By | July 4, 2018 21 Comments

Her daughter’s wedding should be a time of joy, but her ex is causing havoc

Editor’s note: Lovefraud received the following letter from the reader who posts as “Elle.”

In 2014, my youngest daughter and I got a restraining order against my husband at the time due to violent rages and terrifying behavior he was exhibiting. Of course he would profess to our older 2 daughters he did nothing and we were lying … this is a man who NEVER took any responsibility for his behavior and was then and still is a pathological liar.

At a divorce proceeding in April 2017, in spite of the restraining order in effect, he violated the order and I went to the police. He came after my daughter and I in the parking lot in a terrifying, arms flailing, cocky and belligerent manner saying well … GOOD MORNING. My daughter and I said nothing to him but spoke to my lawyer when he arrived. MY lawyer addressed this man because even inside the court hallway he chose to stand 12 ft away from us and stare and glare trying to intimidate us.

It became very obvious once inside the court and the lawyers began speaking with each other… my soon to be ex husband was feeling his oats going into court because his and his lawyer’s intention was to basically extort $ 100,000 from me as a payout to make him go away. HE knew I had no money, I had purchased this home and paid for all the renovations from family inheritance money and had paid the 2 mortgages on it for decades as well as paid insurance, taxes etc.

After a very long, expensive and very messy, high conflict divorce, I had hoped (how silly of me) that the drama and chaos would begin to subside. We were divorced in Sept 2017 and it was final in Dec. 2017.

The restraining order violation was between the state vs. my soon to be ex for his behavior in the courthouse parking lot. He was put on probation and required to attend certified batterers intervention classes for a year. The judge was wonderful and took this case very seriously and continues to follow our case. He chastised both the court appointed lawyer defending this man and my soon to be ex himself… and NO… he didn’t like this.

My life and my daughter’s life has been hell ever since with my other 2 daughters. Mostly the middle one, who he is very close to and has been ever since she was little. She is so confused because she knows I am an honest person, as is her sister, and yet he consistently lies to her about the circumstances, even though she has tried to establish her boundaries and says she doesn’t want to discuss any of this.

We now have a huge crisis on our hands because she is getting married on Labor Day Weekend in a different state and what should be a joyous time has turned into a nightmare.

I got a phone call from her the Tues after Father’s Day. My daughter was crying, saying he wasn’t going to attend because we — me and my youngest who also has the RO against him — were going. Why would she and I want him to go after we lied and said terrible things about him to the judge? Yes, I am sure he didn’t like me spilling the truth, BUT THERE WERE NO LIES. Yet he continues to manipulate our middle daughter (always his favorite) and overwhelm her with his tales of woe to get her to feel sorry for him. She is 32 and it is very hard on her.

Long story short … in my call with her … remaining composed … I replied to her and said I am really sorry this is happening to you. This is a time for you and your fiancé to be excited… a time of JOY and this isn’t fair to either of you. This is very selfish and I am very sorry.

A week later, 2 nights after she and I had a lovely dinner, out exploring her ideas for table setting and flowers, she texts me: “Dad says he can’t go to the wedding because the probation officer says he isn’t allowed to leave the state per his probation. Do you know about this? Do you have any pull with his probation officer? HE said he never knew about it.”

Meanwhile … I knew he has been leaving the state frequently to go hiking and camping with her and her fiancé as well as going out of the state with his family camping and hiking. Of course I said nothing about that, but this is what MAKES IT ALL THE MORE CONFUSING … and makes her furious with the entire situation. It gets murky because of his lies and deceit to her about her behavior. IT is destabilizing and quite honestly … it enrages me that he would do this to her!!!!!!!! HE is so hateful, vindictive and sick.

I picked up the phone and said to her, “No, I don’t know any of the requirements surround his probation. I was not in any of those meetings so I do not have any knowledge. I also do not have any pull with his probation officer. She responded saying, ” Dad gave me her number ( P.O.) should I call her?” Well- that sounds like a good idea to understand what is going on.

The next morning, I received a call from his probation officer (she is required to call me once a month) to inform me what was going on. I shared the conversation I had with my daughter and said she would be calling her. I also asked when and if he received information initially that he was not to leave the state without prior permission from her and then a hearing where a judge would allow his request.

The probation officer also said that she (Probation Officer) was not going to grant  him permission to leave the state and explained that she was prepared to go before the judge if he takes it that far. Her reasoning was because:

  1. Two victims: myself and my youngest daughter were going to be there and she was not going to expose us to further abuse or danger, and that
  2. going to the other state is out the state’s jurisdiction and they have no recourse, and
  3. if he again broke the restraining order, he would be transferred back to our state and would be sent to jail for a minimum of 2 1/2 year jail sentence.

OF course when she told our daughter this … it was heartbreaking … ABSOLUTELY HEARTBREAKING and confusing …  she has to listen to him constantly be the victim, even though she sets her boundaries or says she does…. he berates her sister and I and does not respect her wishes but because of his abusive nature, manipulation and the using of her as his confidant as he has done FOR YEARS … she is devastated. She can’t see it … and it is so painful to see it.

Unfortunately, I did say to her and her older sister, when I told them both that the police removed him from our house, this is very painful and going be very confusing so please find a therapist to get some support and help as our family walked through this crisis. Unfortunately … this fell on deaf ears and he has continued to lie and deceive them as well as play the victim here.

She called me late Friday afternoon and was filled with sadness, anger and rage … some of it directed at the situation but honestly … some of it directed towards me because I violated him. I did try to stay as calm as I could be, but when she ramped up about the R O … I allowed her to vent because she needed to. She was heartbroken and sobbing saying, “this is so wrong … she should be able to have both her parents at her wedding.” I could hear the anger and extreme grief in her voice because let’s face it … I violated him and he has twisted it all around.

There were many other violations … that I did not bring to the court … it was all too much, I was dealing with PTSD as was my younger daughter, dealing with court hearings, divorce proceedings, lawyers bills and running a professional business … and he had her contact me 4 times during the course of the restraining order and once after the I filed the violation. During the restraining order I reminded her this was not her issue and that this is 3rd party contact and that the court stated this was a violation of the order … it was important for her to not be the messenger. After the violation … she called one day shortly before the violation hearing … when I answered she was hysterical and said, “Dad is afraid and wants you to drop the charges.”  She was crying and said, “he is very afraid and is crying” … It was awful and I said this is hard for all of us. This is between your Dad and the State now…. not me. There is nothing I could do.

She was devastated and I was devastated for her … and for me as well because he continues his ghastly, sick, manipulative and demented behavior, causing so much pain, confusion and sadness in this family. HE wants to divide and conquer and it scares the hell out of me that he will succeed … even if it is short lived. It is SO WRONG & THE ABUSE CONTINUES.

As I assume you can see … had he been honest with her from the beginning, abided by the terms of his probation and not left the state and gone hiking and camping with her and her fiancé  or his family, AND if he had told her when she shared she was looking for wedding venues outside of the state … and he reminded her or told her before she committed … she would have changed her plans and looked local and not be here and I hold him responsible. If all of that happened … we wouldn’t be here.

Unfortunately … I am the one who pulled the restraining order as did her sister, we have maintained appropriate boundaries and not sucked her or her sister in to hear our version of what happened, although I did say to them if they ever had any questions they needed answers to or feelings they needed to express … I was always open to a discussion with them. They never asked because they are so toxic from his web of deceit and lies and pity pot victimization.

So now … there will be a hearing in the court where the original restraining order came from BUT this court has no jurisdiction because it needs to be in the court and with the judge for the violation and his probation officer told her and him that but he still proceeded to go with this one and I will be on the chopping block now in from of the judge … I will be truthful and explain to the judge about the probation and the requirement to go to a different court for permission.

This entire situation is EXHAUSTING … do you have any advice for me? Whether it is for the district court … he will be there and of course anything I say will be used against me because he will go DIRECTLY back to our daughter and spew more toxicity about me and blame me for everything. At this point, I will be devastated … but I am prepared to either be disinvited to her wedding or to just not attend if that is what she wants … yes, I will be so very sad but he continues to WREAK HAVOC in this family … absolutely heartbreaking … and infuriating too of course.

I look forward to hearing any suggestions or advice Lovefraud readers may have.


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Hi Elle,


Just when you finally escape the sociopaths nightmare by divorcing them, they end up starting the drama & chaos from another angle.

I am so sorry that you are dealing with this crazy sociopath (still & again).

My advise to you is to educate your 32 year old daughter about how to spot a sociopath in this world. Experts believe that 1 in 25 people on this planet has this disorder. Experts also believe that we have at least one in our circle of family & friends (you know this to be true) and coworkers. So she needs to know the truth. But more importantly she too needs to be educated otherwise her father is going to emotionally break her down to & then discard her. That will be devastating for her.

How do you educate her. With the truth! By giving her examples of what your ex has emotionally, mentally, verbally & physically done to you along with financially. Show her this site, and also sites like Psychopathyawareness. wordpress. org. have a list of sociopath traits for her to look over. In addition show her the National Domestic violence hotline website.

Show her articles here on Lovefraud & the net about:

gas lighting abuse
sociopath smear campaign
sociopath triangulation
sociopath pity play manipulation
pathological lying
sociopath scape goat child
sociopath golden child
sociopath blame shift

He is doing all this to her. He is trying to smear you and no doubt using pity play manipulation with her & her fiancé to allow him to go to their wedding. The camping trip was used to isolate them so he had more time to manipulate them with his lying words. This is why she to be educated asap.

He is intentionally making you out to be the bad guy. DONT take his bait. He wants the family fighting over HIM. That’s what sociopath do…they want everyone triangulated against each other so that the sociopath can have control over everyone. He wants drama & chaos at this wedding. Remember sociopaths love love love nothing more then chaos & drama. They thrive on this. He wants everyone to have a miserable time. That’s a sociopath playing his mental games.

Sadly your daughter right now has zero clue she is being played by a sociopath. He is twisting her mind up, he is not only exhausting you but also her before her wedding day. This is ALL intentional. Sociopath also love to exhaust everyone mentally, physically & spiritually to have POWER & CONTROL over everyone. Power & control is the ultimate goal of a sociopath.

Reading your post is heart wrenching. A wonderful time in your life (giving your daughter away) and also for your daughter marrying the man she loves. I’m so sorry that you both are enduring this nightmare. Along with her finance.

Stand your ground dont let this sociopath go to the wedding. He will create nothing but a nightmare on this wonderful day.

There is a book on amazon called One moms battle by Tina Swiften (do a search here on love fraud to see Donna’s write up on this book (and site) and also her interview with Tina.

See their Facebook page One moms battle. If you are going to chat on their fb page, I would recommend that you open a fake email & then a fake fb page to chat freely with out your ex seeing or anyone else what you are writing about. Ask this same question there. Ask how the court personnel can help you.

I would also recommend that you call your local domestic abuse center for help. They have people that assist with court issues & even go to court with victims.

If you are in the USA you can call The national domestic abuse hotline 800-799-SAFE to talk with a free counselor & also get local abuse center numbers.


Keep venting here. It really does help to keep your mind clear from the sociopaths abuse. 🌺


Jan7, you always get excellent advice, but the rub here is that courts and psychologists all counsel spouses with children who divorce not to say anything negative about the other parent.

When you have been married to a highly abusive person with a personality disorder, this becomes a tall order and a trap, because he/she is trying to paint you in the worst possible light, while you are trying with all of your might to keep quiet. Then, you are damned if you do, damned if you don’t. I did not speak disparagingly of my ex-husband, though he was physically and emotionally abusive to me and my daughter, because the court did not find sufficient evidence to charge him, and I was told BY THE JUDGE to be silent.

I had to share custody (supervised at first, and then unfortunately, not supervised) with an evil man, and worse, our daughter came to blame me, and not him, for the divorce and her subsequent problems. It is pure Hell, when I was always her protector, and walked away from everything to get her to safety, that she chooses him over me. But hey, I get it. He is the consummate charmer, and I fell hard for him too, way back when.

I understand perfectly what Elle is going through, and there are no easy answers. I took the high road, unless I was asked direct questions about what transpired. My honest answers were most often rejected, because they did not fit her fairy tale narrative. As painful as it is, I just keep plugging along, trying to be a good person and hoping that one day things will be made right.

My daughter is 29, and does not speak to me at the moment, though she has moments of clarity where she remembers how terrifying her father was when she was a very little girl, and understands that I love her with all of my heart. I always strived to do what was in her best interest, but when you are dealing with a master manipulator as the other parent, life is distorted and crazy.

I wish you peace, Elle. And I hope that you are able to navigate your way through this morass. Lots of love to you and all of your daughters. May our children eventually see with utter clarity our pure hearts and concern for their well-being.


Hi Zoe7, yes I agree with you not telling your kids if they are young, as the court will not take kindly to this.

However, Elle’s daughter that is getting married is 32 years old. So there is no court issue as long is they don’t tell the 2 year old daughter. The 32 year old needs to know the truth.

Right now she is being conned by the sociopathic disordered father just before her wedding. Her mind is being twisted up just before her wedding by this sociopath. Sociopath ALWAYS have a game plan ahead of time.

And no doubt in the future this sociopath will triangulate the 32 old daughter against her own husband and vise versa to have control over her & him. That camping trip was to isolate them from the outside world as this is one of the first things a sociopath does to their target victims to have control over them = isolate them from family & friends. The sociopath also used the camping trip to gather information on both of them to use at a later time to control both of them & break them both down.

This guy is extremely covert with his manipulation towards his daughter & her fiancée.

Imagine if your parents taught you about sociopaths prior to your involvement with one. This is why it is imperative to educate your teenage kids. You dont have to say “Hey your father is a sociopath” but you can educate them by give them the traits of a sociopath and the games that they play i.e. smear campaign, isolation, reward & punishment t tactics, gas lighting abuse etc.

Dr Phil (Phil McGraw) has an excellent book called “Life Code”. It explains disordered people & the games they play without actually saying sociopath/psychopath/narcissist or gas lighting abuse, triangulation etc. But it educates you on who to avoid in this crazy world.

If you google: Oprah Dr Phil Life code series you tube” …you can watch there extremely informative show series discussing this book. It is worth every penny to educate your kids. They will put two & two together about their own disordered parent without you ever having to say anything negative about their disorder parent in their life. You can always send this book to your daughter without knowing it is from you along with one of Donna’s books she sells in her book store (top of Lovefraud) that goes into greater detail by using the terms sociopath.

Your daughter (29) is old enough to hear the truth. She is probably trying to find the truth as to why her father can be so cold towards her at times. When dealing with a sociopath everyone wants to know why someone behaves the way they do. Why they can never have peace & calm with one. I’m so sorry that you are still enduring the aftermath of a crazy sociopath. Breaks my heart reading your post. Sending you huge hugs too!! 💜🌺💜💜

Wishing you all the best. 🌺

Take care. 🌺


Hi Jan7,

Thank you again for your, as always, excellent advice. The problem is that even as an adult my daughter blames me for the after-effects of her father’s abuse and the dissolution of the marriage, and usually places no blame on the cause of the abuse: her dad.

Everyone on lovefraud knows what happens when you are gaslighted – you go crazy, just as intended by the perpetrator. My daughter has seen many years of my reactions to her father’s cruelty and lies – anorexia and depression that sometimes rendered me a less than perfect mother.

When Claire sees clearly, she understands that her dad was physically and emotionally abusive to both of us. However, the Stockholm Syndrome effects leave her enthralled by his charm, wealth (he married into it), and false narrative: your mom was crazy and I got you away from her.

In truth, he raged, punched walls, physically blocked my exit when he was violently castigating me, and even spanked her so hard that welts formed on her behind. That is when I left him and took her with me, taking just one suitcase.

The County Prosecutor commended me for my protection of Claire, but she doesn’t know any of that, but when she asks me about things that are painful that she does not quite remember, I answer honestly. Then, she rejects the truth and hangs up. Sigh. Unfortunately, the Prosecutor declined to press charges (and the situation was worse than I am detailing here. Much worse.)

We lived happily, even though we were cash strapped when he moved on to Tiffany. She thought that I still wanted him (I’m sure that’s what he told her) and I said, “You are welcome to him. Don’t let the door hit either of you on the way out.”

I warned her when he kept trying to come over for sex after he married her, but she said that I was crazy. Still, she came with him every time we exchanged custody of Claire after that, and that made me incredibly happy.

Life was so much better after he left, and we did not have to fear whether we were coming home to Jekyll or Hyde. We actually danced around the house in the evenings, drunk with happiness. But she apparently does not/cannot remember that. The pain of our separation is nearly unbearable.

I will get the Dr. Phil book for her, though. And I appreciate the suggestion. I am afraid to approach her with anything but a feather-like touch. While she will not speak to me currently, we follow each other on social media. I hoard every photo of her, and savor every detail of her life. It is just so incredibly sad.

Lots of love to you, Jan7, and the mother of the bride, Elle, and all of us who have danced with the devil, and especially all of our children.


I understand our daughter’s feeling so confused, outraged and so deeply wounded. It is a challenge to not feel somehow responsible for their torment… but I work hard at not owning it. I know I did the best I could with what I had… the alternative could have and may have been so much worse.

I hope that Claire one day…. will be able to get some support and learn from someone who is skilled in this arena to heal these deep and confusing wounds. I hope the same for my oldest 2 daughters as well.

With much heartfelt love and healing for all of us who found ourselves dancing as fast as we could with the devil in sheeps clothing for the sake of our lives, our sanity and our precious children.


I will buy 3 copies of this book for my daughters as well.


zoe7~ yes it is a tall order, a trap and a massive challenge to say nothing negative about our abusive partners or exes not to mention it is mentally, emotionally and physically EXHAUSTING! My best intention was to model appropriate behavior and be emotionally available and talk about appropriate problem solving strategies. I was petrified to get divorced when they were younger, it would have been in the 1990’s and I knew there would be more damage… but either way… there was and is damage. A ghastly experience to say the least especially because these folks know how to play their game… and THAT MASK HE WORE…. He was a pillar (as many are) in the community, always attending church and VERY involved in his church and coming off as a kind, gentle easy going fellow so imagine as I started to share the reality of life under this roof…. many refused to believe not to mention he had already started spreading and spewing his toxic lies about me.Thank God I have some very good friends in my life, since the 70’s, who stayed very present in my and my daughters lives. My oldest who is now 36 is struggling… and was estranged for awhile. I know your heartbreak well. I did find a book if you are interested zoe- it is called
“Done with the Crying” by Sheri McGregor. It was very helpful fo me. If it helps… I can share that my daughter, while she is still struggling, came back into my life and even lived with me here from November of this year to early June. I am not sure how this most recent trauma will affect her and our relationship but you may want to take a peek at the book and see if it “speaks” to you. My heart goes out to you too Zoe… I think all we can do is to continue our walk, try to be a beacons of light for them, to love them, be present and emotionally available. Our hearts were indeed pure and the decisions we made were made with the best of intentions for them in the fiasco and utter chaos we found ourselves in with these disordered partners. Trapped in a no win situation with innocent children that we loved so very much.
I wish you peace, love, light and blessings and continued healing.


Jan7 ~Thank you for your support and wonderful ideas.I have all of Tina Swithin’s books as well as a host of others and have been educating my self for years as well as I was in therapy for years getting support and trying to figure out how to work with this disordered individual. I was terrified to divorce him when our daughters were younger… and so vulnerable and yet here.. even at this age…. they are still vulnerable and being manipulated by him. I decided on Wednesday, 2 days ago, that it is definitely time to address what is happening to both her and her older sister. In fact .. it is well well overdue.
On Monday of this week…. my daughter and I went to the Court Hearing where the we took out the initial restraining order for his request to modify the order and both my daughter and I stayed strong and spoke our truth. We continue to be in fear of imminent harm by him. We also shared the web of lies, deceit, denial and minimizing
that he continues to do with you 2 other daughters. The Judge was wonderful and denied his request. I haven’t heard from my daughter as yet to know if she was made aware of this. I assume she has because he loves to stir the pot, create chaos and is trying to get back at me through wounding her. I will set up a time to address the issues, explain what is and has been going on for a very long time.

And.. to add to this.. my youngest daughter came in last night after seeing that her estranged father reached out to her on FACEBOOK with a friend request! The Prosecuting Officer from our town was here late morning to get her statement as well as the picture of the friend request with his name and another page with his information. This violation was filed in the court today and a hearing will take place on July 24th. This is a 2nd Restraining Order Violation and a probation violation as well. HIs probation officer told me last week that if he violates the order again- it is likely he will be held in the House of Corrections for 2 1/2 yrs because the Judge overseeing the initial violation was following this case carefully and was very aware of the level of violence and disregard for authority my ex has.

More chaos lies ahead but I will certainly take the time to share what has been taking place for a long time and sadly is still taking place… I will also equip her as best I can and will be present and available. This is so very confusing, hard and tragic.


David Mc Dermott MD


It’s vital that you tell your daughter exactly what her father is all about. It doesn’t matter if it’s you that tells her or someone else, but she needs to know. When she does find out she will wish that someone told her sooner.

That man is nasty and he is doing all this to continue to control you. He is taking away the most important thing in your life from you. He doesn’t care about your daughter. She is only his favorite because she is the easiest for him to manipulate.

The psychopaths and narcissists presume that people will continue to play by the normal rules of society while they play by their own rules. If you continue to play by the proper rules of society , you will continue to lose.

I think that children, from a very young age, should be told about abusive parents. I fully understand that the rule is that parents should not speak badly about the other parent, and this rule was made without any consideration whatsoever of psychopaths and narcissists. Firstly, the manipulators are going to do it anyway. As I said, they don’t care about other people’s rules.

Secondly, and more importantly, children recognize from a very young age that something is wrong, but because of their lack of vocabulary and life experience they are unable to make sense of the situation. If the normal mother, for example, tries to brush over what the psychopathic father is doing, or tells the child that it’s ok, to ignore him, or that he loves the child really but in his own way, this creates confusion and conflict for the child. It does not match up with the experience that the child is having. This creates further problems for the child and even aggravates the isolation that victims experience, “I can’t even talk to my mother because she doesn’t understand what it’s like for me.”

I know it’s a difficult thing to do but even despite orders, there are ways and means of introducing info to the child so that the child can understand. One of the things that you can do is to verify the experience of the child. A mother can easily do this because she knows what the psychopathic father does and she will have been through what the child is going through. Explaining to the child, for example, that it’s ok to have contradictory emotions about the psychopath, or that it’s normal to be confused by the psychopathic parent’s behavior, begins to let the child know that you know what’s going on. When the child recognizes that you do indeed know what’s going on, typically the flood gates open and the child begins to reveal all sorts of things that have happened with, and are happening with, the manipulator as well as how the child has been trying to cope with it.

This completely changes things for the child and it becomes much more difficult for the manipulator to maintain control.

How much info should you give? A lot! Even if the child cannot understand it all at the time, they usually go away thinking about things and sometimes stuff you said may make click into place for the child weeks later.

The only way out of situations like this is education. People, of any age, need information about the techniques being used against them, how the techniques work, what effects the techniques have on thinking, emotions, decision-making and behavior. The more the victim knows about how specifically they are being manipulated, the less they are affected by the techniques and the better they can start thinking for themselves again.

The manipulators make it so that they are the main source of information for the victim. Unless the victim has another source of info, they cannot hope to even begin to make sense of the situation as a way of getting away from the manipulator. Your daughters need info, give it to them!


Dear David~ Dr. Mc Dermott, Thank you for your input and valuable feedback. I have been struggling with exactly how much to tell my daughters. Over the years, I have more often than not been “appropriately”honest with my daughter’s but more recently, since the restraining order in 2014 and the physically violent behavior, as well as the divorce…. perhaps not honest enough. This is where he has really ramped up and played the victim. My daughers do know there was violence but of course he denies it in spite of their sister having witnessed it and the one who called the police back in December, 2014.

You are right…. knowledge is power and I will make sure that I speak with my daughter this week to share with her what exactly is happening to her. I have an older daughter as well… who is struggling as well…do you suggest this be a family meeting with me and all 3 of my daughters or do you suggest I do this with each daughter separately? I am not sure if you have read my first response in this thread that was in response to Jan7’s thread but last night my ex has broke the restraining order for a 2nd time and in doing so also he also broke his probation. It is likely that he will be incarcerated for up to 2 1/2 yrs which is what his probation officer stated to me last week when we spoke. I suspect it will all depend on who the Judge is that he has to appear before is.

I look forward to your reply and hearing your thoughts about whether to tell my daughters individually or all together.

Thank you for taking the time to read Donna’s posting and replying to me. This is such a painful, traumatic and exhausting situation to deal with.


David Mc Dermott MD


If he is sent to jail that would be a very good thing! For many reasons…

Speaking to the 3 of your daughters together obviously saves time and effort on your part and can indeed go very well if your daughters are able to hear what you say without feeling the need to defend him. In such a case, each one feels that they can talk about the reality of their own situation and may even be encouraged to do so on listening to their sisters and yourself saying various things. Pointing out the manipulation tactics being used against them with real life examples is the way to go with that.

If, however, one of them starts to defend him, it may spark off the programming of the other two and they end up defending him, too. That would make it 3 of them against one of you, not a good thing! If you see this happening, it’s much better to just back off and not get into an argument with the three of them. This would not go well for you.

If you think that something like this is happening, it would be much better to just stop what you are doing, calm everything down and arrange afterwards to talk to each of your daughters on an individual basis. This would allow you to personalize the message for each of them in such a way that it will be easier for them to accept the information.

It’s a complicated situation and often there are no right or wrong ways to do something like this. You may have to make decisions on the spot about what to say or what not to say depending on whether you think one or other of your daughters is able to hear certain things about their father.

It’s useful to tell your daughters about a specific event, then point out, step by step, the tactic of manipulation that was being used against them and how that event is an example of that particular tactic. Do not expect that they will be able to join the dots, so to speak. You have to spell things out for them because their ability to think clearly and rationally about their father has been severely distorted.


Thank you Dr McDermott. Your suggestions and advice are very helpful and I will proceed and tread carefully yet with honesty and also honoring their confusion and heartbreak.

My youngest daughter who also has a permanent restraining order,and now a 2nd violation against him since he tried to contact her electronically through Facebook is very clear with what is going on so it wouldn’t become a 3 against one but certainly could become 2 against one… the one being me.

If he is sentenced to jail… that will present itself another host of emotions and chaos… but it clearly has been only “a matter of time before he put his finger into the eye of the court and disregarded the restraining order again and now his probation.”

When or if my daughters are able to see and process it will no doubt take some time… and emotions will run quite HOT I suspect… but I do feel strong and yet sensitive and sympathetic to their pain… we have all been hurt, confused and traumatized on many levels… each in our own way.

Once again,thank you for your help and shedding some light as to how I can move forward with my daughters.

David Mc Dermott MD

I also suggest that you get professional help.

You have been programmed (by your ex) with the idea that you should be able to sort things out yourself.

You are the girls mother, your role is not to be their therapist. It will be much easier for a professional to educate them and it will be much easier for them to hear these things from someone outside the family.

It’s also an easier task for you to get them to the point where they realize there is a problem and that they need help rather than your getting them to understand that their father is a psychopath or a narcissist.


thank you David. I, myself, personally was in therapy for years trying to deal with my marriage. Unfortunately, I believe this therapist was unaware of the reality my ex was severely disordered and of course she never met him so she couldn’t diagnose him. While I liked her… she focused a lot on my trying to encourage him to get therapy, share with my ex that I was concerned about areas of his behavior that were hurtful and concerning to me from an “I feel” point of view, and suggested we work with a marriage counselor while I continued to work with her.We did marriage counseling… and things got much worse.. he learned new ways to create injury and damage… when it became clear in our therapy that I wanted a divorce and to move forward on plans to take that step… I talked about the importance of neither of us discussing this individually with our children individually until we had made plans, dates and time frame, where he would live, custody arrangements and when and how to tell them… with the hope this would be done in a manner they could understand, to be assured they did nothing to cause this this ie: it was not their fault and that there were many different kinds of families and that it was not it was not their fault and that we both loved them.” We needed to come to them as a unified front once we figured it all out. The Psychologist agreed with my concerns and perspective and discussed this in detail the importance of this with my Husband at the time…and explained the emotional and psychological damage to our daughters if it was done any other way.
The Psycholgist asked my husband if he could agree to that and he said yes.

That was a Tuesday night. On Saturday morning while our middle daughter and our youngest were playing… he worked at coercing our middle ( now the Bride to be) if she would go to Bob’s Sporting Goods with him. She said she didn’t want to several times. She was playing with her sister. He continued his begging and then bribed her he would buy something for her.I was already in the living room where they were prior to that point and said… it was ok.. she could stay and play but once he bribed her.. she was willing to go and she encouraged/ invited our youngest to go as along as well.

Well- they never made it to Bob’s Sporting goods… he only took them a mile down the road… had them wait in the car while he went into CVS
‘to go in and buy something he needed” and came out with a local newspaper.

They arrived back home 12 minutes after he left with them, they were stunned , heartbroken and sobbing.

As the story was told to me by my daughters… “he got back into his truck, held up the newspaper to them that they only went to get a newspaper because he said “he had to get a newspaper because I was “giving me the “boot”and making him move out wanted a divorce and he wanted to get an apt close by so he can still see them”.

Always throwing me under the bus… making me out to be the bad cop… he the victim

I got an earlier appt to go back to meet with the Psychologist and this sick man to deal with this and unfortunately….

He was diagnosed with melanoma week later … and unfortunately it was not the time to make him move out…. it was another ” cruel joke and a test of my integrity in doing the right thing having been brought up in the Catholic faith.

It has obviously been a nightmare… and once again..with in a year and a half… he pushed me into a wall in a fit of rage, no children home thankfully. and at that time I made him move out… and then….

10 days after he moved out…. he fell off a roof and suffered a brain injury. After several months of hospitalization and a remarkable recovery, he begged me, in front of our daughters of course, to come home.

Another test, set up and cruel joke…it was one trap after another {sigh}

I know my daughters remember all of this and more as it has come up from time to time. They know I am a good person and I tried my very best and they know this but I do need to help them understand they are not his confidant… his messenger.. and they need to set clearer boundaries with him and he needs to respect them and they need to have an understanding how to be sure to protect themselves.

It is VERY complicated and it needs to be dealt with.

I am more than willing to go back to therapy… including go into family therapy with my daughters if need be to understand family systems and our family specifically.

I am not sure if they will agree to that however at this age but I can certainly offer it as an option.

I do still have my therapist available to me as well as several very good friends who are in the mental health field and incredibly supportive though i am respectful of my boundaries and theirs… we are good friends and they are not my therapists.

I will spend some time with each of them once again encourage them to work with someone to help them to help them understand and get through through this difficult, chaotic and confusing experience.

Thank you David~ I truly appreciate your input.


David Mc Dermott MD


Your story is a perfect example of how therapists who don’t understand psychopaths and mind control do more harm than good. When I started doing this work I thought that idea was a bit critical but the more time I spend in this field the more I see it to be true.

A few more ideas for you… It’s not necessary for a therapist to meet your ex-husband to know what he is like. If it walks like a duck, sounds like a duck and looks like a duck, then it’s safe enough to treat it like a duck.

Your ex is much better at breaking down you and your daughters’ boundaries than you are at putting them in place.

This man will never respect your daughters.

Family therapy won’t help. You need an expert in this field. The family is not the problem. He is. He is 100% responsible for all the damage done.

Having him involved in any attempt to sort signs out will be a disaster. You have ample evidence of this already. ‘Closure’ and healing is only possible away from the psychopath. Any attempt at closure with a psychopath is very unsatisfactory and only leads to more abuse.


Dr Mc Dermottt~ Oh how I wish you practiced in Massachusetts!

I sincerely agree with you that many therapists don’t understand psychopaths or mind control.

As peaceful a person as I am and yes… I am very much an empath… the preferred “snack” for Psychopaths…I despise injustices,deceit and lies etc. In spite of this… I did not take any of his outrageous behavior(s) quietly nor did I minimize them or deny them and he HATES me for it. Had I not had children, I would have been out the door as soon as I realized. However, I did have children and I felt so damn trapped because of my children and the with the knowledge that I was well aware of the 14th amendment that courts and judges follow: “every biological parent is to be allowed full access to their children!” AN ABSOLUTELY TERRIFYING THOUGHT!!!!!Innocent children at the hands of these sick, despicable and demented individuals. I liken their “game of life” to be nothing short of an evil chess game… everyone in the psychopaths game
is a pawn and this is what he is doing in our family and has for year and he continues to do with my 2 other daughters… and once again tried to do to my youngest by trying to engage her by his asking to “friend” her on Facebook. I do hope he goes to jail for this breach of his violation of both his probation and a 2nd restraining order violation. Jail is exactly where he belongs- behind bars. I also realize that there will be no possibility of rehabilitation for him but if nothing else…. my hope is that my daughters will get the help they need while he is incarcerated. I also know that when he were to be released…. his raging will be frightening and that I, my youngest daughter and my dogs as well will be at risk even more. I will be sure to take the necessary precautions for that because as with many victims.. we become hyper-vigilant.

When I wrote “family therapy” in my previous post- I meant only for my 3 daughters and myself excluding him. I will never engage with him ever again.

I will do my very best in trying to speak with my 2 daughters this week. I hope and pray I am able to make headway with them.
I will focus some on boundaries and address that we all need help to deal with what has gone on. I do feel it is important that the professional they go to is knowledgeable in psychopaths and disorders individuals or they may end up like me who for years sat in my therapist’s office who never got “it” until the power and control turned into physical violence directed at me and our family dog.
At this point, I do question my own physical safety as well as my youngest daughter’s since now she violated him although he and our 2 other daughters are unaware of this yet.

I learned yesterday that he is now trying to creep into my professional life. Again through Facebook, he requested a previous parent in my developmental preschool from years ago”friend” him. He is trying to spread his evil tentacles out into my professional life. I am very clear on intentions. He is on a divide and conquer and destroy mission.

So in closing,once again, a long winded reply to you.. do you have any suggestions on how I go about finding a therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist who is very savvy and skilled in helping victims/ survivors get deprogrammed and heal from the abuses and atrocities from dealing with these disordered individuals? We all live in Massachusetts, USA

Thank you again for your time and insight.


Elle – Dr. McDermott is totally correct. Family therapy with a psychopath is useless. Talking to a therapist who doesn’t understand psychopaths is useless.

Dr. McDermott works via videoconference. He is listed in the Lovefraud Professional Resources guide. Feel free to contact him.


Thank you Donna.

When I mentioned “family therapy” in an earlier post.. it was not to include the psychopath in my life… I was referring to family therapy for myself and my 3 daughters.

I recognize, through my own personal therapy experience, that working with therapists who do not understand psychopaths is not only useless but can and often does cause more damage as in what happened in my therapy.

As always, thank you Donna. You have been a huge help and support for me in my current situation as well as has had an incredible impact on my recognizing what I was dealing with and all that has been taken place and continues to cycle.

I knew this was madness and surely far bigger than myself. I have scoured internet sites, including lovefraud looking for answers to my questions, sought out and read books to help educate myself that collectively helped me reach that ” AHA” moment. I am as I have said and keep saying- I am so grateful to have landed here on this site.

As many here, the financial abuse I have experienced is also overwhelming and as a teacher I do not work over the summer months so I am strapped. I believe that I read Dr Mc Dermott is outside the US so my health insurance will be of no use… but even so… I will reach out him today.

Thank you again.



Thank you Donna-
After a lengthy video-conference with Dr. McDermott… I have FINALLY gained the answers to so many questions that I have had for decades while involved in this toxic “dance”.

So incredibly enlightening and powerful.

With much gratitude for all you do,


That’s great Elle!


I went through 2 family son’s about 4 years into our divorce..and another son’s re-marriage several years ago. Thank goodness, I was only the mother of the groom, not mother of the bride. No, my ex didn’t cause any family dramas like this guy did; but I was terrified of being around him, even in the midst of family and assorted friends. I was an emotional wreck after both weddings. I was angry with myself (and him) after both weddings were past. Can’t help my feelings, though.

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