My letter to my ex-wife Louise

Louise, I married you because I loved you, and that never stopped. However, some things confused me and I did not know how to respond. At the time, I did not want to bring up any of the things in this letter because I realized that you would certainly be hurt by learning many of these things. It has now been 25 years and so I feel that I need to describe and explain some of the things which made our marriage difficult.

These will be presented out-of-order, for reasons that may only seem important to me.

At the time we got married, you were 24 years old and I was 42. I never made the slightest move to try to entice you, entirely because of that age difference, and the fact that you were drop-dead gorgeous. Both before and after we got married, I was always aware that EVERY man with blood running in his veins immediately noticed you and immediately dreamed of having sex with you. Your wonderful friendliness was ALWAYS misread by such men, who each thought that you were interested in them, which always came across as a sort of naivete. Having lived your entire 24 year life near St. Petersburg Florida, and on the beaches there, you had become conditioned to think that young women should wear minimal bikinis and clothes like silk tank tops and silk shorts. Most of the hillbilly men in northern Indiana often thought you were wearing underwear, as they were never aware of any silk clothes except for underwear.

Several related matters often occurred. Due to some financial choices and issues on my part, we wound up living in a remote rural location in northern Indiana. You had no friends within 1200 miles and not much to do, so you often decided to 'exercise' to replace the Health Club that you had given up in Florida. This often involved on going on five-mile-long hikes along deer paths through woods where very few people ever went. I never seemed to overcome your naivete about many things, and specifically about you wearing minimal silk clothes to wander out in really desolate areas, where the only people who might ever see you would be young men who thought you were wearing underwear. It seemed to me that every single time you went on such 'exercise' hikes, you put yourself in severe danger of being raped.

But at that time, I had not yet learned much about your attitude regarding such events that might happen to you, or similar events that apparently had regularly had happened to you which I probably would have described as rapes.

But for now, a different subject: After we were married for about a year, you were very bored and you decided to get a job. I never knew WHY you decided to get a job in South Bend, 25 miles away, and where your job description was extremely vague. I suspect that the young men who ran that company saw a gorgeous and very friendly young girl walk in and they wanted to have her around. By her second day on the job, she told me she was scrubbing the toilet in the women's restroom, among other duties. On the next day, she came home upset because the men also had her spending a lot of time scrubbing the men's toilets. I got the impression that they might have told her that she would have additional things to do for the young men who ran that company. This was for a job at around Minimum Wage that was 25 miles away from home!

She quit that job within a week. She decided to get a different job, in a different direction, about 15 miles away from our home. This was to be in a factory. She made clear that she enjoyed 'proving that a woman could do hard work' as she described that there were twelve men in the factory and her.

She mentioned that all the men would stand around as she arrived in her little black Fiat Spider sports car and got out in her minimal silk clothes, before changing into work clothes for the day in the factory.

Keep in mind that Louise was 24 when we met, and that SHE made all the moves to get us together. While we dated, she HAD briefly commented that she had been married before, but since we were simply socializing, with what I though was no remote chance of any future marriage, I never asked more than that. Even after we got married a few months later, I had absolutely no idea that I was her FOURTH husband! Being so gorgeous certainly attracted all men, but I eventually wondered if she dated or even married many of them!

So now, after Louise has worked in the factory for a week, she excitedly brought home her first paycheck! For a moment, I was also excited, until I actually first saw the paycheck. The paycheck was NOT made out to the name of my wife, Johnson. It was not even made out to her Maiden name, Emmons. When she had applied for the job a week earlier, she had apparently mixed up the last names of her four husbands, and she apparently thought she was still married to one of the other men!

THAT certainly took all the wind out of my sails! To be in love with a relatively new and beautiful wife, it is very shocking to learn that she seemed to have gotten me mixed up with one of her previous husbands. Exactly what was my station in her life? I suddenly had no idea. And in some ways, that situation and that uncertainty got worse and worse over the following years.

But it certainly focused me on wondering how much my new and beautiful wife could truly love me as deeply as I loved her. Even 25 years later, now, I have never really figured out how to deal with her error of having given a wrong husband's last name when getting that job.

In occasional comments about her job in the factory, she once happened to mention that it was a chemical factory and they regularly worked with Methylene Chloride. When I heard that I was terrified! The next day I called a friend of mine who was in the chemical industry and asked him about that specific chemical. He said it was EXTREMELY DANGEROUS, and expecially regarding women! He said that his company (Union Carbide) had absolute corporate policies regarding that chemical, that if there was even a suspicion of any leak, that ALL the Secretaries were ordered to immediately leave the building and to go far from the building. He said it was due to that chemical causing severe birth defects in babies. When I told him that my new wife had just gotten a job in a chemical factory where she WORKED WITH that specific chemical, he wanted me to call that factory and have her leave the building immediately and permanently!

When she got home from work that evening, I told her what my friend had described and she insisted that he was totally wrong. Specifically she told me that 'IF there was any danger at all to me, the company would never have hired me to work with such chemicals.' But that chemical company is a tiny company, not like the giant Union Carbide, and I always wondered if they were even aware of the danger to my wife and the future children we both wanted.

When my friend called me back a few days later, he was astounded that she did not believe his warnings, and that she had such total trust in the managers of that small chemical company that she insisted they were making sure she was perfectly safe. I vividly remember my friend then telling me in a deadly serious voice that I should NEVER consider having any children with Louise, as she was likely to have children with birth-defects for the rest of her life. He also mentioned that she was a lot more likely to get cancer from such chemicals as well. He explained to me that NO 'reputable company' (like Union Carbide) would EVER hire any woman to even be IN THE SAME BUILDING as either methylene chloride or methyl chloride was even stored!

And I now had a new wife who did not trust me to try to keep her safe, and who instead was willing to trust strangers whom she had only met a week earlier. Again, I never met those men, but in northern Indiana, there simply were NOT any other young women who were remotely as beautiful as my wife Louise, a wife who had apparently forgotten that she was married to me a week earlier when she had applied for that job! It was all hard to think through. As her husband, who certainly dearly loved her, I had expected that she would have trusted ME regarding her personal safety, but she regularly seemed to ignore any protective comments I would ever make. Whether that was about wandering out in desolate forests in what men though was underwear, or in a chemical factory that used chemicals which were very dangerous to everyone, but especially to young women.

Around that time, Louise had been mentioning possible names for a child we might have, which had seemed like a positive aspect in our marriage. In her previous three (brief) marriages, she had never had any children, so it seemed good that she was thinking of me as a potential father of a coming child. But with the rapid-fire effects of 'forgetting she was married to me when she got that chemical job' and 'the extreme danger of birth-defects due to specific chemicals that she WORKED WITH EVERY DAY', I certainly became very confused.

My good friends comment regarding NEVER having any baby with her certainly stayed in my mind. It is true that a baby with birth-defects CAN happen, naturally, rarely, but the intimate use of horrifically dangerous chemicals in her daily work terrified me, and I never again seriously considered us having any children. THAT was a decision which I always regreted, but I have always believed it was critically important.

BEFORE we got married, we talked on the phone every single evening, often for hours each day. We had only met in early January 1988, and she was then dating some very attractive young guy. He had moved into her wonderful apartment on the Gulf in St. Pete. Before Louise and I became really close, we then only talked about Volleyball and potentially playing VB together, since we had first met in an evening of volleyball games in Fort Lauderdale on the other side of her State of Florida. But one day when he 'went out for a walk on the beach', she later decided to go join him for a romantic walk, when she discovered that her live-in boyfriend was having sex with some girl on the beach! Beginning that evening, Louise needed me as a dear phone friend. She now suddenly no longer had a boyfriend, but I realized that such a beautiful young girl would have NO trouble finding a replacement. I never thought for an instant that it might be me!

She happened to find a minor Beach Volleyball Tournament coming up in February, which she excitedly told me about over the phone, and we arranged for me to fly down there the following Saturday afternoon. Since I had no clue that such a young and gorgeous girl might even have any interest in me, who was two decades older, I flew down with my sleeping bag and tent, and I planned to tent camp at a campground a few miles north of her apartment. Seemed obvious to me!

But when I showed up at the Tampa Airport at the appointed time, on Saturday afternoon, there was a drop-dead gorgeous blonde in an incredible red dress, and I do not think I have EVER been hugged as hard or as long as then happened. Probably half an hour of kissing then followed, which somewhat surprised me as we had not even hugged or kissed ever before that!

At that time, a major beer company was centering its advertising on a 'Swedish Bikini Team', all tall slender blondes with long hair. Louise represented a perfect replacement for any of the Swedish Bikini Team girls! She was 5'9 and a half and 122 pounds. Really amazingly attractive!

Louise drove us to her apartment and we went into her (upstairs) living room and hugged and kissed some more. She then made spaghetti (knowing that was my favorite food) and we had a great meal. As the evening progressed, I got my map out and showed her where the campground was where I planned to tent camp that night. She insisted that it would be too cold for me, in the 40°Fs, and so she insisted that I stay in her apartment. I still was in the dark! But I unrolled my sleeping bag along one side of her living room. She disappeared back into her bedroom. About 15 minutes later, she called my name and I went in there. Another surprise! Such a gorgeous woman was now in an amazing Babydoll short negligee!

Louise had certainly planned everything out very thoroughly, and she pretty much kept me in her bedroom for the entire next three days! We eventually started going for walks on the beach and going to her favorite restaurants and other places.

All that was awesome, where I constantly reminded myself that I was twenty years older that she was, and I did not need to remind myself regarding how incredibly gorgeous she was!

But this now gets to another matter which totally confused me and which even 25 years later, I still do not really understand.

I was to arrive Saturday afternoon at the Airport, and she apparently arranged a vacation week for the following week so we could be together. On her last day during the previous week, she had made it well known to the other workers that I was to arrive. One of the young men whom she worked with convinced her to 'party' to 'celebrate' my arrival, and she agreed. She had a history of a variety of types of illegal drugs which I did not know about, but this co-worker was clearly aware of it. So when they got off work on Friday afternoon, he provided both a bottle of Champagne and some drugs, which Louise never bothered to ask what they were. There is every indication that he gave her Rohipnol, a drug used by evil men to cause a girl to become unconscious.

Somehow they wound up in her apartment on that Friday evening, and the evil man got Louise to take the drug which made her unconscious. She did not remember anything after that, until she woke up on Saturday morning laying in a pool of her own blood on her own bed.

It was around four days later before she told me about this. She told me that she had to go to a Hospital on Saturday morning regarding her injuries. She said the Hospital insisted that she tell them who had injured her like that, but she decided that 'she did not want to get anyone in trouble' so she would not tell the Hospital. She knew that the Hospital would have called the Police and the (evil) guy would have been arrested.

So now, four days later, I learned that Louise had rushed to the Hospital and then rushed to dispose of the bloody sheets on her bed, all in preparation to meet my arrival at the Airport just a few hours later.

I NEVER knew that she was in constant and severe pain from having been raped the night before, and yet she definitely put on an impressive show of totally enjoying our next three days of intimacy.

Had I KNOWN what she had gone through, I would have never done more than hugging and kissing, for at least some days until she had medically recovered. I certainly enjoyed the intimacy of those three days, but afterward, I always dreaded having been a participant in certainly causing Louise an immense amount of extreme pain. Although she NEVER admitted that she had experienced any pain, even just a few hours after having been viciously and brutally raped on Friday night.

I would have enjoyed those days as much if I had known of that horrible experience to her, if we had just sat and hugged and kissed for those days. (After all, I had actually expected to spend each night, alone, in my sleeping bag, in a campground as I had often done before!)

When she finally told me about all of this on about the fourth day, I could not understand why she did not have that guy arrested, and she would also not allow ME to call the Police to have him arrested. My guess is that Louise thought that she might have gotten arrested for having used illegal drugs, but that no matter what, if she had followed up on that, her chance to prepare for me to arrive at the Airport within a few hours would have been messed up. The impressive welcome she had arranged for me would certainly have been massively affected if she had even been required to tell me about any of it.

But now on the fourth day, she apparently had called her job and found that the evil guy had apparently quit and was gone. He probably realized that he deserved horrible things to happen to him. My first choice was for the Police to punish him, but since Louise would not allow that, I then wanted to know where he lived, as I fully wanted to go there and beat the living hell out of him, at least comparably to the pain and suffering that he had caused to Louise. Even though I have always been a very calm and peaceful man, I also thought about getting in the guy's apartment and using one of his own kitchen knives to 'remove the offending part' from his body. I still think that THAT might have been the only RIGHT punishment for such a horrible person. I realize that such behavior might have caused me to then be in jail, but for Louise, I would have been willing to do that. And that was well before she and I had ever even talked about ever getting married.

But I later realized that when a woman is that gorgeous and when she had already been married and divorced three times before she was 24 years old, then 'extended talk about marriage' was probably not part of her existence!

There was another entire area of her life which I was then unaware of. But it was clearly closely related to her general opinions regarding young men. Apparently, while she was a Senior in High School, she weighed 185 pounds. I have always found that incredible, as my wife had always weighed between 122 and 127 pounds during our five year marriage. Apparently she was still attractive enough for boys to want to get her into bed, as she was given some Cocaine around then. Her personality was such that she was very addictive, and so she apparently quickly became dependent on Cocaine. One of the obvious effects of Cocaine is an increase in Metabolism and so weight is often lost. I suspect as she developed a circle of Cocaine friends, as she got skinnier and skinnier, I suspect all the men found her even more desirable. I can easily see how such a beautiful girl might have gotten endless boyfriends and even husbands, based on a drug-based life and especially Cocaine.

I did not learn this very soon. I merely saw that when we first met, she had two full-time jobs along with a part-time business she ran to Detail vehicles. I never asked what she was paid, but between those jobs, I suspected she had a substantial cash flow! Yet, her apartment was only two rooms, fairly small, and she certainly did not seem to have any expensive furniture or jewelry or clothes. It was some months after we got married that I came to realize that she likely used large amounts of money to buy Cocaine (when the men around were no longer willing or able to buy it for her). Also some months after we got married, she told me about her credit card bills which were huge! At that time, few people even had $2,000 balances on their Credit Cards, but when we got married, she owed more than $12,000 on a variety of Credit Cards. She eventually told me that she had used most of that cash to buy Cocaine. She assured me that she had stopped doing drugs, which she implied was because of the good effect I had on her.

But she gave every impression on TRUSTING every man who provided any Drugs for her, and her naivete seemed to never see any dark side to that, nor ANY chance that any of those men might EXPECT anything from her in exchange for the drugs they gave her.

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Carl W. Johnson, Theoretical Physicist, Physics Degree from Univ of Chicago