The unpredictability of life means that there’s not a lot of things I can guarantee that I can be 100% certain of, but fidelity is definitely one of them. This realistion came many years before I got cheated on.
My first day of work there was this guy, and he wouldn’t even acknowledge me. This continued for weeks. Over time, he warmed to me, and one day he invited me to spend the evening with his long-term partner and two small children for Bonfire night.
We were having dinner together after the show, and as we sat, I observed them. They seemed like a happy, loving family. I thanked my colleague the next day, for allowing me to spend time with his beautiful family. I recall secretly wishing I had that life.
Over a year later, my colleague asked me to stay behind after work. I noted over the course of the past few days his behaviour was peculiar. He was withdrawn. As everyone left, he locked the door. I started to get concerned, I stood up from my chair, “is everything alright?,” I asked. “Abi, sit back down, I have some bad news.” Perplexed, “tell me what’s going on,” I said.
Him: “I was in the kitchen at home a week ago and saw my partners laptop open, there was an email between her best friend and her, explicitly detailing her affair with the neighbour. I confronted her, and she admitted it. She said she is unhappy and doesn’t want to live in London anymore, she’s taking the kids abroad to her native homeland. We’re not legally married. I’m not sure I can stop her. I’ve lost everything. What’s the point of living? I just want to kill myself.”
Wow, I wasn’t in a million years expecting that. She seemed so lovely. I was in shock. There was silence for a brief period. Then my lips moved. “You must live for your children. I know it doesn’t seem like it now, but you haven’t lost everything, they’re still your children. No one can take them away from you. Pull yourself together, don’t get into a bitter fight with her, keep your cool. She holds all the cards, so be smart. Also, you need to put the children’s emotional well being first. I’m always here if you need me, we’ll get through this together.”
Months passed, I watched him turn from the once strong willed person to a shadow of his former self. He started drinking heavily. Worked really hard so that he could travel abroad to see his kids for a long weekend every month. The loneliness of rattling around in an empty house destroyed him. Eventually, he retired early, so that he could move abroad to be with his children.
We’re still really close. Years later when I found out a guy I was dating cheated on me, he was the first person I called. He’s my adopted dad.
He hasn’t moved on to another relationship. I sense sadness still in his heart. Why wouldn’t I cheat? Because, it has the potential to devastate lives forever. Not everyone recovers. I wouldn’t wish to have that on my conscience, that I’m certain of…
Thanks for the A2A, Yasmeen.