I’ve been silent as of late. Many, many thoughts racing through my head each and every day. None of which seem post worthy or interesting. Not even interesting to me. And I’m easy to entertain. That sort of scares me.
As I’ve indicated before, I’ve been the work wife. For a long time but we divorced a few years back and haven’t spoken since. Crazy to think of it. The man I let control my life, professional and not, for over a decade has completely disappeared. It’s a good thing. I don’t regret letting him go. I wish I could have found the strength to do it sooner. But alas, that is water over the damn.
My husband has a work wife. I’ve talked about her before. She’s an interesting one. I get along with her and her family just fine. I understand the need for a co-worker that you can completely trust and share everything from personal to work with. I am not involved in my husband’s business. At all. I hardly know the people who work for him. Sad. But our life at home keeps me so busy that I just don’t find the time to meet these people more than twice a year.
The work wife is his business confidant. I don’t believe he intentionally chose a female for this position. He hasn’t been able to hire a competent male…. ever. So the opportunity for a male (work husband??) hasn’t presented itself. And that really doesn’t bother me that he has someone there that understands, wholly, and he can vent those frustrations to or share in the joys of success with. I really am good with that.
They don’t always work on the same projects together but when they do I notice it. I fall by the wayside. I don’t know if he even knows he does it. Two weeks ago they were involved in a very high stakes project together. It was out of town. It happen to be in the same town he grew up in and his parents still live there. As with many times he’s away, I don’t bother him with home life much because I know he’s busy and needs to stay 100% focused on what he’s doing. Most nights he’ll call after he knows the kids are in bed to say hello and tell me, very briefly, how his day was. Of course our day is always “great” (even when it could go down as the worst day ever). Our conversation maybe lasts about 4 minutes and it’s always “good night, I love you!”. If, for some reason, he can’t make that phone call (late night meetings with clients are not out of the ordinary) I can usually expect a text with nothing less than the “good night, I love you!”. It always makes me feel good. He is thinking of us (me). We crossed his mind. Wonderful. There are times when I initiate the text as I’m exhausted and going to bed. I can usually expect a response of much the same.
This particular week I received one phone call and maybe two text messages. The weeks prior he was gone working on a very big project with another woman from his office and I received a phone call every night except one but there was a text just the same. I usually send a good morning text saying we all slept well and wish him luck on his day. The weeks prior I received responses just about every time. The week with the work wife. Nothing. Maybe one, I’d have to look.
I go through my memory bank and try and recall if the work wife project is of any greater value than the previous one. I can’t think of anything. Why is he not responding to me? Why must I be treated so differently when he’s with her?
As the week comes to a close I decide to take advantage of the kids day off of school and take them on a ski trip. While there I get a text that his project was a huge success and he is done early and can’t wait to come home to see us. After I congratulate him I let him know we won’t be home for quite some time. He’s disappointed. He’s homesick and misses me and the kids like crazy. I contemplate taking the kids off the ski hill and going home early. Wait…. I’m not catering to this. We’ll be home later on. The kids earned their ski trip, I’m not pulling them off the hill just because he’s decided he wants to see us. We finish the day on the hill and everyone is excited to see Daddy!
On the way home I get a text that he already picked up the baby and will be waiting for us when we get home. The kids are exhausted and hit the rack quickly. There is a bouquet of roses on the counter. Wait… what? I can count on one hand the number of bouquets this man has purchased for me in the 10 years we’ve been together. Interesting. I thank him with a kiss and a hug. But it’s not genuine. I feel bad. I’m excited for the flowers but not excited for our talk. Our daughter quickly decides the flowers are for her because her Daddy was gone so much. He agrees to allow her to take one of the roses for her room. Cute 🙂
The wine is poured. I admire the flowers as I’ve moved them to the sofa table near us. We discuss his project and the ski trip. Finally it happens. He didn’t know we planned a ski trip. My perfect opportunity to jump down his throat about not communicating with us AT ALL for the week. My perfect opportunity to blast him with questions as to why this week with the work wife was so oddly different than the past 2 weeks with just another female co-worker. I can see in his eyes how relieved he is to be home. I can see how happy he is to be in his chair, fire crackling in the fireplace. Dogs at his feet. Kids tucked into bed and snoring away. I can’t do it. I can’t bring myself to say a word. Great. Right back to where I was not so long ago. Afraid of his reaction to my feelings. I decide to take a moment to digest what happened this week. I will bring this up but not yet.
We watched TV in silence for a few moments. I’m about to ask a question or two that will lead into this God forsaken conversation when he starts talking. He tells me he brought the work wife to his parents house for dinner the last night. Taken by surprise I ask the only thing I could… “why?”. He swears up and down that he told me he was going there for dinner one night and that he was planning on inviting her so she didn’t have to get dinner alone. There is no way I would have missed this information. It was not in text or email form and he knows for certain he mentioned it to me in conversation. I can say without a doubt that I would have picked up on this. I was trying to give him the benefit of the doubt and being that there was no communication between us that he was hard at work and just forgot because he was so busy. This was proven to be wrong. He had time to go visit his parents, which I can tell you he would not have done if he was that busy, no matter he was in the same town or not. He had time to drive the extra 40 min round trip to do this. He had time to take her out to dinner a few other nights at places I don’t even get to go when I’m there. But not enough time to send a simple text or make a 4 min phone call. To him, his “wife” duties were done.
I was fuming on the inside. I was hurt. I was sad. I was mad. I shut down. I couldn’t even talk to him anymore. I drank my wine in silence and went to bed. I didn’t even bring it up. I know I should but I haven’t.
Two weeks later we are to go to her son’s birthday party. I already RSVP’s prior to this ordeal. I felt bad to cancel last minute. We were only one of 6 guests. Our kids get along great. I decided to not take it out on the kids and just go. It was only 2 hours. How bad can it be?
My husband elected not to go. He needed to work. Odd. True, but whatever. The party was fine. I talked to her like any other person. She never brought up work or asked where my husband was. This led me to believe she already knew. Her husband is really odd. Well, so is she so they make the perfect couple. He is always very nice to me and very helpful with my kids. After the party was over I came home with the kids. My husband met us here. He asked about the party. I only told him enough to make him stop asking questions. Or so I thought. He never cares about any other kid party. Why this one?? Oh yes…. that’s why. I tell him she is so unorganized and her son was very ungrateful for most of his gifts. All true. He laughed. I mentioned how helpful her husband was to me when #2 started crying after being tossed around the bounce house a bit too rough. How he helped him get back in with the kids and then comforted him again after the big kids wrestled him a bit too rough again. This pissed my husband off. He said he was done hearing about it. If I’d have known that I would have started with it.
Last night after completing another project with another male coworker (a real big dork. sorry that’s not nice), he decided to go out for drinks. Fine. I mentioned the crabbiness of our kids and suggested he take his time coming home if he mood was less than stellar! He made it home just in time to see the kids to bed. Upon asking about his celebratory cocktails with the dork co-worker he enlightened me with the fact that the dork did not attend. In fact he was not invited. He, in turn, invited the work wife. WTF?????
After kids are in bed I again ask why the dork was not invited. Not that I really needed an explanation but really….. He said he wanted to discuss the case/project with someone intelligent and she was free. They had a cocktail and an appetizer and away he went. Simple enough. I dropped it.
I want to believe he does this without knowing what he’s doing to me. This means, more than ever, that I need to discuss it. I’m not worried about them having some wild affair. I’m hurt that she gets the communication from him. She gets to talk to him about all this stuff and I’m the one sitting at home. I’m the one waiting by the phone for a call or a text when he’s off doing dinner.