So as the countdown begins to this year's Calgary Stampede, I'm reminded of last year's "debacle" during the festivities. That is, I spent eight hours at a bar with a handsome "urban cowboy" who professed to be single and genuinely smitten by me. A day later, I found out that he was married -- and I chose to track down and tell his wife.
I wrote about that incident last year here on the Huffington Post. And reader reactions were strongly divided, from mighty applause to others calling me a "home-wrecker" and a "woman with anger issues."
"Did I make the right decision?" I asked myself over and over. All roads of my analysis lead to the answer, "yes" No doubt it was painful information for his wife to hear. Yes, I was angry and hurt when I told her, too. But having been the victim of infidelity during my marriage, I knew what it was like to sit at home with the kids while husband dearest had his cake and ate it too. More than anything, I wished someone had had the balls to tell me.
Thus, after a year of no communication with this man or his wife, I decided to email her this week. My goal was not to find out if they'd broken up, rather, to ask if she despised me for telling her. This is the message I received back:
I do not despise you. On the contrary I'm still glad that you told me. I've become a much stronger woman since last year, making decisions that are good for me and my future, including working part-time. I'm speaking my mind a lot more with "Brian" around a lot of issues. And he, in turn, has become a much better husband than ever -- supportive, communicative, and a lot more mellowed out.
I think ignorance is not bliss. I would rather know than not, because then I cannot be a victim and say I had no idea what he was, or is capable of.
After you told me, my marriage was rocky for quite some time. I wasn't sure if I wanted to stay or go. But time and much communication helped me realize that his cheating with you was one small indiscretion in 20 years (that I can prove) and that was a case of man trying to show off to a bunch of idiot friends. And though I highly doubt that his version of events from that night are true, I've chosen to move on and be happy where we are.
If he ever cheats again, we will be done. He has been banned from hanging out with those Stampede friends, though they do have business dealings on occasion. A couple of months ago, he went with them to a hockey game. He was home by 11 o'clock, while the others headed out to the strippers.
I do have moments when I remember back to all that happened, aand the feelings that surface are not pleasant. But I remind myself of how much things have changed in a year and realize I've never been happier. I'm content with my choice, Delaine, but my eyes are wide open."
So there you have it folks -- one year later and straight out of the victim's mouth. Are you surprised?