Since the moment I had found out my husband had a double life I had not said the word divorce but for everyone else in my life it was a burning question and of course, it was floating around in my own head. I knew it was hard for them to understand why I wasn’t rushing to the lawyer’s office but I couldn’t even utter the word, divorce. I had been through one divorce and it was horrific, I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy and at that moment in time, I couldn’t even think about going through another one. It’s funny because I never thought I would go back to him but I just wasn’t ready to discuss divorce. I didn’t have the strength to get out of bed or even take a shower on a regular basis, how the hell was I going to fight through a divorce. It would be a battle. I knew my husband well (as crazy as that may sound) and he was not going to let me go without a fight!
It had been almost two weeks since I walked out and I still refused to speak to him but he was relentless with the texts, things like “you don’t understand and you are assuming things that are not true.” I finally responded,
“I don’t care if you were fucking secretly curing cancer with Katy, you were lying to me about it for our ENTIRE relationship!”
The whole situation was so surreal; I knew he had lied about Katy but what else was there? With men like this, it is never just one lie, it is a way of life. I now questioned every moment we had spent together; every I love you, every business trip, phone call, gift, every nice thing he said, every touch…. none of it was real now, it all meant nothing. I had come to realize that I had slept next to a total stranger for years, shared my life with him, my secrets with him, I even stood before my friends and family and took vows with this man – it was all one giant lie or game that I was an unwilling player of. I still couldn’t wrap my brain around this, it was so unbelievable but somehow I would have to figure out how to believe. It was real, it happened and it happened to me.
In an attempt to clear my head and take in some fresh air I decided to walk to the barn and see the horses. I had grown up riding and though had been in a riding accident and not ridden for years, I missed it. My niece, in an effort to cheer me up, volunteered to keep me company. We both bundled up and walked to the barn. She started asking the questions that no one else had asked but I knew they all wondered. “Are you going to not be married anymore?” She looked up at me and asked. Probably not, I answered. “Are you sad about it?” Yes, I think I am I replied. Her face lit up, “are you going to move back to Kansas?” I don’t know I said. “I think you should move here, I bet Papa would build you a house and then you could live here until you are not sad anymore.” She was only 6 but she had a lot more answers about the future than I did. Needless to say, it made me think about what my next move would be, I couldn’t stay in my parent’s basement forever. We returned to the house and as I took off my gloves I had a moment of panic- gasp! Where was my ring?
I had taken my ring off in San Francisco and left it in Andrea’s safe, but I was still having those brief heart-stopping moments when I would feel my finger or look down and realize it was gone. I loved my rings. My original ring was custom made with a beautiful vintage diamond, the second ring was a diamond band that he had given me when he “re-proposed” both of these rings were quite heavy and very sparkly, my wedding band was a simple platinum band that sat in between them. Thinking about this made me remember the night he proposed, the first time.
On December 25th of 2008, we were flying to my family’s home in Jackson Hole, Wyoming! It was a very early flight and I insisted on taking Jet. My husband was very against flying with the dog and wouldn’t allow me to sedate him so about 3 minutes into the flight, Jet and I were both crying. Finally, we took him out of his bag and put him on our laps under our coat. We landed in Salt Lake City to switch planes only to find out that our next flight had been canceled due to weather and we couldn’t get another flight for 3 days! So there we were in a cheap airport hotel room in Salt Lake City, where they don’t even serve real liquor… not exactly the Christmas I had envisioned! Since we couldn’t get a flight we had arranged to take the shuttle, aka bus, over the mountain. Eight hours on a bus over the mountain and finally we were at the house! My sister and her family were driving in from Kansas and were delayed a day as well from snow so they would arrive on the 27th. We decided to delay our Christmas celebration so that we could all be together. On the night my sister and her family arrived and we were preparing for dinner and to opening gifts, my husband decided that Jet needed to suddenly go to the bathroom. Due to the wild animals in the area, it is not a place that you just let your 10lb dog outside by himself. He insisted I go with them and after much reluctance, I put on my coat and ventured into the snow. It really was a beautiful clear night, crisp cold air and as if on cue it started lightly snowing when we stepped outside. As we walked in the snow Jet was playing, I was freezing and suddenly he stopped and looked at me. Right there in this magical mountain place that meant so much to me this man confessed his love and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him! YES! I shouted through the dead silence of the night! YES! YES! YES!!! He pulls out a box and in it was the most breathtaking ring I had ever seen, I ran up to a streetlight to see the ring and almost fell over it was so gorgeous! Jet was barking with all of the excitement and after a long kiss in the falling snow, we returned to the house to share the new with my family, which of course they already knew. It was a happy happy night!
The next day, in keep with family tradition, we had dinner at the Mangy Moose. My sister and her husband got engaged in Jackson Hole as well and we celebrated in the same spot. I was on cloud nine. Before dinner, my husband got a call, trouble with a deal he was involved in and he would need to fly out the next morning but would try to be back in time for New Year’s Eve. What!!!??? I was so disappointed but I knew his work was important and as he pointed out, how else could he have paid for that ring? Plus, sadly I was used to this sort of last minute schedule change by now. A day later after coming down with a bout of food poisoning, we had agreed that he would just go back to San Francisco and spend NYE with his friends and I would come home when I was feeling better. I was sad not to be ringing in the New Year with my new fiancé but I understood and was too busy puking to enjoy a midnight kiss anyway. I never questioned any of this. Clearly, he loved me, he just proposed! Later I would learn he flew from Jackson Hole and spent New Year’s Eve with Katy and their friends, the dog was even in the photos I found. I guess he figured the ring would keep me happy for a while and I wouldn’t question him! He was right I didn’t.
After two weeks at home, I had been invited to join some close friends in the mountains and finally decided to take them up on the offer. Even in my zombie like state I knew I was starting to get pretty pathetic, I had to try and join the living and come back to life. Since I was going to stay with friends and then who knows where I would be after that I had decided to leave Jet behind. I knew dragging him around was not the best thing and my parents LOVED having him. I decided I would at least let my husband know that I was leaving Jet in Kansas, at this point I still had moments of compassion for him, and he was livid! His response was that he didn’t think it was “fair” that he wouldn’t get a chance to see Jet. FAIR? Hahaha. Oh, now he wanted to talk about what is fair?? Tough shit! I text him if he wanted to get on a plane and visit Jet then he should call my mother and discuss it. He didn’t dare.
I was packing up the car with my bag the night before and Jet was GLUED to my side. My heart was breaking at the thought of leaving him but I knew it was best. We were in the garage and a cat from the barn wondered in. Barn cats are not like regular cats, they are much more skittish. Being the city dog that he was this was quite possibly the first cat he had ever seen, so being a typical dog, he went after her! Of course, the cat swiped his paw and suddenly Jet was shirking! I swooped him into my arms immediately but he just kept crying, water was pouring from his right eye. My heart sunk. This poor baby had been through so much and now trying to make sure I didn’t leave him he gets into a fight with a cat. Having raised animals his entire life my dad looked at his eye and thought it was probably just scratched, but that I should take him to the vet in the morning. I didn’t sleep a wink that night. The next morning I rebooked myself on a later flight and we rushed to the vet. His eye wasn’t any better and at this point, he wouldn’t even open it. The vet took one look and determined that the cat had punctured his lens, retina, and cornea with his claw. He loaded us up with medicine, put a cone on his neck and said we would have to wait and see if it would heal. My heart was breaking. How on earth could I leave him in this condition? My parents insisted I needed to get out of Kansas and be with my friends. I finally agreed even though I felt like the worst dog mom ever.
My mom and dad took amazing care of him but after two months his eye was not getting better. He had lost most of his vision and had started losing weight. His usual fun playful personality was gone. My father drove him to our ranch and took him to our family vet that we had used for 30 years. He took one look at Jet and gave his recommendation. That day I got a call from dad, “I am not asking your permission I am calling to let you know what we are doing. Jet is in pain and he has lost most if not all of the vision in his right eye and tomorrow morning we are taking his eye out.” I got a huge lump in my throat and tears began to run down my face. The first thought I had was my husband is going to be so upset with me- not sure why I even cared. I felt that I had failed Jet like I had failed in my marriage. Should I call him and tell him? I decided against it in the end. Only a few days post op and Jet
That day I got a call from dad, “I am not asking your permission I am calling to let you know what we are doing. Jet is in pain and he has lost most if not all of the vision in his right eye and tomorrow morning we are taking his eye out.” I got a huge lump in my throat and tears began to run down my face. The first thought I had was my husband is going to be so upset with me- not sure why I even cared. I felt that I had failed Jet like I had failed in my marriage. Should I call him and tell him? I decided against it in the end. Only one-day post op and Jet started coming back to his old self, licking everyone like crazy and trying to play. His appetite came back and it was clear he was going to be just fine with his one eye. He will now forever be a pirate on Halloween!
Visiting friends in the mountains turned out to be a great decision, I was starting to come back to life and have a little fun…. I even had my first post double-life discovery kiss.