3rd Time is NOT The Charm

On the heels of the torrential downpour of self-doubt and pain caused by the two previous failed marriages I was in immediate patch mode. There was no way that I was in a spot where I even wanted to consider working on, or even getting emotionally/physically/spiritually repaired. It’s like this, picture a huge storm and that there is water running down a hill toward the back door of your house, threatening to burst in and flood. With lightning striking and water rushing toward you, you’re first reaction is not to address the problem at the source. You deal with the point of impact to spare the immediate pain and suffering. Divert the flow now, then after the storm working your way to the top of the hill and figure out why the mud and trash continue to flow straight to you…. That’s where I was, damage control.

It was close to 11pm on a Friday night in December. I came home after a Christmas Party and saw that there had been a moving Pod set in my driveway. There were lights on and movement in my house. I quickly remembered that #2 wife had said she was flying in to pack her stuff up. I didn’t want to talk to her. I didn’t want to see her. The pain of rejection and betrayal was far to fresh to actually face head on. I walked in to my house through the garage and into the dining room where on the table my bottle of Chivas sat next to a lonely glass. I quickly grabbed my liquid companion and drove to find refuge in the fantasy world that is a “gentleman’s club”. I drank a fair amount of scotch in the parking lot and went into the lone, dimly lit structure that sat in the shadows of the freeway that ran overhead. I sat down at a table stage left and just looked at my phone. I tipped the performers as they walked by and denied their requests for a private dance. Then there was Chanelle. (Sha-Nell like the perfume). A short brunette, which was a welcomed change from my blonde wife routine I had going. She just sat there and didn’t say anything for several minutes.. Then she put her hand on mine and said, “it’s gonna be alright you know..” Man… She was good, I had “Easy Mark” written all over my face. In the course of conversation I inquired, “is there was a record for table dances in a row?” Amused at my line of questioning she explained, “there was rumor of 55 but nothing official.” I may not have been successful at marriage, but this I could do. “Do you take American Express?” She grabbed my hand and away we went until no less than 75 songs had past. Throughout the several hours we spent together she continue to say that I was wasting my money and if I needed to talk we could go get a drink somewhere… I wasn’t going anywhere. I had the attention of a girl, that was obviously super into me, because I’m funny, not because of the money.. (Ha)
Total bill including gratuity was $1750.00.
Over the course of the next couple weeks we talked and then after about a month grabbed a drink and were pretty much inseparable after that. We met at the park with our kids and they got along really well. This was crazy… Everything was going great. She was doing and saying all the right things. I would come home from work and instead of standing there and giving me crap about being gone all day and everything that went wrong with her day she would jump up and throw her arms around me and tell me how glad she was that I was home. Doesn’t sound like much, but at that time it’s exactly what I needed.
We now lived together with all of our kids. I had bought a house up in Alpine and was happy, or so I thought. The long summer was wearing on all of us and we needed a weekend away for sure. We went over to Catalina Island and after some good food, lotsa drink and some dancing we ended up walking in the ocean. She was saying something but I remember not really listening because I was thinking about how many times I could skip a stone across the water. I knelt down to grab a rock to skip and as I grabbed one I heard a gasp and some crying. Concerned I looked up to hear her saying, “yes, YES, YES!!!! I can’t wait to be your wife!”
I get it, we can all play Monday morning quarterback here folks and that won’t help anything. I knew that if I told her I wasn’t proposing that there would be no Lovin that night… So my plan was to wake up in the morning and just say how crazy last night was and that I didn’t remember anything…. Well as I woke up around 10 I heard her screeching on the phone to her mom, ” I KNOW!!! And it was soooo cute, he don’t even have a ring. Mmmhmm. Yup. Right.. We will have the reception there… Ok!”
I was trapped. I figured my out was to explain that I could somehow justify dating a stripper but couldn’t in good conscience be married to one. She never danced again… Oh except at our $64,000.00 wedding. Yeah I said it….
We added a her sister and her sisters 2 kids into the mix by letting them move in. Now at least 50% of the time we had 3 adults and 9 kids in the house… Over the next 8-10 months the laughter and joy quickly turned to stress and yelling. I was frustrated with my situation and took it out on the kids and withdrew from her. I had stopped taking my meds (for depression) because she had made some condescending remark about people who take them. I sank into a pit. I didn’t care that I didn’t care about not caring. As I secluded myself in my shell of solitude she tried to shake me out of it… 6-8 months she begged me to snap out of it. There was nothing she could do. Finally she concluded that I was withdrawing because I was having an affair. Well, logically the only thing that could be done at that point is to retaliate. I have never and would never be unfaithful to someone I was in a relationship. I just don’t see how people can do that. I found text messages and emails more than proving the depth of the affair. I maintained silence until I had a complete case I could present. I expected and prepared for a lot of different scenarios during our confrontation, except for one.
“I can’t believe you, you made me do this!” She declared. She went on to aggressively explain that if I didn’t withdrawal from her than she wouldn’t have thought I was cheating than she wouldn’t have. I know, I know. Calm down, I fully realize there is no logic there. The truth is that I was in a real bad spot. I didn’t want to admit to others that a 3rd marriage had failed. I didn’t want to deal with the reality that I had just slid into this physiological pit that was self-destructive, but also safe at the same time. But there comes a point where even you can’t fool yourself anymore and the house of cards comes tumbling down all around you. A phase in my life where I literally Lost My Mind

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10 thoughts on “3rd Time is NOT The Charm

  1. Valerie says:

    I understand the depression I’m going through a rough divorce after being with my his and for many years do to his cheating and porn addiction and some how he tells me I’m at fault and made him do these things. So I kind of understand ur pain, anger, and depression. I’ve now secluded myself away from any and all love. It’s to painful. I am sorry things were so hard for you but I’m glad u pulled yourself through. Looking forward to reading more.

    • Valerie says:

      Wow darn iPhone and its oh so lovely auto correct lol makes me seem like I made absolutely no sense. Lolllll that’s my life story 🙂

  2. stacy norris says:

    Amazing….its almost as exciting as my 3 spurts of madness…lol…..oh gosh i can so relate..

  3. Anonymous says:

    I didn’t care that I didn’t care about not caring. -profound bro. and so real. I appreciate you Josh. You inspire me.

  4. Christina says:

    I’m not much of a reader because I don’t have time to read but your blog hooked me! It was short, in-depth, funny, sad and overall an inspiration! How can a guy who has gone through so much pain with love still be so darn funny and awesome?? You are so great, I admire you tremendously and love following your comedy as well as FB posts and blogs! Cheers to a great guy!

  5. Aunt C says:

    Josh, thank you for sharing your young heart and soul experiences. Your story isn’t over, and I read them more than once. It finally sunk in – a testament of how God never gives up on you. Thank you to Josh’s mom who wisely understood that God was working in Josh’s life and who never wavered in her love for her son. I look forward to your next posting. Love you, Aunt C

  6. Desiree Karkosh says:

    Thanks for sharing your life! Once I started reading, I couldnt stop!! Cant wait for part 4!!

  7. beckysuzanne says:

    It is good to tell our stories lest everyone feel as though they are alone. I remember something Ed said from the pulpit one time, “The greatest story in all of history is the comeback story.” And in person, “no, God’s not done with you because you’re not dead.” I’m so thankful that we have a forgiving and perfectly loving God. He’s not done with you! Cause for a celebration:)

  8. melinda says:

    Hey Josh. Been reading your story all along and though I could have imagined you (or me or anyone) had a colorful past, I am reminded by your transparency about the human drama that is all around us that too often we don’t tune in to- and because of that we miss opportunities to reveal God’s unconditional love and acceptance they are so hungry for. It “hurts” sometimes to read what you’ve gone through, but I have no doubt God will create something beautiful out of those ashes. “…the Lord your God turned the curse into a blessing for you because the Lord your God loves you.” Deuteronomy 23:5-6

  9. Marquita Lawson says:

    Sweet son of mine, You know what amazes me about you through all of this? You had come to the foot of the cross during your 1st marriage and although you may have tripped up and fallen a few dozen times (self proclaimed), the bottom line is you always loved God. He will reward you for that Josh.

    The other thing I have made peace with is that there have been many people in my life who have caused me great stress. I run from the fire into the frying pan…or at least I did for most of my life…the one I lived in darkness. Then a light turned on, Although I knew Jesus, I didn’t know Him. I didn’t know what following, or serving meant. When Sara had a difficult teenage life, which culminated in therapy, I broke. All my defenses were gone. I still avoid conflict, some people I simply shut out and don’t associate with…not that I am any better than they are…but because the thoughts, feelings I had and the potential for me to say or think or do something so ungodly was elevated.

    All the while, I still have my eyes on Jesus. When I had to deal with my mother, the Holy Spirit led me into forgiveness…real forgiveness for all the hurt, for ignoring me, for belittling me and I could go on but it isn’t what I am supposed to do with this now that I have forgiven…I’m not feeling like talking down about her….it just happened. That’s all. What made that feeling take a turn for the better? Again, in prayer, I believe the Holy Spirit intervened to let me know that God loves her just as much as He loves me.

    I started applying that to all aspects of life, and everyone…and it has really helped. He is so faithful…it’s more noticable when I am not faithful. He forgives before I realize that I am sorry, before I have a chance to confess and repent. Like you, I have so many things I’d like to write, but for now, I won’t except in poetry and in doing that, it becomes so obscure that no one knows if it’s real or not….ha! kind of like using the name of a perfume for wife #3 clever!

    I am so sorry for all that happened and sometimes I can’t believe that it’s true. But I know it is.

    I am so glad that you know that God has a plan for you…that cannot be destroyed. When you have time, read about

    Abraham and Sarah – their son Isaac and his wife Rebekah – their sons Esau and Jacob. ..The stories start in Genesis 12 and run through Genesis 28. These people KNOW God, they have problems, mostly created by themselves, but the bottom line is that when God has a plan for your life, it will be done. If you take a bit of time sorting through it, it will give you more hope than ever…I know it restored my hope…I have the same tendency toward depression…maybe it runs in families…who knows. He if faithful even when we are not…

    I love you. You lift my spirits. mom

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