Editor’s note: Lovefraud received the following from a reader whom we’ll call “Eugenie.”
My sociopath got in touch through a mutual friend on Facebook. We had been at college together, although I didn’t remember him.
He was quirky, charismatic, attentive, open, romantic and respectful. We didn’t even kiss until I’d been seeing him for six weeks. Over the next few months, we went on several weekends away to European cities and to places in England —where I’m from. We saw each other about twice a week and I was happy with that. I have a busy and independent life and he appeared to have the same.
He had a history of serial adultery, a failed marriage, several failed relationships and many meaningless liaisons with many women. However, he said now that he was 51 and had met me, ‘the love of his life,’ he wanted only to be with me. I believed him!
He proposed to me on the beach in Barcelona and, strangely, I didn’t say yes. I knew he wasn’t marriage material, so I was flattered but said I’d need to have a think about it. He pursued this and insisted it would be the right thing for us both. I went along with it, but from then I think I felt a little uncomfortable.
He was living in the house of an ‘ex’ who he had a child with — age 7 — and he claimed it was from a ‘one night stand.’ She was German and was living in Berlin, but had kept her house in England and he was living there and looking after it, and it suited the child, who he looked after in the school holidays. Again, I believed him. I rarely stayed there, as it felt like her house rather than his.
Something wasn’t right
It was only after about a year of seeing him, with our marriage date getting nearer, that I began to realise that something wasn’t right. Whenever I questioned him, he would come up with a version of events that didn’t quite ring true, but I accepted it. I hadn’t realised that I was addicted to seeing him and would put up with discomfort in between my twice weekly ‘fix.’
Also, he was presenting himself as wealthy, he paid for everything and whenever I got too inquisitive, he would take me away for a romantic weekend. I remember one of the last weekends we were away and I could see his reflection in the window of the tram, I was quite scared as I looked at him without him knowing and felt I was with a stranger. However, again I chose to ignore my ‘gut instinct.’
Also around this time, I noticed that we kept having the same types of conversation and when I asked him about himself, he often would start asking about me. I told him that I wasn’t happy with him living in his ex’s house, but I knew I didn’t want him living with me. Also we went out just the two of us, or with my family. He said he was quite a loner and didn’t have many friends and just enjoyed my company.
Skeletons in the cupboard
Several times over the year I saw him, I told him I had this feeling that he had ‘skeletons in the cupboard,’ and asked him to be open and honest with me about himself sooner rather than later. He assured me he had nothing to hide and even told me the password to his email. I didn’t look straight away, but when I did, I found he had been sending flirty emails to a few women and one was actually coming over to see him from Ireland the following week.
When I challenged him, he came up with a story about her stalking him, he only loved me, I should trust him blah blah blah. I believed him, but was feeling more and more anxious and uncomfortable. On looking further at his email, I became suspicious that his ‘ex’ had moved back from Germany.
I asked him and he said she was in Berlin, what he didn’t know was that I was outside the house and had seen her there. I knocked and he answered and he told me she had lived there with him the whole time he’d been seeing me and, in fact they’d lived together for the past 8 years!!!!
I was SO SHOCKED I spoke with her and explained about him seeing me for over a year. I couldn’t make any sense of it. I couldn’t believe the situation — which isn’t surprising as it was all one big pack of lies.
He still wants to marry me
Despite this he continued begging me to carry on, he said they weren’t sleeping together and she had actually said that to me. She said I’d been providing the missing link in their relationship and I should leave him, as she wanted him back in a full relationship. However, he was begging me to still marry him, he wanted me, I was the only person he’d ever loved. I was so confused. I didn’t see him for a week or so, but I was finding it so hard to un-love him. In the midst of all this, I discovered he’d been with the woman from Ireland for a weekend in a hotel. It had been convenient that I’d not seen him the last couple of weeks.
He was begging forgiveness, saying it was because his ‘senses were blighted’ by his love for me and he had gone to self-destruct, because he realised he’d ruined everything by lying to me. He said his heart was broken that he’d lost the love of his life and he hated himself. He begged me to see him — like a fool I agreed — I believed him.
The very next night I was in a restaurant with my sister and the weirdest thing happened. He walked in with the mother of his child holding hands —Yes —HOLDING HANDS. I nearly choked. There were no tables available so they left and I called him. He said that they were having a business meeting; he was holding hands because she’d had too much to drink blah blah.
Anyway, I dragged my sister to another restaurant about an hour later as I suspected he was there — and YES — the two of them were there. At this stage I was in a state of numbness and disbelief. I approached him, when she had gone to the bathroom, and he told me that they were ending their relationship over a meal and I really shouldn’t be there. I was leaving before she came back to the table, but she’d seen me and called me over.
He said he couldn’t deal with it and went outside to talk with my sister. I talked to his partner and she was very protective and defensive. When I told her he had been with me the night before and was begging me to have him, she looked shocked but asked me to leave him alone for the sake of their child. I agreed to this, as I knew I couldn’t carry on.
She has since seen the evidence of his deceit with me on his phone and emails and has kicked him out of her house. She also told me that she was financially supporting him as he was having business problems. She said she knew he’d had affairs before, but this was different, as he’d been away with me for holidays and it had been relatively long term.
I walked away
He told me that he’d never expected to ‘fall in love’ with me, and he thought it would be one of his usual two-month liaisons. He’d got himself tangled up with his lies and couldn’t deal with it all. He wanted to move in with me, but I said NO. I found it SO HARD, but I’ve had to walk away. A week later an article in an English newspaper directed me to Lovefraud.com. It has been a godsend. Without it, I think I would have been drawn back to his sordid life of deceit.
Because of the evidence staring me in the face from his email and from him appearing with his partner, I don’t think I could have believed the scale of his lies. From the moment he met me he started lying, and has been continuing until two days ago, when he has still been saying I’m the only one he’s ever loved etc etc. It’s only because I’ve threatened to tell his partner that he’s stopped — for now.
So it was only actually 5 weeks ago that I uncovered this web of deceit and it has been SO PAINFUL. I’ve felt suicidal at times. I’ve questioned myself and my whole belief system. I knew somewhere in me from the start that things weren’t right, but was so low in my own self-esteem that I was not prepared to listen to myself, but was prepared to listen to the biggest LIAR I’ve eve met. I was angry with him and myself. I’ve realised that there is no point in talking to him, as EVERYTHING that comes out of his mouth is a lie, it rolls off his silver tongue.
I’ve begun to heal
On a positive note, I have begun to heal in that short time. He’s not taken me for any money, he’s just taken some of my self respect and he never turned nasty. He was a ‘nice sociopath.’ I’ve had to work hard, but I am moving forward and the pain is lessening. For the first three weeks or so, I was shaking, not eating, totally in shock. But I’m not prepared to let him ruin my life. I can see that the Universe/God was having to give me very strong messages:
- Always trust your instincts
- I loved the man I believed him to be, but he was simply reflecting back to me the character traits in me. All traits that I like and admire. I had them all along.
- I let him into my life because I wanted the easy way. I wanted him to provide love and nurturing. All things I should have been giving myself.
So now, I’m being kind to myself, but pushing myself out of my comfort zone — just a little — each day. I’ve been amazed at the progress I’m making and at the people I’ve attracted into my life. They were there, but I hadn’t appreciated them when I was with him. I wanted him to ‘fix’ me. I know I have to take responsibility for my own life and I feel I’ve had a ‘lucky escape.’ I don’t want another relationship for a while, I need to sort my relationship with myself out first. It’s been such a learning experience to know there are so many spaths out there. Thanks to all on Lovefraud.com