Vol. 1 No. 1
houston we have a problem: part i
This is a five part series intended to be read in order.
WARNING: ADULT LANGUAGE AND SEXUAL CONTENT. DISCRETION ADVISED.
THE FLIRTING WITH other women wasn't enough. The double-takes he did when a large busted woman entered his line of sight didn't do it. His insatiable sex drive should have, but surprisingly even that didn't tip me off. Nope. I didn't know we had a problem until, well ...
Until the night my whole life changed.
I knew something was wrong the moment I opened my eyes and realized my husband was no longer in our bed. My brain was still groggy, but I couldn’t deny the feeling that something wasn’t quite right. Rubbing my eyes, I sat up in bed. The sun wasn’t up yet. He should’ve been under the covers next to me, but he wasn't. Something was wrong.
Needing to orient myself, I turned my head toward the bright red glow of my alarm clock. It glared the time into my foggy brain: 4:23 a.m. Huh? Where was my husband? We only had a little over an hour left to sleep, and yet, I was alone. I threw the covers off and started to get out of bed. That’s when something caught my eye, making me feel like the world’s biggest drama queen.
A faint glow of light trickled from under the bathroom doorway, signaling he was inside. Since he didn’t ever bother to shut the bathroom door unless he had to sit to do his business, I knew what was going on in there. Shaking my head and chuckling under my breath, I decided to lie back down. Everything was just fine. The worrywart had gotten a hold of me for nothing. I tried to close my eyes and go back to sleep.
No such luck.
The nagging sensation that something wasn’t quite right wouldn’t leave me.
Feeling like an even bigger fool than I had when I realized where he was, I got up to investigate. Shivering as I left the comfort of the covers which had warmly cocooned me only seconds before, I tiptoed to the bathroom door. I started to knock and call out to my husband, but then I stopped. My knuckles were an inch from the door when it occurred to me that he still thought I was sleeping.
I put my hand over my mouth to steady my breathing.
Something inside me said to wait. For some reason, it was important that he didn’t know I was awake yet. I didn’t know why. The thought was just ... there. It was the same as the feeling that something was wrong. It came out of nowhere.
I stood outside the bathroom, staring down at the faint light emanating from the crack at the bottom. The light shone on my bare toes and I wiggled them, mesmerized by the light dancing off my bright red nail polish. I stood there outside the bathroom, wiggling my toes, and waited because somehow I knew it was important.
At first, I didn’t hear anything. In fact, it was so quiet that I wasn’t even sure that my husband was in there. Just as I was about to knock again, I heard the faint rustling of paper. Assuming he was reading while using the restroom, I started to walk away.
But, as I took my first step away from the door, I heard something else that I couldn't identify. I returned to the door and listened. I couldn’t figure out what it was. It didn’t sound like he was tapping his foot on the floor or drumming his fingers on the sink. I placed my ear to the door, trying to figure out what he was doing in there. Several seconds passed and I realized that I had been holding my breath.
Needing to breathe again, I took a step away from the doorway so he wouldn’t hear me.
Pushing my hair away from my face, I knew I had to figure out what was going on behind that door. The feeling of impending doom was stronger now, and my stomach was a ball of knots. I quietly placed my ear on the door again, and focused on breathing as quietly as I could.
“This is ridiculous,” I thought to myself as I remained with my ear plastered to the door, afraid to move an inch because he may discover me there. Several minutes passed and I heard that paper sound again. What was he doing? It was driving me crazy! I had to know what was making that sound.
My muscles began to strain from holding myself in the exact same position for so long. Plus, I had an itch on my left shin that I desperately wanted to scratch. None of that took precedence over my need to know what was going on behind the bathroom door. I stood motionless, immobile, listening. Somehow the noise seemed more deliberate than when I first started listening.
I heard my husband breathing. At first, I thought it was me. But, I held my breath for a few seconds to make sure it was him. Yep, it was him. Why was he breathing like that?
Just when I was about to knock on the door because I couldn’t take it any longer, I heard him groan. It wasn’t very loud; muffled in fact. I think he had his hand over his mouth to mute the noise so he wouldn't wake me. I’m not sure how I knew that, but I did.
I knew that sound ...
Realization crept in with a sinking sensation. I knew what he was doing in the bathroom. With a dawning horror, I stepped away from the door and stifled a disgusted gasp before it could leave my mouth.
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Traci is a Betrayal Recovery Specialist and the owner of Healing Betrayed Hearts. She has almost 30 years experience recovering from a relationship with a sex addict.