Quick disclaimer: This entry was written a few months ago. It is all still applicable today but since I made mention of Christmas I wanted to assure anyone reading this that I’m not already planning for Christmas 2016. Enjoy!
I have prided myself on the fact that I have cried very little about the demise of my marriage. I didn’t cry when her husband contacted me, once again, almost 2 years to the date he contacted me the first time. I didn’t cry as I talked to him and felt my world crashing down. I remember telling him, “I don’t know what I’m going to do. We just bought this house. We’ve bought all brand new furniture. We just put a pool in the backyard. My car is a year old. I have no idea what I’m going to do.” I didn’t cry when I found out he had spent months lying to me about sending money to his mom; instead he had funneled thousands to his mistress. And that didn’t include any of the purchases he had made for her when he was with her. I didn’t cry as I called around to make appointments for consultations, or either of the days that I drove to the lawyer’s office and talked about that word that I never wanted to hear, breaking down almost 21 years of marriage to the barest of bones. What are my options? What am I looking at here? Will I get spousal support? Will I get custody of my kids or am I looking at joint custody? Will my kids have a say in whether or not they see him? Can I stay in my house, the one we just moved to a year ago, or will I be forced to sell? Can I leave the state if I’m destitute, seeing as how he moved us here only a year ago to get closer to his mistress? Please tell me what’s going to happen to me and my kids. I didn’t cry a few days later when I got confirmation that he was cheating on me with the same woman or when I found out he cashed in the rest of his stock and had it wired to an unknown by me account. I didn’t even cry when I found out he was interviewing for a job in her state, which meant he would be leaving his own two kids behind.
No, I have held up well for the most part. I cried when I told my kids, unable to keep his secret any longer. You see, once he realized I knew what he was up to he didn’t even bother lying to me. He would simply leave for the weekend. When he would come home is anyone’s guess. Sometimes it was early Monday morning, around 3 am. Sometimes it wouldn’t be until Monday afternoon. Lately, he seems to be returning sometime between 8 and 10 on Sunday. He must be running out of vacation days. Back to the story at hand. I did cry when I told the kids. My daughter burst into tears and covered her face with her hands. My son who is only a young teen yet towers over me began sobbing onto my shoulder. I was forced to admit that I had no answers. I didn’t know what we were going to do. I didn’t know where we were going to end up living. I didn’t know if they would be able to finish out the school year in their current schools. I cried and I apologized again and again. I’m so sorry I couldn’t make it work. I’m so sorry I don’t have any more answers for you. I’m so sorry you’re going through this; I never ever wanted this for you. My kids were hurting, dammit, and I hurt for them. The person who was responsible for this destruction of life as they knew it was hundreds of miles away, enjoying life with his mommy, his cheating sister and her OM turned husband (this is the second one!) and his mistress and her kids.
I cried the day after being given just a little too much information. Like the fact that my still husband put a deposit down on a ridiculously expensive dog for children that are not his own. Like the fact that his mistress is wearing a diamond ring. Like the fact he’s interviewing for yet another out of state job. Like the fact that they’ve taken a few trips together. Don’t misunderstand. I don’t want him. All feelings for him died when I learned what he did. Again. He ripped our lives apart and moved us 2000 miles across the country, taking us away from everything we had built the last eight years only to start screwing his skank of a cousin pretty much a year to the day that our furniture was delivered to our new house. Even blew off a family vacation with us to be with her. Hearing those things hurt nonetheless. As one of my friends put it, “He’s going about this in the cruelest way possible.”
No, the days I want to cry are the ones where I least expect it. I wanted to cry when my daughter said her father wouldn’t miss them if they didn’t see him on Father’s Day. “He’ll be too busy with his fake kids to miss us.” I wanted to cry when my son told the therapist (before I knew anything about his affair) that his idea of a miracle would be his dad getting better and being able to play video games with him and doing things with all of us again. Or when he said he’d like it if occasionally his dad would pop his head into his room and ask him how he was doing instead of him, the child, having to go to his dad any time he wanted to see him. Now he tells me he can’t trust his dad and he thinks that everything he’s been saying these past 6-9 months has been a lie so he could distance himself from us. I want to cry every time I hear how jaded they sound. It’s hasn’t been that long since they found out and already I hear in their voices, in their comments, how they have already given up on him.
I want to cry when I think of everything they are losing. I never wanted this for them. I tried so hard to keep this marriage together. I forgave him two years ago. I took responsibility for my own part in our crumbling marriage. Note: I fully realize I am not to blame for him choosing to have an affair. My motto, based on a quote I saw, is: I may be partly responsible for the void that exists in our marriage, but I will never assume responsibility for the way he chose to fill that void. Amen! I made changes in my behavior. I tried to be everything he wanted, but as always it was never enough.
Some days I think this is the worst possible time for them to witness their parents’ marriage implode. They are both teenagers. They have lived a life of comfort. This past June, when my daughter told me she had grown out of all of her shorts from last year, I simply went to the mall and bought her new shorts, around $200 worth. They’ve never been hungry. They’ve never gone without. All of their needs and pretty much most of their wants have been provided for. They’ve had a stay at home mom all their life. I’m available to chauffeur them around and attend their events and drop things off at the school if necessary. And now, now that they are soon to be off to college they are going to know struggles. My husband and I both grew up without much. I thought we both didn’t want that for our kids. I know I don’t want my kids to have to work 20 hours a week in order to be able to go out with friends or buy Christmas presents or buy things they need that I can no longer afford. I want them to be able to participate in sports and activities at school. I want them to have a carefree existence. There will be plenty of time for worry and bills and not being able to do what you want. We made a conscious choice to pamper and indulge our children and now with only a few more years under our roof he is ripping that away from them and giving it to someone else’s kids.
I want to cry when I think about my kids having relationship issues because of what’s going on in their lives right now. When I think of my beautiful, smart daughter possibly doing stupid things because of “daddy issues”. When I think of my handsome, talented son potentially treating women like his father has treated me. When I think of either of them having relationship problems because of their father and his infidelity, being unable to trust or worse yet, hurting the people they love before they can be hurt. I sincerely hope that they both choose to do things differently than he did. I hope that my son will look at how his father has acted pretty much his entire life and choose to be an active, involved father instead of one who is constantly blowing off his kids and retreating to the silence of his room. I hope my daughter will pick a man who will be a true partner to her, instead of letting her carry the load. Someone who participates in life with her, goes places with her, celebrates holidays with her, parents their children together, spends time with her and their children instead of what she saw me put up with. Hell, I hope the same thing for my son! I hope both of them are able to look objectively at the relationship they saw modeled and reject it outright, searching for something better, something more complete. But it still makes me sad when I hear either of them say, “He was never much of a dad to me anyway,” or “The only reason he went on vacation with us last year was because he was happy we were moving closer to his girlfriend.” For the record, I do speak up and correct them on that, tell them that I don’t think he was involved with her with then. But it doesn’t matter to them.
I want to cry when I think about how he’s putting on the performance of a lifetime and making pancakes for kids that already have an involved father. How many times do you suppose he made pancakes or anything else for our kids? If you guessed zero you would be correct! He’s lavishing them with time, attention and gifts and my son says, “Mom, if you do remarry would you marry a guy that wants to be an involved dad? I’ve never had one of those and I think it would be nice.” THAT makes me want to cry and it breaks my heart.
I want to cry when I think about all the ruined relationships my kids are suffering through. Everyone on his mother’s side of the family knows what they are doing. They are all fine with it. This has devastated my children. As my son, so wise even at his young age, put it, “I can’t trust them anymore.” My daughter has disowned them. Her first question to me was, “Does everyone down there know what he’s doing?” Her second question, after I told her that yes, they did, was, “AND THEY’RE OKAY WITH THAT?” At their ages they understand the difference between right and wrong and they have clearly labeled having an affair as WRONG! That is something my ex in-laws still haven’t mastered despite the fact they claim to be devout Christians. Perhaps their list of ten commandments reads: Thou shalt not commit adultery… unless you really really like each other and feel you are soul mates. My little agnostic and atheist have more of a moral compass than those people do. I guess you can do whatever you want and support whatever behavior you’d like so long as you faithfully attend church and don’t cuss or drink. Saying “fuck”? That’s bad! Actually fucking your cousin while you’re married to another woman? That’s ok. Come to think of it, she’s married, too, so she’s cheating on her husband. The kicker? STBX FIL was the one who married them. Too bad for them that they were all so busy telling my cheating husband (and his cheating whore as well, I’m sure) that his happiness was the only thing that mattered that they completely forget about his two kids, their grandchildren/niece and nephew. But I’m sure it’s all my fault. I’ve somehow turned them against them and in another world where up is down and down is up, where rain drops shoot up from the grass and grass hangs off of the clouds, where unicorns shoot rainbows out of their asses and I fart glitter out of mine, my kids wouldn’t care at all about the fact their family is breaking up and every one of their relatives on their father’s side had a ringside seat.
I want to cry when I think about Christmas. How am I going to buy Christmas presents? Am I still going to be able to do Elf on a Shelf? I know, I know, they’re teenagers- way too old for that anymore. But they enjoy it. Last year Santa brought them MacBook Pros. This year…. hopefully he can bring them something. This will be the first year since I got married that I won’t have a stocking filled. I told my husband right from the beginning that it was his job to fill my stocking every Christmas morning and he did. I, of course, filled one for him as well. I always decorated the inside of the house and he decorated the outside. So this year we will have no decorations outside. I’m sure I could figure it out if I needed to but I’m not very motivated, to be honest. The other part that makes me want to cry? I’m sure he’ll be busy decorating her house for her and her kids. I try not to think like that very often because I know it does me no good; however, every so often those thoughts do creep into my mind.
I want to cry when I think back to how our house, for the first time in years, went undecorated for Halloween. Oh, I’m sure he helped to decorate the hell out of her whorehouse. But us? Not a single outside decoration this year. He also didn’t carve pumpkins for the kids. The whore was gushing all over Facebook though about cute Halloween and pumpkin design ideas. “Look, CF, power tools and pumpkins!” Isn’t she just the cutest thing? Puke! I’m sure he spent a blissful family weekend carving pumpkins for children that weren’t his own while he pretended his own children didn’t exist. Oh, don’t you worry- my kids and I carved pumpkins on our own. We carved the fuck out of those pumpkins! They were glorious! It still doesn’t excuse that vile creature for neglecting his kids.
I want to cry when I think about everything we’re leaving behind. Our house is a year old. I didn’t love it at first but it has grown on me. Pair that with the fact that I’m not a big fan of moving and we’ve got a winning combination! And did I mention we just put a brand new expensive inground pool into our backyard? Yes, I’ve wanted one for years and years and when we agreed to make this move getting a pool was one of the conditions. When we looked for houses one of the things we looked for was a backyard that would accommodate a pool. We promised the kids we’d get one if the house didn’t already come with one. Excavation began in the spring. The pool wasn’t ready until August. All summer long we waited for that thing. I would console myself with the knowledge that we had many summers ahead of us in which we could enjoy that pool, all summer long. Haha- joke’s on me. I’m so glad we paid all of that money so we could use it for about 4 weeks. Definitely worth it! Did I also mention we bought pretty much all brand new furniture for this new house of ours? Yes, we hadn’t bought new furniture in over eight years. What we had was pretty ratty. We bought a 4000 square foot home and bought new mattresses for both kids and the guest bed, new beds for the kids, new living room furniture, new formal living room furniture, a pie safe and a small end/sofa table for the dining room to even out the room, new coffee tables (which the husband insisted upon having), new end tables, new bar stools, a new cabinet for the laundry room, a new desk, and a new patio set for the enclosed porch. And a trampoline. Later on we bought a foosball table, a dart board and an air hockey table for the basement. Not to mention all the stuff you buy for the bathroom- new shower curtains, shower liner, hooks, rugs, towels, trash cans, toothbrush holders, etc. Oh yes! In fact, we had four of those, although one is more aptly described as a powder room. And, since I had nothing to do in this new town I decided to make decorating my house my new hobby. I’ve got decorations for every month except for the summer; I keep those up from June until mid September. Now what do I do with all of this shit? I know, I know. It’s only stuff. Don’t get attached. I still want to cry though when I think about all of the money we wasted on this stuff that I stupidly thought meant something.
I want to cry when I think about how I wasted almost half of my life with him. I can’t figure out which memories to ditch and which ones to keep. I genuinely love Memphis, but can I ever think of it separately from him? I plan on giving away my mugs from the islands where we honeymooned. I don’t want them. I’m planning on trashing the ornaments we received for our first Christmas and the ones we purchased on our honeymoon. Do I continue to root for the team he loved, the one we taught our kids to love, or do I cheer on another one, maybe an arch rival? There are so many memories (about 21 years worth!) and experiences that are due to him and I hate that! I think of vacations we took with him, and vacations we went on without him (his choice, of course). I think of all the things that I’ve been able to do because he supported me financially, and all the things the kids and I have been able to do, for the same reason. We’ve moved all over the country in order to support his career. I’ve gained many friends and seen many places thanks to him, but I don’t feel like being grateful to him for any of that. I sometimes think to myself: Yes, I got to go through all of the crappy years with him. I got to move all over the country for him. I lived with him during the lean years. And now, 21 years later, she doesn’t have to move. She CAN’T move; her (ex)husband will never let her move with his kids. He’s going to move to be closer to her (screw his kids- it won’t matter if he’s 6 or 8 hours away from them). And she won’t be experiencing the lean years. Oh no, he’s making big bucks now and he’s spending it wildly on her and her kids. He said he felt like nothing more than a wallet to me and our kids, so what does he do? He replaces me with a lying, manipulative gold digging whore who spends money like water and has an arrest record. Not to mention throwing money at her kids who then proceed to trash talk him behind his back. Hey, here’s a tip, Einstein: If you don’t want to be treated like a wallet, stop acting like one!
I want to cry when I think about how stupid I was to ever trust him again. This could have been done two years ago. Who on earth in her right mind agrees to move closer to the mistress? That’s right- me! I was so confident that I had “won” and that our relationship was better than ever. Stupid, stupid me. I should have kicked him to the curb back then. At the very least I should have said to him: Suck it up, buttercup! We’re all happy here; we’re not moving. But no, I was the good, dutiful wife. I followed him all over, supported his career. Essentially I sacrificed my happiness, and my children’s happiness, for his. And then he shit all over us.
I almost cried the other day when talking about relationships that begin in high school and turn into long lasting marriages with my daughter. I could feel the tears starting to form but I choked them back. I was telling her about a friend of mine who met her husband when she was in ninth grade. They dated all through high school and all through college and then got married. They’ve been together over thirty years. My daughter asked me, “How does that happen?” As I answered her honestly I wanted to cry. “Honey, sometimes you just get lucky the first time, I guess.” Why cry at that? Because it turns out I didn’t get lucky at all, even with a wedding, two beautiful and much wanted children, and twenty years of marriage. Oh, believe me. I lucked out on my kids. They are fantastic. But as far as being lucky in love? I didn’t get lucky with my first pick back when I was in ninth grade and I wasn’t lucky with what I thought was my final pick when I was almost twenty-six.
I want to cry most days when I go on Facebook and see all those happy couples shouting out a happy anniversary to their other half. You see, I haven’t been able to do that since his first go round with the whore. Every time I would think about it it would depress me and I would think to myself, “How can I celebrate this day when he cheated on me? Your anniversary is supposed to be the day you honor your vows. He didn’t honor his so how do we celebrate?” The funny part is I truly thought this would be the year that I could do exactly that. I was really hoping this year I could post on Facebook, “Happy Anniversary to my love. It’s been 21 years and I can’t wait to see what the next 21 bring.” I want to cry not only because people are happily married, but also because I look back at my own relationship and I think, “I made it 20 years, too, and then he shit all over me. I hope you have better luck.” Sometimes I think, “What’s wrong with me that I couldn’t make it work like they could?” Of course, the answer is this: They’re not married to a lying, cheating douchebag!
Ironically, I never cry about the fact that he’s screwing his cousin. I figure that’s his own shame to carry. I mean, that’s just some sick stuff. And as I said before I pretty much lost all feelings for him the minute I found out he was fucking around on me again.
I want to cry some days when I think about how much he’s lied and how he’s treated me and the kids. How I hate the lies! Every time he would tell me one I wanted so badly to believe it, even knowing all I did. He told me he was going to his best friend’s for the weekend and headed directly to her house. Told me he loved me. Oh, the drive is so exhausting; I’m going to bed as soon as I get there. When I told him I loved him he told me he loved me more. Blech! He even went so far as to request pictures of my boobs! You’re screwing your cousin and you want your wife to send you naked pictures? Oh hell no! He acts like he’s the victim. He actually told our daughter that the reason he left every weekend was because he wasn’t welcome at the house. No, you leave every weekend because your whore lives in a different state and your dick can’t reach her from here! The way he’s treated me you would think that I have been cheating on him! Good God I wish! Divorce seems to be so much easier when you have a partner by your side!
I want to cry when I start thinking defeatist thoughts like, “Death wouldn’t be so bad.” Don’t get me wrong. I’m not suicidal. I know that if I did that then I would be sentencing my kids to a fate worse than death- life with their “father” full time! And I’ve never been a big fan of death; I’m one of those people who would kind of like to live to be 115. It’s just that some days I think that once I’ve raised my kids maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to lay down and die. Or that since I don’t have anything to look forward to when death comes I won’t mind. Look, I’m 46 years old. I haven’t worked outside of the home in 17 years. I have never made more than $20,000 in a single year on my own. My whole life (and retirement plan) was intrinsically linked with my husband’s. Now that is all gone and I’m left wondering where am I going to live? Should I move back to my home state and piss off my kids even more? We just moved here and I know they don’t want to start over. If I stay here, how long do I stay? Will I be stuck here forever because my kids end up making their homes here? What kind of a job will I get? Should I go back to school for a more useful degree? Will anyone want to hire me at my age? What is life going to look like in a few years? Should I just plan on using spousal support to support myself? What’s going to happen to me if my douchebag ex dies at a young age? No more spousal support; that’s for sure! Will I be eating dog food when I’m 80 because I have no money saved up for retirement since, you know, I had planned on still being married at that point (or at least widowed)? For all I know I’ll be alone for the rest of my life. My kids will grow up, possibly marry, have families of their own. I guess that’s yet another negative of divorcing when your kids are older; you don’t have years and years to focus on your kids instead of your own happiness and reinventing your life. That sounds bad, doesn’t it? I guess what I mean is, well, to put it bluntly I’ve got about 7 more years of full time parenting left! My daughter graduates in less than 3 years and then she’ll be off to college. My son will graduate 3 years after that. I’ve spent the last 15 years being Mom; my schedule has revolved around their activities and school events. I thought in another few years I’d be dealing with the empty nest syndrome and traveling with my husband. Turns out I’ll be…. who knows? So yeah, some days just laying down and dying doesn’t seem so bad. At least for me. It would probably suck for a lot of other people.
Finally, I want to cry some days when I think about the future (see above if you don’t believe me). About love and happiness. I’m easily overwhelmed these days so I try not to think too much about health/dental/vision insurance, or if I’m ever going to have any savings in my savings account, or what the hell will happen to me when I hit retirement age. Mainly, I try to have hope that one day I may be happy as well. I know it happens, but here’s the thing. I met my husband after a five year drought. I was young and cute and thin back then. I had no children, no ex-husband, and not having a job wasn’t a huge negative. I still couldn’t get a steady boyfriend! Now I’m <gulp> middle aged with two teenagers. Although I’ve lost 25 pounds so far on the divorce diet I’m still carrying about 50 I don’t need. My boobs, awesome as they are, sag and I have stretch marks and a c-section scar. As I said above I haven’t worked a full time job in 17 years and I’ve been a stay at home mom for 15 years. If I’m being optimistic I’m still pretty cute. I’m hopeful there is someone out there for me but I’m not planning on it. And that just sucks. Many times I find myself wishing that I wasn’t going through this divorce alone just like my husband isn’t. Many times I think that I would like to have someone waiting in the wings to take my husband’s place, like he has someone chomping at the bit to take mine. But that would make me a whore so… Some days I wish I knew what my future was supposed to look like. Hell, fantasy or not, at least the douchebag has a plan. I am hoping that I don’t let this awful experience color my view on men and all other relationships. I was pretty jaded in my teens and twenties and at that point I had obviously never devoted 21 years of my life to another human being only to be betrayed. I know I’ll never remarry and that’s ok. No, seriously, my spousal support will stop if I remarry or move in with someone; I’m never remarrying. Besides, after these past 21 years being with a person who was never much of a partner I’m good with just dating. My daughter used to tell me that if I ever left her dad he would never be able to find anyone else. Oh, the irony. It burns. But hey, if a bald guy with bad teeth and some serious psychological issues (not to mention being a pathological liar and a cheater) can find love surely I can!