I have been divorced for 4 years.
I no longer miss my past life and live a peaceful life today with my 2 wonderful girls. I’m enjoying my time home with them, not really homeschooling them because I have been out of touch with the MOE syllabus for so long, but just spending quality time with them, baking and teaching them how to sew whenever we have time.
This is an important year for them, one taking O levels and one taking A levels. But they are sensible and I don’t need to worry much.
I thought I had it all last time: a complete family with 2 beautiful girls and a husband who not only brought the dough back, but was a responsible, caring husband and father.
We were not well off, but he was a senior employee in an MNC and it was enough for us to afford a condo, car and helper. Essentially slightly above-average middle-class lifestyle. He was drawing a 5-digit income, and I stay at home as a full-time housewife.
Things started to go wrong.
We occasionally had the normal arguments, but we started to quarrel really bad, over small things and big things, like what he said were my bad habits and how he put up with for so long, how he was coming home less often for dinner. Everything I said seemed to trigger him. He became like, more irritable towards me. He’s always been quick-tempered, especially when stressed. But that night, he said “if we are so not happy, then file for divorce”, and stormed out of the house. I didn’t recall him saying divorce ever before. That was the first time. I was shocked and hid in the toilet to cry.
His behaviour did not improve over the next few weeks, unlike last time, and we stopped talking to each other. Very often, he did not come home for dinner, and took the car out on weekends. It hurt me, and it hurt my girls.
I did not know why, but my women’s instinct kicked in. I did not want to suspect him, but I just wanted to be sure. I thought I knew him well. We had a joint account but I didn’t check it for years; he was the one handling most of the household finances. I did not even know how many credit cards he had.
I went down to the bank with my IC.
Looking at the bank statement, most looked ok, except I noticed that every month his credit card payments were huge, like $3k+, $4k, even $6k. Did we spend so much on the family every month? I went home and searched his drawers. I knew he liked to keep paper receipts and bills for tracking purpose. His credit card bills were shocking, and my hands couldn’t stop shaking. Tiffany, cartier, miu miu, plus many many expensive restaurants around town. I never once received any of those things, and never went to those places with him. A Gucci purchase was even made during Vday. What did I get on Vday? Not even a stalk of flower.
And the thing that I almost fainted? A merchant on a credit card bill which I googled was some online dating website. I cannot remember the name now, but the front page was about looking for sugar babies or something. It did not take much googling to know what a sugar baby or sugar daddy was. The man I share a bed with is actually a sugar daddy to probably a 20-something “sweet young thing”?
I wanted to puke.
I did not believe anything about sugar daddy only looking for companions. A wife is supposed to be your lifelong companion. Cheating is cheating period. How can he spend our family savings on a dirty woman? $3k, $4k every month? We were supposed to be saving for our girls’ uni next time.
I clipped together all the bank statements, credit card bills, and highlighted all the transactions in red color. I stayed up to wait for him to come home that night. Throughout the afternoon, my emotions were all mixed up, from shock, to anger, to disgust, to sick, then to numb. But still I wanted so much for him to deny it. To prove to me that those credit card spending was for his company, that the sugar daddy website was for his friend or whatever. To hug me and say sorry his bad temper was all because of work stress. To say he still loved me.
In the end, divorce was the only way out. It was a nightmare. Without my mum, sisters, church and support group, I don’t know how I could go through that period. 16 years of marriage, gone just like that. I always thought marriage is like a big tree, growing stronger as it becomes older. But something can go wrong, a moment of weakness, ego, out of control, and years of marriage can collapse just like that. Its actually so fragile.
It was scary to build my life from scratch again. And after so many years out of workforce, I had to learn how to write resume, send job applications all over again. I’m grateful that my company is willing to give me a chance. My salary is just enough to get by, and he still gives maintenance every month. I’m also very thankful to have a place to call our own. Its not a condo, but having my girls by my side is the most important. He may be out of my life, but I will never forgive or forget.