Cancer Saved My Life

I received the transcript from my spouse’s deposition today, and I started reading it.  I was floored on the 1st page, when he spoke about how our divorce came about.

I remember the moment as if it happened yesterday.  It is forever seared into my brain.  It was 9:20AM.  I was in the kitchen preparing to cook my eggs for breakfast.  He had been to the gym,  showered and changed, and suddenly appeared in the kitchen.  He said to me “what are we doing here?”.    I put down my eggs, turned and looked him in the eye and said “I don’t know what you’re doing here but I’m here because I love you”.   He then said “well, I don’t love you.  I want a divorce.  I’m going to move out, but I will continue to pay all of the bills, and on Mondays I’ll take you to your doctor appointments and to run errands, just like I have been, so nothing will change except where I live.  Would you like me to cook your eggs?”.  Direct quote.  Things progressed from there.  Was there another woman?  Of course not.  etc…

In his deposition my attorney asked him to confirm that he asked for a divorce on March 30, 2013.   Here’s how it went.

  • Question (Q):  I have in my notes — and you tell me if you remember — March 30th, 2014, you told [her] that you wanted a divorce.  Does that sound right to you datewise?
  • Answer (A)  That’s the right date. I don’t  think that’s how the conversation went, but  that’s the right date, yes.
  •  Q. You discussed getting a  divorce, though, on or around that date?
  •  A. Yes.
  • Q. All right. How did the  conversation go to the best of your memory?
  •  A. To the best of my memory, I  asked her what we were doing. Her response  was, I don’t know, I get nothing from this  relationship.
  •  Q. Okay. Did you discuss a  divorce at that point?
  • A. We didn’t discuss a divorce at  that point. I think that the thing that I  said was I’m just not sure what the difference  is, whether I’m here in this house or at some  crappy apartment


OMG……I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to read through the rest of the deposition! 

When I first read this I was outraged.   How could he not admit that he stood in our kitchen, said “I don’t love you”, then asked if I’d like him to cook my eggs?   Was he insinuating I asked for a divorce?  In claiming I said “I get nothing out of this relationship” he appears to be claiming it was I, not he, that asked for a divorce.  I don’t remember what I had for dinner last night but I can replay these few minutes word for word.  WTF?

The generous (or delusional) side of me wants to think that I caught him off guard, so he’s not really clear what happened.  After all, there were countless times during our marriage when he came to me and said “what are we doing here?”.  On each other occasion I had answered as he wanted.  I said I agreed, things weren’t right, we needed to fix it, what should we do?  This bought him time to screw around with his latest GF, while we “pondered” the future of our relationship.  Then, when he tired of her, he’d come back to me, profess his commitment to our marriage, solicit my agreement to “work on things” and we’d be back to status quo.

On this day I did not respond as I was programmed to do.  I looked him right in the eye – a definite No-No when dealing with a covert narcissist.  I expressed my love in no uncertain terms, clearly and with enough inflection to convey that I meant it.   Then ….  I stopped talking.  It was all up to him at that point, a position he didn’t often find himself in with me.  I’m a talker, especially when anxious or in a contentious situation.  This made my silence powerful.

He was caught off guard and, in that silence I believe he uttered the truth:  he did not love me, he wanted out, but he wanted out with as little blow-back as possible.

Why would he deny this?

As I pondered this I went temporarily insane.  I thought geeze, maybe he hadn’t meant to push it that far, maybe he hadn’t wanted a divorce, maybe it was I that made this happen and he was an innocent bystander?

Then I woke the hell up!

Was he trying to maintain the status quo using his catch phrase?  Absolutely.  Funny he remembers that sentence, word for word, right?  “What are we doing here”.  I never used or heard this phrase in any other relationship, but it cropped up all the time in my relationship with him.   Hmmm…….  That is the sentence he remembers,  yet the rest of the conversation escapes his memory?  

After I thought about this I realize the undeniable truth:  he needs it on record that it was I who wanted to divorce, not he.  Why?  It is what he has told his GF and who knows how many others.  “I would never abandon my wife right after her battle with ovarian cancer.  It was she who asked for the divorce” sounds much better than “I told my wife, who just finished chemo for ovarian cancer, that I did not love her and wanted a divorce”.  That second sentence, the real sentence, simply does not fit with who he wants to believe he is.  The real version of our conversation does not portray the knight in shining armour, ready to embrace and take care of his mate, that he claims to be.

My brother was visiting this weekend.  He has been by my side through this entire ordeal, and he has talked me off the ledge as much as my father has.   I asked him to affirm that I was doing the right thing, demanding that alimony be based on actual wages,  not lies, thereby slowing down the process.

He told me the following story.   My spouse had requested and/or done something inane.  In response, I fell apart.  I wrote to my brother and said “what did I do to make this happen?”.    My brother picked up the phone and started to dial my number, planning to say “stop being a pussy.  This has nothing to do with you, this is a guy trying to save his ass”, but he stopped.   As he thought about it he realized how damaged I had been to even suppose that I had been the cause of any of this.  He told me that part of him doesn’t understand why I would allow someone to walk all over me, then ask what I had done to cause it, but he finally understood that this was how I felt about my marriage.  I felt responsible for my spouses’ bad behavior.  I felt like I had done something so terrible that I deserved to be treated badly; I deserved nothing, I was such a bad person.

When I put all of this together I come to the undeniable truth:  my spouses statement is a self-serving lie, as were most of the claims he made during our “romance” and our marriage.   Furthermore,  it makes no difference if he has made these claims consciously or unconsciously.  All that matters is that he is so engrossed in his own wants and needs that he will say or do whatever is necessary, in any moment, to get what he needs.

That is Truth

In an odd way this is really freeing.  There has always been a part of me that felt like I had played an active part in all of this.  I was a pussy that allowed a bully to push me around.  I now see that I never had any control over any of this.  I was programmed, from day 1, to do what he wanted me to do, to respond in the way that propped up his fantasy.

Thank God I got cancer!  Cancer woke me up.  It was the slap across the head I needed to make me see that I have limited time here, and I need to live it right.  I need to be me; to stand up for me.

Cancer literally saved my life!




6 thoughts on “Cancer Saved My Life

  1. Haha both of you are almost writing on my behalf! My ‘food’ story is that after I decided to end it we cohabited for a bit and shared chores; I offered spaghetti Bolognese but unthinking threw fusilli into the pan and he had a major sulk! I offered to pop some spaghetti on for him if it were so important (just once) but he refused, ate only the sauce and loudly scraped his plate into the bin!! Didn’t he realise he could no longer guilt trip me over using the wrong pasta?!


  2. Wow- our husbands must be related. Yours drops a bomb on you and asks if you still want him to make your eggs. Mine didn’t do the actual bomb drop but when he found out I knew what he was up to he asked me if we were still having spaghetti for dinner.

    Liked by 1 person

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