He flew from Atlanta the next day and came crawling into her living room on bended knee (which wasn't saying much, since this was his supplicant gesture of choice whenever he had apologies to make, often combined with kissing of shoe and/or head in hands).

"Oh, get up, for heaven's sake," I said. "You look foolish and I know that doesn't mean anything anyway. Half your business associates have seen you in that position at one time or another." I then told him I would give him another chance on three conditions: that he would never betray me again, would never see the woman again, and would go into counseling with me. He agreed to all of it, and the next day we spent six consecutive, life-altering hours with Jack and Beverly and continued to see them off and on for eight years whenever we were in Los Angeles. Make it better.

For seven of those years (there's that seven again) Ted kept his promise and never betrayed my trust, never went behind my back to exercise his "tic" (except for our last nine months together, when he sensed the marriage was doomed and was looking for a substitute). In fact, the day came when he said to someone who had heaped praise on him for something he'd done, "Stop, you're being too monogamous."

"Ted," I said, "don't you mean 'magnanimous'?"

"Oh yes," he replied proudly. "I didn't use to be able to say the word monogamous at all, but now I use it so much, I say it by mistake. Pretty cute, huh?"

Before this early crisis in our relationship, I would feel Ted leave me energetically if an especially inviting woman came around. At those moments I would imagine the testosterone washing through his frontal lobe and obliterating all else. After the crisis, I swear I could feel his antennae retracting.
Copyright © 2005 by Jane Fonda. From the book My Life So Far by Jane Fonda, published by Random House, an imprint of Random House Publishing, Inc. Reprinted with permission.


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