Chapter 50: That's No Excuse

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My drive back to my parent's house took forever, I thought about turning around at least a dozen times. I didn't know what came over me, I just knew that I wanted my wife back. I wanted Joy.

All of the pastor's words from earlier hit me hard. It made me feel awful for how I handled our marriage and how I treated the woman who meant more to me than anything or anyone.

When I reached my parent's house, I begrudgingly got out of my truck and walked inside. I was surprised to see my parents up sitting at the round cherry wood table in the kitchen talking. They exchanged glances and then my mom got up to leave, stopping to kiss me on the cheek.

"Goodnight, Baby," she said.

"Night, ma," I told her and when she was gone, I joined my father at the table. "Everything okay?" I expected them to be locked away in their room continuing the wedding celebration.

"It's hard to celebrate when we see one of our sons messing up his life," my dad surprised me and said.

"What do you mean messing up my life?" I asked.

"You and Joy, and this divorce," he said shaking his head. "Neither of you want to go through with this, I could see it all over your faces today."

"Like I told you, we've both done too much to go back."

"Please, that's just an excuse. You don't wanna put in the work it takes to fix your marriage."

"I tried!" I defended. After my infidelity I really tried hard to piece my marriage back together.

"You didn't try hard enough," he pointed out. "You were the one who stepped out first and no matter what she did, you have to take the hits and keep fighting. You welcomed infidelity into your household."

"I messed up, but what she did was worse. How am I supposed to trust her?" I argued.

"I don't agree," he said shaking his head. "As the husband I told you when you first got married that you are the protector of your family. When you cheated on your wife, she lost that protection. You left her vulnerable and exposed."

"If mom stepped out on you like that would you have stayed with her?" I asked.

"She did and I did," he said without flinching.

"What?" I asked frowning at him. "Ma stepped out on you?"

"On one of my deployments she did. It was a full fledged affair," he nodded.

"And you stayed with her?" I asked in shock.

"I initially left because I didn't think I could get over it."

"What made you take her back?"

"I love her," he said simply. "And I loved her enough to know that she made a mistake because she was lonely."

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