By | March 27, 2015 42 Comments

How to protect yourself from sociopathic charm

Editor’s note: Lovefraud received the following article from a user whom we’ll call “Fiona.”

I’m currently being discarded. He has someone else lined up already, I found that out by reading his cellphone.

I have moved towns already and he may have been sleeping with other people on and off throughout our relationship. I have found “no contact” very difficult. However, I think after my last visit back to see him, I’ve reached a stage where the absolute pointlessness of it is impossible to ignore.

I know he has never cared for me. I don’t want to tell the details of my story, but rather to point out a couple of things that I’ve found to be lifelines out of this situation. I knew it was bad from about the third day in, but I spent 14 months labouring under the delusion that he was on the verge of a big change and that he would love me as I loved him.

Keeping protected

These things helped me stay in a position where I was able to keep myself protected from the effects of his charming:

  • Keep a place in your heart free from any kind of belief in anything he says. I wanted his gushing love-claims to be true, but I knew in my heart he was emotionally shallow and fickle. If you believe that he loves you — which is what you want — he has more manipulative power over you.
  • Do not get pregnant. He stated repeatedly that he wanted a child with me. He says this to every woman that he manages to draw in. I am certain that he would have no qualms about using a child to try to destroy me, or about destroying a child. No offence meant to anyone who has had children with a sociopath.
  • If you can, have either enough money to change tenancies, or family or other support to stay with when you need to physically remove yourself from his reach, or the temptation to stay in touch with him.
  • Read sites like Lovefraud to help you recognise the person for what he is. Follow the sirens wailing in your heart — no, it’s not you being crazy, he really is hurting you that much, and he really is doing it on purpose.
  • Lean on your religion or spiritual belief and don’t let go of it. This guy claimed to love God and to be a “special person” in God’s plan. He then abused my religion randomly and repeatedly. Stick with your belief.
  • Don’t get involved in sexual swinging or multiple partners. If the spath you meet is anything like the one I met, he’s been there and he would be perfectly happy to drag you down any way he can, this way is fine, just as good as any other. I’m not judging this choice, but I am saying that to do these things with a sociopath is a recipe for disaster.
  • Don’t get involved in drug or alcohol use with the sociopath. These people do not have a conscience and destroying you with drugs or alcohol is meaningless to them.
  • The day you understand what he is, keep growing a place inside yourself that knows you will walk away one day. If at first you don’t succeed — normal. Don’t give up on your ability to do this.

Step by step

Nothing new in any of this, I know. But this is how I managed to extricate myself, step by step, from someone I had fallen in love with, who I desperately hoped and wished would do the same once his “wounds were healed,” but who, in reality, has probably always hated me. Certainly, he couldn’t care less about me if he tried.

And, tell yourself until you start to believe it that he is not capable of loving anyone. It isn’t just you, he will do the same thing again and he has done the same thing in the past. These people are not normal and do not feel like you or I feel.

They are actors. The charm can be so astounding, you’re practically blinded by the glory. Acting and probably the high testosterone?

You want more

Praise the day you realise you want more from a sexual relationship — ie, loving, caring, sharing, togetherness. He cannot ever go to this place with you, except as an actor. This is one pathway out. Focus on that feeling and know it’s real and you are capable of so much more that is real — as are other “normal” people.

Keep yourself safe. You are the number one priority here because the person is disordered; you cannot have a caring/sharing, two-way relationship with this person. Put as much effort as you can into trusting your own mind and instincts, and emotionally and mentally preparing to stop seeing this person.

This information is probably better suited to people who have not made a formal commitment or moved in together.

Hope it helps someone out there, as this site and others like it helped me to see what was real in a very confusing and manipulative situation.


Healing is my job

Last but not least, yes, it hurts. It hurts like hell. Why me? Why does he hate me? When he seems to genuinely like her, and her, and her? Why?

Because he’s a freak of nature, that’s why. Because hurting gives him the most pleasure anything can. Because you are normal, loving, caring, kindhearted. Because he is none of these things. Because you crossed paths. It’s not your fault. He can never heal the hurt he’s given you.

That, for me, is the hardest thing to fully realise — he will never make it better. That’s my job. Once you get out of the hurting/healing dynamic and find the courage to live with the fact that he never heals what he hurts, he just picks at it and irritates it and causes you more pain and agitation, you have taken a big step.


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Fiona – great advice. Thank you.


Exactly what I needed to hear today. Thank you for your bravery and for sharing. I, too, am being discarded. I promise myself I won’t go back this time.


Hi Guitargirl, have you posted a “spath tale” anywhere on this site? They’re such diabolical “people”. The way they act, the things they do, uniquely awful.


Excellent advice for those of us who find ourselves somehow having gotten involved and somewhat ‘trapped’ in a situation/relationship with a spath. Some of the points you mention were in place in my situation and helped me get out for good.

Some things to keep in mind before getting into any relationship that may help avoid entanglement with a spath:
Keep the pace of a new relationship slow, don’t start spending all your time together right away, wait until the relationship is well established in other areas and there is a commitment before physical intimacy.
End or take very slowly a new relationship if you feel uncomfortable, hurt, or notice anything that seems to be ‘off’ weird or not right.
Be alert for signs of hypnotic techniques, manipulation, and/or control.

All that being said, in my experience with the spath, we dated for over a year before marriage, and waited until marriage for sex. It didn’t help me avoid a spath. However, I was kept in a trance state by a very good pathological liar with a rock solid mask. I was ignorant of the existence of spaths, and did not recognize the warning signs.


That’s partly why I think no matter how much you know about them, there’s always the possibility that it could happen again – they wear such varied disguises and have their own ploys and tactics. I mean, who would think a spath would be interested in waiting a year before “coitus”?
I’ve read a couple of things on the net I thought were really interesting. One by a woman who identified as an “empath” or highly empathetic person – she thought that empaths get attracted to spaths because they send out no emotional noise. It’s quiet around them. For highly empathetic people, this is initially a positive signal, because it’s restful. I had to chew that over a bit, but I think she’s onto something.
Another was an “eye contact rule” – if someone stares at you without blinking for more than six seconds, they either want sex or murder. It’s just a “meme”, but it’s come from somewhere. The “predatory stare” is well known, but if you can check out someone’s blink rate, I don’t know, maybe it can help while you’re taking your time (good advice) getting to know them.


Interesting points. I sensed my spath was missing something – like no emotional noise – but I perceived it as a deficit; but then wrote it off to him being very calm, very strong, faith in God, and so on.

Regarding waiting until marriage to have sex – he attended the church I attend and I was committed to waiting until marriage which worked for him since he does lots of porn, cross dresses, and isn’t heterosexual, so he wasn’t interested in sex with an adult woman anyway. He initiated a lot of ‘making out’ which engaged me, and he could fake it. It’s a long story…


Oh my, that does sound complicated! I was never sure if the spath was cross-dressing somewhere. I would find random bits of makeup, a pair of stockings still in their packet, he was so weird anyway, there was so much detritus around him, it became impossible to tag all of it and find a pattern in it. He’d say, I found it. It was plausible because he liked to pick through rubbish bins. It’s just so ridiculous when you’re writing it, so many things that I was uncomfortable with, but didn’t want to be “judgemental”! This guy also attends a church and he has a small group of older women, who are either married or much older and not interested in him romantically, completely fooled as to his true nature. They think he’s wonderful and an advocate for street-people. Superficially, perhaps.


I know the woman my ex is currently involved with. HE is the one who requested that they “take it slow”. It works perfectly for him, in much the same way it worked for your ex… although my ex is not closeted sexually, the “slow” time lets him troll for other women, while keeping the current “front burner” on the hook. She’s also easier to manipulate because it gives her a sense of control, which she doesn’t actually have. I’ve seen my ex do the same with another woman. By the time they do have sex, the woman is so wound up and turned on that she doesn’t see all the other crap (women, illegal banking/real estate contracts) until it’s too late and she’s lost her license because of the fraud HE perpetrated in her name.


I’m really starting to feel free from this guy, but also, man, the discard is hard. It really is like being flicked off like a bug or something. If I could think of one word to sum up the person I met, it would be “user”. A friend of mine spotted it in him immediately. I’d told him about this person and he said, he’s a user and he likes you loving him. It was exactly the situation. A very sharp friend who studied psych at university, but takes everything in life with a grain of salt and has a rather withering eye for life when he needs to. But, yes, the spath used me completely, he never gave me anything but sex and the same garbage “compliment” that he uses to pacify all of his “girlfriends” (victims) I think. He says, you are good. Wow. Shiver me timbers. He used to say or text it to me all the time and last time I saw him and read his phone, he had started texting it to the new poor soul who has followed him into the abyss of his selfishness. Via lots and lots of sex, it really is all he does. Then the mind games will start. I can’t help wondering how long she’ll put up with it. Today I felt much clearer. I started feeling like me again. They really do kick you into permanent fight-or-flight I think.


A question –

How often are people who are victimized by these types, coming from families or past situation with abuse (of any type) or less than decent family dynamics?

I’ve been a few people comment about their families of origin that had issues.

What’s your situation?


Because of where I’m at in “discard” I’m posting a lot at the moment and want to say, once again, how much I appreciate this site and the amazing work you do here, Donna. Having a place to vent and make sense of it all when you’re in a very weird situation, where you don’t have to pay a subscription or anything, is so helpful right now. I anticipate I’ll be over this in a few weeks as, seeing this is the 10th time I’ve committed to NC, and will be the last, I’m not entirely naive about its trajectory and how I’m going to feel as I go through it. I’ve also stored plenty of information against the spath in my memory-tool kit, and have a goodly well of resentment and loathing for him. It has to be stronger than the desire to go back, which it is, this time.

I just wanted to say that one of the reasons I thought I could “control” the situation, was that I have a fairly well developed sense of fun, or, an inner prankster. I was certainly one of those kids who made crank calls with friends and accomplices as a child.
The spath could be very witty. I loved that. Loved it. I would be garrulous and he would be witty, and it all seemed so creative and fun, and his mother had been an artist, so there was this nod to creativity. Then, of course, out of the blue, he would turn psychotic or nasty, but while the going was good, it was fun. Or I could make it fun. Something like that. I thought we were going to fall all the way in love and run away to some field somewhere and build a handbuilt eco-hut paradise and fill it with marvellous creative works, I thought it was a dream come true. yes. Finally. A loving, unconventional, creative, grounded (no, just no emotional chatter in his aura?) hero-lover perfect match etc etc, who had also experienced pain in his life, so, who was also real.
Dream shattered pretty fast. Try petty drug addict, alcoholic, liar, fake, user, polygamist wannabee, frightening spooky nightmare, public humiliator, hidden gay past, rumours of child abuse? (denied), fantasist – he’s going to be the ruler of the new world order, so, watch out ladies! 144,000 are going to love him! You might be in his harem! Lying, deceiving, turd. Abuser. And yet, I pitied him and wanted to take care of him and thought, as long as it’s love, this terrible mental illness is just a cross we have to bear. I hoped it was a mental illness. Then I would be compassionate and caring, not blind and foolish and addicted to his crap. I was caught in a hideous dynamic of being accessed for sex by someone who would then openly not care about me. Humiliated. I must make him see me! He must care about me! It’s not right to use a person for sex, then dump them! No, I won’t let go until you see me! He never saw me. He did ask me to spawn his children, but he never saw me, cared for me, acknowledged me, liked me. He just bonked me and crapped in my heart. It’s extremely hard for a normal ego to just take that on the chin and walk away. You wind up trying to make them like you. Trauma bond. You want to recover your dignity and self-respect. I can’t stand people who do that to others, and yet, I loved him. The creepiest of creeps. I truly, truly thought it would never happen to me. Radar’s too good. Now I tend to think, there’s a spath for everyone and it only takes one.



Hi. I have been on this site for many years, but rarely, these days, post. I just wanted to say your story sounds SO familiar that I really wanted to respond to you. I won’t go into my story either, except to say that it was full of sex, and proclamations of love, of a ‘spiritual/tantric’ connection, and a future fantasy full of creativity. It hurt like nothing else I had experienced, the betrayal. It felt totally humiliating and I was a complete basket-case for many months, barely able to work or eat or sleep, and continuing to think about him even years later (but without the giant negative emotional charge).

The bad news is they never really leave your head. The good news is they become nothing but a memory to remind you of who you really are (so long as you don’t have to keep parenting with them, or they don’t stalk you), and what you really want. Happiness, and love, and calm/peace are very much possible as part of the healing process. So, even though it feels like slow death right now, it won’t be always be this way. It will TOTALLY pass.

You will be different. You will be wiser, have better boundaries, find yourself loving only people who truly deserve your time and energy. The relief that finally comes when your life is taken back, and you realize you are out of danger, and away from the abuse, is huge. I remember feeling elated that I had gotten away (rather than sad, humiliated, rejected, unlovable, and frail). I felt stronger, more capable, clearer about my direction in life, and committed to my close friends and family. It was, finally, empowerment I felt.

Knowing that folks like this exist, to me, is a boon. It GREATLY reduces the chance that you will be taken in, and greatly improves the chance that you could help someone else being taken in by a disordered person.

These dark days will give way to much better ones. Sometimes slowly, but it does happen.



Hi Slim,

Sometimes I wonder if we’re all talking about the same A-hole! I suppose that is unlikely. Thank you for the supportive comments, and for sharing something of your own experience. It does make a difference right now and I do appreciate what you’ve said.


Ugh. I’ve been thinking today about something that I read on his phone the last time I saw him, which was about a week ago. After I found out about “the other woman” I read his phone, at which he protested, of course. I found a text that went back about a week further, when I had seen him before that. It was from her to him. It said, “did you have fun with (my name)?”. I just feel utterly sick. They humiliate you. This is what they do. She knew about me, I didn’t know about her.
One time he tried to imply that I was a prostitute by yelling at me on a busy shopping/cafes/seedy nightlife type of street, out of the blue, “What kind of person are you? You do that for money!”. He’s just nuts. And yet it still hurts to be discarded by such a cretin.


Can’t stop posting! I feel like crap, yes, but I’m lucky. I’m lucky I’m alive. I’m lucky no-one threw acid in my face. I’m lucky he never beat me up. I’m lucky I don’t have any children for him to abuse. I’m lucky I only ever spent probably $200.00 on him. I’m lucky he didn’t find me more appealing and so prolonged the torment. I’m lucky I got away relatively unscathed.


I can so relate to what you experienced and what you’re experiencing. Yes, it seems like they are the same person cloned.

It’s painful and hard gut wrenching work to process the memories and the experience. When I got away from my ex psychopath, I was able to think, and so much went through my head all the time. It took awhile before it all calmed down and I found a way to understand things and file them away.


Hi AnnettePK,

I think it’s been about ten days and I already feel so much better than I did when I started posting here. I was really raw at that stage. Convinced, however, that this site has helped me to detach from things and look at him with as much distance as I can muster, which isn’t much, at this stage, but it’s better than nothing. Still hard not to daydream of things working out better, but, no, he’s very disordered and has no desire to be anything else. And probably has no capacity to be a different type of person, either. It’s funny how we grieve for them. That tiny, tiny spark I saw sometimes, that seems to be totally powerless against the greater force of his personality/condition, whatever it is. But, then again, perhaps the “tiny spark” was just a pity-play. Probably, sadly.


Hi Surprised,

Slim here. Yes, you are lucky you missed a whole lot of other traumatic events, and that you are alive. But, really, your pain is OK.

Your humiliation is real and is perfectly in proportion to YOUR experience.

Someone once told me that our pain is like air in a balloon, it fills that balloon, no matter the ‘severity’ of the experience. So, a little kid who is crying their eyes out because they didn’t get to go to the park is experiencing pain that is every bit as legitimate as, say, the person who is experiencing torture. Our pain is, in short, is legitimate and full, no matter the circumstance. Our hurt belongs to us and it is OK to express it….so we can heal.

I also found out about other women. 9 of them. They were happening the whole 10 months I knew him. It really really devastated me. Not the other women, per se. But the final, sinking and bleak understanding, that he never loved me, he used me, he had zero attachment of feeling for me. He found me, he got me, he took what he needed, and he left.

I was treated like nothing more than an object of gratification. I ‘let’ him do that. I hated myself for it.

Then I no longer hated myself (or him). This took YEARS. Now I understand, and it isn’t painful. It is fact. He is almost completely to blame for what happened between us, and his story to the contrary is a lie.

That doesn’t make the initial pain I went through ‘wrong’. It was part of the healing process….and the anger….and the grief….and the depression….and the denial….

Acceptance will finally come. Hang in there with yourself.

He is to blame. He did this to your life. He will never change. He will do this over and over and over. He enjoys making fools of people. It makes him feel big and powerful. He made a fool of you. But you are not a fool. You were suckered into playing that role. You didn’t choose it.

Don’t stop posting. It can really help!



Hi Slim,

Thank you for your understanding. And sharing your own experience. I felt that too, the “bleak understanding” – good choice of words – it was bleak indeed. Felt it threatening me repeatedly right from the beginning, but I thought it might change. One day you have to face the undeniable reality of it, far out yes, does it hurt. Hurts like having your heart squeezed out of its ribcage via your throat. Love fraud indeed.
I just don’t want to ever see him again, now. What has he got of me? Nothing. A few shirts, a pair of pants I bought him, a name to use in the mental abuse of his new target. What has he left me with? A memory, because the past is gone, isn’t it, the past dies, of a time in my life when I sat staring at a lump of shit, transfixed. All the worms and all the flies with which the shit was one, going about their busy work of eating dung, and occasionally the shit piped up and said something. I just want to wash my hands of his beloved excreta. I don’t even feel bitter, I just feel numb. Spath loons. Perhaps now I’m immune? I’ve had my vaccination. I hope so. I’m going to be checking myself out very carefully next time I get attracted to someone. I’m pretty sure I like charismatic individuals. There might just be a little bit of something in me that likes the limelight, too. And he has that, absolutely incredibly, when you see the way he lives, he still has the limelight. Astounding.


I read this when it’s bedtime and I would just love to pick up that phone and get discarded to his answerphone, which then deletes the message. Not picking up the phone. It’s a great message, thank you, I’m re-reading, eventually it will sink in. Better things ahead. Must believe that. No psychos.


They neither hate you nor do they love someone else. They exploit and they don’t care about anyone. What seems to be is an illusions. All of his games will be the same with all prospects and pawns. You said, “I am currently being discarded.” Right… you are the CURRENT discard. After you, who will be next?

I also knew after the third date. I knew something was wrong but I needed to learn this lesson. If I hadn’t gone through the pain, whom would I be now?



Hi Alohatraveler,

It’s pretty flabbergasting stuff, isn’t it. These are people for whom no other person is liked simply for who they are. There’s always a purpose, something to extract from them or a game to be played. I can’t believe I’ve seen it, to be honest. He defies every explanation of what human beings are that I’ve ever known.
There’s this question that apparently used to form part of a sociopath test, which can be used to see if people can think like a psycho/sociopath (what’s the difference?) It goes like this: A woman goes to her Grandmother’s funeral and there’s a man there that she likes. So she goes home and kills her sister. Why does she kill her sister? The answer is the guy she likes might turn up at her sister’s funeral, so she’ll get to see him again.
It’s so warped, you’ve got to laugh. It apparently was an actual question on some kind of profiling test at some stage. Nice people. Nice way to sort through the options.
I guess that’s what we do when we try to keep up with their games, try to learn to think like a psycho. Bust the game! Change the man! See the futility of your behaviour! Now, change into a nice person please, and lets start building that life together. Lol.


Alohatraveler and Suprised,

SO true. The person I (thought) I knew ran into me recently. He acted as if nothing, and I mean nothing, had ever happened between us but a friendly connection. No romance, no lies, no betrayal, no theft of money, no sexually transmitted diseases….just ‘hey, how you doin?’ Like I was a neighbor he borrowed sugar from. I didn’t respond. Just looked at him and kept on walking. I didn’t let him contaminate me with his hubris.

And, like ‘yours’ Surprised, he is VERY charismatic. I really liked that at the time, and had fallen for it in the past as well. I also, like you may be discovering about yourself, kinda liked the limelight. I looked at that during my healing process and found ways to indulge it without the psychopath involvement. I also found I was attached to dating a ‘knock out’, a looker. It made me feel more attractive. Facing that was kind of embarrassing, but it was necessary.

I knew on the first date that he was ‘off’. Instead of listening to my gut, I listened to him.



I know. I can guarantee that if I saw the spath tomorrow he would either stare at me then turn his back or pretend he hadn’t seen me – in order to hurt me, obviously (not so sure it would hurt right now) – or he’d say, hey, how are ya. With a big cheesy grin. That was something else that clued me in to his not normal emotional world, I could call him every name under the sun and more, and he’d get a bit frustrated at the most. The next five minutes it would be as if it never happened. Hello? Aren’t you a bit angry at me? Don’t you feel a bit hurt? No. I cannot hurt you. Oh, I see.

The looks thing is a bit of a minefield for me. I had a couple of too-good-looking boyfriends as a young lass, definitely needed to prove that I was attractive, but I spent most of my 20s with one person. He was cute, better looking than me, but not an Adonis. The person I really wanted to spend my life with, but couldn’t net, was an ordinary looking mortal, much like myself. But charismatic? Yes. I adored him. Adored. He was totally his own person. Kind of went through the day with one eyebrow raised and a very quizzical look on his face. Loved him. I hope his wife, who I’ve always found spectacularly boring, makes him happy. I believe she’s an excellent cook. Now I’m next door to forty. Man, doesn’t that just sneak up! Probably sound younger in posts, a bit of a peter pan, with tendency to regress when freaking out, and the spath experience will, at best, freak you out. Never was a looker, going to have to learn that most difficult of lessons for some of us, how to be comfortable in own skin. I honestly wonder if I’ll ever meet anyone again. I find so many men aggressive, sexist, demanding, dull, and arrogant. Could be the culture I live in, very sports based and pragmatic.


I just figured out that he had blacklisted my phone number on his cellphone before giving me the definitive flick. He said, I’m not getting your texts! I’m not getting your texts! And orchestrated it all so that I would be running around trying to find out what was wrong with my phone. Which I did, once. Other than that I told him it was a problem at his end. He had blacklisted me over the internet, which leaves no clue on his or your cellphone. He’s just played me like a tambourine. I can’t believe it. This is a man I took to booze rehab. A man I fed after he’d been stabbed on the street. A man who had a skin rash all over his body, which I managed to clear up with creams from the chemist. A man who, the last time I saw him, was dressed in clothes I’d bought him (charity shop) and a pair of sox that were actually my own (which I made him take off). I know it’s small beer compared to what a lot of people on this site have been through, but, you know what, it still fucking hurts like a hornets nest. I just want to drown this effing pig.


My first time posting but I’ve been reading the site for about three months. So grateful for everyone willing to share their thoughts and experiences. It has been painful and yet helpful at the same time. I’m sure you know what I mean. One day I’ll share my own story. There’s the long version spanning six years, or there’s the short version that goes, “he takes great pride and pleasure in manipulating others in whatever way will cause the most acute pain”.

I’m in what might be a permanent “discard” right now thanks to this site. I felt good about it at first, and now I can’t stop hurting. I’ve cycled through the idealize/devalue/discard circle so many times with my former spath that I’ve lost count. First week of January I finally exploded and dumped six years worth of frustration, fears, anger, uncertainty, insecurity, hurt, betrayal and general insanity on him in an e-mail. His reaction? “I think it’s time to officially close this chapter”.

Had the audacity to tell me that I needed to read what I had written and ask myself if that was good enough for me?” Then went on to tell me that instead of thinking I was some expert on other people that I should “look inward”. I replied, “looking inward is exactly what got me to this place”. The next message was “you are blocked”. That puts me on a long list of other people he has blocked. His ultimate “punishment” is banishment. He gets the last word and then he likes to gloat to others about how long it has been since he’s talked to these people. Makes him feel strong and powerful I think. He spares no one, even his only brother is going on two years blocked now.

Anyway, after years of hearing that he “wasn’t ready for a serious relationship and he doesn’t think he’ll ever get married again but oh, he really needs me in his life…needs me to help him be a better person”. So I probably don’t even need to tell you folks what he did a few weeks ago (just two months after our ending). Yep, he posted on his facebook that he’s in a relationship. Probably had been seeing her while he was with me. She’s ten years younger, fresh out of a divorce, and has three small children. It’s all I can do not to tell her all about him. But I know he’s in Prince Charming mode right now and she’s his Cinderella. I doubt she’d believe a word I’d have to say because of it. What a knife through my heart. Worse, I can imagine that he doesn’t really care about this woman either, but with the timing she was convenient to put some pain in me. I’m sure he knew I would hear about it. (I have been blocked from his facebook for some time now…the second time it was at my request actually, I didn’t want to see his activities because they always came with lies).

I really appreciate the advice under “Step by Step” in this article. For all of my spath’s obvious emotional abuse and manipulation I still struggle with obsessive thoughts and put myself in pain trying to make some sense of all of this. I am truly hurt by his new relationship, hurt right to my core and I know all he would probably do is laugh at me. No matter how many times I read about how this is who he is and nothing can change it, I’ve lived with such hope and faith that he could get better, that he really wanted to get better, and that he wanted and needed me to be with him when that miraculous day finally came…it’s so ingrained in my psyche and my heart that I don’t know how to get it out of me. I know I have codependency issues, but I’m not a stupid woman. I’ve had enough relationships in my life and have never had trouble when others ended in the past. Disappointment of course, but not like this, I feel like I died over this man. I can see how horribly wrong the whole “relationship” has been and yet if I am honest, nothing would make me happier than by some miracle he would come back and tell me that those six years actually meant something to him. That all of the heartbreak he put me through was worth the wait.

I guess I always wanted to believe that he was operating with the same capacity for emotions as the rest of us. It’s particularly unbearable to think that I am in such pain and there’s zero chance that he can conceive of what it feels like. Yet he surely takes mental pleasure in imagining my suffering. I know how vindictive he is, but always felt “safe” thinking that will never be me. I have been far to loyal and supportive and tolerant (aka enabling) for him to be so cruel. I was so wrong. I am just another puppet in his drama-filled script.

I just wish I could release myself from constantly thinking about this and reliving every episode in the past that I can now see were probably all just lies and half truths. The hardest thing to understand is why he never just let me go on one of the numerous occasions when I said, “I can’t do this anymore, you need to figure out what you want and if that’s a relationship with me, then you can let me know”. We could have parted civilly, with dignity, and without hurt. But you know the story, that’s when he wanted me most, when I had one foot out the door. He’d convince me things would get better, that he would try harder, it will be fine. The game must go on….

Thank you for letting me unload some of that. Oh there’s plenty more where that came from. I expect I’ll feel like an idiot if I ever tell the full story, his ruse was so obvious when I look back on it, you will surely wonder how I could have been so naive. But I was.



Hi LLB7. I just wanted to say – I hear you. I hear you and others on this site will hear you. Someone is listening – you’re not alone! Also, you’re not stupid. Mine practically had “spath” written on his forehead. Believe me, no-one worth the smallest pinch of salt will judge you for having fallen hook, line and sinker for a nutjob, on this site. I wanted love and thought I’d found it. Most people want love in their life, I guess that’s part of the reason why the spaths are so good at what they do. Cruel, heartless, and very clever manipulators.
Go easy on yourself. The pain these people bring is off the richter scale.

LoveLiesBleeding 7 – welcome to Lovefraud. Everyone here absolutely understands what you are going through, because we’ve all been there.

The answer is No Contact. The longer you’re away from him, the more you will see and understand the truth of his emptiness.


Fiona – I am saving this article to read over and over. You put a lot of thought into your situation and I’m so glad you shared your insights here.

You wrote: The day you understand what he is, keep growing a place inside yourself that knows you will walk away one day. If at first you don’t succeed ”“ normal. Don’t give up on your ability to do this.

These statements are so helpful to me right now. I have spent time gathering as much information as I can. I am still in a (weird) relationship with the long-term narcissist in my life. The gaslighting and bold lies really held me down for awhile. Especially the empty promises, so many promises.

I was raised by a narcissist mother and emotionally absent father. In my early 20’s I fell for love bombing which turned into abuse. That boyfriend lasted about 4 months before he discarded me. That’s when I met the current narcissist. He felt like a kindred wounded soul and then he started all those promises of how we would build a life together. That never happened, just financial abuse of me and cheating and lies on his part.

So the piece you wrote about healing ourselves resonates with me today. You wrote: Because you are normal, loving, caring, kindhearted. Because he is none of these things. Because you crossed paths. It’s not your fault. He can never heal the hurt he’s given you.

You have given me the courage to believe that if I keep taking baby steps in the right direction, I will get free. It won’t be a dramatic bold move like in the movies, but I am determined to keep moving and I know that I will walk away someday.

Hugs to you and thank you so much.



I post here as “surprised”. I’m glad you found something in my experience useful. I shared what I could in the hope that it would also resonate with someone else’s situation. I’m sorry for you that you are going through this! It’s horrible as hell and when you’re still in contact with the person they still have your head in a blender, so not nice at all. It’s a good site, good place to come and sort through what you’re experiencing.
Best of luck to you.


Great article!!!



Thanks! I honestly feel so much more steady than I did when I wrote that, they really, really mess with you. It was like being in survival mode, or being emotionally terrorised.
Two things you’ve said that have made a lot of sense to me, acceptance – this is really powerful. And thinking about the peace that I experience without him, especially when I’ve got the rose coloured glasses of hope on and am thinking about all the “good times”.


By which I mean, when I’m thinking of the good times, I also think about the crap times, to remind myself that peace was not a big part of the whole experience.


We were, without a doubt, emotionally terrorized!
So glad you feel more steady now…
Progress not perfection, or baby steps rather.


Och, he has called. Second time, actually. Last time I gave him a blasting, this time, was it a chat for three minutes? He’s calling again tomorrow with the results of his STD test, apparently. That’s very caring, isn’t it!
After I got off the phone from him, I felt all glowy, for a moment. I have definitely been missing the sex.
Someone posted on another thread about how immature they are. I guess that that is ultimately true. I also think that it’s the part of me that would love to just drop out of society, that finds the grind of adulthood a bit of a drag, an unrewarding drag, that responds to him with quite a lot of delight – when he’s not being abusive. That feeling decreases constantly though, as I’m forced to deal with more and more of his shit, and the good times wane. Also, some of his garbage is beyond the pale to me and I could barely face that it existed in him at all, let alone “deal” with it. It was too hideous, to anti-human, too hateful, to be real. But it was real. But, then you think, did I just get my wires crossed, or?
I know I can’t go back to him. I know that. I cannot. I want more. I want to meet someone where we can face reality together, rather than run away from it into a world we would prefer – or, preferably a mix, I suppose. Many people want a degree of autonomy in life, and I am one of them.
It’s the sex, I so, so badly want to just travel to where he is and have the wicked way with each other, and somehow be protected from all the other crap, but it can’t happen like that, it never happens like that in life, besides which, I’m not a robot. I’ve given up on every other aspect of his personality, I simply don’t believe a word he says anymore. So, it is over, isn’t it. You can’t go on like that.
The sex and to be held and feel love, there were so many times when I still believed, that I felt so good with him. Now I don’t believe anymore, it’s just freakin hard that the whole thing is gone!


Ha ha, lol. What if his dick fell off? And I was stuck with him? Oh, dear. How deep is my love? I feel like the rose coloured glasses are well and truly off, so, I see him now, and if he is as he is, changing incredibly unlikely, what if he got hit by a bus tomorrow and was in a wheelchair? (sorry to anyone in this situation, I have read posts here from people who have physical disabilities). What if every day I came home from work to a guy who’s spent the day drinking and smoking grass, looking at porns or sitting on the street watching girls in school uniforms walk by? And, no sex. Who says, when I walk in the door, hey, I love you, followed by, but I hate the Pope!! Okay!
Ah, yes. I think this might be part of the reason NC works. It just starts you off again, doesn’t it? Having a tiny little chat. I want to go to Bermuda or something. How far is far enough.


Dammit! He still has me! I WANT to see him! AAAAARGGHHH!!! How is that possible!!!
Ok. As much as I appreciate LF, it’s time for me to cook my dinner and watch an exciting DVD.
So now I’m a crack addict. I think I get that. My GOD. I will never look down my nose at drug addicts ever again.


Ugh, I’m over it. That took about three hours. No. I won’t see him. I don’t want to see him. I can move on. It sucks and it’s tragic that he is what he is, but I have to live with that and not fall into the belief again that his “misdemeanors” were just aberrations. I never thought I would be in this situation. Not me.


It’s crack, it’s relationship crack. You took a hit and now you’re reeling…
Don’t see him. Lock yourself up if you have to.
Don’t drink the juice, it’s poison!


Not going to. Luckily, he’s not in the same town. But, yes, for a while there, it was tempting to think things might change. LOL!!!!

Brigitte Knowles

Mine called me baby and I had never been called baby before. I fell for the sound and feeling it gave me. Then I heard him repeat the term to anyone and everyone. One day, just like that, I realized it was a term for anyone and everyone. But before that, it worked, it was like a spell, when I heard that word, I melted. Then much later I realized the hypnotic power psychopaths have over you. I am better now, four years later. Their charm is overwhelming. Beware and stay away from it or you will be trapped in a spiral downwards from which you cannot escape. Call it mind control, call it hypnosis but call it and get away!



Mine called me “baby”, also. She is a serpent of the highest order. I’m glad you are four years removed from that situation. I am only 6 months from that “special day” when Google led me to “signs you might be dating a psychopath”….

She tells all one thousand Facebook “friends” AND all co-workers that she has NO man in her life, lives alone with her THREE kids (from 3 diff fathers), and can’t make ends meet. ALL LIES. She drew me in with her masterful lies and charisma throughout most of 2014. We went on 3 fraudulent “dates” this time one year ago. She even went to a parade with my own MOTHER to gain my trust even more. I ended up buying her a 2013 loaded sedan for over 20 grand which, I found out later, she promptly drove straight home to home to her husband of 10 years.

I’m now suffering from PTSD, taking anti-dep’s, and am having a VERY hard time with it. Please tell me the truth. Are you the same after 4 years as you were before? My doc says I might NEVER be the same again. I feel like my soul has been poisoned.

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