For part 6, click here.
Where I left off last, Jon had technically left his wife. He spent that whole first weekend at my house, and Lily called his cell phone constantly. There were a lot of issues that needed to be worked out, but mostly she just wanted to scream at him. A lot.
Lily worked part time as a teacher's aid, there was no money for Jon to get an apartment of his own. She absolutely refused to go back to work full time - they had an agreement that their children would never go to daycare so she was going to be there for them before and after school. She rationalized that since none of this was her fault, she and the children should not have to suffer for his mistakes. He couldn't just come live with me full time as she needed him to be there to help take care of his children.
That weekend, Jon called one of his friends who lived in the same area of New Jersey. He had a house with extra bedrooms which Jon asked if he could crash in for a little while until he got things under control. His friend had just gotten engaged, so it was only a temporary solution.
Sunday night, I asked him how things were going to work out, if there was going to be a specific schedule, but he just didn't know at that point. Monday morning as we were both getting ready for work, I turned to him and asked, "Are you going to come back to me?". He promised he would, and he did.
There never was any specific schedule made, and Lily expected Jon to be at her beck and call at all times. I think the worst part of that time was when Lily sat the kids down in front of Jon that Monday to tell them he wouldn't be living there any longer. She told them that he didn't love "them" any more and a mean, evil lady had stolen him away from them. I was horrified.
From pretty much the moment he left my house that Monday morning, her phone calls to me started again. She would leave messages at my house when Jon wasn't with me, voice mails at my work when he was. When he was with me she called his cell phone constantly, he always answered. At one point it was 11pm. We were getting intimate and he answered the fucking call. I was furious. He tried to rationalize that there might have been an emergency that involved his kids. I responded that she knew my home number - if it had been an emergency she would have called that if he didn't answer his cell. He was totally torn, and didn't have a clue of how to handle it. I knew for a fact by then that he didn't have a pair of his own, but I still loved and wanted to be with him, and I really empathized with his need to protect and take care of his kids.
Not having a schedule meant that I never knew when I could make plans, or what we were going to be doing at any given time. Jon and Lily settled into a routine where he would go to their house and help out with the kids a few nights a week, then spend a night with me. When I say help out with the kids, I mean he went there straight after work, they all had dinner together, he helped with homework, he helped with dishes, he helped with laundry, he helped put them to bed and he stayed there until the kids were asleep. His kids didn't fall asleep right away so most nights he was there past 10pm. Which is about my bed time. He expected me to be awake to take his phone calls when he left there, and was upset when I wasn't. He even continued to do all the yard work on the weekends. I tried to explain that this whole situation wasn't normal.
I mean, where do I begin that this wasn't normal? I was so torn between feeling he should be there for his kids to help make this transition easier, and the fact that when couples separate, there should be some kind of separation. I argued that Lily only worked part time, why would she need so much help with the cooking and dishes and laundry. I was a single mother who worked full time, I got it all done on my own, including my own yard work. I was obviously extremely biased and judgmental at the time. Like I have said before, I had developed an unhealthy hatred toward this woman. I couldn't understand why she still needed her husband for all these things because it was getting in the way of MY relationship with him.
Lily said to me at one point, "just because your son has never grown up with a father doesn't mean my children have to". That floored me, because it was true. Jon tried to rationalize the time he spent in their home as being a good father, because that was also true. He said that doing the dishes and laundry was helping take care of his responsibility of what his children used and needed. That was also true. But it still wasn't normal.
I was having a really hard time wrapping my head around what role I was supposed to be playing. For a while, I played the supportive girlfriend role, taking whatever I could get and being happy for it. That lasted a couple of months. We spent Thanksgiving of 2000 together with my family. If I recall correctly, Lily threatened to put the kids in her minivan that weekend and drive them up to CT so they could witness their mother kicking that mean, evil lady's ass. She never showed up.
That December, Lily upped her game. She announced that she was taking the kids down south to visit her sister for Christmas, and Jon couldn't do a damn thing to stop her. In the meantime, she had starting working evenings at a local home goods type store, so Jon had to be there to watch the kids while she worked. She made sure she was on the schedule every Thursday-Friday-Saturday for the month before she left. Obviously, they needed the money, but she made sure to go out with her girlfriends on Friday and Saturday long after the store closed. That meant that if Jon wanted to come up and see me, sometimes he couldn't even start to make the hour and a half drive until after 2am.
This all came to a head the weekend of my 30th birthday. My older sister had made plans with me and Jon to go out for my birthday the Saturday before Christmas. I had a sitter, and Jon had made certain in advance to tell Lily that that day was off limits. She not only scheduled herself to work that day, but made sure to call me and taunt me about it. She called my answering machine at home and told me that she had every intention of ruining my "surprise" 30th birthday party as my being in her life had ruined her 40th birthday that past summer. Shortly after, Jon called to tell me that he had to bow out of our plans that night.
I asked him, "Jon, are they throwing a surprise party for me tonight?". He admitted that there was a party, but he couldn't be there. He swore up and down that there was no one else who could babysit his kids that night, he begged me to forgive him in advance. Dumbass that I was, I did forgive him. I forgave him for telling Lily about the party so she could ruin my surprise, I forgave him for not showing up to the party, and I forgave him for not showing up at my house until 4:30am. Lily had stayed out as long as possible without pulling an all-nighter.
I forgave him. This and so much more. These are the things that I think about when I ask myself, "what was I thinking?". "How did I not see the signs?" "Why did I keep going back for more?" "What was wrong with me?"
16 hours ago