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I know – pretty exciting, right? LOL But seriously. Back in November 2014, when I thought my husband and I were trying to put our marriage back together, I asked him what he thought about getting a puppy – a new LGD (livestock guardian dog) because our older semi-LGD was getting, well, older. He seemed to like the idea, which I took as a positive sign that he really did want to keep our family intact.

Gilbert was a troubled pup almost from the get-go. I hadn’t known then that his behavior, even when we met him, was exactly what we should have avoided. I also didn’t know that while my daughters and I drove to Tennessee and back to get our new puppy, my husband was texting two women, and that he’d had a 25-minute chat with OW2 just before we got home; conveniently, I’d called him and told him we were about an hour away, so I guess he figured he’d better squeeze in that call. So while my daughter was texting puppy pictures to her dad, her dad was talking to someone who didn’t give even one damn about his kids or the new puppy – she just wanted him to leave his wife and children.

We continued to have trouble with Gilbert; his behavior became increasingly unpredictable and very unsafe, and earlier this year, we made the decision to let him go. It broke my heart, and I reflected on the fact that at the time, I had thought that my husband’s willingness to get a puppy meant that we were going to be okay. That he wanted us – to work on our marriage. That he was “all in”. My husband has apologized for not being the husband/father/man he should have been then, but that doesn’t make it hurt less. Those who’ve been the betrayed spouse will know exactly what I mean when I say that reflecting now on that trip in 2014, I can recall how excited we all were about Gibby, but then my brain immediately reminds me that my husband was talking to someone who was actively intent on breaking our family apart. It doesn’t compute…until it does, and then it just hurts.

Since last year, my husband has talked about needing to get a new air conditioner. Our home is twenty years old and both the a/c and the furnace were original equipment, so after soliciting bids and doing our research, we had a new a/c and furnace installed last week. My husband leaned in to me and said that he hoped I saw this as a sign that he truly is all in – that he had chosen the better option because the additional financial investment was important to him – his way of saying that he’s putting his money where his mouth is, I guess.

…which, okay, is both weird to me but sometimes makes me laugh, because – well, because infidelity does weird stuff to your brain and if you can laugh instead of crying, that’s what you do.

Also, we have a new puppy. Her name is Caoimhe (Keeva) and my husband even shared her picture on Facebook. And he quietly, gently promised me that the only person he talked to while my girls and I went to pick her up, was me. Well, and our girls and our son. So yeah. It’s all lovely, though I wish my brain didn’t add an asterisk to every new experience, as if I could forget that time when my husband pretended it was perfectly okay to be unfaithful to our us.

Caoimhe ~ 8 weeks old