He Was Cheating. At Least…She THOUGHT He Was! This Is Crazy, RIGHT?!

How does someone know if their partner is cheating on them? A lot of people say that it starts with a feeling. A little nagging in the back of their mind that they can’t shake. This is most likely due to the fact that we know our partners so well that we can sense when they are lying. They don’t even have to be making an excuse, either – just their body language can tell us that something is “off.” But this wife has a reasoning that…well, see for yourself.

The clock radio was playing a gentle tune, and I woke up to another day of infinite wonder and promise.

“Morning, sweetie,” I said, my head still snuggled in my pillow.

“Who’s Angela?” my wife asked in the tone Mike Wallace uses when cameras are chasing some poor jerk down a sidewalk in Newark, New Jersey.

A million years of evolution have given married suburban guys a kind of sixth sense that tells them when to be absolutely truthful, answering all questions fully and without reservation.

“I don’t know any Angela,” I said.

“Oh, I know you don’t,” Kathleen said, sitting up and skimming her hand on the alarm button. “This is so ridiculous. It’s just that I had this dream last night where you left the kids and me and ran off with some Angela woman. I’ve been awake for three hours getting madder and madder.”

“Silly girl,” I said, snuggling deeper into the blankets. “I promise I didn’t run off with anybody. Not last night or any other night. And especially not with any Angela.”

Kathleen threw back the blankets with considerably more force than the circumstances required and got out of bed.

“It was just a dream,” I said, wishing desperately for two more minutes of unconsciousness. “I don’t know an Angela. I’m here with you and our children. I’m not leaving. Never, never, never.”

The shower door banged shut, and I drifted off. Suddenly a wet towel hit me in the face.

“Sorry, hon, I was aiming for the hamper,” Kathleen said. “Anyway, you and Angela were living together in one of those luxury high-rise condos downtown.”

“Ha. See how crazy that is? Child support would wipe me out. I couldn’t afford to live under a bridge if I left you. Which I have no plans to do.”

“Angela’s a surgeon,” she said as if she were talking to a complete idiot, “With an international reputation. She’s filthy rich. Or don’t you realize that either? Oh, of course you don’t. Just a dream.”

“Listen, I know dreams can seem pretty realistic sometimes. But you’re the woman of my dreams. Okay? What kind of surgeon?”

From the bathroom came the unmistakable sound of toiletries being destroyed.

“You want to know what really got me?” she said. “The kids. The kids went to visit one weekend, and you know what that you know Angela did? She made teddy bear pancakes. With little raisin eyes. The children talked about those for days: ‘How come you never make us teddy bear pancakes, Mom?'”

“Teddy bear pancakes? That sounds kind a cute. They’d probably be pretty easy to-…”

“Oooooh,” Kathleen said. “This is so dumb. How can anybody get upset over a stupid dream about your husband running off with a world-famous surgeon who can sit down at a piano with the kids and play all the television theme songs by ear and knows all the verses and can put your daughter’s hair up in a perfect French braid and show your boy how to play ‘stretch’ with a jackknife and teach aerobics?”

“Kathleen, I couldn’t love a surgeon. Surgeons are notoriously self-centered and egotistical. But maybe Angela was different.”

“Angela works among the poor,” Kathleen said. “Here’s that tennis shoe you’ve been looking for. Oops, are you all right? Didn’t mean to hit you with the shoe. George Bush gave her some kind of plaque. I saw it on TV. In my dream. There she was with those cheekbones and that mane of black hair. ‘Others deserve this far more than I do, Mr. President.’ I just about threw up.”

The tennis shoe bruise probably wouldn’t show unless I went swimming or something.

“What with teddy bear pancakes, humanitarianism and piano lessons. Angela couldn’t have much time left over for a guy,” I said. “I mean, a guy like me.”

“Oh no. The kids told me how she’d spend hours rubbing your shoulders and sometimes she’d sit at your feet on that spotless white carpet ‘It’s like snow, Mom’ and stare up at you, laughing at every stupid little thing you said. Darn! Your watch fell in the sink. Sorry, sweetie.”

“I think you’re being a little hard on Angela,” I said. She sounds like a pretty nice person who’s only trying to make a life for herself.”

“She’s a vicious little home wrecker, and if you ever so much as look at her again, you’ll need more than a world-renowned surgeon to put you back together again!”

Later that day I sent flowers to Kathleen’s office. It’s just a start, of course. When somebody like Angela comes into your life, it takes a while to patch things up.

This is ridiculous. She is projecting her own insecurities onto him after a rough night. Maybe she ate something that caused weird dreams. But injuring her spouse and blaming him for something that he clearly hasn’t done is crossing the line. He handled it like a champ, though! He must really love her to send flowers to her office, even though she went a little nuts in the morning! 

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