Every week, a chapter of my book, “Husband, Liar, Sociopath: How He Lied, Why I Fell For It & The Painful Lessons Learned” (available via Amazon.com, just click on the title or book cover) will be published here on Lovefraud. To read prior chapters, please see the links at the bottom of the post.
Chapter 44A: A Second Honeymoon
As the next school year unfolded, it was as if Paul and I were on a second honeymoon. He started seeing a therapist weekly, and his dedication to change was apparent immediately. When an old college friend contacted me to let me know she would be in the area and wanted to know if I wanted to get away for a girl’s weekend together, Paul assured me he would look after the kids so I could go. And he did. Prior to that, he had never watched the kids for more than a few hours, always saying that his work commitments were too great or cancelling at the last minute. Books I would enjoy continued to show up at the house, ordered by Paul. He even planned dinners together and time to go to shows—just the two of us. He started arriving home earlier, allowing him to invest time in Jessica, Daniel, and me.
At first, I did not know whether to trust if the new Paul was real or not. After six months though, Paul’s change seemed so profound and consistent that I became certain I was one of the “lucky ones,” someone whose marriage had been rescued from disaster. As in a novel, I was the long-suffering wife whose selflessness and faith that the man she married was still there, albeit buried for over a decade, were rewarded by her husband finally seeing the light and realizing how much he loved and appreciated her.
I continued to build my strength, to see my therapist weekly, and to take steps to reenter the workplace. I networked to find potential jobs in the area and chipped away at the lengthy process of becoming certified as a teacher. I felt a new life and a new happiness unfolding. I felt lucky. Jessica was now a freshman in high school and excelling academically as well as in her favorite sport—lacrosse. She played on a high-level competitive team. Daniel was in seventh grade. As a result of being labeled and ostracized by his earlier difficulties in life, making friends had always been challenging for him. Daniel poured his energy into school and karate, achieving great success at both, but he still had a sad air about him, because he wanted greater social acceptance than he was able to achieve. Ella and Mr. Wrinkles remained Daniel’s constant companions at home, his emotional anchors.
Paul was transformed, and I was regaining self-respect and independence. At last, life was heading in the right direction. That February, we vacationed in Utah without Anne-Marie and her family. It was a place where I could enjoy cross-country skiing and we could all go downhill skiing, Paul’s favorite sport and one that Daniel and Jessica also enjoyed. It was a magical time. I cross-country skied high in the Wasatch Range, and Paul hardly worked at all—a rarity. For the first time in a very long time, it felt like we were a family.
On the flight home, Paul reached for my hand, leaned over, and whispered in my ear. “Let’s move to the mountains,” he said. “Let’s start fresh, in a place we’ll all enjoy. Let’s get away from the suburbs. You’ve always wanted this. Let’s move to Utah.”
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Identifying names, places, events, characteristics, etc. that I discuss here and in my book have been altered to protect the identity of everyone involved.