This article was originally published on our sister site Fresh Edits
All around the world, people hope and dream of eventually meeting someone who is right for them, getting married, settling down, having kids, and generally living a happy, normal life. It’s a dream that comes true for many people, and Rebecca Goedecke thought that it had happened for her as well. She was married to a man she loved dearly. She had a beautiful little girl, and she was enjoying a great career as a nurse.
But life comes at you hard sometimes, surprising us all with totally unexpected events that we could never have imagined. And that’s exactly what happened to Rebecca. Just when she thought that everything in her life was normal and happy, she was about to get a major shock, discovering a secret her husband had been keeping that threatened to destroy their entire family. Rebecca’s worst nightmare was about to begin.
Before the shocking story really begins, let’s set the scene. Rebecca Goedecke was a totally happy woman, living in a cute suburban neighborhood near Jacksonville Beach in Florida. She was married to a man who she had loved for many years, and the pair had their very own daughter too.
Rebecca described her life in those days as simply idyllic, stating, “I could cross highway A1A at work and eat lunch on the beach. My Jeep always had sand and seashells in it.” It sounds like a fairy tale, and so it seemed, but unfortunately, as the old saying goes, there’s always a calm before the storm. And very big storm was on the horizon for Rebecca and her family.
All According to Plan
Many people have a plan for their lives or at least an idea of how they hope things will work out over time. For a lot of folks, for example, there’s the dream of getting married someday, having a certain number of children, living in a certain state or city, and doing a certain job. For Rebecca, pretty much everything was going according to plan.
She was a hard-working woman, going all the way through nursing school and then finishing grad school, while also having a beautiful baby. She had her dream job, working as a pediatric nurse practitioner, and had spent time in several super cities like Nashville and Kansas City before settling in Florida.
Nothing Lasts Forever
It really seemed as though life was just perfect for Rebecca. She lived in one of the most beautiful parts of the world, where the sun never seems to stop shining, and the beach is only a short walk away. She was happy and content, and just like the sunny skies of Florida, it seemed like there were no dark clouds on her horizon.
But could it all last forever? And was it all maybe a little too good to be true? That’s what Rebecca was sadly about to find out. In a blog post in which she shared her experiences with the world, Rebecca looks back on that fateful moment of her life, stating, “My world was going to come crashing down on me very soon.”
An Unexpected Sight
It all began on a Monday afternoon, just a couple of days after her daughter’s birthday party. To celebrate the big occasion, the family had done a special luau party and had a wonderful time together. Little did they know at the time that it would be one of their last happy moments together as a family.
On that Monday afternoon, Rebecca went to work like normal and was driving back. When she started getting closer to the house, however, she noticed that something didn’t seem quite right. She could see stuff piled up outside her house, right in the yard. As she got closer, the terrifying and unbelievable truth of the situation began to be revealed.
The Beginning of the End
Poor Rebecca had no idea what to think as she drove closer to her home, and the full extent of the scene became clear. She hadn’t been able to see exactly what was out on her yard at first, but when she arrived in front of the house, she could see it all clearly: it was her family’s possessions!
It seemed like all of their stuff had simply been tossed out of the home and into the yard, like they were being evicted. When she pulled up and looked closer, she realized that that was exactly what was happening. The family had been evicted, the locks of the home had been changed, and all of their belongings were out in the front yard.
A Big Secret Was About To Be Revealed
Rebecca didn’t know it at the time, but that moment when she arrived home and realized that she and her family had been evicted was just the start of an incredible and almost unbearable nightmare. She had no idea what she was about to learn about her husband and how it would change her life forever.
She was stunned, heartbroken, and shocked to see all of the things she loved and had worked hard to pay for were simply tossed out on the lawn. She also realized that she couldn’t even open the door and step inside her own home anymore. That morning, her life had been normal and perfect, but that afternoon, it all fell apart.
The Reason Behind the Eviction
Rebecca felt lost, shocked, and frightened by the whole ordeal, but the biggest feeling she had of all was one of confusion. After all, she always paid her rent and bills on time, and she considered herself to be a very responsible and organized person in general. So how and why was she suddenly being evicted?
It didn’t really make sense, but when she spoke with the landlord for some more information, Rebecca was astounded to learn that the family was three months behind on their rent. All that time, Rebecca thought her husband was paying the bills as normal, but it turned out that he’d been keeping some big secrets from her.
Like A Knife
Can you imagine how it would feel returning home and learning that you can’t even go inside anymore? And all of your things have been removed from the property? And not only that, but the person you trusted the most has apparently been lying to you all along? It’s a terrifying thing to even imagine, and for Rebecca, it was almost too much to handle.
She felt like a knife had been plunged into her chest, writing, “I felt sick and like I had no control, like I had been stabbed over and over and I was moving too slow to stop the bleeding.” It was a terribly painful experience, like nothing she’d ever been through before.
Things Start Adding Up
Once she’d managed to get over the initial shock and pain of her discovery, Rebecca took a deep breath and started to think about what it all really meant. And as she thought more and more about the situation, she began to realize a few things. She’d already noticed that her husband had been acting strangely in recent months.
He’d been losing weight, heading off on weird errand trips, and even sleeping strangely too. He always seemed to be going off on his own somewhere, not wanting her to come along with him, and he was evasive whenever she asked what he was doing. There had been a lot of red flags, but one of them stood out there more than all the others.
The Biggest Red Flag of All
There were many little warning signs that Rebecca suddenly started to notice and remember when she thought about how her husband had been behaving, but the biggest of all concerned his car. In the weeks leading up to that fateful day, Rebecca noticed that her husband had stopped parking his car on the family driveway.
Instead of parking it in the usual place, he had started to park it further away from the house in random parking spots. Rebecca had been so busy with her schedule and looking after their daughter that she hadn’t paid too much attention at the time. But now she knew that the car might hold some vital information, so she started to investigate!
An Unbelievable Discovery
Desperate for answers, Rebecca walked over to her husband’s car, opened it up, and started searching inside for clues. She wanted to know what he’d been doing, how he’d been spending the rent money, and what sort of secrets he’d been keeping from her. She wanted answers, but she was scared of what she might find.
Her worst fears were confirmed when she spotted some empty beer cans scattered around the car, along with a bunch of prescription pill bottles. It all added up to only one possible explanation: her husband, the man she loved and trusted, had been hiding some very bad habits and unhealthy addictions. He clearly had a substance abuse problem, but that was only the start of Rebecca’s shocking discoveries.
The Investigation Continues
First, Rebecca found the cans and bottles, but her search of the car didn’t end there. Next, she went and opened up the trunk, finding even more shocking items inside. She quickly saw piles and piles of mail, a lot of it addressed directly to her.
Rebecca explained, “He had been keeping random letters from collection agencies, bills, and birthday cards from me for YEARS.” All of those letters were piled up in the car, and that’s how Rebecca’s husband had gotten away with his lying and secrets for so long. She hadn’t been getting the letters about things like not paying the rent or possibly getting evicted.
Nothing but Negative Emotions
“Confused, hurt, and angry were my only emotions for the next few days,” wrote Rebecca, trying to sum up exactly how she was feeling during that incredibly difficult period of her life. It was almost too much for any one person to bear on their own, but she had no other choice. Her life had been turned upside down without any warning whatsoever, leaving her to pick up the pieces however she could.
Naturally, she suffered both emotionally and physically. She wasn’t able to eat or sleep due to the stress of the situation and felt herself “running on fumes” for a few days while she attempted to try and figure things out. She was about to learn even more about her husband.
A Very Bad Credit Rating
Rebecca already had so much to deal with, but as hard as it was, she needed to know more. She confronted her husband and investigated to try and find out exactly what had been happening all those years. She learned that her partner had been lying to her about almost everything during their marriage.
He’d been taking out new personal loans in her name, as well as getting credit card accounts in her name too, and using the money to fund his addictions. Rebecca never knew how easy it was for someone to take out a loan or credit card in a spouse’s name, and her husband had abused the system, leaving his wife with ruined credit.
A Double Life
Your spouse is supposed to be the person you know best. You share a special level of love and trust with that person, telling them everything about yourself and truly being the real you whenever you’re around them. At least, that’s how it should be, but in the case of Rebecca and her husband, things had worked out very differently.
The man Rebecca thought she’d married was nothing but a shadow. He’d been living a double life all along, lying to her each and every day. He told her he’d been in the Marine Corps, but that wasn’t true. He also lied about his education and job. And worst of all, she discovered that he had another daughter!
It All Ends at Target
Rebecca’s husband had broken her heart, leaving her sad, confused, and alone. It turned out that for nearly a decade of married life, he’d done nothing but deceive her. He’d taken all her love and trust, giving her nothing but lies in return. Clearly, there was no possible way for any kind of relationship between them to continue.
The family went to a Target, where Rebecca confronted her husband about everything he’d done. He reacted badly, choosing to abandon his wife and daughter right there in the parking lot. Now, not only was Rebecca dealing with being evicted and discovering her husband’s deception, but she also had to figure out a way to get a roof over her daughter’s head.
A New Life Begins
At that point, so much had happened to Rebecca, she didn’t have too many options available to her. Since she’d been evicted from the family home and had secret debts and bad credit she never even knew about because of her husband, the only choice she had was to try and find a hotel for the night so she and her daughter could be safe.
She checked in to a local place, beginning a whole new stage of her life with her daughter by her side. Living out of a hotel isn’t easy for anyone, and it’s never usually a sign of good things, but it was the best Rebecca could do, and she deserves credit for being able to make that decision for her daughter’s sake, even while dealing with so much stress.
The First Night
Rebecca knew that this would be the first night of a whole new chapter of her life. She had no idea what the future had in store for her, but at that moment, she wasn’t thinking too far ahead. She only focused on the present, wanting to do whatever she could to keep her daughter safe and happy. That first night, she made a trip to a local Walmart.
She bought some clothes and toiletries to help them get through the first few days of their new life, making use of the hotel sink to wash their clothes and trying to keep her little girl’s spirits up, even when she felt like crying.
A Broken Heart Was the Least Of Her Problems
Rebecca had been left totally broken-hearted by her husband, but that was just one of the issues she had to deal with. She also had the fact that he’d ruined her credit rating, gotten them all thrown out of their family home, and had the heartlessness to drive away and leave them in a parking lot.
Still, somehow, she managed to try and keep a sense of calm around the situation and tried to do all she could for her daughter’s sake, even joking that their time in a hotel was a kind of “vacation.” Still, she knew that at the end of a vacation, you’re supposed to go home. She no longer had a home in Florida, but maybe she could find one somewhere else.
Heading Home to The Folks
When times get tough, we all have to hope that there’s someone out there, we can turn to and rely on to help us out. In most cases, when people find themselves lost or hurt, they seek help from their mom and dad, and that’s exactly what Rebecca decided to do as well. It was the only logical step she could take, and she hoped it would be the right one.
She and her daughter didn’t really have any family out in Florida and couldn’t carry on living there in a hotel, so Rebecca made the call to head back to her home state of Tennessee and try to put the pieces of her life back together, with a little help from mom and dad.
A Big Change of Scenery
It was a pretty big change for Rebecca to leave the sunny beaches of Florida and set off for the snowy home of her parents in Tennessee. She was heading to a totally different part of the country, with different weather, different scenery, and a different lifestyle altogether. But maybe that’s just what she needed.
Sometimes in life, especially in the hard moments when we have to deal with unexpected drama and sad times, a change in scenery can help to make a difference. Being in a different place can sometimes help us feel comforted and ready for a fresh start, especially when we have good people around to help us. Rebecca hoped that her parents would be there to help her start again.
The Tears Kept Coming
Even though she had made a good decision to head to Tennessee and seek comfort with her family, far from the man who ruined her life, Rebecca found it hard to deal with the whole situation and all of the different negative emotions flowing through her mind. From that first night living in a hotel all the way through until she made it to Tennessee, she kept on crying and asking herself questions about the future.
Where would she end up? Would she ever be happy again? How had she missed the signs of her husband’s deceit for so long? She cried just trying to think of answers to those questions, and she cried for her daughter, who was also going through a life-changing event.
Never Giving Up
Most people in Rebecca’s situation would have just wanted to give up. When your whole life suddenly gets ripped apart right in front of you, it’s only natural to want to fall down to the floor, cry all day long, and totally surrender to whatever comes next. But Rebecca was determined to not let that happen.
She may have cried a lot, and she may have felt like everything was broken, but she still got back up, she still kept moving, and she still thought of ways to improve the situation, both for herself and for her daughter. Her husband may have ruined her life up to that point, but Rebecca was determined to not let him ruin any more of it.
A Little More Positivity
Rebecca felt ashamed to be heading home to her mom and dad. She was 32 years old but had to move right back into her old bedroom with her 3-year-old daughter. She wondered, “How could this situation get ANY worse?!” But then, a little flicker of hope and positivity began to appear.
Rebecca’s daughter was actually really happy to be somewhere new, and her parents were so happy to have a chance to spend some quality time with their granddaughter. Since it was snowing outside, Rebecca’s daughter got to make snow angels and go sledding with her grandma and grandpa, as well as playing with all her old toys.
Some Light on The Horizon
Rebecca may have been worried about moving back to Tennessee, but it all went surprisingly well. Her parents welcomed her back with open arms, and her daughter seemed quite happy and settled. So what was next? Well, she had to work to get her nursing license in order, so she wasn’t able to apply for any nursing jobs right away.
Instead, she made a plan to take on a travel nurse assignment, save up the money, and then pay off some of the debt her husband had made for her. In her free time, she was playing with her daughter, going to the park, and trying to make the most of this new adventure. And that’s when she decided to get in touch with an old friend.
Making A Connection
Since Rebecca had grown up in that area, she did have a few old contacts to potentially get in touch with. One day, when she was feeling a little lonely and wanting to reconnect with some of her former friends, she texted an old high school buddy, and they started to talk. During the conversation, she jokingly asked her friend if he knew any hot single dads in the area.
It was only supposed to be a joke, but it turned into something much more when the friend responded, “Yes!” and gave her a name: Steven. From there, she was able to view Steven’s Facebook photos and check out some of his photos, taking the first steps down the path towards a much happier future than she ever could have imagined.
Was She Really Ready?
Rebecca had wanted to find some friends, make some connections, meet some people, and generally get back to living some kind of normal life, but as soon as she actually got a hint at a possible romance, she started to worry. “Good heavens, was I ready for this?” she wrote, describing her hesitation and fears at the time.
She’d only just gotten divorced from her husband, after all. And she’d been lied to so many times; it would take a lot for her to really open up and begin to trust somebody again. But at the same time, she was a single mom who wanted to get her life back on track, so it was only logical for her to try and meet someone nice.
Doing A Little Detective Work
Since Rebecca was a little hesitant about chatting with Steven and maybe even going on a date with him, she first decided to do a little digging and see what kind of guy he seemed to be. She took a closer look at his Facebook profile and started clicking through some of his photos. She quickly saw that he was a single parent, just like her, with a little girl about the same age as her daughter.
Rebecca decided to show her mom one of the photos she found, showing Steven and his daughter posing happily together. The mom’s response was quite unexpected as she yelled out, “I know that little girl!” But what did that mean? How did she know her?
An Unpredictable Connection
Rebecca and her parents lived in the big city of Memphis. It’s a city with a high population, so it was quite strange that Rebecca’s mom immediately recognized Steven’s daughter, as Memphis isn’t the sort of place where folks all know each other the way they do in small towns. It seemed like a sign, but how did she know that little girl?
Well, it turned out that Rebecca’s mom’s hairstylist is the sister of Steven’s ex-wife. There were photos of the little girl all around the salon, and when Rebecca’s mom heard that her daughter might like to date the little girl’s dad, she pushed her to go ahead with it. In reality, she just wanted to hear some gossip about the family!
Making Contact with Steven
Rebecca’s mom encouraged her to get in touch with Steven, and Rebecca knew that she had nothing to lose, so she decided to go ahead with it. She chose to send him a message on Facebook and he replied, asking for her number. She thought that he’d probably just want to text her, but she was in for a bit of a surprise when her phone started to ring!
Rebecca wasn’t used to random people just calling her up like that but decided to answer the phone a little awkwardly. On the other end, Steven simply said that he wanted to have a chat. “He said he wanted to talk. Like, with his voice. What in the 1990s was going on?!” Rebecca was worried, but the call went surprisingly well.
The Start of Something Special
At the start of the call, Rebecca felt a little awkward and shy. She’d never met Steven. She’d never spoken to him before. And suddenly, she found herself in a phone conversation with him, having to answer his questions and respond to his comments. It was a big deal for a woman in quite a delicate emotional state, but as the minutes passed, she started to feel more comfortable.
And then those minutes started to turn into hours. Before they knew it, the pair had been talking all the way into the early morning. “We talked all night just like teenagers. I think it was 2 am when we finally hung up.” Rebecca couldn’t be sure, but she felt like a little piece of her broken heart was mended that night.
The First Date Outfits
On the phone, Rebecca and Steven hit it off so well that they decided to arrange a face to face meeting. Naturally, Rebecca was pretty nervous. She’d been married to her ex-husband for many years and hadn’t been on a real date since she was much younger. It was a bold step for her, and she wasn’t even sure what to wear, having to raid her mom’s closet for some clothes since she didn’t have much stuff of her own at the time.
Running out of options, she eventually settled on black pants and a shirt. It wasn’t exactly the most elegant of outfits, but neither was Steven’s. He showed up in his police uniform, as the date took place on his lunch break.
A Date to Remember
Rebecca was a little intimidated when she first met Steven. He was a big guy, with a lot of facial hair and some scary tattoos on his body. Plus, he was a police officer, so he had a natural air of authority and power. Not only that, but it was her first date in about a decade, so there were lots of little things all adding up to making the whole experience quite a high-pressure situation.
But beneath all his tough exterior, Rebecca noticed one thing that immediately noticed. “I just remember looking at him and getting butterflies. He had the prettiest hazel eyes.” The pair shared some sandwiches and chatted together, even taking a selfie to send to the friend who helped set them up.
Walking on Sunshine
So, what did Rebecca think of Steven after the date? She was smitten! “After lunch, I was on cloud nine. I had the biggest grin all day, and I was smitten. I could not stop thinking about him!” It had only taken one date for Rebecca to really start falling for this man.
Some relationships take time for the feelings of attraction to develop, but then there are others where attraction seems to be instant like a lightning bolt. That’s how it was for Rebecca with Steven, and he seemed to feel the same way about her as he called her later that night to tell her what a good time he’d had and ask for a second date.
Feelings Start to Grow
Rebecca was clearly feeling things for Steven, and she happily accepted his offer of a second date. They met up that Friday night and shared one of the most special and memorable moments of any relationship: the first kiss. “I knew at that time this was something special.”
The more she talked to Steven, and the more time they spent together the more Rebecca seemed to be falling for him. He seemed like such a genuinely nice guy, a truly caring and thoughtful man who might turn out to be the man to mend her broken heart. But was she really ready for all of that? And could Steven really be trusted?
A Few Worries
Rebecca couldn’t stop thinking about Steven, but she also couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that it all seemed a little too good to be true. In her view, she was “damaged goods” with a bad credit rating and a lot of extra baggage from her previous relationship. She worried that it all might be a little too much for Steven to deal with.
Even though he was being so nice to her, she felt like at any moment, he might just decide to walk away and find someone else. She’d been through so much heartache, all because of her ex-husband. Could Steven be the man to fix it all? Or would he just make it worse by leaving her all alone again?
The Girls Get Along
Well, if Rebecca was looking for a sign that maybe she and Steven were supposed to be together, she got it when they decided to bring their daughters along on a date. They all met up for Easter Sunday, and the girls immediately got along. It was like they were twins or best friends, instantly smiling and laughing together.
And as Rebecca and Steven watched on, they began to see the signs that a happy family for all of them might not be such a fairy tale, after all. It was at that point that Rebecca says she could finally feel her heart starting to heal. At that moment, she began to feel hope for the future once again.
Rebecca Does A Little Snooping
After that, things started to move more quickly for Steven and Rebecca. To help calm her fears, he offered to let her snoop all around his house to prove he wasn’t like her ex. He was totally open about everything, with a good credit score, his own home, and nothing to hide. And he loved her.
He loved her so much that he invited her to move in, and before long, Rebecca, Steven, and the girls had formed a family. It didn’t take long for Steven to reveal a ring and ask Rebecca to be his ‘forever wife.’ “At that moment, I knew my intent to move out of Tennessee just wasn’t part of the plan right now. Something brought me back home and love was going to keep me there.”
Tying the Knot
The pair began preparing for their big day, deciding to elope just four months after their first date. They asked a family friend to perform the ceremony, and their beautiful blonde girls served as both the flower girls and bridesmaids for the big event. In Rebecca’s own words, the day was perfect.
It was an amazing turnaround for this brave woman who had been through so much. She’d endured one of the worst nightmares anyone can ever face but managed to bounce back, stay strong, and find happiness with someone who turned out to be the total opposite of her ex-husband. Unlike him, Steven was kind, honest, and loving.
The Final Piece of The Puzzle
After getting married, Rebecca and Steven later bought a bigger home with a little more space before getting pregnant with their very own baby! Rebecca learned that she was pregnant just after her 35th birthday, welcoming the family’s third daughter, Junebug, into the world several months later. It’s a wonderful story, but Rebecca knows that there’s plenty more still to come.
Both she and Steven have stressful jobs and ex-partners to deal with, but their love has allowed them to stay strong and united right from the start. Life isn’t always easy, as these two inspiring people know, but somehow, love always seems to find a way to win in the end.