Why you should never reconcile when the trust is gone, and the red flags are there
I’ve lurked in here for the past couple of months too embarrassed to post my situation.
Attorneys have implored me to seek therapy, however, every time I attempt to reach out I come to the realization I have to explain my absurd, literally unbelievable situation, and I balk at following through.
What can they say to me that will bring me out of the twilight zone hell I’m currently in?
Nothing. It’s up to me, and no one else, as I have no one. All that really matters is that I keep putting one foot in front of the other.
This is going to be a novel, sit tight.
My wife and I are on the wrong side of 40. We met and dated while in college. Well, dating is probably a polite euphemism. We were at best fuck buddies, or friends w/ benefits. However, we both valued our friendship, very much so. We had a lot in common regarding politics, music, all that good stuff. Yet, both recognized we were too immature for a serious relationship.
If I’m being honest, at that age, I liked bad girls, or the dumb ones for as long as they were fun, and moved on. I kept nice girls I thought worthy of a relationship on the periphery, and at a distance. This also included my male friends. I’m far from an introvert, but I need my space. I’ve spent my entire life w/ trust issues due to a horrific childhood. Therefore, no claims by me that I’m perfect. Not the perfect husband, father, or man.
My future wife wasn’t one of the dumb ones, she was much to the contrary. However, it was obvious she was self destructive, liked to party and the club scene, and yeah, would seek gratification from men in the wrong ways.
That kept her way, WAY off the girlfriend list, and firmly on the friend list.
Despite that, during that time our friendship grew. She indeed became one of my best, most trusted friends. She told me I was indeed her best friend, as I always gave her the truth regarding my opinions on her lifestyle and decisions. Which weren’t helping her. She had so much potential that she didn’t seem to see in herself. She was, btw, gorgeous, and intelligent.
I never would have dreamed we would end up together romantically, but we did. Due to a crisis, a crisis on her end I don’t care to detail, we became closer. I realized that, like it or not, I indeed loved her. She reciprocated, and the rest is history.
Love was an emotion I had avoided or found hard to come by my whole life, but I couldn’t escape it. The people I had loved in my life had also done the most damage to me. We had a lot of happy years together. It was she and I, no one and nothing else. It was us.
Then, a few years into the relationship she broke the faith. She didn’t cheat, yet, I became privy to information about her past which caused me to wonder whether I ever knew her at all. It made me question whether she ever loved, respected me, or our friendship, whatsoever. Through this ordeal she trickle truthed me in the worst way, it was torturous and painful. Unravelling each lie was a new knife in my heart.
It was crushing, absolutely crushing.
Every fiber in my being told me to walk, and never look back. All accept for my big dumb heart. I was afraid I’d never let myself love or trust someone again. She tried to commit suicide, and had I not rushed her to the ER, she would have succeeded. I couldn’t bare to see her suffer, and because of me, and told her we would move on from the past, together.
It took years for my trust issues w/ her to subside, It was torture. Looking back I don’t know why I did it. Love, I suppose. Beautiful women are a blessing, and a curse. It makes me wish I had found a woman w/ a 11 personality, 10 body, and a 3 face.
You could double bag during sex; as in wearing one yourself in the event hers falls off, yours is still there as a safety.
Anyway, you never, NEVER get over knowing the person you love can look you dead in the eye, and lie to you. It’s always there. And, whether you know it or not.
Because of that I don’t think our relationship, or love, ever reached the potential it could have. Now it just makes me sad. Our sex life was doomed for several reasons. Partly due to her self destructive behavior in her youth. Exacerbated even more so for the aforementioned crisis that occurred in her life, in which I had inserted myself out of our friendship.
Add the devastating secret I had discovered regarding her past, and it was deader than Usama Bin Laden. After she told me her feelings on sex, only a sadist would continue to pursue the matter. I married a damaged person, and a bit of an odd woman in many ways. I thought love and commitment could fix her, but I was wrong.
We eventually had three beautiful children together, and a picture perfect family.
I loved being a father.
Coming from a broken family, I vowed to my children what happened to me would never happen to them. However, early on I learned a lesson on parenthood. My first child was still a baby, he looked at me w/ a big grin, then proceeded to lift his head off the floor, and throw his head back down. Banging it violently against the floor. Time stood still. I watched how his bottom lip inverted in pain, and his eyes fill w/ tears. He had experienced pain for the first time. It was as if Gregor Clegane from Game of Thrones shoved a giant sword through my heart.
I held him tight and rubbed his head, tears streaming down both our faces. What happens to them happens to you. Your emotions are forever tied to these perfect, beautiful, innocent, children you’ve brought into this imperfect world. We can teach them, nurture them, love them w/ all our heart.
But all we can do is prepare them as best we can, because they WILL experience the world. It’s our job to be there when they do. So we may guide them, console them, listen to them, be whatever it is they need us to be, so they are happy, well adjusted, productive adults one day. I would die before ever leaving my kids. Nor would I be the catalyst for a separation or divorce.
Suffice to say I knew there was some unhappiness in our marriage.
But, I had assumed that despite perhaps no longer being in love, we still loved and respected one another. I know we both loved our children. We rarely fought, but from time to time, we had some blow ups. We would get through it, and move on.
I always thought there would be time to work on our marriage, and or, our individual happiness. However, the kids came first. We also had some rough and stressful times financially. There were times we were drowning. But, we made it through, together. Right when it seemed like we had broken through the surface and took a big breath of air. Things began to change.
One day my wife informed me she had re-connected w/ an old friend on facebook. The friend of an old high school boyfriend to be exact. It turned out he lived in the same state as we did. She told me she was going to visit him at his home. I wasn’t invited. The kids weren’t invited. I said, “uh oh, do I need to worry?”.
She scoffed at the idea, and told me she hadn’t seen him in 30 or so years. I shrugged it off. She went for her visit and returned a few hours later. When I asked her how it went she began swooning over his big and beautiful home, his cars, his boats, his property, and just how generally well he’d done financially w/ his life. Once again I asked, “Uh oh, do I need to worry?” She responded, “Oh god, if you saw him, you wouldn’t worry.”
I really didn’t give it another thought, and left it alone. That was a mistake.
Not long after she became very distant, not just to me, but to the children as well. When unchecked, she would literally sit in bathroom for hours at a time. Trips to get a coffee, which had been common, mysteriously now took an hour. When I’d ask why the bathroom behavior, mystery trips, etc. She’d tell me she was texting friends, answering work emails, etc. I’ve never snooped on her social media, or her phone, never. By the time our kids were born, I had pretty much overcome the trust issues w/ my wife. That mistake was about to be revealed w/ a vengeance.
We were locked down for Covid. She was working from home, and I was laid off. Why I’m assuming the relationship w/ the other guy was emotional and not physical. Her general treatment of me continued to deteriorate. She became downright mean, cold, and uncaring. She knew she was hurting me, yet, any attempt at reconciling was met w/ dismissal and utter disinterest.
Whenever cornered, she began to throw out previous transgressions during our 20 plus year relationship, that were now ancient history. It came to a point I halfheartedly suggested that I leave. I sat on that thought for a couple of days, then informed her that I could never leave the kids, and that I still loved her. I don’t remember her initial reaction to this, but I wish I did. Because it’s my feeling now she was trying to drive me out, and get me to leave on my own accord. She then implemented plan B.
She absolutely blew up at me over an innocuous argument. Told me she hates my guts, wants a divorce, she had been researching how to get rid of your husband among many other hurtful things. I told her I could never leave the kids, that I needed to discuss this above and beyond inflicting pain on one another. Nope, no discussion, none, just go, FAIT ACCOMPLI.
I continued to try and talk to her. How long had she felt this way? Why, after 16 years of marriage and three children, all we’ve overcome together, didn’t she talk to me about her feelings? What about our children? Asking me to leave them is akin to asking me to walk on the surface of the sun. She knows this.
I point out the change in her since she reconnected w/ her “friend” from the past. She denies it. I have no proof, I have a persona on facebook, but don’t even know my own log in. She simply gaslights me, and asks for space.
A week went by, and I became tired of walking around w/ my heart in my stomach. I asked her to talk, I get more of the same. She even starts sleeping w/ my sons in their respective rooms. She says she’s afraid of me and my anger. I corner her, metaphorically corner her, and ask her when I’ve ever laid a hand on her or hurt her. She goes all the way back to the day she tried to commit suicide. She says I held her wrists and wouldn’t let her out of a room. I don’t remember, frankly, but I know when she locked herself in the bathroom, she tried to kill herself. So, I apparently didn’t hold on long enough.
It got uglier and uglier.
She said things, I said things and the conversation continued to devolve. Now my kids, oldest 13 twins 11, could hear us fighting. I know how this affects kids because that was me once upon a time. So I backed off.
An hour or so later she is laying on the couch and apparently texting someone. Someone she deemed important enough to talk to. Me, our life, our family? Not worth discussing. I grab the exposed end of her phone and shake it while saying, “This is more important to you than 16 years of marriage and our kids”. She pinches my hand and I let go. More time passes and I make another attempt to speak to her civilly. I don’t remember her response, but it ended w/ her turning her back on me on the couch, and a middle finger over her shoulder. In frustration I poured the cold drink I was holding on her back, then left w/ my dog.
The plan was to let her sleep, and we’d talk outside the home somewhere away from the kids. The next morning she is gone. I call her and she tells me she is going shopping. I said great, come and pick me up we’ll shop together and talk w/ others around forcing us both to be civil. She hangs up on me.
A few minutes later three police officers arrive to arrest me for domestic violence related charges. Specifically, touching her phone, and pouring a drink on her. This constitutes domestic simple assault, 2 misdemeanor charges.
I’ve never stolen a candy bar, have no police record whatsoever, but I’m put in cuffs in front of my neighbors, photographed, booked, and put in a cell. I’m thinking any minute she’s going to come and bail me out having no idea they’d actually arrest me. Wrong. She never went shopping, she went to the PD, told them she feared for her life and the children’s safety.
She files for a restraining order; creates a false sense of a “cycle of violence” throughout our relationship, which NEVER occurred. She is granted a restraining order, and I’m not permitted within 300 yards of her, or my children, including our home, until a hearing a full month later.
If you’re still reading right now you’re going – wait a minute, this guy isn’t telling us something. Or, he is minimizing what he did. He hit her her, shoved her, pushed her through a window, beat her w/ a bat, threatened her, something!
Nope. The mistake I made was talking to the police officers.
They asked what was going on, I told them the truth. I think she may have another dude, possibly has narcissistic personality disorder, loves drama can never admit fault, wants me out of the house completely out of the blue, and we argued. We’re going through a bad, sad time, but as far as you’re concerned she’s fine, I’d die before I’d hurt my wife or kids.
They ask me about the phone. I told them I touched the phone, and not her. They asked to see where she had pinched or scratched me. I refuse and say I don’t remember her doing that out of fear they’d arrest her. They ask about the drink, I said yes, I poured a drink on her after the one finger salute she gave me. They all laughed. The ranking officer says, “Do you know how I know you’re telling the truth? She told me basically the same story, but, I still have to take you.”
I officially enter the twilight zone.
One officer stops the other from putting me in a car. He says look, she’s speaking enough legal-eez for me to tell she’s spoken to a lawyer. You’re still hanging onto the relationship, and she’s stacking the deck against you for a divorce. I don’t want to arrest you, I don’t. I’m sorry, but you’re gonna need a good divorce lawyer. And, he wished me luck.
It’s a Saturday and I cannot bail myself out because the bail bondsman only works mon thru fri. The cops take mercy on me, call him, and ask him to come in, or I rot until monday. During this time my wife gets the additional restraining order, THEN, completely wipes out our joint accounts. Several thousand dollars, not all of it hers, yet totally legal. I’m left w/ a couple grand in a personal account. At this time we’re sharing a car, my car, as per her MO over the years she prematurely drove her last vehicle into the ground. She is granted our only car.
I bail myself out and walk home around 6 miles, in 90 degree heat. I grew up physically and emotionally abused by a brother 5 years my senior. No father in the home after the divorce, our mother working 12 hour days to now make ends meet, I was left at his mercy. Out of no where he’d fly into my room, beat me into submission, and often choke me w/ both hands while straddling me.
I can remember the blackness closing in on my vision, always on his sadistic face while he bit his lip. I’d come to, to him bashing my head against the floor, or slapping my face, and he’d repeat the process. The physical abuse was bad, really bad. He’d leave me bruised and bloody. The emotional pain was far worse. He’d tell me how worthless I was. How stupid and ugly I was. How everyone in the new town we were living in laughed at me and thought I was a loser, etc.
That was pretty much my daily existence.
I would go to my mother who would inexplicably ignore the physical and intellectual disadvantage I was up against, and simply say – I’m too busy to worry a/b the two of you fighting, you have to get along. My brother would literally stand over her shoulder and laugh in my face. This continued until I grew big enough to defend myself. In the interim, I learned to box, wrestle, martial arts, you name it I learned it.
Anything that would keep me from being helpless at the whim of another human being who wanted to hurt me, ever again. In retrospect, it’s very sad. However through this ordeal, I’d finally get an answer for my brother’s sadistic treatment of me, and my mother’s utter lack of concern.
The humiliation, abandonment, and helplessness I felt through age 10 until around 17 (when I finally beat my brother within an inch of his life) is totally indescribable. The humiliation I felt on that walk home from the PD was ten times worse. This wasn’t my sadistic older brother, this was my best friend, the love of my life. The woman I had sacrificed so much of myself for, my own pride and dignity I’d fought so hard for in life. I knew she no longer loved me, but had no idea she had literally begun to hate and loathe me. You really have to HATE someone to do what she had done. She took away my marriage, my family, my home, my kids, even my dog. Furthermore, accused me of crimes and abuse in a fictional statement she wrote in order to acquire the protection order.
When I arrived I had to call the police to escort me through my home, and was given 5 minutes in order to pack a bag to sustain me for the next month. When I bristled over a laptop she claimed was shared marital property, in front of my children, I was threatened by an officer w/ county jail. I will never forget the smirk on her face. My children were crying, we all embraced in a tearful good bye. I asked them if they understood what was happening. My oldest said he thought so. I told them I did not want to leave them, made sure they understood that, and that I loved them. To behave and listen to their mother, and that they would see me soon.
I was left on a sidewalk with a suitcase, with no where to go, and no way to get there. Rent a car agencies were closed. I had never used uber. All I had in my life were my wife and kids, and at best, work acquaintances.
I called a lifelong friend, someone I’m lucky if I spoke to maybe once a year since our 20’s. I’ll call him Jack. Of all the friends that have come in and out of my life, to no fault of their own. It had been my inability in life to forge long term relationships w/ friends. Jack just happens to be 1 in 7 billion on this earth. He was the best man at my wedding, truly the brother I wished I had. And, ironically, he was the man I called on to get my back when the “crisis” occurred in my wife’s life, before we had gotten together.
That crisis? She had been brutally raped by another FWB of hers. This guy was a bouncer in a club we all frequented, a really big dude. She hadn’t spoken to him in months. He showed up at her door drunk, wouldn’t take no for an answer, and pushed his way in. He beat and raped her in every way possible, then made her take a shower. He’d beaten her face, even bitten it. He nearly bit off her nipple. Truly a sexual sadist. Her roommate told me what happened. I begged her to call the police and go to a hospital, she wouldn’t. I told her if she didn’t, I’d make sure he never came near her again, but would likely go to jail for it. She still refused and told me not to make things worse.
I called Jack, and told him the basics. Like any good friend he tried to talk me out of it, but knew I’d go it alone anyway. So, he got my back like a true brother. I found him in his club, made sure he knew why I was there, and kicked the shit out of him. We fought through an army of pretend tough guy bouncers and made it out. We told them why I had done what I had, they backed off seemingly knowing their boss was a sick dude, and cancelled the call for a police cruiser. That was that. But I’d of woken up in a hospital if not for Jack.
Once again, Jack had my back. But at this point in our lives, he owed me nothing not a damn thing, but he took me in instead of taking me to a hotel. Like I said, 1 in 7 billion on this earth, truly.
For the next four months Jack watches me go through despair, darkness, and emotional pain I wasn’t aware a human being is even capable of feeling. Let alone surviving. I went through a suicidal period, but decided I wanted to live, if not just to see my children again. It was them that saved me. I couldn’t get through writing my good bye letters to them. Other than that, I was ready to go.
This just gets better. People that write Greek tragedies are gonna hang themselves.
During that time, shortly after I arrive at Jack’s, I call a cousin. The golden child of our family, and because I was estranged from my brother, the only family my kids have left. Grandparents dead on both sides, etc. He’s a 7 figure a year international consultant, so I call him to see if he knows any attorneys in my area. He doesn’t, but tells me my wife has filled he and his wife in on what has happened. Whaaat? My wife hates his wife, and generally just tolerates her.
But she’s already poisoning my family. Because of that, I decide to call my estranged brother, primarily because I want people to know I never laid a hand on my wife, as I have no idea what she’s saying. My brother is insulted I’d call my cousin for anything. But he knows we spend holidays w/ them, and they’re wonderful to our children. Despite knowing that for years, my brother decides to wait until now to divulge the following…that my cousin repeatedly raped him as a child. Groomed him, and raped him. Hence my brother’s treatment of me. My poor, poor brother. He had confided in one person at the time, our mother. Who minimizes it to a teenager (my cousin) experimenting. My brother was 10 or 11. Huh?
Still with me? I know, right? This post would take up 10 shrink appointments. Just look at the money redit is saving me!
So, this worthless sack of a cousin has access to my kids. They’ve shown up at our door unannounced. He needed 10 minutes alone w/ my brother, to relieve me of a brother, and leave me w/ an abuser. I rack my brain trying to think of times he was ever alone w/ my kids. Keep in mind, I cannot contact my wife directly, or through a 3rd party for any reason, unless a medical emergency. Anxiety through the roof. I don’t sleep for at least 3 days worrying that she’s already spoken to them, that they could show up to console her, take the kids off her hands, etc.
I go to the cops in the town my family lives, and ask to speak to someone. Soon after, officer Gump arrives. I explain the situation to him. I produce a letter addressed to the judge who signed the order of protection, explaining the possible danger my kids are in. He listens, looks the letter over, and says you need your attorney to contact your wife’s attorney. I don’t have an attorney, I haven’t found one whose retainer I can afford right now (I’m on unemployment). He says he understands, but cannot get involved. I point out it says protect and serve right on his voom voom parked outside. He hands back the letter and reiterates that he cannot get involved. For clarity, I explain why I was removed from my home vs the possible anal and oral rape of a child. He apologizes, and tells me to get a lawyer, and contact her lawyer. I can’t believe what I’m hearing.
I have a person who’s friended her on facebook send her the msg. She subsequently has me re-arrested for breaking the protection order. I go to county jail for 4 days to protect my kids. Later I read in court documents that she discounts the severity of what happened to my brother, and believes I was simply trying to manipulate her. Because that’s what domestic violence advocates tell her I’m going to do. Advocates she has in a snow bank, as well as the cops, the prosecutor, the judge(s). I now know she doesn’t just want me out of her life, she wants to destroy me, and hurt me every chance she gets. She’s succeeded.
There will be no reconciliation of any sort. I will be an outsider to the lives of my children. I’m living my worst nightmare as a father. Why would I want to be w/ someone who could do this to me? How can the system allow this, attorneys tell me I’m not alone. Where is the hate coming from? People ask me and I have no answer for it.
Two months later I finally see my kids in a tearful reunion. The judge lets me be a Dad one whole day out of the week for the next year. Despite my efforts to rebut her ridiculous characterizations of our marriage, she sides w/ my wife. This does not encompass the criminal charges I still have to face. I’ve lost my wife, my family, my home, even my dog. How much more punishment do I deserve? And, for what?
It comes down to character. As much as I want to blame her, this is all on me. The warning signs were there. What did I do? I dumped two gorgeous intelligent women who genuinely loved me, for this person w/ a black hole where her heart should be. They both wrote me for months telling me how special I was, they’d never get over me, etc. I told them it was never them, it was me. Well it was me, I was a fuckin idiot. I wasted 20 plus years w/ the wrong woman b/c I was afraid of taking the pain of losing her, when I should have walked.
That secret that broke the faith early on when we had committed to each other? She had been an escort for years, and while I had known her, fooled around w/ her, and later defended her honor. Everyone knew but me. Her roommates, her friends, classmates. I was the big dummy. Did she do it for the money? Nope. Unlike mine, her parents paid her tuition, her rent, whatever she needed. She came from money. But her character and self esteem was lower than snake shit.
But I made the choice to build a life w/ someone w/ that past, and paid the price. I put myself no where, with nothing, and no one, as I’m pushing 50. All my life I feared abandonment and being let down, only to make decisions that led to exactly that. I have no one to blame but myself.
Moral of the story? Lack of trust can heal, but not the core of the person that produced it. Don’t waste years being unhappy. Don’t ignore the red flags, take the pain, and walk. Don’t be me.
I’m moving into my new apartment this month, and continuing to endure the new normal as best I can. Each day I still wake up thinking it was all a nightmare, only to find it wasn’t. She has yet to file, but that’s only because she can’t afford it. I begin my new life, alone, a long distance Daddy.
Thanks for listening
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