Reader’s responses about a man who lied to his partner that he’d never been married and had no children (he was divorced and had two youngsters) show how similar deceptions destroyed their relationships (August 26):
Reader – “I was 23, he was 35, and we were together for over a year. He told me he’d never been married, had no children, and would love to have his first child with me.
“It took me many years to learn that virtually EVERYTHING he ever told me was untrue.... education, career choices, family background, etc.
“His friends and family never corrected me when I mentioned something that they knew was untrue.
“My own family and friends were totally fooled.
“As lies were gradually exposed over the years, I tolerated and forgave everything, because he always had a reason and cried when asking for forgiveness.
“I loved him so much and I’d invested so much in this relationship.
“I continued to believe that he was a good person with very bad luck.
“That first year, when I discovered he had a wife and son, he lied about everything to do with the relationship and turned her into a villain.
“I gave him money to help him and his parents, and supported him as he “struggled in court” to be allowed to see his son.
“He kept me in debt for another 12 years.
“He eventually left me when I had our first and only child, which he actually did not want.
“I believe he hated that I was no longer able to always put him first, and also had expectations that he’d begin contributing financially to our life together.
“Once he’d left us, I asked questions of his family and friends.
“I eventually met his first wife. She said how lucky she’d been that he’d left her after only six years.
“Another woman he became involved with after he left me was much smarter than I. She decided there were too many inconsistencies in his stories.
“She looked for me and we discovered that he was doing the same thing again with stories of his past even more exaggerated. She escaped.
“I also learned years later that meeting with his “guy” friends for coffee, were actually to play cards for money.
“I suspect that much of his debt that I paid off, and most of his earnings, were squandered on gambling debts.
“I was simply the woman who enabled him to appear the hero in his fantasy life.
“I’d loved the man "that he’d pretended to be," but that was not who he really is.
“He’s a sociopath - a pathological liar with amazing charm and the skill to make you see only what you wanted to see.
“And I was a fool. I never really recovered from the shock... it was as if the man I’d loved had died. I’ve never been able to fall in love again.
“I wouldn’t wish this experience on anyone else.
“The woman who wrote you should run away from this man as far and fast as possible. This isn’t a small lie that he told her.
“No person with honourable long-term intentions would ever lie about such a thing.”
Ellie – The hardest lie to get past is the one to yourself that’s wrongly self-punitive: that somehow, because you believed him, you share the blame for what happened.
You do not. You have a life to live, a child to love, and the right to happiness.
Focus on you and the future.
Reader #2 – “On our first date, he said his daughter was age six. His work then kept us apart geographically, and we lost contact.
“Three years later at lunch together, he said his daughter was now 13!
“When I said the age discrepancy didn't feel right, he said he’d instinctively protected his child from a then-stranger, adding "stranger no more.”
“Yet I hadn't asked for her name, a photo, or anything personal about her.
“His reaction was that I was picking a fight to end with him.
“A year later it did end, because he was so self-centered.
“His workaholic behaviour came first, and he was reluctant about sharing his life information with me.
“He showed little consideration for me as an equal in our "exploration" of a relationship.
“I felt like an accessory to his grand life, his universe.
“The writer “In Limbo” must probe her partner’s lies before feeling more betrayed and hurt.”
Tip of the day:
A constant trail of lies reveals that there’s no trust possible.