It made me burst into tears.
By Colleen Sheehy Orme — Written on Aug 05, 2023
Photo: ShotPrime Studio | Shutterstock
Tears rolled down my cheeks as I sat in my friend’s driveway. I tried diligently to brush them away and stop more from falling. We were on our way to another friend’s girls’ night party. I didn’t want to walk in with red puffy eyes.
I didn’t want anyone to know I’d been crying. I left my home excited to go out.
But as I sat waiting for my friend, I grabbed my phone.
The car door opened. “What’s the matter?” asked my friend who was upset to discover me this way.
I handed her my phone because I couldn’t get out the words. I was incredibly caught off guard by my husband’s text. I knew I shouldn’t be but I was. I knew he was mean. I knew he was punishing me. I was still startled.
I had recently told my husband that I was leaving him.
It had been a long time coming. As I always say, “I beat the horse, turned it over, and beat it again.”
I tried absolutely everything to rescue my relationship. But it takes two people, not one, to achieve that type of outcome. It had been five years spent attempting to get my husband’s attention but he didn’t seem to care.
He was enraged that I was divorcing him.
He immediately withheld food and school supply money. It was August and I needed to get our children ready for the school year. He didn’t care. He didn’t care about neglecting to feed our children either.
“I know Dad is mad at you,” said my son. “But what about us? We live here too and we need to eat.”
It was painful to watch my teenage son attempt to absorb that his father was willing to hurt his own children to hurt their mother.
He understood two parents who don’t get along. My children wanted me to leave their father. But they didn’t understand this degree of abuse and cruelty. My family, friends, and neighbors brought us food and groceries.
I was grateful but it was demeaning and humiliating for a man to put us in this position. Worse, my husband helped himself to all of the food. When I attempted to tell him not to, he scoffed at me and said they all owe him. I’m not sure why he believed my family and friends owed him anything.
“He’s a jerk,” said my friend as she read my husband’s text.
“I know,” I said. “But this feels like such a cold and cruel thing to do.”
“Don’t let him bother you,” she said. “We are going to go have some fun.”
She had been an incredible friend and a wonderful support system for me. She was always showing up for me. I knew she was right.
After weeks of withholding food money, the text read: “I just hocked my wedding ring. You now have $267 for groceries.”
Of course, we had plenty of money. That’s what caused my tears. I knew my husband has done this out of pure retaliation. I knew he was trying to hit me below the belt. If I was going to leave him, he was going to hurt me. He was going to punish me.
He was going to make me regret it.
Little did I know this was child’s play compared to what he would do next.
But this is what happened to my husband’s wedding ring when I told him I was leaving. Once I dried my tears, that text proved one thing … I had made the right decision.
More for You:
Zodiac Signs That Are Terrible At Relationships (And Why)20 Little Things Women Do That Guys *Secretly* LoveThe Perfect Age To Get Married, According To Science5 Little Ways Men Wish They Could Be Loved — Every Single Day
Colleen Sheehy Orme is a national relationship columnist, journalist, and former business columnist. She writes about love, life, relationships, family, parenting, divorce, and narcissism.