Things I knew on February 21st, 2014…
- I loved my husband with all my heart, flaws and all.
- I was loyal to my husband every day for 14 years. I never once cheated, flirted, or flirted with the idea of cheating.
- I was as close as a servant to this man as you can get without involving OSHA.
- He was an honorable Christian man, worthy of my praise.
- He was our protector and advocate, and would never harm me or the children.
- He had my back.
- I cherished him. I treated him well and gave him little cause for complaint.
- I spoke to him and about him with respect and with reverence.
- I complained to him about his bad habits and lack of effort about 1/100th as much as another person would have. I simply picked up the slack to serve him and to show him love.
- I loved laughing with him, especially during pillow talk, until I was wheezing and tears were streaming down my face.
- He was my best friend, and my beloved.
- In 2009, I caught him flirting and sexting via email with random people on Craigslist. He sobbed and begged for forgiveness, claiming it was all fantasy and had never become part of ‘real life’. He said he thought he had become a sex addict by being addicted to porn.
- I told him he could leave me, that he should go be single. Since we had been trying to get pregnant, I said that I’d never bring kids into the world to be a product of divorce.
- He begged me to forgive him and stay. I had many conditions, including counseling at our church. He did all of it. Every single thing.
- While that was going on, he lived in the guest room for months.
- I believed him when he said it was all online and all fantasy, but knew he was walking a dangerous slope because the people he talked to were real. But I felt like he’d admitted he was sick, and what kind of wife doesn’t help her own husband get better if he says that? I was committed to him for life. I had to see him through this.
- When it was all said and done, he told me he’d prove forever that he had finally gotten his triggers under control. What he’d learned in counseling. How he’d changed his heart and mind because of prayer. Swore on the unborn souls of our babies that he would never again betray my trust. Begged me to stay married. Gave me unfettered access to his email and phone for life.
- We eventually found joy and reconnected. It was a beautiful time for us as a couple. Closer than ever.
- I forgave him.
- I believed him.
- I believed in him.
- I never threw it in his face or belittled him for it.
- I encouraged him.
- I knew then that we saw eye to eye on the sacredness of marriage, especially where children are involved, based on his promises and his words.
- I knew based on this that we both understood you DO NOT create a broken home for innocent babies.
- So over the next three years, I suffered and bled to give my husband 2 children, through 2 insanely horrible miscarriages and 2 complicated, agonizing, surgery and bedrest-filled pregnancies.
- Little Man was born sick with a rare blood disorder, and we (or I should really say I) spent close to a year taking him in and out of the hospital for blood transfusions, blood draws, tests and discussions with doctors.
- When those pregnancies and his illness resulted in staggering medical bills, I knew Honey’s sacrifice to travel and be away from me and his new babies to seek out high paying overtime jobs to get us out of that debt was self-sacrificing and courageous.
- I told him this almost every day that he was gone, and he told me almost daily what an awesome wife I was for keeping it all together while he was gone.
- I spent months and months raising our babies alone, struggling and sacrificing, waiting and watching the door for my beloved to be able to come home and complete our beautiful family.
- We spoke and texted every day, and he always told me he loved me, he missed me, and couldn’t wait to come home.
- I was ecstatic and overflowing with joy when he finally returned home on February 7th, 2014… Baby Girl’s first birthday.
- That was to be the LAST out of state travel job we’d have to endure. Our debts were totally paid off!
- But…when he did come home, something had changed. I approached him to ask why, but he told me everything was fine, he loved me, and all was well. I believed him.
- I loved him.
- He loved me.
- All of the hard times and months/years of self-sacrifice were finally behind us. We were FINALLY going to get to be together under one roof for good. After all of the sacrifices we’d both had to make, we’d earned this…
This is the part where things go horribly wrong.
Things I knew on February 22rd, 2014…and the things that I know now:
- During the 14 days he was home, I asked him twice if we were ok. The first time he lied but the second time I forced him to come clean. He was divorcing me for a woman he’d met in a bar and had been seeing ‘for a while’. I later discovered on my own that this woman was a stripper in that bar and that ‘a while’ was 5 months…basically the entire time he’d been away.
- He told me he was going to move thousands of miles away from me and from his new babies. Like, immediately.
- He behaved like a robotic, cold-blooded and heartless sociopath that night and the next day (and every day since). No tears, no emotion. Nothing.
- I tried talking to him all night, to reason with him. He mostly stared at me blankly. I plead for us to go to counseling. For our sakes, for the babies sakes. He begrudgingly agreed but didn’t seem sincere. I later concluded it was to shut me up because he just wanted to get some sleep.
- I slept only for an hour that night. I was suffering from severe shock in my body. I was shaking and sobbing. When I got up, he claimed he’d texted HomeWrecker about agreeing to counseling with me.
- She texted back ‘I’m 6 days late and think I’m pregnant.’
- Apparently, HomeWrecker doesn’t know how an E.P.T. works, or is a terrible liar. Or both. I’m going with both.
- Seeing as how she already has 2 kids from 2 dads she never married (and who she refers to as deadbeat dads on where else…you guessed it. FB), you’d think she’d also know how birth control works.
- I later concluded it was probably all a lie, thought up by her, or thought up together between them in order to get him out of the counseling he’d agreed to with me. She ended up not being pregnant in the end, of course. Although…she certainly is now. Mazel tov, jackass!
- To ‘sell’ the ‘pregnancy scare’, Honey put on a (fake? Still not sure.) waterworks show that looked more like a mental breakdown than anything resembling remorse. Amazing. The only ‘tears’ shed were those in response to something HE would have to face the consequences of. Not me. Not two babies who would now have no father to raise them. Narcissist to the bone.
- He never even said so specifically, but her announcement somehow magically negated the promise of counseling. He just went and got his bags to leave. Just another insanely disrespectful action towards me. Just another moment where anything I thought or felt was so insignificant to him, it need not even be considered.
- In retrospect, I’m relieved. At the time, I was utterly heartbroken and felt totally humiliated as a wife and as a woman.
- Little Man saw that Honey was going somewhere. He said ‘Wait a minute, Daddy! I get my shoes!’ He came back completely excited and started to put them on. I watched this all unfold with horror as Honey said ‘No, you can’t come with me, Buddy.’ Little Man grabbed his leg and began to cry. He then shook his toddler off his leg to leave our house…with zero emotion. It was the cruelest thing I’ve ever witnessed. It’s burned into my heart and mind for all time.
- He left with a hot coffee on the counter and the bed unmade, never to come back to that house again. Dumped the ‘sorting out’ of his mess (and our entwined lives) on me with a 1 and a 2 year old underfoot, and a shattered psyche.
- Once he left, I lost it.
- In the midst of my emotional breakdown, I started to dig.
- I had to find out who she was and how this was possible and WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED TO MY LIFE.
- I searched phone records, paid for searches, linked up texted numbers to addresses and eventually found her profile on FaceBook. I had started out only with her first name, but by the end I knew exactly who she was. Never, and I mean never, underestimate a woman’s ability to find things out.
- Since he wouldn’t respond to my pleas for an explanation and ignored my texts (as though I was a nuisance, not his wife of 14 years he’d just blindsided), I sent him an email.
- In it, I pasted pics I’d copied from FB of her posts. Pics of flowers and love notes from him that she’d posted dating all the way back to October, juxtaposed against texts he’d sent me in October professing his love, how I was ‘the best wife ever’, and how he’s ‘blessed to have me as the mother of his children’. I mocked HomeWrecker in the email. I laid into her for her decision to knowingly become involved with a married man with a brand new family at home.
- He didn’t reply, BUT SHE DID. On FB. She went on a status update rampage, ranting in all caps that ‘I didn’t do anything! Your marriage was over a long time ago! I’m not a HomeWrecker! Your basement was flooded and the roof was leaking before I ever got there!’ and other such nonsense she was fed by Honey to get into her pants.
- I’ve since concluded that he cheated on me repeatedly over the last 4 years, if not longer.
- I’m also convinced he really did cheat with those Craigslist people back in 2009, but have no way to prove it.
- I have proof about much of it which leads me to rationally conclude this about the rest of it.
- He lied to me about virtually every single thing he was doing in his free time, every single time he was out of town, for years. This is hundreds, if not thousands of lies.
- Shortly after the 2009 incident, he went out of town and I saw an ATM withdrawl from a topless bar. He swore up and down that he knew how it looked, but he had gone to have a steak with the guys and had to walk next door to the only other business there and get cash for the dinner, and that he hadn’t stayed. I believed him then. Of course I don’t now.
- He apparently frequents strip clubs while out of town, seeing as how the HomeWrecker that he is living with was a stripper in one, and that’s how they met.
- I now firmly believe that he had a casual affair with a coworker, both when we lived in on the coast and then when she happened to pass through the state we moved to last year.
- I have proof that he announced he was separated when he went out of town so his roommates and bosses wouldn’t think he was a dirtbag, hitting on and sleeping with ‘every woman he met in these dive bars and strip clubs’. Direct quote from eyewitness.
- I have evidence that he didn’t have to go out of town for work in at least 2 of the 5 trips he took. It was probably all 5. He called dispatch and asked to be sent out of town so he could go sleep with anything that moved. He told me there was no work locally and how sorry he was that I’d have to take care of two small babies alone. Again.
- My whole life has been a lie. I value an intact family for children as being as vital as oxygen. He clearly could care less. He lied about this too.
- I’ve been married to a pathological liar, a cheater, and a sociopath. And I didn’t know it. I’m an intelligent woman. AND I DIDN’T KNOW IT.
- I hate him. I hate myself for being capable of hating anyone, let alone the father of my children, and the person that I dedicated my entire world to for most of my adult life.
- But I do. And I don’t know how not to.
- If this were a red pill/blue pill kind of situation, I have no idea which awful truth I’d prefer. Knowing the truth and being alone and a single mom for the rest of my life, or living with a husband and my children’s father who is a pathological liar and cheater, and not knowing it.
- Both pills suck.
- Is there a maybe a yellow pill? Got any of those burnt sienna ones left? Magenta maybe? Because I’d totally take one of those over living in the Matrix knowing that it’s been nothing but a colossal, complicated and cruel-to-the-bone lie…
I was so saddened to read your story and my heart goes out to you. Only a strong and resilient person could have gone through all that you did, despite the unhappy ending.
So take both pills. Take the horrible truth and take the happy memories. Make a purple pill. Start a new adventure, some of which you will travel alone, but mostly you will have company – from friends in your past and present, to strangers you haven’t yet met, in your future. You and your children deserve so much better.
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Thanks so much for your kindness! I’d take a purple pill if it did all that. Maybe someone will invent a green pill that allows me to go back in time, just for 5 minutes or so, long enough to go back to that night. I’d find myself, slap me squarely in the face, and tell me to stop offering counseling, mercy and compassion. Not that these are bad things, but they compounded my humiliation and were as pearls before a swine. I might also, while I was there, maybe kinda sorta suggest that this might be a good time to get in one really good, well-deserved slap on him. I’ve never slapped anybody, but I think that in his case, I’d make an exception.
Thanks for your post…
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Gosh how awful, my heart bleeds for you. I’m realising that whatever we manage to find out is always just the tip of the iceberg, there is always so much more. So much. Bless you
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Thanks so much. Sounds like you know the unique and horrifying pain of which I speak. It’s a crappy club to belong to, no?
OMG that’s what I said in counselling! I wish I’d taken the blue pill, or I wish there was one I could take. This was a over a year ago. Now after a year of bitter red pills I am not only used to them, but glad I know. I felt like a monster or an alien had taken over my beloved and I said so a year ago. I was wrong, the monster was always there, only I didn’t see through its disguise. Thank you for your post. You are not alone. So many are taken in by these sociopaths tricks, just because we are good caring people. At least he’s out of your life. Nothing wrong with you hating him. Big hugs.
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Thanks, Kiwi! It’s a mind scramble in those first days, isn’t it? You hover somewhere between ‘I’m considering scheduling you an emergency MRI’ and ‘Did you accidentally ingest cleaning solvents at some point? Did someone maybe slip something into your drink?’ Nope. No one did this to them. Like you said, they just finally get tired of holding that mask on, and they just let it fall off with no warning or pretense at all. But that initial discovery of the monster within is so devastating and so traumatizing that I eventually diagnosed myself with PTSD. I knew something was wrong with me, so I checked it out and found it’s not just for soldiers. I was so deeply traumatized that no part of my life was untouched by it. My nervous system was SHOT for like a year. The mind-movies on constant repeat, the intense anxiety, the shattered psyche…I never knew any of these things could happen to me. There’s a term for it, actually, it’s called ‘Wife Abandonment Syndrome’. The book about it is excellent (Runaway Husbands, Vikki Stark) Check out http://www.runawayhusbands.com. Thx Kiwi! Hugs back at you.