Just to recap from Part 1 blog. My ex-husband and I knew each other since 2006, he moved in with me in 2008 and on August 13, 2012, we got married at the Court house. But before we decided to get married at the Court house I was initially planning for a wedding ceremony in Florida. However, both of our families were from different states and when I was trying to plan everything I got overwhelmed. Trying to get two families into town when one family could afford the travel expenses and the other couldn’t was flustering. So we both decided not to have a wedding ceremony and we didn’t mind because it wasn’t either of ours first marriage. After we got married we did invite my son and our friends to attend a dinner party to celebrate with us at Kobe Steakhouse. Although we didn’t have family around, it ended up being an enjoyable and fun time as we started our new marriage together.
Now, I would love to tell you that we started our relationship off with some normalcy but that’s not what the Universe had in store for us. During our eight years together, I had undergone ten surgeries that were either due to auto accidents or health issues. Around those times my full-time work diminished because of not being physically functionable to work full-time but I was at least able to work part-time. I had worked as a Re-marketing Driver for Enterprise Rent A Car, bartended at the Bucs stadium in the Clubhouse and at a strip club, became a Home Health Aide for Alzheimer patients and worked on an off at my husband’s work place, Dean Guitars. When I worked at Dean Guitars I would just fill in for the receptionist when she would call off work. And after the first year of going with my husband to the NAMM show out in Orange County, I ended up working that show with him for the next few years. I was friendly, talkative and pretty much knew most of the people that worked at Dean. While at the show I would assist the salesmen with their appointments, direct people around the booth or give them information they needed. Not to mention, I did know a little bit about the guitars they had… after all, my husband was the Product Manager. Every year when he was working on the catalog for NAMM he would give me a presentation about their new line coming out, little did he realize that I was actually paying attention.
Now going back to 2010, I was thinking back when I graduated college in 2005 but never got to do my graduation walk. I felt that I worked hard for that degree and I chose Criminal Justice because my dad was at one time in law enforcement. So, one day I decided to call the Administrator of Kaplan University to see if I could do my walk at that years ceremony. I had told the lady my story of how I was in Chicago to do the Graduation ceremony in 2006 but the day before I was to do my walk, my father took his life. The lady said since it’s been years since I had actually graduated, she would have to talk to someone higher up the chain to see if they would even let me participate in that year’s event. Not too long after I spoke with the college administrator, I received a letter from Kaplan saying that they were sorry to hear about my dad and they would make an exception for me. They ended up inviting me to that year’s graduation ceremony in Miami, FL., it was to be the largest graduation class they ever had and better yet, Tony Dungy (coach of the Colts) was going to be our guest speaker. I had invited my mom down from Chicago to go with me, my husband and son to attend the graduation ceremony with me. You have no idea what that day meant to me and how much I wished my dad could have been there. I felt that part of my life was now completed by walking on that stage, collecting my degree and being recognized as a Cum Laude graduate. It was a long-time awaited achievement for me that I had worked so hard for and I was truly proud of myself.
As soon as that monumental moment in my life was completed, I turned my full attention back on to my new marriage. As days passed it seemed like my daily activities: the part-time jobs, taking care of the household, four pets and all the surgeries, became robotic to me. And not even a year into our marriage we were having some marital issues. I was eagerly willing to work through them because we had started our relationship out with some struggles but got through them and this was another marriage that I had refused to have fail.
Now my whole relationship wasn’t always bad, there were a lot of good and fun times too. As I mentioned in Marriages & Divorces 4:4 Part 1, I had started a Bucket List for us, and we were checking things off one by one. Things like: Cozumel Cruise, Dinner & Lunch cruises in Clearwater, FL, Zoo Atlanta to visit the Panda twins, Roller Skating, Hang-gliding (only I did that), Richard Petty Ride Along at Daytona Speedway, Busch Gardens (I bought us all a yearly pass), Concerts, South Korea/China (Chendu to visit the largest Panda research base) and the Nascar Xfinity Race. Those were just some off the top of my head but there was still more that we didn’t do. Around 2014/2015 he seemed to become uninterested in finishing that list.
I started to grasp at straws at this point, trying to figure out a solution to the elephant in the room that I refused to ignore. There were a few times that I addressed him with how I was feeling, either with myself or with our marriage. I don’t think at the time he really took me seriously or maybe he didn’t think our issues were that bad. My only disappointment was that each time I would confront him regarding our marital problems he wouldn’t say anything back in return. Nothing, no defending himself, no telling me I was wrong, absolutely nothing. I used to tell him that I should just stand in front of a wall and talk to it because I would have gotten the same response. A year before I filled divorce, he had finally given me reasoning to his non-responsiveness, but it didn’t make sense to me or anyone else that I confided in. His thinking was that we had gotten through a lot of things before and we would get through this rough time too. Well that was partly true, but we were both working through those hard times together back then and this time I seemed to be the only one working on our current problems.
Eventually in 2016 he did finally tell me that back in 2013 when I had my accidental overdose (there will be more details of this in my book) he had put a wall up with me. I had told him that he should have been honest with me at that time and if he left me because of that incident I would have been fine. He said that he was my husband and he was trying to do ‘the husband thing’ and be there for me. I personally wished he was honest on how he felt at that time instead of living a lie or a life he may not have wanted to be in anymore. Furthermore, making me rack my brain for the last four years of our marriage on how to keep it from falling apart.
Before I knew about how he felt regarding that incident there was awhile I started to think I was to blame for this failing marriage. In 2012 I had a total hysterectomy and right after that surgery our sex life was pretty much non-existent. I was afraid that the surgery had changed my sexual drive. However, that wasn’t the case and my body just needed time to adjust to the changes it was now going through. Luckily after a year I was back to normal again, but my husband didn’t seem interested in having sex with me. But in his defense, there was one time he came behind me in the kitchen and smacked my ass then grabbed my boob and another time when he tried to get cuddly with me to maybe initiate something. Not the typical affection I was hoping for but some men think differently. Although by that time I was over it because on our year anniversary we went to Puerto Rico and I came out of the bathroom in my lingerie (trying to rekindle our sex life after my hysterectomy) and as I tried to initiate having sex… he just turned over and went to sleep. That day I totally felt rejected and if I were to be honest, it was then I knew something had to change in this relationship.
At our two year mark of not being intimate, I did have a conversation with him. I had discussed with him that we would have to start from scratch. I know this must sound crazy and I’m sure it did to him too, but I told him that we have to go back to dating again. That if we went on dates, started having conversations like we used to and be honest with each other that maybe we could get this marriage and our sex life back on track. Sad to say, none of that seemed to work and this went on for another two years… yes, I know. You are probably thinking the same thing my family and friends thought. Why would you stay that long in a relationship if you weren’t being intimate and felt estranged? Well in my strange defense, as I said before, this was my fourth marriage and I was determined to make it work. Sex isn’t everything especially when you get older. I believe that first and foremost you need communication and honesty, that’s what’s important in any relationship. Sex is great but to me, it’s secondary.
Now flashing back to 2013, when I unintentionally tried to harm myself. It was right after that incident I had to really look in the mirror and be honest with myself. As I was looking into the mirror, I said out loud, either take your life or get your shit together. It was then that I started to read self-help books, positive quotes and really digest my past thoughts and actions. As I was trying to regroup and direct myself into a more positive path, my mind couldn’t stop wondering why there was no intimacy with my husband. I had so many thoughts and questions in my head about what was going on. Was there another woman? Is he not attracted to me anymore? Was I doing something wrong? Did I cause this because of all the surgeries I had? I would point the finger at myself, then him and then back onto me. There were so many questions and so few words between us to find out the answer. My husband wasn’t the type of guy who liked conflict or facing it for that matter. So I started to turn to family and friends, mainly the men so I could get their point of view. I even had my brother and a good friend visit and have a face to face with him but they couldn’t figure what was going on with him either.
As much as I tried the last four years of our marriage to salvage it, the last two years of it I had knew deep down inside the truth. I knew that this marriage was coming to an end. So I told myself that I need to get a career because I knew I would be on my own again. However, I didn’t stop try to work on my marriage. I spent those two years applying and interviewing for a career as a Flight Attendant. This was my dream job since I was a little girl and even though I was in my late 40’s, I told myself, why not try to obtain this goal? The worst that could happen is that I don’t get it but at least I can say that I tried. I eventually became a Flight Attendant with a major airline….. now don’t hate me but I’m going to go ‘squirrel’ on you again. I want to save a lot of the details for my book and once again don’t want to have to write Part 3 to this story (laughing).
So to sum up the last year of my marriage… I came to the conclusion that since audible wasn’t working in communicating with my husband on resolving our issues, I would show him. I ended up giving him divorce papers, they weren’t filled out and after he saw them I put them away in my closet. By the time another year went by there was still no mediation on working out our problems. So unwillingly I finally gave up and decided to file for a divorce. I had come to face the truth, that I can’t make someone love me and I don’t want to be with someone who doesn’t. Not to mention that I only have one life to live so I was going to choose to be single, keep figuring things out and find my happiness.
Before I end this story, I will say this, and please believe me there is no ill will towards my ex-husband. I’ve come to far spiritually and in my self-growth to have any malice towards him. He did have a girlfriend before our divorce was even final and when I was home from traveling, he would spend nights out. He would say that he spent the night at a band members house although I knew better, call it women’s intuition. I know you may be thinking that I should have been mad at him, right? Actually, I was a little upset that he was flaunting his new girlfriend all over Facebook before we were even divorced or I had even moved out of the house. But because I had learned so much from all the self-help books, motivational quotes, my new spiritual journey and self-reflection I wasn’t mad at all. In fact, one or two weeks after our divorce and before I had finally moved out we had a conversation. We had sat out in the garage and talked about his new girlfriend. I was giving him advice on what not to do and what to be on the lookout for with his new relationship. I also gave him the advice that he shouldn’t be in any relationship. That he should take some time to himself and figure out who he is and what he really wants in life. He didn’t adhere to that advice but everyone has their time and season for learning.
“Do you believe that there are no coincidences in life? Everything happens for a reason. Every person we meet has a roll in our life, either it is big or small. Some will hurt, betray and make us cry. Some will teach us lessons, not to change us, but to make us to be a better person.” ~ Cynthia Rusli