LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: Trail of Water, Tears and Betrayal

Editor’s note: Lovefraud received the following e-mail from a reader who writes as “Esther.”

I am watching with horror as I see the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. The water and photos of devastation bring back memories for me of my experiences in South Florida—three hurricanes back to back destroyed my home. I was married to the sociopath at that time. He enjoyed the attention and the chaos. I was devastated and overwhelmed. The insurance adjusters, claims, trying to get tarps to protect the home from further rain and damage, the ceiling collapsing and the black mold that began to appear on the walls after the power was restored. Contractors could not be found, and the predators looking for work all came to Florida.

Meanwhile I discovered that I was facing a true predator. My ex took insurance funds that were made payable to me, him and the mortgage holder. These insurance funds were to be kept by the mortgage holder, Merrill Lynch. I say were, because my ex’s brother worked at Merrill Lynch and he released the funds solely to my ex. My ex claimed he paid the contractor to repair our home. The contractor disappeared. My ex did not seem concerned and tried to get me to sell inherited property to replace the funds.


I felt the physical pain of betrayal, as he ran off with the young flight attendant and the wealthy girlfriend that he had met on one of his trips. I was left with a home that had been torn apart, no money, no insurance funds and a broken heart. Insurance companies, banks and a legal system blamed me; ignoring the crimes they committed.

What I now know is that this was all a plan, my ex could care less about the property and he probably made a deal with the contractor to split the insurance funds. I also discovered that my ex and his brother had removed me from the mortgage so they could steal more insurance funds.

This flood of cash that my ex could manipulate moved him to greater motivation to injure me psychologically. He had begun his emotional abuse. I could never do anything right. I was too angry, etc. He then began to be physical. It started with pushing, pulling my hair. It all was my fault; he felt that I needed to be on medication. He then produced a post nuptial that he insisted I sign. It had a clause that the marriage was in trouble and that if in 5 years we had resolved the marital differences, the post nuptial would be void.

When I refused to sign, he told me that I only cared about the money. He had cancelled all credit cards, denied access to bank funds and began to become dangerously physical. I had nowhere to go, no home and I didn’t know what to do. He charmed the insurance agents and told them he was the mortgage holder. Even though their paperwork had my name on it, they were sucked in by his charm and wrote additional checks only to him.

Family Court

My father feared for my life and he paid an attorney a retainer fee. The real rape began for me in Family Court. I slept on couches, in my office and cried nightly. I felt safer with my ex than I did with the attorneys and judges who only wanted a pay check. The legal experience was another serious violation. These legal predators sensed my vulnerability and preyed on me.

I suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I knew the symptoms of PTSD, what I didn’t understand was the numbing effects and the effect on my cognitive functioning. This is why survivors are more vulnerable to predators after leaving an abusive relationship. It takes time for the brain to heal and we need protection while we heal. I wish I would have had Lovefraud to prepare me to put on a mask and prepare to leave, not leave in desperation. I needed an article to help me understand that my husband was worse than the three hurricanes and that the court personnel would prey on my tragedy.

Disasters such as these are a candy store for an abusive mate, predatory attorneys and contractors. The intense emotions that cripple those of us who have anxiety, inspire and charge the Sociopath. The manipulation games are pleasure for the sociopath. This is an extremely dangerous period for our sisters and brothers who still suffer in these relationships.

How to leave

If you have the fortune to read my words, find a very good counselor who understands your vulnerability. Too many counselors told me, “just leave.” This is dangerous advice and ignorant of the dynamics of domestic violence.

Keep a copy of all records. Know the insurance adjusters and agents. Remove important possessions and photos to a safe storage place. Do not think that if you tell him you want a divorce, he will change. Do not trust that the agents of any agency will follow the law and policy. Reconnect with your families and friends. Ask them to witness the actions of the sociopath. In these relationships we isolate because we are ashamed of the environment in which we are living. Your sociopath will be so charming to the authorities, you will need witnesses.

What I also didn’t know was that I had Federal Protection with the Violence Against Women Act. This act stipulates that the Court and agents of the State of Florida by accepting federal funds were responsible to assist me, to train judges and attorneys to protect me. This system that I turned to for protection also betrayed me.

Learn from my mistakes. I know it hurts. I understand the shame. This will all pass. You will learn and understand that these people are incapable of kindness, compassion and care. It is not your fault. You have been at war and you are injured. I write and explain my story, my denial and ignorance so that you will not suffer and feel alone at the hands of predators like I did. Share with us, you will find some of the most caring people on this site who will mirror your strength. The drywall, the cabinets, the appliances can all be replaced. The scars left by betrayal take longer to heal. The greed that you see in these evil predators may haunt you for a long time.

You are in my prayers. When you are crying and feeling as if your weight is too much, ask God to remove the intense feeling, giving you the wisdom and strength to put one foot in front of the other. In these difficult times may you have trust in the wisdom of the pain and find the lesson for your growth.

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52 Comments on "LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: Trail of Water, Tears and Betrayal"

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Athena, what an interesting concept. It’s something to seriously consider: being addicted to both sides of the coin would explain a WHOLE lot about how and why we keep putting up with the spathidity.

OxD, yes – the behavioral training makes sense. I will never understand why people always feed their pets treats when they follow a command, especially dogs. Dogs love treats, but they love praise more than treats. The praise builds a loyalty bond that, once in place, is never broken.

Holy cow….so, perhaps, the “loyalty bond” that I maintained with the exspath was because I was expecting “praise” more than anything else, JUST as you’ve described, OxD: the hope of praise.

As a STRICT aside, I am feeling very much better, this morning and I thank everyone for their strong words of support and encouragement. I’m feeling some resolve, this morning. Thank you all, SO much.

Brightest blessings


I am glad you are feeling better. I was thinking about you.


The trauma bond/stockholm syndrome IS BOTH sides of the coin. It is not just the pain and humiliation and abuse. It’s the fear/love combo.

I also know this happens because the lows are so low and the highs are so high…personally, I think this is where the addiction comes in.

Louise, that makes sense – the pendulumatic highs and lows. They’re so dramatic that it must become an addiction to a number of things, including drama/trauma.

The exspath’s mother never graduated from high school OR earn a GED. She is vain and grandiose to the point that it’s laughable. But, the one thing that she is an “expert” on is drama/trauma. She could turn the most mundane thing into an E.L.E – Extinction Level Event. I really couldn’t abide talking with her because the topics of conversation were always about someone else’s misfortune or herself. She never – not ever – asked me about what I was doing, how I was doing, or how my health was. Not once. Even when I was enduring a crippling health issue, she moaned and groaned about her fibro and never asked me, once, if I needed anything.

So, yeah. The addiction isn’t to one thing. I think that there are so many facets to sociopathic entanglements that there’s no way to narrow down WHICH addiction it is. It’s financial. It’s sexual. It’s spiritual. It’s emotional. All of it factors in, and I don’t ever intend to become “addicted” to another human being (OR, their approval) for the rest of my life.

Brightest blessings


OMG…me either! Never will I become addicted again. I am sure of that. I am not putting myself out there to get hurt again. I have a friend who moved to CA just five days ago and she already has a date for this coming weekend! Hahaha!! She is actively looking for a man and that is great because that is what SHE wants, but it will also open her up to all types of drama, heartache, BS, etc. She also jumps into bed too fast and she is not young. Example…she told me a couple weeks ago about a guy who texted her out of the blue after nine months. She said she had gone out on a couple of dates with this guy, it was OK, but it just fizzled out; didn’t go anywhere; she wasn’t really interested in him. So when he gets in touch with her nine months later, she goes out with him, but she is moving to CA within the next week. She is kind of complaining about him when we were at dinner…just general kind of stuff like she thought he was kind of boring, etc. and then she says something like (I can’t remember her exact words so I will paraphrase) well, we’ll see how the sex is! I thought HUH???? I didn’t say a word, but just thought that is exactly why there is so much drama/trauma in this world! She didn’t even seem to “like” this guy, yet she was planning on sleeping with him? Because I know that is just how dating “works” nowadays, I won’t do it. That is unfortunately the world we live in, but I do not have to buy into it. Why can’t women see that you just can’t jump into bed (or the couch or the floor or wherever you decide to have sex)?? I think if people would just open their eyes and stop this, there would be much less problems. Look at some of the letters that people have submitted here…these women all slept with these men almost immediately and then they wonder why they got in trouble?? Hey, yes, I did it with spath and I KNOW that. I KNOW what I did, BUT…he was the first different guy I had slept with in 20 years!!! And NOW, I will NOT ever do it again unless I am married OR I have dated them a long, long time and they love me for me and not just want my body. I am on a rant, but in my opinion, it is just so important. STAY OUT OF BED!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Because this is when the addiction comes in…after you have had sex with them. Thank you!!!!!!

Louise! Good rant! I liked it.
Truthy, I know you won’t believe this but I think your ex MIL was purposely ignoring your health issues just to make you feel worse.

Why do I think this? Because that is what my spath sister used to do. I was in horrific pain from the strychnine. But I thought I had fibro. My entire life revolved around relieving the pain. EVERYTHING I did was about that: the food, the vitamins, the bed, the couch, the car, all the doctor visits, all the time spent online researching.

She knew this, yet, she would approach me with stories about other people she met who had so much pain for whatever reason and she said that she felt sooooo sorry for them. She’d go on and on about how she just wanted to help them, blah, blah blah. But guess what. She NOT ONCE expressed sympathy for the pain I was in.

Then I was looking through some papers of hers and I found a magazine article about CoQ10 being helpful for fibro. The article was really really old, like late 90’s, before I found out about CoQ10 and tried it (yes it really does help a lot). She had actually high lighted the sentence. But she never told me about it. She liked the fact that I was in pain.

In the end, her mask fell off and I saw that she was in on the plot to get me to kill myself. She’s a nasty sick spath.


Wow that article says it all. It’s the answer to the good girl syndrome. If I just do this I might get…. If I just work a little harder I might get…. If I just push my self I might get rewarded. If I just keep quiet he will not scream at me. If I just love him a little more, he will love me back.

The chemical answer to the string of thoughts…

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