I am depressed and at a loss. I am angry and ready to kill. I am Jim Hanson, an unwitting cuckold till yesterday. At the same time, she is on top of the world. She is the mother of my ten-year-old twins, Ralph and Julie. She is Gloria Hanson, a cheating wife who was pulling a fast one on me till yesterday.
You have to understand the reason why I am not behind bars on the charges of killing my wife and her boss, Trevor Bailey. For one, I have not done it yet and for another, I am not even thinking about it.A dead mother and an incarcerated father would not foretell a great future for the twins. Plus, the information that I am a cuckold merely reinforces a prior decision to end this marriage. I have been contemplating a divorce for quite some time now.
So what is it that I have planned? I surely expect a divorce in my near future. I cannot and will not live the life of a cuckold. Furthermore, I will not lose much in the divorce proceedings since I am just an odd-job man. In the past year, I worked as a plumber, a lumberjack, a construction worker and a shadow for a PI. No, I am not excellent at any of these jobs. I just know enough to fill in for missing people. I work cheaply, and in only a half day's work, I am able to accomplish what most workers do in a full day. It keeps the contractors happy.
My wife, on the other hand, is a lawyer. Yes, it was the story of the simple-looking girl with a hot body getting pregnant by the no-good jock and then marrying him. She progressed well in her chosen line of work and I am still looking for mine. In a way I am a kept husband who lives off his wife's earnings, and in the case of a divorce the chance of me getting alimony is quite high.
My wife has a very busy schedule that keeps her away from home a lot, and I have been worried about what would happen to the twins if she got the custody (which would be likely). She might have to cut back on her work hours, which I am not sure she would like too much. Even if she did cut back at work, she would still have no clue how to be a mother to the kids.
Am I a passive doormat who contributed to her affair? I don't think so. I believe I have defined very clearly what I am willing and not willing to do and to be.
When I found out about the affair I wondered if I were being strung along until she found better prospects. This happens a lot in marriages, but most of the time partners hang on long enough till the rough patch of the marriage gets over. I think it goes with the territory, hanging on through the rough patches. Do I have hope for us as a couple and our marriage? The answer is no. I do not see a path to recovery. Yes, I am still in love with my wife, but I fear my future and I am unhappy with my present. I am afraid I will be setting myself up for disaster or disappointment if I overlook this indiscretion.
Since finding out about her affair, I have learned a new understanding about myself and my needs. I have redefined my path and my plans. I will need an ex-wife willing to be half-way supportive of me in order that I can continue a decent relationship with my kids. Easing her out of my life, I am sure I will be fine, happy and content — a better person in the long run.
So, there you have it, I am a man whose woman is stepping out. What am I supposed to do in these circumstances? How am I to bring it up with Gloria? What about the twins?
With all these questions in my mind I sat down for breakfast on that Sunday morning. Gloria was sitting on the chair opposite mine reading a newspaper. It has been common for her to ignore me for days lately. I was not smart enough to weave a yarn with her anyway. I had barely finished my cup of coffee when she said, "I will be going out today. I have a day at a spa planned with Marge and Betty. It might be late by the time I come back. We plan to go shopping and then we will spend some time at the disco on 12th street."
"How will we get a babysitter with this short notice?" I asked her.
"Why? Do you have plans?"
"I am going apartment hunting with Joe."
"Joe, moving out of his house? I thought he was getting along well with Hilda," she said.
"It is Helga, not Hilda and no, Joe is not moving out," I said.
This got her attention and she neatly folded the newspaper and kept it on the dining table. She measured her words well while asking me.
"Are you moving out? Is the apartment for you?"
"Yes, I have been thinking about it for a long time. You and I married for all the wrong reasons. Do not get me wrong, I am not sorry about the kids. They mean more to me than life itself. But, let's face the facts. I am not an equal to you. I can never be the husband and life partner that you want. When you take a break from work and look around in a few years, you will get rid of me anyway. At that time you will have all the options in the world. You will be rich, free of the hassles of bringing up babies, and you will still be an incredibly beautiful woman.
"The only one losing out will be me because I will be a poor nobody with a failed marriage behind me. If I work on a new relationship right now, maybe I can find a woman who will be happy to live the life I can afford — in a trailer home somewhere on the outskirts of the city. I am realist and I want to ground my feet again."
She looked at me hard but did not reply. Then, with an elegant swoop she got up and went to the living room. As I did the dishes, I saw her pacing in the living room talking on her mobile.
When I stepped into the living room after doing the dishes she was seated on the couch deep in thought. When she realized that I was in the room she looked at me. There were tears in her eyes. Not overflowing, but a hint of them.
"I have cancelled the day at the spa," she said and then asked me, "Can you skip apartment hunting today and talk?"
"I can do that but there will be little good to come out of a talk. I realize you are used to me now and you will miss me when I'm gone but it will get better with time. I am only a mute companion who takes care of your house and our children. Trust me; a good housekeeper can do all this, even more efficiently.
"I will call Joe to let him know we will go apartment hunting next Sunday."
I went to the phone in the corner of the living room and made the call. When I came back to sit down with her I saw that she had a glass of white wine and a beer on the table.
I grabbed the beer and sat down. "So, what do we do now? Talk? I'm not very good at it but let's do it anyway."
"What prompted you to spell the end of our marriage?" She went right for the jugular.
"I have already said my piece on that. You deserve better. What you deserve is an educated man who can talk to you while you have your breakfast. You need a man who can take you to parties, someone you can introduce to your educated white-collared friends. You deserve a husband who is not a beer guzzling simpleton."
"But there is another reason that drives my decision. We married for the wrong reason. We married because you were pregnant. We married because it seemed the right thing to do at the time. I will be honest to you, as I have always been. I was not in love with you when we married. I was a convenient lay for you. You were too busy with your studies and your new job to form a relationship. You met me, the guy who made you feel great in bed and with whom there was no chance of any emotional complications."
She tried to speak at this time and I stopped her, "You asked me a question. Please allow me to finish my reply. You will get enough opportunities to cross-examine me during your rebuttal."
Her eyes widened for a moment when she realized that I actually knew how to speak. In the beginning of our marriage she used to practice in front of me and I had picked up a few words here and there and even some of her mannerisms.
"When we started sleeping together, I knew my position. I was the relief guy. You came to me twice a week like clockwork and had your fill of sex. I never dreamed that I would end up being married to you. I knew you married me because you thought it would be easier to have children around with some help, rather than being a single mother. But then I did something stupid. Once we got married, I fell in love with you. Sure, it was not the love that is written about in Harlequin romances, but mine was love of a common man for his beautiful and charming wife." I stopped to catch my breath. Try as I may, I could not get rid of the feeling of loss and despair that engulfed me at that moment.
Now her eyes had tears and a few teardrops rolled down her silky smooth cheeks. I leaned and wiped the tears away. "It kills me to be the reason why you are crying, but when you hear me out you will know it is all for the best."
.... There is more of this story ...