My marriage was never heavenly bliss. It leaned a little more toward the Bundys rather than toward the Cleavers. It was tumultuous and even antagonistic at times. But it was what it was. We had our kids and by golly, we were a family, and we had a lot of great loving family moments, and it was going to stay that way, despite the problems. Or so I thought. This was a disclaimer, by the way. Let's move onto the main event:
On Saturday, August 18, 2012, we went to passport's house as we had been doing every other Saturday night for a Dungeons & Dragons session. The highlight of the session, for me anyway, was a comedic bit where I tried to pass off our intrepid group as pest inspectors to a group of approaching Big Baddies into the dungeon room we were intruding upon. I knew it wouldn't work, and it didn't, I just wanted some laughs, and I got them. I love making people laugh, as some of you know. Little did I know that hours later I would begin a dark journey in which it would be a very long time before I felt like making anybody laugh again.
When she's saying that she wants only me
Then I wonder why she sleeps with my friends...
You're Fucking Kidding Me, Right?
We've all had many moments in our lives where somebody is about to lay something pretty heavy on you and he or she will say something like "I have something to tell you, and I'm not sure you're going to like it..." The last time I'd experienced it was in 1998 when my mom had revealed to me that I was adopted. Well on that night, back in our hometown (but not yet home) my wife revealed to me that she was going to date one of the members of the D&D group, basically whether I liked it or not.
Some small part of me thought maybe she was kidding or not completely serious until that Monday morning.
Judging by some of my previous writings, you might realize that I appreciate the bizarre and absurd. Well, I usally do. But a situation arose that's one of those things where reality becomes something so unbelievable that it'd be difficult to get away with writing in fiction - in anything other than a goofball comedy. Well, there was absolutely nothing funny about the next five days (or, really, the next five months). The motherfucker was, at the time, my babysitter, as our normal sitter had just resigned. Of course I realize that it's a cliché for the man of the house to cheat on his wife by banging the babysitter. But this situation was much, much different. I knew what was going on. I was told. There was a little internal (and sometimes external) debate that arose over which is better, for an affair to be going on in secret or out in the open. Is it true that honesty is the best policy? I know now in retrospect, that in that situation at least, the answer is decidedly
Actually the answer is to not fucking do evil shit like affairs at all, out in the open or not.
The particular emotion, despair, was something I had never experienced in my life until August 20, 2012. After breakfast that morning with my wife she quelled any notion I'd still had that maybe she was somehow kidding by informing me, with the seriousness of a serial killer in the final moments of their victim's life, that she was indeed going to date the motherfucker, to hell with what anybody thought, even me. So I experienced the first of many, many, many miserable, joyless, soul-sucking work days that, unlike for most people, the negativity had nothing to do with the job itself. I barely spoke a word to anybody. I only opened my mouth when I absolutely had to. I sat down at my desk, angrily did my work, and left... when it was time to go home, to the motherfucker, in my home watching my sons, and send him home. I actually wanted to send him to a coffin, but
Why the hell did you put up with that shit?!?!
Well I guess I should stick up for myself
But I really think it's better this way...
At this point, my bid for sympathy runs risk of a snag. Why did I allow this? I have the presence of mind now that I didn't have two years ago to think of a better idea, like immediately going home, calling off from work, firing that piece of shit, and threaten to grab the kitchen butcher knife and stab him in the throat if he ever tried to come back to my house and around my children ever again. Well, maybe that's not an altogether great idea, either. But the point is, why didn't I take some type of action? I don't know for sure. My guess is that I held out hope that I could resolve the situation and make it go away before doing something irrational or dramatic or drastic. I did not realize then, as I do now, that I probably could have called into work, explaining my babysitting situation, and that my situation was a pretty good fucking reason to miss work, even for a week. Yes, for a week, as this new emotion despair started to consume me, I put up with this, going home to this god damned son of a bitch in my fucking house with my children.
Something I realize now that I didn't then was, while he is definitely a low-life piece of shit, he was not the true villain in this story. Sure, he is not an honorable man, barely a man at all in my eyes, I mean who does that? Who starts fucking another dude's wife - a dude who was supposedly a friend - and actually goes to that dude's house, and, and, AND, when the dude knows what's going on?! But it was my wife who was the evil queen in this fucked-up tale. ("Fucked up" became my favorite phrase during that time, judging by how many times I said it.)
But let's back up a bit. That Monday, while driving home from work, I cried for the first time in probably a decade. Maybe longer. The powerful dam that was there holding my emotions back was hard to break down. Why it was there in the first place should perhaps be the topic of another discussion. But it was there. The negative emotions that were raging behind the dam were overwhelming. At first I gasped and I gasped as the burnings of the cry that wouldn't come threatened to kill me. I actually had to will myself to cry. But just that first time. Once the dam finally broke and the tears and the sobs came - the heaving, anguished sobs - it was never that hard to make it flow again.
I cried and I cried and I cried. I cried about what they were doing to me. But I also cried about other things that were stored but never cried about, like my grandmother's death in 2011. It was difficult to see the road ahead with the prism of the tears of despair blocking my view. That night I was invited to poker night with passport and our friends AR and PM, also from the D&D group. The bastard was supposed to come, too. He was supposed to leave right when I did. He didn't. He showed up so late he couldn't even play. He probably stayed behind to fuck my wife. The other players could read the anxiety on my face as the night grew later and later without him showing up. PM actually figured out what was going on just from that. AR already knew. He knew before it started. They told him about their feelings, at which point, like the sane person he is, told them to not do anything about it, at least not before seeking marriage counseling and, if that didn't work, divorce. (The bastard was also married with children.) But like the sick, deranged people they were, they did the opposite. I talked for hours that night with AR after everybody else was gone. He was sympathetic to me and helped me try to figure the problem out. It didn't resolve anything, though.
That week my boy's mother barely saw them. She was too busy running out every night with her new boyfriend. She even went to meet his fucking parents.
She even went to meet his fucking parents.
Even in a NORMAL situation, who the hell runs off to meet the parents after only two days? Anyway. So picture this: I was feeding and taking care of the children while their mother was running off with another man. Not that I mind the taking care of my children part. I love them dearly. But I doubted her love for them at that time. (I still do, actually.) That Wednesday night I got my first real taste of the evilness and abuse that I was to endure for another nine months. They decided that instead of him going all the way home after a night filled with fucking him and meeting his parents, and then coming back in the morning, why not just sleep at our house?
Yeah, great idea!!!
So there he was, a man who I should have been stabbing in the face at that point, sleeping on my couch. Oh it gets worse than that. (The following nine months it continually got worse in many ways.) So B and I went to bed. I had my CPAP mask on. But I had trouble sleeping. Gee, I wonder why. She must have thought I was asleep. Or didn't care. Wearing nothing but her nightie she slipped out of bed and left the room. I opened my eyes. Hm? I grabbed a glass from the back of our bed and decided I wanted some more water. When I came out into the hallway, there they were, she was lying on him, on the couch.
I flipped my shit.
I slammed the glass into the kitchen sink. "WHAT THE FUCK?!" (By the way, it didn't break, those Disney glasses they had sold at McDonald's are pretty damned strong.) What did they do? They both quickly left the house. In a sane world they would not have returned, or at least he wouldn't have. But no. They both came back much later.
It was that night, before the craziness, that I opened up to swankivy about what was going on. She was the first person I told (besides anybody who already knew about it, like AR and PM). It was my first attempt to reach out to somebody, to beg for a lifesaver. I desperately needed support. I'd been talking to her - mostly online - since 1996. She'd been such a good friend to me, and of course still is, but I'd never needed so much from her. I had decided that I was going to end this stupid thing, and when I did, I did not want my friends and family to hate her, so that's why I didn't want to tell them. So I chose a good friend that lived thousands of miles away because she was a friend who we rarely interacted with. She talked and talked with me so much during that dark period, listening with love and support and trying to keep my head above water. She deserves a medal for her efforts, I'm fucking serious. She was shocked to hear about it, as was everybody else. Because, you know, it was fucking insane and sick, what they were doing.
During that week I signed up my boys for a local daycare facility. I was NOT putting up with that bullshit another week, of that motherfucker being at my house every day.
The next two weeks my boys barely saw their mommy. She was too busy cheating on daddy to spend any time with them. While she ran around with him and had a marvelous time, I cooked, I cleaned, I took care of our children, often while crying my eyes out. Pretty sweet deal for her, huh?! One night those two decided they were going to clean out the family minivan. I of course helped, because, A, it was my god damn van, and, B, I was NOT going to be shown up by that bastard. The kids were all in bed but at one point my boy T came out there. He grabbed onto his mommy and clung to her as if he hadn't seen her in a long time and he was afraid that she'd go away again. I looked at that and wanted to cry. "Look at this!" I said to her. "Look at what you're doing to them!" Did it phase her? No, not really.
By that time I was drowning in despair. I was adrift in a sea of suffocating madness. The nightmare was just beginning. I had no idea what exactly I was in for yet. I talked to AR, swankivy, and later MB, the only other woman in the D&D group. Unbeknownst to us, when we all went to her housewarming party in September, she had found out what was going on. So had everybody else in the group, save for one person. This is fucked up, but the four of us, my wife and I and his wife and he, played Spades at MB's kitchen table. passport also knew by that point, and they all watched us playing, in awe at the fucked-up-ness of it. I detected that we were being observed by the people around us like we were some sort of exhibit at the Zoo of the Deranged, but I didn't yet comprehend what that meant, for I had not known at the time just how many of them had found out.
I convinced her to go to marriage counseling with me. We had several sessions. But the lady was a closet religious freak and wasn't much help. It was pretty much over when two things happened. One, the lady told my wife to "get with God." And two, she said, well, we've made some progress here. Now (to my wife) you have to stop the affair. Can't heal the marriage until you do that! Well, she said, no, she wasn't doing that. There was nowhere to go from that, and the therapy sessions ceased.
Boy, do I hate that sport now.
Every Sunday night my wife was playing volleyball with AR and the motherfucker. Actually that had started many months prior. At first I'd supported it. She hadn't played in a long time, not much since high school, and I totally encouraged it and was happy for her that she was getting to participate in the activity. At first I had no problem taking the kids on Sunday nights while she did that. But, even before the shit started, volleyball nights grew later and later, as she hung out at AR's apartment afterward and partied with him, the bastard, and PM and his fiancée. And some others, I think. But it twisted into quite an evil thing after the shit started, her staying out with the bastard afterward until 1AM, 2AM, 3AM... even later some nights. I waited up every time. I couldn't sleep while she was out with him. Of course not. Coming into work on Monday mornings like a zombie became routine. It was one of the perks of the pit of misery I'd found myself in. There were other nights and mornings like that, too, but that was often the worst one. Soon, about every other day, I'd sob in my cubicle, just break down crying, trying to be as quiet as I could. But they could hear me, and they wondered. It was some kind of cosmic coincidence that shortly after the shit started that my company decided to build cubicles for everybody, as before we had just sat at rows of open desks. I'd cry most often on those zombie days.
But basically, though, she was doing that one to three nights a week, sometimes more than that. She actually established a Wednesday night "date night" with the lousy piece of shit. Each step in the development of the situation by themselves is profoundly deranged. Put them all together, however, and it's all an unbelievable madness, a diseased and sick situation. I felt like a single parent. I also felt like dying. A few months into it the feelings began. The feelings of wanting to die.
When she's saying that I'm like a disease
Then I wonder how much more I can spend...
Bad to Worse
As if carrying on an affair pretty much almost in front of my nose, gleefully rubbing my nose in it, wasn't bad enough, then came the hating. One night while preparing to hop on the treadmill, she started yelling and screaming at me, shouting hateful things, after she grabbed my phone and read my Facebook chat conversation with swankivy. She objected to, among other things, me calling the bastard a "bastard." Oh, gee, sorry honey. I figured that one of the ways I was going to win her over and get her to stop cheating on me was to not fight her at all about anything. I just took it. I let her yell, scream, demeaning and hateful things at me; at one point I was lying on the living room floor sobbing. And she didn't let that stop her. I felt like such a piece of shit. I let her convince me, too, of how terrible of a husband I'd been and how lousy of a person I was. People need to understand that this type of spousal abuse (which I only recognize as such in retrospect) is not much better (if better at all) than physical spousal abuse. It just doesn't leave bruises, at least not visible ones. She was emotionally and mentally beating the hell out of me. And I took it, like too damned many abused spouses do.
I not only took it, but tried to think of ways I could please her, to appease her, to get her to stop, to fully be my wife again. It was my fault, see, I wasn't a good enough husband. Even though I freely admit that I was never up for the Husband of the Year award, I let myself believe that lie. Anyway, for our wedding anniversary on September 4, 2012, I made a beautiful painting of her. She at least liked it. I proudly posted pic of it on Facebook. It sickens me now to think about it. (Just imagine you have a female friend and/or coworker who you know is beaten on the regular by her significant other, and she says to you excitedly "I know what I'll do! I'll do a painting of him! He'll love it and maybe he'll stop beating me!" What would your reaction be?) Of course she treated me like shit that night... like... well... every other night at that time. She ignored me most of the night, chatting on her phone with not only the bastard, but other online guy friends that she'd made.
There were countless other nights where she yelled at me, said hateful things, grabbed control of my phone and read my conversations with swankivy, MB, and AR. She demonized me for doing that, for airing our dirty laundry, for violating the sanctity of our privacy, the many ironies of that are not lost on me, I assure you. This was an attempt to isolate me. I was of course reaching out to them for support, for something, anything, to keep me alive. It was a semi-regular occurrence, her grabbing my phone, or me just handing it to her like the spineless bitch I'd become, when she asked for it, so that she could read my conversations and then hate on me for them. She claimed that it was an attempt to get inside my head and get to know my deeper thoughts better, that she felt I had not been honest with her and not sharing my inner world with her like spouses should share between them. Even if that was true, the reason is that it was not safe to share with her. Even before all this sometimes she was abusive. She was always incredibly judgmental and intolerant. You had to always choose your words carefully with her, about anything. Although she often encouraged it with words she more often discouraged it with her actions. And, also, oddly enough, her other words.
But the real reason for the phone thing - and this is another thing I only realize in retrospect - was to isolate me, as spousal abusers often do. She did not want me to have that support, to gain any resilience to her abuses. She didn't want others to know about the affair, or at least details of it that they hadn't heard already, or any of the other hells she was putting me through. It wasn't about a desire for others not to see our dirty laundry. It was about power and keeping me in my place.
On the weekend of September 14, 2012 my company had a 10th anniversary celebration at a resort in Indiana. In different circumstances it would have been much more enjoyable for me, I'm sure. We all took that Friday off and went down in the morning. I rode with a couple of young guys (they couldn't even legally drink yet) that I work with, identical twins, who's favorite genre of music was death metal. Fortunately I didn't have to listen to that very much during the long drive. The plan was that my wife and her mom and the kids would arrive down that evening in the minivan. Of course they didn't get there until almost midnight! Why? Because she decided to spend some time with the bastard first! I fucking fell asleep waiting for them and I suffered abuse when she finally arrived for not answering her phone call when she was close to the resort but having trouble finding it. I still tried to have a good time with her at the lovely resort but I suffered many more abuses at her hand, like her yelling at me for not getting her the proper flavor of chips when I made a snack run one night. She yelled, as she often did, about me being so selfish and how I just don't think about her and I'm so inconsiderate, and if I'd just thought about her more I'd get her the proper things. She was also quick to point out that night that the bastard always got her the right things! (He was so much more considerate and caring!) She often made such similar comparisons of me and him, likely just to rub more salt in my gaping emotional wounds.
The thing is, I did think about her more often than she realized! And sometimes, like that snack night, I would get her things I knew she liked, that I swear she had said in the past that she liked! But she always changed the goal posts. This was to manipulate me, keep me on my toes, keep me guessing, all the more anxious to try to please her. For those of you who don't know, this is a common tactic by the abuser in manipulative relationships.
The more you suffer
The more it shows you really care. Right?? ...
The bastard was often over at my house. Every time I got to go out, either to the gym or to see AR or whatever, guess who came over? But she even had him over often while I was there. It's profoundly disturbing, isn't it? All the incidents sort of run together, so I will pluck out a few choice ones to highlight. At this point I will abandon chronology for a while.
Why did I put up with this shit, you might ask? Because I was so manipulated and so eager to not fight with her, to not do anything that would possibly displease her. I was desperately and valiantly trying to save my marriage and my family! I was trying to do what was best for my kids, my family, and for her, instead of what was best for me. How ironic that often she yelled at me during this time for being so selfish. Yes! I was the selfish one! Ponder that.
Most of the incidents occurred between September of 2012 and January of 2013. In the beginning, when I still had a little bit of spine left, I did tell her I didn't want him in my house. So what did she do? She'd have him over, like one night I hung out at AR's apartment playing Rock Band and/or Guitar Hero on his Nintendo Wii, she had him and his kids over and made him stay on the deck. See, she was doing as I requested, not having him in the house. THAT WAS CLEARLY NOT WHAT I MEANT. This happened repeatedly. "Look, see," she'd say something like this, "I did what you'd asked, but gosh I had to make him stay on the deck, this made me look like a terrible hostess by the way." Of course even that eventually fell by the wayside and she said "fuck it" I guess and just had him over, in the house, at the house, whatever, again, sometimes when I was even there. That was at the point where my spine was no longer detectable. Oh and he would have my wife over at his house, being just as abusive to his wife, sometimes even more so. If you can imagine this, he was actually more cruel to his wife in many ways than my wife was to me. His wife went through a lot of the same shit, but her rubbed it in deeper. At least my wife was still affectionate to me sometimes during that time period, and my wife did have sometimes brief flashes of humanity and seemed genuinely sorry for me... for, um, what she herself was putting me through.
One of the tragic things about this was that his kids and my kids loved playing together. They were all similar in ages. Before the crazy shit started our two families got together a few times and all the kids had had so much fun together. Now they were all caught in the middle of all that horrible shit. And did those two care about what the kids were possibly going through? No! At least not that I could detect. At lease my wife and I tried to shield our kids from it the best we could, but that bastard, he asked his daughter one time how she'd like it if my wife was her new mommy. Sadder than that, his daughter actually liked the idea. His kids loved her. The thought of my sons loving him makes me want to vomit blood.
Around Halloween, on a Saturday night that was supposed to be D&D, but wasn't, we all got together instead at a local bowling alley. Some of us came in costume. I helped my wife dye her hair black. Of course afterward I had to endure going with my wife - and him - to Steak 'N Shake. As some of you already know, the Halloween story I posted that year was an allegory to what I had been going through up until that point. Also nearby to Halloween, one Saturday, we had a pumpkin-picking trip planned. But in the morning, my oldest son had an ice skating lesson. He had wanted to play hockey and he was learning to skate in preparation. It was a final session in that particular lesson and in final sessions he could bring a friend to come skate with him for free. Usually he chose one of his brothers. But this time he wanted the bastard's son. I had a texting conversation with his wife about who would bring his son over to the rink, which of course I'd preferred her since I had planned on bringing my son to the lesson as I usually did. My wife intercepted that communication, spying on my phone as usual, and got so angry that she actually physically struck me. In the head. It was one of the few incidences during this time period where the abuse got physical. It didn't really hurt, though. I'm a lot tougher physically than I am mentally. And that hurt more mentally than physically. There was such a hoo-ha about that, that the pumpkin patch trip almost didn't happen. It did, and I put on my fake smile that I had grown used to by that point, and took the kids for some holiday fun! The way home and afterward was even more fun than the morning was. She saw, on my phone, a text message come over from my sister. I had recently finally opened up to her about the situation. She asked me a question about Facebook that indicated that she knew. I had told my wife that I would not be telling my family about it, for reasons that I explained earlier in this writeup. But I, for reasons that would be understandable to most sane people, went back on that. Of course my wife used that as excuse to unload even more emotional and mental abuse on me that night, reading through my phone again, even going so far as to read emails that I had deleted, that were in the trash. She even found emails that I had deleted from the trash! (By the by, sometimes in Gmail, even after you delete emails from the trash, they're still there.) She did as she usually did, dug and dug until she finally saw something to yell and scream at me about. She wasn't satisfied until she found something like that. And it was demeaning as hell. She made me feel like a child who was in trouble, in trouble for talking to people about my situation in a desperate appeal for support, so that I could somehow survive the ordeal. And she desperately wanted to deny me that. Anyway, back to this section's topic:
One Saturday, after my wife begging and badgering me for weeks, I allowed him to come over to fix a light in our kitchen. In another one of my wife's cruel comparison campaigns she disparaged me for my lack of home repair and maintenance skills and extolled his, another reason why he was like sooooo much better for her. That was a horrible day, for many reasons. At one point I took all my kids and his to a nearby playground. I remember tweeting that the weekends were no longer fun at all, that I'd rather just work seven days a week. I meant it.
There were a few other similar horrible weekend days where she had him over to fix something. And each time, again, she demeaned me and how bad of a husband I was because I wasn't very handy. I was fast-reaching a point where I was completely, totally, mentally and emotionally beaten down to where I was just a shell of my former self: a sad, sobbing, acquiescent doormat. I was nothing. My spirit was broken. Soon it would die.
I saw a therapist. I got Lexapro. But that barely kept me alive.
I took her back and made her dessert
Now I know I'm being used
That's okay man cause I like the abuse...
On Thanksgiving I saw my mom and my sister for the first time since July. They had both ceased speaking to me over something completely unrelated and really, profoundly stupid. Not having them in my life during that time period, not having that family support, had made the situation that much worse for me. That schism could not have had worse timing. Of course as I've already mentioned my sister had recently resumed speaking to me. She knew. My mom still didn't. Of course the holiday would not pass by without some interference by the bastard. Even with my spine completely gone by that point, and my wife by that point narcissistic to the edge of psychopathy, she still would not try something so stupid as to attempt to invite him over for Thanksgiving dinner, especially with my family coming. But while I was cooking dinner with her mom he did come over, briefly, at her insistence, to install a headlight in the van. I could have taken care of that myself if I'd just had the proper tool. I'm not very good at car maintenance but I do know how to change a fucking head lamp. Anyway, the holiday meal was extremely awkward. My sister knew. My mom didn't. But everybody pretended that everything was just fine and dandy! Fake smiles all around! Ugh.
Was Christmas different? Not really.
Right before Christmas, one horrible night, I stayed shut in my bedroom working on my present to her, while she had the bastard and his spawn come over. My god they were loud and wild and screaming. When all those kids got together, his three and my four, they get out of control, especially with no adult supervision, because I was doing what I was doing and they as usual were only interested in what they were doing with each other to care about what the kids were doing. I think that was the first night that the thought occurred to me of putting a gun barrel in my mouth and just ending that relentless pain and torture.
On Christmas Day, my family didn't come over as they usually had. That was actually maybe better. But she did make sure to leave her husband and her family for a while to see her paramour. Because it's Christmas, "the most wonderful time of the year!" Like I had done a few times already during the situation, I did something really sweet and elaborate for my wife for a Christmas present in another attempt to win her over, so she'd please stop affairing and abusing me. I did drawings of her, me, and the family, and slipped them in a three-panel spinning contraption actually intended for photographs. She made me a box with special items in it relating to me, her, and our relationship. Awww, how sweet. Oh wait a minute, she made the exact same thing for the bastard for his present. So I didn't really appreciate that gesture very much. Actually, I might take that outside and set it on fire soon if I can find it.
A day or so after Christmas his wife brought their kids over again, to show them the Christmas tree... or something. Things get blurry here because of how mental I was becoming at that stage in the game. This might have actually occurred just before Christmas. But I think it was right after. Anyway, because the douchebag, in addition to being an inconsiderate asshole, is a fucking moron (honestly what did she see in him? Maybe another victim more easy to manipulate than myself), he shows up at the house, even though he wasn't supposed to. He was all decked out in a suit. He had just been to his uncle's wedding. Oh yeah, hey, did I forget to mention that he had wanted to bring my wife, his mistress, as a date, to a fucking wedding?
Bring his mistress to a fucking wedding!
A. Fucking. Wedding.
Honestly, can one person be more of a douche, a dick, and an idiot? Even my wife, with one of her last shreds of sanity, told him it probably wasn't a good idea.
His uncle, a sane person, like most of us, said "Hell no" to that idea.
Anyway, after his arrival that night, he and his wife had a screaming fight in my front lawn. I think I was very close to my breaking point then.
So was New Year's Even fun? Hell yeah! And by that, I mean, no, fucking... NO. Chalk this off to me almost totally losing my mind by late-December that the events of that holiday was actually my idea!! Yes. Now I was the engineer of my own misery! I was so afraid that she'd not be there for NYE, not kiss me at midnight, and instead choose to spend it with him somewhere else, I actually came up with the brilliant idea of inviting the other whole family over for a pizza party! And yes, my wife did kiss me at midnight, Central Standard Time. But wait... guess who kissed her at midnight Eastern Standard Time? That's right. Right in front of his wife and me he planted one right on her at 11:00PM. Oh and I should I mention that New Year's Eve was a very special holiday for the bastard and his wife, an anniversary of their first meeting? Yeah. How fucking classy of him, huh?
After that, I honestly desired somebody, anybody, to just put a gun to my head and pull the trigger. If I'd encountered a mugger, I would have held out my arms to the armed assailant and been like "Come at me, bro!" I am not fucking joking you. I'm not. No, I was not trying to be funny there. I'm fucking serious.
I may be dumb
But I'm not a dweeb
I'm just a sucker with no self esteem ...
The Bottom of the Pit
And in January of 2013 I was ready to hand Planet Earth my official resignation. I was done. I planned on killing myself. Suicide. Not just entertaining thoughts of it. I was not interested in threatening it for attention as some do. No I was dead serious, emphasis on dead. See, at work, I am a web developer and designer. I do a lot of troubleshooting. I solve problems on a daily basis. So I looked at this problem of how to do myself in, in a similar fashion. My first idea was jumping off of my roof. My house was a split level so it wasn't terribly tall. So I had to find the best spot of my roof to jump from. The highest point, coupled with the hardest ground below. And I was actually excited, happy even, when I finally figured out that sweet, sweet spot: the highest point on my roof I could leap from and hit the concrete driveway below. Maybe if I made sure I hit head-first that would accomplish my goal. Another reason I was excited about the prospect of killing myself was that for the first time in a long time I felt like I was taking back control of my life, if only to end it. I was going to choose when, where, and how I'd do it. And I was not choosing gun, mostly because I didn't have a gun in the house. I am strictly against that, with how often kids get a hold of the guns and blow themselves or a friend or sibling away. That's a good thing, too. I guarantee you if there had been a gun in my house I would not be here today, writing this, and you would not be reading this. No, really. Yes, really. It would have been too easy, quick, and convenient to do.
I made my intentions there known to my wife. Her reaction? More abuse, of the how the hell could I think of doing something so horrible??! flavor. She'd be the world's worst suicide hotline operator. One thing she, and others, said, was, how could I do that to my children? So, OK, let me explain something to anybody who has trouble understanding this: it wasn't that I didn't love my children enough, or didn't get enough love from them, I just felt that badly. And, I was already dead. My spirit, my soul, it was dead. Buried. It's just that I was still breathing. I was a shell. I was nothing. Except for the pain. The pain. The pain was all I was. It was the only feeling I had left. The unbearable, relentless pain. My shell was just a cocoon of pain, on me constantly, 24/7, without any relief whatsoever. So all that there was left to do was rid myself of the burden of that continued fake existence and rid the world of the burden of me, using its resources to keep my useless body alive. Because there was nothing left inside.
It was a deep, bottomless pit of nothing. There was no joy in anything. Even the D&D ended in early January, the group imploded, mostly because of the affair. Nobody could stand any longer to keep going into that room every other Saturday night and deal with the three of us there, that tension, that anxiety. Most of them no longer liked either the bastard or my wife. They didn't want to be around them any longer. That was the absolute last thing I had in my life that I got any enjoyment out of... and even that went away. It was time to go. So I posted this.
Then angels came
For months, swankivy, and others, tried, tried so hard, so lovingly, to keep my head above water as I tumbled helplessly down the river of despair and misery. But two people rushed onto the scene and actually pulled me out of the water. That didn't happen immediately, though. I resisted. But they persisted. I am alive because of karma debt and LaggedyAnne. I mean that as literally as one can mean it. I am not kidding. At first it was karma, but after a week or so of not quite getting through to me she called in Laggedy for back-up.
karma's help was not instantaneous. One Sunday shortly after she began talking to me about it I was at a Cub Scouts function with my son. My wife was incessantly nagging me about getting back so his science fair project could be completed. She said she wanted to bring the bastard over to help, that the youngest children were making the task impossible. I began unraveling. I started to lose the last shred of sanity I had left. I do not remember the text conversations, me and my wife, and me and karma, verbatim. But I do remember typing to karma "I want to die." She said, no, that I just wanted my situation to die. I did not immediately listen to her advice. And when I was arriving back at my house after the function was over I saw the bastard driving away in my van, with my children!! It was one of the only times during that dark period where a fire flared up inside me and I screamed and yelled at her. I wanted to call the police to report that he had kidnapped my children. I still to this day wish I had done that. She called him and he quickly brought them back. karma was continually trying to help me throughout all of that on that day. But the day was too horrible for that to have much of an effect.
Then one night shortly thereafter, things finally did turn around.
It was weird how in one night, I hit my absolute lowest point, but hours later hit my highest point in nearly five months. It was a Wednesday night. A "date night" for my wife and the bastard. I arrived, after work, at my kids' daycare. I cried my eyes out before going in. I felt like the biggest failure. I failed, or was going to fail, at everything I was trying to do. I felt totally worthless. But I somehow did my duty, picked them up, and drove home. Somehow, somehow, somehow it got through all the pain and nothingness, a spark, a tiny spark, of the roaring fire of creativity that used to reside in my spirit, it came through and I thought of this fun game to play with my children. The game was to take the Hot Wheels cars they all had and race them down a makeshift ramp and find out which was the fastest, and even have playoffs to determine that. They had enormous fun with that. It brought a real smile to my face. For the first time in months I had a real smile. I was chatting on my phone with karma and Laggedy. Those two things snapped me out of it. The kids playing. And those two saying just the right things, coupled together to bring me back into the light. The sun rose again. The moment it happened was right after Laggedy pointed out to me, something I'd not even considered before: that I was a victim, a victim of spousal abuse.
"THIS IS BULL SHIT!"
And then it happened. My spirit resurrected itself. Most of it came roaring back. It was fueled by anger mostly. Of course I'd like to say it was love or something positive that fueled it, but (with some love) it was mostly anger. I guess sometimes, even though if often gets a bad rap, anger is quite useful.
I was fucking pissed.
Fuck. This. Bull. Shit.
The nightmare, as a whole, was much too far from being done. But, on the other hand, so was I.
The Light. And The Plan.
So I crafted an ultimatum. I wrote it down because I'm far better at speeches when they're written down. I'm not good at long-winded, off-the-cuff statements without writing them down, even with many rehearsals inside my head. I typed it out on my iPhone, sometimes I worked angrily on it while I was biking at the gym. When my feelings returned, it was mostly anger, and I liked to pedal my ass off at the gym fueled by that anger. Rage, pedal, rage, pedal. How ironic was it that, the night I'd intended on delivering this speech, I got a call from my wife as she was on her way home from work, generously offering me a free night to go to the gym while the bastard came over for a visit. I rolled my eyes, and, barely concealing the rage I was feeling at that moment, said yes. But also thought Last. Fucking. Time! After some rage pedaling at the gym, I returned. The bastard had left, fortunately, because if he was there, I might have murdered him. And later, while in bed, I delivered the speech.
I eased into it, at first talking about being suicidal, but then feeling better (she smiled and nodded approvingly), but when I got to real meat of it, her mood quickly turned. I informed her of my awareness of being a victim of her spousal abuse. I also talked about her attempt to isolate me. I also said NO, NO MORE to her reading my phone, abusing me, and of course the affair. I ordered that it immediately stop or face consequences, like me bright-lighting the affair, like a post to Facebook for all to see. At one point she stormed out of the bedroom.
"GET YOUR ASS BACK HERE, I'M NOT DONE!"
And she came back, as she was ordered to. It was exhilarating. I was taking power back that she had robbed from me. I was also realizing just how much potential power I truly had, or could have, and maybe had, deep down inside, all that time. I was no longer her bitch. That was fucking over. But I did skip a few things at the end when she began to really unravel. I knew I didn't have much time before she'd bolt again, so I got to the end, and she did bolt. This time she left the house. To go see who? Take a wild guess. After all, he had just left, maybe wasn't quite home yet. Fine. Whatever. Let her go cry, like the bitch she was, to the other bitch. I kept my cool and my composure throughout, until she left. I cried then. Not really out of sadness, but because of the high emotions. I called swankivy and briefly spoke to her. After that conversation, my wife called me. She asked if she and the bastard could come back and have a little pow-wow about the situation with me. AW, HELL NO.
Nuh uh! Wasn't having it! She fucking comes back ALONE. And she did.
Damn it, though, I didn't exactly stick to my guns. I sorta wimped out the next day. But the ultimatum still had positive effects. The power shifted. She knew I wasn't taking shit anymore and that I was serious. She tried to make assertions and threats, like, she'd ask me to email her the speech (I did) and she threatened to somehow use it against me. I didn't care and called her on her bullshit. I wasn't fucking around. God, I wish I had made that Facebook post. But anyway, shoulda woulda coulda.
To keep this thing from becoming a book, I'll quickly run through the events of the next few months. There were negotiations. A deadline was set to end the affair. She didn't like my proposal. I said, fine, fuck you. A few times. I walked away a few times, with the full threat of consequences, like divorce, and outing her publicly, in my hands. She begged me to come back. She acquiesced to my demand, with me coming her direction very little in the negotiation. And, finally, May 3, 2013 came, the deadline. Supposedly it was over. The affair was supposedly over, and we were going to spend the summer healing the severe damage to the family and the marriage.
Or so I thought.
Things never returned to normal. That was impossible. I had high hopes, but it was not to be. She did not cease all contact with the bastard. She kept going to volleyball, even adding another night of the week of volleyball, of course with him. She still treated me like shit, still got abusive, and I did become depressed again. This time it was crushing loneliness. I was not getting from her what I needed. Love and support a man should have from his wife was scant. She asked me to be more open with her about my feelings, but when I did reach out to her, she slapped my hand. I did what she asked, but when I cried to her, she did the exact opposite that a decent human being would do, she reacted with anger and abusive language. We tried marriage counseling again, this time with a really cool lady who really tried to help. But it didn't help. That September I moved out briefly (sort of) and lived with my mom for three and a half weeks. I returned. I saw my therapist again, went back on Lexapro. I started role playing again, though, this time Werewolf: The Apocalypse. The apartment it was held at was at usually was lived in by two lawyers. A man and a woman. Both did family law. I had thought I'd be using the lady for the divorce if it came to that, but I ended up going with the dude. And it did come to divorce. And I went with him because him and his partner needed a new website and maintenance work and offered to do my divorce for free in exchange for my services. I couldn't pass that offer up.
On January 31, 2014, after finally finding a house to rent, I moved out.
And guess what I found out, while my parents helped me get my stuff out of the old house and into the new one? The across-the-street neighbors informed me, after seeing what was going on, that all summer, that bastard came over every time I left. Every time I went to see AR. Every time I went to the gym. They said he'd park his car in a hidden spot around the corner, and they'd watch, as soon as I'd pull out, he'd come walking around the corner and into my house.
That fucking bitch. I was furious. I yelled and screamed at her in the driveway about it that night before making my final drive-off from that house. She not only lied, and continued cheating, but she screwed with the innocent young minds of my children, because he came over when they were there, and they had to keep that a secret from me! Two five year-olds and a nine-year old were slapped with the horrible burden of seeing that go on and not tell me. A few times they were forced to lie to me! And we were paying for additional marriage counseling! I felt defrauded! After that, I hated her. I hate her. I despise her. I loathe her. She disgusts me. I'd rather not ever, EVER, see or hear from her the rest of my life, but I don't have that luxury because I have the kids with her.
I spent the rest of that winter, spring, and summer, healing. I love my house, even though the rent amount is killing me, and I love the direction my life is headed in. I started dating again, some say maybe too early, but whatever. I dated a couple of lovely girls before finding one wonderful, beautiful, funny, intelligent, awesome girl whom I love. I'm no longer depressed. I recently ceased taking the Lexapro. My road still isn't without its bumps, however, as in late-June I found myself quite unexpectedly unemployed. That's another story.
Even though the divorce still isn't, the nightmare is long over. Now it's time to live the rest of my life.