I suspected that my wife was a liar, but then I discovered what happened, and it broke my heart.
Gail and I had been happily married for five years when I started suspecting that she had a lover. I was devastated. I loved my wife, and I didn’t want to lose her, but the signs were clear.
I’d noticed that Gail would quickly hang up her phone when I walked into the room, and worse of all, things were vanishing from our house — valuable things I knew she loved. She was preparing to leave me and was slowly stripping our house of everything she wanted.
The last year had been hard on us. I had lost my job because of the pandemic and was forced to find odd jobs online, and sometimes I did some work as a handyman around our neighborhood.
Money was short, and we relied more and more on Gail’s salary as a lab technician. Thankfully, she didn’t get sick, and she managed to do a few hours of overtime which kept us in room and board.
I knew the situation was placing an enormous burden on her, and I tried to be as loving and attentive as possible. When I wasn’t working I did all I could around the house and I even became a reasonable cook.
But no matter what I did, Gail had changed. She was distant, and sometimes I caught her looking at me oddly. The final straw was when I saw her putting her diamond earrings in her handbag.
I was furious. Who was she wearing those earrings for? I was determined to find out. That night I made dinner, and for dessert, I splurged on her favorite red velvet cake from an expensive bakery.
Trust is the cornerstone of every marriage.
When Gail arrived from work, I suggested she dress up for our anniversary dinner. “Put on those diamond earrings I gave you for our second anniversary, honey,” I said. “You know how much I like seeing you wear them!”
I was bitterly gratified to see Gail look surprised and frightened. She gave a little laugh. “Babe, I don’t even know where the earrings are and I’m too tired to start looking for them at this hour!”
“You know where they are, Gail,” I told her coldly. “And so do I.”
Gail looked at me with her eyes wide with what I was sure was guilt. “You know?” she stammered. “How? I mean… Where…”
“Where?” I asked. “I can’t tell you exactly where, but I know they are at your lover’s house!”
“My lover?” gasped Gail. “Are you insane? I don’t have a lover!”
“Then where are the earrings?” I screamed. “Where are the silver napkin rings and the silver tea set your grandmother gave us for our wedding?”
Gail’s eyes were filled with tears. “You…You know about those?”
“Tell me, Gail,” I said. “Tell me everything. Who do you talk to on the phone? Who is your lover? I have the right to know!”
Gail looked me in the eye. “Yes, Steve, I guess you do have the right to know. The person I talk to on the phone is your mother.”
“My mother?” I asked, aghast.
“I’m sorry, Steve, but she and I thought it would be easier this way,” Gail said. “She’s been sick, and since she lost her job she has no insurance…”
“Why didn’t you tell me?” I cried. “I would have done something…”
“You are already doing all you can,” Gail said gently. “And the missing things, including the earrings, I sold them and sent your mother the money.”
“She’s ill?” I asked. “What’s wrong? Is she OK?”
“She’s getting the treatment she needs, and the earrings will pay off the last of her medical bills,” Gail said. “I just don’t know if WE are going to be OK. How could you think I’d cheat on you?”
I looked at this wonderful woman who had sacrificed so much for me and I fell on my knees, just as I had when I asked her to marry me. “Gail, I love you so much, I thought…I thought you’d stopped loving me. Forgive me!”
My wonderful, kind, loving wife drew me to my feet and put her arms around me and I knew that for us it really was ‘for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.’
What can we learn from this story?
- Don’t presume the worse until you know what’s really going on. Steve imagined Gail was cheating on him, but she was only trying to spare him from worry.
- Trust is the cornerstone of every marriage. Gail’s secrecy led Steve to doubt her fidelity, but then he realized she loved him.
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