Five months ago I found myself in one of the worst situations of my life. I found out that my boyfriend, the love of my life, the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with and grow old with, the man I thought I knew better than he knew himself, of 8 years … was a total stranger and never existed.
This is my story.
I started dating a man 11 years older than me when I was 24 years old; I am now 33. We supposedly, in my mind, fell in love very quickly.
Three months in, he took me shopping for a wedding ring, and two weeks later he told me that he had been making payments on the one that I loved, only it was “bigger, almost 5 carats bigger,” and was just waiting for the right time to ask. That never happened.
About 4 months into the relationship, I found out that he was still legally married to the mother of his boys that lived with us. He said that he had been separated for a year and a half, but not yet divorced. Recently I learned that when I met him he had only been separated for 2 months.
Our relationship went on for 8 years. If I had any doubts of things he told me, there was no one from his life I could ask. He made sure I didn’t get close to any of his friends or family, without me realizing it. He did that by feeding both parties involved misinformation that led to sour feelings and even hatred for one another on purpose. I see that now.
I finally decided to do some digging of my own. During my search for answers, I discovered that he had married someone else almost 3 years ago. And god knows how long they were dating before that.
When I confronted him, he admitted that there were others before her. We had been living together for years while he was stepping out and I had no idea.
When I heard this, it all of a sudden became clear to me.
All of the excuses he had made over the years about where he was going or what he was doing on odd days or times were because he was with someone else and then coming home to bed with me.
When he plowed snow in the winters, he would be out for days, sometimes over a week and now I had to wonder — what was he really doing? It seemed odd to do snow removal while all the snow had been melting and the storm had been over for days already.
A few years ago we moved out of our apartment when the lease expired and I had decided to get a place of my own. There were many situations that we found ourselves in, where we were in a rut and in a standstill in our relationship. He had been staying at my place 3 nights a week, claiming he was living with his parents.
All the while he was living with his wife.
Every night that he would come here during the week, he would tell me he was on his way home from work. He was coming here wearing work clothes, looking dirty from work and showering at my house as soon as he came home. He made me set the alarm for 5:30 am. I would wake up and watch him get dressed with work clothes and leave.
Only recently I learned that he hadn’t held a steady job in years.
The list of the lies that I discovered is endless. Even down to something as small and stupid, as where he would meet up weekly to exchange the kids.
When I first found out about the other woman, I had assumed and was told by him that she was just a girlfriend, as if that wasn’t bad enough.
I still had a gut feeling that he was lying to me, so I confronted him about it. He was apologizing and kept telling me that he never meant to hurt me and he still wanted to be part of my life.
That he’s always going to love me, and cares for me deeply.
That he was with her and didn’t tell me because he still wanted to see if we could make things work.
Although I thought we were in a really good place, except for his apparent depression, and I was the one waiting on him. He made me believe that I broke his heart a long time ago and he was trying to see if he could get over it in therapy so we could move on.
I never cheated on him. So when I learned of this other woman, it dawned on me that he was never in therapy, he was with this wife on those nights.
Also we used to spend 1 weekend a month together on the weekend that he didn’t have his kids. About 2 years ago, he all of a sudden told me that he started taking the kids every weekend instead of 3 weekends a month and that we would not be spending those extra weekends together anymore.
Because of the fact that we were trying to still work things out at that point, and were often off and on with our relationship, I wasn’t spending any time with the kids. He would come stay with me every Sunday night after he dropped them off with his ex.
I then found out that the weekend schedule for having his kids was a lie. Even when he didn’t have them that weekend, he made me believe he did. I wouldn’t see him until Monday night on long weekends, because he said he had them, but when I went to his ex wife and asked her, she told me that he never took them on long weekends, that he still only had them for 3 weekends a month.
She had been the one to tell me about the way he was living his life in front of the rest of the world. Nobody knew that he and I were even together still. Everyone thought that we had broken up years ago.
So when I confronted him about the only things I knew about at the time, and after he had admitted having a girlfriend, I decided to call his bluff and I told him that I found his marriage certificate online and that I knew for sure he was married.
He finally admitted it and said that he wasn’t sorry and didn’t feel bad. And that he loved her more than he loved me.
The first time I confronted him, he was still lying to me. He’s been lying to me since the day I met him.
He told me stories of how he was in the Mafia and was the hit man. That he could see ghosts. That he had a trust fund and made a lot of money on top of that. And while we were living together he said he was the leg breaker for the Asian Mafia.
He was having sex with me while he’s been cheating on me for years.
I feel so violated.
We spent holidays together and lived together for years. I took care of his children and we shared a life together.
He would come to my family’s house for dinners and became close to some of them. He would even call my father when we would fight.
The reason I stopped coming around his family was because I had a falling out with his mother and now know that we never smoothed things over because of what he was saying to them about me.
At one point I even got pregnant and he pressured me get an abortion.
This man held me hostage in this relationship for 8 years and made me carry the guilt around of breaking his heart and causing him to go to therapy, when it was just an excuse he gave me so that I would give him space to have another life behind my back.
I realized that he began a life with me, only to end up treating ME like I was the other woman.
He has been out of my life since he admitted to being married, 5 months ago, and we haven’t spoken since. Nor do I want to.
I discovered many more lies, deceit and manipulation.
I had been living in a bubble away from reality and truth. My whole world collapsed and I started questioning my own sanity for not knowing any better.
I knew that there were some things that he would tell me that were embellished or silly, even, but nowhere near what they turned out to be.
I ended up becoming really good friends with his ex wife. She helped me see the facts of the way he was living his life in front of the rest of the world. I couldn’t have gotten through this without her.
We both felt validated and felt comfort in the fact that there was someone else who understood what it felt like to be one of his victims.
He is a sociopath and had been two different people with her and I. And now who knows the part that he’s playing with this new one.
Years ago when I met his ex, she warned me to be careful. When I asked why, she said, “you’ll see.”
I was manipulated into believing that she was the problem and an awful person. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
It kills me to know that he’s going to continue to hurt people and there is nothing anyone can do about it.
I wanted to share my story to raise awareness so that women know that its not so far fetched to be manipulated the way I was. It was shocking to find all of this out, because through out the relationship he never really seemed that awful.
He treated me really good on many occasions and I was in love with him, or the person that I thought he was.
Although it took me months to process and grieve, I have learned a lot about myself. Like the strength it took to go through something that I never thought I could come back from.
How can I miss or care for someone I didn’t even know?
The amazing thing is that I don’t even hate him anymore. If I did, it would mean that he still had some sort of hold or control over me.