He wrote me an apologetic card --and begged me to give him another chance after he found my blog. A few of my posts recalled episodes in which he did something hurtful. He cried as he promised to be a kinder, more caring man--and to cook dinners and do other things with me.
He kept asking if I wrote about his improvement in my blog. I am guessing that his reputation with a few strangers was more important to him than the opinion of his wife and children. I posted his warm words. He forgot to be nice a few days later.
In fact, he began hiding his cellphone bill. He snatched it from my hand and screamed and cursed at me and shoved it into the back pocket of his jeans. Next, he had the phone detail removed from his account. There were times when he would answer the phone and hang up on the person calling. Then he would run from the room to delete the incoming number from his phone list before I could see it.
He also mentioned that he considered buying an extra prepaid mobile phone. (I asked him if he would appreciate it if I bought one.)
A few weeks later his bill came. The numbers were listed because I called the company to have call detail turned back on three days after he had it cancelled. (I realized that when I saw the customer care calls on the bill.)
He didn't know that I would see his call list when the bill arrived at the house during the day, while he was at work.
When it arrived last Friday, I opened the bill with trembling hands. I looked for March 17, St. Patrick’s Day, which is the night she called while we were in bed together. We had full bellies from a meal that I cooked for our extended family and had just had intensely satisfying sex for dessert.
My daughter was having her cousin sleepover. I’m sure they overheard me asking him why he ran into the living room with his phone and the argument which followed.
I found the phone number on his extensive call list. She called at 8:10 PM. My breath quickened as I dialed. I heard a female voice on the answering machine. Her name is Tracy and she has a giggling son called Tyler.
I felt nauseous. I called my husband at work. I asked him who Tracy was, I explained that his story better match hers or I would email his business partner and tell him that he hooked their corporate account to his Neteller/Pokerroom.com account and had lost a good deal of money on the company dime.
He thought that I was bluffing, so he lied, “I don’t know.” I hung up on him.
He called back one minute later. I repeated, “Your stories better match or I’m telling your hardworking business partner that you’re taking advantage of him in more ways than one.”
He blurted, “Tracy is a bartender at the Old Hotel.” It took me a minute to realize that the “hotel” was a strip club on his route home from work--the same seedy joint where he lived in a filthy, rat and roach infested room with a dancer/drug addict when I was pregnant with our first child.
She was a redhead named Donna. Her face wasn’t pretty and her figure wasn’t exotic. She was extremely thin, flat chested and her face had acne scars which made the landscape of her face look like the surface of the moon.
He told me that Donna would dance all night in the little suburban club, (which has been nicknamed shitty titty by the locals) and then she would go downtown and dance at after hour’s clubs. I would guess that she was probably selling her pastied flesh to earn more money to feed her coke habit.
At the time my husband was also a serious speed addict. (I wasn’t aware of it nor was he my husband.) I was 17 and he was 23. I made the mistake of meeting him at the first place where I made the mistake of finding employment with my girlfriends as a teenager.
My husband returned to the rainbow striped building 18 years later to finesse a phone number from a 40-something bartender/single mother with a crooked face, while he tipped dollars to passing dancers. He explained that he didn’t think she got much attention from men, since she was in a car accident and her face was sideways. He said that she was a brunette with dark eyes and an unremarkable shape. He said that she didn’t dress well or speak well or have good taste. He said she is typical white trash.
He told me that she had been under house arrest--and he realized that she was “a loser”, so he backed off. He told me that she kept calling him anyway, and that she was kind of a stalker. He guessed out loud that she didn’t usually get much attention from men, since she’s not attractive. I said, “If that is the case, why did give her your phone number?”
My husband has told me repeatedly that he considers me to be the ultimate in attractive. He says that I’m the most beautiful woman in the world to him. He says, “Jessica, you’re one sexy bitch.” He says, “I always wanted a woman who was a lady in the street and a freak in the bed. You're both.” “I can take you anywhere and be proud of you.” He said that all he has ever wanted was me--and he was just mad at me. He said that he would never do it again. He just wanted to hurt me. He said that he would cut his dick off himself if he was ever unfaithful again. In the next breath he told me that he never had sex of any kind with her. He said that he only saw her twice, both times while she was working.
There were several phone calls over several months. He told me that he only spoke to her about five or six times. They talked about “nothing.” He didn’t even tell her that he was married.
I questioned why he would choose a strip club to pick up a woman, considering that he is a germaphobe with a serious fear of STDs—and he is extremely possessive and jealous. If he were to date a dancer or a bartender, men would be trying to pick her up every day.
My therapist told me that bartenders are notorious for being liberal with their phone numbers and sleeping around—and I should be tested by my gynecologist. (I have heard/read rumors that her place of employment is a whore house.)
He won’t even let me get a regular job because it would be around men, let alone the job as a personal trainer that I really wanted at the gym. He was afraid that my male clients might try and steal me from him. I gave up an opportunity to work for a really cool, sweet man (my own personal trainer) since my husband told me that our marriage would be over if I took the job.
His excuse for crawling back into his old hole was that he didn’t think he could pick up women anywhere else. He said, “I’m skinny, old and ugly and I don’t even have a high school diploma.” Do you think it’s easier for me to pick up a woman in a business suit with a nice handbag or to pick up a woman in jeans and a t-shirt?” I replied, “You pleaded with me to work things out and promised me your love and fidelity. Why would you be picking anyone up at all?”
He explained that he was mad at me for having relationships with other men. He wanted to hurt me the same way that I hurt him--after he explained that he understood why I reached out to other men in the first place. I was falling apart due to his disappearances and lies to cover his addictions. I needed something/someone to hold on to. I wanted to find warmth and safety—love.
I love my husband even though he has put me through more than any young woman should ever have to cope with. I have stuck by him through his abuse of himself and consequential abuse of our entire family. His temper is volatile and dangerous. He’ll strike like a snake and return to his pastime as if his venom isn’t poisoning someone in the next room.
He chronically doesn’t pay his business bills on time. He charges up credit card debt that he cannot afford to pay off. He gambles with money that he owes to supply houses, insurance companies, etc. from an account that belongs to a partnership that is supposed to take equal shares for equal labor.
He’s addicted to the highs and lows of the poker game—to the power that he holds over other players when he’s got a good hand. He’s a strong poker player. He’s skillful at deceit and bluffing. His conscience is hard to find.
I am addicted to him. He is sexy--and he is the father of my two beautiful children.
I’m not sure I can handle anymore mistakes. It hurts in such a powerful way that I don’t even want to give the feelings words.
I promised my fidelity and meant it wholeheartedly if he just could be an honest, kind and caring man. We have a hot sex life. I need a best friend.
My therapist told me that nothing short of a miracle would ever change him and that after my latest discoveries, I should really think about leaving. He also recommended that my husband return to therapy for abusers and gambler’s anonymous.
I asked my husband if he would go back to therapy. He screamed, “NO!”
He didn’t go to NA to quit drugs or to AA to quit drinking. He did it on his own, as he intends to do with gambling.
I cannot seem to quit my marriage no matter how many times--and how many ways I discover his betrayal.
I’d like to think that I’m intelligent and attractive and lovable, but my choices really make me wonder.
Last Monday, I wondered allowed to my therapist about why my husband would choose to have an affair with a women whom he considered “a loser”, someone who was under house arrest for I don’t know what. He replied, “Because she doesn’t make him feel guilty and he identifies with her.”
He explained that my husband has addictive personality disorder-- and finished with the sentence, “He is not a total psychopath.”
He asked me why I haven’t shared any of this information with friends or family. I explained that the one year anniversary of my mom’s death was last week, the day after that was my daughter’s birthday and this weekend is Easter Sunday. 1) I didn’t/don’t want to spoil these special days. 2) Shame. 3) The concern about stressing my loved ones during already difficult emotional times. 4) I want my kids to be loved and protected by both of their parents and I don’t want them to suffer financially because we cannot work it out. 6) I love my husband and I cannot stand the thought of his being with someone else, especially sexually, even though I know that he would abuse and/or take advantage of her, too. 7) I’ve never had a normal adult relationship with a man and I don’t even know if decent men exist.
I have gone from a sweet, naïve, happy-go-lucky 16 to a still-trying-to-hang-onto-hope, believe-in-something-better and refuse-to-be-defeated 33.
I didn’t even want to put any of this into words. I am afraid of the consequences. However, I finally felt the need to tell my keyboard. Lately, it's my closest friend.
*I changed "Tracy, Tyler and Donna's" names.