My husband finally conceded to bible study with Jehovah’s Witnesses. We were assigned to a local congregation and we began to attend regularly. The most fun thing about being going to the Kingdom Hall was seeing my little babies all dressed up. That was about it. The meetings were long and boring. The people for the most part were stoic and condescending. The hall assigned an older couple who had been “in the truth” for over 30 years to lead our bible studies. Though my husband still showed little more than casual interest in bible study (i.e. never doing the Watchtower lesson or leading the family in regular personal bible study), he still loved to check me if or when I was not being a “submissive wife”. I confided in the wife of the bible study leads and she told me not to worry. To just keep believe in Jehovah and to remember 1 Peter 3:1,2, “In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, 2 as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.”
And out of the blue, as if a “blessing from god”, Tony was offered a government contractor job in Afghanistan. The job paid well enough for me to be able to quit my job, but he would be gone for a year at a time. At that time, I couldn’t care less. I didn’t care if he would be gone because to me, I was already alone emotionally. However, the thought of being alone with four children terrified me. Even though he didn’t help much, I was afraid to be with all of our children alone. Couldn’t I handle it? Would I become overwhelmed? Would I get sick of staying at home with no adult interaction? Begrudgingly I helped him with his paperwork because he didn’t have time or patience to fill out the paperwork exactly as the government and the contractor directed. With everything set and done, he was set to go within the month. I was actually excited and nervous at the same time. I would have some of that independence that I had given up to be with him only now I would have four kids along with it. The brothers and sisters at the Kingdom Hall, however, were none too happy. They counseled us on the fact that he would be supporting an act of war and that a man being away from his family was probably not in the best interest. Tony took it as a “matter of conscience” and let them know that he would be taking the job anyway and that he would deal with Jehovah on that tip later.
The morning that I drove him to the airport, we had a fight about me expressing that I was afraid to be alone; he left the house a mess. He’d turned over the glass coffee table, poured popcorn everywhere, there was juice from sippy cups all over the walls and he broke my laptop. Still, I was happy that he was gone. The weekly bible studies became biweekly and my Kingdom Hall attendance became less and less. It’s hard getting four children ready all by yourself for even small trips to the grocery store and I didn’t have much help.
With my husband gone, yard work became overwhelming. I decided to hire a company to cut the grass for us. And that’s where the next huge problem came in. “Golden”. His name was “Golden”. He was 6’3” and just as sexy as he wanted to be. His body glistened as he pushed the lawnmower across our large yard in the summer heat. We usually spoke casually about the kids and the yard. He had a daughter of his own. We started talking about life, our spouses and how much they drove us crazy. And yep, just like that, one thing led to another. I had an affair. I knew that it was wrong. It was so exciting. And dangerous. “Golden” made me feel alive and wanted. He hung on my every word. We discussed those sexual topics and we questioned religion; things that my husband deemed taboo. He let me cry and he comforted me.
Because nothing can get by Tony, he found out. He probably had some remote software that allowed him to use the computers in our house to see exactly what I was doing. He came home right away. I expected the beating of my life. But no. He was eerily calm. He even wanted to go on a road trip. We drove out to Wisconsin to visit his cousin with no problem (of course I bought pepper spray to take along just in case). We had a peaceful couple of weeks. And then…