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It’s Not About The Sociopath – It Never Has Been

Thank you. My last post seems to have stirred up some strong emotions. Then again I guess that’s my responsibility as a writer — to reach people and get the feelings going. Movement, after all, is surely the only way we can go forward? At the same time, my intent is to stir positive responses, so I decided that this week it would be a good idea to share a bit about the methods I’ve been using to help with my own healing. I recognise that for some the following article may be a bit tricky to digest – which is why I thought long and hard before deciding to post. I remember when I first discovered that everything I had believed in was just a lie, I was far too raw to ever have been able to contemplate some of the things I am about to share with you – my heart and my love goes out to all of you who are in that place. I know from my own experience that it takes time to come through – and the most important thing is to be gentle on ourselves during the healing process, particularly in the early days. I hope that for others of you who are already on the move, my message is more immediately helpful. Either way, my heartfelt wish is that this can be a useful piece for you here on Lovefraud – now and/or in the future.

Okay… I started by talking about my ”˜responsibility’ and so this week I have chosen to write about my take on the meaning of the word.

Before going in to that in any detail, I’d like to start off by saying that I believe all of us (yes ALL of us) already have the power to heal. I get the feeling though (certainly from my own experience) that many of us have forgotten that we have a huge inner resource of strength and power. I acknowledge that through our relationships with abusive people, our inner strength can be pushed down, boxed, manipulated and damaged to the point where we believe we really are useless and powerless. That we’ve become the small weak person the sociopaths would have us believe. That we end up thinking “well, he/she was right all along. I’m worthless. They’ve won”

And I’m here to say that I believe this is simply not the case. I’m aware this may appear somewhat controversial, but I invite you to consider the notion that perhaps it is BECAUSE of our inner strength that the sociopath was attracted in the first place? That, perhaps, it’s BECAUSE we have love in our hearts and a strong soul they wanted to possess and control us? After all, assuming that’s the case, then we already have — we’ve ALWAYS had — the very things that they can never EVER attain for themselves. So now it’s up to us to reclaim ourselves — to find a way where we can stand up tall and proud, and become the person we truly are. That, at least, has been my take during my journey, and I’d like to start sharing some of the techniques that have helped me along the way.

So let’s continue with the word ”˜responsibility’. For many, the word invokes heavy or burdensome connotations. In my leadership training groups for example, delegates often tell me that they feel a weight on their shoulders, or a need to behave in a certain way so that they can fulfill the serious expectations that responsibility carries with it. They perceive it as a load, something they have to carry — so the word itself, therefore, can often have negative associations. And I think that’s a shame”¦ I also think it’s untrue.

I’m sure you can imagine the scene when I bring this up with leadership groups. I will often be met with a room full of suddenly the folded arms and a series of harrumphs as delegates hunker down for a battle. “What?” they’ll grumble “We are leaders! We have to bear the burden of responsibility! It’s not easy you know!” And this is where the training starts.

The same as I do with these groups, I would like to invite you to explore another perspective. One that, in my opinion, can be a much more empowering way to look at what responsibility really means.

Let’s imagine, for a moment, that we can break the word in to two — “response” and “ability—¦. Meaning our ability to respond. Or, if you prefer, our choice as to how we are going to respond to a situation. It’s our opportunity to re-consider our actions, rather than coming back with a habitual or emotion-driven response.

It’s like this, you see. I often witness people telling me that “it’s his/her fault” or “my boss is to blame for my unhappiness in my job” or “my family makes me feel bad” or “that psychopath ex still makes me boil with fury”. You get the picture?

I believe with all my heart and soul, that the more we place the ”˜blame’ on another person or situation, all we are doing is giving away our own power. We can shout and roar as much as we like — or mumble and whisper, it doesn’t really matter. My point is that while we continue to focus outside of ourselves we are blocking our own ability to develop. The result is that instead of moving forward, we remain stuck in the very place we say we don’t like!

Imagine, for a moment, that you are pointing your finger at someone — or something. You’ll most likely have your index finger pointing out, with the rest of your hand curled in to a loose fist shape. All your frustrations are directed outside of you along that one finger. Don’t get me wrong, it may well feel good to do that… but at the same time, I’d like you to consider where your other fingers are pointing. Who are they pointing to? Who, therefore, might we be forgetting during a (justifiable) outpouring of frustration? Yup, we’re forgetting ourselves in the matter.

Again, at this point, my leadership groups will often become even more agitated “What, you’re telling me that it’s MY fault? That I’M to blame?” Of course, this is not the message I am giving them. But they have become so wrapped up in their frustration at whatever situation it is we’re discussing, that they find it difficult to move beyond that point. As I said earlier, they remain stuck.

No, the point I am making is to recognize that for the one finger that’s pointing away from us, we have three more pointing back at us. This hand gesture invites us to consider what else we can do in any given situation. It’s a reminder that we have more control than we often think. Three times the power. Three times more choices available to us. Because we have the opportunity to decide exactly how we are going to respond at any time – it’s just up to us to make the most of it.

OK, you may be thinking, that’s all well and good, but what does that mean to me? How can that help me in my situation?  Or, as some delegates insist on telling me at the beginning of a training course “Well, it’s different for me you know!” Of course it’s different for them — it’s different for us all. And that, paradoxically, is where it’s also exactly the same. Because each and every one of us is unique.

It’s true, we can’t necessarily change the behavior of another. But we can always change our own behavior. And by changing our own behavior, well, then we’ve broken the communication dance of which we find ourselves a part. I’ll explain what I mean. Imagine you are going to shake somebody’s hand. They will give you their hand and you will shake it — because that’s what’s expected. That’s the automatic response, the well-rehearsed ”˜steps’ that we’re used to dancing. Now this time, imagine instead that when you go to shake that same person’s hand, you pull away at the last moment. What happens to that other person? They will have to do something different, because you have broken the dance. Do you see what I am getting at?

For me, quite early on in my healing, I decided that I would have a different response to matters every time I felt hurt, confused or downright furious at the situation I found myself in. I chose to ‘break the dance’. Don’t get me wrong, it didn’t come easy. But with practice, I discovered I felt freer and lighter as a result.

I acknowledge that my next statement is likely to prove controversial, but I decided that I would consciously choose to thank my ex for his actions, rather than dwell on the pain and suffering. I decided that each time I was hit with yet another debt, or more evidence of his betrayals, instead of automatically pointing the finger I would instead stop, get myself still, take a deep breath and ask myself “what can I do to feel better? How can I use my own power to make a positive difference to this situation?”

That’s when the learning happens. That’s when my brain searches for other alternatives. That’s when I look around my surroundings and realize that I’m still alive. I have my son. I have food on my table. I no longer have to pander to his demands — I am no longer the squashed manipulated woman I had been for far too long. And all of a sudden I can start to feel grateful. Grateful that he’s gone. Grateful that I have the opportunity to rebuild my life — for me. And, as I said before, it usually ends up with my thanking my ex. It doesn’t mean I forgive his actions. Neither does it mean that I feel any compassion for him. It DOES mean that I’m free from the pain — and that is a gift to myself.

It’s not easy — I’ve said that before. To quote the phrase ”˜better the devil you know’ it often seems easier to stay with the old habits. Those same old habits that keep us stuck. Change and healing takes determination — and when things don’t go quite as planned we can get discouraged. But how do we resist the temptation to dwell on the difficulties? To fall back in to the gaping hole of misery? I believe the solution is to identify a ”˜space’ where we can feel good — if not good, then at the very least a bit better! For me, I often use music to help me change the way I feel — two of my regular song choices have been Labbi Syffre’s “Something Inside So Strong” and Nina Simone’s “I Got Life” (with the accompanying video to a yoghurt advert). I also write to change my mood. One of my best friends goes out to tend her garden, another turns to cooking, and another takes himself out for a walk. What we do doesn’t matter in the slightest — it’s just about finding something, anything that can help us stay on track to achieving our end goal. To heal and to reclaim our life.

As I have said many times on my blog, this is NOT about him, it never has been. This is about ME. Since discovering the truth I have refused to allow him to impact on my journey — no matter how hard he may have tried to hurt me, I simply will not let it happen anymore. I can always choose my own responses, no matter what is going on around me — and most of the time that is exactly what I do. Yes, there are times when I forget, and there are many more times when it’s been hard work to find an alternative. But with persistence, focus, and a determination to create a better life for my son and myself, most of the times I get there.

For all of us who have been hurt by someone else, the most important thing is to remember that we DO have the power to do something about it. We CAN change the way we feel, and by doing so we change our immediate experience and increase our ability to heal. Perhaps our biggest challenge is simply to acknowledge that fact. As I said earlier, I am convinced that we must already have demonstrated our inner strength to attract a sociopath in the first place. Does that mean we should now hide our light under a bushel? Does that mean we should now stay in the fear and pain? Or does that mean we should reclaim who we are, fan the flames of passion and become even stronger than we were before? Surely that’s the best revenge against those who tried to put us down in the first place, isn’t it?

So next time a proverbial ‘hand’ is offered to you, are you going to shake it automatically? Are you going to continue with a habitual response? Or are you going to move your hand away, step back and take control of the dance? It’s up to all of us, of course, to choose the route we take — not just sometimes, but all of the time.

Incidentally, once my leadership groups grasp the sense of what I mean, I am always met with a room full of calm and smiling faces. They feel safe in the knowledge that responsibility is something they’ve always had — it’s just that now they know how to use it more wisely.

I hope this has been helpful — I welcome your thoughts and feedback.

Until next week, love and blessings to all my new friends here on Lovefraud!

 


Comment on this article

287 Comments on "It’s Not About The Sociopath – It Never Has Been"

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Wow. Thanks for this…it came just when needed most.

I loved your statements, “I believe all of us…have the power to heal.”

And, “Perhaps it is BECAUSE of our inner strength that the sociopath was attracted in the first place? … perhaps, it’s BECAUSE we have love in our hearts and a strong soul they wanted to possess and control us?… So now it’s up to us to reclaim ourselves ”“ to find a way where we can stand up tall and proud, and become the person we truly are.”

Very powerful words, thanks for sharing them.

THANK YOU ON THIS DAY OF ALL DAYS MEL! xxoo
YOUR WORDS AND THOUGHTS ARE A BLESSING.

DUPED NO MORE

This is a really great article, thank you 🙂

Dang, I thought I was doing a lot better and then I tried to get back into the dating world. Does anyone else have a lot of trouble with new relationships after the sociopath?

It brings back so many bad memories for me, and anything they do that even reminds me of the spath makes me think about him. (Something as simple as typing like thisssss). And then any flaw they have makes me think “ugh, the spath never had that flaw” – and then I remember the spath wasn’t a real person. He was a mirror image of exactly what I wanted. I think the hardest part of that is the sexual mirror imaging. Finding someone that seemed to perfectly compatible with me, it consumed me. I guess anyone’s first time will be the hardest to forget, but I hate that that experience was stolen by him. I guess I’m really not done the healing process yet.

I had a strong desire to look at his new bf’s Facebook today too, but I didn’t.

I think now I just get two conflicting emotions:

1. Anger at how horribly he treated me

and

2. Missing the “perfect” relationship

These both get much stronger when I’m with someone else, especially if things aren’t working out well. Then all I can think about is how I’m about to be single again, and he still has his new “flawless” relationship. It’s not even jealousy, it just makes me sick

Hi. I dont expect anyone to feel sorry for me as I have done something I regret but I could use some advice. I am a married woman with 3 amazing children. 4 years ago I was having trouble in my marriage and I fell for a man I met on the Internet who I now know is a sociopath. He gave me just what I needed when I needed it. He made me feel like I was the most amazing woman in the world. We talked all the time. So much so that I lost my job. If I couldn’t talk he would feel although I didn’t love him. It was flattering at the time. We lived far from one another but we would risk (he was married too) our lives and meet each other in different locations around the country. I started to really wonder when I noticed he would always take someone else’s tragedy and make
it his tragedy. If I didnt give him the remorse he felt he deserved I was insensitive. Hanging out at bars or with my family was not cool for me but he could do it and when I pointed out the conflict,I was the hypocrite.
This went on for years and after year 3 his wife found out (or so he says). We had plans to meet that weekend she found out. Needless to
say our plans were only altered but not by much. I started to see more
and more how manipulative he could be as I saw how he delt with his
wife. His goal was to continue with our relationship, toned down, until he
could regain her trust again. He alwas told me he loved me, that he
never loved his wife and feels bad that he ever married her as he never
loved her. He said he never love anyone like he loved me. Even asked me to merry him I did feel the same, still do. I couldn’t believe he had
this opportunity to make the break he always said he wanted yet he
wouldn’t. This was not the first time he got caught and then she didn’t
leave him. This time she worked even harder to please him as her turned
it around to make her think it was all her. She was to blame and she
bought it. That was when I said enough. How could a man do that to the
mother of his child even if he didn’t love her. He is destroying her to to
satisfy his own agenda and she let’s him. I knew then that he would do
the same to me. The examples are just a few I broke it off after 4 years
but I miss the passion we had. I feel so empty. A small part of me wants
to accept his ASPD but his wife has taught me (unknowingly) that it’s not
a good idea. I confronted this man to let him know that i knew who he
really was i hoped this would keep me from longing for him The issues I
had in my marriage are still there, maybe worse. I believe my
relationship with this man kept my marriage Together but that’s another story. I want to move on with my life but I miss the relationship. I could use any advice in regards to how to move past this and become a better person.

together. That’s another story. I want to move on with my life but I miss this man so much. I could use any advice in regards to strategies on how to move on.

Dear Idiot: Thank you for your honesty in sharing your story with us. First of all, you need to get this other man OUT of your life and realize you are second to him, even if you are both married. Marriage should never tarnish a true and abiding friendship on either of your parts. Right?

Your story, once again, sounds like everyone elses. I could tell you that if I change the name on the top of your post, it could be MY POST! 🙂

It takes a long while to get over the pain and hurt their devastation has brought to our lives. You need to read on further, here, at the site, and find out the kind of person you have been REALLY dealing with. If they lie and cheat once, they will continue to. You need to break that cycle. Once you do, you will find freedom and release from these taunting memories. I don’t mean to sound so upfront and harsh, but the only way to stop the pain is to just not participate anymore. At first, the initial ‘haze’ will seem to overtake you but after a while, if you abide by no contact, that suffering will slowly subside if you want it to bad enough.

Your responsibility is to worry about YOU and your marriage and let him worry about his. I played this ‘roadshow’ with my ‘so called friend’ for 9 years before he tried to harm me. Oh yah, the romance was spectacular! The best ever! That is because it was all a fantasy and a lie from get-go. I allowed myself to give IT just enough inspiration that IT was able to string me along by providing all the right reinforcements for me to believe in that dream and fantasy.

Yes, we have to become harder inside and sometimes make choices we don’t really want to – hard choices. I still love that dream and that fantasy too. It was so perfect but the reason it was so perfect is because I WANTED IT TO BE THAT WAY and was in DENIAL.

I say: once a beater, a cheater, a liar, a thief, always a beater, a cheater, a liar and a thief. If anyone in our lives can betray us, they aren’t worth having. Period. If they betray us once, they will keep doing it and I am not going to keep subjecting myself to this kind of treatment.

I wish you peace and success in your life, idiot. I don’t think you are an idiot, by the way – I think you are a warm hearted person looking for all the same things we are – someone secure and warm and loving and kind; someone who fills all those empty spaces inside us and brings us joy and happiness.

NOBODY can do that for us, but ourselves. Once we grab ahold of THAT reality, then we allow ourselves to become truly happy.

Read more on our site idiot and welcome.

*BLESSINGS*

Duped No More

oh my

lions, tigers and bears???

When I first came to LF, I had absolutely no idea about these people. I mean, I consider myself to be fairly educated and I have heard about them on crime shows but have never encountered one before, for myself, personally. Although I came from a very dysfunctional childhood, I have disciplined myself along the way in life to be a fairly honest, caring and compassionate person instead of choosing to let the ‘dark side’ rule my being.

How long have I been here now? What? Maybe 4-5 months? In that amount of time, combined with other therapy I have been going through, I have come to this point I am at right now, in my recovery, in THAT amount of time. Although I am not completely ‘out of the woods’ so to speak, and I still have issues, I consider my progress to be quite amazing considering it was largely in part to having this blog where we can share and kind of support and help one another. I am sure a lot of you can see the progress I have been making. It all comes very hard when attached to those heart strings. To me, this is one of the worse crimes and should be considered such. But, THEY always retort: “Well, you allowed yourself to walk right into it; didn’t you? So what is wrong WITH YOU?” That’s what I was told by “IT”. Nice friend. I take that back – ROTTEN FRIEND. Not even worth the thoughts….

Duped

Dupey – I was told by friends and family ” You got burned, get over it” so I stopped talkin about it to them, this is the only place where I felt understood…..I am pretty much ‘over it’ but bad burn’s leave scars.

Duped- thanks for your response. You said “once a cheater, always a cheater”. That includes me. I don’t think I’m a cheater like that. There were so many issues with my spouse at the time. I just wanted what he so easly gave me. Maybe I am no different than him. He always told me i was no different maybe that makes him feel better How do I know I too am not a sociopath? I would think I would know but what if I didn’t? What if I’m wrong about him. There have been so many times I would need his help like school papers and he was so wonderful in helping as he is above average in iq. He loved to listen to me talk. He loved my,what he perceived as” innocence. I wasn’t that innocent. He hated my music yet took it as a personal attack if I didn’t adapt to his music right off the bat. Almost as if once I heard it I should right away fall in love with it or he would take it personally, as me rejecting him. I remember on our first encounter, should have been my clue, we were walking to dinner and all of a sudden a car drove by. He said to me, that girl is checking me out. Later I asked him why he said that. He said I wasn’t giving him enough attention and he needed me to step it up. I guess I still wonder if i am way off. If there is nothing wrong with him and if I am just looking for a reason. I’m in way too deep aren’t I? I’m an idiot. I’m so confused because I want that passion, now I think I’ll never get it from anyone but a sociopath.

Welcome Idiot…There is a book called “Women who Love Sociopaths” …another I would recommend is ‘Meaning from Madness’ by Richard Skerrit….seems to me you are trying to figure out alot of things, many times our Life Lesson starts out about the toxic person in our life but ends up being about us…best wishes on your journey…

Duped ~ Did I see a post earlier today asking about changing your name? You just have to look at the menu down the left of the page and click on “Change Your Profile”. It’s under the word META. It will take you to your profile page. Scroll down to where it says display name publicly as:……………….

h2h

Hens ~ Hugs buddy! Those scars do fade with time. 😉

Hens- rereading my post, yes I’m all over the place. It’s nice to have someplace to go to hear about what others have gone through. It’s hard for me to believe that I was willing to accept this behavior as I am an educated woman with a wonderful career. I am smarter than that. I guess it’s not about smart, it’s about need. Maybe I needed from him the same thing he needed from me but for different reasons. How does that make me any different. I can’t tell you how many times I thought his wife would leave him after what he did and I would think “I’m not ready to make a chnge”. It’s like I expected something from him I wasn’t ready to give. Maybe the difference was I wasn’t ready at the time, I knew I would be but it would take time to make a smooth transition.

Thanks H2 and you 2 hens – oh that is a great book:
“Women who Love Sociopaths”. You should read it idiot.
No, you are NOT an idiot. You need to change your name! Like I am going to! 🙂 I am sorry hens that people are like that…they don’t want to listen to our ruminations. I pay someone to listen to that, once a week. 🙂 And that’s all it is. It’s like an addiction that needs to wear off and as soon as it does, I will have my feet on the ground again. Like spath tourette’s. 😉

idiot: you must believe in YOU and focus on YOU now. Let it go by the wayside and realize you need to focus ON YOU. I can relate to having that ‘un-stifled’ kind of affection and attention. It is exciting and fresh. I can relate. I am not judging but we present ourselves with a paradox when we find our actions acceptable and anothers unacceptable while being one in the same. At least it works that way for me.

There are some amazing articles here on LF. Please do read on. Life is an amazing journey and it’s all what we make it. I wish you love, health, happiness and peace on your journey, idiot. I so hate calling you that! 🙂

*HUGS*

Duped

p.s. heading over to change my name…thanks again H2H!

Hmmm….
Did the change work?

nope…back to the drawing board…

Hello Idiot (ya gotta change the name b/c I hate saying that about someone)

I might have missed something. How do you know he’s ASPD?

IF he is, here’s something to think about. What if you found out the man you shared such passion was a pedophile and the only reason he felt passion was b/c he wanted access to children? That’s what the dynamics of passion with an ASPD is all about. They are predators. NOTHING was real. It was a ruse, he had an ulterior motive that had nothing to do with passion. He just played on your need and b/c of his predatory nature, you were easy to dupe. IF a pedophile isn’t appealing and would turn your stomach after, then someone with the same nature should also be revolting to you.

Step two is obvious. You need to explore yourself to accept your personality or make changes to have the one you want. You accepted HIS behavior AND yours. A Therapist is your best solution b/c HE may be gone but you still have to deal with your situation.

By golley, I think I have it this time!
Have a good evening to you all.

Love & HUGS

Dear idiot ~ (tho I hate to call you that.) A person who is s/p does not feel compassion for others, or even love for that matter. They are completely self-absorbed, with no regard for anyone else. They do not feel remorse. They are predators, cold-blooded predators.

We all make mistakes. The difference between us and s/p’s is we regret our mistakes and try to make amends. They just trash other’s lives and move on to the next victim.

h2h

DUPED NO MORE:

Glad to see you changed your name!

idiot:

You need to read “The Betrayal Bond.” I am reading it right now and it is teaching me so much, so, so much. This book is a great resource. It really spells out what our issues may be. It sounds like you are really searching yourself and could benefit from reading it.

I appreciate the feedback.
Katy- I don’t for sure he as ASPD. I just had a gut feeling something was very wrong. Every time I would research it, it was clear but I would always find a way to disprove my theory. Our last conversation sealed the deal. The only grate he does not possess that I know of is violence. He is, based on the professionals and their research, the real thing. The pedophile example is a good one. For some reason I would protect my kids before myself. Maybe I think I can Handel myself. Tell you what, compared to his wife, I’m much better at dealing with it. I feel so sorry for her. That she has bought into his manipulation no questions asked. Well ok, questions, but never willing to face the truth.

Duped- I know I will get through this I just need to have a through understanding. Only then will I not beat myself up.

Hope- yes I see you are saying. Just want what I had with him in life. It would be nice if I could have something close to it with my husband but I just don’t see it

Dear Dedunomo,,,duhnomo, nomo, denomo,,, Dupednomo – welcome ~!

idiot ~ REALLY don’t like calling you that. Please remember: What you had with him was an ILLUSION. It could not possibly be real with an s/p.

If you truly want to have that dream, maybe you could achieve it with your husband. Think about the things that seemed so great with the other guy. Is there something preventing them from being the “real thing” with your husband?

h2h

Hens! ~ I didn’t know you could sing!! lmao

[email protected] hens – that’s what I sound like in the mornings before my decaf!!!! mwahhhhh! hens xxoo

hahahaha at H2H – good one…
I thought it was just lovely hens…

ok new rule – all user names must be 6 letters or less – sheesh ~!

is that too long hens?
Any suggestions?? 🙂

Dear Definitely Duped No More – I am to tired to answer that after writing your name….lol – it’s fine as long as you keep improving and making me smile….can I just call you Dupey?

dupedity doo duh dupedity ay –
sorry i hurt your fingers, hens xxoo

thank you for smiling for me….
you rock! Happy you are on this journey with me…

Love ~ Dupey

Ox are you ok?

Hens, yep, I’m fine, but it was 111 degrees here today, but we GOT RAIN!!!!!! I wasn’t home for the rain, had to drive a friend to town (she can’t drive after surgery) and so was in a neighboring town when the short storm passed through, but got an inch or so of rain….THANK YOU GOD!!!!!!

Oh wow: 111! Where are you Ox? I am in Southern Cali and it was 113 here earlier this afternoon. It is a little past 8:30 pm and still 84!! Keep cool in this heat! The humidity here has been UNBELIEVABLE! Happy to know you are okay, Ox…

You all have a good night. Important Dr. appointment for me tomorrow. Lots of tests coming up. Sleep well everyone…

Dupey

Hallelujah Ox you finally got RAIN!!! What a blessing!!

We got about 1/10th today. Just enough to keep the humidity way up. Although it was worse yesterday. Felt like a darn sauna outside!

Dupey ~ Keep yourself cool in this heat too! I hope that all of your tests come out well tomorrow. Sweet dreams. h2h

Dear Idiot: You will never have that romantic passion from a normal man that you’re looking to get from a spath. However normal men are a lot safer. Don’t ruin your marriage for the spath. When I was eleven years old my mother fell hard for a sociopath. She was married and so was he.
They had an affair going on for several years. My mother often stated the passion between her and my father was just not there. My mom and dad were upper middle class, and owned several properties. My dad was not a bad guy, things could have been better between them but my dad was a workaholic.
To make a long story short the spath talked mom into divorcing dad. Mom and dad split everything up and sold off their assets. The spath married my mother and worked when he felt like it. He lived off mom’s settlement from the divorce. As soon as the money was used up he was gone.
He just disappeared into the night one day. They had moved to Florida and when he disappeared he returned back up north to New England. Mom left us with grandma down in Florida and came back north to search for him. She eventually found him and told him she wanted him back.
He was already in a new relationship and told her to “get lost he wasn’t interested in going back with her.” Mom was taken a back and was in a state of shock that he would respond to her this way.
By the way, dad had remarried to a woman who appreciated him a lot more than mom and to this day has been happily married to her for 40 years. As for mother she had to work the rest of her life and live off her income. She is currently retired living off social security. After she blew through her divorce settlement she never had a pot to piss in.
She dated men after the spath but never found a man interested in marrying her. Mom is currently in her early 80’s. She currently lives in a condo that I own.
Were it not for that she’d be living in senior housing.
To this day mother lives in denial and denies she threw away her marriage to dad for the sociopath. However I thought I would post her story as this was a good time to do so and other’s could learn from her example.

Right on, Mel! I absolutely feel you’ve nailed the best recovery effect yet. We are response-able and respond to ourselves and OUR OWN needs is the best thing we can re-remember to do. I thought immediately of the old song about the “handshake, that hides a snake”.

I’ve lived half a life never feeling like I had a talent or contribution to society other than to live a good life, doing no harm, etc. But this experience (thank you, spath!) has opened my eyes to what I DO have, and that it is never too late to make the best of it. Now the lyrics that come to my heart are “I’m having the time of MY life!” Negativity begets negativity and positivity begets positivity. I don’t want to exercise because I’m too tired but each and every time I force myself to get up and do something, I feel so much better for having done it. Anything you do FOR yourself will pay great dividends and anything you do against yourself means you will pay for it, as well. It’s up to us to decide how to spend those efforts.

Joanie:

Great story…lots of lessons there. Thank you.

souljourner:

Thank you for the advice…good things to take in.

Great story Joannie, though sad.
It really illustrates how they waste other peoples’ lives. They have no lives of their own, so they can’t stand to see others have anything. Instead they parasitically suck whatever energy and life you have, then leave you when they think you are an empty shell. Thank God, I got away before I was completely destroyed.

Wow Joanie! What an amazing story. Maybe I am having a hard time telling if my marriage is bad or if it’s this experience with this man that is making me think so. One common thread I hear about with s paths is their desire for money and what it can get them. I knew my ex loved material things and never thought twice about it. After all he never asked me for anything. But the more I think about it the more I can pin point small things that may be just a taste of a huge lie. For example he always told me how perfect his credit was. Than a few months ago when he was on the verge of being kicked out he revealed to me that his wife reined his credit by not paying his bills out of spite (she was in charge of paying the bills). I couldn’t help but think he was setting the stage just in case. He has also mentioned before how his wife is upset because she does not feel like she makes enough money to make him happy. Not sure why anyone would ever think such a thing or maybe that was him telling me something. I guess that could happen but with all the other
bells going off I over analyze everything.

Idiot – as a mother who was chronically cheated on, I feel such empathy and pain for that spath’s wife. I was her. It took a lot for me to forgive the women who knowingly cheated with him, but mostly because they never apologized. It would have helped. Please consider doing that for her. It might help you, too.

I have thought about that but worry that she will tell him and he will in turn contact my husband. Your thoughts?

All I can say is that my compassion for the fact that they were put through the wringer with his lies as much as me was what brought my forgiveness. I know what you were seeking, and how alluring they can be, and I do understand. Amazingly. At the time, I really hated those women, and you should prepare for that and know that in the long run you did the right thing. She will forgive you in time. We all have to if we are to move on! Your husband has a right to know, too, but it should really come from you. People can move on past betrayal, and I’ve seen that couples can even grow stronger. I wish I can remember the site that helps with that. I’ll look it up for ya. It’s like LF, but there are bulletin boards that both the betrayed and betrayer can post to for advice. I’d start there by yourself and get advice from others first. I just want to emphasize that I DON’T think you’re a bad person or an idiot! You have a lot of courage, and I know you’ll do the right thing! We all make terrible errors in judgment. What sets us apart from spath’s is that we can hold ourselves accountable and make it right, as hard as that may be. (((NOT an idiot!))))

It’s called Surviving Infidelity. 🙂

Free mama. Thanks. The thought of contacting her is appealing but maybe she wants to forget. Maybe it will open a can of worms. I don’t agree that my husband needs to know. This is my burden to bare. I don’t need to put this on him to make myself feel better. I have called to make an appointment with a counselor. I have been seeing one for years to learn to cope with my perceived issues in my marriage. I think it’s time I come to terms with what I have allowed this man to do to me. I have also asked my husband if he wants our relationship to change. we have a lot of work ahead of us. I just need to stay focused on the future and although I am hard headed and like things the way I like them and my husband has his issues, I do have an amazing life. I’m so glad I found people who are going through some similar situations!

I’m sorry – but it sounds less like a “burden to bear” and more like “a secret I want to keep”. Keeping secrets means absolving yourself of wrongdoing because you want to continue enjoying your “amazing life”. That’s called having your cake and eating it, too! Of COURSE it will open a can of worms. It should be opened! I’m sure your infidelity would explain a lot of things for your husband. It sure explained the “issues” my spath blamed on me. The paranoia, anxiety, need to try and control an uncontrollable person. How much of your husband’s “issues” are really his? You initially said you felt regret, but I’m not seeing that. As you correctly pointed out, you want things your way. I really question your motivations here. If you’re hoping the spath should take all the blame because he didn’t do what you want, I personally can’t validate that for you. Remorse means making amends. It’s not about feeling better about yourself at all! I don’t care what your spouse has done, no one deserves betrayal. No one. Like I told my spath for years, “if you want to screw someone else that’s fine – just break up with me first!”. He didn’t show me that respect, and I feel like a fool for wasting my love on him all those years when I could have been with someone who actually loved me. Sorry guys – this just triggers some really nasty emotions for me. I’m truly sorry if I’m crossing a line here.

Freemamma – You are not crossing any line’s here at all. I understand why you are triggered. I think ‘idiot’ is not happy with her husband and not getting the buzz she needs, to me it would only be fair to divorce her husband so he can find an compatible partner and she could do the same…it seems to me she is hanging on to husband as an option or security blanket if Mr. Passion doesnt work out…no disrespect idiot, I understand how people can get involved with married spaths but this seems like an unsatisfactory situation for all involved..

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