By Nicole Johnson, for Six Brown Chicks
I was married to Charles for 4 years; Yvonne had been my best friend since high school.
Last year, I caught Charles and Yvonne in our marital bed.
Here’s what happened.
I’m a traveling nurse, and I frequently work out of town.
At the halfway point of my out-of-state assignment, my supervisor told me that my services were no longer needed, as the surge of expected patients had not arrived.
I was coming home two weeks early, and to be honest, I was excited.
I bought lingerie at the airport to surprise my husband when I got home. After all, his birthday was right around the corner.
The Uber dropped me off in front of my home at a little past midnight. I was dead tired as I dragged my suitcase to the front door. I turned the key, turned off the alarm and dragged my suitcase up the stairs and into our bedroom.
I turned on the lights and found Yvonne asleep, with her arm draped around my husband. He was naked. She was naked. But I was the most vulnerable one in the room.
I picked up the suitcase and hurled it at Charles. The suitcase handle hit Charles in the head, the wheel hit Yvonne in the nose and her blood was everywhere.
Charles, startled, yelled at me: “What are YOU doing here?”
Yvonne apologized frantically, blood trickling from her nose, while she tried to find her clothes and her purse. But Charles just glared at me as a knot formed on his forehead. “What are YOU doing here?,” he demanded again.
And I almost explained myself until I realized that I didn’t have to; I didn’t have to give an explanation about walking into my own home and standing in my own bedroom without phoning him first.
But shifting blame is a classic Charles move—there he was in bed with my so-called best friend, but my AUDACITY to come home two weeks ahead of time was the ultimate sin.
What am I doing here? I thought to myself. I was in a daze; just standing there as if my mind couldn’t register what my eyes were seeing.
Yvonne was my best friend, the shoulder I cried on when I had a miscarriage. “God will bless you with a baby,” she reassured me.
Yvonne was my rock when the cracks began to show in my marriage.
Like that time Yvonne took me to Starbucks and we sat in her car for an hour as I detailed, painfully, how Charles just doesn’t seem to be into me (or our marriage) anymore.
Yvonne sat there with big, honest eyes and reassured me that we were just hitting a rough patch and that Charles would come around. Now I know that Yvonne WAS THE REASON why Charles was being distant from me in the first place.
How long have Charles and Yvonne been playing in my face like this? I wondered.
As Yvonne slithered out of my house leaving dots of blood behind her, Charles told me that his infidelity wasn’t ‘anything serious,’ and that he just slept around because I worked all the time. And, that he specifically slept with someone close to me because ‘she reminds me of you,’ he said, as if I gave him permission to use Yvonne as my stand-in.
I didn’t respond because in that moment I knew Charles wouldn’t be in my life anymore so whatever he said didn’t matter.
I got my suitcase off the bed—Charles flinched out of fear as I grabbed it—and I rolled it back down the stairs. Yvonne was outside without shoes waiting on an Uber, I guess. I walked past her, unlocked my car, threw my suitcase into the trunk and sat there as I my warmed the engine.
Charles was in the doorway, wrapped only in a sheet, begging me to come back inside and talk.
My face was streaked with tears.
I stared at Charles, and I asked myself, could I walk away from him, and from everything in that house that was mine? Yes, I could walk away, and I would be a much better woman if it did it.
As I peeled away from the house, I caught a glimpse of the shoeless Yvonne walking back inside.
I crashed at my parent’s house for a month.
Then I got a lawyer and a therapist.
My therapist told me that I’m not obligated to forgive Charles and Yvonne, and that I should not feel guilty for leaving the marriage.
My focus is repairing myself, to that end, Charles and Yvonne are distant memories. They have both reached out to me, but I have not returned their calls/texts. I don’t need their excuses or apologies; I have taken charge of my closure.
Today I’m happily divorced. I have a new apartment; a stable job assignment and I’ve been on a few dates with a decent guy. I’m still in therapy and I won’t let a failed marriage interfere with my future love blessings.
Going forward, I’ll always choose myself, my sanity and my inner peace—and I’ll do whatever it takes to maintain it.
Thank you for reading.