Life Goes On

Ten Years Ago

Brad and Jenna filed for divorce.  Each went their own way. There was no other way to deal with the situation. It was the hardest on the children.  Brad elected to be an absent father, so his two sons saw very little of him.

It was ten years since he divorced Jenna, and Brad was on his third wife.  The second marriage was a complete disaster. Brad had an inability to devote to marriage and he really didn’t care.

He still was extremely good looking.  It was his looks that attracted women to him. This contributed to his present circumstances. His third wife was very pretty, very smart and very rich. She came from a wealthy aristocratic family.

That didn’t alter the fact that their relationship was rocky at best. Brad hadn’t changed in these last ten years – how could he?  He carried the secret with him. It haunted him day and night.

Martha was picking up Brad’s clothes that were strewn on the floor.  She hated a messy house and didn’t understand why Brad couldn’t pick up his own clothes.

“I’m not your maid, Brad. I’m your wife. Why can’t you pick up your clothes?”

Brad looked at Martha and condescendingly said, “What the heck are you doing?  Can’t you do anything right without complaining? Just because you have a college degree doesn’t mean you’re any better than I am,” yelled Brad.

She may have been pretty, petite and wealthy, but the one thing she wasn’t; she wasn’t a pushover.

“You know I love you and will do anything to help you.  I want you to stop belittling me right now. I won’t take another day of this behavior.”

Martha didn’t let up. “You need help.  You are out of the Navy now and you don’t have to worry about losing your top-secret clearance or your job.  Either see a counselor or I’m gone.  Yes, Brad, it’ll be another failure for you to add to your list.”

“You just can’t help but rub in the fact that I am divorced, can you?  I hate it when you give me ultimatums. But I hate it more when you go back and attack me with verbiage that I trusted to you”.

Martha leaned in to get a little closer to him.  Martha could smell the alcohol on Brad’s breath.

“Oh my God, Brad.  You’ve been drinking this morning, haven’t you?”

“What is it to you if I have a drink every now and then” screamed Brad.

“But it’s 10 a.m. in the morning. You’ll be wasted again by noon”, Martha yelled back.

She had enough.

“Make an appointment with a counselor or a divorce attorney now or I’m out of here.  I’ve put up with enough of your dysfunctional behavior.”

Brad knew Martha meant what she said.  She picked up the local telephone book and turned to the yellow pages.

She gave it to Brad, “Pick one now – an attorney or a counselor.”

He sensed the finality of her ultimatum in her voice, so he complied. He looked at the yellow pages and turned to counselors.  He went down the list and chose one that was near his home. Phone in his hand, he called.

“I need an appointment. When can you see me? Tomorrow at three will be fine. Thank you.”

“There, does that make you happy? I hate you for what you have done for our marriage. You are always on my case. You don’t ever let up. Maybe you need to see a counselor.”

“I know I’m tough on you, but you need help.  Do you want to go through the rest of your life ignoring the problem?”

She reached over and touched his cheek.  He still was a handsome man, but the years were taking a toll on him. She leaned over and gave him a kiss on his cheek.  He looked up at her.  She was so beautiful.  He could smell her perfume and noticed how captivating and enticing it was to him.

Maybe the counselor will be able to tell him why he was treating Martha so poorly.  He didn’t understand it himself and when he saw what it did to Martha, he felt so bad.

She always pushes me.  Why does she do that?


It took several years for Jenna to recover from her divorce from Brad. Raising two boys alone was difficult.

She was so happy her mother moved to San Diego when her stepfather died. Her mother asked her to move in with her. Jenna thought about it for a brief second.

“Oh mom, I would be so happy to live with you again. I promise I’ll contribute to the expenses.”

Her mother was relieved and very happy.  She will get to see her two grandsons every day!

Jenna moved in with her mother.  What a relief it was. Brad wasn’t always on time with his child support payments.

Living with her mother eased the burden of calling Brad for the payment he so often forgot.

It wasn’t long before she found a job in a lawyer’s office. It wasn’t long before she decided she wanted to go back to college.  Her mother was instrumental in Jenna accomplishing her goals.  It gave her the time to work and go to school because her mother babysat the boys. They continued to live with her mother.

As she was heading to class one day, he met a young, attractive and single doctor.  He was one of the area’s top psychiatrists.  She was on her way to school when she ran into him.  He was the guest presenter in one of her psych classes.

He asked her out after class. Jenna decided to go for coffee at the local coffee shop. It didn’t take long for the two to start to date.  Jenna fell in love immediately with Mark.  She loved his smile, his blue eyes, and his wonderful smell.

A few months after they started to date, Mark proposed to Jenna.  What a great Christmas present!  She couldn’t be happier and accepted his proposal.  It was time to move on with her life.

Her wedding was huge. They didn’t spare any money on making this the event of the year. All the “who’s who” of the area attended.  Life was good.

They didn’t have a chance to get away for a honeymoon. That would come later. They were celebrating with family and friends.

The next week Mark arranged for a special dinner for just the two of them.

“Hey Jenna,” called Mark.  “Are you ready to go to dinner.  We don’t want to be late.  It’s so hard to get into this place and I don’t want to lose our reservation.”

“Coming Mark.  I’m almost ready.  It’ll just be a few more minutes.”  Jenna put on a sexy red dress, brushed her long hair and sprayed her favorite perfume on her wrists and neck.

Just enough to turn Mark on, she thought.

Mark looked at the stairway and saw this beautiful vision of a woman descending the stairs.

“Oh my God Jenna, you look like a million dollars. I love that dress on you and as I get closer to you, I can smell that sexy perfume. You know that’s my favorite.”

“Thanks, Mark.  You always make me feel so special.  I’m still not used to being treated so kindly.  I love you, Mark.”

“Jenna, you know after dinner we are going to the party thrown by the psychiatrists association.  Will you be comfortable in that environment?”

Jenna thought for a moment, “Of course, it will be my pleasure to be among my soon to be peers.”

“How are you doing on your internship?”, Mark asked.

“Mark, you should know that I should be finished by the end of next month.  I’ll then be a licensed psychiatrist.  I’ll have to practice under one of the doctors for a little while (maybe you’ll volunteer), but after about two years I will be able to open my own practice.”

“Jenna, I’m so proud of you.  You’ve worked hard to accomplish your goal.”

“Thanks, Mark.  I can truly say it helped me to understand my first husband and all his problems.  If I can only help others in the same position I was in, I will have achieved my goal.”

“That’s why I married you, Jenna.  You always think of helping others.  I know you will succeed.”

“I’m happy my first son is doing well in the business environment. I hope my other son will follow my path and go to college.  He only has a few months left to live with us.  I will miss him.  I know he’s been through a lot and the rejection from his father didn’t help.  He’s strong and smart and I’m sure he will go on to reach his goals.  You have been such a positive influence on him.  We both are lucky to have you.”

Jenna smiled, “Let’s get going.  I’m starving and can’t wait to go to the restaurant. What a wonderful way to end the year.

“Thank you, Mark.”

<<<<<< The Beginning | Next Chapter >>>>>>

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