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How to implement No Contact

When people realize that that they are involved with a sociopath, the standard advice from Lovefraud is that they should, as quickly as possible, cut the predator out of their lives. That means no phone calls, no e-mails, no texts, and certainly no in-person meetings. It means No Contact.

Of course, there are times when this is difficult, as when our reader works with the sociopath, or they have children together. In these cases, they need to implement No Contact as best they can. But let’s now talk about situations where it is possible to get rid of the person, such as in a dating relationship.

What is the best way to establish No Contact? Clearly, firmly and permanently.

The rules of No Contact

The book called The Gift of Fear, by Gavin de Becker, devotes several pages to the topic of rejecting an unwanted suitor, and these pages are among the most helpful of the entire book.

De Becker writes in the context of a woman who decides she doesn’t want to be involved with a man. Do not, the author says, try to “let him down easy.” Here’s what he writes:

One rule applies to all types of unwanted pursuit: Do not negotiate. Once a woman has made the decision that she doesn’t want a relationship with a particular man, it needs to be said one time, explicitly. Almost any contact after that rejection will be seen as negotiation ”¦ If you tell someone ten times that you don’t want to talk to him, you are talking to him—nine times more than you wanted to.

Here are more points that de Becker makes in the book:

  • If you get 30 messages from a pursuer, and finally call him back to say, “stop calling,” he learns that after 30 attempts, he will get a response.
  • If you make an excuse like, “I don’t want to be in a relationship right now,” the stalker assumes you will want to be in a relationship later, and keeps calling.
  • If you say, “You’re a great guy, but I’m not the one for you,” the stalker thinks you’re just confused, and will come around in time.
  • Never explain why you don’t want a relationship. If you give a reason, it gives him something to challenge.
  • A nice or delicate rejection is often taken as affection.

“The way to stop contact is to stop contact,” de Becker says. “I suggest one explicit rejection and after that absolutely no contact. If you call the pursuer back, or agree to meet, or send him  a note, or have somebody warn him off, you buy another six weeks of his unwanted pursuit.”

Giving in

What happens if you’re wishy-washy about No Contact? Not long ago, Lovefraud received the following letter from a reader who we’ll call “Lenore.”

I literally had to count the days that went by as I refused contact with him, and on day 120, I celebrated because I felt healed. Well, on day 121, he emailed me, and against my better judgment, I emailed him back. He told me he had been in therapy, he realized what he had done wrong, he was on medication.

I was cautious and wary, and decided, amidst warnings of concern from my friends and family, to perhaps work on a friendship again. We worked on being friends for a few weeks, and everything was great and fine. I felt in control of the situation.

Then his old behaviors started creeping in. He installed a GPS app on my phone so he could track my whereabouts. He began calling and texting incessantly, and flipping out if I didn’t answer right away. The verbal and psychological abuse had begun again. Fortunately, this time it did not escalate to physical abuse. He began lying again, gaslighting and acting erratically, and began seeing other women on the side. Last night, it once again became too much and I told him not to contact me again because my heart and my spirit couldn’t take any more pain, and his inconsistency is so bad for my son.

So today begins Day One again without him. I am writing you today to tell you that your no contact advice was the best advice I didn’t take. For 120 days I went without him. It took a while, but by day 90 I was happy and free and at peace. Now I am back to square one.

No Contact is the path to healing from an entanglement with a sociopath. The stronger you can be about No Contact, the faster you will recover.


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742 Comments on "How to implement No Contact"

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BEEN there, DONE that. MORE times than I can count. I was so hurt this weekend, I couldn’t help but send out an email telling him so…….as if he gives a damn…… Ugh. Day one and counting. Sigh.

Callista,

I am so sorry you are hurting too! The email you sent to him–sometimes we just want so badly for them to get it about how they’ve hurt us, and they “can’t” get it. So you are so right about NC, as difficult as it may be sometimes. I’ll have to go back and read older posts as I’m not sure of your particular story. I hadn’t been on LF that much lately only because I felt so strong and needed a break from thinking about my situation. I truly felt ready to move on for the first time in a while. Go figure! Anyway, I can go look at some of your older posts to put some of it together.

Your responses to me last night meant more than you know. I was so emotionally drained from sobbing that I had to go to bed, and it was after midnight here in New England. Your words resonate so completely with me, and like OXY wrote, I know that all of you here know how I feel. And thanks for sending that link. I had read it just days before and was feeling so strong since I could see him in that post. There is another post by Dr. Leedom where she just breaks it down by saying that you don’t have to get a clinician’s assertion that you’ve been with a sociopath, and went on to say something to the affect that if you’ve been astonished by someone’s propensity to lie and skew reality–you’ve been with a sociopath. And Callista, that’s all I needed to hear. His lying was so unbelievable. When we broke up for the 2nd and final time, he got involved instantly with someone else–and where he didn’t introduce me to friends and I was basically an outsider in his life, this new girl he took home to meet his mother for the holidays in the midwest and they were involved with each other’s friends. So, last night he said that months back she dumped him because of the email I had sent her about what happened with us–and watch out. So when he said that he really wants me to be happy, and then he said that he wasn’t happy because he had lost his girlfriend. I was so crushed, Callista, because he openly acknowledges that he used me for sex. Of course, I didn’t know it at the time. Keep in mind that he is almost 40 years old. I’ve also gotten plenty of other feedback from the women he was cheating with or trying to cheat with, as well as a long time male friend, who when made aware that my X had been trying to cheat on me with a female friend of his, he distance himself completely from my X, and wrote me a note saying that this whole time my X had been telling him I was a stalker!!! He also said that as long as he had known him, he had always been a shameless womanizer. Anyway, it just crushes me that I didn’t mean a thing, but it seems like some other women do. And what was he thinking when he really wanted to tell me that “funny”story last night, and it was a story a date had told him?? WTH? Halfway through, it dawned on me and I asked him and he said, “well, yeah, but it’s about the story.” And then he said there was one more funny thing about the story and I yelled that I was not going to listen. He said that he was going to tell me anyway, so I hung up. Really??? Right before that, he was telling me how much “work” he needs to do and that’s why he’s seeing his therapist 3x weekly. I feel like a horrible person for not wanting him to get better, because he was so damaged with me. And you are right, the stuff that gets me is when we can see the beautiful parts of them—that coupled with his acknowledging that he needs helps–really has messed me up badly, when I was finally feeling past it. I’ve heard him say he needs help before and he knows exactly what he needs to say, but when he saw me 3 months ago, he showed me his appointment cards, and I remember it was the name of a therapist he had seen 10 years ago.

I was recently introduced to tapping therapy. Think I’m gonna give it a try this morning.

Peace to you as well, Callista.

Hopeful6596~

Dear Callista and Hopeful,

I am SOOO glad that Donna did this article….the HOWs and WHYs of NC from DeBecker’s GREAT BOOK are so important!!!

It is like the “intermittent rewards” for animal training (also how a slot machine rewards us intermittently) and it makes it MUCH MORE INGRAINED TO KEEP REPEATING THAT BEHAVIOR UNTIL YOU GET ANOTHER REWARD.

I use it all the time in animal training and it WORKS!!! Then of course they get to he point that you don’t even have to reward them at all, they will just keep on repeating the behavior forever. Like house breaking a dog or saddle breaking a horse.

Sure it crushes you that you “didnt’ mean a thing” but it is IMPORTANT to recognize that while on the surface “she” may appear to be important to him, NO ONE ELSE is important to him, every other person is simply an OBJECT OF SUPPLY.

As for his going to therapy 3 x a week—-THAT IS A PHONY PITY PLAY of “see how I am trying to be better?” See how I am TRYING? It must be YOUR fault. Research has shown that “therapy” only makes them worse, as it gives them the catch-words to appear compassionate and understanding. BULL HOCKEY!

Hopeful, I loved where he told you he would tell the story after you said you didn’t want to hear. CONTROL! Glad you hung up.

They violate our boundaries on little things or on big things because our boundaries mean nothing to them….we mean nothing to them. Take back your power gals!!!! NO CONTACT FOREVER!!!! TOWANDA!!!!! ((((hugs))))

Donna;
Thank you for the NC reminder and explanation!

I remember ‘when’ I decided NOT to return his crazy calls…..I taped them all, and when I got weak, rather than ‘reaching out’ to spath……I would relisten to the messages……to remind myslef I was making the right decision….
The messages started ‘nice’, ending with I love you EB, and by the 10th message it turned into ….You fat biatch, threat, threat, threat…..all within hours….
Pretty telling for the person who claimed love and devotion…..

Control much?

Hey Oxy Ox!

Yeesh! What the hairy heck happened to me? Wasn’t I just feeling like I was all that and then some a few days ago? I was eeling so strong and so good about receiving attention from healthy/nice men. Then, after he calls, I’m in a fetal position drowning in my own tears and snot.

About the “intermittent rewards”, you are right on the money. A few months ago when I was in my Psych class, the professor mentioned that this was the most POWERFUL type of conditioning, and once ingrained, very difficult to break, although the context he was referring to wasn’t about relationships. But, I recognized it instantly and thought, yes!!! It was a WOW moment.

I do actually think he is going to therapy, but I do remember him saying a long time ago that when he was going to this guy before, that he really wanted to “F*** with him.” Now, I’m sorry, but that isn’t what a normal person thinks. Also, in keeping with your assertion that they learn what to do and say, when I had given him that book I referred to, he told me, ominously, that I only “made it easier.”

When he was telling me his story that I didn’t want to listen to, I told him he was missing a sensitivity chip and he said, ” I know. I have to work on that. I’ve forgotten how to care.” UGH!!!!!!! And it got me because it sounds sincere. Really, I can’t tell you how much I aprreciate you and the others here @ LF, because even though I am not on very often, I never feel unwelcome and you are so eager to offer your support here. I feel like I am going to be a mess the entire day. Can’t stop crying. But I gotta snap outa it and get back on track. I was so emotional last night, that after I hung up with him, I called him back, which I NEVER do, and through tears told him to delete my number immediately and to never contact me again. He hears me crying and sighs and sounds so sad and says that he will, and then I hang up. But all I think that I did was give him ammunition. Because although I tell him I hate him, he knows instintively that it’s only partially true. Callista is right when she posited that I still love this guy, even after everything he did. And as soon as she wrote it to me, I just burst into tears with the realization that it’s true, and I hate that it’s true. I’m even bawling while I write it to you. Good grief. No contact. Day 1.

A sad Hopeful6596~

Dear Hopeful,

(*(((hugs))))) Darling, you don’t love HIM, you love what you THOUGHT HE WAS….not what he IS. And Yep, it is hard to get that through your head. INTERMITTENT REINFORCEMENT has you coming back for another beating/head patting just like a kicked dog.

Also TRAUMA BOND which is intermittent reinforcement along with pain cessation. That’s what we do to horses, we pull on the reins (cause pain) and when they give to it, we REINFORCE it by letting up the pressure (releasing the pain) and they are EVER SO GRATEFUL when the pain stops. We might even pet them on the head…as long as they do what we want them to.

You are NOT A DOG, AND NOT A HORSE, you are an intelligent woman, and you CAN overcome that “trained brain” and PROTECT YOURSELF from the abuse he is wanting to heap on you!

Do come here often and DO read and learn, arm yourself with intellect until you can overcome the emotional conditioning! It WORKS I swear to you! I’m living proof it does, but I keep coming here because every time I “preach” to you or someone else, I am REINFORCING the knowledge in my own self.

All the knowledge in the world won’t help if you don’t apply it to yourself, and we’ve been “conditioned” to allow the abuse.

I am REVOLTING against my life long training, I am not going to be enslaved to abusive “mind control” like a ROBOT and a GOOD LITTLE SLAVE, I am going to be ME, AND FREE!!!

Viva la revolution!!!!!

Oxy,

That deserves a big ol’ TOWANDA if there ever was a deservin’.

Yeah, as Callista mentioned, the “training” began with my family. Although he left when I was two, by all accounts my father was a sociopath. I was left to live with my highly narcissistic mother whom I have been NC with for 10 months. So I am primed for people like my X. Trauma Bond! And how.

You know what I hate so much, Oxy? Is that when I point out the inconsistencies to him, he’ll say, like he did last night, that “you talk like these things are mutually exclusive. Either this or that.” In theory, he’s right. Things aren’t so black and white. So then he sounds like Mr. F****** Wisdom, which he is so good at. I just can’t stand it. Part of me wants him to be sick forever and not treat anyone well, and then I think I’m a jerk for thinkin’ that. It’s amazing how after I end of talking to him, I feel like a shell of more former self. My strong self just crumbles. And I am so not proud of breaking down and calling him last night to tell him to delete my number for good. He could hear how upset I was. Unbelievable that it IS an addiction, and if you get just a little, you’re back to square one.

I am taking your word for it that it works to keep informed, and I surely do read LF a lot, even if I don’t post. But I’d like to be posting a bit more for the newbies.

Thanks a bunch, Oxy. Hugs!

Hopeful6596~

Dear Hopeful,

LF is to us like AA is to drunks…keep on coming here for support, support others and learn more and reinforce it more in yourself.

I realize this time, with this set of interactions with multiple psychopaths in concert against me, and literally my life, that I am not going to “get healed” but will work on healing, work TOWARD healing as an alcoholic does, ONE DAY AT A TIME.

I’m in a good spot, much better than I ever was in my entire life, but still, I am VULNERABLE to that “first drink” dragging me back into the “bar”—only in my case it is a bad relationship. It doesn’t have to be a lover-type relationship, it can be ANYONE that I allow to abuse me as a friend, coworker, or whatever.

Thank goodness I am retired so don’t have to work with them, or disordered people, but the world is full of them. I have good friends and I TREASURE those friends. I stay NC from the living Psychopaths in my life, my P son, my X DIL, the Trojan Horse P, (though I do sort of keep up with him via the sexual offender registration site since he is the one who tried to kill my son C with a gun) but there is no emotional tie to that P, so I’m not upset by keeping tabs on him. The DIL I will occasionally run into her on the street but doesn’t bother me, never liked the biatch any way. So doesn’t upset me.

Long past the P X-BF, and haven’t run into him in years, don’t think it would bother me if I did. P-sperm donor died 3 summers ago, hadn’t seen him in 40 years, but did have some issues to resolve, they’re resolved, he’s a void. A dead void at that.

Don’t obsess over P-son like I did, not perfectly “done” with that but at least in a place I can “live with” what is left whtout too much pain.

Egg donor is NC except for the occasional e mail on business, and avoid running into her or her friends. Though a month or so ago when egg donor’s maid (who was dtr of one of egg donor’s friends) was killed in a car wreck, I sent a generous check and a sympathy card to her mother the friend. Check is cashed, no thank you note…that’s okay. I did what is right by community standards.

The woman who was killed was NOT one of my favorite people in the world. In fact the next to last time I saw her in public was after I found out she’d been running her mouth about lies about me all over the community and I offered to rearrange her dental work for free if I found out she was continuing to do it. (at that time I was still pretty raw) The last time I saw her in public, she scooted out of my way rapidly disappearing into the crowd.

The inconsistencies that he will come up with, are gaslighting and projection. They can, as Dr. Bob Hare says, “learn the words but not the music to the song.” They can learn about how to SAY they are sorry or compassionate, or sometimes even fake the facial expressions to go along with the words, but they don’t get the emotional music to go along with the words.

If you listen to the words you get one message, but if you look at the actions you see another one.

The old saying:

ACTIONS speak louder than words!

Turn the sound off and look at the actions. You will see the lies are there. THEY ARE THE LIE.

Keep on reading, there are upwards of 700 articles here. Read them all. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. Get your power back. NC and learning! leads toward healing!

Oxy, wow. You’ve been surrounded by Spath! I can’t imagine how difficult and painful it is to have a P son–one that tried to kill his own mother. Really, I just can’t imagine. And I get the sense that his parole will be denied again, but I’m guessing that as each hearing approaches, it’s pretty stressful. And of course, having a P mother, as I do, is the ultimate brutality. Mothers are supposed to protect us. We should be safe with them. Never the case with me and it certainly sounds like that would be accurate for you as well.

Last night the Spath said his ex left him after she got my email. keeping in mind, earlier this year when he called me he insisted that she knew EVERYTHING. He said this before she got the email. He got me so fired up and pissed off that I wrote the email telling her everything and to watch out. So, she left him. Now, if she already knew everything, then there would have been no shock, right? And then he says last night that, ” you don’t KNOW that I’m still doing those things.” And he’s right, I don’t. I hate this man.

Hopeful6596

Family Conciliation Courts & their psychologists who teach ‘parenting class’, really need to get educated. They are totally ignorant.

Fleeced Ewe,

Luckily I don’t have children with a Spath, but I’m guessing that you mean that the FCC and the psychs go under the often erroneous assumption that both parents are two healthy and whole individuals.

Hopeful6596~

Dear Hopeful,

I’m not even sure my egg donor is a “full blown” P but she is a TOXIC enabler that is for sure, and she will do whatever it takes to protect my P-son from the consequences of his murdering behavior, including hiring an attorney to try to get him out of prison, funneling him money in prison and for his “life outside” of prison.

Even knowing that me (her only child) and her only other grandkids my son C and adopted son D will not speak to her any more, she does it anyway. She lies to me and others, while pretending to be an “upstanding” christian woman. So she has some SERIOUS problems and issues if she isn’t a psychopath. My sperm donor is a FULL BLOWN score 40 on a PCL-R psychopath (top score, multiple murders, crimes etc) and my P son is a 38, but loses 2 points because he hasn’t had “multiple short term relationships” or marriages because he’s been in prison almost exclusively since age 17. LOL

Yep, I was born into two families full of them. My egg donor’s brother, I call him Uncle Monster, would have and should have been in prison for child abuse and wife abuse if he hadn’t been protected by the family sweeping it under the rug. But that is what was done in those days unless someone was killed. Sweep it under the table. kEep it quiet. Don’t let the neighbors know. Generation after generation.

Well, it stops with me. I outed the family secrets, the family dirt! Ran it up the flag pole for the world to see! So, my egg donor as the remaining family enabler punished me for that! Oh, well…I’m still glad I did it. I would do it again, only sooner. Unfortunately it took me 3/4 of my expected life span to accomplish that, so I wasted a lot of tiime, energy and tears that could have been spent more productively. But, can’t change the past, only the future! So…onward and upward! Make the rest of my life happy and healthy! and P-FREE!

This article is so spot on – any communication with them is a chance for manipulation and more abuse in the future.

When I first said I wanted out, he made me feel so bad for wanting to be away from him and did an Academy award worthy performance of sorrow, grief and depression. I didn’t know about sociopathy back then so wasn’t wise to the manipulations – it’s only in hindsight we can see what was actually going on.

Feeling sorry for the ‘pain’ he was displaying (that I had of course been the cause of) cost me another two years of my life to his mind games and abuses. It escalated as he tried to trap me so I had no hope of ever leaving.

If you think you want out then RUN and don’t look back. Yes it’s hard, but nothing is harder than having your head messed with by a sociopath. Life is so much sweeter away from their craziness – and you will see that THEY were the problem – not YOU.

Dear Oxy,

P-FREE!! That sounds like a plan to me! Count your lucky stars that you didn’t inherit any of that stuff from your family. I am certainly very lucky! I’m the oldest of 3, but me and my two brothers are very close in age. My middle brother is definitely narcissistic. Lives in Hawaii and spent a year in jail for violating restraining orders against women. We’ll never know the full story since we can only count on what he says. My youngest brother (age 41) is a sweetheart and far less damaged than the other, but still has his problems. My mother has made him her lap dog and she is totally enmeshed in his life. No boundaries. Since I’ve been NC with her, he even moved back and lives in the basement apartment. So sad, but there is nothing I can do. The more I say, the more it spurs him to defend her, even though he knows how manipulative she is.

Like you, I’m the one in the family that put a stop to it, and got all sorts of flack. Family is just a word to me. I have closed friends who have treated me far better. And even if it has taken you 3/4 of your life span to accomplish, accomplish it you have!

hopeful6596~

Oxy,

As USUAL you are bang on. We love what we want them to be, but not what they truly are. But sometimes I find when I beat myself up for stilling “loving him”….or loving the illusion….or whatever, it’s just EASIER to say, “Ok, so I’ll love him forever. But so what?” The ONLY answer is that I HAVE to get ON with my life. Shattered, hollow and sad as it is. There IS no OTHER choice.

Dear Hopeful,

I’ve been there on the not acknowledging front. I was with the guy for EIGHT FUCKING YEARS and he portrayed me as a “crazy stalker who followed him pathetically around the country with my kid in tow” and he felt “sorry” for me and “couldn’t get rid of me.”. God it killed me when I learned that. I was ALWAYS kept in the shadows. Downplayed. But on my end, my whole world was a day filled with thinking of him, him, him. What did I need to do that day to make him happy….I won’t bother to list off the things I did to show how “thoughtful” I was of him and how much I cared. ALWAYS punctuated by an ever so willing spirit who said goodnight with a solid roll in the hay. Oh Brother!

And guess WHAT, for me it’s Day 1 too! You don’t want to KNOW how many day 1s I’ve had! I’m around your age….a bit older…..I feel your pain and I am so glad I could give you some kind of comfort and a few sound pieces of advise. It’s just good to have all the artillery, even if we don’t know how to use the ammunition yet. Just keep stoking your arsenal with all the weapons to fight off the energy sucking madness and just keeping doing it EACH day. The challenge is like dieting. You can be “good” ALL frickin’ day and then you have a breakdown, eat 2000 calories of crap and ALL the bloody work you’ve done ALL DAY is SHOT!

Sigh. Anyhow the good news about being back to square one for the 200th time is that I know I can get to square 196. It reminds me of a game that was really popular when I was a kid. It was called Labyrinth. It was a wooden box with a sort of maze with holes in it. You had these two knobs that controlled a ball that you worked through the maze and tried like hell not to let it fall in one the holes. God sometimes you make it SO close to the end and the damn ball would drop and you’d have to start, with such concentration, all over again. Then you got to the point where you could make it through all the way to the end. You’d try it again and you’d make it through AGAIN. You’d try a third time and the damn ball goes into a hole again.!WHY if you could do it BEFORE did you screw up THIS time? Just a slip up…and back we go to try again.

And so, here we all are, trying, trying, trying. We just HAVE to cut ourselves SOME frickin’ slack when the ball drops and remind ourselves how MANY holes we did maneuver around and how MANY times we managed to make it to the end. The game never ends. The name of the game is to just KEEP TRYING. But ONE rule! No contact. I know it, with all my “wisdom”, I know it. But it’s the biggest God Damn hole, in the toughest spot, on the blasted board game!

Peace Sister.

Dear Callista AND Hopeful,

YOU GUYS CAN DO IT!!!!!

BTW Callista I have one of those games, I’ve kept it all these years! I love it!!!

When you think about breaking NC come here and post or read. There is almost always someone here to post back, since we are scattered all over the world in different time zones. And there is ALWAYS something to read. I’ve gone back through the archives and I thought I had read every article here but every once in a while someone brings one up I missed. YOU can do it!!!! CAN DO IT!!!!

When I went NC with my egg donor I thought I would DIE. I didn’t realize I could “divorce” my mother—but I DID and it hurt like hell, but you know, knowing she didn’t and really hadn’t ever truly loved me, nurtured me, etc. made it easier and eventually I got to where the pain isn’t raw any more. I can drive by her house without crying (I have to to get out on to the road)

If I remember her, I remember the look of utter contempt she gave me that bored through my soul like a toxic laser beam. That burned like fire! I don’t remember the “imaginary mother” that I had envisioned, that I thought loved me, that said she loved me while she stabbed me in the back. Who lied to me.

So when you think about him, PICTURE THAT MAN THAT IS REAL, not the imaginary knight in shining armor you made up.

I had an imaginary friend (actually two of them) when I was a kid and we lived so far out I didn’t have any playmates close, and those imaginary friends are more REAL than the “friends and family” who are psychopaths. At least my imaginary friends didn’t hurt me!

Peace to you both! (((hugs))))

As I was sitting here wonder what I did wrong and HOW could he hurt us so badly (even though I have asked him a million times) I was temped to ask again. I read the blogs on line and realize I am not alone. I am not the only one who feels such pain, such humiliation and confusion. I realize I am not the only one with a child who he doesn’t even call. Was I tempted to ask him How could you do that to us? Yes But I have asked him that for years and am in a worse spot now than I was 14 years ago. Thank you all. NC is hard its like quitting an awful drug but all along I thought there was something wrong with me and my son and tried to jump through hoops to make him happy. To be a happy family. I guess I am fortunate that he blew our son off for 14 years as MY son is kind and he does not lie. He has morals and values and that’s all that matters. As I read these posts I realize that I am not the only one out there that this happened to and its not me and certainly not my son. Its very hard to move on and why I dont know because the person I loved does not exist and now I understand what you were telling me months ago.
Thank you all and God bless

To all the above…….I think the fact that we have so much trouble with NC sometimes is that we are NORMAL. We want to believe that people love us back, that they mean what they say, that they are always there for us…..but with a Spath….it’s all an illusion. For you newbies…..I have Spath bio daughter and step daughter…..this is always so weird to me that they BOTH could be…..but when I started reading everything about “them” and it didn’t just dawn on me…it was like being hit with a brick right in the face….and looking at mine and my husband’s X’s (their bio parents) it is so clear… that’s what they were as well!! They were not even around them and they are just like them! Genetics are a CRAZY thing! They are everywhere and they look just like us….but the signs are there and now I can spot one a mile away….I am so thankful for that insight…I wish so much that I could show you all a side by side photograph of 2 of my step grandkids….they are full sisters. They are standing there together smiling. If you covered every part of the picture except their eyes…..not a one of you would have any doubt which one is a budding Spath!! One sister has it and one sister does not….same parents…….and they are just little tiny girls, but the one that is……..well, it was obvious almost from birth………that still makes my skin crawl….and I have to pretend like she’s normal…………I so often wonder what life would be like if we truely could eliminate every single one of them from our lives? Is that even possible? So much suffering on this blog……..so much wasted time…..I extend love and comfort to each and everyone of you…..you are NEVER alone…it is no accident that any of us found this blog…..what a Godsend it has been for me…..I really can feel the strength I get from you all…..God Bless

DEar Confused1,

Yes, it is difficult and learning about them is the start of healing, but then learning about ourselves is the rest of the healing journey. Stay around and read and learn and heal. It won’t be quick, I can tell you that and there will be up days and down days, but I am glad that your P has left your son alone. GOOD!!! God has blessed your son!

Dear Creampuff, glad you are still here as well. Hope you are doing well as can be expected. As far as eliminating them from my life, I haven’t eliminated them from the earth but they are OUT of my life! ONE AND DONE! No second chances!

creampuff,

you’re right! Even the reason we are here on this site is because we are NORMAL. The genetics part really is interesting, if you can separate yourself and just look at it “clinically” or as an observer. But hard to do when it’s your family, I know. Glad you found this site, and yes, you can find all the support you need. I extend love and comfort back to you.

Hopeful6596~

Ox what do I do with the “ring”? I was thinking of hocking it and using it towards atty fees but although he said i could have it.. do waht you want with it… I know he will probably take me to court over it as he has and endless $ supply. While the sight of it makes me sick I also cant stand the thought of him giving it to another person after I waited for it for 14 years. Its stupid huh? Its just a stone. One I cant look at never mind wear. idk but after giving it back 4 or 5 times already the thought of doing it again makes me sick

Dear Confused,

It depends on how much it is worth– LOL –if it is worth selling I might do it, especially if you need the money. What is the court for since you weren’t married? I’m sorry if you said and I forgot I have CRS (can’t remember “stuff”).

In the meantime, put it in a safe or safety deposit box and don’t look at it for now. I think the “ring” was just one of those things he used to trap you (and I think you said other women) with. Some states have a Semi-legal rule if the man breaks the engagement the woman can keep the ring, and others I think if any one breaks it the ring must be given back. I wouldn’t do anything with it yet, just wait until a court tells you what to do, if it isn’t worth much, let him have it back, but let someone else give it to him (get a receipt).

The main thing you need to worry about now is yourself. NO contact, and be good to yourself. Good diet, good exercise, little or no alcohol, cut down or quit smoking if you can, and in general just BE GOOD TO YOURSELF. Come here, read and learn (you will obscess a while but that’s okay) you will be angry, sad, mad, glad, and rinse and repeat! That’s to be expected. It is like a “death in the family” sort of—a loss.

You don’t deserve to be treated like he did, and the fact that he treeated you that way shows he didn’t love you. He isn’t the man you loved either. He was only a hologram of a man. (((hugs))))

I just talked to my therapist. She is so funny. The look on her face when I start telling her about the recent spathisode is priceless. About him going to therapy 3x weekly, shes like, “Nobody goes 3x weekly unless you are rich and doing psychoanalysis, which no one even does anymore.” She just drilled and re-drilled into my head that he knows exactly what to say to get to me. But it’s unbelievable at how triggered I can get. Thanks all for your support. Also, my therapist laughed her arse off when I told her that Spath started telling me about a story and then I realized it was a story a date had been telling him;–but it’s what he was actually telling me that blew my mind–he was telling me that his “friend” was telling him about a date she had online, a first date, where the guy leaned over and said “I can’t wait to **** you.” Keep in mind, that Spath is telling ME this, like I would ********* want to know. I called him out on it and he said, “But it’s about the story!” There was actually more and I wouldn’t let him tell me, so he said that he was going to tell me anyway, and that’s when I hung up. Can you believe it??? Spaths are so stoopid. It did give my 74 year old therapist a good belly laugh, though.

Hopeful6596~

Hopeful,

You are right, I didn’t even think about the 3X a week, you are right NO ONE goes 3 X week unless they are inpatient!

Yea, HE thought his story was so funny! But he did NOT GET it that no one else would. LOL

Glad you and your therapist had a good laugh, and glad to hear your more upbeat mood!

Oxy,

That’s alright if you didn’t catch it. So not a biggie at all. When he said it, I did think, “3X”? But I get so triggered if I talk to him that my thinking process goes out the door and my intellect rendered mush. You know what I’m talking about, Oxers. Even if he actually is going to therapy. Then he said, “you think I’m a sociopath, but I do have remorse! And I’m not in jail so I can’t be a sociopath. And also, I want to get better, so I cannot be a sociopath.”

Ya know what, as my therapist said, even if that’s true and he wants to get better, she doesn’t think he can/ is capable of it. This is who he is, and she said that it doesn’t matter if he sounds aware or not. She reminded me that he has ALWAYS sounded aware. She is SOOO right, and that’s what kept me hanging on. Anyway, I am feeling much better. Day 1 NC.

Hopeful6596~

Of course he is AWARE, go back and read Steve’s artticle about the essence of psychopathy from this past week…THEY ARE AWARE THEY ARE DIFFERENT. They KNOW right from wrong, they just don’t care.

If they don’t know it is wrong, they wouldn’t lie and try to hide their crimes. A 2 year old knows right from wrong on some thing, they just don’t have the capacity to stop them selves from hitting another kid even if they know it is wrong….same with a psychopath. They are emotionally two—IT IS ALL ABOUT ME. Difference is, the 2 year old will grow out of it! (besides they are so cute!)

Oxy,

tee hee! I know. That’s what I’m sayin’ about losing my marbles if I talk to him. Common sense and intellect go right out the window. All the more reason for no contact.

Hopeful6596~

MONSTERS DON’T HAVE SHADOWS!

Thank you, Donna, for this very timely post. I am on day 7 of NC. This past weekend was harder than I expected it to be. During the week I can stay busy and distracted much of the time with work. It is the weekends that weaken me, I am not going to pretend they won’t be difficult to get through.

I have posted that Monster statement everywhere in my home, car and office to remind myself that those few knee-weakening memories will sneak up on me and devour me if I do not stay vigilant. It is rather silly, I know, but part of finding myself and learning to live well again means having a bit of fun along the way. I have decided tonight to take the lesson a bit further and am off to the bookstore to find a coloring book of monsters and will break out the crayolas when it gets really rough”breath, color,breath, color, rinse and repeat as you all say! Coloring used to be so easy when I was younger, but now I find I really have to concentrate on it!

And of course I am here lurking about as needed”..thank you all, you wise and wonderful women!!!! (guys, too, sorry!)

HERE’S to ALL the Day 1ers out there! Hip Hip Hooray!

I have posted this before, but thought it apropos in response to the above

“If you are waiting to feel repulsion for the sociopath before you disengage, you may be waiting for a very long time. The pleasant memories may always be tied to the love you feel which will be activated when you slow down and give yourself time to think. You have to make a conscious decision to make better choices for yourself. This decision has to be independent of however you feel in the moment. The decision to break away and remain free is a leap of faith in the belief that your future can be better “sociopath free.” ”

Just want to emphasize this line.

“This decision has to be independent of however you feel in the moment.”

Peace Sisters

Callista,

And how! Excellent reminder and true. NOBODY has the, what I call, the charm offensive of a sociopath. Mine is a master at it, and very tough to feel repulsed when he’s doing it. Its, well, charming! Just like he tried last night….being funny and witty and charming. As always. No contact is the best form of contact.

Hopeful6596~

Dear Callista, Hopeful, and Enigma, and anyone else out there newly NC!

You guys have some awesome wisdom to apply here, and some good experience in what NOT to do!!!

I am so proud of you all!!!! HOLD HANDS AND DON’T LET GO!!!! CIRCLE THE WAGONS!!! DAMN THE TORPEDOES and PASS THE AMMUNITION!!!! (((Hugs)))) and my prayers!!!

Callista, Hope, Enigma,

Don’t feel bad, I have done day 1 so many times in the past 4 years it’s sad. The good news is that IF you fail and have contact again, you WILL REALIZE THE PAIN OF THE ABUSE IS STRONGER THAN THE DISCOMFORT OF NO CONTACT.

Wanting contact with them does become an addiction we have to break, just like it is for a crack addict trying to quit and wanting just a little tiny bit of the drug. With Sociopaths, if you keep going back when they trick you, eventually THEY REVEAL THEMSELVES IN HOW CRAZY AND IRRATIONAL THEY ARE.

Mine did…..he was frustrated because I had NC with him….he actually called about 2 weeks ago, caught me off guard early in the morning woke me up when I couldn’t see the caller ID and said….. ” If you don’t agree to be friends with me, then I will slander you worse than you ever imagined- just tell me yes or no…are you going to be friends with me?” CRAZY, INMATURE LIKE A 2 YEAR OLD AND SCARY. … He hung up before I could say a word. NC, NC, NC, This cured any last lovy-dovy memory I might have had and further enspired me to NC….EVER MORE!

Stay strong evryone…..((hugs))

Oxy and Aeylah,

Oxy, let me first start by telling you that I looked up the name of that therapist Spath goes to. He’s a clinical psych, PHD. There s no way he sees this guy 3x weekly like he said. That’s ridiculous. Thanks for your words of support. I did feel like such a failure when I wasn’t strong enough not to pick up the phone, so there’s a certain amount of shame I feel. And then he proceeded to screw with my head so effectively. What did I expect?

Aeylah, that story you told about him calling you early in the morning–Yeeesh! That is so unbelievable! He IS a crazy, immature 2 year old. Threatening you into being his friend? Now that’s pricelss.

Hopeful6596~

Aeylah – I am sorry the turd called you but also happy to hear your determination to stay NC. It sucks when you cant read the caller ID, I bought me one of the phones with a voice that tells me who’s calling..I dont have to worry about the xturd calling me, I changed my number’s long ago…My X once told me if I didn’t let him stay with me he would rock my f–king world and he wasnt being romantic, just desperate…No Contact is a ‘weapon’ we have control of, it’s taking back our power , power they had and when they lose that power it farcks with their slimy brains…Yeah i know, I remember, going no contact was a hard thing to do, he will never know what a state I was in behind that door I refused to open when he knocked..

OXY OXY OXY You have mail – check your email..I need some support my mom is at it again….

Yes, this is sooo true.

I’d had no contact with my ex unfaithful sociopathic partner for nearly a year. Suddenly out of the blue she emailed me accusing me of deceiving her, because she had seen some holiday photos of me with my children and two ladies having dinner together. They were ONLY people we met on holiday, no romance.
Foolishly in hindsight, I emailed her back. I asked her kindly to leave me alone now, as I was making a new life, had a new house, new car and had recently met someone new.
Within 2 days, she phoned me at work, crying and telling me that she had had a nervous breakdown, was depressed and on anti depressants, had a family member staying overnight with her because she was suicidal.
I called her every day to see if she was OK, I even met her for a drink and then a coffee. She was constantly telling me that she would never be able to move on without me, was telling me that she loved me, and she needed me in her life.
A few days later after I was unable to meet her for a coffee, she stopped replying to my texts. She never answered the phone, and basically she had me convinced that something horrible had happened to her. So I went round her house to see if she was Ok, and there she was…………..shagging an old ‘mate’ of her’s on her sofa.
So now ……….back to Day 1 again. Make that No Contact Contract and stick to it!!

I have a question. I think this should be directed to Steve the LCW who is awesome and really gets it – but if anybody knows the answer…

I long thought my lover was a sociopath, and I told him so. But I have done a lot of research, and I’ve listened closely to him. I think he is “avoidant” – meaning, he fears trusting people, he fears needing people, he avoids exposing himself, etc. If you google search avpd, or avoidant personality disorder.

But all his dodging, and all his failure to be there for me, and for all his running away, I don’t know, it sort of feels like sociopathy too.

My questions.

Is it one? The other? Both?

Should I go no contact? Or is that exactly the opposite of what he needs?

I love the guy, but I need him to actually BE THERE for me, not be running away.

Help.

Dear Superkid,

Donna is 110% right! You can’t fix what is broken….move on. Stay here and read and learn about dysfunctional/toxic people. Doesn’t matter what the word is, the action is the same, not being able to bond with others in a mutually caring relationship.

One sided relationships are hell.

Hi Hopeful,

Day 2 here we come! LOL

I thought some might like to read this. I get daily messages from greatday.com

I start each day reading them, as they arrive around 4 am. It helps set the tone for the day.

Live life now
+++++++++++++++++++

The joy and fulfillment you seek, are here now for you to
experience. If you are not fully present in this moment,
when will you ever be?

Don’t waste another minute by waiting for conditions to
improve. The opportunity to live the best day of your life
is here and now.

Embrace this moment just as it is, and taste its richness.
Step confidently forward just as you are, and fully live
life now.

Obsessing over what could have been or what should have been
won’t bring you any value. Following your positive purpose
in this moment is what will create value.

You are now free from all the limitations you had imposed on
yourself in the past. You can now see your best
possibilities and act to fulfill them.

There is so much richness right here and now. Open yourself
to the beautiful experience that is yours to fulfill.

This is 1000% true. When I found out that my guy Ray (who I thought would NEVER cheat on me) was involved with a pornographic site and took pictures of himself in my home and was meeting these women – I threw him out. I told his friends what he did to me and they honestly did not seem interested or expected anything different. Seems they were holding a secret – he cheated on his wife and this was the way he was. I met him 2 months shy of his divorce. He kept calling me, putting flowers on my car, letters, etc. and I unfortunately caved in. I said I wanted to go to couples counseling – he went – but HE LIED THE WHOLE TIME. He said he did not have a pc at his house – he was using the one in my home or going to the public library – LIE LIE LIE. I am not sure if the counselor picked up on this – but he twisted it that I was the crazy one. I was paranoid. I did not believe him – so off we went into what I thought was our relationship. He lied – he still was involved with horrible women on the internet and lied that he was single. Now he is on Plenty of Fish – looking for a new one – LADIES STAY AWAY FROM RAY – AGE 56 – PLAINFIELD, NJ – LIAR, CHEAT, ONLY OUT FOR HIMSELF.

Superkid, when I was trying to figure out what was going on in my relationship with my terrible ex, I did a lot of reading about personality disorders. And he had actually told me that an old girlfriend had told him that he had “sociopathic tendencies,” though he didn’t take that seriously.

It actually helped me, in the early stages when I was trying to understand the problem, to “diagnose” him as a sociopath. It gave me some distance from his behavior.

But these days, years later, I am less inclined to “name” people anything. As you have observed with your boyfriend, people get stuck in certain life strategies. This was certainly true for my ex, and the only time I ever saw him being even close to authentic was when he was stoned on anti-anxiety pills he cadged from his previous girlfriend (who developed a crippling anxiety disorder during their relationship which endured long after they broke up). The rest of the time, he was emotionally closed, untrusting, defensive and always seeking the top-dog position in the relationship.

What does this make him? It makes him a bad partner, especially for someone, like me, who imagined that enough love and generosity would convince him to loosen up and have a little trust. At first, it just felt like a challenge to me to convince him that I was a good person and he could relax and enjoy what we had between us. Later, it became really hurtful, because no matter what I did, it was clear that he was more involved with his own dark view of the world (and me) than he was with me.

And I think that’s what you’re up against here. This guy’s primary relationship is with his own pain, and until he sorts that out, he’ll always be emotionally unavailable. Charming maybe when he wants to be. Because it’s more comfortable for him to have someone caring for him. But unable to really give back what you’re giving to him. Because his emotional energy is being consumed by internal dramas.

Which boils down to the same thing Donna and Oxy told you. You have a lot to give. Don’t waste it on someone who’s too obsessed with his own unhealed traumas to even see who you really are. This is a bad deal for you. You’d be better off alone until you develop a relationship with someone who appreciates you, and can return to you what you’re giving and what you need.

Kathy

This is a great aticle! Give them NO chance, None…I know that with my ex, he hung on to anything, even when I said “No.”, it was an opening and I learned a lot of this the hard way.

Those who have been through this know that this is also how they beat you down. 30 phone calls a day is going to get on anyone’s nerves and changing your phone number constantly is a hassle and I know I got fed up with this. I’m constantly changing numbers, he’s constantly getting them and the whole thing starts up again. I finally said, NO MORE. I’m not answering calls and I’m not answering even one phone call to tell him not to call.

NO CONTACT.
Best gift we can give ourself.

For a while my egg donor went along with my sons C and D and I in NC with my P-son, but he kept on writing her and in reading his letters he went through every emotional string he could pull, every emotional button from guilt to anger to pity, he was spinning like a piece of pork on a spit….trying to find ANY way to get a reaction.

Of course, egg donor eventually caved in and started writing to him, so he is NOW BACK IN CONTROL OF HER, but it was very interesting to me to read those letters and to know how DESPERATE he was to find some way to HOOK her or us.

NO CONTACT is us taking back power over ourselves and THE DO NOT LIKE IT. If nothing else, they want to be the one to DISCARD us, not the other way around.

The serial killer Ted Bundy was discarded by a woman he dated that he thought was “upper class” and he hated it, he even managed to get her to go back with him, and as soon as she did, BINGO! He discarded her!

That is important to the psychopath, to be the one to control it, or to be the one that does the discarding. Or to keep us on the hook as “friends” just in case they need supply sometime in the future and we will be waiting there.

NC is the best gift we can give ourselves. It is RESPECT FOR OURSELVES from ourselves. Money can’t buy a gift that wonderful.

I have way too many SPs in my life- mother, sister, stepbrother, ex husband.. I knew what to watch for for many years when my husband’s best friend brought over his new gf, (now wife), and she started asking questions, but never once told of her self. Interesting how they start their hunt for prey by searching for weakness, painful moments to play on, and other ways to get into our lives/minds/hearts. She started out trying really hard to be my best buddy, but a lot of that was spent trying to learn about her then BF, (now husband). (I don’t use DH, because now they loathe each other, but for some reason won’t divorce…wonder why?) I figured she was fishing for info so she could play on him until he was convinced she was “the One”. I was dead on correct. She was living with him, pregnant, and owning two cars in less than two years – gleefully on bed rest and telling everyone how much money she was spending on his credit cards since all she had to do was shop online all day. wonderful. (ugh).

Well, I’m the only one who made an attempt to stay perfectly clear of her. There were a few times I had no choice but to be in her company- my husband is my best friend, and I would do anything for him. He was in a big event in town, and naturally she and her now husband showed up. She played a game with him using me- and that was that. I made sure that even as much as I love my husband, I would NEVER be in her eye sight, ear shot, or even anywhere near her web access again. I have both she and her husband blocked from my social site page. (If she asked, which she never has, the answer is I keep it just for blood relatives.)

Because I am off her radar, I watched our friends have terrible things happen to them- stolen money, expensive items disappear, jobs gone, relationships end, etc- all due to her games. Only one other of us has managed to hide far enough away that she doesn’t bother. There’s ALWAYS a chance she will decide “Oh haven’t screwed with them in a bit..” and just play it on us again- but I don’t leave her much opportunity.

It’s true, I’ve had to let my husband go off with his best friend doing things I really wish I could take part in. His best friend is also the son of his boss, so if he doesn’t do things, there’s too much of a red flag, and again, she would play that. There are three other friends who have been fired because they didn’t show up to something (so she could target them for some game), and she managed to convince her father-in-law that there were unsavory issues with these men. They got fired. She won again. I won’t put my husband in that situation, he loves his job, and has had it long before she was on the scene. I’m usually working or traveling anyway, so that’s an easy excuse for him. Or I can say the kids are sick..kids always get sick, right? Easy excuses are the best ones.

I need to stay off the radar. too much is at stake.

OMG I read everyone of these comments! I’m still talking to the P almost 4 years later! He still lives in my little town where he moved to be with me 9 years ago. He’s from California and all his girlfriends are there but he stays here! He says “I stayed here where you are didn’t I”. He hasn’t lived with me for 4 years but still calls frequently. He’s retired (got fired) but has a full time job talking to women on the phone and visiting porn sites. He’s freakin’ handsome, charming, passionate…. always. I absolutely believe in what you’re saying about NC!!!! I needed to read this. I do have a question, however. I still have some of his “stuff” stored in my garage because he doesn’t have room for it (true). My counselor friend says to give it to someone and get rid of every memory there. If he hasn’t picked it up in four years it’s mine. He thinks he’s going to get it one of these days. What do you think I should do with it????

Thanks to all of you so much for your wise comments!

Dear Katy,

I had a similar question about some stuff I allowed some “friends” to store in a building I owned….and gave them notice after notice after notice that they should move the stuff before X date (part of the roof had been blown off and it was raining inside it) didn’t hear from them didn’t hear from them, finally after 9 months I just went down, got what I wanted out of it, and let the rest rot…. many months later they notified me by e mail that they “couldn’t get hold of me” because they had “lost my phone number” (well,l DUH, what was e mail? wasn’t that “getting hold of me?”) and they wanted ME to move it for them. I said, “No, I notified you that the roof was partly off, if you want it go get it, but I am NOT moving it for you”

They came and got some of it, but you know they left the bulk of it, so molded it requires a respirator to go inside the building or you become VERY ill from the black mold. I am going to have to wait until it is safe to burn it and get fire department to help, and then spend money to have what is left buried with a bull dozer, when if they had removed their stuff I could have salvaged several thousand dollars worth of lumber etc. out of the building.

You know…what are you, the FREE STORAGE COMPANY?

Send him a CERTIFIED LETTER (that he has to sign for) telling him he has 90 days to get the stuff or you will dispose of it. (or whatever the legal requirement is in your area?)

Remember, NO GOOD DEED GOES UNPUNISHED WHERE PSYCHOPATHS ARE CONCERNED.

NO CONTACT. NONE, NADA, ZERO, ZIP!!!

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