First the Cheating, Then the Crazy
I've done a few columns lately about wives gone wild. Today, we have a husband run rowdy.
Emma says that every time she and her husband Barney had an argument, he would punish her by going to a singles event, meeting some woman and stringing her along.
"The first time I caught him was after I had a funny premonition that something was wrong. I checked his cellphone records, and there was a saved message from a woman saying she was 'worried' about him because he hadn't followed through on his promises to call and take her out to dinner.
"I called her and asked her why she was worried about my husband. She asked me if I was his ex-wife from Pennsylvania, the one who had taken his son out of the state. I replied no, I was wife No. 2 and she should take care to not become wife No. 3.
"She didn't believe me until I invited her to my house that night so that we could have a glass of wine while we waited for him to walk through the door. She declined my invite."
Emma was ready to call it quits at that point, but at the urging of Barney's parents, she agreed to go to marriage counseling.
"A year later to the day, he approached another woman, this one at his job." Once again, Emma found out by checking his cellphone records. "There was a saved message from a woman who said she was available to see him after 7 p.m. I called her, and we talked. She was very nice and indicated she had not gone out with him and would not do so now that she knew he was married."
At that point, Emma had had enough. She filed for divorce.
"And the crazy began."
Barney called the police every week to report Emma for yelling at him, emailing him, posting things on his Facebook page and abusing his son. He put threatening notes on her car -- and then denied it, even though they were in his handwriting.
He went to family court and claimed she abused him, his son and her dog. He said he needed an order of protection against her. They were still living in the same house, and she would find him standing over her bed. She found a handgun in his drawer. He would come in and go out at all hours of the day and night, making all kinds of noise, and then be gone for weeks at a time.
"He punched holes in the walls of our home. He drilled holes in my pool pipes. He poured turpentine all over my lawn and destroyed it. He stole every conceivable electronic item, and what he couldn't take, he asked for in the divorce. He even asked for the dog he hadn't cared for in the five months since he had moved out.
"I lived through hell and am glad I was finally able to sign a settlement agreement a few weeks ago. I still have nightmares of all the ugly, lowdown, vengeful things he did to me. He figured that if he made it difficult, I would just stop the divorce and stay. I'm glad that I'm one of the lucky ones who got out sooner rather than later."
Have you ever been involved with a crazy person? Send your tale, along with your questions, problems and rants to email@example.com. And check out my e-books, "Dear Cheryl: Advice from Tales from the Front" and "I'll Call You. Not."