Will Maria Shriver’s marriage survive Arnold Schwarzenegger’s admission of infidelity? I hope so (Part 14)

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Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maria Shriver and family – “The Longest Yard” Los Angeles premiere, May 19, 2005

Maria Shriver Asks – How Do You Handle Transitions in Your Life?

Arnold Schwarzenegger admitted to his wife several months ago that he had fathered a child about 10 years ago with a member of their household staff. Maria moved out, but has not filed for divorce. In the you tube clip above she comments:

“Like a lot of you I’m in transition: people come up to me all the time, asking, what are you doing next?” she said, adding: “It’s so stressful to not know what you are doing next when people ask what you are doing and they can’t believe you don’t know what you are doing.”

“I’d like to hear from other people who are in transition,” she said. “How did you find your transition: Personal, professional, emotional, spiritual, financial? How did you get through it?”

Mrs. Shriver has asked for spiritual input and I personally think that unless she gets the spiritual help that she needs then she will end up in the divorce court. I am starting a series on how a marriage can survive an infidelity. My first suggestion would be to attend a “Weekend to Remember” put on by the organization “Family Life” out of Little Rock, Arkansas. I actually posted this as a response to Mrs. Shriver’s request on you tube.

I got so much out of the article “He Led a Double Life,” by Mary May Larmoyeux that I had to share this. Below is the first portion:

Scott Jennings never dreamed he would cross the line. But somehow it happened.

He was unhappy at home. He loved Sherry, but … well, she was the boss at her work, and she acted like the boss at home. When things needed to be done, she would tell Scott what to do. And he got tired of it.

He wasn’t one to talk about his emotions. So he turned inward. He would escape to the fire station—where he was a volunteer fire fighter—and start drinking.

Things got worse after the Jennings’ son, Steven, was born in 1995. Sherry wanted to be supermom and Scott was happy to let her do it. Soon he avoided being around Sherry and Steven altogether. If Sherry went to bed early with Steven, Scott stayed up late and watched TV.

He often pretended that a call had come in from the volunteer fire department, but when he left the house he would head to a local bar instead. That’s where he became friends with people who seemed to really understand him.

Scott also turned to a woman at work for a listening ear. Eventually they went to a motel together. He never thought he would be the type of person to cheat on his wife. But he did.

He had stepped into a world of repeated lies, affairs, and deceit. Scott Jennings was living a double life.

An unfamiliar phone number

In 2002 Sherry grew tired of waiting up at nights for Scott. She was weary of the crying, the arguing, the making up, and then repeating the cycle again. She knew there was more to life than this. She started attending a local church and, at times, Scott reluctantly joined her.

Over the course of several months Sherry came to know Jesus as her Lord and Savior. She begged Him to heal her marriage.

For years Sherry had believed her husband’s lies about working late and answering alarms for the fire department. But in 2004 she could no longer avoid the truth. She knew something was terribly wrong in her marriage.

She found an unfamiliar phone number on her husband’s cell phone and drove to the local address that matched it. Sure enough, Scott’s truck was parked outside an apartment complex. With the remote to his truck in her hand, she set the horn off, which brought him outside to silence it.

And that’s when Scott’s double life fell apart.

When he saw Sherry, he claimed he was just visiting a friend before he came home. Sherry didn’t believe it. She knew that Scott was trying to cover up the fact that she had caught him with another woman. She told him that it was time to go, that she was his wife and they needed to talk.

Scott followed Sherry to their house. They talked in the backyard for about an hour. He told her that he was depressed. He had it all—a loving wife, child, and house—and yet he didn’t want it. He seemed confused and told Sherry that he felt trapped by her and their son, Steven. He said that he wanted his freedom.

Sherry decided to give her husband space. She hoped and prayed that things would somehow work out in their marriage. Scott, on the other hand, went on several trips with his girlfriend and spent large amounts of time drunk or under the influence of prescription drugs.

End of a marriage

One night, when Scott was leaving his girlfriend’s apartment, he discovered that his truck was gone. “I hoped that it had been towed or stolen,” Scott says, “but in my gut I knew that I had been caught again.”

His girlfriend drove him home, where he found the truck. As soon as he walked into the house, he says, “I started in on Sherry and was very verbally abusive and angry.” She told him he could no longer live in the house since he was not living as part of the family.

Scott was stunned by his wife’s words. He packed a bag and left in anger, tearing up part of the yard as he drove away from the house.

Sherry reluctantly filed for divorce and eventually followed through with it. The final divorce proceeding was on September 21, 2005—their fourteenth wedding anniversary.

Scott and Sherry drove to the courthouse together, and he played a CD with teachings about marriage. He hoped this might lead Sherry to change her mind, but it did not. “I angrily went through the proceedings and spent the rest of the day drunk and stoned,” Scott says. “I think I was in a state of shock.”

After the divorce

Two days later, when Scott called to say goodnight to his son, he also talked to Sherry. His girlfriend complained that he spent too much time on the phone with his ex-wife. Even he was surprised by his response. “The fact was that I still did love Sherry.”

Scott’s girlfriend was livid. She punched him in the eye and told him to leave. He gathered all of his belongings, meekly called Sherry, and asked if he could store them in the garage. When he arrived at the house after midnight with his meager belongings, he wanted to see Steven. Sherry refused, and Scott became belligerent. He threatened Sherry with a lawsuit and left.

With just a few items of clothing and a six-pack of beer, he checked into a cheap motel. As soon as he got into his room, he called Sherry and berated her. He didn’t know what to do or where to go. “Everything that I had held dear was gone,” he says.

“When he called me for the second or third time,” Sherry says, “I tried to honor him and not yell at him.” Finally, she contacted Scott’s sister, Nancy, a pastor’s wife, thinking she might be able to talk some sense into her brother.

Nancy convinced Scott to open the Gideon Bible in the room’s nightstand drawer. As she read from the book of Isaiah, he followed along. Tears filled his eyes when he recited Isaiah 55:7: “Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him, for He will freely pardon.”


A Weekend to Remember®

After Scott reached his mother’s house, his sister Nancy and brother-in-law Douglas (who lived nearby) came to see him. “I told them that I had come to accept Christ,” Scott says. He had started reading the Bible regularly, and they realized he was sincere.


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Weekend To Remember Conference Testimony

Here’s a couple who went to a FamilyLife Conference and how it made a difference in their marriage.

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