Today, I’d like to introduce you to my next guest, Grace Adams (@GraceAdamsLive) who writes the wonderful blog Looks Great Naked. At the time her divorce was final, Grace had been married for over nineteen years although she says six or seven of those years don’t really count as being married. She has three children who are now aged twenty, eighteen and fifteen.
Grace’s divorce was a bitter one with litigation that has gone on for over five years and so much hostility and harassment that Grace relocated to another state. Through all of that she went back to college and earned a degree in English so she could write, something she’d always wanted to do. We begin her story with Grace sharing the difficulty she had accepting that her marriage was in trouble. Here’s Grace:
[contemplate1] My husband and I started a company in 1996, we’d been married then about eleven years. Then through an odd, strange set of circumstances we ended up selling that company in 2001 for a god-awful amount of money. More than it was worth, because the people who were buying it were a huge Wall Street corporation who just wanted to get us out of the business because we were hurting their bottom line. So we were suddenly multi-millionaires.
My ex had come from a very affluent family, his parents are very, very wealthy, but we weren’t. It wasn’t like we had a trust fund or anything like that, so it was just this instantaneous wealth, and I don’t know exactly if this is the reason, and believe me, I’ve gone through it in my head for ten years now, but being a very, very wealthy man all of a sudden, changed my husband.
He went to work for the company that had bought him out, and within six months, he was having an affair. I didn’t know about it until about probably eight or nine months after the affair began, but the months that led up to my finding out was the reason for the name of my blog.
I was out taking a walk with my mother and she said in the course of the conversation,
“I think your husband’s having an affair.”
She followed it up with a gift, a book called Look Great Naked: Diet and Exercise Tips. The implication was I was overweight and that was why my husband was cheating. If I would lose ten, fifteen pounds (I really was not that huge) but if I lost weight, that would fix the problem right away.
I don’t know how my mother knew, except that my husband had by then quit working for the company and had hired a new assistant to help him start a new company. My mom just looked at her and said,
“I think he’s having an affair with her.”
The interesting thing was that the woman, when I would see her, made the hair on the back of my neck stand up, and I hated her but I wasn’t in touch enough with what was going on inside me to know why I hated her so badly…she was sleeping with my husband.
I’d even kind of suspected, and I’d asked him, and he said no and I had thought,
“OK, well I have no reason to not believe you. Why would I doubt you?”
The other hint that I had, and it’s kind of tongue-in-cheek, but anyway … One day I drove up in the driveway and found about twenty pairs of my husband’s underwear strewn across the yard. My dachshunds had gone in an old gym bag and pulled them all out and were playing tug of war in the front yard.
So I had these signs … my husband’s underwear was not where it should have been, my mom telling me he was having an affair and some other blaring signals from him and I was just like,
“La, la, la, I don’t think so, I don’t see anything,”
until he checked himself into a drug rehab program. He told me it was for excessive drinking but it was the premiere center for sex addiction in the country.
Hindsight often makes it so much easier to see all the telltale signs of a marriage in trouble. My recent guest Antonia shared that she was clueless to her husband’s drug addiction for two years. It also reminds me of Jen who eventually came to realize and accept that her husband was a pathological liar with a serious gambling habit. Sometimes it comes from being naive about a situation with which you’ve had no prior experience, sometimes it comes from believing that your spouse shares your commitment to the marriage and would behave by the same standards as you, sometimes you think your relationship isn’t so bad or so different from other marriages and sometimes it’s simply that you’re not ready to see.
Photo credit: Ennuipoet