Lovefraud recently received the following e-mail from a reader who posts as “forever_me:”
Hello. I am looking for some guidance. I was in a romantic relationship with a P for over 2 years, but just broke it off earlier this week. I discovered that he was using an online dating site and was able to access it because I knew the patterns of his passwords. I created a bogus profile on the same website and contacted one of the women he was messaging. She was shocked to hear from me because my P told her he was single and not dating anyone. What was worse was that they had engaged in unprotected sex a few days before my P and I had unprotected sex. We agreed to meet each other to discuss the details of our relationships with this man. She had been dating him for just over a month.
After my conversation with this woman, I wanted answers from my P, although at this time I didn’t realize that was what he was. I was persistent in my confrontation with him, which took 3 hours of dealing with blatant lie after lie. He initially denied dating anyone else or knowing about the dating site, then claimed he was letting a friend use his identity to cheat on a fiance, then finally admitted he did go on a few dates with the woman I had contacted through the site. However, he swore that he’d never had sex with her or anyone else since we’d been together. In fact, the woman I met was actually stalking him and trying to turn me against him since he rejected her. I eventually walked out the door when he told me he was sorry, not for his actions, but because I was under the misunderstanding we were a couple instead of just friends with benefits. lt is worth noting that during the course of our dialogue, he casually picked up the newspaper to read it and briefly watched the local news as if we were just having a typical evening together.
I was so bewildered by his lies and behavior after I left that I began searching the internet and stumbled upon this blog. Reading the many entries made me realize that I had been involved with a P. All the little red flags added up and I’m coming to terms with the truth. This site has expedited my healing and I thank everyone involved for that!
Now my conscience is wondering if I should continue to warn other women about him? He changed his password but I have once again figured it out. The woman I contacted before was glad I did. I don’t plan to meet any of these women going forward, but just send them a note of concern under cover to let them know what to watch for if they decide to date him. I know I can’t do this forever since he could change his password again or switch dating sites, and I need to move on with my life as well. The advice I’ve read here says I should just walk away since I have no financial, legal, or career ties to him. Several women are currently corresponding with him. Since he’s independently wealthy, handsome, and charming, they’ll be hooked soon enough. Should I just let it go or contact these women knowing I’ll save a few of them from the pain he’ll surely inflict?
Should she try to warn the next victim, or shouldn’t she? This has been the topic of much debate here on Lovefraud. I last wrote about this topic in a blog post back in 2007. But it’s an important issue, so let’s discuss it again.
Factors to consider
If you’re considering warning others about the sociopath, here are factors to consider:
1. Can you warn someone safely?
The first thing to consider, of course, is your physical safety. If the sociopath you were involved with has a history of violence, even if the violence was never directed towards you, I would urge caution.
But safety involves more than worries about violence. Consider also your legal and financial status. If you are in the midst of a divorce or custody battle with your ex, you do not want to do anything that will jeopardize your case, your job, or anything else that he may be able to damage through accusations.
No matter how badly you may feel for the next target, you must put yourself first.
2. What is your emotional state?
Relationships with sociopaths inflict emotional and psychological damage on us. The best way to recover from the damage is to have no contact with the sociopath.
Tracking a sociopath’s actions is sometimes gratifying, however, because we feel like we’re no longer being conned. We see through the mask. We know what he or she is up to. In a way, it’s a boost to our trampled self-esteem to be on to the con. And yes, we probably have to admit to wanting a taste of revenge by ruining the sociopath’s game.
But even if we’re not talking to the sociopath, or sending e-mail, we have to remember that keeping tabs, and warning others, is a form of contact. As we say here on Lovefraud, the predator is still renting space in our brains.
So, before you do it, think about where you are in your recovery. Can you do this and continue to heal?
3. Will the victim’s reaction affect you?
We know how good the sociopaths are, because we were hooked. Think of how the sociopath described his or her prior involvements to you. Did he say his ex-wives were mentally disturbed? Did she say her ex-husband was a stalker? Well, that’s what is now being said about you.
The sociopath is already running a smear campaign to discredit anything that you may say. At the same time, the sociopath is love bombing the new victim. He or she is primed to disbelieve you.
If the new victim blows you off, can you just walk away?
In my personal opinion, if you can warn the next victim without jeopardizing your own safety and recovery, I think you should at least try.
I’ve heard of cases where the victim was grateful for the warning and got out. I’ve heard of cases where the next victim has refused to listen and stayed with the sociopath. And I’ve heard of cases where the victim stayed for awhile, then started to see the bad behavior, remembered the warning, and got out.
I know that since I’ve posted the information about my ex-husband, James Montgomery, online, at least seven women have contacted me to thank me for the warning. They Googled his name, found Lovefraud, and dumped him. I don’t know how many may have dumped him without telling me. This makes me feel good.
However, James Montgomery is on the other side of the world. I’ve had a chance to recover and move on. He can’t damage me.
So if you feel like you need to warn others, remember this: Your first obligation is to yourself. Do what you must do for your own recovery. If you can assist others without hurting yourself, that is icing on the cake.