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Disordered people exist, and we need to avoid them

Last week, after publishing ThePsychoExWife.com and the First Amendment, Lovefraud received the following letter:

I want to commend you and thank you for your website. It is a service to all survivors and the people that love them and, if you’ll permit me, I do want to open a dialogue with you about some concerns I have about the site.

I have read everything possible about sociopathy from a graduate student perspective and from my own experience with a violent sociopath and several other moderate paths, as well as other random people and family members that fit various DSM criteria, I am concerned that your site is very black and white and that people will be misled to their detriment. As I am sure you know, sociopathy, like any other DSM diagnosis, is on a continuum and not all sociopaths exhibit or act out all path behavior, meaning each path is an individual and, although, they all have indicators, behaviors and thought processes that are similar they are not all the same and, most importantly, not all are equally dangerous.

I have been intending to email you for many weeks now but the piece on the psychoexwife.com motivated me to proceed. Borderline Personality Disorder is a very complex disorder, as all mental disorders are, and although it is related to sociopathy as the article stated, again, not all people under that diagnosis are equally afflicted and they are not usually physically dangerous to anyone but themselves—cutting, for example. In fact, many BPD people do not self-harm at all. People categorically need to protect themselves at all costs and I absolutely commend you and your site for the diligence in advocating that point but an ex-husband diagnosing an ex-wife without a medical degree is iffy at best and as someone who survived a VIOLENT (serial rapist) path and was labeled the “scorned ex-girlfriend” when I tried to report him, I am extremely wary of anyone or any public information that fosters the belief system that women that speak up against violence in a domestic situation are “psycho.” Isn’t that what your site loudly tries to expose? How we frame our dialogue is crucially important to our goals and success. Buying into the dominant paradigm to make our point hurts us more than we realize by reinforcing the belief that all women are potentially psycho and, therefore, should not be believed when they report domestic and sexual violence. I am very surprised by the position you took on psychoexwife.com. I would need a lot more information before I could take a side there.

My main point other than my comments about PsycoExWife.com is that most everything I read here and everywhere else talks about sociopaths lacking a conscience as an absolute—they just don’t have one period. Lack of conscious is certainly the defining feature, overall, in my experience, with paths but it is very hard to measure and most paths hide that with varying degrees of success so my concern is that most people without experience dealing with paths will not understand that there are degrees to which paths in general have or don’t have a conscious. A conscious is not a tangible thing you can see directly and it’s not that anyone has one 100% or 0%. The literature in general seems to always say you either have one or you don’t. I think that is misleading.

I appreciate the thoughtful concerns of this reader. Let me address the points that she brought up.

First of all, I was very surprised by the reaction of many readers to last week’s story about ThePsychoExWife.com. To me, the website is similar to Lovefraud—the main difference being that it is primarily about disordered women, rather than disordered men.

The email criticized Mister-M, the author of the website, for diagnosing his ex-wife as having borderline personality disorder, because he isn’t a qualified professional. Well, we do this on Lovefraud all the time. My ex-husband, to my knowledge, has never been professionally diagnosed. But I am quite comfortable with my conclusion that he is a sociopath. I am comfortable enough to write an entire book about it—Love Fraud: How marriage to a sociopath fulfilled my spiritual plan.

ThePsychoExWife.com advocates “low contact” with the disordered individuals. That’s “no contact” for people who have no choice but to interact because of children—essentially the same advice Lovefraud offers.

So why the visceral reaction to the article by many Lovefraud readers? Thinking about it, it seemed to me that some of you may have been triggered by the website. Readers commented that the name of the website itself was a red flag. I can understand that—you may have been accused of being the “psycho ex” by, of course, your “psycho ex.” You may have been subject to language similar to that used on the website. The articles are written with a sarcastic, “can-you-believe-she-pulled-this-crap?” tone. I have heard a similar tone in my ex-husband’s statements.

Thankfully, I’ve healed enough that I wasn’t triggered by the website. I will admit that I don’t know for sure who is right or wrong in Mister-M’s situation. But I interpreted the tone of his articles as utter frustration with a woman who he believes is not acting in the best interest of the children, and a court system that allows her to get away with it.

Underserved male audience

I do know that what he writes is perfectly plausible. We don’t get many men telling their stories publicly in the Lovefraud forum—probably because they don’t feel at home amid all the complaints and stories about disordered males. After all, the Lovefraud audience is 80 percent women who have tangled with exploitative men.

But I have communicated with many men privately. Through email and phone conversations, they’ve told me about the hell their ex-wives, the mothers of their children, put them through. They tell me of children neglected, emotionally abused, and yes, fed so much junk food that they are obese, and suffering ridicule in school because of it.

I’ve always felt that Lovefraud underserved the male victims of disordered women. So I was glad to see that there was a website for them. And, reading the letters and comments that ThePsychoExWife.com received from its readers, they appreciated, and learned from, the forum.

I frequently receive letters from people thanking Lovefraud for saving their lives. ThePsychoExWife.com receives those letters too.

Range of behaviors

Now, about the other concern raised in the letter at the beginning of this article: The author is absolutely correct. Sociopathy is continuum. Sociopaths—and people with borderline personality disorder—are not all the same. Some are definitely worse than others.

Lovefraud makes this point in several places. In fact, here’s what I write on the What’s a Sociopath? page of Lovefraud.com:

Sociopaths exhibit a range of behaviors. In fact, Dr. Hare diagnoses them according to their score on a scale. So just as you could describe someone’s intelligence as ranging from smart to genius, you could describe a sociopath as somewhere between sleazy and serial killer. If you see sleazy, he or she may be on the low end of the scale, but they’re still bad news.

Our other Lovefraud authors have also addressed this point in blog articles. In Experienced clinician says psychopathy is a spectrum, Dr. Liane Leedom wrote:

The idea that psychopathy is a spectrum and that “sociopaths/psychopaths” vary in severity means that there is no real point at which “normal” stops and “sociopath/psychopath” starts. Any decision about where to draw this line (after gathering information on a large group of people) is in a sense arbitrary.

The idea that “psychopathic disturbance” (as Dr. Meloy calls it) is a spectrum can be very confusing. Many people feel a sense of relief when they finally figure out that the person who has harmed them is “a sociopath.” By “sociopath” they mean categorically different from everyone else, a different type of human. Now I am saying there is really no category, just an extreme on a continuum.

Then, a few weeks ago, Steve Becker, LCSW, wrote an article that really gets to the heart of the problem, called, The special problem of the “sort of” sociopath. He wrote:

There are individuals with whom I work, not infrequently, whom I’d describe as, in some sense, “fall between the crack” personalities. These individuals have sociopathic tendencies. They are almost always chronically abusive one way or another.

Although they may not precisely meet every criterion of the textbook sociopath, still they exhibit, often (and historically) enough, the kinds of sociopathic abuses (and rationalizations of their abuses) that make them sociopathic enough to be avoided as assiduously as the full-blown sociopath.

Interestingly, these individuals can pose worse dangers than pure, unequivocal sociopaths for the very reason that it’s possible to find features of their personality that do not conform exactly to the textbook sociopath’s, leaving one dangerously more optimistic that her partner may be capable of the change and personal growth worth the wait, and suffering.

I’ve put that last paragraph in bold text, and I’ve never put an entire paragraph in bold text on the Lovefraud Blog.

Yes, our email writer is correct. Sociopathy is not a black-and-white issue; there are degrees of disorder. But it doesn’t matter. Partially disordered people are still damaging, and you do not want to have them in your life.

This is Lovefraud’s main message: Sociopaths exist, here’s what they look like, and they are bad for you.

The shades of gray may be important for researchers or therapists. But the objective for the rest of us is simply to keep these people out of our lives. We certainly want to avoid the seriously disordered. But the partially disordered still have the capacity to make us partially miserable. I’d rather not be miserable at all.



Comment on this article

51 Comments on "Disordered people exist, and we need to avoid them"

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Thank you for posting this letter, Donna. I had some of the same concerns as the writer of the letter you recieved, so thank you for responding.

I think what I identify with the most and what you mentioned as well, is the idea of the psycho ex. Yes, this did trigger me and brought back all kinds of defensive feelings on my part. I was and still am considered the psycho ex. The feelings of humilations and degredation to be referred to in this manner have been so hard for me to overcome. This was such an easy avenue to go down for my ex because he knew that everyone knew I had a dysfunctional family life. It was easy to pin that label on me. It was very believable for those who did not know me well. What this ultimately did, unfortuantely, was damage my reputation so severely that it is still difficult for me to go to my hometown with my head held high.

Most of the people from my hometown whom he was able to convince did not and/or do not know about his extremely dysfuntional upbringing. He has the outward appearance of a stellar citizen. His word, quite frankly, holds more weight than mine. I didn’t have a stong voice to defend myself and he played it for all it was worth.

I was left feeling defeated and foolish.

I do agree that men suffer from these damaging, disordered people as well. I just think in the case of the site, “The psycho ex-wife”, there is reason to question the authenticity of the author.

Trust is a funny thing. When you have expereinced what we have with disordered persons, we are automatically hypervigilant. And victims of these people who suffer from CPTSD can and do take on “crazy” traits as a defense against them. CPTSD can look very much like BDP, but it is important to note that it is most definitely not the same.

I took great comfort in this knowledge when I was first diagnosed with CPTSD. For all those years, I bought into the hype that I was the one who “wasn’t right” in the head. I was the one with the issues. What I was finally able to come away with was a true gift on the path to healing. CPTSD is not my fault. I do not have to feel deep shame for having it. And I most certainly don’t deserve and did not earn the title, “Psycho Ex”.

I cannot express enough my extreme gratitude for this site. It has helped me in numerous moments of self-doubt and sadness. I think that this is a site for human beings who are looking for outlets and reassurance in their healing process. It’s not a gender thing. I realize that what happened to me was perpetrated by another human being who happened to be a male.

I wish all who visit this site the healing they desire.

Namaste and Peace be with you.

I have to agree, Donna, the PsychoExWife site was an immediate trigger for me. Not only did I immediately feel that the author of the website fit the criteria of someone with a ASPD, I was in a relationship with a sociopath who did exactly the same thing to his ex-wife. I did not realize until after I became his victim that this was all part of the pity ploy as a person with ASPD. It was a webpage designed to make her look crazy and for him to look like the victim and he involved his children in the webpage as well.

It had nothing to do with the fact that it was a man using the “psycho ex-wife” term, it was the idea of “projection” that immediately came to my mind. Now I am the one who is being blamed and is the enemy, just as the ex-wife of my ex-sociopath has been for the last few years. I know better than to respond to his antics. I was lucky enough to figure it our early but still suffered PSTD. If I had endured 19 years of marriage and children with my ex, I would definitely not only be PSTD but sufficiently damaged for life and who knows how I would choose to try to defend myself.

I understand that you can see it from both sides, but I am glad to know that I was not the only one who saw the immediate red flags when “the psycho ex wife” website was discussed on Love Fraud. I agree with sisterhood and do not in any way think that it makes a difference whether it was a male or female who was the pyscho. The delivery disturbs me deeply.

Thank you for this site.

Donna, Great article.

While I agree with the letter writer that LM’s way of dis-ing his ex wife as the PEW in this vituperative manner is not a positive thing for his children, (she is, after all, the mother of his children) I do understand the frustration that people who must Co-parent with someone who is personality disordered (whether or not they are BPD, NPD, PPD or whatever label you want to use). I think his site over all (and I have been back to the cloud and read some of his posts) leaves me some doubt whether BOTH he and his ex wife may not be personality disordered.

As Liane Leedom and I have discussed, many times BOTH people in this kind of dysfunctional relationship has high levels of personality disorders. I have observed it myself in several relationships where the kids were fought over by both parents like a bone between two dogs…each parent accusing the other of being “crazy” or “mean.”

I have no doubt that the “PEW” has not been “mother of the year,” but at the same time, it seems to me that the rancor and pure rage shown by the father doesn’t make him “father of the year” either.

The “tit for tat” attitude displayed by them both seems to be counterproductive for good parenting and I cannot see any benefit to the children from this behavior.

One of the things brought to my attention recently from the book that I reviewed here on LoveFraud “The Science of Evil, on Empathy and the Origin of Cruelty” by Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen is that empathy (which is necessary for a normal human being, and also necessary to form a conscience) is not an either-or concept of you either have it, or you have none, is not the actual fact, and that in fact, research done by Dr. Baron-Cohen and his group of researchers, shows that empathy or lack of it, falls like most things, on a Bell Curve of from “almost zero” to “very very high” but that those people who have what he terms “Zero EMPATHY” can still fall into more categories which he calls Zero Positive, and Zero Negtative. The people with zero negative are those we call “psychopaths or sociopaths” and those people because of their FUNCTIONAL lack of empathy do seem to view others as objects to be manipulated, or even tortured, resulting in “evil” behavior. Again, autistic people may have almost zero empathy but not seemingly enjoy hurting others. While most of us will fall in the middle of the Bell Curve of empathy, some having more some less, but still within the “average” range, even we can turn that empathy on and off at times.

For example, if you walk by a homeless man, you may notice him, but you are in a hurry to get to work so you turn off your empathy in observing this man lying there, obviously cold, hungry, etc. and walk on by without giving it another thought. Yet, that doesn’t mean you have turned off your basic capacity for empathy, it simply means you are selective in your actions motivated by your empathy. Actually, sometimes in order to be effective in our lives, we must control our empathy to what we can actually handle.

Research has shown that we humans (most of us anyway) get a shot of “feel good hormones” when we do something good for another person in response to our empathetic urges. Yet if we were 100% “empathetic” all the time, we would never accomplish anything for ourselves, not even to eat. So while empathy is noble and good, there must be some “brakes” on it as well.

This morning I had to put the “brakes” on my empathy and sympathy and desire to “help” an elderly man who lives down the road from me. He is only “half a bubble off of plumb” so he isn’t to the point he can be declared “incompetent” yet he is being abused by a woman he picked up off the street, who shows up at his house the first of the month like clock work when he gets his “check” and disappears in about two weeks when the money is gone, leaving him alone, lonely, and without food, transportation or utilities or phone.

I knew this man when he was a kind and smart neighbor who would help others out, and I know this woman, a drug addict and alcoholic is playing him for what little he has left, but can’t convince him of this.

I start checking on him about the middle of the month when I know she will be gone, and found him very unwell yesterday, and got him to promise to go to the doctor today and offered to drive him. I no longer give him gas or gas money for his vehicle which is out of gas, but I will offer to drive him if he needs to go somewhere like a doctor’s appointment.

This morning when my son went to get him and bring him to my house so I could take him to the doctor’s appointment this afternoon, he made up excuses why he wouldn’t/couldn’t go (several of which my son saw were lies, like he had no phone minutes, but he got a call while my son was there).

I empathize with his daughter who is distraught at the condition of her father, and worried about his physical health….he has obviously lost 50-75 pounds in the last couple of months, and has open sores on his legs that are getting worse, and he will not allow her to help him. I empathize with him, because I know he is very very lonely since his wife died, but at the same time, I have to control that empathy in a situation where there is nothing I can accomplish because of the situation.

He keeps telling me how he is “helping” this woman, and how he has gotten her to ONLY drinking a fifth of booze a day, and he can’t quit “helping” her because she needs him. He also was sending money to Nigeria to get the big check that was waiting for him there…..and wouldn’t listen to his family or friends, or even the sheriff that it was a scam. We were all just conspiring to keep him from “getting rich.”

Research has shown that with the elderly the FIRST sign of dementia and senility is the inability to “get” sarcasm or to distinguish a “lie” that most people would “get”—-which is why the elderly are frequently scammed by cons.

I’m not sure that my neighbor wouldn’t have been scammed by this woman even if he wasn’t going slightly senile, because she is offering him something that he desperately needs, and that is companionship and attention and a feeling that he is “helping” someone.

My egg donor is in the same shape, only difference is that she is being scammed by her grandson and my neighbor is being scammed by a Nigerian con man and a down and out alcoholic and drug addict he met in a parking lot.

I was also scammed and hoodwinked by psychopaths and cons, and most of us here were too….and while I am very empathetic to my neighbor and his self made situation, I do understand why he is conned. I also just know that I can’t help him if he won’t allow it, and so at this point, I have to contain my own empathetic desire to help him. I can only do what I can do. In the end, each of us must make our own decisions on how we will expend our efforts to help others, as well as warn them. Sometimes, we just have to realize that we aren’t able to “save” anyone against their will.

I know that the PD’s are a sliding scale, BUT, anyone who is driven by envy and has shallow or no values, is dangerous.

The only difference is how big are their balls? My spath had, metaphorically, large ones. He is convinced he can get away with anything so he’ll do anything. His love of scheming and plotting just gives him more patience.

I think just because someone lays around and does nothing all day, or is addicted to alcohol and gets drunk all day, doesn’t make them less of a spath. It only makes them less likely to employ their spathness in the pursuit of destruction of others.

If my spath were to walk up to them and entice them to murder and do all the planning for them, assuring them that they wouldn’t get caught, then they would do it. No reason not to. No empathy, no conscience.

My spath brother who lives in my parents’ basement and watches tv or porn or plays online poker all day, is no less a spath than my murdering exspath.

He used to burglarize homes when he was 16. He told me that he once entered a home and saw 2 old people sleeping and considered killing them. Just to kill them. But he says he’s glad he didn’t. The reason he’s glad is because he got caught later, burglarizing another building and his prints matched the ones he left in all the other homes. If he had killed them, he’d have gotten the death penalty. That’s the only reason, I’m sure, that he’s glad.

Sorry, but I have to disagree on this one. IMO, deep down, where it counts, they are all exactly the same. That’s why the red flags work – because they are the same.

Toxic is as Toxic does….that’s all I need to know.

Amen Skylar. And I don’t even go to church.

I had another exchange with my spath today (don’t worry, I have already been boinked by Oxy and coached by Skylar, thank you both I love you both) and I just have to say,

I remember two years ago bawling every night, in a fit of depression, because my boyfriend didn’t love me back

and now I’m like, holy SHIAT, he is one f’ed up SPATH.

I thought it was ME.

Ha!

Please forgive me, but I found neither the name of the site, nor the language used therein, to be, one iota, as triggering as Mr M’s obvious disorder, (narcissistic, controlling, vengeful and that’s his PUBLIC persona. ~shudder~),

Yes it’s an “Arm-Chair” diagnosis, I have no problem calling rose a rose, even though I am not a Botanist…I am, frankly puzzled by the endorsement… Does a site orientated to serve a majority male audience, necessarily need, to be hostile toward women in general?

I know LF has a majority female membership, but I still do not pick up any hostility toward ANY respondent here… I see no gender bashing, at all here.

If TPEW was as intelligent, informative and, (despite the gravity of the topics), with at least a NOD toward healing, as LF is, I wouldn’t care if it was called “Pass The Prozac, All Women Are Psycho’s”. I’d pick up the on the good will anyway, if there WAS SOME. 😉

Yup they advocate Low Contact, But Mr M can seldom resist pontificating in his communications with Uhhhh…his ex.

Since he has,(seemingly) tirelessly, posted their every communication, phone, email and text, frankly I see more troubling red flags from him. (He even disparages his kids, but of course that’s PEW’s fault, that the kid’s are messed up…what’s a guy to do? ) I mean he moved 500 miles away from them, and PEW doesn’t even have the decency to drive them half-way for visits! What a [email protected]!)

If reading their endless bs wasn’t depressing enough for ya, you can go to the “Fantasy Emails”, section and read IMAGINARY emails his ex might write, and his imaginary reply’s, about how pew should kill herself, (and informative, spiritual, cool stuff like that).

Yup… Good Times! lol!

There is more quality education, and fellowship to be had.
Fortunately I CAN go, “No Contact”, with this guy. 🙂

Safe,
I agree with your assessment.
The thing that makes LF so different from any other site is the emphasis on healing. That means we need to take responsibility for ourselves and our behavior. Our mantra of NC and gray rock is a peaceful solution to the problem of spaths. We don’t attack, we deflect. Our solution is not harmful to anyone who is not disordered, but it IS extremely painful to those who are addicted to drama.

In the case of Mr. M, he seems ABSOLUTELY addicted to drama. That’s the red flag. correction: red BANNER.

((Skylar)), Thanks.

Been reading about you 🙂 Jeeze! You are amazing! Can’t even imagine what the heck I’d do if ex Nspath hobnobbed with COPS!! I find the idea just a little… TERRIFYING!

You’re story was beyond what even I could imagine. (And that’s saying something). But as the saying goes, The Truth Has A Sound Like The Ring Of A Bell”…

And YES! I love the TOWANDA here! LOL! Good humor, hope and LOVE (The real deal, not love’s understudy, or a case of identity theft lol!).

Speaking of “deflecting”.. I used to study Ki-Aikido, (The Art Of Peace), which teaches “Flow” as opposed to “Force”… One principle the masters teach: “To injure one’s opponent, was to ultimately injure one’s self”.

Negative emotions have their role in our lives, but frankly, they should have as short a life-span as necessary. mho.

Safe,
Ki-Aikido, I like that. I need to learn more about it.

Yeah, my story was beyond what I could imagine too, that’s why I didn’t figure it out for 25 freaking years! But my spath pretended to hate cops. Well, he didn’t have to pretend because he hates everyone, but I didn’t KNOW that he was spending all his time at the cop shop. He told me he was afraid of cops because he’s a drug dealer and he didn’t want to get caught so he pretends to keep a low profile. But it’s just the opposite. He audaciously move right into the spot light and makes friends with the enemy. That is his MO. That way if he ever does get caught, he will have them all bending over backwards to protect him, probably because he’s got dirt on all of them.

Now I realize that all spaths do stuff like that. they all are obsessed with ingratiating themselves with authorities. Reminds me of Eddie Haskell on Leave it to Beaver.

Skylar,

Now I realize that all spaths do stuff like that. they all are obsessed with ingratiating themselves with authorities. Reminds me of Eddie Haskell on Leave it to Beaver.

LOLOL…God know’s they would never admit it!!

Some (like mine) hate the police…do you know about the “code of silence” that is here in Boston??? Yes, many people participate in it…including spath… They would NEVAH call the cops..no way, no how…

The good news is that I would!! Watch the the cold hearted spath squirm..how lovely….It’s very therapuetic..lol

one/joy_step_at_a_time

I did aikido years ago. very beautiful.

my instructor died.

One Joy,
I’m so sorry about your instructor, that’s so sad.
Ana,
yeah, you’re so lucky to have gotten a dumb spath with a record. My dumb spath is smart enough to keep his record clean AFAIK. But his financial records are not so squeeky clean.
Safe,
thanks for the document. I’ll check it out.
It seems that most of the time, when we fail or when things are hard, it’s because we are trying too hard to force things. Sometimes, you have to take a different perspective and what you wanted just sort of happens on it’s own.

It’s like finding out about the spath. For 25 years, I couldn’t make anything work right because he was sabotaging my entire life. But once I left it in God’s hands and stopped trying to save the stupid spath, all the spath’s lies came undone and I was free of it.

One/Joy,
I too am sorry for the loss your instructor. He left behind a student with a grateful heart, and so we all benefit from him.

Sky,

“It seems that most of the time, when we fail or when things are hard, it’s because we are trying too hard to force things. Sometimes, you have to take a different perspective and what you wanted just sort of happens on it’s own.”

Yes, left to my own devices, I would unknowingly cheat myself, out of any possible good fortune life hold’s for me! LOL! I was such an easy mark for a spath…:(

one/joy_step_at_a_time

safeguard *she* left behind a student….she died in childbirth. so odd in that day and age (this was 25 years ago)

One/Joy,
Sorry, Mine was a “he”. 🙂 How old was she when she died, (if you don’t mind my asking?).

one/joy_step_at_a_time

safeguard – in her late 30’s. she had such grace. I was a kid who was totally afraid to do summersaults, so as an adult to be able to tumble in aikido was amazing.

Wow. that’s so young!,Did her infant survive? I have four son’s who are men now. My six yr.old daughter, I had at 42, and I was surprised at the negativity of those who predicted a dire outcome for us both. I felt great. Never had a doubt we would both be fine, and we are. Thank God. But really, I guess you just never know.

Dear Skylar,
I’ve been meaning to ask you: what the heck dose AFAIK mean? I’ve seen you write it so many times…sorry I did not ask sooner…

Well, what I object to with the “Psychoexwife site” is that it names a SPECIFIC person, rather than a “generic X,” as is always the case on LF. In a situation like Donna’s or Oxy’s where names have been given, I think this is OK, as both of these instances involve serious criminal activity. (In other words, after a certain point “all bets are off.”) However, with this site, this guy is publicly demeaning a woman based on personality traits alone — and the fact that she gives the kids too much junk food!

(For the record, I completely agree with Safeguard: this fellow sounds AT LEAST as unpleasant as he makes his ex out to be. — Not that I’d want to spend much time with either of them!)

So there’s a big difference. Furthermore, the “Psychoexwife” site seems to me (after an admittedly cursory glance) to be nothing but the worst kind of “bottom-feeding,” mixed with appeals to the lowest instincts of everyone involved. At any rate, it’s very hard to imagine how anything constructive could come from this sort of shameless exhibitionism.

I can understand the temptation to behave in this way. However, as a child of divorced parents, I know quite well that there are often “two sides” to these stories. And in any case, this all-too-public forum is not the way that mature adults settle such things — especially when kids are involved.

PS I should add that I’m not sure whether he literally named her or not. But the fact that she’s now a public figure means that it amounts to the same thing.

I am SO grateful to those who are calling Mr.M out. With all due respect, I felt the Original Post implied that those of us, who clearly saw Mr M’s pathology, and how horrific TPEW site was, were somehow…unwell… and not accessing clearly due to “triggers”.

(OP:”Thankfully, I’ve healed enough that I wasn’t triggered by the website”).

Again I beg to disagree…

Some points I call into question regarding the OP:

“To me, the website is similar to Lovefraud—the main difference being that it is primarily about disordered women, rather than disordered men.”

The two sites couldn’t be more different. I would never want someone to claim that I was “like” that. ~Shudder~

“ThePsychoExWife.com advocates “low contact” with the disordered individuals. That’s “no contact” for people who have no choice but to interact because of children—essentially the same advice Lovefraud offers.”

At LF the sanest advice is not just, No/Low Contact. Here we learn NOT to focus on the spath 24/7, relive every ugly, minute interaction, rail and rant, and spend every day, totally focused on our ex. On ONE disordered individual. Ala Mr. M. He simply CANNOT let go of the need to PUNISH his EX! He is RELISHING in this latest turn of events. Where is his EMPATHY for his CHILDREN now that this is public? Nope it’s all still all about him and how HIS rights were violated!!! He’s gonna stand up for the masses and his kid’s will just have to be collateral losses… Parent of the year INDEED! 🙁

“I’ve always felt that Lovefraud underserved the male victims of disordered ”

ThePEXWIFE is NOT a blog for male victims. Of this I am certain.

S

I would also add that this whole thing represents yet another erosion in our cultural life between the “public” and the “private” — a distinction once pointed to by that now quaintly obsolescent standard — “good taste.”

Hello, Everyone,

I am very pleased to be the author of the comments that spurred this discussion.

I absolutely was triggered by the title and creepiness of the PyschoExWife site and I am glad to know I was not the only one. Someone commented that it is often both people that have personality disorders and I couldn’t agree more and, as someone who survived a violent path, I have to admit to my own issues that led me to engage with that person (of course, not knowing he was a violent criminal). I think it does a disservice to all people healing from paths if we avoid discussing why we were hooked because in my view it does not make us culpable for being victimized, it just helps us to see where we need to strengthen and grow ourselves.

Besides the PEW site, I have been concerned for as long as I have been studying sociopathy that some people could be being misled by the black or white, you’re either are a 100% path or not, with a conscious or without. I absolutely agree with Donna that regardless of the degree of sociopathy, paths in any configuration are to be avoided at all costs, but that is my point- just because your path isn’t 100% a path, doesn’t mean s/he is not dangerous psychologically, physically, financially, etc. Paths are notorious for playing their victims and everyone around them. It’s too easy for some people to dismiss path behaviors (if they even know about them) when that same path washes the car or takes the cat to the vet on ocassion. When we as a community of peer educators do not give people the range of behaviors to look for, including the exceptions, we lead people astray. As we all know, the bag of tricks of the paths is quite large and being the one who helps out in a pinch is often their first and best trick. My so and so can’t be a path because they did blah blah really great thing last week. Neighbor so and so couldn’t have abused you and/or be a path because they’re just too great of a guy!

“Even more amazing is the fact that when psychopaths do get exposed by someone who is not afraid to admit that they have been conned, the psychopath is a master at painting their victims as the “real culprits.” Hare cites a case of the third wife of a forty year old high school teacher:
For five years he cheated on me, kept me living in fear, and forged checks on my personal bank account. But everyone, including my doctor and lawyer and my friends, blamed me for the problem. He had them so convinced that he was a great guy and that I was going mad, I began to believe it myself. Even when he cleaned out my bank account and ran off with a seventeen-year-old student, a lot of people couldn’t believe it, and some wanted to know what I had done to make him act so strangely!”

Again, my thanks and gratitude to Donna for this amazing site and I agree with the majority of the comments about how this site is vastly different from the PEW site. This site does not focus on revenge. It focuses on education and healing. Also, as another poster stated, in Donna’s situation there were criminal charges, which does make the matter of public record. And lastly, although, there are women paths, the majority of paths are men and the vast majority of violence on the planet is committed by men. I certainly understand the desire to be inclusive but PsychoExWife is intentionally playing up stereotypically, culturally accepted negativity about women and should not be included here.

aintgonnatakeitnomore

“Now I realize that all spaths do stuff like that. they all are obsessed with ingratiating themselves with authorities.”
WOW skylar
exactly describes my (once-criminally active) ex! no matter where we lived he became first name basis with the cops quickly. bragged about being their friend. of course he wanted everyone to like him as he hates himself (i really do believe this, but i wud hate myself too if i were him) and craves RESPECT more than sex even. i have a friend with a bf of 2yrs who also is on first name basis with cops. she tries to tell him NORMAL ppl dont know all the freakin cops in the region and its NOT something to be proud of…
this site is sooo needed to be able to pick up on stuff no one else believes and is SO typical of spaths. we feel so alone in a normal world where ppl dont “get” our experience. they just have no idea wat a hell it is.

whybother:

Bravo!

I, too, was “triggered” by the psycho ex-wife site, and though I have worked hard on my own healing, I couldn’t help but shudder over that site. My ex’s first wife was referred to as
“PBH” (psycho bitch from hell) by my ex…. he even called her that in front of their son. He accused her of everything and degraded her constantly. I felt sorry for him because of all she had done. As time went on, I wanted a relationship that wasn’t centered on his hatred and anger of PBH, but one where we discussed something (anything!) other than what she was doing and why she was doing it (always to antagonize him, according to him).

I got out of the relationship, but prior to getting out, I gave birth to a beautiful little girl. Gaining custody of my child has become the central focus of my ex, and I am now the psycho ex. He has degraded me publicly, in court documents, and in court he lies and makes accusations that never are proven (all so general, I can never prove them to be false). Every person he comes in contact with is bombarded with his “proof” of what a horrible person I am and how psycho I am.

I have done everything in my power to disengage, and we now have no contact, but that hasn’t lessened his anger and obsession, if anything, it has gotten worse. We had another hearing last week, and despite the fact that he only sees our daughter 15% (he was ordered to have 20%, but he cancels at least one 32-hour visit a month). His motion was to have one of her parents “deleted” from her life because he hates me so much. The judge actually bought into this and has ordered the court clinic to determine which parent be removed from the childs life. As if that isn’t going to damage my daughter enough, he also wants all family members of the removed parent also eliminated from her life.

Oh, but don’t worry, according to him, I’m so crazy and worthless, my daughter will be just fine never knowing or seeing her sisters or grandmother again. He and his new “loving” fiance will take care of her. Of course, his loving fiance lives out of state and has no idea how he will control her thinking and all aspects of her life once she lives with him full-time, but all of us here on LF know that it won’t be long before she is discarded and his hatred of me will transfer to her and she will then take over the role of “psycho ex” that is ruining his life.

But for now, it is me. Everything that isn’t perfect in his life is somehow my fault. I live in fear of being accused of something I won’t be able to prove I didn’t do (does anyone else stop at drivethru’s just to get a time-stamped receipt to prove where they were??)…. I have two years of these, just in case…. so after all his antics, maybe I am a bit psycho, but have I done anything to deserve the public shaming and possible loss of my child? Absolutely NOT!

I’m surviving and still refuse to join in the game. I tell the truth about the situation and hope that one day the truth will prevail… I just hope that my daughter doesn’t pay the price for me choosing to take the high road!!

I try to be really fair, and I naturally see both sides of things. (Sometimes not a good idea when you do something like that and you are dealing with a disordered person. I am working on that, though.)
So, I went to the psychoexw after reading the article here a few days ago. I went there thinking about what a poor guy this was, and how awful his ex must be. Most of my serious problems come from female Spaths in my family. So, I was a little skewed onto his side before I went to the site. The name of it didn’t bother me much, either.
It didn’t take long before the red flags were blaring in my face. The whole thing started to make me a little sick as I read. (No, not my pregnancy hormornes as I am past that 😉 lol.)
I think unless you have seen something like this play out irl (not online), or been either in the middle, or on one of the receiving ends of it, it might be very difficult to understand. I have been in the middle of something like this (too old for the internet to have been in the middle), and I have seen other ppl pull crap like the psychoex site in other ways.
I do not think I am able to actually believe what this man and his new wife are saying at all. There are way too many little and big things on their site that I have seen and heard from a spath mission to destroy that make the whole site look UGH! You would not believe the lies I have heard about victims and been on the receiving end of (by the same spaths).
I guess I need to share a couple of stories about my spaths, and new understandings of how things really are. I was confused before, but with all the new information and events that have been happening, I finally get it. Big kuddos to LF! LF has helped me to truly understand and open my eyes to a lot of things in my life. This is a very supportive forum for both women and men alike that are in many different situation with both male and female abusers. It is my lifesaver (and not the jelly ones). The psychoex is not anything like LF!

Hey,
Do we not have any lawyers on here or anyone with lawyer connections that may be able to help Irishsuds out with this? It would be so wrong for her to lose her baby! I have watched the courts, countless times, give the children to worst parents, yet not allow the loving good parents to be in the child’s life. It makes me sick!
Irish, if I were a lawyer I would so help you! I am so sorry you and your baby have to go through this! HUGS!!!!!

Dear Irishsuds,

Welcome to LF and I hope that you can stay strong for your daughter’s sake and that the courts do ultimately see the truth. God bless. Keep on reading and learning, knowledge is power!

Jen, I agree with your assessment of the PEW site….I’m not really sure who is disordered in this couple, but At worst it is BOTH of them and the kids are the pawns.

Thanks for the moral support. Unfortunately, knowledge is empowering, but it isn’t power. To know the truth but not be able to prove it is very defeating.

What many people don’t understand is that my ex is telling the truth when he testifies…. he really believes all the things he says…. so it is HIS truth, it just isn’t the REAL TRUTH. He is very believable because he really believes the things he says. He is so believable, that even though he is talking about me and I know what is real, I question myself and wonder if what I said or did could have been perceived the way he portrays it… I wonder if he misinterpreted my words…. I wonder…..WAIT…. I know what I said or did–his version is warped….. I KNOW THIS….. yet his lies always are built around a small grain of truth, so it’s difficult.

I have read LF for several years; this has been a great source of comfort and understanding for me and my mom…. but really, more needs to be DONE. We can share and heal ourselves, but at some point, something must be done. I don’t know about anyone else’s situation, but these people are so clever, so good at the game, the innocent victim is left without resources or even the ability to get help.

It’s not about getting even, it’s about having decisions based on the truth, the real truth, not a sociopath’s version of the truth. For five years I have been the victim of his distortions; I’m financially ruined; my mother got a reverse mortgage on her paid for house to help pay my custody lawyer (which means my siblings inheritance is forfeited); my children have sacrificed…. all because this person is unable to let go and get on with his life…. it is very sad and must be stopped!

Dear Irishsuds,

I totally agree with you! I wish I could tell you that “the truth will always win” but you know and I know, that is not the truth, sometimes falsehood does win.

I am so glad though that you do have a mother who is not only able but willing to put herself on the line for you….sorry that she has to do so though, because it is soooo unnecessary. The suffering that the psychopaths cause can be and is devastating.

The only thing of any potential comfort that I can say is that I have had to learn to VALIDATE myself and realize that yes, he does believe the lies, and some other people believe those lies, but I KNOW THE FACTS. “Truth” is not necessarily the facts….

I wish you well and you are in my prayers. (((hugs)))

IRISH SUDS

Here is an article about in-justice that might be helpful to you, or maybe not, but I think it will help some people who are victimized by abusers.

http://www.timesupblog.blogspot.com/2011/08/injustice-system.html

IrishSuds,

I hear you! My ex-spath believes his lies, coming across to me as mentally unstable. All of the spath’s current problems could have been prevented had he used Common Sense. He lacks the know-how of how to maneuver in life. I don’t know if he was always so st_pid or if he covered it up fairly well for a long time. He is getting worst over time. Mentally, I still get drained by his antics because his actions affect all of us, especially his children.

Hi Irish, Welcome.

“To know the truth but not be able to prove it is very defeating.”

Aint that the truth. meh. Fortunately in my case, the spath also likes to tell elaborate lies, that he KNOWS are lies.
And he is TERRIBLE at it! LOL!

In court, his lawyer attested to the “fact” that spath was, “Best Friends”, with my eldest son, (from my previous marriage), and that he often visited my daughter, in my son’s home, and bathed and cared for her there.

At no time had spath ever “cared” for our daughter, and my son despises him. Spath is well aware of those facts.

My son was serving in Iraq at the time of this particular hearing,( spath knew that and so thought his story could not be disproved. DUH!). My son sent an affidavit attesting to the truth, and the fact that he witnessed spath’s violent, disturbed behavior, and was in support my opinion that my daughter should be afforded every protection at the courts disposal.

Of course, spath’s lies where ignored, not a mention was made. (except by me, as when I stood to represent myself, my first words were,”Well, so much for “To Tell The Truth, So Help Me God”!).

Long story short(er), Spath eventually, got four hours, every Sat. Unsupervised. He has/is always threatening to take my daughter from me. I used to be much more anxiety ridden, than I am now, (I am still horribly anxious at times, but I am improving.).

A friend pointed out that what he really wanted was for me to FEAR him. Not custody of my daughter. He was granted a make-up visit once, (due to an error, he missed out on the first visit). He began badgering me to let him combine two visits into an eight hour visit. I was a wreck trying to figure out if he was legally entitled to that or not. Then my friend said calmly:

“Give it to him. Just let him have her for eight hours strait. Come hang by the pool with me and relax, he doesn’t want to take care of a kid, he just wants to stress you out about her. ”

That was SO true! That Sat, I told him, I though it would be ok to combine the visits, ( he was coming to my city, so she would be near me). Within an hour, he called to, “invite” me to have lunch with them. LOL!

Let’s see, I could spend the day with spath, helping him with child care…OR…Lounging by the pool relaxing with friends…LOL! I declined lunch. but told him, I’d catch up with them later that evening.

I did that, because I knew my girl would be exhausted, and I wanted to go help her out. Get her home and to bed.

After that spath “missed” the next THREE visits in a row.

So I know he doesn’t really want full custody. I only fear that he will meet a disturbed women who does. ( like the one that paid for his lawyer initially.). He used to speak often of “replacing me with a better mother”. ( As IF! 🙂 )

It doesn’t sound like your spath wants full time parenting responsibilities either, you mention he does not use all of his parenting time…

I used to become (literally), sick when I had to go to court with spath. ( I had over TWO YEARS NC. before he had me served Never had to see him once in all that time. My God I miss THAT!).

I read something here the other day, that Sam Vakin, a self-declared Narc, said all you have to do is continually harass and terrorize your target, and the victims own stress response does them in.

I have become determined that, whenever I can, I will calm and reassure myself, rather than “Do myself in” FOR him.

It So hard when the courts don’t recognize whats going on. They gave my spath the right to know my address, and anywhere my daughter and I might be, (Dr’s Dentist, Schools and activities), I am stuck, (for now), with his intrusive harmful, and potentially lethal influence in my life. And even though LOTS of people KNOW it. It hasn’t made much difference legally. 🙁

Anna, Skylar speak AFAIK = as far as I know.

Ana and SK,
thanks SK for answering Ana, I had seen her question and then I lost the thread.

For some reason, I can’t seem to keep up with the thread today.

Yes, Ana, it means As Far As I Know.

gotto go and get stuff done.

Thanks SK & Skylar!
LOL I never would of guessed that one 🙂

I just watched a video today by Susan Milano-Murphy who is a DV expert as well as a survivor of homicide. it is at

http://www.timesupblog.blogspot.com/2011/08/injustice-system.html

and it talks about how Drew Petersen’s trial judge just ruled that much if not all of the real testimony about his deeds were “hearsay” and a lot was ruled inadmissible…and she recommended making a video tape of what has gone on so that EVIDENCE is left in case he does something to you or to your child. It is a very good idea.

My sons and I did that before my P-son’s last parole hearing just in case he got one or more of us bumped off before his hearing. We wanted to have our peace said, even after our deaths.

DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT!!!! Keep records, and copies of records, in a safe deposit box, as well as with a friend. Keep a journal of his visits, dates, times and places when he shows or doesn’t show. Keep all e mails, voice mails etc. as well.

BUILD your case against his “loving father” routine! He will do himself in eventually. God bless.

I totally agree with this

Ox,
I never thought of making a video! I don’t know why… I have cell/email, evidence, plus I keep a journal/log, and all the documents, (no small accumulation, at this point!). I have been looking at getting a Digital Voice Recorder…Love The video idea. Thanks! I’ll have to go read that article.

I know all of us here come from various walks of life and some from around the world and religion has been an issue here before so before I type my next sentence I just want to say that it’s not meant to offend…and for those who are uninterested please simply disregard. For readers here who are Christian and would like time understand sociopathy from a Biblical stand pking and deal please research Jezebel. The spirit of Jezebel is very similar to the traits our damned spaths possess. If you’re like me, you are still searching for answered and understanding. Know that everything in this life has already been written and hopefully you will find solace believing that human evil/he’ll on earth does exist and can also be avoided and cast away with God’s word and prayer. Happy Tuesday everyone! FW

Yes, Oxy I think it’s good advice.

My spath said to me this week
“somebody has to die”
“I am evil”
I’m re-committing to NC.

My therapist encouraged me to delete all his emails – I did delete hundreds – but I am glad i haven’t deleted all. It’s a good paper trail.

SK,
I just happened to have found a really excellent MP3 player/recorder on sale. It’s the kind that can be used to record lectures or meetings. It was very small.

To record phone conversations, I just held it up to the reciever. When talking at home, I held put it in my pocket, though that didn’t work as well because the rustling of clothes drowned out some of my spath’s whispers. Yes, he would whisper, saying he believed that the house was bugged by homeland security. We would have to go outside to talk!!

Yep, he’s a nut. No, he didn’t believe it, he just thought he could convince me and I of course, always played along.

Skylar,

Please find out if taping a conversation in your state is legal. In some states it is not legal unless BOTH parties know about it. In my state it is legal if ONLY ONE person knows. You could get yourself in trouble if you do something that is illegal.

Commit to NC though is my STRONG suggestion. VERY STRONG suggestion (or I’ll BOINK YOU!!!! LOL 🙂 )

Oxy,
you know what?
I’ve got that covered. He knew he was being recorded and he admitted it on a recording.

hahahahahahhahaha!!

what a fucking idiot.
My God, spaths are beyond stupid. ROTFLMAO.

I addressed that post above to you skylar, but I meant to address it to SK, I KNOW you will stay with NC, and I know that SK will too, cause she’s afraid of me!!! LOL ROTFLMAO

I read an interesting comment today about Charles Harrelson, Woody’s father, look him up on Wiki, and then go to the article about his 6 page letter describing his life in solitary and then read the letter itself. INTERESTING. So happens I’m reading a book right now about a crime family in San Antonio, TX and it is also about Charles and the murder he committed as they were connected too the Judge he supposedly killed (not really sure if he was guilty or not) but anyway…interesting letter.

Harrellson was definitely a psychopath…he was quoted as saying that killing someone was like “shooting a watermelon with hair” —Woody did an interview about his father that was also very interesting I heard it long ago and he described “the look.” THE LOOK. He said that was how he played the part in the movie with “that look” in his eye. The photo of Charles when he was young looks just like WOODY though. ALMOST Exactly. Spooky.

Well, I’m headed to bed to read more about Charles before I go to sleep. G’nite.

Thank you, Donna, for this forum to express the side of “the story” that never seems to be heard. Everyone around me seems so willing to simply take “her word” and never even asks ME for my side of it. I fully agree that there is never a “cookie-cutter” approach to any complex subject, and this one is certainly no exception. While I am convinced that I had a relationship to a “sociopath”, it is only the opinion of one man untrained in the proper diagnosis of this conclusion. I am, however, VERY thankful that someone cared enough to make this forum available for the enlightenment of those of us who very well “may have” had an ugly brush with someone whose worldview didn’t include a consciense of any kind…who coldly plotted to make us look like WE were losing OUR mind while they practised character assassination with those around us. I agree that every one is an individual, and everyone has a different level of immersion in the very warped world we call “sociopath”…and each is different in the level of sociopathic tendencies they display. What I appreciate the very most is that I have a community of people who have also been exposed to this unbelieveable depravity, and can therefore relate to what I have been through. Thank you for sharing, everyone. I know (personally) how hard it is to admit to being “taken” by such a monster, but monsters DO exist and monsters CAN be defeated. I am so glad to have found this forum where I KNOW I’ll be understood….really understood. God Bless you all!

Dear Better and Better,

Welcome! Glad you found your way here, sorry you had a need to. Keep on reading and learning. Again,, welcome.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

Better and Better – there is a whole section (if you look on the left of the blog) about female spaths. some of those articles might be interesting for you to read.

I think the topic here is questioning if we are sure we are dealing with sociopaths.

I just got done cleaning out my yahoo mail. I had about 3789 emails cause I hate cleaning out closets.

It was so much to delete that I sped it up by Selecting All and then clicking on Delete. Don’t look at what is being delete just keep moving.

I couldn’t help but notice old emails from Jim. I stopped the delete and began to save his emails to my Jim file.

I read though some of his emails. That guy is so impossible. No one can get along with him.

How can that not be a sociopath?’ Ok, I know I am not a professional.

But, this guy is so over the top with being slippery, snaky, mean, lying, conniving, manipulative, low-down, low-life, scum-bag. But, since I am not a professional he probably isn’t a sociopath. He was probably having a bad day. We all have bad days.

I tossed the pee bottles from his living room and bedroom before his niece arrived to stay. Plus I shoveled the garbage off his floors. I spent the day running his dishwasher. I fogged the windows cause there were that many loads! I cleaned up the cat feces out of his bathroom, plus he had piles of newspapers on floor of bathroom. I cleaned the piles of cigarette butts out of his bathrooms and off his computer desk. Plus he filled all his dirty dishes and dirty glasses with butts. And then more pee bottles. He wasn’t even trying to get to the bathroom. Cause he sure was able bodied when he ran to the door to prevent me from leaving.

He recently told the neighbors that he keeps his house immaculate. My neighbor lady told me this a few weeks ago. I thought now is the time to share it.

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