One Marriage’s Road from Divorce to Remarriage
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“By the time I met my husband, I was 20 with two boys, two different baby daddies and just very broken,” says Nikki Thompson.
Nikki Thompson had been through a string of dysfunctional relationships when she met Tony. He was older, six years clean from a long history of drug abuse and had custody of 5 of his 6 kids.
“We really did have a sweet courtship,” says Tony. “After a couple of short months, we decided that we were going to get married.”
“The first couple of years were great,” says Nikki. “We were just blending our family. Tony had his kids, I had mine. And then we had Freddy. So, it literally made us yours, mine and ours. We took the kids in the minivan to games in the park. We went camping. We did all the things that a normal family would do,” says Nikki.
During that time, Tony started a construction company and hired friends from his past.
“We thought that we were going to influence them by our family friendly lifestyle, right?” says Nikki. “Like we were going to be able to show them our happy marriage and that we didn’t allow smoking on our property, and we didn’t drink, and we didn’t do drugs and that we were going to influence them,” says Nikki. “But it was just the opposite. You know that bad company really does corrupt good morals. And within a year of the construction company there was lying, infidelity and eventually drug dealing.”
The couple separated and later divorced as Tony went back to his former ways.
“I ended up experimenting with methamphetamine, and that became a full-blown addiction. You know, that lasted about four months,” says Tony.
“Within a week, I called him and said, ‘Hey, I know you’re using. I want to get high too,’ because in my own sick, twisted mind, I thought that would get me my marriage back,” says Nikki. “Like, that was the one common bond, the thread that we did not have that would tie us together. And he came over and I was like, instantly addicted.”
Nikki’s drug use became a daily habit. At the same time, Tony was arrested and jailed for manufacturing meth.
“I got on the needle; you chase that off that that first high? And so, you find yourself doing things that you swore you have never done and just going darker and darker and darker,” says Nikki. "I had already been watching porn for a while and a girl had made a pass at me and I found myself starting to sleep with women.”
“I was going through withdrawals the first several weeks there,” says Tony. “Blaming myself, I became suicidal while I was in jail. Well, after a couple of weeks in the county jail, I was reading the Bible, and I was able to watch the TV preachers. I was hearing stuff that I’ve never heard, or I don’t recall hearing in church, you know, as a young man or a child. I began to get really interested in it. There was something about this Jesus that He’d loved me and that, you know, that He’d forgiven me all the things that I’d ever done,” says Tony. “And, I mean, I needed to hear that. I need some acceptance. I was at such a low point that that was my lifeline. So, I began to write Nikki letters and share with her what I was learning.”
“Frankly, I just thought it was jailhouse religion,” says Nikki. “Like, I was basically like, you had your shot and you blew it. Like, your whole family is scattered because of the choices you made. And I didn’t want to hear about his Jesus.”
“I was actually learning about a new life,” says Tony. “And suddenly I began to desire what this new life was offering. And that’s the direction I started going.”
“When he started writing letters further into it, he would start signing them, ‘Love always and forever, your husband, Anthony.’ And, I was like, ‘He’s an idiot. Like, we’re not even married,’” says Nikki.
After serving 18 months, Tony was released from jail. With his new faith in Jesus, He longed to restart his life with Nikki and went to see her.
“I was bombarded with thoughts like, ‘Look at how he’s looking at you, like he’s here to judge you. He can probably see the blown-out vein, like he is not going to stand by while you use drugs and just sleep around with whoever. He will take Freddy from you,” says Nikki. “And so, before I could slam the door, our son Freddy came running in because he heard Tony’s voice.”
“He was 18 months old whenever I went to prison,” says Tony. “He’d only seen me a couple of times while I was in prison. And three and a half years later, all he had to do is hear my voice. And he knew who I was. That, that tugged at my heart.”
“And he picks Freddy up, and he puts him on his lap, and he starts saying things like, ‘Freddy, Mommy and Daddy love you. And Mommy and Daddy really want to hear what you have to say. But first, Mommy and Daddy have to talk, so we need you to be the obedient boy that you are. Go in the other room. And when we’re done, we’ll come hear what you have to say,’” says Nikki. “And I had never witnessed that. Like, that was the kindness and goodness of God on display for me to see. He didn’t react in rage. He didn’t react in anger. That was complete, total self-control. All I could think was, ‘It’s not jailhouse religion. It’s real. Like something has changed in him. And if he has that kind of peace, I want that too.’”
After a few months, the couple remarried and eventually Nikki also became a follower of Jesus. They have been set free from past addictions and are experiencing a rich marriage with God as the foundation.
“To be able to speak with my wife about what she was learning and hear her share about the gospel back to me instead of always me sharing the gospel to her was a new experience,” says Tony. “And then just to watch her do that with other people seeing her share the gospel with complete strangers. Yeah, that was my, that was my milestone. The very first one between the differences between the marriages,” says Tony.
“The really great thing about having our perspective is we have that first marriage without Jesus where things were okay,” says Nikki. “But, of course, they failed. They crumbled and now that we have this new marriage with Jesus, this covenant where we know it’s not just a contract, but it is actually for life. We have this beautiful commitment to one another, and we truly do enjoy being married because we are created in His image. One man, one woman, covenant marriage,” says Nikki. “It’s a beautiful thing.”
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