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'Just found out my husband fabricated his entire life. What do I do now?' UPDATED

'Just found out my husband fabricated his entire life. What do I do now?' UPDATED


"Just found out husband fabricated entire life...can I get an annulment, and how do I get him out?"

Here's the original post:

I met my husband four years ago, just before moving from PA to GA. Shortly after my move he followed me, and we fell in love. We lived together from 2015 onward, and in mid-November 2018 we married.

Today I discovered that virtually everything he has ever told me or demonstrated about his life was a complete fabrication. From specific medical issues to jobs (past and present) to education to family relationships to the claim that his first language was not English to phone conversations that never happened to people he knows to...if you can think it, he has lied about it.

We live together but my name is on the lease and I hold the title on both of our cars. He has some belongings in our home, but most of it has been purchased with money that I have earned over our four years together -- plus money from my personal savings account. I am totally open to letting him walk with all of 'his' stuff, and even signing the older car to him.

After a quick internet search it looks like I might have grounds for annulment of my marriage, on the basis of being seriously misled. Do I? What will I need to be able to prove in order to make it work, and is there anything else I need to keep in mind to aim for an annulment instead of a divorce?

He is mentally ill (though quite differently than I was led to believe) and receives SSDI each month, but that is nowhere near enough for him to live on. What is the legal way to get him out of my house and life with minimal risk, damage, and cost to me? Also, do I look for a divorce lawyer in this situation? (sorry if that's a dumb question)

Also also, how does custody of pets work? We have two kittens we got in July and I can't imagine separating them. I also can't imagine him being able to take care of them once we're separated, but I don't know if that matters.

This is what commenters had to say:

reddituser1211 said:

You need to retain an attorney to review the entire situation of your marriage and advise you as to the best way to move forward. What type of end to the marriage is best for you may be more complicated than you are allowing for. Your pets are marital property subject to division in whatever way the end to your marriage is handled.

[deleted] said:

You should definitely consult an attorney. In Georgia you can get an annulment for fraud. It definitely sounds like fraud, because he put so much effort into lying. However you have to prove that it was more than just lies, but lies intended to trick you to marry him. A lawyer knows how to present those facts to the court.

Mental illness is also grounds for an annulment, but it has to be such that he could not consent to the marriage. Again, a lawyer can help with that. Another big issue for a lawyer is limiting your financial risk. You don’t want to pay this guy alimony or lose property to him. So a lawyer can help prevent that.

JoReb said:

You definitely need to get a lawyer ASAP and document document document. Regardless of who is in the lease, in Georgia you will have to file for an eviction if he doesn’t want to leave. That can take a month or two, so keep that in mind.

As far as the kittens go, under normal divorce circumstances in Georgia anything you brought into the marriage you leave with, anything obtained during the marriage is marital property regardless of whose name is on it and would be divided during the marriage.

Hopefully you can sweeten the deal by being super amicable about the car and other personal items in exchange for retaining the kittens without drama. I’m not sure how getting an annulment instead of a divorce would change division of property, though. Definitely get with a lawyer soon.

Cajundawg said:

Make sure your accounts and online stuff is protected - freeze your credit, maybe even have a bank account in your own name (check with an attorney first, though, as this can go against you).

A year after her original post, she shared this update, and it's a doozie:

It's been a little bit over a year since I turned to this community as my life fell rather dramatically to pieces around me. The replies I received on my original post helped me tremendously, and seeing where I am a year later may also provide some hope for those going through their own crisis.

In particular, you helped me construct my initial list of immediate-to-do items, and put me on the right track to figure out how to extricate myself from the relationship.

The day I first posted here was the day I found out that my then-husband had lied and fabricated most of what I knew about him. Other things I did that day included teaching a class to 200 undergrads about 15 minutes after I found out for sure, and kicking off a day-and-a-half long job interview for the next stage in my career (a job which I somehow landed...).

What unfolded over the following three months can really only be described as living my way through my own version of a Lifetime movie. At some point I moved into an extended stay hotel, and as time passed I learned about the depths and breadths of the lies and deceit he'd used to both control me and get what he wanted,

and the lengths he'd go to try and get his grip back on what he'd successfully manipulated his way through for about four years. What I know now -- and what I'm kind of glad I didn't really know then -- was that I wasn't actually as safe with him as I thought I was. So I'm thankful I managed to get out with only psychological/emotional/financial burden, and no physical trauma.

About two-and-a-half months later I successfully had my marriage annulled on the basis of Fraudulent Coercion to Marry. I ended up doing the necessary research and filing the paperwork myself -- which was not an easy task, but was both cheaper and faster than it was going to be if I hired a lawyer.

A few weeks after the annulment I moved my belongings out of our apartment and moved to a new city and my new job. Without him, but with the kittens. As of late June I finally had him convinced that contacting me was pointless because he wasn't getting me back, and so I've been largely free to recover from the trauma and crisis mode I lived in for about three months.

One of the things I've learned from all of this is how incredibly difficult it is to get out of a relationship in a situation like this. Besides the obvious difficulty of navigating the legal system, and the cost associated with it, there's the cognitive dissonance of constantly trying to remember to relate to that other person in light of the new information you've found out about them.

It really and truly took every life skill and tremendous support of my family and friends network to get out in (more or less) one piece. And even still the road to recovery and a return to thriving is a long one.

So...thanks to those who helped me back on that terrible day in January 2019. And if you know someone who is going through something like this, please offer whatever you can in support. Because they definitely need it!

The (Partial) List of Lies:

  • that he went to school in Britain, met his (ex-)wife there, and lived there for about twenty years before returning to the US

  • that he went to the bank and tried to close out our joint account but couldn't do it because he wasn't an authorized signer on the account

  • full list of emergency medical information, including doctor's names and phone numbers, and list of medications he was (wasn't) one

  • that his grown kids stole about $2000 from him and kicked him out of his own house

  • that he'd managed to scrape together enough money to buy a house but then his property tax increased and he ended up losing the house in an totally unfair turn of events. Turns out he'd so egregiously messed up his family's finances that his ex-wife ended up losing the home she grew up in

  • that his father had abused him horribly as a kid and that his mom had stood by and let it happen

  • that his aunt and uncle were the only relatives who'd really cared for him -- and his uncle had died suddenly of a heart attack (right before we really got serious). uncle is still alive and well, btw

  • that he'd been in Berlin when the wall came down

  • that he was harassed at the grocery store by some random lady that didn't like the way he looked

  • that he grew up speaking Polish as a first language

  • that he walked and talked in his sleep (in his first language a side effect of the medication he was wasn't on)

  • that his dad was a wood-worker and was making furniture for us

  • that his brother worked for DARPA

  • that his aunt was a nun

  • that a nurse at the hospital had told him some things about my dad's case that we needed to attend to

  • that he had a specific job with a host of people he worked with on a regular basis -- and all the stories he told me on a nearly daily basis about those people

  • that his boss had bought him the fancy new watch he had on his wrist

  • that Mr. Park the camera repair guy did work on his cameras for free or at a discount

  • countless lies about money spent or refunds unavailable for all kinds of reasons

  • that his counselor had actually said exactly what I just said when they'd talked about it, too! this happened over and over again

  • That he was bipolar and borderline schizophrenic (but well controlled and committed to taking his meds)

  • that he was feeling 'down' at a given time

  • that he'd posted a sign at work to collect donations for a cause I cared about, and now the only problem was finding a truck big enough to transport it all this was the lie that led to the end

  • that he'd met the Queen

  • that he'd been commissioned to make artwork for Harry and Megan -- and a special concierge for the Queen had come for tea to pick it up

  • that he got shot at in this bad neighbourhood this one time

  • that a candidate in a local election campaign had some specific and objectionable position

  • that he'd talked to so-and-so, and such-and-such had happened, and isn't that awesome/awful/stupid/tremendous

  • that some awful person had hit the front of our car in the parking lot and never left a note (but it's okay because he filed a report with the cops, who won't be able to do anything anyway)

  • that gallery some-name had bought his artwork. But also the payment got screwed up.

  • that his ex-wife had cheated on him continually

  • that he'd done some-activity on any-random-day

  • that he'd been asked to interview for a job at...

  • that he'd messed up his knee and went to get it fixed, but his insurance didn't cover it, so he had to pull money out to pay for it

  • that he had medical insurance

  • that he'd been on the highway in Britain and his motorcycle broke down. On his way to get help he was hit by a car, and that's how his leg got messed up.

  • that he'd looked for places to live after I was moving out but he couldn't find anything and so he needed to stay with me to avoid homelessness

  • that he needed our cats to keep him in a good mental space (see above re. mental illness lies...)

  • that he'd actually broken a rib in that car accident we'd just had, but don't worry he'd be okay

  • that some FBI agents had interviewed him because Trump

  • that he had $ pending with some lawsuits in PA but also who knows if/when that will appear because wouldn't you know it but the entire law from had been busted for I-forget-what

  • that he'd divorced his wife many years before he met me

  • that he loved me

Sources: Reddit
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