LearningYoungster’s Story (yes, it plays out like a bad Lifetime movie!)
Hi everyone. There will probably be things in my story of which you do not approve, but please try not to judge me. I judge myself enough already.
I am currently a 20-year old college student. Last summer, I worked as a research assistant for a 32-year old Ph.D student. He was charming, witty, quite handsome, and married with a small child. Last July, after several months working together, he kissed me. I was attracted to him as well, and even though I knew it was wrong to be with a married man, I could not deny the connection I felt, so we became romantically involved.
I should mention here that before him, I had never kissed anyone. He was my first boyfriend, my first kiss, my first everything (which makes this all the harder, I think).
Within weeks he had told me he loved me, that I was his soulmate, that we belonged together. I was so blinded by all of this that I feel deeply in love with him, or at least with who I thought he was.
Soon after this, his wife discovered an email from him to me professing his love. She subsequently moved 6-hours away, with the child, to start a new job. I feel so selfish for not thinking more of her and the baby in all of this, but I honestly thought I had found my perfect person, the one I was supposed to be with, my soulmate, and that everything would work out. In the beginning, he made me feel so special, so happy, and so loved. He said that I fulfilled him to no end.
In November, we slept together. This was my first time with anyone, and I thought I was ready because it was with someone who really, truly loved me. I thought (not without basis) that we were going to spend our lives together. He often spoke of marriage to me, and about how we were going to have this wonderful life together. We had so many plans.
A few days later, my parents found out about our relationship and alerted the school. There was a formal investigation into our relationship, but while I was left to testify in front of Deans from various schools, he went on a rock-climbing trip and left me all alone. I guess this should have been a red flag, but I ignored it. He told me that my parents were overreacting and would calm down eventually, but my relationship with them began a vast deterioration. They essentially disowned me. I had no one to turn to but him… but I thought “love conquers all”, right? Maybe real love does. But this cannot be real love. Real love means reciprocity. But I am sidetracking.
Fast forward to March, and I find out that I’m pregnant. I’m a Junior in college—I really cannot have a baby right now (we used protection every time, but something must have gone haywire). He said that I should keep the baby and we could be a family. All this time, and he still had not begun divorce proceedings with his wife, despite promising to. When I suggested we take a break until he was divorced for real, he got so upset. I was shocked. He claimed I must not really love him etc. etc. I ended up saying sorry and that my idea was stupid. But he went up to visit his wife/daughter every other week and slept on the futon there. How is that supposed to make me feel secure in a relationship? I felt awful, insecure, and terrified of losing him (especially when he did not have the decency to return my calls/texts). And that was before the pregnancy hormones kicked in!
So, at first he wants me to have a baby with him. I told him I needed to consider all options before making a decision. Later that week, I had a sinking feeling in my stomach, so I asked him if I could read his emails. He looked at me oddly but said yes. I found emails from him to his wife saying what a huge mistake he has made, and asking if he could please have another chance. All this while he was telling me that he loved me, that we could be a family. I broke up with him then and there, saying that no matter what I chose, I did not want him to be involved. I just couldn’t believe that the sweet man who loved me so much would lie and hurt me like this. We slept together that day (there definitely was physical attraction involved in our relationship), and I started crying in the middle of it. All he did was look at me. In retrospect, this was one of the most awful experiences in our relationship. I’ll never forget how he just watched me cry. Whenever he cried, I cried with him, hugged him, gave him back massages, anything he needed. But he just watched me cry.
So, he disappears to see his wife and baby for several days. He comes back and begs me for a second chance, saying that he would support me whatever my decision, and that he would always be there for me, no matter what, and that he would never lie to me again. He said he loved me more than anyone, and that he would really be wonderful from now on. I truly felt like he meant those things, and when he plaintively begged “could I please be your boyfriend again?” I said yes. I should have gotten out then, when I felt powerful and ready.
I decided that an abortion was the right choice for me. I know that some people may not approve of this, but I want to have a child with the right person at the right time, so that I can give that child everything he/she deserves and more. I still cry about it everyday, though, and it has been nearly two months since the procedure.
After the abortion, I cried every night. He would hold me and tell me that it would be okay. Two weeks later, however, I get a text message from him, dumping me. He said that he needed to be there for his daughter, so that even though I was the love of his life, he had to stop being selfish and start being there for his daughter. With this, he even made it impossible for me to be mad at him. How can I be upset that he wants to be there for his child? I can’t! That is what he should do! I just don’t understand why he had to abandon me in my time of need. Why now? I just feel like this is a convenient excuse for him to escape responsibility.
I was always there for him, whenever he needed me. Now when I for once needed a little support, he ditches me completely, like I am yesterday’s trash. The abortion was the worst thing I’ve ever had to go through (and after reading some other people’s stories, I realize that I don’t actually have it that bad! Thank you so much for the perspective). I just really needed him, and he totally abandoned me. The day before he was telling me how much he loved me and needed me, how I made him feel like no one else ever did. The next minute he is just gone, just like before. I wonder what it is like to have a partner who is actually there for you when you are going through terrible things.
I’m sorry this is so long. I know that I really do deserve this, because, well, karma’s a bitch. But I honestly did not know better—I was really young (19 when we first got together), and he was the first guy I ever kissed (which he actually knew before we got together). I feel so manipulated and used. He even said that he hopes we could be together sometime in the future if he can get his act together.
How do I get to the place where I would be strong enough to say that I don’t want him anymore, that enough is enough, and that it is completely unfair how he treated me? I thought he really loved me. He told me that I was his perfect person, the one he was meant to be with. All he could say when I confronted him about this was “I meant it at the time”. I feel so lost, upset, and alone. I want to stop loving him, but I just can’t do it yet (though it has only been 3 weeks since he dumped me). And one of the last things he said was that he thought he got married too young, but that this (our relationship) was a nice break from his marriage. Who says that? We had even talked about having kids one day. I can’t believe that all those plans were gone in an instant (poof!) But, like I said, karma. I now understand how his wife must have felt (except her pain must have been so much worse). I feel so terrible for not having seen her plight.
It is probably not a coincidence that, the day before he dumped me, I mentioned (in passing) that I was still cut off from my very wealthy family, right? He just said “oh, still?” and then let it go, but it is too much to be a coincidence, isn’t it? (I have since reconciled with my family, telling them everything. My parents have really been supportive of me these past few weeks. It is really nice to have people who genuinely love you to cry to.)
Apparently his wife is welcoming him back like a savior. I don’t understand how the man I thought loved me can leave me in pieces like this and just go back to his normal life like nothing ever happened. I guess life really isn’t fair, is it? I do feel like I deserve this to some degree, but I just really thought he loved me. I would not have gotten involved with him for anything less than something very serious.
Reading about narcissism has really helped me understand how he can abandon me so easily. Everything in our relationship was all about him, how he was feeling, and not about me. Always. I don’t know why I didn’t see it before; I just wanted to be supportive, and ended up sacrificing myself along the way. In a final email to me, he said “Thank you for giving yourself so fully and wholly to me. I’m sorry that I can’t be there for you. I will always love you.”
How do I stop wanting him? I know I shouldn’t, but the feelings I have for him are so strong. I think he expects me to wait around until he someday wants me again, but I want to grow strong and not care for him anymore. How do I move on from this? I feel so... betrayed.
Thank you for reading this. I would really appreciate any advice.