I am leaving – but I feel bad because I am not confronting him before leaving

How to recognize and recover from sociopaths, psychopaths, narcissists and other exploiters Forums Lovefraud Community Forum – General I am leaving – but I feel bad because I am not confronting him before leaving

This topic contains 14 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Synergy 1 year, 4 months ago.

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  • #39547


    I will try to keep this short…I have been with my narc/sociopath for 16 years. It took years before I figured it out. It started with finding out he cheated with prostitutes…then I found out he lied to me about everything under the sun – trivial (like if he went to lunch with a friend or got a speeding ticket) and big (like cheating). He used to get mad at me but never raised his voice or fought with me. Instead, he would act as if everything was fine but would do things like drive erratically – scaring me (and he knew it), or waking me at 3 am but acting like it was an accident (he has done it hundreds of times – each time when he was not happy with me). He knows I love my dog and a few times when mad at me, I was in the other room and I heard the dog cry – she has a sensitive spot on her chest – and I don’t know if he did it on purpose – but he was mad at me so a part of me thinks he did it on purpose.
    I left him last October. I left a note and he called crying. Eventually we started talking again and he promised he would change- stop lying – get therapy. Not long after that, he started lying again and even learned to lie better – I told him how I caught him and he learned to hide it. I discovered some lies. Eventually he started going back to his same old games of lying and manipulating (which I hadn’t caught onto before – he did things to make me think I was crazy like move things and deny moving them – he denied admitting to some of his lies, etc). I moved back (the people I rented from wanted to sell the home a few months after I started renting :/) and he started in on waking me at 3 am when mad and he was still lying. I don’t know if he goes to prostitutes or not because he uses cash now. I let him know I wasn’t happy so he started hovering. He called 10+ times a day. He was trying to see if I was finding another rental. One day, when I told him to stop, he came home early and said he thought I was leaving – IDK what he planned to do if I did leave – I don’t fear he will hurt me in an obvious way but he wants to stop me from leaving somehow.
    I decided (on advice from a coach) to act like everything was fine. I found a place and I have been extra nice so he wont wake me or hurt my dog while I am away on business. he has been extra nice – he knows that I am not happy because I told him not to bother with Valentines – so I think he is just trying to manipulate me back to a point where he feels I wont go.
    My issue – I found a place – and I am leaving – and I am leaving a note. I am not confronting him beforehand. My rationale is that I don’t want him to torture me until the time I go or risk him hurting my dog. But I feel like such a jerk leaving this way. I feel guilty on one hand but on the other, I don’t feel I have a choice. Am I doing a bad thing leaving this way?
    sorry – I tried to keep this short 🙁

  • #40293


    Yeah, I get it that you feel like maybe you are doing a bad thing by leaving him. This guy is like a combination of two of my disastrous husbands. Fortunately, neither of them hurt my cat/s. Neither of them went to prostitutes. One was likely unfaithful, but I didn’t figure that out till years and years after I divorced him. One gaslighted me — that’s this part of what you wrote: “.. he did things to make me think I was crazy like move things and deny moving them.” One of my terrible husbands did that…and he disappeared some of my most valuable and irreplaceable possessions. When he bought a vinyl record, and it turned out it was and had been one of my favorite records back in the 1960s when it came out, I was thrilled! Shortly thereafter, he left it in the hot car and it melted. The wrist watch my parents had given me on my 12th birthday disappeared. Interesting, since I was nearly 50 and I’d had it for nearly 40 years, then it suddenly vanished.

    Another husband did these things: “Instead, he would act as if everything was fine but would do things like drive erratically — scaring me (and he knew it), ”

    And both of them woke me at 3 am or partied late so I could not get to sleep.

    As for “he has done it hundreds of times — each time when he was not happy with me.” I have very sensitive hearing. One would tap the lid of the revere ware pot with a metal spoon, making it ring loudly. He did that hundreds of times, with a big grin, and I foolishly thought he’d forgotten I’d asked him to not do it.

    Two of the men I married would cry when I broke up with them. Typical behavior to try to draw us back in, knowing that we are kind and compassionate people.

    I, too, moved out or moved them out. And let them back. Finally, with each of them, I’d had enough.

    I suggest you don’t fall for this stuff. I was amazed when I went to an abused women’s group, and we were told, “They know EXACTLY WHAT THEY ARE DOING.” What? I thought. I don’t believe this — he’s really a great guy and I love him so much! What will he do without me? Will he commit suicide? But, both of these guys were married or engaged within 6 months of me leaving them. Both ended up with good livings/jobs. Me, I now live in a small, low-income apartment and Social Security. In divorce, it’s not at all unusual for the man to flourish economically, and the woman to remain in poverty for the rest of her life.

  • #40294


    Wow – how sobering to hear(read) what you experienced was similar to my experiences. It makes me feel glad I am leaving – even though I am not telling him first. Actually I think that I am making the right choice not telling him – no telling what he will do. I just bought new couches. He knows I take care of stuff and he doesn’t – don’t know if he is lazy or disrespectful. I imagine he would try to ruin them on purpose – but I planned to leave the big one for him… He dented my car and then got mad at me for it. I can see him trying to ruin my stuff.

    I also feel angry when I read what your ex’s did – that really sucks! what a cold hearted jerk letting your record melt, your watch disappearing… and the pot – how evil.

    I really appreciate your feedback. I have friends but I don’t bother them with all of this – and none I talk to daily. But thanks for responding me. I will rest better tonight, I believe. This is stressful – your response helped 🙂

  • #40296


    cyndyinaz, Your gut is telling you that you can not talk to him rationally & then leave. Your gut is telling you to leave a note & get the hell away from him!!


    I too tried to leave my ex husband (a sociopath) many times…he always talked me back by literally spinning my head to a point I couldn’t even remember why I was leaving him. He too would wake me up in the middle of the night. He too would not let me sleep. This is what sociopaths do they will not let their victims sleep. Why? To literally wear down their victims to exhaustion so that they have complete control over us. Its ALL intentional what your husband is doing to you. It’s evil what he is doing with you so that you will not leave him.

    I too had left my ex several times and a million times a day I wanted to run the hell away from him. The last week I was with him I was watching tv in the bed room while he was in the kitchen using his computer. He then came in yelling at me that the tv was too loud. This was all intentional so that I would not leave the bedroom. Who ever he wanted to chat with on his computer he did not want me out to hear it. This is why he came in off the handle yelling. It was crazy but it worked to keep me in the room. But what he did not know was I was on my computer looking up domestic abuse.

    A few days later he did the same while I was painting the bathroom. I locked myself in the bathroom. I had enough. It was my breaking point. He then unlocked the door with tools continued to yell at me. I said literally nothing to him. He left back to his computer. I locked the door again. He then turned off the breaker to the bathroom. It was all crazy behavior to hide what ever he was doing on his computer.

    I planned my escape while in the bathroom that day. A few weeks later I left him for good. No turning back. he had used his crying bs on my years earlier when I caught him in a two year affair. I stayed because he literally begged me to. Promised me he would change. He made promises like he would attend individual counseling & marriage counting, stop drinking, end his affair & never talk with the women etc etc. Guess what he never did one thing that he promised to do. I did not leave a note. I just left & then served him with divorce papers. He sent an immediate text saying “I thought we were going to work things out”….HELL NO, NOT THIS TIME!!

    Sociopaths will say anything & everything go get what they want. Your husband will say anything & everything to get you to say. RUN RUN RUN..HON..your mind is open to what is really going on & he will never change EXCEPT FOR THE WORSE.

    My ex’s abuse towards me got 1000 times worse after I stayed. His craziness got worse. His pathetical lying never ended. He would lie to me about what he ate for breakfast when I cooked it for him!! YEP!!

    HUGE HUGS TO YOU! You are doing the right thing by leaving a note for him!!!!! I cant express that enough!! DO NOT TELL HIM YOU ARE LEAVING HIM!!!

    Please contact your National Domestic Violence hotline (USA 800-799-SAFE) to talk to a free counselor about a SAFTEY PLAN & EXIT PLAN out of this relationship!

    The MOST DANGEROUS TIME FOR A VICTIM OF ABUSE IS WHEN SHE IS PLANNING TO LEAVE OR HAS JUST LEFT…so please dont leave alone!! Get help from your National & Local abuse center. And also tell your most trusted family & friends that you are leaving him.


    Gas lighting abuse (him moving things around)
    Sociopath triangulation
    Narcissist no contact rule

    Watch the videos up at the top of Lovefruad!! They are excellent

    If you have under age children look at the site One moms battle fro custody issues (also for divorce court).

    Look at your husband as a CULT LEADER…and you has his CULT FOLLOWER…every time he gets you to talk with him either in person or on the phone he is brain washing you literally!!! SO this is why you need to go no contact with him. But please make sure you have a safety & exit plan in place before you leave him!!


    Domestic Abuse Exit Plan
    Domestic Abuse Exit Plan you tube

    Then with the words Domstic abuse Safety Plan.

    look at the Domestic Violence Hotline site.


    btw. With regards to a sociopath..your post will NEVER be short!! Their craziness can not be put in a short post. So keep typing away & vent everything out. It’s part of the healing process.

    Keep reading everything here at love fraud also.

    Hugs to you tonight!!

    Wishing you all the best!
    Take care


  • #40297


    PS: Look into Adrenal fatigue & the symptoms. Most victims suffer from anxiety & depression because of the stress they have been under in their toxic relationship. Look at sites like

    Adrenal Fatigue. org
    Dr Lam. com

    plus google.

    Know that when we have a normal break up our bodies release high levels of cortisol & adrenaline. But with a sociopath toxic relationship our bodies have continuously released high levels of cortisol & adrenaline this is the stress you are feeling and when you leave your stress level will go up because of the high levels of cortisol & adrenaline that is naturally released with a break up.

    Google: “Oprah Gavin Debecker you tube” to watch their interview on listening to your gut. Gavin Debecker is the author of The Gift of fear (an excellent book to remind yourself to listen to your gut).

  • #40298


    Dear Cyndyinaz,

    The thing is you have been normalizing his behavior for so long that part of you still feels deep down like he will care what you have to say. I remember that feeling well, that need to have closure, even when it was pointless and even dangerous to do it. Consider not wasting your feelings on someone who does not cherish them, even feelings of anger. Share them with a trusted friend or therapist, in a letter, or have a conversation with him in spirit. He does not deserve to know how you feel. If you really feel you need to leave him a note, make sure that the repercussions won’t be too scary.

    Also, consider that the act of completely cutting him off without even so much as an explanation is the best revenge you can get against him.

  • #40299


    Thank you, cyndyinaz. I am thrilled by what your validation of what I wrote — so glad I shared when and what I did. Glad it was helpful, and rings true for you.

    Some of what I write below assumes you have a way to make a living, and have some money to spend. The women’s crisis hot line, group/s and shelter would have some resources for you if you are low income.

    I am particularly concerned for your dog. Can you think of a way to put your dog him/her in a shelter or day care for a while? Is there a doggie daycare in your area? If there is, and if, for instance, you work outside the home, that would possibly be a way to tell the man that your dog needs more company while you are gone. Then the dog will only be home while you are there — and don’t ever leave the dog alone with the guy.

    I also strongly suggest you contact a women’s crisis center! They will likely have a safe place for you to hide, maybe even a place for your dog.

    You are really, really, really smart to NOT tell him ANYTHING about your plans to leave! Abused people are advised to have a very detailed plan and a timeline, step by setp, and to carry it out when the abuser is gone from the home. Does he have periods of time when he’s gone? Does he work outside the home? If he does, that would be a good time to split. And just leave the creep high and dry.

    Another thing to keep in mine (this never happened to me, thank heavens.) A lot of abusers work on ways to “get you” once you DO leave. They get very dangerous. Hopefully someone here at the Forum can advise you what to do to protect yourself after you leave. And remember — if you do tell him, he could block you in some way that you can’t manager to get away.

    Leave the big things like the couches for the Big Move. And why leave YOUR couch for him?????

    But would he notice if you gradually removed some smaller things? Your jewelry (leave the box so he doesn’t miss that! Maybe leave a few pieces of costumer jewelry in the box, meanwhile), a few articles of clothing, underwear, a few pairs of shoes, etc etc. Can you personally afford to rent an apartment without him knowing — you could begin to move things there. Then you can get the movers to swoop in and get all the couches, etc.

  • #40300


    Stargazer and Jan7 are awesome — great points, great information.

    Stargaze wrote: “He does not deserve to know how you feel. ” Ha- just thought I’d mention what one of my ex-s said about this. I’d say how something made me feel, and he’d say: “I DON’T CARE HOW YOU FEEL!!!!!” Then of course he’d just keep on doing whatever he was doing to bother me or scare me.

  • #40311


    Hi Jan7,
    I love what you say — trust your gut! So many times I didn’t trust my gut and every time, I regretted it.
    Even though I feel like an a&* because I am being nice to him so that he won’t detect I am leaving, I remember just a couple of months ago when I was confronting him on his lies and letting him know I found his behaviors of calling me over and over on Mondays controlling (Monday is one of my days off), he started smothering me and even rushed home after one phone argument because he thought I was leaving. He has never been physical with me, but I just feel that he would try to talk me back as well as make hired movers uncomfortable or something”¦he would try to stop it in some way. I am not sure exactly what he would do but for some reason, it makes me feel fearful. That might be my issue and nothing to do with him. I don’t know. Even though I don’t think he would ever physically hurt me, I am afraid. Sort of going off topic, but he has lots of guns and I have a few. We go shooting at the shooting range. He suggested that one time we should go to the desert and go shooting. I said, “Heck no!” This upset him, I think because he knew I was afraid to and he hated I thought that. Again, I think that is my issue. What is most important to him is his stellar image — he is thought highly of and admired by many. Everyone thinks he is Mr. Wonderful and I am just the luckiest person to be with him. This keeps him from doing things that are overtly harmful — it is all covert. (took me sooo long to figure this out). Nonetheless, after getting feedback from all of you kind people on this board, I feel like I am doing the right thing for my dog and myself (MANY THANKS FOR THE SUPPORT!!!!  — I feel like I don’t have much support. I am leaving next week and I am pretty darn anxious)
    Thanks for sharing your story — man — that ex of yours was a real piece of work!
    Thanks for the links — I will check them out — I am really looking forward to looking at the adrenal fatigue stuff. I thinking I am coming up on menopause but I have noticed that I am having a hard time getting up and getting going — last year when I left, I would get up, pack stuff, get stuff done — this time, I am the opposite — everything is taking forever to get done.

    Thanks again for the support — I really appreciate it!

  • #40313


    Hi Stargazer,
    What a great point you make and it is sooo right! Probably one of the most difficult things for me to truly realize is he doesn’t care what I say or feel. I have to let that go. On top of that, he has always taken whatever things I have said to him about his lying and game playing and used it to become a better liar and manipulator. I think I just need to keep reminding myself it’s not worth wasting my feelings on him, as he doesn’t care!

  • #40314


    cyndyinaz You wrote — “Even though I don’t think he would ever physically hurt me…” My ex- almost killed me several times through “negligence.” Once he almost pushed me over a bridge. Another time, he pushed me and I almost feel into a frozen bay when the weather temperature was below 20 degrees. One time he installed a wall heater in a dangerous way that could have started a fire. I insisted on getting an expert inspector to look at it. He resisted because he thought he was a highly skilled maintenance man –which he was not. He “repaired” some wiring in the attic. After I kicked him out (I paid for the house, not him) I called an electrician to inspect the wiring in the attic. When he came down, his face was white as a sheet. He told me the house could have caught fire at any moment. The ex- knew I had suicidal thoughts, but no plan. So he offered to help me commit suicide by driving me to a forest with some pills, and leavening me there. I think he married me because I owned a house, and he wanted it.

  • #40315


    Stargazer wrote, “… consider that the act of completely cutting him off without even so much as an explanation is the best revenge you can get against him.” Umm Hmmm. Revenge? Will he really care if you are trying to get revenge? Although we know that a lot of sociopaths will stalk a person, threaten and endanger her,etc etc, another possibility is he will entice (marry?) another woman within 6 months, if not sooner. My experience with two sociopaths, anyway. One was married a few months later to a mutual friend of ours. The other one was engaged right a way. I got her phone number and told her my experience with him. She did break up with him, but I do not know if that was at least in part due to my phone call to her.

  • #40316


    Hi Synergy,
    Right now, I am being as nice as I can stand to be in order to not let on that I am leaving. I am leaving in nine days — on the 20th. He is being extra nice, but this time it is so much more obvious how phony it is. I am not sure why he is being so nice. I don’t know if he has a sense I am leaving so he is trying to prevent that from happening or if he wants something.
    After I leave, he will not have any contact with my dog at all. I will have a couple of dog sitters to watch her while I am away at work. Next week while I am away at work (I travel 3 ½ days a week for work), I am letting her stay with a friend. I have to make up an excuse for this — and I am a little worried that I am giving too many clues I am leaving”¦ I got home later last night because I stopped off at the place I am renting and made the excuse that traffic was bad. I am not sure he bought it. Plus, he texted me a bunch of red hearts. Like I said, I am being as nice as I can force myself to but I just couldn’t force myself to return that type of text (I don’t know why I couldn’t just do it — who cares — that could’ve helped to keep him from thinking I am doing and him monitoring my every move).
    I appreciate hearing leaving without telling him is not a bad thing. I have struggled with guilt over this because I don’t think he will harm me physically — he will just make the days until I leave very uncomfortable and he will escalate his little weird punishing behaviors like waking me at 3 am. I have a hard time sleeping as it is. Plus I think he might take some things, hide them, or damage them. I love your tip on discretely getting my valuables out of his reach. My mom died 1 ½ years ago and I have a few things from her I treasure. I am taking your advice on that. Again, I am so sorry what that turd did to you and your stuff! What a di*^
    I don’t know why I am leaving my couch for him. I am so weird. That part of me that feels like a jerk for having him come home to an empty place with no furniture, even though I bought it, makes me feel bad. I am also leaving him the bed.
    I am not leaving him everything though. I came from being so poor that all I could afford to eat was ½ can of pork and beans a day and I have worked very hard for years to finally be able to be okay. I wont be able to afford to buy anything else for a long time.
    So I am taking the smaller sofa and, dressers, nightstands, coffee table, and other things. My kitchen stuff — things like that, that fit into boxes are still boxed up. When I came back, I did so because the darn lady I rented a house from decided to sell three months after I got in — I was too nice and got out to make it easier for her to sell. I had let my husband back in but even though he said he would go to therapy and work on his lying, he had already started lying again and even got better at hiding it. I knew moving back was not the right thing but I couldn’t get time off from work to find another rental and I felt I had to give him more of a chance. Nonetheless, I told him that I wasn’t yet sure this would work because of his lying and because we weren’t really doing that well and therefore I chose to keep my stuff in boxes. I am sort of surprised he hasn’t confronted me on that — but he is lazy about finishing tasks when it comes to the house and I have been working a lot, so he might think that I haven’t had time. Plus, just so I would have time to find a place, I acted as if I was busier with work. He asks all the time how much work I have and if I have free time, he wants to know what I am doing, where I go”¦stuff like that. He doesn’t ever tell me whether or not I can go places but he keeps tabs on me in his own covert way.
    I have movers coming next Monday after he leaves for work. He usually comes home between 5:30 and 7. I should be out by noon. My only issue would be if his daughter decided to come here to get something — which doesn’t happen that often.
    It’s happening. I am glad but nervous”¦
    Thanks again to all of you for your support. I really needed it and it has helped.

  • #40317


    Oh my Synergy – how scary! I think I hear what you are saying and I am guessing you thought as I did before those things happened and didn’t think you were in danger.

  • #40318


    Yeah, you are right on. I thought he was just being thoughtless when he almost pushed me over a bridge, etc etc. I had no idea that he might actually be impulsively trying to hurt me.

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