Joe was a master manipulator. It took me a while to realize what was going on and when I did, it was too late. I was in love with him and willing to do anything for him – even sharing my bank account details. I’m a hardworking woman. I’ve been making my own money ever since I was in high school and I was fortunate enough to make the right connections who have helped me grow my business. I currently own three shops in town which sell all kinds of household items.
When I met Joe, I was successful and in the prime of my life. In fact, I was dating a rich businessman at the time but dumped him because Joe was a handsome, sweet talker. Not to mention, we were from the same community so I thought it was my destiny and that I had met my future husband.
It wasn’t hard to fall in love with him. Joe made my life easier. He was thoughtful, kind and loving. He also didn’t mind that I was more financially successful than he was. In fact, he praised me for it.
“Do you feel intimidated that I make a lot of money?” I asked during one of our first dates.
“Do you know how hard it is for a woman to make it in life?” He asked rhetorically. “I admire your achievements, babe.”
“Thanks. I’ve always had to downplay my success when I’m in a relationship so that I don’t intimidate my partner.” I explained.
“You don’t have to downplay anything with me, babe.”
I fell in love with him quickly but was still cautious since I didn’t want to get played or used. He seemed like a genuinely good person but I couldn’t be too sure. However, he proved me wrong. Unlike other guys I had dated in the past, Joe didn’t seem to want anything from me. Even when I loaned him money, he would return it with a little extra.
Things were perfect for the first year and I started trusting him more and more. I would give him my car to use and he would return it the next day with a full tank. I truly thought Joe was heaven-sent since no one had treated me the way he did.
One day, I found something in my car that made me suspicious. Joe promised that he only used my car to go to work and back but I found a piece of braid in the back seat which I knew didn’t belong to me or any of my friends since I had washed the car the previous day.
“Who is this hair from?” I asked him while holding the braid.
“I don’t know.” He replied.
“I found it in the car after I gave it to you yesterday.”
“It could belong to anyone, babe. It could even be yours.”
“It’s definitely not mine. I don’t braid my hair.”
“Well, I don’t know but it’s not a big deal.”
I chose to ignore the obvious red flag and gave him the benefit of the doubt even though it was clear he was lying to me. As the days went by, I kept finding clues that Joe had another woman in his life. He received mysterious calls at all times of the day when we were together. He also stopped fueling my car or even paying any bills yet it seemed like he had moved in with me. Still, I wasn’t complaining since I was convinced that he was my future husband. I tolerated his behaviour and probably enabled it.
He started borrowing money from me claiming that he wanted to start a business. Even though I suspected that he was using the money to entertain other women, I still gave him.
However, my patience was running out. There was only so much disrespect I could take. He would come home at the wee hours of the night smelling like alcohol and women’s perfume. I never questioned him about it since I knew it would be a cause for argument and I would potentially lose him.
Every night, I would sleep next to him while he smelt of another woman and the following day, I would give him money. I even found out from neighbours that he would bring different women to the house and claim that they were his relatives. I never met any of the girls but I knew they weren’t his relative.
The last straw was when he took my car and stayed with it for three days. I didn’t know where he was and any attempts to find him were futile.
“Can you call Joe, please? He’s not picking up when I call him.” I asked one of my friends.
“Sure. Is everything okay?” She asked.
“He left with my car two days ago and I don’t know where he is,” I explained.
She tried to call him but the call went unanswered.
“Don’t worry, he’ll show up.”
By that time, it was common knowledge that Joe was cheating on me. My friends, neighbours and even employees were talking about it. I was a laughing stock in my friend group, apartment and work but I was determined to prove them wrong.
I waited patiently for Joe to come back so he would tell me another lie. He showed up the following day at around 1 am. I had been drinking throughout the night and decided that I would confront him. Before he could leave the parking lot, I cornered him and demanded my car keys.
“You’re drunk, babe. You can’t drive like this.” He said calmly.
“Give me my keys and get out of my house,” I yelled.
The commotion attracted a small crowd and Joe cooperated to avoid the embarrassment. He gave me the car keys then went to the apartment and packed his things as I waited at the parking lot with some of my neighbours.
I was heartbroken because I thought Joe was my soulmate and I would spend the rest of my life with him. However, our relationship was far from a fairytale. He used me for my money and didn’t even feel bad about cheating on me.
I haven’t gotten into another relationship after breaking up with him. However, he moved on very quickly. In less than a year, he met a Kenyan woman online who worked as a nurse in Canada and moved there to be with her.
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