When I was younger, I thought, my love for my husband was enough. He’s not a Brad Pitt or a Tom Cruise, but he was my Brad Pitt. At 17, I thought, I found my Tom Cruise. I was so in love with him, and I don’t know why. If you ask me what made me fall in love with this person, I’d say I don’t know. I just have this “pull” that I can’t quite explain. As what Kurt Smith, Psy.D. said, “Falling in love is easy to do, almost effortless, but losing that loving feeling is not that hard to do, either.” Sometimes, I get so irritated with myself – how can I love a person without knowing the reason why?
This story doesn’t have a happy ending. I’m going to tell you right now. You see, I am separated from my husband at the moment after 23 years of being together. I am done crying; been doing that for months. I just don’t want to be depressed anymore. I’m refusing to act like a lost cause any longer. This is the life I have now, and six children are relying on me, their mom. I have to put up a brave face as a front, as I don’t want them to pity me.
Familiarity happened. Respect was lost. Adultery ensued. Vengeance and spite ruined us more. Saying to forgive, but not meaning it took a toll. He was and is still a gambling addict. I was and still, am a socially anxious person. We may have married on impulse and made a decision based on tainted facts. I was pregnant, and he was more than willing to marry me because of our firstborn. This realization came to me one night, and it has haunted me ever since.
I used to surrender to him. Gambling was his priority and with occasional affairs here and there – I turned the other cheek and kept it all in. In my mind then, if he came home to me every night, then, he loves me. It’s ok.
Well, you know what, it’s not ok. I recently realized, after more than a decade of lying to myself, that if my husband really valued me, he would do everything in his power to stop gambling and womanizing. Sure, an addict will not admit to himself that he is an addict, but he can choose to ask help from me, his wife and life partner so that I can support him through therapy and treatment. “Gambling disorders are highly comorbid with other mental health and substance use disorders, and a further understanding is needed of both the causes and treatment implications of this disorder,” says Seyed Amir Jazaeri, Ph. D. and Mohammad Hussain Bin Habil, Ph. D. But he decided not to listen to me and continued ignoring me so that he can play cards. As for the womanizing part, he is a weak man. I prayed for his redemption too many times, but he just won’t budge.
So, what am I to do? Do I keep on being like this? Can I spend another 20 years of gambling debts, night outs, women’s cologne on his clothes, lies, and unusual behavior? I put my foot forward and said to myself – THIS HAS TO STOP.
I Wrote Him A Letter
My letter only contained three sentences. It wasn’t much in words, but I’m sure it pierced his empty heart and understood where I am coming from indeed.
I am leaving you for now since I want to find myself and repair the self-inflicted damage wherein you helped me create over the years. This may or may not close the doors for us, and really, it’s up to you now. I am just done with you, your lies, gambling, and womanizing – until then, let’s just enjoy the space.
Your Faithful Wife
What I’m Doing Now
I enrolled in a yoga class and applied for a part-time job as an administrative clerk at the local college. Of course, my one-on-one counseling is regular (once a week), and my therapist has been truly helpful. With some savings, I leased a studio apartment, and for once, I’ve been doing the things that I love.
Our children? Well, our youngest is 15, and he is almost an adult. I spoke with all of them before moving out and asked them to understand me and my situation. The two youngest kids are with me. All the others are in different states finishing their degrees. So yes, my husband is all alone in a big house. I hope it’s doing him good.
From time to time, he calls or texts me, asking how I am and if he can see the kids. I mean, sure, I let them meet and bond. I will never snatch that opportunity from my children to spend time with their dad. He may be a lousy husband, but he is a good father and provider. If only things were different, but they’re not. I guess, I just have to accept the fact and move on. As Darlene Lancer, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist quoted, “Acceptance is essential for satisfying relationships.”