This is my story… Buyer beware!


posted by on Christian Encouragement, Relationship Encouragement

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I’m not sure where to begin with this story.  I always thought I was a pretty smart woman.  When my 26 year marriage ended in divorce, I really thought I had all my emotions in check and all my needs under control. But obviously I didn’t. I had really determined in my life, that I would never become one of those women who couldn’t handle being alone. I was going to be the strong one.

Then, about two years ago, I really felt like it was time for me to start dating. But I was in a small church with no available single men. And, after praying fervently for several months for God to send me “His perfect one,” my impatience and worldly reasoning led me to the Internet, and to Now I had been to one of Jeff and Joanne’s Grace for Divorce classes, and I certainly knew from that class, that people are simply not candid on those sites, but I really thought I would be smarter and more careful than everyone else.

So, I met a man, and we started “dating”. We actually talked for hours on the phone before we actually met. He was very romantic and he told me how beautiful I was. (This was dangerous, because I had really given my heart to this man, on the strength of our telephone conversations, before I ever met him.) We met for the first time at a park, and it also was very romantic and sweet. I was falling for this guy in a big way, and I didn’t have a clue who he even was. All I knew, and all I cared about at the time was that he made me feel attractive and wanted again.

We continued to talk on the phone, but our dates were very few and far between. He really seemed to have a problem with being with me in public. He seemed to want me to be his “private but available” girlfriend. We might have gone to dinner a few times in our two-year relationship, but mostly we just went to movies. And, on the rare occasions he actually came into town for us to go out, he would just go back home at the end. He never wanted to just spend time with me. He kept telling me that, “our time was coming”. “Just be patient and wait until my kids graduate, then we can be together.” And even though he would never tell me anything specific about his life (for instance, I knew the city where he lived, but I didn’t know his address), I was planning my future with this man, and I thought I had fallen in love with him.

Then he started borrowing money from me for various expenses related to his business.  He would say that he needed to pay his suppliers or his employees, (he was very secretive). I gave him the money because I cared about him, and he always promised to pay me back. He was running up my credit cards, but he always said there was a big billing out there, and the money was going to start rolling in. Then he suggested that I should quit my job and come work for him, because we could double our money. Well,I didn’t like my job very much, but it paid well, it had benefits, and it was stable. I quit my job of 14 years, with no way to go back to it, and I went to work for my new man.

His “borrowing” from me continued for at least another year. He was paying me a salary, but, as often as not, that salary was put onto one of my credit cards. We went to Vegas once, at my expense, so he could triple my money and get his company (and me) out of debt. Yeah, not so much. But I had never been to Vegas, and I thought it was a thrill.

Not long after the Vegas trip, I sought out some counseling for some unrelated issues, and the subject of my boyfriend came up. The counselor told me in no uncertain terms that I should be done with him, that he was using me. I knew she was right, but I just couldn’t do it. Who would ever love me again? And, how would I ever see the money that he owes me if I break up with him? But I knew from the beginning that I was not to be with him. There were red flags everywhere and I was choosing to ignore them. And, because of the sin in this out-of-whack relationship, I had quit going to church altogether. I started questioning what I believed in. I was arguing religion with people, and telling them I didn’t need to go to church, and neither did anyone else.

Well, I held on for another year, and I just got deeper and deeper in debt. He was using my credit cards for his normal expenses by now. He had always promised to make the payments, but he was falling behind on those. He told me that, as long as we didn’t go 30 days late, we’d be fine. Then, he said we could go 60 days late before it was serious. I was actually starting to get enough of this guy, so I went back to the counselor and her voice was the same; “Honey, this man is using you.” And this time I listened. I went home, and I waited for his call, and I broke up with him.
Now, here we are several months later, and I wish that I could say that God immediately and miraculously swooped in an made everything perfect, but the fact is that I’m currently in a pretty big hole. I have some good job prospects, and some very good people are helping me to stay afloat. My relationship with the Lord has been restored out of His grace, and I am truly thankful that I didn’t do myself in any worse than I did. I still have my home, and I still have the respect and understanding of my kids. At the end of the day, I can actually be thankful for the hard lesson I learned. People, you are not as strong, or as smart as you think you are… And… if someone walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck… they’re probably not a swan or a fairy prince… they’re probably a big ugly duck!!

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