When spouses move out without notice
By Tom P Blake Finding Love After 50
Today's article is about two men who had spouses move out without notice. The first man is Trent, and his story is a man's journey to find happiness after his second wife took her kids and moved to another state to be with a man she re-connected with on Facebook. Trent had no idea she planned to do it; he was out of town when she left.
Trent's story caught my eye because in many ways his path has been similar to mine. He said, "I am in my early 50's and was married for 20 years to a high school sweetheart. The marriage ended and I mostly raised my four kids from there.
"After being single for five years, I was fixed up with a woman (who also had four children). We dated for one year and married. As far as step families go, I think we did a pretty good job of blending our families; her four and my younger two kids became one.
"I supported her and her kids for seven years. During the last three years of this recession (2008), things have become pretty tight financially. I asked for her help via a part-time job but was met with resistance each time. Her youngest was 15, already in high school, so it wasn't like I was asking her to leave a small child at home.
"Things went downhill from there and eventually she reconnected on Facebook with a man she had known from high school. We were living in Utah and he was in Virginia. Over many months they corresponded and eventually met up in person. Sparks flew.
"Several months later, while I was out of town with my kids, she rented a moving truck and took off with about 80% of the items in our home. She pulled her three kids from work and school and they all headed east. I found out about the moving truck from a neighbor's phone call and returned home several days later to a much more simplified life.
"My adult children and friends were very supportive and helped me clean up the house and kept me company through some tough months. I never in a million years thought I would go through anything like that.
"Weeks went by and my oldest step daughter who remained in town called to express her distress with what her mom had done and told me about the other man. I hired a private detective and was finally able to track her down in the DC area. She had taken a bunch of cash, my car and most of our furniture. I was able to fly back there and repo my car.
"Within two months, her younger kids had flown to stay with their dad in another state and within another month the youngest returned to Utah to live and attend high school and be with us again. My ex found out during the divorce that our home here is under water as to equity and she had already gotten some cash and furniture so that was about it. I was not paying alimony as the marriage was short term and she was co-habitating with someone. Her child support for her kids went away when they went to stay with their dad and it turned out the fellow she fell for was renting his big home and did not own it.
"The moral of the story: people who trust more usually get taken advantage of more. Also, another moral: the grass isn't usually greener on the other side.
"I truly did love her, was hurt deeply by not just the breakup of our marriage but also the loss of sense of family. Being a social person it was really tough being all alone (except for my dog) and I never thought I would trust enough to date or marry again.
"Now I find myself in a much simpler and stress-free life. My kids are gone. I do see my step kids here in town and love and miss them but understand that I was simply not their mom's cup of tea and she is not a TERRIBLE person for having fallen out of love. I forgive her and hope she finds happiness some day."
So, what's become of Trent?
He said, "I started reading the newsletter last year and have slowly begun dating. The fix ups I went on never worked out as it's hard for another person to make a life partner choice for you. I think you really must make that journey yourself with much prayer and thought and of course...investigation.
"I travel on business and while in southern Calif., I pulled up a dating website to scan some profiles. I assumed it was showing me pics and profiles of women in my home state but after messaging one I found out it automatically pulled up women in southern California. A woman answered and we began messaging. We later exchanged names and cell numbers.
"I invited her to meet at a public restaurant for pie. She accepted initially. Two hours before our date she called to decline saying she was worried about meeting someone from another state who was a stranger. I understood and thought that would be the end of that.
"The following day I was getting on the road to drive home when my cell phone rang. She messaged asking if I was still in town. I responded that I was but explained that if she wanted to meet I would need to turn around right then. She texted, 'DO IT.'
"Her mom and sister had prodded her to take a chance and explained that meeting in public was low risk. I provided her with my name and address and she had Googled me and found out pretty much everything about me within 20 minutes.
"Intelius.com is a pretty good website for doing a quick background check on someone. We enjoyed a great lunch in Rancho Bernardo on a golf course and have been dating steady for months now. This woman is smart, fit, sexy and spiritual. She is kind and at times nerdy but despite my jaded past I am finding the companionship to be wonderful and am falling in love again but with eyes much more wide open. I will continue to enjoy the journey of my life and know that every day of courting a beautiful woman (although one with faults just as I have) is a day worth living."
Yes, Trent is in a long-distance relationship. They live nine hours apart by car. She has driven to see him twice and he flies to see her often. They see each other at least every other week. She has met his grown kids. They have traveled together. They have attended a singles forum group together. He hopes to marry again.
Together they have been taking an online relationship course.
Trent said, "We plan to attend pre-marital counseling. I will probably use a pre-nup agreement this time and I am trying my best to not rush it but to enjoy this wonderful time of chemical brain love.
"I know chemistry won't last forever but the couple of years that it does should be fun and I believe God gave us this period of rose-colored glasses to help us get cemented. After that I am sure I will be up to the challenge of the working phase of marriage where the true measure of us shines through as we face the reality of work, blended kids, sickness, financial issues etc. All of these things are meant to help us become who we are meant to be.
"I hope that through the process of self improvement, becoming totally healed myself and meeting an independent and happy woman, we will be able to form a new life together.
"May we all never, never, ever give up...as Winston Churchill would suggest."
Why Tom relates to Trent's story
On Xmas Eve 1993, my third wife (of seven years), backed up a U-Haul truck to our front door and cleaned out our home. I was out of town visiting my mom. My first newspaper article, six months later, was titled, "Home alone with only the dogs for company." There have been close to 3,000 articles since. I've never received an explanation from her. A few times earlier she had muttered, "Blood is thicker than water," meaning, I guess, her kids were more important than I.
I dated many women and had a stormy relationship. Eventually, 14 years ago, I met Greta, certainly my soul mate if there is such a thing. We just logged a 19-day trip together and loved it.
Trent is suggesting that for people who take the easy way out, the grass is rarely greener. What happened to our respective wives isn't pretty. For mine, it was shocking. And, even though new singles go through adversity, somewhere, somehow, later, a seed is planted that can grow into the type of relationship we all hope for.
If someone moves out on you, unexpectedly, it may seem like the end of the world, but it isn’t. Somehow, you will recover, and very likely be better off in the long. That’s hard to see when it happens, but looking back, it was the best thing that ever happened to me.