Editor’s note: Lovefraud received the following article from a reader called “Makemenew2012.”
I met my second husband, an African immigrant, on a social media site in early January of this year. Mr. C (as I’ll refer to him) connected with me through a mutual acquaintance and began sending me e-mails every day. At first, his messages seemed rather innocent— Mr. C asked how my day was going, what the weather was like, etc. But after a few days, he began fishing for information, inquiring about my husband and children. The first time, I ignored his question and responded on my own behalf. The next time, I replied that I didn’t have a husband or children. And that was his cue to start reeling me in … Later, Mr. C would confess that he’d read through my profile many times, trying to learn as much as he could about me.
Although I suspected Mr. C was coming on a bit too strong, tried to ignore his e-mails, and contemplated ending our budding friendship, I wanted to see just how far he would go. What I didn’t know is that I was playing with fire. After only two weeks, Mr. C told me that he loved me, was my soul mate and wanted to marry me. He sent messages full of beautiful prose to pique my interest. His efforts were successful, because we soon began to chat online during the day. Since I work from home, I was able to log in and chat with him just about all day, every day. If I wasn’t online, Mr. C would be waiting for me when I got on and he would even question me about what I had been doing. It seemed like he wanted to chat with me as much as possible, and I was flattered by all of the compliments and attention I received from him.
Mr. C told me that he is from a royal family in his home country; one of his uncles is a tribal chief. I didn’t believe it, but then he gave me a name and asked me to search online. I did, and to my amazement, I found that it was true— the man is a chief. But he and his “uncle” do not have the same surname, so there was no way to verify their kinship. Nonetheless, I was impressed and intrigued, even fascinated, with my new beau. We talked extensively about our newfound love and our shared dreams of marriage, family, travel, etc. I told Mr. C that I was divorced, but he was undeterred. In fact, he’d had his own experiences with failed relationships. And what I wanted, coincidentally, was also what he wanted. I longed for two kids and a lasting marriage, and so did he. I was smitten …
Throughout the course of our relationship, I had received a few warning flags about Mr. C, but he was always able to easily explain them away or divert the blame onto someone else (including me). For example, shortly after I announced that we were in a relationship, I received an e-mail from our mutual online acquaintance. She asked if Mr. C was my boyfriend, but didn’t say anything else. Instead, she provided her phone number and asked me to call her as soon as possible. When we spoke, she openly questioned my boyfriend’s integrity, insinuating that he tried to woo her with a compliment and even requested her phone number. Then, she asked me to visit his profile page and scroll down to a few entries from last year. Apparently, at one time, Mr. C declared he was in a relationship. And a few weeks later, he announced that he was engaged to be married. I was taken aback by this information, but unconvinced by her assertions. Plus, it didn’t help that she espoused some particularly discriminatory beliefs about African men— they’re liars, cheaters, etc.
I rationalized that the phone number request was for his cousin (she was also a friend of Mr. C’s cousin) and the compliment was completely innocent. After all, I had received similar compliments from married and attached male acquaintances. Ending our conversation, I assured her that I would speak with Mr. C and clarify the declarations he’d made on his profile. Surely, he had a good explanation. Indeed, after a tearful discussion with my best friend, I confessed to Mr. C that I had spoken with our mutual acquaintance and I revealed the details of our conversation.
As anticipated, he had a perfectly reasonable explanation for everything. He wasn’t interested in her at all; he only wanted her phone number for his cousin. And the relationship announcements on his profile were only there as a discouragement for a woman who liked him although he didn’t feel the same way. And when I mentioned the more negative aspects of our acquaintance’s beliefs about African men, Mr. C was totally appalled. He countered, dismissing her as a “hater” who was questioning and destroying his integrity. I was inclined to agree, and so I stood by my man … In the following months, I would receive e-mails from at least two other women, warning me about my husband (e.g., he has a son back in his home country and his family is a bunch of gold-diggers, etc.). But he vehemently denied their criticisms, swiftly dismissing their claims.
The Sob Story
When we first spoke on the phone, I was overcome with emotion upon hearing the story of how Mr. C came to America. It was a classic tale of survival against all odds. He won the green card lottery, flew to the States and landed in New York, only to be stranded by his sponsor. He called the only phone number he had and it was disconnected. So, Mr. C wandered around the airport, trying not to seem lost and bewildered, protecting himself from would-be thieves. And he had only a two-liter bottle of soda to drink— no food. He was hesitant to spend any of his cash, fearing that he wouldn’t have enough left over to survive. And although he had a round-trip ticket and could return to his native country, Mr. C did not want to miss out on the American dream and he didn’t want to admit failure to his family and friends. No, he decided instead to tough it out.
After speaking with a customer service agent, Mr. C walked to the bus terminal and met a man who was driving back home to Florida. The stranger kindly offered him a ride and Mr. C accepted. Hours later, they arrived in Florida and Mr. C lived with the man and his wife for 9 months until he decided to look for employment. He moved into the city and encountered challenges with finding a job. Unemployed and unwilling to go back to the generous couple’s house, Mr. C moved into a homeless shelter. Three or four months later, he found a part-time job, bought a used car and moved into a furnished apartment with a roommate.
Having bought into Mr. C’s hardship story, I was completely open to his advances— with no reservations. We continued our online chats and phone conversations (although chatting was easier because his heavy accent made him difficult to understand). Then, we started making Skype “dates” because we just had to see each other. We dressed up, blew kisses and hugged ourselves. It was as if I’d been transported in time back to high school. I was 17 years old again. And things really picked up speed … Mr. C and I discussed our wedding plans and even named our children. We just couldn’t stand to be without each other, so we planned our first in-person meeting.
Since he worked only part-time at a hardware store and had little disposable income, I would fly down to Florida and visit with him. My original plan was to get my own hotel room, but Mr. C assured me that he’d be a perfect gentleman— we would wait until after marriage to have sex, so there was no pressure. Over time, that changed, though. Our conversations took on a sexual undertone and then became overtly sexual. He promised to please me in the bedroom and even talked about getting me pregnant right away. I was hooked.
The Big Move
As the trip date got closer, I became convinced that Mr. C was truly the one for me. We seemed so compatible. So, when he talked about moving up to Maryland (my home state) to be closer to me, I was really excited by the prospect. He began searching online and applying for jobs but then we agreed that it would be easier for him to interview for opportunities if he moved in with me. It was surreal— I could hardly sleep or eat, thinking about spending all of my time with him. God had sent me the love of my life and everything was perfect …
So, Mr. C and I decided that he would try to transfer his part-time job (an insane notion) and he would also give his landlord notice to vacate (an even more insane notion). He requested a transfer from his employer, but it was denied and Mr. C was forced to quit.
Of course, I was there to soothe his fears— no problem, I would take care of everything. My plan was to fly down to Florida, help him pack his belongings and then we would drive back to Maryland together. Despite some last-minute jitters and second thoughts, I was determined to honor my commitment to him and follow through with the plan. I broke my promise to my best friend to wait at least six months before committing to anything serious. And when I spoke with my friends about the trip, I lied to avoid their questions.
The Meet & Greet
In early February, I flew to Florida and Mr. C met me at the airport. At six feet and six inches tall, he was not hard to spot. When he saw me, he began jumping up and down like a child, not someone in his mid-thirties. I was a bit embarrassed, but I figured that he was elated to meet me finally. He walked me to his car— it was very old, but clean— and we drove into the city. We stopped for a quick lunch and a walk around the local college campus, and then headed to his apartment so I could change clothing.
Mr. C told me that he lived in modest, low-income housing, but I was unprepared to see his living conditions. He lived in a subsidized public housing unit. Basically, it was the projects with palm trees. Mr. C’s neighbors sat outside, playing loud music, smoking, cursing and drinking. His one-room efficiency was sparsely furnished and he had virtually no food in the refrigerator. After a tour of the homeless shelter where he once resided (a staff member greeted him) and the main public library where he volunteered while homeless (he introduced me to an old buddy there), we returned to Mr. C’s apartment.
The Real Hook
Upon returning to his place, Mr. C and I had sex for the first time. It was a pleasurable experience and lasted over an hour. Now, I was really hooked. We went out for dinner afterwards and I helped pay the check, since he didn’t have enough money. I had paid for lunch earlier that day, as I knew his income was limited. Once more, we headed back to his place and there was more sex. I woke up the next morning feeling bonded to my boyfriend. It was me and him against the world.
We spent the next few days sightseeing, visiting the generous couple who helped him out, and walking around in a daze, just gazing into each other’s eyes. Nevermind that he didn’t have any money for entertainment (I sprung for a trip to the botanical gardens), for food (I purchased all of our meals and cooked a big pot of chili, too) or gas for his car (and I bought that). He donated plasma and sold his mountain bike to raise funds for our trip, but that yielded a paltry sum of $60. It’s as if he knew that I had it all under control. Thinking back, I realize most men wouldn’t dare to embark on a road trip with no money.
The Roach Motel
Four days after I arrived in Florida, we hit the road and began driving to Maryland. As soon as the road trip started, we experienced problems with Mr. C’s car. According to him, he took it in for preventative maintenance before I arrived and everything was fine. But the car couldn’t accelerate beyond 60 miles per hour and it overheated every 20 minutes or so. We kept pulling off the road onto the shoulder, where Mr. C would pop the hood and pour antifreeze into the engine (or so I thought). After two hours — only a quarter of the distance we needed to travel— we drove into a rest stop and the car wouldn’t start up again. I felt somewhat panicked, but Mr. C was very calm and called roadside assistance. A tow truck arrived after 15 minutes and the truck driver checked the car, diagnosing engine failure. The 14 year-old car would cost more to fix than what it was worth. Instead of using antifreeze, Mr. C had been pouring a mixture of oil and water into the car engine, and it simply blew up.
So, we were stranded in South Carolina, 400 miles away from my home in Maryland. And we had barely enough money for lunch, much less to rent a car. Quickly moving in to save the day, I applied for an online payday loan and reserved a room at the cheapest hotel around. The tow truck driver dropped us off at the hotel with all of our belongings, taking Mr. C’s junker car back to the auto shop with him. We stayed at the hotel for two nights until my payday rolled around, eating pizza and fast food, killing time and the many roaches that inhabited the place. Having convinced Mr. C to off-load his excess stuff and pare it down to two pieces of luggage, I awoke at 4 AM to verify my payroll check had posted to my bank account and I bought two airplane tickets. We took a cab to the airport and flew home to Maryland.
The Sweet Life
Ah, home, sweet, home! We arrived at my house in Maryland (Mr. C had already looked it up online and knew what my home’s exterior looks like). I surprised my new love interest by showing him his open closet space, dresser drawers and framed pictures of his family. Before I departed for Florida, I cleared half of my closet and drawers for him. I also cleaned out my garage, donating and discarding the things that my first husband left behind when he moved out. Mr. C and I unpacked and situated all of his clothing and personal belongings, settling into connubial bliss.
After setting up and playing house, complete with a shopping spree (courtesy of yours truly) and lots of sex, we agreed to get married on Valentine’s Day. Why not? There was no reason to delay— we were only wasting time, since we knew we were perfect for each other. I didn’t want to “shack up” and he wanted to impregnate me as soon as possible, so we could start our family. So, exactly one week after he moved in with me, Mr. C and I dressed up— he in a brand new suit and I in a new white dress— and said our own vows at the county courthouse. And then we went to a photo studio at the local shopping center and took plenty of pictures. The day ended with a romantic dinner at a historic inn (although I worried about paying the bill) and a somewhat passionate evening at home.
Well, it didn’t take long for the sweet scent of love and romance to begin fading. … Two weeks after we married, I received an e-mail from my Mr. C’s ex-girlfriend in Florida. Ironically, I was at the gym, speaking with the manager and defending the institution of marriage— he doesn’t believe in commitment of any kind, including children. I checked my smartphone for messages and, lo and behold, there was this e-mail with my husband’s full legal name in the subject line.
I read on in disbelief and discovered the first of many lies that he had told me. When I asked Mr. C if he’d ever had a girlfriend during his year and a half here in the U.S., he said, “No”. But here was this message from an African woman, claiming they had dated for five months, discussed marriage and children, and gotten tested for HIV and STD together. She even mentioned a pregnancy scare.
After a shortened workout, I went home and confronted Mr. C with my newfound knowledge. “Who is this woman to you?” I asked. He denied that they were ever in a relationship, asserting that he and the woman were only friends. I grudgingly accepted his version of the truth. But there was another matter to resolve— he owed her money (he said $600, but it turned out to be $850). Because the woman was angry with my husband and requested to deal with me only, I made payment arrangements with her and proceeded to send her money bi-weekly until the debt was repaid.
The Good Wife
Meanwhile, playing the role of the selfless wife, I brought home the bacon and fried it up in a pan … My salary paid all of the bills (I had always been self-supporting). After we got to Maryland, Mr. C obtained a full-time job with his former employer. But his paycheck did not even cover his expenses— paying off the ex-girlfriend, supporting his extended family in Africa (his mother’s rent, utilities, food and his half-brother’s school tuition), cell phone bill and long-distance calling plan. So, needless to say, our budget was really tight. I cooked most of our meals, scrimping wherever I could, and postponed my visits to the salon. I also cleaned the entire house, washed and folded our clothing and transported Mr. C to and from work. I had the only operational vehicle in the household.
It was during this time that Mr. C began to experience major health problems. Little did I know that this was a pre-existing condition diagnosed months before … When I visited him in Florida, my then-boyfriend told me he’d had a bicycle accident late last year and suffered a minor injury— a cut to his ankle. After some seemingly unnecessary doctor’s visits and multiple medical tests (including ultrasounds), he was sent home with a topical medicine and bandages. A month or so after our nuptials, Mr. C woke up one morning and complained of pain in his leg. I took him to my physician, who referred us to a vein specialist. After six months, five procedures and over $15,000 in insurance claims under my policy, Mr. C is most likely pain-free and fully functional, thanks to my employer’s medical insurance.
Yet another wrinkle appeared in the fabric of our perfect love affair when I searched the file cabinet in my home office one day and found a notebook belonging to Mr. C. As I flipped through the pages, I noticed he’d outlined his goals and objectives, including marriage. Then, I perused further and came across what appeared to be a series of draft letters to family members. There was a letter to a cousin whom he referred to as “sister,” a letter to his father apologizing for some embarrassing situation, and a letter to one of his younger brothers. As I reached the end of the letter to my brother-in-law, I read the words “… and get in touch with my daughter’s mother.” I was totally shocked and sat with my mouth gaping for a few minutes. I couldn’t believe it! When I’d asked Mr. C if he’d ever been married or fathered any children, he told me he was single and childless. He had lied to me once again!
Suddenly feeling empowered to seek out the truth, I phoned his “friend” in Florida and spoke with her. She confirmed my suspicions and even guessed that I had footed the bill for our wedding. It was uncanny. How could she know all of this? As it turns out, she had rescued Mr. C, too, paying some of his bills and accompanying him to his doctor’s visits. And she knew about his medical condition, as well. I didn’t have to supply any information— she just filled in the blanks.
Later that evening, I picked Mr. C up from work. But I didn’t confront him about what I read in the draft letter until the next morning. Upon learning what I knew, he had a ready explanation. Mr. C isn’t sure if the child is actually his daughter (although he calls her his daughter and knows her exact birth date, including the year). He went on to explain that the girl’s mother refuses to cooperate with paternity testing and in the past, sometimes claimed that another man is the father. I encouraged Mr. C to continue his efforts to determine paternity by contacting the child’s mother and he seemed to agree, but he never did so.
For the Easter holiday, we decided to travel up to Michigan to visit with my side of the family. Our whirlwind romance had transpired so quickly that my parents, sister, brother and my other relatives had never met Mr. C. In fact, although I had told them about my betrothed, I didn’t tell them about our marriage until after the wedding. Even then, I struggled with sharing the news.
I was worried about what my parents would think, especially since they each had expressed concerns about Mr. C and his foreign national status. My father pointed out that since Mr. C is from another country, I may not be able to verify his marital status and paternity of any children. And my mother, basing her opinions on an uncle of mine, was afraid that Mr. C might kidnap our children and take them to his home country, never to be seen again. But I managed to overcome my fears and tell my parents anyway. My mother acquiesced, stating that I am an adult and can do whatever I want. But when I called my father, who was in the midst of his own marital troubles, he offered a sarcastic “good luck” and practically hung up the phone.
Despite some minor damage to my car’s rear bumper cover (we tied it on with a bungee cord), we drove over 500 miles to my mother’s house. We proceeded to spend our visit bouncing between the different factions of my family— my parents are divorced and my father remarried— and sightseeing. It was fun— we cooked some traditional dishes from Mr. C’s home country, and my husband regaled my family with tales of growing up in Africa and his people’s customs. But the strain of our financial struggles and relationship difficulties was beginning to show.
One morning, towards the end of the visit, my mother and I had a conversation that I’ll never forget. Through her tears, my mom pleaded with me to examine my new marriage, asserting that she only had my best interest at heart. She also reminded me that I had devoted myself in the same way to my first husband, neglecting my own needs and desires. To her, it was clear that Mr. C was doing nothing for me, while I was doing everything for him. Afterwards, I started thinking about my mother’s advice and I confronted Mr. C, only to be met with indifference and apathy. I even began to cry, but he looked at me with disgust and tried to pacify me with false promises of self-improvement.
The Last Straw
The month of May rolled around and my allergies got the best of me. I felt absolutely miserable as I battled a runny nose, sore throat and continual headaches. The weird thing was I felt some relief from my headaches during the day, but they got worse at night when I went to bed. I openly complained about my ailments, but got no sympathy from my husband. He simply ignored me, failing to acknowledge my complaints, or just changed the subject to another topic (usually revolving around him).
After a few days, I couldn’t take the headache pain and sinus pressure anymore, so I decided that I needed to see a doctor. I mentioned this to Mr. C, yet once again he didn’t respond. Feeling angry and disappointed, I gathered my things and drove myself to the local urgent care clinic. I must’ve been gone for an hour and a half. During this time, Mr. C did not text or call me to inquire into my whereabouts. I returned home with medications in hand, growing angrier by the minute. I stormed into the house, demanding to know why he hadn’t tried to contact me. Did he even care that I was gone? Was my safety even a priority? He calmly replied that he thought I’d stepped out to do some grocery shopping and he figured I was okay.
At that moment, I was inconsolable. I felt abandoned and unloved, doubting what I thought I knew about this man I’d married. I sat down at the kitchen table, beckoning Mr. C. It was time for a serious talk … I began to unload my thoughts and feelings, revealing my unhappiness with our marriage and my desire to reclaim my sanity and personal freedom. Previously, I had suggested marriage counseling, and Mr. C volunteered to find a counselor for us, but he didn’t. I was beyond frustrated and a possible separation seemed to be the only solution. I broached the subject and he started to cry, imploring me to give him another chance to improve because he didn’t have the resources to move out on his own.
The Big News
A few weeks later, our situation came to a climax. When he wasn’t at work, Mr. C spent the bulk of his free time studying for his GED. According to him, he graduated from high school in his home country, but invariably could not find his diploma or it was not recognized as equivalent to a U.S. high school diploma. So, after prodding him to register, I drove Mr. C to his second day of exams (he drove himself on the first day). Despite a traffic detour due to construction, I managed to get him there a few minutes late. I headed back home, stopping at a nearby drug store for a pregnancy test. My period was late that month and I had other early symptoms of pregnancy: swollen breasts, bloating, frequent urination, weird pelvic pains and rampant moodiness (worse than PMS). I drove home and took a series of tests to confirm my suspicions. After three positive tests, I was sure about my pregnancy.
Feeling a bit excited, but uncertain about the future of our marriage since we had been discussing separation, I tried to nap. Unable to sleep, I later left the house and drove back to the local community college where I had deposited Mr. C earlier. He was waiting outside of the building for me and I pulled up to the curb. Mr. C jumped in the car and I began to drive off, deciding to share the news at that moment.
After I nervously announced that we were having a baby, my husband did not address the topic at all. Instead, he complained that both his head and chest hurt. Feeling shock and utter disappointment, I asked if his pain was related to the news I had just delivered. He said it was not, but adding nothing more. During the rest of the trip home, I talked about the state of our relationship and how the baby would change things, while he remained silent.
The Thrill Is Gone
When we got home, I happily chattered about the baby and looked at nursery furniture on the internet, trying to get Mr. C excited. After showing some mild interest, he indicated that he was hungry and we ate dinner. After mealtime, we agreed to watch a movie but never did, because he wouldn’t stop texting and put his smartphone down. For hours, my husband texted someone unknown to me, and every time I looked in his direction, he laid the phone against his stomach to prevent me from seeing the screen. He barely conversed with me, although I tried to talk with him about fairly non-controversial topics. He just seemed distracted and sneaky. I didn’t know what to do, so I retreated to the master bedroom.
He soon followed, but I was in no mood for his company. Once he entered the bedroom, I pounced on him with my questions. What did he really think about the pregnancy? What was in our future? Were we going to stay together and try to work things out? Or were we going to separate? His reply was, “I don’t know.” This bothered me. I had finally achieved my dream— I was married and in a family way. And now, my fantasy was crashing down around me. What did he mean, “I don’t know?” I didn’t like his reponse at all. I pushed him to explain himself and we talked for 30 minutes or so, arriving at a compromise. We would try marriage counseling, and this time, I’d find the counselor. (Somehow, I always had the feeling that I’d have to do it).
The Final Blow
We probably could’ve gone to sleep at that point, but Mr. C mentioned that he wanted to revisit an African charismatic church once again. That bothered me even more because I didn’t enjoy our first visit to the church and I couldn’t understand why he’d want to go there again after the pastor ignored his request for marriage counseling. Feeling angry, I tried to talk him out of going, but he insisted on showing his face in an attempt to make the pastor feel guilty somehow.
I stormed off to the guest room, slamming the door. Then, I came back and told Mr. C that he wasn’t going to drive my car to that church and I wanted my keys. He told me that he’d get a ride there. That just left me feeling more irritated and I begged him to stay up a bit longer so we could talk about it. Mr. C refused, saying that he needed to go to sleep because he was going to church in the morning.
Now, I was on the edge, growing more impatient and desperate. I asked again and gave him an ultimatum: either he stayed up and talked with me, or he was going to leave my house. Although I had promised not to threaten him like that anymore, I found myself breaking my promise. Mr. C stood his ground, asserting that he was going to church (later, he claimed that he said he was “foregoing church” but I still don’t believe that because I know what I heard). Then, I repeated my ultimatum, we shouted at each other and he began packing his belongings.
It was 1:45 AM, so I tried to convince him to stop but he was determined to go. He packed everything— clothing, shoes, paperwork, electronics, mementos and pictures. Less than 30 minutes later, he was gone. I closed the door and stayed on the phone with my best friend until 6:30 AM. I did go to our bank’s ATM, though, to withdraw as much cash as possible. I didn’t trust him and I suspected he might try to compromise our joint accounts. I needed to pay the mortgage and other essential bills.
The night that Mr. C left, he texted me about one thing- his kente cloth. Apparently, I didn’t realize how valuable hand-woven kente is on the open market. I texted my best friend about it and she directed me to eBay. I did a keyword search and discovered its worth ranges from $300 to $800 on average. Wow, so I had something that Mr. C really wanted … So, I quickly drafted a Marital Separation Agreement and arranged a meeting with him to get it signed and notarized. Meanwhile, I found a Christian counseling service and made an appointment for us. (But later, I canceled that appointment and scheduled another one just for myself).
Eight days after he left, I met up with Mr. C at a restaurant next a few doors down from a mail service center. I arrived on time and he was almost an hour and a half late. It was 84 degrees outside, and I was sweating and nauseous due to morning sickness. When he finally arrived, he was wearing a wool fedora hat, a long-sleeve oxford shirt and wool slacks. He casually asked how I was doing. I said, “fine” and he proceeded to tell me that he hadn’t eaten in days. I couldn’t understand why. There was money in our joint account. Also, he was working full-time and could’ve gotten a payday loan or borrowed a few bucks from someone.
I just wanted to get it over with so, we walked over to the mail center, we signed the agreement and got it notarized. We walked outside and waited until his co-worker drove up. Then, we strolled to my car; he was futilely trying to hold my hand while we crossed the parking lot. I proceeded to give him his kente cloth, along with every other item he had left behind. We spoke briefly about my pregnancy— I shared a few potential baby names and he agreed to attend the baby’s birth the following February. I told him that I’d keep him posted on my health status and progress. He also said he’d be in touch.
Within four days of leaving, Mr. C had managed to rent a room in a house only 20 minutes from his job. Then, he did something that I’ll always remember. After we had unloaded all of his things from my car, he handed me a dirty, second-hand, broken stuffed cupid pig. That was his gift to our unborn child. I numbly accepted it, stunned that he’d be so selfish and thoughtless. Instead of giving me a kente cloth—which holds great sentimental, cultural, historical and monetary value—for the baby, he wanted our son or daughter to hold on to that nasty stuffed animal. I drove off, fuming, and threw it in a garbage dumpster on the way home.
That evening, I felt quite fatigued and ordered a pizza for delivery. I spent the rest of the evening talking to my best friend on the phone, recounting the events of the day, blow-by-blow. At some point, I began to feel strong pelvic cramps and began spotting blood. Earlier in the day, I’d noticed very light pink spotting but I read that it’s normal for women to experience some light spotting in early pregnancy— nothing to worry about. I told my best friend about it and she advised me to call my doctor. I hung up with her and phone my doctor’s after-hour number. I received a call-back within 15 minutes, ironically from an OB-GYN I had visited a few years ago regarding another issue. She told me not to worry and reassured me the spotting was normal and to wait until the morning to call my doctor’s office.
I got my heating pad and went to sleep, tossing and turning. The next morning, I woke up early and caught up on some episodes of one of my favorite reality TV shows. Meanwhile, my pelvic cramps became more intense and painful. I went to the bathroom and checked- I was passing large blood clots, as if I were menstruating. Now, I was really frightened. When my doctor’s office opened at 9 AM, I called and spoke with the receptionist. I told her that I thought I was having a miscarriage— I was crying and I pleaded to see a doctor as soon as possible. The earliest appointment time I could get was 11 AM, two hours later.
I was alone, in great pain and practically scared to death when I miscarried my six week-old baby. I sneezed, felt a whoosh down below. I retrieved the embryo, still in its sac, put it in a plastic sandwich bag and took it to the OB-GYN with me. Once more, I was dazed— but not in romantic way— and confused.
Only God knows how I even made it to that appointment in one piece. The entire way there, I kept crying in the car and praying for extra strength. I felt like I was totally falling apart, but I maintained my composure and I didn’t start crying again until I left the waiting room and saw the doctor. All the while, my best friend kept texting me to make sure I was okay. I love that woman! Afterwards, I texted Mr. C and told him that we had lost the baby. His only response was that it was unfair. When I summoned the strength and courage to meet up with him again the next day so we could sign an amended Marital Separation Agreement, he repeated the same complaint.
The Future is Bright
After the sudden separation and my miscarriage, I began to reflect over what had happened and I started journaling. As I wrote down my thoughts and feelings, I discovered a pattern of negative, destructive relationships with men. In fact, I learned that I have never had a healthy relationship with a man, starting with my father. He was the first man I ever loved and with whom I fell in love. And he was the first man to break my heart.
Somehow, by the grace of God, I knew that I needed professional help to identify the source of my behavior and learn new ways of meeting my own needs and relating to to other people from a state of wholeness. I found two wonderful counselors, the first of whom diagnosed me as a love addict. With her guidance, I began attending 12 Step meetings. Now, I’m working with a different therapist to address my codependence issues and addictions to sex and love. For the next year (or few years), I’m focused on living a celibate, sober life and enjoying getting to know myself. I will love and care for myself, learn from my mistakes and break the cycle. I don’t want to be the target of another sociopath, con man or other emotionally unavailable man again. I deserve much better than that.
The Unanswered Questions
I’m grateful to be healing and on the path to recovery, but I still wonder about so many things … How old is Mr. C? His 10-year green card states that he is 32 years old (and consequently so do all of his other forms of government-issued identification, including our marriage license), but he claims to be 34 years old. When I asked, he told me there was a mix-up with birth date on the birth certificate issued by his home country. Did Mr. C really win the green card lottery? And is his documentation fake? Who knows …
Does Mr. C have accomplices and is his online acquaintance from Maryland one of them? This is a good question, because according to his ex-girlfriend, this acquaintance knew he was in a relationship already but she advised me to reciprocate his interest. Although she’s Caucasian, she’s got an African-sounding surname and this lady did tell me that Mr. C wanted to come to Maryland. After we got married, we tried to set up a meeting with her but she was always unavailable. Plus, Mr. C was trying to set her up with his cousin in Africa, in hopes of bringing him to America. Hmm …
And what if he and his African ex-girlfriend in Florida never parted? What if they were still in communication after we got married? And what if they concocted that story about him owing her money just to make a quick $850? That’s quite a conspiracy theory, though.
Has he ever been married? Does he have any more children here or in Africa? Is the Police Service in his home country looking for him because he committed fraud and went on paid medical leave, based on a phony medical diagnosis of prostate cancer?
Well, the truth is that I’ll never learn the answers to these questions, because I’m maintaining no contact with Mr. C (no e-mails, no letters, no phone calls, no texts, no meetings, etc.). I haven’t contacted him since early July and I have no intentions of doing so. The next time he hears from me, it will be via a process server with divorce papers.
On Labor Day, he texted about sending me his wedding ring, saying I deserved it since I’m still paying for it. That’s a price I’m willing to pay for some good lessons learned. I deleted the text and never replied to him. He can keep that ring, sell it, give it away— I don’t care. I recognized his contact for what it was— an attempt to pull me back into his web and get something from me. God willing, I never want to see that man again in my life! And despite my curiosity and previous inquiries, I am not spending hundreds of dollars to send a private investigator to his home country for a background investigation. I choose to let this sleeping dog lie and keep his fleas with him. No thank you and no more drama!