So far, I’ve told you about Shady Fucker #1 and the three men I dated after my heart attack.
Now, here’s the story of Shady Fucker #2.
After dating Chuck, Steve, and Mitch, I went back on Match.com.
I hadn’t been on Match for a few years. And once I’d gotten back on, I thought my prospects looked pretty dim.
But there was one guy who I thought might be okay. So, even though one of my best girlfriends had gone out with him once, I agreed to a first date.
Let’s call him “Randy.”
It started off great! He was smart, and attractive, and our conversations flowed. We had so much fun on the first date, we immediately had a second date. I was happy that he and my girlfriend hadn’t hit it off because he seemed to be the guy for me.
It seemed, at the time, that we had very deep conversations. He told me all about his ex wife, who sounded like a total bitch, and about his ex-fiance, who he’d just broken up with.
He described his ex-fiance as a “psycho.” He also told me that he’d had an affair while he was married to his first wife. And he blamed it on her. He said she drove him to the affair because she was so frigid.
And on our third date, he made me dinner at his place. As we pulled into his garage, I noticed empty beer cases, from floor to ceiling on three sides. My first thought was “Holy shit, he drinks a lot of beer,” but I thought I’d just wait and see.
So I started watching how much he drank. I’d have a glass of wine and he’d have about four beers. But he was never obviously drunk. At least he seemed to handle it well. But it really bothered me.
So after two weeks of dating, I mentioned it to him. And he agreed.
Randy explained that he was lonely and bored and got used to drinking while he traveled for his job. He said he really wanted to drink less. And I believed him.
After that chat, I went to a medical website and read that 14 drinks a week was okay. So he agreed that was the plan. No more than 14 beers a week.
So our relationship became a whirlwind. After two months he started talking about marriage. That seemed way too soon. So I insisted we not get engaged until after six months of dating.
So that’s what happened. He traveled two weeks of every month for work, so I went to Czech Republic with him. And we got engaged. In Prague.
That trip was a blast. We went to a ski resort with some of his Czech friends and celebrated New Year’s eve that year. Going from 2012 into 2013 was wonderful. He was so sweet during that time. He knew I collected Polish Pottery, so one day we drove to Poland so I could buy more.
We got back to the US and started planning a wedding at a Methodist church. He was a non-practicing Methodist, and I was Catholic at the time. But, I had no plans to get an annulment of my first marriage, so Methodist it was! We went to the pre-marriage classes with the minister and I loved planning everything.
I’d had an Elvis impersonator at my first wedding reception, and I wanted this one to be fun and memorable too. And it was.
In fact, the wedding itself was great. We had about 100 guests, and the choir sang my favorite song, “Kyrie,” by Mr. Mister. I even had an acapella group like Pentatonix come and sing too.
And the reception was a hoot. I had a personalized cake made, just for Randy. And the centerpieces were made of novelty candy like gum cigars, candy cigarettes, wax lips, and candy necklaces. And the honeymoon was lovely. We went to a beach in North Carolina.
Before the wedding, I’d defended my Master’s thesis, left the radio station, and started teaching part-time at the local university.
Things were great for a while, but about six months into the marriage, things started to fall apart.
I’d posted a blog about being ghosted by the doctor and my heart attack. When Randy read the memoir, he was furious. So furious in fact, that he secretly booked an appointment with his therapist.
He felt I should not be talking publicly about a relationship I’d had with another man. He said he needed therapy to get a handle on my bad behavior.
The “strip you, lick you and ride you like a mechanical bull” line from the story sent him over the edge!
I thought it was a playful and creative thing to say. It was also the most critical line in the story. That line is what led to being ghosted. It was the line that created the rejection.
My second husband did not agree. He insisted it was highly disrespectful and no man would ever want to hear such things about his wife’s past.
So, I started going to therapy with him.
Lucky me. Another shit-ass therapist. He was unethical.
This therapist had worked with Randy for years and then became our marriage counselor. Every time I went to a session it seemed like I was watching their bromance.
Randy complained about me during sessions. And I complained about him. I knew he was lying about his amount of drinking.
The final straw was when the therapist told Randy that if he could stop drinking for 30 days, he wasn’t an alcoholic.
The marriage continued and became an even worse nightmare. Randy had become really jealous and insecure.
For example, while working in radio, I met many famous country singers. And I had a pic taken with a duo called Florida Georgia Line. And Randy’s response when he saw the pic was to tell me I was “celebrity humping.”
He was also obsessed with my ex-boyfriend, Steve. Steve was the professor I dated for a year. I was still FB friends with him. Our social media friendship consisted of me liking his posts occasionally. No private chatting. No flirting. No shady fuckery.
But although this FB friendship was completely innocent, Randy stalked me on FB. Then he’d drop passive-aggressive comments like, “Oh, I saw you liked Steve’s post today.”
It was so odd not to be trusted. Frankly, I was baffled. I’d never been with a jealous man before.
No matter how often I explained myself, Randy was very threatened by the idea of Steve. Once, Randy came unglued because I ran into Steve at a huge party.
And after we got married, he often berated me if I talked about my past life or past relationships. He had no tolerance to hear anything.
And when Randy went out of town, he got super pissed if I went out in a group with other women and men. He said it was not appropriate behavior for a wife.
Again, I was baffled. It was okay for him to hang out with male and female work buddies, but not okay for me to do the same.
Things went downhill quickly.
We traveled to Europe a few more times, and during our last trip, I used his phone to Google something and saw that he’d been looking for apartments.
He also Googled “how to deal with a narcissist.” When I asked him about the latter, he said that yes, he thought I had a personality disorder.
Again, I was baffled.
Overall, it was a horrible trip.
And before that last trip to Europe, he did his best to convince me that he was not an alcoholic.
He claimed I was just a controlling bitch.
And I have to admit, the gaslighting worked for a while. I started to wonder if he was right. So I tried to convince myself that it was me and not him.
Then, about a month after we got back from Europe, I planned a surprise birthday party for him. And he drank so much that I woke up, again, to the fact that he was lying about his level of drinking.
So I decided to go back to Al Anon. I’d gone to meetings, on and off, during our marriage.
I was convinced I could “Al Anon” myself and the marriage would improve.
I planned to let go of what he was doing and just focus on myself. I knew he’d have to stop drinking, or not, on his own terms.
It had gotten to the point where I was constantly counting beer bottles in the recycling bin and I wanted my life back.
So, that was my plan. Lay off Randy about his drinking and watch things improve.
But, I didn’t get that far. Not even close.
In the next blog you’ll hear about what happened next. And it ain’t good.
(But I promise it gets much better at the end. I did get my happily ever after.)