This is just a short story that I've had for some time about a little cheating and forgiveness. It has a standard format for a plot and I don't expect a very favorable response from the reader but some might enjoy it ... I think its why most affairs are initiated and what the outcome would and should be considering the circumstances.
It was getting dark as I drove into the motel parking lot and pulled up in front of the room indicated to me by my passenger. His name was Charles Parker and he was an important customer I'd just taken out to dinner as PR work for my struggling new business networking company. I was president, major partner and marketing manager with my junior partner, Bill Hansen, who handled the finances and the staff. It had taken me many years to break away from a major computer company and set up my own company and now it was consuming much of my time to get it established. Charlie was vice president of procurement for a small, local manufacturing company that was key to our making a go of it.
Charlie and I were just sitting there talking for a few minutes when the door to the room next door opened and a woman stepped out. The woman's face was facing the dark and I couldn't see her features but when she turned to give the man following her a kiss on the lips I saw her face in the light from the room. I immediately stopped talking and all my concentration became focused on the couple leaving the room. Charlie stopped talking also and looking at the couple he asked, "Do you know them?"
I hesitated a moment before replying because of the shock...
"Yes, I know them. That's my wife and our next door neighbor. She's supposed to be at her parent's house."
"Oh shit. Look, I'll leave and call you about the item we discussed later this week. I'm real sorry about this Frank." he told me as he got out the passenger side and stood by the door of his room to see what I was going to do. While I was trying to get over the shock of seeing my wife come out of a motel room with another man, in the back of my mind I was wondering what Charlie was thinking about the situation, If I couldn't even keep my family together, how could I handle a business?
Absently, I nodded as I started to open my door to confront the couple as they were getting into the car next to mine. They were so wound up in their own world they didn't pay any attention to me as I put my hand on the passenger door. It was only after she had seated herself in the car and tried to pull her door shut that she looked up to see who or what was restraining the door. When she looked up and saw me she gasped and then whispered to herself.
"Oh my god, no!"
Trying to keep the emotion out of my voice caused by the terrible feeling of remorse and depression I told her. "Don't come home Janice. I'll take care of the girls and we'll talk tomorrow."
Bending down and speaking to my neighbor I told him, "I'll be notifying Patty about this John. Maybe she'll let you come home but don't count on it."
They were both frozen in a state of shock as I closed the door on their car and got back into mine. With a wave to Charlie I backed out and headed home but I had to pull over in a few blocks to wipe the tears from my eyes.
What I'd seen almost destroyed me. Janice and our two teen aged daughters were my life and I thought that I'd lost everything that was important to me. Then I decided I'd better hurry home because Janice might head that way with John and I didn't want her in the house until I had decided what I was going to do. We'd been married eighteen years and this was the first time I knew of that she'd been unfaithful. She was an attractive woman and I suppose guys hit on her all the time but I'd never doubted her or her love for me before this.
Why would she jeopardize our relationship? Was she in love with John? There were many questions to be answered but my primary concern must be our daughters when I decided what to do.
Our daughters, Jenny, age 15 and Tracy, age 13, were in the dining room doing their homework on the table when I walked in the door.
"Hi dad, did you have a good dinner?" Tracy asked.
"Yes, it was very nice, honey." I inadvertently responded in a tone that was very somber.
"What's the matter dad, was the steak too tough?" Jenny laughed.
"No, no. the steak was fine. I guess I need to talk with you girls though, but I've got to make a phone call first."
My sad attitude must have warned them that something was coming they might not like. But I wanted to call Patty, John's wife, and let her know what I'd discovered about our spouses as soon as possible. I went into my den and closed the door to make the call.
Patty and John were a little older than us and both their kids were in college. Even though they had scholarships, I knew they were struggling financially to support the kids in college. When she answered my call. After I told her what I'd seen just a short time ago there was silence for a minute and then I heard her crying.
Finally, she managed to speak and asked me what I was going to do. When I told her that I hadn't made up my mind yet regarding my marriage but my decision would have to give a large priority to our daughters. She agreed with me that she would have to do the same and also agreed that I was correct in not letting Janice come home right away until I had time to think out what I was going to do. I didn't mention that it would might force Janice to stay at her parents house and then she would have to explain to them what she had done. If she was too ashamed though, she would probably stay at a motel.
After we'd talked I went back to talk with my daughters.
"Is there a problem dad?" Jenny asked as I pulled out a chair and sat down at the table with them.
"Yes, I'm afraid there is a problem and it involves your mother."
They were immediately alarmed as I knew they would be but I knew I had to push on to try to explain why their mother wouldn't be home that night. I felt they were old enough to be able to handle the situation.
"What happened, is she alright?" Jenny asked.
"She's alright honey, but I found her at a motel tonight with another man. It was Mr. Johnson."
"They were quiet for a moment with shock and then Tracy asked, "Are you going to divorce her dad?"
"I don't know yet honey. You mother and I will have to talk and see what this means to our marriage. You know that when we got married we swore to be faithful and forsake all others. Now your mother has broken her wedding vows to me and it could be if she loves Mr. Johnson that she may want a divorce to be with him."
"But she loves you dad." Jenny squeaked out in a panic stricken voice."
"I hope she does Jenny because that might help us stay together, but I don't know whether I can trust her again. That is the real problem."
Both girls looked like they were on the verge of tears and I decided I had to put a more positive tone in our conversation.
"I'm hoping that this is a one time thing and if your mother is in agreement we can see a marriage counselor and get this resolved but things are going to be difficult between us for awhile. So you're going to have to help us get through this. I know its going to be hard but its part of growing up in the real world and hopefully you won't have to go through the same thing yourselves someday. You just have to remember that no matter what happens between your mother and I that we both love you very much and you will always be cared for,"
They just stared at me without saying anything but they seemed a little calmer now that there seemed to be a possibility their family was going to continue.
"Is your homework done? If it is, I guess its getting late and you should think about going to bed."
"OK dad. I guess we're both done but I don't know whether I'll be able to get to sleep after this." Jenny stated and it was echoed by Tracy.
"I guess none of us will get much sleep tonight." I responded. "Maybe things will look better after your mother and I talk."
"OK dad, We'll see you in the morning. Good night,"
I watched them get up and head back to their bedrooms and felt so sorry for them.
"I'll be in to tuck you in after awhile I called out to them."
I received a muffled "OK,"
I had a thought then and decided to check it out. Going back into my den I called Janice's parents. Her dad, Bob, answered the phone.
"Hi Frank, what can I do for you?" he asked.
I was wondering if my wife has been there?"
"She was here earlier but she left around seven. Isn't she home yet?"
Obviously she hadn't gone to their place for the night so she must have gone to a motel. I wondered if John was with her. I decided not to alert her parents to our problem yet.
"Its OK dad. I guess she just got delayed somewhere. I'll check with you tomorrow."
He sounded a little puzzled and concerned when we hung up.
As expected, I had a restless night thinking and making plans. I decided if Janice was going to give me the heave ho to go with John she might try to get control of our financial assets quickly so I decided to initiate some pre-emptive measures first thing in the morning just in case. After determining this I managed to get in a little sleep. It seemed strange to be sleeping alone We had done it rarely in the eighteen years we'd been married and I'd never liked it.
Before the girls left for school in the morning I cautioned them not to say anything about our family problems to their friends. If it turned out we that I could work things out with their mother it would be much easier if our friends and neighbors were not aware of any problems. They both agreed with my reasoning.
I called in to work requesting a personal day and was at the bank when it opened. I closed our shared credit cards and opened new accounts in my name only where I deposited half of our checking and savings accounts. Then I took out half the CDs from our safe deposit box. I knew she couldn't do anything with our stocks and bonds as they were in both our names and requiring both our signatures to sell. Of course she couldn't touch my IRA or 401K. Feeling more comfortable about our financial situated I went home and did some research on the internet regarding divorce. From it I determined that we were a no fault state and our assets would be split 50/50 in the event of a divorce, Janice would get primary custody of our daughters until they turned sixteen and then they could decide who they wanted to live with. I would be paying child support until they turned eighteen or unless one of them came to live with me when she turned sixteen. I would probably also have to pay some alimony since I made more than Janice.
After that I felt better knowing where I stood and decided that I needed to see where our marriage stood before proceeding further. I placed a call to Janice on her cell phone. I noted that she had never tried to call me.
She answered after several rings.
"Frank, I'm so sorry, I was afraid to call you. Do you still want to talk to me?"
"Of course I do Janice. What would be convenient for you? I've taken the day off."