Editor’s note: Lovefraud received the following letter from a reader whom we’ll call “Anthony19.”
I’m very unsure still about what I experienced. Maybe it was nothing but a typical relationship. I did talk with a therapist that I believed specialized in emotional abuse, and she told me she believes I have an anxious attachment issue. I also talked with one other therapist that turned me on to gaslighting, which I had never heard of before and that is how this whole thing got started. My childhood friend is a therapist and he verified some of the things I’ve been reading about and thinking, however after the last visit to this therapist that mentioned anxious attachment issues, I’m feeling very lost and self-blaming once again. I keep thinking that if I would have acted different, the things would have been different.
I will refer to her as “A.”
The beginning of the relationship
I met A at work. At the time she had a boyfriend. We would all hang and were friends, but not super close. I remember her talking to me a lot about how she wanted to break up with her boyfriend because of this or that. She said she did not love him anymore. We both lost our fathers a few years back and I remember her saying how she was so glad we had that in common (her boyfriend didn’t understand, and she couldn’t talk to him about it). She would also say “I love you” after some conversations with me… which I felt was strange as we were not that close, and later in our relationship she told me she does not like to use that phrase a whole lot.
Anyways, she and her boyfriend broke up, and she asked me if she could hang out with my dog and do coursework at my apartment while I skied. I agreed. Also, during this time she was trying to hook me up with her fried from work (we no longer worked together). She thought her friend and I we were perfect for each other. She was always making plans for the three of us, so I could get to know her friend. Long story short, I never dated A’s friend because A and I ended up dating. A lost that friend due to this as she was upset with how things turned out.
Back to A wanting to hang out with my dog while I skied. The first time A ended up coming to my apartment while I skied, when I got home she asked if we could hook up. Said she just felt comfortable with me. I said no, you just broke up with your boyfriend and I also know him. She said no worries and she would just find someone on Tinder then.
Later once we begin dating she told me if I would have hooked up with her at that time she would have never talked to me again because that’s what she does. However, I remember her saying her ex and her starting dating after they hooked up one night, which was off from what she just told me. “We hooked up and we were just together,” she said. Anyways, we continued to text over the next week and she explained that she had feelings for me, but also felt bad because she was trying to hook me up with her friend. I agreed that A and I should go on a date to see how things would go.
When we went on the date I remember thinking how is A so into me. She doesn’t even know me. She had mentioned her friend that she was trying to hook me up with during the date, and I asked how she was. A got very upset and said, “I knew you still liked her.” The rest of the date was very awkward, and I felt very weird about what happened. However, after the date she wanted to perform oral sex on me, and I let it happen. I thought it was strange since she seemed angry.
I ended up overlooking that date. We ended up hanging out more and things seemed to work out really well. We ended up becoming official. I remember A would say, “It’s like I’m dating myself,” because of how much we had in common. She made it clear that I was very desirable. We made plans for the future.
Checking my phone
Within the first month of being official I caught her going through my phone. She got very upset and emotional and said, “I wanted to see what you said to your sister about me. I just like you so much and feel very vulnerable.” She was worried that she liked me more than I liked her. She started crying and said, “I can see myself spending the rest of my life with you.” So, I felt bad, and overlooked that, but felt it was a little soon to be thinking you want to spend the rest of your life with me.
About a month or two into our relationship she decided to tell her ex about us. She felt it was fair for him to know. She told him a day before he left for a month-long road trip after we already agreed to tell him after he got back from his trip as to not upset him. He was devastated because he considered him and I friends in the past. I felt terrible, but also felt like what A and I had was special, so that justified it. She would show me all the texts from him calling her a slut, and saying he wanted to kill himself.
Hooking up with other guys
At this time, I noticed there were many other guys in A’s life. Some of them she told me about, others she didn’t. This is what stands out. There was a guy from college. He texted her one day that he wished they could still hook up and she told me about that. She insisted they were just friends and continued to talk with him for the entire relationship.
Another guy from college who said, “Every time I drive past campus I think of you.” This popped up while I was on her navigation on a road trip. She said she didn’t know who it was. But after we talked about it admitted they dated and she recently reached out about a question for a course she was taking.
Another time a random number popped up while we were looking at pictures on her phone and said, “Can we hook-up.” She said that one was from Tinder when she was single between her last relationship and ours.
She told me about two guys that asked her out from a camp she volunteered at. A guy from work that asked her out. A guy she used to work with that she needed a reference from and her were talking. He would always ask her out and she said she refused but would continue to talk with him.
I once looked in her phone and found she was talking with a guy from college via text while she was on a trip. This was a guy that I knew talked to her about hooking up and liked her. He was saying in the text that he knows he was jealous in college and she has overcome so many obstacles and how great she is. She also said sweet dreams to him and I told her that was weird. Not long after when she would text me before bed, so would also tell me “sweet dreams”… to mess with me, I don’t’ know.
Anyways, I caught her in the lie when I asked if she still text him and she said no. I asked if I could see her messages and she showed me her messages and the message was deleted. She said she deleted it and lied to me because she didn’t want me to get mad. She had mentioned numerous times in the relationship about how many hook ups and threesomes she had in college.
When I would ask her what the heck is going on and why so many guys are always asking about hooking up or going on dates, sometimes I would be very angry I should note. She would get very upset and say, “Will you ever trust me?” She told me I have jealously issues, that I need help, that I have anger issues and I’m controlling.
Arguments left me feeling crazy
Our arguments always left me feeling crazy. She would always say things like “See, listen to your tone, that’s what I’m talking about,” “Listen to how you are talking me.” I felt like every argument was probably going to be the last. She would make it clear that she was considering breaking up. She said a few times, “If you would have just done what I said I would have never got mad,” which seemed very strange to me.
Other things I want to mention which I find off:
- She once told me “I can’t miss my ex” and “I can’t like anyone else.”
- She called me her ex’s name while being intimate one night early on.
- Early on in the relationship she said she would cry after have sex with her ex.
- Over Thanksgiving she told me she was thankful “that we hooked up” after I said how thankful I am to have her in my life etc. I’m thinking geez, I’m thankful for more than just the sex, but ok.
- She made it clear that a girlfriend who was coming to visit was someone she had a threesome with in college.
- We discussed moving together early on in the relationship for her internship. She asked me to research places and I did and picked 5 locations. I said anywhere but TX. One day she came home and said she applied to TX because it was in the top 5. I got upset and she said, “I can’t believe you are not being supportive.”
- Early on she would ALWAYS compare me to her ex: “My ex did this and I hated it, you never do that.” “My ex and I never did this, but you and I always do.” “He was terrible with money and you are so good with your money.” “I hated how he dressed, but you dress so nice.”
- She told me it’s like she was dating herself because we have so much in common, but a few months later she mentioned how different we just are.
- She immediately wanted to be friends with my mom and sister at the beginning of the relationship. She would text them (I gave her their numbers). She would always send them pictures of the two of us.
- She would message my friends over Facebook and tell them “Anthony needs you today,” the day after we had a fight. She messaged a person on my team from work and asked if I was in work one day after we had a fight.
- We talked for months about going to visit her family in FL. One day she came home form work and said she booked her flight and that if I wanted to go with her I should get my flight booked soon.
- She told me she had HPV after we already hooked up. Said she forgot to tell me earlier.
- Told my gym partner he is looking big at the gym in front of me and she knows I struggle with body image and feeling of being skinny.
- She would tell me “You’re trying to change who I am” when I would ask about other guys she may be talking to.
- She told me I only did nice things for her, so I could manipulate her.
- She would tell me her friends just don’t think our relationship is healthy.
There is more, but I will leave it, as I know this is already so long.
Broke up by text
Finally, when she broke up with me it was over text, when I was on a solo vacation. This was just three weeks after she texted my mom saying she’s not sure what she would do without me in her life. We had also just talked about going on a vacation two days before she broke up with me.
Anyways, I don’t think that was explained very gracefully. But, we broke up a month ago and that’s the best I can do right now.
We have not talked in a month, except she called me on Monday, and then texted me, “Sorry I did not mean to call.” I never responded.
Can you please help me make some sense of this? Thank you.
Donna Andersen responds
I am so sorry for your experience. Here’s what you need to know: A is a female sociopath.
This was not a normal relationship. Everything you described is typical sociopathic behavior:
- Showering you with attention in the beginning.
- Saying she loved you far too soon.
- Promiscuity — yes, she probably was having sex with all those guys.
- Comparing you to her ex — that’s how she conveyed the behavior that she wanted from you.
- Getting involved with your friends and family.
- Telling you her friends thought the relationship was unhealthy — her friends likely said no such thing.
- Saying that if you did what she wanted, she wouldn’t have gotten angry — classic, right out of the sociopath playbook.
- Unceremoniously dumping you.
Here is what you need to know: Nothing you could have done would have made any difference in her behavior. She is a female sociopath. She did what female sociopaths do.
By the way, the therapist who said you have an anxious attachment issue is clueless. Your only problem is that you were involved with her. Do not see that therapist anymore.
I recommend that you keep educating yourself about sociopaths. We have lots of stories here on Lovefraud. If you read them, I think you’ll find that the stories sound just like what you’ve been through.
I’m glad you went No Contact with A. Keep it that way. She’s a loser.