Editor’s note: Lovefraud received this letter from a reader named “Krzyluv.”
I would like to start by saying that a concerned friend referred me to this website, and I must say that I never in a million years would think that there was anyone out there who was like me, or would ever believe what has happened to me and my children. The stories and blogs I have read have inspired so much strength and courage inside of this empty shell of a woman that I have become! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for having such an inspiring website as this. It makes me think that if all these women can be that brave and do it, so can I.
My story starts a little over eight years ago. I was 23 years old with two kids, happily going through a healthy divorce … (Got pregnant at 17, married my high school sweetheart, young dumb love never had a chance.) I was moving on, had a great career as a self-employed massage therapist with a busy tanning salon, had a nice house, nice car, and although it wasn’t always easy juggling everything being a newly divorced single working mom, we were doing all right.
One day a man walked into my salon that would change my life forever! He was easy on the eyes, funny, witty, extremely charming, and had a smile that lit up any room. I’ll never forget that day; that was the day my life was forever changed. He said he was a pipefitter in the union and claimed to be an ex-marine with lots of connections and he dealt used cars, always driving a different car every week. That man could talk a shoe salesman outta his shoes.
He quickly became my best client, booking massages and tanning sessions several times a week. I didn’t know it then, but he was working me right from the start, paying attention to every little detail. Soon he was everywhere. I’d run into him at the gas station, grocery store, he’d even drop by the salon when he didn’t have an appt, to bring me lunch or a sweet treat. After about four weeks of this, I finally agreed to a date.
One night out with him and I was head over heels! Things moved pretty quickly from there. After two months of dating I introduced him to my children. They absolutely adored him. He made dinner, changed diapers, played with them all the time … it was too good to be true! He swept me off my feet. Every weekend we went away on a different adventure. He took me to Atlantic City, Times Square, Wildwood, Broadway shows, hockey games, Statue of Liberty, Medieval Times, Crystal Caves … etc. … Life was good!
Wife answers the phone
One day about six months into it, he didn’t answer his cell, so I tried his house phone. A woman answered the phone claiming to be his wife. My heart sank. She told me he has had a long history of cheating, and had several affairs and was a pathological liar. I should have ended it right there! I should have walked away and never looked back!!
He showed up at my door and very convincingly told me she was there picking up their kids and they were going through a divorce as well and she tries to sabotage his relationships. He convinced me by moving in with me, and was with me every day, so I believed him.
He always kept a house of his own, though. He moved around a lot, claiming to dabble in real estate, flipping houses and such, which I later found out to be a lie. He would never be able to own anything due to judgments against him, back taxes, and things of that nature.
Soon after, more things started happening. When we went out, he’d tell me he was short on cash and to loan him 200 bucks til he went to the bank, so we’d go out and he paid for everything … with my money! Then he maxed out my credit cards, over-drafted my accounts. He even swindled me out of my car. This went on for years.
Eventually he became very jealous of my clients, accusing me of having affairs. He even beat me so bad one night that I had a broken nose, two black eyes, and head wounds. From there I eventually just gave up. My accounts were drained, I lost my career, my home, and most of all any self-respect that I had left.
Still, I stayed. And at this point I knew to keep my mouth shut and not to do anything to set him off. He would disappear for weeks at a time, and would come and go as he pleased. But I had nothing, I lost everything, and now I depended on him. I even found myself lying to friends and family trying to cover for him … too embarrassed to face the truth. He had several affairs, with at least six women (that I knew about), maybe more. He always came back to me. When things were good, they were really good, and when they were bad, they were downright awful.
At one of my darkest moments I attempted suicide and came very close to ending my life. I woke up in the ICU with breathing tubes down my throat. The nurses told me he never left my side. Immediately upon my recovery, I was taken involuntarily to a psychiatric unit. He visited me every day, even came to counseling with me. When the time came for me to come home, I thought it was a turning point. Things were great again, better than great. We were so in love it was sickening. He was addicting. He was my drug in every sense and I could feel him running through my veins. I was intoxicated by his “love.”
At one point he even had my name tattooed on his chest over his heart. I never did understand how he explained that one to his wife. But she too, like me, is tangled up in his twisted web.
Eventually things started going downwards again. He had convinced his family and friends that I was a lunatic, and after all, he had the hospital stunt to back him up now on that one. I was totally discredited from here on out. Sometimes things were okay, but it never lasted long.
And then one day he was arrested, and I found out he had 13 different warrants, everything from bad checks, theft by deception, credit card fraud, bad car deals … you name it, he did it! They were after him for a long time. After a few weeks he got lawyers and bail bondsmen and finally posted all the bails and was free once again. He told me this had changed him and wanted to start a new life with me.
He wanted to have a child with me, so eventually I got pregnant, and as soon as I was, it all started again. He wasn’t around much at all during the nine months. He wanted a girl; I gave birth to a boy. Nevertheless, he was a proud papa … for about 12 weeks.
One of my friends called to tell me they saw his picture in the paper under New Jersey’s most wanted. When our son was three months old he disappeared completely. I found out he was still with his wife and relocated them to Arizona with their three kids. I was devastated once again, with a newborn baby, and he was halfway across the country living it up with his “other” family while I was alone to raise our son.
Ran to him
Out of the blue one day he called and asked me to pick him up at the local airport. Of course I ran to him, hoping he was going to father his son. He was home with us for three days when the cops surrounded my house and led him out in handcuffs. He had skipped out on all the bail he’d previously posted and owed thousands to the bail bondsmen, plus a slew of new charges.
I got a job as a waitress, sent him money and accepted his calls. I even drove the baby two hours every single weekend to visit him. He’s a slick man, and worked the system. He was home in six months!
Once again he wanted to start over, but this time he moved me out of state. I left my job, my family, my friends, everything! I left it all behind to be with the father of my son and the man that I loved.
When we first moved in, it was wonderful … candles by the hot tub with wine, cards and gifts. He was an amazing daddy. But soon, he started treating my two older boys like second-class citizens. He was very strict, a complete neat freak, and even told my kids he hated them and they should go live with their grandmother, and often referred to them as my “dirtbag kids.”
At this point I was so trapped. I was hours from home, away from all my friends and family, I don’t know a soul in the area, he pays for everything, doesn’t want me working, I have no money, nothing … what could I do? I dealt with it. After all, he would always make up for the bad times, making me forget very quickly.
We celebrated our son’s first birthday this past December. Shortly after his birthday, he gave me money to go Christmas shopping for all the kids. I returned home from the store to find things a bit out of place. Things were missing out of the house … weird things like clothing items, pictures, paperwork, court papers … he was gone again!
Now at this point, I totally knew what he was, and I could fully expect him to do this to me—but not to his son! How could he do this to that little boy that has grown to love his daddy so much? How could he do this to this little boy that he hugs and kisses and plays with every day? He is not a man—he is a monster!
He left without warning, without saying goodbye, knowing I didn’t have a dollar to my name. He didn’t care if his beautiful little boy had diapers, or milk, or food. I had to go to a local gas station and explain my situation to the clerk who was kind enough to give me a gallon of milk for the baby. Christmas came and went, and still no word. So I had a friend quietly Western Union me enough money to put gas in my car to take the kids to visit family out of state. I kept up the façade, felling my family things were fine, that he just didn’t feel like coming with us.
I got a little money from Christmas gifts and we returned to hour home … still empty. He never came home. I had to carry the baby up the driveway through 18 inches of snow because I don’t know anyone here or even have the money to have someone plow the road.
I have learned to spend what little that I have very wisely. I leave the house about every three days to get milk only, saving the gas in my car. I learned to water down the milk to make it last longer. I use wet paper towels in place of baby wipes. And I finally asked for help. I broke down to my sister and told her everything. She and her husband are coming for us this weekend. When I leave with them I will have a new cell phone and a safe house to go to with my kids. It is far from a nice place but it’s where I need to go to get my head right. It’s a step in the right direction.
All these years I put up with it, and it only took one action of heartlessness towards his son for me to realize he will never change.
Far from over
I know this is far from over. He is in Arizona again with his “other” family. I know when he gets bored with the wife again, he will come back with a thousand apologies. This time when he returns, he is coming home to an empty house. I know he will come looking for us. He will never let me go. He will never let his son go, even though he discarded us like trash. When he’s ready, he will be back, and I will be gone.
I know there will come a time I will have to face him. He will take me to court for our son. I just keep telling myself no judge in their right mind would give this man a baby! But then again, I know what he’s capable of, and always bragged of flings with prosecutors and lawyers, anything to have people on his side. I know he doesn’t want our son, he would do it just to have control.
He proved how much he really cared about this little boy when he walked out. This poor little guy walks around the house saying “Dada Dada.” He has no idea where his daddy is and is probably wondering why he left him. My heart bleeds for him. He doesn’t deserve a lifetime of this. That is why we are better off without him.
In love with an illusion
Right now, I am a living, breathing, walking mess. I go days without eating, til I have to force something down my throat just to gain energy. I’m either awake all night, not being able to sleep from the stress, or I’m passed out by 8 p.m., just overwhelmed by the day and the thoughts in my had. Some days I feel like I don’t have the strength to even take care of the baby. I try to play with him and make believe I’m happy, but even a one-year-old can sense mom’s not all right.
I am just trying to hold on until the cavalry comes this weekend. The saddest part of it all is that even though I have so much hate for him inside me, deep down there’s a part inside of me that wants to love that evil, heartless man. I know I am in love with an illusion. One lady wrote in a blog, “From hello to goodbye, it was all a lie.” I never heard truer words spoken.
Since he has been gone I’ve had several people knock at the door looking for car titles to vehicles he sold them, and one man furious over a $1,000 bounced check. I am hounded and haunted by people he has conned every day.
I pray that God gives me the strength to get through this, because I know it only takes one phone call, just the sound of his voice spilling out lies and excuses and empty promises to pull me back into his twisted web. I know I have a long road ahead of me, and that at some point, when I get settled into our new “home,” that I will probably need some kind of counseling. I also know it won’t be easy. I have so much pain inside my heart that I don’t want to face, and the wounds are still way too fresh. I know I have to stay strong and do what’s right for my boys.
Ya know, I often think back, and wonder how my life would have turned out if he never walked into the salon that day. Or if I left him the minute that woman answered the phone, claiming to be his wife … all the what ifs!
He stole a whole lot more than just the past eight years of my life. I am now 31 years old, with three kids, no job, no bank accounts, no home of my own, nothing to show for it, and $27.36 to my name.
And that is my story.