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LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: My biggest regret is that my girls were forced to do what I decided

Editor’s note: The Lovefraud reader who posts as “Missymooz” sent the following e-mail.

I also was married to a sociopath!! For 15 years!!!! We had 4 children together, bought homes together etc., etc. I just left (for the third time) 2 months ago. I would like to tell my story, just in case it may help someone else out there. I feel very stupid to have stayed for so long. But here goes:

I met him briefly when I was only 16, but we both went our separate ways. I married another guy when I was 19. This marriage dissolved when I was 25, and guess who was there to lick my wounds??? It all seemed like fate!! So I dated him for a while, and craving a child by then (my first husband did not want children), he was happy to oblige, so we fell pregnant with our first daughter. Then the wedding plans began.

Looking back, I think that’s when the abuse started. He had me trapped! I kept thinking I was getting too sensitive because of being pregnant! I was imagining it!!! Anyway, when I was about 4 months pregnant, he had got a job interstate! What would I do? Of course, I followed him, leaving a good job (justifying this with, well I can’t continue working once I have this baby!!), all my family (and his) behind. Going where we didn’t know a single soul!!!

Well his behaviour really changed then! He treated me like dirt. Wouldn’t walk down the street beside me; I had to walk behind. Not acknowledging to anyone that I was with him! Constantly telling me to book myself a ticket home!! Then of course, apologising and saying he didn’t mean it!!

Made him marry me

Eventually I did leave. He “said” he didn’t want me to leave, so I was the bad one!!! I didn’t hear from him for 5 months. I had had our baby girl by then; I had tried to ring him but he had changed his contact details!! I was through with him at this stage, but of course, he wasn’t through with me!!! He turned up at my door, and of course I wasn’t going to stop him seeing his daughter! So he apologised, turned everything into my fault, and I took him back!

I “made” him marry me!! I thought if he was serious he would marry me! Well of course he married me, in the time we were separated I had bought a house for my daughter and I, and had a part time job! Once we were married the abuse got worse, escalating to physical abuse. I left when he took my daughter from me and wouldn’t give her back. I got custody of her.

After awhile he begged me to come home. He promised he would go to anger management. Which he did only once mind you, because apparently they encouraged him to let out his anger and of course in consideration for me he didn’t want to do that!!!!! But the physical abuse did stop! I couldn’t believe it!!! Verbal abuse continued though.

I thought he changed

For 13 years I thought he had changed and that that was a huge effort on his part. Whenever anyone would say how horrible he was treating me or the girls, I would always say, “You don’t know how much he has changed. No one is perfect, he will get there!!” Can you believe it!! I was excusing his abusive behaviour, even towards my gorgeous girls!

Anyway, finally his abuse escalated again and I was in such fear of him turning to physical abuse again that I left (I was 7 months pregnant with our 4th daughter by then) and asked him to seek professional help and maybe medication. (I thought it had worked last time, it may work again.) As I was waiting for him to get the help he needed, my fourth daughter was born premie, underweight, not breathing, she was touch and go for a couple of days.

What did he do?? He was busy wining and dining other women. I was so hurt, especially when he told me that he found someone else, he wasn’t going to wait for me forever! It had been 6 weeks!! Anyway, I fell in a deep hole; I tried to pretend I was happy to be rid of him. Everyone around me reminded me that we were all the better for it! All my friends were supportive! But for some stupid reason I missed him like crazy!!! My friends used to joke and say, “Do you miss the abuse?” I couldn’t understand it either; we had some good memories but a lot more miserable ones!

Took him back

Amazing how he must have sensed it though, because around that time he started begging me for forgiveness, promising everything under the sun! He even started seeing a psychologist, acknowledged he had a problem (he couldn’t be a sociopath; he is admitting he has a problem!!!). He went on strong medication. He seemed to have changed. Against my daughters wishes, I took him back and decided not to talk about the past! Well that suited him fine.

And for about 10 months, I thought he had changed. Even moving interstate again!!! He did not verbally abuse us; he did not lose his temper at all!! Even when we did have problems he remained calm! I, though, was becoming more and more depressed and more dependent on him. I felt that I was too old to start again (I’m only 42), I was not attractive, no one else would ever put up with me, etc etc.

My oldest daughter told me it was him doing it!! I couldn’t see it, and when I asked her how, she said she could not explain it, but she could see that it was him bringing me down!!! When he went away for a few weeks (apparently for work) he ignored me completely. After feeling sorry for myself, I realised I needed to snap out of this depression and look after my girls! So I forced myself to take them out, have fun with them according to their age.

Well when he came back he was surprised to see us “living”!!! He wanted to know what had changed??? He did not like it!! I just asked him not to ignore me when he goes away again. Well his comment to that was that he was leaving!! I did not argue, and that seemed to baffle him. Of course, he didn’t!! Then he tried to threaten suicide! I did not react to that either. Then we recommenced just living together, as if nothing had happened, except he punished me, by not giving me any affection!!! Then a couple of weeks later, he informed me, matter of factly, that he was not happy, and that we had given it a good go, and no one would blame us for separating again. So I agreed with him, and immediately started asking for financial assistance off friends so we could fly back home.

He never changed

Well, he wasn’t going to have that! He said that he was going to get a court order stopping me leaving the state with his children. Therefore we “fled”!!! He does not know where we are exactly. I would say that he knows what state we are in as all our family and friends are here. I have changed all my contact details. But my eldest daughter wants to keep in touch with him via her mobile.

What I have realised is that he never actually changed! He only changed his tactics! From physical abuse, to verbal abuse, to intimidation (hence my depression). My biggest regret is that when my girls talk about how he made them feel the whole time, and in a way it was my fault, it was never their decision to stay or go, they were forced to do whatever I decided. I have to live with this guilt now, and the only silver lining is that the younger two have not been subjected to it for as long.

So if anyone is out there living with someone who does not respect them or cherish them for who they are, stop justifying it!! He may or may not be a sociopath, but he is still not a nice person to be around. If he is not a sociopath, he will seek help for his behaviours and it will be evident in time. But if he is a sociopath, he will never change.

I realise that each person needs to get to the realisation themselves when enough is enough. I once thought that perhaps I was being too harsh labeling him an abuser, but now realise that I wasn’t harsh enough!! But the last 10 months I could really see the sociopath in him. And even though now I have escaped him, the girls and I have less in a financial way now than we did before I took him back!! How he managed this I am not sure, but he did!! I am also not stupid enough to think he will leave me alone, entirely. I can only try and protect myself and my children and hope he does moves on. The only flaw is that he will need to find another victim to do that, and that is not fair, but it is not my fault nor my responsibility.

My oldest girls

My two oldest daughters, 15 and 12 want to see him. I am putting conditions on it and applying for a court order to help protect me when he breaks our agreement. I would prefer that they don’t see him as this gives him more opportunity to manipulate us all. I will not be allowing him to come to my home, but will be dropping the girls off at his mums or somewhere else. What else can I do to minimise the impact on my children? Should I talk the older girls into not seeing him? The other two girls are only 3 and 1.So if the older two go they will be going also.

Please help me!

 


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13 Comments on "LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: My biggest regret is that my girls were forced to do what I decided"

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Dear Missymooz,

First off Welcome to LoveFraud, and congratulations on your article, it tells your story, and the things that you saw and have now addressed by getting away from him for two months. Congratulations for getting away from him.

Your older two girls have been with him long enough to form some bonds with him, and I understand why you do not want him to see them, because he WILL use them to manipulate you.

I would suggest that you contact the domestic violence shelter nearest you and talk to them or an attorney for information on what your area will do to help you protect your kids from being used to trash you (to them) and to manipulate and control.

Then I would work toward having SUPERVISED VISITS with someone there to oversee the visits and not allow him to see them unsupervised if you can. That would hopefully keep him from trash talking you or finding out information.

I would at this point NOT allow your daughters to contact him or his family by mobile or give any information to them (which you know she/they will) until after I had found out about supervised visits.

Good luck and keep on reading here. Knowledge IS power, so get all the knowledge there is. REAd articles here and find out about the books recommended here. LEarning about the psychopaths is a good start, but learn about healing and about yourself, and about SETTING BOUNDARIES and sticking with them.

Many women have to leave several times before they get it right,, so you are at leasT THERE NOW…you are out away from him. Good for you! (((hugs))) and God bless.

Missymooz,

Thank you for your article. I’m glad you got away from this man. When reading your article, I remembered some memories I must have pushed down. My ex Spath too refused to walk next to me when I was pregnant. He would run ahead of me in stores, etc. Didn’t want to be seen with me. I would repeatedly tell him how bad this felt for me, and he claimed he was running ahead to get the things we were there for so we could get home faster. He didn’t ever change his behavior. In my heart, I believe he cheated my whole pregnancy, but I have evidence of cheating only after my daughter was born.

I wanted to tell you to be gentle with yourself during this process of healing. I believe you do feel tremendous guilt about your daughters, but I also understand how easily it is to become trapped once you have been ensnared by a twisted socipath. I like to meditate on inspirational quotes or mantras to try to stay positive. I love the following one and it came to mind when I was reading your words. I hope it brings you some comfort as it has me.

“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” ”• Maya Angelou

Take good care of yourself and make the most of the time you do have now with your daughters despite how badly you feel about the past. Stay strong. Keep coming to LF to deal with the feelings, it really helps a lot. Nobody “gets it” like the folks here do and they are here to offer shared wisdom, comfort and experience. (((HUGS))) to you and your beautiful girls.

Missymooz-
I so understand your pain. I have chosen to make what I call a living amends to my daughters. I try to be as present as I can for them – knowing that I was for awhile completely distracted dealing with the insanity that was my ex.

Please bathe in their love and lives. Enjoy the simple pleasures and rather than feel guilty know that your awareness alone is huge. Certainly many people raise their children without the trauma some of us have gone through – but then like survivors of a shipwreck we value simple things that much more and can enjoy them – knowing what is truly important… May blessings rain down on you and fill your cup to overflowing.

Missymooz,

I know this sounds so silly in light of all you’ve been through but I am sorry for all you have gone through.

I was married to an abusive man for 3 months and it ended when things escalated to a point where he wouldn’t “allow” me to visit even my family. I think this behavior was due to really twisted cultural beliefs.

That was a few years ago. Now, I have been dating a man who seemed to have totally different “values” but I literally only a couple days ago have accepted is likely a sociopath. Well, have only begun to accept.

I’ve been dating him for over a year and he has all the classic signs of being a sociopath. But I am most afraid of the fact that I don’t know how to leave. He cheats on me, is never reliable in what he says, lies about trivial things at times and seems to find joy in it. And his excuse is always a pity party for him and how he was abused by his last girlfriend.

I hope being on this website will help me find the strength to break away. Your story opened my eyes up to potential long term issues I could face myself if I don’t face the TRUTH now.

We are with you.

Dear Missymooz,

Congratulations on having the guts to do the right thing and leave. You have done it and now the only way is forward. Good for you!

I completely understand your guilt. I was married to an abusive, alcoholic for 18 years and eventually got away from him. I have two grown up daughters, 25 and 22. They went through a hell of a lot and although haven’t escaped unscathed, they are happy, well adjusted adults.
To add insult to injury, however, I met my ex 18months after separating from my husband.
If I thought my ex husband was disordered, he wasn’t a patch on the spath. I won’t bore you with the details but I put him first ……instead of my children and that had imbued in me a massive sense of guilt.
Anyway, we split for good in October and things are so much better now I’m away from him. I suppose what I’m trying to say here is guilt is destructive. When I was with him he hated me having contact with my kids. He was jealous and that eventually along with the abuse made me very very ill.

So to return to you ….keep going now. For your sake as well as your girls. You sound like a lovely mum and now that you’ve made the decision to leave him, leave the guilt behind too. It’s such a useless emotion.
Thanks for posting your story and good luck. Blessings to you and your girls.
SW x

Sunshine_Lana,

I love your name!!

I hope being on this site and reading the experiences of others helps you find the strength to get away. You are already thinking about it so that’s a start! No one can tell you what to do but if he sounds like he has the spath traits to me.

As you said”your story opened my eyes up to potential long term issues I could face myself if I don’t face the TRUTH now.”
Blink and the next thing you know 20 years have gone by!!!
You only have one life friend. Live it.

Hugs from me and strength to you. I’ve been where you are not knowing how to leave. Somewhere to go to ….that’s the first step. Be careful. Don’t let him suspect anything and do it.
Good luck

This story resonates with me in many ways. My husband is one of those who never seems to change despite the fact that his actions have wreeked emotional harm to both me and my daughter. He lacks empathy and when there has been conflict it is always brought to my attention of how I am responsible for it, too. He sucks at taking responsibility for ANYthing.
I, too, have struggled with the guilt in knowing that my daughter has suffered because of him and I have been ineffective to leave sooner. Years ago I was ready to make the move to divorce and he convinced me to stay, etc. I later found out during THIS time (when I was ready to go) HE had an affair going on that I was never supposed to discover. I did discover it but it was 5 years after the fact. The betrayal is just unreal. There are many other emotional games I could share but I won’t right now. I do want to say that I now plan to leave. And I am taking some steps to do that. And of course, my husband is stepping up the techniques to get me to stay. He is acting like everything is normal and okay. I just discovered he is looking into this program called THe Marriage Savior, apparently some CD and book set where he can learn how to save our marriage. The program says that the husband first MUST accept responsibility for their actions. So I see him doing this but only as a “ploy” to keep stringing me a long. It’s like he is studying how to keep me still captive. Like I am now his textbook case / challenge. He went to church this morning. I see these things as simply tactics — I just can’t see them as genuine. I guess it’s because of all of the water under the bridge and there is a lot of it.
So. I guess I just wanted to share, and also ask. Can anyone relate to this? The tactics to try to keep me on a string, they suck. During our last conflict, he rambled on about wanting to put himself in a mental institution, then he sat in our garage in the dark in a car for awhile. Scared the crap out of me. I thought he was hiding in our house someplace because I couldn’t find him and the vehicles were still here. Plus he seemed to just zone out when he was talking about going to a mental institution. I didn’t know if he was serious or if he was playing some sort of “joke”. But I definitely couldn’t reach him or reason with him. He said he did this because I was telling him that he said things that he SWEARS he doesn’t remember saying that way. So he thinks maybe he was just going crazy. I’m wondering if he is just trying to DOUBLE GASLIGHT me, you know? His actions, they bring me to doubt myself. I am sure this is what he wants, my counselor says that is what emotional abuse does to a person. Because then he thinks maybe if I second guess myself, maybe we would have a chance. Newsflash: I passed the Last Chance Saloon a lonnnng time ago. I just want to move on with my life in a peaceful way.
Life sucks right now but I am looking ahead to a better time. I also want better for my child. She tells me she NEVER wants to get married. I can understand why. I hope for healing and a better tomorrow but I realize I need to make it happen.
Thanks for listening.

One day,

What a nightmare!! Do I think he’s gas lighting you. Er yep indeed ma’am. What a load of crapola ……a new word I learnt from Milo!!

Of course he doesn’t want you to leave him. At least not until he’s secured himself supply from elsewhere!
I feel for you and especially your daughter. Hope you find an exit strategy soon. Have a strongawoman hug

Dear One day,

Oh, yes, it is the “love bomb” and it is the direct opposite of the coin of the “devalue” which he has been doing, and usually they will “love bomb” us to get us hooked at FIRST when they first meet us, then once we are hooked they “devalue”—but if it looks like you may be planning to leave because of thje abuse, they Revert to the “love bomb” of “acting like everything is normal” or a “therapy” or a “save our marriage” thing of some kind….but once you are firmly hooked again, it is BACK TO NORMAL DEVALUING YOU.

So make your plans carefully and SECRETLY and then MOVE one day when he is out at work…get out…Or have him served with papers that make him leave your home. Either way. Once you leave, only have contact through the attorney. NO CONTACT, no talking. NADA. If you have kids work that out so that you transfer them for visits without him ever seeing or talking to you.

If the kids try to talk to you about the split up (he will prime them to) just say to them that you are not going to discuss this with them, or discuss their dad or what he says. It may be hard, but just hang in there. (((hugs))) and my prayers.

Hi,
Oh my goodness I just want to say THANKS for the responses back to me. Seriously, it means a LOT because I feel very alone in this. If someone hasn’t experienced it themselves it is hard to understand. It is hard to burden others with this. I really value the insight here. I know it has been gained through awful circumstances, but the words of wisdom mean so much.
After the incident where he was in the garage I told him that I don’t feel safe when things are like this. He basically sat in the garage at night in the car, after talking about going to a mental institution. I thought he was in an unstable frame of mind and was hiding in the house. I nearly called the cops. My daughter woke up because of this and was scared to bits. She gets nauseous when afraid and she nearly threw up. I did not know whether to just run out the front door with her, or to call the cops. I burdened a friend with a frantic call at 11:30 p.m. at night. Long story short, his reply “I was in the garage and you looked right at me sitting in the car.” WELL NO. I had no clue he was out there. All I did was open the door to quickly see if the cars were still there. They were. So I was very afraid he was still around, creeping around the house maybe? He didn’t answer me when I called out in the house. This of course, unnerved me more. He later explains, “Well I never heard you because I was in the car.” Like that is supposed to make me feel ALL BETTER now. Oh OKAAY. It makes sense because you were in the car — a simple misunderstanding! I don’t think so. The bottom line is, it scared me and my daughter. His reponse was “sorry”. Of course he thinks sorry makes it all better.
I should have found an apt the very next day. He probably will not leave this house. I will do whatever I need to do.
In the meantime, we play a charade where he acts like all is normal. And I guess I play along because I am afraid to upset the apple cart. I mean, SHOULD I upset that apple cart? Or is it best to play along for now?

The day after the garage hiding incident, my daughter (who was up for several hours during that night because of this drama) went late to school. I felt so numb as we hustle to the car, lunch packed and on the way to school. As if all is “normal” we have to go on. How sad. My daughter mentions that she could NEVER imagine her friends dad doing such a thing, hiding in the garage. I said, “you’re right. Normal people don’t do that. Your father has a problem”. She has begged me to do something about it. She is looking to me to change this. I need to change this. I tell her things will change.
She is right, I can’t imagine any normal guy doing this. We know it’s not normal. But right now we have to live like it is normal. God help me. I swear, if I can just get free of this mess I will NOT screw up the 2nd half of my life or take ANYthing for granted.
Thanks for hearing me. I sincerely mean it.

Dear One day,

I suggest that you play your cards close to your chest (secretly) until you make a MOVE. If you know or think he will not move out, then you must move out. Get an apartment secretly, get the car title and insurance, get a post office box for your mail, and use that as an address…get whatever health insurance cards etc that you need and get your papers together to take, get your clothing arranged and what you will need to take, it isn’t as much as you might think, just ESSENTIALS.

If you can trust your daughter to be quiet, let her know you WILL CHANGE THINGS but don’t let her know you plan to move until it is a DONE DEAL. Try to keep her in the same school if you can, as LITTLE CHANGE AS POSSIBLE will be good fo rher. You might also talk to the school’s guidance counselor or principal and let them know that your child will be experincing a divorce so they can help you, but tell them that they must keep quite to your husband. Only tell them a day or so before the move.

If you work, talk to your boss and take some time off if you can, and then when the day comes, do it when he is out or at work. He will just come home to an empty house of you….leave him the divorce papers on the table and let him only contact you tghrough your attorney. Do not let ANYONE know where you are except your closest friends. Make sure your daughter is not followed away from school. You might want to keep her out a day or two after the move because that is when he will be the most upset, give him time to calm down before he can maybe find you.

If you are afraid of him, we recommend a can of WASP SPRAY which shoots a stream of nasty stuff about 20 feet. They are only $4 each and so you can have them convenient all over the house to grab if you need to defend yourself. They won’t kill him but they WILL get him off of you or keep him from grabbing you.

The garage hiding incident is a BIG RED FLAG a BANNER actually that this man is OFF and most likely a psychopath or very high in traits. GET AWAY from him. BE CAREFUL! Good luck and keep us posted, you are NOT alone in this. Hugs and my prayers. KEEP SAFE.

Missymooz,

Trust me, you ARE better off without him. Stay strong. You will be able to teach your children a much better life without him around. I was one of the people that waited too long and now even though my kids are all basically very good, there are some little traits I work very hard at correcting. The biggest is conflict resolution and open honest communication.

Jerkospaths have lots of secrets. Many family secrets. It’s the secrets that screw things up, enable, make for co-dependency. Never go by what they say, Always go by how they behave.

One Day, Be strong, pack up and get out. That guy if really OFF and it won’t get better. When you ignore the childish behavior he WILL ramp up the pity ploy, weirdness, lying, or messed up behavior. Be strong and make up your mind to not withstand it anymore. Plan your exit and Go NO contact and life will get better.

What I learned is that I had to be as ruthless as him inorder to get away.

I had to let go of notions that we could still be saved as a couple and put my feelings aside to flee.

It was hard as I had invested 22 years in this person and it was lot to give up.

No contact was the best advice I was ever given.

xxx

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