Tuesday, February 22, 2011

And we're still living together...

My marriage is over.

My husband is an adulterous swine jerk asshole man. He has a girlfriend, even though we’re married.

He spent a night in a hotel room with her, despite the pain that it caused me. He is openly cheating on me.

And we’re still living together.

I’m in school, and I made the decision to leave him the day after classes started, when I found yet another email between the two of them, talking about how in love they are. She calls herself “Mrs. Howell”. He calls her his “wife”. As for me, well, I guess they both like to pretend that I don’t exist.

On facebook, on my own blog, I’ve been very gracious. “We’re keeping things civil for the kids”, or “we won’t allow anyone to trash either of us, we’re united in raising out children” or “we’re going through a difficult time right now, but we will continue to be respectful to one another”; we’re acting like celebrities do when they divorce, and their PR people come out with these kinds of statements.

But here, where no one knows me, or him, I’ll be honest and to hell with him.

Every morning, I get up and get our kids ready for daycare. We have a 3 year old, and an 18 month old. He sleeps either on the couch or in the guest room in the basement, or occasionally in our king size bed (with a pillow-wall between us, no accidental touching here) if I’m not feeling well, so that he can get the kids. We take turns driving them to school. We switch cars so that one can drop them off and the other can pick them up. We still make dinner arrangements, and do children’s baths and story time together. He still washes, I still fold.

But now, instead of being held when I’m upset, I sleep alone. Now, instead of flirting and camaraderie, there’s a tension in the air. And now, instead of long talks between us, there are phone calls from the basement while I study, alone.

I’ll have my degree in December, hopefully, and then he’ll move out and I’ll find a job. But for now, I can look at him, his things, and instead of feeling the love, the pride, that I’ve felt in the past (and that I’ve written about here before), I feel pain. Disappointment. Anguish. Hope. Failure.

I could take the substantial evidence that I have to his commander, push for UCMJ (adultery is illegal in the military, and you can be severely punished for it) action. But I won’t, and he knows it. I could blackmail him for alimony, for everything we have. But, again, I won’t. It’s not that I’m not tempted to take my revenge the only way I really am able, but I don’t see the point in ruining his life; he’s hurt me, but he hasn’t ruined mine. Besides, if I know anything about these things, he’ll ruin his own life eventually anyway.

He thinks that he and Girlfriend, as I like to call her, will be very happy together one day. Despite the fact that they can’t be open about their relationship, despite our marriage and her boyfriend, and despite the two children who will eventually have to be told about the effect the relationship had on Mommy, they think they’ll be happy together. But they won’t. Both of them will always wonder, “is s/he cheating again?”. The “new” will wear off, and all they’ll have left is whatever substance there is, which isn’t much.

I’ll be alone, but at least I’ll have my self respect. At least I can hold my head up high.

He can’t.

Elaina--Has bloged HERE, HERE, and HERE for us.

23 comments:

Florida Dom said...

You are a very mature young woman the way you are handling this heartbreak and betrayal. Yes, you can keep your head high and you have your self respect. And, yes, if they cheat on you, they will cheat on each other in the future.

Get your degree and a job and take your kids and start a new life. But you deserve both alimony and child support. You were the wronged spouse. And while you don't want to ruin his life (he will do that on his own as you said), you should get a lawyer to see what you are entitled too.

Good luck and keep your head high.

FD

That Girl said...

good for you. i admire your strength.

Anonymous said...

I"ll play devil's advocate here.
You are both failing your children, miserably.
Him by his actions with another, you by your failure to leave.
Kids aren't stupid. They are well tuned in to undercurrents.
Respect yourself and your children. Leave.

Gucci Mama said...

That must have been very easy to say anonymously, Captain Fail.

E - I love you and respect you and I know you're doing the very best you can for yourself and your babies. Things are never as black and white as they are in Anon's little fantasy land.

You are handling this with such grace and dignity, truly, and I admire you for not going for the jugular.

Love you, mean it.

~DokterKenny said...

I would be willing to bet my paycheck...that the day you actually move on and start seeing someone for yourself he will be angry and jealous. Then and only then will he realize what a monumental fucking mistake he has made.

In fact I would start putting yourself out there now and not even hiding it.

Good luck hon...and trust me on this one.

T said...

I love that you are moving on emotionally and preparing a good life for your children - I hope that the "keeping it civil" is not tearing you up emotionally... be sure that those boundaries you have set within your home are keeping YOU safe as well as the kids... Him? I don't know him, but judging by his actions he has already made enough damaging choices and the only reason to protect his career by not reporting him is to ensure that he has the means to pay a boatload of child support in years to come.

Elaina said...

Anonymous: I've been a stay at home mother for the last 4 years. I have half a degree, and very little work experience. Are you willing to pay my bills while I finish up school? Because he is. So if you're not, then don't you dare tell me I'm failing my children. I mean, really?!

FD: I imagine that he'll be ordered to pay child support, and if he is, then I'll put it aside for their college funds, or a Disney World fund, or some of both. As for alimony, well, he's an enlisted soldier, and after I get a job, I imagine I'll probably be making more than he will, or at least the same. We'll see...

That girl: Thank you

Dokter: I thought about it, really, but I'm still a little too raw to be able to commit to someone, and I don't want to dip my toes back into the dating pool until I am ready. What if I found someone who I really cared about, and who cared about me, but I wasn't emotionally ready to commit? I think that would be a whole new level of pain.

GM: Love you too. Mean it too.

Elaina said...

T: I don't want to ruin his career because, despite all the pain he's caused me, I still want him to be happy. He's the father of my children, and as much as I may dislike his actions, he'll always be important to me; perhaps not in the same way as before, but still.

Kenny said...

The fact that he is still there, still helping with the kids...means that on some level he still cares for you.

The fact that he is openly cheating on you means that he is angry with you and sees no way out except to move on with someone else.

I am not excusing his behavior, however there may still be a chance to save things if you want to fight for him. NOT FIGHT HIM BUT, fight for him.

Do you still love him...have you told him...what is he seeking with the new girlfriend...

What a pain in the ass situation...I hope things work out for the best with all of you. I can understand your pain and his frustration (I am projecting a lot of my own frustration here). Good luck.

Elaina said...

Kenny: it's over. This isn't the first time this has happened, and even if he ended things with Girlfriend and begged me to forgive him, I don't believe for a second that it wouldn't happen again in the future.

I believe that he DOES still care for me; I still care for him. Keeping things civil for the kids was a mutual agreement, and we're trying very hard to do that. And for his faults, he is a fabulous father, which makes everything a little easier.

I don't think he's angry with me, I think that he's addicted to falling in love. I've seen this pattern in him before, and he and Girlfriend will probably burn out within the next few months, if he follows his past behavior.

But I'll never be able to really trust him again, and I don't respect him, so no, I don't think our relationship is salvageable.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

Anon was right in saying that children are in tune. They know or can feel what's going on in the environment set up for them--as for the other things anon said, I don't feel that you're failing them, ur children, as long as you guys can work as friends--as you have stated, he is a good father and their father-just because you will leave him doesn't mean he'll be gone... Your children will always connect the two of you, so I admire the strength you have to find a way to do it on your own and, it is strength, because at one point you did love him and knowing you can't change him or your situation doesn't lessen the hurt or pain you feel.

So I'm glad you have a chance here to say it "out loud"--owning it helps in the healing.

Good luck girl.

wendy said...

This is a sad post for sure. So sorry this is happening to you.
I think it is hard...yet for the best...is any divorce can be handled as civily as possible. No jugular.....it never pays off, but that being said, you ARE entitled to at the very least child support.

None of us here can really tell you how to handle it...you have to do what YOU feel is best in the long run.
But, kids do "sense" when things are not quite right.

Elaina said...

No argument that kids can sense things (I'm taking Child Psych right now, interestingly enough, and it's REALLY helped me help them through this), but I looked at all my options, and I felt (and still feel) that this was the best choice I could make. And we go out of our way to not let them see us sniping at one another; in fact, we go out of our way not to snipe at one another, period.

UP said...

Holy shit!
You're much stronger than I.


UP

Nancy@ifevolutionworks.com said...

You have an awesome attitude about it. Great things are headed your way :)

Jaime said...

part of me thinks that if i were faced with this situation, i'd go for the jugular. i'd go after our kid, his money, his job (he works for my family's business).

but when the emotional gave way to the more rational, i'd feel like crap if i actually did that.

i'm not sure i'd be able to handle the situation with the same strength and awesome attitude you have.

Garden of Egan said...

I'm not sure I would handle this with the determination you have.
I can't fathom the hurt you have. He is a jerk and should have to pay some kind of consequence for it.

Bless you in what you are trying to do. I hope you find a good job and SOON.

I think I have to agree with what the others have said, children aren't dumb. They need to see a healthy relationship between their parents.

Papa K said...

Damn... that really really sucks. Don't know if I'd have than much strength to not blackmail him if I were you.

tysdaddy said...

My God. May I be frank?

. . .

I wrote sentence after sentence there, trying to sum up in a few words what a louse this man is. But nothing seemed to work. And it would be nothing new to you.

So sorry you are going through this very literal hell . . .

Elaina said...

I'm actually doing really well. I'm a psych major, so I have more insight to him than he does for me. And like I said, I know he won't be happy in the end; as for me, I'm well on the path to healing and moving on. Getting it out here was great for me. I'll be ok.

Also, I love that you used the word "louse". It's just not used enough these days :)

April said...

I feel like even though the kids can sense things, they're still VERY young. In my opinion, too young to be permanently effected by your living situation right now.

It sounds as though you guys are being civil in the house, just not sleeping together. At their ages, I can't imagine that they're thinking, "Mommy and daddy aren't sleeping in the same bed. Maybe they're getting divorced." I know there's much more to the psychology than that, but I guess what I'm saying is that I don't feel you're failing your kids or doing any damage to them right now.

I completely admire the way you're handling this situation. You're a strong woman. He's an asshole.

Daddy Geek Boy said...

I'm sorry for what you're going through. And I agree that the kids can probably sense the tension, the way that cats and dogs can sense weather or earthquakes.

He's cheating on you openly. You've decided the relationship is over. So why haven't you kicked his ass out of the house? Why does he deserve to live with you guys, creating the tension and the deceit?

December is a long time away to continue to live like this.

Daddy Geek Boy said...

I went back and read some of your responses to comments more closely and it seems that the answer to my question was right in there.

So my bluntness in my previous comment could be construed as rude. And if that's the case, I apologize.

Again, it's a bad situation and there's no easy way to handle. Good luck.

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