One year ago today I discovered (the hard way) that my husband and business partner was having an affair with one of our very young employees. It wasn’t a one-off fling but a full-fledged, calculated extramarital affair that had been ongoing for 2 years – right under my nose. And naive little me didn’t see it coming.
Of course I had every reason to trust him. “Markus” took his marriage vows seriously and swore (swore!) to me often that he would never ever cheat. “People who cheated were disgusting and immoral” he said. He was there for my son and I for the long haul, for better or worse, and he intended to honor his vows to the end. For 10 years, we lived building our life together, raising Mischa, and sharing our passion for healthy living, outdoor sports, hiking, nature, and the raw vegan lifestyle. I trusted him implicitly, never even thinking to think otherwise. And yet, within moments, everything that I believed in came crashing to the ground.
To see everything that you’ve worked at for so long crumble at your feet, all because of someone else’s act of selfishness is truly devastating. It took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that the clean cut vegan “family man” who asked my father’s permission for my hand in marriage had been carrying with our staff, lying to me for years, breaching his fiduciary duties and putting our corporation at risk. I felt as though I had been stabbed in the heart twice.
To add to this, I discovered that my business was being mismanaged and pilfered from. The turmoil that I was left with was overwhelming, the legal battles unending. At times, I wondered if I would be able to go on. Not only I did I have to rebuild my business and manage a staff of 12, I was forced to clear out the accumulated matrimonial clutter from our home, stage the house, and list it on the market — all single handed —- while trying to be there for my son. I considered walking away from my business and giving up on my dream, my aspirations and life mission. It hasn’t been easy – especially that he never admitted or explained his actions to myself or to his stepson (my child!) of 10 years. (This being hardest for us both to process)) Instead he took the cowardice way out, vanishing from our lives, never to be seen again. Except for in court.