After a contentious divorce in 2003, Torrey Shannon's ex-husband was deployed to Iraq. He suffered a serious injury during battle in 2004, and spent three years at an army hospital in Washington, D.C. His long recovery ultimately reunited the couple, who remarried in 2005. Shannon shared her story on HuffPost Live.
Shannon and her ex-husband, Staff Sargeant John Daniel Shannon, ended their first marriage on bad terms. "I promise you, the divorce was very ugly. It was not pretty at all. It was not a friendly divorce," she explained to host Nancy Redd. "We had no intention of getting back together and we had actually moved on with our lives."
But after hearing that he had survived a gunshot wound to the head, Shannon and the couple's three children rushed to her ex-husband's side. "The most important thing in his world are his children. And I wasn't going to take that away from him when he needed them the most. So I said goodbye to my job and to my boyfriend back home and said, 'I'm going to be here for however long it takes. As long he needs his children, I will remain here.'"
Parenting their children from different continents had improved the connection between the couple. "What we found was that we were able to communicate even better face-to-face once we had had that communication practice on different continents. Once we were face-to-face, I was able to not only be a good caregiver, but I was also someone that could effectively be his friend."
"It was really not part of the plan--we had no intention of getting back together, but we realized that the communication we had done previous to his injury actually helped us continue having communication that was healthy and good for the children."