When a woman unexpectedly loses her husband, her life is turned upside down. For Julie, the loss of her husband, Henry, brought with it way more harrowing secrets than she could have ever thought possible.
Julie met Henry when she was 27 years old. His advances toward her caught her off guard because she was usually shy and insecure around men.
Julie was drawn to Henry's undying cheerfulness and grand gestures dedicated to her throughout their relationship. Their relationship was filled with romance and passion.
Julie speaking on the Oprah Winfrey Show. | Source: Youtube.com/OWN
HENRY AND JULIE'S SEEMINGLY IDYLLIC LIFE
Henry's proposal to Julie in 1988 was as exuberant as his personality. He proclaimed: "My supreme loveliness, I love you as I love life." Julie's friends continuously told her how lucky she was, and she definitely felt that way.
During the course of their marriage, Julie and Henry's lives seemed perfect. Julie gave birth to their daughter, Liza, in 1998, and soon afterward, they moved from the city and bought a house in a small town.
Julie worked as a freelance graphic designer, specializing in cover designs for book publishers. Henry worked as a writer and enjoyed cooking and entertaining.
Henry during the years before his passing. | Source: Youtube.com/OWN
HENRY'S UNEXPECTED DEATH
One morning in 2003, Julie and Henry were both at home. When she walked into the kitchen, she was shocked to find Henry's lifeless body lying on the floor.
Julie tried to revive him by performing CPR after calling the ambulance, but Henry remained motionless. A short while after Henry was rushed to the hospital, doctors told her that Henry had suffered a pulmonary embolism.
The doctors explained that a blood clot possibly formed in his leg and traveled to his lungs, causing cardiac arrest. Henry was only 44 when he died, which left Julie grief-stricken.
Henry captured on a home video. | Source: Youtube.com/OWN
JULIE'S NEIGHBOR CRIES HYSTERICALLY
On the day of the viewing of Henry's body, Julie saw Cathy, one of her neighbors, crying hysterically. Cathy laid her head and arms over Henry's body. Her eyes were red and teary when she lifted her head from Henry's coffin.
Julie didn't think much of this because Cathy's daughter, Amy, was good friends with Liza. She recalled:
"At the time, I was too deep in my own grief to think much about this other than that I, his widow, hadn't allowed myself such a public display of emotion."
Henry, Julia and Liza together. | Source: Youtube.com/OWN
JULIE DEALS WITH HER GRIEF
The months following Henry's death were a blur to Julie. A small group of friends surrounded her and helped her through her most difficult days.
Cathy even organized for a minister to visit Julie and offer comfort, and the latter slowly regained the strength to move on with life. Then, one day, seven months after Henry's death, Julie's world came crashing down all over again.
Julie was speaking with Tomas, a good friend of hers who had lived with her and Henry for some time while he renovated his house. Julie expressed how much she missed Henry and Tomas asked if she missed everything about him.
Julia speaking about her life with Henry. | Source: Youtube.com/OWN
JULIE IS CAUGHT OFF GUARD
Although the question caught Julie off guard, she answered honestly that, while she didn't miss everything about him, she felt guilty for not doing so.
Tomas replied that she shouldn't feel guilty. Tomas revealed that Henry had been having an affair with a woman in California where he had traveled several times a year to conduct research for his book.
But there was more. Tomas asked Julie to find out more information about Henry's infidelities from other friends who had helped arrange Henry's memorial service.
A side profile of Julie. | Source: Youtube.com/OWN
THE FIRST AFFAIR IS REVEALED
Strangely, Julie didn't feel very shocked when Tomas told her about the woman in California. But things were about to get a lot worse.
Julie followed Tomas's advice and called her friend Emily to find out what she knew about Henry and his cheating ways.
Emily tearfully explained that while organizing Henry's memorial service, she and other friends looked through Henry's computer to find his address book.
A close-up of Julie. | Source: Youtube.com/OWN
HOW HENRY'S INFIDELITIES WERE DISCOVERED
They suddenly realized that Henry had a lot of emails coming in. When they opened his inbox, they discovered that Henry was communicating with other women via email.
These emails revealed that Henry was having romantic relationships with several women. But Emily had more news to share. She said:
"Cathy and Henry were having an affair, for two years at least. We found all their emails on his computer the morning after he died."
Oprah Winfrey speaking with Julie. | Source: Youtube.com/OWN
JULIE IS ENRAGED ABOUT HENRY AND CATHY'S AFFAIR
The moment Julie discovered this, she flew into a blind rage. She couldn't believe that Cathy would betray her like this. Especially because they, and their daughters, were so close to one another. She recalled:
“The thought of this happening right under my nose was too devastating. I felt fury, anger, [and] frustration. I was ashamed and humiliated.”
Since Julie couldn't confront Henry about his infidelities, she came up with another idea. She decided to get in touch will all the women Henry cheated on her with to find out the details of these affairs.
Julie speaking about her husband. | Source: Youtube.com/OWN
CATHY IS CONFRONTED ABOUT THE AFFAIR
She decided to begin with the closest person to her, Cathy. Julie drove to Cathy's house and confronted her about her affair with Henry.
This made Julie even angrier. She couldn't believe that Cathy, who had spent so much time with her and her daughter, slept with her husband behind her back.
Julie speaking about Henry. | Source: Youtube.com/OWN
JULIE SEARCHES FOR THE OTHER WOMEN
"What kind of woman does that and thinks she is being a friend? A psycho case, that's who. You disgust me. You're like poison," Julie said to Cathy.
Julie continued to search for the rest of the women Henry had affairs with. She discovered that Henry sustained relationships with four other women.
Henry had affairs with a single mother in Oregon, a woman in her twenties in a local gym, an advertising exec in Manhattan, and another woman who lived on the West Coast.
Julie sitting in an interview. | Source: Youtube.com/OWN
THE CONVERSATIONS WITH THE OTHER WOMEN
Julie recalled the conversations she had with four of these women. One of them wasn't forthcoming with much information.
The single mom was a lot more open with information. Julie realized that she and the mom shared some similarities; they even looked eerily similar to one another.
Julie speaking on the phone. | Source: Youtube.com/OWN
JULIE'S REFLECTIONS ON HER MARRIAGE
Looking back on her marriage, Julie admitted that she ignored some red flags that arose during the course of her marriage. She said:
"I think that I, like many women, had an enormous investment in the idea of my marriage, and in my identity as Henry's wife."
"I do think that in the end, I was able to understand and forgive most of them…His charm had worked on me, so I couldn't be surprised that other women had found him engaging," she said.
A side-profile of Julie. | Source: Youtube.com/OWN
JULIE'S LIFE AFTER HENRY'S DEATH
Julie even decided to tell her daughter, Liza, about Henry's affairs. "In the end, I felt that Liza ... had a deep understanding about the nature of her parents' relationship, having witnessed many of our arguments," Julie said.
Years after the discovery of the affairs, Julie was able to move on with her life. She met and fell in love with her partner, Will, in Brooklyn, New York.
"I continue to work on forgiveness. I do not, however, wish to forget any of this," Julie said. She added that more days passed, and she thought less and less of Henry.
HOW JULIE FEELS ABOUT HENRY
Thinking of how she felt about Henry in 2009, several years after his passing, she said, "…I can say that I would thank him for the life I have now. This doesn't mean that I am happy that he died…Just that I am glad to have been able to have a second chance."
Bizarrely, Julie kept in contact with some of the women Henry had affairs with and developed cordial relationships with them. She released her memoir "Perfection: A Memoir of Betrayal and Renewal" which became a New York Times bestseller, in 2009.
Julie speaking with Oprah Winfrey. | Source:Youtube.com/OWN
Julie's unbelievable story shows us that we never really know people as well as we think we do, but we can rise from heartbreak and live great lives. Have you ever experienced a betrayal? How did that affect you?
Click here to read about a woman who discovered her husband was cheating and left her old wedding dress at the mistress's doorstep.
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