The following is a transcript of the My Crazy Divorce podcast
- Guest Name: Kristina Rose
- Release Date: 10.28.2021
Tom Milligan: This week, a summer love story starts on a beautiful lake, but then goes terribly wrong. Welcome to My Crazy Divorce.
Tom Milligan: Hi, everyone in welcome to my crazy divorce. I’m your host, Tom Milligan. Kristina’s and Brad’s summer romance started when they were just 13 years old. They were so in love that even the four-hour distance between them didn’t get in the way, so what went wrong? How did this perfect couple end up here on my crazy divorce? Well, I can’t wait to tell you, but first we have to do a little housekeeping. You need to know that I am not an attorney, so nothing in this podcast is even close to legal advice. If you’re in a broken marriage or a crazy divorce, please contact a licensed professional.
Now you’re only going to hear Kristina’s side of the story today…because I don’t know Brad’s side.
So Brad, even though that’s not your real name, you know who you are, just let me know if you want to share your side of the story. It would be awesome to have you on the show and everyone else, if you have a crazy divorce story and would like to be a guest on our show, just let me know. Go to mycrazydivorce.com and click on the apply to be a guest button at the bottom of the page. I’d love to hear from you.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get right into it. Kristina shares bits and pieces of her story almost every day with her 65,000 followers on TikTok. I’ve been a big fan of hers for almost a year so I thought I knew her story pretty well, but after interviewing her for this show turns out, I didn’t know anything. Kristina’s story starts out in Wayne, New Jersey.
Kristina Rose: I grew up in Wayne, New Jersey. It was a town of about 54,000 people, very big town even though we had two big high schools. It was a really nice place to grow up. And it was, is upper middle class, I would say. And my family, we didn’t have all that much, but we had just enough. And I had a good childhood there. It was very nice. It was a nice place to grow up.
Tom Milligan: Wayne really sounds like a great place to grow up, but it’s her big Catholic family that makes it home.
Kristina Rose: My whole family lives in north Jersey essentially. So we don’t have, I have one cousin that’s in Massachusetts. Everybody else is we’re all in Jersey and yeah we’re all close. And I have a big family. My dad is one of five. No, he’s one of six. I’m sorry and then they all, we have lots of us.
Tom Milligan: While Kristina was growing up in New Jersey, Brad was doing the same thing about four hours away in upstate New York.
Kristina Rose: Okay so he grew up in upstate New York. I won’t tell you the town exactly. I try to keep some of his information private, but if you know upstate New York at all Cooperstown is where the baseball hall of fame is and he’s from around that area. And so he’s from up there and I’m from New Jersey, so it’s a long distance situation, but we’ll get into that. He was adopted when he was about; I want to say three or four months old. He has two siblings, a brother and a sister that are both adopted as well. They grew up totally different from how I grew up where at my life is very busy. My town was very busy and his was literally, I have a huge family and his was not so big. He has cousins and all that too, but he’s from a small town. I mean, it’s a small town, like you have to drive an hour to get to the Walmart okay. So, yeah, I mean, they had a convenience store, and I spent a lot of time up there, so we’ll get, we’ll get into the whole story of how we met, but very different from how I grew up. But he had a good childhood. His parents are good people. And they, they obviously they adopted him, but yeah, he had, from what I understand, his childhood was pretty, pretty nice.
Tom Milligan: But how do two kids who are busy just being kids, living hundreds of miles apart and not even knowing the other one existed, somehow meet and fall in love. Well, turns out Kristina had a best friend, and that best friend had a Lake house.
Kristina Rose: My best friend now she’s no longer my best friend. We’ve cut ties but for years she was my best friend. And she had her and her family had a house on the lake up in his town. And so, every, and I mean, we were like sisters, so my parents had no issue letting me go every weekend. They were like, bye, but it was like a four-hour difference. We were four hours apart so we would go up every weekend and we would me and my best friend and her parents, and we would go, and they had a boat and jet skis, and we’d go on the lake. And like I said, this is like a little small town, so it is kind of a destination spots for people because there are beautiful lakes there. But as far as living, there’s like not much you have to drive.
Tom Milligan: Those trips to the lake house were always fun, but boats and jet skis were just the beginning.
Kristina Rose: We would go into town; it’s a little small town. We were 13 years old. This town is nothing. We would just a stroll. Me and my best friend would just stroll down the road and just walk. It was a nice place, and we would just walk and we, so we were walking past the park and my ex and his friend his friend was actually the one that was trying to get my attention. But my ex, Brad we’ll say Brad, right. Brad initiated it for him. So, he said, this is his exact words, like I remember it still. But he said to me, Scotty wants to holler at you. So, his friend’s name was Scotty. So anyway, I just, I honestly didn’t know what to say. I think I just like stared at them and then walked away, so like the first initial meeting we did not, like there was nothing happening there. I didn’t want Scotty.
I didn’t want him. I was minded my business and so the next, so we would go up every weekend. So the next couple times we’d be in town it was like, he was like, they were waiting for us. Like they saw these two girls that were not from there, you know what I mean? And so being young, we were the same age, me and my ex. So he was 13 years old, 13 year old boy, and so they would like wait for, to see if we were going to come strolling through town again. And eventually he stopped me and we started talking and at first I had to convince myself that I liked him like that. Like literally, because I was like, this kid’s from like this little town. He talks funny. I was like this little 13-year-old, like I seriously because he had an accent like this New York accent. I hadn’t ever been anywhere besides where I was.
Tom Milligan: So even though they were only 13, they lived four hours apart and at least one of them had a pretty weird accent. They fell in love and since neither, one of them were old enough to drive those weekend trips were the couple’s lifeline. Now fast forward a couple of years, Kristina and Brad have been seeing each other on summer weekends and talking on the phone when they couldn’t be together. Now it wasn’t the perfect arrangement, but somehow it worked for them. But as they say, all good things must come to an end,
Kristina Rose: But then they sold their house and so, dang.
Tom Milligan: Dang is right with no way to see each other. That has to be the end of the story right? Well, long distance relationships are tough to manage at any age, but when you can’t even drive, the distance seems even worse, but that didn’t stop these two.
Kristina Rose: So what we would do is he would, this was before we even drove. He would take a bus because now we didn’t have this, I wasn’t coming there anymore.
Tom Milligan: There was no way these two would let a measly four hours. Keep them apart for very long. Well, let’s be realistic. How long a 15-year-old, couple of can kids keep up a long distance romance.
Kristina Rose: So we dated from 13 until my junior year of high school and then my junior year of high school which was in 2007. We broke up because his brother had called me and told me that he was cheating on me; once his brother told me about the cheating or whatever. I don’t know at that point. I don’t know what with that. I never found out anything with that. But he basically went like radio silent. I wanted to talk about it and he just like…
Tom Milligan: A lot of us had our hearts broken when we were young. But looking back, I think most of us realized it was nothing and we just bounced right back. But Kristina and Brad were different.
Kristina Rose: It was horrible for me. I was a mess. I actually say it all the time. I had to go see a therapist my junior at high school, because I was so devastated over the breakup.
Tom Milligan: Yeah both of them dated a bit after breaking up, but it just wasn’t the same. So Brad’s silent treatment ended because he wanted Kristina back and her parents loved that idea.
Kristina Rose: My parents loved him and they really like at this point they loved him. And my mom was the one that was like; you really need to give him another shot. He came begging. I mean, he drove down to New Jersey and started begging for me at my front steps. I kid you not. I had a boyfriend and all like, it was ridiculous, but yeah, but my mom was like, you need to give him another shot. My parents loved him.
Tom Milligan: Eventually Brad and Kristina’s parents wore her down and things went back to normal, meaning more long bus rides and more late-night phone calls after a while Brad decided he was done with the long distance, but he wasn’t done with Kristina. So he dropped out of high school and moved to New Jersey.
Kristina Rose: They invited him into our home to get him on his feet in another state, so that’s where we were for a little bit.
Tom Milligan: Pretty soon Kristina’s finishing up high school and Brad has found a decent job. They’ve both turned 18 on our living together in her parents’ house, in New Jersey. Wow! Those are some pretty cool parents. Now, of course everybody knew it was temporary.
Kristina Rose: Yeah! It was about a year and we moved out after we got engaged, so we got engaged in 2010. I just turned 20, just turned 20 years old.
Tom Milligan: So after living with their parents for two years, Brad and Kristina are officially engaged and move into their own place. They were both 20 years old and in no hurry to get married or to start a family,
Kristina Rose: We didn’t move out until we got engaged and, we weren’t in a rush. We were 20, so we were like, not in a rush to like have babies yet or anything.
Tom Milligan: All engagements come to an end. Either they break up or it ends in a wedding. So after three years of getting engaged, our young lovers were married.
Kristina Rose: Okay so we got married November 1st, 2013. And it was really, really, really a nice day. So we wound up getting the most beautiful wedding. It was a perfect day. It was 70 degrees out in November. We just had the, we had the best wedding day. We had everything. We had the whole cocktail hour. We had an open bar. We had, what do you call it? The Vietnamese table, I don’t know what they say, but the desserts, the chocolate fountains, all of it. My mother, she love, it was her. I mean, listen, she, I told her I don’t care. It was her dream wedding, but I told her that I wanted her to do it. I wanted her to do the things because I knew it would be beautiful.
Tom Milligan: Everything seemed perfect.
Kristina Rose: Life was like really good. We had like a very simple life. We were young still, we were just enjoying each other’s company and good food and just friends. Yeah that’s it. I mean, that’s what we were doing and everything was great. And if you’d ask anybody that’s known either of us, I mean, there’s people that have known us the entire time. Our relationship was the one that everybody wanted. I mean, and genuinely, it was like, it really was. And I felt that way and I never once questioned that he didn’t feel the same way.
He was very good to me. It wasn’t, like I said, it wasn’t a bad relationship, but I think that the biggest red flag was that he really had no issue just kind of fly. Like, just go, like, for instance, we, his job that we’re going to talk about the job, but his job that he got when we first got married, he’s traveled. Okay so it wasn’t, he wasn’t always home, but it wasn’t constant travel either. So he’d be gone for like two weeks at a time and then he’d be home for two months or, it got to be more and more and more but he was just like, he just kind of wanted to go wherever he wanted to go, if that makes sense. He didn’t really like check in with me. Not that it was really ever an issue then, but it’s something I noticed
Tom Milligan: After a couple of years of being married, Brad and Kristina decided to expand the family. So three years after the wedding, Kristina and Brad were thrilled to welcome their first son, Logan into the world.
Kristina Rose: Before I had my son, everything was really good, like really good. He started his new job like right when we got married, so money was getting better than it had been previously. I was working for Chevrolet in customer service. I was the BDC manager for the service department so I was doing that. And he would always text me and stuff when he was gone. But our relationship really started dwindling with that job, honestly, but like, not immediately because like I said, it wasn’t until I had my son that he really started traveling. He’d be gone a little bit, which I was fine with the two-week thing. I was okay with that, a little break. But it got to the point of, he was volunteering him himself to go on these trips when he could have stayed home and made the same amount of money. There wasn’t that moment. I was very blindsided. It didn’t happen until my son was; my oldest he’s five, it wasn’t, my son was diagnosed with autism at two years old. And it was shortly after that, it wasn’t going the right way. I could feel it.
Tom Milligan: Look, everyone knows that having children is really hard, but having a special needs child must be brutal, but any parent would do whatever it takes to take care of their child.
Kristina Rose: Brad was very he, I was looking for answers because for my son and I knew something was developed mentally wrong. And he didn’t want me to; he didn’t want me to look for answers. Yeah, that was definitely the point so we still went a lot longer; we were all living in a big, big house with my mom who was my grandmother’s caretaker. I was a stay-at-home mom so we wound up moving into a really big, big house together where we all kind of had our separate areas. However, I was helping care take for my grandmother. So I had my son and I had my grandmother. I was helping my mother be her caretaker.
So he started, I started getting these weird vibes while he was like away and I didn’t know if I was just like going crazy, because I had so much on my plate, I had Logan in therapy. I had my grandmother who I was helping walk to the bathroom every 20 minutes. I was just constantly like, I couldn’t, I didn’t know what way was up at that point. And so I’m like, I don’t know why I have these bad feelings, but they’re there, but we’re just going to ignore them. And every time he goes away, I get them and I didn’t have them before he was going away, but I didn’t have them before, but I’m just going to ignore them. And this was while we were trying to have Charlie.
Tom Milligan: So despite the challenges of raising a special needs child and helping to take care of her grandmother, Kristina wanted another baby.
Kristina Rose: So I get pregnant with Charlie after a year of trying.
Tom Milligan: Success! Charlie was on the way. Now, remember Kristina and Brad aren’t 13 anymore. They’re in their mid-twenties. They’ve been together for over 10 years and married for five or six years. And they’re raising a special needs child while taking care of an elderly relative. This doesn’t sound as fun as it used to be at all. But life has a way of sneaking up on us like that doesn’t it? Regardless of what was happening in their lives, nothing could have prepared Kristina for what happens next.
Kristina Rose: But his reaction was like shocked and immediately he told me that he doesn’t know if we are doing the right thing and that he, no I told you earlier, he’s adopted. He told me that maybe we should give him up for adoption. Okay, yeah, literally.
Tom Milligan: What put him up for adoption? Who says that? What a douche, but why would any father, especially one that’s been trying to get his wife pregnant for a year, suddenly decide that he wants to put his own child up for adoption. Well, we’re about to find out.
Kristina Rose: So anyway, fast forward I’m four months pregnant and this is when I find out about the affair. Now I had I had the gut feeling for a year. I knew something was going on. He came home one day. I was four months pregnant, and he comes in the door after being out all day with his buddy okay. And he says, I’m going to go back out with my buddy. Well, at this point, I don’t know. I don’t know if he was with his buddy during the day, but I know he wasn’t going back out with his buddy. He tells me he’s going to go out and play pool that night with the same guy he was with during the day so I’m like, oh, okay. So I said, all right, well, I’m pregnant.
I’m hungry, please can you go get some burritos down the street before you go bring me back some burritos, I’m hungry. Sure, no problem. So he’s in the bathroom. He’s shaving. He’s doing all the things. Well, he leaves his phone on the bathroom. Now the burrito is literally I could throw a rock. It’s that close. I could throw a rock and he left his phone by mistake while she was blowing up his text messages. And I heard the text messages going off because he left his music on the phone. And so anytime a text message would come through, it would kind of like silence it and then like whatever it was doing. I don’t remember exactly, but I was awaked. And so I went to go turn off the music and the texts were on the screen already.
The second I turned the Spotify off, they were up and it was her. And she was going to be late for their outing that night. I was reading the messages like, because at that point I had scrolled, but it was like almost like an outer body experience. I swear. It was like, I didn’t even realize, I can’t explain it, but it really was like an out of body experience. And I was like, I can’t believe what I’m reading, but he walked through the door not long after that. Because, like I said, it was a skip away so I didn’t even have time to really even process it before he walked back through the door.
And I had just had the phone in my hand and I think I did collapse to the floor and I just said, how could you do this? And he went completely white as a ghost. I mean, I’ve never seen the man. I have, he looked like he was about to drop dead. He really did and I just went off a handle. I threw the phone. I mean, I didn’t throw it at him, but I threw it just, that was it. I was, well, I was pregnant. I was pregnant. I was terrified that my stress was going to hurt the baby. I’ve never felt so sick in my entire life. I felt like my whole body was going to collapse. I felt like my, like my heart was literally like not in my body. I couldn’t see.
Tom Milligan: Well, well the extra travel with a female co-worker, the attitude about his unborn child, it’s all making a lot more sense now
Kristina Rose: I have more than messages. My cousin caught him on an airplane in Georgia with her cuddled next to her, my first cousin, this isn’t like a fifth cousin, six cousin. I don’t know my first cousin who he’s known for 16 years. They made eye contact. Actually, this was after I found out and I gave him another chance and he was still doing it. He also was caught in a bar with her by my stepdad, my mom’s new husband. And he was also caught in hotel rooms on the trips themselves, because my brother-in-law, my sister’s husband he works for the same company. So he was told, hey, is it isn’t you Brad’s brother-in-law likes by marriage. And he said, yeah, told him the situation. He is like, isn’t his wife pregnant. Yeah she is why. Well he is Brad’s in so, and hotel room every night.
Tom Milligan: Well, two things have become perfectly clear first, Brad isn’t very good at this whole sneaking around thing. He clearly didn’t take any precautions to hide what he was doing. So he either wanted to get caught or he just didn’t believe anybody without him.
Kristina Rose: He still doesn’t admit it. But he still denies that it’s ever happened. So he got caught in so many ways that I don’t understand how you deny it.
Tom Milligan: Dude, seriously? That’s like staring directly at the sun at noon on a clear summer day and claiming its midnight in the middle of winter, but whatever helps you sleep at night.
Kristina Rose: Okay so after all that he said to me, I want to make this work. I love you and I said, okay. I said, well, I know you’re not going to go to therapy with me or counseling. I already knew. He was like no. I was like, oh, all right, well, I need you to be completely transparent with me. And I need you to be honest with me. And I need you to if I want to see your phone, which I don’t think I ever asked him except one time. And that was the last time. I said, you need to do that for me because we have to build back trust here, you know. And he at first was like on board and he was very receptive. And he like would text me all the time, let me know where he was at. Just like doing extra things.
Tom Milligan: I have to admit at this point in the interview, I just wanted to scream, no Kristina, but at least she set some ground rules, but did she just say at first, oh no.
Kristina Rose: But he was gone a lot. He still traveled and he promised me that she wasn’t there. And I had found out later that she was on one of the trips. They weren’t always together on the trips, but I found out that he had lied to me and that was when my cousin saw him on the airplane. And he had told me that he was not on that trip with her. He had told me that he would have been on that trip with somebody else. And so he was consistently doing these things. But I knew at that point that I couldn’t do anything at that moment. I’m about to have a baby. I have an autistic son. I’m a stay-at-home mom. He’s the only means of income. I am stuck.
Tom Milligan: I can’t even imagine how helpless she must have felt. And I think we all know Brad wasn’t lying and he certainly wasn’t done getting caught doing it.
Kristina Rose: So for the first year we were under an understanding with each other that the finances were going to remain the same. He was going to be paying the rent and I was stay at home mom, like I don’t have anything. He was going to keep things. I was still in charge of the bank account at this point. So for the first year I was still doing all the bills like we were. It was kind of like, we were still together, but not as far as like finances and it actually even physically, it felt like that for me, because I was by myself all the time, because he was always traveling. So it felt very the only difference was I had a newborn baby, I mean, newborn. So I was doing all that by myself. But he would come and see the kids every other weekend at this point.
And he would stay overnight one night. I would leave and so I stayed that way for a year. And then one day he decided to pull all the money from the bank account. He redirected his direct deposits and he told me he was only going to be giving me a certain amount of money per week, which was not even enough for diapers and wipes or maybe just enough for two kids. And I went to my mom and she said we need a lawyer. It’s time to file for a divorce. He got served his papers. He immediately lawyered up and right after he got served before he lawyered up. So like in between, he went and took out. Now anyone knows how 401ks work when you’re married. It’s a marital asset. And he went and took thousands out of the 401k, but he’s stupid because he got it mailed to my house.
Tom Milligan: Like I said, he’s not very good at this.
Kristina Rose: My lawyer wanted me to hold onto it and not cash. It she’s like don’t cash it. I still have it. He got that check reissued. Throughout the divorce, there was a lot of hiccups because of my ex he would not give me money until he talked to a lawyer. And I said to him, no lawyer is going to tell you not to feed your children. Like this is ridiculous, but he would not talk. He would not give me money from when he took that money out to when he talked to a lawyer, which is only, it was honestly maybe a week, and because I had gotten a lawyer that is the only reason he stopped paying the rent. And then he also just recently got his name taken off the lease. Somehow we still do not know I’m now battling the apartment complex over it as well.
He likes to play these games indirectly so he will not actually start like fighting with me, but he will play like these little, he’ll just do these things and it’s like, you’re just digging yourself deeper, but go ahead, go for it. And then we come to the point of where I asked him one day to see his phone. This is after Charlie is born. I gave birth to Charlie; this is about a week later. I asked him to see his phone and I did it while he was getting in the shower. So he was completely but ass naked. I did that on purpose because he was going to step in the shower and his phone was on the sink. So why are you going to jump for your phone if you’re literally about to jump in the shower, if there’s nothing on that phone, right, you’re about to walk in that shower. It wasn’t like, oh, let me grab my phone real quick. And oh, I mean got to see something like no. So he jumped for that phone so fast and I didn’t even have to see what was on it. I tried to grab it. He struggled with me and I said, you know what, that’s it.
Tom Milligan: She’s right. That is it. Despite the fact that he didn’t let her see anything on his phone, Kristina finally saw everything she needed to see and probably a lot more. So while a visual of naked Brad lunging for the phone is pretty disturbing. That entire scene reminds me of a quote from Henry David Thoreau that says, it’s not what you look at that matter. It’s what you see.
Kristina Rose: So I called my dad. I was like, I can’t do this anymore. I was like, where’s all his clothes. He’s like, Kristina, get rid of him, pack his so I did. And he came home to all his packed at the front door. I kicked him out. We ended the relationship in separation when Charlie was only like three weeks old,
Tom Milligan: But as anyone who’s ever been divorced knows all too well, separating is just the first step of a long and expensive process. As of this recording, Kristina and Brad have been separated for over two years and have been actively trying to get divorced for about half that time. So I asked Kristina to tell me what progress has been made so far.
Kristina Rose: So we’ve had parent mediation, which is where we discuss custody where he wanted only every Thursday after work. He wanted Noah overnights nothing. He did that for like two months before he stopped coming to see, so that happened in not October and he was done in December coming to see them.
Tom Milligan: That’s it a parent mediation, whatever that is. And all that, that parent mediation is produced is what can only be called like a deadbeat dad. Well, so how much has it cost so far?
Kristina Rose: We’re looking at probably like $14,000 at this point.
Tom Milligan: $14,000 just to learn what we already knew. Well, how long is this going to take?
Kristina Rose: To be honest with you when we’ve been in we’ve been in court mandated, like, I don’t know how you say it, but the court makes you do these mediations. Instead of, it’s basically your road to trial, if you will. And you have to make all these steps. So in the mediations they tell us that it could be over a year. And because of COVID and everything else, everything is backed up. So it could be in a, it could be another year unless we come to some sort of settlement
Tom Milligan: Another year, even though she’s not done, I ask what she’s learned from her marriage and her divorce so far.
Kristina Rose: What have I learned? Well I’ve learned that people are definitely not who they always claim to be or some people wear a mask very well. And I’ve learned that you really have to find yourself because I was very much, it was not just me. It was us, it was us my whole life. And I didn’t have me. I just had an “us”. And so I think it’s very important whether you’re like in a relationship or not to just have to find that self-awareness and like just that self-nurturing and everything else. And, and don’t depend on another person for it because in a blanket of an eye, someone will, can walk all over you and step on your back and they don’t even think twice about it, but you got to be the one to pick yourself back up.
Tom Milligan: Wow, great lessons. As we wrapped up the interview, I asked if Brad has said anything about Kristina’s TikTok.
Kristina Rose: He freaked out when he saw my TikTok, because he does know about my TikToks and he had a ceases and desist letter written trying to get me to take all my things down. But my lawyer did come back with the, that I’ve never once said what he does for a living, what his name is, where he lives like anything. I’ve never said a single word about identifying him. So unless who and where and when and why. It’d be really hard to pinpoint those two people. I talk on my TikTok. I have no problem telling my story and I do it because I know it helps people as well. And I wish I would’ve saw someone like me, like a hot mess. I want to let people know that they’re not alone in this.
Tom Milligan: I have to tell you, at some point; Kristina learned that Brad’s special friend was engaged while she was sneaking around with Brad, that engagement ended. I’d say her ex-fiancée, dodged a bullet Kristina’s journey isn’t over. So she’s promised to come back and give us an update when the divorce is finally over. In the meantime, you can catch almost daily updates directly from Kristina on TikTok, by following her search for Kristina Rose 73 and follow her that’s Kristina with a K. I sincerely want to thank Kristina for sharing her crazy divorce story today. I also want to thank our sponsor, ourdivorce.com who has made it their mission to provide the most affordable, easy to use and effective self-service divorce process ever. Ourdivorce.com charges a flat fee of just $299. And only if the process works for you, go to ourdivorce.com for more details.
I just wish Kristina and Brad could have used ourdivorce.com. Just imagine how much money they could have saved. But instead of taking care of his boys, Brad would rather pay an attorney. That’s just sad.
Well, I’ll be back next week with another crazy story on my crazy divorce. If you have a crazy divorce story, please go to mycrazydivorce.com and click on the apply to be a guest button at the bottom of the screen. Be sure to share this podcast with your friends, but even more important, please rate and review the show on whatever you’re listening to right now. It really helps us get the word out.
Until next week, everyone.