The Willies

So after the sadistic death repartee and electronic cache of lollipop-sucking Lolitas, I’m sure you’re asking “WHY WOULD YOU EVER GO BACK?!

Because change is scary. Bottom-line. I was miserable but I stayed out of fear of what would happen if I left: fear of being a single mom; fear of retribution; fear of not being able to financially provide on my own… fear that no other man would want me.

Of course, now as a “real” adult, I understand most of these fears were unfounded. Fear is only the unknown. The worst part is the anticipation, like waiting in line for a roller-coaster or high-dive. Once it’s over, you laugh at how afraid you were in the first place.

Additionally, we’re comfortable with the familiar and my marriage to Clyde was almost identical to the totally unhealthy relationship my parents had. I just didn’t see it that way until it started impacting our kids. Not to mention, single parent is really tricky because dating when you have children isn’t like normal dating. If you’re a good parent and actually care about your kids, you have a strong sense of responsibility to protect them. You don’t just introduce your kids to every guy you date or allow them to share the room with the creeper you just met online.

Sometimes it’s more comfortable to just stay with bio mom or dad because of our fears, even if the relationship is toxic. You think no matter how bad you’ve got it, someone else has it worse than you. You make excuses. You try to rationalize your decisions. That is, until your kids showing signs of anxiety and depression – the things you were trying to avoid in the first place.

So in 2008, after our first divorce was finalized, I once again found myself in a dark place when I made the irrational decision to get back with Clyde. I’d gone on a 6-month deployment where I was told nearly every day how women should be barefoot and pregnant, not serving in the military. I was beaten down and feeling very bitter towards a world that worshiped and glorified this behavior. I just wanted to feel like someone… anyone… was on my side.

When I came home from my deployment, my family raved about what a great father Clyde appeared to be while I was gone; how he really seemed grown-up now, even though I was still a bit skeptical. I’d found a huge stash of empty beer cans and several of Clyde’s bills that hadn’t been paid (more red flags) and I’d noticed how our daughter had become withdrawn; however, I wrote that off as a response to my deployment.

Now it would take me hours to tell you about the novel of bad things that happened over the years, like Clyde having his ex-girlfriend call him in my hospital room right after I’d given birth to our daughter or Clyde begging me to come back after our first separation in 1999 only to drag me half-way across the country and leave me on the side of the road in Nowhere Arkansas, then go back to our home and move in with the girl he’d been messing around with the very next day. Let’s just cut to what happened once my brain finally starting making sense in my very early 30′s.

This will require a bit more back-story, though:
When Clyde and I reconciled after our first divorce, I discovered a couple of months into our relationship that Clyde had been dating some other wonderful girl (no sarcasm intended – she really is a great woman). She contacted me, which I’m grateful for; however, Clyde insisted that she was just some crazy, jealous liar who was just trying to break us up… and it all happened so fast that I was really confused about who was telling the truth.

Later, I learned that not only was this other girl telling the truth, but she was also being tested regularly for HIV due to her ex-husband’s affair and Clyde was fully aware of this. So then I was dealing with another one of Clyde’s hidden relationships and also the possibility I may have contracted an incurable disease. Something Clyde knew about.

Who would take care of our kids if we both were gone? What else had he lied about?

There were even more secrets to uncover, like several months earlier in 2008 when Clyde and I were NOT together, Clyde had stolen my car. He then got drunk at a party and had his girlfriend drive my car back home again. The girl he was dating not only had driven my stolen car – although she didn’t know the car was stolen at the time – but Clyde had invited her inside my apartment while I was away, too. This girlfriend was someone he met online (Myspace) and had introduced to our kids within only a few weeks.
Super awesome.

Clyde had also been stalking my house, asking our daughter to spy on me, as well as breaking into my email and online accounts.

Totally crazy stuff. I was furious and obviously lost it. I wanted nothing more to do with this messed up train-wreck of a relationship. I didn’t want Clyde, but I didn’t want him with anyone else either – especially after the hell he put me through. After all, he had no right to be happy. He should be miserable and worrying about the same things (HIV) I’m now stuck worrying about because of HIS irresponsibility. Not to mention I was terrified about the type of people he might bring around our kids in my absence.

What’s the solution? Why remarry him, of course!
Oy vey…

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