I'm not sure what parts of my life, the last two years specifically, I have blogged about.I think we finished around the time I had met Gavin, the one I wrote gooey sentiments for. I'm making his name Gavin*, so I can reveal more about my life and not compromise those in it too much. We are still together and very much in love, so I figure that he is a character I should probably flesh out a little more..
Here is a little of his story.. and the conditions under which we fell in love.
Gavin and I met purely by chance but fell in love twice, the first time was when I was employed by him as his Research Assistant and the second, (the more meaningful time) was when I decided that he was my special someone and settled down with him, and just him.
He knew (after a few halting confessionals on my behalf) about my love affair with Heroin and in return, he told me that he was married, but desperately lonely and unsatisfied after the years had passed in a loveless culture clash. I was shocked at the time, but then another part of me chastised myself for thinking a man of such high calibre would be anything BUT married - they simply broke the mould when they made my special guy.
Over double-shot drinks and polite hands that did not grope nor grab, Gavin illuminated his opinions on his own life, pausing more now and then to allow me to ask my ceaseless questions or occasionally brush an errant lime pith from my lip. I was downing the drinks, trying my best not to look shocked every now and again as his story ravelled out before me. I might as well bring you up to speed too, as the next few blog posts won't make sense otherwise and I need the outlet. So, I have to illuminate my life a little bit, mostly for my own benefit and prosperity.
Gavin explained that he had met his wife (of ten years) whilst living in Thailand and had fallen in love with her and her country of smiles. I have heard the entire story now many times, and I suspect Tai saw my beautiful man just as he saw her, long jet black hair, poker straight that poured down her back like sweet old molasses. Known as the woman who could light up a room when she smiled, Gavin discovered Tai was like so many Thai women in Phuket, beautiful yet incomplete like an unfortunate broken stemmed rose, I jolted a little to hear him talk this entirely different way about her. This is just the other side to the story. Even though, I can appreciate my man is loveable and that love at first sight is possible, I cannot shake the feeling that Tai was and always will be, on the hunt for a expat, a cuddly, generous walking ATM. To be more politically correct - I should say someone kind and helpful - secure and strong. I guess you need to be an expat in Phuket, to really appreciate my female intuition.
Gavin managed to pay the right people enough to let her visit him in Thailand whenever she wanted and soon enough a heady romance blossomed. Perhaps Tai knew she would be far from the sticky floors of the GoGo bar if she managed to enchant him, perhaps it was love. It's not for me to say.
Tai did one better though to seal the deal, and fell pregnant. My man, forever the gentleman, was willing to stay and raise his child with her in Thailand. Sadly for the both of them, Tai had an ectopic pregnancy in the first month and then, quite soon after, she fell pregnant again, this time giving Gavin a beautiful baby girl. I'm sure that many men live to regret marriages like my man does, but he certainly never regrets his children. Adorable baby Jacinta was born in Australia, and although she retains her gorgeous Thai looks, she is every inch - a fair dinkum Aussie. Just last Saturday, Jacinta just blew out ten candles, all lined up on sweet vanilla sponge, most likely wishing that her parents would one day talk again.
Australia is a veritable melting pot of many cultures, which is why Gavin thought Tai would assimilate to this country, haughtily deemed "The Lucky Country" by our Prime Minister many moons ago. Even though 80% of the country is inhospitable to most of us, the coastal beauty unites us all, with golden beaches and crystal blue waters that stretch further than the keenest eyes can see. After barely living on a gogo dancer's wage (most of the money was sent home to feed her family of six who lived on a rural farm) it isn't entirely foolish of my darling to have been so full of optimism for both of them and their newborn baby to settle in Australia. Perhaps it was this seemingly plentiful existence that drove the very first wedge between them, as no sooner than Jac was waddling around in diapers, the arguments about money and the need for more of it to send back to Thailand and the farm, began.
Gavin estimates that he sent $30-45,000 dollars via international transfer to her thankless parents, we don't know how much exactly because the wife (soon to be ex, on 23rd Dec) rifled through the filing cabinet and took the paperwork, obviously thinking ahead of us, to the current legal action she is undertaking to get half of Gavin's super and life insurance and half of everything else. It's not the money issue that grates me now days, it's the passive aggressive way that she is milking the system to pity her (and she plays poverty very well indeed.)
The sad fact is that before meeting me, Gavin paid for everything rent, bills, food, holidays on top of sending thousands of dollars to a faceless person that would only send letters with funny writing on it, that he did not understand. Tai didn't need to pay for Jacinta's expensive school fees, and now she wants this to stop as well. So she can get the money instead.
Now, I realise that there is two sides to every burnt bit of toast, but I have witnessed the cunning and cold hearted calculating ways Tai has tried to extricate money from this man. The facts of the matter state that Jacinta can be pulled from her private school now, that we don't have a say on the quality of her education - only that she gets one.
I am no stranger to poverty - sure, I grew up with running water and I do believe I am luckier than most nations, but I was brought up to believe you should always, always pay your way. I cannot tell you how good it feels to take Gavin for dinner sometimes, just so he gets used to the idea of generosity that goes both ways, not just take, take and take. Sometimes, in the lowest moments of a acid wash divorce that just seems to be endless, I wonder what damage this is doing to our prospects of getting married. After witnessing this "rightful entitlement robbery" first hand (what did she do to help him earn his super?) I can understand why men are putting assets in family names and keeping off shore accounts quietly hid away. I just want to know if she is paying for half of my therapy bills I'm going to need once she is out of our lives.
The truth of course, is because Jacinta has two parents, she will always be in my life. So on top of being the dullard term "a stepmother", I also have to deal with this loose cannon and gold digger for the rest of my days. ( Yes, I'm venting - you don't know the half of it.)
I'm sure many women think the Other woman is a home wrecker and sometimes she is. I've watched Oprah, I've seen those pathetic bottle blonde's that think Mr No Good is going to come good, ditch his wife and shack up with them in a condo. I was a working girl for seven years. I know men stray. I know what Men are truly like (and I don't hold it against you.) There is however, always an exception to the rule - and I believe I am the exception. Sometimes, The Other Woman is necessary, otherwise some damn good men end up blowing their brains out or running away in the middle of the night with a blank passport. I'm being dead honest when I say that Gavin had considered BOTH options and he is not alone.
Firstly, let me say that nearly all cases of cheating, the man has the prime pole position. Very rarely the man would leave the wife, especially if he is getting his clothes ironed, meals cooked and his cock sucked by TWO ladies who think he is just the bee's fucking knees. I think Gavin "fell" into our love, neither of us were looking for it and neither of us ever believed that a soul mateexisted that would urge worlds to collide, just so life felt right as you were together. Honestly, it was more than lust. It was more than words. It was so right. But, yes, he was married so it was also so wrong. Then love got messy.
I struggled with my love for Gav for a long time, but I knew that if he stayed in the loveless marriage with Tai (who knew he did not love her) then we would all lose. I wasn't prepared to be the reason he left his wife (and he assured me I wasn't and I do believe him) but I wasn't really keen on seeing a guy who was married with a little girl. I'd previously been with Dee for four years in a go nowhere relationship and I was quite happily doing my single thing.
Ok, I won't lie, I was seduced by his charm and looks. Yes, the sex was fantastic and thrilling but the conversation quenched a deep thirst between two people that had been silent for much too long. Gav and I passionately pursued each others opinions on what foods we liked, what movies we adored, the meaning of life - I mean we could talk shit for hours (and I won't bore you now) Gavin confided in me that he had tremendous guilt about Jacinta and what would happen to her once "the shit hit the fan".
Growing up as a child of a loveless marriage (for the last five years I'm told) Gavin informed me that Jacinta had been witness to many fights (sometimes she would draw a knife and dare him to incite her to use it) and somewhere along the disenchantment, his daughter had also developed a deeply profound sympathy for her father. It is true, Jacinta has a composure and wisdom that betrays her youthful exterior. Sometimes, don't you have to leave for the sake of the children? I don't understand why parents think they must put everyone through years of hell. Children, in case you don't know this, are the most intuitive, emotionally absorbant creatures on the planet. I'm sure they are made of this magical, beautiful sponge that just seeps up whatever goodness (or mirth) that surrounds them. This is why, you have to do what is right and that often means you have to do what is hard. I'm not justifying my relationship, I'm justifying the fact that we are not as obligated to our spouses as we should be (always) to our children.
I'm never one to believe the hogwash that "children bounce back" from Divorce, my own parent's acrimonious divorce and ensuing fall out was enough to convince me that. The verdict of thousands of shrinks worldwide is in - like all humans, children feel EXACTLY the same emotions as adults and they are not 'magical rubber bands" that snap back to shape, in fact it is the opposite as most children have this enormous emotional sensations but lack the maturity and experience to fathom that a. it won't last for ever and b. nothing can be done to make it better and 3. it is not their fault. At all.
I can say now that I would have moved on, just for her sake alone, but Tai sensed that Gav was happy in his life and demanded to know why.
Apparently, his smile had returned and it was unwelcome as it was unusual. His own joy at finding his soul mate was going to be the cat thrown among the pigeons.