2 weeks after we were married my ex moved onto a second shift position. Second shift lasted for 20 years which meant I went to seeing him Saturday and Sunday only. Or, so, I thought. Needless to say, it was something that I resented.

I did what I could to try and make the best of things. We had a daily phone call at a certain time. I would drive down to where he worked during his break. I started taking college courses in the evenings. I was working toward an accounting degree.

When my son was born life was difficult for me. I was alone 5 days each week. I thought that maybe ‘the father’ would miss being with his son and make some changes but, he didn’t.

The company he worked for got busy and he started working many Saturdays. After a brief time, he started working just about every Saturday and then came Sundays.

All of this made me a little crazy but, it was the hand I was dealt. I attended every weekend event in both my family and his family, alone.

A few years later, somebody let it slip that ‘the father’ requested overtime based on the coming weekends plans. He avoided both sides of the family this way.

That felt like the ultimate slam. Had he ever loved me? Did he really want to be married to me? Second shift after two weeks? I can tell you that his final answer to those very often asked questions was that yes, he did love me and he did want to be married.

What do I do with that now? We have a son together. At this point, he mentioned wanting another child. Now, I see this as the gaslighting it was intended to be but, I did not see it back then. I fought it tooth and nail until he finally wore me down. Now, we have 2 children together.

Not knowing what I now know, I shut myself up and I tolerated his mistangled spider web.

We had moved to a house by then and I was getting comfortable with my neighbors. Thank goodness I was because they all had kids in the same age bracket.

They all saw me through some difficult years.

One evening, as I was sitting on the back deck that ‘the father’ built with every free moment he could find, a neighbor came by to talk to us.

Her husband had tried to get overtime on a Saturday so he could avoid a family event. She spoke of the moment and I knew what was coming. The neighbor said ‘the father’ had given him the advice about requesting overtime.

She was angry with ‘the father’, first, for recommending it and, second, because he had been doing that to me for so very long.

I responded with “I know.”

His response, a loud howl followed by hahahas. No remorse. No regret. No embarassment. No shame.

She kept in on him but he only laughed that much harder. Howl after howl, haha’s gallore. As if he took pride in what he had been doing.

I still ache over these moments because, in those moments, I felt very vulnerable and stupid.

I stayed in the marriage as long as I could for the sake of my kids but we reached a point of no return when he had gone ahead and chosen his next victim.

They are still married now and I don‘t speak to either one of them. Not because I’m still hurt or angry but, because, I don’t want anything to do with their relationship and the ending that I know is in sight.

I hear you!



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