by Belinda Brady
He leaned up against the railing and took a deep breath. His heart was broken, but in a way relieved, as he now knew the truth. He knew something was off; it had been for a long time. But he had thought they had more time – she had more time. Time, it seemed, had other plans for them. Had other plans for her.
His wife, who was once so loving, so happy, had turned into a moody, angry version of herself. She was her own kind of Jekyll and Hyde – calm one minute, a monster the next. The last few months had been hard, but now that it had come to a head it all made sense. Perfect, devastating sense. The moods had only intensified as time rolled on. And as for intimacy, forget it. He couldn’t remember the last time she had even hugged him, let alone be any version of loving toward him. Not that long ago, snuggling up with him was one of her favorite things to do; now she could barely look at him.
She wasn’t sleeping well and more times than he cared to remember, he would wake to her side of the bed being empty. She claimed she couldn’t sleep, so instead of tossing and turning she would go for a walk. She said it helped clear her head. Those morning walks of hers came to be the anxiety in the pit of his stomach that woke him up each day. His new reality was now his waking nightmare.
His friends swore all signs pointed to an affair. It had to be. He had watched a few marriages end due to ‘well hidden’ affairs that turned out to be not so well hidden, and now it seemed his marriage was about to follow the same path. They wanted him to confront her, but he was too scared. He still loved her and if she confirmed an affair, he would have to end it. He knew himself and he knew he could never forgive this kind of betrayal. But he simply wasn’t ready to let her go. He would challenge her soon, just not yet. He needed to grieve the marriage while he was still in it, he reasoned, that way it wouldn’t hurt so much when it did end.
He was going over his thoughts like a broken record, while trying to enjoy a coffee that had long ago gone cold, when she appeared in the doorway and said they needed to talk. The look on her face said it all.
Ready or not, he was about to hear the truth.