*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I witnessed firsthand; used with permission.
She never found out her husband had confronted her boyfriend about their relationship.
My neighbor had an affair.
How do I know about my neighbor's affair? For starters, she was my upstairs neighbor, and I could hear every conversation she had during the five years that I lived beneath her apartment. That includes every phone conversation she had with her boyfriend and every fight she had with her husband.
Most of the time, the fights with her husband followed the conversations with her boyfriend.
Besides hearing all about my neighbor's affair firsthand, I was also one of her confidantes. She frequently regaled me with tales of her infidelity in the laundry room, the entryway, or the front porch, but there was something she didn't know.
Her husband was confiding in me, too. He knew more about his wife's affair than I did.
One day, her husband intercepted a phone call that was meant for his cheating wife. He spoke with her affair partner and arranged a meeting to discuss the situation like gentlemen.
Without his wife knowing, the two men met at a local restaurant where they each pleaded their case as to why they should be allowed to "keep" her. Obviously, a woman is neither a possession nor an object, so neither of them had the right to discuss her that way, but they did it anyway.
The two men exchanged angry threats. They shouted; they cried. In the end, they nearly got ejected from the restaurant and had the police rained down on them, but they resolved the situation.
After a heated debate, the two men agreed that her husband should be allowed to continue his marriage while her affair partner would gracefully disappear into the sunset. He kept his word.
My neighbor felt confused and disappointed when her boyfriend suddenly disappeared. She was dismayed, maybe even heartbroken.
He didn't call her, and he didn't return her calls.
Without her affair partner to distract her, she had no other recourse but to put all her time and effort into her husband and her marriage.
To my surprise, her marriage flourished without the other man in the way.
Her husband felt delighted to have his wife to himself once again. He doted on her and their two daughters. He told me his wife didn't suspect a thing about why her boyfriend had ghosted her, and he begged me not to tell her what he had done.
They were happy for the first time in years.
I kept his confession to myself. While I was more than willing to lend a listening ear to either of them, I didn't want to get involved in the actual mechanics of their relationship.
Several years later, they divorced. He married another woman; she married another man. Those marriages didn't stand the test of time, either, and they found their way back to each other more than a decade later. They remarried, and this time, it was forever; or at least it was "until death do us part."
Their second marriage lasted until she died suddenly in her sleep nearly forty years after their first wedding.