Last week, we met a couple who worked together, started an affair when they were both married, got married and are now headed toward a divorce because he cheated.
Today, we meet a couple who worked together, started an affair when he was married and got married. But they're not getting divorced. Extra points if you can spot the difference in the two stories.
Tracy and Charlie were co-workers when they met. Charlie told her he was separated from his wife.
Tracy says: "I assumed they were living apart, but I was uncomfortable even with that. If there were any chance of them getting back together, I didn't want to interfere."
It just so happened that Tracy was friends with a psychic. She usually took everything he said with a grain of salt. But when he told her that Charlie wasn't separated, that he was still living with his wife, she confronted him.
"Unfortunately, everything my psychic buddy said was
correct," she says.
Charlie told Tracy that the separation was in the "early stages."
Tracy says: "I told him I wasn't going to be the catalyst that ended his marriage. But my feelings for him were so strong, I couldn't work with him. I ended the relationship and quit to put distance between us.
"A couple of months later his wife called after she found a letter I'd written asking him not to contact me. She wanted me to come over so we could both confront him. I told her I was no longer seeing him. I apologized for ever seeing him, but I sure as hell wasn't coming over to confront anyone. She acknowledged they were having marital problems and would probably be separating."
Four years later (you can't make this stuff up, folks), Tracy went through a tollbooth one day, and Charlie was right behind her. She didn't see him, but he saw her and called. He told her he was divorced — for real. Tracy wasn't about to trust him. She agreed to meet him and told him to bring his divorce papers, HIV status and mortgage papers to their first date.
"Don't ask me why the mortgage papers," she says.
Charlie brought them all.
She says: "We talked all night. He said he hadn't called after his divorce because I had told him not to. He said he never forgot me and prayed for a sign he should contact me. Within days he saw me at the toll booth and took that as his sign."
They started to date. Her friends were "guarded." Her parents were more so. "But he won everyone over," she says. "He had a long chat with my Mom one day. We were married a week later. My Mom died six weeks after that. I feel she was able to let go because she knew I married the right person.
"The first few years were tough because I needed to learn to trust Charlie again. He would call to tell me where he was, return my calls immediately, and tell me everything he was doing. As the years went by my wall came down. He's never disappointed me. We've been married for 16 years and have a son. For Charlie and me, it was all about timing."
Did your relationship that began with an affair have a happy ending? Send your tale, along with your questions and problems to [email protected] And check out my e-books, "Dear Cheryl: Advice from Tales from the Front" and "I'll Call You. Not.