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BOOK REVIEW: A Dance With the Devil

Barbara Bentley was 35 years old and divorced back in 1981, when Admiral John Perry swept into her life.

She met him at a dinner party hosted by a friend. The admiral dominated the conversation with his stories—he’d lied about his age to get into World War II and became one of the original Navy SEALs. He was a naval aviator during the Korean War, and flew with the Blue Angels. Then, during the Vietnam War, he commanded swift boats fighting on the rivers. He won the Congressional Medal of Honor for saving some of his men when their position was overrun by the enemy. Afterwards, he did clandestine work for the federal government, going places where it would be better if the American presence wasn’t known.

Barbara Bentley relates the story of meeting Admiral John Perry in the beginning of her book, A Dance With the Devil—A True Story of Marriage to a Psychopath, which was published last year. I felt like I was reading part of my own story.

Different psychopath, same story

I, too, heard the tales of fighting in Vietnam from my psychopathic ex-husband, James Montgomery. He claimed to have been awarded the Victoria Cross, which is Australia’s equivalent to the Congressional Medal of Honor. In fact, he sent me a copy of the “mention in dispatches” account of his heroism:

In heavy contact with the enemy, forward of the company in which Captain Montgomery was moving, the commander of the Mobile strike battalion was killed and an Australian Warrant Officer and several indigenous soldiers were wounded ”¦ Without hesitation, Captain Montgomery joined a small group under the command of a further Australian Warrant Officer, who was a company commander in the battalion, and went forward to the area of contact. While the remainder of the group were extricating the casualties ”¦ Captain Montgomery cut and prepared the casualty evacuation point on his own and under enemy fire. The helicopter attempted to extract the serious casualties but was forced away by heavy fire. Captain Montgomery, with complete disregard for his own safety, then, single handed, cleared the enemy from the close proximity of the evacuation point using hand grenades and small arms fire.

It was, of course, a complete fabrication, as were the stories of Admiral John Perry.

Marriage was a nightmare

But like me, Barbara Bentley didn’t know anything about psychopaths. All she knew was that this man who was so charismatic, so larger-than-life, was saying that he was smitten with her. He pursued her. He proposed to her. And even though he was 20 years her senior, she accepted.

The marriage, of course, was a nightmare, although Barbara couldn’t figure out why. John loved to live the rich life, even when he wasn’t working, and their finances were a catastrophe. He always had a plan though ”¦ his new job would pay better ”¦ he was going to sell some property ”¦ his inheritance was coming through ”¦ financial stability was always just around the corner.

But when Barbara finally started asking serious questions, John Perry attempted to murder her.

Then, the legal abuse

The guy was in jail when Barbara tried to divorce him, and he refused to cooperate. Even though he’d attempted to murder his wife, according to California’s no-fault divorce law, he was entitled to part of his wife’s assets, and he was going to get them.

Barbara was so outraged by the legal abuse—the law demanded that she pay the man who attempted to murder her—that she embarked on a crusade to get the law changed. And she did it.

A Dance With the Devil, by Barbara Bentley, is an excellent account of how psychopaths manipulate their victims. Reading it, I saw my own story, over and over. You probably will too.

This book is also the story of escape and recovery. And, it’s the story of a woman who turned near-tragedy into something positive. Now, in California, psychopaths who try to murder their spouses are not entitled to their assets as well.



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73 Comments on "BOOK REVIEW: A Dance With the Devil"

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So, whose idea was “no-fault divorce”, anyway? Makes me wonder….”Now, in California, psychopaths who try to murder their spouses are not entitled to their assets as well.” Well, there’s progress…I guess.

Jim:

It’s a catch-22. I went through a divorce in a fault state. The nastiness involved is astonishing. One of you hits the other with the complaint with a laundry list of everything your spouse did. Spouse comes back with a counter-complaint citing everything the other person did. Now an amended complaint comes through to you, upping the ante higher. And on it goes, the lawyers bills skyrocketing while the marital estate decreases.

No fault is supposed to make things more sane by starting from the premise that by the time a marriage is in divorce court, the marriages are already irretrievably broken — hence “irreconciliable differences” are cited in the petition, and the divorce can move forward. The harm to the children from begin exposed to a prolonged divorce battle between their parents is theoretically minimized.

Most states do have some carve-outs in the law — if your spouse is serving a prison sentence, attempted murder, bigamy, things like that.

It is, as I said, a catch-22.

Welcome to my world………….

Matt…yeah…I’ve heard the rationalization. Reading here, and elsewhwere, it has much improved society and the lives of children…or not.

keeping_faith…it’s not a fun experience. You’ll make it through…sorry you’re here, but glad we all have somewhere to go…keep faith.

Thanks Jim…..it really sucks butall of you and this site has kept me from “jumping off bridges”. I’m not kidding. It’s a support system that TRULY we all can relate unfortunately, to the kind of emotional pain inflicted by these idiots. Others don’t get it.

Barbara Bentley’s ex-husband demanding his share of the marital estate after trying to kill her does have shades of the kid who killed his parents asking the court for pity “because he is an orphan.”

No Fault-

Divorce is messy. What I’ve seen is that “no fault” leads to legal abuse when a truly grievous fault exists.

On the other hand, establishing fault can have people playing the blame game indefinitely.

I think we should have two different marriage contracts available. One should be for those who simply want to play house. The other should be for people who want to be married.

The first kind of marriage should require little more than jumping over a broom at the county courthouse. The second kind should require extensive joint counseling and even a formal course of study.

The first kind should be dissolved “no fault”, the second kind should only be dissolved for serious cause.

In each of the cases of the cluster Bs I’ve known, they would have selected the easy kind of marriage.

I say this because marriage has come to mean very different things to different people. Why not acknowledge this up front, and save a lot of headaches.

When I was first married, I used to have trouble doing business at the credit union. The tellers were always expecting me to clean out our joint account and head off for parts unknown. Apparently a lot of women do this. My husband on the other hand, they treated with respect. It got so ridiculous that I couldn’t cash his tiny little GI bill checks, but he could cash my paychecks, which were what we lived on at the time.

We both signed every document known to man at the Credit Union in order to establish that our account was fully joint, but couldn’t get them to treat us equally. Finally we switched institutions, but only after doing some research and talking to various bank managers.

Some of our relatives did not take our marriage seriously either. They seemed to feel that it was temporary, and if they treated the “in law” badly enough, the marriage would dissolve. Now that we’ve been together for nearly 30 years, and married for over 26, I think some of them are beginning to realize we actually meant it!

Any how, it’s long been evident that marriage means different things to different people. It’s time we had at least two different types of marriage contracts, if only to cut through some of the drama.

Elizabeth Conley:

Louisiana has tried that with “Covenant Marriage.” A friend of mine who is a judge down there says it has been a nightmare.

He says that people sign up for it thinking they are getting a “de-luxe version of marriage (emphasive the DE)”. Problem is, when things fall apart, they discover there are only certain narrow grounds they can use to obtain a divorce — which of course don’t exist in most cases.

So, everybody comes into court lying through their teeth, ministers on down. So, now you have the courts being made party to a fraud.

Or then you have the situation which existed in Spain and Latin America for many years when divorce was outlawed. What happened? Couples split, started new families with new partners. Then when someone died, now you had the whole inheritance nightmare.

Sad fact of the matter is you can’t keep people in a marriage they don’t want to be in.

“covenant marriage” is a problem because the term comes with extreme religious baggage from a historically daffy segmant of Christian Fundamentalism. On of the problems with Louisiana’s Covenant Marriage is that both parties must want to divorce in order for the divorce case to be heard. This effectively negates the three reasonable grounds for divorce. That is ridiculous. Even the Bible does not set this standard. Only the nutbars who call themselves “Christian Fundamentalists” hold people to this unreasonable type of contract, when even the Bible they claim to believe in does not.

I’m not advocating keeping people in a marriage they don’t want to be in. I’m advocating making it prohibitively difficult and time consuming for people to enter into a contract they don’t understand or appreciate.

Make traditional marriage harder to get into than to get out of.

Elizabeth Conley:

Some sociologist, name escapes me now, said marriage should be a renewable contract — it runs for 7 years, at the end of it, if you don’t want to re-up, contract runs out.

Instead of making marriage and divorce more difficult, I’m more for making child-bearing more diffcult. Any moron can have a child. When I look at the carnage caused by people who are called parents by virtue of a biological act, it makes me sick. The actress Celeste Holm once said it should be licensed. I agree.

I read this book a coupla months ago. Pretty good read. It does show how a victim can go into denial and rationalize away “signs” that indicate their own life may be in danger because they simply refuse to believe their psychopath could or would kill them because they have not committed any obvious or overtly physical aggression towards them in the past. Also, very admirable work she did to get laws changed.

Matt,

The 7 year renewal would be a good idea for the easy in/ easy out marriage.

I agree about reproduction, up to a point. We’ve made attempts to decide who should reproduce and who should not. Trouble is, who gets to decide? Then there’s the child selection game. People want to determine various aspects of their child’s genetics. Sometimes they’re being reasonable, sometimes they’re not – but who gets to decide what’s reasonable?

I told my husband I thought that the Chinese tendency to select male children and abort female children would self-correct in a generation or two. He disagreed and said he thought is was going to last indefinitely. Who knows? Not I.

I disagree with the Sociologist because I don’t believe marriage is a contract between two people. I think it’s a contract between the two people, their families and their community. Divorce puts strain on their children, and frequently puts strain on their extended families and the greater community.

My kids have four cousins. They regularly see two of them, and occasionally cry bitterly because they’ve lost contact with the other two. The two they don’t see are the ones whose parents divorced. The rest of us feel the same way. What gave those two self centered twits the right to rip apart the rest of the family when they split?

The other divorcée in our family is still simmering with rage because we all associate with his ex-wife, 25 years after the divorce. Whatever! Just because he divorced her doesn’t mean we have to. We accepted her into our family upon his request, with all the tender feelings and personal involvement that implies. Now he wants us to revoke that love and unconditional acceptance? If it were so easily revoked, it wouldn’t be family. What was he thinking? Personally, I don’t care. I love him, but I’m not humoring him on this one. He’s nearly 55 now. Maybe he’ll grow up soon.

Marriage isn’t merely a contract between two people, and divorce certainly effects more people than the husband and wife.

Marriage is serious business. It should be inconvenient and difficult to get into, and fairly challenging to get out of.

I’m with you, Matt, on the “license for procreation”—most of the time it is simply RE-creation and OOPS! But, “who gets to decide?” is the big question. LOL We know we can’t trust “the system” or “judges’ or “lawyers” or etc etc, you fill in the persons we can not trust to make that decision, so that being the case, we just have to accept that lots of folks who SHOULD be weeded out of the gene pool will be the ones producing the most children. Responsible and intelligent people are already limiting the number of children they have to 1 or 2 for the most part.

I agree, Elizabeth, that marriage is viewed differently by different people.

Marriage is a LEGALLY BINDING CONTRACT between two people AND the state (and how that contract is written depends on the particular state you reside in.)

Arkansas is NOT a “no fault” state, but it does have “community property” statutes.

Pre-nups can to some extent mitigate the “marriage contract” financially.

Living together without marriage does leave some problems with what happens to estates, and also who is in charge of the person if they should become incapacitated. So contracts that are written can over come that problem if the couple wish to cohabit without being “married.”

There ARE some advantages for married couples over living together being unmarried. Taxes for example, etc.

Marriage, as we suppose it is, in this country as a joining legally of EQUAL partners, both having the same legal rights, is not universal all over the world, even now, and may never be. It has not been “equal rights” for men and women in or out of marriage for very long in THIS country.

When I was divorced iin 1980, the credit history of the “Wife” was just being at that time (I was a home maker) being applied from their JOINT or HIS credit history. IN this state though, BOTH parties had to sign for a loan to one.

When my late husband and I got married, because we were both adults, had separate groups of children, and each had our own credit history, we had a pre-nup and kept our finances separate during our marriage. Personally, I don’t think that is a bad idea in ANY marriage. I can see some problems it might cause (buying a house together) etc. but frankly, I see more problems that it would solve/prevent than it would cause.

I would not even consider (especialy in a community property state with a “homestead” provision) marrying anyone with OUT a prenup that would protect my estate for my children, and his estate for his children. I was fortunate that none of my step kids were greedy when my husband died, and I had no trouble, they all love me, but so many times I have seen NOTHING BUT GREED AND FIGHTS over estates.

That why why my P-son decided to have me killed, so he could get more, and I have little doubt that he would have killed the rest of the family too, if he had succeeded in knocking me off first. I earned it, I have the right to dispose of it as I SEE FIT. I can leave it to my kids (if I want to) or give it to a home for stray cats–I don’t OWE my kids anything, and surely not my P-son. My parents didn’t/don’t owe me an inheritence either.

This is changing the subject but I have an important question. Before the P exited he drunkenly complained to me about side effects from his anti-retroviral cocktail. I didn’t take it seriously because I didn’t believe anything he said sober. And how could someone so strong, handsome and vibrant have HIV? But now I think he’s HIV +.

His ex-girlfriend presently hates me because he told her that he broke up with her because I convinced him she was cheating on him – an absolute lie. I had to block her on facebook because she posted harassing messages to my page – his doing of course. If he wants to have unprotected sex there may be nothing I can do about it, but if she is infected and knows I don’t think she’d do the same. The only thing I can think to do is send her an anonymous note urging her to get tested because any kind of overt contact will simply get me back into his web. I know that kind of letter would be very frightening to receive and might not persuade her to get tested, but I feel like I can’t just sit back and do nothing while she (possibly) spreads HIV, especially considering that I can’t get her away from P.

Hi All,
About the childbearing comments: there is a movie called Idiocracy. (Not sure if I’m spelling that right.) It’s a little stupid, pretty funny in parts but makes a fabulous point about what could happen if all of the responsible people limited the amount of kids they had and the not so smart folks kept breeding. Fast forward about 500 years into the future and all the idiots run everything and the “smarts” have been bred out of everyone. It’s interesting.

Oxy:
Looks like I need to add this book to my list. Paying off some heavy bills to past few years so I haven’t treated myself to all of the books yet. (You mentioned to me that I should read Dr. Hare’s book and I will.) I’ll be doing that, getting the books I need, in May or June. My birthday is in July, so maybe I’ll splurdge. That would be the best birthday ever: No S/P/N’s in my life and books filled with all the information I need.

penelope:

The public health departments of many states handle contacting unsuspecting targets of carriers of infectious diseases like HIV.

If you haven’t been tested, do so immediately. If you ask you doctor he will be able to advise you regarding public health. If you don’t want to go to your doctor, if you go to any of the reputable clinics that deal with sexual/reproductive health, AIDS, HIV, the can advise you. Also, many of these clinics have help lines and counselors who can also give you advice, anononmously.

Savannah:

Robert Hare’s book has been out since something like 1993. You can probably find it at the library, or a used copy without too much trouble and without too much cost.

To all,

I use amazon.com or half.com for used books and some of them are like $4.50 with postage for used copies. Cheap cheap cheap!!!! I’m a “book-a-holic” so it is an addiction to me, but I love them and re-reading the good ones is great too. I also buy big boxes of books at the auction for $3-4 per box, and sometimes get some really interesting reads. Sure beats paying $7 for a paper back novel, or $27-40 for a hard back. The older the book the better chance of finding used copies.

Good advice, Matt.

Good for Barbara Bentley that she was able to get that dumb law changed.

In my line of work, foster care, we often wonder why the worst parents seem to be the most fertile. You need training and a license to drive a car, but there is no prerequisite to be a parent.

I had a lousy day today. Looks like I, yet again, may be passed over for a promotion. What makes me feel even worse is that my S got the promotion I deserved (after working for the agency 30 years)- and he has been with the agency less than three years. From what he has told me, he has a very shaky job history- many jobs with bad endings that, of course, he blames on everyone but himself. Anyway, the way he got the promotion last year ( when he moved to another building, found his new “love” , and devalued and discarded me) was by being his charming self at ONE meeting- here I have worked like a dog for 30 years and he gets a promotion like that. Its just like Martha Stout says on page 190 of The S Next Door “a smart scoiopath can sometimes keep things going with an occasional splashy performance or by schmoozing and being charming” so so true in his case (I carry around Ms. Stout’s book every day and often refer to my hi-lighted passages to give me strength). Although he got this promotion, he seems to be having trouble maintaining because in this new job he is getting scrutinized much more closely than in the previous job. I secretly hope he will come to a bad ending with this job too- is that mean?

And Penelope: Don’t feel bad, I am still very jealous of his new love even though I know that the devalue and discard will probably be her eventual fate. Also, tonight, just a few minutes ago , I cried and wished that I could talk to him- or at least the person I thought I knew, the person he pretended to be for 18 months. Even though I am doing a little better each day, my heart still aches and I miss so so much the person I thought was my best friend.

Matt,
In my state you have to be infected to use the disclosure service, and I thankfully did not sleep with him. He rented a spare room in my house and although I fell for him like Humpty Dumpty I resisted his advances because I wanted to keep the roommate relationship platonic. So he gave notice and mentally tortured me for two months. And I cried when he left. Any more tips?

Blindsided,
Go ahead and hope he gets fired. These freaks deserve every bad thing that happens to them due to how horribly they treat others. Frankly, I think how they convince you that they could be your best friend is the most hurtful part of it.

blindsided: you said “Also, tonight, just a few minutes ago , I cried and wished that I could talk to him- or at least the person I thought I knew, the person he pretended to be for 18 months. Even though I am doing a little better each day, my heart still aches and I miss so so much the person I thought was my best friend.”

It does hurt when you think you have a friend you value, and then they do you great harm. I’m going to say it even though you already know : all the good qualities you saw were what he read in you and then projected back to you. The good stuff wasn’t in him but in you. The best friend you thought you had was your own good heart – he was just a gifted mimic without a conscious.

These are things I’ve read here that have helped me start healing, said by people who were going through it before me. It’s amazing when I began to realize the “mentor” I missed so much never really existed; I can begin to trust myself to be my own friend, but the teacher I respected didn’t have those qualities. She’s just a very good actress with an agenda that serves on one but herself.

The intensity of the loss we experience means that we are capable of deep feeling and attachment, and that will serve us well when we meet people worthy of our friendship and capable of returning those feelings. Our feelings of friendship were only very misplaced with the emotionally dead, ethically empty, soulless sociopath.

blindsided & betty,
They must target the loving and sensitive out of sheer sadism since there’s no shortage of shallow people to exploit. The P in my life looked at women like cattle: he needs constant sex and attention like food. If he could tether women in a barn to be instantly available he would, but without that power he constantly spends a huge amount of time and energy grooming every woman he meets to be a potential lover or at least to feed his ego by pining away for him. Just as we kill cattle for food, he will not hesitate to use, abuse and throw under a bus women who love him if it serves his purpose.

A major reason I stopped talking to him was because I felt so sick at how he’d turned his ex-gf into a virtual slave by prodding her into harassing me. She repeated verbatim conservations that I’d had with him yet he claimed he hadn’t talked to her in weeks!

Of course Ps use men as well. There was a gay man who posted lovesick messages on his facebook page in a forced campy style that didn’t hide his desperation. I asked P about it and he just said the gay guy is crazy. But “crazy” is how he describes everyone he’s sexually manipulating while failing to note that he makes them crazy.

Sounds like a good book, she sounds like a strong woman. I would like to read it, to read about her recovery.

I have a question related to the book and to any book written by a mark about his or her ex-psychopath: How do they get around being sued by the p for libel and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Yes, I know truth is an absolute defense and the marks can prove many elements of their experience with documentation, but doesn’t the psychopath attack the veracity of any conversations repeated in the book? Given that Jeffrey McDonald (still in prison for allegedly murdering his family) sued Joe McGinnis for writing Fatal Vision, even though he was receiving royalties off the sale of the book, I would think such retaliatory lawsuits would be common.

A second related question is whether those who write in their own names about their experiences with disordered individuals fear more extreme retaliation. (I know I’m projecting with that question.)

…Thank you Rune and Aloha for the welcome posts on the earlier thread. Yes, Aloha, I recall the tone of your first posts. Having seen your progression has given me hope. In the beginning you were still very much looking over your shoulder but as you relaxed we got to see more of your sense of humor come out. Many of your one-liners have been absolutely priceless. My last court date with Mr. Monster was over a year ago but I don’t think I’ll stop looking over my shoulder for many, many years…(sigh) Oh well, on a brighter note, I do feel a bit better just since beginning to post.

Leah: Very good question! I don’t know the answer! What about OJ Simpson? He was found not guilty of murder, but there were a lot of books written about him… by people who probably never even met him. Are they abel to write because the person already has such a bad reputation? Maybe one of the attorney’s on the site knows the answer. Makes me think of the blogger here, swehrli, and everything she’s going through.

Betty and Penelope
Yes, I know intellectually that he has little or no conscience. but emotionally it is still so hard. Sometimes I liken it to a death, except in a death you can continue to believe that the person loved you. But with Ss they are right there, still going on with their lives with the next “love” while you are left bereft. This blog really helps

“In Barbara Bentley’s case, the psychopath, John Perry, is dead. That probably helps.”-Donna Andersen.

Well, that explains it. Gives me a new goal. So, you have to outlive them so you can tell the full story, with all the gory details, without legal repercussions? Got it.

blindsided31: The reason our economy is in the toilet is because of people like your’s and our EXs (all the Bernie Madoff characters of the world). I hope the folks scrutinizing this wing-nut illusion of a person, doesn’t just scrutinize him during a probationary period, but ensure there is checks and balances in place for the duration of his stay in his promotion.

Stop focusing on his relationship with the newest victim. She is a victim, pray for her. Her life, like yours and all of ours, will never be the same after a predator roller-coasting through.

If there is a location in your place of employment that can report fraud, I would definitely report him and tell them it’s not a point of being a rejected person it’s a point of him being a anti-social personality. Then I would give them LF link to read about the characteristics you are explaining.

I believe more people should report their EXs to every and any agency that will listen. It’s time our voices get heard.

Peace.

Donna,

Thanks for the great review of my book on Lovefruad. I knew it sound all too familiar to you because of the military lies.

I wrote this book to help others and I always said it would get published when the time was right. John died, but not before he collected the equivalent of alimony from me for four years (at about $1,000 a month). Then ten years passed and I sold the manuscript. Since publishing is a two year process, my book came out in November 2008. Kirkus Reviews says it’s an engrossing modern-day fable, particularly timely in the age of anonymous internet dating.

The lawsuit issue is one of the questions I always get at booksignings. John is dead. Most of his family is too. This definitely helps and it has allowed me to become a voice for those who find themselves in the crazymaking world of the psychopath. I would not have been able to do it if he were still breathing.

My book is available in many libraries as I got an excellent review in the Library Journal. So ask your library to order it if they don’t already have it.

My webpage is http://www.adancewiththedevil.com. I post a lot of information including links to sites like Lovefruad. You can also go to my You Tube video and television interviews and sign up to be on my distribution list for further announcements, like the air date of my story on Dateline NBC. I have a blog but I don’t post a lot and when I do it’s more about my writing journey.

Donna has put together an excellent site. Too bad something like this wasn’t available when I was going through the dark days. Two of those I thank in my book are Gobi and Gaby, my golden retrievers, who gave me kisses when I needed them the most…like the times I crumbled to the kitchen floor in tears.

But I used my four Ps to recover: passion, planning, patience and persistence. Like with so many things, time is a great healer.

My prayers go out to all who are still finding their way into the light.

I’ll close by saying once more ” you Donna, for helping vicitms with valubale information and a place to share on Lovefraud.”

YOu know, my P-sperm donor died (will be 2 years in June) and up almost until his death I had this BURNING DESIRE to smear him in print, as he did me. I even wrote the darn book, which is still in my computer, but you know, it is funny (odd) but I have NO DESIRE TO EVEN PUBLISH IT NOW. I am not sure how much market it would have, but in his business he was and still is by some considered a guru and has a loyal following.

The thing is, though, I no longer care enough about him to even bother seeking a publisher, which as his daughter I might actually find (Sort of like “Mommie Dearest” which was published about Joan Crawford by her daughter.) It is just like he NO LONGER MATTERS or is relevant to my life any more. I had always thought when he died I would WANT to get a lawyer and sue his estate and make a big stink, and when the time actually came, I had no such desires at all.

I even realised if he had left me $10 million dollars, (fat chance) that I would not want it for myself (blood money) but would have donated it to some charity that he would have hated. It was also interesting to note he cut out 2 of my 3 half sibs as well. I have had no contact with them since I last saw them when they were children, except the one who did get the money called me once about 20 years ago wanting some information about our grandfather who died before he was born. I think that half sib, though, from what I know about him, and the fact that he stayed close to my sperm donor, and from reading some of his writings on the internet, that he is also a P, or close to it anyway.

There just comes a time, I think, when we no longer feel bitterness, anger, or the thirst for revenge or even justice (I P-sperm donor never received justice in the conventional sense of the word for the murders he committed or the other horrible acts he was guilty of, (at least not in this life) but I no longer felt or feel a need to defend myself against his unjustified smear campaign.

Dear blindsided31,

It is one of the hardest thing to watch, the s, breeze though and advance in life. It is especially hard when we are still dealing with the devastation left behind, and taking one day at a time.

I hope that it might give you a bit of a comfort to read these stories on this site and see how many commonalities our stories have. In other words, all the stuff the s does in private is a symptom of his faulty personality. He can deceive the public easily. There are so few that can see that, but those of us who have seen the s in full 360 get the picture.

I have talked about wishing to revenge the s in some way, thinking it might aleviate the frustration of seeing the s rise, like a shining star, metamorphose and re-invent after discarding people over and over.

I feel angry when I hear about his tenure, his new wife (whom I am pretty sure was in an intimate relationship with when we were together) and him buying a house. I ask often: How is this possible? I used to think that for sure a damaged peson like him will never able to establish anything significant. But I was wrong.

Lately I have been facing the fact that the only way to move on with my life is to focus on my life. Make it happen for myself, without looking to the side and comparing how others do. It’s hard sometimes. Especially because I had so many years invested with the s. I am pretty certain that I will never invest as much on someone else in the future without putting myself first.

Anyways, blindsided31 sorry for the long ramble, I just wanted to let you know that there are others thinking about similar things…

Hey guys—
I am sorry– having a weird day in my mind. I– by the advice of a freind– went and got the Big Book from AA– even though I do not have a drinking prob– whje pointed out that this S– and thinking of him was and is an addiction for me.
Today– his “side of the story” is ringing true in my head. His tears of dumping me and saying he loves me, but had to do it cuz he could never trust me again b/c of something I said under stress. It is horrible. I feel I will never know the truth.
Then again– I should have broken up with him before that nite even happened. That five mins that made him press the eject button and blame me for it b/c “you betrayed me!” I should have never been with him in the first place.

Dear Meg,

If he had not “dumped” you for “betraying” him, he would have DUMPED YOU BECAUSE THE SKY IS BLUE—-he would have found some excuse that YOU made the sky blue and he wants it to be green. You made the sky blue just to spite him, you horrible person. You evil witch, you KNEW HE WANTED A GREEN SKY, SO IT IS YOUR FAULT. (tongue in cheek here)

Meg, dear dear meg, it doesn’t matter what he told you IT IS A LIE, A “L*I*E” it is NOT the truth, HE ***IS**** the lie.

I know we say this over and over and over, but you must start to believe it before you can heal. Not just intellectually but emotionally too. Hang in there Meg, I know it must be difficult, but repeat after me, 1000 times, then write it down 1000 times. HE IS THE LIE. HE IS THE LIE,HE IS THE LIE….. (((HUGS))))

Oxy-
thank you for making me laugh.
You are a silly ASS!

thank you for your love and support dang it.

Yeah– oxy is awesome!

Yes, Meg, I am an A-S-S and proud of it!!! Keep on working and you too shall be an A-S-S some day! I hope everyone on here aspires to be an A-S-S=Assertive Survivor of a Socioipath! Looking out for your own welfare and never trusting anyone to take care of your safety until YOU decide it is safe to move on.

In fact, I just got done “bribing” my 4-footed Asses with some slices of bread. Hairy is being a BUTT today and so I had to bribe him a bit—they DO most of the time surcumb to bribes but never to force. LOL I keep bread in the freezer out by their pen for just that purpose!!! Not as messy on my hands a a hand full of slobber and molasses feed which I would have to wipe on my jeans leg—this way I just hand them a slice and I don’t get slimed! See, I am one smart A-S-S too! Hey, that’s a funny one, if I get another one I will name him or her “Smart Ass” LOL

Have a better day Meg!!!! (((hugs))))

You know– it is amazing. THe forshadowing I had in the relationship, but did not know it.
Do you know that one hour before he “discarded me” — I had asked his “therapist” if he had read the book “People of the LIe”-
I had seen that my S’s parents and sis were such. His folks were milionaires and would just fire like a great RN who worked with us for 25 years– b/c they felt like it. No real reason! A friend of mine had said–, “Meg– be careful, cuz he might have that in his gene pool.” So I brought it up with the shrink and wow— he was totally conned. by my S! Acted like I was nuts and insecure. SAid I had “dependency” issues. His patient discarded me ONE HOUR LATER.
WHo should be making 250 an hour?
So yes– Oxy saying he is a lie sure makes me think of that book and how right my instincts— DEEP DEEP within me were kicking in– but I buried them with help of the lies I was being told. Always– listen to your darned gut! Listen to your fist impressions everyone!!!!!
Has anyone else lost a ridulous amount of weight during this? I am not feeling well– and a freind of mine just pointed out how underweight she thinks I am now. That could be causing the weakness and all.

OxDrover and others:

Books could be written about OJ Simpson because it was all public record.

Also, the fact that he was a public personality means the authors could put stuff (there’s a legal word for you) that wasn’t in the trial into their books, as long as it was substantiated in fact. I’m not a first amendment lawyer, but if a person is a private citizen as opposed to celebrity, there is a greater expectation of privacy.

Of course, people do get around this all the time. If I’m not mistaken, Donald Trump’s first wife, Ivana was prohibitted from discussing their marriage in print or otherwise. That didn’t stop her from writing a thinly-veiled, fictional account of ther marriage.

Regarding liability for speaking the truth about someone, this link reports on a current case: http://articles.latimes.com/2008/dec/04/nation/na-craigslist-libel4

Matt’s example of Ivana Trump might be a good one to consider.

I wonder if his next woman will be strong enough to take what I couldn’t. I know he has no feelings and will never love anyone but I still wonder if I could’ve done something. Maybe I could’ve managed his lovelessness in a way that impressed him enough to make him me, even though the women he prefers seem to be alcoholics.

I demanded his respect and turned the tables by using his tricks against him. It resulted not in earning his respect but in raising the sophistication and cruelty of his manipulation. For all that I’ve read about Ps and all that my fairly accurate intuition was able to glean about him I will always wonder if there was some dimension or corner in space and time where I could make “the good side” of him take over the bad as it does in normal people. By basing their “good person” performances they make us feel responsible for maintaining the goodness instead of placing the responsibility on themselves the way normal people do.

If another woman really could make him love my heart would crumble, so thank God that is impossible.

penelope:

“Maybe I could’ve managed his lovelessness in a way that impressed him enough to make him me..”

Why would you even want to bother? You would be putting 100 percent into the relationship and not only getting zero in return, you’d be walking on eggshells and be feeling miserable.

By the time a relationship has boiled down to the two of you using your bags of tricks to get one over on the other or just to stay sane, the relationship (which, in my view doesn’t qualify as one) is toxic. As for trying to bring forth his “good side” — didn’t exist. It’s one of his tricks.

You deserve better. We all deserve better.

In Chile they have a wonderful saying — “Climb off the cross. Somebody else needs the wood.” No use martyring yourself for a worthless cause.

Penelope-

“where I could make “the good side” of him take over the bad” “Maybe I could’ve managed his lovelessness in a way that impressed him enough to make him love me”

Very very very honest comments. Especially when you say you wonder if his next woman will be strong enough to take what you couldnt…. I have wondered the same thing..

Regarding “changing” anyone… WE CANT . They have to be the ones to first WANT to change and then WORK ON IT. Our goal isnt to make someone love us, impress them into loving us, our goal is to be loved for who we are by someone healthy who loves us is as

We have to expect respect. Anyone who turns tables on us because we expect respect 24/7… is someone who is waving a RED FLAG in our face! STOP…CHANGE DIRECTION.

If another woman really could love him SHE WOULD HAVE TO BE A N/S/P SEVERELY DISORDERED PERSON HERSELF…and it wouldnt be real love, it would just be an addiction to staying in the game – staying afloat – to win… to manage… to impress… to have control… to be on the arm of an unhealthy, disrespectful, unloving man. Nobody can make somebody love them.

But we can CHOOSE to love ourselves, get healthier, strut our stuff and thank God we saw ourselves for WHO WE ARE, good, kind, giving, sharing, loving souls who needed to work on ourselves too.. our inner strength and self-worth… so we dont go back to that horrible way of life.. We arent here to make someone love us, or settle for abusive love (emotional or physical) we are here to love and be loved.

He did not choose to love me. He chose to lie, cheat and steal and pretend he was someone he was not. He does not know how to love. Whoever would like him, can have him. I hope she chooses to love herself and run at the sight of the first red flag.

Stay strong. Stay focused on yourself. There are good decent souls who are looking for exactly what you want in your life. But you must heal, and let go and move on to be able to meet them.

To akitameg:
I have been reading here for almost a year, and I am finally jumping in. Your question, has anyone lost a lot of weight? I did, and so fast. On the last crazy weekend the P even predicted it. He asked, “are you losing weight?” He broke in later and left new, smaller clothes hidden for me to find. Tiny panties in my laundry basket, Size 6 Camo shorts in my clean towels, boyfriend jeans, and on and on. I decided to ride the weight loss and began hitting the gym often,to add muscle to the newer, slimmer me.

been-a-year-now…good to see you! Glad you’re jumping in…it’s safe to go in the water here. No sharks. The dolphins run ’em off.

Donna- you beat me to this!

I also bought the book and have not read it yet. I encourage everyone to get this book to show support for Barbara. I will bring that up again after I’ve had a chance to read it.

Hey guys–
esp Penelope right now–

Love is patient. Love is kind… Love is not boastful… nor is love proud…
LOVE IS NOT RUDE… Love is not self seeking… Love is not angered neither does it keep RECORD OF WRONG (The reason he discarded me)…
LOVE DOES NOT DELIGHT IN EVIL…but rejoices in the truth.
Love always protects… Love always trusts…Love always hopes… Love does not fail…
nor is there a limit to loves power to endure.
——————————————————-

basically — the OPPOSITE of what we all have experienced with our disordered people.
Let’s go find and accept— the real thing!

oh =- that was Corrinthians 13

Thanks Jim,

Unfortunately, the shark still circles. I had him arrested, he was tried and convicted of stalking. Want to get a shark angry? Not. He contacted some skin infection in jail, and his lawyer (from then) is helping him try and sue me for a fortune. Will it get thrown out? don’t know! How to stay sane when the predator gets help to sue the prey……Reading these blogs helps, lots of deep breathing……..

Akitameg: Thank you for your post. It was beautiful.

Peace.

been-a-year-now: Pray to God to help protect you.

Peace.

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