After nearly eighteen years of a fairly stable relationship, I learned that my husband had begun an affair with a girl thirty years his junior. Stunning for anyone, yes, but more so was that my partner, whose judgment I had always respected, confessed that he and the girl had actually never met. Several sites linking her to German porn made no difference; he was convinced she was his “soulmate” and promised to marry her within two weeks of their email correspondence.

A few months into my attempt to save a doomed marriage, my son’s best friend shot himself in the head after a decade as a victim of bullying, and we were thrust into a national media storm. I had to to be publicly articulate about how this tragedy could possibly have been prevented, while having to sweep my own trauma aside. I had to gather all my reserves to deal with my deeply grieving teenager and his sister.

I had a ball of pain in my stomach for months over the suicide, while at the same time I had to devote countless hours daily trying to comprehend how my seemingly-intelligent husband could have become so delusional. No amount of therapy, specialists, or addiction support groups could sway his judgment, which he alone considered rock solid.

Perhaps it was the effects of stress which then threw out my back, and sent me to physical therapy for the first time in my life. It was nearly impossible to work, as a large part of my job