Dear Miss Dinna,
It’s very rare that I reach out to strangers for personal advice, as I’m very private and normally, I am the go to person for matters concerning the heart within my group of friends and family. Yet, for this specific situation I’ve found myself in, I have to seek guidance elsewhere. The reason being, I am completely humiliated and could never find the courage to explain to those closest to me, how I let someone back into my life for a second chance, and have wound up being deceived beyond comprehension.
It all began about five years ago when I met the man whom I’m partially writing about. We met through a mutual friend and very shortly after, the man in question suffered a great loss. We both found ourselves in very emotionally stressful times of our lives, yet still proceeded dating one another for a few months. Long story short, things did not work out, due to the fact that he was an elitist, and he deemed my free spirited nature inappropriate for the likes of someone such as himself. Needless to say, I was hurt. I couldn’t help but think that if only I had done something different, then things would have worked out between us. Had I known then, that I was dealing with a sociopath.
Fast forward to August 2013. I recently moved back to Brooklyn NY for a career promotion. Out of the blue, Mr. Questionable reaches out to me and asks if I’d like to attend an event with him in the area from which I recently moved. Aside from being totally shocked to hear from him (we hadn’t spoken since a brief rendezvous in 2011), I told him I couldn’t attend because of my new relocation. It was then that he informed me, he too had moved back to Brooklyn and it was suggested that we meet up in the near future.
So, a few days later, we met up for a late lunch and as always, the chemistry was undeniable. We caught up on lost time and found out that we were both still single, busy career driven people, excited about what possibilities the future held. From that moment on, we spent everyday together that our work schedules permitted.
It came to a point one evening, when we mutually decided to let go of what happened between us in the past and to start over with a clean slate. We chose to be in a monogamous relationship with one another and to see where we would go from there. We were having so much fun together and it really seemed like things were better than ever. Then suddenly around the beginning October, he completely dropped off the face of the Earth.
A few days before, we had a wonderful date night, I bought him flowers and then NEVER heard from him again!!! I called and text him several times over the upcoming days, because more than anything, I was worried about him and got no response. When I figured he hadn’t been seriously hurt, I guessed that he just didn’t give a F*c@ about me and wanted nothing more to do with me for no reason at all. He literally just disappeared. I felt so sad and so stupid and so hurt to have even put myself in a position having allowed him back in my life, to hurt me AGAIN!!
After his disappearance, all of my friends kept asking me where he was etc., and as painful as it was to have been completely have been abandoned by him, I just told everyone things didn’t work out and that was that. But in the back of my mind, none of of it made any sense to me and I needed to find out the truth.
Then December 2013 rolls around and I’m still baffled……..Enter Google Search!! I thought to myself, “Why hadn’t you thought of this a month ago!?” I entered his name in Google, and immediately his name and a woman’s name pop up with a Wedding Registry and a Baby Shower Registry!!!!! There are no words to describe how physically ill I felt at that moment…..no words. Needless to say, I searched her name and found out that I was a bit late, as the baby they had was nearly 5 month old!
So as you can see, this is not what I expected to find ……Not that the man I had know for over 5 years, had dated, was in a committed relationship with, was married/engaged and had a baby! Of course, as soon as I found out, I tried to call him, but his numbers, yes numbers, were no longer in service.
Now where do I go from here? Aside from feeling absolutely horrible and betrayed, I had unprotected sex with this man! I had been tested right before we got back together and he said he had as well. But obviously he is a liar and was leading a double life and who knows what else if he could have done, seeing as how as how he led a totally open and public relationship with me and has a fiance and baby at home, of which we all live within a 2 mile radius!
When I discovered everything, almost more than anything, I was so grateful that it wasn’t me who was sitting up in a condo in Brooklyn with a 5 month old baby and a man who I thought loved me, but is off having relationships with other women. Yes, I was hurt, but glad I hadn’t gone that far. I’ve since accepted the situation and moved on.
To be completely honest, I don’t want to reach out to this woman, who I knew nothing of until a few weeks ago, yet was unknowingly sharing the same man. Why……because neither she nor I deserve what he has done and from what I’ve found, she is a new mother just trying to find her way in the Big City. I don’t want to ruin the little bubble she lives in, just because I was in pain. I’m not that type of person.
But emotions and feelings and babies and whatever else aside, I have great concern for both of our health. We both trusted a man enough to have unprotected sex with him, but at this point, who knows what he has exposed us both to?! I’m scared for my life. Do I reach out to her for the sake of her physical well being, or just let the cards fall where they may?!
As you can tell, this isn’t the type of information a person may feel super comfortable sharing with people who never liked the man in question in the first place.
Dear Truly Concerned –
My heart goes out to you, as being betrayed in this matter can be one of the most difficult things to deal with in life and is, unfortunately, not totally uncommon. Very often we will find ourselves in the line of someone else’s dysfunctional fire, and it seems that when we thought we were in something together with someone else, we in actuality were simply a tool for them to process something that had nothing to do with us at all.
That is not to say that this man did not have some genuine feelings for you….it is just to say that more of him was most likely focusing on working through his own stuff.
It is extremely common for abusive men (mentally and/or physically abusive) to become increasingly abusive during their partner’s pregnancies. That includes acting out fears, insecurities, anxieties etc. through cheating and creating an escapist, double life. Doing the math – it appears that this is what this man was likely doing.
I know you are not asking this question specifically – but just as a note to yourself for the future: if you haven’t been to your partner’s home and spent time/cohabitated with him in his own environment – no matter what reasoning/excuses there are – it is usually a sure sign of some deceit. I am positive, as hindsight is 20/20, that you are now able to identify some intuitive thoughts and suspicions that you may have had. Always follow your intuition and don’t let defensiveness from your partner lead for you to doubt yourself.
You are right to feel grateful that matters created for you to be “left” or get out as soon as you did. Although I am sure it was torturous, I know you know it would have been much worse later after years of your life had been dragged through this deceit. Be grateful Truly Concerned, because clearly you dodged a massive bullet.
Now, truly coming to peace with this situation and truly letting go is another story. Everyone has their path. All you can do is accept yours and try to learn from it so that you don’t walk down a similar dysfunctional path in the future. The same goes for him – he has his path and don’t get it twisted….this man is not skipping down the road in bliss, clear from any acts of taking accountability.
He is tortured as well. Nobody behaves like he does and feels peaceful, happy, and joyful on a daily level. Finally, this also goes for his partner/wife. This is her path as well and she has to deal with it in any way that it unfolds itself.
I do not advise you to reach out to her. Although it appears on a surface level that you would be doing it out of genuine concern for her – it unfortunately promotes you to stay engaged in this experience and with him. It is a covert way of staying connected with him and that is absolutely not what you want to do. If you are truly concerned for your health – get tested asap.
It’s been 6 months now so you should do that in any case. As far as she is concerned, she is most likely not living in a bubble and has her own intuitions and will have to handle those as she/her ego deems fit and at the time that she/her ego can work through them. That is her path, not yours.
You’ve spent a lot of time thinking about everyone but yourself Truly Concerned. How about taking care of just you now….the rest will unfold as it may.
Best of Luck,
Ask Miss Dinna a question — any question– regarding relationships, sex and sexuality by emailing her at: firstname.lastname@example.org, Subject: “Ask Miss Dinna.” She may answer your question personally or in a future column (your name will be kept anonymous).
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