Said he's been unhappy for four years, never told me even when I asked. I've been unhappy too. Says he doesn't like his life in Illinois. Me neither, When we first left Illinois in 2000 I said I never wanted to live here again. I said it more than once. He said we had to come here for his job. Because I loved him and wanted to be with him, I felt I had no choice. After a while he said we were going to buy a house because it would be more economical than renting. I loved the rental house.
The job was the center of his entire adult life. Not his first wife, not his kids, not me. So much so that he said over and over he would never retire, that if by chance he did, he would become an independent consultant in his industry, General Construction. Then he changed his mind. He would retire after all but he wouldn't be a consultant -- the industry was "no fun" anymore. He would work at Home Depot. Then he changed his mind. He would not work at Home Depot, we would travel the country instead, selling my handmade jewelry in art shows.
In 19 years, he never asked. He decided and he let me know what "we" were doing. Moving to Boston. The day we were to close on the house there he called and said he had changed his mind. Moving to Atlanta. Leaving my family and our children behind. Leaving my job and beloved friends.
We settled in the Atlanta area and I made us a home, as usual. Without a job I was now free to fully concentrate on all his needs and wants. Time permitting, I made a little money on the side making and selling glass wind chimes. I found friends and joined the YMCA. But . . . ut oh! Time to move to Florida, his dream destination. Once again I was left behind to sell and pack up the house and coordinate the move. Once again, I made a home for us. Made friends. Good friends.
Wait a minute! We have to move to Memphis! He had to leave NOW and I get to stay behind to sell and pack up the house. Only this time the economy intervened and we couldn't sell. The job in Memphis didn't last long. Luckily we hadn't sold the Florida house, instead I had driven our RV from Tampa to Memphis by myself so he'd have a "more economical" place to live than a hotel. Come on, honey, fly on down to Memphis and you can follow me and the RV back to Tampa with my car. Done.
Along with the sagging economy came a sagging job market. There was a lot of moping around the pool waiting for something to come his way. When it did, it was time to move back to Illinois. I did what I could to make a rental house a home. I made friends, joined the art guild, took a pottery class. He laid on the couch being unhappy in front of the TV. But couldn't or wouldn't talk to me about it. And then he retired.
So it's off to Florida we go for the winter, doing art shows almost every weekend. When you sell, conservatively, 50 pieces of jewelry at a show, it's tough to make that up by the following weekend. But that's what I worked at. Shows on the weekends, creating on demand during the week. This was never what I wanted to do, but he never asked, he TOLD. And I loved him and being with him was my priority.
Zoom ahead to January of this year, 2013. Time for our annual trip to Florida. Only this time I grew a pair. I never chose this lifestyle, I don't like it, I said, and I want to enjoy a Midwestern winter again for the first time in 14 years. Okay, he said, I'll enjoy Florida. I like doing the shows. I'll use the rest of my time for fishing, biking and hanging around on the beach.
Are you okay with this? I asked multiple times. Are you sure you aren't angry with me about this? I also asked multiple times. No, he assured me, he was FINE with the plan. On January 8, 2013, he left for Florida. He had a good time, he says, without me. Doing shows, fishing, biking, hanging on the beach. And, oh year, having an affair.
Skipping more of the gory details, like the fact that this woman was a friend, like he gave her $1000 of OUR money, let me get back to today. Day 1. Here's how a life can change from being full and busy in only one day. With no warning, with no opportunity to fix it. Because "this is how he is" and "he's never going to change."
I got out of bed this morning. At some point I showered. Went to the ATM for grocery money. Nada. Spent the $11 in my purse on yogurt and Dr. Pepper. Didn't need much more because I really can't eat. Can't sleep. Can't concentrate.
Thought some exercise would be advantageous so I drove over to the health club to walk in the pool. Managed to walk for 35 minutes before tears began rolling down my cheeks. And that, friends, is how it is. Roller coaster emotions. I am sick, angry, sad, devastated, shocked, miserable, in total despair. Feels like my life is over. Once again, I am left to pack up a house I didn't want. I have no money because that was also under his control for 19 years. No place to go and no funds to get there. Stranded in Central Illinois trying not to be the weird woman crying in the grocery store.
Meanwhile, he's surely on his way back to the