We knew this day would come.
Long before we put rings on each other’s fingers, we knew that a day would come when the sharpest knife would be thrust into our hearts by the person that we stood next to before the man of God, as we swore to keep and to hold each other till death.
We knew. We talked about it at length. We covered all the scenarios. That she would cheat on me with another man. With another woman. With an older man. Very possibly, a much younger man. That I would cheat on her. With another woman. With another man. With a younger woman, maybe even a socialite, a prostitute or a friend’s wife. With an older woman, a cougar. She even added the house help to the list. That I might one day cheat on her with the maid.
We knew we did not have wings attached to our backs when we agreed to explore this marriage thing. We talked about it at length, hoping that this would prepare us for any eventualities. More than anything, even in full knowledge of the odds against us, we wanted our union to last.
We did not, however, want to just talk about it. We wanted to be able to deal with all the above when they happened. Granted, infidelity was not the only thing that would threaten our marriage. We knew that too. There were in-laws, friends, finances, jobs, our sheer ability or inability to become parents. How about our lustfulness, our spirit of adventure, our immaturity – we could just refuse to grow up. What of our physical appearances? I would acquire a potbelly, lose some hair. Good gracious, she would grow hairs in all the wrong places and refuse to shave a sprouting moustache!
So much, too much, stood against us. But we were standing together, side by side, facing all these odds and preparing for battle. We broke everything down.
We would put ourselves a priority above our in-laws from both sides, we planned. Our friends and our finances would come a distant third or fourth in our list of priorities. If we were to have a child, or two, that was well and good and would be celebrated. If after ten years no child was forthcoming, we would adopt. We gave ourselves ten years. Ten years within which we wouldn’t be tested or medicated in case of delayed conception. Who needs the blame game and the resentment. We wouldn’t care who’s problem it was that no child was forthcoming. We were in this together. Ten years. No biological child, then yes adopted child. The adopted child, too, would be well and good and celebrated.
What people said about us. The gossip, their big noses poking into our business, what they thought about us. All would not matter. Would not matter. Would. Not. Matter.
Our jobs, we would keep them as long as they made us happy. We would never live apart. If one of us was to be offered a job in another country or another town, they would only take it if the other agreed to relocate with them. If no agreement was reached, the job would be forgotten and the marriage saved.
We talked about a scenario where one of us found out that the other was having an affair, or had had an affair.
When the truth comes out, both parties will desist from talking about the unearthed affair for three days. During these three days, the offended party (yes, he or she who will have been betrayed by their inconsiderate better half) will wake up early. They will brew a cup of coffee. Then they will pour a cup and offer it to the offender (the Judas, if you will). They will not place it on the table, no. They will pour, pick the cup up, offer it to Judas. Coffee and a slice of love, is what we christened this three-day routine. The offended party will make sure that their hands touch those of their spouse as they hand over the coffee. This touching of hands would be the slice of love.
On all three days, the offender will accept the coffee offered. Whether they feel like drinking coffee or not. Whether they’d prefer some tea, or juice or a shot of vodka or not. Whether they’re late for work or not. They will take the cup of coffee offered, and they will drink it. All of it. Bitter or sweet, they’ll drink it. Oh, and they will look at the offended party as they accept the cup of coffee from them.
And they will say thank you.
During the three days of coffee and a slice of love, the offended party will not ask questions about the affair. Both parties will not talk about the affair, not until the third day. On the third day, the offended will have carte blanche to ask any questions, and it will behoove the offender to answer all the questions asked truthfully.
We had it figured out.
We should, therefore, still have it figured out now.
It is five years and seven months into our marriage. It is 6:30 am on a Saturday morning.
We knew this day would come.
Though we talked about it, planned for it, we still hoped that it would never come. We hoped that we loved each other too much to ever hurt each other in this manner. Well, this morning, one of us is heading to the kitchen to brew a pot of coffee for their cheating spouse.
We just entered the most trying three days of our marriage yet.
To be continued…