I doubt, very much, if I’m the perfect husband. I have a stressful job and I know I sometimes come home a little grumpy. Maybe I’m not the best provider, I’m certainly no millionaire, but we do alright. We have a nice home, two luxury cars, my wife has a closet full of beautiful clothes and my eight year old daughter, Jennifer, has tons of expensive toys.
I also love my wife and daughter very, very much. My wife, Linda, and I have been married for almost twelve years. For the most part, they’ve been twelve wonderful years. The last six months, however; I’ve seen a change in Linda. She’s been very irritable and, instead of me being able to let off a little steam after work, I have to listen to her bitch about something or another.
Another area we’ve been having a problem in is the bedroom. I’ve always tried hard to keep our love life spontaneous and exciting. It seems lately though, nothing seems to please Linda. She has not been in the mood lately or she has the preverbal headache. Little by little, I’ve been getting frustrated, with her, and with our marriage as a whole.
I started going over things in my mind at work when I had a minute or two and as I started putting two and two together, I was coming up with three, Linda, me, and a lover.
I wondered if it was possible. I’d tell myself no, she would never do that to me, but then I would think, for what I know about affairs, all the symptoms were there. I thought of hiring a private detective, but I had no evidence, all I had were suspicions, and certainly nothing to warrant the cost of a P.I.
So, I started to investigate on my own. I did little things like call the house in the middle of the day. Sometimes she would be home and sometimes not. I got a hold on an old, outside, surveillance camera and mounted under the eve of the garage with and tape unit inside the garage. I wanted to see if any strangers were coming to the house, but after two weeks, there was no one.
I did see my wife leave the house sometimes, then tell me she was home all day, but that’s not really proof of an illicit affair.
Time went on and, although I still had absolutely no proof, my suspicions deepened. Her moods were getting worse and we hadn’t made love in over three weeks. I was getting pissed!
Our twelfth anniversary was coming up and I wanted to go out and have some fun. It had been a long time since Linda and I had gone out for a night of dinner and dancing and I was ready.
Linda also seemed to be up for it and I had high hopes of a fun night out, and an even more fun night once we got home. We arranged for Jennifer to spend the night at my folks house so we could really enjoy ourselves with no time restraints.
We went to Linda’s favorite restaurant and had a nice time, although Linda was still a little quiet. She looked like she was more anxious to get on the dance floor so, after dinner, we went a little place were Linda and I used to dance the night away years ago.
I’m not a bad dancer, if I do say so myself, in fact, that’s one of the things that brought Linda and I together. We got a table for two, a couple of drinks, and then it was on the dance floor. We were both having a great time.
After we were both a little tired after dancing for almost forty five minutes straight, Linda excused herself to go to the ladies room. I watched her graceful walk as she left. I thought I also saw her make eye contact with a good looking guy sitting at a table in the back all by himself.
I thought it was strange that a guy would come here by himself, but then I thought, like Linda, his date was most likely in the ladies room.
I watched for my beautiful wife to return. Again, as she walked past him, I could swear I saw them both grin to each other. I was starting to get suspicious again wondering if they knew one another.
Linda sat down and asked me to get her another drink. Rather than get up and go to the bar, I happened to catch one of the bar maids and orderd us both another. I looked back over my shoulder and saw that guy was still sitting alone. He was, most certainly, there by himself.
Just as our drinks came I saw Mr. lonely walk up to our table. He looked straight at Linda. “May I have this dance?” he asked her.
I piped right up. “No thanks,” I said.
He looked at me and said, “I was talking to the lady.”
Just then Linda chimed in. “Harry,” she said, “you’re being rude.”
“I’m being rude? Let me explain something. This guy just walked up and asked my wife to dance with out asking my permission. That’s not only being rude, it’s being extremely disrespectful. If he had come to me and asked if I mind that he ask you, I would have probably said okay, but now…not a chance in hell.”
“Harry,” she said with a edge to her voice, “we’re married but you don’t own me. I’m not you slave and if I want to dance with him, I will.”
“Now you get this straight,” I said getting more and more angry by the second, “this guy was rude and showed me no respect by passing me up and asking you directly, to dance. That’s one thing. If you go ahead and dance with him against my wishes you are, not only showing a flagrant disrespect to me, but to our marriage as well.”
“Harry, I just want to have some fun.” she said.
“Linda it’s our anniversary, I want to have fun too, but with you, and sitting here watching you dance with someone else is not my idea of fun, especially when I’ve asked you not to dance with him. Now you’re right, I don’t own you and I can’t stop you from dancing with him, but if you do, you better get him to take you home because I’ll be gone.”
I could see the anger in her face, I was surprised she couldn’t see the same in mine. “Well I’m going to dance with him and we’ll talk about this when I come back,” she said.
The jack-ass had a smirk on his face as he stretched his hand out for her to take as she rose up from her chair and they walked out to the dance floor together.
I’m sure they didn’t even see me leave because I was out the door before they even started dancing. I was already six blocks from away when my cell phone rang.
“Where the hell are you?” asked Linda in a very contrite voice.
“I’m on my way home to pack a bag, why?”
There was a pause. “What the hell are you talking about…pack a bag, where are you going?”
“I don’t know yet, all I know is I’m getting the hell away from you,” I said.
“You can’t be serious, Harry, it was just a dance, one lousy dance. You’re going to throw twelve years of marriage down the drain over a dance?”
“It has nothing to do with a dance, Linda. Why would you ever want to stay with a man you don’t respect? I told you at the table that was what this was all about. I’ll be honest, I haven’t caught you, but I’m pretty sure you’re cheating on me. I suspect with the jack-ass you just danced with. I saw the look you guys gave each other when you went to the bathroom. When he came over to our table he gave me the same amount of respect a guy would give to the husband of a woman he’s fucking…none.”
“Harry,” she said, now with a softer voice, “I would never cheat on you, why would you even think that?”
“You got to be kidding. We haven’t made love in over three weeks! When we do your heart’s not in it. You’ve been short tempered and grumpy for the last six months. If you’re not having an affair you’re doing one hell of a good imitation of it.”
There was a silence from the other end of the phone. Finally…”I’m sorry Harry, I didn’t realize we were drifting so far apart. Please, just come back and pick me up, we’ll talk about this.”
“Nope, I’ve had it, at least for now. I told you if you dance with that guy you would have to find your own way home and I meant it. I’m pulling in our drive right now. I’ll be out of here by the time you get home. I’m not sure where I’m going or how long I’ll be gone. I’m not even sure I’m coming back. If you are having an affair maybe you should just go to him and forget about me.”
“Honey, please believe me, I’m not having an affair. Please, look I’ll grab a cab home, but please, just stay there until I get home. We have to talk this out. I’ll be home shortly.” She hung up.
I pulled into our drive, went up stairs, and packed a bag. I was out of the house in ten minutes flat. I wondered if she was really going to take a cab home or if jack-ass would drive her so I drove down the block, turned off my lights, and waited to see. About twenty minutes later a Yellow Cab pulled into the drive, Linda got out and ran into the house. I saw what I wanted to see so I took off for a motel.
Almost immediately my phone started to ring again. I turned it off. I still had no proof of infidelity, but I had very strong suspicions. I was almost positive Linda and the guy she danced with knew each other. I thought now might be the time for that private detective. If I wasn’t home, she may go to him for consoling.
The next day I went through the Yellow Pages and found the P.I. with the best ad. I went down to his office and gave him a retainer. After that I went into the office. My secretary told me to call my wife immediately. She said Linda had called twenty times already and something was definitely wrong. I told her Linda and I were having problems. I was not going to return Linda’s calls and, for now, if she calls back, to tell her I will call her when I’m good and ready. I also called the receptionist in the front of the building and told her not to let Linda come back if she should come by. I wanted to give the P.I. a chance to see what he could come up with. Now it was just a waiting game.
A little later that afternoon I got a call from Andrea, our neighbor. I knew it would be about Linda but I didn’t want to seem rude so I took her call. “Harry,” she started, “Linda told me what happened. She also told me you suspect her of cheating on you. I’ve lived next door from you guys for years, I believe I would know if Linda was cheating on you and I have never seen any evidence of that. Harry, she knows dancing with that guy was wrong. She said she got angry because you said she couldn’t dance with anyone, but she thought about what you said and she knows you were right. She loves you, Harry, if you don’t know that, I do.”
“Andrea, thanks. I think you know me well enough to know it wasn’t only the dance that got me so upset. Our marriage has been falling apart for the last six months. I have tried and tried to pull things together but it seems the more I did the further apart we were. That night dancing was just the last straw. I haven’t decided yet, just what I’m going to do.”
“Please Harry, please talk to her”
“Andrea, do me a favor, tell her I’ll call her at the end of the week. I still have some thinking to do.”
“Okay Harry,” she said, “I’ll tell her but please, please call her then, will you promise me, please?”
“I promise,” I told her. We said our good byes and it started me thinking again. Andrea and her husband, Don were good friends. I can’t picture Andrea lying to me. If Linda was cheating on me, she was being very discrete about it.
I waited until that Friday. It had been five days since I hired the private investigator. I called him for a complete report. It was very boring, not one thing to indicate Linda had a boyfriend or that she was cheating on me at all. He told me he had investigated a lot of cheating wives, some were extremely cunning but he could always tell if they were cheating. He told me to stop the investigation right now and save my money.
I thanked him and decided to call Linda. Her voice was weak and shaking when she answered. “Hello.”
“It’s me,” I said. “Are you okay, you don’t sound too good.”
There was a short pause. “Harry, I just don’t know what I’m going to do if you don’t come back us. I’ve tried to stay strong for Jennifer’s benefit, but all I do is cry. They say you don’t know what you’ve got until you lose it, that’s so true, Harry. I guess I just started to take you for granted. Harry, I’m so sorry, so very, very sorry. You were right, I should have told that guy I was with my husband. I showed you no respect and I don’t know why because I do respect you, respect and love you. I swear, Harry, if you give me another chance I’ll never make that mistake again…never!
“Okay, okay,” I said, “just stop talking.”
“My God,” she almost broke down, “you’re not coming back are you?”
“Yes, I am,” I said. “I just don’t need any more apologizing, that’s all. I have to go to the motel after work and get my stuff but I’ll be home tonight.”
“God, oh God, thank you,”
I still wasn’t sure I was doing the right thing. I was still pissed and I still had my suspicions about that guy she danced with, but both my neighbor, and the P.I. I hired were sure she wasn’t cheating. There was also more than just Linda and me to think about, there was Jennifer too.
After work I picked up my clothes and went home. Jennifer came running and almost tackled me at the door. She asked where I had been. I explained I had been out of town for a few days. She obviously knew nothing of our problems. Linda was right there too. She put her arms around me and showered me with kisses. I kissed her back, passionately. I still loved her. In the end that was the driving force behind me going back home, I still loved my wife.
That was a little over a year ago and married life has been wonderful again. Linda was, again, the woman I married, both in and out of the bedroom. A couple of months ago she gave me a surprise birthday party, a holiday we hadn’t celebrated in many years, although we had always celebrated hers.
Last night was our thirteenth wedding anniversary. We went out for dinner, and the theatre. We then went home and made love all night long. To this day I don’t really know if she was cheating on me or not. I’ll probably never know for sure; I do know I’m glad I decided to come back home.