By | December 18, 2014 8 Comments

I knew immediately something was wrong, but I felt trapped

Spath TalesEditor’s Note:  This SPATH Tale was submitted by the Lovefraud reader who posts under the name “sunshinejan.” The names in this story have been changed.

I married someone I met online after a relatively short courtship that I and friends/family felt was sufficient to answer our questions and made us feel secure as conservative evangelical Christians about his intentions and character.

Once I was married and moved out of the country away from my family and gave up my beloved profession and friends to be with him, I knew immediately something was wrong, but I felt trapped.

He abused my credit in two countries and lied before and during the marriage about his financial situation.

He played shell games with at least 12 credit card accounts (nine in my name) in two countries (that I know of) and took loans out against the house that was financed in my name and liquidated investments and retirement funds.

He made liberal use of gas lighting and other techniques of emotional abuse until I sought psychiatric help under the impression I was “crazy.”

He had unprotected sex with me when I was passed out from ambien repeatedly when I was off birth control and chronically ill and on multiple narcotics, heedless of the possible consequences to my health or that of a fetus’s.

He hid financial records and had statements sent to his work address so I wouldn’t see them, even the ones concerning my own accounts. Because he worked for a bank, he was able to navigate his way around the system very well, and friends and family and even therapists thought *I* was the crazy one.

After all, I’d have to be crazy to find fault with someone like Stan!

His external persona is that of a golly-geez Opie Taylor-esque good guy who wouldn’t hurt a fly — slightly awkward and dopey.

The real Stan, however, that I saw, had black shark eyes that were empty void recesses of selfishness.

The only thing the children and I ever meant to him, I believe to this day, were ways to legitimize him socially and benefit him financially (with my spotless credit and an opportunity to become a US citizen).

I don’t believe he’s even capable of love as other humans understand it.

We still suffer the consequences of his financial choices that have limited my children’s educational potential and quality of life.

He snuffed our lives out and we’re still struggling to rekindle our hope.


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I can totally relate to you. My ex negatively impacted my credit as well (while we were married, I let him handle our finances – big mistake!). Also, my ex comes across as such a swell guy, congenial, humble, etc. You’d never imagine him to be the type to take advantage of others. He’s slime. My kids and I still suffer the consequences of his choices as well. Their father is a sociopath, a human wrecking ball. Hopefully, it helps to know that you’re not alone.

I can so relate to this…most especially the financial decimation and being the one labeled, “crazy.” I look at the picture of him and his new wife on Facebook ( only see it periodically when it comes into my account because of our last names)…they look so content. And then I briefly remember the lies in divorce court…and the blatant disregard for my survival and that of my family.

You are NOT alone…and God Bless Donna for this site!


“His external persona is that of a golly-geez Opie Taylor-esque good guy who wouldn’t hurt a fly slightly awkward and dopey.

The real Stan, however, that I saw, had black shark eyes that were empty void recesses of selfishness.”

I can relate to this. The p-path I lived with for 10 years was a simple, straightforward, honest-to-a-fault, Southern good-old-boy.

In addition to feeling that one is familiar with the moral-compass of ones long-term intimate partner, we also believe that after many years together we know the partners intellectual range. This was one of the many things that f-ed with my mind after the Covert p-path’s mask was ripped off and I saw the soulless wolf.

I had a very hard time putting together the concept of the p-path being mentally and intellectually capable of plotting and carrying off the complex DAILY web of deceit that he practiced for a decade. How could I resolve that with the non-planning live-in-the-moment disorganized simpleton that I knew for 10 years?

Beyond not knowing his morality, I thought I knew the boundaries of his intellect. The fact that he could “act” a part for 10 years that included a different intellectual ability than what he actually has… well, this still shakes me to my core.

There was a recent article on this site that inspired many comments about p-paths playing covert roles that are not the “textbook” “Bravado-style_ p-path that the public is aware of (IF they are aware of p-paths at all).

Yes, there are p-paths that wear down their romantic partner with the force of their big-man-on-campus personality. Ultimately, they manipulate the partner to accept what she would have never in her worst nightmares imagined that she would allow…

BUT there is a sub-type that is Covert. Of course, the Covert p-path would love to pursue power via the force of his personality but he lacks the ability.

Just like the general public, p-paths exhibit the full range of abilities – mental, social, physical… Just as the majority of the general public could not physically be professional athletes, the majority of us don’t have the personality to be successful politicians or wall street giants or religious gurus with followers. Well, I believe that most p-paths don’t possess the “power-personality” either.

MANY p-paths must take on a more covert role. The publicly known bravado-style p-path may be able to use the power and force of his dominant personality to get a partner to, for example, take him back after he has cheated, or even accept a one-sided open relationship. Using his forceful personality he can make an open land-grab for control of household or business finances.

On the other hand, the COVERT p-path must use deception to gain power. That’s the only card he has to play. Because that is his entire game, he has practiced deception all his lie and has mastered it.

Unlike the better known bravado-style p-path, the COVERT style p-path must NEVER let the mask slip, not until he has finished taking everything he wants from the victim and discards her/him.

The COVERT style of p-path may pick many styles of masks: geek; religious; victim, Mr. Meek; good-old-boy, etc.

Often the partner has already lowered her standards in allowing herself to get involved with this Covert p-path. But, she consoles herself that he “is such a good person” and “he is so devoted to me.”

It’s then a double whammy because the moment the mask is ripped off the only thing worthwhile about the piece-of-garbage Covert p-path is revealed to be a sick lie.

I believe that more attention needs to be paid to this Covert Style P-Path.


Wow Truthteller! You nailed it. I agree. I have been with both. And the reasons for the difference, I think you have a good explanation for. The bravado type I dated let his mask slip the first night, but then had such a dynamic and forceful personality that he was able to schmooze it away and keep coming at me. The covert I knew NEVER did anything of the sort. BUT, he was the one that is still popping up, stalking me, leaving me stuff on my porch (anonymously of course).

Different frosting. Same crap cake underneath.


Hi truthteller, I agree that more attention needs to be paid to the covert style p-path. I was with a man I thought was a true gentleman, family man and self-proclaimed geek for 4 years. My family all loved him, my son loved him. He never once dropped his mask until the very end of our relationship, and even then (I realise now) he only showed what he wanted me to see – just a glimpse of the cold predator he was, enough to leave me confused.

I became more and more confused during our 4 years. He was loving, positive, thoughtful and helpful on the one hand, but always had tidal wave of debt and creditors building up behind him. I saw him ruin other people’s lives but he always managed to have a credible sounding reason. I couldn’t believe how he could enjoy day to day life without stressing about what was going on around him. It was me who was constantly stressed by his financial and moral issues. He always told me he could “compartmentalise”. Ha! I now know that is a classic spath trait.

I felt like I was in a fog for the latter part of our relationship. Some part of me was beginning to see through the stories he told, but the rest of me was still in love and saw only the character he presented. There are so many incidents I remember as leaving me feeling perplexed. His words and actions were constantly opposing.

At the end of our relationship, just before we broke up, he once looked at me during a heart-felt discussion and said “I don’t care”. I was shocked not by the words but the look in his eyes. He was as cold as ice, a complete stranger.

The day I broke up with him I told him I believed he didn’t care. Interestingly, he kept up the helpful caring persona even through out breakup. I went through all the pain a normal person feels when breaking up even though I knew I couldn’t be with him any longer. He (I now know) had other plans and a seemingly amicable breakup with me helped him with his plans.

My ex-spath was so subtle (covert) in his abuse it took me almost 2 years after breaking up to fully believe he is a sociopath, and to know it wasn’t me.

Everything I read about psychopaths and sociopaths always mentioned their ‘rage’ and verbal abuse. He was far too intelligent for that.

He is currently being sued for over $1M by 3 creditors, but he has changed the name of his company (5 days before the first official claim against him), then aligned himself with another company so they are trading and not him, and has left the liquidators/receivers unable to nail him.

I look forward to the day when he goes down, but I’m not sure that day will ever come.


I posted here almost a year ago saying I look forward to the day he goes down… well, the High Court has just ruled against him in a 34 page judgment (very interesting reading!). The judge could clearly see through his lies (defence) and did not agree with anything the spath and his lawyer tried.

Judgment against him is for almost $1M plus court costs and interest.

My experiences with the spath and his family were very hard to get over. It’s now almost 4 years since we broke up and during this time I have fully renovated my house, have a great job, and finally feel ready to let a man back into my life (yes, I will be very careful).

I am surprised how long it has taken me to feel confident I will see through another disordered person. And how long it has taken for the ex spath to get a taste of his own medicine.

Whether he ever pays his debts, or whether the judgment will affect his businesses is yet to be seen.

The best thing is that I don’t care any more! 🙂


Good news that a semblance of justice has been done; and even better that you don’t care any more!

4 years or longer is not an unusual recovery time. It has been about that long since I got away from my ex psychopath, and I am sometimes surprised to realize that I have still not recovered in some areas of my life. Spaths do a lot of harm that runs deep.


I had a male friend with a platonic relationship of only a few weeks’ duration, who happened to be visiting me in hospital when I had an emergency C section! and was in attendance during that procedure (I am not making this up for shock purposes).

Talk about Trauma Bonding. Three decades later, he was filthy rich from inherited money and I had been sucked dry as flat as a reed.

Today it is impossible for even the most committed and dedicated gay couples to be sure of attending their partners’ final illness. Yet this person was allowed into my OR suite during a birth procedure, and by posing as my Partner was assumed to be Just That! From that moment forward, I was STUCK and HOW. Like teeth in the sucking Jaws of Death itself.

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