My divorce was finalized last week. It was pretty anti-climactic actually. The Ex didn't get a lawyer and I used a former prosecutor who likes both of us. I ended up leaving him with the house and didn't require any kind of payoff. We also split the debt remaining 50/50 and we have shared care and custody of B. All in all, probably the most civil divorce case I've ever heard of.
During these last few months, I've really come to see The Ex in a whole new light. Before all this, I really thought he was the "perfect husband" and I was simply lucky to have him around. I couldn't imagine what the fuck he was doing married to me, the worst wife ever. I was dealing with PTSD and losing. I had slid into a nasty depression and ended up in therapy. Our sex life dwindled to nothing and The Ex took care of the day to day shit around the house so I could concentrate on getting better.
I did get better. But through that process, I found that The Ex had completely checked out. We were rarely alone together and when we were, it was weird. He wasn't interested in talking about anything other than what he was doing at work. When I tried to include him with the progress I was making with the PTSD, he barely listened.
I made very concerted attempts to re-ignite our sex life and was repeatedly rejected. I had to beg on more than one occasion (very humiliating) and was flat-out denied on another. That happened the night before I was leaving to go out of state for a week. I had worked all night and stopped at home with the specific intent to "get a little" before getting on the plane. I never liked leaving without some kind of nookie. Never know if it might be the last time, you know? Anyway, The Ex knew I was coming home for that specific purpose. When I got there, he was asleep. He'd told me to wake him when I got there, so I did. Instead of the reception I was expecting, he told me he was tired and rolled over and went back to sleep. That was the last time I ever approached him for sex.
A few months went by and we ended up in a discussion that we'd had several times before; the usual "something has to change" blah blah blah. It was going the way it usually did when we had this discussion: The Ex telling me I needed to do more housework and me sitting quietly and nodding my head. After all, I believed he was the Perfect Husband and I was the Shitty Wife Who Didn't Deserve Him.
I had been mulling our relationship over in my mind for quite some time. The night I left for that out of state trip after being rejected, I knew in my gut that we were probably over. We were both willing to try and had already done couples therapy and all that crap. It didn't work. Part of me knew he was probably getting his needs met somewhere else - what early 30's heterosexual man with a healthy sex drive can go a year without sex? Exactly. But I couldn't get angry with him for that. Again, he was The Perfect Husband and it was my fault he probably felt like he had to get it elsewhere.
So, instead of promising to do better like a chastised child, I took a deep breath and told The Ex I thought we were over. I told him that if we were honest with each other, we'd have to admit that we loved each other, but it had been a long time since we were in love with each other. Obviously, he was stunned. This was not the response he expected in any scenario. He's not the type to quit at something that he's committed to, and he definitely does not like having something out of his control. Once we had agreed that we were over, I dropped a bomb on him. I told him I'd fallen in love with someone else.
About a month prior, I'd met someone who I'd fallen in love with on sight. I never believed in that shit before, but I swear on my life it happened to me. We spent some time together in social settings over the next month. I found myself fighting the fact I couldn't stop thinking about this person constantly. I finally realized what had happened and knew I had to tell The Ex. That was the only fair and right thing to do in this situation. I had to tell him before I told the other person because no matter how that worked out, I felt like The Ex needed to know for two reasons; first, I had deep, intense, explosive feelings for someone other than The Ex, and, second, that someone else was a woman.
Never in my life have I EVER been attracted to a woman. Never. But something about Her did it for me. We made eye contact, she smiled, and I was done for. At the time I told The Ex, I didn't even know for certain how She felt about me. I had a good idea, but nothing had actually happened between us and we hadn't had any conversation about it.
Needless to say, when I told The Ex about Her, he was shocked. But he reacted like an adult. Over the next few days, what happened began to register with The Ex and the pain set in. He did a pretty good job of carrying on in spite of it. We continued to live together since we were never there at the same time and neither of us was finacially ready to live alone yet.
Within four days of our Divorce Talk, The Ex asked me what I would think if he dated a 19 year old girl. I told him I wouldn't judge someone based solely on her age.
A week later, he was dating a girl he described to me as a college student. I'll refer to her as F. The Ex had met F at work. She was an employee's daughter and had ridden with The Ex on a couple of occasions. The Ex had even mentioned her to me pre-Divorce Talk as a potential babysitter for B.
A few weeks passed and I began to hear through the rumor mill (I fucking hate the rumor mill) that The Ex had told several people about the Woman I'd been seeing and that I'd left him for Her. I refused to believe this because he had defended me to my family about this very issue, saying it was no one's business to tell anyone about my personal choices, only mine. I argued with the people who told me this, saying The Ex would "Never do that to me".
I passed on all these stories to The Ex. I thought he needed to know what was being said about us so we could act accordingly. He was angry with these people for spreading all this BS about me. He went so far as to tell me he had confronted two of them and they had apologized. All was right in the world for me.
A few weeks later, more of the same. This time I heard it from someone I consider credible and not a rumormonger. I began to be suspiscious of The Ex. I confronted him. He denied it and became tuly upset. I backed off and apologized for doubting him. All was right again.
A few weeks later, I got a call from a Former Friend who had been accused of spreading all the rumors about me from the beginning. My Former Friend and I talked for quite some time. This Former Friend was one The Ex had "confronted" early on in the mess. According to my Former Friend, there was no confrontation. The Ex had spilled his guts, getting everything off his chest. My Former Friend knew details about me and my Divorce Conversation with The Ex that could only be told by myself or The Ex. I realized The Ex had been lying to me the entire time.
I contronted The Ex for a 3rd time. He tried to deny it initially, but finally admitted he had told my Former Friend. He couldn't really explain why, except to say he was defending me because they couldn't understand how I could be so stupid to leave someone as great as The Ex. I was FUCKING PISSED. Obviously. But I also knew his world had been turned on its head, so I tried to cut him some slack. We worked through it and moved on. Or so I thought.
A week or so later, I got more information from my Trusted Source. This time, The Ex had told his Sergeant, who had in turn told a friend, who is married to a co-worker of mine. As everyone knows, this kind of news travels fast. Since I work for a large agency, it spread far and wide. To me, this was unthinkable. The Ex told someone who he had been saying for years is a Piece of Shit (Sgt POS) and could not be trusted. Sgt POS happens to be a female and at one time was considered the Village Bike (everyone gets a ride!). I could not comprehend why he would confide in her. The Ex knew Sgt POS was friends with my co-worker's spouse and knew that both were sneaky vindictive assholes. But he told Sgt POS anyway.
Again, I confronted The Ex. Broken record, I know. Again, he denied it. I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I do catch on eventually. This time I basically interrogated him until he admitted to what he did. I'd been ignoring my cop's instincts during this ordeal too long. Every time they'd sound the alarm, I'd ignore it. No longer.
What he didn't understand, or didn't care about, was the fact that it's hard enough to be a woman in Law Enforcement and treated as equal. I had gotten there. I had professional respect I had earned the hard way, working good cases. By putting my personal business out in the rumor mill, he jeopardized all of that. I still don't know what kind of professional damage was done.
But, The Ex is still B's dad, and I have to be able to effectively co parent with him, which means I have to work on forgiving him. So I did. I was making great progress. Then I learned that F was not ACTUALLY a 19 year old college student. Nope. She is an 18 year old high school senior. Yes, you read that right. Another lie. This time, he actually 'fessed up the first time I brought it up (yay, progress). He said he was ashamed of the age difference (yuk) and didn't want anyone to know. He called F his "Snuffalupagus" - heard of but never seen. I still don't get it. But it's his life.
A few days after that, I learned I was going to be laid off due to the dismal budget. I panicked. I was in the process of buying a new house to move into. I had to cancel that ASAP. I started calling in favors to some of my smaller local department heads that are friends, hoping to line up something part time to maintain my certification.
The next day, after telling The Ex I wasn't buying the house and might be laid off, he turns around and asks me to move out. He said he "wasn't comfortable" with me in the house, which to me translated to "I want to bring my high school senior girlfriend over to fuck and don't want to worry about if you'll be here or not".
This was the first real opportunity I had to be a mega bitch. He had been expressing worry through this whole process that I would make it hell on him and send him into financial ruin because some friends that were divorced had gone through that. I had told him I would never do that because to do so would only harm B in the long run.
I could've been a cunt. I could've insisted on staying in the house since it was still half mine legally. My state is not an "at-fault" state in divorce proceedings so the courts tend to split property 50/50.
But that would've made everyone miserable, especially B. So, instead, I packed my clothes and left with no idea what I was going to do. I had planned on living alone, getting on my feet and slowly seeing where my relationship with Her was going. Instead, I had to go to Her for a roof over my head. Again, humiliating. But She is amazing and welcomed me with no strings attached. I stayed with Her for 6 weeks until I could find an acceptable place to rent. Now I'm back out on my own in a little 2 bedroom house. The funny thing about it was that it killed me to move out of Her house. I didn't want to go. But it was the best thing for me and B. I have no idea where it'll go in the future, but right now it is really good.
As for The Ex, like I said in the beginning of this long rant, I see him in a whole new light. The wool, so to speak, has been ripped from my eyes and I'm seeing him realistically now. I no longer feel the immense guilt from being The Shitty Wife Who Doesn't Deserve Him and he is no longer The Perfect Husband.
Unfortunately, hindsight is 20/20. I can see now all the lies he told over the past few years. I wanted to believe him, so I did. I can see now that he had not been present in our marriage for at least the last three years. Long before my diagnosis of PTSD. Long before I met Her.
I recalled a former co-worker of The Ex who I'll call Officer Worthless. About 4 years ago, I caught The Ex in a lie about Officer Worthless. He had accidentally sent me a text saying "where are you"? When I questioned it, he answered he had meant to send it to a guy friend of his. Later, he admitted he had sent it to Officer Worthless because they were going to work out together after work. This is the same Officer Worthless he'd complained ad nauseum about, she was worthless in a fight, a dipshit who should've never been hired, she didn't compare to me as far as police work was concerned, blahblahblah. Now I see it for what it really was; I was The Ex's mushroom. He kept me in the dark and fed me bullshit. And I liked it that way. No longer.
Anyway... I apologize for this gratuitously long post. I've refrained from spilling my guts here until the paperwork was finalized. Now it is. Let me be clear, however. I do not hate The Ex. Or men in general. I just see The Ex for what he really is instead of putting him on the Perfect Man pedastle. And I'm beginning so see me for who I really am too. It's actually quite nice.