"When I first started dating my ex, he was perfect. He was romantic and charming, and there was nothing wrong. Or so I thought.
"Sometimes he was broke, and complained about not having any money, but then other times he'd buy me something expensive out of the blue. Everything he got me was from the same store, and he'd shower me in gifts and coupons to buy clothes from this one place. I started to feel a little suspicious, but then I'd worry that it was all in my head and that I was being a typical jealous girlfriend. He made me believe I was losing it.
"I started almost stalking him, and looking into every little thing he did. After a year of dating, I found out he had been dating another girl for longer than he had been dating me. So he started dating me WHILE HE WAS STILL DATING HER. He denied it and said I was crazy and that I needed therapy. But I went and talked to her and my entire world fell apart.
"She lived in another state, and paid all his bills and worked at the store he always got me gifts from, so they were essentially all from her. He actually told me that he fell in love with me, but needed to stay with her for financial reasons. Apparently she paid all his bills: phone (once we stayed on the phone for eight hours), internet, groceries, and even his medical insurance.
"He asked if we could stay together without the other woman finding out. But even after I told her, she said that she still loved him, and they broke it off, but he ended up manipulating her into getting back together with him. I dumped him, but it was painful being cheated on and living a lie. I'm still trying to figure out how to deal with it." —Aline P.