Home > Entertainment, Family, Work > My husband’s mistress

My husband’s mistress

My husband worked on The Big Bang Theory for several years, giving me plenty opportunity to visit with and get to know his coworkers there. I only ever remembered two or three names, but didn’t need to remember names to feel at home there.

baby dragon

My husband has jumped between shows the last few years. It’s allowed him to build his career into something bigger and better, but it’s also made it hard for me to visit him.

I’ve missed the sense of connection to what he does and where he does it. Day after day, we see each other for twenty bleary minutes in the morning before he disappears to spend fifteen or sixteen hours with his mistress, his work. I’ve grumbled about his job and cursed its long hours as I’ve crawled into bed alone.

Today I had a chance to visit him for the first time in a few years. After running errands, I hauled my kids north and shuffled them into the studio where their dad spends most his waking hours.

My five-year-old, Li’l D, and his daddy sat side by side in director chairs.

Li’l D whispered questions as he watched rehearsal. I couldn’t hear most the questions, but my heart softened at the sight of my two big boys together.

director shoes

A young actress came over to see my baby, Littler J. “What’s your name?” Li’l D asked her after a moment’s consideration. He quickly followed up with, “Do you want to play?”

“She can’t, sweetie. She has to work,” I told him as she ran back to rehearsal.

A teen heartthrob took in my sons and exclaimed how awesome it was to meet us. Li’l D murmured a hopefully polite response before asking me, yet again, if he could pretty please have a donut.

Someone asked if Li’l D could lend him a hand. Li’l D, a born helper, wandered off to help. I glowed, so excited for the chance to see in action why his teachers describe him as their sweetest little helper.

A leading lady was about to walk by me when my husband said, “This is my family!”

Brought out of heady thoughts and back down to earth, she saw me. And then she saw my baby. She bent her knees to meet his eyes and started cooing in his language. “I just wish I could snuggle you!” she told him.

“Would you like to hold him?” I asked. She said she would, so I pulled him out of his baby carrier and handed him over. She bounced him on her hip and spoke to him so tenderly that I started crying. Littler J reached up and touched her cheek as love rolled off her in palpable waves.

We talked about the guilt of working with little ones at home, but agreed the guilt is useless. A distraction. A thief. At the end of the day, whether we mothers have ten minutes or ten hours with our kids, they feel our love. And watching hers, for a child not even her own, I knew it was true. I was moved to tears again, this time by the clarity with which I understood this truth.

As she handed back my baby, she said she was thankful my husband is so gracious about putting up with her.

“Nonsense!” I told her. “He has only kind things to say, and I see now why.”

As I left having met a couple dozen people–and remembering five names!–I didn’t feel so grouchy about my husband’s job. In fact, it no longer felt like his mistress at all. Having gotten to meet her, there was nothing separating her from me any longer. I saw her instead as part of my husband’s family … and, indeed, how that makes her my own family.

I thought back to one final introduction as I merged into freeway traffic to head back home.

“I’m the man who got your husband into the guild,” said one tall man after a few moments of idle conversation.

“In that case, I’m thankful!” I told him. “Very thankful.”

Long hours and all, this, too, is true.

Having seen, it’s true.

Beautifully true.

  1. October 3, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    How awesome! I think it’s great to meet the others and find such love!

    • October 3, 2014 at 6:36 pm

      I am so, so glad I made the trek today!
      I’m beat now, but still totally awash in the love. 🙂

  2. October 3, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    What a nice read.

  3. October 3, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    You had me in tears of joy

  4. October 3, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    At least you get the wonderful opportunity of sitting and watching as your husband works and by extension embracing his life. What a wonderful time! I love you all through this read, give three hugs and big kisses all around.

    • October 3, 2014 at 6:43 pm

      It was so much fun to watch him work, too! I didn’t really get to see that at TBBT (save the one time as an extra, back when we were dating pre-children) because he was always in the office. He was on fire on set! Such a joy all around.

  5. nicciattfield
    October 3, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    Such a beautiful story. And I agree, children feel the love. They feel it from parents who miss them, and they know those parents leave and then return. They feel it from the people who care for them. And in that way, they have an extended family. In many cultures, villages raise children. The cruelty aimed at working moms is astounding, but only in such an individualistic culture as ours, with the nuclear family as accepted norm, could this happen.

    • October 3, 2014 at 6:46 pm

      I love this comment. I have encountered a few people who questioned me about how I could dare leave my kids with anyone else, questions I usually didn’t bother answering. I was none too sad when a colleague who asked me this almost weekly was released. How is it his business? How many others has he similarly derided based on his (unwelcome) opinions? And he, sadly, is far from alone. It was so affirming to have this convo today, and then just now to read your comment.

  6. October 3, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    What a beautiful post 🙂 Hugs to you and your family!

  7. October 3, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    Happiness all the way through reading this, Deb…I felt like I was there with you. I agree, kids do know they are loved, and no purpose is served by throwing guilt around, especially at ourselves! A beautiful vignette, well done, thanks! 🙂

    • October 3, 2014 at 6:59 pm

      When feelings of guilt creep up in me, I picture my mom. More and more in later life, she became consumed by everything she thought she’d done wrong. Her guilt was so destructive, as well as perplexing; how, I wondered, could she blinded to all the things she’d done beautifully because she had–like everyone–made choices she later decided weren’t perfect? This is what makes me so delighted when others give me a chance to affirm my own feelings about guilt.

      And, of course, thank you. I hope you have a lovely weekend!

  8. October 3, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    Here’s to the mistresses who make our husband’s better men.

    • October 3, 2014 at 7:01 pm

      Yes! Also, as I prepared to post this, I thought of your post and debated referencing it here. It didn’t fit, but I am going to link it here for anyone reading through the comments: http://theluckymom.com/2012/01/06/the-mistress/

      • October 5, 2014 at 8:34 am

        You are so sweet. 🙂 And every time I see the calls for production crews in NOLA I want to forward them to you. Hollywood South is where it’s at!!

  9. October 3, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    Sweaty eyeballs again here. Your posts do have a tendency to make my eyes leak. Usually happy moisture. Thank you.
    And I love that your husband’s heart is big enough for all of his family.

    • November 8, 2014 at 8:31 am

      Yesterday we got a chance to visit again, this time sans Li’l D. Anthony was temporarily performing higher level duties … and doing so with external composure despite being totally overwhelmed. We didn’t get much of a chance to interact, but it was good to just sit there and soak in how very much change needn’t be perceived or treated as a bad thing.

  10. October 3, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    Sounds like a wonderful meeting for everyone involved! I’m glad Anthony has found such a great place to further his career. Those long hours will be worth it. Have a beautiful weekend! 🙂

    • November 8, 2014 at 8:32 am

      It was! Yesterday I visited and had another lovely experience, though the day itself was much more harried for cast and crew. The long hours really will be worth it, and oh! How exciting it is to see Anthony growing into what he loves!

  11. October 4, 2014 at 8:28 am

    Very touching. I used to also feel that my husbands work was his mistress, Until I started going to work related events with him. It seemed as though everyone knew me already, he tends to be a storyteller and likes to entertain people with our family antics. It’s good for partners to share their worlds with each other.

    • November 8, 2014 at 8:35 am

      Same here!!! Most folks already had a sense of who I was, even outside my roles as mother and wife. It really makes it easy to be, well, at ease. 🙂

  12. Koa
    October 4, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    Oh I’ve missed you! It is entirely possible that my head is back above water again, for blog visits again. 🙂

    • November 8, 2014 at 8:36 am

      I know I’m a month late saying this, but it is SO GOOD seeing you back ’round these parts!

  13. October 4, 2014 at 10:23 pm

    It was so nice of Frank to introduce us today! I’m glad to meet someone else from the Los Angeles area, and to learn more about your family. I don’t have any direct connection to the Los Angeles entertainment business but I was born and raised here, and through the years have had many friends in front of and behind the camera! I think it definitely takes a lot of patience and commitment from the whole family to be successfully employed in the business. I’m glad to hear that after visiting the set you felt better connected and able to visualize your husband in a positive working environment. Being home with children while you wonder…not fun! Hope you can visit him at work from time to time…that does sound like fun! 🙂

    • November 8, 2014 at 8:42 am

      I actually work in software contracts, though I’m taking a brief respite at the moment. That’s been part of the struggle: doing the morning kid stuff, commuting, working, commuting, doing the evening kid stuff, tending to the dog, pumping and crawling into bed beat, knowing all the home tasks would fall on me because of his work hours.

      Just typing that out makes me glad for this newly begun respite! Whether working or not working, though, it remains fantastic to have that insight and piece it all together within the context instead of seeing just the tiniest fragment of it. 🙂

  14. October 6, 2014 at 4:52 am

    What an awesome story about an even-better day!

  15. October 6, 2014 at 7:10 am

    Reading this post made me smile. I totally know how you felt. My husband too work crazy hours and I am so busy on my side I don’t get to see him when he is at home. I am working out and about or in my room editing as he is in his, at work, or out of town. He has a mistress and I have a lover, both are call work. I am glad though that you got a chance to visit the set and had a family day. Sometime that is the best medicine for the heart and soul. A bit of quality time.

    • November 8, 2014 at 8:43 am

      I had another one yesterday, and it was equally lovely. I’m debating posting a pic of me and Littler J visiting set. (I’m on a bit of a posting binge and trying to slow it down a little!)

      • November 11, 2014 at 4:34 am

        If you do post it please let me know. I am not on WP too often and I don’t want to miss it.

  16. October 6, 2014 at 9:28 am

    Lovely post, Deb. It’s good to meet and come to terms with the mysterious “mistress” and accept that “what is” can be pretty wonderful. You’ve made me feel uplifted. Thanks.

    • November 8, 2014 at 8:44 am

      It is so good to see you here, Pat! Acceptance really is a lovely thing, and all the more delightful when achieved in such a way.

  17. October 6, 2014 at 10:27 am

    How wonderful that you now have real people to go with the names, faces and stories, Deb. And I find it heartening that for most of us women, adorable little children are a common thread – a link that binds us all together in maternal love.

    • November 8, 2014 at 8:46 am

      YES! Yesterday I actually got to follow up with the “leading lady.” I mentioned this blog, then promptly wished I hadn’t. I fretted over having done so until Anthony said the blog made her cry. Talk about cinching the sense everything is unfolding as beautifully as it could! ♥

  18. October 8, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    It’s not often that strangers want to love on your babies. This act of tenderness would’ve made my heart do dozens of leaps!!
    I gotta say, I enjoyed learning about the “day in the life of a director” and his beautiful family. You’re both lucky to have one another. Hope you’re getting deep sleep. It may not be long, but I hope it’s deep and peaceful.

    • November 8, 2014 at 8:49 am

      I got a repeat yesterday! I tried to capture the look of love in a photo I snapped, but my angle wasn’t great. Still, looking at the image, it recalls for me the many looks of tenderness on her face while chatting with Littler J. I’m glad to have the picture.

      Yesterday Anthony was briefly acting in a higher level capacity. It was fascinating to see. He was stressed that he wasn’t doing it as gracefully as possible; from the outside, I was thrilled to see how well he was doing in light of having just shy of 30 days doing AD work.

  19. October 10, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    Great honest and interesting post. Cheers !

  20. October 14, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    Hello, thank you for reading my post. Glad of your happy ending after visiting with your husband. You will be rewarded in later years. Hang in there. Angela

  21. October 15, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    I have a work-a-holic husband as well. Through 44 years of married life, I’ve fretted about his other mistress. In older age I’ve come to realize my husband’s been worth it. I wouldn’t trade places. The process has made me a stronger woman and my husband…very appreciative of who I am and the sacrifices I’ve made so he could succeed. No one’s perfect, but together two people in love can create a perfectly imperfect life. hugs…

    • November 8, 2014 at 8:51 am

      All very true! There’s a good balance between us, I think, and I only see it getting better over the years ahead. 🙂

  22. November 20, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    Awww look at your little dragon 🙂

    • November 20, 2014 at 2:55 pm

      We took a few pictures of that afternoon, including one with Li’l D very intent on trying to drive a golf cart! He actually just found the costume again and tried stuffing himself into it. It was so adorable to see how little it is now compared to how big it was then. 🙂

      • November 20, 2014 at 11:47 pm

        Yes that’s the problem they grow so quickly

  23. November 23, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    It helps to meet the other.

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