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McGreevey divorce reveals court’s approach to high-conflict cases

At some point, anyone married to a sociopath is—or should be—headed for divorce. Once the legal proceedings start, they will be brutal, bloody and expensive.

The New Jersey Superior Court just released the verdict in the divorce of James E. McGreevey, former governor, and his wife, Dina Matos McGreevey. You may remember this case. On August 12, 2004, Governor James McGreevey held a press conference and announced to the world that he was a “gay American,” and he would resign from office because of an alleged affair with a male aide. He hadn’t bothered to tell his wife about his sexual orientation until about three days before the press conference. At his insistence, Matos stood beside him as McGreevey made his announcement on. She looked totally dazed.

In my opinion, McGreevey isn’t gay, he’s a sociopath, which I wrote in Book Review: Silent Partner, by the wife of former New Jersey Governor James McGreevey. So the couple’s divorce was just like what many of us have experienced, except that it played out on national TV.

Dina Matos was deceived, outraged and humiliated. She wanted her husband to pay for what he had done and how badly he had treated her.

James McGreevey had moved on—his view was obviously, get over it already. He had a wealthy new lover. He did his best to appear poor so he wouldn’t have to pay.

Matos asked for $2,500 per month alimony for four years, $1,750 per month in child support, and attorney’s fees. McGreevey wanted to pay no alimony and about $100 per month in child support.

They would not settle. So it was left Superior Court Judge Karen Cassidy to decide for them.

Splitting the money

The court released Judge Cassidy’s decision on August 8, 2008. She wrote a 44-page opinion, which is posted on New Jersey Courts Online. I recommend that anyone going into court with a sociopath read it.

After a year of bitter litigation, James McGreevey and Dina Matos did come to terms on child custody for their daughter. All that remained for the court to decide was the money. The issues were:

  1. Celebrity goodwill—was James McGreevey a celebrity, and did Matos have a right to any money he made because of it?
  2. Should the couple’s brief tenure as governor and first lady of New Jersey, living in the governor’s mansion with plenty of perks, be considered in a determination of their marital lifestyle?
  3. Should McGreevey’s behavior—deciding he was gay and then claiming the Matos knew it—be considered in an alimony decision?
  4. Should standard child support guidelines be applied, under which McGreevey would owe hardly any, or did he have the financial resources to pay more?

McGreeveys have an agenda

In most divorce cases, courts take the position that both parties bear some of the blame for the dissolution of the marriage, and the point of the divorce trial is to distribute what’s left. The courts want both parties to play fair.

According to Judge Cassidy, the McGreeveys didn’t do that. She wrote:

It was apparent to this court that both parties took widely divergent positions and were unwilling to compromise despite significant efforts by the court system to have them resolve their matter out of the spotlight, by utilization of mediation and settlement conferences. Their positions were polarized and as the court will find in detail later, were somewhat disingenuous and unsubstantiated. As was expressed to the parties on numerous occasions, their ability to work together and fashion a financial settlement was clearly in their best interest. No one in a matrimonial case ever wins. Although the posturing in this case suggests that both parties were confident that they would prevail on most, if not all of their issues, rarely is that the case. Especially, in a matter as high profile as this, the court was disappointed that much of the testimony, particularly as it related to public figures within the State of New Jersey, and the dirty laundry associated therewith, needed to be aired in public and in the press. As will become apparent, there are no “winners” in a litigation of this type.

This court has an obligation to consider the evidence presented and the law and statutory factors in rendering a decision. The decision must be objective, fair, reasonable and not be influenced by the hyperbole displayed throughout this case. The issues here were plain and simple; a couple was married, certain events occurred within their relationship that resulted in their separation and ultimate decision to file for divorce. As a result of the demise of the marriage, fair and impartial determinations must be made in terms of support and the distribution of their property. Despite the unique circumstances in this case, this court must still use this analysis in rendering its opinion and making the necessary decisions.

The McGreeveys clearly had agendas. As previously addressed, their anger seemed to override any ability to testify credibly or to be reasonable. For example, Mr. McGreevey’s steadfast position that he was somehow unable to obtain employment contradicted directly with his position that he was actively attending seminary and pursuing a full-time program. Clearly, he cannot do both, but he somehow could not simply say that, instead contradicting himself over and over again. When faced with facts that he could not even support himself on his current salary, let alone both his daughters and possibly his wife, he was unable to provide a cogent explanation. Mrs. McGreevey’s demeanor in the courtroom and her position of an entitlement to an extremely generous standard of living reflected her anger and disappointment as to the end of her marriage. Her testimony was designed to generate a greater amount of support based upon circumstances that ended her marriage. The factors she suggested are not supported by the law and evidence.

Alimony

The McGreeveys had only been married for four years and five months. This is considered a short-term marriage. For two years and seven months, they lived in the New Jersey governor’s mansion, with cooks, landscapers, security guards and other staff.

Dina Matos argued that the amount of the alimony she received should reflect the lifestyle she enjoyed while first lady, when she spent all of her discretionary income on clothes. She also argued that McGreevey was at fault in ending their marital lifestyle because he had an extramarital affair and left office early.

The judge rejected these arguments. Cassidy wrote that life in the governor’s mansion was “inherently temporary.” She also wrote that many marriages ended because of affairs McGreevey’s did not “rise to the level of egregious conduct” according to legal standards. Matos was awarded no alimony.

Child support

In deciding the amount of child support James McGreevey should pay, the court looked at the earning capacity and financial resources of both parties. Dina Matos, until recently, had been working at a hospital foundation, earning $82,000 per year. James McGreevey earned $157,000 in 2004, $166,000 in 2005, $428,833 in 2006 (with the publication of his book), and $185,000 in 2007. Then he decided he wanted to become an Episcopal priest and quit working full-time to attend a seminary. So now he earns $48,000 a year. The court determined that McGreevey was “under employed” and imputed $175,000 in income to him.

Both McGreevey and Matos wrote tell-all books. McGreevey received a $250,000 advance for The Confession, and Matos received a $275,000 advance for Silent Partner. Both spent all their money, primarily litigating the divorce.

Still, McGreevey is living the good life because of his wealthy partner, Mark O’Donnell. O’Donnell has a 17-room mansion, where McGreevey is supposed to be paying rent, but doesn’t. O’Donnell pays McGreevey’s attorney’s fees and funds lavish birthday parties for his daughter. Because of O’Donnell’s financial support, the court found cause to increase the amount of child support McGreevey was required to pay.

The court ordered McGreevey to pay $1,075 per month in child support, plus 100 percent of the girl’s medical insurance and extracurricular activities.

Equitable distribution

Finally, there was the issue of equitable distribution of assets, including McGreevey’s possible “celebrity goodwill.” The couple didn’t have many assets, but McGreevey did sell his condo while married to Matos, which he “forgot” to tell her about. So he had some cash, which he claimed to be pre-marital. McGreevey also claimed he should be compensated for his wife’s expenditures on jewelry and clothing. The judge, however, pointed out that he provided no evidence for any of these claims.

Dina Matos said she was entitled to “an equitable share of the celebrity goodwill enjoyed by plaintiff due to his circumstances as Governor and recognizable persona.” As an expert witness, she brought in Kalman Barson, a forensic accountant. Barson valued this goodwill at $1,456,000. How did he arrive at this figure? He guessed. The judge wrote, “Mr. Barson’s report was not factually based and filled with assumptions that were never verified.”

In the end, Matos got nothing for goodwill, and nothing for McGreevey’s book. But she did get nearly $110,000 in equitable distribution of the cash.

Both parties also asked for attorney’s fees. McGreevey’s fees added up to $498,000; Matos’ were $526,689. The judge awarded no attorney’s fees. They both had to pay their own lawyers.

Marriage fraud

Dina Matos has also filed a marriage fraud claim against McGreevey. According to the Associated Press, “Matos McGreevey claims she was duped into marrying a gay man who sought the cover of a wife to hide his homosexuality and further his political ambitions.”

McGreevey, in the meantime, said that Matos knew she was gay, because she participated in threesomes with him and a male aide. Matos denied the allegations.

In my opinion, the threesome story is probably a fabrication, and McGreevey did dupe Matos into marriage. But on March 20, 2008, Judge Cassidy dismissed Matos’ claim of emotional distress, ruling that McGreevey didn’t plan to torment his wife while they were married. The judge permitted the marriage fraud claim to continue, but stated, “that does not guarantee the defendant (Matos) will be successful in trying her claim.”

The marriage fraud claim is still open, but it is not known if Matos will pursue it further. Unfortunately, she probably damaged her chances for success by asking for too much financial compensation in the divorce. According to NJ.com:

“Matos said during the trial that she could no longer afford to shop at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Talbots and now had to shop at the Children’s Place, the Gap and T.J. Maxx. The judge was unmoved by that testimony, saying Matos brought her economic distress on herself.”

Lessons from the case

So what are the lessons in this case for us? What do we need to know if we’re in divorce court with a sociopath?

The court views divorce cases from the perspective that it takes two to fight. Now, we all know that in marriage with the sociopath, the disordered person is causing the vast majority of the problems. However, we have to be able to prove it. That’s why documentation and evidence are so important.

When it comes to settling the financial issues, judges expect to decide somewhere in the middle between what both parties ask for. In this case, it seemed like both parties asked for extremes, hoping to get a lot. But even when the news first came out that Dina Matos wanted to be compensated as if she still lived in the governor’s mansion, I thought she was nuts. That lifestyle was financed by the taxpayers of New Jersey, not her husband. It was an unreasonable demand, as the judge decided.

So why did Matos’ attorney, John Post, make such an outrageous claim? And why were her expert witnesses unprepared for the trial? To me it seemed that Matos’ attorney did a lousy job. The lesson here is to really research the attorney you hire. If you get bad advice and bad representation, you’re sunk.

McGreevey’s attorney, Stephen Haller, (the last one McGreevey had three lawyers) said the ex-governor offered his wife a settlement of between $250,000 and $300,000 before filing for divorce. Matos turned it down. In the end, she got far less.

My divorce from a sociopath

I can understand not wanting to accept the sociopath’s offer. I also turned down the settlement offered by my husband, James Montgomery, which was bogus he’d give me worthless assets, plus all the debts. I took him to court, spent about $35,000 on legal fees, and got a judgment against him of $1,253,287 which I was never able to collect. Then, heavily in debt, I had to declare bankruptcy.

But I did win my claim for marriage fraud. I had evidence. I had four other victims of my ex-husband testify on my behalf. My husband stopped participating in the litigation, so that helped. But I think I would have won anyway.

The point here is that you cannot expect a judge to understand what it means to be married to a sociopath. Therefore, your claims must make sense to someone who thinks yours is just another normal divorce case. If your claims seem unbelievable even though we all know they’re true you must have evidence. To prove your claims, you need airtight documentation.

As I said in the beginning of this article, I recommend that anyone going into divorce court with a sociopath read Judge Karen Cassidy’s opinion. It’s well written, and even if you have no legal training, you can follow the legal arguments. It will give you a good idea of what to expect, and forewarned is forearmed.

Note: In this article, I discussed divorce, not child custody. Child custody issues with a sociopath are totally different. For information, see 10 strategies for child custody battles with sociopaths.


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36 Comments on "McGreevey divorce reveals court’s approach to high-conflict cases"

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“contradicting himself over and over again”

The judge probably thinks that his contraditions were situational. She probably doesn’t know that his whole self is a contradiction. The dichotomies of a sociopath are always overwhelming. I read online a theory that, sociopathic contraditions are caused by pathways in the brain not communicating properly. I even think sociopaths believe all of their contraditions. It could explain why they are such good liars.

I think they’re just expert liars.. Practice makes perfect. Kathy Krajco (narcattack.blogspot.com) had a theory… that makes a lot of sense. Their brains re-wire due to their bad behavior, their lies becomes easier because tey are rewired to lie. She explains this far better than I.

There’s just no way that you can “stir chit” and not get some on you!

I understand the wife’s ANGER and wish to “punish” her husband financially. I understand the “Unfairness” of it all.

This poor woman has been “had”—to me, the very anger she seems to have felt, and her desire for “revenge” financially against him bespeak to me that she was BLINDSIDED.

She may have been “unwise” in her choice of an attorney, and she may have come across as “greedy” and “shallow” in her seeking of financial punishment for her husband, but I suspect that she was still so wound up in her own anger over being blindsided that her judgment was somewhat warped.

My own late husband got a corporate “raping” by a large corporation which stole and used a patent of which he was the inventor and holder. He didn’t find out for years that this had happened, and before he died he filed suit (which I am continuing) but his ANGER at bring “raped” by a large corporation (I imagine like this woman’s anger) made him grind his teeth and refuse to compromise. He didn’t just want compensation (they offered less than 1/2 cent per dollar owed) he wanted them to be seen in court as THIEVES.

I understand her anger and her sense of betrayal.

OXY I love how you put that…”stir chit”. I know I’ve mentioned M. Scott Peck’s book “People of the Lie” many times. It’s just full of such insight into human evil. He warns that you can’t interact with evil without getting a little rubbed off on you. I look at how I’ve reacted to my experiences with sociopaths. The anger at such betrayal and the difficulty in just turning the other cheek while they are slamming your character and public reputation into the ground. It’s, hands down, the hardest thing not to want to seek justice that if overdue.

But I don’t think that we can ever get justice for what has happened to us. Not in the sense of how we view it. Nor how we deserve to be compensated. As your husband experienced and so many of us have, it is difficult, if not impossible, to play fair with a sociopath. They will fight to the end to keep us from what is justly owed to us. Our anger over that can keep us locked in a lose-lose pattern. So I figured out I have to look at the situation differently. I have to seek justice by another means.

My means for seeking justice is to take care of myself better. To acknowledge the misery that runs rampant in a sociopath’s life despite what it looks like on the outside. To know that I can choose to be free from it and live abundantly. To makes sure I understand the motives behind my actions. If it’s to make another pay for what they’ve done I feel like I’ve become them. That’s what they do. They make us pay for their misery and I think that we, in turn, want them to pay for what they’ve done. It’s human nature.

But I walk in the truth of this world and it’s not exactly pretty. But the blinders are off and I seek what makes me whole by God’s mean and not this world’s. That is justice to me. Knowing I can choose to be free from struggles that will keep me trapped in anger and resentment and walk away. That is not weakness, that is wisdom. God’s wisdom. Sometimes he calls us to fight, no doubt. But sometimes he calls us to turn the other cheek. It’s up to us to listen to him and figure out what he’s asking us to do not what our human nature wants us to do.

We have all been “had” by the sociopath and horribly abused. Most of us outside of LF live in a world that doesn’t understand the damage inflicted and the pain and struggle associated with it. Unfortunately our innate responses to sociopaths make us look like the culprit in our anger and rage and difficulty getting through the pain. Sociopath’s, in my book, are validated in who they are by our responses. They can point fingers and say, “See, she’s crazy. I’ve moved on and I’m doing fine. Look at how she’s freaking out and struggling.” I think they bank of this and know that they can push those buttons to reinforce to others that they are the “normal” one.

As we know, it is a horrid and twisted affair to deal with sociopaths. I know that if it wasn’t for my faith, I would not have the ability to manage all this on my own. I lean on God to show me the way through. I lean on truth. It’s not easy but who said life was going to be easy? It’s going to bed at night knowing I spent my day doing and being what God calls me to be that brings me justice. I could easily choose to be otherwise. But making the choice to be better is one that the sociopath does not do. It’s what separates us from them. It’s what makes us who we are.

This article was interesting to me because it reminded me of all the time I spent trying to figure out if the Bad Man had done anything illegal to me.

When I went back to Maui for a visit, for weeks and weeks before I went, I was wondering if I should go to the police and tell them about BM. but what would I tell them? What?

No matter how I tried to frame it, I just sounded like a bitter exgirlfriend. Or Isounded stupid for putting up with so much.

He stalked me but I talked to him. He showed up at my job interviews and my different places of work, sometimes with flowers and sometmes leaving “slut notes” on my car.. depending on his current state of mind. I suppose that was illegal.

UGH.

I am glad I never fought him in court on anything. BTW, I do know that he chose to represent himself in court when he divorced his ex-wife. Typical Narcissist.

I think because so many pathological people do things that aren’t quite illegal but they are quite cruel, the fly just below the radar. Some steal our things and our money. Illegal. Some get us to buy them things and gift them money. Not illegal. Mostly we give them our hearts… batter and destroy it. Not illegal. We get mad and post them on DDHG or other sites… be careful with this one. It can be used against us. It’s not necessarily legal.

Oh, yes, Aloha, you are so right!

Takingmeback, I have seen how so many people are just totally “freaked” by the betrayals, and I WAS ONE OF THEM. I acted “crazy”—but like Frankl quotes in his book (don’t remember who the original quote was from without looking it up) “a normal response to an abnormal situation is abnormal.”

I am pretty sure that no “normal” person would be “normal” after dealing with the psychopathic situations that all of us have dealt with! But, at thesame time, once we get away, once we escape, if we work on our healing, instead of staying stuck in the anger, we can become better people in the end.

Unfortunately, my late husband never ever got over the raging anger he felt for these people. I continued the law suit, because I know that is what he would have wanted. It is grinding its way through the courts SLOWLY–like seven years how I think, maybe eight—but CORPORATIONS I think are the ultimate psychopaths! LOL It is all about them covering up for illegal and immoral actions, and these actions took place so long ago that none of the men who actually did this are even still there. Many of them are probably dead by now. LOL

But, since it was not “my ox that was gored” I am not emotionally involved in the suit like my husband was. I just show up for the court hearings when my attorneys contact me, give my testimony and go home. If we “win” great, if we don’t, that’s OK too. After talking with my sons and step kids we have all agreed to use any funds from this suit for a charitable foundation that my husband would have supported, so that at least it will benefit his memory and help others as well. We’ll see what happens, as far as I am concerned it is in God’s hands, and whatever happens, happens. I just have to trust that it is for the BEST, whatever comes about.

HOLYWATERSALT and BIRD, I agree with both of your posts. The brain pathways of sociopaths are wired to contradict themselves and lie. But it’s because they’ve been doing it over and over again and it’s now formed a pattern that is second nature.

The biological basis for behavior is one of my favorite things to study. Ever wonder how talk therapy and medication can produce the same results? In talk therapy/counseling we analyze our thought processes and identify our thinking that leads to behavior and perceptions that cause us distress. We then change and ultimately correct our thinking and behavior through this process and through repetition as we enact change. We are, in essence, rewiring our brains. If you were to study your brain you would literally see changes in your own neurological pathways and changes in the neurotransmitters and serotonin and dopamine levels. If you simply take medication which aims to have the same effect you will see the same changes as well. The problem that some people don’t realize is that if you simply take medication which will bring you relief and do not work to change your thought process and behavior, you do not make permanent changes. Stop the medication and eventually you will relapse into the same problems you started with. This can happen with talk therapy if you don’t continue to reinforce the changes you made then as well. However, the potential and rate of relapse to returning to old ways of thinking is much less than that of simply stopping medication. But this is why it’s vital to have no contact with the sociopath. They will encourage us to return to our patterns of thinking that suit them and not us. The patterns that brought us all here in the first place thinking that something was wrong with us.

So, yes, we can study the brain of the sociopath and say that it doesn’t function correctly. But that’s a symptom and result of their pathology, not the cause. For those of us who have been in therapy, we know that to fully participate is to experience some level of distress and pain. I let my clients know that the process is not easy and they may feel more stress for a time as they undergo change. Change is not an easy process. It is asking someone to start thinking and doing in ways that are unfamiliar to them. But it’s going through the process that brings results that make it well worth the journey.

We live in a society that wants what it wants, when it wants it. and how it wants it. Immediate gratification is the American way. Many people would rather not struggle to do the work it entails to change this mentality in their lives. Here we introduce the sociopath as the most pathological of those in our society. It is easier to lie, to blame and to project onto others what is wrong in them than to do the work to face themselves and change. Unfortunately what they do to victims brings out the worst in others and reinforces how they see themselves and this world. Knowing what is right or wrong they make the choice over and over again to take the disodered way out. They become experts at their craft. They also keep themselves in the dark and as far from enlightenment, reality and truth than anyone can get. We are lucky to recognize that we are not like them. We have a chance for an abundant life living in the truth. We choose light. They choose darkness.

ALOHATRAVELER, I did the same thing as you. There were some things that were illegal that the S did and some that flew just under the radar. I knew that if I took anything to the police I too would look like the bitter ex-girlfriend. How do you explain how dangerous these folks are? Especially to one’s mental and emotional health? That is the challenge and, unfortunately, the advantage they have. But the advantage we have is not living life as they do. Being better and overcoming any bitterness. Being aware of them and knowing how to respond to avoid further abuse. To me, knowing all that I have, that the S will never have, is enough to thank God for my freedom and for being me.

OXY, corporations are referred to as the ultimate psychopaths LOL. Sad but very true. You have such a healthy perspective on the law suit and it’s wonderful what you and your family plan to do with the funds. I’m sorry your late husband went through that. He responded as anyone would naturally do. I love the quote from Frankyl though. So true as well. I will have to remember that one!

The Truth Will Set You Free – But First It Will Piss You Off

oxy don’t you think that would make a good tattoo? arm band? and if someone reads it and ask what is the truth I will look them in the eye and say the truth is right before my eyes!

Taking me back … yes, yes, yes.. we choose to do better, they just choose to hide it better. And yes, yes, yes.. you are so right, we are not like them.. we choose light, they choose darkness.. I have never seen it put so clearly before. I do not know why, but it makes the hurt less. They are not like us. They aren’t winners, they aren’t victors, they are “children of darkness”, children of wrath.

And henry I love it very very much.

Dear Henry,

Oh, yes it is really true, but it is sort of looooong for a tattoo, isn’t it? Where would you put it that it could be read most of the time? How about a circle with the letters LF in the middle and a SLASH across it like “No parking” that would say NO LOVE FRAUD. And when they asked you what it meant you could still tell them.

Mine is going to be simple, a circle with the DNR (medical-speak for do not resusitate) with the slash across it. I WILL BUY MY OWN GUN AND INK THOUGH. LOL

Just paint me paranoid Henry, but you know, I have never gotten an STD or Hepititis or a lot of things because I was NOT careless in any way. Back in the “old days” when you weren’t a “real nurse” if you were afraid to get blood and body fluids all over you, I WORE GLOVES and people actually laughed at me and made fun of me, but I AIN’T SICK from not doing it.

The only way I would give mouth-to-mouth CPR to anyone that I did not KNOW WELL would be with a protective device. I had a friend once who did, and well “she caught something” so I will forever be careful. Same way, no matter how in love I was, no man will get me into bed without a clean bill of health—I won’t let my dog mate with a bitch that doesn’t have health papers, so why should I be less careful with myself than I am with my dog’s health.

I had a neighbor once that had only one cow and he wanted to breed her to my pedigreed bull and my husband told him NO in no uncertain terms (cattle can get and transmitt bovine-STDs) and and the guy was sooooo mad cause his cow couldn’t come visit but I wasn’t about to endanger my whole herd for his convenience, he could have ordered her some semen for AI but he was too cheap, he wanted me to pimp my bull out for FREE. LOL Heck, Henry, even my cows and bulls and dogs practice ONLY SAFE SEX! LOL

oxy I bet you have alot of horny frustrated critter’s on your farm.

Nah, Henry, that’s not true….we are JUST PICKY about who they “do.” SAFE SEX for CRITTERS and for OLD WOMEN TOO.

I am following the theory that sociopathology is an inherited brain disorder that starts at conception. I have a child with a sociopath (sorry, no safe sex:), so I found the inherited brain disorder theory an important one to follow. I am not sure that the brain pathways are created or rewired through practice but rather the frontal lobe never fully awakens after childhood. The frontal lobe disorder causes the behavior that so well characterizes the sociopath. I believe this is why sociopaths cannot be cured. At least any more then a schizophrenic can be cured. If it were through practice alone that caused their behavior, one would think it could be “unlearned” through non practice. We all know that sociopaths do not learn from their behavior even when incarcerated and therefore there is no unlearning. The only thing that seems to “cure” a sociopath is the time needed for their frontal lobe activity to match the rest of society. It is a much slower process for a sociopath then the rest of society. The lessoning of sociopathic behavior, and the corresponding increase of frontal lobe activity, usually doesn’t start until after the age of 60 for a sociopath. I like the theory of the frontal lobe because it explains all of the crazy behavior. It makes sense to me. And, it makes me feel better, because what BM did has nothing to do with us, but it has everything to do with his inherited mental illness.

Bird that is interesting. Before I figured out he was a sociopath with borderline personality disorder, I knew he was (off) and he used that to his benifit saying ( I am not good at emotional stuff) or ( I have been screwed up my whole life). This made me want to help him even more. This was part of his pity ploy (please fix me). And scince I am on this train of thot. (I) am the one that diagnosed him as a cluster B. He fit’s every criteria every trait and has the history to prove it. He is so identical to so many of the Bad Men discussed here. But I am not a doctor of physcology so I will just label him (user) (lier) (cheater)(theif) did I leave anything out?

Dear Bird,

You are absolutely right that there ARE inherited genetic components to psychopathic thinking, HOWEVER, as the parent of a psychopath and as the daughter of one, keep in mind that it isn’t just ONE GENE that causes it, like blue eyes or brown eyes, etc.
AND also keep in mind that Birdie has a mother who is NOT a psychopath (you!) And, there is little likelyhood that your X sperm donor had “only” psychopathic genes, so there is a good chance that Birdie will be fine as far as that is concerned.

Dr. Leedom also has a child by her X P-sperm donor, and she is a VERY knowledgable and educated physician and she is convinced that there are ENVIRONMENTAL aspects to this as well. I agree with her.

My son had TWO P grandfathers, and several uncles that were Ps, so both sides of my son’s family was “tainted” so to speak.

In my experience with breeding animals of several species, I see that there is a BIG genetic component in the disposition of the animals. HOWEVER even with animals there is also a LEARNING component. If a calf sees that his mother is frightened of people he will flee from the “danger” he sees his mother reacting to. If the mother stands there calmly, the calf will watch her reaction and if she doesn’t seem to mind that strange two legged creature petting her, then maybe the calf will come up and sniff to see what I am.

I have also had animals that NO amount of gentling would make “safe” to be around—but because I “selected out” these animals, the few remaining animals I have are all very gentle and their calves are generally very gentle as well. Occasionally there will be a “wilder than ususal” one pop up and then they go become steaks and hamburger so they don’t leave wild genes behind.

Intelligence (as measured by IQ) is generally inherited too, but you may have two smart parents who have a “dumb” kid or two “dumb” parents who have a smart one. But, at the same time, education has an effect on how that person turns out. So does environment in a child. They are a mix of both genes and environment. Why don’t you go check out Dr. Leedom’s web link for raising the “at risk child.” I am going to “bet my sox” that Birdie will grow up just fine into a loving and caring person because YOU are Birdie’s mom and will do all that you can to teach Birdie how to love and bond. (((Hugs))))

Henry, if you left anything out, you can refer to Wini’s list–lazy, slothful, etc. I think between the two of you you prettywell have it covered. LOL

BIRD, I agree with OXY on this as well. Yes, one may be genetically predisposed to an illness but that does not mean it will develop. Environmental factors do play a role as well. I think the debate on nature vs. nurture will loom on unless there is ever a specific gene or set of genes identified as the cause to mental illness.

Unlike sociopaths, there may not be a “cure” to schizophrenia but those with schizophrenia are able to learn how to function in society and do not, in general, cause harm. Any harm stems from psychosis not intent as with the sociopath. Their symptoms for the most part can be treated and ameliorated and they have the capacity to develop insight. Personality disorders are very different than psychotic and mood disorders. There is a reason they are called ego-syntonic.

I think it’s important for people to understand how behavior reinforces our thinking and vice versa and what that does to the brain. Regarding sociopaths in jail, I would think that environment would reinforce who they are as they are surrounded by others just like them. In fact, that’s an environment where they can learn to sharpen their skills as they can learn from one another. I’d be interested in seeing what would happen if you isolated a sociopath from others for a long period of time and involved them in intensive long-term therapy.

HENRY, I added to Wini’s post as well on the “…hard learned truths” thread. Check it out. It’s eerie how much they fall into the category of the 7 deadly sins!

Bird,

I think you have been here a long time but remember that Dr. Leedom has a book on parenting an at-risk child. I seem to remember an article about it somewhere and there was something about teaching a child about empathy early on. No pressure dear. You probably haven’t graduated too far out of new born diapers yet. :o)

All the best to you and baby bird.

XO

Hey, Aloha!

You pulled an “Oxy” LOL Quote to Bird: ” YOU probably haven’t graduated too far out of new born diapers yet” LOL I of course know you meant that Baby Birdie hasn’t graduated out of new born diapers yet, but I pull this kind of thing all the time when I am writing. ROTFL I think my fingers run faster than my brain sometimes. I am sure that Mrs. Barlow, my 7th grade English teacher is rolling over in her grave at the typos, misspellings, (forget to use spell checker) and unidentified pronouns I use. I just had to tease you, because now I do’nt feel so alone. ((((Aloha))))

Oopsie… I meant that she hadn’t graduated… as a Mom… past newborn diapers but I guess it did sound like… well.. ya know. How funny!

Sorry Bird.

Have a nice day!

One thing I know for sure, as I graduate from newborn diapers to stage one:). If we were all sociopaths, our species would become extinct. If I were a sociopath, I would just leave and do whatever my fancy told me to do. And the baby bird would die. And, if we were all sociopaths, no one would come to its aid. I am going to get a bumper sticker that reads “Pro Species”. A sociopaths would read “Pro Self”. The sociopath is for the survival of the self over the species. The majority of non sociopathic people are for the survival of the species over the self. I guess that is why we are not extinct:)

Dear Bird,

I think you are definitely right on with that statement. If ALL people were sociopaths the species would not survive long.

There are some diseases that are genetic that are interesting in that way. We all I am sure have heard of sickle cell anemia, that is fairly common in black populations. It is a genetic disease that must come from both side of the family for a person to have it. Well, it so happens that there is a majority of cases where a person has ONE gene for the disease and his no bad effects. But that person with ONE bad gene can pass it on. If two people produce children and each of them have the “trait” (one gene) statistically one of their four children will have NO “trait” and 50% will have the one gene trait, and 25% of their children will have full blown sickle cell anemia and probably be disabled or die from it.

How is this beneficial to the species? Well, it so happens that a person with sickle cell TRAIT (one gene for it) is almost immune to malaria which kills millions of people yearly in many parts of the world. Of course the people who have no trait (gene) don’t have that protection and are more likely to die of malaria than the sibs with the trait, and of course the child with sickle cell anemia (especially in a third world country) will die from the disease.

So what it amounts to is that the species “sacrifices” 50% with either the disease or the lack of immunity, but 50% of the children born will not die of either the disease or the malaria. Without the sickle cell gene, 100% of the species would be at risk for dying of malaria.

Of course in the US, where malaria is not endemic, having the trait (one gene) is not a benefit, or a harm, but having two of the genes is definitely NOT a benefit.

My guess is that there is more than one gene “responsible” for what we call a Psychopath, the “bad” kind, so maybe having SOME sociopathic/psychopathic traits (but not full blown serial killer) would make that person more able to “survive” in a tribal situation and pass on more of his genes to more offspring. The person with more psychopathic tendencies, who would do whatever it took to survive, yet cooperate to some extent, (fake it) would be likely to survive in times of shortages of food, and other goods, because he would take what he needed to survive without pity on the others he took it from, where the person without those traits would be more likely to share his/her food and maybe not make it through the famine.

So maybe these genes were at some time beneficial to the species in some way. I think if they weren’t they would have been “selected” out at some point. Sir Laurens van der Post, who was by his life history quite narcissistic, sexually unfaithful, leaving his wife and children to fend for themselves after WWII and not going home to them when he could, impregnating a 15 year old girl who was his “ward,” a continual liar and self aggrandized, and so on, yet this man was a genuine hero in a Japanese prison camp, and risked his life repeatedly for other prisoners. Sacrificed for other prisoners. WHY? Somehow he got NS for this heroism for which he suffered greatly to “purchase” is my guess.

This man was Knighted by Queen Elizabeth and is one of the godfathers of Prince William. He rose far from his farm roots in South Africa, became a world figure in literature, and wrote some of the most caring and moving books I have ever read. His written philosophy was remarkable, and he was a close friend of Jung. I am acquainted with this man’s daughter and two of his closest friends, and also a man who is currently doing a second biography of him. The first biography of van der Post was so scathing that his family was livid.

There is not one shred of doubt in my mind that this man’s biography would paint him squarely into the clinical diagnosis of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, yet, in spite of this, the man had some characteristics that made him “a great man” in spite of this. I wouldn’t have wanted to be married to him, but yet, he wasn’t “all bad” as some of the psychopaths are. He did do good—even if his motive was his own glory.

Wow Bird… that is awesome.

It reminds me that there has to be more good than bad out there. This is important to remember because sometimes it can be overwhelming reading all these stories of bad bad bad.

Awhile back, I went through a phase where I though every where I looked, men looked predatory and I started to lose some sleep over it. It passed.

There is good in us and there is good in most people. We have to remember that too. It’s part of our healing after experiencing something so dark.

:o)
“peep peep peep” says baby Bird.

I am victim of scoiopath. My ex cheated on me 4 times and lied to me about her past. My ex lied to court that she is not working and was suing me for spousal support. Spousal support is the worst invention ever. Now back to the point:

I read the article above…excuse me…I did not get wh ois a sociopath in this case?

This is how I saw it: women moves into somebody elses house, uses his generocity and lives a lavish lifestyle. 4 years later she moves out. She makes 85K a year (this is what PhD people make), enough to live amodest normal lifestyle. THIS IS WHAT SHE IS ENTITLED TO!!!! She sued the guy so that he would pay her more money in alimony so that she could buy more clothing…Excuse ME, this is called “a thief”, a parasitic lifestyle.

She tried to convince the court that she is entitled to more alimony payments than she should have…excuse me??????

Dear Cellstemcell,

This woman married this man and he was Governor of a state, then he decided to come out of the “closet” and announce he was GAY! He had married her knowing he was Gay, and she felt betrayed.

Sometimes people who (regardless of how long or short they were married) who are betrayed, and especilally PUBLICLY betrayed as this woman was, try to “punish” the guy financially as a means of vengence, justice, revenge, whatever you want to call it–doesn’t mean it is right, but certainally understandable in her wanting to “punish” him.

As the wife of the Governor of a state, she had a full time “job” being the state’s hostess so it wasn’t exactly a “parasitic” life style though it was fairly grand I am sure.

I’m not defending her behavior, but I think I do understand it. I think if what he had done was a legal “crime” she would be screaming for the death penalty, instead of trying to get it by “spousal support” etc.

They may both be Ps for all I know, she may have married him for his position and money and he obviously married her to cover up his sexual preferneces so his political career would flourish—but she sure ended up getitng publicly burned. The fact that she is SO burned makes me belive that she did NOT know at the time she married him.

My best advice to her is to read love fraud and learn about her P and heal herself, let go of the bitterness and wrath and get on with her life.

well…lets say you worked your way out to be a “celebrity” – hollywood, governor, whatever…it is YOURS and in a way it is YOU, you make the profit out of it. Lets say you created a “google” it is yours, YOU are celebrity because of YOU and not somebody else.

Someone marries you, and because of you that “someone” is now “celebrity” everyone knows that she is “HIS” wife. When she gets divorced, well she is no longer HIS wife therefore nobody gives a sh..t about her. Because this is what divorce is about. They are no longer husband and wife.

you cannot claim your “celebrity’s wife” status back because you want to continue to get public attention and enjoy monetary benefits.

If you get divorced from Angelina Jolie, can you claim that you got addicted to paparazzi and that now you want Angelina to spend 40% of her time (“spousal support”) next to you so that you could live a lifestyle you are used to? So that you would have a “smooth” transition back to single lifestyle?

This whole stuff with “spousal support is stupid”. It should be eliminated

This site is about Sociopaths aka Frauds. Whack jobs who have no remorse, no guilt, no true feelings of love. It’s all about them, their narcissism, their next victim, someone who will buy into their lies. Why did Mr. McGreevey misrepresent himself by marrying a woman and breeding? Because he had to use other people to achieve the position of Governor. He should have chosen a different “profession” where his homosexualtiy would be accepted. He should be writing his ex “wife” a check, or borrow the funds from his live in boyfriend to compensate her for the humiliation she has suffered.

Dear CellStemCell,

I agree with your assessment about MOST “celebrity” marriage, say where the “pool boy” marries Angelina Jolie and after a couple or three years she kicks him to the curb, I don’t think he is entitled to a dime.

However, if a heterosexual marriage and a child is almost a “prerequisite” for your job of governor, and you marry some woman to provide a “mask” so that you CAN BE governor, then it is a bit of a “horse of a different color.”

This guy USED HIS WIFE as a “cover up” of his homosexuality. He KNEW he was gay when he married her. He betrayed this woman’s confidence and her love for him.

She was angry,, hurt, humiliated by this being USED for a cover up by him, with HIM KNOWING what he was doing. Almost the ONLY way she could “hurt” him back was monetary. I don’t approve of her attempt at ‘Vengeance” but I do SEE WHY she would do it. Why she would attempt to hurt him for hurting her. I know for myself, since I never got any spousal support, only a small amount of child support, after my divorce and because of my father-in-law’s manipulation (he was a P and my x was mentally ill) I only got about 10% of our JOINT ASSETS, I came out on the short end of the stick. But then, I wasn’t out to hurt my X. He hadn’t “betrayed me viciously” where this man DID viciously betray his X wife.

Believe me, during my worst period of anger and vengeful feelings, I could have put bamboo splinters under the P’s finger nails and lit them on fire! I think many of us have lain awake nights thinking of ways to make them suffer for what they did to us. Thought of revenge and mayhem. I don’t think those thoughts are GOOD FOR US, but I do think they are normal and natural. I think those thoughts are what she is having now.

I hope for her sake that she can heal and let go and get rid of the terrible anger and wrath that she feels. But, I do feel that her anger and sense of betrayal is fueling her attempts at monetary revenge against her X.

I don’t presume to call what she did vengeance because I don’t know all the circumstances, not that she’s not entitled. But look instead at how her life changed before marriage to after, all because of being dragged into a scam for a liar and user’s benefit. What did she start with compared to where she ended up. What did all that cost her? Obviously, there were many changes in her life because of the fradulent marriage including a life with a new child. Did she have a home, career, etc. that she gave up for the marriage?

Fraud is fraud and should be considered even though it was within a marriage. I think it should be recognized and instead of recompense according to marriage statutes, I think the court should have been led to consider fraud statutes instead. Don’t know if that is possible or if there was proof, but I think her lawyer was an expensive idiot in any case.

Benz

I definitely believe her lawyer was expensive, and most likely took her for a financial “ride.” Sometimes lawyers keep the “chit stirred” because then they can get more hourly fees. Keep egging the client on to believing that they can get “justice” or money or whatever they are after. Personally that kind of hourly rate I think is psychopathic! and the “high cost” of justice today is fueled by greedy lawyers such that unless you have wealth you can’t get justice in court. Even then, not always.

The whole thing is a terrible mess for this woman, and her child as well.

takingmeback-I don’t understand the difference between a psychotic disorder and a personality disorder. Based on my observation, I personally think my exsociopath was totally nuts. But I keep reading that they are not crazy.

Oxd-really interesting story about Sir Laurens. I think we can all relate that we, at one time, found our sociopaths really interesting. I even found that my exsociopath was really good at some things. And really stupid in other areas. Like a savant.

Dear Bird,

Simply put, a psychotic person is “out of touch with reality” they may hear voices that command them to do things or see things that no one else sees, or get some idea like space aliens abducted them and they have to wear a collander on their head to keep the aliens from reading their thoughts. That is what is referred to as “crazy.” They may actually NOT know right from wrong.

Basically a person with a personality disorder has a PATTERN of behaviors, and though they KNOW RIGHT FROM WRONG, they consistently chose to do things that are harmful to others without ANY SENSE OF REMORSE.

Of course there is a “scale” of each of these things from “low” to “high” behavior patterns on each thing. A psychtic person has a mental “Illness” that can most of the time be managed with medication, but a person with a personality disorder does not have what we currently call a mental “illness” but a pattern of behavior that they COULD control, but that they do not CHOOSE TO CONTROL. There is no medication or therapy that can help them. They don’t want to be helped. They are right and the whole world is wrong.

Yea, you could say “that’s crazy” and in a way in the usual way folks call someone “crazy” when they do something pretty stupid, that’s true, but “crazy” isn’t really a technical term.

The psychopaths do things that don’t ‘MAKE SENSE” to us, but they do to them, but that doesn’t mean they are psychotic or delusional, it simply means that their brain doesn’t work just like ours does and the things that WE would think was a reward they don’t, and the things that we would view as a punishment don’t effect them like it would us.

I hope that makes sense to you, if not, maybe Dr. Leedom can explain it more fully. (((hugs)))) Give my Baby Birdie a squeeze from Aunty Oxy!

Right on Birdie.. I think this is why they changed the name from psychopath to sociopath.. they are without a sense of society, they are definitely working against society, and tear at it’s fabric just the way people who are “pro species” as you put it, hold up society.

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