My Encounter with Robert Garwood, Part II

This is Part II of A Two Part Series

This picks up from where “My Encounter with Robert Garwood Part I,” left off.

Chapter 8

In early June I had my chance for an intervention. My new job was a normal Monday to Friday schedule, but then one week I was scheduled to come into work on a special Saturday project. Although Marilou had been working every weekend for the past few months, the day after I told her of my Saturday schedule she announced she would have that Saturday off.

That Saturday morning, before leaving I told Marilou I’d be coming home at my normal workday time. I called her at my 11:00 lunch break, our normal routine, and mentioned that I’d be coming home about 5:00 PM. In reality, my work was finished at 2:30 and I left without calling ahead (until then, for our 14 years of marriage I always called first when coming home early).

Marilou was not in the house when I arrived home. Lights were off; breakfast dishes were still on the table, the bed unmade. It was apparent the house had been empty most of the day, but Marilou’s car was in the garage. Our wireless telephone that could receive calls from inside Robert’s house was missing from its charger cradle. All of Robert’s vehicles were in his driveway.

I walked down to Robert’s pier; it was deserted. Then I quietly walked to Robert’s back patio and looked into the open sliding glass door. I could see all through the kitchen, living room, and den. The house lights were off, no one visible, the house was silent. From the direction of the bedrooms I could hear “sleeping noises.”

I stood at the back door for a few minutes, thinking about what I should do. After a struggle I decided not to enter Robert’s house. Instead, I went back home and called our house phone from the cell phone. Our house phone rang a few times, and then the answering machine message kicked in. I left a message saying I would be home a bit earlier than 5:00 and hung up. I watched Robert’s back door from our Kitchen window.

Moments later, Marilou walked out of Robert’s house via his back door wearing only a house dress, with sleep in her eyes. The look on her face when she walked into our house through our back door and saw me standing in the kitchen was “priceless.”

What was said next will never be published. I will say that during several minutes of “talking,” I gave her the ultimatum: “Him or me.” Then our phone rang. Marilou answered it, listened a moment, said “He was here in the house waiting for me. I’m coming over.” She hung up and walked out the back door over to Robert’s house. I left and spent the night at a motel.

All I will write about the next two weeks between Marilou and myself is that it was a living hell. After nearly 15 years together, I had never seen Marilou exhibit such bizarre mood swings and out-of-control behavior. She maintained a solid front of denial that anything was going on between her and Robert. Her denials and explanations for what I had witnessed that Saturday afternoon were ingenious in their creativity. I would never have expected her to come up with those explanations on her own. In 15 years, I had never known her to so brazenly lie to anybody the way she continually lied to me during these two weeks.

Robert went back into hiding again. At least, he was not seen around his house in the evenings and weekends when I was home. I now believe that Marilou was contacting Robert each evening after leaving work and before returning home. I believe Robert was advising her on how to cover up their affair and play me out.

During this time I also contacted Tom McKenny on basis that he was both a minister, and Robert’s close friend. On my initial contact, he remembered me and willingly invited me to come by his house to talk. I went over on a Saturday afternoon when Marilou was at work, two weeks after discovery of the affair.

Tom and I had a long talk about everything that had happened starting in February. I could see he was deeply shocked with Robert’s behavior, but he made no attempt to take sides or in any way defend Robert. I explained that despite everything that had happened, I was still willing to try and work things out with Marilou and give us a chance in our marriage. Tom did offer to speak with Marilou in his role as minister.

That night Marilou agreed to talk with him. Up to this point, Marilou had refused to speak with even the Catholic priest at the church we had attended for over ten years. Although a devout catholic who rarely ever missed Sunday services, she was now defiantly avoiding all contact with her church.

We went back to Tom’s house the next afternoon in separate cars. Marilou previously insisted she would only talk if I was not present, so I introduced them, left and returned home. Marilou returned home several hours later and refused to say what was discussed, only that she was “not impressed” with Tom. I later learned from Tom that Marilou had talked with him for only a short while after I left, not the several hours she was actually gone. I now suspect she visited with Robert before returning home.

The next day, Monday, Robert reappeared home for the first time since my discovery of the affair. He arrived with several – large – male visitors, apparently planning on a long-term visit. To me, it looked an awful lot like he had brought along bodyguards. Marilou appeared to not notice he was back.

The next day, Tuesday, after more than two weeks of Marilou’ denials, lies and constant arguing, I finally had enough. When I returned home from work that evening I pulled out all the suitcases in the house and dumped them in the middle of the living room. It was my intention of confronting her with the “Or Else” ultimatum when she returned home from her job. I also made a phone call next door to Robert. As I expected, he would not answer the phone even though it was apparent he and his many – large – male visitors were there. I left a rather nasty message involving the use of bad words on his answering machine. In my message I warned him to stay away from Marilou and I called him a coward in several different ways for hiding from me.

Marilou returned home from work almost one hour later than normal that night, about 11:00 PM. She walked through the door and immediately started reprimanding me for calling and harassing Robert, but stopped talking when she saw the suitcases. I told her she had a decision to make – Robert or me. She looked at the suitcases, and announced “I’m Leaving.”

She grabbed a few personal items, walked out of our house and went next door. As she walked out I told her she would have the next day to remove her belongings, but Robert was not allowed in my house. I could hear her as she went next door calling out, in front of Robert’s guests, “Bob, I need a place to stay tonight.”

Her personal belongings were gone when I returned home the next day. Some of the items taken were pieces of furniture too large and heavy for her to move by herself, so I knew Robert or his guests had helped her. I could see that Robert’s house next door was empty again and one of his vehicles was missing. I later learned that Marilou had called into work that day, quitting her job with the explanation that she had to go back to the Philippines immediately for an indefinite period of time to care for her mom.

Once again, Robert had gone into hiding and this time he had taken Marilou with him.

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