Red Flags of Love Fraud goes beyond surface in explaining the danger of sociopaths

By Fannie LeFlore, MS,LPC

Since she founded in 2005, Donna Andersen has heard heartbreaking and horrendous stories from people across the globe who’ve been victimized by sociopaths. Her new book does what we’d hope parents and schools do on a routine basis: Better prepare people for the complexities of real-life relationships and social interactions, whether business, romantic, family or friends. This requires, as uneasy as it may make us feel, acknowledging that some human beings simply are not interested in being decent, but actually seek to cause harm to others as a way of life.

Red Flags of Love Fraud—10 Signs You’re Dating a Sociopath, released in Spring 2012 by Andersen’s publishing company in New Jersey, goes where few books go in calling interpersonal abuse the evil it really is, and is backed up by Andersen’s extensive research combined with the depth of personal knowledge from having experienced a sociopathic ex-partner, first-hand. The book’s examples from diverse people who completed surveys explore the human degradation, pain, confusion and loss caused by exploitation, deceit and manipulation within personal relationships. The stories of those victimized by sociopaths show just how far people can go in attempting to destroy the lives of others, often on multiple levels, far beyond the norm of what we think when defining dysfunctional relationships.

As hard a pill for many to swallow, Andersen makes it clear that extricating oneself from a relationship with a sociopath is the only path to recovery and healing, despite how tempting it can be to buy into fairy tales that love can help anyone grow and change for the better. As many who’ve suffered severe harm know all too well, this kind of hope may not be based in reality, since not all people are willing to honestly face and work on their issues. Less known is how false hope can also disable those who are victimized, clouding their thinking and preventing them from becoming clear about the need to let go of a damaging relationship and take responsibility for taking care of themselves.

That’s also why, as a mental health professional, I appreciate Andersen venturing into brave new territory by issuing a clear challenge to the mental health establishment to make sociopathy fully known as the serious personality disorder it is. Sociopathy reflects a deep level of moral insanity that is most evident among those who focus primarily on controlling others, beyond reason, without regard for consequences, without regard for reality.

For every sociopath out there, multiple lives are at risk physically, mentally and spiritually in large part because the general public has a Hollywood-sanitized perspective, with misleading stereotypes and sound-bites that provide only surface awareness of sociopaths.

Andersen’s book offers far more than mainstream media provides, in very clear language and terms that demonstrate visceral understanding of the depth of depravity among the human predators who are hard to identify simply because they look like the rest of us.

Fannie LeFlore, MS,LPC, is a psychotherapist who served as editor of “The Road Less Traveled and Beyond,” by the late M. Scott Peck, MD. Contact: [email protected].

Red Flags of Love Fraud—10 signs you’re dating a sociopath is available now exclusively in the Lovefraud Store.

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73 Comments on "Red Flags of Love Fraud goes beyond surface in explaining the danger of sociopaths"

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I just finished reading Donna’s book and, wow, it’s absolutely the BEST I’ve read on the subject (and I think I’ve read them all!).

The outline in the first chapter that spells out the 10 red flags before getting into detail later in the book was masterful; a reader who may be in the midst of such a relationship and looking for help will see herself or himself early on and continue reading rather than put the book down, maybe for good.

Some of the subject books spend lots of time in the beginning chapters laying the groundwork for the rest of the book and could easily turn off a potential victim before any help was rendered!

I wanted to share what I’m going to do with my copy, now that I’ve read it. Maybe it’s not best for my healing, but I’m still at the stage (4 months NC) where I feel for the next victim (I don’t know who she is, but he can’t be alone for more than a few days so I KNOW he’s in a “relationship” now).

Because we live in the same smallish town, I know it will be a matter of time before I run into the two of them together–at the market, bank, post office, anywhere–it will definitely happen sometime.

So I wrote on the first, blank, page of the book “This book is all about Chris” and included my first name (I’m sure that she’s been told that I’m crazy, a cheater, a liar, etc., but she can’t ignore the book!).

I now carry the book in my pocketbook and, when the time comes and I run into them, I will hand her the book and walk away. Even if he grabs it from her, or she throws it away, she will have at least seen the cover. So, when the verbal and physical abuse starts (it probably already has), and she realizes he’s a sex addict and constant cheater/pathological liar, maybe she’ll at least remember the name of the book and look further online.

I wish someone had done that for me 6 years ago. I might not have listened then, but it wouldn’t have taken me so long to google “sociopath” and then “sociopathic relationships”. If I hadn’t done those things I’d still be with him today, miserable and depressed.


Good plan!

That’s what happened to me also. I was so miserable and sad in 2010 because he had disappeared and I didn’t know why and I remember thinking he was a psycho because of all the things he had done and all the things I had heard he had done. So one day I Googled “Psycho” and wow, what I found. That is also how I found this site.

I agree with Louise, that’s a good plan. But I would try to get it to her when he’s not around. It would be so much better for her to read it without his input. Spaths KNOW what they are doing and they WILL derail your knowledge of them.

When I was 17 I met my spath and noticed that he lied all the time. I researched (before the internet) and found “People of the Lie”. I knew instinctively to hide the book from the spath but it didn’t help. Books have little advantage over a man standing in front of you professing to be the love of your life. I rejected the book and stayed with the Devil for 25 years. When the money ran out, the mask fell off and I ran out too.

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