Tortured. I'd been barraged with thoughts of another man from our church. I prayed about it—with no reprieve. I tried not to think of him, but the thoughts wormed their way into my obsessed brain. After an internally trying month, I called my best friend who urged me to tell my husband, Colin.* But I hesitated. What if he rejects me or never trusts me again? I thought.
Finally, that night I mustered a scrap of courage and said, "I have feelings for another man."
Once the words left my tongue, I knew I was free.
Colin responded with uncanny grace. Then he hesitatingly said, "There was someone else for me, too." I knew immediately to whom he was referring. "Your former secretary, Gloria?" I asked.
And just like that it was out of the bag. No longer tortured with thoughts of another man, now I fretted about Colin's ambiguous admission. But I didn't want to know any details. Perhaps it was my relief at his prompt forgiveness of me, that if I pushed the issue, he'd withdraw it. Perhaps it was my insecurity that caused me to pretend all was well. Whatever the reason, I didn't ask him what had happened between them.
Winter turned to spring and the subject of Gloria remained unplowed.
Then one day six months later, Colin phoned me from work. We'd just spent a fabulous weekend at a marriage conference, and I assumed he was calling to tell me he loved me. "Elizabeth" he said. "I got a card today—from Gloria."1