Once a Cheater

cheatingScott’s deluge of harassing texts resumed, accusing me of having an affair and dating other men.  I have no idea where he got that idea into his head.  In our 30 years together, I never once cheated, nor did I ever give him any reason for such accusations.  Looking back, I believe he was projecting his own actions/fears onto me.  He was the one who was having the affairs.  You see,  the rules didn’t apply to Scott.  He had cheated on me when we were first dating. And then I had my suspicions over the years of his infidelity but no proof.  Scott travelled all the time for work (or so he said).  But then while living in Puerto Rico, my daughter caught him sneaking a woman out one morning while I was away for my birthday.  Even at the age of thirteen, my daughter knew her Daddy had cheated on me. I could no longer deny it.

Cheating Birthday 2012 

For my birthday one year Scott made this grand gesture of sending me away for the weekend with my dear friend Maria to do what I loved most, snorkel and scuba dive.  He had made reservations for us at the new W Hotel at a neighboring Caribbean island called Vieques. It’s known for boat tours of Bioluminescent Bay where microorganisms give the water a blue-green glow – think Avatar. On the last day of my birthday weekend, Maria and I set off to find one last hidden snorkel spot a local had told us about. It was on a very remote part of the island.  

Lindsey, our daughter, had called to wish me a happy birthday shortly after the taxi had dropped us off. We were walking down an old dilapidated pier. I was still in the phone with my daughter, when she hesitantly added that “Daddy had a party last night.” 

“Yes, I knew about the party,” I told her. Earlier that morning Scott had called to wish me happy birthday. He mentioned that he had a few people over from work. Then Lindsey went on to say “Daddy spent the night in the guest house.” 

Dead silence.  

Why would Scott leave our then 13 and 8 year-old children in the house alone?  Why would he choose to sleep in the detached guest house that was above our three-stall garage?  

Lindsey continued to say, “Daddy was acting strange and asked us all to go in your master bedroom in the main house this morning.  That’s when I saw a woman leaving through the window.”  

OMG!  Again silence.  I didn’t know what to say.

“Thanks for letting me know and wishing me a happy birthday honey,” I said, finally, not sure how to respond. “I will be home in a few hours — I gotta run, Maria’s waiting for me.”   

After I hung up, I sat down in the middle of the stony, broken old pier in the blazing sun, on my birthday and I balled my eyes out.  I realized Scott wasn’t doing something nice for me on my birthday. He was getting me out of town so he could have some fun of his own. He even had the audacity to do it with our children in the house!  Understanding that I no longer had any interest in snorkeling, Maria and I started walking back, hoping to find a taxi.  I needed to go home and talk to Scott, face to face. 

Of course, when I confronted Scott at home, he made up excuses. “She was too drunk to drive home last night,” he said. “She must have taken a taxi, then came back this morning to pick up her car.”  As to sleeping in the guest house, Scott explained, “I wanted to sleep in without the children disturbing me!”  I bought it, accepted his lies. Well, not really but what was I to do? I was living in a foreign country, with no money of my own and nowhere else to go.  Completely alienated.  But you can bet I was upset, and I would never trust him again. 

* * *

Now that I look back, there were many late nights, business trips, and strange scratches like fingernails on his back many, many times.  He always had an excuse, though.  “Oh, those scratches, that must be from the weight bench,” he’d say.  According to him, I was “over-reacting and delusional.”  Looking back, I knew deep down that Scott was cheating on me.  But it was easier to deny my gut instincts and accept his lies and excuses. 

Don’t think that I didn’t express my suspicions many times. Scott would lash out at me telling me, “I’m sick and tired of you always bringing up the subject.  I’ve done nothing wrong. I’ve never cheated on you.  You need professional help.  You’re being jealous for no reason. You’re just paranoid.” Instead of addressing my insecurities and concerns, my feelings apparently didn’t matter, Scott would somehow make me feel bad and guilty for questioning his behavior. This is a classic projection technique used by the narcissist. More on that later.

It wasn’t until months later that we learned Scott was selling off our E*TRADE stocks and hiding funds that day thereby violating his own requested orders again.  I also later learned that Scott hacked my Yahoo account and changed my password that day as well. That’s a whole new story . . .

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