I have been dating this man that I met at work for a little over a year now. Our relationship developed very quickly and we both have/had very strong feelings for each other to the point where the topic of marriage came up frequently. In the beginning, the first few months, he had expressed to me that his parents wanted him to marry someone from Afghanistan or an Afghan girl living here (he is Afghan as well), but that he wanted to be with me and see where things go. So, the prospect of our relationship going the distance had always seemed to be improbable, but he didn't want to let go and neither did I.

While we were dating, his parents repeatedly urged him to "consider" marrying this girl or that one and he confided in me about the pressure he was under. I'm Indian and have had the same pressures impinged on me by my parents (which resulted in an arranged marriage and then divorce), so I empathized with him and told him that I would stick by his side until he made his decision about who he wanted to marry. As the months passed, he and I took many vacations- to Hawaii, Miami, Key West, Saint Lucia, Barbados and San Diego and we became closer and more emotionally and physically connected. He was finishing up dental school and I had a pretty steady job, so I funded our trips, with him committing to pay for half of the expenses later when he graduated and became a dentist.

In December of last year, about four months into our relationship, I found out that I was pregnant and told him while we were in Hawaii. I discovered I was pregnant about two weeks before I told him about it as I was trying to figure out what I wanted, because I knew what his response would be. He is a Muslim man and was a virgin prior to meeting me and apparently was very religious prior to meeting me as well. He blames me for his relative departure from Islam and says that I corrupted him and introduced him into the world of sin (these are the sins, according to him: we drank occasionally, ate a couple of Marijuana-laced edibles- legally, travelled, laughed, enjoyed each other's company and had sex- none of this was permissible in the eyes of his religion because we are man and woman and shouldn't even have any sort of physical encounter between us [this is not my interpretation of Islam by the way, this is just what he had told me]).

So, of course, as soon as I told him that I was pregnant he immediately told me that I had to get rid of it or else he would disappear from my life completely and I could do whatever I wanted. He would never see me or the baby again if I decided to keep it. We had a few turbulent weeks after that, but he continued to stay in touch even after we came home from Hawaii, awaiting to hear my decision. I ultimately decided to have an abortion and he came with me to the appointment and held my hand during the whole procedure (it was done via vacuum aspiration because I was over 12 weeks pregnant).

We held on to each other after that and never broke up, though many of my close friends thought I was crazy for staying with someone who would have just left his child to grow up without knowing a father. We hung on and hung on and went on a few more vacations and finally this past August, he told me that he was getting engaged in 2 weeks to a girl he and his family had dinner with that night. I was crushed, but I knew that this was an eventuality that I probably would have to face. (I think reality really struck for me that I would never be good enough for his family on the three separate occasions when he pushed into his closet to hide while his family showed up to his house uninvited. The last time that had happened, I was in his little closet for 3 and a half hours and just couldn't fathom why I persisted being a secret. I am 29 years old, he is 28 and I should have left him a long time ago.)

They had the formal engagement and the night before his engagement, he and I had our "last" night together, or at least it was supposed to be the last one. We had a great time and though I was sad and kept wondering why I wasn’t good enough to fight for.. I was ready to let go. I woke up the next morning and felt okay, I didn't cry myself to sleep the night prior and I actually woke up somewhat optimistic and full of energy. He and I decided the night prior that we would stop communicating and move on with our lives and that he would Venmo me the money he owed me once he found a job (his parents paid for dental school, so he is debt-free and would have no problem in paying me). Unfortunately that agreement did not even last 8 hours- he sent me a text asking how I was doing, if I was sad. I debated whether or not to ignore his text, but ultimately, I caved and replied a couple of hours later.

That was about five months ago and he and I are still together. Initially after his arranged engagement, I was very hesitant in going back to him because forced or not, he was engaged, but he kept telling me that he would try to break things off and tell his parents about me. He would tell me that she is the other woman because he loved me and I was with him prior to any of this happening. But is she the other woman or is it me? It was a trap and I have finally realized it. He doesn't want me to move on or be with anyone else and in the process of having me on the side, he has gotten to know the girl he is engaged to. She is 17 years old and still in high school, but I guess a 17 year-old girl marrying a 28 year-old man perfectly alright in their culture.

I found out earlier last week that the engagement was a lie as well. He is actually Islamically married to her and that after their public wedding in late February, they can start living together. And all the while, I have been living with him after he moved out of town for his job (I work remotely now, so I moved with him). I confronted him about it and he lied to me and said that they were just engaged and that he didn't want to talk about her anymore. I've discovered so many things that he has lied to me, his family and his child bride about and I am finally, finally leaving him like I should have long ago.

I am leaving the country for a few months just to get away and heal my heart and mind from the constant reminders of sorrow I have here. What would you suggest? Should I unearth the deceit and deception that he has embroiled us in, or should I just run for my life and be happy to get away?

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What is your intention?

If it is to hurt someone but let them know the truth as a warning them maybe tell.

If it is to punish and be vendictive. 

Walk away...   

You have the power to destroy three or more lives, or to just move on and improve yours.

I know its a hard decision.
I told the APs wife, and I still dont know If it was the right call...
She needed to know. But not from me...
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You are the Other Woman. What he did to you was terrible! Absolutely terrible. Bordering on abuse. Telling you to stay in a closet for 3 1/2 hours is kidnapping. 

There are decent men men out there. Regardless of their religion. You did not force him to have sex, or drink, or eat edibles. If he chose to do those things, he is responsible for his action. I don’t know much about the Muslim faith, but I highly doubt any God is worth worshipping if He blames the woman for tempting that man. 

You are worth loving. You are worth being put on a pedastle and worshipping. You are worth being introduced to any man’s family. You are worth the things you feel you deserve. Don’t settle for second. It’s not right. No matter what he has said to you! 

To tell or not to tell: that’s your call. There are plenty of arguments for both sides. You need to take care of you. If you hope that by telling, he will run to you, don’t be fooled. He won’t. He will be angry and mean to you. If you hope to help this young girl, then tell. I would do it anonymously and disappear from his life. 

Please protect yourself self from this man. He is not a good one. And I promise, there are plenty out there who are!
Female BS Married 18 yrs
DDay 3/7/2017 through 5/15/2018 and counting. 
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Please do not have anything to do with this man. Please focus on taking good care of yourself. Try to gain some insight into why you would consider staying with a man who did not honor you privately or publicly.
We set ourselves up for disappointment when we seek to change others; we can only change ourselves. 
Blessings and good luck to you. From my perspective you are extremely fortunate not to be married to this man, and now have the chance to grow and learn from this experience. May you come to appreciate your own great value and worthiness.
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It really doesn't matter which one of you is technically the "OW" - what matters is you are being messed about and triangulated by a narcissistic jerk.
PLEASE run for the hills run hard and fast and have NO contact with this toxic man ever again - he locked you in a closet!!
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Thank you all so much for your support!

I decided to leave the country and let things fall where they may with their relationship. I'm far away now, but the heartbreak is ever-present and burdensome and I'm not quite sure how long it will take to heal. I feel grateful to be able to have the opportunity to leave and distance myself from him.. but I still have the constant nagging thought of why I wasn't enough for him. I guess that question isn't even legitimate because as one of my good friend's has said time and time again, "He never saw you as a person, you were just an object to him." 

I do wonder though and maybe you all can tell me, if it's ever possible to be okay with the wanted disappearance of memories? I mean life ultimately seems to be a cultivation of memories and they are some of our most prized possessions.. but, the pain of going through heartache renders even the happy memories with our heartbreakers undesirable to recount. I feel lucky that I have only had about a year and a half with this man, but almost every single notable memory of the past year and a half was with him. Now I am laden with the decision to move on and that constitutes some form of a non-surgical, autophagic lobotomy of reminiscences I once held so dear. I am having trouble with this because it seems counter-intuitive to life and living itself, but at the same time it is necessary to function and not become a constant melancholic puddle of tears. 

How did you all fight the feelings of holding on to the good times while wanting a pathway to forgetting as well? Is there a way to do both? No matter how hard I try to stay in the present moment and rejoice in my newfound freedom, feelings of grief and envy for the other woman set in. Can anyone suggest a way to combat this?
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First - you MUST accept that YOU are enough - HE is the one who lacks character.  Recall that Beyonce, Julia Roberts and Tiger Woods Nordic Beautiful wife were all cheated on and I assure you these men was always downgrade.  He has a hole is his heart that can NEVER be filled - you are literally trying to fill a bucket that is leaking from the inside.  So he needs constant flattery and the attention of multiple women to feel that he s a real man.  REAL men, like, care for and love, REAL women, warts and all.

Real men say "I'm not happy, lets talk or lets go to a counselor, or I want to break up" they don't string along multiple women so they always feel wanted. 

I am also struggling with the loss of many years of what were happy memories.  Remember that you tried your best and you were "all in" even if he wasn't.  I posted some trite but true sayings on my laptop screen in early post Dday - You can't start the new chapter if you keep rereading the last one.  Don't look back, you're not going that way.

Healing a broken heart is not easy, but you can move on and find a happier fuller life.  Life with this man would have been a string of heart breaks, because the problem wasn't you it is him

I posted this on another thread, but I find some comfort in it:
"Love is never wasted, for its value does not rest upon reciprocity." C. S. Lewis
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