David and Candice: A love story
AS THE mastermind behind the scandal that destroyed a captaincy and broke a nation's heart, David Warner is arguably the most hated man in Australian sport right now.
Such ugliness, literally played out in a public arena, would threaten the strongest of unions, yet in the case of David and Candice Warner, it seems to have brought them closer than ever.
Together for five years and married for three, the honeymoon has never really ended for these two.
He calls her his "rock" and gushes endlessly about her beauty while she raves about his hilarious sense of humour and "handsome" face.
Most of these public declarations of affection play out on Instagram, which is fitting given how they first met.
David and Candice, an accomplished athlete and Ironwoman formerly known as Candice Falzon, didn't meet at a bar, or though mutual friends, or even at the gym. They met on Twitter.
"I was away in England for the Ashes and I got another message from Candice after I was involved in an incident," Warner told New Idea.
"She said: 'Just letting you know I am thinking of you and I know how hard it can be being away from home.'
"Then we just started texting and Skyping. It was bizarre."
What has been described as a "whirlwind" romance followed and things got serious, fast. Within a year, Candice had given birth to their first daughter, Ivy Mae, and the pair got hitched in a lavish ceremony in Nowra on the NSW in 2014.
"How could I not have a tear in my eye when I saw Candice walk around the corner looking like the most beautiful bride in the world?" Warner reportedly told the Daily Mail.
"I was struck again by just how lucky I was to find The One - the woman I will spend the rest of my life with."
In keeping with tradition, the couple rhapsodised about their big day and each other on Instagram and captioned their photographs with excerpts from their wedding vows.
"I will forever be there to laugh with you, to lift you up when you are down and to love you unconditionally through all our adventures in life together," Warner wrote under a picture of the pair gazing intently into each other's eyes.
Their second daughter, Indi Rae, was born in 2016, completing their family unit and Warner's metamorphosis from bad boy to devoted husband and father.
Last year, Warner was awarded the coveted Alan Border Medal for the second year running and gave his wife a huge rap in his acceptance speech, calling her his "rock".
"I probably wouldn't be playing cricket today without you," he told her from the stage.
Candice later posted a picture of the pair with the caption: "So proud of you darling for winning the Alan Border Medal back to back. You work so hard and never give up. I love you."
Since then, the family has delighted their combined 1.7 million Instagram followers with regular snapshots of their charmed life.
Whenever possible, Candice and the girls have accompanied Warner on his frequent trips overseas. When they have been apart, they posted wistful messages about how much they missed each other.
On February 14 this year, Candice posted an emotional tribute to her husband. "Happy Valentine's Day to my one and only @davidwarner31," she wrote. "Every day we spend together I fall even more in love with you. You are what every girl wishes for in a husband and I'm the lucky one to have you as mine. I love you."
He responded with an equally moving message, calling Candice "loving, caring and selfless" and thanked her for "always supporting and looking after me ... putting the girls and I first".
Until the batsman began to fall out of favour in South Africa, the Warners' picture-perfect family shots would be met with admiring comments and even declarations of love from their fans.
Now both of their feeds are clogged with hundreds upon hundreds of X-rated taunts about Candice's decade-old toilet tryst with Sonny Bill Williams, and sexually explicit references to SBW's penis.
To her credit, Candice hasn't moved to delete any of the hideous comments, refusing to feed the trolls or shy away from what remains a painfully embarrassing episode of her life.
Instead, she has turned all of her attention to her husband and their children, placing a protective arm around her spouse while holding one of their daughters in the other and guiding him past the waiting pack of journalists at Sydney airport last night.
Her media manager, Roxy Jacenko - no stranger to controversy herself - says she has nothing but admiration for her client in the face of what she's had to endure in recent weeks.
"Candice is an exceptional mother, wife and friend and given the circumstances and the barrage of online abuse is coping as best as can be expected," Jacenko told news.com.au.
"For now, her main focus is to be a support to Warner and protect her children."
Meanwhile, Australians are still smarting from the pain of betrayal - aggravated by Warner's apparent lack of remorse and "half-assed" Insta-apology.
One can only hope that the unconditional love of his family will give Warner the courage to show his peers and the public the respect they deserve.