Archives

The conflicted married man

obsessed

Many times on this blog I have mentioned the man that was the best sex of my life.  If you recall, he is married, but I didn’t realize that at the beginning.  We met for what was supposed to be a one night stand, which turned into a little more. 

It’s been over a year since I saw him last but we still keep in contact.  He often asks me to meet up at times that are inconvenient or impossible.  Other times we set up plans and he flakes out.  If it were anyone else I probably would have been done a long time ago, but he is A-MAZING and I let things slide.

I figure he’s married and I know that it is hard to plan, especially with him living a few hours away.  Nevertheless, it gets annoying at times, being cancelled on.  Still, we are talking about a man, who within minutes of meeting me, off Craigslist, at a hotel, managed to make me cum REPEATEDLY, like 50 times in an hour and a half time period.  This, after me having NEVER been able to cum with another man before in my life!!  He’s like some kind of superhuman sex God, I’m not even kidding!!  After that it just got better!!

We’ve actually only met up a couple of times.  The rest of it has been this flaky, weird behavior with him that I keep talking about.  Married man shit.  Yet, we text, he asks me about the guys I meet and the swinger parties, and of course wants an occasional picture.  Once his wife caught him texting me and that was a problem.  Still, 3 weeks later he was contacting me again and even added me on Facebook. 

He’s cool, I like him, but it is not an emotional thing, other than right after having sex because he does tend to affect me.  He was talking crazy, with this stuff about me moving into one of the houses he owns, having his baby and paying me 3,000 a month to do so.  I thought at first he was just saying that because we were so into the sex and it was part of a fantasy, but he has brought up me moving there at other times and again said things about wanting to get me pregnant.

On Facebook, and from the things he has told me about his life and kids, he appears to be the ideal, upstanding, church-going, family man.  His wife posts cutesy pictures of the two of them together and tags him in it.  She is pretty and seems sweet from all I can see.  The kids are adorable and one is actually from another mother, who oddly enough is now dating a guy I went to high school with!  So I see their pics on there too, lol. 

Anyhow, that’s the backstory.  He makes good money and travels a lot for his business. He lives a few hours away in a big city, but when we originally met he was here for some sort of convention. 

A couple of days ago he texted me saying he had plans to see a client in a town that was about an hour from here.  He had deliberately scheduled it at the end of his day hoping to see me before he had to head home. Letting me know a day in advance is an improvement on his usual “hey I am in xyz town can you be here in a couple of hours” type texts. I said I would check and see if my ex would take the kids and if so, sure I would try and meet up.

It all worked out and I gps’d it and was heading his direction.  He’d made sure to check with me ahead of time and warn me that he would be in meetings and unable to answer the phone until after that was over but said just start driving.  He wanted me to come earlier but I wasn’t able to head out until after my ex came home at 6. 

I was on the road, on a highway I’ve never taken, when he called to ask where I was at.  He said not to meet him there after all but in a different city, that he thought was closer.  I was familiar with the second city but was going completely in a different direction, well parallel, to it.  Unfortunately I had driven a ways before we figured that out.  It was dark, my gps on my phone kept saying it couldn’t access data and neither one of us knew for sure where the hell I actually was.

I finally got it to take me back to the familiar highway that would get me to the city he wanted to meet up in, but I had to drive 22 miles to get there, on some scary, dark, back roads.  Did I mention I was wearing heels?  Not just heels, but heels and a bra and panties, with a trench coat, per his request.  I did bring some other clothing but had mostly stripped it off due to the cold sweat I had broken out in from all the stress of being lost in the dark.  I was also without ANY kind of phone service for the 22 miles I was on that road.  Ugh.  I was driving around all these curves, in heels and lingerie, terrified, in the dark, on some back country road in the middle of nowhere. 

NO ONE else could have gotten me to do this, lol.  I swear.  He is just way too freaking good in bed!!  Still, I was a tad irritated.  Then I finally get to a city I recognize and am finally able to call him. It turns out I have BACKTRACKED on that freaking highway.  I’m only about 15 miles out of town and still need to drive almost an hour more.  Sigh….

I asked if it was getting too late, if he still wanted me to come.  He vacillated a bit because he wanted to get home at a decent hour, but said he REALLY wanted to fuck me.  I kept driving.

Finally, I arrive in the parking lot off the highway, where he is waiting in his car.  I get out, in my trench coat and heels and walk over.  He lets me in and I ask where he wants to go now.

He says “there is something we need to talk about”.  Oh God, this doesn’t sound good.  What could it possibly be?

His wife had just called him, telling him she loves him.  Now he is feeling guilty.  He doesn’t think he can do this.  He didn’t used to feel guilty but he had promised her and God that he wouldn’t do this anymore and now here he is and she calls to tell him she loves him.

I say it’s ok.  I understand and I am not mad at him.  He apologizes.  Then he just stares at me.  “I want to fuck you so bad”.  “God, I want to fuck you so bad”.  He grabs my hair and keeps staring, lustfully, and stroking my head.  He goes in for a kiss, then pulls away, looking guilty.  “I can’t do this”. 

I said it’s ok.  He says he wants to fuck me so bad but he promised and he needs to be a better man.  He keeps apologizing and says he will fill my tank up with gas.  I said it’s ok, I don’t want you to hurt anyone or feel guilty.  I’m not mad at you.  He keeps staring and staring at me.

Then, suddenly he starts driving.  I was like “where are we going?” and he wouldn’t answer.  The look in his eyes was almost crazy.  I asked again and he said nothing, making me start to freak out inside.  It was dark and he was driving me towards the woods.  I was like “where are you taking me?” and he pulled over in a dark parking lot corner near the woods. 

He started kissing me and pulled open my coat.  His mouth went down to my nipples and he started sucking on them.  Then he pulled away and looked guilty again.  “I can’t”.  He said he wanted me really badly but he loves his wife. I said it’s okay, I understand.  I’m not mad.  You can take me back to my van.

He kept apologizing as we drove back and had me follow him out to the gas station.  He put about $25 in my tank and asked if that was enough.  I said it was and he said “I’m sorry” and that he felt bad having me drive all the way up there.  I said it was okay and he looked at me again before turning away to walk in the convenience store.

I drove off and halfway home texted “goodnight :/”.  He said “sorry” and when I got all the way back I said “sometimes temptation is hard to resist”.  He was most likely home with his wife by then, and never responded.

Sigh.  I really wanted to fuck him.  But I also feel bad.  I’m not trying to be a homewrecker or tear apart anyone’s happy family.  I really do think he loves her and she is probably a great wife.  From what I gather I think he has most likely been a serial cheater, though he did say it’s been a long time since he did anything. 

I struggled a little bit, feeling rejected, but I know and understand his reason.  Still, a big part of me wanted to tempt him to fuck me again anyway.  The other part is going “awww….how sweet, he’s such a good guy” and partly feeling guilty for leading him astray. 

I wonder if I’m ever going to hear from him again?  Can he really keep it up, resisting temptation?  He told me when we first met that he thinks he is a sex addict.  He said “you are too, aren’t you?  I can tell”.  According to him, he’s never met a woman like me, that was already such a freak before meeting him, though he claims he’s turned others out.  He couldn’t believe I just walked up to his hotel room to fuck after communicating on Craigslist and said he’d never expect that from a woman of my caliber and looks. 

Anyway, I’m a tad bit torn.  I want him to be happy and not feel so guilty but again I don’t want to give him up!  I know his wife would never leave him in a million years.  He’s too good in bed, makes good money and is a good dad.  A woman’s dream.

 Ladies, if you ever want to keep a guy from cheating, now you know.  Let him know you love him and make him feel guilty.  Seems like it works better than anything else I know of.  He said before he didn’t used to feel guilt about it.  Now he does.  I’m guessing they must be trying to work on their relationship, maybe with counseling or something.

Anyhow, that’s where we are at.  I hope if he ever decides to cheat again though, that it is with me.  I won’t interfere if he is doing what he believes is right but if he changes his mind I am not going to fight that either!  I couldn’t, he is just too darn good!!  I guess he has been living vicariously through me a bit with the stories of my life and parties and all that too. 

Now I know why he is so darn flaky.  I hate the guilt.  Yet I really do understand.  I felt that way too, at times, when I was cheating on my husband, even though I felt it was with good reason.  It took me awhile to come to terms with it all. 

I felt a little resentful that he seemed to be putting me in the role of evil, seductive, temptress but I have to remember he is deeply entrenched in Christianity too.  He is the moral, upright, kind of guy you see in church every Sunday and Wednesday night.  Kinda like my ex husband.  Yet the sex, OMG, I have never felt so much passion out of someone in my life.  He said he felt the same way about me.  I wonder if he will cave?

 

 

It’s my Blogiversary!! :D

Ladies and Gentleman, I am proud to announce that it is the official one year anniversary of the day I opened a WordPress account and began this wonderful blog! Woohoo!  I am thrilled to see that in that amount of time I have acquired 226 followers and even more happy that so many of you have taken the time to interact and comment on my writing and experiences.  I’ve even received blog award nominations a total of 14 times!  Wow!! 

So glad I decided to come here and put my thoughts to good use.  It’s like therapy for me to write about what’s in my head and and others get a peek into my interesting life.  I’m having my cake, eating it and sharing it with all of you!! 😀

Image

It’s funny that right around this time weddings have really been on my mind.  Not just the little emotional fantasy voyage my mind has been on regarding the Producer, but other weird little happenings as well. 

The other day, Friday the 13th to be exact, my ex- husband’s girlfriend texted me again.  She wanted to know why our marriage ended and if he had ever cheated, so I gave her the short version. 

I said “Not that I know of.  He fell for another woman that he was working with but I am pretty sure they never had sex.  He told the marriage counselors that he would leave all of us for her if she wanted him though.  Really our marriage was over long before that.  We weren’t having sex hardly at all and he said he was never attracted to me.”

I mean, all that is the truth.  There is a lot more I could have said but I was kind of taken aback by the question in the first place and didn’t want to trash talk.  Yet, at the same time I felt like I should warn her.  Warn her about the lack of sex and let her know that if it is happening to her she’s not alone.  I mean, what do you say?  There’s no way I could fit 13 years of marriage into a text.

Anyway, she had a reason for asking because right afterwards she informed me that he had proposed to her and that’s why she wanted to know.  Holy cow!  She has claimed in the past that they were going to tie the knot, and even had a date set, but he told me that they weren’t at that time.  This, however, sounds more serious.

If any of you all remember the blog post I wrote about six weeks ago, where I got a text from his number asking if I still think about him, but he later said it was her drunk texting on his phone, well, that makes it extra weird.  One of my sisters, her child’s father did something similar right before he proposed to his current wife.  He just had to check and make sure she wasn’t still interested first, and I wonder if that was what it was all about, but I guess I’ll never know!

In any case, I would never want to get back with him but at the same time it brings up some feelings.  It’s again a reminder of the family I dreamed of having being shattered and totally lost as our marriage fell apart.  It’s a reminder of all the plans we had for our life together and how those came crashing down.  Another reminder of my own failure to provide the perfect home I thought I could have for my children, and that I’ll never have that chance again.  Ouch.

As another reminder, when I was getting my nails done later that day ,(finally using that gift certificate I won, lol) I picked a glittery neutral pinkish color, thinking it would go well with most of my clothing and toes.  The woman said “oh, that is ‘June Bride’, were you a June bride?” and mentioned that she had just gotten married this June.  Sigh… 

Yesterday I was at the park with my kids and took my 3 yr old in the restroom.  Inside was a woman dressed in a wedding gown attempting to use the restroom while three bridesmaids held her dress.  That was entertaining anyhow.  What’s the message in that?  Marriage is shitty?  Haha

For the most part I’m not too worried about my ex getting married.  I’m thinking it doesn’t really affect us that much since he is already fairly distant from the kids.  It might mean he won’t want to take part in our tax return deal, where I allow him to claim a couple of the kids in exchange for half his refund, so in that sense not good for me.  Other than that, I don’t know. 

Today when I dropped the kids off for their (day) visit, he didn’t come out to the vehicle to get them.  I called and he said he might be there in a minute.  We waited awhile and finally his girlfriend came out, which was awkward, since I normally avoid her.  She said he was just waking up.

So I text my son and ask if everything is okay and call the other one, and they say, it is now, our dad just got home.  What?  I don’t get that.  They were lying to me about him being there, which makes no sense, unless he just didn’t want to talk to me. When I called and texted was like 15 minutes after I left and he had known we were coming. He had even texted me like an hour before to make sure what time (and he was supposedly asleep?).

 His girlfriend is really jealous and seems to think I still want him, regardless of me telling her multiple times I don’t.  She has gotten upset if I talk to him about anything that isn’t related to the kids, even finances.  I don’t know if this marriage thing is going to her head to the point where she thinks she has to control his every move or what.  She is kind of like that and I wonder if that isn’t why they are together.  He did say, when we were divorcing that the reason he wasn’t as attracted to me was because I was “too nice” and not bossy enough.  (I know, wtf? Right?)

I wonder what this means for the future because if he is unwilling to talk to me even about things with the kids, it is going to make me feel uncomfortable leaving them there.  I have full, sole custody and he doesn’t show a whole lot of interest in them or with helping with our difficult teenage son anyhow.  I think it would make me feel a lot less guilty about packing up and moving far away if it comes to that.  I guess only time will tell.

Talk about a messed up week…..

babymamaphoto

In my zeal to complete the Shine On Award I completely forgot to mention another disturbing thing that happened this past week.  This time it involves a different man, my ex-husband.  I’ll admit it totally threw me off guard and was more than a little emotionally upsetting.

I received a text, one night, at midnight, as I was sitting at my computer.  It was from my ex-husband’s number, asking “do you still think of me sometimes?”  What. The. Fuck.????!!   I was flabbergasted!  It didn’t sound at all like something he would say.

So I wasn’t sure what to think.  It crossed my mind that perhaps it wasn’t him writing the message, but his girlfriend.  She is super jealous and seems to think I’m still interested in him, which is preposterous, but I guess she has no way of knowing better.  She also seems to take the fact that I am single as a personal threat, as though that indicates I’m still pining over him.  If only she knew, but she doesn’t.

It wouldn’t be the first time she had messaged me using his phone, without saying who she actually was and causing confusion. She had also sent messages before from her own number, using underhanded little jabs regarding my singledom and supposed inability to get a man.  And this, this just didn’t make sense coming from my ex-husband.

So my immediate response was “is this a joke?”  The person on the other end said “No, why?”  I started to doubt my first impression, what if it really was him?  What if he was actually asking me this question?  Was he having any kind of regret over our failed marriage?  I was so confused.

I responded “I just can’t imagine why you would ask me that”.  The return text said “Idk either”.  Now I felt kind of bad.  What if I was hurting his feelings with my abruptness? 

In any case, who never thinks of someone they were married to for almost half their life?  Sure he crosses my mind, though it is usually with remembrances of the more hurtful things he said and did.  I try to block out the better times because it comes with the painful recognition of failure at something I wanted so badly to work out, for us and for our children.

I didn’t know what to say.  Who was I actually talking to?  How could I be honest without leading him on if he were actually having thoughts of reconciliation?  I finally responded “I mean, I was married to you for 13 years and we were together 15.  Of course you cross my mind but not in a wanting to get back together ever sort of way.”

I hoped that answer would be sufficient.  For him, for his girlfriend, whoever might be reading.  I didn’t get a response until late the next morning.  In the meantime I lay down to sleep in a jumble of confusing, conflicting and bewildering thoughts.  I remembered things like the Valentine’s day gift he brought me after the divorce and how shocked I’d been that the person who’d hardly ever thought of me during our marriage managed to do so after.  I had simply thanked him and left it at that, but it was fucking with me.

The next morning the text I got from him said that he wasn’t texting me the night before, that his girlfriend had too much to drink and he wasn’t sure what all she said to me.  I commented that yeah, it didn’t sound like something he would say.  Still now, I guess I’ll never know, was it really her being a manipulative bitch or was it him and he used that excuse to cover up what he’d actually been thinking?

In either case it really fucked with my head, being in the emotional state I’ve been in already.  Kind of emotionally cruel but I guess he was passive aggressively like that during the marriage too. 

His girlfriend, on the other hand, just has this obsession with thinking I want him back so most likely it WAS her but it’s ridiculous.  I mean, she really seems to see me as a threat and I’ve no interest in him whatsoever, despite having had children together and trying to make our marriage work for years and years.  It didn’t.  I’m done. 

She invited me once to a BBQ at her house, last summer.  Not knowing that I see men on my own I think she thought she’d try and hook me up with someone.  My kids were there, and my ex-husband, as well as her mother and grandmother and daughters and cousins. 

His girlfriend and all her family are black.  I and my ex- husband and kids are white. They invited one other white guy to the BBQ and he was REALLY trying hard to hook up with me, which I was avoiding at all costs.  She was super encouraging of trying to help him get to know me.   I suspect it was a set up. 

I had to leave early (to go on a date) and soon after the guy texted, even though I’d declined to give him my number.  He’d gotten it from her.  UGH!

There is no way in HELL I would date a friend of theirs, even if I’d been attracted to this guy.  I just have no interest in associating with them or letting them know my business.  Not to mention it was super awkward with my ex- husband there looking on as the guy followed me around.  That, and her general fakeness and introducing me as his “baby mama”.  Please.  I was MARRIED to the man for 13 years and we have children together, it was a hell of a lot more than that.

I don’t blame her for being jealous of me.  She weighs twice as much as I do and is physically less attractive.  That’s putting it nicely.  Most people were in shock when she and my ex started dating after the divorce.  He’s a very physically fit and good looking man. My first thoughts were this lady is really ghetto/ratchet.  Sorry, but it’s true.

The woman has a police record for domestic assault (3 times) and dui’s, she’s been in jail since he was with her, supposedly for violating probation.  I normally try and avoid her.  I’m not looking for a fight.

My kids are required to visit with them and to be fair she has been nice to them thus far.  She got them Christmas presents and my ex doesn’t do that kind of thing on his own.  She bought my 3 year old daughter a (black) doll and I thought that was really sweet.  She also wanted to pierce my daughter’s ears to which I said NO (!!!) but I think her intentions were good. 

I feel sorry for her because I think my ex treats her similarly to how he did me and her self- esteem doesn’t seem really high either.  She actually has it worse in some ways, like she was the one working and providing everything for the family while he sat on his butt with no job for almost 8 months.  It’s easy to say I would have left him if I were her but obviously I can’t talk.

She thinks they are getting married and even had a date set last year but it never happened.  I have my doubts.  I only heard about that because my sister (who is half black, so I guess slipped past the radar and she didn’t recognize was someone she didn’t know) had decided to friend her on Facebook out of curiosity, unbeknownst to me.  She called to tell me about the posting regarding the upcoming wedding.  I said something about it to my ex and he denied it was going to happen any time soon.  I guess it never did.

So really, I feel sorry for her and I don’t hate her or anything but I try and avoid her.  My sister has since been removed off her FB, lol.  In any case, it was pretty low to text me pretending to be him, if she did.  I wish she wouldn’t worry about me wanting him back because I don’t.  Hopefully if she’s the one that texted it will allay her fears and if it was him he will have had his curiosity satiated, but yeah, another upsetting incident for me this past week.

Oh, and I’m not getting to see the Producer today.  He is in serious pain with his hip and going to the ER.  No idea what is wrong.  Hopefully it’s not something really serious.

How I got out

FreeBird

All these posts about my ex have probably left you all wondering a couple of things.  You may be wondering why on earth I stayed and put up with it all or how I can refer to him as “passive” when his behavior and actions, from the way I’ve described him thus far, just don’t sound “passive” at all.  Well, you’re in good company because sometimes I wonder those very things myself!

An important piece of the puzzle, perhaps, is that when I first met my ex- husband, I was running away from something else in my life.  I had left home and gone away to a small, conservative, college out in the middle of nowhere.  I had reasons for attending that school, including a full scholarship, but I was also trying to get away from a lifestyle that I knew would be my downfall if I continued to live it, as well as from some of the people involved, one in particular. 

My life as a teenager deserves a whole nother series of posts, or perhaps a book, lol.  To try and explain it all here would be too much, but in short I was hanging out with folks that one man described as “crawdads in a bucket”.  As he put it, when one of us tried to climb out, the rest would grab on and pull that one back, so none of us were going anywhere.  As we all know, the fate of a bunch of crawdads in a bucket isn’t a good one and sad to say neither was the fate of many I left behind when I managed to get out of there.

 I know far too many people who are now in prison, or dead.  The ex -boyfriend that I most needed to get away from was in prison at the time I left and as far as I know still is (though he may have gotten released and put back in a few times since).  I couldn’t risk him knowing where I was, should he get out, due to his stalking behaviors and insane jealousy.  Not only that but he was feared by many and the police associated me with his name and would follow me around questioning about him, forcing me to lie and deflect information.  They were convinced he was the “biggest gang member” in the area and surrounding counties, though small town cops do tend to exaggerate, lol.  In any case he was bad news and even to this day it is hard to get disassociated with his name among the folks back home. 

Yes, my lack of good judgment regarding the male gender seems to have gotten me into more than my fair share of trouble in life.  My thug phase is long over but I still sometimes question my ability to make the right choices.   I like to think I’ve learned a lot and am much better at screening them, but it’s hard to trust myself in that regard.

 In my defense I had a horrible example.  My mom’s choices in men were notoriously awful and left us with a trail of abusive stepfathers as well as have gotten her into all kinds of hot water since then.  I try very hard not to emulate that and it’s one of the reasons I’m so afraid of bringing guys around my kids, no matter how nice they seem, and mostly avoid it.  Even the Professor, who so far has been great to all of us, has spent a limited amount of time around them.

So anyway, I was still fairly fresh out of Dodge when I met my ex, the first semester I was in college.  I already knew I needed to make some radical changes in my life and I guess someone like him and with his ideas, seemed like just the ticket.  He wasn’t completely wrong saying I needed to get away from various folks in my life and get on a different path.  It just all went….too far in the other direction. I was blind too, to his faults or that he was being “controlling” because compared to the likes of the guys I’d been with in the past he seemed extremely “tame”.

Also, outside of politics and religion or debating those topics, my ex really was very laid back.  Even in a heated debate he would smile and come across as a “nice guy”.  He’s very non-confrontational outside of discussing his beliefs.  Post- divorce, in some ways, that’s a good thing and I also thought so in the early years of our marriage and child rearing but I’ve since come to acknowledge that he uses very passive aggressive tactics to get what he wants or to “get back” at people.

To give a recent example, he enjoys undermining my parenting by doing things he knows will cause trouble or make me upset.  Like I would bring them for visits and he would load up the children with energy drinks right before sending them home in the evening.  He even gave an energy drink to our two year old once.  When I expressed serious concern about that he laughed and acted like it was a big joke.  During our marriage he behaved similarly, making me out to be the “mean” parent who insisted on the children following rules and then would turn around and encourage them to disobey when he was there, laughing like it was funny. 

If I tried leaving him with the kids for even long enough to go to the grocery store he seemed to make sure I regretted it.  Some huge disaster would happen right after I left, the house would be completely trashed, he would call every 5 minutes asking questions about things as if he didn’t know what to do, anything to infringe upon my time alone.  He actually still does this.  Whenever the children are with him, he texts and harasses me endlessly, asking when I’m coming back even though I’ve been gone less than an hour.  The Professor and other guys I am with will be like “ignore him, he can wait” and mostly now I do but he knows darn well that I am going to be on edge, worrying that it might be a real issue with one of the kids.  He does this even when I’ve given a specific time that I am going to be back, and then acts to the kids as though I have failed to show up when I am “supposed to” and gets them calling me too, hours before we agreed upon.  It’s all a continuation of his emotional sabotaging.

The behaviors were rarely “in your face”, though a couple of times he was outright cruel, telling me things like that the reason he wouldn’t sleep with me was because I was “ugly”.  He later apologized but in a way that made me question his sincerity.  I asked why he would marry someone he wasn’t attracted to and he said that’s not why you get married, you don’t base it on looks. 

The thing that bothered me the most was that if he honestly found me unattractive there were so many other men who wouldn’t have.  In marriage counseling, towards the end, when he fell in love with another woman, he also used the excuse of my “unattractiveness” but I’m not hearing that from anyone else.  I think I’m actually, to most people, pretty decent looking.  So he changed it to that I was “sexually unattractive” and well, I’ve never had another guy tell me that, ever, despite the crushing blows to my self- esteem.  I’d go so far as to say the vast majority of men seem to find me quite fuckable!!

Those things hurt and caused me all kinds of stress but some of his behavior was just downright odd.  Like his lack of protective instinct towards me and the kids.  There were a couple instances, in the middle of the night, where I had to get up and deal with a possible intruder.  Like once our dog was barking and it turned out to be a woman breaking into one of our vehicles and I opened the door and yelled out at her what was she doing and she ran off with a bunch of stuff she had taken and was eventually caught up with by the police, but the ex just lay there in bed and let me deal with it all, wide awake.

Another time the dog got out and was running circles around a man in the street, barking.  I had to go and try to pull her away from him, but he was drunk and leering at me and acting aggressive towards the dog.  I had tried to get my ex to come help but he refused to get up out of bed.  Again, he wasn’t asleep, just didn’t want to deal with it.

When I had the affair, I once had to drive home late at night and my affair partner was freaking out that I would be all alone driving and telling me to call him if I needed anything and lock all my doors and keep the windows up and obviously all concerned.  He could not understand how my ex could not be worried about me doing that but he didn’t give a lick.  He wanted the car back so he could go somewhere in the morning and could care less about my safety on the road.  His entire attitude made me feel so unloved.

Gosh I could go on and on about specific instances but I won’t because I’m emotionally wore out from just talking about it.  I will point out the time he dumped out an entire bulk bag of shredded cheese through all the layers of the refrigerator just because he was mad that I hadn’t made his lunch for him before work and he had to make his own.  I was dealing with a fussy nursing baby and unable to get to it in time.  He knew darn well that I couldn’t just leave all that mess there while he was gone and would feel as though I had to clean it. It’s a perfect example because  that was really typical, if exaggerated behavior on his part.  While on the surface we rarely ever argued or even talked much outside of his lectures on politics and religion, he was doing things to deliberately get at me.  Often it involved making big messes because he never cleaned and knew I was overwhelmed as it was trying to keep up with everything.  So if he felt irritated with me he’d do things to make my job 10x harder.

So whyyyy did I stay??  What the hell was wrong with me??  I can only say that I didn’t feel like there was another option.  We’d married “till death do us part” and I was so determined to honor those vows. 

It’s funny how when you are married everyone chides you not to “give up” so easily and tells you how divorce shouldn’t be an option and how you need to “work harder” on your marriage.  Then, after you get divorced they are all saying “why didn’t you leave earlier??”  Umm…  wait a minute!  I thought I was supposed to be “making it work” and “fighting for my marriage”. 

We’d married under some pretty old fashioned ideas about marriage and religion as well and were surrounded by like- minded folks.  It wasn’t until I had my affair that a door was opened back into the “world” and freedom for me.  It was the guy I had the affair with that reminded me that not only were men still attracted to me and wanted to have sex with me, but that someone could appreciate ME and my interests and my writing.  He actually was a big part in encouraging me to get back to a more “normal” state of living as well.  In order to continue on what we had I needed a cell phone and started getting away from the house to attend MOPS meetings (Moms of Preschoolers, they have on site babysitting in a church) and I even got DSL (like 10 years after everyone else, we finally had internet when I started the affair but it was dial up and very slow). 

So while a lot of people look at affairs as evil, I don’t so much.  Mine was my lifeline and it opened my eyes to what was going on and what I was missing.  Not to say my affair was all candy and roses because we actually had a lot of emotional things to deal with and I cried A LOT over him.  All those tears, that I’d held back for so long I was finally able to open up and express again.  It wasn’t easy but in a lot of ways it was healing for me.  He is also someone who had known me back in those turbulent teen years and just knowing that someone could love me without judgment when he’d been there and seen all my vile “sinful” past, meant a lot.

 So I don’t regret it.  It may have been dishonest but that was my ticket out for good. It also helped me cope when my ex “fell in love” with someone else that didn’t even want him and got a sexual harassment type charge filed against him at work.  I don’t know how I would have gotten through that if my heart wasn’t already elsewhere.  Divorce wasn’t easy but I’m so glad I’m not in that prison of a marriage any longer.  You can read more about the affair in Confessions of a Cheater if you haven’t already. 

This is also a continuation of the three previous posts about my ex husband and the spiritual and emotional abuse that occurred and his passive aggressive behavior.

STUCK in a prison of my own making

bible

All this writing about my ex -husband is bringing up more and more memories, things that make me question how I could ever think that my marriage was happy and good, but I did.  I thought that we were living the way we were “supposed” to be and that I was doing the right thing in not only listening to my husband, but being supportive of him.  So when other people were critical of his extremism, I was quick to back him up.  Remember, he was constantly drilling into me that we were doing this for God, putting Christ first in our lives, living for the Lord.  At times, when I would question or disagree with something he would re-iterate that it wasn’t “right” to question God’s plan for our lives, as written in the Word.

I don’t want to give the impression that I never questioned or challenged his beliefs, because I did, and frequently, but he ALWAYS had an answer for anything I brought up.  He always had a well thought out “Biblical” answer.  He’d been studying the Bible his entire life and HIS father was also a preacher.  He was always quite sure HIS answer was the RIGHT answer and that there was no other way and everyone who thought differently was wrong.  Even his own parents and family, including his father, the very old school preacher, sometimes felt he was taking things too far.  In fact most of our social interactions with other people as a family included hours of debating between him and whoever we were visiting with.  Hours of him debating until he felt like he’d “won” the discussion, affirming that his interpretation was correct.  The debates were virtually always about the Bible, or politics.

I can’t even tell you how overwhelmed bringing up either of those topics makes me feel today.  That’s all that was ever talked about.  I got so tired of religion and politics.  Anytime I’d bring up something else interesting he’d brush it off and change the subject, unless of course it was one of HIS pet hobbies.  He’d go through phases of getting really into one thing or another for a period of time and that would dominate the discussions for a while, to the point where I could no longer stand hearing about it.  For a time it would be gardening, or making bow and arrows, or sheep.  I kid you not, he went through a phase where all he talked about was SHEEP, like all kinds of various breeds and whatnot.  He wanted to start a sheep farm along with his ministry.  I thought I was going to go crazy hearing about sheep.

I know it probably sounds like I’m just bitching about his personality but it’s more than that.  The resentment that built up was so strong because he wouldn’t let me get a word in edgewise!  Any time I tried to talk to him he would brush off anything I had to say and only want to talk about HIS obsessions.  He even went as far as to tell me that my thoughts and ideas and the things I was interested in were “stupid”.  My dreams and hopes for the future, in his mind, were completely irrelevant.  We were only going to follow HIS dreams, no matter how far- fetched.

In fact, one time, when I suggested that once the children were grown I would like to go back to work and make money so that we could travel the world as a couple when we retired, he got very upset with me.  He said that I was supposed to be helping him in the ministry and that he thought that when the children were grown I should continue to do so and not be trying to do my own thing. 

So, in the face of all this I made do the best I could and tried to support whatever it was HE was interested in at the time.  When he went through a gardening phase he would plant the garden and obsess over all kinds of seed varieties and leave me with the work of weeding and watering and storing all these vegetables and trying to cook with them.  Totally made me hate farms and gardening, lol.  We had about an acre of garden and that was a lot of work!! If it was bow and arrows or sheep or whatever else he was interested in I spent a lot of time just LISTENING to him talking about it, offering ideas, whatever I could but it was exhausting and he never gave me a chance to have any hobbies of my own.

Keep in mind that I was doing all this with babies on my hip and toddlers attached to my ankles.  I was stuck at home because we only had one car and couldn’t go anywhere by myself.  He would be off 40 miles away working and attending seminary and I was home on 6 acres of land, surrounded by Amish folks for neighbors.  I had no tv, no internet, no cell phone and our land line was 12 cents a minute to call anyone out of town so I was limited there too.  No music other than Christian, no radio, and very few books. 

This is how isolated I was.  I was desperate for adult conversation.  When he’d come home I was so eager to talk to him but most times he’d brush me off and pretend not to hear what I said, heading off to read the Bible or “pray”, which involved walking all about the property while I did all the housecleaning and caring for children.  He’d ignore me to the point where I had to raise my voice multiple times to get his attention.  I’m generally pretty soft spoken so this was out of character.  He made me feel like a nag if I even wanted to talk about something cute the kids had done that day.  I tried to remain positive but became increasingly frustrated.  He’d say he ignored me because I didn’t have anything interesting to say, but he never really gave me a chance.

I’d also become increasingly isolated from my own family and friends.  He told me that I shouldn’t associate with them because they were not Christians and would therefore bring me down.  On the rare occasions that we visited with them he was actually kind of rude and distant, only talking to preach the Bible at them or spout his view on politics, knowing they disagreed.  It was embarrassing and further drove them away from spending time with us.  He had only negative comments to make about them and would point out their “wrong” lifestyles.

 I was unable to go to any kinds of women’s meetings at the church or meet new friends that way because he and his parents (who eventually moved next door and kind of ran things) felt that it would be irresponsible of me to expect him or them to “babysit” for me so I could be running off socializing.  They told me horror stories of women who left their husbands watching the kids and how these women ended up having affairs.  In fact, I once left my ex with the baby for about 20 minutes so that I could drive 5 miles down the highway to McDonalds to get a salad one evening and his parents panicked.  They ran over to see what was “wrong” and made a huge deal out of him being “left” with the baby.  Oh, my goodness, they were SO WORRIED about him trying to take care of an infant all by himself!! They thought I was practically abandoning him.

On top of that he would compare me to the Amish women.  He’d say how they were working in the fields all day but that he thought I was being “lazy”.  My “laziness” included caring for kids all day, keeping the house clean and menu planning and cooking, laundry, keeping the budget and paying bills, typing and editing all his papers for Seminary (I swear at least 60% of that Master’s degree he has should be mine, he supplied the thesis but I did most of the work in writing it out), and planning out everything for teaching Children’s church each Sunday.  And oh yeah, the garden, freezing and canning, feeding the cows, mending clothes.  It wasn’t like I ever just sat around watching tv….or like I ever had time to “pray” like he did.

He was the Children’s Pastor, but I wrote the puppet shows, planned the activities, made homemade goodies for the kids each week, organized the Christmas and Easter plays, the bake sales, the walkathons, dealt with the parents, attended board meetings (all with kids in tow) and did virtually everything but his 10 minutes of Bible preaching. 

Unfortunately, it was a small country church and there really weren’t many people I could socialize with there, even though we came 3 times a week.  Mostly it was older people or I was involved teaching the kids and didn’t have a chance.  Plus the ex and his parents were always reminding me that as a pastor’s wife I was always going to be living in the fishbowl, on display for everyone to see and needed to be above reproach and come across as “perfect”.  Not that in their eyes I ever could be!  I was under constant criticism, and never got any praise for a job well done.  I tried, I really did but it was never “good enough”.

One of the things that could never be “good enough” was dinner.  Though I was completely clueless on how to cook before getting married I learned and learned well.  A lot of people praised my cooking and it is something I enjoy doing, I eventually even wrote out my own cookbook, but my ex would only comment if he thought something was wrong with the food or that I was doing something wrong.  He’d stand over my shoulder and offer “advice” that was mostly useless but kind of controlling. 

He also expected dinner to be ready the instant he walked in the door after work.  I didn’t really even mind playing the 1950’s housewife, but the problem was that he didn’t come home from work every day at the same time!  So it was impossible to predict exactly when to have the food ready and he was THAT particular about it.  If I was a few minutes late he’d act hateful and irritated, slamming things around, glaring at me, and never explicitly SAYING what he was pissed about.  He made it clear though, that he thought I was a failure as a wife. 

So to end this post (which maybe sounds like a gripe session, lol) I am going to point out some more ways in which this behavior was abusive.  If you read through and are aware of the signs you will see a big one was the isolation.  I was isolated from family, from friends, and even to an extent from church people.  I was made to feel like they were always watching, always critical. 

In fact, there was a time when the senior Pastor’s wife had given a little speech on journaling and prayer journaling and I was so excited to come home and WRITE.  I love to write (as you can see!) and hadn’t in a long time.  My ex shot that down pretty quickly.  He said you should NEVER write out your feelings and thoughts because someone could find it and read it later and use it against him in the ministry in the future.  I’m not sure why he assumed I would be writing anything negative but he did and discouraged me from ever writing down a journal.  I was also reminded repeatedly by his parents that divorced men could not be preachers in their denomination.  This was a subtle way of insuring I felt horribly guilty that if I ever left him I’d be ruining his entire career. 

Besides the isolation, he made sure to criticize me for the very things I was trying to do best.  I poured my entire life into children and homemaking and he would subtly try to make me feel like I wasn’t doing any of it “well enough”.  He’d throw little passive aggressive “tantrums” when I didn’t have dinner done the second he walked in or lurk over my shoulder while I was cooking to make sure I was doing it “right”.  He rarely raised his voice, he never cursed, but his attitude was one of disdain.  He’d point out the hardworking Amish women but “forget” that they had lots of other people helping them and lots of older women and children to help with little ones.  They had a social life and community.  Nevermind that my mother in law was always telling me the Amish women have short lifespans. :p

He trivialized any of my interests or ideas and even kept me from writing for myself (though it was encouraged when I was writing HIS papers).  I did a lot of work, all day long and was trying to please but none of it ever returned a compliment.  He had nothing nice to say and it was all expected.  He felt “entitled” to be waited on hand and foot while he did whatever the hell he wanted or lie around “praying”.  I was made to feel that his “praying” was first and foremost and never given a chance to do so myself unless it was lead by him in a “family devotion”.  To argue with that would be to go against God because his “praying” was important in determining his future and ministry.

There was even a time where he was out of work for 7 months straight and at home ALL DAY LONG and he didn’t lift a finger to help.  He “prayed” most of the day away and I was expected to continue to run things and also to help him find a job.  I looked and looked and he’d accuse me of “not having enough faith” if I stressed out over bills or if I suggested that maybe I should try to work instead.  If I worried about money it was a lack of faith.  If I didn’t think God was going to drop a job down from the sky or send us money in the mail it was all my failure to “believe” strongly enough.  Notice how any problems or difficulties were MY FAULT.  It wasn’t his lack of motivation or his job loss, but I was holding us back because I wasn’t giving it all to God.  The blame was all on ME.

Not to mention his parents would harass me daily, also blaming ME for his lack of work.  They thought it must be me who wasn’t “getting after him enough” to go out and get work, that I was expecting help from him with the children and letting him sleep in too late.  It couldn’t possibly have anything to do with his own personal work ethic!

So blame, isolation, knocking down my dreams and things I wanted to do, putting me in a position where I was incapable of going anywhere (out in the middle of nowhere with no car), subtly making me feel like a failure no matter how hard I tried, convincing me that others were also being critical (church members)…

Oh yeah, on that note he was AWFUL on Sunday mornings.  He’d lie around, getting himself ready at the last minute, while I was expected to have all the children and myself ready in time for church.  There was always an extra diaper to be changed or someone had lost their shoe or another issue to be dealt with and he’d stand there and fume instead of pitching in.  Then he’d act angry and drive really fast or run stop signs in an attempt to frighten me into doing better next time. He was constantly saying how I had “no concept of time” and was “always late”.  A funny thing I’ve noticed since the divorce is that HE is always late on his own!  Much more often than me!!  He has also been witnessed driving fast and running stoplights when he was upset with his current girlfriend.  Hmmmm…  Old habits die hard…

He’d also be nasty regarding me getting myself ready.  He’d say it wasn’t important for me to wear makeup or dress nice and if I asked if I looked okay he said I was being “vain” and that I should be happy to go to church in a potato sack.  Never a compliment and he acted as though he didn’t find me attractive.  He was never one of those guys who said “you look nice” or used the word “beautiful” and his attitude combined with his disinterest in sex made me feel so ugly.  It was such a relief to find that other men still found me attractive, once I got back out in the “world”. 

In case you aren’t following, this is a continuation of a couple posts I have written about my ex husband, including Emotional and spiritual abuse, how it all began and How he got in, breaking down the door.  You may also want to check out my post When Men Don’t Want Sex because it talks about him and his attitude towards me in that regard. 

Emotional and spiritual abuse, how it all began

brainwashing

I never wanted to be one of “those women” who talked bad about her husband. Saying negative things about your husband was crass, unsupportive, and reflected badly on your competence as a wife. This attitude and belief kept me silent for YEARS regarding the way my ex -husband was treating ME. I was afraid to tell anyone, and even now it is difficult for me to talk or write about.

I’m going to try though. Partly because writing about it helps ME. It helps me process the things I went through and helps me to understand what I never want to tolerate again. It also helps readers who maybe are going through or at some point experienced similar things. You all don’t know him so this gives me the opportunity to be REAL, to show his negative side without worrying that people will think I am just trying to make him look bad, post- divorce.

Gosh, even with saying all of that, this is difficult for me. It’s hard for me to write all this out without worrying that people will think I am “being a victim” or blaming someone else for my own failings. So please, recognize that in writing all this out I am not excusing my own part in my marriage, in staying, in accepting the behavior, or denying that I made a myriad of mistakes also. I’m not saying that my ex- husband doesn’t have any good qualities or that he is an evil, awful human being.

What I am trying to show, is that his treatment of ME, however mislead and from wherever he learned these beliefs and behaviors, was harmful. I was in denial for so long that even when the marriage counselors at the conservative Christian counseling we attended pointed out that his behavior was emotionally abusive, it was hard for me to admit. He was so passive so much of the time. How could anyone refer to him as “abusive”?

According to them, they felt I was accepting his treatment due to my own past, my childhood where I was never able to protect myself or stop the abuse. I failed to learn how to set boundaries, and instead became stuck in “learned helplessness”. While I could debate fervently on a topic or stand up for others when need be, when it came to myself I was frozen with inability.

I also just really didn’t know any better. I didn’t know or understand what a healthy relationship looked like, I’d never seen it modeled and only dreamed of some sort of “ideal”. I THOUGHT I was protecting myself when I got married. One of the big things I considered was the fact that he rarely seemed to raise his voice. I was so afraid of repeating the cycle of abuse in my family that I went to what seemed like the opposite end of the spectrum.

Someone who didn’t yell wouldn’t be like what I’d experienced at home, my mom crawling into my room at night on her hands and knees trying to get me to call the police due to my stepfather and his rages and physical abuse. Memories of hiding my siblings under the stairs in the basement to try and keep us all safe from the objects that were being hurled, the screaming, of trying to get the baby from my mother before seeing my stepfather punch her in the face (and in doing so hit a two week old baby) all drove me toward this very passive seeming man.

Little did I know that I was really marrying someone like my mother. Someone who appeared passive on the outside, but on the inside was a manipulative, selfish and cold individual. Recently, a therapist of mine referred to him as a “passive aggressive narcissist”. I’d never thought of those terms being used together. Narcissists, you’d think of being more outwardly cruel, but the more I’ve pondered it the more I’ve realized the label fits him quite well.

Since the divorce and moving away from him, I have felt a HUGE sense of relief. Even though on the daily I have struggles, an enormous weight was lifted off my shoulders when I got away. I could never go back. Never. I could never want to be with the man whose criticisms and moral ideas of what I “should” become turned me into a shell of the person I once was. To someone who was unsupportive, unloving and unkind and put ridiculously high expectations on me while systematically tearing down every attempt I made to please.

I wish I could say that the divorce ended it all but it hasn’t. He continues to passively aggressively sabotage things for me, even now. Now that he has a live in girlfriend, I have seen instances of him doing the EXACT SAME THINGS to her. It makes me feel sorry for her to a degree but at the same time there is relief that his abuses are directed elsewhere, off of me and hopefully away from our children.

I wish I could say that I was the only emotional target, that the children were left unscathed, but I can’t. His behavior towards them is upsetting on so many levels. Seeing the way he has mostly abandoned them hurts but sometimes I think it’s for the best. If he were more involved in their lives he’d have more chance to put them down, to tear apart their sense of self, to damage them beyond repair. I can only hope that his limited contact has less chance to affect them.

In any case, I feel kind of like I’ve escaped from a prison. Not only was there emotional abuse but much of it was of a spiritual nature. He used GOD to shame and put me down, to make me feel like it wasn’t really him but GOD that I was being accountable to. Not being well versed in religious things, and him being so Biblically “knowledgeable”, I took his interpretation of scripture to be correct. I listened to him because I had no grasp on the meaning of Christianity on my own. I’d never even been in a Christian church before meeting him, though I’d participated in some youth group activities with a very new age fellowship.

So, as embarrassing as this is to admit, I became brainwashed, not only through him but through teachings of the church, his religious family, by the people around me. I was so blind to this too. I thought I was doing the “right” thing in becoming a Christian. I believed him when he told me what an awful person I was for the things I’d done in the past and how I needed salvation from that.

It is especially embarrassing for ME to admit, having been taught by my father to always question authority. To never become a “sheep” that blindly followed the teachings of others. My father wouldn’t even attend my wedding, he was so upset about me marrying into this Christian family and he said and used the term that I was being “brainwashed”. I so wanted to prove him wrong and in a way that was my own form of rebellion. I was convinced that I was going to do “better” than anyone in my own family.

I was bound and determined to have this “perfect” life. To be the “perfect” wife and mother and it was very difficult for me to let go of that goal, to realize it was all a farce. So much of what I learned as a “Christian” was really about appearances, much less so about the heart. Sure they used a lot of language to convince others that this was NOT about that at all but the actions were much like what Jesus himself, in the Bible, was preaching against!

In any case I had high ideals. We were going to become missionaries. To me this meant HELPING other people and I wanted so much to feed the hungry, to bring relief to the hurting, to save people from living in misery, to brighten their lives in every little way we could. My ex would disagree with me though, that this was what it all meant. He said all of that was only secondary and the goal was to preach the gospel. That only when people believed and followed Christ would any of those other things begin to matter.

All this background and I haven’t even begun to tell you of the actual things my ex -husband did to chip away at my sense of self, at my purpose in life, at my competence as a wife and mother, at my relationships with my family, at my feelings and my value as a human being. I feel like I need all this explanation to let you see just HOW he managed to get me into a position where I would ACCEPT any of this. Where I thought it was my duty to listen and believe what he had to say about me, about what I and our lives were SUPPOSED to look like.

A short time after my divorce I read a book called Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men, by Lundy Bancroft. I know I’ve mentioned it on my blog before and really feel like it’s something every woman would do well to read, even if you are not dealing with an abusive man in your life. Heck, I didn’t even realize I would end up seeing my ex- husband all over the pages when I started. I was actually concerned about my relationship with the guy I had the affair with at the time. While he and I had our share of arguments, there was much less I could relate to him than my ex in that book.

I’m actually grateful I had an affair because it brought to light so much that I really needed to see. For over a year and a half I never mentioned to the guy I had an affair with what was going on in my marriage, until one day I finally broke down and told him I was “unhappy”. I still remember it because I was crying and in the bathtub text messaging him. I don’t even recall what had set me off at that particular moment but I know my ex-husband was outside the door and I could feel his condescending presence. I couldn’t even articulate to him what was happening at the moment, only that he wasn’t being physically abusive but that I was feeling unhappy. He demanded to know more, out of concern and I eventually spilled out some of the details of us not having sex and a few of the events that occurred, but most of his critical comments and hurtful behavior I never mentioned to anyone. In fact, I’ve blocked out a lot of it. It’s painful to think about.

I’ve debated even writing about this on my blog. I’m actually going to end here right now. Not to leave you all hanging but because this is a deep and difficult subject for me and I want to take a break after giving you a backdrop. Hopefully I’ll be able to expound further in another post.