When today's guest writer Vanessa pitched us, we fell crazymad in likesies. Her words: "I live in the mommyhood trenches with elementary age children. My loser of an ex cheated on me when he could not handle the stress of parenthood and left me with only what I had in my car. Despite the setback, I rose to the challenge and became a successful, stay-at-home freelancer." Yep, that's our girl. And she's here to proffer up her advice on the joys of dumping that big ol' tumor on your chest. Praise and glories. -Gwen & Lark
Despite all the red flags waving in our faces and our gut instinct telling us that someone is so very wrong for us, sometimes we still go for it...and then wonder what went wrong when they eventually fuck us over.
I was always the go-to girl in my clique offering dating advice and trying to get my friends to see outside of the love tunnel when they were falling hard for the person that I would without a doubt call “not the one.”
After trying to steer my friends clear of relationships that would have ended up as harsh learning experiences and pure heartbreak (which was hell to watch while they recovered), I did not bother to protect myself. I never in a million years thought that I would ever disregard my own advice and fall for someone that I knew was bad for me - so bad for me that I hid the secret of him for quite some time before introducing him to my friends and family because I knew they would not like him.
With him, I experienced that intense infatuation of meeting someone new and that longing to be with him every moment of the day. I loved that giddy feeling when he sent a text just to say he was thinking of me or when I knew he was on his way over. It was to the point it was hard to hide that nauseating in-love crap that annoys your friends. I fell for the charms, the gifts, and the words that I desperately needed to hear. He made me laugh and lifted my spirits when nobody else was even trying. He became my best friend, lover, and my world.
So far he doesn’t seem so bad, right?
My love for him allowed him to lure me away from my family with the promise that he would move back to my hometown at a later time. We were on two different ends of the spectrum when it came to religion and politics, but I thought that was something that made things interesting between us.
He often would conveniently not have his wallet with him and ask me to spot him some cash until the next payday - which he failed to pay me back. I overlooked that given that we were living together and shared expenses at that point. I even thought his weird tics were cute and not enough to stress over because he was fun to be around. My parents hated him, and my best friend even tried to warn me about him, but I did not listen because I thought I was in love and had fallen hard for the whirlwind romance. I caught him in a few lies but ignored it to save face. A year later, despite what I saw at the time as minor issues, I married my future asshole.
That was 15 years and two children ago, and I am still kicking myself in the ass for not listening to my own advice. To this day, I cannot believe that I broke not just one, but ten of my cardinal rules of relationships…
- 1. Never look for love or companionship when you are at a low point in life.
- 2. Never follow a man; he must follow you.
- 3. Avoid any man that does not live up to his promises.
- 4. Avoid any man that does not already have his life together financially.
- 5. Avoid any man that does not agree with you on the subjects of children, sex, religion, and politics.
- 6. Avoid any man that your parents and best friends hate.
- 7. Avoid any man that cannot clean up after himself or fix his mistakes.
- 8. Avoid any man that holds you back.
- 9. Avoid any man that belittles things that are important to you.
- 10. Date for two years before even thinking about marriage. By that time, their true self has been revealed.
He went from being my best friend to pure jerk the day after he said, “I do.” He truly should be in the running for an Oscar for his outstanding performance as Prince Charming up until the honeymoon because I completely fell for it.
After the wedding, the daily festivities started. He made fun of just about everything that I liked. He started to ignore me. He would be kinder to strangers than to me. My feelings no longer mattered, and I was told to just get over it. He told me that believing in my religion was living in a fantasy world. He said that now that he had me that he did not have to romance me anymore. He always had something else better to do than be with me. He started acting like a complete idiot in public regardless of how much it embarrassed the people around him. He stopped cleaning or doing any repairs to the house. And sex—well, what sex? I was told that it was too much of a chore to get me off. What pissed me off the most was that he would prefer to jerk off to porn than be with me. He would not even bother to hold my hand, cuddle, or tell me that he loved me anymore. He acted like it pained him to just sit in the same room with me. He trashed our bedroom to look like hoarderville and then wondered why I moved to the guest room. He failed to acknowledge my birthday and our anniversary numerous times. And as an added bonus, I recently found out that my wedding ring is fake—as fake as his love.
About a year into the marriage, he chose to stop earning enough income to maintain our meager standard of living and relied on me to financially support his sorry ass while I tried to raise two children.
Then he started making major purchases that were not in our budget without consulting me first. To add insult to injury, that is about the same time that I found out that he mooched off every single woman that he dated before me.
He was truly a tumor sucking the life out of me. I really thought I was in hell.
After putting me on a pedestal while we were dating, my husband took everything I had - to include my trust, my heart, my dignity, my perfect credit score, and nearly my will to live. I want to jump into a time machine and go back to my earlier self and shake some damn sense into her!
After holding me literally hostage in another state away from my family after promising me repeatedly he would move and never did, I felt so incredibly lonely and had had enough of his shit.
It was hard to believe how lonely someone could be and be married at the same time.
For the sake of my sanity and a healthy upbringing for my children, I had to make the hardest decision of my life and leave my husband.
I had never been so scared in my entire life with the heavy weight of this decision on my shoulders. Not only did I have to think of myself but also of two children. The questions ran through my head about how I was going to make ends meet without him and whether or not I could parent alone. I was already used to the loneliness so I knew I could handle that aspect of my departure. He was completely charming outside of our home so I was terrified that people would think I was insane for leaving. I was miserable, but my children were still young enough to not have been tainted by the way he thought or behaved.
I had to swallow my pride and admit to my mistake of marrying King Asshole to my friends and family as reached out for their support before I made my move. When the chips were down, I was forced to look deep for the courage to leave and make it on it on my own. It was incredibly hard at first and took some time to get back on my feet, but you will be amazed at how resourceful and motivated you become when you have to pull yourself out of the trenches.
Oddly, I actually don’t hate him for putting me through this. I can see from his point of view it was self-preservation by freeloading off of women to survive, and he simply spotted a target that was desperate for companionship and used it dry. I came out of the situation stronger than when I went into it. I have had to learn to take care of and love myself first before I could love anyone else.
There are some good ones out there if you love with your mind at first before giving them your heart. I just wish I had followed my own rules and paid attention to the warning signs.
He is now on to his next victim who has not yet wised up despite my warnings because she is “so in love” and “he is so perfect.” Yeah, I was there too.
Bottom line, your sanity and self-esteem are not worth any asshole. My advice after this experience is to listen to your friends and family because they can see beyond the façade of someone that truly wants to screw you over. Finally, make your own dating rules and don’t bend... no matter what.