Dark Secret Revealed: Woman Unknowingly Married Father

It was a dark secret than nobody shared with Valerie Spruill while her husband was alive. For years after his death, she heard bits of the story. None of it made sense, until her uncle finally told her what no one else had: She had unknowingly married the father she never knew.

Spruill, 60, of Doylestown, Ohio, went public with her story this month, first published in the Akron Beacon Journal, with the hopes that it would help others facing what seem like insurmountable problems. Spruill said she has been grappling with this bizarre incident since she first learned the truth in 2004, six years after her husband Percy Spruill died.

She confirmed that her husband was indeed her father through a DNA test, hair taken from one of his brushes. The aftermath of the secret was devastating emotionally — and physically, Spruill suffered two strokes and was diagnosed with diabetes.


Spruill met and married her husband-father in Akron and settled in Doylestown, a working class suburb of about 2,300. She initially struggled with anger, with hating Spruill for what happened. But therapy taught her what happened wasn’t her fault. Her faith taught her to forgive.

By all accounts, Spruill’s mother got pregnant as a teenager while dating her then 15-year-old father. She was 3-months-old when she was sent to live with her grandmother and grandfather, who she initially believed as she grew up was her father. But nobody, she said, talked about her real father. There’s nobody left to give her the answers about her husband-father.

In recent days, shortly before the news broke, she also told her three children and eight grandchildren about the news and was surprised that they handled it better than she did. “I thank God that he gave me a chance to live through all of this,” she said. “It is nothing short of a miracle that I’m still here. I want people to know that they can survive something like this.”

Do you know someone who has experienced a similar thing? How can these happenings be prevented? Feel free to share your thoughts on this topic!

Source: CNN

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Should Athletes Be Trained To Prepare For Defeat?

Most of the time, training in sports is geared towards winning. However, even the best Olympic competitors, like swimmer Michael Phelps and cyclist Mark Cavendish, are still vulnerable to defeat. Today, there are already some experts who believe that gearing up for defeat would help avert athletes from severe disappointment. For this year’s London Olympics, there are about 10,500 competitors, but only 302 will win. All the rest will have to look disappointment in the eye and deal with the anger and humiliation that comes with losing.

“Losing is often overlooked. Winning is celebrated but the pain of loss is very significant,” says sports physician Jordan Metzl of the Sports Medicine Institute of Young Athletes in New York. “The shame and pressure of losing is a very strong emotion that athletes deal with for their entire careers.”

Most athletes will be able to cope with losing in a healthy way by using their frustrations to achieve a higher goal. But for others, it may result to depression. For the past 12 years, it has always been the dominant belief that in order to win, one must not doubt that it will indeed happen. For some, a single loss has caused permanent emotional problems for them.


Experts like Metzl still stand by the principle that focusing on winning is an integral part of sports psychology. For them, it may not be possible to convince an athlete to think otherwise. But recently, many psychologists who are involved at the Olympic level have taken another approach. Peter Haberl, a senior psychologist on Team USA who takes charge of the mental health of its top Olympians, believes that thinking about defeat is unavoidable. His approach is based on the work of psychologist Daniel M. Wenger which demonstrates thought suppression through the white bear experiment. Wenger proved that if you instruct a person to avoid thinking of an arbitrary thought, like a white bear, the bear will repeatedly pop into their thoughts.

“The more you avoid a certain thought the more it is likely to surface,” says Haberl. “I would encourage the athlete to confront issues head on, to understand that losing and winning are both part of the athlete experience.”

If Haberl discerns that an athlete is suppressing or avoiding the thought of defeat, he will steer their conversation so that they will then be able to talk about it openly. Haberl will work with athletes and help them deal with defeat and failure after the Olympic Games, especially those who will experience unexpected or crushing failure.

“Most athletes do lose, it’s normal to be disappointed,” Haberl says. “It’s not normal to be depressed three months later.”

Should athletes be trained to prepare for defeat? Do you condition yourself to accept failure in situations where you are pressured or expected to just win? Share your thoughts and opinions with us!

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