Editor’s note: This letter was sent in from Lovefraud reader wandergirl7.
While reading through a magazine on “how to write” I came upon a phrase that completely caught my interest. “If it didn’t have to be pretty, what would you write?” Life isn’t all peaches and cream and your writing shouldn’t be either.
It is often quoted that what happens in your life, especially the incidents that cause you hurt, loss and pain, are lessons. Do things really happen for a reason? What is the reason and who is arranging the scenes?
Yes, you could be in the wrong place at the wrong time or the other way around, the right place. Luck could fall upon you. Disaster strikes! There are no simplified answers. We make mistakes and bad choices as humans. Sh*t happens!
I became a wanderer
There must be a multitude of reasons that sets a soul searching in such an unstable direction. Mine was that I ended up basically without a home and was “lost,” in pain, and completely confused.
Solitary interludes spent marveling at natural and man-made wonders encourage contentment and peace, help to give you strength as well. I feel comfort in nature. I’ve been very fortunate to experience adventures I would not trade!
On the other hand, while experiencing a freedom created by lack of material possessions, I found myself understanding so little about so much. Oh yes, myself at the top of the list. We all have our own quirks and faults. I was trying too hard to understand. Like a monk seeking the meaning of life!
His actions and words did not match
I walked, rather ran, away from betrayal! Frequently I questioned this decision though there was really only one choice if I valued myself as a person. The person I was with obviously had no respect for me though he spoke words of love and affection readily. His actions and words did not match up on many occasions and I chose to go along with the words.
I believed him
We had many very good times together and I became a part of his family and friends. I believed in what I thought we had together enough to give up my apartment and my job to be with him.
He told me all the time that I was the love of his life, the best thing that ever happened to him in his life and that what we had was a very good thing. He used to say he loved me constantly, that he wanted to marry me and have a life together. He said he would have been married to me already if he could have and wished he had met me first so as to have saved much past time with the “wrong” women. He said. “I knew there was someone out there for me!” He “said” and promised a lot of things!
Engaged and shopping for a house
He asked to get engaged and start looking for a home for us. That year he had lost where he had been living for years after the sale of a property shared from his last marriage.
He was living and working temporarily on a family ranch.
We found a place we wanted. I had said we should rent in the beginning until we saw how living together would work out, as we had both been married and divorced twice. He refused and claimed that he had always owned his own homes and would not waste money on renting. I was still renting my own apartment.
Without a thought, he accepted money given by my family for the down payment (he did not have enough) and a large sum from a close family friend as an engagement and new house gift.
I believed that it would all work out and we would have a good life!? My heart was sure of it.
Irresponsibility after commitment
I became aware of his financial irresponsibility shortly after we made this “commitment.” I could make a list of the financial messes I “fixed” for him and one almost disaster created on my account which I had just added him to.
Honesty was not one of his good traits. Consideration for others feelings was lacking. I loved him … not knowing who he really was deep inside.
He was a fun-loving guy and very affectionate; easy to like and be with. He was the cuddly type; always held my hand and stayed close by, physically.
Was this all it took? If you are a teenager this might work for a while. He obviously knew what women like and want. Rose colored glasses came free and I put them on. That helped but the price rose to a significant cost at the end.
Gut instincts were ignored
There were times his behavior was inconsiderate and hurtful. Some of it was intentional. Gut instincts were ignored. He cheated early on. I overlooked it because he said he was ashamed and sorry and continued on with the relationship believing it was a onetime thing. He was unfaithful again. It began to occur to me that more than likely he cheated the whole time. He had some sneaky ways but excuses to cover them all.
A woman he knew for years through the family came to visit me one weekend and told me, “I wouldn’t leave him alone for very long if I were you.” She said they had many close conversations … like girlfriends.
There were signs. It seemed for him it was a lifestyle and a choice, not a mistake. There was no trust remaining.
His sneakiness became deplorable
Apologies flowed out readily but the same actions continued. He feigned being sorry while sleeping with other women and still chasing after the one who caused the break up. His sneakiness became deplorable. Like keeping his cell phone in his truck and going outside to text and talk on it, not bringing it into the house anymore or even on rides.
He was trying to hold onto the home we owned at any cost, including more deceit. My feelings were not important. The hurt and pain and devastation he was causing me were not even a consideration to him. He didn’t care. It was done on purpose to get out of the promise of marriage. Once he started his job on the road he learned that there were a lot of willing women out there. He told me that when he was married and worked for one other company he had many opportunities to be with other women. That is how he gauges who he is?
Relationship with a sociopath
After seeking self help through research in the following years I came to the conclusion I had been in a relationship with a sociopath; a charming deceiver and without empathy. Heartless and calloused and not capable of love, yet having the ability to role play perfectly. He admitted to me after that he didn’t believe himself capable of ever really loving anyone! How cruel was that to add such insult to injury?
There was no emotion in all his justifications and excuses. He did feel quite entitled to his behavior. He spewed out a long list of everything “I” did wrong or didn’t do right. All news to me! He had always said how good everything with us was and he was happy. I asked him how he could be so heartless. He told me he knew he’d hurt me so bad that I would never get over it and that he had made a fool of me.
What if you realize how fragile your sense of judgment can be when you wholeheartedly want to believe something to be true? This person who professed his love and desire of marriage and a life together was not sincere. Does being intentionally deceived equal being gullible? We all want to believe love is true.
Some are instantly aware of the guises of a fluidly false tongue. Others are easily conned. I was a sponge who soaked up every word and bit of affection to the very last drop.
He has a lure he uses to gain attention from new women, telling them how abusive and mean previous women have been to him. I fell for this myself. He also used this untrue statement about me to other women. Possibly even to friends and family who did not know me well.
Last to know
Does that old adage, “the last to know,” hold true? His friends and exes were privy to his womanizing traits.
Afterwards, when the can of worms spills forth its wriggly gossip and you hear stories from numerous others who knew him; you begin to put the puzzle together.
It’s disheartening how the actions of someone found out changes to meanness! I was not permitted to question or talk about anything that occurred. Pretend it never happened and save his face for him.
Just another conquest
I then understood our relationship much better. I was just another name on the headboard … another conquest.
His was a game of winning, a game of ego. My feelings all along in the relationship were real and my love true. There were things I could have done differently, but even that wouldn’t have mattered one bit.
Millions of men and women in life have fallen into the framework of similar agendas. You are responsible for who you make your bedfellow. Life isn’t always fair. I have paid for my bad choice dearly.
How do you stop living “on guard” when you feel you may fall for the same tricks? I’ve read that we form a pattern. You know you have been fooled and though the lesson has penetrated deeply, you doubt yourself still.
When the home sold I drove away with just my clothes having no idea what I was going to do. That rug was pulled out from under an imagined future in the snap of a finger. No remorse from him. There were about 3 or 4 women at that time, before the house even sold. My god I was such a fool!
Many years have been spent since looking for a home, job and grounding. Sense of security went up into thin air. I have nowhere to invite my children or family or friends to. I suppose I have been “flailing?” So far I have not been successful in repairing my life.
In my attempts I’ve packed and moved about 20 times. I’ve rented rooms, stayed with family and friends temporarily, shared communal housing, tried a position as a live in caregiver and paid for places to stay along the way, not really “living” anywhere. Basically homeless, but just not out on the streets.
Jobs ended or there were no jobs. Money from selling the home and other belongings was dwindling. Fortunately I’ve had items to sell. Thankfully my parents welcome me back to their home again and again.
Taking photos while traveling roads and places my searching took me through become my distraction and passion. Starting a photography page was a huge positive step. I made friends and found support and encouragement there. Humor is a weapon I use against the sadness.
Struggling to recover
It became a struggle for me to recover from. I am not the same person I had been. The Dalai Lama has a quote: “Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.” I did allow it to cause damage because I stayed with him until he flushed me and the relationship down the toilet.
It could very well have become the straw that broke the camel’s back. Inwardly, my feelings seemed to regress back to a childlike mentality. The emptiness and confusion where overwhelming.
I was told by a stranger I met during my travels not to judge myself by the behavior of who I was with. He was curious and questioned my solitary exploring. I told him I had chosen to be alone and why. “It wasn’t about you,” he said, “it is about his problems and issues. Don’t fall into the trap of taking blame he attempted to lay upon you. His behavior was not your fault. He was the manipulator. Compulsive cheaters and womanizers have empty souls.”
Meeting a person of similar destructive qualities will be rare, thank goodness. But how do you learn to trust again?
Not just to trust another, but to trust myself as well.