“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Prelude To A Dialectic Allegory
This post is about truth, light, and love. It is about higher consciousness. It is about moving more fully into the light — the awareness of truth — and allowing this light to guide us, teach us, and reveal to us the deepest forms of darkness. It is about recognizing this darkness — seeing its beauty, charm, and compelling nature for what it really is: an alluringly-crafted facade concealing a thoroughly heartless, calculating, self-indulgent evil — to help us make well informed decisions, and protect ourselves and those we love from the wiles of such well-disguised whores, con artists, and bullies.
The post is not about judging or punishing people for making the choices they make. It is about holding them accountable to truth. For example, regarding relationship agreements, such accountability could relate to 1. truthful disclosure prior to entering relationships and 2. following through with commitments. For instance, if Rebeccah has made no commitments of exclusivity, monogamy, or marriage; and if she chooses to date and share sensuality with multiple people at once; then this is clearly her choice, and only her business. If Rhonan develops a deeper relationship interest in Rebeccah, expresses this interest to her, if they share their past and present habits, histories, and lifestyle choices and then decide together to engage in a committed relationship; then any choices either of them make related to their commitment become the business of both parties. And if either of them has misrepresented any of the information about their past or present — information that decisions to commit were based upon — then this, too, becomes the business of both parties.
This just seems like common sense to most of us, but the liars, deceivers, and cheaters under study don’t see it that way — because for them it is always and only about them — and their ability to control what is happening and cover up their deception. They don’t value and usually fail to follow through with commitments. Their only real priority is getting what they want, avoiding what they don’t want, and removing anything that gets in the way. They don’t mind commitments as long as such promises don’t interfere with them getting what they want — but the minute they do, their vows become the enemy of their only real priority — their self-indulgent ways. They sometimes even look at violating commitments as a challenge — to see how many times and in how many ways they can break them without getting caught. It is really hard for most of us to relate to — and that’s one of the reasons I’m writing this post.
I say these things with great compassion for those whose minds are filled with such self indulgent evil, narcissism, and other addictions; and with great love, protection, and empathy for those of us who have been, currently are, or could become unsuspecting victims of their deception. I use the terms liars, deceivers, and cheaters as colloquial descriptions of those under study — terms that we can easily relate to based on what they actually do. It might be helpful to think of them as addicts — addicted to sensual pleasures, addicted to sexual attention, addicted to other forms of ego attention (being right, being pretty, being smart), addicted to rushes or thrills, addicted to their appearance (classic narcissism), addicted to control, addicted to short-term gratification. They usually hate themselves because of what they are doing, but just keep doing it because their craving for the ego gratification is stronger than their conscience or self control.
They might say something like “I really don’t want to be doing this anymore, but I just can’t stop myself!” Sometimes they are crying out for help when they share even the tip of the iceberg with us. So please remember that this post is about healing and growth, through a focus on truth, light, and love. It is intended to help us identify those perpetrating the darkness of deception, and help everyone affected by it — including the liars, deceivers, and cheaters; become aware of what is really going on, and make conscious, well-informed decisions based on this awareness.
Those living in darkness could simply dismiss these words — and may have already done so — for the reasons mentioned above, and those that follow. If they are still reading, then it might be to learn from this post how to become better liars, deceivers, and cheaters. But this post won’t work that way — it will only expose them to higher vibrations of truth, of light, of love. So keep reading. And maybe the goodness in them is really reaching out for help — and maybe, by holding them accountable, we can help strengthen them until they have the strength to control themselves. Maybe …
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
We’re taking this journey together to learn how to more easily recognize such liars, deceivers, and cheaters; and remove them from our lives. While doing this, we need to keep the vibration of our consciousness high, so we don’t let the darkness we’re being exposed to pull us down into it. Let’s focus on the love — through developing a greater awareness of truth. For instance, we don’t want to focus on feeling hurt, being taken advantage of, being angry, or feeling mistreated; we want to focus on seeing things more clearly for what they really are, becoming more aware of the truth of our life circumstances, accepting this truth without trying to avoid or deny it because it makes us uncomfortable, protecting ourselves from its destructive effects if relevant, and taking steps to reveal it for what it is and remove it from our lives — in short, focusing on the love by becoming more aware of and acting upon the truth. And, in case you didn’t know …
If negative emotions like hurt, sadness, worry, or fear enter our consciousness; then we should just welcome them, connect them with the truth of what is causing them, let them wash over us like a wave without lingering on them, and then re-focus on higher things. We need to be careful not to allow these emotions to intensify and draw us down into them. If we do, the darkness will immediately take advantage of our emotional vulnerability by attacking and seizing control over us. This is also what our ego will be trying to do — as this is how it gains control over our mind. Darkness and our ego are allies — partners in crime — so we need to make sure our ego doesn’t gain control while we’re dealing with the darkness. If you can’t control your negative emotions, then you might want to consider making use of the methods recommended in the below section about maintaining your mental clarity and emotional control, to keep such negative emotions from making you vulnerable to the darkness.
In order to maintain a higher vibration, let’s focus on the love — the love of truth, the love of goodness, the love of our spirit, the love of justice, the love of personal responsibility, the love of a special someone, the love of our children, the love of family, the love of trusted friends, the love of light. Those perpetrating the darkness may not leave us much to love (once we have discovered the truth about them), but we can feel compassion for them, while simultaneously focusing on our love for those things mentioned above. Maintaining these higher vibrations, while concurrently holding on to our awareness of the lower vibrational frequencies, will change everything. It will make it easier for us to clearly recognize and effectively remove ourselves from dark, destructive situations. It will make it happen with greater ease, naturalness, confidence, and clarity. It will expand the scope of the light to naturally reveal the liars, deceivers, and cheaters for who and what they really are. And, by focusing on the love, we will be at a high enough vibration that we will be able to recognize and reveal their deception without being drawn down into it.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
*The darkness of deception discussed in this post does not refer to the secretive methods needed by those in abusive, coercive, or otherwise unsafe situations to cope and survive until being able to leave them. Such methods are sometimes needed to protect ourselves and our kids from harm.
– End of Prelude –
“An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. ‘A fight is going on inside me,’ he said to the boy.
‘It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.’ He continued, ‘The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.’
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, ‘Which wolf will win?’
The old Cherokee simply replied, ‘The one you feed’.”
Although I don’t believe we all still have a continuous, terrible battle between good and evil going on inside us, I do believe that, until we overcome the destructive influences of darkness and our ego — which encourage narcissism, self indulgence, addiction, and deception — the point of this parable is relevant — evil will win over good if this is what we feed. But, ironically, when it comes to wolves or other wild things, they are free from the conscious perception of the good and evil of the human mind — they are that which occurs naturally without being altered — they are truth.
“I come into the peace of wild things, who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief.” from The Peace of Wild Things by Wendell Barry
My Grandma and Columbo
When discussing crime dramas on a lazy Sunday afternoon with my sparkly Grandma, she told me, while sipping on some sweet tea in the shade of an old magnolia tree, that her favorite detective of all time was Columbo. She said this was because he, as a highly successful Los Angeles homicide detective, used his humble ways and ingenuous demeanor to winkle out even the most concealed of crimes. She said that when suspects reacted with anger, arrogance, self righteous indignation, condescension, defensiveness, or threats, he remained extremely calm, played along, acted like he believed/agreed with them, was always humble, even to the point of playing dumb, and then proceeded with his investigation, after gathering more information from his interactions with them. By him agreeing with them, they didn’t think he was on to them. By him remaining calm and humble, they thought he was stupid or weak. I guess the writing for this series pretty accurately portrayed the narcissistic, histrionic, and sociopathic personality profiles — the self indulgent pleasure seekers; the smooth, convincing, attention-seeking liars; and the cold, calculating, conscienceless users; respectively. So we’re going to incorporate Columbo’s methods into our deception-detecting strategies. Thanks, Grandma!
Understanding this Work of Heart
This work is evolving into a dialectic allegory, as well as my earnest attempt to paint a personality profile of the deepest kind of darkness, as the fulfillment of my duty to warn. Darkness, in this belletristic beatitude — this luminous essay on life and love, is not related to the light and shadow of spirit, both equally as truthful and needed. The darkness depicted in this story is the absence of the light of truth — it is the darkness of deception.
“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” Desmond Tutu
Focusing On the Light in Others
Sometimes we find ourselves dancing with darkness before realizing just what it is that we are holding in our arms. As someone who is primarily spiritual, my natural style is to focus on the light in others and in doing so may overlook the darkness permeating their human personality. This is because I am truth, I am light, I am love — so I naturally see these things in the spirits of others — even if they are a negligible and unconscious part of their human personalities. By contrast, for those living primarily in darkness, they tend to see the darkness in others, even when these others are primarily light, because this is who and how they are. So, I guess we tend to see others based on how we are — whether we see ourselves for who we really are or not (for instance, if we lie, deceive, and are unfaithful, but talk ourselves into believing that we are honest and moral, or are justified in doing what we are doing; then we will still see others as being destructive people because this is who we really are).
Vibrational Frequencies And The Range Of Our Perception
Another thing that keeps loving, balanced, and otherwise spiritual people from noticing the presence of darkness is the frequency of its vibration. The light of spirit vibrates at frequencies that are much higher than the darkness of deception. So unless spiritual people intentionally broaden the range of their vibration in order to perceive lower vibrational frequencies, the lower vibrations of darkness will go undetected under their higher vibrational radar. Similarly, since those living in the darkness of deception are incapable of perceiving things at the higher vibrational frequencies, they can only see people based on the lower vibrations of their dark, deceptive minds. Spiritual things vibrate at frequencies well above those they are able to access (above their radar). So if someone repeatedly suspects or accuses you of lying, deceiving, or cheating; and you’re just not like that — then maybe they are. If you are like that, then try something new and tell your partner the truth.
“Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.” Buddha
They Really Don’t Care: No Matter How They Seem It Is Always and Only About Them — Anything Else Is A Performance, A Deception — Observe It But Don’t Believe It
These self-indulgent narcissists really don’t care about us at all (although they can really act like they do, or confuse us by defensively making us feel like we are the ones who did something harmful to them). Such deceivers are often the most charming, attractive, and persuasive of us all; and may even consider it an accomplishment to have fooled us or taken advantage of our love and trust — as if they have outsmarted us or beaten us in a game. Since they have usually practice lying and deceiving their entire lives, their performances are often flawless and undetectable. And all the sneaky, secretive, dishonest things they continuously do to cover up their deception are as automatic for them as simply sending a text is for someone else. I’ll share more about this below.
Further Defining Darkness
The concept of darkness, from a spiritual perspective, is itself a shadowy specter — an ambiguous concept — that is often used as if equivalent when carrying widely different meanings. In this post darkness refers to the darkness of deception, within which the light of truth is obscured, disguised, or otherwise covered up in the destructive service of untruth and our ego. This darkness serves no useful purpose. It is a hiding place for lies, manipulation, and other forms of intentional misrepresentation.
Like the darkness of night in the material world, where things can more easily be hidden, the darkness of deception is the concealing equivalent for our thoughts and feelings. The darkness of deception is where our ego, through its denial, avoidance, and defensiveness, covers up the truth and replaces it with fiction that serves our purpose and makes us feel more comfortable doing things we should be uncomfortable doing. It creates a form of darkness within which we can hide from the light of truth.
Truth exists in the light, where that which occurs naturally stands revealed. The darkness of deception covers up the truth, disguises it, and creates a hiding place where we can run away from truth, responsibility, and priorities and believe whatever we want — like we are doing something that is alright — or even good — until the truth shines through a crack in our defensive walls — and then we can just quickly shove another lie into that crack and dive back into the darkness and do it all over again — or we could choose to do something different — like feed the good wolf.
The Tip of the Iceberg
Another thing to realize is that, if someone this pathologically deviant shares a secret with you about something horrible they have done, it is probably just the tip of the iceberg. They may be desperately wanting to tell you the whole truth, leave their dark past behind, and share a deep and abiding love with you in the vulnerability of spirit; but the likelihood is that their self indulgent habits, attention seeking cravings, or other addictions will prevent them from following through. And before you beat yourself up, please understand that their failure to follow through has nothing to do with you.
After revealing the tip of the iceberg, if you ask them if this is everything — if they have shared it all — they will probably say yes, and that they haven’t done anything like that for years. This can go on for weeks, or even months — with them sharing a little more, then a little more — each time saying that they have now shared everything, that there is nothing else, that they have now been completely open and honest — and then there’s more, and more, and more, and more, and more. What I have learned the hard way is that there is usually a whole lot more, and they are usually still doing it. For instance, if someone says that they were a “really bad person” in their past, and that they were a “real slut,” and that they did a lot of “really bad things”, and that they stopped doing this years ago — there is a very high probability that it is still happening in the present.
So if someone tells you this, this is a big red flag, and you need to broaden the scope of your radar and start watching actions much more closely than words — and ask trusted others to help you monitor what is going on (especially if you have fallen in love with them). I’ve been with people who were so cold, heartless, and brazen that they had the person they were sleeping with and lying to me about present when they were talking to me on the phone about how much they loved me and how trustworthy and committed they were. Some people cam put on a simply stellar performance, believing that they are convincing us of how much they care — when they care about nothing but themselves, getting what they want, and destroying anything that interferes with their self-indulgent ways — with no conscience or concern for the hearts and lives of others — including their own families. Anything that fails to support their narcissistic, self indulgent pursuits is expendable — anything — even their own children!
Even Their Own Children
In fact, if their kids stumble upon their deceptive practices, then they might respond to this by letting these kids do whatever they want — including drugs, shoplifting, unprotected casual sex, and pornography (among other things) — in exchange for the kids keeping their secrets (the parent will keep the kids’ secrets if the kids keep the parent’s) — while saying that they are making their kids their highest priority. So they enable their kids in harmful behaviors and destructive lifestyle habits, teach them how to be liars, deceivers, and cheaters from an early age — while making them co-conspirators in the cover-up of their own deception — while saying they are putting their kids first. And as long as no one finds out, they continue believing their egoistic delusions that make it all seem OK (because they continue getting what they want without getting caught). This example is based on a true story. Helping these kids is another reason to reveal such darkness and hold its perpetrators accountable.
Defensive Rage Is Used to Redirect Focus, Blame the Victim, and Regain Control
Such liars, deceivers, and cheaters always have an immediate argument, defense, and justification for everything — and they are masters at angrily flipping any potentially revealing situation back around on those asking them questions — skillfully making it seem like the person who is asking them the question is the one who did something wrong — to quickly get the focus off of them and on someone else. If someone is doing this to you, they are hiding something. Don’t engage; don’t own it. It isn’t you. Just play along, express compassion for how upset they are, remain calm, caring, and loving; watch for further clues; and take notes. It might help to think of how a supervisor would do this in the workplace.
Engaging and Explaining
And sometimes they even succeed at convincing us that we did something to them — and we find ourselves wanting to explain ourselves, help them see the truth of what we were actually doing, etc. — when all of this was part of their strategy to shift the focus off of them and on to us. They are taking advantage of the fact that we care about them, care about being open and honest, want to make sure they understand what we were really doing and what it meant — and by the time we finish, we are the ones who have explained ourselves to them, and they have succeeded at redirecting the focus off of them on to us — and then, when they so graciously accept our explanation (which wasn’t needed in the first place), we feel relieved and happy — and have often forgotten what the real issue was — where it all started — and they are sitting back gloating about how well they played us this time (again, as if they have won some kind of victory by succeeding at deceiving us and blaming us for what they did).
If this happens to you, then go back and address the original point, watch for their defensive flipping, try not to engage this time, and calmly stick with your position. They will probably intensify in these defensive flipping methods before shifting to a different strategy. If they try this one a few times and it isn’t working, then they will usually shift to strategies of playing the victim (to get you to feel sorry for them), changing the subject (to maintain control), threatening to end the relationship (to startle you into fear mode), or attacking you for something else (to get you to fight back) — all strategies intended to throw you off balance and trigger you into Survival Mode (fight or flight response) — where they will quickly regain control over you again. So do your best to prevent this from occurring. If it does, then journal about it so you are better prepared the next time (or use this knowledge to help you make hard decisions — that might be seeming easier all the time).
I feel a responsibility to share my experiences, what I learned from them, and how I now deal with them; to help you more easily recognize such liars, deceivers, and cheaters, and through this recognition to make it easier for you to remove them from your life before you and those you love have suffered needlessly for their selfishness. I have personally gone through this process with three women in relationships (each successive one being more practiced in the art of deception than the previous one), and have walked scores of clients/students through such discovery and removal processes. As a spiritual teacher, I believe I’ve gone through these things so I can share them with you and help you learn from my experiences so you don’t have to go through them yourselves. I believe another reason I’ve been blessed with these experiences is to show those perpetrating the darkness what love really is — including tough love — and that they are worth it (that they are not their dark decisions — they are their radiant spirits) — in order to plant seeds of truth, light, and love in their hearts.
The Deeper the Darkness, The More Powerful Its Deceptive Strength
The energy of the deepest, most powerful darkness can appear as the brightest, most beautiful light. The more powerful the darkness, the more energy it has to generate illusion, fiction, and facades. Darkness could be looked at as existing along a gradient scale, and the deeper the darkness, the more power it has to generate persuasive disguises, plausible performances, convincing ruses, etc. So the deepest darkness will be more difficult to detect than lesser forms of it. It will probably present as charming, caring, and trustworthy. And when people grow up investing in such darkness, spending their teen and young adult years immersed in it, they are probably still like this — no matter how they seem — and have probably just gotten better at covering it up. So if someone tells you that they had a really dark past, that they were a really bad person, and that they hung out with really bad people doing really bad things; be extra careful because there is a good chance they haven’t changed, and have just gotten better at concealing it.
For an extreme example of how the deepest darkness can have the greatest deceptive strength — how it can appear as charming, normal, and trustworthy until it’s too late — check out this trailer about serial killer Ted Bundy released last weekend. “The upbeat tone of the trailer seems to be on purpose, kind of illustrating Bundy’s charismatic persona on the media, which clashed with his horrible crimes,” commented Gui Porto on the trailer. Within hours of its release, it sparked great controversy from critics who maintain that the movie glamorizes the extremely wicked, shockingly evil, vile actions of this serial killer. I believe the film accurately portrays just how appealing, persuasive, and convincing those perpetrating these depths of darkness can be.
How to Maintain Mental Clarity and Emotional Control While Dancing with Darkness
If you are, or could be dancing with darkness, please consider doing these things to maintain a state of calmness, clarity, and balance. This will keep you from engaging and getting drawn down into it. Remember, focus on the love and keep your vibration high.
- If they start directing hatred, defensive rage, or other forms of extreme negativity at you, politely excuse yourself — for whatever reason — and remove yourself from the situation. If you are on the phone, then just calmly come up with a reason why you need to hang up. If you are at home, then sometimes just going to another room, out in the yard, or getting involved in something around the house is enough to stop it. You could say something like “I’m gonna go downstairs and meditate for a while,” or “I just remembered I need to check on my friend Lea and see how she’s doing,” or “I’m going outside. I’ll check back with you a little later.” If this doesn’t work, then you might need to leave for a while — take a drive, visit a friend, or maybe go to the library. Use it as an opportunity to do something you’ve been wanting or needing to do for a while, but haven’t had the time to get to. If the situation becomes physically unsafe, then go to someone else’s house or a hotel (without disclosing what you’re doing or where you’re going). Removing yourself from these situations is intended to protect you from the harmful effects of such darkness, and to keep you from being drawn down into it.
- Creativity: Let your music, poetry, visual arts, hobbies, or other creative interests help you recognize and release your deeper thoughts and feelings. We want to get them from the inside to the outside. If you are an artist, then let you art become these things. If not, then let your mind and heart go deeply into the art you love, and let it help you find and express your deepest realizations. Here’s an example of an artist doing this — NF: Mansion. and here’s an example of me doing it — Fire Prince: Our Love Will Find A Way.
- Regular Exercise: Establish or maintain a regular routine of cardio, weight training, and stretching.
- Healthy Nutrition: Keep your nutritional needs balanced and regular during such challenging times. Make sure you take your supplements, and you might want to pay more attention to your immune system, stress level, and digestion by taking things like lipisomal vitamin C, lipisomal B complex, and a high end probiotic, respectively.
- Sleep: Make sure you get the sleep you need — even if you have to schedule it for a while.
- Balance your Perspective with Others from your Support Team: When things happen, and you feel your world crashing in on you, talk with the other members of your team. They will remind you of who you are, what the truth is, and help you quickly regain your balance. See the following section to learn more about this team.
- Meditation: Regularly practice whatever forms of meditation work for you. You might want to do more than usual during these challenging times. A simple breathing meditation works really well for many.
- Yoga: Establish or maintain a regular yoga practice. This will help with balance, self control, and overall health.
- Reading: Read things that focus on needs satisfaction, stress reduction, facing fears, self control, happiness, and the empowerment of truth. You might enjoy “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway,” by Susan Jeffers, Ph.D.
- Journaling: Keep a journal that documents what happens and how you feel about it. You might want to do this in a passcode-protected file. You could think of it as another way to recognize and release emotions (as in the Creativity section above)
- Pets and Nature: Spend time with your pets and in nature to feel love and maintain a balance.
How to Identify Liars, Deceivers, and Cheaters
If you are involved with someone who has proven themselves untrustworthy, and/or resembles the above personality profiles; and if you choose to continue your involvement with them until/unless you gather more evidence of their deception; then you may want to consider the following. Remember to focus on the love, live in the light, and search for the truth while doing it.
- Trust your gut. If your intuition repeatedly points to something, believe it and look into it. Take whatever safety precautions you may need to take pursuant to the possible risks in your specific situation. Remember, you are not alone.
- Believe what happens, not what they say. Document, document, document.
- Whatever you do, don’t engage in an argument with them — you will always lose — just by engaging — and they will defensively flip the situation around and turn you into the bad guy.
- Play along with what they say — act like you believe it — keep building them up, telling them how great they are, and being their hero/cheerleader — they are narcissists, and will first eat up the attention and then think you are stupid/unaware if you play along like this and make it seem like you believe them/trust in them/treasure them. Think Columbo. You might want to watch some old re-runs of this series to understand how he did it. Make sure as you are schmoozing them you are also focusing on the love you have for them, the hope you have that they will choose to turn their life around — so your schmoozing will be coming from a place of authenticity.
- Watch for contradictions, inconsistencies, and slip-ups. When you notice them, don’t say anything — just make some notes in a passcode-protected file for later use. The more they think you’re believing their lies, the more they think they’re getting away with it undiscovered, the more they think you’re just a stupid fool who loves them; the less attention they’ll pay to watching their every word, covering their every move, etc.; and the more likely they’ll be to slip up, spill the beans, overlook a detail, fail to delete something or cover their tracks. And if you bring it to their attention, then they’ll go back into hyper-vigilance mode — watching their every word, etc. So just play it cool, go along with everything, and gather the data as it appears until you have enough to satisfy the need to either confront them with the evidence, or remove them from your life because of it.
- At the same time, perform your due diligence, check the phone and cloud records, have multiple cloud back-ups because they will delete the ones they know about. Just know that they are so skilled, sneaky, and practiced in the art of deception that they will do it automatically — as automatically as we would check email or text messages, or play a game on our phone — so you will need to have multiple methods for tracking and backing up data — methods that they are unaware of. Yeah, it’s sad, but necessary. For instance, my most recent deleted the data from both the iPhone and iCloud back-up of the special phone I gave her that was supposed to be just for us, but I had two additional cloud back-ups — a Verizon cloud and a personal cloud (that saved all iMessages and other Apple data) — so I knew everything she thought I was unaware of — and I played along and said nothing — because I was hoping that she would open up and tell me the truth — or if she didn’t, then I would use this knowledge to make hard decisions based on the truth of the deception. If you think they’re not capable of things like this, think again!
- If you need help setting up discrete cloud back-ups, or other methods for tracking or storing data related to location or communications; then you could ask one of your IT friends, consult with a private investigator (regarding apps, tracking devices, private cloud back-ups, etc.), or hire an IT person to help you set it up and learn how to use it. If you have any family/friends/professional connections in fields related to investigation, then this would be a good time to ask for their help. Make sure whoever you ask is trustworthy, make them a part of your team (see below), and don’t feel like you need to do this on your own.
- This is not how honest people usually think or act — but if you suspect you are dealing with someone who is repeatedly lying to you, deceiving you, or cheating on you; and if you want to discover the truth — you’ll need to consider things like this — because otherwise they’ll just keep convincing you that everything is fine, that you were cruel and unjustified in suspecting them, and that they are blameless. I once worked with a married couple within which one party had successfully deceived the other about multiple affairs for 25 years, before being discovered/revealed, because they were so convincing in their deceptions, and because they defensively flipped everything whenever something was suspected. Using these methods, under such circumstances, is simply a conscientious and good faith search for the truth. Even though it goes against our open, honest nature, we need to give ourselves permission to use the methods needed to find the truth, the light, the love. Sometimes tough love is the only kind of love people will let us give them — and sometimes they are crying out for help and hoping we can help them stop living their lives his way — because they can’t stop themselves. Here’s To Love!
- If it was a central, pervasive part of their past, it is part of their present — so watch for the signs, the clues, the indicators — they are probably there all around you. You just didn’t see them because you were focusing on the love, because you were trusting in them, because they were covering it up so well, and because they would become extremely defensive and blame you for something if you ever ventured close to the truth. It isn’t you.
- Watch for changes in their attitude toward you in the absence of changes in your relationship, the way they dress, the attention they place on fitness or appearance, the way they suddenly need to do things differently and without you, increased defensiveness, increased contradictions, general decrease in openness and honesty, decreased interest in intimacy, preoccupation with electronic devices, decreased interest in things they’re usually excited about, and how they seem distant, detached, and disconnected.
- Establish a team of trustworthy, committed people to help you hold them accountable and break their destructive cycles. Think of it as an intervention team. This team may also be able to help you decide when “enough is enough” — when you have reached your limit — empowering you to move on rather than continuing in the dance.
- If needed, hire a licensed private investigator to be part of your team. My attorney’s office gave me my initial referral. They will have access to information, records, and proceedings we can’t legally get to (police reports, TRO Case Ids, residence addresses, phone traces, etc.). They will also be able to follow people, plant video cameras, and collect evidence supporting violations of love and trust being perpetrated by the liars, deceivers, and cheaters. One example of what you could ask for is a “Skip-Trace Investigation.” Employers hire detectives to perform such investigations when suspecting employees of various kinds of trust violations; so why shouldn’t we do it for something as important as our heart, our relationship, or our family? Make sure all members of your team have copies of all forms of the accumulated evidence.
- Talk with your team about the best use of the accumulated evidence, the best timing, and the safest and most effective delivery system. For example, 1. anonymous courier who delivers to addressee only, such as the spouses of the cheaters; 2. advocacy group anonymously formed for this project with delivery to specific social media platforms/without identifying team members; 3. meeting with other parties (like other victims of the deceivers) to present evidence; or 4. simply meeting with the perpetrator (without identifying other team members), presenting the evidence to them (if this is safe), and explaining to them that this is why you are ending your relationship with them and that you and your team will be retaining the evidence indefinitely, and that you sincerely hope they will use this as an opportunity to turn their life around and live up to their beautiful spirit. *By listing these options, I am not recommending any of them for your particular situation. They are simply examples of what you and your team could consider doing after gathering the evidence. Please make sure that this information is not used for malicious, retaliatory, abusive, or criminal purposes. Please use it to reveal the truth and focus on the love.
“Love was born first, the gods cannot reach it, or the spirits, or men….. Far as heaven and earth extend, far as the waters go, high as the fire burns, you are greater, love! The wind cannot reach you, nor the fire, nor the sun, nor the moon: You are greater than them all LOVE!!!” Atharva Veda
Image credit: Scott Broome