When did you slept?
Those were his words over the phone of a prospective boyfriend that I met online. I heard the bad grammar and my heart sunk. I knew I should just have ended the conversation right there and then, but he seemed interesting and charming. I kept on wincing at the grammatical errors and was relieved when he switched to our second language.
We met online on a friendship and dating site. He messaged me and said he could tell from my first name that we were both from the same home country. We spoke on the phone daily for three hours or more a day. I asked him if he was single and he said he was and he was wanted a serious relationship that would lead to marriage because he wasn't getting any younger. I explained to him I was in my early to mid-thirties and I was not looking for any casual relationship,one night stand or casual sex.
I wanted a man who was serious about finding a woman to love and committing to her. When we met three weeks later, I liked what I saw — he wasn't bad looking, slim, tall and quiet, just my type. He seemed shy and enamored by me and I was drawn to that. I asked him about his family and his religion and he said grew up practicing both Christianity and Islam since his dad practiced the former and his mom the latter. He quickly assured me that they had a very happy marriage and religion was never an issue in the marriage. He said he believed that once there is real love, religion would never be a problem.
He explained he just finished interning in a company to get Canadian experience and he was looking for a better paying job in his field. The only guys I am actually comfortable dating are from my home country and he seemed so nice and ambitious with future prospects, so I decided to date him.
I fell into a web of deception that was so bizarre that he had me eating from the palm of his hands. He knew the right things to do and say, he was always around me when he wasn't working and he seemed so caring and helpful. I was a bit upset because we were not going on dates but I was patient and understanding when he told me he still had to send money home to his mother and relatives or else they would starve. When I had organized a date with him and when he got to my house he said he forgot his wallet. I didn't think much of it, we still went on the date and I took care of the expenses. He assured me he would refund me later but he never did. I didn't let it bother me because I was already in love and I felt I knew his heart.
When we had fights (which were infrequent) he would call me at 2:00 am to make up because he could not sleep. He spoke about meeting my family. He spoke about me having his children. I loved him because I thought he was thoughtful, easy going and gentle. He gave me attention, he was very affectionate and he seemed to love my body. I am proportionally plus-sized but there are parts of me I never thought was sexy. Those were the parts he loved — from my chubby cheeks and upper arms to my squishy lower belly. I don't think any other past boyfriends had ever made me feel that beautiful.
I come from a well-educated upper middle class background and so do most of my family and friends. I knew they would judge his poor grammar because back in my home country most people that come from very low class back ground speak with very poor grammar. I wondered if my family and friends would ever accept him. I told my aunt and mum about him with a bit of trepidation and they didn't seem keen because of his religion and background. I had started liking him so much that I was prepared to accept him poor grammar and all and take the heat from my siblings. We were so deliriously happy together, until his manipulative behavior began.
He said he needed a computer tablet and that I should help him purchase one. I didn't mind since I was more familiar with online shopping than he was. He came and told me his phone got stolen. I had an extra phone I gave it to him. When he needed money, I would help because that's what you do for your partner. I was there for him every single time he needed me.
Then all of a sudden things changed.
He seemed more distant and quiet and I started getting worried. I noticed all talks of a future together ceased. He started complaining that I should be more submissive because in our culture the man is always the head of the family. I was so in love that I actually believed that the only way to get him to continuing loving me was doing what he wanted. We continued to date and I kept trying to change to please him. One cold day as he was dropping me off at work, he told me that he wanted his own wife and kids to practice his own religion.
I couldn't even breathe. I asked him "what do you mean?"
He said he wanted a Muslim wife.
We spent almost an hour talking about it I actually pleaded with him to change his mind but he seemed adamant. He broke up with me. I felt I had sacrificed myself and time I had shown him kindness, love and compassion and I got kicked in the teeth. A few days, I got a text from him; he made a mistake and wanted to get back together. It took me a while but I agreed to go back to him on the grounds that he would never allow religion come between us again.
At first we were back to our loving ways but it didn't last before he seemed resentful of everything I had or did. My financial independence bothered him and I could tell because he became very verbally and emotionally abusive. He would feed me tidbits of affection and talks about a future together and then he would withdraw it if I didn't do what he wanted. I am normally assertive and confident; with him I became a spineless idiot.
When we finally broke up (he called it off, I couldn't), I was angry and heartbroken because I loved someone who clearly was wrong for me and he may have hated me. He owed me money that he wanted to pay in installments so I would meet with him to collect it and before he gave it to me I had to listen to all my faults and why I was to blame for the end of our relationship. I had to wonder why I wanted him still when he was nasty, emotionally and verbally abusive. I met a few men from my home country with similar background as mine and good jobs but I was still fixated on him.
Although we had broken up we stayed in touch, we had long fights and made up over the phone, WhatsApp and emails, intense conversations about our relationship and the fact that we still loved each other but we were not compatible.
I guess was delusional.
After a few weeks I ran into his former roommate. He said that my ex was a married man. He'd been a married man for fifteen years and he had children. My ex had only used me because I was available. He already had a ready-made family and everything I had told him when we met didn't matter because he didn't care, all he wanted was just a warm body and companionship. His former roommate also said my ex was also a womanizer who went out of his way to seduce and date a lot of women. He said my ex had also had two other girlfriends when he was dating me.
I was in shock and I was mad that I had agonized over him for almost two years. Even if I was perfect he would never have been mine because he had a wife and kids back home and he led me on to believe he was single. I found his wife's phone number on the internet and I called her.
When she picked up I introduced myself to her as her husband's ex-girlfriend and that we dated for almost a year and a half and that he still told me he loved me a few weeks ago and he wanted me to come visit him. She seemed shocked and wanted to know all the details. I told her all the lies he told me and she was speechless. She apologized to me on his behalf and thanked me for all the information. She confirmed that both his parents are Muslims and he was supposed to be a devout one too. She said she would add me on WhatsApp and that maybe we could be friends when she got here because she was coming very soon but I didn't feel comfortable with that.
I told her that her husband was a manipulative deceitful liar who took advantage of me. I told her he was also a womanizer with no conscience. I felt so much better and lighter after talking to her. She started to complain about him that on his last visit home, he didn't allow her to use his phone down, he kept on hiding it, and she was just so tired of his behavior. She was upset and seemed quite naive and I actually started to feel sorry for her. Every single emotion I felt for him disappeared when I spoke to her. I was just disgusted that he could pretend to be something he wasn't and I had freely shared my life with him. When we were together I never thought for one second that he was married or he had children.
I disliked him. He had used me, but I felt vindicated telling his wife.
I have never been the type of person to knowingly date a married man. I felt violated because he took that choice away from me by lying. I sent him an email and I explained why I called his wife and I also called him out for his sick and devious behavior. I promised his wife to never contact him again and I meant it. I learnt my lesson to never accept people at face value. I learned to date out of my comfort zone and to also always go with my gut instinct and intuition which had warned me to slam the phone down the first time I heard his bad grammar.