Day 763 New Year’s 2013 Part 2

Advances in technology have changed the many ways we, as a society, perform a number of activities. Our lives are significantly different than they were ten years ago. One of the major advances in technology is communication. We are able to communicate in so many different ways. Through social media apps, instant messenger, text, e-mail, FaceTime, and (God forbid) even calling someone. This also means we have various new tools to help people cheat. Hell, all these new forms of communication have made it easy. Everything is password protected, so unless you’re a moron (or your partner is stealthy) I’d say it’s pretty easy to get away with contacting “the one that you want” without anyone else knowing. This leads to a moral question…what justifies cheating? In this new world where you can cheat on your partner without physically doing anything immoral, where do you draw the line? 

Maybe this is a question each couple has to answer for themselves, but for the purposes of this blog I’ll let you know where I stand. If you don’t want your partner to know about it, you shouldn’t be doing it. If you feel like you need to hide it, odds are it’s wrong. If you would be ashamed if your family knew, then you better rethink your life choices. I’m all for having friends. Even having friends of the opposite sex. But those friendships don’t need to be hidden in private conversations, confidential messages, or secretive texts. Come on now, we’re all smart enough to know that, right? Perhaps I’m more sensitive than most regarding other women contacting the object of my affection…fair enough, but I’ll just chalk that up to more divorce PTSD. 

My musings on cheating actually have a point, believe it or not. I woke up the morning of January 1, 2014 with a sinking feeling in my stomach. He was still passed out. I decided to check his phone. Listen, I am NOT that girl. Until the day I found out my ex-husband was cheating on me I had never checked his phone, or anyone else’s phone for that matter. It makes me feel icky that I felt the need to do it and I pray to God I never have to even think about checking someone’s phone again. That’s not the kind of relationship I ever want to be in. So, here I am, on our couch early in the morning and I am scrolling through inappropriate text after inappropriate text. I can’t stop myself. I keep reading and reading and reading. I am oddly calm. I don’t know how much time I have until he wakes up. I want to know everything. There’s no going back now. So I keep reading. Then, in a move of clear headed brilliance, I forward all the texts to my phone. Just in case.  

Sidebar: I have gone back and forth on how much information to share in this blog. The whole truth would disgust you, and perhaps isn’t necessary. I never want this blog to be about ganging up on my ex-husband. I’d prefer to focus on the reality of my depression and the overwhelming amount of God’s grace that pulled me onward and upward. If that is truly my intention, then I must do my best to write “just the facts” and not wallow around in the details of my ex-husband’s adultery. I’ll try, anyway. 

After reading all the text messages I sat still for a long time. What is a wife supposed to do at a time like this? Seriously, I’d like a real answer. Nothing had worked. Therapy was a disaster. Crying, begging, pleading all fell on deaf ears. Even trying to turn myself into the perfect wife was pointless. I’m not perfect. I can’t cook. I’m always carrying extra weight. I don’t know a lot about sports. Good God, I had been trying for four months to be everything I thought he wanted. I had prayed in every corner of our tiny apartment. I had read every book on how to be a Godly wife. It. Wasn’t. Working. The drinking, the anger, the cheating…it was still going on. And by staying I was enabling him. I was saying “Yes, treat me like a dog…I’ll still be here when you’re ready to love me again. And P.S., I’ll also make sure your laundry is done, your dinner is ready on time, and your home is clean.” So, I’ll ask again, what is a wife supposed to do at a time like this? I didn’t know anymore. But I knew I was tired. I knew I was slowly dying. I knew I hated the person I had become. And I knew I was leaving his sorry ass. 

My father, who always knew I would come to this conclusion, had found an attorney who he knew would take care of me. A friend. A man who loved our family so much, he would fight for me like he would fight for his own children. He would let me speak to him in confidence. He would be strong when I didn’t have strength. He would wait until I was ready. So on this cold New Year’s Day morning I called him, with my pathetic ex-husband still passed out in bed, and I told him I had to leave. And we formed a game plan. And just like that I took the first steps, the scariest steps, in leaving my life. 

2 Corinthians 6:14 “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?” 

 

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Day 760: New Year’s 2013 Part 1

New Year’s Eve 2013 marked a huge turning point in my journey to divorce. I didn’t know then how significant that evening or the morning after would be for my marriage. I didn’t even fully understand it’s significance as the events were occurring. But, looking back, maybe those 24 hours were truly the beginning of the end. Most people would say “the beginning of the end” was when they found out their husband was cheating on them. Not me. I waited four extra months to come to that conclusion. I Pollyanna’d my way through as long as I could. 

I was working the day of New Year’s Eve. As was my ex-husband. That evening he was invited (due to his work) to be in Time Square with special seating to watch the ball drop. He did not invite me to go with him. I don’t even remember his reasoning. Maybe he didn’t have one. He just didn’t want me there…which sounds about right. Of course, I would have LOVED to have seen the ball drop. Who wouldn’t? I’m sure it’s one of those dream experiences that most people have on their bucket list. And to be able to see it without waiting all day long in the frigid New York City winter cold would have been the cherry on top. But I digress, he was going to a fancy shin dig in Time Square. I was not. Even more disheartening than the fact that he didn’t want me with him was the realization that we wouldn’t be ringing in the New Year together. 2014 was supposed to be the year we healed our marriage. We should be together. Didn’t he know that? To appease me he said he would leave his party as soon as the ball dropped. We would meet up at our apartment at 1:00am and have champagne and celebrate the New Year for the central time zone. Oddly enough, that logic satisfied me. At this point I was taking any bone he would throw my way. 

Upon hearing my New Year’s predicament; my unbelievably gracious friends, Tiffany and Brittany, came up with a plan. The three of us would have dinner together and then go to a party being thrown by another friend of our’s. We would be each other’s dates and have a grand time. God love them. Sometimes I look back and wonder what my friends were thinking. They must have thought I was insane for holding on as long as I did, yet they were always there. Supporting my decision to fight for a marriage that wasn’t worth saving. Going out of their way to plan an evening so I wouldn’t be alone. Listening to another terrible excuse of why it was ok that my ex-husband didn’t want me around. They are true gems. There isn’t a gift basket out there large enough to properly thank them. So, here we are. Three gals all dolled up, eating an enormous amount of Chinese food, ready to take on the New Year. 

We truly did have a wonderful evening. Our friend, Lisa, throws a great party. Great food. Great humans. Great conversation. Even great party games. We played a game where you wrote down what you loved, liked, and hated about 2013 on post it notes and stuck then on the wall. By the end there were post it notes all over her apartment. For me, it was a wonderful reminder of my blessings and a huge wake up call to not take what I hated about 2013 into 2014 with me. This madness had to end. This was no way to live. I vowed to start getting serious about saving my marriage. 

I was excited to get home. To start the New Year off right. I left the party with Brittany and Tiffany shortly after midnight. They walked me home. They took a cab back to Queens. They are literally some of the best humans I know. I went upstairs to my apartment and waited. And waited. I remember “the waiting” being agonizing. I waited a lot in those days. Waiting could mean a plethora of different events were occurring. None of them good. The longer I waited, the worse the offense. Even now, “waiting” is a huge part of my divorce PTSD. When I have to wait to hear from someone I always imagine something terrible has happened. Sometimes I’ll even become physically sick while waiting. My mind immediately jumps to the absolute worst case scenario…because I know the possibilities of what could be happening while I’m waiting. My waiting anxiety is a flaw that I try to keep hidden, but somehow runs my life. I hope that goes away someday. 

He did come home. Much later than he promised. Much drunker than he promised. And in the morning that followed I realized my goal of 2014 wasn’t to save my marriage, it was to save myself. 

John 1:5 “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”