Firehouse hanky-panky sparks new life for wife
BY CHERYL LAVIN firstname.lastname@example.org May 21, 2012 9:38PM
Updated: July 1, 2012 12:44PM
Are families disposable like diapers, paper plates and razors? Can you really substitute one for another and just go on with your life?
Diane was married for 30 years to Bill, a fireman. They had three children together.
She received a phone call at work one spring day from a man who asked why her husband was calling his wife, Susan, more than 60 times a day. Diane asked him if Susan had just returned from a vacation in Colorado. He said yes. So had Bill.
“I put two and two together.”
Susan was a paramedic at Bill’s firehouse. She was also married to a fireman. When Diane confronted Bill, he told her that Susan’s husband was crazy. Diane didn’t believe him and told him to get out. He moved out, but he begged her to take him back.
“Long story short, he told me he didn’t want to start over — blah, blah, blah. I believed I owed him a chance to correct the situation. I believed him when he said he would no longer see that woman. So I let him return home.”
A month later, Bill called Diane and told her that Susan’s husband had shot himself in the head in the couple’s kitchen in front of him while he and Susan were drinking coffee. He left behind a teenage son and a preteen daughter.
“That woman buried her husband and continued the relationship with my husband. She even called him while the wake was going on.”
Bill moved out of the house again. He told Diane he was living with a friend, but he was actually living with Susan at her house with her children. Diane calls them “his new family. ... We became the disposable family, and he disposed of us.”
Diane says her son became suicidal and her daughters began to struggle with addiction issues. “And Bill pretends he’s done absolutely nothing wrong. He sleeps in a dead man’s bed and lives a dead man’s life. His family has welcomed this woman and her kids with open arms, as if our 30 years of marriage was nothing.
“My kids and I are trying to pick up the pieces, and we do realize that we’re so much better off without him. He was a paycheck, not much else. I have to laugh. When I asked him why he did this, he said someday he would write me a letter. Really?
“I struggle daily with the fact that not only did he cheat but that it mattered so little to him. It meant nothing to destroy his family. Who does that? Truly, what kind of person does that? What kind of people are they? Not people I want in my life. He destroyed so many lives; I’m ashamed to have the same last name.
“I guess I will forever be somewhat insecure, but believe me, being alone and enjoying life is better than being in a relationship that was so sick.
“By the way, I wonder if there are more women who have lost their husbands to female firefighters and paramedics. After all, the sleeping quarters seem somewhat questionable. The fire department of the past — when everyone drank and partied in the firehouse — is alive and well, even today.”
Is there hanky-panky going on in the firehouse? Send your tale to email@example.com.