This true-life story is a repost from our sister site, Our Life Logs®
After the Breakdown
I grew up in the 1960s, spending most of my childhood in the rugged, industrial city of Dayton, located in western Ohio. Though the city was tinged with gang violence, I roamed the neighborhoods without fear; a free-spirited soul I was. After playing outside for hours, I always came home to a loving family, my parents and three older sisters, who shared in the poverty and laughter of our home.
As a child, I gravitated to music, and as I grew older, I formed a relationship with the melodies I heard. I became hungry to create my own. At 15, I started playing guitar and quickly formed a band with some friends. The strings of my guitar became a second mouth. They spoke for me when words wouldn’t do.
After high school, I moved to North Carolina and got a degree in Electrical Engineering. Thereafter, I returned to music, joined a new band in the late 80s, and played with them whenever I could. One day after a show of ours, we decided to go to a dance club. We sauntered in with sweat-soaked clothing and wild hair looking like we’d come from some crazed bar fight. I didn’t care how we looked, that was, until I noticed a beautiful woman dancing on the stage. She had gorgeous brown hair and a killer smile that drew me in. I was in love from the moment I saw her. Her beauty reminded me that I didn’t match up with such a vision. Still, I was awestruck. I turned to my buddy and said, “I’m going to marry that girl someday.”
I spent the next six months going to the club to see her, putting myself out there, initiating conversation after conversation. Once we got to know each other, we were inseparable. We got married around 1990 and our lives merged.
Being around my wife brought me so much joy. I woke up each morning looking at her, ready to spend the day together. With her, even daily chores and mundane errands brought happiness. She livened the routine of my life.
In 2000, we moved to Tennessee. I was still interested in getting back into music—my guitar had been collecting dust for years and I itched to make music again. My wife didn’t really know how to play any instrument, but after I bought her a used drum set from a pawn shop, I found out she was a natural on the drums.
Together, with a few other friends, we started Forces of Nature, a guitar-driven metal band. Playing music with my wife was awesome. Two of my favorite things were brought together in one place, and it made me fall in love with her even more.
We played as many shows as we could and got noticed by local record labels that helped us support up-and-comers like Evanescence and Sevendust. Unfortunately, our band overdid it and ended up getting burnt out after playing 96 shows in nine months. So, we took a hiatus.
Playing my guitar at one of our shows.
We moved back to Dayton, and by 2012, all the other members of Forces of Nature had moved to Dayton too. When we were all together in the same city again, we decided to bring the band back. We worked with other talented local acts and cultivated a local metal music scene. Through it, we also built up a loyal fanbase. With my wife as the drummer and me as the guitarist, many looked at us as a golden couple of true love, the couple who “got it right.” People would ask us for relationship advice. I believed that for a long time she was the reason I got up every day; I deeply loved her.
I never thought such beautiful love would ever decay, but I guess I was blinded. On my birthday in July 2015, I started noticing that things were different between us. She was distant with me most of the day, and I couldn’t pinpoint why, but I could feel us slipping. I tried guessing what the problem could be. Did I do something wrong? Was she going through menopause? For the next four months, I scrambled to fix my marriage. I didn’t know what the issue was, and she refused to give me any semblance of an answer. But I tried, though it was like working in the dark.
For the first time in our 25 years of marriage, I decided that we needed a couple of weeks away from each other. I wanted to give us an opportunity to see if we’d miss each other. We kept it quiet from the band and from our fans, doing it in the month we took off for the holidays. I spent those weeks spiraling, grasping for answers to why this was happening to us. She played on that part of my personality, knowing I’d go into a tailspin over not knowing the answers. I didn’t even realize she was doing it until it was too late.
On the day after Thanksgiving, I found the problem. My wife had been cheating on me with a married guy who was one of my friends. I was devastated. The woman whom I loved and trusted had been sneaking behind my back. Finding out put the nail in the coffin of our marriage. Everything I thought I knew came crashing down, and I didn’t even want to see her anymore. My heart sank into deep, deep depression.
On November 28th, I went to bed and didn’t leave for days. Our bass player came by to see me and realized something was wrong when I wouldn’t respond to him. He kicked down my bedroom door and called 911. I woke up on December 1st in a hospital bed.
The doctors determined that what happened to me was the clinical term, “catatonic depression.” When your mind feels that there is no other option or answers to the questions, you’re caught in a gear-grinding, stuck moment. Your mind tells your body that it’s too tired and puts you into a motionless state.
It was in that moment that I realized depression was real, and sadness could kill.
The first half of 2016 was a blur as I tried to piece my life back together and become myself again, a sense of self without my other half. Life without the woman I loved for 25 years was hard to get used to, but the more time I spent coping with it, the more I realized how much it needed to happen.
With the help of some good friends, I was able to slowly recover from the betrayal. They reminded me that the failed marriage wasn’t my fault, “Everything beautiful about your marriage was you.” At first, I didn’t want to hear these things because I had viewed our marriage as if we were a team, but upon further reflection, they were right. I had always been in love, but blindly so.
I had to learn how to just be me. Music has been a big help with that. The fans and my band really came through and helped pull myself together. Many of the fans were heartbroken to learn about our breakup, but mostly because they wanted to make sure I was okay. The music community got me back on my feet, and through playing shows I was able to heal.
As I gained back hope and light, something unexpected happened, and I believe it was what it meant to be.
In May 2017, I got a message from a friend who had been heavily involved in drugs. In the past, I had tried to help her, but she never listened. Worse, she had three kids. Child Protective Services (CPS) had stepped in and spread her kids to other biological family members, but no one could take in her middle two-year-old son. She asked me if I could take him. I agreed instantly.
I have always felt that protecting children and their innocence is important. I never had the chance to have a child with my ex-wife, so I took the opportunity to save a little boy from a rough childhood. I called CPS and within two days, I had a son. None of this could have happened, I could have never saved him, if the fallout with my wife hadn’t happened. Finally, I saw why it had to happen. I had the reason.
Me and my son.
All my life, I tried to do the right thing and be a good person. I believe that is why good karma finds its way to me. Bad things happen, but they are always followed by something good, some kind of reason for why it had to happen. There is a reason for every hardship and if you trust the universe and its reasoning, nice things will come to you. I take life as it is, with the good and the bad.
This is the story of Marc Godsey
Marc currently lives in Dayton where he manages Oddbody’s, a music venue and bar, and plays guitar in his band, Forces of Nature. After being married for 25 years, Marc found out that his Utopian marriage was but a lie when he discovered his wife had cheated on him most of their relationship. This threw him into a deep depression. Through music and friends, he was able to heal from the betrayal. And when he had an opportunity to adopt a child in need (something his wife wouldn’t have wanted), he realized that everything happens for a reason. Marc is also in the process of getting custody of his adopted son’s sister. Marc has recently been able to move on and find love again with a woman named Cyndi who has two children. They’ve merged into one big happy family. At 50, he is a father for the first time. Marc loves music because it’s something that connects many people together regardless of the differences, and he is thankful it was there for him when he was at his lowest.
Marc’s big happy family!
| Writer: Kristen Petronio | Editors: Colleen Walker; MJ |
If you are interested in learning more about Marc’s journey, please read his other story with Our Life Logs:
With an interest in music stemming from a young age, Marc had a desire to pursue it but waited until he could afford to. Once he did, he went full force, playing nonstop and eventually working with other bands to create a music scene in Dayton where they could all be treated fairly.