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Issue 25 - ©2004 by Kari West - Garden
met my husband in November 1994 just a few months after
he arrived from New York to join his uncle in starting
a new business. I had recently come to California from
Mexico and was heartbroken from a five-year marriage
that ended when my first husband cheated on me with
his assistant. At the beginning I was not physically
attracted to him, but he had a sense of humor and a
great heart. Right from the start, he showed so much
interest in me. He wrote beautiful letters expressing
his love and desire to protect me. He wanted a family
and a stable life as I did. We were two people from
opposite sides of the world with the same objectives,
or so I thought.
June 1995, we married. Truly it was one of the happiest
days of my life. We looked forward to building our
family and having children. My husband brought many
things to my life, but the most important was his desire
to share our faith and have his own relationship with
God. He was a godly man. We prayed together and attended
church on a regular basis. God blessed us immensely.
Soon we bought our first home and worked hard repairing
and remodeling it.
income escalated quickly as did our quality of life.
Every few years we moved to a better house. After five
years of infertility, we were overjoyed to learn I
was pregnant. In
April 2000, we moved into a beautiful 4,300 sq. ft.
home in a very exclusive neighborhood in San Juan Capistrano.
I was four months pregnant at the time. We prayed fervently
that God would help us make the right decision for
this home because we were going to be stretching a
lot financially, and we wanted to do only God's will.
At the same time, my husband was struggling with the
decision of becoming self-employed, but it turned out
to be just too much to handle.
moved into our new home under a great deal of financial
pressure. My husband, who was a recovering alcoholic,
now started drinking again. Our lives were going in
different directions. I knew from a variety of clues
that something was wrong. He didn't return my calls,
showed no interest in me, and there was no intimacy.
I felt threatened and even thought about divorce.
second child arrived in November 2001, and I thought
this baby would help unite us more—but I was
wrong. Six weeks after giving birth to my son and while
still nursing him, I discovered an awful truth. While
using my husband's computer one day, I found the most
beautiful love letter I had ever read. At first I thought
it was for me; but the further I read I realized that
it was not for me, but for his female assistant.
been in the same situation previously, I was already
suspicious that there was another woman, at least in
his thoughts. The other indications I had now brought
me to one excruciatingly painful conclusion: He was
having an affair with his assistant. The letter showed
no remorse whatsoever for his choices and certainly
no concern at all for me. Although he expressed great
worry about our boys, the letter was primarily all
about him and his feelings. He wrote to her that she
was "the most beautiful and pure thing" in his world.
this woman, who was cheating on her husband with
my husband, was the most "pure and beautiful" thing
in my husband's world, what was I? What were the
children? I felt betrayed then enraged. He was
my husband, the love of my life, and now it was over!
It felt as though he was tearing the flesh from my
body. Now our dreams and our families were utterly
destroyed. My entire world crashed.
the phone, I confronted him, but he denied it. I demanded
that he come home. I told him that I felt insulted
and degraded by him and the woman to whom I had opened
my home and given recipes, gifts, and cards at Christmas.
This was a friend whom I had trusted, and now she had
betrayed me. When he finally came through the door,
I insulted him, spat on him, and used profanity. I
broke glass, called the police, and then had him escorted
out of the house that night.
night I called his assistant's voice mail swearing
and telling her to call me the next day, otherwise
I would go to see her. She never called. So as soon
as my nanny arrived the next morning, I went to their
office. Parking two blocks away and running to get
my adrenalin going, I prepared myself. The door was
locked, but I kept hitting the door until an employee
opened it. Heading straight to her office, I first
asked her questions about what was happening. When
she kept blaming my husband for pursuing her, it made
me even angrier. I pulled her from her chair, attacked
her, spit on her, and pushed her against a bookcase.
My fist met her jaw a couple of times, and I swept
everything from her desk including a glass vase that
fell to the floor. Then I turned to attack her again
but my husband kept trying to separate us. In my anger
I was stronger than he was. I cursed him and pushed
him out of the office.
he told me the police were coming, I grabbed the woman's
hair for last time and dragged her to the door. Finally,
I let her go, ran to my truck, and drove immediately
to his uncle's office. My hands hurt, and there were
bruises all over my hands and arms. Even some of my
fingers would not move and were swelling rapidly. My
heart was pounding, and I was disoriented and in shock.
learned the police were looking for me so I called
my dearest friend, my boss. After I explained to him
what I had done, he arranged for an attorney within
15 minutes. Since I had never had an encounter
with the police—not even a parking ticket—the
attorney explained to me what would happen. That afternoon
the police handcuffed me right in front of our uncle's
office. The officer driving the police car pulled to
the side of the road and told me, "I am not supposed
to do this but you seem like a nice person, and I have
to tell you what this is about. When you walk in, don't
talk to anybody except your attorney. Keep it to yourself.
Don't stare at anybody. Act humble. No attitudes." When
we arrived, they charged me with two felonies: threatening
to kill the other woman and attacking her with a deadly
weapon. She told the police I said I was going to kill
her when I put the broken vase to her face. I never
said that to her, but I understood her lies and forgave
the police station, I did really well until they had
me sit down next to prostitutes and drug addicts coming
down from their chemical highs with disturbing reactions,
convulsions, and other things I had never seen before.
Suddenly my milk let down; it was time to feed my baby,
and I burst into tears. The man I loved and trusted
with my life had betrayed me, broken my heart, and
had destroyed our entire lives. Everyone in the cell
to which I was taken had a different story from homelessness
to prostitution, addictions, and DUI's. I was the only
one there for assault. After x-raying and fingerprinting
me, they gave me medication for the pain in my engorged
I was taken along with nine other women to a big, cold
room with glass on the front and a lesbian officer
standing behind it. I asked one of the inmates what
was happening. She told me to be quiet and keep my
head down. Ten of us stood in line in front of the
officer while another officer gave us each a bag. The
officer behind the glass then motioned us to take our
clothes off one by one with shoes first, then socks,
then tops, etc. We all stood there naked in front of
her and once again, my milk let down again soaking
my entire body. She told us to step back into the shower
and wash our hair and bodies.
was the most humiliating thing I ever experienced in
my entire life. I was cold and in pain, both physical
and emotional. Time moved so slowly as I glanced at
the wall clock. No one had contacted me yet, and I
had no idea were my children were. My biggest concern
was my new baby. He was born with re-flux condition,
needed medication, and feeding in a special position.
I tried to call our uncle's home but there was no answer.
officers spoke to us abusively, with disrespect, profanity
and sarcasm. The floor was ice cold bare cement. There
were no blankets. We had no towels to dry our hair
or bodies. I fell asleep for few minutes on the floor
using the shoes they provided as a pillow. Tucking
my arms inside the overall uniform, I tried to warm
myself. They gave us a paper bag with half a sandwich
and a cookie. I hadn't eaten all day but discovered
that the meat was rotten and the cookie was too hard
to chew. They rotated inmates from cell to cell, all
except for me. Everyone was transferred upstairs to
the dorms with warm beds with covers, except for me.
Never in my life have I cried as I did that day, and
I was exhausted.
bail was $5,000 and I wondered who would pay for that?
How long would I stay there? Where were my children?
How was I going to explain this to my family in Mexico
who had no idea of what had just happened? I had so
many questions in my mind, and they were driving me
crazy. At 5:00 a.m. I was transferred out of the cell
and told that somebody had paid my bail. After the
processing and paperwork, I was released from jail
at 7:00 a.m. when our uncle picked me up. My boss had
paid $5,000 for my criminal attorney and had forced
my husband to bail me out. My girlfriend had taken
my children to her home in San Diego, and they were
it's been difficult, I worked hard to recover. At the
trial I testified, speaking only the truth. The charges
were amended to misdemeanors, and I did community service
in a thrift store. The owner was Christian, and we
prayed before starting the day. All of the staff gained
a special place in my heart. I went to an anger management
class which helped me view things in a different way,
and I discovered some of my faults. Finally, I took
responsibility for my actions.
presence was evident in my life by putting all these
people and opportunities around me. He was whispering
in my ear saying, "I am the way." Good friends and
family members encouraged me to keep going; and others,
whom I never thought would, supported me. I was the
first to graduate from the anger management class and
had the best score. Upon completion, you are required
to give a speech about what has been learned. When
I spoke, everyone had tears in their eyes; some openly
wept. One lady looked at me and said, "You are going
to do really good." I still remember those green eyes
believing in me, when I had nothing, when I was wounded
accepted the fact that no matter how cruel people are,
we don't have the right to take justice into our own
hands. We are not God. He's is the one who will judge
and assure justice. I am special to Him. I wondered, how
could I do that to Him? What I was thinking? Was it
really worth it? I had disappointed my Heavenly
Father the same way my husband and his assistant had
disappointed me. As I asked my Lord for forgiveness,
I recognized that it was only God who really mattered
in my life.
paid a heavy price, but God forgave me. He still whispers
in my ear. My biggest blessings are my boys, my friends,
and my family in Mexico. I don't ever want to fail
them again. Along the way to today, I was touched by
Desiree in Oregon's story in the DivorceWise Newsletter (Issues
21-22). We became friends. God blesses me through her.
Desiree reminds me who I am, prays with me and for
me, and encourages me. She helped me edit this story.
God didn't give up on me, but made me pleased with
who I am. I am thankful for my honesty, strength, and
faith. I am an honorable and godly woman and that is
the difference between my former husband, his assistant,
and me. I am thankful because God has worked in my
heart. Now I give God all of my suffering and pain.
I offer him my sleepless nights, my financial concerns,
my loneliness, my humiliation and rejection. All of
those things I lift up in my hands to Him as a gift
and sacrifice, just as Jesus sacrificed His life for
us, for our forgiveness. My heart's desire is to live
the rest of my life honoring and thanking Him for His
sacrifice. Now I pray to our Lord for healing and I'm
looking forward to the future. I hope others reading
my story learn from what I experienced.
for today by Kari
capacity for anger is biological, as natural as breathing.
The Hebrew words for anger mean "to snort" or "to be
hot." In the Old Testament, God expressed anger several
hundred times. After coming down the mountain, Moses "waxed
hot" and broke the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments
when he discovered the Israelites worshiping a gold
calf. Jesus got angry. In fact, the Bible never says
we won't be angry. Anger is a natural response to what
is unjust and untrue. Anger can also fuel our will
to live. While Ephesians 4:26 tells us "Be angry, but
do not sin," the
wisdom books of the Bible—Job, Psalms, Proverbs,
and Ecclesiastes—warn us that anger can lead
to resentment, then aggression. We
become enraged, not because we are evil, but because
we seek vindication for the pain we didn't deserve,
a divorce we never wanted, and life circumstances we
would not choose. Like
Laura discovered, we can become so enraged that we
are driven to deeds we ordinarily wouldn't do. Rage
also hurts us. When our body becomes the voice of our
rage, it chews our insides—physically, mentally,
you are in anger's cycle, whatever or whoever you're
angry about, you can choose not to stay stuck there.
Find someone to dialogue with. Browse the wisdom books
of the Bible. Investigate
Dr. Les Carter's new book, "The Anger Trap" at http://www.gardenglories.com/books.html under "Kari's
Picks." (He's the Minirth Clinic counselor who endorsed "When
He Leaves" and "Dare to Trust.")
that you'll never be able to vindicate life's unfairness
or validate how hard you tried to make your marriage
work, but you can hold tightly to the truth of what
you've been through. God is the only witness you need.
In His time, not your time, He'll avenge the wrong.
Someone once said that the best revenge of all is going
on with your life. Start by following Jesus' example—forgive
those who don't know what they did. Because, as Laura
reminds us, rage exacts too high a price.
promise you can trust
your anger, trash your wrath, cool your pipes—it
only makes things worse. Before long the crooks will
be bankrupt; God-investors will soon own the store. The
Message – Psalm 37:8
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available upon request. ©2004 by Kari West