It all began on a summer’s eve

It all began on a summer’s eve in July 2017 when my husband told me that he had slept with my sister and that he was leaving me. Which news was worse is debatable. If his aim was to cut me deepest, he couldn’t have chosen better timing. I had recently been fired from my job because of excessive panic attacks which led to hospitalization at a local mental health institution. Additionally, I had been brutally raped about a month prior by a man he had introduced me to as a friend. Earlier that day, I had been informed by the states attorney’s office that there would be no prosecution for the crime – even though a handgun and a minor child had been involved. I already felt destroyed. His actions ensured I would stay that way for a long time.

After being attacked by one of his friends, he gave me the impression that he didn’t believe me. Instead of offering comfort, he asked to see the police and medical reports. I obliged him – and then I decided to take some space for myself by staying with a friend for a few weeks. Upon my return to our marital home, I discovered he had packed up his belongings, all of our power tools, and most of the furniture – including our bed.

He informed me that he was moving in with another friend (one who also has been accused of rape) and that we were to do a “trial separation” knowing full well that with no job, I had no means of supporting myself. This did not seem to trouble him. It also did not seem to concern him that my mental state was fragile, at best. My husband was the person I should have been able to turn to in times of distress and he was abandoning me. Needless to say, it was all too much.

So when he “confessed” to me about having relations with my beloved sister, it pushed me beyond any capacity to cope. It was a secret he had held for years and he seem relieved to be rid of it. The only relief I felt was finally having a logical explanation for why my sister suddenly pulled away from our relationship – a mystery that had caused me great distress. That single thing finally made sense.

But his decision to leave me and our little family didn’t make sense to me at all. I’m not sure it ever will. When I’m feeling generous towards him, I tell myself it was a lapse in his judgement. When I’m not feeling so, it becomes a gaping flaw in his very character. To leave someone life had already struck so low (and not just anyone – his wife, his bride, mother to his child) was an abhorrent and villainous thing to do. I literally had died for him. By contrast, he could not stand by me in my most vulnerability. Instead, he made me even more vulnerable to the cruelties of the world.

One day, I hope to find forgiveness for him in my heart. It would help if he asked for it, but I suspect he felt so justified in leaving that it has never once occurred to him the extent of what his actions did to me and how he forever altered the course of my life, my relationships, and my sense of security in the world.



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1 Comment

  1. Goodness, this all seems incomprehensible. Not that I don’t believe you, just that it seems more than anyone should have to handle in a life time. I have had struggles with a handicapped child and more, but nothing like this. You can rest assured that if he had an affair with your sister, it is not your fault on any level. That is off limits no matter the circumstances as much as having sex with a child. Anyone who would do it has character problems regardless of what was happening between you. It should help you let go and move on, though.This is not someone you can ever trust, but there are people out there you can. Rest and get centered. You are not the person who has been betrayed and abused. You are still you. They cannot change that. I’ll keep a good thought for you.


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