As you have noted; I am keeping names out of my blog. If you see or think you see that I am speaking of you, please remember I am writing about my marriage. Nothing is intended to show dislike, hurt or disloyality to any of my friends – past and present. All of my friends were very important to me both past and present. Without them I may have completely given up hope. I love each of you, thank you.

Standing on the edge of Hell…..

I couldn’t sleep, I thought greatly about the continuation of my blog regarding my marriage and relationship with my husband. I came to the conclusion that I have no right to share all of the secrets of our lives. Although Bob trust me to write discreetly and truthfully, it would still be a description from my point of view and not his. Because of my love for him, I have no right to do that. I can write more in general terms and still express a lot of the trials and pain we both went through.

Be assured these words do not come easily or quickly. They are thought about, written, edited, reread and edited many times before you see them. Bob ask me why I felt I needed to write about it. I told him I just felt that perhaps there are others out there that are going through the same thing, maybe just one couple could be helped and not have to go through the years of pain we did if they read it; that would be worth sharing it. He agreed, it pains him to read it (and he does read each of them) to see how much pain he put us both through. Yet he knows how it has come out and is glad we are at the place we are now. I admit I was no angel through these years, but I too came out on the other side better for it.

March 13th, 2013 we will be married for 44 years. I and Bob are both surprised we have made it this long. Most marriages would not have made it through the problems we had. In this world of “throw away marriages”, it is just too easy to give up and move on. I feel that God has had a plan in our lives this whole time. Neither of us has seen what the reason is, but maybe it is because we are looking from the inside out. Why else would we still be together? We have both recently retired and we can both say that we are in a better place at this very moment than we ever have been. Sad to say but it is true.

During all these years and all of our “bumps” we have learned what true love and companionship are. No, we did not know what love was when we married; we had lust, fun, fears, the filing of divorce four times in the first five years of marriage; emotional problems with no answers, marriage counseling and the death by miscarriage of several children.

The path we have taken has been very hard, very narrow and sometimes not taken together. Our individual search for our true selves had taken priority many times; we were selfish, always looking out for ourselves – never considering what the other might want or need.

Before Bob got out of the Air Force I left him and went to California. I didn’t see any other way to get away from him and our messed up lives. Our daily lives consisted of him fulfilling his duties at the base, then he and his friends came to our place to party. I worked evenings so when I came home I wanted to have dinner with my husband and enjoy our life. That was not to be, several guys were always there drinking, watching TV, playing cards or whatever they wanted to do. This went on until the early hours of the morning. It was apparent that Bob had no idea what marriage was to be. Instead it was a constant party with his friends.

The fights got pretty intense, lots of name calling and misery. I left, with our new VW Bug; I left him a note in an old woody that he was restoring that I had left the state and not to look for me. I took the old car to the base and got the new car, leaving him the note. He called the police and reported that I had stolen his car – however my name was on the title and they said it was mine also. The fact that I had taken his car made him more upset then the fact that I had left him! His car was more important to him then I was.

After he got out of the service he came to California and we agreed to try again, thinking that being in a different place it would make things better. However, our friends came to California too. Our emotional baggage was still with us. We lived a very loose moral life. My husband had made it plain he didn’t want me for a wife. I had never felt that much pain, how could your husband not love and protect you? Many things happened; we never lived together for one full year at a time for the first five years we were married.

At one time, I moved out. I got my own place. At that time I was working in downtown Los Angeles on Wilshire Blvd. I worked in an insurance business that kept policies for top stars. I was invited to the big bosses’ home in Malibu Beach for a Christmas party. I was still not use to drinking much; I didn’t know when to stop. I was so upset over my life I got wasted. Thank goodness I had two wonderful friends that got me home.

At the time I had begun dating a great guy. At least I thought he was. One night we went out to a club, I thought I had it all figured out. I was living the dream; I lived in California, worked downtown, had a good relationship and thought I was happy. We were dancing – right in the middle of the dance God spoke to me as plainly as if my date had said it: “You know if you die like this, you will not go to heaven. Look around, is there anything Christ like about what you are doing?” It was literally an audible voice. It shook me to the core, I knew God was everywhere but did not expect him to follow me into a club. I excused myself and went home to my little apartment. Geez God sure knows how to take the fun out of it.

Once my date came home he couldn’t understand what was going on, I was crying and was upset. I had feelings for him, yet, I knew I should not be with him. I started noticing that when he would get up, by 10 A.M. He was already hitting the hard liquor. He was not a mean drunk but I sure didn’t like it. He eventually talked to his dad and told him he was in love with a woman who was still legally married. His dad knew exactly who he was talking about. He wanted to marry me but I couldn’t get over his drinking problem, even if he was Irish and was “use” to it. We broke up.

Bob and I got together once again. We moved to another area away from our friends to try to make it work. We were working at Wells Fargo at night cleaning offices. We worked really well together and managed to keep within schedule and get finished on time. One night I remember going into an attorney’s office and cleaned the outside reception area. I eventually opened the door to the main office – to screams by a woman and cursing by a man to get out and never come back. Evidently a little more was going on in there then “work”. I was so embarrassed. It wasn’t my fault but I was the one who went in. I left the floor and finished my other work.

Then the bottom fell out…. A few days later our boss called and informed us we were no longer needed. He had cousins come into town and he gave our jobs to them. Jobs were very hard to find and having been let go was not a good thing to put on a resume’. Not being able to find other work we had no choice but to move to find work.

Other than the job situation our problems had only gotten more uncomfortable and living this way was just not working. One evening our problems grew even graver. I felt like I had been blindsided after a long discussion with Bob. This was too personal to even discuss accept between ourselves. I called my dad and he offered a job to Bob if we wanted to come back to Kansas. We really thought we had no other choice. Why I even wanted him to go back to Kansas with me I have no idea, I continued to hold onto this marriage that was now nothing more than frayed rags with only strings left to cling too.

We left California under the cloak of night fall. We had no money for rent, payment on furniture or appliances let alone utilities or food. We loaded our car with all we could and took off for Kansas. After arriving in Wichita Bob rented a small trailer, turned around and went back to California to get our clothes and other personal items before the management knew we were gone. Having never done anything like this before it was terrifying. It wasn’t until after Bob returned that we realized the trailer was for in town use only. It did not have a tag to go out of state. We lucked out on that, or God was watching out for our stupidity.

I still have some problems with some things that were left behind. Example: Bob’s grandfather had mainly raised him, so as a boy he had helped Bobby plant a cherry tree in their back yard. The day we married his grandfather cut the tree down and made a club with it. The first time he meet me, he presented me the club to “keep Bobby in line”. It was beautiful cherry wood and had engravings of dates and characters on it that his grandfather had craved, it was priceless and now it was gone. In Bob’s defense he had no idea what was important and only grabbed what he could and thought we needed, had he seen the club he would have gotten it. Not much fit in the small trailer. It killed me to leave all of our furniture. We lost many of our possessions, that was very hard; photos, items of mine from growing up, wedding gifts etc.

Once Bob started working we were able to move into a small apartment – we lived in separate sides of the apartment until we could get the money to finally get a divorce and end our painful, hurtful journey once and for all. We agreed we needed to finally stop torturing each other. We neither one seen anyway we even wanted to save in this marriage. Yet, God had other ideas.

It was in this apartment that I finally turned back to the God of my childhood. I knew he was the only one that could make me whole, heal the pain in my heart and clear my mind. He did, he forgave me of my sins; the harder part was forgiving myself for having walked away. I counseled with some people I trusted and confined in them what was really going on; they told me that unless Bob got saved God would allow me to walk away from him according to what God’s word said. There are very few reasons God would allow the divorce of a Christian and this was one of them.

Yet, we all agreed to pray for Bob to find God. God alone could take care of this by saving his soul. Only God could reach him. In all this, I knew he was hurting and I cared for him, but I felt no love for him. As I mentioned in the first post, he had killed all my respect for him.

It was a week or two later when one evening Bob woke me up; he was very upset, almost hysterical. He told me he had been seriously considering suicide. (My heart sank even thinking that he would want to do that.) He said he was trying to talk to God about it when something happened. It was as real as real to him; Bob was allowed to look into the depth of Hell. He felt the extreme heat, he heard the peoples screams, seen the snakes and spiders on the walls. He seen the flames and heard people crying for mercy. He felt that God had shown him this vision to let him know if he didn’t repent he too would go to this place for sinners. He was allowed to actually stand on the edge and look down into his grave, if he did kill himself.

He ask me to call my pastor that he needed someone to pray for him NOW. I called and some people agreed to meet us at the church. After much counseling and intervention Bob got saved that night. He totally repented of his sins and ask Christ to come into his life. Christ did, Bob got up a new man. (He has not turned his back once since then, not to say troubles did not come – but it did allow Bob time to see both of his parents saved before they passed.)

This did not instantly by some miracle turn our marriage into a “fairly tale”, so much had been involved and Satan’s hold had been so strong it took a long time for us to become “man & wife” again. We basically were new babes in Christ and had to learn a lot of new things, including: forgiveness, healing, we began to date again and get to know who we now were. With the help of our new faith, bible study, prayer, family and friends we begin to heal.

That was only the first six years.. Then the most unexpected happened…

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