Editor’s note: Lovefraud received the following letter from a reader whom we’ll call “Carol18.”
I’m a 62-year-old woman who left a sociopath husband three years ago. I went online to meet who I thought was my dream man. He was charming; the second date he said I will treat you like no other man has ever treated you before. That was the only true thing he ever said to me.
He was romantic my Prince Charming, bought flowers, cards. Then after I fell in love, he tells me he had cancer, had a job as a cook (profile said chef) and financially secure.
His car broke. He was sobbing, babe how will I get to work? Well now my savings is drained $3,200, helping him paid off title loans to help him get back on his feet.
Then he says, I want you to look for a engagement ring for $5,000. So I found one online for $1,500, which he lied and never put deposit down, so bought a cheap one, saying his bank account was flagged by irs, he owed back taxes from business he owned from ex wife. Well I thought, who could make that up? So I believed him. We got engaged.
Then he had no money to make it for two weeks. I cashed in change — $270 —told him for gas and food only for work. So my mom had a stroke. He took off on my money for a family reunion.
My life was now a roller coaster of hell. He was jealous, possessive. If I walked in front of him, I didn’t want to be seen with him. Or if I got out of bed, I was checking my phone. Then the countless breakups and makeups, which were always my fault. He would say I was in love with my ex, that he never abused me, I just wanted sympathy.
Why did I stay? Because he would spend eight hours in bed with me and tell me how he couldn’t wait for me to be his wife, and how no one loved him like I did, with tears rolling down his face.
During this time I was getting physically sick all the time from the stress. And did he ever even bring me food? Never one time. I was running a high fever. I begged him to take me to the hospital; he walked out the door. Weeks later took his granddaughter’s dog to ER.
It’s been five weeks now. When the worst thing happened, one week before we were to marry, he brought me a dozen roses, jumped out of my bed and said, FU I will never marry you; I’m going to annihilate you.
I jumped up terrified. He punched his duffle bag and left. Following Saturday sent a text saying I wasn’t the right woman for him and he shouldn’t have to sacrifice money for me.
I was shaking, calling every domestic violence organization out there. PTSD, lost six pounds of weight in one week, and chronic stomach problems.
Desperately searching online, I came across Donna and Lovefraud. I read everything I could, sobbing, I wanted to die. I loved him so much, until something I was reading clicked.
I was in love with a man that was a blue-eyed devil behind a mask, a sociopath. I was in love with a illusion that never existed. During this time I have learned great lessons and am blessed I have found myself through all the heartache and pain and now I am stronger than ever.
I went back to online dating and now can pick and choose who I want, different than what I picked out before. Even a great looking man I turn down, because it’s about me.
I’m at peace and happier than ever and I’m alive every day. I check my mailbox and look for the money he said he would pay me back, and I smile. I gave out of love. It does not define me, and I’m free of the sociopath behind the mask.
I hope this brings comfort to anyone who reads this. Trust your gut, not your heart. Courage is fear that said its prayers.
Thanks Donna you saved my life❤.