Updated: Jun 25, 2019
So, we settled into being parents of our son during Spring/Summer/Fall 1997. I was so happy to have a baby that I shut out anything unpleasant regarding our relationship. My oldest child started Kindergarten, and I was back to work. Between work and my two sons, I didn’t have time to think about the negative aspects of our relationship, including the fact that I was carrying virtually all of the home-making and child-rearing responsibilities, on top of a full-time job.
We were living in a 3-bedroom duplex when our son was born. When he was about 5 months old, we had to move suddenly due to some insane neighbors. Since we moved so rapidly, we didn’t even have time to find a new place. The boys and I temporarily moved in with my mom, and my ex moved in with his parents.
While living with my mom, I started realizing how unhappy was with my son’s father. I had forgotten how to be “myself” and without having to put on the act every day, I started remembering who I was as a person. I once again tried to break it off with my ex-husband. Without going into specifics, he knew something terrible about someone in my family; if this information was released, it would have devastated my family member. My ex-husband threatened to release the information he knew if I left him. I didn’t want to be the cause of this family member’s grief, so once again I decided to stay.
When we “reunited” as a family in very late 1997, I was hopeful that once we were under one roof, that things would improve between us. Less than 2 months later, I found out I was pregnant with another child. We had been using birth control, so this was not planned at all. I was TERRIFIED to tell him, especially considering how he reacted the first time. I did tell him of course, and he took it better than I expected. I mentioned the possibility of us getting married, but he said he “wasn’t ready” to get married. I dropped the issue at this point.
I had our daughter in September 1998. I thought that certainly he would help me more since we now had 3 kids and I still worked full-time. Once again, I was mistaken. I was expected to do everything a stay-at-home mom does, while also holding down a full-time job. Understandably, I was so tired that the last thing I wanted to do was have sex.
Beyond just being tired, he was so unhelpful and insulting that even if I’d had the energy, I had no desire to be intimate. It’s hard to want someone who is not very nice. Don’t ever let me say “no” because he would rant and rave at me, telling me I was a “frigid bitch” and that our relationship was a “sham” because I didn’t want to fuck him every night. It got to the point where I’d avoid going to bed, hoping that he’d fall asleep and I’d be off the hook. Didn’t work, but not for lack of trying!
At this point, I resigned myself to “this is just how it is” and tried to make the best of my life. I poured myself into parenting my kids and advancing in my career. However, the older our kids got, and the longer we were together, the more it started bothering me that we were not married. I had cousins who had been with their men for much less time than my ex and I were a couple, and they were getting engaged and married all around me.
I didn’t realize this consciously at the time, but I think that what was bothering me the most was that I was starting to feel like I wasn’t “worthy” of being someone’s wife. Finally, I had a long talk with him about how I felt about not being married. He made fun of me, but a few months later, he took me to the mall and bought me an engagement ring. He never asked me to marry him, but it didn’t occur to me to mind. I was just happy that we were finally getting married. If I’d known how it would end, I would have stayed single.