By | March 30, 2007 50 Comments

Abuse, domestic violence and visitation

Last week I defined four types of love fraud that constitute points on a continuum from predatory love fraud to adultery. In all these relationships, one member of the couple inflicts physical, mental and/or financial injury on the other. Unfortunately, the presence of children does not necessarily deter violence in relationships. The fact that children can be caught in the middle in violent relationships is illustrated by the following news story reported this week.

According to the, the police were called to a domestic dispute in Narberth, Pennsylvania, Tuesday night. Upon arriving at the scene, they found a 34-year-old woman in critical condition. They discovered that the assailant was likely Glenn Minsk, the victim’s live-in boyfriend and the father of her child. The child, an 18-month-old girl, was missing. An Amber Alert was issued and the child was recovered in good condition at the home of Minsk’s parents. Minsk apparently brought the child there after he allegedly assaulted the child’s mother and stole her car.

Keep in mind that we do not have all the details involved in this particular case. However, this story highlights the problem violent relationships pose for involved children. Children are traumatized when exposed to physical and emotional violence. Children may also have attachments to the perpetrators and victims of such violence.

Other problems faced by the children

I have received many letters from parents asking me if children should have visitation with a parent who has demonstrated himself/herself to be physically or emotionally abusive to the child’s other parent. In discussing this issue, I find there are a number of people who hold a belief exemplified by the following, “Just because he treated the mother this way, doesn’t mean he doesn’t love his child.” In fact, some might interpret the kidnapping of a child as an act of love. The courts also take this attitude and commonly grant visitation to the perpetrators of domestic violence.

The granting of visitation and custodial rights in cases of domestic violence/abuse is even more common when the perpetrator has not been found guilty of physical assault. The courts seem to take the stance that marital deception, psychological and financial predation, have “nothing to do with the child.”

What the courts and the public fail to understand about many perpetrators of domestic violence and abuse is that they are predators who are not capable of loving anyone, child or adult. These predators seek out social relationships purely for the sake of obtaining power, control and in some cases sadistic pleasure. We think that people who seek out social relationships do so out of a love motive. There is a general ignorance of the power motive and the manner in which this motive determines the behavior of many perpetrators of domestic violence. For more on power and control in domestic violence see The Duluth Model.

Anger management may not help

Those who teach anger management to the perpetrators of domestic violence can attest to the fact that not all perpetrators are sociopaths. Some have ability to love, but have very poor impulse control. These perpetrators do benefit from training to improve impulse control. Sociopaths and those motivated only by power motives are not capable of effective parenting even with training. A parent’s most important job is to teach a child to love, have impulse control and moral values (the Inner Triangle again). A parent who lacks these himself cannot impart them to a child. What purpose does it serve, then, for a child to have any relationship with such a parent?

Another issue that is discussed in older textbooks of child psychiatry is the impact that court-ordered visitation, in some cases, has on the custodial parent or guardian. How is a victim or a victim’s family supposed to feel about a child visiting a violent or abusive person? These are people we warn our children to stay away from! Furthermore, when those who have custody and responsibility for the child are stressed by a visitation arrangement, that is not good for the child. Caregiver stress has been shown to have a direct, negative effect on parenting and child wellbeing.

The true nature of human social relationships is just now being understood by science. If the perpetrator of domestic abuse/violence is a sociopath, he/she is unable to love. Furthermore, all of the sociopath’s intimate relationships are about dominance, power and control. Ultimately, our laws must be amended to reflect a more scientific understanding of our human relationships. Only then will our children be protected.

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I think what you say makes sense. I think it would be great if information like this could get out to lawyers, judges, GALs..and other psychologists and counselors. Maybe you could write an article and submit it to the professional journals these people read. You have the professional background and personal experience to make you credible to these people.

Adrian Q

The woman is playing an important role in the society. But then, nowadays women are more prone to domestic abuse or violence. The domestic abuse takes place to those who are involved in an intimate relationship. Payday loans and payday loan lenders have been getting bad press for a long time, but sometimes there are positive reasons to get payday loans and a lot of positive stories about responsible people who have used them before. This testimonial is about a woman who married a man who turned out not to be who she thought he was, at all. She was trapped in a bad situation as a result of this tumultuous union, and needed an out that she wouldn’t be able to achieve without emergency funds. She had the help and support of her friends, and with fast payday loans, she was able to get her life moving again. Click here to read the full story or learn about payday loans.


This article couldn’t be more accurate!!!

It’s another must read for those seeking divorce and parenting with a sociopath.
Any amount of information helps!!!


Ox Drover

I thought I had read every article in the archives here, and I guess I have NOT as I have not seen this article, published almost 3 years ago. The fact that it only has 3 comments is interesting to me also since articles now usually get 100+ up to 600+ comments now before they “slide off” the left hand side.
LF HAS GROWN by leaps and bounds in the 2+ years I have been here and I am so glad to see that growth!

You are right, ErinB–this article is soooo RIGHT ON!


You know….I wonder if it’s possible for Donna to put a number on each article …..
It would be real easy to refer someone back to article #87 and such…..on Lf…..



In 31 minutes, my youngest son will be graduating High School. I’ll be watching via live stream.

This is his day. This is his accomplishment. And, he did it on his own.

For me, this is bittersweet. I’m not there to congratulate him, support him, hoot and whistle for him. I’m not there to provide a graduation party. Nobody should ever be denied the opportunity to experience a fulfilling childhood and all of the joys and despairs associated with being a young adult.

My “dream” of being a parent was to blow bubbles on a humid summer day with our hands. To have countless sleepovers with popcorn ground into the rug. To commiserate with broken hearts. To say, “It’s okay, we all make mistakes.” To plug my ears up while the boys played their instruments in the basement. To roll my eyes when they dyed their hair green. All of these things were denied by the ex spath.

Towanda for my boy. He did it on his own.


Dear Buttons,

You must be so very proud of your son.

Im sorry its sooo bittersweet. Is there a way to let him know (via a letter or card) how proud you are and that you watched his graduation via live stream?

You are and always will be his Mom. Nobody can ever take that away from you. Towanda for your son and for you being a part of his journey whatever way you have been able to. Im sorry for your experiences with your ex spath. Lots of hugs to you! Again, congratulations on your sons accomplishments!!


Thank you, Learning. I am very, very proud of him. He’s coming to live with us on Monday and we’ll be doing something special with him when he gets here.

I was bawling throughout the whole thing – I’m still crying. What he has endured during his childhood, but most notably, in the past 16 months is beyond description. The neglect and abuse from the spath father and spath brother is only known to him.

When he gets here, we’ll leave him go for a couple of weeks to figure out that it’s “safe” here and that we aren’t the ogres that we’ve been described to be. But, that will only be a tiny start. The rest is up to him. He’s got heart, he’s got soul, and he’s got what it takes to Survive his experiences. I hope that he’ll want to become a Survivor.

Again, thank you very much, Learning. This is HIS day and HIS TOWANDA.



Love will prevail. There is a bond between a child and his mother that distance and time can not overcome.

He wants to be where he is coming to and I know that the instant that door opens, both your hearts will flood.

As mine swells for you this minute. I do understand. I so do.

Find peace in knowing that the way things were meant to be are unfolding.

Celebrate his accomplishments with your heart and know.


Silvermoon, thank you very, very much for your support and encouragement.

Shortly after I left the ex spath, Social Services became involved due to the spath son’s juvenile delinquency. The case-worker had the ex spath pegged from the instant she met him – didn’t allow her into the house until she insisted that the Court demanded that he allow her entry. The place was a wreck and he told the case-worker, “She left it like this.” LOL!!!!

This same case-worker told me that the youngest would “need” me, one day, and to never forget it. Well, her words have come to pass and she was one of the few who really and truly “got it” where spathy is concerned.

Brightest blessings, Silvermoon……again, thank you so much.


I want to give you a special congratulations….to you AND your son.
Graduating High School IS a big accomplishment. It’s the first in a line of many… initiation into HIS life.

Reading your post has me in tears……
My son did not make the same choices……although still in school, he will not be graduating on Wednesday with his class.
This breaks my heart, although I knew it was coming.

I hope my son can grow up, despite what has ‘gone on’ in his life, none of which he deserved, but happened…..and make this choice to graduate.
I believe this accomplishment is important to self esteem and knowing they can ‘achieve’ something on their own….no matter what they have gone through.

Your son did it!!!!!!! And I hope he can relish in this accomplishment. YOU TOO!

This is how I feel about my son… nailed it spot on!!!!!
“He’s got heart, he’s got soul, and he’s got what it takes to Survive his experiences. I hope that he’ll want to become a Survivor.”

(and i’ll add…..AND GET HIS DIPLOMA!)

Ox Drover

Dear Buttons,

Well, he has accomplished so much more than he could have done! That is something for him and you to be proud of! I know you are! He has accomplished that IN SPITE OF what he had to endure, so that is a double ATTA BOY! for that o ne!

I wish there was a way you could open up his head and heart and pour all your love and wisdom inside and take away the pain of the last years and months! Unfortunately, that’s not possible, but hopefully with some safety, trust, and therapy to improve on that, he will bne able to march forward toward HEALTHY, HAPPY, RESPONSIBLE adulthood and you and he can have a good and healthy relationship—maybe the two of you can get5 some bottles of bubble and go play in the yard! It is never too late!!! (((hugs))))


Dearest EB; To clarify first, I have 3 grown children with an ex husband of 20 years and an 11 yr. old son with the ex-spath. The ex husband was NOT one of the people we’ve dealt with on this site, though he had a big name in a small town and plenty of money and he used that to get what he wanted in the divorce. The following is about one of my grown sons…

I have learned never to discount the amount of courage, hope motivation and knowledge children have. I too have a son who didn’t graduate because he’s very dyslexic and the school basically told him that he might as well quit..and that’s exactly what he did. HOW a school and it’s personnel can say this to a child, I don’t know. I know all too well that feeling of knowing your child won’t graduate, whatever the reason might be.
Two years later, without his father or I knowing it, my daughter helped him study for his GED. He GOT that GED and he earned it! I cried until there were no more tears left and I am SO proud of my son, BUT I was proud of him before that for the effort he had made. I focused on that at the time rather than the results. I believe, with all my heart and soul, that your son will GET THAT DIPLOMA. It might not be in the way you envisioned it, but I believe with you for a mother, this young man will make the right choices. You are a wonderful person who has gone through so much, you give so much and you are a Survivor. As parents, we set the example and I can’t help but believe you set a fine one for your son. He’ll find his way, I truly believe that.
I don’t know what your son has gone through. I know what MY 11 yr. old has been through and it’s been horrendous. He is a survivor and I can see that in him.


Buttons, silvermoon is so very right in what she is saying. The bond between mother and child cannot be broken. Time, distance, the actions of a spath, NONE of these things can break that Buttons.
Buttons, I’ve been where you are and yes, it is bittersweet. My heart is out to you. I am SO excited that he’s coming to you! You an ogre? I highly doubt it! But I know all too well how the ex-spath plays with the mind of a child. I am excited for you son because he will TRULY get to feel the love that you have for him.
Congratulations to you and you son as well!
Hugs, Cat


This is the conversation I had with my father that broke the camel’s back!

Our children’s mental and emotional health may far outweigh anything else. If they do not have the support of the extended family, then the extended family has, in my opinion failed. Because it is up to them to extend relationship to the younger generations and today, I see so many grandparents and Aunts and uncles who just don’t do it.

I told my dad that it isn’t enough to send a card or present on birthdays and have nothing in between and it is not my job to manage the whole thing by reminding him every time. If he is to busy playing golf and going to parties, then he deserves a lonely deathbed because no one will go for losing a relationship they don’t have. The only one who is going to be there is the step mother and her son who will sell everything that belonged to him and to our family and take her to live with him.

She has succeeded in alienating everyone in our family who would help and making sure our father was too busy going to parties to take time to relate to the succeeding generation or to his children.

She is his idea of perfection and everytime he made the announcement to me it veiled a personal insult of magnitude.

I am distressed that these children, these survivors have to grow so much, so far alone because over and over, I see that they do. And I hold the rest of the family to account for their negligence in letting it happen.

We’re all too busy. We’re all too judgmental and too broke and too spread out. Right? Wrong!

It will will break the fabric of society.

My own son is 3,000 mi away living with an N. It turns me inside out, but, it has to be right now until I get on my feet again. Outside the toxic environment, there is only me.

They all begged me to come “home” when he was sick and we were struggling and when we got here, they turned their backs. Like Lucy playing football with Charlie Brown.

I will never be able to make that balance in my mind. Just never.

Over and over I pray that the story I will have to tell will be like yours Buttons and Cat. You give me such great hope. And I do have such enormous fears.

These toxic effects last for generations and it takes generations and constant work to pull a whole family out. The twists of alcohol and step relationships which are unable to see past their own boundaries is destructive at a generational level.

Our children are paying for it in their lives and I hate that with a passion. With a flaming passion.Because the perpetrators who set me up are extending the effect to him while I flail.

And it turns me inside out.

So every time I hear a story like yours, I have hope. And I am filled with love for the Great Spirit that is resident in each of these young people who “make it through”.

Ox Drover

Dear ((((((Silvermoon)))))),

The neglect and the evil treatment of even one other human is a slap against humanity itself and is what makes our world way less than perfect! We see these things and we care about the lack of love shown, we care about the neglects and the evil acts. It hurts, but I would never tell you to not care. I guess the way I “handle” caring about the millions of things that are bad, evil, injustices, is that I realize I cannot fix all of them. However, I fix the things I can fix, I do the good that I can do, and don’t try to take the whole responsibility for the evils of the world upon my shoulders.

Sometimes the best “fix” I can do is a kind word and a smile to a frazzled young mother pulling a cart and four rowdy kids through the grocery store. But I try my best to NOT let the fact I can’t fix it all make me feel like a failure. If that makes any sense. The other thing I can do is to pray! So focus on what you can do, and the positive stories that you do hear as well! ((((hugs)))) and God bless. You’re a wise woman Silvermoon! I’m glad you are here!

super chic

silver, you are so right that nothing inbetween the birthday card or present is wrong, it kind of makes it meaningless for children. I had so many good times with my family and extended family when I was growing up, probably why I miss it so much now. Thanks for reminding me to hang on to hope, better things will happen!


EB, with support and encouragement, you son will earn his diploma – he will. He may have to do it in his own time, but you are the shining example of Survival for him to look to and you’re one HECK of an example! He’ll want what you have and he’ll “get it” at some point that the only way to move forward in this society is through education.

Silvermoon, people don’t seem to take into account what their neglect and abuse does for generations. The innocents – the children who do not have any choice in whom their parents/family will be – deserve a fighting chance. And, these days, they just don’t seem to be getting that chance, at all. I think that’s why there are those pocketfuls of individuals and families that reach out to other kids whom they can clearly see are in dire need. “Family” isn’t really defined as people who share the same DNA. “Family” are those people who surround us with agape love, encouragement, support, guidance, and nurturing. Even as adults, we crave these things and, if blood-relatives are dis-eased, we can experience these things with non-blood family. And, we can return those beautiful values back without feeling that it’s a game or that it’s “required.”

What was so bitter for me to accept with regard to my son’s graduation was that he didn’t have a NURTURING childhood. His Art Spirit was shut down early on – my honest belief was that his artistic creativity was a constant reminder that the ex spath wasn’t the only person involved in making this human being, and he hated it. So, rather than nurture or encourage that aspect of this child, he barely put up with it and generally ignored it. All of the other “things” that kids experience as a normal, healthy course of events never came to pass. At holidays, there was no gathering of friends or family – EVER. There was no special meal (twice while I was still married to ex spath). There was no preparation and anticipation of wonderful times. Birthdays were all but forgotten with the exception of gifting. The gifts were to make up for the lack of humanity throughout the rest of the year.

Those views and expectations will be altered, to some degree, for my son. My family DOES recognize special events, holidays, and just days to celebrate when we’ve had personal epiphanies! My son’s about to enter into a world of healthy relationships, personal accountability, and a world where people are “allowed” to make their mistakes without fear of being ostracized or beaten. It’s going to be a strange world, at first, but I finally feel a comfortable level of confidence. I also intend to get some individual counseling to learn to manage my triggers, etc., but I feel that I’m confident and the fear of the past is slowly evaporating.

I want to thank you all so very much for your encouragement and support. I am so appreciative for this wonderful site for bringing us together to sort it all out and continue healing. Today, I’m okay – I’m excited and I realize that I’ve been handed a Divine Challenge. The Great Creator has nodded his/her/its head and said, “Okay, you’ve learned a little bit. Let’s see if you can put any of it into action for yourself and your family.” I have finally come to accept that I cannot fix what’s happened to my son. And, for the first time in my life, it’s okay and I’m actually comfortable with that fact.

Without this site and without the incredible support, guidance, and encouragement from people that I only know as ID names, I cannot say where I’d be right now. I don’t even NEED to know real names or anything like that – each one of you has given freely, honestly, truthfully, and it has been a continued help for me on my healing path. You’ve all helped me to see, hear, listen, learn, and teach, and you are each so valuable to me, and to one another.

Brightest and most sincere blessings!


Hello again, LFers. So I picked my 5 year-old ds up on Monday, and he told me his Uncle (the spath’s brother-in-law) hit him. I asked him where, and he hit his stomach HARD and then his behind. I asked if his Uncle was mad at him, and he said “Yes”. He said his father was there, as well as his Aunt and 8 year-old cousin. He told me everyone “got mad” at the Uncle and told him it “wasn’t nice”. I quickly e-mailed the spath and Aunt (who has refused to talk to me for over a year), and the only reply I got after a couple of days was from the spath telling me “I am 100% certain this did not happen”. I e-mailed the Aunt AGAIN this morning, saying I just wanted to know what happened, and if she would not respond to me, then maybe she would respond to someone else.

What should I do now?? Call the police? CPS? Whatever I do will obviously make everyone in his family furious at me, but I friggin’ tried to get an answer and they refused. This seems like a pretty big admission of guilt to me, but of course they will spin it (because the spath obviously will) that I am somehow “crazy” to accuse them of such a thing. These people have 3 kids, and if I get CPS involved, I will feel horrible knowing that they will be questioned… but what else can I do? My child has never lied to me before.

What would you do?


Freemama, I would consider calling CPS and think about getting involved with a child psychologist – I don’t particularly like the idea of having entities involved in visitation/custody issues, but if your son is claiming to have been struck by an adult, the issue(s) needs to be resolved.

Attempting to iron out facts with a spath generates NO positive results – there will be no reasonable response, no concern about your son’s well-being, and no joint action taken to see to the son’s best interests. Communication with a spath will never result in factual responses – not ever. The boy’s Aunt will not be forthcoming, either – NC where she is concerned.

You are your son’s only advocate, and it’s imperative to understand that the spath and his minions will never, ever put a child’s welfare before the spath’s wants. Not ever. In Spathland, a child is simply a tool to be used to inflict pain upon the Survivor, and a source target to manipulate and damage – that’s it. A child is valued no more than a disposable lighter in Spathland.

Why on earth would you “feel horrible” about taking proactive steps to protect your son? Yes, all of the children will be questioned – and, asking questions is precisely to determine the facts. One of the primary reasons that spaths are able to get away with most of the things that they do is because most people are afraid to ask questions. The children will be “questioned,” not interrogated, dear heart. If there are other children involved with the spath, you can bet your last donut hole that they’ve been damaged on some level, as well.

I would also suggest documenting your son’s behaviors after his visitation with the father – does he act-out? Is he sullen for a couple of days after visitation? Is he combative with you after visitation? Does his behavior take a negative swing before/after visitation? All of these things add up. A 5-year-old does not have the capacity to ward off the negative influences and experiences at the hands of the spath – they can only react according to their age. They do not have the language or confidence to describe their feelings, nor are they able to process “sociopath” in their limited experiences.

Freemama, don’t allow guilt to factor into your decisions and choices. This is not about THEM, it’s about your son who does not have the ability to protect himself from physical or emotional abuse.

Brightest blessings!



my heart goes out, you have every reason to be upset and demented….I’d be furious…but this is difficult to prove

Were there marks on your child? I have NO DOUBT something happened, let’s call a spath a spath here…the child would not say that if he were not worried and upset about it….but they will probably look for evidence ie marks on the child, visible distress, not wanting to go to them again…etc. so maybe from that point of view…. a period of time starting now is nessecary to document all evidence of physical abuse…or they will see it as a once off incident where your son got out of hand and was disciplined in the heat of the moment…or something like that

I would tell them on no uncertain terms if it EVER happens again you will contact CPS that you are watching them and concerned for your son…it won’t mean a thing to them probably but it starts the ball rolling in the direction of CPS getting involved..but WITH a solid practical well worked out strategy…yes your child is at risk when he is with them…but that’s inevitable since the day he was born…what you need is enough evidence to prevent access…so bite the bullet this time and observe…bide your time…if it took one beating to get them properly… it would be worth it…sorry but it’s the truth….rather than piss off CPS AND the spath nest…

In the meantime observe your son, see how he is…see how things pan out… talk to him…reasure him….obviously if he was badly bruised and marked you would need photos etc. it’s a horrible situation…why would you want your son with people YOU wouldn’t feel safe with? yet that’s the situation all over the world.


Thanks, Buttons. My ds does have a therapist, and I called her yesterday and plan on calling her again this morning when it gets a little later. She said to just give it 24 hours.

Hurray for the good ol’ guilt. My ex falsely accused me of abuse and neglect with CPS, and it was 3 months of hell waiting to get that unfounded letter. In hindsight, I guess that was the spath’s purpose in calling them… to keep me from calling in the future and opt to communicate without getting the authorities involved, as I definitely would have liked done with me. In my case – I repeatedly asked him for help with walking my dog who had a UTI because my ds was sick… I said I had to walk the dog back and forth in front of my house to get her to go after my ds was asleep… he reported that as “neglect”. It was a nightmare. They went to my ds’ daycare, which resulted in permanent character assassination even though I had done nothing wrong. It put that seed of doubt in a lot of people’s mind. One of the worst things that ever happened to me. But I guess that was by design, eh?

My ds hates going to his dad’s, and constantly tells me he’d rather stay with me “a lot”. His dad is apparently moving in to a new houseshare (he had been living with two women when he wasn’t with his girlfriend), and my ds reports that there are 2 other guys and a girl living there. Lovely. I can’t even check it out! He likes these “community living” arrangements because he can get people to clean up after him and cook for him. Hard to believe he’s 36 years old!

I’m going to put in a motion to have a CASA assigned to our case. There’s just too much going on, and I should not have to put up with being in the dark like this. My ds told his therapist “Papa calls mama bad words”, and now this. Ugh!


“Spath nest”! That is EXACTLY what it’s like! His family is like a hornet’s nest! Utterly useless, but good grief can they make a lot of noise when he doesn’t get everything his way!!!!


Freemama, yeah……..from the mouths of babes comes truth.

Yes, get moving on filing the complaint – the spath “neglect” report was, indeed, a preemptive strike, and the child care people who stand in judgment can go do something to themselves, in private. Stand tall, shoulders back, and confident – you didn’t harm your son, and it’s their problem to either accept that, or not. You’re not responsible for other people’s opinions!

The father’s living arrangments are shaky, at best, and Family Court will not look favorably upon sending a defenseless 5-year-old into such a setting. Take it to the mat, Freemama. This is a battle worth fighting, tooth and nail. Don’t even offer a “next time” threat. Spath does NOT respond to real threats and your son is being exposed to everything that you experienced, and then some because he cannot defend himself against an adult, physically or emotionally.

It is our innate FEAR of rocking the boat, causing waves, disturbing the sleeping giant that keeps us from taking ACTION, even when it’s clearly warranted. We FEAR being under scrutiny because our experiences with the spath were frought with constant scrutiny. We are tired of defending ourselves. We are oh-so-tired of EXPLAINING ourselves. We have been programmed to believe that we will be ignored, discounted, and dismissed. Nothing can be further from the truth – at some point, someone will listen and HEAR the words. Even in the case of my spath son, I have to believe that someone will eventually HEAR and make something happen to stop him.

Do it, Freemama, and do it simply because your beautiful son is at extreme risk. This isn’t about vengeance – it’s about an innocent human that cannot defend himself.

Brightest blessings!!!


Hello, again! I feel like a dolt for not contributing my two cents to others’ experiences these days… feel like I’m always just coming here for advice. When my litigation hell is over with, I promise I will have lots to offer!

Some good news today (for those keeping up) – my ex filed a motion to get my confidential address among other things, and his interrogatories had all sorts of scary questions asking for very specific details of my life I don’t wish to share, including life insurance policy numbers. I spoke to my DV advocate today, and she said that I could tell the court that part of my safety plan created with her is to NOT give this man my address. Additionally, if I name my father as beneficiary for all policies instead of my son, I do not have to reveal any of these numbers, and he would not collect in the event he…say, kills me. Might make it a little less appealing to him, though I know he’s entertaining this option.

Then today, right on time (it’s like he KNOWS when I’m in a place of comfort), he sends this very polite-sounding e-mail (written for the benefit of the court) saying he’d like to attend our son’s school’s open house, and could I please tell him when I’d be there so he can come at a different time..? He has never EVER taken an interest in this sort of thing. I know exactly why he’s going… to slyly slander my good name to every single person he meets and put up the appearance of being a loving, concerned father actively interested in his son’s life. Of course now I have NO desire to go. I’ve already made the principal and teachers (and some of the parents) aware of my history of surviving domestic violence. I’m pretty sure they’re wise to his kind, but nonetheless I do not relish the idea of having people come up to me saying, “Oh! I met your son’s dad! What a nice guy!”. PUKE. It’s another lose/lose scenario, though. I was totally planning on going to this, and now I can’t. If I do, my nerves will be so wracked I don’t think I’ll enjoy it much. Plus – hello! He wants to know when I’m going maybe so he CAN go at that time and “accidently run into me” or WORSE watch from the bushes. I haven’t seen the man since our first court date in February, and I don’t care if I never see him again outside the courtroom. It’s driving him mad of course, but he still does what he can to exert control, case in point.

Am I being too paranoid? Am I playing into his sense of power by not going just because he is? I totally defer to the wise folks here on this and every matter. ;o)

Ox Drover

Dear Freemama,

Don’t apologize to us, just keep yourself going forward one foot at a time!!! We will be here when you need us and be glad to have your help when you are able.

NO YOU ARE NOT BEING TOO PARANOID. ” Just cause you are paranoid does not mean someone is not out to get you.”

Is he allowed visitation? Supervised or unsupervised?

How does he know about the open house?

I would NOT REPLY to ANY email, have your attorney or the DV counselor send him a certified letter saying to communicate through the court/attorney.

As for the open house, I would keep the kid “home sick” that day. I realize that may be a “cowardly” way to handle it, but it doesn’t leave you open to the stalker finding you, following you home or whatever.


God bless and keep safe! (((Hugs)))


I am married to a sociopath that is also a pastor of a Methodist congregation. I was drawn to him for his smooth talking ways, but little did I know so were at least 20 other women. He continued to date other people during our marriage and when I confronted him, he said it was not my issue. He never showed any remorse or concern for hurting my feelings or the children. Then he became physically violent towards me because I had the gull to stand up to him and say I would not tolerate his behavior. When I did, he immediately began painting a picture of me like I am a crazy person. The only thing I ever did crazy was believe him! So I got a restraining order and when we went to court, Mr. Preacher Man said he was never abusive, it was all me. I was the attacker on him. I’m glad this judge saw right through his lies but I’m concerned for the many people that may not understand the behavior. It hurts because now the church people think I’m just attacking the sweet, innocent pastor when he definitely is not sweet or innocent by any means. And I really, really love this man but as I read more I see that I love who he presented himself to be and not who he really is. That’s scary. So I have to start my life over again and I hate it but I am glad we are safe. He’s made death threats but I’m watching out for me and mine. You would expect so much more from the preacher man but he’s just a sociopath.

Ox Drover

Dear preacher’s x-victim,

He did not treat you as a wife, he treated you as a possession or a victim. I am so sorry that he was this way, but religion is one way that psychopaths mask themselves as this wonderful person. So kind and good and generous. ROT!!!!

I hope that you will continue to stay around here and read articles in the archives. Knowledge is power and protecting ourselves and our loved ones is facilitated by our knowing what they are and how they think. We also have to learn why they were so slick and why we fell for it so we wont’ fall for the next one. God bless you and stay strong! Don’t let this hypicrit and false prophet get between you and your faith! He will get what he deserves! (((hugs))) and God bless.


How did you get over it? I find myself stronger, but I still mourn the loss of my family image and future I thought we were planning. And… how do you ignore the things people say about you because the sociopath lied?

Ox Drover

Dear I wish I could tell you how you “get over it” but it takes time, and realizing that what and who YOU ARE does not depend on what others say about you. I wasn’t married to one, I dated one after my husband died, but it was still traumatic and painful, but most of my experience has been with family members who are psychopaths who LIE, CHEAT, MURDER AND STEAL and even tried to kill me. One is my egg donor, one is my son. My egg donor is the pillar of the church, so religious and holy she would make you puke, and she can lie through her teeth and accuse me of being a liar when her mouth is filled with lies.

They have no shame.

Sure, you lost an image, but that is all it was an image. We thought the image we had was real but it was just as fake as they are,, and they destroyed our dreams and desires. It HURTS. But learning about them, realizing you are NOT ALONE,, and working through the stages of grief and pain will bring you out the other end of this long dark tunnel.

Keep on reading here, go back through the archives and read til you “go blind” but learn and the knowledge will give you strength! (((hugs))) and my prayers.


I like that name better.
Sorry for your loss. Welcome
You get over it by coming here and by reading lots and lots of books about the sociopaths. What will happen is that you will become so knowledgable that you will begin to see a whole new world, one that used to slip by you. You will grow and change (something the P can’t do) because you will learn more about YOU and who you are. Then you will begin to see the P in your life as a blessing (sometimes) and you will be grateful that you came to be who you are even though it came as such a high price (your innocence).
As far as things people say. That’s tough because we know it isn’t fair to be slandered and judged wrongly. It is an injustice.
Jesus said blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice for they will have their fill.
I’m waiting….

Ox Drover

You are right, Sky, THEY WILL HAVE THEIR FILL….and God will render to those a JUST JUDGMENT…we may not see how it will happen or when, but I trust and believe it WILL happen. Thanks for that reminder. I need it too.


One abuse starts……it doesn’t stop!!!
It may ‘subside’……but it will ALWAYS return.

A leopard doesn’t change his spots……but he can sure camoflauge them……

lesson learned

(((((((((((((( EB ))))))))))))))))))))

You okay?

I don’t usually see you post so much.

You okay?



hahahaha…….yeah, fine darlen.


I felt like some ‘protein’ tonight……gonna go floss it from my teeth now. 🙂
Baaad EB.

lesson learned

(((((((((((( EB )))))))))))))))

Yea, gotcha sweetheart!

I hope my dentures get a good soakin too 🙂





LL – funny. Dentures – This was sooooooo funny. Made my day:)


I just left an 18 year marriage of emotional abuse. which then turned on my teen into physical and emotional abuse. After I left him last fall his true colors started to show the psycho/sociopathic personality began to rear it’s ugly head up. Even my intelligent son years ago said his father was a sociopath. It took me a long time to figure that out. In April I allowed my son to see his father at which point he yelled, slammed a table, blocked him from leaving, pushed him down and punched him. When the cops came he lied saying my son “tripped in the kitchen”. To this day after my son had endured years of bullying to the extent of strangulation last year I left that demonic man. He was so deceptive he even was able to lure my parents on his side turning my family against me. I have the professionals to thank who have seen through his manipulative cunning lies. Including his psycho lie that I gave my son a weapon to attack him with. I”m in the middle of the divorce. Since leaving he has tried taking my children from me and putting a restraining order stating I had harassed him. During that RO he showed up at my home at 1120 at night harassing me verbally and threatening more court action against me. I have learned to cut him off from texting me because that contains lots of lies and manipulation and games to only use his demonic claw grasps into the depths of my soul that causes me more emotional pain. He has continued to lie to his own family only downplaying any and all abuse and harm he has caused both me and my son. I thank God that the GAL is seeing him for who he is as did my son’s previous counselor describing him as cunning, a liar, and very manipulative. This man sits in church on a weekly basis. He has no heart and no feelings or soul. As my son read a letter today addressed to his abusive father stating how he had bullied him and strangled him my x sat behind me with his just as EVIL mother shaking their heads in complete denial. He has never been sorry for any harm or emotional pain he has caused me or my children and continues to BLAME only me for his own disturbing actions. He also was violent towards his brother ending in his hands on his brother’s neck only to blame his brother and lie about what had really occurred. I will continue to read these blogs to deal with what the reality really is why he behaves so horrible and why he so unwilling to take any accountability for his actions even after the courts gave me sole custody of our oldest son. All I can say is I have an hourglass in my room and I turn it everyday saying to myself “YOUR time is running out and your fraudulant ways WILL be revealed.” He also has hurt people with his business deception using them for egotistical gain making them believe his “dreams” of a big business and lots of money only to “drop” these people outta his life and say he has no use for them. I hope these actions come and haunt him for the rest of his life. I feel for these people who have had to succomb to his mental sickness. I also feel for my son the loss of our family and my own stupidity to stay with such a horrible evil man who personifys the devil. AFter all what human looses a brother his only one, a son, a wife and his family and still can stand and point the finger at his victimes.


To answer your last question:.. A SPATH!!
They are everywhere.

Welcome to LF. Soon you will know enough about them that you will be able to spot them for who they are. This is the blessing. You will see them everywhere, that’s the curse.

Not everyone can see them easily, but you’ll learn the red flags and you will be able to “suss” them out.

I’m glad you found a safe place here on LF.


Wow….I thought I was reading a copy of my story.
Strangling the son, the family, your parents turning against you, jr getting it way before mom, turning abuse on jr…….
I GET IT! I’ve been there!
That hourglass in your room……..make it work for YOU. Each time you turn it, remember that was another hour you got to CHOOSE how you spent your life that hour!

They get ‘theirs’……..they are the ones who live in misery, always running, always conning and NEVER having substance!

My spath (ex) hasn’t stayed in ONE state longer than 2 months since our divorce over 2 years ago. He is STILL having trouble keeping a long term con going.

Trust in the process……and take care of YOU and your kids.

Welcome to LF, you have found a good source of information and support!




to quote one of your statements…” A leopard doesn’t change his spots…but he can sure camoflauge them…”

My experience also since leaving my spath 4 years ago, is that this is definately true!

Every new victim he has I want to save…I want to tell them the truth about what he is…I want him exposed to the world so that not only will no one every be his victim again…I hope for the satisfaction of saying to everyone…SEE! I TOLD YOU SO! But I never get satisfaction when his victim leaves…I only feel sorrow for them…and worry about the cycle that affects my and my son. …they approach me after they have left and say…”I wish I woulld have listened..I cant believe he had me believing all his lies and what he said about you”…

Sometimes I feel obsessed with wanting to expose him to the world…it is not healthy…it consumes me….being right isnt going to make anything better.


My ex just picked up our son for his weekend visitation. My heart is breaking. I watched through the front window as my 5 year old ran to has Daddys car..looking to be greeted with enthusiasm and at least a hug and some acknowledgement. But since my ex didnt bring along his new victim to try and impress…I watched as he talked on his cell phone the entire time…not speaking to my son (who he hasnt seen or spoken to in 2 weeks)..opened the door without even looking at my son, still not talking to him, no hello, no hug, nothing. The look on my sons face was pure disappointment and sadness that his father continued to talk on his cell phone as he got into the car, put on his own seatbelt and his father shutting the door without one word to him. The tears have begun…and my heart is breaking. My son deserves so much more.
I am helpless, watching my son look at his father, wondering why he doesnt seem happy to see him.
Only when he brings along his new victim does he show any enthusiasm about seeing his son. I feel physically ill…I cant stop crying for my boy…as I feel so sorry for him, and guitly becasue I havent been able to protect him from this neglect and apathetic attitude. I dont know why he fights me in court to see him, since he seems not to care if he does or not unless he is trying to impress a new victim.
This depresses me to no end..I feel like a horrible mother having to let him leave with this man every time! I do not want my son to have to wonder why daddy doesnt pay attention to him, when he only sees him 4 days a month. He is so innocent and pure, this breaks my heart so much I cant even put it into words.



Sniff, sniff…that is soooo sad. That poor little boy is only a possession to your ex. Sigh. It makes me upset just thinking about it. I am so sorry 🙁

Ox Drover

Dear Jorja,

I’m sorry as well, because your son DOES deserve a father that loves him, but you know, in a way, it may in the end be better for your son that the father doesn’t show any enthusiasm for him and hopefully as much as it hurts now, your son won’t be so “blinded” by the FAKE “love” etc and he will “catch on” that your X really doesn’t care about him, and as he grows he will realize that your X is not worth caring about. Just give your son lots of loving and positive strokes when you are with him and tell him how wonderful he is to counter the lack of positive strokes from your X.

Go to dr. Leedom’s site “parenting the at-risk child” and get some support etc from her group. Also read read READ and help your son to realize his potential and to develop a moral compass and empathy! One good parent is all it takes! (((hugs)))) and God bless you and your son.


Louise & Ox,

Yes, I have been for years reading whatever I could concerning parenting the ast risk child, and coparenting (if you can even call it that) with an spath. They seem to have different opinions concerning the genetic factor and environmental factors….but I am learning everthing I can.

I have thought of that…that eventually my son will see his father for who he is. I am not sure if this is a good or bad thing. him believing all these years that his Dad was a great guy, only for it to come crashing down on him when he gets old enough to feel and see the truth. I know it is inevitable and as much as a mother wants to ptotect her son from this type of emotional crisis, I know I really cant avoid it and can only be ther to support him when he is going through things and trying to figure it all out. I want to be honest with him when he asks me questions (partly becasue I wasnt him to see him for who he really is, so that he doesnt go through the feelings that I did being angry at yourself for believing he was something else), but I also do not want him thinking I am bad mouthing his father. Its a fine line.

I am guilty of showing my feelings that I have towards his father in front of him before, and I saw that it was upsetting for him to hear what I had said, so I try very hard not to let him overhear any negative remarks from me or anyone else…it is difficult as anyone who is talking about his father, never has anything good to say about him, so we just never even say his name aorund him unless my son brings up the subject.

I hope I dont screw things up with my son and hope I am able to bring him up to be a great person, without emotional problems that stunt his growth emotionally. I am trying my hardest.


I found this rather interesting as a program coordinator of a Partner Abuse Intervention Program. I have wondered for a while if there was a slight correlation between domestic violence and sociopaths behavior. Both crave power and control over their victims. Would be an interesting study.

Ox Drover

Vsmom, it is estimated that 75% of Domestic abusers ARE psychopaths, so yes, there is a correlation.


OxD, and I think that’s a pretty conservative estimate. Out of all of the hundreds of victims of domestic violence that I’ve met over the decades, I’d say three abusers actually acknowledged their behaviors and took drastic steps to break the cycle.

Brightest blessings

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