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Perfect Man with past?

(194 Posts)
Hairytoekerr01 Sat 12-Apr-14 01:07:31


Long time lurker and first time poster here, but I really don't know where else to turn to advice.

I live in a cosy wee flat with only DD and myself and am quite happy.

About 6 months ago a new man joined the small company where I worked and he seemed so different to the other "football, beer and horses" type blokes who work there and we immediately hit it off.

We began to grow closer although it concerned me that it seemed that he was pushing me away and didn't like to talk about his past.

Last week he took me out and said that he had real feelings for me but thought I should know the truth so I could decide if I wanted to go any further or not.

He told me 3 years ago he was working in a european country (I don't want to say which one for reasons I'll explain later) and was attacked in a bar after accidentally picking up the wrong drink. He said he defended himself by punching the person three times on the face until he fell then left the bar. He swears he did not start the situation but admits he was probably too drunk to read the warning signs.

Nearly a year later he was arrested by police and dragged back to the country on a European Arrest Warrant and after being kept on remand for 18 months, he was sentenced to a further 6 months then deported back to the UK.

He said he could have asked to be transferred back to the uk but chose not to due to not wanting to have a criminal record here.

I hate violence and would normally consider this a huge red flag but the person I have grown to know shows no signs of anger or threatening behaviour at all. During a Staff Xmas night out he calmed a drunken arguement down before a few people were likely to lose their jobs as a result of their behaviour. He rarely drinks, has spoken to me how much he hates drugs and seems highly educated, or at the very least very intelligent .

He told me he lost a high flying job, a fiancé who couldn't bare the shame and the respect of most of his family who wouldn't listen to the facts.

I feel terrible for him and really am starting to have feelings for him and I don't know if I'm being neurotic but i do have some concerns.

He is very articulate but sometimes shakes, struggles to speak without stammering and I wonder if that is a sign of underlying trauma?

I shamefully facebook stalked his ex and she looks like she has an airbrush fairy above her, I'm worried that he would always see me as second best?

Although my instincts tell me he's telling the truth I have no way to verify it as I can't google reports in the country due to not knowing where to look or speaking the language etc.. and every time I read about European Arrest Warrants it tends to involve Gangsters, People Traffickers or Terrorists. Would they really bother for someone getting a broken nose in a bar fight?

If I was on my own I wouldn't think twice but have DD to think about, but the logical part of my brain tells me that he was decent enough to tell me this before anything happened between us (tbh around 5 mins before as I was just about to physically drag him to bed) and at the risk of sounding like a teenager I really don't think I've connected with anyone like this before.

Sorry for the long post but please help?

TheAwfulDaughter Sat 12-Apr-14 01:10:02

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Hairytoekerr01 Sat 12-Apr-14 01:11:49

She honestly looks like some tinkerbell style fairy circles around her airbrushing out her imperfections.

ItsNotATest Sat 12-Apr-14 01:37:18

Are you falling into the 'all or nothing' trap?

You don't have to make any commitment. Going on a few dates is nothing more than that. Spend some time together, keep a healthy sense of caution, and see how it pans out. If you choose to walk away, that's in no way a failure.

And having a shag is fine too wink that doesn't commit you to lifelong shared utility bills either.

But do stop with the FB ex-stalking. Really. Nothing good is going to come of that. And put yourself in her shoes - would you like it??

badbaldingballerina123 Sat 12-Apr-14 01:47:01

I would post again in legal about the European arrest order.

Hairytoekerr01 Sat 12-Apr-14 01:50:48

Thank Itsnotatest,

Although I would love to put myself in her shoes as they look like they cost more than my car.. Haha

You're right though it wasn't the most grown-up thing to do, guess I was just looking to get the Sherlock Holmes hat on and verify his story.

I realise I've put far too much emotional investment in this given stage we have ( or haven't ) reached, but I know as soon as I take this further it's going to spiral quickly.

The foundations (beliefs, morals, family, fun, aspirations, music, politics etc...) have already been laid.

I know we are a match and if I'm honest I wish he waited until 6 months down the line to tell me, (although it's a lose-lose situation for him) as I would have been pissed off if he done that.

I can see the irony that I'm actually complaining a guy has got to know me as a friend, trusted me, been there for me and been honest enough to tell me things I might not like before embarking on a proper relationship.

We really don't make it easy for them sometimes haha?

Do you see the Eurojail thing as an issue?

Hairytoekerr01 Sat 12-Apr-14 01:51:55

Good idea ballerina?

PlantsAndFlowers Sat 12-Apr-14 01:57:14

You shouldn't blame him for telling you straight away, that was by far the most decent thing for him to do.

ItsNotATest Sat 12-Apr-14 01:58:42

I realise I've put far too much emotional investment in this given stage we have ( or haven't ) reached, but I know as soon as I take this further it's going to spiral quickly.

Well, that's what I was trying to discourage. It doesn't have to spiral quickly. I do know where you are coming from (really I do blush). But it doesn't have to be like that. Just take a step back and slow down.

Hairytoekerr01 Sat 12-Apr-14 02:02:42

I know that really, I guess I'm just freaked out that whether justified or not the man I'm falling for and is treating me with respect, compassion and dignity is considered in some country to be a violent convicted criminal. Think I just need to trust my instincts on this one which say that he's safe loving and was placed into my life for a reason!.

Hairytoekerr01 Sat 12-Apr-14 02:06:49

Do you know something I think you're right, he's full aware DD comes first so I could even just arrange to see him a couple of nights a week and see how it goes from there.. That should allow me some control and prove if he is as patient as he has already been.. and it finally let me show him my bedroom ;)

ItsNotATest Sat 12-Apr-14 02:16:06

Sounds like a plan smile

I hope it works out.

Hairytoekerr01 Sat 12-Apr-14 02:23:35

Thanks, it's amazing what sharing a problem with someone with an outside perspective can do!


You've really made a worried woman more calm tonight, I can't thank you enough.. x

Would love to hear anyone else's opinion on the Arrest warrant if the know anything about them though?.

UnlikelyAmazonian Sat 12-Apr-14 02:28:09

It's always around the 6 month mark that they drop some bombshell and sugarcoat it. because by then, you have been reeled in and only know the nice bloke he's mirroring...and so you actually feel sorry for him being in the slammer.

Personally, seeing as you have a child, I wouldn't touch him with a barge pole. He sounds dodgy and possibly dangerous.

Give him a wide berth, stop contact and thereby do your daughter and yourself a favour.

There are plenty of blokes around who don't have anything oike this track record of being in prison.


Hairytoekerr01 Sat 12-Apr-14 02:43:23

What I've found out so far was that he was a business consultant in financial services (which means he could not have a criminal record)who fell foul of differing laws in different countries. In England if someone attacks you can defend yourself with reasonable force, there is no limit to this it just must be proportional. In the country where this happened it is argued that just because the person was still standing did not mean he posed a threat after 2 punched so the 3rd one constituted assault. My brother in law who bisects local plod says if it happened here there is next to no chance that he would have been charged, and even if he was he would get not more than a £200 fine for excessive force. Unlikely a magistrate would convict though as the aggressor was caught on cctv head butting someone over a spilled drink. Although I hate violence I would expect any man to defend himself and his family physically if they were attacked in that manner.

Hairytoekerr01 Sat 12-Apr-14 02:45:41

Damn typo,. My BIL works with the Local Plod not 'dissects' them... Or at least not to my knowledge- although they do appear to be less on the street these days mmmmmm

UnlikelyAmazonian Sat 12-Apr-14 02:51:50

You know next to nothing about this man apart from what he has told you. Give him a wide berth is all I would advise.

If you can easily find corroboration for his story, if he has a wide circle of friends whom you have come to know and like, if he has good relationships with his family and you have met them and know this to be a fact, then perhaps, and it is only a perhaps, might he then be worthy of any sort of existence in you and your daughter's lives.

But why bother with someone who has been on remand for 18 months and imprisoned for 6, no matter where?

He and his problems or issues are none of your concern. Let someone else fall for him. You have your lovely flat, your gorgeous daughter and - for now - your sanity.

Val007 Sat 12-Apr-14 02:55:24

I don't think it has to do anything with punches, love. Look back on what you said in your original post:

and every time I read about European Arrest Warrants it tends to involve Gangsters, People Traffickers or Terrorists.

^ there you go.

UnlikelyAmazonian Sat 12-Apr-14 02:56:00

...After all, you are neither a UN peacekeeper, the head of Prisoners Abroad or the chair of Amnesty. You are hairytoe and your maijn priority is your own self, your life and your daughter.

Leave him to someone else to deal with, wind your neck in, avoid him at work, and remain single a little while longer.

Unless and until you have some real proof that he's not talking bullshit.

Hairytoekerr01 Sat 12-Apr-14 03:29:21

Amazonian and Val

I really appreciate the advice, but what if it does turn out to be true?

I've just saw a government website that said in the year he was extradited there were 7 Brits sent to Europe on assault charges.

The countries legal system has been criticised by amnesty for long remand periods, questionable trials and disproportionate sentences for foreigners.

Can I ask you honestly what would you expect your partner to do if someone headbutted him in a pub over a drink? In your eyes if he defended himself by punching back would that make him a criminal?

angelohsodelight Sat 12-Apr-14 04:24:40

I think you are being told half the story and should rethink the relationship. Chances are he was arrested for gbh rather than minor assault. Have you found anything out by googling his name?

badbaldingballerina123 Sat 12-Apr-14 04:47:49

I have defended myself in this manner and would do so again if necessary. I won't be anyone's punchbag.

Surely there is some record of it on Google , although you might have to use translated .

AndTheBandPlayedOn Sat 12-Apr-14 04:53:13

The foundations (beliefs, morals, family, fun, aspirations, music, politics etc...) have already been laid.

This concerns me...your idea of the purpose of the foundations may be completely different from his, especially if he is agreeable on nearly every point...I would doubt his authenticity.

You have doubts. That is your gut speaking...even if you don't quite have the specific reasoning/vocabulary/'put your finger on it' clarity. You do not really need the details and just doesn't sit well, so that's a "no". Trust your gut, and that over rides the whirl wind romance, sorry.

Do not risk what you have to demonstrate your good nature by having pity on him. This is crucial because he is at your place of work: you are risking your paycheck as well if this goes bad. Do not date men at work. I know there are many stories where it worked a charm, but you have a child that is depending on you maintaining your livelihood.

I agree with UnlikelyAmazonian and Val.

wallaby73 Sat 12-Apr-14 07:00:41

Ok, having read your op, read the thread, and seen how you have reacted to other's responses. The thing that REALLY stands out is that you are already in the mindset of defending him, minimising what he did, researching the law in this other country to back up your rationalisation that what he did really wasn't that bad....just self're even clinging on to the legal difference between the 2nd and the 3rd punch. You are also "feeling sorry" for him...he's "educated" and treats you with respect......Please don't misunderstand me. I'm not trying to ridicule or attempt to make you feel foolish. This is just what leaps out at me. Why?

I met a really nice man through work, very self effacing, witty, hugely intelligent, overly considerate, clearly lacking hugely in confidence, what i would call "a bit posh" in a very middle englandy jam-and-jerusalem way. We got friendly.....we never dated, but we spent some time socially together. Then one day, still not sure why, i googled him. He's got an unusual name, and there it was. All the details of his conviction, how he lost his job because of it. So i distanced; as it waswithin that very same week he had clearly decided "he had something to tell me"; he was shaking, stuttering, clearly very distressed. Y'know, looking back, that's a very normal way to be, he was terrified i would tell other people, terrified he would lose my friendship. But what came out of his mouth was definately "his" rationalisation of the facts. He didn't know i'd seen the press reports. That he's "not like other people" who have served time for the same, gave me such a long and convoluted story as to why he did what he did...and turned out there was a second offence and prison sentence...but again, long convoluted story of psychological and emotional detail as to how what happenned came about. Minimisation doesn't come close.

The reality is i was groomed. I learnt that (i knew already but this demonstrated it very clearly) that dangerous people come in all guises, they don't walk around with a sign round their necks. Theycan reel you in using self deprecation, hugh grant style hesitation, "being honest" with all the "facts" of their lives, the family rejection, the loss of their long standing relationship, yes it is all very sad to hear. And if you're a kind, decent person of course you feel sorry for them. But by this point you're emotionally involved and are no longer capable of seeing things objectively, you're up there minimising with and for him too.

Seriously though, the bare bones of it? I have brothers, lots of male friends from all backgrounds. The only ones who i have known to throw a single punch, even in "self defence", were bullying or abusive. Not a single decent man i know has thrown a single punch, not one. Many have been provoked, some attacked and they simply got away, left the situation. This man, and your response to him, have so many red flags it's an even bigger one that you can't see it, or are deliberately and desperately pushing it aside. You seem so emotionally engaged already...and you have a child. This should be a no-brainer but it's so alarming that you can't even see it.

Hairytoekerr01 Sat 12-Apr-14 12:52:41

Wallaby, thanks for your advice I really appreciate you taking the time for me.

I think that where my mind's at is slightly different, I was fortunate enough to grow up somewhere where the only violence I saw was on tv and I had a naïve view that anyone who hit anyone else was automatically a bad person.

My Ex, who I met when I went to Uni in Glasgow grew up in a place where gangs and knife crime were considered a recreational sport. Some of the stories I heard at family parties still make my toes curl, and none of his family were involved it was just things they saw/heard within the area. My Ex is an Optician now and is a genuinely caring person and a good dad, but when we were at Uni there were at least 3 times where he was forced to defend either himself or me from drunken idiots in chip shops, kebab shops, outside night clubs and even the Student Union. He was definitely never abusive to me or anyone else and the only reason we grew apart was the fact we got together too young, he still moved 400 miles away from his friends and family to be close to his daughter though. But during his life he has thrown a punch so I guess that makes him a bad person in some people's eyes?

I would also be quite sceptical if a man told me he had never been in a fight when he was growing up.

Balding Ballerina, you state that you would have done the same thing which I think is just common sense, so thank you.

As I mentioned there's nothing on Google, not all countries report minor crimes in the press.

I guess this boils down to an issue of trust, reading this thread has made me realise that some people think it's acceptable to see a 'Service History' for a prospective partner before the buy. There's nothing he's done that suggests he's untrustworthy, or 'grooming' me. I can only judge the man in front of me now, and I think both he, and I, deserve a chance.

Thanks again for all your help ladies!

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