by Richard L. Thornton, Architect and City Planner
Advice to Novices in the Game of Love
(1) I now strongly believe that all couples should follow our ancient Creek Indian tradition of cohabitating at least one year, before making a long term commitment to marriage or co-signing their names to a real estate mortgage.
(2) If a lover or spouse tells you OR other people that they do not love you, get out of the relationship immediately. It will only get worse.
(3) If a friend or acquaintance tells you that there is something terribly wrong in your marriage, listen to them seriously. I had only been married three years, when acquaintances and co-workers in Asheville, NC began telling me that my wife was messing around and I should get a divorce. Three acquaintances even told me that she was doing things intentionally to terminate fetuses, but I didn’t believe them, since she had consistently told me that she wanted several children. At the time, I was in my twenties and could have easily found a loving woman, who wanted to raise a family.
During the Hanukah-Christmas Season of 2020, The Americas Revealed is featuring the chapters of an E-book about dramatic events that occurred three decades ago in Northern Virginia and Washington, DC. It is named, The French Courtesan, Who Came In from the Cold.
This E-book is a direct result of a brief letter via the US Postal Service that I received in early November 2020 from a French lady, who is beautiful both on the outside and the inside. She wrote, “My cher Bonhomme Richard,* for almost 26 years I assumed that you were dead, then I saw someone on TV, who I thought was you then searched the internet until I found the Americas Revealed website and subscribed. I will not bother you again, but please tell me why you suddenly disappeared in April 1993 and then never tried to contact me. I thought that we were very much in love and it broke my heart. I frantically tried to find you for two years, but finally decided that you had been murdered by some bad men in Virginia.” *Bonhomme Richard was the nickname, she called me.
For those of you, who have not read the earlier chapters of the E-book, I saved the life of Vivi on the night of December 15, 1990. Then a most improbable thing happened. A young French movie-pop music star and a goat herder-architect . . . 14 years her senior . . . fell passionately in love. We were instantly so compatible that strangers assumed that we had been married for at least four years.
Legally speaking, we were having an extra-marital affair, but in my mind, Vivi had always been my real wife, chosen by God. The woman, whose name was on the marriage license had been a usurper from day one.
Vivi saved my sanity in 1991, when I was literally living in the X-files then save MY life in the summer of 1992. A US Marshall told me in late August 1992, that had not I been cohabitating on my farm with the beautiful French celebrity and her daughter during the six weeks of her tourist visa, the Virginia State Police would have certainly murdered me and easily kept their crime out of the news.
Vivi could well have been the love of my life, so she is due a complete answer. However, something else has happened as a result of this series, that I did not anticipate. So far, 14 men and women have contacted me to say that they had identical or similar experiences with toxic spouses, who like black widow spiders, wrapped them in a web of deceit then almost destroyed their lives. They also said that the fact that I had been willing to publicize dark secrets, which most other abused spouses never hear, had been an inspiration to them.
- Two weeks ago, a lady in Ohio emailed me that she had almost succeeded in committing suicide, because she thought it was the only way out of a marriage in which her toxic husband was using their children and assets as hostages.
- Last week, a man in Virginia said that he was one of my ex-wife’s lovers, mentioned in her diary, which my then girl friend in Georgia – Julie – found between two mattresses in April 1996. He said that my estranged wife had told him that I had cleaned out of their bank accounts then left suddenly to live with an older woman in the suburbs of Atlanta. Actually, she had cleaned out our accounts and run up the credit cards, while I was visiting my parents in the suburbs of Atlanta one Easter weekend, making it impossible for me to drive home.
- Yesterday, a man in Nevada called to ask me if we were married to the same woman at the same time. After ruining his finances, his ex-wife immediately married a wealthier man, who she framed to make him appear like a drug dealer. The innocent man went to prison. She got all his assets, which in his will were supposed to go to his children from an earlier marriage. Her divorce decree nullified the distribution of his assets to the children in his will, because she now had sole ownership of the property.
- Last night, a man in Texas emailed me to tell me that if I had not been writing this series, instead of reports on archaeological sites and Mesoamerican culture, he might have committed suicide. He is currently going through what I experienced three decades ago. Just like me, his wife indicated on their honeymoon that she didn’t love him. Just like me, he seriously considered getting an annulment after the honeymoon, but decided “to make things work out.” Just like me, things only got worse and worse and worse.
And now you know!