I really did somewhat cheat on my husband, but it’s not what you think.
My husband offered to watch the kids one evening while I went out with a girlfriend for dinner and a movie. I was excited to get a night out. My friend and I had drinks, good food, and uninterrupted conversation. Then we saw a chick flick—one you couldn’t have paid my hubby enough money to see. It was wonderful.
When the movie was over, my friend and I heard thunder and saw lightning off in the distance. We stayed inside the theater for a minute, just to be sure we wouldn’t get caught in the pouring rain. My first thought was that if we did, I was going to see another movie. You know, to be productive, and pass the time away.
But it never did rain, and my friend and I ended up going our separate ways.
This is where the cheating comes in. I just didn’t want the night to end. You may be wondering if I called or met up with someone, but I assure you, I didn’t. I just drove around for a bit and listened to music. It wasn’t what someone else wanted to listen to, but what I wanted to play. I thought about getting that milk we needed at the store, but I decided not to. I didn’t even stop by Target, which is my favorite place to be when I have extra time. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do, or where I wanted to go. All I knew was I didn’t want to go home.
Don’t get me wrong. My life is wonderful, as anyone on the outside looking in would see. I have an amazing husband, two fun kids, and a good job. Yet, sometimes, I feel the walls closing in on me. My kids are at the point where they are starting to get on each other’s nerves. My 4-year-old is going through lots of different personalities, and I don’t get along with a few of them. My 17-month-old is in a “Mommy phase,” and is usually physically attached to me. I love them more than anything, but sometimes, I need a mommy time-out.
To make it worse, my husband travels. He is gone so much that I sometimes forget how to act around him. When I do, I find myself irritable and set in my ways, wed to the routines that I follow while he is away working hard. We are trying to define a new “us,” but it is a challenge. We go on dates, but are often too tired to really bond. I have been told that this is just a phase of life that many couples experience when the kids are young and careers need a lot of attention. It will pass.
But that day, I knew that if I went home, my husband would be doing his own thing—and I wanted to do mine. I needed a cup of coffee, or a drink, or just someplace to be where I could pretend that my night was still going strong. It all sounded good to me. I wanted to stay in an existence where I wasn’t staring at four walls surrounding me, overwhelmed by the chaos. I wanted to be in another world for just a brief period . . . long enough that I could take a deep breath, and get back to all that was in my heart.
I found a coffee place, sat and drank a cup, and just people-watched for a while. I felt bad for not rushing home. There were dishes to be done and clothes to set out for the next day. I could have even sat and caught up with the hubby for a few minutes.
But I didn’t. I kept time to myself.
The guilt, even as I write this, is there.
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So, I guess I did cheat, but not with anyone else. Sometimes “me” time is cheating, but it’s worth it to keep going and living life.
I may do it again sometime.
This original piece by Stacey Waltzer was written exclusively for In the Powder Room, a division of Hold My Purse Productions, LLC. Featured image © depositphoto.com/pekour.