Q&A With Relationship Expert Randi Gunther: “Anyone Can Get Along When Things Are Going Well. It Is Who People Are, And Become, When Things Are Tough, That Determines The Future Of Any Beloved ...

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Randi Gunther, Ph.D., Relationship expert, psychologist, marriage counselor and author of Relationship Saboteurs and When Love Stumbles, agreed to answer a few of my questions on relationship in general, and about what relationships in the age of technology are up against

RT: Tell us a little about yourself, how long you have been counseling and has this work and knowledge affected your own personal relationship, and vice verse?

RG: I was an academic kid, majoring in math and science, from a European gypsy family who did not think linearly. I met my husband, Greg, when we were fourteen and have been together ever since. Growing up off one another has been an amazing process, fraught with sorrow and tenderness. I put him through college as women did in those days, and began my own graduate education when I was thirty-five and my three girls were ten, twelve, and fourteen. I spend the next nine years going to school in the evenings and working during the day. At one time, we were all in college together. There are many wonderful and stretching stories. I do have diaries, though, as a ten-year-old, trying to help my friends and my parents through hard times. I know the love of helping people to

see things through more potential lenses has always been in me.
I managed to secure four degrees and two licenses throughout those times, while spending many years in therapy alone and with Greg. Our children also have grown with us and achieved highly on their own. Every personal and professional learning experience threw me into the scary and beautiful awareness that I would never know it all. It also helped me form my existential-humanistic orientation of ever-lasting learning, which fills my soul.
To date, I’ve accumulated over 90,000 face-to-face hours with people I treasure; deeply agreeing with the premise that counseling is never affective if it doesn’t change both the patient and the therapist. So many people in pain and heartbreak have taught me about the many labyrinths that exist in human nature and how both similar and different we all are.

RT: Is there any difference between new budding relationships that start now as opposed those that started a decade or two ago? Is there a difference in the challenges that couples face?

RG: I could speak about this for hours if we had the time. There is no way to describe how the hooking up of the WWW less than fifteen years ago has affected relationships. Human beings and the way they learn and love have not evolved as fast as technology demands. Many young people and those in their twenties and thirties live on the Internet. Texting some 100-150 times a day necessarily dumbs down the language and doesn’t often include facial expressions, voice intonation, body language, or heart, which are over 90% of intimate communication. Emails are wonderful in that people can send them when they want and answer them when they want, but the myriad of misunderstandings and non-real-time interactions make communications more sensitive to them.
Small towns and accountability to those that came before you or are yet to be born gave people an obligation to clan that rarely exists any more. Those dating are terribly susceptible to very narrow interpretations of their behaviors seen only through few lenses. The media almost extols living in compartments and is now offering support and opportunity to try to be in an intimate relationship concurrently with external ones. Romance, as people once knew it, is essentially non-existent. It is replaced by an illusion that is not backed up by the understanding of what it takes to make relationships continue to blossom and grow. Because of that, the essence of most new relationships lasts as long as the physical connection remains lusty. The revolving door connections create an addiction to those unique moments of new love, without the skills that are required to take them to the next step, or the faith that long-term relationships are even possible.
Still, fifty percent of people don’t cheat and there are long-term relationships that survive, and even thrive. My two books talk to how that can happen. In my own life, I’ve listened to so many heartbreaks and could see how they could have been averted if the couple only had known how and implemented those strategies early enough.

RT: How is technology affecting our relationships? We get a lot of questions about face-book and he said/she said texts. Do you have any advice for both new couples and couples with a bit more mileage under their belts as to what place to give technology in a relationship and what to watch out for?

RG: Yes, absolutely. When they are first texting and emailing, they need to frequently sit down and tell each other what they heard and interpreted from these technological short-cuts, and if what they heard was what was intended. If the relationship is not solid in its anthropological interest, i.e., “who are you, really, and how is what I say and do what you really think it is,” then text messages simply reflect two worlds that are really not blending, though they may appear to be. You must live in the heart of your best friend to be able to use the media in a way that enhances, rather than de-personalizes. It is simply too easy to guess at what someone means through an ego-centric lens, rather than stretch to know who that person really is, especially when a new relationship is forming and transforming.

RT: Technology has affected us in more areas than just our communications skills. Even our music, TV and pastimes are faster, and more clip-like. It seems as if there is never any down time. How do you think this pace effect relationships and individuals in these relationships? What do you think we need to reclaim in order for our relationships to begin to thrive again?

RG: The core of every successful relationship is the sacred altar place a couple forms. It is the place where a couple kneels in re-commitment to the behaviors, ethics, values, and dreams they both share. In those moments of treasured and mutual valuing, a couple strives to remember why they have chosen each other. It is not just the faster pace that threatens those timeless moments, but what couples are fed that is supposed to enhance them and doesn’t touch what people really need in times of sorrow and fear. Anyone can get along when things are going well. It is who people are, and become, when things are tough, that determines the future of any beloved friendship.
Couples who know that altar place must be up-to-date, transforming continually, and re-chosen every moment, do not lose each other in the same way. That doesn’t mean that all of those relationships last, only that, when they do end, both partners know why and, when possible, hope for the best for the other.

RT: Do you believe each person has one or maybe 2 potential perfect partners or can one make a relationship work with anybody with whom they have a basic connection?

RG: I have watched so many people devastated by what they have believed to be the only perfect partner. Their grief is palpable and feels as if it will never end, let alone give way to a new love. Yet, they do. It so much depends on who they become through their grief. The continuum is from ‘I’ll never risk my heart again,” or “I guess there are just no quality people out there,” to “I’ve learned and grown through my loss and I’m more willing to love now than ever.” “Nothing ventured, nothing lost,” is, unfortunately more common.
There are certain basic characteristics that do portend more potential to not only heal but love again ever more deeply. (See my article on PsychologyTodayBlogs about “Who are the Keepers?”) Also, sending out the right kind of beam is crucial. Many people hold back the core of who they are and try to be what they believe others want. When it is time to be real, the relationship doesn’t work any more. Knowing what you want and what you have to give in return sends a more authentic message. It may not seem to work as well in the beginning, but it is the only behavior that works long-term.

RT: If you were a matchmaker, what were the most important commonalities you would look for to make the perfect match?

RG: If people are lucky, they are always in the process of transformation. What seems like the right characteristics up front must be malleable as life takes its toll and relationships have to face unpredictable upheavals and unanticipated challenges. Again, there are certainly core qualities that you want in anybody you felt blessed to be with, but, if I had to pick one, it would be the willingness to learn by embracing self-accountability.

RT: We have all been in relationships with the “wrong” people. If we know those people are bad for us and that no good could come of it, how come we persist in these relationships? Why are people drawn to the same kind of wrong person over and over again?

RG: My first book, “Relationship Saboteurs,” talks directly about this question. Tap roots to childhood and the inability to be guided correctly into more successful alternatives can doom people into repetitive cycles. Sometimes the people we are most drawn to spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, or sexually, drastically lack other qualities that are crucial. People have so many explanations for these repetitive, doomed relationships; from past life reincarnations to seeking the parent we never had to determination to change someone to finding just the right person who will “understand” us. What is important is not to stereotype or allow yourself to fall into prejudicial attitudes. People often create what they expect to happen and can’t see alternatives that are right in their view.

At the beginning of a relationship with potential, everything is peachy. We have butterflies and our stomachs lurch in joy when our new love comes anywhere near us. All this excitement wears off at
some point or other, once we are more familiar with and less excited by the newness of our partners. More often than not the relationship can slip into mundane boredom. How can one keep the life and
enthusiasm alive in a long term relationship?

RG: The illusion of romance is its most primary defeater. “Don’t ever change.” “I will always love you the same.” Those romantic statements do not allow for the fact that butterflies exist with newness and challenge. If a partner in a relationship settles for security over challenge or transformation, the relationship will become predictable. (See the PT article on security/boredom.) Knowing someone so deeply that you don’t have to think about how he or she will react is comforting but requires very little adjustment or change. I’ve been married for fifty-seven years and, despite many challenges, I most treasure Greg’s unpredictability and insatiable quest to know and become more than he is. I’ve been angry, frustrated, despairing, joyous, challenged, and the like, but I’ve never been bored. My own life has been a series of transformative experiences, (like writing my first book in my seventies), and I couldn’t live with myself if I knew who I was going to be tomorrow. Boredom goes both those ways. You just can’t be bored without being boring. There is the caveat that people are often more exciting outside of an established relationship than they are within it. Losing prime time in your most important connection is a bad sign.

RT: Obviously, when children come along the balance in the relationship is changed. Do you have any suggestions for couples with young children as to how to stay a couple along side of being a family,
and not to lose their relationship into the chaos of family?

RG: The early years of children are really daunting to any couple. Little ones are energy vampires and will take as much as you can give. They willingly will even sit between you. Many couples, caught up in the challenge of trying to do it right, fall prey to the human failure of forgetting how important their own relationship is. When couples lived in larger, extended families, there were always people to take the kids for periods of time so that young couples could regenerate. I believe the greatest cause of divorce today is that lack of a larger, loving, available network. Some young couples help each other by baby-sitting each other’s kids regularly so those precious timeless moments are sustained. There is a peak of divorce rates four years after the youngest child is born, when a couple finally realizes how far apart they’ve become in their parallel relationship.

RT: A lot of visitors on RT are extremely young people who have had children with their BF/GF and are either struggling to maintain a relationship with the other person while living with their parents,
or, are struggling to get on with their life with the other person in the picture as a parent to their child. Do you have any advice as far as how to establish a joint parenting relationship, taking into consideration that some of these people are barely out of high school or still teenagers?

RG: Again, external support is so important. When children have children, they are understandably torn between caring for the children on the outside and taking care of their own internal children. They rarely have time or interest in parenting classes or finding the many other resources where they can join others in the same predicament. Children would ideally only be cared for by people who are not feeling burdened by them. Kids also need to know who they can count on and when. Bad-mouthing the other parent is so damaging. These young people are horrendously burdened by a multitude of problems. I know so many older people who lack the maturity, but younger people may have never had the opportunity to develop it. Kids also need consistency between their caretakers. Staying good friends is often improbable because others have come into the picture who are primary in the break-ups. There are many similarities but the uniqueness of every situation must be kept in mind.

RT: What would you advise a person who is freshly out of a relationship in regards to getting over the heart break? Do you advise people to cut off all contact with the ex or wean themselves slowly?

RG: That is very individual. If a relationship has had a lot of time to end, both people have grieved somewhat in anticipation of the ending. Most relationships, unfortunately, end because one person has already grieved, and the other is just beginning. They cannot share the grief of a love gone wrong. When there are a series of lost relationship, the grief is stronger. When there is a loving network of people to divert and support, the moments of loss are easier to take. It is so important not to allow oneself to be dragged into a rebound relationship. The grief from the old relationship’s ending will eventually cloud the new one with unpredictable expectations or anticipations of loss that are unconsciously created. The most important thing to do after a break-up, especially if it was unexpected, is to understand what caused it, and what one would do differently in the future. Self-accountability and personal hope has nothing to do with the last relationship unless the person left was convinced that it was his or her fault.

RT: Jumping from one relationship directly into another is clearly not the best of ideas. How does a person know if they are ready to start dating and get involved with someone new? Is there a way to take the pain from the previous relationship and turn it into something positive in the next relationship?

RG: This is an extremely broad question. The most spiritual answer is when someone no longer harbors anger or resentment. One wonderful lady told me that when she is ready to fix her ex up with a new person, she knows she is done. It would be ideal if each relationship prepared us to do better in the next one. It’s so important to avoid resentment, victimization, or self-castigation. Emerging from loss as a person bound to learn from what has happened is a very desirable trait. Any new date that hears remaining anger or prejudice towards an ex should head for the hills.

RT: What are the biggest and most common pitfalls a couple will encountered on their road to happily ever after? Is there anyway they can be avoided?

RG: Yes. Please see my latest book, “When Love Stumbles.” Not taking care of things when they should be and allowing life to take the passion from you are two major warning signs.

RT: Is it true that we are sometimes our own worst enemies in a relationship? How so?

RG: If you mean that we don’t honor our core selves, or that we act in ways that have never worked before, or that we build cumulative prejudices against hope for a better outcome in the future, yes.

So... what do you think? Please leave me a comment.


  • randi gunther: Dear Ruth,
    Thank you so much for posting our interview. I enjoyed the questions and am still pondering them.
  • night_orchid: Ruth,
    Once again, this was a really wonderful posting. I sincerely hope that you will continue to do more interviews as these are really eye opening and invaluable. Maybe in time you may even make an individual library section in the forum dedicated to these interviews.
  • Ruth: Thanks night_orchid. I intend to do just that.
  • Pup: Great post, well done Ruth.
    And thanks to Randi, for that honesty. You have confirmed that I am not crazy and that ignoring, pretending and avoiding are not the way if actually intend to heal instead of just forgetting, like many of relationship "experts" spread out all over the internet preach as their golden rules.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
  • Jem: Very relationship is different and the same .
    Every couples have current problems but later on will be resolved.
    Relationships takes a lot of work.
  • Bre: I been WIITH this guy since he was 18 and ii was 20 , I already had a 1month old daughter and took care of her and she 3 today, she kalls HIIM daddy, but basically we been thru so much problems good and bad, and every tiime we break up we always some how some way get back together , ii will always have dreams about HIIM comiing bCk and he would, but LIIKE about 2weeks ago he broke up WIITH all Kuz I told him not to wear my daughter chain and he got, mad , I seen HIIM siince only 1 tiime , and I tryed to talk to HIIM ii even cryed on hiis shoulders as he was wiping my tears but he was SAYIING he don wanna be WIITH me no more,
  • Michael: Hello Ruth
    Your blog is very helpful. I would really appreciate it if you can give me some advice on my situation.
    I’ve dated a girl close to 3 months and we clicked well together, we would go out on 2-3 dates a week and stay in touch over text and phone calls all week, we were both happy together. 3 weeks ago she told me she wasn’t sure how she feels about us and she didn’t know why she felt that way. I told her let’s take it slow and see what happens. A week passed and she suggested to request two days off from work so we can go out of town which we ended up doing, on our way back from the trip she said she was getting that same feeling of not being sure about us and it made her feel guilty, so we decided to stay friends. It’s been a week since we have moved to the friends zone but I have already started having feelings for her so I sent her a long text few days ago explaining to her how I felt about her but I didn’t say I love you and told her If she still felt there was no chance to make it work then I could be at peace with knowing that I expressed my feelings and it would be easier to transition into friends. Her reply to my tex was " what do you want from this?". I answered her that I wanted to know if she had any feelings or just wants to be friends. She texted back saying " I’m all good, thanks". That answer was confusing so I asked her "not even friends?" And her reply was " it’s hard for me to be friends with you right now. I am sorry ". I haven’t been in touch with her for a couple of days now and I feel much better emotionally like my feelings for her are fading, but I also know we would make great friends and I would like to go for friends down the road because we have a great time together. Do you think from her reply that she might not be ready to be friends right now but possibly down the road ?
    Any suggestions?
  • Isis56:

    Ruth I know from early on in my marriage I sabotaged my husband for every ones good. I found myself three years after marriage trying to talk him into staying in the US submarine service. Then when he would not he was coming back to an area that really hated the fact he was coming back at all because he was disruptive in his return. I just wanted the day he came home from three and a half years under water for his return to be as quiet and none disruptive to the area as possible. So when he returned the deal was that in two years we could start our marriage with the ideals I was raised with, in peace love and understanding for all. I don’t know exactly what happened in the navy those three and a half years under water. I just know that when he came home he did not care about any one else and their needs, He was harder than the HY80 steel hulls he served in and in his rate everything was viewed with an Eye toward total secrecy since he dealt with the maintaining, targeting and launch of MIRVed nuclear weapons over 4000 miles. He came back with his Honorable discharge and intended to go back to his Big Three job using all stipulations the contract had concerning seniority, His discharge automatically allowed him to claim his seniority of nine years that had accumulated. at the time We lived in the state Pence came from. The society there was vastly different than the Detroit way of doing things. That area believed there was a need for privilege, politically, Through family connections, through wealth and managerial connections. My husband wanted that contract voted and ratified by a national union to be as if gods finger wrote it. Within two years I found myself being sent ***** to my mothers with the divorce he was filing for, his father and others getting him under a local court order requiring him to work all hours offered, All because he was not willing to work with us about just taking a mid winter vacation. Leaving the rest of the summer for kids that had school starting in the fall. I had begged him four weeks earlier to allow a 20 year old girl with 9 years less seniority and her fiancé that worked in their department with 8 years less to go on the same Rome vacation I was going on that year. If he took his vacation slot as the contract allowed. just was not counting he would require me to keep the promise I swore too; to get him to stay and work instead of the young couple having to wait until November or latter for their life to start, I felt that it had been five and a half years since we stood in the church We could wait until January and take almost a month and a half at that time after our sixth anniversary, So we could try and start a life in my ideal way. With love and peace in our future from that point with nobody angry. If my husband had permited it that day we flew in from Rome the morning of the 13th of June 1987. Me his father and others could have come up with a solution to a vacation he would have liked and we could have started Our life at that time. I stepped out of Customs to hell on earth, To someone who refused to sit down and listen to any solution proposals we had to his time off and a beginning to our life. He wanted to start his three weeks that Saturday, Right after dropping everyone at his fathers and we leave rom there, The vacation disruptions created that day would have affected maybe thousands of other people because he was going to use seniority to take what he wanted, then he next man or woman changing theirs because my husband took their time they had planned, It was a vicious domino effect leaving everyone ticked at everyone else. So When I put my foot down about my promise it was to stop this greedy attitude my husband had. Just stop him from hurting everyone because he just gave his time up to secure the promise any time. any way and any place he wanted his six weeks off I would be the willing sex partner and travel companion. The next 45 minutes I found myself on my way to my mothers on a one way bus ticket, He Wanted a divorce, He was not going to listen to a thing any one said he felt he had researched enough to know there was nothing he wanted in January as time off. Even the suggestion to just stay home and rest was rejected out right, Every Reservation we could have had was already taken. To places like the Bahamas, Caymans, Hawaii, Barbados, I even suggested Rio or Trinidad. or the Canaries. There was nothing open except a couple of ski trips or Iceland. And He said if he took something it was not to ski with a bad knee he has. not Drive across country in mid winter, and especially not kiss our rears just to go along to get along. I heard it took four deputies to keep him from chasing his father down after getting that order to work all hours offered put on him overriding the contract. His Brother said that they knew if he caught his father he was going to be crushed like a bug that day. But The deputies took him to work as the order directed and I heard he made life hell for the girl and her fiance’ when they returned to work after their honey moon, both were forced to transfer out of the department. I came home two years latter to the judge throwing my husbands petition out saying he was not getting out from under keeping me supported with my bi polar and In 1990 the hell really started, He stopped even saying hello or good morning, he would say hurtful things like when was I going to stand with him and be a wife, start the family I kept promising I would start. And then in 2000 and 2001 things came to a head. First after we stole his passport to not let him go to Bavaria for the Millinial celebrations but get him to stay and work building an assembly parts bank and let others have the time instead. To make up for it, I was going to suggest Cancun that spring since everyone else took their time during the Milinial celebrations, and bought a beautiful Clock for 1300 as a peace, birthday, anniversary and Christmas gift when we flew in on his birthday the fifth of January, For the Christmas anniversary gift he bought me a lovely box full of dog S***. His parents had a gift of a 2000 dollar cleanup of their home it was the most disgusting thing I ever saw. He also with the help of others got the order removed and the issuing judge arrested in a terrible revenge for making every ones life simpler. He was just clocking out for the day when 2000 arrived, A year and ten months latter the sons of three very powerful men in the county and a city councilman wanted a job bid my husband and three of his ex military buddies wanted, My husband and his buddies had the seniority for the department when they bid on the New plant The closest the other four had was six years less. When His fathers best friend and county commissioner wanted him to back off the job for his son, I went to my husband actually on my knees begging and promising everything he had wanted the last 16 years if he just backed off his bid and wanted two more weeks and him and his buddies could pick anything from the next list in two weeks, I was told he wanted out of our marriage so he could find a real wife and not a s*** community girlfriend so please feel free to take his fathers hand and both of us step in front of a high speed semi. The Real defiance came the next morning when he informed the four younger men he was not removing his bid and they were to collect whoever who was who’s wife and get out of his face or die where they stood. then when they took offence he tried to make his threat a reality, They all had to be transported to a trauma care unit and Critical care after words. after a display of his ability with hand to hand combat. He was At 192 lbs. harder than concrete, would not sit and even try and work with any one over time off or a start to our marriage 20 years over due, He was just demanding everything was going to be as he wanted, The next 8 years was him staying with that demand and I continued to deny sex, and family feeling that the first crack in our resolve would mean the flood gates opening to everything he wanted over the communities needs, He Was almost always shoved into work at gun point on holidays until 2008 this usually worked. He started thanksgiving morning 2008 with his usual refusal and his father and friends came in and said if he did not get into work he could go to the hospital with a few holes accidently put in him, He went out and got in the car and then balked going through the turnstiles. One of his fathers friend jabbed him with the barrel and suddenly had the butt of his own shotgun crushing his face and my husband had drawn down on the other men including his father with a chambered round. It took A friend working in the sheriffs department 30 minutes to talk him out of opening fire. And just go to work since the day was now a ruin. Christmas was as bad with his father being choked into nearly wreaking his car and two men on the street and one on the hood of his fathers car. The APB finally intercepted him on the Ohio river bridge. On New years eve I wanted a chance to get the whole famillly together after he came home the next morning and Talk about the trip on the express that May he had taken any control over funds and reservations out of my hands making them himself and telling me that if I handed is passport over to be locked up by his father like the last three times in the last nine years. He said he would start with my arms and end with my neck broken If I touched his reservations or passport. knew his going was going to be trouble especially after the plant managers son got his girlfriend in trouble. So His father took me to the travel agent and we cancelled his double berth and I took a single The younger man took the double for himself and his new bride. I asked the union president about arranging something after Christmas for him and He said the Company maintained a Rental for execs in ST Criox and he got permission for my husband to use it for the Full five weeks he had coming starting the second of January in seven months 24 years of my husbands unused vacation funds, and I was hoping by this time to see if there was a way to salvage anything between us before he really went off the rails I thought the offer of two weeks to make up for the holiday season and five weeks in st Criox would be accepted as a fair exchange. He said flat out what about the exchange for the other 24 years of no time off b****. I said there’s nothing we could do to get those back except ask him to please drop it. He just did what was needed so just don’t bring it up as he lost in this. He Yanked my shoulder Bag off my shoulder to get the Check from the cancelation and it threw me across an office I hit about 20 feet from where he yanked my bag I was screaming in pain and my arm just hung with my shoulder dislocated. He leaped across the Office Wrapping one hand around his fathers throat tearing his pockets out getting his passport back even after we told him all he had to do was pick it up after we were gone. I was telling him there was a surprise waiting in January. I don’t know why he felt he had rights to whatever he wanted to do but apparently the courts agreed with him. I was arrested coming back home. The Manager just got his son rehired as a probationary employee at another plant after he was fired In 2014. He already lost his wife and daughter after she left him to move to the Marianas for her nursing carreer in 2011. My husband was thinking of retiring I found out after 35 years service credited. I found out in 2009 why he was so angry over his vacation cancelation he had worked part time as and Aircraft loader, unloader. He feel out of a large aircraft Aft bulk Carrier one morning and bruised his back three months latter he had MRSA in his spine. he was angry because he made both vacation times to coincide. I did not know he was doing this until after the surgery when one of his managers at the part time company told me he was going to trasnsfer to another facility as a trainer in operations. After he could not get another that winter he was determined to make everyone hurt. That October he was considered a permanent cripple after a nearly one day surgery for a back bone slip, Crushing and partially severing his spinal cord. He’s blamed me. his father, his family and all our friends for keeping him without time off for the last 34 years, He calls everyone life vampires. I keep asking the same question. To get his cooperation over the community needs what else could we have done except use sex denial as the carrot and eventual reward Then when that failed should we have just let him defy everyone. I ended up In a deadly evening three years latter when he decided he was not waiting one more second for what I had promised all those years. He raped me over the try at getting him to just sit down and listen and we could work something out. He did not want to listen to any thing any of us had to say about forgiving us. This morning his brother called from the mid west. His father was given less than a month with multiple heart valve blockages with the request that my husband come down from this perch and Fly back and say he forgives us. My husband said he’s going out in the snow to ride to a smoke colom we saw this morning. Said tell dad that forgiving is something deserved and he misses on all counts. He’s been gone since yesterday after noon now. The only thing I have heard is that he found a pair of hikers down mountain. guess they thought the nice weather was going to hold I don’t know if more snow is coming he Day before yesterday it was In the sixty’s today there’s a blanket of snow up here. The Sheriff has been notified to send a rescue group up today My husbands meeting them at the falls camp. All I am asking is why did he have to walk in the door in 1985 and be so defiant about his rights, not willing to give up anything he felt was due for the betterment of the community around us. I still feel if it had not started with his telling everyone he cared less about their lives he had his own agenda. sat down and talked peacefully about ways to resolve time work and community issues without trying to just stomp it down our throats with that contract, surely a middle ground everyone involved could have been satisfied with. We just never found any thing he was satisfied with except a total capitulation in his want of absolute equal treatment. Which would have caused hundreds of problems.

  • Isis56: I had hoped for decades to get to a point that my husband would not defy the wish’s of his family. myself or try and get around the social hierarchy that the area had in place. Just do as people wished and one day we could start a life and family in peace, love and understanding for the needs of all. Where I did not have to promise him a sex life if he just let things lie on his job and with the community. After he was home 16 years with no vacations, holidays an time off or getting the shift and job he wanted 2000 was bad enough when his father and others had him arrested and forced to work the Millinial celebrations we went to in Bavaria.
    I felt bad for the way it happened and tried to do something tried once before in 1987 to get him to forgive the way he was made to stay and work the Rome trip. We bought a peace offering and was going to go back and make arrangments for a vacation that spring and summer for him. We had bought a 1300 dollar clock to make up for the holidays and I was going to the judge and get a release from the court order forcing him to work all offered hours that had been in force the last 13 years. We landed that morning about ten and he did not even come in to greet us and get our luggage We had security go wake him up in his suburban to meet us at the airports loading area. He made it clear that he was in no way happy to see any of us. and I started talking abut the giftwe bought and asked him if there was any place he wanted to go other than the vacations I had already gone on. I was hoping for a northwest passage cruise was the suggestion that summer since almost everyone else used their vacation time for the millinials I knew this year was going to be open for a vacation without any crying about my husband going when they wanted. said we would go get the order removed as it was a new century and time to let the past go and start fresh with new ways and a new outlook on his rights, I handed him the clock and asked if he got me and his family anything for the holidays He handed me a foot square box beutifly wrapped and said I deserved everything in it I opened it to a box of dog sh**. He had covered his mothers and fathers house in the same and a 2 inch block of frozen urin on the front door step. It was the most horrible way to show how disgusted he was with the lot of us and show his cooperation was at an end he was starting a war with us and the area society as his new century Resolution for the way we had blackmailed and treated him since he cam home from the Navy 15 years before He handed me the clock back and said keep it as a reminder that he was the one that earned the time he never got since our wedding in 1982 and in that 19 years I had not had the time of day for him neither did any one else for not having a day off in that time or even the comfort of a marriage.
    In November2001 after a tumor was removed off his brain stem. He had the only six days he did not clock into work until October 25 2009 He was supposed to have 54 more days sick leave but the time was hard for other vacations and just before 9/11 his father and four other coworkers enters and twisted his arms behind his back escorting him into work He did not have trouble surviving that day but he came home the next day with a new purpose To defy every thing and everyone in the most violent way, He pulled out his old army foot locker and opened it for the first time in my memory. Pulled his 3rd Dan black belt certificate out with three long blades and started going armed and worked out heavy the next three months never saying any thing to me other than when was I going to be a wife instead of a using Bi***. him and some of his friends already had the judge that applied that order arrested and charged with malfeasance, evidence tampering, use of cocain and landed the poor man in prison for 16 years when released to his family last year The order was done just berfore the surgery in July 2001.
    But after being force into work before his 60 day authorized sick leave was done he was not going to let me or any one have a say in his life on a willing basis, On November the fifth 2001 I was on my knees begging for him to wait two weeks for the next round of new plant bids to go up and let the county commissioners son an city councilman. the sons of wealth farmer and a car dealership owner have the new department him and three of his ex military friends were taking. I ha worked out a deal with everyone that if he backed of this last time and got his three friends to back off I would start a sex life, let him take the holidays and vacation times his 25 years seniority allowed instead of trying to get him to take them at times everyone else demanded even start the family he wanted. All he had to do was back off one more time as a gesture of good faith and starting anew. He would have everything he wanted the last 16 years just for one little wait of two crummy weeks. He invited me as the w**** and his pimp father to take each others hand and do the honorable thing and step in front of a high speed semi together. He was not backing down, he was also taking his rights back and we had nothing to say. His cooperation was done after sixteen years since I had not kept even my wedding vows. The next morning I saw him deliver a demonstration of combat arts with his bare hands that left four men dying on our front door step. If he had been able to swing his catana they would have been dead.
    I was laying under the front door and frame with my ankle broken crying and he’s telling me my next date was an undertaker if I ever tried getting him hurt again. I had no idea they were going to assault him I thought it was just going to be a talk to persuad him to stay on seconds another two weeks until the next bids went up. He also his father arriving asking if that carnage was worth the lives of the four he had hurt badly. My husband said apparently they thought so because they attacked him. They however had not served in the Army and navy like my husband nor had his training in combat arts and nuclear weapons security.
    In 2009 to let a man with two years that worked right next to my husband go on his honeymoon with his 4 month pregnant bride We took his passport and canceled the orient express trip he wanted to go with me on. I was going to give him the 6354 dollar check at his work gate with reservations for a five week stay in St Criox starting the second of January in seven more months. He had had six days off since January 1982 That was around the surgery in 2001. There had been other violent incidents, the year before like yanking a shot gun out of a friends hand because he jabbed my husband in the back with it forcing him through his work gate there wasn’t a chambered round it was being used as a show to get him to work that thanksgiving 2008 My husband used the butt of his own weapon and crushed his entire face then chamber a a round and was going to open fire on his father and two others, For 45 minutes it took a good friend in the sheriffs department to get him to just destroy all four weapons with a machinist hammer then go to work because the holiday was ruined by that point On Christmas he forced two men out of his fathers car at 45 mph and threw another from the inside out on the hood as he strangled his father till he was out a day of forgiving ruined because he was not going to cooperate at all even if he had to die to not cooperate They caught up with him going across the Ohio and the sheriff said it was the last time he was going to stand for us that Christmas, It was to let another coworker be able to spend Christmas with his three kids by two out of state wives.
    The day we were leaving on the express boarded the aircraft with a torn acl after flying across an office after telling him he was not going to Europe that year either. I told him I had the cancelation check in my shoulder bag and he would get it at his work gate Christmas and we had a better vacation lined up for him that winter. Seven men had to separate my husbands fingers off his fathers throat as he retrieved his passport. he had made the threat to catch a flight to Charels Degaul to meet us in Europe as we got off the plane and meet us at every stop of the express to make our life hell all the way across Europe including his mother and fathers 50th anniversary party planed for Brussles If TSA had not put him on a no fly for a month for that threat he would have done it. As it was his chapline and steward had to take him home with the understanding he was to work and let us return then take his revenge then if he wanted. I served two months in county lockup when we returned for acting as false agent trading his vacation in along with his father.
    All we tried to do was get him to look to other needs than his. In October we had not really had more than three words with him since before the Express He was making every ones life at work crazy one man even was put in a box crusher after my husband made a mistake and put the wrong ticket on a part The younger man was screaming at him about making the error and my husband found the right ticket and just slapped it on the part and told the other man to shut up and get out of his face it was rectified. The kid did not let up and every one saw him throw the kid into the box crusher he was going to press the button to activate it and they had to tackle my husband to stop him. We had several talks with mental health and union officials and even got to talk to my husband labor day 2009. He was doubled over and even the company said that he was not going to even get in the plant for the holiday down times or his vacation They said he was sick and had been sent to the ER for times by that time. I thought it was because he was not coming home and sleeping on his mat. He was camping in a state forest. Taking showers at work and using laundromats. He would not speak with any one then. I was still going to try and surprise him with St Criox even was going to suggest spending Christmas and thanks giving at home since he was not going to work that year and give it to him as the Christmas gift the first under the tree since 1981 On October 24th at 830 am I got the first call from his Supervisor who had been called to let Paramedics get to my husband who was laying on the floor convulsing with a 102 degree temp. Me and his mother went to the main campus to stand behind a glass wall as people in containment suits wheeled my sedated husband into surgery. 12 hours after the start of the surgery the PA came out on a break and asked if there was a funeral home we had in mind because my husband was not looking like he was going to make it after his heart stopped once already. A MRSA Abscess in his spine had caused the backbone to crush and partially sever his spinal cord and she said they did not think he was going to come out.
    His father showed up just after that demanding to know why he was missing the colts game he was supposed to go to with the man that had to go fill for my husband. I saw his mother roundhouse him yelling get out forget he ever had a son. I felt sort of sorry for his father. He had just wanted things his way since my husband came home from the Navy, and the last 8 years everything seemed to be crashing.
    My husband came out of an induced coma two days latter, and tried standing up to wake his legs everything folded and put him on the floor.
    The last six years has been trying to slow everything to think. He wont consider any ones opinion but his. Even so angry he learned to walk without nerve impulse in his legs from the top down. The last three years he has raped me over the previous 31 years of no sex trying to keep him in line. He’s forced his way into all vacations and holidays since he came home three years ago saying if he’s paying for it he’s taking his due no matter who does not like it and if I even look sideways like I am going to say something against him he just shoves me out the door and tells me to find my own way.
    Three people were hurt bad in 2014 and 2015 over him taking what he felt due his fathers neck was broken trying to get him to go home from the Cancun cruise before boarding All I could do was sit on the hotel room bed and cry that he was being so mean about things. We all got sent home before the cruise.
    I just wonder if there is any longer a way to the peace I tried to find for so many decades without causing misery?

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