I'm new here and could do with some support/advice or clarification please.

How to recognize and recover from sociopaths, psychopaths, narcissists and other exploiters Forums Lovefraud Community Forum – General I'm new here and could do with some support/advice or clarification please.

This topic contains 13 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Sunnygal 9 months ago.

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  • #39482


    Hi, I’m new here and am hoping that by joining this site it may help me move on from my ex. I was with him for three years. I had the typical whirlwind romance that is listed in the checklist. We had an amazing year. There were promises of marriage, children a family home. Basically it was my dream come true, I had finally found my Prince Charming who treated me with such kindness and respect. He was falling over himself to be with me.

    I was a hard working independent woman who was about to buy my first home and had just got the keys. However, after a year of being with “Prince Charming” I discovered that he actually hadn’t worked for the entire year we had been together. Not only that he hadn’t worked for years before hand and had racked up £10,0000 debt that he had no interest in paying off. He didn’t tell me this, I found out through finding a bank statement that he had left out. Not only did he lie about this to me, when I confronted him about his finances he flipped and told me that I have a problem with anxiety and it’s nothing to worry about. He still wasn’t working and had creditors after him. He had told me earlier on in the relationship that he lived alone and it turned out he lived with his mum. He was 34 when we met. Looking back it was a red flag and I should have ran but I didn’t. He also told me he had previously had a successful plumbing business and it turns out that wasn’t true either. However, by this time I was emotionally attached to him. He made me feel great and instead if leaving him I supported him and helped set up a bathroom fitting business with the idea that he would actually work and build up a business. He seemed keen at the time and promised that he would get working to pay off his debt. He worked for about 8 months.

    Sadly, this took a massive toll on my health. All the stress caused me to become extremely unwell and I was admitted to hospital for 2 months. It turns out that the stress had brought about an underlying condition called Lupus. It’s a life long auto immune disease that attacks every organ in your body. My partner suddenly became the knight in shining armour. My parents and friends were astounded at how he cared for me. Then after about 6 months the resentment kicked in. I gained a lot of weight due to the medications, I had terrible side effects and I lost most of my hair. I would cry in terrible pain and when I needed a hug I would be pushed away, sometimes physically. I was so ill that sometimes I could barely dress myself and relied heavily on strong painkillers like morphine to manage the day. I was often accused of being addicted to the medications, despite the doctors reassuring me that this wasn’t the case. When I couldn’t get myself made up and was just in my PJs I was told “have you seen yourself” and when I sobbed due to the pain and side effects I was told “you need to go to a mental hospital”.

    Anyway, cutting a long story short, when I met him I was a slim athletic independent woman who was doing ok for herself in all walks of life and then after I got sick I couldn’t work anymore, I lost my hair and gained weight. I needed love and reassurance. I got none.

    I was shunned in bed. There was no affection anymore and my partner just stopped working. He was living with me off my sick pay and when I asked for him to pay more towards the rent he said, I can’t I’m looking after you instead. After a time my sick pay dried up, he still wasn’t working and if I asked him about going back to do work he would blame me for nagging him or saying I worried too much. I was desperate about how the hell I would pay the mortgage. For three months he watched me worry, stress and agonise over the mortgage payment. I should point out that stress only makes Lupus worse. At this point I had inflammation in all my joints, brain, heart and left lung. My prognosis wasn’t looking good and I was on 18 different meds.

    My partner eventually left me on New Years Eve 2015 after we had to leave a party because I was on Chemo and couldn’t be around anyone who was ill. There was a girl at the party with flu. It would have been really dangerous for me to stay. It was a long way from where we lived and he told me on the way home that he had wanted to stay and the party and the relationship was over as we had to come home. A week previously he had promised that our relationship was solid and that we could be married in 2016.

    After we broke up I found out from a friend that he had inherited £100,000 four months previously and had not told me. He had told plenty of his friends, who he kept me Separate from, but not me. He watched me stress and agonise all that time which just made my health worse.

    After he left me I was devastated and he told me and my family to our faces that he was sorry, that he would call every week. He even said that he would take me to the hospital for my appointments. After not hearing from him for three weeks I phoned him to see how he was, I was missing him so much. I was an empty shell and my house where he had lived felt awful without him. He had moved back in with his Mum at the age of 37. He answered the phone and told me that he had no feelings for me whatsoever, he didn’t care what my family and friends thought and couldn’t give a damn about my feelings. He said he had to break up with me for himself. He called me a nasty , lying, manipulative little c***. I was so shocked. This wasn’t the man I had fallen for. I had also just been told that I had to have emergency infusions due to my condition and if they didn’t work there was nothing more that they could do for me and the disease would take its natural course. Despite my mother and me telling him this he accused me of lying. This wasn’t the kind sweet charming man that I fell in love with.

    This all happened almost a year ago. My health is in bits. I am financially ruined and have little social life as I can’t get out much and no self-esteem. The pain caused by my condition is terrible and the fact that I’ve had to give up my beloved work is soul destroying as it was my identity.

    I feel like I was a whole person when he met me and sucked everything he could from me. Now he is holidaying with his money. He drives around carefree slagging me off to people and generally living a fantastic life and having a great time with his friends. I know he has stopped the business I set up for him and started two new ones, both of which seem to be failing simply because he is so workshy. It’s almost as if he is too good for work.

    I could never do that to anyone I loved. I feel like I was dropped as I didn’t suit his image anymore because I got sick. It also makes me sick to think that I shared a bed with a man who it turns out I hardly knew.

    I still think of him everyday and blame myself for the break up. I think “if only I hadn’t got sick we would have been OK” or “if I hadn’t cried so much because of the pain.” No one gives you a handbook to help you deal with getting a diagnosis like this. I wanted to talk about it but he refused.

    How do I move on? I’m still in love with the man that I thought I knew and can’t stand the idea of him being with someone else or not having him in my life. I’m an intelligent woman so what the hell is wrong with me and why can’t I get over him?

    Any help, tips, advice or even a tough talking to are welcome. But my question is…was he a sociopath?

    He certainly showed no empathy, no emotion, stared at me when he was talking/lying to me. Had a massive sense of entitlement. Was manipulative. Looked down and judged others. Was obsessed with image. Wouldn’t engage with my friends who were professionals but would stick to his group of friends. He was also secretive. If I raised a concern he would turn it around and put any blame on me and he never took responsibility for anything. Was he a sociopath?

    Thank you in advance and sorry for the long winded post. Just had to get it off my chest, thank you.

  • #39840


    Poor baby 🙁 I’m so sorry …during the 3 years w my socio my health and appearance has definitely been on the decline. ,.mostly though..I have crippling panic attacks about 3 times a day now…I’m on day 4 of no contact leaving him…so I have no good advise except to try and find yourself again..try to love yourself. Poor doll…I’m so sorry for that hell

  • #39841

    Donna Andersen

    HowDoIMoveOn – What a tragic story. I am so sorry for everything you have endured.

    I can assure you that the guy is a sociopath. Every time he professed love to you, he was lying. He probably just wanted to get out of his mother’s house. Unfortunately, his objective was to exploit you.

    Please understand that even if you hadn’t gotten sick, he would have treated you just as badly. It is not your fault. Nothing you could have done would have made a difference. He is a sociopath, and the way he treated you is typical sociopathic behavior.

    You have a very serious illness. I hope that knowing he is a sociopath will give you some peace, so that you can focus on your recovery.

  • #39842


    Dear howdoImoveon:

    It is very common for victims of sociopaths to become ill, as the relationship is very toxic and it is like being poisoned. As soon as you can realize that this is his energy in your system and disconnect from him, not just physically but emotionally as well, you can focus on your recovery. When you are with a person who takes absolutely no responsibility for his own sick behaviors, and you remain in the relationship, you end up internalizing all of the sickness in your own body/mind. Please don’t give him that power. It is awful to find out someone you have loved for so long is a fraud and a con artist. But accepting the truth about what he is can set you free. As Donna said, there is NOTHING you could have done differently. A sociopath is a sociopath.

  • #39844


    Thank you for the replies, everyday has been difficult but reading those replies has helped. Can sociopathy be inherited? The reason I ask is that I think that there is a strong chance that his mother was also a sociopath. She showed very little emotion and what emotion she did show appeared very theatrical. Nothing really appeared genuine or warm. It was all theatrical and cold.

    One weekend my ex and his mother and I visited my parents home and stayed for the weekend. My parents are very warm, welcoming hard working people. My mother has done the house up nicely but only because she has budgeted and worked hard, what I’m getting at is she has a nice home but not because we’re filthy rich! Anyway, when my ex partners mother arrived and we were showing her around she did something very strange that no one has ever done when visiting my parents house before. She went round and felt all the fabric on the curtains and sofa and cushions exclaiming what wonderful quality they were. She also felt all the wood on the furniture and was commenting on the size of the house and looking at all of our paintings. Now this woman married into money, her husband then lost it all and became and alcoholic and then died. A tragic story that apparently was caused by bad business deals. But it really made my mother uncomfortable that she was walking around almost “measuring up” how much we as a family were worth. My ex and I were expected to get engaged the following weekend.
    We have never had guests ever act in this way before and we found it very odd. Also my ex partner stuck by his mother like glue that weekend and shunned me, despite having visited my parents on numerous occasions. He also told my mother that he has Asperger syndrome. Something that he never told me and late denied telling my mother. Is this gas lighting? So many questions but it feels like I may finally be getting answers through this site….thank you so much!

  • #39847

    Donna Andersen

    howdoimoveon – To answer your question – yes, sociopathy is highly genetic. It is especially likely to be transmitted when the mother is disordered.

  • #39850


    Thank you so much. An interesting thing happened recently. My mother actually bumped into his mother and without being rude or confrontational my mother explained how the relationship had left me in a terrible state and how her son had actually treated me. His mother made no excuses for him and agreed that he had behaved appallingly. She actually said that his behaviour completely mimicked the behaviour of his father towards his mother in years previously. She even acknowledged that she had become aware of her sons misleading and deliberate attempts to cover up his financial situation from me.

    Funnily enough, since this exchange has happened, I feel more at peace with myself. After a year I can now accept that it wasn’t all my fault as he had said. I wasn’t crazy, as he had said. Putting it bluntly, if his own mother thinks he is a lying, manipulative nasty piece of work then he really must be one! As the saying goes, “Mother knows best!”

  • #39852

    Ok, not an idiot

    That feeling of wanting to love him won’t go away for a while but rest assured, it will go away as it relates to him. You DO NOT love him, you love the person he pretended to be. The mask he wore. I think now is a good time to do some self reflection and ask yourself, why would you need to look to anyone to provide you with that much love. Can you try to love yourself as much as you loved him? Then you will never need anyone to love you to be truly happy. I did this thing in my head, as soon as I started feeling sad or angry or lonely, I would chant “I love you heidi, i love you heidi”(Thats my name) over and over again. All of a sudden I felt better and I started to feel what it must feel like to another when I love them. Now thats taking back the power.

    Stay strong, its going to be one hell of a recovery but try to be grateful that its her now, you are saved and free to live the hell out of this life!!!

  • #39857


    I hope you can find a good support system. A good support system will help you move on.

  • #39915


    Thank you to Donna and everyone for their replies and help. I am so very grateful to have found this site as I genuinely thought I was going mad.

    Unfortunately my Lupus has had a big flare and I have been sick otherwise I would have replied sooner. I also posted about gaslighting and found the answers very helpful.

    OK, Not an Idiot (or Heidi) I have reflected upon what you said and I believe that I wanted and needed that amount of love from him because I became seriously unwell. Our relationship for the first 12 months was the typical whirlwind but I was beginning to think about ending it as I was noticing red flags like ideals of gradure, sense of entitlement, lack of responsibility, lies that he played down and whenever I questioned something there was a big over reaction and it was all my fault.

    Anyway, when I became seriously ill very quickly I became totally dependent on him. I had no other family around and it was difficult with my friends as they worked shifts and as much as they helped they had their own lives and I was really, really ill. This went on for 18 months and he initially played the hero then the resentment kicked in. In that time I was off sick from work so I lost a lot of self-esteem by not doing the job I loved, I lost self-respect. I couldn’t walk so lost my independence, the meds changed my appearance so my self worth declined. Basically in a matter of a weeks I lost everything that meant I was a strong independent woman. I had my family 2 hours away and him, he moved in. I felt that if I had his love I would get through anything because in all honesty I hated myself, the disease, the situation I was in, my appearance, the weight I’d gained and the meds I was on. Worst of all I could do NOTHING to stop the disease attacking my body. I needed his love because I no longer loved myself.

    I guess everyone is a target for a sociopath but when you become totally dependent on them due to a physical problem it must be their dream come true. Looking back now I see how he shunned me when I was having a really bad day, yet I might be ‘rewarded’ with some acknowledgement if I had a better day and my disease wasn’t such a inconvenience.

    I start new treatment on Monday, I pray that it works because I really feel that it will be when I gain my health back and independence back that I will truely be able to start my recovery from this sociopath.

    Thank you all for your words.

  • #40020


    Hi Crybaby82, thank you for your message. How is the no contact going? I’m wishing you luck!

  • #40021


    Hi Donna,
    Thank you for your response. I have reflected upon your words and have reminded myself of what you said everyday, that he would have treated me badly even if I hadn’t gotten sick.

    I have been very unwell yet again with this disease and despite all the doctors and pills it is easy to go into denial about it but again, reading it in black and white, ‘you have a very serious illness…..focus on your recovery’ has helped me give myself ‘permission’ to focus on myself and my recovery and at times of great physical pain and sadness, it is helping bring about some level of acceptance about my disease.

    Thank you.

  • #40022


    Thank you so much Stargazer,

    I get really upset when I think that I was struck down with this disease at the age of 32, just when I was ready to start a new big chapter in my life. Everyone has commented about how I need to focus on my recovery and that has helped a great deal.
    I’ve thought a lot about what you said about internalising all the stress from his irresponsibility and bad behaviour. That’s exactly what happened. One minute I had been walking on air for a year after finding my Prince Charming, when the truth came out and I discovered the deception I had a physical feeling of being rotten inside and sick with worry. It was six weeks later that I was hospitalised on a cardiac unit.

    I’m trying to shift my emotions from his to me. Trying to stop pining after him and start loving me and being kind to me. The bit that is hard is the grieving for what i thought my future was going to be. Husband, children, continued development in my career. Instead I must accept that my life is now entirely different. I have to live with my parents as I am very sick, I may have to sell my home and I am about to be medically retired from my dream job at the age of 35. I’m working on acceptance of this and it will take time, but thank you. In times of great physical pain I read these replies and messages and it gives me comfort and strength and permission to look after myself.

  • #40025


    Best wishes to you.

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