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A letter to my ex- likely never to be sent.

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  • A letter to my ex- likely never to be sent.

    D

    So, let me take you back to winter of 2012, the start of the end of my second marriage. Without declaring why, my wife started often sleeping in our son’s bed. She and I would text back and forth during the day, with me asking what was wrong, where were we headed, and how could I fix it? At some point, we discovered that an old cell phone, we’d given our youngest daughter to use for texting only with her friends, was having our conversations popping onto its screen. We decided no more texting about the problems we were having.

    One Sunday, my wife took our oldest daughter to a volleyball tournament and was out all day. My time to shine! Took care of the kids and prepared a meal for all of us to enjoy. It involved all four food groups, no one got sick, and the kids said they liked it. I cleaned up, afterwards, washing the dishes, too. Not looking for Father of the Year, here, just setting the mood.

    It’s bedtime. My wife was in my son’s bed, isolating from me. Displaced, he would be sleeping in our bed, with me. I put our youngest daughter to bed when there was a message popping up on her cell phone screen. Who’s texting you? I asked. I looked at the screen. What I saw floored me.

    Words to the effect of: “D – it’s unbearable, with the other person who lives here…” My feelings were hurt. I hid my anger and kissed our youngest girl goodnight. I shut off her light and walked to the next bedroom. I looked my wife in the eyes and repeated the contents of the text to her, apologizing that living with the other person, who lived in our house, was so unbearable. She got angry, “You’re reading my texts!?!” I reminded her that she was the one who had discovered the texts appearing on our daughter’s phone. I wasn’t digging into anything, she was dumping it out. I asked who D was. I was refused any information other than, “a friend”.

    To this day, I still do not know the depth of their relationship. But three things were clear to me: (1) they had exclusive “time alone” via text and/or otherwise, (2) they shared secrets, (3) she was very comfortable bad-mouthing me, to him. I call that an intimate relationship. To me it did not matter if they were physical, or not. It was a relationship outside our marriage.

    NOTE: I have a psychologist friend, who would keep up with me. He asked me once, if there was someone else in her life. I told him (then) I was not sure. I then described the following incident to him. I was washing dishes with our oldest daughter. We broke a bowl, somehow, from our everyday settings. My wife exploded, “I can’t stand the way our bowls get broken around here!” In the divorce, I got those settings. I still have seven of those eight bowls. But bowls were getting broken, right and left, back then, right? My PhD friend heard that story and said, “Yes, there is someone else.”

    As we prepared to part ways, she said the old standard, “I love you, but I’m just not in love with you.” Which I have learned stands for, “I’m going to do something really despicable, but I want to feel really, really, good about myself while I do it!” She also went on to tell me her plans for us: (1) She and I would both get jobs working for her friend who had just secured a chief position at a campus police department, and (2) I would buy a house across, next to, or down the street from hers, so that I had constant access to my kids, and they to me. I recall standing on our front porch, looking at her and saying, (1) “No, I’m not going to be working for (her friend), that would unbearable, to me, to be working with, or near you on a daily basis when you’ve divorced me”, and (2) “If you think I’m going to sit there and watch your new husband or your boyfriend pull into your driveway, you’re insane, I’m not going to do that!” She (1) did not understand my reluctance to work with her and her best friend, and (2) assured me there would be NO boyfriend or new husband, ever.

    Let’s shorten the story to the facts not in dispute. She served me with papers, we divorced effective 12/16/2014. We live about six miles apart. Kids seem to be doing “okay”. She tried to reconcile with me, briefly, during the summer of 2015, then broke it off without explaining why. I vary from grateful she gave it a shot, to angry she broke it off, to “Whatever, I need to move on!” But the fact is, I still loved and missed her.

    Then, this last week, a blurring of the lines…

    Wednesday, December 14, 2016 I was leaving work when my son called me, “Dad, mom and I have been in a wreck, we need you!” I drove the 26, or so, miles (stopping along the way to get our daughter) to join up with them at the crash site. They were in an intersection when a guy ran the red and T-boned them. Her car was totaled. Thankfully, our son walked out with a seatbelt burn on his chest and a great story to tell his friends. She was the recipient of shoulder and neck injuries with a spinal compression. She walked away, too. I took them all to dinner so they might shake off the experience.

    Saturday morning, I was to pick up our youngest daughter from a sleepover. I didn’t bother with a shower, or put on socks. Those could wait. I backed out from the driveway. My phone rang with my ex-wife on it. She was sobbing in pain. She was sure she had a kidney stone. She had an episode, before, when we were still married. She asked me to drive her to the ER. I was glad to do so. I know how much pain she’d been in last time.

    We got her to the ER. I went and got our youngest girl from the sleepover. I drove her to be with her mom. I ended up taking them all home, then got her prescriptions from the pharmacy. I delivered the medications, then took my son to his basketball game. I returned him to her home. Although it was my weekend, I told the kids, “I’ll bet you want to be home, with mom, tonight, after all she’s been through” They all agreed and thanked me. I was invited to stay for dinner. I declined, opting to go to an AA meeting. I told our youngest daughter to sleep with mom and be ready to call me if the pain required a trip back to the hospital.

    Sunday morning I relaxed, had breakfast and went to church from 1pm to 4pm. I came home, ate a late lunch or an early dinner and headed off to another AA meeting. There was a small potluck event after Sunday night’s AA meeting. I stayed and ate a bit, then headed home. As I neared my home the phone rang. The pain had returned worse than yesterday’s episode. I told her I’d be right there. Back to the ER we went. This time they did not send her home. She stayed, caught in an insurance vortex for the next 36 hours when it was finally decided she would have the surgery, there at the local hospital near her home, rather than 30 miles away in downtown Denver.

    All throughout this time, I’ve been updating three friends of hers, and her step-mother via text. At one point, she asked me to notify her boss, using her cell phone. Our youngest daughter could open it up for me. I notified her boss, who thanked me for the updates. This will be important, in about two paragraphs, I promise.

    In the hours preceding her surgery, I had to remind the kids to put down their phones and support mom while she went through either her painful fits, or her drugged moments of relief. Hug your mom. Kiss your mom. Hold mom’s hand! Then she started vomiting. I held the basin for her and she brought up some nasty looking crud from her once dry heaves. I asked my son to moisten a washcloth. I wiped down her face. She thanked me. I made attempts to “be there” whenever she cried and complained about pain. Every time she headed to the bathroom, I make sure her IV pump was moved with her. As she’s in the bathroom I straightened her bed. I prayed many times, for her, all throughout the day. Again, this isn’t a new contest for Ex-Husband of the Year, it’s just setting the scene for what’s going to happen, next.

    Finally, it’s Tuesday at 3:30 pm and she’s taken to pre-op. At 5pm the procedure is started and done soon after. The doctor comes out and gives me the details (as if I’m entitled, somehow). The kids have no questions. I text and update her step-mom and her friends. We then get told she’ll be headed back to her room, where she’ll stay the night. We head up there to make the room ready and welcome her back. As I see her phone, I think, I will notify her boss the ordeal is over, she’ll be back to work Thursday.

    My daughter opens the phone and hands it to me. I go to the texting application. She has other notifications. I look for her boss’ name. I froze. Under the block of her boss' text, it’s a message from D.

    I sink into the closest chair I can find. I am numb. An old familiar pain overwhelms me. Forgive me, but I went ahead and read some of their message history. He seems to be unavailable for her. She seems needy and wanting. He defended himself from her allegations of him blocking her messages, apologizing for not taking her calls. At the time he sent the text he had 45 minutes before his next flight if she wanted to call him right then and (whenever) there (was). He is working so hard. He cleared 40, or was it 80 voicemails, recently. He’s all over the Orient on a quest to do business and do great things. I look at the photos they’ve exchanged. There’s the collision photo I had taken. She’s holding her new dog. He’s with, what I can only assume is, his kids.

    There I was, busting my divorced *** for her (and admittedly, yes, my kids’) benefit and the mysterious D was her desired emotional companion, confidant, lover or caretaker. I was the other person, all over again. A scab was torn off and it bled. This time was going to be different. I took down his phone number. Yes, she’s a divorced woman, she can do what she wants. But THIS all started when we were STILL MARRIED. I owe this guy something, but what?

    The next morning, I have a private investigator friend who looked the number up and who gave me his full name.

    That’s all I needed to start. I found the home he and his wife paid $530,000 for, the week of Oct. 30 - Nov. 5, 2011. I know his wife’s name. I know her age. I know who she’s employed by and her profession of schoolteacher. I know where he went to college. I got a photo of their house on line. I know their mailing address. I know his wife’s maiden name and her phone number. I know the name of the company he’s CEO at. I know what drives him, his daughter’s condition, to strive and create the technology which will ease his little girl’s suffering. I learn his kids’ names and see their faces. I know all this in about 30 minutes, and I’m no rock star on a computer.

    Then it dawns on me what I don’t know. Why were my kids and I the exclusive and unwilling recipients of all the pain caused by this relationship? Why do his wife and kids get off Scott-free? Why are THEY spared this sh-t sandwich which must be consumed dry on very thin, stale, white bread, without the benefit of something, make that anything, to wash it down with? While nobly trying to ease his daughter’s pain, why did my youngest daughter get to talk, as though she were a mature woman beyond her nine years (at the time), about watching her parent’s marriage crumble, and she just awaited the final word? Why did her twin brother decide he was losing his faith in God? Why did my oldest daughter act out emotionally and make suicide attempts? When my younger kids are with me and the radio is on, why do they change the channel whenever the ads are for divorce attorneys? Or, even better, that new divorce song which is on the airwaves? – how fast does that channel get changed? Tell me.

    And finally, why do I get to wander around for the last four years thinking I’m the ‘effed-up one? I was by her side when she gave birth to three kids. I was by her side and caring for our oldest daughter while she had a life-threatening episode, due to a surgical complication, with a lengthy hospital stay. I was far from perfect, but we know men who were far worse husbands. He should know two things they’ve likely never talked about in their conversations – she does not respect men, or at least she didn’t, who sneak around on their wives. She doesn’t, or at least didn’t, respect women, who sneak around on their husbands.

    Me, the guy who’s hunted armed felons in the dark of night, while he slept in his (or some other woman’s) bed. I have negotiated the surrender of armed suspects, one of whom held a hostage. Got a mentally-ill man with a gun to drop it, over the phone in Spanish, while five miles away from the scene, so he could be taken into custody without anyone getting hurt. I have chased felons at 100 mph down freeways. I have negotiated with, or grabbed jumpers off a ledge, who intended to die. I have recovered a mentally-ill man, who fell through the cracks of all social service agencies and returned him to his family, in Japan, after an absence of seven years. I’m the guy who has not had a drink of alcohol in 32 years, and supported others while they tried to do the same. I have supported those who lost loved ones in all manner of deaths. I sat alongside a man who had doctors pull his wife off life support, he told her he loved her and that it was okay to leave him. She was in such pain. I cried more than he did, it seemed, that day.

    Let me be clear - I NEVER CHEATED ON MY WIFE or went behind her back to even whisper to any other woman and I’m the piece of sh-t who needed to be discarded in all this?

    Oh, I got a brief glimpse into my flaws one day as we tried another round of marital counseling. Seems I kept my police car cleaner than my personal car. Looking back I’m amazed that after hearing that, the counselor didn’t make arrangements for her to enter a battered woman’s shelter.

    In another session, the counselor asked me to use singe words to describe myself. Without hesitation I put out: “Loyal, loving, caring, compassionate, trusting, supportive, empathetic…” she stopped me as I was overwhelming her with words she had to write down. She then turned to my wife and asked her to use single words to describe herself. After a brief silence, my wife uttered, “Well, I’m punctual.” Silence followed, with the therapist and I exchanging glances. I don’t know what her glance meant, but it was similar to mine and mine was of total disbelief of just a single word spoken, and open to the idea that maybe, just maybe, my marriage would end because she would not open up and work on fixing it. Punctual - I had spent six years working an assignment which had me frequenting many cemeteries. I had seen many headstones, and read many obituary summaries which described the deceased as loyal, beloved, loving, caring, cherished, and compassionate – I never, once, saw the word punctual on any marker or any remembrance.

    Thoughts which invaded my daily life since I saw their texts…

    I wondered how his wife and kids would wear this burdensome, prickly, uncomfortable garment of disappointment and shame, which was so generously laid upon my kids and I? I asked myself, could I tell his wife and challenge her, when she denied the possibility of what I was giving her, to demand a look into his phone for a brief glimpse of the history of his and my ex-wife’s texting relationship? While sobbing, would she believe any whitewashed version which relied heavily on the term, “it’s not like that, Honey, it’s all really, totally innocent, you just don’t know, or understand because...”?

    But, here’s the happy ending to this whole episode. In am not telling his wife. I am not telling him either, unless I get pushed into doing so.

    This is yours, (ex-wife), to do with what you want. You soak in it like I have for the last four years. You be uncomfortable. You can read this, then shred it, burn it, deny it to yourself, tell yourself I got it all wrong, that you’re a “good Catholic and a great mom who loves her kids and would never do anything to hurt them”, you do whatever you want with it.

    But the fastest way for you to have this delivered to his wife and kids, overnight via USPS Express Mail, is for you to get on your high horse, from your self-appointed position of moral authority, getting angry because I saw what I saw, twice unintentionally and admittedly once on purpose, tell me I’m all wrong and challenge me on it. This is no longer open for discussion.
    Last edited by Kieth M.; 12-23-2016, 05:19 PM.
    "You're never fully dressed without a smile."

    Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

    Three things I know for sure: (1) No bad deed goes unrewarded, (2) No good deed goes unpunished, and (3) It is entirely possible to push the most devoted, loyal and caring person beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t.

  • #2
    Wow!! I admire your tenacity to find out what happened, but I can honestly say what's happened has happened and it is time to move on. If you don't find a way to move on, it is going to eat at you and eat at you until you get to a breaking point. That breaking point may happen at home, at work, when you are visiting the kids, or some other place. When you break, the s*it is going to hit the fan and you will do something you can't undo, and will regret it for the rest of your life. Get some professional help to get past this and don't allow it to fester. As a law enforcement officer, s*it like this could cloud your judgement and cause you to screw up a very noble and rewarding career, leaving you with nothing and working in some two-bit, dead end job.

    My best wishes to you for a future with a clear mind and a rewarding career as a public servant.
    My comments are my personal opinion and are based on my life experiences and training. They are not to be construed as legal advice in any form as I am not an attorney. Should you act on any of the information I provide in my comments, you do so at your own risk!!

    Comment


    • #3
      Kieth,
      I feel your pain. I am sorry you had to go through this.
      September 11, 2001 - All gave some, some gave all. Never forget -- Never forgive.......... RIP Brothers and Sisters.

      Comment


      • #4
        Stay strong brother.
        I make my living on Irish welfare.

        Comment


        • #5
          Keith, I sure can relate to what your going thru...My first wife left me in 1978, I will never forget what she said to me as she walked out the door.." There is more to life than being a wife and a mother" She walked out leaving behind a 18 month old son and a 4 year old son.. Its over 38 years ago and to this day I still don't know why she left me. She never told me why, she just walked out on me and my two sons.

          I will never ever forget the words she said to me one day as I left for work..." I hope you get shot and killed tonight"
          Retired LASD

          Comment


          • #6
            Rule #11 .... Life is a one way trip. Mulligans aren't worth the effort.
            Move on Sparky.
            BTW .... You'll never get the two hours back you wasted posting all your personal crap on an open forum.
            Rule #1 - If it doesn't change supper it's not worth the worry.
            Rule #10 - YOU ARE NOW THE MINORITY. This country is no longer the one your parents knew. You will not be able to understand it. You will not be able to change it. You must learn to live with it.

            Comment


            • #7
              No he won't Geez but he will get the relief he desperately needed by putting it all down in writing, getting the support from his personal band-of-brothers, and starting off on the long road to healing himself. Power to you brother! I will pray for you.

              I too was a bad husband. She told the judge my shin broke her toe when I kicked her. After the laughter died down...
              Pete Malloy, "The only thing black and white about this job is the car."

              Comment


              • #8
                Keith, I have read your posts for years and have great respect for you and all you have done. I'm sorry for what you have gone through with her but she sounds like a nut. I know it is hard with the kids but you'll probably be healthier without her.

                Comment


                • #9
                  If it were me, I'd send copies of all the evidence to his wife. Why should he get to have his cake and eat it too? Then the proverbial feces would strike the rotary oscillator and your ex would get what she needs coming to her.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Keith- man I've read your post for years now. I say what do you have to lose but nothing. Screw the guy that crushes your world. You should not have to bare the burden of starting over. His wife, although may or may not know, will be crushed, but hey you might have a new date out of it
                    I'd rather be judged by 12 rather carried by 6.

                    It should be noted that any and all post that are made are based on my own thought and opinions. And are not related or implied to represent the department I work for.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Let her world unravel itself. I know it is tempting to be the one that brings it all down but when it does implode(and it will) she will only have herself to blame. Why give her even a remote chance of blaming you. If she can blame you, she can screw with your visitation or custody of the kids. She can start screwing with your job. It may take a little longer for it to happen on it's own, but it will. You have to be patient.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BNWS View Post
                        You have to be patient.
                        Patience is the operative word. Had I sent this letter, right off the bat, it would have been the wrong one and less effective.

                        Two things I am doing:

                        I've been wanting a new dog for some time. I will be getting one and naming it with HIS name. His nuts, of course, will be severed.

                        My kids will be conditioned without their knowing and predisposed to laugh right in this dude's face if and whenever they meet him. She will bear the embarrassment of my kids' relentless teasing about this guy's behavior and habits without them knowing the back story.

                        It also just dawned on me that I'm 61 years-old. As a kid, my mom would NEVER let me have a snake as a pet. I wanted one.

                        I get to have one now. I will name it Michelle. That was her divorce attorney's name. I will get an engraved sign for the terrarium which reads: Law Office of Michelle ________. Every week I will feed Michelle a live rat and enjoy watching her eat it.

                        "You're never fully dressed without a smile."

                        Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

                        Three things I know for sure: (1) No bad deed goes unrewarded, (2) No good deed goes unpunished, and (3) It is entirely possible to push the most devoted, loyal and caring person beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Sgt. Geezer View Post
                          Rule #11 .... Life is a one way trip. Mulligans aren't worth the effort.
                          Move on Sparky.
                          BTW .... You'll never get the two hours back you wasted posting all your personal crap on an open forum.
                          Don't want the two hours back...it was written elsewhere and just copies and pasted. I did so, like everything else I post, to be a way to let others who are going through a similar experience, to know they are not alone and that someone else knows how they might feel.

                          It was placed in the wrong area, however. It was meant for Family Matters.

                          Thanks for your caring, and ongoing support, however.

                          "You're never fully dressed without a smile."

                          Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

                          Three things I know for sure: (1) No bad deed goes unrewarded, (2) No good deed goes unpunished, and (3) It is entirely possible to push the most devoted, loyal and caring person beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by chiefjack View Post
                            My best wishes to you for a future with a clear mind and a rewarding career as a public servant.
                            Wow, does that mean I've yet to have a rewarding career as a public servant? 37 years in this business and I haven't done anything worthwhile, yet? Wow, glad you came along to set me straight. 30 years LAPD, 7 in Colorado including 3 as a chief, BTW.

                            "You're never fully dressed without a smile."

                            Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

                            Three things I know for sure: (1) No bad deed goes unrewarded, (2) No good deed goes unpunished, and (3) It is entirely possible to push the most devoted, loyal and caring person beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Kieth M. View Post

                              Wow, does that mean I've yet to have a rewarding career as a public servant? 37 years in this business and I haven't done anything worthwhile, yet? Wow, glad you came along to set me straight. 30 years LAPD, 7 in Colorado including 3 as a chief, BTW.
                              I don't think he meant it as a personal dig.

                              He doesn't know your employment past and situation.

                              Comment

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