“I met him on a Tuesday and from there we were inseparable,” recalls Jenn Maronek in her story on her personal blog. She thought he was the one, the perfect piece of puzzle that was missing from her life. Although a 30-year-old nurse and homeowner, the US woman felt like her life wasn’t complete without being married.
So, scared that she’ll end up forever alone, she decided to do something about it. Little did she know that the perfect man was going to cheat on her one year after they got married.
Jenn picked up the phone one morning and said: “I’m done.” On the other side of the phone, her fathers said “finally.” That was when she decided she was better off alone.
This was not the relationship in which she could stay or try to save it by working it out. However, for Jenn, it was her beginning. At 33 years old, she finally discovered something else about her. Let’s see her story.
Jenn turned 30 and although she had a successful career and owner her own house, she felt like something was missing. Having someone by your side to see every day when you come home was what she wished.
“As I approached my 30th birthday, I was deathly scared that I would be alone forever and never get married. I’d ask myself, ‘Am I too old for love? And if not, where is he?” wrote Jenn in an article about her marriage for Love What Matters.
Jenn was confused and was always reminded that she was single. She thought maybe she did something wrong: “He’s not here yet, so I must be doing something wrong,’ I thought to myself.”
Even more, she felt ashamed that she was 30 and still single. So she decided to put herself out there and see maybe her fortune will change. Big mistake!
She decided to try new things and go out more. “I got on MySpace, went to a local single’s mixers, and joined an underdog sports team.”
On a Tuesday night, she met her husband while playing mini-golf. They continued dating for six weeks and Jenn though he was the one.
Jenn’s six dates were filled with golf, beers and laughter. She learned that he was a golf pro, and a “a wannabe comedian who would say the most inappropriate and random things.”
“I discovered things that absolutely attracted me to the bad boy in him I could fix,” recalled Jenn who would regret her choice in the end.
“He was tall and handsome with an infectious laugh, and blue eyes that penetrated into the depths of all sorts of places,” wrote Jenn. They were very different, actually. He never lived alone, and he was six years younger than her.
She figured out that as a nurse, she was used caring for others, so caring for this man that she was falling for didn’t bother her.
One year after being a couple, he got down on his knee and asked her to marry him. Everything was finally falling into place, thought Jenn. But things changed three months after they got married.
“My husband quit his stable accounting job to pursue a career in film making, even though he had no experience and no job offers,” said Jenn. So what happened after that?
Although in modern marriages both partners provide income and take care of their home, Jenn found herself in a situation where she was doing everything at home while her husband was jobless and doing absolutely nothing in the house.
“I did all the laundry, the dog walking, poop-scooping, cleaning. I made the bed, folded the laundry, got the mail, and paid the bills.” So she put the foot down.
Jenn told her husband that she won’t do laundry anymore for him. He may have thought that his reply was funny: “‘We will see who will win this,” he said.
“I have enough underwear to last me a month. I think you’ll break before I will,” added the husband. “Was this all marriage was? Daily chores, arguments to win, financial imbalance, and unmet expectations?” Jenn asked herself.
Jenn started reading ‘Relationship Rescue’ by Dr. Phil, trying to make her marriage work. At six month of marriage, she was now in marriage counseling.
The therapist asked them “Where do you see yourselves going together in this marriage?” and her husband’s answer was shocking.
“My 24-year-old husband confessed that he thought the hardest part was simply asking me to marry him and he didn’t have any direction for us to move towards together,” said Jenn. That should have been a big red flag.
Then, his other confessions were even more shocking. “He felt that having kids made you dead inside,” she recalls. But this was only the beginning.
“He said he was in a selfish phase and just wanted to be a creative artist,” wrote Jenn. She told him that he needed to get a job, but his response was “that I cared more about money and didn’t care or really know who he was.”
Then, he blamed her that he didn’t have a job because of her, and if she moved to California with him, he could start his life as a video/film producer. You’d say Jenn said no and filed for divorce, but no… She agreed!
Jenn recalls feeling “angry, trapped, and resentful of his words, but there was an even bigger part of me that wanted to call his bluff. So, we moved.”
She rented out her house and moved to California. But a week after getting in California, her husband flew back to Seattle to work on a film project. That was another big red flag Jenn didn’t think much about…
Now Jenn was stuck in California, while her husband was back home in Seattle. “He spent two weeks in Seattle by himself, in a ‘cabin in the woods’ where he didn’t have cell reception.”
Jenn wrote that her husband would contact her “once a week for a few minutes, when he had reception.” But the receipts she received on her credit card statement told her otherwise…
“Receipts for bars and a motel showed up on my credit card statement,” wrote Jenn. She felt something was off and realized that this man was cheating her, less than one year after they got married!
After those two weeks, her husband came back to California. He had his cell phone in his hand and was texting someone when Jenn showed up at the airport.
Jenn kept making excuses when her husband was clearly giving her all the signs that he didn’t deserve her. All Jenn needed was the wake-up call. And it did come when her husband came back in California.
It was clear that her husband’s work trip was actually an affair. When they got home Jenn asked to see his phone. His reply was “You’re not going to like it.”
“Shaking and my heart pounding, I grabbed the phone out of his hands.” She was shocked! As she scrolled through the messages, she felt nausea.
Messages like “I miss you, what are you wearing, what are you doing, are you still thinking of me, when do I get to see you again,” made Jenn mad at herself! But that was only the beginning of her nightmares…
It was now 2 years after they first met, and one year after they got married. Now, at 32, Jenn felt like “the universe brought me to my knees.” However, that was her husband, who began abusing her.
“Or rather it was my husband, who drop kicked me to the floor of our apartment in San Francisco during a domestic fight over avocado sushi and this mysterious other woman in his life.” What did she remember on that day?
Not only did her husband cheat on her, abuse her emotionally and spend her hard earned money, but he also became abusive. Once confronted on the bad life choices her husband had made, he lost his temper.
“I remember lying on my back with my husband’s hand on my throat,” wrote Jenn. She then said that she “stopped fighting as I heard myself say, ‘Let go.’ And so did my husband.”
Jenn realized this was not the relationship worth fighting for. As he let go of her neck, she let go of their whole relationship. The next morning, Jenn felt emotionally numb.
She tried to mask the bruises from the previous night and carefully planned her next moves.
Realizing that she was better off single, Jenn transferred her money into her bank account, and broke her apartment lease.
Jenn called her “dad to tell him, ‘I’m done.’ His one-word response? ‘Finally.’ My dad drove from Seattle to San Francisco to pick up me and my belongings, and we headed home.”
“I never questioned my decision to divorce him. I never considered staying to work it out. I had already drained my energy and my bank account trying to work things out,” wrote Jenn.
“My divorce was finalized on August 9, 2010….the day I refer to as ‘8, 9, 10…The END.” She realized that it wasn’t the literal end, it actually was the beginning of HER.
Jenn said that her priority became self-care, and soon after that, she began running and training for a half marathon. She even hosted a divorce party with her friends and donated the proceeds to a local women’s shelter for domestic violence.
As a single woman, Jenn built up the courage to travel alone to Australia. If she could do that on her own, then she could do anything in life. That’s how she opened up and got to do things for herself.
“I discovered freedom of self-expression and self-reliance. I plugged myself into spiritual groups, learned tarot, opened myself up to the wisdom of the universe and all its blessings.”
Jenn has found her joy, gained more confidence and felt accomplished. “Finally, I was doing things for me, taking care of myself, exploring different outlets, and learning about myself.”
Nine years passed since her divorce, and although they were hard, but she found enough strength to carry on. “My fierce independence, inner strength, spiritual faith, my family and friends, and my beloved cat Simon kept me going.”
So what did Jenn finally learn after being married for a year and going through those terrible moments?
Although she was hurt, it was this experience that taught Jenn how to find inner peace and learn that she didn’t have to be married to be accomplished or happy.
“Through it all, I am happier than ever because I found my inner peace and belief in the person I’ve become. I’ve learned how to forgive, trust, and listen to my intuition.” And her story is not over yet!
“I’ve discovered the things that light me up, that fuel my soul and what I’m most passionate about,” wrote Jenn.
Jenn added in the final words of her article that she is “now 42 and have not found my partner in life, but I stay open and in love with me.”
“Lessons from my husband’s mistress are, in fact, my greatest spiritual teachings. It is where I learned how to move away from codependency to living life as a spiritually successful single,” added Jenn in her story on her blog.
“And as they say…my story isn’t over yet,” she concluded. Even though Jenn doesn’t meet that someone special, she is ready to take on the world, no matter what!