When someone you love does something bad, you don’t stop loving them. This was precisely the position I found myself in, as I walked to the bar to see my husband. In my heart, I had already forgiven him for his affair. I couldn’t help it. I loved him.
I was wounded, I was very angry and of course in my head I hadn’t forgiven him completely for the awful terrible things he’d done. But I was a woman in love and at that moment, I couldn’t have been happier to find out he had just flown 6,000 miles to see me, because he loved me too.
I walked into the bar and there was Tom, pale and sweating in the heat, in a long sleeved shirt and long trousers, but looking beautiful to me. I walked over straight into his open arms, I couldn’t help it. We hugged and then kissed. And hugged more. And kissed more. After days of silence and pain, it was such a relief to be with him.
In my husbands arms was my place of comfort. I was happy to be in them and could have cried with relief.
‘You are here, I can’t believe it’ I said.
‘I had to come’ he replied.
‘I am so happy you did!’
‘Me too’ he kissed me.
‘But how did you get here and what about the baby?’ I asked. Tom was supposed to be looking after our son in London who didn’t have a passport.
‘I had to get three flights but I would have walked. Fiona and my Ma are looking after the baby, he is fine.’ He grabbed me and hugged me a long time, ‘I want to make a new start and I had to come, I’ve been an idiot and I love you so much.’
‘I know you do’ I replied.
‘Please tell me you forgive me. Please tell me we’ll be okay?’ he asked.
‘Yes, well, um…I’m very angry Tom, I mean, what you’ve done….but, well…I love you too.’ I said, ‘I love you so much.’ I couldn’t use the word forgive, if I said that, I couldn’t take it back. Forgiving means everything is okay and everything was not okay. I was angry. But I love Tom and in my heart that was the overwhelming emotion. Definately stronger than my anger, in that bar, at that moment.
He hugged me a long time and then Tom took my hand and led me through the hotel lobby.
‘Should I get a room, or should I? Can I…..ummm, stay with you and the girls?’ he asked tentatively.
‘Stay with us, don’t get a room, of course not, I want you with me’ I smiled and I was happy.
We got into the lift and started to kiss passionately. I missed him. Moments after we stepped into the suite we had each other’s clothes off. I wasn’t thinking about his lying or affair, I was thinking about how much I love my husband and missed him.
Like other couples that might experience separation and reunion or who break-up temporarily, we had very good, happy and satisfying we-are-back-together sex. I looked at my husband in a different way at that moment. Tom has always been someone who has lived life by the rules and on the good and dutiful path and looking at him, I felt a strange excitement. Not in a good way, not in a bad way, just in that ‘who ARE you?’ way. I didn’t know Tom like I thought I did.
During my four year marriage, maybe I found my husband boring sometimes compared to me. I did have a wild side. And I guess, Tom does too. I wasn’t angry, I didn’t think of Caterina, I was thinking that my husband has a wild side. Like me. Yes, we have problems, some big problems, but we can work them out. I know we can. We love each other.
Tom settled into our suite and unpacked and put on summer clothes and we went to the pool to collect our daughters from the morning session at the kids club. We held hands and stopped to kiss along the way and it was nice.
That afternoon we all played on the beach together, running and digging in the sand, playing in the light surf in the crystal clear warm sea. We had lunch on the terrace overlooking the palm trees and drank wine and laughed watching our children.
In the evening we hired a babysitter and walked in the moonlight to the outdoor restaurant, it felt like a second honeymoon, I have never enjoyed my husband’s company more, we laughed, we talked and we danced and we kissed. There was no mention of Tom’s affair and I didn’t even think of it once.
I was joyful and I felt a relief like I had never known in any relationship. I felt so relieved that somehow; my marriage and life were saved. Of course I was naive and I couldn’t contemplate yet that I wouldn’t feel like this all the time. I was only thinking that I had somehow, some way, through my pain and anger, forgiven Tom and that he loved me and that was enough.
Our smaller family of four stayed together in our suite and had breakfast in bed the next morning. The girls playing happily with toys on the floor while we read the newspapers in plush dressing gowns, enjoying a lovely fresh breakfast. I wandered on the balcony after breakfast looking out to sea and felt content.
It wasn’t until late afternoon on the second day that something crept up and bothered me. It was silly and minor and I never would have given it another thought in normal circumstances. But these were not normal circumstances. My husband had admitted to me only eight days earlier that he had an affair with our au pair. It was fresh and it was raw and I was hurt.
Sitting by the swimming pool an attractive woman in a bikini walked by and Tom looked at her. That was it. He looked at her and that was enough. I didn’t say anything but I suddenly felt a simmering anger in me.
I suddenly thought ‘Oh my god, he is checking her out.’ And I looked at her and suddenly thought ‘is she thinner than me, prettier than me, bigger boobs than me’ and I felt such a sinking feeling in my heart. I knew that I had lost something important. I’d lost something essential to my relationship with Tom. I’d lost my belief that my husband thought I was the most beautiful woman in the world. In his world.
‘I’m going for a walk’ I declared icily and got up grabbing my sunglasses and sarong.
‘I’ll come with you, lovely idea, let me get the girls’ and he sat up.
‘No, I want to go alone.’
‘Oh. Okay. Are you alright my love?’
‘Yes, bye then’ I walked off.
I had questions, I suddenly could think of nothing else.
What was it like to sleep with Caterina? Was it better than me? Worse than me? What did they do? Where did they do it? What did they eat and what did they drink? Did he buy her things? Did they talk about me? And if it was three times, how could that have worked when she lived in Italy? Did she fly to London? Who paid for that?
It was an intense curiosity that I couldn’t control. I have to know the answers. I need to know the how, why, where and when. Maybe other people don’t feel curious, but I did. I have two options. First is that I can push this out of my head and never think of it or speak of it again. Second, I have to discuss it with Tom.
I was never going to go for option one. It was not my character.
I’ve never swept a single thing under the carpet in my entire life and my parents and brothers and sisters still get upset with me when I bring up things we need to discuss. My mother’s famous last words ‘can’t we just leave it alone and forget about that.’ No! I can’t leave it alone. Not until I work through it, which means I must talk about it and feel it.
Heading back to the hotel I had my plan in my mind, I would speak with Tom at dinner. We had planned to have dinner on the balcony of our suite this evening, after we’d tucked our girls to bed. I thought that would be an ideal time, as it was the two of us in private and I could ask him some of these things.
I wouldn’t be angry, I’d ask calmly and we would be fine, I reassured myself.
‘You were gone a long time, is everything okay?’ asked Tom who was out on the beach with the kids waiting for me.
‘Hmmmm, it’s lovely here’ I murmured, not looking him in the eye, ‘I’m going to get up early and go for a run around that cove tomorrow morning’ I pointed out to the rocks in the distance.
‘Shall we go get the girls bathed and fed, it’s almost 5 o’clock’ said Tom.
‘Yes, okay’ and we walked back to our suite to settle our children to bed and have dinner. I was quiet and thinking of my questions I needed answering. And our second honeymoon was to be very short lived.