LOVE is blind, deaf and dumb. Not only do we close our eyes to the bright red flags when we are enamoured, but we also mute the voice of reason in our heads when they spin us tall tales, and restrain ourselves from asking logical questions.
It's not until the love spell wears off, usually at the end of the relationship, that we come back to our senses. We see the entire experience with new eyes, and hear the lies for what they were.
These women share some of the most unbelievable webs of deceit that their former lovers spun, but they were too wrapped up in love to notice:
Cassandra, 27, designer:
He told me that he lived with his sister — all four years that we dated — and I believed him. I never went to his place because he said it was a small family space and he just needed to stay there a while longer until he could build a home with me. It bothered me a lot but I believed him because he would spend a lot of time at my house sometimes, and I thought no man with another woman could stay away from his home so often. Can you believe my surprise when the 'sister' called me? She turned out to be his common-law wife, and it was her place. He had told her I was his sick cousin from the country, who he spent time with sometimes.
Dee, 24, nursing student:
It was New Year's Eve and he was supposed to come get me for us to go out together, but he didn't. He told me that he couldn't come because his cousin hid his car keys while he was in Linstead. I ended up spending the night alone with my clown face on.
Suzie, 30, beautician:
I really believed that this man was going to leave his wife for me. I know that I should have known better, but from the day we met he told me straight up that he was married but he was not in love with her anymore. At that time I ghosted him. But a few months later he sent me a picture of some paperwork, saying he was filing for divorce, and we started dating. All this time he still lived with his wife and children because, according to him, if he moved out before everything was finalised she would get his house. He also insisted that we remain a secret until everything worked out because he didn't want her to say that he'd cheated, which would make her get more money in the divorce. The whole time he was happily married and I was just on the side like coleslaw.
Keneisha, 25, medical intern:
I was so in love that I let a man con me out of over $100,000 of my tuition. My dad sends money from abroad to pay my fees, and I would religiously pay it right away, but my boyfriend at the time was trying to go on the work and travel programme. Right when my daddy sent some money to go towards my fees, he came crying that his loan fell through and he couldn't go abroad because his mother was ill. I decided to lend him the money, as long as he could pay it back by the end of the summer. He said goodbye and everything like he was at the airport, but I never heard back from him. My friend said she saw him at a boat party downtown the following week. I had to get a summer job to pay back my dad's money.
Candice, 29, teacher:
He told me that his son was really his nephew, and his identical twin brother (the child's supposed father) had died from a rare form of cancer about a year before he met me. I believed him even after I heard the child call him daddy. When I saw pictures of him and the child's mother online, he would say it was his brother. It wasn't until I saw him with the child's mother with my own two eyes that I came to my senses. At that point he tried to tell me that he had just started having feelings for her because of their shared grief.