Hello to all. I am very interested in opinions of my particular divorce situation. I consulted a very good attorney in my case but have not utilized his services since our initial meeting because my divorce decree was very fair (at least I thought so at the time based on current knowledge of my marriage up to that point). I will need to give some background for my case to make any sense and in order for anyone to give a valid opinion so forgive the length of my post. We rented because I am a field engineer and at the time we moved back to Whitwell, TN where her mother and stepfather lived (less than 4 – 5 miles away), my job required me to drive approx 250 miles to work and back and we planned on buying a home which was more centrally located to my job. She always maintained that the rental home was temporary because of my job but she never intended it to be that way. Within a few months of renting the home, her and her mother began making plans to buy a trailer and put it on the parent’s property within 50 yards of their home so the mother could “take care of her daughter”. The stepfather was always against this and maintained that my wife and I needed to live our own life because one day the mother would no longer be around. My wife moved out of our home on 12/7/04. She did not file for divorce until two months later (based on irrecon differences - state of Tennessee) at which time the divorce decree was signed by both of us and was very straight forward since we have no children and were easily able to reach an agreement on division of assets. Since I felt that the decree was fair, I did not use my attorney at that time.
We live in a small county where her mother works for the sheriff’s department and knows everyone including the judges in the county (only a few). To give you an idea of her influence with them, her 28 year old son has been arrested twice. He was arrested once for a state felony – possession of greater than 1ounce of marijuana, drug paraphernalia, contributing to a minor because there was a 16 year old female in his car at the time of arrest, and resisting arrest. He was arrested a second time for a federal felony less than a year later (and while still on state probation for the first offense) for possession of methamphetamine, heroin, drug paraphernalia, expired tags and resisting arrest. He did not serve a day for either offense even though the state of Tennessee caries a mandatory 10 year prison term for possession, and or distribution of methamphetamine without exception, except in his case I guess.
My wife critically injured in a car accident three years prior to our marriage. Her mother was driving at the time, there was heavy rain, no other cars were involved and the cause of the accident was determined to be excessive speed for the conditions at hand. I believe, as do all of the immediate relatives in the family that this is the main reason her mother maintains such tight control over her – because of guilt. As a result of injuries sustained, my wife lost complete eyesight due to detached retinas in both eyes and was declared totally blind. Her family, however, discover that there was a surgeon with the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami that had been able to restore vision in several past cases (Bascom Palmer is considered one of the top eye institutes in the nation and her primary retinal surgeon is considered to be the best worldwide. She was completely blind upon her first visit but her primary surgeon was able to restore approx 20 – 30% of her sight through a series of eight eye surgeries). Although she has been offered federal assistance for rehabilitation (learning to read Braille, seeing eye dogs, vocation job training, etc.), she has never taken advantage of anything because her very controlling mother has always stated that rehabilitation was to good for her daughter and she (the mother) would take care of Sherry’s special needs at any costs. I addition, my wife is a critical diabetic (which complicates her condition even further because she could never be left alone) and uses a mechanical insulin pump to control her insulin. She became critical during our six year marriage on at least 20 or more occasions and had to be rushed by ambulance to the nearest emergency center for stabilization. On perhaps 8 to 10 of those occasions, she was as close to death as one gets without actually dying. On each occasion, I was blamed for the emergency. On one occasion, my wife programmed the wrong insulin dosage into her pump (because she could not see well enough to do it unless she used a very strong magnifying glass in adequate fluorescent light). On this particular occasion, she tried to do it unaided and without my knowledge resulting in a critical oversupply of insulin, her system and insulin shock. At the hospital, her mother tried to blame me (for attempting to kill her daughter) in front of the attending physician and hospital security. She had to be physically restrained by hospital security on that particular occasion.
It has been an extreme hardship on me to care for a blind person. She needed assistance with everything including, but not limited to, getting dressed, cooking, shopping and her diabetic treatments. In addition, she was very irresponsible when it came to her diabetes and never monitored it closely. Her pump was required to be filled with insulin approx every four to five days and I asked her nightly, without fail, before going to bed if her pump was filled with sufficient insulin and she would always respond “Yes”. However, on literally 100 occasions or more, the pump alarm would go off between the hours of 2 and 4 am because it was out of insulin and she never once got out of bed to remedy the situation but, instead, just handed it to me as if it was my responsibility even though I was not the diabetic. If she needed to go anywhere, I had to take her, even though her mother lived only 4 – 5 miles away. I worked 60+ hours a week not including the driving time to and from my territory.
Also, during our entire six year marriage, Sherry lived with me less than three and ½ years. This was not due to arguments o marital disagreements. It was simply due to the relationship between her and her mother. She would go to her mother’s home and literally spend one or two weeks at a time. I worked for an engineering company in Louisville, Kentucky for two years and during that period; she resided with me less than six months and was constantly at her mother’s home in Whitwell, Tennessee. We put over 40,000 miles on a brand new 1999 Pontiac Grand Prix and we traded it in after about two years to avoid losing a fortune on the trade-in value because of the high mileage accumulated in such a short period of time.
Now for my questions and concerns. About two weeks after she left me in December of 2004, her uncle took me out to eat dinner (I continue to have excellent relationship with all of her immediate family members except for her and her mother). During the course of dinner, he asked me if I knew why my wife left me and I said repeated to him what she told me; that her mother and I could not get along and having to choose between two people she loved dearly was just too much pressure for her. He chuckled and said, “You have it all wrong; she was having an affair on you”. He went on to tell me that she had been seeing this man for several months before she left in December of 2004 and that on several occasions, he had actually spent the night at our house when I was away on business trips. He said on many occasions when my wife would tell me she was going to spend a few days (the weekend for example) with her mother, she was actually spending the time with him at his house and that her mother was lying for her if I ever attempted to contact her. I remember specific cases where her mother said she was shopping with her friend in Chattanooga, TN or she had been ill and was sleeping etc. Being married to a blind girl, I never gave it a second thought. I mean, how would a blind girl get around to cheat anyway unless her parent took her and what kind of parent would be a party to that. He also told me that she was not living with her mother and stepfather as she claimed but was actually living with him in a new house he had purchased a month earlier. I told him if she was unhappy, why not just get divorced. He explained that he had been at my wife’s mother’s house (his sister) on several occasions when he had gotten in some pretty heated arguments with the mother. He told her on several of these occasions that he told my wife and her mother that either they tell me what was going on or he would. He said the main reason that my wife would not file for divorce was because she needed my major medical insurance coverage since she could not get medical coverage herself. He said that her and her mother had applied for Tenncare (the state insurance which covers poor or indigent people) on my wife’s behalf but my wife had not been approved yet.
He went on to tell me that this was not the first affair and that the reason she went home so frequently during the time we lived in Louisville was because she was having another affair with a different man during that time. As a result of being blind, my wife could not leave the house unless someone drove her and she had two friends who would help me out by taking her to her part time job (she answered phones at a local disability agency 20 hours a week) or other places she may need to go. Her uncle said “just ask so and so and they will tell you things you will never believe”. In the course of doing my own investigative work over the last three months, I have found out about five different affairs that I can prove. I have two black belts in the martial arts and I am a certified self-defense and submission holds instructor and use to fight in full contact tournaments. Most people knew that where we lived. If I heard about an affair with a particular man, I met him head on (usually by surprise) and he would readily admit that he had been involved with her. I taped most of these conversations but did not tell the individuals I was doing so. Therefore, I know it is inadmissible as evidence and probably would not do me any good in a court of law anyway (even if it were admissible). In addition, her friends have told me stories about dropping her off at men’s homes or motels and coming back several hours later to pick her up. When I asked her two friends why they would tell me this, they responded by saying that my wife has a way of ordering them around and not giving a second thought to their plans or their lives and, quite frankly, they were getting tired of being her taxi cab and at her call 24 hours a day. They both said they would give depositions as to what they knew and/or testify in court if they needed to. In addition, several of the men stated they would testify as well because they have families and did not want their families to find out so if I would keep quite they would help me. They also felt my wife had used them since she had told them she was getting divorced and it would be final soon and this was years back in our marriage.
My other major problem is that our divorce was supposed to be final as of May 3, 2005. She has, however, put it off on four different occasions (May 3, May 24, June 4, and now July 5. During our last conversation yesterday evening, she does not want a divorce now and says she is still in love with me and if I do not take her back, she is going to go after alimony, seeking to have me pay all of our debt off and countless other items even though this was not in the divorce decree. I feel she is blackmailing me at this point – “Take me back or else”.
Two final notes; First, my wife and I were married on August 29, 1998 prior to the state of Tennessee requiring mandatory blood test for marriages. While investigating her parallel life over the last several months, one of her friends mentioned that she had been lying to me during the entire course of our marriage and asked me if I knew that she had incurable Herpes. Of course I did not and was shocked. I immediately phoned my sister who is a Ph.D. in Virology and asked her how I would know. She asked me if I knew what medicines she took while we were together and I said I did because I had to pick her prescriptions up 90% of the time. She asked about several medications and when she mentioned Acyclovir, I said “Yes, I know she took that daily for a fact”. My sister said that drug is only used in the suppression of Herpes and for no other reason. I had myself tested right away and, luckily, I tested negative. Her friend could not recall if she contracted the disease before or after we got married but I know she did not get it from me. Secondly, two weeks prior to our marriage date of August 29, 1998, my wife came to me crying and said that she did not know if she could get married on this date because she was still married to her previous husband. Both her mother and she told me within a month or our first date that her divorce with him was final for more that a year before our first date. In actuality, she had been hanging on for reconciliation but since that did not work and now she wanted to marry me, she was unsure if she could get her divorce finalized prior to our wedding date.
I know that she could have been a pornographic movie star during our marriage without my knowledge and the law would still be on her side. There has to be a way, however, that I can get divorced from this woman once and for all and put her and our married life behind me without getting taken to the cleaners. I am sorry for being long-winded but there is no short way to give readers all of the facts. Thank you in advance for your thoughts and opinions.