It started out of desperation and longing. A forbidden relationship that later turned into a doomed marriage. He the husband of one of my bosses and friends. I the single mother looking for acceptance and love. It started out innocent and I just wanted a friend. It only escalated from there. I was neck high in hot water (pun intended). I for a while felt loved, wanted and alive. Funny we really did not talk too much. It was all sex and infatuation. For a while it was a secret thing, but eventually we were caught and the poop hit the fan. You would have thought I would have learned. I quit my job and we did split for a while. I knew in my heart we were not right for each other. I also knew what we were doing was so very wrong. I did what I could to preoccupy myself and distance myself, but he found me again. It opened the door again and of course like an idiot I walked through that door.
This time he moved in and was in the process of a divorce. Living together brought a lot of issues to the surface: selfishness, pornography, drugs, alcoholism, verbal abuse, and expectations that were not achievable. Funny, we talked about not marrying, but I was so desperate to be married, I thought that I would never find anyone else. I thought that despite the HUGE warning factors I was meant to be in this relationship for whatever reason. So ignoring all the signs, warnings of friends and relatives and even his former wife, I plunged into a marriage of agony and betrayal and hurt.
It escalated the day we were married. We had my grandma’s car and the passenger door would not open so I rode in the backseat. After our courthouse ceremony I wanted to sit in the front next to my husband. He would not hear of it! Then after we had breakfast with my parents and our witnesses John and Eugenia we left. He went to Ware’s Brothers to get his brother some lunch and took it to work. It was the most awkward day. He kept saying, “It is just a day.”
I could type for two years and still probably not be able to tell all the times I was hurt in this relationship. I was never skinny enough, pretty enough, never cooked good enough, etc. … this was the tone of our whole relationship. About three years into this I was getting wore down. I was beginning to show signs of needing help. We tried counseling. Always he brought up divorce. I thought he used this as a way of escape and I was determined to make it work. Stick it out, I felt it was my fault and that I was the problem. If I could just lose twenty-five pounds our relationship would be better. I longed to be loved, to be adored, to be respected. I wanted to be kissed just to be kissed and not just on the way to sex. I wanted my hand to be held as we walked somewhere. I just wanted to be wanted. Instead I was a slave and puppet. Everything was how and when he wanted. Later on towards the end I became vocal and pulled away from some things. This brought a whole new level of hatred and abuse. I went to work and did everything I could to stay away from home. It was easier to deal with the wrath of not being there then to actually be there. When I was there I spent a lot of time in the bathroom or my daughter’s room. I was a prisoner in my own home. I put up with comments like, “you are just trailer trash,” and “your family is from the south so that makes you redneck trailer trash …” There were a whole lot more where this came from. Plus, he went through about ten jobs while we were married. If someone crossed him he would just leave. A few times I supported us on my meager income. He would sit home and play X-Box and look for a job when he felt like it. There was never any security or stability. I could not rely on him for stability. It was a nightmare.
I tolerated this hell for six years. On our 6th anniversary January 5, 2207, my husband did not even acknowledge it. I had gotten him an expensive book that he wanted and a card. Not as much as I usually did, but the gesture was there nevertheless, I was still hoping that a miracle would take place. Then on February 8th I woke up on the couch (again) and had spent several hours during the night arguing and crying and trying to defend myself. I was breaking, I was hurting and I needed a friend. I went to a friend’s house and just sat on her stair step, not really knowing what to say. How do you tell someone how bad you hurt and that you can’t take it anymore. How do you admit defeat, and that you were wrong? We went for coffee and pie (pie makes things better). She slowly pried out of me that I was unhappy and hurt, still I did not go into the full detail of all that happened. I cried, she offered advice. To stand up for myself, to be strong, etc. … But HOW? I was not that kind of girl. I avoid confrontation at all costs, I roll with the punches.
The next day I went to work and my husband came in to get a check to pay his brother for something. He was extremely rude to me and immediately hurt my feelings. On lunch I text messaged him to see what was wrong. That opened the exit door for me. He sent a series of several more unbelievable messages that were so preposterous that I actually pinched myself to make sure I was not dreaming. He accused me of having a fling with our pastor and just about every other man I knew. He was going to call the ministers board and report him. I was dumbfounded. Our pastor was like my dad and brother. I was not the one that had wandering eyes. Despite all the crap he put me through, I never once even remotely thought about cheating on my husband. It made me so angry and I defended our pastor, this made things worse. In my husband’s eyes if I was defending him then it must be true. No, I was just hurt that he would hurt the man of God and lie about him in such a way. This was the last straw for me. I went home that night and packed mine and my daughter’s things and got the heck out. THIS WAS THE SMARTEST DECISION I HAD MADE IN SEVEN YEARS!
Now I have been divorced for almost five months. I have had time to reflect on our relationship. I have been going to grief counseling and we do often discuss this issue also. I was so blind and foolish for staying in that kind of thing, but I made the move for the better and got the heck out. I do not want my daughter to follow in my steps in this area. I remembered that on one occasion we had been arguing and he said to me, “Even __________ (ex-wife) can lose weight, what is wrong with you?” That hurt so bad. I knew I was not skinny, but to have something like that thrown in your face is horrible. I would have rather had him hit me. Later that night of course he came into the room and expected to have sex like nothing had happened. This is what it was like all the time. I was just a piece of nothing that he used. Hit here and there for this or that. Made fun of for this or that and NEVER RESPECTED. In the last year in our marriage I worked so hard to be noticed. I tried everything. It never happened so I gave up.
My words to you are if you are in a relationship anything like this, GET OUT! Don’t let obligations or people keep you in a toxic relationship like this. Do yourself a favor and get out now! It may be a long road ahead, but it is worth it. Believe me there will be days you question your decision, but keep moving. Keep living, keep believing you are a better person without him.