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Mary Ann Glynn, LCSW: Remorse Revisited

Mary Ann Glynn adBy Mary Ann Glynn, LCSW, located in Bernardsville, New Jersey

Partners in our support group are often confused by the fact that after a verbal outburst, physical abuse, or once the ruse is up, sociopaths may seem remorseful. They might see the consequence of their actions, may even cry and be emotional, or apologetic. There might be efforts to change by more responsive or caring behaviors. If the relationship gets pushed to the breaking point, they may engage in therapy. Most partners’ experience the sociopath in therapy as completely blaming everything on them and/or trying to control the therapy sessions. But, some had a different, more perplexing experience.

Their experience was that the sociopaths appeared to be quite motivated to improve the relationship and to made headway expressing remorse, feelings, even empathy for their partner. Their behavior seemed to make a turnaround so that their partner believed that they had seen the light, and that the loving caring person they used to be returned. Their faith was restored in the potential for a loving relationship and intact family. It’s not impossible after all, right?

In the end, even when everything looked promising, partners reported one of these things happened: 1) As soon as therapy ended, the sociopath’s behavior reverted back. 2) When therapy started getting into deeper underlying issues for behavior, the sociopath disengaged. 3) In trying to empathize with the pain or hurt they caused their partners, sociopaths were able to speak words of empathy, but their partner didn’t feel they got or felt it. This is very tricky. Empathy by definition means that you can feel another’s pain as if it were your own. What the brain feels when you perceive someone else’s pain, or any other emotion for that matter, is the identical experience as if you yourself were going through it.

If, in a couples session, partner1 is openly sharing hurt, etc., and partner2 attempts to empathize, partner1 can always “feel” if partner2 gets, or feels, it too. If that happens, partner1 feels connected to partner2, and vice versa. What happened with sociopaths is, even if they express words of empathy for their partner’s feelings, their partner does not feel they are getting (feeling) it. The sociopath may even seem to be showing emotion, but it’s not their partner’s emotion — they’re more likely stuck in their own feelings of shame or victimhood. Pay attention to this if you go to therapy with a sociopath! When you don’t feel “heard”, like your partner can’t get to feeling your emotion, they are not empathizing with you.

Temporary remorse

So let’s get back to remorse. Remorse should affect behavior — not temporarily, but permanently. It’s about conscience, which is completely dependent on the ability to empathize. There are times we are all capable of turning down our consciences when it serves us, like telling a lie, taking supplies home from work, being defensive about our behavior, being insensitive, losing our tempers, being petty. But, once someone tells us openly how our behavior affects them, our conscience should make us have a different response.

For example, if you blow off plans with a friend several times without thinking anything of it, and then the friend comes to you and expresses hurt, rejection, not feeling important to you, or whatever, you are likely to feel their pain (empathy) and feel bad/guilty. If that friend identifies a childhood trigger in there, e.g. being blown off made them feel like in middle school when the group made rejected them, then your empathy quotient jumps much higher! Are you likely to blow off this friend anymore? No! If you had no ability to feel your friend’s hurt, your response would likely be defensive and cold, because it would just be about your indignation for them perceiving you that way.

No empathy — no remorse

If someone is not capable of empathy, they are not capable of remorse, and therefore change. Period. The brief feelings of remorse or regret you witness in a sociopath is likely to be about screwing something up they wanted (shame) or losing someone or something they wanted (victimhood) – in other words, it’s for themselves. They may believe themselves that they are making great strides in honesty and change — but it never really gets past their narcissism to feeling your pain. It’s more like a brief soiree into the anxiety of having lost control or lost something, in which they scramble to regain control and/or it. Once they regain control or what they lost, they’re done changing. Being disconnected from your feelings, they have no reason to keep up the change, and default back to being the way they were.


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Imara

I still hold on to the stack full of I’m so sorry cards my ex wrote me after he had fouled up….. BUT I also have a memory of each time you pay dearly for making THEM feel bad about having to apologise…..AS usual, you are always in a lose lose situation!!!!

slimone

Thanks Mary Ann! This is SO spot on. I have told this little ‘story’ here, more than once. But it is such a good example, I’ll tell it again.

Me: (crying). It really hurts me when you look at other women when we are together. It’s like I don’t exist, and it feels so disrespectful.

Spath: I don’t want you to feel bad. How you feel is important to me. (puts his arm around me and gives me a hug)

Me: Thanks.

Later…..

Spath: I was thinking about what you said, and since every relationship is a fifty fifty thing, I think you should also have to do something to affect this sitution. So, in the future, when we are out walking, I would like you to QUIT NOTICING WHAT I AM DOING SO MUCH. Focus on yourself, and not me. Then you won’t feel so bad.

So much for conscience, empathy, and changing behavior.

SER

Slimone…OMG…that is all I have to say. What a crap of a person.

Seriously, if we hadn’t all lived this kind of garbage, we wouldn’t believe just how outrageous and flat-out nuts they can be.

slimone

Thanks SER. Yep he is an all-around crappy guy.

When this was happening, 6 years ago, it was so painful and confusing. I thought I was too unevolved, emotionally and spritually, to be with someone who lived ‘so honestly’, and so outside the bounds of conventional ( read: limiting) social niceties. I thought if I could learn to focus on myself more, and quit being jealous, posessive, and insecure it would all work out beautifully. He totally agreed!

This was the groovy, yoga, spiritual, dancing guru type. So the awakening was pretty difficult, as I had to let go of some beliefs (rather counter-culture one’s) that were not in the least benfitting me, when taken to the extreme he was taking them.

So I practiced gratitude and generosity and turning the other cheek; and ‘openess’, kindness, self-reliance. What I let go were boundaries, my intuition, my needs, my personal goals. Of course he encouraged this, as it worked only to his advantage, while appearing to make me a better, more loving person. On the outside all his ‘groupies’ were thinking I was the strongest most amazing ‘goddess’ they had ever met. They longed to be me.

If they only knew.

Now, when I type it out in it’s most simple form it is ridiculous. It made me laugh to type it. Not because he didn’t treat me horribly, but because I know, and can map out, how he ‘spathed’ me. For me knowledge was immensly healing.

And he is, in addition to being crappy, quite ridiculous. A paperboard cut-out of a real live human being.

The goal really is to stop listening to these types, and start watching. It is what they DO that gives us the best outside information. That, combined with our ‘senses’ (ie, intuitive feelings) are the best guides. As soon as we listen, we are targets.

HopingToHeal

Great article, Mary Ann.

It is so helpful to have these facts reinforced in our minds as we battle to survive. Thank you for the reminder. Sociopaths are excellent actors and can cry faster than Erica on ALL MY CHILDREN. 🙂

Divorced from Gaslighter

Somebody once commented on Lovefraud that her ex used to pull a “Golly Gee Willikers! Have I been thoughtless?” act every time he got caught doing something outrageously hurtful or unfair. My ex would also do that — claiming that he didn’t appreciate ahead of time how I would be negatively affected by the behavior, etc., EVEN IF I begged him not to do what he was about to do.

His apologies were always a bad joke. He would say he was “sorry” and the next day he might bring me three dead roses that he bought at an intersection, but his behavior NEVER changed. But once he made his apology, he was entitled to a Fresh Start, and I was never allowed to bring up his repeating pattern of financial dishonesty, etc. “How can you call yourself a Christian when you never actually forgive anything?”

I tried so hard to make our marriage work for religious reasons, but he really did become more dishonest and immoral as time went on.

slimone

Donna: if this is too much I apologize, and will leave it to you as to whether you leave this up.

Here is an excerpt of his fundraiser…for himself. They will use anything to get what they want. Religion, education, law, finance. Any ‘front’ will do.

Try reading this to mean it’s exact opposite, and then you can see what he is up to…..the Blank (dumbing sounding) are my words, so as not to disclose his ‘identity’.

“Hello My Friends!

After this last year of working and teaching abroad it has become all the more clear how much impact my work has on people’s lives. While I hear this regularly from students in the states, teaching around the world opened my eyes to how fortunate we are in the US in so many ways. I am inspired now to bring this work to a broader audience and launch my work at a new level.
I am launching The Blank (dumb sounding) Tour to bring my practice to people worldwide and help build their Communities through Dance, Vocal and Rhythmic expression. These classes/workshops are designed to help men and women break out of their limitations and step into their whole being, embodying their own unique expression and creativity. This work offers foundational transformation for people. I already have the framework set for the tour in 5 countries and I would like to reach as many people as possible on this journey.

I will begin this tour at the beginning of April in Australia.

In order to really do this work, I am asking for your support to get things in order for this tour, to take care of lingering health & dental issues. My goal is to bring these gifts to people while having the resources to keep myself whole and healthy.”

Platinum

OMG! This sounds so much like my husband with his lack of remorse. I sometimes think I am going crazy! After we were married (a second marriage for us both) he mentioned that the first time he saw me (we worked together in different states) he told himself he was going to marry me! We were both married at the time. Now I wonder if I was just another conquest.

Great article on lack or remorse. I always had a niggling feeling that his “remorse” was all show. Maybe my intuition was right?

HopingToHeal

My Spath has moved past even faking remorse. Now it’s all my fault for driving him away. Not only is it my fault, but now he says that God told him our marriage was never going to work, and that’s why he started an affair last year. I asked him why God didn’t tell him to tell me and divorce me first. So his God is obviously in the business of hurting people? I told him to take that stupid justification and present it to our pastor and see what a real man of God thinks.

That’s not the God I know. When a Spath starts using your faith against you it’s called “Spiritual Abuse”. Just another form of manipulation and degradation.

If I had all the money back that was wasted on fake therapy (a front for him to regain control), I could take a nice European vacation. The very last time, after I had told him I was ending the marriage, we ended up in therapy again only for me to find out later he was secretly pursuing a job in another state to try to force me into isolation again. Lucky me, though, I found my strength to refuse and he went anyway…which meant, after 25 years of hell, I was able to get out with my two young children.

Divorced from Gaslighter

slimone: the fundraiser is a CLASSIC! He wants strangers to subsidize his hobby, which undoubtedly supplies him with an unending stream of female victims.

My sister used to complain that in her community, the teenagers were always hitting people up for money for various trips to Europe as “Teen Ambassadors” or some sort of “Junior Missionaries.” The first time I went to Europe, I was 18, and I had saved money from a part-time job for many months to make it possible. It would never have occurred to me that my parents (who had never been to Europe at that point) should help pay for my trip, and I would have burned with shame at the idea of asking complete strangers to pay for my trip.

slimone

Exactly, DFGaslighter. He gets to travel around the world, bang on his drum, dance around and be the center of attention, make other people do strange things (humiliate them), and get the girls. Most expenses paid.

He is not living a life of luxury here, though. He lives like a toddler-on-the-road.

At first I didn’t want to see how silly he actually was, because it felt SO embarrassing. HOW could I have fallen for THAT?! Now it feels so utterly impersonal and ‘clinical’ I can laugh out loud.

Just in case anyone is wondering: Isn’t this breaking NO contact? YES, it is. Looking at what he is up to would not be good for anyone who is adversely affected by seeing this kind of information, and I do not recommend it.

I have kept track (about every 6 months), to make sure I don’t just bump into him in my city, as this is where he keeps popping up. All I have to do is google, and about 40 pages of junk comes up.

If I could I would post the ‘gifts’ he gives people for different levels of donation. THAT is truly hilarious!

No remorse, no change. It is just taking of advantage of others, as usual.

alohatraveler

This is an excellent explanation. I would like to add that this is the time when we tune into our gut to know if the remorse or the empathy is real. Just like when a toddler is crying and it isn’t real, your body will tell you that something is off.

Never override what your body tells you. What you feel in your gut is real. If you feel that your gut told you something was real when it wasn’t, look again. What did your heart want to be true? And did you let your heart override all the that your gut told you?

I will be the first to admit that I ignored all that my body told me about the Bad Man because I wanted LOVE so bad, back in the day.

So glad to be long past the Bad Man days and I am grateful for the lessons.

Aloha :O)

Platinum

Alohatraveler,

You are so right about what you feel in your gut is real. And listening to your intuition. If only I would have done that! So many times along the way I went against my “gut”. Why? Because my husband when we are with other people treats me as if I am a queen. The adoration, the gifts, etc. Behind closed doors, the Jekyll and Hyde persona comes out.

I never felt that my husband truly had any remorse for anything. In fact, when we would be talking about business (we are both in the same industry), or life in general, he made numerous comments about winning at all costs. He has admitted to me that when we disagree and argue, a person should not back down at any costs, including going for the jugular. The first time we had a conversation about this, outside of a heated moment, and he admitted this, I remember being so confused. If you completely obliterate somebody’s ego, affection, opinion, how is that victory?

We are separated now for three and a half weeks and had one counseling session last week and go again tomorrow. Any words of wisdom or insight are greatly appreciated at this point. I think I am on a merry go round, we just go round and round and I am the blame for every problem in our marriage. Even now, my stomach is in knots and I feel sick knowing I will see him tomorrow.

Thank you to everyone that posts on this sight, it helps me read other stories.

Hugs,

slimone

Platinum,

Read the article, again. If you truly believe that he has a personality disorder, is a remorseless, unempathetic, abusive, and win-at-all costs person, then NO counseling would be best.

If you do not have children that you both need to tend to, then get away as quickly as possible, and go completely NO contact. This will seem extreme, harsh, mean, cold, and out of character. But it isn’t.

If you have been with someone who has been manipulating your thoughts and feelings for some time, then having BOUNDARIES, taking care of YOURSELF first, protecting your heart, not allowing ANY abuse, will feel really strange.

He will certainly want you to feel like you are the baddie.

If you have children, there are LOTS of folks on here who have good advice about custody, court, communication, etc….

But bottom line: if you can WALK AWAY. Do NOT listen to another word this person has to say. A sociopath uses language, WORDS, as weapons, not as a means to communicate and build connection with others. They use it to lie, manipulate, hurt, and WIN.

Listening to them just creates more confusion in the target.

Bring the focus back to yourself, what you KNOW is true. Your own experiences are REAL. No matter what he says, or what anyone else believes.

((((hugs))) Slim

Platinum

Slimone,

Thank you so much for your response. I read it right after getting out of a two hour therapy session with my husband and I am absolutely baffled at what happened in that session!

Saw my husband in the waiting room prior to our session, (after pretty much no contact for over a week) and he asked me about my job. I recently took a new job at significantly less money but with a contract that if I help get this start-up company going, I will have equity in the company. So I told him that it was still too early to tell but I was offered another job last week. He asked if it was for more money and I said yes. He then said, “Well you better take it, because we need to figure out things in a hurry.” WTH

We went into counseling and it was blame me for everything, and he was pretty much done. The counselor even said, “It sounds like you are done.” My husband said yes, so I looked at the counselor and said well I guess we won’t need you for the two hours, but I would like to talk to you alone as I have some questions. My counselor kept talking to my husband and before long my husband is telling the counselor all kinds of things like I never wanted his adult children at our house, etc. Complete fabrications.

The counselor says we need to have more interaction and I brought up that every time I know I am going to meet my husband I start feeling really really ill. His suggestion was to get together for dinner in some public places and maybe this will bring my anxiety down.

I am completely shell shocked at what happened at that therapy session. My hands are still shaking. I do not know if my husband has a personality disorder but I know from experience he shows no remorse and empathy. He also lies….a lot, over small and large things.

I am wondering if the shit show in the waiting room was designed to throw me off. When we walked into the counselors office I was so flustered I’m sure I came off as an imbecile to the counselor.

The counselor said we need to practice forgiveness to one another.

Any feedback is greatly appreciated. I think I am going crazy!!!

Warm regards,

HopingToHeal

Platinum,
Yes, the waiting room tactic was to throw you off. Anytime the Spath can get the upper hand, he will. Mine has done that same thing to me several times. Once, right before we walked in to the counselor, he told me that I was not invited to parent’s house for the annual Christmas dinner. I cried and then was off my game in the session, which made me look weak. It was a set up.

Remember that your husband knows you well. He knows what soothes you and what sends you over the edge. While marriage counseling is not advised if you are married to a spath, because of the manipulation, if you still are on the line to his true personality and you feel you must go, then be on guard at all times! Expect a setup, expect a side story, expect attacks……..and just when you’ve had enough and are ready to ditch the creep, he will turn it all around and take the blame, beg forgiveness, and pledge his undying love to you forever. IT’S A SETUP! All of it. Think about it; your emotions don’t swing like that. If you love someone and want to work it out, you may get angry and frustrated, but you don’t love them then hate, love, hate. It doesn’t work that way.

Matthew 10:16 says
Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

I love this verse because while it reminds us that the way we should treat others is in a compassionate way, it also warns us that the world is a vicious and unkind place and we should be wise to be aware of the ploys of our enemies.

Best wishes on staying strong and wise as you navigate through this.

Stargazer

Platinum, see my reply on the other post. I meant to post it here. Trust your gut feeling. There are psychotherapists out there who get it, but sounds like this is not one of them.

slimone

Platinum,

Hope to Heal is exactly RIGHT ON. It is all a set-up. You really are describing in precise detail the manipulations of a personality disordered person.

The deal is you will likely never get a diagnosis from anyone. So, you have to trust yourself, even though you’ve been conditioned, by your husband, to trust him, and not yourself and your own perceptions.

He pulled a classic punch in the waiting area. He wants you to look baffled, incapable, insecure, uncertain, worried, petty, weak, and confused. He doesn’t care what he has to do to make you appear this way (and FEEL this way).

No one who is ‘normal’ does this to people they love. Heck, they generally don’t do it to people they really dislike, even.

My concern for you is that further couseling with him and this therapist is only going to continue to erode your ability to clearly see, feel, and act in ways that are self-beneficial.

That said, it is a personal road for each of us and it can take time to work up the nerve and surety to cut ties, and not be forced or choose to try and do it as if you are in a ‘normal’ relationship. Many of us here have tried, feeling bad about ourselves if we don’t at least go through the motions of being the ‘good person’ during the ‘break up’ or ‘divorce’.

The deal is going through the motions can be damaging if it means you are undermined by your husband and a therapist.

Remember to WATCH and FEEL. Forget what you are HEARING. The words are lies, deception, TACTICS.

Take care,
Slim

Stargazer

I agree, I think it’s an attempt to control and manipulate you. It’s sometimes hard to see when it happens to you.

When I broke up with my spath ex, he appeared at an expo where he knew I would be. He followed me around from booth to booth and got very close to me, as if he wanted to smell my hair, even though I ignored him and we didn’t speak. I was still in love with him, and I hoped in my heart of hearts that this was a sign that he loved me and still wanted me. I went home and called a trusted counselor. I explained his behavior. She told me it was a power play. He wanted to exercise his control over me. Unfortunately for him it didn’t work. But without her advice, it would have. A sociopath’s main goal is to exert control/power over you. They can allow a certain amount of kindness and decency to you if they can control you (and this is what keeps you hanging on.) But if they feel you pull away, they will pull a power play to regain control.

Platinum

Funny, I have been praying, begging, and pleading for help, and never in a million years would I have dreamed I would find it on this web site. I am stunned at how in such a short amount of time the answers are coming to me in waves…..through those that have posted their experiences on here. Thank you.

Right now I am reeling from the enormity of it all. I always knew something was “off” I could just never put my finger on it. If only I would work harder, try and look better for him, not piss him off or anger him. So much happened subtly that one day I woke up, looked in the mirror, and didn’t recognize that person anymore.

When you read such similar stories, experiences, and characteristics, it is difficult to wrap your arms around it. I just want to be that couple that everyone thinks is so perfect and such love birds. This, I now see, is a lie and was always a delusion. Lots of emotions.

But even in all of this, I find strength, hope, and solace in so many others words. I am going to start making a plan, by myself, and give me back my power.

So grateful for this site. God bless,

Platinum,

Welcome to Lovefraud. There is much information here that will help you.

If your husband displays the symptoms of a sociopath – see the “Key Symptoms” page in the red menu bar above – as everyone has said, you must leave.

Counseling is worse than useless – it can damage you further.

The inquiries about your new job – to me it sounds like he’s looking for information to see how he can manipulate your joint finances to his advantage. I suggest you lock down your finances. Make sure he’s not draining any joint accounts, or your accounts. Make sure he’s not running up the credit cards. make sure he’s not putting all the debt in your name.

Do not provide him with information about your future plans.

Stay strong.

Stargazer

Platinum, it’s a lot to wrap your mind around. This site saved my life in 2008. I drop in here from time to time because it makes me feel good to give back.

Did you ever hear the story about the man whose house was swept away in a flood? He prayed and prayed for God to save him. God told the man to sit tight – that he would save him. Pretty soon a lifeboat came by offering to rescue the man. “No” said the man. “God said He would save me, so I’ll just wait for Him.” As the water rose higher, a raft came by to rescue the man. But again, the man declined, waiting to be rescued by God. Finally the water rose to the top of the house. The man was standing on his roof when a helicopter came by to rescue him. But again, the man declined. Eventually he drowned. When he met up with God in the afterlife, he asked God why God didn’t save him. God replied, “I sent you a boat, a raft, and a helicopter! What more did you want?”

I guess my point is that we can never predict in which ways God (Spirit, or whatever you consider as a higher power) will direct us to find help. I’m glad you are open to receiving it here. This place can be very grounding when dealing with a world of people who don’t understand sociopaths. We all get it here.

HopingToHeal

Platinum,
Stargazer is right, God does lead us. I suffered through an awful marriage for 20 years and then spent a year in various types of counseling. Only when I found this site last December did I begins to understand what I am dealing with. I had made little progress in healing until I came here and got the “big picture”. Since that time, I have grown stronger and stronger.

The people here are, or have been, just as broken as you and I are now. Seeing their stories helps me make sense of it all. Before, I didn’t have all the puzzle pieces to the story. Now I do. It all makes sense. I’m sure you are feeling the same sense of shock and enlightenment. It’s the not understanding that makes it so hard. His lies and manipulation kept me so confused. I thought it was me. I stayed confused.

December to April is a short period of time. I feel confident that everyday, every article, every story will bring you closer to the resolution and peace you need. It is working for me. Have hope and stay strong.

Platinum

When you all left your spouses, were your friends and family aware of the dysfunction in your marital relationship? In other words, had they seen his behavior? I guess what I am getting at is when I get to the point that I have walked away, I know most of my friends and family will be completely dumbfounded. Most people think we had the perfect marriage, in public he treated me very well and showered me with expensive presents. I see now it was a pattern we had developed, he would fly into a rage, but then later he would “buy” my silence…….and I allowed it.

In fact, I have shared some of my experiences recently with a sister that I trust very much. She is one of the kindest people I know. And all she can say is that she doesn’t know this husband I am describing, she has never seen any of it. She wasn’t being ugly, only acknowledging what she had seen.

This is a second marriage for both my husband and I. When I announced my first divorce, it literally threw my family for a loop. I was the first divorce, in hundreds of years, within my family. Worse thing than going through a divorce was the judgement of my family. Seriously.

In fact, I have been married seven years to my husband, and reflecting on our marriage I think one of the reasons I didn’t get to this point sooner was because of the fear of another divorce. My two daughters, both young 20-somethings, asked me a few weeks back what I was most afraid of. I responded, “Telling my family I am getting another divorce.” They both asked if I heard myself talking! It was at that moment that I realized I had looked the other way for too long. I also wonder if my husband used this very fact against me as he knew how vulnerable I was with my family and I had often stated I would NEVER get another divorce.

But I digress, were people surprised when you announced you had left your husbands and if so, how did you handle it? I just want to move on with my life.

Thanks for “listening”,

SER

Platinum…yes, when I got divorced from my husband who was not a spath, everyone was shocked. But you cannot worry about that. It is your life. They are not living it. You have to do what is best for you. Truly. My best friend is going through a divorce right now after 23 years and she was also afraid of what people would think, but the pain she was in due to being married to a psycho became much greater than what she thought people would “think” of her. Trust me, in the long run, most people don’t care that much. You know how people are…it’s always the latest news. So yeah, if you do it, everyone may be shocked at first, but then people forget because after all, most people are all about themselves, so they will only focus on you and your “shocking” divorce for a minute and then they will move onto the next thing. So never let what people may think about something in YOUR life determine your decisions! It’s about your life, not them and if you are suffering and realize this man is never going to change, get out. Just my two cents…

<>

No one suspected anything, including our sons. The only thing that appeared “off” to others was that he had taken a job out of state and was commuting home, which would strain any marriage.

My ex had become extremely successful in his career and this carried over in that he became the ‘expert’ on everything in our lives. So, my sons really looked up to him. I kept all the dirt away from them and never shared it with anyone but my closest friend and my sister.

Having to tell my elderly parents, who absolutely worshipped my husband as the “son they never had” and had known him since he was 15, nearly did me in. I had kept all the dirt from them as well. I was the only one of the four children in our family to have never divorced…this was a huge blow to them.

Our friends and neighbors were shocked, but I assume they figured it had to do with his work situation out of state.

I had to have intensive therapy to get through these steps. At one point, I realized that because of my ex’s many secrets and lies, it was possible my sons knew things or heard things…perhaps I had not shielded them as I had thought.

I came to understand that living with secrets in a family system is very toxic, and I wanted to break the cycle of this sort of family dynamic so that future generations could be healthier. Eventually, I consulted a sex addiction specialist just to discuss how or if I should share that specific information with my sons since it was his sex addict behaviors that put me over the edge.

After much preparation, I shared with my sons how it unfolded from MY perspective, never using labels for their father, but describing how his behavior affected our relationship and caused it to end. They were 20 and 25 yrs old at the time. It was very hard to share this, but I felt I had to. My oldest son said he did know some things but not others – I’ve never learned what those things are, but I was glad I told him. I was honest and told about my shortcomings as well.

That was about 5 years ago. One of the points of my discussion with them was that I wanted them to break the cycle of secrets and that I would always be honest with them, which I have done. My younger son was very upset by the talk, and at several points almost left.

As time has gone by, I think they have seen how their father’s behavior now is nothing like they thought he was…he’s moved on with a new wife and step-daughter and is often clueless in dealing with our sons, tho he does stay in touch. But I know they are very hurt by his behavior.

And as for all those people I thought assumed we had the perfect marriage? Some of since shared things surprised me – some of it quite disturbing.

So, just because you think you’ve presented this perfect image to the world, it’s very possible others have seen through it.

I realize this is rather lengthy, but I hope some of it helps.

Vicki Kuper

Platinum,

Everyone was shocked when I left my husband after 14 years of marriage. One of my friends said, “We all thought you had the perfect marriage”. Well, sorry I kept my marital issues to myself! That doesn’t mean the problems didn’t exist. I felt that if I told people about our issues, our marriage would be doomed for sure. We lived in a small town with small town gossip. Everyone lives in a fish bowl and knows everyone’s business. I came from the city and the small town gossip disgusted me to no end.

Actually, I did mention my ex-husband’s alcoholism to a couple of friends, whose eyes then glazed over and they uncomfortably wanted to change the subject. Why? Because they were all living the same life, but in denial. Alcoholism is very prevalent where I live and many of my ex-friends act like they aren’t living that life. I am a realist and it’s impossible for me to sweep my problems under the rug.

In the beginning, I felt that I needed to explain why I left. What I discovered is that people believe what they want to believe, and it does no good to explain. I was once told, “when you explain yourself, you accuse yourself”. That quote is true. However, there’s also another quote that goes, “there are 2 sides to every story, just make sure you tell yours first”. So true too. I am conflicted about if I should have told my story to everyone. Probably not, because I then go back to the fact that people believe what they want to believe.

And when I told my counselor I decided to leave, she made me aware that the one that leaves usually takes the blame, even though they’re usually the one who tried hardest to make it work. When I lost all hope, I knew I couldn’t stay. I did make myself give it one more year, but it was over.

Looking back, I think it was over for my ex, but he was in denial about it. In the last year, he told me I was no one when we met, said he didn’t care if he never had sex again (to our employee, in front of me) and treated me as if I were below him. When a friend wanted to have a 40th birthday party for me, he said I didn’t need one, I had him. Can you believe it?? He told her that twice and then my birthday came and went as just another day.

It got to the point where I lost all hope that things would change. I started thinking about where I wanted to be at age 50, and I knew I couldn’t be in that situation at 50. I left a year later and have not regretted it.

My ex was not the psychopath. The psychopath was the first person I dated while going through my divorce. I was going through a crisis which made me vulnerable. I shouldn’t have been dating at all.

Do what is best for your health and well being. Take care and best wishes.

Vicki

Platinum

SER,

You. Are. So. Right.

Thank you!

SER

You are welcome! I wish all the best to you!

HopingToHeal

Platinum,

I’m so glad you are absorbing all of the info you are being giving and are finding. I would like to offer a strong warning. As I have stated before, I am not much further along in this process than you.

Your husband knows you and knows your demeanor. I’ve found that I have a lot of trouble acting like I have no suspicions when I really am alarmed. That is because I am an authentic person and I can sense that you are the same. You may want to be very aware that he will try to control you with emotions. If he senses any change in you, he will turn on the charm and make you doubt yourself and fall back under his spell. Then he will yank his kindness away and make you feel crazy for ever doubting yourself. They hate losing control and will do anything to get it back.

I’m in that position right now. It’s impossible for me to have no contact right now, but that is the best thing. The hardest thing for me is to look at the man I loved and to actually feel that he is my enemy. But he is. Your husband is too. Now that I know the truth, it’s easier notice his manipulation but unfortunately, it still has the desired affect to some extent. No one with a soul can outsmart a Spath. There’s just no way! They are heartless and approach life in a really self serving even evil way. Please stay on guard.

He is going to jerk you around. You will think that you can not endure anymore. But now that you know,there is no chance of going back to the innocent oblivion that you had before. Please view every move by him as exactly that, a move.

I read somewhere an example of the emotional tactics they use. This has been proven through scientific experiments.
If you take a mouse and offer it a feeder that supplies food every time he taps it, then the mouse is satisfied.
If you feed the mouse continuously and then just stop (no more food). The mouse will come to the feeder again several times, but will eventually lose interest.
Here’s the important fact. If you give the food intermittently….say once in a while he gets food and then every three times he taps and doesn’t…..then maybe every seventh time and then back to every time…..and so on. The mouse will become obsessed with getting food from the feeder. Her never knows if he taps if he is going to be satisfied or not, so he keeps coming back.

That is how the spath treats us. They give a little love sometimes and then withhold, they give more love, withhold for longer, then love bomb, then withhold, and so on and so on. We never know when we will get validation from them so we keep going back, thinking this will be the time he really loves me and changes.
IT AIN’t GONNA HAPPEN! (Pardon my southern slang) 🙂

It’s very difficult to work through this process when you live with someone or are in contact with them. I battle the urge all the time. The worse thing I can do is fall into a pattern of begging for his validation.

Just hoping that the more examples you have, the better you will be able to be strong and stay focused on the future. I’ve made too many mistakes because I didn’t know, or I weaken myself with hope against reality.

NotWhatHeSaidofMe

Hello Hoping
Your mousey example is very illuminating and spot on.

I remember when I realized my husband was torturing me like a cat does a mouse. I DENIED it. But I also tested it (manipulative of me, I KNOW!). I set him up to see his response. And darned (not the four letter word that I used at the time), if my instinct was right. I moved out. I am not a good pretender, so I did have to go no contact. He would have realized what I was up to and changed his behavior.

I STILL questioned my sanity and what I had learned, until I saw his emails. We had a joint email account. I guess since I moved out of the house, he assumed I would not use email. I saw what he wrote to several women, I saw how he was TROLLING, baiting them, not saying the words, but implying. Every one of them bit.

That was how I knew I’d been had, and how it had happened. He implied. I assumed. I bit the bait.

I spent the next decade fighting myself, thinking surely someone would not PURPOSELY do the cruel thoughtless things he did. He told me that I was mistaken. I WANTED to be wrong! But once he was mask off, I knew too much. When he put the mask back on, I knew better. That was when the abuse and smear and fraud and gaslighting really ramped up. My life was a total nightmare until the divorce was final. (Then it calmed down to merely total misery until I decided to heal.)

Just wanted to amen your mouse scenario. And how I still tried to stay in denial… I am free now, by the grace of God, and those blatant “charming” emails!

Stargazer

Platinum,

It is most likely that your friends and family will not understand. No one can really understand what a sociopath is until they’ve dealt with one. Do what you have to do anyway. You can get your validation here, at least. I found it easier to cut off contact with those who sided with the spath. You have to have no contact from all people/events that retraumatize you, in order to begin the healing process, even if those people are friends and family members.

slimone

Platinum,

Everyone is giving good insights. When I left the sociopath everyone thought I was crazy, because he seemed like the catch of the century. Good looking, funny, life of the party, ‘deep’, motivated, confident, sought after, well-spoken, fit……I think many of them even sniggered at my loss, glad to see me lose ‘so much’. Other than this site, and two close friends, it was pretty lonely. I won’t lie. It was hard, for me, to sit with my truth without much validation.

Lovefraud actually was the place of support that saved my butt! Most of the folks I ‘knew’ back then have moved on, but the information, the insights, pain, confusion, facts…..those are still the same here. This is a place to rest and be ‘seen’ by others who truly understand.

And, as Stargazer wrote, I had to clean out my friends and family to regain my sanity. Some friends have rejoined my life, and are more educated about my ordeal. Some were permanently let go. My family situation was not as tight as yours so that was not much of a big deal for me.

And, as Hoping points out, he is going to try lots of different tactics to regain control at this point. He will really want to keep you off balance and mired in self-doubt. That way you will have a hard time extricating yourself, and gaining control of your own happiness.

For me I had to stop all contact. I didn’t allow texts, emails, calls, letters. Nothing. For nearly 4 years. Now, I can make sure he hasn’t moved in next door and it doesn’t floor me. It’s been 6 or so years. Time, if it is spent wisely, is a great healer….

I lost lots of $. I just let it go. I paid off a bunch of ‘our’ debts (his, I never used any of the $). It just wasn’t worth it to fight with someone who would never ‘play fair’. I let it go. It was hard. My pride, many times, wanted to re-engage and ‘win the battle’.

But I didn’t do it. And, I survived. I am now thriving! I am married (sweet, strong, honest, handsome man), and my life is STABLE, comfortable, quiet, fun…..sane.

Donna is also TOTALLY spot on. Do NOT share any details about what you are doing, who you see, what your future plans are. Keep your ‘cards close to your chest’. Secure your money, including retirement funds. Make sure there are no shared passwords, or joint $’s he can take. Don’t worry if you feel foolish or like you are being paranoid and ‘overdoingit’. Just take care of you.

He will absolutely take care of him. You don’t need to concern yourself with him in the least. He never does anything (I am guessing) but take care of #1.

xo, Slim

Stargazer

Slim, laughing at your “deep” comment. *chuckle chuckle*

It’s a wonder more sociopaths don’t go into acting, a career for which they possess supernatural abilities.

NotWhatHeSaidofMe

I tried to post. I’m sure I was so insightful and wise. But it disappeared. How did my ex do that? LOL

Slimone,
The word paranoid. I FELT things were off before I found evidence. I was told I was crazy, paranoid.

Platinum,
I learned. A little paranoia can be a very healthy thing!
Trust but verify. Yep. That’s why I do for everything now.

When I think of the traits of my ex husband? NO remorse. NO remorse. NO remorse. (he’d Pretend, but later I’d find out, NO remorse.)

HopingToHeal

Slimone,
So glad to hear you are remarried to a Real person! At this point, I still believe the lies about how no one would ever want me. My confidence is slowly returning.

I also am strengthened by how many LF members are actually at peace with having to give up so much just to get away. It’s a testament to how stinkin bad the life with these predators are.

Thanks for sticking around after your healing, to help the rest of us!

Stargazer, it makes you wonder how many true actors are Spaths. 🙂

Notwhathesaidtome, I agree, being paranoid it absolutely required in dealing with this kind of manipulation. However, I would add that everyone should be careful with whom they share their suspicions. If the Spath has convinced everyone that he is wonderful, then the abused person comes off looking unstable. If I were Platinum, I would make good notes of everything I see and keep the notes in a safe place. One day she may need that info.

NotWhatHeSaidofMe

HopingToHeal,& Platimum & any other who is uncovering the God Awful Truth….
I caught myself (maybe you caught me too?, Hoping.) being glib. My humor has come back and I am still learning to be aware of it, to temper it with good sense. I am SO SO happy to be free of my husband – although I have a different nightmare/different crushing pain now.

Yes, Everyone should be careful with EVERYONE with whom they share, be wary of even people who have suffered from sociopaths. They can be invalidating in their pain.

And yes yes yes. Document. Document. Document. Times/dates/names/any witnesses. Even though later he might play he said/she said, the anecdotal evidence over time can be very compelling. I had started a notebook when I was told too many times that I had remembered something wrongly. So I started writing down the incidents. Whoa! Now I read them and the gaslighting is obvious. I have over 40 notebooks. And enough evidence that I can link financial records to those journals, proof of his fraud. I still keep my records at someone’s house that my husband did not know (because my husband was VERY good at getting my closest friends to align with him, friends I had known for 30 years betrayed me for him. Broke my heart to be so easily tossed aside so they’d get his &@?&! approval. grrr. Water under the bridge now.)

Once you realize NOTHING was real, you’ll realize even small stuff can be BIG proof.

TO Platinum
I am so so sorry because I think his illogical tirade about your ring has ulterior meaning. He knows that ring means something to YOU, but… sorry…. I am thinking it did not mean what it should have to him. Am thinking that’s why he tried to sting you with it, why he made sure it still meant something to you.

Stargazer

Dear Not:

There is an article here somewhere about a “pseudo-personality” that victims of sociopaths adopt. The sociopath brainwashes them into thinking they are a certain way and things are a certain way – all what the sociopath wants you to believe. It would make sense that in the early stages of breaking free, it would be difficult to know whom to trust – to know who is on your side. That is because you haven’t yet recovered your real feelings. As you begin to find your own voice and your own sense of your self, you will get a sense of who is truly validating to you and who is not. And who is sabotaging you. This is the beauty of no-contact. The longer you can stay away from toxic people, the easier it will be to recognize them. You will know by how you feel around them.

But in the beginning it’s hard to trust anyone, even yourself.

Platinum

Such good information here. I read some of these posts right before walking into dinner at a restaurant with my husband. Lots of strength and great advice from everyone.

Dinner lasted all of 40 minutes and I couldn’t get out of the restaurant fast enough. Our counselor had told us we were not to bring up divorce and sure enough the first thing out of my husband’s mouth was what are we going to do? We have an annual trip with two other couples planned for the end of April (it has been planned for months) and he asked about that. I told him I didn’t think I could go, but he should go with the others and we should take the money he was going to spend on a designer purse for me on this trip and use it for therapy or to get an apartment for him. (He has been staying in a hotel for the past 4 weeks.) He asked if I really thought we needed therapy. Laughable! Um, I don’t trust you, you’re a liar, on and on.

Then he tells me he is coming to get some more of his belongings and points to my hand with my wedding band on it and says to let him know if I take it off. I asked him to explain what he was talking about. He said to let him know if I took my ring off so he could take his off. I asked him if he ever really knew who I was! That is NOT the kind of person I am!

And here we go…..yet another shit show. (Sorry, don’t mean to offend anyone but this so aptly describes what happens!) Many of you have said NO contact, but I want to believe I can rationally talk to him. And yes, he does mess with my emotions. NotWhatHeSaidofMe you are right, the mask slipped off, I see it now and I know we can never really go back to what we were……or what I THOUGHT we were.

Thank you to all who posted about friends and families reactions, how you guys handled it, etc. It clarified my thinking and helped me see when it comes down to it, I could care less what others think if it means staying in more shit shows. (Sorry, couldn’t resist and it feels so good!)

Blessings to all,

Stargazer

Wow, Platinum, really does sound like a shit show. First he sabotages the therapy right off the bat. Then he tries to control you over several things (the trip and your wedding ring – which BTW what jewelry you wear or don’t wear is none of his business – as if you would be running right out to find another mate!) He sounds completely pompous, controlling, and narcissistic. If he’s a sociopath on top of that, it’s just the icing on the cake. Where is the room for you and your separate identity?

But back to my first observation. He sabotaged the therapy. I hope you mention this to the therapist when he asks how your homework went.

NotWhatHeSaidofMe

Stargazer,
You zoned in on adjectives for Platinum’s husband’s behavior. But you missed listing that Platinum’s husband also sounds overbearing, tyrannical, petty, and (can I say this here?)… B chy (esp when he did the ring thing. Way bizarre.) It’s the typical pattern but I like to shine the light of truth on their behavior. He’s not questioning, not trying to figure anything out. He’s pushing his agenda, which sadly, clearly, is not to save his marriage or relationship but as you point out, (~nwhsom, harmonizing with your tune here) he’s out to dominate and control.

It’s the same ol song I heard. But gggrrrr. I’m not cowed by it anymore.
I am ready and willing to stand up and fight for others. gggrrrrr. Information is POWER.

Stargazer

Oh and H to H: Acting as a career is hard work and long hours. I doubt a sociopath is up for the task.

HopingToHeal

I was just joking. You are right, Acting does takes lots of dedication, hard work, and education.

serendipity

These relationships are extremely difficult,even therapy is a betrayal, its sad. But I am recovering well. No contact. That’s the very best medicine. Peace and love 😊

Wonderful information. After my marriage vows, I learned my spouse was “bipolar” as diagnosed by his female therapist. I always felt betrayed and stunned by her continual protection of him and attempts to “explain” his behavior, always telling me that her loyalty in confidentiality was to him. I called like a lunatic to try to get my bearings and she felt that I was problematic. She told me I could never approach problems head on with him, that he walked several paces in front of me because he was clearing the way, and that my financial drain by him and his clan was do to my being another person in the household.

Foolishly I went to marriage counseling with her as the mediator/director – that was an error but the only way he would agree…it seemed to go well until I broached the topic of his mother’s possible covert incest. When I called to verify the next appointment, she curtly told me via her receptionist that he alone was her client and there would be no more sessions.

I was hurt and confused and felt I had no place to turn at the time. It has been five years and life is better, I am letting anger at this lady go…and all the mess is a memory, but it still affects me…in many ways.

HopingToHeal

Becky,

Did you ever feel like the therapist was in a personal relationship with your husband? I’ve had that feeling before.

Imara

Hello Hoping…
Having such an uncomfortable feeling during therapy is extraordinarily counterproductive!!!
Hope you voiced your concern and left the session!! If in reality you discover that your licensed therapist has a relationship with a client, please report that person to the licensing board!! They would not be practicing as a professional therapist for too much longer!
Remember how easily people are duped ( I was!!) by the sociopath….BUT never on God’s green earth would it ever occur to me to cross an ethical professional boundary. Most therapists are ethical empathetic professionals. If a client voiced discomfort about the therapeutic process with me I would definitely make that a priority to address. Therapy works only if there is a safe environment. If you feel uncomfortable always bring that up. Either you will learn more about yourself during those discussions or you will feel validated. Then know that if there are ethical violations you always have recourse and can empower yourself by using those!!!!
While we figure out the aftermath of dealing with those @#$#@…we need every ounce of support and empowerment we can get!!!

Barb

‘Covert incest’ I can relate to that. I always had the feeling that my MIL wanted to have sex with her sons (especially with my husband). I always felt like the ‘other woman’.

serendipity

That’s insane and very very uncomfortable for you I’m sure. My spath always said I had sex with my son, her was a total lunatic but it had my family thinking he may have slept with his mom. Wooooo, what knd. Of family did he come from? Peace to all 😊

slimone

Platinum,

Haven’t ‘seen’ you for a few days. Hope you are coping and learning. Just letting you know, if you are reading and not posting, that you are being held in my mind (and I am sure some other’s here!).

Take care of yourself,
Slim

Platinum

Slim,

I’ve been lurking around, reading, and pondering. Think I’m a bit overwhelmed by it all.

This has been a really hard week. I met individually with our counselor on Monday and asked what I can do to affect change. His response was not to engage my husband when he gets angry. To walk out of the room if necessary.

Then I met my husband for dinner at a restaurant Tuesday night (we are still separating going on 5 weeks) and suddenly he is asking me if I need more money, we are in this together, etc. But peppered throughout dinner he will tell me he isn’t going to take me disrespecting his family. WTH

We had a joint counseling session on Thursday together. The counselor admonished us for not getting together more often. I tell him that I’m not trying to hurt my husbands feelings, but everytime I know I have to get together with him my stomach gets tied up in knots and I think I am going to be sick. The counselor suggests we explore my feelings. Why do I feel this way? I respond because I feel threatened with some of the remarks my husband has said to me in the past like he went to a gun show and bought brass knuckles and it’s a good thing he moved out when he did because he wasn’t sure what he was capable of doing to me. My husband responds that he has never laid a hand on me. (This is true.) I have a sudden memory of my husband telling me once that when he was younger he lived in the country and people would bring their old animals to him and he would take care of them. I remember begging him I didn’t want to hear anymore. My husband admits that he has hurt animals before but then turns around and says I always defend my ex-husband and family!!! WTH

I am starting to believe, like others on this site, that marriage counseling is not going to help us. For one thing, my husband continues to lie about things, so what is the purpose?

Yesterday I met up with my sisters and poured my heart out. I have posted in the past that my family has always been a sore spot for me because when I was divorced previously they were not there for me. They were shocked at what I was telling them because my husband appears to the world to be the most attentive, charming husband anyone might want. What I was telling them was quite the opposite. In fact, I believe my husband has always used it to his advantage that I would never get another divorce. But just talking to my sisters was extremely carthatic for me. If nothing else, they at least know that he has an anger issue now.

My daughters (young 20-somethings) are home for Easter and I’ve been talking to them a little bit. Interesting that one of them brought up they wonder if my husband has bugged the house and the other two of us had been thinking the same thing! Is this how I want to live my life? Yet I mourn to return to what we had. But then I think, it was all a lie. And thus the merry-go-round keeps going round.

Something else has been puzzling me lately. My husband called me last week from a new cell phone number. He wanted me to have the number as he said his cell phone had just gone completely blank. He was going over to a second home of ours for the weekend so had just bought a prepaid phone. But two days later when I met him for dinner, he had his old phone. I asked him about it and he said his old phone suddenly came back on. ????? Maybe I’m just thinking too much.

My husband had open heart surgery the beginning of this year and that’s when I started uncovering a lot of his lies and deception. Oftentimes when people go through a surgery of this magnitude they are angry and fearful more than normal. And many people attribute our separation right now to that.

I am such a mixed bag of emotions. Thank you to all who post because I learn so much through others experiences.

Happy Easter to all!

NotWhatHeSaidofMe

I am NOT saying my ex-husband is like yours.

Don’t ignore threats of violence.

My ex-husband is a sociopath. He never laid a hand on me either. But he murdered animals. I asked him why he did it. He said, it was to teach them not to make him mad. I actually did not think he would harm me b/c my husband was not violent, until the day that I was nearly murdered.

Your husband threatened you. The therapist allowed him to deflect the issue when it was clear that your fear is valid (instead of staying on topic about your fears, his response about your defending your family has NOTHING to do with the topic. That’s a red flag on your therapist, that she allowed that.

As a cardiac care rehab specialist, yes people have emotional responses when faced with mortality fears. BUT, you know that’s not what’s happening with your husband. Rather, his surgery removed his ability to control his narrative, he has lost his momentum in being able to control you and control what you hear, think, and respond to. His mask came off, he’s trying to get it back on. If only you’d cooperate and “not pay attention to what’s over there” (to paraphrase the Wiz) and only pay attention to what he says. (i.e. All you know is what he tells you, and all he tells you is what he wants you to know.)

I repeat.
Don’t Ignore Threats of Violence.
Treat forewarning as a gift of life. Listen and BELIEVE because…
Decent NORMAL people NEVER make those kind of threats

HopingToHeal

Notwhathesaidtome ,

Your story is frightening. Your husband tried to harm you, and you truly believed he would never do that? Could you share more? Did you have intuition about it? I do not, but my daughter has always thought it possible.

HopingToHeal

Platinum,
I agree with Notwhathesaidtome. Don’t ignore the threats no matter how subtle they are. I hope you shared that part of your story with your sisters.

When you start doubting the facts of your life, your mind will return to the fantasy of what your life was. I do that all the time. I think maybe things could change or maybe it wasn’t as bad as it seemed. But the facts are the facts. I have to ask myself if a friend would ever treat me the way my husband has? No. Heck,would a stranger treat me this bad? No. My life was a fantasy filled with actions that made us look like the perfect family. It wasn’t real. But my relationship with my children, friends and family is authentic. It’s real. I find joy in that fact.

Happy Easter!

Platinum

Thank you so much for responding to my post. It is such a relief to have somebody validate exactly what I am thinking concerning his surgery. I have kept my circle pretty tight of confidants on whom I am sharing my concerns. Even then, I think many of them bring up the surgery as why he is acting so strangely. But, like you, I think his mask came off and so many pieces started falling into place for me.

The reality is he has had anger issues our entire marriage. (7 years) I was too ashamed to say or do anything because after all, look at how well he treated me in public. I always knew something seemed “off” but could never place my finger on it.

I will say that my therapist did indeed surprise me the other day. He indicated I may be twisting things around, my husband sees the fact that he tells me that he has never hurt me as an ASSURANCE and I see it as an implied threat. My response was that perhaps my husband should just never say anything that could be construed as a threat.

Between us we have four adult daughters and I asked him how he would feel if some guy made those kinds of remarks to any one of them. He responded he has never hurt me, unlike one of my daughters boyfriends who hit her several years ago. Again, my response was whether it is physical, mental, emotional abuse, NONE of it is acceptable. He did admit, in front of the therapist, that he knows he mentally affects me.

NotWhatHeSaidofMe, I am sorry your ex treated you so poorly. Do you mind me asking you how he tried to murder you? Or have you posted it on another thread? I’m not trying to bring up painful topics, and if you’d rather not share I understand. Right now it is the constant see saw of emotions.

Thanks again,

NotWhatHeSaidofMe

Yes, the reality of what my ex-husband turned out to be was REALLY hard to wrap my head around. How he tried to murder me is irrelevant. That he did (and barely failed) is what matters.

My ex is a COVERT sociopath. He’d smile so warm and kindly while telling me that if I committed suicide, it wouldn’t be his fault (I NEVER considered suicide). I thought he was a malignant narcissist until I found out what he did to animals.

But was I smart? NO. I reasoned “he won’t do that to me, I’m his wife, not an animal.” But I was mistaken. To a sociopath, my ex-husband, I am A THING. I was the thing that failed to do what he commanded and therefore needed to be taught a lesson.

Platinum’s husband bothers me because not only does he say terrible things, but he has NO REMORSE.
That’s a REDFLAG FOLKS!!

We’ve all gone too far, spouting off when angry. But if our loved one, the one we want to stay married to, says here’s what you’ve done to scare me… the response is not to change the subject. The response should have been to take full ownership and express sincere remorse.

DECENT people don’t behave this way. This is the behavior of controlling abusive people.

And your therapist SHAMING YOU for what is a NORMAL response? In essence, implying that the little woman is over-reacting? Ummm. BLAMING YOU?

I’m saying I’ve been down the path of red flags, all the shame, no remorse for his cruelties. You are being treated like a THING, HIS object. You are his servant, not someone to think or require that he treat you with dignity and regard (MISSING)

I ignored the red flags. I am LUCKY. Others ignored red flags. They are on the news murder shows.

I can’t say it strongly enough:
You need your own therapist, one that will support you, one who will NOT invalidate/trivialize your NORMAL responses.
His threats are a red flag. He told you what he’d do. So BELIEVE HIM. His lack of remorse is one of the traits of a sociopath.

Platinum

NotWhatHeSaidofMe,

Thank you for your insight and for taking the time to share. Even when my head knows and sees the red flags, I desperately cling to thoughts that there may be an answer, a solution that will make everything better. I know that thinking is not productive. I am trying to figure out how and when to leave.

My husband last week signed a three month lease on an apartment (he had been living in a hotel for 5 weeks) so at least I think I can breathe again. This is buying me a bit of time to figure some things out.

And to all of you who post about the red flags from these posts and their stories, thank you. This web site has helped me identify behaviors that I probably would have overlooked. Knowledge is power!

slimone

Platinum,

I could not post to you on this thread yesterday, because my work computer wouldn’t open it. It would open some of the other’s, but not this one?! Who knows why? Must have been a firewall trigger or something.

I echo what Hoping and NotWhat have said to you. One of the men I just ‘dated’, when I broke it off, sabotaged my truck and I nearly crashed and injured myself. He must have crawled under it when I was sleeping. The repairman said I was so lucky that I brought it in right away, when I noticed something didn’t feel right about the truck.

But here’s the other side of it: even if he DOESN’T ever kill you do you really want to go back into the lies and cruelty? EVEN if ALL he ever does is keep you in the dark and feed you lies do you want that? Even if all you have to do, day in and day out, is pretend that how he treats you in front of other’s is real, and that how he treats you in private NEVER HAPPENED, do you want that?

Here’s the other deal. Once you know, Platinum, you KNOW. There is no going back, only forward.

You know he lies. You know he is abusive. You know your daughters think he is deceptive. You know he confuses the therapist. You know he has hurt innocent animals. You know he has threatened you. You know he manipulates other’s into believing his lies.

You KNOW.

You think he might change. I can ‘almost’ guarantee you he will not. I am 99.99999% sure. Even without ever having met him.

And, if he does change, it WILL NOT BE BECAUSE OF WHAT YOU DO. It will be, totally, because he comes 100% clean and decides, OPENLY, that he has a serious character disorder and starts to openly work on it. Period.

You are not going to save him with your love, commitment, loyalty, devotion, and understanding. In fact, unless HE embarks on a healing path, he will use all of your qualities, all the things that make you a real caring human being, against you….to confuse you.

Just like the friends who keep trying to think of a RATIONAL reason why he is ‘suddenly’ acting like he is, you are also looking for a rational solution. An adult solution. But these types FORCE us into a solution that feel alien: NO contact. Complete dissolution of the relationship, and a complete acceptance of it’s falseness.

There is no rationality to it. Not in the ‘normal’ sense.

Protect your HEART and MIND (not to mention your life). It is your life, don’t too much more of it on him. He will survive. I can guarantee that too. He only looks out for himself. So don’t worry about him.

Take care,
Slim

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