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I didn’t want to admit my husband was a sociopath; now I realize how blind I was

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

Dear Donna,

I have been a follower of your website since  last year. That was when, after four years of mental anguish, trying to understand inexplicable behavior, praying for my children (and myself), financial crisis, and wondering what it was that I was doing so wrong, I finally left my husband.

In the week after, in which I was a totally emotional wreck, my sister urged me to follow links in an email she had sent me 6 months before. I had been reticent to read it at the time, brushing off her message as “totally ridiculous.” The email subject line was: “He is a Narcissist.” In retrospect, I realize just how blind I was to things that I didn’t want to admit, didn’t want to know, and wanted to run from.

I did finally follow the links, one of which was to your website. My eyes were opened at long last. I was finally surfacing from a dark lake that had consumed me in the years of the marriage. I was breaking into the warm light from those cold waters…if only I had read her message in its entirety 6 months before. My sister used the term “Narcissist” synonymous with “Sociopath,” though I think the latter term is more fitting for him.

Much has happened in the year since I clicked on those links. My now ex-husband is currently under a criminal indictment for aggravated stalking. Despite his current situation, he continues to use our children in his strange war against me, and insists that I am the crazy one (I used to believe that).

Mistakes during departure

My departure was dramatic, and I made tremendous mistakes. I had told him in the days before that I was interested in a separation. The attorney I consulted with on that final day a year ago urged me to file for divorce. That afternoon, when I returned home from work, he had already picked up the children from daycare, which I thought was unusual.

When I told him that I had filed (yes, big mistake I now know), he informed me that he had too, and that “you better get all your financials in order.” I thought this was a strange response to what was the most saddening experience since my father’s death a decade earlier.

The evening only got stranger. He refused to allow me and the children to leave, despite my pleadings. Ultimately, my family called the police because they feared for my safety. At first, the police response was that “they were his children” and that I couldn’t leave with the children without his consent.

I was floored. This man had moments earlier barricaded the door of our home and physically held me away from the door when I tried to leave. I was distraught, and fearful that the police would not help at all. After about an hour of the police at my home, they finally “convinced him” to let us go to my mother’s home for “a day or two.”

That evening on the two-hour drive to my mother’s through desolate woods, my “loving husband” cut off my cell phone while I was in route. The next day, he started spending money on my credit cards, of which he was an authorized user.

He became more and more erratic and strange in the next couple weeks, and he refused to leave my home (which I had owned before the marriage and thankfully never added him as a co-owner). It took an emergency court hearing and a mutual restraining order to get him out of the house so the children and I could return.

A mistake on my part with the first custody visitation sent him into a rage, resulting in him chasing me home from his apartment (where I had come by for a visit to see where the children would be staying…mistake, mistake, mistake, I know…), jumping out the vehicle, blocking the door to my home, and screaming at me demanding to know “where his children were.” My sister videotaped his violent rant, which conveniently ended just as the police arrived.

Spiraling out of control

Things continued to spiral out of control in the next few weeks. He stole items from my car, vandalized my car and my home, followed me constantly (I kept “noticing” him when I was out and about, both in his personal and his work vehicle), sent harassing messages via email and text proclaiming what a terrible parent I was, called the police to do welfare checks on the children when I didn’t answer the phone, vandalized his own vehicle and filed a police report claiming it was “her or her friends,” stole my mail from the mailbox, forwarded my mail to his address (when I finally caught on and rekeyed my box), calls and confronts my boss and co-workers demanding they give my work travel schedule to him (my travel schedule was his point of contention in the custody dispute), hacks my Facebook account and messages a friend pretending to be me, hacks my Pinterest account (a favorite hobby of mine) and deletes my 20,000 pins, tries to use credit cards I had replaced after his initial spending spree that he stole from my mail (I had wised up and canceled them again), leaves a card and flowers on my door on our wedding anniversary, and follows us two hours away during a weekend family vacation to a state park (where the park ranger observes his “suspicious vehicle” and inquires at the park cabins if we know whose it is…lo and behold I am shocked to identify it as my estranged husband’s).

Police investigation

Eventually, I install video cameras at my home, and catch him on camera in the gated, locked backyard of my home removing items from the garden shed, testing doors and windows, and peeking in the house.

Finally, I call the police with my attorney’s urging. A detective opens an investigation, and I hire a private investigator of my own. The private investigator places a GPS on his vehicle (legal where I live), and begins recording restraining order violations as he comes by my residence. Meanwhile, we go to civil court with video in hand, and he is found in violation of the restraining order and subsequently held in contempt, though the judge essentially just tells him “don’t do it again.”

With the active police investigation going, within a month, I capture him in still photos with cameras again at the front of my home. With these photos in hand, a warrant for aggravated stalking is issued, and he is arrested within the next week. After 3 months in jail, he is released on bond, and the adventures have continued since then.

His new M.O. is third party stalking and harassment. He is currently using child protective services and the family court system itself to harass me. Despite his criminal bond, he had false reported abuse to child protective services twice, and hauled me into civil court on a contempt motion. The contempt hearing was just last week, and it ended badly for him. The contempt charges for me were dismissed, but the judge, finally growing tired of his antics, sent him to jail for non-payment of child support. He is out as of yesterday, and I wait with bated breath for the next surprise.

Other women endure the same

Since my ordeal began, I have met many women who have experienced hauntingly similar, or even more frightening events, than what I have endured. I have developed a keen radar for their stories, and have begun to realize that relationships with the sociopath are all too common. A daycare teacher of my son’s is still stalked by her ex-husband 3 years post-divorce, a former intern of mine was in a long-term relationship with a sociopath she began dating in high school and left only after an incident where he held a gun to his head threatening suicide (he didn’t do it–and still sends her weekly communication two years later), my counselor was the victim of a stranger stalker who was a maintenance man at her apartment complex, etc., etc., etc.). I am so frightened by the commonness of this behavior.

Just yesterday, I came across an article regarding another incidence of aggravated stalking by a former federal prosecutor:

Former US Attorney charged with stalking, on DailyReportOnline.com.

I am somewhat bothered by the fact that the court’s initial response in this case was to place him in psychiatric treatment and order a “family violence intervention program.” Don’t they know that the sociopath is HOPELESS and UNTREATABLE???? Why doesn’t our court system understand that this behavior cannot be rehabilitated? After all, no matter what they tell an official or counselor, the sociopath will NEVER NEVER NEVER believe that they did anything wrong. How can someone so righteously certain of themselves be “rehabilitated?”

I am nervous that my ex-husband’s punishment will be a “treatment program.” The only thing that can stop his actions and the actions of those like him is to remove him from society. The only problem is, even if convicted, he will be out in the world again in 1-5 years. If I am not still his target, someone else will be.

Educating myself

In many ways, I have been lucky that it has not been worse. In educating myself, I have learned of stalking behavior that went on for much, much longer and escalated much further than my own case has. The Lovefraud site is peppered with these tragic stories.

I left last year, and he was jailed for aggravated stalking a few months later. I have been frustrated in the process and experienced much anguish, but things could be so very much worse. A good attorney, keen to the fact that he had many loose screws that just can’t be tightened, has guided me (and cost me a pretty penny — its easy to forget your attorney is not your therapist until the bill arrives). Thus, while things have improved, I’m still pretty close to the bottom. I’ll never be as low in life as when I lost my dad years ago, but I’ve come close in this.

Stalking and sociopaths

These stalking behaviors seem, in my reading, to be almost ubiquitous with the sociopath. In fact, I wonder whether anyone in a relationship with a sociopath who left the sociopath (as opposed to being discarded by the sociopath) was NOT stalked in some way, shape, or form during the relationship (I was), or after the relationship (I still am, despite his criminal charges).

I’m certain that the sociopath is incapable of NOT engaging in this behavior. In fact, I am certain that he is COMPELLED to stalk. With all his narcissistic rage ablaze, he has to PROVE to the world how he has been wronged by the vicious beast (me or you, or whomever his victim may be). He does this by using the stalking to find details about the victim that he can use to disparage, humiliate, or embarrass them. Furthermore, the sociopath “proves” to the victim that he is superior by his stalking behavior (“I can still control your existence, your decisions, your fear, your stress. Aren’t you impressed?”).

My explanations may be mere armchair psychology. I certainly am no expert on the subject of sociopathy or stalking, and will spend the rest of my life trying to understand these things.

As my initial readings transitioned from the psychology of the sociopath to the psychology of the stalker as my ex’s behaviors escalated, I felt like I had been given a secret insight before being told what a stalker was about. So much of the behaviors and psychology of the stalker (partner stalkers, at least) overlapped with the behaviors and psychology of the sociopath. What is strange to me, however, is that I don’t read many documents or references that link the two terms. As far as I am concerned, all partner stalkers are sociopaths of some degree. Am I off base on this assessment?

Hurt, sad and confused

I am still very hurt, very sad, and very confused about the past 6 years of my life. I am saddest for my children, who do not have a loving father in their lives. I am sad that this man may even remain in their lives at all, which is such a tragedy I can barely comprehend it.

When I left almost one year ago, I truly didn’t understand that it is not possible for him to be part of their lives. I had an illusion that the marriage was just my fault, and he could be a nice person if I just weren’t around. I thought that he could be good to our children despite his distance with them and harsh treatment of them (they were toddlers at our split).

Now, I realize what a dolt I was. Not only because none of this could possibly be my fault, but because I thought he could be redeemed and behave differently just because I wasn’t there, as if I brought out the worst in him. I realize now that what a year ago I thought was his worst was in fact his BEST, as he has proven repeatedly in the past year.

Obsessed with understanding

I know my wounds are still quite raw, but it makes me fearful of ever being in a relationship again, even if I now know the things about myself that make me attractive to the sociopath. After all, what if next time I attract one more subtle or adept at his cruel game than my ex-husband was? I made the mistake after the separation to try to reach out to an old flame, but quickly realized that I am much too damaged for any attempt at a relationship any time soon.

In my attempt to heal, I have become a woman obsessed with understanding the impossible to understand. There are so many aspects of the past several years that I will never grasp, and I am becoming aware that I have to STOP trying to understand them before I drive myself insane. It is a delicate balancing act of education, realization, absolution, and obsession to say the least.

I can only hope by continuing to educate myself, I can find the realizations and obtain the absolution I hope for. By doing this, I hope I can let go of the obsession.

In the meantime, I will reserve my heart for myself and my children. Please know that your website and the resources I’ve found there have been instrumental in helping me educate myself.

There is much complexity in the story that I won’t recount here, like all the warning signs early in the relationship and during the marriage, further details of the events before and after his arrest, the ongoing custody dispute (OMG—what is WRONG with the family courts??), and my own emotion spiral at various times in the whole thing — I have been far from strong in this. I have a wonderful family, a relentless attorney, a helpful counselor, and two very beautiful and loving children. Without them, I would have sunk beneath that dark water a year ago.

As of now, I’m just bobbing on the surface. I pray someday, I will be able to lift off and fly free of that abyssal pool. I am hopeful of that.

 

 


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10 Comments on "I didn’t want to admit my husband was a sociopath; now I realize how blind I was"

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it took me YEARS figure out, that he was NOT going to change, only to get worse as he got older. I too missed the ‘early warning’ signs,clues and the repeated warnings by friends, family to LEAVE him and never go back. NO amount of love, compassion, caring will ever FIX a person like this; all you can do is SAVE YOURSELF. Mind didnt stalk me, but he did threaten (message passed along from one of our grown sons) to KILL me, and I would have NO warning. This happened once. He has tried to connect with me, through Facebook, but I blocked him. I, too, have read much; education about people like this is SO important. I dont date either, and its been almost 20 years, since divorce. I dont trust anyone NOT to hurt me, if given the chance.

One can not imagine how had it is.I have lost every aspect of my being because of my involvement with the man including my face become completely paralyzed on the right side due to the hardship I have been through and eventually stumbling on the terms Psychopath on the Internet as I was looking for answers to what was and what is happening to me. Yes I hit rock bottom and there was no escape, no escape what so ever and even if I wanted to just move to a new location I would not have been able to as I had just come out of hospital with a new born via C section plus my other 3 kids 2 4 and 9 in 2015. I needed some answers immediately so I would just sit on the dining with my new born safely clutched in my arms for hours just typing awey on Google search .The answer was there I will never forget it.

‘You could be involved with a PSYCHOPATH’

I clicked on that word PSYCHOPATH and it was. The answer.

A few clicks here and there led me to Lovefraud.com. This website has saved my life or it has given me something that I can use to redem my self and hopefully after years of serious dedication and hard work I will be whole again. Yes mine is full blown Psychopath and less than 2 months in the relationship almost 11years ago, I, being all knowing,combined with my codependency nature and tendency, diagnosed him with depression. I am not evil a professional. He ‘accepted ‘ that diagnosis and so the journey began. It is painful. The shock of realising that I was dealing with a psychopath and how he ate life out of me was too much. My body eventually responded to the enormous stress and I developed Bell’s Parlsy. I become so obsessed with his personality that all I did was read…I read extensively.

Naturally I let him back after a year apart even with all the knowledge I had and after every thing was out in the open. I am not even going to talk about the different women I knew nothing about. Of course I knew he had cheated on me ones or twice earlier in the relationship. But honestly in my books I would be like how can a man as sick and distributed and depressed as this man ask a lady out? Which woman can even go out with him? We had even stopped sharing the bed.All I was doing as far as I am concerned was caring for a very sick man who could not keep a job and had a bad drinking problem a terrible childhood, trauma and all.

Imagine waking up to the realisation that non of the above applies to the man in question.

Well to cut the long story short I let him back with the excuse of the kids missing him and also with the mind set that I can handle him more importantly I wanted to see for my self how he constitutes Mask of Sanity. I knew he had different masks which I used to refer to as modes
. I knew everything about this man but I did not have name or term for all his symptoms and his disorder but thanks to love fraud I now know.

After I had learned alot about the tools psychopaths use to manipulate I started having fun with this man by countering his actions. He became a open book and I could not believe how easy I was for him to manipulate over the years . I felt really embarrassed with my self. He is a master one of the most dangerous man on earth especially because he is very charming fit handsome the best love one can ever have if he decides to turn all of the above on.

Obviously the psychopath won as I completely got sucked back in while at my own game. Sadly.

This is how confusing I become in dealing with the whole situation. But I am not giving up on my self. I have no friends. No family as I live in a foreign country. No money as he as destroyed every aspect of my life. So once again for the millionth time I have asked him to leave and I have established NC. The addiction is too much but I am not giving up now after losing ten years of my youth and giving my whole and my wholesomeness to an Illusion. So help me God. Thank fellow fighters.

freedom101, you must not UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES allow this man back again. I know you are very curious about what he is, and you very much want to understand how he works. I wrote the original letter to Donna above, so I know all too well that you need badly to understand this person. But you must learn to understand him, as best you can, from afar. Do not, Do Not, DO NOT let him come back. As much as you educate yourself, the spath will still surprise you. Despite my year of intense research on cluster B disordered individuals (antisocials, borderlines, narcissists), my very dangerous ex spath continues to surprise me. Whether he ever physically abused you or not, he is still dangerous. Stay away, at all costs.

I so agree.

Thank you so much rosered.It is true that I should embark on the healing journey. I am too scared of the world right now if we have to share it with people like the man in question. No body knows about his disorder except for one woman he had been using for sex for 5years. She had no idea he even had one girlfriend let alone kids and a wife. She got so shocked and was admitted to hospital.
She was admitted in hospital for two reasons actually.
Someone tried to run her over twice while she was riding her bike at night just days after she exposed the psychopath to me and I did the same to her.
The professionals at the hospital told her that she was dealing with a psychopath.

I rang her to check on how she was doing as we just were supporting each other. I had a new born at the time and I was on my own. She wouldn’t pick up my phone but a few days she did and sounded very scared telling me she did not want to talk to me anymore. I know she is educated and is a police officer. I did not beat around the bush and asked her if she thought this guy could be a psychopath. She was like omg just ring the police now and tell them what you just told me. She told me to give the police her number, indicating that she had already notified the police about the all incident ie some one trying to run her over twice. She believes it’s him. Other than that no one else know. At work he is the most hard working and loyal stuff who is not involved in any conflicts at all.
So he walks the world freely.

Dear original poster (I did not catch your username): You have a gift for writing. The ability to feel your feelings and then to share them in an articulate way as you have done is powerful.

Thanks for that. If I can let some of the pain by writing them I will. Fellow fighters on this blog will understand what I am talking about. I don’t even waste my time trying to explain the whole thing to other people as he is a very difficult person out there I did not even know that he sold me very cheaply out there and every one believed him.E.g that I am controlling, I throw him out so I can bring my ex in,I channel all his money back to African to my family. The list is endless. It’s just too painful as I was the one doing everything financial and on top of it all I could not be stable with work as I had to relay on him to look after the kids. He abused me emotional so cruelly doing things like taking the car keys and disappearing just minus before I could leave for work. I would just be standing there completely shocked at how sick he was and instead of seeing it as abuse,I would just wounder how I can help him. He did that over and and over.Eventually I gave up work. The all thing is just too much to comprehend. I aslo know that he picks up a fight with me if he wants to go out and meet up with a woman. The chaos he could create out of nowhere is almost laughable if I think about it now. I would ask him to leave after pushing my buttons beyond the level any human being can handle. That same night he would walk straight to another women’s house and be the guy who just got back from a business trip. I spoke with the woman to whom he presented as a very busy business man who travels alot. This is just one woman with countless other. Some or most of them knew me but they were more than happy to supply the poor guy being treated horrible by ‘that woman’ as they all refer to me that way. His HUMBLE MASK is too scary because it is believable and he wears it without any effort. He is the deadliest Psychopath. His Dominant Mask is the Humble Mask.The one I fell in love with.The one I am still stuck with. The Humble Mask is also very handsome and attractive. I have seen and know all his mask. The Devil Mask.The Disfunctional Teen Mask.The Family Man Mask for when we are going out as a family. It’my favorite mask. It can determining if we are in for a bad day out or a disastrous one. I knew all these masks very early in the relationship before I learnt about psychopaths and the mask of Sanity.I knew he was different and I used to tell my self that the guy is interesting, I can write a book about him only I could not place it to a personality disorder.

I dont know anymore wether mine is a true sociopath or I am loosing my mind. He has shown definite signs of one but then he acts like a child as if he is not able to do anything by himself let alone plan evil plots. Acting all kind and willing to show he had insight of why he did the filthy stuff he did and didn’t show any remorse or regret for it before, but willing to now make steps to amend and change his behaviour.I found out a few months ago that he has been fooling around in bars and online with many women and and trying to meet up but i cant be certain he actually did but the things i found are filthy enough and broke my heart. When I found out he hardly showed any consideration for my feelings and even told me bluntly the same day he was going to meet this woman he met the night before again to see if she was serious for a relationship while I just found out he spend a few hours with her at night in a bar with hookers.
Since then he obviously continued his games online while he was living in an other countryside his job while I tried to work on myself to fix our marriage. I thought if I would work on myself things could be fixed. I thought maybe he went through a phase after some difficulties at work and between us and midlife crisi. Every time I found out his adventures he would kinda say he wouldn’t do it again but i would find stuff again making me feel as if I was the crazy one and had trust issues. I actually always felt something was off but couldn’t find what it was. Now that I write all this I feel what a fool I will be to believe his plea of tonight that he found out why he did the things he did and that he as an Alfa male shouldn’t do this attention seeking stuff to feel good about himself but the opposite by being a good husband and father and son.
He shows affection and love for our cat, I write this as it makes me doubt he has no feelings. It’s just so confusing and I have 2 young kids with him which scares me the most.

They can pick on one thing and tend to show a human side of them through that.My psychopath is into our four year old son.I don’t think he even sees the other kids as he has no problem showing us all that our son is his favorite. He can buy stuff just for the boy present it while all the other kids are watching. We all
do that sometimes in a normal healthy way but obviously his way is totally unacceptable. He has no problem abandoning us all at any given time to be with other women, including his beloved son. Any one can be confused about that.

Don’t let his apparent affection for your pet fool you. My spath acted as though he dearly loved my oldest dog. He had even “jokingly” claimed he would get her in the “divorce” if we ever split. Guess who got left behind like a sack of potatoes after the split, though? Yup, his “beloved” pup. The day the children and I left, he even said to “make sure you take the damn dogs.” Yeah, don’t be fooled. In the end, it didn’t matter to me, as I love the dogs, the cat, and the children enough for both of us.

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