September 25, 2020 at 5:08 am #63953
Hello, I would like to share my story with you. (I apologize if my English isn’t correct)
I’m married and I have 2 children. The last 2 years have been very stressful for me because of my daughter’s health problems. Luckily I could find some joy by working out at the sports club. At the club I met a guy, (I will call him Tom) who at first seemed a little weird (I remember him staring a lot at me) But very soon, he seemed very funny and we got along very well. At the end of december my daughter had an operation and I finally hoped that it would mean the end of a stressful period. In january, Tom asked me for my phone number and we started texting. He was really funny, glib and charming (both my husband and me were friends with him) and when he asked me to go for a walk, I didn’t think it was a bad idea. Afterall, I really needed good vibes. I never meant to cheat on my husband, but very soon Tom kissed me and I was like “OMG, this may not happen again!” But unfortunately, it was the beginning of a whirlwind romance….
At that time, I didn’t realize it, but when I look back at all the messages I received; he really lovebombed me. He said and wrote the most incredible things to me that made me feel like a goddess. After a few weeks he also told me he loved me and that he had never felt this love for anyone else in his life. He told me he would die for me. He would have tears in his eyes very often, just because he was so happy he had finally found me. I really trusted him (he kept telling me that we should be very honest with eachother) and I shared every secret and details of my live with him.
He frequently told me about his past sexual adventures (he started when he was 12 years old) Threesomes, the mother of a girlfriend, a prostitute …. all very uncommon and it made me a little uncomfortable. He was not proud of it, but he now wanted somebody to grow old with and although he was in a relationship of 10 years with a woman, he felt like he never truly loved her and that he had a child with the wrong woman … So he decided to end that relationship (he never moved out, but decided to sleep in their trailer in the backyard)
He really consumed all of my time and he was always driving around in my neighbourhood. (he is a representative, so he’s often on the road)
When I met him in the morning (sometimes for 3 hours), he would call me around noon to ask if I could come over again for a few minutes. When I tried to explain him that I had to be at home for my children, had to do some household and had to go to the supermarket, he told me that he would go shopping for me. In that case I would have extra time to meet him for a “quick kiss” (but it always resulted in having sex)
After 2 months, he began to push me to leave my husband. (with whom I have been in a relationship for 27 years. We were highschool lovers) He started to talk about being soulmates and often sent me articles from the internet about that topic. Everything he told me about how he felt was written in these articles, so I assumed we must indeed be soulmates!
The first time I felt that something was wrong, was when he seemed to be very wanted by beautiful, young women. Every 2 weeks, he showed me a chat of a woman that was very interested in him. But he assured me that I was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. He just wanted to show these messages to me to prove his reliability.
He once was at a party and a woman he knew from before had tried to assault him. At first I believed him, but later on I began to realize that these stories and chats were fake. He even made up a woman that didn’t exist and he showed me written conversations. She told him that he would be better of without me and that he should date her, because I never would leave my husband. He was very hurt by all the things this woman had written to him, beause it made him doubt himself.
He also used to talk a lot about his sad childhood. At school he had a lot of problems and he was send to several psychologists. They figured out he had ADHD and therefore children bullied him. He also said he trusted nobody but me, because he had been hurt so many times in the past.
Eventually I told him 3 times that I couldn’t leave my husband, because I still loved him. Every time he twisted my words and said “it’s ok if you can’t make up your mind yet. I still want to keep seeing you, because I love you”
And so I became more and more emotionnaly exhausted, but the idea of cutting him out of my life made me feel extremely sad. So I continued …
After 5 months, the bomb exploded … my husband was tipped by an unknown neighbour about my affair. (later on, I realized that it must have been Tom who had tipped my husband)
My husband was shocked, but told me he loved me and that he was willing to give our relationship another chance. I decided to have no further contact with Tom and a few days later, we went on vacation with the kids and some friends (at first we wanted to cancel the trip, but we both needed some distraction)
During our vacation my husband began to receive lots of messages from an anonymous woman who told him that she knew Tom and that she couldn’t stand cheating. Therefore she wanted to share ALL the details of my affair with Tom. She knew exactly what we had been doing, where we had been dating, how many times we had sex, how I felt about Tom etc…. At that time, I didn’t realize that my husband received these messages, but he told me a few weeks later. For me it was clear; the messages came from Tom himself and he had betrayed me!
I started searching the internet and I bumped into love fraud. I ordered Donna’s books and I realized that all the red flags waved at me … I was shocked. It has been 2 months now that I haven’t seen him, but Tom is still stalking me. He also has some nude pictures and films of me, so I was afraid that he would expose them (he sometimes threatened in a very subtle way, just to let me know that he had the power) I already went to the police and apparently he has a criminal record (the last fact was in 2007) I know he’s very clever and he knows exactly what to do without being caught. Although I ‘m sure he’s a liar, I can’t prove it. I try to remain no contact, but it’s very difficult. I blocked my social media and I changed my phone number, but within a week he managed to find the new number. He just keeps showing up (luckily not yet in person) and I know he’s trying to win back my trust and I’m sure he will try to meet again eventually. If I do that (what I certainly won’t do!), he will surely inform my husband and that will mean my marriage is over.
I still struggle with a kind of addiction. I know he’s no good, he betrayed me and he will definately try to destroy my marriage (I’m sure he’s frustrated that my husband didn’t throw me out) but I still feel a connection and some attraction. So frustrating!! I know I’m very lucky to have the most loving, kind and understanding husband in the world (who I’ve always loved), so why do I feel that way?
I think I broke up with Tom just on time, but I’m still wondering; when would he have stopped lovebombing me? When would he have showed me his true face? Does he realize he’s a sociopath? He promised me the world, but i’m sure he would have cheated on me continuously, would have grown tired of me and I would have lost all my beloved ones. ( FYI, his former girlfriend apparently took him back, so he’s no longer living in the trailer)
Thank you for reading my story and sharing your thoughts.
September 25, 2020 at 7:10 am #63954
My biggest concern for you is that Tom will continue to stalk you & he could turn violent towards you, your husband, your children & any pets if you have them, etc. Tom could also destroy any of your property (house, cars) & if you are working Tom could show up to your place of work, to a hospital visit with your daughter or Tom could embarrass you when you go to the sports club / gym, etc.
If you want to save your marriage, I think you need to tell your husband about anything & *everything* that Tom could surprise your husband with. You may end up losing your husband anyway, but *telling your husband the whole truth first* & as soon as possible before Tom can makes any disclosures of the photos, the video/films, etc less shocking.
Also you should let your husband have all your passwords to your phone, social media, computer etc as a show of good faith to your husband, your husband has to absolutely know he can trust you, he’s probably going to be feeling a kind of betrayal trauma which is a form of either post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or complex post traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD), the difference is whether your husband can ever get himself to a place where he feels safe in your marriage again. If the sex & all the contact you had with Tom is 100% over and stays that way, that’s the best chance for you to save your marriage. But it’s not going to go back to a happy secure marriage for your husband very quickly, especially if Tom decides to keep up or escalate his stalking.
Your husband needs his own properly trained individual counseling to heal. For now no final decision about or pressure to keep your marriage going can be had for quite some time, you are going to have to be incredibly patient with your husband, give him the time & space he needs to heal.
Also your husband’s now got the final say in whether your marriage continues. This is the downside to cheating, which you unfortunately did do, you made a terrible decision to be intimate with Tom. Being intimate with Tom was a risk you unilaterally took & your husband had no say in your decision, the price you pay for that is you’re in for an uncertain future & an emotional roller coaster ride from your husband for the time being.
And you may want to look into filing police reports on the photos & films (were they taken with or without your knowledge?), I don’t know the laws in Belgium, but it sounds like Tom’s actions could be criminal blackmail and/or cyber-stalking. If Tom’s already got a criminal history, he could easily commit a crime against you or someone you care about.
I think from what you say of Tom’s early life he could be a sex/pornography addict as well as a ‘love’ addict (aka an erotomaniac, you might want to do research into erotomania, people with it can very violently come after their ‘love objects’). Tom may have other mental illness issues you don’t know about, Tom’s definitely a disordered person from what you describe.
I honestly don’t know if couples therapy can save your marriage, I don’t think it’s your immediate priority, rather something to consider in the future if your husband wants to stay married to you, but you also should definitely do individual therapy to figure out how you became vulnerable to Tom. Part of that I suspect is the timing, you must have been under a lot of stress with your daughter’s serious illness, perhaps her health crisis weakened your marriage bond in ways neither you or your husband fully appreciated.
You may have some unresolved traumas of your own, some childhood attachment issues, some adverse childhood experiences that are at the root of this rift in your marriage & even without your husband or Tom, you could go on repeating bad relationship choices if you don’t now dive deep to figure how you got to this very low point in your life, but your own individual therapist is the person to work through all of this with, do not expect your husband to be available to help you when he needs his own personal help for the cheating that took place between you & Tom.
Keep us posted, but definitely look into the possibility Tom is about to commit a dangerous crime against you or someone you love, talk to the police about a restraining order or a protective order against Tom & while it might be embarrassing let the police know what Tom could use against you including the photos & films.
September 25, 2020 at 10:37 am #63957
nosp, thank you for your reply. I told my husband everything and showed him some of the text messages Tom had written to me. My husband even told me before I realized it myself that something wasn’t right about Tom. He said to me that he noticed that I wasn’t myself during the last months and that’s exactly how I felt. Could it be that I was feeling hypnotized?
Tom also doesn’t show fear or remorse. Right after my husband found out about us, Tom called him to say that he didn’t plan on leaving me alone. And when my husband said that we could go to the police, he simply laughed about it.
Another thing that really stood out was that Tom always talked negative about my husband. And once I became very angry about it, so he appologized. As for him, my husband was fat, ugly, not paying enough attention … and he even said he really hated him, because he had me. He used to say; I don’t care if he dies in a car accident.
And look what I found on the internet about triangulation …
“Sociopaths are prone to introducing the threat of other romantic interests by talking excessively about those they are attracted to, those who admire them, or those they had intimate relationships with. They may go so far as to flirt with others in front of you to provoke your jealousy. It’s not uncommon for sociopathic and narcissistic people to boast about how people regularly “throw themselves” at them. They may stress how “loyal” yet “in-demand” they are to provoke their victims into competing for their attention. These are all ways to remind you that you can easily be replaced, at any time.”
This is exactly what Tom did to me …
I also told the police about the photos and films and they contacted him to say that he should leave me alone. One day later I received a picture of him showing his middle finger to me and said he lost all respect. He wished he could just hate me and rip me out of his heart and that he couldn’t find peace in his head.
But now, a few weeks have passed, he found my new Phone number and he declares his love again.
September 27, 2020 at 5:46 am #63971
@kath1 Sounds like you have a very wise, perceptive & understanding husband. And I am glad you have disclosed everything about Tom to your husband.
But you still have a really big problem with Tom.
If I were you I’d ask the police about possible criminal legal action you or your husband could take regarding Tom. Can a court order Tom to stop contacting you (here in the USA we call these restraining orders)? Is Tom doing anything criminal under Belgian law (stalking, harassment, intimidation, threats) for which he can be arrested? To you and/or to your husband?
An attorney might also be able to do something in a civil court under Belgian law, but as I’m unfamiliar with your criminal & civil laws, you might check into that.
I will say that as a women who encountered an online disordered guy who wanted me to be a mere girlfriend/other woman (he lies & misleads everyone about being married, he says that he & his wife are legally separated & live in different states, that their marriage is essentially dead & they stay married for financial reasons) & that for some time I had no idea this disordered guy wasn’t divorced because he actively MISLED me & even his coworkers about that fact, I can understand some of where you are coming from & I don’t entirely blame you, you did cheat, but you’re not a sociopath/disordered person or at least I have no reason to believe that about you. You are showing some remorse for the position your husband is in & some responsibility for making your husband also vulnerable to Tom, but let’s face it, Tom’s the most disordered & dangerous person in this story.
In the USA it’s fashionable to blame unmarried ‘other women’ (or less commonly unmarried ‘other men’) as breaking up marriages, when the person with the legal, moral & financial obligations to their spouse *is the person who took the marriage license out, signed it & took marital vows*. This is only a true moral dilemma when a single person learns the true marital status of the married cheater (who may or may not be a sociopath), personally I gave the disordered guy in question an ultimatum (get a divorce or leave me alone), he misled me about his choice (said he was seeking a divorce when he wasn’t), then as soon as I knew of his further lying, I ended things ASAP but not before I also learned way more about how disordered he really is & how many people he abuses, uses & lies to (women, his children, legal & illegitimate, his brother & sister-in-law, co-workers, etc).
It never occurs to betrayed spouses that there are times when unmarried innocent people are also lead on, lied to & damaged by their cheating husband or wife, especially when that person is disordered, a sociopath or a psychopath. I feel for betrayed spouses, I wish them all the best in seeking & healing the injury done to them by the cheater (or worse the disordered person) to whom they are married, but when that person cheats and/or is disordered, sometimes other parties are injured & deserve healing too.
If you learn nothing else here, where spouses & other people / affair partners can get hung up on who is entitled to more understanding in a triangle, the focus on who should get the most blame & who might be disordered goes awry & that serves most the interests of someone disordered who doesn’t care about laws, rules, social norms, religious vows, etc. Here the sociopath Tom may be unmarried & trying to break up a marriage as well as stringing along other girlfriends, but then again as a determined disordered person, who knows? All we know for sure is Tom lies & Tom hasn’t stopped contacting kath1, which is dangerous.
In the USA it is especially hard for women (& men) to check out whether people are actually legally married or divorced because there is no national marriage or separation agreement or divorce registry.
September 26, 2020 at 2:52 am #63960
Sept4, i’m sorry to write on this blog. I didn’t realise it was only meant for the perfect ones among us …
September 26, 2020 at 10:37 pm #63965
Kath, sociopaths target strong, kind, hardworking people…but, they also can see any vulnerability from 100 miles away. Steven Hassan states in his book Freedom of mind (do a search on this book here on LF) that anyone & everyone can be sucked into a cult or domestic abusive relationship if they have some type of recent life change such as empty nest, going off to college, a move, a death in the family, a divorce or in your case a very sick child.
YOU KATH WERE TARGET BY THIS EVIL SOCIOPATH. So was your husband with all the letters that were sent to him about you cheating on him. NO DOUBT this evil sociopath was behind those letters!!! This is what they love to do…just for fun they love to screw people over & destroy their life. They plot & plan this out…for years & then do the same con game over & over & over to destroy as many victims as they can. It is estimated that a sociopath will have over 100 victims. So No doubt he has run this same con game on other married women or plans to continue since he was “successful” in his mind with destroying you & your family.
Look up also here at Lovefraud & the net for the following:
Sociopath smear campaign
Sociopath gas lighting abuse
Keep venting here hon..it really does help to heal & move on with your life. YES, the addiction to a sociopath is real…just like a food addiction or drug/alchohol addiction.
You need to heal your body & mind with a good clean diet such as Dr Fuhrman’s book Eat to Live. You have been under tremendous stress since day one…sociopath literally will create stress & anxiety in their victims to make them sick & once their victims immune system & adrenal glands are weakened they have more power over their victims. SO GET YOUR BODY HEALED from all the stress. Remember stress kills. So be kind you your health now.
Look up adrenal fatigue on sites like Dr Lam. com and Adrenal fatigue. org (see their videos on their site & their books). Most victims are exhausted mentally & physical after an ordeal with an evil sociopath. Plus you have other stress in your daily life & your children & husband & healing your marriage. So heal your body. Look up the you tube channel “pick up the limes” (think that is it). Good clean food will heal your adrenal glands & your body.
Sending you & your family HUGE HUGS hon…we have all been exactly where you are…and you will get thru this nightmare of a life chapter. KEEP the sociopath out of your life!! He will just continue to destroy you & your life if you ever have him back in it. In the USA the FBI and other government departments deal with cyber stalking so call your countries office…typically the police to little unless a crime is committed & even then they don’t do much. Best to go to other departments in your government for help. Also see if you can find other victims online of his.
September 26, 2020 at 10:39 pm #63966
ps Look up your countries Domestic abuse website & go for help with this evil sociopath. They will not talk about “sociopath” but, they deal with this type of abuse. DO YOU REALIZE KATH that this guy is abusive towards you?
The bulk of domestic abuse is emotional & mental abuse! This guy has been emotional &mentally abusing you since the second he conned you (and your husband). That is part of the reason why you are addicted to him (plus hormones that need to be balanced naturally with good clean food).
September 26, 2020 at 11:39 pm #63968
also Kath both you & your husband should watch the Lovefraud you tube channel. Donna has endless videos on what these evil sociopaths do to their victims. And also the Videos at the top of LF here.
DO NOT CONFRONT THIS SOCIOPATH (EITHER YOU OR YOUR HUSBAND) SIMPLY CALL THE POLICE ASAP!! LET THEM DEAL WITH HIM. KEEP RECORD OF ANYTHING THIS GUY DOES WITH DATES, TIMES & WHAT HE DOES KEEP A LOG SO THAT YOU CAN USE THIS IN COURT IF NEED BE. AVOID THIS GUY BOTH YOU & YOUR HUSBAND. HE WANTS TO PROVOKE YOU…DONT PLAY HIS GAME.
GO NO CONTACT with him…block him on social media, emails, phone…if he uses a “unknown” number do not answer that number…AVOID AVOID AVOID HIM!!
- This reply was modified 3 weeks, 1 day ago by Jan7.
September 27, 2020 at 3:35 am #63970
Well, Kath, as we always say here, I’m sorry for what you’ve been through; “ça va sans dire.” Congratulations at least for standing your ground and refusing to leave your husband for this undoubtedly disordered fellow named “Tom.” In the past I’ve heard several stories I found very sad of people who made the tragic mistake of being seduced away from a functional marriage by a paramour who turned out to be an abuser. In the end they were left alone, and so was the wronged spouse they abandoned, so the abuser had ruined two lives. More, if the married couple had children who were messed up by the divorce, as children usually are. Thank goodness you didn’t let that happen. So felicitations for stepping back from the brink of disaster and refusing to take the plunge.
As far as your affair is concerned, we have a saying in English:
“The person who never made a mistake
never made ANYTHING!”
There’s more I’d like to say to you, but that’s all I have time for at the moment. Good luck to you, and I hope your marriage works out!
September 27, 2020 at 2:06 pm #63977
kath1 – welcome to Lovefraud. I am so sorry for your experience. Yes, the guy is a sociopath. Yes, they are very skilled at what they do. And these relationships are highly addictive – that’s why you find it difficult to let go of him, even though you know he is bad for you, and it’s the right thing to do.
No Contact is the way forward. Do not have any contact with him at all. Block his phone calls, texts, emails. Do not see him in person. The longer you are away from him, the more his grip on you will dissipate.
Sociopaths target our natural human bonding system. They are relentless. That’s why you fell for him, even though you still love your husband. When you don’t realize you are dealing with a sociopath – and nobody does in the beginning – it can be difficult to protect yourself.
I am very glad that your husband is understanding, and that you are repairing you marriage.
Still, sociopaths prey on our vulnerabilities. Another part of your healing is to figure out what made you vulnerable to him. When you can identify that, you can heal it as well.
You are always welcome at Lovefraud.
September 27, 2020 at 10:17 pm #63984
Actually yes I was victimized by a sociopath, my ex husband who lied and cheated extensively among other very serious issues (drugs, crime, manipulation, threats etc).
So my empathy is mainly for her husband in this case. I’m not saying that the sociopath does not deserve any blame. Of course the sociopath has blame and yes I do know very well how they trick you with charm and attention and love bombing etc.
But she also is to blame and has responsibility and fault for the lies and cheating in her own marriage. She is not absolved from responsibility for the lies and cheating just because the affair was with a disordered person. She still has responsibility because it was her marriage and her family.
And I don’t believe her husband should accept it. If he has respect for himself then he would end the marriage after such an enormous breach of trust. It’s not okay and not something that can be overcome in a healthy relationship. Regardless of whether the affair was with a disordered person or a normal person.
And she should go to counseling and work not only on the damage from the sociopathy experience but also on herself to take responsibility and to learn to behave better in a relationship or marriage and respect your significant other with honesty and loyalty.
And she should learn how to set healthy boundaries such as no emotionally intimate individual friendships with other men outside your relationship. Regardless of whether that friend is normal or disordered, starting a new close intimate individual friendship while you are already married is asking for trouble either way. So she needs better boundaries to not get into that situation in the future.
September 27, 2020 at 11:00 pm #63985
Sept 4, I’m sorry that you were married to a sociopath. It’s a nightmare to deal with any sociopath whether at work, home or a neighbor. The more you read & educate yourself here at Lovefraud, the more you will see that you are bullying Kath & blaming her…focus on how the sociopath manipulated you and then you will see that Kath was manipulated & conned. This coming from a wife that was cheated on endlessly.
When I finally escaped his grips I found out that he was cheating with at least 3 (maybe 5 or more) in two different states. He cheated on me from day one. But, I hold no anger towards any of the “other women” my ex h was sleeping with…none what so ever…why? because I have educated my self and now see that EVERY one of us that was entangled in his web of destruction were VICTIMS!! Does not matter if I was the wife & they were his many mistresses….WE were ALL victims of the same sociopath.
I personally think this sociopath of Kath’s was trying to destroy her husbands great life by stealing his wife. Think about that…this is what sociopaths do…her husband also knew this sociopath prior to the affair. These sociopath are crazy & they want to destroy good people & anyone that has in their mind a great life. They will intentionally destroy every aspect of a normal persons life for fun & power/control over others. Keep reading here at Lovefraud. But, please be kind to Kath she & her husband are BOTH victims. Don’t focus on the cheating aspect focus on exactly what this sociopath wanted to gain by destroying this couple.
September 28, 2020 at 10:08 am #63995
Jan7 sorry I was away from the LF Forums for a while, I was off this weekend, reading & doing healing exercises in a book on Kindle Unlimited on Complex PTSD, very good stuff in it! Much progress made & many insights gained here!
Some people who are married to disordered people / sociopaths find it necessary to their healing at some point to blame the ‘other person/people’ or ‘affair partner(s)’ or what have you, whatever you want to call the persons without marriages to a sociopath whom that sociopath targets & victimizes.
That wound a married sociopath causes to his/her spouse is a very painful deep one & if scapegoating someone else helps injured spouses eventually get to completely healed from betrayal trauma / PTSD / C-PTSD, I can put up with the faulting of the non-married people with whom the sociopath cheats.
I would hope these spouses eventually get to a stage where the lion’s share of the blame goes back onto the sociopath / disordered person, but I’m realistic enough to know that for many, that doesn’t happen. I think it has a lot to do with the state of therapy, finding someone who really knows how to work with betrayal trauma is rare & where it exists, it’s often tailored to betrayed spouses, & it can be a very long slow process with a lot of hard emotional work to do.
I’ve found as the ‘almost other woman’ (the connection thankfully stayed online, I found out before meeting this awful guy in person about his decades long serial cheating history & an incident or two of domestic violence, yikes!), I’ve had to tailor written & online materials for spouses to take charge of my own healing. If you are not married to the disordered person, you’re just not top of mind of the therapists or their materials when it comes to healing relationship trauma.
In my case I feel for the spouse of the sociopath I tangled with online. As far as I know they are still married (when I finally dragged enough of the truth out of him, I was told they are legally separated, but that’s not the same thing as being 100% divorced or in the case of bigamy, having the marriage annulled). I don’t know how spouses heal when they are still tied to a disordered person (keeping up the ties is what makes C-PTSD COMPLEX, unlike a more typical one-time traumatic incident, where after say a car accident, you leave the scene, go to a hospital & regain a sense of safety, security & get the healing care you need, if you are still tied to a sociopath, I don’t know how you begin to feel safe again). I am glad I informed this spouse of everything that happened between me & her sociopathic husband & even included some books that were more targeted to spouses of the disordered & their healing process. I really hope she is doing & feeling better whatever she chose to do (he has definitely victimized her too), but since the COVID-19 social distancing started, I’ve chosen to focus more intensely on fixing the emotional & psychological damage he did to me & I’m so very glad I did.
For me at least that regained sense of safety (the first step in healing) starts with ‘no contact’ but if you have good guidance as to all the work you need to do (books, online courses, supportive people, etc), you can heal a lot more than just the damage one random online sociopath does to you. I had major personal breakthroughs this weekend digging into how I have been vulnerable to this sociopath & other less abusive people from the work I did this weekend (hint: it starts in childhood) & I feel better than I ever have before.
September 28, 2020 at 10:06 pm #64008
Nosp, this is an excellent post. You understand not to put negative attention towards the “wife”…I hope she learns not to focus on the other victims he dragged into their marriage.
You are correct about not being able to heal in the marriage. What most do not realize about sociopaths & psychopath is they create constant chaos which not only exhausted their victims (especially their spouse) but also keeps turning their victims heads around & around so they don’t realize what really is going on = they are dealing with a sociopath.
I knew instinctively that I needed to “get away” from my ex h. But, that is not so easily when you are exhausted both mentally & physically. Throw in the fact that the sociopath destroys your finances. The biggest issue I was facing when wanting to leave but could find the door out was pure exhaustion. Stress on our adrenal glands fatigues these very important glands. (The adrenal glands regulate the bodies blood pressure, blood sugar, cortisol & adrenaline levels (fight, flight or freeze response mode) and regulate over 50 hormones. They are a huge deal.
When you leave the adrenal glands naturally regulate cortisol & Adrenaline. But, since being with a sociopath your body is already releasing HUGE amounts of cortisol & adrenaline…when this happens the stress on the body & THINKING is unbearable. So this is part of the reason why a sociopath husband can suck his wife back into the relationship over & over. On average it takes a victims of abuse 6 to 9 times before she final leaves for good.
It’s such a crazy world these sociopaths lead. I often wished that I was the mistress because dealing with my ex sociopath in divorce court was literally the bottom of hell.
Glad you had a “break thru”…yes, the good people on this planet have been vulnerable since day one. Especially if our parents never was conned by a sociopath (which is a good thing but, the knowledge of truly evil people being every where & in every day life was never passed down to save us from the hell we endured).
That’s it educating ourselves & then relating it to our past really does set us free. Wishing you all the best. Take care.
September 27, 2020 at 11:08 pm #63986
Well we just disagree and have different perspectives.
From my perspective calling someone out to take responsibility for their own lying and cheating in a marriage is not bullying. It’s a fair call out. Lying and having an affair is never okay.
September 27, 2020 at 11:49 pm #63987
Sept 4, you are bullying a victim (Kath) who is broken down but had the courage to post here at love fraud for help, to be lifted up & to be educated. She would never have had an affair had this evil sociopath not manipulated her to do so. But, you will not see this if you are still harboring resentment towards your ex’s other victims (his mistresses). Please just be kind to Kath…she needs our help. If you can’t help her…then move to another thread so that she can breath on her own post, vent, & learn from others that have suffered by that manipulation of a sociopath. Being “righteous” doesn’t help her situation, it only adds fire to her broken heart & soul.
September 28, 2020 at 4:33 am #63988
@jan7: Re your post of September 27, 2020 at 9:48 pm. No, “nosp” is absolutely not “sept4”! No way, nohow! “Different other person” entirely, as they said on Monty Python. I guess you hadn’t read all the posts. Take care!
September 28, 2020 at 10:10 am #63996
September 28, 2020 at 4:33 am #63989
I only shared my story with my best friend and she told me it’s better not to share it with too many people, because everybody will have to say something about it. Some will understand and others won’t … I guess she was right. I wanted to vent on this forum, but yesterday I was considering to remove my topic.
@Jan7, thank you for your understanding; it means a lot to me! It even made me cry. I felt really bad about myself, but you gave me the strenght to deal with this sociopath, TOGETHER with my husband.
@donna, thank you for writing these books. They have helped me seeing the truth.
And @sept4; is this you Tom? Because you sound just like him. You make me feel like I’m the disordered one and just like Tom you try to malign my husband … So let me say this to you; my husband is a very STRONG man with HGH SELF-ESTEEM and he also knows how to cope with stressful situations, otherwise it would be impossible for him to lead 3 big companies all over the world. He’s also very down to earth. I DO KNOW that I hurt him very much, he is indeed suffering now, but I know he truely loves me! And yes, I made a terrible mistake that I regret and I will take my responsibility, but I can’t turn back time… but does this turn me into a bad person? My husband was my first and only love for 27 years. When I was 16 years old, I already knew he would be the father of my children and we had a good marriage, but there are always 2 sides to every story. So now we are trying to figure out (with the help of a therapist) where we went wrong. What I already do know is that I should have communicated more with him. When my daughter went ill (she couldn’t eat anymore and lost more than 22 lbs. It took 2 years to figure out what was wrong with her) it was a very difficult time for me. I thought about her 24 hours a day and I know this has left me with a trauma. I couldn’t speak to anyone about it, it was too difficult for me. And at that time my husband was dealing with a lot of workrelated stress, so I didn’ want to bother him with my fears and feelings. I was so wrong not doing this. But there was Tom, listening to me and understanding my pain … (both my husband and me knew Tom for 2 years and we both got along very well with him. My husband even suggested that Tom and his other friend, could come over to have a BBQ at our home)
I also do realise that I revealed all my weaknesses to Tom. I told him that I would like to be more assertive and that I have difficulties in saying “NO” to people. He told me he would help me with that ….
I’m also always concerned about what other people think of me and I don’t like arguing or fighting with people.
But that being said, @sept4, it is your right to have your own opinion about me, but I don’t care! It seems like you have some unsolved frustrations yourself. So if you don’t have anything supportive to say to me, please DON’T RESPOND to my topic anymore! I won’t be reading it anyway.
September 28, 2020 at 10:24 am #63997
@kath1 I’m glad the topic is here because as painful as it might be for you & some others to discuss, the discussion is mostly healthy.
I do believe that the stress from your daughter’s illness made you vulnerable to Sociopath Tom so I hope her health scare is over. And do I want you & your husband to reconcile if that’s at all possible. Given what you have written here, I think you might be one of the lucky ones who can, but it’s going to take work & patience & honesty on your part. But the fact that you didn’t delete the topic & have not only been painfully honest & taken a lot of responsibility for your part has me tightly crossing my fingers for you & your beloved husband. Because it’s clear to me you really love the man you married, despite whatever Sociopath Tom did.
It’s so hard to admit many of us are vulnerable to the ploys of the disordered & sociopaths. It’s hard to know they can’t be cured, it’s hard when we discover whatever they told us isn’t true & whatever they promised us, they won’t follow through on. I don’t believe you are bad, you just had an extreme moment of weakness & vulnerability & unfortunately for you & your husband, there was Sociopath Tom ready to capitalize on it.
I am glad you have a good therapist to work with you & your husband. I would suggest you discuss with the therapist what you have learned about disordered people like Sociopath Tom & ask about therapy to address your life traumas (separately from those of your husband). You & your husband need to learn to be stronger in the places where Sociopath Tom exploited you & therapy is a great way to get there.
And as far as us random people here on the internet commenting on your situation, well, just take the best & leave the rest. Trust that you instinctively know what will best heal you. And hopefully you can get & keep Sociopath Tom 100% gone from your lives.
September 28, 2020 at 10:23 pm #64009
Kath, you are so welcome. You are going to be strong again hon. It takes time. So be kind to yourself. Some days will be hard because things will be percolating up in your mind with regard to regret of allowing this evil man to manipulate you. SO be kind to yourself during this healing process. It’s OK to cry, get angry, sad this is part of the brain dealing with the PTSD/Trauma we have all been thru these stages of grief (look up stages of grief online..grief of making a mistake so that you understand what your moods are) Don’t direct your moods towards anyone just get a journal and write in the journal to get the stress out you can always burn the pages in the fireplace but getting the thoughts out of your head is also a healing strategy). It’s not easily to deal with the aftermath of a sociopath but, you will get thru all of this sadness I promise you that. I’m glad you & your husband are taking steps to reconnect & heal.
What ever happens with your marriage stay together or go your separate ways AlWAYS STAY FRIENDS…dont let this evil sociopath win by causing you & your husband to have anger towards each other or have your children have two parents who fight or can sit in the same room together at special events in their future. Put the focus on being kind, loving & respectful towards each other. This evil sociopath will hate that you & your husband figured out he is a sociopath & stayed together/friends = GOOD!!
That’s when the Good people triumph over evil.
Sending you huge hugs. Keep venting here at Lovefraud, reading & educating.
ps…you found your gumption Kath in this post where you were standing up for yourself!! Way to go hon. This is one of the blessing that comes out of the nightmare…learning to speak up & when to bit your tongue. Pick your fights sparingly. But, stand up for yourself when need be. YOU HAVE A VOICE HON use it. There are many books on how to communicate effectively that you might want to read this way you will know how to deal with people who start to cross your boundaries. This is a skill we all should have been taught in school. As they say, life is all about life lessons…school never is quite over, is it 😎
September 28, 2020 at 4:35 am #63990
@sept4, I suppose the whole problem of infidelity in relationships must be very triggering for you. I’m sure you must have been badly hurt by infidelity in the past to be harboring so much anger about it, and I’m sorry about that. It’s simply unfortunate that you can’t put that hostility aside and have a little more tolerance and compassion for someone in Kath’s position. But I know that’s what happens when feelings get in the way of objectivity.
What I couldn’t understand was your hostility toward her husband. In one post you said your “empathy is mainly for her husband,” but in reality I don’t see that you have much empathy for him. On the contrary, your references to him are positively dripping with contempt. Three times you’ve repeated that he has “low self esteem,” you’ve implied that he’s stupid, and you’ve called him “weak” and “afraid.” You claimed that a breach of trust “can not be overcome” in a healthy relationship, which is very dogmatic, and said he ought to divorce his wife.
Just for a moment, let’s have some common sense. If two people in a damaged marriage are both prepared to do their best to forgive and forget, if they both still love one another in spite of it all, if they both want to stay married, what business does anyone else have telling them they ought to divorce? That’s bonkers! Especially when they have two children, whose lives will also be torn apart if their parents split. Why create more victims? Nor do we know that a breach of trust “can not be overcome.” I’m sure it’s difficult, yes, but couples have certainly succeeded in doing so.
If anyone is a victim in this scenario, Kath’s husband is, because he’s done nothing wrong or blameworthy. And the fact is, you don’t know one single thing about what this man is like! You don’t know that he’s weak, or fearful, or stupid, and you know nothing about his self esteem. All we know is that he still loves his wife, and he’s prepared to forgive her and repair their marriage. So what makes you so contemptuous of him?
It seems to me you might be angry at him because you want to see Kath punished for the hurts you’ve suffered yourself, and he’s refusing to do it. So maybe he’s “weak” for letting you down! Or something along those lines.
If that’s the case, I’m sorry, but it’s not Kath’s husband’s job to vent your anger on his wife!
Anyway I’ve noticed you have little sympathy with “weakness”–in Kath as well, the “fallen woman” who failed to resist temptation–and also, in different circumstances, in yourself. For one reason or another, “weakness” for you is a cardinal sin. It may help you to find more compassion for “weakness,” including in yourself. I hope you won’t take my post the wrong way. It’s something to think about, that’s all.
September 28, 2020 at 11:45 am #63998
@Redwald I think your post is incredibly empathetic & insightful.
I do feel for @sept4 because being betrayed by a sociopathic spouse has got to be *devastating*. I was mad at, hurt by, & unforgiving enough at the sociopath I only virtually met online & had phone calls with. I gave him ONE shot to cure what I thought he did wrong regarding me & everyone else involved in his life, but him being a sociopath, of course he was never going to do that.
So I got him to end it.
In retrospect that was an incredibly dangerous way to handle the situation, but since we don’t live near each other, I felt safer in provoking him to stop what he started than I would have if I had been his in-person spouse or ‘girlfriend’. I am aware that ~12 years ago, he once pled ‘no contest’ to a domestic violence charge in Hawaii against a then ‘girlfriend’ while still married to the same wife (who lives in Idaho), they’ve been married for over 30 years & he still has no qualms about physically abusing women, yikes!.
There was no way I could have known then that you can’t trust a sociopath in advance of ever having encountered one (that’s the downside of having never before had contact with one in a dating context). I was constantly confused & ultimately frustrated enough to make things end in just a few months & it was a major relief when it did, though getting past the throes of withdrawal from trauma bonding made for a wild first few weeks for me, any emotional drama usually exhausts me, this experience was off the charts energy-sapping.
I initially sought healing to get myself back to where I was before the sociopath tried to hijack my life, but I’ve kept at it to be in a position where I won’t be looking at every guy online or offline as if he too is disordered & untrustworthy. What the sociopath did is incredibly unfair to the 90% plus of guys who are non-disordered, not just me or any of the other people he has victimized (women, children, grandchildren, his brother & sister-in-law, etc). But that is worth me working on.
I have come to understand what happened to me as complex PTSD (C-PTSD). My experience of C-PTSD is nowhere near as intense as what women who live in person with sociopaths or marry them experience, but it is still damaging. And I am of the opinion that marriage is the most sacred & intimate of relationships so I can only imagine the depth, breadth & heights the C-PTSD of betrayal trauma goes to when a spouse discovers the sociopath has been habitually cheating & lying.
I have a good enough understanding now of how I personally would never feel safe living with or being tied in any way to a sociopath. That is my temperament, to offer at most ONE second chance & to have some places where I simply would never forgive a sociopath (because it reinforces their worst behaviors).
I suspect I could be like sept4 if what happened in her marriage were to happen in any marriage I became a party to (I’ve never been married, but this experience has taught me a lot about myself). And I also suspect sept4 may have gotten older more coercive counseling, it would have been more relationship oriented rather than individually focused, where sept4 was probably initially trying to save the marriage & her family, where she might have been unfairly pressured to forgive her husband too soon, where she might have been mistakenly labelled ‘co-dependent’ when what is more likely true is that she has the normally advantageous personality traits of being agreeable (which makes it easier to enter a relationship with a disordered person in the first place) & conscientious (which makes it harder to give up on the sociopath & end the relationship, it’s not a ‘rescuer complex’ it’s a decent sympathetic person who believes the sociopathic spouse to be a normal redeemable human when he or she is not & the betrayed spouse needs a lot of education & support to finally ‘give up’ on the sociopath or abusive person, to see them as incurable as well as to see how the betrayed spouse’s good personality traits are weaponized by a sociopath & turned against them). It’s entirely possible sept4 didn’t get the better more recent trauma-focused individual therapy I stumbled onto after much online searching or if she has, it might take longer to undo all the damage the older approaches to therapy have done.
There is a stage in recovering from sociopathy or disordered people, where you need to get angry. It’s best if you can properly limit the focus of your anger to just the sociopath, but sometimes that’s not possible. It’s also great if you can get to a place where your anger doesn’t go to the max, but some people never get there or if they do, it takes them a lot longer than others are willing to be patient with. I believe that this is where sept4 is, & while that’s hard for kath1 to hear, it’s very real for sept4.
I’m not proud of the things I first sent off to the wife of the sociopath I dealt with, but I needed her to see my rage at him, not just for what he did to me, but what he was still doing to her. I couldn’t be detached, objective or empathetic, I stupidly desperately wanted her to ‘control her husband’ & said as much.
But in my second & final letter to her after I had had some time where my rational brain had come back online as well as my empathy, I apologized to her for everything I thought I had done or said or thought wrong. And while I was still angry at her husband, it was not to the extreme where I blamed her, rather I could really understand how he hurt her & their family too. That insight took several months for me to reach, the necessary evolution in my thinking & the calming of my feelings to happen. My poor friends had to listen to a lot of my venting, but they stuck it out with me.
And I took another quantum leap in my healing mailing her off the letter with a good reference book on her husband’s pathology. The second I mailed the package, my resentment at him subsided, my empathy for her & her children grew & I felt a lot better about myself. I haven’t felt compelled to reach out to her again, but if she needs anything from me, I can now graciously provide it to her.
I don’t know that I would recommend doing this to everyone but in my case, it helped my healing move forward far more quickly. And it guided me to better books, courses & resources including people to help me heal vulnerabilities that I didn’t know were making me more vulnerable to manipulation by any sociopaths.
It’s actually been helpful to me to see kath1 & her husband working on working things out between them. I’m not sure if I were the cheated-on spouse, I could be so willing to reconcile & trust again, I think I am biologically wired to always be on alert to potential future marital or relationship offenses but if others can do so, more power to them. I have more hope for everyone here, most especially myself.
September 28, 2020 at 4:59 am #63991
Kath, hello again! I’ve only just seen your post, and I’m glad you didn’t abandon your thread or delete it because of the little contretemps on here. Regrettable as it was, it was a useful discussion in certain ways. I hope to be back later with a few comments for you.
September 28, 2020 at 1:24 pm #64002
Well I just have a different opinion. In my opinion extensive lying and cheating in a marriage is ALWAYS wrong. Regardless of the circumstances. No exceptions. So I strongly disagree that she “has nothing to be ashamed about” (per Jan7).
And I think there is a gender bias at play here. Because in this case it was the wife who lied and cheated. But if there was a separate topic posted by a wife about her husband who lied extensively and cheated extensively with a female friend, would you also tell the wife her husband has nothing to be ashamed of and that his lying and cheating should be excused? I highly doubt the comments would read the same if the gender roles were reversed.
September 28, 2020 at 7:42 pm #64005
One of the problems with tangling with sociopaths is they have an ability to make us do things that we would never do except for their influence. Many sociopaths have this ability – just take a look at cult leaders, who are sociopaths on steroids. I know that I did things that were totally in contradiction to my morals and character because of the sociopath, and I think a lot of people can say the same.
Therefore, I feel compassion is called for. We cannot underestimate the sociopaths powers of deception and manipulation, and we should not overestimate our abilities to withstand them. These people are very powerful. Anyone who has been targeted feels badly enough. Most of us have berated ourselves severely for falling for the lies.
Let’s go easy on each other. That’s how we heal.
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 6 days ago by Donna Andersen.
September 28, 2020 at 9:30 pm #64007
Just want to add something in a general relationship context. Not specific to sociopathy.
If a man tries to start a new close individual friendship with a woman, tries to get close to you emotionally, be your shoulder to cry on, listens to your problems, does favors for you etc it’s because he wants to get in your pants!
Men don’t pursue new emotionally close friendships with women without a sexual reason. It means they are interested in you romantically or sexually. Men don’t just listen to a random women’s problems and give her their time and emotional support if they are not attracted to you.
The friendship strategy of listening to a woman’s problems, doing favors for you, being a shoulder to cry on etc is a pretty common strategy for men to use on women they are romantically/sexually interested in.
And that is of course totally fine if the woman is single and is also interested in the guy. That way you can start with a mutual friendship while you get to know each other better and then progress to a romantic/sexual relationship.
But if you’re already in a relationship or marriage with another man that is not okay. If you’re already committed and then another man tries to start a close emotional individual friendship with you, giving you emotional support etc, it’s 100% because he is sexually interested. So in most cases if you engage in that emotional support relationship this will lead to an affair eventually.
The best course of action if you’re already committed is to set good boundaries and to hold off any new man who is trying to start a new emotionally close friendship with you. And if you are missing emotional support in your relationship then that’s a relationship issue to look at. Don’t try to get emotional support from a new man who is just using a friendship strategy as a subtle way to become sexual with you eventually.
September 29, 2020 at 2:02 am #64013
And now you’ve just insulted my male best friend of 30+ years @sept4
He is heterosexual by the way. As an only child, he’s the big brother I never had (he happens to have a younger sister my age). And we met when I was 19 & he was not quite 20. He was a year ahead of me in college. We’ve never been sexually or romantically attracted to one another, but he is my chosen family. But for him, I wouldn’t have healed from the online sociopath I tangled with as quickly & as thoroughly as I have (social support during this healing is so vital). I’m not done with my process, not because I don’t already feel better, I am more than back to normal, but this process has grown me as a person & for that growth I’m grateful.
I never had many female friends as a girl growing up. 1) I was an Army brat & had to give up many friends of both genders from childhood every so ofter 2) plenty of times my childhood play & befriending opportunities were only boys, not girls (the fellow parents in the neighborhood didn’t have girls my age for me to play with, I even remember playing Barbies with a boy who liked them as well as the fort my father built for me outside our assigned living quarters) and 3) for reasons still unclear to me, my late mother had a life-long toxic distrust of other women & girls so for all my childhood, while I lived under her roof or her strong influence, she would undermine my choices in friends if they stayed friends with me for more than a few years, especially if they were female friends.
Please stop generalizing your experiences & values around them to the rest of us.
The ideas of ‘When Harry Met Sally’ aren’t gospel truth for everyone, though they make a cute movie plot.
Men & women can be platonic friends. I am living proof of that.
PS @DonnaAndersen this forum needs a block function.
September 28, 2020 at 11:01 pm #64010
Sept 4, I was taken a back by your post for Kath. I realize after some thinking that we are all at different phases in our healing. I realize also, that you are still in emotional pain & heart ache your ex caused you. I’m sorry that you are still suffering heart ache. These evil sociopaths really do cause so much destruction. Thank goodness for Donna & Terry creating this wonderful website for all of us to share our stories of betrayal and reading Donna’s amazingly informative articles & books that really do open our mind to see how truly manipulative &. evil these sociopaths are.
If you have any questions or need help to heal just ask in a new post & we can all give you our story on what helped us to heal or move forward in a certain area.
Wishing you all the best hugs to you. 🦋
September 28, 2020 at 11:05 pm #64011
ps (from your first post) Kath, YES, sociopaths literally put us under mind control (brain washing), and even hypnosis & use trance to control their victims. You stated that you felt like he hypnotized you. Look this up “sociopath hypnotize victims”. Also Steven Hassan’s book explains the brain washing (mind control) aspect. I too felt like I was being brain washed by my ex & brought it up with my counselor the first day after I escaped my ex. She said YES!! when I asked if sociopath (after she told me my h was one) was brain washing me. This lead me to research online & came across Steven Hassan’s book. Donna did a review on his book.
September 28, 2020 at 11:48 pm #64012
Thank you for your well wishes but I do stand by my position. It’s not an opinion from a place of pain, but from a moral judgment. I truly believe that lying and cheating in a marriage is always wrong under any circumstances. And that the cheater has and should take responsibility under any circumstances.
And even if there was no physical cheating, there is still responsibility for starting an emotional affair. Private intimate conversations discussing personal problems privately with a male “friend” are already wrong in a marriage even without sex. That is an emotionally intimate relationship that is inappropriate in a marriage. And that in most cases leads to an actual affair. That is my position even as to emotional affairs with a normal non disordered person. Just opening yourself up to that private intimate emotional connection with another man is already wrong.
And as to other comments above about blaming “the other woman.” No I do not blame the other women in my own marriage. My ex was cheating extensively with hookers and strippers and he was paying them for sex. So there was not really any specific other woman and even if there was I would still blame my ex because he was the married one.
September 29, 2020 at 4:55 am #64014
I’m sorry to hear you all suffered from sociopaths. They are really devastating! I didn’t realize they existed until I started searching the internet and found lovefraud.com. In Belgium, nothing much can be found on this subject.
I still ask myself why I didn’t see that something was wrong with Tom. My first impression, that he was a bit weird, seemed to be the right one. Normally I have a natural aversion from windbags. Maybe I was unable to spot Tom, because I was raised by 2 loving parents who were a bit overprotective? So, as a child I was always under their protective Wings. I even was a bit scared of boys when a was a child. (I only have 1 sister and 5 nieces and I went to a catholic school with only girls)
For now, i find myself at a stage of anger and seeking for revenge on Tom. But I know I can’t do it, because I can’t win. But it is so frustrating he gets away with it and can continue manipulating his former girlfriend again. I’m sure Tom already feels that I’m on to him. I couldn’t resist giving him some hints about it some time ago.
@sept4, we are all here on this forum for support and healing, no matter what situation we are in.
So, what exactly is your purpose?
It’s fine to have your own point of view, but you keep on repeating the same messages over and over again … it’s giving me the EXACT SAME feeling as Tom did … he also kept on repeating over and over again that I would be better of without my husband. it is so tiring!! And it doesn’t help anybody!
So once again,
yes, I’m responsible for hurting my husband
yes, I seek personal counseling and couples counseling
But for you it’s clearly not enough; so my husband (thank god, he’s not short-sighted) should just end the marriage and by then everything will be solved??
One more thing, I did talk about my personal problems with the coach from my (former) sports club. (Tom also twisted his words to libel him towards me) Does this mean he wants to get in my pants as well?
September 29, 2020 at 9:32 am #64015
YES your male friends most likely DO want to have sex with you!
That does not mean they are bad people. That is just how men are. Men are sexual creatures. Men’s primal drive is sex. Male sexuality is so strong that they want to have sex with most women.
Men don’t invest emotional effort in women unless they want something more. If they did not find you attractive and were not hoping for sex at some point down the road, then they would not invest their time and energy in you. If men truly find a woman unattractive then they will not spend time with her, listen to her problems, support her etc.
September 29, 2020 at 11:35 am #64016shiningstarParticipant
Sept 4. I agree with you wholeheartedly
Jan 7. You are forgetting that this woman cheated on her husband and he’s not a bad guy at all. She did it for some excitement. There are plenty of other people that we should have compassion for the single people that get taken in by sociopath or people who have money swindled , not a person who’s married decides to break their marriage vows. This would not of happened to her if she’d honoured her marriage vows. I’m not going to respond back to any more posts because I’m not going to get involved in this back-and-forth but let’s notForget that married people should not cheat,!!!
September 29, 2020 at 5:57 pm #64024
Please see Lovefraud’s guidelines for comments.
This is a forum for people to learn and heal. Lovefraud has only one rule of etiquette: Do not write anything that demeans or attacks another member of the community.
Several posts have been removed in order to comply with our guidelines.
I ask everyone to be supportive of all members of the community.
September 29, 2020 at 6:54 pm #64025
I see some of my responses were deleted, okay that is fine because it’s your board so it’s up to you which posts to allow. I’ll be more careful with how I phrase my opinions then.
Just a note as to empathy/compassion. I consider myself a moderate in this regard.
Imagine an empathy scale of 0 (no empathy at all, a sociopath, completely selfish, someone who uses people and has no compassion or genuine concern for other people at all) to 10 (codependent, too much empathy, always puts others before herself, invests too much in others, is afraid to judge people based on their actions, afraid to lose people if she judges them, requires no responsibility or accountability from other people at all).
On that scale I would consider myself a 5 or 6. A moderate level of empathy. And I think this is the healthiest range. Enough empathy to be a good person with good morals who treats people well and does not use people. But not too much empathy where you accept people’s bad behavior or are afraid to judge people or hold them accountable.
In my opinion a healthy balance is best where you treat others well but you don’t let others treat you badly and you are not afraid to judge people on their actions. I truly believe it is fair and appropriate to judge people on their actions. And yes people can redeem themselves from wrongdoing after genuine remorse and genuinely taking responsibility.
September 29, 2020 at 11:09 pm #64026
Hello Kath, I’m so sorry that so many on here are belittling you. This breaks my heart. It makes me question if they are survivors of a sociopath or they are one themselves like you have pointed out too. You are still in shock over what you have just escaped and finding out that he was a sociopath who conned you is truly unbearable. But, then coming to a “support” site like this wonderful site and have people continually repeat the same damn phrase over and over makes me sick to my stomach. PLEASE THEY ARE NOT HEALTHY…just ignore them all together and if it continues, then please send Donna a private message to block them from your thread. You deserve better treatment then some have been posting. Again, hon you did nothing to be ashamed of. Do not hold on to any pain that this manipulative con artist sociopath conned you to do.
When it comes to any sociopath you AVOID, AVOID THEM…not messaging, phone calls etc…do the same with those here that are posting the same negative message over & over. They are not lifting you up & helping you to heal & move forward with your life.
With that said. I am glad that you are standing up for yourself here, especially after being entangled in the web of a sociopath. This is a huge part of healing. No need to explain yourself to them any more.
I read a study after I escaped my ex, that a human being can determine if a person is trust worthy or not within the first 3 SECONDS OF MEETING!! SO YOUR GUT INSTINCTS WERE CORRECT WITH THIS GUY FROM THE SECOND YOU MEET HIM.
What does this mean for you now? It means you always listen to your gut instinct. Read the book The Gift of Fear by Gavin Debecker (do a search here on Lovefraud for Donna’s book review) also, google “Oprah Gavin Debecker you tube” and watch their very informative interview about listening to your gut ALWAYS.
You can’t go back and change the outcome of what happened but, you can block people from coming into your life. One thing Oprah states in her interview with Gavin is “women don’t want to be rude” this is SO TRUE…right, we are taught to be polite to others, even if they are rude to us or give us a RED FLAG warning that something is not quite right with them. No more. Listen to your gut instinct. Your parents have good gut instincts to protect you when you were young…and you are doing this now with your children instinctively. Now you have to revert back to your old gut instincts prior to meeting the sociopath.
This is not easily because they sociopath manipulated us to drop our walls and boundaries. SO you need to sit down & think about how you handled people that were rude or “weird” prior to the sociopath. And build some walls up & very very strong boundaries. There are books that deal with boundaries that your library may have (plus the other books I have listed for you) also, the internet has a lot of info on “setting boundaries”.
Sending you huge hugs. Keep reading the Articles Donna has written here at Lovefraud. They are powerful for your healing. When something that the sociopath did to you pops in your mind do a search here at Lovefraud because most likely Donna has written an article on that very subject.
sociopath pathological lying
This is what ALL sociopaths do to their victims & everyone in their life = lie, lie, lie.
And when caught in a lie…guess how they get out of that lie? lie lie lie.
October 1, 2020 at 6:32 am #64107
Jan7, you are absolutely right. It’s not worth the effort … my approach towards them should be exactly the same as towards Tom; NO response.
I do understand however that experiences with sociopaths can be so devastating that it can leave some people filled with bitterness. And since so many of you have been cheated on, I realize why some try to project their anger and feelings on me. However, I won’t let Tom win by retreating in my shell. (i don’t know if this is the right expression in English) I will move forward.
Thanks for the advice.
September 30, 2020 at 1:01 pm #64103
No I’m not a sociopath. I see that you keep bringing that up.
Judging people’s actions and holding people accountable does not make someone a sociopath. Like I explained in my post above, I have moderate empathy levels. Which is fine for a normal healthy person.
A sociopath has no empathy at all and no morals and lies, cheats, steals, manipulates etc. I have good morals and don’t do any of that. But I am direct and honest with my opinions.
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 5 days ago by sept4.
October 2, 2020 at 4:36 pm #64145
The posts are showing out of order for me now? It’s hard to read the thread because it is out of order as to dates of the posts for me. Not sure why.
October 2, 2020 at 11:05 pm #64159
@sept4: This is a bit strange. I haven’t found a way to force the system to put my post at the end. Unless we’re replying to a specific post, it seems to want to insert a new post immediately after the one that was posted last.
October 3, 2020 at 9:14 am #64172
October 2, 2020 at 11:24 pm #64160
Hello again Kath,
Despite having had a rotten experience with Tom, which you and your husband both need to recover from, you may be better off than you think you are. I’d like to look at this from two sides.
From one side, you’ve been lucky in a way because Tom overreached himself by behaving so badly that he sabotaged his own mission of conquest. You said he first started to bother you by presenting all these texts from women who supposedly “admired” him. Somebody here (regrettably I forget who) has pointed out that this is a technique that manipulative people use to make their victims feel insecure and more attached to them. But who wants to feel insecure? That’s never a good feeling!
I wonder if it occurred to you to ask just how and why Tom was getting all these supposed testaments to his attractiveness from so many women? He wasn’t a celebrity, after all! My answer is he was deliberately seeking them out by “playing the field,” by doing his best to seduce multiple women at the same time, “lovebombing” the lot of them, receiving all this admiration in return–and using it to play one target off against another.
Also he badmouthed your husband and pressured you to leave him. That put you in an uncomfortable position with a decision you didn’t want to make, and thankfully did not make. And here’s a subtle point–while pretending to be your “soulmate,” he was not in sympathy with your true feelings about your husband.
I’m an unashamed romantic myself, and I do believe that “soulmates” can exist. My late wife and I were “soulmates” in many ways. Perhaps no couple can ever be “perfect” soulmates, and many don’t even come close. Just the same, Tom dropped another big clue that he was never your “soulmate,” because his harsh criticism of your husband was so out of tune with your own feelings toward this undoubtedly good man–a man who had liked and trusted Tom, to boot. How could Tom reward trust and friendship with betrayal?
If anything, from what you’ve said, your husband comes far closer to being a true “soulmate” to you, which you knew from the age of sixteen–even though “soulmates” can drift apart from time to time, hopefully to come together again later. People need real soulmates, not fake soulmates.
Finally of course, Tom tried to blow your marriage out of the water with his pretense at being a “well-meaning neighbor” (lies, lies, and more lies) who betrayed your affair to your husband. Luckily the only outcome of Tom’s machinations was to bring matters to a head, where you were forced to confess (sorry, I know that must have been an agonizingly shameful admission), but also to make a healthy decision, to kick this exploiter out of your life and stay with the good man you’ve known for 27 years. So Tom’s tactics backfired on him, and he ended up blowing himself out of the water instead. (As Hamlet remarked: ”For ’tis the sport to have the engineer/Hoist with his own petard.”)
But from the other side, you do deserve credit yourself for sensing that something was “wrong” with Tom from quite early on. I don’t doubt this made you properly cautious despite the excitement of an affair. This relates to the issue of “vulnerabilities” that Donna has often talked about. What makes some people far more susceptible than others to being exploited by a disordered person like Tom, or to stay stuck with such a person? What are the “risk factors”?–as I like to call them. And Number One, as you said yourself, is that too many people don’t realize these disordered people exist: how they think, how they feel, what their motives are, that are so alien from the way the rest of us normal people do.
However, there are plenty of other factors that make people vulnerable to exploitation by predators. And I like to divide them into three categories.
The first category is innate vulnerability. People who were born “naturally sensitive” and empathetic are more likely to be targeted by predators because they’re kind and forgiving. And also because they try to understand others in emotional terms, of how we’re all supposedly “similar,” when the truth is that we’re not. They find it impossible to comprehend how anyone can be a human monster who doesn’t care how their self-indulgence ruins others’ lives–and who indeed can actually get “fun” out of sadism, cruelty and destruction. If such a predator exploits them, they’re more likely to cling to an alternative explanation: that this person is “troubled,” or “needs treating more kindly,” or “it must be my own fault.”
The irony is, as Donna has pointed out, that other things being equal, it’s the best and kindest people, the people who least deserve it, who are most likely to be victimized by these predators! As that cynical old saying goes: “No good deed goes unpunished!” I’m glad to say that’s not entirely true–but all too often it is. You sound like a sensitive person whose only problem was feeling uncertain of when and whether you have a right to assert yourself. Your caring and kindness for your own daughter of course goes without saying, but how about your caring for Tom’s presumed “bad childhood”? If you have a caring nature, feeling sympathy for him was a lure into Tom’s trap.
The second category is conditioned vulnerability. This in my opinion is the deadliest of all. It’s what happens especially when children are raised in unhealthy households, with disordered “care”-givers, who are neglected or abused emotionally and otherwise in ways they have no way of defining, because they have no healthy standards to compare it with. Many of them turn into chronic abusers themselves. Others become chronic victims.
This, I think, is your great good fortune. Despite the problems you’re struggling with, I got the impression from your first post that at least you didn’t have that handicap, of a messed-up childhood, and I was happy to hear that I was right. If your parents were a bit overprotective, maybe that’s because they were attuned to your sensitive nature and felt that you needed “protecting.” Maybe they should have exposed you to the world a little more. Or maybe not! At any rate you know they were good. loving people, and the lesson from that is that you know what good, loving people are like.
So when Tom started “acting up,” you had a baseline of “normal, healthy behavior” from your parents and others to compare him with. You were able to spot when he was departing from the norm, no matter how subtly. Unfortunately some people, due to their background, are less able to recognize when somebody is disordered, because that person is no different from the disordered people they themselves grew up with.
Some of those subtleties about Tom might only make you wonder, rather than causing alarm. They’re what I might call “oddities” of behavior. The first “odd” thing was Tom’s “staring,” and later his discussion of his sexual history. It didn’t seem to make him “bad,” though it did make you a bit uncomfortable.
I hope you won’t mind if I draw a parallel with your own writing. Now your English is absolutely top-notch, and you have no cause whatsoever to apologize for it. Since it isn’t your native language–your “mother tongue” as we say–you must have spent many years reading, writing and speaking English to write as well as you do: almost flawlessly, natural and colloquial. I wonder if you’ve given your husband a lot of help running his international companies, interacting with English-speaking business associates. The only reason you might want to apologize for “imperfections” is that you might be a perfectionist yourself who prefers to do everything just right–as I do myself. If so, I appreciate the pain it must have caused you to be “imperfect” in other areas of life.
Just the same, when I read your initial post I noticed a few slips here and there, though I “read over” them because most people, English speaking or not, make mistakes somewhere in their posts. There were also a few “oddities”–for instance, “Afterall” and “highschool” as one word rather than two, “december” and “january” not capitalized–but did they mean anything? Not necessarily. Sometimes the space bar doesn’t work. Some people are lazy about capitals.
It’s only when we recognize a pattern of something different from what we’re accustomed to–not just “random slips” or “oddities”–that realization begins to dawn. And it makes a big difference if we’re alert to the clues in the first place and recognize what they might mean. I might not have picked up on anything definitely “foreign” in your post if you hadn’t already said you were Belgian and apologized for your English. That’s when I recognized the Gallicisms–and there weren’t many at that. “I tried to explain him” (rather than “explain to him.”) “Emotionnaly” with two n’s (“émotionnellement”). And of course, “December” and “January” not capitalized.
In the same way, in your relationship with Tom you did not have the advantage of knowing what you only discovered later from LoveFraud, about the existence of disordered personalities like Tom’s, and what “red flags” to look for. However, you did have the advantage of a healthy baseline to compare him with, and to recognize that something was “out of kilter” with him, even you couldn’t put your finger on why that was. Also you had the sense to realize that if he made you feel uncomfortable in some way, that was his problem and not yours.
The problem with what I’ve called “conditioned” vulnerability due to unfortunate childhood background is that it takes work to overcome, and some people are likely to find themselves in one abusive relationship after another. That’s where I think you’re fortunate in escaping that fate. You made a wise choice of partner when you married your husband.
The third category of vulnerabilities is what I’d call “circumstantial” or “situational” risk factors. These can be dangerous, but fortunately they don’t have to be permanent. They can be anything from being recently divorced or widowed to moving to a new city without friends or a support network–anything that leaves a person feeling alone and vulnerable, a target for any predator. I have no doubt you’ve analyzed your own situation correctly. All that stress coping with your daughter’s illness, feeling “unsupported”–as you’ve said, that’s what left you “vulnerable” to Tom’s attentions.
Still, there could be another factor at work, and it’s one that every married couple ought to watch. Namely, “midlife crisis.” You must be in your forties, and it’s a dangerous age for many people. Too many marriages break up after about twenty years or more. People start wanting to recapture their “lost youth” before it’s too late. Or it’s a long time since they felt the heady excitement of youthful romance. Anyone who comes along with the promise of helping them to relive “young love” can tempt them out of an otherwise functional marriage–especially including predators like Tom, experts at lovebombing. It’s a risk factor to be careful of. And any affair can become an “addiction,” let alone affairs with people like Tom.
Good luck with your recovery, and I hope your daughter is doing well.
October 9, 2020 at 3:13 am #64229
Thank you for your insightful post! Yes, my daughter is doing fine for the moment. Thank you for caring. This is also something Tom never did. He used to listen to me when I was sad, but never inquired about my kids himself. My best friend once asked me; “since Tom is so convinced to spend the rest of his life with you, does he ever ask how your kids are doing?” …
Actually, he didn’t. Yes, he inquired, but for a practical purpose. He used to ask if they were around when he called or he informed if they were at home.
I was also wondering if sociopaths skill themselves. Or is it just in their nature? Are they completely aware of the techniques they are using to exploit people? Tom is a representative and I remember him telling me that he used to mirror people in order to make them receptive to making a buying decision.
But of course he was also mirroring ME all the time ….
September 26, 2020 at 9:49 pm #63962
Sept 4, SHE IS A VICTIM OF A SOCIOPATH!!!!
Please be KIND to her!! To lift her up & support her!! She needs it. This sociopath is trying to destroy not only her but, her marriage & family too. He is PURE PURE PURE EVIL!!
This is what sociopaths do….they want POWER & CONTROL OVER EVERYONE…in this case it’s NOT just having power & control over his target victim (her) but also her husband!!! YES, her husband is also a victim of a sociopath!!
Sociopath love to target married people…they love to suck them out of their marriage & then dump them…then boomerang back only to destroy them further.
I’m glad this husband sees the truth…that his wife is a victim of a sociopath…but, most likely does not realize this sociopath wanted POWER & CONTROL Over him too.
I was married to a sociopath he cheated on. me continually but, early on did not have proof. When I finally escaped & found a very knowledgable counselor she told me that sociopaths are SERIAL CHEATERS…I told her I thought that my then husband had cheated only 8 to 12 times…she told me it was more likely that it was 3 to 4 times that number!! SHE was most likely correct.
This is part of the reason why sociopaths love to target married women (or men) so that they have the “right” to continue to have many victims at one time without the married victim having any say in the matter. They also love to send letters to their spouses saying they are cheating on them…to have more power. They are sick minded. And GOOD PEOPLE end up sucked into their evil con game. JUST LIKE THIS VICITM that had the courage to post here on LOVEFRAUD…that is why Donna came up with the site name IT”S LOVE FRAUD!!
TO THE VICTIM WHO HAD THE COURAGE TO POST YOUR STORY….YOU ARE STRONGER THEN YOU KNOW…KEEP READING EVERYTHING HERE AT LOVEFRAUD & HAVE YOUR HUSBAND DO THE SAME. YOU BOTH ARE VICITMS OF THIS EVIL SOCIOPATH. BUILD YOUR MARRAIGE BACK STRONGER. IT WILL NOT BE EASY BUT, YOU CAN DO IT. READ THE BOOKS:
1) Getting Love right by Terence Gorski
2) The 5 languages of love by Gary Chapman
Get into individual counseling with a counselor that is extremely knowledgeable about sociopath abuse…not all are educated.
Also both of you read Donna’s books see book store up at the top of Lovefraud.
HUGS to you both…you survived a sociopath now is the time to re build your life back. You are stronger together!!
- This reply was modified 3 weeks, 1 day ago by Jan7.
September 26, 2020 at 9:54 pm #63963
Sept 4, SHE & HER HUSBAND ARE BOTH VICTIMS OF A SOCIPATH!! Please read my comment above to you. BE KIND to all victims even those that are the “mistress” or cheating on their spouse. She was not looking to cheat, or lie she was manipulated by a sociopath to do so.
KATH PLEASE KEEP POSTING & VENTING HERE ON LOVEFRAUD THIS IS PART OF THE HEALING PROCESS..YOU HAVE NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED ABOUT…YOU WERE SUCKED INTO HELL BY A SOCIOPATH.
September 27, 2020 at 5:54 am #63972
I have to disagree with you that married people can’t have opposite sex platonic friends. They can, the best policy to have around this is that any and all spouses should know about their partner’s opposite sex friends & that any intimate personal matters are never discussed with the opposite sex friends, especially not marital issues or problems.
If a married person isn’t seeking out his or her spouse as their closest confidant, then that’s something to seek counseling on, but that doesn’t mean that cheating, an emotional affair, a physical affair, or something as serious as a personality disorder / sociopathy are the problems.
September 26, 2020 at 10:01 pm #63964
5 Languages of love is by Gary Chapman.
September 27, 2020 at 9:33 am #63974
September 27, 2020 at 9:40 pm #63982
Sept4, your post on this thread raises a lot of RED FLAGS with your lack of empathy & compassion for a victim of a sociopath.
Not sure why you are even here on the Lovefraud site. Very complexing behavior.
She is a victim of a sociopath. Since you yourself do not seem to have been conned by a sociopath you will not understand the tornado of destruction a sociopath imposes on a victims life.
You do not fully understand that this victim of a sociopath would never have cheated on her spouse…but, instead was manipulated, lied to & conned to do so when she was going thru a very stressful time in her life when her child was very sick & required surgery.
PLEASE be kind to her and just leave this thread.
September 28, 2020 at 9:31 am #63993
I’m not saying kath1 is innocent (people who choose to cheat bear some responsibility for that choice), but neither am I saying kath1 or her husband or *anyone* deserve the treatment Sociopath Tom is giving them.
First the Sociopath Tom stalking problem needs fixing. I think we all agree to that.
Also I wouldn’t presume to diagnose anyone over the internet but I think individual therapy for kath1 + separate individual therapy for kath1’s husband might be warranted. I wouldn’t think it’s appropriate yet for them to seek couples therapy, kath1’s husband is the one who was most ‘innocent’ here so I would put him in the drivers seat as to getting healing, & then if & when he wants to continue the marriage, couples therapy that is informed by betrayal / intimate relationship trauma would be the best form of couples therapy to seek.
- This reply was modified 3 weeks ago by nosp.
September 27, 2020 at 9:48 pm #63983
This is NOT about a “normal” person affair…this was a sociopath manipulated her (a normal person) out of her marriage. This guy is not only a sociopath but a con man who is still trying to con this family.
Nosp are you also Sept 4?!?!? Seems that way.
September 28, 2020 at 9:24 am #63992
Hi @Jan7, no I am not sept4. And my reply on the affair of a ‘normal’ cheater who is probably better described as a ‘non disordered person cheater’ or a ‘one time non-serial cheater’ was for all. There are people who can recover their relationships with non-sociopaths, but I know I’m not one of them.
And once I know I’m dealing with a disordered person, I am outta there (one was plenty for me, thanks)
October 3, 2020 at 9:02 am #64170
In response to the soulmate topic mentioned by Redwald. And in a general relationship context, not in affair context which is always wrong regardless of the person.
I don’t believe in soulmates in the romantic idealized sense. I think there are just various degrees of compatibility with people.
If you have mutual physical attraction, same values, same life goals, and you get along well personality wise, that could be a “soulmate.” But it’s nothing mysterious, it’s just a high degree of compatibility.
The problem with sociopaths of course is that they intentionally manipulate you into that soulmate feeling. By lying about who they really are, by mirroring you and pretending to be the kind of person that you are looking for.
So in the early stages of a relationship I believe any intense chemistry or intense soulmate feeling is a red flag. You don’t even know each other yet. You don’t even know if you’re compatible yet. You haven’t seen or judged each other’s true character yet.
A much healthier and safer start to a relationship is to say well great I met someone who I’m physically attracted to and who SEEMS like a good person and SEEMS to have similar values and life goals as me. BUT I don’t really know him yet so let’s take it slow so I can better judge his character, value, life goals, and compatibility.
October 3, 2020 at 9:12 am #64171
Nosp yes I’m the same way. Once someone cheats it’s over. I don’t want to work it out. We are done.
I know a LOT of married couples do forgive cheating and accept it or work through it. Mostly because of low self esteem or fear of being alone I think. Or for external reasons like financial security, social status of marriage, or for the kids.
But I will not accept it. Lying and cheating is so fundamental to someone’s character. I could never trust them again once I know they could lie to me with a straight face and no shame. So for me it would be over.
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