Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Don't rat him out; he'll ruin second marriage himself

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DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I know my former brother-in-law is cheating on his trophy wife of one oh-so-special year, just like he did on my poor sister for 19 years. That disgusting jerk is also an abuser. He got away with hurting my sister so many times when they were still together with the kids. I'd like that 25-year-old wife of his who thinks she's so smart, to know what her adorable husband is really like. She was the one who broke up my sister's home. The only reason I'm not going over and telling her I know what he's doing is because they hang out with some very scary friends. What do you think of an anonymous letter in the mailbox?

-- Dying to Blow the Whistle, Winnipeg

Dear Dying: Anonymous letters are for schoolkids. Besides, you mustn't "tell all" to the tough little chick. She'll call you a liar, phone her husband, and he'll come after your sister -- a favourite old target much easier than you. Just let the Mister have enough rope and he'll ruin his second marriage himself. If you want to tell anybody, tell your sister and have a laugh about it together. She will definitely feel better knowing the babe who stole him from her is getting her turn. Then just let it go, for your sister's sake. Too much of her life's energy has gone into aching over that guy's bad behaviour. Don't stir up new interest in his affairs.

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I'm 30, divorced with small children. Last year I got involved in a relationship with a 35-year-old divorced man. I thought we were happy and everything was wonderful between us. I let him into every part of my life -- my family, children and friends -- but he always skittered away from introducing me to his friends and family. He works on the road and his family and friends live a few hours away. Recently I received a call from his wife and found out he is still married! He was never even separated. I'm having such a hard time moving on in my life. I'm so confused as to why a person would do this to me. I was abused in my last relationship and now this has happened. I'm having such a hard time figuring out why bad things keep happening to me.

-- Confused, Winnipeg

Dear Confused: Don't be so hard on yourself. You and your kids were hoodwinked by a con man -- one who stole your heart while living a double life. He was "everything" to two families at once -- a bigamist personality, though he wasn't actually married to you. Recover your confidence by becoming educated about this kind of man, so it's no longer mystifying. Find at the library or online the typical way a bigamist-style con artist will present himself in the beginning. For instance, he'll tell you he has a job -- either on the week or on the weekend -- where it's "impossible" to reach him. That's when he's with his other family, and usually not too far away either (the more risk, the more excitement for him). Plus, any kind of con artist is a champion liar. So, to protect yourself in future, study all the signs of lying -- body language, voice change, expressions, hesitations. You should also see a psychiatrist or psychologist for debriefing and repair. And, here's a helpful meditation exercise to answer one important question at a time. Tonight, as you're relaxing and going to sleep, ask yourself, "Why did I look past his failure to introduce me to family and friends for a whole year?" Then ask your brain for a revealing dream or a one line answer by morning. Write it down the minute you wake up.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 23, 2009 D3

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