It Does Get Better

The year was 1998 and I had separated from my my daughters’ dad and filed for divorce. I couldn’t sleep so I was checking out profiles on AOL. I saw one and sent him an email asking if he really melts hearts. He responded with “sometimes”. He told me later he’d almost deleted my email because it was from an unknown email address but he didn’t. We exchanged emails and chatted, getting to know one another. We made a date to meet. For the next year, we continued seeing each other even though every few months he would pull away. We moved in together about a year after meeting, with 3 kids we had from our previous marriages. It was rocky at times and we separated a year later, him saying it was because of kids/discipline, me saying it was because he was still in contact with other women, online. We never stopped seeing each other and about 9 mos after separating he asked me to go away with him, figure out how to be together. He proposed while we were in The Keys. We eloped and married 9/28/02, underwater in Key Largo. Let’s call my wasband RP.

Life was good, we made memories, we made plans. We celebrated our 1st anniversary on a cruise, sharing our love for diving, even got to dive with the dolphins. We bought a Harley, first for RP then another for me. We joined the local Harley Owner’s Group in ’05 for the camaraderie. We rode with our new friends and started traveling around the country. By the time we separated, we had ridden together for over 100,000 miles and in all but 7 of the contiguous states. We had bucket list items of places we wanted to go.

We sure didn’t seem to be a couple who’s marriage was in jeopardy. We met a couple (BS & MS) and became close friends, going on lunch rides, out to dinner, traveling on long weekends, going to concerts. We made vacation plans to ride the 13 colony states the week before Memorial Weekend in ’11 and meet BS and MS in TN for the weekend then ride home. That weekend was the beginning of the end.

I noticed RP would check his phone when we stopped but I didn’t say anything. At breakfast the last morning there, I saw him texting and looked over to see he was texting BS. I told him to put it away and took the next opportunity to find out what was going on when RP went to the bathroom. He told me MS had been hard on BS all weekend and he was just trying to make her smile. I told him he could have just told her to turn her frown upside down, not text her while she is sitting next to her husband. Over the summer, things continued to deteriorate. In early Aug, while RP was out of town for work, MS told BS he wanted a divorce. Being the good friend I was I told her to come stay with me. She cried on my shoulder and I gave her my support. She went home, to work on her marriage and we focused on ours, at least I thought we did.

It was 9/9/11 when I found out just how deep their emotional affair was. We were meeting them in W Palm Beach to see Blake Shelton. We got a call from them saying they’d been in an accident and totaled their car. They were about an hour away and RP said he would go get them. I got bored and went on FB on his laptop. While going to another window I saw his yahoo email was left open. Yes, I looked and what I found shattered my world. I found an email sent the day before to BS saying “If I could spend the rest of my life with you I would. I love you Princess”. I confronted him and he lied saying it was someone from back home (MT). But I knew, I just knew it was BS because she fancied herself as Princess. So I confronted her too. They both admitted to their affair and said they wanted to be together. He moved out the next month. In Jan ’12,we agreed we wanted to work on our marriage. He moved back in, we started counseling together, he even agreed to no contact with BS. The next year was a tough one. I found they had been in contact again, we fought, he still said wanted to stay with me. This happened a couple of times. In Jan ’13, I was strong enough to set some boundaries for us to stay married, including NO contact. He wouldn’t agree saying I was picking his “friends”. The night he was supposed to move out, I got home and he was still there. I still filed for divorce and told him he could stay in the guest room until we got it all sorted out. Even after the divorce was final in May, we stayed in the house, together but separate. RP said he wanted to remarry although his actions didn’t match his words. We talked about doing it in the mountains, TN. But he wasn’t walking the walk. We went on vacation in Jul ’13, me to my daughter’s and him to his daughter’s, both in CA. We met up in Reno for his daughter’s wedding and it was while there that I knew in my heart of hearts he would never be able to give me what I needed. RP did not have the same love for Jesus Christ in his heart and my heart cried out for Him. I moved out on 9/28/13, what would have been my 12th anniversary. The following morning I found RP riding with BS. I guess he had started talking to her again after we got back from CA and continued even while he helped me recover from my hysterectomy.

It’s now 2 years later and I am here to tell you it gets better, it really does. It was hard, oh so hard. I cried myself to sleep. I had never lived on my own and had just turned 54. I was lonely. I was depressed. I gained back the entire 60 lbs I had lost before my world shattered. I needed help getting to sleep. Thankfully, my dr and therapist are great and I have the best support network of friends and family. I am proud to say I have gotten myself off the anti-depressants and am down 40 of those lbs. Even when I found out last month that RP and BS are getting married this month, it only hurt me that day and really only because they are getting married in TN, which is where we were supposed to get remarried.

I have no doubt in my mind that their marriage won’t last. They’re both narcissists. As RP said 4 years ago “We both knew it was wrong, we both knew you and MS would get hurt and we did it anyway”. They honestly deserve each other.

As for me? I’m in a good place, not even one tear shed during the writing of this. I’m not dating but I won’t rule it out. Same with marriage. If God wants another man in my life, I am confident He will put him in my path. It has been hard, finding myself, but you know what, I like what I’ve found.

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