Anyone who grew up watching Hee Haw remembers their fabulous outfits and the dazzle of country. I do. I love bling even today after all of these years. I even own bling boots myself.

One of my clients wanted to barter a load of western wear which believe it or not has a lot of value especially outside of the United States. She had planned to marry in November but things are looking sketchy after finding out her fiancée was entertaining a side hustle that wasn’t a side job.

Anyone who has been cheated on knows the pain of losing trust in your partner. I was one of “those people.” My ex had an affair throughout the entire 6 years we were married. My suspicion was always met with sarcasm. “You are crazy. It’s work related. Why are you always accusing me?” Well, buddy because you were playing rock around the clock and Fort Worth is a gossiping cove of whispering.

We were members at several country clubs including the Fort Worth Club. Circulars were regularly sent out to members and it was one circular in particular that confirmed my suspicion. Taken on Valentines Day of my ex husband and his fling, Laurie with the caption “Guy and Wendy McCollum enjoying a romantic evening at the Fort Worth Club. Obviously that wasn’t me. It didn’t even look like me. I had a voice mail to “go look at the circular from City Club ASAP.” I did and I was lit. How embarrassing. In a town where everyone knows everyone.

After seeing a screensaver of Laurie in a limousine with my ex wearing the watch I had bought him for our wedding, I was furious about being humiliated and publicly no less.

I met my bride for lunch Saturday to discuss the plans. She wasn’t sure she wanted to go through with the wedding. I wasn’t sure she should. After all, once a cheater always a cheater.

We walked through two scenarios. First, she dumps him. Second, she confronts him and demands he stop running around and tries to salvage the relationship. I was all for dumping him FYI.

There was a surprise waiting for my list of options though.

My bride looked down then told me “I’m pregnant.” Ugh oh.

This information put a kink in my “kick him to the curb” idea. Now this guy is going to be involved whether they marry or not because as all divorced parents know, raising a child involves dealing with the other parent.

“Okay. Don’t panic. What do you want to do?”

My bride stirs her sweet tea and thought about the situation. “Well, I had looked at text messages a few days ago and it appears he is calling it off or leaning towards calling it off.”

I’m thinking. Working on calling it off? What does that mean? I wish she had screen shot the messages to herself then deleted the texts to herself. It’s so hard to be sneaky when dealing with a partner who is sneaky. Ask me I know. I had 6 years of that shit myself.

“I don’t want to look pregnant. How long before I’m showing?”

September, October, November. She’s tall at about 5’10 but thin. It could be three to four months before she is showing but who knows? We don’t know how pregnant she is. She’s still waiting to get into her PCP. We are guessing and guessing is tricky.

“I’ve already had my dress fitted. Can it be let out? My mother really wanted me to wear that dress.”

My bride is hung up on the dress and “showing.” I’m hung up on this guy is a cheater and she has a baby on the way. What kind of a father is a philanderer going to make? Will he be there when she needs him? Will he use her pregnancy as an excuse for his side hustle?

Before anyone gets offended, it’s not uncommon for spouses to cheat on their pregnant wives especially when they are cheating when their wife isn’t pregnant so save it buddy.

I’m old. I’m wise and I’ve married over 2k people. Not just married them either. I’ve become a permanent fixture in their lives. I baptize their babies. I officiate funerals for their families. I take calls about problems with their job, their kids, their spouses. I’m everyone’s mother. My phone never stops ringing. So don’t get offended by the truth.

Men can and do use pregnancy as an excuse to cheat. They’ve been doing it for years. It’s wrong and always has been wrong but there are idiots out there who think it’s okay. I don’t. It makes me furious.

A woman is going through changes to her body. Her self esteem is affected and her idiot husband is out fooling around? Because she’s pregnant? Yes. I can’t fix stupid. I wish I could but I can’t.

I don’t want her to marry him. It’s not my decision though. I’ve been in this situation before. Me “don’t do it.” Them “but I love him.”

My concern is now on whether the marriage will survive. If it doesn’t will he fight her for custody? Is she financially prepared to fight a battle over custody?

Some of you may think I’m jumping the gun here regarding custody of a child who hasn’t been born yet. Again, don’t get offended. This isn’t my first rodeo. He isn’t my client. She is. Protecting her is my priority. She’s fragile.

He’s fooling around and she’s pregnant. We are in a pandemic and everyone’s future is uncertain. I’m being a realist. If you have opinions ask yourself if they are “experienced opinions” because mine are.

“I’m going to talk to my mom about this and have her call you. I don’t want my dad to know I’m pregnant though. We will let my mom know.”

My next question is “when are you going to tell him?” I’m not talking about her dad. I’m talking about the father of her child.

“I haven’t decided that yet. I wanted to address his fling first. Do you think he loves her?”

Jesus. Why does everyone wonder that. I didn’t give two shits if my ex loved Laurie. I hated him for dragging me through 6 years of his secrets and embarrassment. I hated him for acting as if I wasn’t good enough. My self esteem went through raw hell during that 6 years. HELL. Who gives a damn if your cheating partner loves their side kick of a fling? I didn’t. I never asked him that. I was too busy demanding he never speak to or see her again.

“It doesn’t matter if he does or he doesn’t. What matters is if he loves you. She’s a distraction. Focus on you and the child you are carrying. We need to do what’s best for you and the baby.”

She has a good family. A strong family. A family that will help her with this child. But, she also has a weak fiancée that she isn’t ready to throw away. Ugh.

We get up to leave and I’m handing her purse to her as she asks me “do you think people who cheat can stop Miss Wendy?”

The answer is on the tip of my tongue but it isn’t the answer she wants or needs to hear. I don’t believe people without morals can change. It’s not that they can’t it’s that they won’t. Their character says a lot about them but they are never listening while everyone else is.

“People have to want to change. An addict in my opinion chooses to be an addict. Their family tries to force them to change but it’s only when an addict chooses to change that the change occurs.” This is true. My mother was a heroin addict. My niece was addicted to meth. I can tell you all about trying to change people. I’ve lived it.

“Maybe I’m reading too much into it. Maybe he was just sewing his oats before marriage. Do you think that’s it?”

Again, I don’t. I think he is void of morals but I don’t want to say that. I wait. I pay the bill. I leave a nice tip to a server who has had a tough go of this pandemic. All servers have.

“Time will tell but we need to work out this infidelity issue and at some point, you are going to need to address your pregnancy.”

I walk her to the car. “I’m not ready to tell him.”

My heart aches as my phone rings and I wave goodbye..