My first marriage ended 20 years ago. I knew my husband was sleeping with someone else, but I never found out who. “Helen,” my friend and neighbor, made me coffee and held my hand when I broke down. She even helped me while she was pregnant, and I often referred to her sons as my “other nephews.” Recently I learned her younger son did an ancestry test and learned that Helen’s husband wasn’t his father and that he was first cousins with people still living in my former town. That’s the name of my former in-laws: My ex-husband was the father. My “nephew” ended up calling me to ask for the truth since Helen was stonewalling him and his father refused to deal with it. I told him I knew my ex had had an affair but not with whom, gave him my former mother-in-law’s contact information, and wished him well.
I only had one conversation with Helen. She tried to apologize, and I asked her if she got off more from sleeping with my husband or gloating over my stupidity and misery. She said that wasn’t “fair,” and I asked her if they ever slept together in my bed and whether any of this was “fair” for me or her son. Then I hung up. My new husband thinks it would be easier to let this go and forgive since it’s been so long, but can anyone forgive a betrayal like this? I feel sick. I miss Helen, I hate Helen, and I wish none of this had ever happened. I feel like such a stupid, naïve fool—a betrayed wife crying to her husband’s mistress, what a farce. I don’t know what to do.
—The End, Again