"He told me he can't trust anyone because he has been hurt deeply so many times."




Names and details have been edited.

Dear InCase,

I came across your website and started reading your letters from people with past bad internet relationship experiences, and I started crying because one of them sounded so much like me. Your emotions can actually be "raped" online, as one writer noted.

It started innocently enough with e-mail penpals. It wasn't even in the romance penpal section. I answered a penpal ad of a man that was 20 years older than me; it caught my eye because I liked corresponding with men that were in the Vietnam war.

Well, it wasn't long until he started saying he would like to "cyberdate" and talk together online sometime. Well, I was separated from my husband and said that the cyberdating sounded ok with me.

He said from the beginning that he was divorced for many years due to his childhood sweetheart that he married, got pregnant by some other man while he was stationed in Nam. Right off the bat, he set the tone to make me feel sorry for him and "nurture" his feelings.

The next letter, he dedicated solely to telling about how he can't trust anyone because he has been hurt deeply so many times. Well, that seemed to cue me up to protecting his heart, and not suspecting someone of lying that is so preoccupied with worrying about not trusting others. Right? Wrong!

This man must have been planning this from the start --next was the "IMing" (instant message) to each other until one evening he suddenly in the conversation said "I'm in love with you". He then stated he was so afraid that I wasn't who I said I was. So I spent most of my time convincing him. He had sent me one picture of him and said it was a new picture. I was amazed how handsome the person was that looked more like 35 than 55!

Trying to make a long terrible story short, He eventually made the mistake of giving me his last name and what "was" his home address, and I found his home number that was under a woman's name. I called there, and she said that not only had he recently been living with her for 19 years, but they had initially been married, until he got involved with his sister-in-law's sister, and when that woman lied to him and said he had got her pregnant, he divorced his wife, married this woman, but left her three years later and begged to be with his former wife again.

She took him back, but although she begged him to divorce the other woman, he never did! And they have been together for 19 years after!! To make it worse, when I called due to his suddenly not having his e- mail address anymore (he started calling me from his work on his cellphone instead), she said he isn't at their home anymore because he went to live with a 35-year old blonde from his office!

Needless to say, I was absolutely floored. I never thought that kind of "soap opera" could happen to me. By the way, the picture he sent me might have been of him, but it would have had to be an old picture because the woman said he had gray hair....not black like the picture!!

Although I did find that little info. out, I have not called the toll-free InCase number yet, but I am doing so "after the fact" to get all the info on this man that I can, although I have not had contact with him for 7 weeks now. I have cut off all communication with him, and he has finally given up trying to get me back. I must have InCase do research for me to salvage my pride. It is something I must do to get back my self-esteem. This is....unfortunately....a very true story.

Sincerely, M.

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