I really had hoped to do more productive things with my evening than this but my wife’s character has been wrongly attacked (within the comments) by people I have loved and cared about from my past no less.
I spent roughly $6000 in therapy, a bunch time and swallowed a lot of Pfizer’s best to move beyond January 2, 2000. I do not want to go there again but for the sake of getting the facts straight I have dusted off some old journals and flipped through some pages. The end result of my therapy is that I have moved beyond my first marriage. I’m not going to take one fifth of my life and wipe it from memory but it is now behind me. I still wish good thoughts on all the people that touched me during my first marriage including my ex. A big problem I had with my divorce was how it may affect my relationship with the other people I grew to know and love, my ex-inlaws, our mutuals friends, etc. I post the following to set the record straight with no intent to enrage, hurt or defame.
I have lived many lives. One them was a seven year span of time with my first wife. She came into my life after I had sworn off seeking serious relationships. I wanted to date around and after one of our early dates (my journal on April of 1993 states that we had been dating 2 months) my first wife stayed over at my apartment and didn’t leave until the year 2000. I’m not going to try to sum up those 7 years in a couple of paragraphs. We had many good times and there were other times that we were at each other’s throats. I gave all my love to her. Many people to this day did not understand why we were together. The rumors of my ex-wife’s infidelities throughout our relationship did not escape my ears and on at least one occasion she told me directly the sordid details of an incident just 3 weeks after our marriage. We lived together for roughly 4 years and were married roughly 3.
At the end of 1997 or the beginning of 1998 I was laid off. I had $38,000 in the bank , some mutual funds and another $14,000 in a 401k. Between my credit cards, my ex-wife’s credit cards, and our joint credit cards we had roughly $30-40k in debt then there was the house and one car loan. I had a decision to make. I’d recently started a business endeavor that was primarily marketing dialup Internet service and required almost no infrastructure or capital investment. I could invest the $38,000 plus cash in the 401k to make the business work OR I could pay off our debts, live debt free but immediately have to go back to working for someone else. My ex and I discussed the pros and cons heavily. With the business there was a greater chance of reward (more money to be earned!) but a risk of hardship on our relationship. We discussed the possibility that entrepreneurialship could hurt us. Together we decided to take the chance.
The business floundered. I ended up destroying my perfect credit history. I skipped mortgage payments to make payroll for my employees. I worked every waking moment. I worked in my sleep. I gave up sleep to work. I did neglect my wife in the name of providing us an awesome future. In the name of riches to come. I promised a little sacrifice then would pay in the long run. I begged for her support. Client deposit checks would come in and she would say, “Good! Now we have money for a vacation!” while I would think “Thank God I can pay the staff!” I felt her support lessening and at one point was so burdened by her that I sent her and friend to Cancun so I could have a week of undisturbed work. Yes, there was no balance between work and family for me.
In October 1999 we threw one of our famous Halloween parties. They were fun! It served as a dual 30th birthday party for me. My ex’s previous boyfriend was there. My ex flirted and danced with most of the guys while I flirted with the girls. Cathy was there. It was the first time I met her and we spoke all of 3 or 4 sentences. I remember thinking “I’d like to get to know her better but I could never cheat on my wife.” And that is no lie!
In November 1999 my ex announced to me that she wasn’t getting the love and attention from me that she needed. She said she had rented a cabin in the mountains and was going to spend the weekend with a guy that had caught her eye. She told me in detail just what she planned to do with this guy. It was enough detail to get a person on the 6 o’clock news from an over-the-top jealous reaction. I had deadlines to meet that if I failed to meet the bank would take our house. I told her she had to make her own decisions. That weekend I cried hard. She had already been dating him for awhile. Had I said, “tell him you and I will be using the cabin” would she have cancelled her date? Would it have saved our marriage? Probably not. And we would have lost everything we owned which in the end she took anyway except for the house which she ended up asking for and I said no.
In December 1999 the guy who had described my ex in terms of golf balls, hoses and chrome needed a place to stay because his wife/partner of 10 or 15 years had kicked him out over his relationship with my ex. He lived in my house for a week. I drew the line when one day his car was in my driveway being worked on with my tools. I declared to my ex “it’s one thing to use a man’s wife but to use a man’s tools is wrong!”
On January 2, 2000 it looked as if my wife and I were going to patch things up. We held hands and looked deeply into each others eyes and she said, “I want a divorce. Our marriage is irreconcilable.”
On February 18, 2000 some friends had Cathy and I get together for pool and drinks. She was going through a divorce as well and they thought we could help be moral support for each other. My journal for February 2000 shows my ex as already having moved into another place with her boyfriend and packing her things well before my first date.
On May 23, 2001 my divorce became legal. My ex had dragged out for almost a year and a half a divorce for a couple that owned nothing and had no kids. On August 25, 2001 I remarried and for anyone that has ever questioned it, no, Cathy was not pregnant.
In summary, Cathy and I were not dating until long after my ex had requested a divorce and not until long after the details of her relationship during our marriage had been made clear to me. “Makes you wonder what type of woman it takes to step in and help break up a marriage that is hanging on by a threadâ€¦” There was no thread. Cathy did not have anything to do with the end of my first marriage!