The relationship had degraded so much and yet I did not know to extricate from it. Fear was a large factor keeping me in it, but also as hard as it is to understand for those who have never been involved with a pathological, I still had a faint hope that he would somehow return to the man I had initially met. The nice, sweet, charming, caring person who was attentive to me and hung on my every word. However, that man whom I fell in love with had fallen away. He was replaced with an empty, selfish, highly sadistic man who ignored my boundaries, was prone to give me silent treatments on a whim for reasons I was told to “figure out.” Every once in awhile that old nice version of him would return leading me to believe it was me that was the problem. This “intermittent reinforcement” I would later find out, was done deliberately to keep me hooked in the relationship. At times he even said to me that if I could just stop the (insert bad perceived behavior by him) or begin (insert a desired behavior which he had yet to see from me) than perhaps things could be the way they once were between us. Deep down though, I had a gut feeling he never had any intention of making good with the follow through.
Giving false hope is the devil’s work.
At some point I believe I had chalked up 12 bacterial vaginosis infections in the course of 5 years with him. Prior to knowing him I had never even had one my entire life. My gynecologist said they were sexually indicated but they could be acquired by other means such as swimming in ponds, douching, using tampons and not changing them often enough. Yet none of those applied to me. She made it clear it was not something one could get from a toilet seat. How did I get these infections? I couldn’t help thinking he must be having an affair. My heart was sad thinking why wasn’t I ever good enough?
There were the middle of the night wake-ups where I’d find him gone out of bed. Only to find him using his phone in the bathroom sitting on the toilet seat checking his voicemail because he couldn’t sleep or so he said. When questioned about it he would always deflect the question and blame me with an accusatory tone,” how dare you try and control what I do when I am having trouble sleeping!!!” Or that he was booking a doctors appointment. WTF? Are you kidding me. You are booking a well visit with your primary care physician at 3:30 am?
There were lies.
That he was snow blowing for hours during the winter and couldn’t answer the phone , yet when I arrived I touched the snowblower and the entire machine was totally cold. He never knew I did this.
Lies about going to his regular AA meeting but when I’d ask what the topic was, who chaired the meeting, or who the speaker was, he said he couldn’t remember. Anyone who is in recovery knows this is total BS unless you are drunk going to the meeting. He was 26 years sober.
There were so many lies, so many inconsistencies, so many scary things that I had been fervently praying. Begging God to please remove him from my life. To please keep me safe and release me from this man. Day and night I prayed. Because for reasons unknown to me at the time, I could not seem to muster leaving him of my own free will. Each time that I tried my heart would be overcome with a sorrow so deep and painful, that I would do anything to avoid that level and degree of pain; including not leaving him.
Then my prayers were answered.
I was on his computer and had noticed a photo that hadn’t been there the week prior. It was a photo of a naked woman lying on a table, with him wearing a green shirt on with his hand outstretched touching her genitals.
I asked him about it. He claimed it was from years ago. I knew it was a lie. So I said, “All photos have time-stamps, right click on the image and show me it was years ago.”
He replied, “You don’t control me I’m not going to do that.”
I said,” this has nothing to do with control, if you can prove that this was done years ago just go ahead and right click on it and prove me that I’m wrong.”
He said, “get out.”
“Get your all your things together and get out , we are done, it’s over Lexi.”
I told him, “I’ll be happy to get out if you want to be done , but just the same I want you to show me that the photo was from years ago, prove that I am wrong.”
“Just get out.”
My lip began to quiver and tears began to fall down my face as I begged him,”Please tell me the truth about that photo, I’ve been good this you for 5 years, I loved you and I don’t deserve lies, please just tell me the truth.”!”
“You want the truth?” He said.
“Yes,” I whimpered.
“That photo was from when I went to a gang-bang the first year I was with you…….I am a sex addict. I have gone on Craigslist hookups, done a fair share of swinging, paid for prostitutes, and have a steady pool of friends with benefits that I have sex with, some that go back for many years,” he said cooly.
I was shocked, replulsed, and terrified all at the same time. They say when you die your life flashes before you at rapid speed. Well it was like that. I kept thinking of all the sexual partners he had been with. How many had there been? Had I been infected with HIV and didn’t even know it? My heart skipped a beat and my blood ran cold.
Before I could say anything he said,” you need to leave now Lexi, are you happy you got your truth?”
I carried my things to my car. The cross on his kitchen wall for reasons unknown, slid upside down on the wall and inverted. It made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.
As I walked out the door I felt mostly numb as the tears had already dried on my face. My thoughts still raced a mile a minute, though mostly consumed with one persistent thought, ‘how could I have been deceived by a man without a conscience.’