Gary Ford was the bachelor all the girls wanted to have. He had a career, a luxury car and a beautiful three-story house that many would kill to live in. Sheryl, his wife, was lucky to have him and she knew it. She admired her husband. Stood by him through his trials at work. Escaped with him to crazy islands. Assisted with difficult projects, just to ease his mind and relax his thoughts. Her job was to love him. Care for him. Support him. She was what he would call, “the perfect wife.”

Growing up, her mother taught her to be beautiful and smart. Mother groomed her to one day be a wife. Mom said, “Learn to cook and clean. A man never wants a lazy woman. Make time for him, or he’ll make time for someone else. Treat a man like a king, so that a queen could manifest by his side.” Above all things though, Mom also told her, “love yourself first in order to be loved by someone second.”

Together, at social events, Sheryl and Gary looked like the perfect couple. Hey! Even the engagement was perfect. Serenading on a rooftop, singing to her the perfect engagement song, “Perfect to Me.” Sheryl catered to Gary. Every afternoon, when he came from work, dinner was ready. Every now and then she was spontaneous and took him out to dinner or playdates when he least expected it.

Sheryl loved her husband. But nothing hurt more than finding a woman on his lap on one of her spontaneous adventures, visiting him in their secret hideout, which he shared with that woman. The woman, Karolyn, who was his partner, spent many late-night meetings which led to his unforeseen affair. From what Sheryl could gather, they had been having their affair for two years, while she has been married to him for three. Where did she go wrong? She didn’t know.

What more can she do? She did what her mother taught her. Loved him. Catered to him. Respected him. Treated him like a king. But it was never enough. Without a fight, she left his house and moved into a rental. She downgraded from royalty to triviality. But she managed to take care of herself. After months of rediscovering herself, she loved herself again. She didn’t blame her marriage on her failure, because she knew she didn’t fail him. His power, his ego, and confidence led him to fill his treasure box with more rhinestones and gemstones when he already possessed gold.

“Know your worth,” she reminded herself. A divorce was issued, and she signed all the papers as quickly as possible. But he didn’t. Why? She didn’t know. Then the unexpected happened. She got a call while working in her interior design office—business she put aside because she married her six-figure broker—saying that her soon to be ex-husband was hospitalized and needed someone to speak on his behalf.

Sheryl rushed to the hospital and found his mistress. Sheryl wasn’t ready for this encounter, but she put aside her anger. Karolyn said to her, “he’s your problem. I can’t do paralysis.” Paralyzed, Sheryl thought? Karolyn walked away. Sheryl looked at her helpless husband. She could see the shame in his eyes.

After days of settling in his home, readjusting to his new reality, Gary grabbed his wife’s hands after she finished tucking him in. She looked at him. For the first time in a long time, he saw her for who she is. The Caterer. The Caretaker. The Perfect Wife.

“I’ve made a mistake. Please take me back,” he begged. “I am sorry. It wasn’t what you deserved.”

She replied, “Your greatest reward became your greatest advantage. But what is your greatest regret?”

I don’t pray for people to experience this fate, but remember, not everyone can forgive the way Sheryl did. I begin to think though. Who really lost? Him or her? Will their love resurface, or will their love fade?

Stay tuned for more.