So Who Can You Trust?

Three years ago my married sister of twenty-eight years reunited with her first high school sweetheart. She married shortly after high school, and had four great kids. Her old high school sweetheart contacted her through the internet after spotting her name on a website. She ignored his emails at first, but she was curious about what he was about. Her youngest son had just left home for college, so she had no more kids at home. At first they just caught up with old times and family stories, and then they exchanged phone numbers. Then things progressed real fast. They both were still married to their first and only spouses. My sister and her husband were devoted to each other. For some reason I don't understand, this guy had a strong hold on my sister. Within a few short weeks, they met out front of their old high school. From that first meeting they fell hard for each other. A week later they spent the night together and relit that old flame. From then on it got really crazy. They kept in contact by phone, email, and by cell phone messaging. Within the first year of reuniting, my sister moved in with him. They lived together, off and on, for six months or more. Her husband found out several months later about the affair, but not his wife. Both did a lot of traveling with their jobs, so it took them away from home for long periods of time. They were able somehow to schedule long trips together until they both were able to secure a permanent city together. They were both living two lives, returning home in between travel. My sister's never been with anyone other than her husband, so this was very unusual. I thought my brother-in-law would leave her right away when he found out, but strangely enough he didn't. I guess he really loved her. During the time my sister and her boyfriend lived together, they went everywhere in public and had friends in common. Only a few family members from both sides knew they were seeing each other. They first played it off as a great friendship. Then one evening they gave a dinner party and with a toast, he told everyone they were getting divorces and were planning a New Years Eve wedding the following year. They seemed really happy. My sister left her husband and asked for a divorce. He was crushed, and two of her boys had a hard time with it, and still do. My sister filed for divorce but as it turned out, her boyfriend didn't. I guess this is not the first time he had done this. It turns out he was a big net surfer. He had a hard time being alone, so every time he was out of town he had some woman to keep him company. The problem I had was that he and my sister were once engaged in high school, so they had a history. They weren't just strangers. He also knew she had ended her marriage for because of him. For some reason, I guess he got sloppy, and his wife found out he was spending a lot of money on someone other than her. She put her foot down. It seems she held the purse strings, and money was a big issue for him as well. This guy really played with my sister's heart. Even after his wife found out about them, he continued telling my sister he loved her and was still leaving his wife. My sister was in the middle of her divorce and was financially in trouble. They had a big lay off where she worked and was given a pink slip. They had just rented an apartment together when he told her she needed to leave from there. He was going back to his wife. Then he completely stopped all communication with her as though she had never existed. She was not only heartbroken, but she had broken up her long-time marriage, and her daughter and two of the boys were so disillusioned with her. She lost her home, all her possessions, and now her job. My sister then confided in me as sisters do that she was ill. I guess she also confided in this guy. That's about the time he went from being so obsessed with her to cutting off all communication. It seems he knew he had made her sick and felt no remorse. My guess is he wasn't man enough to step up to the plate. He took the easy way out and walked away, changing his phone numbers and email address. Today my sister is on her own. It saddens me because she is such a good person and was always a devoted wife and mother. Now she has questions about herself, and has no trust in men or relationships. The thing is how far was this guy going to take this relationship with my sister if he hadn't gotten caught? It breaks my heart that my sister really trusted and loved this guy. He also had convinced all of us he was devoted to her and we became very fond of him. We trusted in him, too. He's still out there somewhere probably doing this to someone else. Since this happened to my sister, I've heard way too many similar stories. I wonder how many other guys out there are doing this. Where do they get off playing with so many lives just to fulfill their spare time or fantasies? Doesn't anyone have a conscience or take responsibility for their actions anymore? Aren't there any virtuous men left out there? It seems they just do what they will and walk because they can. Is this a result of so many people being so accessible on the internet? Or maybe this is just a new way to play an old game for them.

— Victoria, 29

Love Library: Featured Articles