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LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: This is What Five Months No Contact Looks Like

Editor’s Note: This article was written by the Lovefraud reader who posts as “Snow White.” She previously wrote “He is not Prince Charming, and you are not Snow White.

After months of pursuit and ultimate seduction by a psychopath, which eventually lead to an affair with this man, I can now honestly see that I am making my way down the road to recovery. When I first started to open my eyes and began noticing red flags in the psychopath’s behavior, coupled with the deep sadness I was experiencing about ending my marriage, I took the first gigantic step of actually listening to MY feelings. Even though the love bombing was so intense and the psychopathic bond well established to the point that I completely believed his declarations: “We are destined to be together. You are my future wife. We are soul mates. You must leave your husband—¦well you all know the routine”¦. my gut instincts persisted, increasingly telling me to get out.

Although I didn’t know if our marriage could be saved at that point, I did know that I could not end my marriage because someone was telling me to do it. If my marriage is to end, it will be because he and/or I decide we cannot be married, not because someone else is pressuring me to do it. The control he had over me was so powerful that it rendered me helpless in thinking for myself—that is until I woke up and saw through his hollow eyes, the soulless person he is, the strange behavior, manipulation, and lies. Reflecting on the last five months of recovery, a pattern in the healing process has emerged, which I’d like to share.

First few weeks

The best way I can describe the recovery process so far is to separate it into months. During the first few weeks, I was in emotional turmoil. My weight was at an all-time low. I was so confused as to “what” he is, what had happened to me, who I had become, and if my marriage would survive. After much prayer, the first step I took was to refuse to see him and ended the relationship. But I needed answers. I contacted the psychopath’s ex-girlfriend. She was the one who educated me on his personality disorder. I had no idea what psychopathy was and began researching it. Over the next month, I read everything I could get my hands on such as the Love Fraud site and books. Claudia Moscovici’s work, Dangerous Liaisons, profoundly described what I experienced. Additionally, Red Flags of Love Fraud precisely delineated the process of the relationship and his characteristics. He exhibited all the traits except for defrauding me out of money.

I started simultaneously educating myself and working with a marriage counselor. Although I sought help from a counselor before my affair became physical, I was too far gone to stop it. In retrospect, I can see how the luring and honeymoon phases played out. He innately moved me through the process. While in the midst of it, I did see that what I was experiencing wasn’t normal and continued to see a counselor. However, either I wasn’t accurately articulating what was happening, or the counselor wasn’t schooled in psychopathy, or I was already too emotionally controlled to really hear her advice. When I learned I had been involved with a psychopath, I told her about the books I read, but she was not interested in reading them. Even though she wasn’t able to point out the possibility that I was dealing with an emotional predator, I do credit this counselor with helping to save my marriage. Fortunately, the marriage counselor we are working with was open to reading the books and resources I listed above to better understand what I had experienced. Never having sought therapy before, I now know that it is a process, and there isn’t a quick fix. It simply takes time.

Month 2 cognitive dissonance

During the second month, I continued reading and posting on blogs. On one site, I met a woman from the UK who experienced exactly what I did and was much further along in the recovery process. She spoke with me about her experience and provided so much support. I also began phone counseling sessions. Within the first five minutes of our session, I realized I had finally found someone who could explain what I was experiencing psychologically. There was a name for it—Cognitive Dissonance—and it doesn’t happen when normal relationships end. There would be no closure from him. He is simply not capable. I have to come to terms with it and create my own closure. Most importantly, I must know and feel that what we had and who he presented himself to be is not real.

Month 3 learning about me

While the first two months were spent on learning about psychopathy, by the third month my focus shifted to healing. I continued to read, but whereas before I gravitated toward reading about HIM, now I started reading about ME. Some might say it is unhealthy to continue researching, but I find that the more I educate myself, the more empowered I become. I also continued working with my counselor. Her goal for me is to eliminate any doubts about whom I was dealing with so that I could develop a clear picture of the dangerousness of this man. She had me complete a checklist of his behaviors. One would think that even after seeing it all in black and white and living it, there would be no doubt—not so simple. Cognitive dissonance is a tricky thing.

Month 4 feeling peace

By the end of month four, moments of feeling at peace within myself and my marriage are more frequent. I learned that I must practice mindfulness, or living in the moment. Focusing on the past leads to depression. Focusing on the future generates anxiety. Being present is the path to peacefulness. Learning to live in the present is a gradual process for me. Like learning to play a sport or an instrument, I must practice it. The moments of mindfulness are becoming more frequent. This is what it looks like: When I’m out with friends and it hits me, I look around and say to myself, “Wow! Look at me. I’m actually having fun surrounded by people who really care about me. I am not tied to my phone having to answer his incessant texts anymore.“ I started noticing myself enjoying the moment. For me, the moments of “noticing” my enjoyment with my husband, children, and friends is practicing mindfulness.

July 4th

The intrusive thoughts have not entirely ended. I still have nightmares about how I drank the Kool Aid and was so brainwashed and manipulated by some manufactured, fraudulent fairy tale. However, they are lessening. While watching July 4th fireworks on the dock overlooking the lake near our home I felt at peace, truly living in the moment. Last year on the fourth, the love bombs were exploding, I was being held captive by his texts, and the emotional control was well underway. This fourth, I said to myself, “Look at me. I actually feel peaceful and am enjoying the evening with my husband. I am at a good place. I’m free!” I don’t know why I have these internal conversations with myself, but they help.

The night before the fourth as I was lying in bed, I actually said to myself as I felt the breeze blew across the room, I’m ready to let this go. I asked the wind to take the intrusive thoughts of him and our relationship and blow them out of my mind and life. They say that psychopaths intuitively know when you are letting go. If that’s true, I’ll never know for sure, but that fourth of July, just as the fireworks were about to start, I received a friend request on my phone. It was from a man I do not know. I hit ignore. Half an hour later, I receive another request. The next day, I received a third friend request. The first two may have been a coincidence, but the third??? So I looked at his page, which was public. I know that looking at the page could be considered breaking No Contact. I got weak. I looked.

It was a fake page. The photo of the man was taken off the Internet. There is a website where you can match photos to photos posted on the internet, called Tineye.com I was able to identify that a fake persona was created using someone else’s photo. Other signs of a fake page I noticed were that he only had one friend, a Russian woman, sketchy biographical information, and the time of the postings corresponded within minutes of the time the friend requests were sent to me. The most disturbing parts of the page were the postings that directly related to our relationship. Two that smacked of misogyny and the other two were pity play tactics.

Minor setback

Fright was my first reaction to the FB postings, and I thought about deleting my Facebook page. Doing that would disconnect me from my family and friends. I refuse to live in fear. I learned how to lock down my page further so it is not searchable to strangers. I blocked him and will block any strangers who send friend requests. Should it happen again, I must simply click ignore and NOT look at the page or risk staying embroiled in his sick mind games. This was a minor setback for me, bringing more intrusive thoughts and nightmares. When the experts say maintain No Contac ”¦ they say it because they know that it is essential to our recovery.

Process of recovery

While I am not proud that I allowed myself to succumb to his pressure, cross boundaries I never imagined I would, and hurt the person who has always been there for me, my husband, I am committed to doing to the hard work necessary to getting back to the person I was before my involvement with the psychopath. The process of recovery involves:

  1. Awakening to the dangerousness of the person and his pathology and ending the relationship
  2. Educating yourself on psychopathy
  3. Leaving no stone unturned in your quest for knowledge
  4. Reaching out and seeking help from people who “know”
  5. Working with a trained counselor to learn the strategies to break free of the memories of the idealization phase
  6. Rebuilding the relationships in your life that matter, and
  7. Living an honest, healthy lifestyle.

Most importantly, it is not enough to just “know” what he is. The knowledge I’ve obtained about psychopathy and my feelings must be in synch, and therein lies the work to be done. Periodically, the cognitive dissonance surfaces, and when it does, I take some time to keep myself in check by reading from the Love Fraud articles or Claudia’s blog. Slowly my outgoing, energetic spirit is returning, and I am rebuilding the bond with my husband. Thanks to the work of Donna, Claudia and others, my questions have been answered. I must now use the strategies I’ve learned to continue moving forward.


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116 Comments on "LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: This is What Five Months No Contact Looks Like"

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Thank you so very much…. so very much…

Dear Snowwhite, thank you. Great article. Resonates with me in so many ways. I especially like the reference to present moment living. You are so right in what you say. Practice makes perfect We must exercise this muscle…..when our thoughts try to trick us we must stop, remember to breathe and never forget that only the here and now is real.

SnowWhite, your courageous sharing of your healing processes are very much appreciated. I came to the general understanding, long ago, that spaths intend to destroy – whether it’s a person’s virtues, their finances, their psyche, their relationships with others, it’s all fair game and big fun for them to dismantle an empath’s system of beliefs about themselves, and others.

I’m grateful that you were able to “see” what was happening before the spath was able to complete his mission. Who knows? Even though you hadn’t been rooked for money at the time you went NC, it’s quite possible (and, likely) that he would have convinced you to give him anything that he asked for. Being soulmates, and all that…..we’re expected to “trust” in these people to hold true to their words, and they just don’t.

Thank you, so much, for your honesty and your incredible insight, SnowWhite.

Brightest and most healing blessings

Strong,

No doubt you are right about his ultimate goal of destruction and the money would have been next.

I am grateful for this site and all the supportive people who post. Your help is invaluable:))

Strong and Trurh,

No doubt you are right about his ultimate goal of destruction and the money would have been next.

I am grateful for this site and all the supportive people who post. Your help is invaluable:))

Snow

Thank you snow White. It is imperative that we understand what has happened to us. Research, sharing, talking….everything you say is spot on. I am also healing with my husband after the most traumatic, horrific, inhuman betrayal of my life. My husband literally saved my life. Now the layers of pain to work through, the utter disbelief, the post trauma shock. Knowledge is power. Sharing is healing. Much love.

Thank you for sharing your story. My story is very similar to yours and I have read your articles many times over the past few days and it has been helpful. I am trying to understand what happened to me and I realized that I am suffering from the cognitive dissonace that you talked about. It is frustrating because there are so many people that think the man I was involved with is this wonderful, fantastic, caring person and If I even hint that he isn’t that great I get looks of disbelief. That just makes me question myself and my thoughts. I go back and forth so many times in a given day, but reading your articles and other peoples posts bring me back to reality and help me move forward. This blog makes it all possible:)

Holly

I’m so sorry it happened to you too. I don’t have the answers but know that we are not alone in what we went through. With all the women I have spoken with, while not all the stories are entirely the same, the process they use on us is identical. My hope in sharing my story and healing is for other women to be educated and find strength.

As time goes on and I find myself at another milestone, I’ll write an update:) You may find by writing your story it will help you and others.

Snow

Great article snowwhite.
You pulled it all together in a way that is understandable and I thank you for validating me the way you have.

I have been trying to find a way to explain it and you just did it for me. Priceless and very invaluable. Thanks so much.

Blessings of peace and happiness to you…
TO ALL OF YOU WHO READ THIS!

Dupey

Thanks Dupey. I think by sharing our experiences are validated.

Holly, I know it’s frustrating that people who “think” they know the P believe he’s a good guy….but sooner or later anyone involved with him will find out the hard way! I felt the same way. Now I know how pathetic his life is and will always be. I’m just happy I’m not stuck in his dark world!

Snowwhite,
It seems like much longer than 5 months since you came to LF.

The healing process is kind of crazy fast at first. it doesn’t feel like healing but you begin to have revelation after revelation. Your mind becomes almost plastic again, the way it was when you were born. Then it starts to settle down again, but never quite like it was before. I think this is what’s called “Positive Disintegration”.

Everything you knew before had to be dismantled so that you could fit the new information into the old. The only way to do that is to increase the size of your universe. And so we do.

I guess in a way, we had stagnated and missed the growth we needed and this spath experience is like a renewal of the growth spurt. It’s painful for sure. That’s why the spath will never experience it. They don’t handle pain well.

After some time, I think you’ll find that life begins to seem a bit normal again. As normal as it will ever be after that experience. I’ve been out 3 years and I’m still learning about it, still experiencing cog/dis, and still learning to take care of myself better. They say we are a work in progress. That’s a good thing, I think.

Hi skylar

You are so right! It has been revelation after revelation. So I hear what you are saying….It will take time, but it will never be totally forgotten. I hope that at some point I will be able to accept that it was something we had to go through for whatever reason to get to a better place in life. Of couse I’m just being the eternal optimist that I am., but no longer to a fault:)

Snow

Snow white,
sounds like my wife went through the same thing and i have been searching for someone who has made a marriage work after being predated. i found out that her s-path mirrored not only her but imitated me in a lot of ways. it has been really hard for me to be patient and have to watch her struggle with cog-dis. looking back, all my mouthing off about the whole affair got me no-where with her. she had to discover it all herself. ugh! i think she needs me to be calm. and cool and patient. as her husband, if i had not come here a year ago or more, and not begun to understand, i’d be divorced right now. but understanding this for me has been both a blessing and a curse. on one hand i see that i was not so bad a husband,cause he’s fake. and i know her intellect gets it. but i also knew that her heart would fight for the good crap, not wanting to see cause it would hurt. it was so hard to have to sit by and watch her fight through it. i had so much self doubt. he played so many games, planted so many bombs. i feel like he stole EVERYTHING from us. i wish i knew more clearly what she needs from me. i know that i have my work to do, and she has hers. and i feel little bits of the US coming back. i’m not some stoic cowboy here. i’m a very emotionally open man. do i need to suppress this a little?

Hi Rgc

You sound a lot like my husband what saved our marriage is that my husband never gave up on me. We are seeing a counselor and it’s hard because all this “stuff” comes up that I didn’t even know was in me. But it’s normal married issues that can be resolved. My husband said that he now understands and that if some woman came on do utterly convincing, promising everything he ever dreamed of, he sees how it could happen. I am so leary of who I let into my life now.

As time goes on I feel like we are getting it back. I hope you are too. I think that if we didn’t have strong marriages, we wouldn’t be able to overcome the nightmare of a psychopath invading our lives. My counselor calls it emotional rape. When I started coming out of the spell or psychopathic bond as they call it, it’s as if the whole process started reversing itself and I started seeing what a good man my husband is and knew I couldn’t let our marriage go. With that said, had the psychopath continued to retain the mask, I don’t know where I’d be right now. Only targets truly understand the emotional control part if it. Fortunately for me, I started questioning his behavior and my gut instincts screamed louder and louder. that’s when I believe he started securing his next target….unfortunate for her. He still attempted his mind control via Facebook, which only reinforces my belief in his mental illness.

i don’t how much time has passed since it happened to you, but in five months I am light years ahead of where I was. Be patient with her, try not to ask any questions, show you trust her, and get out with people you enjoy…basically do the things you both like. Eventually I think in the grand scheme, it will be just a blip on the radars of our lives:)

I hope you and your wife find peace and happiness. I am planning a trip atound the time of the worst part of it so that we will be ralaxex and alone in paradise somewhere :))

it started in the fall of 09 and i think she started seeing in the fall of 10. he is a sex offender that molested his own daughters and neices. he convinced her that the parole system was testing his urine for evidance of sex and she says she felt so much pity for him thats why it got started. we are in counseling but they seem to have to tiptoe around things so much. she is digging though and on her own. i feel mixed about that cause while i know it will help in the end, it hurts her when she discovers new lies. i can see it drain her emotionally but it seems to suck less out of her each time. i trust her physically. but my self esteem internally is pretty shot. he made sure i saw all the things she told him about me and most of them she exagerated or made up to shore up his tiny ego. my intellect knows this but my emotions sometimes have doubts. she still says that it is hard to understand how someone can be so cruel, callous, selfish. i know he is a shell with only fear inside. wish id met people like you and mo mac a few months earlier. i wont give up on her though. she is the most beautiful person i know in this world. she is a true empath. its so amazing to watch her with a young child. its like she can read their emotions. I can feel her love in so many things she does. and she taught me how deep intimacy can be. it took a long time for me to realize that her strength would free her. i thought she was a gonner till i shut up a little and saw tiny little signs that she was coming back. there is so much rage in me and i have to be carefull not to let her think its directed at her. i get a little of it out every so often though. i know i have to rid myself of it. it has to go.

My healing process has evolved over 40 years of dealing with sociopaths; first my “ex” to whom I was frustratingly married for 23 years, and recently by my beloved, now-grown 5 children (one of whom is a doctor!). It began with my research into psychology, at the library, to try and figure out what was wrong in my marriage. (He naturally claimed he was perfect and refused couple’s counseling.) After all, my husband had SEEMED so normal at first and I was an only child. Despite what the experts warned, that the ailment was highly genetically transmissable, I thought once we were free of my ex’s influences, I could salvage my abused, innocent children. They grew up to be near perfect individuals: physically healthy, happy, conscientious, intelligent kids and I was proud to present them to the world upon their graduatiions. However, slowly, over the decades, the symptoms began appearing and though shocked and feeling increasinly alienated, I excused them all for various reasons…mostly out of a mother’s deep love.
After being physically and psychologically threatened by them last year, I was advised to go NC with all of them. Facing reality has been a living nightmare, but one from which I never awake.
Briefly, NC is the first step…to clear one’s head of all the years of instilled emotional and mental propaganda. It began with my constantly asking myself “what do I want”?, not what others had imposed on me. This took years of rediscovering the true me. Second was educating myself about psychosis, it’s symptoms and how it completely devastates an individual. This lovefraud site has been of invaluable support as so few know about the disease…it’s total lack of empathy, perpetual lies and distorted perceptions, feelings of entitlement, superiority etc. In the process, I have adoppted the calming wisdom of the Serenity Prayer and my favorite poem, “The Man In The Glass” for at the core, I need to be true to my own conscience.
Thank you for this wonderful blog…I would highly recommend it to all who have been victims of psychotics!
I believe the basic symptoms should be taught in every high school and throughout the legal system. It is surely a growing illness in our times and as important a subject as any math and science in the educational system. Stay the course, be strong and my lovingest wishes to all.

Dear Snow White:

Thank you so much. I loved especially:

“I learned that I must practice mindfulness, or living in the moment. Focusing on the past leads to depression. Focusing on the future generates anxiety. Being present is the path to peacefulness.

Good job and thanks for your sharing your experience.

snowhite,
Its really comforting to know that there are other men out there that feel their wives are worth standing by after this thing happens.
to you guys. you have steel balls for hanging around waiting to see her strength overcome it all when she no longer looks like who she was. (hope that doesn’t offend anyone but im sayin it!) I truly admire you and the incredible strength you have built with these amazing women.
oh and likewise the other way around for you amazing women!

RGC,

I know I wasn’t even the same person after the psychopath….my friends and husband didn’t even recognize me. But it was a slow and gradual destruction. Slowly I am becoming myself again, and my husband recognizes this. There are so many couples who have survived this. When I look back, months before the love bombs started, he would casually make derogatory comments about my husband. Those comments are meaningless to me now. Thanks to the P, I now know what a kind, honest, compassionate man my husband is. I’m sure your wife feels the same way. You are real men!

Obviously you and your wife both love each other enough to work on it. If you didn’t, it would have been easy to get divorced. My husband and I cried everyday at the thought of ending our marriage. We just couldn’t do it. He blames himself…..but I truly believe that even the strongest of marriages could be rocked by a P. No where have we been taught to look out for emotional “charismatic” predators. I didn’t even know these cluster B personality disorders existed. Why was I chosen, who knows. I did feel sorry for him, and he used pity play tactics relentlessly until he got me. I remember while it was all happening, I would lay in bed next to my husband and think, “I’m safe. He hasn’t gotten me”. Yet I was to weak to stop it from happening. All so confusing. Then all of a sudden, the bait and switch occurred. I thank God every day that his masked slipped before I destroyed my family. It saved our lives.

It sounds like you really love your wife. There is nothing unmanly about that! In fact, in makes you so much more of a man than the hollow, empty, deceitful, fraud who preyed on your wife!

I’m happy and encouraged by your success to wellness. Thank you for sharing your journey with me.

Depending on what type of demented crap the twisted mental emotional retard (sociopath) puts (through hell) their unfortunate victim through. Takes much time to heal from crazy world in which they force us to live in to be with them.

How awesome you’re doing better, feeling alive, in control of your happiness, and destiny again.

Well done sister….

snowwhite,
i looked back and around the end of january 2012 is when she began nc. this was after she provided the parole dept with the info they needed to throw him back in prison. he had been harassing her by showing up where she works and trying to kiss her on the sidewalk and sending letters. each time he broke the no contact she had placed on him, she merrily sent whatever info on to his parole officer. she had difficulty at first though. she seemed to want to make sure he wasnt going back in there because of her. only after his parole officer convinced her that he was doing it to himself did she seem to feel really glad to do it. so, she’s been nc about as long as you. since then, she has gone and had a long talk with his last target, as well as his sister who has for years been nc. and more recently she did a little digging into his former work situation in which it turns out, (wow big surprise?) he was serenading women with his guitar right in front of everyone! i can see by your article above many similarities in how this is playing out for her.

rgc

Snowwhite and Rgc you have experienced so many parallels to my ordeal. RGC, you sound like the most incredible, caring, true husband…like my own. He has terrible days still. Sometimes I do wonder if we’ll make it as I’ve caused him such pain. But as you say Snowwhite, there is too much that is good and beautiful between us to throw it all away….then the Spath wins. Rgc, I think you, Mr Snowwhite and my knight are giants among men. Your integrity, compassion, magnanimity are awe-inspiring. I hope you both keep healing in your marriages and building a better future. Nobody else can understand what we went through. It can only make us stronger, deeper, wiser in the long run. I must direct my life saver here to try and gain more insight and strength from your experiences…that he is not alone. RGC, have you considered having an affair too to help your own self esteem? we wonder if this would be catastrophic or somehow help the damage to my husband’s self esteem.

Ps I agree wholeheartedly that sociopath awareness should be on all school curriculum. Nothing and nobody could ever prepare us for such sharks….predatory, life sucking, heartless, lying, soul-less embodiment of evil. Who dazzle with their charm, charisma, promises of a glorious future. They are like shape shifters who lie under your bed at night, soak up your innermost desires and hopes…mirror them, echo your every wish. They pull the core of your love out of your heart with their ‘lost soul’ pity play. It becomes an imperative, sine qua no, non-negotiable mission. you are their world…it’s the purpose of your life…til the discard. The shattered mask. Meaningless, empty, shallow nothingness is all they are. You are still reeling, still racked with pain and utter incomprehension and they’ve moved on. Next in line…business as usual. Never a backward glance. Cut and paste bullshit productions. As one article said ‘ A lie from Hi to goodbye’ with total impunity, their age, qualifications, relationship history, feelings for you, pledge for the rest of your life. It’s a mirage, a charade, a game….and we were played my friends. What prepares you for that? What marriage with even minor fissures in it could sustain such an invasion? SPREAD the news. Make them listen! Let good triumph. That’s our job now xxx

I dont think an affair would help mo mac. although i am jolted by whatever incredible force would make you consider that for your man. and truth be told, years ago i had a one timer which i immediately told my wife about. i think i was vulnerable to the feeling of being desired. i couldnt let her touch me without being truthfull though. it would have ruined my integrity. looking back, i was selfish in letting it happen no matter what games my one time mistress played. and i still wonder if i did the right thing by confessing. i hurt her so. and once the act itself was over my blinders flew open and it was over. i immediately knew how stupid i was and how it was hollow and devoid of the emotional connection i craved. I believe your husband might end up feeling the same. what i crave at this point is to see her progress even in tiny steps, to see her recognize the cognitive dis and see her learn to deal with it and to see her learn that there is a difference in knowing with her intellect and feeling with her heart. as far as intimacy goes, i feel like my wife and i went through a classic perion where we both spent a lot of time thinking about what the other was thinking or feeling. whats she feeling? is she faking it? my intellect can clearly see her spath was fake, that he is an emotional quadriplegic, but it still screws with my heart to some degree. i now am beginning to understand that thinking about what she’s thinking is bs. as a man we tend to be more physical and i am not going to apologize for that. i do not base my marriage on sex. for me sex has become lovemaking. she taught me that. i do miss her being more un inhibited with me and i think maybe the guilt has dampened that. i saw a pattern here that might exhibit this. when she was in and i didnt know, i felt the passion drop off slightly. but i told myself ” well were getting older so….. then once i knew she was just associating with this guy, it all heightened. in fact she began doing things that i saw were beyond her boundaties. then she confessed and things went back to more normal. then the guilt and shame hit and it dropped off almost completely. I think that intimacy reminds her. and i need to practice just being present. my injured self esteem will have to heal and i now know it will take time. no, Mo mac, i dont need a surrigate to teach me that i am a good man and an attentive lover. i need my wife to live in the moment and give herself permission again to let out her passions and teach me what she currently needs/ desires. i think that when she frees herself from the guilt, and shame, it will happen. actually i think it is already happening. my bruised ego and self esteem are just taking their merry time to catch up and believe.

rgc

Guilt and shame are corrosive forces. I live with them daily. yet i know I am not a bad person. In my heart i know i am loving, kind, caring and true…apart from the ‘lie’ of that part of my life. You sound like an incredible person. Selfless in the extreme, so committed to your wife. Wow. Her recovery seems to be more important than your own. Do you ever address your own pain and internal devastation? I know my husband couldn’t really til reasonably recently. We are 7 months into PTSS but for the first 2 or 3 months I was suicidal…his only mission and concern was to rescue me. He’s obsessed with physical images which haunt him…hence the idea of physical ‘counteraction’ but I keep trying to explain it’s the theft and damage to my soul that matters. He says it wouldn’t have mattered who it was….it’s the ‘affair’ that kills him. Think he’s got to the stage that he forgets the irreparable, terrible unspeakable damage to me, my psyche, my spiirit and heart…faith in humanity even. i see him as a pure, rock of strength and character. But his own pain may consume him. Where do you get all your strength and ability to forgive your wife?

it has to do with timing mo, I knew about this stuff before she did. i dont know why i did but it may have been my lawyer. she listened to my story, and then looked me square in the eye, and said “your not ready for divorce” come back and see me when you figure this out” mo, it really IS hard for people to wrap their mind around this. my lawyer sensed something. i don’t know what it was but i think it made me start looking for disorders that had coercive behavior attached to them. i started with Narcissism. and progressed through till i found the answer. i have studied over 1500 hours. does your hubby realize that your average therapist gets about 3 or 4 weeks of study on this? and yes i do try to let some pain out occasionally.

rgc

Also worthy of noting here is that there was a period right after she confessed to me about the physical part of this where i thought i couldnt do it. i think i was staying just to see her through. to make sure she would not be consumed and discarded by him. i think my feelings changed as she opened up in little bits and as i studied further. now i know i can do it. but the pain and doubt need to come out in the right venue and that is not around her. what your hubbys need is a solid understanding that these people are evil. pure evil. and if their sweethaert had been duped by the devil would they be so inclined to judge her so harshly? i personally, having a better grip now, do not judge her so. in fact i came to realize that her big mistake was in the very beginning. in mariage, it is part of our vows to”forsake all others”. failing to do this because she “thought he was an old friend” was tantamount to “drinking the coolaid” once swallowed, it was a done deal. the emotions percieved or felt, the sex and the lies would follow regardless of all else. I understand that and so i think all i have left are some insecurities, and pain that i must vent in a proper venue. I hope your men can come to understand this.
on another note, we as humans and partners, after experiencing a breach of our marriage, might tend to want to drive out the adversary. in the case of my mistress, i told her the next day that my wife would have to know. she of course said that she didnt want me to do that. that “it just happened” and to just let it go. yeah this from a woman 15 years younger than me who weeks before was stepping over me in a miniskirt with nothing underneath, telling me how desperately horny she was for me, and describing how she might “do me”.
when i told my wife, it was two nights later and as i was accustomed to getting the hint as to when she might come to me, i was terrified because i knew i couldnt touch her without her knowing. i dont know why, i just knew. and when she came to me, with that smile, i never felt so low in my life! i told her and thouroughly expected to find myself ousted. instead she, well lets just say that she did her best over the next six weeks or so to DRIVE MY MISTRESS OUT OF MY HEAD. I for a long time found it difficult to fully engage maybe out of guilt and shame. i certainly was not thinking that i deserved the attention. but i think i had a sense that was what she was doing. driving her out. and what was i supposed to do? tell her no? eventually, things settled down and we became closer than ever i think. when we discuss it she agrees. i think i felt the need to do this to her but of course there is a big difference in our affairs. it was easy for me to go nc with my mistress because the tools she used on me were physical and i didnt spend enough time in the trap to even know if she was disordered. i did call her years later and ask what motivated her. her answer? she didnt want to talk about it.
so i dont know about your husbands, but i personally wanted to blast him out of her mind, and , it wasnt an option. i think this further reinforced some of my own insecurities. i understand it now. i think your hubbys need lots of physical attention. and if they sense that you are doing it only for them sometimes and not always you, and you are ok with doing it for them, then you need to try to make them understand that. i know when i accepted that my wife does this from time to time. i quit worrying about my performance so much. i guess i learned to accept it even though i dont quite get it. and dont get me wrong here. its not all sex either. it took a while to learn that a backrub or carress does not mean she’s coming on to me. sometimes she just wants to let me know she is there by touch. once understood, its really nice.

wonder if spouses ever share here. i came looking for some pretty specific answers here and found many. i also later sought out someone who was making it work. we all seem promising. it helps to share with someone who has lived through it.

Mo mac,
another key for us is (i think) that i am an analyzer. its what makes me a competent engineer. now in reality if i was really so good id be working for Nasa. i’m not that good. however the tendency to “find the truth has had an effects here. some good and some bad i think. on one hand, i felt compelled to figure it out. on the other, doing so uncovered many uglies that definitely contributed to doubt and pain. imagine your husbands convincing you to open up and talk about the physical part of this. i think that was a mistake especially as i did it when she was still defensive about him. funny, info can help and it can really suck.
oh and my analytic side makes me re-visit things. like, i just ran back over our conversation and can see that my mouth runs a lot. yeah there are things (many )about me that are far from perfect too. i’m not such a fantastic man. Sure i mean well but along with knowledge, good intentions and understanding there is also required execution. i think i sometimes lack here. and i have not been a perfect husband ever.

So.. im not sure here.. if my wife actually experienced the discard. would that make it harder to believe he was fake? is that why she feels compelled to go digging? to be sure she has not actually left something good behind? and did you feel your husbands were like dry toast at first when coming back?

The discard is the most painful, incomprehensible part of the whole traumatic, bewildering experience. In a sense it is what ultimately sets you free but the work, the recovery you have to do is immense. The discard is the only sort of closure you get from them. To see with your own eyes that they have made a seamless transition to the next game piece without skipping a beat. I went at the SP for months to get an explanation, an apology…to reach some resolution. Nothing…just evasive, inconclusive blame deflection.But it wasn’t until freedom Friday 30th March that I met my successor waiting for him. He had left me for dead…and been declaring to her for months that he would do whatever it took to get her back. He’d dumped her the previous year – tho not with any closure of course- playing the cancer card…that he had to care for his ex wife. Not of course that he had secured a more satisfying ‘mark’ in me. Dry toast? No, but it took so so long for my heart to catch up with my head. the sociopathic bond was so deep. I was aware that my husband was my anchor, my lifeline thro the blackest time…gradually I came back to him. Slowly falling back in love with someone who is real and true.

i dont think she experienced the discard mo. it scares me. after she threw him in prison she wrote a letter to give him a scathing. she could not send it even if she wanted because of the no contact the parole dept enforced. but in the end of the letter there was the” now be good and follow your rules”comment that told me she was in cog dis. since she has spoken with his sister whos daughters he molested years ago. i know i saw her cry A LOT after that and i understood why. (i think) and recently she found out about the other woman he was chasing at his work and that pretty much all of the stuff he told her about work were lies. i keep thinking ” why are you so surprised? every ones been telling you how he is. cog dis.
so your hubbys NEVER ask questions? never lose their cool? if thats the way i gotta be then i got a long way to go! and our imtimacy has crashed completely. she is premenepausal. and she has been on zoloft for 3 years now.
??
rgc

MoMac, the discard is painful to us because we have empathy. To the spath, it’s just the same as tossing out a disposable lighter that’s run out of fluid. Other human beings are simply objects. Objects. Like Kleenex to be tossed in the bin after they’ve blown their noses.

My counselor told me something that became a personal mantra: “Feelings are not facts.” I felt discarded because I had been. But, separating the despair of the discard from the act, itself, was helpful to me. I had no more importance than anything else that was disposable.

Rgc, zoloft is pretty strong stuff for a natural occurance like menopause. And, I still read about her and very, very little about Rgc’s healing path.

Brightest blessings

Truthspeak I believe you should now be making a living from helping others! Because you can…and you really do. I am a disposable lighter. Cool! Poor old Spathy. Won’t ever be loved. nobody will mourn them. To know them is to loathe them.But my…what extraordinary masks! Masters of their craft.

Truth speak, I think im here because i need to connect with others who have (1) experienced. i think this is bringing a more solid understanding that these things really do happen. and a belief in that fact that is more solid. it was fairly easy for my intellect to grasp the information and connect the dots. what was more difficult is convincing my trashed heart, soul, inner ego, that the information was really true. that i am a good guy, that i didnt deserve this, that i am not a completely incompetent husband and lover and father. that i didnt HAVE to be perfect in any of those respects to be ok with what i see in the mirror.

(2) seen success or at least progress in putting all or at least some of the pieces together. there are people here who know. and are making it work or at least making progress.
for a spouse, affairs hurt. period. but counseling i found is about 95% aimed at helping the woman. sorry but when i had a one timer, councel said “now you must refrain from things like asking my wife when are you going to get over it. forever…it was all my fault. and i was the one who was asked to make changes that would bring the closeness and healing back or to heighten them. now to me that sounds completely fair. my indescression, my bad, the focus is on me. i had no problem with this. i was not in denial.

enter her affair…. whoops! not a one timer. emotions involved, all sorts of lies, sneaking away for mothers day weekend and leaving the daughter alone with dad to help with prom. the councelor again focussed on me! it was all me! and me, knowing what it was and trying to get a councelor who must have had about two weeks of school on these disorders, knew nothing about trauma bonds, lays it all on me AGAIN!! so it was not just the efforts of the spath that trained me to doubt myself, but the psych comunity as well. i took a course by kevin jackson that was geared for men on how to get over your wifes affair and many of the lessons there still bring me help today. dont get me wrong here. i dont believe that either sex is hurt worse. we just are hurt in a different mix. girls and guys are turned on and motivated by different things. so when an affair happens it sucks either way. but the jilted woman does not lose what is likely to be the primary attraction that gets the guy going in her direction. for guys that is visual and its likely to be physical. not all physical but the mix is heavily weighted in that direction. he’s still motivated to get closer
when a guy is jilted he instantly loses the appeal that he had for her. his confidence, outward masculinity, right down to the way he carries himself. she can see it, almost smell it. a confident guy is more attractive to a woman than a looker.
both these cases are liklyhoods only. they are not set in stone and not always the case. but very likely.

i think Love fraud should have a private place where the jilted half can come and learn to deal with the unique situations we find when our spouse. who is likely to exhibit hyperempathy, does the unthinkable. where we can help each other get through the pain, and the conflict between our intellect and our hearts.

a place where we can move our confidence toward where it should be. where we can teach each other to be calm, confident, loving, and yes sexy husbands again. where we can come and learn to recognize and take comfort in the little signs we see as our mate slowly progresses through this swamp of hell. where we can learn how to increase the odds she’ll get here or somwhere else that actually CAN help.

there, thats what i think.

rgc

Hi, new here. Pretty strong stuff going on. I’m in the same mess.

Stay in here Useful! It helps…understand what you have experienced. we are a community!

might be scary usefull but places where people understand and really have a grip are few and far between. stay with it! your head probably has it nailed but your heart and soul may well take their time coming along. persistence pays. ive seen it. little bits at a time. i have watched this site for almost a year before getting involved. these people are real.
rgc

The most painful and horrid to remember for me was actually the gaslighting, the chaos he brought along and the devaluation. It was te devaluation (mostly ignoring me, or leaving me all by myself after setting up some romantic getaway) that altered me into this woman waiting for him and pining away. The discard was a shocker but not as painful. It was exactly what I needed to see him for what he was: someone totally underserving of me. Then the truth of his past with other women before me and with me came out and I learned he must be a psychopath. That’s when the cognitive dissonance set in, which was really really painful …

Cog/dis is not the denial part, but the recognition of the truth – that something we believed in and hoped for was an illusion. Our brains dislike cog/dis state, exactly because it’s very painful. In the short term span it takes less pain for the brain to be in denial, rather than face the ugly truth, even if that denial implies blaming ourselves and thinking less of ourselves. It’s easier for the brain to conclude we are stupid, clumsy, too emotional than to conclude we made a wrong decision based on our beliefs in soemthing or someone else.

It’s like Sky said, for months my mind was in some state of shock taking in this whole new social view, one where I needed to go back into my childhood state to relearn social interaction. And in time this new social interaction view started to be integrated and I was able to function more normal again.

Darwin’s,
The 3 years he was in my life was a living hell and I did everything I could to keep him close by. All the while thinking to myself if he would just go away I will get over this and get back to my life. It was such a limbo state of mind, none of it made sense. But what really stand’s out to me in this whole ordeal was after he was gone, after I physically made him leave I went into this place of loss and sadness like I had never felt before. I was almost nonfunctional for a few years. I could not understand that HUGE feeling of loss when I knew he was the worse thing that ever happened to me.
It changes who we are, who we where, what we believed.
It opened up wounds that had never been examined. It revealed and exsposed other exploitive relationships in my life. That huge feeling of loss was my rebirth and it continues….

Hens,

I completely understand that feeling of loss. I felt it most keenly when I was in Peru last year on the cargo boat towards the Amazon (like the one in Motorcycle Diaries). The road had ended in this town and the only way to travel onwards was this cargo boat, that shipped people in hammocks rather than coal/grain… At some point I sat on the roof of the cargo boat looking out at the stars above me. It’s the most beautiful starry sky I’ve ever seen (and I’ve been at remote places before). It was a black blanket full of diamonds. And as i watched that immensely beautiful diamond blanket the loneliness and the destruction of my life hit me at its deepest. It was probably one of the most bittersweet moments in my life that I can remember… I was alive, living and breathing and at this marvelous place, and at the same time I felt dead inside and that my life at home was dead… like the Dead Marshes of Lord of The Rings. I had this beautiful jungle experience to look forward to, the dream of my life becoming real (I dreamt of going to the Amazon since I was a child), and yet I knew it would be over a few days later and I had to go back to that dead life at home.

Oh yes, I didn’t understand myself either during the relationshit. On the one hand I wanted him to just finish it or take a bus and leave him, and I felt always releaved when either he or I ended up on the plane back home so we were physically separated. And there were many times I felt a deep hatred for him for all the crap he pulled. And yet, I would instantly do everything I could to keep us together, and apologize and beg him to love me. I was in a limbo state most of the time with him. I hated that, him but most importantly myself for it!

darwin’s, that trip down the amazon gives me gooze bumples – i am so happy you can remember that black starry sky and how empty you felt – everything happens for a reason dont ya think?

Strangely enough those 6 days of the Amazon, including the cargo boat trip, were the sole beautiful days of hell year 2011 I had this marvelous remote adventure of my life, nothing but sweet and friendly smiling and respectful people around me, as well as some of the most vast outdoor with nature’s miracles out there. One would wish I should have experienced it as a happy person with a happy life, and yet I don’t and even didn’t wish I was happy back then. It’s exactly the contradiction of that moment that made it so powerful, sad and beautiful all at the same time. It was the first time I really mourned myself, my life and this new way of social thinking I had to do. I had weapt before, from missing him during the devaluing, from frustration and fear, from pain of this new reality… but that moment I cried for myself, and not in a self pitying way… It was like a burrial, when you grief and say goodbye to your previous life, and you know you have to go on living accepting it will never be the same anymore. You don’t know how to, you don’t even want to, but you know you have to and that you will somehow. Once I stepped off the boat and arrived at the village and took off with my guide on the canoo, I relished every moment of it. Nothing and nobody was going to spoil the marvel of it. It was my dream, it was beautiful, and I f****** deserved it for myself to enjoy it to the fullest. And I did. But it was that bittersweet moment on the cargo boat that helped me to decide that for myself.

I don’t know whether everything happens for a reason, but I do make sure it will have some reason for me.

My mother used to say that we all get dealt with a load of baggage to carry around. Sometimes we end up carrying too much and we buckle. We can then decide to give up and lie on the ground forever, or we can ditch some of the load, get up and continue living. I think that was a very wise observation of my mother.

To quote darwinsmom:

“It’s like Sky said, for months my mind was in some state of shock taking in this whole new social view, one where I needed to go back into my childhood state to relearn social interaction. And in time this new social interaction view started to be integrated and I was able to function more normal again.”

Oh yes, for me it was more like years. Years of total denial as to what I was seeing in front of me. It was absolutely stunning. Just like you said, like some kind of state of shock.

I, too, have had to go back into my childhood and set all that straight first and then slowly progress further out until I am able to meet myself again. To find that personal grounding.

Like I told my counselor today: “I am not afraid to die nor afraid of “IT” but that doesn’t mean “IT” won’t try it either.”
So, I am always on the defensive. Always.

My defense is causing me problems in my life, though.
In order to have safety and comfort I also must give up living a normal life. Things like going out for a walk; just being out in general public where I think I would make myself a ‘sitting duck’.

A person can’t be too careful when dealing with a psychopath. One moment they can be stroking you and telling you how very beautiful you are and how much you mean to them and the next, they are literally trying to peel the skin from your body in one long piece and loving every moment of it.

I have learned there won’t ever be a ‘normal’ again for me.
For none of us. We will be forged in the fire from all of this and we will emerge stronger and more wiser and better able to defend ourselves from the evilness of these predators and soul suckers. And, that is what they are: SOUL SUCKERS.

I was told today that the psychological abuse was done so whimsically and almost un noticed and that they could see it from when I first started counseling. Amazing, isn’t it? I couldn’t see it though. It took a trained eye to recognize it. I was also told that as easily and gently as my thoughts had been manipulated and controlled, that control and manipulation will fade away as easily as it faded in. It’s a struggle. Breaking free. But trust me, once you are free, I mean REALLY NO CONTACT and it is completely behind you..all the way…where you slammed that door and made up your mind, THAT is being free. Free from the manipulation, the drama, the chaos…free from having your mind twisted. All of it.

I think your Mom had an extremely wise view:

“My mother used to say that we all get dealt with a load of baggage to carry around. Sometimes we end up carrying too much and we buckle. We can then decide to give up and lie on the ground forever, or we can ditch some of the load, get up and continue living. I think that was a very wise observation of my mother.”

I think she may just be right.
It’s the ONLY way to be sometimes.

mwahhhh!!
thanks for letting me yack.

Dopey Doopey

My mom has always been a kind, warm and wise lady, Dupey 🙂

I’ve got the best of persons in my mom I believe, but I just wish she doesn’t argue with me over where I want to put
my stuff (organize wise), LOLOL. When I do it my way anyway, she reverses it behind my back (when I’m traveling abroad). :p I’m sure her organizing is perhaps sublime (she puts stuff in boxes, which looks clean), but it doesn’t work for me cause I can’t find anything again anymore or totally forget I have it, since it’s out of sight. … and yet she marvels how I organize my music and books – all alphabetical!

After the move, I found a place for lots of stuff that were in these huge boxes… they’re all empty. My mom asked me in a panic so what are you gonna do with them (fearing I’d get rid of them). Told her I put them on top of the closet where they always have been… They’re just ornaments though there’s not one item in them. LOL!

You are fortunate you have a good Mom, darwinsmom.
I have been thinking about the ‘demon’ that I allowed into my life……Just remembering all the chaos and drama and trying to figure out how in the world I could allow something like this near me and my life. I was just so totally and completely sucked right in and it almost took my life from me. And, I probably would have loved every moment of it. That’s the insane part.

It was as if my very soul was being held captive.
By the devil itself.

I am thinking of running away and not letting anyone know where I am and just cutting all ties with everything and everyone that I know around me.

Sometimes I think that is the only way it will just stop.

Maybe it’s best.
If I just disappear, I mean…
Not because of “IT”….
IN SPITE OF IT.

darwins – you are blessed to have a mother like that.

Well, my mother was a worthless piece of…..(fill in). Dupey, you’re not alone there, honey. Or you, hens.

But anyway I have discovered the secret for breaking an addiction to a man. Salsa lessons with Jacques and Mark. I danced with all these hot guys tonight in class. They traded me back and forth so they could practice dipping. When a man dips you, he throws your right arm around his neck and holds your ribcage up against his chest. It’s HOT!!!! After my student friend that I like a lot and my teacher Jacques both did that with me a few times, I was in serious need of a cold shower. Salsa is SO sexy! OMG I totally recommend it for all of you women trying to get over an asshole. I will start taking private lessons with Jacques pretty soon. But I got to get some private instruction from him for a half hour after class – he and Mark stick around to do that. It was HOT. HOTTTT!!!! All the guys in the class are great. I really enjoy this so much. Even when I’m not feeling great, it’s a good pick-me-up. Mark and Jacque learned from one of the best salsa teachers in the world – this woman named Edie. Edie started salsa dancing because her husband was cheating on her. She lost 40 lbs doing it and became of the the best world class salsa dancers. I don’t have any spaths to get over, but since I started salsa dancing, I hardly think about my rock star neighbor anymore. I used to have a huge crush on him for years.

Words of wisdom that I saw today…..thought i’d share it with my Lf Friends.
Hope your all well.
Life IS good….never forget.
XXOO
EB

We can not solve our problems with the same thinking we used when they were created.

Dupey,

That sounds like a plan! No, it’s not being chased off by the spath, but I see it as GOING TO a new free life – the ditching of the load that made you buckle!

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