First I was married for 25 yrs. Most of it was unhappy. The relationship started great…then it was up and down forever. We started out living together 6 months into the relationship we were pregnant. I loved him but wasn’t sure if he was the “one”. I wanted the baby, though. So many things pointed to “not a good match” but HE decided he wanted to get married.
How did he propose? He threw the ring at me. He convinced me that I couldn’t raise the baby on my own. I loved Rick because he loved my family…he loved my mother and father…sex was good… but I was the provider. He had different jobs but never had one that he could grow with…We were raised differently.
We were both Catholic and that helped me because I wanted someone who lived in our faith. There were good qualities but I was so sucked in…I just went with it. He didn’t abuse me physically but I felt mentally abused.
Eventually, we had two more children...I just thought…”this was my life.” I don’t regret any of my children, as they are outstanding human beings. They are my life. This life wasn’t easy. I struggled with my personal identity. I didn’t have any strength.
Back to the relationship… So one day I caught him masturbating as he watched porn on our computers. My self-esteem couldn’t get any lower. It wasn’t that he watched porn but he would masturbate after sex… Was I not good enough? I thought to myself, shit…I can suck the nails out of a board! WTF? I wanted to go all night sometimes but he was only able to perform once a night… I eventually lost interest in having sex…with him. I felt unattractive. I started losing me! He told me he couldn’t help it and it wasn’t me…he learned it from his dad.
It wasn’t just the sex. It was also the lack of romance. When we dated he would leave me notes with a little flower…or any gesture of love but when we got married, he had to be coaxed or he would do it out of duty, husband duty. I loved flowers…I would tell him that a gesture goes a long way. Again, I was made to feel I didn’t deserve it.
I had affairs. I tried to find someone who could find the beauty in me. I decided to look for a part-time job…to change things up. I worked full time and worked at an art gallery. It changed my life. It was great. I changed the way I dressed. No more frumpy clothes…not even to work out in. I felt good about myself. I was back!
Fast forward… I had the opportunity to retire. Rick told me, “just wait, you put in your years and then I’ll take care of the family”. Well, he took it back. I said, I can leave with benefits…he said, ” no you can’t”. I did and he couldn’t take care of the family. I ended up working my ass off again.
We saw marriage counselor after marriage counselor through the years. Nothing changed. We saw a priest and the priest said…this is not a marriage and Rick you need to take care of your wife. I needed that. It’s all I needed to hear because this whole time I thought I was wrong. I was brainwashed and gaslighted.
Rick had an addiction. An addiction to porn. I found 100’s of films and magazines are hidden in the garage. My children could have found them…I threw them away. He lost it. He got mad at me. That’s when I knew he had a problem.
The last straw… within a year he left a trail of his addiction. The first strike, the girls opened their computer and porn popped up, the second strike, their computer got a virus…the third strike… Mia sat down on a chair…there was something wet on it…it was semen! NASTY NASTY!!! His new job required him to travel. While he was on one of his trips, I took everything out of the apartment and left with Mia (the other two children were in college).
I still felt, “how am I going to do this”? I had money in stock…I worked all kinds of jobs…I hated myself for not leaving earlier. I hated myself for not feeling strong and independent.
I looked for men to love me, to want me... I didn’t feel my independent self. She was lost years ago.
How did I get me back?
I asked for a divorce and he said he would never divorce me. He still is a bitter man even though he is engaged.
I re-met a man, whom I had had a brief affair. He loved me through the relationships he had after we had broken up. He contacted me and we became friends…one thing led to another…and we’ve been together for 4 yrs. I still didn’t feel like myself though…I still wasn’t healed. I almost checked myself into a mental institution but a friend got wind of my illness and said, “come to Denver”.
It was the first time I ever felt I had wings. I was scared. I had my teenage daughter with me and I had to fight and rely on myself…because we weren’t divorced he wasn’t giving me child support. I put it in God’s hands.
Today I am the woman I had always wanted to be. My soul is good. My heart is in heaven. I am strong. I am independent. I am happy. My boyfriend will be moving this summer.
As for Rick? He asked me for a divorce…he had found a woman to love. It was on his terms. Did I seek a little revenge? Well, you know what they say about losing weight…blah blah…I feel and look great… he doesn’t (because he doesn’t take care of himself). His fiance is a mean person. His family does not approve because she has come between them. They hated me at first but now understand. We communicate for the children but I could care less about him…I do care about his family, perhaps more than he does.
I love myself now.