By | December 9, 2015 20 Comments

30 signs that you should dump your partner before Christmas

James Montgomery and Donna Andersen at Christmas 1996.

James Montgomery and Donna Andersen at Christmas 1996.

The holidays are quickly approaching. It’s the season when we decorate our homes, spend time with family and friends, and buy thoughtful gifts for the ones we love.

Everyone wants someone to hug over the holidays. So even if things have been strained or rocky with our romantic partners, we may still want the holidays will be pleasant, even romantic. We may go out of our way to make them special, hoping our partner will reciprocate, or at least acknowledge our efforts.

Sometimes we hope but fear that our partners will disappoint us. If you’re apprehensive about how enjoyable the holidays with your partner will be, read on.

Christmas with my ex

I spent three holiday seasons with my ex-husband, James Montgomery. Here’s how they went:

Christmas 1996 We were engaged to be married in three weeks, in January 1997. In the six months that I’d know him, Montgomery had squeezed me for more than $50,000, although at the time I didn’t realize he was scamming me. I had no idea how we were going to pay for our wedding.

Montgomery was away for New Years. He told me he was visiting the parents of his previous wife, who had died. I later found out he spent the holiday with another woman. This was two and a half weeks before our wedding.

Christmas 1997 In addition to wiping out my savings and draining my current income, Montgomery had put $40,000 in debt on my credit cards.

I worked to make the holidays nice, but I was concerned about our finances. Montgomery agreed to a “board meeting” on the day after Christmas to discuss them. I quickly realized that he was just placating me. As far as he was concerned, his grandiose plans were sure to succeed and I should stop worrying about money.

Christmas 1998 We moved from New Jersey to Orlando, Florida because Montgomery told me he had a deal for one of his grand schemes, the Titanic exhibition.

He drove down before me. I arrived on Dec. 23 with a U-Haul truck, my car on a trailer, five pets and a small Christmas tree. We planned to go out to dinner on Christmas, not realizing that all the restaurants were closed. We had to settle for leftover chicken.

A month later, I learned that Montgomery had lied to me about the Titanic deal. There was no deal. I’d drained the last of my money and moved 1,000 miles to Florida for nothing.

Sociopaths ruin Christmas

It is impossible to have a truly loving, giving Christmas with a sociopath.

Sociopaths may go over the top to make the holidays special, or spend lavishly on Christmas gifts. But it’s never out of love, it’s because they have an agenda. Either they’re reeling in a new target, or maintaining a charade of togetherness, because the current target is still useful to them.

If sociopaths are no longer bothering with the charade, they can be downright cruel on Christmas, intentionally ruining the holiday for the people who are supposed to be their loved ones.

Why? Just to see them get upset. Sociopaths love provoking a reaction.

In short, sociopaths ruin Christmas although you may not realize right away what they are doing.

Get out sooner rather than later

If you suspect that your partner is a sociopath, and you’re thinking of dumping him or her, don’t bother waiting until after the holidays. Christmas will likely be miserable anyway.

If the romance is suddenly back in your relationship, it’s probably not a Christmas miracle. Your partner may sense that you’re withdrawing, and is turning on the charm to hold on to you. If you agree to stay, the Christmas magic will likely soon be gone, and the cold, unloving Grinch will return.

So how do you know if your partner is a sociopath? I’ve put together a list of 30 warning signs. If your partner matches them, your Christmas will likely be merrier without him or her.

Get the Lovefraud checklist: Is your partner a sociopath?


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Excellent straight up mince-no-words advice. Perfect and accurate description of what spaths do to holidays and every other day of their victims’ lives. In retrospect, survivors never regret leaving the spath too early; we always wish we’d left them sooner.


Donna, the title you picked for this article made me laugh…wish someone like Taylor Swift would come up with a little Christmas jingle “30 signs that you should dump your partner before Christmas” …similar to 12 days of Christmas.

Thank you for writing this important article & sharing your personal Christmas’s with your ex with all of us. No doubt that it will help many to realize they need to end their toxic abusive relationship with their sociopaths! What better time to clean house then to do it right before New Years!

My ex h was nice the first Christmas although he never pitched in or lifted a finger to help with decoration the tree, buying presents for his family/mine or even helping with Christmas Eve dinner in which he invited his family members over for. I never received one present that was on my wish list. Nope he did the opposite if I stated during the year I did not like something guess what I got for Christmas. So manipulative he was. And if I wanted to return his gifts he would use pity play to make me feel bad. I put on a fake smile when opening his present in front of my family on the rear occasion that he would let us travel to see them.

Growing up my parents always made Christmas special not with the materialist side of things but with the joy of decorating the home & Christmas Eve party for all of our friends/family & Christmas dinner with family. With my ex husband and his family it was as if I had walked right into Grinch hell. He & his family did nothing but fight, nothing was ever planned & dinner was always a narcissistic battle between which of the three sociopathic siblings was going to get the most attention. An Absolute Nightmare every year & every holiday to the point I refused to even go to one of their holiday gatherings. That was a huge red flag & so many times I wanted to leave him but did not.

Glad that I have divorced him & his family & moved far far away from them.

Thank you Donna for all that you do & all that you share of your personal experiences with a sociopath. You have been an Earth Angel to so many around the world.

Wishing you, Terry & your family a wonderful Christmas & New Years!

To those that are not sure if you should leave your abuser or not…like AnnettePK stated we all wish that we would left sooner!! Not only will you survive without your sociopath mate you will THRIVE!! Reach out for help with your local abuse center today!! It will be the greatest gift you ever gave yourself!!

Rosie Jackson

They ruin every holiday, birthday, anniversary and any celebration. After receiving nothing nice from him for 20 years (except a MENS SIZE LARGE fleece pullover, lol) I told him to get me a new watch for Christmas because my (very) old one wasn’t keeping good time anymore. He took my watch so that he could “find one just like it”. When I opened the box on Christmas morning there was a watch, exactly like my old one! That’s because it WAS my old one…..with a new battery. It still didn’t keep good time so I went out and bought my own, but I must say, that battery was the MOST THOUGHTFUL gift he ever gave me. Lol!
So glad the grinch isn’t around this Christmas!


I hope Santa brings you something extra special for Christmas this year.
My greatest gift is never seeing him again!


So true Donna- and so true Strong, our gratest gift is never seeing him again. I last saw mine 2 days before last Christmas and spent it sick in bed with a horrible cold. I remember telling him I don’t envision ever seeing you again
This Christmas is for us, and anyone still with theirs…
Hopefully this can be your last one with the disordered one.
Blessings to you all!


I agree. The holidays for me were a nightmare last year. Thats when his mask started slipping. Mr. Nice guy no more. We traveled some, once for me to meet some of his family. He’d pick fights with me the night before each trip and right before we’d come home.

Thanksgiving night I threatened to leave him, after spending a wonderful day with his family, he of course had to ruin it. But he begged me to stay with him. I was such an insecure depressed mess by that time.

We decided to spend Christmas and New years together and have quality time. He sprung his family on me for both holidays with no notice, even when we traveled for NYE (I had no clue he even had extended family where we went). And I mean, no notice. And even family staying with him when we were in town! I wanted to meet his family but it was hard to prepare with no notice.

When I’d point out I had no clue about his plans he would insist he told me and would scream at me. It was exhausting. So by the time I’d meet his family on different occasions I was a mess and not myself at all. Should’ve listened to myself and left him on Thanksgiving.

Holidays of emotional roller-coaster hell.


LOL!! Our last day together was Christmas Eve. I had spent the entire day preparing the house, food, etc, had a fun “outfit” picked out, christmas lights, a special candle at his suggestion for us to light together (that I bought)…. on and on and on…… He arrived and I went in to take a bath thinking/ hoping he would come in and visit nicely (long history on this subject). He did not.
So, I got dressed, no special outfit, and went out to the kitchen and eventually asked him if he thought of me more as a friend than a romantic partner? It was a sincere question. I wasn’t trying to stir up sh*t, I wanted to know. I knew trouble was afoot when he went out for a smoke. Came back in and lectured be like a child for having the gall to ask such a ridiculous question on Christmas eve… went on and on and on and I finally just turned off the stove and left the room. Of course a fight ensued and off he went, back to Mommys house. It was the most mellow dramatic display, basically I think his ultimate goal was to get hammered and I was an obstacle that he had to remove. Over.
Merry f’ing EX-mas Spathtard! Good riddance!

To All,

That so many of these exceedingly disordered pods seem to evaporate around the holidays is empirical proof of Christmas miracles…


Well, I almost would guess we have the same ex… his “mommas” name is Dorothy and he was a “Mommas boy” and he was melodramatic as well… hope for your sake he was not the same man, and you werent with him as long if he was… I tried a special french maid outfit to bring back what we had before marriage and he walked in, looked at me and said “what the f is this? Thanks for cleaning though…”

Dear Donna,

I applaud you for sharing your story, Montgomery’s name, and most especially, his image. I believe exposure is a necessary step in our healing process. I find that many people are surreptitious regarding their identity or that of their sociopath, something I am sure they are compelled to do for very good reason, however, for me, exposing him felt so damn good!

Your words are a gift you give daily; thank you for that. I wish you many gifts in return and a very happy holiday season.

And to all of your readers, may you always find the love you require within yourselves, the courage to live your lives on your own terms and the wisdom to recognize that these two things are the greatest gifts you can give yourselves.

A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of us.

Blessed be and love and light,
Dee A.


This is so true. My ex always ruined Christmas. For 20 years he made sure to get me upset over the holidays and then later claim “you are so crazy, you ruined the holidays once again.” My last Christmas with him in 2013, he told me there was a big Christmas dinner at work for him, he was on duty as a police officer. I decided to cook a small meal since he was not going to be home. All hell broke lose “he is not worth a big dinner , etc”. He was yelling and when I was in tears and a pathetic mess , sitting on the floor shaking , he calmly said “I am going to work early, you are so crazy in your head “. Off he went to work to “celebrate ” Christmas with his young cop co worker. I did not know of his affairs back then. I was discarded in March of 2014 after expiring him in his secrets. No contact since almost 30 months, divorced for almost 2 years. No more crying on Christmas , no more begging to “get along “,no more lies and deceits. Every Christmas without him is the best Christmas ever. I recovered and healed and he will ALWAYS be evil. So blessed and grateful this season that I survived.


Also love to ruin birthdays…


Yep. We had been together for almost 7 years when out of the blue on Christmas Day, 2010 my ex yelled at me to get out of his house (that he didn’t need or want me there) while I was setting the table to serve the dinner I was in the process of cooking for HIS family, who would be arriving later that afternoon. I have no recollection what his problem was (likely, there was none), but do recall asking him how the dinner would get finished if I left. He replied he both knew how to cook AND go to the store so no worries there. I left in tears, only to park a few blocks away and reason with myself that I could show him how important the relationship was to me if I went back and made the day work, and that was what I did. Of course he welcomed me back after I took a firm scolding.

I was so brainwashed and manipulated.

Six months later we bought our dream home together and three months after that he discarded me for the last time, leaving me holding the financial bag for everything. I’m still trying to recoup.

After the discard, I found a journal entry on my iPad that I had written after that Christmas incident where I talked about how unhappy I was and how I had to get out of the relationship…I had no memory of writing it, in fact, only had the vaguest of memories of that incident until after I read what I had written.

I could easily write 30 signs that I should have left, starting from the very beginning of the relationship. I wanted to succeed and I wanted to show him I didn’t run at the first sign of trouble, and he exploited that to the maximum.

This is my 5th Christmas without him and all is calm and all is bright. I’m not 100% where I hope to be, but I’m good. I am not pleading, walking on eggshells, enduring sex I don’t want or getting punished for no reason. My stomach isn’t in knots and my head doesn’t hurt. I don’t have to worry about frequent signs of cheating or following all his weird rules that changed without notice, and no one is trying to trip me up, tear me down or hurt me. I know for sure what love is NOT.


Hello Hanalei! (and Kaya48!)
I am pleased to see you here again, so I can read your words that you are still much improved after nightmare with “him”.

I came here to LF late, needing help so desperately, knowing that what I was trying to do to get better wasn’t working. I THANK GOD for all who helped me here.

I came again when things got very difficult with my daughter and I am so pleased that she ended up working out the mindf* that my ex did to her and she also is much improved. I am so proud of her and happy to see her happiness.

I come now b/c it’s strange, as much as things have improved I feel sad.

I am sure it’s the Christmas season b/c I have made wonderful friends where I live now, good decent gentle women who aren’t afraid to be caring and sharing. They would rally around me if they knew I was sad but I don’t tell them. I don’t want to infect our friendship with any disclosures of “HIM”. I just say that I had a bad marriage and now pursue a new life. I guess I felt alone, like no one knows what life was like for so many of my years….so I came here recently, just reading and thinking maybe to help someone, and here are you and Kaya48, and a whole new group of women, who are just as we were… stunned to find such disgusting parasites have trampled their good hearts as well.

I also come once in a while for a day or two to encourage the new group, just as I was encouraged. Because… when we travel that dark dark hellhole, it’s really hard to imagine that life could ever be anything but miserable. It takes someone on the other side of it to honestly report there is light at the other end of that tunnel.

Like you and Kaya, I am not where I would have been if I had never married him, but I am FAR recovered from what I was. For that, I am blessed and grateful to you all and to GOD.

You are Good. And while you know what love is NOT, you also know what Love is. Just go look in the mirror. For you, me, Kaya, and so many others all know how to GIVE and LIVE Love, and that makes us better off than all of “them” in the world.

Wishing you and all a Beautiful Winter Season and The Merriest Christmas Ever. …and next year, An Even Merrier One. And the year after that… yep, an EVEN BETTER MERRIER Christmas. (something that would have NEVER happened if we remained with “him”.

All my best,


Kaya and NWHSOM, I’m so glad you are both still doing well! I have been away from here for awhile, I felt it was starting to keep things too fresh in my mind and needed some distance. Haven’t even been clicking on articles, but this one caught my eye.

I am plugging along and he crosses my mind less and less all the time. I am so proud when I think of how far I have come and how I am my own person again. The more new people that come into my life, the further away that past seems. The real estate market here is so competitive, I just missed out on a sweet house to an all cash offer a few weeks ago but I am optimistic that I’ll find the right place soon and be putting down permanent roots.

Best wishes for a wonderful, peaceful holiday season for you both and especially for a great 2016!! Not, I’m with you, here’s to Christmas getting even merrier for all of us as the years go forward! xo


So glad to hear you are doing ok . You sound terrific. My last Christmas with him was actually in 2012, not 2013. I was dscarded in 2013. I always did the same. Went and tried to save the day. Trying to make peace, beg and cry for him to be nice to me. He just looked at me with his ice cold eyes. “You are such a crazy b****”. That was his favorite statement. And I cried and cried .
The last 2 Christmases were wonderful. Even going through the divorce I had peace and sanity.
And yes I feel the same. I can finally relax, be myself again and not having to worry 24/7 if I give him enough sex, if I am please him enough , if I look attractive enough, etc.
As you I am not where I want to be living wise. But I am working on it. Maybe one day I will be a home owner again. Until then I am fine being a “renter”. Because now I have everything I ever wished for and that is peace and happiness. What more can I hope for?. It’s way more than I ever had with him. Because even so I lived in a ” paradise ” place it was pure hell.
So glad you are well. I am still no contact. So proud of myself for staying strong and resilient. Love fraud here has taught me so much.


Hi just read your post this will be my first Xmas without him just me my son and daughter it’s going to be hard but reading everyone’s posts gives hope that it’s not just me and the kids that have been subjected to this selfish treated,they appear in all walks of life and in all four corners of the globe they should all come with a safety warning on them. Kay


So glad you are doing well. You always had such kind words for me. Like you I say “I just had a ad marriage” to new friends and neighbors I meet. Going in detail is difficult sometimes. People don’t understand. Especially when they find out my son cut off contact with his father also. And you are right any Chrisymas without him is a good one and definitely a peaceful one. I don’t get sad much anymore. I think he is fading more and more into the past. Like I said I don’t have the same living standard but I am ok with it. The marriage was so painful for me and the things he put me through, I am happy with little things now. I still could be cheated on, lied to, yelled at, belittled and I still would probably play detective and find porn sites, affairs and who knows what. I realized that’s not love, that’s not normal and it’s done thing we should never have to deal with. My life is busy with work, I still have my faith and I have my health. Of course I have my living son who is nothing like his father. It’s more than I ever had with the ex.
Wishing you a merry Chrisymas season . I know we got change pushed on us that we never asked for but in the end it was the biggest blessing.


I agree that Christmas without them is far better. None of the million things you did to make Christmas happen mattered anyway. Mine would sit like head honcho at the table, ex me out of the conversation as though I was a servant for him, the Duke of Narckingdom. I was so honored that he would stuff his face with the dinner that took me two days to prepare. I was so honored when I got to spend hours afterwards cleaning up, I was so honored when he spared me a scene that day as a token of his appreciation. But it’s the first Christmas without three if my children who live with him. IM not going to do the big blow out dinner. Me and my two kids will spend it with a friend.


p.s. please excuse my typos I’m typing on a phone device and hard to proof read.

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