When I met my husband in 2000 it was at a time when I was unsure about getting into another serious relationship. I had broken off an engagement and wedding that was planned with a previous man. I decided to take time for myself but, I have to admit, I was lonely. When my best friend invited me to a restaurant grand opening that May 2000, I had no idea her intent was to bring me and this man together. It worked and we hit it off right away.
We had so much in common and we talked for hours. Both of us contacted my friend the next day to get each other’s phone numbers. We talked every day. We didn’t have texting so we would email or call when he was traveling. I still have those emails and I read them to see that the man I fell in love with did exist, at least I thought he did. We married a year later.
When did we lose that love and communication? What happened to the couple that once was us?
When you meet someone for the first time and for many months after, you work so hard at primping and saying the right things to impress them. Why is it once we say “I do” it seems to not matter anymore because you have won them? At least that’s what it feels like. I was not the one who wanted to marry. I married too young the first time in 1984 but I loved him. That was just the wrong time of life to be married and I was far too young. We had two daughters and we remained civil to each other. The second marriage, however, was filled with alcohol and emotional abuse. My second husband would eventually crash my car with our 16 month old daughter in it drunk driving. The day after I filed for divorce.
So, I have to ask: Maybe the problem is me? Or is it? When I married for the third time in 2001 I really felt this would be the man I would grow old with. My dad always told me if I could not see this person in a rocking chair on a porch with me at an old age, he was not the one. I saw him as that man. The sex, the conversations and the butterflies I had in my stomach each time he would touch me or I would hear his voice told me this was it. Strange, I still have those butterflies today when I see him. My legs even shake.
In January 2004, I got a cell phone bill with numbers I did not recognize. My husband was acting strange. He didn’t want sex, he was short in our conversations, and when I asked him what was wrong the answer was always the same – his job. That seemed to be his reason for everything in life that pissed him off – his job. Truth is, he was a master at lying with a straight face. I now know why he excelled at sales; he had the gift of bullshit and lying came easy to him.
After I discovered the numbers on the cell bill my first thought was to leave. The problem was we had children. Not together, but children. I didn’t have the financial means to support us on our own and I knew that. I decided to make it work, but it was not easy and he told me I had insecurities and he was not cheating. His lies and cheating brought me to my ex for comfort which was a total mistake. By then I knew I felt I needed to work on our marriage. At first I thought it was the right thing to do. Things went well as long as things went his way and I learned to change into what he wanted for us.
That was wrong. I lost myself. I told him a few years later I wanted out. He looked at me with a surprised look. He refused counseling with me even though I knew we were in trouble.
He took a job in another state four hours away. I thought that would bring us closer. It didn’t. It only made me want to end it even more. The job was stressing him out, he had no friends, and he was four hours from home. He was miserable and so was I. Then the call came in late 2008 to transfer to South Carolina. We had been married 12 years. Once he got to South Carolina he was changed, back to the man I married. I fell in love all over again and never thought that could happen. I moved to be with him in May 2009, leaving my two older daughters and my family, job and life behind.
He went on depression meds. It was hard to have a conversation with him. His job was stressing him out and he went off the meds. He then decided to roll in at 4 AM when I was on vacation in 2013. My daughter saw it. He told me in the car 10 days later our marriage was done. No discussion. He was mean and heartless. He watched me sob for the four hour ride home and never once offered any consolation to me at all.
I begged him to explain what happened. He moved me out of our home we rented. I cried every night. My heart ached missing him and the times we had. I begged for counseling and he refused. He said it was over and there was nothing to save us. He continued to call me at times, and text me and email me.
He told me a few months later how he loved me and made a mistake. Never an apology, just that he screwed up. I confessed to him that I made mistakes, too, with the hope of repairing the damage. This went on for almost two years. Then the ugly in him came out. I never thought he could be so cruel, and with the mistress he had an affair who was still going home to her own marriage even though her husband knew. We were fighting over a life insurance policy and he was nasty. I didn’t deserve this. He was telling people lies. I knew he was probably with someone, even if it wasn’t her.
Was it worth it to try? Was it worth it to care? In my eyes, yes. I can say now when I stand at our final divorce hearing that I loved him and I tried. No marriage is perfect and I was willing to forgive the mistakes and never look back. He still treats me as though I was the problem. I know now I was not.
I cannot do much more than what I did. Everyone says he will come back. When or if he does, it will be up to me to decide if I want to continue to be hurt by him. I hope I don’t accept him back. I can’t.
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