After the texting incident with Lauren and the "whatever" with Elizabeth (to this day, I still don't know the whole truth of what happened...I know they kissed and he swore that was all except he said that he accidentally touched her chest while rolling up the window on her side in his truck for her...1-he has automatic windows...2-he has a control for the passenger side window on his door...but I refused to argue it because my heart couldn't take the truth), I had changed.
The same night I took my rings off and put on the coffee table in front of Brandon after finding out he had cheated on me again with a teenager, he got on his knees in front of me and begged me to put the rings back on, swearing his fidelity to me, again. I was empty. I felt like I had no choice. I didn't want to be alone. I vowed for better or for worse. My chest was pressing so hard on my heart it was hard to take one single breath. I prayed for death.
The next day, I told my brother everything. He never said a word, he just walked out. I told Brandon he was going to apologize to Victor, face to face, like a man, since he couldn't be a man to begin with, much less a husband to me. I came home from work that day and found Victor and Brandon sitting on the front porch step talking, the same front porch step I sat on the night before, wondering how I was going to wake up the next day.
Days passed. I continually needed reassurance that there wasn't going to be a third time. For the first month, Brandon was more than sympathetic to my insecurities and my frequent outbursts and questions. I became depressed. On weekends, I would sleep half the day away. I stopped doing laundry. I stopped washing dishes. I would not help him with the dogs. In my mind, he wasn't a husband to me, so why should I be a wife to him? I continued to watch him and check his phone. It was so stressful having to babysit a grown man 24/7 and it was hard to trust him over the smallest things. I felt like I could not leave his side.
I continued to gain weight. I had no self confidence and found myself looking to Brandon for whatever self worth I did have.
I am a touchy/feely person. Just a simple touch, hug, a holding of hands, makes my heart full. Brandon used to do all of these things before we were married but it soon ended. I would tell him what I needed, even bought the 5 love languages book, but he wasn't willing to put forth the effort. He simply stated, "that's not me".
After Lauren and Elizabeth, I started depending on sex to make me feel better about myself and our marriage. I never understood why he did not want to have sex with me but wanted relationships with everyone else. It made me feel worthless. Every time he would tell me, "not tonight" or "I am too tired", it hurt my feelings and made me wonder where else he was getting it from.
Every year, we would go to the beach with my family for a week in May. Brandon, loving to fish, would go to the pier everyday. Last year, before dinner, he and my brother came home talking about their trip to the pier that day. They had met this man and woman. The man was deaf and the woman knew sign language. They weren't a couple. The woman, Traci, was married and the deaf man, Jeff, lived with Traci, her husband Carl (who was also deaf), and their daughter Shana. They lived in a town 30 minutes away from the pier and came every night just to fish. That eased my mind a little.
I went the next night to meet the new found friends. They seemed really nice! Surely a married woman with a child wouldn't want to break up another marriage! Traci was about my height, with dyed reddish hair. That night, she was wearing cute sandals with capris and a dark brown carhardt jacket. Jeff was skinny, with shaved blond hair, and a distinct gap between his 2 front teeth that would show as he was signing to Traci.
I was easily mesmerized as I watched them communicate through sign language. That night on the pier was the last night of our trip. Brandon exchanged numbers with Traci and Jeff, then we headed back to our cottage. I thought it was harmless. I didn't really enjoy pier fishing and it was something Brandon liked so I thought it was good for him to have friends that like to do the same thing. When we got married, he blamed me when he lost contact with his friends from his hometown because he had to move. If he would've been a man, he would've prepared our home, but again, it was left up to me to do. Luckily, my family owned a single wide trailer and renovated it for us to live in.
That night, on our last day of vacation, marked the beginning of the end of what was left of our marriage.