In Love with an Asshole

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  • Mary
    November 8, 2023 at 5:42 am #1126549

    I dated a man for a few months, and at first it seemed like a dream come true. One month into it, I found out that he is married. (It had never come up in the conversation before, we had never spoken about personal things before, which is probably a red flag – I have learned my lesson). I was devastated that he was married. He wanted to continue seeing me, but I couldn’t do it, I felt guilty and so I broke it off.

    I was already in love and couldn’t forget my feelings for him, so we kept in touch a few times over the next year. Each time, he asked if we could meet in secret, said that he couldn’t take me out anywhere but that he could come over to my house – each time I said no. Last week I decided to meet with him to clear the air and end it for good. I told him I was upset about how things had gone, and he got really mean, blaming things on me, and saying I was stuck in the past.

    I am an emotional wreck because of the whole thing, I’m left reeling and wondering what happened, how the same person can be so kind and caring one moment, and mean and callous the other? He said so many nasty things to me while we were dating (but always with a smile and a mischievous look on his face, as if he was just teasing).

    Some of the things he said to me :
    Our being together will be a nice memory for me when I am old ,
    It’s good that you have a big bed, it will be perfect for you when you get a boyfriend.
    I don’t have time to take you out, but I would love to come over to your house.
    It has to be a secret. My marriage is my priority right now.
    I have to work to take you for a drink? I thought I only had to work to get into your room.
    I have feelings for you, but no future plans with you. It’s different.
    I see now how lucky I am to have what I have at home (with my wife)

    I feel ridiculous for falling in love with someone who was so mean to me. But the feelings are still there and I can’t seem to get rid of them. Can anyone help me understand what just happened, or what kind of person this is, or share a similar experirence? I don’t know why I can’t forget him.

    November 8, 2023 at 9:11 am #1126554

    You know how when you want to get a cat to play with you, you make the toy appear, and then disappear, and then stick it out a little bit to get the cat enticed, and then hide it again? That’s what abusers do to people. They give them just a little taste of love, then take it away, and then just when they are starting to lose interest give them a little bit more, only to take it away again. They do it because it works like a charm.

    Block his number. Block his social media. Do not allow him any presence in your life. Do not leave a door open “to get closure” or to “clear the air”. He’s a fire to you and you need to cut off the oxygen. The man is a bad person who does not deserve your love, attention, or affection.

    The typical answer of “therapy” will probably help you understand why his techniques worked so well on you.

    November 8, 2023 at 9:13 am #1126555

    I have a feeling therapy would be better than an online forum for you. I think this likely has to do with how you received and were modeled love in your early life and childhood. Perhaps you were made to work for it, so you believe if you’re not receiving it, it’s your fault and you should try harder. He’s not leaving his wife. This is not a relationship, it’s literally just sex, not dates, and he’s mean to you. It has zero long term potential. Why do you ask for so little, amd settle for even less than that? This is for a professional.

    He’s married. I can’t even see how you could date someone for a month or more and not even ask if they are in a relationship?

    November 8, 2023 at 9:33 am #1126556

    Yes, block him on everything. You need to probably be single for awhile and figure out what you want and what you’re doing to get that because this isn’t it. He’s not even nice to you.

    November 8, 2023 at 3:06 pm #1126561

    Therapy definitely – because when you found out he was a liar and a cheat something in you refused to let go. Why? When he said “It has to be a secret. My marriage is my priority right now.” That should have made your blood run cold. In the same breath he both said that he’s fine cheating on his wife and that his marriage is a priority.

    You fell in love with the person he was pretending to be. Not the real him. You deserve someone who never stops showing you that. Who adores you every day, not just when his wife isn’t looking.

    Avatar photo
    November 9, 2023 at 6:19 am #1126562

    Echoing the need for therapy. I’m also a little confused by your relationship timeline. You say you dated “for a few months” but also say that you found out after one month that he was married and broke it off with him because you felt guilty. How much could you have really loved this guy if you didn’t even know him? And how could you have known him if you hadn’t asked him anything personal?

    This isn’t love; it’s something else, and I agree with the others that an online forum isn’t the help you need. A good therapist could help you examine your attraction to a guy who would treat you like this one has, as well as help you decipher between love and what you’ve been calling love but isn’t love.

    November 9, 2023 at 6:48 am #1126564

    Most of those things he said to you, I don’t see as “mean,” I think he was very clearly and openly telling you that this is just sex, he sees you as a sex partner and nothing more, and isn’t going to leave his wife. And then it was up to you to decide if you were going to stick around on those terms or not.

    Now I don’t know if, for the first month, he was doing that love-bombing thing that narcissists do and actively trying to deceive you. It doesn’t sound like he lied to you, he just clammed up and you didn’t ask the right questions. You need to ask a lot of questions up front in a relationship so that you can decide to move forward based on real information, more so than a fantasy where your brain fills in a bunch of blanks. And if you uncover information like he’s married, you need to cut ties completely and walk away.

    Why it hurt so bad is that you let yourself make up a fantasy and “fall in love” with that, and then you didn’t want to let the fantasy go. In reality this guy is just a dirtbag, but that’s hard to accept.

    Yes, therapy, to talk through this with someone who understands dirtbags and can help you uncover the reasons you’re attracted to them.

    November 9, 2023 at 10:14 am #1126567

    Totally agree with Kate. I don’t think what he said was mean. Saying his wife is his priority isn’t mean, it’s the truth. It’s just truth you don’t like / didn’t want to hear.

    Definitely therapy to work through why you hung on for so long instead of completely blocking and cutting ties, especially once you found out he was married.

    FWIW, I’ve been there. While the guy I was seeing at the time wasn’t married, he never had any intention of really dating me. He’d make comments similar to this guy, letting me know what he had going wasn’t serious or long-term. Yet, I had this fantasy in my head that it would work out. It didn’t. And it did take therapy to work through why I let this happen to myself, why I was ok with scraps. I’m happily married now to someone who I completely trust and who loves me unconditionally.

    I think a lot of us can relate.

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    November 10, 2023 at 8:22 am #1126582

    Ew. LW, lying to someone (even by omission!) about your relationship status when you start dating is a big lie. It serves no other purpose other than to manipulate. He’s almost surely lying to his wife, too. He’s gross.

    I literally never asked anyone I was newly dating if they were in a relationship — I don’t think that’s the norm, so I disagree with that advice above. However, you can pay attention to any red flags and things that don’t add up. You don’t mention how you eventually found out he’s married.

    Anyway, you need to cut this guy off completely. You get that hit of dopamine when he reaches out and “wants” you — been there, it feels good! Then there’s the low that follows. Rinse, repeat. You have to put an end to the cycle. The person who hurt you cannot give you closure; you don’t need him to validate that he hurt you when you KNOW he did. So block his number. Block him on social. Remind yourself as many times as you need that you deserve better than this.

    I’ve not been in this situation, but I did once find a boyfriend of a year online dating and learned he had a whole-ass other girlfriend. Which I bring up, despite how different it is, because it’s the one time in dating that I was lied to and manipulated in a big way. I was devastated, it was very painful. The acute sting of the disrespect lasted for a long time. I felt like I had no idea who I’d been dating because the man I knew him to be would’ve NEVER done that — I felt insane after we broke up because reality and the lies he was feeding me were so mismatched and I trusted him — so I also questioned who I’d even been dating. He’s the one person I feel like I fell in love with the fantasy he sold me. Anyway, it took some therapy to understand how I’d ended up in that mess (e.g., red flags I’d overlooked early on), why I ate that guy’s fantasy self up, and heal and move on to look for a healthy love. HIGHLY recommend you look into therapy as well.

    November 10, 2023 at 2:34 pm #1126587

    Yeah, he wasn’t mean… I was incorrect. Based in these examples he was brutally honest about what he wanted and was giving and you just chose to ignore everything he said and make up a fantasy that only exists in your head, not even his. It’s your fantasy, it’s not shared. He’s married. He just likes sex on the side.

    November 12, 2023 at 5:29 pm #1126602

    You aren’t in love with him. I suspect you have amazing sexual chemistry with him, and because those feelings can be insanely intense, you mistook it for love. I would also bet that a large majority of human beings who have ever existed have done the same thing — I’ve done it myself more than once.

    You two haven’t been dating long enough for real, solid love to grow. And you never will, because he has made it 100% clear that he will never put in that effort or prioritize you.

    But like others have said, as long as you let him tease you with little tastes of what you can’t really have, you will not get over him. So cut off all contact immediately. You can let him know you are doing this, but don’t let that turn into a conversation. Just tell him you will no longer be contacting him or responding to his contact, and then STOP. Block him on social media. Do not answer his calls or respond to texts or IMs. Not even once. Not even if he makes up some story to try to engage you. Do not engage. It is the ONLY way you will move on.

    You can allow yourself to feel sad and hurt, and to miss him, but try to avoid wallowing. If you find yourself wanting to peek at his social media or ruminating about whether he might ever leave his wife, force yourself to do something else. Call a friend. Lose yourself in a great book or show. Work out. Whatever focuses your mind on something else. And overall, just start doing lots of things that are good for you and and make your life better. Whether it’s socializing with friends or starting some new healthy habits or taking up a new hobby or advancing your career — do something for yourself.

    Over time you’ll realize that those obsessive thoughts are fewer and farther between. And one day you’ll think about him and realize there’s no emotion there. And you’ll know you’re free.

    I know this works because I have done it myself. It wasn’t a few months relationship, it was 15 years. And even at the end I was wildly, passionately in love with him. And still, he left. And then continued to string me along for about another year. Only after I said a very permanent “goodbye” was I able to start healing. And that freed me to give myself fully to the man I married this year, who is so much better for me in uncountable ways.

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In Love with an Asshole

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