Sharlene is the love of John's life. It was she who transformed him from the bitter and cynical war vet into the loving and open man he is today.
They met in 1988 and slowly began a relationship. Sharlene was hesitant to commit herself to any man because of her past as a prostitute. In April 1989, her past was revealed to the world. Sharlene gave John his freedom, but he maintained that he loved her and didn't care about the past. They ended up making love for the first time that day.
They got engaged and were married in November 1989. Unfortunately, Sharlene's alternate personality, Sharly Watts, emerged at that time. Sharly began an affair with Grant Harrison. John found out in time, and their affair was never consummated.
Sharlene went into therapy to control her multiple personality disorder. She succeeded in integrating her two personalities. But during that time, her psychiatrist, Taylor Benson, had fallen in love with John.
Disturbed in her own right, Taylor did everything she could to get John to fall in love with her. When that failed, Taylor kidnapped Sharlene and brought her to an abandoned amusement park. John was able to rescue her, and Taylor apparently fell to her death.
In February 1991, Sharlene gave birth to their son, Gregory, in an abandoned warehouse with John at her side.
In October 1991, Sharlene had the feeling that Taylor Benson was somehow alive and seeking revenge against them. John found this difficult to believe, until Sharlene disappeared one day. His ensuing investigation led him to Taylor's boat docked at the Bay City Harbor. He had discovered that Taylor was holding Sharlene prisoner there, but before he could get to the boat, it exploded. Sharlene's body was never found, and it was presumed she had been killed in the blast.
John went through a long period of grief. Eventually he was able to love again, and in 1993 he married Kelsey Harrison.
In 1994, John made the acquaintance of Kate Baker and was shocked at her resemblance to his dead wife, Sharlene. He soon discovered that Kate was actually another of Sharlene's personalities.
John did everything he could to bring Sharlene's personality to the surface, which had not seen light in almost three years. His efforts failed. It wasn't until that he was laid up in hospital after being hit by a car that Sharlene emerged. They had a tender reunion in his hospital room.
John and Sharlene got engaged shortly afterwards. The marriage was delayed by the arrival of Bailey Thompson, the man who had raped Sharlene when she was a child. Now John's boss at the hospital, Bailey delighted in tormenting Sharlene. Bailey was finally arrested after a pond-side struggle with Sharlene and John.
Their remarriage took place in the Frame farm living room in May of 1995. Things were fine in their new marriage until Sharlene began taking frequent and lengthy trips out of town. John resented her absence, especially with trouble brewing with a hospital lawsuit, but found it difficult to protest.
John found himself growing closer and closer to Felicia Gallant. Within a short time they had fallen for each other. Both were shocked at the depth of their feelings, but after a passionate kiss, both agreed not to pursue a relationship.
Sharlene sensed a distance between herself and John and began to suspect that another woman was the cause.
When Sharlene found a woman's handkerchief in John's pocket, she ran to her friend Felicia for emotional support. Felicia in turn ran to John to wail about her grueling session with Sharlene. They resolved to tell Sharlene the truth when their car hit an icy patch and became immobilized for over an hour.
While they waited, John began to relate some of his experiences in Vietnam, which culminated in the death of a young child in his arms. Felicia comforted John, who broke down and cried, but apparently his remembrances served as foreplay because the experience gave him an enormous hard-on and he proceeded to make love to Felicia. Later, with a smug smile he told Felicia not to feel guilty.
He immediately confessed his indiscretion to Sharlene, and, despite what he had told Felicia, told her that it was a mistake and that he would never do it again. Sharlene wisely kicked him out on his ear. The following year they were constantly thrown together, especially when Sharlene began working at the hospital. Later on, their son would try to reunite them. Yet through all that, and even Sharlene's paralysis, John's feelings for her never resurfaced.
In 1997, John and Sharlene were stuck together in the Cory cabin during a bad storm. Inevitably they discussed the events of the past two years. Both realized that while their relationship was truly over, there were still many unresolved feelings between them. They then made love as a way to seek closure. Yet even that wasn't enough to close the book on them. John realized that he still had issues he and Sharlene needed to resolve. After a few visits with Sharlene over the summer, they were both able to put the past, and their relationship, behind them.
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