“Chin up buttercup.”
I have said that to myself so many times since October 18, 2013. That was the day my marriage ended. That was the day my heart was broken, the day I realized the man I said I would spend forever with on October 26, 2001. He was no longer going to grow old with me and be by my side.
My situation may be a little different than some being that mine chose to bring a third party married co-worker into our marriage and jeopardize his six figure job. It was not like I had a sign that there was trouble in paradise or that he wanted out or was unhappy. Welcome to 14 years of my life, marked by his constant bad decisions, roller coaster mood swings and lack of communication. And then the finale – when he chose to end our partnership.
I do take some blame and it took me time to accept it. Some people may disagree. After all, he is the one who cheated and caused the final blow to our marriage. I know I am not perfect and I made plenty of mistakes myself. I remember my mom and dad going through a divorce due to similar circumstances and my mom telling me that the counselor they were seeing asked my mom if she walked on water. She looked at him puzzled, and he told her since she was laying all the blame on my dad for his affair she was Mary from the Bible and walked on water. I believe that statement has stuck in my head for many years and proved to me that no matter the situation, we are all at fault in some way. However, how you chose to take on that situation is your choice. You are given one life.
I had a meltdown and went through the various stages of emotion once my ex decided we were done. I hated him, missed him, cried, longed to have him back, forgave him, wanted to corner the bitch he slept with, told her husband, and sent her flowers at the employer address on the date of our court hearing.
And then my life turned for the better.
Shortly after my ex decided to call our marriage quits I moved out a few weeks later. We were renting and our owners decided to not pay the mortgage so, needless to say, the house was being foreclosed. My genius of a spouse decided to use this against me and move us to separate places. I could have smacked the damn smile off his horse tooth face seeing the excitement in his eyes knowing we were going to be apart. His emotions were so fake and I see that now more than ever. If only I could turn back time to that day to the things I said and how I reacted. I wouldn’t have given him the upper hand, that control he always needed to have.
I didn’t know about the affair until a week before I moved out. I had a gut feeling. I saw the cars parked at his work late one night. When he rolled in and acted cruel to me, I knew. But I needed proof. I then became the detective wife. A week later I found the text on his work cell between the two of them and I confronted him. I wanted to do the happy dance and say, “I win!”
Did I really win? No, my heart was aching. I didn’t realize there was a contest between myself and his co-worker to win his affection. I never met her and she had a family to go home to.
I moved into a home I rented, just me, my 19-year-old daughter, three dogs and a fish tank. I should have been happy I finally had my own place, but I was petrified. I was working at a front desk at a doctor’s office and I loved my job and the company I worked for. Making only $16.00 an hour I knew I could not survive long on my income alone. South Carolina being the old fashioned state it is, when it comes to affairs, it takes care of the one who was cheated on. Because I had the proof, he was proven guilty.
My ex told me he would give me $1800 a month to cover all my bills at least for a year. Then we would have decided what we wanted to do. I know from when we had a falling out years before he was adamant he would never pay me alimony. Maybe not in the state of Ohio where we lived until 2009. But guess what, cheater man. You live in South Carolina now!
I got alimony for four and a half years. He can’t skip paying or lower it. Satisfaction indeed. I hit him where it hurts him most – his wallet.
I then was offered a promotion at work, a temporary promotion. I had to prove myself and I found that fair. I rocked that promotion and I never told my ex until months later that I was offered the job permanently. I got a great raise and the doctors love me. I have 11 staff members reporting to me, 4 doctors, and a nurse practitioner. I have been told by my boss that I am awesome and have been selected to be on committees for improvement within the company. My future is great with my job and that helped me to gain my confidence. I moved into a bigger house and manage my bills all on my own.
I am better than the person he walked away from. I love running into him and him seeing me smile. He said I want you to be happy. When he sees me alone and not dating he thinks I am miserable. He had the affair with a co-worker who still works with him and now he says he is dating. He left a critical part from our divorce – time for him.
I have taken the last two years for me. I was lonely at first. Now I am not so sure I am willing to give up my me time for anyone. I am turning 50 in seven months and it doesn’t matter to me. I am going to Daytona for Thanksgiving to stay at a condo with friends. I am living for once and I am happy, very happy.
I started writing for Divorced Moms shortly after my split as therapy. I went to college years back and took journalism because I love to write. That has helped and I can tell my story to help others to deal with similar situations. I rescue animals and have for years. I stopped because my ex hated it. Today, I am rescuing and fostering again. I work out, do Cross Fit and jog. I do it for me, not to impress him.
Everything happens for a reason. I believe that now. I will have good and bad days. How I handle them is up to me. He is no longer a part of my life and I am grateful.
Divorce is the end of a marriage, not the end of living. I got this!