It’s like being punched in the gut: You’ve discovered your partner is cheating, your husband is a pedophile, or your fiance has another girlfriend.
“The person about whom I thought I knew absolutely everything had a hidden life,” said the wife of a convicted pedophile.
The liar blames you, so your guilt skyrockets. “How could I have been so stupid?”
You are now facing the death of a relationship you thought you had, but in truth never existed. You grieve the death of your dreams and plans for your future.
How can you recover?
The only way to get over it is to fully embrace the fact that the man, the life you had together, the relationship, and your plans for the future did not and do not exist. The man you thought you knew is not there, he is a shadow. The life you had with him was not real because he lived a full but hidden parallel life unbeknownst to you. The relationship you had was built on lies. The future he promised you was constructed on manipulations designed to keep you in his game.
You must understand the man you loved does not exist because you did not know the real man.
When you find out, you must remember these key points:
- Realize it is impossible to get the upper hand on a liar and manipulator because the manipulator’s mission is to maintain control over you, your thoughts, your image of him, and your knowledge about what really is going on.
- Keep in mind that the main mission of the liar is to keep you in the dark. You weren’t stupid; you were a victim of manipulation. It is impossible to get the upper hand on a manipulator because the manipulator’s mission is to maintain control over everything so he can orchestrate his game.
- Forgive yourself. Let go of the blame you’ve heaped upon yourself for being blind; this simply isn’t true. You were actively prevented from discovering the truth by a skilled manipulator. Like sinking in quicksand, with each step toward discovery the liar pushed you back deeper into his dark morass.
- Acknowledge you are in shock and disbelief. Over time, more pieces of the puzzle will come together and with each new revelation, there will be another round of traumatic shock.
- Understand that the liar worked very hard to keep you in the dark, and if you ever during your relationship you were close to discovering the truth, he explained it away with partial truths and convincing lies. It would have been impossible to find out the truth because he kept you in the “man down” position at all costs.
- You will be angry, and rightfully so. In fact, many strong emotions will emerge: rage, depression, guilt, self-blame, pity, and revenge. Remember you are riding waves of emotions and they will pass. Hang on and white knuckle it through the ride, knowing that the wave will dissipate soon.
- Your emotions will subside into exhausted sadness and deep hurt. You consider either reconciliation or permanently leaving the relationship. You may cycle through wide ranging emotions frequently, even within a few minutes. Each time a new thought or revelation arises, a new wave of shock, anger, and deep hurt will result. You will be confused. You will want to see him, talk to him, then never want to see him again. This can continue for days, weeks, or months.
- Healing can begin, but the liar may impede your healing by blaming you, minimizing the situation, and continuing to “gaslight” you. You may also be struggling with a sexually transmitted disease, financial ruin, or even legal ramifications. Seek out available resources: go to the doctor or a low cost clinic for STD screening. Seek counseling with a licensed therapist skilled in toxic relationships. If necessary, find an attorney to help guide you through legal or financial fallout.
The only way to not become a victim or a manipulator is to avoid them at all costs, but even professionals trained to spot liars get seduced by their lies. You were not stupid, you were victimized by a predator who set out to overpower you.
Acknowledge your strength: You survived.