The first time I met Christopher Boone was at my wife’s work party, a small healthcare consulting firm, on May 5th 2013 in Washington, DC. I shook his hand that night – a social gesture that is common amongst humans when you greet someone for the first time.
What I wasn’t aware of, was the night before Christopher had slept with my wife. My wife had told me a lot about Christopher and their friendship, what I found odd throughout that night was that they never said much to each other, and for someone who was described to me as very sociable and well spoken – he rarely spoke or socialized that night – and avoided eye contact with me. Something was off and I couldn’t place my finger on it. It didn’t take long for everything to fall into place when I found sexually inappropriate conversations on my wife’s phone only 3 days later. After confronting my wife with the information, she didn’t hesitate, she admitted the affair – but it took many more months of therapy and counseling for her fantasy and fog to lift for her to live a life of truthfulness, honesty, integrity and morals. She came clean about the entire affair. It turns out that they began as friends. According to my wife she felt that I no longer cared for her; today however, she can see how this false belief made it easy to justify her actions. While they spent more time, Christopher worked at building trust with her by making statements that “he wanted to be her best friend”. Flash forward to May 4th – my wife’s last day working at the consulting firm as a fellow, they went out drinking to celebrate with coworkers. At the end of the night my wife decided to drive him home vs. dropping him off at the metro. Once they got to his place she was surprised when Chris leaned over to kiss her on the lips instead of a hug. She didn’t protest the kiss. He then proceeded to tell her to “come upstairs”. My wife said she needed to go home and be good. He placed his hands on her thigh and touched her undergarment and said that it was “wet” and that she wanted this. If she didn’t want this she wouldn’t be excited. After what I’m sure was back and forth discussion over going up to his apartment, my wife finally gave in and went up stairs. They were sexually intimate several times that night. Christopher told her not to go home because she smelt like sex and that she should take a shower. So she took one. He made a comment how she smells too fresh and I may find out that something happened. Unfortunately, I was so caught up in my work – I didn’t notice. The night of the work party, my wife lied that was going out to be with her friends and went to his place instead. I, completely trusting of her actions, didn’t not object, but rather said to her to be safe. They met up again, on Tuesday, and my wife told him that she was married. Christopher replied that he still liked her, and but wanted to have sex again as a “last time” event. It was on this day that they had unprotected sex. After the affair became known to me, I demanded that my wife stop contacting him and send a no contact letter. She also told him that I suggested we met up and discuss the situation like adults. True to a cowards form, Christopher said he did not want to meet up to my wife, and created fake email for the no contact letter to be emailed. After 3 months of therapy and I believed we were making progress towards recovery. Unknown to me, my wife had created a fake email account and was still engaging in conversation with Christopher. At this juncture, I felt the next course of action was exposure – with surgical precision. I exposed their affair to their workplace HR department which resulted in my wife resigning. The affair was exposed to her family, friends, colleagues. It was exposed to Christopher’s friends, family, and colleagues. This exposure resulted in casting light where there was once darkness. The affair no longer had darkness to hide in. It no longer had secrecy to grow. It died, literally instantaneously. Exposure was like antibiotics to sensitive bacteria. Aside from the obvious potential for sexual disease transmission, unplanned pregnancy, and a total disregard for my personal physical, mental, and emotional health – the deeper core issues of the affair took many months to be realized. It’s the hurt and pain that she caused her mom, dad, sister, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, friends, coworkers. Affairs do result in pain to the faithful spouse but it also has more widespread effects to those surrounding our family. Only though therapy and counseling has my wife realized the shame she has brought onto our family, but also to her mother and father. Over time she has vocalized her remorse and disgust over the choices that she made, and who she tarnished the sanctity of our marriage. Only now does she appreciate how demeaning and degrading it was to our marital vows, and the trust we had built. However, it also exposed weakness in communication. We both realize that building walls between each other by not communicating facilitated building windows with others outside of our marriage, which increases the opportunity of another affair. While I cannot blame Christopher for the problems within our marriage – that belongs to me and my wife, but I would be remiss to not mention the role/part he played within the affair. A man of integrity, honesty, and honor does not engage in a relationship with a married woman. If you see ring on a woman’s finger – hold yourself to higher standard, demonstrate that you have boundaries and stay within them. We ultimately are only accountable to ourselves, but what we are, who we think we are, what we stand for, the morals and values we hold most dear are tied to our actions when no one is looking. If what you were doing wasn’t ethical or morally sound – why do it in secret? Why lie? Why tell me “you were in support of my marriage”, when the night she told you she was married you asked her to have sex anyway? Is that how you support a marriage? I challenge you to do better in the future. To be a better man not only for yourself but your two young men (children) that you are raising. I challenge you to be a better role model for them – so they can see first hand what a man of integrity and honor looks like.