Skip to comments.Jeffrey Has Escaped and Other Tales of Divorce
Posted on 05/11/2007 9:58:44 AM PDT by Congressman Billybob
First, quick recap for folks who dont watch daytime TV. Dr. Phil has just wrapped up a four-show orgy of marital disaster on Jeffrey and his wife-for-now, Jennifer. To make a long story very short, Jeffrey is the ultimate control freak filling their house and cars with cameras and remote-controlled listening devices, making wild accusations against her to her and to all friends and relatives. He even went so far as to give himself a fake vasectomy scar because, as he said, Having another child has always saved out marriage before.
Suffice to say, watching this self-justifying egomaniac try to protect himself against Dr. Phil, other specialists brought in, and even the normal people in the live audience for the show, was like watching a rattle snake wrestler bringing in a very large, very deadly rattler.
What I found interesting was that Dr. Phils producers made the decision to feature this loon on four whole shows, whereas a normal show of his would cover two or more families in one hour. The final Jeffrey hour showed him jumping out of a limousine and into L.A. traffic to hop a cab to the airport to race his wife home to Virginia, rather than return to the treatment center hed previously been in.
He wound up back in Virginia, under a domestic restraint order, which he violated immediately and extensively, and is now in jail awaiting trial. And all this brings us to todays subject, which is divorce.
Divorce is always an indication of failure, though sometimes it is a failure OF the marriage, not failures IN the marriage. In retrospect, Jennifer should never have married Jeffrey, and wouldnt, if she had recognized how seriously unbalanced he was. Much more often, it is failures IN the marriage which bring it down.
Divorce was also in the news statistically this week, as an article appeared noting that the instance of divorce in the US had dropped from 50%, to a recent low of between 35 and 40%. Two reasons for the decrease were given; more couples are living together without benefit of clergy (living in sin as we say hereabouts), and more couples were older when they got married, meaning more mature and able to make better judgments.
I got my latest object lesson in such subjects when the Macon County Circuit Judge pronounced me divorced this Monday. My former wife had left for Pago Pago in American Samoa, to run a restaurant. Theres a very long story there, but I will shorten it to this. Of course, truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to be believable. Truth only has to happen. Thats the basis of Dave Barrys frequent humorous comment, Im not making this up.
And as for the future, theres another impossible story there. I will, in due course, marry a lady I was engaged to, 35 years ago. Yep, 35 years. That story was written up in Susan Shapiros latest book, Secrets of a Fix-Up Fanatic. And that happened because her previous book, Five Men Who Broke My Heart, caused my once and present fiancee to get in touch with me.
The bottom line is this: I can boil down hundreds of marital mistakes to just two. The first was one which became obvious, being married to a woman who had no use whatever for me. Thats probably the largest single cause of divorce in the US, and it works both ways. Men turn against their wives in the same, cruel way. Im not about to venture a guess as to which side is more often at fault.
I can say that the worst mistake in my personal life, and there is a lot of competition for this award, is that I did not marry in 1972, the love of my life whom I will marry in 2007. And the point of this whole column is that sometimes very good things come in very unfortunate ways. Divorce, like a college commencement, is sometimes more of a beginning than an end.
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About the Author: John Armor practiced in the US Supreme Court for 33 years. John_Armor@aya.yale.edu He lives in the 11th District of North Carolina.
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John / Billybob
Live and learn as they say.
The secret to a successful marriage is lack of pride. Each partner must view the other as being more important. Love is a decision—not a feeling one gets. Love and infatuation are often confused.
What I found interesting was that Dr. Phils producers made the decision to feature this loon on four whole shows, whereas a normal show of his would cover two or more families in one hour.
I hear ya on that.
Dr. Spill ,, an Oprah uhh Harpo entity, well seeded as one anyway, continues to amaze folks with the drivel that TV delivers to homes these days. Thank goodness we have the internet to waste the rest of our time when we aren’t working, lurking, freeping, kivetching and such.
Does Phil’s House have High speed Internet connections and a sauna and jacuzzi, I wonder? I may volunteer my wife’s family for a stint... and that’s as personal as I’m gonna get.
btw, HaPPy Mother’s Day to Mrs. CB.
What Causes Divorce and How Can We Prevent It?
There are many reasons why marriages fail, but the exact causes of divorce vary for each couple. A study conducted by the OMI and Oklahoma State University indicates that the major contributors to divorce among Oklahomans are a lack of commitment (85%) and too much conflict and arguing (61%). Oklahomans gave the following other causes of divorce:
* Infidelity (58%)
* Marrying too young (43%)
* Little or no helpful premarital preparation (42%)
* Financial problems (41%)
* Domestic Violence (30%)
* Lack of support from family members (29%)
* Religious differences (21%)
Your words are the ones that, in 1984, saved our marriage. We had to start over, almost like we were courting. And we have no regrets.
Love IS a decision, and every day, we get up and decide to love one another for another day. The sense of renewal is amazingly simple and incredibly complex.
I will stress, though, that both partners must commit. Otherwise it just doesn't work.
I'm glad it worked out for you.
Congratulations on your upcoming wedding.
I plan on watching Dr. Phil this afternoon. I knew this Jeffrey person was full of it when he agreed to go to inpatient therapy to “fix his problem”. Imo, he had no intention of fixing his problem, because in his mind he isn’t the one with the problem. This won’t end until one of them is dead.
Dr. Phil’s guests seem to be chosen on the basis of sensationalism. I don’t watch the show as much as I used to because of that.
Congratulations on reuniting with your long-lost love! I wish the two of you all the success in the world.
As to Dr. Phil’s show, I’d only seen brief promos about this Jeffrey guy. I think I dated a fella who was the mouth-breathing, Neanderthalic version of him, LOL! No physical abuse but the man was absolutely paranoid about technology, and it was crazy the way his mind worked. Other than getting involved with him I behaved no differently from before, yet he kept checking with his brother and SiL living next door to make sure I wasn’t seeing someone else on the side. For a while I bent under pressure, thinking eventually he’d realise I was a good girl and he needn’t fear our differences (education level, hobbies, income). Hmmmph! My accidently catching him at an ongoing infidelity became the breaking point, but even if I hadn’t caught him, I never could have lived with the paranoid accusations. Took pressing charges (and a 3rd party supposedly threatening bodily harm) just to get the freak to leave me alone.
That Jeffrey’s marriage produced kids is a shame. Even once their divorce is done, he’ll be a continual curse on the lives of all involved. I wanna be critical of Jennifer for marrying Jeffrey in the first place, but I can sympathize to a point. You think after you’ve soothed his fears, the inquisition is over. It’s not. Once you’ve accomodated his paranoia, reassured him that all’s well THIS TIME, he simply comes up with ever more bizarre questions as to your daily routine. With no provocation on your part, you’re always on the defensive.
It sounds like this is going to have a happy ending for you, my friend.
Congratulations on your newfound bliss. I pray that it will endure the rest of your lifetime.
I married the love of my life when I was 21 in 1976.
There’s a lot to be said for that.
Good luck, don’t look back and dwell on what happened in the past, just look forward and enjoy the rest of your life.
No, the one where you wrote about her decamping to the Pacific gets that honor.
Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials John!
In my case, there were numerous failures in and of my first marriage on both my and my ex-wife’s parts. I’m still paying the costs.
Fortunately, I’m happily married the second time (to someone I met here on FR BTW) and when we have friction, most times I make an assessment to pick my battles.
Usually, the fight is not worth the acrimony.
Treat your bride the way you would like to be treated and you will do all right.
May the years ahead be the Happiest of your life.
Best Wishes for a Wonderful Marriage.
Now, don't look back, just look ahead and enjoy yourselves. None of us are guaranteed another day.
Thank you for opening your heart, JA. I’m looking forward to reading those two books.
Four words (of Dr. Laura’s) that I really like, and have passed on to my son:
Choose wisely. Act kindly.
I think you are mistaken. Marriage is a two way street. In my experience, women usually don't come to a decision to end a marriage easily. It comes usually after many attempts to talk about what needs to be changed and to stay married. But the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior
In the absence of abuse or adultery, the failure of a marriage is always the fault of both parties.
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