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Take time with lover

CAROL MARTINDALE, [email protected]

Take time with lover

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THERE?IS?A common thread in all of these confessions – lying, cheating and abuse – and remember abuse doesn’t have to be physical.
For this reason, I would really urge all women (and men) to get to know their partners; be friends, talk a lot and get to know what each of you want in a relationship, from a relationship, and what it means to be in a relationship. Define love and discuss expectations from each other. Most of all, be honest with each other about your feelings, what you want, don’t want, and your choices.
I met my Bajan partner in a nightclub. We had been dancing for a number of years in various clubs and sometimes by chance at parties. We never spoke or exchanged phone numbers. In fact, I couldn’t really say what he looked like and only recognized him by the way he danced! Seven years later I wish to God we had continued dancing as mutual acquaintances instead of becoming partners because that is when my problems started.
We got close after he held my hand during one of our dancing sessions and kissed my forehead. At first I was taken aback because, though we danced together, we had never spoken other than saying, “Hello”. Afterwards we exchanged phone numbers and he called me. Things progressed and we became intimate.
Seven years down the line (and I was blind not to have seen it from day one), I realize that this man had no business being in a relationship with me. Though he wasn’t married, he may as well have been because it now turns out that not only was he already in a relationship with a woman near his home, in another part of London, he also had a woman in Barbados whom he had known for years, and who it seems, was prepared to disrupt her present life – presumably now married or in a partnership with children – to make herself available to my supposed man whenever he visited.  
Also, he maintained a relationship with his previous partner, whom he told me he would always love and that no one would come between them. How foolish I was not to have heard this man’s message to me. Instead, I fell in love with him, but I am a great believer in talking things through and letting people know how I feel, what I’ve been through, what I want, and what I expect.The first signs that things were not going well surfaced quite early in the relationship. He would spend an inordinate amount to time by his brother’s ex – that is all day and most of the evening and night at her on weekends, supposedly taking her shopping because he had made a promise to her as she was ill with sickle cell.  To this day I still cannot see why he had to make a promise to her and spend more time with her than with me, his girlfriend.
I got suspicious and asked him if he was having an affair with her. He told me no but continued the long visits. Once I was going away for six weeks and spent the night with him, but he refused to touch me. Yet asked me to take him in my car to this woman’s house the following day. He spent the whole day and most of the night with her and refused to come by me that evening as he had promised. That incident burned me deeply and to this day is still fresh in my mind.  
I would sit him down and periodically talk to him about what was going on, my suspicions, my expectations and his treatment of me. I would relay to him what my previous partner had done to me (cheating, lying and sleeping with other women) and beg him to let me know if he was doing the same and, if so, to walk out of my life. He always denied he was doing any of these things, but all the time he was doing exactly the same thing.  
The similarities between the two men are remarkable. They both had other women here in England and one in the West Indies (Barbados and Grenada respectively) and it seems both women in the Caribbean were prepared to leave their partners for these men whenever they visited the islands.
I didn’t marry my man nor did I want to for a number of good reasons. First, I was married before and my husband also cheated on me. Second, my Bajan man is not marriage material. He completely lacks responsibility and only works to gamble. Third, I have no desire to marry again. Fourth, I don’t think there are any honest or decent men around, and I cannot deal with lies from grown men – and a large percentage of them behave in this way as compared to women.
But I convinced myself that as I was treating him like a prince he would change because he would see how I was treating him and do likewise to me. What a fool I was. As they say, “a leopard never changes its spots”. I would advise others who are in love to deal early with problems they have with their partner and try to resolve any problems. But if they refuse to change or stop, you should walk away. This is sometimes easier said than done, but try to be strong and walk away; they will not change and any apparent change will only be short-term. My man doesn’t believe he has done me wrong; he is completely amoral.Certainly, after seven years, I can see that this man only stayed at my house because it was near his place of work and he got treated like a husband – three meals a day, washed and ironed clothes, and so on. I truly believe he never loved me; he loved the convenience and easy life staying by me gave him.
He publicly humiliated me when we went out – he would leave me standing by myself in clubs for hours, dance with other women who were supposedly friends, hug and kiss these women right in front of me as if I was invisible.On reflection, I believe that some of these women were his lovers. After returning from Barbados recently from visiting his “special” lady, he told me that he didn’t make love to me because he didn’t “enjoy” me. That is the most humiliating thing a man or woman could possibly say to another person.
I’m sure that I’m not the first nor will I be the last woman (or man) to be in a relationship with such a despicable person. My question is, why and when will it stop? When will men and women enter into a decent, honest and loving relationship without this constant lying, cheating and disrespect for each other?All this has left me devastated because I believed in and trusted my man. This has made me doubt myself and has shaken my confidence. I see no need for such behaviour as most people have choices and there are lots of men and women out there for people to not cheat on each other.  
Why could he not have talked to me and told me where things were going wrong or what he wanted sexually, instead of going from woman to woman?They say that as one door closes, another opens and that every thing happens for a reason. That doesn’t stop the hurt, but at least it offers hope.