"I thought we signed up for the same thing... I thought our relationship was perfectly clear. You are an escape. You're a break from our normal lives. You're a parenthesis"
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
And Found Myself Alone Alone Alone Above a Raging Sea
Shannon’s Story – Part VIII
This is part VIII of a series of sub-blogs written from my best attempt at writing from my wife’s perception of our life together. If you are reading this blog for the first time I would request you go to the beginning (here) and start reading or go to any entry that looks interesting but don’t start here as this entry is a bit of a diversion from my previous direction. If you are reading Shannon’s Story for the first time part I is here.
That summer of ’04 was a roller coaster. When I was on the road with Brent it was a paradox between the bliss of being with him and the guilt of not being with my girls. What type of image was I building for them?
At home it was escalating tension. Ryan and I no longer even slept together. I would go to sleep and just see him the next day as he would crash in the guest room or the couch downstairs. As I said, work was not going well for him and I was worried there would be a crash soon but the affair kept me from lingering on that thought for too long.
As I also said he interviewed for a job outside of DC in early July. Ryan had left a somewhat dejected man with that gallows type look but he came back energetic about this great new opportunity that would change things for us. My attitude: “not going to work this time buddy, I’ve been down that road before!”
A week later Ryan did get the job offer. He had a week to decide, or rather a week to convince me. Actually, I have to admit, I seriously considered going right then. As exciting as this new relationship with Brent was for me it was already mentally exhausting. Trying to mesh our schedules together so we could hook up one night a week in some Mid-West hotel was at first an adventure but it can get old quick. It would be so easy just to hit the re-set button on life and go back east with Ryan.
I have to admit there is a lot of good in my marriage to Ryan, he is the emotional opposite - calm, cool, organized, and balances my impetuosity. At work Brent is very similar to Ryan and was probably a comforting attraction. However, personally he is my equal on impetuosity which is why the relationship is so exciting. But also why it is such a challenge, at times we simply burn each other out. With Ryan I debate; with Brent we fight, yell, scream, cry and then make up. One time Brent even got down on his hands and knees and begged me to forgive him for some argument we were having - that was hot!
But as far as moving with Ryan I had to hold the line; I had to have some control. So I continued to say no.
Additionally, things with Brent, though at times stressful, could not have been going better. We had a conference near the small town where he grew up and so one afternoon he drove me out and gave me a tour. Seeing this to me was a big step forward in our relationship. It was like getting a tour of him, a window into how he became the man I now loved. I was starting to see a person not an object of desire and this was becoming my main relationship as a woman (of course my girls will always come first).
The end of Ryan’s week came and he agreed to turn down the offer. I felt relief and disappointment at the same time. Ryan was a dead man walking; did I just sign his death warrant?
Luckily for Ryan this company gave him an additional few days to think about the job.
And then Monday, August 2nd, 2004 hit! I had gotten a whisper of what was going to happen but it was still a shock. Without going into detail that was the day that Ryan came to the realization that to paraphrase “he should seek other opportunities.”
I can’t describe the range of emotions I felt when Ryan called me. I was out of town so I had another long Mid-West drive to contemplate what just happened. Fear, anger, embarrassment, sadness – what was to happen to us now? We had a roaring argument when I got home, or more appropriately I let him know where he could go and I’ll tell you it was to be nowhere near me! I told him to take the job in DC. I couldn’t believe this lucky bastard was going to get what he wanted again! I was the one who worked hard and earned my way to the top. Ryan screws up and his punishment – get a better job closer to home! Screw HIM!
And so that is how quickly a life can change. One day comfortably unhappily married and in an extra-marital relationship, the next not sure where I will be living in 3 months.
What I did promise myself though was that the punishment that Ryan seemed to be avoiding at present would surely be delivered by me! Call me a bitch if you want but I have my pride!
Ryan had about 1.5 months before he started work back east. He got the house ready for sale, got it on the market, and got it sold quickly (these were the days went houses still sold). Fortunately he negotiated a 60 day closing.
So here is life as of late August, 2004. Ryan will be moving east in 2 weeks and will be in temporary housing. I will remain with the girls until we close on the house in 2 months. Ryan and his mom would come back as much as possible to get ready for the move and help me. Ryan also worked out a situation with a girl who worked at our daycare and babysat to stay with the girls overnight when I traveled. So while difficult it was OK for now. I had threatened divorce so Ryan was in full accommodation mode.
In late August we all flew to out to what would be our new town and Ryan sprung for a really scenic hotel – again really trying to accommodate. This really was a charming location and I wanted to like it but didn’t want to leave the relationship I had in the Midwest. We also looked at some houses. When I came back for a visit in late September we settled on a house and made an offer.
Everything was coming together for that lucky bastard! And because I tend to be disorganized things were moving beneath me and I was loosing control quickly.
Finally, I just gave up, called Brent and said I was quitting. He was shocked. Later I spoke with my former boss (a good friend) who now worked directly for Brent. I was surprised when he said that Brent said to him “I can’t believe she is leaving for him (Ryan).” As my friend said that I felt sick to my stomach, I just couldn’t accept this – who am I if I let Ryan have everything he wants yet again. I called a lawyer and filled for divorce the next day.