Monday, 03 December 2012
How well do you really know the person with whom you are in a relationship? This CNN article tells the story of Valerie Spruill, who learned that her husband was not exactly who she believed him to be all of these years.
In 1998, Valerie mourned the death of her 60-year-old husband, Percy. Six years after Percy’s passing, her uncle revealed a shocking secret to her about her husband: Percy was actually Valerie’s father. Valerie was in absolute shock, so she ordered a DNA test. The test revealed that her uncle was telling the truth: Percy, the man she loved as her husband, was her father! She did not remember knowing her father growing up, since her parents separated when she was young, but it turned out she actually did know her father a little too well...
Valerie entered into a state of physical and emotional shock. Not only did she feel majorly stressed and confused, but she also had two strokes and was diagnosed with diabetes immediately after this secret was revealed to her. She was angry at Percy, and she wondered whether or not he had known that he was her father before they were married. She felt absolutely disgusted at both herself and at him for what had happened and sought professional help in dealing with the aftermath of this situation. The therapist assured her that nothing that happened was her fault.
Although Valerie is still unsure of whether or not Percy knew that he was her father when he was alive, Valerie's religious faith is helping her to forgive Percy if he was, in fact, aware of what was actually going on. Valerie is now retired and has told all of her children and grandchildren about this situation, and they have shown her nothing but love and understanding.
She finds writing out and sharing her story with others to be very therapeutic. While some people are quick to ridicule her about the situation, she has also found support and has helped show support to those in similar situations. In fact, she recently connected with a couple who had found out they were brother and sister. The two people in that couple use her story as a source of comfort as they attempt to work through their own tough situation. The past cannot be undone, so Valerie is trying to make the best of everything and is taking the steps necessary to move forward.
Have you ever learned something shocking about a person with whom you have been in a relationship, either after the relationship was over or after the two of you had been dating a long time? How did you react? Did it change your thoughts about that person or the nature of the relationship?