LETTER TO LOVEFRAUD: Now I can see how manipulative he was

Editor’s note: Lovefraud received the following letter from a woman whom we’ll call “Clarissa.” She dated a man whom we’ll call “Bradford.” Clarissa is sharing a letter he sent her, which is posted with all its original misspellings.

I met Bradford nearly three years ago. I had never heard of a sociopath and I fell for his charm and good looks. He seemed to be the man of my dreams.

One year after our relationship ended and now knowing I loved a sociopath, I am starting to put my life back on track, I am paying back the debt he left me in and even looking to meet someone new. I will not let him ruin anymore of my life.

I am lucky to have got away from him, but I wanted to share a letter he wrote to me a month after we started dating. Now when I read it I can see how manipulative he was. I hope sharing this may help other to see what I missed.

Dear Clarissa,

I express myself better when I write and I’m in an expressive mood so here I am writing to you.

I completely understand that your past experiences will have an influence on you. This is natural. Combine your past with some of your friend’s bad relationships and your sister’s nightmare of an Ex and its no wonder to me that you are suspicious or even sceptical of me. I get it and understand it completely. And I think you are absolutely right in saying that words are merely a collection of letters if they are not backed up with actions and behaviours that match.

However, I have something to add and for you to consider perhaps. Since meeting you I have had moments where I too would want to hold back, be safe, protect myself but then I think, why? I’ve been hoping for this so why wait? It makes no sense when you think about it. It’s like winning the lottery only to hold back on the celebrations when you do win. I still have moments and mini freak outs but the fact is that you coming into my life is a monumental bit of good fortune and I choose to celebrate.

You see, for me, I’m not ok with an ”˜ok’ relationship, and I decided a while back now that I’d sooner spend the rest of my life single then give up looking and settle for an ”˜ok’ relationship. I think of those sonnets and romantic movies and true love stories like describing how a pear tastes to an alien (bare with me!). You can describe it, read about it, watch movies on it, listen to songs about it as much as you like but the only true way to find out how a pear tastes is by tasting it. Mistaking true love for lust, jealousy, infatuation or an ”˜ok’ relationship is like tasting a peardrop sweet. It tastes vaguely like a pear but you know deep down there’s something false about it, something’s not right, its ok but its not the real thing.

Most people settle for a peardrop but I think you and I have tasted a peardrop (some of yours and mine ended up tasting really bad in the middle!) and I reckon now we deserve the real thing. Once someone bites into a real pear, they know it’s the real thing. You can attempt to describe the differences but to an alien they will sound like the same thing (are you still with me?!). When the alien turns and says: “So how can you tell the difference becasue they both sound the same to me?”, all you can say is that you just know, you can just tell.

With you, I “just know. But besides just knowing and being able to tell the difference, I find myself thinking about you all the time and that makes my heart smile. I actually look forwards to seeing you — and that’s a complete novelty for me. I miss you like there’s something missing when not with you – again a novelty. Three words go round my head when I see you – like some sort of turrets. I have an immediate, type of innate want to support and protect you from harm, be there for you when needed and a real wish for you to be happy and feel secure.

I can understand that some people will say its too early to say such things, and yes, if I was a teenager with irrational emotion driven hormones raging round my body, with little life experience and little intuition, I’d say that they were right. However, I’m not a teenager and I’ve had two lifetimes worth of experiences in one life so far, and I’m highly intuitive so I can say to those people “how long does it take then?” One month? Two? Three? A year? Two? After all, you’d know a real pear from a peardrop almost immediately after tasting it.

I have the same fears as you, it’ would be exciting and yet very scary to win the lottery too but I say fuck the fear and embrace the luck and fortune, surrender to it, go with the flow, enjoy it like there is no tomorrow… and all that jazz. Amongst these clichés, pear anologies and lottery references (bit strange I know but that’s me), what I am trying to say is that these words are not an arrangement of letters; they are backed with true and real feelings, real honourable motivation and real genuine compassion and love for you. I am not any of your ex’s, I am Bradford and there is only one of me and I deserve you, as much as you deserve me, and that, as far as I’m concerned is as simple as that….so why didn’t I just say that at the beginning?! : ) xxxx

Thank you for sharing your story and helping me move on with my life.
Kindest regards

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Clarissa – thank you so much for sharing your story. It is amazing how once we know what they really are, we can see that what seemed like romantic professions of attraction and love in the beginning were nothing but blatant manipulation. When our intentions are honorable, we interpret the intentions of the sociopath as honorable as well. But they aren’t.



When I first started dating my ex spath, I received so many letters much like what you’ve shared above…perhaps worded differently, but same type of meaning. It’s truly amazing, isn’t it? They have this masterful way of sucking you right into all of this, and then discard as if we never meant a thing.

Thanks for sharing.


Boy,do those ‘honorable intentions’ suck when they’re nothing but letters!!! 🙁


What I notice here is the line “…they are backed with true and real feelings, real honourable motivation and real genuine compassion and love for you.” It’s where “love” falls in the list. That compassion comes before love. Or that compassion is listed at all in a declaration of love. For one who actually feels both emotions, it seems an odd phrasing. I, too, now see such phrasing in the letters written to me. It’s fascinating how the clues are there all along, but we can’t see them until we hit bottom!


Hi Clarissa

Thank you so much for sharing your letter. I’m 15 months out of a 4 year relationship with a man my counsellor believes is a sociopath, and his ex wife’s counsellor believes is a narcissist.

He too wrote deep and meaningful letters, allaying my fears every time I got the speed wobbles. I’m still struggling to ‘absolutely’ believe in my heart and soul that he was a sociopath even though everything points to him being one. Except that he was never really angry, violent or verbally abusive.

He could be so cold, and with very little said I knew not to press something further. I had come from an abusive marriage, so maybe he knew I’d run at the first sign of the same, or at some level I stopped in fear I’d push him too far?

I will share my own story soon. I have to know what others think because it’s not full of violence and abuse. I haven’t completely moved on after 15 months and every month or so I’ll have a day where I doubt everything, doubt myself and just feel completely confused.

That letter is eerily similar to what my ex used to write I am curious to know if he became abusive like all the others seem to? (Except mine!)

Mine left me in debt $20,000 but believe it or not, he paid it back …very slowly. I live in a small country so sociopaths can’t skip States and hide so easily here.

I believe he was after a lot more than $20,000, but when he realised I wasn’t going to buy into his business (with the money I had set aside to buy a house) it was like I didn’t exist any more, a mere inconvenience to get out of his way.

Thanks again for sharing.


Here’s the thing that leaps out at me:
These days, most people are terrible writers! I know when I read, I mentally edit the words that are obviously incorrect. But once I knew and accepted that my exhusband is a sociopath, when I read his words now… it’s a whole new meaning. I don’t think we can read a note and decifer that it’s written by a sociopath. Rather, it’s once we know their character, then we can read and know the REAL message.


oops. I think the edit button doesn’t work anymore. I put a general comment in the wrong box.

This is what I intended to reply to “Another Survivor”:
Dear Another Survivor,
My exhusband is a sociopath. Not just a narcissist, but someone who would murder if “necessary”. Like your ex, my exhusband was (almost never, he became so at the end.) not violent. He was cold, deadly cold. His was a control thing. He took pride in controlling his emotions.

When my husband was involved with someone else (he was cheating), I took the opportunity to file and get my divorce. I knew that he was focused on creating his image with her and he couldn’t afford to have her see the truth about him (she was a BIG fish!).

I can see why your ex’s behavior seems so confusing when he didn’t something that doesn’t SEEM to fit sociopathic behavior. But I can’t help but wonder if, like my exhusband, he didn’t like letting you go, but he’d found a bigger fish to hook and couldn’t risk them seeing him for what he really was. No matter what, Doing right by you was NOT because a sociopath is ever a person of honor; it was because of his agenda with someone else. It’s a strategy, not a quality of character.

BE CAREFUL!!!!!! My exhusband liked to circle back to feed on the women that he didn’t totally destroy. They thought he had realized what he missed. Sadly, the first time was a snack, his return was a full feast.


Hi NotWhatHeSaidofMe,

Talk about chills reading your words – I will write my story and send it to Donna so I’m not hogging this post, but there was a time he really wanted to get someone out of his way in business, and I believe I witnessed him considering having her ‘got rid of’ once and for all.

When he saw the look of horror on my face, he played the ‘I was joking’ card, but a part of me knew he’d actually considered it seriously, if only for a brief moment.

I suspected there was someone else before we broke up (I didn’t know what a sociopath was until a couple of months afterwards) and yes I am guessing the woman he is with now might be his “bigger fish”.

She’s quite a bit younger than him and appears to be a lovely person – she has a good job and I think owns her own home. She has no children, seems a bit naive, and her family live overseas, all of which I think are reasons he may have targeted her. It makes sense he wanted to do the honorable thing – in her eyes.

Thank you for your helpful insights. And don’t worry, I would NEVER allow him back into my life even though I still feel confused at times.

Another Survivor,
It is that “confusion” you speak of that makes you the target for his return (you know the rest of the story).

I had tried everything to make my marriage work.In the meantime,thankfully,my girls grew up.We were separated for 5 yrs.He just kept coming around for conversation.I knew nothing about sociopaths.And then I had a fluke accident that scared me and I started having panic attacks.HE WAS HAPPY TO HELP!SEPARATION ENDED.What I didn’t know was that he was planning his revenge!!! When I left him this time,I was nearly a zombie,I was so worn down!!!

Divorced from Gaslighter

The letter appears to be written as a sort of apology/explanation of some breach in the relationship, and yet no specific issue is ever addressed. Very weird. “We both have negative experiences in the past, but our relationship with each other is the real thing — we have won the lottery, let’s celebrate!” If things are so great in the relationship, why write this depressing letter? If there are specific issues in the relationship that the addressee has asked the writer to address, why didn’t he address them?

The letter is endless and repetitive, and he even makes little jokes about the endlessness of it. Why didn’t he write something shorter that attempted to solve whatever real problem triggered the need to write a letter in the first place?

My ex never wrote anything like this, but his verbal garbage was designed to accomplish the same goal. Endless monologue of his point of view, with the object of evading all responsibility for whatever damage his latest bad conduct has caused.

Quick, someone get that nutter a pear!!!

Reminds me of Skylar’s ex going on and on about the fires of love.

They really do not know when to stop with the metaphors, do they? It’s like they don’t have anything at all the say, so they cloak it with metaphor so you end up thinking you are the idiot if you cannot figure out the hidden message. Hint: there’s no message. They’re full of it. Just experts and making noise that sounds like words. 🙂

I hope you are safe and healing sister. <3

Agreed!Another good description:”a sounding piece of brass or a clashing cymbal”!!!

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