A friend recently mentioned to me that "getting the rug pulled out from under you is a great way of making you realize you could stand on different ground".
Almost a month ago, I had a bad feeling that I would call intuition if it hadn't come about so late. I looked at my husband's phone while he was in the bathroom and saw the name of a woman we both knew as the third most recent contact in his text messages. She had moved away from our current city of Brooklyn about a year ago so I immediately found it odd that he had texted her so recently. I think I also noticed the little crescent moon symbol indicating Do Not Disturb on the text thread. Before I clicked in, I may have seen that the most recent text said "yes please" but I don't remember.
I clicked in and immediately realized what it was. I didn't read many of the texts at the time but it was already too much. This was the second time since we'd been married and the third time since we'd been together that a "texting indiscretion" (to quote my father in law) had occurred so I wasn't a stranger to the way my insides immediately turned to liquid. I went into an adrenaline response fight-or-flight mode and barged into the bathroom to question him.
After a few rounds of questions and lies, I found out that he had been having a virtual affair - through Instagram, texts, and a few phone and FaceTime calls - with her for a little over five months. Nothing physical (she lives multiple states away) but I believe there is very little difference in our current digital age between a physical and a virtual affair. I don't think I am alone in thinking that a one-time drunken encounter with a stranger at a bar would hurt less than a prolonged emotional affair with someone I knew and with whom I was friendly. The sheer amount of manipulation, lies, and our own experiences as a couple while this affair was conducted felt too much to bear.
Almost a month later, I've resigned from my job after realizing that it was actively contributing to my pervasive feeling of low self-worth. We've cancelled our gym memberships and remote programming from a beloved coach. We're directing the money that was used for those luxuries into marriage counseling as well as individual counseling for each of us. I've waved my white flag and gone "home" to visit my mother and sister for the first time in two years. I've delved into my past, my patterns, and my purpose. I've toyed with the idea of starting a blog for years and I finally have moved past the fear and self-imposed obstacles. If I can find some relief in journaling, normalize my traumas, and help even just one person with my stories, Googling "how to start a blog" will have been worth it.