Editor’s note: The following article was written by the Lovefraud reader who posts as “Peggywhoever.”
The Perils of Gifts
By Peggy Whoever
We are taught to believe that people who give us gifts do so out of the goodness of their hearts. That they are kind, caring people. Gift-giving (including meals) makes us think that people love us, or like us at least.
There are people that use gift-giving as a tactic for control, or for a mental tally they keep on what we “owe” them in the future. “I did this for you; therefore you should do this for me.” I propose that anyone who gives a gift should do so freely, willingly, and without expectations of a “payback.”
I have experienced two people who gave gifts or offered future gifts who did not have honorable intentions. The first gave me two lovely pieces of jewelry, took me to nice dinners, on vacations to the Caribbean and Vegas, and built me a waterfall. On the surface this person seemed genuine, kind, and very thoughtful.
However, I later learned that this person engaged in many illegal and unethical behaviors including income tax fraud, international money laundering, embezzlement, and was emotionally, verbally, and physically abusive with his ex-wife. I further learned that he said about me, “I don’t love her ”¦ it’s all about the money”. And he tried many times over the course of three years to get me to invest with him in different real estate ventures. Had I done so, I would have lost every penny. His gifts were purely for purposes of creating trust and a sense of my indebtedness to him.
A second person initially was highly complementary (over the top), told me such things as “I prayed for you ”¦ I waited my whole life for you,” and offered to do many things for me including finish carpentry work in my residence (which I would have paid him for) and taking me with him on many trips. None of these offers, however, materialized. I now believe this person now thought I was “perfect” because he perceived I would support him financially in the future and/or pay for his trips and luxuries. The relationship was very out of balance financially where he often did not pay his way.
I now believe 100% that the first boyfriend was a sociopath (met every diagnostic criteria). And the second was a Borderline Personality Disorder (with many sociopathic and paranoid tendencies. I did not know that many disorders can co-exist … but I know now!)
I have always been a financially independent person and paid my own way. Furthermore, the receipt of gifts makes me feel somewhat awkward and uncomfortable. Many times I have refused gifts.
I propose that the receipt of gifts, and the offers of gifts, should be given very serious consideration for the receiver. In both instances above I believe these men used compliments, gift-giving and future offers as a form of control and manipulation so I would emotionally and financially invest with them.
And I further propose that everyone seriously consider the possible agenda people have when offering a gift. One might ask themselves, “Could this person have an agenda? Is there something they want from me?”
There is no such thing as a free lunch.