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Hooked by a sociopath

After the sociopath, a man with borderline personality disorder

Photo by Alon

Editor’s Note: Lovefraud received the following email from reader Victimcindy. Donna Andersen  responds after the letter.

My first relationship, after my 18-year marriage to a sociopath, was to a borderline personality disordered (BPD) man. Do you find this common as the disordered traits are opposite in some areas?  We think we are getting something new and healthy.

Spath vs BPD: sex

My spath-ex withheld sex as power. The borderline was highly sexual. My spath-ex was charming, but lacked empathy and was emotionally unavailable. He also abused substances, was opportunistic with casual sex outside marriage and secretive.

Cognitive dissonance: Vicky Cilliers can’t accept that her husband tried to kill her by tampering with her parachute

Victoria and Emile Cilliers.

Emile Cilliers, a British army sergeant, was convicted last week of attempting to kill his wife, Vicky.

The two were avid skydivers, and in April 2015, he tampered with her parachute before a jump. She fell 4,000 feet, but miraculously survived.

Earlier in the week, Emile Cilliers damaged gas fittings in their home. If the gas had exploded, it would have killed Vicky and their two children.

But even though the court found him guilty, Vicky Cilliers can’t believe her husband was capable of murder. Read this story:

Seduction and manipulation: Sophie and Donna Andersen tell their stories

When she was in high school, Sophie was seduced by her female teacher into a sexual relationship.

When she was 40, Donna Andersen, author of Lovefraud.com, was seduced by a sociopath who scammed her out of a quarter-million dollars — for starters.

Both women tell their stories on IndoctriNation is a new podcast by Rachel Bernstein. Rachel is a Los Angeles therapist who specializes in helping people escape cults and cult-like relationship.

Sophie’s interview is first. Donna’s interview starts at 29 minutes.

IndoctriNation Episode 6 — Narcissistic seduction and manipulation with Donna Andersen and Sophie, on Soundcloud.com.

 

Sometimes “no contact” is not an option

For more than two years, I’ve shared my story and relevant insights here once a week.

That’s coming to a close.  My book, Husband, Liar, Sociopath chronicles my marriage and the painful lessons learned. My book, Narcissists, Sociopaths & Wolves  includes a summary of some of the warning signs of being in a relationship with a sociopath. I hope the excertps I’ve shared from them have been helpful.

Husband Liar Sociopath

I didn’t know.

Are you changing in ways you don’t like? Maybe your partner’s a sociopath

Husband Liar Sociopath

Sociopaths are fueled by our reactions to them—so sociopaths trigger our emotions. What are the signs this is happening? 

Looking back on my unwitting marriage to a man I now believe is a sociopath, I realize that some of the warning signs that I was in a relationship with a sociopath were changes in my own behavior. My book, Husband, Liar, Sociopath chronicles that marriage and the painful lessons learned. My book, Narcissists, Sociopaths & Wolves  includes a summary of some of the warning signs of being in a relationship with a sociopath.

Find yourself explaining common courtesy and common use of language? Maybe he’s a sociopath!

Husband Liar Sociopath

Confusion over common courtesy, typical use of language, and purposeful misrepresentations

If you find yourself in conversations that come down to common courtesy, common understanding of language, or purposeful misrepresentations (especially if the language used creates a misunderstanding but is not an outright lie), get out, and get out fast. Sociopaths are masters of:

  • doublespeak
  • word salad
  • playing games with semantics
  • planting distracting misinterpretations of events
  • purposefully misleading.

The result is that you get tied up in knots just trying to agree upon the basic facts or “normal” human behavior. This is a warning sign! Most people want to communicate effectively and resolve conflict. But sociopaths often do not share these goals.

Signs of a sociopath: Double standards

Husband Liar Sociopath

Signs of a sociopath: Double standards (continued)

After a sociopath has won you over , things start to change that erode “you” and shift the power to the sociopath. Looking back on my horrible, unwitting marriage to a man I have come to believe is a sociopath, one of the things that emerged was double standards. At first, our relationship seeming loving and mutually respectful, but over time, things changed drastically.

Eventually, he expecting me to honor all commitments to him  even when circumstances had changed significantly, but he felt free not to honor his commitments to me.  

Contempt and double standards = sociopath red flags

Husband Liar Sociopath

Subtle signs of a sociopath

Last week, I was on a long walk when I passed an older couple walking on the sidewalk in the opposite direction. I nodded as we passed, and I honestly don’t recall receiving any acknowledgement. They clearly seemed “together,” yet the way they were walking signaled something was very wrong. Briefly, I had a sense of knowing. “I bet he’s a sociopath,” I thought. You see, although they were on a walk “together” he was walking about ten feet in front of her, and had been ever since I spotted them walking toward me. That simple act communicates a lot—none of it good, as it signals an underlying lack of respect.

Gaslight–how the movie mirrors real life

 

Gaslight

Gaslight

Last weekend I watched the classic movie, Gaslight. For those of us who have been in a relationship with a sociopath, it is a great reminder that we weren’t imagining things and how good these puppeteers are at what they do. We were not paranoid, or too sensitive, or unable to take a joke, or fill in the blank. We were being purposely manipulated and deceived by someone who never loved us, has no ethical rudder; and, at our expense, was using us for their personal gain. To weaken us in order to achieve those goals, the sociopath has many tools that go beyond gaslighting—making us question our own reality.

Are you “too sensitive,” or is your partner a sociopath?

Husband Liar Sociopath

You’re too sensitive!

As I think back about my life and my unwitting marriage to a sociopath, a phrase haunts and repeats like an old-time broken record, “You’re too sensitive.”

For decades, I believed that hearing this phrase should trigger self-reflection and attempts at self-improvement. If I’m “too sensitive,” the underlying assumption is that I should work to become “less sensitive.” I believed this because this is what I’d been taught as a child, and it was reinforced through my adult life by two people I loved and respected at the time—my father and my now ex-husband. Yet, now I believe that hearing this phrase repeatedly by key people in one’s life should trigger another type of self-improvement—better understanding the red flags of being in a relationship with a narcissist or sociopath, and establishing appropriate relationship boundaries.

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