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Someone’s left you a voicemail message, but all you can make out are the last words: “I’m sorry. I should’ve told you months ago. Bye.” Who is it from, and what is this about?

What you’ve forgotten, dear post editor, is that I have caller ID. Boy, does that help me screen callers! If I were concerned about the call, I’d call back. (That’s happened to me when I’ve gotten a “strange” message.) My guess is the call wasn’t for me; it was for some other poor soul. If it were for me, well, what’s past is past and probably best forgotten.

What’s the worst thing it could be? It could be from a friend telling me she’s been having an affair with my husband. In my real world, this just isn’t going to happen; I know my husband, and he considers that such a sin, that I don’t think he could have an affair. Not that everyone’s perfect, but some people strive for perfection and have such a strong moral compass that blatant sin is just not something they’d commit easily. That’s my husband. I’m much the same, though I have to say — I’ve never had to face the choice, nor am I open to the idea.

About 25 years ago, a good friend of mine began an affair with a neighbor. She was helping the family by going in to cook and clean because the woman/wife was bedridden with some disease (I can’t remember what), and in and out of the hospital. Months after it began my friend told her husband, and said she didn’t love him any more, and would move out to live with this other guy as soon as it could be arranged.

Besides being totally surprised, I was shocked and horrified. What a thing to do! She did have reasons for not being happy in her marriage, but this was about the most sordid and mean way to escape it. After months, she finally did leave, but lived with this “other man” in the same community. How humiliating for both aggrieved spouses. If I’d been her husband, I’d have sent her packing immediately, but he’s kind, and didn’t. He also regarded marriage as a sacrament and something you don’t get out of quite that easily.

All the lives that were affected, not only by the shattering of trust and commitment, but by the embarrassment, the sordidness, cannot be estimated. What’s worse is one of my reactions was — she’s deprived me of a friend I had cared about and confided in over the years. I could understand why she was having marital issues, but could never condone the way she and her eventual second husband treated the people closest to them.