Date: July 04, 2023 06:55AM
I think I can relate.
As I've mentioned before, my husband made a bad decision when he married his ex wife. They weren't LDS when they wed, but decided to convert about three years before they divorced. I always thought converting to Mormonism was a bad decision for my husband to make. But really, it was just one thing that happened because he made a bad decision to marry his ex wife.
Some people might have already read this part of our story, but I'm going to share it again for those who haven't... Feel free to skip the next paragraphs to the asterisks if you want to get to the TL/DR point.
My husband and his ex wife knew each other in high school back in the late 70s and early 80s. She is three years younger than he is, and had a really crappy childhood. She and my husband, and her first husband, who also went to high school with them, were all involved in JROTC. That's where they met.
She married her first husband when she was still really young and promptly got pregnant with her eldest child, a son. Husband #1 had enlisted in the Army. It wasn't a love match, and they were only together for a few years.
Meanwhile, my husband had gone to college and earned his degree, as well as an officer's commission in the Army. He never dated much, because he was very shy and lacked experience with women. He had a very poor self image and had kind of resigned himself to staying single.
All three of them wound up in Germany. My husband went to Ansbach and then Vilseck. Ex and her first husband went to Kaiserslautern.
One day, my husband and his ex wife's first husband were on the same flight going back to the States for temporary duty. They recognized each other and caught up. When they got back to Germany, Ex's first husband told Ex that he'd seen my husband... who would become her second husband. Ex then decided to dump husband #1 and pursue my husband, who was an officer and made more money.
A few months after that chance meeting on the plane, after she and #1 had moved stateside, Ex showed up in Germany and knocked on my husband's door with her toddler son in tow. She had somehow tracked him down. When he opened the door to her, she laid a sob story on him about how awful and abusive and crazy #1 was. Although he wasn't all that attracted to Ex, he did fall in love with her son, and determined that the boy needed a father figure.
Before too long, Ex had divorced her first husband and moved back to Germany. She and my husband arranged a quick wedding in Denmark. On their wedding day, which was also the day Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, they fought. My husband later told me that on their wedding day, he had terrible warning bells going off in his head, but he hadn't wanted to disappoint his ex, and he thought her son needed him. He also thought she might be his only chance to have a family. He had wrongly believed that no one else would find him attractive.
Things were pretty crappy from the get go, but she got pregnant about two months after their wedding. Naturally, since he had a child on the way, my husband felt like he had to lie in this uncomfortable bed he'd made, all because he hadn't wanted to disappoint her, and he thought she was his only chance to have a family.
Two years after their older daughter was born, they had their second child. Ex was pressuring my husband to get out of the Army, because she didn't want the Army telling them where they'd be living and controlling my husband's time. Meanwhile, the children were being neglected; they were drowning in debt; and Ex got pregnant at the drop of a hat. My husband wisely got snipped so they wouldn't have another child together.
Pretty soon, my husband, Ex, and her son and their two daughters had all moved to Arkansas. My husband, who had a degree in International Relations from an excellent university and had enjoyed being in the Army, was working swing shift in a toy factory for about $27,000 per year. Ex had moved in her sister and her sister's child. My husband was supporting them all. Financial ruin soon occurred. They went through foreclosure and bankruptcy.
Not long after that, Ex came up with her LDS church idea. She then proceeded to use the church to try to control my husband. Fortunately, he was starting to realize that he was losing the best years of his life to an abusive nightmare narcissist. She started having an affair with #3, whom she'd met playing Dungeons and Dragons online. My husband decided to go back into the Army, which really made Ex angry. Clearly, she felt she was losing control, so she hatched plans to "force him to rock bottom." She knew he feared divorce, so she focused on threatening him with that.
About the time my husband went back on active duty, he moved out on his own. He felt much better when he did that, even though he was forced to live on about $600 a month. Ex had moved her boyfriend into the house my husband was paying for. She was starting to alienate the children and replace my husband with #3, who had also joined the church.
Soon, my husband found me in a chat room. We became friends. When Ex dropped a divorce ultimatum at my father in law's house the following Easter, my husband accepted. They were divorced by June. The following year, we met in person and started dating. When he survived 9/11 in the Pentagon, we decided that maybe we should get married. Almost 21 years later, we're still extremely happy together.
*** It's never been lost on me that had my husband married someone else, we might never have met. My husband is a very faithful man. I know this, because when he and Ex were splitting up, he was very platonic with me, even though we had a lot of chemistry. He wore his wedding ring until the day he got divorced.
If he had not married Ex, he might have married another woman who would have been a better match. She might have treated him better-- which would not have been a hard thing to do. They might still be married, albeit probably not as happily as we are.
Anyone who knows us, knows that marrying each other was one thing we both did right. But I am about eight years younger than my husband is, and when he met me, I was in graduate school. If we had met at a different time, or under different circumstances, we might not have ever gotten together. And I cannot imagine that I would ever find someone as compatible as he is.
Because he married his ex wife, he knows what a bad match is like. His experience with me is completely different and way, way better. But maybe it wouldn't have happened if he hadn't married Ex. Or maybe it would have... I don't know.
I'm sorry he went through ten years of Hell with that woman. I'm sorry he had his daughters with her, instead of with me, especially since his younger daughter finally reconnected, and has told us about the horrors of being raised by her. Fortunately, his younger daughter is a really lovely person. I wouldn't blame her if she was still very angry about my husband's bad decision. I wish he hadn't given up his fertility because he was with her, because I would have loved to have had a baby with him. The vasectomy was later reversed when we were married, but we never managed to conceive.
But yes... in the grand scheme of things, everything has worked out quite fine for him. At this point, I'm even glad we never had kids. We have a great marriage, and a great time together, and we have virtually no debt!
Ex, on the other hand, is still with #3. They had two more children, one of whom has severe autism. My husband's older daughter still doesn't speak to him, and at age 32, has resigned herself to being a stay at home daughter and taking care of her brother. Ex's youngest daughter with #3 is currently being used as one of Ex's props for her public facade on Instagram and Twitter. Ex is constantly tweeting celebrities, trying to scam them out of money, while #3 is the sole breadwinner, supporting everyone on his CNA salary and whatever Ex can swindle out of people (elderly family members) who give her money, selling stuff on eBay, or coercing her children to hand over the leftover college loan money her they get.
Any day now, I expect #3 will finally decide he's had enough and either split, or just drop dead from the sheer stress.
Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 07/05/2023 01:07AM by knotheadusc.