Dear God, please let this be the last post… lol!
In my first post, I glossed over our relationship leading up to the summer that everything fell apart. I definitely didn’t go into very much detail because I had to cover like 9 years in a single post. As far as I was concerned, they were really, really good years. He was my best friend. I seriously thought we were super in sync and solid. The more I learned about his feelings…I seriously think we lived two alternate realities in the same house. It’s mind-boggling.
In my second post, I broke down the insanity that was my life for the three-ish months between when I thought things were about to start improving but in reality things went horribly, horribly wrong and he moved out. The morning he moved out, I was still hopeful things would turn around. Heck, 30min before he moved out, I was hopeful. Guys – I stood at my front door and watched through the peephole as he drove away, hoping he’d stop.
I didn’t mope for too long, though! My therapist had told me that I needed to stop offering suggestions and let him do his thing, so I told him to work through his shit and I’d be there. I did say that I wanted to try marriage counseling. I gave him space, didn’t reach out, waited to see what the next step would be. So, yeah – he moved out on Monday, August 14.
Not much happened the week after he moved out, beyond me crying. Then a lot happened over the weekend. In one conversation he tells me he’s going to his dad’s office (his dad is an attorney and they are not close), he doesn’t want to sit with me at church, refuses to discuss couples counseling and just keeps saying “we need to talk in person” – THE NEXT DAY. I finally am like “Fuck it, no.” and tell him that we need to talk that night.
Here is my recap of our phone call, based on a FB comment I left after I hung up:
- He said he can’t come over because he’s been drinking and is upset.
- He said he hasn’t been cheating (I’m getting tested anyway).
- I had to force him to say he wants a divorce.
- He doesn’t think we could ever be happy together or raise our son in a happy household.
- I had to force him to say he’s going to his dad for legal advice.
- He actually told me that he was talking to him because “he’s been here before”.
- He thinks that I think he hates me.
- I told him I don’t think he hates me, but I do think he’s making a huge mistake and that by the time he realizes it, it’s going to be too late. That I’m 100% confident I will be alright when all this is over, and I no longer have to care if he is.
- I told him I was going to spend tomorrow thinking over my options, and we were going to talk more after our son went to bed.
- He asked if I was still going to let him see our son. I told him of course, but we’re going to have a written schedule in place.
- I asked when he would start moving his stuff out and he said it was up to me.
- I told him I’d talk to him tomorrow and hung up.
This was really a turning point for me. It’s when my brain and my heart both were like “Welp, this is it, then.” and I started the healing process.
I pack up SEVEN TRASH BAGS of clothes and junk from the bedroom and leave it for him. I leave the house so he can spend time with our son, and we’re in agreement that we’ll discuss things after. I posted that I felt like an idiot, but I also couldn’t believe it would end like this…that I was going to try one more time to ask him to work on us – that I was 100% ready and willing to put work into it.
He doesn’t go for it. Shocking, I know.
- He told me he wasn’t getting “official” legal advice from his dad, just an idea about what would happen next. (He def never got legal advice from his dad – I don’t think he even had his dad read over the paperwork before he signed it.)
- He told me he didn’t want to get lawyers involved. I was like…no. We have a child and have to do this the right way. I also pointed out that I couldn’t trust him anymore, because 3 months ago I would have never dreamed we’d be having this conversation, so what will the next 3 months bring?? Even though he assured me he wouldn’t fight me on anything, I didn’t trust it. (He didn’t, actually. So that’s nice.)
- I brought up working on us – he immediately shot it down. So I told him my entire focus from that point on was me and our son. We worked out a schedule for him to come see our son on his days off, since he was staying with a friend of ours. (Spoke with that friend later – he never slept there.)
I ended that post with “It was just so surreal, and he’s so different from the person I married. I’m at a total loss to how we got here.”
The rest of August was spent packing his stuff up and moving it into the garage. Do you know that fool actually suggested we work together and go room-by-room sorting everything? Can you even imagine?? I also hired an attorney. Nothing super eventful or interesting happened. I cried a lot, usually in the car going to/from work, or after I’d put my son to bed. I didn’t sleep in the master suite again from the night my ex moved out. I moved into the bedroom upstairs and have been renting out the master suite ever since.
I told my family, stopped wearing my rings, announced it on FB because I hate it when people don’t and then you’re just left wondering “WHAT HAPPENED? WHEN DID IT HAPPEN? DID IT EVEN HAPPEN?? I CAN NEVER ASK AND I HATE IT!!”
We had another blow-up fight right at the start of September. That’s when he told me that he’d been miserable for years and it was all my fault. He said that from the time our son was born I had done nothing but treat him like “a cancerous growth”. That’s not all, but that’s enough.
Oh! That was the night that I tried to throw a papier-mâché t-rex head away that he started WHEN WE WERE DATING and never finished. It was hella sturdy, which I did not realize, so I seriously struggle-bussed my way through ripping it off the wall and throwing it away, only to realize my neighbor was standing on his front porch smoking. It was one of my finer moments.
That was also the night I took THIS picture. I dismantled the god-awful shower door thing he’d halfway made in our master suite, broke down in tears, then took this picture and told myself that I would never give him enough power over me to make me feel this terrible ever again. And he never has. Even as more garbage came to light, I’ve never been this upset over him. Definitely a powerful moment for me.
September also began the neverending saga of me nagging him about cleaning his crap out of the garage. He never did, by the way. He came and picked through it, but left a majority. I cleaned out MY ENTIRE HOUSE on my own. It took close to a year for me to finally sell, donate, give away, and finally trash all the junk he left in my house.
Oh, I downloaded a dating app in September, too. Busy, busy month. My ex made it VERY easy to get over him. I won’t go (any deeper) into the weeds, but this month was a huge turning point in my willingness to put up with his bullshit. August 14 I thought my marriage was salvageable. September 19 I installed Bumble. lol!
We sign our divorce papers. *confetti popper* I get more and more frustrated with him as he continues to fail to get his junk out of my house. Outside of that we’re slowly getting into a co-parenting groove (as he learns how to actually parent) and things are tensely okay. And then – AND THEN – I find my wedding dress.
I won’t share the rest of that exchange, but when my sister read our conversation she was like “You guys sure said the f-word a lot…”
November. Ohhh…November. This is when I find out about his “roommate”. This entire time, all my friends, therapists, family, everyone told me that he had cheated. I never believed it. To this day, when I tell people this story they’re like “Nah, girl – he cheated.” I can’t definitively say if he did/didn’t. But I know he jumped into an openly romantic relationship VERY quickly after moving out of my house. I got confirmation from multiple sources who didn’t know each other, and who reached out to me rather than me reaching out to them. They all confirmed each other’s stories. He never admitted to them dating ever, much less before we split. I argued the point that when/where/why/how didn’t matter, but I needed him to be honest with me from this point on in order for us to have a decent co-parenting relationship. Regardless, they are no longer “roommates” so it’s a moot point and I will never have closure. But if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck… *shrug
This was also the month that I learned he had actually NEVER quit smoking. Never. It was seriously years of me thinking he had quit when he hadn’t. Every day when he came home from work he took a shower immediately because he said he stank because he forgot deodorant and/or to brush his teeth. I can also vividly remember one random night when I saw him – I SAW HIM – throw a cigarette butt out his Jeep window. I even called him to ask about it and he lied. HE LIED AND I BELIEVED HIM. When I sent him a message about that, he never responded. That was the last time I tried to get any information out of him about anything.
That’s where my “documentation” ends, and this post is hella long. It’s probably enough, anyway. I think this covers everything that it needed to cover for me to adequately express to myself (and the world at large) where my trust issues have come from. The devastation that I felt as I watched my marriage end on August 14, seven years TO THE DAY of when we said our vows…that was nothing compared to the ongoing struggle with trust – not just others, but myself. I knew a lot of things about myself, my life, and my husband for a long, long time. And then in November of 2017 I suddenly realized that maybe I didn’t know that much after all. That can really fuck with a person.
So, yeah. I’m still in therapy. lol! But I cannot stress enough how much I love myself now. I have worked SO HARD to get through the garbage that was left behind from my 20s. Literally and metaphorically. The day he moved out I told him that I was going to be fine – that my son and I would recover from this and have amazing lives with or without him. At the time I believed it, but couldn’t really see it. Now I’m living it, and I can’t tell you how great it feels to be on the other side. Even with all my new, shiny emotional baggage!