*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events as told to me by the relative who experienced them firsthand; used with permission.
Her effusive compliments had the opposite effect.
A family member caught her husband cheating.
She didn’t catch him in the act, but she spotted all the signs.
Her husband acted sneaky and suspicious. He made mysterious phone calls in the middle of the night. He used the same excuses for why he was late coming home from work repeatedly.
My family member grew progressively warier as time wore on. She knew something was wrong. She could feel it in her bones.
They were not young newlyweds when this happened. All parties involved were in their sixties and seventies. They had history.
My family member and her husband owned a three-family home across state lines. Her husband was solely responsible for the care and upkeep of the home, and he stopped there often to tinker and fix things.
One tenant of that three-family home was a married woman. She lived there with her husband. He was always away at work. She was always home.
That’s where my family member’s suspicions were confirmed. She went to the house to check up on the property one day, and her husband was there. He was fixing something in the basement, and that wasn’t unexpected or troubling. At least, it wouldn’t have been if the tenant hadn’t started acting strange.
As soon as the female tenant spotted my family member on the property, she began to fawn over her. “Look at you,” she cried. “You are so beautiful that your husband would never cheat on you.”
The problem was that no one had asked… and the woman wouldn’t stop.
“You’re so pretty,” she continued. “Look at how beautiful you are compared to me. Your husband would never look at a woman like me when he has a woman like you waiting at home.”
Nothing could have made her appear guiltier.
As it turned out, the woman and my family member’s husband were having an affair. It wasn’t a surprise. The woman had done everything she could to telegraph the information to his wife. Was it on purpose?
Having met the woman myself, I can say that I don’t think it was.
I don’t know how long their affair lasted. To the best of my knowledge, it may have continued until the woman’s untimely death from cancer.
My family member and her husband are still married. They aren’t particularly happy, but they are accustomed to each other after many decades, and I don’t expect them to part ways anytime soon.
Infidelity isn’t an issue anymore, but the damage he did during his younger years still affects his wife. She’s neither forgotten nor forgiven, but she has learned to carry on anyhow.
As I mentioned, the man’s affair partner was a married woman. Her husband never found out about the affair. Then he became a widower. I think it’s safe to assume he is still unaware that his wife was unfaithful with their married landlord.