Oh, how I want to tell you a funny story. Unfortunately, I just don’t have it in me today. I’m being a bit introspective at the moment and life is just weighing me down like you wouldn’t believe.
See, the last twelve years of my life I have done it all wrong. I returned to Ohio after receiving my MBA in 2000 thinking I was going to make a fresh start. Instead, I ended up getting pregnant and marrying someone I simply did not love. He seemed to be a nice enough guy, I’d known him for a long time, but he just wasn’t well suited for me. No matter, I was pregnant. And my mom highly encouraged me to marry him, despite my initial desire to just have the baby and never tell him. After re-thinking that scenario, I decided to enter into a relationship with him. I tried to make it work. And, for a while, it did. We had Ben. For the first two years, things were okay. Then Ben got sick as I was expecting Madeline. The stress of a not-so-strong marriage intertwined with a critically ill child and a newborn was completely overwhelming. Add to that the financial devastation from Ben’s illness, Matt’s job losses, difficult family issues (on both sides), and the stress that Ben just might not live.
The initial 15 months that Ben was in treatment was hell on earth. Given the circumstances, neither one of us knew what to do. I would have to say that most families who enter into the world of having a critically ill child either grow stronger or fall apart with most of them doing the latter. Seeing how we didn’t have the foundation that many marriages had, we were lucky to still be standing, let alone make it through that first round of treatment with our marriage still intact.
After a year and a half of intensive therapy, Ben was in remission. Matt got a job in Colorado. We seemed to be starting over and doing better. Then, Matt lost his job again. This was the beginning of the end. Without going into dirty details, life with him became unbearable. I wanted to leave him. I made plans to leave him. I should have left him. Because I had met someone else.
But Ben got sick again. His cancer returned. I lost all hope in having any sort of normal life and knew that I wouldn’t be able to face Ben relapsing the same way that I had to muddle through it all on my own before. I knew I wouldn’t make it through without support. Oh, sure, I had family and friends who were supportive, but not in the way that a spouse should be. I didn’t have that from Matt. And to be fair, I’m sure Matt felt that he didn’t get it from me. But I did have a man who was very supportive and led me to believe that he was my knight in shining armor. I wanted to believe it so bad that I fell for it hook, line and sinker. He was a precious bit of levity that I so desperately needed during my own personal hell.
It was wrong. I was wrong. It was ultimately very hurtful to everyone involved. It is over now and I’m moving on, but it doesn’t change the fact that I was so very wrong. Despite our being formally separated, I should have left Matt entirely before moving on to someone else. But given the change of events with Ben’s health, I didn’t make the right choice. I didn’t want to hurt the children by getting a divorce in the midst of Ben’s treatment.
The affair was a wonderful distraction. Something that took me away from the pain of my abusive husband. Something that sheltered me from the heartache that I might possibly lose my son. That he had to go through this trauma yet again. My new love helped me see the good in what was a seemingly horrible situation. I once again found hope in life. I felt restored and ready to fight again. I was stronger.
And so it went for nearly three years.
I believed he was my soulmate. It certainly felt that way. But, ultimately, it was all a lie. I can honestly say that I’ve never, ever loved anyone like I loved him and oh how it pains me to know that he didn’t deserve it. I know that someday I will emotionally move on, but it has been stinging for a while and I don’t anticipate that it will stop anytime soon.
I guess I got what I deserve.
The one benefit of it all is that I’m finally free from the marriage that I was in, despite the continuation of the emotional turmoil. I’m sure that his emotional abuse will go on for many years to come. While I had done nothing to deserve his emotional tirades before having an affair, I am now a whore, which gives him carte blanche to treat me however he chooses.
But those are stories for another time.
God, I never wanted to write about any of this. It’s hurtful. My time married to Matt was an embarrassing mistake and my affair even more so. I am a smart girl who has made some seriously fucked up decisions when it comes to men. I am guarded when it comes to relationships. I always have been. I have serious trust issues because of exactly situations like this! I didn’t marry until I was in my 30’s because I wanted to do it right. That didn’t make a bit of difference. I tend to be attracted to the liars and abusers. I swear, they need to develop a chemotherapy to rid the world of these cancerous men.
I understand that I need my own therapy to not make poor relationship and personal choices. I know I was wrong. I take responsibility for that.
There just ain’t nothing funny about any of this. But there it is. My confession. I am free.