It’s been 1 year and 1 month since it all ended. Most don’t know the details of how it all went down but I have decided to share my story. I am sharing it in hopes that it can help someone going through a similar situation because despite how it feels, life goes on.
After being stationed in Florida for 8 years where we had established friendships and lived less than 6 hours away from family, we moved to Utah, away from all of that. All we had was each other. Just 1 year and a couple of months later we moved again, this time to a remote location in Wyoming. We did it to improve his career; it was his turn (military couples know what I mean).
Things between my ex husband and I were slowly declining. We lived over 50 miles away from his work so his commute, along with retail hours, kept him away for the majority of the day. Wyoming was always meant to be temporary so I chose not to work while we lived there. I was lonely and unhappy. We didn’t spend much quality time together anymore. You probably think you know where this is headed, but you’re wrong.
At one point I mentioned how it seemed like we didn’t have much in common anymore. We talked about where to go from there and decided that we would work to make things better. A couple of days later he walked in the door after work and said he didn’t want to work on things. He didn’t think he wanted to be married anymore. This was in September, just 4 months shy of our 10-year anniversary. Things were rocky from there. Prior to this I had sought out support from the VA; I believed I was suffering from depression. Now I had even more to talk about. I pleaded with him to go to counseling with me. To at least try and work on us before throwing in the towel. He refused.
I took some time for me. Since my family lives in Europe, I went to Georgia and stayed with his mother. He wanted to be single so I wanted him to experience what it was like to be single. I was gone for 3 weeks. We barely talked. When I got back, he was so distant and uncooperative. Sometimes he just wouldn’t come home. He never wanted to talk about the situation. He just wanted to act like everything was okay. I left again. I went back to Georgia for a week.
When I returned I forced the conversation. He said he wanted to take a break. He said this wasn’t about anyone else. He just needed space to figure things out. I needed to work. I couldn’t stay cooped up in that house in the middle of nowhere by myself. We decided that I would temporarily move to Utah and work while we figured things out. In the beginning of December I was in Utah for a drill weekend. I had signed my lease a couple of days before and I was going to be temporarily relocating there a week later. He called me. He was hysterical. He couldn’t believe how stupid he was, how he didn’t put in the work to make our marriage better, and how he almost let me walk away. He told me to break the lease I just signed. He told me he’d move to Utah. I told him to calm down. That things would be okay. We’d see each other on the weekends – we have been apart so many times before being a military couple.
Things were on the up and up. He came down to see me for Christmas and again a week later for our 10-year anniversary. Early January I left for training in Texas and I was gone for 6 weeks. We talked daily. It was business as usual. A couple of days prior to me returning we got into an argument. He was avoiding me. He wouldn’t answer my calls or return my texts. On February 21, I flew back to Utah and decided to make the drive to Wyoming to see him and the kitties. I called him on my way there. No answer.
At around 8PM I pulled into our driveway. His truck was there. Our house at the time had large picture windows in the front. I could see Carla walking around, a friend of ours who was in town with her husband, visiting from Georgia. As I walked up the stairs I saw her. Not Carla. The girl who worked for my husband and who had unashamedly thrown herself all over him during a work event we hosted at our home 7 months prior. She was sitting on the couch. A glass of wine in her hand. My glass.
Shaking, I unlocked the door and walked in. He was in the kitchen, immediately to my left. He said, “Welcome home.” She did not turn to look at me, her gaze was fixated on the television. I looked at him and said, “You, get the fuck upstairs.” I looked at her, called her name and said, “Get the fuck out of my house.” She called his name. I said, “I don’t know why you’re saying his name. There’s nothing he can do for you. Get the fuck out of my house.” I walked upstairs. He was behind me.
On my nightstand was a framed picture of the two of them. Her makeup bag and birth control pills next two it. Her bag was on my bed, along with her lingerie. He just looked at me. I looked at him and said, “Really?” All he could say was, “What did you expect? You moved out.” HA! The nerve! I moved out? Yeah, because his punk ass had asked me to. I yelled. Said all kinds of mean shit to him. I picked up her birth control pills and started popping them out before he made his way towards me to grab them. I picked up the framed photo, threw it on the floor, and them stomped on it breaking the glass. He said, “What are you doing?” “What the fuck does it look like? I’m breaking it.” I lifted her lingerie off my bed and he grabbed it from my hands and put it in her bag.
I walked back downstairs and didn’t see that bitch. My office door was closed and the light visible under the door. I walked in and she was there, on the floor. I told her to get the fuck up and get out of my house. As they walked out the door I told them they were both going to get fired. Just like that, my marriage was over.
He refused to come back to the house while I was there. The next time I saw him in person was June, 4 months later.
I share this with you for a couple of reasons. The first is selfish. It makes me feel good to get it all out there. To share what happened. The second is to help someone else. After 10 years of marriage I never once considered my husband would have an affair. A child of divorce with a father who was a serial adulterer, he always despised cheaters. But it happened.
The road to recovery was long and it’s still ongoing. One year and 1 month later and I have still never been romantically involved with another person. I have used this time to rediscover myself and reconnect with people that matter. I have tried not to partake in unhealthy behaviors that simply mask the symptoms but there is still more to overcome. At times I feel as though I am healed and ready to move on, but there are reminders (anger, hate, jealousy, resentment) that there is still work to be done. Most days are good, but there are others where I still struggle with what happened and I sometimes find myself lacking the motivation I need to accomplish everyday tasks in life.
I just want you to know that whatever life hands you is surmountable, even if it doesn’t seem like it is at the time. It is up to you to believe you are stronger than whatever it is you are dealing with and to make healthy choices that will help you heal. Lastly, be patient. This whole thing takes time.