Inez is a sweet older lady. Married for 37 years, she and her husband Carlos loved each other.
“…Love you to the moon and back!” was a ‘thing’ they would say to each other about the love they had, unaware that the moon was turning and someone was headed off…for awhile anyway.
Inez was a realtor and Carlos was a professor. Together they had 3 children and 5 homes: 1 main house, 1 summer home, and three rentals. One to give each of their children when they were old enough…or when they both passed away as inheritance.
Then as the kids all hit the late teen years, along came the woman. She is nameless on here and nameless to anyone that would consider being involved with a married man, but she stole the heart of Carlos. Maybe because he was bored, or feeling ‘old’ or ‘forgotten’ but this woman flirted with Carlos and Carlos fell hard.
Something inside him, perhaps that feeling of being young, a feeling that had ‘died’ was now bubbling alive and thriving whenever this woman was near. He loved how he felt when he saw her and he had to have more of it.
Soon he was disappearing at night and then one day, he packed up his bag and told Inez he was leaving their home to go live with this new woman. He told Inez that he still loved her but he had to be with this woman because she was who he was supposed to be with. He told his kids he’s not leaving the family, he’s just going to be with a new woman.
Everyone was shocked. Dumbfounded. How does this happen? Does he realize what he is giving up? Carlos was a good Catholic man. He was a family man. He was a man other men looked up to as their mentor of what a family man looks like.
Inez, also a Catholic woman, cried and prayed and cried and cried. She visited the priest at her parish so often she was sure they would kick her out. She knew so many people were hurting in this world and in a small way felt silly and selfish that she was asking for help with one man. But that didn’t stop her from praying for her own family.
How did this happen she wondered? Did I not love him enough? Did I not offer him enough sex? Was I lazy in our relationship? She racked her mind and brain over and over, with repeated thoughts of what she did wrong or what she could have done differently?
Turns out it was none of these. After losing her self-confidence and hiding in a hole for over a year, Inez admits she began to regain pieces of herself that she lost. It made her realize: Carlos and his affair had very little to do with her.
Was she a perfect wife? “Hardly…” she modestly laughs today. But she was strong and she was determined that somehow, someway, her husband would come home and she would keep her family together.
The Time Lost:
Carlos was gone three years with that lady. During that time, Inez found her footing, got a job, went back to work, started socializing without her husband and just got on with her life.
Over those three years, Carlos lost his long time job and then a few more jobs went by the wayside before their homes all went into default and foreclosure and even Inez had to move out of their dream home and into a rental.
I asked her, “Was it hard to leave your home?”
Her eyes welled up with tears. Yes. “Pretty shitty” was the words the 60+ year old Inez used.
But she never lost her will to find happiness in her family and friends that stood by her. She kept her chin up and knew deep in her heart that God had a plan, he would help her forgive and all would work out the way he intended.
Then after three years long years of being apart, Carlos slowly began to reach out to Inez. Keeping Inez on the phone a little longer…talking a little longer. He even spent a little more time talking to her when he stopped by to pick up something from her new home. And then, little by little, Inez opened her door to him.
“Every time he showed up on my door,
I had two choices…
tell him to go *!!* himself
welcome him in for a soda…”
The revengeful part of her wanted to kick him in the ass and slam the door, but they shared so many memories and time together, the compassion in her led her to invite him in for a drink. Because, as she says, “I can forgive. That’s what Jesus would have done.”
And she added, “But I did it with a smile!!”
She shared that they began getting together more and more. They ate dinner together. They watched movies. They laughed. They were old friends reconnecting. And during this time Inez, still angry at the past, did her best to try and treat him like Jesus would have treated him saying, “Life is short, if I stay angry with him and never forgive him, the only one I’m hurting is myself.”
Inez and Carlos very soon connected anew and turned their marriage back to being stronger than ever!
Where did that woman go that entangled Carlos to leave his family? Inez doesn’t know and never asked saying, “It doesn’t matter, I have my husband back…she is nothing to me.”
“A Good Marriage is
Built with Patience,
sewn together by grace,
laced with kindness
and surrounded by faith.”
When you wake each morning, remember You Do Have Choices. It’s your choice, to be happy, sad, angry or full of love. Do you want to be bitter or angry? Or do you want solutions that will keep your marriage and family together? Every decision you make leads you down a certain path. If things aren’t going well and you don’t know what to do, seek help. Reach out to me (below) But don’t wait. Don’t sit in muck. Do something to change it.
Do not give up on your marriage. There is hope.
I am here for you, to help. Email me any time with questions, problems, interview suggestions or article ideas you want me to do, tape, write about and post here. Or if you have a gathering you’d like me to speak to. Be it a women’s group, church gathering, or other function. Let’s bring marriage back to a place of kindness, teamwork and love. What we do passes on to all generations.
Help make that positive change today.
Email me: TheWifeExpert @ gmail . com (take out the spaces)