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Recovering from a sociopathic relationship is different

A Lovefraud reader asked me what I thought of advice offered on a website called “Womensdivorce.com.” In a post about relationships after divorce, the website says women should start dating as soon as possible. It also seems to advocate that women engage in brief sexual affairs, and find a transitional partner who can help a woman heal, but whom she shouldn’t marry.

Read Your first relationship after divorce, on Womensdivorce.com.

My reaction is that this advice may be okay for someone involved in one of those amicable divorces, where the partners simply grew apart, are still on speaking terms or even friends, and want what is best for their children. The advice is terrible for someone who has been heavily damaged by marriage to a sociopath.

People who have endured marriage to a sociopath need time—perhaps a lot of time—to rebuild themselves. Healing may have two distinct dimensions.

Recovering from the sociopathic relationship

First, you need to recover from the sociopathic relationship. The difficulty of the recovery depends on the psychological damage done.

I now know that I was relatively lucky in the type of predator that found me, although it sure didn’t seem that way at the time. My ex-husband, James Montgomery, only wanted my money. He lied to me, he used me, he betrayed me—but he didn’t try to destroy me.  When my money was gone, he just abandoned me.

Many Lovefraud readers had experiences that were far worse than mine. Some of you endured physical and sexual violence, gaslighting, threats and brainwashing. Some of you continue to suffer because you have children with the sociopath, and your ex purposely tries to use the children to hurt you.

If you are raw from one of these extremely damaging relationships, the last thing you should do is try to find a new partner. Instead, you need to focus on personal healing.

The first step is to take care of yourself physically—eat well, find time for exercise, avoid drugs and alcohol, get enough sleep. You also need to rebuild emotionally. There are two different paths of emotional recovery. One is allowing yourself to grieve, and feel the anger and pain. The other is finding ways to bring joy into your life, however small. Nourishing encounters with friends and family whom you can trust will help.

You’ll find many articles to assist you in this section of the Lovefraud Blog: Healing from a sociopath.

People often ask, how long should it take to recover? There is no standard answer to this question. Recovery takes as long as it takes.  But until you are feeling stronger and healthier, it is best not to get involved in another romance.

Here’s an important reason why: Sociopaths target vulnerable people. If you are not yet healed, you are vulnerable, and a prime target for another sociopath.

Recovering from deeper injury

Many Lovefraud readers, as you make your way through recovery, have realized that the marriage to a sociopath was not the first damaging relationship in your life. There was an older, deeper injury that made you susceptible to the sociopath in the first place.

Some of you recognize that a previous romantic relationship was exploitative. Some of you realize that one or both of your parents were disordered. For you, the games sociopaths play may have seemed normal, because that’s what you grew up with.

The pain caused by the most recent partner may cause you to realize that you have a long history of mistreatment. In fact, sometimes recognizing trauma in your past helps clear up one of the big mysteries of involvement with a sociopath. It answers the question, “Why did I allow this predator into my life?”

There may even be spiritual reasons for the dangerous encounter, which I talk about in my book, Love Fraud—How marriage to a sociopath fulfilled my spiritual plan. So before looking for love again, you need to recover from the sociopath, and you need to recover from any deeper traumas as well. Thankfully, you can do both at once. The process is the same as described above—slow physical and emotional healing.

So as you walk the road to recovery, be careful about listening to advice from others. As we well know, most people have no clue about what it’s like to be involved with a sociopath. They have not walked in your shoes, so however well meant, their suggestions may not be helpful or healthy for you.


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498 Comments on "Recovering from a sociopathic relationship is different"

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Donna, I can say a BIG AMEN!!!!!!!! to YOUR article above and call BS on the magazine article advising women to get out and date as soon as possible, and maybe find a few “friends with benefits” which IMHO is the WORST thing a survivor of a psychopath can do.

After the devastation of the psychopath rendering us wounded spiritually, mentally,and emotionally maybe also physically and financially, and if we have children with them, those children are also wounded and need comfort from the nurturing parent (us) the last thing we need is to have a few shallow relationships with shallow sex as recommended by this very shallow article.

Sure there will be a time when we may need or want to get out with people and “party” but for a while we may need to just curl up in a corner and quietly lick our wounds with only very close, caring people aware of what is going on with us.

For the gravely wounded victim of a psychopathic predator we need a lot more than some shallow advice from a shallow article by someone who does NOT get it—-in fact, I don’t think her advice is good for ANY newly divorced person, no matter how “friendly” the divorce was.

I think that advice is horrible even if you haven’t been with a sociopath, and it certainly opens the doors for one to enter your life, since they are probably out “hunting” too. Especially for hurt women and brief sexual affairs.

What good would a transitional affair do? It might even hurt somebody if you aren’t caareful to draw the terms out for them to see. Then again, these magazines and websites make tons of money off of hurt women, so I can’t be too shocked.

Hey, I think my dad gaslights. Not too sure. He’ll deny ever saying things that I know he said, or tell me I’m sick or crazy for bringing it up. Not too sure, but I think it is. It feels like we have to keep notes of what is said or video it, just to show him. He might even deny it then. So gaslighting is in the “far worse” category, oh boy…

Ox Drover: Fantastic advice, especially because you have the children in mind. Something these sites seem to sweep under the rug or bury in the attic.

I stumbled across that site when I was trying to figure out if I was ready to date… or even dateable and not still a spath magnet. (I may have been the one to send site to Donna as I was horrified by the advice given. I spent many yrs having shallow, meaningless sex with my “husband”. I think I’ve had my fill of that! snort.) FYI – I didn’t do any dating for nearly 4.5yrs, post spath.

I still think I’m dating a “normal” person. Whatever THAT truly is. 😉 I have baggage. He has baggage. Sometimes, just like at the airport, we pay a little extra for it. A few months ago, my insecurities and past experiences took over and I sort of broke it off with the guy I’d been seeing. I was just sure that he just wanted something from me and not ME. I’m sure everyone here knows what I mean. One trigger leads to another, doesn’t it? I can go from 0 to 60mph freak-out in 2.4 seconds sometimes.

Whenever I do freak out, he’s all calm and soothing and wanting to talk and work things out. Ugh. Like I haven’t seen calm and soothing before. oh wait, sometimes that IS a normal reaction… hmph. I think that has been one of my biggest hurdles… back to the trusting myself thing. The spath had all the “normal” reactions down pat… but it was just an act. Normal people do react somewhat normally- for real and not just to mess with your head without ulterior motivation. What a novel concept?!?!?

During this particular freak-out, I decided I’d date someone else. Ok, a couple someone elses. (DATE, not sleep with, just for clarification here.) One (we’ll call him #2), I only went out with a couple of times. I just wasn’t interested beyond friends. That felt pretty normal. The other one, I went out with several times- even while seeing/talking to the first one. I didn’t intend it that way. #3 was to be a “replacement” to #1… but I missed #1. Not my finest moment… but I DID say I was in freak-out mode, didn’t I?

Frankly, it was kinda stressful. There weren’t any promises of exclusivity being broken… but it still felt deceptive. It got to the point where I knew I needed to make a choice… I started cooling things off with #1 and was surprised by something with #3 that I couldn’t deal with. I almost decided to just NOT date either and get a puppy. I’m not kidding. (the reason to stop seeing #3 is a post in and of itself. wow.)

So, in an odd twist that kinda surprised me, I’m still seeing #1, and exclusively now. I think this is what I wanted and perhaps was a little afraid of. There’s no official commitment. No pressure from him (or me on myself). No “L” word. No talks of “our future”. We’re just spending time together- and not sleeping with anyone else. I am content. The doors on my baggage filled U-haul are closed again… for now. lol

PS- being with someone who isn’t pretending to care for you is amazing. I don’t think most spath victims are shallow enough to “appreciate” the shallow relationships as suggested by the article of discussion.

I will need a lot of time to heal from this last relationship disaster.

“Many Lovefraud readers had experiences that were far worse than mine. Some of you endured physical and sexual violence, gaslighting, threats and brainwashing. Some of you continue to suffer because you have children with the sociopath, and your ex purposely tries to use the children to hurt you.”

This is the hardest part of everything I went through. I sometimes think that it would have been easier if I had money stolen or a definitive moment of evil doing to say, “Ah Ha, you are unhealthy and it’s time for you to go!” Not to say any betrayal is at all easy because it is awful but the underlying stuff, the crazy making will take years of therapy and deprograming to become whole again.

It was the insidious nature of his proposed love. The way he would stroke my arm or hug me and say he loves me more then anyone, “but if the doctor finds something wrong with you, you’ll listen…right? Because I really think you have something wrong with you and I say this only because I love you. Lets re-new our vows because I love you. If you could just admit that you need help we could go forward and heal our relationship.”

The endless professions of deep love and wanting me to be get better when I HAD NOTHING WRONG WITH ME, will take a very long time to heal from.

I happen to love being in a relationship, I love the way I feel when I have a partner to share things with but I will not be jumping into the sack or into a relationship with someone soon. I don’t trust myself enough to make a good decision.

My children also need time to heal and son has to deal with spath every other week. Son is still under the influence and I can’t imagine bringing another factor into this mess.

Right now I have a hard time thinking that all men aren’t freaks. It’s wonderful that Donna was able to processes and heal and help all of us, she even found out that all men aren’t freaks!

I recently did a really stupid or really smart thing, I wrote to spath’s sister and told her everything. Even sent her my documentation. My daughter has been discluded from the spath’s family functions and I think it is cruel. She wasn’t invited to her cousins graduation party and didn’t receive any card of anything for Christmas or her birthday. Spath lies hurt her and continue to hurt her so I tried to tell them it’s not her fault!

We’ll see what the fall out is, I sent it last week and have been nervous ever since.

WOW, I strongly disagree with the advice given in this article!!

I would never NEVER advise someone to jump from one failed relationship of ANY kind right into dating again!!! There is no way in HELL that is a healthy choice to make. A person needs at least a little time to reflect on the failed relationship, before they are ready to move on.

The time it takes to achieve emotional balance again, of course, depends on how devastating the break-up was. Then, in the case of post-spath exposure, I would direct them to this site with recommended reading for at the very least, several hours.

Whew! Jump right back into dating again?? Ridiculous advice!!

Glinda2: That’s fantastic you have found a “normal” relationship. I guess it’s kind of easy to forget what normal is after years of the abnormal. It’s also a great sign that both of you are taking it slowly. The spaths usually want to rush into something, and that’s a bad idea in general, even with no spaths involved.

Oh, a getting a puppy is one of the best choices! Maybe you should still get one! ^_^

Hopeforjoy: Take as much time as YOU need to heal. Don’t let others pressure you into something you aren’t ready for. I know it’s cliche advice, but it is true. ^_^

Ah, I agree with you completely. Most people here probably wish their spaths were thugs who just stole the money and ran, but they appear as the false friend or lover. It must be pretty hard for you. I’ve never been through the relationship with one, but my dad is this way. With his false concern and shallow love. Even when I was in the hospital, it was all about him. I’m sorry. *hugs*

Relationships are fine, but you should be whole by yourself before going into one. For yourself and your future partner. You both deserve to be whole before the relationship. I think partners should be like a icing on the cake. The cake is fine without it, but it adds an extra layer of tastiness to it! ^_^

Aw, having children involved makes this hard. You definitely need to avoid rushing into something. No reason to affect your son with snap decisions. My dad was a spath, so I know what it’s like for him.

I’m a man and I’m not a freak. Well, maybe just a little. ^_^

I hope I didn’t offend you guys by giving my thoughts on all this. I know unwanted advice can seem critical and blunt.

Sending the letter could help or hurt. Like you said , we’ll see. Come us informed. No contact is harder with children involved, and it is cruel. Just continue on and be a good mother. ^_^

No offense from me, Near. I agree that unless you’ve let the “transitional” date know they are merely a depot on the train route, it has a potential for hurt. It’s kinda spath-ic, don’t you think? A parasitic situation where one uses the other. I certainly wouldn’t have felt better treating someone as I was treated… ick.

Dear Near,

So glad you are not a freak and I’m sorry if I offened you in any way! It’s simply the circumstances of my life right now.

How did you find out your dad was disordered? I am trying to be the healthy parent but son doesn’t see that dad is a narcissist/sociopath. Is it something that took you some time to figure out and did you know something was wrong when you were a teen?

I hope I’m not being too nosy, any helpful advice on how to make sure I am doing all I can with son would be much appreciated! Thanks a bunch!

Donna

BRAVO. Great article.

I think the other thing that differentiates a spath relationship from a normal relationship is the addiction that forms – given the uncertainty and periodic rewards granted by the spath. It’s so unhealthy.

Normal relationships – they end. Respectfully.

Spath relationships — they just go on for FLIPPING ever, a slow terrible painful death.

Thank you.

Superkid

Glinda2: I agree, it does seem to be spathy behaviour. Although, I know people have spathy moments when they are hurting or stressed. That’s natural to have some thoughts or bad actions, like lying, but it’s still not right. ^_^

Hopeforjoy: I’m wasn’t offended in any way. I laughed. No worries. It’s very hard to offend me. You’d really have to try. ^_^

I saw the signs of his behaviour and thought what he was doing was wrong. I LOVE Psychology and Philosophy so I researched online while in middle school. I connected the dots and informed my mom. I was the first one to spot it. ^_^

How old is your son, if you don’t mind telling me? Is he old enough to know? Does he know what a sociopath really is? I was around 13 and 14 when I noticed, and by 15 I knew.

I hope I wasn’t too nosy! 😛

Hi LF Friends,

Wow, I can totally relate to the above article, as well as, all of your blogs. I am 6 months post ex-spath and it is VERY hard to date someone else when you have been scarred from being with a spath. Its hard for me to talk with friends and family as they do not understand the pain I endured with my ex-spath. When I try to explain it to them their responses are ” He was a piece of s*it and get over it. But they don’t understand the emotional trauma you suffered. It is certainly not a normal break-up emotion. Spaths screw your whole mental reality apart. My ex-spath also used to act all loving and sweet to me and tell me how much I mean to him, and then in an instant he would break me down and tell me I was a nothing to him. The emotional abuse was heartbreaking. One minute he loves me and the next he could careless about me. I was always trying to regain back from him that love from him by doing everything he wanted me to be. Even then if I had a time were I had to say no because I really could not do something for him (not because I did not want to), but because I had something else I HAD to do he would make me feel so much guilt that it became unbearable. But yet, he could clearly do it himself but he would make me bear the guilt and pain for it. Such as he took a job out of town so he needed me to care for his daughter. I did everything for her and he went forward and prospered in his career while I gave up mine to raise his daughter. In the end, while I was doing everything for him he was out of time screwing around with other woman while I stayed home raising his daughter. Now he is in a new relationship with a girl who is 20 years younger then him living out of town with her. The exact place he has been working out of town is were he magicially has this new girlfriend. Which he tried to say he only mean’t her after we broke up. But he took her on an expensive vacation only 2 weeks after our break-up. Furthermore, not only do I have to try and rebuild my life from everything I lost being with him, I also have to suffer the loss of losing my step-daughter who I have raised for almost 6 years now. I am basicially griefing losing a daughter too. He now has his daughter involved with the new girl and it kills me to think how is she going to be with the new girlfriend? Its as if all the love and time I gave to being a loving mother to her did not matter because her father just replaces me and starts with a new one. I wonder will my ex-spath really change for this new girl and my step daughter will just move on with the new girlfriend and forget who I was to her? It kills my soul that spaths can just move on as if you never existed! My sick thoughts keep visualisg him having this great new life with his new girl and she is reaping all the fun and happiness that I work so hard trying to achieve. He has been on 4 vacations just in the past 6 months with his new prey, yet we never could get time to take a vacation once or twice a year, and it was always with his daughter with us. Now he travels all over with his new prey without his daughter. Its not fair that spaths continue to prosper with life without suffering any pain for what they do. I am really believing that being kind and loving is a curse to me. While his evil ways seem to give him the joys in life, my kindness gives me pain. Is Karma even real? Do you really reap what you sow? Because I am reaping pain for being good and he is reaping good for doing bad???? My heart is scattered trying to understand it all. The lies, deceit, and abuse that spaths do to you is not the normal inflictions that a normal break-up emotions. Spaths rob you of your soul! I am trying to date now and its SO HARD trying to get to no someone new when your mind, body and soul is so beaten up you really can’t be a real person to someone else until you can heal. How do you stop the constant thoughts about your ex-spath having a great life and is enjoying a new girl without any remorse for what they do to other? I can’t stop thinking about how much fun and love this new girl is getting? Its not fair!

Chelsea ~ I see one glaring item that you are forgetting. A spath CANNOT feel love. It is nothing but a sham.

You are well rid of this emotional vampire. Take some time to take care of YOU. Come on, you know that you deserve to be treated WELL. That starts with you. Start learning to value yourself again. Give yourself time to remember all of your wonderful qualities. You are a kind, caring person. Start lavishing all that care on YOU.

h2h

I am just out of a 5 year relationship with a sociopath or psychopath, not too sure what one but I am a total mess and seeking help and meds to help. I dont know what type of Dr. to look for and have lost my apt & job due to her and don’t have insurance at the moment. Ive worked 20 plus years and always had a good union job with ins. Now as I sit an loose my mind I dont know where to turn. I am thinking about hurting myself and cant stop the thoughts even if I know I would NEVER do that to myself and family I cant take the shock and pain and memories , some so beautiful I cant swallow this. My mind wont shut off, even in my sleep. I cant eat or have not one normal moment in any day. I want her punished but yet miss her so much its driving me to the edge, As I write this she has moved into an apt I found her a new lover from AZ and had this poor soul leave her job and home all to be with her by just means of the internet while she was still with me in my bed was starting another relationship. Now this other woman thinks I’m the crazy one whe mistreated her. Yet I still have her daughter with ME!!! She is a beautiful 14 year old girl who never wants to go home to her mom and the new lover. her mom has moved her 37 times in her 14 years and not always keeping her daughter with her as she started hooking new victims. She was left at one time for 2 years and at the ages 4-5 was molested by a 13 year old boy at night and beated daily by the father. I have called cps and gotten her / our daughter into therapy. I cant take what she has done to her own flesh and blood and me and many others and has 2 other kids 1 older that she lost to the father years ago and a 9 year old that I watched her give up for adoption the year we met in 06 when the little girl was 4. I need help to find a way to keep the child I have away from her and CPS wont and dont see her as a bad person. She acts like an angel when they visit. But I only have her now with me because the mom dont want her in the way at this time and chooses to lie and say honey Im giving you your summer with Me so she can be happy. But she never even calls her child. its been like this since April. Please tell me who I can seek for help for myself so I can be the best I can be to do whats right for this child that I love so much… Thank you

After 5 months, I tried a FWB relationship with an old “friend” that I’d known for many years. I thought that was going to help me transition, and it did, since I had been a born again virgin for 15 years. But it was hopeless because all I could talk about was spaths and my exspath. So the “friend” got freaked out, I think. Then I ran into my BF. He was a Godsend, because he let me go on and on for a year talking about the spath, since he had also known him, he knew I was telling the truth. Furthermore, he filled in a lot of holes in my WTF? bucket, because we had been kept in different compartments.

But after a year, BF asked me to stop talking about the ex-spath because it was time. I truly understand, who wants a girlfriend who talks about her ex all the time?

But it’s hard. I was with the exspath for 25years. everything reminds me of him. BF asked me whether I liked to buy fireworks for the 4th. My response, “we only bought fireworks when we had German Shepards who liked to chase them into the water”. So yep, all of my adult memories have my spath in them. Since that’s who I was with since age 17. It’s hard not to talk about him, when he’s in all my memories.

Spath isolated me and poisoned me so I couldn’t work, so that further isolates my memories to only him. That isn’t going to change until I make new memories, so I think it’s really important to get out there and have new memorable experiences that can eclipse the spath memories. But just be aware that this is going to be a tug of war between the old and the new. Time does heal though.

Hope:
One of the lingering effects from this fallout for me also is the anger towards the spath family for allienating my kids.
My kids didn’t do anything wrong, they stood up for themselves and protected their lives against an abuser who just so happened to be their father.
And they get allienated. I don’t think they ‘mind’ as much as I do……emotionally. Although i’m sure it does have an effect even they don’t realize….how can it not?!
Once in a while a thought comes through my head that…..how can a WHOLE family….aunts uncles, gparents, cousins etc…..just cooperate with a spath. A drug dealing abusive, stalking spath?
No Christmas card, birthday cards or any other keep in touch contacts…..nothing.
I come around to the belief of……It’s for the better! I know it’s done as punishment to the kids from that side……but in reality, i’m glad I don’t have to deal with information getting back to their father on ANY level.
IF they visited, our lives would be a glass window…..they’d be expected to NOT share anything with spath father and if they did….they’d be persecuted by me!
So, it makes it easier in one sense, but unjust on another.

Spaths family all know what a con he is…..and that he’s facing these drug charges……yet, they still allow themselves to be controlled by him.
They all told the mother, if you have contact with EB, we will cut you off. She told me this herself…..I told her to choose a few years back, choose to be controlled.

The ironic thing is, they are all Mormon……..and I ask….how can someone who praises God and goes on missions etc…..cut off children who are innocent for a person they KNOW to be abusive and wrong? Are they trying to ‘save’ him? They all have offered him housing, cars and money. They’ve bailed him out of jail and continue to be aware he’s still dealing drugs.
During our marriage, he had a woman from Europe contacting him sending letters to his parents home….and they, being good mormons forwarded it on, on the down low. THEY are aware, yet they still cut the kids off?!?!

So, as soon as the thought of it’s a shame enters my head…..I remember the reasons why it’s NOT such a shame afterall……because the more horrid influence my kids have, the more damage that can be done!

It’s a blessing, yet it’s a shame!

Hi EB: It IS a blessing. It sounds as if they are hypocrites to me. But then, if they all have s/p tendencies they would only use their “so-called” Christianity as a method of control.

I WISH that my stepson’s mother (spath) would just leave him with my husband and I. It would make life so much better for him and us!!

She pries information out of him every chance she gets and then, of course, twists it to her needs and spreads it around. She claims that some “professional” people she shared information with about me called me a loose cannon. Wow, talk about self-description. She is NASTY.

Blessings to you EB. You are LUCKY that you do not have spath family involved with your kids.

h2h

EB, they sound like my family. It’s so bizarre to deal with PD’s and that’s what they are. They don’t see that they have double standards, or if they do, it’s ok because they like the drama it causes. In fact, if you want them to do anything consistently, just reward them with drama when they do it. That’s why they enable your exspath, he rewards them with drama.

They can’t help themselves, they love drama soooo much. It’s like sharks smelling blood in the water.

You can hand them rope and they will aways hang themselves, they just can’t help it. Normal people don’t react like spaths do to drama. Normal people make sense and don’t leave your head feeling like you just went down the rabbit hole.

H2H,

I realize that he is a vampire and he has sucked the life out of me. I read over and over on LF how spath don’t know how to love, but it confuses me how they can just move for one person to the next and they always seem to find a willing partner. In fact, they always seem to find sweet loving woman. The fact that he lives out of town away from everyone who knows him makes me believe that he is reaping a great life with the new girl because she has noone to reveal him. He is in his safe zone. What kills me the most is, last summer while he was working out of town his daughter and I were supposed to go up there and vacation for a week, but he decided it would not be to fun because he was working so he said we will do something else when he gets in town. By the way, he works in lake town where people vacation up there all the time, but he said he would not be to fun. Will we never took that promised trip somewhere else because he said he could not take time off, and money was tight. But, guess what that does not seem to be a problem now with the new prey. In fact, he keeps missing his visitation time with his daughter so he flew her up there for the week, and now she is with him and his new prey. I can kick myself for being such an idiot! I just want to know is he going to treat her better? I want so bad to call her and ask her if she knew about me, and if so did she know he was engaged to me? Does she know that when he was going home on the weekends he was with me and our kids? I wished I would of gone up there when we were still together and showed my face, but I wanted to believe he was being a trustworthy guy even with all the red flags. He always knew what to tell me to get me to believe him. I still struggle wanting to show my face up there and let them know what type of a monster he is, and expose him for all the lies and deceit, but I know that would make me look crazy. He has been there for two years so he has already deceive the whole town by now with his spath self. Its a small town and the company he works for is basicially bringing business to the town so they look up to him. I sure would love to expose him! Just wondering if the new prey has seen any red flags with him yet? Time will only tell!

Chelsea ~ They find loving, caring women/men because that is what they HUNT for. It feeds their need for drama.

Please try to focus on YOU. What he does now should not be of any concern to you anymore. You are right about this: “I still struggle wanting to show my face up there and let them know what type of a monster he is, and expose him for all the lies and deceit, but I know that would make me look crazy.” As that is ALL you would accomplish. Then of course he would just tell the new victim: “See, I TOLD you that my ex was CRAZY”

I truly believe that what goes around, comes around. He will get what he has coming to him eventually. I guess you could call it Karma, or whatever your beliefs are.

Are you still in contact with him? If so, please stop. Every minute spent on him is another minute you’ve lost to him. Take back your life, put him out of your mind. Get involved in things that require your complete attention, it will help keep him outta there!!

h2h

Chelsea,

He will NOT TREAT HER BETTER—their relationshit will be just like yours and his….he will drain her dry like a husk, then he will move on to another woman, and then another….he will never have a stable relationship because he is not a stable person able to love or bond, only to “love bomb” and PRETEND to love….but it never lasts. It can’t.

H2H is right, focus on yourself and taking care of you.

If you are “stalkin” him on face book or whatever STOP!!!!! Don’t try to find out any information on him, and don’t interact with anyone who will relay information about you to him.

NO CONTACT! Quit renting him space in your head. ((((hugs)))

Dear Near,

My son is 15 years old, he will be 16 soon. He doesn’t want to hear anything negative about his dad and is staying neutral. He has pushed down his emotions and said he tries to not think about it.

I know it’s a lot for him to process and do not want to add to any trama but I feel like I should give him some skills and knowledge on how to deal with spath dad. I put son in counseling and he didn’t open up to the therapist so that ended. His dad (soon to be ex spath) is also a sex addict and has hidden it well, I think anyone and anything is fare game, including family.

And you are not nosy at all, it really helps the healing process when there are people who actually get it and can give you more insite on the situation. Thanks!

Dear 4theloveofgodwhy,

Oh boy, you really had a good (sarcasm here) one. She sounds like she fits the profile of another woman mentioned here about 6 months ago. I am so sorry that you are going through such a hard time. Moved 37 times? Those poor kids.

You need to stay strong and get into therapy when the pain is too great. There is NO shame in therapy for yourself, it helps us when we wonder what the heck just happened and who is this psycho we fell in love with? You are a caring person who deserves to have some peace in your life. Give the children what you can but it’s most important to get yourself healthy.

I know those dark places that are so hard to leave, they still sneak up on me and I obsess about them. It was an attachment we had with a sick person and it is a strong bond because of the intermittant reinforcement.

Please keep writing here and know that you are not alone in this journey. Your spath was a preditor, is a preditor and will ALWAYS be a preditor. She was like a lion in the brush, just waiting for for you to walk by so she could stick her claws in you when you least expected it.

Keep your head up and I’m sending you a big hug!!!

Dear Erin Brock,

I know, it bothers me more than it bothers my daughter that she is ostracized by spaths family. It is sad and at the same time, could be a blessing. She said she doesn’t want to deal with them if they don’t even care enough to call and talk to her to find out what really happened.

Her cousin was her best buddy when she was little but they grew apart when we moved out of state. You would think that they would still include her in the family gatherings. Losers.

Well, now they know how I feel because I sent out that letter. It will probably come back to me (look how craaazzy the ex is) even with all my proof. Somehow they talk their way out of everything.

Mormon, that does not sound like a very christian family if they disclude your kids and not include them. I thought Mormon’s were supposed to be really close to their families. Maybe your ex spath did have some family of origin issues too? Your kids are better off without them, but it still hurts.

I just didn’t think this could happen, you probably didn’t either. You were so busy ‘faking’ the cancer and your ‘fake’ chemotherapy. They are so freaking believable that I bet you were even wondering half the time if you weren’t nuts. They have that ability. It’s like a counter super power used by super villians.

I know your super spath swung both ways, did you have any idea of his leanings before the sting in the hotel?

Dear Hope4,

Good to see your posts! Some good advice to others! Sorry the therapy didn’t work out for junior. Wish it could have helped. (((hugs))))

Dearest Oxy,

Thanks for everything, you are the bestest ever!!!!! Junior is so stoic now and I just give him lots of hugs and let him know I’m here for him. I have to realize it’s out of my control, if spath were still here I would still be living in the crazies and that wouldn’t be good for my kids.

I still read your advice constantly, you are really intuitive and articulate and helped me immensely (actually not talking to me because of the snake was a good thing)! It was a wake up call, hello Hope4, can’t you see the flipping snake right in front of you?

When he finally left, his behavior was text book spath, which gave me validation for my decision. I’m now reading “Beyond Codenpendency” and trying to be mindful of my self defeating attitudes.

Big hugs to you Oxy, hope you are getting some rain! You are the best!

Hopeforjoy: Oh, sounds like he has built a defense for his dad, or himself. Since he doesn’t want to hear anything bad. Usually people that are neutral want to hear want both sides, this is just shut off. 🙁

I know it’s a lot to take in, I had to do it before his age and I became really quiet and withdrawn for a long time, actually.

I hate to ask you this, but do you think your spath touched anybody in your family? You said he was sex addict and everything was fare game. 🙁

Yay, I’m not nosy! Not too sure my advice or thought are too helpful, though. I’m not exactly a pillar of perfect judgement and character, since I can’t even shake my spath dad. ^_^

Near-how is your birthday going you big 21 yr old?

Lizzy: Hey, buddy! It goes well! I’ve talked to all my grandma’s today and great grandma. 😛 So I had to take some time for that, but it was fun too.

My dad popped in… without calling or anything. He just opened the door and walked in while we weren’t even in the front room. It was kind of creepy, and the mood of the day was little messed up since this. I know lovebomb is a popular word here, but I’ve made a new word for when he shows up: Shitbomb! Once he shows up everything goes to hell and we feel drained when he leaves.

Other than that I ate tons of cake and other junk food! ^_^

Pretty relaxing compared to many 21 year-old’s parties, but I liked it. ^_^

Ah, golly, gee whiz, Hope4joy, you make me blush! Glad my ramblings helped you, you have sure come a LONG WAY BABY! since you got here.

I think many of us have those “codependency” or “enabling” tendencies. I prefer the term “enabling”–but the behavior is about the same, it is doing for someone what they should do for themselves. I had a therapist tell me years ago that the ‘ONLY LEGITIMATE RESCUE IS TO PULL AN UNCONSCIOUS PERSON FROM A BURNING BUILDING”—she was right, but I didn’t see that at the time.

It is amazing to me how we can actually SEE what we WANT TO SEE, like hypnosis almost, we want something to be real so badly we actually SEE it in front of us.

I think your son is not so much “neutral” (like Near was pointing out) but he is uncomfortable with getting out of denial—he does not want to see the truth because it is too painful for him to realize his dad is a piece of carp. I think you are doing right by just giving him as much love as you can and give him time to learn for himself. He will or he won’t but if he is not willing to get out of denial yet, you can’t force him.

I’m so glad you are doing better! I’m like a mother hen sometimes (I’m working on it!) and I was so worried about you, but you came through like a champ! TOWANDA!!!!!

Near-Good. I’m glad you didn’t go get wasted or anything. That always feels so bad the next day. I don’t even remember my 21st birthday or what I did that day. I guess it wasn’t that big a deal. I remember a lot of more important stuff though.

@Ox and H2H,

Thank you for your support! No, I have not had contact with him for 6 months. Once I placed all of his stuff in the garage back in January he moved out. The only information I do hear on him is through his ex-wife. We talk occassionally, and when we do its usually about our day to day life without the Spath being in it. Unfortunately for her she has a daughter with him so she has to stay in contact with him. She harbors alot hate for him too, but the problem is she has fought with him so much in and out of court that he keeps woeing the legal system and she loses. So she has surrendered and believes now no matter how hard she tries he always get away with it so she just gives into him. He fought for more custody for his daughter but he works out of town and I was the one taking care of her. So his ex tried to explain to the court that he does not take care of her and the judge still let him get away with it. He owed a bunch of child support and the court let him off. He always convinces everyone that he is this great hardworking father but really he is not. His ex-wife can’t handle the stress anymore so she gave up trying. Like right now he took his daughter away for a week so he could introduce his daughter to his new prey, but her mother has no idea where he lives, who this new girl is and she just let him take her because she does not want to fight with him anymore. The courts don’t care. Anyways, if it was me I would have never let him take my kid away to a place I have no idea about, but his ex said if she does not let him he will continue to destroy her. Sad that she has to feel that way. So, although I don’t talk to him I do hear stories about him. I am pretty sure his ex would not talk about me to him, but maybe I am wrong. Her and I do share life stories together and she knows I am dating. She is the one who told me her daughter went up to see him, and it did upset me because I know who he is and the fact that he does not care about introducing his daughter right away to a new girl is alarming. I wish I could talk to some of you here on LF by telephone. It sure would feel good to hear a voice from someone who understands what we are going through who have also dated a spath. Your words alone are lifesavers! Thank you so much!

Lizzy: Nah, I don’t do anything like that. No drinking or smoking, or drugs! Although, all this sugar might get me wasted! If it does, maybe I’ll come stay at your place! I’ve got cake! Well, not really. I ate all that, but I’ve got… uh, 5 dollars! ^_^

Hey, want to hear something funny? Guess what my dad got me for my birthday… Gumballs!!! @[email protected] I wish it was a joke, they were 2 for 1 dollar.

Chelsea,

It might be better for you to think less about him and what he is up to if you just don’t talk to his x about him or what he is doing to her and or her daughter. The thing is that you are “renting him space in your head” when you are talking about what he is up to.

I know you and his x have him in common, but if that is all you have in common, it isn’t much to base a friendship on, really, and the more you think about him, the harder it will be for you to heal. If that makes any sense. In a way, when you listen to her stories of him, you are having “back door contact.”

Keep on reading and learning about them, but about yourself as well and about healing! (((hugs)))

Near-geez, how long has your dad been gone? He must be really messed up cuz apparently he thinks you’re 4-freakin gumballs-that’s hilarious 🙂

Chelsea:

What you have described makes me feel so bad for the ex-wife. She sounds like she is in a horrible position; very sad.

You need to count your blessings that he is no longer in your life. Look what he has done to everyone!

It would be nice to talk to someone on the phone or even have some type of reunion…wouldn’t that be cool?

Lizzy: He has been around for a while now, in the same little town. He was just missing for my childhood and came back to live in the town while I was in my later teens.

Dude, gumballs are the best!! Who wants something thoughtful? Or something with some worth or meaning? Wait until Christmas when I get my toy army men. You’ll be so jealous! ^_^

I will be jealous over toy army men. Maybe I’ll get toy police officers with little tiny cop cars. I do have a plastic replica of an NOPD model car that’s in a plastic case. I bought it after I had to withdraw from the police academy.

Lizzy: No worries, I’ll let you play with them, but NOT while in the bath. If any go down the drain then you’re gonna get it! ^_^

You better let me borrow those police officers! I think it’s cool to have a replica model that’s in a case! My grandpa had some kind of cop cars in cases too, but I can’t remember what models, of course. 😛

Sorry about the police academy. 🙁

Near-that’s ok cuz I’LL BE BACK!!!

His Worst Nightmare. A meth addict in and out of the program for 18yrs. Also, prisons and jails. Every relationship came with a restraining. Should of been issued with the first cup of coffee. lol. Didn’t know any of this at first. Got out of Prison May 10, 2010. 2wks later we meet. Moved in of course, texted, phoned constantly, jealous etc. Oct 4th I had him arrested for domestic violence & using drugs. Sentenced 6months, served 4 released Jan 31, 2011, and had him arrested again April 2nd. 10 months with me and now he has another 6 months sentence release date 8/27/11. Violations of his restraining order will sent him to State Prison for 3yrs. He’s in rage mode that he lost control and has some loser drive by house to check on me. Plus calling his mother, & friends to find out what I’m doing. He was just assigned to a Probation Officer who I reported all the indirect harassment and the D.A. today. Very good chance he’ll just stay in jail and go to Prison. Oh course it’s everybody’s fault. Yeah, he left me with financial wreckage but not that bad. He acted like a child so i put my foot down. Sociopaths hate that. Too bad. Like I said so far I’ve been his worst nightmare.

Dear Zurc,

Welcome to LF…seems like you have all the qualifications for membership in our “club” Sorry about that, but welcome anyway! Good information here and some good support!

Dear Near,

Happy Birthday! You sound so grounded while dealing with your spath dad. Really wonderful that you figured it out for yourself and stayed healthy.

About my soon to be ex spath, he was inappropriate with our daughter. She was 15 at the time and she told me about it one night saying she didn’t want to be home if he was home. He touched her in a way that made her feel uncomfortable and it was when I was out of the room. I saw him objectifying her and I thought it weird but he does it to everybody so maybe I was projecting.

I was told that it was in the gray area of calling social services. When I told him that I put her in therapy because of it he accused me of coaching her and he confronted daughter and told her to not tell anyone because he could be taken away from her. He said to stop telling lies. She was suicidal after he berated her and she had issues with cutting.

It has been about a year since this happened and daughter has completed therapy and is healthy. She thinks her dad is a sociopath and wanted him gone. He tried to weasel his way back into my life and it took some time but he finally moved out the end of January.

I’m worried about son spending time with spath dad because of dads addiction. I brought our computers in to a forensic specialist because of the porn, spath kept saying it was my imagination. And got cell phone records and a subpoena, spath was having phone sex. Who knows whatever else he has done, he has a problem because he would never admit to anything. He had some other compulsive problem that leads him to use the bathroom quite often.

Hope this isn’t too much information, I wanted you to have a general idea about spath’s problem, it was all very much a secret and I think it has been going on for a very long time.

So if you have any insite about what to do with son and how to approach the subject delicately, I would appreciate it. It sounds like you internalized your situation as well. I know that guys process emotions in a different way and son is a teenager, which is already an angsty time.

I feel a little sick every time I drop son off at spaths house. Spath tried to get full custody of son but was unsucessful. Thank goodness. He is lovebombing son like mad. Yuck.

Dear Lizzy,

You are sounding way better, I’m so glad that you are taking control of your life and dealing with all the trauma you had as a child.

Doesn’t it just seem to linger? It’s like a monkey on our backs telling us that we will never be good enough. Well b.s. to that!!!

You are like a butterfly, slowly emerging to become something different and wonderful. (Lizzy is my daughter’s name as well:))

Hope for joy-Lizzy is a good name. I got it from Pride and Prejudice!

@ Ox & Louise,

Your absolutely right! Communicating to others about my ex-spath is still contact. Its so hard though when you hear news about him. Its like telling someone not to think about a pink Elephant and thats all you can think about. Its strange though, everytime I think of him I see him smiling from ear to ear, why? I guess I am in the fog still believing he could possibly change. I think I am more mad at myself for allowing him to love bomb me not once but twice, each time destroying my life more. I am more mentally screwed up trying to figure how any human being can be SO EVIL yet be so convincing that he is a Saint. I am sooo confused with believing that you reap what you sow. In fact, I used to say that to my ex-spath and he would respond with “I have nothing to worry about”. Which boogles my mind in to believing that if you do evil like spaths but you don’t think its evil then you don’t reap bad???? Ummmm…..very disturbing! I guess I just want to know that you can’t continue to commit bad things against people and not get bad back? Because my ex-spath has not reaped any bad back yet. He just keeps on traveling along!

Zurc;
It sounds as if you’ve found your ‘Adamant’! Your doing all the right things……keep reporting, he’s the one with the record…..I’m sure these folks don’t look at you with one eye! You’ve got a leg up there.
Document, document, document…….and security cameras that record, as documentation wouldn’t hurt either.
Never own his behaviors……just keep reporting them to the right authorities! KUDOS!
Welcome to LF. You’ll find so much support here, and it sounds as if you can offer some good advice to others as well.
Keep reading and learning….knowledge=Power.
Welcome!

Hopeforjoy: Thank you! It’s been a very fun day! ^_^

I’m sorry about your daughter. 🙁 I’m still not sure what you mean. Was it his presence and a way he touched her casually on the arm or something, or did he actually touch her in a private area? Either way, it doesn’t sound safe there. Lucky she is getting older and can choose if she wants to see him.

My dad did the same thing with my mom. He accused her of coaching me later on, and brainwashing me. He called me a liar, and that I’d tell any lie to cover up for my mom. All classic signs of abuse from him. Trying to shift the blame. Nothing you can do to change that. T’s the way they deal with things. It’s automatic.

Ugh, cutting. I’m so sorry you had to go through all that! I’ve heard of cutting and it’s always made me sick to my stomach. 🙁 Is she fine now? I know you said she is healthy, but do those cuts go away or do they have scar tissue? I hope they weren’t that deep.

Yay! She sounds pretty smart to realize it and want to get rid of him. It’s good when you aren’t the only one. I know I felt better when somebody started to see what I realized a while ago.

Okay, more uncomfortable questions and comments coming up! You are right to be concerned about your son being around him. My dad tried to get me to drink with him, hang out with group of friends and smoke weed, and he’s watched porn in front of me before when I was younger. So it’s safe to assume your son is in some kind of danger with him. Even if it is just pressure to do something.

What did the expert say about the things on the computer? If they did find something, do you feel like telling me what kind it was? Sometimes they have some rather… exotic tastes. Look especially for teen porn, since your daughter was that age.

Are you sure he doesn’t have an STD and that makes him use the bathroom often? It could be a lot of things, but I know my dad used the bathroom all the time for a few weeks and then went back to normal later on.

Nope, do not worry about being too graphic or offending me. I’m more worried about offending you. It is your story, afterall. ^_^

Really, I don’t know what to do with your son. I was able to help my problem by thinking it out, but not everyone will. Maybe show him some online stuff like this blog or behaviors other sociopaths exhibit that his dad also shows signs of. I really wish I had better advice. 🙁

I feel sick when my dad comes around, so I bet you feel even worse leaving your son with him. I wish I could help, but this situation is just so delicate. One mistake could hurt a lot. 🙁

Chelsea:

I know girl…believe me, I think the Karma bus is moving incredibly slow! It does seem like they just go on and on and everything always turns out right for them…they always come out on top…that’s the way it seems to me also. I will never understand it.

Near,

Oh, your dear old dad sounds like a winner! He sure is classy, just wants his son to be the same kind of winner he is. Lucky for you that you got out of that nasty business.

He touched daughters butt and would hug her from behind, only when I was out of the room. I would see her feel uncomfortable around him and pull away but I didn’t want to read into it. She knows it was wrong and I trust her judgement. The word I would use to describe spath is smarmy.

About the porn use. We both have laptops and he would look things up on mine when I was away. I didn’t bring his in to be looked at because I did it on the sly and he was still using it. My laptop had lesbian porn, black girls, (not women, the word girls was used a lot), and other stuff like girls gone wild. This was strange as well, the words guy magnet and girl magnet were looked up. Just strange. I think it gave him an extra thrill to be on my computer.

The bathroom thing was compulsive masturbation. Normal masturbation is a healthy natural part of all of us, but his was not healthy. He is 52 and it was about 3 times a day. He denied that he ever did it but I took a sample from the bathroom walls and it was positive. It was the yucky way he would stare at the neighbors, etc. then head to the bathroom. I sent away for a kit. I felt like I was in a CSI show, I was just sick of being lied to and wanted to prove that he was lying.

I now have his old laptop downstairs and talked with my attorney about bringing it in. The only thing is that it is expensive. It cost me $4000 to have my computer looked at and the main cpu (there was porn on that as well). It would be worth it if there were difinitive underage activity on his laptop.

You have been really helpful in your posts. I know this is rather graphic and I hope that it isn’t too much. Feeling kind of protective since you are a young person.

Children under age 18 should NEVER be shown porn because it can lead to compulsive activity later. It has been factually proven to be true. It’s just not reality and can skew your real life relationships.

Hopeforjoy: Yeah, I wonder what having a real dad would be like. Ah, not like thoughts like that will help. My mom was fantastic enough to fill both places. I can’t afford to dwell on what if scenarios. I hope you don’t either, or your children. ^_^

You shouldn’t ignore feelings like that. Reading into things is usually the right way to go. If he touched her butt, then it’s settled. That’s not right, and your daughter’s feelings are enough proof. I wonder if getting help now would help, though. Kind of like going back to a hornet’s nest to stir it up after being stung. No contact might be more practical. I still see my dad, but I’m emotionally vacant toward him.

My mom and I both have laptops too! *high fives* She gave me one at the start of the month as an early gift! ^_^

I know some like to use the other peron’s computer in order to smear them later on by having their computer searched. Hmm, I have no idea what his searches indicate. My dad had some different searches and didn’t use the word girl. The use of girl makes me think he likes college “girls” or teens of some kind, especially with Girls Gone Wild.

Wow, you’re amazing. I’ve heard of women suspecting husbands before of certain things, but I think you’e the first I’ve heard of to take an actual sample! ^_^ I know my dad stared at neighbors and then closed his eyes for a while and zoned out. He zones out all the time, though. Sounds like your spath was imagining something with the neighbors. So, how old were the neighbors? I’d definitely want you on my side if things went down, little miss CSI lady. 😛

I’ve heard most guys do it twice a day. I have no idea if it’s true or not. Or what age does to that number. Did he have any sexual problems with performance?

His laptop will definitely have something on it, if he is truly compulsive as you so. If it was worth it to check yours, it’s probably even more so to check his. Still, that kind of money would murder me, so I wouldn’t spend that much. It’s up to you and your budget. ^_^

No need to shield me. I’ve been through a lot and have seen far greater miseries than most. I’ve almost died a few times, surfered family deaths, and found out about my dad and researched. This is nothing. I’m glad I was helpful. ^_^

I was WAY under 18 back then when he did that. He still uses our computer sometimes when he comes over. I might check it out to see what he does. I’m not too messed up because of him, though. That’s why I’m thankful my mom raised me and I didn’t see or live with him. ^_^

Chelsea…there’s a lot of power in being Mr. Charming psycho. They get a high out of manipulating and deceiving people. You know..thinking that their smarter than everyone. In the 11 months I dated him he has been in jail twice. Currently, he is sitting there right now as I type in complete lost of control over me. Rage. He hasn’t even been released, and already they may just transfer the psycho to prison. He’s got a low life meth addict women to do his dirty work for him. Driving by my house, trying to find items that don’t belong to him etc. When I piece our relationship together between jail time I think we had a little over a month of “good time.” I’m proud of the fact I acted quickly, stood up to him, looked him in the eyes on several occasions saying ” do you even realize your insane?” He’d try to make me jealous about other women. My solution was “Great! Can I give you a ride? I’ll help you pack, and have someone else take care of you. Do you want me to iron you a shirt for a date?” Basically, please go. So…stand up for yourself. I expect him to do the same thing with another women. However, he’s too psycho to work, and he’s reduced to low life skanks. Their all the same just different packages. I always told him “Who cares…please just go.” Or “Here we go Again.” Putting him directly in Prison might be the best thing for me, sad for him. But you must realize your FIRST..

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