Editor’s note: Lovefraud received the following e-mail from a reader whom we’ll call “Esther.”

I have experienced so many disturbing relationships since I left my psychopath former husband. I thought relationships could not be any more dysfunctional than my marriage. What I am now discovering is that I am a magnet to these predators.

This site and many others have helped me to understand how I doubt my fear response, second guess my feelings and am actually delusional when I project onto others the psychological work that I have done to clear my ego defensiveness, blame, shame and guilt. I want to believe that others will work with me, be kind and Christian. I have found this to be a delusional state. Others want an easy target to blame, shame, guilt, and use. I feel like a negative Nelly when I write this phrase.

I choose not to date, I am still afraid of getting into a relationship and being betrayed again. I have had experiences where others have criticized me, lied and manipulated. People will listen to my experiences of financial abuse and legal abuse and then label me as strange. They may state, “She must have brought this upon herself.” I have begun to ignore these typical blame the victim attitudes. I understand that the truth is difficult to accept and delusion and blame are much easier defense attitudes.


One strange relationship happened when I was asked by a woman to be her friend. She claimed she wanted to assist me. What I didn’t realize is that she was a lesbian and she was grooming me. She groomed the same way an abusive man would groom. She set me up in situations so that I would have drama and chaos. She was very clever and used other people. She would make statements to me that I would “cross over.” I assured her that I would not. She attempted to be a rescuer, my goddess in shinning armor.

I began to understand what was happening and I terminated the friendship. I did it in a very positive manner. She began to crucify me, spreading rumors, etc. Breaking free of dysfunctional relationships is never easy. It has to be quick, unexpected and fast; otherwise they will create more drama. If you break the relationship, you are breaking the supply and the rage will ensue. Be prepared!

Guest ignores boundaries

Just this weekend, I allowed a young male to stay in my home. He was visiting the state for a seminar. He does not make a lot of money. He was in a legal group and he claimed he wanted to meet me. After a day, I experienced a relapse of my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I thought I might have been triggered by an external event. A few days later, he was not leaving. He began to do his laundry without my permission. He began to sleep in late, only getting up when I went for a walk. I began to feel that he was ready to move in. I had set boundaries for him before he came. He began to ignore the boundaries.

There was no intimacy between us and he even began to talk to strangers about where we lived. I discovered that he had come early to the state to see another woman before a seminar. She had brought over another man and went out on a date with this man, while he stayed and babysat her children. He left this woman’s home and this is why he wanted to visit me. (She may have done this to get rid of him.) This man would follow me around from room to room. He would look over my shoulder at my emails. When I fell asleep I would wake up and catch him on my computer. I began to not turn on my computer. I now understand that my Post Traumatic Stress reaction was to him. My body was telling me what my mind was denying. I was once told that my PTSD was a gift, my body would no longer allow my mind to deny danger. This is true; if I attempt to ignore a dysfunctional situation, my body reacts. I do not react when I am cognizant of the danger and take steps to protect myself.

Luckily I have a good support network and I was able to get coaching and was told that I needed to get him out that day. He began to do the power plays, I caught him sneaking, engaging in activities that I had asked him not to in my home when I fell asleep early in the evening. I prayed that God would assist me to get him out. After a drama that he created, I came home and found him sleeping in his car waiting for me. I was able to tell him that he needed to pack his bags and leave. He asked, “Can I ask you what I did wrong?” Typical of a disordered person, he was defiant and defensive. I stopped my explanations. I knew that if I told him any more, he would only use the knowledge to adjust the behavior in an attempt to manipulate another woman.

His premise for coming was that he wanted to meet me and help with projects that I had in my home. I felt sorry for him, listening to stories of how he struggles. He did not help with the projects, ate a tremendous amount of food, broke many items, did not assist with cooking nor cleaning. He studied how he could move his way in. Thank God for the friendships that I have been able to create that are healthy, they guided me to get him out. Thank God for the honesty of others on this site, so that I am able to come out of the delusional state that I am supposed to be a good and kind person. My kindness is my pearl and I cannot cast these pearls before swine (predators).


Predators usually have a three-person supply. One person they have been in a relationship for quite some time, perhaps the marriage. Another person has been in the relationship for a medium amount of time, the last person is the new person they are grooming. I could see this pattern in this young man. I was probably the middle relationship. Had I been open to a sexual encounter, his grooming would have been easier. My new rule since recovery from a sociopath: Never have a sexual relationship with anyone until you are positive of their motives in the relationship. I have learned to watch the behaviors, ignoring the words.

This young gigolo predator needs another female. He is looking for another wounded female. He will claim that people no longer want relationships. What he doesn’t understand is that a relationship with him is deceptive, abusive and all about him. He is a vampire, sucking everything out of the host. Beware of the gigolo bearing gifts of how s/he wants only to help.


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17 Comments on "LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: Just a gigolo"

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Your challenges in life have created depth in yourself. Consequently, you can “fit” in anywhere, with any type of group. When you’re with people who have problems that are light-weight, you can relate, and when you’re with people who have heavier, weightier concerns, you can relate. In essence, you can be of help to anyone, in any situation. Jesus talked to (ministered to) people from all walks of life, some people having “fluffy” kind of problems and some having serious problems – He was able to help anyone and everyone.

Thank you bluejay….this is true and I feel like I am in a transition phase from being a “needy taker” to hopefully a “giver of light”..I want to apply my knowledge without a “fix it” mentaliIty but one of love…real unselfish love with boundaries…this comes to the trust and learning how to put all this in motion..I am older in years but not so emotionally and mentally but it I am a work in progress…..I want to realize it is NOT all about me..that other people do exist in the world with their very own pain and issues and now I can be used to shine a smile of hope their way…I do regress to old thought patterns and behaviors as well as wondering why I am enlightened to such darkness of the world……I’m so grateful again, that I can reach out here and be welcomed and received with love…

Dear Alivetoday,

People have choices, and you will see women (and men) go back to an abuser over and over again. It used to break my heart and frustrate me to death when patients made choices that hurt themselves (like going back to an abuser) but I eventually realized that I can NOT CONTROL what they choose, only let them know what the options are and what the possible consequences are.

I’ve also learned that you can’t “logic” or “scare” someone into making a better choice, as they will RATIONALIZE away all logic and fear. So focus on the POSITIVE of taking care of themselves and taking care of their children.


Thank you so very much Oxy! I will hold these words near to my mind and heart as I am sure that I will struggle with releasing the “fix and save” mode…….

I hope that having a listening ear to someone who needs to be heard can help them make it through one more day…

Thank you for your vote of confidence:))))))


Wow, Esther. Did you see Andrew’s letter to Lovefraud on this same blog? You hit the nail on the head on so many levels. My number one red flag is if I meet someone who wants to ‘help’ me along from my pitiful state. I’m done with the fixers of the world. I am powerful enough to heal. I am okay. I am not needing someone to hold me up for the rest of my life. I can stand on my own two feet and succeed.

Period. Thanks for sharing everyone.

Divorced from Gaslighter

AliveToday: While I was still married to my husband, if I had gone to a Bible study and felt social pressure to present prayer requests to the group, I would also have talked of inconsequential matters, partly out of loyalty to my husband, but largely out of shame. My problems with him were horrendous, but I would NOT have felt comfortable talking about it in front of a group of people that might include somebody with some sort of direct or indirect connection to my husband.

My guess is that there are other women in the prayer group whose lives are as difficult, or almost as difficult as yours, or who feel that their lives are about to spin out of control due to divorce or bankruptcy or whatever, but they cannot bring themselves to discuss it in front of a group of strangers or acquaintances who may well tell them that they brought it on themselves in one way or another. So instead of talking about their sadistic or parasitic husband, or the financial death spiral that the family is in, etc., they talk about the puppy peeing on the living room rug.

Jesus loves you, and there are plenty of other women in your community with problems at least somewhat similar to the type that you face.

If you haven’t done so already, try talking to the pastor of the church directly to see if the church can help you with any of your current issues such as babysitting while you go on job interviews, or food or money for utility bills. The last church that I attended did not contribute to a food pantry in the area, but had cabinets filled with donated food for anyone who came in and needed it, whether they were church members or not.

I had a sort of mixed experience with a church that was starting up a ministry for “single mothers.” The ministry was run by a very sweet but flaky woman. But the interesting thing was that in a very exclusive part of town, MANY of the women in the group had ex-husbands who had spent time in prison. (The negative aspect of the ministry was that the single mothers’ group included a wealthy widow and a couple of “single mothers by choice” who were NOT experiencing endless problems with an “ex.” There really should have been a separate group for the women dealing with spaths, although this was a number of years ago, and the group was just getting started.)

What I found deeply disappointing with the “single mothers’ group” at the church was that the church was chock full of successful executives working for Fortune 500 companies, and many of the women in the single mothers’ group needed a job with a decent income PLUS medical benefits. The church did absolutely nothing to try to help the single mothers trying to survive in an expensive area with a below-average salary. As many of us know, the judge often forces the mother to stay in a locality if it is the husband’s home town.

Sorry, AliveToday, that you did not encounter more empathetic Christians. I would hope you can choose another church, with Celebrate Recovery and other groups who have been there. There are many people who attend church, but are not living like Christians. Part of our learning is to discern, and not open up to these people if they are shallow. I, (like cappuccinoqueen) am afraid to date anyone unless I feel a definate connection and lots of the same interests. I am very cautious and having no kids, I am quite happy to go home and lock the door after work. I have plenty to keep myself occupied and don’t need a controlling man in my life. I have learned to run at the first hint of control. I just fade away, not always with an explanation. So many men are control freaks, I think it’s safer to just trust your feelings and leave on your own terms. Perhaps this is where God wants me and I feel no need to settle down with anyone. I would hope and pray that people would think more of getting to know ones-self before getting into a relationship with another.

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