Lovefraud received the following essay from a reader whom we’ll call “Soundra.” Initials have been changed.
It started two years ago when I met T.L. through an on-line dating site. We talked on the phone for about a month before we actually met in person. Although T.L. was intelligent, well educated, and came from a good family, he wasn’t really my type physically. I also found him to be a little high strung, which I didn’t care for. He was interesting though, and he had a great sense of humor, which is always a positive with me, so I went out with him a few times.
After a few dates, I told T.L. that I thought it would be best if we didn’t date anymore, but that I would like for us to still be friends. He agreed to this. During this time, we both had jobs that caused us to have to travel often. Over the next several weeks while we were both on business trips, we talked on the phone and kept in touch. We decided that when we were both back in town we would have dinner together because after all, that’s what friends do. Little did I know that an innocent dinner with my new friend would be the start of a relationship that would eventually turn my life upside down.
During our dinner together T.L. was very kind and engaging, and I was really enjoying our conversation. Our dinner lasted for four hours, and I remember thinking to myself, why in the world wouldn’t I want to date this man? He’s such a nice person, and I really enjoy his company. I was hooked that night, and T.L. and I became inseparable for the next year and a half.
Badmouthing the ex
I knew that T.L. had been married once before. In fact, he had only been legally divorced for about a year when we met. His first marriage had only lasted three years, and he had no children. T.L. never had anything good to say about his ex-wife. In fact, he made her out to be a real bitch, and blamed the demise of their marriage completely on her. T.L. treated me so well though, that I believed everything he told me about his ex-wife, their marriage, and their divorce.
As time went on however, I started to notice little things about T.L. that concerned me. He would get upset very easily over petty little things. He would quickly blow off steam about them, and then just as quickly, he would get perfectly calm like nothing had ever happened.
He also had an unusual sleep disorder. There were times when he would wake up from being asleep, but he wouldn’t be completely alert. He would walk around in a daze and say and do weird and inappropriate things. He would eventually wake up completely, but he wouldn’t remember the things he had just said or done. I chalked all of these “little” things up to the fact that he was just being human.
Please take note that T.L. was never abusive to me during the time we were in a relationship. By all intents and purposes, we were very happy together. My family and friends liked him, and his family and friends liked me. I spent half of every week living with him at his house. We traveled and cooked together. We loved each other, or so it seemed, and eventually started making plans to get married.
We went on a trip during the holidays. We had a good time just like we always did. I remember, however, that on our way home he seemed distant. T.L. could be a little moody at times, so I just brushed off his distance to that.
Over the next week though, we didn’t see each other, which was very unusual for us. We did have several conversations over the phone, but they just seemed a little off to me. During one of these conversations he asked me, out of the blue, if we had to get married? Obviously, I was very hurt by that question, and very mad at him. We didn’t speak much over the next few days.
Then one day, in the middle of the afternoon while I was at work, I received an email from him telling me that he didn’t want us to see each other any longer. I was devastated! Over the next couple of months we had a few conversations, but he would never give me a straight answer about why he broke up with me so abruptly, and in such a mean and heartless way. He acted as though our break-up, and the way in which he did it, was no big deal.
I had a lot of personal items still at his house, but he wouldn’t let me have them. We also had another trip that was planned and paid for that we were supposed to go on several months later. Although I asked him several times, he would never give me a straight answer about what he wanted to do about our trip. The behavior T.L. exhibited after he broke up with me was not the behavior of the man I fell in love with. I didn’t know this person at all!
Something more going on
Everything finally came to a head one weekend. My instincts were telling me that there was something more going on. Through some investigation, I found out that T.L. had canceled my airline ticket for our upcoming trip just days after he broke up with me. I also found out that he had immediately re-purchased an airline ticket in another women’s name! That’s how I found out he had been cheating on me.
When I found out that he had been cheating, I decided to go to his house to confront him and to finally get my personal items that he was still holding hostage. My instinct was telling me that the other women would be there with him, but I didn’t care. I wanted him to know that I had found out the truth about what was really going on.
When I arrived at his house and confronted him he blew up at me and became completely enraged! He screamed at me at the top of his lungs, cursed at me, and called me horrible names. This was the first and only time he was abusive to me, and yes, the other woman was there witnessing everything. T.L. was so out of control that I had to call the police.
Meeting the ex-wife
After this incident, my instincts kicked in again. I still felt that there had to be more to this whole situation, so I decided to track down T.L.’s ex-wife. I had never met her, but I knew where she worked. I called her, and she agreed to meet with me. We talked for over two hours. Needless to say, she wasn’t at all the bitch T.L. had made her out to be. She was a lovely, warm, and caring woman.
Through our conversation, I found out that everything T.L. had told me about her, their marriage and their divorce was nothing but lies! She told me that as soon as they were married he turned on her, and treated her terribly throughout their marriage. T.L. had taken the truth about his marriage and divorce, and twisted everything so that he looked good and she looked horrible. He had made his stories just convincing enough that I would never suspect that they weren’t true.
Learning about sociopaths
There is more to my story than I’m able to write in this letter. Finding out that the man I spent a year and a half of my life with, planned on marrying, and whom I loved and trusted with all of my heart was really just an expert liar, deceiver and manipulator completely devastated me.
Through therapy I found out that the psychological term for a person like this is “Sociopath.” For a long time I blamed myself for what happened. I thought that there must have been something I did or didn’t do that caused this once kind and loving man to turn on me so quickly. My therapist helped me to realize that none of this was my fault, and that I was just a victim of this man who has very deep issues. There was nothing I could have done or not have done that would have kept him from doing what he did to me.
The way T.L. verbally abused me the night I confronted him about his cheating was his true self coming out. I had never seen that side of him before, nor did I ever think in a million years that he would cheat on me. He hid who he really was very well. Once he had gotten everything he wanted from our relationship and was done with me, he let who he really is come out.
This is how a Sociopath operates. I’m just fortunate that my relationship with him ended before we got married, or I’m sure that he would have done even more damage to my life. I’m also fortunate that I have faith in God, a lot of support from my family, friends, and yes, even T.L.’s ex-wife, or I don’t think I would have gotten through this horrible time in my life. I still have days that are hard, but they’re happening less often. I’m definitely on the way to being myself again!
Master liars and manipulators
I hope that any woman who reads this and who has been a victim of the evil doings of a Sociopath takes heart, and knows that it’s not her fault. These men are master liars and manipulators who don’t care who they hurt, as long as they get what they want.
I would advise anyone who has been victimized in this way to get professional help as soon as possible from a therapist who is familiar with character disorders. The sooner you can come to terms with what has happened to you, the sooner you can move on with your life. It’s a sad and confusing process, but there is light and life at the end of the tunnel!
I wish you hope and happiness.