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Divorcing A Sociopath: Avoiding Conflict and Other Mistakes

by Quinn Pierce

For a long time, I tried to keep confrontations with my ex-husband to a minimum.  I always thought that I could avoid causing my boys any further harm by just ”˜keeping the peace’.  I considered it a small price to pay if I had to tolerate inconveniences and insults in order to give my children a drama-less environment.

But, as is always the case when negotiating with a sociopath, the price was much higher than I ever imagined.

Good Intentions

I believed I was setting an example by taking the high road and not engaging my ex-husband in his game-playing antics.  Unfortunately, what I was doing was letting a bully set the rules and move the boundaries at will.

And while I thought I was helping my boys to feel safe and secure, I was acting in a way that made them think I could not protect them from their father.  If I couldn’t stand up to him when he tried to exert control and disrupt our lives with small, insignificant acts, how could I stand up to him if he did something really hurtful or scary?

I guess I didn’t realize that a sociopath will act the exact same way whether someone is nice or not.  It’s definitely true of my ex-husband.  The more accommodating and agreeable I am, the more he tries to take advantage of me and push past the boundaries I have set.  It seems as though his ultimate goal is always to have me engage in some type of drama, and so, he pushes until there is conflict, takes advantage of my conflict avoidance, or enjoys every second of his drama-filled arguments.

Unlikely Gifts

For me, it was something I had to figure out through experience, since it didn’t really register when anyone else shared this type of advice.  Which means it took a totally unexpected, and somewhat bizarre event, to show me just how misguided my judgment was when dealing with this man whose only consistent characteristic is spitefulness.

And that event occurred after I finally decided to reinstate a long forgotten rule of not allowing unexpected visits from my ex at my home.  Not long after my minor reprimand and reminder to him not to show up unannounced, I received two hate-filled emails from his new wife outlining every aspect of my life that she felt needed criticizing and judging.  Apparently, my life is just chock-full of reprehensible, despicable, and immoral behavior.  Actually, I was a bit jealous of the ”˜me’ she described with such animosity; in reality, my life is not nearly as interesting or well planned.

Unexpected Response

It may not seem all that unusual for a new wife to despise an ex-wife, but I was very surprised by the email attack by this woman.  For one thing, I had probably spoken to her for a total of five minutes in the previous two years.  Secondly, I never gave as much thought to her as she obviously did to me, and I found it unsettling that she had such strong opinions of someone she hardly knew.  Lastly, I actually encouraged my boys to have a relationship with this woman.  Ok, maybe I couldn’t say the words “step mom” without feeling ill, but I figured the boys would need all the support they could get when visiting their father, so I was actually relieved when he met someone who had children the same ages as mine.

This may provide some insight as to how I missed the warning signs when I married my ex-husband in the first place, since twenty years later, I still seem to have this naïve streak that gets me into these predicaments.

Waiting For The Opportunity 

At any rate, I needed to talk to my boys about this strange turn of events. I knew they would be hearing some less-than-pleasant things said about me next time they visited their dad, and I wanted to let them know that, although I was disappointed by the disrespectful and cruel email attacks, I really didn’t care what she thought about me and they should just ignore anything they heard.

What this incident did, however, was far more significant than learning how much anger and hate a virtual stranger held toward me. It gave my boys an opportunity to unleash all the emotions they had held in for two years.

Following My Lead

Once those floodgates were opened, there was no turning back for my boys.  All of a sudden, I was hearing details of their visits that I never heard before.  And, my boys were starting to speak up for themselves when staying over at their father’s house.  What’s more, they became very protective of me and were no longer pretending everything was fine at my ex-husband’s home.

I was stunned by the transformation of my children.  I realized that they were just waiting for the opportunity to talk about what it was like visiting their father’s house.  I had actually prevented them from expressing their concerns, opinions, fears, etc, because what I had considered to be ”˜keeping the peace’ had actually created an atmosphere that did not encourage the boys to speak their minds or share any negative experiences.

In Hindsight

In essence, by trying to prevent conflict and confrontation, I had caused more stress for my children.  I let a sociopath make and change the rules,-giving him his coveted control, while I appeared unable to protect the boys from his harmful behaviors.

I couldn’t believe the outcome of my actions were actually the complete opposite of what I had intended.  I guess I had continued a pattern of compliance from my marriage that I didn’t even realize was still happening.  It nearly broke my heart to learn this.

Better Late Than Never

It’s strange to think I am grateful for being verbally attacked by my ex-husband’s new wife, but I would say that I am.  She provided the catalyst to the events that would subsequently give my boys the opportunity to find their voices.

And I learned how important it is to maintain boundaries and not let the bully exert control.  I had become so used to avoiding arguments and conflicts that I didn’t recognize those situations that required me to stand up to my ex-husband.  He recognized that trait in me, and he took advantage of what he saw as an easy opportunity.

So, I am grateful.  I don’t know how long it might have taken me otherwise to figure out that my non-confrontational approach to my ex-husband was causing anxiety and stress for my children.

Who knows, maybe someday I’ll email her back and thank her for telling me what a horrible, controlling, vindictive person I am”¦then again, it was really a pain to have to change my email address after her unsolicited opinions of my character flaws began flooding my inbox, so maybe I’ll just call it even.


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44 Comments on "Divorcing A Sociopath: Avoiding Conflict and Other Mistakes"

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Quinn – thank you so much for this insightful article. As awful as your experiences with your ex are, your descriptions of them, and the lessons you’ve learned, are certainly helping many other people who are in similar situations.

Hi Quinn,
It’s Survivor 2, masquerading as Victim2, I can’t change my username but I tried! Thank you for your advice, I greatly appreciate it and I hope you continue to share your stories and insight because they truly are helpful.
Thank you!!
V2

Thank you! I spent my entire marriage trying to keep the peace and avoid confrontation, and my ex also saw this “character flaw” in me and took advantage of it. After leaving him and getting a divorce, I at first tried to avoid confrontation, but over the past 3 years I also have learned that this just allows him to continue to try to exert control and bully me. I am standing up to him now, and continuing to maintain the boundaries that have been set. We are constantly going back and forth in court, usually with him filing ridiculous motions that do nothing for him and cost us both more in attorney’s fees. What really struck me in your post is how your boys finally found their voice. My child is a toddler, and I know the courts and “experts” expect divorced parents to keep their feelings of the other parent invisible to the children. I do not tell my child how I feel about my ex, but I do not lie to him and tell him Mom ad Dad are “friends” either. I just cannot do that, and I feel like if I set up this type of false friendship now, as my child grows up he, and begins to understand his father better and realizes why we are divorced, he will be confused by my false friendship with a man I despise. It is a difficult balance, but I do not want my child to later feel like he has to hide the truth about his feelings or what happens at Dad’s house because Mom and Dad are friends, or because Mom may not understand or believe him. Thank you for sharing your experiences and insight with us.

Thank you for this great article. My son who is 18 cut off all contact to his father since about 8 months, the day he left. Today my son received an email asking what he would like got his birthday next week. This comes from his father who abandoned us without any money, who changed all of his direct deposits to a new “secret” account, who had us in court after filing an injunction against me, who had me baker acted and who lied and cheated. He had the nerve to ask my son his birthday wishes. Again I realize how distorted they are. How they think life can just continue as a “father”. Well my sons response is NO RESPONSE at all. My son ignores him just like his father did for the past 20 years. That is out victory now , we are in control. We don’t have to listen to his abuse no more and it feels great.

Quinn,
I appreciate your article because it really helped me to see just how harmful such an attitude of “not rocking the boat” or “trying to get along in PEACE with a SOCIOPATH” (two words that do not go together!) can be to one’s children.I remember “walking on eggshells” as a child.I know my children went through worse.They WANTED to see me stand up to my husband.I’m finally doing that now.

Blossom
Doesn’t it feel great to finally stand up? I filed for divorce on July 08th, 2013. This date will for ever be more special to me than the day I got married to him. I finally made my point. ENOUGH. Complicated divorces take a long time in this state but it’s ok. I am already in control by taking this so important step to file. I am sure it will be an ugly, difficult divorce. Because in his eyes he did not do any wrong. He is the victim. He told my son I brainwashed his only child. Doesn’t he see how evil he is ??? I am so proud of my son who acts so much more mature than his 44 year old father. I am so proud of raising him not to continue the family generations of narcissists. It ends right here with my husband. Luckily he was away on military deployments most of my sons childhood, so he wasn’t a big influence in his life. My son now says that his father is a non existing, evil part of his life that ended the day he left and discarded us. I thankGOD every day for giving me the strength to be the best single loving parent and mostly for taking evil out of our lives. Thank you all for your great support. Thank Ms Donna for openings eyes about the no contact. You truly gave me my life back.

kaya48,
It feels WONDERFUL to finally stand up -JUST LIKE I ALWAYS WANTED TO!!!

I filed for divorce Sept 27th.Here,you file more papers 60 days afterwards,and the divorce is final.In some cases there may still be things that need to be settled such as property and/or custody,but such is not the case in our situation.There is a final hearing.

OK, Crazy with the feelings I have!!! 15 years of being with a sociopath/Physopath. Have children with him. Hate him now more than ever! Cannot move on! I am wise and experienced in life. Can’t believe I got caught up with a demon. Please help me move on! Of course there is a lot more to the story of this. I am tired of him getting away with everything! I was the third marriage! He still justifies all of these marriages of the fault of the wives. I have been in contact with them since my divorce telling their stories of him and their fear of him. I am the only one that has children with him in a moral sense. He has another child that he will not to admit to when he impregnated her when he was 30 and she was 16. Pedophile? Yes! He molested his stepdaughter with his second wife and she contacted me after I divorced him. I have never in my life condoned pedophilia ever in my life! If I had known these facts prior to marriage; I would have never married this monster. They hide right in front of our faces! I really hope the people reading now, are people not completely caught up with the sociopath that is going to ruin their lives… God bless and contact me if you need to talk…..

I hear you mtiredofit! I’m tired of it too and my frightening journey is just beginning. Everyday I learn something new and scary. I look forward to reading the posts from those who have been here and offer advice. Not enough people understand what a sociopath is and how devious they are so this site is a Godsend.
V2

mtiredofit & victim2….

I have been where you are now. The difference is I didn’t have children with my spath….we each had children from previous marriages. But I knew him long before we got involved and would never have thought he was the guy he turned out to be. His lying was so masterful it just flowed off his tongue like normal everyday conversation. The lies, deceit and manipulation were crushing blows. The ending….devastating.

But that being said, you will get through this. No Contact really is best. I breached that myself and let me tell you, it truly wasn’t worth it.

You now need to focus on you and your own healing. It takes time to move through this, but in the end, you’ll be much stronger, much wiser and much healthier…trust me on this!

Stay strong my friends….

carolann

mtiredofit – welcome to Lovefraud. What a terrible experience. They are so good at hiding their true selves. None of us would have become involved if we knew the truth.

Quinn,

So glad you were able to figure this out! For you, and your children. Now they can safely express themselves, and not feel that bottled up ‘crazy’ we have all experienced.

I played nice with the last spath I was entangled with, as well. It made absolutely NO DIFFERENCE in how he bahaved toward me. He continued to violate every nicety put forward.

Maybe, if anything, it really just prolonged my ‘decided’ involvement. Perhaps, if I had really expressed myself, I would have decided to leave earlier. I don’t know. But, I think, my peace-keeping strategy seemed to require that I block out the real effect he was having on me, in order to stay in a non-confrontational place.

Plus, peace-keeping also has a piece where the peace keeper, themselves, doesn’t want to lose control and make a fool of themselves.

So, I wonder, if I had let myself really see and feel the full impact of his behavior, and then allowed myself some kind of more ‘complete’ response….maybe I would have saved myself some time?

Blossom, congratulations! You can break the chains and move on with your life. Good for you.

mtiredofit: If you don’t mind me asking, why can you not move on? Do you know where/how you are stuck? That is such good information to have because then you can start to change it.

mtiredofit,
Right now you’re feeling angry and overwhelmed.And bewildered.Life with a sociopath drains you of life and replaces the empty spaces with vile thoughts and knowledge;nearly depleting you of all strength.Women are only “weaker vessels” because they are emotional.But we can become real warriors when we have the proper knowledge of what we’re dealing with–and the determination to carry thru!That’s when we start feeling renewed energy…the blood starts flowing again!Step right up and start reading!Look forward to more posts from you!

Blossom
You are so right about this. Once I realized what I am dealing with,I became “empowered” and so much stronger than I was before. I knew since a few years that my husband was an extreme narcissist. I tried so hard to make my 20 years marriage work. After I was discarded for a more attractive, sexier, more fun co worker of his, only then did I realize how serious this personal disorder really is. I kept on educating myself and eventually I learned about the no contact rule. After many months of no contact now I am so ready for divorce proceedings. I feel “powerful” and more self confident than ever. I finally stood up. Even though he is the one who left I don’t feel “abandoned” anymore. I am ready for a new chapter in my life without him. I don’t want to hear what he has to say and I don’t want to say anything to him anymore. This one word “DONE” keeps coming up in my mind. Be because I am truly 100 percent done with him and the pain he caused me and my son. No more and I will prevail.

kaya48,
My favorite “warrior song” is “Done” by Band Perry! Everytime Katy sings “Done” I can’t help but singing that word out and lifting my fist in the air!

Way to go Blossom! My favorite song is “Done” by The Band Perry too! It’s awesome and so is Katy Perry’s “Roar.” Let’s all “roar” and be “done” together!
V2

Just TODAY, that was my FB status. I said ROAR was my theme song this year. LOL…read my post below, I think what I’ve done is a pretty loud ROAR! Rawr! 😉

Very good thought victim 2 . I feel the same way. Thanks for letting me know about the song. It is so true. I never had the “done” feeling until about 4 months after I was discarded. He kept telling me that it was all my fault , that I was mentally insane and he had no other choice besides leaving. I almost believed him and I questioned myself over and over. One day I realized it had nothing to do with me at all. I was a faithful, supportive wife who took his abuse . No matter how hard I tried I would have never made him truly happy. In reality it was all him, the porn addiction, the affairs, the lies. And I also learned from this website that he will treat his new victim the same way because that is who he is. I don’t think much about it anymore and once the divorce is over this chapter of my life will be closed for ever. In my mind it already is because to me and my son he is absolutely nothing. Thanks for all your great support and encouragement.

I find myself doing the same thing! After years of being in an absive relationship you sort of forget how to react or show emotion–because so much is suppressed, or you don’t feel safe expressing yourself. Thanks for the warning! I am definitely going to pay more attention and work on this 🙂

I keep getting stuck, wanting my ex to be remorseful, wanting some measure of justice, wanting this nightmare to be over. It just isn’t right that these men get to waltz off with their new supply, having had tons of fun crushing our souls, and never face the consequences.

Right now, I’m so torn. My ex did some really f’ed stuff to me, and I know everyone here probably has their share of the same kind of horror stories. Well, in my case, I had an opportunity to publicly expose my ex, which I have done. Now I feel awful, and I want to take it down, but at the same time I feel like, hey, if you don’t want people to know about it, you probably shouldn’t be doing it.

What sent me over the top was his love-bombing, and assertions he was a changed man, AND he even confessed to many things that really devastated me. He even admitted to constantly trying to turn it around on me, to make me look as if I were crazy somehow when I would call him out on his lies. It was so frustrating, and yes, normal people become angry when they are lied to. He always told me I had an anger problem. I told him I had a being lied to problem. He would lie and lie, then when I would get mad he would say he just couldn’t deal with my temper, and dump me. Of course the whole time, he was cycling through 3 or 4 different women. So, he came somewhat clean to me in an effort to move forward with me, because those were the boundaries I had set, among others.

When it came time to actually DO the things he promised, he weaseled out, AGAIN, and this time I had had it. I know him and he always comes back. Always. I had so much stuff on him, I held it over his head in the hopes he would just do the simple thing, the right thing…you know, tell the truth, stay clean, pay attention to me. It’s crazy the extent they go to to justify their bad behavior. Anyway, I’m rambling, I apologize. I have no one to ask about this…a part of me is really ashamed of what I’ve done, and another part of me is really proud. I’m trying to take back my power, my dignity, my life, and move on, but a huge part of me feels like I can’t move on until I get some indication of remorse, or acknowledgment of wrong-doing. I know logically that isn’t going to happen, and that’s where I’m stuck.

Okay, so here’s what I did…and I warned him repeatedly I was going to expose him if he didn’t start demonstrating some behaviors that indicated he had really changed and he was really sorry. I gave him specific behaviors to perform, little things, things that should be so simple; unhide your friends on Facebook, your contacts on LinkedIn, dump the girls off your google+ profile, throw away phone numbers, stuff like that. I wasn’t asking him to do anything difficult, just be transparent. It was like pulling teeth and he finally blew up, turned it around on me, so I feel like he forced my hand, and I had no choice.

He has an online resume, and I own several websites, some of which he is showcasing on his resume as his own designs. They aren’t. I bought those websites to try to help him when he was unemployed. I shareda $700 monetization program with him and showed him how to place ads, etc, and he was supposed to be my partner and help build these sites. I ended up doing most of the work, because unbeknownst to me, he was secretly buying another website to impress a woman he met on Match. Sick. I just figured that out a couple of weeks ago, after doing some sleuthing, and after some of his confessions. He didn’t confess THAT, but I’m pretty smart, I figured it out. So anyway, MY websites are still linked to his resume. I happen to know he can’t get back into the site where he built his website, I’m not sure if he can’t remember which of the two dozen email addresses he used to log in, or he can’t remember the password, or he simply can’t do it on his own.

Well, I decided to mete out a little justice, and I rebuilt the websites he has linked on his resume. LEt’s just say, he’s going to blow a gasket when he sees it. I talked to another friend, a mutual friend, and he said he thought i was just being spiteful and vindictive. Maybe I am. I know that’s not my nature, and it doesn’t feel great to feel that way, but at the same time, I actually feel like these guys get away with this all the time, and there are never consequences for them. I feel what he did to me was criminal, and yet I have no recourse. Except the websites. And everything I posted, I have proof of, I was very careful about that. I want to upload his voicemails begging me to come back to him, and his emails and texts asking me to marry him, etc. The reason I want to do it is because I know darn well he is targeting other women currently, and I want to expose him for the lying cheat that he is.

See, that’s vindictive, right? Geez, I’m so torn. Part of it feels really healing and liberating, and like I finally have my power back. And then part of me is still attached to the illusionist guy I fell in love with, and I don’t want to hurt him.

I don’t know, what do you think? By the way, I took all the ads of the sites, it’s strictly show-and-tell time for my ex. I’d love some input from women who have been in my shoes as far as being in love with a psychopath or narc. What do you think?
I promise I’m legitimate, I need some input. Please. 🙁

Ah, I took it down. For now. I wrestle with not wanting to be in that negative space and wanting justice. *sigh*

Poetic justice – I see nothing wrong with telling the truth about him – as long as it doesn’t hurt you. The reason they continue is because they are not exposed.

Hi PJ. I totally understand how you feel. I filed for divorce from my spath in June after 22.5 years of marriage and three kids. I didn’t think my husband lied to me – boy was I wrong.
My advice to you – which comes from my therapist – is figure out who YOU are. It won’t be easy. Then so what YOU think is right for YOU and be happy and content with your choice.
Please continue to post. I’d love to write more now but I have to go…
This site is very helpful. I have lots of questions that I’d like advice on too so y’all will be hearing from me again.
V2 (I’m really a survivor not a victim!)

Thank you Quinn for sharing your experience. I have a 13-year old daughter and really struggle with balancing the peace keeping and showing her what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour from her father. She hates conflict so there are plenty of times where I bite my lip and let him get away with saying awful things in front of her just to keep the peace. My problem is further compounded by the fact that he is still living in the house whilst we go through the legal system. I wanted to ask you how you broached the subject with your sons? My ex like all Ps is very manipulative and I know puts emotional pressure on her to not share her feelings with me. Any advice would be much appreciated. Kind regards, Mav x

It is entirely possible that the ex-husband wrote those emails under his new wife’s email account. My ex would set up email accounts and pretend to be other people in order to find out information. I decided to always assume that the reason people in his circle hated me so much was because he probably made up “evidence” such as bogus emails of me “abusing” him. Many of his allies don’t want anything to do with me because of his manipulation and lies. I don’t take it personally anymore, although a few people that support him know who the true abuser it, but I think they have stockholm syndrome. I’m happy to say I have been no contact for years. He lost all parental access to our child recently. The judge reviewed all the evidence and ruled without hesitation.

Hi Quinn,

My story mirrors yours in a number of ways! It took me five years and a long protracted legal process to divorce my ex. Even though he had told me that he hated being married to me and hated the house and dealing with the kids, (and he hated our two cats! Seriously?), and he was madly in love with one of his young employees apparently, he would not leave the marriage and move out.

(To give you a visual that works: I once had to have a molar extracted. It was planted so deeply into my gum that the oral surgeon had to take a hammer, shatter it, pull out the pieces, and she did need to wedge her foot under the chair so she wouldn’t lose her balance as she yanked the pieces of tooth out. Getting rid of my s’path husband was kind of like that…)

I tried to keep my children from the center of the storm and did not set them against their father, in spite of my own explosive feelings. I followed the strong suggestions of my therapist, our marriage counselor, and my divorce attorney, family and friends who warned me to keep my children away from the conflict – to not say angry things about their father in front of them. They warned that if I did this, I would hurt my children. So I didn’t, even though he constantly denigrated me when the kids were with him and Brunhilda. We hear this from all kinds of divorce “professionals”, and technically, it seems like the right choice – however, as you illustrate in your post, it can make the normal person who is dealing with a sociopath seem weak and passive.

Our divorce culture acts as if both husband and wife are equally at fault. The behavior of the rational non-sociopath partner who is trying to keep body and soul together gets clumped in with that of the irrational and vengeful sociopath. So many times I heard this comment from clueless advisors: (“Can’t you two just work it out?”) Unless somebody has dealt with a sociopath, they have no idea that to deal with one is walking a tightrope. You don’t want to appear vicious and vengeful,(don’t show them your cards, and/or you get stereotyped as an angry witch) yet, you don’t want to appear weak because they’ll chew you (and your children) up and spit you out if you let down your guard.

When my children would come home from their father’s (and his new wife’s) house, they would be upset and I’d hear stories of their father’s disturbing behavior, and how the new wife was a smiling bully. Trying not to make the situation worse, I learned to listen to my kids. It was incredibly difficult to listen and not comment or bad mouth their father. But looking back, I’m glad that I did learn to listen.(To keep from exploding myself, I shared these stories with my therapist, and with trusted friends out of my kids’ earshot) Listening is a powerful tool, and it did prevent me from further contaminating my children with my own anger and fear. They did find their own voices. As young adults now, they ended all contact with their father and his disturbed wife.

Like you, I too received poisonous emails from his wife, and my ex signed them also. Unlike you, I took a legal action, and the result was a Civil Court trial. (it’s rare for a Defamation case like this to make it to trial, but during the course of 3 years, these curdling emails did catch the attention of different judges as they were passed around to determine if my case had merit. It was decided by the Court that my case did have merit, and, I did get to read the emails to a jury of six people.) I felt I didn’t have a choice, as my ex and his wife had intensified their harassment of me, because I required that he pay child support as required by law.

Sometimes, when the time is right, and the situation calls for a swift action, we can deflect powerful aggression back onto the aggressors. I think that’s called jujitsu. I didn’t “win” my case, but they no longer harass me, or my children, and the peace is blissful. But in order to expose the s’path, we have to choose the right time, get brave, and move prudently but directly way out of our comfort zone.

Lovefraud has done so much to bring information about sociopaths to the surface of our society, but in many ways our culture is still ignorant. My heart goes out to women who are trying to protect their children and themselves as they extricate themselves from toxic marriages to male sociopaths, and who have to listen to the “play nicely” patter of clueless people. Stay centered! Remember to listen to your children: The relationship of trust that you are developing with your children just by your listening now, will have far-reaching healing effects for the future as they become their own people. Listen and then take an action to draw the line. Find a good advisor who understands what you are dealing with. Follow your intuition. You have to learn to become a kind of warrior, but maybe you needed to learn how to become a warrior. I know I did.

This comment “can’t you work things out” or “why don’t you just agree on things in the divorce” I hear all the time. A neighbor of mine mentioned the other day “if you just be nice and talk to him”. They do not understand what I am dealing with. They don’t know how vicious , destructive and manipulative a sociopath can be. I do not know this man I am divorcing. I was married to him for almost 20 years and he is like a complete stranger that wants to inflict more pain on me and my son. It was not enough that he lied, cheated, discarded us. Yes I have to be a warrior to stand up to him. He will not receive any kindness from me. He is a bad business partner now in a bad business deal, nothing more. I wish people would understand why there is no contact with him. They sometimes picture me as the “bad” vindictive person. So, now I don’t care anymore what they say. They should have lived my 20 years nightmare with him, then they would understand.

yes, with them the more we allow, the more they perpetrate…mine used to run around with a kitchen knife to settle differences till I picked up the phone to call the police and he realised I meant business…he used to beat me up, saying I “made him do it”, till he got thrashed for that, and thereafter, he has never actually hit me though bringing a closed fist almost into my face or picking up a shoe to almost hurl at me are still ongoing…so yes, unless you turn the tables on them when the time is right you will be dished out much more than you can tolerate…

When I read your stories, I wish with all my heart that my husband would please cheat. Oh, PLEASE move on to someone else. I had so many children with this religious hypocrite that I don’t know how I will ever be free of him. He has insinuated himself into every nook and cranny of my life. With each “tick” of every positive stroke, is the “tock” of being stabbed in the back. With each attempt to further the distance between us, is his active campaign to ruin my name and reputation. I don’t live with him. That much I can say. But I live in the same town and that’s way too close. My youngest son, a son I love very much, lives with him and is subjected to his propaganda. Another daughter, an active heroin addict, and her five year old son also lives with him. This ex-Baptist preacher has hidden her addiction and arranges her transport to a male club “so that she can make some money”. I have had to make some hard calls concerning this daughter and it has unleashed an avalanche of abuse from him. I am “controlling, heartless, evil, emotionally unstable, and abusive”. I will file for a divorce, but I don’t think that will rid me of this tyrant.

Thank you so much for your feedback. I put it back up, and guess what? I don’t feel bad about it at all today. I spoke with him early this morning. I gave him a condition, I told him I wanted his undivided attention for thirty days. No more lies, he drops everyone else, and he treats me like he did in the beginning. That’s all I wanted, then he would be free. Now, I know what that sounds like, and I have no intention of getting back with him. I’m a behavior therapist…lol…I was going somewhere with my little plan.

As it happens, he reluctantly agreed. Very reluctantly, and I keep thinking my god, what is so difficult about being open and honest and honorable? Well, evidently, this is all my fault. lol Around noon today I spoke with him and he was in a rage. He had a meltdown. I called him out on some woman he is grooming in Arizona. Just like I outlined on the website. He was fit to be tied. At that point I had already taken the sites down, but, back up they went. Haven’t spoken to him since.

I find it outrageously funny the barbs he tried to throw at me, how his cheating and lying is my fault. You know, because I MADE him string me along, ask me to marry him, go thru my friends’ list on FB and call close friends of mine begging them to help win me over for him. He’s a piece of work. And I MADE him lie and cheat…lol…oh I just woke up with a whole new attitude. He insisted he wasn’t dating or looking to date last night on the phone. Suddenly there’s this woman, and he’s been active on Match. Of course.

It occurred to me he is flipping out because he knows what he has done is reprehensible. And he knows he is going to be caught in so many lies. He was threatening last night to call the police, and I said, “GO ahead.” I haven’t done anything wrong except try to hold him to his word. Get an apology, even if it was pretend. Why can they so easily lie about everything else, but if it is something you want, there’s no way you are getting it.

I can’t believe he wouldn’t go straight for 30 days, it was so little to ask in comparison. Anyway, the sites are back, I changed the intro, as I am *gasp* being punished by the ol’ freezeout, blocking game. Block on, bro. After his little fit on the phone, screaming at me for HIS choices as if was my fault, I was wide awake.

I have 17 websites. lol I may make them all psychopath recovery resource centers. He did remove the links from his resume, but not before I got a screenshot of it this morning. He’s so predictable. lol

lowfatmeals.co mixeddrinks.co rubroke.com

And I don’t think there’s any way he can hurt me. I have done anything wrong. I’m not super excited how it’s going to look to a lot of our mutual friends, we went to Jr. High and High School together. But, c’est la vie. There’s not much he could do. I have solid proof of everything I’ve said. If he wants to sue me, fine, do it. I wasn’t planning on posting half of what I could post. He’s a coward anyway, and he knows I know too much. he just overestimated my tolerance threshold and my soft heart. I still really don’t love doing this, I am stunned he didn’t choose the easy way out. It’s probably something I don’t know, I’ll bet he’s already got a plane ticket to Arizona. lol gosh, there went my behavioral intervention plan. 😉

If you don’t learn anything else, learn this: HE WILL NEVER CHANGE. He is incapable of changing, of seeing or taking responsibility for his own behavior, he will ALWAYS LIE. There is no cure for his personality disorder. DO NOT underestimate him. He can and will hurt you if he wants to. Have as little contact as possible. I read the book “The Dance of Anger” by Harriet Lerner and it changed my life. After reading your posts I believe it will help you immensely too.
Be strong – you have your own life to live from now on. Focus on YOU, not him!! Every thought in your mind dedicated to him is one taken away from you.
Take a deep breath and start planning YOUR future.
Good Luck!
V2

PoeticJustice let me first say that You Rock ! I just got back from your your site and I’m almost speechless, but wanted to say thanks for sharing that glorious bit of reality. Hopefully this will help you get quicker closure from the ordeal. Your comment about why couldn’t he give you even a fake apology- here’s a couple thoughts. Spaths are allergic to apologies. Mine doesn’t even like other people to say they are sorry and when we were first dating made it clear that whatever we were arguing about yesterday was done, forgotten. At first I thought it was the perfect application of kindness and moving on and resolving problems. Of course the problems were all because of her raging entitlement, deceptive nature, ect. You know typical spath stuff. Nothing was ever resolved. I was simply deceived and defrauded. It was a facade to hide the ugly truth that she will not take accountability for any of her selfish, destructive behaviors. The other thing that occurs to me is what you mentioned, that he knows it’s something that you want. Mine has done similar things withholding the one thing I asked for that I needed to hear from her regarding her past. She could have easily said the words. When you’re a pathological liar what does one more mean ? Nothing right ? I think it’s about control and dominance. It’s some sick twisted kind of power over us that they have. Did I mention that I despise sociopaths by the way ? Keep in mind too that although this guy as most of these types do prefers to work covertly, the old presumption that bullies are all cowards underneath is just not true. Take care, and watch your back.

So often I wish I could let others know about my ex and how he avoided military prosecution by a plea bargain. Especially since he’s a physician. I just have to keep thinking that one day he will face the judgement of God and that trumps all courts.

It’s been over 6 years I left and 5 years since the divorce from a long marriage with two grown children now. In regard to being a ‘nice’ person who tries to compromise and negotiate with a sociopath, I learned the hard way it just won’t work, not ever. There were plenty of well meaning people who advised me to keep in contact and be ‘nice’ in working out holiday plans, birthdays, taking turns in seeing the new grandchild, etc. I was also advised to read his rare e-mails or answer the telephone in case he had an emergency regarding the kids.

The result of taking such advice from people who have not lived with a sociopath proved to seriously delay my recovery and healing.
He had an agenda with any call or email with a goal of belittling me or making a request regarding the kids which, if I turned it down, was meant to guilt me. I learned to accept a call from him was akin to tossing battery acid on my body. These people are toxic; no other word quite suffices for me.

I’d still like to think of myself as being a nice person but after having had counsel with a wonderful female social worker therapist, I realized her words were the best. She said he was dangerous and I had minimized how covertly ugly he had been for a long time. I knew she was right; she had had 25 years experience with addicts, sociopaths, family issues.

These are people for whom one cannot risk giving the ‘benefit of the doubt’ philosophy. They crave the feeling they have a foot in the door. There was only one option for me and it was to cut off any possibility of contact ever. My daughter praised my decision but my son backed away and continues to stay in frequent contact with his dad. It is what it is. What matters is that I feel a great deal of peace and have enjoyed experiencing some joys in life with taking senior dance lessons, gardening, reading, laughing once more. Life can only improve when the thorn is not sticking us in the side. To all, much peace today.

Any advice on holding to boundaries when I know it will impact my child? For example, my ex is stating (not asking, stating) that he will pick our child up from school one day next week. Court orders say he can only pick up the child from my house at 6 pm. Yet obviously he has already talked to our child about it, as our child is asking why I am saying his father will be picking him up at 6 pm that day and not from school, and my child is saying he wants to see his father. I am absolutely certain my ex has told our child he will be buying him a new computer or something “big.” The ONLY reason I am considering letting it slide this time is I know my ex will be moving in the next few weeks, so visitation will be a null issue (he will use it as an excuse not to see our child). Do I hold firm to the court order knowing my child wants to see him? I know my ex…if I hold to the order he will tell our child it was my fault. I realize this is absolute bullying and controlling behavior on his behalf and the only reason he is doing it is to get to me. He has no interest in our child. This is the same man who missed his child’s birthday party by telling his child that he couldn’t attend because people there (his own family included) didn’t like him!

I think it’s your call ginny. I personally stick to my court order to the letter, but he’ll be here forever just to pi$$ me off…lol. I explain to my son that Daddy knows the rules and he needs to follow them just like I do. I find that if you give an inch, he’ll expect a mile….he’ll say ‘well she let me do it that time so I’m doing it whenever I want’. My ex tried to do that to me a few times too..telling me he was taking him when it wasn’t during the specified time or when I said NO because it didn’t work for me. I removed my son from the situation and let him come…then told him to leave. He called the police on me several times and I just explained the situation and they left. when access was ‘at times agreed by both parties’ it was too loosely defined. He abused it so badly. So now he ONLY gets him during the specified hours period. In your case though it’s from school. I think I’d be tempted to get there earlier and pull him out and take him out for ice cream or something and then take him to meet his dad at 6:00. but you’re the only one who knows the dynamics…so your situation might be different.

You should give the school a copy of the court order and your schedule so that they won’t release him to your spath. That’s what I did and the school is aware of the situation.
And you’re right – Sociopaths do suck!
BUT WE DON’T!! Be strong and carry on with YOUR life!
V2 – Survivor 2

Thank you victim2 and sociopathssuck. I will be sticking to the exact words of the order. It is just sick to me how he has no care about how what he does damages his child.

Hi Ginnynothers,
Follow the exact decree to the letter. Print out all 50-70 pages of the document and show it to your child. I pointed out the judge’s name and that the court and state decided laws for my child. I showed her her name on the decree and her parents’ names. I explained to her from the time that she was a toddler that I was going to follow all the laws about her. This confronts when her dad says “unfair” or how “mean” I am. I simply point to the law and explain that her dad and I agreed to follow this law. Where we were not able to agree, then the judge decided. My child is 11 now. This language of “following the law” makes sense. Early on, I was trying to be “nice” and would let my daughter spend the night with her dad on his Sunday night instead of asking that she be returned at 5:00p.m. according to the decree. Instead of viewing this as “extra time” or “bonus time” or a gift to be with his daughter, my narcissist ex got angry at me! He told me I was unable to “take care of our daughter” that I was a “bad mother” and that he was “doing me a favor to BABYSIT our child.” Lightbulb moment for me–no more Sunday overnights. I could give you hundreds of examples like that over the last 11 years! The only time I vary what decree says is if he wants to bring her back to me early!

Yes. Sadly, school has to be involved.

And remember these tips:
Do NOT talk to narcissist/sociopath on phone and as little as posdible in person.
Texts are short and factual. (Yes. Knee pads are at my house.) (Yes. Practice is at 6:30.) (No. The volleyball isn’t at my house.). I try to make texts shorter than a sentence!

Email might be slightly longer, but still only factual information.

My daughter knows that my texts are short and factual. She sees that I don’t engage or argue with her dad. He is still ranting about me in front of our daughter and is married to his third wife. My daughter has learned that her dad rants about her mom AND that I don’t say anything about him. She doesn’t like that and is smart to what is going on.

No matter what crazy thing he says to me, I don’t react or respond. Poker face. No reaction.

And my broken record phrase when I did talk to him was, “Is this about Child’s Name?” If it was not about our child, then I said I was hanging up and did.

Follow the decree. He will use it against you, but you are giving him an open door if you vary in any way from the details.

There is no give and take with sociopaths–they only take and manipulate.

Yes absolutely the no contact is the best advise I ever got. I feel so much stronger and much more “in control” than before. He cannot push any buttons, aggravate me or upset me. Simply because I changed my phone no and email. I has been over 4 months now. Before whenever I got an email from him my blood pressure went sky high because that is what he wants. I am sure there will be times in court when I have to face him but I will have my attorney by my side. He wants to destroy me and I still remember one if his comments ” when I am done with you, you will be pushing a shopping cart with your belongings and beg for money so you can eat ” . This is after 20 years. I decided I will not give him any more thoughts. He is not worth it. I am thankful for all the other women he had affairs with. Without then I would still be suffering his abuse. Often I wake up from nightmares hearing his “drill seargent voice” swearing and cussing at me because he had an “unhappy” day. Every day since he left, especially since no contact, is a happy and peaceful day for my son and I . And yes you are right I find pleasure in simple things. A sunset over the ocean where I live, a palm tree, somebody smiling at me. Simply because my life is so much more than what I ever shared with him. My true happiness is that my son and I escaped this life what was so much like hell for us. I hope his new narcissistic supply will feel the same way soon. Because he will never be able to love anyone

OH MY GOODNESS!!! I had a very similar experience! I had tried to keep the peace with my ex for 5 years, and we had an incident, that finally made me say enough. For 5 years I had gone to exhaustive lengths to “keep the peace” for the sake of my kids. First it was about taking the high road in our divorce to show my kids that they were loved and their parent loved them and got along for their sake. I NEVER said anything negative about their dad, in fact i did the opposite. We had seen nasty divorces and the effects on kids, and we were both “determined” to not do that to our kids. All the divorce literature says to keep your “disagreements” private and away from the children for their own mental health. i finally realized for him it wasn’t about the kids as much as it was about him saving face and continuing his facade of a “perfect dad”. He continued to torment me “privately” (emails, phone calls, texts, in person….he’d say the most awful things about and to me) and make passive aggressive comments to the kids about me. when this didn’t let up (but actually got worse), i searched for answers, anything to try to make the peace real. After therapy and reading so many books, I finally realized he’s an N. once i finally accepted he was an N, I read so much saying to not even engage your N, because it doesn’t matter. Yet another “excuse” to “Keep the peace”. Yet my torment continued. I silently endured it, continuing to say wonderful things about dad and his new wife, not only to my kids, but to the kids therapist, friends, family, our community. Doing anything at all costs to keep the peace. Finally, an incident happened this year (one of my kids was present for) that finally made me say “ENOUGH!”. I began to speak plainly to my girls about their dad’s behavior (not bad things about him, but that his behavior was not ok or acceptable). as you said, THE FLOODGATES opened!!! my kids finally seemed free to tell me everything they had been holding in for five years! They spoke about incidents they had had with their dad, about things going on at the other house, about how they wouldn’t tell their therapist because they knew she was telling their dad and they were afraid. oh my gosh!!!!! My “keeping the peace” as all the literature suggested I do, had actually taught my kids to stay silent. All of this allowed N to control the situation and us. OUR world was still revolving around HIM, and he was dictating how we felt, what we did, and worse, we were feeding his behavior by staying silent, excusing his behavior, and actually confirming and “building up” his false self image! I cannot tell you the freedom I and my kids have now that we are being honest about N. I can now REALLY help them cope and find ways to deal with their N father, who they are going to have to deal with for their whole life. They aren’t blaming themselves anymore, because they are starting to understand it IS NOT about them. I understand wanting to protect kids. but the advice to keep peace in these situations, was not the best advice. Honesty and shining light on truth is. Of course it has to be age appropriate to your kids. I haven’t used the N word with them (yet), and I don’t call their dad names or belittle him. But i do have honest conversations with them about what is and what is not acceptable behavior, and what are and are not acceptable ways to allow people to treat you. My kids now know I will stand up for them and myself when I need to, and I hope this will teach them to be able to stand up for themselves, and they’ll be able to avoid getting into a bad relationship like this when they are grown.

Good for you. Kids aren’t dumb. I learned not to make assumptive statements to my kids like “I know you love [Spath] and want to be there, but it is your time to be with me.” This assumes they want to be with the other parent, and if in fact they don’t then they feel guilty about it. If they are angry about the other parent forgetting birthdays or holidays, they may feel guilty if I assume they love the other parent [because kids can’t always acknowledge love and anger simultaneously]. So now I just stick to factual statements and leave feelings out of it unless the kids bring them up.

Hello. Interesting post. I’m currently going through separation and I’m certainly trying to “keep the peace”. I’m wondering if you were able to amicably divorce from your sociopathic spouse or if there was a court battle. I’m trying to get through divorce as quickly and peacefully as possible and from what I’ve learned it seems like the best way to do this is through an amicable divorce. I’ve tried convincing my husband to use http://www.thistoo.co but he’s not very cooperative at all.

Hi AlOttawa22, I equate my marriage to one as HELL and trying to divorce him the BOTTOM of HELL!!

They are masterful manipulators and will do anything and everything to continue the divorce process as long as they can to continue to break you down more, to have control over you & to prevent you from getting anything finically out of the divorce. They also will manipulate every person in court including the judge to sway things in their favor. Divorce court is really where my eyes opened wide to exactly how my ex manipulated everyone.

it was that bad for me. I would suggest that you look at the site One Moms Battle. com it’s an American site for those dealing with divorce & custody issues. They list divorce attorneys on their site (Facebook page) not sure if there are Canadian listed but you can ask as it has victims of narcissist abuse from all over the world (guessing by your name you are Canadian??). It’s a good site to connect with others going through the divorce process or child custody with a narcissist (sociopath).

Be prepared to battle. Try to keep your emotions out of it…not easy when dealing with a sociopath. Start the negotiation process asap and deal with negation each time you deal with you lawyer. Both lawyers & your ex will try to drag out the process. If your ex will not provide bills, bank statements go to the judge and demand these things if you need them. If you go to the big box book stores there is a section on “Financial divorce” look around at those books to get an idea of what you are entitled to then ask your lawyer if this is possible. I found that lawyers really dont care about your financial future they only care about their financial future and how much they will make off of your divorce.

In the states for instance if you were married more then 13 years you are entitled to a portion of your ex spouses Social security these are the things the divorce financial books will provide deal on while your lawyer may not.

Glad that you escaped his grips and glad that you found your way to Lovefraud.

btw One moms battle has a Facebook page if you decide to ask question on their Facebook page I would suggest that you open a fake email then a fake Facebook page so that you can chat freely without your ex, his/your friends seeing what you are chatting about.

Wishing you all the best.

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