Father Goodhue

After Spring walked out on Pastor Kurt (after previously walking out on Lisa Guider), I begged her yet again to give counseling another try. By this point I was in full realization that her tactic was to use false accusation, perjury and fraud in order to hurt me as much as possible and maximize the amount of money she could extract from the boys and me but I still wanted to keep our marriage together. Why? Because I just couldn't believe what was happening. It was a nightmare and I was looking for a thread, however slim, to end it. I thought it was either the alcohol as the Lisa and Pastor Kurt suggested or an underlying mental issue. I just couldn't believe the person I loved and did so much for could do such horrible things. It was too surreal.

Unlike our previous attempts at counseling, this time I found the counselor. Naturally, I turned to my local parish which not only was the church we belonged to but also the church for the school the boys went to. I talked on the phone with Father Goodhue, the associate pastor, and he suggested we meet with him together.

Father Goodhue was an interesting person. He came to the priesthood later in life, my guess would be in his 30s, and so had more real world experience that many priests. (Although Catholic priests are a bit more diverse than many people who are not Catholic realize. Our priest when I was younger had six children – he was a widower, and my local parish almost received one who was married – it is not uncommon for priests in other denominations to convent to Catholicism and if they were married before they converted, they stay married as a Catholic priest.)

What I didn't know about Father Goodhue until later was that he was a reformed alcoholic.

We only met a few times with Father Goodhue. Spring was openly hostile to pretty much his every comment. Finally he suggested we do a Catholic couples retreat from a group whose sole purpose was to help troubled marriages. The day before we were supposed to leave, Spring emailed me and said she wasn't going, was proceeding with the divorce, and had told the children. It was Father's Day weekend. My brother suggested that the fact no alcohol was allowed on the retreat may have had something to do with her decision.

I met with Father Goodhue a few more time before he was transfered to another parish. He said all the signs he saw in Spring were very familiar to him. The lying, the sneaking around, the denials, were all classic signs of addition. He had been there himself. He said it was either that or a moral failing and it was clear which one he believed was the lessor evil.

I liked Father Goodhue. He had seen tough times but worked through them. I believe he has a good heart. In many ways he is a shinning example that redemption is possible. Although Spring and I will never reconcile (not only are we well beyond that but I am in a very good relationship), I do hope she can one day come to terms with her actions and attempt to make amends for them. The divorce system that allowed her to profit from her criminal actions is the real villain. I have lost an incredible amount of money and am a de facto slave. I will never be able to retire from my job to do volunteer work, teach or write as I had planned. But I can at least look myself in the mirror and see a person of integrity. I can feel proud of the example I set for my children. Spring can do neither. I hope some day that changes. Hope springs eternal.  

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