Standing in my beautiful bedroom, looking out at the calm lake where several sailboats were trying to catch the wind in their sails, I was waiting for my husband to answer his phone. I had just had a call from a woman who was looking for him and wondering how I was related to him. When he answered, I calmly said, “So what is going on?” Instantly he said, “I’m divorcing you,” and he hung up. There was no “I’m sorry” or “I forgot to tell you I was having an affair.” Just rude, crude and tattooed.

Standing there stunned, my first thought was the possibility of my home being in jeopardy. I grew up in that home and I was NOT ready to give it up. Realizing that I had a strong backbone, I renamed him “The Deviant” and he became persona non grata.

After 45 years of being a successful Army wife, moving from “pillar to post” fifteen or sixteen times plus two deployments, he couldn’t even be honest and respectful. I really didn’t know what divorce meant other than a couple parts ways and they become financial wrecks.

I needed to have a plan to avoid disaster and how to pay for it and live as graciously as before. Nine years prior to his dropping the divorce bomb, I needed to have a complete knee replacement. Eight months later, thinking that the surgery had been a success, I received a letter from the surgeon informing me that 79 of his patients received a defective device. The first question for all of us was who do we sue?

I retained a trial attorney and after about a year, I was deposed several times by the opposing councils who hoped I would slip up. One of the attorneys representing the defendants had me sit in such a particular position not realizing I could see a phone or recorder in his pocket. I carefully answered his questions. After the interrogation, I was sorry that I didn’t say, “What’s in your pocket?” But I couldn’t tell if the interrogator was a doctor or someone hoping to trip me up.

Eventually, a very nice settlement check arrived, and I deposited it immediately as I had no plans for that money. Paying for a divorce and saving my home was the furthest thing from my mind, but it didn’t take long to realize that was what the money was for. Had I not had that money by the time the divorce was settled, I would have had to sell my home years before I planned to. All the court orders given to the Deviant were ignored. He did not pay alimony and eventually, he somehow took my portion of his military retirement away. No one and no agency notified me, just discovered in my next month’s statement. Surprise!

I have almost no respect for the legal system and have dealt with some questionable attorneys. The courts are supposed to enforce the laws but they don’t. The whole ordeal could go on for years while the perp still walks around.


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