Kim and John were 19 when they met. They married eight months later. She says he was "very good looking" and they had "a lot of fun" together. John went into the Army. When he was discharged, he went to work for a phone company.
It wasn't long before Kim suspected he was cheating. "He would hang out at the bar with his co-workers and stay out late. At first, I thought it was a guy thing, but then some of the women from the phone company started hanging out, too. When I asked him about it, he said they were just co-workers. I always had my doubts, but I wanted to believe him."
This went on for many years. Kim says she accepted the situation because by then, she had two daughters, no skills and no proof. But when her doubts became too strong to ignore, they separated. John moved in with some co-workers. Kim took a part-time job delivering newspapers.
"I would go by the house where he was staying, but his car was never there. He said that he parked it in the garage. I believed him."
You know how when there's a new love in your life, you have an overwhelming desire to talk about him or her? Well, John indulged that desire. He started mentioning a particular woman to Kim.
"Why he told me her name I will never know."
Kim looked up the woman's address. One night, after she and a friend had a few cocktails, she went to the woman's house.
"I looked in the garage, and there was my husband's car. It was around midnight. I knocked on the door and asked for John. She told me to get off her property. I could hear whispering behind the door, so I sat on the steps. She told me she was going to call the police. I told her to go ahead.
"Then I decided I was making a fool of myself and no man was worth this, even though we'd been married l5 years. I left and filed for divorce the next day.
"After I filed, reality set in. I didn't have any skills except delivering newspapers, so I did that and took on two other part-time jobs. It took me a long time to get over the deception. Divorce is like death, except John was still there and still with her. But eventually, I pulled myself together."
Kim had help. Tommy, one of John's friends who used to hang out at their house, became a shoulder to lean on. They've been married now for 29 years. She says he brought her back from "the brink."
"Tommy is the most wonderful man in the world. He took on a lot when he married me — two girls, two dogs, a house I was trying to maintain and a lot of bills. I look at him as my guardian angel. I don't know where my girls and I would be if not for him."
As for John, he married the woman Kim caught him with. They divorced nine months later. He's now remarried, and — get this — Kim, Tommy, John and his latest wife are all friends.
"They come here for Easter, Thanksgiving and all the parties for our kids and grandkids. Sometimes we go out for breakfast or lunch. I could hate him, but life's too short to stay angry."
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Photo credit: Picography at Pixabay