To recap: Heather was living with Wyatt, in her house, even though he was still married. And she was paying all his expenses. She put up with it because she knew things were going to change soon.
Well, things did change — for the worse. Wyatt started coming home later and later. Sometimes he had to go away on weekends to see clients.
"Although I recognized the same excuses he had given his wife when he sneaked off to be with me, I was in total denial.
"If I asked him about obviously suspicious matters, like matchbooks from local restaurants when he'd allegedly been in Canada, he'd accuse me of spying.
"Finally, that's exactly what I did. After six months of weirdness, I caught him cheating on me , with Taylor, a secretary in his office, a naive 20-something who had just moved to town."
Wyatt was so sure Heather would never find out that he talked openly about Taylor to her. "He said she loved little children; he called children 'rug rats.' She was a foot taller than him, and he was very vain about his height. She had only a high school education to my MBA. She wore lipstick, which he likened to dead bugs, and her favorite color was green, which he said he hated because of his service in the Marines. When I found out that she was the one, I was totally floored.
"Now Wyatt had a wife, a mistress and a girlfriend. I threw him out the night I found out about Taylor, but I was miserable for months afterward. I wanted him back."
Heather tried to contact Taylor, but Wyatt had told her that Heather was "a crazy, dangerous, demented liar" and that she should never, under any circumstances, talk to her. Taylor, of course, believed Wyatt.
Eventually, Heather heard that Wyatt and his third wife finally got divorced. This was four years after Heather met him. She also found out he had married Taylor.
"By the way, I later found out that he was cheating on me and Taylor with another secretary in their office. Wyatt was totally charming and played me and at least five other women. Afterward, I had to go through considerable therapy.
"I learned that Wyatt is what is known as a sociopath, a particularly awful breed of person. Here was a guy who lied about absolutely everything. He made up stories about being a CIA hit man in Vietnam and claimed to be a lawyer. Actually, he audited two law courses in college.
"My best guess is that he took me for about $30,000, along with a considerable portion of my pride, emotional stability and self-respect. It took me several years to recover, both financially and emotionally, but eventually I found a truly wonderful guy with the capacity to love, a great job, and lots of integrity. Every day gets better and better.
"The last I heard of Wyatt, he had a heart attack around the age of 40. Probably a combination of drugs, booze, cigarettes and family history (his dad had died young). I don't know if he's still alive, but if he is, I'll bet he's moved along to wife number five or six or seven."
Have you ever dated a sociopath? Send your thoughts along with your questions and problems to [email protected] And check out my new ebook, "Dear Cheryl: Advice from Tales from the Front."