By | July 2, 2011 7 Comments

LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: No Such Thing as a Free Lunch

Editor’s note: The following article was written by the Lovefraud reader who posts as “Peggywhoever.”

The Perils of Gifts

By Peggy Whoever

We are taught to believe that people who give us gifts do so out of the goodness of their hearts. That they are kind, caring people. Gift-giving (including meals) makes us think that people love us, or like us at least.


There are people that use gift-giving as a tactic for control, or for a mental tally they keep on what we “owe” them in the future. “I did this for you; therefore you should do this for me.” I propose that anyone who gives a gift should do so freely, willingly, and without expectations of a “payback.”

I have experienced two people who gave gifts or offered future gifts who did not have honorable intentions. The first gave me two lovely pieces of jewelry, took me to nice dinners, on vacations to the Caribbean and Vegas, and built me a waterfall. On the surface this person seemed genuine, kind, and very thoughtful.

However, I later learned that this person engaged in many illegal and unethical behaviors including income tax fraud, international money laundering, embezzlement, and was emotionally, verbally, and physically abusive with his ex-wife. I further learned that he said about me, “I don’t love her ”¦ it’s all about the money”. And he tried many times over the course of three years to get me to invest with him in different real estate ventures. Had I done so, I would have lost every penny. His gifts were purely for purposes of creating trust and a sense of my indebtedness to him.

A second person initially was highly complementary (over the top), told me such things as “I prayed for you ”¦ I waited my whole life for you,” and offered to do many things for me including finish carpentry work in my residence (which I would have paid him for) and taking me with him on many trips. None of these offers, however, materialized. I now believe this person now thought I was “perfect” because he perceived I would support him financially in the future and/or pay for his trips and luxuries.  The relationship was very out of balance financially where he often did not pay his way.

I now believe 100% that the first boyfriend was a sociopath (met every diagnostic criteria). And the second was a Borderline Personality Disorder (with many sociopathic and paranoid tendencies. I did not know that many disorders can co-exist … but I know now!)

I have always been a financially independent person and paid my own way. Furthermore, the receipt of gifts makes me feel somewhat awkward and uncomfortable. Many times I have refused gifts.

I propose that the receipt of gifts, and the offers of gifts, should be given very serious consideration for the receiver.  In both instances above I believe these men used compliments, gift-giving and future offers as a form of control and manipulation so I would emotionally and financially invest with them.

And I further propose that everyone seriously consider the possible agenda people have when offering a gift. One might ask themselves, “Could this person have an agenda? Is there something they want from me?”

There is no such thing as a free lunch.

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Ox Drover

Dear Peggy,

WONDERFUL article and very VERY nicely explained. I have always called this “being beholden” to someone, which is a Scots-Irish cultural “no no” and why that group of people (of which I am one) are suspicious of people offering gifts or favors who are not CLOSE friends or family….but you explained the concept much better than I was ever able to do so.

My own egg donor’s “generous gifts” for Christmas or a birthday were far from “gifts” but instead a “down payment on control.”

THANK YOU SO MUCH for this well worded, clear and concise article on this subject which I think is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT in our being able to see ill intent up front.


…gave me two lovely pieces of jewelry, took me to nice dinners, on vacations to the Caribbean and Vegas, and built me a waterfall. […]

However, I later learned that this person engaged in many illegal and unethical behaviors including income tax fraud, international money laundering, embezzlement…

Oh, so THAT’S where he got the money for that 20-carat diamond pendant! 🙂

Nice going though, Peggy. You walked off with the bait without getting hooked.


yes no all about the gifts, and the charm, peggy, I wrote my whole story in letter to love fraud, its all so hard to get back to the real you, and trust, whats that word.


I am sitting here crying because I have come to the conclusion…I was engaged to a sociopath. I am devastated by this truth. How do I move on? How do I grieve for someone who doesn’t even exist. How do I grieve over the “idea” of what he presented to me? Now that it’s over and I have found out the truth…he is telling lies about me..which are all statements about himself. How do I trust myself again? I thought he was everything I ever wanted…just to find out he nothing I would ever wish for in my life.


Dear chel1221:

Grieving is a process. It is the same even when we grieve for someone who did not exist. It hurts. The smear campaign is common with sociopaths. They project upon us the very things they have done. You will learn to trust…and love yourself as never before. Be kind and gentle with yourself.

Here is a link for Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and her model for stages of grief.

Also here is an article I posted previously called “The Mask of a Sociopath”. I think you will relate to it.

You are in a safe place of healing. Post often. Ask questions. Hold (cyber) hands with the new friends you will make here.

Blessings and Peace to you,


My daughter paid for her engagement ring. And she slapped it on her finances dresser as a sign that she broke up with him.

When he wrote his suicide note a month later he told his parents to pawn the ring to pay his debts.


Hello everyone…just a note to update my cyber friends… I have been going through injunction proceedings against my x-spath. He was served in August and he has hired an attorney who is…shall we say..a bird of the same feather? Since August 3rd we have been going through one continuance after another. His attorney is throwing crap against the wall to see if it will stick…like saying we need a change of venue…we need to dismiss because i don’t have a florida driver’s license….he deposed me..and the day before the deposition..the attorney called to change the date…and unfortuantely, I wasn’t available. So he blew up and told the judge he had worked so hard to get this arranged and we weren’t accomodating him. Just ridiculous. SO here I am in October. Going to deposition tomorrow. I have been accused of “wire tapping” (I don’t even know how to work my dvd player..much less do something like that…my lawyer had to explain it to me) He has tried to get my financial records…deeds to property…called my attorny and told him I had been lying to him…wanted by the FBI. On and On.. His parents have been going with him to court…mind you he is 42 years old…they spend their time glaring at me and try to intimidate me. Has anyone else gone through this before?

The good I am okay. I don’t have any feeling when I look at him….I am happy again….calm and at times..reflective.. I know I have a lot more to go through…thank God for my friends and this website.
hugs chel

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