It was the fall of 1992, and I had just returned to Miami to begin working on my company’s newly acquired cruise ship. It was an exciting time for me because they requested that I join the new ship (instead of my usual floating home), to get their systems and procedures in place. It was an honor.
I was still in my civilian clothes as I boarded through the passenger gangplank to make my way to the Purser’s office. As I strode down the corridors of my new home away from home, I saw him.
At the far end of the corridor, he stopped dead in his tracks and stood staring at me.
Oh my gawd! Rodolfo.
I tried to stay calm as I walked closer to him. I felt the blood drain from my face.
Rodolfo was my ex-fiancé who had been fired and sent back to Spain eighteen months before. And now… we were about to be reunited.
My heart started racing, and I felt like I was walking in slow motion. He continued to stay frozen in one spot.
Thoughts raced through my mind. What am I going to do? How am I going to deal with being on the same ship as him?
You see, I was now married.
My return to the ship was to escape my physically abusive marriage.
The agreement with my husband was that I would spend one contract (9-12 months) away, and then return to him in El Salvador. It was the only thing I could think of to get away from him. My suicide attempt had failed, so if I wanted to get away from him alive, I had to lie. I lied, and he bought it.
Did I plan to go back to him? At that point, I wasn’t sure. But his agreement made it clear that he cared more about the money I could make, than being with me.
So, as I slowly approached Rodolfo, another thought came into my head—What are the odds?
Not, “What are the odds that he’d be here on the same ship,” it was, What are the odds that I would work on a ship with a man who looked EXACTLY like my ex-fiancé.
My face felt flush as I realized I should have been wearing my glasses, because… it was not Rodolfo.
So why did that man stop dead in his tracks? It was because there was some kind of overwhelming attraction between us.
As the days passed, Pablo found any excuse he could to come by my office. I knew that my husband had a dozen people watching me (seriously, he did—he was like the head of a mafia to the Hispanic crewmembers), so I was very careful how I behaved, and who I was seen with.
It wasn’t until Pablo came and asked for some documents from our stock room, that we were alone and out of site from any watchful eyes.
“If only you weren’t married.”
I stood in shock as he uttered those words and gently raised my hand to his lips; his eyes never breaking our gaze.
His touch, gentle kiss to the back of my hand, and gaze made me feel extremely unsettled; but I felt an electricity go through my body that made me wish I wasn’t married either.
I found the strength to break out of my endorphin-induced fog, and said, “Pablo, I am very flattered, but, I am also very married. Please don’t make any further gestures like this.”
Those were my words, but my sad, lonely heart and loins were screaming, “Shut up and let him take you!” I quickly left the room, never to allow myself to be alone with him again.
It didn’t matter that my husband had tried to end my life on more than one occasion in the first three months of our marriage. It didn’t matter, that I tried to end my own life to get out of the marriage. I made a commitment to him, and in the eyes of God. That meant something to me. That meant more to me than some not-so-innocent flirting or a romp in the hay.
Even though my marriage seemed bleak, I still stayed faithful to my husband—a man who was a thousand miles away.
So if I was able to stay faithful to a man who was not even present in my day-to-day, why is it so hard for couples to stay faithful when they come home to each other each day?
Why do sites like Ashley Madison even exist?
Why do we keep lying to each other?
Why has our society begun to accept such sadistic behavior?
If you are unsatisfied in your current situation, do you think cheating will fix it, or make it tolerable?
Do you sense a theme going on between this and last week’s blog?
Yes, I, Veronica Tanzen, am vehemently ANTI-cheating.
My best friend told me that she could “get any man she wanted” during a selfishly self-imposed rough patch of her marriage.
Married to a man who was a man in every sense of the word. He was handsome, career driven, amazing with their children, cooked, cleaned, loved sports (and stayed fit playing soccer—yes, he had a soccer body). He never neglected her or their children, and even mowed “I ‘heart’ U” in their lawn. Not a desperate man. A man who loved and desired his wife, and worked hard for her and the success of their young family.
She, in turn, was so insecure that she had to tart herself out before she went to work at the science centre in our city, so that the twenty-something minimum-wage-earning boys would fawn over her narcissistic self.
I should correct myself.
My EX-best friend. The EX-godmother of my child.
I have no patience for the topic, and there is not a single thing anyone could say to me to make me feel differently.
Time to grow up, people.
Time to stop living in a fantasy world of zero ramifications for your action.
Time to be honest with yourself.