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Dating again after the sociopath

Lovefraud received the following email from the reader who posts as “Saskgirl:”

I must say that your website is a lifesaver. It has helped me recover from a devastating relationship with a sociopath. It is amazing how many stories I read on your site and can totally identify with them. The people could be talking about the piece of garbage I was tangled up with.

I have been single for about a year and a half and have spent a lot of that time healing and working on me. I am ready to start dating (I think) but I’m afraid that it will be disastrous for me. I was so emotionally wrecked that I’m terrified of being there again. I don’t trust anyone and believe that just about every thing coming out of a man’s mouth is lies.

Now, I have met some men but have given them the brush off because my warning system went off. I am grateful for this because it has saved me a lot of drama. Unfortunately, I don’t have a good perception of what is “normal” dating. I married a narcissist and when I finally got rid of him, I was “lucky” enough to find a full-blown sociopath.

I have recently met a man whom I have opened up to slightly, but my spidey senses are tingling yet again. I understand the concept of love bombing, but I would like to know how I can define the fine line between genuine attraction and caring and love bombing. What is “normal” when it comes to texting and emailing? I haven’t a clue. I don’t want to go into details of why my senses are tingling ”¦ however it is increasing difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff. Not to mention very tiring ”¦

Your healing

Saskgirl,

Going from a narcissist to a sociopath what a nightmare. I am very glad that you are being cautious, and are listening to your “spidey senses.”

Quite honestly, if you are feeling fear about dating, you may not be ready to date. It may seem like you “should” be ready after a year and a half of working on yourself, but recovery is different for everyone, and it takes as long as it takes. You may need a bit more time. After all, you have at least three sets of emotional pain to recover from:

  1. Your involvement with the sociopath.
  2. Your marriage to the narcissist.
  3. A prior emotional injury that made you vulnerable to the narcissist in the first place.

In order to be truly ready for a healthy relationship, you need to be reasonably healed from all of these encounters. What that means is that you’ve reached the point where you have accepted that your partners really did what they did, that you were injured, but you’ve let go of emotional pain associated with the injuries.

Emotional recovery

Often, we can understand what happened on an intellectual level. In fact, that’s the first step in recovery. But accepting what happened on an emotional level is far more difficult. Our goal is to process the emotional injury, to get it out of our system. To do that, we need to allow ourselves to feel the pain. We need to cry, perhaps even kick and scream. (This is best done privately or with a therapist not at anyone, and certainly not at the sociopath.)

The hardest injury to recognize and address will be the original one. This could have come from a very early incident or relationship when you were a teenager, perhaps, or from your family of origin. Maybe you suffered abuse from a family member. Or perhaps you were picked on in school.

But sometimes your early life was good, or at least good enough, yet you still fell into a bad situation. This happened to me. My parents loved me and did their best I know that. But somehow I acquired the belief that I was not worthy of love just for who I was. I felt undeserving. These mistaken beliefs were my vulnerability.

(The Red Flags of Lovefraud Workbook can help you uncover your vulnerabilities. It’s a skinny little workbook of checklists and questions to ask yourself. Available in the Lovefraud Store.)

I promise you, the recovery work will enable you to find and experience a relationship that will be much more loving and satisfying than you have ever imagined. When you are whole, it is much easier for you to recognize and enjoy wholeness in another person.

Back to dating

So, when you’re ready, how do you go about finding someone to date?

It’s probably best to stay away from online dating. Yes, everyone does it. I even did it, after the sociopath. And yes, I do know people who have found relationships, and have gotten married, through online dating. But I think dating sites and social media sites have gotten worse than when I used them 12 years ago. They are rife with predators. Why take the risk?

I recommend meeting people the old-fashioned way through work, recreational interests, community activities, introductions by friends and family members. If you’re emotionally healthy and open, you’ll just run into possible connections as you live your life.

Email and texts

Suppose you meet someone who expresses an interest in you, and keeps in touch via text and email. If the amount of texts and emails you receive make you feel pressured, then it is too much. What do you do?

If you are not really interested in the guy, you end the involvement. If you are interested in the guy after all, he, too, may be unsure of the appropriate amount of contact you gently express your feelings and see what happens. If he backs off, fine. If he backs off temporarily and then ramps up the messages again, it could mean he is either needy or controlling, neither of which you want.

Real love

How can you tell if a relationship is healthy? Here is the secret: Real love is easy. Real love grows at an easy pace. It does not feel rushed or pressured. There is excitement, but not drama. Promises are kept and no games are played. There is no power struggle.

Real love feels like a warm blanket shared by the two of you. It’s cozy. It’s comfortable.

If you do not feel comfortable with a particular involvement, move on and don’t panic. Eventually the right opportunity will arrive.

 


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80 Comments on "Dating again after the sociopath"

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Hello Saskgirl
Your story is very similar to mine. First I dated a kind of ‘narcissist’ and after I ‘jumped’ into the relationship with a sociopath..I was blindly in love with him. he became my associate as well. AFter I ended up on the street (i lost all my money, my business, my house, my identity..) my ex boyfriend helped me..
We builded up a great friendship in the meantime…but after 2,5 year nog being able to date I realize this is not healthy for me.
So I am leaving very soon back to my home country and starting from zero.
After 2,5 year I am ready to date and trust again.

I have been away from my third sociopath for about a year and a half. I was not married to the first one but in a terrible hurtful affair for 2 years. He was very narcissistic as well. I was young and REALLY naive, believed everything he said. The second time I married one. He seemed very protective but I thought that must mean he LOVES me and is just a strong man. Married him and shortly after things went downhill fast. I stayed for 10 years because I thought that it was “normal”. I had a really rocky childhood with my Dad leaving when I was 9 years old and rarely seeing him, my mother going into a deep depression and constant bullying at school for several years. I just wanted someone to care and love me and I would latch on to anyone who paid attention to me. I had NO self-esteem. Fast forward to my next marriage. By then I felt like I was fairly healthy emotionally. I had done a lot of working on myself and read a lot about recognizing con-artists and players. The man I met next was a “love-bomber” at first and man was he good at it. I had not seen this site so I had no idea that was a red flag. He rushed the marriage and he treated me truly like a princess. This time, I was just blinded. He seemed to be genuine and everything I had ever wanted in a man. Not long after the honeymoon I found out he was in bankruptcy and he started treating me totally differently. I saw his true self but again I stayed with him. He would have good times and would convince me he was regretful and “working on himself” but nothing got better. He kept lying to me and just in general I realized he cared about NO one because he was incapable. I FINALLY realized I could not live like that anymore and divorced about a year and half ago. I have been on this site almost constantly. I met a guy at my church who had been a friend for a long time and we started dating casually. We knew each other’s stories and we had a lot of friends in common. We were very cautious and like Donna said it was nothing CRAZY like surges of fantastic love sensations, it was a slow getting to know each other better, becoming best friends, talking with each other and taking it slowly. I think I have done more research on his background than the FBI or the CIA LOL. We are getting married in October. It might be that it shouldn’t be that quickly for everyone. But we more than “love” each other. We are truly best friends and we just love doing normal things together like reading, walking, watching movies and running together. It’s like no other relationship I have ever had. In the others there was always some kind of drama and roller coaster stuff going on, even when we were dating, whether it was extreme highs or let downs. This is nothing like that. We can talk about things that bother each of us in a civil manner and we both care about others very much. He treats his children and his mother and sisters with love and respect. That’s something to look for too! Anyway, I do believe it’s different for everyone. AND I met my second one online and he was and still is a predator looking for another woman to do the lawn for him, cook and keep the house along with going along with everything ELSE HE wants to do. Beware of online dating! He is on at least 10 different sites and maybe more. You would think to read his profile that he is answer to every girl’s dream for a man!!!

Donna, another wonderful article!
I would love to see a follow up on “LOVING again after the sociopath”. I’m now in a relationship with a wonderful caring man, and it’s taking me a very long time to relax. There are no red flags; he’s proven himself time and again to be a person of character and compassion. But I find my feelings of love are often somewhat blunted. Does this happen with others?

Sorry you had to go through this. I am a man who married the female version. Trust your spidey sense but be wary of becoming paranoid. A sociopath will give themselves away by being inappropriate. I have met very nice ladies online. Some had issues but I was able to easily spot the sociopathic so far. They almost always bring up sex and what do I like before we have gone five exchanges online. The red flags are the key. Anything that makes you uncomfortable says so. A normal man will respect your boundaries and he will respect you. Predators are not restricted to dating sites. My spath ex wife uses meetup.com to find victims, as well as exploiting work relationships and people she meets pretty much anywhere. Have a list of red flags. Take time to know yourself and where you are vulnerable. Learn to be protective of your hear but if you close yourself off to building relationships with others – online or otherwise – the sociopath wins, because you will be alone and broken forever and is that not the goal of their romantic games? You’re stronger than that. You are worthy of love. Just know they are out there and how to avoid them. My new rule is, she gets one warning. The. I upgrade the upsetting behavior to “deal breaker” and cut my losses. There are plenty of nice girls out there, plenty of nice guys. But normal people won’t lavish you with attention like an spath. They have feelings and will guard them at first, so checking your expectations for the amount if attention you get might be a good idea too. Remember, as men, we are supposed to chase but with that you get rejected a lot for a variety of reasons, so a nice guy won’t be anything like an spath in his approach. He will want to make sure you are interested before he comes on too strong. The opposite is how we fall prey to female spaths; it is flattering when a woman comes to us. But anyways, good luck. Take the time to heal. Took me a year and a half but I am regularly dating again. Gets easier to spot the red flags the more you’re out there but mastery of my emotions and vulnerabilities have been key. Watch what they do and don’t listen to what they say and you will see their truth.

Thanks for your insight Darth. It was very helpful.

Saskgirl

Donna,

Thank you for posting my question. You have the uncanny ability to really get to the heart of the matter. You mentioned early trauma…I’m the product of a marriage between a self medicating (alcohol) bi polar person (dad) and a complete codependent (mom). Lots of dynamics going on there. I grew up believing that who I was and what I did was never “good” enough. I pushed myself academically and career wise, just to prove that I was “good” enough. From a very young age, I learned to get a protective shell and retreated to books for solace. I was like one of those Cadbury eggs….protective coating on the outside, beautiful mess on the inside.
Luckily, while with the sociopath, I found a great counselor who has put me on the path of healing. I am starting to feel whole again and I totally realize that I am a “somebody” and I am “good” enough.

I agree that online dating is not the way to go. That was how I met the sociopath and I have vowed never again. Unfortunately, many of the men in my province are set in the dark ages and I’m not ready to assume the role of a farm wife. The few men that I have met and do like are salesmen and do not live in my province…this is where my spidey senses go hay wire. These men have the ability to tell me whatever they want and I have no way of verifying it (Like if they are single, if they are really traveling…etc. They could be completely nice guys or they could be on with their own agenda. I’m not willing to be a sheltering port in a storm…

During my healing, I have learned to do things that I enjoy. I’m on my motorcycle every weekend and join rallies and poker runs when I get the chance. The freedom to do something that I enjoy without any repercussions has been very liberating.

For the longest time, I wasn’t interested in dating and I had my “back off” force field around me at all times. I recently heard through the grapevine that the sociopath has left my province (my exhusband also) and it was like a weight was lifted from around me. It was almost like I was given permission to start to live again. I started to open up and have had more offers in the last few months than I have had in years. Because all of my relationships were so totally unhealthy, I’m unsure on how to be approached healthily…hence my questions.

I am at a point in my life where I don’t “need” to have someone, however it would be nice to have someone to share the highway with.

Thanks again.

Peace to all of you whose lives have be tainted by evil. May you find love in your souls on your path to healing

Saskgirl

It has been 5 years since I broke up with the sociopath, though we only dated for 3 months. After the fact, he seems like a blip on my radar screen. I have had no serious relationships since then, but have dated and had romances. None of the men have been disordered, but they have all been learning experiences for me. The most notable one, which I blogged about on here, was after I joined the salsa scene. My regular dance partner and I had a very romantic dance relationship for a year. We never got involved, but I developed strong feelings for him, and my feelings for him tied me up for a year. I am still extricating myself from this. I learned that he is unavailable for a serious relationship, but it took me a while to understand his particular flavor of game-playing with me. It was very painful. I am no longer friends with him nor do I dance with him, though I’m going on a salsa cruise in November with that group of people. I’m hoping my feelings have been healed enough to where I can hang out with them and dance with them without old wounds being opened. If not, I will just avoid them. With 2000 people on the cruise ship, it won’t be hard to find other companions.

Recently, I have met several men I really like who are 100% available. They are not the greatest looking, and in the past I would not have noticed them because of this. I’ve met them from all different venues (one from a dating site), one from dancing, and one from a mutual friend. I am enjoying getting to know all of them as friends. It seems very easy, and it’s helping me forget about the other salsa dancer guy. I don’t feel a big rush of chemistry right off the bat. But I love the way they all treat me, and they are genuinely available. It’s been fun and easy and – I feel – what dating should be. Also, we are all so honest with each other. No games. I am really enjoying it. I got a peck on the lips by one after a date the other night, and I really enjoyed it. I’ve been celibate for so long! I know all of them would love to have more physical intimacy with me, but I am very slow to get involved in this way. The ones who are okay with this will become my good friends – and for me, this has got to be the basis of any romantic relationship. They need to prove themselves to me that they can really be there for me and add value to my life in some way rather than the other way around. The salsa guy had advertised himself as a good friend, but it took me a while to see that a good friend would not play with a woman’s feelings as he inadvertently does.

I took a chance and posted here even though there are people here who asked me not to write about my relationship experiences unless it was with a sociopath. They reminded me that this is a site about sociopaths. So I hope I’m not out of line writing about normal dating experiences with normal men.

Hi Stargazer,

I actually had just returned to read, here, about 2 week ago, after being away for the past 8 or so months, therefore, I guess I’d have to say, that my previous comment was based on comments of yours, that I had read, prior to that. Each time you seemed to feel disconcerted, or unsure about your Salsa friend, you always kept your head held high, and noted what you’d do next, to stay positive and not allow him/his attitude towards you to negatively affect you, and in turn, how you would continue to just keep enjoying yourself and your dancing. You had always come off in a very strong and positive light, and your attitude would continually inspire me, personally. At the time, it was something that I was desperate to find again, within myself. Also, your posts had been different and most intriguing. I was in “the fog”, and there was something about your posts that had been encouraging for me… not to mention, very interesting.

I hope your “joy and confidence with dancing” will very soon, return to how it had been for you, previously! The healing process takes time, as you know, but your attitude and determination will impact the speed in which you recover those things, for sure! Much love and continued success to you…!

Hi Stargazer,

I’m glad Donna gave you this reassurance about discussing normal dating experiences here. I have no idea why anyone would think otherwise. In fact anyone who imagines people “shouldn’t” be discussing normal relationships here has it precisely backwards. I think it’s most important to discuss normal people and normal relationships on sites like this one dealing with so much that is abnormal.

I hope the reason for that is obvious. Though I don’t believe this applies to you, we know there are people out there who, usually due to problems stemming from their family of origin, have found themselves in one abusive relationship after another. We’ve heard from people who have confessed frankly that they don’t truly know what a “normal” relationship looks like. It’s important for anyone in such a position to be able to hear about the normal world they’ve been out of for so much of their lives, at least where intimate relationships are concerned. Finally of course it’s important for people to be able to see from the examples of others that no matter how much bad luck they’ve had so far, they’re not doomed to spend of their lives in either an abusive relationship or no relationship; that they can find healthy love if they heal and set about looking for it the right way. The successes of others can give them hope. So I’m sure there are others here who enjoy reading and learning from the dating experiences of people like yourself. Good luck!

Thank you for that assurance, Redwald. I tend to agree with you. When I seek relationship advice, I go to my healthier friends who are in normal relationships. I feel good about the way I am navigating with all of the men in my life at the moment. Nothing romantic has developed – no real attractions – just mainly friendships right now.

To Stargazer,

When I come across ‘your’ comments, they are like a bright ray of hope, and definitely a breath of fresh air, as you continually exude zest for life! I wish for this to convey to you that not all folks feel the same way about what you write, that you have expressed that they do, above. Thank you for the gift you give, by sharing your personal journey! It has positively impacted my recovery! Looking most forward to reading about your cruise, when you return…

I have been reading here, for about a year. The articles and comments that are posted on this blog have been the most valuable source of healing, on my path to recovery (Thank you Donna Andersen)!

I know I am not ready for a relationship. I am dating. I do write them off one after the other. Cause there is a lot of guys looking for nothing. Nothing relationship. I will not waste a lot of time with a guy who is looking for nothing. I won’t waste my time because I don’t have to. Either I take a break from the dating scene or I move on, depends on my mood.

I now see some obvious signs such as a guy who once spent money is telling me he is taking an earlier retirement and will be short half the funds. After two dates he is saying he will be broke? Sounds like a set-up to me. So from now on I can drive across the state and pay my way. NOPE… I’ll move on or I will be alone.

I have been alone for 3-years since the horrible last boyfriend. I am ok with being alone. I got more done than got done with the bad boyfriend.

I recently saw a guy for one week. We went fishing a couple of times. He said I should buy a pass port and he will take me to Mexico. I refused. I told him he has to pay. Good thing I refused. He moved his ex-girlfriend in his house two days later. Funny, that my neighbor lady said she would buy a pass port if a guy was taking her to Cancun. When I told her about him moving his ex-girlfriend in days later she didn’t say a word. It would just kill her to say I was right. …

Wow, thanks, Donna and Shane. I’m glad there are people who can benefit from my stories. Shane, I don’t know how long you’ve been reading or what you have read of my story, but it wasn’t always so cheery. My zest for life as you call it was very hard earned.

One sad thing is that this whole situation with the salsa guy has really diminished my joy in salsa dancing. He was my best and favorite partner and the reason I stuck with it for so long. I’m still dancing several hours per week, taking a few classes weekly, and co-teaching a few. And I do enjoy it, especially the teaching part. I still have that drive to be better. But my absolute joy in dancing and my confidence has taken a big hit. I think it’s a small price to pay to remove the pain and drama from my life. I didn’t think so a 6 months ago. Or even a few months ago.

I’m looking to make a big life change that will take me completely away from the salsa scene into a more peaceful and serene lifestyle. I’ll keep you all posted. Changes coming….I reinvented myself as a salsa dancer last year. I can reinvent myself into something else…..anything I want really.

Jeannie, I do believe there really are proportionately a very small number of genuinely decent and caring men out there. I’ve had to weed through the bad ones. Those are the ones who talk about how they want to be my friend but reject me as soon as I don’t express sexual interest in them. Or they make me pay my own way for all the dates, but still want to get cuddly and romantic at the end of the night. Some of the stories are rather humorous. Maybe I’ll tell them sometime when y’all need a good laugh. I have gotten to where I can tell a decent guy from a douche bag (pardon the language). The decent guys are usually kind of average looking and not “exciting” in the sense I’m used to. I have learned to reset my gauge for what I consider “attractive”. I look for how the man behaves over time, and in particular, how he treats me and how I feel around him. If I feel they can see my inner beauty (and not just what’s on the outside) and they can see it even when I’m down or tired, then their attractiveness suddenly increases to me. Granted, I don’t think I was very shallow before. I’m just learning to look more deeply into a man’s good qualities before writing him off.

With the few guys I spoke of, I feel like I can really be myself around all of them, and they see my value as a woman and as a person. It’s a nice feeling. With the salsa guy, I was always in a competition with myself to wear a sexier and sexier outfit every time I saw him. I was trying to seduce him. But he was not seduceable. And yet, I felt awkward around him at times when we were off the dance floor. Should have been a sign. But still, I could have loved his analytical engineering mind, his fuddy duddy ways, and all his other eccentricities if only he had wanted the same thing I did. HIS LOSS.

I am inspired by all the stories here. You have all helped me to heal SO much faster than I would have without you, especially you Donna! Anyway, I can relate to a “passion diminishing” because of an ex-spath. I am very involved in my church, on the drama team doing elaborate plays, sing on the praise team etc. It is my life outside of work and my passion. My ex stayed away while I had the restraining order but as soon as it ran out he showed up again. He shows up at EVERYTHING that he knows I will be there. Here is the biggie. We had a marriage conference this past weekend. I am getting married to another guy in the church in October so we went to it. There were about 25 couples there along with ONE SINGLE PERSON. Yep you guessed it my EX!!!! It caused a lot of discomfort for everyone. I started to leave when I saw him and thought, “Nope, I haven’t done anything wrong”. I am determined NOT to let him see me upset or uncomfortable and he hasn’t. BUT it certainly has diminished my enjoyment of everything. He KNOWS that even if he can’t see a reaction. I wish there was an answer. I kept thinking he might find another church because really that church means NOTHING to him, it’s to bother me I have no doubt at all. When we first split up he said in the front row at every performance of a play we did last year, 3 performances. That was part of the way I got the restraining order along with copies of ridiculous emails he had sent me. If anyone has any suggestions I would love to hear them!

Linette,
Ignore the good for nothing!!!! hold your head high, and pretend he is a fly on the wall!!! Let him make a fool of himself because as Donna has said these people lead largely wasted lives. Tell yourself you are gracious because YOU choose to be magnanimous….. Congratulations on your wedding….here’s hoping you have a blast with all the prep and can remember that you don’t mind ’cause he does not matter.

Linette,

It’s so important to protect yourself emotionally, whatever that looks like. If it means going to a different church, this is what it may come down to. Or you can find some way to detach emotionally from him so the sight of him will not make you come undone. Both of these things are possible if you have worked through all the feelings. If you haven’t, no amount of distance will change the attachment. There are some very astute professionals out there who can help you get to the cause of the attachment, and there are others who can help you break the psychic bonds between you and him. For me, I knew I had to stop going to the salsa clubs, but the pull was so strong I resisted for a long time. Of course, he was part of my desire to go. Eventually, my inner peace became more important than even my passion for salsa dancing. I just couldn’t take the pain and anxiety anymore. I’m not angry. I’m just moving on. You can only bang your head against a wall so long.

It gets easier when you take responsibility for your own feelings and reactions. Because you are the only one who can change them. If your mood is dependent on whether a sociopath shows up or not, you’re screwed. Because it is their job and evolutionary function to f*ck things up!

Thank you everyone very much for the comments and advice. I have NO feelings of love or attachment over this person. I should have mentioned that. I wish he could be different for himself and for his family and for all the people he will probably hurt in the future and I hate to see the people at church being uncomfortable. Those are the main things. AND I can’t really control them right? Either one of them. If I went to a different church they would still be “creeped out” by him because he has revealed his true self by the stalking. Wow, writing that really helped! He DOES know if he crosses the line again I WILL get a restraining order so he refrains from writing me or calling me. SO SO glad I did that. I have had to cut myself off from his family (kids and mother, siblings etc.) because it is just too difficult for all of us with me still in the picture, at least I feel that way. I miss them but wasn’t TOO attached because most are so much like him. They aren’t full blown like him but were RAISED by him and so they aren’t that much of a delight to be with LOL. Anyway, please any further advice is so welcome and just to be able to talk to people who understand makes ALL the difference in the world!!!

One of my favorite tactics to combat my ex is every time he does something outlandish I repeat the phrase, That’s so him. And move on. No shock. No outrage. And no more power for him over me!

I wish we had a “like” button 🙂

So for those who have followed my story about the salsa guy, I wanted to give you all an update. I went NC about a month ago, not only with him, but also with all of our mutual friends whom I am going on a cruise with in November. (Yes, the situation is complicated). As a reminder, none of these people are spaths nor are they disordered. He just does not want to get romantically involved with me. It took me a year to find out because he was very confused and gave me a lot of mixed messages.

I have filled my life with other people, places, and things, and I’m doing well, but something is missing. Even though I’m NC, I miss dancing with him terribly. He was/is my favorite dance partner of all time. I know he misses me too. I also miss our friends and they miss me too. This is ridiculous. I don’t know if avoidance is the right thing to do – it’s not really helping. I may need to take a different tactic. I may need to just try and be his friend without any expectations. He may even have a gf by now. If I can just accept that he doesn’t want me romantically, I can keep him and all my friends in my life and still have fun on the cruise.

Jealousy has been one of my biggest issues. This is what I need to work with right now. It is really getting in my way of happiness. All these imagined scenarios……it’s a very bad habit. I’m praying for help in overcoming this.

Edit: A few hours after I typed this and this latest round of addiction seems to have passed. I’m good without him. 🙂 For now.

Stargazer,
I have followed your story.I know how much you enjoy salsa dancing;and dancing with J.I’m not sure what to say,except that clearly a break is necessary so that you can get over him.That takes time.There will be good days and bad days.Whenever a void is created,it must be filled.

Another update to my salsa drama saga:

I went NC from the salsa guy J for over a month or so. Last night, I decided to go back to the club to reclaim my dance space. My passion for dance has been returning, so I decided to face my demons. It is ridiculous to run away from him because no matter where I go, even to towns that are an hour and a half away, EVERYONE knows EVERYONE, and they all know him. So there is really no escape.

So…….I went there. I met up with my good friend Richard (one of my favorite dance partners and a true friend). Richard was there for moral support, but turns out I didn’t need it. My dance card was SO full that J hovered around me (per his usual) most of the night. But there was constantly some guy pulling me out onto the floor. I was wearing a gorgeous elegant blue dress and had extensions in my hair. I looked really good. When I finally caught up with J, he came over while I was talking to Richard. I hugged J and we exchanged pleasantries for 10 seconds before someone asked me to dance. Just by pure default, I did not dance with J once! It was a first. And you know what? I didn’t miss it at all. I did NOT wake up craving him and missing him. I think I’m on the road to recovery. I also decided to return to my Thursday class where J goes. It’s just him and one other couple. Aside from the fact that I will be dancing with him in the class, I will be getting a lot of private instruction from my teacher there. He’s giving me a highly discounted price because I am his apprentice. I decided to just dance with J, but not to let him get in the way of my dance space. From now on, he is just one of my dance partners and “someone that I used to know.”

The other deeper part is that I’ve been processing deeper layers of the hurt with him. Last week I realized he hadn’t called me in a month, and another wave of pain hit. I suddenly felt the connection between J and my biological father who pretty much disappeared out of my life after the divorce when I was 6. I never felt the pain and disappointment of that. Like the salsa guy, my father is tall and big and has the same body type as J and even the same shaped face. He has also had two failed marriages, both of them where the wives left, just like J. I made the connection. Now I can grieve over my father’s abandonment. It’s a slow process. And I feel grateful to J for being the catalyst in my healing. This is the reason he was brought into my life – perhaps this and also to pull me through the low-confidence phase of salsa where I would have given up and dropped out. He is not only helping me to face my demons but because of him, I am the dancer I am today.

My dating career continues…….I had another date with one of the guys who is very interested in me. I’m considering a relationship with him. He really really likes me and he treats me like a queen. But his remote location and the fact that I’m not very physically attracted to him are of concern. Other than that, he is a wonderful man with stellar character. Another guy I started dating is a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter for the city newspaper. (It’s pretty ironic because I don’t even read or watch the news…..lol). He invited me to a big party the other night and told me to bring friends. I brought my friend Richard (making it clear we were only friends). Richard and I ended up doing a few salsa demos and teaching a few people how to dance. It was a blast. I have also become friends with a very famous singer in Colorado who is one of my all-time favorite performers. She is going to give me voice coaching in exchange for salsa lessons. At this point I may decide to start singing again, maybe get into another band. My social life is very full. I’m often double-booked for parties and events and have to pick and choose. This is a change from a few years ago where I would sit home alone every night and play myself at Scrabble.

So…….my life is gradually improving. Never thought I’d get to this point where I’d start to break the addiction from J. It was so painful at times. I felt there was no way out. Now I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m not completely out of the woods.

I think I’m now ready to go on the salsa cruise in November with all of these people – J and our former friends. I think I can handle being around them, because there will be 2000 people on this cruise ship, and I will meet a LOT of men.

This is an update on my life after the addictive infatuation to the salsa guy.

I wish you all peace and continued healing! If I can do it, ANYONE can.

For the newer members here, I’m 5 years post-sociopath but I still struggle with dating mistakes. I do believe I am learning and growing from all of these dating experiences. Here is the latest. It’s a long story but may be worth the read for anyone who is also out there dating in their 50’s.

In November, I had just returned from a salsa dancing cruise (whole other story) to a message on Facebook from a guy I’ll call D who had been in my dating rotation since last March.

History: He is 49, never married and a bit of a party boy. For the record, I’m 53 and never married. I met him last winter through a mutual friend who is a very famous entertainer in town. The famous singer hosted a karaoke night. He saw me singing and dancing and asked her about me. She showed me his picture, and I thought, “meh”. Just average looking guy. Though I didn’t meet him in person, we eventually became friends on Facebook and had some very hilarious and fun conversations through private messages. I had gone to a concert with my salsa crush in June. Coincidentally, D had gone too, so we had this in common. In one conversation, I was planning to meet him and asked how I would recognize him. He said he was the one who was “fallicly challenged.” (I think he meant bald). So I asked “you mean ‘follicly challenged or phallicly challenged? There’s a difference”. “FOLLICLY” he said. “Stupid autocorrect”. LOL This became an ongoing joke for us – it was SO funny. I could take him or leave him at that point. So it was just for fun and flirting. At the time, I was still infatuated with the salsa guy. As some of you know, that went nowhere.

FIRST DATE WITH D LAST SUMMER: After many missed karaoke nights where one of us was busy, D had just gotten tickets to a Styx concert at an outdoor venue and had an extra. He invited me on the spur of the moment. It would be our first date. I was very excited because Styx was my favorite band in college. We had a hilarious exchange on FB where he told me to look for the purple Porsche with flames on the sides lol. This became another inside joke for us. I enjoyed meeting him for the first time and hanging out with him and his friends at the show. But I didn’t feel very invested. He made it a point to tell me he was single and available. I thought “meh. Maybe”. I knew he was a party boy and way more social than me. He also smokes weed and seems to like to drink a lot. A grown-up party boy. Not a great match for me. But we had a good time, a peck on the lips afterward and a continued correspondence on FB. Every few weeks he’d write me. We kept trying to get together but were both so busy. He would be at a music festival or out on his boat. I’d be at the salsa club or at some party. He couldn’t make my birthday party because he was working a second job. Etc., etc. But he never failed to stay in touch. I knew he really liked me. But he was not on my list of priorities. Still he was quite likable and a really fun guy.

SECOND DATE A BIG ONE: In early November, I’d gotten back from a salsa cruise. My salsa crush was there along with many other of our group. He never danced with me and it was quite painful. But I managed to still have a good time there. When I got back, there was a message on FB from the new guy asking me if I wanted to go on a motorcycle ride on his new motorcycle. I wrote back saying that I’d been on a cruise in the Bahamas. As luck would have it, he was on his way to Florida to see his family. He told me he had bought a cruise on a Groupon deal and needed to use it. Then he said, “Sure wish I had a pretty girl to go with me.” I said, “Oh I’m sure you’ll meet lots of pretty girls in Florida….”

A few days later…..I was thinking about his message and realizing he was inviting me on the cruise. Having just returned from one back to the bitter cold Denver, and after having been burned one last time by the salsa guy, I started thinking how great it would be to go back to FL for another cruise. I wrote D back. On a total whim, I said, “Boy I sure wish I could go on that cruise with you.” He wrote me back immediately….”I’m buying your ticket right now.” This guy paid for my plane fare, cab fare to and from the airport, and covered all my expenses for 4 days. There was a night in Miami, and a day afterwards at the FL keys with his friends. I went and had a blast. I did not have sex with him, and he never pressured me, and I knew he wouldn’t. I wasn’t looking for anything serious. I just knew I would have a blast with him. He drank and smoked weed the whole time (I didn’t), but I just let him be who he was – it was just a fun extended date, and he showed me a great time. We did kiss and cuddle a lot, and this was exactly what I needed. It really helped me to get over the salsa guy. Our date ended when he dropped me off at the airport and stood there giving me this passionate kiss. I was so discombobulated that I forgot my suitcase and had to run back for it. LOL

NOW WHAT HAPPENS? This guy really impressed me in many ways in spite of the party mentality, and I really liked him. We were both still checking it out. We are very different. He did treat me very well. He even bought me clothes, which is the quickest way to my heart! But we’d still kept it cool and casual, though I think I impressed him too. We continued to call each other on our cells throughout our travels home and for the next week after we arrived. He wanted to see me again to give me a postcard he’d carried around for me. That was the excuse anyway.

HOW IT ENDED: Here is where it went wrong. I got scared. So I played hard to get (first mistake). I put off seeing him for a week. I was genuinely busy and it was the week of Thanksgiving. When I finally made it to his house to watch a ball game, it was exactly a week since our last night in Florida. This was enough time for my imagination to run wild about what a player he probably was (even though I know he hadn’t been with anyone for a year). He was very proud of his little home, his cooking, and his three cats. It was very comfortable. This guy is very successful owning a seasonal business. It’s off season for his business, so he just parties and travels for 6 months. He has so much zest for life – it was intoxicating how excited he is about his life. And also intimidating. I was scared and insecure and terrified of rejection. We were making out on the sofa having a beer. When suddenly he made a reference to me spending the night. It was a rather sexual reference. If his approach had been different, I would have spent the night. But instead, I suddenly leaped up. I said some things about needing to have a boyfriend before sex was involved. He felt insulted, thinking I was accusing him of using me for sex. It was all a huge miscommunication with a mixture self-protection. I ran out and drove home, sat in my car and cried. I was not ready for this man. It was too much for me. I called him and told him I could not do casual sex. BUT IT WASN’T WHAT I MEANT TO SAY. I DIDN’T REALLY KNOW WHAT I MEANT – IT’S JUST HOW IT CAME OUT. He told me he wasn’t really looking for a girlfriend. Stalemate. He stopped calling me after that. But I did contact him a few times. I wanted to have one serious conversation where I spoke my mind. Our whole relationship up till then had been a party. But we never had the talk, and I am very angry with myself that I communicated so poorly and never said what I needed to. Eventually, I called him one last time, and he told me he was seeing someone else. Game over.

THE LESSONS: In retrospect, he probably was not right for me, and my intuition to protect myself was probably on the money. But I wish I’d spent that night with him, and I wish I’d had the wherewithal to ask him for exactly what I wanted instead of running away. I learned some very important things from him.

1. TO KNOW WHAT I WANT FROM A MAN. I’ve had to really think about this. I have these lofty ideals about what I want. My ideals protect me but they also keep me in a box sometimes. I am reevaluating my ideas about romance, sex, and intimacy, to make them something realistic and workable in the real world.

2. D taught me about being passionate about life. He is so involved with life – ski trips, concerts, dinners with friends……. I want to be more like him. To do this, I need to really step up my game and face all my fears and self-limiting thoughts. I don’t think I particularly need the drugs and alcohol, but I want more fun in my life. I’m so grateful to him for teaching me these lessons. I also learned to have the guts to call a guy and ask him where I stand so I can have closure. I didn’t do this with the last few and I longed and pined for them for a long time. This time, it’s a clean break, and I feel myself moving on. The next time will be better. *I* will be better. I will know what I want and I will communicate it better. I refuse to have a life without fun, romance, and sex, all because I’m attached to some sort of pictures about what a romance is supposed to look like.

I have gone through a lot of anger toward myself for how I handled the situation. But coming out of it, I feel ready for someone better. And BTW, the salsa guy is history! I went out dancing for the first time in 6 weeks on Thursday. I went to a different town where J never goes. What are the chances J was the DJ that night????? But I just danced all night and ignored him. It was great. I know I will probably never dance with him again, and I’m okay with it. I actually went up and said hello to him and hugged him. I saw the fear in his eyes and felt his hesitance. His issue, not mine. He lost me, and it was his loss.

At 32 I now firmly believe that men are grossly overrated and romantic love is but one more weapon in the sexist arsenal against women. It serves to hold women back from our true potential and happiness, molding us into emotionally dependent and vulnerable people when we SHOULD be free wheeling, independent and confident beings. Not all men are psychopaths or narcissists but a whole lot of them are. Even “nice” guys will never love as deeply as women do and they do not do the bulk of the child rearing. Think well ladies think for yourself. If you don’t want to date you do not have to.

Lagoreousmujer,

As someone who has had many romantic relationships, I see the truth in what you are saying. At 56, I have come to realize that a woman can have a wonderful life with or without a man. And it is only when we realize that we are okay alone that we can be ready to attract the kind of man who will be an asset in our lives. It’s all about choice. But we don’t have to be perfect and completely healed to enjoy the benefit of a great relationship.

Because I have early childhood trauma, relationships have always been very difficult for me – even friendships. But I have come to realize that a good relationship can actually be healing. It requires a strong commitment on both parts and a very wise understanding of how the healing process works and how to be present. We must also have impeccable communication skills to be able to ask for what we want and need from our partner and to be able to hear “no” sometimes. In the end, it’s all about choice. We choose every day whether we want to be with this person. There is something very comforting about making a commitment – it frees up all our energy that we once spent analyzing whether the relationship is right for us. We can then roll up our sleeves and get down to the work of healing with the help of our partner (and helping him heal) and building a life together.

I dropped out of grad school in the mid-80’s where I was studying Counseling Psychology. Just for the hell of it, I googled two of my old grad school friends. They had just married in ’84 and were having a lot of problems. They were always fighting. They were also working on their PhD’s in Counseling Psychology. This required them to be meticulous about doing their own psychological work. I was very intrigued to see that 30 years later, they are traveling around the country teaching couples how to help each other heal early childhood trauma. It is so tricky that there are actually workshops that teach it! I wish I could take (or give) one of those workshops because I had to learn the hard way – and still learning – how to ask for what I need when I’m in pain.

Most childhood trauma is caused by men anyway. I was born in 84 and I saw what my biological mother and adoptive mother went through with men and was puzzled as to why they even wanted one. They didn’t understand my promiscuity as a teen and i didn’t understand their lack of self value and how they believed they had love when it was anything but. Then from 18 to 26 i tried the good girl life before becoming an escort which I still do. I found most men to be emotionally constipated, selfish and entirely sexual. Many are psychopathic and narcissistic. In the last six years ic e tried again in a few very short relationships but went running when I Realized they were shitty too.im not afraid to be single. Women need to stop being brainwashed by culture and media into believing that men are something they are not and then using cognitive dissonance to stay with them. Romantic love doesn’t exist. Men don’t think or feel like we do. Use them for money, sex, fun whatever. But love? No way.

HI I also have had a troubled childhood, married a controlling person (Cant say he was disordered, not sure) & a sociopath. I have been away from the Sociopath for 5 years now, and after about 2 years I started dating – unsuccessfully & then went the self destructive path and thought all men were the same, and only good for a good time. I did this for about a year until I realised how empty it left me & was just happy on my own & looking after my family. And I was happy.
Then about 8 months ago, I started dating a widower friend of mine, and he is a true gentleman, 13 years older – I’m 47 hes 60. But I am finding I am having problems with understanding normal behaviour – If he says something about something, and trust me it can be anything, I get very defensive & dissect it to try and figure out what he is critisising about me! I know this is me, I am not being cognitive dissonance, I am over sensitive about a lot of things, and dont know how to stop it. I have spoken to my friends whom I have known my whole life & they can see it is something I need to address, but I dont know how to. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. thanks in advance. xxx

Since I dont know the guy or what exactly hes said its hard to tell. Sensitivity is possible but its more likely that something is actually wrong. I say this because in the past the times I thought I was being oversensitive was because there was something actually wrong but society tries to have women not trust their instincts and to think they need a man for fulfillment. Dont criticize yourself but rather spend time alone analyzing the relationship to see if he is a covert a hole or not.

Im 58 married in 2014 to a sociopath. Now that we are divorced. I use to struggle with relationships as well. Still working on the healing but not scared to try.I think I got cold feet once or twice but if it doesn’t feel right , i know now from being part of the LOVE FRAUD group since the beginning of this year , that i feel confident that i will always be guarded when i should have been in the beginning.I should have gone into relationship slow and easy , but I let my guard down for a charismatic British man who by all counts appeared to be a dream come true. I should have trusted my instincts but now i’m more informed. Dating shouldn’t have to be so hard but it is. I went back to college to keep my mind off the lonely and miserable phase of the after effects of breaking away from a sociopath. Its a working progress but its working for me.

Im with you, much older and after a rotten childhood, a narcopath long term relationship and menopause I have absolutely no desire to date, I know I am scared to death to put my heart in someone elses hands, but I think its gonna have to take a very strong, patient man to be able to break down the walls I have. I am in therapy and have come so far and now I feel like “now what” to scared to make anymore changes???

You claim its all men that do most of this, that men cannot love as deeply as women (BS) women do most of the child rearing, tell that to my story then, as i did most of the child rearing, house chores, and worked full time while getting played by a disordered woman. You claim men cause most childhood trauma, tell my disoredered ex that, she will tell you it was her mother that caused most or all of her problems.

Now you claim women are brainwashed to think men are something they are not? What about all the women out there that dont carry their weight, only marry to take from the man, cheat/lie/steal???

“Men don’t think or feel like we do. Use them for money, sex, fun whatever. But love? No way.”

wow that speaks volumes, you are advocating doing exactly what sociopaths do, just use people for money and sex, and feel no love, wonderful advice you have there.

Dave, Be gentle her story is very real to her and this is a place to vent, many many women feel the same, maybe its because you are an exception to the rule, we are not used to meeting good men.

Frandee,

How would you all feel if i sat here with my story and stated “women cant love like men do, and use women for sex and money” ?????

What would you say to that? How would you feel? That is some gender biased shit if i aint never seen none. I would probly be kicked off this blog for stating things like that.

We ALL on here have been through this same story, however i dont see anybody on here other than this person i replied to trying to tell everyone on here to just use others for sex and money.

You think i dont have a bad taste in my mouth for women??? Oh let me tell you, i sure as hell do, however im not going to advocate using women for sex/money/fun and “not for love, no way” Just because i had a bad exp with the two mothers of my children does not mean all women are bad, all it means is im more on guard now until i meet a good woman cause i know good women are out there, just like good men are out there.

I sympathize with her story, we all do. However dont run around making baseless claims about men cause of your bias, then telling people to use the opposite sex for money and sex, as that is what sociopaths do.

Dave
I have heard men say this, All Im saying is that we each have our stories, I thank God that I am confident enough in myself that I know they are not talking about me but women in general, I get that. All of us here have been hurt, we need to support each other so we can all heal! We need to NOT take things so personal. What she says is HER story and I think that is what she is doing (using men) I dont beleive she is telling women to go use men for those reasons. Its hard to know what is meant sometimes in peoples writing, maybe you should ask her to clarify that statement?

Listen up , my son 15 years ago was dating this one woman and had a son with her . when he told me then that the mother of his son was off the charts nuts and he couldn’t describe what type of a mental case she was , he was crying out for help from me , his own mother about this sociopath woman? I could not help him when he needed me the most. It wasn’t until i met and married this man and now divorced a sociopath myself that i finally came to terms to the fact that at some point , its not all just men. There are women out there unknowingly to the male counter part is convincing , cunning and wicked.She was so self absorb and manipulative and All i wanted to do was be nice to this young lady because she was the mother of my grandson. I had no idea what my son was going through just to get visitation rights to see his own first born. She was so convincing in court when it came to visitations, that he lost all rights to visiting that son of his.She played the courts , the lawyers and convinced the judge that he was an unfit father and was forced to pay child support even when he will never see his son again until he reached the legal age. Just recently , the grandson is coming around on his bike during the summer to visit his father at his place of business. I think the older this boy becomes,there will be a power struggle btw mother and son. So i guess thats why we are seeing a little more of this grandson .We just cant post it on our social media for fear that she would feel like shes losing and thus create more havoc in our family again. so we are settling for what little visits we get. The grandson, he wont speak of his mother or whats going on, but i found out that he got kicked out of public and private school and the judge decided to enlist him into boot camp. My grandson seemed almost pleased to spend five months in boot camp and I can see why hes pleased about it.Hes not a thug , nor does drugs or alcohol for his age, hes looking for a way out and away from his dysfunctional mother. Personally , its the best solution for him.I love that boy but as long as there’s a legal loop hole , its always going to be hard to fight a female sociopath in court. We’ve tried.

Frandee,

All of of are or have been in a lot of pain because of evil people. Like i said before, id LOVE to see what would happen if a MAN got on here and stated the EXACT SAME THING this woman did, except towards women,,i bet he would get ripped a new asshole, and booted off the blog, yet i see all these women defending this woman. I dont care what a person has been through, there is NO JUSTIFICATION for using and abusing others, PERIOD!!!!

And Donna,, my apologies if i said something that seemed as though i “attacked her” i was simply pointing out the obvious in her statements. I know 90% of this blog is female, so how would all of you feel if i made it out like women are heartless whores, and that society has men brainwashed to think women are something they are not, and that men love deeper than women, and that all men should use women for sex and money?

I dare any of you to answer that question, and if your answer is “umm that would really offend and piss me off” then i want you to realize that her comments made me feel the same damn way. Do not defend someone like that, you are only feeding the monster.

There are some grains of truth in what lagorgeousmujer is saying about how women are taught not to trust their own feelings and not to speak their mind. It hasn’t been all that long since women who dared to stand up to their husbands – heaven forbid – were locked up in asylums and considered hysterics or burned at the stake for being witches. Women have also been taught that they need a man to survive. For a woman who can stand on her own two feet and live an independent life, there is a great freedom. It is possible to still experience a meaningful life filled with love without a romantic partner. Seeing how much work is involved in a relationship, I sometimes wonder if it is better to be alone.

Dave
In answer to your question is yes I would be upset but mostly I would think wow, he has been really hurt, I dont condone anyone taking advantage of anyone else and as I read more, I think there may be more to her story? I just know that we are all trying to heal, it is unfamiliar for most of us women here to hear a mans story, Most men wouldnt admit to being “duped” by a female spath. I am sorry your ex put you thru what she did, but at least you show us that yes there are good men out there, far and few between in my eyes but I know they exist. I am sorry if I upset you in any way ok!!! Stay strong!!

Sorry, lagorgeousmujer, but I don’t agree with you that all men are evil. But I can certainly understand how a woman can come to feel this way. I have felt this way before and it is a very cynical view. There are always different ways to look at things. In my world, the only people who are truly evil are sociopaths. Those can come in both genders.

I wont be back here bc this conversation is greatly annoying me. Most psychopaths are men and in fact all men are psychopathic in varying degrees. But you’re just as delusional as all my clients wives who think they have the best man in the world. Men are liars, promiscuous and unloyal. The “nice” ones are simply more submissive because they rarely get opportunities for sex. So being nice is their way of getting sex. Men with ample coitus opportunities are rarely nice.they can afford to be themselves. Anyway if you are in fact a woman and not a man posing as one, i think you’ll remember me next time you end up in the same boat, again, regretting an attachment to some douchebag. Good luck and bye bye.

lagorgeousmujer why is this conversation annoying you, you cant possibly believe that every man on the planet is “bad” maybe you could open up as to what is REALLY the root of the problem here or with a counselor? I did and it helped me tremendously and I worked on why I was attracting spaths, negative, toxic people into my life. Why would you want to live the rest of your life disliking the whole male population? I wish you Peace on your journey and Good luck. I hope you decide to stay and try to communicate with us.

Stargazer is quite correct,

men and women at times are polar opposites, however we are equals that complete one another.

The sun and the moon, look to your skies and see how both are the same size, yet give off different light, however they compliment each other for night and day, i view men and women the same way. We are different but we compliment each other/complete each other,,however that does not happen when one or both parties are crazed/selfish/idiots. We are being manipulated and trained by the powers that be to hate different races/religions/and opposite sex, and that is for a reason, “divide and conquer” the family unit has been all but destroyed, destroy the family and keep racism alive and you can easily conquer with manipulative media and govt.

just my 2 cents

“LIKE”

Dave, I love this comment about the sun and the moon. All men are not sociopaths. All sociopaths are sociopaths.

Dave
I really liked your comment “The sun and the moon, look to your skies and see how both are the same size, yet give off different light, however they compliment each other for night and day, i view men and women the same way.”

I desire to have a relationship with a good man some day one where we could compliment each other. I was just asking my therapist if good men still exist because I have been through so much. However, I didn’t realize that men go through the same exact thing until after reading your posts. Because like Donna says it’s not all about gender. There are a lot of sick people out there. In all sincerity, you just gave me hope and confirmed that good men do exist. I don’t agree with the comments that all men are bad because I have indeed seen some beautiful marriages between two loving people. I think that the woman above may not have seen or witnessed positive romantic relationships in her life which is why she was making general comments that’s just my assumption.

Thank you Jlove, its just from my observations as i love to study my surroundings and ive always been interested in astronomy.

I desire to have a female partner to share life with, i just have not found the right one yet, i know she is out there, i admit i have serious trust issues with women now, however i wont generalize all women into one category just because a couple of them royaly screwed me over.

Society in general is brainwashed, most men think all women are gold digging whores and that they need to safeguard their money, most women think all men think below the belt and are cheaters, let me say, BOTH sides do BOTH of these things, there are gold digging whore men, and women who love sex and use men for many things. I have been split from my spath ex for 2 and 1/2 years now and it still eats at me, i still have dreams about it/her a couple times a week, plus she has my children which worries the hell out of me. I loved her more than any person ever other than my children and she could have cared less, she used me to have the 2 kids she wanted and to help get her where she is now then discarded me like trash on the curb and now that i called her out for what she is, she hates my guts, she wont even respond to my text when i simply ask “hey when do the kids get out of daycare”

I dont know what all that woman i was speaking with went through, but it sounds like her soul has been poisoned and she now wants to enact revenge on every man on the planet. I feel poisoned too, however im not going to take it out on every woman i meet. Just hang in there, hes out there somewhere looking for you, just in the meantime be cautious, be on guard, dont be paranoid, but be on guard for the warning signs so you dont fall into the trap again.

Dave
have you ever tried some therapy, I know it helped me, maybe you should get social services involved, set up a schedule so you know exactly, when and where you will see your kids, I feel so bad for them. Just know the truth always comes out and there IS such a thing as Karma, I got to witness it. Hand in there, and please stay connected here ok!!

Frandee,

I already have visitation rights, but i only get my kids one weekend a month as she lives 100 miles away, and the courts ordered me to do all the driving, she does not have to meet me, and now she moved even further away, so ill have to take her back to court to see if they will force her to meet halfway. I did some counseling for a couple months but i didnt feel it was helping me. As for social or children services, good luck with that, as this woman is quite good at what she does, if any of you met her, within 15 mins she would have you all convinced that im a lazy/wife beating/abusive/asshole. She is extremely manipulative and loves to play the victim card and is quite good at it. Shes a pathological liar as well as a cheater. She lies about her income to get free state assistance and has been doing so for 10 years now.

And no you did not upset me, that other person did, while i do feel for her, it still does not make it ok for her to bash all men and advocate women to just use men for money and sex.

Wow, I cant believe the court system is so messed up??? Keep up with the courts hope it gets better for you, I know in therapy it takes awhile for things to fall into place, sometimes months, I was lucky to have found a really great girl, I still go once a month to to keep things in check but I had a lot of issues before my spath came into my life. Your ex sounds real twisted and to know us taxpayers are footing her bill and others like her pisses me off, when people talk to me and they start bashing their ex’s I take it with a grain of salt because I know there are 2 sides to every story. Hang in there, just try to limit your conversations to the kids only. Remember we are all here for you!

jlove I agree with you

You are right Frandee, always two sides to a story, i just never got to tell my side to all the people she manipulated about me. Im going to go back to court but dont know when, i cant afford a lawyer right now, i just launched my business, and im struggling to even pay my child support let alone support myself. When i went for visitation rights she had a lawyer and i did not, and im not bashing women here BUT, i was the only male in the courtroom all 3 times,,,it was her and her female lawyer, with a female magistrate, and another female typing all the words, it felt like i was in man hater central LOL.

Wow sure sounds like you were, I dont blame you, there are a lot of messed up women in world, I just deleted my FB because of some of them. Tired of the drama. Hope things get better for you!!

I need some advice. After 4 years of NC, I finally met someone I like. He is charismatic, funny and handsome with a good job. But he won’t ask me out. He has been texting me for the past 2 months and we have had a handful of phone conversations. Mostly about his physical attraction to me. I told him a little bit about my past and he said that he was trying to give me space to trust him.

But my question is how can I get to know him, and him me, if he doesn’t take me out to a movie, dinner or just hang out on a weekend.

I have the uneasy feeling that he is another sociopath and/or exploiter. It does not feel normal at all, but need for someone else to confirm what I already am feeling.

Trust your instinct. He sounds to me that he’s another exploiter and that he’s deciding between you and another target to see which one to go with. The reason I’m saying this is because he wants to give you the space to make you trust him yeah right! He if really wanted you to trust him then he will try to let you get to know him and he would prove he’s worthy of trust. As for advice please do not tell the guy what you went through in your previous relationship until later in dating him. The reason why I say that is because many psychopaths use that to their advantage. Its sick but it’s true. You could simply say “things didn’t work out because I didn’t like how the last guy treated me” and leave it at that if they ask for more. Words of wisdom from my therapist.

If you have an uneasy feeling that’s a red flag so leave him alone. I had an uneasy feeling with my ex. That’s your body’s way of telling you something is not right.

Hi Shelby333,

I totally agree with Jlove. I think this guy as a few women on the hook. Like Jlove states if a guy truly wants to grow trust he takes you out on dates & spends time with you.

Trust is earned not avoid.

His statement “said that he was trying to give me space to trust him.” HUGE HUGE RED FLAG!!

Also when you state that you & he talk “mostly about his physical attraction to me” HUGE HUGE RED FLAG!! He is not interested in dating but just having sex. And most likely has several women that he is playing the same verbal manipulative game with.

Follow your gut it will NEVER steer you in the wrong direction. Google “Gavin Debecker Oprah you tube” to watch their interview on why it is vitally important to follow your gut always. Gavin Debecker is the author of Gift of Fear (good read your local library may have it).

I think your gut instincts are strong & I am glad you came here to LF to confirm your “uneasy feelings”.

Remember this:

1 in 5 people 75% men have Narcisisist Personality Disorder

1 in 25 people mainly men are Sociopaths & Psychopaths.

Experts believe that we meet a Sociopaths or Psychopath EVERYDAY in passing whether in line at the deli counter, at a friends party, at work or just around town.

And Experts believe that we have a sociopaths & psychopath in our circle of friends without even knowing it.

throw in all the other Personality disorders and you must weed thru lots & lots bad guys to find a good guy. Think about it this way every high school class you were in there were statistically 5 narcissist & 1 sociopath/psychopath out of 25 students. And if you go to a party & there are 25 people the odds are the same.

ALWAYS BEWARE OF EVERYONE YOU COME INTO CONTACT WITH!! Keep your guard up and like Jlove stated NEVER tell anyone about your past relationship until you have a good solid relationship/friendship formed. Manipulative people will take advantage of you past abuse.

Slam the door on this guy quickly!!!

Shelby333, there is a great book called How to spot a dangerous man By Sandra Brown…it’s a good book to spot all types of bad guy via their behavior.

Shelby, I went through several guys like this over a period of several years, longing and pining for them to step up to the plate. I learned that if a guy really likes you, he will pursue you. There are a few exceptions. If a guy is really really shy, sometimes he needs a little push. But for the most part, if he is not asking you out, he’s “just not that into you.” There may be other reasons – he may himself be emotionally unavailable. Perhaps he has gone through a bad divorce or doesn’t want to commit. In any event, leave him alone and move on with your life. This is very hard earned advice. You will know that if you ever read any of my posts describing my dating life from 2008 to 2014. On top of that, if your gut sense is telling you there’s something wrong, there probably is. Those of us who are so very trusting love to give men like this the benefit of the doubt. Truth is, men love to chase. If they are not chasing, then they aren’t that interested. Don’t waste your time and energy on someone with no follow-through. There are too many out there who are available and willing. Life is too short to chase a man.

Thank you jlove. I feel that I haven’t learned anything for the past 5 years. But, this guy keeps bringing up sex and I’m just not into that right now, so early in the game. So, he was pressuring me for more info and that’s when I told him. Anyway, I appreciate your honesty.

You’re very welcome. Him mentioning sex so early is a red flag. He’s wanting to use you for sex. Walk away and if you are still hurt after the last socialpath try to seek some therapy it will help you to point out red flags early on.

You are very right and I knew it then. But, was hoping for the best. Take care and again, thank you.

Thank you so much for this article! To Saskgirl that originally wrote this post – I know EXACTLY how you are feeling: “I am ready to start dating (I think) but I’m afraid that it will be disastrous for me. I was so emotionally wrecked that I’m terrified of being there again. I don’t trust anyone and believe that just about every thing coming out of a man’s mouth is lies.” — I also do not believe anyone at all and am worried that I will run into another sociopath or narcissist. I don’t even trust myself as my ex-sociopath always made me feel like there was something wrong with me, and not him.

Another thing that I feel is tremendous, almost debilitating pain because the love that I felt for my ex and the love I THOUGHT he felt for me was the greatest I have ever experienced. I was with another man (who was probably a sociopath too) for 8 years but I never felt love for him like I did for my most recent ex-sociopath. And I wonder if I almost needed the love bombing/idealization, mirroring, etc, to fall for someone that completely. I remember hugging him and feeling at home and like the most comfortable and relaxed and SAFE that I ever have. So its sad to think that the best (and worst though) I’ve ever felt and the most love I’ve ever felt in my entire life, was fake. And it was with someone that was manipulating and using me. And it scares me that I will never find love like that again b/c the love I felt wasn’t even real.

I don’t know if this makes sense or not, and I know that he treated me horribly and never loved me and even if he loved me, i never want to be loved like that again (since it was so awful) but at the same time, I crave that connection I had with him (I don’t crave him, just that type of connection with another person). I’m beginning to feel like I’m going to be alone for the rest of my life.

I feel the exact same way. It sucks that the love was fake because that’s the best love I have experienced. Well at first anyway. I’m thinking once the right person comes into our lives, his love will be way better than the sociopath. Remember, if we loved the wrong person so much imagine how much we will love the right person!

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