Every week, a chapter of my book, “Husband, Liar, Sociopath: How He Lied, Why I Fell For It & The Painful Lessons Learned” (available via Amazon.com, just click on the title or book cover) will be published here on Lovefraud. To read prior chapters, please see the links at the bottom of the post.
Chapter 51D: The Earthquake Strikes
Daniel was crushed by his father’s choices—his betrayal of our family, his instant girlfriend, the disrespectful way Daniel had learned that Linda even existed and was moving in, the kidnapping of Ella, the mounting lies, and his father’s attempt to keep him from participating in karate. Although I needed every bit of money I had, I promised Daniel that he could attend karate and that I would support his karate as long as he kept working hard in school. It was clear to me that Paul was not only trying to hurt Daniel for not buying into the “Paul as saint” view of the world but also to avoid the expense of paying for Daniel’s karate training and pricy tournament travel—something we had supported for years. Paul was also hurting Daniel to weaken and distract me, because there is no better way to hurt a mother than by harming her child.
Jessica was unfazed by her father’s behavior and choices. Over the summer, Paul had given her a credit card with no spending limit. Without my knowledge, he had even rented a condo for her and her friends to use as she wished—no questions asked. When I found out, I put my foot down, forbidding her to use it. I had to get my lawyer involved. The horror stories of what teenagers across the country had gotten into when left without supervision were all too common. For establishing normal parental limits, Jessica painted me as a controlling witch. Dad was the good guy. Even though Paul asserted in court documents that his income was approaching zero for the year, he always had plenty of money to spend on himself, his new house, his girlfriend, and Jessica. And, unlike me, Paul “trusted” Jessica and let her do whatever she wanted, including buying over $2,000 in jewelry in just two months. She still wanted more, surfing the Internet for hours to plan her next purchase. The manipulation horrified me.
Even worse, as the jewelry purchases mounted, I worried that Jessica was developing a dangerous shopping addiction, linking buying expensive jewelry with affection from her father. I expressed my concern to Paul, but he would not stop the purchases. I involved my lawyer. When she got the purchases to stop, Jessica had already spent $3,000 in four months. I could not compete. I would not compete. Paul offered confidence, a huge house, money, status, and no behavioral limits. I was shattered by recent events, my eyes red from lack of sleep. I needed to sell the house, move, and downsize radically, and who knew if I would even have any income? I had applied for several jobs, but no offers were forthcoming. My spent appearance, red eyes, lack of recent work experience, and age were not strong selling points.
I stood by what I thought were reasonable limits for a teenager, knowing it might jeopardize my relationship with Jessica if Paul did not do the same. The fact that Jessica and Paul had never been close left her hungry for a relationship with her father and vulnerable to his love being used as bait. He offered her a relationship now. All she had to do to get unbridled independence, status, money, and her father’s long-desired love was to embrace being his daughter and reject me. Pretty easy decision.
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Identifying names, places, events, characteristics, etc. that I discuss here and in my book have been altered to protect the identity of everyone involved.