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Espionage and Sleeping With the Enemy Part 2

Traveling and living in Spain for a couple of years, I experienced many things new and different to me. Some were funny and some weren't.

He and I at my bridal shower before I knew what was to come.

He and I at my bridal shower before I knew what was to come.

Introduction To Intrigue

I recently wrote about my experience with a possible case of espionage when my (then) husband and I went to Spain. He was in the U.S. Air Force and was stationed at an AirBase in Spain for 2 years. As long as we were in Europe, he decided it would be good to tour several countries on his 3-week vacation. We had planned the route and the places to stay months in advance, and George assured me he had saved enough money for us to have a very good time sight-seeing.

I was very excited to see Europe, assuming it may not be a chance I would get again. I was only 20 at the time and certainly naive. It didn’t really concern me that he never let me see how much money we had. It didn’t cross my mind to ask if we had enough. Our first daughter had been born 3 months earlier and since I was nursing her, we didn’t have to worry about baby food or warming bottles. She slept a lot and we had plenty of freedom to see many things. I didn’t think we may be putting her in any danger. I innocently believed he wouldn’t lie to me and off we went. The story that finally prompted my suspicions is too long to recap here but if you are interested you can read about it here.

Me at my parents home after I left him.

Me at my parents home after I left him.

“Evil begins when you begin to treat people as things.”

— Terry Pratchett, I Shall Wear Midnight

Cruelty And Abuse

Needless to say, things were going wrong in the marriage before this trip and didn’t get better after we returned to the states. Upon returning to the states I discovered I was expecting again so with one toddler under 2 and one on the way, George was pretty sure of me. He told me if I ever thought of leaving him that he would get custody of the children. He beat me often and sometimes did cruel things to the girls. My oldest hated having water drip on her face. It freaked her out. So I was very careful when bathing her. I told George that once and claiming he would break her of that, took her into the shower and turned on the water. When I protested that it freaked her out to have water on her face, he locked me out of the bathroom and all I could do was pound on the door while listening to her blood-curdling screams. After about 15 minutes but what seemed more like an hour, he opened the door and shoved the wet, dripping, whimpering girl into my arms, and left the house. Even then I didn’t think he was a true monster, just misguided.

Me and my two girls.

Me and my two girls.

A Lesson In Genetics

After the second daughter was born, things got worse. He blamed me for having not one but two girls. He said it was all my fault and I wasn’t “allowing” boy genes to get through. He claimed he was going to take me to a doctor to find out what was “wrong” with me. I began to wonder about his schooling. How could anyone in the 20th century be so Medieval? He beat me more often and started accusing me of “looking” at other men. When driving with him, I wasn’t allowed to look above the dashboard or I would be looking at other men. Soon the TV was a source of beatings but I was “looking” at men there too. Without going into all the particulars, I eventually ran away with the girls. Luckily we were stationed in California only a 6-hour drive from my parents, so I packed the car and left. My oldest got car sick along the way and I had to pull off to a gas station to clean her up before continuing the journey. That had to be where he passed us on the freeway. When I got home, I stopped at my sister’s place first only to find George had already been there looking for me. My mom told me not to come home because he was waiting for me on the street with a gun. If my girl hadn’t gotten sick, I may just have been one more of those stories you hear about or headlines you read: “Husband Shoots Wife And Daughters Before Turning Gun On Himself.” I knew he had lost it and it confirmed to me that I should never go back to him.

Even here I wasn't allowed to look at the camera because a man was taking pictures.

Even here I wasn't allowed to look at the camera because a man was taking pictures.

“People speak sometimes about the "bestial" cruelty of man, but that is terribly unjust and offensive to beasts, no animal could ever be so cruel as a man, so artfully, so artistically cruel.”

— Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Testimony

Now that I was away from him, I began to think about all the strange and suspicious things he had done in Spain and Germany. I thought someone should know in case he actually did “sell secrets to the enemy.” First, I called his commander at the base he was stationed. The commander listened but dismissed my suspicions as unfounded. I didn’t quite know where to turn from there but got the name and address of my senator and wrote to him. He at least wrote me back and assured me that it would be looked into. Within a week, I was giving a deposition and testimony to the Judge Advocate General’s military legal team. The problem was that I didn’t know any of the names of the people we had come in contact with. The folks we stayed with in Zurich were a mystery to me, even. I only knew the first name of the wife, because she spoke to me in English, but I never got her last name. Without more information or at least, the baby rattle, the military legal team couldn’t take the investigation any further. They did, however, take George off of top security clearance, which made him very angry with me. They did not discharge him until several years later when he was caught in an affair with an enlisted woman whose husband protested strongly to the military. They discharged him for conduct unbecoming an officer.

He Also Beat His Dog

End of the Second Marriage

That happened during his second marriage. While his second wife and he were stationed in Germany she found he was having an affair with a woman he met the first time he went to Germany (while married to me). Later, she called me and asked me to help her leave him and I couldn’t let her down. I went to Indiana and testified that if he could he would kill her before allowing her to leave him. The judge granted permission for her to leave the state with her children before the divorce decree was final upon my testimony.

Me and the girls a year later and a bit happier.

Me and the girls a year later and a bit happier.

“Man is the cruelest animal.”

— Friedrich Nietzsche

Final Thoughts

In total, he has had 5 wives and 11 children (mine being the first 2) and I understand the fifth wife is not with him now. It seems to me that a man like that really should not be allowed to have so many children and ruin so many lives.

I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter. Do you think there is anything else I could have done? I wish I had been more “aware” of names at the time but I just didn’t think it important back then. Leave your comments below.

Comments

Misbah from The Planet Earth on February 28, 2021:

I am glad to hear that Denise

Stay blessed and happy always

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on February 28, 2021:

Misbah786,

You are very encouraging. But I did find happiness. My current husband is kind and respectful and is worthy of honor. He is an amazing man. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Misbah from The Planet Earth on February 28, 2021:

Denise, it's the first time I am commenting on your article

I really feel very sad for what you have suffered is not easy, it's not easy to tell as well, it really needs a lot of courage to stand for yourself and to talk something about you

I am sure one day, your elder daughter will also understand what you have suffered for your daughters was never easy. She will also praise you for this one day. I am sure. I don't know about the little one but your elder daughter resembles to you a lot in the picture.

Well what goes around comes around. As you said he is also not happy even after having 5 marriages. I must say, What a curse?

I am originally from Pakistan, and in the middle east women suffer a lot in their marriages only 1 in 10000 stand up for themselves against cruelty. And the one who speaks for herself is never been respected by the society.

The worst and dark part of the story is that only women are blamed for broken marriages even that everyone knows they were the sufferers.

Taking a stand for your and your children goodness can never be bad. One should have to be strong enough to cop up such situation and I appreciate such a strong woman like you.

I have seen numerous cases like this in my country but as living in Europe, I have seen a lot here too. In my neighborhood, I have heard crying voices of women when they get beaten by their boyfriends and husbands. I feel so sorry for them.

When there is no respect, there is no love , there is no relationship. A relationship never exists without respect.

Be brave, happiness will surely come your way, it's never too late. You will be rewarded one day for all you have suffered

Blessings

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on February 28, 2021:

McKenna Meyers,

Sometimes I wonder if my art has improved because I've seen such darkness. Maybe it's just the escape of art that has helped me make it through a dark place. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on February 28, 2021:

Chrish Canosa,

I certainly tried being strong for the girls. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on February 28, 2021:

Linda Lum,

That is a problem with the military. They want the men to be strong and violent but they don't teach them where to direct it and when to turn it off. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on February 28, 2021:

Peggy Woods,

I'm sorry I had to go through all that too. I wish I had listened to my dad who said there was "something" wrong with the man. I thought dad was just trying to keep me from being happy so I married him anyway. Dad knew best! Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on February 28, 2021:

MG Singh emge,

What doesn't kill us makes us stronger. I must say, I'm stronger. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on February 28, 2021:

Chitrangada Sharan,

Life is good. I could breathe after leaving him. It felt like being freed from prison. Marriage should not feel like prison. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on February 28, 2021:

Bill Holland,

Thanks for your kind regard. It has made me a stronger person, if more cynical. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on February 28, 2021:

Pamela Oglesby,

My parents did pay for a restraining order for me but he really didn't honor it much. As soon as I would go for the phone to call the police to enforce the restraining order he would drive away. The police would arrive and say they couldn't do anything to him unless they caught him violating the restraining order. What a mess. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on February 28, 2021:

Umesh Chandra Bhatt,

It does help to get it out. I held it in for way to long. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on February 28, 2021:

Virginia Allain,

The monsters are out there and they look like anyone else. There should be a tattoo or something, as you say, so we could know them before we risk everything. I thought they should be castrated but the tattoo would probably be better! Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on February 28, 2021:

Rosina S Khan,

I am glad I left when I did. It is hard to realize that he is still out there ruining women's lives and hurting his children. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on January 08, 2021:

letstalkabouteduc,

I have been thinking of evil these days too. That people could commit such atrocities and without repercussions is really wrong. It doesn't matter if they wear a uniform or a badge or a title, they should be able to get away with it. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on January 08, 2021:

Treshty,

How kind you are! I take that as a true compliment although I don't know if my girls would think me a hero. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on January 08, 2021:

Carb Diva,

It is certainly interesting how many who are perfect for the military are terrible for marriages and sharing a life. They seem to be too violent for a gentle life. Thanks for commenting and caring.

Blessings,

Denise

McKenna Meyers on January 08, 2021:

Denise, I've gotten to know you through your beautiful art work. I'm sorry that you also experienced such ugliness. Given the news of these recent days, I've been thinking a lot about evil. I'm glad you and your girls got away from it.

Chrish Canosa from Manila Philippines on January 08, 2021:

You're a very strong woman Ms Denise. Though this word isn't enough, one thing I'm sure of-

You are a true HERO to your children for being strong for them.

Lots of love from pH !!!

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on January 07, 2021:

I am so sorry you had to endure this. You are so very brave. Thank you for sharing your experience; I'm certain that hearing these types of stories helps others in the same situation. It's so easy to feel all alone. My younger daughter was also in an abusive marriage (he was a U.S. Marine who couldn't turn off the macho and a narcissist).

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on January 07, 2021:

emge,

Yes, all people need to be brave enough to resist evil and violence. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on January 07, 2021:

Peggy W,

Yes, my teeth have been fixed, my fractures and bruises have healed, and I am living a good life with my second husband who treats me like a queen. I don't have to live in fear anymore. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on January 07, 2021:

I am so sorry that you suffered such abuse. It is good that you left when you did, and that you survived.

MG Singh emge from Singapore on January 07, 2021:

I think you put in a brave effort. Life has so many facets and this is one of them; we must have courage like you to face up to adverse moments/

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on January 07, 2021:

ChitrangadaSharan,

I agree. Life is wonderful these days. I have freedom to look up when we drive somewhere. I can watch TV without fear of a beating for seeing handsome men. I have the love of a wonderful man now who treats me better than a queen. It is a completely different world for me. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on January 07, 2021:

billybuc,

Thank you so much. The dentist fixed the broken teeth and the fractures and bruises healed but there is always that bruise in my mind that makes me flinch when someone raises a hand too quickly or someone pulls off their belt or cocks a pistol. I hear those things and all the memories flood back in full force. Only time has numbed some of them but they are really still there. All domestic violence survivors carry that unseen wound with them. You'll have to forgive me but I often thought that men guilty of domestic violence should be castrated so they don't inflict that agony on another generation. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on January 07, 2021:

Pamela99,

Yes, I had to choose not to accept that kind of treatment anymore. The colonel in charge of the base hospital told me off the record that many military wives stay for the wrong reasons and when they are killed by their husbands, the military will cover it up for the sake of the military's name. I could leave or die. Not much of a choice. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on January 07, 2021:

bhattuc,

Oh, that is very kind of you to say. My girls are grown and have families of their own now. But his legacy goes on. You see, he told my girls that I lied and that I destroyed his career out of spite and they believed him because they wanted what I said about him not to be true. When they were just 15 and 16 he talked them into leaving me and living with him. Then they found out just how cruel he could be. But the oldest one still wants to believe him and hasn't spoken to me in 20 years. The younger one is a dear and showers me with praise for all I have been through. I guess the moral is that we believe what we want to believe. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on January 07, 2021:

Allain Christmas,

Yes, that happens a lot. The second wife told me she had heard stories but didn't believe them until she married him. The tattoo might be a really good idea! Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on January 07, 2021:

surovi99,

Thank you. When he started hitting the girls, I knew it was time to leave. I didn't think it was possible but a man can beat the love you have for him out of you. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on January 07, 2021:

Hi Denise!

I had read the first part of your story too. In this part, you have opened up a little bit more. I believe, it’s important to share your sufferings with others, rather than suffer alone, and in silence. It really helps to heal.

I am happy that you have moved on with your lovely girls. Please stay strong and be positive. Life can be beautiful at any age.

Wish you all the best. Thank you for sharing.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on January 07, 2021:

Abuse, in any form, takes away any sort of compassion for me. I just want the abuser locked up permanently, or eliminated permanently, end of story. I'm sorry you had to endure it.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on January 07, 2021:

You went through so much, and I am not sure what else you could have done. I am glad you helped the second wife get away. You could have gotten a restraining order, but he may not have honored it. You were so young, and I think what you did, like writing to the Senator, shows your strength.

No matter what you would like to do, your hands are really tied. I'm sure each wife lived with abuse, but women have to chose to get away like you did.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on January 06, 2021:

You are a brave one that you went all through this and taking care of the girls now and making them like you and not like that cruel person.

Some men are like that and it is unfortunate for the persons who come in contact with them just believing in their outwardly appearances.

Good that you wrote about it as it would relieve you from the unnecessary burden in your mind. I wish you and the two girls a happy new year and I know with your creative engagements you would be a successful mother and a successful professional writer.

God bless you.

Virginia Allain from Central Florida on January 06, 2021:

I really think that men who are brutal to their wife and children should have a tattoo on their forehead so others will beware of them. A friend was thrown down the stairs by her awful husband and he also killed her dog. After he threw her out of the house without anything, she got a divorce. Imagine some other woman unsuspectingly marrying that monster.

Rosina S Khan on January 06, 2021:

Denise, I think you have done the best you could at the time. It is good that you were finally able to leave him for good safe and sound. Thank you for sharing.

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