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The Truth Is Always in Plain Sight

By Waleuska Lazo

I thought I had found my Prince Charming. I thought I had found the one to share the rest of my life with. Four years later I have nothing to show, but a bleeding heart and a broken fairy tale.

Looking back, I can see, the red flags were in plain sight. Yet, I chose to ignore them. I hope that my story can help you open your eyes, and see the warnings so you do not make the mistakes I made.

I do not want my story to come across as bitter. I am not. I have made peace with the fact that I am responsible for my situation. My only goal is to share my truth. I realize my outreach can make me look naive and desperate. And you know what? I’m OK with that. My hope is that sharing my pain saves you, or someone you love, from the FRAUD and heartache I experienced.

At the beginning everything was amazing. I felt I was with a man who was crazy about me. I was told that I was his soul mate, that he had never loved anyone as much as me, and that we would be together forever. You get the idea!

Soon after, the devalue stage kicked in. I was criticized on what I ate and how I dressed. I was told that I did not have a voluptuous body that he felt attracted to. I was told I was too skinny for him. I endured this lack of acceptance and soon after, he left me. Two months later we got back together.

I was so happy he had returned. I thought that if he returned, it was because he loved and missed me. I began to feel scared that he would leave me again. I gained weight, all to keep him happy. In the process, I changed myself for someone who was not worth it. I should have been good enough the way I was. Flag number 1.

He was a trainer who did not earn as much as me. My lifestyle and success were a big attraction. Immediately, he began to expect that I pay for everything. Every meal, every movie, drink, coffee or trip. He made it clear that if I loved him, I should pay for him, as I made so much more than he did. I was in love with him, and so I began to help him in all I could.

I bought him nice clothes to make him look more presentable. I furnished and decorated his apartment. Provided healthy organic meals. He loved to experience every high-end restaurant in the city and we began to travel the world first class. He never felt the need to contribute to any of it. Flag number 2

I was in love and he knew how to manipulate me. Yet, he was always restless. He never felt I was the one for him. If he sensed I was giving him unnecessary drama for something I did not like about him, he would punish me. He did this by emotionally withdrawing from me.

His Facebook profile picture, for the first 3 years of us going out, was only of himself. Yet people we knew had a profile picture that included their partners.

Whenever I questioned his intentions, he would become upset. Now it makes sense. He did not want women he met or chatted with on Facebook to see me. Finally, I made him upload one of us. But he resented it until the day he left.

Each time we fought, my picture would disappear from his profile page. He never liked to post pictures of us unless I insisted. Yet, he loved to post pictures of our expensive trips, but pictures where he appeared alone. The few he posted of us on is Facebook or Instagram, were quickly deleted as soon as he felt I was not the one for him. That was his way of telling me he was emotionally checking out. He never felt proud of me. Flag number 3

He introduced me to his friends 2 years into the relationship. When he finally did, I can count on one hand the times he took me to events with him. He would tell me it was a get-together for the boys. When I found out in a few instances that the other girlfriends were there, his answer was, “I don’t know why they came. The plan was just the boys”. Flag number 4

He always told me stories of past relationships and the reason why he always left them, “They were all crazy.” He never once mentioned his part in any of the breakups. Flag number 5

He cyber-cheated with many different women of Facebook. One day, he left his phone in our bedroom and I heard it vibrate. The screen lit up and I could see the lines of text did not seem appropriate.

I know what I did next was wrong. I read his messages. I’m embarrassed that I resorted to this level. There’s no excuse. I discovered the various women he had been carrying on conversations with for months behind my back.

When confronted with it, he would show no remorse. He would tell me it was not a big deal, to simply chill out and that nothing physical had happened. As if that was supposed to make it all better.

In other instances, I found that he had indeed gone to meet up with other women and sadly, he used my car. He wanted to impress them I guess. He always found a way to turn the blame on me:

  • “You drove me to it.”
  • “I am unhappy with this relationship.”
  • “Nothing is fun anymore.”
  • “Things are always tense and feel criticized.”
  • “It is your attitude that drove me to do stupid things.”
  • “Maybe if my love for you was bigger, I would not do these things.”
  • “You are difficult to love.”
  • “I am done, I am going to move out.”

The abuse and excuses were endless. I suggested therapy; he said he did not need it. After the many crocodile tears, he said he had learned the lesson and would not do it again. I really wanted to believe and so I did. A week later, a month later, he would do another indiscretion. Never took responsibility for his mistakes. Flag number 6

Unwilling to sever his past. Beside the many indiscretions he had with women on chats, he also kept in touch with his ex-girlfriend as a plan B. When confronted, he would say,

  • “I am not doing anything wrong.”
  • “I only added her back to my Facebook as a friend.”
  • “You are crazy.” “
  • You speak to your ex-husband each time you need advice, she is my equal of that.”

I never understood his reasoning. I would explain it was not comparing apples to apples. It was not healthy for our relationship to have him in constant touch with his ex. My ex-husband and I have contact because we are parents of our children and partners in our business. My ex-husband, now married to an incredible woman, was not a threat. While his ex-girlfriend who was single and available was.

Since he had a history of cheating on-line, I felt the need to shamefully look through his phone again. I noticed he hid his ex-girlfriend’s contact information on his phone under a fictitious, male name so I would not know he was in contact with her. I guess my university degree in Criminal Justice came in handy!

It was clear she was not just a friend. He often reached out to her asking forgiveness for the way he ended things. He declared his love for her, would lie to her that we were over and how much he would love to take care of her. He was looking to always replace me first before leaving me.

He needed his next victim in place so he would have no dead space to think of me and the damaged he had done. Each time he left, in a matter of days, he would be having sex with someone else. As soon as he felt the financial stress, he would find a way to manipulate me back into his life. He promised things would be different. That he loved me and wanted to try to be a better person. Nothing ever changed. Only empty broken promises. Flag number 7

He never showed any interest in my children. He acted as if he was a guest in our home. Never wanted to attend their functions and if he did, it was because I forced him to attend. After, he would tell me he would not attend anything else until next year.

He never thought of them. He never interested himself in their likes and hobbies. If I suggested activities to do or trips to take as a family, he would tell me it was best I did those alone with them. His excuse was, “What do you want from a 31-year-old?” Flag number 8

He lived for himself. He was first, second and third. He used my money to reduce his work schedule to two hours a day and not every day. He dedicated his free time to meet women behind my back, to play hockey, to play drums, and go to the gym. His physical appearance was primordial to him. He was in love with himself. Flag number 9

He put the entire burden of the relationship on me. After a breakup or a fight, he would tell me that if I changed, I would then have all the love that I wanted from him.

Crazy?

Yes! And I bought it!!!

He did the cheating and made me believe I was the one who had to change. He convinced me that I was the flawed one. I was the drama queen, the unhappy one, the stressed one and the one who was difficult to love.

He never took responsibility or action to change. In his mind, he believed he had nothing to change. He continued to blame me for things in his life including the reasons why he stayed with me. Flag number 10

He was 14 years younger than me. He made sure I understood that age did not matter to him. Yet, I always wondered why it did not bother him that I was so much older. It bothered me because I always felt scared that one day he would leave me for a younger woman. That was my intuition talking to me, and I dismissed it. Of course, if you saw us together, our age difference was not visible, but one day it was going to be.

He knew I was at a very different point in life than he was. Yet, he told me he did not mind. What he liked was that I was his “sugar mama.” He knew all along that he was never going to stay with me. We got engaged only to appease me. It never felt real.

He never helped around the house. He would come and go without a single responsibility or worry. He treated our home as an “all-inclusive resort.” I was nothing more than a short stop in his life. He spent my money while he saved all of his. Flag number 11

Towards the end of our relationship, he began to steal money from me. Being in the training industry, he offered to help obtain an expensive supplement I needed. He told me he was getting the supplement for me at his cost. I believed him.

I deposited the money into his account and I received my supplement. A few days after, my instinct told me to check. I found that he had overcharged me by $1200. When I confronted him, he made the excuse that if I purchased it from anyone else that was the price I would pay. Here is a man who I loved, clothed, fed, sheltered and supported. What gave him the right to make money off of me and lie about it? Flag number 12

I can now see I was too blind by my own insecurities. My fear of being alone, to my own detriment, made me stay in a relationship that was toxic. The sad part in all this is that I did love him.

I see clearly now what all my family and friends always saw, A GIGOLO. He used me for the financial stability I provided him. Each time he left he came back because he missed the rich life he had grown accustomed to.

Yes, I created a monster!

Yet, in spite of my instincts, I chose to stay and I believed my own lies. It was easier for me to believe he loved me, then to face the painful reality that I was SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY. A narcissist and a sociopath.

All the signs were there in plain sight

Yes, I betrayed myself and now I have to live with that.

You don’t have to.

Look at the red flags. God send us signs for a reason. Do not shut off your intuition. It is there to protect you.

Love yourself enough to walk away.

Learn from my pain. Never allow anyone to take away your power and your dignity.

I now live with the motto of, “NEVER AGAIN” and so should you!

 



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4 Comments on "The Truth Is Always in Plain Sight"

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So sorry for your experience. This scenario plays out millions of times to millions of people.

Don’t blame yourself. We all want to feel loved and believe that something ‘too good to be true’, could really be true.

Cheers to you for seeing the truth.

I’m so sorry you’ve been through such an ordeal. Our stories are very, very similar. I agree with Bev. You cannot blame yourself. Since learning I was just a pawn in a narcissistic sociopath’s game, I’ve done an exuberant amount of research showing that each of us is carefully played to ignore our gut, to believe their never-ending lies, and to doubt who we are as people. In much of the research, it compares our predators to cult leaders. It also shows that many predators use techniques similar to foreign actors and brainwashing. Stockholm Syndrome is another phrase that I’ve seen frequently.

Thank you so much for sharing your story, and know that you are not to blame. None of us are to blame. Some days are easier than others, but we are all here for each other and that is a powerful thing. Keep your head up and stand strong!

yes, the truth of my life with him was in plain site too. I used to think my intuition had gone to sleep or disappeared while I was with him; but I know now, it was alive and well, but the small still voice which spoke up time and again, was drowned in plain site, by HIM, his temper, his yelling, screaming, blaming, and near constant fault-finding. I saw many, many small signs just like this person did; and bypassed, ignored ALL of them. I ignored,turned away from anyone who DID speak up against him, and EVERYBODY DID speak against him! Still, my small still voice kept pricking me, in my spirit..it took years of abuses to finally hit bottom, and take NO MORE ABUSE. I now encourage my intuition to speak, to love and care for it and do what it advises me to do! (even if no one understands why)..I cannot undo 30 years of abuses, but “NEVER AGAIN”.

I’m not totally clear what you mean when you write “I created a monster!” If you mean you are responsible for his choices, that is not accurate. He sounds like a monster and no matter what you do, he is still responsible for his choice of words and actions.

When you write, “I am responsible for my situation.” Well, yes and no. You are not responsible that he chose to lie to you in order to manipulate you into making choices (like dating him, spending money on him, loving the person he pretended to be) you would not have made if he told you the truth. It sounds like he did a lot of blaming you for his cheating and his abuse. It sounds like he created arguments and fights whenever he wanted to hook up with other people, to facilitate his blaming his leaving on you, and creating false pretenses on which to base his coming back to you, when he felt like exploiting you for a place to live, money, sex, whatever.

He sounds like an off the chart abuser, manipulator, cheater, exploiter. Consider that there is probably more he has done that you aren’t aware of.

Parties to intimate relationships should give one another privacy. However, they should not need to have secrets/lies that would change one’s choices. In a healthy relationship you would not have found lies, cheating and other surprises when you read his texts. You would have read pretty much what you expected based on knowing your partner well.

Your trust, your ability to love, and even your naivity are wonderful traits that work very well in a relationship with an honest man who loves you and who cares about your well being. Living through the horror of exploitation of being in a fake relationship with an exploiter is tragic, but your knowledge of the red flags and the behaviors can protect you from being exploited in the future.

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