For three years, I managed to avoid her. In a small town, that’s not easy to do. You bump into random people all the time, but this woman, the one who pretended to be my friend while sleeping with my husband, I never wanted to see her again. If moving to another town far, far away, was possible, I’d have done it, but kids, schools, those big details in life tend to get in the way of that need to run sometimes.

I did what I could to avoid her. I stayed away from the restaurants I knew she liked. Went way out of my way to avoid passing her street. I didn’t want the hurtful reminder that she existed. Not that I should have been the one avoiding anyone. After all, I hadn’t done the evil doings. But she didn’t appear to feel remorse at her actions and didn’t feel the same need to stay away. Quite the contrary. She drove past our street all the time. I’m not sure if she was in stalker mode out of curiosity, to see if she’d ultimately ended what was left of the marriage we were trying to save, or if it was just another form of torture to turn the knife a little more in my back. I wasn’t going to ask the whys. I just knew the thought of her upset me, and seeing her car go by left me feeling physically ill. This went on for several months, but happened less and less frequently, until finally, it felt like maybe she’d moved on, probably sleeping with some other woman’s husband, as she made a habit of doing. Three years after the affair, I thought it would be safe to spread my wings again. To go enjoy the spots that I used to find fun before my world collapsed.

I reset my perspective and stopped looking over my shoulder all the time. But that very first weekend I let myself live again, damned if she didn’t appear. That sick reminder of what never should have happened… the bomb that blew my family apart, came roaring back. My head knew it was just a coincidence. But it still felt like a sucker punch. Her, moving happily along her way, laughing with a pal. Me, standing there in the shell of who I used to be, pieces glued back together carefully, hoping they would hold. But you know what? They did hold. And I survived the run-in with the evil one. And I decided, in that very moment, that if I ever saw her again, I wouldn’t give her the pleasure of knowing her impact. My real reset was the realization that she’d taken enough from me already, and wasn’t going to be given another thing—certainly not the acknowledgement of the pain she caused, should we ever cross paths again.