Pictures Never Lie: A Love Story Pt. 06-1

For those of you asking for the sex, this is YOUR Chapter. If there is a magic word in this it is, “communication”. It’s a fact that no two people’s psychological histories are ever the same. Worse, new circumstances always alter the basis for our assumptions. So, happy marriages require that both partners understand the other’s, changing wants, needs and expectations. That demands that each partner be willing to frankly and honestly communicate. That is what is happening here. Read on and maybe you will see where this is leading; PERHAPS. And as usual thank you for your kindness.


My first reaction was alarm when Tom picked me up. For the past 17 years we have had a deep subliminal connection. It is a sort of subconscious link between him and me that we have had since the first day we met. That connection was utterly dead and I was terrified.

I had spent three and a half days doing nothing but soul searching and I had a lot to tell him. I might add that none of it reflected well on me. But if he was unable to get past the simple fact of my cheating I was doomed, no matter what I had discovered about myself.

I got in his car and we drove the 15 miles to the marina. It was a beautiful day and I concentrated on looking away from him out the window. I was afraid of what I might see in his face.

He said nothing to me in the half hour it took to get from our house to the boat.

We have been sailing together for 15 years and so the process of getting it out into the Sound is almost automatic. He does his jobs and I do mine.

We were silent throughout.

I had gone from dread to sheer terror. I was frightened the entire week after those pictures arrived. But I had no idea what fear was like until now. I thought I was going to throw up.

We motored out of the bay and into the Sound and then set the sails. In about twenty minutes we reached a point in the open water where there was no ship traffic. In fact you couldn’t see anything but water for miles around us.

Tom deployed the anchor. The sun was hot, but being out on the water made it pleasant, not uncomfortable.

I was so agitated that I couldn’t stand up any longer. So I sat down on the side bench nearest the navigator’s table. Tom asked me where I wanted to talk. I told him that right here in the sunlight was as good a place as any. I told him that I HAD to know what he was thinking.

He started out by telling me that he could forgive me for my actions with that evil man. He said that he was not happy I had fucked him. But that he could see how I was manipulated into it and that he truly believed that what I had done was an aberration; the result of a rare alignment of malevolent planets.

He cautioned that it had better NOT happen again, which I suppose I deserved but it hurt to hear it anyhow.

My heart sailed into the sky like a kid’s balloon. I would have started to cry with relief except I had vowed to be brave for him and I had important insights that I needed to share.

He turned to me with an oddly forbidding look on his face and said, “Now it’s your turn”.

I had been rehearsing my speech for hours. Except now I was totally tongue tied. I was sitting there looking at the deck without the slightest idea of what to say. So I started in with the obvious.

I said, “I love you. I have loved you from the day I met you. I will never stop loving you. I have thought about what motivated me to act the way I did and I have some ideas that I want to share with you.

But we have always worked through the problems in our life together and I need you to help me with this.”

I asked him, “Do you believe in your heart of hearts that I thought that those pictures were real. That I had no idea you could manufacture “proof” like that?”

He looked at me lovingly and said, “Yeah, I have lived with you long enough to know that you are not exactly a rocket scientist when it comes to digital things. They looked authentic on the surface; even to me. And there is nothing in your entire history that would lead you to suspect the kind of treachery that you were facing.”

I said, “So you agree that I believed that you had betrayed me in the most hurtful way possible.”

He said. “I know how I would feel if I saw pictures of you doing that. I’d be shocked and disheartened beyond any possibility of redemption. It would destroy everything that I held sacred in my life.”

He added, “And before you ask the question I can tell you that I would think that I had never known you in the first place. I recognize that was how you must have felt and I can relate to your state of mind. I would be completely overwhelmed.”

I said with such extreme emotion in my voice that it even surprised me, “That is only part of it.” He looked puzzled.

“It might seem incredible to you, as it now does to me, that I would immediately turn to another man, given how much we have meant to each other.

But I am the PRETTY girl. I have always been able to manipulate men. They’re like dogs to me. All I have to do is give them a little scratch behind the ears, and they eagerly do whatever I want them to do.”

“So I have been conditioned to always look to a man to take care of any unpleasant situations, should they arise. That power over men has made me weak, because, I never learned to swim in troubled water. “

“All my life I have counted on my beauty to insulate me from everything bad in this world. Oh, it was never the actual beauty. But because of my face and figure I have never had to fight my own battles. All I had to do was play the damsel in distress and hordes of white knights would ride to my rescue.”

“I NOW realize how shamelessly I used that ploy.”

“You filled THAT role for me for the past 17 years. And you made my world a haven of peace, contentment and absolute security. I am proud to be your wife and happy to spend a career working in a place where I can be dedicated to making children happy.”

“I am ashamed to say that my dependence on you made me utterly susceptible to somebody smart enough to see that I was hollow inside.”

“So, when I thought you had betrayed me I was adrift in a hurricane. And Murphy was there like the proverbial life raft to save me from drowning.”

“My subsequent actions have convinced me that even though I appear to be a mature woman, I have the personal strength and integrity of a child. Without a man around to protect me I am naïve, fragile and exposed to the dangers of the world. “

“Given my weakness, imagine how alone and frightened I was when you were removed from my life. Then you will understand what drove my actions that week. I was beyond panic stricken and so I naturally turned to Murphy to solve my problems.”

“I was sure you had abandoned me and I was completely lost. I called Murphy because he was YOUR friend, not mine. I thought he could be trusted because YOU trusted him. And he straightaway became my emotional prop in your absence.”

“And before you go to the trouble of pointing it out, I am not missing the fact that I must have associated him with you, since he got through my defenses a lot faster than normal.”

“He had plenty of time in advance to plan the seduction and because I am weak and naïve he easily led me to my downfall.”

“He was totally non-threatening and he seemed to sincerely care about my pain. And let me assure you that I was feeling very, VERY sorry for myself during that period. So his sympathy especially resonated with me.”

“More important, and God forgive me for this, I absolutely hated you for what I thought you had done to me. He kept whispering in my ear that the pictures were only the tip of the iceberg. He said that you had betrayed me numerous times before, but he just didn’t have the proof like he had this time.”

“I would have spoken to you right away if he had not kept waving that ‘proof’ in my face. Every time I suggested talking to you he would drag out a new horror to show me.”

“I know now that he was just keeping me on a leash by stoking the fires of my jealousy. But at the time it seemed like he was the only caring friend I had and I absolutely didn’t know who YOU were.”

“And he always came off as somebody who cared about BOTH of us. He did a masterful job of acting the reluctant and embarrassed friend every time he showed me a new picture, like he was ashamed to be the one to tell me.”

“He left the impression that although he loved you he simply could not sanction your behavior, like he was the moral son dismayed by the actions of his older brother.”

“And because I trusted him I let him lead me into a view of the situation that he had carefully designed to make me as totally dependent on HIM as I had previously been on YOU.”

“You don’t need to tell me. I know that he should never have been able to drive me off course so easily. I should have been steering by my own internal compass and strong enough to make the right decisions. But because I was so dependent on you I couldn’t handle your betraying me and I threw myself into the arms of any friendly face willing to help me cope.”

“IF I had had the courage to stand up for myself I would have immediately involved you in the discussion. You are my husband and you are the person who I had pledged my trust to.”

“I want you to understand that I recognize and accept that it was my lack of personal strength that put me where I am now.”

“And I know that I will have to become a stronger and more independent woman before I will trust myself, let alone ask YOU to trust me. But I have no way of even knowing where to begin building those qualities into my life. That is where I hope you can help me.”

“I want to be better for you because I am sure that without the confidence to face things there will be another time; a time when I will be challenged and fail again.”

Then, realizing what I had just implied I said with horror, “I don’t mean to suggest that I will EVER be unfaithful to you.”

“Experience is the key for me. Ever since I was a teenager I have had every kind of man, old, young, handsome and ugly constantly hitting on me at every public situation, or social event. But from long experience I know what they are doing and I am expert at deflecting them.”

“I thought that I had experienced every conceivable trick a man could pull to get into my pants, but those were like simple flirtations compared to what Murphy did to me.”

“He attacked me through YOU. He knew that you were the center of my life. So when he made me doubt you I was totally lost.”

“I am not an intellectual like you are. I have to experience something in order to recognize it and now that I have experienced Murphy’s kind of deceit I can assure you that I will never be fooled that way again.”

“I know now that I will never doubt you; EVER. But I cannot go through life being so easily manipulated because I lack the strength and moral integrity to think for myself.”

“I would rather die than hurt you again. And I am terrified that I will get pulled into another situation where I do that very thing. So I need to fix the part of me that won’t face unpleasant things. In short I am going to have to learn to cope independent of you.”

Then I turned my sad gaze at him and said hesitantly, “So maybe I need to live by myself for a while until I am confident that I am a grown woman with the courage to do the right thing.”

“I swear to you that I am suggesting this only because I want to grow to be the person you deserve. I am not interested in another man and it would kill me to not be with you.”

“But I want the old bond between us back and there is no other way I can see reestablishing it, except by re-earning your trust.”

“I know I destroyed our special husband and wife connection by my actions. I want to prove to you that you can trust me again. The only way that I can think to do that is by proving to BOTH of us that I can handle life without you.”

He fell back in his seat like I had slapped him. He seemed surprised and I thought I detected a hint of pride in his eyes. He sat for a long time with his hands clasped staring at the deck in front of him.

Finally he said, “What you just said is a very good start. I was afraid that you were going to react to my forgiving you like that meant that we could go back to business as usual. And that was simply not going to happen.”

“I really, honestly, sincerely don’t care if you fucked the guy. Well actually I do A LOT. But I can forgive THAT because I can see exactly how it happened and I believe that you are a lot wiser now.”

“What really hurts is that you semi-fell in love with another man over the short period of one week. The visions of you parading around seductively in front of him and dancing with him while he tenderly held you and then making out with him keep me awake at night. And I have not been able to get rid of the anger that I feel every time I think about it.”

“So, it will take a while, if ever, for me to get over your willingly sharing your special self with that asshole.”

“I can appreciate that he worked very hard to worm his way close to you. But the fact that you fell into the trap so easily is something that I simply can’t understand or forgive right now. And that is what we have to resolve before we can ever get our marriage to the way it was.”

“What you just told me gives me a much better idea of why that was even possible. I realize that you have always been dependent on men.”

“And with a face and body like yours I can understand why men would be falling all over themselves to slay whatever dragons needed slaying. Hell, I have been proud to be your knight in shining armor for the past 17 years.”

“So, I suppose that if I suddenly morphed from white knight into dragon in your eyes, it would be natural for you to turn to somebody else to handle the problem. And it speaks well for you that you recognize that it is your essential lack of personal integrity that is the issue.”

“I can see where you are going to have to build up your self-confidence if you are ever going to be a true other half of this marriage. I also believe that the only way you can grow stronger is if we do NOT fall back into the same old married routine.”

“I want to add that I admire your courage in seeing that; and wanting to take the first affirmative step to solve the problem.”

“To be honest though, I would have taken that step for you since there is no way I can simply ignore the past two weeks.”

Then Tom looked speculatively at me, like he had more to say but wasn’t sure how to bring it up. I thought “Oh shit!!”

He looked seriously at me and said, “Murphy is on the run from the Feds. He has been a very bad boy and as a result he is probably looking at life in a SuperMax.” I gasped. I had no idea I was playing with that kind of fire.

Tom looked even more penetratingly at me and said, “Murphy was planning on setting up housekeeping in Cuba and he told the Cubans that you would have to come along with him as part of his deal.”

Frankly, I didn’t even know what Tom was talking about. I said, “I don’t understand, I don’t know why he would mention my name? Are you implying he thought I would just run away with him to Cuba?”

Tom said, “Apparently that is EXACTLY what he thought. He believed that you were attached enough to him that you would be willing to go along with him to his new residence South of the Border.”

I was more horrified than I have been in my life. I said, “You don’t believe that I would even think of that for a second do you?”

He said, “Apparently Murphy thought it sufficient enough that it was written into his deal with the Cubans, he named your name.”

I said, “I did nothing but dance with the man and make out with him once; well okay, I fucked him once too. But I have been more intimate with the boys I dated in college. In fact he got a lot less from me than my prom date 23 years ago.”

“How in the world would he think I even loved him, let alone love him enough to leave YOU for him? He must have mental problems!”

Tom said, “The mental problems are a given, but keep in mind that you bought most of what he was selling.”

I said, rather indignantly, “I was clinging to him to keep my OWN sanity but that was all there was to it. At best I liked him. But I didn’t love him.”

“I told him after we fucked that it would never happen again, EVER! That was because I loved YOU and only you. I told him that I would always be YOURS no matter what, even if you didn’t want me anymore. I made that clear in no uncertain terms.”

Tom looked at me like I had answered some more important questions for him. He said, “Please understand that there is only one woman in the world for me and that is you.”

“I don’t feel that way because you are so physically attractive. I fell in love with you because I adore that sweet, kind, cheerful giving soul of yours, the one that spends its life nurturing children and her husband.”

“I will never permit any other man to share that part of you. It was the easy intimacy that you so speedily established with Murphy that is killing me.”

“I understand NOW that it was a fundamental weakness that led you into Murphy’s arms. I have to admit that I have plenty of those kinds of flaws myself. So I can certainly relate to your explanation and I am not judging you.”

“More importantly, now that you want to prove that you can be brave. I only love you more for your resolve.”

“I pledge to you that I will be there every step of the way in rebuilding the bond between us and I will never give up on that quest.”

“Nonetheless, I have already made plans to move to another place and I have finalized the decree. All we would have to do is sign it.”

That struck a note of absolute horror. With tears in my eyes I wailed, “You are actually divorcing me?”

He said, “Only if that is what it takes to make you independent. We don’t need to take that final step if we can live apart for the next couple of months and we can be certain to both of our satisfaction that you can cope with life after that.”

“I think that we both realize that the only way you can learn to stand on your own two feet is if I am completely out of the picture, not hovering in the background like a rescue helicopter.”

“We don’t need to get officially divorced in order to do that. If we can live separate lives, totally disconnected, that would probably work too. But you simply cannot assume that I will buffer you from life anymore.”

The old version of me would have burst into tears and then been incoherent for a while. But the new me judiciously considered what he had said. I recognized that I was not going to grow as a person if I was still always in Tom’s shadow. So the living alone was a given.

And I honestly believed that we had agreed on the steps necessary to resolve this crisis. More importantly, I was committed to making our plan work.

We would live apart, totally separate; until I could prove to myself and Tom that I had achieved the necessary confidence and self-sufficiency to cope with life on my own. It would be difficult but Tom would support me in my efforts. However, he would not fight my battles. I knew I could make this work and I was overjoyed at the prospect of proving I could do it.

However, there was another important issue that I wanted to discuss with Tom. Given the fact that he was about to file divorce papers on me, the desire to continue to have sex with my husband probably sounds sad and pathetic. But, I was hoping to keep our physical relationship alive during the separation.

We have never had problems when it came to physical compatibility and I am a very sexual woman. So I wanted to test whether the physical side of our marriage was still operating as it had before.

In my mind those were two separate situations. Good emotional balance in any relationship takes hard work, communication and a refined sense of what the other person is thinking.

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