Susan* is a 34-year-old mother of two young children from Brooklyn. Her ten-year marriage is on the verge of collapse and she is asking for Metro readers’ advice.
Last week she spoke of the abuse she received at the hands of her husband. This week, she recalls a tale of abject rejection.
If you’ve ever seen Moulin Rouge you’ll remember a pivotal moment where the character Christian throws money at Satine’s feet claiming he’s paid his whore. You can tell that the characters still love each other but that lies and circumstances have brought them to this moment of pure hatred. I’ve often wondered just how many men have tried out this little gesture. I’d like to know if I’m the only other woman in the world, aside from a movie character, that has actually had this happen to them.
There was no love on my husband’s face as he threw the crumpled up money directly at my feet, no repressed passion or hurt. It was pure maliciousness and eagerness. You see, he was leaving me with our toddler and new born for a 4 foot 9 inch leopard-print-spandex-wearing Italian from the Jersey Shore… and no, I couldn’t make this up if I tried.
His reasoning? That he hadn’t found me attractive enough to get an erection since our second child was born some 6 months earlier. He said he couldn’t look at me the same because, unlike with our first born, he actually was on the receiving end for our second’s birth which means he saw the glorious miracle of birth up close and personal. He actually told me that, although I had lost the initial baby weight, he couldn’t get that visual out of his mind and it terrified him from ever returning into the once inviting valley between my legs.
I stood there, crumpled money on the floor, crying my eyes out, as he told me he had found someone else. That he didn’t know where he was going; he just couldn’t live with me anymore. I, in turn, told him I didn’t need him, or his money. That I would be fine without him.
He left that night and moved in with his mother.
Six months later I had finally picked myself up off the ground. My husband and I had a schedule of visits and weekends set up to be with the kids and I was ready to move on.
My husband saw this, saw my new-found energy and enthusiasm and began falling in love with me again. He wanted to work things out and I said I’d need time. He continued to date Jersey Shore, along with an ex he met up with a few times (I found that one out through my oldest child… lovely night that was) and I had finally found a man who could take me out without commenting on the lack of lingerie I had on under my dress.
I was in limbo and I can’t keep from thinking that I should’ve just buckled down and slammed the door in his face. I should have known that 3 years later we would end up in the same place we are now… only there is no man who doesn’t care if I wear lingerie under my dress, there is no enthusiasm for life, there’s just the thought of the inevitable moment when he walks out the door again.
I’ve tried to forgive my husband for moving out and leaving me for another woman. I think I’ve succeeded for these past 3 years. But every time he’s late coming home or takes a shower as soon as he gets back from work, I wonder if my life and our marriage is doomed to repeat the past. And maybe I should have taken that crumpled up money and ran.
*Names have been changed, with the permission of the author, to protect identities.
Have you been in a similar position to Susan? Can you help with advice? Leave your comments: