*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events as told to me by a woman who experienced them firsthand; used with permission.
Infidelity is widespread and pervasive, especially among men. "An extensive study published in AARP magazine found that 46 percent of men reported cheating on their partners in the past, compared to 21 percent of women," reported Yahoo.
According to Bustle, "[...] most people get caught cheating during their third affair and it takes an average of four years for adultery to be exposed — most commonly through text messages."
A woman knew her husband was cheating on her, but her husband thought he was being discreet. This happened long before cellphones and text messages made it easier to ferret out infidelity.
Her husband cheated on her with any woman who was willing. It didn't matter whether the woman was married or single, and it certainly didn't matter what she looked like. If she was a woman, then she was just his type. He even had an affair with a 72-year-old woman who was nearly old enough to be his grandmother.
On one occasion, her husband came home from work, got cleaned up, put on fresh clothes, and doused himself with cologne. After all that preparation, he announced that he was going to the repair shop to have a piece of equipment fixed, which seemed odd to her given the amount of cologne he was wearing.
He told her he needed the equipment for the following day for work, and so he left the house with no piece of equipment that she could see. Two hours later, he called her and told her he was running late.
"Don't wait up for me," he said.
He returned home at 2 a.m., looking a bit disheveled. "There was a sign on the door of the repair shop," he said. "Apparently, they moved to a new location far away. It was a really long drive."
According to the woman who told me this story, she found it particularly strange about the sign in the window of the repair shop. "My husband is illiterate," she told me. "He's never read a sign in a repair shop window in his life."
A month later, the same thing happened. "It was like déjà vu," the woman told me.
"Is that the same place that moved last month?" she asked him.
He accused her of making up stories, and he claimed he had never used that excuse before. Of course, he called it a reason, not an excuse. The difference between a reason and an excuse is in the liability.
"How did you find out the place had moved?" she asked him.
When he replied he had read it on the sign in the shop window, she grew furious. There was no doubt in her mind that this nonsense with moving repair shops and signs in windows was just another cover story for his latest affair.
"I wish I could say it was the last time I caught him in a lie," she told me, "but it was the last time I caught him in that lie. Twice was more than enough."