RANCHO SANTANA, NICARAGUA – Not much is happening in the world or the markets at the moment, so today I’ll tell you the story of why Kate and I got divorced.
Kate and I don’t like to talk about this subject much, and it’s very uncomfortable for me to write about. (I’ve never written about this before.)
But for whatever reason, I feel like confronting it today…
From the Veranda
Greetings from Nicaragua! I’m writing to you from the veranda of the little cottage we’re calling home for the next two weeks.
Kate and the kids are below me on the beach, digging a hole. I’m writing this note to you by hand, feeling inspired and a little vulnerable.
The beach is deserted. It’s framed on one side by forested mountains and on the other by the Pacific Ocean.
The waves are so big this morning, they break across the whole bay in unison. White water marches towards the beach in long crescent-shaped lines.
That’s Kate and the kids playing on the beach below…
Rough Ride Ahead for Stocks
I was joking above when I said the markets are quiet.
The coronavirus story has gone global and the markets are waking up to what’s been obvious to us for several weeks already…
It’s causing severe disruption in key economic areas and will probably lead to the first of several recessions we’ve been expecting.
The Dow-to-Gold ratio has fallen to a fresh three-year low. It’s at 15.9 as I write. I expect it to go below 5 in the next five to 10 years.
In the meantime, we stay on the sidelines in gold and wait for stock market valuations to complete their “long walk down the mountain.” (Catch up on what I mean by that here.)
It’s going to be a long, rough ride… And it’s just getting started.
Radical Honesty Killed Our Marriage…
And Then Saved It
Kate and I were married for eight years. We had a nice house in Delray Beach, Florida. We had three young kids, who we intended to homeschool as they got older. I had a good job as CEO of a small but growing business. And we had a membership at a fancy country club.
Kate stayed at home and looked after the kids while I went to work every day. Work was pretty stressful with long hours, and even on the weekends, I was often glued to my computer answering emails.
When I wasn’t working, I was trying to spend as much time as I could on the golf course. So I definitely didn’t have my priorities in order. But Kate had a full life, too, with lots of girlfriends and lots of play dates.
So on the surface, life looked pretty good, though perhaps it was a little unhealthy under the surface.
One day, I decided I should get therapy for some old issues. Kate supported this decision and even pushed it. So I looked online for local therapists, but I couldn’t take any of them seriously. They all looked so cheesy and I was reluctant to pay $100 an hour or whatever it was to have someone listen to my problems.
I needed something a bit more… I don’t know… substantial.
Then one day I spotted something called Radical Honesty. They were putting on a 10-day workshop in Orlando, which was just a couple of hours away. They billed it as a year’s worth of therapy in 10 days.
The workshop was already sold out by the time I found it, but I emailed them anyway. Someone dropped out, I got a spot, and off I went to spend 10 days in a house with a group of strangers, where I’d bare my soul… and my body. One of the exercises was conducted with no clothes on!
In a different exercise, they asked us to tell our life stories, on camera, in front of the whole group, for a full hour.
I was feeling rather proud of myself as I got up there and told my story. I spent the whole time regaling the group with my exploits in business, my crazy travel adventures, and the unusual upbringing I had. I almost neglected to mention Kate and the kids in the story. When I did mention them, it was as an afterthought.
The whole point of Radical Honesty is that you can find freedom through courageously telling the truth to those around you.
I’d committed some indiscretions in our marriage, and so after the workshop, I went home and told Kate about them. She was very hurt, but it didn’t end our marriage.
What ended our marriage was the video of me telling my life story.
A few weeks after the workshop, I got the file by email and I showed Kate the video. The way I told that story convinced Kate she wasn’t important to me, and it hurt her very much.
This time she threw me out of the house, and we were divorced three months later.
Kate Was Right
Here’s the part where I explain to you that I was just “showing off” in that video and that Kate over-reacted to it. That I loved her. And I would have fought for her (even though I didn’t) and that we hadn’t needed to get divorced.
But that’s not the truth.
The truth is, Kate was right. I didn’t love her. I didn’t understand what it meant to be “married.” I loved myself. I was an accident waiting to happen. If it hadn’t been then, I would’ve found some other way to NOT love her.
So she dumped me. And then she refused to let me come anywhere near her once we were divorced. I didn’t like it at the time, but I now believe it was the right thing to do… for both of us.
– Tom Dyson
P.S. I don’t think we’d be together again today if Kate hadn’t cut all contact with me after our divorce. I was toxic. But that’s a story for another day…
P.P.S. This was the view off our veranda last night (my photography skills don’t do it justice)…
My first attempt at celestial photography
Thoughts from readers about family and traveling, gold, and Tom and Kate’s future (second) wedding…
Reader comment: Hello Gold Man. I have been reading your Postcards for at least one year and it is always, “Buy Gold NOW!” You are a one trick pony.
Reader comment: Be sure to let us know about the wedding. I hope the kids are in the wedding, too. Maybe pictures? God bless you and guide you!
Reader comment: Just read the comment from the gentleman who regretted traveling when his kids were young. Everyone is different and needs to walk their own path. I don’t think you will ever regret traveling, or your family, and they certainly won’t forget it. (I enjoy just reading about your adventures.)
I never traveled or went on a vacation out of our area, let alone out of the country, the whole time the kids were growing up. We couldn’t afford it and it seemed like a waste of money. Recently, I got the opportunity to go to the Far East for a five week holiday, two years in a row. I got married there the second time, and we even went to a beach resort island for a week on our honeymoon.
I will never forget this and certainly never regret it. The money I spent gave me a lifetime of good memories to enjoy. First time I’ve ever been anywhere.
I think you already have mentioned this, but my opinion is, at some point you should put down roots for your family. I watched a reality show on TV with one contestant who had moved around all his childhood and didn’t have any real friends. It was so important to him that he made a couple of friends he had bonded with and felt he could count on during the show. I could see his pain watching him on the show and I felt bad for him.
I grew up in a small town and I still have many friends to this day from there. We really bonded over the years growing up and into young adulthood. I think of that poor guy on TV often and thank my lucky stars that I got to grow up where I did. Family and relationships are the most important things in life.
Tom’s response: I understand the point you’re making. Our trip around the world wasn’t just a family adventure. It was healing for our family. I will never regret it for many reasons, but above all, I will never regret it because it brought me back together with Kate and the kids.
Now that we’re back together, future traveling may not play such an important role in our lives… and we recognize the value in community. Someday we would like our family to be like a giant oak tree, offering shelter to all around.
And as always, please keep writing us at [email protected]. Kate and I find your notes very encouraging.