My ex-husband and I were together for ten years, married for one when he asked for a divorce. I was heartbroken and didn’t understand where this was coming from (we had been trying for a baby). So, in the midst of a pandemic, I moved in with a friend and her family so we could take some time apart.
A month later, I moved back home and we started marriage counseling. It wasn’t long before I noticed suspicious charges on our credit card. I can only assume he wanted me to find them, since I had always taken care of our finances and had been supporting him for the past year since he had lost his job.
I went digging. I found evidence of multiple affairs, over multiple years. He was trolling for partners on FetLife for at least 3. You see, he is a “daddy” and found a sub who was able to give him what I couldn’t (never mind that we had had a very healthy sex life). Even better, his new sub is the founder of a BDSM community and hosts a podcast where she describes their relationship in minute detail. Lovely! He takes his role of “daddy” very seriously. Honesty, care for your partner, and selflessness are all central components of their love. Please ignore that pesky wife sitting at home paying the bills.
Looking back, it is wild how many signs of infidelity I missed, but I’ve nearly forgiven myself for being so trusting and putting up with so little. You’d think that me contracting herpes 7 years into a relationship would have been a wake up call, but alas.
I left, went no contact, and filed for divorce. I kept the dog and bought a condo (in my name only). It’s amazing how much money you actually have when you aren’t supporting another fully grown adult. I’ve finally started seeing a doctor who has helped me with some lifelong health issues. I’ve lost 30 pounds, I am sleeping better, I wake up happy. Friends and family say I look great. I am more joyful than I have been in years.
It is only 9 months since he asked for a divorce and 6 since D-Day, but I feel great. Somehow, I feel like this is all too easy. The divorce process has been relatively smooth. I am rarely sad about the betrayal anymore and can go days or even weeks without thinking about my ex. Am I just in denial?
Something about finding out about his infidelity flipped a switch inside of me that set me free and allowed me to see our relationship without rose colored glasses for the first time. It seems strange, but I’m even thankful for my infertility which saved me from having this idiot’s child.
I am just worried that this new life I’ve built is going to come crashing down around me, just like my old one did. I’m scared that I am too happy, too soon. Is the other shoe going to drop?
Here is a lovely little letter for the UBT which he managed to sneak into my things as I moved out:
I want to apologize for the pain and suffering I cause and not being the husband or friend you deserve. You were nothing but wonderful to me. I know we had our differences and didn’t see eye to eye on things, but you deserve more respect and love than I gave. I know you will be going through a lot of healing from the things I put you through, I just want to let you know I’m sorry for my actions, if that means anything. You are a wonderful, smart, loving, beautiful person and for what it’s worth I want you to know what I think of you. I know after our divorce is finalized you won’t want to hear from me again, so I want to say thank you for always being there for me and loving me even though I didn’t deserve it. I truly hope you find someone who will love and cherish you like you do to all the friends and creatures in your life. Take care Ray Ray, give the cats and Atlas a pat on the head from me.
Thank you for your blog, it really did help me gain a better life than I could have imagined.
I’m not the least bit surprised that you’re happy to be free of this freak. Don’t underestimate the toll of 10 years of mindfuckery and being the sole adult in the relationship. He abused you.
That infertility? I’m wondering if it has anything to do with being unknowingly exposed to God knows how many STDs. Please, please, please have a full obgyn work up. This is another one of those unsung damages of chumpdom. (Funny how Esther Perel never mentions it as she blathers on about Exuberant Acts of Defiance and Quests for Aliveness.) I’m glad you found a great doctor. I really hope the infertility is a case of dodging a bullet with him and not a permanent condition.
As for feeling like your new life could come crashing down — I don’t think you go through something like this and ever lose that feeling.
It’s manageable. Don’t let it cripple you or steal your joy. But yes, you look at the world differently after trauma. You know there are freaks out there, phonies, liars, people who are not what they seem. You know that the bottom can drop out of most anything. You lose naivety. But you gain resiliency and a belief in your own toughness. I hope you also gain a deep empathy for anyone going through troubles. You’ll get new superpowers.
Speaking of superpowers, the Universal Bullshit Translator could use a work out. It’s just being lolling about tanning its sprockets. Time to kick it in gear.
I want to apologize for the pain and suffering I cause and not being the husband or friend you deserve.
I know exactly what I did. I know what husbands and friends are, and what you deserve, and I deliberately withheld that from you. Because your pain and suffering are a turn on. Daddy likes a sub.
You were nothing but wonderful to me.
I deserve wonderful. I shit on wonderful.
I know we had our differences and didn’t see eye to eye on things,
Like you’re an adult with a job, and I am an unemployed dungeon master. #differences
but you deserve more respect and love than I gave.
You deserve love and respect, I deserve a burning hot nipple clamp. I should be tethered to a post and forced to recite STD statistics. I should receive a lash for every genital wart I’ve caused. Every abnormal pap smear. Every fucked up fallopian tube. Every lie of your assumed safety I told.
Instead, here are some words I don’t mean. #sorry #oopsIbrokeURuterus
I know you will be going through a lot of healing from the things I put you through, I just want to let you know I’m sorry for my actions, if that means anything.
It doesn’t mean anything. But I’m so used to give you absolutely nothing, why stop?
You are a wonderful, smart, loving, beautiful person and for what it’s worth I want you to know what I think of you.
I imagine that my validation of you matters. Measure yourself by my praise.
I know after our divorce is finalized you won’t want to hear from me again,
So, I just thought I’d start violating your boundaries now by stuffing this note in your things.
so I want to say thank you for always being there for me and loving me even though I didn’t deserve it.
Thank you for being of use. Of course I deserved it. Just twirling the self-pity knob on the mindfuckery channels.
I truly hope you find someone who will love and cherish you like you do to all the friends and creatures in your life.
Daddy is munificent. Go forth with the blessings of creatures! Have friends! Maybe you can find someone who loves you like a cat. Someone better than me.
Take care Ray Ray, give the cats and Atlas a pat on the head from me.
I am an ordinary friendly man who pats animals on the head. Would a sociopath call you Ray Ray? I come in peace. I have a puppy in my van, would you like to pet it?
Rachel, congrats on rocking the new life. Please enjoy every freak-free minute.