Love Lingers Here: Enduring Intimate Relationships IV: The New Self and Founding Story
When Terrell was seven years old his mother ran off with another man and his father divorced her. Terrell and his brother stayed with his father. When he was a senior in high school, Terrell fought with his brother and went to live with his mother and half brothers and sisters. Although this living arrangement lasted only a year, Terrell seems to have 11onded better with his mother than his brother did. Terrell’s brother denies any relationship with their mother, saying “she wasn’t there for me when I needed her; she doesn’t need me now!” This early life experience has been replicated in Terrell’s own marriage to Dorothy. After twelve years of marriage, Dorothy “ran off with another man.” However, she kept the house and children. Terrell paid child support.
Over the succeeding years, Terrell “brags” of having been married two other times. He was married for three years to one woman and four weeks to another woman, ostensibly to give her unborn child a last name. The latter woman presumable went back to the father of the child and threw Terrell out. He continued to work at an Army supply depot until he was medically disabled at age 49 when it was discovered he had arthrosclerosis and the Army depot mandatorily retired him.
Terrell was alone for almost eight years when he met his present wife, Bev. Terrell and Bev met at a Parents Without Partners meeting in the Spring. He was in charge of the meeting. Bev was introduced to him and was impressed by his seeming strength and leadership abilities. That evening they danced together several times. She met him again the following week at the next meeting of PWP and he invited her to go out to dinner with him. After that they dated for several months seeing more and more of each other. Bev reported that “it seemed right to be together.” After a few months he moved into her house, but she adds, “only after we knew we were going to be married.”