Gene had an affair last year, but I just put all the pieces together this week. There were some things that came in the mail last November that made me question him. Of course he had the most bullshit story I have ever heard. The first 2 things were fines from him going through the Lincoln Tunnel and NJ Turnpike without paying the tolls. I confronted him and asked him who the hell did he go to New York with and why didn't he tell me he was going. He responded that he went with a buddy to buy me a ring, but decided against it and ended up buying one at Kohl's. He said he decided to return that ring too.
So I paid the toll fines and received the first Kohl's statement which shows that he did indeed purchase a ring. So I thought, ok he must have been telling the truth. The statement did not show a credit for the ring, so I made sure to check the following months statement to make sure it was credited. No credit. I kept telling Gene, month after month, that the ring was never refunded and he needed to call customer service and get this straightened out. He reassured me he would find the receipt and take care of it. I continued to make the minimum payments while waiting to see the credit.
This past weekend, I asked Gene to bring me the video camera and tapes so I could finish getting them sorted and labeled. He obliged and and told me after I sorted them we should transfer them onto Cd's. He said it was so easy he would be able to talk me through the process over the phone. On Monday afternoon, I started watching the tapes and writing down what was on them. After completing a couple tapes, I came across the one of my playgroups field trip to a farm. Gene had come with us and took some good video. As I watched it, I thought how nice it would be if I could make copies for everyone.
The next thing on the tape was Gene's trip to Ocean City, in which he took the boys. It was a group trip with about 10 other people. I stayed home because I was still nursing the baby. As I watched the tape, I noticed Gene seemed fixated on this one particular woman. I thought, No way this is innocent. Something is going on between them. I paused the tape and called Gene and asked him who the woman was that he taped in Ocean City. He said he wasn't sure who I was talking about and he would have to see them tape. I was quite upset, because clearly she was being flirtatious and Gene was flirting back by recording her. But what really convinced me something was going on was when he was far away from her, but kept zooming in on her. No one else, just her.
I continued to watch the tape. Next event was Robbie's 10th birthday party. After that, it was video of Niagara Falls dated November 18, 2006. I have never been to Niagara Falls. I was still on the phone with Gene questioning him about the woman. I asked him when did he go to Niagara Falls. Then, there she was. The same woman that was on the beach was standing in front Niagara Falls. BAM! I started freaking out because I suddenly remembered the fines. I watched the tape further (with Gene still on the phone, silent) as I saw one of his infamous camera shots where he forgets to turn the camera off. It was perfectly aimed at their hands, clasped together. I screamed at Gene calling him a bastard. His voice was low and he knew he was in trouble. I hung up and continued watching the tape.
I keep watching the tape. The date changes. It is now November 26, 2006. There is a close up of her hand. It is of a 5 diamond ring on her finger. Oh that bastard! This was the ring he claimed he bought for me. The same ring I made monthly payments on and kept waiting to see the refund. I was devastated. I screamed at Gene that he was a cocky bastard. I was in shock. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. He calls her "My love".... he asks her if shes "hungry for me?... he says "I love you". I don't think my heart has ever been so broken. The final shot is of her driving his truck (hence the toll violations and fines). He tells her to smile, then blows a kiss at her and she does the same.
All the pieces came together. It was around that time that I accused Gene of cheating because he suddenly started caring about his looks. He claimed he just wanted to feel good about himself. I had even looked up the signs of a cheating spouse and he fit the description. But I have always believed him, so I took his word that he was not cheating.
He claims she was a virgin. He swears that there was no sex involved. But I told him that was bullshit. You don't tell someone you love them and buy them a ring if you are not having sex with them.
Gene came home on Tuesday because he wanted to explain in person. As soon as he walked through the door, I told him to sit his ass down because he was going to watch the tape with me. I made him watch the "I love you" over and over, while asking him how it makes him feel hearing himself say I love you to another woman on tape with his wife next to him. I asked him if thought his mother would be proud of him. He was like a dog with his tail between his legs.
As I re watched the tape with him, I noticed something I had missed before. There were actually 3 dates. The first date of November 18 changes to November 19. So it was an overnight trip. He swears they slept in separate beds and she kept her clothes on because she did not believe in sex before marriage. At this point, I do believe he is telling the truth because he is not the type to continue lying once he has been busted.
I went into a full meltdown and tell him I want a divorce. I tell him I will take everything from him. He says he loves me and does not want a divorce. I ask him how could he do this to me. He says he was stupid and he regrets it and had carried the guilt with him over the past year. I tell him he is a complete idiot to record his affair. I hate him, but I love him. I know in my heart that I am letting my emotions make a decision that I need to be making when I am more rational.
As the evening goes on, I continue to cry and ask him questions about this affair. As we talk, Gene comments about how I am looking him in the eyes and how he wished I would look at him like that more. Then, it hit me. I know it is not my fault for this affair. But I can not fault Gene entirely either. It hurts that he seek out love and affection from another woman. It really hurts that I gave him 100% of my trust and he took advantage of it.
We are not together everyday. When we are, I am usually very cold towards him and make up excuses to avoid intimate situations. I had lost all sexual desire towards him. I do not excuse his affair, but I do take responsibility for not showing him any love and affection. His affair was not a sexual one, which is why it is probably a little easier to forgive. He wanted attention and to know somebody cared, and this woman gave it to him. I'm not saying I would shake her hand and thank her. Hell no! I would probably want to kick her ass. But I am thankful that something positive has come out of this. We were able to relight the spark and renew our love for each other. I will not take him for granted anymore. Part of a relationship is to taking care of each others needs. I am now committed to showing Gene the inside of my heart. He swore to me that no matter what, he is not going anywhere because he loves me.
I think Gene is relieved that the affair is now out in the open. He said it feels like it never happened because it was a very surreal experience. But there it is, clear as day on tape. I am still devastated by it and still cry about it. I can not trust him, and he knows he is going to have to rebuild that trust.
Of course, everything about this hurts, but what hurts the most is hearing my husband tell another woman that he loves her, seeing the ring that he gave her, and the cover up and lies that he told me when I first found out he went to New York. It hurts that I gave him 100% of my trust to be in a long distance marriage and he took advantage of that.