The Story of Wrong Guy – Part V

August 19, 2012

If you want to catch up click the links for Parts 1-4.
Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV

My apologies if you’re getting sick of this. But, if you’re here reading, I guess you’re not sick of it just yet. I really had no idea it would go on this long. I didn’t plan any of these posts out. I’m just writing as I go, telling the story as I remember it. So… bear with me, I guess. It should go more quickly from here.

Let’s see, I’m moved out, decidedly NOT pregnant, and trying to just function in daily life.

I stumbled across some kickboxing classes I wanted to try. I had always wanted to try it. I had taken a Tae Kwon Do class once but found it too… Eastern-Philosphy-Bow-To-Your-Sinsei-Wax-On-Wax-Off-Follow-These-Rules-BecauseISaidSo. I really just wanted to kick and punch things (and that was BEFORE all this crap).

Problem: I still wasn’t eating.

You can’t begin an exercise regimen if you’re not eating.

In the end, I ate. And I kicked. And I punched. And it saved me.

People always asked me, “So, do you just imagine Wrong Guy’s face on the punching bag?”

Answer: NO!! It was the one place, the one time of day when I DIDN’T THINK OF HIM AT ALL. I was going too hard and too fast to think about him. It was GLORIOUS.

I can’t remember if I’d started the kickboxing yet or not when I got the call. Or rather, the email since he couldn’t be bothered to remember my cell phone number. And he still had no idea where I was living.

We need to talk. Now.

I had only just found a sense of balance.

He was being deployed again. To Iraq. He had already arranged to get out of our lease but it was time to divide the stuff.

He didn’t know exactly when he’d be leaving. It could be as early as this weekend.

I had nowhere to put the stuff. And, as I discovered a few days later, I really didn’t want most of it.

I found an apartment, signed a lease and moved in… in FOUR days. And I got the cats by default. No ugly battle on that one. Score!

He asked me to file for divorce while he was gone. He tried to make me promise. I was non-committal.

As per usual with the Army, he didn’t leave that weekend. It was more like a month later. And during that time I heard that The Ogress came to visit and they holed up in a local motel together. And he took her out and introduced her to (our) friends (a.k.a. his co-workers). While this might fly in the regular world this is a big NO-NO in the military world. You simply do not flaunt your girlfriend while you’re still married to your wife. Especially not as a commissioned officer.

I was not alone in this opinion. For those that don’t know, the spouses have a phone tree when the soldiers are deployed. I had previously been near the top of that phone tree but had asked to be removed as one who calls and just be one who received calls. Girlfriends are generally not included in this phone tree but exceptions are often made for fiancees. Apparently Wrong Guy went around asking guys in his unit if their wives would contact his girlfriend (to be fair I think he just called her a ‘friend’ but everyone knew she was his girlfriend) for him whenever there was information to disseminate. I know this because two of those wives told me about it and said they had refused.

I refused to file for divorce while he was gone. For one thing, how would it look to divorce my husband while he was deployed? It would make me the bad guy to divorce the brave warrior while he’s off dodging bullets. And I STILL had hope he would change his mind. I was determined to not be divorced.

Any time I ran into the other Army wives, I could read the silent question in their eyes, “Why is she still here?” Seriously, why would you hang around a small military town if you could get the hell out? It’s a valid question. The answer was that I knew that, in the end, I needed to know that I had done everything I could to save my marriage. And, at that point, the only thing I could do was to not move. Just be there in case he came to his senses.

I had moved out just after New Years. Less than two months after our ill-fated visit to The Ogress. He deployed in late February. Around June I received a long letter as an attachment to an email. It was amiable. He apologized for saying he never loved me and said that statement was not true. I actually thought maybe he had changed his mind.

Then his lawyer called.

Apparently he did know my cell phone number after all.

In the state we lived in at the time, a no-contest divorce was pretty simple and fairly cheap as those things go. I saw no point in hiring my own lawyer, who would charge the same fee for doing nothing more than reviewing his lawyer’s paperwork. I did, however, seek some free JAG advice.

You might think the Boys Club is still very much alive in the military and you’re probably not wrong. But the guy I spoke to at JAG… he wanted me to nail his ass to the wall. I wasn’t interested in punishment, I just wanted to make sure I was protected. Since he didn’t go through JAG, I couldn’t either. But I had the free advice.

So when the lawyer tried to play hardball with me… I just brought up the fact that I could instigate a court-martial if I wanted to and that I had it, in writing, that he had committed adultery. An offense that is “unbecoming of an officer.” He had admitted it in that emailed letter. I really HATED playing that role. But he forced my hand. He had previously made promises regarding finances and he was now reneging. I HATED making it all about money. I’m not about money. But I had given up my career to follow him around and couldn’t just waltz right back into it. So I wanted, and felt I deserved, a little something to help me start over.

In the end, I got what I wanted – what he had promised – financially speaking.

Remember that apology? I said I never loved you but I didn’t really mean it. That one. Too little too late. I mean, how can you recover from something like that when it takes six months for a retraction?

But it was summer. And The Ogress had finished school and finished her Master’s. And she was moving to MY TOWN.

I began to have nightmares (yes, literally) about running into her at Tar.get. Or getting in to a car accident because I saw her in the car next to me and failed to brake and rear-ended somebody.

It was time to move. But where to?

That took some time to figure out. And ultimately is not relevant to the story. Except to say that I moved somewhere that my MIL moved to 6 months later and we still hung out.

What is relevant is that I finally moved in October – almost a full year after that ill-fated visit to the cold North of The Ogress. And it wasn’t until then that I started to think about what had happened during that visit.

You know that saying about removing the impossible?

Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth. – Sherlock Holmes

I wasn’t drunk.
I wasn’t jet-lagged.
I wasn’t sick.

I must have been drugged.

I’m not kidding. It took a full YEAR for me to realize what had happened.

Could I prove it? No.

Can I prove it now? Hell No.

Do I believe it to be true? Yes.

But it took me a long time to accept and believe this.

I didn’t want to believe it. I mean, who would do that?

I assume it was her. But it could have been him. Or both of them.

By the way, lest you think I am a complete imbecile, let me explain that Wrong Guy has quite the magnetic personality. My family loved him. He’s an extrovert and tells great stories and is, in general, quite entertaining. He has piercing blue eyes and comes across as being very genuine. And not just to me.

I really believe, that had he known himself better, this would all have been avoided.

You see, at some point I learned the final piece of their historical puzzle. Remember that U-Haul he rented to help her move and leave her first husband? They loaded up her stuff and drove hours away and then she changed her mind. I knew about that event. He had mentioned it. It happened before I met him.

What I DIDN’T know was that he did all that with the expectation that she was leaving her husband FOR HIM. He thought or expected that they were going to be together after that. Why exactly he thought that I don’t know. I don’t know if they had an affair or not. But when she changed her mind, he was apparently so hurt that even when she made her play for him later, while he was dating me and before things were even that serious between us, he turned her down because I was the SAFER bet.

Thanks for that, Wrong Guy. Really, you could have saved me a lot of heartache.

—————–
I think there will be one more post as a followup to this story. Because I haven’t even gotten to the part that prompted me to write all this.

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