I apologize in advance for the length.
I met ER on my birthday in 2010. He sent me a message on a dating site. He had a photo but nothing else in his profile was filled out. I was about to delete the message. I didn’t much go for military guys since I was a Buddhist pacifist. But something stopped me. I liked his smile.
Our first date didn’t go as planned. He was late because he was out hunting. We had originally decided to meet at Starbucks on the square downtown at eight-ish and he kept saying he was on his way. Since he was late my mother (who lives with me, I am 37 years old, she moved in with me after my husband passed away) told me to tell him to buzz off. I did and he said he would delete my information and never bother me again.
Then he texted me back and said I was the one giving up, that he still intended to see me. I told him to come right to the house, thinking we could at least salvage something if he got there quickly.
I went out to greet him in the driveway and I looked at him in the shadow of the tinted window in his car. He was better looking than his photos. He was handsome. Then I had a quick thought, no man this good looking needs to advertise on a dating site.
ER got out of the car, still dressed in his hunting gear, looming over me (he's 6'3) in my bare feet, all broad shoulders, long legs, solid neck, stubbly head and sooty goatee. He was slim but nicely built. He had a pierced lip with a hoop that marred his charming smile. I said, wow, you’re a tall one aren’t you and he wasted no time. He said, hi beautiful and leaned over me and kissed me into a rapture right in the driveway of my suburban home.
Doing something like this was not me. Inviting a stranger to my house and taking him to my bed after knowing him five minutes was not me. Laying in bed with this strange man and talking to him, tracing his tattoos, letting him kiss me seductively, while wrapping his lean body around me, overwhelming me, powerfully controlling me – this was not me.
He told me he would see me soon, he wanted to see me again and again.
I was married to my husband S since I was 21 years old. I’d been alone a long time since he died. I grieved pitifully for two and half years. The absence of him in my life was jarring and cataclysmic. I had no idea who I was without S. I just knew that I ached of loneliness. Eventually, when I decided to date again, I did so halfheartedly. I casually dated but nothing happened – there was no spark.
ER was made to order for me. Aside from his very good looks he was extremely charismatic and charming. He made his lines sound unpracticed. He had a sexy Miami accent and oozed Latino heat. He told me he was a very dominant man, an alpha male. I had always been the dominant one in my relationships. He told me he wanted to possess me, wanted to own me and never let me go.
He was sexy, dangerous and I desired him more than I knew was possible. The sexual chemistry was beyond compare. I delighted in sex with him – it was passionate, rough, dirty, raunchy and fun. He was beautiful physically and such a bad boy. He was tattooed and pierced and made me quiver.
Over the next few days we texted and I researched his background. I accused him of still being married and we argued in text messages. He said he had been through a lot in order to live his life as he saw fit and that he lived alone and didn’t appreciate me accusing him. He repeated that he had moved to the area to be closer to his daughter but he was not married to her mother any longer.
I felt bad about accusing him so I baked him some cookies. Since I don’t drive, my mother drove me out to his house.
We pulled by the house (which wasn’t a house, but a trailer on several wooded acres) and turned around in the cul-de-sac. We drove back by and I saw an older bleached blonde woman standing there with a curly haired little girl. And then I saw ER fast coming out from the front porch, covering the ground in long strides all the way to the wire gate where I sat in the car with the window open.
Those piercing electric blue eyes of his with the inky lashes under straight dark brows were wide and panicked. He said sotto voce, I’ll call you. Then the woman approached and asked, can we help you?
They were a “we”. The child was theirs. The trailer. The property. This was his wife. ER was her fourth husband. They weren’t divorced as he said. He was not single. The cookies on the backseat with the apology card were suddenly embarrassing. I baked for a married man. I had sex with a married man.
I covered for him and asked for directions. I said we were lost but I really meant me.
He texted me almost immediately as we drove away. He said that he was still married but didn’t live with his wife L and was there visiting his daughter, who was almost five and a survivor of leukemia. It would be three weeks before he finally admitted that he lived there as well, sleeping on a pull-out sofa. By then I was deeply involved with him, emotionally, sexually and financially.
On November 11th he told me he was madly in love with me and that he wanted to marry me as soon as he got divorced. He wanted to spend the rest of his life with me.
My relationship with him always involved two things: sex and money. Sex was the commodity he offered me (also love, romance and intimacy) and money was what I gave him plus my undying devotion, unrelenting lust and slack-jawed worship.
ER spoke often of being a Marine Gunnery Sergeant and of his job in the last two wars (Iraq and Afghanistan) as a sniper. Everything about ER said Marine. He shaved his head high and tight. He had a Marine license plate. He had his dog-tags hanging from the rearview mirror. He had a Fallujah decal on the bumper. Both of his arms were sleeved with Marine related tattoos. He was a mass of Marine ink.
The Marine lies unraveled after I confronted his wife L in mid-February about my relationship with him.
I stood at the gate with my mother at my side. I was twelve weeks pregnant and radically concerned that the man I thought ER to be was an elaborate fiction. I’d caught him in too many lies. His wife L confirmed this in spades, telling me in a rambling confession over the next hour and half the reality of him.
I informed L that all of his drama wasn’t “bullshit” as she called it, but someone seriously suffering from PTSD. She huffed at that and said, “I don’t even think he was ever a Marine. His mother never showed me pictures or anything from when he was in the Marines.”
I thought she was completely out of her head to not acknowledge his PTSD.
L told me they had no money. I was incredulous. I said, but I’ve given him $30K since we first met. L didn’t believe me on the amount, because she’d never seen much of it. He’d blown most of it on himself and buying a lot of dope.
ER had told me his son born in 1992 had died in a car crash. I never believed this and L confirmed that he was indeed alive. Also that he had another daughter born in 1998 with another woman too.
It was not surprising to find out about these children since ER never used protection and I was pregnant myself.
I was first to text him and called him a liar.
There was huge drama that night when I arrived back at the trailer. His car was there, motor running and he came out stared sinisterly at me and got in the car as L followed him. She was carrying her daughter who was crying, “Daddy, Daddy, I want Daddy! Don’t go Daddy!”
He called L while she was telling me that ER said I lied about nearly everything, which I knew he would do and was why I said to my mother, we need to go back.
L told us while she held the crying child in her arms that ER put his gun in his mouth and threatened to blow his head off in front of them. He said he didn’t care about them and they could go to fuck.
He was a master manipulator and L was more susceptible to his power than anyone since he’d had almost seven years to work her over.
On the phone with him she said, “I dumped you? You just walked in and gave me my keys. Look dude, come back, go into your room, shut the sliders and calm down.”
Dumbfounded I watched as that was exactly what he did.
His last words to me that night were; leave me alone.
I didn’t hear from him for three weeks. I was in limbo, crying daily, staying in bed, not eating, shaking from the inside out. I blamed myself for going out there and confronting the woman he was married to. I was sick at watching how she treated him, how she dominated him and he crawled back to her so pathetically instead of coming to me as I thought he would.
I tried therapy. I tried coping with my miscarriage that I had on Valentine's Day. I tried writing in my journal. Then I used research.
I researched him with the Personnel Records Department at Quantico and discovered they had no record of him. I found his Paternity Case. I found his traffic tickets. I discovered his true employment history.
I went back to see him and I confronted him with what I now knew to be the truth, that ER had not ever been a Marine.
For an hour and half we fought in and out of the trailer, him screaming his head off at me, claiming he had proof that he was a Marine. Of course he had none.
He threatened to kill himself.
He put the gun in his mouth and I thought, oh my God he’s going to do it, he’s going to blow his brains out in front of me. He pressed his body up against me grotesquely so I could see his teeth on the barrel in his mouth, so I would know that when he pulled the trigger his brains would end up all over me.
I watched as he brought all the hunting gear I’d bought him, the $1,000 compound bow, his two rifles in hard cases and his expensive collectible action figures outside to the firepit where they burned their garbage. He scoped out a can of gasoline. I ran to where he stood about to douse everything in gasoline and I fought with him over the can until he gave in.
ER couldn’t NOT fight with me. Not in person. Not on the phone. Not in texts. He kept coming out of the trailer after he'd go back inside like he was possessed.
His voice was hoarse from yelling. He said, you need to go.
He said he still loved me and that he planned to call me when “shit blew over”. He said if he didn’t really love me he would have burned everything I’d ever given him. I wasn’t sure if he meant it or if he simply needed money after three weeks of being broke.
We tentatively started talking on the phone and texting each other after that then saw each other in person at the end of March.
He perpetuated the Marine lie even though I’d confronted him with the truth. He said I couldn’t find him through Quantico because he was in Black Ops and off the radar. He said he’d been undercover in Iraq for two years as a raghead. I said, you speak Arabic? He said he did but couldn’t remember it since he’d been deprogrammed.
Even though I knew his lies and fantasies I stayed involved with him. We focused on day to day life. ER said L called him constantly, checking up on him. Still he was crafty enough to drive the 40 minutes to see me. Especially now that he had a debit card to my account and I’d begun supporting him completely.
ER said he couldn’t leave his daughter until he was sure she was healthy. That he couldn’t leave and come to me because L would make sure he never saw his daughter again.
I had a feeling that along with cheating on his wife he might also be cheating on me.
I told myself all kinds of stories – that the mistexts I’d gotten weren’t really mistexts even though I knew he was texting someone else. That when I noticed his Marine charm was missing that he really had lost it and not given it to a woman to wear. That the time I’d had sex with him and noticed that there was something different, that it was not another woman on him, it was just my mind playing tricks on me or perhaps he’d changed his soap. That when he stopped having sex with me for four weeks claiming it was his injured right testicle and that he couldn’t have sex; it wasn’t because he was having sex with someone else.
Things got ugly between us because I found out about an affair he'd had before he met me. We fought nearly every day for almost a week at this time.
By the end of the summer we’d been together sexually well over a hundred times. He never sugar-coated what our sexual relationship was. It was fucking, not making love, it was carnal and wicked, rough and dirty, nothing more.
There was one time in late July when he passionately made love to me kissing me deeply, sucking the air out of my lungs and then breathing life back into me telling me how much he loved me. I love you, I love you, I love you he said.
I felt at that moment that ER truly loved me. He’d shown me how much.
He was late to the something that he went to every Friday. He called me a few times and we giggled like teenagers. He was profuse with his I love you’s, always, but tonight there was a laughter in his deep husky voice, a lightness of being.
I talked to him on his ride home and he pulled all the way into the driveway at the trailer and sat there for a minute still on the phone with me, lingering out of love, not wanting to hang-up. He said, I want to stop time right here only to have you in the car with me and we never have to go forward, never have to go back, just stay right where we are forever. He said, I’ll say goodnight now my love so you can hear me saying it to you.
Then he was gone. It was late and I clicked off and left my phone dark and silent on the arm of the chair while I sat in the living room watching TV with my mother.
At 2:20 am the phone dinged and I picked it up. It was a text message from ER. It said, I’ll be there I’m on a military base.
My mother heard the chime on the phone and said, I thought he said goodnight already?
The words stuck in my throat. I had no air.
He just mistexted me, I said.
I told her what he’d said.
She looked at me across the room, her face stricken.
For the next two and half hours, I fought with him through texts and me leaving screaming voicemails. He texted me that he swore on his daughter’s life that he was not texting anyone else, that he was not seeing anyone else, that he was sitting there crying because I didn’t believe him. He took a photo of himself crying and sent it to me.
He said he’d done nothing wrong. He said that he had texted me earlier about a military phone case, not a military base. He said it was my fault I wanted to get an iphone 4 when he told me they were junk. He said that it wasn’t his fault the texts didn’t come in until late. He said please believe me I have done nothing wrong. He said I love you with my whole heart. I love and want you, only you. There is no one else but you. He said I could trust him that he loved me and he would call me in the morning.
He called me five hours later. I hadn’t slept at all. He was sending me kissy face photos and flirting with me in texts. He was pulling out all the stops. He called me eight times. I was delirious feeling the sudden shift in power with him. I relished this, wanted to enjoy it.
Then he mistexted me twice during the day.
I told him to go to hell.
That night he had to leave the trailer to get cigarettes at the 24 hour gas station because he was crying so hard. He called me hysterical on the phone crying and crying, his normal deep voice high pitched sounding like a little boy. He was almost wailing, begging and pleading with me to stop what I was saying, that he loved me and only me, that he was faithful to me, that he would kill himself if I didn’t believe him, that if I left him he would end it all.
I spoke to him rationally and it took about ten minutes for him to calm down. I knew unequivocally that he was one guilty bastard.
Over the next week I was able to gain access to his call records since I paid his phone bill.
I began the long process of downloading his bills from September 2010 through the present month’s bill.
At first I didn’t think I needed all of the months until I realized how many different phone numbers there were that he was texting. Page after page, day by day, new numbers cropping up often, other numbers disappearing. Texting from the moment he woke up until well after he had said good night to me. Who were all of these people he was texting? Every single day, hour by hour, minute by minute, second by second.
What I discovered from his phone records was that ER had lied to me every single day we were involved.
The information contained within the phone records was overwhelming. It wasn't just one woman that he'd been texting, it was a dozen per month.
V was the first woman I called. We talked for three hours over the first two days. I left a message for D, she called him immediately.
I called W and she confirmed that she'd been with him then she hung up on me.
Some of the local women lied outright. Others lied at first but then confessed. Still others lied then called back to confess. Some would only claim that they had never met him but if they were local I knew that they had because I already knew how it went with him. I knew how it had gone with me.
Some were more than ready to talk. V and I spoke the most, but I had a few conversations with J and one each with A, M, L and B.
There were a few others that I was not unable to verify since the numbers had been changed or were no longer in service. I will never know who those women were and what involvement they had with ER. They were almost all local numbers.
At first he denied everything and we fought like we never had before. Eventually when cornered by the truth he would admit to some of it but never to sexual involvement with anyone while he was with me the past year.
He took off to his mother's. I had the distinct feeling that he was there hooking up with women as the ultimate fuck you gesture to me. He didn't have anything prearranged that I could see from the phone records but I now knew that ER could find women anywhere.
Later when I spoke to V after my break-up with him she told me that he had said to her that he was picking up hotties while at his mother's to fuck while he was there.
I talked to him every day while he was there and texted him and even though he said he wasn't texting anyone else I knew he was. V proved this by sending me a photo that ER had also sent me while he was there.
And God only knows where he was putting his dick.
He stayed there for five days. He said he would see me on the way home but he drove right by. It was then I started to feel that because of what I had faced him with, he was going to perhaps never see me again.
He certainly wasn't behaving the way a man who had cheated on his girlfriend that he still claimed to love and wanted to be with and build a life with would behave. There was no contrition. He apologized but backed it up with nothing.
He turned it all on me, blaming me for everything - it was not that he had cheated and betrayed me but that I had gotten his phone records and called all these women.
He was violent in his cruelty to me on the phone screaming and yelling at me daily. He kept lying and lying. He felt no remorse. He claimed that it was just texting until I discovered all the women from his past that he still communicated with. He did confess to all of them in his past (before he was with me) but would not confess to those I knew he'd been with during his relationship with me. He did tell me that he had never been faithful to his wife.
He justified his cheating on L when his daughter was diagnosed with leukemia because he was ignored, had no attention and he said having sex with other women was the only way he could feel better about himself. He said he had been a real player and that he cheated constantly in the clubs picking up women and taking them out to his truck for sex, sometimes several women in one night.
For many of the women, ER apparently would disappear from them. They meant nothing to him. He had no feelings for any of them - not even the ones like V that he had known for years. He was brutal to V. He lied to all of them.
He was the worst of all to me. Except for his wife. I couldn't imagine that L could not know how he had cheated on her continually from the time they were married through the present day. He admitted this to me, that there was never a faithful time in his marriage. He said on the phone to me the day we broke-up that he had been a terrible husband. It was one of the only honest things he ever said.
He waited two weeks after we broke up (a story in itself that I will tell later) then contacted me again. He'd changed his phone number to prove to his wife (who now knew we'd been seeing each other the entire year) that I would not be able to contact him so he emailed me. He refused to give me his number. He asked me for a large sum of money to buy a new truck and trade-in his car. He asked me to pay a couple of his bills.
I fell right back into it when he called me (with his number blocked) and I sent him some money and paid his bills. He told me how much he honestly and truly loved me. But then after I'd sent the money and paid his bills he started lying to me and blowing me off. He kept saying he would call and then didn't.
He got angry with me when I found him on a BDSM dating site that he just joined a couple of weeks ago after he had promised me that now we were getting back together he would never betray me again and he'd stop texting other women and meeting them locally for sex. Of course he was lying. But he blamed me for snooping and starting my "shit" again and said that I hadn't changed and everything was all my fault.
He was cruel in his emails and promised to call for three days but didn't. Then when I complained he said I was overreacting. He blew me off. Then he emailed me again and asked for more money. He made it clear that if I didn't give him money I would not hear from him even through email. Actually even if I did give him money he still blew me off.
I don't believe now that he loves me, or ever loved me - I know this intellectually. I know that he is an overt maladaptive narcissist. I know he has NPD. I know that he is deeply scarred and damaged from issues in his childhood. I know what many of them are and some I can surmise. I know he has other prevalent issues that cause he to assert his masculinity and behave in a hyper-masculine and dominant fashion with women. I know all of his deepest, darkest secrets.
I have read dozens of books now on narcissism including Lisa Scott's two books. I have seen ER repeated in the many stories and posts on this site.
Yet my heart turns away from this truth. My heart hopes for him to email me. Hopes that he will eventually give me his number and things will go back to the way they were (when they were better between us before I know everything). My heart hopes that he will forgive me for whatever he thinks I have done wrong and he will come back to me and hopefully he will decide he wants to be with me.
My stupid, broken heart.