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By | May 10, 2012 122 Comments

LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: We want to believe that we’re different, we’re special, and so he loves us

Editor’s note: Lovefraud received the following story from a woman whom we’ll call Hilary. Names are changed.

The night before I met Nick, I had a vivid nightmare. I lost sight of a caring man in a chaotic crowd, a baby was murdered, and I was poisoned. I awoke and heard, “Wait for the right one. Don’t try to save him. You’ll ruin yourself and your future.” The thought was so pervasive that, although I was perplexed, I wrote it down.

The following afternoon, I met Nick (with whom I’d connected on a dating site) on his boat at the local marina, and an afternoon sail turned into an “accidental” dinner with his parents and sister, drinks afterward, and hours of conversation late into the night. The following evening, he cooked me dinner. He began texting me first thing in the morning and throughout the day. We slid into life as a couple, and although things seemed to be moving quickly, we decided that we were in our 30s, we knew who we were and what we wanted—and we’d finally found that in each other.

Nick was good looking and dressed well. He was educated, highly intelligent and verbal, outgoing, well-read yet good with his hands, spontaneous, outdoorsy, professionally driven, and incredible in bed. Where we weren’t similar, we balanced each other out. There didn’t seem to be any reason to hold back. And yet I was. I’d recently had a brief affair with a pathological man, had learned about personality disorders and the prevalence of such, and—as I told Nick—I loved my life and didn’t want to invite anything into it that would upset it. Nick, of course, assured me that he was different. He’d never hurt me like that.

Nick had worked as a bioterrorism expert and eventually, he revealed, as a covert agent with the CIA. He said he’d been certified sane by the U.S. Government through a battery of psychological tests. He confessed that he had regrets about some of things he’d done and had moved back to his home state to reconnect with his family and his values. He told me about his ex-girlfriend, Grace, whom he’d nearly married. She’d cut him out of her life with no explanation, and his reaction to the loss had ruined his friendships and had nearly destroyed him. For the first time, he said, he’d met a woman he didn’t compare to Grace, a woman who was a better match for him and who challenged and intrigued him all on her own.

Spending time together

Within a week, he’d been forced out of his job and we began spending every spare moment we had together. Within two weeks, he began joking about marriage. Within a month, he told me that he loved me. I didn’t say it back, but instead asked him for his definition of love. “Each time we part,” he said, “it feels like too soon. When I see you, I envision a future, each tomorrow better than today.” I countered, “So it’s a short-term cost-benefit analysis? If we have a bad tomorrow or two, then there’s no future and therefore your love dies?” “Of course not,” he assured me. “I mean the average over the long haul.”

But something still wasn’t right. I asked how he could draw on his skills as a manipulator so easily for his job and yet separate that from his personal life. He appeared sad, assured me that he’d never lied to me—and then confessed that he had. It was a small white lie regarding our dinner reservation with his parents on our first date. I’d heard him on the phone with telling his mom that he’d forgotten about the dinner, that he was bringing someone, and was the reservation still for five? When I inquired about the phrasing later that night, he’d claimed he didn’t remember saying that. We’d had a few drinks, so I didn’t press it. When we later told the story of the date to a friend of mine, Nick said they’d had an extra seat because his sister was supposed to bring someone who’d cancelled. “I’m sorry,” he said now, “a friend was supposed to join me and she couldn’t make it, but I didn’t want you to think I was just plugging you in. I panicked and lied, but I’m a terrible liar when it comes to the people I care about and I could tell you saw through it. So I lied again in front of your friend to try to cover it up. It’s been eating at me since.” I believed him.

He said he was ready for marriage and children, and that I complemented his life. He took me to a suite at a fabulous hotel, he invited me to accompany him on a trip to a Caribbean resort, he did dishes and gave massages, took me to expensive dinners, and he was constantly giving me gifts both great and small. I was in the market for a house, and he accompanied me, talking about what we could afford together and which would allow room for a growing family. He charmed my friends, and they loved him. When the New Year rolled around, my lease was coming to an end, and I hadn’t yet found a house, Nick invited me to live with him on his boat. “It’ll be tight, but nice to wake up to you every morning,” he said. I declined, but took that as a sign of his love and commitment. He flew with me to meet my immediate and extended family, and they were charmed by him, too. I’d moved beyond simply wanting it to work with a man who seemed perfect for me, and I was falling in love, although I hadn’t said the words to him yet.

Distant and irritable

But when we returned from the week with my family, he grew distant and irritable. He confessed that he’d re-examined his values and it would be important to him to raise his kids in the Catholic Church—something he knew I was against. I said that his dating profile had listed him as an agnostic, which he denied. We talked for hours about religion and community and came to a compromise. “Don’t be worried,” he said. “It’s not a deal-breaker. I’m just trying to do the emotionally mature thing and talk it over before it becomes a big deal.” A couple of days later, I checked his dating profile. He was listed as a Catholic, but it also showed he’d logged on recently. I’d never thought to check his profile activity and was hurt to see he’d been online. But when I logged on again the next day to confront him, the profile was gone. I know now that I was lying to myself, that he’d changed his religious affiliation knowing that I’d check. But at the time, I convinced myself that he’d been online only to cancel his subscription.

A few days later, he was again irritable. “I’ve become skeptical and afraid you’re going to leave me,” he said. “I’ve laid it all on the line and made myself vulnerable to you. I need you to be as vulnerable to me. I’ve been hurt before, and I guess I’m just the kind of guy who needs to hear the words ‘I love you.’” And so I told him that I loved him and that if everything were still going well in a year, then I’d be ready to marry him and have his children. We made five-year plans and compared our goals. We agreed that neither of us had ever met another with whom we were more compatible. But Nick’s attitude did not improve. He started making racially charged statements and criticized my friend for being “dominant” in her relationship. He complained constantly about how sore he was from the gym, and made snide remarks about anything I was better at than he was. I asked him if he wanted me to be his ex-girlfriend, and he assured me that that was the last thing he wanted.

Depression

Finally, he confessed that he suffered from functional but clinical depression, and that prior to meeting Grace, he’d been on two antidepressants plus Klonopin and Adderall. He was in the middle of a series of rigorous job interviews for a top consulting firm, founded by an innovation guru, and was under tremendous stress. He said he was afraid I was going to leave him before he could get himself under control. So I promised him that as long as he agreed to help himself, I wouldn’t leave him. “But,” I told him, “this relationship limbo is my kryptonite. With my personality, what you’re asking of me couldn’t be more difficult.”

For the next three weeks, I was in hell. He encouraged me to move 45 minutes away to a place where we could have more privacy but that also removed me from my social circle. He saw me only during the day, then would become anxious and retreat to his parents’ house—or so he told me. He said he was trying to write to me about how much he loved me and what a weird place he was in. He said he couldn’t access his emotions, and it scared him. He said he didn’t know who he was without his job. I couldn’t sleep. I researched depression. I attended support groups. I was assured that although his treatment of me felt like emotional manipulation, it was just the depression. At one point, he had me convinced that he was suicidal, and I called his sister to make sure someone would look in on him. I didn’t know where to draw my own boundaries—where the illness took over from the man.

Then he got the job. He read me fragments of what he’d been trying to write, all of the reasons that he loved me. We were intimate, and he was soft, teary, and seemed desperate to access the feelings he’d been unable to before. I assured him I was still with him, and in the days following, he wrote to me of how much he loved me and we made Sunday plans.

Another woman

I was shocked when, on Saturday, I ran into him on the street with another woman. He told her that I was a crazy ex-girlfriend he’d broken up with before meeting her. When I revealed the truth, Nick accused me of “torpedoing everything in his life.” I discovered he’d been dating her the entire time we’d been together, getting serious with her at about the same time he became “depressed.” She’d never seen any signs of depression. They’d had sex (unprotected) for the first time the night before we’d flown to visit my family. He’d texted me from her bed, “Goodnight, beautiful. See you in a few hours.” He’d told her he was going to visit his friend Ben, who was actually a cousin of mine Nick had never met. He was looking at houses with me, but talking to her about moving with him to the neighboring state when he started his new job. He already had a plane ticket to meet her family. This woman didn’t want to know the truth; she wanted her Prince Charming. She took her first opportunity to shoot the messenger, and she blocked me from contacting her. As far as I know, they’re still together.

For one month, he compromised my happiness as I worried over his mental and physical health. For four days, I was wild with grief, and I’m not proud of my actions during that time. But on day four, I went alone to the counseling appointment Nick had agreed to when I caught him cheating. Still in shock, I told my story. And when the counselor said that I’d been involved with a sociopath, it was as if all the lights in my house went on at the same time. I’d already been involved with a pathological person, had done the research, and was in fact writing about it when I met Nick!

Yellow flags, red flags

How could I have fallen for it again?! I didn’t listen to my intuition; when I saw yellow flags, I didn’t slow down; and when I saw red flags, I didn’t turn and run. And although I’d learned what to look for the first time, I didn’t realize what it was about my own behavior that allowed/encouraged these pathologicals to manipulate me. Several months into our relationship, a friend asked if I was sure Nick was right for me, and I said we were perfect for each other. The fact was, I’d had a nightmare right before I met him. In the days following, I was slightly nauseous when I thought of him or heard from him, although he was saying and doing all the right things. And although I’d never had hives before, for the entirety of our relationship, they broke out in half-dollar size across my chest nearly every morning.

Also, Nick was incredibly out of shape for a man who claimed on his profile to work out 4x/wk. He used Grace as his sympathy story, and the way she cut him out of her life completely was a warning. He lied to me on our first date. He had no friends. He was an admitted risk-taker who’d been extremely promiscuous and hadn’t practiced safe sex. A man with his supposed diagnosis on four medications would not have been a CIA operative. He said women were terrible consultants and was obsessed with power dynamics in relationships as well as business. He was a pariah at his office Christmas party. He’d had five jobs in five years. He was volatile when he drove or when we tried to get his boat off the dock or even when the boat rocked with the outgoing fishermen in the morning. He showered and did his dishes and laundry at my house, (which I excused because I know how hard it is to live on a boat.) He claimed to have gutted his boat and refinished it, but after months of spare time and my offers to help, he hadn’t completed the simple plumbing for his sink. Changing his profile to Catholicism caused me to doubt myself and what I knew to be true. He kept the attention on himself/distracted me through physical complaints and claims of mental illness.

Something inhuman

When I met him, he said “Sorry—I’m sorry” seemingly habitually. After a couple of weeks, I told him to stop apologizing—and he did. Even then, I recognized that there was something inhuman about being able to stop seemingly habitual behavior on a dime. But I ignored these things because I wanted so badly for him to be real. Because of my age, I’m running out of time to have children of my own, and I very much want a relationship. This makes me vulnerable.

I’m an open book. When he asked, I revealed. I told him about my family, about my ex-boyfriend (into whom he molded himself), and about my own fears and dreams. I handed him my kryptonite. I revealed my weaknesses and pleaded with him to hold my heart carefully. Instead, he intentionally tried to destroy me.

Afterward, I kept digging. Even those Nick considered friends were eager to speak out. I learned that he’d lied about past girlfriends being just friends; he’d lied to one that he wasn’t dating anyone even as he was making plans for a future with me; he’d expressed desire to raise our kids on a boat for a couple of years, but complained to another that he hated living on board; his resume is full of outright fictions and stretched truths; he’d been drinking to excess for years and was often thrown out of bars; he’d lied about the CIA; and his sympathy story regarding Grace omitted that she’d discovered he’d been cheating on her. The list of smaller lies, omissions, and character flaws is quite long.

Grace herself will not respond to my requests for her side of the story. She seems to have cut not only Nick out of her life but all mention of him. I can’t help but wonder if it’s out of fear, a desire to protect herself emotionally, or if she’s just as stubborn as Nick said she is. I’m struggling with my frustration toward her for not helping me to uncover more of the truth.

If you want to believe

To women who’ve yet to go through this or who want to believe in their mate despite the evidence, please listen to those who came before you and keep speaking to those who come after—even if they shut you out, accuse you of jealousy, and insist that you’re crazy. Past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior, but we want to believe that we’re different, we’re special, and so he loves us. It has nothing to do with us. He’s incapable of love. He made those other women feel just as special as you feel now, and then he served their worst nightmares on a silver platter. They get away with it, in part, because we don’t trust each other. If we valued and sought out other women more than we valued these men, many of us could have been spared a good deal of pain.

Another of the greatest dangers we face is our refusal to acknowledge until it’s too late that evil is out there in the form of pathology. A pathological person will use our belief that everyone is inherently good, or can be better, as his greatest weapon against us. He is indeed some mother’s son. He’s a beloved brother. And he’s also your worst nightmare. For god’s sake, not everyone is capable of change, and if there’s one thing I took away from my Catholic school days, it’s that the devil doesn’t approach you with horns and venom, but beauty and a kiss.


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snowwhite

Thank you for your story. You are a smart woman…getting out so soon. I was blind to it for 7 months while he emotionally manipulated me. When it turned physical my world started to spiral out of control. But just in the nick of time….I called him on his behavior and within 2 weeks he was on to his next target, who he probably had lined up long before!

All I can say is that they are truly sick individuals. We cannot fix them…but they can destroy us.

Happy you are free of it!

Louise

Hilary:

I am so sorry for this pain you went through. It sounds like a real nightmare.

But I must say, I do not blame “Grace” for not wanting to speak with you. She is only trying to protect herself and obviously wants nothing to do with him or with anyone who is or was associated with him (meaning you.) You shouldn’t take that personally, she is just doing what is best for her after all the pain she obviously went through due to this jerk.

Also, I must comment regarding women helping other women by warning them, etc. I agree with you…women SHOULD stick together and help each other with knowledge, but if what happens is anything like what happened to me, you don’t trust other women anymore either. Now you don’t trust the men, you don’t trust the women. To keep it brief…I had another woman warn me about the guy she had dated. I was his next target…he had already told her he was interested in me so she wanted me to know he almost destroyed her. OK, fine…I listened and then I did what I wanted to do which was wrong. But the scary part was that even though she warned me, she was still seeing him and LYING to me. She kept me on the line to get all kind of info from me (which she didn’t get because I had nothing to tell) and was telling me that it was OVER between them and I find out later that all along, she had been asking him to go on vacation with her, was sending him half naked pics of herself, texting him constantly, etc. She was relentlessly pursuing him while telling me they were finished.

So anyway, just a word to the wise…it can’t get worse than that. You also have to be very aware and watch for the red flags from the other women.

snowwhite

I agree. I wouldn’t contact the new woman. She is being wooed and love bombed right now so she won’t believe anyone. Time will tell. Maybe someday she will be contacting you for answers.

I did contact his ex and got so many answers. She told me that she was emotionally abused by him and believes she will never totally recover….she now has trust issues because of the cheating and also has weight issues from his comments and abuse. She was with him for 5 years and now cannot believe she put up with it.

If his new target ever contacts me all I will do is refer her to this site and psychopathyawareness.wordpress. I definitely would be afraid of what he would do if he knew I was reposing him

Thank you for this story – painful as it is to read, as all of these stories are, and it sent chills down my spine as it was so similar to mine, except I had no previous experience of this kind of hardcore sociopath and there were no exes I could talk to. It seems ALL we can do is develop an absolutely infallible relationship with our intuition. Yes, we can, and must work on that. But the other part of it, the seeming prevalence of this pathological behavior, from reading these stories, is so profoundly depressing. It’s as though we’re surrounded by wolves, ravaging a community that doesn’t exist any more in the sense that we can be warned, protect ourselves and warn and protect others. Especially when we meet people online.

I live in a fairly out of the way area in the French countryside and so don’t have much chance to meet people. But now, 2 months after this experience and reading these stories, if I go online I find myself wondering what demons are lurking behind the profiles; WILL I, even now, be able to be so on guard as to be deaf to ANYthing but my intuition, cool and judgmental enough to quickly size up red or even pink flags, vigilant enough to ask all the right questions, able to discern if the answers are lies or not?… When I ventured online again a few days ago, I did a search instead in my native UK as I may move back there. The only “surprise” was to see the ex-path, who also lives in France, with a fake UK profile. I read it and it was gone the next day. Should we rally for much more stringent sign up procedures on dating sites? Would that work? Do the sites really care anyway? At the moment I’m not at all sure I’ll ever be able to put myself out there again.

Melly

Hilary, thank you for sharing your story. It’s so alarming, yet very real to realise just how many of us are subject to such emotional torment and abuse. When I look around at other peoples relationships where they are happy and function as a great team, it sadens me a little (as like all of us would agree) because that is all any of us want. We all deserve true happiness and true love yet we are debilitated by someone we loved and trusted. If only they were capable of realizing the long term effects of their actions.

Hang in there and stay strong minded. You seem very switched on and like us all, did not deserve to be treated the way you have been by this horrible, worthless human being x o

G1S

Years ago, I knew somebody who fell for a guy that I thought was a first-class sleaze.

She went on and on how he was with the CIA. She’d wait for his calls and when he didn’t call, she would say that her “psychic” radar had kicked in and she knew he was back in town. She’d call him.

Lo and behold! He was at his desk claiming he had just gotten back from his latest assignment! Sometimes, he had just walked in and put his things down. Really? The woman would be bouncing up and down for joy because her psychic abilities were so accurate. I’d be rolling my eyes.

Then he started telling her that he couldn’t see her because he was so important to the CIA that he had two other agents watching him fulltime.

I tried to reason with her. I asked her if she knew how expensive it was to assign an agent to one person fulltime and why on Earth would the CIA assign anybody to their own people? Nobody was that important.

She couldn’t even prove that she was calling the CIA. She had his direct line. Nobody answered that phone except for him. He could be working in a donut shop for all she knew.

She didn’t believe a word that I said.

still reeling

Hilary, your story sends chills down my spine. I know these are the last words you want to hear and will prob always have some negative reaction to them, but I really AM so so sorry. The path in my life also said, “I’m sorry,” constantly. There was good reason for it.

I haven’t read any comments here yet, so not sure if I’m being repetitive. I think you are so absolutely correct that there is something in us that attracts, then allows these creatures into our lives. I saw yellow flags from Day 1. Thankfully, soon after we met, his world began crumbling as his shenanigans caught up with him and finally he was fired. (He was the manager of the office in which I worked).
But by the time red flags went up, I was hooked, making excuse after excuse for his behaviors that went from awesome to hideous.

I also became nauseous whenever it appeared that we might actually get together and go out (we never left the bldg we worked in and we were never intimate). I knew he was crazy and abusive.

You said, “I didn’t listen to my intuition; when I saw yellow flags, I didn’t slow down; and when I saw red flags, I didn’t turn and run. And although I’d learned what to look for the first time, I didn’t realize what it was about my own behavior that allowed/encouraged these pathologicals to manipulate me.”

Exactly. We need to be able to stop the madness before it starts.

Again, thank you for posting your story. It is so well-written and so well depicts the MO of these monsters. Honestly, I have no idea how they are able to undertake all the mental and physical work it takes to be them. I suppose if you have no emotion, compassion, empathy or conscience, it’s not that difficult. They are also probably in an adrenalin-soaked state most of the time, enabling them to run hither and yon, filled with sinister energy. You’re right about the devil. The horns are ugliness are inside.

Wishing you all the best as you heal.

Truthspeak

Hillary, thank you for your truthful story – it is, indeed, painful to read simply because involvement with a sociopath varies only in the M.O., but not in the patterned behaviors and the carnage that it leaves in its wake.

Women, in particular, have been programmed to believe that they only require a “Prince Charming” to be complete human beings. At least, MY generation was. There is no such thing as “Prince Charming,” or “Princess Charming.”

What I find so glaringly patent in sociopathic games – romantic AND platonic – is the almost immediate isolation. In order to maintain control, they must isolate their victims, without fail. This second exspath isolated me quite effectively, and I can speak more on that in the future.

I think that the “YELLOW” flags are not discussed enough and I thank you for using that term so effectively, Hillary. The “red flags” are waving, screaming, and flapping whether we choose to ignore them, or not. But, the “yellow flags…..” now, THIS is something that compels me to open my eyes wider and fine-tune my hearing!!! “Yellow flags” are so subtle that they’re not “ignored” as much as “missed.” Subtle, subtle, subtle….

Again, thank you for your honest sharing and brightest blessings to you.

Truthspeak

And…..as an side, here: HOW do sociopaths/psychopaths develop their “abilities” to manipulate so well??? Hillary’s recollections of the WORDS that Mr. Nutbag used are almost verbatim what the second exspath used with me. “I’ll never hurt you like HE did…” Well, no, he didn’t do what the first exspath did, but he hurt me in more inventive ways.

Do they develop these methods through trial and error, or do they possess an innate ability to hunt and peck the “right words” and mirroring for each new victim?

Wow…..lots to ponder, but even knowing a definite answer to this wouldn’t change the fact that they are, were, and always will be sociopaths.

Hello Truthspeak:
Regarding how do they find the words… at the height of my delusional phase with the guy I was involved with I once said to him “You have a great capacity for loving”. About 2 weeks later he said to me “You have a great capacity for loving”. I said, “Oh, that’s exactly what I said to you a while ago”. He seemed rather confused and said “Really, then I’m just repeating back to you what you say to me ?” Bizarre upon bizarre isn’t it?

Truthspeak

Mirrors….they are simply mirrors. Since they have no capacity for true human emotion, they parrot and mirror what they see and hear, OFTEN in what appears to be impetuous moments, but are obviously inappropriate, in hindsight.

Mirrors and parrots….

Louise

Truthspeak:

I have asked that exact same question here before about how do they all seem to say the same things? After much pondering, I think it’s an innate ability.

still reeling

Godzilla would repeat things I said right after I said them. I just thought he was humoring me and I still think so to a degree. I don’t think he paid attention to most of the stuff I said. He may have been scanning for anything that appealed to him or had something to do with him. Once in awhile, he’d jump out of his phony fog while I was talking, and become all animated because I had hit something that he had been through or could relate to…otherwise, he was completely incapable of relating…I just thought he was being a typical guy.

Back_from_the_edge

“If you want to believe”

“To women who’ve yet to go through this or who want to believe in their mate despite the evidence, please listen to those who came before you and keep speaking to those who come after—even if they shut you out, accuse you of jealousy, and insist that you’re crazy. Past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior, but we want to believe that we’re different, we’re special, and so he loves us. It has nothing to do with us. He’s incapable of love. He made those other women feel just as special as you feel now, and then he served their worst nightmares on a silver platter. They get away with it, in part, because we don’t trust each other. If we valued and sought out other women more than we valued these men, many of us could have been spared a good deal of pain.

Another of the greatest dangers we face is our refusal to acknowledge until it’s too late that evil is out there in the form of pathology. A pathological person will use our belief that everyone is inherently good, or can be better, as his greatest weapon against us. He is indeed some mother’s son. He’s a beloved brother. And he’s also your worst nightmare. For god’s sake, not everyone is capable of change, and if there’s one thing I took away from my Catholic school days, it’s that the devil doesn’t approach you with horns and venom, but beauty and a kiss.”

This is absolutely, 1,000% truth. Absolutely.

Dupey

spoon

Mirroring and Matching are techniques used to create rapport with others, that works on a unconscious level. Meaning we are unaware that it effects us so. Body matching, pacing and language pattern. We tend to be more at ease with those we find similar to us.

And Truthspeak has it right with them it’s just monkey see monkey do.

So if someone all of a sudden starts sounding like you. Same key words. If your visual they’ll start using visual etc. if they start Matching your moves, tone, breathing etc. Walk away. They teach this stuff in NLP and hypnoses as persuasion and some call it seduction. Lots of info about this on the net.

http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/NLP_Mirror_and_Matching_the_basis_of_Modeling.html
A 1970 study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania by Dr. Ray Birdwhistle concluded that 93% of our communication transpires non-verbally and unconscious

Ox Drover

Willow, this again underscores the DANGERS of on-line dating. People can pretend to be anything on line….and because there is no community, no way for you to know what they are saying is true or not, they can fool you with the “smoke and mirrors” so please find some other way for finding a date.

I too live in an out of the way place, but I would never consider dating on line. too much chance for finding a turd. If you fish in a sewer, that’s all you’ll find. My son C married one he met on line and she milked him for 7 years for a roof over her head then cheated on him and tried to murder him (she went to jail) so please think before you put up a profile.

hilary

Thank you all for your comments and support. This website has been a great help to me in so many regards. Louise, I am sorry that another woman was hurtful to you. Perhaps it might help to remember that she was also being subjected to a crazy-maker. Perhaps she lacked integrity in the moment, but I am certainly not proud of every one of my behaviors when I was subjected to these manipulative men. It is not an excuse–it is simply the truth–and it does not change the fact that she was right about the man.
It remains difficult for me to understand Graces choices. It is not in my personality to sit back while someone else suffers, even if it might be in my best interests to do so. Clearly that is also the part of my personality that has allowed me to be manipulated, but I still see value in speaking out loudly and strongly to one another and to those who have yet to achieve greater awareness on these issues. Nick is a lie. For me, sharing our truths with one another is the only way to approach capital-T truth and to, in some small way, counter his obfuscations and lies. And so I push on…

Louise

hilary:

You know, it’s interesting. I hear the same thing over and over again yet from different people. They all tell me to be easy on her because she too was subjected to a spath. No kidding!!! I get that, but it does NOT get her off the hook for lying to me. Why did she do that?? I had known this woman for five whole years before any of this started and “thought” she was my friend. I knew that she was in love with him…she told me she was in love with him so she knew I knew…why lie?? Why couldn’t she just tell me that she was still seeing him? I am an extremely forgiving and understanding person and she was with him before I was…I would have understood, but instead she lied over and over and made a fool of me. Yet over and over I have people tell me that I need to remember that she was “taken” too by a spath! To me, this sounds just like how an spath keeps getting away with what they do…oh, they are this or that…you need to just overlook what they do, blah, blah, blah. No way! I did not let her get away with it, trust me. When I found out she had betrayed me, I ended the friendship. She had given me many gifts and I boxed everything up and sent it to her house. I didn’t want a reminder of her in my house and I am so glad I did that.

As far as Grace, you know how badly you have been hurt. Just like you just said to me about the other woman in my triangle…Grace was hurt just as much as you were by that crazy-maker. You have to understand that she just doesn’t want to have any more to do with it. It was probably extremely painful to her. I am sorry if that hurts you that she won’t talk with you. But in this life I have learned we all must do what we think we have to do.

muslgrl

AN EMPTY SHELL
(A POEM ABOUT A SOCIOPATH ROAMING KAUAI, MAUI AND OAHU)

HE WALKS, HE TALKS, HE CAN EVEN SMILE,
HE CONVINCES YOU IT’S ALL WORTHWHILE.
AND WITH HIS “STARE” HE CASTS HIS SPELL,
TRUTH IS..HE’S JUST AN EMPTY SHELL.

LIKE A VAMPIRE, HE ROAMS THE EARTH,
FEEDING OFF VICTIMS, NOT BLOOD, THERI SELF-WORTH.
HE DRAINS EACH ONE’S SOUL, CREATING A HELL,
TRUTH IS..HE’S JUST AN EMPTY SHELL.

HIS TEARS ARE NOT REAL, HIS WORDS ARE REHEARSED,
AND LIKE A VAMPIRE HIS LIFE IS A CURSE.
HE KNOWS WHAT HE IS, BUT HE’LL NEVER TELL.
TRUTH IS..HE’S JUST AN EMPTY SHELL.

WHEN HE HAS USED UP HIS CURRENT SUPPLY,
HE’LL FIND YET ANOTHER, CONTINUE HIS LIES.
HIS DECEIT, A BOTTOMLESS PIT, A SATAN WHO FELL,
TRUTH IS..HE’S JUST AN EMPTY SHELL

Hilary,
welcome. Your story was very well told. Thank you.

It’s amazing how they can fool even the most intelligent of us.
All because nobody told us that they exist.

My sister is a spath, who is being fooled by a bigger spath. My own spath, the UBER spath, sent him to marry her and take her money.

I’ve tried to warn her, but she doesn’t believe me. BTW she was in on trying to get me to commit suicide. It’s sad.

She’s clueless. There are many women (and men) out there who are spaths and they become patsies. Evil seems to be on a spectrum. It’s strange. They are evil, yet they can’t imagine evil being done to them.

I call it stupid.

Muslgrl,
nice poem. You’ve got a gift.

Ox Drover

Muslgrl, Yes, I agree, nice poem!

Ox Drover

A thought just occurred to me…one of the things about con-men, is that it is easier to cheat someone who is “slightly” dishonest than it is to cheat a crook OR an honest man.

In the “pigeon drop” where someone pretends that they have “found” some money and they offer to share it with you but you have to show “good faith” and put up some money in front…of course they have you “hold the bag” and give them half the value of what is in the bag, but then you open the bat and find out it isn’t money but cut up newspaper instead.

If you had been totally HONEST and would have said, “NO, you must give this “found” money to the police” you couldn’t have been cheated. Instead you think you are getting\ something for nothing and you get cheated.

So yes, psychopaths do frequently cheat other low-level dishonest people, or two psychopaths will hook up, each hoping to cheat the other one but the “loser” in the match the pretends to be an “innocent victim” which of course theya re not they are just the loser in the “cheater’s contest”

Psychopaths will also con us into slowly eroding our own moral compass and doing things we know are wrong, but they convince us it is “okay”—been there and done that.

So if we work hard to keep ourselves honest and upright, we will prevent many of the problems we get into by associating with a psychopath.

kim frederick

Ox, I so agree. And often times they hook us through our weaknesses. Sometimes our own narcissism gets us. We fall prey to the love bomb…why, because we feel flattered. aproved of appreciated, understood, special….A true predator can see that, and will use it to their own advantage.

My x hub was an absolute N, but what was the girl who fed him his supply for two and a half years until she finally had him in her clutches and destryed a marriage with three young children…made sure I knew about it and hoped I would leave him…who reassure him that she deserved his respect by leaving a note saying, “I have only been with three married men,” She was 21 years old. Spath, who knew how to seduce a narcissist. Well, I guess I still feel a little bad blood. Rant over.

kathy0707

Very well written story and I’d like to really point out that dream the day before was food for thought.

I’d also like to offer my two cents regarding online dating. I, on a whim, signed up for an online dating site. I met someone, talked on the phone for three weeks, and then arranged to meet in a public place. All went well.

Fast forward (I’m skipping the gory details – two weeks of him in my life was enough), he was featured on our local news a few months later in a city wide manhunt. The police arrested him without incident one night at his house after he’d been hiding out at several friends’ house. He turned out to be an eBay defrauder and bilked $55K out of people. He asked me for help during this process and I just refused to get involved.

I don’t think I’ll ever do the online thing again.

kim frederick

Well. it seems I have developed a talent for clearing a room. Sorry, didn’t mean to aleinate anybody. This seems to be my issue right now. Trying to get some resolution to the biggest heart break of my life.

So many memories flooding back…the noose in my basement…did I say a noose in my basement? Yep, that;s what I said…right there next to the washer and dryer. And what about the strange guy in his office who was so charming, and stood up and extended his hand, saying, “you must be Lori…” Ah, no. I’m Kim. Hub says, “this is my wife”.
The time he said, I should just take you out in the back yard and shoot you…put you out of your misery…and isn’t it time we did something about this abortion of a marriage?
His consultation with an attorney, and his being told that he would probably have to pay child support for all three children (only one was his bio son, but he had raised all three from the time the oldest was three and a half and the youner was one) because first hub had never contributed anything, and I had been a stay at home mom the whole marriage.
He changed his tune and “remembered how much he loved me”.
Am I the paragon of emotional health? Ah, no. But I was sincere. And I believed in him. He turned me into a house frau, and chased women.
I quite thinking he was God, so he went out and found someone he could con. And he was OHHHH sooo good to her. And She was OHHHHH sooo good to him.
I was supply, she was supply. I think he was supply, and I think the reason this hurt me so much was because it was a narcissistic injury. No, I’ve never been diagnosed as a Narciisist but I think I have tendancies…but, not like him…
and what about her? I know, she was young and niave, he conned her, right? No. I found that note that said she had ONLY been with three married men….
Maybe she was a trauma survivor…maybe she had been sexually abused by a much loved family member in her childhood, so she kearned that her only value was sexual, and she learned to use that power, but always ended up repeating the original trauma, but….NO. F ing a married man and deliberately seducing him, time after time is a power trip and an ego trip and is a heartless game and she sucks.

Ox Drover

Kim I had to laugh when you said she left a note trying to get his respect by saying she had ONLY been with 3 married guys at age 21.

Well, she obviously was looking for a powe5r/Narcissistic trip going from guy to guy, knowing they were married, and “taking him away” from his wife.

In high school girls gloried in “taking a guy away from” another girl.

You make “excuses” for her….list them at least. But what does it matter WHY she did something that was dishonest, underhanded, and destructive to someone else? Something that she obviously KNEW was WRONG?

That’s the thing kimmie, I don’t think she (or you or I) get any brownie points excusing us for our own bad acts just because we have been victims of a psychopath.

We/she made/make our own decisions about what to do…how honest or dishonest to be.

This woman made her own decisions, knowing and not caring that she was hurting another woman and kids….she was getting her kicks being the “chosen one” and knowing you were being the “unchosen” one. He made her feel special and she gave him a thrill. Neither cared about the woman or the kids who were deceived and hurt. so she gets NO brownie points from me no matter what her problems were.

Louise

Oxy:

That’s what I was trying to say above in my post…regarding victims being excused from their behavior because they were targeted. I guess I just don’t know how to articulate it so that people can understand what I am saying.

I hope you are having a good day!

Ox Drover

Louise, glad I could articulate what you wanted to say. Yes, I’ve done some stupid things in my life, some really shiatty things even, but being targeted, being wounded didn’t excuse my actions, and neither did that girl have an “excuse” (whatever it was)

Dr. Frankl addressed the people who were wounded (came out after being in a Nazi camp during WWII–the worst abuse imaginable) and how some of them would be so bitter they wanted to destroy things or strike out at other people.

Not everyone of course does this–so really we don’t have any excuse for our behaviors even if we are wounded and striking out. We choose those behaviors.

Frankl’s book “man’s search for meaning” gave me so much insight into how the wounded think and behave, and helped me to not be so hard on myself, but at the same time, accept responsibility for myself, both the good parts, and the not so good parts.

still reeling

I agree with Ox and Louise….in no way do I excuse myself from accepting and reveling in Godzilla’s love crumbs. After he hit on me, I flirted too, so I was definitely doing the wrong thing. I knew it and chose to do so anyway. What’s worse, I allowed my husband to continue making dinner for me, paying for things because my salary is so low, even got irritable with him (mainly out of my own guilt I guess…to try and justify my actions).

Today I was thinking that the right thing to do was to have immediately asked for mtg w/Godz and tell him in a kind way (being that he was my boss and could have gotten rid of me, kind or not) that I thought he was just wonderful but that I was in love with my husband, had never cheated and would not even consider it. He would probably have said, “What are you talking about? I have no “earthly” idea what you mean.” From there I would have been totally confused and not sure what I would have thought (no idea about paths then except for the ones behind bars).

An outspoken friend of mine said she would have stood right there in the office and in a loud voice would have said, “Will I do what? Don’t you ever say anything like that to me again!” I can’t even imagine.

At any rate, I believe each and every one of us is responsible for our own behaviors. And where we might not have the gut and/or will to do what my mouthy buddy would have done (oh and she would have) if we participated in a situation where marriage was involved, we are responsible for doing the wrong thing. I know there are situations where married folks, good loving, upstanding people, do fall in love with each other and end up leaving their marriage(s) to be together. I personally know some couples (always think of the Rockefellers tho) who have suffered terribly to be together and it was hell for them and their families. I don’t judge, denounce, look down upon these people at all. It’s traumatizing to have these things happen in life but happen they do.

Right now, along with hating Godzilla’s guts for “glamouring” me due to my vulnerability and insecurity, which radiates from my pores, I guess, I feel sick and guilty for being so damned selfish. Don’t mean to lay that trip on any of you guys, it’s just who I am and how I feel. Had I been single, G-d only knows what might have happened as Godz let me know right off the bat that his marriage was in trouble. Mixed msgs, of course, to protect himself, but def’ly a bad scene and got worse.

Just my opinion, and, again, don’t judge anyone here or anywhere else for how they feel about it or anything they did or are doing. I do think in all cases, there is a “NO” button. It’s our choice to engage it.

still reeling

“Frankl’s book “man’s search for meaning” gave me so much insight into how the wounded think and behave, and *helped me to not be so hard on myself, but at the same time, accept responsibility for myself, both the good parts, and the not so good parts.” *

Yes, Ox, that is exactly what I was trying to say above. This was one of my dad’s favorite books. I so wish I could ask him why.

Louise

Yep, for me it was just an extremely complicated situation and without anyone knowing this other woman in my office, it is hard to talk about her. I was warned about her from DAY ONE in my office so what does that tell you? It took five whole years for her to finally scam me, but I then saw personally what everyone was talking about. Everyone said do not trust her. And to be honest with you all, I am not so sure how much of a victim she actually was. Yes, I admit in the end she was a victim because spath dumped her like he dumped all the rest, but she is extremely flirty and flirted with ALL the men at work so how do I know for certain he even targeted her? Maybe SHE targeted HIM! Because you all don’t know her, you just don’t know what was going on and what she is like. And plus, this wasn’t just any other woman at work…this was a friend. We walked to lunch EVERY SINGLE DAY for four years. Then when she started seeing him (but I didn’t know it…didn’t have a clue), she dropped me like a hot potato. At this point, it was four years we had been friends and one day out of the blue she just stopped coming to my desk to get me to go to lunch. Nothing, done. Because I am the person I am, I didn’t confront her. I had no idea what had happened or what I did, but I just went along with my life. Then a year later (now it’s five years), I find out why. The truth of the matter was that she was having an affair with him, yet he was talking about me to her…telling her he was interested in me and she was jealous so she just dumped me. Wow, it was so traumatizing. So in the end she was a victim of him, but I truly in my heart know that she did not start out a victim. She is the female equivalent of him…without a doubt and that’s why I think they clicked. I think he finally found someone who thought and operated like he did. He must have been in heaven.

By the way, this reminds me of what Oxy talks about when she says when two spaths hook up, but then one ends up claiming to be the victim and puts on the pity party…BINGO! There you have this situation.

kim frederick

Thank you for responding, Oxy. Still so much unresolved. But, much to my credit, (and this is probably the only thing that gives me solace) I conducted myself like a true lady. I got my licks in though. A verbal, covert backspath, to be sure.

After several incidents in which he had been caught, pure and simple, he told me it was over and that I shouldn’t worry too much about it. We were leaving Pa for good and would make a new start of it.

My hub had bought me a new car the summer before, and his secretary had made the comment that Lori had excaimed that she wished someone would buy HER a new car. She had been trying to get him to take her on a vacation. I knew all this.

Then, after it was over, I ran into them having lunch at Pizzahut, and she says, just as nice as can be, “Are you ready to move?”

I had met her before when I admired her boots and she beamed at my husband and said thanks, my boyfriend gave them to me. Huge red flag, but I didn’t know yet.

So here we are at Pizzahut, and she asks am I ready to move. I put my arm around my husband and beamed at him and said, “my husband tells me that we are going to leave all of our problems behind us and start over. Then she asks what I want for Christmas. I say that I thought a new pair of boots might be nice, but decided I’d rather have a new house in Florida and live in an idylic setting where he and I can spend all our spare time together on the beach. She excused herself for a moment, and later I realized she had gone out to the parking lot and keyed my car. That didn’t bother me a bit, because it told me she was eaten up with bitterness and envy, It was worth the little scratch to my car. LOL.

I left hub six years later. Our marriage never really recovered from it, and I had lost all respect for my hero husband, but I have to say, I AM glad she didn’t get him.

Ox Drover

Kim, in a contest like this where two women are competing over a man…andhe is playing both sides against the middle, I can tell you the one who WINS is the one who gets rid of him. The one who gets him is the LOSER.

In this case, she beat you out Girlfriend, she got rid of him…chances are though she got another one just as bad. You eventually WON because you got rid of him as well.

I think about my ex BF who is the P, and I realize that I WON because I got rid of him. I actually feel sorry for his wife. So look at the situation that way. If she had gotten him then, she would only have gotten a LOSER WHO WAS A CHEAT.

How is the new job coming? How is pinky doodle.

My 5 new kitties are now residinig with their mother in the “cat house” which is made out of an old chest freezer with the lid off but a grill on the top so they can’t escape and her hide them out until they are wild and feral. I’ll take her out in a week or so when they start eating solid food. They will be safe in there and I can make sure they are tame. we are going to keep 2 males and give the o ther 2 males and 1 female away. They are Hemingway cats (with extra toes on their feet) so they should be easy to get rid of.

Louise

Kim and Oxy:

Oxy is right…the one who gets him is the loser.

Kim…I thought the OW did end up with your husband…I guess I don’t know your story. So they didn’t end up together anyway? Good!!!

By the way, I am also from PA. I don’t live there, but that is where I am from.

kim frederick

Yes Loise, I understand exactly what you are talking about. I have been under the influence of cog dis for a long time, wondering if the girl was a victim or a perp. She was young and my hub was in a position of authority….I didn’t want to blame a victim, and he said she was after him, he also said that when he told her it was over, she tried even harder….but, how could I believe a word he told me? And, so what? He entertained the thought of F ing her for a really long time, and fed off of her attention…he didn’t stop it, and he knew how unappropriate it was. They both gloried in the ugliness, and they are both guilty.
Patric Carnes, the expert in betrayal bonding, and also in sexual addiction says that secrecy and deciet are arousal factors inducing both pleasant feeling and also shame. He says that these things are VERY addictive and play a big part in betrayal bonds. Also, high risk behaviors, such as sporting a hicky on your neck and red welt scratches down your back, in the company of your wife…or entertaining your girl friend in your wifes bed. Leaving your panties behind.
Something about the unattainable, and the taboo object that makes it irresisable. Such a lovely dream state…til the house of cards falls down, and then the bubble pops.

kim frederick

Yes, Oxy, I know. But, I was in love with my husband. And I still believed in his image. He hurt me horribly, but doesn’t everyone make mistakes? He WAS sorry, and we weren’t having sex…remember? He was unable to perform with me. Wow!!! what an absolute ego buster. He crushed me in every way possible.

But, through my studies I find that that is quite common in sexually addicted men in serious relationships and marriages. There is also something called sexual anorexia, that isn’t uncommon, either. But, at the time I blamed myself…both for the lack of sex, and because of it, the affair. It was just a hugely sad and dissappointing wake up call, and there was so much dysfunction and sadness between us to figure out….I still haven’t managed completely.

kim frederick

Your kitties sound adorable, Oxy. Pinky is fine and fat and happy, enjoying the warm sunny weather, and chasing lizards.

My job is good. Paying my bills and leaving me a little extra to make life better. I’m going to buy a compact portable washer, and a small dryer next. Probably in a week or two. Love my Ezip electric bike. Gets me anywhere I need to go on this island.

Well, got to get ready for work.

Louise

kim:

Thank you for understanding where I am coming from. I greatly appreciate that. You are right…in the end, they are both guilty. When one or the other doesn’t stop it, they are both guilty. I am guilty, too. I was so stupid and fell for it.

Definitely…when people have that addictive behavior…all that secrecy and deception becomes very exciting. It’s a vicious cycle like you said until the bubble bursts.

Louise

kim:

You need to see the movie, “Shame.” It deals exactly with what you talked about above…man not being able to perform in a committed relationship. It was so gooood. Not sure if anyone else on here has seen it. It was out a few months ago, but it was only at the artsy type theatres and I was able to catch it. I recommend it to anyone.

callmeathena

Louise, I now have a list of somewhere around 20-30 movies about spaths. I’m going to add Shame to my list and I am going to watch it.

The whole process of finding and watching these movies has been VERY INSTRUCTIVE. It helps me create a wider lense to look at my spath experience. When I am up close and personal, thinking about the minutia of my relationship with my spath, I can feel overwhelmed by grief, and shame, and even anger. When I can step back and see a bigger picture, I feeel SOOO much better.

BORING. There will always be men like my spath. And the spath is so predictible. Movie after movie after movie.

COMICAL. I’ve heard on this site that a spath is no more than a two dimentional cartoon character and it’s sooo true. So once you think of him that way, you can see their nutty evil shallow ways as humorously stupid.

GRATITUDE. I had a fucked up childhood, a mother from hell, and I suffered from anorexia. At the time, I wished for a different family of origin. And that early childhood experience made me accustomed to abuse, and it was easy to transition into an abusive relationship with a spath. But now I see that I am so much stronger and wiser because of my experience. I wouldn’t trade it. It’s made me into a better ME.

Hugs.

Athena

callmeathena

My “N” mother hasn’t talked to me for a couple of years because I had the NERVE and the BALLS to stand up to her. She was stumbling, slurring drunk, and after she sobered up, I told her I thought she had a drinking problem and that she should get evaluated. How nervy and ballsy, huh? Rule #1 in our house was NEVER CHALLENGE THE MOTHER (SHE WAS ALSO KNOWN AS GOD). Whatever.

Anyway, my life has been peaceful since her exit and I have no regrets.

She is now getting remarried. Third time. She seduced her then-married neighbor who is 20 years her junior (and of course lied about it). Anyway, she sent a wedding invitation to my two teenage children (specifically excluding me and my husband), saying, “I know your mother won’t let you attend but I will be thinking of you “.

My kids both read it and groaned and said, sarcastically, “nice”. They know her truth and have no interest in attending.

I am appreciative of my kids response.

Still, what was my mother trying to do? Make me feel bad? Garner attention?
I don’t even know. I am too close to it to see it, I suppose.

Athena

spoon

Louise

I doubt your stupid. Your not to blame you did what you knew to do at the the time. You learn and grow. So no not stupid.

Athena

Love it all. This is priceless “It’s made me into a better ME.” Great way to choose to see it. Thanks

still reeling

Just put Shame on my Netflix queue, available around 5/15. I LOVE indies. Thx Louise…read the IMDB description and from what it says and what you said, I’m looking forward to it. Louise and “stupid” do not belong in the same sentence…or world. Haha, broad spectrum.

Speaking of movies and mothers w/ M Day tomorrow, Athena, did you see Throw Momma From the Train? One of the funniest and most pathetic movies ever…I like quirky humor tho. Your mother, NOT funny. Glad the kids are NOT on board with her. It would be unrealistic and a miracle had you not been affected by her. Glad you are doing ok tho and actually feel you have been able to glean something + from your path experience. That’s def the best position in which to land after being slimed. Don’t recall who gets props for that term, but it totally works

Take care everyone.

spoon

callmeathena

Can’t say the why accept that she’s trying to push your buttons.

Had a God too, well my dads sister where I grew up. What I did learn from it that helped. What she did had nothing to do with who I was, what I did or didn’t do. But everything to do with who she was. She worked very hard to brand me with who her sick little mind concocted I should be. And it was all bad. All it was, was her projecting on to me who she was. But only I get to decide who I am. It wasn’t about me. It never was. I refused to accept her twisted reality. Took a few years to get it out. Glad that she focused it on me as she did. It pushed me out. And as you said. “It’s made me into a better ME.” In spite of all her work.

Enjoy the weekend.

Louise

Athena and Still Reeling:

The “Shame” movie really isn’t about a spath…he’s a true sex addict, but from what I saw in the movie, I didn’t think he was a spath. It’s extremely graphic so I caution both of you if you are not into that.

Louise

spoon:

Thank you.

callmeathena

Throw mama from the train???!
ROTFLMAO!

I am going to rent that one! Love it!

Athena

hilary

Louise–
Thank you for explaining. The woman in your case sounds awful, and it must’ve been terrible to have been hurt on both fronts. People will indeed do what they have to do, and I’m working on accepting the choices others make even if it makes my own healing that much more difficult.
What are some of the movies you’ve all seen about these types?
Thanks!

Louise

Also…Carey Mulligan is in the “Shame” movie and I love her…she is one of my favorite actresses. She does a fabulous rendition of the song, “New York, New York” in the movie.

Louise

hilary:

You are welcome and thank you for understanding. She is awful and I felt like a punching bag in the middle of those two. I knew nothing good was ever going to come of it. I should have ran the other way as soon as I saw him coming around and I didn’t. So I will take full responsibility for that, but only that.

I do hope you find peace. I know how tough it is, but it will come for all of us.

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