It’s been awhile since I have written about Red, as I have not seen him in nearly a year.

As some of you may recall, I knew him and his wife and their two adorable kids through Rotary, and watched in horror when she heartlessly kicked Red to the curb, then (no surprise to me, who had taken the red pill already) announced two weeks later that she was in love with her new fitness coach.

Sadly, she’s likely a narcissist, as she immediately went into “destroy Red” mode to cover her tracks, convincing everyone (except me) she was the victim. Amazingly (or maybe not in a culture where such claims from a woman are accepted without question) most in our community supported her “bravery” and shunned Red.

I befriended him through those rough days because he certainly needed some support. It was terrible to watch how selfishly and callously she blew up her family with no regrets. Sick.

Within months the boyfriend moved in to the home she and Red had shared. Red reacted not unpredictably by coping with it all by drinking more and more over that first year, which sadly only made it easier for her to paint him the bad guy, while she manipulated him in his vulnerable state into signing divorce papers without a fight that gave her everything, and left Red with almost no say or time with his kids and little more than the shirt on his back.

She’s very well connected and soon the local policeman was tailing Red every time he came to town. It wasn’t long before he was pulled over, narrowly failed a breathalyzer, lost his job as a result, and was in a heap of trouble. For awhile he was living in this SUV. It was grim.

I shared his story with my red pill guy, who without hesitation saw what Red needed, hired him a lawyer, helped him get on his feet, and started calling Red regular to give him red pill advice and mentoring. Red found a new job, and as the universe would have it his new boss had been frivorced himself, and also took Red under his wing. With the help of these two men he got back up, got an apartment, and started putting his life back together again.

On weekends when he had the kids he would drop by, and I grew very fond of his gangly 11 year old son and adorable 8 year old daughter. They liked me too, and looked forward to visiting. But over time I noticed a change in them, the light slipping out of their eyes.

Then one day over dinner it came out. The fitness trainer boyfriend (a former Marine with PTSD) was not the great guy Red’s ex led everyone to believe in her fawning “soul mate” Facebook posts.

The son started to describe the walking on eggshells environment at home. Turns out this boyfriend runs it like a military internment camp, complete with psyops and regular random terror.

As the brother talked, his sister sat there rocking, sucking her thumb, looking scared out of her mind. Then she quietly said, “He spanks his girls (6 and 8) with a belt — with the buckle end.” And apparently he made everyone watch.

I warned Red I felt his children were in grave danger, even though so far he had not hit them, although he had started to make their mother do the spankings over minor infractions. I worried it was only a matter of time.

A few weeks later I got a call from a very distressed Red. His son had called the police, after the boyfriend disciplined him himself with the belt for the first time. Unfortunately the boyfriend and Red’s ex have that “looks good from the street” thing going, and the boyfriend convinced the police the boy was exaggerating. Red’s son was the one the police were stern with, telling him it was legal for the boyfriend to spank him, warned him to listen better and do as he was told, then left.

Red was a wreck at the news and asked me to meet him at the bar he was at. By the time I arrived he had drowned his emotions and was far too drunk to drive, so I drove him home. Things cooled down at his ex’s after the police visit, after all Red’s ex can’t have people finding out and ruin her pillar of the community image, but I worried his son would someday pay for making that call.

I am not sure why but Red reacted with helplessness, perhaps a learned helplessness from years of living with a narccist wife?

Not long after he was pulled over again, again just a tad over the limit, but enough to land him back in jail. My guy bailed him out, got him a lawyer, and we hoped for the best. Red entered a one year agreement to undergo intense counseling, regular testing for alcohol, and install a “blow and go” breathalyzer in his car in exchange for having the charge dropped from his record if he stayed on the straight and narrow, didn’t drink, and successfully completed the program.

He had meetings and counseling every morning before work and every evening after. He did little more than that and work as he once again picked up the pieces and worked to get back on track. His boss was luckily supportive, and Red began to rebuild.

I had not seen him in nearly a year when we reconnected this weekend to catch up. As we talked about how hard he had been working and how well he had been doing, his phone started blowing up with texts from his son. Not good.

Red confessed things were bad. The boyfriend now fiancée is drinking heavily, and is a mean drunk. When he’s on a bender, he’ll randomly pick one of the kids to “discipline,” often Red’s son.

The text revealed this time it was the daughter who got it, a drunken beating with the buckle end of the belt.

“What are you going to do?” I asked. Red seemed resigned, and said he hoped when the kids got older, they could move in with him. I pleaded with him not to wait, and to do all he can to gain custody and get the kids out of that mess. He said he’d think about it.

As I drove home I found myself wishing I knew somebody around here like Ton. Someone who loves and cares about kids, has good strong friends who feel the same, who could go school the boyfriend, then let him know that it would be his last warning.

But I don’t. So instead I prayed that God will surround those kids with his best archangels, protect their bodies and minds, and somehow bring the truth to light and get them to safety as soon as possible.

And then I lost it at the idea of the terror and helplessness those kids must feel. I was crying so hard I could hardly see the road.

After I collected myself, I called my guy who immediately took charge and is going to call Red and help him develop a strategy to help those kids. Thank God. Red needs some good solid man-to-man advice because the system is not stacked in Red’s favor. And if anyone can come up with a plan to help Red gain custody that will be so airtight and four steps ahead that Red’s ex and her cowardly boyfriend won’t stand a chance of stopping it, it’s him.

To men with ex’s like Red’s, please do whatever it takes to make sure your children are not in her care. And to women in a situation like his ex, if you won’t stop it and don’t want to leave fine that’s your choice, but for God’s sake do what is right for your kids and let their dad’s raise them. Because if anyone will seriously harm or even kill a child, it’s a boyfriend like that. Sadly, it happens every day.

Let those who have ears hear.

Please feel free to add Red and his kids to your prayers and to share your thoughts in the comments. Hopefully I will soon be sharing the news that the kids are out of that terrible situation and safe. Stay tuned.

(Please note, this is not about the spank or no spank debate. In my opinion hitting a child with the metal buckle end of a belt is not “spanking.”)