I am not 100% sure I am ready to share this story but somehow, writing down has been one of my great forms of catharsis. This is one time I am extremely grateful I chose to remain anonymous on this blog.
I think I have mentioned this on a previous blog post. Before I resigned and got married, our attorney from the legal department began barging me with what-if questions: what if my husband cheated on me, hurts me, becomes violent, turns homosexual, leaves me? Things like that. What would I do? I was defensive – kept telling him he would never do that. I was fast losing my cool and just kept saying answers he wanted to hear. Turns out, he just wanted for me to say that no matter what happens, I will love and accept my husband. Because if I did, then he’s gonna say I am indeed ready [to get married].
It was a pointless exercise that time. I was very much in love. I was high with all the happy hormones and our mishaps were all considered minor. I didnt know back then what exactly I would be facing in the long run.
Then it happened.
Yes, we did have arguments. We had shoutfests in the car while I was ready to give birth at any moment, and on his birthday. But that’s not the worst that could happen.
One day, my husband came home early, looking very somber. My last words when he left after lunch sounded irritable so I gave him my sweetest smile at once. He asked me to sit down on the couch – we needed to talk. He started by asking me for my support and understanding.
He then told me about this one girl at the office. One single guy at the office asked him to be some sort of a wingman – that guy had no direct way of getting to know the girl, or work together. My husband merely said okay and started getting to know the girl.
Let’s just say the girl is a bit naive, probably doesnt know exactly how to behave around guys, but she’s well meaning. When they got to the part where my husband is telling her about this guy who is interested in her, her way of turning it down is by saying she is sort of exclusive with someone already. Of course, to be an effective wingman, my husband then tried to probe and downplay the role of the said guy in her life. She, then, told him that they’ve known each other since childhood and are now in an intimate level of relationship. The curiosity of my husband got the best of him – he asked how intimate they are. And, this naive girl, explained in detail.
He wasnt thinking, or maybe thinking with the other head, so he then did something unknowingly – he touched her leg. Leg? Thigh? I dont know. He said leg, but thigh made more sense. He was suddenly very touchy of this girl on more occasions; hand, shoulders, whatever. Nothing too sensitive but totally unwarranted.
He apologized after some time for his behavior to which the girl accepted. He stopped his wingman job. Then this girl submitted a complaint about my husband. Apparently, on work related instances, he scolded her a couple of times. She thought he was intentionally being hard at her because of what happened. Maybe because his advances werent returned or accepted that’s why he’s taking it on her personally.
While hearing all these, my face was slowly forming a frown, while bowing down my head. Why?? I asked him why kept it from me – how can I support him when he’s keeping secrets from me? It felt so surreal, like I’m just waiting for a punchline or a kick to wake me up.
Here I am. An advocate against sexual harrassment – I actually did a #metoo post some time ago. I studied sexual harassment at work too, attended seminars as well. And here we are: my own husband committing the exact thing I am fighting against. It doesnt need a sexual act or even exposure to sexual parts; a person in higher position who is getting too close for comfort, which includes asking very personal question, can already qualify as harrassment.
I was so ashamed. I didnt dare tell this to anyone, not even my closest friend. This taught me a lesson on keeping marital issues between the two us. It was embarrassing. I didnt think it would happen to me. He was loyal and faithful. Even if girls were offering themselves to him, he rejected them. I didnt think he’d get interested with anyone at work because he had such high standards – in fact, the girl before me was a model. Then there’s this girl, who’s not even pretty nor charismatic. Didnt seem very smart either.
It was natural for me to blame myself, for not providing his physical needs. How could I? I was a stay-at-home mom, without help, nanny, cook or relatives. I was still recovering from giving birth – and very slow at it, I was actually 12lbs lower than my pre-pregnancy weight. Breastfeeding makes me aversive with sexual encounters. I had all these reasons, yet I still felt it was my fault.
But, deep down, my husband still is a good person. He didnt blame me, even though I kept on avoiding sexual for 6 months (that was the time it happened). He got scared because he didnt know himself anymore. He then realized all the good I’ve been doing all along.
But the damage has been done. I’d say it was a big relief when he stopped wiggling his way out of his very few chores, and stamping when I make him do it inspite of his exhausted excuse. He started appreciating everything I’m doing for the family. He wanted to make it up to me for the rest of his life. At some point, it was exhausting for me as well because he was saying he wants to die, kept saying he is shit, and was not performing at all at work. See, I’m the one wronged here but I’m the one struggling to uplift his spirits.
Things have been pretty much back to normal ever since. While he no longer complains with chores, always asks what he can do to help me, and has been talking to me more than watching youtube, I still feel the pang sometimes. The chocolates have been eaten up, the roses have dried up. We still havent gone out on a date ever since and I still have to be the positive one here to keep the balance.
And it makes me wonder, we’re at a very early stage in our marriage. What other unexpected circumstances will we face later on? My past has given me enough strength and wisdom to face this, but it scares me to think of what horrors lie ahead of us.
In light of what transpired, I no longer want to have another child. When I was still unmarried, I promised myself to be a wife first before a mother but it’s easier said than done. It would be harder the second time – all these hardships again with a bigger child. How in the world would I do better? How can I be sure it wont affect him again? Who knows what he’ll end up doing?
The tables have turned – he’s now the one wanting a second child, even prefering a girl. But I do not want to create another situation where temptation can crawl in again. It will still find its way, of course, but I want to keep that route shut forever.
I am just trying to forget what happened and try to get positive outcomes from the situation. But of course, some part of me has already died inside. I will keep on moving forward. It doesnt stop me from thinking though that a monster would jump at me at any moment. It doesnt matter how hard I’m trying to keep it all together – it would just happen.