Relationships in the Raw is a series that I created to discuss difficult relationships. When I was dealing with family issues, I felt there was no one to talk to help me through and see the other side. I hope this series finds those who feel alone. This is the second installment with many more to come! Introducing Heather and her story…
I am now married to an amazing man – I was married before, but the person I am writing about is the one I got involved with while I was waiting for my divorce to finalize. We were not involved before my ex-husband left.
This man was my boss.
There were never any feelings between us – in fact, I couldn’t stand him. Then when my ex-husband left me, he was a source of support. Still, nothing – no feelings…a few months go by and I notice I’m feeling a crush, but I figure it is just because he has been supportive through a crappy time.
Fast forward, we become involved. Then we become serious. I move in and discover he had a lot of demons. A LOT of them. He also drank heavily and this charming, elegant man became a bit of a monster. Whenever things were great, it was “our house” – then when there was an argument, it was HIS house.
He also had sexual tastes that were disturbing to me (I don’t mean fantasies, but I mean he liked women who looked like little girls, he wanted to get into swinging – which is fine for some people, but he pretty much said if I didn’t want to do it, then he would have an issue).
We broke up, got back together, broke up again, got back together again…
it was a ridiculous cycle of toxicity.
I LOVED his mom and sister dearly and his nephews, too. It was hard to let go of them, but finally, I told him he had to get help or I was leaving. He had told me – while drunk – he was planning to propose to me.
The truth is, I would have been well off if we got married.
Big rock on my hand. Gorgeous house. Fancy dinners, vacations, you name it. But I was terrified, because despite the fact I thought I was in love, I knew this was an unhealthy relationship. He began hitting me, calling me names, spitting at me…it got worse.
I began moving out and told him, “All you have to do is get help. I’ll move things back in, no throwing it in your face. But you have to get help.” He refused. I told him. “But once the last box is through the door, I’m never coming back.” And that was hard. But I did it.
Days later he was calling begging me to come back.
He’d promise he’d get help. It was so difficult for me to refuse to come back. We did the back and forth. I rebounded with different guys. He rebounded with a very young girl (he was 11 years older than I was and I believe almost 20 years older than she was). He called me one day and we got into it…I told him to stop letting his dead father rule his life in the here and now. I told him to get go of the ghosts and to just stop the BS of blaming his dead father for all of his behaviors now. He said to me, “Well at least no one in my family has ever been raped.” Especially as a rape survivor, I was shocked. I hung up the phone and in tears, called the phone company and had my number changed. As I was on the phone with them, he kept coming through on the call waiting. I did not click over. That was the last time I ever spoke to him.
He later told someone he gave me a very large sum of money which I have to laugh about because I think to myself, “Really? Where did all that money go?!” I think he was angry because no one ever “one-upped” him and I guess he felt that I did by changing my number and moving on.
Hindsight is 20/20 and I just had no idea how bad it really was.
I am so grateful I got out of that horrible situation. My ex-husband left me for a very young girl and 2 years later after this man and I broke up and he and that girl broke up, we had dinner and talked about our marriage. He told me he regretted what he did – but I was glad for the divorce. It taught me so much about myself and I did not want to get back together with him. I was better than that. I meant my vows. He didn’t.
This man still runs a successful business. And I believe as a business person he is great. As a partner, he was horrible and perhaps he has changed.
I take with me the lessons – hard learned – and realize that I can truly give thanks
…for my husband now because I have seen just how bad it can be.
I know what it is like to think you should just give in and go with it. I know what it’s like not to want to fail at another relationship. I deserved more and I got it. I hope my story inspires other women (and even men) to know they do not need to stay in a toxic relationship.
Business Traveler USA’s Business Traveler of the Year, Heather Wilson, is a corporate event marketing manager proudly married to a US Navy Sailor. A newlywed and proud cancer survivor who made history with her belly-button, she is addicted to loose-leaf tea and despite being half-Colombian has never had a cup of coffee in her life. Heather blogs about her adventures and all things “life” at Life of a Traveling Navy Wife. When she’s not traveling the world, you can find Heather with her husband on their Harley Davidson enjoying the beautiful San Diego scenery, strolling through Balboa Park walking her pet lizards, giving back to her community and trying to figure out to which hair color she should finally stick.