Have you ever met that guy who seems too good to be true? The handsome, warmhearted guy all the girls wanted to date, or even marry? That was Dr. Todd Calvin, a prominent dentist in Lakewood, Texas, a small tony suburb just outside Dallas.
Known for his charm and skill, he was even profiled on Dallas' WFAA-TV as an expert on new trends in dentistry. And there was Todd Calvin's lighthearted side that thrilled his patients. A trained singer, he sometimes serenaded them." He would call the female patients on their birthday and sing them 'Happy Birthday,'" said Gayla Kirk, the dentist's chair assistant for four years. That extra touch earned him the sobriquet "the singing dentist."
Darlene Doxey was 26 when she got swept up in Todd Calvin's warmth and charisma 13 years ago. It was "his blue eyes," she said, that caught her attention. "He was nice-looking and had good ambition. We both had a tremendous love for music and both loved kids." In other words, Todd was a great catch. But what Darlene never suspected was that her handsome new boyfriend kept a troubling secret.
Within six months of meeting, Darlene, an associate psychologist, said Todd had swept her off her feet. They were married and off to a romantic honeymoon. Then, unexpectedly, there were signs of trouble. She said her new husband showed flashes of coldness and expressed doubts about the marriage. She wondered if their whirlwind romance had been a big mistake. Still, the newlyweds went forward and within a year she was pregnant.
Though each was thrilled about the pregnancy, Darlene felt something wasn't completely right. "He was more excited about the baby than the woman who is giving birth to this baby," she said. When he was born, their baby boy was the brightest spot in what was quickly becoming an unhappy marriage. Todd focused on his successful practice and growing desire for the rich man's toys: a new custom-built house, a sailboat, even a private plane, his new passion.
The Calvins soon joined an elite group of families who flew privately all over the country. But since Darlene was fearful of small planes, she was content to stay home. Often, she said, Todd would leave on Thursday and return home on Sunday. Though some women may have found the mysterious trips suspicious, Darlene said she was relieved that her husband was gone. To the outside world they appeared to be the perfect couple, but behind the happy smiles the marriage was crumbling. There were a lot of fights and very little intimacy. "There wasn't a lot of sexual relation between us," Darlene said.
Despite their problems, the couple kept up appearances and even decided to have another child, hoping that a growing family would heal the troubled marriage. One day, during a bitter argument, the tension came to a head: Todd asked for a divorce. He screamed, "I don't want to be married to you. ... I don't like you. I don't know why I married you. I want to get a divorce," Darlene recalled. She shouted back, "You got it."
After 10 years together, the facade had collapsed. Darlene and Todd Calvin's seemingly fairy tale existence was over -- to the shock of friends and family. Darlene stayed in the family home and Todd moved just a few miles away to be near the children. Not surprisingly, the divorce was not pleasant. Darlene said she and Todd fought over money.