Father’s Day card reveals husband’s double life
IT WAS your typical, modern day love story.
Eddie and I met on a dating app, fell in love quickly and were married within a year.
I never had any reason to not trust him or think that he was lying to me, and I like to think I'm a smart woman. Well, I used to think that, now I don't trust my own judgment any more.
Eddie worked in oil and gas and he had a FIFO job that meant he was away working for eight days and then home with me for six. I like my own company and the arrangement worked well for me too. I had time to catch up with girlfriends and concentrate on work while Eddie was away, and then we'd prioritise time together when he was home.
It was almost like having a holiday romance with my own husband. We were always happy to see each other, and we didn't sweat the small stuff. We hardly ever argued because we were just so happy to be together.
When our twin daughters came along, life got a bit tougher for me. I was managing them on my own most of the time, but Eddie was a wonderful dad when he was home. He was up with the girls during the night when they cried, and he would take them out for a walk in the mornings so I could get some extra sleep.
One day, before he was due to leave for work again, I burst into tears at the idea of being left alone for another eight days.
"That's it," Eddie said. "I'll give notice and find something local. I don't want to leave you like this."
"You can't do that," I sniffled. "You won't be able to make this kind of money anywhere else. It's all part of our plan. I'll be all right, I just need some sleep."
Eddie agreed but told me all I needed to do was say the word, and he'd hand in his resignation.
'Nothing is as important as you and the girls,' he said.
Life went on this way for two more years, with Eddie coming and going, and the girls growing into robust and noisy toddlers. I got into a groove and found myself enjoying my life again. I was back at work and had become great at the working mum juggle - and it was a bonus when Eddie was around.
We were still as in love as we'd ever been, and we were talking about trying for another baby. Then one night, when Eddie was away, I was looking for something to read when I made a staggering discovery.
I'd gone through our bookshelves and found nothing I felt like reading, so I decided to look in Eddie's bedside table. It was there I found it, tucked into the pages of a novel in the drawer: a Father's Day card, written in blue texta in a child's scrawl: "To Daddy, happy Father's Day, love from Nate."
At first I thought it must have belonged to someone else.
Maybe a mate from work had lent Eddie the book and the card had been left in by him. But something in my gut told me I needed to investigate. I went through all of Eddie's drawers looking for something - anything - that would give me clarity. But I found nothing.
I waited an agonising four more days before Eddie came home and I could ask him about the card to his face. There was no way I was going to talk about it on the phone - I needed to see his reaction first-hand.
After we'd had dinner and put the girls to bed, I sat down at the kitchen table opposite Eddie and simply asked, "Who's Nate?"
At that moment I knew my life was about to turn upside down.
Eddie's face crumbled as he confessed to the whole sorry mess, and it was even worse than I thought.
The most horrible idea I'd been able to come up with was that he had an affair and was hiding a love child from me, but it was much worse than that. It turned out I was the affair.
Eddie had been with his partner Natasha for over 10 years. She lived with him on the days he wasn't with me, and thought he was coming away for work when he came home to me and the girls. How he managed to actually fit in any kind of job between juggling two partners in different cities I'll never understand.
I never thought I'd end that day as a single mum.
I thought he would confess to some terrible deed and we'd work things out, but Eddie sat there at the kitchen table we'd bought together and told me he'd gotten himself in so deep and he hadn't known how to get out of it. He told me he needed to make a go of things with Natasha and that he'd ensure the girls and I were looked after, but that he had to go.
I was devastated, and I'm ashamed to say now that I begged him to stay that night, but he said he had to go. I cried all night and barely got a wink of sleep, but the next morning, I showered and gave my daughters their breakfast and got myself together. I looked at myself in the mirror and vowed I'd make the best of this situation, and that's exactly what I've done.
Eddie pays regular child support and he comes down to see the girls occasionally. I keep things civil and businesslike and that's the limit of our relationship. I leaned heavily on my girlfriends in the weeks and months after Eddie left and they've been the pillars of strength I needed when things got tough or I thought I missed him in a moment of weakness. I've thrown myself into work and have been promoted, which I'm proud of.
I did find Natasha on Facebook and I sent her a picture of me and the girls just so she understood exactly what sort of man she was living with. She left Eddie and now, as far as I know, he's alone. Hopefully he's found some time to have a long think about the lives he's messed up.