One year later, after my world came crashing down, I continue to attempt to make sense of my life and move on from the pain, regret, and sadness that still lurks. It’s not as visceral as last year when I filed for divorce, but still close enough to jump me unexpectedly, like some mugger in the night. Just when I feel I’m really progressing, boom, there it is, those feelings just as devastating as the months right after I finally kicked him out and ended over half my life. I now realize my marriage had been an ongoing wreck for years, suffering irreversible damage to it’s frame; in its finality, the love, the respect, and the belief were completely totaled.
I understand I miss someone who never existed. I loved someone with all of my heart and it was returned smashed to bits. I miss a family that once was and in spite of my best efforts, is now fragmented and struggling to come to terms with a new reality. I miss discussing our mutual life with the person I trusted with not only my heart, my thoughts, but with my soul since I was 24. I miss someone looking at me with thousands of days of knowledge of a life shared. I miss feeling I knew what my life would be, given any real ability to know that, for the next 20 to 30 years. I miss the idea and the idealism. I miss the relationship I never had.
Time doesn’t heal all wounds, but it does offer a perspective. Perspective needs distance from the experience to come into focus and that’s what I’m seeking, a sharper picture of my life. Being a person who is practical, honest, and realistic in all things but him, I now only want the knowledge that truth provides. Like Winston Churchill’s quote, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” Well, I’ve been going through it and wonder how much further before this road runs out. I have faith there is an end with the goal to never feel so horrible again (like some have told me happened when they skirted the process, ending-up in disastrous rebound relationships).
I can’t take back almost 30 years (where’s a time machine when you need it), but I can better understand how the issues he and I had (and from what her old friends have described, my ex’s cheating partner’s modus operandi), her issues, and find the truth. I know this, he became this dishonest person a very long time ago and prefers the company of dishonest people. (Cheaters like cheaters and liars like liars.) I was given fair warning by many before we married, but paid no attention. I’m the fixer from birth, putting myself in the position many times of deluding myself about people I love. Classic co-dependency. The other woman? A long time mess of a person with an over-blown sense of self-importance, who’s pursued what’s not hers several times, she believes wives are at fault and that she’s there to rescue their men from the hell they must living in. She probably sees herself as noble and irresistible, versus the easy mark she actually is.
My ex has chemical dependency issues disallowing any authentic feelings, along with possessing an enormous amount of insecurity, and possesses little self-control combined with a constant need to be stroked and and chronically self-medicate. Not the stuff that dreams are made of, only nightmares. Having numerous affairs was only the tip of a huge iceberg of issues barely hidden below the surface with him. (When I confronted him about this last affair, his response was “it went too far,” which told me a lot. Other affairs were as superficial as this one started out, but given the right circumstances, any one of them could have also gone “too far” if I’d trusted my feelings and left him sooner. He’s ended up with her out of default because I had enough and filed for divorce, something he had never expected me to do he said.)
Mix that combo platter of problems with a person who’s superficiality makes the Kardashians look like a Mother Teresa wannabes, along with a sense of entitlement going after what she wants no matter the costs (but rarely keeps it) and you have a ready-made combustion of self-serving, devastating choices. The scandal they caused, that’s plastered all over the Internet, explains a lot about who each of them are. These are two people with no regret, no morals, and who destroy with no remorse, time and time again. Anyone in their mist should take caution. (In a lawsuit against their previous employer, she denied the affair with my husband describing me as a friend of hers. It made me physically sick.)
People who are poachers and predators cannot hone their skills without people like me. I am not blameless by a long shot in many areas of my marriage, but my background being fixer or co-dependent to a long list of emotionally manipulative people situated me perfectly for what happened. The writing was on the wall. His perpetuation of a long life of deception was greatly aided by distance and with assistance, mine. Distance is how we spent most of our lonely marriage, a perfect excuse for him to cheat or so he implies, and a perfect excuse for my denial. We each sought solace very differently of course, I hurt myself and by extension, our children, while he hurt everyone including himself, but he doesn’t allow feelings so he has no idea.
Her? She likes to tell people he chased her for years, failing to understand the distinction between being a convenient sex partner and true love. Almost 20 years younger than he, she’s got enough time to behave the way she’s compelled to, chasing other women’s men for at least one or two more times. And she will, because he has nothing to offer her anymore, except the false belief she won the game. That satisfaction has only so much shelf life. Gone are all of the requirements she pursues: money, power, position, and the fun of cheating with another woman’s man. When people tell me she’ll get what she deserves and him too, I always answer, “They already have.”
My husband was a handful our entire marriage, but I grew up with people who epitomized the term, thus not understanding I deserved better. I wish I’d done a million things differently, as long as it included having my two children. I adore them and hope they forgive me for putting them through what I did by lying to myself and denying them and me a better life a long time ago. I took the wrong road that could only end the way it ended; the signs were there, every step of the way. I’m honest with everyone now, especially with myself; it’s about time. Time, the slowest thing in the world when there’s pain and the fastest thing when there’s joy. Twenty years from now, I hope the only thing in my rear view mirror is a sense of inner joy and to be able to say, “Boy, that went fast!”