By | January 15, 2014 107 Comments

Recovery From a Sociopath: The fake victim and the real victim

quinn pierce blogby Quinn Pierce

When I first met my ex-husband, I was moved by the amount of compassion and sympathy he showed for the traumatic experiences of my past.  To me, it was an endearing quality for someone to be so caring and supportive.  He kept telling me how honored he was that I trusted him enough to tell him things I hadn’t talked to many people about before.

Ulterior Motives

I look back with cringe-inducing clarity, and I recognize several ulterior motives for his false compassion. For one, he was assessing me as a partner.  He learned that, at the time, I was a very secretive person.  I had a select few people I confided in, and I was not one to talk to others about my own painful experiences.

This is a very appealing trait, I can imagine, to a sociopath.  My ex-husband knew I would not be quick to complain to others about anything he would do in the future, or recognize his actions for the abuse they would be.

Secondly, he was testing my dedication and trust toward him.  How much would I divulge, how comfortable could he make me feel?

Lastly, and this proved to be painfully true of all confidences in our relationship, he was stockpiling ammunition for use at a later date.  He would often condemn me in verbal tirades for those same things he would show so much sympathy for earlier.

The Real Victim

Eventually, he was able to twist my perception of certain events so that he would be portrayed as the victim, while I was always responsible for making him feel bad and playing the victim.

This happened so frequently and with such conviction on his part, that after my separation, I was actually surprised when someone I was talking to referred to me as a victim.  I didn’t even know how to respond. I almost denied what sounded to me like an accusation, but I didn’t say a word while I let the information sink in.

It took several months of counseling and reprocessing memories for me to understand that I was the actual victim in the relationship.  It would be even longer before I could equate my  experiences with what I considered ‘real victims’.  I had yet to learn exactly what psychological abuse was or how far reaching the effects were.  It was more than just living with someone who could manipulate my actions and rewrite memories, it was like being the test subject to a mad scientist who was rewiring my brain.

Separating Fact From Fiction

The first thing I had to do in order to begin healing was separate the realities of my marriage with the illusion of the life my ex-husband worked so hard to maintain.  That meant believing and accepting the fact that I was a victim.  This was difficult for me to digest.  I have always been sympathetic to other people who have experienced abuse, but for me to accept sympathy from others was a very uncomfortable feeling.  At first, I thought it would make me appear to be a weak character.  Someone who was seeking attention or causing drama.  All the things I avoided in my life, and all the things my ex-husband thrived on.

However, my thought process was innately flawed, mostly because of the picture my ex-husband painted of me for so many years.  There were so many characteristics of him that I didn’t like and wanted to free myself from, one of which was the recurring role of victim.  I was not rushing to take on that role, myself.

Once the understanding dawned, it was like I had opened my eyes after a long sleep.  I finally saw the truth: He was never the victim, I was.

That realization changed everything.  It empowered me to take back control of my life by validating my experiences, feelings, and struggles.  It connected me with other survivors.  And that is a key difference between the sociopathic victim role play and real victims, we recognize that the victimization is over, and we have survived.  My ex-husband needs to keep himself in the role of victim to suit his needs and perpetuate his manipulation.  He has no desire to move past that role, because it isn’t real.

From Victim to Survivor

Real victims of these empathy-lacking individuals are warriors, survivors, and eventually, healers.  We share our experiences and search for answers hoping to make sense of what we experienced.  We grow and change and thrive.  

Admitting I was a victim meant reclaiming my life.  I am not responsible for my ex-husband’s behavior, I am responsible for mine.   I cannot change how he lives his life and who he hurts, cheats, or manipulates along the way, but it will no longer be me.

Ironically, those initial traits he found so beneficial to his success as an abuser are the very traits that changed because of his abuse.  In my quest for peace and healing, the most rewarding part of my recovery is sharing my story with as many people as I can.  No longer embarrassed or shamed into silence, the experience freed my voice and my spirit.

My fifteen years of subtle manipulation and abuse gave me the incentive to figure out who he really was so I would never become a victim of anyone like him again. And, in the process, I learned that secrets are the abusers tools of control and manipulation.

Maybe he should have payed more attention to my ‘silly little interests’ during our marriage.  He was quick to belittle and minimize anything I enjoyed or anything others saw as a talent.  Unfortunately for him, topping the list is one I have turned into an extremely rewarding career choice: Writer.


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Quinn, thank you for another incredibly articulated post. The most astonishing part to me is all of these sociopaths have the same exact play book…they do the same abusive, manipulative, cunning behavior no matter what walk of life they come from. Absolutely mind blowing!

Everything you wrote is exactly what happened to me… in the beginning of knowing him just as a friend I was very uncomfortable with his digging into my life, not that I was hiding anything too but I had never met someone who I now recognize as a habitual boundary breaker especially as a new friend, he too would twist everything around and literally mimic what happened to me into his story (to change my perception). I remember early when this happened thinking I need to get away form this guy, but he was crafty enough to keep me in his tornado along with everyone else with his pity play.

He knows exactly how to get things he wants out of people to suck them in and keep them in his crazy game. By him using this boundary breaking method right from the get go he is able to throws people off in following their gut and truly seeing the marching band of red flags he parades around with daily.

I think one of the biggest issues in their behavior is it not familiar to a normal person, we do not know how to deal with their constant boundary invasion, in addition throw in that we were raised to be polite & honest it’s a recipe for disaster when meeting one of these evil people.

Thank you for choosing a career in writing, so glad you pursued your passion!!


Quinn, I LOVE that you are a writer and that you can use your past painful experiences to further your writing career. I am reminded of Alanis Morrissette who turned a very painful discard she experienced with a man into a number one hit! I love to write, too, though for now I limit my writing to internet blogging and journaling on occasion.

I can honestly say that since I left the home of my sociopathic stepfather at 16 years of age, I have not experienced much belittling and criticism by a mate. I released his abuse (physical especially) energetically when I was 23, and since then, I’ve not attracted not had any tolerance for angry, physically or verbally abusive men. I attract the emotionally unavailable ones, and that is a whole other story. Sigh.

Rather, I had a mother who was very jealous of me. I was never able to share my joys and triumphs with her. She would quickly change the subject (to be about her). It was one of the reasons we were estranged 3 years prior to her death last year. It’s very similar with my sister with whom I was thrown into contact in order to deal with my mother’s estate. I must carefully conceal my happiness and the fun parts of my life from her. She will become jealous and resentful, because she is unhappy. Apparently, I was not destined for a happy life. My parents and stepparents set me up to fail. In spite of the life of misery they groomed me for, I have always managed to find some joy and mirth in life. I have danced and have traveled albeit on a shoestring budget, and have kept a sense of humor. This has sustained me throughout many years of depression. And it still sustains me while working through various issues. Admittedly, I do go into a fantasy world a lot. This can work for or against me. But the positive aspect of fantasizing is that my dreams and visions of how life *could* be have helped me lift myself out of the cesspool I grew up in that was destined to be my self-perpetuated future. Many people never make this shift.

Quinn – Brilliant, brilliant observations on how he manipulated you into believing he was the victim. I am so glad that you have figured out what he did, and could articulate it for Lovefraud readers.


I wholeheartedly relate to your experiences. It does my heart good when I read the words of others that are intrinsically identical to my own experience with my ex-husband the psychopath.
“…he was stockpiling ammunition for use at a later date.”

I can so relate to this assertion. My ex was constantly creating environments that he knew would bring about an emotionally negative response from me, and he was there, ready to compile information about me that he could eventually use against me.

For example: I was his 2nd wife. When I met him he was embroiled in battle with his 1st wife in court. He had a whole room in his house with paper piled to the ceiling and would often lament about how torturous the process was, how crazy his 1st wife was and what a victim he was. I remember he even showed me small cassette tapes that recorded conversations he had with his ex (without her knowledge). Red Flag, right? Too bad I was so enamored with him the last thing I wanted to do was over analyze the demise of his first marriage….I just wanted the divorce to happen asap. In retrospect, I do believe it was direct pressure from me that finally made him settle with his 1st wife. I do believe it would have dragged on for decades. When I look back now I see how badly he wanted to “win” over his 1st wife. A woman that gave him 4 sons and worked full time during their marriage..a normal man would have wanted to end a marriage like this in the quickest, least painful way as possible….it would not be a WIN thing….a normal man would realize no one wins in this type of situation. Now fast forward 4 years, we have been married for a couple years and were getting ready to go on an annual camping trip…
My ex and I were preparing to be away from home for a few days and packing up the camping equipment we would need to take with us for our annual camping trip. My husband, at this point, already had my number. He knew what made me tick, what pissed me off and what sent me totally over the edge. Growing in in a very large family (12 siblings), in poverty, and in a very chaotic environment, he knew I cherished efficiency and security and abhorred waste. As I was cheerefully getting our camping gear together, he abruptly had to run to the store for something he had forgotten for our trip. I said, “no problem, see you in a few.” Well, he came back a couple hours later, backed his pickup truck up to the garage door, and when he opened the back of the truck….what ensued, well, wasn’t pretty….at all. He had gone to the store and bought every possible thing a person would need for camping. From the sleeping bags to the spatula for the grill. I mean everything. I absolutely melted down. How could be so reckless with money? What a waste of money, time and resources. We had all of this stuff and it was in very good condition! It wasn’t till years later that I actually understood why he did that. I had to connect the “data collecting” he did during his divorce from wife #1. Unbeknownst to me at the time, he was only months away from leaving me. He was in his “data collecting” mode. Data that would be used to eventually prove to his family, my family, the courts and anyone else that dared to question him, that I was indeed severely mentally ill and he could no longer tolerate my behavior. It was only after he totally dismantled my life, economically, socially and emotionally, after a full fledged nervous breakdown riddled with cognitive dissonance, after having to apply for and receive full disability because I was no longer able to work, yep…then and only then was I able to see that this example (with countless others) was the behavior of a psychopath.
Six years after the day he left me (the day after Christmas 2007 and moved directly in with another woman), I was randomly searching for a document on my PC when I came across a letter that I had written to him years earlier. It was actually written about 3 years after he walked out on me, about 3 years earlier than the day I happened upon the letter accidentally. I opened the document and began reading the 4 or 5 pages that were my “last words” to him. A last ditch effort to elicit some sort of empathetic response from this bastard. When I was finished reading the letter a wave of realization came over me unlike anything I had experienced before in my life. Without hesitation, I said out loud, “My God, he was a psychopath!” My relationship, marriage and subsequent divorce from him flashed in front of me as if a movie on a screen, with the psychopathy highlighted with glaring clarity. Before this very moment, I thought as many people do about sociopaths and psychopaths, that they are axe weilding maniacs who are mass murderers. I had no idea they are numerous and walk among us every day. When I uttered the words, My God he was a psychopath, I actually scared myself a little bit. Why did I say that? How did I know it was true? The memory flash I had? Well, sure enough, I go immediately to the internet and find a whole community of people who have been through the same thing. Love Fraud was one of the first websites I came across and I’ve been coming here to read the articles ever since.
While I don’t know if my life will ever be the same as it was prior to meeting and marrying a psychopath, having the realization I did and finding supportive communities like the one here on love fraud has helped me immensely. I’m hoping by me relaying some of my experiences will in turn help someone else who has the misfortune of a relationship or marriage to a psychopath.

Words and thoughts to live by:


• I am beautiful
• I am strong
• I deserve happiness
• I deserve peace and serenity
• I am worthy of love and of having a mutually fulfilling and loving relationship
• I am perfectly unapologetically and that’s all I have to be
• I will give up compulsive caregiving ”“ I will stop making the needs of others my top priority. I will focus on my needs and my wants and let others take care of themselves.
• I will live in reality always ”“ I will start seeing things as they are and not as I wish them to be. I will see abuse as abuse. I will no longer rationalize, minimize or allow anyone to talk their way out of bad behavior.
• I will be conscious of my relationship patterns – I will no longer seek out individuals that exhibit the same traits that my initial abuser possesses. If I recognize it ”“ I will leave the relationship immediately.
• I will give up compulsive rescuing ”“ I will no longer try to fix people. I will allow others to deal with their own problems and I will not engage in any relationship with individuals that are obviously emotionally damaged.
• If someone lies to me I will end the relationship.
• Whenever someone acts like they don’t care about you ”“ believe them. If they act like they’re not afraid to lose you, it’s because they’re not.
• If someone cheats on me I will end the relationship.
• When you give up your heart and your power to someone who is incapable of caring about you, the only outcome will be pain
• Don’t waste your energy on jealousy. Know that there is always going to be a new target. Even if you succeeded and he came back, you would always be looking over your shoulder and you should be
• If someone insults me, puts me down or tries to make me feel bad, I will leave with a warning that if this ever repeats I will end the relationship.
• If someone does not consistently treat me in a loving, caring and respectful manner I will end the relationship
• If someone does not make me a priority I will end the relationship
• I will recognize when I am being love bombed and I will leave”.
• The best indicator of future behavior is past behavior. So if you honestly think you are going beat the odds ”“ think again.
• If your man has habitually messed with other women’s minds, emotions and bodies, odds are he’ll do that to you.
• If your man has cheated on many of his previous girlfriends, odds are he’ll cheat on you.
• If your man cheated on his last girlfriend with you, odds are he’ll cheat on you with his next girlfriend.
• If your man has a pattern of blowing hot and cold in his relationships, odds are you can expect a cold front to blow in.
• If your man has habitually lied, manipulated and conned women in the past, odds are he’s lying manipulating and conning you.
• If your man has a string of ex’s he calls ’friends’ and his phone is constantly going off, odds are they are more than just friends. And if he’s a Narcissist, they are part of his harem, he needs them, so don’t expect them to go away any time soon.
• If your man disappoints you again and again, odds are he’s managing down your expectations, so that soon you will expect nothing from him.
• If your man is feeding you lines like, I’ve never felt this way about anyone, I’ve never had this kind of connection with someone before, followed by talk of his love and his desire to marry you, a month into the relationship, odds are he’s future faking, so that he can get what he wants in the present.
• If your man makes promise after promise, but delivers nothing, odds are he’s stringing you along as an option, keeping you on ice for a rainy day.
• If you have had other women warn you about your man, you should listen; odds are you won’t, because you want to think you’re special enough to beat the odds.
• Even if you did win, what exactly are you winning? If you know that your man has been dishonest, lacked integrity, hurt people without remorse, wouldn’t it weigh on you, that at any point in your relationship, this guy could revert to his old patterns of behavior? You’d constantly be walking around on egg shells, wondering when the other shoe would drop. Who wants to live that way?
• When your inner voice, that always wants to take us to a place of hurt, is flashing you thoughts and images of painful things, stop it immediately, don’t allow it to travel any further. Change your focus to something positive.
• Stop taking responsibility for other people’s junk. Stop apologizing. Own your junk and let other people own theirs. And learn the difference between the two.
• Be confident, even when you’re not. The more you practice this, the stronger your confidence muscle will become.
• Be like water off a ducks back. There are always going to be people in your life that will try to make you lose your cool. Recognize the situation when it arises and don’t allow any person, place or thing to knock you off balance
• Lose the victim mentality. Meet all challenges from a place of strength.
• If you are engaging with someone or something that you know isn’t good for you ”“ just stop. Easier said than done, right? But what would logic dictate? Take off the rose colored glasses and start looking at things the way they are, not as you wish them to be. You’ve all heard the expression follow your heart, but take your head with you. If it doesn’t feel right don’t try to change it, don’t feel bad about it, and don’t pine about it, just move on.
• Meet your fears head on. Something only seems impossible until you do it once. Once you have mastery over something that previously seemed impossible, you will feel invincible and it will motivate you to greater and greater heights. Practice doing things that scare you.
• Choose an image of a strong and fearless woman/man and model her/his behavior. Put pictures up all over your environment to remind yourself of their strength.
• Focus on you. It’s the old cliché. But I mean put all of your attention, all of your energy on making you the best you, you could possibly be. Get motivated and get excited about all of the possibilities that await you.
• When we look to others to show us our worth, they are always going to fall short. Primarily, because it’s no one else’s job to give us our self-esteem ”“ that’s our job. Secondly, people are mostly self-interested, they don’t care about how you feel about you ”“ the fact that you are jumping through hoops and treating them like they are the greatest thing since sliced bread, is a huge ego boost for them and you gaining self-respect, changes the dynamics of the relationship. When you stop jumping it doesn’t serve them and they don’t want that, so they will deliberately or inadvertently behave in a manner that keeps you stuck and fixated on them.
• When we have low self-esteem we have become so comfortable with our own negative thoughts and beliefs about ourselves that we will actually seek out people and situations that confirm those beliefs. It’s the devil we know and it feels familiar and like home. We have become so used to the idea that love equals pain and that what we are calling love is actually us seeking validation and begging to have someone show us our worth.
• If someone healthy did show up in our lives that was interested in us and was offering us the relationship that we claim we want, we would run like hell, because it goes against everything that we believe about ourselves and we would feel incredibly uncomfortable. So instead we inadvertently seek out people that evoke those feelings of unworthiness in us.
• The problem is, when someone can’t make up their mind about us, the price we pay, trying to convince them that we’re good enough, is our self-esteem. The mere fact that we are going to all this effort proves to them that we actually aren’t worthy, because if we were, we would know our own worth and we would’ve told them to take a hike long ago.
• When you engage with a fence sitter, or continue in a relationship with someone that treats you poorly, you will find that there is always another obstacle, another reason, why they can’t give you the relationship you want. You pay the price and the payoff for you is that you get to continue to confirm to yourself that you aren’t good enough.
• When you realize that you determine your worth, that you deserve more than just crumbs of someone’s attention and when you treat you in a loving, respectful way, other’s will follow your lead. You teach people how to treat you, so start treating you right. When you change the way that you feel about you, you will stop seeking validation and relationships from unwilling sources.
• If you allow someone to mistreat you, then the price you pay is always your self-esteem.
• It’s your job to recognize poor treatment and react ”“ no matter what stage of the relationship you’re in. Like I said if you let it go unchecked it will continue and even get worse. So when you are faced with disrespect you must react.
• If you’re on your tenth chance, you’ve got to recognize that this situation is dysfunctional and you have to extricate yourself from the relationship.
• You have to look at your situation logically and without emotion. If someone is treating you badly and you voice your displeasure, what’s the worst thing that can happen? You will gage all you need to know by their reaction to your reaction:
• If they get even madder at you, or even blame you ”“ leave.
• If they break up with you for speaking up for yourself ”“ I’d say you dodged a bullet. You don’t want anyone that isn’t interested in how you’re feeling or your boundaries.
• If they say they’re sorry, but continue to do it again and again ”“ leave.
• The only reaction that you can accept is an apology, followed by not doing it again. Period.
• A big part of this problem is that women with low self-esteem generally have a hard time speaking up for themselves. They’re avoiders and will do whatever they can to avoid confrontation. For a Narcissist this is the perfect target.
• Low self-esteem and low standards generally go hand in hand. People that have a healthy self-esteem and a high level of confidence take care of themselves and when they find themselves in a relationship that has become unhealthy, they just end it.
• When you are in an emotionally charged situation, don’t just react. Take a deep breath and consider your options. Take emotion out of the equation and allow logic to enter into your decision making process and choose the course of action that will best benefit you.
• Own your feelings. Don’t make excuses like, he made me do this, or he’s making me nuts. How you feel is your business. Don’t blame anyone else for how you feel.

You were put on this earth to be happy. That’s your purpose. That’s it. You were not meant to live for someone else. You were not meant to live on an emotional rollercoaster. You were not meant to walk on egg shells. You were not meant to be unhappy. In time you will come to see all of this as an incredibly valuable learning experience. You will never again put yourself last and treat you with a lack of love care and respect and you won’t want to consort with anyone that tries to.
Trust your instincts, and start walking through the fog until you see the light. There you will find freedom, joy, self-sufficiency, self-love, inner peace and utter bliss.


All of this is so very well written. Why do they claim that we are “mentally ill”?I still don’t understand that part. That was my soon to be ex husband first choice of words. “You are a crazy bitch and you are mentally ill. I was told every day. Him being a cop he even arranged to send me to a mental institution. All while he was having an affair with the coworker. Luckily my doctor knew how manipulative and deceiving this creature is. And yes I found happiness again after filing for divorce. Not with someone new. Just happiness that he is out of my life. And yesterday definitely know the warning signs now . The past 20 years were an important lesson learned . I could have done without it, but I have my beautiful, smart son because of it. Once the “fog” has lifted, it is very bright and sunshiny. Stay strong. 🙂 before you know it every day will be a happy day.


“Crazy Girl” was the nickname the spath gave me. He called me that to my face so that I would doubt my own realities. He used it with others to devalue me, and to cause people to question whether anything I said about him later was valid. That type of smear campaign is, I’ve discovered, usually implemented early in a relationship to protect the spath. It’s very clever and utterly devious. People that hear the smears/lies often buy into it without question.


Yup. Me too. I was called mentally ill, low self esteem, and a crazy psycho stalker. He kept saying that I need help. I did need help he was right….to get away from him. He cheated and lies to his baby mama for TWO years!!! He was dating both of us(un knowingly) He convinced his ex to get back together using the excuse that I was crazy and he was “afraid of what I might to do him and his family” So he felt scared to leave me and that’s why he held on…. I laugh SO hard at this now!! But his ex totally bought it and took him back….makes me sick


I believe the reason the psycho wants to label their partner as mentally ill is so they can play the victim to their family, friends and associates. Like I said in my previous post, I believe my ex recorded me “melting down” so if anyone questioned the morality of the way he walked out on me and moved in with another woman, he would have evidence of just how “crazy” I was….picture this:

Someone questions him or tries to hold him accountable. His reply, “You don’t understand how psychotic this woman was. Listen to this: (Play recorded melt down). All I did is buy a couple things to take camping with us. I thought I was doing a good thing.”

If someone was not present to see that he actually bought everything needed to go camping, and they likewise, they were not aware of the sensitivities I possessed related to wasteful spending, then my ex really does look like the victim to them.

As long as people are buying what the psycho is selling….they are pretty much happy. When people start questioning them and their motives…they don’t like it all. I believe my husband recorded me on multiple occasions. Luckily, we had no children, and I just signed the divorce papers when I received them. He filed for divorce citing “cruel and unusual treatment”….from the man who was in bed with another woman the very day he left me.

Actually, when I first had the realization that he was a psychopath, my first emotion was anger. I wanted to sue him. I was at such a good place in my life when I met him. Owned my own home, great job, looked and felt better than I ever had in my life. When he left and the fallout that followed has left me in a small apartment, no job, full disability, severe mental illness, probably the worse I’ve ever looked or felt in my life. I figured he caused this…he should have to pay for the damage he did to me. Damage that to me will probably persist for the rest of my life. However, the more I read about relationships or marriage to one of them, the more I knew “no contact” was the way to keep things. I have not seen, spoken or had any knowledge about him for well over 3 years.

I count my blessings that I got out with my life and intend to leave well enough alone. Hugs to everyone!


Yup they call the women in their lives crazy because this gives the new meat something to hang on to….” Well if the women he has in his life is crazy” then she “thinks” he will stay with her the new one….why? Because she will work extra HARD to prove she is worthy of him and that “She” is not a crazy women…….But ohhhhhh just wait, before he is “done” with her she will wish she had never met him. And then back to his batting rotation of another “women” ….and so on and so on….wash-rinse-repeat.


Thanks for all your comments. I am surprised how they are all the same. How interesting I was constantly accused of “meltdowns”. Wow he recorded you, that’s just unbelievable. Yes he knew how to push my buttons and then I was labeled “crazy, psycho bitch “. I did cut of all contact over 8 months ago. I just got of the phone with my attorney. He knows we are dealing with a sociopath in this divorce. I just hope the judge will see this also. My soon to be ex thinks he will receive “special treatment” because he is retired military and a law enforcement officer. He is always entitled to everything. He puts himself above god but in reality is nothing. I compare him to satan. I hope I will stay strong and go on with my life not wasting any more thoughts about him. I noticed I think much less about the past and I live in the present. I might lose marital assets but I gained my freedom and my self worth. And that’s priceless.


I am very atheist and have a strong science background, so I don’t believe in the devil or heaven and hell. So its hard for me to imagine that he just lives out his life hurting people with a possibility of no revenge or punishment. But I was telling this exact thing to a friend yesterday and she made a good point….His life on Earth IS his hell. These people are always stressed, lying, cheating, unstimulated, always looking for something more. I compare him to satan as well. He’s demonic.

I on the other hand live in the present and in the moment with appreciation that I am alive and a good person. That makes my life on earth my Heaven. We danced with the devil in our lives but because we are good people our heavenly life on earth beat out his hell. No matter how it happened. I send out love and peace and kindness, and I get it right back.

I truly DID some CRAZY things and he tells all his friends how CRAZY I am. But, if it takes a little crazy to get him out of my life then I’m still grateful. I have forgiven myself and finding myself joking about some of the things I did…laughing at myself. I can do this BECAUSE I have forgiven myself and I know that NOW that I am away from him that I’m NOT crazy. I feel normal and stable and calm now….

A friend told me this once: If someone was trying to hurt my child I would go to ANY length no matter WHAT to save my family. Its the same with yourself….do whatever it takes to save yourself. If that means he bashes my name to his SMALL group of friends then who the hell cares. I got out. Let them think that. Its worth the peace I have now.


I’m glad you found support as you go through this. And the fact he is law-enforcement does not surprise me at all…a very psychopathic career field to be sure. I used to be a 911 dispatcher and knew many police officers who I now looking back could easily label a sociopath. Thank god i never dated any of them! Good luck and Blessings to you! Keep your head high.


Reading your writing, and the posts here, does one important thing for me. Validation, validation, validation. I felt in my heart that how I was being treated was wrong but was made to feel crazy for feeling so. I learned not to trust my gut. Glad to say, I am back to trusting myself, first and only.


Ya I remember a time when I didn’t trust myself and if I were to run into him, or if he called or emailed, I couldn’t with 100% certainty say I wouldn’t give in and respond. After 6 months of no contact and taking a step back and realizing how mentally and emotionally abusive he was, I KNOW that if I saw him I would either laugh and be like “ya right you loser” or completely turn the other direction…just takes time and space.


I feel the same way. He wanted me to think that I am really crazy so he can have an excuse to cheat and leave. My therapist made an interesting point. If a person is “really” mentally ill, you just don’t get up and leave this person. As a husband it is his duty to protect his family, no matter what. But they are so distorted they believe their own lies. Yes I agree their life on earth is pure hell. Always wanting more, hurting and disposing of people they are suppose to love.
Absolutely the no contact was a life saver for me. He used to send me emails telling me what a crazy psycho bitch I am, how my emotional meltdowns destroyed the family. The truth is that he destroyed his family and I do t even blame the young co worker/ mistress. He was the married person who should have never brought on a 3 rd person into the marriage. I truly believe that the moment they start to think about this new “supply” the marriage is over. And I still do not understand the word “cheaters” like they are sneaking an extra 20 $ bill in a monopoly game. They should be called Liars, Devastators and Destroyers. Because they really killed something.
My son and I will be ok. We both want nothing to do with him anymore. Seeing him in court does nothing to me because that’s what he is. I cannot even see him as a father of my son. A real father would not inflict so much pain on his family. He is a selfish coward and the mistress can have him.

julie anne

You just opened my eyes. If a person is “really,mentally ill” they do not just get up and leave someone. My ex spath,went golfing on thanksgiving(was supposed to clean the carpets,but hey,I understood,golfing sounds funner) came back and announced he was moving out. I was devastated. He was my only family. I had lost my job of 11 years 4 months prior,and he stated “your situation is bringing me down” I got a new a job. I am a nurse. he is a bartender. Do you know how bad I want to email him “hey,I got a nursing job again,our bartending gig was bringing me down” he left suddenly so many times in the past,with no warning so I could up my hours,we split the bills and often times he would pay the bills,without telling me,and when I would tell him “hey,I can pay my half” he would say “that’s okay babe,I got it” than throw it in my face down the road. The last time before this time that he left,without any warning…I was not financially prepared and had to pawn my deceased mothers wedding ring and other things to live. Oh how I loathe this beast! loathe him! he took me down. he told storied to his kids about me,that are so far from the truth..I am at the anger and acceptance stage and I pray for indifference. he makes my body shudder.


Julie my wife has done similar, with finances or work, shes paid things before and not even told me about it only to throw it in my face later like im some kind of bum, or if I don’t jump to do something in the house the instant she wants it done, she will rush to go do it so she can rage on me later about how lazy I am.

Mine has also many a times kicked me out knowing I couldn’t live on my own and would have to move back in with my parents broke with no job, she has actually caused me to lose 2 jobs kicking me out before, as well as our business we ran this time was my source of income and she kicked me out again broke with no job, and my car is messed up from her driving it for 8 months while I used her truck for the company, she refused to pay to get it fixed, hell for awhile she would run the gas down to fumes and expect me to put more in it, if I didn’t she would rage on me even though she was the one running out the gas and making 3 times as much money as me.


and what a lovely writer you are Quinn! Reading this here at my desk (when I ought to be working) brought tears to my eyes. But not tears of sadness or even of joy, just sheer emotion.

It’s as though I had written this about me!

“There were so many characteristics of him that I didn’t like and wanted to free myself from, one of which was the recurring role of victim. I was not rushing to take on that role, myself.”

This was exactly how I felt. I kept things to myself for so, so many years. Even when the marriage was finally and obviously fulling apart and I was sure of his affair, I still kept it to myself for months. When I finally broke down to a friend who popped round for coffee at the height of things she was so sympathetic and like you, addressed me as the victim of his bullying behaviour and I was shocked. I almost took offence but over the next few months I realised she was right and things became clearer and clearer and clearer and this just continues.

Stopbuggingme’s comment: “Reading your writing, and the posts here, does one important thing for me. Validation, validation, validation” is again absolutely spot on!

For me its like a heavy fog suddenly cleared and I found my patronus! (As a big Harry Potter fan I actaully see my ex sometimes as a Dementor – an evil, parasitic, empty soul sucker.) It is a very painful experience to look back on 25 years and realise that for the best part it – it wasn’t real. Incidents, whole chapters sometimes play in front of me and I see them now with a totally different view. Gifted with the insight into who and what my ex really is and it has to be said, always was, the video of my life with him plays out so differently. However unpleasant that is, it validates and because it validates it gives me strength. The strength of knowing I am decent and sane and always was is crucial for me.

“Admitting I was a victim meant reclaiming my life. I am not responsible for my ex-husband’s behavior, I am responsible for mine. I cannot change how he lives his life and who he hurts, cheats, or manipulates along the way, but it will no longer be me.”


Playing the victim is one of THE primary hoaxes that sociopaths play. They accuse you of doing to them what they are doing to you. And, in this day and age, if he has money, he is able to bribe the cops to come after YOU for stalking or harassing him. Ted Bundy, the most notorious serial killer in most of our lifetimes, was able to victimize by pretending to be handicapped.



“They accuse you of doing to them what they are doing to you.”

Oh so true, mine would claim I treat her like s##t and call her names, 80% of our fights were started by her raging and insulting/belittling me , then when I would have enough and yell back at her I was told I treat her bad and she doesn’t deserve this. She has layed hands on me many times (no hitting) but when I grabbed her back or pushed her off of me she would claim I hurt her and im violent, and how shes smaller and a woman and I could kill her with one punch, years ago she tried to choke me and failed miserably when I throw this episode in her face she says “oh david that’s not violence as im incapable of hurting you” What the hell???? LOL. Tells me to never leave her and we just cant be apart and how right this feels, only to kick me out once a year blaming me for everything and guilt tripping me until I fealt it was my fault and then I would beg her back, only for new rules to be put in place while she would sit and refuse to change anything about herself.


Quinn, when I met my ex-boyfriend, I had the same experience as you did when you met your ex-husband…he was able to get me to open up and share experiences I had with my ex-husband that I had shared with no one, and that is when he set his hook. The irony is not lost on me that one of the last things he ever said to me after he had spent the prior two days making sure his discard of me left me crawling on my belly and clawing the floor was “…and your ex? He was nothing but a con man.”

I spent seven years with this man, and my story is no different than anyone else’s, just the names and places are changed. I was a good, loving, caring, honest woman and he played me like a fiddle. Where I was once calm and centered, suddenly my life was chaotic, I was constantly trying to figure out what I did wrong and how to fix it, my hard earned money was flying out the door, I was confused, off balance, worried that I was insane and constantly trying to “do better”. All the while being manipulated by the intermittent love bombing that kept me hooked. After he abandoned me, which he did with such utter and complete cruelty intended to destroy me (and yes possibly drive me to suicide), I STILL tried to fix things. The turning point in my life was the last email he wrote me where he cataloged my shortcomings and concluded by saying that I needed to figure out a way to “mend the fences” with him and he wasn’t sure if it was possible, but I could try (knowing that this would motivate me like nothing else) and that, by the way, I should look up borderline personality disorder, since he felt this was a part of my problem and I needed to address it before we could move forward.

At the time I got this email, I hadn’t seen him for several weeks and we had had minimal contact, since he knew from experience that shutting me out was the best way to get me to perform like a trained seal. I think it was this time away from him that for once in seven years, gave some rudimentary, basic survival instinct in me the time to step up and say – wait a minute! You haven’t done anything wrong, you haven’t done anything he’s accusing you of, and HE’s describing HIMSELF. And without ever having heard the concept of “no contact”, that is exactly what I did. I believe it saved my sanity, and probably my life. Looking back over the course of the relationship, he had shut me out on a regular basis, maybe once or twice a year, usually for a week or so and he knew it was a tried and true method of bringing me into “line” and get me to increase my efforts to please him. It is chilling now to recall him saying, when he let me back in, “you don’t like when I do that, do you?” I can only imagine the demon writhing in fury when I failed to respond to any of his attempts at further manipulation. But then again, by then he had already groomed his next victim and was focusing his energy on her.

Shortly afterwards, I discovered Love Fraud and other wonderful sites and books and spent a good amount of time educating myself about what happened to me. It was enlightening, life affirming and validating. Then I found a therapist who has guided me even further into healing.

In a few weeks, it will be 2 1/2 years since he abandoned me and I truly thought I wasn’t going to survive. Now I know, it was at that moment I was given a chance at rebirth. It’s been a grueling, intensive process to survive, understand, and begin to heal. At the same time, life goes on, with its ups and downs and challenges. This is not a journey for the weak…as warriors, survivors and eventually healers, I believe that we are some of the strongest people who walk this earth. I am proud of myself, and I am proud of us all.

While I feel I’ve come a very long way, there is more healing to do. Possibly there will be more to do all my life. I can live with that. I had open, oozing wounds for a long time, then scabs (that were picked off and reformed more times I can count) and finally, there are scars. They’re still tender and shiny and I know they will continue to fade with time but will always be there, war wounds, badges of courage, proof of survival.

I’m at a very important crossroads this week. While there are a few details to work out, it is looking good that a piece of property I own jointly with this monster will be sold. This is a long time coming, and represents the severing of the last bit of control he has over my life. Financially, I have lost my life’s savings as well as spent every nickel I have made in this time to support this property and my life has been focused entirely on this task and healing. I have learned not to count on anything in life outside of myself, but this is looking good. I won’t breathe easy until I’m actually closing the door behind me for the last time, but I’m allowing myself to feel cautiously positive. As I write this, I feel a little bubble of excitement inside of me, thinking of a new life ahead where he cannot reach. I am alive.


the second paragraph of ur post resonates with me. YES YES YES
im becoming more centered now after the npd/bpd. i was very centered almost immediately wen the spath left as i’d just been waiting for him to leave for a good year…the court battle and/or disappearance of the kids made me just wait him out till i wasnt shiny enough anymore.
centerdness is the key for me…if u can get me off-center, u can manipulate me. i cant think clearly, even tho i spend lots of time trying to think about how to fix things. its maddening. prob one of the worst things about being with a disordered person. my brain is my greatest asset (ok, my only asset lol) and wen that goes, it’s sad…and dangerous for me.


The very best of luck HanaleiMoon, I hope it all goes smoothly for you. Isnt it nice to have bubbles of good excitement again? You are ALIVE


OMG….I cannot believe how beautifully you express your experience. I could be reading from my own head. It helps so much to read someone else’s experience that I can relate to almost to the very letter. My ex spath also used to email me with “bullet points” listing my shortfalls. I feel so connected with what you wrote. If you ever want to talk, email me: [email protected]


mcmjuly, thank you for the wonderful compliment! I was on a bit of a roll this morning! With things tentatively moving forward, I’ve been feeling pretty philosophical lately, but at the same time, thinking of the hellish pain I went through to get here. I did respond to an email of his right before the final one, and came across my response about a year later…I was horrified at the desperate, groveling person he had created and it made me all the more determined to heal.

I am forever amazed at how similar all our experiences are, and often think these people actually use a playbook. Since no one in my life could understand, knowing that others had had the same experiences was so validating!


Dear Quinn,

I enjoy reading your posts because they are insightful and help me to review my own experiences. I had had a stormy relationship with my mom as I grew up, so when I met the man (at age 18) who I would later marry, I brought a truckload of baggage – unexamined insecurities and pain – into the relationship. He was extremely supportive, I thought, at the time – And later, he did turn against me and used what I had told him in confidence against me. It was so hurtful at the time that I had considered suicide to escape from the pain.(We’ve been divorced for many years).

Like many manipulators, he knew my vulnerabilities, and did some cruel things. I used to feel like I was walking around with a sign on my back that everybody else could read – everybody else ‘had my number’ and I was clueless as to why I kept finding untrustworthy people.

But I’m happy to say that although it took a great deal of pain and learning – I now ‘have my own number’ – and thanks to the lessons my ex sp husband taught me – nobody can get to me in that way anymore. Socrates was right – ‘Know thyself’ – If I’m tuned into my own flaws and faults, and not expecting anybody to take care of my feelings, nobody else can rail at me at use these as weapons to harm me. It’s taken years of therapy and, journaling has really helped – but if you’re able to detach from the rage-aholic who is raging – what they may be accusing you of, as they project their stuff, is really more about them and their insecurities and fears. It’s not about you at all!

So I actually owe a hearty thank you to my ex (easy for me to write this because I’ve had no contact for 5 years) – for accidently making my life richer and for inadvertantly, helping me to know myself better and to enjoy a peace and self acceptance that I never dreamed possible.


HanaleiMoon and Quinn and All – this is exactly what happened to me as well. To go from a place where I felt SO accepted no matter what to a place of chaos and discard and financial ruin was like the roller coaster taking that sudden plunge into air – a crazy ride. It was after abandonment and a break in the chaos that I was able to get at the root of my confusion – I had not done anything wrong and I knew it. There it was – the answer.

Through a series of events I began to learn about disordered people and it turned my whole world around. I am still “in process” on many levels. But I will never go back to the place of confusion. Very best wishes about the property Hanalei Moon and thanks to Love Fraud and all the support out there.


OpalRose, you put it perfectly – “It was after abandonment and a break in the chaos that I was able to get at the root of my confusion ”“ I had not done anything wrong and I knew it. There it was ”“ the answer.” I remember when I finally understood what a psychopath is and that everyone’s story is so similar, when I was freed from the prison of my own mind, trying to figure out why he did what he did and what I could have done differently, I felt like I could fly. I had had that constant dialog going on in my head for years…there is nothing that could make me live like that again for even a minute.

Thank you for the best wishes on the property! I’ll take them!


i wrote to a friend within the first year of our joke of a marriage, fraught with hellish episodes of abuse, that i hated to say it, but HE was the problem. i rly believed that. everything i tried, nothing nothing nothing worked. nothing made a difference with him. i sensed i cud die and he wudnt rly change his daily life much; sensed this subconsciously of course. decided i was so bad for marrying him, for making such a mistake, i deserved this hell. what crazy, self-hateful thots!
i had counselled ppl lots over the decades b4 and its a cardinal rule that it’s always both party’s fault, to some degree. if someone cheats on u, well u were to blame some too. etc. u had to fix u too not just him, for the betterment of the marriage.
so me thinking that it was HIM, letting alone verbalizing it, was a huge red flag. for me to get the F out. did i? of course not.
and i’d given up completely on anything but surviving him wen a friend told me about LF, but she thot my babydaddy was a narc, not rly a spath. I was on here about 3 min and said HOLY F! he’s a spath! OMG I. AM. NOT. CRAZY. Some of the stuff he would do, i wud wonder later if it rly happened. if i rly WENT THRU THAT. cuz ppl just dont go thru that. it’s like an alter-reality.
even my friend only ONCE saw him do anything close to being spath-y. if his anger was controlled he is pretty functional. ppl disliked him for other reasons, but like u would a normal jerk. my family totally thinks i just made a mistake with him. a MISTAKE?? like it’s fixable or redeemable or my GOD–>NORMAL??!! i have lost a decade, all those yrs! i am incredibly aged, my looks and psyche. i HAD aged well up to that point of being with him. sigh.
but sadder still is no one will understand the need to keep him from the kids if i die for watever reason. im just being vindictive or bitter. ha, im not bitter, that wud mean i care lol
then again, i dont want anyone to understand the boogeyman the way i do. i dont like living silence of the lambs. jody foster’s character regretted it once she understood hannibal, i think. i do too.


oh – p.s. – he called me a “borderline personality disorder” and “histrionic” during one of his earlier abandonments. Wow – just wow.


Yep…I remember I had to look up borderline personality disorder because I didn’t even know what it was – and wondered how HE did. Not wondering anymore…


yes the projection is just incredible. almost everything that he did to me, he accused me of. the last fight we had — wen i just gotten home from my bladder almost BURSTING, due to retention issues, and he had imagined an offense — i said i know wats going on here, u project on me all the things YOU ARE DOING! wen ur rly selfish to me, u say i am (laugh to myself in head) do u HEAR WHAT U ARE SAYING, Can U Hear Urself??? u are a sick person and u need help.
that was about 3 sentences b4 We Are Thru came out of my mouth.
now i had KNOWN this was going on for months and months, it didnt bother me rly even wen he did project, like i didnt try and see where i was being selfish, becuz i knew it was just him projecting. it just made me mad he did it as its abusive and not loving. i knew saying anything was useless but i am sooooo glad i got to say it to him, in the end. such satisfaction lol
so wen these ppl know all about personality disorders, like HELL YES they do, they are perfecting their particular one. if theyre a spath, theyre prob using case studies for educating themselves in the finer details!

Quinn, I so appreciate the open honesty in your writings. My marriage was only 3 plus years and I was devastated and found myself left-for-dead financially. I had a tag-team effort denigrating me in the strangest ways – left handed compliments, constantly telling me when I didn’t give in to his and his family’s financial, emotional and physical work needs, and the oh-so awful almost-sexual behavior between his invalid mother and him (he would carry her like a baby to move her from place to place out of the wheelchair and she GLOWED….as well as trying to get me to call him her pet names and wanted to know all the details of our sexual intimacy) – and the constant barrage of online females and female friends. In hindsight, I must have appeared as absolutely pathetic.

His female therapist certainly worked on me, too, in telling me “he wants to be a good provider” and that I could never communicate head on with him. She had diagnosed him as bipolar and STUCK to that…she also told me how much I was helping him by taking on the role of caregiver to his mom, relieving him of the stress. And yet, I was never privvy to any of their talks becase of “patient confidentiality.” The only medical professional who – as I look back over time – tried to understand what was going on (and I had developed a “protect him” philosophy) was his family and his whole family’s general physician. Wish I had opened up.

Like you, I had been much an introvert when we met…and he so showed unbelievable compassion.

I understand that recovery should take place within a couple of years, but I’m still working on it at year five…

You are a marvelous writer. I am trying to really “look” at things to come out of the fog…it is, in my opinion, MUCH like hypnosis. Thank you!


BeckyR, I feel your pain. I’m on year 6 and still not fully recovered. It was his birthday yesterday and it just brought up so many regrets and anger for me.

I have been loving this website as a way to get some of these emotions out. I’ve been wondering about a support group. Does anyone know of any online support groups? Or is anyone interested in possibly starting one? It would be nice to have a group where we could actually use skype to listen to one and other.

Thank you, mcmjuly…I belonged to a few forums in the past. I found for me, that even moderators have baggage. One of the best places has been the one sponsored by Dr. Robert Hare, this is a good site:….Thomas Sheridan’s book, Puzzling People is also good. The best book to me has been, Women Who Love Psychopaths by Sandra L. Brown, MA…


wow…great insights….I relate to everything shared here….validation….I am having no contact but still after about 10 days go by… he will email….say he is not doing well with “ending us”….I have not responded….I can sometimes feel him trying to get into my mind …this morning when that happened I stood against it …I used the anger as strength instead …and just said NO”……It was helpful to read that no contact …includes my thoughts…I have been able to focus and get emmerced into other things and am so glad! my creative side has been flourishing again it amazes me!….I have lived 55 years now and somehow been naive to this horrifying disturbing reality of these kind of people…what it does to you and messes with your mind….I knew if I stayed in it …even though there was fun times …I would lose my mind and my life!…I also remember trying to talk to him about it…how crazy is that?! I would even say , I think I am talking to the wrong person about this….because he was so unreasonable…and would twist what I would say…manipulate and treat me trecherously!…I saw an ad for an upcoming show on TV called “MINDGAMES”…great!!! let’s teach a bunch more psycopaths how to perfect their game!!!…I can’t believe the garbage they fill people’s minds with!!!!I know there is really nothing new under the sun…it just get’s repackaged different ways in different generations….and God is Greater than he who is in the world! And GOD wins!!!!!!Yeah!!


Grace, I am about your age and I was naive to these kinds of people too. Ugh, he’s not doing well with ending you – just a manipulation. If you can, block him or switch to a new email that he doesn’t have even if it is inconvenient for you. That will help you with the no contact. You don’t need to see that crap, or even his name.


I haven’t posted here much, but I do read all of the articles. I am going through a divorce with my ex sociopath after 10 years of marriage. The ultimate end to the marriage was his cheating and moving out to move in with her, but even though it was painful, I now know that it was the best thing to ever happen to me. It’s made me face the monster he had inside of him that I always tended to overlook. After he left, I ended up meeting someone that he worked with, and was told that my ex was telling everyone at his work that I cheated throughout our entire marriage (I never did once), and that I left him and the kids a couple of months before he moved out, and I went to live with another man! Crazy, insane lies, all to make HIM look like the victim so that people would think that what HE did was ok. What really did it for me was my first meeting with my lawyer, after she asked me a bunch of questions, she told me that even though he had never physically abused me, the things he had done throughout our marriage was considered a type of domestic violents. .. His new girlfriend is his newest victim. He has her completely fooled and she believes every single thing he says about me in his attempts to make ME look like the bad guy. I’ve tried warning her but of course she won’t listen to me. Now I’m just working on myself and trying to process everything I’ve been through over the last 11 years.


it is definitely a violence to ur soul wat has been done by a disordered person. will it hold up in court? probably not, as society is not ready to accept its reality. will it ever?
ya know wat? i dont even care lol
i am aware now. i will teach my children and others who want to know about it. other than that, i can give no more energy to the sickness that are they…the spaths, the npds, the bpds, the…


I met mine at work…I left that job shortly after we started seeing each other because he was concerned about problems because of us both working for the same department (I outranked him and it was the best job I’d ever had) so wanted to keep things under wraps. After he abandoned me, I found out he dated no less than SEVEN other women in the office after I left and when we were planning our future together. He got married within a year after he abandoned me, I have no idea if it was one of the women he was seeing while we were together or someone new, it doesn’t matter. BUT I do know that he used the quick marriage to make himself look good, as if we had been together so long but never got married because there was something wrong with ME. I heard years of stories about his psycho ex-wife and how she ruined his life, and I’m sure he’s telling his new wife the same stories but with me in the lead role. I wish I could have warned her and saved her the horror she has ahead but I knew it would only have made me look as if the stories he had told her were accurate, and honestly, would I have listened if his ex had warned me? No. He was too charming and I had no idea people like him existed. This bothered me a lot for awhile but I’m at the point where he can say or do anything he wants as long as it brings no direct harm to me (and if it did, probably nothing I can do about it). Someday she will be wishing she hadn’t thought so harshly of me, same as I do about his ex-wife now. His entire family turned their backs on me (after 7 years!) and that stung but now I realize, even though some of them are aware of his disorder and he abuses them, they get something out of it they don’t want to give up, be it a couch to crash on when they need it or some cash thrown their way. It was all for the best. I know the truth, and like you, working on myself keeps me pretty busy.


so true HanaleiMoon. I met mine on a dating website. I was at the pinnacle of my life. 39 years old, my only child who I raised alone was coming of age, and I looked and felt better than I ever had. Fighting my way out of poverty, I obtained a college degree (4.0), had a great job and just bought my first home. Enter Psychopath…..
After dating me for only 6 weeks or so (He was telling me he loved me and spending time with me on a daily basis), I was falling for him hard, when I woke up one morning to his daily email. Only this one wasn’t professing his undying love for me….this one, out of the blue, was him telling me he could no longer see me because he was going to try and work things out with the girl he was dating before me (all of this was going on while he was divorcing his “crazy” 1st wife). I WAS DEVASTATED. Talk about actions and words not matching.
It was almost a year before I ever heard from him again. Although I was devastated by his rash behavior a year earlier, I did move on. I dated, but didn’t find anyone I was serious with. He contacted me a year later and said it didn’t work out with the other girl. He apologized profusely and told me I didn’t deserve that, but his life was just so messed up because of his divorce. Yadda, yadda, yadda, he love-bombed me and hooked me back in pretty quickly.
Of course he was still not divorced and still using his divorce as a point to elicit maximum sympathy from me.
We were living together within months. During this time we both worked full time jobs. One day when I returned home from work to my house, all his things were gone. This is the man who that very morning kissed me goodbye and said he loved me!!!!?????? Without warning he abandoned me again, only this time I was wiser……NOT….not at all. I was even more devastated and begged him to come back telling him I would do anything to make it work between us. He had started the process of devaluing me. Making every discomfort he felt a direct result of me or my behavior. During this time I think he dated the woman he broke up with me for early on in our relationship.
Well, he never did move back in with me, but he did me one better, he proposed to me! When I made it clear to him that there would be no sleepovers at his apartment on weeknights because I lived near where I worked and was a pretty structured person. I told him weekends only and I also immersed myself in painting the interior of my home, which I could tell made him extremely jealous. The painting was taking my attention off of him and he could not stand it. This would have been a wonderful time for me to get out of this relationship, but I still did not see him for what he was and had no idea what a sociopathic relationship was or how it could devastate your life. So, he proposed, gave me a ring and then proceeded to retract his proposal 2 times before I finally put my foot down.
This is the point of no return. I told him flat out one day I was done playing this cat and mouse game with him. I told him I was 41 years old and wanted someone to spend my life with. I told him if it was not going to be him, then it was going to be someone else. I told him even though breaking up with him would hurt me immensely, I would not waste 1 more minute in a relationship that was going no where. He left, and I thought that was it. It was over.
Two hours later, he called me said he must have been crazy to be all wishy washy about things. He professed his love and said he must marry me asap. We were married 3 weeks later (I paid for the wedding $8000).
Like most married couples do, I sold my house to move in with him. We eventually bought a home together, which he tricked me into signing over to him in full as part of a “I’ll comeback if you….” during one of the many times he left me during the marriage. Once I had signed the house over to him, was totally ensnared by him emotionally and materially, that is when he walked out on me the day after Christmas 2007, had me evicted from my home and was living with another woman in my house within a couple weeks. The horror that ensued over the next couple years is god awful. I’ll save it for another day, but like you, I was amazed how fast I was forgotten by his family and people he worked with and people I thought were OUR friends….but today I think I know why. I will share more soon. Thanks for listening!


mcmjuly, like me, you had EVERYTHING going for you (and I have complete respect and admiration for you raising your child alone, getting your degree and buying your own home!) and frankly, I believe this just pisses them off and makes the game even more fun for them…we had so much to lose. I had been in a brief and not so successful marriage and wasn’t in any hurry to get married again and because we both owned our own houses we never lived together but I spent 3 -4 nights a week at his house. Your comment about being structured and the painting project on your house really hit home with me. He wanted me with him constantly (except when he didn’t want me around, lol) and over time, I was basically living out of a backpack and my clothes in the back of my car and I was neglecting my home and my animals. I’d do the grocery shopping for his house, and never have any food at my own. (We lived about an hour apart.) There were many power struggles with me rationally explaining why I wanted to be at my own home once in awhile instead of hanging out at his house while he was doing whatever he felt like doing. I could never understand why he didn’t see my point of view and come to my house once more often, but I now know it was because he wanted to separate me from the things he knew I loved, and control my every movement. I remember vividly one time he came to my house when I hadn’t been there but to pour more cat food in the bowl and check my mail for quite awhile. There were spider webs in the shower and he flipped, calling me a terrible housekeeper and standing over me while I cried and cleaned it up, all the while trying to explain I hadn’t been there long enough to even look at the shower in weeks. I could go on and on.
He encouraged me to quit the job I had then (which was pretty good also) in preparation for our ultimate move together and so that I could focus on taking care of him and when I did, I got a good sized payout. Like you paying for your wedding, I paid for a beyond luxurious vacation for us (about the cost of your wedding) and he acted like a spoiled brat the entire time and complained about it and what all I failed to do to make it good for him for months afterwards. He never so much as thanked me.
My heart breaks that you sold your house to move in with him…I sold my house to buy the home I am now living in with him as partner, and he never lived in it and walked away right after he knew I had put everything I had into it with him risking nothing…he left me holding the bag. The home I sold would have been paid off in 5 years, and now I will be starting over from scratch. So…I can empathize with how you feel and what you have lost…it’s almost impossible to live with. But we have what it takes to rebuild, and we will.



It stinks to hear that you two had things going and it be taken from you, mine was opposite, as she had been through umpteen diff jobs/addresses even went to military after college only to go awol. When we met she was living for free on a rich old ladies property in exchange for helping out with her polio stricken husband, she had 40k in student loan debt an old 92 ford escort and most of the stuff in the house belonged to the old lady.

After me she had her first child, stayed at the same job, we obtained more nice belongings and ultimately bought a house of which my name was never put on, we had another child, we started a successful business of which my name was not on, she has now been at the same job for 10 years now, has 2 vehicles that are newer, 2 healthy children doing great in school, her own home that shes had for 8 years, and a company doing well, while I get the boot and have nothing. I suspended my whole life thinking I was helping us, and was only helping her, only to have her actually taunt me once a few months ago saying “your pathetic david you don’t even own anything here” I helped pay for almost half the stuff in the house, I have payed on the mortgage, I have payed babysitters and been one myself to save money, I painted the inside of the house, had bills in my name for some time, ripped up all the carpet cause had nice hardwood floors, and I get nothing, I payed for half the buck stove insert, don’t get it or my money back, nor for the washer/dryer set, the flatscreen above the fireplace, 1300 dollars of my money that went to fixing the driveway from taxes, hell even my stainless steel grill out back, she got me for my birthday years ago yet I had to help pay for it LOL,,of course it always stays too. She bought me a really nice fish tank setup for Christmas many years ago, I only had to pay for extras I wanted, kicked me out once for 2 months and GAVE it to a mutual friend for free.

Disgusting people I tell ya.


~~I remember vividly one time he came to my house when I hadn’t been there but to pour more cat food in the bowl and check my mail for quite awhile. There were spider webs in the shower and he flipped, calling me a terrible housekeeper and standing over me while I cried and cleaned it up~~
WOW i am having a huge flashback rite now over a similar situation. him standing over me, me crying on the floor trying to screw a bedframe together (very complex and pcs ended up not working together…im not that dumb…) crying and crying for an hour probably, but he wont help me, just come in and be smug, becuz he feels its appropriate (im not telling whole story). the kids coming in mommy wats wrong, me lying, its ok, im ok, i just hurt my thumb. me hating myself for crying as men dont like that, and he will get tired of me crying CONSTANTLY…
DUH, Hélène. ur CRYING constantly!!!!! GET OUT!
i cried the first 6 wks we lived together. Then. I. Stopped.
it was rare he cud make me cry then.
wen i started this flashback it hurt, i could feel the hurt. i started affirming my core values and replacing that hurt with good images. it instantly helped and also replying here. i write this tho more so anyone reading it can say YES YES YES were u a fly on the wall???
these ppl are SICK and their minds are so similar in how they dysfunction.
get out if ur with them.


Thanks for the vote of confidence. I believe in you too. My ex walked out over 6 years ago. I only realized what he was and why I have not been able to put my life back together a few months ago, but now that I have I really think I may be able to pick the pieces up and start over at 53 years old. Thanks again for your insights…priceless!


wow …uggg!! Sorry this happened with your home….It is amazing how happy we can be with so little….just to have our life and minds back and be free from all the crazy!!I got so close to this kind of disaster, but red flags would go off and I feel I was protected from complete ruin….though the cost was huge financially , physically ,emotionally , and spiritually!!!!One thing that has been really helpful in getting my mind back has been essencial oils…may sound goofy, but I found DoTerra oils…..they have blends…”Serenity”, “Balance”, “Elevation”…when I am starting to feel myself obsess negative thoughts …I will breath in the aroma of them …not kidding…they go right to a spot in the brain and short circut all that and I feel a sense of well being and balance!!!….Also hearing about other people’s experiences….Thanks for sharing ….God’s grace to you…..


Dave, I hear what you are saying and I feel for you. As you are probably aware there are more women that go through this than men, but it does not invalidate that you did indeed suffer just as much. I believe the tactics of a sociopath woman and a sociopath man, while driven by the same selfishness tend to be different. Sounds like your spath was seductive in many of her tatics. Have you had any luck finding any websites that have info about psychopathic females? One resource you might like is a group of videos on youtube by Thomas Sheridan. He describes the psychopathic relationship perfectly and is really gender neutral. The first in the series is:
Good luck to you Dave!


hey july,

thanks for the link ill check it out, I have not actually looked up female traits of this specifically, just traits in general. I don’t believe she is psycho, I think she has a touch of BPD and NPD.

Yes she could be seductive, as she always used sex as a tool to make up with me when I was angry with her instead of just talking about the problem, also, most of the romantic things she ever said were only during sex and that look in her eyes I cannot get out of my head, she looked so serious with what she said when she would whisper it and look me dead in the eyes, but it also had an eerie seductive look too. She was always the one saying “please don’t leave me, we cant be apart, this feels so right” and was always the one kicking me out.

Yes I think more women go through this than men, but im on another blog and there are many more men there then on here, however im having an issue with one who is a lawyer and he is an absolute prick, he has heard most of my story and the details and is now saying im abusive, self righteous, playing the victim card, neglecting my kids and making them think I abandoned them ect ect…I told him im starting to think hes a sociopath LOL.

It honestly is a bit harder for men to tell these stories cause many people find it harder to believe a man went through this. Im old fashioned, I just want a wife/partner/friend, however I think men and women are equals, one should not be above the other, I cant stand cheaters/liars/people who hold many secrets, I admit I had my fun in my teens and early 20s whoring around but one thing I never did was play games and tell those women I cared when I didn’t, I made it clear we were strictly “fun buddies” lol didn’t want to use the other F word. After my early 20s I didn’t want that life anymore, just want a woman whos honest and respects me, doesn’t cheat and lie, loves to spend time with me but likes do things on her own as well so we have our space, I don’t much like going out anymore, id rather spend my time at home with my woman, but ill go to dinner or once in a blue moon a local bar im familiar with, or maybe bowling. I hear women complaining about wanting someone that seems to be like me, yet I never seem to meet her, its depressing, just want a partner to share my life with.


Yeah Dave….good guys like you always seem to see women wanting the “bad boy” type. I think that is what websites like lovefraud and others are all about. It is a group of people trying to bring attention to the fact that these so called “bad boys” are more likely than not “sociopaths”….I believe my ex was a full fledged psychopath. Our marital home burnt down weeks after he had me evicted from it. For many reasons I believe he committed arson. I cannot prove it, and I was in the middle of a nervous breakdown when it occurred so I never did report my suspicions to the authorities. They probably would not have believed me anyway. He was smooth…an electrical engineer by trade…the fire was an electrical fire…and I have several other reasons why I believe he did this, obviously, for the insurance money. Anyway Dave, I’m assumming you are still in your 20s maybe 30s? Just be so glad that the biggest thing you learned with your ex is what you DON’T want in a woman. I believe there is a movement among women to expose these lying cheating relationship predators for what they are. Women by nature think they can “fix” and nurture these men, which in my case is called co-dependence. There is another great group of videos that explains why narcissistic and co-dependent personalities attract and why it is a terrible combo in a relationship. The guy was involved with a npd and talks about his own experiences as well as educating about the disorder in general. He calls it “human magnet syndrome”…his videos are very interesting:
Hang in there kid!


Dave, I’m sorry you lost so much…whether male or female, it seems that these monsters bleed us dry in every way they can. All you, or any of us did was to approach these relationships like normal people do, and giving, sharing, contributing, etc. is a part of that. It has been a sticking point with me in therapy to get past this – and I finally understand that I did nothing wrong by sharing, carrying my weight, playing fair, honoring my commitments etc. because I had no idea he was a monster.

I have friends who are happy couples and I see them openly sharing with each other and making plans for the future and it scares me for them…don’t they know that the rug could be pulled out from under them at any minute!? Then I realize that they are normal and even if things do fall apart, it will be in a “normal” way. I am so sensitive to this that when I watch House Hunters International and couples are planning a move to a different country I get uncomfortable thinking that they don’t realize they could be abandoned at any minute. I’m projecting my experience on them, and I’ve got a lot of healing to do in this area…I’m sure time and distance and positive normal experiences will go a long way here. While I’m a long way from being ready to even consider a dinner out with someone let alone a relationship, I have hope that someday I will be ready because life is so much fun when it is shared. I hope you find someone!


awesome, thanks for the utube link. looks like a great series.
help keeps coming my way as i stay determined to get out of this sick mindset that ends me up with disordered men. thank you, Jesus!
“It’s nothing personal…” now statement that alone is freeing.
i do believe, as the utube speaker believes the cosmos does, that God brought this experience to me FOR MY GOOD, in the end. what the devil intended for evil, God uses for good, to them who love Him, according to His purposes.


No problem aint….check out the other series by Ross Rosenberg also…very good videos!


Many thanks for your post of the Sheridan video’s on UTube; they are EXCELLENTand worth everyone’s watch!


I’m glued to Sheridan’s video’s. Getting nothing else donebut this is so fascinating and educational. A whole new spin on topic of psychopaths! Extraterrestrial monsters etc. Thanks.


Yes Flicka, they are very good videos. Very helpful to anyone that’s been through a relationship/marriage to a psychopath.

Dave, still reading your reply’s…my heart goes out to you. You make me wonder if someone would have given me the evidence that my ex was a psychopath while or immediately after he abandoned me would it have made a difference? I don’t think so. Once you’re in you are in a world a crazy cognitive dissonance that is so painful, I dare say only time will give you perspective. I didn’t even realize my ex was a psychopath till a few months ago (even though he abandoned me 6 years ago). With this much distance and time behind me the realization has been helpful to me. I must share this: Something I read on here yesterday reminded me of some old emails (print outs) I thought I may still have of his. I went to this old filing cabinet I have, but rarely use and looked and sure enough they were there. I wanted to see if with my new found knowledge if they might have new meaning to me….and guess what, they did have new meaning. Meaning so scary, so sickening, so blatantly psychopathic that I became physically ill. I am luck that I got out with my life.


Oh I should note….that is why it is SOOOOOOOO important not to get into these relationships to begin with. Once in, even with all this good info, it will never be a breeze getting out….


mcmjuly, like you, I had saved some of his emails. I hadn’t looked at them for a long time and when I did, I had the same reaction as yours. I had also saved some of my replies, and I was shocked and sickened to see what he had reduced me to. I couldn’t shred them fast enough.

Getting past trying to figure it out was the hardest phase for me, but when I did it, I rediscovered the pre-psychopath me, who woke up with a clear head in the morning and looked forward to the day. The me who had lunch with friends or went shopping or flipped through gardening magazines instead of doing what I now think of as “hoarding my private rumination time”, which was destroying me and causing me to neglect everything I loved.

I’m at a crossroads where shortly his last bit of control over my life will be severed and I feel absolutely giddy. I feel like I’ve completed a doctorate in survival and like I’m about to dive into a calm sea that he has never touched and never will and swim with wild abandon. I never understood what people really meant when they said “they did the work”. Now I do. I almost can’t believe it, but I’m feeling how I felt before I met him, and took for granted. I feel normal, and I will never take it for granted again.


Tattered, I lived thru the same things as you. But mine was my college sweetheart, we met as athletes, I thought we were perfect for each other. I was totally faithful—he cheated the entire 26, yes 26 years, I knew him. I had no clue, my family, friends–no clue. He had also lied to his family the whole marriage, telling them how awful I was. They dumped me AND our children, like a hot potato. We were married for 24. Mine never struck me, but I got a Dom. Violence Protection Order due to his emotional abuse of our kids. And he lost all custody and contact with them. When I got the DVPO, 3 months after I ended the marriage, I felt guilty! Felt bad for doing this to someone in my family! Thank the Lord clarity came quickly. But they brainwash you and I really did NOT understand who/what he was til I left. I had the sense to put my foot down and get the DVPO. After our split, he cont’d to contact me every single day. When my sister heard this, she said, “STOP IT!” and it rattled me out of a fog—-I said, “You are right! He keeps finding something to talk to me about.” And I stopped it right there. Refused to talk to him —-told him to email. This loss of control caused him to go haywire. He grew more and more nutso, ended up in jail, after breaking in on me, and violating the DVPO.

He had another girl in place 4 days after our split. I also tried to warn her…. I genuinely felt sorry and concern for anyone he went near… and she didn’t listen at all. His brother later told me that he abuses her horribly… actually tells her he’s going to (screw) another girl, when they get in a fight… and he does… and she asks him to come back home, and he does, etc. Sick, sick. It’s amazing the things I kept believing, that he said, even after I learned about the cheating. It takes some time to clear our heads and really understand them. Reading about sociopaths online really helped me. My sister also read extensively and would discuss with me. This helped a lot. The biggest thing that helped me though, was giving it to God. I just totally asked God to direct me and help me heal. His healing was miraculous. I am 20 months out and feel NOTHING for him, and really haven’t since just a few months out. I have had joy and peace all along, despite going thru real trauma with his arrests, etc. because I know I am walking fwd. in God’s will. I was madly in love and could never imagine that I’d be happy to be alone & divorced at age 50, but I’m ecstatic. So thankful God brought me the truth about who I was living with. I know God has something much better for me ahead! You are so smart to say you’re just working on yourself. That’s the right attitude! My BF went thru similar, and she says Divorce Care helped her tremendously.


Thank you Quinn for so accuratly describing the psychological, mind-altering abuse every victim of the sociopath suffers.Your skill of verbally expressing the deepest feelings and analysis of what every victim suffers are right on!”Real victims of these empathy-lacking individuals are warriors, survivors an eventually healers.” Thank you so much!


These type of people have perfected the “I am a victim” strategy. My ex couldn’t ‘get’ to me because I had a restraining order. (I do not recommend) So he sued me for defamation of character. He used his company’s lawyer so he basically had unlimited resources. I had to take a 401k loan. He intentionally drug it out and piled on discovery to financially “punish” me.
It strategy was pretty successful.
Has anyone experienced a sociopath using the courts as retaliation for
being served with divorce?


Hi everyone- this article comes at an appropriate time for me. My verbally abusive ex boyfriend and I have been separated 3 months now after I left him. Within those three months he has not reached out to me. Monday his therapist emails me explaining how sad he is and would like to talk to me to help her HELP HIM. Could not believe my eyes. He’s crying and all sad, playing the victim. Number 1 this whack of a therapist had very inappropriate boundaries because she knew why I left the relationship. I told her it’s very upsetting to me that you are trying to put me back into an abusive relationship with someone who is not capable of being in on. She replied ” I’m sorry you feel you were in an abusive relationship” No lady- I was in one I can assure you! I don’t get it I just don’t! And this may sound silly but it hurts me he turns to her for everything, and confides in her, when I was the one that went above and beyond for him. I was doing so well not hearing from him and then this wacko emails me and I can’t stop crying. I told her I don’t want to see him, speak to him, I’m moving on. Now I’m regretting it. But I know I had to go against my heart and listen to my head for once. Now I’m back to crying. If he was truly sorry he would have reached out. I’m just so tired of being sad.


i am SURE she has crossed ethical boundaries. but im rly thinking LEGAL ones too as a therapist. Report her whacko-ness immediately to the licensing board in ur state.
They will investigate and she will leave u the heck alone…she’ll be busy for one thing!
sum ppl have no sense of decency.
if shes being suckered in by him, heres a wake up call, if she takes it.


lov10, that is outrageous! Stand firm, No Contact! No Contact! It’s the greatest gift you can give yourself. The clarity that came to me, the longer I had NC, was amazing. Your sadness will go away, I promise!! Been there! Take care of yourself, honor yourself enough to maintain NC. You can do this, and you will be SO glad you did. The sadness will leave, but if he remains, the sadness will not….it will get much worse. Prayers.


Quinn I love this article, thank you for sharing it. I blamed myself a long time for the havoc bringing an spath into my life caused among my friends, in my education and ultimately my career. So glad it is behind me, and you! Reading your journey helps me affirm my own.


Quin, I LOVE that you said that about secrets being their tool of trade. YES YES YES. I have never seen anything good come from secrets. After my experiences I have become secret allergic, confidences are one thing, secrets another. Even if the truth is hard to hear, its far better to bite the bullet and face it head on. Truth, authenticity, and love in all its myriad of positive forms are for me now the measure of life well lived.
And I guess I learned that from what I went through, and I am grateful for that (now Im a ways down the track) but I don’t think I will bother thanking the two spaths I gave my heart and years to.


July, moon,

I am 34 now, I met her when I was 25. She pulled me out of a pit I fealt I was in, love bombed me, I fell for her faster than any other in my life, she made me happy and normal again, that is until I moved in with her, within 3 days I seen things in her I never noticed while dating, it scared me but she was already pregnant and im not going to leave someone I just got pregnant so I just endured through it.

I think maybe I was co-dependant too, as when she told me about her messed up childhood (which is true other family members confirmed it) I thought ya know I can give her something she has lacked all her life a family, so I fell in love, stayed loyal to her, gave her 2 kids, helped her build her life and I thought she would have been in bliss but it was the opposite, she would say things like im trying to control her, and she just wants her life back, she claimed once I turned her into a monster and she just wants to be the happy person she was before she met me, things like that really mess with your mentality and make you feel guilty so you start second guessing what you did and said in the relationship thinking to yourself maybe I did do something wrong.

She has always had me where I have to beg to come back and admit fault and apologize and make compromises, I am not doing that now so she is giving me silent treatment as punishment and probly to make me second guess myself again, I will not fold this time as I know I did not mess this up.

I am not perfect and I have my faults, I have a felony record from when I was 19 that causes me hardships with jobs, the ones I get pay crap like 10 bucks an hour, she makes close to 20, so she always been the breadwinner and makes me feel guilty for it, that’s why I wanted to start a business so I could get around the felony thing, she said no, that I would not sit in her house while she worked and payed bills and start my own business, several years later she took my idea and she started it and I was just the employee.

In july we almost split up, but then she had to service a customer and changed her mind and didn’t want to kick me out, when I asked why she was nice and said she needs me and cant do it alone and that we are more of a team for the company than she gave me credit for, only for a month later to tell me I don’t do enough for the business and shes mad she has a day job and im getting to live her dream. Her dream??? This was my idea, and it was my dream to run a business to better myself and family and not have to deal with background checks and crap paying dead end jobs. The whole time after we launched my name was rarely mentioned she is the “owner” I was the “route driver” She has been in numerous newspapers and magazines and never is my name mentioned its always her who created this and gets the glory, not that I wanted glory it just made me feel used that I never got credit. Even her friends and family wouldn’t talk to me about it, only her and would pat her on the back and leave me out. So moon I fully know where your coming from as now im paranoid thinking that everyone will do this to me now or to others. She has bashed my self confidence with the name calling and making me feel like a loser cause I never made much money telling me im no husband or father or provider and im pathetic, now I get nervous around other women cause I think they look at me and think im a nobody.

And im still in love with her, that’s the bad part. What im in love with does not exist as she has a serious problem, im in love with the woman that acts normal and we get along, but that is only 30% of the time.


Dave…get out and stay out! They’re monsters out to destroy you. You have to do this by and for yourself!


Dave, I agree with flicka…get out and stay out! I know it’s hard with kids! For me, the abandonment was so horrible that in a short time I was so repulsed and disgusted by him that getting over him was the least of my problems. You’ve already said you know it was all fake – time to start believing it! You have a lot going for you! You’re young, you’re intelligent and you know you have what it takes to succeed. I am much older than you and I lost my life’s savings – more money than I will EVER be able to accumulate again…while my ex is in his ocean view house with his new wife planning their next fabulous trip. So I know how you feel – seeing her in the business that was your idea must just kill you, but (and it’s taken me a long time to get here), what’s gone is gone…you can’t undo it, and take it from me, not accepting it for what it is will eat you alive. You don’t want to waste one more minute of your life feeling/living this way. Freedom is everything.


Ruminating over what has been/could have been/should have been only means you are still at the psycho’s mercy. The sooner you accept it as finished (even though you feel harmed), the sooner you’ll begin the healing process. Good luck and stick to NC…for your own good!


There has been no contact in a week, other than me calling every other night to speak with the kids and even then we don’t talk, she just hits the button on phone and hands it right to the kids. She is playing the silent game cause she thinks shes punishing me, and thinks it will make me second guess myself so ill start apologizing.

As ive stated that is one thing I refuse to do this time, I will not sit here and take blame for running her company, carting my kids around, doing all the house chores, while she acted like a jerk and tried to kick me out twice during the year, then ultimately did it in December, all because she thinks she can do and say as she pleases. Matter of fact ive not shown anybody this, so im gonna post the emails between us that led to this where she blew me off for a business even at a bar for her ex.


When I found out she invited him I confronted her,,she made it out like I could go,,3 days later she just went without me and told me she would be home late, to which I said “have fun drinking with dan while I babysit” this was her response.

“You can’t babysit your own children and your welcome to go out anytime you want this is a great promotional event for greenscoop.


you never have a good time w me and you always want to leave asap anytime we go somewhere.

Please make plans w someone I would not mind being home w kids unfortunatly I have to work full time and run this business. I have a future I want to look forward to for myself and my family I have the opportunity to make that happen with a business that I can be proud of. I have spent tons of money and time I will do what I can to keep going. ”

Notice how she glossed over what upset me and turned it on me saying I wont even watch my own kids.

My response,,,,

“wow way to turn this around on me. why does that not surprise me?

1st,,i never stated anything about not wanting you to go. Its good for business.

2nd,,cant babysit my own kids, i havent a damn clue what you mean by that, i would have watched them regardless unless i was going too.

3rd,,you know exactly what im talking about so way to gloss over the WHOLE point i made to you last week in the kitchen. I told you that bothered me that you invited him and not me, and i told you i wanted to go, you said ok, you obviously had no intention of taking me as you never cancelled with dan.

And last, the damn thing only last 2 hours at a bar, why in the hell would i be wanting to leave a bar after 2 lousy hours?

This has nothing to do with me watching the kids, i watch them all the time when you go to events and i dont complain, this has EVERYTHING to do with the fact that your inconsiderate and this hurts my feelings, the other thing dan went to i would not have wanted to be at, but this is a regular bar, i told you i wanted to go, you said ok, and you still took dan anyway, but im supposed to be happy about that, while you sit here and berate me attempting to change half the subject and turn the tables on me. This is messed up. Thats all i was trying to convey.”

What followed is what really disgusted me,,her response to my response.

Nov 20, 2013

There you go with your whining again. I don’t want to go to a networking event with someone that I KNOW will not enjoy it and just be mean to me in front of everyone like you always are.
Talk about hurting feelings, you have no concern for mine what so ever. cause its always about you and how much you do…. all you do is whine about being able to sit at home. You always make sure to make everyone know how you sit at home with kids most of the time and COOK. Nobody cares!!! Indicating that I do nothing. Its always a whining competition for you like people should feel sorry for you???? For what!

Tired of you telling me I over react, it is obvious that the things that are important to me you think don’t matter.

Why would you ever want to go anywhere with me, we never can enjoy ourselves … and don’t blame me for that.. its both of us.

On a side note it is very heart breaking that we can not have a good time together and don’t enjoy the same things. Are interest are competently opposite. ”

Notice again this was all about me and how crappy I am,,she said I watch kids and cook,,she left out I run her business, clean, do laundry, dishes, mow grass, haul n chop firewood, take the kids to and from school then made it out like I call people and tell them I do everything while she does nothing,,the truth is the opposite its always her telling me and everyone else how she does it all and how I do nothing. She blows me off for an ex, then tells me that im bitching cause I don’t want to watch the kids, then tells me im whining, then tells me I would have treated her badly infront of everyone, then says we have nothing in common. Notice in this exchange not one time did she say sorry for doing that to me, or anything about how it made me feel other than im a whiner and wont watch my kids, the whole thing got turned on me, and this is how almost all our arguments go. Im gonna take a wild guess and say that everyone on here that reads this is going to say this is similar or identical to the arguments they had with their SO that was disordered.

Am I right? Men or women, when I read the stories they all sound like my ex and me,,ALL OF THEM, some different things happened and what not, but the majority of them sound identical.


Great article. I had to reread several of the sentences over in my head. It still baffles me at the incredible “control” this evil has over another human being.

These individuals represent everything evil about human beings on the Earth. I married not one, BUT two of these individuals and believe it or not the second one was WORSE than the first one. He had honed his skills and was Mr. Charming. He had an answer for every question and a thoughtful gesture for any moment he felt I needed the “con” again.

Slowly, over the period of our time together which was almost 20 years I finally “got” it. At the time I wasn’t sure what “it” was but I knew I had married and stay married to a person with no morality and a desire to hurt anyone he could to get what he wanted.

Finally, he found victim number five hundred ninety nine. I made the number up. Heaven only knows how many “victims” are scattered along side the road of his pitiful life.

It has taken me three years, but I am a totally different person. Like you it was like waking up from some type of dream/nightmare. My head was somewhere else for most of this sick relationship. Thank goodness he found someone else and I escaped.

Dave, here is the deal. These ladies are correct. Get out. The only one that “wins” is the devil in this scene. Take this opportunity to plan your escape so that you can have the life you deserve. If you don’t, she will continue to suck the rest of your soul out of your tormented body and then toss it away like last week’s trash.

After she has done that she will yell “NEXT”….and calmly walk away.


I know your right hope, but this is still fresh, its consuming me, one minute im angry like a BP, the next im depressed, then im confused, then I over anaylize everything that happened, only to get angry again then depressed and wonder why this is happening to me after all I did to help build this life and be left with nothing but an old car and clothes living with my mother at 34 years old like an overgrown child. I cant tell if I want to stick my fist through a wall or go curl up and cry like a baby, or just admit myself to a mental ward.

I will admit ultimately after that email exchange, then her starting shit on thanksgiving so I couldn’t go, then 2 days later trying to use sex to make up, then 3 days after that we got into it in the driveway over putting plates on a new vehicle I finally had enough and I refused to go to work the next day telling her to call off work and go run the route, which is when she told me to get out, I wasn’t quitting or leaving, I didn’t know what else to do, she wouldn’t talk about this unless bashing me, so I put my foot down the only way I knew how, I thought it would gain her attention and make her think,,it only served to piss her off further, I know I probly could have found a better way but I was desperate and didn’t know what else to do that would get her to realize just how bad things were and how upset I was.

I need a counselor.


Dave, we All here care and are trying to help but until you’re willing to help yourself by going complete NC,no one can help you.


oh yeah,,”things that are important to me you think don’t matter”

what does that have to do with what I was upset with? Not one time did I tell her she shouldn’t go to that event or that I thought it was stupid, I asked if I could go too. She made every excuse in the world to justify what she did while bashing me in the process, in other words I got guilt tripped for the messed up thing she did to me.

Sorry for the rant all, but I finally wanted to show her words compared with mine and why all this time at first I would argue, then I would re read things she wrote or said in person and I would second guess myself thinking maybe I actually did do something wrong, hence why I would keep going back, I used to ask her “if im so shitty of a person why do you keep letting me back” to which she would say “why do you keep coming back if im so bad” well that was the problem, I kept coming back cause she would convince me it was all my fault, so that still begs the question, if it was all my fault and im so lousy, why would you keep allowing me to move back in your house? Why would you say we just cant be apart, and to never leave you? And this feels so right?

I absolutely cannot stand people that say things like that and don’t mean them, to play with someone elses feelings/emotions/heart is the worst kind of treachery.


Dave, I spent most of the 7 years I was with my ex as well as the first few months after he abandoned me driving myself crazy going over and over what he said and I said and he said and I said until I finally got it – NONE of that mattered. He was just playing with me and she’s just playing with you. Going over it and trying to figure it out and justify it etc. will get you nowhere. I suffered terribly until I was able to get myself out of that mind trap, and I feel for you.

Flicka’s earlier comment “Ruminating over what has been/could have been/should have been only means you are still at the psycho’s mercy. The sooner you accept it as finished (even though you feel harmed), the sooner you’ll begin the healing process” is so right on. And like hope52 said, she will play with you until there is nothing left to play with, laugh in your face and walk away like you never existed.

Really, no contact is your salvation. There is NO good in these people.


Dave, she says and does those things because she is disordered. I am unsure if she is a sociopath or a borderline personality, but definitely one of those. If you keep trying to justify your own goodness and sanity, you are playing her game, still trying to get her love. The only thing is she’s not capable of love, so it’s an endless quest. She may “seem” like she loves you part of the time, and that’s what keeps you hanging on. You are in love with a ghost. And the part of you that is in love keeps blocking out the part that sees the truth. I really hope you will get out and stay out and give it some time to break the addiction. I do think there is someone better for you out there when you get out of this suffering.


Oh Dave, my heart aches for you. I know exactly what you are going through. This is without doubt one of the hardest times you will ever face. But its also where you find your greatest strength.
Its utterly crazy making. I know what the relentless obsessive circling sifting and sorting is like in your head. They take up so much space, energy and pain there. I know for sure it is impossible to make sense of it, there is NO sense to it. You will never be heard or your pain acknowledged by her, EVER. I wanted that so bad from my ex. I was a feisty committed workforce development worker for mental health services, fought every day for services to respond better to the people that need them and for staff working in them. Sometimes making headway even! At home I became a debased wet paper bag pleading for a minute piece of love or even like sometimes. The dissonance was shattering and the shame of it disabling. I was eroding into nothingness. I am very good at communication and influencing and inspiring positive change and always before this there would be a solution, a compromise, a way through, But with him it was impossible, I loved more, gave more, guessed what was wanted while the goal posts shifted like mirages, all the while searching for the man I gave my heart, trust and soul to in the person in front of me- sometimes a glimpse, enough to give me hope but not enough to stop the pain. I was eroding into nothing
I left (hoping he would then realise how much he loved and needed me) I tried no contact but would use the flimsiest of excuses to contact and be tortured again, studying every word, look, glance and nuance and ascribing meaning to them. I used to watch moths at night bashing themselves over and over on the light and thought that is what I am.
In the end it had to stop otherwise I would lose myself forever. Id seen what suicide does to families and friends so often, that couldn’t be an option as tempting and seductive as it was. So I seriously did no contact AND I also banned myself from thinking about him. Every time I did I imagined a HUGE STOP sign and would move onto a distracting anything- anything at all that got me out of my head and back in the present. At first it was thousands of time a day, or it seemed that way but I stuck at it, better some days than others. I also made a conscious decision to not be bitter or see the world as evil and hopeless. Worked really hard on that. I made myself notice lovely things, like people laughing, flowers and stuff to remind me that there is good all around us. At first that almost hurt more because I felt excluded from it and didn’t believe good would happen to me, Id lost faith I guess. It took a lot, a whole lot BUT it worked. It really did
Im happier than Ive ever been now, I have peace, self belief, I know how strong I really am, self love (most of the time), a lot more wrinkles yes and no material wealth but Im surrounded by family and friends who sincerely love me as is. My grown up children that Im so close to, total treasure. I LOVE my job, gives my life meaning.
Like the others on here, no contact is the only way to get free and be who you deserve to be. It will never make sense, she will never hear you (unless it suits something else she wants) and she will never see the wonderful man you are. Don’t let the fiction of who she presented at first steal any more of your life. The very best of luck and warm wishes


alot of wat u said is grief. i wish i had no idea wat im talking about. oh i wish i didnt.
there are diff kinds of grief. we all grieve any loss. the loss of a job, the loss of a dream, the loss of money, the loss of a friend or a lifestyle (like wen we move away), the loss of hope (this is life-threatening and needs to be dealt with immediately!).
then theres the loss due to a death. its unlike any other loss. its soul shattering. i believe in the relationships described on the site, one of the hard parts is the grief that comes from realizing that person u loved is DEAD. maybe never existed, but to u, he/she has DIED. its awful.
seeing others walk around, relatively carefree or happy or laughing, or content makes ur mind SPIN.
in fact, why is the *earth* Still Spinning? Why Is Life Still Going On?? half of YOU has died( or a child u bore, etc). i cud not wrap my mind around the fact that the cosmos cud still exist, my pain was so great and my loss so profound.
How could this only affect ME? yes, it was affecting others, brothers and sisters, parents, aunts and uncles, friends. but their whole WORLD was not crashing and burning. they didnt see flames instead of the sun. wen they woke up they didnt start sobbing anew EVERYDAY.
They Went On. as they shud. it was right they shud. i had to give them that right. i rly wasnt bitter but it was just astounding to me that ppl cud go to work, walk to the park, talk about oh, ANYthing else, or LAUGH.
u do feel excluded from life. in a sense u are, ur deeply immersed in DEATH.
so what ur saying, describing, aeteoroangel (& many others on here) is a grieving.
spaths not only tear us apart as any commitment betrayal does, they induce a death-grief also. its a double whammy.
i think this is why NC is so important. this person u thot WAS, is NOT. has died, basically. u have to not have them in ur world to get this thru ur head and GO ON. or u will just stay in grief; over and over, renewed fresh grief. and thats a hell equal in proportion to living with the spath.


You are so right Aint! I hadn’t thought of it that way before. Plus I think a piece of you dies too, I will never be as trusting, naïve or blind again. You are already SO exhausted from the battle as well, with your dignity and self belief on empty.
When you look at it like that, aren’t we amazing to survive? And go on to new lives……….
Kia kaha (in NZ that means stay strong)


I don’t know if everyone here will agree with this, but we do all agree that the pain you are in is almost unbearable. If you have a family doctor that you feel comfortable talking with, you may want to explain your situation to him/her. There may be medication that will help take the edge off till you can get some time and distance between you and your ex. I’m not thinking of anit depressants, but rather something that would have a more immediate effect. (Benzodiazepines). Just a thought…but if the pain is unbearable, don’t be afraid to ask for help.


Dave, trying to figure out a disordered person is like trying to hear the sound of the number 9. Why waste your precious energy doing this?

Oh! darned computer! I was responding to a comment and it said “reported.”

HanaleiMoon – you write so well and with such calm clarity. All the while showing the anguish. Thank you because it gives me so much hope.

One of the toughest points to handle was the lack of awareness on the part of mainstream psychology personnel. In my previous jaunts into romance, I have let go and also been released, but never before encountered such an attempt to devour the soul of another. Like you, the attempt to comprehend the events and playing field set me in a whirl of mental chaos. It’s better and I am finally working with the aftermath of not only emotions and financial devastation, but in my loss of spiritual dimension.

I am grateful for this forum.



TY all for the support.

I have another problem arising now. And I know this will sound funny to the women/mothers on here, but I just got paperwork to go to child support place next month, I want to support my kids, but this woman has left me in financial and emotional ruins and now wants money from me when she has it made with all the things I helped obtain/build. The least she could do is give me time to get on my feet, I cant even support myself right now let alone both my kids.


Dave, I know it’s hard to grasp, but you’ve got to find a way to stop thinking about her as if she is just a normal jerk. She isn’t, she is a disordered monster. She won’t give you time to get on your feet because she doesn’t WANT you on your feet. She is incapable of caring, and incapable of understanding the concept of being fair. Everything she does is about her game and about what she feels like doing at any given minute, and what will serve her, including using sex to make you feel like everything will be ok so she can hurt you even more. Don’t try to understand or to base anything on what a normal person would do, or what she has done in the past…this is a moving target that is completely unpredictable except for one outcome – she will destroy you. Do what you have to do to survive. I was in basic survival mode for several years and took it one minute at a time and it was necessary. We’re pulling for you.


go get a job, ANY job–no one is above only making minumum wage, it will not kill u. ride a bike there or WALK if theres no bus.
if u show u are trying, the judge will make the support tied to ur income. if u have none, they are very unsympathetic.
u have to do something.
if u just excuse ur unemployment with whatever reason(s) u have, ur doing YOURSELF a disservice, let alone ur children.
and she can and will use it against u for YEARS, including with ur kids.
dont give her that ammo.


aint,,,im trying to job hunt, the area im in was hit hard by the recession years ago, I would have to go to Dayton or cincy to find halfway decent work outside of fast food and my car is bout to blow up, I have no issues paying support for my kids, I agree it should be done, of course she could care less of my situation and neither will the courts, its pay or go to jail. She knows I have a felony record and came down here broke and jobless with a broke car, she has the income to provide easily, and I know she could care less if im on my feet or not, and neither will the courts, push comes to shove I will go work at mcdonalds.

However, I am sorely pissed that I was lied to and involved in welfare fraud, and I am seriously thinking of reporting her, she told me she could not afford to insure the kids at her work it was 300 a month, yet she could afford to pay 350 a month on this new van for the business and really its over 400 a month with full coverage, so I had to sign something saying I wasn’t working in order for them not to cancel my kids Medicaid cause I thought she couldn’t afford it and didn’t want them going without insurance. This pisses me off to the fullest extent that not only was I lied to, and involved in this fraud, but that she had the money and lied to the state/govt to get free shit, this is not the first time she has pulled this,,she used to lie and say she was a single mother and not report that I lived there making an income to get help with childcare and free medical insurance, and would go to this firestation on Christmas to get free gifts even though our kids from us, and both our parents had mountains of gifts. Yet she would complain about the welfare family across the street from us.


investing the energy and effort into trying to hurt her by reporting her is useless. it wud connect u to her even further also.
let GO. walk away from her behavior.
connect only with the kids.


I am so glad for this site. Dave, please listen to the advice given; it’s all excellent! Don’t play the “woe is me” card as no judge will listen to the soap opera you’re currently going through! Get out, get a job and all will eventually fall into place, as soon as you forget her. Good luck! We’re all pulling for you.


Everyone is right Dave. I think its important for YOU that you do this on your terms not hers. Take your power back
A job will also distract from that round and round thinking too.


Dave, I strongly recommend that you read a book titled Psychopath Free

It’s a quick read and I believe it will help you face some of the issues you’re struggling with. It all started getting better, albeit slowly, for me after I read this book.


TY all again for the advice and support.

I know in my heart the best thing to do is no contact, get back to work and just let the rest fall in place, this is just so fresh right now, 10 years of hell/some happiness, and its only been 2 months of breakup. At times I feel like I cant function, I almost feel like I have no motivation, friends and family keep saying I should have more motivation then anybody to work and go get my kids again with a really nice car,,,start working out again so I look like I used to, and watch her squirm with jealousy. I just don’t feel much motivation right now, all I feel is walls that just fell down on me and buried me alive, but you all are right, I know what needs done, and its up to me to get it going.


Hey Dave, as with all times of early recovery and healing you do also need to be gentle with yourself too. Yes do all those things but start by putting one foot in front of the other. Don’t try and eat the elephant all at once. And every day include time for the people in your life that positively support and sustain you. Don’t beat yourself up for mistakes and take every day as fresh and new. It IS a lot like recovering from addiction or mental illness from what I can tell. When the BIG feelings come, don’t fight them just let them flow on through and out (I found that REALLY hard, Im by nature a fighter and action person).
You have people on here giving you positive support and acceptance.
The best years of your life are IN FRONT of you, it just doesn’t feel that way yet.


Dave, first things first. You need to take care of yourself. You need to get a job, get a decent car….do whatever you need to do to get back on your feet. There will come a time when you may be able to turn her in for welfare fraud. But if you can’t even afford an attorney, the courts are not on your side. She will make herself out to be the victim, and you will be in for the fight of your life.

Take your life back first. Then decide whether to cut your losses or to turn her in. It was very easy to turn my ex-spath in. It didn’t cost me anything except some sworn statements. But for some, justice is much more costly. Separate all of your accounts from hers so she can’t defraud you anymore, and document everything you have, in case you may ever be able to use it. Then use the rest of your energy to focus on yourself. I always get the sense reading your posts that you feel you cannot be alone, single, and by yourself. You can. And it’s not so bad. It’s infinitely better than being with a psychopath.


u know its funny, ross rosenberg talks about how NPD/ASPD/BPD are so hard to work with, but he and the others on his team, DO work with these ppl. if theyre beyond hope, like the spath, why?
why try at all? if they CANT see theyre sick, why do they even come? if theyre part of couples therapy, wudnt they refuse to come as theyre not sick (in their opinion)?
i thot one defining thing with PDs is that the person CAN NOT know they have the disorder they do have???
it has been my experience so far with the narc that he WILL NOT admit anything is wrong, and simply projects it back to me (extremely laughable)…even since ive left. so hes lost everything but wont see his own NASTY face in the psyche-mirror.
im assuming he CANT see his pathology.
ross rosenberg seems to feel these ppl can…


Dear ain’t: That’s a really good question. Some people are able to introspect. Others can’t seem to. Or is it that they don’t want to? I don’t know.


well cant or dont wanna…at that point, its a moot point, huh
i have a friend, a rly close friend, who recently i had to set my foot down with. i have VERY few friends too. but i have let this friend for a decade now cross my boundaries. i am done with this. i dont even feel bad. i felt angry and kept feeling angry at the point wen i did it, like for an hour after but i had to. i think thats pretty healthy of me. she has no right to treat me the way she does, she does it to family members also, and she’s just not going to anymore. at least to me. or i walk.
its kinda freeing.


Dear ain’t: In the past several years since the spath, I have let certain friends drift out of my life, cutting them off by simply not returning their calls – basically going NC without a lot of drama. I have a next door neighbor who used to violate my boundaries all the time. She would ALWAYS forget to take her shoes off on my carpet, and I was constantly nagging her to do it. Or we’d go to lunch and she’d be taking cell phone calls the whole time. Stuff like that. We hung out together a lot because we had a lot in common and also lived right next door to each other. Now we don’t even look at each other when we pass, but it’s not hostile, at least on my part. Fortunately for me, SHE was the one who initiated the NC. I turned her in for bringing her day care kids to the pool, 5 at a time. I’d mentioned to her many times how the pool noise disturbs my peace because I live right near the pool. Also, you are not supposed to bring more than 2 guests to the pool nor be doing daycare in the complex. So I asked the HOA management to just send her a warning letter. With that, she stopped speaking to me. Worked fine for me! I have to let another very narcissistic friend go last year, too. I just stopped returning her calls. Great not to have these issues with friends anymore. I tend to trust people easily, but I also am not afraid to cut off a friendship if it is causing too much grief.


Stargazer, this is such a healthy attitude! When my spath abandoned me, I really found out who my friends (and family) were. I had always been there for these people and when I wasn’t in a position to give, and would have appreciated a little support, they were were hateful, hurtful, or just gone. I’ve completely overhauled my attitude toward what constitutes a real friend. I’m long past wanting to talk about the experience to anyone, and I have one old “friend” who won’t get up to speed…she likes to email me and be patronizing and condescending and pump me for information. I have figured out responding with a very short and upbeat note doesn’t feed her so I’m hearing from her less and less. I’m cautiously making new, real friends.


There is nothing like a divorce to teach one who one’s true friends are!


You know, HanaleiMoon, I’ve gone through a tough time in the past year too with the death of my mother, some difficult relationships with men, and a friend’s betrayal. The friends who stepped up and offered support were people I never expected. Good to know who your friends are.


Aint, Ive worked in mental health and addiction for 16 years now. There are degrees of these disorders. I have seen some great progress achieved with people with Borderline personality disorders and that one can settle quite a lot with age too. The people with personality disorders that come to services for help tend to be a mixture of disorders and mental illness. Ive never seen someone with clear narcissistic PD or sociopathic disorders approach services for help unless they also have other things too or they have been forced to (by justice often).So given the degree of disorder, the motivation for change sometimes they are able to become better people.
Does that make sense?
Ive had 2 spath romantic partners and also a couple of bosses, they would not consider they had anything wrong with them. One partner went to therapy for a year or so and had a great time being affirmed, validated and felt sorry for. He didn’t want to change, only seem to want an excuse for behaving inhumanely…….


see this is wat i thot, but i have chosen to think of the narc i was with as unable to change cuz to be SURE i cant change him or any other living being ONE IOTA and he refuses to see (with the limited bit ive tried to show him) that he needs help.
this makes me vacillate tho.
this thot that he cud change. if he ever got that far to wanting to get help lol
meanwhile i keep getting me healthy. seeing me as worth a good life. not relating to others the way i have–even friends. and the world is seeming to start smiling back at me 🙂


The experts seem to agree that spaths know who and what they are; they just don’t CARE. They can supposedly pick out other spaths in a crowd. The very few who are coerced into therapy (usually by the courts)put on a fascade of seeming to be “cured” but it is all an act. This seems to be the general concensus among all the experts.

Often what disordered folks do with therapists is exactly what they do with others, try to perfect their manipulation. And having the validation of a therapist only secures them deeper into their manipulative mindset. Now, they can wreak havoc with a professional to vouch for the correctness of their behavior. If the therapist sees through them, they won’t be their therapist for very long.



My spath female neighbor is now playing the victim.

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