“I didn’t really love him,” Deanna confided. He was about to be drafted into the army and was afraid of being sent to Vietnam. “He was nice enough, and we had known each other for a long time, so I figured, what the heck? And we got married.” Turns out, we couldn’t have kids. He had experimented with a variety of drugs and they affected his fertility. Had I known that at the time, I’m not sure I would have helped him out so generously with my life. I was always bending to his needs. First he needed to be married and so we did, and then he couldn’t have kids and so we didn’t.
But years passed and we made a life together for almost thirty years. We each worked long, hard days. Then I was diagnosed with a serious, terminal disease. He couldn’t handle it and I discovered he was having an affair with the next door neighbor. I realized it was time for me to make decisions about my life based on my needs.
I would leave him but started to fear how I would make it financially. How would I prepare for being on my own after so many years? Where would I get money for food? I started hoarding food. I figured if I could pack away enough food for six months, I would have enough time to get my feet firmly on the ground. Hiding the food in the back closet became problematic; I was running out of space. And then it struck me: Gift cards! I started buying extra gift cards to the grocery store each week. He didn’t notice the extra $25.00 in the food bill and they were small, so I could hide them pretty easily.
He married the next-door-neighbor. I took the dogs and moved out west. I’m walking into my own sunset. The one I designed. A life based on my needs. I’m living the life that makes me happy now.
Has this happened to you? What advice would you give to someone in this situation?
Please share your response in the comments section below.