Friday, January 24, 2014

Divorce Part 4 - The Back Story

"Funny you're the broken one but I'm the only one who needed saving / Cause when you never see the light it's hard to know which one of us is caving." Rhianna

Things were not right with Scott and I after he got fired about two years after moving to Louisiana and the day before our second child was born. I won't get into all the details of his job loss, jumping and quitting throughout the duration of our relationship. But, this time I had quit my career and was a stay at home mom. I depended on him to make it right this time.

After getting fired, he passed up some decent opportunities (didn't pay enough for what he felt he was worth) and  started a business with two other guys. Again, I put my faith in him. I helped him with the business until I was forced to start working and the money was running out. It was very hard for me. I am a gal who needs financial security and every month it was getting harder.

I started doing whatever I could work-wise considering I had two very young kids and no money for child care. I worked at the preschool my son attended a few hours a week. I worked for an account scanning documents for $10/hr. I was freelancing in web design at night and on the weekends.

Finally, I landed a part-time consulting job where I could work form home and my freelancing started to take off. However, by this time, Scott was not even making an income anymore as the business was failing. Eventually it closed. I begged him to find anything! I told him to go be a bartender till he got something. He promised me daily but did nothing. Meanwhile, I got a job waiting tables on the weekends. I consulted during the nights after taking care of the kids during the day. I was the only one carrying us with a very unsteady and low income.

By summer I was ready to leave the marriage. I had enough with how he was letting our life crumble and doing nothing. I know now he was already talking to Kari at this point. One day we got in a huge fight because I wasn't allowed to cry about our financial situation. I left the house after telling him I want to leave our marriage and planned to go home to visit my parents like I did every summer but this time I wasn't coming back. I intended to find a job there and start my life over.

He got desperate and begged me to come home. He drove around town with the kids looking for me. He contacted my friends. He found one at the church and begged her to tell me not to leave.

That was two years prior to me finding out about the affair.

I went to a Beth Moore lecture with my girlfriends about a month after that episode. At the end, Beth said something that struck a cord so hard with me that I sat down in the pew and sobbed. I don't recall what it was but it was something about identifying and ridding the negativity from your life. I knew at that point the negativity that was destroying my life was my husband. It was crystal clear. My friends finally got an earful of the truth of what was my life. Most didn't know how bad it was. How we were on the brink of losing everything. It was very hard to admit what was going on in my life out loud.  They were very supportive and held me up the way good friends do and in their own ways.

One friend referred us to marriage counseling. The first time we went, the counselor asked me if I loved him. I sat silent for some time thinking of how to answer. Scott just stared at me in disbelief. I finally answered "I don't know." He was very upset by that. The counselor ultimately told him that he needs to be the man of the family and provide the support that a man should to his family. A wife does not want to bear the burden of everything. She basically told him to get a job and help me out with the home and children.

A month later I landed a full-time job. I also landed a large freelance job.  Shortly after, Scott finally got a job. Things were looking up. 3 months later he got fired. He told me the new boss didn't like him because he was a male and she was cleaning house. I now believe it was because he needed to have a valid driver's license for his job. I've since learned he got a ticket that he never paid and then his license was revoked. I learned this from his mother who said they lent him the $650 to pay the ticket fees so he could get his license back but they weren't supposed to tell me because he was afraid I would divorce him.

So again, he was unemployed. He had to take care of the kids because I was working full-time now. After a several months of it he got depressed and needed that weekend getaway with his buddies that I wrote about in a previous post. Ya know, the one where Kari flew him using her miles, he charged $200 on our credit card for hotel room and he didn't go there to sleep with her? While he went out of town, I had to drag the kids to work with me because I couldn't afford childcare. My boss later told me how he thought that was so shitty of Scott to "have to take a vacation" while he was unemployed. I concur.

Eventually, I got a very good job and was back into my career! At the same time, Scott was trying out another business venture with his friend Richard. They kept flying to Florida a lot to "learn about the industry" and go to conventions. This is also when he interviewed with Kari's company. Even his mom started questioning why he was going to Florida so much. I basically didn't care.

Christmas was always as stressful time for me because Scott always caused issues with my Dad. I begged him this particular Christmas to not start trouble. He promised me he wouldn't.

He did.

After that, I regulary thought about leaving. I basically had one foot out the door. I waivered and thought and thought and thought about it. I talked to others who recently divorced for advice. Most said don't do it because of the kids or save your money for a lawyer fees before you do anything. Every time he called me at work it was trouble. An accident, a ticket, a problem at work, a flat tire, blah, blah, blah. I would cry a lot at work after talking to him. Sometimes I wouldn't take his calls out of fear of what the bad news was.

Our financial situation was getting a little better but still very poor. A car got repossessed and shortly after returned because the payment and court order got crossed in the mail. We were trying to repay everything but at the same time he was having an affair and living the life. Everything was Richard. He came home with a pair of shoes. "Oh Richard ordered them online and they didn't fit. So he gave them to me." Or if he was texting while we watched TV, it was Richard about work. I find a Michael Kors cologne bag in the closet. "Richard got it as a gift from a customer and doesn't like how it smells so he gave it to me." Everything that was Kari, was covered up by saying it was Richard. I even caught him on the phone outside behind the shed one night. He was in his pjs. When I approached and said "What are you doing?" he put the phone in his pajama bottoms pocket and I could see it was still lite up and on. He claimed he was talking to a co-worker who had the hots for his buddy. I told him that was the stupidest lie I ever heard and walked away. I just didn't care.

So one day while really having a hard time at work and crying in the break room about my marriage with a female co-worker, a male co-worker who overheard told me he fixed his marriage after 8 years of trouble. So naturally I sought him out privately to find out how. I think I still wanted that last attempt at salvaging before I jumped ship. He gave me advice and encouraged me to try for my kids sake.

We talked a lot via IM about what happened to him and what was happening with me and compared notes. It was hard to talk in person about that stuff at work (very little privacy) and we didn't see each other at all outside of work. So we IM'd daily about how things were going and he suggested new things to try. He repeatedly told me I had to make it work for my kids. He was right. So I tried and took a lot of his advice.

One day he said, "You loved him at one time because you married him. Why? Try to go back to that reason." That  threw me for a loop. I didn't know why. I couldn't remember why. I went home that day and went for a 2 hour walk and cried because I didn't know why I loved him and married him. The next day Scott left for his "week long convention" (aka a week in Orlando with Kari) and I had time to myself at night to think. I was digging through my nightstand looking for a notebook to start writing in and out fell a piece of paper. I started reading it and it was from the year before we moved to Louisiana. I wrote about loving Scott. I was stunned. I didn't remember writing it but I guess I did and there it fell into my hands at a time I needed an answer.

I went to work and immediately IM'd my friend and told him. He was ecstatic for me. He said "When he gets back from his trip go outside on the patio and have a drink together. Just talk." So that was what I did.

And that is when it all started . . .

We talked awhile and he said to me "You have been awful nice lately." I admitted how I was feeling and how I consulted my friend and he was giving me advice. His first question to me was "Do you like this guy?". I just looked at him with a quizzical look on my face and said "No?" He said then why are you talking to him? I explained how it all started and said that the guy was encouraging me to save my marriage. He then said, "Well, I have someone I talk to as well and she has really been supportive and helping me" (Kari!) But he wouldn't tell me who because he said I know her. (Lie. I didn't and still don't.)

That conversation didn't end well and the next day I demanded to know who. I didn't think it was fair that he couldn't tell me and I wondered why. I told him the name of the person I was talking to. I had nothing to hide.

So since he was being secretive I started to dig. There was no way in hell I was going to put anymore effort into my marriage at this point if he was cheating. A co-worker heard my story and was convinced he was cheating and encouraged me to keep digging. She told me I had to figure out the password to his phone and she believed the answer was within. She was right.

He discovered I was digging and got angry at me and started to threaten to call the wife of the guy at work who I was talking to and tell her we were having an affair.

So I finally gave him an ultimatum. Tell me who it is or I will start contacting every female I know. He said it was someone he went to college with and she was married to his college buddy so he didn't want to tell me her name. He feared I would get jealous and contact her and cause trouble in her marriage. He told me her husband is a super control freak, that she works for his families' business and has two daughters. I asked if he ever traveled to where she lives. He said no. I asked if she ever traveled to meet him. He said no and that she can't travel anywhere without his family knowing since she worked for their business.

All of the above was a complete lie.

He described someone else that I did know that wasn't Kari. So I naturally figured it out based on the info above and confronted him about that person. He said, "what if it was? how would you feel?" I don't recall the conversations after that but I do know it drug out awhile and he ultimately promised to stop talking to her. And important to note, somewhere in that conversation he said he doesn't keep her name in his phone, just her number. And that he never intiates texting, only she does because if her husband found out he would kill her. So he waits for her to text.

Between the above incident and the night I checked his phone in the hotel room different things went down. He started cleaning out his nightstand that was stuffed with all kinds of papers, business cards, etc. I had asked him for like a year to clean it out and suddenly he did. I asked him if he was clearing it out so I wouldn't search it and potentially find anything. He got really mad at me.

He got a text in the middle of the night and picked up his phone to read it. I pretended to be asleep and could see it was just a phone number, not a name. I confronted him and he got all upset and said it was his cousin sending him porn links. And then he went into this crying fit saying he needed help because he was addicted to porn and that was why he stayed up late at night after I went to bed. I told him I didn't believe him. He put on quite an act. I said, "Then prove it to me. Get help." He never did and I never heard another thing about this porn addiction ever again.

So then comes our night out in the city while the kids are at my parents. He picks me up at work at 5:00 pm. He texted me he was downstairs waiting. We go downtown and end up at a bar owned by his high school buddy who moved to NOLA too. We eat dinner and drink for awhile with them. It's Essence festival weekend so hotel prices are jacked up high but his buddy knew someone at the hotel next door and got us a room for the normal rate of $120 a night.

We weren't planning to spend the night so Scott volunteers to run home and get our stuff. I stay at the bar with his buddy and his wife just hanging out. He arrives back with our stuff and $650 in cash! We were pretty broke so swinging the $120 for the hotel was a stretch. I asked where he got the money and he said Richard always carries around a lot of cash (he is a millionaire) and he gave it to him after work and told him to take me out so we could enjoy ourselves. I was very skeptical . . .

We tried to go out on the town after that but it was miserable. We argued and disagreed about everything. We didn't have fun and just decided to go back to the hotel and sleep.

I woke up in the middle of the night to pee, checked his phone and saw the blank (content deleted) text message at 5:05 pm to a just a number (not a name) with the area code of Ft. Lauderdale - 5 minutes after he texted me he was downstairs at my work to pick me up. He had been to Florida at least 10 times in the past year "for work". My heart sank, my hands quivered and eventually my whole body shook. It was over.

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