Molly Holly was the latest guest on Chasing Glory with Lilian Garcia and Molly (real name Nora Greenwald Benshoof) continued her powerful conversation by talking about the details of her tumultuous initial years of being married to her husband that suffered from addiction and seeing him spiral downward to the point where he was incarcerated. In this segment, Molly talks about her initial reaction, where she received support from others and advice she’d give to a spouse going through a similar situation. Quotes are below:
(Transcription credit should go to @DominicDeAngelo for Wrestlezone.com)
Molly Holly on her marriage with her husband and witnessing him falling back into addiction during their honeymoon:
So when I left the WWE I ended up volunteering at a non-profit organization that’s Christ centered that helps get people off of drugs and alcohol and so I worked in a few different departments there for over ten years, but that’s where I was working when I met my husband and he worked in marketing and development. He had a history of addiction, but I didn’t know him as someone that was addicted. I mean he wore a suit and tie to work, he doesn’t have any tattoos or look scary in any kind of a way, you know, he’s a music leader of a church and also doing part time Bible college…and then we fell in love and got married in 2010.
So we knew each other one year and it was actually really awesome because I’ve been on thousands of dates, including of dates with like famous people who are now in movies, but I never met anyone that I knew that I wanted to marry. I was just always people that was like, “Oh, yeah they’re really handsome or they’re successful or they’re funny or whatever,” but when I met my husband I was like, “He’s the one. He’s just the one.” There’s certain things about him, like for example he doesn’t know anything about wrestling or show business or like he didn’t care that I was ever on TV, it like meant nothing to him, but he’s someone who can very gently hold up the mirror where I have to see my own flaws and grow as a person without him like criticizing me or ridiculing me.
This doesn’t typically come up in wrestling interviews because it doesn’t have anything to do with my pro wrestling life, but you know this is the “Where Are They Now?” and like what’s been happening and stuff.
On our honeymoon, we got a phone call saying that his mom was dying and he didn’t know how to deal with that and he went to the liquor store and started drinking and of course it’s my honeymoon so I didn’t want to like cause a fight about it, but I had a knot in my stomach, I was like, “Uh oh, this is not good.” But I was trying to be positive, like “maybe this is just a one time thing,” but addiction is a crazy monster and it got out of hand really really quickly. He lost his job because of his addiction and it was just like, I mean like mass destruction is the best way I could describe it. So here it went from being a worship leader of a church and being a leader within the job that we both worked at and just really everyone just loved him and to just seeing like a whole different side I guess, it was really really painful. Just as an example when we got married he was six feet tall, weighed 215 pounds and then fast forward after three years of mass destruction he was arrested and he weighed 140 pounds at six feet tall when he was arrested and he got sentenced to 75 months in prison, so six years in prison.
On her initially dealing with the horrible situation:
I just somehow thought that I could control or cure the addiction. Like if I just orchestrated circumstances correctly, then things would be different and so I definitely was asking God, “Why is this happening? I waited to have sex til my wedding night, like that was supposed to guarantee me a blessing of perfect marriage! May not say that in the Bible, but I was still convinced. Yeah, I was like serious about honoring God in my life and I didn’t just marry some guy because, “Oh, I’m getting older now, I better get married.” Like, no. Like Gino [her husband] is the one. And I just know that he’s the one, and it was definitely like a spiritual battle of like how do I still trust God when I feel like betrayed somehow like that I should have gotten something good and that this is not good and just that whole thing of like, “Okay, now I need to find out what’s the lesson in this. How can I grow as a person?” But it’s hard, when you’re in crisis, your world becomes so small. It’s like all you see is the crisis, you don’t see anything else so it was really hard to see like anything good out of this pain. It’s like how? I had these ideas of us being in full-time ministry together and “We’re going to be out there together, like making a positive difference in this world and what a powerhouse team we are,” and like all these aspirations and all of that just like, crushed and it definitely drained me. I was really, really sad. Really sad.
On how she received help during this time:
Well I couldn’t get through it alone, I’ll tell you that. The fact that I had this number one foundation in my Christian faith and even though it felt strained because I was hurting, the church community that I was regularly apart of, they call it “interceding” as like a churchy word for like “prayed for me” or kind of stood in the gap of when I was too exhausted to like even cry out to God that they kind of came along side and prayed for me and encouraged me and like spoke visions of hope for my future and really were reminding me the promises of God and reminding that God has not abandoned me.
I feel like my church family really was a huge support. I also got involved with a 12-step group that helps people with addicted loved ones. And I did therapy and I have an awesome supporting loving family as well so I feel like these networks that I had built up before the crisis really helped sustain me through the crisis so that was part of it.
On what she’d suggest to people going through a similar situation:
Well I wasted so much time and energy driving around, trying to find out where he was or who he’s with or pouring out alcohol…like all this energy spent trying to force him to stop, when I could have spent that time like really building myself up like spending time with friends, doing hobbies that I enjoy, exercising, getting good sleep, like there’s all these things that I did that I sacrificed my life and all the things that I enjoy to try to put all my energies into forcing him to behave a certain way and I think if I were to go back, I would have just let his consequences fall naturally and instead say, “Okay, during this season he is not able to give to me my needs, he’s just not mentally, spiritually able to meet my needs so I just have to be filled up with things I enjoy, people I enjoy and taking good care of myself.”
There was a lot of those types of feelings and that’s where I wasn’t able to figure it out and that’s where I had to lean on my support system.
For them to say, “It’s okay if today you to do nothing.” It’s like you don’t have to make all the decisions at this exact moment. So when I would come to those tough decisions where like “should he be kicked out?”, or “should I call the police?” or “should” those type of things I had to reach out for help through either people who have been through it or people who know me really well and can see the broader perspective of what’s happening. So yeah, I couldn’t have made any decisions really, because I was so emotional. I couldn’t made any wise decisions because I was so emotional.
More will be posted from this in-depth interview, but you can listen to the entire episode of Chasing Glory by going here.