For confidentiality, let’s call the main characters of this true to life story: “Brad” and “Angelina”.
To raise awareness about online romance in social networking sites;
To provide tips on how to survive after a failed marriage; and
To prevent similarly situated cases from occurring in the future
Social networking sites are sources to millions of people worldwide for anything, e.g. business, job search, love, marriage, as in name it, you got it! It was here that Angelina, a pretty, single and young urban professional Filipina in her late 20’s met her husband Brad, an Australian of her age group, good looking and with a “charismatic air”.
In social networking sites, Facebook for instance, a person can easily make friends with people he/she doesn’t even know. That’s how the love and friendship of Angelina and Brad started. They befriended each other, chatted and shared experiences and eventually fell in love before they met in person. After a few months, the said love blossomed into a husband and wife relationship; they got married in Manila sans church blessings. Angelina left the Philippines to join his husband who was an expatriate (expat) in Hongkong. It was here and at the early stage of their marriage when the problem began.
The first week in her husband’s place was like “heaven on the 7th floor”! Everything was just about perfect and the honeymoon stage made it more exciting and wonderful. They had the best of dreams for each other, the best of promises as in giving her the moon and the stars, and the best of everything, the undying love!
However, only after a month of living together, Angelina’s “starry eyes” turned into “teary eyes”. Brad started to display the “real him”, showing tantrums when he’s pissed off even in minute details. While it may be normal for some people to feel and act like Brad particularly since getting married and living with someone is a big adjustment, and that both husband and wife should get to know and get use of each other’s personal space and norms, getting mad unreasonably however, is another story.
Angelina on her part, tried very much to understand Brad’s actions and learned to persevere just like a typical loving and caring Filipina. There were times though that Brad acted as a super “hero” to her, as in supporting and comforting her even to the extent of cooking and serving her with delicious meals, and spending with her in their memorable moments. But during the times that he’s not in good mood, he turned nasty to her. Such action was just crazy and unthinkable, particularly that they were still in their honeymoon phase.
When I asked Angelina about what happened, why did their love for each other turned sour in such a very brief period, it was Brad’s heart which changed overnight, she replied. Regardless of what happened, Angelina was and in fact is still currently in love with Brad.
Despite her effort to save the marriage, it didn’t work out. Brad had finally decided to leave her and end the relationship so cruelly, after a couple of months of marriage. Her world suddenly spun, her dreams were shattered.
While Angelina didn’t provide details on Brad’s philandering, she later found out that he was a real “cheat”; he was dating another woman, probably both of them at the same time, even before their marriage. Angelina had no idea, not a single hint, that she got married to a serial cheater and a dirty lying slug! Despite this, she forgave and gave him another chance.
b. Marriage for Convenience
Brad didn’t tell his family, office mates and friends that he got married in the Philippines. As a matter of fact, he told Angelina to keep their relationship secret until they have a baby. He wanted to remain his single status but he promised her that he will divulge the secret to everyone when the right time comes. Unintentionally however, Angelina when asked one time by their friends about their relationship, honestly told the truth which made him very angry. Even the use of his surname was an issue, he didn’t like her using his name. As such, Brad had no option but to tell his friends that indeed they got married but that it was only for convenience purposes. What? A marriage for convenience? And this made Angelina feel even more sad and depressed.
Brad didn’t want Angelina to be a “stay at home” wife. Barely more than a week of her arrival and after touring a little of the city, Brad had asked her to look for a job. He didn’t like the idea that Angelina would merely look for a 5-day regular office job. Note Angelina wanted to reserve the weekends for domestic matters and to spend more time with him. Instead, Brad encouraged and pushed her to look for a 6-7 day employment opportunity so she could earn soon, earn more and share with the household expenses. Brad thought Angelina would be a burden to his finances in the event she would not be able to find work. Brad had so many dreams to fulfill such as buying his dream house and other luxury items. To him, living with a jobless wife was unprofitable and useless. When Brad learned that Angelina had to quit the job for some reasons, he easily dumped her despite the latter’s plea, disregarding his love for her. What a flimsy ground for leaving her. Oh, what a truly selfish jackas! He didn’t care about the marriage and he didn’t care and love his wife, not an iota of it. Brad loved himself, and that was the sad reality.
It is true that every relationship has ups and downs, much more for husbands and wives. But these ups and downs are in fact what life is all about and that make it worth living. Husbands and wives should be able to deal with domestic drudgery including the hashing out of practicalities of life. A lot of patience and perseverance are needed to understand the intricacies of marriage.
While some online relationships worked for some, it didn’t pay off for others. Brad and Angelina’s case was a classic example of a love affair that emanated on the Web which failed.
Obviously, what happened to Brad and Angelina’s marriage was not of the woman’s fault by any means. Here you have a wife who simply wanted to love and serve his husband and live happily with him. But the husband had secret agenda in his mind without her knowing from the very beginning. Brad could probably be one of the tricksters on the Web; he had a smooth-tongue of a well practiced Narcissist! He abandoned his wife in favor of his own selfish pursuits. For Angelina, all she knew was that this man loved and proposed marriage to her, the man of her dreams who promised to build a life with her, unfortunately the man turned out a “fake”.
When Angelina confided her story to me via Internet, I was both vexed and perplexed. I felt it was unfair for Angelina to go through the agony and the pain of break up and abandonment just because of one man’s irresponsibility and unfaithfulness. But it had happened already, and she had shed so many tears.
As of to date, Angelina is living alone in a foreign land, struggling to move on and has decided to focus her time on working to sustain his day to day needs. But in her lonely times, what happened to their marriage still haunts her. In fact, she wanted to initiate and open communications with Brad. She still loves him despite what he did to her. She requested my “sisterly” advice on what to do and how to survive after the failed marriage.
My Useful Tips would like to recommend the following to Angelina for her to survive the failed marriage and move on with her life in a place far from home:
1. To pray fervently to God and the Holy Spirit for enlightenment, guidance and for emotional and physical healing. As the saying goes, prayers can move mountains.
2. To stop contemplating on initiating a tete-a-tete conversation with him. She might only get hurt if he’ll not respond positively. Even if he is still interested with her, he’s neither worth the try nor the effort. She should not beg and plead for him to be with her again. Normally, men get turned off when women run after them. Maybe in the future if she is ready to face him and with no intentions to win him back, that would be the time to talk and patch up.
3. To stop crying anymore, enough of it. She has been crying so much. He’s not worth it, by the way. Avoid worries and depression. It might affect her health too. Be nice, friendly and portray a happy and positive disposition in life. God loves her.
4. To take care, pamper and love herself. Change for the better, even the physical appearance, probably a new hair do or wardrobe. Make herself feel good about herself and the beauty and goodness inside her will shine through.
5. To allow herself to learn new subjects and other areas of interest while she still has the enthusiasm to study further. If she has no enough money for higher studies, at least enroll in short term technical courses, such as web or graphic design which are in demand these days.
6. To avoid thinking of him and their happy moments together. Focus on the present and future. If possible, dispose all of the things that reminds her of him. Everything about him is just a part of her past. He married her for convenience; he considered and treated her like a material thing. But in reality, he lost the wonders and the valuable gems inside her which are the most important. He didn’t deserve her love, at all.
7. To maintain contact with her family and loved ones back home. They are the people who will really be at her side, no matter what.
8. Last, but not least, do not go straight into another relationship especially on the Web. She should be smart about online love relationship before making it too deep. She has to learn the lessons of her past relationship. It would also be good to have a careful calculation and assessment of the background of men coming to her life. For example, there may be need to check if the guy has health problems, e.g. bipolar disorders and the like. I may not be a medical practitioner but Brad may be suffering from any mental illness or episodes of lucid intervals. The way Brad violently reacts to certain matters is something odd and questionable.
There is actually nothing wrong going out with other men but not so soon and after what happened to her. Socializing with friends and with a group of “good” company may temporarily ease the pain but is no guarantee for absolute happiness. She should be extra cautious to take the leap , there are so many “fake” men around, hence, she should not get emotionally and physically attached to men at an early stage.
Should you have other comments/advices for Angelina, please indicate your suggestions below. Thank you.