Thursday, July 24, 2008

There's No Easy Way

July is one particular month of the year that brings me back in time with both sadness and joy in my heart. Let me share with you why.

July 23, 1999: My husband (let's call him T.) was unusually quiet during dinner. I could sense that his mind was far, far away. After eating I confronted him in our room and I couldn't believe what I was hearing. He tactlessly confessed that he impregnated M. (our Quality Controller) and he decided he'll be leaving me to be with her.

I felt a bomb has just been dropped. I closed my eyes, hoping that someone would wake me up from this terrible nightmare. I prayed "God, tell me this is not really happening. Tell me I am just having a bad dream. "

When I finally got the courage to open my eyes, T. was already putting his clothes in his travelling bag. I hurriedly got his clothes out of the bag and we started a tug of war with his clothes.

Then he told me--"Patawarin mo ako, Ma. Nagsinungaling ako sa iyo. Hindi talaga kita mahal. Naawa lang ako sa iyo kaya kita pinakasalan." (Forgive me, Ma. I lied to you. I didn't really love you. I only took pity on you, that's why I married you)

My whole body just went numb. I reminded him that he courted me for two years before I agreed to his marriage proposal, that he already brought the wedding rings when he came home from Saudi Arabia. And why should he pity me when I was having the fun of my life as an independent single woman?

He acted as someone who has just been injected with anesthesia. He told me he could have loved me, but not completely. I asked him if he really loved M. He answered not really, but nobody will take care of her. I then asked him what about Gio, our 2-year old son and the 5-month old baby in my womb--didn't they deserve a father's love? Why would he choose to be with his mistress and not us? He said I have my parents to take care of me while M. has no one to turn to.

When he was about to leave, I knelt before him, hugged his knees and begged him not to abandon us. (Looking back, I can honestly say neither Vilma Santos nor Maricel Soriano could match my tear-jerking performance that night.) I promised him I would find a comfortable place for M. and ensure that responsible people will take good care of her. After 3 hours of begging and crying, he decided to stay.

But in my mind, I said to myself "no man will ever abandon me and my children. When the right time comes, I will be the one to leave my husband."

The very next day I was with T. and Gio talking to the social worker in Haven, the Center for Unwed Mothers in Alabang. She asked me why her boyfriend cannot possibly marry her. With T. sitting right beside me, I answered her that M.'s boyfriend was a family man.

Fast forward to May 14,2002: True to my word, I left my husband after 3 years of preparing myself to live without a man in my life. With Ate Ella and my 2 children in tow, we boarded the Super Ferry and escaped to Cebu, my sanctuary when I was still single. If you want to know about the full story of our GETAWAY, you may go to my blog archive and click Aug. 12, 2007.

When T. arrived home at around 11:30 PM, his clothes and personal belongings were already waiting for him in the garage. After reading my farewell letter on top of his bag, he had no choice but to leave. He didn't even get the chance to enter the house because he had no key and I wasn't there to open the door for him. We were, at that time, living with my parents.

I formally filed my Petition for Marriage Annulment on Aug. 14, 2002. The Public Prosecutor thought it was too early to file, having been separated for only 3 months. I patiently explained to her that the whole decision-making process started on July 23, 1999. It took me 3 years to finally realize that enough is ENOUGH.

When is enough "ENOUGH"? Watch for it in one of my posts (heh heh heh...).