Too Good to Be True: Too Good to Be True
Hannah says she always knew she'd write to me someday. "I always thought I'd be writing to you about my love and my relationship with my husband, but he ruined my life. Let me start at the beginning."
Hannah says when she first saw Jackson across a crowded bar during a dart league, he was someone she "wanted/needed to meet. He was bright, handsome, charming and just adorable."
She was married at the time with two baby girls. But the relationship progressed, and less than two years later, they ran away to a romantic island and got married in front of 20 family members.
"In front of everyone, we vowed to return every five years and celebrate our anniversary. He was my life, and I was his." She was 35; he was 29.
Hannah's two girls were 6 and 3. "They loved him, and he adored them. He was very attentive to them and very protective."
Flash-forward 12 years. Hannah says life was good and they were happy. The only problem was her 18-year-old daughter who was "seriously acting out, to the point where she was just unbearable. Jackson told me that she was toxic and would ruin our relationship. He said I needed to get my priorities straight and focus on my relationship with him."
And then one night, her daughter "practically had a nervous breakdown." She told her that Jackson had been molesting her since she was 16 years old. "He had the gall to molest her while we were on our romantic 10-year anniversary trip to our special island."
"She said she didn't want to tell me because she didn't want me to have to get divorced again. I don't think she trusted me enough to do something about it. I think she thought I would choose him over her."
After the older girl admitted what had happened, the younger started to reexamine what had passed between her and Jackson. She had thought it was just playful -- the tickle fights, a breast grabbed supposedly by accident, the time he tried to put his hand down her pants -- now she knew better.
Hannah and the girls went to the police, and Jackson was arrested. "It was explained to me that he was grooming my younger daughter for future abuse."
"This all happened three weeks ago. He's admitted some of the molestation, but not all of it. He's out of the house, living with his mother. We're still married, but in name only. I have to consult a lawyer.
"My life has changed to the point where I no longer remember what happiness is. I have good days, and I have bad days. I'm lonely because it was always him and me against the world. He was the first person I saw in the morning and the last person at night.
"Please tell your readers that if you notice your children are acting out, something is wrong. I found out the hard way, and now my girls are in therapy. They dread having to go to court and face him for all of his bad actions. The youngest is doing well; the oldest is still having problems. I think she carries a lot of guilt. I keep reminding her that it wasn't her fault and that he was a predator. He did this, not her."
Got a problem? Send it, along with your questions and rants, to firstname.lastname@example.org. And check out my new e-book, "Dear Cheryl: Advice from Tales from the Front."