Where Do You Go When Your House Isn’t “Home”?

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Work… I seriously went back to work when my ex-hubby pissed me off. It’s sad when work is better than home

Four or five years ago, this was my life. I didn’t have that many friends when was in my first marriage, but that could’ve partly been my fault. After being stationed in Germany and before that, the UK, I felt like it was time for me to settle down and “act” like a mom. So there was no more going out to party or drinking for me when I arrived Arizona. However, on the flip side, I do remember my husband guilting me into staying home with my oldest and making me feel like I’m always out doing something while he stayed home. Yes, he was staying home a little more often with our kid, but it was for a good reason. At that time, I was trying to go to school to eventually be commissioned in the Air Force. I remember my ex-husband said that he was “trying” to introduce me to other women so I can make friends, but it was either they were not the type of person I’d be comfortable hanging out with, or there were ulterior motives for why he wanted me to be friends with them. It wasn’t so much about being their friends, it was more of a way to try to get into their pants behind my back.

For the most part, we used to live a good 30 minutes away from base when I was married to my ex. So when he pissed me off, I would literally go back to work and work. Not only did I not have a lot of friends to go to when things were rough between us (I’m also quite a private person when it comes to personal matters), I didn’t have any hobbies I could partake in just to get my mind off of things. All I really had back then was school and work. And, looking back at how the way things were, I’m really surprised that I was able to maintain A’s and B’s when home life sucked. Eventually, he gave me another guilt trip by saying that I’m not giving him the time to also pursue his own academic goals. I never knew he had academic goals because we never talked about it, but I was excited, even proud that he wanted to pursue something. We talked about possibly taking math together, but he gave me some BS excuse as to why he didn’t want to. He took up writing, which is my favorite subject, but never let me help him when I knew he was struggling.

…but work was still my saving grace. It was my happy place, my home away from home. I loved the people I worked with and I loved having a clinic of my own to run. This is what made me feel like home when my “home” was no longer my home. Then, as luck would have it, I got tasked for a deployment in 2014. It wasn’t the fact that I would be making a good amount of money while I was out there, it was the fact that this was a sign for me to be able to think things through about my current marriage. I knew that I wasn’t happy, but who was I supposed to tell? I had no friends and I felt like telling my family made me sound like a broken record. I had all these problems but no solutions. I’ve tried counseling on my own and tried to get my ex-husband to go to marriage counseling with me, but he had a problem with the counselor.

He literally said he didn’t want to go to marriage counseling because he “didn’t like how the counselor looked, implying that she was ugly.

So, deployment was my chance to separate myself from my problem, and be able to get a bigger picture of things. It took less than a month of being out there to realize where my marriage was going. It was going to end at the end of my deployment because he got tired of talking to me everyday. Excuse me? I’m literally on the other side of the world, and its quite common for wives to miss their husbands, and mothers to miss their kids. So, what was the problem with me wanting to talk everyday, or frequently? Him not wanting to communicate regularly was a huge slap in the face and a huge eye-opener for me. My down time led me to meeting a lot of great people during my deployment who helped realize that my marriage was disasterious, and this is where I met my now-husband. He was going through almost the exact situation, although he wasn’t married nor did he have kids that were caught in the middle. I didn’t realize that I was giving him advice that I should also be taking as well… but life was tough and I knew I wasn’t leaving my marriage without a bitter and ugly divorce. I eventually gathered the courage to say enough was enough, and there would be no more once I returned “home.”

When I returned from deployment, I didn’t have a home, but I did have an empty place that I lived in. My life wasn’t complete because my ex was trying to prevent me from seeing my son. The subtle ways he used to treat me were not so subtle anymore, and his tactics of trying to control me were obvious. He knew he was losing me, so he started to sabotage me and used my history of depression to make me sound like I would be an unfit mother for our son. When I mentioned that he had been verbally and emotionally abusive to me in our marriage, he lied and said he never treated me that way. I am truly fortunate that the courts were able to see past his lies, and granted me time to be with my son.

It took me 10 months to finally be free from this mess, and to be able to rebuild my life again. This life experience has taught me a lot about myself and of domestic abuse. So, when someone says their house is no longer their “home,” I completely understand. And its easy for people to say, “well just leave if you’re not happy,” because its truly not. Things have to fall apart before things get better, and they will be better.

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