Mark 10:9, What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
NoDivorces began in anger as a rant against divorce on moral grounds.
I had spent my youth studying families, why some broke up and why some were successful and why some children were unholy terrors, criminals, and drug addicts while others were godly, loving, faithful, diligent, studious, and successful in life.
I watched successful families and how the parents interacted with each other and with their children. I also saw children wrecked emotionally and spiritually by narcissistic parents shredding their families for a roll in the hay with an affair partner. Children whose parents sacrificed their foundation of secure family love. Parents who would not honor their wedding vows even for the love of their children or the value of their word.
I saw faithful atheists and unfaithful pastors. Yet I believed none of this was God’s fault.
Knowing that so many others failed, I wanted to prevent myself from having a failed marriage, so I bought and read countless books and studied both marriage that succeeded and those that failed.
Then it was my turn to apply what I learned to life.
Meeting My First Wife
In my late 20s, I worked for Fresno State providing technical support for the Computer Science and Engineering Departments full-time. There I formed the deepest friendships of my life with a young Indonesian Christian fellowship that would eventually grow into about 4,000 churches worldwide.
A couple years later, two Indonesian housemates asked if two Indoenesian girls who were friends of theirs could host a birthday party at my house. So I married one of them.
No. It wasn’t actually that sudden. Both sisters were throwing a party for one of their friends, and they decided our house was not large enough. But they were nice and invited us to attend. Both girls had boyfriends. The younger sister, Nellina, apparently remembered that I showed a little disappointment that she was already taken, but I considered them both friends and not potential girlfriends.
At the party, Nellina, playfully took my hand and I wondered what she was doing. She softly placed my hand on the birthday gir’s sleeveless shoulder and laughed as my face turn bright red when the girl turned around. I guess the birthday girl knew Nellina was a natural instigator and they all got a laugh out of her trick.
Courting My First Wife
I became close friends to Anita and Nellina but never thought of them as a potential girlfriend. Unknown to me, Anita was in a somewhat abusive relationship and the girls' mother held out some hope that Anita would break up with her boyfriend and end up with me. But instead, Nellina and her mother had a serious conflict with Nellina’s boyfriend, and Anita asked me if I would try to cheer Nellina up.
So I married her. Ok. Once again, not that fast, of course.
Nellina and I found we could talk about anything comfortably with each other, and we did start falling in love, but with caution. We did not want to get into a rebound relationship that was wrong simply because we were trying to kill our lonliness. But it did grow into a full blown relationship. I was offered a job at NASA Ames Research Center in the Information Sciences Division, and Nellina had a semester to go at Fresno State before moving to San Francisco to work in the Financial District, and I traveled to see her first in Fresno, then later in San Francisco on the weekends.
We loved visiting Anita in Daly City and we found a cinema there where we could watch movies cheap for about a dollar. We had our favorite places for Thai food, Chinese food, shopping, and almost everything, and we loved going to the beach which was a short walk from Nellina’s flat where we lived together when we were first married.
In January 1991 we were married in Fresno at People’s Church with family and friends from both my old American Church and our Indonesian Church.
So, I did marry her. It just didn’t happen suddenly. We met in 1986, started courting in 1989, and married legally in December 1990 and in church a month later in January 1991. And now it was for life. Or so I thought.
In July 1991, we looked for a home to buy in a good safe place to raise children–a city where crime was low and schools were great. We saw beautiful, brand new 3 to 5 bedroom two story homes in Pleasanton for about $350,000 and thought it was expensive but affordable. But the lots were about 3,500 square feet. However, there were older homes about 5 to 10 years old on the market for about the same price but had much larger lots–about 10,000 square feet. We found one that was on sale for $339, and they droped the price to $329,000. We offered $314,000 and got it. A 3 car garage with 2,000 square feet a mile down near the end of the sports park. I frequently searched to find out what could be the catch–what could be wrong with this town, and I found nothing other than allergies in the spring and hard water.
The neighbors were great as were the schools. We had a swimming pool and spa in the back we could use any time. And we could go for walks around the park for exercise or jog. And our daughter, Michelle, had a playground to play on. I joined the volleball league, and Nellina and I frequented the tennis courts near our home. We also had the best gym–Club Sport which offered everything including Tai Chi and Aikido, swimming pools, all the weight machines you could imagine, and an expert in physical therapy in the back. The restaurants and shopping was amazing with outlet stores not being far away. But we also enjoyed our trips to the mountains for skiing.
We did well financially and took frequent trips to Indonesia and one trip to Europe as well.
Then Nellina started going out at night “with the girls” in rather alluring little black dresses. I started coming home to an empty house, and one day I came home and found a message on our answering machine apologizing that she was unable to get a ticket for me to Orlando but would be returning with Michelle, our daughter, in two weeks.
It turned out to be an affair. Her mother and sister came out from Indonesia to talk her and the other man out of doing this terrible thing. I soaked my pillow in tears praying and read books, watched tapes, and did what I could to try to save the marriage. But the marriage could not be saved.
So, I decided if the devil was going to get my marriage, I wanted to make sure it would cost him dearly by doing what I could do to help save marriages.
This website was birthed from that desire. I don’t think I took the right approach at first as I was angry and merely ranted and I desperately needed to get my feet back underneath me so I could start walking again.
NoDivorces was started in frustration, ranting against the immorality of unfaithfulness and divorce. I made signs saying “Honor Your Vows”. If the devil was going to get my family, I wanted to make sure it would cost him thousands if not millions of families being saved in revenge. But my own family was not going to be saved.
The heartbreak was excruciating as was the heartbreak of seeing friend’s families falling apart as well.
Years later, I met and married Eileen, and it seems that God moved heaven and earth to bring us together. And this website is here now to help others as our marriage has been great for the past 13 years. And we now have an 8 year old son.
This marriage was birthed after years of misery and loss, anger and pain, betrayal and frustration and disappointment. But it was birthed in the values Eileen and both share that marriage vows are said to be kept, made to be honored, and that those who love their children sincerely will always have enough integrity to honor those wedding vows rather than cheating and making everyone else pay the bill for their crimes.
But while I ranted in anger for so many years, and while I needed to do that to heal, there comes a time when a person becomes strong enough to make a decision that websites like this are needed not only for ranting but for finding what is needed to help bring some increase to the sanity of marriages and families back into a world of liars and cheats and cowards who are so full of narcissism and ineptness that they cannot give and keep honorable wedding vows even for the love of their children or for the worth of their word.
What does it take to encourage people to think about being more ethical, honest, faithful, sincere?
How can one make a good difference for the world when so many want to fight for the right to be full of pathetic morals?
For those who already want to do their best and find themselves in pain, what can be done to help bring healing and comfort and strength to them? And their children? And parents?