I suppose the real truth is that this eXposes me, and my lack of discernment and…well…X-ray vision, because that’s what it would have taken (for me) to see past the fauX eXterior to the deceitful piece of eXcrement that he turned out to be.
I was told “I told you so” a thousand times (after the fact) by my parents, and especially by my mother. I could have lived without that, as I was already beating myself up enough on my own. Nevertheless, it was (apparently) necessary, so thanks for that. I guess. Which is not to say that I’m not immensely grateful for the lessons learned, but I’ll come back to those.
In retrospect, it is eXtremely easy to see the glaring red flags that began popping up fairly early on, yet I of the newly minted “relationship,” eXploring all kinds of new eXperiences with him, relishing the seeming coincidence of having gone on one date with him in high school and then reconnecting ten years later, was (as I see now) willfully blind. I suppose…no, I know, I should have started to question his veracity when the first (and thankfully only) Christmas we spent together was fraught with frustration (mine), lies (his), and anger (both of us).
The Christmas party we were supposed to attend…together…that he (at the last minute) reneged on, claiming instead that he had to work an overnight shift (as a paramedic, so it was believable). Meanwhile, he rented a room in the hotel where the party was held, filled the bathtub with booze, and went on to the party. Suspicious that he was lying, I called, discovered this and showed up where he was. We fought. He said “I was just about to call you…I got called off early tonight.” And I fell for it.
Then there was the decision to move out of his parents home (a temporary arrangement that had eXtended much longer than it should have), but rather than moving to a place in town, where his primary job was, he decided to move 35 miles away. Granted, it was the beach, but what the hell? Again, I thought it understandable because he was working a second job another city, and that effectively put him halfway between…a reasonable decision until I saw it in retrospect. In the immediate aftermath of the move (with which I helped, but his family did not), his car was stolen. Here is where I lost my mind!
A request from him to provide a rental reference. No, his currently landlord could not do it, because he had only be living there two months. No, he could not tell the truth because it would seem like he did not have a stable residence. No, he couldn’t have any bills in his name because I owned the house and all the bills were in my name. Yes, according to the “reference” I stupidly agreed to provide, he paid me a fixed amount for rent & utilities, he did not have a cell phone (lie), and he had been “living” with me for more than six months. RED FLAG!
We were not living together, nor had we ever, nor were there any plans to do so. And yet, I was willfully turning a blind eye to the fact that I had just agreed to do something egregiously unethical, and probably illegal, all for the sake of this nearly eXtinct relationship. Nevertheless, I persevered with it through two more blinding red flags!
- He couldn’t pay his rent OR his car payment on time (and yes, he made more than enough money to do so). So I lent him enough money to cover both…with no written agreement for repayment. He repayed two thirds, “forgot” about the rest, and when I mentioned it, claimed he had already paid me. Back to this in a moment…
- I stumbled upon (much to my dismay at the time) his internet activity one morning when I was checking email on his computer. Local dating opportunities, Russian bride websites, etc. This led me to sneak a peak at his email, where I discovered he was also keeping in touch with a former girlfriend.
Add all of this to the fact that he had basically gone “off the grid” as much as he could, and it stacks up to a lot of OBVIOUSNESS that I
could not did not want to see.
The day I found out about his pursuit of alternative dating arrangements was a day we were going to the beach with another friend. Our relationship would have ended at that very moment had she not been with us. My purse was also stolen that day, which required that I head home to change locks and make sure nothing was amiss. And I thank God for that, because the juxtaposition of those circumstances lead me to end the relationship the next day, with finality, and with no regrets.
There was no fighting. There were no recriminations. I knew the truth, and that was all I needed.
I am so thankful now for the lessons of this relationship, because though they brought me to my darling husband with baggage, they brought me to him, and it was baggage he both understood and related to. During our courtship, one thing I repeated to him several times was that I couldn’t survive in another relationship where I felt myself getting lost. He got that…completely…and the happy ending to the story is that it hasn’t ended. Eight years married and still going strong.
So thank you, A.O., for showing yourself to be an unethical man of deceit and lies. For being a man who took advantage, and a man of amoral character. Thank you for making it easy for me to eXtract myself from that non-relationship. I think $300 (the money you still owe me) is a miniscule price to pay to be rid of you.
And thank you, God, for bringing me through that, because without your strength and providential protection, I would have been nearly destroyed by this, and I would not have known the contentment of a happy marriage with a good man. That is my most eXtraordinary (and wholly undeserved) blessing.