Editor’s note: The following essay was written by the Lovefraud reader whom we’ll call “Ella Mae.”
I wish I would have read the signs early on and went with my gut 6 years ago. My story is this.
We have been in a relationship for six years. Two of those six years we were married. We decided we would get married because I got pregnant. I thought that he would change and we would live happily ever after– but that wasn’t the case. When we were dating there were many red flags but I chose to ignore them. Every time he was caught in a lie, he would have an explanation. Me being naive, I thought how can someone possibly make a lie for everything. I gave him the benefit of the doubt and believed he loved me.
Two years ago we started our married life together living here in Europe. I had my first child and stopped paying attention to what he was doing. I thought it wasn’t possible for him to want to stray from our marriage. To make a long story short, in September of 2012, I left to visit my family. When I came back, I thought everything was okay.
Then I had to leave once again because my mother was diagnosed with cancer. I was gone for almost 2 months. Then one afternoon I got a phone call that my husband had been arrested for fraud. My life was falling apart with my mother having cancer and my husband in Jail. I returned home, thinking I would be there for my husband and we would solve everything. To my surprise little things were starting to surface and I started digging.
Sex, and lots of it
First I found a massive amount of CIALIS (CIALIS is indicated for the treatment of men with erectile dysfunction), he was taking while I was away. He told me he needed it to masturbate. Then I found he was hiding sex videos and old nude pictures of his ex girlfriend. He said he didn’t know he had them. Then I found out he was speaking to his ex girlfriend about showing him love and emailing her while we were together. Then I spoke to my neighbor and she informed me that a young woman was coming out of my house in the morning alone and my husband drove her home. When he tried to explain he couldn’t come up with a story, he just kept saying he loves me and has never cheated. After a month he came up with this story that this woman had a boyfriend but every friend I spoke with has told me they have never met “her boyfriend” and he has taken her to many hotels during the daytime while I was home and also while I was away visiting my family. Friends of his have also told me he used to brag about having sex with her and I.
For 2 years I have been taking care of our daughter. Being a mother is hard work. I didn’t pay attention to him. Sometimes I blame myself and think that I am the reason this is all happening. Maybe because I was too tired to have sex, or wasn’t kinky enough, didn’t compliment him and make him feel good. I don’t know. I was just so tired.
Lies, and lots of them
I actually even found his mistress’s in question email address. She has made up about six different stories about her relationship with him. I finally couldn’t take it anymore and decided to hire a private investigator. After making a few phone calls, and talking with a specific hotel, the private investigator confirmed my husband took not only his mistress to the hotel in question, but also many prostitutes; whom he paid a lot of money for. Of course the private investigator cannot prove it because it would mean his contacts would lose their jobs, so I could not use it for divorce. I confronted him about this and he swore he has never been with a prostitute. I don’t understand how he could still lie. I know I will never know the truth. Maybe I know the truth, but for some reason I want to believe maybe he loves me and could possibly not do this to me.
I also found pictures of him giving oral sex to a disgusting woman and you guessed it, he had an answer for that one. He said it was his ex girlfriend from 7 years ago. But it is not. It is the hotel he was staying at and for some reason he was taking pictures or himself pleasuring her and sent it to his email the day before we arrived.
Nothing makes sense in my life. I feel so broken down. I really feel like my husband is a sociopath and has been using me for years. I feel sick to my stomach most days. I have lost a total of 25 lbs since I have returned. I have a very active toddler to take care of and I’m in a country where I have few friends and support.
We visit him weekly and he tells me not to leave him and he wants to work on our marriage. I just don’t understand how a man so sick could hurt me and not feel guilty about what he is doing. The good thing is he has given me full custody for our daughter and I have applied for legal separation and it’s in the process.
Reading some of your blogs, I can see how being in a relationship with a sociopath is toxic. I want to heal and move on with my life. I envy those who have moved on and found great healthy relationships. I hope one day that will be me.
I can’t change my past and I can’t regret anything because I have a beautiful girl but I wish it was with the right man.
I forgot to add he has two other teenage children that he abandoned when they were young, and I only found out about his other daughter weeks ago. He told me he didn’t want to lose me so he left that out. When we first started dating I told him I could never date a man with children, and I guess he thought this was the right way.
I want healing. I know it will be hard. I still love this man and want to give him the benefit of the doubt. What is wrong with me? But I cannot give him another chance. How can I live with all these lies? If for nothing else, I have to get away for our daughter’s sake.
There are a lot of other things in our relationship and hopefully the words aren’t all jumbled and make some sense. I needed to write my story. Maybe someone has been through what I have been through. I hope this is a step for me in the right direction.