I have been in a relationship with a man for six years. At first his adult daughters, 20 and 25, refused to meet me. Their mother told them we had an affair, which was not true.
At the beginning, our blossoming love created enormous tension and heated arguments between my partner and his daughters. When I finally met them, I was patient and gave my heart and soul to them.
I cooked for them and offered help wherever they needed it. When they lost their licenses, I drove them around. When they called crying from a nightclub at 1 a.m., I got up to collect them. I put myself in their shoes. It must’ve been difficult for them watching their dad with me.
Within a year the daughters moved in with their dad, which I supported. During this time tension arose over cleaning the apartment, and my partner felt his privacy was compromised.
So it came as a shock when I discovered he and his daughters discussed my financial situation together. They said I was seeking money from this relationship, but I have money and own a house in an exclusive suburb.
I was naïve and thought by expressing my hurt and devastation these conversations would stop. They didn’t. His daughters would roll their eyes when I spoke and make mean comments about the all-girl school my daughter attends.
A different side to my partner emerged. He started to belittle me with the most horrible, hurtful attacks. He compared me to his daughters saying they worked harder and were more successful.
It was a stressful time. I was in court with my ex-husband and my partner made me feel even worse.
In one episode of rage he swore and shouted so loudly neighbors came to the house. On another occasion, in public, security guards heard his violent screams and asked me if they should call police. That night he left me without money or a way home.
Whenever I stood up for myself, he twisted and turned my words. Over the years I also caught him with texts and photos of prostitutes and young women half his age. He denied and lied when I challenged him and was angry when I showed the evidence.
I repeatedly forgave him because I loved him and thought he’d change. I now feel I’ve been wasting my time. I’m scared about being lonely but need the strength to say goodbye.
Felicia, six years? This shouldn’t have lasted six months. You can’t act servile with nasty people because that tells them, “Yes, treat me badly.” If you can’t leave for yourself, leave for your daughter because she should have absolutely no contact with a violent man or his abusive children.
What do experts advise a woman who is walking alone to do? Stand upright, move briskly, be assertive, act confidant. You acted like you expected to be hurt and you were. You gave over your own pride, your own self and your own rights to the children of the man you were dating.
When you bent over backward to be nice to his spiteful daughters, it invited nastiness from them. He agreed with the venomous vixens because he knew you would not stand up for yourself. Until you stop being desperate, you will attract the kind of man only a desperate woman would be involved with.
If you weren’t involved with him, where might your life be now? At first you would be lonely, but you would have been available for a better relationship.
As you leave, be cautious. Be safe. Protect yourself.
People acting from base motives often accuse others of what they are doing. We suspect he and his daughters may be interested in your money and property. He and his daughters may be upset when their doormat leaves and they have nothing to rub their feet on.
~ Wayne & Tamara
Column for the week of October 26, 2015
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