Delmy Areli Barrientos Washington, DC Washington D.C.

I was married to my husband for over 20 years. We had two beautiful children. We were very happy and we had everything. We were never the couple to fight. We had arguments but what marriage didn’t. I had been a house wife for most of our marriage and I always had a part time job. But that was only because I wanted to be there for my children. My husband spent most of our marriage working. He’d always been a hard worker, and always preferred to work than stay at home. I never complained. We had a system and it worked. But whenever he had a day off he would spend it with us. We’d go on outings and just enjoy our time together. I never had doubts in my husband because I knew his routine was go to work then come home. But all that changed in late 2010. || My husband had just lost his day job and was looking for another job. A co-worker from his evening job had mentioned to him that a school was hiring custodians and that he should apply. So he changed his schedule and

I was married to my husband for over 20 years. We had two beautiful children. We were very happy and we had everything. We were never the couple to fight. We had arguments but what marriage didn’t. I had been a house wife for most of our marriage and I always had a part time job. But that was only because I wanted to be there for my children. My husband spent most of our marriage working. He’d always been a hard worker, and always preferred to work than stay at home. I never complained. We had a system and it worked. But whenever he had a day off he would spend it with us. We’d go on outings and just enjoy our time together. I never had doubts in my husband because I knew his routine was go to work then come home. But all that changed in late 2010. || My husband had just lost his day job and was looking for another job. A co-worker from his evening job had mentioned to him that a school was hiring custodians and that he should apply. So he changed his schedule and started working at his evening job in the day and got a part time job at the school in the evening. A couple months in he said he needed to buy a cellphone to stay in contact with his supervisor. It made sense so I went with him when he purchased the phone. It seemed harmless so I didn’t think much of it. As the days progressed I noticed he was receiving a lot of phone calls. At first they were in the evening but then they started to come in the morning. I asked him once why was he receiving so many calls and he said that it was his nephews. I believed him because he did have nephews that called him on a regular basis. The calls continued and I noticed he would get a little anxious when he wouldn’t get a call. The calls were more frequent and earlier. He started coming home later. When I would ask why he would come late he’d say the bus was late or there was traffic. He worked around Georgetown, and the traffic there is horrible. I knew this but this time I had a feeling something wasn’t right. For the first time in our marriage I doubted him. One night he came home and sat in the living room. He said he was very exhausted so my daughter went over to him and massaged his shoulders and his feet as she would every night. His phone suddenly rang; he answered it and ran upstairs. He started doing that a lot more. Every time he would hear his phone ring he’d run over to answer it. I was becoming more and more suspicious and my daughter was as well. || One day my daughter came up to me and told me that a woman was calling and texting him. I had no words. My suspicions were dangerously becoming true. I knew I couldn’t ask him without any proof but I was determined to get them. I watched as his attitude towards me and his children became more hostile. He would be aggressive and he’d insult us. He’d say he was going to beat his children if they asked him questions. He never laid a hand on his children and suddenly he was threatening to do so. And to me as well. He stopped eating my food and would say it was disgusting and trash. He said he wanted to sell the house so we could move. I knew it wasn’t that simple and told him there was no way that was going to happen. He even said we would all need to get full time jobs to help pay for the house. He’d always pay for the mortgage and I always paid the bills and the food and everything needed for the house. The holidays were upon us and things were getting worse. My daughter was going through his closet one day and found a gift. She asked my son and he said that his dad had asked him to wrap it. They told me about it and I told them to put it back. But my daughter didn’t listen. She ripped the wrapping paper and exposed the gift. It was an expensive gift. He’d never bought something like it. Not even for me. I asked my son what his father had told him and he said he’d told him they were having secret Santa at his job. We read the name on the gift sticker. Delmy. That was her name. My son then told me that was the name of the woman that would call and text him. I knew I had to do something. So when I had the chance I went through his phone and got her number. I waited for the opportunity to call her. He kept getting phone calls but they were less frequent. Things started to calm down so I felt a relief and hoped things would get better. || One day in March, my daughter called me crying; she was on her way to school, and she told me that her father was leaving. I asked her why did she think that, and she told me her father had clothes in his backpack. I was shocked. But I told her not to worry. That we were going to get through it. I went through his closet and found a bag or dirty underwear with stains on them. There was no denying what it was. I kept them as evidence to show him. I was angry and upset. He didn’t come home that night; he didn’t even call that night. Or the next. He called on the third day. But my daughter didn’t answer. That night one of his nephews called my daughter. He said he’d been staying at his place and that he wanted to talk to her. My daughter was old enough to make her own decisions. So she said she didn’t want to talk to him. So she hung up and ignored his phone calls. We later found out that my husband had been bad mouthing me and saying that I had kicked him out when that was not true. We also found out his nephews were telling him that if he no longer wanted to be with me to leave and sell the house. A couple days passed and he came back. I let him in but I didn’t talk to him. I went through his backpack that night and found condoms. I was disgusted. I didn’t need any more proof. He was having an affair. It couldn’t have been clearer. I was going to confront him. The next day I was doing his laundry and checked his pockets and found a $300 receipt for a bracelet. I had no reaction. My daughter came home from school that afternoon and told me she had called that woman and told her that she was a homewrecker and to stay away. That night he came home angry so I confronted him and told him I knew he was having an affair. He denied it and said that he was selling the house and that the kids would have to get jobs because he wasn’t going to pay for anything. It was a huge fight and the worst part was that it happened in front of my children. My daughter defended me and her brother that night and stood up to her father. He left the next day. || Our home was broken and it was all because of Delmy. She destroyed our happy home. We found out later that he was paying her for sex. He was paying her rent and her car. Meanwhile he was leaving his family to take care of a home wrecker and her daughter. He left a good thing for trash. The man in front of me was no longer the man I had loved and married. Words can’t even begin to explain the hurt and the hatred that spread in our family. It’s been hell and we’re still living it. Each day is a battle to make it to a place where we can be stable. I don’t want anyone to go through what I went through with my children. I didn’t just lose a husband. My children lost their father. We’ll never get him back.

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