I told my wife everything in my past, even stuff that was somewhat embarrassing and unfavourable to me.
I did this because I felt that going into a second marriage, I wanted to unburden any baggage.
Since she had told me her first marriage was perfect and that her husband had left her while she was pregnant with their baby, in order to go to a lover that he’d hidden from her, I felt honesty on my part would give her both the truth and confidence in me.
It should’ve brought us closer together. However, I later discovered in painful ways, that she was lying about everything.
In fact, she’d had five or six lovers during that nine-year marriage. One of her affairs lasted nearly four of those years.
Her daughter from the first marriage wasn’t from her husband. For eight years, he believed he was the father and played a role in her life.
She’d told both her husband and her lover that they were both the fathers. Somehow she kept them apart and me in the dark!
Worse, many of my colleagues had a good idea that her lover was the father and that I was simply the nice-guy dupe.
She pressured me to marry her because she said she was leaving for a year-long trip. That was a lie but in order to stay in her life, I did marry her and actually planned every day of the trip which she had no intention of taking.
Before having a child together, I asked her if there was anything else to reveal. She’d endangered a marriage with total lies and I wanted to be sure we were finally on solid ground before adding a new child.
I asked her about a tough issue (an affair with a high-school student).
She said No, but months later I learned she’d initiated an affair with a student, while pregnant, and telling her husband and lover that they were both the father of her child!
I feel my life has been stolen from me. I’ve looked foolish to my colleagues and have been a good father to kids I love, out of duty to them, even though I was drawn in on a series of terrible lies.
In fact, my wife has used just about every man she’s met.
You don’t say whether you’re now divorced. If you’re still together, then the draw to this woman was/is beyond powerful and you need professional therapy to get back to a life not “stolen.”
No matter your age and circumstances, you have your own self-respect as a father, your own values, despite that hers were so twisted by lying and cheating.
Looking “foolish” for the sake of love and commitment is a callous misjudgment by your colleagues. You did what you thought was right, with the information you were, given by a woman you loved.
Like many stories that come to this column, there’s only one side revealed. But if it’s even close to actual fact, your wife was a master liar, manipulator, and deceiver, of many.
Those who’ve believed her were used and discarded, and the children have been victims too, with confusion and gossip about who are their fathers.
But you held fast, perhaps the only person in their lives offering security, responsibility, and devotion.
Tough lesson, yes! But you’re a better man than you think. And you still have a future and choices.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman who believes her son’s girlfriend stole her jewellery (May 20):
Reader – “An elderly relative, now deceased, once had some renovation work done in her home.
“It lasted some weeks, was disruptive and dirty. Worse, when finished, she noticed several pieces of expensive jewellery were missing.
“A thorough search failed to reveal the items, nor did several subsequent searches by relatives.
“She called police, who refused to press criminal charges without more evidence.
“Eventually she received compensation from her insurance company, and purchased new jewellery.
“For several years, she severely chastised the relative who’d recommended the workmen.
“Several years later, while retrieving an old vase from the back of a storage closet, she discovered the jewellery.
“She'd hidden it before the workmen arrived so they wouldn't be tempted to take it. Then she'd forgotten it.
“It took considerable persuasion from family members to convince her of the necessity of returning the insurance pay-out!”
Tip of the day:
A master liar/manipulator can destroy a relationship but not “steal” your life. Get therapy and decide your future.