The statistics are alarming these days. Divorce is often not seen as “if” but “when” it will happen. Two people vow to share their lives with each other, for better or worse, in sickness and in health, richer or poorer, until DEATH…not, DIVORCE! But yet here I sit, 2 divorces behind me! The first divorce was partially my fault. I should’ve recognized the signs of abuse early on and never married him. But I didn’t and I left without any question in my mind I was doing the right thing. But the second divorce, no, I had no control over that one. Well, I guess I could’ve waited to let him file after the attack from his mistress, but that’s not what strong women do, right? And I had children that needed me to be a strong woman, to set an example for them to follow. Although I am happily married now and I couldn’t imagine my life without him, my divorce still haunts me! It’s almost like you aren’t married, but you never really get to let go of them if you share a child.
It’s been 10 years since the divorce. I prided myself on always being nice to him in spite of wanting to spit in his face for his part in the assault. I worked REALLY hard to overcome the hate I felt for this man. I knew I needed to let that go in order to co-parent our daughter. So that’s what I did. I invited him to her birthday parties, I kept him informed of everything that was going on in her life, I bit my tongue when he put women before his daughter, I called and tried to help him when he struggled being a father to a daughter! Open communication…always! If he wanted to see her, he was able to see her. No rules, just whatever was best for our girl! I even did my daughters hair for his 2nd wedding. No, I wasn’t always perfect, there were times I told him what I thought, but we were always able to work it out!
Fast forward 2 years in to his 2nd marriage and he cheats once again!! Of course the mistress is also married. He of course had a bunch of blame to place on his wife, but being on the other side of the blame game, I knew better than to believe the stories I was hearing! A few months before their split, we moved across the country due to my husbands orders. My daughter was supposed to fly back and spend Christmas with her dad. When she had been there 3 months before, he had been married to his wife. I begged him not to introduce our daughter to another woman just yet…she wasn’t ready. He assured me he would not! He was still denying the affair, but being from a small town, the rumor mill still traveled from east to west coast with ease! While she was there, she not only met his mistress, but she and her kids went on vacation together. My ex and his mistress slept in the same bed while my daughter and her kids shared the same hotel room with them! Both of them were still married to other people…what kind of example was he setting for our daughter!
Needless to say, when she returned and I found out about the visit, I was upset! I called and told him I didn’t agree! We exchanged words and he threatened to take me back to court. He had agreed on the move but stated he would tell the court I had kidnapped her. Well, we ended up in court that summer. Child support was increased, something I never wanted, but since having a new girlfriend, he suddenly didn’t have the money to help with her extra curricular activities. Since that had been our agreement, I had no other choice but to take him back. I have to pay 100% of the airfare…not a big deal since there are only 3 more visits before we move back.
This is the first time my daughter remembers us arguing after the divorce . It breaks my heart for her, but there is nothing I can do. I’ve tried talking to him, but he refuses. He’s too busy with his new family! My daughter begged him to come to a competition this year, he kept saying he didn’t have the money now that his child support increased, but yet the vacations with his new family continued. During Competition season, she asked again, only to be given the excuse he couldn’t take off work. Well, less than a month after state competition, my daughter found out he went to South America with his mistress/now fiancée! Of course he didn’t spend a thing, but he did take off work to go, which was one of the many excuses he’s told our daughter.
It’s been a rough time for all of us. My husband is also deployed so we don’t have the support from him we are accustomed to having. This past week was bad in particular. My pain level was extremely high, my shoulder is giving me hell and although surgery is scheduled for March, it does nothing to relieve the pain now. The fibromyalgia is off the charts and so I have been an emotional wreck. Add to that an emotional daughter due to finding out another lie her dad told her and another bunch of excuses to make it all better, it really isn’t a good combination! Whenever she’s pissed at him, it all falls back on me! Usually I can handle it well, but with how I was feeling, I finally snapped back at her!
“How is it fair that I always get yelled at? Why is it always me that takes the brunt of what you’re feeling? Why do you scream at me whenever you are mad at him?”
With tears in her eyes she said “I can’t help it, I’m closer to you! I can’t tell him how I feel”
And with that statement, it made it all worth it! I remember telling him when she was younger, he was going to wake up one day and she would be grown up! He needed to take advantage of the time he had with her now before she became a teenager! Well that time is gone, and he wasted it on trying to impress women instead of being the dad to his daughter she deserves!
Just because you divorce, doesn’t mean you can rid yourself of them forever. Often times, the same hurt they caused you during your marriage, you will one day see in the eyes of your child! As a parent, seeing that pain is way worse than any pain he could’ve caused me. I wish I could take it all away, but since I can’t, I will just love her with everything I have! After all, she’s the best thing that came out of that marriage…she’s made every ounce of pain worth it and I would go through it all again!