My husband and I are both over 60. Our four children are in their late 30s and early 40s, and professionals themselves.
My husband travels a lot, and when he said one day he had to go to Davao for a business meeting, for me, it was just another day in the office for him. Two of my women friends suggested we go to Baguio for a little overnight R&R as well, try that new restaurant we heard about, and buy those breads at the country club.
After our sleepover in Baguio, we went to the said restaurant at noon before coming back to Manila. One of my friends went to the bathroom and, after coming back to the table, told me to go fix my makeup as well.
On the way back to my seat, she said I should take a glance at the romantic couple at the partly hidden corner. I did, and guess who I saw? My husband—huddled in the company of a young woman I’d never seen before.
I felt heady and thought I’d faint. I steadied myself and went to their table. My husband could have fainted himself! I asked how his trip to Davao was, introduced myself to the woman cordially, and told her our grown children are probably her age.
Then, I quietly went back to my table with my chest pounding so hard I thought it would burst. I was hurt and humiliated but kept composed. My friends were quiet and behaved like nothing happened. In a few minutes, my husband left with the woman, but not before saying goodbye to me. He said he was heading back to Manila.
When I arrived home that evening, he was in an animated conversation with our two children, who still lived at home, and who didn’t have an inkling of what happened that day.
Once inside our bedroom, I went directly to the bathroom and cried my heart out for a long time. He apologized without me egging him. He said he was so very sorry for what I saw. He swore that the woman didn’t mean anything to him. He said he was grateful I didn’t make a scene at the restaurant and was amazed at how I handled it with so much class and civility. By not embarrassing him in public, he said he really felt like an ass for what he did to me.
I said he made me lose my self-respect this late in our marriage, and that he can leave and do whatever he wants to do with his life. I asked him to stay in the guest room from then on until he has decided what to do. I said that what happened will never be mentioned again.
I don’t know if this was his first affair, or I just did not catch his previous shenanigans.
It’s been 11 months now that I have not spoken to my husband directly. But, surprisingly, he has changed. His travels have waned, he is home every night and, if he has somewhere to go to, he invites me to come along. If he is going to be late coming home, he sends me text messages. He makes me aware of his activities constantly, unlike before when it was a continuing guessing game for me.
But I have reached that stage when I really don’t care anymore what happens to this marriage.
Not many women would have the control you exercised! Imagine seeing your husband in the flesh in a romantic huddle with a woman young enough to be his daughter!
The fact that you didn’t overturn furniture, smash plates, throw liquid at their faces that moment showed how your breeding served you well. Your rage hadn’t turned you at all into a cheap raving fishwife. Brava!
Shirley Bassey must have referred to you in her song “The Greatest Performance of My Life”:
“Tonight, I gave the greatest performance of my life
I never lost control, I played the part so well
That not a single soul could tell that I was lying
But love, if you had been behind the curtain, when it fell
When all the lights were out and I was all alone
You would have seen this actress crying.”
By having proven your worth, you’ve leveraged the new direction of your long marriage to that old creep. You don’t have to care much about your marriage, actually, at this point. Your husband, having realized this late the gem he married, will make sure to be with you till the end—if he knows what’s right for him.
Considering the humiliation he made you go through, he is aware of the sacrifice you’ve made not throwing him to the wolves and not making him go to hell as he did you. He is probably seeing your marriage to him from a completely different perspective now. Because of it, he himself will hold it together and be forever grateful to you that you’ve insulated your children from any embarrassment.
Class truly prevails. In the end, shedding a few buckets of tears and going through truly cringe-worthy moments were well worth it—in saving a marriage.