Later that summer I was doing a Board Training for our mental health center’s board. Afterward, we went to a restaurant to eat that had live music. A younger man walked over, introduced himself, and asked me to dance. He was a charmer, a good dancer, and fun to talk to. We laughed and laughed. To my surprise, the pain within diminished. He telephoned my hotel room in Ruidoso the next morning early and wanted to meet for breakfast. I was excited and did so. It all began. He lived in Texas, I lived in New Mexico. It was a long-distance relationship for about a year.
Yes, I found a younger man that not only relieved my pain but was also more than willing to marry and help me reduce my assets. He quit his job and came for a more extended visit than usual. He met family and friends, and I said “yes” to marriage.
I walked down the wrong path rather than staying put in Portales, NM, where I had two children that needed me, incredible family support, a great home, a high position in the community and state, and was known in the mental health field. I was the first woman ever elected as President of the New Mexico Mental Health, Drug Abuse, Alcoholism Council. The National Mental Health Legislative Council requested that I be a representative as a result of our Council’s writing and educating legislators that passed a comprehensive mental health act for New Mexico.
Instead, I wanted to run away and fill up that void inside of me I could not get rid of. I hoped the inclusion of him into our family would bring back a family feeling. I chose that wrong path when I faced a fork in the road.
Dawn remained with relatives in Portales to finish her senior year. My new husband, Johnny, and I left New Mexico and initially moved to Abilene, Texas. In only a few months we moved to Norman, Oklahoma, where I had gone to OU to school in my past. Johnny went with us. None of this felt good, but I kept pushing back signs I began receiving on the first night we married.
It was not long before I realized I was in an emotionally abusive relationship. Because of my internal programmed beliefs, I remained. I was non-judgmental about others getting a divorce, but I could not believe I had done this, and I was certain I could fix it. I had made my first marriage of seventeen years work through difficult times of no money, schooling to Ph.D., health issues, Don moving out for campaigns, our house burning, and cancer. Nothing worked in this marriage.
I used to teach “researchers estimate if someone remains in an abusive relationship for two years, they also become sick.” Professionally I have always succeeded. Now I was sick. I was married to a habitual liar. I had not discovered the truth, but could feel every lie. I had abandoned my children to date him, spend time with him in Texas, and then to marry him and move away from New Mexico. I felt like I had given him everything.
Lesson: I made a big mistake. I, however, still believe every marriage has a purpose. It teaches. When we make a mistake, the key is to learn from it. I went to work on me as this marriage brought me to my knees. It would have been so much better if I had moved through the void, made no decisions, and worked on me until I liked myself single and was fine alone.
GIFT: I gained “wisdom” for my future. I understood how an awful marriage feels. The pain of this marriage was much worse than the pain of death. It was two different feelings. The feeling of rejection came with this marriage. I did gain a master teacher for “what to not acquire in my life ever again in any relationship.” It woke me up and forced me to study my Self and move forward in a way that I would learn how not ever draw someone like him into my life again. He looked so good “before we got married.” Until I had this marriage, I thought all marriages could be fixed.