The Odd Wife

Friday, February 04, 2005


In my ongoing quest to understand the various dynamics of infidelity from both the unfaithful and the cuckold standpoints, I have yet another thing to share with you.

In random posts throughout this blog I have discussed my mother.

My mother was always a woman I admired and looked up to. When I was a small child, I remember lying in bed waiting for her to “tuck me in”. When she adjusted the covers, I would lie perfectly still, not wanting to disturb the covers from the way she had placed them. In my mind, she was perfect, so however she chose to place the sheets was also perfect.

We grew very close when I reached adulthood. We became more like best friends than mother and daughter.

My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was 18. She was only 36. It was serious. My grandmother had just died of the same cancer. I watched my mother fight this disease with everything she had, nearly giving up several times. She lost her hair, she had complications, she had moments when she couldn’t go on…but she made it. She survived.

The cancer changed her and she turned from quiet, organized, responsible person into a party animal, flirtatious maniac.

We went out dancing and drinking together. By 2 am I was beat and she was still dancing. I honestly could not keep up with her. Soon, men entered the picture and she became a flirting machine. Eventually, I came to learn she was having affairs.

I was in a difficult position. My stepfather has been my stepfather since I was 6 years old. He’s a quiet and gentle man who has always been there for me. I’ve always thought of him as my true father. He had no interest in going out all the time because he worked at a job with very early morning hours. He either was unaware or turned a blind eye to her new love life.

Last year, my mother stopped coming home to my stepfather entirely. Never a word, she just stopped coming. The few nights she actually did come home, he didn’t question it. I imagine he didn’t want to know.

After 3 months, she moved out. And into another man’s home. She asked for a divorce.

My stepfather was mortified. His entire life was built around my mother. I knew things were bad the day EH and I awoke at 6 am to discover he had unloaded 27 bags of groceries on our doorstep. Apparently he decided he didn’t need a pantry full of food for one man and just left it on our doorstep like some wayward Santa.

He stopped calling me. He stopped answering his phone. He refused my attempts to see or speak to him. He once confided to my mother that he felt like he wasn’t my blood father, so there was no point in remaining in my life. My daughter still wonders what happened to her Grandfather. He still doesn’t call. He still avoids any attempt from us to see him or speak to him. The last time I heard from him was the day we lost our baby in August. He called the hospital, told me how sorry he was that he had not called and how sorry he was about the baby. He promised to stay in touch. I never heard from him again.

Whenever there’s a news story about a man who has been in an accident or crime, I get worried that it might be him. He was my father for 26 years and he just disappeared.

He doesn’t see anyone. I know this because he works for the same company EH works for. Only my stepfather comes in before anyone else and works in “the field” where no one sees him. EH has not laid eyes on him in almost 6 months of working there. He has no friends. He has no local family besides me.

And he’s gone from my life.

His birthday is this Wednesday. I’m sending him a card that just says “I miss you”.

I barely speak to my mother. She has been so wrapped up in her new boyfriend that she too avoids interacting with anyone else. Last year I saw her exactly 3 times and she lives 20 minutes from me. She attempted suicide just after I learned of EH’s indiscretion and just before I lost the baby. She felt ignored by her boyfriend and decided to kill herself. I got the call at work telling me that she had done this. I collapsed, hysterical, and had to be brought home by a co-worker/friend. My blood pressure rose so dramatically that I was admitted to the hospital the following day. No matter how hard I tried, my blood pressure would never stabilize during my pregnancy. This was probably a major factor in losing the baby, which is why I frequently attribute the loss to stress. I tried to take care of myself, to stay calm. I came home from work every day and went straight to bed. But there were so many horrible situations occurring all at the same time.

And then there is my sister. My half-sister, to be exact, at 12 years my junior. When she turned 14 she became a very troubled teen…not a big surprise as my biological father (her father also) was not much of a father and her mother (my former stepmother) is terminally ill with a disease similar to Alzheimers (Huntingtons Chorea). I took her in and raised her as my own through her high school graduation. I turned her life around, kept her on a straight path and she was doing wonderfully. She has a serious boyfriend for nearly 3 years now that she lives with…a guy we all adore. Starting in around October, she began cheating on him. She contracted a serious venereal disease from her sleazy ‘other’ boyfriend and had to be hospitalized. She passed it on to her live-in boyfriend as well. She knows I disapprove, and we don’t speak much anymore as a result.

I’m sure that somehow these situations have played into the scenario with EH and I. If my stepfather can desert me and my family because he is so hurt by my mother’s affair and my mother can turn from a woman I adored into an obsessed, self-destructive drama queen and my sister (who I practically raised) can turn into an example of everything I despise causing my relationship with her to disappear…then how can I not imagine that infidelity is practically life-ending? Last year, on top of the situation with EH, people’s “indiscretions” also cost me every member of my family. There truly is no one left.

So, when it seems that I let this hurt a little too much. Or that I’m a little too damaged or broken, understand that there are many factors in place – and I’m not just a weak little girl. It took a hell of a lot to bring me to my knees, but that certainly is where I’ve ended up. I can’t be that weak, however…because if you ever read the list of disasters and tragedies that happened to me ALL in 2004, it’s a fucking miracle I didn’t end up having a nervous breakdown or killing myself. Even one of the 27 tragedies I experienced personally last year could have broken a person’s spirit.

I know I’m broken. What I don’t know is whether or not I can be fixed. I get up every day, I go to work, I try to make sense of the pain that is all around me…but I just haven’t found my way back to solid footing. I’ve lost my faith in people entirely. There is not one person in this world that I feel as if I can count on.

But I don’t call myself “The Broken Wife”. And I’m still trying to find my way in a world I just don’t understand anymore.

Posted by Red :: 8:27 AM :: |
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