My 3 Year Anniversary…Leaving My Toxic Marriage!

1 Nov

3 years ago TODAY, I left my toxic marriage of 6 years! This was the final time that I was going to leave. It took me 6 times to break the cycle and leave for good!!! I remember each time that I left…the first time (right after our 1st anniversary) I moved out w/the help of my kids and friends while “he” was at work. I stayed with a friend for 3 weeks, only to go back…boy did I ever feel guilty on so many levels. “He” had a way of letting me know that “he” would change….of course I loved him and fell for it. MISTAKE!!!!! Things were ok for a while, but the old patterns and habits returned and it was slightly worse.

I left a 2nd time again always around our anniversary…hmmmmmm…this time I went to San Diego and stayed w/my sister…again I was gone for about 3 weeks. During this time, I was trying to wrap my head around everything and trying to understand how I got myself into such a horrible situation. My sister, was able to obtain a scholarship for me to attend a Women’s Retreat thru her church. That was a turning point for me. Here I am going to a retreat to hopefully find answers to my situation only to learn that I needed to “go back” and make it work. Now mind you my sister DID not agree with me, however, the message I received was VERY STRONG and I did not want to disappoint GOD…so I went back AGAIN.

Well this pattern continued on, I go back, things would be fine for awhile and once again, they turned for the worse and I noticed, each time that I left, I had to be sneakier and sneakier and I did not like that at all. I had to lie to protect myself…he ALWAYS knew somehow that I was planning to leave again….no matter how much I tried to remain “normal.” The 3rd time I left, I got my very own apartment!!! (This is also the time when I stayed at Shepherd’s Gate for 3 weeks waiting for my apartment to be ready) It was a cute “vintage” studio and I loved it! Problem was…it was on the same street were “we” lived, just much further down. However, he figured it out, when he saw my companies moving truck pulling up with my belongings. Then he started coming over and knocking on the door, he would not go away… I would tell him to leave me alone…of course he did not and of course, once again, I let him back into my life and into MY studio! Things were going OK for a little while this time around…we moved into the larger one bedroom behind the studio and I thought maybe things were finally settling down. NOT!!!! It started all over again. He would antagonize me especially during “that time of the month” – he knew that I wanted to be left alone during those time, but NO he did not “get it” – he would push my buttons until I would explode, this became a monthly “event” and it was embarrassing to say the least because our neighbors could hear everything….I would go to my Dr. because “he” would tell me that I am bi-polar, etc, etc. I never took so many drugs while I was with him..Anti-depressants, Xanax,what ever it took to help me remain “normal” according to “him.” When I went to my Dr. I told her what he said about me being “bi-polar” and she said “Cheri YOU are not bi-polar” you are NORMAL….which I course I knew that. “he” had the issues, with anger problems, trust issues, and he had been physically abused by his dad from the time he was 2 years old…I was raised pretty much in a normal family…However, I believe that anyone can overcome such issues, with the proper help, however, he always refused help.

The fourth time I left, a girlfriend helped me pack up my things and let me stay with her at her home in Discovery Bay…Again, this lasted less than 2 months…”he” followed me there and of course, once again I let him back into my life of course with the promise the “he” would change. This time around, things were better for a longer period of time, however by the summer of 2009, I had him served with a re-straining order and a notice to leave our house. Of course I was scared, I had a dear friend serve him. I worked with this person for many years, and I later learned that he used to bring his “gun” to the store “just in case” That was not fun…So he left and went to stay with friends, family etc. finally he rented a room…I got a roommate and things were starting to be a little better. Then once again….I let him back into my life, while I had a roommate…finally the roommate “abruptly’ left…till this day, I really do not understand why she left. What I do know, is that my “ex” was the one packing up all of her belongings and sending them back to TX.

I always wanted to go to counseling…he did not…I finally started going for MYSELF…then I got him to go with me, only to say he did not like the guy…WHY??? Because the counselor saw right thru him…he immediately knew that I had to leave!!! But for someone reason I just could not….I was trying to make things “RIGHT” taking responsibility…always the “people pleaser” So I found a new counselor and she was the one that really helped me. She did not tell me what to do, because deep down I ALREADY knew!!! She helped me put a “plan in place” to leave FOR GOOD!!!! It’s took me a while and I was SCARED!!! Because “he” always knew when I was planning on leaving…( there were 2 additional times when I left, however, it’s a blur to me right now.) I had to pretend everything was “OK” when I was dying inside…that was sooo hard to do.. Besides I hate lying….but I rationalized it that it was for MY SAFETY. So by the time November 1st, 2010 came around, I went to work as normal, knowing what was going to happen…I hired someone to “serve” him, a really pretty woman (I knew he would answer the door for her) and he did and the deed was done!!!! I did not go back to the house until he was gone! Three years later, I am happy, in love, have a great job, wonderful friends whom I adore and most of all my kids are PROUD of their MOM for finally leaving for good.. Hint….if your friends and family DO NOT like the person you are dating – that is a HUGE RED FLAG!!!!! Just writing this out for the first time was soooo therapeutic.. thank you for being a part of my journey.. I am STRONGER THAN I KNOW and so are you!!!! HUGS….Cheri



2 Responses to “My 3 Year Anniversary…Leaving My Toxic Marriage!”

  1. Marylynn S. Zappacosta November 4, 2013 at 11:11 am #

    Simply THANK YOU for sharing your story !!! That will help me get through this. Married 33 years now, ‘almost’ left so many times. Looking back, I should have, but I didn’t. I see now that the yelling, fights, and sadness DID hurt our kids even though I tried to protect them from it and gave in too much! lost parts of myself! depressed etc. . What REALLY struck me is what you said about family and friends opinions of my husband & our relationship together … AND from BOTH my family and his. My husband is basically a very good man, but together we became toxic to each other. Weird. I tend to be an optimist and remember ‘the guy I married’, but my Doctor too said I need to remember how it became , I.e. The bad times. My husband started working out of country because of his job, on temporary assignments , would come home via his company’s allowance, and it didn’t / doesn’t take long for us to get back to the Yuck stuff. In 2010 I filed for divorce out of fear, but then we reconciled. Now my husband filed for divorce while he was back home during his routine visits. I AM sad AND scared, but overall, underneath I know it will be for the best. There’s more to it but I don’t usually even type this much. So, again THANK YOU for your post !!! It will help me get through this with hopes of happiness in the future !!! May God, Goodness, whatever you beleive in Bless you, be with you ! ( and me and mine too, please ) :). ! …. MSZ

    • justsaynototoxicrelationships November 8, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

      Marylynn…thank you so much for sharing your story..It’s not easy going thru divorce…I have gone thru it twice… I have learned a lot from each one, and I can say that I now know even my first marriage was toxic and it lasted 23 years!!! When I finally started to see how the puzzle was being put together and what he was doing to me – (he would always put me down in a sexual manner) I really did not understand it initially, but as I became stronger and was DONE w/his put downs, I started to see him for what he really was…and insecure man who thought he was being “funny” at my expense and making himself feel superior to me… The best thing that came out of that marriage are my 2 beautiful children! Then I “rushed” into marriage #2 – mind you at this time, I had never really dated, except high school stuff. I met my first husband when I was 18 and got married just a few weeks before I turned 22. Was I naive??? YES!!! I married my 2nd husband approx. 8 weeks after meeting him!! NEVER again will I do that!!! I did not know him at all….Things happened early on that made me realize I had made a HUGE mistake, but it took me 6 years and 6 times to finally LEAVE for good. Where there times I thought I wanted him back?? Absolutely…however, I had grown and finally understood he is NOT the man for me at all!!! In fact he got married for the 4th time just 3 weeks after our divorce was final. And I know that his marriage to this person has NOT been easy either!!! I truly see him for what he is a NARCISSIST!!! WOW….I never knew what that word even meant a few years ago… It’s funny where life takes you. it will not always be easy…I paid a huge price leaving my 2nd marriage…It cost me…I made mistakes thinking that I was “doing the right thing” when in fact I only hurt myself…but I will dig myself out someway and somehow… I just pray the next person I love and hopefully marry, will allow me to be “me” no matter what…mistakes and all…Nobody is perfect…we all have a past…but it’s what we do with our past that makes us Stronger Than We Know!!! Please keep me posted on how you are doing Marylynn.. God bless you and your family!! HUGS ~ Cheri

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