Belinda was shocked when she discovered her ex-husband, Tyler, working as a garbage man. She soon learned a truth that would change her perspective completely. Will they be able to set aside their differences for the good of the family?
Tyler and Belinda were the perfect couple. They were high school sweethearts from the ninth grade, and everybody knew they would marry one day. Tyler was a maths prodigy who was always touted for future success. Belinda was a social butterfly who could converse with anyone, anywhere.
They often say that opposites attract, which was the case for Tyler and Belinda. They dated throughout college and eventually married, but things took a turn for the worse. Tyler quickly began moving up the ranks at the company he worked for. Belinda also enjoyed a successful career as an entrepreneur.
They had a son together, whom they named Frank, after Belinda’s father. For the most part, they were the perfect family.
“No matter what, your parents will always be here for you,” Tyler told Frank on his 10th birthday. Frank had been excelling in sports at school and was showing signs that he could eventually become a professional football player.
As Frank entered high school, Tyler and Belinda started having issues. Tyler took on a heavy load at work and spent less time with Belinda and Frank.
“You’re never around, Tyler. It’s like you’ve become a ghost. You go to work before Frank is even awake. Then, you come back late after work when we’ve already had dinner and are getting ready for bed. It’s like you don’t even want to be a part of this family,” Belinda told Tyler during one of their arguments.
The tension between the couple built up to a point where Belinda decided that she had had enough. She filed for divorce, and out of respect, Tyler accepted all of Belinda’s requests in the settlement.
“I know that you may not believe me, but everything that I’ve done, I did for you and Frank,” Tyler told Belinda.
During the long time that it took for the divorce papers to be signed, Tyler began dating a woman named Rachel, who worked for the same company as him. This made Belinda furious as she began to doubt whether Tyler was faithful during their marriage.
To make matters worse, Rachel was 29 years old, while Tyler was 53. Belinda began to suspect that Rachel was only in the relationship for money and not love.
“If you want to go around galavanting with a younger woman who only wants what’s in your wallet, then you can forget about shared custody!” Belinda told Tyler. After the divorce, whenever Tyler tried to be a present father, Belinda would send him away.
Belinda often mocked Rachel by saying she was just a silly girl who didn’t really care about family values. Belinda was also worried by the idea of Frank having a stepmother and how that would affect his opinions of her. Tyler often came to Rachel’s defense during his arguments with Belinda.
“Rachel doesn’t deserve to be disrespected just because you and I have issues. She’s done nothing wrong,” Tyler told Belinda. He soon married Rachel in a private ceremony.
Meanwhile, Tyler began to grow tired of his job. He had worked tooth and nail to climb the corporate ladder but realized that he no longer felt fullied by his job. Throughout his career, he had managed to put away a healthy amount of savings.
Coupled with the issues that he was facing with Belinda and not being able to see his son, Tyler was considering early retirement. He was struggling to cope with being separated from his son. All the extra work he had taken on was only in service to Frank and trying to make sure that his boy would have the best opportunities.
“This is just a big speed bump, but we’ll get over it soon. We’ll all be one big dysfunctional family. Just watch,” Rachel told Tyler. She could see that all of the stress was taking a toll on Tyler, but she knew that any conversation with Belinda would quickly turn sour.
Rachel decided not to get involved. As much as Tyler tried, he couldn’t hide the truth of his feelings from Rachel. Tyler had fallen deeply in love with Rachel but felt guilt from his relationship with Belinda and didn’t want to ruin things. He tried his best to keep his worries to himself, but Rachel was too intuitive.
Tyler secretly told his work colleagues that he would be retiring soon but didn’t tell Rachel.
“What’s going on, Tyler? You’re not going into the office as often as you used to. You haven’t been talking much. I’m getting worried,” Rachel told Tyler.
“I’m just going through a rough spot, Rachel. I promise that I’ll be absolutely fine,” Tyler replied. This was a white lie, as Tyler had been planning to make a significant change in his life for a while.
Rachel began to worry that her relationship with Tyler was a rebound situation. She thought Tyler only started dating her because he wanted to move on from Belinda.
What’s going on? she thought to herself. Rachel never wanted to be an afterthought. She genuinely believed there was a solution for Tyler and wanted to help him through his struggles.
Rachel’s suspicions grew to a point where she decided to take action. She followed Tyler when he left for work in the morning to better understand what he was getting up during the day.
What she discovered was far from what she expected. Tyler got out of his car and changed into a garbage man’s uniform. At first, Rachel was confused and unsure what to make of the situation, but soon she realized what he was there for.
“He wants to watch Frank play football,” Rachel said to herself. Since the divorce, Belinda had forbidden Tyler from seeing his son. She had even threatened to seek sole custody through legal means if Tyler didn’t stay away. Rachel saw that Tyler had resorted to extreme measures in order to see his son.
She began to think about how difficult the past few years would’ve been for Tyler. He had given his all for his job, went through a divorce with his high school sweetheart, and was then told not to interact with his own son. Still, Rachel had to know for sure what was going on and decided to call him.
“Hi, Tyler. I’m in a car just down the block and looking at you. You’re not in the office. You’re in a garbage man’s uniform, and you’re watching high school kids play football. I just want the truth. I’m not going to judge you, but I want you to tell me what’s going on,” Rachel said.
“The truth is that I’m in the process of retiring from my job. I took a job as a garbage man to see my boy. Belinda always told me I don’t care about family, which is just not true. I worked as hard as I did so that I could provide for them. Now I realize that I wasn’t really there for him. I want to change that,” Tyler replied.
Tyler went on to explain that Belinda had even turned her neighbors against him. Whenever he tried to visit, he was met with questions. This pushed Tyler to find another way of seeing his son.
He decided that he had saved enough money to provide for Rachel, Belinda, and, most importantly, Frank. This led him to hand in his resignation at work.
“This has gone too far, Tyler. I’m going to call Belinda myself. There has to be a way to fix this,” Rachel told Tyler.
A few days later, Rachel and Tyler met Belinda at a cafe. For the first time, Rachel and Belinda had an honest discussion. Rachel revealed that she had always wanted to be friends with Belinda, but the divorce prevented her from approaching.
Tyler revealed that he was quitting his job and had been working as a garbage man so he could see Frank play football. Belinda admitted that Rachel made her feel insecure about her son and how she worried that it would be awkward if Frank grew up with two maternal figures.
“Do you remember when you said that all Rachel wants is my money? She passed the test. She put up with the fact that her husband is just a garbage man,” Tyler told Belinda.
Belinda was taken aback by the realization that Tyler had left his company to make time for their son. She also realized that she was quick to criticize Rachel because of her age.
“I think that we can all make this work. This divorce made me extremely emotional, but I realize we can all work together to be there for Frank. We have to put him first and forget our petty feuds,” Belinda said.
What can we learn from this story?
Sometimes grown-ups are selfish and act like kids. Tyler and Belinda should’ve put their son first, regardless of the divorce and Tyler’s new relationship.
There is always room for forgiveness. Despite all of their troubles, Tyler, Belinda, and Rachel were still able to find a way to sort out their differences for Frank’s sake.
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