By | December 1, 2012 11 Comments

TARGETED TEENS AND 20s: I though I hit the jackpot of love

Editor’s note: This story was written by a Lovefraud reader whom we’ll call “Priscilla.”

I met a man in Canada on a popular dating website. I thought he was the “one” for me, and he had me quite convinced of this after 3 months of emails, texts and phone calls. So convinced was I, that when he “popped the question” over the phone one night to marry him, I told him yes.

This was the first guy I had ever had a long relationship with, and felt it was heaven on earth. I was in my early 20s, and had never dated before. He was my first real “boyfriend,” and I thought I had hit the jackpot of love. He had me so emotionally invested over the phone, that I felt I could not be without him so marrying him was my only option.

My parents, who were watching all of this, knew how twisted he was making me emotionally, and had a healthy concern for me, being their only child. They tried to intervene, and I did what most young women in love do side with my guy over my parents. How much could they know what was right? He was perfect!

Looking back, I wish I had listened. They knew something wasn’t right about him ”¦ and had I not been so twisted up emotionally, I would have known it too. For starters, I had never actually met him. He could have been anyone! He talked about going out with “friends.” Looking back, I now know they were not just “friends” but a girlfriend, who he was cheating on, with me. I didn’t know ”¦

Engaged to be married

So, anyway, after about 6 months of “phone dating” we met in person. By then, we were “engaged” to be married. I was crazy about him. We met at my apartment, alone. No observers. He had made me feel so comfortable on the phone that I neglected several online dating rules. Had I followed them, could have prevented the whole mess I was about to get myself into.

I “ran away” with him to another city, where we very nearly eloped. Instead, we simply made vows to each other that we promised we would “make public” later when we got married. We decided not to consummate the “marriage” until after a public wedding, where we would make everything legal and let our families witness, but called each other husband and wife. It was a “secret” marriage. Until then, we would live out our marriage as being engaged. Funny thing was, here I was engaged to marry him and I didn’t even have a ring! He promised me he would give me one “later” as he had “forgotten” it at home which was in Canada. I was living in the USA.

One month later, I arranged to get time off my job to go “visit” him. My parents, in good intention, tried to stop me, by getting a therapist involved. My emotions at this point were an up and down battle. I felt my parents were against the relationship (they were). I felt caught between taking my fiance’s side and their side not wanting there to be a battle and basically, being given a choice between him, and them. I mistakenly chose him, thinking love would prevail. This is how I went to Canada and how he convinced me that I should stay with him, there, instead of returning home to my parents in America.

Living in Canada

I did stay, and he gave me the ring at Niagara Falls in what seemed to be a “romantic” proposal.  I moved in with him ”¦ only to find him living at home, in his parents’ condo, at age 33. He claimed he owned two houses that he was renting, and that he was staying with them to “save money.” He claimed a month before my arrival that he was in a “car accident” with his sports car. Upon my arrival, the only evidence of his “crash” was a supposedly injured back, which he had to constantly seek medical attention for.

He worked long hours, at a split shift job. I honestly rarely saw him but for the time we spent late at night when we slept together, and the 3 hours he had during the afternoon, most of which were usually spent at a doctors’ or shrinks’ or so he said.

One month before the wedding, he blew up at me for not being a “good hostess” for a bridal shower his family threw for me because I failed to see my guests to the door of his sister’s house and thank them profusely for each gift, due to him showing up in a bad mood from having been yelled at by his boss at work. I, being the loving fiance, felt that it was more important to see to his needs than my guests’ needs and he felt otherwise. This resulted in the first act of domestic violence a bottle being thrown at my head, and him telling me to leave.

Nowhere to go

I had nowhere to go. I had abandoned everything in America to go be with him in Canada!  I took a walk with his mom, only to have her beg me not to marry her son. I should have listened to her she was trying to warn me. I didn’t, because frankly, by that time, I was stuck in Canada with no job, no home, no car ”¦ no anything. I was completely dependent on him, and worse, emotionally dependent to the point of feeling I could not live life without him in it. Not a good position to be in ”¦

A month later, I married him or so I thought. We went to the registrar’s office to register our wedding, got some paperwork which we were told to sign, and that was it. We got married a couple weeks later, and left the papers in the hands of my in-laws and the priest to file. The in-laws did not file them, and the rabbi told us that he had given his copy to my in-laws. Turns out, neither the rabbi nor the witnesses had actually signed the papers and they were never filed, making the marriage invalid —unbeknownst to me until I later tried to file divorce.

Physical violence

Upon returning from the honeymoon to our own apartment that he moved us into the week before our wedding, I found out the man I was married to had a drug addiction. He was constantly hiding things from me. I couldn’t even look over his shoulder while he was on the computer, cause he would get angry. I felt he was hiding everything from me. Suddenly, I couldn’t trust him or anything he told me.

We had huge arguments that were physically violent. I yelled at him in self-defense, but he got physical. He was much bigger than me and he was a bully. I knew not to cross him, cause that meant me running from the house in fear of my life. We eventually separated. I went back to stay with his parents; he stayed at our apartment.

We were separated 3 days. I returned home to find a cigarette burn on our down comforter, which had been a wedding gift. I remember the sinking feeling that he hadn’t been alone while I was gone. I started having a very nagging feeling I was being cheated on. My husband smoked weed. A month later, I found out my non-smoking husband had started smoking cigarettes in addition to his weed.

Going downhill

The marriage continued to go downhill. The fights continued. With the fights, my self esteem got lower and lower. We moved to another apartment, and when summer came, he took up a job as a golf instructor ”¦ instructing women how to play golf. I got to be his “assistant” under the radar, because I was not a legal Canadian.

I was trying to become a permanent resident of Canada, but without the help of my husband, or a lawyer, I had no idea what I was doing. I was naive, and every time I asked for help, he shuffled it under the carpet, saying how he didn’t have time. In addition to this, I was powerless. A small-town country girl, I was thrown into big city life. I could not walk more than a couple of blocks from my home without fear of getting lost and not finding my way home and with him gone, I was powerless.

Sanity fading

I found myself without help. My sanity was fading fast, as I was placed in a position of second guessing myself, and pretty much everything around me, under his emotional control. I found out he was actually cheating on me he said with prostitutes. I found evidence on the computer in his absence of him visiting both porn and dating websites, one of which was notorious for cheating spouses. I nearly lost it ”¦ as my grip on reality dissolved. I was caught between moral values, which my religion taught, and the truth. I was a victim.

In my emotional state, I had suicidal thoughts and didn’t know where to turn for help. I tried turning to my church, only to have my husband turn his back on the church and cut the ties, saying that the rabbi was speaking against him, and he didn’t appreciate it. The more I reached out for help, the more I got stabbed. I tried counseling, only to have my husband tell me after counseling we were through. I had served my purpose to him, now he wanted me gone.

Back to America

He succeeded in getting rid of me, by telling me I had to go back to America to get documents with which to complete my citizenship. I was to go “visit” my parents, and return with my papers. We were fighting, so it was to be a separation our third, and it turned out, our last. The ticket secured for me was one way. I was promised a return ticket in two weeks. I took the flight back to my parents, knowing in my gut, that I probably wouldn’t be back. I begged him not to send me away ”¦ delusionally thinking I could somehow save my marriage.

Two weeks after I returned back home to my parents for a visit, my husband decided to tell me he had a girlfriend. He didn’t want me back. I completely lost it, and went to a hospital, still thinking I couldn’t live without him. After he found out I was in the hospital, he pretended to want me back. Promised me the world, if I would just leave the hospital.

It wasn’t that easy -— I was still an emotional wreck, and doctors put me on watch. The watch was just long enough for him to change his mind. When workers met to discuss my release, he informed them he was done with our marriage and I had no home to go back to!

I was placed in a treatment facility, and with the help of my family, was able to get my sanity back enough to want a divorce. When I went to seek a divorce, I found out that the marriage had been faked. The document that I thought to be my marriage certificate was in fact the document that was supposed to have been filed in court by my in-laws while my husband and I were on our honeymoon. All this time I thought I had been married, it was a lie.

Professional con artist

I was left with nothing to my name. My marriage had been a sham. He had lied to me. I found out that he had been imprisoned before I met him, for being a professional con artist. He had a girlfriend when he left me ”¦ I did some digging, and found her email. I sent her an email ”¦ only to find out he was lying to her as well ”¦ setting her up just as he set me up. I was a victim of marriage fraud.

He told me when we met that he had never been married. I find that believable, because after being married to him for 9 months, I found out I had never been married as well. I pity the poor woman he victimizes next, and pray she has more sense than I did.

I have moved on with my life. I have gotten back what was taken from me through hard work and counseling. My sanity is mostly restored, although I still suffer with PTSD from the events I went through with my fake husband. I am married, legally, and have been for two years. My husband is nothing like the first one, and treats me with only respect and love. This time, it is real. I am happy. There is life after love and marriage fraud, and I am living proof.

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It felt as if I was reading my own story…


Priscilla, I am SO sorry for your experiences and I so much appreciate your candor and courage to not only survive your experiences, but recover.

Your story is an incredible testament to “technolgical relationships,” and I absolutely applaud your determination and courage.

Thank you for your story and brightest blessings of contentment be upon you!



Wow! I totally get this. I ran off with a spath when I was just 17 years old. It was a nightmare. BUT, I still didn’t get it for another 40 years! I dated multiple other spaths, then settled for 13 years with a really nice man. We split, it was painful but not derailing…..

Nevertheless I found myself dating spaths again (online), and it took some more painful ‘adult’ experiences and losses (financial!) to wake me up to them.

I congratulate you for getting what a spath is, how they operate, and being able to articulate your experience. Once we really get it I think we have given ourselves the best armor against future involvements. That, and working on understanding the beliefs that didn’t ‘serve’ us, and need to be changed…..shoring up our boundaries and self-caring, and we can feel safer in the world!



What a horrible man. I know how hurtful that kind of thing can be. Be grateful that you were never legally married and never forget that it was never real for him so it was never real at all. That is what it took me to heal and let go. Hugs


Betsybugs, I don’t know if this is true with regard to your experiences, but the exspaths that I was married to were able to coerce me into abandoning everything and everyone that I held dear.

Even if I didn’t “run off” with them, the effect was the same. I lost friends, family, jobs, education, and self-worth. And, through deep searching and confronting ugly truths about myself, they were only able to accomplish their goals because of my personal vulnerabilities.

I dunno, but it seems that each story that I’ve read on LoveFraud involves the targets giving up things that they held dear at the behest of the spaths’ demands or suggestions.

I’m so grateful that you’re recovering. I’m grateful to read about EVERY recovery because each story speaks to me, on some level.

Brightest blessings


Yeah, we give up things or HAVE to give up things and they give up NOTHING. At least that is how it was in my case. He still has his big job, big house, expensive cars. Probably still has his wife (I have no idea). Yep, they keep it all while we end up with nothing. Especially our minds. I lost mine a long time ago! 🙂


I woke up this morning from a dream that made me appreciate every little thing I have. What they leave us with is a new apprciation of life, it takes time but you have to stop letting them occupy so much of your time and thoughts.
My Xho came to me with the clothes on his back and left with a vehicle I bought him,,,so,, if i had not bought him that vehicle he might still be here messin with my head ~! Count your bessings and your loss’es… what, I was out a few grand, lesson learned..he is somebody else’s issue now, not mine…



Good point! 🙂


Moon, what a positive take on your experiences. Seriously.

Even though I lost a great deal, the upside is that I’ve learned SO much, and I’m still continuing to learn. It’s one heck of a journey.

Brightest blessings


Hello all. I always love reading your posts. I don’t come here as often as I once did because I am healing. I no longer have any desire to contact him or find out anything about his sick, pathetic life. I now focus on the people in my life who truly do care about me and want me to be happy and successful. I was also very vulnerable when I met my spath who I now refer to as “Satan”. I remember my mother telling me “Two years ago I had a beautiful, funny, confident daughter. Now that he is done with you I don’t even recognize you. But I have learned alot about myself. My mother had his number instantly. She just kept telling me something was not right about this man. Now I listen to my mother. And I listen to my gut. Had I listened to my gut I would never have stayed with this pathetic excuse of a man. He is a leech. And a predator. And I am happy to be here today because that means Satan is in my rear view mirror. I wish all of us peace and love.


thank you louise and truthy…I mean how do you put a price on the weight of the world be lifted off your shoulders? i glady pay for that. To obsess about money lost is futile in most cases when a spath is involved. the emotional toll is another thing ,but even that was cheaper than going to college for a degree in physcology..

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