not sure how to cope after deceit

This topic contains 18 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  AnnettePK 11 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #42300


    I lived for 7 years with a Senegalese man; I’m Dutch American. We had many things that were culturally different: professional status – I’m an accomplished CEO, he a part time yoga teacher/street vendor; hence financial status; I was a bit older; he was Muslim, I am not not religious; we were obviously racially different. None of those things mattered; he was gentle and things started out nicely. Culturally I don’t care about financial wealth, hierarchy or status, it truly didn’t matter. We ‘looked like’ a very beautiful, happy couple.

    However, from the very start there was an erosion of trust over smallish things, phone calls, messages, smallish lies that grew ever larger, always making me second guess things, letting discrepancies in his stories go, always questioning my own sense of being able to trust someone – living by my own standards. It made me often question my sanity and I believed these were mostly cultural differences. He never introduced me to any of his friends in 7 years, didn’t show me any affection in public, and became more and more distant and verbally abusive in his behavior towards me. It was like that for 7 years until – after a particularly difficult December when a number of personal tragedies hit me – I felt he had not cared about me when I needed him most, was probably using me, giving him a home, family and loving care. I asked him to finally move out this past January. I had loved and cared for him and it took me a while to move on; this was after all the man I thought was going to be with me for the next decades. I was on my way to heal. In the aftermath of our split he caused some further problems that caused me to contact his first wife and learned that most of what he had told me those 7 years had been untrue. She had divorced him within 2 years for his pathological lying. He never had the green card he told me he had left with her, he was never married to her for 7 years, and a series of lies upon lies that seemed never ending.

    Having lived completely off the grid in terms of social media, I decided to google him about 3 weeks ago and to my astonishment I came upon his wedding announcement. A new woman, seemingly accomplished, a date set for this coming December 3rd. I was aghast and started to look into his new wife’s social media posts. I came across her FB page in which many congratulated her on her wedding plans and then a post of hers telling her brother she had been dating him since last year – while living with me. He had made sure he had a place to go after he left me. That was the turning moment for me. I messaged him about this lie. He left me a voicemail – clearly within her hearing – to leave him alone after he left me 4-5 years ago. Making me out to be a lunatic who is still pining for him after 5 years, while he was dating her behind my back, setting up his next phase in life.

    I have been devastated at the deceit. On many levels I have lost my grounding and balance in life as a result of learning this. I am starting to doubt our entire 7 years together; every item I ever questioned; my judgement … I am told by good friends and family I should be glad to be rid of him, that I am trusting and therefor would not expect this, to leave it alone… I know it was me who asked him to move out; I know why I had asked him – yet this deceit has left me in such pain that it is consuming me. I am barely functioning and have no idea how to ever trust again. I still feel like striking out against him, his marriage, the third time he is deceiving the next woman…contacting her, her brother, someone… despite all the warnings not to do something along those lines. I feel vulnerable and lost.

    • This topic was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by  vonkie.
    • This topic was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by  vonkie.
  • #42312


    The way you describe your feelings at discovering his major deceit to you about his former ex wife and now about you to his current victim, sounds like your reaction is very normal. Betrayal is the worst pain, confusing, and as you describe, consuming. Post traumatic stress is a normal psychological response to the trauma of being harmed by mistreatment, abuse, manipulation, etc.
    Feeling vindictive is also a normal response. Consider that you can always take action, but once you do something to get back at him you won’t be able to take it back. In my experience, spaths are often successful in turning anything around so that it harms the victim. Consider that his current target will be harmed and will experience trauma just as you have.
    Consider that it is likely that there are other horrible things you don’t happen to know about that he has done. He could have killed people; he could be a pedophile; etc. He may not have murdered and he may not do child porn, but one can’t be sure, like you can trust the character of a normal good man. Spaths are pathological liars, and they have absolutely no restraints to their behavior as long as they think something will benefit them and they won’t get caught.
    You have experienced a real loss; you have lost the person he portrayed himself to be. You have been betrayed. You have a lot to grieve for. For most victims it takes time and hard work to recover. You sound like a strong person – you can be pleased with yourself for ending the relationship with him and for not allowing him to exploit you when you recognized the relationship was harming you. It sounds like you know how to protect yourself. You will recover and you will trust someone again. You probably will learn the signs of a bad man to be aware of and you are less likely to be deceived again.
    Take care.

  • #42328


    Vonkie, my heart aches reading your post. I am so sorry that you endured this nightmare of a man. They are all con artist. They have been conning people since they were children. it’s highly probable that one or both of his parents is (are) also sociopaths. So he leaned from them too on how to con people.

    You were under his mind control. EXACTLY like a cult leader mind controls his cult followers. Your mind & body are releasing all the pinned up feelings now. To feel these feelings percolating up is a awful experiences. It feels like these percolating emotions will never end. Like Annette states you are grieving.

    Google: Stages of Grieving. It will provide insight into all of your emotions right now. I promise you one day all the crying, sobbing & anger will all just end. It’s quite fascinating how the body & mind recovers from trauma. Dont stuff your feelings down. FEEL them!! Let them out. Some how our body & mind nows the steps in healing. So dont fight these steps.

    Most if not all victims of a sociopath suffer from PTSD. It sounds like you are suffering from PTSD.

    I believe one of the most over looked issues of PTSD is Adrenal fatigue. To fully recover I believe that you must heal your adrenal glands.

    Our bodies under tremendous amount of continuous stress (i.e. A toxic relationship) will fatigue the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands regulate our bodies blood pressure, blood sugar, cortisol & adrenaline levels (fight, flight or freeze response mode) and regulate over 50 hormones.

    Once the adrenal glands are fatigue it wreaks havoc on our body, mind & spirit.

    You need to heal your adrenal glands to have peace again.

    How do you heal your adrenal glands?

    Good clean diet,
    no alcohol or drugs (obviously if you are under doctors care you need to discuss Rx you are on),
    possible hormonal balancing (no big deal natural hormones pill or cream),
    plenty of sleep,
    plenty of relaxation,
    avoid unnecessary stress (i.e. toxic relationship follow the No Contact Rule (google)

    Symptoms of Adrenal fatigue (long list here is the short version):

    sleep issues
    mood swings
    panic attacks
    brain fog
    memory loss

    See sites like Dr Lam. com and Adrenal fatigue. org for full symptoms list. Google Dr Wilson adrenal fatigue toxic relationship. He has an article on the subject.

    On another support site, the site creator, ask how many had health issues during their relationship with a narcissist. Over 400 responded and ALL had health issues!!! Everyone posted symptoms = everyone was a symptom of Adrenal fatigue!!

    As they say: Stress kills

    You have been under an enormous amount of stress during & now after your abuser. The stress you are under now is your mind percolating up all the emotions that were blocked while under your abusers mind control. Look into this issue of PTSD. For me within 4 hours of my doctor giving me Dr Wilson’s adrenal fatigue victims & progesterone hormone pills my anxiety was half. Within weeks I moved emotionally towards my old self.

    As for warning the other woman. I did warn 3 women who my ex h, a sociopath, was cheating on me with. One dumped him asap as she had zero idea he was married!! One stayed with him & the other one kept in contact with him. I planted the seed in their minds as to who he was, hopefully they too have escaped his abuse.

    I warned them only when I was in a safe place!! THIS IS KEY. If you are not safe = DO NOT get involved!!

    If you are safe then you can simply send an anonymous letter with the words “research sociopath traits” and maybe guide her to either love fraud or psychopathyawareness. wordpress. com. Mail it from a post office in another town so that he can not connect that it was you who sent it. No doubt he has many victims on the hook.



    You should be so proud of yourself for literally escaping a sociopath!! And for contacting his ex wife. To learn the truth is hard…but it will help you to fully recover.

    Thank goodness you have this evil manipulative sociopath out of your life!!!

    Keep him out for good!!!

    Hugs to you!💜

    Wishing you all the best!!

  • #42329


    Look into a Endocrinologist doctor who specializes in adrenal fatigue to get tested for Cortisol levels, vitamin/mineral deficiency, hormonal imbalance etc etc.

    For cortisol testing info look at Adrenal fatigue. org for info.

    See symptoms list on the sites I posted above.

  • #42330


    Thank you both for your thoughtful responses. I feel this is the first time I’m being understood. I know I need some professional help and will look into your suggestions. Thank you again.

  • #42403


    I wish I could hug you. My story is so very similar.

  • #42404


    It’s amazing to see the stories and recognize ourselves in them. How pain can be so personal, yet this type of deceit so common. It’s kind of depressing. I’m sure that one day I’ll get over this, yet I’m very torn of letting this continue to happen to the next person. I just don’t know how to do this without putting myself in harms way. And I’m not sure I would have believed it myself being at the initial stage of having fallen in love with this man.

  • #42405



    Many victims grapple with the problem of how and whether to warn the next victim. Every situation is different, with many different variables. You’re right, most of us wouldn’t have believed warnings from the spath’s ex’s at the beginning.

    When I was in the worst of my ex psychopath experience, I would have liked to speak to his first ex wife. I came very close to doing so, but wasn’t sure how it would affect her. I didn’t want to cause her consternation so I never did reach out to her.

    You might consider sending a short note to his current target letting her know that if she ever has any questions or would like to talk to her, to let you know. That way, if she ever does want the benefit of your input, she knows you are willing to speak with her.

    There are a lot of helpful comments on the subject of warning the next victim here:

  • #42680


    Dear participants, I just wanted to send you a follow up note. I am getting some therapeutic counseling, and speaking my mind with a thoughtful adult has proven to be very helpful. Much more helpful than well meaning advice from friends and family, who just tell me that I should be glad its over – well meaning as that may be. I have since received a message from the new bride-to-be that she knew of the deceit (hence – participated in it!) but that “God put their union together”… deceit and absolution in the same breath. A Dutch girlfriend let the family know to check out my ex-partner’s past, who then left me 4 threatening voice messages, and contacted my daughter, threatening my family. Once I knew a warning went on deaf ears, because she was not an innocent bystander but part of the deceit, I decided it is in their hands.

    I feel better about where I am at today; still have some healing to do, but my mind feels a bit more at ease from the constant stress I was under. I’m able to take a bit of distance and took some of your advice in regard to my physical health. Thank you all very much again for your concern and support.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by  vonkie.
  • #43318


    I’ve learned these psychopath men target women with hyperempathy, too much empathy, too cooperative. Sandra Brown in her book Women Who Love Psychopaths talks about this.

  • #43320


    That is very interesting, because there is no question about it that it describes me – its one of my weak spots. He married earlier this month. He looks distant in the photos online, stoned to tell you the truth (which he was constantly towards the end), and the photos made me feel I didn’t know the person in them as I had known him for 7 years. The photos of the wedding had zero to do with the kind of life we lived. It was actually an eye opener, because I felt he changes his personalities traits with each and every other person. He did not resemble the person I was with 100% and that just confirmed what we have been talking about here. But its still amazing that last time this year he was living here and I was being duped.

  • #43321


    Interesting though, I just checked out hyperempathy and I certainly have a bit too much of empathy with others’ suffering, the nurturing and taking care of, the putting oneself in their shoes, but not in a extreme it is described in the various explanations I read. I could call it a larger than normal dose of empathy.

    It makes sense that someone who is out to exploit is able to sense that, and that it makes us vulnerable to be targeted.

  • #43325


    vonkie Sandra Brown’s book is really good. she also says there are 2 kinds of psychopaths- the successful ones and the parasites.

  • #43326


    Sunnygal, thank you, I’ll check it out. Have a happy new year; this one will gladly be behind me : )

  • #43328


    vonkie- thanks. my sister’s husband had dutch ancestry and her 3 children are blond. we are english/german.

  • #43460


    Vonkie~ Hugs to you!

    I have also been through the horror of betrayal. When I first discovered my ex husband’s “secret life,” I could barely function. I was in a state of shock. As the shock wore off- my emotions were like a roller coaster.

    This is my second “D-day” with this man. The first D-day was in 1988. I threw him out. He crawled back “a changed man.” He became a “Christian.” I was fooled again. I stayed for the “sake of the children.” A painful choice I wish I never made. This last go around……I couldn’t take the lies and deception anymore. I divorced the narc/pervert and moved to a different state.

    It’s been hard for me to try to rebuild my life after 31 years of marriage to a perverted narcissist, but I feel better emotionally. No more sorting through lies, looking over my shoulder or worrying about what he’s up to. I literally lost 100 lbs of misery, depression and anxiety when I gave him the boot.

    I was physically sick when I booted him. I lost weight rapidly. I did not know about “trauma bonding” or why I was grieving for a man who treated me so poorly. I was gas lighted to the max. I think I had a case of Stockholm Sydrome.

    Race, socioeconomic status, religious affliation does not matter with narcs. They come in all shapes and sizes!

    From my experience, the less you communicate with the narc- the better your healing. That seemed impossible at first, but new found knowledge of what I was dealing with-helped me distance myself from the narc.

    I found a support website to help me understand the nature of his sexual deceptions (Are You Married to a Sex Addict). And “Chumplady’s” blog (Tracy Shorn- author of Leave a Cheater- Gain a Life)- helped me understand what I was dealing with- a lost cause!

    What you are feeling is normal. Do all that you can to provide self care for YOU. The shock wears off in time- and your emotions will go bonkers. It’s all part of the healing.

  • #43461


    Vonkie….on my path of recovery from the narc- I learned that I was an INFJ on the Meyers Briggs personality test. An “empath”- kind hearted, giver- bleeding heart.

    That helped me understand the narc’s attraction to me and his lack of reciprocity.

    After learning this about myself, I am learning to create boundaries to keep narcs out of my life. I don’t want to stop being a “giver”- but I do not want to give to twisted souls with ulterior motives (narcs).

  • #43474


    Thanks, kathleenkelly. I am particularly struck by the sentence that you don’t understand why we grieve for someone who deceives us. I do the same and it is the part that is completely not understood by those around us, who love us. These men should be loathed and yet, they can cause all this grief. How is it possible?! I guess it will just take time for this person to retreat to the back of my conscience…and for me to start trusting again. It is still strange to me that last time this year we lived in the same house, and yet he has moved on like we never existed. As where he fought me tooth and nail when I needed him to leave.

    And how he must be repeating this with the new wife…I know none of it should matter to me, but I can’t help thinking about it. I also really resent the fact that men like these can just move through life using good people…because that is all he is doing. The strange thing is that he is this supposed empathetic yogi, (he has zero empathy), so ‘the world’ looks at him as this very kind, gentle man. You would never know the truth.

    • This reply was modified 11 months, 1 week ago by  vonkie.
  • #43477


    Vonkie & Kathleen Kelly,

    People often don’t understand why one grieves the loss of a harmful bad man. It seems logical that we’d be glad to get rid of an abuser. The truth is that we have experienced a real loss and the appropriate emotion is grief. We have lost a relationship with someone who turned out not to be the person he said he was. We bonded to the person the spath portrayed himself to be because we are normal people capable of love in a relationship. In addition to loss, we have the pain of betrayal to deal with which.

    It is normal to think about what he is doing with his new thing, because (unlike spaths) normal people can’t walk away from a relationship and just turn off their feelings. You’re right to try not to think about him, so that you’ll recover better and sooner. It took a few years of being out for me, but I found myself feeling very glad to be rid of him.

    The success these disordered evil people have in deceiving the world is infuriating. It helps me to keep in mind that I was once deceived (into ‘marrying’ my ex psychopath) which helps me understand those who are currently still being deceived. I met my ex psychopath in church, and he’s still there (in another congregation) deceiving everybody but a few of my close friends.

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