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Do sociopaths return?

I recently received an email from a Lovefraud reader who had only one question. It’s a question I hear frequently: Do sociopaths return?

The answer: Some of them don’t, but some of them do.

Many people who have been romantically involved with sociopaths experienced the sudden “devalue and discard.” One day the sociopath loves you. The next day the sociopath tosses you aside like a used tissue and walks away, without ever looking back.

As the person left behind, you may be in shock. You may have had no idea that your partner was unhappy. You may ask yourself, did I do something wrong? Why didn’t he or she say something? Can’t we work this out?

You are also astounded at the callousness of your partner’s behavior. All those statements of “I love you” and “we’re soul mates” did they mean nothing? After all the time you spent together, and everything you’ve been through, how can this person just leave?

The answer may be that your former partner has drained all your resources, and there’s nothing left to take. Or your former partner has simply found a juicier target. Or your partner simply decides that he or she is bored. For whatever reason, you are no longer of any use, and the sociopath is gone.

If this person doesn’t return, consider yourself lucky.

The return

Sometimes the sociopath does return. They often have a sixth sense of when you may be receptive to hear from them. They just seem to know when your anger has subsided, or when you’re feeling lonely, or when you feel strong enough to be “just friends.”

Then, because they’ve spent so much time studying you, they know exactly what approach to use to hook you again.

They may proclaim their love, confessing that they never knew how much they truly loved you until you were gone.

They may apologize profusely, seeming to take responsibility for their heartless actions, while conveniently blaming something else, such as work stress or alcohol.

They may promise to go to counseling, or church, or rehab. Or, they say they’ve already been to counseling, church or rehab, and they’ve changed.

Or, they seduce you sexually.

Why do they return? Perhaps the “juicier target” has thrown them out and they have no place to go. Whatever the reason, they were able to manipulate you before, so they assume they’ll be able to manipulate you again.

Maintain No Contact

In numerous articles on Lovefraud, I’ve explained that to end an involvement with a sociopath, you must have No Contact with him or her.

If the sociopath returns after a period of time, your response should be the same: Maintain No Contact.

They may catch you off-guard by contacting you from a new phone number or e-mail address that you haven’t blocked. They may show up unannounced at your home or place of employment.

Do not fall for their apologies, excuses or professions of love.

Never forget: Once they are adults, sociopaths do not change. Sooner or later, the old games will start again, except they’ll be worse.

If a sociopath returns, do not let him or her back into your life.

 


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159 Comments on "Do sociopaths return?"

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This post couldn’t have come at a better time. I haven’t been on this site for a long time. But my ex has made several attempts to contact me, the most recent after he found out I was no longer seeing somebody, which was in mid November. I was actually thinking about seeing him!! My friends are all very mad at me and won’t even talk to me about it. So, I came back here to reinforce to myself what my ex really and truly is and what he is trying to do to me. I feel like I have the strength now to maintain no contact, which I broke by talking to him in November.

Mich-

We’ve all succumbed to the predator’s charm because we had the innate ability to love and forgive. There were many transgressions along the way that we ignored and people around us have a tendency to think we ignored them because we had a weakness or a fault. We even question that in ourselves.

The Betrayal Bond, Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships is the best book I’ve read to explain why I remained with the predator in my life, and how that relationship affected me.

I’d encourage anyone trying to break free of a toxic relationship to read it.

Joyce

Thanks Joyce. I did read that book earlier in the year when my relationship ended and I was beyond devastated. I ended up taking Zoloft for a few months and that helped a lot. I was able to stop crying and start eating and gaining weight and feel like my old self again. I had a great guy in my life but I pushed him away. My ex found out, they have mutual friends, and he contacted me immediately. I seemed to have forgotten everything I learned from this site and considered getting back together with him. I came back here and re-read the facts and it snapped me back into reality. Until today, I was longing to hear from him again and would have seen him if he tried one more time. But not anymore.

My ex has definitely returned. Not for me but for himself…..he is so very textbook that I can now almost predict his words and actions. His sense of entitlement is so amazing to me that it makes my head spin!!!!! He has had the balls to let me know that he intends to send his new wife back to her country before she can attain US citizenship. So he will use her for under two years and then divorce her so she is deported and he gets away with not being financially responsible for her. I even told him that he has informed me now that he is in the business of destroying lives….He continues to mail me expensive presents, and texts me atleast 20 times a day saying “how are you” “where are you”…..
I cannot maintain no contact with him for financial reasons. During my divorce in a community property state the judge awarded me alimony for 17 years to compensate me for money he has stolen,and moved out of the country. He pays me this money when he chooses. Its ridiculous that he feels good about control over me this way. I do not know if he knows I am now employed.I now know and have learnt that loose lips sink ships….It’s one of my life lessons that my involvement with him taught me…Infact I’m now so aware that my life’s lessons were taught to me by his discard of me. The whole point of their lives is to maintain dominance and control….and ofcourse to inflict hurt. As long as we who have been targeted can introspect and heal ourselves, we can see them for who they really are. Once we can accept that reality we can choose a path forward that allows us to grow as healthy individuals.

You are making excuses. You deserve so so much better. The master of the universe did not put in your life plan to put up with this sociopath for money. I worked in family law for years. Rid yourself of him and get an attorney either through legal aid or a private attorney that will take the case and what I have seen is you can get your ex to pay the fees and get a specific court order stating the day each month he has to pay and have it go through the court. If he fails to pay, file an Order to Show Cause/Contempt and get him put in jail. Your lot in life is not to be nice to him. Reality check, he has someone else and he is playing both of you. Heal from him and find someone that can love you truly and genuinely.

I’m not sure I agree with IthoughtIwassmart that you are making excuses…I completely understand wanting to get the money you are entitled to. Although I wasn’t married to my ex, we bought a very expensive house together and had agreed to split the house payment as well as all the expenses 50-50. He abandoned me before he even moved into the house, and I have never broken no contact once in 2 1/2 years – all communication has been through an attorney. He started off paying half the house payment (he sends the checks directly to me) but has never participated in any maintenance costs (some have been substantial) and during this time has unilaterally reduced the amount of his share of the house payment he sends. He started sending it later and later and finally my attorney intervened and now he sends it on the 1st…but he is shorting me a full $1,400 a month…every month. It used to irk me to no end that I know he feels that he is controlling me by manipulating the amount of the checks and the timing he sends them, but as I heal, I realized, screw that, who cares what he thinks. I have been financially torn apart by his actions, but as time has passed, I have come to accept what is lost is lost and will take what I can. When the house is sold, I will be able to live my life again on my own terms. You CAN work to get what you are entitled to, but you can do it through an attorney and don’t have to have any contact…I know, it is expensive and I was resentful about that too, but it’s money well spent in the long run. I also think it sends a message that you are serious when they find out that all communication has to be through an attorney. Change your phone number so he can’t text you! Also, your comment that loose lips sink ships…right on target. I am a natural sharer but I learned early on to keep my mouth shut. My life has basically been on hold all this time and my lifestyle has changed dramatically, while his has not changed and he has gone on to get married to his new target, travel and basically act like a big deal. I bide my time and do what needs to be done…

Mine is textbook to. He went months without contacting me then comes back with how much he loves me, wants to marry me. And then he always brings up the amazing sex. He wanted to get together in person to talk. I almost did it. All of my friends flipped out. I would lose them all if I did. I haven’t seen him since Jan 1 of this year. It would just take 1 minute of seeing him to fall back under his control and manipulation. And a lifetime of heartbreak.

Same here, thank God for friends.

Some of them just don’t seem to want to let go, even if they are the ones who broke up. I think they come back into our lives to see if they can still get a hook into us. I haven’t spoken to or seen the ex-spath in 3 years. I moved 25 miles away, he has a live-in girlfriend and a baby, and he still tries to keep tabs on me through mutual acquaintances. A normal person would move on and just let it go, but he can’t.

He’s still keeping tabs on his ex-wife who divorced him almost 20 years ago.

Mine kept tabs on his ex-wife too, and they had been divorced almost 20 years…I think it’s a red flag. He had me convinced she was crazy and had hurt him so badly (classic) that I didn’t think it was odd when he reminisced about the bad times and every holiday season he became obsessed with talking about her. He even worked out and transformed himself to “show her” what she was missing when he attended his daughters wedding. Gag! For sure he’s telling his new wife the same things about ME now, when I used to be the wonderful woman who made him so happy. Monsters!

Mine has kept tabs on my this entire year through his kids and mutual friends. I just needed the reality check of coming back here to going back to NC. I can’t believe I even talked to him in Nov when he contacted me. I was the one who broke up with him after finding solid proof of other women. He denies it to this day, even though I have it in black and white. Hardest thing I ever did was walk away from him.

Mich, the thing that confused me the most about the sociopath I dated was the utterly convincing lies. The evidence would show that he was lying. But his stories and excuses – and even apologies – were just so convincing. Before I knew what a sociopath was, I didn’t think anyone could lie so convincing. So I believed he must be telling the truth against all odds. “I guess it *could* happen,” would be my thought process. It’s the pathological lying that is a telltale sign you are dealing with a sociopath. Even after I walked away from him, I still couldn’t believe he was lying. I actually set a trap for him, just to make sure. I had one of my friends call him. She three-wayed me in on the conversation without him knowing. I heard him lie to her three times. He was so convincing that she believed him. She actually hung up from him and told me that she believes he is really sincere in what he said. This shows just how very dangerous they can be. If the stories don’t add up, believe your gut.

Stargazer, wow, we did a similar thing. I called him about a lie, had my best friend listen in without him knowing and she believed him to. Said he was very convincing. But she was one of my biggest supporters of leaving him. She knew he was a pathological lier but didn’t know the extent of it. I just can’t believe I forgot all this and almost saw him a few weeks ago. So glad I came back here and got the facts again and am thinking with a clear head. I also had backdoor contact the entire year. I was dating the father of one of his kids best friends. He was a great, nice guy. But the spaths daughter called him constantly and was in our business and reported back to dad on everything she could. That ended a few weeks ago, my choice. I’m hurt, once again, but nothing like I was in the beginning of the year.

Mich, I think when you are fresh out of a relationship with a sociopath, it’s really important to get support from people who understand sociopaths. Before I found this site, my sociopath had stalked me at a local expo where he knew I would be. He never said a word but followed me around and leaned in near me as if trying to smell my hair. At the end of the day, I was very confused. I thought this was a sign that he really loved me (even after he discarded me and lied to my friend on the phone that day). Fortunately, I called a very wise counselor that night. She assured me that what he did was a power play. He wanted to assert power over me. He probably expected me to call him after that and beg for him back, so he could have sex with me and then discard me again.

I am a hopeless, idealist romantic. So I often need to have reality checks with wise friends and counselors to get a reality check on my date’s behaviors. It really helps. My current therapist doubles as my dating coach.

I went to therapy most of this year and got on antidepressants. I started to feel like my old self again but when I ended my last dating relationship a few weeks ago, I fell back into the same sadness I felt earlier and wanted that feeling to go away. He just happened to show up the next day. Because he heard that I was single again. My friends don’t get.

Mich-

Keep in mind that our attraction to people is chemically induced. When people talk about “chemistry” between romantic interests, they often mean it in a comical sense, but there is a an actual physical connection of brain chemistry in romantic love, and its absence can create the longing we feel. It’s often why we go back. We’re reacting to the cessation of the neurotransmitter, oxytocin, that made us feel “loved.” Our craving to restore that feeling can be triggered by the mere sound of his voice.

Oxytocin plays an important part in our relationships, and, interestingly, a lack of oxytocin can enable a developing child to grow up without affective empathy, the root of disordered morality.

Having no contact for long periods of time can enable your brain to readjust its brain chemistry, but just like an alcoholic can’t go near a drop of alcohol, you can’t go near a drop of that ex of yours, if you want your life back.

Next time he calls, go out for a jog or do something else that makes you feel good about yourself. It’s healthier for you!

All the best-
Joyce

This is me and he was my drug. I was physically ill without him and needed to see or hear him to be well enough to eat or sleep when I first ended things. Little did I know he was already invested over a year in another relationship so that included the time we lived together. Reading your share helps me understand the chemical reaction portion of the sick relationship I had.

Excellent advice Joyce. I’m going to repeat this to my friends, they just don’t understand. I have found it harder to get over this relationship then any other, even my divorce wasn’t this hard. And I’m finding it hard to move on. I just don’t feel the same way about anybody else.

I have said to many people that I believe that one day, when times are tough and there is nowhere else to go, my Spath will try to return. I say this because every time during his entire life when he had nowhere to turn he came looking for me. BUT, there is a big difference now…I am not the same person I used to be and I am so much happier without him that I will never allow him back in my life. His co-workers and former friends have all said that he is such a different man without me and all I can do is laugh and say “I know, he was the best he will ever be when he was with me”, they agree. However, I still maintain No Contact, always will, because it was not me he ever loved, it was my security and bank account.

Now that he is gone, I have lost my job, only to find a much, much better one making more money than ever before, I have a new outlook on life and it is all about me and my children (which has been long overdue). My Spath has a new girlfriend who is pregnant now (he has only been gone since September 1 of this year) and is about to lose his job for not showing up, leaving early, and staying on the phone with his new girl constantly while pretending to work. Just as I predicted he would do. I see things so clear and will never allow a man to make me feel as if I don’t matter again.

I have reconnected with an old friend and we are taking things real, real slow because he knows how hurt I was and how my trust in men has been diminished to nothing.

What have I learned – the leave in a flash and will try to return the same what. When he does, and he will, he will only find a cold, cold heart and a locked door. Soon I will see him again for the first time and I can’t wait for him to see how much of a better person, how happier I am without him. In all actuality, he did me a favor and taught me great life lessons – I am more important that any man in my life and the next man will be deserving of the wonderful love I give.

I have maintained No Contact since September 25, 2013, and will not break that to save my life. I am just getting my life back.

I envy you. I have to have contact twice more. To get my stuff from the house. Yes, she stole my house, knew the judge, yada yada yada. I might not even get the 10k I am supposed to get for my “portion” of the house.
But, the further down the road I get from this woman, the healthier I will be. But, trust me, I will NEVER EVER get married again. No one is worth what I went thru for almost 8 years.

Phillip:

Don’t envy me…I have had to be strong all my life and I severely struggled with the concept of being discarded and spent many hours/days crying trying to figure things out. But, I have two boys to raise and I will be damned if I allow them to turn into heartless men like the man I was with for 7 years. The hardest part was finding forgiveness in myself. I knew I had to eventually and with the help of everyone at Lovefraud, my family and my few friends I realized I had to. And then it happened, I woke up one day and it didn’t hurt to breathe. I felt good about myself and the boys I am raising. My friends all say that I am such a different person, for the better, without him and how they have never seen me so happy in my own skin.

I have been working out and loosing weight, not for anyone, but for myself and that has made a big difference. I was able to reconnect to an old friend who over the past 7 years had told me every year when we spoke how I was worth so much more and I finally believe him.

One of my friends, whom I have known for over 30 years, works with my Spath and at first thought I was not telling the truth until the Spath allowed his true colors to show through and now my friend has gone to work and personally is “defending my honor” over all the lies the Spath told his co-workers. Now the Spath has no friends and almost doesn’t have a job. Not that I wish him harm (well, maybe a little), but I found it more important to prove that he did not break me like he thought he did…and he did not break me. I cannot be broken for long!!!

As for you losing your home and the crooked Judge, I hate to say but it happens all the time and I have seen it done a million times by women who use the system to gain support for their lies. Just know that no matter what she does, who she gets to believe her, the truth always comes out and her true colors will shine through whether she wants them to or not. In the end, you Win, not her!!! You are free of a loveless marriage and that in itself is winning. As for remarriage…I feel the same as you but should I ever find that one man who can truly love me for who I am and not what I have and prove that to me…then I will love him forever!!

You are inspiring. I still have the weakness for mine but will never ever have contact with him again. I look forward to feeling as you do. Thank you for sharing.

You will feel like I do eventually and you will feel so much better for it. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t trust men much and at night when I am alone is the hardest part because I miss that companionship. However, it really wasn’t companionship like I thought it was it was a means to and end for him and a life to me. When I do feel sad, I remind myself that I have more money now that I am not spending it all on him, I have a better relationship with my boys and they are turning into wonderful, caring men, and for that I am grateful. What does not kill us makes us stronger and I am so much stronger today than I was in September and October. I don’t think about him longer than it takes me to remind myself of how much happier I am without him. Keep telling yourself that and you will believe it. You are much, much better without him that you were with him. Now you can concentrate on you and what you want out of life.

Betrayal often makes leaving harder. We beat ourselves up and we wonder what we did wrong. It’s hard to grasp that we were “played.” Because of the cessation of the brain chemicals that kept us attached, our unconscious self craves reattachment, even though we know how hurtful the person was. We see it as “our love will cure them.” With enough distance, however, we realize they can’t be cured and love had absolutely nothing to do with the relationship.

I quit smoking many years ago. I remember the nicotine withdrawal of going cold turkey. It ended. Now, I wouldn’t pick up a cigarette for any reason. And now that I recognize that my ex is a psychopath, there is no reason to engage with him at all. The hardest loss of all is my son. He’s BPD with no change in sight. There is unlikely to be one.

Joyce

Excellent advise. I never saw my relationship with my sociopath as an addiction . But now it all makes sense to me why it was so difficult and painful the first few months after I was discarded. It is truly withdrawal symptons. The no contact for over 6 months now was my “cure” for my addiction. I will never go near him again and I will never “touch” him again. My son and I recovered nicely so far and the future does look bright to us. My son is doing wonderful in college, I have a job I truly love. And even the pets seem happier.
Katareaux , how wonderful about your success and recovery. I remember when you broke the no contact a few months back. Doesn’t it get easier? And wow, your ex has already moved on and got someone pregnant. It’s just beyond a normal persons actions how they just go to the next victim. After my divorce is final I would love to send the co worker/mistress some flowers and a thank you card telling her how grateful I am that she took my place in life. But then again, he might put another injunction against me . So just the thought of them bring together in their misery is sufficient for my happiness.

Kaya, You sure know how to make me laugh at myself. You are so right, several months ago all I wanted was to make it work and now I can’t stand the thought of him. When I found out that his new victim was pregant I was completely done with him. I knew that I had to move on to be happy and that is what I did, I moved on. I am so much happier now with myself and my boys are happier and there is an air about my home that is peaceful for once and I love it. My friends say they have never seen me so happy and that I have this “glow” about me…and you know what, I do, even I can see it.

Even when I found out I was loosing my job (my boss is still in critical condition) it did not upset me and within a weeks time I was blessed with a new, full-time job, making twice the money (I start January 2, 2014) and I am looking forward to the next chapter in my life, Spath free.

I could not have come this far without your help. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!

You welcome Katareaux . I have been through the exact same and I know how it was when i first was discarded. To this day I still cannot believe that I “almost” begged him to come back home. I never viewed it as an “addiction” but it truly is one. Now it makes sense to me the struggle to free yourself from this addiction. Just like your ex, mine has moved on with the co worker. It is amazing how they devalue, discard and replace. Luckily he cannot “create ” any more children. And you know good things happen to good people. You have a new better job, you glow and you have piece in your life. I feel the exact same way. My son is happy, I love my job and life is good. I accept now that my 20 year marriage was an illusion. But life is so much more. I know great things will happen. Just like you I messed up many times on the no contact at first. But this website and everyone on here had given me the strength to be strict about the no contact. I honestly don’t remember when I cried last. Was it 8 months ago? What a difference from my daily tears listening to him putting me down. I am sure the new “victim” has her daily cries when he throws his anger outbursts and makes her feel worthless. And you know I am thankful for her. She truly saved my life :). I am so happy for you Katareaux, I want to cry tears of joy for you :).

Kaya:

Your so right, life is so much more!! I am so happy that you are doing great and feeling good about things. I know your son is much happier because mine are the same way and it amazes me how much turmoil was in our lives until I truly committed to No Contact. We laugh all the time, we cut up and do things we want to do without feeling guilty. I still have trust issues when it comes to men but I know I will have those for a long time. I am so thankful for you and everyone here for helping me understand and come to terms with what he did and how he truly is. I, like you, thank the new victim because she also saved my life as well. I feel sorry for her at the same time because she is young, just 18 and now pregnant, and she has no idea what he is.

We can cry tears of joy for the both of us!!! We survived!!!

Excellent advise. I never saw my relationship with my sociopath as an addiction . But now it all makes sense to me why it was so difficult and painful the first few months after I was discarded. It is truly withdrawal symptons. The no contact for over 6 months now was my “cure” for my addiction. I will never go near him again and I will never “touch” him again. My son and I recovered nicely so far and the future does look bright to us. My son is doing wonderful in college, I have a job I truly love. And even the pets seem happier.
Katareaux , how wonderful about your success and recovery. I remember when you broke the no contact a few months back. Doesn’t it get easier? And wow, your ex has already moved on and got someone pregnant. It’s just beyond a normal persons actions how they just go to the next victim. After my divorce is final I would love to send the co worker/mistress some flowers and a thank you card telling her how grateful I am that she took my place in life. But then again, he might put another injunction against me . So just the thought of them being together in their misery is sufficient for my happiness.

Agree, I always refer it to an addiction as well. It really is. I told this to my therapist and she said that is a good way to put it as you slowly ween yourself away from the person (then she did a little giggle lol)

In my case when he does contact me it makes me feel good..like he’s suffering in a way like he made me suffer. Hoping he’s miserable. But since coming here I realize he’s not suffering or miserable, he’s just trying to get a response anything to make him think he still has that hold but I’m not playing his games anymore he doesn’t deserve a thought in my head. He doesn’t even deserve my hate. Its getting better with each day of no contact. I really don’t even care what he’s doing anymore. Feels pretty good after two years of him constantly occupying my mind and we were done two years ago this past November. Spent 10 yrs together and wasted another 2 just dwelling on it..not gonna do it any more.

I was such a vulnerable target even long after he left my house and so addicted to “helping” him that I had to do something that would make him want to stay away and me to know that he would never be back so I took out a website with his picture and explained all the things he did. This way, everyone he knew told him I was terrible and my camp finally saw I was trying to get free. It has worked so far, over a year and a half. I doubt I will ever date again.

My therapist even said it was an addiction. That is when I got on antidepressants and they helped. But I still have a longing for him. And I know its not him that I want but that feeling I had with him. Without a doubt, an addiction. I broke NC in June and Nov when he contacted me. I don’t think he will ever totally go away. I fear he will do this to me for the rest of my life. This explains why his ex gf always seemed to be around during my relationship with him.

You don’t HAVE to always let him “do this to you” Mich0101. It is entirely up to you. YOU have to realize he only has the control over you that you give him. Change your phone number to a private one, do NOT answer emails, calls or even speak ONE WORD to him. That is the only way you will be free. It’s like alcohol or drugs. The minute you take that sip you fall again. I don’t even say hello to mine when he is at church. I totally look through him like he isn’t there. I NEVER answer any emails or phone calls and he finally stopped. I still see him at church but I never acknowledge his presence. Do I feel bad about it? I do sometimes, because I am a “normal, caring person”. But I remind myself that he is NOT normal and I have to protect ME. You need good friends to help you, you need to come here a LOT and especially when you get that urge to talk to him. Do whatever it takes or you will never find true happiness.

Thanks Linette. I am planning to do that. I try to block him on my phone but he messages me from his computer to my phone. I will not respond ever again, but like you said, I feel bad about that because I do have feelings. I think about him all the time again because I broke the NC that I did so good with early on in the year. Jan 1 will be one year since I’ve seen him. I’m hoping that will be a turning point for me.

I would just suggest that you don’t even do as much as acknowledge his texts or messages. Don’t even say, “okay” or “don’t call me or get in touch with me” if you have already done so. ANY word from you is like an invitation to them. Even a SMILE from you is. Believe me, I was with several of them and the last one I was married to for 11 years. It was after him and found this site that I finally learned that you cannot deal with them. Period. When you feel weak, stop and think about what he’s done. Come here. Go to a friend, whatever it takes but do NOT answer him. It will better so much more quickly that way too. Someday, you will have room in your life for a healthy relationship and you’ll be so glad you gave this one up.

I had told him in Feb to never speak to me again and I ignored him after that but I did respond in June and Nov. So I feel as if I would need to at least say it once more if/when I hear from him again. Then I will ignore from now on. Why, why, will he not go away? I haven’t been with him in almost a year. Why can’t he move on to somebody else?

Can I say this gently? I believe (like me at one time) that you are making excuses to yourself about reasons you need to answer him. I am not saying it’s your intent consciously but unconsciously. If you have only talked to him that little in the past year, he will KNOW that you do not want anything to do with him. He is playing with you and keeping you “on the line” for fun. It sounds harsh and I know you think I don’t know the situation but I DO. I was the same exact way and when anyone told me I would rationalize things too. You are “withdrawing” from him and when he contacts you, you get a “fix” and it feels GREAT but remember it’s only for a fleeting moment in time. Remember how you feel the rest of the time, miserable for being sucked in once again. This is only advice. You are the one that has to make this happen. I just beg you to do it once and for all so you can not waste any more of your life on him.

I get what you are saying. I will try my hardest.

imustacheyouaquestion

I just popped in after seeing this article in an email notification. I drop in from time to time to get a refresher. I suspect I will always do so, although my life has gotten so much better than it was just a few years back when divorcing my now ex-spath. At that time, this website was something I clung to as the only place where people understood what I was going through. I will always be so grateful for this site and the helpful people here! Without this, I would have carried on thinking I was nuts. My ex-spath is so good at convincing everyone around him what a wonderful man he is, including a couple of female marriage counselors we went to before the divorce. Few people have seen behind the mask.

We have a child together, so I must have contact, but I do my best to work around the personal texts and calls. After several years away from him, I am no longer tempted to return to him. The thought of it actually turns my stomach now. Of course he uses our daughter as much as he can to provoke me to increased contact. I’ve dealt with threats of custody battles (at the time of the divorce, he couldn’t have cared less and gave me full custody without even requesting visitation), his arbitrary decision to pay less than half of the court-ordered child support, his manipulation of our daughter into thinking that I’m a terrible mother (although I have little social life and no vices while he is a heavy drinker and sexaholic lol), etc.

Because of our daughter, he still has a way to try and torment me. Yet I’m at peace. I do get upset sometimes, because his manipulations affect my child. I struggle financially while he chooses when to pay child support and how much (I choose right now to ignore this as much as possible because he is trying to use it to trigger me). Yet I can come home each day to a calm house. I can enjoy my daughter’s company when she is with me. I can go where I want and do what I want whenever I want. There is no one here to torment me if I try to meet a friend for a movie or to follow me around the house telling me how worthless I am.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that, as this article states, I know my ex will never stop trying to contact me, although I’m sure it will be much less after our daughter is an adult (she’s 15). But after several years free from him, I enjoy my life and know that I would never want to be with him again. I see him for what he is: a shell of a human being attempting to fill his emptiness with the souls of others. For anyone still in the midst of it, take strength from those here who have escaped. It isn’t easy, but you’re worth it! God bless!

Mich,
I would like to add a little bit on to what Linette is trying to tell you. I was married for over 22 years to a sociopath. I spent years trying to figure him out.” The ups and downs, the roller coaster ride,the now it’s okay now it’s not. I thought this was like a normal marriage having it’s good times and bad times. The difference was the bad times were pretty damn bad. He was mean, he would call me names, there was no understanding and he was callous. He was flat out a bully! However, I was addicted to this push and pull because I so much waited for the good times to keep returning. It’s hard to admit because I think of myself as a smart woman, but I was addicted” Very addicted. I’m going to repeat that, I was addicted…..really really seriously addicted and I didn’t even know it. But I did know that I was really sick of the bad times and the meanness and the flat out sabotaging what should’ve just been a normal fine day. Now comes the important part. I finally got the courage to file for divorce and I told myself once I filed for divorce don’t turn back don’t withdraw, don’t pull out, stay the course. Luckily for me he was a total asshole during the divorce process, and I mean really mean. Lying lying lying and not playing fair quite openly. It was truly a gift that he did not try to be nice to me or try to come back, because even though I was strong enough to file for divorce I was still weak and would’ve fallen for a fake return of interest of much of any duration. There was some contact through emails text messages and some phone calls but they always turned out bad, really bad. It wasn’t until I got it in my head that I would never speak to him again that I finally got better.

I repeat, I never started truly feeling better about myself and finding happiness in life until I broke contact with him. He tried a few more emails as time went on but I never answered them. If they had any substance to them at all I addressed the issue through my attorney.

I am happier now than I’ve probably been in 12 years. I think I’m happy because I gave up hope that the relationship would ever truly work out. The hope that previously was called malignant hope on this website. It is malignant hope. And Me stuck in a truly dysfunctional messed up relationship that was never going to work- At least to my satisfaction. It was working out for him because he always had what he wanted.

Go no contact. It will open up freedom in your life and happiness that you never knew. I know it once seem like a foreign concept to me to to just never talk to someone again for the rest of your life but were talking a special personality type of person here, not the average person that we should have some compassion, love, or empathy for. Okay I’ll admit, that I have a little bit of compassion for him and how he grew up but I keep it to myself secretly. It was still his job at some point in life to figure out how to be a mature adult.

And if you really are addicted like I was, be prepared to feel weird, to seem like time has a different feel to it to lose weight or gain weight because you’re going to be filling that space with something else either thoughts or food” Something else has to start occupying that space in your head.
I read love fraud articles on a daily basis. I blogged it like a diary of my own to just purge him and all that he had done. I felt like I couldn’t think or function. I lost 30 pounds but I exercised every single day and I did things that felt happy as best as i could..tried to bring some joy into my life.
Go no contact. It will open up space in your life for happiness.

I wish you peace, happiness, and love in your life and it will happen if you get the people that are not good people out of your life.

I am almost 2 months no contact with my ex. I left our apartment in the middle of the night after he stormed out in one of his routine verbally abusive fits. I haven’t heard from him since. It has been one of the most heartbreaking and devestating experiences of my life. I got back together with him 3 times this was the final straw. Like Donna mentioned I feel thrown away like a used tissue. After everything we were to each other, all the promises, all the good times, gone. It’s been a struggle moving on. Every day is like wearing cement shoes. But I’m doing it and I feel better each day. This biggest hurdle for me is having no closure. But I know I will never get it from him. He doesn’t even realize he has a problem, its me and my family that has the problem. In the past he always returned, sometimes angry sometimes sorry. I loved him and wasn’t fully educated at the time about sociopaths so I allowed him back in. This third time crushed me the worst. The only closure I got ironically was from a psychic I went to last week. I walked in the room and she told me ” You made the right choice in leaving him, he is no good, he used you because it was exciting to him. He feels no remorse now, but he will be back very soon apologizing, you can’t go back be strong.” Ok universe I am listening to you this time!!!! lol

My question is- When they do return, and approach you face to face, on the spot, whats the best way to handle it? Whats the best thing to say? Of course if I receive a text or email there will be no contact. I know I have to move on, he is no good and would give me a miserable life.

I read somewhere that the best thing is to keep a poker face and reveal NOTHING. If you’re angry, or hurt or bitter – they know and that is their supply – that’s what they came looking for! So look ahead, not in their eyes, as if you’re a robot, listen to what they say and ask “is that all?” and walk away. I can tell you that if mine shows up, I will not answer the door. If I am approached, I will excuse myself “to use the ladies room” and escape out the back door, if possible. I’ll say to another person “may I speak to you privately please?” (if I know them) to get away. You don’t want to feed their desire for supply – they need to know they still affect your feelings, mood, etc. – once they get evidence of that, guess what? Your energy was sucked out of you and you’re discarded again. Let them guess what you’re feeling. Avoid them at all costs. Google narcissism – this is what you’re dealing with!

Yes. They want some kind of acknowledgement, any kind at all, even bad words or mean words or whatever. As long as they have ANY response, even a look on your face, they are happy because they know they still have a hold of some kind on you. I am so thankful for this site because I never would have known how to handle him otherwise. I am thankful we don’t have children together. The reason I didn’t leave church is that he was unable to attend due to the order of protection for 6 months and now he is slowly coming less and less. He has found a new young girl and has moved on for now at least. I am a little stubborn. I wasn’t going to let him bully me and run me off from my church I loved. Now I am TOTALLY over him so it doesn’t matter. It has taken a year and a half to get to this point though. Now I just think “jerk!!!” when I see him and go on. LOL

Good girl! I only mentioned it – not to judge you, at all – because so many of us NEED to NOT be anywhere near them because of the energy addiction. But that little lying voice in our heads, the one that needs the “fix” will lie and say we should run into them one day to burn them. My “narc” knew and will always know that I am lying if I act like I don’t care – he always saw right through me. They are better at this than us because it is instinct to them. When I recall how many times I cried to him, thinking my pain would invoke pity in him – I could KICK myself!!! I will not be in his presence voluntarily again. I pray that if I am, I see him before he sees me, so I can get away without him seeing me run and knowing it’s because I can’t handle his presence. Luckily, we don’t live near each other. I won’t even go to my next class reunion unless I hear via grapevine that he is dead before the comes. He already had 2 heart attacks so it is possible. Not that I wish it. Just sayin’ – if he’s alive and might go, I’m going to stay away.

Right now, let’s try to take care of you and leave the anticipation of contact/meeting with your “misery maker” on the back burner. Let’s try to help you feel a little lighter or a little more at ease through the healing.
1.) You are taking control of your life, thank God. You do have control over this relationship; actually, the final say of it because when you’re done with him, you’re done. Give yourself the pride you deserve for exiting. You know you could, if you tried, manipulate him back. You aren’t trying and Good for You! You are doing you a favor!
2.) If you need a fix/a reminder of how chaotic or incomprehensible it was, go for it. Just understand it’s one less day/month/year to have to go for your dreams.
3.) You did love him and you did it well. You now know about the sacrifice of love that will enable you to be a great partner to another who will not just appreciate that but give of himself in return. You will accept nothing less, right?
4.) He offended you and almost all of your sensibilities and that pretty incomprehensible, right? Because of who you really are,what had trespassed and for what he proclaimed. Weird and that’s just where to leave it: It weird you out because it was weird. Later, you will only remember some small snippets and they will just be facts without much of an emotional hook… Like anything else of your past. He will be remembered as just pretty odd.
5.) Get going to meet other guys normal. Of course, you’re not in the mood nor are you ready for a big connection but each regular guy will be a good comparison to the nut job you had. If you do a dating site, you get to socialize incognito for as long as you want and you can meet from the pick of the lot. Some of those picks will make you nostalgic but other’s will reinforce to you that he was weird. (I don’t know if you would have any interest/relevance with a rural fellow but if you would, FarmersOnly.com has a lot of real guys. They may be hayseed but, in general, they really are looking for a companion. And you gotta think the farmer type/men from the land are a more stable group given their work demands and aptitudes.)
6. Get that heart pumping in some kind of cardio to feel good about you and get the benefits of the calming endorphins.
7. When you have a stricken moment, set your timer for 30 minutes of doing stricken…. You won’t last the 30 minutes. You just won’t. But you will have concrete evidence that you really aren’t as swallowed up by the wretchedness as it felt like to you.
8. And as for the contact to come: Just buy some time to be in the best shape for it, including looking good. Be matter of fact, don’t try to reason (Impossible anyhow) and carry an air of boredom.
9. If you lose grip and return, the world isn’t going to come to an end. You’re just going to lose some time and add some memories. Eventually, you will detach. It would be great if you did so now but you will do it at some point. The cycle of this will shorten and shorten until it’s just too absurd. You probably won’t even get a really fine memory for the cycling.
10. Seek one person or entity that you can be absolutely honest with and will still support you…no matter how nutty you sound.
11. Be very kind to yourself, you have been traumatized and the strickeness you get is from the trauma of this. It’s norm. You’re doing this normally even though it’s hard.

Mich0101 – you truly are breaking an addiction. It’s not easy and we all know what you’re dealing with here. We have all done it. Just know that the ultimate outcome is the same – you will not have the life you thought you would with him, ever, and the longer it takes you to block him 100% with zero interaction, the more of your life is gone, waiting for that eventual outcome. I would have even changed churches, if I were Linette! I saw a post by mine to another woman last night and had such an angry reaction – I cannot be anywhere near this person whatsoever. He’s been texting me daily and I have not responded at all for over six months – so I had to block him. Because every contact puts my head into a spin “What is he feeling? what does he want? Does he miss me?..” the answer is IT DOESN’T MATTER. I only know whatever he’s trying to accomplish is only for his benefit, not mine. I can finally not respond without feeling bad. This is no different that fighting alcoholism or drug addiction. You’re not happy without it, it’s all you can think about, all you want – then you break down and pursue it or try “just a little” and it makes you sick and miserable because you backslid, undid the good work you just did by abstaining and it didn’t make you happy at all. Instead, you’re left feeling even more despondent over the weakness. Google Melanie Tonia Evans, she has an energy healing program for narcissistic injury and it helped me a lot. She endured what we have and used her training as a kinesiologist to help move that energy. Maybe read her site too online too. But don’t lie to yourself that you’re being rude if you don’t respond, that’s the trick your mind uses to get the fix of the addiction. They have no feelings, so they don’t hurt if you don’t respond. That’s you projecting how you would feel. They don’t. That’s why you’re on this website.

Ilidpatt-

The last message in your text was “spot on!” I can recall all the times I thought about what he must be feeling or how he would feel if he only knew. It would occupy a huge amount of space in my brain as I lived inside what I thought he’d feel.

What’s interesting about that dynamic, is that it’s us being empathetic. It’s us exhibiting the very character that is lacking in a “cluster B’s” personality.

They’re drawn to us because we have the capacity to project, forgive and relate, all of which they can misuse. We didn’t suspect that we were projecting, forgiving and relating to someone who had absolutely none of the humanity we gave them credit for in our ruminations.

When we continue that empathetic ruminating, it’s because the brain chemistry that glued us into the relationship, has yet to wane. It will with time and separation. It will faster if you put your mind to work doing something else you enjoy. And there’s nothing wrong with getting a prescription for an anti-depressant to help you stop ruminating.

I got over the loss of my ex without anti depressants. I was happy he was out of my life, despite the hardship he was able to throw at me over our son. The loss of my son, however, was a totally different story.

In looking back, I can see that if I’d taken anti depressants at the time of my breakup with my ex, it would have been easier to break away.

Joyce

imustacheyouaquestion

Lov10 & Mich-When I started thinking about mine like an empty shell, like a hologram with pre-programmed messages, it helped me to stop responding. Everything they do or say is calculated. Everything has a selfish purpose. Their most compassionate, giving, magnanimous acts are actually targeted toward the payout for them. Unfortunately, it is not for you at all. It will seem so, because spaths are excellent at figuring out what you need to hear and what will make you feel loved and special. Sadly, it is a lie. I know it is difficult to fully believe, because we get addicted to the lovely ride. But with every great ascent there will be a terribly painful fall. They are emotional vampires. No matter how much we want them to turn out to be the one good vampire, it isn’t possible in their nature! Love yourself and realize your worth. We deserve REAL love, not the facade.

Funny you say that you starting thinking of your Spath like an empty shell. It has been a year since I found out the true side of my Spath. A week after finding out I started to google his behaviour towards me and came across this page. He is a Sociopath. About 2 months ago I saw a picture of him and he was so ugly to me. A shell. It has helped me so much. I haven’t been able to achieve NC but I feel like the fogginess in my head has started to go away.

imustacheyouaquestion

Hang in there! Keep trying to achieve NC. You’ll feel so much more at peace. I understand exactly what you mean about the fogginess going away. Now he seems ugly to you. You’re starting to break the addiction. Good for you! The further you get away from him, the better you’ll feel, until one day you’ll realize you never want that negativity in your life again.

Thank you all for your responses and advice. I was here earlier in the year and managed to stay NC until the summer. After coming back here, I know that I need to not respond, no matter what. I need to get my life back.

You are absolutely right. They have no feelings or remorse. If you don’t respond or engage in any communication the only thing they feel is probably anger. Because a narcissist hates being ignored or rejected. They put themselves above everyone and it is an insult to them when we don’t pay attention to them. They hate the feeling of being made worthless. Do they get sad or hurt about it? No because they lack those emotions. I have educated myself about this disorder and this knowledge helps me to better recover. I stopped asking myself why did he to this to me? You will never get an explanation or a closure. After you were discarded you are nothing to them. I don’t share any minor children with my soon to be ex. I cannot imagine how difficult it would be if there were children involved and I really feel the pain.My divorce is a nightmare with myson being 19 as it is. He makes up lies about me, diagnoses me with various mental illnesses, and files injunctions against me. He can do this because he is a police officer. My attorney told me “don’t worry “. I try to stay strong for my son. At least I took the first step towards sanity and peace and that’s signing my petition to end this nightmare.

When you’ve fallen into the trap of the spath’s chaos circus and merry-go-round, it’s sometimes hard to imagine how you might get out, much less how the heck you got there in the first place!

It was all so easy to be lured into their world as they pulled their hooking behaviors on you, then after they’ve got to know your patterns and vulnerabilities, they pull the trauma bonding routines to give you dissonance but also magnetize you to their energy fields.

Their energy fields clearly spin in the direction of dissipating energy in their flamboyant displays of narcissistic behavior, and though you may be captivated by their drama, it is, in fact, wasting your time and wasting your life.

I did a type of objective energy analysis on the disordered person’s behavior patterns. They seem busy quite often, but their system always seems to lose energy…it is an open system.

A closed system would tend to build energy: good feelings, great times, better futures based in better visions and carried through with integrity, honesty, transparancy and accountability. This is the concept we might hold of that great marriage we all hope for!

The disordered person is like an open system where the sum total of all the energy put in is lost via the apertures that drain the energy away from the generating influences.

That’s why they might make you feel good while you’re spinning on their carnival rides, but when the show stops, your money is gone, the good times stop rolling and you’re all alone, often scared and wet and tired from the circus that’s just happened but has now “wrapped up and left town”.

Was it fun? Sometimes. Did it leave you wanting in the end, with you always trying to chase whatever tool they employed to control you? Always.

Recognize you’ve been “played”…very, very badly by a person who *doesn’t care*!!!

The ways that I’ve got past the trauma bonding and the hooks and tools of control (one of which is a lot of money that he *stole* from me… Yes, fraud and using deception to get money from someone with no intention of ever paying it back is STEALING!!) is to make copious lists that help me to organize my thoughts and know what’s real.

The crazy-making/gaslighting that they pull on you is enough to make you question your own reality and feel unsure of what’s real. So, first, list what’s real to you and what you plan to do about it.

I started to journal my feelings and experiences as they contemporaneously rolled by. I figured I could move on and forget the minor incidents at the time and compare notes when I had more information. I prepared to have more information in the future. I was on an information gathering task–which is appropriate for any interaction you might undertake with a marginally unknown entity.

The strange occurances that he would deny were cataloged. The time and date stamping of all the weirdness seemed kind of unnecessary at times because I thought, “Well, maybe I am imagining this all…” But no, I wasn’t imagining anything!

My impressions of his behavior were more accurate that I could have possibly known! He pings as a complete and bonafide psychopath (based on my clinical background and personal observations applied to the analytical tools to assess this sort of thing).

He hid his secret life very well. He hid his “harem” very well. I was the “cause” for all his “problems” (even though I’d only known him for 2 years!). One of his real definitive “tells” is the very interesting “duper’s delight” where a micro expression of glee at pulling one over on the target is observable—by the target–if we are very clever to watch and take notice!

I listed and cataloged. As the body of bad behavior built up into incontrovertable proof of disordered behavior patterns and outright manipulation, I used this as a tool to remind myself *why I didn’t want to be around this person*!!!!!

These disordered personalities do not really have a clear identity which separates them from another. Once they glom-on to you, they envelop you and they begin to feel as though they are attached to you on a very basic level…which is the energy drain mechanism, really.

It’s through these very basic levels that they return to rehook you into their carnival ride-life…These scary clowns… Luring you with bait then slapping you down when you’ve taken the attractive bait. And, you’re back at the bottom of the well, wondering how you got there again!

That’s why No Contact is *so, so, SO* important!!

They are called “Socio”-paths for a reason!

They make their way through life, being a parasite and *being sociable* (more or less as they fade from schmoozer to creep)!!

When they return, all your bad memories, feelings and stressors are wrong!!–in their eyes and descriptions, if you’ll notice.

Their disorder allows them to feel no separation from their targets…that’s why they return… In their mind, you are part of them.

So, in order for you to break free of their *Carnival of Horrors*, you must fully recognize that they are *Separate* from you!! They left, they buggered off, they goofed and played you, they made your life into a chaotic stress hole of dissipating energy… And it’s up to you to get a grip, get control of your time and your life, be strong, stand up to their manipulations (thank you to Donna for this great website of information on how to do all this!!)…and live better!!

And, then, if and when they return to you for their refreshing dose of Narcissistic Supply… You are …gone… No contact, Grey Rock, Super Boring… Nothing they can say or do can get your attention… NOTHING.

If they return, even in your mind, Darlings… >>>No Contact.

“Don’t Feed The Psychopaths!!”

(I love that line!)

Here’s another quick little mind tool to help you get past their hook on you: You want to mindfully stop referring to the disordered individual as “my spath” or “my ex-spath” or “my” anything!! You must disown them and make a clear break even in your own descriptions of them as most definitely NOT in any way a part of your life.

You see, when you describe them in any way as “my” this or that, you are making a type of subconscious connection in your mind. This… you want to stop.

As you make your break from them, you might want to rather think of ways to describe them that say things like, “that disordered person who targeted me”, or, “the anti-social person who acted in disordered ways that did the blah-blah and so and so…”

Remind yourself that they are most definitely NOT a part of your best life. Do not have “ownership” of them in any way. Let them be a totally peripheral thing that is away from you; that you can ignore them enough to blow them off–but remember only enough to know they are Bad News!! Really, Babe, they don’t care about you, so STOP CARING ABOUT THEM!!

And, then, in your moments of clarity about all this, find out what makes you happy and go do that! Be creative! Make art! Dance! Write! Draw, paint, do yoga, become proficent in a creative endeavor and go be fantastic in this world!

Close up your energy field and start building up your energy and creating the most wonderful and fantastic world you can possibly imagine!

It might seem that doing that and being a Grey Rock are mutually exclusive, but no worry! You are smart and able and you can do this!!

So, if they ever return–and they will want to once they see you being fantastic again!–bring out your tool box that you’ve put together to maintain No Contact…and go live a great and worthwhile life!!

Wishing Everyone Peaceful and Blest Holidays!!

Whoa – this is just brilliant, Hinahina!!! Holy smokes, everyone- if you have not read that entire post, stop what you’re doing and ABSORB, at a cellular level, every single word! I just referred to him as “my ‘narc'” – LAST TIME EVER that I refer to him as “my” anything! THANK YOU!

Last month stalker was granted a parole hearing. I wrote a statement to read at the hearing. My husband was proof-reading it for me when he commented that I should change my wording from “stalker” to “my stalker”. I said no, I refuse to refer to him as “my” anything.

He immediately understood and dropped it.

Stalker was denied parole, for now.

I recently met a sociopath. He was brilliant. If I had not been reading on lovefraud I would not have seen what was up. In fact Donnas new book “Red Flags” is now one of my favorite books.

He really just dropped out of even trying to act caring. I sometimes still reel when I feel the emotions that shocked me to the core. They lurk online. I met him online. And there are more of them out there! Be careful everyone!!

It is easy to play nice long enough to get you involved with them. And yes he wanted to return. My comment was, so if you cared about me, why did you never call me in three months??/ I was just trying to play back on the stupid type of logic he has. So there it is…. they are liars and players. Just do no allow yourself to be played.

In the end I actually think something demonic was afoot. I had to pray to remove the negative presence which I realized was making me miss this jerk. Why would you miss someone who just uses you??

mshorsegirl – I am now inclined to agree with you, to some extent. Every time something good and positive seems about to happen, he reaches out to me – as if trying to tempt me back to the negative energy and “dark side” and I started praying to the Archangel Michael, to help keep me safe from that influence! The Universe, or God – whichever you choose to believe, has given me COUNTLESS pieces of evidence that when I put him and the negativity out of my life – good things happen, good luck and money come my way, etc., and when I am in touch with him, my good luck and opportunities disappear! The last time he texted, I prayed and said (to myself in prayer) “I do care about you and pray for you. Guardian Angel, please go to his Guardian Angel and you two bitches hug it out- but I’m staying away from that human for the rest of this lifetime, to keep myself safe and sane! Amen.”!

I’ve been on this site since May, and for the most part I do believe my ex is a sociopath. Is there a list of the characteristics that you can check off and figure out? Are there degrees of this disorder?
Because my ex was VERY remorseful. But he never changed. He kept begging forgiveness and I did for a long time. In my divorce agreement it states that he is to have zero contact with me or anyone related to me (we don’t have children together). Yet, 4 months into the finalized divorce he calls and leaves a voice message (first contact since divorce), telling me how sorry he is, thanks me for “imparting wisdom” into his life and apologizes for any inconvenience he’s left me with (I signed a pre-nupt and got ZERO & have had to start over financially with 91 cents in my bank account as of April). He ends the call with “well I guess I’ll talk to you later”. What do I make of this? I certainly won’t be returning the call. It “happened” to be our wedding anniversary the day of the call. Did he do this on purpose, waiting to call me on that day? Thinking I’d be sentimental about it? Honestly I didn’t even remember (sign of healing) that it WAS that day, nor thought about him at all. A friend of mine pointed it out to me. LOL What do you think of it?

Check the “Explaining Sociopaths” link above. The person does not have to be a complete sociopath, but could have other personality disorders as well.

These comments are so helpful. Someone said “all of his texts and emails ended in the same bad way”. I experienced exactly the same. He used to have so much control over me with sending a text if email just to get a reaction out of me . His most favorite one was “you know I did not leave for another woman. I left because you are a crazy, psycho bitch.” All while he was having an affair with the co worker. Reading those texts and emails made me cry, weak an sad. And the I found this website. I already knew he was a narcissist but lovefraud opened my eyes completely. All of a sudden I saw everything in writing. I filed for divorce and went no contact. It was the ONLY way I would not let him get to me. Oh yes he is mean and lying in this divorce. But I know what I am dealing with. It makes a huge difference. When I last saw him in the courtroom for the injunction he tried to get against me, I only felt pity for this man. No he is not a man , I call him evil creature. Strange how 20 years of loving him turned into nothing. No hate, no sorry feelings, just nothing . I knew then that I would be ok. I know he is a deputy but he is not going to bully me anymore like I am some criminal. He tries his best but it just doesn’t work anymore. Those times are over. I am in control now and nothing he can do will change this. I am not sad or dissappointed anymore. I am completely done with him. Thanks to all of you for your honest stories. Without this website I would not be where I am now.

Divorced from Gaslighter

to Brightest:

In addition to what others have mentioned about why Sociopaths return to the scene of the crime, I would add that as people get older, it becomes significantly more difficult to form new friendships. Women in their 30s, 40s and 50s are often overwhelmed with family responsibilities, and most guest lists for social events large and small are controlled by women. The women don’t have the time or the desire to expand their social circle, and their husbands don’t care one way or another.

Because of this dynamic, the sociopath who moved from one social circle to the next fairly easily from his teens to his mid-30s often gets “stuck” at that point. Most “normal” people have formed a small, stable social circle at that point, and the sociopath may have trouble accessing the type of women that he is interested in. (e.g. Good looking with her own income & assets, and no children unless he’s a molester.) By age 35, a guy can’t keep talking about his tremendous potential. If he doesn’t have any income or assets, it gets harder and harder to hide or explain away those facts as he gets older.

Your ex may try to come back into your life anytime he is between lovers, or he may just be checking up on you to see if you have won the lottery, inherited money, gotten a large insurance settlement, etc. He may also be interested in having a “good relationship” with his ex, as that may make him more attractive to potential new victims. My ex loved to point out to his new girlfriends that his marriage had lasted twelve years — so obviously he was stable and “marriageable.” ha! Years later, I talked to his second wife — her marriage was every bit as bad as mine had been. I never met Wife #3, but she declined to attend his funeral, so maybe that marriage wasn’t too good either.

Another factor with my ex was that he was envious of people who were genuinely likable and had close friendships and a circle of people that they socialized with on a regular basis. He called people he went to high school and college with from time to time, but nobody ever called him. He could meet people while traveling, etc., and form a superficial relationship, but he was so annoying that nobody could deal with him for long. I was a teenager when I met him, and we married six weeks later. He told me afterwards that he was afraid that if we had had a long engagement, I would not have married him. And he was right.

Your ex may be calling you because his relationship with you was one of the most significant relationships he ever had, even though it may have been a miserable relationship for you. He doesn’t care how miserable you were. He doesn’t have any real friends to talk to, so he’ll talk to you if he can. You are one of the few people he knows that he has any kind of shared history with.

If he can convince you to have some kind of relationship with him, then maybe in the future there will be favors large, medium or small that you can do for him. For the immediate future, he may hope to “neutralize” you by convincing you that he wasn’t all that bad, so that you won’t sabotage his career or future marriage prospects.

He called you on your anniversary because he hoped that you would be lonely and willing to talk to him.

Once a user, always a user. The very fact that he is calling you when there is a court order to prevent it tells you all you need to know: he is special, and the rules don’t apply to him. He is “always remorseful” but he left you with 91 cents in your bank account. You have started rebuilding your life — don’t let this guy back in. Every time he tries to convince you that deep, deep, deep down inside, he has always cared about you, remember that bank account with the 91 cents.

Wise, wise words, “DfG”! My close gf said the same thing to me – we met at our 30th hs reunion and there aren’t that many opportunities to meet new victims for him since his social circles are established. I know exactly why he’s reaching out and what he needs from me, so I harbor no delusions regarding whether he misses me or loves me. It’s a wonderful feeling, to finally not be in constant, chronic heartache over this thing. All of you who still suffer greatly, please know you’re in my prayers. You’ll get there, have faith!

Maybe it will brighten someone’s day to know that you can succeed against these robotic, evil users. Mine was a 26 year marriage, and I suddenly found that he’d been a fraud from the day I met him. Endless sex with hookers and affairs the entire time. I know some of you will relate to this feeling: I feel like no one can understand quite how crazy he is, because they were not in my house to hear the endless words of deep devotion and love, the great sex for years, the hours each day we spent in quality time together, the way he held my hand everywhere we went, and how he always had a mantra: “No one in this world really matters to me, except you and the kids.” (An explanation for why he was so anti-social.) When I suddenly realized what he was, he was a person I didn’t know at all.

Being taught No Contact from sites like this helped me survive. Within a short time after I ended the marriage, he broke into my home, and many worse things. I got a Domestic Violence Protection Order and he went nuts. He was jailed for violating it, repeatedly. He sent a friend to stalk my home when I went out to dinner, I caught it on video, and I had that guy arrested for trespassing (I’d told him not to come on my property.)
I saved every communication with him (email, text, and recorded all convos) and also with any of his family/friends who contacted me.
I have my home under video surveillance and I recorded every phone call from the day we split, plus every conversation with him. These are the tips that SAVE you in court battles.

The result? My DVPO was extended for 3 years, I have defeated him soundly in court every time we’ve gone (about 14 times so far), and I was just granted permanent, sole custody with no visitation and no contact.

I didn’t even know what a DVPO was when I sought it. No Contact is the best gift you can ever give yourself. It has been 2 years and his atty still tries to get me to have a relationship with him. Ha! Never again.

Maybe someone can glean something useful from my story…and maybe it will give someone some hope. I have never worked so hard in my life, as I have fighting this legal battle, but it is so worth it.

All I can say is bravo!! I could’ve written your first paragraph. he used to say “no one is more pro-you than I am.” He never abused me verbally or otherwise. Swore endless devotion. But not only was he messing around with other women and men – he was raping and sodomizing the kids. People remarked what a great father he was because he took then EVERYWHERE with him and even convinced me to home-school while I went on with my degree in another city. The truth was – he didn’t want them out of his sight and knew he could control them better because they had no escape. The damage has been horrific. I didn’t find out until 14 yrs too late. In a single day the family exploded and then the terror started. The ex supplied drugs for so many of the young people in my town that he had his own private little army of lost souls to do his bidding. It was truly terrifying, but I got out and won my freedom and my company back and my livelihood. It’s been 3.5 yrs of zero contact with him, his son ( a Jr spath) and my own son who undoubtedly devastated by the abuse and the betrayal comforts himself with drugs and refuses to speak to me or the sister that finally blew the whistle. Life smells sweet again, but the damage can never be fixed.

Very good points in your post, Divorced from a Gaslighter, I agree with your observation that aging without real connections to real friendships has them in the end starved for new supply, (to paraphrase).

Mine returned, and I let him reel me back in. With hindsight-(I am now 5 years NC other than court) I believe that he came back for some of the reasons Divorced mentioned, and because I was just a prop anyhow.

It didn’t really matter who the prop would be, but he needs one, and I was all trained and broken in. Cheaper, easier to play his games from that same comfortable chair. Could still preten d to be long time stable, happily married family man. Why waste it?

And why did I let him reel me back in? Probably because it was preferable to realizing that I had been that wrong and that blind for 27 years. I wanted to see his redeeming qualities. I would have preferred to be wrong about him.

We went back to the same pantomime for almost a year, before the mask finally slipped. I hit the history button, on his computer, innocently enough, (which tells you how naïve and trusting I still was), and then all hell broke loose. Everything that I had been scratching my head about fell into place and made sense. As ugly as that sense might have been.

On another thread about “was he trying to destroy me?” the writer states that in the end she felt nothing. I can so relate, nor did I. How can you feel anything for a person that was a mirage, a hologram? All you can do is sort through your memories and save the ones where at least you were being sincere. Which is likely all of them.

The other reason that moves us to take them back, I think, is the urge, as useless as it might be, to FIX.

What I have come to realize is that they are not broken, they are made that way. They do not see themselves as broken, and if you follow the money you will see that they pretty much rule the world, while causing most of it’s misery on the way through.

One of the last conversations I had with him he said “thank you, I have learned a lot about the way the world works from you” which came from me railing against the psychopathic corporate environment we live in. I realized then that I had made him feel like he was on the right side of history when I about the systemic exploitation of all that is natural.

I thought it was great that he heard me on all this stuff–little knowing that I was FEEDING him on the successes of his peers.

Just remember that this person who you have been dealing with will fail this test. What was the basis? Ah Ha! No basis for any discussion we ever had. Then you get to find out you’ve been applying logic and rationality to an illogical and irrational situation. Run like hell when you get to that and dont bring it to them, shooting yourself in the foot one more time, or your life will get far worse than it is right now.

Everytime I read a comment here it reminds me of SOMETHING I had forgotten about THE exspath (not mine anymore 🙂 ) We had gone to talk to our pastor because the spath wanted to fool him into thinking I was the crazy one. Thankfully I was ready for him because we had been apart for a bit and I was starting to “see” him for what he truly is. After it was over, he stopped me in the parking lot and asked if I could counsel him once a week. WHA….? Sure, I’ll counsel him in how to better take advantage of the next woman and make her miserable. He emphasized he didn’t want me back but he “valued” my counseling ability. I said no of course. After that, the miserable divorce battle began. He never once asked me to come back which was fine because I had long since learned to despise him and that part was easy for me. I never missed him, not once. Like many of you, realizing that the past 11 years had never been “real” at all knocked me for a loop. It was like a hologram, someone who wasn’t really there, an illusion with the power I gave him to make me suffer and question myself and he felt absolutely NOTHING. Thanks everyone for being here. I just can’t tell you enough what you all mean to me.

Divorced from Gaslighter

My ex LOVED to travel. People who are on vacation are more open to having long conversations with people they’ve never met before, socializing with people they’ve just met, etc. For brief periods of time, he could have the kind of social life he dreamed of having. He dressed well, and was educated, so he could pretend that he was a huge success, and people he had just met had no idea about the massive debts, etc.

A lot of sociopaths love to travel for the adventure, and to see new sights, and so did my ex husband, but he also liked the shallow, short-term relationships that travel made possible.

How interesting. The first thing my husband did after I was discarded was taking the mistress/co worker on a cruise and camping trip. He never liked to travel with me. I did not meet his so called standard anymore. He said I was too old, fat and boring. I weigh about 130 pounds. My hair got too short and I just “did not look ext to him anymore”. How shallow and selfish these sociopaths are. He returned a few times at the beginning telling my son that he had to leave me because I am “mentally ill and unstable”. Just lies to justify his affair and involvement with the other deputy. I always thought my husband was narcissitic and arrogant. In truth my marriage counselor told me “no, he is a sociopath” and you need do get a divorce before he kills you. I didn’t listen to her but eventually I was discarded after 20 years . I stood up for myself and filed for divorce in July. There is no contact with him since almost 7 months now. My son and don’t want him or need him in our life. He can be “free” and happy. He can have all the mistresses he wants, all the porn and all the sex. I always thought we are not good and worthy enough for him. In reality he is not good enough for us.

Good for you Kaya!

Shallow is probably the best way to describe the attachment of someone who is morally disordered. They lack the depth of emotion that constitutes a meaningful, loving relationship. And they’re capable of taking on a different persona with people they meet.

Fleeting relationships engaged-in during travel enable them to take on any personality they please. And they’ll do so to impress the new acquaintance. It’s amazing how quickly they can size the person up, and mold themselves to fit.

When our son was born, two of our “friends” came to visit at the same time. Each one of those folks had a totally different image of him than the other. One was a work relationship, the other a friendship from our vacation home. He’d established his image differently to both of them, after all, with a hundred miles between them, there was little likelihood that they’d meet. It was amazing to see him try to manage being two personalities at the same time. He quickly recognized it was impossible and said some rude things to one of them in order to get him to leave. The other relationship was the more important one.

Gary, the guy he offended, was baffled. My ex sought him out later to give him a lame excuse for what he’d done. It’s amazing how they can change their spots. Even though he’d deemed Gary less important, he still needed him, so he mended the fence and maintained the relationship until he simply didn’t need him any longer.

Their relationships are solely based on what they need, including the esteem of people they fool. There’s a poem in my book that pretty much sums it up. It’s called “Predatory Path.” Here’s the last stanza:

“As enlightenment dodges recent eyes that you’ve mated,
Who envision you’re gold, though you’re just fools-gold plated.
A new notch for your belt, a recipient for your lies,
Naïve, unsuspecting victims; will they ever become wise?”

Joyce

Katareaux
Yes we can cry “tears of joy” that we survived. Yes, my son is so more outgoing, social and happy since his “father” is out of our life. Like you, we can make jokes, laugh and just be silly without getting a “lecture” how to act properly. We were always walking on eggshells. And also it feels great not to worry about being lied to anymore. I don’t have to cry myself to sleep thinking who he is cheating with now. You know I accepted what happened to me and my son, ACCEPTANCE MEANS FREEDOM. I feel so empowered and for the first time in over 20 years I can truly be myself. The other day my son and I went to a banquet dinner at his college where he was being honored for great academic achievement (he still lives with me and commutes to college daily). We had such a blast. We were able to talk to other students and their parents and we felt “free”. Free of his criticism and constant downgrading us. We did not have to worry about if we were”good enough” for him to be seen in Public with us. It is such a big difference. I told my attorney that I need to have a no contact rule in my final divorce papers where it states that he is not to contact me in any way for the rest of my life 🙂 I smiled when I told him that. 8 months ago I sat in his office crying about my “lost” marriage. Thank you Katareaux for showing me that I am not the only one going through this nightmare.
Wow, your ex’s new girlfriend is 19 and already pregnant. He sure did not waste anytime moving on. I am sure they enjoy their misery as much as my soon to be ex and his little co worker. Do I feel sorry for her? That’s one thing I don’t feel because they are both nothing to me.

Alicia-

Many of us are in a situation that demands our interaction with the offender. Some are in business together, attend the same church or have children in common. If you don’t have such a tie, get him out of your life with NC. If that’s not the case, there’s another behavior which will help you minimize your interaction and keep your emotions intact.

Predator’s look for a rise from you. They have “control” issues and want you to react. They don’t care whether you react positively or negatively- as long as you react. Deprived of an emotional reaction, they will get bored and find other excitement. Even though they may do something to enrage you, your best weapon is a calm bearing.

If you have an attorney, let them do the talking for you. Often an offender will try to skirt around the protections you establish. If they do so, simply listen, say “Are you done,” and walk away. All responses should go through your attorney, or a third party, not you. If they demand an answer, simply say, “You’ll hear from my attorney,” or state the name of the other designated party you set up for interfacing with him.

If it’s about the children or a business matter, try to carry on the minimum discussion that is absolutely unavoidable by email. Don’t embellish, the more monosyllabic your responses, the better. You’ll sometimes hear this behavior referred to as “gray rock.”

Joyce

Thank you for explaining what “grey rock” means. I agree so much with you about having no interaction with him. I feel so much stronger hearing his threats and insults from my attorney than from him. This way they are “filtered” and cannot hurt me anymore. And also I react totally different when my attorney tells me those insults rather than my sociopath husband. But he still tries to blackmail and aggravate me even through his attorney. But it is so ridiculous that sometimes my attorney and I have to laugh about it. Before the no contact I would cry, shake and react in a hurt way and that only satisfied his distorted mind. Now nothing can go directly from him to me because he has no way to contact me. He used to try to get a reaction out of me by contacting my son but he never responded to any of his insanities. My son is not a minor so this worked out very well. We want to keep our peace and so far we are doing great at it. I know there will be times ahead when I do have to face him in court and I will do my best to let my attorney do the talking. I will remain calm and pulled together. My soon to be ex is just waiting for me to have some kind of a “meltdown” which he can use against me. I am in control now and with the help and support of my attorney I will remain in control. The times where he stomped me into the ground are long gone. :).

I learned about the technique dubbed Grey Rock from another website which is dedicated to assisting people in the process of distancing themselves from sociopaths and psychopaths. The website is called 180rule.

http://180rule.com/

It is helpful in coaching you how to become that so unfascinating Grey Rock!!

Good for you Kaya! It’s good to have someone advocating for you. Before you were alone dealing with his issues. It’s wonderful that you have someone on your side!

I understand what you mean about laughing with your attorney at his antics. The last day we were in court, my extremely dapper and elegant, soon-to-be ex, came in dressed like a pauper. Just to point out the absolute absurdity of it, he had been a merchandise manager for an upscale men’s clothing manufacturer. In fact, it was the company that Rock Hudson bought all his suits from. As you can imagine, he had an prodigious assortment of beautifully tailored suits.

He was wearing a pair of corduroy jeans and a flannel shirt in court that day. Joe, my attorney, noticed he wasn’t wearing a belt. He looked at me quizzically and shrugged “no belt?” I realized that the reason he had no belt on was that he didn’t own one without a gold buckle. It would have diminished his believability factor as a poor, unemployed, homeless man.

We cracked up so hard, tears were coming down my cheeks.

Best-
Joyce

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