For the story of my history with Wrong Guy, see the posts below:
Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Part V

This post is about the aftermath.

Yes, they are married now. At least, I’m pretty sure they’re still married.

I don’t speak to either of them. I’m not even sure what state they live in now. I have them blocked on Facebook. They can’t see me and I can’t see them.

But we do still have a handful of mutual friends. And so, inevitably, one of them posts something that I can see that involves The Ogress.

I will admit to some prior masochistic Googling of the Ex but for the most part I don’t do that anymore. I have Right Guy now. He tries my patience to no end but he’s a better man. But when I see something posted by a mutual friend, I just can’t NOT click.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Back to where I left off.

I moved. The divorce went through about a month later. About a year after that Pops got his first cancer and I ended up moving back home to help him.

During all that time I kept waiting to hear that they had married. Or that, even worse, she was pregnant. Her not wanting children so much practically guaranteed she’d get pregnant in my mind.

Around the time Pops was getting back on his feet, NowExMIL called and told me that they had married. She hated telling me but thought it should come from her rather than me hearing it through some other means. It was really very sweet of her. She has a rule about calling me – she won’t do it. And we have an agreement not to speak about Wrong Guy. She’s happy to hear from me but she doesn’t want to cause me pain if I should change my mind about staying in touch. So it’s on me to maintain that relationship if I choose. At the moment it has fallen off to me sending her yearly birthday and Xmas cards/emails and occasional updates on major life events (like when Pops died).

But I digress.

I think it was during grad school that I entered the “Obsessively Google Your Ex” phase. Both Wrong Guy and The Ogress have pretty unique names and are super easy to Google. I found references to him but he seemed to be avoiding online profiles and social networks. But The Ogress… she was all over the place trying to make it as a writer. Publishing short stories in any online rag that would have her.

And ultimately self publishing a book. A novel, a work of fiction, based on her time while he was deployed. She wrote a book about what’s it’s like to be left behind while your boyfriend is deployed. You know, your boyfriend WHO WAS STILL MARRIED TO ME at the time.

Perhaps I harp on that too much. We were separated. But for me, the whole thing happened so quickly I never had time to process it. We went from trying to get pregnant to separated and him having a girlfriend in TWO MONTHS. And I never saw it coming. Even with the advantage of hindsight I still wouldn’t have seen it coming.

That book, even four years after the split, made me feel like she was trying to steal my life. It wasn’t enough to steal my husband. She had to take everything else as well.

The nightmares began again. This time it was The Ogress appearing on Oprah because her book was featured in Oprah’s club. People were gushing all over her at what she had been through and how important, but often forgotten, military spouses are. The political climate was certainly right for that sort of story.

And… nothing happened. A few people bought it and read it but it didn’t really go anywhere.

Someone did interview her though.

And that’s how I learned that Wrong Guy had had a vasectomy.

She told their story. They were high school sweethearts who were unable to truly be together until they were 30 because life kept pulling them in different geographic directions. She romanticized the hell out of the destruction they left in their wake. There was no mention of her first TWO husbands or that Wrong Guy was her THIRD husband by age 30. No mention of Wrong Guy having left a wife for her or ever having been married before. It was all roses and hearts and high school sweethearts.

Yeah, right. She dated him for two weeks and then dumped him and made out with her teacher. How is THAT romantic?

Commentary aside, she also had to mention what an awesome man he is that was willing to get snipped so that there could not ever be the possibility of a child. Because with his sperm count that would even be possible. And now my snark is REALLY showing.

So, yes they are now married (I think) and no, they do not have kids.

But the other day a mutual friend posted a link to a short story she had written. And I didn’t have enough self control to not click. It was a story of rape. It was written as a political statement against all the recent pro-life legislation that would outlaw abortion in the case of rape. But it was a horrible story. Because it depicts a random home invasion rape (probably the rarest kind) of a woman who doesn’t want kids and actually stops to think – while being raped – about how she should have been fixed instead of her hubs because now she’ll be pregnant by her rapist. She also writes about how in the days/weeks afterwards she imagines having fought off her attacker like her hubs had taught her. I’m pretty sure no rape victim ever does that. But perhaps I’m wrong. In any case, she freely admits that it didn’t happen. And it doesn’t ring true in the slightest. And, in my trying-like-hell-to-be-unbiased opinion, it does a disservice to rape victims.

And she calls herself a feminist.

Again, I have digressed. Clicking on that link was just the beginning of my trip down the rabbit hole. Once I clicked on the first link, I couldn’t stop. I clicked and clicked until I landed on her website and saw the big announcement.

You see, that book she wrote and self published… it’s now being published. By an actual publisher. A small one, but a real one. And it has now been reviewed by The Huffington Post. And there’s some quote on the cover by a New York Times Best Selling author.

The Bitch is Back. Coming soon to a store near you. And someone might actually take her seriously this time.

And that, is what prompted me to tell the whole story.

At least she can’t go on Oprah now.

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.

If you want to catch up click the links for Parts 1-3.
Part I
Part II
Part III

At the end of Part III I had hastily moved out of my house after being told that I was never loved and essentially a boring person.

I drove to my friend’s house. She and her husband said I could stay there. While she and I went out and bought me a futon to sleep on, her hubs cleaned out his “Army room.” He was being deployed soon anyway and would be packing it all up soon regardless. I was worried about being a burden to them when they should be enjoying each other before he left but he was actually kind of happy to know that I’d be with her after he left.

The phrase “Hot Mess” was not around at that time but I think my state fit the definition to a tee.

Harry Potter saved me. Almost literally.

I couldn’t sleep at night during this time. So I read all the Harry Potter books every night until I fell asleep thinking of magic and Muggles instead of men who never loved me.

Not living at home anymore, I felt compelled to confess the separation to my family. Crazy Momz sent me a book about saving your marriage by embracing religion and just doing whatever the man said. No matter what the man did. **EYE ROLL**

I couldn’t stand all the looks of pity I was getting. Or that tone of voice people took on when speaking to me. It was as if I had cancer or something. So I told people to stop that shit. Stop walking on eggshells around me and just treat me normally.

My brother took me at my word and announced his engagement. **GUT PUNCH**

I couldn’t eat.

I can’t remember what she said, but after speaking with my MIL one night I ended up crying so hard I puked up what little dinner I had eaten. I think it was the most dinner I’d eaten in two weeks and prior to the puking I had been quite proud of myself for having eaten so much. Oh well.

The only reason I went to work was because the thought of sitting around all day crying was worse.

I attempted counseling. I wanted marriage counseling. I STILL wanted to save my marriage. I even got him to meet me for a session.

After that, the counselor, if you can call her that, offered me divorce counseling. Um… Therapy 101 – don’t tell your client something s/he is not ready to hear. I asked the inevitable “Why me?” question. And got some sort of “Well things could be worse” response. And then I asked, “What could be worse than this?” To which she replied: Cancer.

When Pops got cancer a few years later that was the VERY FIRST thought I had.

Seriously, that woman had no business counseling people. I stopped going.

Then I got my cell phone bill. You probably saw this one coming. I didn’t. Apparently I was a moron.

Remember that camping trip? By himself, in December. To be alone and get his head together. Yeah, THAT one.

Remember when there were roaming charges if you used your phone outside of your home area? And itemized bills detailing ALL calls in and out and where they originated from? Yeah, you know where this is going.

He didn’t go camping. He went on a road trip. Through FIVE states. And not the smallest ones. To see The Ogress. The calls to her along the way, and the ones to me, provided me with his exact route.

This time he admitted to sleeping with her.

At least he agreed to pay the stupid bill with all the roaming charges.

I went to my doc to go back on the pill. And I requested STD tests.

I got an email from Wrong Guy a few days later. It said my doctor had called and wanted me to call him back.

Having apparently completely forgotten the ‘my husband cheated on me’ talk and only remembering the ‘we’re trying to get pregnant’ scenario he proudly and enthusiastically tells me I’m pregnant. He would have called sooner but the test was negative before and it has now magically turned positive over the weekend.

Um… how exactly did it magically turn positive?

Well, it would be consistent with you just being a little bit pregnant. As in, just about a week or so.

But that’s impossible.

Are you sure? Maybe you should come in for another test.

Um… ya think?

That night I stressed about whether I should have a glass a wine even though I knew it was folly. I couldn’t get Wrong Guy’s words out of my head, “Maybe if we had kids things would be different.” I think I forgot to mention that quote earlier. It haunted me for awhile. Not that I would want someone to stay with me purely “for the sake of the kids” but to tell me that as you’re leaving me… it just added insult to injury.

After my repeat HCG, I went back to the house to get a few things when I knew he wouldn’t be there. He’d managed to kill my cactus. And the cats were… not happy. Happy to see me maybe, but the house was a wreck. And he’d rearranged all the furniture. I took practically ALL the CDs.

The pregnancy test came back negative. No surprise there. STDs all negative as well.

But I started to wonder about that semen analysis… Was he really shooting blanks, or had he cheated on me just before providing the sample when he was supposed to abstain? He “filled the cup” right after that weekend we visited her…

Jesus, this is getting long. I thought it would be three posts at most but I’m pretty sure there’s still at least two more. Well, no one says you have to read all this drivel in one sitting…

Stay tuned.

If you’re just tuning in I would recommend going back and reading Part I and Part II first.

At the end of Part II I had confronted Wrong Guy, he had admitted to being in love with The Ogress but had denied anything physical.

It was just after Thanksgiving. December was… a bitch. And a roller coaster.

I forget some of the details as to what happened when exactly. But it all happened within about a three week span so I don’t think it matters too much what came first.

At some point, I moved in to the spare bedroom. I wanted to give him some space. To think.

I wanted to save my marriage.

I didn’t get married with the idea that I’d just get divorced if things got hard or didn’t go well. I was in it for the long haul. Aside from being deployed, we hadn’t really dealt with too much hardship in our relationship. I meant it when I pledged “for better or worse.” I knew the worse would happen at some point and now it was upon us. I was determined to fight.

But fighting, in this case, mostly meant being patient and waiting. And talking. And writing. I couldn’t yell at him. I didn’t want to be that shrew wife that made his choice easier for him. He’d definitely leave then. I tried to walk a fine line of standing up for myself – he agreed to my condition not to contact The Ogress during this time, but giving him space to think and work through whatever was going on in his head. I encouraged counseling. I wrote him a looong letter about what he and our marriage meant to me and urged him to not just give up on it but work at it.

One night, during all this giving of space on my part, I came home from work (I had a job now) and could see that he had already been home and left again. I figured he had gone out for beers with a buddy or two. It was a Thursday. Ten o’clock came and went. Eleven o’clock came and went. I started to worry. It was a “school night” after all.

I went to bed in the spare room. I slept some but woke frequently. Around 2am I was awake and freaking out. I checked our bedroom for his clothes and suitcase to see if he had left me. Everything appeared to still be there. But I knew his romantic nature. For all I knew he had decided on a whim to go see her. I called The Ogress in the middle of the night. She didn’t know where he was. But she sounded just as worried as me and told me to have him call her. Um… WHAT THE FUCK NO I WILL NOT TELL MY HUSBAND TO CALL HIS GIRLFRIEND YOU CRAZY ASS BITCH… I said in my head. This was how I discovered that he had not held to his promise of not communicating with The Ogress. All I had asked for was space for him to think things through. Space from me and space from her. She couldn’t respect that. She told me IT WAS NONE OF MY BUSINESS. I hung up.

Sometime around 2:30-2:45am I hear a car pull up in the driveway, a door close and the car drive away. He’s drunk and can’t get his key in the door. I yell at him. He thinks I’m nuts.

Turns out, they had been unexpectedly given the next day off and several of the guys had gone out drinking and he had left his car at the bar. Had I simply called some of the other wives I would have found that out. But no one knew what was going on in our house and I didn’t want to admit that I didn’t know where my husband was.

I got a sober apology later. Things actually seemed to warm up a bit. I got a looong letter from him in response to mine and it indicated that he loved me and wanted to work through things he had just gotten a bit confused. We even had sex. Really awesome sex. I carried that letter around with me everywhere I went.

And then the chill came back. And Christmas arrived. Along with my period. The first in almost a year.

I had always wanted a pair of diamond stud earrings. He gave me dangling diamond earrings for Christmas. I was perplexed. Does this mean you love me? I’m a firm believer that diamonds should be given out of love. He said he wasn’t sure. He still needed to get his head together. He wanted to go off camping by himself to figure things out.

Huh? Um… OK.

First, I’m not accepting these earrings. You hold onto them. Give them back to me if they’re given out of love. Otherwise, I don’t want them.

Second, camping? In December? At least take my cell phone with you in case you need it. And call me and let me know you’re OK.

And so he went. Camping. By himself. I hung out with a friend and confessed what was going on to her. We had a fun New Years Eve together flashing our boobs. Wrong Guy called every day to check in. Often reporting that the Park Ranger had said this or that about the weather conditions. Mostly I was a mess waiting for him to come home and give me an answer.

He came home. And he had an answer. He had made a decision.

He told me that he never loved me. That he had always been in love with her. He told me that I lacked “passion and exuberance for life” and that that was the reason he was leaving me. He wasn’t leaving me for another woman, he was leaving me because I was… boring. Or something.

He told me that he had indeed taken my advice and seen a counselor and that the counselor had recommended that he leave me.

I couldn’t bear to be in that house one more minute. He offered to go to a hotel but I hastily packed a bag and got the hell out of there. He asked where I was going. I said, “Why do you care?” It was a genuine question. I wanted to know why he cared where I went when he had just told me he never loved me. He had no response.

I stayed with a friend for the next two months and he NEVER knew where I was. He didn’t ask me again and he didn’t ask our friends. He really didn’t care.

I guess we’re gonna have a Part IV because I can’t continue right now.

Click here for Part I of this story.

I ended Part I with Wrong Guy en route to Afghanistan and me starting Lupron and nursing a budding friendship with The Ogress. Just 3-4 months off birth control was enough to bring back the horrible endometriosis pain. And Wrong Guy was headed to Afghanistan to set up camp in Kandahar as the Marines were leaving.

At that time there were no creature comforts there. There were no Port-A-Potties, only holes in the dirt/sand. No mess tent, just MREs. They slept in sleeping bags on the floor in the bombed out airport for weeks. So in addition to worrying about him being shot at or shot down or crashing (he was a pilot) I also just worried about him dealing with all that without a proper pillow. It’s woman thing I think. Somehow that made it all even worse for me – that he didn’t even have a cot to sleep on.

But this isn’t about what I went through while he was gone. This is about The Ogress. As I said, she and I had become email friends.

I sent letters to Wrong Guy every other day. Like clockwork. I wanted him to know that he was loved and missed. And really, who doesn’t like to get mail when they’re far away? Or even when they’re home for that matter. I had images in my head of a daily mail call where there was always some hopeful guy whose name was never called. I didn’t want that guy to be MY guy. I also sent care packages with tons of food, books, CDs, DVDs and silly stuff to help entertain. I sent way more than he needed for himself so he could share with those who weren’t receiving packages.

And I encouraged everyone else, including The Ogress, to also write him as much as possible.

I still do not know what was said in those letters. Apparently she separated from Hubby #2 during that time and told him but not me. But I only found that out later.

I only know what was in the letters to me. Some of which I shared with his mother who was so proud to have raised a son who would write such poetry to me about… my eyes for example. There was nothing in the letters to me to indicate anything but love and devotion.

But I’m pretty sure there must have been something going on between them in those other letters.

But I was blissfully ignorant of that. All the while, getting to know her better and becoming friends. Learning that she didn’t want kids and was very vocal about it. Saying that she had to be vocal in order to change things. That too many women have kids just because society expects them to and they need to know they don’t have to. I agree with that but am still puzzled by her vehemence. I mean, it’s the new millennium, surely now people aren’t guilted/shamed/pressured to have kids they don’t want? Not in the U.S. anyway. I know I want kids, but not because society thinks I should want kids. I want them because I, me, myself, I want them.

After 7 months in Afghanistan, and 7 months on Lupron, he came home. We tried to get back to where we had been before. It was a little different, a little difficult, but that was to be expected after 7 months apart. After an initial 2nd honeymoon phase, we decided to get back to that baby making thing – this time with a purpose. I began tracking my morning temps.

But Lupron is the devil. It ultimately took five months after it was supposedly out of my system for me to get a period. But we were trying like hell anyway, thinking that it could happen at any time. And it was beginning to look like he’d be heading to Iraq so time was really not on our side. And so we had tests. My first HSG. It made me cry it hurt so bad but my tubes were fine. He bitched and moaned about his test (really? after mine was so painful you’re gonna pitch a fit about filling the cup?) but he did it. Turns out he had a low count. A REALLY low count. He was shooting about 10% of what he should have. But I’m actually jumping ahead a little.

At this point we had both been out of high school for 10 years. My 10 year reunion was coming up. It’s a time when it’s natural to start wondering, “Whatever happened to SoAndSo?” and “I should really get back in touch with…” And after having also been deployed I really didn’t question it at all when Wrong Guy announced that he wanted to go visit some old high school buddies. There were two people at the top of his list. The Ogress was one of them.

By this time, I think I had found out a few more pieces of their history that had been missing before.

#1. They had DATED in high school. His mother told me that. She never liked The Ogress. But I guess she’s stuck with her now. Apparently they had dated for all of about TWO WEEKS. And then The Ogress dumped him because he was grounded for New Years Eve and couldn’t go out. Supposedly she went out with, and made out with, her TEACHER instead. Ew. She told me that one herself.

#2. She was separated from Hubs #2. Remember how she had told him that but not me? I found out from him when he came home.

So that now gave her an OFFICIAL status as Ex-Girlfriend. AND she’s now pseudo-single. So, even though I still wasn’t threatened by her, that meant to me that he shouldn’t go visit her without me. So we went together. I wanted to meet my new friend anyway.

Breathe in, breathe out. This is where it gets dicey.

We spent three nights on an air mattress in her living room. The first night went something like this:

We arrive late afternoon/early evening and go to her apartment. Drop off stuff and walk down the street to a bar for drinks and dinner. After two beers I can’t keep my eyes open. I feel like I’m about to literally fall asleep with my head on the table. I am not drunk. It’s only a one hour time zone difference but I chalk it up to fatigue from travel. So we walk back to her place, I go to bed and they say they are going to go for a walk so as not to disturb me.

Some time later, several hours I think, I wake up. I can see from where I lie that it is snowing outside. I listen for them. They are not back yet. Then I hear the front door. I hear the coat closet door and rustle of a coat being hung up. I don’t realize it at first but later I note that I didn’t hear the sound of the coat being taken off before being hung up. Maybe he took it off in the stairwell. The apartment building is really very hot, so hot that she keeps her windows cracked even though it’s freezing outside.

Then Wrong Guy comes in and stares out the window watching the snow. He doesn’t know I’m awake. I’m enjoying watching him watch the snow.

A few minutes later I hear the front door again. And the coat closet. And, again, the lack of sound indicating the taking off of the coat. He speaks to her in a whisper, telling her it’s snowing. Where we’re from we don’t get much snow so it’s kind of exciting. It’s clear both from his announcement and her reaction that neither of them knew it had been snowing. For at least an hour. Clearly, they had not been out walking. What HAD they been doing?

It gnaws at me but I tell myself I’m being silly. The next night I am raring to go having slept quite a lot. But they are tired and go to bed early leaving me sitting up wondering what the hell happened the night before. I can’t shake the feeling that something is up. Why did they not go for a walk like they said? Where had they been? What were they doing? I think I asked, earlier in the day, trying not to sound nosy/jealous, and they said they just sat in the stairwell chatting. But WHY DID THEY RETURN SEPARATELY?

The third night she has people over for a small party. Again, after just a beer or two I begin to feel really sleepy. Can’t keep my eyes open sleepy. This is really weird. I never get like this. I must be getting sick or something. But it’s not as bad as the first night. I’m able to stay up. There are people in my “bedroom” anyway so really there’s no choice. I sit on the sofa and nod in and out of sleep. I’m sure her friends think I’m an incredibly boring person.

And what about Hubs #2? Any chance of that working out? No, since separating, she’s having (or had) an affair with one of her professors and just hasn’t gotten around to file the divorce paperwork. But marriage #2 is over. From her perspective anyway. Apparently he wanted kids and just thought she’d change her mind.

We come home. He has to fill the cup for his test. Things are very weird. He won’t touch me. Normally a horndog, he doesn’t want sex. In my heart I know what’s going on. But I don’t confront him. I can’t face it. It can’t be real. This can’t be the same guy who sends me flowers for no reason and writes poetry about my eyes.

Thanksgiving is coming up and we’re going to be with family. And we’re going to my High School Reunion. I don’t want to rock the boat before all that. So I don’t. At the reunion he plays the dutiful husband. Not a role I’m used to. He’s being TOO agreeable. Also an indication that something is up. Being bored and not knowing anyone he wanders away for awhile. Apparently talking to the Ogress on my cell phone.

When we return home after Thanksgiving, I confront him. He admits that he’s in love with her. He denies cheating. He denies that anything physical has happened. For some reason, I believe him. I guess I just wanted to.

More later. Nope, we’re not done.

OK. I guess I’m going to write this. Recent events are bringing all this back into the light. I generally keep it all hidden in the dark. Or, mostly, I just don’t think of it at all anymore. After all, it happened almost 10 years ago.

I suppose I should add a character to my blog. You all know Right Guy. And Pops. And crazy Momz. OldRE and NewRE. And I’ve mentioned Wrong Guy in passing. But I’ve never written about Homewrecking Bitch. But I’ll be nice and call her… The Ogress. Although sometimes I also enjoy calling her the Toothless Wonder. Cuz it’s funny. See, she has no front teeth, just a bridge. But I digress.

So… from the beginning… more or less.

I married a woman.

He’s a man but he acts like a fucking woman. No disrespect, I am one too. In an argument, if he walked away, apparently that meant I was supposed to follow him and console him. When I walk away during an argument it’s because I’m too angry and know if I don’t walk away I’ll say something I’ll regret later. He once pulled me out of the shower to take care of a spider in the living room for him. He couldn’t/wouldn’t go in there until it was gone. The spider turned out to be dead. But I put it in the garbage disposal just to reassure him.

I’m a pretty practical, grounded person. He always had his head in the clouds. A very romantic type. I thought we balanced each other nicely. He sent me flowers for no reason. On a regular basis. [Side Note: Right Guy has NEVER given me flowers] The only time he ever gave me flowers for a reason was when he came home to tell me he was being deployed to Afghanistan. That was November-ish 2001. He was part of the first Army deployment to Afghanistan after September 11th.

But I said I’d start from the beginning.

I met him just after college through a mutual friend. Me dating him actually cost me that friendship. She wanted to set him up with someone else. She thought I’d break his heart. I believe her words were: “rip out his heart and stomp on it.” Admittedly, when I met him I had just gotten out of a long relationship and was looking more for fun than lasting so I understood her point of view. Sort of. He was a big boy and I was honest with him about where I stood and what I wanted.

I think it was about 8 months after meeting him that I moved in with him. I was laid off my job in another city, so the living together was sort of supposed to be temporary, or a trial run, but it worked and turned into a permanent thing.

At some point during those first 8 months, The Ogress made her first appearance. I hadn’t met her but I’d heard about her. She was an old high school friend of his. He had once helped her move out, and then back in 10 hours later, with her first husband. He had actually rented a U-Haul, loaded her stuff and driven four hours south when she changed her mind and they turned back. Flaky, much? Anyway, apparently she had finally ditched that first husband and made a play for Wrong Guy one weekend when I wasn’t around (none of us were living in the same city at that time). He told me all about it. Or so I thought. He had chosen me. I thought that was the end of it. They remained good friends from a distance. She never lived anywhere near us. I was not threatened by her in the least. In retrospect that was, um… monumentally stupid of me. But then, it turned out I didn’t have all the facts about their history.

Fast forward to our wedding. He wanted her to be his best man. I was fine with her being in the wedding party but I really wasn’t a fan of putting her in a tux as his best man. So I offered to make her a bridesmaid. She was broke. We offered to pay for her dress and her plane ticket. It meant a lot to him for her to be there. Again, I was OK with all of this, secure in our relationship. Ultimately she declined and did not attend our wedding.

After 4+ years with him I still had not met her in person.

She got married again and moved several states away. We also moved several states away. In the opposite direction. There were no visits.

Fast forward. It’s September 11, 2001. We had only just moved to his new Army post so I didn’t have a job yet. He was at work. I was about to leave the house to run errands. I hadn’t turned on the TV or radio. I had no idea what had just happened. The phone rings. It’s The Ogress. I think it’s the first time we’ve ever really spoken. She asks if Wrong Guy is going to be deployed. I have no idea what she’s talking about. She tells me to turn on the TV. I ask what channel and she replies, “ANY channel.” To this day I am actually grateful that she called. I was able to turn on the TV and watch, real time, the second plane hit. And the towers fall. From then on I felt a bond with her.

We became friends via email. By this point she had started a Master’s degree in English and really wanted to pursue writing as a career. She sent me short stories to read. Her writing is… weird. Even at that time I thought so. I remember reading a short story about a sniper, written from the perspective of the killer. I believe the DC sniper duo was still on the loose at the time. Or had just been caught. It seemed obvious to me that she liked to shock people. And I couldn’t glean any other reason for it than for the sake of shocking people. It’s one thing to use shock and awe to make a point. But I just couldn’t see her point – only the shock and awe.

Back to Wrong Guy. I had told him shortly after we married that I was ready for kids anytime and he should let me know when he was. I had endometriosis and I knew it might be tricky so sooner was better. Shortly after September 11th he announced he was ready. He had been out playing Army in the woods for training and got to talking with some guys with kids and… long story short, he was ready. But he didn’t want to take the fun out of trying by actually, you know, TRYING. I understood his point. But I also knew that we couldn’t afford to waste much time with the endometriosis looming. I agreed to try it his way for a few months and then reevaluate.

By late January 2002 he was en route to Afghanistan and I was starting Lupron.

More to come.