Hot topic for sure. It certainly is for me. I was a wife and step mother for almost 10 years. It was NOT a good time, in many ways, for all concerned.
I suppose I didn’t think things through enough before I married him. I knew he came with “baggage”, and I’m not talking about his kids. Kids should not be thought of as baggage.
The baggage he came with was inside of him. A thirst for drink. Some days he just could not get enough. It was like a poison, a toxin. I seriously think he is one of those people who should not drink, because he would get alcohol poisoning. He would drink until he fell down, then get up and DRIVE home, verbally and physically abuse me, and then pass out in bed for 2-3 days. Most times he did this on a week night, and therefore would not call in to work. I learned to lie to his boss, and give him excuses. I think he knew.
I’m not sure how his first wife handled all this, because he blamed her for a lot of his problems. She certainly came with a few of her own, including her own alcoholism and drug addiction. Quite bluntly, she was a coke whore. She would do anything for coke. Destroyed her marriage. Was a HUGE part of destroying my marriage. And destroying her kids, in the only ways that mattered. Like teaching them how to grow up with strong morals and values.
And me? I helped destroy them too. I gave up after a while. Their father would get drunk, purposely I think, on the nights before they would come for the weekend, leaving me to do all the work of taking care of 3 small children, who were bounced around to babysitters all week by their mom, and then sent to an unhappy household every other weekend.
I was so hopeful at first. Like I said, I don’t think I thought things through enough before rushing into marriage. I loved him, that should be enough. But it wasn’t. I did not know the evilness that was out there, waiting for me. How it could turn my soul into a deep, dark black hole, that I barely made it out of. Turns out that I wasn’t as strong as I thought I was. The years of dysfunction wore me down, until I was just as bad a parent as they were.
I was raised to be polite, be seen and not heard, clean, be a good student, and most of respect my elders. These 3 children were raised with nothing resembling that. I was shocked and appalled by the things they had seen and heard, and therefore mimicked. They were troubled before I even came into the picture. I really did try at first. They were cute kids, and they did love their daddy. I wish he had been strong enough to give them what they needed, when they needed it the most.
I suppose he blames me for that. And I will indeed take partial responsibility. I should have walked away when things got bad. Instead I kept thinking it would get better, since it couldn’t get any worse. In fact, right before the end, things were the best they ever were. He was hardly drinking, and we were all getting along just fine.
Obviously it was a false sense of security. Not sure if it was planned that way, on his part, or not. But someone else had set their sights on him, and he played right into her hands. Got drunk, and took off with her, and then got caught red-handed. I think he made the “easy” decision to just give up then, and he basically just left me high and dry with no warning.
I almost didn’t live through the aftermath. There were many times I almost gave up. I did not want to continue living. It was just too hard. I had given up everything for this man. My money, my pride, my love. And now I had nothing left to show for it, except a broken heart and a lot less money.
I took me a few years, but I did forgive him, in my heart. If I ever saw him again, and we could have a conversation, I would tell him that. I would tell him he is still an asshole for what he did to me, but that I forgive him. I do not want that blackness left in my heart and soul. To him, he probably never gave me a second thought. That is probably what hurt the most. He married that woman on the first anniversary of our divorce. I’m sure she planned it that way. She was pretty sneaky like that.
Am I glad I am divorced? Yes and no. Yes, because I no longer have to wait up all night for a drunk to come home. No, because I did love him and always thought things could get better. The eternal pessimist I guess.
I failed as a wife. I failed as a mother. But I did learn a lot about it along the way. I take my responsibility for my failings. I wish I could do things over. Woulda/coulda/shoulda. Not going to happen.
Hopefully it made me a better person overall. I do know that I never want to experience pain and heartbreak like that again. So we shall see what life still has to offer me…..