My husbands ex-wife actually agreed to let us pick his kids up next Friday, rather than the Tuesday she originally said we could get them. It was much to his amazement that she was so ‘giving’ and accommodating of his wishes. Usually they end up in a screaming match on the phone, where she blames him for ‘abandoning’ his kids by moving ten hours away. He counters back that she started this whole ball rolling by packing her things up while he was at work and moving to her mothers, three hours away, and sent him a text message informing him that she had left him and wanted a divorce (Later he would find out she had been cheating on him as well …. on their seven year anniversary to boot.)
Every time he counters back with that, it starts a whole new screaming match about how she had to get away from him (I don’t know why, my husband is honest-to-god the most amazing man I’ve ever met, and I’ve known him for twenty years.) He returns with how she took his ability away to see his children every day and reduced it to every other weekend – one of those weekend days he always had to work, so essentially his time got reduced to two full days a month he got to see his children. Living here, he get’s six weeks of the summer, a week in spring, and a week in winter.
But with her being a woman, she seemingly holds all of the cards. If he pisses her off the wrong way, he’s worried she will just refuse to let him see his kids. She’s already stated that she doesn’t give a damn about the parenting agreement. So he usually has to do a lot of ass kissing to ensure that we get our time with his kids when it is due to us.
So last night, he was really quiet after he picked me up from work (we carpool two days a week) and I could see the wheels turning and him trying to figure out what her game is. It then dawned on me that his scars run so much deeper than I ever thought with that woman. She really did a number on him when she left him. I mean, I was his friend back when she left, and I saw the devastation on Facebook posts about how he just wanted his wife back. I know he was torn apart by their marriage ending. But I never really knew the long-term devastation that she left on his soul when she did what she did. Granted, he has told me a hundred times that he’s glad she left him, because we have a marriage the way he never knew it could be. But every so often, I see the results of the bombs that imploded on his soul when she took his children and abandoned their marriage – and it makes me really angry with her. I’ve met her a handful of times (when they were married and afterward). She truly is a miserable soul. When he and I first started dating, she made a public comment on Facebook about how I would probably be pregnant by summer, and I was so fat that you wouldn’t be able to tell.
Having been in a verbally and physically abusive relationship for so many years, hearing her say that just kind of solidified the ‘truth’ that had been drilled into my head for so long. Someone as handsome, and smart, and sexy as my husband wouldn’t ever want to stay with me.
And nine months later, when he moved back north to be closer to his kids, I immediately attributed his decision to my looks. No matter how many times he said it had nothing to do with that, I myself was still too scarred to understand that not everything is in relation to ones physical appearance.
And likewise with him, he found an e-mail she sent through a dating site not long after they split up, with tales of how horrible he was in bed. (I can attest that this is so very much a lie) and it further destroyed his self-confidence. I find myself making sure that I say encouraging things to my husband on a daily basis, or make remarks about how hot he is when he takes his shirt off, or something that will give his ego a pull. He doesn’t seem himself the way that I see him, and it makes me so sad for him. There’s so much quality and depth in that man, and he’s great at so many things – but just like with most people that have been abused or destroyed – it’s a lot easier to believe the bad things about yourself than the good things.
As for me, there are still days that looking in the mirror is difficult. They are fewer and fewer, though. I think with my marriage and the comfortable way in which we are with each other, coupled by the fact that I completely trust him unlike any other person I’ve ever been with – it has given me more confidence in myself – more than I’ve ever had since living with The Abuser over ten years ago.
But we all have our scars, our flaws, and things that we deal with silently, that nobody can see. It’s something we feel and live with on a daily basis. Our vulnerability stays hidden until something triggers a flashback or confusion with abnormal behavior. I saw that in my husband last night on the way home. He looked like a six year old trying to figure out why mom said he can have candy before dinner. It broke my heart for him.