Your Cheating Heart…

I guess I knew my husband was cheating on me at the same time I became suspicious of his drug activity. His leaving the house late at night, the constant texts and unidentified phone calls he’d have to take in another room, and the “overnight” jobs he suddenly went on.

 

I still remember the day that I actually caught him…one that he still denies, but the eyes never lie. The image, more like a midnight murder mystery movie that plays in my mind from time to time, is one that I can never forget. Our daughter was three at the time. My husband said he had to go back out for a job estimate. It was 9pm. About 30 minutes later I got a phone call from a friend of mine who asked me if my husband was doing a job out her way. I told her that as far as I knew he wasn’t. Then she told me that his van had been by her home … actually, directly across the street, every night that week. I was stunned! But I immediately scooped up our daughter, packaged her up in her car seat and made the drive out there. 

 

Sure enough, there was his van! As I walked up the steps to the home, I called his cell phone… and from within the home I heard my husband distinctly say, “NO, don’t answer that!” I had our daughter in my arms, and I knocked on the door. A girl answered the door, and when she did I could see my husband seated at their kitchen table with a girl on his lap! I felt like I was a butterfly that had flown too close to a blue lighted bug zapper…. I was shocked, then stupidly stunned as all my suspicions were suddenly confirmed. My heart began falling, and I had to get out of there. 

 

His response??? Oh, it was a calmly cool look, and then a questioning, “What are you doing here??” Back at home, he arrived 30 minutes later, he told me that he was only there because his friend wanted to be introduced to one of the girls that was there. So, why was HE the one with a girl giving him some sort of lap dance??

 

I did try to leave him on a few occasions. This being one of them. But he’d always bar my way, blocking me from the door way, and convincing me that I should stay.

 

There were several other times I found out about his cheating heart. Some of his family members would confide in me, and then, when his “friends” would fall out of favor with him, they would message me, telling me about his wicked ways. And then, finally, this past Mother’s Day… we were already separated, and he desperately wanted me back, he told me of all the cheating he had done, but of course was immediately sorry after each one. I found out about SEVERAL occasions. It seemed as though any girl that glanced at him had a chance… and then he told me about hiring hookers when we were in Aruba. 

 

This was way too much for me to handle, and forgive. I began to question everything that I thought we had… and I questioned aspects about myself… like what was it about ME that caused him to stray? We were extremely sexually active. Way more than the average couple … so his wanting “more” seriously confused me. 

 

The big question though was, why did I continue to stay despite knowing deep within my heart that his heart was straying. I guess I truly wanted to believe his lies… I wanted to remain naive… in denial of what was going on within our marriage. I guess I felt that as soon as I accepted what my heart knew was true that my whole world would come crashing down. And who wants to crumble their castles that they’ve built in the clouds?

WAIT… WHAT??? You do DRUGS!!!??? “NOT in MY HOUSE!!”

I was naive. Completely unaware of what was happening within my own walls. And, even though I’d lived most of my life in BIG cities, I never thought that this small town … this distinguished college town had the problems that I was used to seeing in the big cities. I let my guard down. When you do that… THAT is when you get broad sided with the pounding blows of reality.

We were in our second to third year of marriage. Our dear daughter was only 2, and my boys were 8 and 10. I began noticing that my husband was constantly out “working late”, often spending nights away from the home because his work demanded it (so I was told… He’s a flooring installer… carpet, vinyl, tile… and one of the best in this entire area)… but he’d no sooner get home, and his phone would ring…he’d speak in hushed tones, and even so I’d hear him say stuff like, “ok… I’ll meet you by the gas station in 10”. My curiosity was peaked. I began investigating… quietly sitting on the steps when he got his phone calls… I even placed the baby monitor behind some items in our sunroom where he usually retreated) and listened in upstairs.

The results??? Well, I can tell you I was completely in shock! I found out that my hubby was living a double life. I found all kinds of paraphernalia and drug residue. It was then that I found out that he was into pot, cocaine and crack…

I should have known!! I mean, the late night phone calls… the having to leave suddenly afterwards… the not coming up to bed until 3am… and then he was constantly complaining about not having enough money because of all of the bills he had to pay, even though we had the bills split directly in half… and he made TRIPLE the money that I was bringing in as an educator.

At that time, I decided I didn’t need this in my life! I was a teacher!! Being associated with a person who was doing major drugs??? NOT cool!! PLUS, if he were to EVER get busted, then our kids would be taken away from us, as I would be an accessory… they would assume that since the stuff was in our household, I was either doing as well…or knew about it and allowed it.

So, I found an apartment, one that wasn’t too far away, one that I could afford on my own and secretly began the process of moving stuff over there. The day came though that he found out, and absolutely BLEW UP! He barred the door so I couldn’t leave… took my keys and my cell so that I couldn’t go anywhere or call anyone… and held our 3 year old little girl screaming that there was NO WAY I was taking her with me!

I confronted him with what I’d found, and he denied, denied, denied and lied so convincingly that it almost made me question, “what IS the truth???” For a solid week we discussed our future … sometimes calmly, sometimes so heated that it scared me. Even his parents got involved, talking sternly to him about his obligation to family and being thoroughly disgusted with finding out his drug usage as he finally confessed his doings. He then begged my forgiveness telling me that he was NOT addicted, that he could stop anytime he wanted … and with that, I drew up a contract, stating that he was not to engage in that type of activity again, that I would NOT tolerate it, and if he did he would allow me AND the kids to leave peacefully.

That should have been the end, right?? NO… He was good for quite some time… and I was never the trusting soul to him as I once had been. Which is how I noticed that after a few months had passed he was getting those phone calls again. He assured me that they were only things that dealt with his jobs … but I was not convinced.

Finally, one day, he confessed to me that because of the strenuous work he did and how he was constantly in pain as well as stressed about his jobs, he NEEDED the relaxation therapy that weed gave him. He asked if I would consider allowing him to do this “one thing” “since it was legal in California anyway for medical reasons” and he promised me that he wouldn’t do it in the house. With intense trepidation, I agreed. I know… BIG mistake!! Because, as the days turned into months the pot seemed to go from, “just on the job or in the van” to using the sunroom or the porch… to bringing it in our bedroom and smoking it up there.

And then, it was more then that… Because after we went to Aruba the second year, he decided that he could do cocaine and crack because it was “cheaper then weed”. Well, of course when we got back, since I’d been lenient over there, it transferred to over here. And I found myself in the roles of being an enabler and being codependent as I craved his affection and felt that if I allowed this he would stay at home and need me like I so wanted to be by him.

But, as the years went by, he again grew distant, choosing to hide out in the office and play on his computer rather then spend time with me or our family… and he hid out in other areas of the house, bringing over his friends that “did the same things”… low lifes that had no ambition of their own but to chase the next high. And, as the money seemed to dwindle yet again, mostly to support his growing habit, I found out that he began dealing. He even rented one of our units (we own 5 rental units that are “double” homes) out in exchange for a months supply of weed instead of $$.

This scared me, as I NEVER wanted my life to end up like this! I mean, he was getting closer and closer to getting caught!! And this is ONE of the reasons I woke up… literally and physically, to what was around me and took action to separate myself and the kids from this destructive lifestyle. THIS behavior was NOT going to happen in MY house any longer!!

The other reasons will follow…

The Beginning…

I guess I already knew years ago that our marriage was slowly disintegrating. That passion we once shared became a thing of the past as we went through the day to day and settled into “comfortable” routines.

I’d gone back to school and got my degree in Education, to add to my degrees of English and Anthropology… and shortly after that I accepted a job as a High School English teacher. As usual, I threw myself into my work. I picked up other positions that peeked my interest, such as becoming the Drama Advisor/Director and being responsible for the school’s Fall and Spring Productions… and volunteering to spear head the school’s bi-annual published journal of Art and Literature … and then finally becoming a graduating class advisor.

Why did I load myself with so much responsibility? I mean, I had/have three kids at home that were starving for my attention…and because of piling so much on my plate, I was working late into the evenings and then even when I was home, I was grading papers/tests/quizzes or creating curriculum for upcoming classes. I guess it’s because I truly didn’t feel needed. I knew my kids needed me, and when I was home I tried to give each one some individual attention, before I went off to work again. My husband however, had fallen so far away from me though… even before I went back to school… his late nights at work … and then phone calls that caused him to have to suddenly leave caused an emptiness inside of me … one where I felt that his interest, desire and passion for me had vanished into a mist of murky memories.

I received a wake-up call one morning when I ended up having a mini-stroke in my classroom.  I’d been having frequent migraine/tension headaches (which I diagnosed myself) and had been chomping down Excederin like clockwork… but I ended up spending the night  of my eldest son’s birthday in the ER with Neurologists and nurses running all kinds of tests on me. I was released, and told to take it easy for the next few days. But of course, I had to make up lesson plans for my substitute and so, “taking it easy” wasn’t really what occurred… and with my obstinate, workaholic personality, I was back at work a few days later… and then back in the hospital, as I ended up having another mini-stroke.

I was lucky. I didn’t have any permanent damage from these strokes. But my headaches continued, and it was found that I had a small brain aneurysm, as well as the C-2 of my spinal column pressing constantly against my spinal chord. Tense situations and any type of pressure exasperated my condition, and provoked very severe, debilitating headaches. So I went from going on Sabbatical, to medically retiring from my position.

The thing is, I realized that this was a wake-up call. Why?? Because my kids REALLY needed me! With both my husband, and myself working until late at night, they were left in the care of my mother-in-law. I could sense the separation that my children were going through… the sadness in their eyes… the “always wanting to please me” (perhaps they felt that if they did, I would spend more time with them..), and then the always retreating to their rooms. When it came to pass that I had to stay at home again, things dramatically changed. They began to come out of their shells, their eyes began to get that hint of a gleam to them once again, and they began talking to me…not just superficial chatter, but meaningful conversations.

It was then that I also realized that my husband was no longer around. He would always blame it on having to work… but even on his days off, he was either out doing some other errands, or he was physically present here, but absent…distancing himself to another room, working or playing on his computer. Even on our vacations, he was always off by himself, or visibly angry with whatever plans we had made. He seemed to have a cloud of negativity constantly around him. Nothing ever made him happy, or was good enough for him.

So, you can imagine then what occurred when I had to undergo corti-steriod injections, and was placed on tons of medications to “deaden” my nerve and try to control these headaches… I gained a total of about 85 pounds. I went from a fairly thin, small boned Twiggy like person, to a pleasantly plump plus sized woman. He withdrew completely! I tried desperately to lose the weight in order to gain some part of him back, but the steriod shots kept interfering with any type of weight loss I’d achieved.

So, I guess his vows were NOT, “In Sickness and in Health, Til Death Do We Part”… no, it was more like, “take care of me when I’m sick, but when you are, I’ll part”.

I accept my part of what has happened, and is now happening in our lives. But, I’m not the only person who has done wrong. As I found out… He was doing a lot more then what I ever realized when I first said “I Do”… but I’ll go into those things in further posts… there’s 16 years to cover… but I’ll only do the “Reader’s Digest” version… and then get to the day to day events of what is now a Tumultuous Separation and Divorce.