If You Think It's Intense Out Here, You Should See What It's Like Inside...

"Solace, haven, fear, all of these are words which have created moods that one has learned to accept without ever questioning their value."

Carlos Castaneda

My husband and I have been married just over 24 years. It is actually a miracle to have found him and the difference he makes in my life, each day, could not have come from any other source. When I met my husband, I had already been married and divorced twice, both for short periods. The reason for this, in my mind, is because my first two husbands were unfaithful to me.

When I was growing up, my father was unfaithful to my mother and it had a devastating effect on our whole family. It all started, for me, when I was 4 years old. I was in the tub, bathing and playing with my floating toys. My Mother came into the room to get me out of the bath, as I had been in for quite a while. She was crying. I asked her what was wrong. She said, "Your Father is having an affair." I was 4 years old. I didn't know what that meant so I said, "What is that?" What she said next changed my outlook for the next several decades of my life. She said, "He does not love me anymore." Well, what went through my little 4 year old mind was that if he didn't love her anymore, he didn't love me, either.

Up until that moment, life was basically bliss for me. After that moment, I would never trust anyone to become close to me again until a day in April of 1986, when my world stood still. My Father told me he loved me every day of our lives together until I left home at the age of eighteen. I never believed him again. As if this had not already nailed the coffin shut, when I was 13, he told me, in front of my Mother, that it was my fault he was unfaithful to her. He said that she spent too much time attending my school events and should be spending that time with him. I had just become a majorette with the marching band and my Mother was about to take me back to school to march in my first half-time show during one of our school's football games. I was not able to reason, at such a young age, that my Father should have accompanied my Mother and I to this event. Instead, I was pierced through the heart by his words as the life force drained from my very being. I was crushed. I began the life of the living dead, that day, and it would take much to snap me out of it. When I was 19, my Father was killed in an accident. It threw me into the tailspin of my life. I felt desperate to find a way out of this self-destructive course my life had taken. This lead to a time of intense searching in my life to try to find meaning in a world so self-absorbed as to cut down the life of another without a second thought.

I learned much throughout this time of educating myself about what is truly important. The things I did learn made vast differences in the ongoing adventure of my life. What they did not do was help me find a way to trust another.

When each of my first two husbands asked me to marry them, I told them that I loved them and wanted to spend my life with them, but I also told them that the one thing I would never tolerate was infidelity. I would never accept unfaithfulness, ever. They either didn't believe me or it was not important to them to have me in their life. It did not matter to me. They both made their excuses. The first husband said he did it because he was bored. My second husband said, "It's only sex, it doesn't mean anything." People act like their excuse for breaking their promises is equal to keeping the promise. It is not! I found myself listening to more promises of, "I will never do it again." I tried after that to believe them, I really did, but when I found each of them being unfaithful again, I threw in the towel of trust once and for all, or at least I thought I had, at the time.

When my husband, Bruce, asked me to marry him, my response was, "Are you insane?" "I do not intend to ever marry again." I told him what happened in my first two marriages and how I had become cynical about the issue of trust. I said, "You can trust people to do what they do, but you cannot trust their word or their promises." I told him I would live with him as long as it worked for the two of us, but that I could not even consider the idea of marriage. He said, "I see you as a person who wants to share their life with another and although you don't see that right now, I will wait patiently, because when you do recognize this I want to be first in line."

Over the next year, we spent much time doing what friends do. We have a great deal in common, so finding ways to enjoy each other's company was not difficult. One of the things we had made the commitment to do, as friends, was to take courses together that would grow us as individuals and as a couple. We signed up for a course called the Six Day. This event, per the title, lasted for six days. It took place in northern California. It consisted of inside, very intense class work that challenged the very core of our beliefs about ourselves and others. It also included an outdoor course which was rigorous and pushed us to the limit of our willingness. At the end of the course each of us had to stand on a stage alone and tell all the other members in attendance what we were committed to, going forward. Bruce stood on the stage and said that he was committed to having me have trust in my life, so powerfully, that it would actually allow me to experience trust for the rest of my life and enable me to alleviate it as an issue, for all time.

We were not allowed to sit next to someone we knew throughout these six days, so after the seminar was over I looked for Bruce and could not find him. I went outside and in the far distance I saw him walking away with another woman from the seminar. Even after all that had happened in those last many days, the first thing my mind went to was that he was off with someone else and could not be trusted. He came back after only a few minutes and when I confronted him, he said that he was trying to help someone who had lost something. I was beside myself with grief and I could not shake the feeling of having been betrayed yet again. We went to the car and Bruce started to discuss it with me. I was speechless. I sat there listening to him say over and over that he could be trusted. I heard him say that he had just made a public declaration to support me in having trust in my life, but I could not answer.

We were parked next to a very busy road and Bruce decided to move to a safer place. We drove to a convenience store and sat in the parking lot for almost 4 hours. Many people passed our car, but it was as if we were invisible. No one seemed to notice us, at all. He did everything he could to assure me of his intentions. I still could not speak. All I could do was cry and feel the deepest, darkest despair. At a point he said that we should return to the hotel and have some dinner. We had not eaten since breakfast.

We went back to the hotel. I had finally found my tongue and began to tell him how profound an issue this was for me and that I thought he was wasting his time trying to have a relationship with me when I was sure he could find someone better to live the rest of his life with. I told him that I had no intention of doing anything for someone else ever again that I did not want to do. I told him that he could depend on me for only three things. They were, 1. I would intentionally recreate my love for him every single day like it was brand new. 2. I could be counted on to be a great partner and friend. One who was trustworthy myself. And, 3. I told him that I would create an opening for him each day where I would see him newly, even though he might have done the same things over and over forever. I told him that he could not create other expectations of me because I was not here, on this earth, to fulfill his expectations. I was here to fulfill the purpose for which I had come. I told him that before he ever asked me to marry him again, he should know who he is talking to. I proceeded to tell him all the reasons he should not marry me, and there were many, many of them. After I had finished reading him 'the riot act', he said, "That is the most powerful thing anyone has ever said to me."

We talked peacefully throughout the rest of the evening, but my nerves were raw, and I was weary of so much talk. I prayed most of the night to try to find light in the darkness of my soul. As the early light was dawning, we awoke and were on our way. I had exhausted every single ounce of energy I had ever had around the issue of trust. Several days after returning home, Bruce asked me to marry him again. This time, what he actually said was, "On what day will you marry me?" I said October 17, 1986. The rest is history.

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Comments 16 comments

THAT Mary Ann 5 years ago

Painful to read and think about. I hope time has made you more serene and restored your faith...in the opening paragraphs, that seems to be the case...carry on.

Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 5 years ago from North Carolina

The year and date you were married are very significant in relation to me, although I'd rather not get into details at this time. Its wonderful you were able to get pass your experiences enough to say yes to Bruce. Thank you Lela for sharing this part of your life. Yours AP.

CreatePerfection profile image

CreatePerfection 5 years ago from Beautiful Colorado Author

Dear Mary Ann, thank you for taking the time to read my article and comment. The truth is, Bruce saved my life. Had he not been there so profoundly for me, I would have been among those living dead who walk through life in the trance of despair. Having him in my life is the greatest joy I have ever experienced and we intentionally recreate it every day together.

CreatePerfection profile image

CreatePerfection 5 years ago from Beautiful Colorado Author

Dear AP, it makes me happy when you visit my hubs and make a comment. Every day I thank God, for Bruce. I tell him often how very wonderful he is and how very grateful I am to have him in my life.

I really do recreate my love for him every day. I make every attempt to create happiness and joy in our daily lives together, and I see him anew every day. He is an extraordinary person. He deserves the best.

Thank you, Alastar.



Jillian Barclay profile image

Jillian Barclay 5 years ago from California, USA

Dear Lela,

What a sad, sad commentary on how deeply our words and actions affect our children. As parents, most of us would give up our own lives for our children, yet in the blink of an eye, we can destroy their lives with stupid, stupid things we say or do.

Your parents and former spouses left you with demons, but you had something within you that forced you to trust, just one more time! Thank God for that! Apparently, you finally met a man that knew what love is and he was happy to share that with you!

You are both lucky to have found each other! This is such a tragic and beautiful story, all at the same time. Thank you for sharing it. It may be an inspiration to someone else, who is afraid to love. You might help someone say, just one more time...

CreatePerfection profile image

CreatePerfection 5 years ago from Beautiful Colorado Author

Dear Jillian, thank you for your lovely comment. Your kind words always touch me deeply.

Bruce and I truly are so lucky to have found each other. He is the eternal joy of my life and he is honestly the best human being I have ever known.

Thank you again, Jillian.



Druid Dude profile image

Druid Dude 5 years ago from West Coast

Good hub. My wife has chosen to keep me for 35 yrs. Not sure why...What really got me is Oct 17 is her birthday! Cool coincidence.

CreatePerfection profile image

CreatePerfection 5 years ago from Beautiful Colorado Author

Alastar Packer also said in his comment that October 17th is a significant day for him, too. Thank you Druid Dude for reading my hub and making the comment.

I really enjoy reading your articles and find them very thought provoking. Thank you for that, too.

Blessings to you and your wife...


Fay Paxton 5 years ago

I could relate to everything you said. It is amazing the lasting impact our youthful experiences have on us and our choices throughout life. All too often, people are never really aware of how or why they respond to certain things. You seemed to be in touch with your little demons...and that's a good thing. up/useful, awesome and beautiful.

CreatePerfection profile image

CreatePerfection 5 years ago from Beautiful Colorado Author

Thank you, Fay. You are a great human being. I feel so lucky to know you, and blessed.


Terry.Hirneisen profile image

Terry.Hirneisen 5 years ago from Shenandoah Valley

This is a deeply personal story that took courage to write. How sad that your father blamed you for the marital problems. I feel certain he would regret that today. Children should never be the blame for marital problems. Divorce and separation are such ugly and disappointing matters, I wonder if anyone does them well when children are involved.

It has all turned out well for you now and that is one more thing that makes me happy!!

Voted up and courageous if they had that button.

The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 5 years ago from Arlington, TX

WOW! I had to hit all the buttons on this one but funny. We are ultimately the product of all our life's experiences. You have done well my friend.

The Frog

CreatePerfection profile image

CreatePerfection 5 years ago from Beautiful Colorado Author

Terry, thank you for your very wise comment. It does not take much to strip a child of their security.

Bruce changed the path of my life because he saw something in me worth saving. Had it not been for him, though, I don't know what would have come.

Thank you, Terry. I really appreciate you.



CreatePerfection profile image

CreatePerfection 5 years ago from Beautiful Colorado Author

Thank you Frog Prince, I am grateful for every blessing I have in life. We all have things to overcome, and having someone take you by the hand when you have lost your way is a very, very great gift indeed.

Blessings to you FP,


Your Greatest Nephew 5 years ago

Great heartfelt post. I am proud of you for allowing such a great guy to break through the demons that have haunted you and be your true soulmate. You know my past relationship histories as well and I find the simlilarities amazing.I too have have found the only other person on earth that I could trust to spend my life with. It is good when we can tell our stories to people who can relate. I feel that it forms a bond of great strength when our trials are exposed to those who's passions are to lift us up. Thats what you do for me.

CreatePerfection profile image

CreatePerfection 5 years ago from Beautiful Colorado Author

YGN, holy mackerel, Dude!!! The student has become the Master and the master has become the student. After I get done wiping away the tears, I just wanna say, "Right Back Attacha."

I love you, I love you, I love you...............


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