Updated: October 28, 2012 6:40AM
For most of their 22-year marriage, Tracy supported the family while Kyle “chased his dreams” and “ran around like a 15-year-old.”
As he got older, he became distant and started criticizing everything she did and how she looked. He would call her names.
“He once said I was the fattest mom on the block. I figured he was going through a mid-life crisis.”
And then one Saturday morning she was doing the laundry when she found a ticket from a Ferris wheel in the pocket of Kyle’s pants. It said the holder could view his picture online.
She followed the instructions and saw a picture of Kyle with his arm around a woman. “I went into shock, then I woke him up.”
He claimed they were part of a group and the others didn’t want their pictures taken.
Tracy started looking for evidence of infidelity. She found an empty shoebox and receipts for a shirt and flowers.
“He had no money for groceries or to help with the kids, but he could buy new clothes and flowers and go to a carnival.”
Tracy confronted Kyle. “After much discussion, we decided to separate. But, he claimed he wanted to work things out.”
One night as Tracy was walking to her yoga class, she saw Kyle’s truck pull up in front of a neighborhood tavern. A woman got out and went into the bar.
“I confronted him, then walked into the bar and confronted her. I said, ‘Do you know who I am? Do you understand I have children? Do you know that I live a few blocks away?’ Then I walked out, crying my eyes out and literally shaking.”
One of Tracy’s friends happened to be driving by and stayed with her until she quieted down.
“Then I calmly walked in the house, packed up everything that belonged to him, and put it on the porch. This was the beginning of the end.”
Tracy says she was able to get through with the support of her family, friends and co-workers. She moved so her children “didn’t have to see their dad’s truck parked at a bar 24/7 when he had no time for them.”
After she moved, she lost more than 50 pounds and got a new job. She goes to counseling once a week, and she and her children attend family counseling.
“I won’t say this has been easy because it hasn’t, but I’ve found peace. There’s a lot to be said for peace and karma. Did I mention karma?”
Tracy has advice for anyone going through a divorce.
† Get tested to be sure you don’t have an STD.
† Get counseling for you and your children. There are many agencies that have sliding scales based on income.
† Take care of yourself. Exercise. Find a hobby.
† Lean on family and friends.
† File child support orders with the state. In case of non-payment, they can garnish wages, suspend driver’s licenses and put a lien on property.
† Whether you’re religious or not, pray for strength, wisdom and peace.