By | December 27, 2010 694 Comments

Private behavior and the public good

The connection between love and politics—that was the topic of commentary in yesterday’s paper written by Gregory Rodriguez, a columnist for the Los Angeles Times. The article, Love and politics in a cynical age, got me thinking about the consistency of behavior.

Rodriguez summarized how Americans have come to view the private lives and public lives of the people we elect to represent us. He wrote:

The truth is that we don’t generally associate politics or politicians with happy marriages and deep romance, let alone fidelity. The constant revelation of scandals and peccadilloes in the halls of power have trained us to expect the worst of those—particularly the men—we elect to shepherd and protect the interests of society. Somewhere along the line, Americans have even bought into the notion that a politician’s private life, in particular his love life, has little or nothing to do with his efforts on behalf of the public good.

In other words, people seem to think that just because an elected official cheats on his spouse, it doesn’t mean we can’t trust him with our tax dollars.

Not everyone holds this view. Ross Perot, who ran for president in 1992, famously said that at his company, EDS, lying, cheating, stealing and adultery were all grounds for dismissal. If he were elected, he said, the same standard would apply. Perot said:

“If a man’s own wife cannot trust him, how can the American people?”

This, I think, is a legitimate question.

Different behavior

People often ask me if a sociopath will be “different” with a particular person. For example, can a sociopathic man who hates and harasses his ex-wife love his children? Can a sociopathic woman who takes advantage of her family be true to her new boyfriend?

The short answer is no. Exploitative people exploit anyone who has something that they want.

The long answer is that exploitative people may seem to authentically care for particular individuals, but it’s probably just part of an overall scheme of manipulation. The sociopath is just softening up the target, preparing for the right time to strike.

Here is one of the most dangerous thoughts we can ever have: “Well, yes, he (or she) treated that person badly, but he’ll never do that to me!”

Remember: The best indication of future behavior is past behavior. If you know that a person has behaved in a deceitful or exploitative way towards someone else, sooner or later, the person will behave that way towards you.


So why do we compartmentalize? Why do people seem to believe that how our elected officials conduct their private lives has nothing to do with how they conduct their public lives? Why is it that when we hear of a powerful person who has a solid marriage, we are surprised?

Maybe we’re beaten down. Maybe we’re totally disillusioned. After all, stories of deceit, betrayal and treachery have been around as long as humans have told stories. Maybe we hear of so many scandals—from cheating spouses to tax dollars wasted—that we simply expect the worst of people.

Perhaps public life has simply gotten too easy in America. It’s not like the Revolutionary War, when men risked their lives and fortunes to stand up to the British. No, politics today is all talk and no consequences. That makes it an excellent career choice for sociopaths—all they have to do is be charming, charismatic and deceitful.

Sociopaths, after all, want power, control and sex. By getting elected, they have access to everything they want.

Liu Xiaobo

That’s why it’s so refreshing to hear about people, in this day and age, fighting the good fight from a foundation of love.

In the article that I quoted in the beginning of this post, the author, Gregory Rodriguez, also wrote about Liu Xiaobo. Liu is the Chinese dissident who recently won the Nobel Peace Prize. He, of course, was viewed as a subversive criminal by the Chinese government, and was not allowed to go to Norway and accept the prize. Rodriguez explained how his absence was handled in Oslo:

Actress Liv Ullmann read aloud the statement Liu released last December as he was awaiting trial for “inciting subversion of state power.” At the top, he sermonized against hatred (“enmity can poison a nation’s spirit”), but his ending was an exquisite love letter to his wife, Liu Xia.

“I am sentenced to a visible prison,” he wrote, “while you are waiting in an invisible one. Your love is sunlight that transcends prison walls and bars, stroking every inch of my skin, warming my every cell, letting me maintain my inner calm, magnanimous and bright, so that every minute in prison is full of meaning. But my love for you is full of guilt and regret, sometimes heavy enough to hobble my steps. I am a hard stone in the wilderness, putting up with the pummeling of raging storms, and too cold for anyone to dare touch. But my love is hard, sharp, and can penetrate any obstacles. Even if I am crushed into powder, I will embrace you with the ashes.”

Rodriguez viewed Liu’s words to his wife as a sign of passion and commitment, and the bad behavior in the private lives of elected officials as the opposite. The point, Rodriguez wrote, is that love begins at home.

How people conduct their private lives is absolutely relevant to whether or not they should be elected. People who cannot be trusted by their most intimate loved ones cannot be trusted by anyone. And people who feel genuine love and compassion for their families can extend their love and compassion for the greater good.

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Ox Drover

Dear Donna,

All I can add to this article is a HEARTY AND LOUD ****AMEN!!!!****

It is such a shame though, that people like this have to suffer for their refusal to give in, for their refusal to “toe the party line,” but he is not the first, nor the last, to do so. Mao’s acts killed an estimated 60 MILLION individuals, almost 10 times what Hitler killed. My prayers for his release and if not that, then at least his peace.

lesson learned

“People often ask me if a sociopath will be “different” with a particular person. For example, can a sociopathic man who hates and harasses his ex-wife love his children? Can a sociopathic woman who takes advantage of her family be true to her new boyfriend?

The short answer is no. Exploitative people exploit anyone who has something that they want.

The long answer is that exploitative people may seem to authentically care for particular individuals, but it’s probably just part of an overall scheme of manipulation. The sociopath is just softening up the target, preparing for the right time to strike.

Here is one of the most dangerous thoughts we can ever have: “Well, yes, he (or she) treated that person badly, but he’ll never do that to me!”

This resonated with me and I realize was his biggest hook into me. Why I kept returning over and over and what is still the biggest struggle. That he will be different with someone else. I think he knew that and played on that fear for years and years…

I know this is not true. He was feeding off my low self esteem, that women wanted him and that the “special” ones were far better choices than I. It worked, for years…

When I think about that now, there were other things, other than his love bombing and cruising other women that came with my involvement with him that were his own set of behaviors, with regards to abuse and pain inflicted personally towards me. The very same behaviors he employed on every single woman in his life. Every single person in his life. His children included. He was the consummate victim of everyone. NOTHING was ever his fault. He lied and blamed, and lied and blamed some more. He withheld love, affection and then would give it to keep me sucked in….but the biggest game piece was that he WOULD and COULD be different with someone else because i was worthless and could never please him. I only tried harder to the point where it was so obvious that the game piece he was using was no longer true nor effective. So he moved on. This knowledge is key to my healing in switching back and forth between that low self esteem of mine and the fantasy of being his “chosen” one, and the reality that there is no such thing in his life. That being the “chosen” one means unbridled hell and abuse.

Another article here, I believe titled “Past behavior is a predictor of future behavior” (forgive me if that isn’t verbatim), was so incredibly helpful to me. If I can keep this ONE thing in mind, no matter what I see in the future of him (unfortunatley, he lives about ten minutes away and works about five minutes away from me), with someone else, or around town, ….I just have to continue to remind myself that the behaviors can’t change, won’t change, and that there will be another victim who has to suffer the same pain as all of the rest of us have. Empathy, love, care and repentance are impossible for this man.

But they are not impossible for me.

Donna,thank you for posting this. It is and has been, the biggest struggle in not wanting to try to reignite the relationship. THere were many times I went begging him back, for this VERY belief that he could change…………for someone else.


Ox Drover

Dear Lesson,

I actually feel sorry for the woman that my X-BF-P married because I KNOW he is cheating on her, I KNOW he will demean her and emotionally abuse her (if not physically) but it took a while for this to sink into my mind and heart.

You are so right, he will NOT be better to anyone than he was to you, only during the “love bomb” Bait and switch ploy, then he is into full abusive mode for the rest of their relationshit. Keep on remembering that the BEST predictor of future behavior is past behavior, and in the case of a psychopath and/or drunk, you can bet it is a “guar-en-tee” of future behavior. Just thank God you got out of the situation. You dodged that bullet!


I have been one of those who have overlooked a politicians infidelities and thought “Oh, they have still done many good things for the country”. Not anymore. I supported Mr. Clinton even through the Monica Lewinsky thingy, I did think that ousting him was rather harsh. Now I believe he is just another wolf in sheeps clothing. Still learning the lesson.

Absolutely, if they don’t have morals, values, ethics at home, they sure the heck won’t have them when making political decisions. Their inner compass points in the wrong direction.

It’s hard to know who to trust, my circle of trust has become significantly smaller in the last few years. No more do I take things at face value. The people in office or entertainers, puplic figures who have various issues come to light are no longer given the benefit of the doubt by me. I.e. Michael Vick-Do not believe he is reformed, Mel Gibson-p.s.y.c.h.o.p.a.t.h., Bill Clinton-tricky and spathy, Justice Thomas-tricky and spathy, Hugh Hefner-gross, Charlie Sheen-spathy and gross, Brett Favre-yuck, Eliot Spitzer-can’t believe he has a new show, spathy for sure and yuck, I don’t have any women on that list but just can’t think of any off the top of my head. The women tend to be more below the spath radar but Hillary Clinton could count as one. So there’s one.

Ox Drover

Dear Hope4joy,

I totally agree with you! I like your list as well. I have plenty to say about the Clintons, both of them….and many others whose corruption has been exposed in the last few months, both in and out of office.

They have no shame….and yet the country seems to say “Oh, that’s just politics”….but as long as the people vote for them then they will stay in office. The corruption becomes part and parcel of the way “business is done” in Washington DC just like it is in Bogata, Mexico City or any third world or banana republic.

I vote, and I try to be informed about who I vote for, but I think too many times votes are decided more on “sound bites” than on ethics and moral fiber. Morality isn’t really all that popular today it seems. I vote with my vote, and I vote with my money in what I purchase. (I try to buy American products) Doesn’t change much I don’t think, but it does make me feel better. LOL


The problem with choosing politicians that are Respectable is that there are none. We are left with choosing the lesser of 2 evils. My experience christmas weekend With my boyfriend’s family was a real eye opener. I have come to the conclusion that there are no normal people left on the earth. I met his step brother and wife for the first time. He is a very successful dentist she is semi famous for her acting career. They both seemed so nice and she was extremely empathetic. She is even writing a book on forgiveness. But I have heard horror stories of their past behavior, So I knew when they were putting on an act. I could see right through their manipulations. But I was amazed at how good they were. If I didn’t know their history I would never have seen it.
My point is that your average everyday american engages in psychological guerilla warfare everyday of their lives. So when we find out that the politicians are doing it we’re not surprised. Instead we revel in the juicy details.
This weekend I also realized that my exP kept me innocent for 25 years since age 17.
Since I didn’t have the opportunity to develop relationships with any other people, I was unaware of this side of people. Even my family relationships were kept on a short leash while I was with him. I have been very naive for so long, I’m only now learning how evil, manipulative, and covert people can be. I think one of the reasons he kept me so protected was so he could destroy something innocent.
Now I’m realizing there are very few good people who are pure of heart. Everyone thinks its ok to be evil.


I’ve been meaning to boink you with your skillet for a post you did a few days ago.
You were talking about your friend who has affair with married men. you said she is not a psychopath- but she is. Oxy, read the article above and apply it to your friend. why is she exempt? because she seems really charming to you?
everything you write about her screams spath. she has shallow values and shallow criteria for picking her mates. She has disregard for their family life. and she has lots of excuses.
my p neighbor only exclusively went out with married man. I came to realize it was because she is envious of married women. she did not want their husbands, she just didn’t want themarried women to have them.

Ox Drover

Dear Sky,

Becoming a bit cynical are we? LOL Yea, I agree with you, the world is not a “fair,” or in many cases, even a “nice” place, but I think we have got to pick the good out of the rest of it and do the best we can to live a good life in spite of the problems.

Look at your wording though “EVERYONE” thinks it is okay to be evil”—that is NOT a true statement, Sky. When we use “everyone” or “always or Never” we are usually expressing something that isn’t completely true. EVERY-one is NOT evil, even if MOST people are evil, there are SOME people who are not evil.

When we look at absolutes in good or bad, up or down, right or left, and don’t realize that most things actually are in the MIDDLE of the bell curve, we tend to exaggerate our emotional response to the situation.

I tend to lean toward the “absolutes” as welll and to think “never” or “always” or “everyone” but that is why your statement stuck out at me….I’m throwing bricks because I live in the same glass house, Sky! I’m working on NOT thinking in absolutes though. It is a daily step by step process though. (((hugs)))

I agree ALMOST ALL politicians are crooks. LOL


OK not everyone is evil. But the majority are and most of the rest are naive narcissistic supply damaged by contact with spaths.


ALL spaths are ALWAYS evil minded and manipulate EVERYONE!
…..howz that one fit?

Ox Drover

Sky, we posted over each other….the thing about my friend is that she doesn’t meet any other criteria of psychopathic traits….so yes, she is very dysfunctional on this one aspect of her choices, but in none of the others. She is honest to a fault, kind, caring, but she is more VICTIM than she is abuser, because the men she chooses are always ones who are cheats and give her the PITY ploy that she falls for. We’ve had people on here who went out with men that they knew they were married and you didn’t label them psychopaths for that one thing, although I know you (and I) don’t think that is a wise or a good choice for people to choose.

First off, because if he will cheat on his wife, he will cheat on you. Especially men who are serial cheaters (and every one of my friend’s men are SERIAL cheaters).

I agree she has some problems, but it is that she continually sets herself up to be victimized by the same kind of man. A man who is a liar and a cheat from the get go. But she is 50 years old and I am very honest with her about my opinion of the men she picks. I UNDERSTAND why she makes herself vulnerable to this kind of man, but she is still in denial about it. She is still NOT OK by herself without a partner. I was there for a while, the NOT OK part, but I didn’t open myself up for a married man to get his hooks in.

She is more like a woman who lives with a man who beats her and as soon as she leaves him, she goes and finds another man who will abuse her.

Years ago I had a friend I really cared a great deal about. Her name was “Mary.” Mary had been married to a man who was bi-polar, alocholic and beat her. She got a divorce and was doing well with her 2 kids, her own home, and a good job. Then she started to date “Dave.” One night she came over to my house with a black eye and told me she had had Dave arrested and I stayed with her the rest of the evening talking about what an ass Dave was. The next day she bailed him out.

Time goes by and she comes over again with another black eye and Dave is in jail. Rinse and repeat. I told Mary that night, Mary, you are enabling him by bailing him out. I love you and I hate to see you do this to yourself, but I won’t talk about Dave and what an Ass he is if you go bail him out in the morning.

Well, we talked and yes, she bailed him out in the morning. Then she quit her job, sold her house and moved to BFE with him and I lost touch with her. BTW Dave wasn’t overly fond of employment either. I’ve often thought of Mary and wondered what ever happened to her. I don’t know if I did right in the way I handled it or not, sometimes I think yes, and sometimes I think no. But the thing is for sure, Mary sat herself up to be abused because she was so afraid of being alone that she stayed in denial that if I just keep on trying he will get better. I’ve been there with my P-son, and with my P X-BF, so I’m not throwing rocks at Mary or anyone else. The thing is that it takes more than one kind of bad even repeated decision to make one qualify as a psychopath. Poor decisions? YES!!! In spades! She is just wishing for a fantasy and they are promising her one, and she is falling for it….and it is a shame because she really is a nice lady. Like my friend, Mary, though, ONLY SHE can help herself avoid more hurt in the future.

Ox Drover

LOL we are posting over each other all three of us now, EB and Sky!


Did you hear the one about the statistics guys who were on a train going through Ireland. One of them looked out the window and said. “SOME of the sheep in Ireland are black.”

The second one said, “SOME of the sheep in Ireland are black SOME of the time.”

The third one said “SOME of the sheep in Ireland are black SOME of the time ON ONE SIDE.” LOL


If your friend had done it once, like some of the posters that come here have done, I would buy it.
But serial dating of married men is sick and a RED FLAG.
My neighbor the crazy husband stealer is a bank manager, very intelligent, feeds the deer, birds and squirrels, takes in stray cats and rescues them, serves on the water association as treasurer, etc…
She IS a sociopath, and it was made quite clear by the pleasure she took in manipulating me and working with my exP to get me to commit suicide.
To my knowledge she has never done this to anyone else around my neighborhood. But she did tell me that her family had ostracized her for “her lifestyle”. I asked her to clarify, she said, “Oh, because I’m dating a married man”
Her father was a politician and didn’t want her lifestyle to ruin his career I guess.

Once or twice, I get it, but over and over…?
You would not be so generous if you learned she was dating children repeatedly, why are u ok with married men?


Good point!

lesson learned

OMG…this is so triggering…but like a train wreck I can’t walk away….

Sky…I SO UNDERSTAND your pessimism, if not cynicism of the world, Chica. I REALLY, REALLY DO!!! I so get the black and white thing………but the truth (from my perspective only here!) is that there are tons of gray areas…………I just think that black and white almost gives some sort of comfort while dealing with a psycho/spath/N world………….

But there are those that are dysfunctional and yet can still love and those that are S/P/N who DON”T have that capability at and white, right? There are so many in between…and I think Ox’s friend is one of them…but still a victim nonetheless…

I understand Ox’s friend. It’s as if she is speaking of and to me…i a lot of ways…

As the OW, we don’t want to cause pain, but as with anyone involved with a Spath,we get caught up in their bullshit lies…the fantasies they create in “We will be together in the end!” and when you come from a shitty childhood full of pain, past relationships FULL of pain,….oh those are the BEST WORDS you will ever hear….and you (editorially) want desperately to believe it….because everything else seems so blah in comparison to the DREAM….

There is one thing I have learned. I was told over and over what Spath was. I caused a great deal of pain, holding desperately onto his lies. I would have given my LIFE to believe they were true….even when I knew they were not….I did that because his promises of love, that the dream would come true…that we would be together, that he could and WOULD be the ultimate end to the grief and pain of past relationships and childhood gone wrong…it is a strong, VERY STRONG< almost OBSESSIVE denial to forego the pain……

The S/P/N knows this. And they play it for all it's worth. While the world around us "OW'S" thinks that we are insane, they play on it, Sky……and that's just what is happening to Ox's friend too. I wasn't without a great deal of love and empathy. Spath played on that too. I wasn't without a great deal of childhood wounds…he played on that too……he knew my vulnerabilities………and he played on each and every one…but until I could build SOMETHING/ANYTHING of myself that said those wounds needed to be healed, but with NO ONE to salve the pain…just me….S/P/N was the answer….

Sky….there are good people in this world. LOTS of them. LOTS…but they are human too, they will screw it up…Ijust think that the difference is that they can screw it up and CARE about the screw up….Ox, I believe (I don't know her from shiat,but just from what I read in her posts- assuming she is awesome), knows her friend is in deep emotional pain…and that is the difference. Ox's friend FEELS….

When you are stuck in your (editorially speaking again) denial, there is not ONE thing a person can/could say to take you out of it. THe fantasy is just that strong. When you come from abuse and pain, the LAST thing you want to hear when you're in that kind of pain is that your latest Spath is NOT "the one" whether he ismarried or not………..

It is often said, "He is the hero, she is the slut"…Spath's know this too. Do you realize how much more damage is done to these women who are hurting, loving and so highly vulnerable?

Not all of us are without empathy, love or care. ohhhhhhhh we SO love and that's EXACTLY what the Spath is hoping for…and the more we love him, the more we give, the harder we try, the more he uses it as weaponry to paint us as unforgiving, relentless, stalking whores who feed upon HIM without mercy to those HE HE HE Is to be obligated too…to those HE HE HE is suppose to love…… care for…….

I'm blessed. My children know who Spath is and his crazymaking shit. They all know. I just couldn't believe. It hurt too damned much. I'm so grateful now to my friends who totally loved and supported me through it all, my children who told the truth but remained silent in pain for me to figure out my own shit….they told me,. but remained silent the rest of the time, believing enough in me that I would eventually "get it"…and that meant a hell of a lot more than a label…

Sky, S/P/N's are just that good. They are just that good. And they use the mistress to look like a hero….when a lot of us are just looking to be loved or released from the pains of rejection, from childhood on…and they knew that too………

I KNOW not everyone is S/P/N. But my personal pain would not allow anything more at the time…it's a slow process….

That friend of Ox's will be SO GRATEFUL she just stood aside, but loved her friend anyway…..knowing she was exercising demons from her past, not without empathy …..she will be SO GRATEFUL when her eyes are opened and her denial is lifted (Ox, PLEASE don't give up on your friend!)…because when the denial comes crashing down…when there are no alternatives but the pain left behind…when there are no other alternatives except those that love you…..the last straw that comes…..

There is no time frame on what creates a reality for someone.

But when it happens, it is SO painful and I believe you understand that with your own experiences.

The blame is on the Spath for taking advantage of a little innocent child screaming for love, and knowing just what he was doing…

He does it to EVERYONE. EVERY SINGLE PERSON in his life..andwhat better than a woman so vulnerable like me, like Ox's friend…….

I often think our childhoods are screaming for help through relationships with these toxic people.

I've thought about that a lot. I wonder if there isn't some truth to that.

Sky………please don't lose hope. There are good people in the world. Even if they are dysfunctional and haven't had the awakening yet………"we" could only be so grateful to have a friend like you and Ox, who are there when the painful fallout happens………


okay folks, i have a question: why do we attract the people we do. This isn’t a question about attracting spaths, but is broader than that.

the two friends i lost were good freinds for a long time. both of them had specific emotional limitations; one had a couple of areas of his life that he could never talk about, and was seriously risk adverse (perhaps these two things were linnked) and the other has very strong walls around her emotions, and lacked generosity to a large extent -she isn’t particulary compassionate. But these were only their weaknesses, they had many strengths, also.

i am thinking that my strengths and weaknesses played to theirs – my compassion creates a lot fo space for people to be who they are in their weakness, but also, i wonder if i tend to attract people who are cut off emotionally because they will also abandon me sooner or later?

Looking back on the last few months of friendship with damaged friend #1, i see that i was feeling very jumpy with him – like i was compulsively filling in the emotional blanks. these folks just couldn’t didn’t go deep enough for me, and i was uncomfortable with their shallow places – sure that things lurked there, I suppose; and being with emotionally shallow people sucks. it’s lonely.


i am going to haul this thread back up, because i’d really like peeps to weigh in on my above question.


We do ‘fill in the blanks’… humans. We think that others think like us at times also, so we offer undeserved compassion….because we’d like compassion in hard times…

One, I do believe we attract what we send out in the world.
I’ve noticed, when I was at my low point, I was willing to take in anyone who would listen…..I ‘collected’ unheathy relationnships…..
I stepped back and thought…..dang, EB… are surrounded by a bunch of ‘fix it tickets’…….
It was because I was a fix it ticket……..negativitiy breeds negativity…..
When we are strong and on it…..we attract strong peeps.

When someone isn’t opening up completely… a person who desires connection…’s frustrating.
To me, being a freind is being there in good times and bad……if there is all bad….I start to think….hmmmmmm is this person perpetual drama maamma’s?

Sometimes my life is drama…..we feed off that.

When I don’t engage in the drama in my world….with my kids or others……life is much better!

It’s the perpetual weeding of the garden…..we may get rid off the cheatgrass……but the dandilions show up….they’re pretty until they take over.


lesson learned,
how MANY married men did you date?
1 or 2?
I’m saying that a SERIAL husband stealer is not a victim any more than a crack whore is. Sure, she has an addiction, and it’s called ENVY, but she also has a choice.
My exP could convince you of his pain and so could bill clinton. All P’s really are in pain, so it’s easy for them to use the pity ploy. But there are still choices to be made, selfish ones or responsible ones. When we follow our selfish choices (I won’t even call it Libido because it has nothing to do with sex), we are being evil.
I know there are good people out there. I’m just shocked at the amount of people who love to manipulate.
The couple I met (refer to my post above), have an 82 year old mother who cried on my shoulder as she told me about being abandoned by her own mom. (every few years she would be dropped off to another family to raise her) She asked me”why? did she leave me?”
I concluded that her mom was afraid that her dad would molest her, and I told her this. She denied it. not possible. But then I talked to her daughter, and also suggested this possiblilty, daughter denied it also, but concurrently, in the same sentence, told me that she had been groped by her grandfather (the man in question)! Talk about cognitive dissonance. You can’t see what’s infront of your face BECAUSE it’s infront of your face!
This 82 year old mother is married to a man 25 years younger and continually asks me if he seems ok. He doesn’t work, so I assumed he was using her. Last weekend I figured out that SHE is using HIM. I watched her try to manipulate her DIL and myself with the pity ploy. She has alzheimers but she has not forgotten how to manipulate. When I see that she has 3 crazy kids (45 thru 60 years old) by 2 husbands, and she has told me about her infidelities, I can see that she is the tree that created the rotten fruit. ALL because she was abandoned by her parents, all because her father was a child molester. This stuff, goes on and on. slime passes from one generation to another, exponentially.
One step,
why do we attract the people we do. This isn’t a question about attracting spaths, but is broader than that.

I can spot a person who has been damaged by emotional abuse from across the street or across the internet. I can’t even see the normal ones. Just like spaths know each other, we damaged ones do too. We are attracted to the face of drama. It’s what we are used to.
My german shepard would get so excited when she saw another german shepard and I used to think it was because she “knew” that they were the same breed. Then I realized, it’s because they look like her brothers and sisters and mom, and she remembers. we are attracted to the familiar. that’s all.


nicely said: ‘—but the dandilions show up”.they’re pretty until they take over. ‘

i was as strong as i ever was when i met these peeps a few years ago.

i have been looking at that idea of attracting what we are, but i don’t think i am emotionally shallow (I have attracted people who are not as comfortable in the emo realm as i am). but i am willing to put up with it for a long time. part of that is healthy, and part of it isn’t.

maybe it’s attracting what we need to heal – a strong mirror? relfecting back to me the unhealed areas of my life – that i put up with this crap and that i expect to be abandonned…

i think it’s more about abandonment than anything.

and thanks for playing. 😉


sky – i don’t buy that i am attracted to the face of drama.
i will buy that i am attracted to what is familiar. (but my life has not been all drama, by any means) i think the answer is abandonment. i am attracted to people who have abandoned themselves, and have been abandoned early in their lives…who, will ultimately abandon me.

the way to break this: stop abandoning myself.

and thank YOU for playing. please collect your participation gift at the bar.

Ox Drover

Sky, I am NOT okay with her dating married men, but that ONE bad behavior even repeated does not make her a psychopath,, it makes her a serial victim, just like it would if she repeatedly dated alcoholics….look up the definition of psychopathic, it is a whole life pattern, and this woman doesn’t have an entire PATTERN of bad behavior. She is just self destructive in this one way, I think I read once or twice where it was called “seeking men who are unavailable”—either married men or men ( or I guess this could also be men who are always looking for unavailable women who are either married or won’t commit)—of course she is not a pedophile and I wouldn’t condone it if she was.

A person who is an alcoholic can be or not be a psychopath, simply being an addict doesn’t make a person a psychopath. A person who dates married people CAN be a psychopath, but there are other things that are involved as well in the diagnosis. Not every murderer is a psychopath.

I’m not arguing with you that what she is doing is a bad decision (this is the 2nd one I know about) and she is setting herself up to get POUNDED. Her first married BF I think was definitely a psychopath though he was quite successful in his profession (world wide) but he also treated his wife horribly and his children as well. My friend was flattered both as a woman and as a professional peer of this man. Then after 4 years she saw that he was lying to her—he did dump his wife though. This latest guy even told her he had had many (6 or 8) affairs in the past then said his wife had “returned the favor” (so of course it was all this terrible wife’s fault because she got even with him by having an affair after he had several and gave her VD) so my friend thinks, “Oh, he is telling me all these things he has done in the past so he must be being HONEST with me. ” From what she tells me he is a psychopath though successful, attractive, polished manners, etc. I told her he is “just a psychopath with good manners” but doesn’t mean he isn’t a psychopath.

My friend comes from another culture, one that pushes their children to succeed at professions and she had no childhood, it was STUDY!!!!!! Study!!!! BE THE BEST!!! Well, she was the best and she is the best and she is at the top of her field and respected all over the world, her culture is part of it, and I think the fact that the culture pushed her and her parents pushed her to not only succeed but excel at succeeding. She was also programmed to be a people pleaser and to continually worry about “what would the neighbors think?” More so than me even.

I think this current situation is going to wind down in the next month or so and be over. I hope so for sure, all I can do for her is to be there when it comes crashing down and hopefully this time she will get it.

Well, guys I’m about ready to put the old bod to bed. I’m still not finished with my office cleaning and filing, still got 2 bankers boxes of stuff to file, but at least everything is in the right box, floor’s open so I can shampoo it, but got to get to town tomorrow. I’ve been going over the American Heart Association low-salt cook book and the womenHeart’s All heart family cook book so got to get on B&N and order me some (the ones I have are borrowed) and get into this low salt cooking some more!

You guys have a good night! Keep it between the ditches!~! See you sometime tomorrow! ((((hugs(((((


Do you think by thinking in NON long term values in re: to temp jobs, temp friends, temp family……we are cutting out the abandonment factor?


nope, it’s just an end run around it.


not sure I get what “abandoning myself” means. I’d like to know, since it seems we have some parallel experiences.
Drama can be just being abandoned. my BF was very attractive to me when I first saw him about 25 years ago. He looked so ….sad…or emotionally sensitive. I tease him about this sometimes. Call him the original Emo kid.
Last year, I saw a woman calling her cat across the street. I felt drawn to go talk to her. I told her about my spath, she told me she was bipolar. Her mother was borderline. I could tell from across the street, that I could talk to her about my problems – a total stranger.
I think maybe we are trying to get a do-over. We want to experience the original trauma, but this time, we want a good ending.
EB, with that in mind, I think temp anything isn’t what we want. We are like the spath in that we experienced trauma, but unlike the spath, we didn’t become evil, we became the opposite. My exP, near the end said to me, “love should be unconditional”. It’s part of trying to re-live childhood traumas but getting the unconditional love at the end.
I know it’s hard for people here to want to think this way about spaths, and I don’t think sympathy is the answer. Responsibility is.

lesson learned


I totally understand what you’re saying. No, I am NOT a serial dater in that way at all. I was in a marriage for over twenty years, with the SAME man who fathered all of my six children….

I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to respond to what you’ve outlined here because I just feel angry with a lot of indignation, given what my cheating, lying piece of shit SPath did to me and his two former wives………..

I think blaming the women that Spath feeds off of, married or not, isn’t there the blame should lie, Chica.

It takes away from the disordered souls they are. That they torture all in their path. Whether it’s whom they’re married to or not.

The woman involved with a Spath who is married, is no less than one whom is, Chica.

He lies the same way. He says the same bullshit stories.

He appeals to the same vulnerabilities that sucked his wife in too.

It doesn’t matter her position.

Should anyone be treated than less of a human being? Spath does that readily…
He lied to his wife, as readily as he lied to her and he fed on vulnerabilities to do it.

Maybe they weren’t the same……………condoning or not, actions is irrelevant…….

It’s so much deeper than that when dealing with a disordered person.

I understand what you’re saying. I really do.

But please don’t assume that because there is the OW that she’s a whore and not worth a lot of love…………because in many ways, she’s believing the same lies that you did.


I don’t blame all OW’s for what the spaths do.
I also recognize that my spath was preying on my crazy husband stealer neighbor’s propensity for husband stealing!!
It’s actually funny. Evil people prey on each other.
not all OW’s are bad, many are innocent victims, I get that. But my only issue is the SERIAL, over and over and over again husband stealer.
Oxy clarified that it was two husbands, so that isn’t a serial husband stealer, I didn’t know that at first.
In your case, you were duped as we all are by the pity ploy, “my wife doesn’t understand me…” blah!
The spaths are good at their cons. I know that.
I guess that is our lesson, we have to have strong boundaries and we can’t make exceptions. I know that I did – breaking the law and my moral boundaries because my exP begged me to have pity on him. blah!
Lesson learned, your name is perfect!

lesson learned

I also recognize that my spath was preying on my crazy husband stealer neighbor’s propensity for husband stealing!!
You are RIGHT!!! You couldn’t be more right Sky!!!

Prey!!! And the most vulnerable, THE BETTER!!

One thing I’ve realized……..and I’ll share this on a personal level with you…

I’m thin, very attractive physically….even after six, I can honestly say that I’ve had people say to me, over and over “WOW, you don’t look like you’ve had any children let alone SIX”….

When I hear that garbage I wince. REALLY? But ex Spath loved it as did ex P that I was married to for 20 some odd years….but ya know what? Ultimately, it didn’t matter at all Sky…not what we looked like, not how great in bed, NONE of it….whatever S/P/N was “looking” for, NONE of us would fit the bill, married to these psychos or not, ya know?

It was all about THEM!!!! IT WAS ALL ABOUT THEM!

Sky……when I was married to ex P, he cheated left and right. I stayed faithful to him…………….until the end when ex Spath was feeding off our “friendship” of ten or more years at the time…he CONVINCED me that he loved me and that I deserved MORE than the shit ex P was putting me through…it was a lie…all of it was a lie……………….it’s no less a lie now than it was then…but I have to take responsibility for that……I BELIEVED THE LIE.and that’s where I screwed up big time. I BELIEVED The lie…and something inside of me wanted too………Karma is real…because as ex Spath lied, while P was trying to stalk and kill me out of that control…oh MY GOD ex Spath was good..

Ex P wanted to kill me. He almost ran over the child he said he loved the most of them all, our youngest daughter, in a fit of rage, after having beat the shit out of me, leaving me for dead….he was the VIOLENT equation of P/N/S…but ex Spath was FAR MORE dangerous…….

He didn’t have to lift a finger, Chica. All he had to do was let me know, in the most devious of ways, that I was a worthless piece of garbage worthy of guilt, shame………..all the shit he projected onto me…but I was willing. I took it. I TOOK that garbage and readily accepted it as my own….because I didn’t believe in myself….and he knew it. IN more ways than I can say, he knew it….and he drained the life blood out of me doing it…there is much guilt now because i let him…when I saw the truth of his motives and what he had done…….

IN short, it’s been devastating. I’d rather be hit, Chica. FOr real, than feel the incredible pain he has put upon myself, my children and my life…

I’d rather be hit by twenty years of ex P.

At least with ex P, he was SO VIOLENT that there was no way to ge the message.

I”m convinced that the Spaths with the MOST psychological penetration to our desires is FAR MORE dangeous than a man who beats the shit out of you.

I’d rather have a black eye, than this. Truly….

And for a lot of us OW’s, this is our deserving, right?

I’m not so sure of that anymore, Sky.

Maybe we did the wives a favor with his lack of ability to be forthcoming in what a prick he is.;

Because he willsurely repeat the pattern.

Thank GOD it’s not you anymore, Chica.

Just like your ex P begged you to have mercy on him, so is the same scumbag begging at the door of his mistress…probably at within the hour of begging at yours.

I find peace without his begging. I know what lying, sick piece of shit he is and what he was doing to me while married to P. And guess what? He examined all of that too.

A sick human being,feeding off the vulnerability of others.

His biggest MO.

Interesting discussions in this thread. Donna’s point The best indication of future behavior is past behavior is true to a point. It should really say The best indication of future behavior is past behavior, sometimes.

For example the post right above mine (pardon me for using your post skylar, I am not trying to imply anything by it, just the words as an example) talks about the person used to break the law and moral boundaries. So:

Past behavior = breaking the law and moral boundaries
Future behavior = same?

We have to be careful about applying any of these neat little pigeonholes to people because sometimes they apply and sometimes they do not. Looking for the easy, black and white answers when it comes to human interactions is a fool’s errand because every person and every situation that every person is in is unique unto itself. Some generalities may apply but that is the best it gets.

I think this thread has done a good job at showing how subjective some folks are when it comes to tossing around the term psychopath. Again it seems that for some almost any bad behavior = psychopath and that is so far from the reality that it dilutes the term and makes it almost meaningless.

LL you are right in that there are a lot of grey areas. There are a number of reasons why some people may act a certain way at a certain time at a certain place in their lives. And it can be very easy to label them psychopathic (which for most means untreatable/unable to change). There are millions of former drug/alcohol users that easily looked this way but once they stayed clean for years they did not.

But if we only use our personal experiences, biases and opinions we can easily fall into the trap of labeling any behavior we personally see as bad as psychopathic. We could easily see some victims and their bad behaviors at the time as psychopathic and that this will predict their future behavior, reinforced by the (unproven) notion that this also means they will never change.

So if we take the wording skylar used we could easily have pigeonholed her into having the law and moral breaking behavior = bad behavior = psychopathy = future behavior = will never change and Presto! we have Skylar wrapped up with a little bow on top all nicely packaged, easy to deal with mentally and on we can go.

And what makes it even harder is that there are some people who are “victims” but yet they are also abusers. The abused/abuser. There are cases of what could be termed professional victims yet they are really abusive under the guise of being a victim, which, they may well be as well. So that confuses things even more. Heck there is even one site about that states “This means the victims are sciopathic to some degree”.

I have a very close friend that is currently in a relationship in which she is “the other woman”. Do I think it is psychopathic of her (or him)? No. I think that human relationships are extremely complex. Is it hurtful to all involved? Yes. And that I would suggest is the criteria that most of us should try to use. If someone is being hurtful over and over in our lives than that person should go out of our lives if they are not willing to stop being hurtful. It doesn’t matter what a person says, it is what they do. I can tell someone I care about them deeply but if I turn around and slap them every night, if I degrade them every day, well that shows what is really happening.

My friend should get out of the relationship. I have explained it to her in numerous ways. But she stays in it for her reasons and needs even though they are self-destructive. Does this mean that she should be considered a potential future behavior threat for being seeng married men? No, no more than anyone else is. Yet there are people that would disagree and see her behavior as “psychopathic”. But that really says more about them than it does about her.

Of course to mix things up and make them even messier is the fact that many of what could be termed psychopaths do all these behaviors, such as serial adultery, and can leave huge scars behind. Personallly I feel that the psychological damage is often much worse than any physical damage done. But this can easily cause people to become very sensitive to this (and for good reason!) but it can also become oversensitive. Oversensitive meaning that they see anyone donig that behavior (i.e. adultery) as being the same as what was done to them. This makes sense in a mental safety way but does not always equal up to the truth.

As I said in a previous post I will repeat here with the same ruffled feather expectations (talking about others we have not experienced):

Dehumanizing another person is often one of the major things that abusive people and groups do. Dehumanizing others allows the abuses to occur and makes them acceptable, even justified. It sets up the us and them; the we are human they are sub-human. And yet how many times do we see people doing this same exact thing when talking about others; when talking about psychopathy? Doing so is no less wrong than when the abusers do it. It may be a behavior that was learned from them; it may be just hurt and anger speaking out; it may be a whole set of things. But it is still not a positive thing to hold onto over time.

I would add this -> doing behaviors over and over, like the one above, makes it easier to do it as time goes on. In fact it can become a habit. A habit to the point of where it is done without even realizing it is happening. If it reaches this point it can be extremely hard to change.

Oxy I hope you are smiling at home as I have posted again 🙂


Just want to check in and change the subject just a little. I have been reading your conversations and am amazed at what you all have been through. I believe my recent experience with ex BF spath may be the tip of the iceberg as I haven’t yet to determine what was actually going on with my ex H of 25 years.

Today is the 3rd day of NC with ex spath. We had broken up before so that is the reason I am so determined to do it right this time. Today I was really hurting. There was one particular trigger you may find interesting. The Movie “The Music Man” had been on. It was the remake with Matthew Broderick. I watched it and put it on pause as I did other things. Even though I enjoyed the movie, I watched it with different eyes this time. Professor Hill was a con man. We seem to be fastenated with them. Marion the Librarian said very firm No’s from the beginning of the movie. At the end, however, when he is found out and about to be tarred and feathered. she comes to his rescue without even being asked. He asked her if she knew all along. She did. I don’t remember him saying he loved her except maybe in a song or two, but she defended him and spun a tale about everyone being happier since he came to town and how they thought more positively. bla bla bla. The only thing he could come up with was that “This time he got his foot caught in the door.” The message that is given in that movie is that she was the one person who could reform the con man. Really???

That movie, with the knowledge that I could hear the drinking in my spath’s voice on the phone, confirmed to me that I finally needed to put a stop to it. They are the perps, we are the victims, but we defend them for some reason for a long time because we don’t want to know the truth. What is the truth? I am finding out again today, that it is up to me to run my life, not some knight in shining armor. I want a good man hopefully one day, but he has to be one who deserves me as I am starting to feel more and more like I do deserve better.



Even though I am sounding like I know what I am talking about, the thought crossed my mind today that “Can I actually do any better?” I haven’t thought that for a long time. I have gained some weight for instance. Before breaking up with spath since we had been trying to maintain just a friendship this time I was actually enjoying the idea of really being good to myself. He was going to come over next week and bring in his words “a small gift”. Last year was the year of the Love Bomb gifts, or you could call it loan sharking. After that I paid for everything including having him on my phone plan.

Although he kept hanging up on me when I wanted to “talk”, he finally said, “you are not going to defriend me from facebook again are you.? I told him I already had. That is when he called me the bitch from hell. Why? I think it was because he wanted to enjoy his drinking weekend when he didn’t have to go to work, but still keep me where he could see me after that.

I also have rejection issues. I hate to be hung up on. My ex H used to do that all the time. In fact he went no contact with me other than mailing the alimony check from his current address, I don’t know his phone number or anything. His father died recently and he didn’t even tell me. This was a man I was married to for 25 years.

By the way….what does D and D mean? I think part of it means disguard? Fill me in please.



TsF – third day, well done to you. And yes you can do better, much better. Keep checking in here – It’s therapy as and when we need it. For instance if I wake early, or can’t get to sleep I come on here and read. Good luck.


Really great points brought up! I’ve just been watching this documentary on the Clintons on youtube… In fact i think everyone here would do good to take a gander because i think it is inordinately important to have this material lit to your consciousness/awareness.. there are 12 parts altogether but the first two in themselves are very shocking to me. It really blows my mind that someone in such a Prominent place, such as Presidency could just slip through with his actions gone unnoticed, his history unacknowledged.. really just shocking i tell you. The documentary i’ve been watching is called Bill & Hilary : Their Secret Life and is all based on factual information… it’s no “point of view” film, its just real facts about the history.. one particular line really stood out to me.

Just one tidbit :

“From clinton’s first years as attorney general, Little Rock had been awash in gossip about his blatant womanizing. After he was elected President, Arkansas trooper, bodyguards and others would testify to his extramarital relations with literally HUNDREDS of women. State trooper L.D. Brown stated, that on state time and using state guards, he drove the Governor to over one hundred extra marital affairs and guarded him during those encounters. Brown was Clinton’s favorite trooper, and he received dozens of books from the Governor, many of which he still retains. In one law book, there is a sentence to the effect of “Adultery is Not a Crime” and is underlined twice in red.”

Now excuse me but I’m going to go out on a limb and be blunt here. Hundreds of extramarital affairs… that ain’t a mistake- that is PATHOLOGY. There’s a whole bunch of other stuff, and the extramarital affairs, in my opinion are just the tip of the iceberg. What shocked me even more was this :

“The repeated testimony of state troopers would show that Clinton rated women as objects. “Ripe Peaches” as he called them, purely to be grated, chased, dominated and conquered. The Governor had been predatory even towards one of the trooper’s wives, and toward anothers mother in law.”

Sound familiar, anyone?

lesson learned


I really appreciate your post. And I agree with that fully,but you were able to post that objectively, where I’m still angry. I hope that sometime in the near future, my heart won’t be aching so much that I don’t come off with all the anger. I can’t defend my behavior with Spath. I was victimized by him, for sure, but I’m also responsible for my involvement with him too and the pain it caused. That is still weighing heavy on my heart. Thank you for your post and yours too Skylar. I’m learning a lot and venting a lot too.

TT good for you!!! I’m recently NC too. COMPLETELY. It’s been tough. Hang in there!


I think people here aren’t actually getting what was happening with the crazy husband stealer. ExP was not using the pity ploy on her. He and she were literally sitting around plotting and laughing about how I would commit suicide. He told her that he could get me to do it. There was no love involved, though I assume there was sex since they are both sex addicts.
I am also pretty good looking for my age, people think I’m 15 years younger than I am. He actually used THAT AGAINST ME. I watched him do it once. He would talk to other women about my great figure in order to make them jealous and make them hate me. He used their insecurities to make them envy me. Then he used that envy to create hate and make them want to see me suffer or die. He didn’t pick good people for these roles, he picked evil people. Crazy husband stealer is an ugly toad looking woman. He was not trying to replace me with her, he simply wanted her to pretend to be my friend and then betray me. He had the other neighbor doing the same thing.

Ox Drover

True to Self, D & D means devalue and discard.

Blogger, another well thought out and well worded post. Good Points! I have GOT to go to town but will be back and comment on your post in full.

Let me just say here that I AGREE 100% with what you said, but it IS TRUE that IN GENERAL (on average, most of the time) “the BEST indicator of future behavior is past behavior.”

People RESIST change for the most part, and that includes YOU and ME.

I think even though the people here on this blog ARE Working toward CHANGE, even though that is what we want, and what we are working on, we still RESIST those changes, because CHANGE is SCARY stuff.

Set boundaries= risk losing a relationship=scary change.

Scary change=anxiety about how we will cope and meet our needs=insecurity

The devil you know is less scary than the devil you don’t know.

Off to town, back later. (Ps. Blogger, I take the blame 100%!) hee hee


Continuing from my previous post. Not convinced? Watch this video, as Bill Clinton fakes crying at Ron Brown’s funeral, at the drop of a hat. Notice what triggers him to- when he is aware that a camera is pointed at him. He is seen in one moment laughing and joking around with his bodyguard/associate or whatever… then boom, he sees the camera, and suddenly he’s ~SAD~ pretends to tear up and wipe his face cause “thats what youre supposed to do at a funeral” ( since only “what emotions SHOULD be felt” can be gauged by those who dont FEEL )


You affirm so much for me. My husband did much the same as yours.

I couldn’t figure out why people hated me so much. It’s the great secret how in a small town, everyone knows everyone’s business but no one tells the scapegoat what’s being said. HATED me, were vicious to me, but NEVER said why. If I asked, they’d stare, say nothing or say “you know what you did”.

One time, a townsperson saw me and said “Wow, you look really great today!” My husbands response to me was to get FURIOUS. I didn’t know why that was his auto response but I do remember telling him that she just said b/c she must have been in a really good mood. But HIS wasn’t, not for the rest of the day which I spent trying to make up to him for her remark.

I learned a lot AFTER he discarded me. I learned HOW he’d share great stories with others, joshing and joking and then insert just a little “you might wanna think about…” caring remarks – looking like he was watching out for them with insider knowledge about me. It worked even better b/c in this small town, his parents were known for how hateful they were towards each other. His mom was a real bitch and people believed my husband married someone like his mom and that LIKE HIS FATHER, he was protecting them against me.

Only I wasn’t like his mom and the life with my husband drove me to depths of self destruction including a stroke, illness, and that stupid act that proved I was crazy (a non fatal car accident)

My husband was a MASTER at Gossip. He loved to tell someone a secret and then stand back and watch the drama. Didn’t want to be IN the drama, just wanted to enjoy it, laughing laughing laughing.

Bill Clinton’s video of Ron Brown’s funeral was classic. My husband – unbelievably but true – would go to funerals for the SOCIAL aspect, for the food, meeting up with people, again enjoying the drama, but at appropriate times keeping his head down in reverance while looking sideways to know when he could socialize again.

Gossip can kill. Funny how it is one of the commandments. That shows that the evil of it was recognized all that way back then. AND Envy, one of the deadly sins? My husband carried on with BOTH in mega overdoses…


when we are the OW, we think that all OW are duped like we are. NOT TRUE, being preyed upon is not the same thing as being duped.
If he ran into a person who is a pedophile, he would prey upon those tendencies by luring the ped to do more evil.
That is how he preyed upon my neighbor. He simply encouraged her to be what she really liked to be, he provided the avenue and the victim (me).
It is nothing like Lesson Learned’s experience of being preyed upon because she was trusting. There are many p’s out there that don’t have the courage to do as much evil as they would like. He provides that for them and assures them that they will succeed.


That’s a thought that crossed my mind several times, skylar.
I agree the biggest danger with psychopaths is that they corrupt, they pervert. Mine wanted “to be accepted with his weakness”. They kind of search for victims-accomplices. But when one realizes what’s the play about one must abandon the play or becoming an active accomplice.

lesson learned

Katy, Sky,

your stories are absolutely disgusting in what your ex P’s did to you. I’m so sorry that happened, I feel badly for anyone that has to experience the hatred of a psycho’s lies to another.

Mine was a bit more subtle, but just as “deadly” in his acts. VERY sneaky!!! Since his separation and subsequent divorce from his wife, however, everyone that they ever had as friends, have refused to have anything to do with him since his ex wife exposed him and his antics to everyone. I’m glad she’s happy and found peace in her life. I don’t know how she LIVED with him all those years. He said he got kicked out of their social circle and their church, but that’s lies too. His games didn’t work anymore. P/N/S’s don’t like exposure. Obviously this was not either of your experiences and I feel so badly for you about that. While I’ve had a taste of it in this situation, I think my major blessing was that he doesn’t WANT to tell the truth about me because it MAKES HIM LOOK BAD TO ANOTHER POTENTIAL victim. I already know that to be true.
Katy, interesting that you say “He would prey upon those tendencies by luring the ped to do more evil”.. there is so much truth to that. While your ex’s OW was having her evil extracted, it can also be extracted in others too who are NOT evil. For example, the use of alcohol to lure, hook and become addicted too, thus causing pain….just like mine did. The evil they encourage comes out in many different forms or ways…but I think if there is genuine, true good in a person’s heart, they will eventually see what these psychos are doing and choose not to partake anymore. It can take days, weeks, or as in my case, years to see it. To want to see it. Once I did see it, everything I tried to avoid in feeling and causing pain, washed over me like an ocean. It’s been incredibly difficult to deal with. I trusted a lot longer than I should have.

I hope that for both of you, there has been some healing with others around you for the lying, nasty evil creatures these men were in your lives. I hope others see it eventually if not now in both your cases. I know that exSpath talks major shit on his ex, STILL in love bombing his next victims. I sometimes wish I could talk to her, but again, I think that would disrupt the peace she has in her life. I’ve caused enough pain.


Yes, I get your point. Dupes vs p’s. Some were p’s but most were dupes.

My husband was a master at manipulating people’s tendencies to be loyal to the “locals”, and suspicious of newbies. I was definitely the newbie and as my husband portrayed to others, I was a controlling, screaming, gold digging kind of woman that wouldn’t let him go (NOT even close to any conversation we ever had at home!).

Townspeople just did what they could to protect him, a local boy, without question b/c of their good nature; and they assumed that a member of a historic pioneer family was above reproach, esp since he appeared to be doing the same for them… watching out for their back. OF couse, it went further. I was also the scapegoat, when he promised them something and it didn’t happen, I was blamed b/c I kept him from doing it or I didn’t pass along a message. And then he’d tell them he was sure I “didn’t mean it” which made it look like he was defending me and that endeared him esp to the older ladies.

Fun fun fun in an isolated ranch town… where gossip is the best fun!


Sky and Katy,
Same mo here and I think most on this list would agree that we are all conned by master EXPLOITERS and users and imposters of the truth.

They are backwards …They use people the way we use objects.. They have emotional attachments to objects (money especially because it buys the pretties) not people.

That said, in my case, the entire family (4 siblings) are always doing good deeds, and purposefully befriending good Christian people… to use them.

I know their hearts because they never PRIVATELY expressed one sign of empathy or compassion for the children. Instead, the goal was to smile more, help the ex spread more lies and use their own children to do the same.

I am curioius to see how this all pans out as I silently watch. Actions always speak the truth.

As for public image, my ex wants to appear to be a caring physician…what a contradiction/impossibility. The Hippocratic Oath being upheld with no empathy.

Sadly, our culture loves to worship people who gain the power and status. We dont place any obligations or responsibility on their behavior …either how they gained power or what they do with it. The ends justify the means.

We seemed to have lost interest in teaching AND expecting character traits-truth, courage, integrity, empathy, humility- that would keep “power” in control.

I can say that I saw a lack of all these qualities in my ex many times..towards me.. but since he “faked” these qualities to others I was deceived. I needed the wisdom to know that he would not change. I chose to stay with him anyway. I should have known better.

lesson learned


My exSpath repeated the same mantra to me about his ex wife that yours did about you. She was a controlling,manipulative bitch, and she didn’t deserve his love and attention anymore. She would scream at him for hours….literally….he called me one night…without saying a word while she screamed at the top of her lungs at him……great ploy, isn’t it? At the time I bought it…until I found myself doing the same thing, in complete and utter frustration and anger provoked.

Flower……yea……………wisdom………I should more than have known better…..


That is a ploy I hadnt considered being used but points straight to why NO contact is necessary until they cant push buttons…which may be always.

I lost my cool only once –thank– God but was afraid he had taped it. However, since my lecture was about his abusiveness and dishonesty, I dont think he can use it. I was blessed (or cursed) with a quiet nature. I dont even know if I could scream in an emergency but hope I am never tested!

I do know there is more power in silence when dealing with all people, esp the manipulators.


Your situation rivals mine (small town) but at least both of us are transplants and the locals are on to him. I am so sorry you have to endure this. I can only imagine how hard it is for you but please know that the truth always, always always wins. Grace, grace and more grace for these deceived people and you will be rewarded generously.

I have now been invited me into the ” ranks” after many of the women saw his treament of me and the children during the divorce. I promise you that your good character and good behavior will be HIS undoing.

lesson learned


I hope what I’m about to say continues to encourage you….after exSpath divorced, I PERSONALLY saw him play games with his ex, using the children to do it, to piss her off. To paint her as a horrible mother. Irresponsible. It got to the point that I had to tell him I was DONE hearing what he had to say about his ex. Just flat done. I feel very badly for her, that she still has to deal with him in regards to the children. He paints himself a victim over and over and over….and I am BETTING my bottom dollar, that a new woman for him would mean MORE ammo to aggravate HER with, again, using the children to do it. My ex Spath’s grandiosity and entitlement gets the best of him every single time though, as his little games makes HER take the reigns and let HIM know whose boss. I find GREAT amusement in that. I hope she continues to make his life a LIVING HELL!!!! GOOD FOR HER!!! After all the crap she’s been through, every manuever he makes will be his undoing. You are absolutely correct on that one. It IS interesting that he’s not very good at hiding whom he truly is anymore, the abusive animal comes out in him pretty quickly. His wife is a lovely woman. She is also a very good mother with a very good support system. She has so much grace and dignity…..much of what I never afforded her with my involvement with him. I believed every single vicious lie he told me. What is even more interesting, is that this site and stories like yours, Katy’s etc, generally follow the same MO as far as trashing the ex, even the lies and victim playing is so textbook and almost word for word.

My exSpath’s ex wife, while I have not spoken with her in some time, SHOWS who she is through her silence, her dignity, self respect, and just letting him totally screw it up.

And he does. Everytime. 🙂

Yes, that was a ploy. He was very good at provoking anger and absolute total unbridled frustration and rage. I didn’t understand at the time, why his ex was so angry as to rage as she did. I get it now. I totally get it. ExSpath was very stealth and excellent at playing the victim and provoking hatred out of women.


Sorry but after a beating that I was not supposed to survive (truck showed up with unplanned delivery, witness meant end of assault.) I RAN thousands of miles away and have not been back (yet he still told people I wouldn’t let him go and that I was a stalker.).

OxDrover lives in the danger zone. I don’t know how she does it. I admire her b/c she protects herself and stays strong/stays sane. But I know I couldn’t live with them so close to me.

I have recovered a LOT since but while I was IN that life, BUT…there was NO way I could live THERE and HEAL. I couldn’t afford it b/c I was in NO emotional condition to work at a job (deeply depressed and uncontrolled sobbing) and I was completely alone, isolated the entire time with NO friends or family. I had married him and then moved to his small hometown so he and his family controlled almost ALL of my encounters with the locals. — My only solace? Once in a while I’d talk with someone who didn’t know who I was and when they heard my name, they exclaimed “YOU are his wife? Well, YOU’RE not what I expected at all!”.

NONE of the locals are on to my husband. Even the affairs he had were with women from other towns north and south so he’d take them traveling on dates out of the area – that way he had multiple girlfriends who never knew about the others b/c they never saw anyone else. At Christmas he’d explain that he couldn’t be with them b/c he was so involved in community events that he had no alone time. When those affairs end, the women would be as if they never existed b/c they were never seen in the small town.

Now he has a new girlfriend who also lives in the next town north but she’s the daughter of a local, and he is in his rehab mode, rehabilitating his reputation b/c he is forgiven for his cheating and lying since he only did it b/c of… ME! His reputation is that he is such a GOOD person that only someone bad like me infected him and now that I am gone, he’s a good person again.

Since I am not there to represent myself, whatever he says goes…

and eventually he will blow it with the newest girlfriend. But I also know he has set up to leave town, buying property in another state. (He has copied the MO of another local boy who was finally caught embezzling. That guy had a whole other life in Arizona before the locals discovered his embezzlement and the subsequent bankruptcy of a cherished local institution. People assume a local would never steal from them. )

I promise MY good character and my integrity is what lets me move on. There is nobody coming to tell me they were wrong and now know I was the victim, not the perpetrator. But there is also no one to stop me from building a new GOOD life here.

How do I know about his real estate purchases/traveling with girlfriends? I read his email. Don’t tell me to “go NC”. Reading his email is how I was able to get leverage and free myself, divorce is nearly done!! THen I won’t care but finding how he hid assets, getting the cash to pay the attorney? I couldn’t have done it without reading his email… I am nearly NC, all communication is via the attorney. He just doesn’t know I read his email, that’s all.

Ox Drover



I am so glad that you are doing well in your recovery and that you ARE safe and away from him. I’m managing to stay here with the egg donor over the hill because I have another road that goes out the back side of the farm and I don’t even have to pass by her house. I stay over here in the woods where I can’t even see her house most of the time, and I don’t let anyone of the neighbors or even my cousin know when I am here or not or where I am when I am gone.

I send dis-information (that’s my word for LIES) to a buddy of my P son’s who is, as we speak, getting weekly picture post cards from my vacation in Australia!!!! Later toward the spring I will send him post cards from New England or California, not sure where they may come from, but they will never know when I am here or where I am when I am gone. LOL

It’s no harder for me than it is for you or anyone else here. Pain and Loss is TOTAL—complete. If one finger is broken the whole body hurts, or if a leg is broken the whole body hurts. Pain is total so whether we have one leg or two broken or one finger or ten the PAIN IS TOTAL. We just cope until it starts to heal, and in the end, we are all stronger than we know we are if we just BELIEVE we can, we can do what it takes to heal.

I’m glad you are about done with the divorce Katy, believe me I couldn’t have worked either, or taken care of kids, it was all I could do to survive and I admire these young women with kids to raise and jobs to go to! But we can all do what we have to do if we put our minds to it! You did and are and I did and am! TOWANDA for us all!!!!! (((hugs)))


You are a brave and smart woman. I commend your courage and determination. I cannot imagine how you felt– living as the enemy with all those towns people but innocent of wrong doing.

Good for you to read the emails and use all that information for your benefit. My interpretation of NC is no speaking or seeing them.

Do be careful that you arent accused of a crime for looking at his email account. I just read that a woman was being charged criminally for hacking her ex’s account. Stay strong and can I make one correction? You are NOT a victim…you are a survivor sister!


I totally agree about people needed to be careful about hacking. Know the rules, know the law, or keep your trap shut about how you gather intel.

In my case, he is NOT my ex. He is my husband living in OUR legal home and we file joint taxes and vote using that address. The email account is ours. Since he did not perceive me as a “we” or “us” or anything as “ours”, I think he assumes the email account is his and he has not changed the password since I lived with him. Yes, he pays for the internet service, but legally, if he didn’t they’d come after me for payment b/c I am also responsible for it since the account was started in MY name. ALL of my other accounts are changed/closed and this one is only $10/mo so if he gets behind, I can afford to pay it and shut it down. I’m pretty comfortable with the legality of this one.

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