When I started dating this guy, things were going exceptionally well. When I told my friends, they said it sounded too good to be true. I didn’t listen to them, of course, but I ended up learning my lesson the hard way.
I am now writing this as my husband—ex-husband—is serving his five-year sentence for what he did to me and other women.
I hope this can at least serve as a cautionary tale for you and those you care about. I sincerely hope that things like this will not happen to you … but to be honest, I never expected it would happen to me either. At least I get to learn from my mistake and retrieve what I lost. It wasn’t so lucky for others I’ve heard.
Where should I start? Okay, you can call me Lisa if that matters to you. It all started three years ago in a techno club downtown. I remember it was either a winter night or sometime in spring since it was still snowing outside.
You know, one of those nights out with the girls, a glass of wine here and few vodka shots there, and a whole lot of dancing. We were just having a good time. And at the corner of the bar was this guy wearing a dark suit with a navy blue shirt underneath. I gotta admit he dressed well that night—albeit a bit out of place
In case you’re wondering—yes, that bastard later became my husband and then ex-husband.
You know, I was drunk and we started talking. I will spare you all the details—all you need to know is that we ended up at my place and we had a good time. I didn’t even remember his name the morning after … it took me quite a while to recall what happened that night, actually, and luckily my friend’s message reminded me that his name was Jonathan.
For some reason I actually gave him my phone number that night—I must’ve really liked him, which should be a huge red flag in hindsight.
I will admit it, I am not a pretty girl by any standard, no matter what my mom used to tell me all the time. But Jonathan? He’s totally out of my league. He’s well-built, well-dressed, and he claimed that he used to work in a bank.
I should’ve seen that something was wrong there and then, but I guess I was just too lonely. I just wanted to have somebody around, and he happened to be someone who showed interest and I just walked right into it. That’s how they prey on you, playing with your insecurities and getting their ways.
We started going out after that night. As much as I hate to say this now, I did have a good time with him. He was charming and caring, and that’s a guaranteed trick for any woman my age.
Some closer friends of mine did warn me about his intentions—that he was always complying with my demands and listened to whatever I had to say … they said it wasn’t a good sign. I should’ve listened, but I didn’t.
They would show me online stories (like this one you’re reading now) of how these men would get close to someone well established, marry them, only to sell their property shortly after and flee, nowhere to be found again.
But I was like “No way. Come on, who do you think I am? I am still trying to pay off my Honda Civic.” Sure, I have a house that my grandparents left me, but it doesn’t even cost that much. Who’d come after me for my house?
Fast forward six months or so, we were still dating—against all my friends’ expectations, actually—and guess what? He proposed to me.
I can still remember that summer night. We were at this Italian restaurant downtown. He said it was our sixth month anniversary—I actually didn’t know that—and he decided to bring me there for the celebration.
When I walked into the restaurant I already saw some balloons in the distance … I should’ve known better. I know I keep saying that. But seriously, I should’ve known better, so many red flags and yet I walked right into it.
For like an hour we were just having dinner, talking about my job and his plans for the future. Then he said it. “Do you want to have a future together?”
For a moment I had no idea how to respond to that. But then he got on his knees and took out a tiny box. The quartet started walking towards our table, playing some classical tunes whose composers remain a mystery to me to this very day.
I had no idea what to do. Everyone had their eyes on us, everyone at the restaurant, even the chefs walked out from the kitchen. The air was still once the music stopped playing when Jonathan, still on his knee, paraphrased his question.
As you can probably tell by now, against my better judgment I said yes. Actually, it was more like a “Yes …?” I hope you understand the difference there. I was confused. I was overwhelmed. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to embarrass him nor myself—what am I supposed to do if I said no? Run away from that restaurant like a sobbing mess?
The wedding itself was splendid—it was at a local church with maybe a hundred people attending, and we reserved a French restaurant that night for the party.
Now I don’t want to talk much about the wedding itself but a good friend of mine did approach me before the ceremony. I still remember the conversation we had that day.
Just as we were rehearsing for the ceremony, one of the bridesmaids, my best friend Angel—that’s not her real name by the way, but she was like an angel to me throughout—came towards me and signaled me to follow her and have a chat.
“Sup?” I asked her right away.
“You sure it’s a good idea?” she asked.
“Sure. Jonathan is a nice guy,” I said.
Look, I still think there’s something fishy about it—just … whatever you do, don’t sign anything stupid, okay?”
Guess what? That’s exactly what I did. Signed something stupid.
When we were at the party that night, I was utterly wasted. I tried to compose myself, but Lord, that wine was good and I just couldn’t resist. I must’ve had at least three bottles of those that night. Don’t judge. It was my wedding night. I could do whatever I want.
That night was a bit of a blur at this point. I can remember some mundane conversations with my aunts (the wine definitely helped with that part), a lot of dancing that may or may not have involved me dancing on the tables, and Jonathan walking towards me at some point with something in his hands.
I think it was a document of some sort, but I seriously cannot remember what exactly.
I do remember that the next day I woke up by myself—can’t say I blame him, I must’ve been quite a mess by the end of that night. Eventually, I found him sitting in the kitchen, making one phone call after another. He stopped talking as soon as he noticed me. At first, I thought it was out of courtesy, but now looking back on it? He was definitely into something.
I used to think that married life would be very different, but the first few days after the wedding? It was the same old mundane routine. The only thing that changed was our legal status, nothing much changed other than that. Until the next weekend, that is.
Now that’s a day I will never forget. I remember coming back home after having dinner with my parents and my dad drove me back since I had a few drinks. No, I wasn’t drunk, I was just trying to be responsible cause you know, marriage. But when I walked into the house I noticed something weird.
A lot of the things were gone. Most of the valuables. Even the grandfather clock that my great-great-grandfather bought from Europe—my dad was aghast too since he told me that clock actually cost $15,000 or something, a fact I was only able to find out that day.
The first thing that I tried to do was to call Jonathan—maybe he was home, maybe he saw something.
But no, he never picked up the phone
Things only turned from bad to worse from there. Jonathan was still not answering the phone, and he didn’t come home that night. It seemed that my worst nightmare was coming true.
The next day we decided to call the police and they started looking into it. They checked the CCTV footage nearby and interviewed my neighbors. Guess what? They actually saw a truck coming to my house earlier that day, and Jonathan was still in the house at that time.
Then the police ran a background check on Jonathan—and lo and behold, ladies and gentlemen, this bastard was wanted for fraud and burglaries in Texas. It was then when I found out that I wasn’t the first victim.
The police then reached out to the pawn shops in the area and went through craigslists. Eventually, they found most of the things that were stolen from my house, and Jonathan was arrested two days later.
He remained silent for a long time after his arrest, so we couldn’t gather much info from him—his motives, his backgrounds … nothing. But as we began to piece together the bits and pieces, it all began to make sense.
Here’s my theory—it may or may not be true, but it’s plausible. That bastard saw me at the club, thought that I’d be an easy target, and decided to come to my place for a good time and understand if I’m worth the effort. He wouldn’t be losing anything even if I wasn’t a rich enough target since … well, he did sleep with me that night. But then he noticed the antiques in my house and decided it was worth it.
Still, a lot of work for maybe $40,000 worth of belongings in total, maybe he was really down on his luck when he met me.
And the document that I don’t remember signing? It was a prenup, declaring that he had ownership over my properties as well. That actually made things a bit trickier after his arrest since legally he could actually sell my stuff … but remember what I told you about the wedding night? That I may or may not have been dancing on the table?
It turned out I did, and that bastard happened to hand me the document as I was dancing on the table when someone took a video of that. Checkmate.
There it was. It was apparent that I was in no sober state to sign the paper, and that piece of paper became a piece of trash, just like our wedding certificate.
That’s the end of my story, I guess. I am not even a writer so I don’t know how I am supposed to wrap it up. Well, pay attention to the small things I guess—the devil is in the details. And if something is too good to be true, it probably is. Thank you for reading, and I sincerely hope that after reading this, you won’t fall into the same trap as I did.
Oh right, remember to listen to your friends as well.
What can we learn from this story?
Listen to your friends. They might see something you don’t.
If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Always pay attention to the small details.