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  • Sarah Swindell

I Love You More

I think I have been putting off this part of the story for several reasons, but most of all because I have to go to bed every night with the main subject of this writing!


One of the last pictures I had taken at an autism walk, as a whole family.

Greg knew this would eventually come up, and his support for me in sharing this ugly time in our life, is so brave of him. It shows just how far we both have come since that day ten years ago. But I do feel I need to explain something before I continue.


Our relationship was so broken by this point, and our communication skills sucked big time. Something like this was bound to happen and if it wasn't him, it could have easily been me, and I own that fact.


The crowd of friends we were hanging out with, had this air of toxicity to it, and we were part of it. Some of us seemed to be playing with fire, and pushing the limit with our actions when we would all get together for a party or an event. Not good for an already fragile marriage.


We had briefly separated a couple of times, but always found our way back to each other, with a vow to work harder and stay together. But looking back, the damage had already been done, and by this time we seemed to be on different planets. All the stress of the last several years, had finally taken a major toll on both of us, and we were far from being on the same page about anything.


While what happened was beyond traumatizing for me and our children, I now realize several factors have to all be present, to create the perfect storm for infidelity to occur.


If a marriage is in trouble, all it takes is the help of a third party to ignite the hurricane, by willingly injecting them selves into already troubled waters.


Amanda was that third party. She was like a sister to me, and one of my dearest friends. We confided in each other about everything, and I mean everything. We talked about about our husbands, kid troubles and everything in between, and I completely trusted her.


The thing after ten years of reflection is, there is enough blame and excuses as to why it all happened for all involved. All that matters to me now, is that forgiveness has prevailed in our situation, and I am so grateful for that.


But it was NOT a pretty road to get here, and it almost killed me in every way. Our daughters, especially the younger two, had an extremely difficult time dealing with all the circumstances surrounding the events that happened. I still have tremendous angst over what our daughters went through, and that their own parents had caused them pain.


Here is a small portion of the chapter, "I Love You More".



Late November, 2008


It’s 4:30 am, and I can’t sleep. I toss and turn replaying the last forty-eight hours over and over in my mind, and my head was starting to ache. He isn’t acting right at all, and hasn’t been for months.


Dinner the other night with Amanda and Dave was just too bizarre to forget, and the argument Greg and I had after dinner was even more bizarre. It wasn’t making any sense to me, why he would leave in the middle of the night to stay with a friend to “cool off” when it wasn’t even that big of an argument to justify cooling off from.


I had only mentioned on the drive home from the restaurant, that I thought he was being a little too flirty with Amanda, and that it kind of hurt my feelings. I had never seen him get so defensive about anything as he did about my observation, but wrote it off that it must have been the tequila talking.


When he did finally come home late the next morning, I sensed something was very wrong. I reluctantly gave him a hug and apologized for being accusatory, but he didn’t hug me back. It was then, that a strange feeling of fear washed over me that I didn’t fully understand.


There was a look in his eyes that I had never seen before. They were glazed over and vacant, and it scared me to death.


We went to bed that night without saying much, and I still could not get the look that was on his face off my mind, even at 4:30 am.


I decided to get out of bed for a glass of water, and noticed the light on his Blackberry was blinking. It had never crossed my mind to look at his phone during our entire sixteen year marriage. Even during the baseball years when infidelity was going on all around me, I trusted him with every inch of my being.


But something nagging inside made me do it this time. His phone was shaking in my hand so much, I almost dropped it on the bathroom counter where it was charging. I shoved aside the guilt I was feeling, composed myself with a deep breath, and clicked.


“I love you more” illuminated on the screen, and it was from Amanda.

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