On this exact day 12 months ago I visited my estranged husband in his new flat. At this point he had been gone just over two months and we hadn’t spoken a word in over a month.
He just went AWOL in typical narc style he just shut me out, totally and completely. Like I never existed, we – he and I, our children and I never existed.
He was shocked to see me there, understandably so, as he never expected that I would find out where he live. Find out I did. And so there we were. Dead of night, snow on the ground and over an hours drive from where I lived, we lived. Standing face to face.
On the drive over I was terrified what I would find there, how I would react actually seeing him. What he may say. Would she be there? But when the moment came it was clear he was more petrified than I.
Calmly I told him I only wanted a few moments of his time, that I had a few things to say and then I’d go. He stepped aside and let me in. Observant as always I couldn’t help but notice his pitiful existence, our old garden furniture as his dining room table (actually there wasn’t a dining room just a kitchen and living room, no bigger than out old family bathroom). No niceties, no photos. Just his books and DVDs adorning the nasty ikea shelving.
Big shot Director hey?!
Sitting in the corner I spy a pair of Dr Martin boots. The rebel in him, of course he knew I hated them; we used to joke about him “not being allowed” them, so it’s not a shock to me that the second he is “free” he goes right out and buys a pair… #midlifecrisis!
Anyway I make my way in and start my well rehearsed speech. Me perched on the window sill, him on the edge of the old sofa bed from Oliver’s bedroom, his eyes firmly set on the floor. I tell him that I forgive him. That he is a good man. I don’t care who he is with or what he is doing but I can’t allow him to make the mistakes he is making without at least trying to make him see sense. That the only people who really matter in all this mess are the boys. Our boys. All we need to do is to pull together; communicate and we can make it work without hostility or conflict. We didn’t have to be “one of those couples”
Albert is in the car seat in the floor. He hasn’t even looked at him. I remove him gently from his harness and place him smiles beaming on his knee. I tell him that he loves to sing “if your happy and you know it”. To my surprise he starts singing it, clapping Albert’s hands with the rhythm. Albert of course giggles and charms in his special little way. My heart melts.
For a moment, he is smiling, engaging, I see the old him. The him I fell in love with, not this shadow of a man who is now no more than a stranger to me. But it’s over as quickly as it began, as he takes to his feet and hands Albert back to me. And he’s gone.. Retreated back in to his new cold hard emotionless shell. Never to be seen again!
And so we are done. I leave but not before I see him hide his tears. The mother in me wants to make it better, I’m compelled to. I place Albert down and I hold him. At first it’s awkward. He just stands there, then slowly he let’s go and holds me back as he cries. I tell him everything will be ok, to let it go.
Ops..I hit a nerve. He pushes me away and paces up and down the room, animatedly telling me I don’t understand; he’s done so many terrible things, he had so much to deal with. I offer to help. I’m refused.
I leave to take the long, cold and frankly dangerous drive home but I feel calm. Hopeful. There’s a part of me that feels like I’ve reached him. Now I’ll give him space and when he is ready we can then move forward.
A couple of weeks later. My optimism is shattered. Divorce papers. Filed on Nov 2nd. He had already filed when I saw him and yet he never even mentioned it, and his reasoning…such lies. I mean not slight exaggerations just out and out lies.
Here’s a snippet! ” he was trapped in our marriage due to me being totally and utterly dependant on him for everything” “I treated him like a Slave” “I never took any responsibility for the home or the raising of my son from a previous relationship!”
No mention of his affairs, his illegitimate child – 6 weeks older than Albert, or the fact that I was the higher earner and supported him out of work on three occasions, that he moved in with me in to my home, I did all the running around with Oliver, we had a cleaner in the home and I did all the cooking and shopping, paying bills etc
So I ask, define slave please? define dependant! No let’s go with an easy one-define trapped!
Little did I know at that point exactly how much of a liar he really was, a real fantasist. But it wouldn’t take long for that story to be told..and sadly it’s not done yet!
Day after day more information comes to me. Most of which I ignore. But I can’t help but wonder where did he go wrong. Where did we go wrong? What could I have done to help.. I mean I know this isn’t my fault but maybe if I had seen the signs earlier it might not have got this far.
Then today, 12 months on I receive yet another surprise package of delightfulness. Videos (of the xxx nature), messages between him and maybe another 6-7 women, lots of photos of more women, new ones, some have children. More innocent lives in the process of being ruined.
My stomach turns. My hands shake and I light a cigarette.
It still hurts!
For Fuck’s sake! It still hurts!
I hate that it gets to me and I’m choking on my own words even saying it, but it’s true. I don’t love him that I know, and I’ll never ever have him in my life again but it hurts to see this.
The sweet photos quotes he used to send me now go elsewhere – in multiples! He plays with someone else’s child yet ignores ours… Where’s the logic in that? He clearly likes being a dad or maybe it’s just easier to get a single mum for a fat, overly hairy yet balding middle-aged man wearing Dr Martins, the kids just part of the deal.
That aside and back to me; Degraded, stupid, embarrassed and sad. That’s what this does to me, still 12 months on. Will it ever stop?!