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Lovefraud Lesson #5: When sociopaths pretend to be your sudden soul mate

Perhaps, deep in our hearts, we always believed in “love at first sight.” Then we met that person who seemed to be everything we ever wanted, and who felt the same way about us. It’s destiny! We’re soul mates!

If this is what you’re hearing, you may need to watch the newest Lovefraud video.


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26 Comments on "Lovefraud Lesson #5: When sociopaths pretend to be your sudden soul mate"

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Donna, this was an excellent video. I realize that time is a constraint when making these videos. There just isn’t enough time to actually go into how spaths make their targets believe in the sudden soulmate scenario.

IMHO, a full documentary series would be so helpful. I’m talking about a seven part discussion of sociopathy, and everything that goes along with it. NOT a talk show….jeezus criminy, talk shows have run their courses! But, discussions that you host with your featured writer Staff, especially the professionals that post articles on LoveFraud.com.

Although I’ve noticed that laypeople recognize the term, “sociopathy,” the misconception is almost concrete as to who and what a spath truly is. They invariably believe that spaths are people like Ted Bundy, Aileen Whatshername, Susan Smith, John Wayne Gacey, and Jeff Dahmer. Laypeople (and, even some professionals) maintain that mom, dad, sibling, friend, coworker, physician, or anyone that is not sitting on Death Row cannot possibly be a sociopath and is simply misunderstood.

Thank you for putting so much time and effort into these videos, Donna. I’m posting the links wherever I can – in emails, on FaceTube, etc…..

Brightest blessings!

Donna, technology is a great thing, in many instances. I know that the videos have primarily focused on the “romantic” love fraud, but will there be discussion about the non-romantic spath, as well?

Brightest blessings, and thanks again…..you rock

Donna – this so nailed what happened in the beginning. I was going through a divorce and this man paid attention to me – he listened as I shared my hopes and dreams – I talked to him about the things I wanted to do in my life now that the anchor that was my ex would be somewhat lifted…(not totally as I have children with the ex)… I spoke about wanting to live in Europe at some point – well lo and behold Mr. Wonderful owns family property there and is going to build a home using plans from his dad some day… And on and on it went – I would share about liking to cook or garden or wanting to build my own house or whatever it was and somehow he related and wow don’t you know he was going to facilitate so many of my dreams and wouldn’t it be fun to do together???

This is what made breaking off so hard to do – as I felt like I was giving up all the dreams I had because he had wrapped himself into them so letting go of him meant letting go of them in my mind / heart. Obviously that is not the truth but detaching him from my heart’s greatest wishes and desires – so hard to do. It felt physically painful for awhile. He was always holding the carrot of my dreams just out of reach and I was leaping and leaping trying to get to them – and eventually he added a stick to the mix….

I am dating a wonderful man today. He and I could not be less well matched when it comes to those kinds of things – he is a city boy and I’m a country girl – he is into newer music and I like country and pop – he is a bit flashy and modern in his tastes for clothing and furniture and I’m classic and understated.

What we do have is a relationship based on shared intellect, humor, principles, kindness and yes of course there is physical attraction but that is not the basis for the relationship. He treats me with warmth and love and supports me in doing the things I want to do – he is proud of my accomplishments and when I am feeling overwhelmed and down he tells me how much he admires me and all that I do. He wants for me to be happy. A world of difference and it took me a long time to get used to being treated well by a drama free stable person versus love bombed by a maniac.

Makes me realise what a sitting duck I truly was. Oh dear, he must have been rubbing his hands together with glee.

Tut

strongawoman: oh yes, being this far away from the situation, I can look back and clearly see how vulnerable I was to a psychopath. Absolutely. It makes my spine curl to even think about having something like that so close to me, NOW.
And, I am not one who is easily frightened and scared away. BUT: standing this far away now and looking back, what a sitting duck I made myself! All based upon trust. Imagine that….

That trust was used against me as a weapon and than laughed about and thrown in my face as a delightful mockery in the end. But, you know, as well as I do, that the mockery isn’t upon us…we KNOW where the real mockery is but we are unlike them because we don’t gloat in their misfortunes. That makes us bigger and stronger and wiser. That makes us so much more than they will ever hope and pray to be.

I almost allowed it to devour me.
Entirely. I can’t believe this has happened.
But then, it has and it has been like getting knocked
upside the head with a two by four!

I am finding the reality that he doesn’t and never has loved me. He despises me and that is why he came into my world. He wanted to devour me and everything about me because I am too strong for him. I am stronger than he can only dream of becoming. Women aren’t suppose to be that strong. Least not according to him. Well, isn’t that really just too bad?

“Sitting Duck” I am, no more.
And hopefully, neither are you.
I know what lies behind the mask, now….

It is one of the most frightening horror stories I can think of.
If I were to write it all down, people would never believe the ‘painting’ my words would portray….
sometimes, even now, I find myself doubting it myself….

Peace and happiness to you strongawoman…
Stay safe and find that peaceful spot in life that is only all yours.

Love ~

Dupey

Strongawoman and Dupey, I am utterly terrified of another spath entanglement, whether it’s romantic or otherwise. I cannot afford another emotional outlay, and I won’t risk one.

Truthspeak: I can absolutely ROGER THAT!
(Caps used for emphasis)

Hang in there…
Keep yourself safe.

Dupester

Very interesting, and definitely resonates with me after previous experience with spaths.

I wanted to ask the advice of the good people here, if it’s not too much trouble: four months ago, I met someone who I’d known online for over a year or two (we are part of a ‘group’ who got to know each other online, all of us had the same sense of humour and interests etc). We all met up 4 months ago at a friend’s wedding. He was just coming out of a long-term relationship at this point. I hung out with everyone that weekend but after I got home he and I talked a lot online, and soon he said that he was really interested in me. I felt a similar way but didn’t want to rush into anything as I didn’t know him *that* well. He was coming out with some very intense statements about how much he liked me, and soon it grew into declarations of love. I spent a weekend with him two months ago and it was really nice and I realised I felt the same way (though I am keeping a distance). We live very far apart so we can meet up now and again and I’m seeing him this weekend.

But my question is, is he genuine? I had done my best, since my experience with several spaths, to weed out anyone remotely like that or who set off my alarm bells. And everyone in that group of friends has a good opinion of him and has known him for years and he’s never done anything to make them worried/doubt that he’s a good bloke. So I do want to believe that this is a great guy, but it’s just the speed at which he came out with those intense feelings. Is it possible for there to be genuine people like that? I don’t want to get rid of someone from my life who might actually be fantastic just because of past bad experience.

Miranda, for what it’s worth, I “met” my second exspath online on a chat forum about an artistic interest that we had. We did not “meet,” in person, for just about a year. I believed that we were “friends,” first, and that we came to love one another, over time. During the time when he declared that he loved me, I was in the process of leaving my first abusive marriage.

Without going into long, drawn-out details, suffice it to say that I ended up marrying this person and I was set up for a long con.

What we “want to believe” may be quite different than what “is.” I would be wary of any online relationship, today. I would run the other way if someone began declaring that they loved me after an in-person meeting only four months ago.

You see, “Online Life” is a completely different scenario. People can invent, concoct, construct, and abracadabra ANY illusion that they think will fit their needs. The exspath was aware that I was exiting an abusive marriage, that I was concerned for my children, and that I was very, very vulnerable. Because I had not fixed what was wrong with me beforehand, I wound up making the worst mistake of my life by marrying this man.

I can’t tell you what you should do, Miranda. I can only tell you that 4 months is a very, very short time to “know” someone, especially in a long-distance situation. I’d run a background check – criminal AND civil – if I were that interested in pursuing a relationship. But, that’s me. Only you know what’s best for you.

Brightest blessings

Miranda,
you will know by the red flags.
If he is one, he will tell you his hard luck stories.
You will hear how the world is unfair.

And you will hear how superior he is to other people.
Then there are the requests to make exceptions for him.

Listen to your feelings. Do you feel the need to rescue him?
Do you feel a lot of emotional ups and downs around him? Lots of excitement? What does he say about his ex? Was she crazy?

Keep your boundaries on your emotions. They aren’t there for others to suck on with their drama. Watch for drama.

This is a great opportunity to practice watching YOURSELF and your reactions to him. That’s where you’ll find the answer to your question.

Miranda,

Just watch the red flags and listen to your gut (not the flutters, but beyond that).

Can genuine people fall in love quickly and think they’re with the one? Yes. I know I can bond strongly and quickly given the circumstances, and with one man I felt I loved him after a month without him lovebombing me and I never stopped loving him. However, most of that rapid falling in love and even love feelings rarely has much groundedness… There are a lot of feelings without much experience with the other person to actually materialize a healthy relatioinship. If he is a genuine person then he’s more in love with the image he has of you, than the real you, and that is not really fair to you, because as soon as you act differently than he imagines you to be it soon ends up being a mess. That’s what basically happened with me and that man. I became incredibly insecure when he wasn’t acting as swept away as I was, and he became terribly frightened of these too early huge emotions of mine. And we ended up hurting each other in our own way because of it. Reality was just too limited in space to fill it up with all that overflowing emotion of mine.

So for yourself take it really slow!

I wish that I had access to all this information 21 years ago when I first encountered the man that claimed we were soulmates and professed his eternal love. He walked out 18 months later when it looked like my money was all gone. Big surprise there. What in the world was I thinking when 11 years later I let him back in to my life. I asked that he get himself healthy and whole before I would consider a relationship with him again. Of course he lied, about everything. Then, 4 and 1/2 years after we married, he walked again. The only differences were: the abuse was worse, more lies, and this time my money was really gone. Not only that but now I am very ill, and no longer able to work. I still care for my 38 year old son who is autistic. He knew I was having major health problems when he asked me for a second chance. Aw yes, “we were still soulmates and if I was becoming ill he would rather be no other place than with me, taking care of me.” I truely believe that if another man claims that he and I are soulmates, I will vomit on his shoes.

This was a great video Donna! I second the comments on wishing they were longer and more in depth. When I first left my sociopath ex, I remember devouring any information I could find on the internet because I just needed to know what had happened to me. I also second some of the above concerns about running into another one. I was a great target for my ex because I had been hurt so bad from past relationships and I wore my heart on my sleeve. This was so easy for him because all he needed to do was say that he was interested in the same things and make me feel special. Now, after all that I have been through, I am likely more obviously hurt. Its so hard to even date because I am afraid to tell people what I hope for and I certainly don’t even know how to begin to talk about what I am going through with my ex. It’s not like I can say, “Hello – my name is [Cappuccino Queen]. My child’s father is actively trying to kill me. I hope this doesn’t scare you.” LOL

capqueen,
lol! that’s what I did and still do.

honestly, that’s how I first began to learn about spaths. I met a guy in a sushi bar and spilled my story to him within the first 5 minutes. Turned out, he knew all about them and gave me some valuable advice.

I followed that with much reading, study and observation. I still talk to strangers all the time about it. It usually turns out that either they learn something or I do.

You’d be surprised to find out that some of the people who know about spaths, are spaths themselves – or N’s or other cluster b’s. Yep, Some are hiding under the mask of the victim. Some are hiding under the mask of therapists.

It doesn’t matter. They have information and I can use it. They don’t usually try to mislead on the information, (mostly), instead they will try to show that they are empathic, but the mask usually slips.

In the end, it’s not about them, it’s about us and our boundaries. As long as we learn how to have and maintain boundaries, we don’t have to worry about them –too much.

Dear all, I was so utterly blown away by the incredible declarations of love…after ONE date. I couldn’t take it in….asked him on return from working off shore..WOW! where did all that passion inside you come from? I am literally blown away by it! I’d never read or heard such intense, overwhelming words of love. He said…I don’t know. It’s you who do this to me. 2 weeks later ‘I believe our souls have met their mate’ At this point I didn’t know he’d left the previous victim for dead….played his ex-wife’s cancer card to her. (Meanwhile ex wife can’t be in same room as him)Yet weeks previously he had told my predecessor (a year later to become my successor again!) ‘She was THE ONE’ Wrote her love cards almost daily…as he did for me…Extraordinary, terrifyingly chilling. It means nothing. He feels NOTHING yet this endless torrent of love declaration. They are quite simply bloody insane. However practised their craft, plausible the con, they are nuts. Is there an equivalent website for SP perpetrators where they learn all this stuff? Share effective practice? ‘Sociopathis Shafters are US?’

PS I wholeheartedly agree with capuccino queen. I absolutely HAD to understand what had happened to me. This website is such a solace. All your names say it all….Back from the Edge, Truthspeak, Nolongersilent, Dupey, Still reeling…..and we are a community! My name is my own but i echo all your sentiments 🙂

Skylar, YES!!!!!!!!! I am one of “those people” who typically spills their life’s story within minutes! Boy, oh boy….am I a practicing clam, today. I shut the fark up no matter HOW (caps for emphasis, only) tempted I am to disclose – Great Creator! I want people to know what I’ve suffered, empathize with my plight, and understand why I’m the way that I am. Well, here’s the honest truth: they don’t care, one way or the other.

I have to really, really work hard at keeping my feelings and experiences shut inside my emotional clam. It’s a challenge, but I have discovered (quite by accident) that keeping a vast gulf of distance is not only empowering, but it allows me to observe someone’s behaviors on an objective level. I’m a “reactionist.” I tend to RE-act to every given situation, and I am slowly (painfully so) learning how to stop, look, listen, and make sure that emotional freight train isn’t barreling down the track to run me down.

MoMac, indeed, they are bloody nuts. And, YES (caps for emphasis) there are actually websites constructed like this site where sociopaths, psychopaths, and malignant narcissists can discuss their trolling techniques and extoll their own grandiosities. I’ve never visited any of these sites, and I cannot make myself do it. I believe that my reaction to their discussions would cause me to utterly implode. But, yes…..they do crow of their conquests, the carnages, and their subsequent legal “wins.”

And, it’s good to have you here, MoMac. You’re precious and valuable in this vast Universe. Never let yourself forget this basic truth.

Brightest blessings

Cappucino Queen, Mo Mac & Donna:

Great video, Donna!

It was the end of an 8 year marriage to a man who claimed to be my soul mate that first brought me to LF over 6 years ago at the suggestion of a therapist. And, like capuccino queen and mo mac, I HAD to understand what had happened to me. I was left totally bewildered by his sudden discard. I certainly wasn’t wearing my heart on my sleeve when I met him. I had a wall of protection built around me and hadn’t allowed anyone to break that barrier for a long time due to the hurt of past relationships. He managed to tear that wall down with his claims of our being soul mates. I didn’t catch a single red flag in the beginning…he moved fast…it FELT right and I married him 8 months after the relationship began. It continued to feel right most of that 8 years. Looking back, I now realize that there were red flags that I allowed him to explain away much too easily. The sudden discard left me devastated and totally baffled. During the discard, he removed his mask and with great delight allowed me to see who he REALLY was. A stranger stood before me that I had shared my home, bed, money, time, energy and life with. I didn’t even LIKE this stranger and could never love someone like him.

Shortly after the discard, I learned that he had led a double life all of his adult life. He was seeing other women before he married me, throughout the the duration of our marriage, left me for a woman that he claimed to be his REAL “soul mate” and still continued to see other women…not one woman but a harem of women. However, I and the “other” soul mate had much more to offer him by way of financial security and luxury items. I realized that his goal was to have a constant woman to provide his financial needs and to be a ready and available sex partner while using her time away working to have sex with multiple partners. However, I didn’t know there was a name for this kind of person until I sought understanding of HOW in the world I could have allowed myself to be deceived so badly. My therapist explained WHAT he was and suggested LF and other resources about sociopaths.

It was during my research that I realized that he was far from the ONLY sociopath that I had crossed paths with or that was still a part of my life. I learned the reasons behind my mother’s behavior as well as my first husband’s. They controlled me by fear while the spath “soul mate” had love bombed me. I also recognized what had driven a former co-worker to behave in the manner that she had as well as a bullying boss!

As I reflect back on that time of learning, I feel almost grateful for having the run in with the spath that led me to my therapist. I learned a lot about myself and the behavior of the other spaths of my past and present. I allowed each and every one of these people to lead me to believe that their behavior was MY fault. I’ve learned a lot about romantic relationships with sociopaths, but still struggle with people who are a part of my life that are more difficult to go NC with like my mother. Coming from the Bible Belt and having lived in the same community all of my life, it is considered unacceptable to go NC with a parent…especially one that doesn’t allow anyone else to see her dark side and ensures that she tells everyone she comes into contact with just what a terrible daughter I am simply because I will not allow her to control me and no longer fear her threats of physical abuse. It is expected that everyone honor their parents no matter WHAT. But, regardless of public opinion, I HAD to go NC with in order to preserve what is left of my sanity. I wish there was a way people could be educated BEFORE they are nearly destroyed by a spath. If only the media and the LAW would recognize the need to focus a bit more on the everyday sociopath in addition to the extreme cases…sigh.

Perhaps it should be a required class in high school. Women are too easy and too trusting. I had all the above happen to me at age 51! The lies, charming attention and compliments, which very soon caused me constant confusion (all the red flags) and how it controlled my thoughts, trying to figure out WHY? And who is lying- him or the others? All the time he has no conscious? He works the same way on others too. He has bragged to guys he works with about making other women look like fools, for money or whatever help he needs at the time. Big man? No, just a big lying loser. It is his only way, since he has no self esteem of his own. CREEP! Luckily I never got involved with this black turd, as much as he tried, and as much as I could have liked him. First I asked others and they all gave me the same story-which in short was RUN- he is a piece of S$T.

My exspath started putting out those vibes in the very first phone conversation. We were going to meet as friends, but he was acting like it was a date. He bombed me with compliments on the first meeting – everything from how beautiful I was to my great taste in decorating my condo (which is true LOL). The simple Caesar salad I made for him was the “best salad he’s ever had”. And then he kept coming into my personal space and trying to touch me. It felt really strange and was a big red flag. I actually had to have a conversation with him to tell him I needed him to back off if he wanted to be my friend. I did like him and we had the snakes in common – I met him on a reptile site. Do you know how hard it is to meet people who like boa constrictors?

Nowadays, I am very skeptical of any guy I meet who acts like we are soulmates or like he wants to fall in love with me, etc. I’m very clear about developing a solid friendship first without any red flags. For this reason, the dating sites don’t really work for me – they are too unnatural. But I still occasionally activate a profile because it’s just one more way to meet people. If I had honored the creepy feeling I had the first day with the spath, I would have saved myself a year of aggravation (that’s how long it took me to get over the 3-month affair).

I really like meeting guys through shared activities like salsa dancing. You can get to know them, have fun with them, and enjoy them in a group setting, without the pressure of dating. It’s very possible that I will meet a special person that way. But it will probably happen very slowly.

Stargazer,

I agree. It’s way better to meet a person in a natural way and a non sexual activity with plenty of other people around. Even then you still need to watch for red flags, but your body and intuition will be able to send you warning signals much faster, exactly because predators will tend yo invade your personal space ASAP.

nick nack patty wack give the dog no bone…love your name, welcome..

Thanks to everyone who gave me advice, I haven’t been on in a while due to stressful stuff at work.

The guy I know has said really nice stuff about his ex. He also had what seems to have been a pretty nice childhood (only child, no major problems or ‘bad stuff’) so no ‘flags’ have come up for me but I’m being totally cagey and not trying to get too involved just incase. A few people have said that you can genuinely fall bigtime for someone very quickly so I do hope that’s the case here, but as I say I’m being as careful as possible.

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