We dated for 4 years and had what I thought was a great relationship. We were both well-established professionals who both owned homes in the same neighborhood and both with daughters in the home. Her daughter was 11, and mine was 16 when we met.
We had actually planned to get married, build a house, and raise the two together. We planned the house build because she had recently been diagnosed with a neurological disease that would eventually put her in a wheelchair, and need something ADA friendly. During the planning stages, I began doing landscape and construction projects on her home to increase the resale value. All in, I invested roughly $30K USD into the home, running everything through my side construction business for tax, permitting, and resale purposes. We had a contract that “payment” would be made upon the sale of the home. I produced invoices for each and every project, but never pushed for payment because of the prior agreement.
Fast forward 6 months, we’re looking at property to develop and finalizing drawings on the home when I began feeling ill. I couldn’t eat, constantly vomiting and passing blood. I began noticing that my abdomen looked swollen, which was odd because we were both very clean eaters and were in the gym every day. So I went to the doctor and began having tests done.
During this time, she began having small cognitive issues, and the stress of her current position was exacerbating her condition, so she took a $20K per anum cut in pay along with a lesser position inside the company.
After a month or so of different tests, and a biopsy, it came back that I had a golf ball-sized tumor in my stomach, and would need to begin chemotherapy. So I began chemo and radiation treatments, which made me, expectedly so, extremely ill. She was spending time helping around my place on the weekends and staying over more, to the point that they were both at my home, more than theirs.
At this point, I suggested that we go ahead and put one of our houses on the market, and move in together until the new house was built. I have great supplemental insurance as well as a long-term illness plan, so using that coupled with the sale of one of our houses would push us through comfortably, and help ease the financial stress on her.
Shortly after this discussion, she became extremely distant. Her daughter wasn’t coming down and hanging out with mine anymore, she had excuses for not getting together. She quit driving me to treatments and stopped staying over.
She then dropped a bomb. A sentence that will forever be burned into my psyche:
“I love you, but I can’t see myself taking care of someone this sick in the long-term, and I don’t think we should see each other any longer.”
IN. A. TEXT.
It broke me. I won’t lie. This was the first woman I had ever opened up to and planned a life with since my wife died when my children were 1 and 3. However, I tried to be mature about it. I forced myself to understand her position and to accept what I could not change.
I calmly, the next day, gathered all of her things, packed them neatly, loaded them in my truck, and took them to her house to leave on the back porch while she was at work, in order to avoid any awkward exchanges.
Walking around the back and under the porch cover, I sat down a box, and saw her in her back living room, on the couch having sex with a man that she had introduced to me as a life-long friend. I had dinner and drinks with this man and his girlfriend. We had gone on vacation with them, as well.
I never spoke of the incident with her, and simply sent her a text later, explaining that I would leave her things on my side porch to pick up at her convenience.
I discovered 8 or 9 months later from his now ex-girlfriend, that they had broken up due to him confessing that he had been sleeping with my S.O., dating back to about the time we were finishing drawings on the new home.
Now I’m pissed. Revenge time.
At this point, I had finished chemo and radiation for the time being and was feeling healthier. I was going through some much-neglected paperwork when I ran across the file that contained $32,680.00 in unpaid, long overdue invoices, which were promptly sent to my attorney to begin lien proceedings on the home. It turns out that I couldn’t have done this a moment too soon because she was set to put her house on the market.
Coupled with interest over the course of, what was then, 19 months overdue – the invoices were hefty. That, along with the agreement of settling them when the house was sold and attorney fees, left her with roughly $10K after the sale of the home and settling her current mortgage.
She promptly had to back out of the purchase of another home and moved in with her oldest daughter, SIL, and 2 grandchildren. She also had to leave her job and begin receiving disability.
I ran into her a little over a year ago, and she looked as if she had aged 20 years, and was in the wheelchair we had talked about. We chatted cordially but briefly and I excused myself and went on with my day. A few days later, her younger daughter called me and spoke of my running into her mom, and could we hang out sometime. I gave a vague answer, thanked her for calling and again, went on with my day.
The ex then called me a week or so later, and began apologizing for leaving me as she did. Again, cordial but short, I thanked her for calling and hung up. She began texting and this went on for several weeks until one she asked if I could ever see us rekindling what we had, to which I replied:
“I can’t see myself taking care of someone so sick in the long-term. Remember the box on your back porch? Did you think that (life-long friend) brought that over to you from my house? Good luck to you. Goodbye.”