Category Archives: Battling


Here’s a picture of me working out at the gym. Isn’t it great? I’m all sweaty and don’t have makeup on. I didn’t even hold the camera up at the right angle. Gasp! But I’m still posting it so I can prove to you, social media-infested world, that I care about my body and body image.

Guess what?

I have been aware of my body and body image ever since I was told I was fat at the age of ten. The dieting started in high school. When I got to college, I gained the typical freshman fifteen, only to lose it that summer. I gained and lost, gained and lost. Right out of college, I worked as a Production Assistant/Assistant Producer at a prominent television news station and was told I should lose weight to guarantee future work.

That would not be the last time I would hear that statement.

After having been married two years, I joined Jenny Craig and lost 20 pounds in six weeks. Once I hit my goal, I quit the program but was terrified of gaining any weight back. I became obsessed with exercise and counting calories and managed to lose ten more pounds. My friends were worried about me, but I scoffed at them. I was finally skinny!

Yet, even at my lightest weight and smallest size, I wasn’t happy.

So I became a fitness instructor. I loved it. It came naturally to me. I had energy and athleticism and people flocked to my classes. I once spontaneously ran a 5K without training and placed third in my age category. I walked into the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center and joined the Masters Swim Team without having any experience. I was good.

But I still thought I was fat.

Enter divorce and the divorce diet. Weight loss is inevitable because you are so emotionally fucked up, eating is the last thing on your mind.

And then people validate it.

“I’m so sorry your husband cheated on you and became a bigamist, but oh my GAW, you look FANTASTIC! Are you working out more?”

Nope. Just starving myself because it’s the only thing I can control.

When my divorce was final in 2011, I traveled to Paris with one of my best friends. We ate delectable food, drank amazing wine, rode bikes all over the city and I kissed random Parisian strangers. It was the highlight of my life during an extremely dark time.

But part of it was overshadowed by fear and anxiety. I was slated to open a show almost immediately after returning from my vacation and I lost sleep because I was worried about not being able to fit into my costume.

That is so unbelievably fucked up.

When I moved back to New York in February 2013, I slowly started to gain weight. This was due to a number of reasons, including the drastic change of weather, lack of exercise, stress and eating too many hors d’oeuvres off the catering trays while trying to make ends meet. I missed teaching fitness classes, terribly. One chilly evening, I randomly met up with an old boyfriend who told me I “looked hotter than ever.”

Maybe I’m not as fat as I think I am!

A few months later I was told – again – I needed to lose weight for work.

I was devastated, but immediately joined an expensive weight loss program. I shocked my body into submission. I ate one small meal a day and “supplemented” the others with what was basically overpriced Slim Fast shakes. With exercise expediting the process, the weight fell off in less than a month. But it came back with a vengeance once I returned to eating any normal food, at all.


I just finished a grueling-yet-satisfying tour. Despite it looking carefree and glamorous, road life is extremely difficult. You eat whatever you find, sleep where and when you can, and if you are lucky enough to have an hour to yourself before load-in and sound check, you’re too exhausted to even think about getting on a treadmill.

It all adds up. And when you start to see unflattering pictures of yourself on stage, you are the most aware; embarrassed; judgmental; the harshest critic. It isn’t the angle from where the picture was taken. It’s you.

Oh, my god. I’m so fat. 

It’s a voice in your head you battle daily; almost hourly.

Enter social media news feeds, infiltrated with bikini and workout selfies (you’re welcome for adding to the mayhem!); your already-thin friends squealing about their new and improved lifestyle change, how magic and delicious their brand of overpriced Slim Fast is. On top of seeing old photos of yourself from ten years ago, raging PMS-style annoyance and a gaggling of unfollows, it simply makes you feel bad.

But you’re done with the expensive crash dieting. You know what works. It’s about balance. It’s about burning more calories than you consume. You already exercise. You just have to step it up. And that doesn’t mean jumping around like Jane Fonda at home. Run faster, longer, harder. Lift more often. Cut more calories. Eat more vegetables. Drink more water.

Remember that any lasting change doesn’t happen overnight. It’s simply about balance. And balance should be authentic and consistent.


In four days I will turn 39 years old.

Do you want to know a secret? Despite being at my heaviest weight, I AM THE HAPPIEST AND HEALTHIEST I HAVE EVER BEEN IN MY LIFE.

So I’ve decided to do something new for my birthday this year.

I’m going to love and accept myself for exactly who I am, at WHATEVER SIZE OR WEIGHT I AM.

Who I am is not about what I look like. At all. Ever.

My physical body is bikini-and-beach-ready now, because it functions. And well.

I am a beautiful person. I have a good heart. I am loyal. I love freely and fiercely. I sing and write pretty damn well and I have great legs.

Just because I like to eat doesn’t mean I am fat. I don’t need to look like you, my roommate, other singers, an Olympic athlete, or some random celebrity that we will inevitably end up body-shaming, anyway.

I’m going to be me.

Because I’m fucking awesome.

Lay Down Your Sword

It’s 8:30 a.m. in Hiroshima, Japan. I’m lying on a very hard bed in my very sleek hotel room, recovering from last night’s show, jet lag, and whatever disease I am fighting off from Hacking, Coughing Man in seat 49A on last Friday’s flight to Seoul, Korea.

I couldn’t help but recall my dream right before I woke up this morning. It took me completely by surprise because it involved my ex-husband.

I had almost forgotten he exists.

No, really. His memory is like a blip on a radar. I’m not quite sure if that is a victory or not. It just is what it is.

In my dream, X came to me, apologetically, and offered to finally pay the money he still owes me from our divorce settlement. I decided a while ago it was not worth pursuing, just like it’s not worth my time and energy trying to take those scammy mover thief guys in Florida to court over the money they stole from me.

Extremely difficult decisions.

Interestingly enough, however, my subconscious still holds onto a figure; an amount that will bring closure.

The truth is, when you’ve been hurt or have experienced loss, no amount of money can fix it. Ultimately, there is no satisfaction. You are still left with loss.

I suppose I’m sharing this to encourage you, friends, especially those of you who are in the thick of trials. To those of you who are fighting, tooth and nail for justice. For those who are in the hellfire of divorce.

Choose your battles. Know when it’s time to lay down your sword. The trial you are facing right now will pass. Preserve your heart. Save your energy. Life is unfair and people can be dishonest and cruel, but it does not change the fact you are still dearly loved. Keep moving forward. Keep trusting. God sees you. He will never forsake you.

Bigamy and Contempt (X and Sister Wife)

Against my better judgment, I immediately returned Sister Wife’s email.

I mean, come on.  I couldn’t let that one go.

I appreciate you trying to stick up for your man.  It’s so sweet.
I am sorry that your marriage to him is not legal.

See you in court.

She did not reply, but I knew she’d be back.

Anger, sadness, rage, hurt and adrenaline rushed through my body.  Still, I laughed and laughed with my co-worker, Shelley, who was on the edge of her seat during the entire email exchange.  (Sometimes tax preparation can get a bit dull.)

I finished the workday without incident and drove home.  I felt unsettled.  I picked up my journal and added to the previous day’s entry.

Oh, Lord, I have really got to focus on You.  How unfaithful I am!  In the midst of extenuating circumstances I cling to You, but when things seemingly “ease up”, I venture out on my own, inevitably failing and acting/looking like a fool.  Forgive me.

X is still an ass.  Granted, I emailed him immediately and egged him on, and he told me to fuck off.  So rude.  I can’t believe I was married to him.  I really, honestly can’t.  It is painful to think of all the years I wasted with him.

And I am still alone.  I was alone then, and I am alone now.

I am trying to digest the email from Sister Wife today.  It was just very disheartening and childish.  I confess my anger and sadness.  Lord, have mercy.  Please let X and Sister Wife find You, for they need You.  We all need You.

X has hurt me enough.  I am exhausted and I do not want to spend money on another lawyer.  Lord, would it just be done?  Please?

Could the good things come?  Will they?  Will I ever move forward, beyond the angst of the divorce; the pain of rejection and human loneliness?

I have come so far.  I want to KEEP GOING.  Help!

I still believe You have good things in store for me.  I believe it, despite myself.  Lord, help me to forgive X someday.  I want to not be angry with him.

But anger is still prevalent.  He hasn’t changed, nor will he.  I want his money and I want to never think of him again.  He still hurts me.

I just want to be loved.

I closed my journal, shut my eyes and allowed the tears to flow.  I had to gear myself up for yet another battle.  As much as I didn’t want to let Sister Wife affect me, her venomous words cut deep.

How dare she? 

Who was she, anyway?  Some 39-year old divorced career woman with a kid, who bore a frighteningly striking resemblance to my ex-mother-in-law?

WHO CARED????!!!

Why was X letting her speak for him, anyway?  She had nothing to do with our relationship, even as broken as it was.  If anything, she would benefit from the fact that her marriage to him was/is illegal, because, if they end up divorced, she won’t have to pay him a red cent.

Me asking for the last part of the retirement wasn’t any sort of personal vendetta, or attempt to woo my ex husband back into my arms.  Simply put, it was my entitled share to our Community Property.  Most property acquired during a marriage is owned jointly by both spouses.  In California, it is divided 50/50 upon divorce, annulment or death.

So, it really didn’t matter if I had or hadn’t “earned” my share.  It was just the LAW.

Hmm.  Guess X and Sister Wife didn’t pay much attention to the law, anyway.

I placed a call to the lawyer whom I had initially hired to help me with the divorce paperwork.  I left a message.

“Hi, there!  It’s Leslie Spencer.  Hey, I was wondering if you could help me with a contempt case…?  My ex-husband is refusing to pay me.  It’s been months.  Ohhh, yeah, and he got married before we were divorced… so, um, yeah, I wanted to talk to you about that…”

I released the phone from my ear for a moment and let out a belly laugh. I gasped for air and tried to maintain my composure as I returned to the phone.

“So, what does one do with a case of bigamy and contempt on her hands?”

Bada$$ Motherf@*ker

The only thing left unresolved in the divorce was my share of my ex-husband’s retirement.  He had agreed to cash it out.  I knew it would be easier on both of us if he did so.  For me, it meant less paperwork in the “do it yourself” divorce.  I surmised that, for him, it represented quick, fast cash. Most of all, I didn’t want anything more binding me to him.

Being made an involuntary sister wife was enough.

I had patiently been waiting for him to follow through with his agreement.  The last I had heard about the status of the cash-out was that it would be available in December, 2010.

It was now April, 2011.

Suddenly, I wanted the money. I was legally entitled to it.  Deep down, I knew it would be another battle, but I was willing to fight – just once again – for what I wanted.  I was tired of being nice.

I emailed him, asking what was going on.  He responded, and wondered why I was after his money.  It had nothing to do with me.  I had done absolutely nothing to earn it, even theoretically.

I was furious.  I was not going to be made to look like a greedy ex-wife.  At best, I would come away with $10,000.00.

It’s standard in a divorce, I replied. That is all. Nothing personal. I’m not interested in you or your life.

He told me I’d get the money.  He was just having trouble with one account.

I’d just like to see the checks in the mail, I wrote back, trying (unsuccessfully) to conceal my heightened emotion.

I hardly believe that accounting departments are dragging this out. This divorce could have been over MONTHS and MONTHS ago had it not been for, well, your laziness.  Please give me a weekly update on the progress of it all. Please mail me a copy of the letter. I am tired of asking, but I will keep doing it.  Just get it done. Finish it. Hallelujah, free at LAST!!!!!!

He responded, telling me that we were, actually, divorced.  He had gotten the papers in the mail.

I know!!!!! It’s the most amazing thing ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Too bad you got married four months too early. High fives to the sister wives!!!!!

He did not respond further.  I half-hoped that he had laughed at my sarcasm, too.  (I mean, COME ON.  How much more ridiculous could this circus get?)

A week later, I got word that he would be mailing my half of the proceeds.

To my surprise, I did receive the check in the mail.  He even included the balances on the accounts.  I was elated; overjoyed.  I kindly thanked him.  It was finally over.  I couldn’t believe it, really, so I double-checked the paperwork.  Sure enough, there was one account missing.  Two, actually — but one barely held $1,000.00.  I decided it wasn’t worth the fight.

Still, my heart sank.  A couple thousand dollars more was at stake.  I needed that money.  I most definitely had earned it, even theoretically.

Adrenaline and anger overtook me.  I had a little bit of downtime at work, so I decided to engage the “enemy” again. We re-assumed our battle stations, and shelled out piercing, quick dialogue.

Spoke with a woman from (your retirement company) today, I wrote, calmly.  There isn’t a good reason why the (last) account is taking so long.  Please get on it.  It is — again — beyond time for this to be done.  Make it happen.  I know you can.  I would appreciate it if you would please acknowledge that you received (this) email.

He had gotten it.

That wasn’t so hard, was it?  So, are you working on it?

He asked me to not talk to him that way.  He had just sent me a check for a lot of money, and, yes, he was on it.

Look, I just want this to be over with.  As I have said before, I want you out of my life.  You have dragged every single possible part of this divorce out as long as you possibly could.  It doesn’t take six months to cash out a retirement.
I don’t trust you, I don’t believe you, and I certainly do not respect you.  Just follow through to your end of the agreement like a man.  Thanks so much.
(Or, as some would say, “Money talks, and bullshit walks.”)

And then, he basically told me to, well, fuck off.

Brilliant response.
But, no, I will not “fuck off”.  This is a binding, legal document, which you are obligated to fulfill. If you’d like to not keep hearing from me I can hire a lawyer to ride your ass, but then that will cost you more money in the long run.  Your choice.

No need to get pissy.  Just get the money.  End of story.  End of a long, long story.

I finished typing the last sentence, quite proud of the Spinal Tap reference, my attempt to appeal to his emotions, and my ability to hold back at least some anger.
Moments later, I saw a new email pop up in the conversation thread.
I was shocked at what followed.
It was an email from Sister Wife.  She told me I hadn’t earned or deserved X’s money, and was disappointed that he had sent any to me at all.  It was of her opinion that I needed to get a job and fuck off.  I was the only thing standing in the way of closure.  She defended her “husband’s” character traits and informed me that I had failed at my my shot with him.
I was not allowed to contact him ever again. If I did, I’d have to deal with her, and she claimed she was one badass motherfucker.

Christians Aren’t Supposed to Take Each Other to Court

The second week in January, I moved into an apartment in Old Town Pasadena.  I had found a place on that advertised a “take over” of the remaining four months of a year lease.  I didn’t necessarily want to continue living in Pasadena, but I gave it a shot.  I met the girl who lived in the apartment.  She was a singer, moving to New York.  I tried to contain my jealousy. I fell in love with the wood floors, the price of the place, and view of the majestic San Gabriel Mountains from the window.

It all happened so quickly.  I knew I couldn’t live with Curt and Kathy forever, and I was antsy to have a place of my own.

The tiny studio was perfect for me.

At the same time, I felt terrible leaving Curt and Kathy.  Curt had lost both of his parents in a matter of three months, and a week after I moved out, their beloved dog, Max, died.  It was a difficult season for the Gibsons, and I felt as if I had abandoned them during their heightened time of need.

What kind of friend was I?!

I started to panic and wonder if I had made the right decision.

Jesus, I cried out, I need You.  I need You, need You, need You.  I need Your help, Your Peace.  I am so scared; scared (that) I am doing the wrong thing, or that I am out of Your plan.  But how could that possibly be?  You will take care of me. I just don’t want to be wasteful…I do not want to make mistakes.  I am…weak!  I need work.  I am settling in – I am so thankful, so grateful and blessed.  Will it go away? I’m re-building my life. Starting over.  Building again; beginning anew.

Almost immediately, I got a job.  I found work in a tax office, for the season.  I would work six days a week until April 18th.  It was daunting at first, but I knew I needed the money to pay for my newfound bills and rent.  I also needed the distraction.

I found myself praying a lot.  This time, I prayed for other people other than myself.  It felt good and necessary.  My neighbor, Boo, unexpectedly lost her beautiful, sweet two-year daughter, Emileigh.  Eme was born with a tendency towards seizures, but had been getting better.  And then, like that, she was gone.  The autopsy provided no explanation, and we were all left feeling robbed; empty.

I know how to put into words my feelings of pain and loss regarding my marriage.  It is like a death, but I cannot imagine the unspeakable pain of losing a child.  I attended the open-casket funeral and it was almost too much to bear.  I gazed upon Eme’s tiny, lifeless frame, and wondered why God allows such things to happen.  I think we all do.  I wanted to scream and shout to the entire congregation that there was, indeed, hope amidst the sorrow; the unexplained shredding of one’s soul.  Yet, I felt helpless.  All I could do was pray.

Oh, Lord, little Emileigh is with You now.  Such tragedy.  God, I lift up Deana (grandmother) and Boo, Cathy (aunt) and Barbara (neighbor) – the whole family.  Oh, that baby.  And High (father).  He loved his little girl so much.  Oh, Lord, would they cling to You; You, the EVER-PRESENT HELP in time of trouble. 

I don’t know much, but I do know this: God is good, all the time.

In the midst of everything, I started battling once again with my bigamist husband.

He wrote to me and told me that the retirement company had sent the wrong paperwork to the wrong address.  He would be out of town, and would get to it as soon as he could.  He added that I would get every penny of my share of the accounts.

I was over it.  Sick of his shit.

Wrong paper to the wrong address, I thought.  LYING PIECE OF SHIT MOTHERFUCKING LAZY ASS SON OF A SUGARMOMMA BITCH!!!!

I calmly emailed back.

I stand firm to my word.  You have had ample time to get it together.  I will file contempt of court, I typed, bitterly.

We exchanged emails back and forth, arguing about the time frame of the money that was due. Amongst my few menial requests in our do-it-yourself divorce, he had agreed to cash out his retirement funds, and send me a check by December.   I trusted that he would follow through with the agreement.

I was wrong, once again, to trust my husband.

He asked for more time, and I refused.  I wanted the money, yes, but more than that, I wanted the entire saga – ordeal – marriage – pain – everything that was associated with him – to be OVER.

I suddenly realized that I did, indeed, have a huge battle on my hands.  I also realized that I had the upper hand.  As much as I didn’t want to believe it, my husband was already married.  He was a BIGAMIST.  They make TV shows about people like him.  For crying out loud, we used to watch them together.

I didn’t want to have to go back to court, but if so, I was ready to go in, guns blazing.

I needed evidence of his stupidity.  My good college friend, Michelle, was a journalist who had worked as a reporter, anchor and professor.  She was able to easily obtain my husband and sister wife’s marriage license from the state of Nevada, and mailed it to me.

I threw it in my husband’s face.

You’ve had enough time. I’m quite sure you can figure something out.  I have in my possession a certain document from Nevada that will not help your “story” in court.

He obviously didn’t understand that I was talking about his new marriage.  He suggested that perhaps he add me to the account and I could cash out when I was of retirement age.

Unfortunately, I angrily responded, you agreed to cashing out the retirement in the divorce settlement. So, unfortunately for you, you have to follow through with your agreement, which is a legal court document. Might I also remind you that you are not yet divorced from me, which makes you a bigamist and a felon, but, then again, you probably already knew that.  I’m tired of this conversation. Send the check.

He said he would send it as soon as he had it.  He trusted that I would find it in my heart to give him time.

February 3rd. I trust that you will get it done.

He told me he wouldn’t have it by February 3rd, and was asking for a break.  He added that he wasn’t asking for any of my retirement, and then got upset that he had to beg me for understanding.  The conversation was killing him.

Not buying it.  Send the check.  If I do not receive a check in the mail by February 3, I will file contempt of court.  It is that simple.

He was tired of appealing to me, and, again, told me that I would have every bit of cash that was due me.  He then reminded me that he took all the credit card debt (a majority of which I had accused him of accumulating with his lover).  He reminded me that I had taken the car.  (Yes, I had taken the car. It was mine.  The paperwork was in my name, and mine alone.  I financed it, I was paying for it, and I drove it.)  He hadn’t asked for any of my retirement, and just wanted time to receive the checks.  He even offered to drive up and meet me to give me the cash.

I was having none of it.

You’re in for more than contempt, remember?  Bigamy is a felony.

He pleaded with me.

It’s all about choices.  You had an opportunity to make good ones.  Oopie.  I’m not interested in excuses. See you in court.

He said he was telling the truth, had no excuses, and pleaded with me to do it right.

We have differing opinions of what is right.

The truth is that you have violated the law. Willingly, even after knowing you weren’t divorced on 12/22/10.


You can plead with the judge. I’m tired of your stories.  SEE YOU IN COURT.

And then, he tried to appeal to me as someone who “used” to love him.  He pleaded with to me as a fellow Christian.

I couldn’t BELIEVE that he was appealing to me “as a fellow Christian”.  It was abhorrent.  It made me sick.  I wanted to scream and throw things and rip his eyes out all over again.  He made me so angry.  His lame attempts at trying to appeal to my emotions didn’t work anymore.  He didn’t even respect me enough to capitalize my first name.  How dare he try to appeal to my love for him?

No, I do not love him, I wrote, later that evening.  He got that right.  It hurts too much to  love someone like that.  All the while, I feel like I’m NOT being a Christian if I deal with him.  At the same time, I AM NOT TAKING ANY MORE FROM HIM.  His abuse is over.  It’s not about the stupid money, which I know he has.  I’ve already wasted energy being upset.

I need help forgiving him.  It’s all still very real, raw and painful.  I worked so hard to try to save the marriage because I thought it was right.  He just doesn’t care.  He doesn’t do anything with integrity or concern for others. Lord, I know it is not my place to judge him.  Please help me release my anger.  I give it to You.  I pray he will come through with the funds from the retirement.

I’m still so hurt by him.  The very thought of a life with him makes me so angry, like it was all a lie.

The war continued two days later.  I shot the first cannon.

You skipped a court-ordered hearing on August 23, 2010, I wrote.

In the divorce settlement filed October 8, 2010, you agreed to cash out your retirement, and said that you’d have a check to me in December, 2010.  It is now February, 2011.

On October 28, 2010, you received a check for… half of your share in the sale of (our house).

You got re-married in November of 2010, without actually having been legally divorced, which makes you in violation of California Penal Code section 281.

I do not believe your stories about not having any money, especially considering the very recent transaction of the sale of our home, and also considering the person to whom you are, at present, illegally married.

You have been given more than ample time and grace to follow through with your divorce agreement.  Clearly, your (in)actions – as always – have spoken louder than your words.

He told me he had put his share of our house’s profit towards another.

See you in court.

He pleaded, once more.  He offered that had no right to quote the Bible at me, but I knew, in my heart, that this whole thing was wrong.  I should know that Christians aren’t supposed to take each other to court.  He promised to pay me and he would.  He needed more time.  It had shattered his heart to have to beg me for more time.  He would have extended me grace, if I were the one begging him for more time.  He offered that he was trying to do good in the sight of the Lord, and would never turn a deaf ear to someone who was asking for more time.  I should know these things.

I couldn’t take any more.  I wanted him to be locked up. I wanted him to be put away, forever.

Little did I know that I’d be the one to end up in jail.

Sister Wife


I was alone in Curt and Kathy’s luxurious mountain retreat-like home, while they were away in Colorado.  Jeff and Jenny invited me to spend Christmas morning with them and their adorable son.  Almost as soon as I arrived, they showered me with bountiful, thoughtful gifts.  I felt so loved.

I have amazing friends.

A couple of days later, my mother showed up at the front door, just passing through after visiting my grandmother.  I explained to her how my court hearing had gone, and vented about how frustrated I was that my husband was engaged to some random woman.

“Leslie, he’s already married,” my mother revealed.

W H A A A A A . . . ?!?!?!

I was so shocked that I couldn’t even exercise my potty mouth.

How does she know?! 

Since I had stopped researching my husband, his adventures and stories on the internet, I was blissfully unaware of the fact that his wedding picture was plastered on a website.  My husband had even twatted about his nuptials.  (Oh, pardon me: “tweeted”.)

My mother had a history of tracking my husband’s every move.  I had to firmly tell her to stop sending me information about him.  It was too painful, and detrimental to my healing process.

After my mother left, I sat alone in the kitchen, fingers poised above the keyboard.  I made a decision, and shakily typed in my husband’s — and his wife’s — name.

I took a deep breath.

There they stood, in a small Vegas chapel, holding hands and gazing into each other’s eyes. Vomit.  I was immediately shocked at how much the new wife closely resembled my mother-in-law: blonde hair, extremely frail frame, strong jaw.  My husband was clothed in same expensive-looking suit that he wore to our divorce hearing.  I felt embarrassed for him.

He married his mother. 

I read the small article and subsequent congratulations that accompanied the picture.  The headline?  MERGER.

They were married on Saturday, November 20th “in front of family, friends, and business associates.”   The article referenced both of their “tweets” about their wedding.

Life. Is. Perfect. . . Or saturday night it will be.

The first day of the rest of my life was beyond perfect. So much love and the most beautiful friends and family..thank you [husband] . . Everyone who attended thank you for making the room glow with Love. Here’s to doing next level shit.

“Next level shit”?  Uhhhh, I think bigamy takes things to a whole new level, for sure.


OH, GOD.  I HAVE A SISTER WIFE, I realized, and immediately called Andrea and Joy to tell them the news.  Andrea rushed right over.

Oddly enough, we couldn’t stop laughing.  It was just the most bizarre thing, ever.  How does one process that information?  It’s one thing to discover your spouse’s infidelity, or to hear that they are dating someone while you are separated.

My husband got married without making sure he was divorced.

WHO DOES THAT?!?!??!!!?!?!?!??!!?!?!?!!?

I tried to rationalize like a dude.  Wouldn’t he want to play the field a bit?  He was free to sleep with whomever he wanted, no strings attached.  He was finally free to discover himself.

He was free to do whatever he wanted, except ONE thing.

As the information and reality sank in even deeper, I started to experience a vast array of emotions: anger; hurt; confusion; rage; frustration; embarrassment; further betrayal; relief.  I was livid with my mother for dropping that bomb on me.  At the same time, I figured it was best that I knew.  On the other hand, what was I going to do about it?  It would have been better to know a week earlier, so that I could have tattled to the judge.

No wonder he looked so nervous in court.  He is a BIGAMIST!  HE COULD HAVE GONE TO JAIL!!! 

My mind drifted to my sister wife.  For some reason I had no immediate ill will towards her.  I actually felt sorry for her.  She was even more clueless than my husband, and she was supposed to be some hot-shot, savvy businesswoman.  It was obvious that he was marrying her for her money.  He needed someone to take care of him.  I had quit that job.

I then started to feel like my entire marriage really, truly was a lie.  The institution of holy matrimony had been bastardized and shat upon by an ordinary cheater-turned-bigamist, who sported meaningless tattoos.

It was all a show.

He doesn’t know who he is. 

But I knew who I was.  Or at least who I was supposed to be.  I had always known.  I felt like I had been rescued from the circus freak show just in time.  This discovery was a huge turning point in me finally letting go of the boy I once loved.

The New Year dawned.  The only thing left unsettled in our divorce (besides the new, illegal marriage) was the money that my husband had agreed to split with me.  I knew he had it, and I wanted it.  

For months you have been telling me I would have the retirement funds in December 2010.  It is now January 2011, I wrote, calmly.

Please provide an accurate statement of all funds in all accounts, along with a check for my half in thirty days or I will file for contempt of court.  If you do not comply, this will result in your arraignment and additional hearing(s).  You are required by law to meet the terms of the divorce agreement or face costly sanctions.

He responded immediately, and balked at my tone of voice.  It was as if we never knew each other.

You have thirty days.  And, no, I don’t know you. At all.  Whoever you once were is a faded, distant memory.
Do not contact me for any other reason than news of our divorce settlement. I do not know you, and I certainly do not appreciate being still legally married to a bigamist.

And then, the War of the Words began.

You Got Served

I woke up the very first morning at Curt and Kathy’s, my heart pounding.  I had just experienced a very vivid dream, wherein I yelled at my husband:

Later that day, I received an email from him.  It was almost as if I had conjured him up.

He was flying back to LA in a little over a week. He needed money to book his plane ticket, and a check would be arriving at our house very soon.  He asked me to deposit it into his account.

I never responded.  I was too exhausted from the move to even deal with him, but I was still anxious about getting him served.  I prayed and journaled.

It was interesting to hear Curt voice, “You left your husband”.  I guess that I did.  I left my confused, narcissistic, derelict, infidel husband, who is still hurting me with his insistence on getting information from me…I don’t NEED or WANT this.  I want him served, and OUT OF MY LIFE!  I want a NEW life; I want to be whole; I want to be LESLIE SPENCER and meet someone new.  I PRAY he can be served this week, before he comes home (if he even comes back)…after me packing the house and saying goodbye to it and my old life and my neighbors…

Such sadness now.  Reality once again.  God, have mercy on me.  God, hear my cries.  You see my tears.

I am not strong.  I am tired of being strong.

Nothing I ever thought would be.  I kind of want to die.

Two days later, my husband emailed me again.
I don’t want to be rude, or pushy, Les, but that money is a little important. If you can’t or won’t do it, can you at least let me know where the mail is going so I can try and get someone else to deposit?

I was furious, but knew that any emotional reaction would only just hurt me in the long run.  I vented to my best friend, Joy.


Okay, I feel better.

I then carefully responded to the email.
I understand how important money is.  All of your mail has been forwarded to your parents’ address, so you should contact them about the check. The new tenant is not responsible for our mail.

Ten days passed.  He finally re-appeared.

April 29, 2010
I just landed in LA. It feels like a different planet. I have no idea where you are or what you want to do.

April 30, 2010
I know that you are probably dreading seeing me…or to be honest I have no idea what you are feeling. Absolutely no idea. I will be here for a week then I go back to Oz. I’ll be in Pasadena later today, I think, if you want to see me…I don’t like emailing you like I would a stranger…

I panicked.  The one-legged ex-boyfriend/process server had not gotten the chance to serve my husband the papers.  I learned that he had actually tried to make an appointment to see my husband, but the people at the magazine offices said he wasn’t available, or didn’t know when he’d be “in”.   I thanked the dear guy for all his time and hard work, and offered him my first-born son.  Via FedEx, of course.

We both agreed it was a valiant effort, and became Facebook friends.

At least my husband was back in town.  I had to figure out a Plan B.

It just so happened that our dear friend and former pastor, Tim, had flown in from his new home in Portland, Oregon.  He was in town for the week to take a class at Fuller Seminary.  Tim was really the only close friend of my husband’s that I had ever trusted to be a good influence in his life.  Ever since discovering the truth about my husband and his small “cast of characters”/travel companions, I was sickened at the very thought of them, and their life choices.  His crew has manipulated, deceived and hurt a lot of people.  Most of us have stopped “drinking the Koolaid”, so to speak.  I pray for the ones who are left.

I digress.

When the affair was first revealed, Tim was the only person to whom my husband would talk, or listen.

I met up with Tim over dinner at Joseph and Katie’s and threw out the idea of him serving my husband the divorce papers.  He did not hesitate, and agreed to be “on call”.  Although it wouldn’t be as dramatic as the covert, one-legged, serve-your-papers-in-a-pizza-box operation, I knew that God had worked it out in His perfect timing.  My husband would be served by a good, faithful friend.  The intention was to do it with love and grace.

Everybody needs some grace.

I cannot think of a better person to have executed the deed.  I also started to think that I’d probably want to hang onto my firstborn son, should I be blessed with one.

May 1, 2010

YOU ARE ON THE PATH OF MY CHOOSING.  There is no randomness about your life.


He was served yesterday at Curt and Kathy’s.  He had emailed me in the afternoon asking to see me and I texted Tim; asked him if he could do it that day.  Yes.  So husband showed up at 2:00 p.m.  I was playing the piano when he arrived.  I answered the door.

“How are you?” I said, as I opened it.  I didn’t know him.  He was a different person.  Total stranger.

“Uhhh, not that great,” he answered.

“Want something to drink?”  I offered.

“What are you drinking?”  he asked.


“I’ll have some water.”

“I’ve got cheap beer, too.”

“Yeah, I’ll take cheap beer.”

We go outside.  Commence conversation.  He wanted to know what I was up to.  I told him.  Back at the Co-Op, doing a show in July, singing in a casual band.

And then I noticed he wasn’t wearing his ring.  It made me flub my words a bit…finally I got to the point:

“Why are you here?  What do you want from me?”  I asked.

He was unable to accurately explain.  Talked about how he was done, finished, and — “looking at you now, I still feel finished.”

I said, “Okay, well, to be honest, I filed for divorce and Tim is coming over right now to serve you papers.”

“Why do I have to be served?”

“Because it’s legal.”

And we argued.  Talked about the house.  He won’t give me the house; said he wanted me to buy him out, and he would give me “a deal”.  Clearly he just wants money.  Then he talked about how I ruined it all – he really needed me, and my support while he was in Australia, but it just broke down; I cut off communication, etc.

It was just all the same bullshit storyline.  I’m not buying it anymore.

He asked me what I had been up to but I didn’t want to share very much.  He asked why, and I told him he wasn’t in my life anymore.  And that the lesson I have learned was that you don’t leave the person you love.  Ever.  I said I’d take that into my second marriage – you don’t leave.

Tim showed up, and talked with him.  I went up to my room but eavesdropped from the top of the stairs.  My husband was spouting off about me, how I said “this and that”, sent a “constant barrage” of emails. Tim, being the gracious and patient pastor and person that he is, observed that we were not hearing each other.  True.  poor communication.  Husband accused me of throwing him under the bus to everyone, to which I yelled from the top of the stairs, “NO, THE STORY SPEAKS FOR ITSELF”.

He yelled back, “YEAH, OUT OF YOUR MOUTH!”


After a while, I rejoined Tim and Husband, and talked to Husband about his sick stories I found in The Man House.  He denied, denied.  I asked why I would make up the Russian interpretation.  Why would he write his Leave Them Wanting Less stories and have detailed accounts of his sexual history?

“I have no sexual history,” he replied.

I calmly said, “YES, YOU DO.”

Ugh!!  The lies, the denial.  De-ni-a-l.  I don’t have to DEAL with him anymore, thank you Lord!

Husband talked with Tim some more and Tim told him he needed to be wiling to sacrifice his career for his marriage.  Husband flat out was — and is — NOT willing to do that.

“All she wants is kids,” he spat.

“And why is that bad?”  Tim asked, gently.

Husband accused me of wanting it only my way, and he would be stifled by it.  He argued that “traditional” was not who he was, and I knew that when I married him.  And he was, in part, right.  But eventually I DID and DO want “traditional” things, like, say, stability?  A family!  A faithful husband.

Tim finally left.

Husband wanted to talk to me.  I went downstairs.  I handed him his bank stuff and checks, along with the $300.00 I had received from the sale of his motorcycle.  He refused it.

He held the manila envelope.  Served.

He held his head in his hands, and started to cry.

“This is tragic,” he said, quietly. I think I saw a tear fall.

I pointed out that he got what he wanted.  I also told him I thought he was sick.  I was grabbing my own hair and saying, “YOU ARE SICK, HUSBAND.  SICK.”

But in the end: he was sitting there – looked pretty bad.  Very skinny, bags under his eyes.  Emptiness behind his eyes.  I started to cry, a bit, and apologized for the awful things I had said in the past.

I explained that this was not what I had wanted, even back on that September night when I learned the truth.  But now it WAS what I wanted.  I had moved too far forward to take a step back.  I kept saying that Husband would find someone else, and it wouldn’t take him long.

“Why do you say that?” he asked.

I just looked at him.

“Why are you looking at me like that?”  His voice got a bit higher.

“Come ON,” was my response.

NOT ONCE did he apologize.  Not ever.  Blame, blame, blame.

He asked me where I was going to church.  I said I didn’t want to tell him.  He wanted to know why.

“Can’t you guess where I’m going to church?”

He guessed correctly, and asked me how it was.

“It’s really good.”

And then he wanted to know how Joseph and Katie were doing.  I started to cry.

“They are great.”

I told Husband that I had – and always will have – fond memories of our marriage.  It was great.  We were good together.  I had no regrets; I gave all I could and he said that he felt the same way, so we could just agree that it was mutual.  Over.

“Sometimes,” I explained, “there has to be a death in order for a resurrection.”

I asked him why he was there.  What was his plan?  If he was done, then was he going to file?  Why was he back in LA, anyway?  How was he going to end it?

He said he didn’t have a plan.
“I’m not like you.”

He told me I never gave him a chance.  He said he was owed money “all over the world”, and he knew he was bad about collecting it.  He needed a Secretary to help him.  Like me.

What the fuck?  I’m not going to be anybody’s Secretary.

I said I was glad he was making money, and good luck with it.

UGH.  SO gross.

Then I said I thought he should have done whatever it took to save the marriage.  If he truly wanted it, then he would have been willing.  HE GOT WHAT HE WANTED.

“You’re free,” I said.

“We could have been free together,” he replied.

“No, we couldn’t have.”

THEN – he asked me if we “could at least go to lunch or something.”

My mouth dropped open.

“Why not?”

“Because it’s not a good idea.”

WHAT THE FUCK!??!?!?  You just got served and you’re asking me out?  Really?!  What part of NO don’t you comprehend?  You don’t have “an affairs” and then keep leaving your wife and expect her to stick around.


So then he asked me if I wanted him to leave.  I hesitated and semi-shook my head.  He asked if I were glad he was going back to Australia.

“No. I never like it when you leave.  I never have.”

He got up to leave.  I walked him to the door.

“I should have done whatever it took,” he said to me, sunglasses on.

“Yeah, you should have.”

“That’s the story.  That will be the story I will write for the rest of my life.”

Always about the stupid story.

He walked out the door, but turned back around.  I think he was going to say something, but I had already closed it – firmly – and walked away.

I never looked back.

You Made Me Hate You

My husband returned home after the film with a bottle of wine.  He presented it to me as his peace offering/belated Valentine’s Day gift.

All was quiet on the western front.

Our mortgage was due the next day, but we didn’t have the money to pay it.  Somehow my husband was able to purchase new, designer sunglasses.  He told me he needed them for his trip.  He was leaving in less than a week.

I re-assumed my battle station.
“Because you have to ‘look good’ in Australia?  That is a priority?  This is not how to dig out of financial problems.  I’m sure you have some logical answer for this.”  I threw my hands in the air.

“I understand your frustration,” he calmly stated.  “I do have logical arguments that you already know, so they don’t need to be gone over again.  It’s easy to think of our own things – your swimming at the Rose Bowl, my sunglasses – as ‘essentials’.  I genuinely give you the benefit of the doubt about your expenses, so I’d really appreciate the same.”


I kept my mouth shut, poured out my frustration in my prayer journal, and waited to discuss the problem in counseling, later that day.  I was determined to keep things peaceful, no matter how manipulated I was feeling.

I am trying, but I still feel he is focused on himself, his image and career.  It’s rotten timing.  He deserves to be successful, OF COURSE!  He deserves a shot; a chance, and he is doing it.  He will never in a million years believe I support him, care, or think he’s doing a good job.  So, why try anymore?

My husband did not accompany me to marital therapy that day.  He had to attend a last-minute meeting with his magazine’s photographer.  I went to the session, alone, for the second time that week.  I then went over to my friends, Jeff and Jenny’s, house.  I sat at the dinner table with their joyful toddler, who smiled and giggled with me.  I tried not to think about my barren womb.

When I got home, my husband had just returned.  I asked him how his meeting went.

“I’m drunk,” he responded.

“You do realize that it looks like you just went out and got drunk with your friend instead of going to counseling,” I judged.

I then thought back to the session earlier in the day, where my marriage counselor had commended me for not having gotten angry.  I closed my eyes, then took a deep breath.

“How was your meeting?” I asked, gently.

My husband brightened.  It had gone really well! They had a bunch of ideas, and it felt good to be creative again.  He explained that he had been down and out about life until that particular meeting.  In fact, he had been so frustrated about our financial situation, that he punched the windshield of his truck.  It cracked.

But the meeting made him feel better.  It confirmed to him that he was on the right path.

He bustled around the bare kitchen, found a glass, and poured himself some water.
“I’m going to watch American Idol.  Do you want to watch it with me?”

“No, thanks,” I said.  I didn’t need to feel any more “down and out” about my own career.

We later went to bed in our separate rooms.  I tried to sleep, but felt restless.  My mind drifted to our financial situation.

Most couples divorce over financial problems.  Most couples divorce over lack of communication.  Most certainly the majority of divorces are due to adultery. 

I have all three glaring me in the face.

I started crying, loudly.  Sobbing.  I was, most likely, being overdramatic, but I was scared.  I decided to get up and tell my husband that he had no heart.  How could he lay in the other room and listen to me sob?  Why did this have to be so hard?  Why couldn’t he scoop me into his arms, hold me and tell me how much he loved me?

What happened next is a bit of a blur, but between yelling and screaming at each other, I remember taking off my wedding ring and throwing it across the room.  It landed on the floor in slow motion, a la a scene taken from The Lord of the Rings.

My husband followed suit.  He pitched his as hard as he could, and it landed right next to mine. (Under different circumstances, we might have had an excellent little game of bocce ball going.)

“DOESN’T IT FEEL GOOD?!”  I screeched.
Uhh, can someone please call Nurse Ratched, STAT?

“STOP BEING SO SMUG!” He screamed back.  He went on to yell about me being on my “moral high horse” because I had gone to counseling, and he hadn’t.

I ran into the kitchen, grabbed the Valentine’s Day card I had purchased for him, and demonstratively ripped it into tiny, little pieces.

It only angered him further.  “FUCK YOU!  YOU MADE ME HATE YOU!

I glowered at him.
“I didn’t make you do anything.”

We continued to scream awful, awful things at each other.  Finally, in the most heated moment, a look of determination crossed over my husband’s weathered, handsome face.

“You’ll never see me again.”

He left.  I heard his truck engine start, and he drove away.

I slumped to the floor, next to those damn wedding rings.  I couldn’t stand looking at them, so I sat up, and supported my back against the metal frame of the creaky, twin bed. I couldn’t cry anymore.  I just stared out the window, into the quiet.

I am a total failure.

I don’t know exactly how many minutes passed, but then, my husband’s tall frame stood in the doorway.

“I am so sorry for the vile things I screamed at you, Leslie.”  His voice remained quiet; defeated.
“That is not who I am, or who I want to be.”

I kept staring out the window.  My eyelids felt heavy.
“Did you mean what you said?”


He sat down next to me, sighed heavily, and started crying.  I stared at him for a moment, then reached over to him.  I pulled him towards me and held him, as he collapsed into my arms.  We cried together.  We prayed together.

The moment — the room – the twin bed – it all felt so familiar.

Five long months had passed, and we were still in the same place.

Valentine’s Day

I fled the house.

I spent the night downtown with my friend (“Wife”), Andrea.  I needed shelter, and to be away from my husband.  I might have driven him to anger, but there was no way I would tolerate physical abuse.  Andrea and I hiked and talked for four hours the next morning, and then I headed to south Orange County to spend a few days with my best friend, Joy, and her new husband, Micah.

Joy met me at the door with a glass of red wine.  She had drawn me an Epsom salt bath (my legs were sore from hiking), lit candles and placed little chocolates along the tub.  She wrote me a beautiful card.  She wanted me to have a “happy” Valentine’s Day.  I burst into tears.   I have the most amazing, steadfast, giving and loyal friends in my life.  It felt incredible to be cared for; to be loved.

My husband had no idea where I was, and I didn’t have the energy or desire to tell him.  I assumed that he could have easily figured it out, but only if he truly cared.  I did not contact him.  Perhaps I wanted to punish him, but I mostly just wanted peace.  I was resolute.

I am done. I cannot move forward with him.  He is incapable of being a man.  He is not husband material.   He wants to be 22, single and “untethered”.  Lord, I pray for him and pray You SPANK HIS IMMATURE, IDIOT ARSE.

Yet, I still cried —
God, save us.  God, RESTORE my marriage with miracles and redemption.  Help me to not react, help me find peace.

My husband emailed me every day.  His emails were constant, yet brief.  He didn’t know where I was, or what I was feeling. He was sick to his stomach.  He was sure there were “one million things” that he could have done better, but he didn’t want to live under the umbrella of what he had done, “every minute of every day.” He didn’t know why there was such silence.  Was this what I wanted?  Did I even care?  He didn’t know “what happened on Friday night that pushed us” to that point.  He didn’t know why I wouldn’t communicate with him.

And then, I received a lengthy email.

He wished me a Happy Valentine’s Day, and said it was hard for him to not know where I was.  He didn’t know why I had left, and wondered, almost aloud, if I had gotten fed up with him, or just needed time alone.

Our abrupt break had left him reeling, a little.

My husband went on to detail what he wanted: for us to be partners.  He wanted us to take joy in each other’s lives and show the world how two people could live to their fullest potential.  He recognized that the words “career” and “support” had become so loaded between us.

He wanted happiness.  He wanted stage (for me); writing (for him).  He wanted simple things, too, like eating spaghetti and taking our dog on walks.  He wanted understanding.

He figured we’d work through the hard stuff, including his affair.  We’d move forward, towards a new partnership, together.  He explained that he would never stop believing in the way that our relationship could look.

Except: I left without a word.  That killed him. Yet, maybe I was right.  Maybe we’d have to separate in order for our relationship to work.  Maybe we both needed time to experience what our lives would be like without the other.

He felt, very strongly, that I had made him out to be some sort of “evil straw man” over the past two months.  He refused to live with the image that I had of him; of who I thought he was.  He concluded that if separation was the only way to destroy this image I had of him, then perhaps we should stay apart.

At the same time, he loved me.  And that was that.

I finally wrote him back, later that night, and told him I’d meet him at marriage counseling the next day.

I felt anxious and suffocated.  And he was only reeling, a little?  I didn’t want to go back into the war zone.  I started to realize that I didn’t want the same things that my husband had just described.  He still didn’t get it.  I wanted a husband who would love me and not abandon me.  I wanted a partner who sought after God first.  I wanted to be treated right.  I wanted children.  I slowly realized that my dreams and desires had changed.

For nine years I lay in bed at night, next to my husband, and dreamed of a career on Broadway.  When I finally made it off-Broadway, I lay alone, and dreamed of a husband and children.

Isaiah 41:13 – For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, “Do not fear, I will help you.”

Oh, Lord, what a beautiful promise, and what better place to be than in Your Presence; in Your hands!  Lord, the anxiety, fear and worry take me down…I am trying to control my own life, I’m trying to control/change my husband, and it just doesn’t work.  None of it.  Lord, I truly want Your will and I feel like I’m too stupid, clueless or afraid to just let go.  I want to abandon my hopes and dreams for myself into YOUR hopes and dreams for me.

Feeling refreshed and encouraged after the weekend with my friends, I decided to go back into battle.  My first stop was marriage counseling.  When I arrived, my counselor informed me that he had just gotten off the phone with my husband.  He would not be attending the session.  He was confused and hurt.  I indignantly started to defend myself, but my counselor gently encouraged me to try to see things from my husband’s (broken) perspective.  He was trying.  He wanted the marriage.  Perhaps he wasn’t doing the best job, but he was still there, and his intentions were to re-build our life together.

I felt convicted, set up another appointment and headed home.

On the way, I stopped at the grocery store to buy a “belated” Valentine’s Day gift for my husband.  It felt cheesy, but my heart had been softened by his daily pursuit.  I spent more than twenty minutes in the Card and Party aisle.  Every single Valentine’s Day card I browsed pierced my heart with a jagged, rusty, barbed-wire arrow.  I couldn’t find the right one.  They were all full of love and happiness.  I didn’t feel love, or loved.  I wasn’t happy.  I couldn’t lie, but I wanted to make peace.

Finally, I found one that was appropriate.


You and I have been through
a lot together,and through everything,
both the good times and the bad,
there was always our love
holding the two of us together
and keeping our family close.
Even after all these years,
there’s still no better way to say it…
“I love you.”
Happy (belated) Valentine’s Day


“An Affairs”

My husband asked me out to lunch.

He drove, and even paid for the meal.  I was shocked.

At our favorite pho restaurant, my husband looked me straight in the eye and explained to me that he had purchased a ticket to France, and his flight was leaving at 8:40 p.m.  He was planning on being gone not for two weeks, but the entire month.

I started to interrupt, but he continued.

He said he had done a lot of thinking about the trip.  Something about it hadn’t seemed “right”.  He then took a deep breath and shared his revelation with me: the way he had been planning his trips had not taken me into consideration, at all.  He realized he had been acting as if he were a 22-year old, very single bachelor.

Well, shit on a shingle.  He gets it.

Furthermore, he realized that if he left on the plane that night, I would leave him.  He didn’t want our marriage to be over.

So he told me he wouldn’t go.

He then asked me to “partner” with him in his career.  He wanted me alongside him.  He didn’t want to be without me in any capacity.  He wanted to try harder.  He wanted my support.  He wanted to include me in everything he did.

That is what I had been wanting, all along!  I almost couldn’t believe that I was hearing it.  Maybe God had, indeed, changed my husband’s heart overnight.

Hope, Part Four.

We made a deal.  I agreed to be his partner.  He had gone out of his way to take a step forward, a giant leap towards a life together.  He still had to fly to Australia in a couple of weeks, but would keep me posted on every detail.  I was dubious but agreed, since a paycheck from one of his recent stories had come through.  We needed more like that to stay afloat.

A blessing and RELIEF, I wrote.  I truly would have left him, I believe, had he gone to France.  I am so glad I didn’t have to make that decision today.

I did not journal for an entire day.  Our exchanges were light-hearted, and full of inside jokes.

The day passed.

Soon after, I found my husband’s unused plane ticket, crumpled up in his backpack.  My heart sank.  His itinerary did not reflect France, at all.  The flight had been headed to Portugal.

Feeling massively disappointed, yet not at all surprised, I calmly confronted him with the evidence.  He made up some cockamamie excuse, but I knew he was going back to see the “investment banker”.  Still, I didn’t want to believe that he had had an affair with her, too.  It was so brazen, so blatant, and SO in-your-face that it couldn’t have been true!  I was officially the biggest, bloodiest fool in the entire universe.

My husband had “an affairS”.

Oh, God, even through my daily disappointment, I know deep down that You are by my side, holding my hand and walking me through this.

Broken.  Human.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  ~Hebrews 12:3

The next day was a good one for me, personally.  I got a lot of work done, then treated myself to a swim at the Rose Bowl.  Feeling strong and confident, I impulsively decided to join the diving team for their nightly practice. I hadn’t been coached on a springboard since competing in high school, so it felt really good to do something fun and productive.  For me.

I went home exhausted, proud and happy.  I walked in the door to find my husband affixed to his usual spot on the couch.  He kept his eyes on his computer screen as I entered the living room.

“I’m hungry.”

Immediately, I felt myself shutting down.

We went to dinner at a BBQ restaurant.  I pushed the chicken and beans around on my plate and verbalized my feelings — the same old, crappy, tired feelings.  How many ways can you wonder if your marriage is going to survive?

My husband didn’t want to talk about it.

I was silent on the drive home, and when we arrived, my husband went to bed.  I had plans to go hiking with my friend, Andrea, in the morning, so I went to bed, too – in the guest room.  I hadn’t slept many nights in my marriage bed.  It was too difficult.

As I lay on my creaky twin mattress, my thoughts started to spin out of control.  I became angry, so I got up and started banging around.  I stormed into the Master bedroom where my husband slept and started to “pack” my belongings.  He woke up and sleepily asked me what I was doing.

“I’m PACKING!” I flailed about the room, wildly.

I shot my mouth off for several minutes, and then stomped back to the guest room, slammed the door, and locked it.

A few moments later my husband pounded the door with his fists.  He was livid.  I opened it, we screamed in each other’s faces, and then I tried to slam it again.  He stopped me.  He pushed his way into the tiny guest room, screaming, “STOP IT, STOP IT, STOP IT!” — through his teeth.  He then grabbed me with all of his strength, and violently threw me down on the bed.

A moment passed.  We stared at each other in horror.

I got up off the bed, rubbing the already-sore spot on my arm where he had grabbed hardest.

I picked up my bag, and moved towards him.  My eyes were flashing but I kept my voice low and steady.

“If you ever touch me again, I’ll kill you.”