Wednesday, April 05, 2006

one never really knows...

...what goes on in people's lives. Co-workers. Fellow church members. Neighbours. Sometimes even relatives.

We've been friends with this particular couple for years. Him for about 25 years, her about 15. We went to each other's weddings, we lived through the pregnancies and births and birthdays of our kids. We took several family trips together. Ate at each other's houses. Went out for supper innumerable times. We figured we knew them. Then about 3 years ago, she calls me, yelling at me like I've never been yelled at before, totally out of the blue, basically telling me she will from now on no longer consider me her friend since she can't trust me as I've been circulating false rumours about her and her husband. W-T-F? I was speechless and profoundly hurt. It became a difficult situation as we were still seeing them, albeit a little less (my doing). She treated me with contempt all the time, very subtly, in a way only women pick up, men don't see it, hubby was telling me I was imagining things. My gut feeling was telling me something was amiss. Then we started hearing rumours that they weren't living together anymore, that there was cheating going on, etc. I decided to confront her about these rumours but also about the way she treated me. She agreed to meet. She gave me this big sob story on how her husband was cheating on her with a co-worker, how he had an apartment downtown, how she was afraid of loosing him, etc., etc. She made me swear not to tell her or my husband about all this. She never really apologized for her behaviour towards me. Nevertheless, we cleared the air somewhat, I vented off my feelings and when I said good-bye to her, I wished her luck and felt a sense of closure which is a good thing. We would never be friends like we were before and that was sad, but life can be like that, occasionally friends/acquaintances come and go. From then on, we no longer saw them. Called the husband to come talk to us but he refused. More than a year later, he calls us and ended up coming here a few nights ago. It was extremely ackward at first. Turns out the wife said all sorts of vile things to turn him against us. So we had a lot of issues to clear up. Then we got his side of the story. The marriage was doomed from the honeymoon forward. Having premature twin boys didn't help any. She had a few flings on the side and so did he. They lived apart alternating weeks between the house and the apartment so the kids would stay in their home. Meanwhile, they presented a front of a happy marriage, inviting people over for supper, going on trips together, etc. So they played this charade for at least 4-5 years before finally signing separation papers. Now, so many things that happened are making sense. But we also feel betrayed, lied to and unable to trust them totally anymore. Hubby and I are saddened by it all. Sad that their life together turned out like that, sad to have lost a great friendship and mostly sad for those boys. They always had a sad look to them and no excitement about anything. They were pretty much only into video games. They are now 13 years old, a difficult time at best, and most probably dissillusioned about relationships. Their grandparents went through divorces and now their parents who tell them listen guys, there's a 50-50 chance a marriage will work out so don't set your hopes up too high. What a discouraging future to lay out for them.

And then this happens in our neighbourhood. A father kills himself, his estranged wife and their 3 kids. The kids go to our neighbourhood school. The oldest is in 6th grade like my daughter and have been in the same sports team over the years. All the kids in class today wrote this huge card with their sentiments to be sent to the families. It hit them hard. A lot has been written in the area newspapers about this tragedy. A lot about how the husband was abusive and threatening and stalking her even after she moved out with the kids, cops had been called numerous times over the years, restraining orders had been issued, a few days before the incident, the wife called the cops saying she was afraid for her life and that of her kids. That in itself is a whole issue, how this whole tragedy could have been avoided if her fears had been taken seriously or something more could have been done to protect her from his threats. The one tidbit that really perplexed me was how his family and his co-workers viewed him as a nice fellow, hard-working, loving his kids and NOT aware of the marital problems he was having. One never really knows what is going on in people's lives. Are they being truthfull or putting on a mask?


nancy said...

Floored. Just floored.

Hugs - and lots of them. The real kind, I would never lie about that.

Silver Creek Mom said...

OH My Friend. I read about this and wasn't sure how close to home this was. I guess it was. And yes one never knows what goes on behind closed doors. What we see out in public is not what can be going on at home. Just makes me apperciate what I have.

Maybe we should meet for coffee one day next week? I'll see if I can get my little one looked after. MY treat!


DaniGirl said...

I knew that was in your neighbourhood, and am deeply saddened to hear your kids knew those poor children. I was crying on the bus when I read about it... it's awful, just awful.

You're so right - you just never know...

BeachMama said...

Another sensless tragedy. I cry everytime I read about this or hear about this horrible turn of events. I am so sorry that your kids have to feel the loss and that you may have to explain to them what happened.

As for his family sticking up for him, I suppose every mother wants to believe that their kid is perfect. But, really after all that happened can you truly say your son is not a monster? I just don't think so.

And sorry that you had to find out that your friends were lying to you. I guess they thought they were doing right by the kids but, in the end, they most likely ended up hurting them more.
Sending hugs your way!