I stood at the end of the hallway with my oldest and smallest dog in one arm and holding my German Shepherd by the collar with the other as I watched my husband walk out the front door, suitcase in hand. “He will be back”, I thought. “He just needs a few days at his brother’s house to think.” The rational and logical part of me wasn’t thinking that it had never gone this far before during one of our disagreements. After 15 years of marriage, we’d never actually LEFT each other. Maybe one of us slept on the couch, but not this.
My husband had announced to me that he no longer wanted to be married and he wasn’t happy. I remember feeling like I’d been punched in the stomach. My husband was my life. I’d made him so much my life that I’d lost myself in the process and I didn’t know how to be alone.
Standing there in the hallway staring at the closed front door is exactly where I was….ALONE. The silence was deafening in the home that we shared together. I couldn’t sleep that night or many nights after. He wasn’t coming back. I remember feeling so many things at once that I couldn’t separate each emotion if I tried. They all blended together. Hurt, anger, denial, loneliness. It was a tornado effect within ever fiber of my being that I dreaded facing another day.
Six weeks after my separation had begun, I was introduced to one of the IT guys at my workplace. Everyone knew him and all the girls swooned over him. I had seen him in passing and took notice of his good looks but nothing more. Small talk ensued at my desk and I was shocked at how mesmerized I was by this guy. He was extremely charming and very handsome.
After that initial introduction, we didn’t go one day without talking or texting. The relationship moved very quickly and I was completely caught up in this new infatuation because I had felt so unworthy of love after my husband walked out. This new guy made me feel as if I was “the one” and he’d never “met anyone like me before”.
At first, I paid no attention to the unanswered phone calls and texts….nor did I make a huge deal of him having to work late. There was ALWAYS an explanation or a reason as to why these occurrences happened. I will say, there was always something in the pit of my stomach that I knew was “off” but I didn’t want to face it. Not until the first “other woman” walked in the door of his apartment with her own key! Yes…you read that right! He put on a good show for me, however. Called the police, threw her out, called her crazy along with other choice names and then changed his locks. I was beside myself with confusion because this had never happened to me before…EVER! He just explained it away by saying it was his ex girlfriend and he’d forgotten she had a key.
Months later, his mother moved in with him because of financial reasons. Not sure if it was his financial reasons or hers. He had already started asking me for money to pay his cell phone bill or his rent and I was so in love with him that I did it. No questions asked. Little did I know, that he was buying presents for other women with my money. He had several other women besides me and the lies were mounting by the day.
Eight months into our relationship I found out about three other women, all of them worked with me. One of them lived in another state but worked for the same company. He was planning a trip to Mexico with her. His mother knew about all of his girlfriends and she kept his secrets for him. His 15 year old son was also brought up to lie for him. The betrayal I felt was horrible. I turned to alcohol many a night to numb the pain I was feeling. All of this on top of my husband walking out was way too much for me to bear.
I broke up with this guy and after two weeks of being apart, he begged and pleaded for my forgiveness. He even asked if we could go to therapy together. It’s embarrassing for me to say that I did go back. Again, not wanting to be alone and he was the Novocaine for my loneliness.
I never fully trusted him again. That sick feeling in my stomach returned like an unwanted guest when I called and got voicemail or when he didn’t respond to texts. Two months later, I was contacted by a girl he was sleeping with and I found out he was still up to his old tricks even after he made idle promises never to hurt me again. How could I be so foolish!? I had to know he would do this! I ended it once again.
This guy couldn’t cope with the fact that a girl was walking away from him so he kept contacting me and telling me how much he’d changed until ONCE AGAIN, regrettably, I caved. Took him back. I shake my head as I write this because I know how pathetic this all sounds but bear with me….it’s part of who I am and how I got to be as strong as I am today.
It didn’t take long for me the last go ’round because I couldn’t live with who he was much less who I’d become. I drank more and more as each day went by. My parents and I were at odds with each other, my job was suffering and my divorce became final. The scales had tipped under the weight of a toxic relationship. There wasn’t one corner of my world that had a bright spot of happiness. I was in the darkest place of my life. At that point, I didn’t care if I lived. I felt completely HOPELESS! I remember, sadly, that I attempted to end my life with prescription pills and alcohol. I was already mixing Xanax with wine every evening up to that point. I’m lucky I didn’t meet the Lord a long time ago going down the path I was going.
A friend reached out to me that day and forced me to leave my house and sit with her. She let me cry all day. She was there for me. She reminded me of God’s love and saving grace. She reminded me that I was His child and He gave me life as a purpose on this earth. Something clicked that day and I drew closer to God to find peace and happiness again.
Not long thereafter, I broke up with my sociopathic rebound boyfriend for good. I can say only the good Lord above gave me that kind of strength. I was able to burn every picture, delete every text and block him from my cell as well as my email and never look back. Within that same year, he was fired so I didn’t even have to see him at work any longer.
I haven’t been in a relationship since then. Am I scared of a new one? No. I just think I’m extremely cautious now. Plus, now I know that I was never alone to begin with. God was right there with me the whole time. That day, He was holding me when my husband walked out. He was shedding tears when I was crying over my cheating, lying boyfriend. And He was beaming when I decided to rededicate my life to Him, find a church home and become very active in my spiritual journey.
I look back on that time in my life and it’s the darkest that I can ever remember. Probably the most difficult valley that I’ve been in. I know that I was meant to walk down that dark path and encounter a dead end with my marriage, a predatory wolf in sheep’s clothing and finally the fork in the road that allowed me to choose another direction for my life.
And for all of that I’m grateful because I wouldn’t trade who I am today for anything.
Thank you for reading!