My marriage should have never happened. But I’m not always good at following my gut. Or listening to the little voice in my head. I follow what I thought was logic and reason, and at the time, all logic was telling me that this man was the best I could/would do and I should get it in while I had a chance.
Awful start, I know. Stupid reason for getting married, I’m well aware. But people do dumb things sometimes, and trust me I’m dealing with the consequences now, and I will be for the rest of my life. Not everything that came from that relationship was terrible. I got to travel the world, which is an experience I will always cherish and value. Most importantly though, I was blessed with my two children. They give me life. No it’s never easy being a single mom, as many of you unfortunately know, but my kids make it worth it. When they smile so big that their eyes squint tight… that’s my joy. I can honestly say that my kids make me happy. Of course they are tons of work (too much it feels like some days) and are wearing on me constantly but they spark joy in me. A joy that had been lost for too long. A joy that took me a while to understand that they brought, but I’ve learned to appreciate now.
When I met E, I was in a man fog. I was literally hosting one night stands with every half decently attractive guy I met online. Probably on average about 2 different guys a week. I wasn’t looking for a husband, I was looking for companionship. Very short term companionship. When one of the guys would call me back after I wouldn’t answer. I had gotten what I needed for the time being from them and was moving on. I didn’t need to go through the fake motions of politeness, because frankly I didn’t care. I was a bitch, I know. But then I met E and invited him over. He was so shy he brought a friend, which I thought was so endearing. We talked and actually got along and his friend just kinda chilled there for moral support or something, I still don’t know, and couldn’t care less. As the night moved along I totally made a move, since I invited him over for one reason… friend or not. We did our deed and it was all good, but then I specifically remember when E went to the washroom his friend came over to me and I was like hell no, I’m not THAT skanky, and so I called out for E to help. He came out from the bathroom and took the guy out, and in that moment I thought maybe this guy had potential, and not all guys were that bad after all. So when he called me the next day, I threw caution to the wind and answered. Way out of character for me but in the moment it felt ok. It felt like maybe he had “earned it”.
So I guess that’s when we started our pathetic “courtship” or whatever you want to call it. We started “dating”. I knew after about 2 maybe 3 months that this was more effort and work then it should be. I knew that I probably deserved better. Someone who would call me. Someone I could talk to. I deserved someone who could hold up their side of the conversation. But I didn’t realize at the time the totality of the mess I was getting involved in.
E was very good at lying. Not because he was a manipulator per say, but more because he didn’t realize it, because he couldn’t keep track of what he had already said, and nothing he spoke was truth. He literally made up everything as the words left his mouth. And my life became a juggling act. Trying to put out fires that his actions caused. Patch up relationships his words damaged. Explain situations that I didn’t completely understand because they were so confusing to even me.
You see at the time, I didn’t know, because E himself didn’t know, was that he is a paranoid schizophrenic. So he literally spent more time listening to the voices in his head then to me. It wasn’t as bad in the start. But after we got married, I noticed a definite downturn. And it was difficult. Something I could explain until I’m blue in the face, but unless you’ve lived through it you can’t fully understand. You can’t describe the feeling of sitting next to someone, trying to have a discussion with them, just the two of you, the person who is supposed to be your most intimate partner in the world, and he’s not there. Oh he’s there physically, but his mind is so far gone that he can’t even answer you until you’ve asked the same question in 6 different ways, dumbing it down each time in hopes that he will “get it” that time. Until your so frustrated you just can’t handle it anymore, and you slowly give up. First just with that conversation, and then over time with any discussion of any meaning because you know it will be to painful to draw out any response of any kind out of him.
A few examples of how E confused my life included how E wanted to go to school, and as his wife I wanted to support him in whatever he wanted to do. So we spent thousands of dollars on courses that he never finished because he kept changing his mind on what he wanted to study. He told me after we were married that he had another kid. So I’m already his wife and now I’m a step-mom? Ok, I guess I just have to go with it. Now we’re sending money back to his ex for the daughter that I had to repeatedly explain to him that he had to support… you know because your her dad. Although his words were that it was in the past and not part of his life now so he shouldn’t have to worry about it. Something that should’ve rang warning bell for me should we ever have our own kids.
Next his dad was sick, and thousands more dollars were sent overseas to support his family. All this money I later found out was for imaginary illnesses and was used to build beautiful houses for my in-laws. While I was working my butt off while both in school and pregnant and we were barely making it here in Canada… I was not happy to say the least. Then I found out he wasn’t even the age he told me he was initially. Like who lies about that? Everything that I thought I knew about him was a lie. Everything I had told to my family and friends about him was wrong. So I have to go back and somehow explain that, no, I in fact know nothing about my husband. It was embarrassing and degrading to say that I married a man I thought I knew, but in reality I have no clue as to who he is.
I guess I just felt I had no reason not to trust what he would tell me, because I never expected anyone to lie about such simple things. As time went on though, I learned the opposite, and that was basically anything E said has to be evaluated and most likely it was chock full of lies. Just because. I learned over time that I couldn’t trust the man I had sworn to trust. I couldn’t believe the man I had vowed to give my life to.
But I decided to do my best to deal with forgiveness. And I wanted to make this “marriage” work. I’m trying to be supportive. I’m trying to help him and his family with whatever I can. I’m trying to move past the lies and embarrassment. I made a commitment with vows that I took seriously. Despite all this junk, I was really trying hard, too hard some people told me, to make it last.
But then one January something happened that I couldn’t move past. Something that no one should move past. I decided that I was worth more. I finally realized that for the last few years I’d been dealing with this man, but my kids deserved everything better than this life we were in.
-Def Leppard/Love Don’t Lie-