This post was previously published and is being listed on a new date …
Listen, my previous relationship was extremely public. Just about everyone knew us and what we were doing. The shiny days were broadcasting all over the internet and the blogs I owned, but with that being said, it ultimately was what I feel a facade. You see, I got many warnings about the man I ventured into a relationship with. Random strangers, his old landlord, and even some of my closest friends were rather concerned. I didn’t listen. In all honesty, I don’t regret not listening to some extent. I believe we all need to learn through our own experiences and had I walked away based on those warnings and my own intuition screaming at me, I wouldn’t have learned all of the lessons I’ve learned.
Yes, the business I went into with this man proved to be a horrible decision. The business that kept a roof over our heads but was supposed to be half and half really was all me to carry the tax burden of. He hasn’t filed taxes in years, maybe they’ll find him one day but for now, all I have to know in my heart is that I get my 1099-K and file it. If I don’t match the numbers up, they find out. If a 1099 wasn’t claimed or the part of the income that wasn’t mine isn’t claimed then guess what? I have to claim it. Period. It’s life. It’s called a business learning experience.
I learned that you do not take anyone’s word of mouth agreement that a business is 50/50 when they don’t even claim their own part of the income to have their own tax burdens. You also never go into business with anyone on a verbal contract, because life happens and sometimes people go against their word.
When I started to ask for the relationship to be dissolved, he started showing me his manipulative side. Shutting down the sites that were our business, threatening to take away any of the income that was coming directly to me. It worked for a time. I felt scared and that business was keeping the roof over my damn kids’ heads. I felt I had no choice. That is until he finally pulled my last straw of hope out from under me. Not only was it the crime he committed against me, which by the way he had done to at least two others in the past without “getting caught”, but it was also just the mistreatment and poor business methods that truly pushed me further away.
I learned that you have to listen to your gut, your kids, and those who truly care about you when it comes to being in an abusive relationship. Let the light be seen. Get therapy so that the counselor can guide you towards your inner light so that the abusive person doesn’t continue to destroy you and your family. I learned to hear my body, have confidence in my emotions again.
Personal info such as the comment IP and the ex’s last name have been blacked out for privacy.
When I had to call the police because I found an audio recording device in my shower recording the kids’ and my conversations, I realized that this man had been doing this for a while. All of a sudden I remembered some things he had mentioned that he would NOT have even been in the house to hear, were things he knew. It was creepy. It was unsettling. It totally destroyed my whole world. I felt betrayed and completely violated.
I learned that I should have listened better when he told me that he had put a keylogger in his ex’s laptop to trace who she was talking to as a means to “prove she was cheating”. Another time he told me about putting an audio recording device in an ex’s van to record her conversations with her daughter. I should have known that wasn’t normal behavior for a grown human. It’s illegal in NH at least, and it’s absolutely an invasion of trust and privacy. I learned that I wasn’t special. I wasn’t any different than his ex single moms he dated and spied on to get one up on them. I ultimately learned that your ego can play a role in how you think that certain things will “never happen to you”.
At the end of the day, I am annoyed with people who fall for this man’s charismatic ways. I was annoyed at myself for a while after all of this too. I mean he has an answer for EVERYTHING and has a way to manipulate words to make you think that all of this was just a “mistake” or a “bad choice”, even during our relationship I fell victim to his way with words. But at the end of the day, I made a choice to have peace, safety, and sanity in my life again.
I found a place of safety and happiness within the arms of the one person who has always been there in a way that means something for the long haul of life. I found my way back to who I am to my core. I found my way back to my best friend who’s played that role for years, no matter where life led us. I found my way back to what makes me feel whole again. I found my way back to my own business roots, writing for a living and sharing lessons learned to help others make their own choice to be a better human.
Sure, we all make mistakes, but the question is; “Have you learned anything?” At the end of the day, I have forgiven this man. Forgiveness doesn’t mean an allowance to say all he’s done is right, it’s simply a way for me to find peace within my soul and to be a better person. To never fall prey to manipulators by paying close attention to what they tell me they did in the past to others. To never let my ego tell me that I am special. To listen when strangers reach out to say someone is a bad human. To always know that my body aka my emotions and instincts will always lead me into the arms of a person who is true, a business that is right, and a life that makes my entire family, including my teenager, happy!