~ Infidelity …

You know those defining moments in your life? Times that are so worth remembering that they are ingrained in your brain and perhaps you save pictures, or mementos, keepsakes, reminders, I guess we would categorize these as celebrations, graduations, a wedding, a funeral, the birth of your children. Yes, these are great and sometimes not so great moments. But there is one time, one moment in time, when the entire trajectory and that’s a hard word for me to say, when the entire trajectory of my life changed forever.


If you listened to last week’s episode of Don’t Lose Your Balance entitled marriage, you’ll learn that I had been married from the age of 22 to 41 or so. And around the age of 36, something happened, someone happened. A man stepped into my life at exactly the right or wrong time, depending upon whom you ask. It wasn’t even something on my radar. I wasn’t out looking for him. I never thought in a million years, I would take a hard left. When I had I should have gone straight. My eyes, my body, my soul should have been looking forward looking at my husband. But I wasn’t.


When I was in the prime of my life with young children and had a successful and most of all loving husband, along with a very nice, nice lifestyle. Boom. That hard left led me straight into a brick wall. Losing my balance. Yeah, that’s an understatement. I felt completely alive more than I had ever been. My heart was racing my body shaking in his presence. It was a chemical reaction. The mere thought of him in a daydream got me through my day. It was glorious. It was terrifying. It was wrong. And oh, so right.


I’m not the first woman that has been unfaithful in her marriage, and I certainly won’t be the last. And I am not a love addict. I am an addict now and thankfully in recovery, but love was not one of my vices. I just wanted that feeling. The way he made me feel so beautiful, incredibly beautiful, so needed and desired to be wanted. But sadly, it wasn’t love, not loved. I think if you were to ask him, he would say he didn’t love me. That is a weird reality. It’s likely I was completely in love with him. But I don’t know, because I don’t know or think I’ve ever gotten the chance to know him. Not really.


If I thought I might see him that day I would put on makeup and get dressed in something nice, something pretty just so we’d have one glimpse of me our eyes locking, knowing we had a secret. There might be days or a week that would go by where I wouldn’t see him or speak to him or get an email from him. Those were sad days and I would swig a glass of wine or two one of those days to help me get through the loss Pills were just beginning to get introduced the early days of addiction actually a half of a Vicodin, so easy to get them from doctors, over the phone. A Klonopin, whatever, would make me feel something different than what I was feeling when I didn’t see him. Abandoned, lost. lonely. I craved him, I was hungry for him, starving. So much so I began to starve myself. Literally.


I recall waking up early in the morning to have quiet time before my family woke up. Reading self help books thinking what is going on for me? I was even in therapy seeing a psychiatrist and revealed nothing to her nothing can you imagine lying to your own doctor the one you pay? I don’t know $250 to $300 a week for every single week. For a year.


I visit my mother and father bringing the gets to say hello. And my mother always said, you look radiant. You look so beautiful Mallory. I was physically at my best I was at fighting weight, which is what my husband always told me to be. You need to get to fighting weight. He’d say, I hate that fucking statement, because it indicated he looked at me like I was fat. I was physically strong and mentally broken and flying high. Yep, I was at fighting weight. You betcha. It’s so interesting to me What a great actress I was, I could look my most beautiful self and be so fucking broken. They couldn’t even tell the difference. You know, I was never a good liar. But I had to learn to be really clever. I didn’t want my secret to be revealed. If the truth came out, I might lose everything.


What was everything? Well, my husband, my children, my home. him. I protected him at all costs. Even at the cost of my own Saturday. Looking back, even to this day, I really believe he was the greatest love of my life. But I can’t be sure. We haven’t seen or spoken to one another in many, many, many years. And I am single today, alone, but not lonely. I rarely think about him. But a lot of it is coming up for me now. And why am I putting myself through all of this? Why?


Well, for a few reasons. I live alone, I am alone. And it’s a good place for me to be. My children are now adults. I am a grandmother, God, I mean, yay. But oh, I can’t believe I managed to get through the last 20 years of my life. And as mentioned previously, and will be spoken about again and again, I lived to tell this story to talk about it to hopefully help someone not lose their balance. I am not telling you what decisions to make. Drink. Don’t drink. Smoke, don’t smoke. Leave or stay. I’m wanting you only to consider your options carefully. Very carefully. I hope that whoever is listening to this who might be at a crossroads, I hear you and I get it. They’re intoxicating you know, the lovers. The one lover, that special one? Yeah, there’s no replacement for that one, no matter how hard or long you look, the secret getaways, the planning, the anticipation. How your body shakes in their presence. Yeah, I get it. Take a deep breath, you’re going to need the oxygen and slow down the pace. You may fall and when I say fall, I’m not only speaking from experience. But once you make that decision, once you cross that line, be prepared for what’s on the other side of it.


I’m not entirely sure why I finally told my husband that I was having an affair in front of my parents. The look on their faces. I don’t even know if I was ready for the fallout. The “I want a divorce Mallory,” which never came. Not yet. Anyway, he didn’t throw me out or toss me away. He loved me. He stayed, Fuck, he actually stayed. Our little children needed their mother and he probably knew that. After all, what was the alternative? My husband, my ex husband, the father of my children is a great man! I probably didn’t deserve him. Not after that. No way. But the reality is this. Everything in life is what you make of it. You can look at the glass as half empty or half full. You can even say I’m lucky just to actually have a glass.


I often wonder if my lover had run away with me like in the book and movie The Bridges of Madison County. If I’d have packed a suitcase been strong to say I’m leaving you or stronger to say, No, I’m staying. People do it all the time. But I didn’t want to leave my husband or my children I just wanted. I don’t know. I don’t know what I wanted. I wanted to feel beautiful and not crazy. I wanted that incredible feeling when I was flying, not falling. Not lost, not empty, not lonely. And of course, lonely, returned. Lonely really returned. No more of him no more of anything that gave me joy. And what I call love, but later learned was just romantic love. I really believed he was brought into my life for a reason and a purpose. I mean, don’t we all think that things happen for a reason?


You know, it’s not like this was the first time that a man looked in my direction and hit on me. It happened all the time. I always saw how men looked at me and I never understood why. I never looked in the mirror and saw what they saw. But he didn’t hit on me. We were drawn together. We were chemically drawn together. We were a perfect fit in every physical way possible. I love the way I felt when he touched me. I thought we were in balance.


We weren’t, we were imbalanced. We knew it was wrong. We knew the cost. I don’t know if I was his first lover because he was also married. And it doesn’t matter. It wasn’t my problem. I had problems of my own. Trust me. You know, married men are really interesting creatures. So many men that I’ve spoken to recently have said something Chris Rock said, a man’s ability to cheat is only as good as his options. Did I get that right? What about a woman’s ability to cheat? I have to believe she wants something more than just sex. She wants love, attention. That intoxicating smell and feeling the secret rendezvous. The late nights or early morning phone calls. The hotel rooms paid in cash. The thunder and lightning storms in the car hiding away in the back-end parking lot at the supermarket. Yeah, that. When I think about what I have been through the last two decades of my life and where I am now, I honestly can say, while I absolutely lost my balance, big time, I wasn’t able or capable at that time to make a different decision or choice. It wasn’t something I even believed was within my control. I truly believed this was destined. I knew it was wrong again, and it lasted for a few years on and off. Until we both agreed we were really done, but the pain and anguish of losing him that was just too much to bear. That was just too painful. And I couldn’t live with that pain. It felt like a limb had been removed from my body. And so begins the sad tale of addiction.


Do you know that I have over 300 DVDs in my collection. And after I recorded some of this, I decided to go back and watch the Bridges of Madison County. Clint Eastwood, Meryl Streep, you know, in the movie, they talk about what the talk will be what happens when you reveal, everything. Something so private and so personal, is there judgment? Is somebody else walking around with that secret? You know, my children as adults may wonder why I’m doing this. They may question Mom, why are you doing this? And the truth is, I don’t know. I guess I just don’t want to have it all come out in some, you know, journal or book when I’m gone. And maybe there can be impact for positivity. It doesn’t have to be looked at negativity, it can just be what it is. The reality is this happened. I let this happen. And I am where I am because of what I chose, what I did, and what happened. I don’t want to hurt one person, not one, including and especially my children, my adult children.


And as I think about the reaction that my children may have to this podcast to this section of my podcast, I am concerned. And in the movie, there’s this one pivotal moment where, you know, they they stopped to think about the judgment. Very familiar to me. Until you I don’t know what the line that you cross is. I mean, is it consummating it in in having you know, sex? Or is it emotionally disconnected of somebody and going into the arms of another, you know, you can spin it any way that you want. But the truth of the matter is this happened, I let it happen. And there will be talk. There may be (gasp) d id you know and you know what there may be I really don’t care. Because I really don’t care what happened to this woman. It’s not happening to me or maybe it is happening to me and I’m speaking for others in this moment in time.


You know, the only thing that I actually really care about in sharing all of this is how my children my adult children are going to be reacting to what I am sure they already know. But have never actually heard it one way – meaning my side. They only know what they remember. And I’m not here to hurt anyone. I’m hoping I can help someone, including myself. There is something magical about actually recording this and throwing it out into the universe and letting it land wherever it may. I don’t know where that is. And I am hoping that because so much time has passed and I have become so much of a better person, not as a result of it but in spite of it that they will say, you know, this is what happened. This is my mother. She is who she is. Not the first, not the last for anyone. But yeah, I just want to be remembered for the good things and recognized for  Yeah, you made some really big pivotal mistakes in your life. Yet you do have 100%, right to actually live a life, your life on these terms, and you do not have to continue to apologize to anyone for it. You know, I didn’t go looking, it is something that I take full responsibility for. And it starts, it’s just something that actually happened. I’m not even scripting this section, I am just talking. Because as I watched this movie, on a bluray DVD player in the collection of, I don’t know, 300 plus DVDs that I have in my possession, dusty. Because I don’t even turn the television on. I’m not streaming it. And I am watching it with subtitles. And I think it’s an important addition to this podcast, and I am going to leave it as raw mistakes and all. Thank you for listening. Thank you for support. Because I know it may hurt people. It may surprise people. It may not surprise anybody.


You know why I said that you may not care. Because people really don’t care about the drama that’s actually happening in your life. They care about the drama that’s happening in their own life. And the reason that I loved the Bridges of Madison County was because of something he said, you know what he said? He said, I don’t want to have to need you. And she says Why? And he responds, because I can’t have you. And she said, What difference does that make? I don’t actually know whether or not he ever wanted me or needed me – needed me. Or if ever he had a thought in his mind, he couldn’t have me because I wasn’t given the option. Not once was I given the option, because he never said it. He never loved me. And you know, something, he was the greatest love of my life and it’s over. I mean, it’s it’s just past it’s it’s just no longer part of my reality. And that has to be okay. And you know what I am grateful for? I’m grateful that I had the time that I had for the first time. In really a long time. I felt something. I felt something so incredible.


I remember thinking back then. I wish everybody could have one moment in time where they feel exactly what I’m feeling right now. You know, because not everybody gets that. Not everybody gets that. But I got that.


Join me next week as I share how it all began with a half a pill and a glass of wine and ended up in the last place I would have believed, rehab! {music plays}

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

About The Author

Mallory Durrick

Mallory Durrick

Hi, I am Mallory Durrick. I am a creative. A Marketing Strategist and Web Designer with a small and modest boutique Marketing Agency living in the suburbs of Philadelphia. I am the creator and narrator of this podcast, Don’t Lose Your Balance. This is a culmination of decades of self-help books, countless doctors, numerous hospitals, including rehabs. Once a wife, now divorced, a mother, a grandmother and an addict in recovery. These are things that I am and have experienced.

I’m sharing it all. Baring it all. Hoping to help others; not lose their balance.