Marriage is a risky business. Happily ever after isn’t written in stone just because you said “I do.” I knew that when I stood up on that alter in 1982 to marry the love of my life.
I expected the late-night fights and the hot-tempered arguments. I anticipated the little things that would creep up on us over time. I had a knack for leaving food crumbs in my wake that infuriated her. She had this habit of dropping her clothes in our bedroom doorway that made me grit my teeth.
But what I never expected was my wife to kidnap our three children and move them to Missouri in order to join a cult.
Makes those little squabbles about crumbs and clothes seem pretty insignificant.
After 14 years together, my then-wife committed the ultimate betrayal of our marriage. She abducted our kids, drained our bank accounts, and fled.
It is hard to describe what I was feeling as I stood in the doorway of my empty house. Certainly, outrage and horror were my knee-jerk reactions, but once the initial anger passed, I was left with my feelings of disappointment as a husband and a father.
How did my walk down the aisle lead me here? Did I miss 14 years of warning signs? Most prominently, where the hell do I go from here?
I couldn’t save my marriage, but I would be damned if I didn’t fight for my family. I hired a private investigator and attorney to both find and bring my children back to me.
They were the ones to inform me that my wife had traveled across the country, kids in tow, to a Missouri cult. They were also able to trace the money she took. Which I would later find out was her payment to join into the cult.
After a 3 month battle in court, I walked away from my ex-wife with full custody of my kids and a renewed commitment to being the best father I could be. Part of that promise included sharing the events of what truly happened between my ex-wife and me. I wanted to show my children the dedication and love I have for them, and that even in the face of life’s biggest middle finger, I continued to fight for them. “Shame on You!” is the fictional work I penned based on my life’s story.
After the betrayal of my ex-wife, it would be natural to assume I would denounce the very idea of marriage. Not true. I have remarried and my beautiful wife and I have been together for 17 years. Only this time, I made sure to include “not abducting our children and enrolling in a Midwest religious cult” in the wedding vows.
You can find out more about my story on www.storytellerlarrygonzales.com