THE OTHER MAN


another manMy wife and I had been married about six years when it all started.  Some call it the seven-year itch.  Whatever you call it, I thought it was  the hardest thing I ever had to endure. I had to stand by and watch as the woman I loved seemed to slip away into the arms of another man.
We had met this man about three years before and both liked him okay. He was easy on the eyes and seemed to have a genuineness about him that would draw anyone to him.  The words he spoke were always truthful and he really seemed to care about people.  He was one of those guys you couldn’t help but like, and most who took the time to get to know him did.  His sense of humor was always prevalent, but he had his serious side when it came to important matters. He was always there with a compassionate smile or hug, when needed, and could brighten a room with his presence.  I never considered him to be much of a threat at the time and, as days wore on, I kind of lost interest in and connection with him.  I thought my wife had too, but I guess that wasn’t the case.
Our marriage had always been, in my mind’s eye, a strong one.  We had been through some tough times financially and I bounced from job to job until I found myself driving over the road and gone for weeks at a time.  I suppose she needed something more than the long distance relationship we had and sought out his friendship once more.  `    When I would call her from the truck stop at night to ask how things were going, she would say, “Just fine,” and we would talk about our day, our finances, or what the kids were doing. I never suspected a thing, until I would come home.  Then it seemed she was happy to see me, but I could tell something wasn’t right.  I could feel the presence of impending doom.  I could feel her slipping away from me but I couldn’t put my finger on the source. I would have to figure out a way to find out what was going on, without her knowing about it.
I finally got a job close to home so I wouldn’t have to be gone all the time.  “Now,” I thought, “I can get to the bottom of this.”  Now I could see if my suspicions were true.  I would stalk her if necessary.  She was the best thing that ever happened to me and I wasn’t going to let this go without a fight.  And so I watched.  Just one slip up and I could get the evidence I needed to confront her.  It wasn’t long before my paranoia became a reality.
I would come home from work to find her talking to him, crying and asking him to help her.  Why couldn’t she talk to me like that?  I was home now and could help her with whatever it was she needed.  She had letters from him that she would spend hours reading and talk to him out loud even when he wasn’t there.  I had written her letters from the road.  I had written poetry expressing my love for her.  Why didn’t she read any of my stuff?  Didn’t that mean anything to her anymore?  I felt a complete betrayal.  But it didn’t end there. It was also the singing.  She would sing songs she made up about him.  She would sing in the morning when she first woke up and sing later in the evening.  She loved to sing, but she never sang about me.  It was making me insane with jealousy.  This other man had completely taken over her life while I was away.  What was I going to do?
I have never been a person who relies on ignorance to combat a problem. If I was going to fight against something, or in this case, someone, I was going to learn everything I could about them. I needed to learn his strengths and weaknesses.  I needed to get inside his head and know what he was thinking and, when the time was right, I would take him down.  I knew that with the right evidence I could crumble his world.  I knew that when this happened, my wife, along with all those other people who thought he was so wonderful, would see him for who he really was.  I was ready to take him on.
I began, like any good detective, interviewing his friends and anyone who said they knew him.  Believe me, there was a lot of them. I couldn’t find anything there to use, so I would sneak behind my wife’s back and read the letters she had been reading.  I read through each and every one of those letters, sometimes reading them two and three times, until I thought I had a good grasp of who he was and what he was about.  I even Googled him to see what was being said about him on the internet.  When I thought I had enough evidence, I was ready to confront him face to face.  I set aside some time for us to get together.
I wouldn’t say that the meeting went well, but I wouldn’t say that it went badly either. Every time I tried to discredit him he was able to help me to understand his point of view. Every time I argued with logic and reason he would just smile at my disbelief and tell me to trust him. Then I let him have it.  I started talking to him about my wife.  He didn’t deny that he loved her. He said he would protect her and always hold her close in his heart.  He even stated that he was jealous about his relationship with her. He said he would do anything in his power to protect it.
Then he floored me.
He started telling me that he felt the same way about me, too. Okay, I’m a guy.  This felt a little awkward. One man telling another that he loves him and would do anything for him. What do you do with that?  I’m not  homophobic,  but this was a bit much.  He began telling me that his love was like no other.  That he was not physically attracted to any man or woman–that is not love but lust.  He told me that his love was everlasting and unconditional.  Nothing I could do could earn it and nothing could cause him to love me less.  He said it was much like the love I had for my bride, but without stipulations and boundaries. His love and compassion was available to me and all I had to do was ask.  All I had to do was trust him.
Lets just say that now he calls me “friend.”  He is welcome in my home any time…all the time.  I, too, spend time with him every chance I get and no longer feel threatened by him.  I, sometimes, even tell people about this friend that I have and how much he loves me and loves them.  Of course, its difficult to talk to  some people about him because they don’t understand that kind of relationship.  They have never experienced it. They are skeptical because they haven’t been willing to learn anything about the unknown.  They can only go on what they see.

©  Simply Consider This, 2013.

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2 thoughts on “THE OTHER MAN

  1. Oh, Mike, you totally had me. What an intriguing way to introduce the ‘other man’ that both of you know. Ha! Nicely done!

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