Husband’s affair leads to unexpected consequences for wife

I never really expected anything would happen in my life that would be worth writing about. But maybe there’s something here that someone can learn from. I know there’s a lesson. I’m just not sure what it is.

My husband, Ben, and I were about five and a half years into our marriage, and things were going pretty well. Ben had just started his career as a police officer, and I worked as a secretary downtown. Things were going pretty well for us, even though I worried quite a bit about the potential dangers of Ben’s job and didn’t much care for the late shifts he often had to work, being one of the newer officers on the force.

Maybe it would help with the story a little if you knew what we look like. Or perhaps I should have said “looked like,” because what I’m going to tell you about happened quite a few years ago. And unfortunately, none of us looks the same as we did 25 years ago.

Ben was not what anyone would call a handsome man, although his inner strength and wry sense of humor made him quite attractive when you got to know him. He was about 5-10 and was a little stocky at 185 pounds. He had wavy brown hair, which he kept clipped short because of his job, and piercing brown eyes.

It’s funny, but when I try and describe Ben, I always think first about the way he smells—a really masculine combination of after shave and that just plain natural smell that many men seem to have. It’s a little hard to describe, but it gets stronger whenever you’re having sex with them.

Some people, I guess, considered me attractive. I could look pretty nice when I took the time to fix myself up for a party or other special occasion. I wore my light brown hair just below my shoulders and liked the way the natural curl sort of made it cascade down. My eyes were brown, too, like Ben’s, and a few people had mistaken us for brother and sister when we first started seeing each other.

I had a slender build at 5-7 and about 125 pounds, and the occasional times when someone commented on my appearance, most of the comments were about my long, and apparently shapely, legs. My small breasts matched my slender frame, and I’d had to resort to padded bras for years to make my clothes fit right.

I always enjoyed looking at the wedding picture of Ben and me that set atop the bookcase in the living room of the modest home we’d managed to purchase right after he got on with the police department. It would be safe to say that both of us had never looked more attractive in our lives than we did that day. And I’m pretty sure we’ll never look that good again.

All right. Now back to my story.

I was at work when I received the call—the one that all police officer’s wives dread. Ben had been badly injured. Not shot or stabbed, thank god. But he had been in a serious wreck in his patrol car and had been rushed to the emergency room at University Hospital downtown.

I dropped the phone and didn’t even take time to tell my boss where I was going. The hospital was only a few blocks from my building, and I ran every step of the way, arriving breathless, disheveled and trying my best to muffle the sobs that kept welling up inside my aching throat.

The emergency room admitting clerk wouldn’t give me any information for quite awhile, until I finally made her understand who it was that I was looking for and that this injured cop was my husband. She treated me with much more courtesy after that, but I’ll never forget how helpless I felt as she made me wait like that.

I won’t go into a lot of detail about Ben’s injuries. I really have tried to put that scene out of my mind—those first moments when I went back to the treatment area and saw the tubes sticking out of him and his poor battered face. Remember, this was in the days before all cars had air bags, so when you had a bad wreck, the chances were pretty good that your head was going to hit something hard. Ben’s certainly did.

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