I'm very sorry to hear about your situation. It sounds like you have had a very very troubled relationship with this man. There is no doubt about it, you are the victim of emotional abuse and manipulation.
That being said, whether you have what is called a legal cause of action against this man is a different question. Sometimes the law does not cover acts that may be immoral or psychologically cause damage when they do not reach a certain level of criminal moral turpitude of or unreasonably harmfulness. The law draws that line at a very straightforward manner. When a person inflicts emotional harm on another, that person is only liable for the economic harm and pain and suffering caused by the emotional harm if the action was done either in breach of a duty or in connection with a crime.
The fact pattern you have presented potentially triggers three different causes of action: 1) Fraud, 2) Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress, and 3) Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress.
To prove a fraud one must show:
(1) that the defendant made a falserepresentation
to the plaintiff, (2) that its
falsity was either known to the defendant or
that the representation was made with
reckless indifference as to its truth, (3)
that the misrepresentation was made for the
purpose of defrauding the plaintiff, (4) that
the plaintiff relied on the misrepresentation
and had the right to rely on it, and (5) that
the plaintiff suffered compensable injury
resulting from the misrepresentation.
Negligent Infliction of Emotional Harm is not a cause of action recognized by the Maryland courts.
Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress is very difficult to establish under Maryland personal injury
In order to prove a prima facie
case of IIED in Maryland, the Plaintiff must show:
1. That the conduct was intentional or reckless;
2. The conduct is extreme and outrageous;
3. There is a causal connection between the wrongful conduct and the emotional distress;
4. The emotional distress is severe.
To meet the fourth element, the emotional distress must be “severely disabling,” such that “no reasonable man could be expected to endure it.” Being “upset” and “embarrassed” is not sufficient to show severe emotional distress. Evidence that the Plaintiff could continue with his normal life activities or that he did not seek professional treatment can show that the distress is not “severe.”
In Green v. Shoemaker, the Maryland Court of Appeals determined that a plaintiff cannot recover for emotional distress unless a “physical injury” results from the tort
. Later, the court expanded a “physical injury” to include injuries “manifested by an external condition or by symptoms clearly indicative of a resultant pathological, physiological, or mental state.” The physical injury can be proven through evidence of an “external condition or by symptoms of a pathological or physiological state.” Also, it can be proven through evidence that indicates a “mental state.” However, medical testimony
is not required in order to show mental distress.
Under Fraud as well, for emotional distress to qualify as a compensable injury, there must be a physical manifestation as a result. You probably will have issues showing that the emotional distress was at the compensable level. I say this not to down play your feelings, but to give you an understanding of what kind of challenge this type of claim presents to you.
You might also have a difficult time proving that his behavior, while wrong, was not extreme and outrageous. People have affairs and cheat on their spouses and lie to each other about it. While it is wrong, I have not found any case which would support this as the type of behavior that is applicable under these causes of action.
Again, I hope you understand that I am not making light of your feelings and do believe that this man did not do right by you. However, based on these facts, you do not have a legal claim against him.
Please let me know if you have further questions, need more explanation, or have other facts which should be considered.