I knew it would spill out of me one day here. Sometimes I hold things in for a while and think about it before I write about it. This particular post has been brewing in my mind for about eight months. Call it fate possibly?
A few days ago I received a friend request on the dreaded FB. Yeah, I have an account on the “My Face” as my Dad likes to call it. Ha. It’s under my real name as I like to follow my family members all over the US. This friend request made my face turn white as a ghost.
That face I left over sixteen years ago was in a tiny little square staring right at me. Why am I shocked? He’s done this before. Why in God’s name does he think I would want to be his friend? What goes through his mind to think I would want anything to do with him? Can he not see in my profile picture…my happily ever after with my once in a life time love, my handsome as ever husband with me? Yeah, it was my ex-husband.
So why not blog about my first husband and why we divorced. Maybe I can help someone else or just encourage someone out there. It’s hard though to lay it all out. I don’t care for bringing up my past and my weaknesses because I’m so incredibly different now. It seems like it was a movie I watched years ago.
We met in my home town. He was charming, the most mature guy I’d ever dated. He was five years older than me. He lived next door and took me out on “real” dates. He would send flowers, buy me things, tell me he was crazy about me and how he wanted to take care of me one day. Seriously Ladies, he knew exactly what to say. I fell in love with him fast and hard. Although I knew I loved him after just a couple of months I waited about four months to give myself to him intimately. He waited patiently for me during those four months. After that we grew stronger together and were so in love.
Eventually we moved in together in a much nicer condo and began a new life together. After a few days of living together I realized he had some issues. My Mom warned me saying “There’s always something wrong with the ones that seem so perfect.” She was right. He drank seven & seven like gatorade. He averaged about six tall glasses of that mixed drink a night. I also realized his beautiful bright green plants that he so adored were marijuana plants that he harvested. Sure, there were just five in the condo but he had weed stashed everywhere and smoked that daily too.
After a few months of trying to get used to it or deal with it I decided I couldn’t live with him anymore. The loud music all night, him falling down, passing out, etc. got old fast. I told him I wanted to break up and moved in with my Mom. It was devastating as I so loved him and missed him like crazy. He would call, send the flowers, leave notes on my car and so on begging for forgiveness and how we could make it work.
He finally talked me into going out for dinner one night. He charmed me and told me how he discovered he had a problem and how he had changed and quit smoking pot and drinking all together and he was a new man. He asked me to marry him as he had accepted a new job in his hometown in TN. He said he wouldn’t go with out me. In my mind I saw him leaving for that job and never seeing him again and I still loved him. He pitched the idea to me so well and convinced me he had changed that I said yes and packed my shit and moved to TN with him and married him a week later. This all happened within a year of meeting him.
I came from a broken family. My parents were divorced and I felt like I hadn’t found myself. I didn’t want to stay in my hometown and cry over my lost love. I thought I’d fixed him. It was time to reap the rewards of the life I’d always wanted. I never wanted to stay and live in that hometown. I wanted to escape my broken family and live happily ever after far far away.
When I settled into my domesticated married lifestyle in Tennessee I fell completely in love with his large sweet family. Some of you might not remember The Walton’s but they were a lot like this cherished family. They were the modern day Walton’s. They were salt of the earth people. Living in the mountains with these lovable mountain people was a dream come true. They did every thing together. Cooking was a huge part of their lives. His Mom and sisters taught me how to cook. We would sit around snapping beans, cooking and chatting and sharing life stories and laughing at the nieces and nephews playing. They honestly treated me as if I were their own. I formed a bond with his Mom and his little sister. His Mom was my best friend. She was the most amazing woman I’ve ever met. She was a God fearing Christian woman and I admired her so much. There was something nurturing about her, she knew how to love. Cooking was her way of showing us all how much she loved us. He had five siblings and they were all very close. His younger sister had down syndrome and was so affectionate and loving. I would spend the weekends hitting garage sales with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. We would go to church every Sunday and fix Sunday dinner.
This life was like something out of TV Land. I was happy, cared for, loved, and had found my people. The family I’d always dreamed of having. This family loved me. I felt like I was a baby swaddled in a warm cozy blanket and protected from all bad things.
After a few months he went back to drinking and smoking pot. I don’t want any of you to think I was prudish and strictly straight and narrow. But when he was running into things, passing out, slurring and falling down, it was a problem. He would put me down constantly and tell me I needed to loosen up and to quit nagging him. He would try to push or hit me but was too drunk to do any damage. His words hurt the worst. It got even worse when he got a promotion at work and started traveling Monday – Friday. He would drink on the road and party all night. He was no doubt a functioning alcoholic. I would constantly try to get him to get help and to understand he had a problem. He didn’t think he had a problem at all of course.
Even when he rolled back into town on Friday evenings the first thing he would do was mix a drink and find his weed stash and fire up. Before you even ask, did I throw the weed out or the alcohol out? I sure did. But, guess what? He was a grown ass man and would just buy more. He didn’t care if I threw his stuff out. He would laugh and just call a local dealer.
This went on for five years. Why did I stay with him? A few reasons…I didn’t want to look like a fool. My pride got the best of me. I cannot stand to be wrong or to hear “I told you so.” I knew my Mom would lay that line out for me to hear. I also kept praying and hoping I could FIX him. At the time I was extremely religious. I went to church with his family and prayed that he would change. His family knew of his problem all along. It just wasn’t talked about, EVER. They seemed to be so perfect and have it all together when I first arrived on the scene but they had secrets. They were still lovely caring people but they didn’t want to discuss the issues within.
I would sometimes go to his parents house to spend the night when he was wasted. I went to Al-Anon meetings trying to understand what was happening. I also saw a christian counselor too. I asked him to go with me, to get help, he refused and pretty much put me down. He would belittle me and tell me I was the problem.
I can remember his Mom telling me…”You should just get pregnant. I bet if you got pregnant he would change. He would love that baby and he would straighten out his life for the baby.” I couldn’t believe she would think such a thing. Why would I want to bring a baby into this lifestyle? Besides, if I had a baby it would tie me to him the rest of my life.
The Al-Anon meetings and the counseling didn’t help much at all. I felt like my marriage was failing and I was severely depressed. I wanted out but was ashamed. I was afraid of being alone and how would I manage on my own with bills and living there with no family. But one Saturday night when he had all of his friends over I went down to the basement where they would shoot pool, play loud music etc. and I saw him snorting cocaine.
That’s when the game changed. In my mind I knew it was over. I knew that there was no forgiving him of this. He was worse off than I had thought. I got angry then. I also felt as if I wanted to hurt him now. How could he ruin our marriage this way? I thought he loved me? He loves the drugs and alcohol more than me. That’s who and what he loves, not me.
The feelings running through me were hatred towards my husband and looking at him as if he were the weakest man I’d ever known. It was as if my feelings for him flipped in one split second. I confided in a co-worker which was a good friend but a male friend. He was attractive, sweet, younger than me and listened. He told me about his marital problems and then we had drinks after work one night. One thing led to another and we had an affair. We leaned on each other way too much. I was meeting him once a week to have drinks and sex. It was my release and in my warped twisted mind I was getting my husband back for what he had done. He had chosen his alcohol and drugs over me. So why couldn’t I fuck someone else? This is how my mind worked. It’s how twisted my anger was.
I did feel guilty from time to time. But I would dismiss it telling myself that he started the war against our marriage so it was OK for me to sleep with the other guy. Yeah, it was sick and wrong I know. I know this now.
But one day I was soaking in a hot bath and it was as if I had a flash back of my childhood. I can remember my Mom crying after my Dad called her a few choice words and told her she was worthless and then punched a hole in the wall right in front of me. I was probably eight years old. After he walked out of the room I hugged my Mom and as she hugged me back crying. I whispered in her ear “Mommy, you can leave him. I would never let any man treat me the way Daddy treats you. You’re strong and you can do it.”
At that very moment I thought, It’s over. I was going to leave him and tell my friend with benefits it was over too. Fuck both of them. I don’t need anyone to take care of ME. I am strong and I will not live this way. I do not need to rely on any man for ANYTHING. I would not allow any other man to ever disrespect me or treat me badly. I was tired of making excuses for my husband. Sure, he had an illness or an addiction or whatever you want to call it but I wasn’t going to be his doormat. That was on a Monday evening.
This is just the first segment so I think here is a good point to stop for now. I don’t want this to turn into a book. But, there’s much more to tell.