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LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: I provided her a road map to my life

Editor’s Note: The following post was written by a Lovefraud reader who comments as RobertinSeattle.

Boy, I’ve started and re-started this post several times. Each time, a new idea or thought comes up that changes what I want to convey in my first open post about a recent breakup that started from a popular online dating site late last year.

But let me start off with some general observations: I’ve noted on many websites and blogs that sociopaths make up anywhere from 1% – 4% of our society. And that male sociopaths outnumber females by as many as 8-to-1. While I might agree with those percentages in general, from my personal experience and research, I’d argue and debate those numbers when applied to specific segments or occupations. For example, I’ve been working with retired football players for many years now and I know I could successfully argue that at least 20 – 30% of professional football players – if not more – are sociopathic/psychopathic because of the very nature of the sport itself. Where else can you get paid big bucks for the privilege of legally beating the crap out of others with almost no repercussions or consequences as the huge crowds cheer you on?

Or how about cops? Want to bet that at least 20% of our police forces are likely sociopaths? Just look at some of the recent police violence flaring up all over the country, often unprovoked. Think about it: You get a gun and a badge and almost unquestionable authority to do just about anything you want to others.

Given that line of thinking, why would online dating sites be any different? You’ve got a nearly perfect storm: online anonymity, everyone’s wants and desires are posted openly on their profiles and – let’s face it – each of us are there for one main reason: We’re lonely and we’re looking for that perfect match to spend the rest of our lives with happily ever after. So I would propose that sociopathic types populate at least 10% – 15% of dating sites because they’re the perfect platform for these predators.

More female sociopaths

As a male victim, I think I could also make a strong argument that perhaps we might also be underestimating the numbers of female sociopaths. I’m beginning to believe that the ratio may be more like 4- or 5-to-1 and not that 8-to-1 everyone touts. While I can’t prove it with hard research, I’d posit that guys are much less likely to open up and admit that they’ve been duped by a woman after they’ve just spent time telling all their friends about this incredible woman that was finally their absolute perfect match.

And I also believe – as many do – that female sociopaths are a lot more cunning and different in their approach simply because of their gender. While males can be more physically aggressive and even more dangerous at times, I believe that females employ a completely different approach to how they manipulate men because of their very nature and their physical differences.

Perhaps if we all make enough of a fuss about this growing problem, these sites might do more to help the majority of us who are there with good intentions. In the long run, I suspect the dating sites which put checks in place would actually benefit greatly.

I can feel pain

As for me, one of the points I did want to convey first is that my pain after the breakup is still very real and it lingers. As with any breakup, it eventually starts to diminish, but no doubt at the early stages, the down cycles are a lot longer than the up cycles. Each of us has our own way of dealing with it and the healing process manages to seek its own level when it finally kicks in and takes over.

While I’m certainly not a masochist, I’m now actually admitting I’m trying to enjoy my pain, believe it or not. Do I like it? Of course not. But feeling the pain means I’m not a sociopath! I’m real. I’m healthy. I’m not like her. If I were a sociopath, I’d have no remorse or regrets or pain from the breakup. And this is something none of them can or will ever truly acknowledge.

There are those of us who suffer and endure the cycles of loss and depression from losing something that we thought we had. But not feeling anything is truly their loss, not mine. I can love. I can hurt. And I can at least comfort myself in knowing that this is something they will never ever truly know or experience.

Met her online

I met her late last year on one of the major online dating sites. I had spent days creating what I felt was an open and honest profile, eventually answering close to 3,000 questions in hopes that I’d find someone with a matching personality and interests. Several trips back-and-forth across the country (I live on the West Coast and she was in Florida) and “we” were absolutely convinced we were made for each other. Of course, being a gentleman, I paid for everything.

Looking back on the time we spent together, I now realize how she basically fed me back everything she learned about me from my profile. Every detail from likes and dislikes, ranging from political viewpoints right down to the most minute details of sexual preferences.

Naturally, at first, it was like a dream come true. It was incredible. Everything was magical and seemed almost perfect in how the two of us matched up so closely so quickly. But of course, I’d provided her with an absolute roadmap to my life in great detail and she very skillfully worked it all into every interaction we had, whether it was on the phone or in e-mails or texts and especially when we were physically together. She was good.

This woman would deserve an Oscar for her command performance if it had been in a movie or on stage. Her approach was text book behavior: Move in on me quickly, emphasize our compatibility, reinforce it with repeating back everything I told her I felt for her and then start suggesting that we move in together because we were perfect for each other so why wait? We never argued or had any disagreements; our thoughts and points of view were so idealistically aligned that I thought it would never end. I can honestly say I never saw it coming.

Changing my approach

I’m now going into a period of pondering different things I might adjust or change in looking for that special love online. Should I make most of my answers private and let them find out more about me in person? How much or how little should I put out there? Or can I learn to filter out the bad ones by coming up with my own set of questions and flags that tell me to run? And could changing all of these things end up make me someone different from who I really am?

But as I keep getting reminded more and more by everyone, “If it’s too good to be true…”

And my closest friends keep reminding me that it could have gotten a whole lot worse and much harder to break off had it gone any further. I hope to have the opportunity in future posts to share more details with all of you so that we can help each other by using the same tools that these people use to take advantage of us. What kinds of questions or techniques have you used to help screen out these people on first contact?


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26 Comments on "LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: I provided her a road map to my life"

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Robertinseattle, I am so sorry that you had those experiences, and I am profoundly grateful that you have posted your experiences. Welcome to LoveFraud, and I’m sorry that you’re a member.

Indeed, the ability to “feel” on any level, is a blessing – even if it’s the pain of grief and loss.

I am grateful, specifically, that I’m reading a male’s experiences – the majority of readers and responses are from women, and men don’t typically approach this subject simply because they are expected to “stay strong, abide, and move on.” Somehow, the stigma seems to be that men have a better abililty (and, societal expectation) to “just get over it.” Your words affirm that the damages are just as deep and grievous for men, and this cannot – CAN NOT – be underestimated or minimized.

Thank you so very much for this article and brightest healing blessings to you

Robert, I agree with you. I think female Ps are just as prevalent as males. Females are excused more and labeled as Bs instead of Ps.

Starting on page 101 in “Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work,” by Paul Babiak, Ph.D. & Robert D. Hare, Ph.D., there is a whole section on female psychopaths.

I’ll quote a litte bit, “Female psychopaths effectively use society’s expectations about female behavior to their own advantage…this is readily apparent among female offenders, where the prevalence of psychopaths is almost as high as it is among male offenders.”

To answer your question about going forward, educate yourself and trust your gut. I agree, also, with your friends, about “If it’s too good to be true…”

There is a good thread on here about “You’re not Cinderella and He’s not Prince Charming.” I’m not sure if that’s the exact title, but it’s close enough to do a seach.

Take a look at that. Something there might be helpful.

Robert, I found the thread.

It’s “He’s not Prince Charming and You are not Snow White.”

http://www.lovefraud.com/blog/2012/04/20/letters-to-lovefraud-he-is-not-prince-charming-you-are-not-snow-white/

Hi Robert,

Thank you for your post. I was in a long-term marriage to someone I believe is a spath. And I’ve come to realize that I have a couple of family members who are either spath or Narcissistic. Yikes! Seems there’s no end to dealing with these disordered creatures!

I have also done the online dating thing. I try to watch for signs of control with the men I meet. Also, some of the ones I am extremely cautious about seem to want to jump into relationships very quickly. Even after they’ve told me of long-distance relationships that moved too quickly and then failed, I had one guy in particular ask me (on the first phone contact with him) how long I believe one should date before marriage. I told him at least a couple of years. Apparently he was in a rush, as that was the last time we spoke. Another guy (a former pro football player) was only 4 mos. out of his second marriage. We met once for coffee, and then had one dinner date. He asked me how much furniture I had, and made other comments that led me to believe he wanted an immediate replacement for the woman who he’d just divorced.

Take care of yourself and be gentle to yourself…I’ve been down this road, and it’s a rough one.

Dear Robert in Seatle,

Thank you for your post and I am so glad that a man is here on LF standing up and being head. I agree with you that the diagnosis of psychopath is WAYYYY underdiagnosed in females and I believe it is because too many of them are diagnosed as borderline personality disorder instead of as psychopaths which they truly are.

The sex hormones may be partly responsible for the differences is some of the behaviors between BPD and PPD but I honestly think there is such an overlap in behaviors that they are the SAME actual problem not two different diagnoses. But the professionals can’t even agree on a NAME for psychopathy so hohw can we expect them to come up with criteria for the diagnosis?

I hope that not only you, Robert, but other men will come here and read.

Thanks again for your article. God bless.

As for female sociopaths: I’m just watching this Bridezilla ‘documentary’ show for 5 minutes during zapping, and those are perfect examples of drama-rama female sociopaths.

There was this one woman who had her in-laws and parents pay for everything…bought 3 dresses, because she always found a better dress, the last one ordered and needing to come from Paris 9 days before the wedding and of course never could arrive in time. So she needs to buy a fourth dress and of course wants the 9000 $ one.

Warning: the word salad, abuse, drama rama and huge entitlement etc can be very triggering.

Hi all… Haven’t posted here in a while. Just thought I would give a little update. I met a fantastic woman who has helped me to find myself again. I didn’t even think he still existed. I know many of you feel the same way. It’s really hard to believe, but with the right people in your life, you will come out of this a better person. Quite the opposite for the path who victimized you.
I also want to thank everyone here so much for helping me through the really tough times. You were my saviors, my angels.
Through all the support, and advice I got here, and alt of perseverance, and by the grace of God, I finally succeeded in doing what I’ve been trying to do for so long. I have temp custody of my children. Yesterday, when a judge granted me this order, was the happiest day of my life.
Thanks again everyone. Stay strong and God bless.

I am a gay woman and I actually think that there are as many female sociopaths out there as male ones. I believe they are a lot harder to spot, as they even outdo their male counterparts on the deception front. I have been bullied, slandered and scapegoated by these creatures more than once in my life and each time I was only truly believed by a select few friends (ones with some knowledge of psyhology) and the rest of people just thought I was exaggerating. They often torment the ones closest to them and in public they can have a friendly, sweet persona. Unless you have been a victim of a sociopath you cannot imagine the level of deception and manipulation these creatures are capable of.

W8ing for change,

I’m glad you have custody of your children….that is the most important thing.

I do suggest that while your new relationship seems like the perfect thing to help you heal, you may not want to get too involved in that right now. Just go slow with it. Take care of your kids and yourself right now.

ZiZI welcome to love fraud and I think you may be right.

W8ting, congratulations on the custody issue.

I agree with OxD – the “perfect thing” might not exist, as it stands. I don’t know how long you’ve been out of the spath entanglements, but it’s a very dangerous game of roulette to spin the wheel before we’ve saved up enough that we can afford to lose. This includes having significant others with regard to child custody – I know this from personal experience. It can backfire in one’s face quicker than you can say, “Jack Rabbit.”

Zizi, yes…..welcome and I’m sorry that you’re a member of this odd club! LOL

You are spot-on.

Dear Robert in Seattle,

Great post. Thank you for sharing. Lovefraud and it’s members have long validated my experience and helped me evolve thru my pain. Whether one is a victim of long term abuse, as I was, or a new victim who was blindsided, we all share one thing in common. We dealt with a monster up close and personal…and survived.

Psychopaths and sociopaths are masters of manipulation and control. They truly cannot feel empathy. They cannot feel guilt. They wear a mask that changes with the wind and they lie with ease.

As you come to terms with what you went thru you will begin to ‘recognize’ people like this. My radar now goes off like crazy if I see someone who always blames others for their woes. A sociopath never takes responsibility for what they have done.

Since I was married at 17, and stayed with a monster until I was 42, I virtually had no experience in dating. Dating online seemed like the perfect way to slowly dip my toes in the water. So true what you said about dating sites being the perfect storm… I, too, tried dating online and found it full of people who are not who they say they are. I also found that I’m still too trusting. I seem to believe what ever is said to me. Even with my radar going off, I found that at most I could only back away slowly. I’m apparently not ready to date.

One bit of advice I learned from the dating sites was to see if the person had friends and family in their life. Someone who is well adjusted will have people in their life. They will actually ‘have’ a life. If they tell you the ‘woe is me’ story of how they’ve been messed over repeatedly by others – run!

At this point I’ve just decided to focus on liking myself, revelling in my peace and going with the belief that when I am whole again I will be ready for love and a relationship.

Good luck, and thanks again for writing your post. I look forward to reading more.

Thank you Ox. I am definatly taking it slow. I learned alot from the path. And so did she from hers. Lol. She is just a fantastic person and we bring out the best in each other. We both, however, have out priorities in order. Thanks again everyone. God bless.

RobertinSeattle…I’m sorry for what you’re going through. I can certainly relate as almost the same thing happened to me. The pain can seem almost unbearable at times, but you will get through it. It’s taken me some time, but I realize what a horrible person he can be. It didn’t start out that way though….everything seemed right. I thought he was the “love of my life”. Like you, I provided a roadmap to my life and he knew just how to use it.

Stay strong. Your life will get better. I am now just starting to casually date again and am very cognizant of what is going on.

I have to agree with Zizi. This disorder is not gender biased. Females are much better at hiding it, and our views are all wrong in society when it comes to things like this.

I was nearly destroyed by a female psychopath: a woman that I was so sure was a gift from God, and was absolutely my dream come true. She has to be the most ruthless and cold person that I have ever encountered. Still, unless someone really gets to know women like this, they are very able to fool us. There are many beautiful people in this world, who are repulsive and totally evil inside. I believe that this sickness is equally distributed among the sexes.

Hi johnscardina,
I am sorry to hear you have been almost destroyed by one of these creatures. I know for sure that the one of the female sociopaths that had targeted me and bullied me for months had already ruined two men’s lives previously. She made one leave his wife and children for her, and as soon as he was free to be with her she didn’t want anything to do with him. I think she just enjoyed making him do whatever she wanted. She was petite and very pretty and had us all fooled for some time.

One thing I can tell you for sure though, I have become a better person through my experience with these creatures. I have learnt to appreciate my friends and family more and now I am in a happy relationship. I have read just about every book I could get on sociopathy and now I am fairly convinced that I can spot them. The best advice I can give you is stay out of their way, we mere humans are no match for them.

ZiZi…you are so right. I, too, left my husband and children for this guy. Yes, my marriage had issues, but I got sucked into his manipulation. I see that now, but at the time I thought I was so in love with this man.
You nailed it when you said, “The best advice I can give you is stay out of their way, we mere humans are no match for them”. I can attest to that, sadly enough.
I, too, am becoming much stronger as a result of this creature.

Hi cannh,

Really sorry to hear you left your husband for this kinf of person but do not blame yourself, sociopaths (if gone undetected)are able get inside our heads in a way that no other healthy, normal human being can. They begin their brain washing from the moment they meet us.

And in my opinion they target married people purely for the challenge and because they love to destroy other people’s lives. They know that they are lacking something others have (such as love and compassion which are wonderful things) and they destroy out of envy.

zizi,
they are driven by envy. The fact that we are able to love and care about others is what they envy most. So of course they envy our ability to have relationships and marry for love. They target married people for that reason.

I know a spath woman who told me she only dates married men. BIG RED FLAG. She was having sex with my spath! Lol!

Funny thing, I told her that if she wanted my “piece of shit” she could have him. I had no idea she was already taking out the trash for me. But I think she told him and that’s when he stepped up his plans to kill me.

Yes Skylar people who only date married men or women are often sociopaths. In fact all the ones that I have known have had affairs with unavailable people in the past. And they very often cheat also on their partnes too, beware of anyone who tells you they have cheated on more than one gf/bf. These creatures often end their relationships by leaving their partner for someone who they have been having an affair with for months. Not only does this serve to humiliate their previous partner but it also prevents them from having to be on their own. They hate being alone, they need someone to torment at all times.

I get you zizi,
they will tell you about their escapades to test your boundaries. It’s almost comical.

They tell you that they had sex with a friend’s wife or husband. They give an excuse, “she came on to ME”. Or they say they’ve had MANY sex partners because they’re so good in bed.

These are red flags. I wish I’d known when I was young.

Yes, having sex with a friend’s partner is a classic one with them. I didn’t even think of that but now you mention it a lot of the ones I knew told me they did that in the past. It’s like they double break your heart, you lose a friend and a partner all at the same time. They sure go for maximum damage.

Yep, Zizi, maximum damage is correct. I knew this guy for ten years before we got involved…and he was married too, but expressed his attraction to me. When I was very vulnerable (my own fault, I know), I bought into it all, hook, line and sinker. We stayed together for almost four years (he did end up getting divorced), but during that time he ended up on dating sites, lying, cheating and manipulating me…and I let it all happen. I’m learning and know much better now, believe me. These people are masterful at what they do. They know how to rip your heart out! While I know I hurt my husband and children as a result of all of this, I’d never in a million years do that again….NEVER!

Wow, you knew him for ten years before you got involved. It’s amazing how long these creatures can keep up their facade before we get a glimpse behind their masks.I think they often only show their true self with the ones closest to them, those are the people they manipulate and gaslight the most, so casual friends or aquaitances often have no idea what these people are like behind closed doors. They can be incredibly charming.I hope you are still in touch with your kids and husband, sometimes sociopaths can completely destroy our connections to others.

So true that a sociopath can destroy all your relationships.
I found my sister (sociopath) has gone way out of her way to influence everyone around me that she could, to think of me as scatterbrained, possibly mentally ill?, not worth respecting, stupid etc. through insidiously clever long term slander and gossip.
Her cover has been blown because over the last three years she has been harrassing my brother with false complaints to every possible local authority in the little country town where she lives and had coaxed him to move in next door to her.
The reason she coaxed him to move into her domain was so she could control him and keep him gullible while she stripped as much as she could from our fathers bank account and estate before and after his death.
My brother was Sole Executor, but my sister and he both had Power of Attorney.
Once the money was all stolen my sister did not need my brother anymore so she began a systematic and slanderous harrassment of him in an attempt to drive him away from the town.
She forgot that she had given him a typed document full of slanderous character assassination lies about me.
He has given me the document and I was shocked at just how devious and sladerous her lies were and how she twisted everything around to make her lies appear credulous.
I knew she was warped in her character by the lying and manipulation I had witnessed her doing since we were children, but did not really realise how truly evil she was.
Through regular counselling I attend I have found that I was lacking in confidence in myself and an easy victim because of this.
I have realised that the victimisation practised on me throughout my childhood by my control freak sister who always lied and manipoulated and made sure my parents believed her when she lied and blamed me for her own wrongdoing, had made me unable to recognise abusive people in time to protect myself.
Now I am a lot more discerning but still do not trust that I could spot a sociopath in time as they can change like a chameleon to fit in with who ever they are talking to.
Time is the best way to weigh up any new social contacts.
Just observing and taking time to assess them and how they treat others and checking out their other social contacts and family relationships.
I found that the spaths I have been hurt by, all seemed to lack really close friendships and social contacts and family connections.
They have made excuses for this by always complaining that others, ex partners, etc had used them up and hurt them etc and they were rebuilding their life, hence no close friends.
Makes it a bit hard to be sure if a person is genuinely in limbo of restructuring their life or if they are a sociopath making excuses for not having any long term good friends.???
I remain on my own for the time being as I need recovery/growth/learning time after surviving a brutal physical attack in 2007. from my ex.

Hi Zoey,

Unfortunately the fact that you grew up with a sociopathic sister makes you a bit of a magnet for these creatures. We are often drawn to what feels familiar. Sorry to hear you got attacked.

And you are so right, they often don’t have long term close friends. They can have long term aquaintances however, as they can keep their masks intact with these people. I used to feel sorry for people who have no friends but nowdays when I encounter someone like that I tend to question why that is.

Hi Zizi…Always in touch with my children. They are my most admirable and wonderful accomplishments!!! Their dad, on the other hand, chooses not to have anything to do with me. I’ve tried, I’ve apologized many times, but there’s nothing more I can do. I’ve forgiven myself and have moved on. My kids will always and forever be a part of my life….I love them tremendously!!!

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