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Fri Sep 9 7:35 pm  #1

Joanne's Story

I thought that everything finally fit when I married my husband. We were friends for many years before we began to date, when we first met we were married to other people, and when our respective spouses left us we remained just friends. We would be each others plus one to social events on a platonic level. Eventually, as things normally do, that changed, but we still took things slowly. 

Our children from our previous marriages grew up and moved on and we found each other in a different light. I had always worked and he lived with his family. Although I thought it was strange, he told me he was taking care of his sick Mom. That was completely acceptable to me, most of my family had already passed on so I understood why he was doing this. After 7 years of dating, I was beginning to tire of these excuses, he wouldn't hold a job and would only visit or go out with me if I was paying him gas and for the date. I finally took the bull by the horns and was as honest and blunt as I could be. Since I'm an old army sargeant, that's pretty straight forward.  If he didn't want to be with me that was ok, but it was time to admit it and let me go. Well, long story short, we decided to get married. 

Our wedding was small, just the 2 of us and the pastor with some chapel workers as witnesses. I had no family, but my kids, which didn't come because it was last minute and they lived far away. His family lived in town and no one came. He told me that they were busy and couldn't come. I was ok with it, but a little hurt, I was marrying him not them after all. It wasn't til much later that I found out they all believed I had broken up his previous marriage. Which means I will never be welcome there. It seems his habit of disappearing for hours with no explanation had started long before I ever knew about it.

So we moved into a new house, we both worked for the same company in different depts., so we generally drove to work together. We spent as much time as we could together, or so I thought, and made it work.  Until it became obvious that something wasn't adding up.On the weekends, he would come into our room and tell me he was going to walmart to look around because he couldn't sleep and was taking my car. I was not really awake so I would say ok think nothing of it. Then he began picking fights with me and being really mean when he spoke to me in front of others. I began to see the cracks in his behavior.

It was at that time that I noticed he was going to walmart in the middle of the night every weekend. So one weekend when this happened I told him my car was out of gas and he would have to take his work truck. ( I couldn't drive it, it took me a while to realize he would take my car so I couldn't look for him when he disappeared.) So he took his truck and was gone for 3 hours, the next day I pulled up the gps on his truck and found out where he went and it wasn't walmart.) He went to some gay friends of his, when confronted he went on a rant about gay men and became really angry that I checked up (caught) on him. We had a huge fight, our first. He ended up calling me a gold digger, (which I laughed at and told him that if I were I was doing it wrong, because they don't work)  Things began to change between us after that.

In retrospect, I can see that the manipulation and mental abuse (gas lighting), the lies and verbal abuse were beginning to take their toll on me. When we first got married I had friends and I worked and had various hobbies. One by one, I gave up all of it in an effort to make him love me. To be just a little bit better and try and be what he needed, which turned out to be a paycheck. One of the worst events happened when I lost my best friend when she spent the night with us, and he dropped his shorts in front of her and asked her what she thought. He wanted her to take pictures of him, naked.  When she told me about it, I believed him instead of her, and rightfully so, she cut ties with me, I still miss her friendship.

It was about this time he started quitting his job at the drop of a hat, he once quit with no notice on my birthday and had the nerve to tell me I was being selfish when I got upset. He changed jobs 5 ties in 6 years and would sit home doing whatever for months until things would start getting cut off and then go back to work. We went on like this for 7 years, he always kept me so broke I couldn't leave and eventually I decided I must deserve it and gave up on that too. I became mother, housekeeper, mechanic and everything else, while he just refused to even look at the bills and wanted to only have fun, saying he worked hard for it (??????) .

Anyway, this all leads up to the day when we were finally able to buy a new car (our 21 year old one finally died a tragic death in front of a tanker truck while I was driving on the highway and the transmission gave out on a downhill slope) on the morning we were picking it up, he needed some things printed off his email. So he opened it and went to the store, while printing I couldn't help but notice he had emails that were years old, some dating back to when we first married. I looked, and everything became crystal clear. There were pictures of him with men in various acts, craigslist hook ups, phone numbers, references to things that happened not only in my house, but in my bed, I was devastated. The world kind of turned sideways and never went back to it's upright position. The emails traced through our entire marriage, he had never been only mine.

During this time, my job was my salvation, it had increasing mental demands, it kept my mind occupied with things other than my failing marriage. However, during break at work a few weeks later, found out he had "come out" on the internet, not only that, everyone I worked with knew and had known since before I began working there. Which meant, for as long as I had known them. I asked why no one told me, and was asked "would you have believed us?", well they had me there. I was the laughing stock of my company, I was shamed I barely spoke for six months. What little self esteem I had was completely shattered, as a woman, there was nothing left of me.

I was crushed and trapped, knowing I couldn't make our car payment, rent etc. alone, he wouldn't leave and I had to stay, that was 3 1/2 years ago, since then I had to confront him for over a year before he just couldn't deny it, when I finally faced him with pictures of himself with men.  He tried the "I was just curious" bit, I asked him how he could just be curious for over 7 years. He swore he would give it up, I didn't believe him and still don't. I finally told him not to bother I wouldn't be able to trust him. I have given up, my health has deteriorated and I have gained weight, I used to be so sad.

During this whole time I have watched this marriage die, I think it began to die for me the morning we picked up my car. He stopped even trying to be romantic or be my husband. Sometimes he wants to act like I never found out, sometimes he acts like I'm his enemy. It's all very confusing. The difference is me, now I know it is meant to be confusing, meant to keep me off balance so he can be in control. He has a lot to learn about me.

I'm more like a babysitter now, while I don't know where to go from here, I am learning where to start. I find joy in the little things, my pets, I have started gardening again. He does what he wants and no longer even pretends to care what I think. He will agree when I explain bills that need to be paid, and then go out and do as he likes. He keeps me so broke and dependent that sometimes the most basic of needs can't be met without a struggle. I am now being sued by no less than 4 companies, and more waiting. In fact the only good thing about being so broke is that my paycheck is too small to with hold earnings from. He has destroyed my credit, even if I had the money to leave no one would rent to me. I'm not anywhere near young and don't know if I can or want to trust anyone anymore.

I am no longer on antidepressants, but sometimes still think that the only way out will be my grave, and I'm not even sure I care. Those thoughts are the bad days. On those days I keep putting one foot in front of another and hold onto God, because until I found this site I was so alone. I know my story is long, but now I know there is still more story to come. There are many more details, years of them. While I do have years of memories and regrets, I am beginning to see light and look forward to the future. 

It's not over for me yet, I am editing this story because it is beginning to change. I finally made the it through the shock phase, and remembered myself. Yes, she was right there in the mirror all along, I saw my own spark just the other night. Now the new phase is anger, but it is less painful and far more motivating. 

Recently, my soon to be ex gid husband was accepted into a naturopathic medical school across country, in what he says is a more "accepting" area to live, where he can be himself. He will be leaving in May to attend, he says he will send for me when it's time. Well, I hope for his sake that this move is just his excuse to leave because the only thing that will be joining him are divorce papers. I hope he enjoys them, I wish you peace and love.

Last edited by JJ1966 (Thu Dec 22 9:10 am)

Go not quietly into that great, good night......Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

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