By | January 24, 2012 125 Comments

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

This week I’ve been inspired by another motivational quote that I hadn’t seen for a while:

”What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

And it got me thinking. Looking back over my own experiences of abusive people, I realize that I believed words over actions. That because the things they were doing were so divorced from the story I was being told, I decided that I must have misunderstood. It must be me who is misinterpreting the situation. It must be because I’m giving out mixed messages. Heck, perhaps it’s just that I’m asking too much — perhaps I just need to be grateful for what I have and be more understanding of the other person’s point of view?

When I was wrapped-up and trapped in the warped relationship that I believed was real love, I hadn’t realized quite how much I was enabling the situation by my own excuses or blinkered outlook. I sometimes wonder how much earlier I might have broken free if I’d actually given myself more credit and prodded harder at the smiling façade that masked the bitter truth.

Who Am I To Judge…?

By the way, I’m not saying that I blame myself, nor am I saying that I think I was wrong. Far from it, in actual fact. As I said in a previous post, we can only judge situations and people by what we already know — we see things not as they are but as we are. That’s why, in my opinion, we excuse and brush aside negative behaviours and situations that from a realistic perspective are absolutely not ok.

For me, I know that I would regularly dismiss warning signs that something was wrong. “It’s alright” I‘d say to myself, ”s/he didn’t mean to upset me. S/he doesn’t know any better — and anyway, nobody’s perfect, right? Who am I to judge?” I’d then pour more love and compassion on the situation, and inadvertently play right in to the path of more damage.

Yes, like so many of us, I hold my hand up, because now I understand that I was a willing victim. I played my part to perfection “Bravo Mel, compelling performance, encore!” And I’d continue to perfect my role of blissfully happy and in-love, whilst at the same time unknowingly building my own façade and continuing to lose myself along the way.

In the early days after the truth came to light, I blamed myself for so many things — veering from broken-hearted disbelief “What happened? When did I lose him? How could I have shown more love?” to the coldly self-critical “Why couldn’t I see what was going on right under my nose? I must be stupid!”

It’s taken a long time, and a huge amount of determination to work through the questions and re-connect with myself. And it’s been worth it. Because now I understand what was happening. I understand that in healthy relationships, other people’s actions do indeed speak louder than words. I also understand that a sociopath on the other hand can use such a barrage of flowery and compelling arguments, that it becomes nigh on impossible to see the wood for the trees!

Listen And Feel

And at the same time, with the benefit of hindsight and distance, I now recognize that I had another action-related guidance system I could have consulted that would always have told me the truth of the situation. And that was the feelings that were within me. The shivers down my spine when I saw his flashes of anger. The twist in my stomach when plans suddenly changed at the last moment. The tiredness behind my eyes when once again I couldn’t make sense of a situation. Those clues, those ”˜actions’ were all there. But, instead of going within for answers, instead I’d check outside of myself to understand what was happening. Each time I’d voice my concerns, or ask questions — and each time the confident responses would flow out. Easily, effortlessly, and with what seemed like a perfectly logical situation. Each time those responses would be sealed with a Judas-kiss, or a squeeze on the shoulders, or those well-used words “Come on, you know I love you, it’s you and me against the world!” and the accompanying look of pity that made me feel I must be stupid.

I remember searching for physical signs that I was being told the truth — after all, I worked in the field of human behaviours, so accurately reading the non-verbal clues that show themselves in any communication was my profession, right? Hmmmm…. wrong. Because now, of course, I realise that the sociopath is a pathological liar. They can reason with any number of untruths — no matter how far fetched — and make the story so compelling that they are believed. And, because they demonstrate none of the usual non-verbal signs of a liar, there is no way of gauging the truth behind the words that are being spoken. So in the case of dealing with a sociopath, there will be no supporting ”˜actions’ to determine whether the story is a true fact or a deliberate web of lies. And that was where I allowed myself to be scuppered — time and time again. I was looking for the physical responses (nervousness, sweating, tiny changes of expression, eye movements — all the things I’d studied for years and knew so well) and when none were apparent, I concluded that I’d made a mistake. And so would start, once again, my internal criticism and determination to be more loving and less judgmental.

Let’s just get clear here. The truth was there all along. Because the actions I could have been taking notice of were my own internal responses. Those were the actions that spoke louder than words. Those were the signs I could have believed. But at the time I had no comprehension that anyone could possibly tell bare-faced lies without displaying some kind of unconscious signal associated with lying. Equally, of course, I had no comprehension of psychopaths.

I said that one of my automatic responses used to be “Who am I to judge?” Well, in actual fact, who am I NOT to judge? What gave me the right to put myself down, to banish my intuition, to shut up and put up when, as I now know, there were so many things I could have done when faced with an unhealthy situation! But at the time, well, I didn’t know what I didn’t know – so like all of us, I did the very best I could.

Yes, hindsight and distance has brought me a wisdom I didn’t possess when I most needed it. I guess my intention in this post is to pass on what I’ve learned — because had I known then what I know now, I’m convinced that I would have paid far more attention to the warning signals that showed themselves time and time again through my own senses. I would have known, beyond question, that what was happening was not ok. I would also have realised that I was dealing with something that was totally alien, and that I’d be wise to seek out and learn as much as I could from others who ‘knew’ before planning my next moves.

I now believe that it was my naivety that played a big part in keeping me trapped. Because these days, even the slightest flutter within alerts me to the fact that something is not right. These days I take action to support my internal guidance. These days I pay much more attention to the non-verbal messages that my body transmits any time I choose to tune in. These days I’ve learned that they are always right, even though they may seem at first to be misplaced. As a result I’m delighted to be surrounded by a set of healthier relationships than I’ve ever experienced before.

And the bottom line is that the buck stops here. With me. Because, if I don’t learn to listen to and look after myself, well nobody else is going to do it for me — because if I don’t practice self-compassion, I won’t even be able to notice it in others, let alone accept it!

It’s taken time, patience, and a whole heap of gently saying “ssshhh!” when words have threatened to create too much distraction – my own or those of other people. As a result I’m now convinced more than ever that actions really do speak louder than words. I’d believed it to be true for many years – but now, though, there’s a small but critical difference in my understanding. That difference is my focus on which actions to believe; only those of others, or also those of myself? Those tiny internal responses that always speak the truth above anything else…

And you know what? The warm happy feeling that’s rising inside me right now as I finish this post, tells me that I’m indeed on the right track 🙂



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Ox Drover

Mel, I SOOOO agree with your idea about who am I NOT to JUDGE.

QUOTE: “Who am I to judge?” Well, in actual fact, who am I NOT to judge? What gave me the right to put myself down, to banish my intuition, to shut up and put up when, as I now know, there were so many things I could have done when faced with an unhealthy situation! But at the time, well, I didn’t know what I didn’t know ”“ so like all of us, I did the very best I could.”

I also believe very much that we are SUPPOSED to “judge” and that judging is OKAY, and judging is NECESSARY. We do NOT have to be “without sin” in order to judge what it happening. Judging is simply put DECISION MAKING. It is looking at the situation and making a decision of what is right and what is wrong.

We are NOT to mind read, but we are to ACTION READ….and that is what we must do in order to SURVIVE.

GREAT ARTICLE MEL!!!! Wellllll done!


Mel ~

Very timely, helpful article. Thank you. Another lesson in trusting yourself.


i too wanted to believe the words and put my faith in ONLY the words that i liked and ignored the rest. I ignored the actions that negated the words i liked too.
But i also learned that words, actions, whatever, when i get that gut feeling that says “BAD BAD BAD”, i have to trust it.

donna dixon

Wow! I guess I wasn’t the only one shrugging off the little voice that gave me alerts. I justified a lot of my “little voice” by thinking I just needed to be a more supportive wife. After all, mine was working 12 to 14 hour days and provided a good life….

Interesting twist when I look back now and think “what ever made me DOUBT that I WASN’T BEING SUPPORTIVE? After all; I worked; was a dedicated wife and mother and packed and moved several homes in several states to advance my ex’s career.

Well written, Mel!!

donna dixon

BTW ~ I have always been intrigued by true crime. Especially those books written by Ann Rule. When I look back at all the 48 Hour Mysteries; “Who the Bleep” Did I Marry episodes; etc. It sends chills down my spine knowing that for 20 plus years I felt secure in the arms of a sociopath and was clueless!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

New Beginning

Great article, Mel! You just described 32 years of my life.

I never read that quote before, thank you so much for posting it. Didn’t really put much thought into it until I read the quote but that’s where I am now. ONLY the actions speak to me and if they are speaking good things I will listen to the words.

I find I can no longer be in the company of someone who lies when it isn’t necessary (not that other times are ok) or someone that gives a long winded explanation to a question that only required a yes or no response.

I like my cat. No mind games going on with her.


New Beginning

Donna, me too! Scares me that I went to sleep next to him every night for 30 years. Especially now that I realize there were many attempts to eliminate me but he was never successful. Guess he’s not as smart as he thinks he is. Or divine intervention was working for me, lol.

donna dixon

New~ I think you had at least one angel on your shoulder!!! But then again; I agree he probably wasn’t as smart as he thought.

My ex is so amusing to me now ~ he has become transparent yet he thinks he is “still working it”. Isn’t is grand to have the last laugh AND our sanity??? LOL!

New Beginning

Indeed it is, Donna!


Great article Mel!


you nailed it again. Those feelings that came from your gut and warned you are AKA SLIME. You were slimed. That was the red flag.

Before I knew what a spath was, I would go visit the trojan horse BIL spath and my spath sister. When I left, I would to see my spath mom and I mentioned to her that I always got the unnerving feeling of needing to take a shower when I left the spaths’ house. It left me feeling unclean. Now I know it was spath slime.

I know a young man who suffered from compulsive hand washing as a teen. His dad is a disgusting Narc (maybe spath). I’m convinced this kid got it from living with his parents.

The body rebels against those things we deny. As long as we are in denial, the body will suffer all kinds of ailments and bizarre “feelings”. It is screaming at us to pay attention.


I am sure most of you have heard about Garth Brookes lawsuit on the news. Ten years or so ago he gave a hospital here in OK 500 thousand dollars towards building a cancer center. He asked that it be named after his mother and shook hands..
The hospital said they had nothing in writing so were not legally bound by his handshake..well guess what,,the jury ruled in Garths favor and the hospital had to give his money back….so actions speak louder than words and so does a handshake for some people.

Ox Drover

Henry, I hadn’t heard how that came out but you know, I am PROUD OF GARTH for taking the arseholes to court and WINNING….because he gave them a gift and had ONE CONDITION, and I dont’ think that was a big deal…but they decided “hey, we’ve got his money, now we’ll name it after someone else, what is our WORD? Nah it’s not in writing so we don’t have to do what is right”

Well, guess you showed them didn’t you Garth! GOOD ON YOU!!!!



Thank you for this article.

When we are blind to the actions…there is always our feelings – our “gut”. However, I was blind to that as well. It took my body breaking down – and then my mind before I started cluing in.

Example: What I thought was ‘excitement’ when I heard his motorcycle come up the street was extreme anxiety. After he left it took months before the sound of a motorcycle…any motorcycle didn’t create intense anxiety…….and yet…there was a time that I ‘read’ it as “excitement” to see him.

Ah, what a learning curve.

Thanks, Mel.




I get what you mean about the motorcycle. I now consider a strong physical and emotional response as a red flag sign. While I cannot stop the response, I hold back a part of myself, start observing, and do a background check asap.

Last summer, I had such a response to a man, after he had deliberately stepped inside my boundary and gave some cheezy line about us being warmer if we’re closer. I was taken off guard that moment, and I accounted my physical response to attraction to his increased flirting. And yet somewhere in the back of my mind, I kept observing him and noted how he planned exposing a t-shirt about an adventure reality tv-show in my country he had worked for. I noted how I one time slipped and he pulled me up again in secs while he hadn’t been standing anywhere near. I could have explained it as “he’s in to me so much he watches me from everywhere”, but I didn’t. It was just weird how fast he was, and I knew it might as well be “he watches me all the time because I’m a target.” He gave me his card with the explicit message it was “just for me” to use to contact him. He failed to appear to an appointment he had made with all of us (not just me), and all day he had whispered to me how he looked forward to go dancing with me. That’s when I used the card to do a background check… He was married and had a little daughter. Took 2 more days to get the guy out of my mind and body in a responsive way, but I was terribly glad I had done that background check. Helped me understand much better where my responses came from. While he kinda took me off guard when he started to flirt with me, and it was this that made me not be sure yet how to explain my strong response other than attraction, I had learned enough to be wary. The strong response just seemed too excessive and inappropriate imo.


Shelley says:
When we are blind to the actions”there is always our feelings ”“ our “gut”. However, I was blind to that as well. It took my body breaking down ”“ and then my mind before I started cluing in.
In the movie THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO-I heard a quote that I will never forget!
In this movie the phsychopath (Marting Vanger) says to the investigator:
“It’s funny how the fear of offending is greater than the fear of pain. You knew something was wrong. You knew you would end up strung up in the basement. Yet you came back. And all I had to do was…offer you a drink.”

When I was watching this movie; I had to dig in my purse, find a pen and write this quote down!
How many times (and I know I’m not alone) did I just know something was wrong (gut feeling/intuition) but I was afraid to offend my SP?
When we inquire about our doubt; our intuition…they are so offended! They cover their tracks so good and it’s very difficult to prove what they did so then they turn the tables and we end up “Offending Them”…
Like Martin Vanger said “We knew something was wrong”…but the fear of offending was stronger than the fear of pain. Of course we didn’t want to offend this person who claimed to love us! Most of us were offered something…maybe not a drink like Martin offered the investigator LOL; but we were offered Love; maybe they were going to make our dreams come true or they were going to be a father to our child who needed one…whatever it was they offered something…that’s why we didn’t want to offend…they were our Prince Charming!
So it was… that “The Fear of Offending was stronger than the Fear of Pain”
Again; great article Mel!
Love; Hugs and Healing to all the beautiful people on LF!


Thanks for a great article, Mel!

I have an issue slightly off-topic. I left a sociopathic ex and moved into a house across the alley from a sociopathic neighbor. (How DO I find them?!) For the last two years, I’ve had to deal with near CONSTANT stalking and surveillance from this elderly man, who has nothing better to do with his retirement years than sit around and watch people. He calls the police at least 4 times a week (according to the weary police) for parking violations, etc. He’s called animal control on me no less than 10 times, and those 10 times represent every single time my child or roommate or landlady or child has accidently left the gate open so my dog could get out. She did nothing more than wander across the yard to my neighbor’s house, but that was enough for a ticket, which get more expensive with each “offense”. I have called the police on this man twice now. They think I’m simply upset for being busted, but what I have told them over and over is that I feel incredibly harassed – like my every move is being monitored by him. Every time I walk outside, he opens the door to his porch like he’s just been waiting for me. He just sits and watches. I’ve gotten so distressed (as we do with being a survivor of such people) that I have screamed at him to leave me alone. I’ve screamed at his subservient wife, who could only ask me “What do you want me to do? Slap him? Beat him up?” (Interesting that she should arrive at that for a remedy – I strongly suspect that is what he does to her). I’ve heard from neighbors that he used to sit on his front porch in the summer with a *gun* and harass teenagers as they walked by. The cops eventually put an end to that, but they tell me that as long as he is on his property, he can stalk me as much as he pleases and it is NOT against the law. He can do noting every day but stare at me, but as long as he is not “threatening” me, there is nothing they can do. They were sympathetic, but their hands really are tied.

Our neighborhood is pretty tight, and most everyone has been harassed by him at one point or another. With all this solidarity, surely there is SOMETHING we can do besides just sit around and hope that he dies soon. The people who are not conscious to sociopathic behavior tell me to feel sorry for him – that his life must be so sad and empty that he simply has no choice but to involve himself in the lives of others. Screw that!!! He is a predator. Period.

Just hoping someone has some sage wisdom (as always on here) on what I can do to not feel so damn powerless against this horrible excuse for a human being. And no, I can’t afford to move at this time!

Ox Drover

Welcome free mama, glad you are still around! Missed you.

I think the problem is that you need to get your kid/dog getting out issue in hand and figure out so that he can not use that against you.

Whatever you have to do to keep the dog corralled so he can’t get you a heafty fine….

YOu can’t stoop someone from “watching” you from the legal perch of his own front porch, so maybe you guys can turn the tables on him, and have several of you “watch him” when he is out there. You can quietly converse, standing on your porch or the street and just look at him, then whisper to each other then look at him and poiint. Then whisper again. A few times of that might unnerve him enough he would go inside.

Really though, what is the thing you are upset aobut, the fines for your dog getting out and him calling? The answer to that is KEEP THE DOG CONFINED AND THERE’S NO FINES.

If you can’t control the dog, control the kids, if you can’t control the kids….you do have a problem. Or get rid of the dog.

New Beginning

Adelle, thank you for posting the quote from the movie. How very true it is and I expect most , if not all of us can relate to it.

I purchased the book for my Mom to read before she passed away last Spring and it’s been in one of many boxes I need to go through but haven’t mustered the emotional strength to yet. I didn’t realize there was a psychopath character in it though…..may give me incentive to take it out and start reading. On the flip side, there will probably more of those “ah-ha” moments for me.

Like you, I was at a point of an absolute mental and physical breakdown (some due to things not associated with my ex but to caring for my mother and the aftermath of my own cancer) before things started to click. I realized what my ex was once I didn’t have any emotional reserves left to feed the monster.

Adelle, I think I’ll be posting that quote on my bedroom mirror to remind me to stay strong and true to myself. Thank you!

Be well,



Mel and all,

What a wonderful thread. I am on my lunch break, thought I would check in here….and this great thread is exactly what I hoped for!

This place is a wellspring of confirmation and wisdom for me. Even after 5+ years of finding out about psychopaths, and going no contact with my last nutbag. I feel renewed, time and again, coming here. Thank-you.

Learning to heed my internal warning system is, for me, the keystone to my healing and self-acknowledgement. It is only in recent years I have learned that this truly constitutes loving myself. Paying attention to ME is as simple as listening to everything my body/emotions are telling me. Like another poster, I may not always understand the exact feelings, or know the ‘details’ of the situation. But I am learning to slow down and not move any closer. Just be with my feelings, until I can identify them and decide what to do. It may take a few seconds, or it may take longer.

Most importantly what I am doing is validating my own experience, instead of rejecting it. Self-acceptance and care. What a relief!

For years I think I thought my feelings and perceptions simply didn’t count, weren’t valid, and that I was basically such a loser I NEEDED others’ to tell me what and who to be.
Being raised by a pack of narcissistic abusers and drug addicts didn’t help much! Always telling me that I wasn’t seeing things correctly, that I couldn’t judge their behaviors, or react to their abuse/neglect/projections. I eventually believed their lies, and shut my ‘shit detector’ down, nearly for good.

I don’t think it is just our families who condition us to this self-negation either. I think our spathy TV/marketing/celebrity/political culture also influences us to ignore what we feel, and believe what they tell us. Most of us are indoctrinated to believe others’ over ourselves pretty early on in life.

Love to all,

New Beginning

Excellent post SlimOne! I didn’t realize it until reading your post but now see that much of the emotional difficulties I face are due to not loving myself, and not feeling I am worthy of being loved. Thank you for bringing that to light, it gives me an area to focus my healing on.


Model Six

Freemama, can you put up a fence in your front yard? Can you grow tall shrubbery or a line of bamboo to block his view of your property?

For the tickets the roommate has caused, if you are subletting to them you could show the tickets to the roommate and tell them the you are thinking about increasing their share of the rent because of all the money and inconvenience they are causing you by letting the dog out.

If your landlord doesn’t live there, in some states they are not allowed to enter the property without giving you 24 hour notice, and then you can simply tell them to make an appointment with you when you will be home.

And when your children cause the ticket, you can make them do extra chores or withhold their allowance at a set rate (for example, credit them ten dollars a week for extra chores, or the balance of the allowance they would ordinarily receive) until they have paid off the debt.

Model Six

On topic, I have nothing to add to this post except QED and AMEN!


I have to say that my sociopath treated me badly from the very outset, there was no honeymoon period at all. He was always a pig, putting me down, minimizing any accomplishments. I would like to ask if anyone here has had an experience with a person with Aspergers who is a sociopath. I recently found out that he has been with the person I considered to be his ex partner the whole time we have been together. This would explain a lot of strange behavior but because he had Aspergers I thought he was incapable of lying. Boy was I wrong. He lied to the end. Even when I confronted him with the facts he continued to lie and told me I am the one with the problem. I was always the one with the problem. Quite frankly I am actually glad to be rid of him because he is had become quite exhausting to be with. He also gave me an incurable venerial disease. My theory about these people is that they are dead inside and prey on vibrant exciting women so they can charge their batteries with some humanity, compassion and love that they are unable to manufacture themselves.



Yes, I am too learning that strong physical and emotional responses signal a red flag. I remember waking up one morning in tears and they continued to stream down my face. I had a counselling appt that morning and as I drove there, I continued to ‘weep’ – there was no stopping it. My counsellor helped me to ‘ground’ and through exploring what/where I was feeling (as the tears continued) – I understood that I was experiencing ‘sadness’. It was pretty powerful. Unfortunately, at that time I wasn’t able to connect the sadness to something specific – but it was such a powerful feeling. Afterwards, driving home I felt so awed, I guess…to have felt this pure, undiluted feeling. I felt that I was finally getting in touch with ‘me’ again.

Now continues the struggle with feeling the response, pausing and trusting it..figuring out what is going on – and setting boundaries – protecting myself.


I too found that a powerful movie. I missed the connection with the initial drink that you describe. My ‘horror – ah-ha momen’ came later when the detective was strung up, but sitting. The spath offered him a drink of water…he then said something to the effect of…”….I show you a simple kindness, and you feel hope…” – and then proceeds to pull the chain up and hang the detective.

That was so powerfully cruel. The deliberate intention to create hope when the outcome wasn’t going to change.

I have been given those ‘kindnesses that give me hope’ – only to have something cruel happen soon after. That was the roller-coaster.

I was so ‘love-bombed’ in the first few months. I realize now that he mirrored exactly the relationship that I dreamed of. In hindsight, I can see the red flags of control and manipulation…but at the time – it was blissful. Later, after he left, I remember telling my counsellor – 95% of the relationship sucked – but it was that incredible 5% that kept my hoping. That incredible time was long gone, but boy did I want it back.

Ah well.


Ox Drover

Tray, welcome to Love Fraud…I don’t think I have seen you post before. Glad you are here. Just because a person has Aspergers or says they do doesn’t mean they can’t lie or act mean on purpose.

I’m sorry you were used and abused by this person….and that you were given an everlasting “gift.”

Learn to recognize psychopaths and the red flags. Take care of yourself and meet your own needs. The healing starts out learning about them but ends up being about US. God bless.



You might want to post to SKYLAR. She’s had experience with both spaths and aspies. So have some others.


YES! I wrote down that same quote from the movie. It struck me like a knife. Got it! Wasn’t that interesting?



Tray I suspect you’re talking about herpes? I’m sorry. But there are lots of things you can do to reduce rates of transmission and outbreaks.



I think this is one of your best articles by far, so far. It was a great write.

I wish LF would let me flag articles and comments that are particularly insightful or helpful in my recovery. This would be one of them.

I did the same thing. I thought, who am I to judge? And then I didn’t want to offend him. I dismissed it. Honestly, I didn’t believe there was evil.

Now I know.

HUGS and thank you.




I too experienced being humiliated and put down, pretty much from the start, by the last spath I knew. It started right away. So I share your experience there. And though he learned to ‘read’ me over time, and manipulate me with ‘nice’ lies and experiences, ultimately the meaness was always just under the surface. His mask was pretty flimsy up close and personal. And he lost his cool in public quite a bit when he couldn’t control other’s or get exactly what he wanted.

My experience with him was that it was really bumpy at first (first month), then I think he ‘got my #’, and it was fun and sexy and lovey for about 3 months, then it turned to drama and exhaustion for the next 6 months. I learned later that this is his time frame for all his love-cons. 6 to 9 months.

As for my part, I was in a period of great uncertainty when I met him, had split from a 13yr relationship, and had a super stressful job (and suspect my boss was spathy). The signs were there. I felt the gut feelings telling me something was wrong. I didn’t heed them.

Like you I am glad this guy gave up trying to contact me after I left him and told him to stay away. I still felt lots of bad feelings, and recovery was slow. But I now realize most of my feelings were about was finally understanding WHO and WHAT these people are and having to let go of many false beliefs about the world, other people, and myself.

It changed my world view.

There seem to be all kinds of spaths. Some smart and sophisticated, some rather crude and brutal…and everything in between.

Welcome to LoveFraud……


Yes and because I am good natured and easy going I put up with it and my friends were astounded. I am not rid of him we are only in week 2 and he still calls but I just don’t answer. I am trying to be strong. Because of his appalling behavior there is not a lot to miss, no compassion, no tenderness, no understanding. I think the relationship was about me trying to help him. I think I don’t necessarily need to be loved but I need to love. I think pity was a big part of my feeling for him. I thought he was misunderstood. Noone has ever loved him as well as I did, more like a mother than a lover. Today I just thought to myself that if I had really meant anything to him he would have done everything to ensure I stayed around. He knew this would be a deal breaker and continued to do it so that tells me he didn’t really care at all. He says that he is a loyal person and that is why he continues contact. I liked that comment about sadness I think this is what I am feeling combined with anger. Thank you for all your kind words and Callmethena you don’t have to worry about me passing it on I intend never to have sex or love anyone again. I am well and truly over men.


How do I contact Skylar?


I actually have very little experience with aspies, just one person I think might be.

Selfish people come in all stripes, so one PD doesn’t preclude any other PD. Just the opposite in fact. And to further confuse you, many spaths PRETEND to have a different mental illness as a way to hide their spathiness. This gives them an “excuse” for their bad behavior as well as a way to milk the government and their families for money and free services. My spath brother has done that all his life. Whereas my ex-spath tried to pretend to be like his eccentric friend because he didn’t have his own identity.

It sounds to me like you know what you want and it isn’t him. That’s what really matters. I understand your desire to give, I’m that way too. Unfortunately, being too giving does bring the spaths out of the woodwork. In fact, if you want to test someone for spathiness, just be loving and giving. You will see how quickly they turn on you.

It’s part of their parasitical nature and their cowardice. They like to take from people who love them because they know those people won’t retaliate.


Excellent, excellent article!! One of the best I’ve read so far. Thank you, Mel, for this. It really helped me progress in my healing at a time I felt I was in a slump and couldn’t move any farther forward.

The comments are also so true to me, everyone here is living my experience almost identically and I cant tell you all how much hope this gives me. Skylar, I love your posts.

Tray, change your phone number. I had the same exact spath type you’re dealing with. Within a month he became horrible, abusive, a pathological liar, theif, whore, and I ended up with an STD from his sleeping around with anything that moved. You’re in the right place now, just don’t give up NO CONTACT. He WILL give up on you, they’re lazy. Get a restraining order if you have to, just get him GONE.

You are hurting right now, Tray, but the amount of relief and freedom you will feel once your healing starts will be the true push you need on this painful journey. You will be better for it all one day, promise. Read as much as you can here on lovefraud, stay no contact, and don’t let your kind and giving nature be fooled back into the spaths clenches. Use that compassion inward, put yourself first for once. God bless you and be with you.


thank you woundlicker,
I can’t wait til you change your name to “all healed now”!
I agree that this post is one of the most instructive for recognizing spaths. Watch their actions and listen to your own gut. Both carry the red flags.

anam cara

This is my first post on this wonderful site. I’m still in recovery after 18 months of hell from my S/P sister. Every trauma in my entire life is being processed and knowing what I know now, is making sense.
I was very close to my Mum, who died, suddenly on 12/3/10, my good friend commited suicide on 22/3/10 and although I clashed with my Dad, I loved him. He also died suddenly on 01/04/10. Three people within three weeks.
My older sister who has lived in Australia for 22 years, basically, came over and took over, as “she knows best” “her way or no way.” I am still traumatised by her behavior and very lonely. More in next post. Crying now 🙁


Tray, a small thing I did to warn myself not to answer his calls or texts, was to rename him in my celphone. Instead of “Bryan Ranger” (not his real name), I changed it to “Doesn’t Care About You” and then “Never Laughs At Jokes” and then “Has Never Dreamed” and finally, “A Sociopath.” A few months after no contact, I got a call from himm and to see “A Sociopath is calling you” flash on ones phone is very chilling…and effective.

Ox Drover

Dear Anam cara,

I am so sorry for your huge number of losses and then to have your sister compound them on top of everything.

Hang here on this site and read and read, and post, and cry, you are not alone in having had to deal with a person in your family who is toxic, and usually deaths (and inheritances) bring them out of the wood work. I am so sorry you are dealing with this but you are NOT alone, believe me please. God bless.

Ox Drover

parallelogram–that is GREAT!!!!!! ” a sociopath is calling” LOL How true, how true. Sure doesn’t make you want to pick up the call now does it. LOL

Parallelogram – A sociopath is calling! What a great idea!


New Beginning

Anam Cara,

I am so sorry for all the trauma you experienced over such a short period of time. It truly does have a compounding effect on a person.

I too have dealt with a succession of losses that occurred over a four year period and understand the devastation. Today I realized there isn’t ONE day over the past four years that I would choose to relive however some were definitely MUCH better than others. The good news is that finally my days are improving and it’s mostly due to all the support here on LF. People here understand what others don’t. This is a healing place. Read, cry; contemplate, cry; post, cry. It’s all part of the healing.

Not sure if it is of any help but a few months ago I adopted the analogy of a broken leg and the time it takes for it to completely heal in relation to my emotional healing. It helped me to not be critical of myself, especially when others were critical of me and would react by saying “just get on with your life”. And all I could think is “what life? So much is GONE.” I decided not to let them make me feel like I was less than for needing time to heal. Instead I believe they are the true losers…..the people who don’t care enough to feel wounded.

Hang in there. There is A LOT of support here no matter what type of day you are struggling with.

Be well. Stay strong.


Ox Drover

Dear New Beginning,

What a wonderful and caring, compassionate post to Anam Cara, thank you for sharing that with the community here. I’m so glad that you are here, this is what makes the LF community wonderful and healing.


Dear Anamcara,

I want to echo the welcome to you. LF is an amazing place full of kindly, smart, loving individuals who will offer the hand of friendship and understanding without being judgemental.
I’m so sorry you have suffered such terrible losses. Really hope you can gain comfort and hope from this wonderful site. Keep writing your thoughts and worries here. There’s always someone to talk to even though we’re all on different parts of the planet!

Be kind to yourself lovely.



Hello, I am also a first time poster and I want you all to know what this site’s articles and insightful comments have meant to me. It’s helped me get SO much perspective on my relationship with my ex.

Parallelogram your comment made me laugh out loud! That is brilliant.

Anam Cara you WILL get through this. You have made it this far and are still alive. Think of all the things you’ve accomplished amidst your despair (sometimes even going to the store is a HUGE step if you are really low). That should show you you have the strength within you to be a happy and fully functioning person some day. When I was at my lowest point, just getting up, going to work and coming home was a huge sense of accomplishment. And each day builds on the day before.
These horrible things happen in our lives but they do not have to be without reason or without purpose. Once you have healed enough, you can use the pain you’ve felt to help others who are going through devastating experiences. They will listen to you because you’ve been to hell and lived through it. Some day, someone else may desperately need to hear what you have learned due to your circumstances.
Your mother wouldn’t want you wasting your life and wonderful potential in tears and despair. You can honor her and her memory by living the best life you know how, rejoicing in the beauty of where you stand and helping others (even if it’s just opening the door for someone…there were days I was so depressed after my break-up I almost cried at the kindness of strangers who opened doors for me…and it gave me hope that yes, there still WERE worthwhile human beings in the world).

These dark valleys we must pass through to get to the mountain top. God is guiding you to where you are meant to be to do the most good in the world, you are never alone. No one stands in the darkness alone. I am glad you reached out.

Ox Drover

Welcome Vidya,

Thank you for that wonderful and comforting and compassionate post to Anam Cara.

I’m sorry you have the credentials to join our “club” but since you do I’m glad you are here! There is healing and comfort here. Welcome.


Thank you for the welcome, Ox Drover.

I too am sorry I have the credentials haha–but not sorry I found this site.

My ex made me feel like everything–even the demise of our relationship–was MY fault. I cried and felt sorry for myself for about a week. I blamed myself for our break-up. But then, once away from him with no contact (except to arrange for him to get the rest of his stuff), I gained a small glimpse of clarity which grew into a revelation.

This guy was ANGRY. He was the angriest person I’ve ever known. He was so IN TUNE with every little expression on my face and every single nuance in the tone of my voice. He was always asking me what was wrong, ready to get defensive. I walked on eggshells laid on top of mine fields.

He always had all feelers out ready to register even the slightest bit of anything negative having to do with him. He was obsessive about being thought of as “a bad guy.” He would rage at me when I would get mad about him going out with friends (I was never invited). One day I got mad about him staying out with co-workers after work and he was frothing at the mouth when he came home. He punched a board out of my fence.

He never harmed me physically but the emotional abuse and psychological manipulation were head-spinning. He could talk circles around me, making me believe I had acted irrationally when all I wanted was what I thought ANYONE in a NORMAL relationship would want–to be included in his social circle, to be considered in his actions, to be acknowledged as his gf on facebook.

Very few things were ever his fault. It was all my fault because I overreacted, because I assumed things and never asked. I never got any reassurance from him. I only got nastiness and anger when I sought it, because he thought that made him look like a failure.

I could go on, and I’m sure I will in later posts, but I am certain he is a sociopath except for ONE thing–he did not care for physical intimacy at all. He once told me he couldn’t equate it with love. But then again he gave me numerous excuses as to why he–a perfectly healthy normally functioning male–had trouble with physical intimacy. Perplexing for a sociopath. It was non-existent in our relationship.


Thank you, Skylar! I can’t wait to change my name either, but until I came across this site I thought the day I would feel human again would never come.
I have all the wonderful people posting here on LF to thank. No where else year after year was I finding real support, guidance or encouragement. I truly believe this is a God send.
I have actually felt and truly experienced real healing in the past month since discovering lovefraud. I am excited about recovering from the ex spath and I just pray anyone else who has had to live the hellish nightmare of being close to a spath finds this place.
Thank you all, I can’t say it enough.

New Beginning

Dear Vidya,

Welcome to the LF community. The most compassionate, caring group of people you will never meet in person, but they will hold a special place in your heart.

It’s amazing what sociopaths say and do to make themselves feel empowered. Mine was always picking me apart too. Now I can just be ME and I will never alter who I am again for another human being.

I wanted to throw my two cents in regarding physical intimacy. Though I cannot speak for anyone else, my ex-husband eventually had no interest in physical intimacy with me either. It actually is not unusual for sex addicts though it does sound contradictory. They do not equate sex with love on ANY level whatsoever. Mine repeatedly told me this though I was thinking it was more of a basic male thing but this was prior to figuring out who he was and his actual telling me (out of the clear blue) that he was a sex addict. Me: I’ve been married to a SEX addict for 30 bleeping years and didn’t know it??? EX: No response. Again this is based on my experience and also what I’ve read but what happens with sex addicts is they are always seeking excitement…..the next thrill. The next person they can conquer. They can’t find that with their spouse. Am not saying Elin Nordgren’s ex is a sociopath however he is a sex addict and told people that he was no longer attracted to Elin. Now that’s a “WTF” moment. I have sympathy for both Elin and Sandra Bullock because they’ve both had to endure public scrutiny and we all know it’s hard enough without that. Interestingly, this brought me some relief because if these two women were not attractive to their mates, there is NO WAY I was going to be attractive to mine. I’m far from perfect but I now know that “I” was not THE problem. My ex has even had sex with other women while I am IN the same house. He has done this at homes we were guests at……yeah, no kidding! Still, none of it was his fault for some reason. Blah, blah, blah is all I hear now.

In closing, I can only offer an opinion on who my ex is and no one else’s but the lack of interest in sexual intimacy at home does not preclude someone from being a sociopath. IMO it probably weighs more toward the person being one. Most importantly, if you haven’t done so yet, please seek medical care and be tested for STD’s. The earlier you discover and treat it, the better.

Take care of yourself. As Oxy has often said, we all have the LF crew behind us…….just like the Verizon commercial. Oxy, I don’t think I quoted you correctly but hope I captured the gist of it. 😉

Be well.


New Beginning

Dear Oxy,

Thank you so much for your kind words, they made my day! I am glad you are here too! Not glad for what brought you here but grateful for your insight, healing words and friendship.

New Beginning

Tray, I was left with a parting gifts from my ex. Like you, I cannot see myself in a physical relationship again I’m sure my ex has had sex with hundreds of women….and that was BEFORE he met me. Surprisingly he actually admitted this when teling me he was a sex addict. So if I add in all the partners those women had, how many people did that cause me to be exposed to? It sends shivers down my spine……especially sine the only person I ever had complete sexual contact with was him. The irony of life, love and sex.

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