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I’m quite relieved actually.  I’m finally seeing the media reporting on this economy driven phenomenon.  It’s nice to know that I’m not alone.

I met ‘the man’ in 1996 when I was 29.  I’d just discovered the internet and a friend of mine challenged me to join one of those online dating services.  As a joke, I did.  That’s when I saw ‘him‘.  Nice picture-single dad in the Army living nearby.  I wrote a note to send him via email but it took a little bit for me to hit ‘send‘.  Suffice to say we started emailing, finally met and fell in love...and were married. All within the time frame of less than a year.

Life together was great starting out.  I was a new Army wife learning the ropes of living on a small army post.  Within a year, we got orders to PCS to the DC area.  It was a choice assignment for him to retire from the Army.  I looked forward to the adventure.  Looking back I can’t believe I was so naive.

I’d been cheated on in the past and, in that situation, I could see the signs right off the bat.  However, this time around, I didn’t see anything until one night.  We were playing a game of Scrabble.  At the end of the game, around 9pm, he announces that he’s going to DC to meet friend from work for a movie.  I was a little speechless - we’d had a fun evening and now all of sudden, he was leaving.  Yes, the alarm bells went off but hoped I was wrong so I ignored them.

When he kept disappearing weekend after weekend, I did what I said I’d never do - break into his email.  There was the proof I needed.  I quickly saved the evidence for my own keeping and confronted him.  I got the usual “I’m sorry’s” and the “it’ll never happen again’s“.  We worked hard and patched things up but somewhere in the back of my brain, I knew it wasn’t over.

Fast forward to 2006.  We’d moved back to where we lived when we met.  In March a friend of ours lost her husband tragically and suddenly.  We were all crushed at the loss and did what we could to help her out.  He’d spend weekends over there (as did I) helping her with yard work or other little tasks that the husband usually did.  When I finally decided that enough was enough, he continued.  He’d always been one of those helper types as am I but I usually knew when to step back.  He didn’t.

When he began to disappear to her house for the entire weekend and sent me text notes like “too drunk to drive, staying here” I knew we were going down that road again.  A married man doesn’t crash out on the couch (yeah, right, couch) of a single woman - widowed or not.  I pushed for counseling.  One night it all came out.  I asked, “Have you slept with her.”  His response is something I’ll always remember - “We weren’t doing much sleeping.”  Final straw for me - I said, “That’s it.  I want out.”

That was 2007.  Here it is, 2009.  We‘re still in the same house, he’s still over there every weekend, sometimes not returning until Sunday night.  I actually don’t mind him not being here - I don’t have to look at him.

And yet, thanks to the economy, we can’t divorce.  There are a lot of dominoes that need to fall in the right order.  In order to divorce, we need to sell the house which is almost impossible.  I need to find a stable job with benefits.  I’m currently back in college to finish my degree which is step one for me.

I’m trying to find a balance between insanity and normalcy.  When he’s here, I try to stay away but that’s hard.  There are things that need to be done to list the house which means we have to talk.  If I’m lucky, I can get away with adding things to the house list I have on the fridge.

The sad thing is that, even though I repeatedly tell him and remind him that each time he’s over there, it twists the knife even more.  His being over there is a constant reminder that I wasn’t good enough for him.  His text messages to me are enough to send me over the edge.  Usually he sends “too drunk to drive” texts but every once in a while I’ll get “done at winery, going to movie“.  I don’t understand how he doesn’t get it.  I don’t understand how she doesn’t get it, either.  We were friends.  She wanted to talk to me about it and I have refused time and time again.  I don’t know what I would do if I was ever face to face with her.

So I muddle through each day, look at real estate listings for next house, go to class, fill out application and send in resumes, play with my precious dachshund Belle whose presence and love have gotten me through the most difficult of days and cling to my friends who have been priceless.  I remind myself that one day at a time is the only way to go for now.

I just wish it would stop hurting.

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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      (華娃娃) ChinaDoll wrote Mar 8, 2009
    • I am sorry and thank you for sharing your story.  It hurts when you two are still in the same house and I hope at least, if you can sleep separately.  Try to view him as a roommate rather than a husband.  

      Meanwhile, focus on your degree.  You can do it.  Focus nothing but bettering yourself.  

      We are here to give you a cheer as well as a listening ear.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      UK Girl wrote Mar 8, 2009
    • I'm so sorry for you – it must be tremendously difficult for you and how inconsiderate of both of them – your husband and the widow...
      Just say on course with your degree and the tide will turn it's just hard sometimes when your all alone and you know he is over there ...



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jenz ~ wrote Mar 8, 2009
    • Good Lord.

      I saw Suze Orman interview a couple in the same situ just last week.
      She instructed them to separate and rent apartments instead of staying in the same house. The price emotionally is far too high to stay.

      As for him, feel free to tell him “Jenz says you‘re a jackass.”



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jenz ~ wrote Mar 8, 2009
    • Please let me add that none of this is your fault. Cheaters truly are unhappy with themselves & from what I’ve seen, you could stand by someone like that until the 12th of never & they’ll still be that way. They seem to do that to everyone they‘re with.
      You, my friend are far better than that and deserve so much more and better than the cards that you’ve been dealt. No worries- there’s definitely someone out there who’s worthy of your heart when the time comes. This time will pass & one day, you’ll look back on this & know you‘re great, you‘re a survivor and you’ll be glad you’ve moved on to your new, awesome life with no cheater-drama. Good luck!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jenz ~ wrote Mar 8, 2009
    • And another thing! DO NOT feel bad for sneaking a peek at that email. None of us ever want to do something like that but hey- when you need the truth & you‘re feeling that kind of turmoil, and he’s allowing you to go through that- do what you have to do. He broke the trust already anyway. Do we want to stoop to that? Of course not. Shake that off though. It’s done. Now you know what you wanted to find out & if he wants to whine b/c you looked t his msgs- hand him a box of kleenex while you tell him to go PACK. ;)

      We‘re here for you. You can get through this. Believe me. I KNOW. BEEN there.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Karyn Olson wrote Mar 8, 2009
    • I am sorry to hear about your troubles...it takes a strong woman to put up with what you have been...like everyone says...stay focused on yourself...you are #1...will be praying and hoping that things look up for you...good luck...happy



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary Clark wrote Mar 8, 2009
    • Well heck...just tell him to stay at her house....pay your bills until you can find a job and sell the house.  But he has to stay over there all the time.  Make it an official separation...then when you do get the other things accomplished..you will have the legal separation under your belt.  I don’t know what the laws are in your state, but in SC you have to be legally separated for one year before you can divorce...which is a crop of crap.  Stick with the degree....that benefits YOU...and don’t ever settle for anything less in a man...that is if you ever go down that road again.  I’d press the issue with him to get whatever needs to get done to the house to sell it...get it on the market...and sell it.  It may take a while...but it needs to be on the market.  Move in the direction that you get rid of him for good.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Nmgirl98 wrote Mar 8, 2009
    • Thank you all for your comments.  It helps to be able to vent about this at a place where folks understand.  

      Chinadoll - he’s been my roommate for so long now - even before this happened.  He has his room, I have mine.  He gets up before I do and heads to work.  I only have to put up with him during the week for a couple of hours when he gets home.  Luckily, I have a night class 2xs a week.

      ukgirl - thanks.  I think that’s been the hardest part of all of this.  How can they continue on without even thinking about my feelings.  Of course, they started this without my feelings so why start now, huh?

      jenz41 - I saw that interview last week as well.  What I wouldn’t give to be able to do that but financially, we can’t until the house is sold.  Selling the house is the biggest part right now.  When it sells, I’ll be able to live off of him (SCORE) until I get settled with a new job and benefits.  (I’m really going to miss the military healthcare)  And, yes, he is a jackass :)

      karyno - thank you :)  I try to be as strong as I can but sometimes it gets hard

      maryclark - I would love LOVE for him to come home one day and say “I’m moving in with her” but I doubt it will happen.  She’s a tremendous user.  I had her pegged from the moment I met her.  She’ll drop things like “I wish I didn’t have to cut the grass” and he’d be over there to do it for her.  What can I say?  He loves being used.
      NM is a community property state (sweet).  I haven’t really looked into divorce yet because I knew I wasn’t there yet.  We do have mediators in town and that might be the way we go.  At this point, if I told him I wanted his spleen in the settlement, he’d ask me if I wanted it gift wrapped.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      (華娃娃) ChinaDoll wrote Mar 8, 2009
    • I also need to add - during this time, build friendship, expand your network.  If you are still qualified for his military benefit, see a counselor that coach and guide you.  

      Have you ever suggested him to move in with her?  If you are ready, might as well give this a shot.  He may be just waiting for you to ask.  Just a thought.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mary Clark wrote Mar 8, 2009
    • I can only speak for myself...but I would be putting myself in a position to move on with my life without him.  If he is doing this stuff now he is not going to change.  Why waste anymore time on him?  You deserve so much better and you need to tell yourself that.  If he will give you whatever in the settlement...then go for it.  Make a list of things that need to be done...and tell him to get going with it or if you can afford it...pay someone to fix whatever.  I know all of this is easier said than done...but move in the direction to better your life not stay stagnet with someone who disrespects you as he does.  That’s my two cents.  I wish all the best for you.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jenz ~ wrote Mar 8, 2009
    • you know, I’ve always wondered what the deal is with the wretch-women out there who lay down with someone else’s man. I have yet to hear someone actually explain that one to me with anything that makes sense. The one that was ‘hangin out with’ my ex- she actually treated ME like s*** as though I were the one doing something wrong. She’s the one who allowed herself to be ‘kept in the closet’ for close to 2 years. And she threw herself at him. Why do women do that? It’s the lowest class of behavior I’ve ever seen.



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