Before a con man weaseled his way into the highest office in the land, before I was a mom, before I met and fell in love with my husband…I was a girl who was in love with a man who lied to me about big things for nearly five years.
I’m gonna talk about politics but also about an ex boyfriend because I think it frames some things in a very specific way.
Some of you may know I was in this relationship with a particular master manipulator and already know this story – many of you will be learning this for the first time. (Sorry?)
A little disclaimer: It has been seven years since we broke up. I do not have contact with him, nor do I want to. And I would prefer living the rest of my life in that peaceful oblivious bliss.
It was messy and difficult and heartbreaking to end this relationship. Seven years ago I could not write about it without it becoming a 50 page manifesto of heart wrenching poetry about loss and betrayal that would rival Sylvia Plath. Today, I’m using what I went through to hopefully express a correlation to the experience of living with our current president and, well…lies.
This is because I have a very personal experience of being in a relationship with a diagnosed borderline personality disordered sex addict.
I’m not going to get into the weeds with A) What sex addiction or having borderline personality disorder is but if you’re curious and want to read more about either you can do so here and here or B) How learning all of this affected my life and ultimately the trajectory of how I came to meet and fall in love with the father of my two adorable children, because neither of these are the point.
It was shitty. I was a wreck. I survived. Yada yada…Kind of like the 2016 election. (#rimshot)
During the course of our relationship occasionally mutual friends would say kind of weird things to me like this:
“I didn’t like him at all before you started dating him!”
“He was just sort of…off. I can’t explain it exactly but I never…. trusted him.”
“He changed once he started dating you. He would be kind of a dick in our class especially to the other girls. I don't know why.”
“Ohh he’s got a dark side. You can see it in his eyes!”
Or this little gem, “He cheated on his only other girlfriend. Once a cheater always a cheater.”
Because their descriptions of whom they thought he was did not fit into the box that I had built of our relationship I could not appropriately reflect on what I was missing or what they were seeing. I often brushed off comments like these. Stayed true to my man. Loyal. I’d make excuses in my mind for odd and unexplainable behavior.
After all I was in love with him. He was everything I needed a boyfriend to be.
Okay yes, there were entire days I couldn’t get a hold of him. But he was probably in some acting workshop or at a casting call. Rehearsal!
Okay sure, there was that time he came home and was giddy with weird energy and I went to kiss him and he smelled like… perfume? Was it make-up? And when I asked him about it I accepted without question his response that he had to kiss someone in a scene. He was an actor. That made sense. But damn, that smell really lingered.
He immediately took a shower.
For all five years of our relationship he was concealing an active sex addiction. During that time he spent nearly $60K on strippers and porn. When I went out of town he would go to bars with the goal of making out with girls. He never had an official affair, but he did sleep with another girl when he was traveling abroad.
And he never told me a single thing about any of this until five years into our relationship.
Where was he those days I couldn’t get a hold of him?
Where was he that day he smelled like perfume?
The answer to all of my questions, all of the times I ignored or explained away weird behavior, it turns out, was most likely…strip club. He spent hundreds of dollars a day at the strip club.
The strip club was his family, his friend, his drug, his coping mechanism. It was comfort.
Why strip club? Because deep down he hated women. He objectified them. He felt he was owed something by women who had wronged him in his life. His disease did not allow for him to be able to have secure attachments or real adult relationships with women, myself included. Sound like anyone you know?
When I heard Trump talking about grabbing women by the pussy it reminded me of things my ex would say in therapy in his addict voice describing why he felt entitled to certain attention from women.
I know I am not alone in this. Women across the country also felt that odd sense of familiarity.
While we were together I often talked about combining bank accounts – a way to help consolidate paying bills. This always led to a fight – so often that I stopped asking.
He wore me down. I couldn’t fight anymore.
After he told me the truth I knew why he never wanted me to see his bank account. I also learned that his rebuttals had purpose.
He was protecting his family, his friend, his drug, his comfort. He was trying to save his insecure, addicted ego from being exposed.
Makes me think about stories like this.
“Follow the money,” they say. If I had access to his bank account I may have learned about all of this sooner.
You know…kind of like this.
I was lucky I was able to get out of the relationship fairly unscathed. Heartbroken, trustbroken, devastated to be sure, but I was ultimately okay. We weren’t married. We didn’t have children together. We did not make choices that would stay with us for life.
“The truth wants to be revealed. It cannot stop itself from being known.”
My therapist told me that if my ex hadn’t confessed the truth, I would have eventually found out.
Watching this series of unending shocking political revelations unfold over the course of days, hours, minutes -- I’m reminded of her insight.
I honestly don’t care what side of the political spectrum you are on because it doesn’t fucking matter right now.
What matters is that our president is likely going to be impeached or go to jail or both.
And this story is not going away.
The question now is when will we be able to get the truth. And will we get the whole truth? Nothing but the truth? So help us all?
Because it’s there…bubbling at the surface. It wants to be revealed.