It all started the early part of 2007 when I returned home for a visit during a time when my mother was to have surgery. She was having a stent put in but that turned into an emergency quadruple by-pass, followed by a permanent pacemaker and a stroke. We had almost lost her twice during the first few days alone.
The surgery took place when I was in mid-flight, and when my plane finally landed and I made it to her house, I called the hospital. Needless to say when I spoke to my mother, it would be the last time I would ever hear her speak again as the mother I always knew. She was in high spirits and had a room full of visitors. She was so excited that I was here for a visit and was looking forward to spending time with her granddaughter. I told you I would be in first thing in the morning and we hung up.
My husband stayed behind due to work but he was very supportive and helped me during the most difficult times while I was away. We spoke quite often on the phone all of which were mainly updates on my mother’s condition. I was only scheduled to stay six weeks since I didn’t know about the surgery beforehand. By the end of the six weeks, my mother was just being released from the hospital and needed someone to care for her 24/7 as she was not able to walk or speak due to the stoke she had had.
At that point, I was faced with the most difficult decision of my life. Do I put my mother in a rest home and return home, or do I stay in hopes that she will get better with time? After discussing this with my husband, we mutually agreed that it was best for me to stay to see if my mother would get better since my entire family abandoned her and wouldn’t do anything to help. I took care of my mother the best I could but I also had my three year old with me who I had to care for as well. As time went on, it all started to take its toll on me.
Around the two month mark, I got internet access and started emailing and chatting with my husband. I now had the time to talk with him on what had been going on while I was away. Things seemed to be going well as he was thinking about expanding his business and was busy with finding another place to lease for a second store. He had a focus; one which I thought at the time would keep his mind occupied.
Two weeks later, my husband started getting very impatient and told me I needed to come home. He told me this in an email saying I needed to come home because there was just too much temptations out there for him. What followed was a phone call telling me off for no apparent reason. He spoke to me with such disrespect using language that he had never used before and I hung up on him. None of this made any sense to me. It felt as though he was someone else who I did not even know. What ran through my mind was that something was terribly wrong. It wasn’t the fact that I had been away too long. It was something else that I just couldn’t put my finger on.
When he called back, I told him that no one speaks to me like that. He quickly calmed down and I told him that I would be on a plane by the end of the week which by this time was four days away. He then insisted repeatedly that my mother needed me and that I should stay longer. It was at this point when I asked him if he had went out on me due to all the temptations out there and he said no. Little did I realize, he had already gone out on me and was planning to do so again the following weekend with the same woman. Looking back now, it all makes sense as to why he didn’t want me to return home that week.
As soon as I got off the phone with my husband, I purchased my return ticket home. The earliest date I was able to return was three weeks away. I called my husband the next day and told him when I would be returning home. He quickly grew excited. Looking back now, I don’t know how that was possible since he still had plans a few days later with the other woman. But then again, that gave him more time to play before I arrived. From that day on, he was so sweet and back to his old self. He was telling me that when I got back, we would start a new life together. He went on about how much he loved me and wanted me in his life. Things just didn’t seem right to me but I figured I would just wait and see as there was nothing I could do being on the other side of the world.
The day we return home, it was gifts galore. I remember walking in our home and him taking me by the hand. He led me to living room where he had a brand new electric guitar with the case open displaying it to me. At that moment, I was very confused. I had taken many trips back to the states and not once after returning did he ever give me a gift. Hell, he never ever gave me a gift like this all the years we had been together. Then he led me and my daughter out back where he had a motorized kids Jeep he had purchased for our daughter. She was so excited. As for me, I was even more confused. I didn’t say anything at the time but I knew something was very wrong.
Usually when I return from a trip to the states, we are very loving and make up for lost time, but that didn’t last long at all. He became very distant consuming himself with work and the idea of expanding his business was nonexistent nor ever discussed. He also began taking on more than he was expected to on an online forum where he was a moderator. The problems of this forum started over lapping into our personal lives in the sense that it consumed him. He spent more time there then he did with me and our daughter. Phone calls and text messages on his cell came over all hours of the day and night and I became quite upset when he would be on the phone for up to an hour each time. When I questioned him about the calls he would state it was related to a problem on the forum, which it obviously was not due to the casual conversations he would have with the women who called.
This continued for three months and then he started taking off on weekends. This of course was far from normal as the only time he would go away was once every six weeks for a business meeting. But after his business trip that one weekend, he then took off another two weekends. For the second weekend, he used the excuse that he needed some time for him and to be alone. I respected that and let him go after noticing that something was weighing heavily on his mind.
After his return, I sat him down and told him that prior to his leaving, I had noticed that he was going through a personal problem of some kind that he was not ready to discuss with me. I told him I would give him space and the time needed to work through it while reassuring him I would be here when he wanted to talk. He in turn told me he appreciated my understanding in the matter and nothing more was said. A couple of days later, he started being quite cruel for no apparent reason. He was acting different and I couldn’t figure out what was going on. That is when he told me he was taking off for another weekend. He had planned to get together with some online friends from a forum he had been a member/moderator of over the last three years.
When I asked if I could go with him, he said no! He told me that spouses were not allowed to attend and that is when I pointed out that I was also a member of the forum even though I was not an active one (I’ve never posted on it). He then said he needed to go alone and was quite firm on this. So firm in fact that I knew something was seriously wrong. I told him if he went, he was to return the same evening because Sunday was family day and he was overdue to spend time with me and our daughter. He agreed. He was also reminded to call me like he usually does while away on business. Due to the large distance, he usually calls me once when he arrives and then once when he gets ready to head home. The reason for this is for me to know when he is on and off the road so I don’t go out of my mind thinking that something happened.
On that day, he called me around 2 PM to let me know he had arrived and told me he would call me around 11 PM to let me know once he started heading home. Eleven o’clock came and went and he never called. I tried calling him repeatedly but there was no answer. I figured he was just in a crowded restaurant with loud music like all places there. It’s usually impossible to carry any type of conversation much less hear your cell phone ring. I began to get really worried by this point, because in the past he would always called me when he said he was going to.
Finally, around 12:30 AM, he called me as if he didn’t know what time it was or hadn’t seen all the missed calls on his cell phone. I asked him why he didn’t call and he said he had forgotten which is very unlike him. He then told me he and his friends were heading to a bar for a drink. He was very aggressive on the phone. He was yelling while telling me that he got a hotel room and would be staying the night whether I liked it or not. He then hung up on me. I was in shock to say the least as this has never been part of his character. He didn’t let me get a word in edgewise and never even asked how me and his daughter were doing. I never called him back that night and decided to leave him alone the entire next day as well. I was waiting for him to give me a call the next morning to apologize or at least let me know when he would be heading home but that never happened. Looking back now, I should have given him hell.
Around 7:30 the next evening, I finally called him to find out where he was. He said he was on the road and would be home within two hours. He acted as though nothing had happened and all was okay. I prepared my approach for the moment he would walk through the door. Needless to say, when that time came, I handled it like an adult. I had written him an email the night before predicting what the next day would bring and I was right. I told him to read it and that we needed to have a serious discussion about us. I had had enough.
The next day we sat down and had the first of many serious discussions about our relationship. During the six year course of our marriage, we had never discussed “us”, as discussions of this nature were totally off limits. So when he agreed, I was quite surprised. We had decided beforehand that we would write down the issues we had with one another and would address them during that time. I was dying to know what issues he had about me because he already knew all the issues I had about him. Somehow I thought and was expecting him to tell me what had been weighing so heavily on his mind but instead, he told me that we had a major marital problem, one that would cause the end of our marriage. I asked him what that was and he said it was me. He went on to say the problem with me was that during the duration of our marriage, I have always interrupted him when he spoke and he just couldn’t take it anymore. I was in total disbelief as to how this was a major problem and one that would end it all for us.
Immediately after our conversation, I quickly started working on the issue he had about me but he wouldn’t budge on the issues I had about him. I did show him that I could change and correct the one thing that bothered him about me – my interrupting him when he spoke.
During this same week, things started happening, like a picture showing up on the Internet forum of a girl that was hugging him which was taken the previous weekend. They looked like a couple and I flew off the handle telling him to contact the picture person on the forum and have it moved which he did. I wouldn’t have thought too much about the picture, but as the week rolled by, he started receiving text messages on his cell phone from her. When she heard that I asked for the picture to be removed from the forum, she called my husband and asked to talk to me. I told him I had nothing to say to her since I did not know her. He began getting quite upset that I wouldn’t speak to her and started following me around the house with phone in hand while telling me not to make him look bad.
After she hung up, about five minutes later, he received a text message on his cell phone addressed to me. I didn’t care to hear what she had to say but my husband read it to me anyway. He was very persistent. It basically said she had met my husband for the first time that weekend and that there was nothing going on between them. At that point, a huge red flag goes up. Now why would a woman want to talk to the wife of a man she only met a few days prior, to tell her that she had nothing going on with her husband? After he read me the message, he got even more upset and started telling me off about how bad I made him look. From that day forward, he started sleeping on the couch and would lock me out all the while continuing to receive text messages and phone calls. There were many times when I was present during the day when a message would come over. I would grab his cell; he would take it away from me, read the message quickly and then delete it. His cell phone became his new love.
Besides discussing our marital issues, we had also begun discussing husband’s failing business. He was very anxious to get me and our daughter out the door, to head to the states and start a new life. He would then follow at a later time. However, as the days passed, he continued changing his mind two to three times a day telling me he wasn’t sure if he wanted to leave this country to start a new life in the states. I now know this was all a cover up and it would have been his way to keep me from finding out what he had done.
During the weeks that followed, we sat down and had many conversations about our issues and still he would not do anything to work on the issues I had about him. It seemed like every time we sat down to discuss “us”, he had something new to complain about, and while adding more onto the list of issues he had about me. I went out of my way to please him more then I should have but at the time, I could not think straight. He told me something was holding him back from getting close to me. He felt that we had drifted apart years ago and he didn’t think he could find his way back to me.
To top it off, each and every day, he would tell me at least one negative thing about me as a woman or about my character. After three weeks of mental abuse, I put a stop to that because my self-esteem was suffering and I was getting sick with everything going on, such as his continuous chats on line with friends (women), phone calls all hours of the night, being secretive and keeping his distance from me. All the while, I kept asking him if he had gone out on me and he would say “No I didn’t. I have nothing to hide.” Then he started adding, “Do you have proof?”
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