Our relationship with Brad and Amy was like building a sandcastle too close to the sea. Truly, we became victims to Brad’s emotional tides. The castle would stand beautifully on its on until, boom! Seemingly at random, a wave would suck away the sand faster than we could repair it. Each time we would scramble to fix the structure, but deep down we knew it was a losing battle. It’s hard to pinpoint when it exactly changed, but denial became part of the game.
Amy started hiding her texting with my husband from Brad so he wouldn’t be confronted with it when he was at home. She would text my husband during the day but would go radio silent in the evenings. From Brad’s perspective he was none the wiser and assumed that their relationship was dying down. From my perspective, I saw this as an indiscretion. Envy permeated my being when Brad continued to withdraw from me. He was happy to believe that their relationship was moving to a “casual” realm and shifted ours in kind.
My turning point came when she called my husband at work even though she had never spoken to him on the phone. I stepped outside in a panic when I heard this. Without realizing it, I was pacing back and forth, my feet pressing hard against the ground in agitation. I incredulously asked with a hint of disgust in my voice, “What?? Why is she calling?!” Anger boiled up within me. I was already teetering, and this escalation was about to push me over the edge.
How dare she think she can just access my husband whenever she wanted, I thought to myself. How dare she turn to my husband for emotional support?? My heart was pounding. My palms were sweaty. Colleagues passed me but I didn’t even notice them. All I could focus on was how she was taking the relationship to a new level, and trying to do so secretly. My mind was reeling. Would she dare call him at home when he’s around me? No, of course not.
In those moments, it struck me that it felt like an emotional affair. She was trying to hide it from her husband and me! Little did I know, we were coming up on some of the darkest times of our open relationship. I felt trapped by our situation. Brad had effectively shut down and my husband’s mistress was emotionally leaning on my husband while trying to keep it under the radar. I was not happy. I pushed my husband to allow me to see other people, but he refused. He was absolutely okay with only seeing Amy – even on limited terms. I felt suffocated with Brad’s indifference and my husband’s unwillingness to let me explore. I tried to reason with him and say that clearly Brad was not okay with the situation. But my husband pushed back because he could not fathom being with another woman. Our nightly conversations started ending with tears as I would exclaim how I wasn’t happy with the dynamic. He would calm me down eventually, but there was a breaking point and we were speeding towards it.