Facing The Mistress
By Brenda Kula on August 23, 2011
Three weeks ago today was my first divorce hearing. I walked into a courtroom to face my husband and his lover in the front row. His lover of over two years, I'd by then learned.
I sat down in the row behind them. I was to stare at the back of her head during the proceeding scheduled before ours. I sat and wondered if her life with him would be different. Or if he would play the same games, drink too much, and end up blaming her for all his unhappiness. As he did with me. I found that I actually felt sorry for the woman, though, at age 53, she was certainly old enough to realize that a leopard does not change its spots.
I found out over a year ago that my husband, a physician, had been cheating on me during most of our marriage of 13 years. I cried buckets for months when he first told me. The marriage was really over then. I just didn't know how to pick myself up at age 53 and start over, having been a homemaker for most of my adult life. My emotions and grief had to run their course before I could move forward. And find the strength to let it go, and go on.
My first words of advice to you is this: Don't ever marry your psychiatrist. It will never work out. The relationship will never be equal. You will always view him as someone you put on a pedestal during your years of therapy. And in many ways, you can never really take him off that pedestal. Let's just say it's very convoluted and leave it at that.
I look at him now, and I don't recognize that doctor. Not at all. It's as though someone came in and took possession of his body and his mind. For this man, as we both stood with our respective attorneys in front of the judge, paled in comparison to anyone I would put on a pedestal. This man had been cruel and controlling. He had cheated, he had used me, and now was moving on with the mistress. Who has yet to file for her own divorce.
Hard to look back now and realize that he has been a part of my life for more than half my life. I was just a twenty-six year old woman with stars in my eyes when first we met. Depression had been my lifelong enemy, and he had combined the medications that would save me. So I guess I do owe him that. If only that had been the end of our knowing one another.
It doesn't take all that long for the divorce proceedings to take place. I had agreed on a settlement before we went inside. When all was said and done, he'd left me in a lot of debt as he carried on his affair. If I had known what I know now, it wouldn't have been my credit cards that continually bailed him out when repairs had to be made to our house. But then, I have been naive. A mistake I will not repeat. He gets the house I so lovingly put together, the gardens that I tended. He and the mistress, that is. I will be okay for a few years. Texas is not a state that recognizes alimony.
In a few months I will be leaving the state to start a new life. Close to my daughters and young grandchildren, I will take my pets and find a way to make a living at a time when many my age are retiring.
But, three weeks to the day of that monumental event, I am content. I am glad that I filed those papers and went on my way. I will be in charge of my own finances and my own life. There will be no more secrets to unearth in this unfortunate relationship. At least I hope not.
I find I like being alone. I like the quiet. I look toward a different kind of future. And I know this one will be carved by my own decisions. With a more careful eye.
I wish to look at the proverbial glass as half-full. Because my spirit can still find joy.
Brenda@Cozy Little House
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