I Tried Role Play for 30 Days to Save My Marriage & Here's What Happened

Coltrane Lord

Coltrane Lord
Coltrane Lord

This is a love story, and it goes something like this:

My husband cheated on me.

With his hairdresser.

How cliché.

I hate clichés.

I know what you're thinking: "How can this be a love story?" But it is, I swear, so please read on.

My husband did a terrible job hiding his affair. Ironically, I was at my hairdresser, holding his old iPad on my lap, when her texts popped up right in front of my eyes. Because of his rolls in the hay with Vidala Sassoon, by no choice of my own, I'd been inducted into an inauspicious club — the dreaded 22 percent of married women who've been betrayed by their husbands.

This wasn't supposed to happen to me. My life seemed picture-perfect up to that point, like a carbon copy of the high-class hipster California community portrayed in HBO's smash Big Little Lies, sans the murder (though Gone Girl did cross my mind after I saw the texts). I had been married more than 10 years, and lived in San Francisco with our two beautiful sons, two cats, a dog, and Pancetta the teacup pig. We were, what I affectionately call, "Gucci Google-ish."

  • In retrospect, though, it shouldn't have been a shock that my husband cheated on me.

    Coltrane Lord
    Coltrane Lord

    After having the kids, I got so deep into that zone of being the perfect wife and mother, I turned into a frozen, miserable, asexual robot. I started to fake everything — my true self, what I wanted out of a partnership, and yup, my orgasms. There were times when I literally turned my back on him in bed or pretended I had my period (he doesn't keep track well) to avoid sex. I might as well have shoved the hairdresser's big, fake boobs in his face.

    I was so ashamed of it, to this day, I still haven't told a single soul he screwed his hairdresser. At therapy, I would go from a lump of tears to righteous rage when our therapist asked what my part was in all this. WTF? Me? But because I have always been the "good girl," who believes in truth and being "real," I decided to figure out, what exactly was my fault in this whole mess?

    Yes, my husband committed a horrible act of betrayal and I was SO going to leave him (and castrate him). But the truth was, I wasn't strong enough to leave yet, and was terrified of the D word. "Divorcée" sounded so diminishing. My identity as wife and mother overshadowed all that was really me. I’d become an empty shell and I needed to figure out was "wrong" with me