Martin was the devoted and loving husband of Pilar Lopez and father of their five children until he got involved in a marital dispute between Alistair and Katherine Crane. While trying to save Katherine from her abusive husband's wrath, Martin incurred Alistair's ire, and both he and Katherine were forced to flee to save not only their own lives but also to protect their families. Martin was devastated at having to leave the people he loved, but he knew that if he ever let them know he was still alive, Alistair would destroy them. He and Katherine went to Mexico, where they began living as Bob and Ellen Wheeler. What started as a friendship turned into love over the years as both Martin and Katherine remained isolated, with only each other to confide in.
The only bright side to living in Mexico was being close to his youngest daughter, Paloma. Pilar had sent Paloma to Mexico as an infant because she could not leave Ivy's side and therefore didn't have the money to keep her family together, what with the pre-teen Antonio raising his younger siblings. Martin and Katherine watched Paloma grow up, becoming more like a mother and father than Pilar was to her due to their proximity. After Alistair discovered where they were and Paloma nearly died, Martin and Katherine decided to return to Harmony, although they only intended to do so on a short-term basis until the truth about Martin's identity was uncovered. His family was furious and all turned their backs on him with the exception of Paloma, who remembered how good he had always been to her.
Pilar still wanted a future with Martin, though, and the two moved toward a reconciliation, even though Martin could not forget about Katherine. Alistair was also forcing Martin to stay with Pilar, threatening to reveal that Martin had been involved in a mysterious death years before. It eventually came out that Sheridan had killed her aunt Rachel years ago and Martin had helped to cover up the crime, but Pilar stood strong by him. They planned to renew their wedding vows, but when Pilar found Martin and Katherine together the morning of their renewal she turned her back on him, even though by that time he no longer wanted anything to do with Katherine. Katherine tried to get him back, but he was no longer interested in her.