For someone who said they want to talk, he seems to be avoiding the conversation. He comes home late, but he had a job that started at 7:30, so it was nothing out of the ordinary. I can hear him down in the kitchen before he comes quietly up the stairs, creak, creak, creak. He stops in the bathroom at the top of the stairs. Perhaps I should be more, I don’t know, annoyed, or suspicious. He turns on the tap, whoosh whoosh whoosh. Yet those emotions don’t come, it’s the concern that bubbles up instead. I can tell by his tread that something is worrying him. His steps are small but they are oh so much heavier than they should be. Thump thump thump from the hallway. It could be anything, probably work. The hours get longer, the bills get higher, yet the pay is as incapable of being moved by neogotians as a boulder is by a gentle breeze. Yet the old doubts, the ones of a teenage girl and a young bride remain in a dark corner of an older wife and mother’s heart. I hate that they are there that no gentle words or sweet kisses can drive them out. They reappear in times like these: parasitic worm that grows on doubts and questions. He’s at the door now, I can tell by the soft knocking, tap tap tap. Quiet enough that the kids won’t wake up but loud enough that I know he is coming in. I raise my head as the door opens. The dim light from the lamp on the nightstand reflects off his blond hair. He smiles at me, but it's a tired, nervous smile. His face is an open book. He regrets the text he sent me, the one that says we need to talk. Yet he won’t ignore it, he isn't one to shy away from a problem. He never was. That’s why I love him. He sits down on the bed without a word. It is only after he takes off his jacket and shoes that he cuts to the chase. “You know I love you, and I do. But I’ve met someone.” The world stops, then sways. The worm seems to have won, those doubts hang between us instead of in my heart. He whispers my name and it's a question. “Yes?” Is all I can say and it comes out as a crack. “Please baby, I do love you, I swear. You know that I love you and I love this life with you and our -“ “Who? When? Where? How?” Now that I have started talking the words are flowing at the same rate as the tears. “At work, I met her last year, but just this week. Lorraine, I don’t know how. I just don’t know. We haven’t done anything I swear. Just talking, she probably doesn't care anyway. I just don't know”. His voice breaks and some part of me wants to reach out to him and pull him to me. “But the kids, you promised ‘till death do us part’”. “I know. And I meant it. But we were young and blind. I just, don’t know what to do. I’m at a loss, a complete loss.” He puts his head in his hands. My world is shaking and he, who was supposed to be my rock, is the cause. Yet I believe every word he says. I always have. But I don’t want to confront the words yet. I want a breeze to care them out the open window so they leave no trace. But they hang between us and surround us. They cast a shadow on the picture of our wedding day on the wall. The picture of us with our children seems darker, more confused than it did just five minutes before. I can’t think in this room, in this house, with this family and life we have created together. It has too much of him, too much of us. He seems to sense it. He always has, and I suppose this revelation won’t change that. He gets up from the bed. “Just tell me what to do Kate. I won’t do anything until you talk to me. I swear. I ….I need your advice. I need it in everything, and this most of all.” He says it as he walks out the door. He shuts it quietly, click and walked quietly down the hallway to the stairs. He stops at the top, he is hoping I call him back, but I can't, my thoughts are too fast, my voice too slow. And I don’t want to. So he goes, down the stairs, out the door. My thoughts flutter to when he’ll be back. But he’ll be there in the morning, ready to make the kids breakfast and get them on the bus. He is predictable in the best way possible, his moves and motivation as certain as the tick of the clock. Or at least he was. When we met, it was just like he said, we were young and blind. And I was lost in a world that was bigger than I thought. He was so steady, and so so honest, when everyone sugar coated the truth and had ulterior motives he never did. He was kind, both in the fact that he told the truth and in how he told it. It made me fall in love with him. We had rough patches, just like everyone else, but that made me stay in love. He was always the idealist. He thinks everyone is as good as he is, if only. I was the skeptic and the light hearted. I kept him happy and safe and I thought he loved me for it. Or maybe he still does, but for the first time in a long time that love is not enough. I get up from the bed and walk around the room. But I love him. And some part of me knows that he loves me. I was so afraid that having kids would make me love my husband less, but it didn't. Loving more than one thing doesn’t diminish the first love. Even that though doesn't make it hurt any less. Tonight he put a crack in my very foundation, the most solid thing I know, the thing I built my whole life around: our relationship. The thought make me unsteady and I sit back down on the bed. But the longer I think, the more it seems like in some backwards way, he made it firmer too. He hasn’t changed since I fell in love with him. He tells the truth even when it's easier not too. I can trust him and he still trusts me and comes to me for advice. I think back to Elise, my highschool best friend. Just a year ago, she found her husband in their bed with another woman. She was a rock, always so certain. It devastated her. I felt only a fraction of her pain through tearful phone calls that lasted well into, and sometimes through, the night. But one thing she said comes back to me now “Why couldn’t he just tell me and save me some of the pain? Did he not love me enough?”. She had wanted then what my husband gave me now: a warning. It would have been easier not to tell me. But he was honest, faced the truth and the anger and the hurt he must have known would come. And I believe him when he said they haven’t done anything. I believe him when he says he will wait for my decision. I believe him. I believe him I love him. If anything I love him more now because he respected me and trusted me enough to tell me. No matter what happens in the morning, I can sleep tonight knowing that I married a good man.