Your article “The Dark Side of Love” (PEOPLE, Oct. 26) really hit home. Last year I broke up with a man I had been seeing for over a year because he asked another woman to marry him. I was furious, hurt and became obsessed with him. I contemplated slashing his clothes or putting itching powder on his towels. I made some long distance calls on his phone. Luckily, I was put in touch with Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous—a group similar to Alcoholics Anonymous, based in Boston. Going to meetings for a year showed me there can be life and self-esteem after this kind of addiction.
I saw the movie Fatal Attraction and read your article and could identify with this perverse kind of love. While traveling several years ago I fell in love with a younger man. The affair lasted only two months, but my obsession for him continued. I stalked him like a hungry animal, deluged him with phone calls and letters and even seduced his brother. After betrothal to his brother, I fantasized that my ex-lover and I would be thrown back together through the family. I was able to close this humiliating chapter of my life and am now happily married—but not to the brother.
Two years ago I was introduced to a 29-year-old man. After three phone calls from this man—including one on a new unlisted number I didn’t give him—I was convinced that the man was extremely dangerous, disconnected from reality and abnormally attached to me. I heard his recitations of revenge against women who had rejected him as far back as 12 years ago. He told me I would never leave him. He followed me everywhere and stalked my rural home at night. I tried to placate him with a letter telling him how unworthy I was. All this, however, was met with vengeance. I fell victim to hundreds of daily threatening and obscene phone calls. He has defamed my reputation. And the really absurd part? I didn’t even date this man! Law enforcement agencies cannot believe what this man has done, much less that a man could do this unprovoked. I’m tired of dealing with opinions that justify the portrayal of men as the victims of women and rarely the reverse.
The man Michael Douglas played in Fatal Attraction could have been my husband. The ending to his story, however, was different. He told his friends his lover was 35 years old, a teaching assistant at a prestigious Ivy League school and wanted children. Faced with the certainty that the affair would be exposed, he committed suicide one week before Christmas last year. I am angered and heartbroken by his infidelity and death. But I feel hatred, disgust and pity for that woman and others who would destroy a man and his family in order to have their own.
Your story about “real life” Fatal Attraction-type incidents is puzzling and disturbing. Three out of four of your tales involved a jilted woman taking revenge when the overwhelming majority of jilted-lover crimes are perpetrated by males. Rejected females taking revenge on males does happen. But in reality a woman who rejects a man is far more likely to become a victim than a male who rejects a female.
Against All Odds
Calandra Red Bird, Donnaree Johnson and Eddie Morales are substantial somebodies. Hooray for their ability to rise above disregard and neglect. The article underscores how important it is for every person to have someone in their corner as early and as long as possible. It will help them face the unbelievable obstacles that await children today.
Thank you for the beautiful story about the three children. The article should be printed in book form—including those haunting photos—and entitled “A Message of Hope.” The world could use it!
Veblen S. Dak.
I am 18 years old and a nondrinker. I also have Spuds posters hanging in my room and a Spuds doll. If you are a sensible person with a good head on your shoulders, a stuffed doll of a cute little dog should not make any difference about today’s drinking problems. There are more serious things to worry about. A child doesn’t know Spuds is the beer dog—only that he’s cute.
East Haven, Conn.
How can the children of today be our leaders of tomorrow if their idols are dogs that promote a product that’s not only bad for your health but can also cause real problems? Lower your heads in shame, Anheuser-Busch. And put an end to Spuds the dud.
The world lost an extremely talented lady when Karen Carpenter died. But it is comforting to one’s ears to hear her brother’s musical expertise again. Nobody will be able to replace Karen’s smooth and lovely vocal style, but matching Richard with Dionne Warwick does come close. I hope those two work together again.