lf1

LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: ‘Good Guy’ Gone Terribly Wrong

Editor’s Note: October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Lovefraud received the following story from a woman who went public with her experience in order to draw attention to this terrible problem. The name she uses on Lovefraud is “Tormented.”

In 2008, I divorced my husband of 18 years due to differences that unfortunately we couldn’t work out. We have three amazing children together and remain good friends in spite of our divorce, which has made things much easier for all of us.

Just five months after the divorce, I met a man who charmed me from the very beginning. I thought he was wonderful, and I quickly fell head over heels for him. A former county deputy sheriff, presently working as an Air Marshal and in the Army Reserves for nearly 20 years, he seemed like one of the “good guys” – a really good, down-to-earth person with a lot going for him. In his early 40‘s, he had never married and had no kids, which I thought was a good thing because I figured he lacked “baggage.” He seemed to love my kids, and when we married six months after we met, it felt natural and right. After all, I was 43, had been married for nearly two decades and knew exactly what I wanted.

What I didn’t realize was the fact that there were glaring red flags all over him. I guess I was either too naive or too trusting or both. For one thing, he had never been in a long-term relationship. And a few months into our marriage I discovered a box filled with photos of him with many, many different women over the years. Also, he had only one close friend. This friend of his attended our wedding, but only because we paid for the airfare and hotel. No other friends or family from his side bothered to attend. And the only wedding gift we received from his side was a $50 gift card to Pier 1 – from that one close friend of his.

Soon after we married, my new husband’s facade began to crack, and lies started to show through. Such as the fact that he had told me and my children that he had a college degree in Criminal Law, when in reality he had only taken a few online classes.

“Honeymoon” in Maui

When the verbal abuse started, I was not only horrified, but ashamed and embarrassed. I couldn’t believe the violent language that so easily flew from his lips, directed straight at me. When we went on our honeymoon to Maui, I ended up catching a flight home by myself two days early. I couldn’t begin to comprehend how a man could possibly yell at his new bride for hours on end, repeatedly calling her a f–king c-nt and scaring her to death while on their honeymoon. And his anger came out of nowhere, for no good reason. One night it was because I didn’t want to eat ice cream with him for dessert.

At this time, I was in between jobs and freelancing to keep some income coming in. I had the opportunity to work on a large, potentially lucrative business deal that I was very excited about. Out of the blue, my husband called up my potential client and accused him of having an affair with me. I was horrified and of course, lost the deal.

It became very apparent that I had made a terrible mistake, and yet I remained in a state of denial for several months as the wonderful man I thought I’d married simply faded away. I no longer recognized my husband through all of the degrading name calling and emotional manipulation. I cried nearly every day of the ten months we were married. My heart was bludgeoned, my self esteem utterly destroyed.

Domestic violence

After the disastrous honeymoon, I insisted on marriage counseling, however our psychologist gave up after only four sessions. She said she was unable to help us work things out unless he received individual counseling first. When she mentioned the words “domestic violence” to me, I was stunned. I had no idea that verbal abuse was considered domestic violence, and I couldn’t believe that I had entered this devastating realm that I’d never imagined would be a part of my life.

Ten months after our wedding, I finally found the courage to ask for a separation. I told him that I needed two months of peace, to think about our relationship and where we should go from there. I realized that another divorce was most likely on the horizon for me, however I still held out hope that he would miraculously change and the abuse would end. I was desperate for that man I fell in love with in the very beginning to reappear. How could that good man have been replaced by this abusive, violent monster who obviously hated me?

Just five days after I asked for the separation, he showed up on my front patio unannounced and forced his way into my home. He had just flown into town, and being an Air Marshal who always wears a gun strapped to his chest, I could tell that he was packing by the bulge under his shirt. He paced through my home, yelling and at times talking irrationally. Twice he said that we should go into the bedroom and have sex, that it would be “good for both of us.” Terrified, I cried and begged him to leave. He yelled at me and said he would leave when he was ready to leave. He continued to pace and yell. Sobbing and shaking uncontrollably, I finally called the police. I had never called 911 before in my life, but I was so frightened that he would physically hurt me or worse. Later, when the police officers removed him from my property and encouraged me to file an Order of Protection against him, I was completely beside myself.

Order of Protection

I soon discovered that filing an Order of Protection against my husband was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. It was devastating to think that I had to go to that extreme measure to keep myself, and my children, safe. Especially when I was trying to keep myself safe from the one person who I thought had my best interests at heart. Someone I had trusted and opened my entire life to. Someone I believed in. To have to cope with the fact that my husband never really loved me at the same time when I was also dealing with having to file an Order of Protection against him was beyond devastating. It was also an extremely lonely place to be.

My Order of Protection case itself ended up being a lengthy, stressful ordeal. Along the way his attorney was very persistent about proposing a settlement since he would have been fired from his Air Marshal position if the Order of Protection remained upheld. In the end, I chose to settle and ended up with an even greater and longer lasting protection through a Court Order attached to our divorce decree, in addition to reimbursement from him for all of my divorce and legal fees. Presently, he can’t even enter the state where I live and can never contact me or my children forever.

Affairs

During this ordeal, I started writing a blog as a way to release the painful feelings I was coping with while also speaking out to help other women going through the same kind of situation. Ironically, my blog has enabled women from his past and present life to find me online.

Horribly enough, I discovered that for most of the time we were together, he was having an affair with a married woman. This woman was shocked to find my blog and to learn of my existence. She emailed me the story of their affair, and I learned that while he was in the process of marrying me, he was simultaneously trying to convince her to leave her husband for him. I have no doubt that there were other women in his life at that time as well. The combination of his vicious abuse and his disgusting betrayal have been horrendous to deal with.

On top of all this, I contracted a sexually transmitted disease from him that has since been resolved through medication. It was discovered while we were married, and yet his response was to call me a f–king wh-re and accuse me of having an affair. He refused to believe that he was carrying an STD, which I’m sure he continues to spread around.

I am speaking out and sharing my story with the hopes that I can reach other women who may be hiding in the shadows with their own stories of abuse. I recently appeared on local TV news segments, as well as in our state newspaper. It’s terrifying to “come out” publicly with my story, but I’m hoping that by doing this I’ll make it a little easier for the next woman. The only way to eradicate domestic violence is to lean on each other, stand up, speak out and educate. The main thrust of my message is: you are not to blame and you are not alone.



89 Comments on "LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: ‘Good Guy’ Gone Terribly Wrong"

Trackback | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Ox Drover says:

    Dear Jeannie,

    Yep, it IS TOUGH when your son loves something that evil and doesn’t realize it is that evil. Or how dangerous it was or could still be emotionally to your son’s welfare. I hope that you are able to get some counseling for your son if you think he needs it. I’m not sure how old he is—but even when they DIE they still leave TOXIC SLIME behind on anyone who was close to them. Your son is in my prayers for his peace with the memory of that evil man who left him such a toxic legacy. (((hugs))))



    Report this comment

  2. jeannie812 says:

    Ox Drover

    My son seems ok when he is in his routine. But, it doesn’t take much to throw him out of whack.

    Such as this weekend is his brother’s baby shower and we can’t attend.

    My son is thrashing in his bedroom.

    I will not coddle him everytime. He is 16. I already told him that life has disappointments.

    Besides it will be a more one-on-one after the busy shower. We can go down another weekend.



    Report this comment

  3. jeannie812 says:

    Ox Drover

    I had my son in therapy and psycriatrist since he was 4 years old. My son is 16. My son doesn’t want the medications anymore.

    The therapists are no longer useful. They are a “bump on the log”.

    I pressure my son’s favorite teachers. I look for that mentor and my pressure grip is on!

    The teachers are always willing cause his favorite teachers already like him.



    Report this comment

  4. Ox Drover says:

    Dear Jeannie,

    I know it must be tough on YOU to see your son unhappy or “out of whack” or “off routine.” Part of that is the normal routine of adolescence and growing up! Part is probably hold over from his loss of the father image—I say “father image” because that is most likely all he had since a P has difficulty being a real parent.

    Yep, “life does have disappointments’ and it is the pits to learn to accept them—even when we are 63 instead of 16. (Like me!)

    Sounds like you have done the best you could for your son, and that is all anyone can do is the BEST that they can do. We aren’t perfect parents and they aren’t perfect kids, but sounds to me like he has been fortunate to have you for a mom, especially considering what a jerk wad he had for a sperm donor!

    My non-P biological son refuses to take antidepressant medications though I have no doubt that he is clinically depressed and that many of his life-problems stem from that depression as well as his ADHD but he’s a big boy and can make his own decisions–and he gets the consequences as well. We can “only lead the horse to water, we can’t make them drink” just because we think they are thirsty or dehydrated. Everyone gets a free choice whether it is wise or not…some of us eventually learn and some of us don’t.

    Not getting consequences for poor choices (i.e. being “coddled” as you say) doesn’t help one make better choices next time or learn to cope with disappointment! I have had to learn the hard and difficult way not to enable those who make poor choices by taking the consequences off their shoulders. I had to learn the hard way too–by getting the consequences for my enabling! It works both ways! LOL

    But by learning to set and enforce boundaries in others, I am learning to respect MY OWN BOUNDARIES and responsibilities. I needed to learn as much as they did. I’m a slow learner sometimes…but I think I am getting SOME OF IT at least now!

    God bless and keep you both!



    Report this comment

  5. jeannie812 says:

    Oxdrover

    Once they turn 18 that is it, we are no longer the parent. We are the mother or father, but not the parent.

    I remember me at 16 telling my dad that he can lead a horse to water but he can’t make it drink. It really pissed him off.

    My parents were so controlling that I rebelled at every level.

    They wouldn’t even leave me alone to quietly read a book in my bedroom!

    My mother would yell upstairs that they want me to to come downstairs so they can see me.

    I felt so invaded that I gave them hell.

    Not to their face, but I skipped school and failed grades and let them find out after the fact.



    Report this comment

  6. jeannie812 says:

    I was determined that my kids would NOT suffer the same fate. I gave my kids their space. Kids gotta have their space or they will jump out of the frying pan and into the fire.

    I see my kids not only confident, but poised. I see them bulldoze their way past the people who bully me. I think damn. I wish someone taught me those life skills.



    Report this comment

  7. Ox Drover says:

    Dear Jeannie,

    You are so wise about giving your kids space to be themselves, yet guidance. I can relate to the not being given space or the option to have an opinion of my own by my egg donor. I rebelled in my own way as soon as I could get away from them….I jumped from the frying pan of my egg donor’s into the FIRE of my sperm donor’s. I tried to also give my kids space and guidance, but don’t think what I did for the most part “took” as well as I wish it would have, even with the non-Psychopathic bio son. My adopted son turned out much much better, but I don’t take “credit” for him turning out well, and I don’t take the blame for my other two—one a Psychopath and one just a jerk –but the jerk won’t get another chance to lie to me. He has lost my trust for good. No more “second chances” for ADULT liars—no matter who they are. That was the part I had to learn. I am not responsible for their choices, only for my response to their behavior toward me.



    Report this comment

  8. Divorced from Gaslighter says:

    I think that there is a strong link between poverty and sociopathy, although it isn’t strictly cause and effect.

    1) My ex had all sorts of expensive hobbies/interests that sucked up all available income. He also was a “shopaholic” with credit cards bills that eventually totalled approximately double his yearly income, and this was despite years of me bailing him out. We were always under financial stress as a family, even though we always had an above-average income, and very little money trickled down to the less important members of the family. The few psychopaths that I have heard of who weren’t overspenders were pathologically cheap. My ex was both: he overspent on himself, while being an absolute skinflint when it came to his children. (Expensive salon haircuts for himself, “home” haircuts for the kids; ridiculously expensive clothing for himself, Salvation Army for the kids, etc.)

    2) My ex was never satisfied or content with anything. We were always moving, always refurnishing the new place with new furniture, always shopping for new cars, he was always changing jobs (and needed a whole new wardrobe to interview in, etc.) Not only did his restlessness burn through a lot of money, but there was a huge waste of time and energy involved, usually MINE rather than his. Every time we moved, I had to pack and unpack hundreds of boxes, run a lot of errands and make a lot of phone calls, etc., and listen to endless criticism about how I was performing these tasks. Every time the kids and I began to settle into a new neighborhood, it was time to MOVE. Any kind of “support system” was impossible to develop, because relationships were always cut short before they became too deep. If you have a crappy family, living in the same neighborhood, and attending the same church and school system throughout your childhood usually softens the blow. But the psychopath often feels a need to keep moving.

    3) In a normal family, you will have relationships not only with your husband’s family, but also with other people who have married into your husband’s family, and these other “outlaws” can give you inside information, such as: “I never leave my kids alone with Uncle Fred from Oregon. The more time I spend around him, the weirder he seems.” In a completely dysfunctional family system, very little information is shared, because no “outlaws” are in the family long enough to form an opinion about Weird Uncle Fred. Also, if lots of the people in the family have continuously changing marital relationships, then family barbeques, etc., have a continuous stream of people you’ve never met, never heard of, etc. Your children will be exposed to FAR more adult males over the course of their childhood, and are far more likely to be victimized. Men who molest their kids or step-kids get caught sooner or later, but a guy who is always dating somebody with kids under the age of three, or who has “temporary nieces” under the age of two or three can probably get away with it for decades as long as he KEEPS MOVING.

    4) If a child is genetically predisposed to be a psychopath, a childhood that is filled with family financial crises that lead to family uproar and turmoil will be precisely the wrong environment in which to raise him. One parent is a psychopath/sociopath, and the other parent is a depressed victim.



    Report this comment

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.