By | October 26, 2013 13 Comments

LETTER TO LOVEFRAUD: I’m at a loss about what to do (Part 1)

Lovefraud received the following letter from a reader who posts as “WalkingInLight.” Part 2 will be posted tomorrow.

I am sharing my story with you to clarify it all in my own head and to see if I should be moving out of this relationship. The trouble is, I have been in this marriage for 20 years (minus some years of separation) and though I know it’s not normal, I have got used to it, and don’t know if it is bad enough to leave, even though I have no love, trust or respect for this man left. I feel he has killed it all. I am confused because we are not living in a hostile way to each other, so I don’t know if it would be more harmful to my children to leave. Here is my story. Sorry in advance for the length.

I met S in a church. I had just become a Christian and my life had turned around from a place of pain to a place of joy and peace. He was a friend of a friend. S was very withdrawn, but when he spoke he had great depth; that’s what attracted me to him. We started going out. He seemed really nice, very affectionate. But I remember he said to me one day, ”˜I haven’t been myself with you, and that’s going to change.’ I thought what a strange thing to say.

A year apart

Anyway, the relationship progressed and we got to a point where we discussed marriage. He said he didn’t want to make a mistake and wanted God to really show us if this was the right thing for us to do. He suggested we have a year apart to pray about it and get an answer. I know this sounds stupid, but at the time this did not seem that strange to me.

So we “split up,” but he wrote me letters and told me he loved me and when he saw me at afriend’s house, he used to kiss me, but we didn’t go out together. After a year we met up as arranged. I asked him what he felt we should do, thinking he’s had all this time to pray and think about it and surely he must have heard from God about what was right for us. He said, “I think we should carry on as before.” I was astounded, and totally shocked that he would say that to me. I said, “No, if you don’t know now, you never will. Let’s just finish this.”

Someone new

I started seeing someone else, who treated me lovely. Someone who came and picked me up for church and sat with me, as opposed to sitting the furthest they possibly could from me (as S was doing). This new person ASKED me if he could attend my end of year collage display to see the work I had been doing, whereas S refused to go, even when I begged him to come. He said, “Why would I want to see that; it has no interest to me.”

Anyway, when S found out about me seeing the new person, he was suddenly signed off work suffering from depression, given medication and flew back to his home country for a break. There he wrote me a letter telling me he’d made a mistake, asking me to forgive him for not treating me right, and asking me to marry him, because he believed it was God’s will.

When I got the letter, I thought about it, and even though I liked the new man, I REALLY was in love with S, so I accepted his proposal. Before we married though, he asked me to have a HIV test because he was a virgin and I wasn’t. This I did, on my own, he never came with me for the test or the results.


We married within a few months. It actually pains me to look at my wedding photos; there are none on display in our house. Most of the pictures have him with his hands in his pockets. There are no intimate pictures of us together, not one tender moment.

On our wedding night I came out of the bathroom in a lovely nightie to find S watching the boxing. That may not sound strange but bearing in mind we had never had s*x together because of our faith, I was expecting a little more anticipation, lol. We had s*x that night, twice I think, but never again in 20 years have we had s*x more than once in a day. In fact in all our years together we probably wouldn’t have s*x more than 10 times a year, maybe less.

Two days after we got married he turned to me in bed and said, ”˜I have made a mistake.’ I remember not really feeling much. Our honeymoon was terrible, he has huge problems with s*x.

Brother and friend

We returned home; he went back to work. This is when it started to go very strange. His brother and best friend lived in the parallel road to us and they practically lived with us after we got back from our honeymoon, starting with the first night. The first meal I made my new husband was for them as well.

After a few weeks the best friend let slip that S had been having his lunch break from work with them for the hour, when I was in the next road on my own at home! The best friend used to come to the house even when S was at work and go into the kitchen and help himself to food. When I complained to S about this, I was told, “I wasn’t a Christian if I thought like that.”

Verbal abuse

That probably was the start of the verbal abuse, really. Whenever I had to say anything to him, it would just end up with him either calling me names, denying what he said/did, calling me a liar, saying I was ”˜twisting things’ (when he first said this to me, I thought, “what a strange thing to say, not realizing he was projecting his behaviour on to me).

I remember I used to ask him why he was shouting at me, or talking to me so nastily, when all I said was “XYZ.” He said, “It’s not what you say it’s the WAY you say it.” I remember sitting in the bathroom crying one night because I had to ask him something, and i was trying to think how to say it without upsetting him. I constantly tried to make him understand my intentions and explain misunderstanding in our communication. I was so frustrated i couldn’t make him understand. Little did I know he understood just fine.

He would get up in the morning at the weekend and leave, without saying where he was going or leave a note. The hardest part was his denial of the things he said or did, it really started to mess with my head. I felt he was driving me crazy. I started to doubt my own perception of reality. His anger was out of control. He never hit me, but he hit walls, windows, doors. He even punched in a windscreen when we were driving once. His face would change and his eyes would nearly pop out of his head glaring at me. Anyway, it all came to a head when we went on holiday with a group of people we knew and he basically ignored me. So on the Sunday night, I left and went home on my own. I moved out the next day.

Moving out

Looking back on it, he really wasn’t bothered about my leaving. He rang my mum once to find out where I was, but never came to my work to talk to me, though his brother did. He actually went away to St. Lucia for 3 weeks. (When he told me about this trip later, he said he had stayed for most of this time with this Rasta he had met, who on the first night had given him a back massage. I couldn’t believe that because not only did he not want me to massage him, but he had asked me not to touch him in bed because he felt he couldn’t “fly.”)

When he was away (and before he left) he was doing a lot of drugs (hash) and while he was there he wrote me a post card and said he was coming back to make our marriage work and he really wanted to see me. This made me feel hopeful. When he got back, it took him about a further 2 weeks to contact me. He was hanging out with a friend.

Back together

We did, after 2 years, get back together. I still loved him and I thought maybe I blew it all out of proportion. Maybe other people wouldn’t have reacted the way I did. So we got back together.

At first everything was ok, probably because he was still smoking quite a bit of hash. We went to a counselor, and I thought it was good, but I had a “niggle” that we hadn’t really addressed the “issue,”

We had our first daughter. I was so happy. Though while I was in intense labour, he did something I really have trouble forgiving if I’m honest. The nurse advised me to take a bath, which I did. I put bubbles in it. When I got out the bath there was a notice to say “please clean bubbles out of bath.” I asked him if he would clean it, he refused. So I leaned over the bath and cleaned it out, my contractions were only a few minutes apart.

The day he collected us from the hospital he came in and I could tell he was angry. I asked him what was wrong and he denied being angry, I went home feeling very upset and confused.

“Huffing and puffing”

I loved being a mum, but I was very sad about my marriage. I was in a total confusion about it. I spent a lot of time talking to my friend about it, just to validate my experience. I was upset as well over his disinterest in our baby. I did nearly everything for her, and when I asked him to do something, he really didn’t like it.

I coined this phrase for him about the way he acted when he was asked to do something, “huffing and puffing.” He would really let you know he was unhappy about doing it and that you shouldn’t have asked. The aim being you wouldn’t ask in future.

When I saw my friend’s husband with his baby, I was shocked to see him doing things for her without being asked, just because he noticed, and he done them in a calm manner.


We had always planned to live in his home country, because he hated my country so much. I said to him, why don’t you go home and try and find us a place to buy or rent and go to Estate Agencies etc. He agreed. But what he actually did was go home for a week and go around with his friend and smoke hash. He came back having seen no agencies or houses.

Time carried on, we moved house. Now I want to point out that he was not showing his anger the whole time; that is what makes it so confusing.

There would be periods of time when everything was ok. But what I realized after a few years was his behaviour was on a cycle. He would be totally fine (issues of s*x, were always there) but the minute I had to ASK him something he didn’t want to do, or actually ASK him anything at all, or if I had to challenge something about his behaviour to me, he got nasty. Then the “the problem” that I’d gone to him with in the first place was no longer the problem, his RESPONSE was. Again I tried to explain this dynamic to him, but he would twist the conversation so much it was really confusing.

Lies three times

We had another child. We moved into a new house and my oldest child went to school.

About this time, I found strange numbers on our phone bill. I rang the phone company, they said they were “adult” (not gay, by the way). I asked S about them when he got home, he immediately flew into a temper and said “it wasn’t him,” “there was a misunderstanding with the phone company,” “SOMEONE else had done it.” I carried on asking him about it because I knew at this point he was a liar, from previous experiences. Eventually he admitted he had done it.

This is the “pattern” of how he responds to being asked if he has done “XYZ:” He always lies at least 3 times before admitting anything, and then he will always downplay what he has done.

Crazy making

When my middle daughter was 3, my friend said to me she thought S was verbally abusive. I looked it up on line and came across Patricia Evans’ books. I ordered them. Reading those books was like reading about my life. When i read about “crazy making” I was startled; that was exactly what I had called it myself, and I was amazed other people had gone through the same thing. I felt angry too, because I realized what had been going on, and all those times I had tried to explain things to him, thinking “If I can make him see what is happening here, he will change.”

I remember one night S came in from the garden and walked into the girls’ bedroom, where I was with our daughter. He wiped his feet on her carpet, then walked into the other room. I asked him why he had wiped his feet on the carpet and not on the doormat. He said he didn’t do it. I said that he did. This continued. I then started to doubt I had seen him do that, but just at that time my daughter said, “You did do that Daddy.” He quick as a flash said, “Well I only did it because I knew you would be angry with me if I left mud on the floor.”

Another time we were eating dinner and very unlike me, I left some food on my plate. He started ranting at me and called me “disgusting” in front of the children. I was really upset and when the children were in bed (I tried to keep all conversations like this till the kids were asleep) I said that he had upset me, and I thought he owed me an apology. He started shouting and said that I owed HIM the apology! I told him at this time our relationship was over and that I thought he was an abusive person.

The notebook

He had been calling me “mental” for a long while in his outburst to me, even though I had asked him to stop it loads of times. When I said our relationship was over, he said I was mentally unbalanced and he would prove that in court. He would get the kids taken off me and move back to his home country, and I would never see them again. He is such an articulate speaker and so persuasive and can seem so rational that I totally believed he was capable of doing this.

I lost it and I lashed out at him. I slapped him several times until he caught my arms. He then started to write a notebook full of all his “evidence” to prove my instability. He usually carried it on his person, but one time I was able to find it and I saw what was inside.

It was “dated” and noted like it was a court of law, but the “evidence” was nonsense. He even wrote in there a comment I said to my youngest daughter about my friend’s daughter. This is the friend who he tried to convince my church I was in a lesbian relationship with. They actually called her in to ask if this was true, which of course it wasn’t. But the pastors asked her to stay away from me because it was upsetting my husband.

My friend knew I needed her support so she took no notice of this, even though it could have cost her her job, as she was at Bible college with her husband and was due to come back to work in that church. This friend was “banned” from my house by S.

Left and took the kids

I left again shortly after this. I took my stuff, the kids’ stuff and left his things, the bed, sofa, basically enough for him to be able to have a home still, though I did take the t.v. and video recorder. I rang him the next day to say the kids were fine and the following day i told him where we were. He came to visit the kids and brought over some plant pots I’d left behind (?). He told me the day before he’d gone out and brought himself a t.v. and video recorder. He seemed totally “not bothered.”

During that separation he lied a lot. He also told me strange things. He was doing a degree at the time and he shouted at me one time that I had caused him to fail his exams and he probably wouldn’t be able to finish his course. I later found out he hadn’t even got the results back and when he did he’d passed.

I also arranged later for him to have the girls on a specific date. He agreed to it, but I later found out he’d already booked a flight back home, so wouldn’t be in the country at that time.

I spoke to his father on the phone, and told him what had been going on. He told me that S had told them I was mentally ill and they believed him. He also asked me if I’d ever considered myself to be a husband beater. This was quiet ironic coming from the man who used to beat his son up and use a belt on him, and S’s own mother had thrown a saucepan fall of potatoes at his head!!


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LL Mequon


I hurt for you. I haven’t even read part 2 and I have to say I hope you leave very soon. Your children need to know that S’s behavior is not what is expected in a marriage, and certainly you don’t deserve all of his cruel and crazy-making behavior.

I wish you the strength to do what is best for you and your children. Please take care.

lost everything

The latespath said a very strange phrase to me also. Driving back, for the last time from law school, his words were ‘people in high school all told me I would be dead by 21; they should see me now, an Ivy League lawyer’.

Your story sounds so much like mine!It’s really confusing when they don’t have the feelings you expect;the cognitive dissonance is what throws us off balance!Then we try so desperately to make it work…but it’s impossible with them ignoring our feelings and needs.
I left my husband a year ago.My daughters are grown and living on their own.I finally remember what it is like to have peace of mind and rest when needed.And it is needed.Because taking care of my husband’s every whim cost me my health.


This sounds so much like my life. I often was called “mental” and that crazy making experience is awful. When I caught him cheating on me he blamed me. He said “he was so attracted to that young co worker that he was not able to resist her” . 3 days later he told me he never said that. Sometimes I questioned myself if I was going crazy? Now, I know it was all a game. He eventually left us to be with his mistress/girlfriend/co worker. I am going through a drawn out, nasty divorce now. But I won’t give up. Today my lawyer said ” you know what, all the cruises,all the money in the world, all the sex and porn,one thing that he will never get is the love up it son and also the live if an honest, awesome woman . I looked at him and he said “yes you are this woman and you were his wife and he threw you away like trash “. I know I will be ok. Me and my son will overcome.


WalkinginLight, It’s never too late to leave and really begin anew.
There seems to be little in the way of redemptive value in the man you described. He just sounds like an addict, a secretive one at that, and a man without much remorse or thought of making any amends. It’s been such a long-term pattern with him and I know you held on as long as you could, but his chances of changing are probably less than nil by now. Please believe your gut and look at the evidence of his long history as objectively as you can. I know that’s tough to do when you are the wife. You aren’t ‘crazy’.
It’s just when we live with a sicko, the inevitable result seems to be that we become quite ill ourselves with depression, anxiety,
etc. This can be reversed in time and you can live a healthier life! Much Peace to come to you soon, please march forward on with Faith as your guide.


I am sorry you went through this living hell.

I can relate to the verbal abuse side of it. Even though it wasn’t as long as you. Everything you said was exactly like my S. I was told all the time I was crazy and stupid. What got me was when you said that you always tried to explain misunderstandings. So did I but it never worked. I made it worse, or so he made me think. All part of the crazy-making.


Its actually very simple what you have to do- just go, very very very very very far away from him.
I went through very similar troubles twice, I have been so happy now that both my ex husband and my ex partner are far far far away from me.
There were lots of red flags since the begining of your relationship with this man- the coldness, the indecision, the sitting far away from you in church, the hands in the pockets, the way he behaved saying it was or not God’s will according tho what HE felt, the abuse, the lack of love for you, the lack of care, he wont change, please understand. I would be very aware of someone who is saying he is still a virgin not being that young.
Im a Christian as well and now I have found the right man, it took me years and years to find someone loving, caring, kind, interested, decent. We are going to be married in January. Please get this man away from you, you do not deserve that, noboby deserve that, all that crazy making, I know what it is, my second relationship was like that, he called me crazy all the time, he told me elaborated lies and after said he never said anything and I made it up and I needed a psychiatrist. He would deny saying things he said the day before and blame me for inventing it. I dont even want to remember, comparing to the man that I have now that was hell and now Im in Heaven.


It amazes me the similarities in the overall experiences we all have with these spaths…. The differences are in the details. Hugs to you in your journey out of this hole.


My abusive ex-husband used to tell me that we can’t afford anything. I was his little parrot who repeated that we can’t afford anything. I had to sneak the kids to the doctor, because he said we can’t afford it. I had to sneak to buy clothing for kids at thrift store cause he said we can’t afford to buy clothing. I tried to make a small difference and do it in a way where hopefully he wouldn’t notice the money was missing.

I bought a wash machine from a yard sale for $40.00. He was furious when he found out. It didn’t matter that I pointed out we were spending $30.00 a month at laundromat. This washer would pay for itself in less than two months. He called his mother and told her I spent all the money. He asked his mother to pay our rent. His mother called me up screaming.

She didn’t listen to my reason. She said she never had a washer so why should I? I guess she didn’t want to admit she was duped. Cause he didn’t ask her to pay the $40.00 I spent towards our rent, he asked her to pay the rent in full.

He really knew how to sic her on me.

Another time, our son needed new shoes. His shoes fell apart and he was wearing his winter boots in class. The school was calling me to ask when I will buy him new shoes. I went to my husband and told him the school was calling me. He biffed me off, and told me next payday. The next payday he biffed me off again. The school continued to call me about the shoes. I noticed the school never asked to talk to my husband. School always wanted to talk to me. When my husband biffed me off again on the next payday I went to Payless shoe store and bought our son a cheap pair of shoes. Spent $14.00. It was buy one get another pair 1/2 price. So he had two pairs. Husband was furious when he found out. He called his mother and told her I spent all the money. He asked her to pay our rent. His mother called me up screaming and demanding to know what I do with all the money. She wouldn’t listen to reason. She just wanted to scream at me.

I took the kids to doctor. I knew they had ear infections as result of a cold. Cause kids were trying to stick objects in their ears. We didn’t have medical insurance and my husband said he was too proud to get medical assistance. So I found a doctor who would see our three kids for the price of one appointment, only $35.00. And yes, all three had ear infections. My husband found out I took kids to doctor, because we never had cash on hand. We always had to write a check. So again he called his mother and said I spent all the money. And, that I run the kids to the doctor every time they have the sniffles. He asked his mother to pay our rent. Again she called me up screaming.

So not only did I have to go through hell night with my husband. He was never done fighting with me about it. He would pick fights with me about it months later and years later. He said we can’t afford that. Plus I had to deal with his mother calling me to scream at me.

I only caught him coming in the door with a Kohl’s Department store bag one time. He went clothes shopping for himself. Whereas I wasn’t allowed to shop the thrift store for me and kids. I had to go on the sneak. When I caught him walking in door with a Kohl’s bag he turned sideways to hide the bag. He went in bedroom and closed the door. I asked what was he doing in there? He barked at me and snapped I’m Not Doing Anything!

Come to think of it he was always dressed nice, and his shoes were always new. Me and the kids were dressed shabby by compare.

I always had to take the kids to the grocery store, cause he would not watch them. He got angry when I asked him. At the grocery store our middle daughter who was about 8, came running at me with a jar of pickles. In a loud voice she asked…Mom Can we AFFORD this? All the shoppers stopped and stared. It was my ah-ha moment. That is when I realized I was living my husbands lie.

Your story sounds so similar to mine!Only my husband didn’t mind taking advantage of every program of assistance that he could!

I felt so bad that “we couldn’t afford anything”.His dad who was a senior citizen and on a limited budget,helped us as much as he could,with groceries,clothes for the girls and home & car maintenance.It left me wondering what my husband was good for!
I even did the yard work myself!

Your story about your daughter asking if you could afford to buy pickles brings to mind one of ours that involves pickles.One school night when the girls were young,and already in bed,spath discovered the lid had been left off the jar of pickles.Rather than taking into consideration the late hour and the fact that he was standing over the pickle jar,he roused our youngest daughter from bed and had her put the lid back on the jar!He could have simply put the lid on himself and taken the matter up with them the next day!


To Blossom4th,

Spaths do expect more out of kids, than they expect of themself. I think it is also to get a “rise” out of you, and keep you on edge. I once had a boyfriend who would have called me to get out of bed to put the lid on jar…

My husband expected more of EVERYONE than he did of himself!But because the girls and I were the ones that LIVED with him,we were the ones who suffered!

I was just thinking that ironically,spath might be happy with his life now.He’s sitting fancy-free;poor but no one to ‘burden’ him!


please don’t be confused or be guilty about what has happened, or live in bitterness either.

everything that has happened is in the past now. live in the present….feel this moment…he can no longer emotionally abuse you anymore….enjoy this present moment…let yourself enjoy this day

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