Wednesday, July 14, 2010

How I Got Here (Addendum): Just When You Thought it was Over

A divorce should be the end of the story, right?  It wasn't.

Three months after my final court hearing I found out there was another story playing out parallel to my divorce proceedings.  Approximately six months after I filed for divorce he was arrested by a police detective posing as a 14- year-old boy on the internet.  My husband had been "talking" with this "boy" online and eventually traveled about an hour to meet him for oral sex.  When he arrived, he was met by the local police department...think "Dateline: To Catch a Predator" without the TV cameras.  He was arrested and charged.  He was convicted as a sex offender the week before our divorce was finalized. 

I should not have been surprised.  Eventually his actions were bound to escalate.  I was shocked and saddened but glad he had been caught.  I had worried about people he might hurt, but never had any specific knowledge or evidence that I could take to law enforcement or children's services.  He served 30 days in jail and had to register as a sex offender.  Now I knew why he dropped any requests for unsupervised visitation with our son.  I was incredibly sad that it came to this, but I did have a sense that justice had prevailed.

But that was still not the end of the story.

It was now almost four years from the day I found the list, two and a half years from the finalization of my divorce.  My furnace had a crack in the heat exchanger and had to be replaced.  I had taken the day off work to get quotes since it was October and getting colder every day.  The mail came and I saw an envelope from the Child Support Enforcement Agency.  My first reaction was that he had finally lost his job (I had always expected this to happen) and child support would be ending.  My only thought was NOW?  When I needed a $4000 new furnace?  When I opened the envelope,  I stated reading a motion from his attorney to end child support due to his death.  WHAT?  His death notice was attached.  I cannot begin to describe how this news affected me.  I was distraught.  I cried from the depths of my soul.  But I was also relieved.  It was finally over.

Over the next few weeks I was able to confirm that he committed suicide, read the police report and his suicide note.  I got some answers.  Basically he had created a new life based on the same lies and it was unraveling beneath him.  Even in the note he played the victim, took no responsibility for his actions and made hurtful comments towards me and his son.  It was sad.

I never wanted him to end his own life, but I was not surprised by it.  He was a sick man and he refused to get the help he needed.  Even if he would have sought out help, I am not sure he could have gotten better.  In some ways, his death finally gave me some closure.  He was no longer out there.  I did not have to keep wondering if he would show up some day and try to see our son.  I did not have to think about what he might be doing.  It was over.  Really over.

It has now been almost two years since his death.  I have been able to grieve his death and my loss in a different way.  I have been able to allow myself to remember some of the good things about him.  I have been able to continue to move forward.

The whole thing is unreal.  And tragic.  But it is real and it is part of my story.  My story is part of who I am, but it does not define me.


  1. Amazing.

    People call me callus when I say my husband's death was a blessing. After so many years od lies and being hurt by him, it is hard to feel otherwise. Certainly I grieve the man I loved, but he was long gone before he died.

    Good for you for sharing. I hope you're doing well.

  2. Does your son know any of this? How did he take all of this.
    I am sorry for your loss, more so of the loss you suffered due to his lies.
    You are amazingly strong.

  3. I hope you know that by you telling this story - others will feel less alone. You're strength and honesty is beautiful!

  4. Wow. I love how you ended this post; that it's part of who you are, but it does not define you. I couldn't agree more.

  5. Your strength in dealing with such issues is beyond courageous. I can not imagine the pain you have suffered emotionally because of your ex's actions. I am sure that your son will know just how lucky he is to have a mother such as yourself to show him how to have strength and endurance. I am so proud to hear how you have not let it define who you are, only you can do that. May God bless you and your family in all that you do♥

  6. I recently found out that my ex husband of 8 yrs molested my son, his stepson from age 9-12. My ex and I have one minor child together, a girl who is 10 now. I am in a custody battle until he is convicted of the 1st degree felony crimes he committed against my son who is now 21. Your story made me hopeful for a brighter future as right now I feel so isolated, nothing in common with any of my friends or family.

  7. Thanks for sharing. Divorce is the most painful thing I've ever experienced. It seems from what I read and based on my own experience, it's never straight forward or simple. I hope you and your son are having more good days than bad now and continue on the road to healing. God bless.

  8. You are very strong........

  9. Hi, my husband also died by sucide because he was going to go to prison for being a pedifile. I had no idea. The day that homeland security came knocking at my door and searched my house left me in complete shock. And a week later he was dead. He couldn't handle going to prison, and was extremely remorseful to me. We were married for 5 years and had 2 kids. I'm only 6 months into this nightmare. It's good to read your story and know that other women are going through this hard journey. I'd love to be able to talk more with you and see how you are now.

    Blessings to you and your son.

    1. I am doing very well. The trauma and loss stay with me, but at a much lesser degree. It's hard to see my son grow up without a dad, but he is a well-adjusted happy teenager now. It is truly a journey - but I believe that in the midst of all we cannot control, we can always control our attitude.