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I need help with sorting out the issue of an unjustified allegation, please.

First, here’s the story leading up to it.

When I met the only long-term boyfriend in my life in 1999 my criteria were simply that I was looking for a reasonable person (some men whom I met in the past having been downright unreasonable.) Then he kind of grew on me… I adopted his interests and moved to the same part of the country as him (not that that was a hardship!) He sounded as though he’d never had anyone else since he left his second wife, and couldn’t even imagine it. So I was sure he’d be faithful.

He was going to move in with me, but somehow never did. After the first few years he started to say things like: ‘Don’t get too attached to me. I don’t want anyone to get hurt.’ Yet if you are hearing that from the only long-term partner you have ever had, it doesn’t work. It is very depressing. Then he would get over it and all was well again. Still it seemed our relationship was for life. It wasn’t as strong as some other relationships, but it worked for us. Ages – he is now 82 and I’m 63.

He was always very secretive about all aspects of his life. There were all kinds of things that I must never discuss with anyone. I privately thought this was over the top but I humoured him for the sake of a peaceful life (except when I forgot some insignificant point and he got upset about it.) This has now blown up into a massive problem.

When I first discovered about the other woman, I was determined not to torment myself with jealousy. I’ve had lots of practise at not doing that! Just so long as he didn’t neglect me…. Then he really did start to neglect me. I was very upset, but I couldn’t leave the relationship because I’d lent him money. He’s honest, but seldom has any in the bank. With difficulty I pieced together the figures on what was owing, and we drew up a signed written agreement. Then people started to reclaim their bank charges, so, because he can’t use the Internet, he turned to me for help, and I saw this as the peaceful way to enable him to settle the debt, then I could be free.

Whenever he upset me, the support of friends kept me going. If I quit the relationship without getting my money back, as they often suggested, he owes me enough money for it to rankle much worse! But just think how paranoid he is about people knowing anything about him! He used to be a good listener if anything upset me, now I wondered how I would break it to him that he was putting me in a position when I had to breach all sorts of confidences just to keep a smile on my face, while he had turned selective blind and deaf to my feelings. I hid them a lot, as I looked for peaceful answers to problems, but sometimes I felt he was taking advantage of my good nature, using me. Oh, do I need my friends! Yet, if only he had dropped the other woman, I would still have had him back.

Then – Just after we sent the letter demanding repayment of bank charges, the other woman (who is not computer-literate so cannot help him with his bank charges) screamed at him for coming to me for help! Maybe that caused him to have a stroke. She looked after his interests while I was housebound following a joint replacement operation. I put everything concerning the money and his other repationship on hold because is well-being came first.

Difficult, but it gets worse! He rang me up to say he was to have an operation to mend his hip, injured in the fall, and got me really worried about the risk. I couldn’t wait until it was over, so I could ring up and find out he was all right!

Then the nurses passed on an extraordinary message from him. I was not to ring the hospital at all, but to make enquiries through a third party. So I rang the third party and spoke to an answering machine!

He can only have done this out of fear of the other woman finding out, so I felt as though he’d kicked me in the teeth! It was a whole week before the third party and I made contact, and even then she just emails me from time to time to say she hasn’t had time to ring the hospital.

I flipped! I suddenly saw myself as a doormat with his feet being wiped on me! How could I want a relationship with someone who shows so little concern for the distress I suffered on his account! Being housebound, I have all day to hang around the house, thinking, or rather, trying not to think! Visitors seldom come, yet two arrived and found me in tears. So everything came out like the bursting of a dam and they were very concerned indeed!

Of course he thinks I can never talk about anything to do with his private life. However, under these circumstances I didn’t see why I shouldn’t talk to his landlady, because she and I get along like a house on fire. He found out, and sent me a stern letter about this ‘heinous’ breach of trust, upsetting him while he was so ill and didn’t need it! I thought: ‘Stuff you! All I want is my money back!’ However, in his words in the letter: ‘The financial side will be honoured.’

However there is a further sum due to me, but I need his agreement in writing, according to the legal helpline I consulted. I do not feel like letting such a man get away with owing me money, just to rub in the pain he has caused. But first I wrote to him about the extreme worry he had caused, so that I spoke to the landlady under extenuation circumstances, and asked him for an apology.

This morning I received two letters written over a period of time, in one envelope. The first still stated that all trust between us had gone because I’d spoken to his landlady in breach of some promise I’d made in the days when all was well and I could humour him without hurt.

And here comes the really nasty part! The second states that he has received a letter from an unknown third party claiming some kind of liaison and apparently designed to cause upset just before he had a major operation. Apparently his daughter has checked that the address is unlikely and wants to involve the police. Maybe he’s just saying that to frighten me because he thinks I’m implicated.

I discussed it with the friends who had found me in tears on the day he prevented me from contacting the hospital and found out they were responsible. I don’t want the stigma of having written this, yet, my only defence is that I was driven to confide in people, and of course he regards this as a heinous breach of trust. What chance that he could ever understand that he’d pushed me until I needed to confide in someone, when all his objections to me ever speaking a word to anyone about anything seem justified!

Sorry this is long, and I hope you haven’t lost track. It just seems to me that if I leave much out, the responses I receive will be less appropriate.

Oh dear! What a messy end to something that could well be the only relationship I’ll ever have!

Thank you very much.
Hi Seraph,

Thanks a lot for the answer and for your good wishes.

“It is as if he was living a secret double life with you.” It is indeed. He used to go round telling people I was a ‘professional friend,’ just as he first insisted to me that Woman 2 was a ‘business acquaintance’. It’s not very nice when the man you are in love with can’t even admit to the world that your relationship exists! I can see that he didn’t want the world guessing he had two women, but apart from that I’ve never been able to see what the fuss is about.

Since this was the only long-term relationship I have ever had, I was determined to make it work. We didn’t have a row although he could be very critical at times. Instead he actually said my behaviour was worse when he was really keen on me, but had improved later!

I know what you mean about not being a totally nice person. I don’t see myself as perfect. I once had a perfect landlady and I heard so much about how imperfect everyone else was compared with her that I’ve been very suspicious of perfect people forever afterwards. I much prefer to be slightly imperfect, because it makes me more tolerant of the imperfections of other people. Also I think there is no situation at all that can’t be resolved by polite discussion if both parties are willing.

However, if someone makes you hurt and you pretend everything is OK and attempt to stifle the pain, it does in fact get worse. If I tackled pain that way, I could go mad! So if I am not to blame, I see no reason to live with this if I can do something about it. Then I feel better. Yes, telling everyone was just what I had in mind!

On the other hand I can see that I’ve put this man’s feelings and bothered about his well-being to the point where it is self-destructive. So, frankly, I’ve reached the stage where the big issue is getting my money back first. Then I can tell everyone afterwards…. Until I feel healed and there no longer seems any reason for it!

I believe the letter my friends sent is not libel as such, but an invented liaison, which the New Woman would find while she handled his post. Then she was likely to go screaming mad with jealousy, which apparently rubbed off on him.

I suppose I shouldn’t waste pity thinking of a poor old man lying in hospital desperately ill while deprived of the woman he loved, (if she has in fact gone.) I do feel pity, but if I’m hard-headed I think the problem is the unfortunate timing while he still owes me money.

Speaking to a solicitor the other week, it appears the signed written agreement would guarantee me payment out of his estate. (Valuable books and reclaimed bank charges, because he hasn’t much else.) I’ve spoken to his accountant, who is the executor of his estate and sent him a copy of the document. If this stroke is fatal, the accountant sounds confident he can reclaim the bank charges and I’ll be repaid out of them.

If it isn’t, then I have to clarify the timing with the legal helpline for going to the small claims court. The problem is that I put in a great deal of work on these bank charges and He of 2 Girlfriends said he would reimburse me for it, and my expenses. I apparently can’t claim that sum through a court so need to get it in writing from him. You see the problem if he’s not speaking!

Some thoughts about how things will go when I’m finally free to talk about him…

When he met me I lived in isolation in a depressing northern town. Thanks to him, I because known to people who travel the circuit of horse shows, and moved to the edges of Shropshire, where he and I mix with the same set of country people (who incidentally are the nicest people you could ever wish to meet.) In both cases it’s a small world where everyone knows everyone else. He can only speak against me with difficulty since he’s silent by nature and he might betray some of his precious secrets. I on the other hand can confide to my heart’s content!

I have a file on the computer where I type the sort of thing I am likely to warn him I will be confiding, which will really spread his secrets around. I’ve pasted it below, and have had a go at editing it, because there are certain recurrent ideas, but I’ve been at it for rather a long time now, so please forgive the repetition.

I am sure he is going to tell me his new relationship is so special. That is Really Nice! The only relationship I have ever had is inferior to those experienced by other people, and my reasonable concerns have to be subjugated to the special relationship that the man who has ditched me is enjoying! Then he doesn’t want to know about my obvious feelings…

I want to say….

No Wonder I Need The Comfort Of Confiding In Other People!!! I could, if conversation led to it, be confiding any or all of the following. Think About It!

Does it not occur to He of 2 G that if he habitually treats a person as though she has no feelings, and ignore them when she tried to discuss them, that she will hurt? Then the logical way to stop hurting is to confide in people. I realise the person responsible for the hurt is paranoid about this. That ceases to be an overriding issue. In these circumstances seeking the emotional support of others is just human nature. If he doesn’t understand human nature at the age of 82, then it appears he never will!

When I’d first found out he was seeing Woman 2 as well as me, I was determined to be civilised, because jealously is such a horrible destructive emotion. If I met them at a show together, I chatted to her and she seemed such a nice person I was sure we would be great friends in other circumstances. Liking someone is the best way to stop yourself from hurting, but apparently he sat there squirming! (Love it!!! I said I wasn’t always very ‘nice!’ )

But when she found out about me, he told me she flew into rages and threw things round the room, so he apparently lived in dread of this. Then people started to reclaim their bank charges, so I can tell people he owed me money (to upset him more.) Most of the information on how to set about this is on the Internet. I can use the Net, but he can’t and neither can she, so suddenly I became very popular.

We were working really hard on the issue and wrote a letter to reclaim the charges from the bank, but she realised where he’d gone and screamed at him when he came home late. I thought that if she loved him that was no way to treat him, because several thousands were at stake and she personally couldn’t give him the help he was getting from me. So she lost my respect. Immediately afterward he had a stroke. I cannot be sure of this, but it seems to me that she put him under such stress that the row may have triggered it. After that I had a very low opinion of Woman 2, although I’d liked her so much at first.

I understand that He of 2 G so thoughtlessly cut me off from any effective way of discovering whether he was alive or dead because my enquiries might just have set dear Woman 2 into a jealous rage! If he thinks a third party had time to enquire after him, as he expected, he is totally mistaken! I had few emails and she will verify that there have been no phone calls. She is much too busy!

He of 2 G made it plain that if I had shouted at him as Ex-Wife used to, he wouldn’t have stood for it. Yet he tolerates shouting now from Woman 2. So what future does his relationship with her have when the infatuation has worn off?

Three weeks with no word whatsoever of whether he was alive or dead! The distress he was causing me totally exonerated my need to discuss it with others as a natural consequence! I knew I couldn’t handle this any more. Up to that moment if he had parted from Woman 2 I would have had him back, but I really do not want someone with so little concern for my feelings!

Think About It!!!! What do I need to confide to the friends who help me to recover!!!! And how many friends are there? Think About It!!!!

I now know the consequences of talking can be greater than you foresee, but I am not acting or talking out of malice. It’s just that talking helps me to feel better about the situation and I don’t know how I would come through it without support. So the risk of unexpected letters has to be taken…

I’ll tell him ….When thinking, please remember I believed we both had a relationship for life. The only ‘reason’ he could give for its decline was that some years ago I spent five minutes walking across a field with a friend. (How can He of 2 G feel so terrible about that, yet expect me not to care when he become utterly infatuated with Woman 2?) In other words he had no reason. He is seen to be just a philanderer with the seven-year itch!

I met him about a year after he parted with Ex-Wife, and he was so keen on me I was convinced we had a relationship for life. He of 2 G quit Yorkshire for fear of what Ex-Wife’s friends were saying when she was hurt, didn’t he? Just think, I have friends in Worcestershire as well as Shropshire!

Worcestershire is not a long way to run from Shropshire, is it?

It appears that He of 2 G, who fled from the tongue-lashings inflicted by his last wife, treated the feelings of Woman 1 with such disregard because he is now in fear of his new light-of-love’s temper! (When his infatuation with her has cooled, what a formula for a ‘happy’ relationship! )

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