It was Sunday afternoon and I was doing yard work while I waited for my wife, Margie, to return from her work seminar in Denver. She had ridden to the airport with a coworker and was due back any time. Margie was a chemist. She worked for a large pharmaceutical company. She very seldom traveled for her work, but this was one trip she couldn't avoid.
The company has been working on a weight loss pill for years and Margie was deeply involved in the project. The company was flying everyone even remotely connected with the project into Denver to brainstorm for a few days. It seemed a competitor was rumored to be already testing a similar project. Competition is intense in the drug industry. One patent can be worth billions, so the powers that be were cracking the whip.
I saw the car pull into the drive and watched Margie get out and head for the house. I pulled the lawn mower into the garage and parked it. I had missed Margie and was eager to see her, and maybe even a little more than just see her. I went into the kitchen.
"Hey, traveling girl! How about a hug?" I asked as I walked toward Margie with my arms spread. "I missed that hot body of yours!"
"Sit down, Jim. We have to talk," Margie stated calmly. "There are a few things we need to discuss."
This wasn't what I had expected. Margie was usually all hugs and kisses after we'd been apart for a few days. She was a scientist, but once her motor got running, she was a dynamo. She now acted more like she was transferring data or something.
"What's up, Darling?" I asked nervously. "Did I leave the kitchen a mess? I was going to take the garbage out, really. I just forgot it, but I'll take care of it right now."
"Jim, this has nothing to do with the house or anything you did," responded Margie. "There's no easy way to tell you this, so I'm just going to give it to you straight. We need to get a divorce."
My mouth went dry and my heart started beating like crazy. I looked at Margie to see if it was a joke, but she never joked about anything like that. She was deadly serious. Still, I had to hope.
"You're kidding me, right? I'm not sure what you're angry about, but I can fix it if you tell me what I did, Margie. I sure don't want a divorce. I'm stunned that you would suggest it. What's wrong?" I demanded.
"You are a strong, proud man, Jim. You deserve to be with someone that is devoted and loyal to you. Anything less would be unfair to you and would never work. You'll be better off without me. It's because I love you so much that we must divorce," she concluded.
"Do you realize that you are making no sense, Margie? For a scientist, your logic is pretty weird. If you love me so much, why don't we stay married for another 30 years, or at least until I kick the bucket," I reasoned. "It's a good thing when a wife loves her husband, Darling!"
"It is if she remembers how much she loves him and remains faithful to him," agreed Margie as I suddenly felt my stomach turn. "Jim, I slept with Boyd Wilkins last night."
Now I really felt ill. I knew Boyd. He worked with Margie and always seemed like a nice guy. At least before he tapped my wife! I was pretty sure he was married and had some children, and they were younger than our two kids in college. Were they both going to get divorced so they could be together? How come I never saw it coming? Had I buried my head in the sand? Was I the king of denial?
"Do you love him, Margie? Is that what this is all about? You and Boyd? You're tossing me to curb because of him? Was the sex that incredible?" I demanded as I conjured visions of the balding, and somewhat pudgy, Boyd Wilkins possessing some kind of super stud abilities.
"I really don't even remember it, Jim. I certainly don't love Boyd. Right now just the thought of him makes me physically ill," Margie admitted. "It's done, however, and it can't be undone. I woke up this morning naked with Boyd sleeping next to me and I could tell that I had sex at some point. I wouldn't accept that behavior from you and I sure as hell won't accept it from myself. You deserve better, much better!"
"I'm having just a little trouble following you, Margie. If you don't love the guy, if he doesn't even turn you on, why did you sleep with him? Why do you want to leave me?" I asked in an effort to clear my confusion.
"I don't exactly want to leave you, Jim. I want you to have the best possible chance at happiness and that dictates that we separate. You've heard that old saw, once a cheater, always a cheater. You can't trust me. I can't even trust me, so we need to divorce," stated Margie.
"Isn't this a bit drastic, at least spur of the moment?" I suggested. "Could you explain every thing to me so I can understand your decision, at least?"
"A whole bunch of us got together yesterday afternoon for a little relaxation. It was like a party to celebrate the end of three pretty grueling days of brainstorming. It should be called blame storming! We made very little progress, except we agreed everything was someone else's fault. You know that I never drink unless you're with me, Jim. I'm just not capable of intelligent, rational thought after several drinks. I proved that again, yesterday," Margie sobbed as she finally began to lose her scientific demeanor and allow her emotions to surface.
"We carried on for several hours. I really don't remember when it was over, or how I got to my room. When I woke up this morning, my pussy had been used and Boyd was snoring next to me. I screamed and he woke up," continued Margie. "He was even more horrified than I was. He has three children in high school and a wife he adores."
I listened, but I had to wonder about Boyd. How bad does a guy feel when he wakes up next to an attractive woman? Most guys are able to deal with that difficult situation.
"He looked at me, and then at his own nakedness. Then he ran into the bathroom and vomited. It wasn't very flattering. I have to admit that. I heard him crying and calling his wife's name over and over. He's an emotional wreck today."
Maybe these real smart types are different. Seeing Margie nude sure isn't something to make a man pray to the porcelain gods! What a hell of a mess she had gotten us into. I began to transfer my fear of losing Margie into anger at her betrayal.
"Well, that's just great, Margie. You go away without me for the first time in two years and you get your brains fucked out by some super nerd. You tell me you don't remember it at all, and the next morning the very thought of slipping you the salami made him physically ill. Is that about it?" I asked viciously.
"You've pretty well summed up the fucked-up mess I made out of our marriage, Jim. I take full responsibility for it. I'll stay with my sister until I can find a place of my own. If you want to smack me around before I leave, I'm quite willing to go along with it," cried Margie. "I'll pack a few things and leave right away."
Goddamn! What does a guy do when his wife admits cheating and wants to punish herself, as much or more, than the husband wants to punish her? It was like the dentist in "The Little Shop of Horrors". How much pleasure can a sadist get hurting a masochist? I wanted to be the one deciding she had to leave. I wanted to be the indignant spouse, throwing insults and curses at her for cheating. She denied me that therapy by being so brutally honest about her stupidity. I just sat at the table trying to make sense of everything.
It was less than ten minutes later when Margie returned with two suitcases. I could tell she had been crying, but she still wasn't going to cut herself any slack.
"Since I'm the one that ruined the marriage, I'll move out, Jim. I won't ask for much in the divorce. I'd like to have half the savings and whatever keepsakes my family has given us over the years. You can accuse me of infidelity and I won't fight it. I would ask that you think about it first because you'll destroy Boyd's life if you do. He probably deserves it as much as I do, but his wife and kids don't," reasoned Margie. "He said he was going to try to keep it from his wife and hope she never finds out. That's a brilliant scientific mind at work."
I stood up and looked into Margie's eyes. She had been crying and she looked terrible. This was taking its toll on her as well. Why did she have to do it?
"This is your last chance to kick the crap out of me, Jim. I have it coming, but I won't allow it after today. I have to start my new life tomorrow. You'll feel better if you give me a black eye or something. I think I'd feel better, too. No woman should ever do such a horrible thing to a loyal, loving husband, as I did to you."
"Goddamn it, Margie," I growled. "I'm mad as hell, so you'd better not even suggest it. I feel like beating the shit out of you right now!"
"See, Jim. You prove my point. You're a man, not some spineless pussy that hits women, regardless of the provocation. You're able to do the right thing, even under a great deal of stress. I fucked up the first chance I got. You deserve better, Jim. You deserve a lot better," concluded Margie.
I took the heavier bag from her hand and carried it out to her car and placed it in the trunk. She put her second bag in and I slammed the lid down. Margie touched my face with her fingertips for a second. Then she got into the car and drove away, leaving me standing in the garage, blubbering like a baby.
I couldn't sleep more than a few minutes at a time. I was up before the sun and was at work nearly an hour early. I went to work because I had to do something. The problem was, I couldn't concentrate and hardly accomplished anything.
.... There is more of this story ...