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LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: Criminal defense attorney falls for a sociopath

Editor’s note: Lovefraud received the following letter from a reader, who we’ll call Matt.

I am a gay man and a criminal defense attorney. After 22 years in my business I though I had seen it all, heard it all, and knew it all when it came to the bad side of human nature. That was until 15 months ago when I became romantically involved with a sociopath.

Hook, Line and Sinker

July. I met “S” when I was facing 50, flying solo and fearing my own mortality — I had just come from signing my will. I walked into a bar and S homed in on me like a heat-seeking missile. He had a beautiful smile, but I remember how it never reached his eyes — they were laser intense, but flat and unblinking. A few drinks later and big pools of chemistry were forming under S and me. That night, he put the ”˜good’ in good night kiss.

August. S launched a full-blown charm offensive. In one week I was swept up in a whirlwind of romantic dinners and phenomenal sex — he made me feel like I was the best lover on earth.

At the end of the week I went on vacation. While I was checking into the hotel a florist showed up with a beautiful arrangement. I said to the desk clerk “Somebody got lucky.” He looked at the card, handed it over and said “Somebody did.” S had sent the arrangement. I fell for S like the proverbial ton of bricks.

Danger Will Robinson

September. The red flags began to pop all over the place. S refused to take me to parties because his ex would be there. S never left messages on my answering machine or voicemail. S never had me over to his apartment though he lived two blocks away. S was secretive in the extreme. But, I ignored the red flags because S was still showering me with attention and the sex was great.

October. Hindsight being 20/20, I could have walked out when S stood me up for a date. I would have walked out when S confessed that he had only broken up with his ex three weeks before me met, not a year earlier like he originally told me. And I should have walked out when S told me that he had been released from prison three weeks before we met.

But, before I could walk, S hit me hard and fast with the “pity play.” He “came clean” and told me how he got hooked on cocaine after his beloved mother was left brain-dead by a stroke. S was convicted of stealing paychecks from his employer to buy drugs. Then S began to sob and told me he didn’t want to “bring the problems that being an ex-con has to your doorstep because I love you.”

As odd as it sounds, S had been lucky. He was sentenced to a “shock incarceration facility” aka “scared straight boot camp,” instead of prison. S also served 10 months of a one-and-a-half to three year sentence and was then put on probation. Another stroke of luck.

If anyone should know from experience that all criminals and ex-cons lie and play people, it’s me. But, S stirred up the caretaker in me and I vowed to help him rebuild his life.

November. I was so besotted with S I ignored even more red flags. He repeatedly violated his probation by leaving the state without permission of his PO. He conned his group therapy leader into letting him out of his post-release program early. And when S informed me that “From here on in I’m only thinking about number one” — I was a fool not to take him at his word.

S finally introduced me to his “ex.” I now see that he was deliberately pitting the two of us against each other for his own amusement. S also did this to increase my jealousy. And it worked. I opened the financial taps. Each date became more lavish than the last.

December. S no longer wooed me with dinner and flowers. S wasn’t concerned about me or his problems. And why should he be? I had become S’s personal ATM, social director and lawyer. I had become S’s one-man Salvation Army.

Devalue and Discard

January. S chose New Year’s Eve to pick a fight with me for agreeing to spend the holiday with “his” friends without his consent (the fact that he had told them this was fine with him two days earlier escaped him). And I took all the abuse he heaped on me. Why? Because I was determined to win back the man I fell in love with.

February. I should have paid more attention to S’s choice of friends — and lack thereof. I threw him a catered birthday party. Forty of his friends said they would attend. Six showed. I actually hurt for him. It wasn’t until later I realized that this indicated how little his so-called friends and colleagues thought of him.

But I was asleep at the switch when S reestablished his friendship with his college roommate – who was also his “former” drug dealer. The night they reconnected S picked a fight with me in a bar. He stormed out and “broke-up” with me by text message.

S made me crazy that night. I walked around his block for eight hours straight. The next morning S finally let me into his apartment. Then S blamed me for his cashed paycheck being lifted from his back pocket and told me “I need your help to pay my February rent.” I agreed to “lend” him the money and wrote the check then and there for $1,550. Why? Because I was determined to win back the man I fell in love with.

March. I wondered where S’s family was. I remember when a friend of S’s said, “I never understood how S’s family, to a man, turned their backs on him when he was sent to prison,” Now I see that S had burned them so many times they cut S out of their lives. But, I didn’t. Why? Because I was determined to win back the man I fell in love with.

April. I took S to Washington, DC to see the cherry blossoms and to share with him a place that was special to me. S was overly eager to go to church. When we entered the sanctuary I learned the priest was S’s former partner (two exes ago). Shocked, I thought “I can’t believe he’s sandbagging a priest on the altar.” S thought it was hysterical. But, I hung on. Why? Because I was determined to win back the man I fell in love with.

May. S “needed my help” and handed me an envelope. A letter from his landlord threatening eviction. The landlord had rejected April’s rent check because S hadn’t paid February and March. I realized he had lied to me earlier and I had paid January’s rent. But, I didn’t ask any questions and agreed to “lend” him $3,750.

The abrupt personality changes, his constant lack of money. I knew from experience he was using again. But I rationalized it away. If he was using, he couldn’t pass the drug test run by his PO. Right? I ignored the fact that the system can be beat. And I didn’t call him on any of it. Why? Because I was determined to win back the man I fell in love with.

June. Weekend trips. Restaurant checks. Bar bills. Theatre tickets. I paid for it all. He went out of his way to ruin whatever I planned. I was going into debt. I felt more and more empty, more and more abused. I was in a relationship but had never felt more alone.

The more I gave, the more S withheld – Time together. Emotional availability. Sex. Love. And the more emotionally abusive he became. Why did I put up with it? Because I was determined to win back the man I had fallen in love with.

July. Our first anniversary. What was I celebrating? One year of emotional and physical exhaustion from dealing with his never ending dramas? One year of fearing his temper and was walking on eggshells?

S and I celebrated by returning to the “scene of the crime,” the bar where we had met. Over a champagne toast I handed him a ticket to Greece. He handed me an envelope saying “I’m going to need your help again.” Inside was another eviction notice.

This time I finally drew a line in the sand. I told S that I wouldn’t “help” him financially. The most I would do is walk him through the court process so he could represent himself and halt the eviction until we returned from Greece. Period.

The next day I did what I should have done early on — I combed every database I could — public (New York e.courts) and private (Lexis). I uncovered 15 judgments against S for nonpayment of credit cards, car loans, student loans, taxes, rent, and loans from friends and three more pending cases. Then it struck me — his secretiveness, desire to move, avoiding certain places — of the 18 people who sued, how many more hadn’t?

The Brain Fog Starts to Lift

August. I told S this trip to Greece was a chance for us to get back on track. We arrived in Greece. I promptly caught him stealing from a neighbor’s villa. His response? “They’re not going to miss it.” The weird grin on his face when he said it chilled me. Like I was the fool.

I would have put him on the next plane out, but he had the keys to my apartment. So, I spent the next two weeks watching him like a hawk, paying for everything and being made miserable in the process.

September. We returned. I changed my locks. The next day the judge ordered S to pay six months back rent by September 30th or the eviction would proceed. A friend told me that S was cruising bars and turning tricks. I knew there was no getting us back on track. I knew that we had no future together — our values were completely different. I knew I was never going to win back the man I fell in love with — that man was an illusion.

But, I still wasn’t ready to let go. I only curtailed contact, I didn’t cut it. I maintained sporadic contact. Big mistake.

October. Against my better judgment I went with S to his brother’s wedding. That day I went online and learned S had a court date that very morning regarding his eviction, but I didn’t say anything to see how he was going to play this.

Play it he did. The next night. In public. S deserved an Oscar for his performance — crying “how hard I’m trying to go straight,” how “I told my doctor he screwed up our love life with the beta-blockers he put me on,” how “my sister asked me if I was certain ”˜you were the one’ and I told her you were” and the capper, “last night my father told me that before the week is out, I’ll have to go home because he’s disconnecting my mother from life-support and going to let her die.”

That was the moment I finally realized I was being manipulated — no parent — no matter how monstrous, would say something like that at a child’s wedding.

S then asked for my “help” with the rent. I refused. And I realized I had to do something or this was never going to stop.

To Get Rid of a Sociopath, Become a Sociopath

November. I finally realized I needed to get S out of my life to save my own life. I turned off my compassion. My understanding. My love. And my guilt. This one-man Salvation Army declared war on S.

S launched his next attack a few nights later. My phone rang at 11:15 and I was asleep. It was S, talking word salad. Then S moved in for the kill — he told me he had to be in court the next morning and didn’t have all the rent money. He asked if I would take some his jewelry as collateral for a loan.

I didn’t have the money, and started to babble something about taking a cash advance on my credit card when I snapped to and stopped cold. I realized he was manipulating me. I cut him off and told him to go into court with what money he had, the jewelry to show the judge he had something to sell to raise cash and take his chances.

The end came two weeks ago. S called me at 4:45 PM on Friday and told me that the landlord had changed the locks. S said his employer would lend him 10 grand to pay his back rent, but his bank was closed until Monday. S then asked me to lend him 10 grand CASH until Monday. I said “NO.” Then S asked if he could crash at my place. I agreed to one night — I finally decided we were going to have it out once and for all.

S arrived bloated (15 pounds heavier since the last time I saw him — he had already packed on 45 pounds since the start of the year), reeking of alcohol, with dirty matted hair, and smelling sour. I thought was “he’s manipulating you into feeling sorry for him.”

He launched his pity play. “How the person I hate most in this world (employer) came through for me again” (translation — I failed him). S then upped the ante and told me his blood pressure was now 220 over 180, his doctor thought he had diabetes and was afraid he was going to have a stroke. And on. And on. And on.

After four hours I finally told S that I didn’t know what to do for him anymore. I told S that I was sure he was on cocaine and our relationship wasn’t working since my needs weren’t being met in the least. S told me, “I love you and want things to go back to the way they were in the beginning.” I told him “No, you want me to pay your bills while you do whatever you want while I wait for you to call or text me. Those days are over. It’s clear we want different things, so I think its best if we no longer see each other.”

Then came the moment of true irony. I told S that I expected him to pay back the money I lent him. S replied indignantly “I always pay my debts.” I just stood there looking at him and thinking, “We’re standing in my kitchen at 2:30 AM because you have been locked out of your apartment for not paying your rent.” I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

The next morning I asked S if he wanted to take a shower. He refused. It dawned on me what S was up to — S was going to make the rounds, looking like he’d slept on a park bench and hit up everybody he could for cash. And then he was probably going to split.

Aftermath

Having read the stories of other Lovefraud bloggers, how they suffered at the hands of their sociopaths for years on end and ended up financially bankrupt, I know, on an intellectual level, that I got off relatively cheap. However, emotionally and physically, I feel like I’ve been hit by a freight train.

A friend of mine told me I must be incredibly strong to have withstood what S put me through — he said he would have snapped a long time ago. Strong? I don’t think so. If I were strong I never would have allowed S to cannibalize my life like I did. I would have stood up to him long ago. I would have gotten rid of him instead of hanging on.

I’m furious at S for using me and making a mockery of my beliefs and my love. I’m furious at myself for letting S do this to me. My friends and family can’t bear to hear another word about S. I expect to crawl over miles of broken glass on my stomach before they’ll ever listen to me again.

S hasn’t vanished yet. I suspect he’s still working his scam. He has started the smear campaign. Several nights after I ended it S started showing up at places I frequent and events I had bought tickets to. S ended up seated directly opposite me at one event (reserved seating). Once is a coincidence. Three times is stalking.

A psychiatrist I consult with periodically on my cases told me, “Don’t think S is going to go away easy. He knows how good he had it with you. And there’s only one way to beat him — NO CONTACT.” I got the same advice from my detective friend who also told me that I could get a restraining order. But, if anyone should know how worthless they are, it’s me. So, now I am constantly on guard and looking over my shoulder — and maintaining NO CONTACT.

The money I “lent” S? I know it’s gone for good. But S will be held accountable to a higher power — the IRS. I had the good sense to write “LOAN” on every check I wrote to S. And when I was taking care of one of the numerous problems S was too lazy to deal with himself, he gave me his social security number.

My accountant sent the first collection letter today. Two more will go out. And when S doesn’t respond — and he won’t — I’ll report his debt to me as uncollectible. I get the tax loss, S gets nailed for income. Hey, if it was good enough to bring down the sociopath Al Capone, it’s good enough for me to bring down my sociopath — S.


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302 Comments on "LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: Criminal defense attorney falls for a sociopath"

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Matt,

Wow, you’re good:
“I’ll report his debt to me as uncollectible. I get the tax loss, S gets nailed for income. ”

Would you care to write a playbook for the rest of us? Really and truly, it sounds like you have skills the rest of us don’t.

I’m very sorry you got played by an S. I’m also sad to hear that you feel isolated and don’t have anyone to confide in. Friends and family don’t want to hear it, and that really hurts. Your story is classic, but being told that can’t make you feel better. It may help to know that almost all of us run into the same problem when it comes to having someone to confide in about our post-S pain. We’re ashamed of being taken for fools, and our family and friends say “pull yourself together and get on with life”.

I suggest you post here when you need a sounding board or a place to vent. You’ll be treated with greater understanding, ’cause we’ve all been there. Besides, I’m not kidding about that “playbook”. You’ve got some wicked skills the rest of us could really use.

Blessings,

Elizabeth

hello dearest,

NEVER LISTEN TO THEIR WORDS
JUST LOOK THE WAY THEY ACT !!!

BLESS YOU

FREDRIK

Thank you. I’m really interested in what Matt has to say, from a legal perspective, about protecting ourselves. He may have more insights for us than just the IRS reporting strategy.

Ss, Ps and Ns seem to get off scott free most of the time. Most of us are too humiliated, broken or under-educated for the task of holding them accountable. From my perspective, “taking revenge” has always seemed like an unhealthy strategy, since it requires a significant investment in time and tends to make emotionally normal people feel awful. Matt’s strategy with the IRS simply results in the S being held accountable, which is something else entirely. I note that it requires very little time or energy on Matt’s part.

Thanks Matt.

Having very limited time this will be short but thanks again for sharing your story. Strange how all our story are somewhat the same but only with a personal touch to it. Allowing others to share them with us helps so much. Allowing other to see our pain hurt but also our courage and personal power to overcome these adversaries. Yes I too would love to know more about how “The money I “lent” S? I know it’s gone for good. But S will be held accountable to a higher power ”“ the IRS.”- works. It might be a way for others to try to regain some of the monetary lost…

James

Matt,

What an amazing story, it is so easy to get sucked in, you were smart enough not to stay too long…

Elizabeth,

When I left my ex-N my counselor gave me the name of one of the best divorce lawyers in my city. I went NC, and tried not to ever allow myself to talk to him. (my kids are basically grown, 1 still in college so I was somewhat able to do it. Sooo hard for the people w/ small children to do…)

When we would need to communicate I would wait until I knew he was in a meeting and couldn’t answ. his cell so I could just leave a msg.

If he called, I let it go to voicemail, and then listen to the msg and would only respond if I had to. If I had to talk to him, I would refer him to my lawyer. I told him SHE, (he hated it being a SHE because he hates women. He called her vicious one time. I LOVED it!!) was in charge of my case and that I wasn’t listening to him anymore.

Of course being a narcissist he never thought I was involved in the shrewd way the case was handled, he blamed her (he would of never thought I was smart enough, The only thing I actually did was to spend the big money to retain her). Doesn’t really matter, but it took some of the heat off me.

Anyways, I got an amazing settlement, and he hates my guts. He honestly said to me one time, “now we can’t be friends after this”. What a N reply…as if I wanted to be.

But truly, the only reason it worked out as good as it did was I did hold him accountable for the money we BOTH had accumulated through all the years we were married. And thank God I did have a savvy lawyer. I told her when it was over one of my first thoughts was that I wanted to send HER flowers!!

The answer is NC. It’s amazing the control they have over our heads, even after we’ve identified them for what they truly are!!

Daisy

I’m so sorry you had to deal with someone like this and this horrible, painful experience. As james said……similar story to the rest of us. It’s amazing how the framework is the same and the names and situations are different.

I hate to even say this, beacause it sounds like misery loves company, but I take comfort in the fact that your story sounds so much like mine, which I posted here. The lure, the fast hard roping in, the charm and generosity, the constant positive attention, the lies, bad behavior, family drama and dysfunction, verbal and emotional abuse, blaming, accusations, devalue and discard, over and over.

Take heart in that we are targeted because of the good in us. We exude hope and faith in people and they take that for granted. They use us until our value is gone and they can’t keep up the masquerade any longer. You were strong and I commend you for that. It took me two years to stop. A year later and it is still hard to believe. The recovery is slow but DO NOT BALME YOURSELF. These evil people will take the same issues and behaviors and sociopathy regardless of where they go. There is no such thing as a normal relationship for them. Keep your head up and let’s learn from it for the next time. I don’t want to lose the loving innocence I had prior to this relationship and I want to trust mo intuition again. You did the right thing. Keep the faith !

I met my S 3 years ago at Thanksgiving. The plot started immediately. In Jan of that following year, I had his wallet in my purse and supposedly lost it. Thus ruining his credit… so EVERYTHING we did from there on was in my name. We were engaged in March and Married in Sept of that year (2 years now). At this point right now … We own 4 cars ($40,000 each), a boat, a motorcycle (that has been sold illegally), a house ($300,000), and somewhere in the realm of $200,000 +- in CC debt!!!!! He moved out aprox 3 weeks ago and I filed for divorce the week after Thanksgiving. I am SOOOOOO glad to have found this site for support!! The things he has done rival any good Dateline story.

I have been talking with our County Prosecutor, do you think I have a chance of dealing with this debt by going after him for Theft by Deceit? He is already in a case in a nearby county from one of the women he had an affair with … he took $40,000 from her!!!

Hey don’t feel bad, we have all rung the bell (Salvation Army)….

🙂

hello issie,
I am swedish and I wonder if you or someone here can explain what Theft by Deceit is, my sociopath has stolen values for approx. USD 100.000, thanks in advance
f

Issie:

I am in therapy now, largely due to my S. I also needed to find a site like this where there were others who could understand what an S is. The people in my life don’t understand and shake it off as just another bad relationship.

I can tell you that mine was not just another bad relationship and the truth here is setting me free.

SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY

Heres my story:

I checked out your site on dontdatehimgirl.com and felt impelled to write.

I have had a series of bad relationships but I truly feel that I have met satan in person.

I met my sociopath in Summer of 2007. It was a summer cruise and there he was this handsome, charming, genuine seeming man. He was neatly dressed in white and was on the cruise alone. I didn’t think anything of it at the time but I was drawn to his good looks and staggering way. I must mention that there were also a lot of other women who wanted to be in his company that summer night as well.

The first four months were perfect. I got flowers, candies, cards and taped I loves you on cassette. These messages on cassette would be timely place on top of soft playing music in the background. I though God had been awarding me for all the failed relationships I have had in my 33 years of life.

Well my life took a turn for the worse, my daughter killed her boyfriend. This man of armour came to my rescue. He was the spokesperson for me with the media, met all of my family, friends and was loved by all. My family members were jealous that I had what seemed to be a piece of heaven. He went to court with me, visit my dauighter in prison and then asked me to marry him. I was on cloud nine. Soon after we got pregnant, we found out we were having a boy and both of us were excited. We moved in together and combined all of our finances. We had a beautiful condo and combined our families. We both had children from previous relationships.

There were red flags but I was so in love, I did not see any wrong in this man. He was perfect to me. The sex stopped, he lost his job, and he started treating me like used goods. I started paying all the bills and taking care of all the children. My bills were being delayed because I didn’t make enough to pay everything. He moved his schizophrenic mother in the house and that was yet another responsibility (I didn’t know he was receiving social security for her). I started demanding that he help me out and he started to sleep out. He would give excuses that he was in the hospital and was too out of it to give me the information. When I doubted what he said, he cursed me out. Here I am left with his mother, his kids, and all the bills I started to lose it.

I will never forget the day when I went into his bank account and took 1/2 his social security money to pay for bills and he went into a violent rage that could have easily landed me in the hospital. He said he didn’t love me from that point on. He said we can stay in the condo but can no longer be a couple. I was miserable. I tried to stay thinking he would change his mind and that never happened so I left.

He was so happy that I left 6 months pregnant that he immediately crossed my name off the mailbox and continued to live rent free in the condo that was in my name. He told his children that he didn’t know why I left but they were better off without me. He told them that I was crazy and that I was stealing from their piggy bank and that I killed their hamster. He even called the police to tell them that to secure that I would not be able to come back to condo that was in my name.

Now with my credit rating down the hole, the leasing company taking me to court for $12000 and unpaid utilities I was ruined. Six months after the fact, I was able to get him out of my condo and turn it over to leasing co. I am trying to pick up the pieces in this new financial place of dispair in which I have never been before.

Our beautiful son was born three months ago but since my sociopath left to a wife of 15 years that I never knew about, I never seen him again. He also fathered 6 other kids he never mentioned out in the world that he also didn’t care for. His wife who never met me and wasn’t there to see me and him in action is so defensive over him and has attacked me as well. She says things like he only used me while she was mad at him and that he hates me and my baby. She even tried to get me arrested for harassing him. The authorities stated to her that the sociopath needs to make complaint to family court if there is a problem. He has to ask courts for an order of protection. The only communication we have is through court. He has been moving around to avoid being served with court proceedings for paternity. When I did try to contact him it was only to ask him to care for his son financially but he doesn’t care. He just doesn’t want to hear from me at all, not even to be served with court papers.

This is only the short version of the actual story but hopefully you catch my drift.

I am in therapy and working on picking up the pieces but I almost took my own life because I thought this was all my fault and I couldn’t move past that point. When I started reading sites like yours and coming back to myself I realize that this man is sick and he did me a favour by disappearing. I don’t want to teach my son to be like him so I give him so much love and pray that GOd has provided him with my heart, emotions, and empathy.

For More details; my website is (please feel free to visit me there):
http://www.whenyoucryicry.com

Dear HWS, LOL Tht’s a good one! “Salvation Army” I think we are an ARMY and we sure tried to “save” the unsaveable at our own expense! Good analogy!

Dear Matt,

You are among “good company” here there are lots of smart, professional good people here who have also been conned, welcome to our ranks—just sorry that you qualify for this club! But, if you have to qualify, this is a good one to join, as there is knowledge, healing and support here. Again, welcome!

Thanks for sharing your story. I’m so sorry you had to go through that. It was the good qualities in you that made you hang in there. And the very human need for love, the capacity to forgive, etc. I hope you aren’t beating yourself up the way I did for taking them back, taking them back. We were engaged in a battle that we didn’t even know was going on, really. If we had known they were never going to change, etc. that they were playing a game all about control, etc…well, we would have ended the game! Next time we know to check more carefully, but that is like a person who has been raped learning physical defense moves after the fact…..it is still not their fault that they got raped before, but good to be empowered for the future. But the rapist is the problem. And our souls were raped.

This country just has no clue how to deal w/the losses-monetary & everything else you lose(homes, cars, your soul, etc.). I know I will never be able to recoup the losses i have. Before I met my ex s., I had no debts, no credit cards, & had bounced 1 check in my whole life. Now at 54 years old, I had to have my 25 year old co-sign a loan when I had to trade in my car. That was the most humiliating thing. I still get financial help from my son, which is so not right to me. Any other crime that is committed in this country has a punishment attached to it, why isn’t total soul & heart annihilation included? ..Because the heart & soul aren’t tangible assets?

sstiles54 When someone here at love fruad say’s something about spaths having horrible credit – I cringe – I have always had good credit until a year ago and now I couldnt get a loan for anything. It’s a good thing I had put my home and land in my son’s name year’s ago or I would prolly be sittin under a bridge now and Mike and his new flame would be splashing around in my pool. No I would be in prison before I would of let that happen. As far as the financial damage he has caused and seem’s he is still doing something fraudulent with ins. that does not bother me as much as the damage he has done to my heart and soul – but I am mending sstiles54 and so will you..

if I had a dollar for every time someone called me strong after they heard my story, I’d be rich. I don’t know what triggers many people to say that to someone after a trauma like this. Maybe it’s more of a cheer like “you are strong, you can get through it!!” raw raw I don’t know why they say it, that is just my guess.

Hi Bird:

Did you give the ex’s girlfriend your Christmas list? I say give them what they asked for..a long list of expensive stuff. Wouldn’t it be fun to make them pay just a little?

Dear Bird,

Almost everyone that knows me thinks and says how “strong” I am, and I never felt strong, but I have changed my thinking, maybe this will help you too, because I THINK YOU ARE STRONG!!!!

My P-bio-father’s worst “curse” was to call someone a coward. His definition of a coward was someone who was FEARFUL. Well, I went along with that for a long time, but I finally saw the TRUE definition of the word “courage”—

Courage is to not ever be afraid, courage, true courage is to be scared chitless and STILL DO WHAT IS NECESSARY.

Bird, I can’t even begin to imagine how you must have felt when that creep walked out on you while you were 6 months preg. I can only tryto imagine what you must have been fearful about. “How will I get throughthis alone? How will I raise this child alone? Who will help me?” etc etc. You were I can imagine scared to death.

BUT–you still did what was necessary to care for yourself and the Baby Birdie. You are working, and being a parent too, a single parent, and you are tired from time to time, and still scared some times but you do what is neccessary.

THAT IS STRENGTH AND COURAGE, THAT IS BRAVERY!

I realize that though I have many times been afraid, been terrified, I STILL DID WHAT HAD TO BE DONE, no matter how it would have made me feel better to curl up in the fetal position and just lie there afraid and cowering.

I AM STRONG. YOU ARE STRONG. WE TOGETHER ARE EVEN STRONGER. They are the cowards, because they feel no fear, they have no fear and they STILL CAN’T DO WHAT IS RIGHT. They have no courage, no stamina and no emotion that is not based on anger, greed, rage or some base instinct.

TOWANDA!!!!!

henry-I hear ya! My ex’s idea of taking care of the bills was to bury them in the trash can before I got home from work, & then tell me they were taken care of. I didn’t have kids old enough to sign any of my stuff over to at the time, so it’s just gone. If what Janis Joplin sings , “Freedom’s just another word for nuthin’ left to lose”, then we all should be the the free-est f-ing bunch of people there are! LOL

lmao you crack me up~~~!!!

OMG Sstiles: My ex’s way of paying bills was to say, “yeah, I’ll take care of it.” I knew what that meant.

I wish I could “re-wind” my life back in time and when I got to the fork in the road to go with him took the other road. I also wish I could “fast-forward” my life to a place where I feel at peace and feel happy again.

Iwonder: Here’s my early Christmas gift for you.

Prayers for Inner Peace

I open my heart to You, dear God, and let Your peace
fill my being.

In Your presence, I am peaceful, poised,
confident, and strong.

I relax in Your loving care, dear God,
and release all my cares to You,
knowing that You are upholding me
and sustaining me in all that I do.

As I keep my heart and mind centered in You, God,
I feel Your peace infusing my entire being
and keeping me serene and secure.

To You, beloved God, I release all sense of turmoil.

In the comfort of Your presence, I am content and peaceful.

God, Your presence calms me, quiets the storms around me, and leads me to a place of perfect peace.

As I center myself in Your peaceful presence,
I let go of every concern and relax in the safety of Your love.

Affirmations for Inner Peace

The love of God quells my thoughts and instills
peace in my mind and heart.

I am poised and secure in God’s presence,
and my heart is serene.

God’s presence within me is my center of perfect peace.

I am confident and calm, knowing that God is with me always.

God within me is my constant source of peace and strength.

I relax, release any anxious thought, and
peacefully rest in the presence of God.

I hope this makes your heart and soul full with peace and happiness.

Wini

Iwonder-
It got so bad for me at the end, when he left, I knew every collection agency’s phone number in the tri state are, from seeing them on my caller I.D 24/7…& yeah, I got the statement you did “I’ll take care of it.” I wish I could hit the same button. I had a place that was mine7 & a good job to keep payin’ for it. Now I’m about 2 weeks from gettin’ evicted. Can’t make the rent. It sucks that there’s no do overs in life.

Sstiles: The last week my ex was with me I complained about money. I had to take out a personal loan for $1000 just to cover the mortgage that month. Imagine. A loan to pay a loan. He looked at me and said “it’s time.” That’s when he left for the OW’s house. Left me a note saying he was going to a friend’s house to borrow $$. I found out her name the night before so I searched her on the net and found out the ugly truth of where he really went….yeah to get money..but not from a “friend.” He was a real Gigilo. User. A real man would have stepped up to the plate and worked his tail off so his woman wouldn’t have to worry. Not him…he uses his Pe..is as his tools of the trade and along with the BS that flows from his lips. Wouldn’t it just be so much easier if he would just come up to a woman and offer himself in exchange for $$??

That sick man was also using his 12 year old boy as part of the scheme. He would take the kid over to the OW’s house to sleep there and come back to my place and sleep with me. I asked the boy who is dad’s friend where they go to and he would say, “my dad told me not to talk about it.” That’s just evil. He can’t take care of his own child on his own so he uses women to do that too. Nice example.

Matt,

Also wanted to add, that your question “Why?” repeated is helpful. My “why” was I believed in the dream. There were many parts to the dream, but the part that meant the most to me was that he and I would be a source of emotional support for each other for the rest of our lives. Well, I was his emotional support when he needed it, but he was NEVER mine. So much for that part of the dream, and it was the part that meant the most to me. So I’m working on becoming strong, my own source of emotional support. It is hard for me to conceive of it, but I’m trying to get there!!! Also it resonated with me when you said to get rid of a p, become a P. I had to do the same thing. Draw a line in the sand. Shut off my “understanding”, my “forgiveness” all that! But I knew I had to do it or I would be destroyed. (emotionally, plus throwing up, crazy!!!) We hate to give up the dream and we hate to be “unkind”. But when faced with evil, one must fight back!!!

Matt,
Sorry for the multiple posts. But also in your experience and mine there was compulsive refusal to recognize abuse as abuse, a compulsion caused by us not wanting to give up our dream. (and also a compulsion to be forgiving, etc…which is not a bad thing when you are with a GOOD person). That is from the book The Betrayal Bond, which really helped me. Helped me realize that as a child I had to accept bad behavior and call it good to survive. Then as an adult, I can easily fall into that pattern again. But AGAIN, if there is no bad guy around, I have no problem, I refuse to accept the blame for what happened as a defect in me. Just I was missing some tools to protect myself that I have now. I made a list of rules to keep myself grounded in reality, including letting lots of friends REALLY know the truth of what is going on so they can weigh in with a clearer head!

Justabouthealed: “Why” is always the biggest question. When I discovered the ugly truth that there was someone waiting in the wings for the day my money ran out, I asked him “why?” “why did you do that??” His answer, “I don’t know. guys do stupid things sometimes.” I replied, “i though you told me that when you are living with a woman, you couldn’t cheat on her.” He just looked at me like he was going to get sick. He said, “go home.” .and I did. There was no heartbeat…no feeling toward me..no empathy…nothing. No, “i’m sorry”..nothing.

Had I not found out about the OW, he would have left me without a trace and then have come back with some BS story about how he missed me, etc.. The saga would have continued. I contacted the woman he was with before me and we shared our stories and timeline. He physically abused her as well and discarded her for me. What was really bizarre was that she told me about him accusing her of looking at guys in this bowling alley and they had to leave. It was her, him and his 2 kids. He did the EXACT same thing to me at the EXACT same bowling alley. After the ex found out I talk to her, he knew everything he is was revealed. Everything he did to the ex, to me, to the current victim is EXACT. From the romance stage to the discard stage. EXACTLY.

I will take it as a blessing that I was able to speak with the ex and find out about the OW. Who knows, he could have been in and out of my life for years playing this game.

What I still don’t get is “why.” Why can’t he just get a job and support himself without using women?? He leaches on and then sucks the life out of them and on to the next. Parasite. Leach. Vampire.

Iwonder: He has a job … that of using women or others to get what he wants.

What part of this don’t you understand? They play all of us for what they can get!

The latest victim will eventually find you … and you can swap stories with her … and it will be all the same … just like 10 years down the road … 40-50 more victims of his find you somehow … swap stories … they will be all the same.

Peace out.

It blows my mind how many of our stories are so similar!! I too have a 4 month old son … who he supposedly wants to see, but he tells all the women he is dating that he doesn’t have kids (he has 3-4 others too!).

He cheated on me 2 months into our marriage for the first year and then I caught 2 more then he moved out and has had at least 5 others for the past 3+ weeks! We have made contct w 2 of them so far!!! 🙂
OH & I wasn’t allowed to get the mail for the past 2 years!! He would shred all the bills and tell me he got another credit card paid off! So I am now left in close to $600,000 in debt! I am going to hold him accountable for this and I will see him go to JAIL!!!!

EVO: You asked about Theft by Deceit… Basically it is a way to prove criminal intent verses a Civil charge. It shows that even though you knew about the expenses and they are in your name, You were deceived into doing it. Hope that helps!

that will be a good day for me – if and when his new victim becomes an X and contact’s me to swap storys – until then i continue to think it was me that messed up and he has found a good man this time – but I know he lied like a rug and cheated right under my nose – but still that will make my day – i can let go completely then – i dont wish the new victim anything bad – it will just confirm things for me – just like so many thing have been confirmed – sorry i am blogging so much tonite

Issie: I’m sorry to hear what this creep did to you. I’m glad you have your son living with you … a responsible person for a parent instead of your Ex having his paws on the child to turn him into a user like his dad.

What state is your EX in? If you don’t mind me asking. My Ex is in Texas now … doing his same ole, same ole with a new wife … if he hasn’t moved past her.

Peace to your heart and soul as you heal from this heel!

to the original author
it’s sad that we figure out how to play the sociopath games { In some ways, better then they play it themselves}
I truly hope you are able to continue the No Contact rule, That is paramount, Stick to your guns and remember,… Your NOT a sociopath!…It might be difficult to not get angry with the smear campaign { that train is never late!, By Now can’t we set our watches to the patterns?}
advise all those around you EXACTLY What you had been dealing with, and simply regards SAID S, as the Non human Vehicle of discord, that he is.
I wish you the best, pure hearted people become victims of the shadowless SIMPLY because we see the good in people.

“true courage is to be scared chitless and STILL DO WHAT IS NECESSARY”

oxy wow that is really powerful. I didn’t understand what courage was. it makes sense now why so many people tell me I am strong, I just didn’t feel that way considering i was scared. what a great insight

iwonder-it made me laugh when i thought of writing back to the other women that the baby needs jewelry and a new car lol thanks for the giggle

Sstiles
That Freedom ! Came at a steep price! BUTT ! When you look at it as a gift ! What Was it going to take? To WAKE MY self UP? I was The FOOL ! Then BAM ! HELLO !

When THE WORD Sociopath ! Identified , Named, Personafied = My Psyco ! I had the Answer to the question on The Final Exam!

Forgiveness does not erase accountability and responsability ! That is only in Gods power to do! Not Mans LOVE JJ

I want to thank all of you for your support. At the moment I’m trying to live by my mother’s (unofficial) school motto: “function in disaster and finish in style.”

However, I’m finding that a particularly tough order at the moment. Yesterday, the florist, with whom I had a standing order with to send flowers to the S’s mother on most major holidays, called me about XMAS. I don’t want to punish an innocent, comatose woman for her son’s misdeeds. But, my fear is that if I send the flowers, he’ll go on the attack anew. And since we’re currently duking it out over the money he owes I can only imagine what else he’s got up his sleeve. Your views?

Elizabeth Conley — thanks for the comment about writing the playbook. At the moment I don’t feel I played the S game all that well — I got fouled right and left. I guess that comes from my playing one game and the S playing an entirely different game. But, since I’m still standing and the S is out of my life, maybe I did win. In any case, I’m happy to pass along any thoughts I have which may be of help to somebody else on Lovefraud.

Keeping_Faith — what you said about learning from the experience resonated with me. My therapist told me I have nothing to feel guilty about — that I was there for him and did everything I could out of love and S was the one who couldn’t receive what I was giving because of his own problems.

What you mentioned about not losing your “loving innocence” also struck home. A friend recently told me “I hate how you’ve started throwing all these walls up around yourself.” I realized he was right, but at this moment I’m in a self-protection mode. I guess I need to be careful to not become that most dreaded of creatures — the bitter old queen.

Iwonder — your comment about wondering about taking the other fork in the road hit home. When I first met S I used to stop in church and pray and thank God for sending this wonderful man into my life. When things started to go south, I used to go into church and pray to God that I knew he had sent the S into my life for a reason and I thought that reason was S needed my help. When things were at their worst, I went into church to pray for strength and ask God why he had sent the S into my life. I gradually came to see that the reason was I needed to learn that not only does evil genuinely exist, but that I needed to value myself and learn to set boundaries. I still wish I had never set eyes on the S, but I’ve come to see it was a life lesson I needed to learn.

Justabouthealed — I agree with you about the “why”. A friend told me I’m mourning the dream and I realized he’s right. I also realized that while a relationship is never 50-50, someone is always a little bit stronger, but in a healthy relationship they are there for their partner, when the relationship is 95-5 and you are doing all the heavy lifting, it is never going to work. I also realize that tolerating abuse is ingrained in me. I have 2 abusive parents — both Ns. The physical abuse was bad, but the verbal was the worst. On some days I still wonder how I ever lived like that, on other days I wonder how I ever lived through that. I’m going to get the book you recommended.

To those bloggers who are struggling with legal issues, don’t have any money to pay a lawyer, and don’t know which way to turn — I have one immediate suggestion. The Bar Associations of every State encourages pro bono service. In many States you will find a State Bar Association, and often a County Bar Association, and in larger cities, a City Bar Association. They often have clinics where you can make an appointment to discuss many of the issues which are concern to Lovefraud readers — matrimonial, bankruptcy, bringing criminal charges, etc. The lawyers will be able to give you good advice on what you should be doing. In addition, many law schools now run legal clinics — Tulane and Penn spring to mind. Call the law schools in your area and see if they do — if they can’t help you they can often refer you to some other organization who can.

I can speak from personal experience that the legal thicket is even intimidating to lawyers who don’t practice a particular area of law. And if you — like me — went through a real mind f*ck courtesy of your S — you are not only not trusting your perceptions, but don’t know which way to turn and are going through what I call “paralysis through analysis”. You may have gathered information, but don’t know what to do with it. However, knowledge is power. Make the call to the Bar Associations, go in with what you’ve got. The first step is often the hardest.

I have been reading all of these stories and feel as thought these S’s are the same person. I know that is not the truth but possible that some of us could have been with the same S on here. “Something to think about”.

Matt,

Like many of us duped by these idiots, you seem like a smart guy. YOU WILL BE FINE…… I don’t want to be bitter either. Self protection is OK, but there is nothing like loving with all your heart and soul and feeling everything you can. A year later and it does get easier but the healing process was so slow for me that it seemed like I would never feel better.

I want to love with everything I have again and open myself up completely. I don’t want to “miss opportunities” either because I am too afraid. So you take a risk, and I’m sure when the “rightone” comes along and we feel protected and comfortable again, it will be OK. YOU WILL BE FINE. THe pain can be unbearable. I know. You can love and will again. THey can’t won’t never will. We have something to look forward to. THey will live in the hell they have created forever.

Thank you Matt.
You know all … I am realizing everyday that God’s strength is where my sanity comes from. Also… planing my “strategies” to make my S be held accountable helps give me a little fire in my gut to get through this too! That and this beautiful baby boy I have. I think instead of feeling pittiful like we have been dooped, we need to get MAD that these people are out there and start supporting each other and go after these FREAKS! I firmly believe in our justice system and know that ONE VOICE can be heard… ESPECIALLY if we all speak it together!!

Wini – My soon to be ex is here in MO. You stated before to someone that “The latest victim will eventually find you ” and you can swap stories with her ” and it will be all the same ” just like 10 years down the road ” 40-50 more victims of his find you somehow ” swap stories ” they will be all the same.”

Not if I can STOP him first. So far 2 of the 3-5 women he has been with over the past few weeks, we have found them and made contact (I say we bc I am blessed with a great family and friends network! They are all in this with me). We watch him when we get a chance and we keep tabs on what he is doing and to whom. If none of this works then I will continue to pray for God to RUN HIM OFF THE ROAD in his precious $40,000 Truck! Sorry, I know that isn’t nice… but I guess I am done being a NICE LITTLE DOORMAT! 🙂

I am a healthy, strong, intelligent, beautiful woman and I will not allow him to continue – With God’s help… I agree with whomever said ” Vengance is mine says the Lord” He will take care of His Children.

This is one of the most interesting threads, as it is almost written like a “play book” by which we all start to see that “they” seem to play by. Of course, they do have some variations on a theme, and some playbooks are written by more experienced coaches than others, but all-in-all, it is the same.

There also seems to be a “playbook” by which WE (their victims) play by as well, so there must be a lesson somewhere in all of this for all of us.

First, we must, I think, like Matt, realize that they are not playing by the same rules of the game that we are playing by, and in fact, not even playing the same game that they are. This is course puts us at a DECIDED DISADVANTAGE in the game(s).

I remember a cute cartoon of two little kids, one somewhat larger than the other, who were playing checkers and the little one said to the older child, “Why can’t my red checkers have kings?” Obviously the older child was fixing the “rules” to his own advantage, just as the psychopath fixes the “rules” of the game to suit themselves and give them an advantage over us.

One of the “take home lessons” for us, though, after an encounter with a psychopath should be that in the future, UNCONDITIONAL TRUST is not something to be given lightly to someone else, no matter how the “prize” we get for giving it is glittering in our sight, just out of our reach.

The story in the Bible of Eve encounter Satan disguised as a serpent seems to me to sum up the way we are versus the way they are.

Eve, in the story, had it pretty darned good. She had everything that she possibly could want, but she was the ultimate naive victim, she did not know the difference between good and evil. Eve was the perfect patsy for the original psychopath.

The serpent came into her life, knowing that she did not perceive him or his motives as evil. He implanted a desire for something “glittering” that she didn’t even know she was missing. He lied to her about God’s motives for withholding this information, and made her think that she would become a god if only she had this wonderful thing, “the knowledge of good and evil.”

Of course, the Satanic Psychopath’s only purpose in life was to bring down this happy naive victim, but not recognizing that there even was the potential for evil in her world, or that someone could get pleasure from destroying her perfect world, Eve gave the serpent her UNCONDITIONAL TRUST, while reaching for the “glittering prize.”

Well, her glittering prize of knowing the difference between Good and Evil was not the prize she thought it would be, She did not become god-like in the way she had envisioned, but she did LEARN SOMETHING.

All of us, I think, would likek to think that there is a “prize” out there that will make our lives paradise on earth, and the psychopath holds out this prize to us, and we get “a prize” but it is just not what we thought it would be, we get the same “prize” that Eve got in her encounter with the original psychopath, we get THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL.

While it wasn’t the prize that we thought it would be, none-the-less, it IS a valuable prize. It may feel like we have lost paradise in our lives, or been cheated from the prize we sought, but the KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL is what ultimately makes us human.

If we use this new KNOWLEDGE to our benefit appropriately, it may turn out to be the most valuable of all prizes, because in the future, this knowledge can protect us from the next satanic-psychopath that comes into our lives.

Eve gave up paradise for this prize, and we have also given up much for this information, but if we use this prize, in the end, it will make us the WINNERS OF THE GAME OF LIFE.

I firmly believe that God gives us the lessons we need, though maybe not in the way we think we need them, and that just as He provides for the lilies of the field, He provides for us what we really need, not what we think we want.

OxD
Ademdom : The LIE was carefully , craftfully , Purposefully , seasoned with a DasH of TRUTH !

RAT POISON IS 99.9% PURE CORN MEAL, it is always the .01% of the statement that is the poison-lie.

Issie: My EX’s initials are JB Jr. I wouldn’t doubt that he’s working his scams in other states than TEXAS. He took off to Texas after leaving the state I live in, where he was born … married his next victim … and I’m sure, kept dating others on the side to get what he wants, when he wants it.

I too, am trying to get my EX arrested. The police in my city just opened my claim against him…. the original detective was transfered to another unit, the 2 detectives that took over just deep six’d my arrest warrant for him. I then complained to internal affairs and now they are looking into my police report again. So, we’ll see.

Personally, this guy needs to be taken off the streets for a long, long, long time. Unbelievable. He is one of my worst nightmares. I would hate to see other people being conned by this con artist. He’s incredibly talented but rather use his God given gifts to do evil. I’m just shaking my head … it’s all due to their big EGOs and being blinded by their selfishness and greed … just keeps on escalating and NO ONE is safe.

Talk about disrupting harmony!

Peace.

Matt–

Thanks for a wonderful post. You are a great writer. I especially liked your comment on how friends and family are tired of our story: “My friends and family can’t bear to hear another word about S. I expect to crawl over miles of broken glass on my stomach before they’ll ever listen to me again.”
It is sad, but most of experience impatience and a lack of understanding by our friends and family.

Regarding flowers for s’s mother, if it were me, I’d focus my generosity elsewhere. I think S will try to use any continued contact to his advantage. They don’t change; it’s all about them. His mother will understand (somehow, sometime), even if she is comatose. You aren’t “punishing” her by any stretch of the imagination if you choose to discontinue flowers.

Thanks for sharing your story.

justabouthealed–

you said The Betrayal Bond really helped you. “Helped me realize that as a child I had to accept bad behavior and call it good to survive.” (I am reading a book that discusses this very topic. I was so excited about what I learned that I submitted a blog post to Donna.)

What are your rules that you mentioned that keep you grounded in reality? reading them would really be helpful to me and others. Hope you’ll share them with us.

Pearl: Thanks for both the compliment and the advice. With respect to the S’s mother, I feel badly because she is a woman who has been forgotten by the world, and whose family knows she has been forgotten by the world. The rest of the S’s family are wonderful people, and I feel badly having to cut them off. But I know you’re right regarding how the S will interpret any gesture on my part. I can see how S has terrorized his own family — a few members have called me since we broke up — clearly behind his back (he point blank told them he was their brother, not me), but I’ve had to take the hard line approach with them and tell them that I can’t get/stay involved with them.

I also noticed your post to justabout healed regarding The Betrayal Bond. I picked it up today and started reading it. I’m shoulder to shoulder with you on your request — I’d love to know what her rules are regarding keeping oneself grounded in reality. I’m finding I especially need a good hard dose of it at this moment having just come back from my company’s XMAS party — to make a long story short, the ghost of the S, who was my guest last year, has been haunting me all evening (probably has something to do with the quantity of good champagne I imbibed).

But, in all seriousness, I think people tend to start weakening around the holidays, especially when it comes to exes — and vice-versa. I can’t tell you how many friends have called me since Thanksgiving telling me that one ex or the other has crawled out of the woodwork and called them. In the case of any of us who are in recovery from an S, I think it is especially critical to not reach out to the former S in our lives, which, as you can guess from this post, is an issue I’m grappling with at this very minute.

Anyhow, thanks again for the good advice and listening.

Pearl: I meant also to thank you for referencing my comment about friends and family. I ran into a friend tonight who lit into me about the whole situation with the S and told me “I brought it onto myself.” I had to turn and walk away before I ripped his tongue out. Good God, of all the things I could ever bring onto myself, this wouldn’t even make the top 100, let alone the top 10. Thank God for Lovefraud.

Matt: The saddest thing about our EXs … besides what they do to people … is that everyone around them needs to find out for themselves how evil they truly are.

Your EX must really be laying it on thick to this friend of yours for them to believe how great they are and go against you. Just be there with a crying towel when they find out for themself.

Peace.

Wini: Thanks. He’s got the smear campaign running full throttle. I try to keep reminding myself that karma’s a boomerang, but it still hurts. What is so frustrating to me is that there are people who I know are probably his next targets, but I have to keep my mouth shut because I’ll end up looking like I’m the one with the axe to grind.

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