How many of your friends or coworkers and even your relatives have endured the painful process of a divorce?  Do the numbers surprise you?  The glamour of a beautiful wedding often leave the Groom or Bride blinded by love. 

 Most grounds for divorce in the state of Texas are based on two things- money or infidelity.  Sounds cut and dried doesn’t it?  It isn’t and I am one of the victims of a divorce that was based on both of the above as is my twin sister, Cindy Daniel. 

 With the “excitement” of a torrid affair luring husbands or wives into the secret phone calls, late night emails and other suspicious behavior, I find myself amazed that anyone is stupid enough to assume their partners “don’t suspect a thing!”  Your partner suspects everything and, you just threw your marriage out the window.

When I married Guy McCollum I had no idea he was “carrying on” with Laurie Battersby a mother of two and married living in Canada during our courtship and well after our marriage!  

Had I been aware of this- I wouldn’t have married him in the first place and set myself up for the embarrassment of public outings photographed at the Petroleum Club on Valentine’s Day.  You see the circular from the Peteoleum Club featuring this “happy couple” was sent to our home with a smiling Guy McCollum wearing the watch I had given him as a gift proving his infidelity.

Jumping into my Cadillac and driving like a humiliated lunatic to my twin sisters house in Weatherford with the evidence sitting in the front seat of my car, I had been betrayed and any trust that existed between us, effectively broken.  Once you are devastated and “sucker punched” you never forget it! 

My twin sister had suffered a similar situation while married to Larry Mahaney and his excuses regarding “working out of town” became more and more time consuming throughout the duration of their marriage while his pay checks got shorter and shorter.

 It was after the birth of their daughter, Stephaney Mahaney, that my brother in law let his “crazy out” by leaving the hospital because Cindy had given birth to a girl rather than a boy. 

 By the time Stephaney was one and a half years old, my twin would be visiting me at my home in San Clemente when we received a recorded phone message from Larry advising her not to bother returning home to Fort Worth because he had emptied all the possessions in their home including her daughters clothing and toys for his “new family.” 

 Cindy flew back to DFW with both her daughters and would be left at her ransacked home by her philandering husband with no car, no food, no clothing and no money.

I would fly from San Diego to DFW to verify and validate this phone message with my sister sitting on the living room floor crying and both of her daughters wandering through their empty home void of any of their possessions.  It was decided that I would go to Larrys job and get one of the cars to get Cindy and the girls back to San Clemente since he had taken all the other assets from their home including mine- I rationalized that he owed her one of their vehicles and used the spare keys to drive the car right off the employee parking lot and had my sister, Leigh Ann and Stephaney back at my home in San Clemente less than 36 hours later.

Larry had even taken my sisters clothing and the ice trays from the freezer!  Prior to moving to California, I had left my car with Cindy and Larry in Texas and went outside to see if it had been taken too.  What was left behind was a completely stripped shell of my former vehicle with the seats, stereo and even the spare tire removed!

Larry had “planned this” and, he had taken his time stealing even the home furnishings that had belonged to me prior to their marriage.  Keeping the girls clothing toys and furniture was perhaps one of his cruelest “dirty deeds.”

One year after moving to California on Christmas Eve, my sisters new apartment that she was so proud of had the door kicked in while she was at church with her daughters and I.  The car she still had in her possession with strollers and car seats along with Christmas presents in the trunk, was stolen by Larry Mahaney.  Yes, we have been forced to overcome many things in our lives and most of the time due to the thoughtless sociopaths who professed to “love us.”

Larry Wayne Mahaney was a horrible husband and a worse father.  I hope he treated his “other family” better than he treated my sister.  Khama will one day come around to him and after what he did to my sister, it cant happen soon enough for me.

Trust is priceless, without it you have nothing.  Infidelity may seem like “casual fun” at the time but, it will most certainly destroy your marriage and your family!

When I meet with couples who appear to be madly in love, I ask a lot of questions.  I take it personally if a marriage I had a part in fails and I mourn the loss.  If no one else has prepared them for the dedication a healthy marriage requires- I will. 

 Several weeks ago, I “ran into” my exhusband while shopping with my sister.  He proclaimed to still “love me.”  I found this statement rather offensive after ten years since our divorce was a hellcat fight over anything and everything that included his history of tax liens (something I was never aware of until I became a victim myself by signing a joint tax return that resulted in a tax lien). 

 During our divorce and the “overlap” relationship with Laurie Battersby, yes he actually called it an “overlap” I sought and won an IRS Innocent Spouse Lawsuit.  He loves me? What do you do to people you don’t like?  He sold the car that I had brought into the marriage and I took a position at Cadillac in order to have a vehicle- yes, I’m a survivor!

Cindy’s ex-husband Larry Mahaney gave Tarrant County Family Court an incorrect address to ensure she was not present for her divorce.  To top that, he also lied and stated he had possession of the Minor Child, Stephaney Mahaney.  Stephaney was living in California with Leigh Ann and Cindy at my home but— sociopath that he was, Larry Mahaney effectively found a way to NEVER pay one dime of child support for the care of Stephaney Mahaney. 

 In fact, when Stephaney became pregnant with twins at 15 years old, Larry and his attorney claimed she was an adult since she was pregnant and again evaded payment of child support.

The tiny Texas Twins, Maryssa and Makenna Mahaney have a child support arrearage in the amount of over $26k in Parker County from their father, Michael Wayne Scherer Jr.  Next month, they will be 11 years old, two generations of unpaid child support? Yes, for over thirty years my twin and I have raised all these children without the benefit of child support from their worthless fathers. 

 A lot of folks find my sisters views on life hilarious without realizing that everything she says contains a bit of truth in her iconic #Cindyisms.  My sister has taken everything we’ve been forced to overcome along with our children and turned it around to “make light of it” now that it’s behind us in that “rear view mirror.”

The same people who find Cindy hilarious often find me “serious” and about as far from light hearted and fun as you can imagine.  They’re right you know, when my sisters heart was broken and she had no money as a housewife- I saved her and brought her home.  When money was tight and she struggled to make ends meet, I saved her.  The simple truth is that there are very few members in my family that I haven’t saved and, if I didn’t it was simple economics of who needed what more than the other for I have never been rich.

Yesterday, while talking to my sister with numerous concerns regarding a wedding that has had one issue after another,  my twin was shocked when I asked the Bride if she was sure she wanted to go through with this marriage.  It’s a question I’m not afraid to ask our children and even our grandchildren.  My twin and I are resilient and raised happy and well adjusted children through times of hopelessness as a team- we relied heavily on each other when times were tough and, we survived.  Trusting the wrong person will hurt you, it will break you down and it will crush your spirit.  Walk away and open your heart to someone who’s worthy of you! 

 If you are planning on marrying and have doubts- trust your instincts!  Does your fiancée leave the room to take phone calls on a regular basis?  Make promises he never keeps and then blames you for questioning his motives?  Is everything your fault when you trust him to honor his commitments and you are let down?  Does your self esteem suffer from backhanded comments like “you need to lose weight, you’re getting fat” or, “that’s not very attractive, perhaps you should visit a surgeon and get that fixed!”  I’ve heard all of these comments from my exhusband and, at the time of my marriage I was a very successful model with the highest sales quotas in any industry I worked within.  The end result was that my ego was effectively deflated and my self worth questioned by me from someone who knew “how to push my buttons.” 

 Realize and recognize that if someone loves you, they make you feel good about yourself not insecure or undeserving.  They also are happy and joyful when you give birth to their child.  I wish that when I had my miracle baby my current husband had been the father who would’ve rubbed my feet and told me I was beautiful rather than I was “as big as a house” or couldn’t do even the most basic of mothering skills by breast feeding.  His mother “ran me down every chance she had while telling me moments after seeing my son that he looked like a little Mexican.”  My family is of mixed race with Indian, Irish and other backgrounds and while the color of our skin and appearance may be out of the ordinary, this statement was offensive and hurtful as it was meant to be.  My son was the first grandchild in that family and you would never know it based on how he is treated.

Fighting for custody of my son from someone who admitted to “taking very little interest in him” to the child study worker was a very painful and expensive journey for me.  Do yourself a favor and don’t ever have a child to “save the marriage.”

If you have doubts about your “Prince Charming” do yourself a favor and “hit the bricks” before you have children and community property, before you are forced to struggle through a painful divorce and before your heart hardens.  Find someone you can laugh with and cry with, find someone who makes you feel beautiful whether you are “dressed up” or “dressed down.”

 It’s not rocket science, it’s life.  Recognize red flags that should warn you early that perhaps “this one just isn’t going to work.”  I would rather be alone than be with someone who makes me miserable!  My husband understands the path I’ve travelled and he understands my close ties to my twin and our children- he would never interfere with the sanctity of my relationship with them.

 If your family and friends are uncomfortable around your “love” and this person is doing nothing to win them over or make them feel comfortable, your narcissistic new “love” may not be worthy of the commitment of marriage.

Before you jump into the glamor of a wedding with star spangled dreams that can easily become a nightmare- ask yourself serious questions about children, money, family issues and even drinking or drug abuse issues.  I had no idea my ex husband was a binge drinker but everyone else did! 

Look at it like this- if you were buying a house- wouldn’t you want to know as much about it as you possibly could?  After all it’s a huge investment.  If you were buying a new car, wouldn’t you want to know how it handles and whether or not it would stop “short” if necessary?

Sure you would and at the end of the day, if you find yourself having to convince yourself that this is a marriage made in “Heaven” realize you may be the only one who believes it and recognize that you deserve better.

You will never find Mr or Mrs Right if you are tied down with Mr or Mrs Wrong.  As for Cindy and I?  We waited years before trusting our husbands enough to marry them and even tested them on many levels to ensure they were honest and upfront in order to protect ourselves.  In fact, I refused to file a joint tax return for the first 5 years of my marriage after getting “burned.” 

When our children came to us with plans of marrying- we asked a lot of questions and we addressed our concerns as a team with Leigh Ann and my son to educate them of all the painful aspects should things go “South” because we loved them enough to protect them from the roads we were forced to travel on our own.  My son and my niece are both happily married the first time around! 


 It takes a village to raise a child and in my village I expect the in laws to pitch in and while they are at it treat our children with love, honor and commitment.

Wendy M Wortham