Where Is The Decency?

I am divorced. After my divorce from an abusive man, I was devastated, but I was free. I work for the Justice Department in my country, and I was busy enough at my job to allow me to have a full life. I was not looking for another relationship. One day, I made the greatest mistake of my life. I posted a profile on an internet site, which was not a dating site, that seemed innocent. I didn't want to date. I just wanted someone to talk with from a distance. It was the summer of 2001. I had forgotten about it because I got no responses. Then in January 2002, I had one email message that said something like, "I am an American citizen, currently living and working in Germany. If you want, you can write to me. I'm forty-nine years old and widowed." I read this, but I didn't immediately reply. A week later, the same person wrote again saying, "Well, you must have so many emails that you don't have the time to write me." I think now this was some kind of trap. I wrote him back saying that I was busy with work and that was the reason I couldn't reply before. To make a long story short, we eventually started to write each other. He told me he was a widower. He told me his wife died of cancer some years ago. He had three children, one daughter and two boys, that were all grown up. According to him, his daughter was in the military in Korea, and the other two sons were in the U.S. He told me he had grandchildren. He presented himself as deeply suffering from being lonely and still broken up about his "sainted wife's" death. I am a very big-hearted and trusting person, and I felt huge sympathy for this man. In March 2002, he told me he wanted to meet me personally because I "seemed very nice and beautiful." That April, he came to my country and we met. Like what he presented online, he was a real gentleman! He was intelligent and caring, and at the same time had a vast general background. We were just friends and while he was here nothing happened between us other than talking and getting to know one another as friends. Then, a second meeting came and this time was different. I got emotionally and romantically lured in by this man! Afterwards, we met a lot, and he always acted like a gentleman. He was spending a lot of time and money to be with me. He gave me several presents. This happened over a period of three years and, in spite of some red flags here and there, I was blind enough to give him my trust, heart, body and soul. Many times he told me, "I don't know how my daughter will react if she suspects I have found someone in my life. She is still very stuck to her mother's memory." His late wife was supposedly perfect. One day he sent me her photo, and, oh boy, she was really pretty! "In some ways you remind me of her. You're so alike," he said. During this time, there were things he told me that didn't make sense. One of them was about his job. When the Iraq war started, he told me he was going to be there. I found it strange when during that time he was supposedly in Iraq he was always in touch with me by e-mail and phone. I found it strange because in the middle of a war and doing lots of undercover missions it would be difficult for an active military person to be in touch. I kept believing him. We were together in Paris and I can say my "red flag alarm" rang big-time there. He usually had his cell phone off, but from time to time he turned it on to check messages. One of those times, he had a voice message. He was close to me and I could hear what seemed to be the sound of a woman's voice, very nervous and angry. He called this person back and suddenly he started to speak an unknown language, maybe Creole or something similar. I know English, French, Portuguese and Spanish, and I can spot the other western languages by the sound and phonics. This one was unknown to me. While he was on that call I said to myself, "I need to go home because this man is lying." His stories got more and more outrageous. Then, in November during our last meeting, he told me it was going to be hard to reach him as he was going to Afghanistan! He told me not to be worried, to live my life normally, and to keep writing. As soon as he could, he said he would get in touch and then I could send him all the letters I had. When Christmas came, I decided to call him. It was Christmas Eve. His phone was on voice mail and I left a message. He never answered me back. I left another message on New Year's Day. Nothing! In the middle of January, we could finally talk. He told me he had been living with the tribes of the desert, and that was why he didn't keep contact with me. By that time, I didn't believe a word that came out of his mouth. I started to search for records, and I paid for background checks. I wanted to know everything I could about this man. I found some answers. He was married in Las Vegas in 1995. He married at the age of 42, and there was no record of divorce. His wife is alive and well. I believe all the photos he sent me were taken by other girlfriends. I thank God because, although he tried a number of times to get me to take explicit photos for him, I always said no. I believe this was time one of the reasons he was trying to get rid of me. He's a retired Sergeant Major. He lied about his military involvement. I've confronted him, but he denies everything. He feels no regret. He blames me for everything saying it's because I don't trust him. He asked me not to harass him. He doesn't admit the truth even when its right under our nose. To sum it all up; I was cheated, conned, and betrayed by this predator. He faked being a gentleman. I will never trust anyone else after this. My heart is closed now, and I think I don't want to get to know anyone else. That's enough! I am an honest woman and, frankly, I didn't deserve this. This man lives in fantasy world. What is the truth and what is fiction? He apparently has a personality disorder and is a pathological, compulsive liar. His wife needs help if she is still with him! How can anyone live with a man who fakes love, tells stories about being a spy and about his work, and at the same time has lots and lots of online, foreign girlfriends? He is always traveling for his "high level meetings", and I am pretty sure he tells his wife he travels for work! What an impostor! I feel so used! A million showers won't clean my body from this snake's touch! A widower? His wife is alive and well. He just married her in 1995! He is retired and not active military! This psychopath is in his fifties. Where is the decency? It was three years of my life, and now he is probably doing it to more women while I'm here trying to recover from the devastation.

— Wanda, 33

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