I read a book by Lawrence Sanders many years ago. I’m talking like more than 30 years ago. The protagonist was a bodyguard for some rich, old man. At one point in the story the old man has an escort up to his room and afterwards he somehow manages to get his junk stuck in his zipper. The protagonist says at this point that he knew he would be dismissed from this detail because he had seen his employer embarrassed and vulnerable. Sometimes I wonder if that’s what happened to us- me and Zack.
Things were good for us in the beginning. I remember telling my hair stylist that I had always heard the first year was the hardest but our first year hadn’t been hard at all. It’s like we were meant to be married. We didn’t fight and we had no problems that I can think of. We were married over five years before our first child was born. We moved a lot. We did pretty much everything together. We worked second shift for a year after we married. That’s a hard shift to work and maintain a social life. All of my friends worked regular 8-5 jobs. So it was the two of us. Then we moved. We knew no one. He worked third shift and I worked first so it worked out well. He slept while I worked and vice versa. I remember we would get breakfast on Friday mornings and grab three or four movies to watch over the weekend. Eventually he did move up to first shift and we would go out to dinner and to the movies every Friday night. We ran errands together. We watched TV together, no separate shows. I’m pretty sure we went to bed at the same time, too. We loved to talk about our vision for our future. We really did do almost everything together. Sure, he had no desire to go to the Elton John concert with me and he staunchly refused to watch me go skydiving but those are the only two things I can really think of, except for me visiting family, of course. Things were even better after we moved the third time. We had a very active social life with other people and we loved the area.
His story has become that we grew apart once we had children. I think we grew apart once he lost his job and I saw him at his most vulnerable. That these events occurred within two weeks of one another is simply a fantastic coincidence.
I remember a friend once asking me if I had told him it was okay that he had lost his job and that I didn’t hold it against him or think less of him. I never did because I didn’t think it was necessary. It’s not like I spent any amount of time telling him what a worthless piece of shit he was or constantly degrading him. I’m sure I was supportive and loving, as always.
I think having our first child did show me how selfish he could be but I’m not sure I would say we began to grow apart. He simply thought of himself first. I’ve relayed the story of how I had to go back to work two weeks after giving birth and he was busy working on finishing our upstairs. It never occurred to him to offer to help me out. What he needed to do was so much more important than what I needed to do. Sadly, I put up with that. I not only put up with it but also I made excuses for him.
Things weren’t horrible once we moved but they never went back to the original easiness. Perhaps because he was no longer my main focus and it is far easier to see someone’s faults when you are busy taking care of an actual baby instead of your husband masquerading as one. Things that I could have and would have done before Rock Star came along were now not the simple tasks they had been before. I didn’t have time to baby him because I had an extremely high needs infant that demanded my attention 24/7. Things were downright bad shortly after I had Picasso and I don’t know why. Seriously, Tammy Faye actually asked me if Picasso had been wanted because Zack acted like such an ass. I found myself feeling like I had tricked him into getting me pregnant and that’s not what happened at all.
He can go ahead and blame it on the kids. Why not? It’s not like he really thinks of them before doing anything anyway. I continue to believe it really had very little to do with the fact we had kids. I think more than anything his shell cracked and I saw it. I was there when he lost his job. I was there when he was lying catatonic on the bed after the house appraisal came in after we had already moved. I was there when he messed up and had an affair and then had the audacity to not simply forget about it. Shoot, I was there when he ate the damn show lettuce at the company dinner. I had seen him vulnerable and defeated. He was embarrassed by what had happened and I would always know the truth. I was there for all of his failures and down times; she was shiny and new and offered a new beginning. I was dismissed.