The Rat

Maria White's story trumps all other breakup stories for sheer horror. Her ex-husband was a rat. "We were happily married until 6 years ago. I was in the kitchen cooking with my two youngest girls when there was a knock at the door. It was the police. My husband was arrested for indecent acts with underage girls. Turns out he'd been touching my daughter's two friends—or alternatively, the daughters of two of my friends—it was a small community. My ex said he cheated on me because I'd gained weight."

"In the beginning I was really hurt. I initially thought I could fix everything, once the whole ugliness was over. We would go to couples' counseling, the whole family would go to therapy, and of course, of course, of course, I would lose the weight. It was only after a few months, after our second daughter left home with an angry slam of the door and after I had a breast cancer scare that I stopped being hurt and got angry."

"I found a lump in my left breast and didn't want to worry him about it. So I kept quiet for the month that it took for me to deal with the whole thing. In the end I had an aspiration as an out-patient. He was being held under house arrest about 5 blocks from the clinic, so after I had the procedure done I went over to visit (in pain and bandaged) and finally told him what I had been going through, and that everything was okay now and that I didn't want him to worry. I said,

So, I'm okay now.

'You were just over at the clinic?'


'And you walked over here afterwards?'

Yes (expecting some sympathy).

'And you couldn't buy me a burger on the way?'"

Full Circle

Maria somehow managed to find a sense of closure. "I lost over 35 pounds in spite of the fact that I tend to eat for comfort, and I really did need comfort back then, but I guess losing the weight was the one place in my life I could control at that time. I looked good. And on top of that, I lost another 165 pounds by getting rid of him! To top it all off, my girlfriends threw me a divorce party at a cafe in the same hotel where I had gotten married 21 years before. Talk about coming full circle."

When asked if said rat ever apologized, Maria says, "He was arrested in March. Sometime around September I was visiting him where he was under house arrest and had a good rant that he had never apologized. Then I stormed out and took the bus back home. About an hour later, just as I was getting off the bus, I got an SMS from him—'Sorry.' That's all it said.

Two weeks later we were sitting in the civil courthouse to finalize the divorce agreement when he asked to speak to me in private. He took me aside and said, 'I just want to apologize to you for all the trouble I put you and the kids through. I want to apologize for the things that I did. But—you know—you did get fat!'"

What a rat.

Login to comment

Post a comment