A young Memphis mother named Tonya, met a man, who seemed to be all that she had been dreaming of in a life partner. She quickly discovered that he was not who he seemed to be at all. She had decided that the next relationship that she entered into, she would take slow. Her last relationship got very deep, extremely fast. Before she knew it she was being verbally and physically abused. She was taking care of all of the family expenses, and he (she felt) was having the time of his life living off of her and dominating her.
Tonya was on a temporary job, when she met Tony. He spoke intelligently. He was well groomed and polite. He seemed to come on pretty strong at first, but she felt that she could handle his advances. She was flattered by his constant complimenting, the long hours they spent on the phone talking about everything under the sun, and the special way that he helped her out while they worked the temporary job together.
Since he was from another city and only in the Memphis area to complete the temporary job, they spent his last night in town together. They went out and saw all of the Memphis sites, ate a great meal, and she traveled back to his hotel with him and they spent his last night in town talking, until they both fell asleep.
The young mother took Tony to the Memphis International Airport the following morning and hugged him goodbye. They made plans for Tony to come back to town to visit in a couple of months. They continued to talk almost everyday on the telephone, reveling in the excitement of seeing each other again. It wasn’t long before the plans that they made to see each other again came to a grinding halt.
Tonya got a call late one Friday, from Tony’s wife. She explained that he had been married to her for 19 years. She stated that Tony had four children with her. She stated that he had never had a job prior to the one that he met the mother on. What’s even worse is that she found out that Tony had been seeing 12 other women in different states. He had been engaging in unprotected sex, and that he had gotten a notice from the courts, regarding the paternity of a newborn baby. As the wife sobbed, the Memphis mother was relieved that she had decided to take things slow and remain abstinent. The wife, a nurse, was afraid because she felt that she needed to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases, since she had also been having unprotected sex with a man, her husband, whom she trusted.
Tonya, wanted to share her story with others out there who are beginning new relationships with people they are just meeting. She wanted them to know why it was so important to take things slowly. She felt that because she decided to remain abstinent, it kept her from having to take the course of action that Tony’s wife had to take. She does not have to be worried about becoming ill, because she let her emotions get in the way of good judgment. When asked how she felt about the situation, she stated that she was sad for Tony’s wife, even more than she was sad for herself. She stated that she wanted to share her story so that she could possibly save a young life. “If my story isn’t a good reason to remain abstinent, I don’t know what is!”