the great pretender masks

The Great Pretender ~ no face, no value.

I was out with an old friend recently and we were chatting about someone we know who seems to have so many faces depending on who she is socializing with.

And I don’t mean reading a situation and then behaving accordingly. Di portrays herself differently depending on who she is with.

Don’t get me wrong I understand masks are sometimes needed to protect yourself. She used hers for other reasons.

My old friend complimented me by saying I never attempt to be anyone but me.

Then when I saw the prompt suggested by Posy it got me thinking. There are lots of people like Di and often it is easy to be taken in by them, abused even. The different masks they put on are purposely to fool – for their own benefit.

The Great Pretender may wear many masks in the span of a lifetime.

Here is my story. Duped by a great pretender. I give you permission to read between the lines. A new title indicates another mask and time passing.



I met him at a party. He put on his first mask. Suitor. Attentive, understanding and occasionally witty. Where was the harm in a few dates? Not my usual sort but he seemed nice enough.



How thoughtful of him to pick me up after a night out with the girls. Not only that he is always there to guard my honour when another man gets a little frisky or flirty with me. I can see he is fearless, strong too. But worry about his need for me to be dependent on him.



I never realised that my past behaviour with guys had been so “dirty.” I suppose it must have been – he seems shocked when I tell him how many men I’ve slept with and what we got up to. He also disregards my difficult history.


Not only that he likes to know where I am going in the evening and can be very aggressive with some of my old male friends. I do hope he gets over this jealousy. But perhaps it is my fault? He has so many faces – I am unsure what to expect. I begin to doubt myself.



Just when I thought I could see through his mask he took it off and put one on that was a reflection of me. Agreeing with my views, likes and dislikes. Lulling me into a false sense of security, simply to have his way and keep me on side. Now we are settled he takes on my friends too. And almost mirrors the person I am. It is comforting but disconcerting too.



I find being a new parent so daunting but he seems to manage all the tasks without a worry or a care. And I know, if I let him, he’d would take over my mothering role as well. I feel relegated to a back seat. That is until there is a real problem and then he briefly puts on his husband face and defers back to me.



We split up and he puts on the mask of one who has been betrayed. I’m evil. Selfish. A good time girl not to mention a dreadful mother. What did he ever see in me?



The need to punish me for leaving becomes his obsession. He won’t stop until he has seen me practically shake at the sight of him. He sets about doing various things to thwart me and  bring me down – A smile on his masked face when he detects he is winning the battle.



Because he can no longer control me he attempts to dominate the children as they grow up. Such behaviour will never end well.



There are many people like this in the world. If only we could recognise them but their features are always hidden by one mask or another. Quickly changing before detection. Such daily pretense means they never evolve as a person. Their emotional development is stunted.

The experience of knowing the great pretender gave me my children but chipped away at my identity and messed with my mind. Mask wearers are often sociopaths or even psychopaths.

Beware the Great Pretender…

Images from Pixabay.

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16 thoughts on “The Great Pretender ~ no face, no value.”

  1. A little late to this post, but timely none the less. My ex husband was/is a great pretender, but I’ve learnt to manage that situation.
    Imagine my dismay at getting taken in again last summer. A good reminder of wolves in sheep’s clothing. (Much shorter this time, just need to ride the storm that comes with a an obsessive ‘victim’)

  2. An interesting post, and I would guess many have been through what you have been through.
    In my own life my wife has not worn different masks, but she is a woman of many hats. Having lived with her for 30 years I’ve seen her put one on and then another, depending on who she was with or seeing. Coincidentally she has changed 180° from the person she was when I first met her but maybe I’ll save that story for my own blog!

  3. Wow! Thank you for sharing such a life-lived aspect of this mask wearing pretender.
    My personal experience was of one that did not have many masks at first and I saw and dealt with what was there. But the older this person got, and the worse he got in handling life and what he unknowingly was going through, he developed new masks. It is hard to tell someone that is in denial that this is happening and therefore it gets worse.
    I am so glad you realized and you were able to get away from “The Great Pretender”!

  4. I thought I’d commented on this and find that I hadn’t.

    There are the “masks of protection” and the “masks of manipulation”. Several on the prompt wrote about how they wear a mask to protect different elements of their lives from others. Writing about living with the masks of someone else is harder because as you explain, you have to come to terms with each new mask as you recognise what it is and what it’s designed to do to you, to hurt you.

    Great writing as ever xx

    1. It can be. Sometimes people use masks because they are vulnerable or such like – that’s different – life is complicated 😉
      thanks for commenting S-charmer x

  5. Thee is so much truth in this post May and I love the style that you have used to reveal the story and make your point. Great post 🙂

  6. I found this incredibly thought provoking and started wondering how many masks I wear. And how my lifestyle forces me to wear masks in so many aspects of my life. Or does it? I am trying to be more open about who I am and this can bring the most unexpected rewards, as I found out in a couple of conversations at a wedding yesterday. And maybe some mask wearers do so from fear and insecurity and not from a desire to control and manipulate? Better to avoid such people, and totally liberating not to be such a person. Thank you for this x

    1. Thank you so much for commenting Eve Ray – I was quite surprised how this article has got lots of ‘likes’ but not many comments. I really did think it would open more of a discussion – similar to what you have written above.
      Yes – I agree there are different types of mask wearers – some need to for personal reasons but those that do it to trick and/or fool – well they are extremely dangerous and The Great Pretender was one of those. x

  7. I felt this in the pit of my stomach, May. I’m sorry that such wisdom so often comes from such pain.

    1. Thanks Violet – Wisdom came with age here too . But looking back I knew something was not right about him. Even with me he seemed to have so many different ways of being x

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