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We haven't been together as long as some here, but we've been together 24 years. 22 of them married. our story is a long one, so I thought I'd post it in parts. Not sure if anyone is interested in our life, but who knows. Maybe it will help someone! TEEF

Suil a Ruin: An Irish Love Story

Me: I am a first generation Irish/Italian-American. Fairly normal household I guess for a European/American family. We were well loved and very protected. I was more than a bit of a trouble maker.. A brawler in fact. Not a big kid, but I was very scrappy. Lots of self confidence and not afraid to stand for what I thought was right. I was number 4 of 6 kids. We put the word *fun* in dysfunctional. We hit everything head on and rarely looked back. Mom was a quiet little Italian woman who cared for us dearly. She cooked for us and cleaned for us and I was the youngest son. The mammas boy. Dad was somewhat of a legend. He succeeded in everything he tried. Our biggest fear in life was not living up to our own idea of his expectations for us.

Her: She is a mix... American Indian, Danish and Scott/Irish. She was raised in a very dysfunctional home. Her father was an abusive alcoholic, and her mom was an enabler. She was the oldest of three and in an effort to protect her siblings, took the brunt of her dads wrath. When she was 4, she was sexually abused by her uncle. The abuse continued until she was 7. Her parents knew and never intervened. More abuse cam her way as she went through puberty by another uncle. It was less overt (inappropriate touching and vouyerism), and had ceased shortly before we began dating. I will only add one more negative note on her bio Her parents were a part of a religious cult that didnt believe (among other things) in doctors. This resulted in her parents not taking her to the doctor for broken bones, appendicitis and other things.


I met my wife at 16. When I met her I was dating another girl, but I noticed her. Sparkling eyes, the most beautiful past-the-shoulder length red hair I had ever seen, and a perfect smile. She didnt pay much attention to me, so I ignored her. My best friend was her best friends brother, so I knew wed run into each other again. A few months later we met at a church thanksgiving/Christmas party. I fell in love. I saw her again around new years and asked for her number, and I got it. Took me a while to work up the nerve, but I called her a few weeks later. We talked (as only teenagers can do) for 6.5 hours straight.

I was hooked. We began dating on Feb. 14th, 1987. I knew immediately that I didnt want to date anyone else. If shed have me, I would wait to marry her. We were good with that. Her dad wasnt. I asked her to marry me, we picked out a ring and I went to her dad to ask for her hand (yeah people still do that) in marriage. He pulled out a list of 11 reasons why I could not marry his daughter (money, insurance, housing, stable job, etc..), and number 11 was and I just dont like you. I asked him for the paper, thanked him and left (we had a rocky start, he and I, he had been drunk at a wedding that we were all at and everyone was afraid to keep him from driving the family home over an hour away, except this punk 17 year old kid).Anyway The next week I went to the recruiter and became one of the Few and Proud. 2 months later I shipped out to boot camp.

I was very nave. I knew her dad was a drunk, but didnt know the effect that would have on the family at the time. I would soon learn. 3 months later I returned home with the list. I met with her dad and said Mr. ___, I can provide every one of these things for your daughter now, and I am going to marry her. And I dont care if you dont like me. He replied that he had no real reason to say no other than that he didnt like me. So we were engaged. She was 17 at the time, I was 18. We married the following summer in 89.

Id like to say it was a normal beginning to a marriage, but it wasnt. As Irish luck would have it, we both got food poisoning the night of our honeymoon. We made it to the coast for our honeymoon in time for hurricane Dean to join us. After three days we decided there wasnt anything we could do there we couldnt do in our own home and we left to start our new life together. Originally, our boundaries were somewhat reversed. Being a young military man, I had frequented a few strip clubs and such. She was much more reserved. Our first year of marriage was a growing up experience. We loved each other dearly, but were not mature enough to be on our own. She had health problems and I was selfish. Still and all, we were for the most part happy and excited to be together.

Shortly after our first year, she became pregnant. It was planned (I think!), and we were excited! We went in thanksgiving of 90 to visit her grandparents. After 3 days of leave I was recalled. I was leaving for Saudi Arabia... Operation Desert Shield. We returned home, and I began packing. Life was scary. She as three months pregnant, I was going to war, and I didnt even know if Id make it back alive (we had a projected 76% fatality rate for our unit). I left December 19th of 1990 for Southwest Asia, and she packed all our stuff and moved in with her parents. I arrived on Christmas Eve. I am not sure how to describe the loneliness of being without her. Just to give an idea I saved every letter, card, note she wrote to me and carried them with me for 6 months. Us Irish are a lonely people by nature, social, but lonely. Must be genetic.

I arrived home after the war the same hour she went into labor. 36 hours later we had a son. Life was good, right? I made it home alive (we only lost one person in our unit), and I was reunited with the most perfect person in the world. Except I was different. I came home angry. I came home stressed. Maybe I had PTSD, I dont know. All I know was I was not the same person, and neither was she. She lived with her parents and was very close to them despite the fact they constantly treated me bad. Add to that the fact she had learned to live independent of me, and we had a volatile mix. She had post-partum really bad. She was suicidal a lot and I didnt know what to do. I spent a lot of time just holding her early on.

We decided to leave the service, and in 92, when my enlistment was up I got out and we moved back home (being close to her parents was a point of contention, but she was insistent.). She was, at this point 20 weeks pregnant at this time. Being Irish and all, I was a hard worker, but not the brightest bulb in the pack. We had been under the impression that medical coverage would continue until the baby was born. It didnt. That was a rough year. I made 9k that first year as a civilian, we had one young baby and one on the way. To top it off, I had a job skill set that didnt translate for me into civilian life unless I had money to go back to school. We contacted the hospital and they told us they would only take my wife if we paid the whole delivery cost up front. Yeah. Riiiiight. So we enlisted a mid-wife to help and planned a home birth. We didnt know about medicade (never needed to know about it), and no one told us So my wife goes into labor some months later and delivers a beautiful one-armed baby girl.


Celtic Voyager
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We were able to get into the hospital then They considered that an emergency apparently. Oh, did I mention our mid-wife never showed up? She planned her vacation for that week and called to check on us from about 500 miles away. I delivered her myself on the bathroom floor. Did a bee-ay-you-tiful job too! I was still struggling with anger and resentment at this time. My wife, who had been struggling with depression, was now inundated with more stress and more worries. Her depression worsened. During this time, we discovered that my father had been engaged in an affair. It separated my family and weve never really recovered from it. Strange how it affects us as adults as well. My parents are celebrating their 52nd year together this week. They are survivors too.

I got a better job doing computers. We were starting to stabilize financially, and about 10 months after my daughter was born my wife informed me one night that she was pregnant. I remember dread fear setting in. I laughed for nearly 10 minutes straight. I was hysterical with fear. How would I support us? Grace almost died with the second one with a partially detached placenta. We agreed to have me fixed. So.. Fixed I got. Also around that time, my wife slipped on the ice (7 months pregnant) and broke her tail-bone. There was some concern for the baby, but we wouldnt be able to know for sure until he was born. He was well over 10lbs when he was born (My wife is 52 and TINY)! He delivered with the cord wrapped around his neck and blue. She almost bled out again. I remember the doctor asking me Do you believe in God? when I answered yes, he said you better start praying. After a full blood transfusion, she was stable, and my little buddy was ok. I wasnt. I was getting angrier and angrier Over the next year or two, our relationship began to deteriorate. After one of our weekend long fights (and we still loved each other dearly), she told me that I either had to go to the mens church retreat or she was moving in with her mom til I got my anger under control. I was stunned.

I need to segue here. You need to understand that there was one thing that I had wanted since the age of 12. A wife. I wanted someone to take care of. To love and protect. I knew I wanted a family and I knew when I met Grace that she was the only woman I would ever be married to. I have never wanted anyone else as my wife. I have never wanted to live my life apart from her.

This stunning revelation that I may lose my wife woke me up. I went to the mens retreat and the speaker talked about the fact I was angry at God and myself. Wow! My wee little brain turned on! I was alive! It was a conversion-like experience for me (I say conversion like because I was already a Christian, and never believed in double conversions). The revelation that I was the cause of all my own heartache, that it was *MY* world-view that had become distorted, that the problem was not that I had a rough life, or that my child was born handicapped (try telling her that), but it was me. My heart was deceived, twisted by a selfish self-righteousness. And I was stunned. I went home that Sunday night and lay in bed with my wife and apologized. No excuses, just apologies for years of angry outbursts, disrespectful judgments and a whole lotta crap. She kindly accepted my apology. I think she was stunned when I apologized the next day. After about 2 weeks of apologies Im sure she thought I was nutters. My angry outbursts by and large ceased. I still had some, but I was qualitatively different. At almost the one year mark, she told me please stop apologizing. I have already forgiven you.

In a way, I understand the wayward spouse. I hadnt given my heart to another person, but I did break my vows. I did not love her and protect her as I should have. I reserved my heart for me. This was my defogging and repentance. This was 1996.

As I got better, my beautiful wife got worse. Her depressive episodes were to a height that was almost unbearable. She would spend hours crying, was suicidal, withdrawn. The next few years were frantic. We had three small kids, and she wasnt getting better. Our neighbor, her best friend would come over, make her get showered and dressed and take the kids for a spell. This helped relieve the tensions greatly. I still had to leave work on really bad days, once or twice a month, to come home and help her through this. And we had some problems with her family at this time too.

At one point she took my daughter to a prosthetic camp. The out-laws were watching the other two during the day, and I would come home at night and take care of the kids hey it was only a week, how much could I screw my kids up? One afternoon I walked into my in-laws house to see my FIL throw (yes throw) my 3 year old son across the room. For no other reason than he was being a noisy 3 year old. Thankfully my son landed on the couch and was not hurt. There would have surely been blood otherwise. I saw 2 choices. Get my kids away from there, or kill my FIL. I got the kids out of there and when my wife called that evening, I explained what happened. She didnt believe me. She had a lifelong habit of making excuses for her dad.


Celtic Voyager
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At that point I cut contact with my in-laws and spent the rest of the week with the kids myself. When my wife came home I relayed the story and she talked to her mom. Her mom admitted that her dad was drunk and she couldnt do anything. This was a rough 2 weeks. Eventually, my wife talked me into meeting with her parents and we laid ground rules for contact. No unsupervised time with the kids, no spanking or hands on of any type. I tenuously agreed to this after much debate.

Things seemed ok for a while, and I need to fast forward a few years. In the mid-late 90s her uncle was arrested for abduction and child molestation for 2 girls (3 more later came forward, and we suspect there were many more over the years). Her family rallied to his side and paid for lawyers and the best defense possible and he only got 2 years. Couple years later after he was out of jail, he died of kidney failure. During this time, we had several mishaps with my in-laws. He would fall off the wagon and get raging drunk. We seemed to be the ones to catch him every time. Usually, it was when he was with the kids babysitting (yes, after a few years we relaxed our restrictions thinking they had changed).

Not long after her uncle died, we were sitting on the couch one night and Grace broke down sobbing. I asked what was wrong and after a little prying, she confessed she was feeling guilty about her uncles death. I asked her why she would feel guilty about that, and she told me. She said she had been praying God would kill him. I asked why she would feel guilty about the death of a child molester and thats when she dropped another little bomb on me. She told me that she had been molested by her uncle too. We talked for some time and finally decided that she would go see a counselor whom we both knew. He was working full time at our (then) church as the church counselor and had gone to college with her parents.

After about a month of counseling, things began to get fishy. She stopped talking to me and became a little secretive about counseling sessions. This guy had apparently told her to not share what they talked about. I became suspicious. Now just in case you forgot, Im Irish. That means I dont like a lot of BS. Im a pretty straight forward guy and what you see is what you get. I invited the guy to lunch and about 5 minutes into the lunch I told him that she wasnt talking to me anymore. He said he asked her not to, because she needed to learn to be independent of me. Now color me wacky, but something didnt sit right in Dodge City. So, I looked him in the eye and told him Buddy, if you are thinking of doing something with my wife, I will take that handgun you carry in your briefcase, stick it where the sun dont shine, and empty the clip. He just kind of looked at me. So, being the politically correct person that I am, I reiterated for him that his life was in grave danger should he cross any appropriate boundaries. He told me he understood.

I then went home to meet my wife that afternoon and told her that there will be no secrets. Full disclosure of everything they talk about. Little did I know what this guy was trying to pull. She was becoming increasingly uncomfortable with him, and was in fact getting worse and not better. When I found her counseling journal and read it, I immediately stopped counseling sessions.

One month later it all blew up. This guy was sleeping with at least 2 of his clients. One of them was 16. He up and left the state. It was then that my wife confessed that this man was counseling her to be promiscuous. He was trying to convince her that women who are more sexually promiscuous heal faster from their abuse. It took us months to get back to normal (whatever that is), and my wife got her first real full time job in the fall of 2000. This was, to be the end of life as I knew it.


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She moved up quickly working there. It was a country club. She started off in the office and moved in October to fine dining. She excelled there as a server and they began grooming her for a management position. Little did I know that one of the chefs there was also grooming her. He pursued her relentlessly until the beginning/middle of Jan. 01. And she caved in. She dropped her boundaries, and kissed the guy in a broom closet at work. A week later she left work early and went back to his place and slept with him. As she recalls it, she was motivated by the counselors words about fixing herself, and the extreme flattery of this OM. She decided that along with some building anger and resentment towards her parents was enough motivation to follow through. She thought that if this were ever to get out, they would be shamed by it. Embarrassed and ruined in their weird cultic church circle. She recalls that she felt guilty and confided in a friend at work, and her friend told her to stop immediately. I had noticed her attitude changed shortly after as well. I suspected an affair. One night I asked her who she was cheating with. She responded no one. And broke it off immediately with the OM. They had only been together 2 months and some change, and had sex about 4-5 times.

No fog, nothing that normally accompanies the wayward. Oh there was one thing. The depression got worse. The guilt was killing her slowly. If the sexual abuse made her feel like used goods, the affair intensified it a 100x. Oddly enough, our relationship got better in every other way. We were in love. It was a kind of golden time for us. We were open and honest with each other about nearly everything, except the affair was still a secret. Oh, almost forgot. She moved jobs, dropped contact with everyone at that place (except her mom who worked there), and we focused on us and the kids. We changed churches, and life seemed peachy.

In 2003, we decided for me to leave my job and get my masters and pursue ministry. So we packed and in the summer of 04 we moved out of state with our three kids for me to be a full time student. It was hard. I went to school full time and my darling wife supported us. It was really a rough go. The kids complained regularly about our move, our church who offered to support us when we left never really contributed, and we seemed to barely scrape by the 1st 2 years. The third year I got a part time job. Things were looking up, and I had finally become totally disillusioned with the school.

The church there was not a healthy one. I was an older guy going back to school with younger guys and had virtually no friends my age. My wife was working too much to interact with the other seminary wives and then I had an altercation with another student. I decided that the stress was simply too much for me to finish school there, and that it would be best if I withdrew from classes.

That year (2006), I took on two other jobs. At one point, I was working three jobs and sleeping about 3 hours a night/day, usually between jobs in the parking lots. I did this for a few months to help us get back on our feet, and we decided to move back home. I actually did not want to move back to our hometown, but my wife felt she needed her parents close by, and the truth was, the kids wanted to go back too. At that time I was offered my first internship in the ministry. It was to start in June of 07. Things seemed normal for us. Life seemed to be getting better, and I had a job waiting in our hometown with the internship.

It was a hard summer internship. My main project was working with an addict which took up close to 40 hours a week on top of my other duties at the church. I wasnt guided through it too much, really just left to do it. By end of summer, I had secured a job as a blast-technician, had the young man in a rehab clinic (again), and had resumed schooling at another university in our town to finish my degree.

I wish I could say that things were peachy. They werent. My In-laws were hard that summer on my kids (I think FIL had started drinking again), and my beautiful wife was feeling lonely and left out. It was true, the first 2 months of the internship were time consuming. I wasnt doing either my job or family time well. In fact I stunk at it and my wife told me so. So, I made effort to spend more time at home to meet my familys needs. By August, things were settling down and my wife had attained a job on a military base with a contracting company. I was still in the dark about affair #1.

On the outside, things looked good. We were becoming financially stable again, and I was spending more time at home. In September, my wife was approached by OM #2.


Celtic Voyager
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Heres where it gets weird. She was not looking for an affair. She says she was even happy in our marriage and loved me very much. The OM spent obscene amounts of time at her desk talking with her. Her initial thoughts were that the guy was funny looking, surprised at how socially awkward he seemed, that he was just a weird guy and needy and insecure. But, this guy outsmarted her. He used all those things to get her to drop her guard. Initially, she recalls that she tried to get us all together as friends and he ignored the idea. He instead spent time flattering her, and doing what all OPs do.

On September 14th, he followed her into the parking lot at work and kissed her. She was stunned and in shock. Several days later, what began as an inappropriate friendship became a full blown physical affair. Two weeks after the kiss, the met at a hotel for their first sexual encounter. It was just a few days from my daughters 15th birthday. She was immediately different towards me. At first, I was confused. I thought maybe it was work stress or the stress of putting on a good birthday for my daughter. By mid-October, she had contacted her mother and was hoping to ask for a place to stay. By then I suspected it was an affair. I had asked her point blank and she denied it.

I started to snoop and found the email to her mother. I confronted her on this and she ignored me. Little did I know to what extent I was battling? They had skipped work and instead of going to the mountains to shop for the day as she planned, he took her to a hotel room an hour or so outside of town and they spent the day having sex. From that point on he began to lay the pressure of leaving me on her. This was to be a relentless pursuit of his throughout the course of their relationship.

That night when we talked I asked her do you love me? She replied No. I dont. I was broke. We both cried for a long time together that night. She said she was sorry, but she didnt love me. It was to be the first of many nights I lay in bed crying.

What proceeded over the next several months was me fighting for our life together and her responding, but when she had contact with the OM, would listen to him and treat me like poo. It was to be many months of me fighting for our marriage before she would tell me she loved me again. At one point I took her wedding rings and told her she wasnt worthy of them and I was not sure if I was giving them back. This nearly broke her. I kept the rings for a week. She was in a sheer panic.

On Valentine s Day of 08, I sent her a letter (the one in the poems forum), and the tide of battle had turned. I knew she was in an affair, but hadnt been able to collect enough proof. By April, I was ready to leave her. Things with her parents had become bad. She was somewhat better. In Jan. she had given me the ultimatum of fixing myself or leaving, and I worked a plan A on her (and didnt even know about MB yet). You have to understand something here I wasnt perfect. I had my share of screw-ups, but I loved this woman more than anything. She was the only woman I ever loved. The only one I ever wanted to be with.

(more to come)


Celtic Voyager
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Wow CV, you've been through so much. I'll reserve comments until you're finished with your story. Thank you so much for sharing your journey.


Widowed 11/10/12 after 35 years of marriage
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In a sense now, I am homeless. For the home, the place of refuge, solitude, love-where my husband lived-no longer exists. Joyce Carolyn Oates, A Widow's Story
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What ensued from September 14th of 2007 to June 18th 2008 was an all out war for our life. Now I've been to war. I've seen the best in people and I thought that I'd seen the worst. What could be worse than war, right? Well imagine (and many if not all here can imagine this) fighting a war against an unknown enemy. You know you are in a war, you know that it's life or death, but you don't know where your enemy is, what he's doing, how well he's prepared. You have no intel whatsoever and you don't have support. This was me. Maybe Grace will post the stories of her A's and fill in the blanks. She may not want to. it brings her a lot of shame and pain to do that now... I hope she will.

Now I could recount the events of what was going on with her, but I doubt it would help anyone, let me just say that when she entered the 2nd A, She was suffering extreme depression from never having moved on from her childhood, from her previous A and all the lies she was keeping, and feeling like she didn't deserve me, was worthless and instead of working to be different, she gave up. The OM (coworker) pursued relentlessly. He moved out of his house 3-4 weeks into the A. They met in parks during lunch, hotels (for 15-20 minutes after work), and parking lots. How this could ever have been considered a "relationship" is beyond me. Their work had a strict no fraternization policy and because there was zero tolerance at work, if it ever got out, she would have been fired immediately and he would have been either busted or put in the brig (or both). Aside from one work friend, she kept it perfectly secret.

Over the course of the A, we would spend massive amounts of UA time together. We spent weekends together, we spent time with the kids together, we saw family together, we even "dated" on and off throughout her A. But she wasn't very good at lying and hiding her emotions. I knew there was an A going on and was fighting despite her denials of it. What would happen was we would talk, discuss things, she would agree and go to work the next day and the guy would proceed to work to undo everything we had progressed in that weekend or previous day. He constantly pressured her to leave me, to tell me she didn't love me, that I needed to move out. She honestly didn't have an original thought on her own. He groomed her, set up an email account for her to communicate and so I couldn't find it, set up her phone to auto delete messages and not show when there were messages in the inbox, and even told her the excuses to tell me when she was a few minutes late coming home. I know this from the emails that were traded back and forth.

I think the 1st big screwup came in the early winter when he began joking about me getting killed. She endured all his questioning about me (how "big" I was, how I was in bed, how I talked to her and the kids, etc..), but this I think was a line she would no go over. In January after all the work I did on our M, and her desire to rebuild (but not tell), she broke up with him (I think this was the 2nd or 3rd breakup of 5 or 6). She called his phone and dumped him. His wife called back from the phone. It went poorly and she was done. He wasn't. A few days later he convinced her to come back and it was a bad month for me. He was living at home, and still had a room on the base. It was their "love nest". At the end of Jan. she asked me to leave. I told her if I left I was taking the kids and she'd never see us again. She asked why I would do that, and I told her "It's all or nothing babe. It's me as your husband or you completely alone with whoever you got and no kids." She told me that (and she worked right off his script) I needed to get counseling to change, because I was the one who ruined our marriage. I told her to give it three months of me working and if it didn't work, I'd go to counseling. She agreed. Ah the Irish gift of gab... I sold water to a fish.

By Valentine's day, something was beginning to change. I was wearing her down, winning her back. On Valentine's day, I wrote her this letter:

Sweetest Grace,

You fear, sometimes, I do not love you so much as you wish? My dear Girl I love you ever and ever and without reserve. The more I have known you the more have I lov'd. In every way - even my jealousies have been agonies of Love, in the hottest fit I ever had I would have died for you. I have troubled you too much. But for Love! Can I help it? You are always new. The last of your kisses was ever the sweetest; the last smile the brightest; the last movement the gracefullest. When you pass'd by me yesterday, I was fill'd with as much admiration as if I had then seen you for the first time. You uttered a half complaint once that I only lov'd your Beauty. Have I nothing else then to love in you but that? Do not I see a heart naturally furnish'd with wings imprison itself with me? No ill prospect has been able to turn your thoughts a moment from me. This perhaps should be as much a subject of sorrow as joy - but I will not talk of that. Even if you did not love me I could not help an entire devotion to you: how much more deeply then must I feel for you knowing you love me. My Mind has been the most discontented and restless one that ever was put into a body too small for it. I never felt my Mind repose upon anything with complete and undistracted enjoyment - upon no person but you. When you are in the room my thoughts never fly out of window: you always concentrate my whole senses.You fille me with awe and wonder


Forever yours on this special day of our 22nd year together,

CV
"I am certain in my heart that "all that I am," I have received from God."
~Patrick of Ireland~

This changed the tide of battle.


Celtic Voyager
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By April, things were markedly different. Now, she had after so many months told me she loved me. During the course of the A, it wasn't all bad. She never felt safe with OM. In fact, her fears increased. She was sick most of the time and had lost an enormous amount of weight due to stress. She would come home during that time and sometimes all she wanted was for me to hold her. Despite her coldness to me during this time, I endeavored to accomplish one thing. Let her know that she has always been loved in a way she could never be loved by another. I told her morning, noon and night that I loved her. I made sure there was always physical contact between us. A brush on the shoulder, a touch on the leg. I brushed her beautiful red hair. I touched her face. SF was never an issue and I made sure it was about her. It's not the big things you do to win a wayward... It's all the little things I think. A slow accumulation of doing so many of the right things that they are overwhelmed with love. Like this note I sent her a week or so after Valentine's day:

Hello Mrs. CV. I hope your day is going good. I miss you and love you very much.


Mr. CV


I was starting to see returns. Now, I was also getting worn out by this time. I was at wit's end. I had talked to a friend of mine in Ireland and he arranged a place for me to live for a few months until I could get back on my feet and find a job there. I was planning on taking the kids with me. Her also arranged for a friend of his who lived about 50 miles from us to do some PI work as the guy worked near W and had regular contact in the office.

Turned out I didn't need it. I had begun dropping her off at the car-park and picking her up from there. I thought on June 18th I would surprise her and meet her at the station and take her for a surprise date before class. I called her and got no answer. I texted her and no response. I knew she was with OM. Now just so the story doesn't sound like every other single story here, let me add another dimension. For the last 2 months, she had a guy who was stalking her at work. A real creeper. the guy had found a bunch of info on her and would creep on her in the train. She had several people at work try and talk to this guy. She was scared. I tried finding the guy several times with no luck. He would kind of appear on the train, wig her out and disappear for a few days. Oddly enough, she didn't want OM handling it, she wanted me to handle it. Well, excuse the segue but it is kind of important to the story.

She texts me a few minutes later and tells me the train is 30 minutes late and she'll have dinner ready when i get home from class. Now I am standing at the station looking at her train. I call and she answers. I can hear traffic in the background and knew she was with someone on the highway! BUSTED! I Didn't say anything though. Instead I said ok. What train number are you coming in on, I want to meet you on the platform. Now at this time I had left the station and was standing halfway between the station and the carpark downtown. She tells me reception is bad and will call me back.

I look up the street a few minutes later and lo and behold I see her stepping out of a silver compact car... I'm walking up the block and my phone rings. It's her. She says the creeper is back and following her. I tell her to look down the street. There I am on the phone. The car speeds off leaving her holding the bag. I grab her by the arm and we start walking back. I told her to point the guy out and she lies to me. He's gone she says...

I told her that we needed to talk and started walking towards her car. She tries putting it off and I grab her by the arm and look her in the eye and tell her "Grace, I'm leaving tonight with the kids if you don't tell me the whole truth". "Please" she says, "just let me talk to you when you get home." I told her it was now or never. She just looked at me like a deer caught in headlights. I said "you're screwing someone aren't you?"... I heard a very weak "yes". My wife recalls the look on my face. She said it was like nothing she'd ever seen before. We refer to it as the day I died. The best description I can give by her account is that she said it was as if she put a shotgun to my chest and pulled the trigger point blank. At that moment the truth hit her. All of it like a flood. She came clean on everything.


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The next few minutes were a whirlwind. I wish I could say I was a saint. I wasn't. I grabbed her by the arm and started walking her through the alley to the river. My immediate thought was to kill her. I had fully intended to. Now I was marching her by the arm to the river and she was pouring information out. I got her under the bridge (not a well populated area, in fact, it was totally abandoned. Something in my head screamed STOP!!! My life with her flooded back. What was I going to do? I walked her to the docks where there were people. She gave me OM's telephone # and I called him.

I heard on the other line a very timid "hello?" I said "do you know who this is?" "yes" came the reply very softly on the other end... "I'm the guy whose life you ruined so you could bang my wife. Give me your name and rank" He did. He also started pouring out excuses and pleas for mercy. "Don't kill me. I know G said you would kill me when you found out, please don't hurt me. I was depressed and I needed someone, it wasn't my fault, I'm sorry. I will turn myself in at work, I have a wife and kids, please show me mercy".

I told him I wouldn't kill him today. I asked where he lived and the [censored] told me. I told him to stay at his house and don't leave. I would be calling back shortly. We went back to the car and drove home. I followed her and told her if I saw her on the phone, it would be a mistake for her. I cannot imagine the fear she was living in. We went back to the house and I sent the kids away for a few hours so we could talk in private. She gave me all her passwords, showed me all the emails, everything. I was stunned. I remember punching the fridge rather than her. Broke three knuckles acting like a fool. Still, it was better than the alternative. I'd never been so hurt, angry or betrayed.

I looked at her sobbing on the floor of the kitchen where we were sitting and I said "do you love him?" She said "yes, I think so". "DO YOU LOVE ME???" I asked. "I'm not sure". I sobbed. after a few moments I looked at her and said you don't get a chance to think. Who do you want? "You" she said.

That settled it for me. We went outside and walked. I called OM back and asked if his wife was there. He said she wasn't. I told him that I expected a call from her within the half-hour or I was making a visit to his house. 25 minutes later she called back.


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I found out more than I ever wanted to the first night. I only slept an hour. We met the OM and OMW at a park half way between where we each lived. I have an old claymore bag from my USMC days. I use it to carry books. We left for the meeting and I had three things in my bag that morning.

pack of smokes

my Bible

and a 9" hunting knife.

As we were driving over, I asked my wife... "do you want him?" she replied "no. I love you and only want us". There it was settled. now being Irish and all, I consider myself a charitable man. I was going to give him a choice. we pulled into the parking lot at the park and two cars pulled in next to us. I knew it was them. As soon as OM stepped out of the car I was stunned. Here is the OM. Short, muscular arms, but dumpy... head shaved because he is balding in patches, lumpy head and cross-eyed. Lord... how do I describe this guy? His proportions were all wrong. short arms, long torso. fat gut, muscular chest and arms and skinny legs... My wife was sleeping with a circus freak! He looked like a deformed bald walrus. He actually bore a striking resemblance to her dad. He saw me get out of the car with G and started backing up. here was a guy 15 years in the service and had never served a combat tour. Fairly high ranking enlisted. I looked at him as his wife was getting out of her car and said "really?!?!?! You are a POS. Look at your wife. She is a pretty woman. you threw your life away to get laid? Is that what you really want?" He just looked at me. Everyone just looked at me. I grabbed my bag out of the car and we walked to the pavillion. He started the same schpiel. Apologizing and such. I looked at him and said "you are a worthless human being. It is time for you to shut up and listen. You will only speak when spoken to, do you understand?"

He shook his head and I repeated it louder in my Drill instructor voice. He said Yes sir. G was terrified. She had never seen me this furious. I was so mad that I was calm. for me that is a dangerous place to be because the wrong word could make things very ugly and I've only been this mad one other time, when my daughter was born and the Dr. told me I should have had my wife get an abortion so we wouldn't have to raise a cripple. I was ejected 4 times from the hospital for trying to assault the Dr. The four of us sat down and talked. The conversation ended with me having to make a decision. What do i do with what is in my bag? Bible or knife. my hand was in the bag and I didn't even realize it. I was sitting across from OM and OMW. Everyone looked scared but me. I asked my wife. "do you want him? If you do, you are free to leave now with him and I will support OMW, but you two are gone from both our lives. She looked stunned. She shook her head no. Too in shock to speak. I looked at turd. "what about you?". "No sir he replied". I paused for a moment and pulled my Bible from the bag. I said "I want to read you both a few things, and you will be quiet until I am done speaking to you. Do you understand?" They both replied "yes sir".

I read them passages about the penalty in the OT for adultery, I read them passages about divorce and adultery from the NT. I shared the gospel with them both. I talked to them about forgiveness and reconciliation with God. I warned them should there ever be any contact I would initiate my right for retribution. Everyone was very clear on the consequences. We spent the next few days in the typical recovery roller-coaster. On June 20th I took her by the hand. I had not hugged her, kissed her or touched her since the first night. I told her "I want to do something for you, and I want you to understand that this is not sexual. I want to show you how I love you".

I took her to the shower, undressed her, and prepared the shower. I washed her that day. Not in a sexy sexual way. In a way that demonstrated grace, love, hope, and I told her this is how Christ has washed us. I'm not big on imagery and such. But this is what I did. I told her in my eyes, she was clean. She was no longer defiled and impure. That now she was new to me. We both cried as I washed every inch of her. Completely open and honest. My wife came to Christ that day. Our lives changed that day. I am just now seeing the full ramifications of my actions that day. How completely my wife is changed. I did something that demonstrated selflessness without even realizing it.

This was the ultimate love bank deposit.This was the beginning of our three year recovery.


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Oh the roller coaster of the next two years! If only I had known. Shortly after that I was talking to G while she was getting ready for work one morning and boom! I woke up in bed with W and kids standing around me. Apparently I had collapsed due to exhaustion. They moved me to my bed and I was somewhat delirious. I went to the Dr. (refused an ambulance and the ER), and we told the doctor everything. She tried prescribing AD's for me. I refused. I wanted to do this on my own. She wrote me a prescription for what was supposed to be a sleep aid. I refused and my wife took the prescription and put it in her purse. I was supposed to be on complete bed-rest for the next week or so. I went in to work every other day as I was one of the lead techs on the site and we were weeks behind in the project. I was like the walking dead. by July of 08, I decided that I would try the sleep aids... I had a bad reaction to them and started becoming extremely paranoid. Apparently the prescription got mixed up and it was a high dosage anti-depressant given to people who suffer bi-polar disorder and have schizoid tendencies. I was a nut case.

Long story short, we had an incident a few days later where my FIL had pushed my daughter down. We weren't there (on our way over), but my sister in law was. She flipped and a huge family fight ensued. We arrived and things were "ok", but SIL was not there. FIL was being a jerk and after a bit we decided to leave. SIL called and told us everything.. I mean everything. We had been married 18 years at this point. She told us how for years he would bad mouth me after we left family functions, complained for up to an hour at times. That I was bad for his DD and wished she would just leave me.


I called him and confronted him in what was to end up as a huge blow-out. It ended with me telling him to crawl under a rock and die. My W's SIL called again later to check on us and I found out more information.... He had been keeping a list of potential suiters for her at the "church" they were members at and had spoken with some of them and there was interest in her by them. My W was furious. Even in both her A's she never wanted anything long term with either guy. She wanted her M.

So we scheduled the 1st of 2 talks. the first one ended badly. We confronted her parents at their house and he admitted to everything and my W told him that he was hurting our M and was dangerous and could not see our children. She broke contact. he started yelling and screaming (I think in retrospect, he was drunk again) at her, not looking at me. I told him he would not speak to my wife that way and he better put his eyes on me or there would be problems. That seemed to cool his jets and we left after W explained there would be no contact. Through it all my MIL was totally passive.

She called later to try to explain to me that she knew about everything but what was she supposed to do. I told her to speak up and stand for what was right. We left the conversation there. Since our teenagers were involved, they asked to have a meeting with my inlaws about a week later. We relented, and invited them over.

How my wife coped with my increasing paranoia, I will never know. I was becoming more depressed and even suicidal being on the medicine.

The inlaws visited and we had our talk which went poorly. I was very calm at first, but I could feel rage building in me. As my kids laid out their grievances before my ILs, I was spiraling. My Il's responded poorly to the kids. At first condescending and defensive, then becoming hostile. I turned (like a horror movie I'd imagine) and said to my FIL WTF did you just say to my kid? My MIL said "I will not stand for the F word being used in front of me". That was it. I snapped...

As I remember it, the conversation went from talking to me saying something to the effect of "F U, if I f-ing want to f-ing say F in my own F-ing house, I will f-ing say F. If you F-ers don't f-ing like it, go f yourself... Better yet, I will just f-ing f you up myself."

My MIL stood up abruptly. I looked down and realized I was standing on the couch yelling now. My FIL said "honey... Run!" and I shot after them like a flash. I chased them down the street to their car screaming the F word until they jumped in and chased the car a little way down the street.

Not my finest moment to be sure. I walked back in and my daughter looks at me and says very matter of factly... Daddy I love you. Who wants chili?
That established a strict NC with them. I started to come back in control of myself and told my W that I couldn't take the meds anymore. She said she had already called her SIL who is a mental health professional and she said there was no way I should have ever taken one, let alone a weeks worth. We flushed the pills.

During that time, I had tried to shoot both myself and G. The gun misfired both times. It was a morning of sheer terror for her. I had gone from great loving husband to insane nut-case with zero excuses for my actions. I should have been locked up. I went out back and smashed the gun with a sledge hammer, breaking the wood to bits and bending the barrel. I threw it away that day and have never bought another one.

I had another melt down in July and did something I thought I'd never do. I smacked my W in her arm. I had never hit her before. Here I was terrorizing her. I was no better than she was. I had become pushy with her, manhandling her and it ended with me smacking her on the arm about 5 times in a row. What had I let myself become?!?! I would really like to attribute this to the medication that I was just off of as the Dr said it could stay in my system for over a month, but the truth was I was now a POS husband. I did the most horrific thing and hit the woman I promised to protect. I swore to her the next day I would never do it again, and I haven't done it since. Now we didn't have just the affair to recover, we had to recover from me being a POS abusive husband.


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Let me say that at this point, she was doing everything right and I was doing everything wrong. I do not make excuse for my horrid actions any more than she does for her 2 A's. Revenge was not mine to take. The sick thing in all this was that through it all, I loved her. I still loved my beautiful wife. Now I was the one who needed to change and I don't change easy. Getting me to the point where I see my failure can be difficult sometimes. Once I am there, I am gung ho to fix it. I instituted EP's for her and myself. We listed out things we would never do to each other, things that we would do to prevent us from ever getting to that place again and we began working together to fix us. That's how we spent the next 2.5 years.

I had ups and downs, she's had ups and downs. She has had NC with OM since DDay with 2 exceptions. Both were intiated by him. We didn't know about MB you see. I had bought SAA, read about 2 chapters or so and threw it away. It pi$$ed me off. I didn't like what Dr. Harley had to say about me. now we had started through trial and error doing a weird version of MB that I figured out on my own. During that first year of recovery, OM emailed my wife 2x. Both times she forwarded the message to me and I made her respond the 1st time, and I responded the second time. I love being here on the lsit, so I won't repost the unedited version.... here's both letters:


Him (letter #1):

Grace, is this a good address to email you at?

Her response:


How dare you ! Do NOT e-mail, call, write or attempt to contact me in any way...ever! I do NOT want to talk to you. I do NOT want to see you. I do NOT want to hear from you!!! You have [censored] up my life enough as it is...leave me the hell alone. Go e-mail your own wife...I am cv'S!!

You must have a death wish, because my husband will #%$^ing kill you if you continue to contact me!!

I am NOT waiting for you. I am NOT and NEVER have been in love with you. We will NEVER be together. I gladly belong to cv and to him alone!!!
cv's wife,

Grace

The second letter was a response letter from him...

Him: I thought we had something good. What about the promises we made to each other?

I responded...


Me:

It seems that you are continually a bane on my friggin existence. I need to ask you something that really isn't open for debate.

Over the course of the nine months, my wife had made many promises to your sorry ass. Promises of love and affection forever, promises to love you, promises to stay with you. Probably much more. You need to respond back. You will release her from her vows, promises and oaths that she has made to you. If you do not, I promise you that your fun from a few weeks ago will not end, it will not stop, it will never cease. In fact, I promise that the next time, I will be there to indulge in the fun and frolic of my friends. I will not be as whimsical as my friends in their approach to having fun. I take it very seriously. release her from her vows, set her free or you and I are going to the woodshed.


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Now I realize this is confusing, so let me explain my letter to him....

We did a very limited exposure (her brother and parents knew, no one on my side of the family knows to this day. Our kids know. That's it.). I decided to have a few friends of mine on the base keep an eye on him. They had very limited info to what was going on and really were good friends. About 3months after DDay I reported him to his command and pressed charges. He did 6 months in the brig for conduct unbecoming of a marine. After he got out of the Brig, he was released from active duty and placed in the active reserves. Their house as foreclosed on and they moved out of state. One of my friends heard he was coming back into town for the purpose of trying to woo FWW back. He asked if he and some friends could go talk to him. It ended up with OM in the hospital for a few days in his home state. They roughed him up pretty bad. He reported it apparently as a mugging.

A bit after that, I found out he rented a hotel just outside of town to try it again. My buddy contacted me and told me about it and I drove to the hotel and told the clerk at the desk I was his brother and had a family emergency. He gave me the room # and I went and paid him a visit. I don't know if he ever told anyone what happened or not. He never called the cops. I walked away with 2 more broken knuckles. Like i said, I'm Irish and I'm scrappy. Then he sent those emails to my wife.


So here was his response:

I understand. You are releasd from your promises to me. Don't write me anymore.

FINALLY!!! His wife emailed me sometime later and asked that we not have contact anymore. She said she couldn't handle it and they were on again and off again. That is the last we have heard from him G blocked her email shortly afterwards. I still keep a fake email address that I used to develop a work relationship with OM. Kinda just to keep tabs on him. I ask from time to time how he feels about W. He said it is too painful to talk about and he hasn't spoken to her since then.

Back to us. It has been hard and steady progress for us. When i was weak, she was strong and vice versa. We truly have been there for each other. I would say our kids are almost completely recovered. They know everything I did (I confessed to them), they know everything that W did. She confessed. We made great strides on our own. We read tons of books (mostly psycho-babble), looked at dozens of programs for marriage, and in April I hit my promise mark. Do I continue or walk away? I had given it so much time. There really wasn't anything left to confess by her, but I was struggling with the "DID she really love OM?" I had made a lot of stupid promises over the last almost three years. I promised her that I would walk if I found out she was in love. I'm not just decent with my fists, I am also a decent debater. I think quickly on my feet. I found that with enough debate, I can be very convincing when i want to. now I was questioning if she loved him. She had maintained no, and I was convincing her of yes.

I was ready to quit. I had a promise to fulfill after all.... So I googled 2 things... Divorce in (state), and building marriage.

I found Marriage builders. I read everything on the site over and over for about 2 or 3 weeks and posted here. You guys saved me from chronic rectal-cranial inversion. My W started posting here... The 1st 2 weeks on the list were hard. but we persevered and learned.

Here we are... about what 12 days from our three year anniversary of DDay... It's father's day this year you know... And I am not triggered by the thought of it. Recovered? nope. On the road? Yep.. Well traveled at this point. We are stabilized and healing. We are not critical and though there is some pain, we have something we haven't had in a very long time.... Hope.

So what's suil a ruin? It's an Irish love song...

I wish i was on yonder hill
'tis there i'd sit and cry my fill,
And every tear would turn a mill,
Iss guh day thoo avorneen slawn.

Chorus (in phonetic gaelic)
Shule, shule, shule aroon,
Shule go succir agus, shule go kewn,
Shule go dheen durrus oggus aylig lume,
Iss guh day thoo avorneen slawn.

I'll sell my rock, i'll sell my reel,
I'll sell my only spinning wheel,
To buy my love a sword of steel
Iss guh day thoo avorneen slawn.

Chorus

I'll dye my petticoats, i'll dye them red,
And 'round the world i'll beg my bread,
Until my parents shall wish me dead,
Iss guh day thoo avorneen slawn.

Chorus

I wish, i wish, i wish in vain,
I wish i had my heart again,
And vainly think i'd not complain,
Iss guh day thoo avorneen slawn.

Chorus

But now my love has gone to france,
To try his fortune to advance;
If he e'er come back, 'tis but a chance,
Iss guh day thoo avorneen slawn.

Chorus


Translation

Chorus:
Come, come, come, o love,
Quickly come to me, softly move;
Come to the door, and away we'll flee,
And safe for aye may my darling be!


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wow...CV...just, wow...you and Grace have been through so much together. I can hear how much you love her in your words - she is a very blessed woman!


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cv,

Your story is a wonderful love story, rough in spots but a love story none the less.
You two have held it together with each other and each one of you has held it together for the both of you........a true test of not giving up and fighting for what is right and just.............
I loved the way you confronted the OM maybe not the knuckle breaking part but letting him know that he couldn't just take what was yours......
You are a man that stands up for his family and I am sure your wife knows without a doubt that you love her no matter what........
You have shown so much selflessness and forgiveness and understanding, you fixed the issues you had with solid problem solving ideas.
You have grown and learned from the experience, you two deserve to be happy and in love for the rest of your lives......
jessi


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WPG, Jessi,

Thanks. Truth is, I'm the blessed one.

breaking knuckles is no fun. couple years later and they still hurt. Ugh.

Just as a disclaimer, I don't recommend anyone take the route I did. It cost me a lot. Cost us both. Wish i had the common sense to read a few more chapters into SAA back around DDAy would have made a world of difference for us.


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It's just the sort of risk OMs take when they mess with someone else's wife. It's not right, but they're the ones who stuck their hands in the cookie jar with a built-in bear-trap.


One year becomes two, two years becomes five, five becomes ten and before you know it, you've wasted your whole life on a problem you can't solve. That's one way to spend your life. -rwinger

I will not spend my life this way.

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