By | December 24, 2015 64 Comments

A Relationship With A Sociopath, Anxiety, And Depression

Anxiety Depression

There are many reasons why being unwittingly involved with a sociopath often leads to anxiety and depression. Below is an edited excerpt from my book Husband, Liar, Sociopath: How He Lied, Why I Fell For It & The Painful Lessons Learned (available via that discusses some of the relevant dynamics.

Chronic, Subtle Feelings That “Something’s Off”

A chronic, subtle sense of unease, anxiety, and feeling that something is “off” are classic symptoms of being in a relationship with a sociopath. These feelings became my constant companions while married to my ex-husband.

A Psychology Experiment

The Iowa Gambling Task is a classic study designed by neuroscientists at the University of Iowa. It demonstrates how you can sense that something is wrong and feel anxious without understanding what is making you feel that way.

In their study, subjects were given four decks of cards, play money, and instructions to draw cards from any of the four decks until they were told to stop. Each card in the deck triggered a payout or a loss of varying amounts. The decks were rigged so that two of the decks had positive expected payouts while the other two were downright punitive and would result in large losses for the participant.

Players’ anxiety and tension were measured via the electrical conductance of their skin, the same technique used in many lie-detector tests.

Knowing Without Knowing We Know

At first, a player’s choice of decks appeared random.

But soon, players experienced tension and anxiety while reaching for the decks with negative expected payouts. Players also started avoiding these decks long before they had a logical explanation for their choices, suggesting that your anxiety and tension can signal that something is legitimately wrong long before you realize it consciously or can offer some sort of explanation.

What do the results of this card experiment have to do with living with a sociopath?

A relationship with a sociopath is just like thinking you are drawing cards from a fair deck when, in fact, you are drawing cards from a deck that is stacked against you. You will feel anxious and on edge. Although participants in psychology experiments are debriefed so they understand what has actually transpired, in real life there is no guarantee that you will ever understand the root cause of your negative feelings. Without understanding the root cause, you may never remove yourself from the person or situation triggering the feelings, hence feeling anxious and on edge become chronic.

Let’s Make Up a New Experiment And Think About What Would Happen

Imagine if you were a participant in the study and were required to keep choosing from the punitive deck, not all the time but as frequently as you did from the nonpunitive decks. Your anxiety and tension would probably persist and even escalate. Imagine now that, due to heightened tension and anxiety, you ask to avoid these decks. When the experimenter asks why, you explain that certain decks seem associated with big losses.

Imagine if the experimenter appears to listen with great empathy and compassion (as a sociopath would) but then explains that the decks have been balanced carefully. If you perceive differences, it is just that you are unlucky early on in the study or that you are one of those people who is overly sensitive to negative feedback.

In fact, the experimenter is just like you; he had a similar impression when he went through the experiment himself, but almost no other player has made that comment. Further, it is important for you to continue, and the lead experimenter will not pay you for doing the study unless you complete it—although the assistant experimenter would be happy to help you out if he could.

Nothing’s Wrong—You’re Just Oversensitive

In light of the information that there’s no valid reason to be upset, and with your ego on the line to prove you’re not “overly sensitive,” you persist.

Several outcomes, none of them good, are now likely. Your anxiety and tension will probably persist and build as you take actions you sense, accurately, are contrary to your interests. As your anxiety mounts, maybe you will stop the experiment again and reiterate that you’re sure two of the decks are minefields and ask permission to avoid them. Again, the assistant offers (although he suggests he might get in trouble for it) to take the decks aside and check them. Maybe they got scrambled. You wait. He returns, assuring you that the decks are even. Again, maybe it is just randomness that made some decks appear more or less favorable than others.

Alternatively, maybe, as the assistant suggested earlier, you’re just overly sensitive to negative feedback. In fact, another experimenter is looking for people who consider themselves exceptionally sensitive and tend to “over react.” Maybe you would like to sign up for this study as well. Not wanting to appear unusually weak or overly sensitive, you persist with the experiment in spite of mounting anxiety every time you reach for the two punitive decks.

In Chronic “Fight or Flight” Mode Without Knowing Why

In this scenario, you’re in a subtle, but constant, “fight or flight” mode, because you are in a negative situation. But since someone you trust, someone who seems to show considerable empathy for you, is telling you that you’re misreading the situation, you don’t leave.

If this is truly just an experiment that takes a half-hour, no long-term damage is likely. But living with a sociopath is like being stuck in a rigged experiment that never ends. Being in fight or flight mode is great if you’re trying to outrun a nasty dog. Living in fight or flight mode constantly is profoundly unhealthy—both physically and emotionally. In addition, having someone you trust continually contradict your perceptions and undermine your decisions is intellectually and emotionally corrosive. As your perceptions and reasoning are discounted, not only do you experience ongoing anxiety, you have less confidence in your ability to perceive and assess the friendliness or hostility of your environment. Over time, your self-confidence and self-esteem take a hit. Your hard-wired fight or flight mechanism, crafted over millions of years of evolution to signal danger, is dampened.

Learned Helplessness and Depression

There are other potential outcomes to this experiment we’ve created.

Choosing not to feel constant anxiety and having all your efforts to understand what is going on fail, you might continue to go through the motions but give up emotionally as you realize you can’t do anything to control a situation you perceive as negative.

This sounds a lot like “learned helplessness,” a term introduced by psychologists Steven F. Maier and Martin Seligman. Learned helplessness is linked with depression. To avoid expending energy in an unwinnable situation, it might be best to just resign yourself to your unpleasant fate—to give up, to not care, to disconnect.

Depression Hangs Around

The problem is that once you learn that it’s futile to try, this is hard to unlearn. As a result, after being eroded by a sociopath, you may not attempt to exert effort to advance your interests in future situations, even when the situation is different and new efforts are likely to yield positive results. Being in an environment for an extended time in which the connection between effort and results is severed can change you, leaving you chronically depressed.

Inner Strength

As these are only some of the toxic and corrosive dynamics inherent to many relationships with sociopaths, is it any wonder that the majority of people involved in a long-term relationship with a sociopath become depressed or anxious even in the absence of physical abuse?

I think it is testament to the inner strength of those targeted by sociopaths that we recover from this at all.  But, thankfully, with time, a change of environment (preferably “no contact” with the sociopath), and the right help and support many of us can and do—but it doesn’t happen overnight.  As I was unwittingly married to a sociopath for almost twenty years, my healing process has been long and ongoing—but it is happening.

Best wishes for getting these toxic people out of your life and moving onward.

Identifying names, places, events, characteristics, etc. that I discuss here and in my book have been altered to protect the identity of everyone involved.

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Hope Springs

OMG! What a terrific post O.N.Ward.

This explains our feelings about the dynamic in being involved with a SP.

You don’t know what is going on at first. You simply know that something is off. You feel anxious and tense while around the person, but you think that perhaps it is you. Others, including the SP, may tell you that it is you.

You begin to avoid the person. Those are the good times, when the person is not in your life. Then, when that person for whatever reason, arrives back into your life, there is that same feeling again. The feeling that you cannot explain or negotiate, and that you do not enjoy, all over again.

The cycle goes on. Until you realize the truth. Then, you must set your self free. Easier said than done…but you have to!

Thank you as always for this.

In my experience, when I first met him, prior to our affair, my energy changed in his presence. It was crazy. I felt crazy. I couldn’t talk to him, I couldn’t breathe normally around him. I thought I must be falling in love with him. I will say, however, that I did say aloud that something was off about him. I believe it was my intuition, yet I did subsequently begin an affair with him. This was a love affair that actually exponentialized over time, rather than deteriorate. You see, I was the other woman, or one of them, anyway. I didn’t know he was involved when we started, but by the time I found out, I was already six feet deep into him.
I never did feel comfortable around him. I remember last Christmas, he wanted to come by for his bi-monthly piece of ass, and as I opened the front door and he crossed my threshold, I actually looked outside, expecting some sort of murder squad or something. There was none and of course that evening, I was deep within the throws of passion, as always, and as always, he went home to his girlfriend/baby mama. Always with the negative intuition with him. I must say, I was aware, but simply could not walk away. I tried, he just wouldn’t let me, of course.
How did I get out of this mess? I left town. I returned home to my adult daughter and our little family. I go to therapy weekly. I take antidepressants, but ya know what; here is sit, on Christmas eve, stifling my desire to wish him a Merry Christmas, and yes, I know, logically that because I am gone, he could not care less, but still, I am spellbound. It’s amazing, the addiction we suffer for these antisocial-personality-disordered people.
His words to me in regards to my absence; “I miss you here”. At least he’s honest.
It’s strange commenting as the other woman. I see so much correspondence from wives, husbands, lifemates. I would so much love to hear from someone in my situation. I don’t think I am hated by yall for being the other woman; I think it’s pretty safe to say that I, too, am a victim.
Nevertheless, trust your intuition, especially in the beginning; it’s the universe’s way of telling you that fucked up people exist and they are closer than we realize.
Is anyone else like me? Not only do I feel the effects of a sociopathic lover, I feel guilty, as well. I see the baby mama feeling helpless and stuck. She and I know each other well. We all three worked together and as he was flaunting us in front of her, I could have never imagined she was his girl…until the day we knew of one another. I did apologize, but to what avail?
I hope another other woman will respond. I so desire that perspective. This is the first time I’ve publicly admitted to my role, but I feel safe enough here to talk about it.



EricA …yes it is painful to be with men like this but not to sound harsh but i feel it is not the same as those of us who were in a committed (or so we thought) relationship. Once you found out he was already taken, you should have left!! If there were not women like this who would knowingly have affairs these men would be alone and not be able to play the games they do with their SO. The pain you are going through…imagine it being reverse…the pain is 1000 times what you are feeling. Im not saying it to be harsh just pointing out the truth. You can learn from yours. Dont want to be hurt stay out of someone elses sand box!


EricA sorry but i do know you are in pain. Just hard when the reality is that you were played and yes i see it hurts. But i was not only played but made to feel crazy. That he would never cheat and i was just insecure! Yet you knew the truth as he was creating with you, cant see how it would have been as confusing for you once you found out.

Dear Whathappened
I realize everyday that regarding Alan, I, number one, am the lucky one and that the pain a person completely submerged in a relationship with a sociopath is far greater than mine. In fact, I know what his girl goes through and it breaks everything inside of me. And two, I did make a choice. I called him a sociopath to his face after observing his abhorrent behavior. He ghosted me for a month, but sure as he’ll came back. I swear, I tried so hard to stay away, but please know that just because I was a concubine does not mean I was not addicted to him.
All of yall should know that while I was seeing Alan a couple times a month, I was deeply entrenched in a relationship with a narcissist. We lived together. He had me on the verge of suicide. In therapy I came to understand that I was trying to repair the relationship I had with my narcissistic ex-father through Norman. It was crazy. Here is wad, consciously aware I was messing with a sociopath, accepting him for who he was, learning what I could about that personality, when all the while, I am practically married to a mirror image of my father, whom I have not spoken to in 20 years. (I’ll be 50 in 2 weeks).
I promise you, I feel your pain. I felt so stupid that I couldn’t walk away from either of them; that’s how badly I wanted to be loved, accepted, chosen. I thought if I loved them both harder, they would be ok. Obviously, neither of them are. I’m getting there, tho.
I want to hear from someone who was like me with my socio. I never hear from the concubines. While it was basically a choice, I still found myself quite compelled. I know my pain is not your pain, hence my desire to hear from the concubines. Am I the only concubine who was keenly aware that she was a concubine? Is my affair with Alan, and my understanding of who he is, and isolated case. I doubt that. And do the math; if beautiful wives like you are being cheated on, there must be plenty of other women. Do they know? Am I really the only one who lnew, and stayed, anyway?
I’m sorry for being available to him. I have nothing but concern for his real girl. It’s weird, we talked about it. Yes, she hated my behavior, my feelings for him, but she knew. For over two years, she knew.
Regarding my narcissist, there were no concubines, just anonymous sex at porn theaters. I knew, and I stayed with him, too. For these behaviors on my part, I blame my own PTSD. Even though they are both unbelievably nuts, I fit the victimology perfectly. THAT is what I’m working on, cuz that’s what matters, not them.
Please recognize my sincerity regarding screwing around with a taken man. Seriously, I was spellbound. I still think about Alan all the time and I have not seen him since May. It was a choice, however, I can only explain it by saying I couldn’t help myself. He is my addiction, which is a huge reason why I put a thousand miles between us.
Nevertheless, I am sorry.
And I’m sorry for your pain. This world that exists for us is ours, a community of victims. If I did not feel that way, I would not have been reading Donna’s blog for three years.
My love and my empathy I send to you.
(Sorry for grammatical errors,typing fast on my phone)


EricA – I don’t have time today but I was involved with someone who has a gf. The difference, I guess, is that I didn’t really believe him that he had one. I met him in Feb. and he told me he had met her twice as she lives in another continent (long distance “relationship”). He had only met her in Oct 2014 for the 1st time ever for 1 week and then in December for about 2 weeks. He also told me how in January he flew to a stranger in another country to have sex with her (this is after having been with his gf in December). In Feb. he contacted me for the 1st time and despite the gf having visited him in March he flew to my country to meet me in April. The way he cheated on her and how he talked about things made me really doubt she even existed and people even suggested to me that he was making her up. By the time I realised she did exist I was deep in too.

My story is here in case you want to read it in the meanwhile (


EricaA – Please check back. I only have a minute right now but I will respond to you. My experience is similar to yours. I was the “other” woman too.

Dear LoveLiesBleeding7,
Indeed, I will.
Thank you!


EricA i do hope you find healing. I guess my thing is why do women compete? I myself unknowly dated a man who was in a relationship, the day i found out was the last time i talked to him. Yes it hurt but the reality is i am no better than his SO, if he will do it to her , he will do it to me. Just because a guy cheats and does not want to loose you does not make him a scio. And i do say this from a place of compassion when i ask. Have you looked at why you think you deserve to be with someone who cannot commit to you? Do you think this is all you deserve? I can say that i ask the same questions of myself being on the other side. I do hope you find healing. And as women lets just stand by each other and not compete to win these loosers.

Dear Whathappened,
Yes, I have looked into why I felt that was all I deserved. I have such an amazing therapist who suggests that as my father, who remarried after my mother’s death when I was nine, the remarriage when I was eleven, completely discarded me, choosing his new family, that I am
trying to make these unavailable men, be they taken or too antisocial to commit, choose me. It’s a long road to healing, but when I went to her, I asked her why I fit this particular victimology and told her my objective was, is to figure out why and fix me so that I can find real love.
I agree with you regarding competition. This is what THEY do to us. Triangulation, a sport they love to observe. I’m with you. With all of you. I told Alan’s girl that I’m sorry, and I am. I pray for her all the time. The sad thing is, is that he simply replaced me. I’m not jealous of that, I’m sad for her.
My heart is with you. And Donna and O.N. Ward, and all of us. I accept your anger, for it is warranted, but I would rather we learn from one another and join forces and share our knowledge.
My blessings to you on this Christmas eve.
My love to you, as well.



I had no idea I was the other woman, until he spilled the beans and told me he was not only sleeping with a woman he had introduced me to as his friend, but he also was sleeping with his ‘best friend’ who had left her 15 year marriage for him. THEN, and this was the whopper, after I told him that I would not stay involved with him he ‘dropped’ these other women and pursued me full on, telling me he had never found the right woman to settle with. And I was the right woman. Riiiiight.

Of course, he wasn’t settling down with me at all, he just didn’t want to stop playing with me. But, despite my intuition SCREAMING at me I took his word and became involved. And of course there were other women (8-10 of them in 9 short months!). It was all a big fat LIE.

I don’t judge you at all. I understand that being with these sorts (and you have a complex situation, what with your father, etc), well it takes us ‘out of our value system’. We can find ourselves doing things we TOTALLY don’t believe in, or think is right, while we are with them. I am not, by nature, a ‘hot tamale’. But when I was with this guy I found myself trying harder and harder to get and keep his attention. This meant dressing provocatively, staying out too late on work nights, and just generally trying to keep up with his hedonistic lifestyle. I was working 60 hours a week, managing in a hospital, and trying to live like a silly teenager just to get this person’s attention.

It isn’t until we figure out what they are, and WHO we are, that we can set up a final and solid boundary; around any contact with them, about our own behaviors, about our choices.

Thank you for sharing your story, we all come from different places and contexts. We all need support and healing to overcome our bio/physical attachments to these creeps. We all need to be validated, that we were drawing out of the ‘negative deck’ for as long as we were. Your story may give another person the courage to participate here, and get the support they need.

With regard, Slim


I do love your comments Slimone. They are uplifting and positive. Thank you!!!


I have just joined this site and would like to tell my story. I met my SP when I was 14 and married him at 15. We were married for 26 years . I wish I knew then what I know now but unfortunately my journey was slow and painful.

He had ALL the characteristics of a SP and they reared their demonic heads a little at a time. He was

charming and had so much confidence, things I admired because I lacked these traits. He was kind, empathetic, loving, loyal,consistent and numerous too good to be true qualities.

I came from a dysfunctional family consisting of my mother and 5 sisters. My father died when I was

11. Red flag #1, no father-figure, easy prey for him and also very religious hence morals. He would

become a “friend of the family” to get to know our vulnerabilities very well. My father was very strict

about gender so we were never allowed to play with boys so I never really knew anything about the

opposite sex. At first, I didn’t like him and should have listened to my gut instinct, but he grew on me.

Before I realized what had happened, I Was IN LOVE!! From then on he controlled every aspect of

my life. Who I could be friends with, where I went …to what I could wear and even what I could talk about.

Being so naive, I mistook this for TRUE LOVE. It is really hard to go back and relive the beginning of

a nightmare that haunts me still. So I can only tell my story in Chapters. I will post all of my experien

ces as I feel more comfortable. This may help the healing I desperately need. I can relate first hand

to all of the posts I have read. I can tell you the damage that most assuredly happen to those who

are still in these relationships. Total brokeness!!!


Welcome, and I too am new to this site. I find the shared experiences very helpful and healing. I come here as I am able to share and read about experiences that only someone involved with these types can fully understand. I too had no father, and I also know that this made me vulnerable as well.


How old was your ex when you married? How long have you been out of the marriage?

It sounds like you are taking steps to heal and to make a good life for yourself. It’s not easy, but it is so worth it to get away and to recover.

Thanks Slim.
This morning, I removed him from my contacts and archived him on Hangouts. This is so as to no longer see his name, his image, him. It’s a Christmas gift I give myself.
I know in order to love anew, I must completely bind his power over me. The love I seek is my own love, for myself.
I can’t tell you how much better it makes me feel to talk about it with people who have been through it. As I said, my therapist is amazing, however, she is in a healthy marriage. While she gives me tools and advice, knowing that I am not alone, not the only victim blinded by what I would normally perceive as love makes me realize even further that it’s not me; it’s HIM. The me part is simply a lack of self love. We’ve all been there, and our words to one another are inherently necessary.
Thank you for your thoughts. I carry them inside of me as I heal. They fill that space once occupied and now abandoned by a complete and total whack job.
Merry Christmas,
Much love,


I fully agree Dee. Never, ever thought I would find myself on a blog, about relationships – and getting SO much support from it. Hang on in there and I will try to do the same


Good for you Dee! I did the same. Blocked everything. I also got rid of everything he had ever given me. I had to. It took that much cleaning to help me get back to myself. Not that he was overly generous or anything like that. But I didn’t want to keep stumbling over little things in my home that were a reminder of him.

The results of these kinds of actions are not generally very immediate. But they are necessary if we are to even begin to walk down the path of healing. I had to make a TOTAL commitment to my own life. 100%. It sounds weird, and felt so weird after over focusing on someone else for so long (I had had multiple friendships and relationships with disordered people).

Initially I continued to feel anxious and high strung. Then I dropped into depression and ‘boredom’. Everything felt SO flat, drab and uninteresting. I think our bodies are so strung out on adrenaline and other neurotransmitters that once we start to ‘come down’ we can totally crash.

I wasn’t ‘just’ recovering from this 9 month entanglement. I was recovering from a life of disordered people. I had to remember that. So do you, it sounds like. That is a good thing to remember when you feel like your progress isn’t ‘fast enough’. It is so true if our ship has been sailing along, with all that heavy baggage, and in the same direction for a lifetime….well it isn’t going to simply turn on a dime just because we start to turn the steering wheel.

I also went to therapy. We didn’t talk a lot about malignant narcissism, but some. Mostly I felt safe with my therapist, and she helped me manage my feelings and choices. She helped with medications. This website was THE most validating place for me, and I have made some supportive connections here.

It is as you point out about self-love, self respect. Simply asking ourselves, with deep honesty, is this REALLY what I want? Do I want to be anxious, abused, disrespected, and manipulated? Is this really what I want for my brief life? And if the answers are NO! then the only option is to assert firm boundaries to protect ourselves, and to keep other folks from just being themselves ‘on’ us. I know these sorts know what they are up to. I know they can change their strategies when it suits the situation to do so, and they will reap the benefits they think they are entitled to. But, overall, I don’t think they can really STOP being sociopaths.

This is super important to remember. There is NO changing them. EVER. Only our decisions can change. It is powerful if we stop long enough to consider that we can change our lives, our direction. We can help abusers stop abusing us by leaving them. By never speaking or interacting with them again. They cannot help us with this process. They don’t want to help us.

Merry Christmas to you too Dee…..

Death Slim.

Thank you for sharing your words with me on Christmas. To know you are out there and that you understand how I feel and why I was so compelled to seek out impossible relationshipso is the best gift I’ve received today. Sometimes I feel so alone, and yet I feel that’s all I can do to protect myself. I eased my 7 year old grandson, today, what I should do in regards to my immense attachment to my family, as it seems like my daughter is my only friend (a friend who sees me completely differently than I really am, a friend who has no clue what it’s like to be raised by a narcissist, you can imagine the perception), and he said, “Maybe you should make a new friend, Gramma. Indeed, I should, yet I trust no one and prefer my solitude at this point.
Nevertheless, I’m just so glad you are there, taking the time to talk to me. I can’t tell you how good it feels to be understood.
You’re right about antisocials being unable to change. I just want to change me, so I’m not out there thinking I deserve no better and that if I stay, I will have proven myself worthy. Thank the spiritual being for therapy and people like you who take the time on Christmas, no less, to share your wisdom, your story, your tools. Your comment on turning on a dimension reminds me of Titanic. It’s gonna take a lot of time and work to do a 180, especially if our ship is full of fools.
Thank you for being here, Slim.


Christmas is such a hard time. Thinking of you – stay strong. X



Your words are powerful medicine and direction. Brilliant.


EricA, First off don’t let anyone diminish the validity, or the degree, of the pain you felt during your experience with your guy. Part of the reason that people can end up in these sort of relationships is because of a history of having been forced to dismiss our hurt because of messages – either direct or indirect that “tell” us that our feelings are irrelevant. The way I always viewed it, was that his wife has her version of a painful story, and I have mine. Had we BOTH been in rational and emotionally healthy states, he wouldn’t have had either one of us in his web of deception. And that is the world he creates. It’s all a game and I believe absolutely everyone in his life is just a puppet to him. If they don’t play his game, he simply writes them out of the script. Even his own children. Anyone who doesn’t want to play by his rules is subject to his “punishment”.

Anyway, I was three months into it with him when I discovered he was married. He’d lied about everything in his life, even his name. It was purely by “gut feeling” and some savvy internet research that I smoked him out. My first question: “why didn’t you tell me you were married?” Answer: “Because I knew, if you knew, you would never give me a chance”. And this is true. I had never, and would never, knowingly get involved with another woman’s man. There is no “win” in that for me and I don’t live a life of deceit. If anything I am honest to a fault. Which gave him plenty of material to say exactly what I needed to hear to stay involved with him. Oh yes, his marriage was awful, they were like strangers living in the same house, all they did was fight (I have no doubt that was true),they’re only together for the sake of the kids,and on and on. Looking back, he took all of the things I had said about my own marriage and divorce and simply adapted them to his story.

Of course I gushed with empathy and understanding…at first. But because an affair is not in my character, eventually I started pulling away. The loneliness of the many days I wished that we could be together, but knowing that he was with “her” was unbearable. He kept me on the string for a while longer with loads of empty promises, “just a little longer”, “her (wife’s)grandmother is on her last leg, and there will be a settlement, she can take her inheritance and we’ll go our separate ways”, “I NEED you to help me be a better person” (as if admitting that his wrongdoing was grieving him and he wanted to be in a “right” relationship…with me), and my favorite, “my plan is to be with you…down the road”. Oh, he had a plan alright, but it was never to be with me.

A year went by. Out of the blue called to tell me that he was divorcing. I ignored the part about his wife serving the divorce papers to him on the first day he was sentenced to three months in jail for domestic abuse. Well of course he finally blew up at her considering how awful she, and the marriage were. He assured me that “things are changing, and everything will be fine now”. It was three months before I saw him in person. I wanted to see him immediately but he always found excuses to avoid it. Of course I was getting all of the sob stories of what had transpired over the past year that we were out of touch. And of course I wanted to believe him. He was going to really be free, it was the chance for the real relationship with him that I had always dreamed of. As time passed and he kept finding excuses not to see me, I finally just went to his house. I needed to know what was real. I was tired of finding myself again being held by empty promises. Seeing him only sealed the deal for me. Looking back, if I had never gone there, things might have been different. I might have stayed away for good as it became apparent that his actions were never going to match his promises. But I didn’t and we went through a couple of years with me not seeing him any more than I had when he was married. In fact, one of my friends finally said, “you know, he’s actually treating you exactly the way he did when you were his mistress. It’s as if that’s all he wants with you is as a mistress”.

And that really is what it amounts to. When all is said and done, I’d been involved one way or another with him for six years and never, ever, in that time did I have anything that looked like a real relationship with him. There’s so much more to this story, I believe I could write a book. The ongoing lies and distortions of the truth. All the ways he made me feel like it was my fault that things between us weren’t different or better. And the day finally came when I “realized” that, based on the things he had said about me, I was never going to be “good enough” for him. The damage through time is that he had me feeling as if I really weren’t good enough…for him or anybody else. But I am smart enough to cut through the emotional pain of losing “the dream” with him, to know that’s untrue. I’m a single mom, with a career, good kids, I own a house, my bills get paid, I don’t have drama with my ex, my friends, coworkers, nothing. He was the only toxic thing in my life.

And he remains a source of toxicity as he’s continued to pop in and out of my life. Through the years he got into my very core with his manipulation. I believe that I will always love him – the time we spent together was good, and I always felt safe when we were together, and in the moment it seemed very real – to me anyway. But he really has been like an addiction for me. I can totally see how he set me up to react that way. But, like any addiction, knowing that something is bad for you, doesn’t make you desire it any less. In fact withholding it can just make you want it even more.

Anyway, EricA, I know the pain you suffered as the “other” woman and it is a different story than that of the spouse of the sociopath. I know the manipulation, the depth of the loneliness, the hope, the waiting, and the relentless pain of not being with the man who claims he loves you above all others. I always envied his wife and hated her with a passion because of my jealousy. Thought what a fool she was not to appreciate the wonderful man she had. She was with him everyday. She HAD everything I wanted and yet, because she was such a beast, she ruined what she had. HOW could she not see what an amazing man she had. Well…because after 15 years of marriage she knew all the things about him that I didn’t. Whether she ever put a label on it, she knew what he really was.

I often wish that I could talk to his ex, because I imagine that she feels the same way I do. Trying to understand the “why” of it all. How a person you thought you knew was really a complete fake. I remember when spath was telling me the stories about the events that led up to his divorce (part of it being the discovery of his infidelity) and he said his wife said, “WHO are you? I’ve lived with you all of these years and it’s like you’re a complete stranger, like I never knew you at all”. See, it doesn’t matter what the relationship, I think her statement sums it up for all of us who find ourselves involved with a spath.

And the sad thing is, I still miss the man I thought he was. I would like to have THAT man in my life. But I believe that if he were capable of being THAT man, I wouldn’t have ever known him at all. Because if he were capable of being a faithful, honest, caring, empathetic man then he would have had a healthy marriage. He would not have been out deceiving women, such as myself, into relationships that he knew were never real. And I use the plural here because I am confident that I was never the only one. In the time following the divorce, when he no longer had reason to hide anything, the fact that he did still find reasons to hide me from his life, and avoid a true relationship, just assures me that he was operating in a pattern of behavior that existed not just as a result of his marriage – but it is the very pattern of his life. One woman will never be enough for him because his script requires multiple women to remain interesting…or perhaps just to assure himself that he is manly, desirable, and powerful.


Erica,& Love,Lies,Bleeding,

In a way arent we all the OTHER Women ? Did any of us know that we were sharing our lying cheating sociopaths with at least one woman. Werent we all shocked to find out there was one woman ? And then werent we all devastated to find out that the creaps had a gaggle of women, and multiple classified ads, and porn sites visited daily. How do we really know who came first me, you, the classified tramps, or an unsuspecting person that was told in the beginning that he was not married. You both are brave women to share your stories. These threads are covered with the blood and guts of many who have been ripped apart body and soul. the first time mine walked out on me never to return it was two years ago and it was the same Woman. She may not have known the first time but she definately knew what she was doing this time. I hated her. I spoke ugly of her. I wished her the largest hemorroids known to man.
Now Im thinking. what has he told her about me ? why the attraction for a man living with someone else. why would she do this to me. she knows me. Why would she do this to herself ?
Its because of this site I know now that she has been duped also. he has mesmerized her with all his horror stories about me, and all the love bombing that she is complely under the spell.
Sometimes I think i should call her and have a heart to heart talk. let her know what prize she has really won.
But then my evil twin wont let me. i believe she is a bigger sociopath than he is and they will devour one another. they both will reap what they have sown as time has a way of dealing with bad people. Let her be on the recieving end of what Im living through. (They are rushing to get married.)she thinks that will assure her of ever lasting love, and then he cannot return again to me. all I can say is good luck.
So whenever her time comes and she finds herself on this site, i will try to be as kind as i can be. i will be kind because the pain we all share here is horrific. Even she does not deserve this kind of pain.
this is a wonderful forum. I have learned so much. I used to be on here 3-4 x’s everyday and a couple times a night. i litteraly could not breathe. I thought i was dying. hell dying would have been a blessing. Now I am here when i can get here. I know where to go when im floundering. its been 6 weeks of NC. I have not seen or spoken the Ass in 6 whole weeks ! Ive even smiled a couple of times today. Still got the 3:00 AM panic attacks but hell I am sleeping better now than i have in the last 6 months when he was still here.
Merry Christmas Every one.


Very good point about all of us being the other women. Interesting way of looking at it. Mine might have for public view been engaged to me…but had “others” to fill his sick ego.


Ah love lies

DONT WE ALL WISH WE HAD “THAT” MAN. I KNOW THAT I DO. “THAT MAN” WAS THE SUN THE MOON AND THE STARS. I STILL WANT THAT MAN. i dont know who that shell of a human being my ex is. Who ever it is does not deserve one minute more of my energy. if i had known this man for 10 minutes (before) i would have never wasted 5 years and most of my financial resources, on him. This man is what was left when the Aliens took the most wonderful guy in the world and replaced him with a soul sucking succubus. I am looking forward to meeting THAT man some day hopefully. The real “THAT” man not a body double

Dear Love,

Wow. Seriously, it’s like hearing someone else tell my story.
First, I am so sorry you road that roller-coaster for so long
I’m glad I left Oregon and returned to Nevada. I can assure you, I would have continued my great American love affair (as I used to refer to it as, that passion, those moments, “she” is the one who’s really suffering the brunt of his behavior, “she’s” the one he’s cheating on.) And no, I was not the only one; he was a manager in my office, I was in sales, “she” was a trainer. Oh, the dichotomy. Al was investigated for sexual misconduct and abusing his authority. I was interviewed, she was interviewed, he was subsequently fired. She remained with him, moving together to a larger place for the baby they had had only 5 months prior. I stayed, too. I hate myself for continuing the affair. I often wonder if she hates herself, too.
I have been jealous of her, the baby, the “them”, but then logic set in and I realized I was very fortunate to not be her. I have watched her accept the insane excuses he plead, in fact, and this is huge, and it may seem like I did it for me, but I didn’t; I did it for her…
My roommate found AL on a match making site and pointed it out to me with great trepidation. My response: I chuckled; so typical, I thought. I knew he was a sosh and was, am sure that the dating site thing is ancillary to his sociopathy. My next move: I emailed the link to his profile to her, anonymously. I found out later from her best friend that he told babymama someone had used his Facebook profile picture, that it was most certainly not his doing. Did she buy it? Either she did, continuing to live in the shadow of his illusion, or she simply accepts that he is a cad. I want babymama to take their daughter and run for the hills; not for me, I’m a thousand miles away from him, but for her and her daughter.
Anyway, I still think about him all the time. Yes, addiction. Sweet nectar of temporary leave of the real world. I basically got the good parts of his personality. I’m sorry for her, I am. He stung me right from the get and every time I tried to walk away, he would say, “Are you sure you wanna walk away?” Staring at me with that sociopathic glare, kissing me hard, promising me forever. Sweet nectar.
My knowledge is my power, my strength my weapon.
My friends on are my saviours, there, reminding me not to pick up the phone.
Please know, with me you have reciprocity, ah reciprocity, something we never got from them…


Thank you. Oh, how they love to string you along. No contact is the only way but, like you, I still have feelings of love. My new coping strategy is when I am thinking of him I say to myself, “Wish you were here but you can’t be because the you I loved never really existed.” Love to you all in the New Year!


Emtuoba – Your first few sentences are brilliant and so true. There is never one woman, only “other” women.

Thank you for sharing your wrath. I shamelessly enjoyed every word you said because, like you, I always took the high road in the end rather than choose to add more hurt to the situation. But I have felt the wrath inside me. There was a point in time, early on, that everything in me wanted to go to his spouse and tell her about her husband’s dirty little secret. The pain and frustration of it all would boil up inside me and I wanted everyone to hurt like I did. But I didn’t for two reasons. One, it would have ended my relationship with spath for good. I knew he would hate me for it – and I was too afraid of that happening. The thought of “what if he really were free someday…” prevented me from closing the door on possibility. The other reason; because married women usually misdirect their anger in these situations. The first target is usually the other woman, not their lying, cheating spouse. Putting myself in the crosshairs of her rage if I came forward wasn’t in anyone’s interest.

So I walked away from it all. Told spath, “you have a wife and whether you think so or not, you have a relationship that you need to deal with and resolve. If your situation ever changes, let me know and maybe we can wipe the slate clean and start new”. Well, “careful what you wish for” with that one I guess, because that’s exactly what he did. Came running right back to me when his wife was leaving him. And whatever sickness existed in his marital relationship, he just carried right into my life. Because he was the sickness. He is at his “best” when everyone around him is broken. Then he doesn’t have to feel bad about his own brokenness. Destroying those around him gives him the illusion that he is not as bad as he appears to be.

Make no mistake, he has awareness of the devastation he leaves in his wake. He made the statement once, with a dramatic sigh, “we only hurt the people we love…”. In the context of the conversation at that time, I took that as sort of an apology for the pain he knew he had caused me. That he had hurt me and put me through so much, because he loved me and couldn’t let me go. That maybe he was sorry. Now I know that it was simply a statement of the ugly truth. Whether or not he knew why he did it, he was fully aware that he hurt people who tried to love him. His mother, his wife, me, the others. Anyone who tried to love him, or tried to “get too close”, those are the ones who were going to suffer at his hands.

I think that’s why I often thought he really could get better if he really wanted to. Because through time I realized that he was completely aware of his games and his manipulations and the consequences of his actions. So I often thought of him in the same way I would view an alcoholic or a drug addict. Addicts can get better, if they are really determined to do so. They are aware of their problem and can make a choice to fight it. I always believed he knew he had a choice. Finding this site was the first time I ever really embraced the idea that I was wrong. He doesn’t have a choice. He’s a destructive force that simply exists. No different than any other destructive force of nature, such as a tornado, or a disease, or a hungry lion. This is what he was created to be and all we can do is try to protect ourselves. But unfortunately, no different than a tornado, or a disease, or a hungry lion – by the time you see it, it’s probably already too late.


I didn’t know about these kind of people either. I believed every lie no matter how rediculous. I really believed in him. I loved him more than anything in the world. I alienated everyone to be what ever I could be for him. I couldn’t breathe without him. Now I know. Now I know I loved a fictitious character. Now I know the truth behind all the lies. One thing is certain. We here have all loved the same heartless demon. The names and locations are all different but the stories are almost identical. I am shocked to find out that these people exist. I’m shocked that the most wonderful man in the world is actually diabolical.
This site has saved me. These people here comfort me and amaze me with their strength and honesty. They say when the student is ready the teacher will come. Guess I’m ready. Still one day at a time but it’s 6 weeks already. Woo hoo !


Just a late thought on this:
someone who would accept that much sacrifice from you, including alienating everyone else around you and changing for him — that sort of person isn’t really wonderful. They’re using charm to get what they want and distract from all they’re taking away from you. Someone who is truly wonderful won’t want to take so much from you.


I have had two serious experiences with psychopaths, each at different periods in my life. Although the red flags and behaviors were similar overall, they each had their catered masks and tactics they used on me. I learn and process things through visual imagery best. When I take a step back and visualize psychopaths based on my experience with them, I picture an empty shell, a vessel, sometimes I visualize a bottom- feeder like a lobster who doesn’t discriminate – he will feast on filet mignon, garbage and/or a razor blade. They are like snakes hiding in the grass, slithering through quietly, observing/studying their prey carefully. They ask lots of questions to see what makes you tick, what angle will work best on you. They test your boundaries and reactions. I have no doubt they repeat phrases intentionally to brainwash you into Creating an image in your mind of who they are based on their words and behaving the way they want you to behave. Like a snake, they shed their skin and put on new “masks” custom-tailored just for their victim(s). They feed on their victims energy and emotions (be they positive or negative, doesn’t matter as long as they see you care).
It didn’t take long for the first one to drop his mask with me. The pathological lies got so bad by the end I still ask myself how I sat there and listened to them. He love-bombed me, told me I was beautiful all the time, was an amazing wordsmith promising away the future. As soon as he knew he had me hooked, he slowly pulled away and gave me crumbs of attention, the silent treatment, would disappear for days. He conditioned me by saying I made “big deals out of little things” and that “trust was so important to him” so that I would stop arguing with him about his Houdini acts and give him my blind trust (that way he provided a distraction so he didn’t have to work to earn my trust). After three years, I found out one day that he actually had a fiancé the entire time we were dating. She and I eventually spoke and she admitted he had lied to her and treated her poorly, but when she started slipping away he always knew just how to reel her back in. She too had uncovered his lies, discovered his online dating profiles. What qualities did I have that made me vulnerable to his manipulation? I am very open-minded and accepting of all different types of people. I’m incredibly forgiving and he took that to mean he could selfishly walk all over me. I looked him up several years later and found that he had married the fiancé. Some small voice in my head wondered if he had changed. Then, out of the blue he e-mailed me asking me how I was doing, trying to test the waters. I listened to my gut and it told me nothing had changed. If he went behind her back before, he will do it again, here he was doing it years later. Past behavior is the best prediction of future behavior. We are all “the other woman” ”“ one person, no matter how amazing, how giving, will never be enough for him. It has been so hard to wrap my head around these concepts since it is so foreign to the way I think. He will be on the hunt for vulnerable prey (young, naïve, recently widowed, etc.), “just for kicks” prey (maybe someone they meet out at a bar who seems lonely), online prey (dating sites), former prey”. the list goes on.
My second experience with a psychopath was different and made me realize there were types of prey I didn’t even think of” the more challenging prey (i.e. happily married women). I was and still am happily married. A year and a half ago, he managed to infiltrate his way into my life donning a mask of friendship. He performed the classic pity-play for about six months: made me feel bad for him because he had gone through in his words “such a horrible divorce ”“ my wife cheated on me”. He was so lonely and wished he could meet someone nice that he could trust. He said he trusted me like a friend which was “so rare for him” so I felt obligated to help this “poor soul”. Before I could really get to know him, I introduced him to one of my single childhood friends in hopes they might hit it off. Long story short, he love bombed my friend, moved things really fast, and the plot turns – a month after he started dating her (seven months into my friendship with him) he confessed he had feelings for me which threw me for a real loop . Meanwhile, behind my back he had managed to turn my friend against me by slowly feeding her false information saying I was going after him making him feel uncomfortable saying inappropriate things to him. I was able to sit down face to face with my former friend in person, who was very defensive of him and his lies (I mean his side) The realization that he had calculatedly planned this all out was incredibly hurtful.
This site, and other sites have been my saving grace to maintain “no contact” as there were so many times anger, sadness, rage took over and I was upset for being taken advantage of. They are calculated and know exactly what they are doing. They get pleasure out of seeing our reactions to the pain they inflict on us. It all stems from their constant boredom and their jealousy for those people that are foreign to their way of thinking: those that are empathetic, who can truly feel love. The survivors on this website, the warriors really, how could he be truly happy all the sudden, with someone new? He can’t, things don’t change drastically overnight. Why would he feel the need to go out of his way to be sure to post pictures of new targets or tell you how happy he is? That is triangulation and it is a deliberate attempt to make you, one of many former targets, jealous.
At the end of the day a snake is a snake so he can’t help but eventually bite his prey, it’s inevitable. You can put your all into trying to help save a snake, but the snake will still bite you. Each time he bites the wound will go deeper only to develop a stronger “trauma bond” ”“ our power is to love ourselves and to remove ourselves from the equation, the triangles, the drama. Peace to everyone – keep up with no contact and if you ever doubt it, come to this site 🙂

Dear OneDay,
Such as beautiful post. Thank you for sharing. Three things really resonated with me.
Number one, we certainly are all the other woman. God, his wife, she knew when they were simply engaged. For her, or him, I guess, there will always be other women. I remember how much the babymama hated me (but not him…AT ALL!?!), which brings me to number two; Al was conspicuously on a dating website site, as well, while the babymama was pregnant. She was made aware and believed his excuse, nevertheless, I often read of this. It’s amazing how similar they all are. I chuckle and snort when I pause for a moment and think, “Jesus, are we all dating the same man?” And number three, he was calculating when dealing with you and your friend. Yall were his pawns in the game he plays, perpetually. Like pieces on a chess board. This, too, totally gets me. Everything and everyone is a game to them, and boy are they sharp as a whip, keeping up with all of it !
I have learned that what they consider weaknesses in our character, these are the things that make us beautiful souls. We simply have to be as keenly aware of the behaviours of others as they are.
Blessed be, love.


Dear O.N. Ward, I wanted to say thank you so much for your book. I read your book a month ago and I’ve been wanting to say thanks in an anonymous way, and just stumbled across your article here. You have helped me tremendously because I also met my ex sociopath in a top university, and his mask was also of the “highly successful pillar of the community”. It took me a long time to figure out what he was due to his outward success. But everything you wrote was right on point for my relationship with him and it lifted a huge, huge boulder off of my chest. Thank you so much for your wonderful effort at putting the abuse into words. Happy holidays and best wishes.


Emtuoba – So sorry to hear of the situation around you and the losses. I grew up in an area that was prone to tornadoes and the destruction can be mind-blowing. This may sound strange, but since you are now surrounded by others who are suffering material losses and forced to rebuild, maybe some strength and inspiration will come to you as well. I doubt that you will ever recover the money that your spath owes you – not unless he were to offer it back as a means to come back into your life. Some scheme he has in mind. This is only my opinion, but it may be time to just cut your losses and let go of that money. Accept that it is gone. I know that stinks, it’s unfair, there’s no justice in it, but how long can you let the money be more important than your sanity and health? And who knows, maybe he would try to creep back using the offer of the money. In which case you could literally take the money and run.

As for the truck, I see your concerns about the potential to damage your credit. I am no financial expert, but I was asking myself what I would do in a similar situation. I’m curious, is his name on the truck as well or is it just yours? Depending on the answer to that, then I’m also curious why you’re afraid of making him angry? Are you concerned that he will try to harm you physically?

So strange about the sleeplessness. I would also wake between 3-3:30 a.m. with my mind churning. What is it about 3 a.m.? Lol. This may sound silly, but I would lie on my back and place my hands over my heart. I found this calmed the pain (and I am talking literal pain) I felt in my heart. Then I would try to block out all thoughts other than imagining God busy balancing all the world around me to lead me out of my dark place. I would whisper to God exactly what I would like my life to be like going forward and ask Him to bring the right people and things into my life to help show me the way. I also asked for the strength to stay peaceful and AWARE so that I would recognize those things when they arrived – and no be so buried in hurt and anger that I couldn’t see.

I just kept trusting that if I asked God to show me a new plan for my life, a GOOD and healthy plan, then slowly he would guide me down that path. As I had mentioned before, my spath has popped in and out of my life. Every time he makes an appearance it’s like someone dropping an emotional bomb and I have to pick up the pieces ALL over again. I actually got to a point that rather than wake up in the middle of the night and going through this little ritual with God, I now just do this when I go to bed. Like a child saying their bedtime prayers I guess, or even if the real power here is just me talking to myself and stating my intentions – either way – I seem to sleep just fine these days no matter how stirred up my thoughts through the day may have been.

And better things are coming into my life because I AM seeing them for a change. Good things may have always been there but I would not release myself from my sick thoughts in order to give anything else the space to grow. Completely releasing those thoughts is going to take time, but I have many more days free from thinking about the aftermath of spath than I ever used to. When I do have bad days and feel broken, I just accept it, come here and read for a while, and the dose of reality is usually the only medicine I need to snap out of it. I don’t often post, but I was feeling EricA’s pain in this thread and that brought me into the conversation for a while.

My thoughts are with you too Emtuoba. One day at a time.


I woke again this am 3:15 in full panic attack. I’m so tired of him sucking the joy out of me. Even if I’m only fighting my battles in my sleep I’m letting him continue to steal my life. I’m doing great in my waking hours it’s when I’m asleep that the horrors begin. I know this is a process but I’m tired of me going through this process while he goes on happily ever after. Why couldn’t tornados find him instead of the sweet co-workers that have lost everything. ? I just don’t understand anymore. In the midst of my panic I found this email from the Universe. It helped me through this mornings painful attack. I thought I would share this with everyone. Maybe it can help someone else.

Courageous is the soul, , who adventures into time and space to learn of their divinity. For while they cannot lose, they can think they have, and the loss will seem intolerable. And while they cannot fail, they can think they have, and the pain will seem unbearable. And while they cannot ever be less than they truly are – powerful, eternal, and loved – they can think they are, and all hope will seem lost.

And therein lies their test. A test of perceptions: of what to focus on, of what to believe in, in spite of appearances.

YOU,, are divine –
The universe.

Very positive message for us all don’t you think.
It helped me feel better.


Hi emtuoba, Be patient with yourself. I was 5 years out before I began to ‘not panic’. Let yourself panic and let it move through you. Don’t hold it in. Then trust that you will be ok.
In your writing you mentioned the monster. I used to want to be protective of myself when dealing with him in our divorce but sometimes it’s better to say to yourself, “Don’t poke the monster and wake him up.”


Thank you loveliesbleeding.
No the truck is only in my name. He has trashed it. It was upside down to begin with. I cannot afford it. I cannot drive it. It’s huge. If I repo it it’s like a bankruptcy. I need my credit. I want to get a place with my mom in a year. And my sweet little puppies are turning into ponies. I’ve got to get them placed before too much longer. 8 mastiff pups are real work. I’m just over whelmed. I’m so tired.
I’m trying to see this from a positive angle. If I can just turn this around.

It’s weird, the 3am thing. I wake every night at three am, and this is WITH meds that help me sleep. Fortunately, the meds help me fall back to sleep, after a piece of chocolate and a glass of water, but, yeah, it’s always between 3 & 4. I have found that sleeping with my TV on helps. Doesn’t really matter what’s on, I used to sell cable and now I have none, but I feel like the sound overshadowsystem my racing thoughts. I do advise psychiatric intervention. They can prescribe medication and when you explain why you can’t, that it’s probably PTSD, a doctor will know what medication works best. I wake feeling rested. It’s imperative you get your rest; it’s the foundation of healing on all aspects. But the three o’clock thing…wow!


Yes it is odd the 3 am thing. I wake anyway at 5 am. I wonder if it’s a sleep stage in which I’m preparing to wake up or something. Then my unconcious thoughts and worries just come flooding out. I’m just trying to understand it. I want it to stop. It physically hurts. I want it to stop. I’m not taking meds. I’m addicted to lavender oil lately. I put a bottle under my pillow and sprinkle some on my pillow and just breathe deeply
until I stop panic and fall back asleep. Don’t know why lavender oil but it seems to help me.
I also sleep with the tv on. The noise helps. I have an appointment. January 11. Can you believe it takes a month to get an appointment with a therapist. Yes I do have PTSD. IM CERTAIN OF IT.
It is frightening in away that we are all so similar. It’s more than frightening that our ex’s are so similar. It’s like we are all the the same person. Collectively the pain we share is monumental. It could fill an ocean. It’s just so over whelming that these heartless creeps have caused so many good people so much pain. I’m praying that it will stop for all of us. And the sooner the better.

Sorry for the typos…damn auto correct 😨


Connecting to your words. This was the cycle I also lived in my 25 year marriage. Thank you for sharing. Still healing from the physical repercussions of living in the fight or flight mode. Will check out your book!


Emtuoba – I guess I don’t understand about the truck then. Seems to me that you should be within your rights to just take the vehicle away and sell it. Do you have the title in your possession? Do you have a key? Even if you don’t have the key, you can have a key made with certain information about the vehicle. I googled and you can sell a vehicle even if you still owe on it. Google it for yourself and see. Maybe a dealership would be interested in taking it off your hands and help with the paperwork involved. Of course you probably won’t make any money off it, but that’s not the point. The point is to release yourself from having this hanging over your head. Do you pay the vehicle insurance as well? God forbid he goes and has an accident and really trashes it.

If it were me, I think I’d talk to someone at my bank and at a car dealership and see if they’d help me understand what my options are for selling it. If there are some good options for unloading it then the next thing I’d do is take a friend that can drive a big truck and take that dang truck away from him. Then I’d get rid of it as quick as I could. If I were worried that he’d get angry and mess with me, then I’d first check with the police before I went to get the truck. Ask them if you’re legit to just go take it. None of these may be the right solution, but in the process of asking questions there should be some solution that emerges. Just so wrong that you would have to carry the burden and the risk of a truck that you don’t want and can’t afford anyway.

I get riled up about your situation because my ex-husband tried to crush me financially. Long story, but in 14 years of marriage he made sure everything financial had his name on it. Except for one thing…a MasterCard that was my first credit card I got just after college. I never cancelled it after we married. He never realized it existed and to be honest I forgot about it until I was going through files getting ready to move out. It was a Godsend. It was the only thing I had coming through the divorce that was solely in my name and that I could use to reestablish credit. Before I married I owned a home, a vehicle, had credit cards, and had excellent credit. After being married for so long it was like none of that ever existed. Like I never existed. My ex was mad as hell when he found out I had that card because he knew he hadn’t wiped me out. I was able to use it to reestablish my credit standing under my name and get other credit so I could buy furniture and beds for my kids at my new place until the divorce settlement came through. (I’m sure he would have loved to try to take full custody of our kids by proving that I couldn’t provide decent living conditions for them.)

I know thinking about this stuff makes you tired Emutoba, but the truck thing seems important because of the potential impact it could have on your future plans and your peace of mind. I hope you’ll consider asking around to explore any other options that might exist besides voluntary repo.

Changing the subject, that is horrible that you have to wait a month to get in to see the therapist. Hopefully it will be less time between sessions once you’re an established patient. I think we all experience some PTSD as we start to break away from these guys. So many of their tactics are focused on making us fearful that fear and distrust eventually become our very core.


Great ideas loveliesbleeding.
I will do what you have suggested. Yes I do pay for the insurance. There is so much owed on that truck. I cannot make any money and I know I will owe thousands besides. I really messed up. Yes he knew and took advantage of credit cards and more. He owes 2000.00 in tolls. I’m pretty well screwed here.
I just returned a text message to the HOMEWRECKER. I am hoping she wNts an end to any connection he and I still have and will facilitate future dealings with the horrible creature. I despise them both deeply when I think about them. I try not to think about them though so I can have no feelings about them one way or another. I just want this to be over. I want to be happy again.

Carinne Goh

Hello, I am in a messy long distance relationship with a guy for 10 months since February 2015 till now, he has these symptoms of a sociopath or psychopath as he is short tempered & he has been making promises to come to Singapore to meet me over 10 times for 6 months then make excuses for not coming.. Then he would fly into a rage over minor issues quite often. I dated & broke up with someone in Singapore 1 & a half months ago which I told him about & he always remembers whatever I did to him.. He has a selective memory by remembering my mistakes but forgets his own. He seems to be manipulative & controlling towards me.. He would unexpectedly say hurtful things to me in his whatsapp messages which leaves me in tears. He’s 27 years old from New Delhi, I am 31.. I didn’t understand why he behaves like that until I went to find more information about this personality disorder. After an argument, he would suddenly text me then get short tempered if I ask him questions. Don’t know what else he wants from me.


So… aren’t you glad you found all this out before he came to visit you? Thank your blessings.

Carinne Goh

He is still quite persistent in contacting me often.. He has a third private overseas number which he used to call me today..


I was constipated when always very regular, couldn’t sleep and had shingles. My body was screaming danger but I didn’t understand.


So sorry to read. Ive heard shingles is horrible and is brought on by stress. I hope you are handling the stress better. These types of relationships can literally kill you from the stress. Take care


The body will send signals when exposed to constant fight or flight, regardless of the source if the threat. I’ve received a certificates in integrative nutrition health coaching, neurological and hormonal testing and functional medicine to help myself and others understand and heal from this kind of stress. Alex Valasquez now in Spain produced an informative graphic of how the body releases chemicals in response to stress sending a cascade of inflammatory signals through our neuro-endo-immune systems – resulting in symptoms like constipation, anxiety, depression. I read a lot about relationships with !’spaths who are husbands and boyfriends. I married one, thus the 4yearsofhell username. But what I am coming to terms with, and struggle with more, is having a mother who I believe has strong ‘s’path character. This is very hard to say as I have loved her deeply. I no longer speak with her and it has allowed me some clarity on my lifelong struggle with fear, anxiety, depression and physical signs like irritable bowel and leaky gut. I recognize diet and my own choices in creating these symptoms. Marrying at ‘s’path who nearly destroyed me with the same methods used in the card game experiment, along with manipulation and lying, was like hitting a wall at full speed … a realization that was has been familiar and ‘normal’ in my first relationship, with my mother, was fundamentally flawed. I always knew it was “off”. But like the comments around the card experiment, I was told I was too sensitive, imaging things, wrong… by my mother and I could never fully understand of find the words to describe how it was “off.” My own “mommy dearest” story and health problems led me to integrative nutrition health coaching. I’m sensitive and that’s a good thing. The bad thing is remaining in relationships with people who will tell you that you are “crazy” or too sensitive, even if that person is your mother or any other person of influence,such as physicians who are often ill- prepared to link physical and mood issues to the stress cascade. If you are curious about the science , look up Functional Immunology.


I know that constant feeling of unease. Feeling crazy for feeling this way, but knowing if my ex gets an opportunity to harass me he will. Sure enough he does.

This Christmas he happened to be in line behind me at food pantry. He loudly told the world that he is dating a 32-year-old who has three kids. He said he has NO problem with her kids. I suppose this is supposed to mean that my son was the problem, because he hated my son. And, by telling the woman’s age was to rub it in that she is so much younger than me. All it told me is that he has access to destroy another family.

It’s at the 5 1/2 year mark since we broke up, and he is still trying to make me jealous. There is something seriously wrong with him.

Last Christmas (at the 4 1/2 year of break up) He sent me a 5-page letter. Saying he is sorry while he tried to box me in. He did not give me an OUT in that letter. He said if I hate his guts just call him and tell him to fuck off. If I don’t want anything to do with him we can still say hi and shoot the shit if we run into each other. On and on the letter went about how we can contact, even though we had ZERO contact for 4 1/2 years.

Then he called me days after the letter arrived. He called at 10:15 at night!!! I told him NOT INTERESTED!!! Got your letter NOT INTERESTED!!! Don’t CALL anymore!!! He said he would leave me alone, but then a year later he is standing in line behind me announcing that he is seeing a 32-year old with three kids and that he has no problem with her kids. The guy just is cycling! and never stops! No wonder I always feel uneasy!!!

Proof positive that these nut bags a perpetually crazy. And they’re always pulling shit on Christmas, one might think this coincidence, however, there are too many of us experiencing the very same thing,so I can only assume that it is a Christmas gift from the Universe, reminding us that these people are infinity disordered, there is no fixing them, or even helping them, for that matter, and their continued crazy behavior can only be addressed by no contact.
The more I understand and the farther away I get from my experience with narcissistic sociopaths, the more I begin to laugh at them. They are so pathetic, and everything they project, is the real them, ya know, sans-serif the mask. And the more confirmation I have that it’s not me, it’s them. Thank Goddess for space!

Sorry, auto correct.
Sans the mask
Are perpetually crazy


I recently experienced the uncomfortable sensation, “that I was being manipulated by a realtor for profit”. I immediately went on the offensive. I advised her that I was feeling betrayed. I let her know, in no uncertain terms, she must make “things” right or she will lose my business in the future. I was clear, concise, and assertive at the exact moment I realized I was being “had”. Her attitude changed and she made “things” right. My sensibilities have become my strength when in the past they were my weakness. This is an awesome place to come to after years and years of educating myself on the realities of sociopaths. Now I am sensitive to the slightest hint I am being lied to. Thank you for this site and to all who participate, “thank you!!

Carinne Goh

I found out about the long distance guy’s affair with a married woman on Facebook after I used a fake account to check up on him.. He has been dating the married woman in December 2015..

Carinne Goh

He denied dating the married woman who has a husband & baby son..

Carinne Goh

I added the married woman & her husband on Facebook, then blocked the married woman as the long distance guy sent me threatening messages to sexually assault me recently..

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