Tuesday, February 21, 2006

In Retrospect

According to experts, there are people in the world that prey on others that may be vulnerable for one reason or another. It could be for money or power or control or sex. The more I read about these people, the more I wanted to know about what made a person vulnerable - what were the personality traits that a social predator looked for in a potential target? I started to see myself in the characteristics of a target -- I was a single woman who had never found a perfect mate, I was a woman who wore her heart and passions on her sleeve and I was very trusting. I had morals and a strong sense of guilt. I often made the mistake of revealing too much about myself too soon when I met someone. I don't do that anymore.

I believe that my ex-husband could see all those traits in me when I began to work for him in 1995.

In my opinion, I gave away my weak spots without even realizing it. My greatest weak spot was my love for my family which I believe Rick exploited during the six years of our relationship. I thought he really cared about my parents and my brothers, sister and nieces and nephews. I believe that telling Rick that I could never marry anyone that didn't love my family too was a big mistake. All those wonderful things he did for all of them, the trips he planned for them, the support he showed them never really meant anything. In my opinion, he was exploiting my weak spot.

In my opinion, there were many signs that things weren't quite right. There was the affair he had that ended his first marriage. I recently read a newspaper column that said that unlike the stock market, in human relationships, past performance is an indicator of future behavior. Rick was so convincing when he told me how sorry he was that the affair had happened and that for years he had asked his first wife to go for marriage counseling. There was the relationship he had with his children which in my opinion, was strained at best. But again, Rick explained it away by telling me that his first wife had created the strain by saying mean things about him in front of the children, There was the financial obligation that Rick failed to tell me about in the beginning, the loan from his grandmother, and then when he did tell me he, he misrepresented the facts.

During our marriage, Rick decided that he wanted to pay off his child support obligation early so he came up with a plan and presented the plan to his first wife. She accepted the plan so Rick paid her a sum of money at the end of the year and another sum of money the beginning of the following year. He told his first wife that the money was coming from the bonus he would be receiving. It was not until after Rick moved out that I discovered the money he had paid his first wife came from accounts that he had established for his children. The accounts were funded by money gifted to his children from their great-grandmother. I don't know if his children even knew about the accounts or that their great-grandmother was giving them the money. When the checks were distributed each year, Rick made sure his children's checks were sent to him. I was so horrified when I discovered Rick's paper trail. I believe it was a very deceitful way to use his children's money to pay off his child support obligation. During Rick's deposition, he claimed that he had used his bonus in 2002 to repay the money in the accounts and that he had always intended to do that but he failed to mention that I had telephoned his first wife when I discovered the paper trail to let her know what he had done.