Over the past year or so, I think of three separate events that made me think of the 1974 hit song, Smiling Faces, by the Undisputed Truth. Each of them relates to single, midlife men, who in each case turned out to not be who they represented themselves to be to women.
The episode that ultimately triggered me to write this blog was the news story of the recently captured 'Granddad Bandit' where the wife of the suspect talks about her man. It was disturbing, to say the least, and made me wonder about my midlife brethren. I mean, it is risky business enough to pursue marriage at midlife to begin with, for male and female alike. But, it seems doubly troublesome to learn of the level of deception that people engage in while pursuing what appears to be 'that special someone for life'.
Let me cut to the chase. According to the news story, the 'bandit' and his wife were married in 2009 and were living in Louisiana. From her account, he was a "gentle, loving husband" and she was thrilled to have found him. She thought he earned an honest living doing very responsible work. Supposedly, he worked for FEMA in disaster recovery work.
Well, it was all just a story. He allegedly (notice my legal caveat??) had been robbing banks – 25 of them. Add to that, it turns out that he had been convicted of a number of felonies in the 80s and 90s and had been released from prison in 2004. He had created so many identities he needed a notebook to remind himself of all of them!
While I don't know the man or the woman in this story, I do know at least one of the two in two other stories in which the man was the 'story teller'. In one case, the woman learned of it before she married the man and in the other case, the woman learned of it only a few months after they were married.
Wow! What kind of men have we become, where fabricating lies has become our habit as opposed to telling the truth? Let's say I have herpes or AIDs? Should I tell her? How about cancer or bipolar disorder? Or, bankruptcy, bad credit, or that the IRS is after me? How many times have I been divorced? Or worse, am I still married? A felon? We could go on.
While I recognize that we don't need to spill our guts on the first date, and shouldn't, the question of when I tell that 'special someone' is a very different one from whether I will at all, or worse, whether I'll intentionally mislead her as to who I am and what I've done in my past. How does trust develop in that scenario? For the three incidences described here, it didn't.
Of course, men haven't cornered the market on deception. After all, men AND women have smiling faces. "Smiling faces leave no traces of the evil that lurks within. Smiling faces, smiling faces sometimes they don't tell the truth, uh. Smiling faces, smiling faces tell lies and I got proof."
About the Author: Master Hobbit