This essay and story is a work of fiction.
Names, places, characters, and actions are the product of the Author’s imagination. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, or any business establishments or locales are entirely coincidental.
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**No part of this publication may be reproduced by any means: electronic, mechanical, photocopied, recorded, or otherwise, without the prior written consent from the Author and publisher Gillian Anne Gibson**
Why is it that the majority of marriages fall apart so quickly in recent years?
One could say that people marry to young, to quickly and for all the wrong reasons. I think this pretty much sums up the majority of the failures as I think many people have long-lost the art of courting, writing love letters and exchanged it for wanting to jump in to situations of convenience to save money. By this I mean after meeting someone and dating for a mere few short weeks or months people are quickly moving in together before they’ve actually taken the time to fully know each other.
Remember when dating was fun. You had a mutual like and admiration for each other. You talked bout everything for endless hours. Shared your hopes and dreams. Laughed together, had a real tickle fights, went out for dinner and a movie. Wow, do people even do these things any more?
Recent years have me observing quite a few things. I’ve noticed people now meet mostly on the internet in one form or another and although some are purely honest a huge amount have created alter ego’s, even gone as far as to conjure up huge lies about themselves. Hiding addictions, criminal pasts and also hiding the fact that they are already in committed relationships with spouses and even children and pets. The big question is why?
When did we all forget how to communicate with each other on an honest level and invest in the relationships we currently live in. When did talking to one another become a dreaded chore? When did the attention of some stranger you’ve never met and probably never will for the most part become more important than the one you chose to be with in life.
People seem to socialize better via the internet rather than in person. That’s a sad fact. Look around anywhere you are currently. How many people are actually talking to each other and how many are sitting across from each other, in silence, on their cellphones?
In today’s age married people seem to be some of the loneliest people on the planet. I’m not saying all married people suffer this way but a very high percentage just seem to be lost altogether. They’ve become strangers to each other. Nothing in common, noting to talk about except suck-ass jobs we’re not happy at, bills, money, lack of not having, everything or anything and arguments about how much debt they’re in and how they feel like they’re stuck in a never-ending cycle of bullshit, stress and sadness.
Let’s look at one housewife’s scenario…
Kate and Phil met on-line some seven years ago. After what Phil thought was a great ongoing romance in his mind and dating which actually resulted in him always going over to her place, which was pretty much every night after work by taxi and getting drunk and having sex with her and passing out. They went out on two real dates in three months, once for dinner and twice to local packed noisy taverns. After four months Phil called Kate at work and said that he wanted to move in with her and her three kids. Kate kind of freaked out and didn’t answer him right away, instead she froze, couldn’t find her words and when Phil said are you still here or did you hang up on me, Kate, exhaled and said um I need to think about this and get back to you and hung up the phone. She sat at her desk completely speechless, she wasn’t sure she was ready for this, she was enjoying the freedom of her own place with her kids, the first time since she was seventeen years old she wasn’t held captive by having a man in her home. It was liberating. She was taking driving lessons and planning on buying her first little car.
Her first full taste of freedom since her first marriage came to a screeching halt and ended. Years of mental torment, abuse, mental abuse and sexual abuse at the hands of a man who thought the title of husband give him the right to become a Neanderthal and treat her like a house slave. Many rights she cried herself to sleep, wondering how she could get away, save both her and her children. Financially she was stuck , like many women, and didn’t know how to do it on her own. After being driven to two nervous breakdowns and several thoughts of suicide, she went to her parents. Now scared to go home at night after work, she stayed with them for a week then finally went home and told the abusive spouse it was over and he needed to move out and so he did. After nearly a full year on her own, with her children, Kate found herself stable enough to attempt dating again. So within a couple of weeks of sussing out different potential suitors on an on-line dating site she connected with Phil. He always managed to make her laugh, he was always happy and positive and cheerful. So one night he asked if he could come over to her house to meet her in person and watch a movie. Kate was very nervous, two of her three kids were home, but they weren’t babies and she asked them if they thought it would be a good idea to have him over with them there or wait until they went away to visit their father on the weekend. They both agreed to have him over while they were there for safety reasons, just in case things went sideways and she needed to get him out.
Phil came over around 9 PM that Wednesday night. They watched a couple of movies and he was very cuddly and affectionate, which eventually later on in the night led to kissing and making out on the couch. Then she broke her carnal rule of never taking a man to her bed before at least 5-7 dates and getting to know him better first. But let’s be honest she hadn’t had any in quite a long time and she had talked to Phil for a few weeks before inviting him over and she really knew nothing of the current dating world because she’d previously been married to one man for twenty-three years of her life. She was nervous, very nervous. She had given birth to three babies and her body didn’t bounce back like a swim-suite model’s. She had the famous kangaroo pouch women often get after having children. Her breasts were no longer perky, though they were considerably larger than ever and held up nicely in a push-up bra and nice top. But naked, well, they sagged and hung low. She also had developed stretch marks in quite a few places and all this made her feel very insecure about her body. Not to mention that the ex had made sure to cut her down to size by calling her fat, a bitch and telling her she was useless. Though she tried everything to please him. She bought sexy lingerie, sex toys, lube, massage oils, all at his insistence and all to please his fantasies. But in the end he’d rather get drunk watch porn and rape her regularly. I know what you are wondering right now, can you really be raped by someone you are married to. The answer is Yes! If you are forcibly taken against your will and held down by any one it is rape.
So now, she was both excited and scared when she and Phil entered the bedroom. She excused herself to the restroom and changed into a white sheer teddy with black satin ribbon and matching panties and brushed her teeth, applied deodorant, a small amount of perfume in the right places and brushed her hair. When she came out of the restroom all the lights were off and Phil was buck-naked in the bed. The first thing he says is what the hell did you put that on for. This made her feel incredibly stupid and even more nervous. That should have been her first sign of disaster but instead she gracefully said I thought you would like it. Phil stated he really didn’t care for that kind of thing because “you’re just gonna take it off anyway” and proceeded to tell her he always sleeps naked and said just take it off. Being conditioned to do as she was told, she did and climbed into bed. He was immediately on top of her, little fore-play and penetration. Half way through he stops suddenly and says, no, I can’t do this, I don’t want yo to think I’m just here for sex and then he just rolled over and went to sleep leaving her laying there completely shocked and confused. Kate lay there all night staring at the ceiling bewildered and afraid to go to sleep.
The next morning they got up, dressed and went to work as any usual day. In the hopes things would get better and thinking night one was a nervous disaster for both, Kate continued on with Phil. They became more and more open and comfortable with each other and their routine went on for full week before any real intercourse took place after that one night and it was well worth the wait. They had been able to talk about likes and dislikes and they both talked about their previous relationships which were disastrous on both ends. Kate with her one and Phil with apparently many short-lived one nighters, one weekers and so on. He only seemed to have two previous serious relationships and wasn’t shy on stating why he thought they went wrong. Well at least with one of them, the second he just stated she up and left him while he was in jail. We’ll find out why shortly.
Those weeks turned to months and things were pretty good and they discussed being exclusive to each other and not dating anyone else. Kate’s kids liked Phil, a lot, he was funny, cuddly, he cooked and helped clean. Then, one night on the phone he said the words she wasn’t ready for. He said “I love you” and Kate froze and went silent. He said, well don’t you love me back, she panicked in fear of hurting his feelings and she said yes, I do. Phil said let me hear you say it, she did, but it felt empty and forced, saying something she really wasn’t ready for. But she didn’t want to be alone and she didn’t want to lose him so she just rolled with it.
Now we are back to that phone call at month three and Phil didn’t wait for Kate to call him back. Instead, he called her five minutes after she hung up and said hey, what do you mean you need to think about it. Kate froze again and after a few gasps said, look, this is kind of sudden, you really caught me off-guard with that and I’m at work. It’s not really a good time to talk about this right now. I need to talk to my kids about all this and see how they feel about this. They do come first and if I have to choose between you and them I promise you, you will lose. They will always come first. Phil said, look, I’m at your place every night, spending twenty bucks a pop one way for a cab and another twenty in the morning to go back home again. It just seems senseless to be paying rent for a place I’m never in and I can help you pay your rent and bills there. You’re a woman, I figured you’d jump all over this idea. (WHOA! did y’all just do a head snap and a hand up too?!) Kate explained how she’d been tied down since the age of seventeen and she really needed to think about this as it was a major change. The “I love yous” were exchanged and she hung up the phone. Now, naturally, her co-workers heard the conversation, being in such close working quarters, and they jumped in with their two cents worth.
“Girl, are you crazy, he’s good to you, he has a full-time job and he loves your kids. What woman in her right mind would turn that away, go for it. blah, blah, blah.”
That night Kate went home and talked to her kids, who agreed, yes, he should move in. The oldest one stating, how bad could it be, at least you will find out his bad habits and you’ll never have to worry about where he is. So on the first of May Phil brought all his furniture & belongings and the move-in happened.
It was about two weeks later that things got sketchy. Phil was drinking excessively. Way more than just a couple after work as he had told her that’s what he did in prior conversations because Kate had fully explained that in her prior marriage she was married to a full-fledged alcoholic and had no intentions of ever going through that again under any circumstances. She had actually wanted to be with someone who didn’t drink at all but accepted that an occasional drink was all right. But every night when Phil got home from work he had a case of beer with him and even in the mornings when he woke the first thing he would do was grab a beer out of the bar fridge he put in their bedroom and lit a cigarette.
Prior to Phil moving in Kate smoked but never in the house because of the kids. Now they were both smoking in he bedroom. Signs number two and three right there. By June things were getting way out of hand, Phil was drinking day and night. Some times he was so drunk he wouldn’t go to work. He was spending all of his money on beer and Kate was paying for everything on her own. He even started asking her to pick up his beer on her way home from work and paying for it as well. Then Kate found out from Phil’s boss that he was drinking on the job as well. Coming home drunk on the days he did go to work and immediately passing out, leaving her to handle everything after her own long day of work and near two hours of travel in rush hour traffic to get home. She also found out he had lost his license for drunk driving and done jail time for getting repeatedly caught driving without a valid drivers license as his had been suspended for years, sixteen years to be precise. The entirety of their relationship he had told her he never had a driver’s license because he never felt he needed one. She always found this strange for a man in his thirties not to have ever had a driver’s license. But then again she hadn’t until now either, though it was because her abusive ex-husband would not allow her to get one, keeping her fully reliant on him and that way he always knew where she was going. On top of all this he had only been out of jail for a few months before meeting her. This scared the hell out of her and now, here, she found herself stuck in torment and hell all over again.
Then sex started getting rough and one night he held her down with his forearm and anally raped her, tearing her and making her bleed, pushing her face into the mattress to muffle her screams and making it hard for her to breathe to the point where she almost lost consciousness. She was crying and screaming no, please stop and he just kept saying wait I’m almost done. When he was done he said ” I love you”, rolled over and passed out. She’d live this life before with her ex many, many times. That night she hid, locked in the bathroom all night, terrified he was going to wake up and do it again. She was in so much pain, bleeding and crying. The next morning she confronted Phil about what he had done and you know, he claimed he remembered nothing at all about that night but he did apologize to her. She said I can’t and won’t live like this I think you need to go but he promised her he would stop the drinking and it would never happen again. She gave him the chance to make it right. A chance he never should have had. You see, this is what happens when a woman has faced 23 years in an abusive relationship. She’s already lost her self-respect and lives in fear every day. She always forgives the abuse because she has been conditioned to think it is always her fault it happened some how.
Though he wasn’t drinking in front of her and the kids, she found out that he was still drinking on the job and she caught him one night walking down the street with not one but two cases of beer and hiding them at a neighbour’s place, in their garage, 5 doors up. He obviously wasn’t expecting her to be outside when he got home and she just happened to be walking back from the mailbox. By the time he dropped the cases and made it to the front door where she was standing with her oldest daughter Kate was all fists and fury and she beat the living shit out of him all the way up the stairs, knocking his drunk-ass down face first with her daughter screaming for her to stop and pulling her off him.
During this time Kate had filed for divorce with the Family Court and her ex was pissed about it when he found out that not only had she filed but had a new relationship and was moving forward with her life without him. She also had filed for Child Support with the Family Court as her ex felt he should only have to pay $150.00 a month in child support for three children. Kate lived in the projects and because she worked a full-time job could not qualify for subsidized rent, where the government gives you a percentage discount to be able to afford living on your own without the help of Welfare. Kate did not qualify because she made exactly $200.00 to much for the qualification. So she was left supporting her family on less than $832.00 every two weeks once taxes came off. Her rent was 975.00 a month, Hydro 150.00 a month, Gas 100.00 a month, cable/internet 150.00 a month and her car payment was 271.09 every two weeks, Car insurance 286.00 a month, without her car she had no way to get to work which was 45 minutes away to the west. Then she needed to gas up her car every week at about 45.00 a week, pay the sitter 150.00 a week for her kids before and after school care and buy food about 150.00 a week, clothing and school supplies etc as needed.
Let’s do the math shall we…..
Income 832.00 x 2 = 1664.00 + 150.00 child support + 600.00 her son chipped in to help = $2,414.00 for a month.
Monthly bills….975.00 + 150.00 + 100.00 + 150.00 + 271.09 + 286.00 + 180.00 + 600.00 + 600.00 = $3,312.09
Short each month by 898.00. then her son moved out and the 600.00 monthly contribution he chipped in was gone leaving her short by $1,498.00. So she had to teach her kids to look after themselves and drop the daycare from her bills saving 600.00 in expenses. Still leaving her short 898.00 a month. To which Phil was to be helping out with but was not because he was drinking his money away.
DO YOU SEE WHY MOST WOMEN STAY STUCK IN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS NOW…..
During one of his asinine drunken stupors he got stupid with her youngest daughter and had stomped on her foot so hard the child started crying and when she went to her father’s that weekend she told her father that Phil drank too much and hurt her and that they no longer went to the child care lady and had to look after themselves before and after school for 2 hours until Kate got home from work. So the ex, who was living with his parents for free and making $75,000.00 a year, called Child Protective Services and they called Kate and said they needed to pay a visit to her home because they had received an anonymous call that the children were being abused and were not in a safe living environment. Kate freaked out, told Phil he had to move out. He promised once again that he would stop drinking and he painted the entire house and everything was perfect for the arrival of CPS.
CPS came and left happy. Kate let them know that she knew who made the anonymous call to them and why.
“The day you received a call was the day I went to Family Court an Filed for Divorce and Child Support and you got that call from my ex-husband because of those very reasons and the fact that he found out I am in a new relationship. Does Phil drink, yes he does, does he pose a threat to my children, no he doesn’t, he got over zealous one day and stomped on my daughter’s foot when they were horsing around and yes, it hurt her.”
The spoke to Kate in private and in front of the kids and then they spoke to the kids together and separately and left satisfied. Phil was at work the day they came so they asked for him to go to their office for a meeting he want there two days later and Kate received a call on the Friday of that week, CPS stated that they did not feel the children where in any danger and that they were well cared for and that her ex and his parents would be getting a warning that should they ever try to use their services as a battling weapon in a Family Court Case again they would be charged. Case Closed.
By August Phil was back to his old ways again and Kate couldn’t take any more and after throwing forty-eight empty beer cans at Phil she told him to get the hell out or go to rehab. She wasn’t living this life all over again. She’d just spent the past 23 years with the same things plus emotional and physical abuse and she wasn’t about to do it again. Again, she felt the need to give him a chance to repair the damage and fix himself. He took that chance and this time did not let her down.
The next morning Phil packed a bag and had his boss take him and check him into a 4-day hard detox and therapy center, and completely dried out. That was the last time he ever drank.
This is the end of Part I
Until next time. Don’t lose hope……