Why is it so much easier for some to get over the cheater than it is for others? Define easy. Or at least easier.
I lost my home. I was forced out of the area my kids and I lived in. I lost almost everything I owned. I cried every day for a very long time. I wanted to die. I begged God to kill me and put me out of my misery. I believe at one point I said something to the effect of, “My life is over. Now I’m just waiting to die.”
When I worked as a teller in the branches I often thought that if we were robbed I wouldn’t even care if I got shot and killed. I’d volunteer to be the hostage. All those other people I worked with had something to live for; I was just waiting to die.
Whether I called Jerry Lee the love of my life or the bane of my existence my life did a 180 and I will never be the same again. I will never trust someone like I did before. I’d like to think I’ve worked on fixing my picker. I’d like to believe I got it right this time and that the mobster would never cheat on me. But then again, I never thought Jerry Lee would either. It’s not even that I think he will cheat, or that I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. I know what can happen and I feel that I would be remiss if I stuck my head in the sand and pretended like it could never happen again. And part of me feels that it’s so wrong to think like that because truly healing should mean being able to trust again. Completely trust again with no reservations.
I will never allow myself to rely on anyone ever again. I will never ever lose my home and everything in it if a man walks out on me again. I see all of these women quitting their jobs and becoming stay at home moms and I think to myself how wonderful it must be to be able to trust and rely upon another that way. The trust may not be warranted. We won’t know until much later. But the fact that they have that faith is something I will never have again. I know, and I cannot un-know, that if I depend on someone for my livelihood, my home, my car, my whatever, and I’m wrong about him and what a good person he is, then I will lose everything. Even if my divorce wasn’t as “tough” as someone else’s or my heart wasn’t broken as badly as another’s it damn near killed me and I will never go through that again.
I don’t look at the institution of marriage the same way. I think it’s mostly bullshit and not worth the piece of paper your marriage license is printed on.
I don’t look at in-law relationships the same as I once did. They’re people who are in your life and like you as long as you serve a purpose for their relative. You don’t have an authentic relationship with them. Once your partner is done with you those people you celebrated holidays with and bought gifts for and visited in the hospital and took vacations with won’t remember your name; even more hurtful is the fact that they will immediately slot the new woman (or man) into your place. You’ve now been erased.
I don’t think women should stay at home and take care of the babies while the men folk go off and establish six figure careers. Because you quickly find out 20 years later that when he leaves you for someone else he still has his six figure income and you get to struggle in poverty forever.
Sometimes I find it hard to believe in give and take relationships at all. Someone is always going to have to be willing to believe in someone else and trust that the person won’t screw them over eventually. How do relationships survive when each person is only out for themselves? I’m beginning to think that marriage is a hopelessly outdated institution, one that benefits men far more than it benefits women in most cases.
When you think about it that question, “Why do some people seem to get it over so much easier?” is actually quite insulting. I may not be crying and gnashing my teeth over losing the love of my life or my best friend but it does not mean my road was easy. It turns out I’m just a hell of a lot better at gray rock or no contact than others. No doubt it helped that he moved 6 hours away but even while living in the same house I wasn’t going to give him the time of day.
At the heart of it all I’m a practical person. No point in begging him to come back; I knew it wasn’t going to happen. We both knew there was no turning back. I had warned him back in 2013 that I would forgive him once but if it ever happened again I would divorce him and take him for everything I could. He knew that so the moment he said yes to Harley he knew what was going to happen. And I knew from conversations way back when that when he finally made a decision (usually about leaving a job) his mind was made up; he wouldn’t be swayed by more money or promises of whatever the person thought he might want. He knew he was going to have to leave everything we had just bought together behind. He knew he would lose his kids. He made a choice. Knowing full well that if he let her back into our lives it would mean the end of our marriage and the end of life for our kids as they knew it, he went full steam ahead. He chose her. Every. Single. Step. Of. The. Way.
“Why do some seem to get over it more easily than others?” is a ridiculous question. We don’t know what other people are going through. The only thing cheated on people have in common is that we were cheated on. Everyone likes to think we’re all in the same boat but we’re not. We can all certainly offer up support and assure the person new to this pain that it’s all going to get better, but we’re not all in the same boat. What may look like easier for one person might seem insurmountable for another.
My husband of 20 years was not much of a partner to me. We might have had a good 5 years but that was about it. I was used to going through life alone. I was used to raising children alone for the most part. While I wasn’t mourning the loss of him, wasn’t suffering withdrawals because I couldn’t be with him, wasn’t wondering how on earth I would ever be happy without him in my orbit, make no mistake, none of what I went through was “easier”.
I was very literally thrust into poverty after living in the top 3-4% of the socioeconomic population. I struggled to find work and then I worked so damn much just trying to keep my head above water that I would fall asleep sitting up and had no time with my kids. I worked shitty hours for shitty pay. It took me five years to finally find a job that paid me halfway decent.
I had to move my kids 600 miles away, tear their world apart once again, and move in with my mom. I sold, or left behind, almost everything I had ever owned. I had no bed, much less bedroom, to call my own. I slept on the couch for 2 years. To this day I don’t have a home of my own, and because Jerry Lee let our house go into foreclosure I don’t even have proceeds from the sale of my home with which to buy a new home. I’m starting over at zero. I have no furniture. I have very few household items.
I lost so much time with my two children. I was a good mom to those two. I know they both say I’m still a great mom but I know I’m not the same as I was. I took them everywhere- museums, amusement parks, skating rinks, caves, water parks, zoos, Presidential museums, Yellowstone. I tried my best to keep them busy and engaged. I signed them up for horseback riding lessons; we went white water rafting and took many hikes while living out in Utah. They were both involved in sports. I volunteered at their schools. I took them on road trips. Once I began working I could no longer do that. I feel like I was robbed of the last few years of their childhoods. I see pictures on Facebook of people I know busy with college trips for their kids. I didn’t get to do much of that with Rock Star. I didn’t have the money in the beginning and once I did we didn’t have long before she needed to make a decision. Two trips. That was it. I didn’t get to celebrate my daughter’s senior year of gymnastics. It was abruptly taken away when we moved to Indiana.
My entire life turned upside down and it has never been the same, or even close to what it was. To this day I worry about what will happen when the spousal support stops and when I near retirement age. Even if I can live well these next 10-15 years, what happens to me after that?
Everything I went through was excruciatingly painful. Everything I lost, especially the time with my kids, meant something to me. For a very long time there was no joy in my world. It was a bleak gray. I wanted to die. Does that really sound easier?