Lovefraud recently heard from a woman who was concerned for her daughter. Here is her e-mail:
Currently, our daughter is married to a sociopath. He has taken us (her parents) for thousands and thousands of dollars, then turned her against us. These people victimize people and are somehow able to make themselves look like the victim. They have 2 small children.
He has completely isolated her from her family, including her sister. He completely hates me and has made me the enemy, for I started seeing through him. Do you have any idea how I can possibly reach her to make her see the pattern? This man has felonies on his record for scheming to defraud; he has cheated people all his adult life. I have found out many other disturbing things about his past that she is not aware of. I want to inform her of these things, however many people feel she won’t believe it. Like your sociopath, this one said he was in the Gulf War; he never was. Instead he went AWOL from the service. He said he had a masters degree in accounting, but he has no college degree of any sort. He’s had over 20 jobs and moved over 30 times. He is 12 years older than our daughter, has a terrible temper. We worry about her and the babies all the time.
What’s a mother to do? On the one hand, she sees knows that her daughter’s husband is toxic. On the other hand, her daughter is a grown woman making her own decisions.
The woman’s daughter is being manipulated by a professional. Sociopaths gradually draw in their victims with flattery and half-truths. Then they hold on to their victims with empty promises or threats. Eventually the victims, confused by the alternating charm and rage, are emotionally off balance and doubting their own perceptions.
It happened to me. It happens to everyone snared by a sociopath.
The problem for me was that I didn’t know about sociopaths. I had no idea that it was possible for a man who consistently claimed that he loved me, to lie, cheat on me, and take my money. I had no idea such evil existed.
Friends and family
Sociopaths put a lot of energy into maintaining the charade for their victims. They don’t put the same energy into manipulating people on the periphery. Consequently, the friends and family of the victim can often see the deception when the victim doesn’t.
I think friends and family should speak up, in whatever way will get through, while maintaining a relationship with the victim. I also think friends and family should not enable the sociopath by continuing to give money or whatever else he is demanding. The sooner the supply ends, the sooner the sociopath will leave.
I suggested that the woman do her best to maintain contact with her daughter, even though the sociopath has isolated her. At some point, he will abandon her. When he does, I recommended that the woman not be judgmental toward her daughter.
I know the devastation of being victimized by a sociopath. Once I realized the truth, what I needed was not criticism, but the support of people who cared about me.