My fantastic friend, Crazy Kat, blogged recently about the dilemma of to tell or not to tell.
I like to think I would mostly tell a betrayed spouse if I was their friend.
But I have a friend I have never told. For reasons including that I feel sure she does not want to know (serious state of denial) and that I am not first hand 100% sure. I’m pretty sure.
But, the evidence is circumstantial.
However, as someone who desperately wishes someone had told me, years earlier (but they all deny knowledge – even his best mate denies knowing, but I now know he did know right near the end of the Leanne affair, but lied to me about it) I think knowledge is power.
And my other proviso is health. I have been fighting a cancer battle this year, directly caused by contracting an STI (actually, two…) from his riding his whores bareback.
I deserved to be able to protect myself, and you can’t without that knowledge.
His affair, his lies, his secrets, his pleasure were all more important than my life.
The mother of his children.
The woman who loved him hard. Ran all the life admin, milked, parented, cooked, cleaned, paid the bills, did the accounts, carried out the shopping, laundry, etc. The whole shebang.
I discuss some of this with CK in the comments about tell, or don’t tell. The fury and … disappointment is such an understatement … utter devastation at him exposing me to these infections is still huge.
I grew up and discovered my father was cheating on my mother, with men, in the 70s and early 80s. Again, a weak man who was eventually exposed. In the early AIDS era in NZ, 1984.
No confession. Forced out of the closet by an attempted extortionist.
It was terrifying.
I thought my mother was going to die. Every time she phoned me at uni for the next three years, I would suck in my breath, exhaling only when I realised she wasn’t phoning me to let me know she was HIV+.
As such, sexual health has always been a gigantic priority. And genuine fear.
I asked Rog from day one to ensure he promise me should he ever cheat, that he wear condoms.
Of course, not cheating would be preferable.
But don’t risk my health.
Oh, the irony!
Lying in a gynaecologist’s rooms, getting a full STI screen, in your 40s, having lived cleanly, one committed sexual partner ever, educating teens about love and safe sex. Committed. Faithful. Trusting. The silent tears streamed down my horizontal face, soaking the exam table.
I wasn’t ashamed. I did nothing wrong. I communicated and trusted. But he yelled at me angrily when I told him we needed to get tested.
“She’s clean! So hygienic! And not sleeping with anyone else!”
Someone skipped sex ed, right?
When I got my results, his face went completely white. He was horrified. Chlamydia and HPV. Along with a common infection, gardnerella.
I felt truly disgusting. Filthy. Tainted. Ruined even.
Thanks for sharing, Leanne.
On a related note, about humaning, today at work, I was praised time and time again for my compassion, thanked by several clients for my patience, guidance and understanding. It is inherent, to be kind. To help people, but even I admit, I am kinder, more forgiving and understanding than ever since this horrendous journey began.
Stolen from Totally Caroline’s Instagram. It spoke to me about the level of pain I, and many if you readers here have and are enduring. And to never forget who we are. Trusting, loving, kind people who believed the best in others.