Editor’s Note: This letter to Lovefraud was submitted by the Lovefraud reader who goes by the name “Lil’ Bit.”
This is a three-part letter. This is Part 1 – The Imbalance.
I have never been ashamed of surviving what others are capable of, in fact once I fight back the bitterness and anger I fill with pride that it wasn’t in my heart to even fathom their true intent. Inasmuch as it hurts to breathe the stagnant air of the world’s disease, too many, looking out for themselves at any cost, I would rather endure the hell I have, losing all that others covet in their attempts to emulate what they can only pretend to be.
I prefer it be that I don’t have it in my heart to see such things even coming than to go thru life so ugly inside that that is all I see or expect from others, unable like he is, to ever trust anyone, knowing what he himself, and those of his character, themselves are guilty of, while I go thru life trustworthy albeit nave, expecting the same from others, yes even to my own demise.
Self preservation, not one of my strongest traits for sure, predators prey on those they mistake for weak, in their desire to have what is not really in them. The ugliness, spread in their attempts to imitate what comes to the kindhearted naturally, is the only reality they know. It is sad for me, and those like me (yes there are and always have been and always will be, others), knowing what we have learned trusting the unworthy, but not as sad as it is to be them.
We don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are.
Still though, I admit that I have wasted too much time wondering how they can dare look at themselves in their clouded mirrors and just why I was so naive, so easily duped, controlled, deceived, that I allowed myself to invest or abandon, and then ultimately lose, everything. It wasn’t much, but for me it was enough, and well, here is my answer:
Grieving and vulnerable
When he showed up on my doorstep, I had spent the better part of the previous two years so traumatized by being stalked by a sadistic man who didn’t handle rejection well that I was reluctant to leave my home for any purpose but to work and attend church. I had lost my father only six months before and needless to say I was grieving and vulnerable and had turned to God. I had sunk quite a bit of money into the house I raised my family in, I loved that home dearly, its walls held my heart and soul and a lifetime of possessions and accumulated memories (both good and bad), it wasn’t much but for me it was enough and all I had, with much emphasis now on Had. If I were indeed the gold digger I’ve heard he and his favorite and only sister in law claims I am to justify his sad self, I sure as hell would not have been so willing to settle for so much less than I already had nor would I have invested so much, yet alone everything.
You see, I had promised my father I would invest that money he worked every Saturday of his life to leave me with, intending to lower my mortgage payment which sky rocketed when I refinanced the home I raised my family in to fix it up to be the beautiful yet simple home in the hood I truly cherished. In hindsight clearly I let my father down when I loaned the last of my inheritance to a dishonest man instead, but I truly believed I was investing in my future (not just his) as I had been assured that I was, and yes it sickens me to know that what little my father worked so hard to leave me was swindled from me the way it was, solely because I was gullible enough to trust the promises of a man unable to actually be who he pretends to be and who now rides a motorcycle he didn’t pay a dime for, simply because clearly, Justice in today’s courts is determined more by who is the better liar and which lawyer is willing to be the most unscrupulous and yes I do have all the paperwork to prove that and every other claim I have made regarding these matters. Yeah, I get that it is quite hard to believe by today’s standards of what a normal sensible person would do that anyone could be so kindhearted albeit naive as I proved to be, to trust so blindly and be so easily conned as I had been. Still though, putting the relationship above my own best interests and believing in him should not have cost me all it did, and if he was actually the kind man he only pretends he is, he would not have lied so naturally or worked so diligently to assure that I had nothing when it all would finally fall apart, especially for the reasons that it did; my refusal to take the blame for catching him in just one of the many lies he had managed to get away with, up til then.
You see, I was lonely I suppose, lost, with little faith in mankind when in walked the smooth talking man who I would not learn until it was too late was not the sweet misunderstood and mistreated honest guy he claimed to be, but actually a narcissistic drunk with an itinerary for self preservation even if that meant destroying the once professed best thing to ever happen to him. Selling me out and what we might have had, for what he misconstrued would be his benefit, although he might have won everything underhandedly, I assure you it will indeed ultimately prove more his demise than mine.
Do not be deceived: God will not be mocked, for whatever one sows,
that will he also Reap.
Now I concede I made many mistakes from the day we met, trusting him blindly for example, believing in him without questioning any of it and unlike him, putting the relationship above my own best interests. Yes he saw early on with my desire for peace and to please, that I would be an easy mark for him to succeed and indeed I made a lot of mistakes, while it appears he only made one: believing that once I was broken down by his head games with nothing left to go back to, that I would be a willing doormat for him to control as he saw fit.
I married a narcissistic man; what a mistake
From here on I will refer to the Narcissistic man I mistakenly thought so much of that I married him, believing he not only understood the vows sworn to me and to God, but actually meant them, simply but truly thankfully, as ‘X.’
If a man vows a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word. He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth
Now, I believed quite mistakenly that X was a good Christian Man, who, as he claimed, had been taken advantage of by a string of promiscuous, drunken women before me that he claimed only used and lied to him and that he remained in his first marriage solely for the sake of the daughter he adores, that is until (at least as he claimed) she cheated on him with her current husband, motivating him (only because she wouldn’t end it) to do the same. And that his second wife, who, unknown to me at the time, he had only finalized the divorce with the month prior to our meeting (proof of his inability to be alone for any duration), and who was, (also as he claimed) a serial cheater whom he only married out of the kindness of his heart, because she needed health insurance so desperately. Always making himself appear the martyr when relaying the sordid tales of his previous failed relationships, in everything he claimed about them, he was the mistreated victim, not so different I am sure than what he now says to others of me, in his attempts to explain why he was so quick to throw away what, not only he had said to me himself just the day before it all came tumbling down, but so many others had often told him — I was the best thing that ever happened to him. Which was indeed the case, that is, until I stood up for myself once his many lies began to unravel and his mask fell off. Although I do confess it had slipped a few times before, if only I had opened my eyes. Yep, hindsight is 20/20.
X’s drinking habits emerged immediately after the honeymoon
As part of his charade to ensnare me, the X attended church with me every Sunday from the day we met, that is until returning from our Honeymoon 20 months later when he not only refused to go back to church anymore , claiming tithing was too costly and the politics unsure, (unfortunately my attempts to prove his stance wrong proved he was more right than I care to admit, only adding to my growing lack of faith in such things) but also upon the return from our honeymoon, X had begun drinking himself into blackouts more weekends than not, a behavior he had managed to control somewhat up until then. Truthfully, the first argument of the too long, yet short-lived-marriage should have been my exit. Only a week after the honeymoon ended, and after what was a decent enough night out on the town together, he suddenly turned angry because at 1:05 am I let him know I didn’t want to drive him to yet another bar. I realized only then that once he started, he cannot stop. Telling him ‘no’ was so uncommon for me that it must have caught him as off guard as his words did me. I don’t know why I even married you he said, when I told him I had had enough.
It hit me with the sting of those words what was my reality. What I wanted had no merit. I had signed on to serve him, not just to wait on him hand and foot. I became his designated driver forever, and the only one of us that would remember his ugly blackouts in the mornings. Up to then I had only gotten a slight, bitter taste of his blackouts, but from then on they would grow in frequency. As is the nature he preyed on me for, I settled in to accept and make the best of my lot in life, unaware still, just how trying, and in the end devastating, that task was going to be, leaving me a shell of the woman I am by the time that house of cards would crumble.
X admitted that his drinking had been a problem in his previous relationships, claiming he was trying to keep up with the drunken women before me, (yes I fell for that) but also because he was so miserable with those other women he was too “kindhearted” or so he claimed to “abandon.” He reassured me in those first conversations that he had no desire to live that way and that those past habitual blackouts would not be a part of our life together. He claimed he wanted more for us than any of that and so we made a pact. No lies, deception or sneaky stuff. Best friends forever 24/7. I knew I could meet those conditions and believed naively due to the fact that it was a phrase at least in part that had been coined by him, that he could too.
Our Past Baggage
Now, I didn’t expect perfection from the man, I knew and accepted that he was flawed. We both carried the baggage from our pasts and incorrectly I believed we would help each other unpack. But in order for us to have done so, there needed to be not just a mature level of mutual acceptance and responsibility in owning our human shortcomings and mistakes but a true commitment to honesty (not just a fear of getting caught), a genuine care for the values we each held dear and then each needed to have only the best intention for the interests of the other. In hindsight none of that was the case, well, at least not on his part. Sacrifices for the greater good a constant demand made of me that I met upon each occasion the need arose, growing more despondent though for doing so, as the double standards became more and more prevalent with the passing of time. His way or the highway, he proved incapable of sacrifice of any kind, yet alone any sort of compromise, that is unless doing otherwise made him look bad, all behaviors dependent on his audience.
Differing weights and differing measures the Lord detests them both.
X was always promising some future reward for all that he insisted I let go of i.e. what little retirement I had managed, that inheritance, my lifetime accumulation of possessions (the furnishings, household items, appliances, TVs, beds, memorabilia, clothes), the rent from the property he insisted become my boys’ and then finally 90% of my paychecks; throwing a fit at the end that he wasn’t getting more. Knowing how it turned out I can’t believe I once credited him for making me believe in people again.
When we met, my oldest two kids were off at college, my youngest son, though already 18 and a young father of twins, was finishing his senior year of high school. A disabled child on the autism spectrum receiving minimal Social Security benefits of $700.00 a month, I had made it clear from the beginning that I intended to fulfill my obligation to see the young father through school, not just high school but Trade school as well. X assured me he had no intention of moving into the home I loved so dearly or help me pay my bills there and that he sure did not need my help to pay his bills, so it was agreed that we each would maintain our own households although I slept every night in his bed, his need to hurry the stages of the relationship along so speedily in true Narcissistic love bombing form (needing to cage me before I caught on that the man I thought I had fallen in love with was really no more than a facade) and also because simply he was too insecure to let me out of his site, hell I was even expected to shower with the door open.
At the time making only $13.00 an hour myself , I covered the mortgage in the house my son lived in until he finished his schooling as was agreed on (had it not been, I assure you I would never have agreed to move in with the man and none of it would have played out the way it did). I raised three kids on my own and got ’em all to college, I had no intention of bailing on the last one before my job was through, they are indeed the best of my fruit, who they each are, the proof.
Using the kids Social Security Benefits to cover the utilities, in spite of his claims otherwise, not one penny of X’s money ever went to my house or my bills. What my property cost to shelter my son through the last of his school only meant that much less of my money would make it into X’s hands. Contrary to his claims, I purchased my own personal items (ask anyone who actually knows the real me, not the person he tried to make me out to be). I really am not very high maintenance and still I managed to drop X a couple hundred each month for that first year. I cost him no more and probably much less than he would have spent jumping from one dating relationship to the next as he always had and has ever since.
I brought with me X’s house only those things he allowed me to and some that I just snuck in. Moving from a nice five bedroom house into a two bedroom house that was literally falling down on itself, I had to abandon or give away most everything I had worked my life for up to that point, letting go of and/or giving away anything that duplicated what X had (unless I could prove mine was better, which most of the time even if mine was better, I was still the one to sacrifice, sacrifice not part of his persona for sure).
What little I tried to hold on to was claimed as evidence that I was not committed to the relationship. When I finally could stand no more of being the one he blamed for his unraveling lies I had none of the four beds I once had of my own to sleep on. Nor did I have any of my blankets or TVs. At X’s insistence, my five bedroom house was no longer filled with my things. His intent was to make sure I had nothing to go back to as he held divorce over my head. The echo of his words as I let everything I had go sicken me today.
Ten months into the relationship, just before I was to receive that inheritance from my father, I asked X to help me find a motorcycle for me. I had offered to loan X money for one for him as well. Initially he declined, claiming he would rather save up for one himself, making him appear too righteous for debt. He would not admit, just yet, that an old large debt of his made it impossible for him to obtain a loan from a bank. Although he was suppose to be looking for a bike for me to buy, the first bikes he looked at were not ones suitable for me at all but more for him. When he found the bike he wanted he asked me if my offer to loan him the money was still good, assuring me, my family and friends that he would repay the money into a savings account, replacing the nest egg it was intended to be.
The wicked borrows but does not pay back, but the righteous is generous and gives;
I gave him ‘loans’; he heard ‘gifts’
Unfortunately for me I trusted him blindly, loaning him the money not just for the bike but a few days later he hit me up for even more to pay off what he claimed then were the only debts he had, so that we could start fresh in our life together. Yep, I gave him yet another cashier’s check. But wait, then I was gullible enough to just hand him yet another $5,000 to stuff away. I ended up getting half of that third cashiers check for $5,000 back, using it to help my kids with some surprises that came up. The other half — unbeknownst to me — was squandered as X saw fit. He bought a TV and gambled among other things I was unaware the money was being used for. When he informed me it was gone, it was a bit of shock to me. I denied my gut feelings as I had begun to realize only then that he blamed me for the lifestyle he insisted on living, which was farther from his means than he was willing to admit. Another flag waving too high for me to justify that I ignored, feeding the anger I have not just for him and all his half truths and outright lies but for myself for being so gullible and naive, needing so badly to believe.
Having met just before Thanksgiving in 2008, understandably our first Christmas was not blended, but after loaning him the last of my nest egg, Christmas 2009 should have opened my eyes to the way he thought things should be between us.
The year I had more money than I ever managed to accumulate, or probably would ever be able to accumulate again, because of my father’s inheritance, I could only afford $30 sweaters for my kids, and a $10 doll for my twin baby grand girls. Why? Because X had swindled half of my inheritance from me. My inheritance money was a loan to X that he was supposedly paying back by depositing money into a special savings account. To this day I am not sure the account even ever actually existed. And if it did, I did not have access to it.
His family on the other hand were given lavish gifts, triple what I could muster for my own. I still feel the sickened feeling that overcame me as I wrapped all the gifts together. I rehearsed the words to speak with him about the vast difference and why it should not have been so, always more careful than I ever should have been not to rock the boat.
Now, when I confronted X about this imbalance, he assured me like he always did that once we were married and he had taken care of those mystery bills I would then finally see the fruits of my extensive financial investments in that slowly closing in prison of a life with him, and things would not always be so lopsided. It was at that time that I began to attempt explaining the term double standards to X. Yes, I am gullible and truly believed at that time still, he just didn’t get it. Trying to reach his conscience, he would rage when I would question whether he would want the same for his daughter as he evidently expected me to accept from him.
Tomorrow: Part 2 – Absolute Power