I felt like I was back in the corner store again. Peering through the glass at the huge selection of Penny Candy. The only difference was that I had gained several years, and I was looking at my computer screen, searching through profiles of, hopefully, single men. Potential partners by the thousands, on every site.
People warned me about all the on line predators, but I figured I could spot them and I certainly wouldn’t even wink at them. I had a specific type of man I was looking for. First & foremost I wanted him to be a believer, since I was. A lot of thought went into filling out my profile. “Hopeful Heart Looking for Honest Man,” won out and went at the top. The name alone advertised the fact that I was lonely and vulnerable.
I felt like my time of being a sad widow should come to an end. I’d been single for the past two years and I was aching for a little attention again. I so missed being someone’s “Angel Face,” and I still missed him. But I knew he was never coming back and I was tired of being alone. I was looking for a new love.
I was just about to give up when a man left three messages that he was interested. I checked out his profile, then decided to pray about it overnight, before I answered. The next morning, when I booted up my computer, there was a fourth message from the same man. “Wow,” I thought, “this man is really interested.”
I answered back that I was interested too, and our whirlwind romance took flight.
The first thing he wanted to do was get on instant message, “Email takes too long,” he said, “instant message is a lot quicker.”
So, instant message it was. Even though I couldn’t type, it was only pick & peck for me, but he didn’t seem to mind. He had little heart icons, in my favorite color, drifting from the top and floating over all our messages.
And then the cards started coming. I remember the first card I received that said he loved me. “Could that be possible? I thought, “It’s only been five days.” The flirting, the love songs he sent through email. He wanted my phone number, then the calls came, almost non stop. I’d get up in the morning to find a message from him. “Don’t you ever sleep?” I’d ask.
“When I get up at night to answer a call of nature,” he said, “I think of you, so I send you a card.”
We spent so much time with each other. I didn’t even take the time to eat right, and I lost twenty pounds. I wasn’t sleeping much either. He liked to call late at night, all throughout the day, and real early the next morning.
All his attention eased the pain I’d felt for the past couple of years. I was a willing target for his aching-heart-surgery and I loved every minute of it. I didn’t think I’d ever find love again. My upside down world was righting itself.
He was so interested in everything about me, my past, my family. He never wanted to talk about himself, even though I tried to get him to open up. He was wearing a mask, called, “Mr. Right,” and I couldn’t see beyond all of his empty words that only told me what he knew I wanted to hear.
And then… after marriage…it was still all about me, but things took a different turn.
“You’re nothing but a two bit”… he’d say, along with so many other derogatory names. No one in my life had ever talked to me as bad as he did. Before long, I allowed him to drive me to a point of hopeless desperation. There was no joy in life, only moment by moment heartbreak, and I was afraid of what I might do. He ripped my heart out, one piece at a time. Then he quoted Bible verses to me, in a twisted way for his benefit. Did he really think that excused the way he was treating his wife?
For more information see my book, “Love and Abuse on 40 Acres,” click here.