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When I was 15 years old, I met my future ex-husband. We became friends in high school and for over 5 years, he always playfully accused me of friend-zoning him. Eventually, I realized that I did have feelings for my best friend and we started to date. After a couple months, he decided that he was going to join the army so he dumped me and left for basic training. When he got back from basic training, he decided that he wanted to be with me again and so we began to date once more.

After a few months, I found out that he was getting stationed across the country so he asked me to marry him.

I said yes.

A few weeks after we got engaged, he called me crying on the phone because he had made out with one of his friends. She used to write to him while he was at basic training. He came over and collapsed on his knees in front of me, begging for forgiveness. I forgave him. A few months later, we ended up getting married and we moved to North Carolina together.

The first couple of months of marriage were blissful, as they should be. By the third month, I started to suspect that there were other things going on behind my back. So, I snooped on his computer and found out that he had been video chatting with a girl that he was in love with years ago. They continued to flirt and video chat, and I found a message saying that she had stripteased for him on the camera the night before our wedding.

I was so angry that I ended up trashing our entire apartment. I told him that I was divorcing him and that I wanted to go back home, but once again, he fell on his knees begging for forgiveness, and I forgave him. Another year went by, but nothing was the same. I never trusted him, I was always assuming that he was cheating on me, and I couldn’t get past his past transgressions. Eventually, he sat me down and asked for a divorce because he couldn’t handle how bitchy I was all the time. I tried to explain to him that I had a good reason for not trusting him but he said it was all my fault and that I should have trusted him since he apologized.

We eventually agreed that divorce was the best option. Unfortunately, we had to live together for another six months since he was still stationed. I found out that he was still talking to the girl that gave him a striptease over Skype, and that he had been emotionally cheating on me with her since before we got married. I discovered many conversations between them where he constantly told her how much she loved her and wanted to be with her, and how much he missed her.

He eventually got himself purposely kicked out of the Army by failing his physical test, so the army sent us back to Colorado. I had to live with him and his dad for two months until I could find my own place to live. He used to bring the girl over that he had emotionally cheated on me with. It was incredibly painful seeing that this man that I had devoted my life to, would rather be with a drug-addicted child. I had to tell myself constantly that even though I was in pain, it wasn’t worth being with somebody that wasn’t going to treat me the way that I deserved.

My ex and I were only married for a year and two months. The six months following our separation was probably the hardest six months of my life. I felt like a failure because my ex had told me that the reason he cheated on me was that he wasn’t attracted to me anymore. I had gained some weight after we had gotten married and he said it was my fault for getting fat. He had a hard time performing well in bed and after we split up, I blamed myself for not being able to please him. Looking back a few years later, I now know that his behavior was not my fault and never was and never will be. He had behavioral and sexual issues that were not my fault, and I cannot continue to blame myself for the way that he acted. I am now with a man who cherishes me and treats me like a queen and I will never look back.

At the moment, divorce can feel like the end of the world. But you will survive and will make it through, regardless of what your brain tells you. There were moments where I wanted to rip my hair out, slam my fist into the wall and scream and cry until my throat bled, but I made it through and that is all that matters.

– Mia, 26

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