I'll never forget that moment. I was standing in my cute, little, suburban kitchen holding my sweet, 4-month-old baby girl with her back against my chest, pudgy little legs dangling in front of me, smiling at her dad, when he looked away from her precious face and into my adoring eyes, mouthing the words, "I have feelings for someone else."
My heart stopped. What? Wait a minute. We have it all. We're college sweethearts. We were meant to be together. We have a 30-year mortgage on a split-foyer house, a gently used Volvo station wagon in the driveway, a loyal farm-raised golden retriever, a scrumptious two-year-old little boy and a beautiful baby girl. It's the American dream.
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"What do you mean you have feelings for someone else?" Suspect An Affair? Don't Turn Into A Spy
My life's trajectory changed in that second. After handing my innocent, baby girl off to her pitiful and confused ("I'm not sure what I want; I need time.") father, I fled. Minutes later, I found myself nestled from the rain, warm in my Mom wagon, crying in my church parking lot. God, how can this be happening?
My biggest fear had come true. As a child of divorce, I had been determined to do this right — set on having an intact, nuclear family for my future kids. I married this guy because I thought he was solid. The self-proclaimed staunch Republican, former president of the Ronald Reagan high school fan club that led me from my liberal, crunchy granola, California family all the way to Virginia.
Despite the red flags that tried to slap me in the face back in my college days (I should have listened to my mom!), I took heed to the happily married, older ladies at work. They proudly advised, "Conservatives make better husbands. They have family values."
Ha! In 1997, just months after bringing a second child into the world, this particular GOP card-holder kicked those family values to the curb.
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It took weeks to get the whole truth, but alas, he was in love with a newly married, daughter of a preacher, female firefighter he conveniently bunked just several feet away from during his 24-hour adrenaline-rush shifts. They were soulmates, of course. He loved me, but he was in love with her. 11 Subtle Signs You're On The Verge Of An Affair
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