Does Anything Make Me Mighty?

Chump Lady asked on Friday, “What Makes You Mighty?”  It is supposed to be a feel good exercise, a positive post.  You can list anything that makes you feel good, right down to the fact that you got out of bed and made breakfast for your kids despite wanting to hide in bed for weeks on end.  Usually this post would make me feel good.  It’s inspiring to see what everyone else is accomplishing post divorce.  People talk about getting great jobs, buying their own homes, taking vacations with their kids, taking up new hobbies.  It’s fun to read and it usually inspires me.  This time, though, it just depressed me.  I don’t know why.

I was all set to participate.  My minor achievement was replacing the belt on the vacuum cleaner.  That was always something I handed over to Cousinfucker.  I wasn’t sure what I was going to do when he was no longer around.  Honestly, I thought about getting rid of my vacuum cleaner!  But I did it.  That was several months ago.  I don’t feel like I’ve had anymore achievements.

I can’t buy him out of this house even if I wanted to and because of the way he spectacularly screwed us by moving us away and buying a new, more expensive house less than a year before he began his affair I’m not going to see any profits from the sale of this house. So…. I won’t be buying a new home.  In fact, the plan right now is to move back in with my mother after my daughter graduates.  I get to sell off all my brand new furniture, all my new decorations, all my Christmas stuff, my dishes, my sheets and towels, pretty much everything and move back home.  I’ll have my clothes.  Maybe my books.  Electronics.  Photo albums.  That’s my life!  Living at home with my mother, my kids not having a home of their own.  Meanwhile, I’m sure Cousinfucker is going to take his precious VA loan and buy his whore a brand new house and move her and her four kids into it.  They’ll be living better than they’ve ever lived in their lives.

I’ve spent my children’s entire lives operating as a single parent for the most part.  Cousinfucker performed 2 tasks- he would pick up our daughter from gymnastics when our son had hockey, and he would help with math homework.  While it was nice not having to leave the ice rink to go pick her up I could, and did, do it myself whenever CF was out of town.  When her state meet was the same day as his hockey tournament and the events were almost an hour apart I made arrangements on my own to get them both where they needed to be.  I can definitely manage.  Being able to handle my kids on my own is not a new achievement; it’s something I’ve done as long as I’ve had kids.  Taking my kids on vacation without CF is also not a new phenomenon.  I’ve driven 1500-2000 miles across the country without him many times, stopping along the way to break up the trip for my kids.  Again, not an achievement.  At least not a new one.

New job?  Fantastic pay raise?  Living better than him?  Nope.  I’m in a Catch-22.  If I get a job his spousal support is lowered.  I’m not doing him any favors!  I am planning on leaving this area as soon as my daughter graduates.  I don’t want to be in a position where I absolutely have to work the minute I move in with my mom.  Additionally, I have spent so much time catering to everyone else I have no idea what I’d like to do.  I don’t think I want to be a nurse even though that seems to be a popular “return to school” degree, and I’m not sure I really want to go back to school and spend more money for a degree I won’t end up using.  My mother thinks I should become an accountant. Honestly, I don’t have money to go back to school right now even if I *did* know what I want to do with my life.  Plus, I really don’t want to shake up my kids’ lives anymore than they have been.  I mean, we’ve moved them across the country, taken them away from their old lives, then they learn their father is a lying, cheating sonofabitch who is essentially abandoning them, and now they need to miss out on even more because Mommy has to go to work because Daddy won’t do a damn thing for them!  I have an outdated, never used college degree and as I’ve said before I’ve been out of the work force for 17 years now.  I am sure my prospects are bright.

As for hobbies and lots of new friends, well, I can’t afford any new hobbies and I live in BFE so my chances of meeting many new people are pretty fucking slim.  Plus, I just don’t have the energy to put on a happy face.  I was invited to a Super Bowl party today.  I was all excited to go even, and then… I wasn’t.  So I decided to stay at home.  It’s awkward enough to be in a large group when you don’t know anyone except the hosts. And it’s one thing to be surrounded by couples when you know both parties.  But when you’re being asked to meet a bunch of new people AND you’re the only one there that’s not part of a couple? No thank you.  I was definitely not up for it today.

I know this is another depressing post and I apologize.  I’m sure it will get better.  I’m just feeling sorry for myself right now.  I do that every now and then and then I get my head out of my ass and tackle the problems head on.

Things I Worry About Today

Yesterday was a melancholy day for some reason.  I thought maybe writing out some of my worries might help to alleviate them.  Worst case scenario I can look back in a year or two and laugh.  “Oh, Sam, can you believe you ever worried about *that*?”

I worry about what I’m going to do when we’re finally divorced.  I’ll have no insurance.  No prescription coverage.  No dental.  No vision.  I’m a relatively healthy person but it would be just my luck that when I have no insurance I would be suddenly hit with a catastrophic accident or illness.

I worry about the house and what’s going to happen there.  On the one hand I know I don’t want to stay here for the long term.  I’m hoping for another 2 1/2 years.  By the time we are finally divorced it will be less than 2 years I’ll need a place to stay around here.  I don’t want to be left trying to sell the house on my own.  Quite frankly I think if we end up taking a loss he should be responsible for 100% of it seeing as how it was his own bone-headed, erection-driven decisions that led to us selling 2-3 years after buying it.  I also know I absolutely cannot refinance the house in my name alone, and even if we did a quit claim (?) I’m back to the whole “I don’t want to be responsible for selling the house and dealing with any repairs plus any huge financial losses”.  But I’m also not sure where I can rent in my kids’ school district that will also accept pets.  Did I mention I have 3 dogs and 3 cats?  See, I used to own my own home and I kind of arranged my life around that.  I didn’t make decisions based upon, “What if my husband leaves me for his skank ass cousin?”  This is now my dilemma. My hope is that the divorce is not finalized until late this year and that a judge, if it goes to court, will give me 12-18 months before I need to put the home up for sale.

I worry about what’s going to happen when my daughter graduates.  I know I still have time, but a year ago I would have said that she was going to have a fabulous party and we’d give her a wonderful graduation gift- probably a destination trip.  Now I have no idea what I’m going to be able to do.  Graduation gift?  Don’t make me laugh.  I’ll be lucky if I manage to scrape together enough money to throw a graduation party for her- a graduation party that will be sparsely attended for that matter.  I have like 3 friends here- 2 of them have daughters that will have already graduated by the time mine does so I’m not sure how much I’ll be interacting with them.  Most of my friends are in YYY state.  Cousinfucker and his family won’t be in attendance.  I’m going to have a party with less than 20 people in attendance.  For a graduation.  I’m thinking she will be better off just going out to dinner with us.  That goddamn motherfucking pig shit wearing waste of oxygen breathing cousinfucker has taken all this away from my child!  And I hate him for that.  I honestly do not care about him at all as a husband.  Run away, Cousinfucker!  Go fuck your cousin and tell your mommy all about it.  But DO NOT FUCK WITH MY KIDS!  I’m thinking about the graduation announcements and senior pictures.  Hell, do we need to rent or buy caps and gowns?  I graduated over 25 years ago; I honestly don’t remember what we did, and even if I did I’m sure it has changed.

I worry that my kids will have issues down the road.  And I sometimes wonder if my son is taking this too well.  Sometimes I tell myself that it is the benefit of having a father who wasn’t very involved anyway; the kid doesn’t miss him.  But other times I wonder, “Is it natural to be this blasé about your father’s disappearance in your life?”  My son has actually told people, “My dad is dead to me.”  He cares nothing about him.  My daughter is still willing to text him in order to get her allowance or to wish him a happy birthday or even to thank him for the Christmas gift.  My son?  Does.Not.Care.  He’s said outright he does not care if his dad ever gives him another dime.  He tells me there’s nothing he needs.  When I told him he needed to at least text his dad to thank him for the gift card he told me he didn’t have his number; he had deleted him from his contacts.  And he has mentioned more than once that he can no longer trust his dad, that he thinks his dad just used him to try to get him on “his side”, as my son puts it.

Honestly, I figured if one of the kids was more reluctant to take sides it would be him.  He longed for a relationship with his dad.  But he’s the one that he has really distanced himself.  That boy could give classes on No Contact.  My daughter is more practical.  She’s willing to deal with her dad in order to get her allowance and her long promised car.

That brings me to my next worry.  Her having a car would really help me out.  She could drive herself to her own practices.  She could drive herself and her brother to school.  That would give me a little more freedom in regards to getting a job.  However, my guess is Cousinfucker is once again going to plead poverty when it comes time to buying her a car.  Let’s give the poor guy a break.  He’s already promised a car to Harley’s daughter and it’s really tough buying two cars.  If you have to choose between your whore’s kid and your own child what sensible person is going to choose their own?  Am I right?  And seeing as how I’m already paying *his* car insurance I’m not seeing where he’s going to stand up and pay for her car insurance.

I worry about her a lot.  I worry she’s putting too much pressure on herself.  I worry she won’t have good relationships with boys.  I worry about her migraines.  I worry about the anxiety she says she’s feeling.

I wonder (not worry) whether or not I’ll be alone for the rest of my life.  Will I ever find someone else?  Someone who will treat me right.  Someone who will want to go places with me and do things with me.  Someone who will want to be a part of my family.  Someone who will embrace my kids and enjoy hanging out with them, too. Someone who isn’t a drama queen.  Someone who isn’t a miserable shit eating chimp and who won’t bring everyone around him down with him.  Someone who won’t fuck his cousin.  It’s those little things, ya know?

Honestly, I know I don’t *need* another man in my life.  If I look back over the last twenty-one years I feel like I was pretty much on my own the entire time.  I guess maybe we had a good five years before kids came along and he became a gigantic pain in my ass.  Becoming a parent changed my life.  It didn’t seem to change his, though.  And that’s where the problem is.  He still wanted a doting wife that tended to his every need.  After I took care of everything else.

But I would *like* to have someone I could share my life with.  It would be nice, as I said above, if there was someone out there who was willing to go places with me, do things with me.  When I am reluctant to do something, or don’t have the energy to do something, it would be nice to have someone cheering me on.  “Come on, Sam; it will be fun!  I’ll be right there with you.”  Instead I got, “Okay, let’s just go home.”  Or even better, he just wasn’t there to begin with.

I see friends who have husbands that actually *interact* with them and with the kids.  I think that would be nice.  Not a necessity but nice.  The guy that is, not the interaction.

In the end it’s all the not knowing that worries me the most.  I suppose time will tell.  Here’s to hoping that when I look back on this list in a year I’ll be able to laugh.

The Days That I (Want To) Cry

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!

The Whole Sad Story, Part 2

I think this part of the story, though the most devastating, will probably be the shortest.

He was having more and more difficulty dealing with every day life.  He would retreat to our bedroom and not interact with any of us unless we went to the bedroom to see him.  He talked about his “anxiety” quite often, including how much he hated driving.  He said even making the short drive to work was taxing on him.  He told me he didn’t think he could go on vacation with us; it was too far from home and he needed to stay close by.

As luck would have it, the same week that the kids and I left to go on vacation he supposedly had a business trip about 6 hours away.  Stupid me with all my pluckiness helped coach my darling husband through this upcoming drive.  I was right there, cheering him on, telling him how fabulous he was and how he could do this!  Great news- he made it!  He was able to get in his car and drive.   Bad news… spoiler alert… he fucked a whore.

While on vacation I found out he had sent his mom yet another $500.  He had been sending his mom money all summer long, helping her out with groceries.  It was a little frustrating to see that he had sent a huge chunk while we were on vacation but I let it go.  The day he was supposed to return home I checked on him to ask him when he was leaving.  “Oh, I have to stay an extra day.  They couldn’t get the machine to work.”  He later told me since he was so close to his mom’s he was going to go see her, especially since he had just regained his new driving skills.  “Are you mad?” he asked me.  I assured him I wasn’t and told him it was his mom and how could I say no.  In retrospect, let me count the ways!  Then I discovered a debit payment from a store in the whore’s town.  I immediately asked him why there was a charge to Whore Town.  He had no idea!  He had given his mom his card information so she could make a purchase before he got into town but she had gone to a different city.  He had no idea why it showed up as Whore Town.  Does anybody see the red flags here?  Yes, I was an absolute idiot.  I guess when you want to believe something badly enough you’ll excuse away almost anything.

He seemed a little distant once he came back home but he explained it away by saying he was having some bad days and wanted to shield me from them.  For my part I told him that I was his wife and we were a team and I wanted to be there for him.  We would work through all of this together and it was going to get better.  I told him how proud I was of him for being able to make the drive; that was such a huge step!  The plucky heroine kept insisting she was going to love him through this!  Things were going to get better!  You can drive again!  Now we’ll just tackle that social anxiety and the PTSD and we’ll be on the road to happily ever after!

About ten days after he got back he found out a cousin of his had died.  Now keep in mind this cousin is about ten-fifteen  years older and he hadn’t seen him much, if at all, in twenty years.  Nonetheless, he was determined to go to the funeral.  When I told him our daughter wanted to go with him so she could see her grandparents he immediately vetoed that idea, saying that it was no place for her to be and she didn’t need to see that.  He tells me the funeral is on Friday so he’ll leave Thursday and come back on Friday after the funeral.  Short visit, right?

Oh no!  I ask him on Friday if he’s still coming home and he proceeds to tell me how they’ve switched the day of the funeral.  He swears up and down that they told him it was one day at one time and now they’re saying it’s the next day, at a completely different time.  So he’ll be staying until Sunday.  Then Sunday comes and I ask him if he’s leaving so he’ll get home before it’s dark.  No!  He wants a new challenge so he’s going to drive home when it’s dark to see if he can do that!  I then get a text message around 11:30 telling me that he had his mom’s keys in his briefcase and he had to turn around and take them back to her so he’ll leave the next day.  He finally gets home around 5:30 the next evening.  Again, anyone else seeing the incredibly huge red flags?

Here’s another one for you.  His sister posts a picture of the two of them together.  Once again the whore is liking his picture.  To make matters even worse the whore’s sister mentions how she saw him at “the family reunion” and it had been years since she’d seen him.  I’m thinking, “What reunion?”  Darling husband never mentioned a family reunion.  She had seen him at this family reunion?  Maybe she was talking about a reunion 20 plus years ago and that damn auto correct changed ‘had’ to ‘has’.  It HAS been years since I’ve seen him.  And to add to my paranoia there was yet another charge in Whore Town.

My gut was screaming at me the entire time he was gone.  I walked around like a zombie, telling myself that I was overreacting.  I told myself that I was just hypersensitive because of what had happened before.  “He loves you!  He wouldn’t do this to you again!  You just moved here!” I told myself.  I barely ate.  At one point I went down to my daughter’s room to see if she wanted to get something to eat and she told me she was terrified that her dad and I were going to get divorced.  When I asked her why she thought that she told me it was because her dad hadn’t shown any emotion lately and I wasn’t acting like myself.

I got a message from her husband the evening that my husband got back home.  He told me that my husband had been spending the last two weekends with the whore in Whore Town and he thought I should know.  With that the bottom dropped out of my world.  I held it together though.  I asked him if they were still married and he told me my husband was paying for their divorce.  He gave me his number and we talked for about 30 minutes.

I found out that he had been giving her money all summer long.  All that “grocery money” was actually going to his whore.  Wow- now all of a sudden it makes sense why he didn’t want to send a check.  Those charges to the store in Whore Town were purchases for her.  My husband was making pancakes for her kids, throwing money at them, promising to buy them a dog, promising to buy her oldest child a car.  His MOM was the one who encouraged her to call him and make contact since he was “so sad”.  Yes, encourage his former mistress to call him and cheer him up.  That sounds like a great plan.  What could possibly go wrong?  That family reunion?  That happened the first weekend he went to go see his mom.  Yes, pretty much a year to the day that our furniture was being delivered to our new house my darling husband was fucking his whore of a cousin.  The funeral?  Oh, his mother and his whore went with him.  I’m so glad he had lots of support.  I was also told that according to the whore I knew about their affair and I didn’t care.  I think my favorite part has to be the story she tells about how he would have dumped me the last time but he couldn’t “liquidate his assets” quickly enough.  Those were both things she had told her husband to rub salt in the wound.

I later found out that the phones he had purchased for his mom and stepdad weren’t for them at all. Yes, he laid that trap quite nicely.  As his mother’s birthday approached he told me he was thinking of buying her and his stepdad new phones and putting them on his plan since they only had pay as you go phones.  When a letter came in from his phone carrier letting him know he had been approved for new phones he explained that away by saying it was for his mom and stepdad.  What a good son!  It turns out he instead bought new phones for his mistress and her daughter when her husband took them off of his plan.  He’s currently paying their phone bill on his corporate card.  Again, so many things make sense now.  When he kept making reference to getting phones for his parents I asked him why he didn’t just put them on my account.  Oh, he got a discount through his work which made it more practical to go with this other provider.  Incidentally, my cell phone carrier is much less expensive- probably $100 less expensive. Nothing but the most expensive for the whore and her kid, I suppose!  I’ve also since learned that he has indeed put a deposit down on the damn dog and his whore is wearing a diamond ring.

When I dug a little deeper I discovered withdrawals from our savings account, withdrawals that occurred throughout the summer.  My husband *never* takes money out, and if he ever does it’s certainly not the maximum withdrawal amount.

He got back home on Monday, I found out he was cheating on me later that night.  On Tuesday I called around to make an appointment for a consultation and on Wednesday I met with the first lawyer to see what my options were. On Thursday I sent him a text asking him when he was planning on going to see his best friend.  Oops, he was already on his way.  He thought he had told me and he was going to say goodbye but I was gone so long he didn’t have a chance.  Mmm hmm. This turned out to be an exciting weekend.

I confirmed with her husband that my darling husband was planning on spending the weekend with her and I had him tailed to her house. Even got pictures for my lawyer.  I also found out he had cashed in the last bit of his stock and had it wired overnight.  Now that was strange because there wasn’t a deposit in OUR account. Oh, lightbulb moment- he’s got a secret, separate account.  The coup de grace though must have been when I was told he was interviewing for a job about thirty minutes away from her, which obviously meant in another state.

This whole entire time he is playing it off like he’s at his friend’s house.  He had problems with his debit card and I offered to drive it to him. Actually, what happened was I knew he had a separate account at this time and he had just received a new debit card in the mail.  I asked him if his had expired and when he said no I put on my thinking cap and said, “This must have been a mistake!  I’ll call the bank and see what’s up!”  When I later went to the bank I used his new debit card to see if there was a separate account.  Turns out once the new card was activated the old card was useless.  He had tried to buy gas and his card was declined and confiscated.  Oops!  He was pissed.  I tried to soothe things over and that’s when I offered to drive to Best Friend’s House with the new card.  Oh no!  I’m good.  I’ve got cash and I’ll use my credit card.  He actually had the audacity to try to get me to send him naked pictures!

He got back early Monday morning (like 3 am) and I met with my lawyer on Tuesday and signed the papers to set the divorce in motion.  I didn’t figure I could wait any longer.  Who knows what the hell he would do in the next few weeks?

This is the best part though.  Everyone I’ve ever told this story to has looked at me like, “WTF?”  A few have even said exactly that.  We had a large amount of money in the checking and savings accounts for the pool we had just put in.  Our contractor hadn’t been paid yet.  When my darling husband wasn’t home by 1 am after I had discovered the stock transfer and the job interview earlier in the weekend I figured I really couldn’t wait any longer to protect myself and the kids.  He had given her thousands of dollars over the summer and I didn’t want to give him the chance to take all that money and run.  As I was driving to sign the papers at my lawyer’s office he asked me if I had paid the pool off yet.  I replied that I hadn’t.  He then goes on to ask me why I transferred all the money out of the accounts, to which I replied, “Because you’re fucking the whore and giving her money.  I figured I needed to protect myself and my kids.”  Without missing a beat he says, “Ok, I understand then.”  About thirty minutes later he sends me another text.  I swear this is true; I couldn’t make this up if I tried.  He says:  Where are you?  Are we still having spaghetti for dinner or do I need to make something?

The End