Merely An Accident

After settling into our home, Chuck began to firmly request that I seek a job. Each time we were relocated, it was for his career and I had to forfeit my career positions to join him. Whereas, I was most happy to support my husband with his goals and ambitions, I was disheartened that he continuously mandated I work outside the home. His income was more than adequate to meet all our financial obligations with some remaining discretionary income.

In the 1980’s when he dictated that I obtain full time employment, he required I pay all household expenses, inclusive of any medical bills, gift purchases, travel expenses, etc. I would learn 19 years later he was hiding money from me for covert purchases.

As the holidays approached, I was contented I had been unable to locate a job, as our daughter, son-in-law and son were all visiting our new residence. There were many things for them to see and do, so my full-time job had become tour and event planner for the children. Also, with hosting a large party for Chuck’s staff and colleagues, I had to become chef and “hostess with the mostess.”

Even though we were empty nesters, I didn’t have the opportunity to fulfill all my homemaker chores and tasks without the continued persistent stress of trying to “do it all” when employed. After the holidays and our children’s return back to OK, with Chuck’s continued nagging for me to work, I located a full-time job as a corporate dietitian, requiring extensive travel which I loathed. I endured the job in a constant state of anxiety. The corporation’s lack of morals and ethics didn’t allow me to fulfill my duties without conflicts.

Whereas, the verbal conflicts between Chuck and I were almost daily, my love for him was steadfast. As his wife, I cherished time with him in our home. Thus, the travel was an additional source of anxiety. The company and I parted ways after approximately 1.5 years. I was relived, but Chuck returned to his badgering toward me to locate another job.

I taught university classes while in OK which I had so greatly enjoyed. As a result of this, I began seeking positions as an adjunct university teacher. This opportunity was rapidly offered due to the increased need for dietitians to teach nutrition. I taught part-time adjunct at one of the local two-year colleges and full-time adjunct at FL International University in Miami. I found my niche and loved teaching. The pay was not enough to please Chuck, but I had a fulfilling job.

Because my teaching didn’t require traveling out of town, it quickly became apparent of Chuck’s deliberate absence from being home. Arriving home between 1- 2 a.m. daily had become the norm. Due to my on-going counseling sessions the psychologist determined such behavior was the symptom of an adulterous affair.

The lack of emotional and physical love from Chuck as well as the frequent and intense physical abuse was validation to me the counselor’s observation was correct. With each recurring event of Chuck’s early morning arrivals and my request for an explanation, his anger and abuse toward me increased, while his denial of unfaithfulness was unwavering.

I realized I could not continue to live as this, so after a 25 year marriage, I obtained a bull dog attorney and filed for divorce. This was not an attention ploy, but the reality that I could not continue to live in this kind of environment. Countless incidents in which I was totally blameless became sources of great contempt for Chuck.

A prime example was when I had a capped disposable razor on the shower rack. During one of Chuck’s showers, the cap fell from the razor and his arm brushed against it. He leapt from the shower screaming and yelling that I had harmed him with my razor. I was not even in the bathroom nor the shower at the time of the incident. The capped razor was secured in the shower caddy. This was an accident which occurred by Chuck, not an intended murder attempt from me.

Such episodes had become the norm. As greatly as I loved Chuck, I could not continue endure in this manner. Then with the belief he was having an affair, I believed divorce was sincerely my only option. When Chuck was served the divorce petition, an entirely different man surfaced. Suddenly he touted of his love and was sincerely remorseful for his actions toward me.

Through my tears and sobs, I informed Chuck for our entire marriage, I had begged and pleaded with him to help me save the marriage. I explained I could not do so alone but reminded him of my love and desire to remain his wife. Nonetheless it was imperative this would be a “team effort”. I symbolically told him I had been drowning for over 25 years, yet each time I cried out to him for the life saver, he would throw me only an empty string.

Please continue with me on my autobiographical journey of abuse, estrangement and marital betrayal in the blog I began on April 2016.

I Can’t Believe You Are Leaving Me

The next few weeks expeditiously passed as I packed and prepared for the move to FL. The recollection of our precious Christian standing gloomily in the foyer is an image which haunts me to this day. He was beginning his freshman year at the University of OK. Even though an independent young adult, I realized at that moment, he was still our “baby boy”. Somberly Christian said, “I can’t believe you are leaving me here.” Neither could I . There were not enough words of assurance of my love for him and my great despair over the move to validate to Christian I had no desire to move. Edmond had been our home for the past 18 years.

I could have filed for divorce, so that I could remain in OK. However, I loved Chuck dearly and vowed to remain at his side, in good and bad times. This was truly one of the bad times. Chuck could have easily remained in OK and found a job when Grace Petroleum closed its’ doors. However, as Chuck had done for our entire marriage, he continued to seek a new pasture in hopes of reaching his dream to become a millionaire. How I remorsefully look back on that day with regret that I didn’t remain in OK with my two children.

Even though Marie was now married, she too was saddened we were leaving her and our new son-in-law behind. Certainly, abandoning our son for the pleasure of Chuck’s desires caused me monumental desolation. We can’t relive the lost years; especially now knowing what the future held for me.

Less than a month after Marie’s wedding, the moving van pulled away from the drive of the house which had been our home since our children were ages seven and nine. They had grown up in that house. Memories of sleep overs with friends, countless birthday parties and hosting events for their friends from grade school through college were now only mental images This was the house where I had dried Marie’s tears and prayed with her for a new love.

This was the house where I arrived home from work, hosted Camp Fire girls as their leader or assisted the boy scouts as their assistant leader. This is where the days required dinner preparation, assisting our children with their homework and bedtime preparation, after a long day at work. Other nights required carpooling for after school sports and music.

This was the house where late-night hours of intense studying after the other tasks were completed would enable me to receive my bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The walls of this house had witnessed the greatest years of my life as our children’s mother. These walls also held the innermost secrets of my heart as I sobbed and spent countless nights crying myself to sleep when Chuck refused to be a husband to me; to love me, to hold me, to embrace me.

Marie and Christian have never shared their sentiments of leaving that house, but for me, it was not about the house I never liked, but the reminiscences of the children’s lives and the family times we had while residing there. This house; our home also held the memories of the countless international guests we hosted. Sometimes they would be our guests for only a week or two, while other times we hosted guests up to six weeks at a time.

I desired our house to be a home to any/all whom entered our doors; to know they were welcomed and cherished while being “one of our family.” For Chuck leaving Edmond, it was not a concern; it was merely a house, not his home. He was eager to move away to what he believed would be a golden opportunity to move up the corporate ladder. For me it was one of the saddest days of my life; not as sorrowful as what would await me years later, but a very melancholy time.

Even though we drove to FL to enable a vacation enroute, the atmosphere between Chuck and me was not a pleasant one. My thoughts remained with our children whom were mournful we were leaving them behind. Chuck’s attitude was not one of understanding this move was solely for him. I also realized the hotel which would be our “home” for the next six weeks was not the best transition into a new state, a new city and a new house.

As the movers brought our possessions into the FL house, it all seemed surreal. We were residing in a community where the majority of the residents were from NYC and this displaced, “buckeye okie” realized immediately she was not embraced by the local residents. Chuck was “one of the gang” as he was now in the corporate office; the corporation whom had owned the oil company where he had been employed as the tax director for the past 22 years. Yes, he was in his element, while the next few years would bring additional heartache for Jalene.

Please follow me on my continued blog which began in April 2016 of domestic violence, estrangement and marital betrayal.