LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: He is forbidding me to see my son

Editor’s note: Below is an email exchange that I had with a reader whom we’ll call “Vera.” Her ex-husband is a sociopath and a lawyer.

I am co-parenting with a sociopath and I am at my wits end. He is constantly using our son in his ongoing battle to torment me. The boy is still in elementary school and spends time with him alone at his mountain home. I am concerned that besides being emotionally abused as he is, he will be physically harmed. I am in a terrible bind though. Being a lawyer and a sociopath, he conned his way into custody by paying over $100,000 to hire the best divorce lawyer in town. Without a six-figure retainer or his manifest abuse of our son, I cannot amend the custody order. And even if I could, he will violate the order anyway.

He has given me 50/50 with my son for the past 7 months without court approval, and now he is claiming that because he is seeing evidence that I am trying to alienate the boy from him, he is forbidding me to see him. If I say, “let’s go back to the 5-year-old court order,” it means I only get to see my son 20 hours a week, no overnights. If I don’t say anything, he disregards the schedule we had in the past, emails me on occasion to criticize, berate, belittle me, and ask me to drive up 25 miles to have my son for a few hours, or at most 12 hours, after which I have to drive him back (that’s when he goes to court or needs to be rid of the boy). I cannot function not knowing in advance when I can be with him. This chaos is unbearable and is designed to unsettle both our son and I and damage our good relationship.

Please email me a few tips on how to handle this situation, as my family and friends don’t know how to handle pathological sociopathic behavior.

Thank you kindly,

This is the response that I sent to Vera:

I am so sorry for your situation. I think in your case, since you can’t afford to take him to court, you need to be an actress. Do not let him ever get any reaction out of you. Never get upset in your ex’s presence, never let him know that he is upsetting you. You should almost pretend to be disinterested in seeing your son.

Here is the reason: He is doing this to you because he gets a charge out of seeing you upset. Deny him the charge. Pretend that you are moving on with your life. Your response to him about seeing your son should be, “Whatever.”

Secondly, your ex will soon want to be off on his next adventure, and the child will probably “slow him down.” So he may want to “dump” your son off on you more and more—especially if he thinks you are not interested in caring for the boy.

Third, all sociopaths want to “win.” If he thinks he has won, because he is calling the shots, he may tire of the game.

When you are with your son, be as kind and loving to him as you can be. Let him know that you are always there for him. Eventually he will be able to make his own decisions.

In the meantime, keep meticulous records of everything that happens. If you ever see injuries on your son, take him to a doctor or photograph them. Communicate only via email, and save all of them. Eventually you may build enough of a case to make a change in the arrangements.

Best wishes,

The information that I provided to Vera comes from what I learned from all of you at Lovefraud. I did not have a child with the sociopath I married, so I did not experience the co-parenting issues first-hand.

Vera wrote back with more questions. I ask Lovefraud readers to respond to her, because many of you have dealt with these situations, whereas I have not.

The classic sociopath behavior would be that sooner or later if there is no fuel he will “dump” the child off on someone who’s not doing him a favor, and I’ve experienced that a few times. However, more frequently he will “dump” the boy off on unreliable babysitters, or whomever, instead of asking me, and he knows that’s how he gets me. If I don’t react, the boy could be harmed as he was in the past, and he will be told that I don’t care. Should I just sit back and play cool? I am certain he badly damaged his first wife by yanking her chain constantly, by keeping their daughter hostage at his house and showing crass indifference to her welfare so much so that the poor mother left for Peru, where she died shortly thereafter. The adult daughter is bipolar and a heroin addict. I was not aware of those facts prior to marrying him.

He spent $3,000 on a University Discovery Summer Program for two months running in order to have the boy away from me the entire summer. It is the first year he’s done that. The reason for it is that he is hoping to get the money back from me by taking me to court to get more child support on allegations of parental alienation. All he wants is for me to become indigent. Please advise.

In closing, he rarely packs lunches for our son, and peanut butter is disallowed at the program; the boy will end up starving every day until early evening when he takes him to McDonalds or Burger King. The boy is 54 pounds at the age of 8 ½, and the sociopath has no regard for his physical growth or emotional well being. This hurts me so keenly because I understand nutrition and I feed our son homemade natural/organic foods. Please advise.


Do you have advice for Vera? If so, please post your comments.


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24 Comments on "LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: He is forbidding me to see my son"

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dear mustache,

I hear your pain, and I think that this must be the most painful thing that a psychopath can do to a parent, is to alienate the child, and at 13 your daughter is at the perfect age for him to start this carp! (((hugs)))) God bless you.

There is no guarantee that she won’t become like him, that is the terrible truth…My P son was a pretty good kid til he hit puberty, and I only saw 1 episode prior to that that was in any way a P indicator.

My only suggestion to you is that you NOT REACT to her thrusts and jabs, and keep your cool no matter what she does or says. Set good boundaries and rules and stick to them, and if possible get her into counseling now.

I would also go to Dr. Leedom’s blog “parenting the at-risk child” (there’s a link here on LF) and get all the information you can about it. The genetics may be there from him, but genetics ALONE CANNOT make a psychopath, so do the best you can and leave the rest in God’s hands. Your daughter has a choice, and though genetics may prod one way, they are not the totality. So love her, don’t react, and stay strong and pray. It is all we can do. (((hugs)) and God bless.

Dear Vera (and parents in similar circumstances)

First, my heart cries tears for you as a mother who loves her child. I am sad to hear your story and others who have posted on this blog.

Donna covered the three bases of focus. In the distraction of confusion set forth by the sociopath, keep focused on what’s ultimately important; your son and his future. Take every opportunity to simply love your son in ways that matter over time. It’s that love that will win the battles and war over the test of time. Love, overcomes all lies and trumps the manipulative confusion mounting in your son’s daily experience, thereby, grounding him to a healthy future of his own to embrace someday.

I too had a young son at the time I escaped. Court order after court order violated. My sociopathic spouse of over 25 years immediately partnered up with a millonaire female sociopath, also imbedded in our local courts. I felt defeated on every level, but in my heart of hearts knew the ultimate victim, would be my son if I did not guide, guard and protect him as only I could.

My son is now of legal age. He is going to be okay, ultimately. Children are innately wiser than any of us realize. Their survivor skills suite them well. It was/is the love bond that we both share, that got us through and is healing us now. We knew it was the ONE real truth in the socio-tornado of our experience. Through it my son learned he could always count on and trust me for food, clothing, school supplies, and phone contact. Basics, two sociopaths denied him.

Overtime, as always, they exposed their own lies in ways children see clearly. Sure, there’s a lot to still sort through, but my son can now openly sort through his ongoing experience with his friends and me while moving forward separating himself from his father’s life.

He is no longer fearful he will be like “him”, has a moral compass and conscience. I gave my son the gift of love and freedom of choice to make his own decisions. All I did after that was praise him for every positive decision he made. In those three things my son found courage to survive and knew, beyond the shadow of a doubt, he was loved even when we disagreed on choices.

My encouragement to you is to consciously love your son, every moment of every day. He’ll find his wings and life will give him air to soar. You will uncover the beautiful you that has always been there burried deep beneath the debris of blood, sweat, and infinate tears. May you rise like a phoenix through it all!



I think you gave me some advice about this last week. I appreciate it so much. With that advice, I resolved to say nothing negative about her dad and to be positive and loving, yet set and keep boundaries. So far so good. We had the best week we’ve had in the past couple of months. She’s back at her dad’s for a week now, so I’m praying that what she experienced this week will sustain her if her dad tries to manipulate her relationship with me.

I will check out the blog you mentioned. I’ve also been thinking about getting her back into counseling. I had her do a support group and therapy for a while after the divorce, but it’s been a couple of years since we stopped.

Thanks for your post. It contains a lot of good advice. I’m going to keep on keeping on with nurturing the love bond and being the anchor of truth and security for my daughter.

Dear Mustache,

Sounds good to me, the therapy, if she is willing to go,, which I hope she is.

Sorry if I repeated the “same sermon”—I have CRS and can’t remember “stuff” LOL

Dr. Leedom is raising a son by her Psychopathic X husband and is very interested in how to raise a child and keep connected with them in such a way that they don’t end up “just like their father.”

Raising any teenager I think is this day and age must be difficult, but I think you have your head on straight and you know what she is dealing with, so hopefully, you can guide her through the “highway to hell” that her father is trying to put her through in order to punish you. You have my sympathy, empathy and prayers!


please repeat as much as possible, since I have the same memory issues! Thanks for your help. 🙂

Mustache, my son and his friends tease me about telling the same story over and over, and they laugh and say “You know I think this story is better this time than the first two or three times you told it.” LOLROTFLMAO

It is odd too as I had a GREAT short term memory before the plane crash in july of 2004 when my husband died, and ZAP it was GONE! It has improved since then, but WAY below what it was prior to the trauma of the crash….the loss of the short term memory really bothered me BADLY and made me feel crazy and not a complete person, I felt like I had lost my mind….but now I kind of accept that my memory isn’t as bad as it was, nor as good as it once was, but that is STILL OK.

So now I have to make a list to go to the grocery store, or keep my pills in a pill minder to remember to take them, and so on, but SO WHAT?

P-free life is so much better than all the drama that goes along with dealing with them. I have great admiration for you who have to co-parent with one and know that they use your precious child as a battering ram to hurt you with. Your strength must be like Samson! ((((Hugs))))


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