So What Actually Happened?

My husband had always been a very quiet but over the years (Lets just call him W) had gotten quieter. I knew that he was depressed, clinically, but I couldn’t force him to do anything about it. It was something that we had talked about and he felt like I tried to do. He called it controlling him. I called it asking when he’d be home from work or asking him to put his schedule on the fridge. We worked in restaurants so I know that was hard; we can’t be sure when we are getting out. But he was never happy. I asked him to come out with me for Valentines day or things like that and he would just be….so miserable. Eventually, I figured he would come to his own decision and get help. And I would have to wait until he did for risk of him resenting me more.

Life went on. A had to do my own thing because…really what else was the option? I started training. I ran half marathons and a full marathon. He only came to the first half and wasn’t even home to congratulate me after the full and I took an Uber home, though he did drop me off.

We were looking at houses and had put in two offers and he genuinely seemed excited about the townhouse when our offer got excepted. To days before the option period ended I texted him that we were having a new roof put on to which he replied: “We need to talk.”

It went on via text for a while where he said he didn’t want to call because it made him feel too vulnerable. As if you are supposed to feel comfortable telling your wife of almost six years that you want to separate. I finally convinced him that after 9 years of being together I deserved to have this done face to face.

When he got home, he told me that he was depressed and that part of the reason was because of me and I made him feel controlled and “unsafe”. I felt horrible and we agreed that he needed couciling and to get back on antidepressants (Of which he hadn’t been taking them since middle school, or even gotten checked out). I agreed that I needed to see someone too if I have control issues. I knew that I couldn’t stay there. None of my family was there and there was no support system. He wanted to separate for six months and see how he felt, he said. I agreed…and I believed him when I asked of he had been seeing anyone else and he said that “In spite of all of our problems, that’s something I’ve never done.” I even asked him if he planned on seeing anyone while we were separated and he said he didn’t plan on it and needed to focus on ‘getting himself right’. (Note that we hadn’t had sex in a year and it was something that I asked about and tried for and he said that it was part of the depression.)

It was hard….but I left. I packed all of my things up into my Rogue and my Mother came down to drive the 26-hour drive back to where they live with me. The night before I left he came over and talked about how great it was going to be in a few months when he moved up there for me. About all the things that we could do and that he was already feeling so much better after being put back on antidepressants. I felt this surge of hope even though I told him I couldn’t deal with false hope right now. I told him that I felt like this was the last time that we were going to see eachother and he kissed the side of my head and told me that it wasn’t. That this was just the beginning.

I left all of our wedding photos around and little notes reminding him that he was strong and that he was going to get through this. To take care of himself and that he wasn’t alone. I set off the bug bombs like he asked before I left, taking our other dog with us.

I talked to him that night like he asked when we got to our first rest stop. He said he had just gotten home and gotten to clean the apartment super cleaned up since no one was in it. It was hard but we were working at it you know?

A few days later though….I got a message from a dumby account on Instagram. It was a picture of a text message he had sent her trying to keep her from leaving. It was about how yes he was married and how I treated him like shit and that we decided to stop fooling ourselves. (I didn’t decide anything in this okay?) About how he tried so hard to make me happy and how he had felt like a failure when he couldn’t (He hadn’t done anything with me or acknowledged me for months before this.) About how he had finally been happy with her and how he hadn’t told her he was married because he was scared of losing her.

I instantly called him and told him. He told me it was just once after we had separated and how they had never done anything before that. That it was a mistake. I was hurt obviously and angry but I kept reminding myself that we were separated…even if he had said horrible things about me in that text. Mind you, this was only 4 days after I had left.

I texted the woman back thank you. She didn’t respond until the next morning but she wanted me to know everything. Not only did I find out that he had not just slept with her once, but had been doing so for nine months, but that she was only 19 and he had told her he was 21 (He’s 30). She found out he was married because she had been moving into the apartment that I had just left (Within 2 days), and had found a valentines day card that I had put on the counter so he would randomly find it and remember something good….which means that he sanitized the entire apartment, everything with my name on it, everything that had belonged to a girl, all of our wedding pictures…all of those little notes I left. He had told her that he wanted to marry her. While lying to both of us. She had found out and run but found me on Social Media because she ‘didn’t want him to get away with it’. I told her that she was brave and thank you for contacting me. It was a really stand up thing to do and not everyone would have that kind of courage. I told her to be careful. That he had lied to me for years and that even if he said that stuff….we had been days away from buying a house.

I called him and told him what I had found out. He just went quiet. I asked him if this was the real truth and he said yes….quietly. That he had been happy with her and she was so great…whistful, like I wasn’t there every day trying to get him to do normal adult things every day. I asked him about the age thing and he said that he’d told her that because he was afraid she wouldn’t give him the time of day of she knew he was thirty.

Controlling? He had a 9-month long affair so if I was controlling I sure as heck wasn’t good at it was I?! I never checked his text messages or his phone or his email….nothing. All I did was ask him when he was coming home from work….and yet he still makes me feel guilty. He says that he was afraid to tell me that he was unhappy, that he was afraid of disappointing me….but instead of trying to work things out, getting help, going to marriage counseling, well he started living a double life.

Either way…I told him I want a divorce and he was fine with it….which of course he would be. He really doesn’t have to change anything. He still has his job and the apartment until the end of the lease. He has all of our stuff and the furniture and I wouldn’t be shocked if he puts up a fight about sending the few things that I’ve asked for. Part of me gets all paranoid and thinks that he’s still sleeping with his side girl and this was his way of breaking up with me so he really didn’t have to do anything. He did agree to pay us back the month that we used for the appraisal of the house and the inspection. Thank god because my father probably would have sued him just to punish him.

I finally asked him a few days later what his plan was in a few months? Was he just going to tell me that in his therapy he didn’t think we should work on things? No, he told me. He was just going to live with this girl and see how he felt later. Nine years, Nine years of my life for someone that not only wouldn’t try, but someone who lied at every turn, who blames me for behaving like that, for pretending to be 9 years younger then he was to bang a teenager….who he was also lying to!

So for all of you that wondered what happened and why I suddenly uprooted my entire life and moved across the country after 12 years? There it is.

I want to say I’m fine and honestly I think that I’m dealing with it really well. Yes, I’m angry; no I don’t believe him when he says he’s sorry because if he was sorry he wouldn’t have moved her into the home that I tried to build for us. But the truth is that I know that I’m better off without him. at least the he that he let himself become. He’s not the man I thought he was so really the only thing I’m loosing is a lie.

I’m with people that actually care about me. I have a chance to do things without having to drag someone being miserable along with me. And I’m ready for that. I’m ready to be an adult and restart and not be scared to talk because I’ll be disturbing him.

The fun part of this is that before I know about the affair, one of the things that he suggested was that I get back into my writing. Well, cheers W. You gave me a great lifetime movie.

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There is a time in our lives when we figure out that we are adults. When that time is...we sometimes don't know. Even at 32. I'm just a young woman trying to restart and learn how to live as an adult after years of just making ends meet. Coming out of a divorce was something horrid for Erika, but opening up to my authentic self and finding joy in the things I love has been a huge step forward. Becoming an adult isn't about the age you are at, but being comfortable in what you do, what you love and who you are.

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