Clue one: The Party
I still remember the night something changed in him. We attended a party together. I was chatting to a group of people when I looked over and saw him talking to a woman we both knew. I considered her an acquaintance and had never given her a second thought but there was just something in the way they were looking at each other. It was like a lightening bolt went right through me and I just knew something wasn't right. I didn't mention it to him but I kept it in the back of my brain, just in case.
Clue two: The phone calls
A couple of months later, the thought crept up again when we were on a road trip. He asked me to make a phone call from his mobile and I saw her name in his recent calls -- over five calls had been made between them. Again, I said nothing. I felt sick about it but, hey, he was allowed to have female friends. Perhaps it was all in my head, there really wasn't any evidence except for my intuition.
Clue three: The deleted texts
Weeks later, he was out drinking and refused to come home until he was properly wasted. When he was passed out on the couch, I went through his phone (#psycho) and I saw it. Two deleted messages to her sent after midnight. This woman had a partner -- what was he doing texting her at that hour?
It was not a fun morning for him. I yelled and I'm fairly certain I threw my shoe at him. He was so mad at me for touching his phone. I cried. Eventually, he apologised and gave me some explanation. My revenge was ordering extra chilli with his Pad Thai. I also poured out the milk so he had nothing to soothe his ulcerated tongue. Still single if you're interested, fellas!
Clue four: The dinner
Like the deranged masochist I was, I decided to befriend this woman. Lez be honest -- what kind of person would sleep with my man if she was my friend? #KeepEnemiesClose. I went for dinner with her to clear up any doubts in my mind. Like him, this girl could talk to a brick wall. When I mentioned him in a passing comment, her eyes lit up. "Can you imagine if he and I were dating? We'd be fighting to get a word in!" She giggled. I stabbed her with the laser beams in my eyes and told her I really liked the mole on her neck. It was actually a pimple. #maturity.
Clue five: The photos
I kept going through his phone, obviously. He went away with friends and Miss Unfaithful. He forgot that his iPad photos were connected to his iPhone.Silly bugger. I was kept up to date with the fun the two of them were having through pictures and videos. Nothing too incriminating but enough to give me the nervous wee bum my body reserves for very stressful situations.
Clue six: The denial
The next time we saw each other, I really let loose. Many tears. Much jealousy. I was starting to lose it. He told me I was crazy, why didn't I trust him? He said he would never, could never, hurt me. Still, I kept her close, attending drinks and dinners with her, trying to suss her out. He also continued to party with Miss Unfaithful without me being there. I tried to be calm, tried to let it go. Most of the time, I was able to pretend. Except for the hives I broke out in whenever her name was mentioned and the probable stomach ulcers I developed from trying to control my inner crazy.
Clue seven: The kiss
We were all out one night, and I was flying high on champagne and fake confidence. Miss Unfaithful came up behind me, grabbed my head and kissed me on the lips! Now, I'm all for freedom of sexuality but... I wasn't into it. I pulled away in time to see her give him a cheeky look. Oh great! Now I was a pawn in their disgusting affair. At least buy me a drink next time, guys.
Clue eight: The friends
By now, I was 80 percent convinced of an affair between the two of them. I had officially crossed over into cray cray lady territory. I would study his facial expressions when her name was mentioned, regularly check his phone and find exactly what I was looking for. I continued my friendship with Miss Unfaithful but it wasn't long before I had a rich-white-girl nervous breakdown. The kind that only happens when you're three rosés deep and your female soulmates ask you how your relationship is going. My ugly crying face finally reared its head and for the first time in a long time, I told my best friends the truth. "He... doesn't... love... me... any... more... and... I... think... he... is... sleeping... with... that... trollop!" Thing is, once you tell your girls the truth about your relationship, there ain't no going back.
Clue nine: The trip
He went on another trip with Miss Unfaithful. I was beside myself and was on the verge of taking some valium and sleeping the next two days away. But then... I heard it. My feminist female ancestors turning over in their graves. I had let myself become a victim. I knew what was going on between the two of them. After more than a year of denial, I decided to trust myself. My gut, my waters, intuition, whatever you want to call it, I trusted it. When he returned home, I confronted him. He denied, lied, cried, yelled and shut down. I packed my things and left him. Of course there was the 1 percent of my heart that wanted to believe him but it didn't even matter anymore. I believed he had cheated and, therefore, it was true.
Clue 10: The truth
Months later, he told me the truth. I had been right all along. Besides wasting a lot of mascara and developing a nervous twitch in my left eye, I wouldn't change a thing. I've always done things the hard way... at least now I knowI can trust myself.
Where there is smoke, there is usually fire -- even if you're the only one who can see it.