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By January 22, 2014 38 Comments Read More →

Divorcing A Sociopath: Getting Away, Staying Away

quinn pierce blog by Quinn Pierce

At the heart of every sociopath is insecurity.  These individuals crave adoration, praise, and power above all other emotional needs.  Decisions are not based on weighing pros and cons, an internal moral compass, or even  possible consequences.

Instead, a sociopath will usually make decisions for one of three reasons: putting themselves in a favorable light to be admired by others, hurting someone who is no longer an ally, or personal gain.  Of course, their most coveted decisions are those that result in a combination of two or more of these outcomes.

Hiding the Truth

During my marriage, I enabled this process by making excuses for my husband,  or pretending he was a better person than he was when talking to family and friends.  Maybe it was my own ego not wanting to admit my life was crumbling on a faulty foundation, or maybe it was an attempt to preserve my family, but my behavior only made my separation more difficult when I tried to reach out for support.  I was not nearly as good at PR work as my husband at the time.

The Smear Campaign

I have to admit, I’m glad social media was not as common then as it is now.  My ex-husband was forced to create his smear campaigns against me by word-of-mouth, which meant having to reach out to people on the phone or face-to-face.  I think it must have been exhausting compared to the user-friendly outlets we have today.  He even went around to all the neighbors where we lived to tell them his version of events and try to gain sympathy at being ‘kicked out’ of his home by his family.

I’m sure he failed to mention that he told me I would never get the house, and if I wanted to separate, I would have to move out without the children.  Of course, his position changed once he saw that I was willing to move out, but with the children, and I would request a temporary restraining order, if needed.  When I started asking about apartments to rent, people started to take notice.  All of a sudden, my ex realized I was the one getting sympathy, while he looked like a cold and callous villain.

Tantrums and Other Attempts at Control

Almost instantly, his changed his position.  Like a spoiled child who wasn’t getting his way, he threw a tantrum, screaming and crying that I would embarrass him by looking for  place to rent with the boys, and how dare I try to take the boys out of their home, what kind of a man did I think he was? (I don’t think he really wanted me to answer that),  of course he would be the one to move out…

Of course, I thought, now that you found a way for this to benefit you.

He relished the role of the wounded husband, cast aside and separated from his children without any explanation.  Every day, I had calls from friends, or was stopped by someone I knew in the store asking me what happened between me and my husband; I can’t imagine what my life would have been like in the world of Facebook and twitter.  I have read so many instances of men and women being harassed, smeared, and stalked by their vengeful exes online, and it always leaves me feeling chilled.

The Lure of Social Media

Even though I was not subjected to these tactics, I find that social media can play a more subtle, yet just as harmful role in our recovery from the sociopath.  Anyone who has left a sociopath probably experienced the sense of paranoia that follows.  The ‘what is he/she planning?’ that keeps us anxiety-ridden and off balance.  It might seem reasonable that keeping tabs on an ex to make sure we are aware of what they are doing would help to ease some of this worry, but it doesn’t.

Actually, it has the opposite effect.  It can even become an addiction that keeps you tied to the other person and not moving forward in a positive way, and that is just one of the negative effects of the behavior.

There are certain truths about my ex-husband that cause looking him up online to be unhelpful in any way.  For one, he will never give away any hint of what he may be planning to do in order to cause chaos in my life.  So, by his very nature, he will carefully monitor himself when posting online to ensure he would neither incriminate himself, nor give himself away if planning a surprise attack.  That means, searching his Facebook page or other social outlets serve no preventative purpose.

Methods and Motives

Also, my ex-husband, like most sociopaths, tries his very best to make provoking and antagonizing statements hoping to get me to engage in his drama-filled life.  Essentially, his words will always play on emotional responses and finding ways to incite reactions.  He will lie, deceive, make false claims and accusations, all with the hopes of annoying, enraging, or engaging me in some way.  He wants to think that I am interested in his life, because that means he still has control over mine. Once I accepted this, it was much easier to disengage.

At first, I would tell myself I was only interested in making sure he wasn’t doing anything dangerous or harmful when my children were with him.  But, inevitably, I would see something unrelated that bothered me- for example, comments and shared photos by my family members.  I confronted these family members about remaining in contact, but in the end, nothing changed.  It was another waste of time and energy on my part for people who are I knew in my heart didn’t support me when I needed it, anyway.

True Separation

Eventually, the need to know anything about his life melted away.  The less I looked him up, the more peaceful my life became.  It was much easier to keep our contact very business-like, as well.  I was no longer baited by his remarks or emotionally charged when interacting with him. Ironically, that seemed to make him much more enraged and miserable, but without any effect on me.  I was able to take a step back and let him drain his own energy while I concentrated on my recovery.

I can only imagine how frustrating it must be for my ex-husband to spend so much time and energy doing things meant to hurt me, only to get no reaction what-so-ever.  But, I have much better things to imagine…my sociopath-free future, for example.


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38 Comments on "Divorcing A Sociopath: Getting Away, Staying Away"

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Thank you jm_short.

We have a contempt hearing trial set for April 4th. After I spoke with my attorney about requesting the court to get his income tax returns from the IRS, I am certain we will be getting his 2012 return. If anything, and I mean anything on that return does not match what he showed me, we will then be requesting his 2009, 2010, and 2011 returns as well.

I did not think about requesting a copy of his passport. Yes, that will definitely show his life style that is for sure. I found his credit card statements he had while we were married. On these statements, there were numerous entries to T D Worldwide, which is a company that provides wire services to off-shore accounts. The court ordered that he provide all information regarding his interests in T D Worldwide, but he never complied. I think this is a start.

We have already tried to get credit card accounts and bank accounts, but we never get everything. Just a few statements here and there. He never complies with the court’s orders.

I am a woman of faith and ask that all of the people here on LoveFraud, to please pray for me that we finally get justice. I know that God has heard my cries throughout this entire mess. All I really want is peace and justice.

Dave, if you can turn her in for fraud (like I did with mine with the army) by all means do it. But just remember that she could lie and say the two of you were involved in it together or that you put her up to it. If you were living together as common law spouses during any part of it, this might implicate you. Or she could retaliate in some way involving you or the kids. Anything can happen with a spath – they are capable of anything. If you don’t need an attorney, maybe at least get one of those prepaid legal services for a month ($16) and consult with one of their attorneys by phone before doing anything. I use Legal Shield and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

BTW, it’s really good that you’re angry. It will keep you from going back to her.

Dave. Thank you for your comments. There is no reason why he “needs” my money at all. I think it is just to make me suffer and suffer over and over again because I left him. He did tell me countless times that he would destroy me if I ever left him and he almost did. But you also need to remember that we are DONE with them. I do struggle but I not with him anymore and that is a great thing.

I would never wish my past life on anyone. Yes, I had a lot of luxuries, but at what price did I have to pay. Happiness does not mean a lot of money and luxuries, it means to me peace and safety. BTW Dave his return, that I believe is fake shows an income of $265.

God Bless

I agree with the statement “being a good father in the past is not the same as being a good father in the future”. I feel so much sorrow for children who have to go through these “battles” between the mother and the father. People don’t realize how much hurt and resentment they inflict on their children , no matter how old they are. Because of selfishness and feeling “entitled” they cannot see the pain in their kids eyes. This will carry into their adulthood and so on. My soon to be ex does not realize that he will not be a part of many events to come, like my sons college graduation, maybe a wedding someday, maybe grand children. I always put the need and welfare of my child first. Always, no matter what my needs and wishes are.
Everything in life has consequences and people should carefully think before they act selfish and cowardly. The main victims are always the children.

I have deleted the most recent discussion on this thread. Please remember to keep comments supportive. I realize that some comments were supportive, but I felt the best thing to do was remove all of the related comments.

I am so glad to see that you found peace. I have tried, but am not there and honestly cannot see a way to true, quiet peace unless he 100 percent doesnt know where I am, or I hear he has passed away and can no longer haunt me… although, it would give him great pleasure to do so from the grave if at all possible. I try to put my best light forward, but am more comfortable accepting my circumstances, honestly. Pretending I am at peace I found to be more stressful, bc I was lying to myself, if that makes any sense.

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