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By | September 17, 2014 23 Comments

LETTER TO LOVEFRAUD: Sociopathic wife determines what husband is ‘allowed’ to do

 Editor’s Note: This letter to Lovefraud was submitted by a Lovefraud reader whom we’ll call “Friend’s Keeper.”

I am writing this about a friend who I am trying to help who is clearly involved with a sociopath. My friend is a male, married to a sociopathic woman. Her acts and behavior are really unbelievable unless you see for yourself.

What he’s ”˜allowed’

She takes his entire paychecks (salary plus state pension totaling $14,000/mo), and puts him on a $100/mo allowance, which he gets only if he’s good, while she takes the rest. She convinces him it’s all for him. He’s only allowed out of the house to go to work, and she times him on when he gets home. He’s not allowed out on the evenings or weekends unless it’s with her. He wasn’t even allowed to touch the remote control. He’s not allowed to leave work for lunch, as she gives him one jar of peanut butter and a box of crackers to eat for lunch every day, which has to last him for the month, while she enjoys whatever she wants on his money.

She abuses him psychologically and physically. She even forces him to sit down to pee. One time he snuck a glass of wine that was in the house, and when she found out, she beat him with the wine bottle right between the legs. She constantly tells him he’s ugly and that nobody would want him. If they go to a restaurant, he could only order what she tells him to order.

Money

He used to talk to me about it every day. He is 70 years old, makes good money, and has (or had) no savings account, or access to money that he worked for (so he thought).

I explained to him that he has access, as it is his money. He was too afraid to try. I told him to find out the bank where his checks were being deposited into, and that it’s probably a joint account since his name was on the check.

I went with him to the bank (he snuck out at lunchtime after he called her) and sure enough, his name was on the account. I told him to get a statement, and when he did, he saw all the cash she was withdrawing every day. The day before payday, she would wipe out the account, while he would walk around penniless.

And he never knew what was going on. She never worked a day in her life, she just took everything he had, while abusing him. She stole his entire inheritance, as he never saw a dime of it.

Courage to leave

He finally got the courage to leave. He said he had wanted to leave throughout the entire marriage, but never had the courage or finances to do it, as she had total emotional and financial control over him.

I helped him get his own apartment, and helped him open up his first checking and savings account of his own. He was never so happy. He had his freedom.

But within a few months, she lured him back. She promised that she changed, and she threatened to kill herself if he didn’t come back to her. I explained to him that people don’t change, especially sociopaths, but he’s so convinced she changed. It’s like he’s in a trance.

Within two weeks of being with her, his checking and savings accounts were both wiped out with insufficient funds.

He still doesn’t see it. She is constantly seducing him to keep him under her spell. It was such a terrible life for him, he got away, and got lured right back.

He won’t even talk to me now because she warned him not to. I don’t know if the nice act is still going on, but I just don’t understand how he can’t see it. Is it common for people to go back to their abuser after finally escaping the abuse?

Update two months later

He has opened his eyes briefly. After about a month or two of his wife being nice and constantly seducing him, she slowly started to revert back to her normal self. But even while being “nice” she was still taking all his money and literally controlling his every move to where he can’t even leave the house without her except to go to work. And the strange thing is is that he thought she was so wonderful.

He came out of the trance briefly, saw what was going on, and told me he realizes it now. She found out he was talking to me for the 10th time, put on her fake tears, made him feel so guilty, she told him that he’s killing her, and threatened to kill herself, then seduced him.

Within a few days he was back under her spell (this just happened last week) — still without a penny to his name. However, while he came out of the trance for a while, I showed him the e-mail that I sent you, and it really opened up his eyes. He said that it all happened, but he didn’t realize how bad it was until he saw it in black and white.

I would like to help others that are in a similar situation, and are involved with these predators recognize the signs of what a sociopath is. Especially, after witnessing the terrible abuse that this man has went through, and is still going through.

 


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This is one of the saddest stories I’ve ever read. I hope this man finds the strength to leave.

Phillip

Yup, This sounds oh so familiar. My ex had to approve everything as well. If I did something that wasn’t approved of she had a fit and fell in it. She wasn’t blatant about the money, but knew where my checkbook was, and always checked it out when I wasn’t looking. If she thought I had too much money in the bank, she came up with reasons to spend it. SOOOOO glad she is long gone. I have finally reverted back to my normal self, sort of. Time heals all wounds, But, time also changes a person.

Viewpoint

You can’t help them until you appreciate completely that there are reasons beyond what you can see/understand that keeps the preposterous going. It is a consensual crime. The victim is not as ignorant as you might want to believe. He/she has their idiosyncratic and deeply personal demons/weaknesses that keep them living the preposterous.

At age 70 years, the issue at hand is his welfare if he should become debilitated. It’s not anymore the unfairness of his lot… He’s accustomed to it and sees it as the trade off to something else he wants more. An appropriate and more effective person looking out for elder abuse would be an adult child. Is there this person?

You may want to ponder what has hooked you into this sad tale for the 10th time. It’s worth knowing that because your time is irreplaceable.

Delores

This is nothing but hearsay. A sad story as you said, Donna but it sounds like nothing but a story and only one side of it at that. I find it very difficult to believe.

NotWhatHeSaidofMe

Donna,
Although this does sound like a pity play story, Delores, I am sure Donna has vetted the victim and knows that it is true. I will say, there seems to be a lot of holes in the narrative and it comes off like a smear campaign but Donna wouldn’t play with our emotions and stir things up by printing an untrue story. That’s why I’m sure there’s something more to it than this.

I have no reason to doubt the story. The man has been married to this woman for most of his life. When someone starts being abused at a young age, they may lose the ability to break away.

NotWhatHeSaidofMe

Donna,
Even harder to break away when a person is of the era that divorce was rare, especially if he was raised by mom/sisters that dominated him like the wife in the article.

AnnettePK

The account seems kind of contrived, almost like a one dimensional fantasy. While there is no reason to doubt its veracity, there is no reason to know for sure it’s true either. I remain open minded, but skeptical.

slimone

I have noticed, as a long-time visitor of LF, that when a story is posted from a more male perspective the legitimacy of that story is often questioned. I bring this up because after 6 or more years being on this blog it has happened over and over again.

I am going out on a limb here and speaking up.

There are likely many reasons for this, not the least of which is that most of us have been in abusive relationships with men, and we may be in the phase of our grief and healing that makes us very angry and suspicious of men in general. The other is we still see men as less vulnerable than women (especially if they were our perpetrators…we may have a false sense of “men” being really powerful, since we were hurt so deeply), and less likely to be abused. Also less trust worthy in general. This isn’t true though. Men are just as vulnerable to the erosion of their lives from manipulation and abuse as are women. And, of course we know that there are lots of kind and decent men in the world.

Another thing I have noticed is that sometimes the writing style, or the skill of the writer, can make a story more or less believable, just because of the way it is conveyed. Or even the degree of the abuse. Some of the worst stories on this blog were initially dismissed, because they were so hard to ‘swallow’, so hard to accept as real.

Bottom line is though, it would be very painful if I shared my story here and people decided to question it ‘out loud’, and in front of the rest of the group. I think I would feel rather crushed. This happened in the past with a person who’s child was murdered by her then husband. She has gone on to be an outspoken, and highly regarded, voice for children’s rights and anti-violence against children. She goes by Cappucino Queen. She was literally chased off this site.

I urge all of us to be supportive when we can, and silent (go No Contact) when something doesn’t feel right. In this way we can have our boundaries and disengage from a particular story, but also preserve what may be someone else’s real need for support. Our words are powerful tools for healing, or destruction.

Annie

Slimone,
Thank you.

4Light2shine

Slimone, I really wanted to thank you for your perspective here. I certainly agree that everyone is entitled to their opinions and observations. Learning to see with clarity what is actually happening instead of swallowing down everything that is offered us is a skill we all need to continue developing. That being said, part of the process of gaining clarity is shedding the false perceptions that for most of us were used to entrap us. Some of these false perceptions are related to gender. Morality and ethics are not gender specific. Neither are kindness and empathy. If we really want to dissect this scientifically it’s good to remember that most people who found their way here to Lovefraud were or are encountering someone exhibiting sociopathic behaviors. As most of here know these individuals often specifically target highly empathic people. I know for certain this was a large part of why I was chosen for exploitation. Now that my eyes are open I see these disordered individuals with much more clarity, men and women. I’ve dealt with men and women of this sort. Caution is good. Guarding our hearts wise. These encounters can devastate us and alienate us from the good things and people that we need so desperately. Our lives can become small and empty. It’s nice to feel a part of a community, especially when some of us have lost so much and so many from our once full lives. To be honest I am a regular visitor here and have been for quite some time. I have read thousands of articles and comments and often times wanted to join the discussion but then get the impression that the ladies are needing to vent. Nothing wrong with that. I’m sure it’s cathartic. I’m just saying when the comments go towards “these guys” I being a guy don’t want to impose. Awkward. Again I’m not trying to be confrontational here, just to say we are all just people here trying to work together to share, enlighten, and support one another.

Slimone – thank you very much. You are so right that men are just as vulnerable as women. I receive emails and speak to many more men than those whose stories appear on this website, and they tell me horribly painful stories.

Their pain is sometimes compounded because they are men, and society conveys messages like “a real man isn’t vulnerable” and “a real man supports and protects women” and “a real man doesn’t let a woman push him around.”

I have heard literally thousands of stories that many people would consider unbelievable. But after hearing the same type of story over and over again, I tend to accept that when another one with the same fact pattern comes along, it’s probably true.

There have been a few occasions where I’ve learned the person who wrote to Lovefraud may not have been telling the truth, but it’s been very rare.

Bets

Sadly, men are often victims of domestic violence. They don’t speak out. They hide it. They almost have to since it is so hard for most people to imagine that a big, strong man could be abused by a mere woman. To reveal themselves is to caste themselves as weak and unmanly.

There aren’t shelters for abused men. There aren’t champagnes raising awareness for abused men. Fact is, men can be victims of domestic violence as easily as women become victims of domestic violence. The same mechanisms that create female victims are in play in creating male victims. Men are less likely to reach out for help and there is precious little help available to them.

For men who are raised to respect women and to never ever hit a women (which is right), they can fall victim to women who don’t respect men, who play men into believing they are loved by the women, the men don’t fight back because they were raised not to. It’s hard for those men because society finds it so hard to believe that it can happen. I’ve seen it too many times.

Women can be the aggressors. Women can be as violent and manipulative as men can be. Women can do as much damage as men can. Men can be just as helpless in dealing with the abuse and just as enmeshed into relationships that hold them down. Rather than be suspect of their stories, flip the genders and see how the story feels then. (Funny how by flipping the gender to the story can suddenly make it plausible and believable to more people.) Now put yourself in the place of the male in the story.

Men need help too. There are programs to help male victims – they are just few and far between. The pain of these men is no less than their counterparts. The decisions they must make are just as difficult. Their thought processes just as corrupted by their abusers. Men are just as vulnerable to the manipulations that draw them back into flawed relationships. Rather than suspect this as a fantastical story, maybe we could all pray for this individual that he can find that place within himself that can save him from this relationship and do it. He needs encouragement. That’s all I’m saying.

Eden

Everything that you’ve stated is so true, Bets. I am a female survivor, however a male friend of mine has recently left the relationship he was in with a woman he described similarly to the woman that is described in this post/story. The details that the victim’s friend has shared are entirely feasible, I believe. This account doesn’t come across as a “pity ploy” or “doubtful” in any regard, particularly after reading many similar stories.

Charmedby1

I didj’nt doubt the story but iI just duped by the msster. What i mean is. The extreme charm, his exs cheated too. His ONE concern was cheating. The extreme sexual carasma. His WORST OF ALL I FELT SAFE telling him my one dark secret. I was molested by my grandpa. I had THIS UGLY feeling about him cheating. I told him how sorry i was to think he could after what i told him and his sad stories about his exs. family was very close too. Same favorite sports team. the sickest part is my anxiety and gut feeling about you cheating we actually miss interpreted it as displaced anger and rage towards my grandfather. The counseling over saying those kind of things to him

AnnettePK

I respectfully disagree that men are as often and as easily victims of domestic abuse. Men and women are made up physically and physiologically very differently, and as such usually fulfill different complimentary roles in marriage and in relationships analogous to marriage. The innate traits of men and women lead to women being harmed much more and more often by men.

Why Gender Matters by Leonard Sax is an excellent book. The MD who wrote the book included only empirically proven facts and he researched many scientific studies and proven facts, so it is highly reliable book with references to support it. He wrote it with an open mind to look for answers to questions he had.

With respect to differences in writing style, it has been shown that psychopaths have a specific writing style, and that these differences can be sensed by computer programs. The same is true for the writing styles of women and men in general. There are also computer programs that can determine with some accuracy whether the writer is a man or a woman. Human readers also use writing style, as well as content, to accurately make inferences about the writer. That is intuition, and it has been proven that women’s ‘intuitions’ are highly reliable in certain areas. One of the mistakes that most of us made in becoming victimized was by NOT paying attention to certain cues that are called ‘intuition,’ and trying to believe what we thought we should believe.

Many people seem to WANT that there are no gender differences in many areas of life, regardless of reality. Keeping an open mind to anyone’s story is important, but red flags are red flags and should not be ignored or wished away.

For those of us who find spiritual wisdom in the Bible, it admonishes (among other advice) men to love and give their wives understanding, and women to respect their husbands. Men do not usually easily and naturally understand women, and women often find it a challenge to respect a man.

AnnettePK

Also, it’s worth considering how many of us were victimized by men who claimed to be the victim.

NotWhatHeSaidofMe

That was part of why I initially questioned this article. (the other part was the writer was telling about another man’s story, not his own.) But I decided that Donna had to know the victim and thus agreed to print it from the third party.

My ex smeared me by telling people I was a gold digger, and abusive to him, and “kept him on a short leash”. But if anyone took the time to check him out, it was the opposite. We had a business and he was gone for hours during the day and I didn’t know when or where, with customers he said. But my ex was handsome and charming and able to sound so sad that people physically accosted me, threaten me, told me to start respecting him or they’d show me what respect was about. I would be so confused why people thought they had the right into stick their nose in my marriage, (at the time I didn’t think my little mistakes that he had to punish me for were that bad). I would tell him what people did and I’d be crying and confused and he’d just say, I don’t know why they did that. There there. And pat me. I asked him to talk to them and he said he couldn’t control what people thought and he wasn’t going to make it worse, that I should just avoid them. So I did.

I’m not saying there aren’t men who are abused and henpecked. My dad was certainly henpecked by my mom and he was used to being dominated by his mom so he took a lot and loved her until the day he died. So maybe raping his daughters was his way to get revenge for her emasculating him. He didn’t think pedophilia was wrong. And here in the south, there are some big women who can punch as solidly as any man.

Eden

The book sounds interesting and one that I will definitely read. I wholeheartedly agree that gender differences do exist. And based on statistics, it is apparent that females are victimized more than males or, at least there are more reports of abuse made by women than men. I do, however, think that more action needs to be taken, in terms of resources and support for men who are victimized, and men should be given the same consideration and understanding when they do come out, which often, does not appear to be the case.

On a side note, I thought it would be inconsiderate of me, not to formally say Hello and reintroduce myself, since it has been about 3+ years since I have posted on LF. I was duped by a workplace predator, which is how I came to learn about the Lovefraud blog- and LF (and Donna’s books) literally saved me and my sanity. I am not sure if I would have healed or grown, if it had not been for the support and knowledge that I obtained, here. It had also been incredibly healing to be of support to others, here. Within the past three years, I have continued to learn and grow as a person and I have also come face to face with additional toxic people (both women and men). Thankfully, I now have the tools and insight to protect myself for the most part. To this day, the most valuable tools I have acquired, are; to know and NEVER ignore the red flags–and to ALWAYS trust my gut feelings. Anyway, I have returned, because I have been feeling the need/desire to read, here. Many thanks and have a beautiful day/evening!

Eden

Dave

I understand that on average a man is bigger and stronger than a woman. I yes women suffer domestic violence more than men. But that doesnt mean men dont, men actually can suffer it just as easily, not because they are physically weaker, but some men dont have it in them to physically harm a woman even if its in self defense, as well many men are scared to death to do anything out of fear of going to jail.

In my case my ex was smaller, i could easily take her, she would get physical with me, however i never hit her as i didnt feel it was warranted, i would either push her off me, or hold her till she calmed down, then she would run around telling everyone that i abused her.

As for say ray rice, now it appears his wife aggressed first in the elevator, however i seen nothing to warrant a man of his strength knocking her clean out like that, he could have just blocked what she did, or just held her till she calmed without harming her,,did anyone see the jay z vid of beyonce sister assaulting him? Apparently he didnt do anything but just let her do it, more than likely he was scared he may harm her and go to jail and tarnish his name.

Im not harping, but as a man that has suffered being with a woman who thinks its ok to put her hands on me and thinks im abusive if i do anything at all in my defense, well you can see why this topic is sour for me.

For the women out there that suffer beatdowns from grown men, i feel for them and hope they get away, that kind of man is the kind i would love to get ahold of with nobody around so i could get away with dishing some of it back to him lol.

Annie

I’d like to thank Donna for posting this, and Slimone and Bets for speaking up. That takes courage to go against the trend – so thank you.

I’d also like to point out that whenever someone immediately responds to an unfamiliar victim’s story with outright incredulity (and disdain) rather than first asking gentle questions, if that person is a legitimate victim they’ve just silenced and re-victimized them. They have become yet another of that person’s abusers.

I’d also like to point out a logical fallacy in some of the assumptions made whenever the topic of ‘men as victims’ – or for that matter ‘women as victims’ – comes up: Invariably we confuse and conflate, or at minimum make unwarranted assumptions about, the gender of the victim and the gender of the perpetrator. We only acknowledge two of the four possible combinations here (more, if you include orientation, age, race, etc…).

Women’s groups put the spotlight on women as victims of men, and will faintly acknowledge men as victims of men – although this gets little press. But they entirely disavow the possibility of either women or men as victims of women.

At the same time, men’s groups put the spotlight on men as victims of women, will faintly acknowledge women as victims of women or women as victims of men, but generally ignore the issue of men as victims of men.

This bias and skewed view, which both pollutes and invalidates any data we collect, seems to be almost as prevalent with professionals as it is with non-professionals. Thanks to the (imo) extreme over-emphasis on gender these days where we’ve recreated a nonsensical war of the sexes, we’ve largely come to view violence and gender as binary when it’s anything but.

We entirely overlook huge populations of victims, *and* of perpetrators, based entirely on prejudice.

We “know” that men are more violent – so we never stop to ask IF that’s really true, and if it is, HOW true. Any research we do comes from the automatic base assumption that men are more violent, which invariably seems to translate into the binary: men are violent, women are not. Period. Full stop. You can’t get a more accurate description of prejudice than that.

And so ALL of our publicly funded victim services – especially in the areas of sexual assault and child abuse – are built according to that false binary: only men are perpetrators; only women are victims. We don’t have *some but fewer* services for male or female victims of women – we have NONE. We don’t have *some but fewer* services for male victims of men; we have NONE.

We DO have some services for gay men, but that’s not at all the same thing as services for male victims of men.

That’s all the more concerning, since I’m always reading on this site how psychopaths basically have no gender orientation; many here describe their abusers as bi-sexual &/or more concerned with a partner’s potential to be victimized than they are with gender or orientation. So why are our victim services gender specific?

Even though the debate that has arisen over this post is questioning “men as victims”, the resulting controversy equally arises – probably moreso – from the incredulity at the concept of “women as perpetrators”. And if cognitive dissonance says that men can’t be victims &/or women can’t be perpetrators then, ipso facto, this must be a send-up and the male abuser(s) is having us on against the poor abused woman.

I got that all the time when I’d go for help and counselling; the unspoken but powerfully conveyed assumption that women *can’t* be perpetrators (particularly not sadistic or sexual perpetrators) therefore I must be confused. When I would explain that I wasn’t confused (at least not about that), then I was looked at as being oppositional (or crazy). We’d always fall down the ‘if the abuse was that bad it couldn’t have been a woman who did it’ rabbit-hole.

I didn’t feel “driven” from this site, but I certainly left in dismay at the far too often ungracious questioning of male victims as potential perpetrators, and the too common automatic assumption that any woman posting is a victim, even sometimes despite an abundance of red flags in her story. But, as slimone said, rarely do I see women challenged (except in the sad case of CappucinoQueen which I’m so very sorry to hear about).

What really concerns me is the extreme prejudice and ‘loading’ of data collection around violence and gender. We cite ‘statistics’, but never examine the myriad of prejudices that exist throughout the systems we’re depending on to produce the statistics we’re citing. And, even more concerning, there ARE statistics to look at re: violence by women, but those are routinely and repeatedly overlooked. My background is in system design and data governance. Anytime you see something that is skewed in the questions it AUTOMATICALLY produces skewed results.

So I’m extremely grateful to Donna for undertaking her study, and for the open and neutral way she’s going about it. Hat tip to her!

pricer

Man, seduction is one of the worst weapons a female spath can use. On leave from Iraq, my ex-spath was supposed to pick me up from the airport and it never happened. Furious, I raced home to find my ex with nothing but a bathrobe on in front of the home computer. We began to argue but my resistance was immediately thwarted due to her seduction. Later I found out that she had several online relationships going during my deployments. Facepalm!

Bets

Thank you Donna, NotWhatHeSaidofMe, Eden, Annie, and Pricer. I am saddened that my comments caused controversy, though I am happy they provoked thought.

On the point of more resources being directed towards women in the fight against Domestic Violence; I can say from personal experience that it is far easier to raise money for female victims and their children than it is to raise money for male victims and their children. The only venues that raise money for LBGT community Domestic Violence issues are at LBGT events and what is raised is a pittance compared to what is needed. The fundraising winner, not including the ice bucket challenge, is doggies and kitties. Honestly, I get frustrated when I get put at a fundraising booth next to the SPCA or local animal shelter! They can bring their clients and put them on parade all wiggly, cuteness… I cannot.

From a public speaking standpoint, I have delivered many talks to groups about Domestic Violence on women and never once on men. I did do a 3 minute speech at a LBGT event – that has only happened once. In my talks, I do include men and LBGT, but the majority of the time is devoted to women and children because that is what was requested.

My empirical observation of public pocketbook empathy is that its hierarchy tends to run from the top down as doggies and kitties, disabilities and diseases, children, wounded warriors tied with battered women, education/music/art, community projects, misc., LBGT causes, and then battered men. I think this goes towards explaining why you don’t hear much about DV in the LBGT community or battered men. Society just doesn’t have much empathy for these groups. Men are supposed to be the manly, violent ones and the LBGT community is not understood or dismissed. Women beating up their female partners is not something the greater society understands or can relate to. Same with male on male and other variations in that community. In the LBGT community there is empathy, just not in the rest of society. That lack of empathy goes to answer why men don’t report DV for the most part. The reports in the LGBT community are on the rise, but services for them are more limited. The ice bucket challenge is a phenomenon unto itself and probably not sustainable in the long run. I hope ALS uses the funds they have gotten wisely.

I once proposed that our local women’s shelter do a fundraiser featuring a kennel they were talking about building for women who came to the shelter with their animals. I swear it would have been a huge money raiser!

I’m sure Leonard Sax is a fine doctor and author. I’ll put his books on my reading list. That said, my empirical observations of the victimization of males by female perpetrators do not agree with my understanding of his findings, that’s all.

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