Can you give me some pearls of wisdom (or a swift kick in the pants) to get out of my funk? It’s been almost 5 years since D-day. Married for 24 years at D-day, together for 26, almost 30 years together at divorce.
I found out (for sure) Yahoo was cheating from the police coming to my home. They were looking for him to forcibly take him to a psych eval.
Here’s the background… I found after D-day that he had been serial cheating on me for at least 6 years. He got cancer in 2010 and instead of becoming a better person, he decided you only live once and decided he never really wanted to marry me so he started cheating, devaluing, etc.
He’d head to Vegas with the “guys” and hang out with his friends in bars here in town (no mutual friends between us. Should have been a red flag right there. We basically led separate lives.) I trusted him, though, so I didn’t ever object. I just felt like if he cared so little about me that he might actually be cheating, then I didn’t want him anyway. But I was suspicious. I found cards and pictures of other women in his sock drawer. He started grooming himself differently, dressing nicer, the whole bit. Yet I still told myself that he was an honorable person, and sure, he might want to leave me, but he’d come to me and tell me; he would never cheat.
So on Labor Day 2016, my anniversary weekend, he asked to go to Vegas with the “guys.” I said ok, I even drove him to the airport and I’ll never forget, I said to him, “Don’t do anything stupid while you’re there.” Of course, I was thinking of too much gambling or something. Well, he didn’t return home when he said he would. Wasn’t answering phone calls. I was out walking the dog about 2 days after he was scheduled to return home when I rounded the corner and saw a police car with an officer standing on my lawn talking to my 13-year-old son. I figured Yahoo had killed someone drunk driving or something. Long story short, he finally got enough pressure from Schmoopie that he actually married her in Vegas. Yes, he wasn’t there to meet the “guys.” Unbelievable. It’s a void marriage and a felony to commit bigamy in Vegas. And he’s a lawyer!
So apparently, Schmoopie and Yahoo had returned to our city and holed up in a hotel. They’re out partying one night and the enormity of the double-life he constructed finally hit him along with too much alcohol and he tripped down some stairs and started threatening to kill himself. Schmoopie called an ambulance (apparently she’s unaware at this point that he’s married so she’s pretty panicked and confused by his behavior). He’s at the hospital and they’re preparing a petition for a psych eval when he walks off.
The police get a pick-up order, come to my home looking for him, and scare the living daylights out of my son banging on our door, telling him to open up. They asked him where his dad was and how long his parents had been married, and he told them forever, and that’s when they blurted out to my son that his father got married in Vegas and they were looking for him. Unbelievable that they did that. Perhaps they thought he was older. (He was tall for his age with a pretty deep voice.) Anyway, that’s when I showed up with the dog and got the details.
Unbelievably, I did the whole wreckoncilitation thing for two years until I’d finally had enough and filed for divorce, which was final in 2019. I stayed in the family home with my son until this year when he turned 18.
My “problem” is we sold the family home a month ago and in this market I can’t find another place to live without spending a fortune for a home that’s so much less than what I had, that I don’t even like at all, that requires tons of repairs, but it’s all I can find in my price range, and I’m scared of over spending by thousands of dollars while watching my pennies for retirement. I was doing ok but after selling the home, I’m finding that I’m depressed, angry, and anxious all over again.
Meanwhile, he has rich parents who pay his rent, etc. (Of course, he quit work in all this mess and can’t find another job, apparently.) I know there are so many others who are not as fortunate as I am, but I can’t shake this. I’m completely no contact as our son is now 18, but I just feel like my life is over. I have no interest in dating, none at all. I just see myself muddling through work until I retire, in my crappy house that I paid too much for, with my son gone at college 1000 miles away, and I might as well just pack it in. I’ve looked at volunteering, which I do intend to do, but I’m so angry, depressed, and anxious I can barely function each day right now.
Any helpful suggestions, other than “grow up?” Maybe I’m just a big baby. I’m really hurting right now, and I don’t see my way into the future. How do I become more appreciative of what I have and quit worrying so much? All I can do is be sad about all of this. I have a real fear of ending up poor and alone, so I am so scared about buying this house, but I don’t want to throw away rent either and have the market become so high I can never buy if I sit out renting and spend all that rent money. I’m a mess. Why can’t I just be happy about what I have and make a decision on a home vs renting and move on? I’m so anxious I can’t even make a decision. Seriously, what is wrong with me?
Depressed, Angry and Anxiety-ridden
I don’t think your problem is real estate. I think it’s depression. You’ve been dealt one blow after the next after the next. Betrayal, wreckconciliation, divorce, empty nest, moving. It’s a LOT, especially in a short span of time. Quit beating yourself up, you’re grieving.
I’m not arguing against appreciating what you have or volunteering — I think those things go a long way when it comes to funk beating. But I’d do a couple other things right now — get to a psychiatrist and get screened for depression. There’s no shame in it. And no shame in going on anti-depressants for awhile, just to right the mood ship while you’re making some big life decisions.
Trauma can really fuck up your health. Don’t gloss over my yada yada yada self-care speech. Trauma. Can. Really. Fuck. Up. Your. Health. We’ve done posts on this here at CN — hair falls out in clumps, the “infidelity diet,” mysterious rashes, auto-immune diseases, ad infinitum. Stop making this about your “bad attitude” and start thinking about it as your HEALTH. Protect your health. See a doctor about your mental health, eat nutritious food, take long walks or whatever your preferred form of exercise is. Grief is a marathon.
Next, (and I know this is the depression talking), quit catastrophizing. I’m waving my magic Chump Lady wand and I’m giving you permission to make a Less Than Stellar decision. You have to live somewhere. Rent for a year and give yourself space to consider your What Next. Or buy a condo. Or buy a house in a seller’s market. NONE OF THESE THINGS ARE FATAL. You are an intelligent woman, a resilient woman. YOU WILL WORK THIS OUT.
Consider solo living — do you really need the upkeep and size of another house? What might be groovy and unique for you? Think creatively — maybe you’d enjoy communal living with a friend or a retirement apartment complex with activities. Maybe you rent or live in a small apartment for a few years while you plan for retirement to someplace a thousand miles away, in a cheaper market, and THEN you buy something.
Maybe offloading that house is an opportunity you just can’t see right now?
I know that losing a relationship AND a family home is a tremendous shit sandwich. I’ve grieved gardens. Hell, I dug up a Japanese maple when I left the cheater, put it in a giant Rubbermaid tote and hauled it to work, and presented it to a green thumbed coworker. I’d was going to be god-damned if I let that cheater kill that tree. (Many years later, that former coworker still sends me pictures of how the tree is doing. It’s thriving.)
We all get it. Losing the family home. The pollution of the family home. (Schmoopies slept there.) The financial loss. But losing houses can also be a gateway to freedom.
Now YOU call the shots on how you live and where you live. No matter how humble the dwelling, it’s YOURS. You choose the paint colors. You get all the closet space. You plant what YOU want. No bad cheater juju.
So, rent or own, you get PEACE. Your life isn’t over, it’s beginning in new surroundings.
Grief sucks, but it’s finite. (Get professional help if it feels infinite.) I believe you’ll blossom again in the right environment. Being rootless isn’t forever. Hang in there.