Knowing and Willingly Not Knowing

By Cheryl Lavin

April 2, 2016 3 min read

Harlow says she knew, but she didn't want to know, that something about Cal didn't add up.

"I'd been seeing him for over two years, though not regularly. He told me he lived with his father because he was concerned about him living alone. In the entire time I knew him, I never went to his place, his excuse being that his dad was there and they had a small house — but maybe next weekend when 'Dad's out of town.' The next week would roll around and my sort-of boyfriend was nowhere to be found. I only had his cellphone number, and he gave up his phone when he quit his job. My only way of contacting him was via email."

I'm not stupid or naive, although I know that's hard to believe. I suspected he was married or living with someone, and I occasionally asked him to tell me the truth, but he always denied it. Needless to say, I didn't trust him, nor was I investing myself in him. But he was charming, and most importantly, great in bed."

A couple of months ago, Cal called Harlow and admitted that he was married. He said he was telling her because he "cared" so much for her.

"I was neither surprised nor hurt, but I was disappointed because I knew I could no longer wrap myself in the cloak of denial. He told me he had been married for 25 years and had two daughters, but he and his wife were basically roommates and hadn't had sex in years."

That started Harlow thinking about things that had happened but didn't quite add up. She started remembering bits of conversations she had overheard. She thought back on the scraps of paper with names and numbers that she had seen. She confronted Cal one last time.

"I talked to my now erstwhile sort-of boyfriend one more time and asked about those things. He just mumbled something that didn't make sense. After recalling a couple of other things that were inconsistent with his 'I've been married for 25 years' story, and the fact that he totally clammed up when I confronted him, it suddenly dawned on me. He wasn't married to his first wife anymore; he was married to someone else, and probably very recently within the past few weeks or months. He knew that that would really make me angry and didn't want to deal with me. Either that, or he told me this because he knew I'd be gone.

I sent him an email telling him what I thought the real story was. If he didn't answer, that would verify my suspicion. I never heard from him, nor do I expect to, but for some reason it was important to me that he knew I saw right through him. Finally."

Got a problem? Send it, along with your questions and rants to [email protected] And check out my ebook, "Dear Cheryl: Advice from Tales from the Front."

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