I decided to marry someone who embodied none of the characteristics I’d thought would make someone a good husband and life partner, except that he was an adult male. First, he was a Mason, which meant he was committed to his secret society. He even wore his Masonic ring on his wedding ring finger. I asked him what he would wear on that finger once we married, and he said he would continue to wear the Masonic ring. Second, he had fathered five children with three different women by the time I became involved with him. I asked him why he didn’t try to work things out with ANY of his children’s mothers, and he told me horrid stories about how they used him, or disrespected him, or physically provoked him into fights. They were not as wonderful as me, he said. They were not as intelligent and educated as me, he said. They were not the marrying type, but I was, he said. *insert eyeroll* Third, he worked with criminals, and he seemed to both despise and admire the inmates he was charged with supervising. He found the fights, cursing and general confusion exciting. When he wasn’t at work, he would watch reality shows or dramas about prisons and inmates. Finally, he had proposed to me when I was about to break up with him, and that proposal was the only reason I’d remained involved with him through several break ups over the course of two years. I found him to be under-educated, overly competitive, opinionated, and unreliable – in retrospect, a male version of the female parental unit.
For her part, the wombed one alternated between warning me about being involved with the husband-to-be, and fawning over him herself. It felt at times like I was competing with her for my fiance’s affection and attention. He seemed to enjoy that very much, which was all the more disconcerting. Eventually, I decided against my better judgement to settle down as no one better seemed to be coming along, and the birther offered to help with the wedding expenses. She was very excited about helping me plan the wedding, but she disagreed with a lot of my ideas, so I began doing research and planning on my own. I wanted a very small, private wedding. I didn’t have a lot of friends, and although I’d heard about his friends, I’d only met one. I was certain that we could get married for less than $1000. I worked furiously to keep costs down, while still trying to make things beautiful for our special day.
As days became weeks of planning, it began to dawn on me that I was the only one doing the work. He failed to show up for doctor’s appointments, or for premarital counseling, and had no input on rings for me. Looking at rings for him WITH him almost brought me to tears, because he wanted me to buy him yet another Masonic ring. When I complained that he was not being supportive, he told me it was too much pressure. He couldn’t handle planning a wedding. He just wanted it to be over, and wanted us to be married already. He kept me up from 11 p.m. until 6 a.m. with this rubbish talk one night, and by the time the sun was up, I was making plans to go with him to another county and get married at the courthouse. I called in sick from work, got myself dressed as nicely as I could on short notice, and when he arrived at my home, I drove us to the courthouse and we got married without rings and without witnesses (other than the Justice of the Peace).
After the civil ceremony, I wanted to go out and celebrate. I wanted to eat at a nice restaurant with my new husband. I asked him where he wanted to eat. He said, “McDonald’s.” I didn’t know whether to cry or scream or laugh. I asked him if he was joking, and he said he was not. He said that eating at McDonald’s was a treat to him, and that’s where he wanted to go because he couldn’t wait to get home to consummate the marriage. I was a bit taken aback, but at the same time the thought of the consummation caused me to give in. So we ate McDonald’s, then proceeded to make our marriage official. He kept reminding me that I had refused him for several months, telling him that if he wasn’t going to marry me, there was no point in having sex. He seemed to find it quite amusing that he was now going to have sex with me again.
I didn’t get the joke at the time, but once the deed was done, he hopped up and started putting his clothes back on. When I asked him where he was going, he told me he still had to go to work. I was shocked. I asked him why he didn’t call in to work, as I had done. He said he’d been so excited, he’d forgotten. And he left. And when his shift was over, he did not come home. He went to his apartment. And he did that the next night, and the next night, and the next night. He would visit every few days, but he did not make any effort to move in, or move me into his apartment. He did not support me in any way. He told me he had to hold on to his place because the house was mine, and I could kick him out whenever I felt like. I never did get the chance, because he would not move in. The only difference between before we married and after we married was that we once again had sex, and I changed my name.
Three months into the marriage, I contacted his mother. I’d never met her, and had only talked with her on the phone once before marrying her son. I decided that I should get his mother involved to correct what was an unbearable situation. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. She told me a real woman would not have married her son without meeting her. She told me that he was not ready for marriage, and that he had a lot of responsibility helping take care of her, and that was why he wasn’t able to move in with me or support me as a husband should. She led me to believe that she cared about the success of her son’s marriage, and that she would use her influence to persuade him to come home. The apple had not fallen far from the tree. I later learned she’d told me a lot of lies, and hated my guts because I dared to marry her son without her blessing, then complained to her about him.
Six months into the marriage, I found the online blog of a woman in a nearby state who had several posts about the trials of being involved with a man who works a lot, has a lot of kids, and is trying to be a good man. I sympathized with her, thinking that she was a lot like me. She was more like me than I realized: she was involved with my husband. She had his picture on one of her posts with the title “You Love Me.” My heart stopped beating, and I couldn’t breathe. I felt so angry, so hurt, so ashamed, so foolish all at once. How could he? How could he?!!! I was sure she was an innocent party, so I sent her a message letting her know he was already married, thinking I would spare her needless heartache. She took my message as a challenge, and decided to prove that she was the better woman.
I can admit it without hanging my head now, but I put all the dirty laundry online. He attacked me mercilessly in response, with projection, triangulation, and blatant lies. He refused to speak to me, except through text messages. He demanded a divorce. He told me he was happy with his girlfriend, and I should leave him alone. I used the power of the pen to tear him to shreds. He could not out reason me, but he did his best to hurt me. An online friend stepped in and advised me to let it alone, as continuing to engage him was only making me look bad. I saw that she was right, and I stepped away.
I was thoroughly confused. I thought I had done the right thing by finally marrying someone, but now it had blown up in my face. The female parental unit was living with me, and provided comfort with, “I told you not to marry a Mason. You should have known something was going on when he didn’t come home. I don’t know why you had to go off and marry him.” She was also the person he WOULD speak to on the phone. He would call, and she would sound so pleased that he’d called. Not outraged that he’d abandoned her daughter and cheated so publicly that it was humiliating. He would tell her he was coming by to take her for a drive, and she’d get dressed, letting me know she’d be back soon. He once told her that he missed a certain kind of sandwich I used to make for him. She promised him that she would make it, and have it ready for him when he arrived. When she got off the phone with him, she asked me how to make the sandwich. I replied, “Why don’t you ask me how to make love to him while you’re at it?!” She pretended to be shocked and appalled, but she had that canary-eating grin of hers on her face. My pain was her pleasure.
I started trying to regain my sensibilities, but a few months after I discovered his infidelity, he had a major accident. He called me from the hospital, and I rushed from work to be by his side. He needed me, and I was there for him. When he told me he wanted to reconcile, I acquiesced. Things seemed to be going well for almost two weeks, then he told me he had to take a weekend trip, and I couldn’t come with him. My gut said something was up. I went back to the girlfriend’s blog, and it was all there: he surprised her by showing up at her door, and they spent most of the weekend in bed. I told him we were through. He denied having been with her, then switched to yes, he was with her because she completes him and blah blah blah. He didn’t want to pay for a divorce, and he didn’t want a divorce on the grounds of adultery, fraud or abandonment. He wanted the divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. I told him he could pay for what he wants, and that I was done talking to him. But it wasn’t over just yet.
To be continued…