Quite a few months ago, I entered into a relationship with — and fell deeply in love with a woman who I thought was my soulmate, the love of my life, and the woman I was going to spend the rest of my life with, and the feeling appeared to be mutual (more on that later).
Up until that point, I had NEVER met anyone as intriguing, politically and emotionally aware, intelligent, supportive, loving, tactile, affectionate, caring, generous, sincere, emotionally available/open/expressive as her, and before meeting her, I thought I knew what ‘true, unconditional love,’ was.
I was wrong about that. I didn’t. But I do now…
The level of love, compatibility, chemistry, deep understanding, comradery, deep connection, conversation, shared vision, and physical/sexual attraction and chemistry we had was far beyond anything I had ever experienced before, and according to her, and based on the way she behaved, it appeared that she felt the same way about me.
In fact, she was quite verbal about her ‘love’ for me, as well as showing me by her actions that she felt the same way — from her tactile(ness) to her generosity — to the way she looked at me, spoke to me, and touched me. Her voice. Her gaze. Her touch — it was like being in a hypnotic trance. The only way I can describe it is ‘purely electrifying.’
Maybe the Hollywood films were real after all…
Unfortunately, my ‘soulmate’ had previously been in abusive marriage for 10 years. She had two children quite young, and had moved to the UAE. They met at University, but she quit the course because she fell pregnant.
After ten years of abuse from him, she finally hatched an escape plan, fled the country with her lovely two children, and moved back in with her mum for three years. That was 5(ish) years ago.
Since then, she had completed her training for a new career, had embarked on one, had gotten her own place, and it was like a palace in there. I was truly gobsmacked, and inspired at what she’d achieved considering the circumstances, and I have never seen a woman mother her children the way she mothered hers. It blew me away.
She has done an incredible job with her children, she really has. I was flabbergasted. Something was evidently different about this woman, and as far as I was concerned, she ticked every box I had, and she threw a few bonus ones in there, too.
It was obvious by how things were going that what we had was something quite special, and that this was going somewhere, which I knew was a big deal for her (and me), because since her divorce 5 years ago, she had NEVER let another man sleep in the same bed as her (understandably based on what she’d been through with her husband), and she had certainly never introduced another man to her children. No chance.
In fact, according to her, up until she’d met me, ‘no man had earned that privilege,’ because ‘no man’ had demonstrated that they truly understood her, respected her, and had the qualities she was looking for in a partner and in a step father figure.
And then I came along and changed that, which obviously was a bit of an ego boost.
I very quickly built up a close, strong bond with her two beautiful daughters, and I treated them as my own, and bit by bit, I gradually moved in with her, to the point where I would spend weeks and weeks with her and her children, and to be honest — I’ve never experienced happiness and a ‘homely’ feeling like it. It was bliss.
She told me that:
– She had never loved anyone as much she loves me. In fact, according to her, I was the only man she had ever ‘truly loved.’ She knew I felt the same way about her, too.
– ‘No man’ had ever ‘truly understood her’ and treated her with respect.
Eventually, she asked me if I’d like to move in with her…
The answer was obvious. I couldn’t bare to be without her. And it was clear that neither could she. Every time I tried to leave, she would persuade me to stay longer, and when I eventually did leave, she’d cry in my shoulders, telling me that she felt sick to see me go, and the tension in that car journey home was always a sombre one.
We struggled to be without each other, and when we finally reunited, it was a relief, and the pain went away. It was truly magical, and some of the happiest memories of my life (as sad/crazy as this may sound, considering the crazy life I have lived, and all that I have achieved) are the silliest, smallest, and most trivial things:
I miss cooking with her. I miss hanging the washing out with her when the sun was out. That smile she gave me, whilst I was hanging those clothes up. It was like she gazed right through my soul.
Those bright red, purple and pink lips. That cute vintage dress.
I miss the awkward sexual tension we had when we gazed into each other’s eyes over the dinner table, and the constant flirtatiousness that quite literally — never went away.
In fact, I met her online, and after texting for 4 weeks, we finally met up, and I kissed her 3 seconds into our first date, and she grabbed my hand so tightly. I knew right then that this was going to be different to my previous relationships, and I was right about that.
I miss waking up to her. I miss her silliness. I miss her daughters. I miss the incredible family days-out we had. In fact, I miss everything about her — or at least, I miss the person I THOUGHT she was…
And then it all went Pete Tong.
The last time I stayed at her house, we had a month together planned. Her ex husband was taking the girls away for two weeks, and we had a holiday planned. We were going to see her Dad and her sister. I was so excited to finally meet them, after getting quite close with her mum.
Tuesday: 3 days in to what was supposed to be an amazing trip, and my last visit before I was due to move to her local area, she abruptly gave me 10 minutes to pack my bags.
I asked her why she wanted to take me home, and she didn’t answer. I packed my bags. We got in the car, and I asked her what was going on, and I got nothing except for a cold, emotionless, bitter-looking face. It was horrid. I’d never seen her like that before. Normally, she was warm and bubbly.
Before I got out of the car, she told me that she wished I’d have been ‘more helpful around the house.’ I had hoovered the whole house that day, blitzed the living room the night before, hung the washing out, cooked, cleaned the shower, and so much more, so it didn’t make sense to me.
The next day, she blocked me on Facebook, without even notifying me. I texted her, and she responded with ‘good luck with everything.’ That was all I got. It was one of the most shocking, traumatic and painful things I have ever dealt with, and that is a big statement coming from someone who has been homeless 4 times, has quite literally starved, and whose had severe, multi-layered, complex PTSD in the past.
I left it a week and I called her. She answered, and she said that she’s ‘really sad that it hasn’t worked out.’ I asked her why she felt that way, and she didn’t give me much of an answer, and she asked me to not contact her again. Maybe I should have listened. But I didn’t. I was confused, hurt, and I wasn’t thinking straight.
I left it a few more weeks, and then I sent an empowering letter saying everything that I wanted to say to her, and I read it to 4 women to make sure that I’d got it right, and all 4 of them cried, so I knew it was perfect. But there was no response. Then I found out that she had blocked me on everything else — Whatsapp, LinkedIn, the lot.
Maybe I should have gotten the hint at that point.
But once again, I didn’t. I was still in pain. I had cried multiple times a day for over a month. It was the most painful thing I’d ever been through. I felt like all I wanted was answers, but because I didn’t have them, I found it hard to move on.
So I called her one last time, and she answered (which I was surprised about, as I thought she would have blocked my phone number at this point). And here’s how that conversation went:
‘Why the f___ are you calling me?’
I said, ‘because I’m confused as to why you behaved the way you did, why you’ve cut me out, and why you’ve given me no answers, and I’m ringing up to ask you some questions to get some well-deserved closure so I can move on with my life.’
‘It’s not my responsibility to give you closure. I can’t believe you’re f_____ ringing me again.’
I said, ‘I assume you didn’t get my letter?’
‘Stop sending me f_____ letters. I don’t want your f_____ letters. I don’t care about them.’
I said, ‘I’ve done nothing wrong. There’s no need to speak to me like that. All I’ve ever done is respect you and your children, and now you feel the need to treat me like an object and speak to me like this?’
‘Don’t ever contact me ever again.’
She then hung up.
Surprisingly, I felt the most enormous relief after that phone call, because up until that point, I had never got an answer as to why she behaved the way she did, but now I did. I finally had my answer. She is a narcissistic, damaged, abusive sociopath.
It was obvious by her response that she didn’t care about how much she’d hurt me, wasn’t willing to give me what I needed to move on, and had a lack of empathy, and a complete disregard for me and how she’d made me feel. Really, she just answered the phone so she could attack me again.
Prior to that call, I had spent weeks analysing my behaviour and questioning myself, and beating myself up about it, and I’m starting to wonder whether she knew I’d do that, and maybe she got some satisfaction out of it — and that’s why she did it.
She knew my weaknesses, how to take advantage of them, and how to push my buttons, and she took advantage of them to make me feel bad.
Maybe she liked it when I came crawling back for ‘answers,’ because it gave her a little power/control trip. Maybe that’s why she deprived me of what she knew I needed.
What I’m coming to realise is that I fell in love with a nasty, abusive woman, which is surprising, considering that she’d been in an abusive marriage herself. I thought she’d know better. Obviously not. Does the ‘abused’ become the ‘abuser?’ Maybe so.
And for someone who for the first four years of my life, was brought up by an abusive father, and was exposed to domestic violence, maybe that’s why I was drawn to her. Maybe I seeked out the abuse that my father had laid upon my mother. Does the ‘abused’ attract the ‘abuser?’ Maybe so.
Come to think of it, I now realise that the love she claimed she had for me, and the affection she showed me was really just a facade to suck me in, make me full in love with her, so she could spit me back out again when it suited her, and resort to cold, calculating behaviours- which she obviously got something out of.
Unfortunately, it took a while for her true colours to show, and for me to realise who she really was.
I’m glad that she showed them to me this early on, and not years later, because it could have put me in an even more vulnerable position. So, I got out lucky, really, and I’m grateful for that.
And she lost out on the best partner she’s ever had. She’ll realise that one day. I’m not going to be so arrogant as to suggest that I’m the only ‘great’ man she’ll ever meet, because I’m sure she’ll meet another one again one day. Maybe even soon. And sadly, he’ll probably go through the same thing, so I fear for his sake, really.
I didn’t do anything wrong, and I didn’t deserve to be treated like that. It’s not my fault. I forgive myself, and I feel quite happy to have deleted everything I have to do with her now, and her number, and I have blocked her, and I certainly won’t react very kindly if she ever contacts me again.
In a world of Harvey Weinstein, Jeffrey Epstein and Trump, let’s not forget that women can be nasty, too. Whilst I’m not suggesting that what I went through is anywhere near as bad as what Weinstein and Epstein put those poor women through — because it’s not, it could have been. And actually, there are men out there who ARE going through that.
But they won’t speak about it, because they’re ashamed.
And that is why I am writing this post, today. Because I’m not ashamed. I’m an abuse victim from my early years, and more recently, and I’m not ashamed of myself, nor am I ashamed to talk about it, and I hope that other men going through this who are reading this can open up, too. It’ll be OK.
It’s time to move on.