Julie. Start at the beginning and tell us everything. No lies, no cover up. Just the truth. We are here to help, not to judge.” Lauren held my hands in hers and I could tell she was almost in tears. John also had tears in his eyes.
“God, this is hard, but here goes. I have been having an affair with Richard Means. It started about 6 weeks ago and we have seen each other 4 times. Tonight was the last. John, we lied to you when we said we were meeting with clients. We really went to the Holiday Inn to got a room. Richard didn’t force me. I went willingly.” I had to stop for a minute as my throat closed up with emotion. I took a deep breath and continued.
“Tom was supposed to fly in tomorrow afternoon, so when he came home a day early, he found me in bed with Richard and Richard was fucking me. I’m sorry Lauren, but what I was doing was crude, so crude words are only fitting.”
“I can’t begin to imagine what I was doing or why. It was almost like waking up from a long sleep to see myself doing those things. I actually recall wondering what Tom was so angry about. The whole thing came as a shock to me and, after Tom walked out on me, I sat here all night and never moved. I finally got up and went into the bathroom and when I saw myself in the mirror, makeup and all, I went into shock and woke up on the floor this evening. That’s when I realized what I had done. That’s when it all came crashing down around me.”
“After I cleaned myself up and dressed, I called you. I only wanted to tell you I was sorry for not coming in to work, but when I heard your voice, guilt and remorse hit me again. That’s when I lost it and here you are.”
I actually felt better than I had in months after telling John and Lauren my story. It was a relief to have someone else know what I had done. Lauren just held me as I cried until I finally got myself under control.
“John, can you have Marvin Catsman see Julie as soon as possible? She needs help and I believe he is the one she needs. Julie, it is clear that you have had a traumatic experience and even a nervous collapse. Marvin can help you and, at least, give you something to help you get through the next couple of weeks. That will be the worst time.” Lauren was right to the point.
“Consider it done. I’ll call him right now.” He looked at me and asked, “What are you going to do now?” Are you going to stay here?”
“I have already called my Aunt Sophie and she said I could stay with her as long as I wanted. I want Tom and Rachael to move back in here. Rachael needs the stability of her own bed and surroundings. It’s best for her. They should not have to pay for what I did.” With this, I began to cry. Lauren came to me and again held me as I sobbed.
“I think you have already begun the healing. You know what you did and you are putting your family ahead of yourself for the first time in a long time. That is a start. John and I will support you as well and the company has a program to help you.”
John walked back into the room. “I just spoke with Marvin and he will see you in his office Monday morning at 9:30. He will work with you at the company’s expense. You only have to worry about yourself.” John looked very upset as he continued. “I am not doing this only as your friend. What Richard did was totally inappropriate and is in violation of company policy. I will tell you now that you have a valid lawsuit against the bank and I, for one, would support your claim.”
“Richard was not alone in this, John. I was as much to blame as he was. After all, I’m older and supposed to be wiser.”
“Richard was your superior and, as such, it was totally his responsibility. I told you sometime back that I would have made you department head but corporate wanted youth and a man instead. This is their responsibility as well so they should pay.” John actually smiled as he said this. I knew that Richard was never his choice.
“I think that you should pack what you need and we will take you to your Aunt’s house. Lauren can drive you and I will follow in your car. I’ll call Tom’s cell phone when we get back home and talk with him about moving in here.”
“That will be fine and I can’t thank both of you enough. I am so ashamed of the way I have behaved. I am so grateful that I have friends willing to help me since I drove the one person in the world that would have done anything for me away.”
We left for Sophie’s house and I left my home, a place that I loved, maybe for the last time.
I was surprised to get the call from John Williams. He told me that he and Lauren had gone to Julie when she called and that she was in a bad way. He also told me that she had moved in with Sophie and that she wanted Rachael to return to her own bed and to her own surroundings. She was adamant about that. I told him that I would never set foot in that house again and that I intended to find a condo for Rachael and myself. I told him to thank Julie, but tell her no thanks.
John also told me that he had retained a psychiatrist at company expense to help Julie. He made no attempt to talk about our problems but did tell me that he was going to fire Richard Means Monday morning. He said that the bank did not condone his actions and that I had a case if I chose to pursue it. Since Richard was the supervisor it was his responsibility to set an example. This was a stupid stunt and he deserved to be terminated.
I thanked John and told him that I wouldn’t consider moving back home, but I wanted to talk with my attorney first to be sure that didn’t set any precedents. I was also interested in the fact that Julie was going to a psychiatrist. I knew she was mentally unbalanced but had not thought it through. Maybe that was for the best.
When I told mom about Julie’s offer to let us move back into the house, she told me that it was a good sign that Julie was once again thinking about Rachael. “A mother will always look out for her child, even when she is sick or injured.” She looked smug as she continued. “Julie is sick right now, but her love for her child will be her rock as she fights her way back!”
“You take that child home where she belongs. I’ll have dad bring me over first thing in the morning and I’ll stay with you for a while. Things will need to be done and you will have to be free to do them. Rachael and I will be fine.” Mom was already taking charge, just as she always had. Dad was letting her take the lead.
I told mom that while I valued her opinion, I would not move back to the house and that I would find a condo close to work that I could buy. Julie could have the house where she ended our marriage. We argued about it but I eventually found a three-bedroom condo just 3 miles from my office, and Rachael and I began our life without Julie. We missed her, but for now, we had to go on.
It was about four weeks later when I got a call from my attorney. He said that Julie’s psychiatrist had contacted him. He wanted me to agree to a meeting with him as well as a meeting with Julie. He wanted me to see him first for about 15 minutes before I spoke to Julie.
“I think you should take both meetings. It will not look good to the judge if you refuse to make an effort to reconcile. The effort has to be made, even if you have no intention to make it happen. That’s the way the judge will put it.” I thought that was dumb and said so, but he was adamant.
“Take the meeting!”
“Alright. You set it up and let me know. But I have no intention of getting back with Julie after what she has done. I know the shrink will tell me why she did it and that she was sick, etc. but I don’t care. She killed all of the compassion I had.” I had not lost any of my anger. As I tried to raise my daughter alone, I saw only the pain that Julie had caused to my daughter as she asked every night where her mother was.
Jerry set the meeting with the shrink for the following Friday morning at 9:30 am. I was to meet with him for 15-20 minutes and then I was to meet with Julie for an hour or so. Our meeting would be private and no one would be watching or taking notes. It was between her and I.
At the appointed time, I entered the office of Marvin Catsman, psychiatrist. He was a short, bald man with a potbelly and jovial face. He put me at ease almost immediately.
“Welcome Mr. Simmons. I am very glad to finally meet you. Julie has told me much about you and Rachael and I think I know you already. I want to see if the reality matches the picture of you that Julie has shown me.” He waited to see if I had a comment, but I just listened. This was his meeting.
“Julie is a severely depressed young woman. At the root of her problems are fear and anger. We are getting to the causes but you have already seen the results. Her problems can be solved with hard work and time. Yours can be too if you are willing.”
“I did not come here to solve my problems as you so tactfully put it. I know that my wife caused the problems I have. I repeatedly asked her to get help or to talk to me about what was bothering her. She chose to shut me out and to turn to another for intimacy. That is a pain that will take time to go away, and no reason for her behavior will make it less. She almost killed me with her actions and I will have to find a way to live with that.” I was pleased that I could say this without breaking down. My pain was still very close to the surface and I found myself often just staring into space with tears in my eyes.
“I wasn’t trying to solve your problems, only to indicate that I knew they were there and very painful. I want you to listen to Julie when you meet with her. She is not sure what she wants to say and in my opinion, it is too early for her to be able to tell you what she wants to say. She will probably make a mess of it and say things that will make you very angry. She is talking with you against my advice. I urge you to have extreme patience with her and to let her say what she wants. You have to remember that you will be talking with a sick person, one who has severe mental anguish. It will be harder for her than it will for you. She knows what she did but she doesn’t know why. You don’t care why, only that she did it.”
“I promise you I will listen and I will try not to lash out at her. But you have to know that the pain is very close to the surface. I wouldn’t even be here except that my lawyer urged me to come.”
“I understand, but if you have any feelings left for this woman, please listen and try not to judge while you are so full of pain.” With that he rose and ushered me into a small conference room next to his office. “I’ll get Julie. Please have a seat.”
In just a few minutes, Julie entered through the office door. I was shocked at her appearance. She had on no makeup, her usually bright eyes were red and dull, she had on jeans and a sweater and her face was puffy and pale. God, she was still the most beautiful thing I had ever seen! My heart broke just looking at her.
“Thank you for coming here and letting me say some things to you. I know Dr. Catsman doesn’t think this is a good idea, but I have to do it for myself.” Julie went to the seat across the table from me and sat down facing away from me. She had not met my eyes since she entered the room. She paused and seemed to be trying to control her emotions, but I said nothing.
“There are three things I want to say. If you will, please just let me say them. It is hard enough just being here with you without falling apart. I don’t want to apologize or ask you for anything. I just have to say these things to make sure you understand.” She waited, glancing at me out of the corner of her eyes to see if I would say anything.
“I am here and I will listen to what you have to say. I am angry, but I will try not to interrupt.”
“That’s all I ask. I am trying very hard to understand why I did what I did. Dr. Catsman and I have determined it began when the Dr. told me that you and I had to be careful having sex. That was in the last three months of my pregnancy. That doesn’t explain anything, but does put a beginning to the problems.” Julie still hadn’t looked at me. Her voice was dull and she talked in a monotone. She was almost reciting something she had written in advance.
“The first thing is very hard to talk about. It is what I did with Richard. I will not go into details since that isn’t important. I know that what you imagine is probably ten times worse than the reality. We only met four times, the last being the time you found me in bed with him. That was also the only time we did it at our home. I do not know why I invited him in; just that you and I had that argument Tuesday night before you left. Since I was only doing it to hurt you, it was probably the reason I asked him to our home. We had met three times before at the Holiday Inn, pretending business meetings with clients. None of our meetings lasted more than an hour or so.
“Second, I want you to know this: sex with Richard was terrible. I never enjoyed it and did not do it for me. I did it to hurt you. As a result, every time he and I had sex, I compared him to you. You should know that you were in my thoughts almost all the time I was with Richard. I compared what he and I did to what you and I did and every time Richard fell miserably short. I judged everything he did by how you did it and he simply couldn’t measure up. I realize now that what Richard and I did had nothing to do with love or respect or feelings. It was cheap and dirty and not very interesting. If it’s true what they say about a spouse who has a cheating partner, it is that the spouse feels somehow inadequate. I want you to know that you have no reason to feel that way.” At this, she finally faced me directly. She looked directly into my eyes and said, “There was no love with Richard, and as a result, the sex was just that; cheap and dirty sex. Not even a poor excuse for lovemaking. Even when you and I made love over the last year, as bad as it was, it was still more than I had with Richard.”
“Finally, I want you to take care of Rachael and do what is right for her. At this time, I can’t be with her because I am sick. I don’t want her to see me this way. If she can remember mommy without knowing how badly I treated her, that is the best thing.” I saw the tears begin to flow down her cheeks as she finished this last. I knew now how much she was hurting and how much she had lost. I wanted to go to her and hold her and make it right. I wanted to, but I couldn’t.
“That’s all I wanted to say. I hope you can take some peace from that and I hope that we can work out some way for me to see Rachael when I am better. I want nothing but the best for you and for her. You can’t believe this now, but know that I love you and Rachael with all my heart and I never stopped.” With that, she got up and fled the room without another word. She left before I could even call her name.
I left the office that day with a better feeling in my heart than I had had for some time. I believed what she had told me, and it certainly made me feel better about myself. That, in turn, allowed me to think more about her and what it would take to make her well. I resolved to talk to Dr. Catsman and offer my help in any way I could.
The divorce papers had been filed some time ago and it would take 90 days for the separation to become legal. After that, if the divorce weren’t contested, it would be final in another 60 days. Five months to the end of my world as I knew it. I knew that it had to be, but it did make me sad.
I continued to work with Dr. Catsman. I had no idea of what was going to happen but I knew that I was out of control and my life was a mess. I had lost everything I cared about and I had done some things that I was ashamed of. As I began to understand what I had done, the shame increased and I fell deeper into depression. Dr. Catsman told me I had to hit rock bottom before I could begin to rebuild my life.
In order to let me function, he gave me medication to relieve the depression and let me get back to work. I found that Richard was gone. Fired for inappropriate behavior. I was glad that I didn’t have to face him again. My shame was too great to allow that. John did let me start back gradually and I soon found that I could once again enjoy my job. I think that, as well as the understanding from John, helped me to get back on my feet more quickly.
During one of our early sessions, Marvin took me back to that visit with the OB/GYN who told me that I had to begin to be very careful for the last 3 months of my pregnancy. He told me that I was at high risk for a premature birth if I didn’t stop work and if Tom and I weren’t careful when we made love. He suggested we stop any activity that could cause discomfort to the fetus.
Marvin, as Dr. Catsman told me to call him, felt that this was the beginning of my problems. I somehow took what the OB said and translated that to sex being risky and causing danger to my baby. Not consciously, but still a nagging start. Since Tom was related to sex and lovemaking, I began to connect him to risky behavior. This then began to translate into harm to the baby. Tom slowly became an enemy. All of this was deep in my subconscious and came about without my even knowing it.
After the baby was born, things were fairly normal since lovemaking was not possible for a while. During that time, things began to settle into a routine that did not include sex with Tom. When Tom did try to initiate sex, I was not comfortable and in my subconscious, Tom was trying to hurt me, using sex as a weapon. It all sounds crazy to me, but Dr. Catsman feels that this is the area we need to work on.
We had been meeting two times a week for the last three weeks when I told Marvin that I wanted to talk to Tom. I hadn’t seen or talked to him since the night he left me. I had been thinking of him and of my daughter and I began to worry about some of the things I had said to him that night. I desperately wanted to set some things straight for Tom. He had to know that I still loved him and Rachael and that Richard was nothing. I was afraid that Tom would think I loved Richard and that Richard was a better lover and that we had a love affair. It became an obsession with me to tell Tom these things.
Marvin was not in favor of me talking with Tom. He felt that I was not ready and that I was still not clear on why I had acted as I did. I didn’t care. I had to do this. I asked him to make it happen. If he wouldn’t I would quit therapy and try on my own. He finally agreed and set it up for the following week. He said he wanted to talk with Tom first and then I could see him. I agreed.
As I walked in the room where Tom was waiting, I found I couldn’t look at him. I walked to the chair across from him but I faced away. I was ashamed and I knew he could see it on my face. He didn’t say anything as I sat down but I could feel his eyes on me the whole time. I began to shudder and I had to take slow, steady breaths, the way Marvin had taught me to control panic attacks.
I began to talk and fortunately, the words came out, as I wanted. I wanted to tell him the things that I was concerned about and I asked him to let me talk. I knew if he began to question me I would fall apart and begin to cry. I didn’t want to do that. What I had to tell him was too important to him. He had to know the truth.
I wanted him to know that I used sex with Richard as a way to hurt him. I didn’t know why I wanted to hurt him but that I did not have sex because I was unhappy with Tom as a lover. I also was ashamed that I had taken Richard into our home. I told him that Richard was nothing and that sex with him was terrible. I wanted him to know that lovemaking with him was beautiful and that sex with Richard was dirty and cheap. I also wanted him to know that he was a much better lover than Richard and that he had nothing to worry about.
I finally told him to take care of our daughter and that I was not capable of being there for here at this point in my life. I wanted him to know that I had begun to put them first again and that was important to me. Finally, as I left, I told him that I loved him and Rachael more than anything else in this world. I knew he didn’t believe me, but I wanted to say it.
I left before he could ask me any questions. I held together long enough to say what I wanted but I could not stand any more. The pain was too intense and, as I looked at Tom and thought about the life I had lost, I nearly collapsed. I did collapse after I got back to Marvin’s office, but Tom didn’t see that. So that was OK.
I had no idea of where my life was going. The divorce would go through and we would no longer be a family. Tom was no longer a part of my life and I had no idea of what I would do next. I only knew that I had to take care of my self and make a life without the two of them. Maybe some day, I could become a part of my daughter’s life again, but only time would tell.