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By | February 4, 2016 34 Comments

For Sociopaths, It’s All About Them–Even When You’re Sick

BeingIllPic2.2016

Before I met “Paul,” (the man I married, who I realized about twenty years too late must be a sociopath) I had a friend who may not have known about sociopaths, but she knew to call off her engagement to “Mr. Right” because of a cold and a sandwich.

Make Your Own Damn Sandwich!

Carol was smart, motivated, kind, outgoing, upbeat, and gorgeous. She was clearly a “catch,” and she had come very close to marrying handsome, rich, well-connected “Mr. Right.”

One day, Carol was not feeling well and was lying on the couch amidst sniffles, cough drops, and tissues. Her fiancé chose that moment to ask her to make him a sandwich.

“If someone’s going to expect me to make him a sandwich when I’m the one who’s sick, and he just wants to be waited on, well, that’s that,” Carol told me. In that moment, she knew she was going to end the engagement, and she did.

I remember being shocked. Ending an engagement over who’s going to make a sandwich? Maybe he wasn’t feeling well. Maybe he didn’t realize how sick she was. Maybe he just forgot she was sick. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe. (See how my “empathy” is setting me up to give someone the benefit of the doubt who doesn’t deserve it? I’m learning to be better about that.)

But, maybe Carol was right. Maybe there was no excuse for her fiancé asking her to make him a sandwich in that situation. None! It signaled inherent selfishness, entitlement, and perhaps a lack of empathy. It was a rare gift, as it allowed a glimpse of his real character. It was a deal breaker. Despite the lost money and dashed egos resulting from halting plans for the wedding, Carol ended their engagement.  She had no regrets.

Don’t Make Excuses; Pay Attention, Connect The Dots

With Paul, I brushed off the “Could you make me a sandwich?” moments, excused them away, and then forged ahead. In fact, I even patted myself on the back for being understanding, flexible, and giving Paul the benefit of the doubt—things my family had always encouraged me to do for people when I was growing up.  Big mistake!

What Happened When I Got Sick?

I got the flu before Christmas the first year Paul and I were dating. As New Year’s Eve rolled around, I was still weak and exhausted.  Paul and I decided to stay in and have a quiet evening, punctuating the New Year with a champagne toast. Even when I’m feeling well, I’m not a night owl, so by 10:30, I was fighting sleep and losing badly. I knew I could not stay awake until midnight. Of course, Paul would understand.

“I can’t believe it,” Paul said, making no attempt to camouflage his cutting tone. Then, shifting to his velvety voice, which distracted me from the content of his words, he continued, “Who can’t stay up ”˜til midnight on New Year’s? I love New Year’s Eve. It’s soooo romantic. Why don’t you just make some coffee? I really want to ring in the New Year together.”

Where’s The Empathy?

Caught off-guard, I made excuses for Paul’s behavior. Maybe he was looking forward to sharing our first New Year’s Eve together so much that he was just disappointed. Maybe he didn’t realize how tired I actually was. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe. Feeling guilty (as he must have intended), I made coffee, struggled to stay awake, and shared a New Year’s champagne toast with Paul before collapsing into bed.

In actuality, this was something else altogether: a red flag, although a subtle one. (After all, I was sick, but I wasn’t being rushed to the hospital.) Paul’s behavior reflected a complete lack of empathy for me. Even though I was physically and emotionally spent, Paul demanded that I prop myself up with caffeine so as not to disappoint him. He didn’t even offer to make the coffee! Someone who really cared about me would have been sympathetic to how I felt and maybe offered to make me a cup of chamomile tea and tuck me in with a gentle kiss on my forehead.

No Excuse For No Empathy

Paul’s trivial need to have me with him as the clock struck twelve on New Year’s Eve trumped my health and fatigue. Not making your ill partner or ill children the priority is apparently not just common to my experience with a sociopath, it’s common to other victims of sociopaths as well.  It was a theme that replayed throughout my marriage to Paul–even in situations involving our children’s health and in future situations involving my health when the stakes were much higher.

A red flag triggered by health issues (even a small ailment) should never be ignored.  It signals that someone might be a sociopath. No matter how trivial the health issue might be–Carol’s cold or my exhaustion—if your partner’s response shows a lack of empathy, run. (But, if your partner might be a sociopath, be sure to get advice so you can exit the relationship safely.)

Footnote—Discount Public Displays Of Empathy

How someone responds to you in public when you are ill isn’t a good indicator of whether or not they are sociopathic.  Remember, sociopaths are great actors and they love playing the role of attentive partner when there’s an audience. Adulation from others not only fuels them, but so does your confusion and distress caused by their inconsistent behavior. Being a doting partner in public and a dismissive one in private is a win-win for a sociopath.  A contrast between how a partner responds to your health needs in public versus in private may be another important red flag.

My own cautionary tale of unwittingly investing almost twenty years of my life into a relationship with a sociopath and sometimes diverting from the best path, is chronicled in my book Husband, Liar, Sociopath: How He Lied, Why I Fell For It & The Painful Lessons Learned (available via Amazon.com). As I don’t get a “do over,” hopefully some of my painful lessons can help others impacted by these toxic people.

Identifying names, places, events, characteristics, etc. that I discuss here and in my book have been altered to protect the identity of everyone involved.


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Rosie Jackson

When we were separated and I got pneumonia “someone” cut my freon line to my heat pump and my house was FREEZING! It was probably the same scumbag that stole my car in the middle of the night and texted, “Do I have your attention NOW?!”

May God help the next victim!

becomingstrong

Your friend was smart. She saw her fiancé didn’t give a s**t about her. My husband left me sitting in a hospital parking lot, with blood coming out of my ear for more than hour all the while telling me he would come get me when he got a replacement until I eventually gave up on waiting for him and went into the ER alone. He was never coming down and now I know he never tried to get coverage. Stupid me wish I was smarter then.

elizabethbrooks

So, so, so, so familiar. All of it. I want to say, “Oh how I wish I’d been smart like Carol”… but my BFF (who married a raging narcissist) and I always have to temper it with… but my kids are worth it. And they really are, and that’s saying a whole lot because I’ve been in hell for a long time.

becomingstrong

Today I get to face my spath in court. I haven’t seen him in almost 3 months. It’s a toss up whether he will even show up (you know these types always keep you guessing what they will do). Mine will always choose the path that he feels he can inflict the most pain on me. I am not sure whether he realizes he his hurting himself whether he shows or doesn’t because his lies are catching up with him. I feel empowered that all interaction is public and in front of a judge. Very different from how things used to be. His abuse was hidden in the shadows and now his behavior it is in front of witnesses and in the light of day. Light has a way of sanitizing these types. We shall see.

Hope Springs

Please do keep us posted as to whether he does, in fact, show up.

Your post resonates so much with me in regard to what is happening in my SP son’s life. He is making his ex’s and their small children’s life as miserable as he can. He is not paying his child support. He insisted on mediation, fully intending to make it not work. He tried to con mediators, counselors, and us, his own parents as to what he is really like.

He tells his ex to clean up her life style, as the kids are telling him about it. He tells his ex to stop using and turning the kids against him…all of these are the things the HE HIMSELF is doing. Everything he accuses her of is exactly what he is doing!! He is trying to make her look like the bad guy…like the crazy one…I can’t stand it…or him.

Everything now seems to be crumbling. That facade of his is slipping for all to see. The perfect husband and father and great guy in the community that he projected that he was. It was all such a load! We are all seeing it now.

Do they ever lose face? I don’t think so. They just simultaneously create another life, somewhere off to the side, where the ‘new’ adoring players in their game, think that they are that projected Mr Wonderful…how many times can they do that???

Good luck to you. The SP is only my son. I do not have to try and split up with him. I do not have to co parent with him. What a nightmare. I have NO CONTACT, but it is easier for me as I do not live near him. I am so grateful for that and that I am not his ex…

becomingstrong

Dear Bev,
You are such a support. I am sure you are great help to your daughter in law and grandchildren. Yes, they do have a way of creating chaos out of other’s lives (parents, spouses, girlfriends/boyfriends, children) all the while their lives seem unfazed. I ran laps around my SP for years all while he stood perfectly still orchestrating chaos in my life.

If he shows he’s got a lot of explaining to do. He isn’t good at explaining since he’s above that in his mind. If he doesn’t show- I win and my divorce will be right around the corner. I am sure today will have many twists and turns. I am always so nervous before I go into court and then like magic my mask of stoicism goes in place and I”m fine. I do wish I could spend my time doing far more positive and interesting things than exposing him in court. Today, we get to hear, if he shows, his lovely voicemails. I will keep you posted.

Hope Springs

YOU are a great support to everyone on here as well!

I am crossing my fingers that however he screws up, and he will, in whatever way…that it will only be to YOUR benefit!!

That would just be the BEST!!!

🙂

becomingstrong

BTW Bev,
As far as the false accusations they make. I am going to address the false accusations he has made against me myself in direct examination. I am going to deflate him and his marriage by coercion today.

Hope Springs

Oh, fabulous becomingstrong!!

I know that you will, too. You are a strong, determined, and very learned woman in what a SP is capable of!! We can win instead of them winning. After all, we are the ones who SHOULD.

Go girl!!

becomingstrong

Hi Bev,

Well the update/postmortem:

The SP was there. The hearing was full of twists and turns from the expected and unexpected. There were four motions on the table (two had been set and reset from months ago when we couldn’t get to the motions because time ran out due to the SP’s chaotic show on the stand-he wouldn’t answer questions, take the question and go a different direction, he’s behavior really ate up a lot of valuable court time). So, yesterday three motions I had filed and one he did. The judge, though I didn’t prevail on his motion, I did get a fair result. On two of my motions I prevailed. This left my third motion. My lawyer completely dropped the ball, couldn’t remember the motion, didn’t bring the file to court to reference the motion and setting. My lawyer was so disorganized on that motion and appeared so that it never got addressed. I am getting a new lawyer Monday. My lawyer, when it became apparent that he was disorganized, ill prepared started to gaslight me in court. When I tried to hand her the a copy of the motion so she could reference it she said to me in court, “Do you want to take over your case right now?” My attorney also starting barking at her associated when he tried to bring her error to her attention and get her on the right track. In addition, she didn’t object to a lot of things he was saying and let them stand. So needless to say it was disturbing. The SP’s conduct was defiant and aggressive. On three separate occasions he said he was not going to answer the question. My lawyer eventually objected but not fast enough and of course he slipped in things. For my part I did a good job on direct testimony explaining the abuse in a very non emotional dispassionate way. I believe it helped me get a favorable result with his motion. It is now unruttted public record what he did, how he did it. He glared at me the whole hearing. I did stare him in the eye as I was recounting various destructive things he has done to us financially. I believed I have a good judge but a good judge isn’t going to the job of a bad attorney. If I look at the rulings on the three motions heard it was very favorable to me. But when I look at the conduct of my attorney she cost me the fourth motion not being heard. If I had a good attorney think the three motions might have had even better results for me. He and is lawyer stated in court that they are going to petition for custody of my youngest daughter living with me. He has never called her, visited her or sent her gift/card in five months. He’s just upping the ante. I am plodding on. The Spath was clearly and visibly enraged during the whole hearing. This morning I got up to find an email from him. I opened it and the tenor of this vicious email was that he wrote it when he was drunk. Every line (about 11 in all) was vicious. I copied the email and put it on our joint Facebook for all to see. Remember he put on the mask at work of being the easy going doctor who just wants a divorce but his greedy wife won’t give him one. That email debunked that myth.

Hope Springs

Wow…how unbelievably inept of your lawyer!! Is that for real!! Lawyers are supposed to be the smart ones. They are supposed to do for us, what we cannot do for ourselves…

You must be so pissed off…and let down. Yes, I would get a new lawyer for sure.

The nerve of that spath (love how that is all you call him), wanting custody of your daughter. I hear that. My SP son is trying to do the very same thing to hos ex regarding their children…only he doesn’t really ‘like’ his daughter…only his son. His daughter knows that he is ‘off’ and does not really like him either. Funny that, because my son seems to HATE females of any sort.

Anyway. isn’t it pathetic and outrageous that the spaths ‘want’ custody of children that really mean nothing more to them than a sock? We all know that they do it to drive others crazy. Also, to ‘look the part’ of a caring father.

What a load!!

Enraged…yes…the only emotion that they seem to feel. It’s actually scary that it is all that they feel.

Sucks to be him (them). Pathetic idiots is all they are.

becomingstrong

Dear Bev,
I had a response typed yesterday and somehow before I hit submit I deleted it-ugh.
These male types are misogynists. They also find your weakest points. Mine knows it’s my daughter. My daughter who has clung onto me with all her might. My daughter who threw huge tantrums when she visited him months ago and thereby putting me in a position to protect her. I didn’t send her again. He didn’t ask for custody of my son. My son likes the spath but for some inarticulable reason doesn’t want to live with him. I have to make the spath think my daughter doesn’t ‘really’ matter much to me in order to save her. Sick sick sick. His lawyer, who I find dishonest and has made numerous misrepresentations to the court, hasn’t filed the custody paperwork because even he doesn’t see the spath having a chance in hell. In fact, a custody battle could result in the loss of his medical license (more of his behavior will be public record).
Now that I know I married a psychopath I can’t even look at him as human. I can’t call him by his human name.
Does your daughter in law know how to deal with your son? The more he thinks she’s going to fight for her kids the more he’s going to mess with her. I wonder if she sent the kids for a long break to visit him and didn’t call or check up, total greyrock, if he would drop the custody?

Hope Springs

Wow, becomingstrong, that is very interesting!

My daughter in law has just told me recently that my son is failing miserably…not paying his child support, not taking care of the children when he is supposed to…and then, of course, like any normal mother, she fights harder to get them away from him.

Hmmm…yes, he would have such a hard time if he HAD to have the children for a longer period of time than a weekend or a few days…I shall inform her of this the next time we speak. I don’t know when that may be. I let her contact me as I seem to get ‘drawn in’ if I let myself. My SP son cannot even take care of himself, let alone the children.

It is funny (and I use that word loosely) how you say that you do not even see your ex spath as human…I feel that way about my son mow. I do not even worry about how he feels anymore nor if his ‘feelings’ get hurt. I have finally come to a place where he literally does not exist like other people in my life do…and I CANNOT even say his name!

I just realized that I cannot say his name, recently. Wow. I wonder if that just happened naturally?

I just cannot believe that ‘these people’ can put on an absolute ACT all of the time, when they are in public at least. As my husband and I were rarely actually around him after the age of 8, we just never really noticed…well, my husband never noticed…I always felt that something was strange and that everything about my son was a lie. I also cannot condone nor accept nor be a ‘cover’ for his bullshit. I just can’t do it. he KNOWS what he is doing ALL OF THE TIME…and HE LIKES IT.

Thank you for the tip on how to perhaps handle HIM when he is fighting that big phony fight for ‘his’ children. I will pass that along!! Happily!!

Sophia

For some months now, I have been seeing a guy I dated in high school and I’ve done nothing that I wouldn’t normally do when I’m dating someone which is to keep it to myself. Well that’s just my preference. However, not my sons. So he goes and tells his older cousin who tells my ex-narc that yes, I’m seeing someone named –. This was two weeks ago, but about 5 a.m. I’m up to use the bathroom and this idiot is sending me cryptic messages saying he can’t do this anymore. What is it he can’t do, I have no idea, so I replied, what are you talking about. Again, he speaks in tonges. I say to him how I am hurting and I don’t have time for this. So I shut my phone off and go back to sleep. Next thing I know he is texting our son waking him up. He wakes me up saying his dad wants me to unblock him on this lone facebook account I have incase of emergencies because, I has T-Mobile block all calls and text from him hoping he would be stupid enough to belive that it’s permanent. Well, yeah, he was stupid until I just told him flat out, I wasn’t unblocking him. Now he tell our son that he just wanted to talk about the storage unit. I know that this is by far one of the many lied he has told over the years. However, yes, did he acknowledge my pain. Uh, no. Was he concerned when our son told him that I didn’t look well? Not the least. Yet, again, the subject of my block on him comes up in my son’s phone and this is the reason for the block. Months back, I baby sat about 4 little kids, one a very light sleeper. He called and 5 minutes after the first call, he machine gun called me until I turned the phone off. The man is so manipulative, he secrets slime. I am sure one of these days he will give me a stroke. Right now I am boiling at the thought of him trying what my son phrases “a sneak diss-false flag.” I tell him I don’t want him anymore, don’t talk to him for days and the next thing I know, he drives passed the house with someone’s wife in the car with him. Yet, I continue to ignore him and focus on my next trip to see my sweetheart, then he starts to boil.
Sophie

satya

Yet another example of following your gut feeling….your friend knew she could not spend her life with such a person.

I notice how we often make excuses in order to not follow our gut. Is this a more common trait for victims than even empathy or financial success?

Where does this come from? Inexperience, lack of self-trust/worth, projecting good qualities onto such a person because of optimism or wishful thinking? Or just being used to being diminished from coming from a disordered family? I know this that functional people from disordered families are used to being self-sufficient and not relaying on others.

I think, too, that often it is just plain bad luck. Best to figure out what it means to you so you can pick out your own red flags.

becomingstrong

Bev,
We know these types don’t care for their kids. We know they don’t really want their kids. My mother had a friend who was married to a judge and they were embroiled in a custody battle. I heard my mother telling her one day to pack up the kids clothes and send the kids to the father’s “here”. She did it and the kids were back by the end of the week and the suit was dropped. Mine promised my kids they could live him and I made it happen. He’s furious I haven’t taken the kids back. On one hand “I dumped the kids” on him and on the other he wants custody of my daughter-which one is it? On one hand he says I’m a terrible person/parent and on the other hand how dare I not take the kids-which one is it? I call that the jingle bells argument. It just jingle bells-in other words its blah blah blah. I don’t want to take the kids back because they want to be with him and they didn’t know him. If they wanted to be with me I would but they don’t -Neverland is too tempting.

Hope Springs

They are so convoluted, aren’t they?

When you call them on their crap, it is always a really good thing to do.

It’s like a robot who doesn’t know what to do with it…like you describe it…the jingle bells argument…all systems break down and steam would come out of their ears if it were a cartoon…

LOLOLOLOLOL…I laugh at my SP son when we call him on his crap. It has happened when he tried to tell us, when he and his ex first separated, what a terrible person she was. How she cheated on him (I am convinced it was he who cheated) and what a bad mother she was. How he was devastated because she ruined the family that they made together. How destroyed he was (even tho he had a new girlfriend right away)…blah blah blah…this, from a guy who never contributed ANYTHING at all to his family. Spending any extra money on himself on foolish things like $600 Lego sets, never on her or the children. He, who was NEVER home with his family…who knows where he was. He never did anything with his so called family. She was isolated at home with two small children while he was never there.

Well, we did not believe all the crap that was coming out of his mouth. That is when my husband started to see that the SP was a big fat liar. The SP flipped out when we did not believe him. His ex is a fantastic person, too bad for him. We said NO, we will NOT pay for a mediator for you. He lost his shit! We were his parents!! We were supposed to help and support him!!! Why didn’t we believe him????

And, that is how it went down. I believe NOTHING that he says now. NOTHING.

becomingstrong

Bev,

Yes Jingle Bells rules the day. Best of course action is avoidance, no contact, nothing. However, when you have to battle these types you have to suck it up, get your backbone reinserted and become very methodical. When battling a spath study them, become informed (very very informed), and be prepared to go the mat. If you DIL decides to take the bull by the horns (again her spath’s weakness need to be determined and his plan of attack/retribution needs to be anticipated). When I started this journey I was not prepared to publicly out him. I felt “uncomfortable” letting everyone know what he was. Now it’s become a matter of every day course. He can say and accuse me of the most heinous disgusting things in email and up that goes on F/B and court proceedings. I do get an occasional flying monkey of f/b “stop airing your dirty laundry”, “That’s not his voice [him]’, “You drove him to that.”. At first I cringed at these comments now I just hit “delete comment” and “unfriend” that person and go do the laundry. I promised myself no matter how awful the email I was going to make them public. I was no longer going to be beaten in private and all beatings were going to be public. It has the effect of them beating themselves. I don’t bat an eye at it now. He promised my kids they could live with him “When he got a house’ (some condition precedent before he could make good a promise that the kids believed. To this day he lives dinky apartment and can’t bring himself to that house or larger place because then he would have mental make good. He will never that house. My mother’s friend took her kids (five in all) and dropped them off at her husband’s office with the receptionist and left town for a week. He was calling frantically. Guess what, kids were returned she got more child support (instead the usual I’ll take less support just so he doesn’t take my kids). End of chapter. But she did run the risk of him digging in his heals and not returning them. She had to be prepared to go the mat to call his bluff. You’ve got to be up for it. She needs to decide not to be the victim anymore and become the aggressor.

Hope Springs

Fantastic.

My DIL seems to be educating herself and she predicts HIS behavior before it even happens, lately.

She has sent me emails from him, perhaps so that I am a witness, and she also sent me a screen grab of a mewling whiny pleading pathetic post that HE put up on FB…it was so unbelievable…alot of HIS FB friends ‘liked’ it and gave him encouraging words…sickening.

becomingstrong

Good. Witnesses are a must. The “pity ploy”. A tried and true tactic. Yep, my spath’s work friends think “poor guy his wife just dumped those kids on him.” Of course they have no idea that he promising my children baiting them that they could live with him. His workplace friends believed we were separated and had an amicable agreement-LIE. Well his jealous vicious emails debunk that myth. Why are writing you wife jealous emails when both separated for years. He looks like a liar. I wonder if any of his work place friends, after seeing the emails and hearing the v/m’s are going to set him up with sister-I think not. I’ve just narrowed his prospective pool of victims waaaaay down. He’s furious.

Hope Springs

So good 🙂

Anatomy1v

Its so true! When I was with him, I had gone out with some friends drinking, without him. He was okay with it. I am not used to drinking that much, so unfortunately I had a little too much to drink and was sick. Not on purpose, but it just happened. I know its something I did to myself, but it still was no excuse for his behavior next. Anyways, I had called him and asked if he could pick me up. When he finally came, it was more than obvious that I wasn’t well. I on the verge of throwing up. Anyways, when we got back home I’m laying there in bed sick as dog….. and he wants to have sex with me! I told him that I wasn’t feeling well, and he answered me rudely, “are you serious? I go all that way to pick you up and I don’t even get to have sex”?
I couldn’t believe it! Right then and there I realized that its always going to be about him. If I hold told any of my friends or family about his bizarre selfish behavior, they would’ve told me to run for the hills. It still took some time to get out of this abusive relationship, but it ended. Finally.

becomingstrong

sorry abt typos hard to see the whole thing on my phone.

Hope Springs

No worries! I always get the gist and understand.

DoneWithThat2

Such a great article! Thank you for posting it.

In the early 90’s, after divorcing my overt narcissist and experiencing the smear campaign, the ugliness and the lies, (which took 5 years!), I was committed to making sure that I didn’t marry that, (whatever that was!), again. I didn’t know about Narcissism. I didn’t know that there is an overt and a covert. So guess what? The next man I married was a covert Narcissist. Sometime after we were married, one of my coworkers asked me, “So is life easier now?”. And I remember being really confused because the answer was no. It wasn’t easier. Why? I didn’t know. Public displays of affection, coldness in private. Public displays that we were a team, in private, I was doing it all. It was harder to figure out the covert N because he was so careful, so cunning.

The beauty of this personality disorder is that once you “get it”. Once you are on to “it”. It stops fooling you. Once you realized you are being played. You are being conned. Your very humanness is being used against you. You awaken to understanding the disorder and both it’s forms, overt and covert. And after some time you realize, they are one trick ponies. They do the same thing over and over and over. This gives you strength in understanding. But more than that, it showed me where my boundaries were weak. I am not sure where I first saw this, but the idea was the “The Boundary of Responsibility”. Because I had no boundary there at all, it was easy to take advantage of me. My giving heart, my kindness, was used, (and not just by my husbands, by family and so called friends too.). I have remarked that I felt like an extra pantry. People would just stop by, take what they wanted and leave. Why did no one care about me? I see now they took because I let them. I didn’t have a healthy boundary around responsibility. I didn’t care about me.

If I had been sick on the couch and ANYONE had asked for a sandwich, I would have gotten up and made it. I have come a long way. I now would have the healthy boundary to say, I love you, but I am not able to make a sandwich for you.

This has required letting go of everyone in my life but my son, (who is not an N). So I am standing at the dawn of my new life. I am not sure where it is going to take me, but I do know that I now carry with me and very deep understanding of Narcissism and some very healthy boundaries. Surely, my tribe of nice caring people are out there somewhere. I hope to find them.

DoneWithThat2

I want to add that your friend who ended her engagement had great boundaries. She cared about herself. She cared about what kind of life she was going to have with this person who clearly didn’t care about her. She cared more about that than she did about money or status.

So moving forward, I really am not interested in having conversations with those who want me to make them a sandwich when I am sick, (been there, done that). I am looking forward to the wonderful souls that I will bring into my life, who would say, “you don’t feel well. Let me make you something to eat”.

When that happens, I think I might leap off the couch completely healed! (jk).

Dave

Have not posted here in awhile but this article hit home for me. Been away from my crazy ex for 2 years now and the garbage is still happening, unfortunately i have children with her so i can not totally ignore her.

I remember back around 2008 i got the stomach flu, i vomited 3 times that night and had the runs for 2 days as well as a high temp. Was dehydrated and exhausted and stuck on the couch for almost 3 days feeling and smelling like death, i could barely get up to use the bathroom. She came home from work one night and i managed to get the fire going and was on the couch close to it with sweats on and a blanket over me still shivering from fever and she proceeded to chew me out asking me if i was going to bother to stoke the fire or just be lazy. Never offered to get me anything the whole time either.

I will never forget that, how cold and nasty these people can be in your time of need no matter how many times you were there for them in their time of need.

mags

I also had very early warnings through my sociopath husband’s attitude to my a brief spell of illness when I contracted a virus, which was probably a streptococcal strain but caused my fingers to swell up immensely and my body to endure intense stabbing pains and chills. I took to my bed for about 24 hours and was told to ‘pull myself together’ by the sociopath. Still I stayed and disregarded this comment (even tho I felt it cruel and unfeeling). Then, a year later I was 10 weeks pregnant with his baby and started to bleed with intense stomach cramp but he had planned for us to take his children to a Christmas Market and shopping centre the next day and I requested I stay at home as I wasn’t well. He called me a miserable, Self-centred lazy cow and so I went and actually miscarried in the toilet there. I still continued the ‘relationship’ as he came to see me in the day at the hospital, where he sat on my bed, making himself comfortable in his Army uniform, in the knowledge that his boss said he could take as long as he needed with me!

Hope Springs

OMG…how horrible…and what a blatant SP asshole…

i hope that he is gone from your life.

mags

Yes he has but he took me for everything I had financially too and has impregnated further women since but not remained with them or supported them financially. Some women he has also conned financially to a lesser extent than he did with me and he is so glib that he moves easily from one to another in 6-8 month periods usually.

lucylu

OMG! I just had to comment. This was exactly my honeymoon. For a week before my wedding, I felt a virus coming on. I went to the doctor for some antibiotics to try to nip it in the bud and it worked. I made it through the wedding. The next day we were on our way to Hawaii and I woke up with a fever and aches. I couldn’t back out and hoped I would feel better later. I didn’t. I had a fever on and off for four days of our seven day honeymoon and everyday, my husband got me out of bed at 6:00am to take a tour or rent a car to go somewhere. He had absolutely no empathy for me and made me feel like I was the bad person for wanting to at least sleep in.

Thank you for this article. I have been divorced for 1 1/2 years now after 20 years of marriage. I still sometimes struggle with the feeling that maybe I could have done something to “fix it.” Your blog has helped me to move forward and understand that I am ok.

winter

Great article. I was enlightened post my personal experiences with a narcissistic ex about the concept of the ‘benefit of the doubt’ (which came up in the article) and its inherent dangers. Something that we (victims of sociopaths) gave away far too easily in the past. Once you realise that your good nature can be manipulated it is clear that ‘giving’ away benefit of the doubt is in fact putting yourself at risk when there are signs that the other person may not be what they seem. Don’t give away the benefit of the doubt. You can reserve judgement – but never put yourself in a position of weakness just to be ‘nice’ to someone else or because they may have had problems in the past. We have all had problems. You should not be gambling your emotional well being on the chance someone is ok. They are responsible for themselves just as we are responsible for ourselves.

Sunnygal

I have neighbors like that.

zoe7

I had double pneumonia, and my ex-husband told me he was “so incredibly sorry, but he had to work,” leaving me at home alone with our three year old daughter. At one point our child was hungry, and I got dizzy just trying to heat up soup for us, and had to lie down before I fainted. I called him at work, but SHOCKER, he was not there. He had actually taken his mistress out wine tasting in a county two hours away, endangering not only my life, but the life of our child. He is now married to her, and I told her she was welcome to take him.

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