I married my best friend Trina when I was 30 years old and she was 28. We were the happiest couple in the world. After a ten-year friendship and a seven-year relationship, we exchanged vows to take be husband and wife, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part.

Soon, our marriage was blessed with a beautiful girl, who we named Aliana. We were happy. I had the love of my life and our little princess had come to bless us and make us into a family. I couldn’t ask for more.

But unfortunately, it was a short-lived happiness. When Aliana was three years old, I was promoted at my work. Little did I know that this promotion was both a blessing and a curse.

At work, my direct boss retired and as life would have it, an ex-girlfriend from my past, Alexa, succeeded him. She and I now worked in the same department, and we had to work together. It was awkward. We were never friends after we parted ways, especially when my wife Trina and I became a couple. Alexa was a flirt. Indeed, she was very vocal and pushy after we parted. She refused to give up on me; so, I have to completely cut ties with her and stop answering her calls and/or text messages. I had to do it for Trina. Trina, understandably, felt a sense of jealousy towards Alexa. I tried so very much to reassure Trina. I told her that she underestimated herself, that no one could ever – not even Alexa – could steal me from her. Still, Trina always felt uneasy and a sense of jealousy when Alexa’s name came up.

Now, with this development in my work situation, I had no choice but to keep this from Trina. I knew that if Trina discovered that I was working closely with Alexa, Trina would be terribly jealous and unhappy. I have an excellent position in this company, and I did not want to lose that. As it now happened, I unfortunately now needed to work in close proximity with Alexa in order to stay in the company and keep my salary and my position.

As life would have it, my workdays at the company became busier, and I sometimes needed to spend late nights in the office. Trina was understanding of my work schedule. She knew that I worked hard because I wanted to get far and do great things for her and for our family. She knew that although I might sometimes work overtime on weekdays, I always made it a point to spend Sundays with Trina and our family.

That was, except today. It was a Sunday, and I had to rush to the office to work on a partnership proposal which was due that following Monday. Alexa and I were the ones assigned to this partnership agreement review and I had no choice but to stay with her that Sunday and work on the proposal. As we were working on the project, hours passed, and we decided to grab lunch at a nearby restaurant. We were civil to each other, so, in my mind, a simple, friendly lunch was not – and should not be – anything.

During lunch, Alexa and I made small talk about the project and how it was coming along. Suddenly, she accidentally spilled juice on her couch. I called for the waiter for help, but the restaurant was terribly busy with customers and the waiter was not immediately available to help us. I therefore invited Alexa to sit beside me and away from her wet seat, while we waited for someone to clean up the wet mess. As our lunch continued, we continued talking. I laughed when it came to a point that she mimicked the funny secretary of the CEO of our competitor company. Then, I felt her hand slowly creep above mine. I looked at her, and she smiled. She suddenly grabbed my face and kissed me on the lips. I was stunned. I was in shock. I did not know what to do until I heard someone slam our table.

It was Trina carrying our beautiful daughter Aliana. There were tears in Tina’s eyes and so much emotion in them. The anger, hurt and betrayal were so very painfully visible in her face. She turned and walked away, not saying anything; I ran behind her and grabbed her arm. She slapped me strongly.

“Don’t ever come near Aliana or me again. I never want to see you again!” She said with a terrible pain in her voice.

I grabbed her hand again and begged her to listen to me, “Tina, it’s not what you think! Please hear me! Let me explain.”

She shook her head in disappointment and struggled to free her arm from my grasp. That was the last time I ever saw her.

She changed the locks, and I cannot get into my house. I tried and tried to call her, but she will not answer me and has now changed her number. Her family won’t talk to me. My family is against me for “wasting” a good woman like Trina. No one would believe me that I had not done anything wrong.

 Months passed and the hurt of the immediate event slowly became less intense. One day, Trina knocked on my door, and I was so excited to see her that I hugged her tight. She pushed me away and slammed the divorce papers in my face. She wanted me to sign the divorce papers and to file for divorce that very same day.

“I want a divorce.” Her face was devoid of emotion.

But I was persistent. I don’t want to lose Trina. I didn’t want to lose my family. “Please, hun. Can you please at least let me say a few words? Let’s talk. It was wrong for her to kiss me, but I did not cheat on you. She did this to me without my being a part of that. Please! I’m begging you. Alexa and I were only working. We had lunch; I did not know about her intentions. I had no idea that she would kiss me. Please don’t do this. Please don’t leave. I am completely innocent. Let’s save our marriage.”

Trina said, “You should have thought about this before hiding to me about working with her. For goodness’ sake, it was a kiss, Marco! I want my freedom back. Don’t make this any harder for me  than it is. Please sign the divorce papers.” She pleaded as if I was a burden to her.

“And what about Aliana? If I sign your divorce papers and  “free” you, what about Aliana? How will she be?” I said “Please listen to me. I don’t want to lose Aliana, too.” Tears were falling from my eyes. I wanted to be in her embrace, but I knew that would be too much.

“We’ll co-parent. Aliana has been looking for you, and she misses you. I don’t have the heart to take you away from her.”

I lost Trina for good that day. We got a divorce decree the following months, but I have never stopped loving her. I look at her from afar, and I see that she’s healing perfectly while I’m still stuck alone.

We co-parented Aliana. I’d often go to her new house to pick up and drop off Aliana when it’s my schedule to be with her for the week. Trina and I are civil to each other. Aliana is now seven, and as the brilliant kid that she is, she understands that her mom and I had to go on separate ways.

I picked up Aliana at her house one day, but our little girl was still eating her cereal slowly. I could see that she was a bit off and sad, so I asked her, “What’s the matter, honey? Is everything ok? Are you feeling sick?”

She placed her little arms on the table and put her head over them. “Mommy’s dating a guy.”

I could not speak. It hurt deeply. So many questions filled my mind. Trina is dating someone. Are things going to change between our co-parenting arrangement? Do we not have a chance anymore? Is it too late for us?

Trina entered the kitchen with a glowing smile. I had many questions to ask her, but I had no idea where to start. She seemed happy. Why should I ruin that for her?

“Marco, can I have a word with you?” She asked. I nodded, and we went to the living room, a bit far from Aliana. “Can you watch Aliana tonight? See, I met this guy on the website FindAMateForFree.com (or FAMFF.COM), we clicked, and now, we’re going on a date. I might come home late. Her nanny had the flu and is not here. My Mom can’t come either. Will you please watch her?”

And that’s how it started. They did not match at all, nor all the subsequent dates that she had after that. But she did not stop there. A series of dates went on, and every time she thought it went well, I’d see her come home with tears telling me that the guy she met was not “the one”.

One night, she came home crying. And just like the other nights, I knew they were not going for another date again. I embraced her tight and listened to her cry in my arms.

“Tell me, when’s the next date?” I quietly asked, trying to be a little lighthearted and she punched my chest as she wiped her tears away.

Deep in my heart, I was tired of watching her cry, and I knew I needed to stop that. So I made a plan.

The following week, it was my turn to pick up Aliana and I asked Trina if she has a date the following night.

“Why?” She asked curiously.

“Because I can’t come over to watch Aliana. I have a date with my special girl tomorrow night.” Trina was silent and was thinking. “But if you have a date, I asked Trina, I can ask my parents to come over. They also miss Aliana very much. How’s that?” I suggested.

“Will your parents be ok to come and baby sit, asked Trina?” “I know that Aliana would love that. She misses them, too.” Trina said with a small smile.

The next day, I was busy preparing for my date. I got a reservation at a wonderful restaurant. I bought some flowers, too. My parents were already at Trina’s house as I headed over to my date.

I was thirty minutes early, so I had the time to settle down and wash my nervousness away. Minutes later, I saw the love of my life entering our favorite restaurant. The server guided her to our table, and shock was written all over her face as she neared me.

“Marco? It was you?” she asked. I handed her favorite white roses to her as an instrumental music played on the background.

“Trina? May I have this dance?” She nodded as tears flowed from her eyes. She laid the bouquet on the table as we gently and quietly walked towards the dance floor.

I wiped her tears before I placed her hands on my shoulder. We gently swayed to the soft music. Taking time as if we could replace the lost years, we were apart. When the music stopped, I held her hands and looked at her straight.

“Trina, I never stopped loving you. I know that I have put you in a constant cycle of dating and crying and that I needed to stop it. I can’t bear seeing you cry from the poor treatment by random guys. Not on my watch. Not when I can love you better. I can’t bear the thought that you would fall for someone else. Every date you had, I feared that I would forever lose you to him. So, I created an account on FAMFF.COM and tried my best to find you. And I did. I am the date that you made for tonight on FAMFF.com. I love you, Trina. Let’s fix our family.” I kneeled on one knee and pulled out a ring. “Will you marry me again, Hon? This time, no lies, no sudden decisions. Please. Go on a date with me forever.”

“Yes. Oh, Yes! She said. I never stopped loving you. I cried every time I went home because I would see you waiting for me. I knew why all those guys were not a match for me. It would never work out with any of them – because they are not you! They are not my Marco. And there’s only one Marco in the world that I am willing to spend the rest of my life with. So, yes. Let’s fix this.”

And that was the happiest day of our lives. After so many twists and turns, we are finally home in more ways than one.

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