I am divorced. I have been free from that strange man for over 10 years now. It took about 4 or 5 years for me to fully forgive him and since I did that I have been completely free — emotionally as well as physically — from that weirdo. He was abusive. But not in the physical sense. He was a controller, manipulator, liar, deceiver, liar, liar, liar, liar, lair. You get me, I’m sure.
He used his intelligence to manipulate people. Me. His kids (they were his – we didn’t have children together). His co-workers. His ex-wife before I became his ex-wife too. His mom. His step dad. His boss. His “friends”. Everyone. Then if things didn’t go his way he became verbally abusive. He had a way of making people who liked him (and loved him) feel inadequate to be a part of his life: worthless, hopeless, stupid, useless. The even sicker thing is that I think he enjoyed it. I think it made him feel powerful.
When we first got together, as I’ve mentioned before, I was all in it for the risk and the cat & mouse chase. It was fun to me. I was running with the wrong crowd and my “friends” were intrigued by this attention that he was giving me. I was very young. He was not. I was easily manipulated and pressured. He knew it. I thought I was in control when all along it was him. I was like a puppet.
I never thought our relationship would go as far as marriage. When his wife found out about me I almost high-tailed it out of there. I think he knew what I was thinking so he turned it up a notch. He started buying me things, taking me to fun places, doting on me and I was just a kid (19 yrs old). I didn’t know he was a con artist. I fell for it. Like falling down a jagged flight of stairs and landing on concrete.
Then I found out that he was a raging closet alcoholic. Then he said he was a Vietnam vet. I felt sorry for him. I wanted to fix him. He allowed me to believe that I could. It became my mission.
One of my friends started to doubt his Vietnam story. I shrugged her off. Then one day he told me he had lied all that time about it. Hmm. I honestly think that was the first strong jab that made me wonder if I really wanted to remain in this relationship. By this time, we were already married.
He went to rehab for alcoholism about 3 or 4 times. He tried to commit suicide (or at least pretended he was trying) twice. He ran me ragged and tore my emotions to shreds in a very short period of time. I got so sick of it. So sick of it.
Then one day he quit drinking. Just like that. Life seemed to get better.
Over the next couple of years he got custody of all of his kids. Even his oldest daughter who had run away came back with two kids of her own. Life was improving. For him.
But I was tired. With the step-children came a whole new set of problems I wasn’t prepared for. I was all of 24 years old with 5 step-children and 2 step-grandchildren. All but 1 of the 7 kids lived with us. My ex had only been sober for a short time. I had just gone through hell and back and then I get thrown into a role I had no business being in — mom/grandma around the clock. I was suffocating.
I decided I was going to leave. I tried to position myself and his kids in such a way that my decision would have the least impact on them. I tried.
He finally had a really good job. He was doing well and for the first time since we got together he was not paying child support.
Then he lost his job. He smart-mouthed too many people and lied one too many times and his boss, who was his “friend”, fired him. A month later, I left. I was 25.
He got a new job and I got a lawyer.
I’ve never looked back. Not once.
I know divorce is frowned upon in certain circles.
I believe divorce is necessary in certain situations: abuse, repeat infidelity, abandonment, etc.
I don’t believe divorce should be an out when the relationship can be rescued: money problems, selfish ambition or desires, illness, etc.
What do you think?