Going through a divorce can be one of the most difficult times in life. The difficulties are different for each person. I have had friends struggling with the financial burdens that it places on the family. Some other friends are financially stable but not emotionally stable and still in love with the person. Then there are those that are hit by every bolt of lightning in the ferocious storm. No matter what part is pounding on your mind and heart, I know you are suffering in a way that you are having a tough time explaining to anyone who has never gone through this trial.
I am one of those super lucky winners with every lightning bolt zapping me at a constant and steady pace. Since we split and decided to divorce, I have discovered way too much about our marriage that has struck me with jolts so strong that I ended up on the floor of despair at times. I never knew that he was so proud of his large cocaine deal so he had the means to buy me an engagement ring. That one really made me detest that ring even more than I did before this information. I never knew that when he was in drug treatment during our marriage (and telling me that he was working on saving our marriage and the family) that he was really keeping his affair going as a “single man” living in the big city. He even had the nerve to use my hotel account to get an upgrade for a “meeting” one day. I never knew that he had been carrying on with two moms in my children’s school that year. I never knew that he was sneaking out of our bed and our house at 2am to buy and/or sell drugs. I never knew that he had not given up Tinder after the first time it was discovered and promised to end. BUT to top it all off with an extra helping of pain, I found out that the house we had raised our children in for the last 7 years was never mine in any way…even though WE were paying his parents slowly for it. You see it was a family home that his parents “gifted” it to him on paper but he was really making payments to them. And since it was a gift on paper, I had zero rights to it according to law. However, I could have really gotten nasty to prove it was not a gift and the massive mortgage that he took out was being paid by our money. I didn’t want to be that woman who got nasty in the divorce. Still to this day the divorce has not been in my favor and I am still waiting on the money from our marriage. I only wanted what I deserved but I didn’t want to be nasty. I need to stop being so nice and stand up for myself and my children. He has always taken what he wants while I just learn to be happy with what he offers me. I have to stop being this way. I deserve more. This is how I spent our entire marriage. Playing nice and walking on eggshells with the hopes of always making others happy and making it all work to be good and normal again.
The one thing that I didn’t see over the years was a very important reality…it was not good or normal. It was never normal and hardly good. I wanted it to be so badly that I didn’t allow myself to see the reality right there in bright lights. He always had wandering eyes from day one. He professed his great dedication to me and was upset when I was not just with him after our second date. We still were not really there after the second date. I had doubts. I had every right to have doubts with the way he acted and what I had heard about him on occasion. The ironic thing is that he was mad at me about seeing other people but after 5 or 6 dates he was still seeing his old “girl friend” from when we met. It was never equal or honest. I couldn’t understand it, but after a few months, I became addicted to him. He was so charismatic and funny. He was always out and about and up for fun. He paid attention to me. He sent flowers, called me throughout the day and made an effort to meet me for lunch. He cooked for me and made fires for us. We went out on his boat (well, actually his dad’s boat), he liked to say they shared it. He was love bombing me with everything that he knew I wanted and needed to create the addiction. He wanted me to be addicted to him. I have seen him do it to others. If heroin had a persona it would be this man. His drug makes you feel so important, warm and understood. It fills your veins with it’s embrace and tells you that you need it and want it more and more. It makes you believe that you are better with it. You are stronger with it. You are prettier with it. You will be special and loved by it. He was heroin. He wanted me to become addicted to him so that I fed his narcissistic addiction for attention and power. I fell hard and fast. We were engaged within 8 months of first date. This is crazy when I look back and remember that I hesitated with him after the first date and it took us almost another month before we had three dates. I drank the punch and injected the warmth of lies, secrets and manipulations that poured from his mouth. I saw the red flags of his real character. It was not a good one either. It was a character opposite of mine. It was a character filled with greed, dishonesty, anger and distrust. His “friends” were involved in things that I disagreed with and always did. So I constantly ask myself why did I continue down this path with him when I saw these red flags and holes in the hope that he offered me? Because his addictions and his issues with narcissism gave him the ability to hoodwink me and others into believing that what he says is the truth. Those false words are the very things that encouraged me to open my soul to him by that fireside. He asked the right questions and got the answers that he needed to make sure I was easily manipulated and drugged by him. I really do wish at times that he had just puts some mickeys in my drinks so I didn’t feel so stupid for being so stupid. I know now that I wasn’t stupid. I keep reminding myself that he made sure that he became the drug I needed to fall deeper and deeper into the dark rabbit hole of his power and control.
Fall into that hole? Yes, I did; and I hit that bottom so hard I am still healing from those wounds. I went through a marriage filled with so much cheating and lies about cheating that it made a season of a soap opera look boring. Some of the lies are actually funny now. But at that time I was so wrapped up in the ropes of false love and confusing words that I couldn’t see humor or pain or anything. I just wanted to find a way to make it all better. To make us better as a couple. I kept saying, “I love you so much. Why don’t you want me?” I fought to stay where I wasn’t even wanted and with someone who didn’t love or want me. What was wrong with me? Who does this? I was so mad at myself over and over throughout the marriage and even more so in the divorce. Now I get it. I can’t be mad at myself. I was addicted to wanting him to love me. I was addicted to making it work. I was addicted to the love that I thought was there. The love that I pretended was there. I started a family with kids and didn’t want to change that or lose that. I was addicted to being a success story instead of a failure. I was addicted to him as much as he was addicted to his pleasures of women, drugs, secrets and getting away with dishonest acts. I was addicted to his return of affection as he was to love bombing and having attention from many at one time. I knew that I only wanted to have a loving family that made great memories to create warmth and lasting happiness. I knew that I wanted to share my life with someone who saw the same horizon as I did. I believed that if he was sober he would love me and could love me. It had nothing to do with sobriety from drugs or alcohol. It had everything to do with him and who he was. It had everything to do with the fact that I was so desperate to make it work and make him see me and love me like he did when he was love bombing me with false hope.
I got taken over by someone who made me believe that he was that man who loved, cared for, and wanted me. I used to beat myself up for this entire story and how could I have allowed such emotional, mental, verbal and financial abuse to be forced on me for over 16 years. I would cry to God, “What is wrong with me?” God finally helped me find the answers to my pain and heartache. I didn’t cause this. I can’t control it. I can’t cure it. I was just another woman on his path of pain and destruction for his own ego and pleasure. Just another woman, that’s it. Yes, I did get married and stayed married for far too long. I should have ended it when the first known affair took place at year 5. That would have been 11 years ago. But I didn’t because I believed in love and what marriage meant. I believed in fighting for what was important to me…my family and my husband. I did mess up and make mistakes along the way with handling the pain and confusion of lies. I understand now that I was just a human trying to navigate uncharted waters of unknown darkness and demons. I understand more what addicts go through now from this. I was addicted to someone whom I wanted to make love me (I kept dwelling on what I thought once was but not look at what is really was). I was addicted to making myself matter to someone to the point where I stopped being my true to myself.
Recovery is possible from the pain of betrayal. Recovery is possible from the pain of divorce. All these things are just a portion of life. They do not define us. I am not defined by him or his lack of love and honesty. I am defined by the fact that I was honest, faithful, loyal, loving, caring, forgiving and steadfast and he took advantage of that and used it against me for too many years. I stayed true to myself. I did get lost in him and what I believed him to be. But that is okay. I woke up and saw the light at the top of the hole. I crawled out of that hole to live in the new warmth of the truth shining on me. The truth was hard to see and hear but necessary for my recovery and growth to a happier more loving world where he is not part of my days. It does take time and healing is not linear. There are good and bad days. The strongest light is that the good days slowly start to outweigh the bad ones. I couldn’t say that two years ago. I am still sad that I allowed such unacceptable behavior by him. I am still mad that I allowed myself to be abused as I was. But I am getting strong every day. One day at time. Let go and let God. Progress not perfection. Keep it simple. This too shall pass.
Breath Out Negativity, Breathe In Positivity. Breathe Out Addiction, Breathe In Recovery. Breathe Out Feeling Bad, Breathe In Feeling You Again.