Letter to Lovefraud: Is his goal to break me?

Editor’s Note: This Letter to Lovefraud is from a Lovefraud Reader whom we’ll call  “Aubree.” Names have been changed.

I recently got out of a two year relationship with a person who I believe is a sociopath, or at the very least an extremely vengeful borderline. When we first got together, he told me that he used to have a habit of going to bars, finding the prettiest and most confident-looking woman there, and proceeding to go up to her and start picking on her and making fun of her for something that he suspected she might be insecure about. For example, if he saw a girl who was beautiful but wasn’t stick-thin, he’d go up to her and start making snide remarks about her weight. He said he enjoyed doing this because he got pleasure out of “knocking these women down off their high horse.”

Of course, it shocked me that he would do something like that, but he brushed it off and swore it was in the past, saying that he wouldn’t dream of doing it again. He was also a huge jokester – typical life-of-the-party type of personality – and some part of me wanted to believe he was just telling me stories, exaggerating. Looking back, however, I should have heeded that red flag. Over time, he started to take little shots and digs at me, designed to put me down or make me feel unsure of myself. He went from worshiping the ground I walked on to cutting me down. Every time he did this, I called him out on it, and he said he respected that because I “didn’t take his crap.” But every now and then, there was another backhanded remark coming my way. I often got the sense that he secretly HATED me. Sometimes I’d wake up in the morning and he’d be in bed next to me, just STARING at me. But it wasn’t a loving, warm, doting stare. It was an icy, CREEPY stare. It’s like there were daggers flying out of his eyes and straight at me.

In addition, every time something good happened to me – like my choosing to go back to school or getting a new car – I would always sense this underlying contempt and rage coming from him, like a seething resentment. I knew in my gut that he didn’t want me to be happy or to thrive – even though he would swear up and down that my happiness and success were TOP priority to him – but I couldn’t wrap my head around why he would be so malicious and hateful towards me. I didn’t want it to make sense.

There is much, much more that went on in this relationship – typical idealize/devalue/discard, complete with love-bombing, I could write much more – but I wanted to write you because I’m wondering if my sociopath’s motivation for getting into a relationship with me was purely to destroy me as a person, to “knock me off my high horse” like he tried to do to those other women? He never took any money from me or anything like that, and never used me for anything physical (I was more into sex than he was). All he ever said to me in the beginning of our relationship was that I “had a light about me” and that I had a happiness that he didn’t have. I’m wondering if it was for this reason that he targeted me, so that he could whittle away my confidence, shame me and eventually break me down? In other words, so that he could “win” by stripping me of what made me, me? It seems so foolish to me that someone would want to steal another person’s happiness or positive traits or destroy their confidence, but I can’t think of any other motivation in his case. He always had to be the center of attention and was constantly complaining that I was the “better looking of the two of us” and the “smarter one” (he had never gone to school and was working an aimless job not fit for a man his age). It’s like he didn’t want the spotlight to be on me, ever. He really seemed like a bona fide misogynist to me.

I know you have a wealth of information on sociopaths and you’ve read so many first-hand accounts, so I’d love to hear any thoughts or insight you have on my situation.


Donna Andersen responds


Yes, it is certainly possible that this man’s only motivation was exactly as you stated – to destroy you.

Sociopaths engage in romantic relationships for exploitation. Usually, they exert power and control in order to obtain money, sex, a place to live, domestic services, or some other obvious advantage.

But with some sociopaths, the exploitation takes a more sinister form. They exert power and control simply to entertain themselves. They enjoy the idea of being a puppet master. They manipulate you for the fun of it.

You may remember the movie Dangerous Liaisons, starring Glenn Close, John Malkovich and Michelle Pfeiffer. In this story, seduction was a game, with the objective of ruining people’s reputations and breaking their hearts.

Well, some sociopaths engage in this game. People have told me how they were pursued and pursued, and when they finally fell in love, the sociopath simply dumped them.

In other cases, breaking off a relationship isn’t enough for a sociopath. He or she also wants to grind the former partner into the dirt.

It’s truly difficult to comprehend just how heartless these people can be. All we can really do is accept that there are people for whom relationships are nothing but a sick game, and learn to recognize and avoid them.


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23 Comments on "Letter to Lovefraud: Is his goal to break me?"

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Great insight from these posts! My three years of research has shown me that YES these men want to tear us apart! Why? One of the reasons is that they enjoy watching others suffer AND it fills a void in their life. You see one of the most common traits of ALL psychopaths is BOREDOM. They move from target to target because of their insatiable need for excitement and DRAMA.

Their brains are messed up both genetically AND from environmental experiences, so they have quite a challenge processing words and feelings. This is NOT an excuse, but an explanation of why ALL of them are so much alike. It’s like why all ducks quack, right?

I cannot stress enough how important it is to educate yourself about personality disorders AND other forms of mental health issues.

My 24 year old daughter now recognizes that her friend is bi-polar and how she needs to get him OUT of her life. The ability to recognize these mood disorders and personality disorders is the key to a more successful relationships in life.

Over the next 20 years I think we will see more conversations about these issues and more acceptance that it is an important part of our education.

Some of what you say in this story very much happened to me. The underlying resentment, seething whenever I did anything to improve myself. When he met me I was confident and happy, and was just loving life. The lovebombing, taking digs, he was a jokester too and always the party guy. He swore he supported me in all that I did. I had a business within the first weeks caused havoc and chaos and terrorised me. Then would support me again only to try and pull it all to pieces. This sort of behaviour continued until finally I had to close it down. Anything that I did to improve myself was met with disdain. It seemed whenever I was getting on top of things or felt good about myself he would get violent, angry and start his abuse. For the longest time it was damned if I did and damned if I didn’t. Thank you for this story as I feel it’s put another piece into the puzzle. So sorry you went through this,it is terrifying to think these people are out there with only one thought in mind but to destroy someone else by any means possible.

Actually that’s all it is a search and destroy mission, I feel I really do have the whole picture for the first time…it really has hit home. That’s really hard to take in.


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