There are some other things you should know that I now believe are related to the incident detailed in the previous post, although I did not connect them until many years later. (I now realize I was very trusting and naïve.)
Early in 1987, my husband came home late one evening while I was putting our toddler to bed. As I walked past him in the hallway, I asked him about his day, and he suddenly turned without saying a word and hit me so hard in my lower back that I fell against the wall. He’d never done anything like this before, and I was in shock. He immediately ran out the front door, and I heard him drive off, but he returned a few hours later and claimed to have been stressed out from working so much (he was gone much of the time now). He promised he’d never do anything like that gain, and I made it very clear to him that if he did, I would immediately end our marriage.
After this incident, my husband did seem to be making an effort to work less, although many different people were always calling him to come in for various reasons that seemed legitimate. Our second child was born healthy a few weeks later, and my husband seemed happy and proud.
Six weeks later, all was suddenly chaos in our lives when I discovered my husband was having an affair with a co-worker, that it had been going on since we’d moved back, and that the woman had now left her husband for mine. I immediately asked my husband to move out, which he did. Two days later, he was back at the front door saying he’d ended the affair and wanted to save our marriage. I insisted we have serious marriage counseling first, and he suggested a pastor in a neighboring town he’d heard was good.
We did start receiving counseling, but almost immediately the pastor insisted I consult a lawyer friend of his “for protection”; I assumed this was for financial reasons, since my husband had always been very controlling with our finances. I’d kept a separate checking account for myself and the children from my working days that my husband put money into each month, but the lawyer advised me to insist on also being given signature privileges on my husband’s business account. When I informed my husband of this, he became very angry and refused my request, so I told him our marriage was over and I’d be having my attorney file for divorce. My husband stormed out of the house, but he returned about 30 minutes later with the signature card for the account. He told me to sign it, even though he was clearly furious about this, and as he left to take the card back to the bank [one his family owns and runs], he threatened to kill me if I ever wrote a check off this account. After hearing his threat and seeing how angry and controlling he’d suddenly become, I decided I needed to end our marriage anyway, and I quickly met with the counselor and the lawyer about this. When my husband realized I was serious, however, he apparently met with the counselor on his own and convinced him he really did want to save our marriage, so the counselor and I met to discuss this and I made it clear that if counseling was to continue, my husband would need to completely end the affair and find us a larger, better place to live, since he was now making good money, the kids and I were “coming out of the walls”, and I was still nervous about the safety of the furnace [see below]. When presented with this, my husband declared his girlfriend couldn’t be replaced at his office and that he needed to build a bigger office before building or buying a new house because he’d recently taken on a partner. On my fifth wedding anniversary, I met with the lawyer to discuss filing for divorce.
Almost immediately after this, my husband’s girlfriend was suddenly found another job in San Antonio and replaced. My husband told me the affair really was over and that he’d checked his finances and decided he could afford to build both a house and an office at the same time, since his partner would also be contributing to the office. And my husband really did seem more serious about his roles as husband and father, working much less and taking a much more active role at home. I remained wary of the situation for a long time, but the changes did seem real and lasting as the years went by and life seemed good.
Twelve years later, I finally learned the truth, when my husband suddenly walked in one night and announced he was leaving for good and people around town finally started confessing the truth to me. Apparently, after his earlier girlfriend left, my husband began an affair with her replacement almost immediately that continued without my knowledge all those years, until she finally divorced her husband and gave him an ultimatum. (He is now married to the second girlfriend.) I was also finally told by someone close to his family that 12 years earlier they’d overheard a heated argument between my husband and his father in his father’s law office during which my former father-in-law threatened to disinherit my husband if he left me and the kids.
There are a number of other serious incidents from over the years that I now have reason to believe were also related to all this, but I’ll save them and their documentation for later postings.