…oh lord, what do I say? The signs were all there. He charmed me from the beginning; he was “perfect.” He was too perfect. He did everything for me. Only…something was always not quite right with him and I knew it. I chose to ignore it. I was in a financial bind and he showed up at the right time after inveigling a way to actually meet me.
We worked at the same company for 5 months. I went in as a temp, knowing that the assignment wouldn’t go permanent. He noticed me from the beginning, or so he says, but waited four days to actually manipulate things so he could come sit and get to know me. When i think back on that conversation, it was all about him. He didn’t ask a word about me.
He was charming. He invited himself on our first date. I was going hiking and he just invited himself along. He was so obvious and so “sweet” that I said: “well, why don’t you come along.” Turns out he doesn’t hike. He strolls. Slowly. I didn’t find that out until we were at our destination. So we strolled. He was separated, he said – had been for more than a year, and was filing for divorce by the end of the year. He promised. He swore. He said he couldn’t envision himself back with her.
I believed him. I wanted to. I’d been told by all who knew him (and they were all co-workers) that he was a great guy and I couldn’t do any better. I had a cardinal rule at the time: Never date a married man, separated or not. I broke it. We had a great time. I suggested we get together again sometime soon. I didn’t expect it to be the next day – which was a monday.
I got home before he left work and next thing I know he’s texting me saying he is 20 min away and bringing supper. I was very taken aback. We hadn’t discussed this. But I thought it was kinda cute (red flags are NEVER cute) and so I told him to come on. For the next 15 months I had no evening to myself other than Wednesdays when he was “paying bills.” With his wife. I questioned it and got a glib response to the effect that they were both still responsible for the expenses…
Uh huh. I swallowed it. For around four or five months he was able to keep the mask from slipping, although I saw it go a little cockeyed a couple of times when I asked about his plans for filing for divorce. He would tap dance around it, tell me he hadn’t thought about it, anything to just shut me up.
He told me he and his wife had lived separate lives for years prior to him telling her he wanted to divorce. While they lived beneath the same roof, they didn’t share a bed. Just expenses. Co-workers corroborated this. Of course they did – that’s what he told them. I still don’t know the truth of it, but I suspect it.
Each day, after work, he’d come over, spend a couple hours but was always home by 9. That must have been just before his wife came home. She worked a strange schedule. Then he started spending saturday nights at my house, and when I thought to ask, he said he just told her he was out with friends, and when it got late, he just crashed at whatever friend would take him at their house. Lie. Big lie.
He was supporting me, financially. Groceries, gas, paying bills I couldn’t pay and I had no clue where his money was coming from, until he told me he’d taken a loan from his 401K – and since it went into the joint account (notice he didn’t give it to me to use as I saw fit, even though it was supposedly for ME), and he told his wife it was for a person at work who was in need. Well, I saw about $500 of the $5,000 loan he took. His wife spent the rest. No apologies to me, just anger when I asked him why he’d done that instead of putting it in his own account. Seems he didn’t have his own account – yet he’d been “separated” for more than a year.
January I caught him in a whopper of a lie. Big one. He denied it until I pushed so hard he had to admit it and then it became my fault. You know how that goes.
That’s when he started withdrawing, stonewalling and gaslighting. He grew cold and distant and any emotional support I thought i was getting went away. In reality, there was no emotional support. HE can’t empathize. The only feelings he can feel are his own and those are all about how right, good and wonderful he is, so naturally I should have no problem with him.
I won’t go into the gory details, but suffice it to say that he discarded me when he realized I was way too close to the truth about him. My niece had just died, and this man couldn’t even ask how I was holding up. When I told him about it (stupid me) he replied “sorry – sucks.”
The following saturday, even though he knew I was dealing with my niece’s death, learning a new job, my mother’s illness, and some other pretty heavy stuff, he texts me: “I bought a Hyundai. Here’s the link so you can see it.”
Huh? Why do I care about his car? Well, it turns out he felt he “failed me because he couldn’t fix my financial situation.’ (God complex.) Instead of being a normal person and accepting failure and moving forward or trying a different tack, he just dumped me. It was an excuse – he wanted me gone – that way I wasn’t a drain on his finances and he could buy a shiny new car.
That night, I was under great duress and I emailed his wife a letter that stated this man had been having an affair with me for 15 months and it included things she probably needed to know if she wanted to make intelligent decisions about her life. I doubt she heeded them. He read her email before she did and blew my phone up, frantically attempting to get ahold of me to beg me not to tell her – you see, I’d also said I was mailing a hard copy in case her husband read her email and deleted it. He rang my phone and texted so much that I had to silence it. He even drove by my house to see if I was up. His last text said “Now that you have me at your mercy, I’m begging you to let me tell her myself..”
Yeah. Right. Like that would ever happen. So I sent another one, snail mail, to her mother’s address, which is where she’s living. I have heard nothing since then, and while I’m thankful for the silence, I think the other shoe will fall, in time. I’m watching my back carefully.
I loathe him; I despise him; he’s a liar, a cheat and a fraud, and I know enough about NPD to know I need to have no contact with this man. Maybe telling his wife was the wrong thing to do, but at the time, I felt a helluva lot better! I dunno now. Hey – maybe it will serve to get them back together (as if they were ever really apart!) and then he won’t be out there hurting other victims. Who knows – he’s a Narcissist and they always find their supply.
He’ll tell his wife whatever she wants to hear right now – because he stands to lose a ton of money if she divorces him. She was hoping – for almost three years now – for a reconciliation. So apparently he wasn’t as “separated” as he said he was. It’s just that her schedule was wonky and he exploited it to get his supply.
He hurt me badly. It started in january – maybe before. I still didn’t see the signs. I thought he was depressed, I wondered if I was going crazy, I tried to work with the stonewalling and would confront him on the gaslighting. None of that works. He’s a narcissist. I know all this.
Lesson learned: You can still get caught in the trap. There’s a lot more to the story, but I won’t tell it. It’s not worth telling. He’s a liar, a cheat and a fraud and if his wife has any sense (and I don’t believe she does) she will divorce him. My guess is, though, that she’ll take him back because he’ll be so contrite after being caught. Things will roll along very well for a few months and then the monster will be back for her.
At least he’s out of my life.