On effusive praise

In college I knew a couple who looked good on paper. The boy, we’ll call him K, was effusive in his praise for his girlfriend, whom we will call H. He frequently bought her pink roses, pearls, tea sets and things he knew she adored. They were often pictured together at formal events where she could indulge her love of dressing up.

This boy, K, was the younger brother of a boy that I was dating. I met K first, but I felt so much closer to his brother. I did watch the relationship of K & H from the beginning though, and comparing it to my own, was sometimes envious. My boyfriend did not buy me things, take me to fancy parties, or gush over me in his blog. I wondered if I had made the wrong choice. Not out of materialism, but I dangerously let myself ask whether my boyfriend felt strongly about me at all.

But I was wrong. Here is the rest of their story.

This is a typical entry in K’s blog on the topic of his girlfriend, H:

This girl, as it turns out, has unrivaled beautious Looks, and amazingly wonderous Ways. Additionally, she can be described as:

delightful
sassy

hottractive (Several months ago – Her: “I bet you’ve called other girls ‘hottractive,’ thats rude!” Me: “no I made up that word 10 minutes ago specifically to describe you!”)
cutedorable
gorgbeautious
princess-like
 (Year or two ago – Me: “you’re such a princess, we should put a conical hat on you!” Her: “the ridiculous thing is I know you’re really thinking that!”)

more-than-just-hottish
possessing breathtaking beauty

kitten-like

etcetera etcetera

   This entry cannot begin to convey the wonderousness that is my love mustelid H and how I adore her.

They were together for more than three years. I was also friends with her, however, and she wrote this about their breakup:

I found out K kissed another girl (lets call her G) 3 months into our relationship; there was definitive evidence.  He admitted to it, I forgave him, we “moved on.”  G stayed in his life pretty adamantly.  They participated in various organizations together and she wrote various angst-stricken poems about him in her blog.  G also would cut up her wrists because he wouldn’t leave me for her.

I really wish I was making this shit up.

The years passed by, and I just considered this girl a bit of a psycho, and I was still pretty bitter that they hung out quite a bit. G eventually got a boyfriend and all was seemingly peaceful.  Then the boyfriend broke up with G, and everything went to shit.  This was right before I graduated college.  I began receiving “anonymous e-mails” (K did reference them in his blog) with links to a secret online journal G kept, referencing MANY sexual escapades between her and K.  Oh, did I mention G was a virgin?  A freshman virgin?   Well she was.  So I confronted K, and this turned out to be completely true.  K took this girl’s virginity, and fucked her behind my back for the better part of a year and a half.  When I would go out of town for the weekend, he would stay at her place.  Several people in their MUN club thought they were dating, and would be completely surprised when they met me, his “real” girlfriend.

So, why didn’t I break up with him then?

I really wish I could tell you.  Basically, I wasn’t strong enough and didn’t believe I could ever find anyone better.  So then I spent this past year hiding this secret from all my friends, because if they knew they would hate him and I couldn’t have my friends hating him if we were going to date.  I was insanely unhappy.  I’d cry all the time and never be able to tell anyone what was wrong.  We fought all the time. 

And the anonymous e-mails kept coming.

I also got e-mails with links to G’s LJ, entries that used to be friends-only, with comments from K basically talking mad shit on me.  One quote in particular said something like I dyed my hair pink for him and that I try too hard.  He also told her he was going to break up with me and he was so unhappy with me and that I was not a good person.  Guess what were the exact same things he told me about G?  Oh yes, that she was crazy and that he didn’t even like her and that she wasn’t a good person.

Sometimes, the anon e-mails wouldn’t have links.  They would simply say, “oh you are getting really fat” or “you are basically worthless”.  Then I got an email from G’s actual university e-mail saying “I’m Sorry”.   So I looked up the IP address and lo and behold they were the same as the anon e-mails.  When K confronted her about it, G claimed she was having “blackouts” and must have been writing these e-mails during these times she blacked out.

I really wish I was making this shit up.

Finally, I realized I was never going to forgive K, or trust him, so I broke up with him (seemingly out of “no where”) a couple months ago.

That’s it.  And that was the brief version, believe you me.

The conclusion? The praise, the dressy events, the sometimes extravagant gifts — they all hid something ugly from the public eye. He was doing what he wanted to do, regardless of how it made her feel. All those “nice” things were designed to keep her thinking she couldn’t do better than him so that she would stay and he could continue to have his cake and eat it too.

From this I learned that quiet, non-ostentatious ways of showing that you care are probably more meaningful than ways that can be photographed and displayed as evidence. For my birthday, K’s brother took me to see Shakespeare in the park, and let me have 3 desserts from 3 different restaurants instead of making me eat a real dinner. He has also taken me on two road trips to the hot springs of Cañón de Guadalupe in Mexico, and visited me all the way in Hungary. Did I choose the right brother? Well, he may be my ex now, but he is also one of my oldest and best friends.

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