Editor’s note: Lovefraud received the following story from a woman who we’ll call “Trista.”
I met the man who has been my husband for 30 years in a language school. He was serious, but could be funny, a bit shy, but also had a way with words. He had beautiful eyes and lots of girls were in love with him. I was no exception, but it was me he chose to go out with.
The relationship soon took off and we were a pair. Those first days were good; I had no idea I was dealing with a sociopath. When I took him to meet my mother, however, when things were very serious between us, she said that she thought he needed some “help.” I dismissed it.
I did realize how quickly he took offense for the least of things, and how quick he was to respond with offensive words to other people. Soon after we married I started to see more and more of his temper, that other people called a “short fuse,” but it was still directed to others, not to me. My time would come.
Controlling the money
My S was very controlling with money, getting angry even if I bought him a present that he thought cost more than I could spend. He continued to control me through money for all those 30 years, never allowing me to go to the supermarket on my own, not giving me money to any expense, and having screaming fits if I did anything like taking the initiative of paying for a small cheap portrait of our infant daughter. My friends and family thought him “odd,” and because I was so afraid that some people would do or say the wrong thing near him and trigger a terrible scene, I started avoiding most of my friends. We lived on our own with our two small kids, and provided that I would not ask for money or invite people who could get him in a mood, life was sort of ok.
Church was another problem. As a Christian, I was used to church life and he was brought up in a Christian environment as well. However, we could not be in any church together. Something would happen, something the preacher said or that other people said would trigger his horrendous fits of rage. I used to be terrified in church, paying attention to where the sermon would lead in case it would touch some subject that he would find offensive. I remember real terror while in church, till the last time he stormed out of the building and verbally attacked the pastor at the door. I never went to church with him again, but I also could not go alone, in case he thought I did not think him fit to go to church. This would cause even more problems. In the end I gave up church altogether, but not my Christian faith.
Holidays on his own
In the middle of the 90’s he started going on holidays on his own, to countries in Europe. I was never invited, not thought of, as I stayed behind to look after the house and teenagers. I don’t believe that he had one minute of doubt about the propriety of a married man in his 50’s going to holidays alone every year. I decided not to say anything.
I was still very scared of confronting him about anything; his rages were severe and I was scared because his eyes would change to look like glass when he was angry. He would scream not to touch him, to get away from him and his eyes would go big and glazed. Once when he was driving, somehow something we said got him in one of his tempers and he drove with fury near getting on the pavement, and barely missing a lady and a child. My daughter was in the car with me and we both thought we would die as well. He had no control over himself. A bit later on he started breaking things, like the Christmas tree, ornaments, and also pushed me against a table, I bruised my ribs and had to go to the hospital next day.
He got a job as a teacher in a University. He can somehow give a good interview and charm others, he is intelligent and cultured. Later on, when they see the problems, it is usually too late. His boss has already commented on his “glazed eyes.”
In love with Poland
As part of this job, he got a trip to Poland. When he came back, he was a man completely taken by the Polish life and people, in such a way that I can only describe as sick. My house immediately became full of Polish ornaments, his friends became only Polish people, he became obsessed by them, in the same way he became obsessed in the past by other cultures like the South Americans, the Russians, the Orientals. He had “phases” when he only talked and walked around people of those cultures, now it was the Polish. I knew it well, but could not foresee a new developement: He “fell in love” with a Polish … boy.
I was away for some weeks visiting my family and when I came back there was something different about him. He had bought a mobile phone, was using it every minute, and hiding in the garden to talk. I also got an email he passed to this boy and it was a complete sop, an email a man writes to his girl. I got the phone number of the boy, went to talk to him, who was only 20 (my S is 57) and did not know about the situation; he had a girlfriend! It was in my S ‘s mind; he interpreted friendship for another thing. This boy was his former student.
The S in my life even said after being discovered that he needed the excitement and when I pointed out the absurdity of a 57 married man who is a grandfather chasing a 20 year old boy who is younger than his son or nephews, he simply said “he had no one for him,” meaning, “I did not have to account for my actions to his family, since he has none.” He continued to behave in the most shameless manner, telling our friends that he was in love with a boy and alienating our friends even further, telling his family that both him and my son had Polish people in their lives (because my son had had a Polish girlfriend). He even asked me why I thought that I was God’s will for him and not that boy. I was speechless.
From them on I argued with him for two years about the impropriety of such things, the absurdity of it, but he denies having done anything. When I talked to the boy I was made aware that he had invited him for a weekend trip and I got it just in time. He tried to blame me for his actions and denies having done me any harm or the children. However, our family is in tatters and I have filed for divorce with the support of my children. I have seen a counselor, who also saw him and he told me to leave him and that he has been cheating on me all my life. This boy was not the first one, but now the mask has slipped. Interesting enough, other people have used that term to refer to him, my friend said she always saw him as having a mask; my brother said that “his plug fell.”
At the moment he is still denying the boy was more than friendship, even after the fact that he took our wedding ring off and told me he was not married to me, didn’t want me, didn’t love me, and cried like a baby for this boy. I have all the evidence; he still denies it and makes me feel I’m somehow to blame. For two years I went nearly crazy because of his faulty logic, his coldness, his shameless deeds. He still denies that he has done wrong.
He has no remorse, no thought of me or the children about it all; he considers himself a good Christian who goes to church every Sunday but never learns anything. He said that when he did it (about the boy) I never entered his mind.
I’m now nearly divorced and have nothing else to do with him. He is still involved with the Polish, and is dressing up as a 20 year old himself, walking with groups of young people. My son is ashamed of him and my daughter says she hardly knows him. He couldn’t care less for me, his wife of 30 years. I was dismissed with a shrug.