ASK DR. LEEDOM: Why has my husband cut our daughters out of his life?

This week we received the following letter from a reader of the blog. I wanted to share both the letter and my reaction to it with you:

After 30 yrs of marriage and abuse, I have finally left my passive
aggressive sociopathic narcissist husband. I have managed the No Contact fairly well, of course he is the KING of the silent treatment so it doesn’t seem to bother him.

What I simply do not understand is this: We have two daughters, ages 22 and 24. We USED to have a close family, the girls were close to their dad. However after they have witnessed him abusing me, they have had a few ‘spats’ with him lately.

What completely baffles me, is that when I started the No Contact about 2 1/2 months ago, he completely stopped talking to our daughters. He hit me, and they were both angry at him, and they all argued via email and cell phones, since they live far away from us. After they got angry with him for hitting me, he cut all communication off with them. They do not call him or email him either, because they are angry and do not want to ‘beg him for his love,’ so they are all at a complete standoff.

I do not understand why he will not pursue contact of any kind. Our oldest daughter is married and having our first grandchild in a few months. She is angry at her father and yet broken hearted. She wonders if he ever thinks of her, of her pregnancy, if he cares? I don’t understand why he will not contact them, other than he is angry at them for ‘taking my side’ after he hit me, or he is a coward; afraid of how they will react to him. He used to be extremely close to them, but the older they got, the further apart they all drifted.

Both of our daughters are very strong ladies, but are not disrespectful to him. I would like to know what he is thinking or doing? Why has he cut his daughters out of his life?

Reaction 1

I wanted to entitle my next book “Stop Being Baffled” but Donna didn’t like that title so it is now Driven to Do Evil. Here is a quote from the Chapter 1:

”¦nevertheless, the (sociopath’s) behavior has baffled us because we have misunderstood the main purpose of his behavior.
Ben Bursten, M.D. The Manipulative Personality, 1971

Just what is the purpose of a sociopath’s behavior toward others? It usually boils down to either power or sex or some combination of the two.

The reason we are baffled by sociopaths is that it is hard to comprehend an inner world where the love motive does not exist. It is also hard to understand that sociopaths lack the love motive because they seem to enjoy intimacy and affection to a certain degree. It is just this enjoyment is not connected to any deep obligation to take care of another person.

So stop being baffled. He moved on because there was no real reason to interact with his daughters because they stopped being a source of power reward (also called narcissistic supply).

When you interact with a sociopath it is important to always keep in mind that he/she does not possess a love motive. By love motive I mean any need to maintain a relationship where care is given to another person independent of what is gotten in return. Sociopaths will sometimes give care when there is something in it for them.

Reaction 2

We have to educate everyone in our society about what the love and power motives are. We have to teach everyone that love means caretaking and giving, and that there are some in our families who are NOT capable of love.

Just like it is unreasonable to expect a blind person to drive a car, because he/she cannot see the road, it is unreasonable to expect a sociopath to parent.

Parenting means taking care of another person and maintaining a connection out of the joy of loving and giving. A person who cannot love has no joy in giving and so cannot parent. It is that simple.

Reaction 3

Perhaps your adult daughters would be willing to write and talk about what it feels like to have a sociopath as a parent. We need to collect these statements and use them to change our society.

Reaction 4

This disorder is familial and also related to alcoholism/addiction and ADHD. Please consider reading my book, Just Like His Father? to help you think about the needs of your grandchild.

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Ox Drover

Dear Janie,

Welcome back to our addiction, as you can see I am a “worse addict” than you! LOL

Your insight and wonderful wisdom and advice is sorely missed when you are not here posting! BOINK!!!! Your advice to Chic is very good!

I tend to be the same way, to see the glass half empty rather than half full, my husband would say “THE GLASS IS THE WRONG SIZE!” LOL

It takes more than one point of view to see the entire picture and your perspectives are always very helpful! MORE POSTS! Don’t make me get the skilelt out again and come hunting you! (((hugs))))


Chic: I’m not going to call you Shabby any more…I don’t like that! Ya know!
Okay…’s natural to doubt ourselves, especially when we have valid questions about the ‘how’ we landed up ‘here’.
But….Jane is spot on! You must (we) focus on our strengths….it’s too easy to see all the ‘flaws’ or negatives that have been forced on us.
We are valued, beautiful human beings with a lot to offer the world…….and here we are offering it…..
SO put a feather in your cap girl and tickle yourself with it whenever you need!!!!!


Good to see you around….Hope your doing well and life is leading you in great places!!!
Great post!

Awww…see? Proof in the pudding of how truly remarkable, supremely caring and loving you bunch of awesome folks are!

Bravo to and for all of you for simply existing! You all bring smiles and pure joy to my heart, mind and spirit!

The amount of love, support and genuine comfort being generating on this lil website could light up the planet in a blaze of glory, I tell you!…haha.


I’ve searched the WWW for nearly 8 or 9 years, trying to understand so many perplexities. Three years ago, I was given a name. Actually the name of a movie, “Gaslight” by the therapist that had treated my ex for three years. He worded his recommendation this way, “Because I was [his] therpist, I am bound by ethics to not disclose, in diagnostic terms, what you are dealing with. However, because you have a propencity toward research, I strongly recommend you see the 1947 moive, ‘Gaslight.’ If you cannot find this moive, then rent ‘Flight Plan’ with Jody Foster.” To this he added, “You will NEED to look up the movie ‘Gaslight’ on the internet, and SEE what YOU WILL FIND, there.”

When he handed me the notes from our session, he wrote in all caps “GASLIGHT” and INTERNET. The first thing I did, when I got home was type in “Gaslight.” While this did bring up the movie… it also brought up Narcissitic Personality Disorder. And, this was the beginning of clarity. Then, in 2006, no matter how I looked up Narcissim, there was only one informative site, and that was written by a self professed Narcissist – Malignant Self Love. Informative? Yes, to a point. What it didn’t do for me was relate to what I was experiencing. So I continued to search, and found NOTHING.

It wasn’t until this past September/October that I was told after 4.5 years of (as EB puts it, “…leading to court”) that the court will not allow any more OTS by my ex. The next hearing would be a trial. I HAD to make sure my new lawyer understood EVERYTHING, and I finally understood that I had to make sure his legal guns were loaded with the facts that I had to produce. So, I got busy. When I hit a wall, purplexed… I turned to my computer, and typed in… “How to expose a Narcissist in court.” I was immediately transported to a world that spoke a language I understood readily. A world where “my reality” was paralleled. A world that expressed… I believe you.

For the first few weeks, all I could do was read, and cry. I cried for other’s, because I know exactly what they are going through. I cried because others wrote exactly what I’m going through, without me ever posting a single word.

I knew, finally, that I was no longer in the Land of Oz. As I write that I’m no longer in the Land of Oz, I am immediately reminded of my ex… pretending to be one of the munchkins. A little dance he would do… that endeared me to him. Hmmm…

His world IS the Land of Oz. Illusions, trickery, fear, and intimidation, dressed in costume to delight the senses, and tickle the immagination with plausabilities. He FASCINATED me. He possessed a brilliance beyond comprehension. I wanted to “study” him. I was intoxicated with a desire to fix him. I called it something else, but here…I can be honest. He was brilliantly broken. And, I am the skillful healer (or so I once thought). You see, I can observe without judgement. What I couldn’t do, was absorb the atomic blast of his defensive indifference. I had no idea my intent interest in what made him tick would set off Armmogedon – but, it did. And, I was not prepared for it.

Like a really bad hang-over, I stumbled face down in the vomit of too much OZ, and reached out for someone, ANYone to save me. So many righteous along the way. Getting their hands dirty was, well…better to cross the road. And, surprisingly.. I get it. But, at the same time, I don’t get it, because that’s not me. I don’t pass by a broken life, and pretend I don’t see. I was born defective this way, I suppose.

But.. they, the sociopaths, the pathologicals, the narcissists all use their Brilliant light, and their broken life as a mating call to the likes of those like me…don’t they?

I’m rambling here, I know. I know it’s late. It’s just that this is the portal to sanity. A reminder that I’m not alone in my experiences. I didn’t imagine what happened. And, no matter how benovolent my heart and intentions might have been, I couldn’t have stopped the disaster…I was ill-equipped through no fault of my own; other then I am wired with too much compassion, and a belief that love hopes all things.

Goodnight, kindred spirits… there are no words to discribe the wonder and awe of finally finding you.

Sweet dreams…


“But.. they, the sociopaths, the pathologicals, the narcissists all use their Brilliant light, and their broken life as a mating call to the likes of those like me”don’t they?”

Wow Isabelle you described lucifer. The imagery in your post really struck me. I’ll be saving that one.

I too am wired with too much compassion for the broken. It shouldnt’ be wrong. It should be right to have compassion but it doesn’t work out that way because they are parasites armed with the perfect lure aimed at the perfect victim.
Even that wouldn’t be so bad – cats are parasites too, but the P’s want to feed on you, to death. They want to grow bigger than you, suck you dry and discard you. Then they move on another host.


You are such a doll, you know that? If I ever have the distinct pleasure of meeting you in person, I would probably hug the smithereens out of you!

You would say…”I…can’t…breathe…Kim(real name)”…haha!

Well, I’m kinda fierce with my affections sometimes. Just the way I roll, lovely lady!

And, although I read LF regularly, I don’t wish to interfere with the flow of thoughts, the purging of awful experiences with predators by the members, and the subsequent breakthroughs that truly allow healing to begin.

I may have something to offer, but only sincere praise directed to you so superb human beings. I mean, really, we all know how utterly heartbreaking it is to be cruelly criticized, demeaned and disregarded. That’s where I like to inject some genuine and concerned affirmation.

Instead of tearing folks down, (which I’ve never been able to do, thank you Jesus), I consider it my purpose to deliver genuine, truthful, honest praise towards people who don’t see themselves the way I see them: blindingly beautiful.

It feeds my own soul to spread smiles and joy however and whenever I can. It feels good, dagnabit!…haha.

As far as cultivating any type of realtionship with the opposite sex, I would say that I’m simply not the least bit interested. I’m self-sufficient in my intellect and in my day to day living. I don’t feel as if I am missing a damn thing by being single and celibate. In fact, I feel whole and complete. Pursuing ideas and thoughts, always seeking universal truth with my eyes clear, wide and receptive.

Being with a man right now at this stage in my life would be…distracting. More focused on my deepening relationship with the Lord and in spiritual growth. Does that make sense? Or do I seem sort of self-involved? Well, it is what it is.

I’m just living and celebrating my life and all life without hurting one precious soul.

Peace, Love and Joy!!

Ox Drover

Dear Janie,

No, it idoes not seem self absorbed, I think we have put so much of ourselves into others needs that we have neglected our own over the years so takign care of US now is OKEY-DOKEY. I’m like you, not needy where a relationship with a man is concerned, they take work and effort and energy and I am more focused on taking care of me.

I had a couple of dates the other month, and it was sort of cool to be ASKED out. But later he called and I saw a PINK FLAG and you know, I just “washed that man right out’ta my hair…and sent him on his way” without a backward glance or even a single regret! I donl’t need a man who adds stress to my life….so until “prince charming rides to my house on his white horse with his wagon filled with gold dubloons I think I will just hang with the best company of all—me and my (adult) kids and a few great friends. What more could life offer?

I think your posts are awesome Janie, and sometimes I do boink people over the head, but if you were here more, you could offer them some ice packs and love and between the two of us, we would have soft-and-tender-tough love! LOL

You are just so special and I am so selfish and miss your posts so much. have you heard from Bev? How is she doing? I miss her too!


No, haven’t heard from Bev. Really wish she would check in here sometime, as well as others that have left a lasting and positive impression upon me.

Do you hear(read?) that people?! We desire updates, confirmation that your lives are as awesome as you absolutely deserve!

And, sweetie, I’m no more special than all of you folks. We are all unique and wonderful people. That’s what sets us apart from from the evil aberrations that walk amongst us.

Oh, I see them, I do. If I sense even the slightest bit of revulsion in my mind, body I immediately give the cold shoulder and distance myself. It’s become standard practice for me to elicit my distaste, disgust by indifference. Simply cut them off at the pass before my ire can be stoked into righteous rage.

Of course, I’m always on the lookout for the vulnerable being targeted. No problem interceding in those situations. I have no fear of predators as there’s no way I’ll ever be intimate with another one. Shudder…grosses me out just contemplating such a disquieting scenario.

The random ones instinctively realize (in their primitive way) that even though I’m usually sunny, friendly that at my very core, I’m a fighter. I won’t go out like a punk, no sirree bob! I will fight tooth and nail to defend, protect myself from any person who wishes me harm.

That’s the reality of our world. Evil exists and there’s no denying it’s insidiousness.

On a lighter note, I project kindness, confidence, and selective compassion in general so I tend to interact with good, decent folks. The Laws of Attraction are working in my life quite abundantly, thank you very much!…haha.

Wow, Oxy, you got my lil brain functioning at hyperspeed. How do you do your magic, Wizard Oxy?

Peace out

Ox Drover

Dear janie,

“magic?” Oh, no, it is simply this very special cast iron skillet I have….LOL ROTFLMAO in fact, a bunch of folks the other night were at a cyber “sleep over” late at night and they redesigned it in silicone and put batteries in it! Can’t remember who holds the patent on the new improved version of the skillet, but it was a hoot! of course henry had to goet his 2 cents worth in, and they were all being naughty! I have been going to bed earlier (and getting up earlier) so didn;’t get in on this discussion real time, but woke up and ROTFLMAO the next morning.

We’ve been loading up a ton of stuff for the flea market tomorrow morning so we leave LEAVE at 5 a.m. in the morning to try to peddle some of this crap on someone else who will find it a treasure! LOL So will be leaving teh blogs early and hitting the hay quite early. (I hope)

We have a 16 ft x 6 ft trailer loaded down, and 5 ft high with boxes, and the back seat of the extended big diesel truck loaded as well. Wish me luck at the flea market. I wil lhave at least another load this size even if we sell everything we are taking (not likely) so guess I wlll be in the “junk business” for a while until my inventory is down considerably. I’m amazed at all the ROOM I have now in the barn, aircraft hanger and house! Son D and I have been working on sorting, organizing and getting rid of stuff for 5 years since hubby died (he was DELUSIONAL that he was organized, otherwise a perfect man!) ha ha But I am OCD about organization so I’m finally IN CHARGE–LOL and can do it MY way! For now SEL SELL SELLLLLL!

While I am gone tomorrow you might want to stay around and see if you can keep Erin B in line! LOL ((((Hugs)))))

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