There were moments in my life when I wondered, “When will I see the cameras? This has to be a script from a reality tv series.” The cameras never came and the ridiculousness of the spiral to the end of my marriage was in fact, real.
Ted’s latest new adventure was body building and as with most things, he was all in. It was a new side of him I hadn’t yet seen, bordering on an obsession with an image he had set out to achieve.
The weekend Ted told me we were going to the Coach outlet, I was in shock. They were having a giant sale and he wanted to buy me a nice bag. Hmmmmm…..odd. But off we went.
The smell of leather hit me as we entered and I inhaled deeply. It is one of my favorite smells. I walked through the store and ran my hands over the soft handbags. Ted on the other hand kept bringing my attention to the bags decorated in the classic “C” pattern.
As the other men in the store waited by the door for their wives and girlfriends, Ted walked with me around the store picking out purses he thought I should have. I would pick out a leather bag and he would suggest one with a pattern. How would anyone know I had a Coach purse if it didn’t have the “C”s on it? Ahhhhhh….there it was. This trip was not for me. This trip was to get Ted one step closer to that image.
On our way back to the car, Ted proceeded to tell me, that my wardrobe needed to change. He needed to have me looking my best if I was to be walking next to him once he completed his transformation.
The diets, the supplements, the emotional swings that accompanied this transformation were expected. Ted’s grasp on reality, not so much.
He didn’t push back when I told him it was completely inappropriate for him to get a job as a bouncer at a strip club. But he did think it was ok to work nights at a local bar that had painted topless waitresses. When confronted as to why our monthly phone bill showed excessive texting between he and our bisexual neighbor Jolene, who was living with her girlfriend, he refused to let me see his phone, and told me I was overreacting. He did not find it inappropriate to tell me that all he thought about all day at work was going to Jolene’s house in the evening to play cards and drink.
I put up with a lot in my marriage mainly because I didn’t know how I could get out. However, on this particular evening, there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to never see him again. This was my point of “enough”. I’m pretty sure the gas station down the road heard me screaming for Ted to leave. I was D.O.N.E. Once he left, I called Kara in tears and told her I was coming.
Once Ted discovered I had left, he was frantically trying to get me to come home. Against Kara’s advice I responded to his incessant calls and messages and the next morning, I returned home.
This was the first time I had ever stood up for myself and while I was terrified on how this could play out, I presented an ultimatum to Ted of marriage counseling or divorce.
In our first therapy session, Ted was asked what he wanted and replied both Jolene and his wife. I just about fell off that couch when the therapist replied with a straight face that we would work on it. Where are those cameras again?