My Husband Kisses Other Women For A Living
The first time I saw Michael, he was onstage rehearsing for a college play while I was working as the house manager for the school's theater department. We were both freshman at George Washington University. Before I'd officially met him, I'd already thought he was cute—he had this really curly brown hair that I loved. But I was dating someone else, so I didn't do anything about my little infatuation with him. About six months later, my boyfriend and I broke up. Michael was acting in another play, and I was still working with the theater department. One day in early October, a bunch of the students involved in theater were having lunch together—including Michael. He took a seat right next to me, and I said something about my hands being cold. He said, "Here, let me warm them" and took my hands in his, and I didn't want him to let go. At that point, I had a full-blown crush.
After that, we saw each other around campus and chatted every once in a while (he actually lived in the same dorm as me), but nothing happened. Late in the semester, Michael's roommate invited me to his birthday party. Since I thought that Michael would be there, I went. Michael and I ended up talking about our families and childhoods most of the night. I remember feeling safe while telling him details about my life; he was very non-judgmental. When I decided to head home, I hugged him goodnight, and then we kissed. From that point on, we started hanging out more and more, and though he never officially asked me to be his girlfriend, we were exclusive.
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In that moment, I tried to act like seeing him with someone else didn't bother me—especially since I was around a bunch of people we knew—but the truth is it made my stomach drop. I felt jealous, embarrassed, and proud of him—all at the same time. After the play, Michael's parents and I talked about the show, but not the kissing scenes—that would have been super uncomfortable.
Although I kept my jealousy on the down low for the most part, by our senior year of college I was really worried he was going to cheat on me—and it was causing a lot of fights. For example, Michael got a bit too close to an actress who was acting as Ophelia in his thesis play, Hamlet. He started scheduling extra rehearsals for just the two of them, which I thought was odd, and I started to feel like the annoying girlfriend whenever I'd hang out with him and the cast. I knew he had to spend a lot of time with her because she was such a big part of his project, but when they spent time together afteward it really bothered me. Occasionally, I'd wait for him in his dorm room after practice, and since this was before cell phones, I would sit there for a long time with no idea where he was. I was usually in tears by the time he got back.
When I was upset one night, he told me I was being jealous and that anything I thought was happening between him and the actress was all in my head. He said that any time they were together, they were working on the show and nothing else. But after his project was done, I gave him tickets to a show that I couldn't go to—and he took the Ophelia actress with him. I was so angry.
After I found out that he'd gone with her, I confronted him and said it didn't seem like he was making excuses to see the actress. I threatened to cancel the lease for the apartment we were going to move into after graduation. He said he needed to think and spent most of the night trying to figure out whether he wanted to move in with me. When I saw him the next morning, he said he wanted to be with me more than anything. He said he felt like he'd almost thrown away our future together.
The first year we lived together, Michael had a kissing scene in almost every play—and I was so paranoid that he would cheat on me. Any time rehearsal ran late, I'd get upset. Even though he'd say things like, "You have nothing to worry about," or, "She's not even pretty," I was still concerned.
I eventually hit a point where I thought, "I can't live like this." We were constantly having the same fight about who he was with and why he was late. I was always suspicious, and he was hurt that I didn't trust him.
One night, I decided I was ready to move out. I couldn't handle the drama any more. When Michael came home, he saw my suitcases, and we had a heart-to-heart. I talked about how the kissing scenes didn't bother me as much as the amount of time he spent with the actresses after rehearsal and how closely they work together. It was the emotional intimacy that made me anxious. He finally said he understood why I felt jealous and insecure. We talked about how our relationship was so much stronger than his relationships with the actresses. Ours was based on real feelings and emotions—not acting.
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The actresses he works with have actually helped, too. Now that Michael is more established as an actor, there are a lot of post-rehearsal drinks with the cast and opening-night parties where I get to meet the women he works with. After getting to know them, it's a lot harder to get jealous. Most of them women know it's awkward to see your partner getting physical with someone else; after all their partners think so, too.
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I think being married to an actor has forced me to trust him more than I ever thought I could. Since Michael's job involves physical intimacy, I've had to address our trust issues head-on. We do have an unwritten rule that he can't agree too enthusiastically when I say a woman he's working with is beautiful. But don't all couples have that rule?
Trinity Laurino, 39, lives with her husband, Michael, in Hollywood, Florida. Michael's most recent work includes several commericals and a role as Detective Mullins in the film, Congratulations!