It took three days. Three days that felt like months.
Some people may feel like I chose to leave my husband too soon. Some people may feel like it wasn’t soon enough. Some people may feel that I gave up. Some people weren’t in my marriage though. Some people don’t decide what I do. I decide what I do.
I am responsible for my life and my happiness. My choices. Just like you.
Wednesday. I woke up on my friend’s couch with an empty bottle of wine next to me. Not surprisingly, I had the headache to match. It was just after midnight, just barely Wednesday. I grabbed my computer, purse and phone and went up to the guest room.
I couldn’t sleep. The sleep I got on the couch was alcohol induced. Sleep wasn’t my friend this week. I wasn’t sure if I’d ever get sleep again.
I opened up my computer and stared blankly at Google.com.
It was time to check in on my husband. I snooped. I never wanted to snoop… but uncovering multiple lies in the past few days lead me to it. Desperation lead me to it.
I wanted to find nothing. I wanted to believe my husband’s most recent explanation.
But there she was…. girl number two. Alice. I didn’t even look that hard… she sent him a message on Facebook.
AJ claimed to not know her. He claimed she was crazy. He begged me to believe him.
I begged him for honesty. Told him that he shouldn’t be afraid to share the truth. He’d get a “free pass” for his honesty. I would work on it with him IF he gave me the whole truth. But, if I uncover more lies, how can I fix this? How can our marriage survive infidelity AND constant lies? Not to mention, my sexual insecurity had grown ten-fold with each woman I found.
“I will never lie to you again, Erin.”
He stuck to his most recent version of the truth and I truly thought we could save our marriage. I truly did.
Alice saved me though. When AJ told me his version of their “friendship”, I messaged her asking for answers and she responded. She responded to her ex-boyfriend’s wife. Not a ton of women would do that and I am incredibly thankful for her honesty and bravery.
Alice told me the real story. The story of how she met AJ (he was my fiance at the time) and the truth about their relationship.
The truth is that my boyfriend, fiance, husband actively sought relationships on a dating app.
I wasn’t important. I wasn’t special. I wasn’t enough.
The truth is that in AJ’s eyes, I was completely interchangeable with other women. I just happened to be the one he married.
He told Alice that he divorced his second wife back in 2014, the year he proposed to me (his second wife). He told her a lot of things… the things that no one knew. The things that only I should have known.
I called AJ to confront him about the truth. He didn’t seem surprised. He didn’t seem upset. He just accepted that he was caught.
It was clear what I needed to do. I needed to leave him. I needed to leave him for both him and me.
I was pushed past the point of no return when Alice knew every detail of my life. Every detail except for me. I was written out of my own life and out of my own marriage by my husband. My partner. My love.
I could never be the same wife to him if we tried to move forward in our marriage. I would be filled with resentment, anger and spite. I would want to hurt him how he hurt me. No one wants that. I don’t want to become a bitter, angry woman. AJ wouldn’t want that either.
I asked for a divorce and he asked about what he could keep…
I thought maybe he’d want to keep me. Maybe some of him wanted to keep me? But I wasn’t on the list of items he wanted to possess. Maybe I never was.
Instead, he asked for electronics, the cameras, and the record player I recently bought for him.
I said yes to everything. He could take all the material items he wanted. I didn’t have a fight in me.
What happened? How did this happen?
I packed my bag and returned to my house. No need to get space from my husband anymore. I want my dogs. I want my room. I want some shred of normalcy. I want to press rewind.
My heart couldn’t handle this. It felt like AJ stole this marriage from me, he stole this great love from me. The person I trusted the most had disregarded my heart entirely. He had been dating at least one woman when he was engaged to me… why marry me then? Why steal something he knew was so important to me. Something you can’t get back.
I wanted ONE marriage. Everyone does, right? No one (well, hopefully no one) gets married with the intent to divorce. But AJ did. Or maybe he just thought he’d never get caught. He could have me and my financial benefits and my friends as his friends and he could have all the other women he wanted too.
I thought about a lot of things that day.
How would I tell my mom? My friends? My family?
How could I learn to live without the one person I never thought I’d be without? Thinking about losing him literally made it hard to breathe.
How do I move forward? Can I do it on my own? Financially, emotionally, mentally. How do I even begin to understand the changes the last three days have brought to my life?
How will I be perceived as a 28 year old divorcee?
What happens next?