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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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one/joy_step_at_a_time

louise – and i thought the previews looked funny!

Louise

one/joy:

Yeah, I guess funny, but Cameron was really sleazy!

one/joy_step_at_a_time
Shalom

Dear Geminigirl:
Just saw your post from July 7th. So sorry to hear you were in hospital, but happy to know you are doing well. 98% blockage..Yikes! You are a treasure on LF and I miss your posts when you are MIA. Take care. Be well. ((((((hugs))))). Shalom.

coping

Today is one of those horrible days…one where the pain seems so intense I just want to give up. All I want to do is go crawl into bed and sleep. I feel so lost and confused I dont know where to go or where to turn. I just want this to end. Seriousely when does the pain and all of this end? Is there ever peace again? I can honestly say I do not see any peace in the future. The fighting, internal pain, unjust judicial system is just so overwhelming I cant see straight and I’m afraid I’ve lost the strength to move forward. I can only pray I can find the strength to care for my young child with the reality being that I am the only one who can protect him. Giving up is a luxury I dont have.
I am looking for the triggers and like most things they seem pretty clear to me yet I dont feel I have any strenth left to deal with them.
In about 30 minutes I have to have a phone conversation with a family member to discuss some options. I need to relocate due to my spath and I thought moving somewhere that I have family would be the best option….not my choice…but the most adult decision I could make. Its funny because I’m not looking for money or a place to stay. i would just like to go somewhere where there is someone I know who knows the city, knows of realtors I could contact, knows of good daycares, ect, as oppossed to moving blindly into the unknown. I can saywith 100% certainty this will not go over well. I will try this avenue but am afraid of the outcome. At leaste I will know i tried. Chances are this will end with me in tear

Back_from_the_edge

((((coping)))) I am sorry these horrid things are happening to you and your life. Take a deep breath and sit for five minutes and truly think out all of your options with a fresh mind.

JUST KNOW that you are in the best hands you could ever be in by coming here and reading, educating yourself, and putting thought to why this is all happening.

I remember those days so well coping…in fact, I still have them often and strong, sometimes. It is going to take wanting it to go away to make it go away. It isn’t something we can just take as we would an ‘instinct’…we have to actually TRY to make it go away.

I have been on the road and journey and on the search for peace since my massive heart attack, recently. Well, almost 9 months ago now. X sp was trying to take advantage of the ill health to DECIMATE me. Almost succeeded but nope: MY LIFE!

Believe in YOU, coping.
YOU are the most important part of the equation.
Get back to the “YOU” you were before and you will be fine.

My heart, thoughts and prayers are with you…
‘welcome’ to this safe haven – Angels hang out here…

Duped

candy

coping

Ok, you are down BUT get up off the floor (or out of that bed) otherwise spath wins. Not only that but Ox will boink you and boy does that hurt!

The pain DOES ease”eventually.

This move to be with the family may be the turning point you have been seeking. It will get you away from spath, past routines and you will find ’new’ friends. If you cannot do this for yourself do it for your child.

Make that call discuss those options, what have you got to lose?

Re-locate ”“ start over.

It seems from your post that you may not feel ready to ’move on’. But move on you MUST. Bite the bullet.

Have you had counselling? It sounds as if you may need it to deal with the PTSD.

C’mon, shake yourself, take a step forward and when you’ve taken that one take another. One day at a time. (hugs)

Ox Drover

Dear Coping,

WElcome to LF! Sorry you need to be here but it is a good place to be if you need to be here.

What is the “reason” you don’t feel good about moving? Do you feel that your family won’t be as supportive as you’d like? Or because you are not yet ready to disconnect from him? That might make a difference in the “adultness” of the decision to move.

You must ultimately make the decisions, what is best for you and Junior, but while you are under such stress it is difficult to always know which way to “jump” so think carefully before you make any moves….you’ll be glad you did. I can tell you from experience that being careful and considering ALL the options is best, rather than just going with “emotional” decisions. Sometimes we have to go “100% adult” and 100% against what our emotions tell us, other times it is a mix. In dealing with a psychopath though, we can’t let our “love” for them or our “need” for them influence us we have to get away from them. They are toxic to both us and our children. God bless and give you wisdom. Keep on reading and learning here.

coping

Thank you..
As i’m typing I’m laughing and crying at the same time. CRAZY!! I just wrote what seemed like pages.. then I lost connection and it didnt post. One of those days!!
Bottom line: My 52 year old aunt who is a psycholist does not want us to move to her city because of my mother and all of her craziness and drama. However she did say I should take my mothers help financially in relocating. This makes no sence to me. If she cant handle crazy how can I?
Bottom line.. I’m alone and out of options. I have a 2 month window. What do I do? I am missing something here…I’m trying to make adult decisionss but nothing is working out.
Geeze I dont know where to jump but it needs to be out of state.

coping

Damn, I feel as though God has stripped me and left me alone covered in honey and placed me on an ant mound. I am losing faith, lost, LOL I look back to the BMW, nice home and laugh. I am struggling for pure survival for my son and I. I dont know what path to take.?
If I accept finacial help I am allowing more sickness into my life- but a tempory security for my son. If I sell everything I own Ide be lucky to get 5 thousand…thats no security and no way for a child to live. Especially with a stressed out new mom. OMG! I prey for miracles.. maybe he will be deported and go away.. nothing…he is here and I need to run. What path is right? I finally got a great job offer in state. One to re-establish myself… I had to turn it down because I know I cant stay….. What to do?

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