Weird phone number shows up on your then wife’s cell phone? Maybe you are a little insecure because your then wife has pulled some shenanigans in the past. You give her bullshit answers the benefit of the doubt because after all she is the mother of your child(ren), and you are Mr. Perfect in the hubby department. Six months later, you are waking up having no damn idea where you are at, the last two days don’t even register in your brain, and your wife is telling you that your marriage is more than likely over.
Let’s backtrack a bit, my fellow man card member. You have your own flaws and demons. Hell, none of us are perfect. That being said, your wife genuinely enjoys your stupid dad jokes, your propensity to make a proper dinner, and that you treat your lawn like it’s opening day at the Wimbledon Tennis Club. Hard day at work and you like to knock a few back watching your favorite sports team suck it up one more time? Yeah, it’s all acceptable, but no, it’s not if she already has her wandering eyes somewhere else. You aren’t the shiny new toy anymore, you are that favorite toy with a broken handle and missing half of your original paint. Yes, you are “old reliable” but you aren’t anything more than taken for granted at this point in your marriage when you are married to someone that has checked out. You are too in love to realize it, but you are about to get news that will forever change your life.
For me, it was June 19th, 2014. I’m a father of one daughter, divorced (now engaged again), and I wish no man goes through the hell I went through. I got handed the news that night after spending the worse month of my life on earth. In my futile attempt to save my marriage, I lost 26 pounds in less than thirty days from nothing more than stress. I was 37 at the time and the last time I was single pagers were all the rage. The only people that had cell phones were considered “rich,” Color Me Badd was considered a relevant band, and the O.J. Simpson murder trial had just concluded.
The events leading up to June 19th involve a maniacal bitch that was in the process of using my blinding love to build a custody case. I had no idea at the time, I just did what I was told. Lexapro prescription to control my temper, only fodder for a future custody battle. I would have taken a shot of antifreeze back then if it meant everything would be right again in my world. Klonopin prescription to control my anxiety at the time only proved to be icing on the cake. She knew what she was doing, and I was just trying to save my marriage.
Imagine being 37 years old and the only girl you have loved (at the time) tells you she wants to leave you. Two weeks into daily doses of these mind control drugs, and you flip the hell out. I became a coward, I didn’t think about my daughter at the time, and I went on a two-day bender with my long lost uncle Ron Bacardi and his cousin Diet Coke. Throw in about 30 pills of Klonopin, 15 pills of Lexapro, and some OTC sleeping pills for good measure; I tried to kill myself. The only good thing my now ex-wife ever did was call 911. For good measure, she did call her attorney eight minutes later, it was always about her from day one. I just didn’t realize it until after the fact. I also lost any chance, albeit it slim since I’m the man, of getting custody of my daughter. That suicide attempt defines me today and made me the best damn father I can be.
Fellow Y chromosome member, learn from me, don’t emulate me. Divorce is a business, lawyers prey on it and vacation in Hawaii every year because of it. That urge to put your heart out there via texting or social media is only going to come back to haunt you. Lawyers love that stuff like fat people love Twinkies. If you got blindsided, accept it. There is no magic formula for how much it hurts, but your woman now thinks you are deplorable and only spreads her legs for someone else now. Again, I know it sucks, I have been there and have the T-shirt to prove it.
For me, it was sheltering my daughter from all the bullshit that is divorce. I had a fleeting hope that I would get full custody, but family law and archaic thinking is another story. The year I got divorced my daughter and I became best friends. She was six at the time, and she knew how bad I was hurting. Kids are amazing, and my daughter is no exception. Calling her my best friend ended up killing me in court a year later, but one thing I learned in the whole process is lawyers protect their own in custody battles and by that time I was out of money.
All I can say is it will get better, you may not believe me depending on what phase of your divorce you are in now, but trust me. Fast forward three years later, I’m engaged to someone who is wiser, cuter, and would win a popularity contest with my daughter. If you ever think that your life is over because your ex just dropped divorce on you, please reach out to me. I’m here for you, I spent countless hours on the phone with anybody that would listen to me when I was going through it, and I’m more than willing to pay it forward.
Gary Mathews was blindsided by his divorce. In July 2014 he started blogging as he learned the news of his impending divorce. At first his blogging helped him cope through the anguish of his divorce, but soon turned into a passion. Gary does much self-reflection and writes about dealing with custody issues, ex-wife issues, and just life issues in general all while keeping his sense of humor, at his blog http://www.skipahsrealm.com.