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As I said, I stupidly forgave Jon for fucking up my 30th birthday party. A week later was Christmas. His wife took their children down south to visit her sister, and Jon was devastated by this. He was already the kind of person who didn't deal with Christmas well, he apparently had moped before and after the holiday for years. I'm assuming it was something like what we all felt when we didn't believe in Santa any longer - too old for toys, too young to enjoy the spirit of the season. Except he never got over that anticlimactic feeling. I don't know if he thought I was going to magically make it all better, but I couldn't.
We made it through Christmas Eve with my extended family okay, but Christmas morning Jon was a basket case. I tried to buy him quirky, thoughtful gifts that I thought would make him happy, but I failed miserably. On the bright side, I had much better luck with my son! And that should have been what I was focusing on. After we finished opening presents, I started cleaning up and preparing for my family to come at noon for brunch. Jon had decided to go back to New Jersey to spend Christmas day with his parents, and I assumed he was upstairs getting ready.
I went up to check on him when I realized I hadn't heard the shower running or any noise from him in a little while, and found him curled up in the fetal position on my bed crying. My heart was broken for him because he was so sad, so I curled up around him and held him for as long as I could. I finally had to say, "I have to get moving, I have my parents and sisters and nieces coming in an hour." He convinced me to take a shower with him, and I felt so bad, I couldn't say no. Needless to say, when my family arrived there was basically no food ready for the brunch buffet.
That was always how it went with Jon. I felt like I wanted to please him so badly that nothing else mattered. No matter what it was that he wanted, I almost never said no to anything. I don't understand how he functioned on as little sleep as he did, either. Sometimes he showed at midnight and woke me up, and then he would set the alarm for an hour before we actually had to get up for work. Sleep deprivation is a torture technique used for keeping people disoriented, and I swear it started taking its toll on me after a while.
We settled in to a routine, as I had mentioned before, of him spending many nights every week at the family house, and a night here or there at my place. This never changed for the duration of our relationship, by the way. No matter where he was living, and he finally ended up moving back in with his parents, he could not ever justify having the kids over to stay with him. He always went there.
At the end of that December, he changed jobs, hoping to alleviate the strain on our work relationship. Lily had started leaving messages on the main work number's general mailbox like "Fancy Schmancy is a fucking cunt!" among other things. Jon thought the new job would actually make him more money, and ease my boss's angst about our personal relationship interfering with his office.
Over the months that followed, I tried really hard to put the work in to what I thought was our relationship, and I thought I was being supportive. I kept drinking more and more, so in retrospect what I thought was being supportive at the time was really just numbing myself in an effort to not pick fights with him over what I knew was not right.
I took him away for his birthday at the end of March, 2001 to Newport, RI. I spent a small fortune on that weekend that I didn't have, and found out two weeks later from Lily that he had been trying to get busy with her again. The main reason I knew for certain that they hadn't actually done the deed was because I knew she would have told me about it. Jon admitted to getting too friendly with Lily on a couple of occasions but swore to me that he was committed to making things work with me.
Like a fool, I believed him. I begged him to stay away from her, make new arrangements where he took the kids outside the house to help out with them. He kept saying that the best way he could still be a good father was to be there in the house to help out with them. It was too soon, he argued. It's been six months, I argued. Not to mention, how could Lily possibly have any time to get over him when he was in her fucking face in their house every night least 4 times a week?!
Remember when I said that in the beginning, every step I took backward made him come rushing forward, and every time I got complacent was when he "fell back in love" with his wife. I still felt that pressure, and so did Lily. He was playing us both. And we both fell for it. I found out after that for every bad thing he told me about Lily and their relationship, he was confiding in her all the bad things about me and our relationship.
The therapist that had been giving them marriage counseling had agreed to treat Jon alone when they split. The therapist flat out told him that he needed to give up both of us for a while and work on himself before he could commit to either of us. Needless to say, he promptly gave up therapy.
8 hours ago