In 2003, after nearly 14 years of marriage, Julie Metz learned that her husband Henry had been cheating on her with multiple women. Shattering to any wife, news of his infidelity hit Metz particularly hard—Henry had passed away six months prior. The revelation of his rampant adultery—including a three-year affair with a close family friend—dealt Metz a second, equally wounding blow. In her memoir, Perfection: A Memoir of Betrayal and Renewal, Metz recounts the aftermath of this revelation and chronicles her path to self-renewal and rediscovery of both love and trust.
Along the way, she confronts her husband's mistress, including the ostensible family friend, Cathy. Metz also takes on the project her husband left unfinished: a book on the subject of umami, a Japanese word used to describe perfect flavor in a food dish, and discovers her own definition of perfection falls far outside the manic relationship she'd had with Henry.
We spoke with Metz about her experiences and solicited her advice for coping with loss of a partner—whether to death or deception—and how to rediscover trust and love.
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