A Bad Marriage Is Fattening
Can a bad marriage really be fattening? Yes it can! In my own bad marriage I went from 125 pounds to 275 pounds 20 years later. This is the story of how my unhappy marriage made me fat — and how I divorced my husband and moved on to a happier new life.

Chapter 3: Were There Red Flags?

Were there red flags that warned me Paul was not the right husband for me?  There were many red flags.  But when you’re not looking for red flags you don’t see them.

The only flag I saw had the words “Marry Paul” printed on it.

Red flags?  In hindsight I remember them well.

I told myself fantasies, as women often do, when they don’t want to know the truth.

I told myself that once Paul married me he would say, “Joanie, you were right, I was frightened of marriage, but now that we’re married I’m wondering what took me so long.”

I remember the first red flag.

We were living together in Paul’s apartment.  I was attending UCLA Film School.  We didn’t sleep in the same bed.  We had twin beds that were catty-cornered.  It was a studio apartment that came furnished.

When Paul and I wanted to have sex, Paul would venture into my bed.  We always had sex missionary style.  Paul was never adventurous when it came to sex.  Then when it was over Paul would lie on top of me and say, “That was good!”  He would rest until he got enough strength to return to his own bed.

“Nightie, night, Joanie,” he would say.

“Nightie, night, Paul,” I would say.

And we would both fall asleep.

I remember this one night when I was jumping up and down on my bed excitedly.  Paul looked over at me with an amused grin on his face.  “Why are you jumping up and down, Joanie?”

“Because I’m so happy!”

“What are you so happy about?”

“That I love you!  I want to marry you and have your children!”

I could see the color drain out of Paul’s face.

I stopped jumping.  “What’s wrong?” I asked concerned.

“This was the last thing I’ve ever wanted to happen — to have you fall in love with me.”

I was confused.  “But why Paul?  I thought you’d be happy that I loved you.”

“Joanie, try to understand I don’t want to hurt you. . .”

“Hurt me?  How could you hurt me?”

I didn’t know what to think.  I told myself that Paul was afraid.  He was scared inside that a woman like myself was out of his reach.  He always told me that I was so beautiful.

Paul had a receding chin, his teeth were crooked and he wore gray plastic framed glasses.  But I had fallen in love with him for all the reasons that a woman falls in love with a man.

I was not interested in a handsome man who would cheat on me and tear out my heart.  I wanted Paul who was a kind man.  A generous man.   A man who I could depend on in times of crisis.  A man who would never be unfaithful to me.

“Tell me you’re joking?”

“I’m not joking, Joanie.”

“I don’t understand.”

“You’re beautiful, Joanie.  You’re smart.  You’re funny.  You’re young.  You’ll find a man who really loves you and wants to marry you and give you children.”

My eyes filled with tears.  “No, it’s you I want.  I don’t want another man.”

“This is the one thing I prayed would never happen.”

“But why, Paul?

“I don’t love you.”

“Is there someone else?”

“There’s no one else.”

“Then why don’t you love me?”

“Joanie, don’t do this to yourself.”

“I don’t believe you!  I know you love me.  You have to love me.  Look at all the things you’ve done for me.  You love me!  You love me!  You love me!”

I threw myself into Paul’s arms and wept.  “Tell me you love me, Paul.”

Long silence.

“I love you, Joanie,” Paul said softly.

But Paul didn’t love me, dear reader.  He felt sorry for me because I was taking his not loving me so hard.

Talk about red flags.

4 Responses to “Chapter 3: Were There Red Flags?”

  1. Joan,
    Once again a wonderful blog. I think looking back we all see red flags but choose to not see the warnings. I know I have. I look forward to the next entry!!!!

  2. thank you for sharing your pain and your wonderful words of wisdom!

  3. Hi Joanie…
    yes, the red flags. Oh if I could get a dime for each one of those, I’d be able to retire in a heartbeat. 😀 I wonder if we wear some kind of colored glasses, which neutralize the red color and make it look rosy, rather than red? 😉 But we learn, don’t we? That’s what it’s all about I suppose. 😀
    Best wishes from snowed in Germany…
    Moni

  4. Nice post.. I hope you continue on posting these great blog posts! I will be subscribing 🙂


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