Here is the gist of the text that ended my life as I knew it:

“Call me right now! I can’t believe you lied to me AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!”

Yeah, that was it. It was on a Friday at 3:42 pm while I was at work.  I was in a meeting and felt my phone vibrate.  Sheer panic was a very appropriate descriptor of my emotions at that exact time.  Mix in a healthy dose of shame, disgust, self-loathing and add a bit of self-preservation.  How could I mitigate this?  And could I lie to cover it up? Only to protect her!

She wouldn’t be lied to again. She was in full anger and panic and close to a nervous breakdown.  I could feel it through the text. I rushed home to find her in shock and tears.  The shame was overwhelming.  I couldn’t breathe.  I wish I could say I was ready to “come clean” and tell her everything.  I wasn’t.  I wanted to lie and lessen it.  I wanted to say, “No that was just the woman you knew about trying to hurt you again.  Of course I didn’t contact her after I said I wouldn’t.”  I knew quickly I couldn’t do that.  The affair partner had already told me she was going to send her copies of my messages.

I was cornered. This is what bottom feels like. I didn’t have any more options for lying, even though my self-preservation tools had kicked in hard. She wanted me out. I went to a friend’s house. I was panicking, having trouble focusing, and still…..trying to find a way out.

She saw her counselor the next morning. She wouldn’t talk to me. Her counselor texted me with three non-negotiable requirements for even continuing a conversation together:

  1. Immediately meet with a counselor that she recommends
  2. Enroll in a 12 step program
  3. Full disclosure and polygraph with Dr. Milton Magness

Full disclosure. Polygraph. My thoughts were: “Oh God, please save me. How do I get around this? Can I manipulate this situation? I am sure I can change her mind. Can’t I?” I began praying. I wish I could say I began praying for her primarily. I didn’t. I began praying for me. I was terrified, anxious and panicked. “God, you don’t really want her to know all this, do you? I mean, all it will do is hurt her. I am just trying to protect her. I will change, with YOUR help!” Notice how I shifted it to God? How if He would just help me, I wouldn’t be in this mess. Ok, no need to panic. Agree to everything. You can handle this. It won’t be different than before. You can wear her down and things will be ok. Right? I am sure that is right. It’s worked before. I am smart enough to make this work. I will agree to it all and then just slow play it. I have a good excuse. I was just checking on that previous affair partner. I knew I had hurt her and just wanted to make sure she was ok. That was admirable of me! When I explain it to everyone, it will be ok and I won’t need to do any disclosing of things that are better left hidden. I am SURE that will work!

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