As you can tell from the title, I am going to talk about my divorce. I think it’s time to air out what happened leading up to the divorce.
*DISCLAIMER: I hold no ill will towards anyone and I hope that my story doesn’t come off one-sided, but I only know from my perspective. I will not be using names.*
The beginning of the relationship was absolutely amazing. I thought it was too good to be true. I had been single for about 4-5 months after breaking up with my high school boyfriend. When we got together, I was still in the mind-set of my last relationship that I was wanting full commitment. Because of this, we were talking about marriage very early on. So early, that we were engaged without a ring within 2 months of meeting each other.
When it was time to look at what I may like for a ring, we went to a pawn shop. I didn’t think anything of it as I knew there were a lot of different styles to try on. I found a ring that fit and he asked me if I liked it, I said I loved it. He then bought said ring for a few hundred bucks. At the time, I was so elated that I finally had a ring and the promised commitment that I couldn’t stop smiling.
When I told my family, I got mixed reactions. My father was not happy at all, which I chalked up to him just not wanting his daughter to get married. I should have taken it more seriously looking back. The day we told my dad, my ex told my dad “Here’s the deal, we are getting married, and there’s nothing you can do about it.” So of course, my dad was furious. I laughed it off. After that moment, my dad tried to be friendly to him and invited him to gatherings or card games, my ex would agree to come and then the day of he would complain about having to go. In the end, he wouldn’t come, and I had to make up an excuse about why he wasn’t there. On the other hand though, every time his family had a get together or invited us to dinner, I went. I never complained or made excuses because I wanted to get close to his family, especially if they would be my family after we got married.
Some time later, my ex left the military. He was given orders to Germany, but they were cancelled. At least, that’s what I was told. I remember that he had to do a couple PT tests at the time, but I don’t know what happened with them, if he passed or failed. In the military, you can get assigned orders at any time and they can be denied for any reason. Again, I don’t know what happened to them but I was told they were cancelled. I forgot to mention, all of this happened between January 2011 and October 2011.
After October, nothing major happened relationship wise until April 2013 when we moved into our first apartment. He was living with his family and I was living with my dad, but also staying over at my ex’s family home. I kept bringing up moving into an apartment and he would shoot it down. I had to search for apartments, fill out applications and schedule the tour date alone. He came to the tour and we both agreed to move in. Within a few weeks, I went to the animal shelter and came home with a kitten. I bought everything for her and planned to take care of her.
Later that year, I decided to join the military and was scheduled to go to basic in February of 2014. On New Years, I asked my ex if he still wanted to get married. He said “If you want to.”. I paid for everything for the wedding. I paid for the apartment party room, the Justice of the peace, made bouquets and boutonnieres, made centerpieces and the marriage certificate. I even bought his ring and MY wedding band. He didn’t spend a penny on the wedding. The only problem was we did a surprise wedding during my “military send-off” party. As you can imagine, my dad was not happy. Both of my parents were asking me if I really wanted to get married and why I was doing it this way. I told them “I won’t have to worry about not having a friend if I get stationed away from home, and the extra money will help too.” These are not the right reasons to get married. Hindsight 20/20.
While I was gone, I was told through letters that my ex was taking care of my cat, cleaning the apartment and that he was working out and eating better. Before I left, he told me “I’ll be a different husband when you see me again.” and I believed him. He also sent me a letter saying he didn’t make his half of the rent for a month and asked if I could cover it. I said yes and signed a check. When I graduated basic and saw him for the first time in 2 months, he was the same person, honestly maybe a little bigger. Again, I was away from him for 2 whole months so I honestly didn’t remember how big he was, but something seemed off.
I had 3 days to spend with him, his friend and my family members before going to technical school. During the first day, we decided to go to my ex’s hotel to figure out where to have dinner and what to do for the night. On the way, my ex’s friend drove too fast, causing my grandma and mom to lose us on the interstate. My dad was able to keep up. Once we parked at the hotel, my ex’s friend was kinda proud of how fast we got back, but when my dad parked, he told him what he did was rude. My ex’s friend stood up over his car and yelled “You’re not my parent so don’t talk to me like you are.” which caused my dad to get out of his car angrily. My ex, sitting in the passenger seat, opened his door and pushed my dad’s car door shut. He was shutting the door on my dad’s leg. I was crying and decided to go inside to get away from the yelling. After a few minutes, I came back out and told the two of them to stop fighting and that I love them both and need them to stop before someone calls the cops. Everyone was on their best behavior after that. I wasn’t told until a year later, that in the argument, my ex said “She got to choose her husband, she didn’t get to choose her father.” So I can understand why they were fighting.
I went to tech school for 3 more months. The whole time I was gone, when we would Skype, we wouldn’t talk because he was talking to his friends on XBOX. Every now and then, I would say I love you and would get a “love you too” but he never asked how school was going, how I was or even if I missed him. I would tell him I missed him, but I felt like he didn’t miss me as he never said it. I felt like our marriage was starting to fall apart and when I tried to talk to him about it, his friends and his games were more important. When I still had 2 weeks of school left, my ex told me he lost his job because his car broke down. He was a car parts delivery man, so his car was essential. I started to freak out and have panic attacks that he and my cat would be kicked out of our apartment, so when I graduate tech school, I went home for 2 weeks.
I was hoping to work on our relationship and really talk things through because we were about to move from NE to WA. I didn’t want to move with a rocky marital foundation and knew we needed to sit down, talk and work through our issues and grievances before we moved. He completely ignored the issue. He wouldn’t talk to me at all. I even told him that I wasn’t happy in the marriage and I was thinking about divorce. Once I said it, he started pouting and packing kitchenware. I asked him if he was okay and he told me “Once you say it, it happens.” so I said “Then talk to me.” His response took me by surprise that I stopped talking for the night. He said “Everything will be fine once we get away from your family. Once we are in WA, everything will be better because they won’t be around.”
Again, Hindsight 20/20……..
Before we moved, I had another send off party to see family and friends one last time. My ex was sulking the whole night. I was asked by his step mom what was wrong with him. I told her “I said I may want a divorce and he’s not happy about it, but he won’t talk our issues out, so I don’t know what to do.” Honestly, at the time, I didn’t want to get a divorce. I truly didn’t want to lose my best friend but he wasn’t talking, so nothing got solved. (Side note: I was glad that when I told his step mom what was going on, she didn’t try to sugar coat anything. She told me that he needed to do something or the marriage wouldn’t last. I miss her.)
A few days later, we are at the airport with my mom and his dad. They were the only ones that could see us off. I gave my mom a hug and told her I loved her. I gave my father-in-law a hug, and he said “I’m worried about you two.” to which I responded “I am too.” That was the most intense moment of leaving home. After we landed, we took a shuttle to the base I was stationed at and drove to what would be our new house. On the way, the song “Marry her anyway” came on and my ex said “This song reminds me of your dad, because I married you anyway.” Now if you’re following along, he has disrespected my dad and my family multiple times leading to this point, so I was at the end of my rope. On top of him not talking about our issues, that being one of them, I was done being around him.
We didn’t have furniture or anything because the movers were going to take a while to get everything out here, so we slept on the floor. I think we spent 2 nights sleeping near each other, and the rest he slept in another room. We flew in on a Sunday and I had to start my Big Girl Job on Monday. While I was gone, he was supposed to go to the education center, go to the gym and look for a job. He did none of those things, which caused us to fight. Tuesday, while I was running around meeting the higher ranking Sergeants in my building, he was texting me. He wasn’t sending me updates or cute pictures of my cat, at least I wish he sent those. No, he sent me a text saying he didn’t want to live anymore. He sent a text saying he was going to let my cat out of the house. But the worst one……
…………You will come home and find me dead in the corner with my wrists slit and in a pool of my own blood……….
I got in a lot of trouble because I was pulling my phone out, but when he sent that last text, I went and talked to my First Sergeant. He’s the person you can talk to about anything to get advise, but also, if needed, can call Medical to do wellness checks on individuals. He told me if he sent anymore texts like that, to call him immediately, no matter the time. Thankfully, I never had to.
When I got home on Wednesday, he asked me for my wedding ring. He put it in a box with his ring and set his phone down next to it. He said “You have 2 choices. You can put your wedding ring back on, change your last name and we stay married. Or option 2, you call my dad and tell him I need a plane ticket home.”
………..YOU CALL MY DAD…………
He had the nerve to give me an ultimatum after not talking to me. It would be different if I was the one not working with him on the marriage, but HE was avoiding the subject every time. SO…..
HOW DARE YOU!!
I held my hand out for his phone. He told me “You don’t have to decide now. I am going to go for a walk tomorrow (Thursday) at 5:00 pm and you can make your decision while I am gone.” I already had my mind made up before he finished his sentence.
The next day, I go to work, come home and wait for 5:00 pm. He tells me “I’m gonna go in the back yard.” So I grabbed his phone, called his dad and said….
Me: I am sorry I have to do this, but he needs a plane ticket home.
FIL (Father-In-Law): What happened?
Me: Things are not working out and he needs to go home.
FIL: Why would you take him out there if you were just going to turn around and send him back home?
Me: He said he would work with me when we got here and he hasn’t done anything. He won’t talk to me about our issues and I’ve been trying for months to work this out and he isn’t. I’m the only one fighting for this and I’m done.
FIL: Let me talk to my son.
So they talk for a bit and he comes inside and hands the phone back to me. I still to this day have no idea what they talked about.
FIL: The earliest I can get is Saturday morning.
Me: When ever you are able and comfortable to get the ticket, let me know what the cost is and I will write you a check. You shouldn’t be responsible for paying for him to come back.
We ended the call after that and my ex and I barely talked the rest of the night. Friday, he was is old self. I don’t know what it was. If it was going home. If something snapped in his head or what, but he seemed normal and it was a good day. Saturday morning I dropped him off at the airport and sat in my car and cried for about 10 minutes. I was saying goodbye to my best friend. I was saying goodbye to my husband. It felt like I was in the worst car accident and couldn’t breathe.
A week later, I started the divorce process. We didn’t have any children or shared household, so we had a fairly simple, easy divorce. Again, I PAID FOR EVERYTHING. The hardest part was faxing everything and then waiting for him to sign and send them back. I think he may have been sitting on them because he thought I would change my mind. I was disrespected too much, he disrespected my family and my cat hated him, so I wasn’t changing my mind. I started the process in September of 2014 and the divorce was finalized in January of 2015. A few months later, when I was moving to a single service member dorm room, I found my check book. I decided to just look through it and noticed that I had duplicate checks written for about 4 months. So on top of everything he did, he also lived rent free for months. That was a nice cherry on top of my ex sundae to just further prove I wanted the divorce.
As hard as marriages are, you have to be a team. It is not a one way street. You are not living a single life or living with a roommate. We promised to stay by each other’s sides and I felt alone every day. I felt more alone in my marriage than I did single. It is not a quick fix sometimes, and if you aren’t willing to work things out, they will fall out.
That was long, wasn’t it?!
I didn’t realize how long this would be until I was half way done. As I was typing, I kept remembering small details that just bothered me so much at the time. The main reason I wanted to tell this story is that our past will always be our past. It won’t change no matter how hard we wish it to. But our past has lead us to our present, and honestly, I would do everything the exact same way if given the chance, knowing how amazing my current husband and my beautiful daughter are. I wouldn’t trade them for anything.
If you have had any similar experiences or are going through some now, leave me a comment and I may be able to give some first hand advice on what to do!
Until next time,
Stick together, Stick it out and take everything One Stick at A Time XOXO