How It Began

My own divorce story began in 2009 when I received a surprise text after 10 years of marriage that my husband was leaving.  That text was the last contact I ever had from him.  Over the next few weeks and months, I struggled to make sense of what happened.  It turned out that the reality was even stranger and more horrific than I could have ever imagined.  I found evidence of years of lies and deception, found empty bank accounts and overfilled unknown credit cards, and I saw evidence of another woman.  Further sleuthing uncovered the shocking revelation that he married this other woman 6 days after he left me, thus committing felony bigamy.  I found myself catapulted into a world of police, lawyers, psychiatrists, and media, trying to find my bearings.  One of the worst aspects of those early days was the feeling that he had stolen my voice my refusing to communicate with me.  I will be silent no more.

My marriage began with vows, vows to love and cherish him.  My marriage also ended with vows, vows made to myself.  I promised to thrive despite the pain, I committed to working to find balance in my life, I vowed to move beyond anger and revenge, and I pledged to use my voice to help others find wellness after trauma.

I have learned many lessons from the end of my marriage, and I am still learning.

You can read my entire story in my book Lessons From the End of a Marriage, available on Amazon.

The Day the Marriage Died

Where is He Now?

The First Tears of the New Year

When is a Phone More Than a Phone?

Wanted: The Ronald McDonald House for the Recently Separated

Dear Ms. Manners: The etiquette of Bigamy

If You’re Going to Get married Illegally, Be Sure to Pay the Band

Two Years Ago Today

Thank you for sharing!

38 thoughts on “How It Began

  1. Leanna – This is me. No holding back, no fear, no regrets. My thoughts, my actions, my consequences. All raw with no embellishments or exaggerations. That is my promise to you.
    Leanna says:

    Stay strong. Stay beautiful. You have the ability to change the world with your actions and your thoughts.

    1. No, it did not happen in a vacuum. I fully accept my part in what happened, and I have worked hard to improve those areas of myself. I do not live in the past; this trauma helped form me, but it does not define me. However, suggesting that I simply “get over it,” is rather callous and narrow. I have used and am still using this experience to foster growth. Rather than getting over it, I am choosing how to view it.

    2. Tom Leykis…shhhh…you might be an asshole…wth do you mean ‘this didn’t happen in a vacuum. Get over it.’ ???? Ever been through it Tom?

  2. This entire blog is very moving, and I’m amazed at how strong you are for picking up and moving on. Keep it up and I’ll see you at tough mudder next year! 🙂
    -your old student, Erin Landress.

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  4. For decades, I have remarked that the best revenge is living well.

    Congratulations! Your revenge is strong, deep, and ongoing!

    You are not only living well, you are thriving and fully alive.

    Kudos to you! It makes me lol inside to watch you grow and succeed after his secession from the relationship.
    Roll on in happiness, satisfaction, and victory!

  5. ourlifein3d – Life In 3D started as my Daddy Day Dare. I became a stay at home Dad years ago. My fast-paced professional life was thrown in reverse as I taught phonics and watched yet another episode of Dora The Explorer. Now, many years later, my girls are starting to grow up a little. 'Cute and cuddly' is being replaced with homework, spankings and braces. Check in from time to time to see how this experiment continues to evolve. See if I can survive as the only male in the house. I will offer our stories on the girls' escapades; never dull and hopefully amusing!
    Our Life In 3D says:

    Good luck StillLearning. My heart goes out to you! I am amazed as someone offers, “get over it”. My wife, who is very strong willed, would ask, “Get over it? It gives me fuel to live and learn from it. ”

    However we cope it will make you stronger. I am following and hope to offer some support.

  6. Tovah – Israel – Certified Substance Abuse and Addictions Professional, (CASAP) Although retired I still do voluntary work in my profession. For many years I've been a natural health enthusiast, using natural remedies and eating healthy natural organic food. I'd like to share some of my experiences about growing Organic Vegetables in small spaces, indoors and out.
    Divorce Recovery Solutions says:

    Good for you I like your answers!! You are quite right from the depths of darkness we are formed to grow into the people we are meant to become. Keep up your courage you seem to be doing great! Thank you for stopping by my blog that brought me to you. Tovah

  7. maryacoto – Mary A. Coto is a relationship author. As an advocate of self-help, she writes and promotes self-help aids she believes in. Her interests are varied and she wants to help as many people as possible through her blogs.
    marydcoto says:

    Thank you for visiting and following my blog. You are amazing. Stay strong. marydcoto

  8. You are a brave lady. Divorce is a shock in itself, but when you uncover the lies and sheer scale of the deceit, its a living hell. You got through it and you are braver and stronger as a result.

  9. I have and am going through a shockingly similar situation. Mine happened a little over a year ago, also with my high school sweetheart. He left me with no warning for a nurse that he had met at the hospital. He was a resident at the time. I had supported him through college, medical school and all of his residency except for six months at the end when he left. I’m also a teacher like you. I plan on buying your book and reading it. You are an inspiration for me.

    1. I’m sorry to hear that you are in a similar situation. I’m glad I can be of help. I share my story in the hope that others don’t feel as alone as I did in those early days.

      So, are you out for winter break or are you still counting down?

      Two. More. Days. On my side! 🙂

  10. celestedimilla – Laguna Beach, California – Hey there. I’m Celeste, California girl, writer, psychotherapist and burgeoning plant-based foodie.
    celestedimilla says:

    I’m divorced too, but I don’t think my divorce was nearly as traumatic as yours was. Ten years of marriage and he leaves you with a text message and gets married 6 days after he left you. That sounds like a movie (wouldn’t it be cool if your book got turned into a movie!). I really impressed that you wrote a book about your experience. I’ve attempted to write a book several times in my life, but have yet to succeed. I also love that you’re supporting so many people through your blog. That’s really great! Celeste 🙂 PS – thanks for following!

    1. I;m glad to hear your divorce wasn’t as traumatic. I don’t wish that on anyone! It felt like living in a movie, and I’ve often wondered if it will ever become one. I actually started journaling in the beginning but once police, lawyers and doctors all expressed shock at the tale, I knew it needed to be a book:)

      As for the blog, I knew in the early days that I needed to find a way to create something good out of the mess. My little way to spin negative energy into good:)

      Thanks for the support!

      1. celestedimilla – Laguna Beach, California – Hey there. I’m Celeste, California girl, writer, psychotherapist and burgeoning plant-based foodie.
        celestedimilla says:

        I really hope your book becomes a movie. Just the way you’ve been able to deal with all that you experienced in such a positive way is so inspirational! Celeste 🙂

  11. I have just discovered your blog and it’s wonderful and inspiring. I am at the start (3 months in) of my journey of divorce and separation. The last 3 months have been dark, desperate and like climbing daily mountains. But I am slowly coming through and starting to look at the view. Thanks for following me which meant I found you! xx

  12. I left my husband over two years ago and filed for divorce. After we married, I found out he had been married more times than he had originally said. He was verbally and physically abusive. I found out after I left him he had been abusive in his previous marriages. He has now remarried and I believe his new wife is pregnant. We are still not divorced. I have been trying to resolve the marriage since I filed over two years ago. He has an extensive military background and is unpredictable. Only my close friends and relatives know where I live. Do you think it makes sense to file a police report for bigamy? I know he’s remarried and its against the law. I also worry for my safety.

    1. What a difficult and painful mess. I am so sorry you’re having to deal with this. If your goal is to finalize divorce as quickly and smoothly as positive, my experience is that alerting the state to the bigamy will not impact the civil suit and will only add to the complexity and the mess you’re having to deal with. My ex never dealt with the criminal charges (warrant out last I knew) and it probably served to make him more difficult in the divorce case. Of course, that’s just one situation. Thinking of you. No easy answers.

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