I had had enough. I decided to drive to Heather’s house one evening – way early to pick up my daughter, with just enough time for a chat.
“I guess it’s time we had a conversation.” I texted her – soon after finding out she had come over while I was at work for coffee. I didn’t really trust my intuition yet. I knew something was weird, off, not okay, but I tried to be chill.
So I drove over in the dark, after getting some encouragement from a few friends. I had training in fierce conversations, I reminded myself. I could do this.
I sat in her long driveway for a minute before walking in, through the studio, up the stairs, and into her home.
She served wine.
I felt brave.
By then, I knew she had told him she wanted to take him to Paris. I knew she had told him she wanted to rip his clothes off. I knew she had told him he reminded her of her last lover, and wouldn’t it be nice to take a bath together? All “explained” by my dear husband as her unstable personality…
“You can’t say the things you are saying to my husband,” I told her.
She was contrite. She nodded.
By then, I knew she had drenched her white t-shirt with bubbles. I knew she had thrown peanuts down her shirt, I knew she had invited him over to look at her pictures that were spread on her bed, kneeled down suggestively to talk about how beautiful she was. All “explained” by my dear husband as her unusual, theatrical personality…
I told her she needed to stop acting like this.
She nodded, we drank wine. She said she knew she had a problem.
“I was sexually abused as a child,” she reminded me, “I have a problem with being near men. I just can’t help it. It’s why I don’t usually talk to any of the dads at the studio.”
I held my ground. I told her I had already heard her tell me that the other day, and it still didn’t excuse the behavior.
We sipped our wine, she talked about her childhood. We even laughed.
I noticed a red “That Was Easy” button on her coffee table. I laughed as I pushed it, asking her sarcastically if she had left it out on purpose to try to make the conversation easier.
We discussed the options.
- End the friendship between Heather and my husband
- No contact between the families at all
- Continue a family friendship
I was already trying to save the sinking ship of my marriage, in daily arguments about what it meant to be married. I was trying to be a nice, chill wife. I was, in theory, okay with female friends. So what if this one felt weird? The last thing I wanted to be was directive and controlling.
So I agreed that we could continue a family friendship.
“Let’s give it a try,” I said. And my daughter walked up the steps, ready to go home.
By then, I knew a lot.
But it would be almost a year until I found out that as I sat in her driveway, she was texting my husband.
“Just so you know, your spouse is here.”
“Good luck,” he told her.
And as I left, they chatted some more.
Turns out the only thing that was easy was my gullibility.