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By | February 11, 2012 15 Comments

LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: A sorry senior citizen

Editor’s note: Lovefraud received the following email from a reader whom we’ll call “Regina.”

I am now 77 years old and my sociopath is 74. We were together almost 7 years. You would think at my age I would have known better. I have finally left the creep for the 4th time, and with the help of Lovefraud blogs, I am on my way to full recovery. It still hurts that I could have been so stupid, but here’s my story.

To try and understand why I let myself be sucked in to a relationship with this creep, I have to go back 18 years to when my husband died. Shortly after his death, my nephew, then 15 years old, robbed me to the tune of $6,000. I told my mother who went berserk and said, “no way did her grandson do that.” I stuck to my guns that he did do it and was ostracized by the rest of the family. They convinced my 3 kids that I was mourning their father and not quite in my right mind. I have always had a close relationship with my kids and could not understand why they didn’t believe me. The key here is that my youngest sister (the mother of the robber) is only 4 years older than my oldest daughter and she managed to convince my daughter that I was wrong. My oldest daughter, in turn, convinced my other 2 kids, a daughter 8 years younger and a son 11 years younger.  Since I am very strong willed I said to hell with all of them and continued to stick to my story. My mother died within the year, but not before telling me that she thought I had been right all along. Unfortunately, I was the only one she told that to.

The next year I went to Florida for the winter and met a very nice man and we had a long distance relationship for 9 years.  I knew the sociopath on a casual basis at that time as he tried to start up a relationship with me years prior but I was not interested.

Campaign starts

After my “long distance” died I was lonely and the hurt I had experienced from the treatment I received from my family, (3 kids, 3 brothers and 3 sisters) still lived with me. I didn’t really trust anyone. As it happened, I joined an organization in which the sociopath was very active. We became good friends. A year later he broke off with his current girlfriend and started his campaign with me.  Since, I had grown fond of him, I really did not want to have a relationship with him because I did not want to destroy our friendship. He won.

The first 4 years were good. We did a lot of things that people in their 70’s don’t do, i.e. boating on the river, bicycling, lots of walking down town, museums, you name it. I found he was very cheap but I didn’t mind, as I am independent and didn’t mind paying my way. He seemed to love me so much and was so attentive. Every day he would tell me “you’re all that’s important to me.” We kept our own homes but I had a nice summer cottage that he loved. He never put a cent towards the expenses of that cottage but he did some renovations (that I paid for), which I really appreciated. Every year he said he would pay the taxes but would conveniently forget it when tax time came around. He very seldom would buy food, even when we would invite 4 couples, all friends of his, down for a weekend. He told me that his share was that he would drive me down there and I wouldn’t have to pay for gas. We went to Florida a few times and took other trips but I always paid for half.

Other woman

After 4 years, I started seeing signs that a woman had been staying at his house ”¦ signs like hairs, glass stains on “my night table,” candles that had been lit and burnt out ”¦ When I accused him of having someone sleeping in his bed he emphatically denied it. His regular answer when I asked him to explain all these signs was, “I have no idea how they got there.”

I broke off with him 3 times and each time it was for the same reason. Our “apart time” was usually about 3-4 months. He never gave up pursuing me. He would email me, come and sit with me when I went to our organization, telephone me, cry to me. Once he went down on his knees and begged me to take him back because he couldn’t live without me. He had a litany which he used which went like this: “I have never cheated on you, it never entered my mind, you’re the only woman I ever loved, I’m going crazy without me, etc. etc.” It got so I could almost tell what the next statement would be.

Incidentally, he had a history of cheating on his ex-girlfriends. He was never violent with me but would fly into a rage when confronted. He has no fear of anything. He’s a retired Naval Officer, with a background in diving. I have found that he is very cold as far as his family is concerned, but still keeps in close contact with them.  He listens to their “sob” stories but remains detached.

Since I had no proof that he actually was cheating, I would go back to him. He became more careful about leaving traces but eventually would get sloppy and I would find new evidence that a woman had been there and so the pattern would continue. I would break off with him, he would beg and plead for 3 months, I would go back but the cheating would continue.

Called it quits

I broke off with him for the 4th time last month when he cancelled out coming down to my cottage with me. His excuse was a big lie and when I came back from the cottage and made a surprise visit to his home I found evidence that someone had been there. That’s when I called it quits. Now he is in his first stage, i.e. very angry with me for “shattering his life again.” I know in a few days he will start his campaign again. It is taking him longer this time because he knows he was caught in a lie so he will have to lie low for a while.

My sister-in-law, who is a psychologist, brought it to my attention 2 years ago that he was a sociopath. I didn’t believe her but when I did the test he answered 11 questions (I answered them for him). He is not violent, a good listener and is willing to help others, so it was hard for me to believe that he really is a sociopath. The reason I now know for sure is that he has no true feelings for anyone. He is incapable of real gratitude and does not feel sympathy for anyone. He is a serial cheater and is cheap. He is also a sex addict and a reformed alcoholic and an AA member. I guess those are reasons enough. All sociopaths are not abusers. By the way, I am very attractive and he is proud to be seen with me, although he very seldom gives me compliments.

I’m telling my story in case there are other senior women out there who get caught up with those creeps. Any advice anyone has for me to help me get over this experience would be greatly appreciated.

Signed,

A sorry senior citizen


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Ox Drover

Dear Regina,

Well, ain’t no fool like an old one! LOL Glad to have you aboard! I’m sort of in the same boat…widow, fell for a psychopath…kicked him to the curb and am currently alone. Probably will stay that way…but am content as well. Except for an adopted son, my family are all either enablers or psychopaths, take your pick….either one is pretty bad.

Glad that your mom at least believed you before she died. At least you had that.

Welcome to Love Fraud….even if it is difficult to “teach an old dog new tricks” I find that learning new tricks gives us some of the BEST days of our lives, really! So welcome aboard! Glad you are here!

Peacefordeb

Welcome, the best advice to you is to go no contact. Serial cheaters never quite cheating and each time you take them back they take a little of your self-esteem. Some actually like to be caught because of drama and the attention they get. Others like the game of seeing if they can con you back. It never ends and you will never be happy. Sociopaths, can’t make anyone happy anyway. NO CONTACT is the only way to get away and free of being sucked back in with empty promises and lies that on mean to con you. Besides that you can find a better gentleman who will not only pay his share, but yours too. You deserve that. Freeloaders with sad stories are big sign of sociopath/narcissism. They think they are intitled.

carrynon

So greatful that you finally saw through the lies. I too have had a complete estrangment from my entire family, which I believe was the emotional pivot allowing me to be sucked in by my spath. Our stories are so similar, I am 57 years old and fell for all the lies, costing me everything emotionally, financially, physically and all other ways. I am just now trying to rebuild my life. Keep up the “no contact” I blocked his number so he cannot contact me. Just a thought. I don’t know if I would have ever been able to get through this without this site. I was a target at it’s finest. So thankful to Donna Andersen. Best of luck and remember you are not alone.

KatyDid

I am sorry that you got caught up in some fallacies that blinded you.

You’ve mis-identified what abuse is.

He’s abused alchohol, as well as sex. (addictions. once an alchoholic, ALWAYS an alchoholic.) He is an abusive manipulater as he shows with his lies. Abuses the truth making promises of reciprocity that he does not follow through with. Abuses your trust with other women. Abuses your generosity with ingratitude. Has rages which you don’t call violent? Abused your hospitality by inviting his friends to YOUR property and has you foot the bill.

BTW My spath x!husband never hit me either, but at the end he was trying to kill me, by accident of course since he never took responsibility for anything… but he was able to set up several “accidents”. My husband APPEARED to be a good listener until he was not. And APPEARED to be helpful to others until I realized he never did anything without an ulterior motive – usually setting others up for what he REALLY wanted. That’s still abuse – a SCAM, A CON, a FRAUD.

You don’t need to wait until you are (hopefully) recovering from a beating or murder attempt to name what he did as ABUSE.

For all you are and have to give, you MINIMALLY deserve respect, regard, cherished, pampered (with HIS funds, not yours), etc etc. And CHARM is no replacement. I hope you remember that and stay away from that skunk.

slimone

Regina,

Thank-you for sharing your experience. He sounds like a classic dreadful, horrible psychopath. I am SO glad you have woken up to his con. Remember to keep NO contact. None. Even if he promises to pay back $, stay the heck away from him.

EVERYTHING he does is for effect, looking to hook you. Don’t go for the bait.

LOTS of us got involved with these losers when we were feeling vulnerable. Some of us got involved when we were feeling at our best.

No reason, truly, to be sorry. Just like all of us here it’s easy to regret and feel sorry for every moment we ‘wasted’ on these freaks. What to do? Take what you know and make SURE you use it.

Hugs, Slim

20years

I hope I read your story correctly, in that although he is cheap, you still own your house and cottage and he did not outright take money from you; rather, caused you to perpetually pay half or host his friends, etc. If that is the way it was, that is still not good. But maybe it can help you feel some peace to know that you have your house, cottage, and also I hope did not run up a great debt to pay “half.” (I don’t know this… but I’m hoping that’s the case).

It is hard to comment because I want very much to offer comforting words, and I’m not sure what you most need to hear right now, so I apologize if what I say misses the mark.

Maybe at some point it will be helpful to know that some lessons are expensive, but that does not mean they are not worthwhile lessons. You can, perhaps, think of yourself as wiser and that the time spent learning the lessons was not wasted time. (but it can take awhile to get to this point).

Some people may say about their experiences, “His abuse damaged my ability to ever trust anyone again…” and I think that can be true, in a sense. But there is also another way of looking at it, which is perhaps it was not so wise to trust so willingly in the first place. There may be subtle lessons to learn here about how to discern when it is safe to trust, and to recognize those red flags in the future.

Maybe it will help to think of him as limited, because he “has no true feelings for anyone.” You can certainly forgive yourself for being mistaken about this; as a person with feelings, it is natural for you to assume that others are similarly wired. So, you are not foolish… it can just take awhile to really “get” that these differently-wired people exist, if you have not run into them before. And yes, it is absolutely possible to live your life for 70+ years without having a spath relationship! And then having one.

Maybe it will help to think of the loving relationships you have had throughout your lifetime. It sounded that way from what you wrote, that this is an anomaly in your life, where relationships are concerned. I don’t know… perhaps it will help to reflect with fondness upon a lifetime of overall good fortune.

Maybe it will help to remind yourself that you DID wise up! You have left this guy — and this time, for good. You cannot be fooled by him any longer, because you see right through his tactics. It may have taken a few times before you saw the pattern, but that is just a testament to your being a person of good will, who has had good fortune in having normal, loving relationships, that you gave him a few chances and didn’t want to assume without proof that he wasn’t treating you well. But now you have that figured out. There is no shame at all for you in having lived this experience. You lived it! You learned from it. Now that you have it figured out, you can keep your wonderful self intact and take care to protect yourself from this point forward, from this individual and others like him.

You are smart — NOT foolish — for figuring this out. And you took the necessary steps to protect yourself. Good for you.

mags

I feel for you but if you have realised before losing your home then this is the best you could hope for. Sociopaths are so good at the art of deception that the likelihood of realization before a degree of financial loss has occurred is virtually zero. I lost everything because I chose to continue to ignore all the signs when over the two years I was footing the bill for everything and getting increasingly in debt. I did this because he married me and I thought he must love me to marry me and at that point he kept telling me he did. This was just a ploy to gain my complete trust so that he could continue to drain me further of my assets. If you go back he will find a way of taking everything from you and you wont even realise he’s doing it. Then when he achieves this he will just go off with another without a thought or care. Keep well away and keep in your head that you are one of the lucky ones who has got away reasonably lightly albeit with a broken heart but that heart although broken remains good. This is the most important thing you can salvage from the wreckage, so if he owes you money at this stage which he is promising to repay later down the line forget it, it will never happen. He will just continue to drain you, emotionally in order to do so financially.

mags

Regina,

Have you read ‘Actions speak louder than words’ an article posted by Mel on 24th January. (see Jan 2012 archived). This has really helped me.

KatyDid

mags,
What a very sad but powerful post. Your poignant truth and dignity move me. We are the lucky ones. We escaped. I did not escape financially, but I did escape with my life, a life I can now reclaim.
Blessings to you,
Katy

zoey

Dear Regina, My ex did the big romance with me prior to marriage, and had all my family and associates believing that he “adored me”. Even the Jehovah Witnesses that canvassed our street weekly were given big lectures by him on how lucky he was to have found me and how much he loved me.
Gradually, subtley, it all began to change.
He told me it must have been my teenage sons when my jewellry disappeared.
He claimed they must have pawned it, that is despite them being too young (under 18) to use a Pawn shop where I.D. has to be presented before you can pawn anything.
When money went missing he claimed my sons may have been going through my handbag.
They had never taken money like that and certainly were not in need of my cash as they each had part time jobs to earn their own pocket money and did not spend all they earnt.
He gradually began criticising me in front of my sons when I tried to get them to do their nightly chore of washing the evening meals dishes, or if I requested they clean their own rooms on the weekend.
He interfered every time I was correcting any of my sons.
I had raised them singlehanded and done an excellent job teaching them to be self sufficient and to assist around the home by cleaning up their own mess and being responsible reliable people.
I had always insisted on mutual respect between my sons, and by them, for myself, as well as reciprocal respect from me, for my sons as fellow human beings.
My ex gradually changed that status quo by preventing me from keeping the usual routine and interrupting me even to the point of holding me tightly by the wrist, physically restraining me, so I could not walk into the loungeroom and speak to my sons, any time I tried to remind the boys to do their alloted and reasonable chores.
despite me telling him several times not to hold me by the wrist like that as it triggered bad memories of past domestic violence, he kept doing this to me and I was not physically strong enough to remove his hand from my wrist and would have to stand still while he lectured me on why I should not make my sons do their chores.
My young sons became very disrespectful to the point of being bluntly rude in the way they spoke to me, which then deteriorated to abusive and derogatory remarks and swear words.
The ex violently assaulted me when I discovered his theft of all of my ID papers and embezlement from the equity of my home, he was barred from living in my home or coming near me by a Court awarded Violence Restraining Order.
It took almost 6 months for my sons to recognise they had been coached to act abusively towards me, and to return to their previous respectful and loving attitudes.
It was a big learning curve for us as we had to first recognise and identify the insidious and subtle, gradual erosion of our family relationships by his tactics.
He had been so clever at his gradual erosion tactics that we had initially been unaware of the damage he had been doing to the fabric of our family.
He fostered resentment in my sons against me by making them think that women did not know what guys need and want.
He criticised my usual structure of everyone pulling their fair share of weight and taking responsibility for their own room and their own possessions, which was a training system for when they eventually left home and had to cope alone.
When my two youngest sons left home they clearly realised how much I used to do for them and look after them, and they began to comprehend how much our relationship had been sabotaged by the ex.
It takes time to repair damaged relationships like that, but with patience, mutual respect, and honesty, they can be restored.

Some sociopaths hit you like a Mack truck with a full load and the damage is done quickly, is easily recognisable, and full on, with devastating results.
Some sociopaths take the long path and bide their time.
They seem to delight in deceiving everyone around you as they close in on their prey.
The damage they do, tends to create self doubts and make you question wether you did something wrong.
I found that friends and family would not listen or believe me when I began to see flaws in the ex and tried to discuss these observations with them.
They were conned by him, into believing that I was dwelling on the past bad marriage and that the ex loved me so much and was troubled that I “seemed to be unable to put my sad past behind me”.
He had been spreading such stories behind my back, long before I ever saw the first slip of his mask.
My older children were admonishing me for doubting him in any way, ( but they did not live with us and did not see the small slips of the mask that preceded the final violent assault upon me).
I wish you all the best and hope you recover to become a stronger and more knowledgable woman. GOD Bless.

mags

Zoey,

The first incident of violence from my ex came at the point where he had just began emptying my bank of the money from my house sale (but I hadnt found out at that point). He did this because I discovered an Msm message, and he beat me with a poker, and tried to strangle me just to get the Iphone it was on from my hand. He told me his actions were because I was paranoid and controlling and that the message was from a friend using his ‘sisters’ email address. Of course I didnt really believe him but I had already invested such a lot in the relationship because of my love for him and he had ostracised me from my mother that although reeling from the discovery I failed to act on it. I do believe that this initial violence was a desperate move to keep the control until he had finished taking from me, as he was able to stop being violent from then on, until he had got all of the money from the bank and had the other woman under his spell. During those few weeks though he became a full blown narcissist and I was in a state of shock seeing the man who had been so close to me (and controlling of me before) suddenly become someone completely different. That was when I checked the bank and confronted him … then the violence again and the hasty departure from my life (despite my still telling him that it was only money and if he had a gambling problem or anything we would sort it). It doesnt matter in the end how nice or understanding you are …. if you are no longer of use you are dead to them. Its a long road to recovery but there is no other road and the sooner we are on that road the better.

regina

Zoey our stories are so similar. I just want to say how grateful I am for the support I have received from the posters on this board. I would also like to stress that not all sociopaths fit the pattern of abusers and violent people. Mine was never violent. He lost his temper at times but for the most part was even tempered. What totally fooled me was I thought he was so considerate of me and so loving. He would go out of his way to do “LITTLE” things for me that cost him nothing. When I look back, he had a habit of putting me down in the most sneaky way. Forinstance he would cut me off in the middle of a sentence by pointing out something to me and then he would say “now what were you saying”. Although it would infuriate me, I never saw through it until I started to read Love Blogs. I got an email from him last week telling me how hard he tried to make me happy and I rewarded him by doubting him and by accusing him of cheating. He ended up by saying “You owe me an apology” and you know what, for a second the thought flashed in my mind “My god, what if I was wrong about him”. See how that subtle brainwashing leaves a lasting impression?

I am so happy I found this site. I check it every day. I still miss his telephone calls twice a day, and I miss having someone in my life that I thought actually cared, but I know I will never go back to him and now I know exactly how to treat him if he starts his campaign again. I just want to impress on you readers that not all sociopaths fit the bill. If your spath is cheap, lies, cheats and puts you down in very subtle ways then then I suggest that you do the Sociopath test and then run as fast as you can if he turns out positive.

Regina

slimone

Regina,

It is SO true, that they can all ‘look’ different. I have said this multiple times on this site, especially when newcomers are trying to figure out if “theirs’ is REALLY and spath, and comparing all the superficial behaviors.

It is what lies beneath the behaviors that is the clue. The motivations. Those are hard to determine, sometimes, without getting too close. What works best for me is to watch MY responses to someone. Do I have the jitters, feel over excited, confused, off-center, giddy, worried, anxious….or all of these simultaneously?

Then it is time to take a step back and give myself permission to honor myself. I don’t have to engage, answer, commit, or otherwise cooperate if I feel any ‘offness’.

Some of these folks look like criminals… some groovy new-age spiritualists (my last one!)… some like hard-working ‘real men’. Some are intellectual and want to stay with one woman for the image it provides them. Some are sexual perverts. Some loooove to cheat. I know one who does TONS of volunteer work, with the mentally disabled. He works for a non-profit.

Just the one’s I’ve known: dance teacher, professor, manager of large hospital, drug addict in NA, hospice director, grandpa, nurse, ballet dancer…..wait! Personal growth workshop leader and motivational speaker.

Think of them as cupcakes made of poop, that have different frostings covering them. No matter how good the frosting looks, they’re going to smell bad, and make you sick.

Nora

Welcome Regina,
I was in my mid-fifties when it happened to me a few years ago. I also thought I was old enough and smart enough to know better. Just goes to show, it can happen to anyone, at any age. One important thing is to share our stories in an effort to help and educate others. Most stories are very similar, and a reader might realize the same thing is happening to them, or help them realize the reason for their confusion, or realize things are never going to change/get better, and it’s time to get out and move on! Knowing you aren’t alone is also important! I discovered helpful information, advice and support at Lovefraud.com soon after I left my ex. My letter was posted in June 2010, and I’m a reader called “Nora.” The best advice I can give you is “NO CONTACT,” and in time, “This too shall pass.” What we experience never goes away, but hopefully we learn from our mistakes and support and advise others who make the same mistakes when trusting the wrong person. STAY STRONG!

Ox Drover

SLIMONE! CUPCAKES MADE OF POOP COVERED WITH FROSTING…NO MATTER HOW GOOD THE FROSTING LOOKS, THEY ARE GOING TO SMELL BAD AND MAKE YOU SICK!!!!

LOL ROTFLMAO SNNORT SNARK SNARF CHOKE!!!!! Oh, my goodness, I thought I would wet myself girl! That is goooood!!!! So true too! Thanks for today’s belly laugh!

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