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Real Love. The Antidote to Douchieness.

Curt Chergosky and Andrea Reusch were the talk of Jackson County, when, despite their age difference, they fell in love.

(Photo: Curt Chergosky)

After two consecutive posts on Alain de Botton, I feel like we chumps need to collectively cleanse our palettes. Instead of effete cheater word salad, served on precious china, with little shit tea sandwiches today we’re getting a goddamn Minnesota cattle farmer. That’s what I’m writing about today —  Curt Chergosky.

Most of you probably don’t subscribe to farming listservs like I do, so maybe you missed this amazingly sweet, sad story.

Minnesota farmer — a bachelor farmer (those Garrison Keillor stereotypes live in the flesh) didn’t really ever date much. Never married. Fell in love at age 50 with the local 4-H teacher. (For those of you not in the U.S., 4-H is an agricultural club for kids, where they show animals and learn about farming.) I’m posting the story below, so you can read for yourself.

LAKEFIELD, Minn. – To a farmer there is no love, like the love for his land. True for Curt Chergosky, until love landed him.

“We were surprised,” says Jim Nesseth, a longtime friend of the third generation farmer. “You know, Curt had never really dated anyone.”

It was the talk of Lakefield, when pushing 50, one of Jackson County’s most entrenched bachelor farmers fell for the newly-hired county 4-H coordinator.

Andrea Ruesch was a bubbly bundle of energy, still in her mid-30’s, when she started her job in Jackson County.

As a member of the county fair board, Chergosky had plenty of opportunities to cross paths with Ruesch. As the months went on a spark was lit.

“Curt started coming into this office all the time – and we made fun of her so bad, but she didn’t really get what was going on,” laughs Brittany Koch, a former coworker at the Jackson County extension office.

Or maybe Ruesch just wasn’t letting on. It soon became clear to everyone who knew her, Ruesch’s heart was aflutter too.

“Very googly-eyeded,” laughs Koch.

The secret was out. The bachelor farmer and the 4-H lady were an item.

“The whole community was so happy,” says Nesseth, and not just for Chergosky.

“Andrea was finally going to maybe slow down a little bit and give some time for herself and raise a family.”

Ruesch was a tireless advocate for her 4-H kids. Chergosky loved that about her.

“I mean she thought the world of those kids,” he says. “She’d do anything for them.”

When he popped the question after seven months, the venue was no surprise. “I asked her in the parking lot of the extension office,” he laughs. “And she said ‘yes.’

Chergosky, by then, had awakened to the notion a life he’d long ago written off, was unfolding before him.

The chores on his crop and beef farm went by in half the time, with his fiancé working beside him.

Chergosky would drive his chore tractor around the yard, with Ruesch standing behind him, talking. “Hitch sermons,” he called them.

The pair talked about their future together and the names they would choose for the children they would raise.

When Christmas came, Chergosky gave Ruesch two cows and three calves, presenting her with the bill of sale.

“‘Really, you gave me cattle?” Chergosky remembers Ruesch excitedly asking. “Then she started crying.”

That sealed it. Nearly 50 years he had waited, only to find the perfect girl.

“Andrea was just the door that opened him up to a whole different life,” says Nesseth.

Koch, took it a step further.”She was his whole life.”

And then life took the cruelest of turns.

Three months before their wedding, Chergosky and Ruesch were together weaning calves.

Not feeling well, Ruesch went into the house. When Chergosky joined her a short time later, she told him to call for an ambulance.

By the time Chergosky made it the hospital, the doctor was standing by the door. Ruesch had died.

The autopsy showed a pulmonary embolism, a blot clot in Ruesch’s lungs.

The flowers she’d chosen for the wedding graced her casket. Her wedding ring graced her finger.

Jackson County was in disbelief.

Ruesch was buried in Lakefield on Christmas Eve day. “I’d never seen so many grown men cry in my life,” said Chergosky, wiping away his own tears.

Chergosky had the couple’s engagement picture fixed permanently to Ruesch’s headstone. A 4-H emblem is engraved above her name and Chergosky’s name is engraved next to hers.

Chergosky slipped on his wedding ring the day of the funeral, and four years later has not removed it.

“They were both at the peak of their mountain at the time this happened and it took the sails right out of Curt,” said Sheldon Johnson, another of Chergosky’s friends.

Raised as a man of faith, for a long time, Chergosky couldn’t bear to go to church.

“I’d see ourselves up there, getting married, and I just couldn’t,” he said, tears welling in his eyes.

The prior spring they had tilled his fields together, he on one John Deere, she on another.

Now Chergosky was back to sewing his seeds alone. No soul mate, no promise of children, no 4th generation to whom he could pass on his farm.

“I was lost,” Chergosky confides. “I had no idea what I was supposed to do.”

When he finally figured it out, Chergosky moved forward in a very big way.

Greeted by a standing ovation, this spring Chergosky announced at a gathering in St. Paul, the donation of his entire farm to 4-H.

Addressing the crowd, he quoted one of Ruesch’s favorite sayings: “If it’s not illegal or immoral, we’ll do it for the kids.”

Four hundred acres of prime Jackson County farm land is no small gift. At current prices, it could easily fetch $4 million.

The money will be split three ways, between 4-H programs at the state and Jackson County levels – and a scholarship in Ruesch’s name that’s already issued $1000 checks to 35 4-H members, finishing high school and starting college.

Chergosky and Ruesch are the talk of the county again.

“Isn’t that incredible,” said Nesseth. “Curt’s gone 110 percent at this thing and never backed down.”

Under the agreement with 4-H, Chergosky will continue to farm until he retires, when he’ll complete his donation and fulfill his promise to Ruesch.

“I spoiled her, that’s what she always told me,” says Chergosky

His love for the land is no match, for the love of his life.

“This is all for her,” he says.

Note: click here for more information on donating to the Andrea Ruesch 4-H funds.

THAT IS LOVE. You don’t have to give $4 million in someone’s honor — but Jesus Christ, that’s what it looks like. You think it’s impossible for you? That good men don’t exist? Look at these people — dorky, middle-aged — in love. They speak each other’s love language — he gives her cows. He “spoils” her. He just wants the simple things that ordinary people have — to raise kids, work an honest job, love one woman.

And he loses all of that in the most tragic way. And he still finds a way to honor her.

Isn’t that what it’s about? Don’t we all want to be cherished the way this man cherished that woman?

It makes what de Botton writes about — the all-you-can-eat fuckbuddy buffet, the splendid affairs (that are the essence of life, but mean nothing!)  all seem so cheap and pointless. What’s your mark on the world? What’s your legacy? De Botton — who LOVES you? Who do you love? Other than yourself.

Curt Chergosky kicks your ass. Oh, and unlike you, he speaks in declarative sentences. “I asked her in the parking lot of the extension, and she said yes.”

A man without ambiguity, who knew exactly what he wanted.

Who admired the woman he loved.

“I mean she thought the world of those kids,” he says. “She’d do anything for them.”

A man who will always love her, and has ensured that her legacy — and his love — continues.

This is what we strive for. This is how it’s done. This is what love looks like. To the shallow kibble chasers, the sexual sophisticates, the pathetic serial cheats — you’re not worthy to lick the boots of this Minnesota farmer.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • A thousand times yes.. This brought tears to my eyes. Isn’t this what makes the world and amazing place!! Some beautiful people out there. Thank you Chump Lady

  • So touching. And powerful. What a perfect story to share, and to make this point. Anyone who reads this and doesn’t get teary-eyed has no heart. Ah, right, cheaters and OW…

    • The sad thing is the OW THINK they are getting this with the cheaters. Boy, how wrong are they!

      • REAL love brings out the BEST in you not the worst in you!!!!!! LOVE doesn’t hurt people, LOVE heals people!!! L.U.S.T. is a completely different thing!!!

        My cheater exH didn’t understand this, and still doesn’t, that is why he is my EX!

  • Tears, tears and more tears……..THIS is true love!!! “Get thee behind me, you purveyors of ‘tru wuv’!!!”

    Curt & Andrea——THIS is the real deal, THIS is what we are created for……..To Hell with all those idiots that believe like that ‘Duke of Dreck & Drivel’, A dB!!! Go rot, all those who subscribe to his spew!!

    THANK you so much, dear Tracy, for sharing with us this most enchanting account of what TRUE LOVE looks like! So much joy and so much sadness wrapped up in a single experience. My heart swells and aches, all at once……

    Although I read all the awesome posts you share & read most all the comments, this moved me in a way that even I am surprised by! I have run out of words for now……Just thank you for sharing……..Thank you

    Forge on, beloved ones, ForgeOn…..

  • Wow. My eyes are teary. I hope I can have love like those two in my lifetime.

    • Glad – I was looking for the “Like” button for your comment. I hope this for you, too 🙂

  • Give me a genuine land loving authentic gentleman over an intellectual word salad tossing tool any day.

    Thank you CL for feeding the hopeless romantic in me.

  • Thank you.

    It really is helpful to see examples of real love, to see that there are good men who want non-crazy love from a decent woman.

    That’s what I want, too. I’m looking forward to it.

  • I haven’t commented on round two of de Botton. Once I showed myself that he simply can’t make a coherent argument and avoids S-V-O declarative sentences, it was just too easy to destroy his reasoning, sentence by sentence.

    Please consider linking this one the home page, as I think it will help Chumps at all stages of getting to “meh” to see why what they had was not love. This story makes it crystal clear how a man who loves a woman thinks, speaks, acts.

  • Wonderful! 🙂

    When I walk my dogs, I often pass by an elderly man walking his 1-mile daily walk. He has a cane, and I’d figured he was in his early 80s. This past week, I discovered that he’s 94. He’s been married to the same woman for 71 years. She’s 90. It’s clear when you talk with him that his wife is the one and only, and they’ve been together for over 7 decades.

    I don’t think he’d call it a noble sacrifice, somehow.

    • Exactly. Our neighbour across the way just lost his wife of 54 years. The past few years he spent a lot of time caring for her when she was ill. Does he think he made a sacrifice? Are you kidding? He loved her.

    • Exactly! It’s not a “cozy cage” and no one is banging a gong.

      • My parents were married for 50 years before my father died as a consequence of an accident. My mother never considered it a sacrifice to be with my father. In fact, she’s being actively pursued by a couple of elderly gentlemen. She’s told them she’s fine going to dinner, dances, etc., but she’s not interested in playing house with them. She was married to the best, and that’s it.

        The good men are out there. And there are good women out there, too. The cheaters want us to think that everyone cheats, it’s the norm, etc. That’s their delusion, their attempt to gaslight themselves into believing that they’re really “good” people.

        The truly good people don’t have to tell you they’re good. They show their goodness, just like Chergosky.

        • kb, “The truly good people don’t have to tell you they’re good.” I believe in that statement wholeheartedly.

  • This. It’s what life is all about. Real love and real honest people. They’re out there. Thank you.

  • Amen. Oh, how lovely. This is the kind of love I want my sons to have and to give. This is the kind of love I want to have and to give.

  • THIS! Makes me want to cry. REAL love with 2 normal people. Just as ANR said, this is the kind of real love that I want my son to see & have. I hope that someday I will get a chance to have that kind of love………….

    Even if I don’t, I still want that for my little guy

    • I want this more than anything, CC. But I want it for my boys even more. Damn — something in my eye …

      • I think I had something in both of my eyes when I read this story………..tears

  • Thanks you so much Chump Lady. That was seriously wonderful. I was crying at the thought that she would live happily ever after ploughing her fields and weaning her calves.

    This reminds us that there is love and honesty, that even if not as good as these people, MOST people do function better than our narcissist discarders, and we must get out of this foetid swamp as quickly as possible. For our own good.

    • A good reminder that people can love and be loved as whole people. He loved who this woman was as an entire person. It is nice to identify love that is intertwined with knowledge and respect. He knew her and loved what he saw (clearly a couple physically attracted to one another) AND knew about what she cared for and respected her concerns. RESPECT. It means the world to me : ) Thanks CL, I am glad this love/respect exists.

  • Too bad it had to end tragically. Unfortunately, the cheaters forge on……..

  • I had this. Dual tractors. Pedigree cattle I adored. A man I thought was my soul mate. For 21 years. Wish he’d died. Or I had. Before he cheated. That was my love story. Fantastic!

    • I hear you. I truly believe it would have been easier to have been widowed knowing that my husband loved me…instead of being abandoned to an affair and knowing he did not.

      • I lost my husband too, many years ago, he was only 28, we had a one yr old daughter and he was an amazing Dad to my 8 year old daughter too… I now think, no believe he’s the only man that ever really loved me. and I am so glad to have experienced it – even once.

        • You’re a lucky lady, Toni. I’m happy that you were able to have that kind of love in your life : )

      • Whoa. That’s so true. I always feared being a widow and something even worse happened. Like Job said, “the thing I feared came upon me.”

        Death is better. There’s no shame in your husband dying. Family and friends rally rather than ostracize for fear of catching something. There are letting go ceremonies (viewing, funerals, after the funeral family gatherings, cards, outpouring of support , etc.) to let you down somewhat easier than the slapping the face by sudden departures.

        When they abandon, you become a pariah to many, feel shame, humiliation, forever have questions stuck in your mind like a circular reference.

        May they get stuck in their own circular reference in the big KarmaFest to come.

        P.S. there weren’t many accounts of Karma leveling the playing field when CL asked for examples awhile back now were there? … I guess theChumps are the primary beneficiaries of the Shit Sandwich Express, huh?

        • For what it’s worth, a friend told me today that Karma for the Jackass is being out of my life forever. And I believe that.

  • This is great. Over the past year while recovering from my D-Day, I have for the first time noticed how very differently some of my friends’ husbands treat them, from how my Ex treated me. And I know from observing now, that he never respected me.

  • So wonderful! That is really all I ever wanted. Real love. The kind that doesn’t give up. It is probably too late for me, but I maybe I will see my son have this kind of love. These people are out there.

    Sometimes, we find (attract/are drawn to) people who are just NOT good for us. These people are also out there.

    • Sure, but you have to do it as a comment. Very aggravating about WordPress — no edit function on the comments. 🙁

  • Thank you, this is beautiful, and a good reminder that the real thing is worth waiting for, even if it’s short-lived, as so tragically happened here.

    It’s been a blistering couple of days in ChumpNation. You might need a day off, CL.

  • I kept waiting for the part where he walked in on her with another man, or where she walked in on him… I read the comment about the 90 year old man that loves his wife, and I wonder if she cheated on him and he never found out… That’s where my brain is at.

  • This story makes me grateful my life is where it is now. I’m not out speed dating or hanging at my local bar . . . I’m gardening. I sit with my dog outside and watch the clouds roll by, proud of myself for making it through hell. I have an authentic life. Nobody is lying to me or cheating on me.

    And fuck I love me some Prairie Home Companion. Listen to this – it’s the sweetest.

    • “…proud of myself for making it through hell.”

      Me too. And as the anniversary of dday approaches, I am thinking of things I can do to care for myself and to celebrate the fact that I survived hell and am rebuilding a new life.

  • Thanks CL for reminding us that there is true love out there. Fortunately this couple was able to experience it, if only for a short while. They say this kind of love only comes once in a lifetime. I hope my chance still awaits me…

  • This just proves that there are still good people out there. People who want the simple things in life. I am positive I will find it!!!!!!!!!!

  • There was a time – 10 years ago (up until our 20th anniversary) – that I thought I had this. Interestingly, though, I sensed a change around that time (as affair with OW was beginning). We had a friend who was dying with cancer. Her husband was so attentive, so loving, so caring – as we left the hospital after visiting her I said to my stbx that I was sad because I didn’t think he would ever care about me – show that deep love – if I were unfortunate to find myself in same position as our friend. Yeah, even then I knew that there was something missing. I loved him in a genuine and authentic way, but he didn’t reciprocate that love. I was too busy trying to spackle and blame it on his depression issues, etc. I believed what I wanted to believe and not what I knew was in my gut.

  • Take that Tori & Dean! Your love story will NEVER outshine this one, no matter how much spackle you put on it or how often you talk about it on tv. Real love is quiet with someone doing something just for you that doesn’t need to be pointed out to the world that you did it. You do it for the benefit and joy of someone else, not for your own pat on the back. And your story doesn’t begin by crushing other people’s lives. I am so sorry that this love ended this way. It shouldn’t happen to good people like these two. It should happen to the Tori & Dean’s (and Tom’s) of the world.

  • Oh, Chump Lady, this made me cry my eyes out! I thought my ex loved me like this . . . which made the awakening to his true character all the more cruel. I hope I find a man like Curt, who loves me for real. Thank you for telling us the story of this beautiful, kind-hearted, soul. And blessings to you, Curt.

  • I realized early in my marriage that my ex would never “be there” for me if I truly had a time of trouble or were to find myself physically unable to care for myself or our children. I “stuffed” that realization deep down inside and tried not to think about it – but it was always there in the back of my mind – “Don’t get sick…who will take care of the kids? Don’t be too needy or ask for help…it will make him angry.” What an awful way to live. I knew he loved himself first and foremost. This story makes me angry for all of us who don’t have a wonderful partner like that in our lives, even though WE tried so hard to be that person for our partners! Here’s hoping that a love like that will come to some (all!) of us one day, and if not that we will never settle for anything less. Better alone and at peace with that than in another one-sided marriage.

    • Dearest Nicole,

      Your words, your feelings, your expressions….they are mine as well…..That was my main fear as well. Has driven me to be very careful to stay ‘young & healthy’ as I age. Only my Grand Creator brought me through those times. So glad you, too, are finally free of that ‘hall of horrors’!

      So many times, I had to care for myself and my child while ‘cheaterpants’ just ignored us both. One time in particular, our precious child (about 8 yrs old at the time) had a very high fever, about 105/106 F. I, too, had a very high fever, perhaps 103 or 104 F. Having no $$ and no insurance, being too ill to take us to the ER, I called a friend and then called my Mom to get suggestions on how to lower the fever, what to do, as the fever had rendered my mental recall useless. All the while, ‘cheaterpants’ was parked in front of the TV, offering no assistance, totally silent, even though I begged him for help.

      My child and I struggled through……After the danger was over, I talked to my friend and my Mom once again about that night. They both said that they thought that I was drunk…..that is how terribly ill I was, how high my fever was! That I was able to survive & care for my child was due, IMHO, to the love of my Creator. He knew what I was dealing with and so lovingly assisted me and kept me alive! WOW….Just wow…..Yea….the twisted cheaters are not worth the space they take up!!!!

      So, yes, Nicole….Finally at peace!!! If I never have a romantic relationship that is pure and true, I am comforted that my creator, my God, has loved me and cared for me the way he has, and that my precious child sees that love that I gave and returns it in kind!

      And, it has taught me how valuable are those of us who love deeply, love purely, love the real love! WE are MIGHTY!!!

      Forge on, Mighty Ones, ForgeOn!!!

      • ForgeOn!, your story made me remember about the time when my daughter and I got really sick. Really high temps, I couldn’t even get out of bed. My daughter was only about 18 months old and my son was about 3. My ex was away shooting (again), he had been away for about 3 days by this stage, about 4 hours away. I rang him asking him if he could come home that I was really unwell and so was our daughter, high fevers etc. He said sure, he would come home. This was at 8 in the morning. It got to about 1 in the afternoon and I thought he should be home very soon. I rang him and said how far away was he. He said “oh I haven’t left yet, I had to stay for lunch, it would have been rude otherwise”. He eventually made it home by 10 that night.

        I should have realised at that point, this was how much he valued me and our children, a big fat zero. His needs were much more important.

        • Oh, Precious Jode70!! So amazing you made it through!!

          Thank you for sharing that! Do not know how you did it, with 2 little ones to protect! (And all the chumps who have more children than that—-Hats off to all of you!) It was all I could do to endure while caring for one child!

          As I said earlier, the cheaters are not worth the space they take up on our beautiful planet!! Love to you and your children!

          Forge on all………

        • Oh my gosh – we have all had a similar experience! My Ex left me at home one time for 3 days with a 5 year old and a 6 month old – both running high fevers from ear infections and upper respiratory infections and me with the worst case of the flu I have ever experienced (fever, chills, nausea, the whole fun package). He was scheduled to go with the youth group from our church on a retreat (with several other adult chaperones – it’s not as though he was the only one going). I begged him to stay home as the trip would go on just fine without him. He refused saying that “God needed him more than I did.” I called my mother for help, but she was afraid to set foot in my house because if she caught the flu my ailing stepfather might catch it from her. I was left totally alone with two little sick kids and I could barely crawl out of bed…and I felt GUILTY for asking my Ex to stay home and help me (because God needed him you see…that’s how chumpy I was). How we survived those three days I will never know. I have no memory of taking care of them. I suppose I did…they are alive and well today and the oldest is headed off to college in August! But why, oh, why did he not come home to bags packed on the porch and a note telling him he and God could go live together somewhere else until he got some real, authentic therapy and help.

          • And had one of the children NOT survived, it would have been ‘all your fault’! That’s the way the narcissist rolls! The story he would have told had one of you died would have been polar opposite of the truth: that he had offered to stay but that you had claimed you were fine, insisted he go on the trip….You know the drill….

            So glad all has turned out well for your children and that you have, at last, ‘packed his bags & left them on the porch’!

            That you cared for your sick children but can not even remember due to your own extreme illness…..Well, personally, I believe in Divine Intervention/Assistance. Sounds to me that’s what you had.

            Because the ‘god’ your husband claimed ‘needed him’ was actually himself; the God I know, the Real Deal, the Creator, does not approve of what your husband did & so the real God ‘had your back’ while you were dealing with that. God does not ‘need’ anyone! What a moron your ex is! Is he related to A dB?

            Forge on, Nicole…Forge on, Nation….

  • Oh great..crying at my desk at work! 🙂 I long for a relationship like this..and this just brings to light even more how badly I’ve been treated for 26 years. Please..if there is a higher power somewhere..hear my prayer and let me find love like this!

  • What an amazingly beautiful love story! These two beautiful people were lucky enough to experience something that most of us here can only dream about. I’m so happy that Curt and Andrea were able to have that time with one another but saddened that that time was cut tragically short. They are and inspiration to me and give me hope that my own perfect, true love is still out there just waiting for me to find him. Thanks so much for sharing CL.

  • CL, thank you for sharing this beautiful story. I appreciate the reminder that honorable people exist.

  • That is all I wanted, a normal marriage, he loves you and you love him, forever. Never going to happen. Now, I have thoughts of wishing he would be the one to die suddenly, or at least while on duty (he is a police officer) then me and the kids would be set for life.

  • The most beautiful, deep, and truly good people, are scorned as “ordinary” by empty-souled devotees of hedonism and narcissism.

    Kurt and Andrea had no desire to live in the HGTV Dream Home, travel Europe in style, have everyone envy them, or be on all the “A” guest lists. They found contentment on their own little postage stamp of this earth, enjoying each other’s company, and living meaningful lives while doing the right things for the right people for the right reasons.

    So simple. So easy to do. So truly fulfilling.

    And so lost on those who measure success by how one appears as opposed to whom one truly is.

  • I want to believe in love such as this. I really do. It just sucks that Curt lost his true love so soon after finding her. At the moment I am going through a phase where I predict a shitty outcome for everything. I really hate that I am that way because lately I keep hearing stories like this where shitty things happen to good decent people. It just is not fair.

    I am almost afraid to dare to be happy because of what has happened in my life. I would love to trust/believe/love again but right now I cannot see myself doing any of this. I guess I am not over the shock of it all.

    Anyways thanks for that glimmer of hope. X

  • OMG I started crying at work reading this! The de Botton’s and other cheaters of this world will never ever ever ever GET THIS…and for that I feel sorry for them. We’re the lucky ones, because no matter what else we have to deal with, we aren’t THEM.

  • That is a truly beautiful story. Though it’s sad that it was cut so tragically short, it is also very uplifting that he is still honoring his one true love after her death. It’s really great to know that there are people like that in the world. I am so grateful that you published that story CL!

    You have quite literally made my day.

  • CL,

    Such a wonderful story about what authentic, unconditional love looks like. Curt and Andrea were two wonderful and beautiful people, unlike the manufactured “beautiful” people in the public eye, whose “love” and exploits we are spoon-fed daily. Thank you so much for this story CL! I was choking back tears as I read it. I know that this type of love is out there and I am so happy for people who find it, even if only for a short time. This is so much what I have always wanted and even though I am in what might be considered the twilight of my life, I still hope to find this. Perhaps I’m the eternal optimist, but I really do feel that there is something like this out there for all of us Chumps. And if it isn’t, we can take the love we have to share and fill up someone else’s basket like Curt has done.

    I have a friend whose second husband was the love of her life after she had endured a horrible Cheater in her first marriage. Her second husband was such a good man and took such good care of her, and loved her passionately. He died suddenly leaving her with two small children, which she then raised on her own. She always looks back on that time and remembers that at least she had him and she has those memories of him. She is so thankful that awful first marriage was not all she knew of a relationship.

    God Bless Curt and Andrea.

  • Great article. Great lesson from you.

    Smack me upside the head because I thought my love-bombing cheater really honored me.

  • Thank you CL for reminding us that there are good people out there. I’m only 4 months post DDay. I find myself looking at older couples with cynicism. I wonder if it has always been good for them, or if there was cheating and lying that was never discovered. I look at young couples and think about what their future holds – cheating??? I’m obviously in the stage where I am unable to trust others.
    I look forward to “meh”, and a trusting life someday.

  • Such a beautiful story. So much true love there. An inspiration to everyone. Thank you CL for this story. We all need to hear these things at times. Amazing and awe inspiring couple. So sorry for his loss. Brought tears to my eyes. Happy tears. Thank you again CL.

  • Well, it is a sad story, but they were still in that infatuation stage of a relationship, hell I would have committed murder for my X at that point and she would have done the same. There is no way of knowing that in 7 years time he wouldn’t run off with the Dairy Pricess at the County fair or she’d be boffing the local veterinarian while hubby was plowing the back 40….

        • Mike, for what it’s worth, I thought the same thing. Maybe the chumpdom is too fresh or whatever – it’s a lovely story, if they had a seven or eight year marriage with HAIL, LOCUSTS, PLAGUES, ho-workers, nasty inlaws or whatever else and he did this after all of that, I’d probably be weepy. Plenty of dumpy middle aged dudes (and women for that matter) can suddenly be bitten by the entitled, selfish bug.

          I just had a friend pass suddenly from a puliminary embolism. She was 39. Her rocky marriage to a 51 year old who worked too much is now a beacon of perfect love with her passing on facebook. I almost do actually understand why losing a spouse to death is maybe easier than infidelity. GAH. Not “easier” but at least when they die, people around you understand your grief. When you get chumped and grieve, no one understands your grief and it is dismissed. Or you are maligned for not being on the most expedient “time table” Certainly no one writes a lovely article about how YOU did your best for your marriage, while your asshole husband decided to tell all his whores his marriage was over, but never bothered to tell his WIFE his marriage was over.

          Yeah. I still have issues, clearly. This doesn’t make me feel better. Probably will love this when I get to MEH. I’m not yet at MEH. People and their happy love stories… even when the happy love story ends in death, just pisses my shit off right now.

          • Trying to trust..I wish that my STBX was dead. Period. End of story. If he had died as opposed to cheated, it would be question about it. However, since I’m dealing with all of the betrayal crap that comes along with this situation, I wish he was dead. Maybe now more than ever. I know..that sounds terrible. But it’s true! This is such a great everyone has said, proof that good people DO exist.’s just pretty dang hard to find them!

          • Is it really possible to get to ‘meh’ if you never believe that there are good people in the world that do good things?

            I get that this couple wasn’t together that long and maybe they didn’t endure the trials and tribulations of years of marriage, but he didn’t have to donate his farm to 4H in his fiance’s memory either. In their short time together, they worked side by side on his land and he even gave her cows for Christmas and she appreciated it! They didn’t need the bright lights and big houses of famous people to appreciate what they had in eachother.

            Somedays I secretly wish for the plague to descend upon my ex; or at least for his penis to rot off. I’m clearly not at meh. That being said, I absolutely refuse to believe everyone is an entitled, passive agressive loser like him. He wants me to believe that and he even went so far as to ask me how I knew the next man in my life wouldn’t cheat. I guess the implication is that I should be more comfortable dancing with the devil I know. NOT!

            If I believe that everyone is like that then he wins and every other asshole cheater wins and I hate that idea! Stories like this help me remember that there are actually awesome people in this world.

            • “Is it really possible to get to ‘meh’ if you never believe that there are good people in the world that do good things?”

              Probably not. this is an excellent point. I think getting to MEH requires a good level of self-love and acceptance that I probably don’t have yet. It’s easier to blame self than to accept there are random assholes in the world, some of whom we trust, because self blame = control. If this is my fault now, I can control whether or not this happens in the future. Mindfuckery.

              And there are a ton of chumps who wonder if they will ever encounter this sort of love, who are saying so. I think it’s very wonderful for chumps who fix their picker and find this sort of love later. I have no idea what the fuck that looks like right now.

          • “Hard to grieve those dead in the ground. Harder still to grieve those who still walk around.”

            Death would definitely be easier. Plus usually you’d have sympathy and empathy and people are inclined to be more supportive when it’s death.

          • I think it’s a sweet story. I do believe there are those couples who experience true love. For a time I did, and for that I’m thankful. Not everyone does. Will I find it again? I don’t know. I’m open to it, but I’m not too keen on getting married again.

        • Nope, just realistic. Most people are in this state of infatuation for a couple of years until the Oxytocin levels drop off. We’ve all seen couples that were inseparable early on that would be good candidates for a caged to the death MMA fight a few years in.
          If anyone told me in the first 20 years my X would be capable of her actions I would have keeled over laughing.

    • Well, if he wasn’t boffing dairy princesses when he was single forever, why after 50?

      Also, have you met any farmers? They aren’t exactly living life in the fast lane. There’s cows to milk. Animals to feed.

      I can’t prove this, but I think the cheating farmer demographic is really small. (And by farmers I mean WORKING farmers, not gentleman part time hobby farmers.)

      To me the proof is in in the gift — he gave his entire legacy to her memory. There is absolutely nothing in it for him, other than a standing ovation by some 4-H people in his town. He’s not cashing out his farm now to go live at Club Med and boff single women. He’s not driving a jag. He’s working as a farmer until he dies, and then he’s funding scholarships for rural school kids for generations to come.

      • Yes. I have, Tracey. My cheater is a farmer. Single handedly farming 1200 acres these days. 500 dairy grazers, 200 beef breeding cows and 1500 ewes. A good portion of it is hill country. A developing farm, weed eradication, fencing and water reticulation take any “free” time away from animals, the last big challenge he wanted to take on before getting “too old” – not an old man’s farm. Previously we were dairy farming. One of the first things out of my mouth on Dday was – “but where the hell did you find the time???” He works his butt off. We farmed together the first 20 years of us. It was wonderful. Hard work, but we loved spending all day together. I had recently started my first off farm job in 20 years. I couldn’t fathom how he could find six hours out of his day to drive to her house and back, let alone any romance or shagging! He didn’t do that more than a couple of times – but she drove to him many more. Right to our house. Right to our farm to fuck him. This guy was a great dad, served on our local school’s governance board, was always on hand to help out neighbours and quietly got involved in projects similar to your 4H movement. He willingly, legally signed over large portions of our “joint” assets to me – kind of like a very favourable post-nup – in the aftermath of his affair, as a show of faith. He doesn’t care about money. He just wants me to be okay. But I’m not entirely. My cheater was like this guy. (But less socially awkward.) And we know plenty of working cheating farmers – I don’t think hard work necessarily makes you immune. In fact, nothing does! No doubt the asset sign over is a lovely gesture, but it doesn’t seem he has any nieces or nephews or any beloved family. Incredibly sad to lose a truly loved one. Lovely man.

      • None of that is any proof of what he might have felt like later in his marriage. Lots of farmer marriages break down these days, it’s a very hard life and the pressures of it often cause the marriages to break on the anvil of life.

    • Aww, Mike…please don’t let whatever happened to you steal away your optimism that something better is waiting for you! Infidelity is a terrible, terrible struggle but I refuse to give up the hope that I will find my true love. Wonderful, loving, giving people really do exist and I know that for a fact…I see one of them every time I look in the mirror!

    • I’m with you, Mike. We were THAT couple. My friends compared their husbands unfavourably with my partner. Not because we were ridiculously annoyingly lovey dovey, but because we were real. He also gave me cattle! True love is a herd of pedigree Holsteins, lol! He looked at me with love. My BFF said she loved watching us at parties. We would be out and about, socialising with others and his eyes would lock with mine, he might wink, but she said it wasn’t that. After more than twenty years, he would still just soften with love. She said it made her heart melt, especially when she would see me unfurl like a blossom in that look. If he or I had died we could remember that. How truly amazing we were. Now we have this instead. No one saw this coming. Our friends were so shocked. Horrified almost. They had been chumped too!

      No one knows how the future pans out. If someone has a breakdown and cleans the table off as they pull the tablecloth hoping to break their fall, no one sees the other person bleeding out from the shards of glass that landed on them. The saddest thing. All are terrible, but to lose a fabulous thing seems harder than to cut a loser out of your life to me.

      However, I”m sure everyone needs the love stories. I had mine. I am glad I did. But sometimes I wonder if I would be healthier if I hadn’t ever, NEXT! Moving on would be a little less agonising.

    • I think when a man gives a $4 million farm to the 4-H in his intended wife’s honor he is probably the real deal. He waited a long time for the right one. My heart goes out to him. No doubt they would have ups and down, but there are people mature enough to understand that.

    • Hey Mike…..

      In addition to all the other responses…..

      Ya gotta also take into account that in an area such as that, everyone knows everyone’s business. If he were doing ‘the nasty’ with anyone at anytine, either before or after Andrea, pretty sure the whole county would know!!

      He put that ring on, even though they never actually married and has not taken it off for 4 years. Do not know how sane that truly is, but what I do see is that he honored that precious lady and he also honors the marital arrangement. All of those things should remind us that we truly are designed to pair off and ‘mate for life’, happily so, (and many do!) in spite of the pitiful rhethoric (sp?) of all the cheating scum-bags and their advocates.

      Hang tough, Mike…Please, do not turn bitter……It is a horrid ‘ride’ we are on!! And as with all ‘rides’, there is an end!

      • I am not bitter, just explaining everybody’s love story starts out like this, she simply died at the peak of his love….

  • Bless his heart. These are high quality people. I’m glad they found each other. I surely wish they could have had a long life together. But they made the connection, and look what a profound effect she had on him. Changed him forever, for good. Thanks for posting this. You’re right; we needed something real and refreshing to cleanse our palates after that nonsense.

  • A beautiful story that has me crying and wondering how and why I will never know this kind of love. When I was a little girl around 8 years old, we lived on the same street as a couple in their 80’s who never had children and who lived in the same house since they were married as 19 year olds and they were inseparable and did everything together and for each other. They saw my father being born, grow and have his children and they were wonderful to us. One day the elderly lady passed way due to ill health and within 24 hours the elderly gentleman also passed away and he never had any illnesses. He didn’t want to be without her. Breaks your heart, doesn’t it? I think that is also true love.

  • This story is sad but inspiring. I couldn’t help think that although their time together
    was brief how truly pure and honest it was. I would have rather had a short beautiful
    relationship like theirs rather than have gone through 25 years of serial cheating and
    basically a sham of a marriage. My marriage was a mockery to the very vows of marriage and the meaning of uniting as one person before God. My Mom cared for my Dad day in and day out the last few years of his life. They were married over 50 years. I watched him look at her adoringly till the end. He still told everyone after 50 years of marriage that she was his beautiful bride. The sad part of loving a disordered individual is you lose all concept of what really matters in life. I was so focused on being perfect, better and more special that I lost my core values. I know I can’t undo the damage that was done to me and my daughter from my husband’s behavior. She witnessed a dysfunctional marriage. It’s over and I soldier on. I pray for this couples kind of love for my daughter and hope that my life will find fulfillment at some point even if that means walking all alone.

  • Two good people loving each other. So simple, so ordinary. As the saying goes, plain as dirt. And yet . . . amazing. You can look all you want, but there is nothing better on this earth. “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

    A person can be happy alone. I believe that. But I believe love is better. Whether you find love, and whether upon finding it you get a day or many decades, the search is ambitious and worth the peril many times over. The willingness to reach beyond ourselves and risk our comfort and security make us better, make us even sometimes worthy of love. We are, I believe, called to something greater than comfort and security. I think Curt Chergosky understands that better than any philosopher at Oxford.

    For these reasons, this love story about two good farmers who loved deeply if not long enough reminded me of the state motto of Kansas. What could be plainer and more ordinary than the state motto of Kansas?

    The motto is this: “Per aspera ad astra.” That is, “To the stars through difficulties.” Not a bad motto for Chumps starting over, I think.

    Take the risk. Keep your heart open. Reach for the stars, Chumps.

    And God bless, Andrea and Curt.

  • There’s a reason it’s called the “simple truth”. The difference in the text about this “land man” and the drivel the other fella spewed is in the powerfulness of plain talk. It’s just a matter of doing the right thing : )

  • Tracey, I know this touched your heart but I think if you want to demonstrate what chumps expect we need the story of a long term relationship that worked. And since everyone is teary eyed I might as well post this vid, it’s what I expected and will never ever have:

    • Geez, Dat, that was just beautiful…I’ve never heard that song before. I couldn’t watch the video though because, you know, tears…

      Hey, don’t ever give up on finding true love, my friend. You never know what is in store for you. As nomar said, keep your heart open.


    • This one by Rascal Flatts is awesome, too.

      (Ellsworth Kansas aka “Grandma Burned the Biscuits”)

      My parents are 93 and 92. Been married for 72 years. They still live independently in their little house and take care of each other. He watches to make sure she doesn’t burn the biscuits…..

  • awww….(sniffle) darned allergies…(sniffle) there’s something in my eye…darned contact lenses (sniffle snork)

    Now, where can I find me a Curt of my very own???


  • Just Wow…

    “Look at these people — dorky, middle-aged — in love. They speak each other’s love language —”

    This. This is what I aspire to. Ordinary. Sparkle free. Real.

    What a truly inspirational love story. Hope lives on.

  • I prefer this side of the coin to Button Head’s side! Simple and straight forward as opposed to twisted like a pretzel! Clarity, that is what love is.

  • I believe that true love, not ephemeral, not capricious, is shown through deeds and not just words. My parents believed that and inculcated that in me. Men and women like Mr. Chergosky are the physical manifestation of that. They reveal the depth of their love through their actions and not through trite “I love you snookums”.
    May the road always rise with you Mr. Chergosky.

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