By | June 22, 2011 432 Comments

Advice for women not involved with sociopaths

In the wake of Weinergate, CNN posted an article entitled, Stop calling Huma Abedin a victim. Abedin, of course, is Anthony Weiner’s wife, who I’m sure was, at the very least, embarrassed by the scandal, and perhaps angry enough to consider divorce.

The article quotes a couple of authors telling women to choose not to be victims. Instead, women should choose to define their own happiness. Oh, there are a couple of caveats—the advice doesn’t apply to women who fear for their safety or are facing financial ruin. But there is no discussion of what to do when your relationship is so emotinally abusive that you are psychologically traumatized.

In short, this story offers advice for women coping with infidelity whose partners are not sociopaths. Which is fine—these women need advice as much as anyone. But the article also reinforces society’s “just get over it” attitude, which makes life difficult for women dealing with true exploitation.

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Ox Drover

I think this article contains some POWERFUL ideas that I, and possibly others, should add to our own “play book.”

The following is one of those:

Give up on the dream. Many people create a storyline or myth for their lives that says they will be powerful when they are pretty or handsome, skinny, married, a parent, or have the “right” job or salary.”

“If you’re only powerful when it goes a certain way, then what happens when you lose your job?” asks Munson. Do you not matter anymore? Figure out the myths you tell yourself about your definition of success before you can move on.”

I think WE are so much more powerful than we comprehend—but I know that I predicated my “happiness” to much on my late husband, my job, where I lived, my kids….where did my happiness go when I no longer had my husband (he died) where did my happiness go when I had to leave my home because it wasn’t safe for me to stay here? Where did my happiness go when I realized without a doubt that my son Patrick was a psychopath without any chance of remorse for the murder he committed, and that my other son C didn’t have the moral compass I wanted my son to have?

If your “happiness” depends on ANYTHING outside of yourself I think you are building your house on “the sand”—-as the parable of Jesus notes, and if a “flood” comes along, it will fold in on itself and wash away.

The solid “rock” of our TRUE HAPPINESS must be build on the BED ROCK of ourselves. Sure we can ENJOY a new house, but if losing that house would send us into a tail spin, and our HAPPINESS depends on having That house, we can’t be secure in our happiness at all.

No matter how much we love others, ultimately we go through life alone and those that share part of our journey with us may bring us JOY or SADNESS, but our HAPPINESS, what WE are, I think is what we create from within ourselves.

I think this article presents in some very thought provoking ways, some basic, solid truths that each of us should think about and examine in our quest to heal and make our lives meaningful for us. Our HAPPINESS I think depends on OURSELVES, and how we respond to life, not how others behave or what we have.

Thanks Donna, great article.


THanks Donna, it’s a good read. It’s definitely NOT good advice for somebody being affected by a sociopath, however.

I dunno, everything I read about Weiner indicates he IS a socoipath – I am not a doctor – but maybe the writer of the article should consider BOTH possibilities….that he IS, and that he ISNT.

Great read. Thanks.

Ox Drover


Even if he IS a Sociopath, or is not, it doesn’t really matter, his wife must base her own “happiness” and “success” in life on herself, not on HIM.

I’m with you, I think the guy is probably VERY high in P traits and is definitely a narcissist….I think he can’t be trusted….but if her whole happiness in life depends on HIM, then what happens if he leaves her, or if he dies? Does she just fold up and blow away and be “un happy” for the rest of her life?

Sure, the betrayal of a psychopath or a non psychopath HURTS, and they have taken advantage of our love for them, lied to us, hurt us, but our happiness must depend on US—not “I will be happy if my husband loves me and is true to me” or “I will be happy if this or that happens”

We have to be secure in our own selves NO MATTER WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON OUTSIDE OUR SELF. We have to depend on our own inner strengths, our own self worth.

I refuse to ONLY be “happy” if ______ loves me” (fill in the blank with anyone or any thing)


I hate the whole “Choose not to be a victim” schpeal because nobody chooses to be a victim. The very nature of the word victim implies that there was a perpetrator. You are victimized, and the logical inference to be taken from that is that you didn’t choose to be a “victim” ( you didn’t choose to be victimized ) and thus you are a victim only because of the perpetrator’s actions. There is no shame in the word victim, apart from that which society imposes. I think telling a true victim to “stop being a victim” is demeaning and based on faulty premises.

People who have been truly victimized need to be validated, heard, but most of all they need to acknowledge that what happened was not their fault. Telling someone who has just endured hell on earth to “stop being a victim” is just ignorant.


Personally, I thought that was an excellent article. There was some excellent advice there.

I agree with the choosing not to be a victim. Who wants to be a victim? That’s not something we choose like what to have for dinner. Now, that being said, I also feel like once we KNOW we are being duped, THEN we do have a choice to stay or get out.


Yes, there is good advice in this article. I like the advice on making yourself happy and all that, but this would only work if you are innately selfish. yes, I said selfish.

I wish I was more selfish, but it’s difficult when you’ve been programmed to love making the people you love, happy and it’s truly the best thing in your life. I’m not saying that this programming isn’t a personality disorder, I think that it really is a PD, but it’s still programming, just like morality, empathy and ethics are programmed into us. It’s hard to not really like making the people you love, happy. So this advice isn’t so easy for some of us.

On the other hand, this writer reminded me of some of my spaths friends, who said, “well it takes two to tango” and “you enjoyed the excitement that spath created in your life, so you can’t complain…blah, blah, blah” What this article makes me want to do, is to send my evil spath into her life and see how good she is at “making her own happiness”. I’ll bet she fails miserably in the company of my spath.


I can relate to the “VICTIM” label being applied.
Common comments are:
“So? Build a bridge and get over it!”
“You chose them”.

No Sociopath goes around with a big sign on their forehead saying :
Iwant to ruin your life.
Let me beat you.
Let me empty your bank account, run up your credit debt etc.
Let me rape your children.
Let me lie about you and ruin your reputation.
Let me take sadistic pleasure in causing you emotional/physical pain.
Let me socially isolate you from everyone who cares about you.

People who have never had to deal/live with a Sociopath seem to think the person who has been wounded by one, is to blame for their own injury.

That kind of comment really hurts, but there is no way you can make the person understand what you have gone through.

They would probably have to experience it for themselves, or observe it in action, to ever truly understand how a Sociopath manipulates and controls another person.

It is best to dust yourself off, and get back up on your feet and walk away with your head held high.
Trying to justify yourself, and explain what has happened to you, tends to be a waste of time.



Yep, a total waste of time. Oh, dear…have I ever found that out!


Does your head feel like the spin cycle of a washing machine? MINE does!

Fleeced Ewe

If you were deceived, would you know it?





Ox Drover

Hey, Fleeced Ewe, good to see you back….I think if you are “deceived” eventually you catch on, but maybe sometimes people never do. That’s kind oflike “how high is up?” LOL


For me, dealing with my own victim mentality has been one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done because I HAVE been through more than any 10 people I know and had the cards stacked against me from day one. And I’ve been there long before the sociopath ever came into the picture. I have found at the bottom of it (for me) is the need to be validated for what I have gone through. When my mother kind of sort of apologized to me for all the abuse she put me through at the hands of my stepfather, I wanted her to really know how much it had hurt me and affected my entire life. When she couldn’t get it, I stewed in anger and resentment, punishing her with my absence for many years. It was as if I couldn’t move on until she could feel my pain. I don’t know when it happened for me when I realized that she never will feel my pain and neither will most of the world, and learned to start validating myself. Looking for external validation has kept me in the victim role for many many years. Unfortunately, this has kept me stuck in depression and helplessness. I have had a lot of bad things happen to me, but I am no longer a victim of circumstances. I can change how I think about things, and even how I feel to some extent. I can change how I interpret events and the meaning I assign to them. I can be happy in spite of all the things that happened. Every so often, I find myself falling into that victim mentality when talking to someone who has not had the hardships I’ve had. It’s something I’m really trying hard to change. I’d rather have love in my life than be righteous at this point. I am seeing that waiting for others to understand, to take responsibility, or to validate me puts my power in their hands.

Ox Drover


TOWANDA!!!! Your post above is absolutely RIGHT ON!!! We have to validate ourselves! Good for you GF!!!!! TOWANDA AGAIN!!!!


Maybe I won’t feel the victim mentality so much when I am finally able to divorce my family for good!


Liz, it took me so many years to finally divorce my family for good. And I went through hell over it. It’s SO much better this way.

Thanks, Oxy. ((((hugs))))


Star-I have been so depressed over the way my dad has been treating me. I told my girl last night about his last email listing all my disappointments and she said maybe it’s time to write him a list of all the ways he disappoints me. She finally said it last night-DIVORCE HIM like you did your mom.

She ended up leaving town before I was able to come out to her. I really hope I get to do it soon. I need to get it over with.



I want to hug you. I have been feeling exactly like you. Wanting everyone, especially the X spath, to feel my pain and understand my feelings and it’s never going to happen. Until I make my own self happy and stop worrying about how they feel, I will never heal. I am getting there, but it is very slow. I had also gone through a lot of things before the spath came along and I thought I was just finally healing and boom he came along.

I know it’s going to be a long process for me and I am so glad to hear that YOU are there; you are working on it. I am proud of you!


Louise, you will get there. If you just have the intention to have peace in your life, the drama and old patterns will start to dissipate, and your emotions will come up for examination and release, with you at the helm, the person in control – not the people who hurt you. It’s a process.


Star-that’s awesome. Good for you. What you wrote about your mother reminded me such much about what is going on with her and my dad. Everytime I reach out to them I get triggered and re-traumatized. I tried it with her on Mother’s Day last month and got total PTSD from it and had to cut her off again. My issue with dad has turned out the same way.

They refuse to accept my gayness, so I refuse to accept them. I can’t change that about myself and I won’t ever try. That’s why the whole thing that happened with my exspath still kinda freaks me out. I let him take me out from where I was comfortable-loving women, and I now don’t understand why that occurred. I think it was low self esteem.


Star-mine didn’t help me out financially for college either. My dad helped me some now and some in 2009 when I was unemployed for a short time. The thing is with him, he thinks that the assistance he gave entitles him to take over my life and have a say so in all my decisions and that is wrong. He tries to exert influence all over the place. I am through with there being strings attached to everything with him and this time it ends here. He send me $275 a few days ago-not cuz I asked but because I was upset about it and he sent more money than I needed and made me feel horribly guilty for it, and then proceeded to trash me about everything-including my weight, when he is huge himself and my stepmom enables him so he doesn’t lose it.

I emailed him back and told him how wrong he was for what he was saying. I told him that unlike him, my weight gain has to do with stress and female problems. His only excuse is eating like a pig all the time. Eating is his favorite thing to do. There was also underlying things about my gayness in there. He got my stepmom to show him my FB and he saw where one night I went out with my girl for dinner and he accused me of spending money to try and impress her. The stupid thing is that she paid for dinner that night and we had a great time together.


I won’t anymore-ever. He gave me the guilt about he was going to use the money to fix something on his house and that he expected it back as soon as I get my unemployment money back. I will give it back and then I will work to pay him back some other money he gave me and then quietly go NC and never speak to him again.

He does this Jekyll Hyde thing all the time and typical, my stepmom’s daughter was in town this weekend. That’s when he always sends the hateful emails. Apparently she is perfect and is the yardstick in which all the rest of us are measured. The day after he sent it he started sending me his obnoxious political emails and racist bigoted stuff that he likes-just like nothing ever happened. He never says sorry or acknowledges my feelings. He usually waits til I communicate with his wife and then he starts up communication again. I bumped up my FB privacy settings again so she and my brother can’t see any of my posts, so they can’t show them to him. I also will decline to start communication with her again.


Star-I actually really did need it to defer my car payment for May and June and it also provided enough for an extra tank of gas for my truck. It will help if I get to work this weekend cuz the drive is far.


I did thank him for the money and he definitely won’t hear about my life anymore. I don’t need his approval. It does disgust me though that he would have rather me be with exspath than with a good woman. He’s sick.


Star-thanks and you’re not making light of it. I busted my ass to get his approval all my whole entire life and it’s obviously never worked. There were several times in my life before all this unemployment crap started where he turned into My Hyde on me. It didn’t get bad until I lost my job this spring. I do see now that I will never get his approval.

I think that you are right about getting involved with my spath. I know remember when I told my dad about him how relieved he was and how he was glad I found someone really good who loves me and would treat me well. I sure wasn’t treated well. All along I always felt that my spath was a lot like my dad-they had the same eyes and part of their personalities were the same. I didn’t realize it til I came here that both of them are Narcissists-no wonder they seemed so much alike. I’m going to be relieved when I can give him his money back and be done with it.



Thanks so much for your posts. They were very helpful to me.

I did two things that I thought would help me heal and get over these feelings, but both only helped temporarily. I wrote the X spath a very long letter in January and last November I sent all the gifts back to the OW. She had given me lots of stuff and I just didn’t want it anymore. I felt like sending it all back to her would set me free and it did, but only for a little while. Same with the letter to X spath. I felt better for a minute, but as usual the feelings came back.

Time will be the only thing that will heal.


Louise-time is the only thing that will heal. I was still sleeping in my exspaths clothes a year after we broke up. Then I found this place and got the courage to get rid of them. I even got new bedding for the bed and through out everything that reminded me of him. It was a long process for me. Hopefully it won’t be as long for you. You seemed to have found this place much sooner than I did, which is good. I wish I wouldn’t have had to go through it as long as I did.

I know it will get better for you. ((((hugs))))



Thanks so much. I just wish it didn’t take so long, but I am getting there. I am much better than I was a year ago…God, this time last year I was REALLY a mess. NC really does help the healing, it really does.


Louise-it will continue to get better. I also kept my spaths emails and texts for a year. The thing that really freaks me out though was last month I found a copy of his CV saved on my computer. I got a new computer in the fall and I don’t remember pulling it up since I had the old computer. So I couldn’t figure out how it got on the new one. Maybe I pulled it up in my sleep or something, cuz for the life of me I don’t remember-or maybe after I had my concussion.

Star-I talked with a friend from high school on FB and she now lives in Michigan and is married to a great guy. I found out that like me, she had been with women before she met him and also was with a married man too. She did say that she was with a man who roughed her up for awhile too. It’s amazing how you can go 20 years w/o talking to someone and then find out that you have had a lot of the same things in your life. She said that it’s probably best that I’m into women because all of my experiences with men were really bad. I knew deep down though that I was gay since the 6th grade and tried to run away from it because I was afraid of what my family thought. Once I got into my 20s though, it didn’t matter so much anymore and now it definitely doesn’t. Nobody can change me no matter how hard they want it to be so.


Lizzy and Star:


I just discovered something on Facebook that kind of threw me off. I just noticed that a male friend of the OW who I was in triangulation with just blocked me from seeing his wall. Normally if you are friends with someone (which I am with him on Facebook), you can see a friend’s wall unless they don’t want you to. Now, I do have to admit that I blocked him from seeing my wall a long, long time ago because I didn’t want him potentially telling her anything I was doing. Not that I do anything at all that I need to hide, but just the principal. Not that I even thought that he would tell her, but just to be safe. So for some reason I just happened to check his “wall” (which I was able to see just about a week ago) and I can’t see it. Now, I know that he must have blocked me individually because that is a normal setting for friends to be able to see and post on each other’s walls. Why didn’t he just “unfriend” me?? I’m just a little upset now. I never talk to this guy…haven’t seen him or talked to him since I left work. I wouldn’t since he is friends with the OW who I never want to speak to again. And she has him fooled just like she does all the men…they all think she is great. Typical narcissistic attitude…she has everyone duped. This is bugging me now. It will take me a few days to get past it. Ugghh. I guess I shouldn’t feel that bad because I had blocked him a long time ago, but he must have never noticed it. I have a feeling he noticed it so he blocked me to be spiteful. Oh, well.


Louise-I hope you don’t let it bother you too much. That is actually what I just did with my stepmom and my brother. I didn’t unfriend them but I blocked them from seeing all my posts. That way they can’t either tell or show my dad things. He is also already sending me his cute little friendly emails that he always sends and completely ignores the fact that he hurt me so bad.

I really hope you don’t let this upset you though because really, do you want to see his wall that much. I only want to see the walls of people who are true friends who I know actually care about me.



No, I understand and no, it won’t bother me that much. Like I said, I haven’t even seen or talked to this guy in almost a year. And I don’t care what he is saying on his wall anyway. I guess it’s just because I don’t understand his motivation and I suspect it has something to do with “her.” It’s just the principal I guess; just irks me. I really just don’t see why he didn’t unfriend me. I don’t know why I haven’t unfriended him either to tell you the truth. So I wonder if I will still see his posts? Unless he blocked me from that, too!!



I know…you know what? I used to hate Facebook. I didn’t even have an account for a long time. And then I got an account, but didn’t do anything with it for years. But then I became unemployed and had way too much time on my hands and voila…that’s when I got into it. So you know what? I am seriously thinking about deactivating my account for good. It is just a time sucker anyway.

Woo hoo! How exciting about the Albuqueque guy!!


Star-good to see you. I am on FB a lot to keep in touch with friends where I used to live and from high school. My ex isn’t on there though-he wouldn’t stoop SO low. That’s cool about the guy, but which one is this-I’m confused.

Louise-glad you’re ok with it. You may not see his posts if he did what I did.


Star-I threw out my shoulder, neck , and upper back sneezing-I need a massage and a chiropractor.

Ox Drover

Louise, you are “upset” over “nothing” because if you keep “tabs” on him it is BACK DOOR CONTACT and as long as you have “contact” of ANY kind there will be new upsets and new injuries. Just quit looking at anything to do with him, ANY THING AT ALL! Act like he fell off the face of the earth. Un-friend, de-friend, block him and anyone else that he is friends with….FB is not “real life friends” in any case it is just a computer GAME.


I disagree about FB being fake and just a game. I talk to my actual real friends from where I grew up and used to work everyday. They are actually as many support systems there as I have here-except I actually know the people on there and all their real names and about their lives, as they know mine. My friends are wanting to know about my interviews and whats happening and I get to know what’s going on with them too. I was able to support my friend through her husband’s second lung transplant on FB. I get to see pictures of their new babies. I also got my new volunteer opportunity there. I am going to be working in the homicide division of my police department until I can actually go back and be a cop. The detective put out a notice on FB asking for volunteers. I emailed him and he called me back. I get a lot out of facebook.



No, no…this was NOT the X spath. He’s not even on Facebook. This is just a platonic mutual friend who sat right by my cube at work with me. He is still friends with the OW in triangulation, but of course I left and haven’t talked to him in almost a year. He is a nice guy and I guess that is why he doesn’t want to “unfriend” me. Sorry for the confusion. Sorry I wasn’t clear about it. But it is NOT the X spath 🙂


So I hope everyone is clear that this was NOT the X spath. I have had no contact with the X spath for going on four months now…yay for me even though it hurts! I said in the original post that it was a male friend of the OW in triangulation with me. I would have said the X spath if that’s who it was. But the x spath isn’t even on Facebook and I am considering to not be either. There are many other ways to communicate; I don’t need it.


Not to hijack but…..okay, I’ll hijack lol….FB is waaay to public for me. Not to mention it’s a full-time job with 500 friend requests coming in in a week (this really happened). I really don’t want to see my co-workers during my down time or have my reptile friends co-mingling with my real life friends. It’s all too incestuous for me. I really see absolutely no reason for it. If I want to talk to someone, I pick up a phone and call (crazy, I know!) or shoot them an email. But I have to admit, I’m a regular member on a well-known reptile site, and I goof around there a lot. But the members there don’t know anything about the rest of my life unless I make it a point to tell them.

Liz, my massage table is set up already because I just did one. Come on over.



I agree. Even though I am on Facebook, I really don’t care for it and as I said in my post above and you also just mentioned, there are other ways to communicate…call, email, text, VISIT IN PERSON…imagine that…hahaha! Who does that anymore? All this social media is ruining face to face contact.

So anyway, we will see how much longer I stay on it.


A month or so ago, my computer got a virus and was “out sick” for a week. I could not believe how much I got done during that time and how much my social life improved! From what I hear, FB is terribly addicting to a lot of people who use it. It’s probably a good thing that I don’t have that addiction. Between this site and my reptile site, it would suck my life away.



Exactly!! Facebook is such a time waster! It can be very addicting. Most people (not me) even have it on their phones so it is with them everywhere they go. I think that’s a bit obssessive.

On another note, can you help me with something? I have discovered something…an aha! moment and need some advice on how to get past this now that I am aware of it. I have come to realize that I am stuck in fantasy mode with my X spath because we weren’t together long enough for me to hate him. Does that make sense? We were together long enough for me to fall hopelessly in love with him, become addicted to him and everything else. He did pull a lot of crap on me, but it was more the push/pull crap and f*ucking with my head…keeping me on the line…making me crazy. Playing all the games. But not enough for me to HATE him. I never saw the “real” him so I am still in love with the fantasy that I can’t shake. Any advice on how to get past that other than just telling myself that I didn’t know the “real” him (even though I THOUGHT I did)? At least now that I know what I am dealing with as far as my emotions, maybe I can better get the help I need. Because right now I am not doing so great. I was thinking tonight about how much it hurts to realize that I most likely am never going to see him again…never hear his voice again, etc. I know he’s a bastard, but because I am still in the fantasy mode, it hurts to realize these things.


Louise, I think you will have to do what most of us have had to do: work to turn off the fantasy.

given your experience, I’d suggest you think about whether you would truly want this person in your life. would you want this behaviour to repeat and repeat and repeat, until you hated YOURSELF?

it just takes time and practice and you WILL get to the point that you don’t want him, and you will on an emotional level see him for what he is.



Thank you. I know you are right. I am going to work HARD on it.


May I pop in here with an update…..and Louise, this may allow you to count your blessings you didn’t stick around long……
WELL……it happened, this am…..spath contacted the jr’s.
He called repeatedly….and left some very disturbing yet interesting messages. The first message was all ‘teary’ and ‘somber’…..with claims of I love you’s. Then….he ran out of message….and called back in a TOTALY different tone…..Dr. Jeykle/Hyde gig…. No hello’s, no I love you’s….only YOU LIED and STOLE my golf clubs from me?!?!?! Why did you lie to the police when you PUNCHED ME IN THE NOSE? WTF? His use of words was interesting, his anger was a tell.
He can’t contain.
Then….message ran out…..he called back…..I love you guys, I love your mother, I didn’t make her sick….she’s tainted you guys…..blah, blah……He hopes your mother (me) has done a good job raising nice kids. (He spoke like they were 7 in baby type talk). It’s been so hard being w/o you for the last 4 years, we were always together ask anyone in town it was dad and kids……(tell he’s in town).
I won’t stop calling, I hope you pick up one day. I hope you appreciated the money I….er your grandparents xx and oo left for you. (tried to claim responsibility for kids inheritence from HIS g. parents).
Then on to …….you lied to police, you lied to xx state (drug arrest state) and I have never done anything wrong to you?!?!
I can’t hate you or your mother. It’s impossible to hate the woman you’ve been married to for 28 years…..I know you all hate me and you can do whatever you want. I never forbid your mother from doing anything……she always did whatever she wanted……
Blah, blah, blah…..
Be good kid’s. I love you.

UMmmmmm. OKAY!
So….know we are a bit on edge….and I DON”T LIKE IT!
I believe he may be in town and I’m not sure what he’s fishing for……

Jr answered the phone one time (blocked number) and when he heard spath fathers voice he told him to F* off…..Your dead to me, never call here again! Click…..

Jr said……the anxiety in hearing his voice took me off guard. (YEp…..something I think we can all relate to).

It’s hard for me to see the fantasy in this crap anymore…..more like impossible. BUT…..what used to grab me was the I love you’s…..


I want him gone….and gone far away….forever! Move on homey!


Louise, if there was a snowball’s change in hell that this guy loved you or could love you, you would not be here. Maybe you need to tell your story again to convince yourself of this.


Oh, EB, I’m SO sorry you had to deal with that crap. You are absolutely right – if you stick around with a spath long enough, that is exactly the kind of crap you will see.


EB-WOW! All I can say is what a freakin Psycho-literally. I really really hope he stays away and you don’t have to keep hearing from him. I’m glad you son was smart and didn’t fall for his crap.



HUGS. I’m so sorry he appeared in your life again.

I’m so glad JR has his head on straight. Kudos to you.

There are some phone companies (AT&T, comcast) who offer services to block incoming calls. AT&T will let you block incoming calls from both a specific number, AND from somebody who blocks their number. It’s a great service.

Isn’t it funny, the further away we get, the more accurate VIEW we have of who they are as a person. Yuck.

All power to you!


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