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I Stayed

Blindness to a Toxic Relationship

I Stayed

I was with my children's father for eleven years, five of those we were married. He began cheating on me 3 months into our relationship, but I continued to give him chance after chance. I believed his apologies and sorrows for his ways. I thought if I just toughed out his immature days, it would surely improve. I legitimately believed that I could gear his focus to me instead of others and that since we had children it could all work out.

I stayed even though...

  • he hadn't kept a job for more than 6 months at a time; he was constantly late due to always sleeping through alarms because he drank to much the night before; he even had a felony from when he was 17 and stole someone's credit card and used it;
  • he talked to females flirtatiously on the phone after I went to bed; had lengthy 'relationships' with random women he would find online; and on numerous occasions found text messages after a hook-up (one time he apologized for running out because the girl was on her period and didn't tell him first);
  • he came on my back while I pretended I was still asleep, but the bed was shaking and it woke me; another time I was asleep on the couch and I woke up to him cumming on my cheek; he would do it anywhere he wanted...children's toys, the floor, the bed, the wall, etc. and would never clean it up; I even caught him masterbating in the basement at my baby shower event (not even our home);
  • he punched me 15 times in my arm; punched me in the face; pulled the wheel while I was driving; choked me; pinned me down; broke items in our house; threw things at me; called me names continually;
  • I saw a video on his phone of a girl in a work freezer showing her breasts with him directing her; I learned that he accepted a blow job from my (now ex) best friend; he had a 3-month relationship with a co-worker that he continually denied; I saw a naked picture of his boss on his phone that he took from sneaking on her phone (he took a photo of a photo

Then...I was anonymously informed of an on-going (5-month) relationship with yet another co-worker. I had suspected (per usual) that something was going on. He denied day after day. He changed his passwords. He was never where he said he was. He barely ever came home. This had to end. It wasn't a choice anymore; it had to be final. I kicked him out.

My son started seeing his truck parked in a church parking lot every night. It turned out that the woman he was in a relationship with only lived a quarter-mile away from us. I was so angry that he continued to see her and I wanted to ruin what they had. So...remember how I said he took a photo of a photo of his naked boss...turns out, she is his girlfriend's best friend. So, I exposed the truth. I called the boss and told her everything. He was then kicked out from staying with them. He began sleeping in his truck and hit rock bottom. He felt depression for the first time in his life.

I felt badly for him and caved into letting him sleep on the couch. One morning I woke up to him naked beside me in bed. I flipped out and I told him that he was not allowed to do that. We may still be married, but hell no man. After that he moved into the basement. During that time, we attempted to be civil, but there were still numerous fights and is was beyond toxic.

I had extreme stress at work on top of the personal life strain and I reached a point that I could not function any longer. He took our children out and when I called, I heard his girlfriend, he denied it, but I knew. I lost my marbles...took a handful of Percocet and attempted to climb an electrical tower, but failed due to short limbs. The next day, I told a co-worker and I was taken to the hospital and admitted for a week in the behavioral health unit.

It was over.

The marriage, that was actually never there, ended.

It took me eleven years to realize that it was okay to not be with the father of your children; that it was okay to not have a successful marriage; that I still had a family without a husband; that my children would still love me; and that I could live a better life.

I cannot express my gratitude for the end of my marriage. It completely changed my life and gave me the best possible outcome. I eliminated the toxicity in my life, my husband, my job, fake friends, and became the women I've always wanted to be. I am free, I have my dream job, I fell in love with a man who treats me well and accepts my children as his own, and I am confident in the woman I have become.

It is alright if you fail, because you learn and move forward. Life is what you make it and if you are blind to a toxic relationship, listen to your loved ones. They're probably right and their protection may help you and guide you to a brighter future.

Christine Larkin
Christine Larkin
Read next: 'Chocolate Kisses'
Christine Larkin

I am a full-time Proposal Specialist with a Bachelor's Degree in English with a concentration in writing. I enjoy writing in my spare time along with caring for my wonderful children!

See all posts by Christine Larkin