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I feel too shamed to talk to my family

Tagged as: Age differences, Big Questions, Breaking up, Family, Love stories, The ex-factor, Three is a crowd, Troubled relationships, Trust issues<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (10 January 2018) 9 Answers - (Newest, 15 January 2018)
A female United Kingdom age 30-35, anonymous writes:

Sorry this is a lot but I need to get it off my chest as its too shameful to tell my family and friends.

I met an ex vet on Instagram. We fell in love through each others art. He lives in the US and I live in the UK. There is a 20 year age gap between us, he is older than me.

I went to visit him and had the time of my life. We went out to dinners, he showed me off to all his family and friends, he met my parents who also live in the US themselves and we spent everyday together. I was in serious love and when he asked me to marry him I said yes straight away. When I returned to the UK we spoke on messenger video call every single day until I returned to the US 2 months later with my two children. My children went to stay at my parents house for 2 weeks when we first arrived and I stayed with my guy at his mother's home. We had such a lovely time, he was loving to me, kind,caring and always made sure I was ok. We even went to spend the weekend with his grandchildren. After we returned I found somewhere to rent for the kids and I and I couldn't help notice a few things. He gets jealous when I speak to other makes. He lies a lot- there have been times when his phone is either off or on divert and I can't get through. His excuse is always the phone has a problems and claims to get new phone all the time but always has the same one. A friend of mine said that he could be buying the same phone because he wears clothes he's had for over 15 years and it's clear he doesn't like change. Which is true, Make no mistake about it though- he is handsome, smart and fine as hell!

Ive met every child he has but I haven't met his son, the son who nearly died from an asthma attack, I know this to be true as I have heard others speak of the incident. His son also has anxiety. He claims to sleep round at his sons house which is the mother of his child's house twice a week after attending after school activities with his son he makes sure he is there for him in case of an attack and to spend time with him on school projects. His sons mother is a nurse and he claims she is not there when he stays over. But I can't help but wonder if those are her only two nights off and he stays there when she's home... I can't help but wonder if they rekindled some form of romance under the emotions of nearly losing their son. I brought it up once to him and he said "Come on now, I am not with my sons mother I am not sleeping with her on any other woman. All I want is you" I believed him.

He tells me all his money problems and was beginning to make me feel stressed out about them. He needed money for debt, ideas, a new car, clothes, etc.

I saw his thoughts about money to be unrealistic when it was clear he didn't have much of it to do what he wanted and I wasn't going to fund his wild imagination. One day he was talking about needing my help, it sounded like he wanted money, he must have seen what I was thinking all over my face because he asked me what was wrong, I said nothing.

He kept saying he was coming back to where I was staying and didn't show up most nights. He started complaining of stomach cramps...

He spoke of things to do with us and made no effort to do them.

He talks about everyone in his life to me behind their backs and I can't help but think he talks about me too.

His actions don't match his words, he says he loves me but doesn't show me anymore. One morning he mentioned the wedding and I said I didn't know anymore because he kept disappearing on me, he hung up and I didn't hear from him for two nights. The second morning his sister called me and said he'd been arrested and his lawyer was going to get him out. I called his lawyer and asked if he'd heard from my guy and he said NO! When I saw my guy the next day and mentioned it he said his lawyer hadn't been told yet, even though his sister had told me the lawyer was on his way...

I overlooked it all. He still went missing often with excuses of having this and that to do. He didn't seem well either and I asked him if there was something about his health he wasn't telling me, he said no but started telling me about his PTSD and anxiety attacks, he said that if he has a woman he has to argue with then he doesn't need that woman. One morning he came over and brought me his laptop to use, he spoke of us getting arrived again and gave me a big tight long drawn out hug before leaving. It felt weird... After he left I called him and said we needed to slow down on getting married because he is hardly around and he hung up on me. Days went by and I didn't hear from him, my children and I were inside every day not knowing where we were and it got to the point where I got brave enough to venture out with the kids alone via uber. At first I sent him texts of concern for his wellbeing, then I sent him horrible texts in my anger and pain of rejection. I kept threatening to go back home to the UK. Around three days later I get a call from him explaining he is in hospital with a stomach ulcer, he said he had an anxiety attack from the pain, then a seizure while he was driving from the medication they prescribed him, he said he couldn't drive for thirty days. Three days later he says he is leaving the hospital and is on his way to me, driving himself regardless of what hospital said...hours pass I call him and his phone goes to voicemail. I get mad and begin texting him how sick I am of his lies. He calls me and then hangs up, calls me again then hangs up eventually messaging me his phone has no signal and his car is shaking on the back roads.

The next morning I see a note under the door from him saying he came but no answer and his truck had been towed. He says he threw his phone and needs to get a new one then will call me.Three days go by before I hear from him, he says he was ashamed to be around me because he thinks he has chrons disease and I won't want him anymore. I said no, of course I still want you but you need to be honest with me. He says he had a crash in his truck and it went off the road so he has no vehicle anymore. He said he loves me and he will see me soon, he just needs to get better. Days go by and I get mad and call him complaining about not seeing him, he says he is ill and is on medication however he comes around the next morning with a walking stick looking rough. He doesn't stay long but he kisses me, hugs me and says he will be back later as he has a dentists appointment, he texts me throughout the day but he doesn't come back. When I ask him what happened he says I will see you tomorrow definitely. I asked him if everything was all a lie as it seemed to be one disaster after the other and he said "babe I couldn't make this stuff up, do you think I'd let you and your kids come all the way here for this?!"

I didn't see him the next day or the day after that so I let him have it via text, I called him a liar and stuff. He messaged me back saying he isn't trying to have a fucking stroke with the anxiety I give him, then he went missing on me, didn't call me, message me, nothing.

He just abandoned my kids and I in the US for around three weeks included over Christmas and New Years. New Year's Eve he messaged me how sorry he was and how much he loves me, he said his PTSD was messing him up and he hasn't been stable in his thoughts and something about being on suicide watch and a psych dr visiting him at home. Surprisingly enough his sister also messaged me apologising on New Years ever too. He and I spoke on New Year's Eve and he said he just needed to get better.

I messaged him on the morning of New Year's Day asking him if he thinks I should go home and he messaged me back that I was wasting my money being here and it wasn't fair on the kids and as soon as he is better he will come to me he promises me that on everything. At that point I changed my flight and returned home that same day. I felt it was another lie as he is in $60,000 child support arrears, he can't get a passport and he doesn't have $60,000 to pay off his arrears. Once, he picked his daughter up from school and she said "Daddy said he's speaking me to toys r us!" I thought how sweet and when we got there he told her to pick out a doll and that he had no money but when he got some the next day he would come back to collect it for her. I was horrified and ended up buying her the doll. I don't know if he was testing the type of person I am or if he was testing the type of power he had over me.

He has messaged me saying he will never forgive himself for abandoning my kids and I but I don't know if he truly understands what he did to us. He said everything that happened and went wrong between us was all his fault trying to hide his illnesses from me and that he hopes I still love him because he loves me.

I am a mess. This man has me the most confused I have ever been in my life, is this PTSD, is this psychopathic behaviour, is it a personality disorder? All I know is he is like several different people some days.

I am back in the uk and he doesn't video messenger call me at all, he used to all the time but now he emails me and his excuse for not video calling is that he isn't well.

Am I being strung along or am i genuinely dealing with someone who simply has a lot of mental health issues?

I haven't emailed him in two days because I am trying to figure out if I'm being played here... What do you think? Maybe he doesn't want to be with me anymore and doesn't know what to say.. He keeps telling me he loves me and that we will be together soon and stuff.

I am lost...

View related questions: christmas, debt, fell in love, his ex, jealous, liar, money, text, wedding

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A female reader, Stepmama United States +, writes (15 January 2018):

Run, don’t walk. Your instincts already know what you can’t face. These internet web sights are ripe with psychopaths and they look good, and do everything right till your caught. He may have more than you he is turning to. Bottom line though is don’t try to figure him lures you deeper into the game. Write it off as a bad experience and move on!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (14 January 2018):

Does it matter if he’s playing you? Whether he’s playing you or he’s sincere and has all these issues, look at the end result! He’s messing with you emotionally, abandoning you and keeping you wondering and worrying. On top of that you have to kids who need stability as children, and they’re going through the same thing not only because of his actions, but probably also from your reactions.

Please cut ties and find someone who is honest with you and reliable.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (11 January 2018):

You sat an wrote a complete book about this man, and now you ask us if you've been played? I see nothing in the story that justifies love, accept he was really nice in the very beginning. You've put your kids through this ordeal.

Whatever your feelings are for him; cut all ties. Now you and your kids have PTSD! Get some light counseling just to gather your nerves and pull yourself together. Avoid depression at all costs. Don't ask for pills. Struggle to pull it together on your own.

You are back home where you belong. THE END!

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A male reader, N91 United Kingdom + , writes (10 January 2018):

N91 agony auntRun for the hills.

I didn't even read your entire post to know that this guy is extremely dodgy. You said yourself his actions don't match his words, that right there is enough back up to stay well away from this one.

Surely you don't think this is what true love is? This sounds like the plot of a film or something - STAY WELL AWAY.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (10 January 2018):

Honeypie agony auntDear, OP

YOU need to wake up and smell the coffee. The guy is FULL of shit and is hoping for a meal ticket, especially if he is owing 60K in child-support.

There is no future with this guy. He is the kind who will create drama to throw you off the scent. Like going to jail, going to the hospital, throwing his phone away...

I mean JEEEEEZ! would you really expose your kids to a guy like that? What are you thinking!?

He ABANDONED you AND your kids over Christmas and New Years!? and you are still trying to figure out what to do?

SCREW him. Focus on your kids.

This isn't passionate love he is showing for you - it's psycho behavior. PTSD or not, it doesn't MATTER. Having PTSD is not an excuse to treat others like he has treated you and your kids.

He could FAKE a great personality while you two corresponded and for your first short visit. But.. when you came for 2 months it all fell apart because you would see more of him and the more you see the more you would notice what a MESS he is, what a MESS his life is.

Also you can't just go over and marry him. You need to have ALL your paperwork in order, with him NOT working and owing 60K you might not even GET a "fiance visa".

Stay in the UK, FIND a stable guy. PUT your kids first.

CUT all contact with this guy and his sister. She is his enabler and so were you. He lives in a fantasy world where he can do what he wants without taking responsibility.


READ your post and pretend this is another woman who wrote it. What advice would you give her, besides GET your heard examined!!?

Stop wasting your time on this guy. Wish him well and BLOCK him, BLOCK the sister.

Your priority should be your kids, not some NUTTY old guy! He has nothing to offer. Probably why his ex-wife or the mother of his kids LEFT him.

USE common sense, OP

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A female reader, YouWish United States + , writes (10 January 2018):

YouWish agony auntYou are being played. I'd be surprised if this guy were even a vet. He's a compulsive liar with serious financial problems and astounding child support arrears. You are a meal ticket to him, and you are a mark for him to use sexually, socially, and financially.

You need to move back to the UK and never see this guy again. Did you even do a background check on him to verify his stories, income, and criminal record?? There's a possibility that he's not even all-the-way divorced from his ex-wife, but merely separated. NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING he says should be believed, and his sister may either be covering for him OR he's lying to her as well. Compulsive liars do it with or without reason.

He's way too old to be redeemable, and you should be way too old to be gallavanting across the pond on the word of a liar. He's too old to be this bad with his money. It's one thing to trip up in one's 20's, to be lured by debt (especially Gen X'ers who were subjected to a multitude of easily-accessible credit in kiosks set up in their colleges and offering free knick knacks or gas coupons for applying), but growing up means learning from mistakes and being responsible with money, savings, and credit.

No more testing the guy or asking him questions. You already know that his is irrevocably NO GOOD, and it's time for you to cut your losses and get the hell out of this relationship, and even though we love you here in the US, you might want to put that Atlantic Ocean between you and this guy again.

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A female reader, ashleighkaylin United States +, writes (10 January 2018):

ashleighkaylin agony auntI think he's stringing you along for sure! He's in terrible debt yet he could afford to take you to dinners and show you off to family? Ew! I'd never want someone to show me off! Sounds like you agreed to marry the guy you met online and the guy who got romantic towards you. I've only had two serious boyfriends and BOTH stopped being romantic after we became official. Both stopped taking me on regular dates once we became official. What a guy does to get a woman, he needs to keep doing to keep her! This man sounds like he's been lying.

I think it sounds like he wants a ready made family AND a wan to support/nurture him, but he still wants his freedom. He can't have both! I'm glad you're back in the UK and I hope your kids are with you. From now on, I hope you make a man WAIT until he's dating you for several months officially and still taking you out on real, proper dates, before you agree to marry him. Don't be ashamed, everyone makes bad judgment calls sometimes.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (10 January 2018):

You are being played.He lives with mommy.He wants you to move here to support him.Then when you are at work he can have access to your kids for his pleasure.Alot of that happens here..cops do nothing.Grow up see him for what he is.Go home where your kids are more safe.I bet he lives in Florida.It is that you see that here alot.

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A male reader, Allumeuse United Kingdom +, writes (10 January 2018):

I don't think this is an elaborate hoax. But he's a fantasist all the same. He doesn't have a realistic grasp of his situation or his capibilities.

He may have health problems he may not but what you do know is: He is heavily in debt. He disappears. He cannot be trusted to follow through on promises and agreements. He is frequently out of contact.

Can you subject yourself to that? Can you subject your children to that. And on top of that far from home in a place where you are scared to go out?

Cut your losses. What you experienced was likely the shape of things to come if you stay in contact with him. Isn't the single simple life better that?

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