I forgave my hubby for cheating... But I was about to uncover something far worse
Imagine finding out your husband had had an affair and you forgave him. THEN you discovered he had a child that he'd kept secret all along. What would YOU do? Here's what Amparo did... I wrote her story for Take a Break magazine #sellmystory
As soon as I arrived home from a long shift at work, I collapsed on the sofa and reached for my phone to call my husband.
‘I hate being thousands of miles apart,’ I said. ‘I miss you.’
‘I miss you too,’ Peer said.
My husband was in our home country, the Philippines, while I was working as a nurse in the UK. I’d recently found the job and it was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down.
It was hard not living together though and we were racking up some huge phone bills.
‘Are you going to come and join me?’ I asked.
‘Soon I hope,’ he said.
I had met Peer through a friend and had originally been trying to set him up with another woman, only to realise I fancied him too.
I was thrilled when I found out he liked me too and we became a couple.
After four years together, we tied the knot and had a daughter who lived with Peer’s parents while we worked around the clock.
My days were always the same, after work I emailed or spoke to Peer then scoffed down a takeaway before going to bed exhausted.
One day, I woke up and checked my emails on my computer. There was one from Peer’s sister.
As I read the words, my mouth gaped open in utter shock.
It read: I’m sorry, Peer has been having an affair. He’s been out all the time, acting like a single man.
My stomach lurched and my body started trembling with rage.
I grabbed my phone and called Peer, but when he didn’t answer, I paced the room frantically.
Surely my Peer would never cheat on me? We had always had such a strong relationship.
I kept ringing him and the next day, he finally picked up.
‘Your sister says you’ve been having an affair,’ I said.
‘I’m so sorry,’ Peer replied. ‘It was just sex, nothing more.’
‘I don’t care, you’re never going to see me again,’ I said.
I hung up and it took everything in me to ignore his non-stop phone calls and text messages, apologising and begging for forgiveness.
I spoke to my sister-in-law who revealed Peer’s mistress was a woman half his age. I couldn’t shake the image of them in bed together. How dare he risk throwing away what we had?
I knew what we had was special. The more I thought about it, the more I realised I didn’t want to let such a stupid mistake destroy our marriage.
A week after I had been landed the bombshell, I phoned Peer.
‘Amparo!’ he cried.
I’d never heard him so pleased to hear from me.
‘If you don’t move over here to try and salvage our relationship, it’s over for good,’ I said.
Sure enough, as soon as Peer had managed to arrange a visa, he travelled over to join me.
When I saw him, he burst into tears.
‘I’m so sorry,’ he said. ‘Please forgive me.’
Seeing him upset made me cry too.
‘You’re forgiven,’ I said.
All I wanted was to put the adultery behind us.
At first, I found it hard to trust Peer. He got a job as a kitchen assistant and treated me to meals to try and make amends. If the subject of him cheating ever came up he was quick to change the subject.
In time, the dust settled and our relationship was just as it was before.
Years later, we were very happy with our lives. We loved travelling the world and finding new restaurants to explore our love of food.
One day, we returned to the Philippines to see our families and friends over there.
It felt good to be back and we decided to spend the day with a good friend of ours called Edwin, who I’d known since school.
We boarded a ferry and while Peer parked the car on the boat, I went up onto the deck with Edwin.
It was just like old times, once we got chatting there was no stopping us.
Then he said: ‘You know, I’m sorry about Peer’s affair. I feel partly responsible.’
‘Why?’ I said.
‘Well I introduced him to the woman when we were out one night, but I never imagined anything would happen between them,’ he said. ‘She was just a friend.’
‘It’s all in the past now,’ I said. ‘Peer and I are in a good place now.’
‘I’m sure he never expected the girl would fall pregnant,’ Edwin went on. ‘You’re a good wife to forgive him.’
I tried to keep my expression blank and nodded my head but inside I was screaming.
Edwin carried on speaking but I couldn’t hear a word he was saying for the thudding of my heart in my ears.
I pretended everything was normal but barely said a word for the rest of the day. Then when we finally got home, I spoke to my in-laws to see if they could shed any light on what I’d been told.
To my horror, they revealed the young woman had given birth to a child – Peer’s child – who would now be eight years old.
They told me the woman had visited them while pregnant and claimed she’d had no idea Peer was married. Then once she had given birth, she had taken her child to meet them all, and again when he was three.
Since then, she had left them alone.
My husband had a secret child, I thought.
I was raging.
‘Why didn’t you tell me?’ I asked his family.
But no one could give me an answer.
I’d been completely unaware, naïvely thinking everything was fine while Peer and I were enjoying life in the UK.
Later, I confronted him.
‘You had a child with her?’ I said.
Peer’s face went white and he could hardly get his words out.
‘H-how do you know?’ he said.
I explained our friend had let slip.
‘He thought I knew,’ I said. ‘Why didn’t you tell me?’
‘I don’t know,’ Peer said. ‘I thought you would leave me for good.’
My whole body trembled and I sat down, worried I was going to pass out.
Peer was sobbing and so was I.
All the bad feelings I’d had years before were back, but far, far worse.
It took days for us both to calm down and when we eventually did, we sat and talked about everything.
‘If you had told me at the time, we could have put all of this behind us years ago,’ I said. ‘Instead, it’s being dragged up all over again.’
‘I’m so, so sorry,’ Peer said. ‘Do you think you can forgive me for this?’
‘I’m not sure,’ I said.
I was still so angry and even though the mistress and her child were no longer on the scene, I worried she might reappear in the future.
Weeks passed and I did a lot of thinking.
The truth was, I couldn’t imagine being apart from Peer. He was my one true love and apart from what had happened, he was the perfect husband.
He was loving, caring, not to mention a great cook and handyman. I felt lucky to have such a great man, I just wished he hadn’t let his need for sex get the better of him.
‘When we got married, we made a commitment to each other,’ I said. ‘So I’m going to forgive you.’
I watched at Peer’s whole body sagged with relief.
‘Thank you so much, you know nothing like this will ever happen again,’ he said.
‘I know,’ I said.
Now mine and Peer’s marriage is stronger than it’s ever been. Our relationship has been tested to the limit and we have overcome such betrayal that I know we can get through anything.
We have been together 20 years and I don’t think you can find that love and strength with just anybody.
In my mind, you should fight for your relationship, so that’s what I did. I’m so glad I chose to stay by Peer’s side. Everybody makes mistakes.
Peer Macalua, 46, said: ‘I am so sorry about that time and I regret it happening. I do think our marriage is stronger than ever before. At the time, I was in the Philippines and Amparo was in the UK. I was unfaithful because I was missing something in my life, a man’s needs, and there were too many temptations. It was only sexual, not emotional.’
By Julia Sidwell