I can remember lying in bed the day after I had opened the credit card bill with the most insane anger at James – my friend, partner, lover and husband for the last 15 years. He had made me feel angry but also dirty, used, tricked and deceived. Until that day in early March 2009 I had personally never looked at a frame of pornography. I came from a family that tended to look down of things like girly calendars and the tabloid newspapers that showed breasts – let alone porn – and I had always thought that my educated, broadsheet-reading husband did also. I had the impression that our sex life was good and that I satisfied him, but accidently opening his credit card bill instead of my own and seeing that it had an outstanding balance for almost £8k at a time when we were personally struggling to cope with our very large year-old mortgage at first had me worried and then enraged as I began to see where the debit was coming from.
Tracking back the paperwork over the course of two years, it soon became clear to me that James had spent more than £15k on cybersex with webcam sex workers. Once I had investigated all the credit card bills I could find, I began to search his computer and sure enough it had a huge number of porn searches logged in the web history. I thought to myself – ‘All those hours he claimed to be working in the office and in fact he was just sat there wanking.’
What really destroyed me was the fact that he had made loads of searches for escort sites in our town. I broke out in a cold sweat just thinking about what he might have been up to and almost as quickly as I knew it, I was booking myself an appointment at the local GU clinic for every sort of test I could. If James could deceive me like this, I was not going to take his word for the fact that I didn’t have some awful sort of sexually transmitted disease.
I had lain awake most of the night having fained a migraine rather than confronting him about what he had done as soon as he walked in the door. My mother always taught me to sleep on decisions, but as soon as it was light and I could sense him beginning to wake I was hit by the most enormous wave of distress I’ve ever felt. I think I literally jumped out of bed. Went into James’s office, picked up his credit card bills and carried them in to the living room. I went back into his office and picked up his laptop – I opened it and literally bent the whole screen back as far as I could until the white plastic hinge snapped. I placed it on the floor and scattered the credit card bills, and then I summoned up the most enormous scream I have ever used in my life. I screamed and then I began to shout the most basic language I know until a startled and dazed James descended the stairs and arrived in the living room by my side. He began to shout out loud, trying to get me to stop. For a moment I thought he was going to restrain me and I remember shouting at him not to fucking touch me with his dirty, wanker’s hands. I think if I’d had a weapon, I would have used it against him without a second thought. And then I felt suddenly quite calm, while he looked really fearful for the first time in our marriage.
In Part 2 Helen continues her story
Copyright THE WiTTING PRESS 2011