By | March 21, 2013 17 Comments

Dealing with the predictably unpredictable

When in recovery from a relationship with an individual with psychopathic traits, we must plan for the fact that little will go according to any sort of reasonable plan.  When dealing with these individuals, one of the most difficult things we must accept is our lack of ability to predict the timing of their surprise attacks.  This does not mean that we must live in fear.  However, it means that for our own emotional and physical security, we must be aware and ready for almost anything.

I learned fairly quickly that if I wanted to thrive, or merely just survive, it was what I had to do.  I am not unique in that way.  I had to learn to expect the police at my door for unnecessary wellness checks.  I had to learn to take being served for things I did not do in stride.  I had to learn to respond (or not) to aggressive, condescending, harassing, and threatening e-mail and verbal attacks.  This is not easy, but it comes with the territory.  There may be times when we feel overwhelmed by the barrage of rage such personalities inevitably sling at us, and we may not know exactly when their tantrums will occur.  However, while disengaging from them, rest assured, they will.  Thus, we can plan generally and prepare ourselves.

Just yesterday, someone with a high conflict ex said, “Everything has been too quiet.  I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Does that sound paranoid?”  My response was that it did not.  She went on to say that she feels as though her peace is merely temporary.  Since she is still in the middle of the separation process, she is probably correct.

Her life has been riddled with threats and manipulations.  He uses the children as pawns in an effort to get what he wants from her – control.  He operates on fear in order to achieve compliance, both from the children and her.  If she or her children do something he does not like, she is threatened with law suits.  It’s a familiar story to most of us here.

To date, she has not endured much legal action from him.  He has been more talk than action, but as I have warned her before, that means nothing.  As a result, she waits with the uncomfortable feeling in the pit of her stomach that the storm is brewing somewhere out there, yet to reach landfall.  She senses it.  As many of us have learned, out intuition is frequently correct.

What do we do?

As difficult as this may seem, we try to live normally.  We should do nothing but continue to better ourselves and live our lives as well as possible.  The time we spend worrying, which is something those on the other side rarely do, can be much better spent improving ourselves.  Then, if our thoughts and concerns do come to fruition, we are better prepared to handle things.

We should educate ourselves on some of the laws that may pertain to our particular cases.  We may want to have an attorney ready, who is well versed in the area of law we anticipate needing.  This way, we are not scrambling, or making poor choices at the last minute out of desperation.  We may want to educate ourselves on how to interact with individuals who seem to enjoy engaging in conflict.  As I have said before, I have learned that less is more and communicate accordingly.  That was not always the case.  Don’t play into their hands.

We should try not to become complacent.  There comes a time when they do tire of us or simply move on to others, but depending on how deep seated their desire for revenge is, we should always maintain a certain level of alertness.  This is good practice anyway.  Proactive is better than reactive in most situations.  At the same time, try to maintain as many freedoms as possible.  We escaped from our proverbial dungeons.  We have to try to find a comfortable balance.

Rapid fire

There may be times when we feel as though we are not allowed adequate time to recover from one shot prior to being hit with the next.  Sometimes, with these folks, that is true.  This may be difficult.  I recall being mid-litigation with one case, and then getting hit with another in a different state.  After both were settled, another issue arose.  By this time, I fully understood how these personalities operate, so I was neither shocked nor surprised when the next round hit a mere two months later.  This phenomenon truly illustrates just how out of control their lives are.  I am sure that this individual continues to blame me for all of the problems in every way.  Unfortunate.

The difference now is that I get it and that I have learned all about the predictably unpredictable.  We may not always know exactly what or when, but we come to know a pattern.  When this happens, we single handedly shift the power from them to us, which is critical to our well being.  That ability is within each of us, even if in the beginning, we are not sure how to find it.


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Ox Drover

Great points, Linda.

Very interesting info. One thing is for certain: sociopaths fear the truth. Be ready to explain the truth many times over if your ex sociopath refuses to leave you alone. Truth always wins. (my writings on this subject)

desert flower

Wow, Linda…this is so well written. I was in court today, for the 39th time since 2004. My ex lost custody in 2006, but continues to harass me through the courts. I also try to predict the unpredictable. He made it clear that he would try a different avenue to get me back in court after he was DENIED on this motion.

I know he finds pleasure in costing me attorney fees and stress. I am always afraid he will hurt me outside the courthouse. So many don’t understand this. My Lovefraud support group does and I’m so thankful for this site. Only six more years until the youngest is 18…

Thanks Linda!This is a timely article.I haven’t faced spath in court.But I’m sure it wouldn’t be pretty!

I remember once a friend who was somewhat aware of our marital problems,asking me how I was doing.My reply was that I was “enjoying a respite,but I never knew how long it would last”!


Wow, I am relatively new to this process, but today’s post hits so close to home. At least once a week I am dealing with some unbelievable irrational act as I try to take steps to end my 20 year relationship. Not looking forward to years of this for my kids and I. Thanks for the insight.



Thanks for this info. The title drew my attention b/c half-way into the year I spent with a spath, it occured to me that he was totally unpredictable…I never knew what each day may hold, or which “mask” I would be dealing with. I was completely unconcious, at that time.
Great reminder on our intuition. You said..” our intuition is frequently correct.” Biggest mistake I made was in ignoring mine the whole time. I gave his words more power than every thing my intuition was trying to tell me. So many lessons attached to this whole experience. Thank you for this post.



Learus, you’re blog is really interesting(and entertaining) read a few things you posted about passive aggressiveness and being afraid to hear the truth. Spot on.


Great article. I lived that way for years for the sake of my children. My heart goes out to those of you who are forced by the courts and in the courts to endure this abuse. I finally had to entirely remove myself from it and it’s minion child to another location because I no longer live with the stress of being in a state of constant preparedness waiting for the next shoe to drop. I am not allowed to see my grandchildren anymore so I have no reason to be there. I do get to talk to them on the phone and that will have to do for now. I was left with no choice but geographical distance and now I am beginning to heal again. Whoever said you cannot run away from your problems was wrong…sometimes you can.


This is my first time posting on here since joining 3 weeks ago, the day after I left my husband. Forgive me if I am posting in the wrong area, but I am looking to see if anyone has any experience with restraining order appeals, aka de novo hearings. I was granted a full injunction last Monday and of course, he has appealed the ruling. He has not surrendered his weapons as ordered (I called sheriff to verify, they are investigating now). I am trying my best to keep a level head and be prepared for whatever it is that is headed my way, but the fear alone makes that very difficult. Even with no contact, he has a control over me that is debilitating. Every day I ask, “when will this stop??” I think I already know the answer….

This website is a godsend, it is my constant companion since I left. Thank you to everyone on here for sharing your stories…it makes me feel like I’m not alone. I wish no one ever had to deal with this craziness…


I hope the new website is easier for me. I post things and then I can never find if anyone had any comments about what I wrote. But, I am very grateful for the newsletter and the articles on the site even if I am not a great “navigator.”

My favorite part about the above article is the suggestion to stop worrying. These men create PTSD and all I do is worry. I am disabled and he pays half the bills to live in an apartment I own. Of course, for him it was a dream come true “off the grid” plan because he owes everybody money. This is my second time around with him. I didn’t see him as a sociopath the first time or until recently. I can’t pay my mortgage without help and I live in a small town where no one wants to live. My big goal is to get my house paid off in the next few years and get out of this town and into a smaller house in a city nearby that is a much better place to live and I don’t HAVE to rent to someone else to afford to eat. I found out yesterday through pure serendipity that he was doing what I suspected he was doing years ago the first time around. You know, I LOOKED FOR HIM this time! I had no attraction for him any more and I just wanted to know if he wanted to rent from me because there were a bunch of really creepy people inquiring. I thought he would be “safe” because I knew him. Within two weeks, I was the most wonderful woman in the world. It was love all over again for him. Please be his girlfriend again. It’s been two years of hell, but a lot of money and the ability to keep my house. What is so sad is that I continue to wish for him not to be a sociopath. I continue to see every time I am really paying attention that he is so much like my narcissistic father. And the little baby in me wants THIS daddy to really love me. It is toxic. It is sick. I hate him. Why do I want fake? Needless to say, I am not his girlfriend. I am a lonely landlord and he is a sick, old don juan and the only reason he kept calling me was to move back in because nobody wants him anymore. It’s like being a POW. This morning I confronted him with some information I had acquired by accident. I feel really scared and dumb right now because I will never get the kind of money from a stranger that I get from him and half of those are sociopaths. I just want to be able to eat and keep my home. Why do I crave? Why do I try to get the snake to turn into a prince? I know from what I’ve read, that the more I tell the snake I know his dirty little secrets, the more likely he is to leave….and that means I’m more likely to lose my house or not have enough to eat. I wish I could truly listen to the part about not worrying in this article and have some peace. Right now, the sociopath is in the VA hospital getting radiation treatments. He’ll survive cancer once again and I don’t want him to come back, but I have to have that money and I just keeping that a known sociopath who will leave me alone if I leave him alone is better than an unknown one….and I have had some really bad unknowns at this place. Thanks for letting me let that out today. I am desperately afraid that I am going to lose the money he pays because I told him I know what he did and I know what he is.

edge of sanity

I was married to a spath for a long time. I could not put a finger on the sometimes bazaar, manipulative, controlling behavior. I was the one that was taken by surprise, and scrambled to find an attorney. When i took my deposition, I told the truth, and the wrath of the spath came. The spath went into the court, played the
victim, and literally swayed the courts. I lost my home, 1/2 of my belongings, and left me with 10,000. It was like fighting in a war, the enemy sneaks upon you, and without warning gets you. I knew that attorneys do not want to take on a spath, therefore, I did the next thing. I called the IRS turned him in for tax evasion,
selling our home under a false contract, and etc. I had all the proof. The best thing I can tell anyone dealing with a spath, is NO CONTACT. You have to protect yourself, and in my case, I needed
to go above the courts, because I was not going to waste any more monies with attorneys, because I did not have it. I had enough proof to hang this spath, maybe he will sharing a room with Bernie Madolff.


I can relate. They show up without notice only to cause confusion and problems, never for anything good. Mine popped up christmas day 2011, with gifts started a fight with the oldest. Havent seen him since and never jnow when i will cause he NEVER followed the custody court order.

I can understand the mental and emotional struggle you’re going through.It might seem like you’ve found the “only and best” solution.I can’t tell you what to do,because I’m not in your shoes.But I will tell you that I went through the very same struggle.
That’s the ONLY reason I stayed with my husband as long as I did…and could have paid with my life if I’d waited any longer!I’d lost all joy in life and the will to live.Spaths can kill without weapons.

Just keep reading and posting here.And know all of your options.And welcome to lovefraud!

edge of sanity,
You go girl!I love the way you got revenge!

edge of sanity

Just remember a spath has no conscience. They are disconnected. They know how to say the right thing, but they don’t share the feelings like normal people. Never, ever take the spath back! You will be looking for more trouble. They will retaliate. I have learned the hard way, when you are rid of the spath, never, ever have any contact with them. You are just opening the door for more
lethal problems. Unfortunately, the courts are do not recognize
personality disorders these people play the courts to recognize them-remember they are actors in their own play. The spath love the duping delight-they are pulling something over people, and they enjoy it, and laugh, and smile. Again, spaths are every where-they are attorneys, judges, policemen. I know by my experience, none of these catagories helped me, and I felt I was fighting a battle by myself. My spath would tell the police that I was crazy, and the police told me to leave my home. Like everyone else, I felt that I could change the spath, but his whole family is hard-wired this way. There is no doubt about it, it changed my life. The only way I could possibly stop this spath from ending with everything I worked hard for, and shared with him, was to go a notch higher to show someone exactly what he has done over the years. It is not about a woman scourned, it is about self preservation, truth, and getting back the huge piece that the spath walked off with.


Thank you so much blossom. The personal connection is so helpful here along with the valuable articles. I have a good friend I spend my best times with. The sociopath is going downhill fast. He is in a VA hospital right now and has nowhere to go except back here and he knows I know. I got great information about having paperwork sent to him to be put on a homeless waiting list for a VA home any time I want. I love the VA. Their people have helped me a lot. I have talked to one male nurse whose wife knew the spath and he had some interesting things to tell me! I said, “You know, he is a sociopath although he will be very charming.” The nurse said, “I know. My wife was one of his instructors in college.” I was a student when we met and began our “relationship.” I asked this guy how many other women did he manipulate, screw with, borrow money, etc. He said, “At least four I know of.” I also confirmed that he was involved in a cheating scandal he told me others in the class were involved in testing me. I told the instructor and they all got in trouble! My spath used to be a nurse, but lost his license for being drunk on the job among other things. It was great validation to hear the truth I knew 13 years ago when we really were supposed to be exclusive and when I would question him about possible unacceptable behavior with these poor girls, he would rage. I actually feel sorry for them. One, I know for sure, he just totally screwed up. Talked to the hospital social worker who also immediately agreed that he is a narcissist and sociopath. He hasn’t been calling me since I told him I finally knew the truth about the lives he manipulated while in college including mine. They can’t stand to be found out. He lost! The Social Worker said he is pouting around because if he doesn’t come back here, he has nowhere to go but to a homeless shelter. He seemed to think he would be placed into a sublime VA apt ASAP as he is so important. The only thing he saw during a war was a ship, a bottle, drugs and some hookers! It has been nice having him away…and I made sure I kept his debit card so I get my money and get peace! I don’t know what will happen or what I will do…probably keep taking his money until he gets so frail, he will have to go to the Vet center to live. He’s probably got about 3 years to live if he is lucky. Smoker, drinker, druggie, junk food addict, one kidney, and a genetic heart attack a few years ago with another one soon on the way.

I am so lucky in many ways. No kids with anyone. My first husband gave me the house as there was no equity in it. He was a drunk and a liar, but not a cruel sociopath. I want to keep my house and I need money to do that. it is like a duplex and he doesn’t have a key to my half. If I stop trying to make him love me, I can do this. Thanks again. I feel so much sorrow for those of you trying to raise babies with these men and so many of the judges are just like them and you lose everything. Ihope you have supportive families. I don’t, but people with children need their families to help them.

Dear fights,
Spath husband is in a nursing home.So our situations are similar!He wants to get an apt,but so far that hasn’t worked out.Our daughters are grown,and supportive of me.

Knowing how spath thinks,he’s hoping we’ll eventually get back together,so he won’t have to stay in the nursing home,won’t have to deal with apt managers rejecting him….and so he can hold it over my head that I wasn’t able to make it on my own!Like Tina Turner sang,”WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT?”IT’S ALL ABOUT HIM!

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