By | December 18, 2013 36 Comments

Married to A Sociopath: A False Sense of Control

By Quinn Pierce


Learning Avoidance

When you are in a relationship with a sociopath, you quickly learn the act of avoidance.  Without saying a word, a sociopath can let you know exactly when he or she is angry or disappointed with your behavior.   That leads you to begin reacting to subtle clues and hints that may never be stated, but are clearly understood.

For me, I began avoiding all situations that would create that indescribable tension in the house.  The feeling of walking on egg shells while holding my breath.

Hollow Choices

Sometimes, it would mean turning down a shopping trip with friends, or a trip to the store without the children.  It just became easier to avoid these situations altogether.

At the same time, the boys and I knew what types of activities were ”˜safe’.  And those usually included anything that put my ex-husband in a good light.  He would take the boys anywhere there were people to praise him for being a good dad.  He would suggest I go out with friends if there were others around to hear him encourage me to have fun without him.  It was always a way to maintain his façade.

This action-reaction type relationship became a sort of game.   I would try to read what would be acceptable and plan according to his moods.  He would control what everyone did by his non-verbal responses and reactions, which he could later deny and attribute to my ”˜over-sensitive’ nature.

False Sense of Control

Whatever method, it was a way to reduce conflict.  Ironically, to outsiders, our relationship appeared to be very much controlled by me.  I was often accused of being controlling and domineering.  And, of course, my ex-husband would never claim otherwise.

That wasn’t the only strategy he used to make it appear as though I was in control.  Another technique he used was leaving me to make decisions without any input from him.

Purposeful Silence

For a long time, I really did feel as though I was in charge of certain areas of my life.  What I didn’t realize was that he was actually putting me in the position to take all the responsibility if things went wrong.  For example, if I made a decision about what car to buy, he could then complain about how much it cost, how it drove, the practicality and/or design of the car, etc.

It was one of his favorite ploys.  Instead of saying anything negative before or during the decision making process, he would use his silence to his advantage.  If the decision was something that made me happy, he could easily find something to criticize claiming he never approved of it in the first place.

If the decision was something that put him in a good light, he could pretend it was just as much his idea.  And probably the most significant to him, if the decision made other people upset or angry, he could say he didn’t have anything to do with it, it was just my decision and I was controlling.

I can’t remember a time when he ever gave a definitive answer on any decision.  Unless he was forced to do so, he would gladly let others decide for him, and even then, he would complain that he was not given a choice, etc.

Coming To His Rescue

In keeping with his need to not get his hand dirty, he also convinced me and others to fight his battles for him.  I remember how distraught he would be when he was ”˜unfairly wronged’ by someone else.  He was very good at playing the victim role to me, as well.  I would feel this almost maternal sense of needing to protect him from these cruel people he would describe.  And, sometimes, I would do just that.

I made phone calls and wrote emails to people who were supposedly treating him unfairly and making him feel so terribly hurt.  There are days I think I owe several people apologies, because I now know it was more likely that my ex-husband was the one to do the hurtful acts, and I was used as a pawn to deflect what he had done.  But, for one thing, it’s too embarrassing to even write such an apology at this point, and secondly, it will only pull me back in to a world I have long since walked away from.

Choosing the Important Battles

The real irritation for me was learning that my ex-husband actually maintained a relationship with these people, most likely by painting a picture of me that cast him in a sympathetic light.  His skill at manipulating others was a big factor when it came time to decide which relationships I should try to maintain after my separation.  The reality became clear quickly: unless I wanted to play tug of war over friendships with my ex, I was going to have to walk away from almost all of them.   And that’s what I did.

I didn’t have the energy to try and present the real story to friends and family who already believed I had been the controlling one for most of my marriage.  I had two young children who needed me much more.

Learning How to Heal

We were no longer walking on eggshells, but it would take a while for us to get used to the feel of our new steps.  When you learn something and believe it to be ”˜normal’, even if it is unhealthy, it takes a lot of retraining thoughts and emotions to a new situation.

Anything new, even feeling safe and happy can be an uncomfortable feeling that actually makes us uneasy.  Sociopathic spouses spend much of their energy creating a sense of ”˜normal’ that does not exist outside of that relationship.

My healing continues with hard work, support, and forgiveness”¦of myself.  I struggle to make decisions without questioning my choices, and I have to make a very conscious effort every day not to avoid unpleasant tasks.

Once I am able to accept happiness and safety as my new normal, I will finally have real control over my life.


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Quinn- this is an excellent discussion of a very subtle way in which sociopaths manipulate their partners and everyone else in their lives. Thank you so much for your observations.


Dear Quinn,

Great article on the subtle manipulation of our sp’s ex or present….Yes, mine did the same…

As you said, “In keeping with his need to not get his hand dirty, he also convinced me and others to fight his battles for him. …. He was very good at playing the victim role to me, as well. I would feel this almost maternal sense of needing to protect him from these cruel people he would describe. And, sometimes, I would do just that.”

I did the same….and he did the same as yours, maintaining a wonderful relationship with his “frenemies”….I would hear him on the phone laughing his head off with them later….?

I was the bad guy…imagine all the lies he must have told, dragging our reputations through the mud….

In my case: Imagine all the women he flirted with, had sex with in his vehicle, their vehicles, whomever and wherever and then tell me he was only mine….And so I thought as I did believe him that I was in control of him so to speak, he was “mine”.

Yes, it was a “false sense of control” and he must have laughed with the knowledge that he had conned me again by making me believe that I was in control….

He often had a look of wicked glee in his eyes and a smile that went right along with that…

He was always in a panic when some new trouble for him came along….lost his job = help him get a new one….no money for rent this month = help pay his rent….no money for car payment = help pay his car note…on and on….

But when I finally said no to his “needs” he knocked me saying that he was wasting his time with me…after I refused to cosign for his new apartment….even lied and told me his sisters said he was wasting his time with me….manipulation at its dirty level…

This after about $$$$$’s handed to him…

Yes, it takes some hard work to free ourselves and once the reality sinks in and the “wool is pulled from our eyes” we see the wolf for what he is: A PREDATOR and he feels no sorry, no sadness as he rips apart our lives….


What you’ve described so well is the pattern of a Covert-Aggressive personality. People with this particular character flaw are a very dangerous breed. They are subtle and keep their aggressive tendencies very carefully concealed. They lay traps and spring them on you. It’s difficult to tell what’s coming your way until you’re enveloped in it.

A very good book on the subject is “In Sheep’s Clothing” by George K. Simon PhD. It’s one of the many books I read as I was researching for my own book and trying to make sense of what happened to me.

I recommend it wholeheartedly.



Quinn you have my ex pegged quite well!!!
The book by George Simon is vey useful to make sense of the dangerousness of covert agression….it was certainly helpful to me!!!
My ex took a lot of trouble to portray himself as a good guy….after his mask slipped he once said to me….”but Ive never hurt you”.I did not even know how he could say that after backstabbing me and betraying me and shattering our family!!!! I told him at that time that you can cause hurt by comission and omission!!!!! they just are wired to feel good after they dupe either by ommision or by comission of hurtful acts.


jm_short, thanks, for the recommendation of the book, I certainly will take a shot at it. You described my “ex” to a tee!!!


They have a very weird connection to emotion, therefore, they don’t grasp what you feel as emotional pain. It doesn’t penetrate their consciousness and they don’t have a conscience.

Psychopaths live in a black or white world, and I don’t mean anything to do with race. People are marks or not. There’s no nuance and love is very much a state of nuance. It requires people to live in the grey… where we put aside our needs for the greater good because we know our partner will do the same as well……. except when they’re a psychopath. Their interpretations of life contains no grey.

They are quite capable of recognizing that because we are caring people, we will live inside the grey and they take advantage of our ability to do so. We go through all kinds of machinations to make things work because that’s what we do for a “loved” one. Until we finally get that we’ve given ourselves to a rock whose entire presence in our lives is to take. Their only give was to get.



So well put Jms!! Thank You!!xxxooooo
“their only give is to get” is a mantra that I will begin using because its so very true!!!!!


Talk about egg shells…. I used to hate going to church with him, he would find a way to have a goal at the pastor, at me, at people in church, anything. I would sit there trembling and twisting my hands afraid that if the pastor said anything that he could take personally we would have a dreadful Sunday, with him shouting, having a tantrum, making home a bit of hell for the kids. I dont know how many Sandays I expent dreading the service and terrified in church. He would verbally attack the pastor at the door, he would spoil our Sunday dinner,I even wrote letters of apology to some pastors about his behaviour or asking them to help us. We kept changing churches because he would take a dislike for things in one church and trying to find another who would not say that the things he did were wrong, like going after other people for relating and sex.
I also dreaded meeting friends, in case they would say anything that he could take offense and in that case he would confront them, attack them, make my life a true misery.
I knw exactly what to say and what not to say to him and knew when he would start his tamtrums and attacks, so I walked on eggs at home as well, trying to avoid a terrible scene.
This is not life to anybody and after some more difficult times, I got divorced. Free. Freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.


I have often wondered what a relationship without avoidance feels like and how it functions, I really cant imagine it.
I, like you, have my ‘list’ in my head of ‘no go’ areas. The number one thing would be, don’t ask for jobs to be done around the house – or there will be an eruption or else the job will become worse, with things getting broken. If something needs doing I have leaned to text him, that way I don’t have to face his hostility.
My husband also doesn’t help when it comes to making certain decision. I also have realized this is a tactical move. He knows I find decision making hard, and I beat myself up about making wrong decisions – yet he doesn’t help. But if the decision effects him, then I have no voice at all, and he makes the decisions by himself.
Another thing I avoid is asking him to participate in family actives, eg playing gamed with the kids, putting up decorations. At the beginning of our marriage this really upset me, but now I just get on with it.
There are other things I avoid, but the sad part is, I couldn’t really tell you what they are. I just ‘read the signs’ as they come up and ‘fit myself accordingly’ to them.



I would love to know to what it feels not to walk on egg shells, or having to look over my shoulder all the time. My wife hated everything I did that made me happy, it got to the point I would only do them when she was gone and even then she would come home and say “well you probly did it all day while I was gone”

My wife would leave honey do list all the time, but you didn’t dare ask her to do anything lest you get berated by her telling you how hard she works and how lazy you are, in other words “how dare you”

I ran the customer routes to our business, took kids to and from school and did probly 85% of the house chores, only to be told constantly that im not doing enough, im pathetic, im a loser, all while at the same time she would build herself up talking about how hard she works and how im living off her hard work. My paycheck came from the business and she would constantly tell me that if it weren’t for her I wouldn’t have a job, then get jealous of me saying im getting to live her dream (because I worked our business and she had a day job still) She refused to put me on the deed to our house claiming she was positive if she did I would leave her and take her for half the house, (this was an excuse obviously to maintain control) because what person in their right mind would allow someone to live with them and their children if they fealt that person was capable of doing something like that to them?

The business was my idea years ago and she refused saying “your not going to live in my house starting a business while I work and pay your way” Nevermind that the whole idea was based around helping the family. A few years later she wanted to do it, but she basically took it and ran with it, I couldn’t have my name on it at first as I had signed a no compete clause with a rival company I had worked for, and I had to wait a year, to which I found out she had no intention of making me a co-owner (she actually flat told me a few weeks ago) she basically said id have to invest a ton of money before she would do this.

And for the best part, I used her truck to run the company cause it required a pickup, she used my car to go to work and run errands, plus my car was the family vehichle for trips, its old but low mileage. It began to have some serious problems while she was driving it and she refused to help pay to get it fixed, I was only making 200 bucks a week and could not afford it, so we finally split the cost on a 600 dollar bill that wound up not even fixing the car, to that she flat said she would not put anymore money in it again even though she needed it to drive to work, instead she went and got an 18k dollar loan and got a new cargo van for the business which gave her 2 vehicles and then I got kicked out the house 3 days after she brought it home, broke with an old car that is messed up, fishing poles and clothes, that’s all I have to show for 10 years with her (other than my children that is) she gets the house I helped pay for and work in, she gets the business that I helped get off the ground, custody of the kids, and everything in the house I helped pay for, cause im stupid and never had receipts or things in my name, I would just give her the cash for stuff, I even painted the entire inside of the house just this summer too.

Friends and family kept warning me she was not committed and I would get screwed, but I kept going back to her everytime she would kick me out. I swear if I could, I would kick myself in the face repeatedly right now and walk around with a sign on my neck that says “im a moron”


not to drag my pity party story out longer but I have a question for all the ladies here.

How many of you have had a man that cooks all the dinners and is good at it?

And if so, would any of you ever get upset with him when he called you and said “hey hon what do you want me to make tonight”?

Several times the response I got to that was this “why do I have to be responsible for this, I work hard enough as it is, why cant you just figure it out on your own”?

I have never seen a woman in my life get upset with her man for asking her what she would like him to cook for dinner.??????

Dave – my husband cooks and I am thrilled.

Sociopaths are not normal. That’s why we get so confused by them – we expect them to behave in a normal fashion.

The key is to understand that all they want is power and control. So your wife’s behavior is all about exerting power and control over you. Which, of course, is not healthy for you.


I used to date a guy who was a gourmet cook. He cooked for me all the time and cleaned up the kitchen too. I will never forget one Christmas I spent with him at his brother’s house. The two brothers wearing aprons cooked and cleaned while the women hung out and drank wine and watched TV. I felt like I was in some sort of bizarro world. It was AWESOME. I could get very used to this!


my apologies to all for my ranting, but its just so nice to speak with people who “know” and have been through the exact same, everyone else just thinks we are stupid for sticking with the person, but you all know why we continued these relationships.

I read all the comments on all these articles and its so eerie to me, its almost like im reading a comment from someone who had an affair with my wife and they are describing her LOL (no I don’t think anybody here actually did that) Its just so hard NOT to talk about this, ive always been a person that likes to talk and get things off my chest, if I hold them in, they will explode sooner or later.

This is a nice website, and I thank the author, as well as all of you for being friendly and understanding, at the same time, I am sorry to all of you for the devastation and heartbreak you have had to endure. It freaks me out to know there are this many crazies out there in the world that can so easily do this to others.


Hey Dave,

While I was married my ex would expect to have dinner on the table after I worked ten hours that day, he thought I “owed” it to him….

If my ex ever called me at work and asked what he could make for dinner, I probably would of went into Cardiac Arrest, no kidding!!

Sometimes, when I write in my journal and I go over every little detail that happened in our marriage that seemed so minor that would cause a fight, I would ask the very same question, I was only asking to be nice and respectful not to piss you off or cause you to get a headache for thinking sooo much!!


well its nice to hear that “normal” women appreciate that.

whenever I would point out to my ex that most women would kill to have a man doing that, she would say things like this “oh david, that’s nothing, you think you do so much cause you cook/wash dishes, maybe you should go find some trailer trash woman who doesn’t expect anything out of you”

no matter what I did it was insignificant to her and next to nothing, while whatever she did was made out like she is this great hard working person who doesn’t deserve to deal with someone like me cause I just use her.

never mattered what I did or said,,it was never enough, nor good enough, or I got nasty things said to me in response, it seems almost fake to me anymore that there is a woman out there that would appreciate things I do and let me know once in a blue moon, and not bash me verbally that I could be happy with, seems like a pipe dream.


Who are you calling normal? LOL You should know that I have two boa constrictors and I’m generally a bit of a fruit loop. I don’t think I’ve ever been considered normal. ha ha But yes, the majority of women enjoy being pampered by their men. Okay, at least this one does. I’m sorry your ex used your kindness against you as some sort of weapon. Sociopaths are vile, noxious creatures with no souls.



nothing wrong with having pets 🙂

I wouldn’t so much call it “my kindness” just more of I fealt I was just doing my part to help out. I never fealt special for doing this, only angry when she would act like it was nothing.

I just called an hour ago to talk to the kids and for the first time ever, both of them did not want to talk to me,,i spoke with my son and he didn’t want to talk (claimed he was tired) then I asked for him to put his sister on the phone, he came back and said she didn’t want to talk either, so I asked him again to just put her on the phone. My ex then gets on the phone and gets loud with me saying my daughter don’t want to talk and shes not going to make her and that im pestering her (pestering my ex that is not my daughter) I then said “hey I didn’t ask for you to get on the phone” then she said something along the lines of “and you don’t need to be acting like I told them not to talk to you” I said I never said no such thing to either kid, why are you yelling at me? And she said again she wouldn’t force her to talk and she doesn’t want me pestering her (the ex) then hung up on me.

I wondered if someone else was there and she was showing out for them,,but I think shes just mad and playing the blame game, and now shes putting it off on me, cause im not acting like I normally do,,usually I would have kept calling her back after that hang up to find out what was going on, usually when we break up we have some hateful emails, then we make up in a month, but im not doing that now, plus I sent a hand written letter that was nice, and not complete finger pointing, but just saying she was right that we are not right for each other, that I wish we were, but we are not, and that I never see this getting better and wished her well, maybe she is in a rage because im not over here begging her back like usual??

Dave – she is escalating. Now that she really is losing control over you, she is upping the ante, and using the kids to do it.

She may have communicated to the kids, either overtly or subtly, that if they talk to you they will pay.

You might want to read the articles by Quinn Pierce – it sounds like your wife is beginning the campaign to alienate you from the children.


Yeah im worried bout that Donna, im worried even more that either A she will only get madder and nastier, or B she will eventually flip the tables and try to get me back instead of me doing the begging, I just hope im smart enough to not let my feelings cloud my judgment.

On a side note I seen a few mentions of sex in some of the articles, ive noticed for years now with her if we get into it, and we walk around ignoring each other for several days, instead of apologizing she will just hop in the shower with me like nothing ever happened then sleep with me as if that will make things all better. Most men wouldn’t care if that happened, it used to not bother me in my 20s, but now I feel used, and upset cause she wont even address the problem or say sorry, just flaunt her body in my face so ill shut up and not be mad anymore. Ironically the one time I tried that same routine on her I got yelled at and told “why does it have to be sex to make up”? To which I said “you do it to me all the time” and of course here came the lie of “no I don’t , I don’t know what your talking about”

Dave – everything you describe is typical sociopathic behavior. I think the more you read here on Lovefraud, the more you will understand what you are dealing with.


Just a suggestion….

Because small children are involved, it might be best that you seek professional guidance, and as soon as possible.

A good family therapist could accomplish a couple of things for you: they could provide outside accountability and a structure for you to get along in, they could be the professional eyes and ears that testify on your behalf in case of a custody or visitation battle, they could possibly mitigate her ability to manipulate your children.

It is always best to get out of a relationship with a disordered person BEFORE the kids arrive. Doing so once children are in the picture can become a terrible battle with devastating affects on them.

I’d advise you to begin your search, schedule an appointment for yourself and let her know that you feel it best to pursue this route. Right now, as a conscientious, concerned parent, addressing the kids’ needs is a major priority and this could get very ugly, very fast.

Never give up on your kids, no matter what. Even if they don’t seem interested in speaking to you, they need to understand that you are interested in them and in speaking to them. Even if the child pushes you away, stay the course. Children act out as a means of protection. They will not see their own behavior as the source of separation from you, and will feel abandoned. Childhood feelings of abandonment can cause an “at risk” child to develop a “Borderline Personality Disorder.”

Sounds like you need help getting their mother to cooperate toward the best interests of the children.




Good idea, I will never give up on my kids and she knows this, she also knows it tears me up to be away from my family like this as im a 100 miles away right now. I believe she uses this against me, as she knows usually I will do whatever it takes to get my family back.

As of now im saving any emails/text, and I have to go get the kids tomorrow for Christmas (not looking forward to this) cause I will have to go to her house.

I will start looking into a family councilor especially if things get ugly.

Dave –

Bring someone with you when you go to get the kids. It is always best to have a witness. She will behave better if someone else is there.

Also, it is a good idea to get a therapist involved. HOWEVER – make sure the therapist understands sociopaths, and make sure that your wife doesn’t manipulate the therapist. Sociopaths are very good at playing the concerned parent when it suits them.

Amen to that!


Quinn, I think it is perfectly normal to apologize to anyone that was a victim of your ex husband’s game. In fact, it helps them heal as well as you when you apologize. This is an extension of ‘loving thy neighbor.’ Since your ex is incapable of it, take the higher road and make that step. So often it is a step that alcoholics and addicts purposefully neglect (FLUNK) in their “12 step recovery program” because it is easier to just ignore it like it never happened…or they owe their victims $$$$$. I don’t believe in sweeping things under a carpet of bad memories, because eventually the dirt under there is going to wear away at the fibers and create a hole in my soul. Sweep it out, name it, talk about it, and then file it in the stuff completed on your bucket list. Believe me, I have done it and it feels good!


I have a husband that cooks and it is a great bonus but sometimes I wish he would do something more important. “Most women would kill to have a man who cooks.” Sounds pretty narcisistic to me, a man cooks so that makes him God’s gift to women and it makes his wife a psycho? I think not. Go get a job!

Delores – yes, it he cooks because he refuses to work, that is a parasite. I believe Dave said he works as well.


Sorry if that came off the wrong way Delores, im only going by what most women have told me.

I ran our company, took our kids to and from school, did the majority of the house work, and cooked everyone dinner, that does not make me Gods gift to women, just makes me a decent guy, my wife would get angry with me if I even called her to ask what she wanted me to make for dinner, saying she didn’t want anymore responsibility and why couldn’t I do something on my own.

My whole complaint is that even doing all these things, I was still told that im mooching off her, that I do close to nothing, and the things I do are little and insignificant, while she would pat herself on the back and make it out like she is the best woman on the planet. She constantly told me I had it made, to which I told her “we” have it made.

Delores, I cleaned, I cooked, I did 4 peoples laundry, ran the kids around, ran our company routes everyday, mowed grass, hauled and chopped our firewood for winter to save on heat bill, fed and changed both kids when they were babies ect ect….I don’t think these things make me special, nor should a woman have to kiss my butt for doing them, my whole complaint is that it was never enough for her, she was always complaining and putting me down like I was some kind of bum.


Ouch! I have a feeling my neighbors are like that. The husband works all day and comes home and is given tasks to do by the wife and it’s never enough. I knew them well because the wife was sort of a friend for a while, always inviting me over. She telecommutes so she stays home and watches the kids. She always claimed she worked hard all day but she literally lounged around all day, usually watching stuff on Hulu. I know because I did this with her (My schedule changes day by day so I often have mornings or afternoons free) the kids basically take care of themselves. They are homeschooled but I rarely saw them do any schoolwork. Our “friendship” was strange in that she controlled everything- I was never asked what I wanted to do, it was always whatever she wanted. She often talked about her husband, that he never did anything, she did everything, but that was not at all what I saw. To me, it looked like he never rested while she hung out in bed day and night. If I ever expressed a different opinion on anything, I was instantly dismissed. She even complained to me about other people who disagreed with her, how terrible they were, even though to me, it seemed just healthy and normal that people have different perspectives. I slowly faded my visits, especially when I recognized how lopsided our relationship was. This really offended her, and she started this whole campaign about how I was angry at her for something etc with anyone who would listen. It’s been years now, and she still acts very coldly towards me even though I never did anything. I would have loved to have been straightforward with her and tell her exactly what I felt, but she never gave me that opportunity.

She has other people she knows, lots of them. I think she just wants a whole crowd of sycophants surrounding her. Also, she wants 5 kids, she already has 4, not including the child the husband has from a previous marriage. They are not financially well off, and actually already quite crowded. To this day, I don’t think she even knows a single thing about my interests, studies, etc because we never had a single conversation that involved me. If you are out of this relationship, Dave, may you never be in one like this ever again. I hope you find someone who has the depth and maturity to handle a real relationship, one who is capable of love and empathy.


TY Satya,

Notice in all my comments ive never once stated my ex was lazy or didn’t do anything, actually quite the opposite, shes a work aholic. I think shes obsessed with work. I told her “I do what I have to do, then I do what I want to do” She said “that’s your problem, you only do what you have to”

She insisted on leaving list everyday, as if I didn’t see the dishes or the laundry needed done, or some more wood needed split, or the kitchen floor was dirty, it was quite aggravating. Then again she would leave herself a list too. She would spend almost the whole weekend doing work, we used to watch NFL football together on sunday and I would grill out, but now she just buries her head in the computer while I watch the game.

I wish I could find the person you described, however I haven’t been away from her for a whole month, im still worried I may go back, ususally she guilt trips me into thinking its all my fault so ill beg my way back and apologize and she can make more stipulations for my return, I have not done that this time which is probly making her angry, so shes waiting it out, but I suspect it wont be long before she attempts to “talk” to me about us. If im ever in a relationship with another woman again and I start seeing SP behavior im grabbing my bug out bags and running for the woods!!!!!

Divorced from Gaslighter


The reason your husband or ex created crisis after crisis at church was to keep your family moving from church to church. If you had stayed anywhere for a couple of years, you might have developed a close relationship with a pastor or fellow congregant, and then started discussing your marriage, your unhappiness, etc. My ex did not attend church with me, and revealed his atheism soon after we married, but his behavior was similar in that we never lived in any one place long enough for me to form real relationships with anybody in the local area. He then made fun of me for having no friends.


I agree with the previous responses to your comments that most women would be thrilled to have a husband who cooked. Your only mistake was in continuing to care what she thought about your menus AFTER she told you off for asking her opinion.

My husband thought his time was EXTREMELY valuable, and that it was wasted on doing any kind of manual labor or house work. And he could not take time to drive the children anywhere, because his car always had to be spotless in case he had an opportunity to get together with a client, and he could not commit to any pick up or delivery schedule for the children because of his clients and their needs. His idea was that EVERYTHING should be done by me because my time was not as valuable, or by “hired help.” Problem: we were heavily in debt and could not afford hired help. Solution: He cooked occasionally (cooking only foods that he alone enjoyed, such as “sardines & rice” or ultra-spicy stuff. In the entire time we were married (12 years) he never cleaned a bathroom, vacuumed, did a load of laundry, mowed the lawn, etc. In addition, we were always moving and remodeling — as soon as the house was nice enough to have people over, it was time to pack up and leave. And packing was my job, even though the decision to move was always his.

Your marriage actually sounds unusual for Lovefraud members in that BOTH of you did a lot of work, but your ex just griped endlessly that she did more. Most of the people on here have stories more like mine: the spouse had “high standards” but balked at lifting a finger to help.

I don’t know the ages of your children, but try not to get dragged into the ex’s games, even if it means you spend less time with the children. When the children are with you, don’t ask them anything about what goes on with “mom.” If you pump the kids for info, they will start telling you as little as possible about their thoughts and feelings and plans. As they get older, they will have access to cell phones and the internet, and I would say that it is much harder to “cut off” a parent than it was 20 years ago.

Don’t get hung up over who gets which holiday — create your own holiday traditions. If she gets Thanksgiving, have your own Thanksgiving in October (it works for the Canadians!) If she gets Dec 24 & 25, look into an Orthodox church. They calculate Christmas and Easter differently. Christmas always comes later with the Orthodox, so you get the added benefit of being able to buy toys AFTER they go on sale. I’m not sure how Easter works with the Orthodox, but you get the idea. DO NOT let her turn you into some sniveling whiner that the kids will despise, and do NOT spend the next 15 years spending your time, energy and money on trying to get justice from the court system. It will never happen.

Your ex screwed you out of the business idea you had. Pray for a new idea, and go from there. Best wishes to you, and a belated Merry Christmas. I hope that you got to spend some time with your children.



Thanks for the response. Yes after 1 or 2 times getting yelled out for asking what she wanted to eat, I should have just ignored it and made what I wanted, however a few months ago I did that, and she complained when she got home cause she wanted something different. (damned if you do, damned if you don’t)

Difference between me and your husband, is ive played mr mom, so I have a newfound respect for stay home mothers, its not as easy as people make out, ive also worked and handed money over and still practically been mr mom only to get no respect.

I would say its like a competition for her, but I don’t think that’s what it is, I think it stems from her mother, her mother always complained to her that shes overweight, not popular enough, should play sports, should have more popular friends ect ect…and I think she is now like that “nothing is good enough”

She does work very hard,,sometimes too much and neglects the family. But no matter what I do, she claims its insignificant, or not enough, or when I tell her what all I do she says “oh you just think everything is all about you, you think you do so much and I owe you something” Well,,,,,yeah you do owe me something,,,some damn respect and appreciation, and love.

Im touchy feely/flirty kind of guy with my woman, she comes home and even if shes not complaining she just ignores us, gets in the computer or phone, eats her dinner and goes to bed, all I ever asked is that she don’t start a bunch of fights, and maybe cuddle up with me to watch TV, or have a conversation occasionally. But it seemed the only time she wanted to be close and touchy is when she wanted to have sex, sex was the only thing she never complained about, outside the bedroom, we just couldn’t get along for longer than a week.


These stories all have a familiar tone to them, I guess we all have bits and pieces of each others stories.

The comment you made about your wife “not being good enough”, perhaps is the key in my x problems.

He never was good enough , so and so made more money, so and so did this and he did not. On and on this went on for 20 long years. The problem is that I was always trying to convince him that he was ok, trying and failing over and over again. Spinning in circles and getting dizzy . Until my world spun off its axis and there was a point of no return.

In hindsight with some clarity these days, I can see that “I was good enough”, he just couldn’t see that. While he was busy not being good enough I began to feel not good enough because I could not fix him. Sad.

How do we ever get people to understand what happened to us? He got everything including my two teenage sons. They won’t speak to me because of the lies told about me after I left. I can find a new community, but my sons I need. It breaks my heart in a million pieces.

I wish there was more help out there for us.

Bless you all



my wifes mother claimed she wasn’t good enough, when I met her though she didn’t seem to have a problem with self esteem,,i think she does deep down inside which is why she does anything to prove others wrong about her, however it was me who took the brunt of this and was told im not good enough.

I don’t think we can get them to understand, if so it would probly be extremely rare, and with others, I understand you, as most of her friends and family have sided with her and think im a scumbag that mooches off of her, because she refuses to give me credit while taking it all for herself then telling them I do nothing.

Its crazy,,,whats even more crazy is I still love her and just want to hold her right now, even knowing that its probly 99% chance she will never change.

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