On the other hand, I did not have a good image and example of what a marriage should be, and I saw a lot of violence between them. One time she threw a colander of hot wet spaghetti at him, and burned his face. My husband came from an imperfect family too, but his parents definitely loved each other very much. Many of the problems early in our marriage stemmed from what I experienced as a child. Eventually we worked things out and were in counseling for a while. This year we celebrate 40 years of marriage, and we stayed married because we wanted to, and we love each other.
Then, he started having problems paying his share of the rent. In fact, entire months would pass with me being the only one paying rent and he would give excuses that his employer wasn’t paying him on time. I didn’t want to jeopardize our friendship, but I let him know that it was an unfair burden on me to have to cover 100% of the rent, even though he was working. He also began letting his friends come and stay at our place, often for weeks at a time and they weren’t paying rent either. More than once, I had to tell him to have his friend move out, if they wouldn’t help with rent or other bills. His friends were typically people who had been kicked-out of their own apartment for not paying rent there either.
I had strong suspicions that he was stealing money out of my wallet, usually about $5 or $10 at a time. I had a job where I made good tips and often had cash in my wallet. I noticed that money wouldn’t “go missing” from my wallet if I put it away in my bedroom, instead of leaving it in the living room, so my suspicions were somewhat confirmed. One day, he called me in a panic. He had a family emergency and needed to catch a flight to California because his sister (who I had known from the day she was born) was in a hospital on life support. I loaned him the money for a plane ticket and he flew out that night.
I went through his room and found a flight itinerary. He hadn’t gone to California to see his sister, he had gone to Disney World in Florida with his girlfriend, with a stop in California to attend a Star Trek convention afterward. The departure date/time matched exactly the night he had flown-out. I also knew the scheduled date of his return. Needless to say, I felt betrayed. I had loved him like a brother and his sisters like my own. For him to lie to me just for a trip with his girlfriend was the ultimate slap in the face, especially since he still owed me for several months of rent.
I called his boss to ask when he was expected to return. To my shock, I was informed that he was no longer employed there and hadn’t been for months. This explained his not paying rent and why he would steal money from me. I then called his girlfriend’s parents to find out what they knew. They told me that the trip to Disney World had been planned for months, so it wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment decision on his part. They had paid for his plane ticket and the hotel room, so the money I had given him was just for spending money.
One of the few regrets I have in my life (which is a very good life), is that my dad did not live to see our beach home. It’s just a small condominium, but it’s very nice, and faces out on the Gulf of Mexico. You see, he used to take me on long rides to look at lakeside lots in Michigan, and always wanted to buy one to build a small place on the water. Go sleep for two nights without moving your things, in the top room or garret which is what it is called oh so romantically in nineteenth century novels. And then decide how you feel.