I think it’s safe now. I can write this post. I have been holding inside since December, yes December! And since this has been a pretty intense place to be as of late, even for me, I thought I might bring a little levity to our conversation…and while the story is silly the message as always is about appreciation, but first, the story.
“Where will we go? What will we do? Should I just pack up the minis and leave now? I can’t believe he would do this to us. To me. To us.”
My heart was beating a million miles a minute and I was shaking as I lay there in the dark listening to his breathing while he slipped deeper and deeper away into dreamland. It was 3:30 in the morning and my world was collapsing around me…
The holidays tend to be crazy in our household, just like everywhere. We end up having lots of parties to attend and people to see and while it’s fun it can be taxing just like anything else. I am a person who the more tired and run down I become, my sensitivity and insecurity levels increase. Issues from my past slowly creep back in and set up shop in mind, so when KSP rolled in at 2:30 am on a Wednesday night after his third holiday party that week, I was sleeping on the couch in my insecurity and sensitivity shop.
He was acting funny. I could see the light from his phone reflected in the bathroom window and while I knew he was tipsy, he was taking too long. Silent alarm bells started to ring in my gut. When he made to the bed, I casually asked him how his night was. He said it was fun and they had gone to a bar and played pool, and sang Karaoke. He and his buddy had apparently killed it and everyone loved their rendition of “Sweet Child of Mine.”
Ok, so maybe I am overreacting, I thought to myself. Minutes ticked by as he leaned over his phone. Yet again, the phone. Grrr…what is going on!? Who is he texting or reading about at 2:30 am?
“What are you doing?” I asked not quite as casually this time. “Why are you on your phone?”
“I am untying my shoes.” he said back to me half irritated half surprised by the tone in my voice. Too tired to care, he laid down next to me.
I could smell the alcohol. I hate that smell. It reminds me of days long ago, long long ago but never so far away, and in this case, it only added to my mood.
Minutes ticked by and I could see the glow from his iPhone. Still lit from his “untying of his shoes.”
“Please,” I thought quietly, “who uses the phone light to untie their shoes for 5 minutes?”
As his breathing deepened, my mind was racing and my self-sabotage gene was taking the reins.
Don’t do it. Don’t grab the phone. Don’t be crazy. But what if you’re right? it only takes one night. One text. One action for everything to change.
I grabbed the phone and with hands shaking, I typed in the code.
I could see the text message icon. I touched it and there is was. What I was dreading but knew I would find. A text message to his assistant that read, “Sleep tight. You make my dreams come true.”
I almost threw up. I scrolled through the rest of his history and found nothing indicating any past activity, so there it was, it was tonight. I was right. Half relieved I wasn’t crazy but mostly devastated.
What should I do? Should I wake him. My entire body was on-fire. I know we had been busy lately. Wrapped up in the kids, not connecting as much as we should. But “You Make My Dreams Come True.” How could he say that another woman, he said this to me! We were happy mostly. We don’t always agree but who does?
It happens all the time in Hollywood. The husband leaves his wife and kids for a new younger model, and sometimes she literally is a model. But in this case, we were the cliche.
I ran through all the scenarios in my mind as the clock ticked away. Would we leave? Should he leave? Would we do joint-custody? Would I go sleep in the other room and deal with this in the morning? I knew I wouldn’t ever sleep so who was paying the penalty there, me. Hmmm….screw it.
“Wake up!” I yelled at him in a half whisper, half growl.
“Wake up!” This time with even more intensity. He was literally sleeping like a log. Not moving, not responding. Fine, I will help you along I though defiantly.
I leaned over and shook his shoulder. “Wake up!” I whispered again become increasingly frustrated, alarmed and frantic.
“What’s going on” he croaked groggily trying to come to terms with what was happening.
“Are you having an affair?” I asked quietly, feeling like I would pass out from the adrenaline now coursing through my system.
“What?” he whispered trying to make sense of what I was asking.
“Are you having an affair, emotional or otherwise?” I repeated running low on patience.
“No….what, no?” He said as he continued to attempt to compute why we were having this conversation at 3:30 am.
“Why are you texting your assistant “You Make my dreams come true?!” I demanded, trying to maintain my whisper but with my voice graduating to a higher octave.
“Karaoke Dream,” he replied.
“What!? Karaoke Dream? Wake up!” I knew from his response that he was still half asleep. We have this joke that started one night when he fell asleep and started talking. He was having a “hard-wired in Greek” moment. He was only half awake, but it was my intention to help him come fully awake.
I repeated my earlier question but got to the point.
“Are you having an affair with your assistant? Why are you texting her “You Make my dreams come true?!”
By now I could tell he was fully awake. He was sitting up, looking at me quizzically as he tried to figure out what I was talking about and suddenly, he said, “Hall & Oates, Shannon. The song, “You Make my Dreams Come True. We sang it tonight. What are you talking about?”
I grabbed my own phone off the nightstand and googled the song. I loved Hall & Oates as a kid but couldn’t get the tune into my head, ironically the only song that did come to mind was “Private Eyes.” And there it was. “You Make my Dreams Come True.”
“Why did you text her at 2:30 in the morning?” I asked still burdened by the language in the text, the time, the reference.
“I took a cab ride home with a homeless guy so she was just making sure I made it ok, and then because we sang that song together, I sent her that text.” he said still in awe that we were talking about this and also taken aback by my reaction.
In that moment, I felt my whole body relax.
“I would never do that to you. To us. I love you. You and the kids are my world.” he said soothingly and I wilted back onto the bed.
By now it was 4:30 am. E would surely be up soon, so we lay there with his arms around me as the light crept through the cracks around our shades. I thought about how in many ways how my reaction was tied into my own insecurities about my role in our relationship. How I focus so much on the minis, our life, our family but not as much on us, on him.
The next day, we spoke more frequently. I thoughtfully emailed him the list of Top 100 Love song titles he should never EVER text to another woman, no matter what the context and we have since been on a few date nights. I have also had to cop to the story of breaking into his phone several times, but that’s ok, because I did do that, and I am glad I did in some ways. While I did not enjoy those 2 hours, it was a good reminder of how much I love my husband and how much I want us to work for forever. How we need to take care of our family but also us. Each day, I am grateful for my minis and KSP. To have them, to remember this, makes today and everyday ‘MyNewFavoriteDay.” Now, I have to go text my husband, ‘You Make My Dreams Come True.” 🙂
Have you ever had an experience where you thought everything was going horribly wrong, but it did not and yet it gave you new appreciation for what you have?
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