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Love fraud: A spectrum (Part 1)

The recent post on marital misconduct, and the many letters I have received from Lovefraud readers, have caused me to conclude that love fraud is a spectrum. Because love fraud is a spectrum, there is some confusion about it. To clear up the confusion, this week I will describe the range of motives for this fraudulent behavior. Remember that one of the most important biologic/social functions of love relationships is to produce and raise children. In my opinion, love fraud that involves children is the most serious. These children did not ask to be born and are at the mercy of the adults responsible for bringing them into the world. Next week we will discuss the implications of the spectrum of love fraud for children.

Love fraud perpetrated by predators

Perhaps the most serious form of love fraud occurs when a person who is certainly a psychopath or sociopath enters into a relationship with the sole intent of exploitation and predation. I believe I was a victim of this type of fraud. There are many other examples of men and women who have been victims of this most severe love fraud; their stories may be found on this web site’s True Lovefraud Stories.

Donna speaks primarily of this type of love fraud: Being the victim of a scam is embarrassing. Humiliating. Victims keep asking themselves, “How could I have been so stupid? Why didn’t I see it coming?” The last thing they want to do is tell other people how they participated in being duped—even though it’s not their fault.

Unfortunately, the type of person who uses the love bond as a lure to attract his/her prey does not care if children are produced in the relationship. In fact, these predators often use the children to further their own purposes. Sociopaths typically have many children with several different partners. When I first realized I had been the victim of a sociopath, I spoke with Anne McGuire from Fraud Aid (this was 2003, before Donna Andersen put up this site). I asked her, “How many women do you know who have had children with con artists?” She said, “The con artist doesn’t care about whether he fathers children. In fact, the more the merrier”¦ then he can use them as pawns!” With that I discovered I was not alone.

Love fraud perpetrated by parasites

As tragic as the True Lovefraud Stories are, they do not represent a very large percentage of the total cases of what I would consider to be love fraud. The next level of severity of love fraud happens when sociopaths and narcissists seek relationships because they want to be in a relationship. These individuals get married or form partnerships for reasons other than pure predation. They may want to use the relationship as cover to appear normal to the world. They may also dislike being alone. It is very important to understand that although psychopaths, sociopaths and narcissists do not enjoy affection, they are very social. They do not enjoy being alone. Thus, these people can be predators as above, or they can be parasites.

The difference between a predator and a parasite is that the parasite does not seek to destroy his/her host. The parasite just wants to suck energy from the host. The parasitic form of love fraud is very common. Prior to becoming a victim myself, I had not known of the predatory type of love fraud. But I saw many cases of parasitic love fraud in my practice.

Victims of parasitic love fraud are often more confused about their victimization and about the perpetrator than are victims of predatory love fraud. The motives of the perpetrator are less obvious in parasitic love fraud.

The parasitic love fraud perpetrator often sees children as competition for the energy of the host. These people often leave the relationship once children are conceived. They may also have abortions themselves, or pressure their partners into having an abortion.

The cheaters

The next most common form of love fraud is perpetrated by persons with narcissistic and antisocial personality traits but not the full disorder. These individuals are capable of a modicum of what might be considered “love.” They enjoy affection some, but have such poor impulse control and moral sense that they are not capable of a monogamous relationship. These are the chronic cheaters.

With the availability of divorce and alternatives to marriage, those that repeatedly cheat are also fraudulent lovers. The motivation to cheat rather than leave has to do with power and control in a relationship. The cheater wants to own his victims. The difference between a cheater and a parasite is that the cheater contributes substantially to the relationship. He/she may share the work of the home and is gainfully employed.

This last form of love fraud is perhaps the most difficult to process. The victim correctly perceives some degree of affection in the relationship. There are also social pressures on these victims. Well meaning friends and relatives may say, “At least he brings home the bacon and sleeps with you every night!” In my experience, most people are looking for real intimacy and fidelity in a partner in addition to sharing a home and finances. The cheater leaves his/her victim feeling inadequate, lonely and empty.

Chronic cheaters are also very problematic when it comes to children. People who repeatedly cheat are not capable of putting a spouse’s well-being above their own. They also are often incapable of the sacrifices required to parent. Cheaters are, however, interested in children as possessions, just as they are interested in lovers as possessions. Again, “The more, the merrier!” may be the philosophy when it comes to children.

The adulterers

Adulterers are people who cheat because they are no longer “in love” with a partner and/or are not getting needs met, but they feel an obligation to stay in the marriage. Adulterers technically also commit love fraud because they do not live up to promises made. Typically, though, these spouses do not repeatedly cheat with multiple partners. An adulterer may form a bond with one other partner and leave the marriage once the responsibilities of child care are over or lessened. As a whole, this group is capable of loving relationships but made a mistake in choosing a partner, and they were unable/unwilling to correct the mistake through divorce.

Adulterers are generally adequate parents because they have ability to love. However, when children find out about infidelity they often harbor feelings of anger toward the perpetrator. Adulterers typically try to support the aggrieved spouse emotionally and financially because they feel guilty over their behavior.

The Inner Triangle

When interpreting the behavior of others within all love relationships it is very useful to consider the Inner Triangle. The Inner Triangle is Ability to Love, Impulse Control and Moral Reasoning. Psychopaths and sociopaths are people who have no ability to love, poor impulse control and no moral values. These people can only be predators and parasites in ALL of their relationships. Narcissists also lack ability to love, but have an understanding of morality and impulse control. Narcissists can be parasites or cheaters.

Many other people have problems with the Inner Triangle that do not rise to the level of disorder. These people can be cheaters and adulterers in one relationship and function well in another relationship they are better suited to.

The children are the victims

In any case, defects in the Inner Triangle impair a person’s ability to parent. This is discussed in detail in my book, Just Like His Father? Next week I will address predators, parasites, cheaters and adulterers in the context of child care and custody.


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81 Comments on "Love fraud: A spectrum (Part 1)"

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Thanks Liane — what an awesome article. I really appreciate the clarity you’ve brought to the spectrum — and the ability to discern between a ‘love frauders’ position on that spectrum.

Awesome.

Thank you for this insightful article. It really explains how and why there are so many ways in which love is not really love.

I think my ex was definitely a parasite. Realizing that someone (a predator) purposely sought you out to hurt you must be very hard to come to grips with. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that victims of parasites often feel confused about what happened. I know my ex married me for appearances sake. I can forgive and forget all the selfish, crazy things he did while we were married, but all the hateful stuff that still goes on…after eight years….is very hard for me to understand. I look forward to reading your advice for children involved in these types of relationships.

Dr. Leedom, knowing that you are writing an entry about the children of lovefraud, I thought I would share the most common behaviors my children have had to deal with, with their father. I am interested to know if they are common among other families dealing with these personalities: The most common behavior my ex does is what I think is called, “withholding affection”. This is a powerful tool to get my children to do what he wants. He simply will not answer phone calls or pick them up for visits if they behave in a way he does not like. For example, one time it was his year to spend Easter with them. He arrived half an hour early to pick them up. My son’s friend was still over so he went outside and asked my ex if he could come back in half an hour. My ex drove off and never came back for the entire weekend. I remember it was my son’s first baseball practice, and his equipment and uniform were at his father’s. We were unable to reach him (by phone and when we went to his door) and so my son missed his first practice. I offered to buy my son new equipment, but he was too down to play. My ex has driven off on a Friday night and never to return all weekend if the kids walk out the door one minute late. They freak out every time he comes for his weekend. They are so anxious that they won’t get out the door on time and he will leave. This also happens when he calls at night. They have to talk to him no matter what they are doing. In the past, if they have said they can’t talk to him for whatever reason, he has hung up and has not been heard from for the rest of the week. When he does show up again, they are so excited. In public, it looks great”.they run over to him, give him kisses. People think he’s a great dad”little do they know the anguish he puts them all through.
The saddest thing that has happened since my divorce is that my oldest son does not allow me to touch him in any way. Even if I brush by him by accident, he pushes me away. He has even threatened to hit me if I touch him. He started pushing me away when he was seven or eight. He is now 14. My ex was extremely hateful when we separated and this oldest son got the brunt of it. In front of my ex, this son has thrown rocks at me, kicked me, pushed me in a bush, closed a car door on me..all while my ex watched with an approving smile. When my son started to reject me, I brought him to counseling. This counselor said she did not need to talk to our marriage counselor. She said she would figure out the situation from our son’s point of view. At one point she made a comment that she could understand where my ex was coming from”.she obviously had been conned by his shiny appearance. Her advice for me in terms of my son not allowing me to come near him was to leave it up to my son. If he didn’t want me to touch him, then I shouldn’t. I should respect his wishes. I now think this was terrible advice. I believe my ex alienated my son from me because of his extreme hatred of me. After two years of counseling, this counselor ended up suggesting that I go to court because it appeared that my ex’s behavior was harmful to my children, but even then she told me that she couldn’t really know for certain who to believe. Since that time, my ex’s hateful behavior has improved. I was not successful in restricting his visits, but I think the threat of losing custody straightened out his act a little bit. My oldest son still will not let me touch him, but I feel our relationship has improved and my two younger boys have remained affectionate towards me.
Another common behavior of my ex that I think affects my children is that he is kind of perverted in what he says and does. When I was married to him, he would continually grab my crotch and butt, and pinch and twist my breasts in a hurtful way, always in front of the children and always against my wishes. He also would say very sexual, inappropriate things. I notice this behavior in my oldest and youngest boys when they come home from his visits. They continually hit and grab the privates of each other in the same way my ex did. I have had to make it very clear that this behavior is not acceptable in my home. My daughter also complains that he says a lot of perverted things to her that make her uncomfortable. She says when she calls him on it, he hangs up and won’t talk to her. As I have read in other posts, these types of personalities are really sexual. Sex is important. Affection is not.
Another thing that happened was that my oldest became really fearful of sleeping alone and bad weather when he was 10-12 years old. He would check the weather reports on the internet continually through the day, and if bad weather was predicted he would not leave the house. He has since gotten over this fear, but now my ten year old has followed right in his footsteps. I am hoping that he too will outgrow this in a year or two.
Overall, I am very fortunate because my children are doing well in school, they participate in after-school activities and they have nice friends”.so I think they are doing ok. I am not sure of the long term affects of all the craziness they have lived through, and I think their opinion of me has been tainted by their dad’s continued hatred of me. I am really trying my best to raise boys that are respectful and kind to women, and I am trying to instill in my daughter the sense that she deserves to be treated well. I feel pretty good about the three younger children, but I do worry about my oldest. He seems most likely to follow in his father’s path.

My 3 boys turned out pretty well and are great husbands and fathers trying to be the oposite of their father. However, my daughters are very tough and really mistrust men.

Dear 421dmb,

I am so sorry to hear how your X hurts your children to get back at you for not staying “his property”—YOur questions are very thought provoking. I hope that Dr. Leedom or one of the others will have some good advice for you.

Stay here and read, and also check out Dr. Leedom’s site about parenting “at risk” children of the Ps. Good luck,,and my prayers are with you and your children. (((hugs))))

“In fact, these predators often use the children to further their own purposes. Sociopaths typically have many children with several different partners.”

Not sure if I ever read this article before but this statement really jump out for me…

I remember that my ex s/p had many children and yes she had them thru different partners. I also remember when she had our 1st born how she stated that people helped people who had children. At the time I really didn’t know what to make of from her statement but I do now. I now understand how she used her children to get aid and support from any source possible. I also believe her children to be a type of Narcissistic supply for her and a false mask to wear in public because she wanted others to believe what a great mother she was. All this to date turn out to be false. She isn’t a good parent at all having never bonded with her children and when her children were no longer a service to whatever purpose she had in mind she would just simply walk away from them. I also understand how this person was unable to bond with her own children or anyone for that fact. People to her are just objects not real feeling people. People who are individuals with their own personal power. There are many things that she has done in her life time that I see as antisocial (illegal) but this issue concerning her own children is one that is still very hard for me to come to gripes with even to this day…

James: Over 200 woman a year in the US kill their children … we just hear about the ones that for whatever reason make it into the spotlight … e.g. Susan Smith, Diane Downs, Andrea Yates (using the mental health issue as a defense) etc. etc.

I would report your EX to the FBI or Americas Most Wanted … just so they can put her in their databases.

Pray for those children, they will need all the prayers they can get.

Peace.

In nature
The koo koo bird lays it’s egg ( one ) in another birds nest! The mother has nothing ever to do with it again! The Koo koo hatches first , pushes all other eggs over the side , and grows Ten times the size of mommy! Mother feeds the Monster with all her dedication! all Instinc ! no learned behavior! LOVE JJ

Reading this article has caused new doubts in my mind again over whether my ex is really a sociopath. The reason is that he does appear to genuinely love his daughter and be a devoted father. Can an adulterer be a pathological liar and not be a sociopath? Could he have been telling the truth about some things, like how he never cheated on his wife in 10 years of marriage, until now? I have been assuming this person is incapable of love and empathy, and this has helped me feel better about myself. But what if if it’s not true? What if he really is capable of love but just didn’t love me? Ugh. I’m not sure if I’m happy I read this article, though it’s a good article. My self esteem in in the pits today.

Stargazer…..you can tell from your wound that something poisonous got you. What kind of poisonous person doesn’t really matter.

I understand your question of what if he is capable of love but just didn’t love you. But look….he misled you, put on a big old act in the beginning, was very seductive. If he meant any of that, then he should have….if it was just a case of “oops, I don’t love you as much as I thought I did”….bent over backwards to make amends, to show remorse, with actions, not just words, offered to pay for therapy, sat and answered every question you had, etc. The lack of those actions speaks to exploitation, a hidden agenda, stuff like that.

And hasn’t he hung around places you used to post? What kind of respect is that? He’s the one who should be avoiding those sites, if he was a decent person.

My bad guy has been a huge business success, a mega-millionaire. To outside appearances, he looks like a loving father and husband, great provider, etc. etc. But that isn’t the truth. His wife bursts into tears all the time, but he doesn’t get therapy for her. His kids are all damaged good.

I guess I disagree that “they function well” in another relationship. My P has a long term marriage….but guess what? He married an heiress and he can’t quite let that go, despite all the money he’s made. So yeah, he “functions” in that relationship……but I wouldn’t call it “well”.

And unless it is an open marriage by enthusiastic consent, cheaters and adulters are betraying someone. It is true that someone like Bill Clinton can still accomplish a lot of good in the world….but I sure would avoid an intimate relationship with him like the plague, wouldn’t you?

Damn…I’m still not really getting at what I’m trying to say. Let’s say he is a wonderful person and you just brought out this horrible side in him. Because you just do that to men.

Does that really make sense to you? Do you really think that could be true? Does he really seem like a person you would recommend a friend date? A niece? That you would say, I just brought out something poisonous in him and got really hurt, but I”m POSITIVE I was the problem, I’m just not loveable, and I’m SURE he will just treat you great!!!

Does that ring true????

Seems I get to join the ranks of the other folks on this website. I am thankful I stumbled across the website while I, too, like many of you, have been trying to “understand” what I experienced. My heart aches for you, as I ache for myself.

The “parisite” variety describes my experience on all points. And I’ll never forget my “off-the-cuff” remark to him the first time we met: the story goes: we met on-line 1 1/2 years ago (I discontinued internet personal sites forever shortly thereafter) — his on-line name is: Dashing01 (yep, that was a clue)– the first time we met in person (it was a very public place and day-time), we made our in-person introductions chatted for about 10 minutes, and then I couldn’t believe what “popped” out of my mouth: “What hospital have you been in for 10 years.” I should have listened to my “gut reaction” — but, of course, my curiosity and loneliness coupled with his charm and persistence got the better of me…SMILE. Hence, here I am.

Everything everyone has shared on this site, has helped me to grow through my pain and confusion. Thank you.

Thanks for your support, justabouthealed. I knew there was a reason I logged on today. I happen to be looking at some of his pictures this morning because they were mixed in with others I needed to send. He looks very happy and normal; he does not look vacant or empty. On the other hand, when I look at myself in the mirror, I have to fake a smile because inside I feel rage and emptiness. No, I would not recommend a friend to date him, though, for all I know, he could be dating some of my “friends”. I think he is a bad person, AND I am undatable.

SG – your guy sounds way too much like mine not to be a S. My ex S was really an S. He wasn’t a “predator” in that he didn’t take money from me – but he had no problem, lying, cheating, not being there for me when I really needed him, and ultimately raging at me. You weren’t with yours for long enough for him to get really bad – but for the short time you were with him, he certainly behaved poorly. My S, who was an awful S – seemed better behaved than yours in the first few months, and mine was awful!

And you seem to feel, very much, like you have been exploited by an S. All the literature resonates with you. I don’t think anyone would voluntarily have these feelings, conjure them up, or fake them. It feels terrible to tangle with one of these guys – and it sounds like you did.

Welcome Greentrees52! So sorry you had a relationship with an S. The fallout of those relationships is so friggin’ painful. You are in good company here- and we help each other through the experience. Tell us your story!

Wow, it sucks to think that I am still not over it after all this time (around 5-6 months). We only dated for a few months. I hate having to go through these feelings. I thought I was past all this, but things keep triggering it. Looking at his photos today certainly wasn’t the best idea, was it?

Justabouthealed:

You are speaking the words I am thinking when you say “he’s a wonderful person, etc.” but even while I’m thinking them, I recall him saying a couple of days before Christmas while we chatting about love, affection, fondness, etc.: his words were “maybe YOU just don’t bring those out in me” — when I went totally “still” in reaction to his words, he added: “I just said ‘maybe.'” OUCH

Stargazing
is an incureable disease , Once the victim has intamate contact with the Parasite , The victim will slowly fade out of existance.

There has been some sucessfull treatment , if the victim goes to the store for Beer and Cigaretts but this must be continious therapy!

Greater sucess has been acchieved through Getting Laid!

Get Off the puter and go see a movie go to the mall and play pickout the Ps Big SQueeeezeeee

There is so much I could write, but I will try to limit it to those things that I try to keep uppermost in my mind, while my subconscious tries to catch-up with what I have done, and with words that might help someone else on the site:

I recall telling myself at times: “his eyes are weird” — you can’t “see anything in them.”

greentrees, so he discarded you right before Xmas? What a guy. Welcome to the site, BTW.

Indi,
I can’t stand beer and cigarettes, so you find me going to the store for any in the near future. lol

It’s the Therapy you have to want to be healed! Molson Ice & carton of Dajarum Specials!:)~

Pooh. You aren’t undatable. It is your very sweet, good qualities that make you vulnterable, and you aren’t so f*cked up, because look how quickly you got out!!!! If I were you, I’d be feeling so proud of myself, especially compared to how much abuse *I* took before I got out. You may have an attraction to “bad boys”…the Women Who Love Too Much” book addresses that. That our most COMPELLING attractions may be the ones we need to ignore!! For me, the bad guy PERFECTLY replicated the Narcissitic love my mom gave to me, so his love “felt like Home” and was oh so compelling….for all the wrong reasons, becaused you aren’t going to get it it “right” this time, because N “love” can’t turn out right. So may be your “picker” is broken…you keep getting attracted to the wrong guys…..but YOU aren’t broken! Or undatable.

Having said all that, STILL these guys are good at putting on disguises, and your guy sounds like he was GREAT at first….shared interests, a real solid basis for a relationship with a NORMAL GUY. But he is not normal.

I agree with HH…and so does the book Emotional Rape. One of the diagnostic tools in the book is HOW WERE YOU LEFT FEELING??? Devastated??? Hurt and betrayed at a deep level??? then guess what. You were NOT with a nice guy. The book When You Love a Man Who Loves Himself also does a nice job of comparing a normal relationship to a relationship with a guy who is “JUST” a narcissist. The sneak peek at Amazon might have that chapter, I’m not sure.

PS STargazer, I meant, you are saying you pick the wrong guys, but I’m saying he put on a pretty good show at the beginning, so maybe you’ve just had bad luck. Don’t be too hard on yourself. You got out so fast that I’m totally impressed with you!

Star
Ever read Kiki Anistons Letters?
Is your man a Sociopath?
Search ; Sociopath the first one up is it. :)~

Greentrees…what a typical move on the part of these guys….blaming US for THEIR problems : “Maybe you just don’t bring that out on me.” BS!!!!! People tend to be the same around just about everyone, unless they get entangled with a BAD PERSON, who can make anyone start acting unlike their ususal selves. But men tend to treat all the women in their lives about the same. My husband is loving towards me, respectful toward all women, isn’t a flirter, treats the housekeeper the same as an attorney….and my P treated me like dirt, waitresses like dirt …but oh …if you had money, he appeared to treat you differently, but he was still relating with “what’s in this for ME”

It hurts now, but good riddance to that guy you were with!

Thanks, this is helping a lot. I am putting that book “Emotional Rape” on my list. I AM proud of myself that I got out relatively quickly, but I was also discarded. I have way too many rejection/abandonment issues to go beg after a man who treated me like that! It did occur to me to just tell him that when he figured out why he stood me up, get back to me, and I’d consider being friends. I actually thought his pain meds and medical tests had really messed with his brain function. But that was before I found he he lied about the divorce and was defrauding the army (oh yeah, I guess he IS a sociopath).

Hey JAH – thinking about something you commented on earlier – how both of us tried to entertain our guys, to be more interesting so that he would be more interested. Doesn’t that piss you off now?? I get so angry when I look back at how hard I was trying to be interesting, and entertain him, when he was making no effort whatsoever. He was usually off cheating, and when he was with me, he act burdened by it, and brought NOTHING to the table himself. Was never funny, never interesting, never interested, never wanted to do anything, talk about anything. Yet there I was, doing cartwheels and talking about everything from CNN headlines to American Idol in hopes of engaging him.

And the finally, when I gave up – and was heading off to Europe for travel with a girlfriend, suddenly he was crazy in love with me again. As soon as I stopped trying, and was doing something interesting that didn’t involve him, he saw me as supply again. He hadn’t traveled outside the country ever, and when he saw me as this person who was no longer interested in trying to entertain him, and more interested in adventures in across Europe with a girlfriend, he wanted me again. And I gave him NOTHING. I left him. NC. That is very satisfying. In the end he was begging me to come back to him to give him another chance….but I wouldn’t.

Not that I came out of this thing on top – not by a long shot. I am still hurting from it – this relationship really damaged me, my self-esteem. But I will come back – it’s happening already. My hope is that I come together better than I was before.

Well I did beg, so I’m still imprssed!

He’s a sociopath, SG. And you’re a good person. Like the rest of us – someone with abandonment issues – but someone with a good heart, a trusting nature, and capability to be in a solid, authentic, longterm relationship. We just need to find the right guys and stop engaging with they guys that keep us in the abandonment dance.

HH- Mine was the same way…..the times he came back to me or DID make an effort (following a script it turns out) were the times when I was acting like he was not the center of my world.

And I swear, love feels like manipulation to them (because that is what it really is when they express it…they want something from you or they are on a narc high), so after I would do something very loving, that is when he was suddenly cruel, his WORST.

And it is NOT that they think you are being too clingly by being loving….it happened over and over, in various scenarios. It is simply the loving act, the intimate act, that makes them react like “WHOA, b*tch, I’m in control here, not you, and you are about to find that out!”

I swear…

You are right on the money, Jah. This is a script that comes directly from my life!!!!!!!!

TO ALL:

Yes, I know and understand all each of you say. And thank you for the understanding and kind words — it helps. But my heart aches that there are so many of us experiencing this.

He didn’t treat me like “dirt” (that’s relative…SMILE) — he just didn’t DO anything — does anyone have insight to where “inertia” for life comes from?

It seems to me that I was a “normal” person hoping and seeking companionship, affection, normal day-to-day life. I sought it, shared it, gave it — but didn’t get back in return — is that “inertia” “indifference” “anti-social”?

B I N G O

C O N T R O L …….. Now wait a Gosh durn Minuet HERE
B *tch hold on ! Manson EYES ! oo

The inertia an indifference – they are empty creatures, they are shells…there is nothing inside of them, nothing to them. When they seem charming and funny and energized (in the beginning), its because they are sucking off your energy. They are draining you. YOU are providing them with the energy that fuels that charm and wit. And once you are drained, they have nothing. And they are pissed off about that, and resent YOU for not providing more. And then we scramble to provide more (try to be pretty, sexy, entertaining), but the gig is up by then. The mask has slipped, and the game is over. And he’s a boring, resentful, empty, loser – who needs to find someone else to fuel him so that he can be charming and interesting again. Temporarily.

DEar Greentrees,

I think the basic point of this article is that it doesn’t matter WHICH KIND OF POISON SPIDER BIT YOU, you have a WOUND. Yes there are SEVERAL varities of poison spiders, and some are “more poison” than others, and some people are also ALLERGIC to them so any bite will be more traumatic than it would be to someone who isn’t allergic to that kind of spider, but YOU ARE WOUNDED NONE THE LESS.

I think that most of us for one reason or another were “allergic” (reacted more than others might have) to the POISON BITE that we got. Or, we got bitten repeatedly by several spiders, or got repeatedly bitten by one spider.

Whatever the case, or the analogy, we are WOUNDED. Now we need to learn what to look for in “spiders” we encounter, and to distinguish which ones are poison and which ones are harmless. Living on this planet we will undoubtedly encounter more “spiders,” and some will be dangerous and some not.

Welcome to the “club”:—and sorry that you “qualify for membership” as the “initiation ritual” is a real hazing one, but at the same time, the eventual outcome when you have healed will make you a better, stronger person, at least resistent to them if not totaly immune. (((Welcome)))

Amen, Oxy, Amen.

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Thank you Healing Heart and OxDrover: I agree with each of you. But is it not sometimes as simple as “he wasn’t the one” or did I truly encounter another human being who is what is termed as “sociopathic” “narcissistic” because…well, there are folks out there who would say I am the same — because, I am unattached, I want, I need — does the difference lie in how we act? what we need? our motivation? I can say that he is a nice man, but something was “just not right.” His eyes were “weird”, he was a “name-dropper” “he engaged in self-grandization — was needy of attetion — does that mean he “wasn’t right for me” or does he just “struggle” like me?

greentrees52: That’s because our EXs … more so than anyone else … but it also applies to us … need to read the Bible and believe in God. It is reading and living our lives through the word of God that gives us substance … everything else is an illusion. MAN made illusion. No substance to man made existence (illusion) of how a person would live their lives.

Believe in God and read his word daily and you shall live! You become whole!

Believe in yourself (your ego) and you shall surely die! Figuratively … spiritual death to the soul! Boredom, resentment, anger, rage, envy, jealousy, greed, self centered, self absorbed, inertia … you name the sin … you will spin through it living life by EGO.

Life is very simple, man makes it difficult. Your choice (free will). Choose wisely!

Peace.

Greentrees, keep reading about sociopaths, and talking about the guy you dated. The more you read, the more you will know the truth about the man you were with. There are some great books out there: The Sociopath Next Door, Without Conscience, and How to Spot a Dangerous Man were all eye-openers for me. Knowledge is power!

The one I dated was–and still is–the nicest man on earth. He was always so kind and gentlemanly. Everyone loves him. And yet the things he did were beyond comprehension of any normal person. I read here somewhere that sociopaths are the nicest people in the world, but sometimes they go out and rob a bank.

Wini – I really like how you introduce a spiritual element to our blogs.

But I wonder about this last blog. My ex S read the bible A LOT. He quoted the bible. He knew more about the bible than any one else I knew besides my friends who were ministers, or priests at parrishes. My ex S claimed to love God, attended Bible studies, read the Course of Miracles, and talked about his relationship with God all the time.

I’ve not known anyone other than my grandmother, who was not a person of the cloth, but knew the bible so well.

And my ex S was one evil creature. He had hundreds of sexual partners, abandoned his wife and children, and betrayed me repeatedly. Yet he read the bible and quoted it, like there was no tomorrow

I think I will take the high road and assume he is a human being like me — and he wants and needs all those things that I need and want — because he didn’t meet my needs at my moment and I didn’t meet his needs at his moment — doesn’t mean either of us are a “sociopath.” I will not forget my own feelings nor will I forget his “odd behavior” But I will also recognize that my behavior is not always perceived by others as “what is the right way to live life..”

I will finish with, that, yes, I agree with all I have read on this site — “they” don’t care, they don’t feel, they don’t experience emotion, they don’t feel remorse, they don’t feel regret — and we here.

Oh, My ex S could also seem incredibly nice at times. But it was always at his choosing. He would never be nice if he didn’t feel like it, wasn’t in the mood, or it was inconvenient. He could seem unusually kind and generous when he felt like being that way because it served him in some way. In the first few months of our relationship he seemed to want to wait on me hand and foot – and couldn’t do enough favors for me. But that’s because it served him – and I was fresh supply – filling him with fuel.

When I really needed him – after having a surgery and being in a lot of pain, after I had a major loss in my family – he was not there for me. In fact, he left me on my own in both of these cases to have sex with another woman. Staggering cruelty and lack of compassion.

But he could seen unusually kind and generous at times. But the key is, it was ALWAYS only when it served him to be that way. Never if he had to put himself out.

Oh, Gosh, Healing Heart: I meant no offense. And, yes, my experience was the same — he certainly wasn’t there for me during anything I had going on — unless it was social and he thought he could gain something from my social/work connections (he always got awfully nice then).

I didn’t miss that. I know that I liked the “illusion” that a man loved and cared for me… that is my “down-falling” — but I didn’t perputuate it but for so long — I asked myself “why, when you knew, did you continue” and I walked and spoke every moment, while also knowing on another level — to a certain extent, that means I can only place blame so far away from myself

Oh, Greentrees – if I seem worked up its because I have strong feelings on this topic, and have been coming more and more to terms with what he was, how much of a victim I was (though I did get out fairly quickly), and just how often he betrayed me. It’s important for me to face the truth with this as for a long time I made up excuses for him, pretended not to see things he was doing, and forgave him so much. Because I loved him. I loved him with all my heart. And it took a lot of really poor treatment from him – it had to become pretty awful, before I was willing to admit that he was not a nice person, was actually a bad person, and that he had no trouble hurting me. I needed to come to terms with that. And I am still in that coming to terms process. And the lovely men and women on this site are helping me do just that, and holding my hands as I do it.

When I sound fired up, its because I am talking about my own truth.

I didn’t take offense at what you said. And it may well be that your guy is not a sociopath or narcissit. I hope he’s not!!!! For your sake, his sake, and the sake of the world.

But if you are on this site it is for some reason. Most of us don’t get here unless we’ve been treated badly.

If your guy is an S, and you are like me, it will take you a long time to admit it to yourself. I read this blog for nine months before logging on myself and participating (and now I can’t shut up). I really didn’t want to admit that he was an S. But he is. And it is setting me free to feel my anger and speak of my pain.

Greentrees, I really hope you are not involved with a sociopath. But if you are wondering, just keep educating yourself as to what they are, and keep your eyes open with your man. That doesn’t mean you are judging him unfairly, it just means you are keeping your eyes open.

Much peace and love to you

Greentrees, as others have said to me today, the label is not so important as looking at how you feel after being with him. I respect your openmindedness and not being quick to label. However, if he is a sociopath, and you are mistaking him for a basically good person, you will get hurt. I hope you keep reading to make sure. If your guy is a sociopath, no contact is the only way to recover from the damages. There is no mistaking when you’ve been with a sociopath. You feel like a tornado just ran over your house, then turned and went over it again. This is what sociopaths are–human tornadoes. They do not have a shred of good in them, though they can play the part exceptionally well.

Greentrees….the book, When You Love A Man Who Loves Himself, does a great job in the first chapter of comparing a normal failed relationship to a failed relationship with a narc…or most bad guys. You can read it online on the “excerpt ” or “first page” link in “looking inside” the book at http://www.amazon.com/When-You-Love-Loves-Himself/dp/140220342X
Further into the book he has graphs about intimacy and satisfaction, etc. that show the difference between a normal relationship and one with a narc. He also has checklists to help you.

Though I agree that the wound you feel is a pretty darn good indicator. I’ve been dumped many times in my life. But only four times did it devestate me and send me into a tail spin, and each time it was with this stupid same P/S/N whatever poison he is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

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