When people get married, it’s assumed that they make a commitment to be faithful and honest to each other till death do they part. But of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. One nurse and mother who had been married for seven years got the shock of her life when some nasty surprises led her to the discovery that her husband was not who he said he was. She would find the key to all his secrets hiding in plain sight, in the trunk of his car… and it changed her and her daughter’s lives forever…
Everything Was Fine
Rebecca had always been a hard worker. She had worked her way through nursing school, managed to finish grad school with a newborn, and after lots of hard work, had finally gotten to a comfortable place in life.
She was working in her dream career as a pediatric nurse practitioner, a career which had brought her to Nashville, Kansas City, and finally, Florida, where she settled with her husband and 3-year-old daughter.
An Idyllic Life
Rebecca describes the time in her life as one that was idyllic and magical: “I was married with a 3-year-old little girl, and we lived in an adorable gated neighborhood in the suburbs, just 4 miles inland from Jacksonville Beach, Florida.
I could cross highway A1A at work and eat lunch on the beach. My Jeep always had sand and seashells in it,” she recalls. Rebecca had finally achieved the life she had always dreamed of – or so it seemed…
She Thought She Had ‘Made It’
Little did Rebecca know, that her husband was hiding some very important information from her. All the while she was thinking that she had a normal marriage with a pretty normal guy, and she had finally made it in life.
A house, a family, minutes away from the beach… she really had accomplished her dreams. But once she uncovered her husband’s dark secrets, nothing would ever be the same again. There was no way she could have been prepared for what happened one Monday afternoon.
The Worst Surprise
Just two days after her daughter’s luau birthday party, Rebecca was on her way home from work. Approaching her house, she noticed that there was something different about her front yard.
Coming closer, she realized that all of the family’s belongings had been tossed out in the yard. The reason? They had been suddenly evicted. “All of our belongings were thrown out like trash, even her new birthday presents. I wasn’t allowed back in our home, and I was told the locks had been changed,” she recalls.
It Didn’t Add Up
But it didn’t make sense! Rebecca was an extremely responsible person, who had definitely been paying her share of the rent and bills since she could remember.
She grilled the landlord and her husband for information – it turned out that although she had been giving her husband the money, they were somehow three months behind on rent. The money meant for the rent had been mysteriously disappearing, and her husband couldn’t give her an answer as to where it all went.
She Began To Put The Clues Together
That’s when Rebecca started to put two and two together and realized that actually, her husband had been acting pretty strange. “All of a sudden, things made sense. His erratic sleep habits, weight loss, running errands all the time. He always had somewhere to go and never wanted us to tag along.”
She also noted that he never parked in the driveway, and instead was always parking his car in the guest parking spaces in their neighborhood. That’s when she knew she needed to search his car…
What she found when she searched the car was the beginning of an utter nightmare. Empty cans and pill bottles were strewn around the car – it seemed that her husband was hiding some extremely unhealthy habits, and even worse – in the car that he drove around in with his daughter.
It was bad enough that he was hiding a substance abuse problem and endangering his own child, but there were even more disturbing things she had yet to discover in the trunk of the car…
Hiding Her Mail
When she opened the trunk, she was shocked at what she found – several years worth of her mail that he had been keeping from her! “He had been keeping random letters from collection agencies, bills, and birthday cards from me for YEARS,” she said.
He had been taking the money she was giving him to support his substance abuse. But as she would soon find out, that was just the beginning of the series of lies that completely devastated her…
The Lies Didn’t Stop There
“Confused, hurt, and angry were my only emotions for the next few days. I was running on fumes and couldn’t eat or sleep,” recalls Rebecca. “I felt so stupid for not seeing the signs. I had been so busy with raising a child and building my practice at work.”
What’s more, the lies didn’t stop there. Together, they painted a picture of complete betrayal from the man Rebecca thought she had married. The addiction and stealing were bad enough, but it was about to get worse…
He Opened Credit Cards In Her Name
Rebecca explains, “He had been lying to me for YEARS, and my credit was unfortunately ruined because of it. I had no idea how easy it was to open credit cards and take out personal loans in your spouse’s name.
I thought I had stayed on top of my bills, but had no idea he was secretly hiding things from me over the course of our 7-year marriage.” He wasn’t just lying about where her money was going, he was also lying about who he was.
“He lied about being in the Marine Corps, he lied about his education and his job. I had been living nothing but lies for almost a decade of my life!” discovered Rebecca.
“I thought to myself, ‘How could life be so cruel? How could I be so dumb?’” But the final secret was most painful of all: he had another daughter with another woman that Rebecca never knew about. The man she thought she knew had been revealed as a complete fraud, and when he was exposed for what he was, he abandoned them in a Target parking lot.
Abandoned With Nowhere To Go
Rebecca’s good-for-nothing husband, who had ruined her credit, wasted her rent money, and gotten them evicted from their home, then abandoned her and her 3-year-old daughter in a parking lot.
Rebecca and her daughter had nowhere to live, they had none of their belongings, and now the man in their lives had left them to deal with the mess he had gotten them into. With no other options, Rebecca and her daughter moved into a hotel. They had officially hit rock bottom.
They Had Lost Everything
On their first night in the hotel, they literally had nothing. Rebecca had to take a trip to Wal-Mart to buy toiletries and clothes to last them for the next few days while she figured out what to do.
“My daughter and I tried to make the best of our ‘vacation’ as I called it, while I cried over the things we had lost, wondering how in the world I would sort through this mess. My sweet baby girl lost everything, and we had no support there.”
She Moved Back In With Her Parents
Rebecca ended up having to move back in with her parents in Tennessee. “I tucked my tail, hung my head, and began my journey home. At 32 years old, I moved back into my old bedroom with a 3-year-old. I was so ashamed of myself,” says Rebecca.
“I left the beach and moved back to crummy ole Tennessee. To make things worse, it was SNOWING when we moved back. It was March and snowing in Tennessee. How could this situation get ANY worse?!”
Rebecca was devastated. “At night, I would just think of all the things we had lost. I cried silently at night, in the shower, while I was driving. I missed my belongings, and I missed the part of my heart that was stolen. I could never get those things back.”
But throughout it all, she tried to stay strong for her daughter. She made tremendous efforts to have a positive attitude despite her life being ruined by someone she thought she could trust.
Amazingly, Rebecca pulled herself together and took on extra nursing work to pay off the debts her husband had racked up under her name.
She looked for the silver lining in her situation, which was that her daughter got to have lots of quality time with her grandparents and even play with her old toys, which her parents had kept all those years. But after a while, she found herself lonely and desperate to make some new friends in town.
She Reached Out To Find Friends
As she recalls, “I desperately needed to find some friends, but I had no idea where to even start. I finally texted an old guy friend from high school… I jokingly asked if he knew any hot single dads.”
“This wasn’t even relevant in our conversation, just a random thought that popped in my head. To my surprise, he said yes and immediately gave me a name.” It was this conversation that would lead her down an unexpected path…
“I Know That Little Girl!”
Having been severely betrayed, Rebecca didn’t think she was up for dating again so soon after her divorce. But she decided to check out the guy, whose name was Steven, on social media anyway.
“My Facebook detective brain got to work. This single dad had a daughter, who appeared to be the same age as mine.” Oddly enough, despite the fact that they lived in a large city, “After showing my mom his Facebook picture with his daughter, she screamed, ‘I KNOW THAT LITTLE GIRL!’”
A Crazy Coincidence
What then unfolded was an extraordinary coincidence. It turns out that Steven’s ex-wife’s sister was Rebecca’s mom’s hairdresser, and she had photos of the little girl in her salon.
The coincidence was so striking, that Rebecca’s mother insisted that she meet this man. Maybe it was a sign! With her mom’s encouragement, Rebecca decided to reach out to the man with a Facebook message, to which he responded right away. After a couple of phone calls, the two decided to meet each other.
She Was Smitten
The date went so well, that according to Rebecca, “I had the biggest grin all day, and I was smitten. I could not stop thinking about him!” However, she had just suffered a giant blow to her sense of self-worth, and wasn’t sure she was ready.
“After all, I was just damaged goods. With my awful credit and all the baggage I had, surely this guy would just move on and there was no reason to get my hopes up.”
He Had Nothing To Hide
Rebecca might have been skeptical, and for good reason. But love had other plans. Steven was equally as taken with her, and the two quickly fell in love. In order to allow her to trust him after the traumatic experience with her ex-husband, he showed her his credit score, bank account, and up-to-date mortgage payments, even giving her the key to his house to snoop around.
“I was slowly letting him into my heart and he was helping me rebuild, piece by piece. I certainly didn’t need to be saved by anyone, but he swooped in and saved me.”
“Love Was Going To Keep Me There”
The two quickly became inseparable, as well as their daughters, who had become best friends. One June morning, just a few months after they met, Steven proposed to Rebecca.
“At that moment, I knew my intent to move out of Tennessee just wasn’t part of the plan right now. Something brought me back home and love was going to keep me there.” The two moved in together, had a small elopement ceremony, and became a happy merged family. From the lowest of lows, Rebecca ended up finding love where she least expected it.
“In The End, Love Wins”
Later on, Rebecca and Steven moved into a bigger house, and had their own child together a couple of years later. Although they know that with their complicated history and quick courtship, they’re up against the odds, they are determined to beat those odds.
Rebecca says, “People are always curious to hear our story, so we just look at each other and smile. Usually our story goes, ‘We met on a blind date and got married 4 months later.’ In the end, love wins.”