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Thank you for your comments and sharing your story.

Yes, the PI was horrified and his advise was the same as my lawyers – end the relationship asap but do not tell the guy you know about his secret life (as he went into so much effort hiding it, there was a possibility he’d turn dangerous if he knew his game was up.

Your story about dinner with the mistress is terrible – sadly, it is common. I was told “a friend is paying my bills and does my admin in return for me paying my mortgage. I also use her address for correspondence and to garage my car”. That “friend” turned out to be his wife. But at the time I believed his story and that he was sharing a room in a friend’s house and “was not allowed to bring guests” as I was told “I am moving in with you next month – no point renting a place”.

By that stage I was so trauma bonded to him (reading up on trauma bonding really helped me to understand why I did not call him on his lies or started investigations sooner. This is really important to understand how they bind us to them, make us literally chemically addicted to them) that I swallowed his lies.

What you say about trusting your gut is very powerful. We met on line and (in hindsight) he mirrored me perfectly in chat. So I was excited to meet him. But our first lunch date did not go well – he was late, I did not find him attractive and was unsure what to think.

But then we had this most amazing email chats (in hindsight, all mirrored) followed by intense sex. So That’s how I ended up hooked. Even then I questioned him in the early day why he was always away or not answering his phone. His response was “on the road”, “important job”, “secret service” and “if you don’t accept it, just go”, “you don’t understand what is to work hard”. So I started to doubt myself and accepted the situation. This is how it started.

But my gut after the first date said: “not sure, be careful”. So yes, listen to your gut.

I was so vulnerable at the time, in the middle of court case with my son’s dad so I was grateful for any attention I got. That’s what they do – SP prey on vulnerable.

Then they gaslight us and play with our minds and we are taught at school to use mind and logic and not our gut.

His daughter has been blocked. I doubt I hear from her again.

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