This is the marriage success story of two people I hope to hug one day! Last week I had the chance to walk into their lives (via phone)! Mary & Stormy are two wonderful adults! Married 37 years, Mary & Stormy, who walked through hell to come out on the other side, have shared a few pieces of their marriage journey which I laid out below. Please send them love and thanks as you read the below…!
This is their story….
Stormy, yes, Stormy. That’s really his name. Given the name by his older brother from the old song written by Lena Horne. Stormy was a church man. He believed in God and grew up to follow the path of the Lord.
One of 16 children, Stormy was close and connected to their obviously very tired mother. He lived an open and carefree life and on a random Sunday in New Jersey he went to church…the same place Mary’s aunt took her. That fateful day, Mary met the man that would be (as she now calls him) her “King”.
But we are getting ahead of ourselves….
Back then Stormy was 23, and the relationship he had with another woman he was dating currently wasn’t going well. He wanted a change…and had gone to church to give his life over to God. He was going to follow Christ and live a good life.
Then at church, he met 24-year-old Mary. Stormy was so smitten, in just a few days, he went to a phone booth (I know….a phone booth) and called Mary to profess his love for her and ask her to marry him.
Mary said yes. Mary knew she had found her man.
After he proposed marriage and she accepted, they told me it was only then they began to date!
9 months later, they were married. And that’s when they really found out about each other!
They had 2 children…and all the while…Stormy’s life seemed to call him elsewhere. He would leave the church and come back to God many times during their marriage. While Mary stayed strong and committed, the more Stormy waivered, the more her faith in God became stronger and stronger. Because as she said, “All I knew was the church….all my kids knew was the church….that is where you are filled with the holy spirit. It’s the only way.”
While her husband drifted into the world of drugs and whores….he still felt, “Do what you want…as long as you go to church on Sunday!”
One day Mary came home to see two glasses on the coffee table. And assumed Stormy had entertained another woman in their home and thought, “This is not my husband!”
Mary, while full of faith, was not going along subservient or quiet. Hell no! She was angry. And she lashed out whenever she could.
She’d find zip-lock baggies with drugs and would be so angry that she would yell and hit Stormy hard. “Why can’t you stop!! You are taking money from our family!”
Stormy would leave. Then he would come home. Then he would leave. Then he would come home.
Each time things would be okay..for awhile….till the drugs or women would pop up and then Mary would lash out with anger, violence, and one day, dishes. Yep. She threw dishes at him.
Then one afternoon Stormy took the kids to the park. When they came home her daughter told Mary, “Dad was smoking something at the park…” Mary exploded in a rath of anger, “You are doing drugs in front of our kids!?” Once she said she was so mad, she took his pipe and hit him with it. Odd thing is, Stormy was never angry back. He just seemed to take it all, as if he deserved it.
During one fight, Mary took a bottle of Norton oil, opened the top and dumped the entire bottle of oil on his head. Stormy just stood there. In the hallway of their home. Oil dripping down his head to his body to the floor. Mary left him standing there and went to their room. 20 minutes later she came out and Stormy was still standing in their hallway….dripping. She went to bed. He joined her. They were in their 30’s.
Another time, Mary discovered Stormy was about to spend the night over at a woman’s home. This horseface was not too far from Mary and when Mary saw her husband’s car in the driveway at another woman’s home…she went home, took all of his clothes and put them all on the steps of Horseface home.
All the while Mary let her anger rage and Stormy kept his chaos behavior.
Sometimes Stormy was just gone. He’d just leave. Disappear. And even Stormy’s mistress wouldn’t know where Stormy was. Once horseface showed up at Mary’s home and rang the bell. Mary answered the door.
“Stormy is missing…” said the lady.
Mary responded coldly, “You have 5 seconds to get off my door step.”
Horseface left and Mary went back to her children. That was all she could do. Get mad and pray. She knew she could do nothing to help Stormy. This was his battle to fight. These were his demons.
Mary said it was soon after that she opened her closet door and right in the middle of her clothes she saw a vision of all the things that she and Stormy were going to do together in the future. Then a hand came down and took the movie away. And she knew she had to change. She had to be different.
Stormy shared with me what he was going through during this time, “I had no peace. Early on, we were fighting all the time. Then the holy spirit would come to me at night…all night long…I had no sleep. The holy spirit kept hammering at me, telling me, ‘This is wrong!’ I had no sleep…”
In their home was an attic where Mary created her “prayer room.” She had discovered a minister at her church that helped married couples and she was adamant she was going to stick to becoming better!
Mary stopped hitting and fighting and began to give service to God. She stopped calling her husband names and started being holy in front of God and her husband.
Mary vowed to change. No more arguing. No more nagging. If Stormy showed up for dinner or not, no big deal. If he came to bed or not, no big deal. She would just be glad to see him. She would just be happy when he climbed into their bed. She gave her trust to God. And would praise God when he returned her husband home to her safely.
Mary says, “The church taught me that I have to let my husband be the head of the household.” Specifically saying, “The church said I had to treat him like a King.”
Mary came home from church the day she learned this “King lesson” and made her husband a plate of food, bent down in front of him and handed him his dinner and said “Here my King!” Mary said about that day, “He laughed! And I still treated him like a king that whole Sunday!”
Stormy laughed out loud when Mary shared this part of her story….but you could clearly tell in his voice that he was so pleased that she felt that way back then.
It even inspired him to ask her if he could join her when she went to church the next Sunday asking, “Why don’t you ever ask me to go to church with you?”
Mary said “OK….”
The next week Mary asked, “Come to church with me…?”
Stormy said, “No.”
The next week she tried again, “Come to church with me…?”
Stormy said, “No.”
She almost hit him over the head that day and nagged at him…but she knew that was wrong….this was his choice. And instead, she was quiet.
4 weeks later – on a Sunday, Mary woke up and Stormy wasn’t in bed.
Where was he?
She wasn’t sure, but she got up and got ready for church. Then as she climbed down the stairs, there was Stormy. Seated in their living room dressed in nice clothes ready for mass!
Mary held strong to the conviction of her marriage and her faith. Even on the day when her husband drove by with his horseface! Mary just happened to be walking with her kids to the park. At that time, they had only one car and Stormy smiled and waved at his family as he and Horseface drove right by. Mary remembered Horseface smirking at her and Stormy looking so smug as he waved to his family and then drove away. That “sighting” impacted her young daughter even more than Mary. Her daughter cried and cried. Mary felt so helpless and so alone…and her faith was tested.
Especially years later when their son died at 32 from Gang violence. Mary had only one place to go: God. “I love God. He is always there and all you have to do is Love God and he will show you the way.” Mary never lost her faith…it just grew stronger. To the amazement of many of her friends and family, who thought after all the mess with her husband, surely she would crack after the stress and sadness of the death of her son…? Nope. God had other plans for Mary.
In fact Mary remembers the night she had just gotten out of the shower when she entered her bedroom to climb into bed. Stormy was laying on their bed talking with her when Mary saw a vision. There on her bed was her son that had just died, jumping up and down on their bed!! Mary said she heard his voice gleefully shouting, “I am free!”
At that moment Mary said she froze, staring in shock and disbelief…for so long that Stormy was sure she was having an Asthma Attack. It was a day Mary will never forget. In fact…it was at that moment she knew God had shown her that her son was OK. He was not only okay, he was happy and that she was okay too…she could feel Joy again because her son was with God and God was with her.
Five months later Mary said her daughter was at a doctors office and some random lady kept looking at her….staring. Finally the woman spoke, “Excuse me….the Lord is saying I need to tell you something. You think of your brother, and he was murdered…God wants you to know your brother is good, they threw him a party in heaven. Go home and tell your mom about this. There is no fear in death.”
Mary was so moved. How did this stranger know this? Clearly there is a God. Something bigger at play here and we all have a purpose.
Over the years during the rough parts of their marriage, Mary worked hard on holding back her anger and her outbursts at her husband’s infidelities and drug abuse. She held her tongue and gave her husband the respect he needed so that his self-worth would grow and his desire to be a leader of their family would return.
Then one day he was headed to go pick up drugs and was hit from behind by a Ford Explorer going super fast. It was an accident that really shook him. So much so that he called the pastor that he knew for years and said, “I want to join the church. Right now!”
It’s been 13 years that Stormy has been on the right path full time. No booze. No drugs. No women.
Well…one woman. His wife.
He now says, “When God delivered me from my mess, I was done….he took my desire….even my drug friends knew I was done. I think about all that I missed….?? Drugs took so much of my life…my affairs…the havoc I created….all that I lost… hurting my kids and my wife.”
Yes. The only one that could stop the chaos was Stormy. His role model of a wife, who refused to believe that the Devil would take her husband forever, was and is still right by his side.
Today Stormy is a minister and pastor at 2 churches! They have shared with me that they live in “awesome,” have tons of friends, and have found one another as well as new joy every single day!
I’ve even heard them laughing when they talk of the story when Mary was walking to the park and Stormy drove by with Horseface!! Imagine laughing one day of the things your husband is doing to you today??? That is indeed a miracle.
Here are some quotes and advice they said that are so powerful, there was nowhere to add them. I want to leave them as just sentences below:
“I lost everything. Then I was found.”
“God is for marriage. God asked me, “Do you love your husband?!?!”
“Live holy. Love God. And your husband will see God through YOU!”
“I knew he was home when he asked our kids for forgiveness…”
“Show him you are a changed woman. You have to be the change.” (Yah!!)
“The Devil is always ready to move in. Keep watch.”
FYI: Stormy is now 60 and his wife, Mary is 61. They are solid evidence and proof, that no matter how shitty things get, as long as you become the best version of yourself, and never give up….this too shall pass….the “storm” will pass.
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