I doubt I will ever post this, but I have to write it. I doubt it will be as truthful as it needs to be, but I will write it anyway.
My husband before the cheater was a very good man. He was the best thing to ever happen to me, and will ever happen to me. But he’s gone now and happy with his new partner. He deserves happiness. His eighteen years with me were probably a nightmare.
Within a year of our marriage we moved to the Pacific Northwest. It was just he, myself and my then 14 year old daughter. He was the best stepfather you could ever want. He taught her to drive. She went to him when she was afraid to tell me bad news. They are still close even now and she is 39.
We bought a small house and began working and making our way in our new city. I’m socially awkward so we never had a social circle. He loved to go to the library each week and come home with three or four old science fiction books. We’d watch Star Trek: The Next Generation together.
We lived within our means. We had one car for all three of us. He rode his bike to work. I often took the bus. We had a big garden in the backyard. I was learning all about gardening, owning a home, being a grownup.
I don’t know what happened first, the computer or the prescription drugs. I feel it must have been the computer. I didn’t want a home computer. I somehow thought that only perverts got home computers and I thought it was sickening what they did on line. But he bought one and set it up and I was never the same.
I very quickly was fodder for the people who prey on others on line. I was terribly naive about it all. This was before anyone sent photos, or spoke on the phone. It was all just text. But the technology moved quickly and I soon found myself in chatrooms which were innocent in name, but not behind the scenes.
I realized that I could pretend to be someone different. In particular, I could be younger. It thrilled me to pretend to be in my twenties instead of in my forties. I was gaining weight and I was extremely nervous about a job I had gotten which I felt unqualified for.
Depression set in. I knew I was spending far too much time online. I was leading a double life. I would leave work early just to go home to go on the computer and pretend. I got really good at everything you can imagine the depraved do online. And I let strangers call me for phone sex. This is especially insane given that this was all before cell phones.
Everything just kept escalating. But I never met anyone or spoke to anyone who lived in my state. It was a fantasy world.
The suicide attempts began. I remember my husband saying to me once that he feared that we would find that we weren’t compatible. I told him no, it’s not you. It’s all me. But I began to be drugged and hospitalized with regularity. Ironically I could not achieve orgasm with the drugs and I gained even more weight. I began to go to individual counseling but I don’t think I ever really examined myself or what I was doing.
This went on for many years. The suicide attempts and hospital stays were wearing him out. I could not break away from my fantasy life online no matter how I tried. We even put a tracker on the computer so that he could read my messages to know I was behaving, but I figured he’d never read them so I kept up my bad behavior.
We really drifted apart and he had a job that had him work twelve hour days, four days a week. I then worked 3/4 time. I asked for vacations or special nights out, but for some reason we never did anything. I wonder how crazy I was. Perhaps he was afraid to take me anywhere.
I also asked him to find a hobby. He seemed to need something. To my shock in the last years of our marriage he joined a gun club and began buying guns. He’s not a hunter, he just target shoots. We always had a deal where we’d talk to each other before big purchases, but he began to lie and hide gun purchases. Naturally they were all locked up, due to my suicidal nature. But he got a lot out of it and went once a week or so to the indoor range and met people that way. There were occasional nights where spouses were invited, but he took me once and never again, even though I asked. I am pretty sure he was ashamed of me. Not sure if it was my weight or insanity or perhaps both.
I can’t talk about this in the detail it deserves because it’s incredibly painful and I can hardly type it.
In desperation I tried electro shock therapy. I can’t believe I put myself through that. I had two sessions and then on the third session he could not get me “under” enough so I stopped that form of treatment. Sometime later I was back in the psych ward and my husband came to visit me. He said, “I cannot take another twenty years of this.” And in that moment I knew I lost him. I must have lost him years before, but was oblivious.
We went to couples counseling and for once I was motivated and stopped all my bad behavior. I was trying to communicate with him there, but he was closed. He was done with me. I thought, well, I can’t be with someone who doesn’t want me, and we started the divorce. I was delusional.
He was a gentleman and we cut everything down the middle. I had earned as much as he had and what we had we built together. He even committed to spousal support since I had now been on disability for several years due to my psychiatric problems. I took my half of the money and bought a condo in what I thought was Portland, but turned out to be Gresham. A horrible, gang filled place.
I immediately met the current ex in a chat room. And within three or four months he came to Portland and we were on again and off again for eight horrible years.
But I think back on my marriage, the good one, in horror now. Because he was truly my best friend. He had an unbelievable sense of humor and I loved him from head to toe. He didn’t do ANYTHING to make me stray. It was all me, trying to pretend I hadn’t lost my looks and that I was still desirable.
My only wish is that he would have told me earlier that he was miserable. Because now that I know that it is possible to pull oneself up and change, I wold have made a great effort for him. But I’ll never have that chance.
He lives in town with his partner of several years. I’m not sure how I’ll behave if I ever run into them. But I’ll always love him for treating me with respect and dignity. He never called me a bad name. He never struck me. To think I went from him, a man of honor and integrity, to a slimy con man just appalls me.
And I know I am being punished. And I fear how long the punishment will last.
I see men who remind me of him and I feel like falling to the ground and sobbing. I remember every detail of him from his head to his toes. I cannot believe I had the man of my dreams and I let him go. I’m sure I never thought I deserved him.
And now, at my age, 58, there will be no more men. The good men are partnered up and they realize that leaving a partner at that age isn’t a good idea. I’d give anything to turn back time and be back with my good husband. I’d give anything to wake from this nightmare. I still have so much love to give. I have learned so much.
But there will be no waking. And I feel as though I should whip myself across the back until I bleed to pay for what I’ve done. I don’t deserve love. I don’t deserve respect. I will never find it now.
And now I am sobbing. It’s far more painful now to think of him than to ruminate about the ex who conned me and took me for every penny I accumulated in my 18 year marriage.
I feel like such a loser. I feel I can’t make eye contact with anyone. I feel there’s no point of trying to go on.
I’ve lived with my parents for two years now, since discovering the recent ex was cheating on me. I’ve been working full time since April of this year and I could move out, but haven’t because I’m saving for a deposit on a home.
I couldn’t buy this year because I had to declare bankruptcy thanks to my ex and have to wait until it’s two years old to buy again. That’ll be mid June, 2016. But now my fear is that I’ll find out in June that I simply don’t make enough money to buy a home. I’ve only re-entered the job market in April of this year. I earn more than I thought I would, but not enough to really live on. What if I find out that there is no home cheap enough for me?
The low income programs say I make too much money, which is just so absurd. They don’t even take into account my age, or how I’ve struggled to pull myself together emotionally, or to re-enter the job market. I’d take a second job if I could figure out one I could handle. I’m pretty exhausted from my work day as it is.
I’m resigned to being alone now, but part of me still hopes someone special will come along. I won’t sign up for dating sites. I don’t go to bars. Everyone at church is matched up. Everyone at work is much younger. That’s why I’ll be so disappointed if I can’t get a home loan — it’ll mean that every one of my dreams is squashed and unavailable.
If that happens I’ll still do my best to move out and keep getting up each day and working. But I know I’ll be depressed. I will not thrive. I will not move on with a fresh new beginning.
I haven’t been this truly sorrowful in many months. I am so ashamed and regretful that it is my own actions that ended me up where I am. Oh, and there’s more. Stuff so shameful I can’t tell you or my priest. Things only God and I know and I have to live with.
Please, God, give me a chance to show I can do better.