By | January 10, 2012 108 Comments

Seeing Things As We Are

Last week found me involved in an unusually high number of conversations about sociopathy. By now I’m no stranger to explaining my own experiences to incredulous people and then patiently answering their questions and putting in to plain words the fact that no, a sociopath will not even begin to know the meaning of the word ”˜sorry’ let alone feel it!

“But surely Mel, I know if I’d done something even remotely as heartless as the person you’ve just described… well, I’d be eaten up with guilt! I couldn’t sleep at night!” they exclaim, eyes wide open and hands held to their face. “Surely deep down they must know they’ve done wrong and feel ashamed?”

Each time I hear that kind of response, I just smile, take a deep breath and prepare to explain in yet another way that no — these people simply don’t have the same responses that we do. They are devoid of conscience and empathy, they don’t feel sorry for the things they do, and in actual fact they don’t ”˜feel’ emotions in the same way we do — period!

And that is where I believe it can be such a challenge for those of us to know to get others to believe what we’re saying. Because, as the French author Anais Nin so eloquently put it “We don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are” And of course it makes perfect sense. We use our own judgment and experiences to make sense of the world around us, and because we have a set of emotions and responses, we expect other human beings to have something similar.

The Looking Glass

This perfectly natural trait of human acceptance is also a response on which con-artists and tricksters depend. They’ll target honest open people who judge others as they judge themselves — and because they wouldn’t dream of deliberately conning another, they can’t comprehend that the person in front of them is anything other than who or what they profess to be. A variation on the old theme of “do as you would be done by” it’s a case of “understand according to your own experiences”. And when you think about it, how can anyone really be expected to understand other than from their own experiences?

It’s like, say, when we’re having a conversation with a friend and they’re explaining something they’ve seen or somewhere they’ve been without us for example. When things don’t quite make sense, we might screw up our face, scratch our chin, and search through our memory banks until we find something in our own experience that seems somewhat similar. Then we can make sense of what they’re saying and we say “ah, yes, now I know what you mean! You’re saying it’s like”¦ blah blah”¦”

A disco mirror-ball invites us to do something similar. The broken up little squares might promise me a new perspective — but when I look in to it the reflection is still always the same. It’s me. How could it be anything else?

I remember when my discovery of the nature of sociopaths suddenly made ghastly sense of what had happened to me. I remember the horror as well as the relief. The burning need to learn more and yet the impossible struggle to grasp that such alien creatures actually live and breath among us – let alone that I was married to one! I just couldn’t get it! It was only after trawling through so many incidents that had left me hurt and bewildered, only after mentally finding a number of examples for each of Dr Hare’s checklist subjects that I could finally let the truth settle.

So, there I was, only truly believing it once I had made sure with my own internal reference points!

It’s Just Not Me!

Blinkered? Foolish? Or just following my natural instinct to see others as we see ourselves? The jury may be out on that one, but I plump for the last option — because I happen to believe it’s the truth.

That’s how we can remain duped for so long. That’s how they can get away with their repetitive and increasingly outrageous bad behaviour. That’s why when they plead and say sorry, we believe that they are — because that’s how we would respond ourselves if we were in their shoes!

And that is why, for those of us who know, it’s such an uphill battle and constant struggle to convince others that what we’re saying is true. That’s why I regularly heard a set of questions that at the time felt like accusations “But if all this was really going on behind your back, how on earth didn’t you notice anything?”  “Why didn’t you check more closely?” Because I would never have imagined behaving in that way, that’s why. Because I believed that the love was real. Because I’ve jolly well got values and a solid understanding of right and wrong — that’s why for goodness sakes!

And yes, I know and fully understand all that now, but at the time it was happening I felt that I was being attacked all over again. If somebody didn’t believe me, then surely it meant that I wasn’t worthy of being believed. If another person was so convinced that I should have noticed something, well then perhaps it meant that I was stupid. The shame kicked in, the self-doubt reared inside me, and I’d slink down to hide myself from the humiliation.

But the thing is, though, how could I have expected someone who hadn’t actually been in my place to understand something that I even struggled with myself — and I’d been the one in the firing line!

I can’t go back in time — well, not yet in any case, so far as I know time travel is still something that has yet to be mastered — but if I could I know now that I would have been much better protected against the innocently persistent questions that were thrown at me by well meaning friends and colleagues. They weren’t doubting me — they were just trying to understand something that was so completely out of their sphere of reference, it just didn’t make sense. But at the time, my response was to recoil and shut up. Drawbridge up, shutters down, and don’t say another word.

These days it’s different. These days I have achieved sufficient distance to answer any number of questions calmly and with compassion. I welcome the questions as an opportunity to test my ability to explain. To strengthen my mental flexibility and to deepen my comprehension.

And with each new conversation, I find I’m becoming better equipped to answer and educate — maybe not to the level of the full experiential comprehension that we share here on this site of course; I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. But slowly, surely, I do believe that it’s possible to find ways to help the unsuspecting and incredulous understand and take heed. And I believe that it’s the likes of us, those who’ve been there seen it and got the T-shirt who can become hugely influential in getting the message out there. I realise there’s a long way to go, but the crusade is growing — and I have a feeling in my soul that little by little the worm is turning.

So watch out spaths, psychos and all you other misfits. You can run but you can’t hide for ever, because ready or not we’re coming to get you.

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Brilliant blog post Mel, thank you! It is nearly impossible for people with a conscience and empathy to comprehend the degree of cruelty and evil that a sociopath inflicts on other people, all the while saying how much they love them. It is very difficult to understand, and we need to become aware of it, work very hard to understand it, learn from it and teach others what we have learned.

Even though it is very painful when people don’t believe what we are telling them, it does help to remember that we once struggled with it also, that is how we were duped. A sociopath will use the fact that we trust, we love, we care and we want to believe the best about other people, we want to see the good in everyone, they use it to their advantage while they suck the life out of us without a shred of remorse.


Love this post Mel.

After finding out that we encountered a spath, the next hardest part is finding out that nobody believes you or “gets” it. We get re-victimized. Your post will help so many newbies feel that they are heard.

The truth is the spaths are drawn to goodness because it’s what they envy in us. So it will be good, compassionate people who get victimized. That’s why they are well known for using the pity ploy, because it separates the wheat from the chaff.

Good compassionate people see things from the perspective that everyone else is good and compassionate and we take the bait.

Based on that, I’d like to say BEWARE of people who immediately understand what you are talking about when you explain the spaths. Unless they have experienced it before, it’s possible that you are dealing with another toxic person pretending to be empathetic.

donna dixon

Hi Mel~ Just wanted to comment on something you mentioned: “These people don’t FEEL emotions the same way we do”.

Towards the end of my 26 year marriage when I was struggling to understand what drove my husband to have an affair; I kept quizzing him like any “normal” person. I just needed to know what would have drove him into the arms of another woman when I believed we were so happily married.

There were countless intimate dinners of reconciliation that I kept bringing up the conversation and he kept dismissing it. He simply DID NOT believe there was any need to discuss the circumstances. It was his belief we could just pick up and move on now that I knew about the “affair” and; in his mind; should be no further need to discuss it. A “clean slate” if you will.

It took me YEARS to finally get it through my THICK SKULL that he simply couldn’t FEEL MY PAIN. He could not COMPREHEND it.
HE was NOT like ME. His wiring was DIFFERENT.

It was just the other day when I was with my children and they made the comment that I seemed really happy now. I responded that YES, I AM HAPPY; and I believe a large part of that is because I have finally STOPPED trying to ANALYZE the past and just ACCEPT there is no DISECTING CRAZY!!!!


Only on LF!!! Thank you Mel. I guess I’m still in the early stage as far as that goes, telling my story and getting so many questions back so many looks of disbelieve.
They ask “Why didn’t you just leave?”
With SP’s there is no JUST…nothing is that simple. (I did try to leave many times)
I guess I need to step back and think; had I not experienced what I did with SP and someone told me THEIR story about a relationship with an SP I would probably react as they do.
His name is all over the internet with stories of how he scammed people, what a liar he is. One of them suggest to him that he take a good look in the mirror next time he is shaving and understand that it is that man in the mirror who is his worst enemy not all the people he blames. This was written by a guy who worked for him. I sometimes want to print these out and carry them with me when I tell my story. That is another thing I am working on; letting go of what people think; it is what I think and what I know that matters in the end.
It’s a journey….but one that will eventually lead us to a place of self love and peace!!!
Great article Mel, so theraputic!


Dear Mel and All….

Great article. Thank you.

I recently met a friend of a friend who had an experience with a Bad Man of her own. I have been meaning to tell her to proceed with caution when telling her story.

In the first 2 years prior to the Bad Man, I dated a man for a short time and I told him some of my story. I was so traumatized back then that I think he was wondering if really, there was something wrong with me. I think I did sound a little crazy back then. And, given the context: new man doesn’t know me, my life was a total shambles at the time, I was very skittish, and I was desperate for people to understand what happened to me… I think his assessment of me wasn’t entirely unfair.

He had to understand me within his own experience and context. The only thing that kept us going out on a few dates is that I introduced him to my NORMAL friends. HAHA!

Anyway, he was no real loss for me.

These days, I tell my story less and less. I am selective about what I share and I do not have the need for everyone to understand what happened to me with the Bad Man.

I do not have the need for people that I know and love to understand it either. Now and then, the universe provides me with someone that gets it. And the best part, I have been given the opportunity to help others and let them know that I “get” them. Very healing for both, I think.

Since the Bad Man, I have been able to help 5 people (old friends, new friends and friends of friends) to understand the problem of exploitive personalities and the damage they do.. and the cognitive errors in us that allowed that… which Mel addresses nicely in this article.

They don’t know that they don’t know.

Thanks Mel.

And thanks all for your sharing… Aloha


Mel: Awesome article. I struggle to explain to others and have even ended a friendship over a “friend’s” attitude about my experience and her suggestions for wrapping up my grieving at a quicker pace. I’m still struggling to understand what happened. Every time I read the word “cruelty” I get a pang of recognition in the pit of my stomach… I’m still accepting how coldly and cruely I allowed myself to be treated. Even though I have a restraining order and haven’t spoken to the ex Spath in many months, I still struggle to accept how abused I allowed myself to be. And I’m madder at myself for allowing it than I am at him for doing it. I was a vulnerable mess when I met him, and he lovebombed the sh*t out of me. I try to remind myself of that. Somedays are easier than others, and I’m not quite as hard on myself.

Skylar: Regarding your comment:

“BEWARE of people who immediately understand what you are talking about when you explain the spaths. Unless they have experienced it before, it’s possible that you are dealing with another toxic person pretending to be empathetic.”

I actually discovered another Spath in my life by asking him if he knew anything about sociopaths when I was describing some of my concerns with my ex. I already suspected this guy was Spathy. He responded he knew “a little bit.” And he had a facial tick at that precise moment. He is not a man afflicted with any ticks that I had previously observed. I took note of it, but didn’t want him to suspect I was “on to him.” Later in the conversation, I asked him how he knew about sociopaths. He went into a tirade about an ex-girlfriend who accused him of being one. I sat there, listening and mentally noting how each statement made him sound more and more spathy! After that, our interactions significantly changed. I’m certain he ‘knows” that I “know” what he is. He’s definitely dropped the mask with me now and treats me with complete disrespect in one on one interactions, which I try to avoid now. I’d go NC with him as well, except he is a supervisor at one of my jobs. I suspect he would be trying to actively hurt me if I wasn’t as well liked by his supervisor as I am. Though, I do suspect he’s trying to convince others at work that I am a loose cannon, as some who work closely with him began treating me differently shortly after that conversation. I can only hope he gets the promotion he’s trying for. He’s all about “career advancement” and he’s super slick and intelligent. His poor wife. I think about her almost daily and hope she somehow finds out what he is. From the comments he makes to others about her, she’s “crazy” and a lazy person. I know better. He’s compared she and I, saying we are a lot alike. I worry about her and what he’s doing to her… She looks so sad and stressed every time I see her. Effing Spaths!

Ox Drover

Dear Mel,

SUPER GOOD ARTICLE!!! Yes, it is difficult to get people to understand or believe what we have been through, and many times they do think we are crazy….

Aloha, I definitely know what you mean about NEEDING, WANTING so bad to have people believe me, validate what happened to me, even while it was happening. My therapist thought I was crazy! a paranoid nut job, until I took in documents and court evidence as well as a sane son to validate what I was telling the therapist.. LOL I can laugh about it now.

Like you, I am selective now who I talk to about it, but at the same time I am no longer hiding behind half truths and lies of my own…it is NOT my shame and I will not own it as mine. If someone asks me about my kids I tell them the truth. I no longer lie or tell half truths about my psychopathic son. He is in prison for murder and he is guilty instead of saying “oh, he lives in Texas, and works for the State of Texas< and no he doesn't get home to visit very often" (let's see, not since 1991 when he came home to gloat when he got out of prison after the first two years, right before he went back for murder in January 1992.)


That is a great article! And, sums up how I have been feeling about my b/f. The lies and betrayal are starting to all come together, but I never thought it possible that someone you love and says they love you was capable of malicious intent! It just seems like a waste of the grand scheme of what most people want out of a relationship, so I kept overlooking redflags because I wanted IT to be what I wanted IT to be.

Thanks for sharing

New Beginning

Mel, great article!

LPMarie, I can so relate to what you are saying and I believe that many of my current struggles may be associated with not forgiving myself…..both as an individual and as a mother who choose a completely inadequate father for my son.

Also have the problem with sharing things with people and I think that even “close” friends are wondering if it’s me who has the mental health issues and not my ex. Am grateful that my sweet cat loves me no matter what! 🙂



Thanks Mel for saying what was in the back of my head.
You always have such a way of centering in on the issues as they currently are. It is more appreciated than you will ever know.

It will be 8 months NC soon and I wanted to tell you all what it is like: it took a while to overcome the ‘panic’ that my ‘fix’ wasn’t there anymore. For ten years that is what he was: ‘my fix’. When he couldn’t be around me, he was always with me on text or messenger, 24/7. When I went NC with “IT” almost 8 months ago now, it was like I was on a never ending free fall inside my head and body. It has taken a long time coming down from the ‘adrenalin rush’ that was left with me. I have felt it changing and trying to go back to normal and I have come a very long ways. I am not ashamed to stand up and say: “Hey, I have been in therapy and coming down from something that someone else had done to me with malicious intent. I am reborn and reawakened and I have taken my stand.”

It is difficult to speak to those around us about our issue because we suddenly become ‘labeled’ and almost as if we have some sort of ‘pox’ on us and ‘nobody wants to get involved’…blah blah blah…that is why Love Fraud is so important. To a lot of us, a vital link and pathway to self realization and understanding of the problem that has befallen us and our lives; the complexities are so many and varied.

A counselor once asked me: “What is the one thing you want the most?” Without hesitation, I responded: “TO BE HEARD”. This is the only place I know of where you are heard and understood. We speak the same language here. A pretty much ‘unspoken’ language, at this current moment but with people such as Donna, Fishead-The Movie and their producers, and so many more – too many to mention, perhaps a light will be shed upon this type of mental illness. Perhaps if we reach out and try to make ourselves heard, we will be listened to and things will change.

If it is horrid for us, I wonder what it is like for them?
To never have a point to their lives. Such a huge void to fill.

Me and my whole body feels like I just stepped off a long long motorcycle ride…the body all vibrating and kind of disoriented…yah, just like that. But it’s calming down now. I am starting to ‘ground’ in the peace.

*Hugs to you all*


“Dupey”… that’s cute. :O)

Like getting off the bike after a long motor cycle ride…. hmmm. I get that.

I do remember that there was a physical sensation to the psychological torture.

A lot of the “torture” was my own head circling anc circling, trying to make sense of the senseless.

Now I would recognize that crap-a-doo from a mile away. HA-HA!

XO Aloha

(I love to say “crap-a-doo”)




Possibly too much ice cream in one sitting.


LPMarie13 –

“I actually discovered another Spath in my life by asking him if he knew anything about sociopaths when I was describing some of my concerns with my ex. I already suspected this guy was Spathy. He responded he knew “a little bit.” …. He went into a tirade about an ex-girlfriend who accused him of being one… After that, our interactions significantly changed…. treats me with complete disrespect in one on one interactions… he is a supervisor at one of my jobs. I suspect he would be trying to actively hurt me if I wasn’t as well liked by his supervisor as I am. … suspect he’s trying to convince others at work that I am a loose cannon, as some who work closely with him began treating me differently shortly after that conversation. I can only hope he gets the promotion he’s trying for…”

Please, please, please – if you MUST work with this man, then at the very least read “Snakes in Suits” as soon as possible, so that you know what you are probably up against.

You sound as though you are not too concerned about what this creep might have said/might be saying behind your back, but honey, if you need that job, you NEED to be concerned. The little bit you just typed REEKS of the case studies in that book.

sharing the journey

I understand all too well the difficulties in explaining my experience with my ex H spath.

It’s been four and a half years since I drove him out–fighting for my life and sanity and five and a half since it happened. It all happened in a period of nine months as my kind loving husband changed into an incest fantasizer and peodophile in front of me regarding our children.

It is a hard experience to explain– so I don’t bother telling anyone and being believed has been a nightmare.

First of all–how do you explain multiple personalities that burst from him in quick succession. One that was extremely cruel and sadistic that saw me as his sex partner in deviant sex–one that called himself after our son and was in love with me calling me by my daughter D’s name and one that was like a little boy who was in love with our daughter A who was only nine at the time.

How do you explain–an attempt to split your own personality to fit this fantasy in his head–calling you by your kids names over and over until you are so confused by the moulding abuse that you begin to answer to their names.

How do you explain that it was forced upon you rapidly that he had a love/hate mother issue. And you were the mother in his mind.

How do you explain the terror that you felt with a nowhere to run and nowhere to hide feeling as every computor in the house had been rigged with messages and images to terrorize me into complience.

Shock and awe he called it–military precision.

I was sleep deprived–lost loads of weight and I was dying. At the end he was telling me to commit suicide because I was worthless and just WOULDN’T DO AS I WAS TOLD.

At one point during the experience I realised that no one would believe this. It was too bizarre. I started printing all my correspondance through email that I was sending to him. He sent none.

All he was doing was bullying me into developing a split personality to fit him by always calling me by my daughter’s names.

I was hanging onto my sanity by a thread.

I filed these emails away for the last four years as I thought they would be too painful to go over–but last night I dug them out after having another fruitless conversation with my mum. Bless her–she is trying hard to understand.

It tells it all from my side. Praise the lord. All dated and in line with what I have been trying to explain. Bizarre as it was. Proof at last.

I have a gut feeling that it was a planned attack. All the computors where rigged and I was in a ‘nowhere to run and nowhere to hide frame of mind. Felt totally trapped–yet I could have walked out the door at anytime.

I was in unbelievable pain. Oblivious for 22 years and then this. How could it be.

I now look back over our years together and their are many red flags in hind sight. Car brakes that failed. Unexplainable death of a kitten that I held dear. He hated cats. A fall that nearly killed me down some stairs. A sister that I was kept from seeing that confided to me many years ago that it was him that drove her to suicide.

I was living with a psychopath and I didn’t know it.

As said–I thought he thought like me–mirrored to a tee.

And I judged him by my own standards–my so called best friend.

Thanks for listening.


sharing the journey

There is so much more to this. He was a hidden insatiable monster.

Not to mention the stalking that has went on.

It is like my life has turned into a nightmare that never ends and I can’t seem to develop a sense of saftey.

What do you do with 22 years of your precious photographs of your family with him in them–acting the part as a devoted dad and husband.

An evil lie.



So sorry to hear that horrible story. You know you will heal day by day by being here on LF. I hope you have a therapist too. The story is bizzarre, because that is what they are.

As for the family photo’s, get out the scissors and start cutting him out!


Great post. New here as a commentor but have read the blog before and find it very informative. I have a question, do spaths get crafty/technical with their explanations of things? For example, my spouse (who admitted having an emotional affair) strictly believes these 2 things: 1. That he “deceived” me but never lied to me. He was very adamant about NOT lying and suggested I look up the definition of lying in the dictionary. 2. That the EA never took anything away from his time with our family – as in energywise, emotion-wise, etc. He sees the EA as not having anything to do with the problems that WE were having around that very same time.
I’m supposed to be ‘okay’ with all of this if we are to “heal”.

Of course, I didn’t DISCOVER the EA until years later, after the fact. After he convinced me to stay and I (stupidly) did. I was never supposed to find out in the first place. But uh-oh-spaghetti-o I discovered some written proof.

It seems like he COMPARTMENTALIZES these things and of course has no clue how our past colours our present. I recently discovered a couple of questionable activities and when I brought them up, he seems aghast that I “don’t trust him” and if there’s no trust there is no marriage. (True, actually, I don’t really disagree with that.) But, it’s like he assumes trust is carte blanche once again. I USED to have that attitude that trust WAS carte blance (before my discovery of the EA), and after that — there is no way to give carte blance trust anymore.

All I can say is — OH the lessons we learn in this life. I pray that I am encountering this for a higher purpose/ reason in life.

Please, if anyone here has insight on the 2 points I brought up above I would love to hear your opinion.
THANK you.


Oneday: oh yes, they NEVER “LIE” they only with hold and deceive. That is the same thing MINE said: “I never lied to you…” Well, I don’t know what part of the PLANET “IT” came from but deceptions and web spinning are equally as bad as lying in my book.

No, I am never ‘okay’ with any of their shenanigans and never shall be ever again. They like to present themselves as moral, upstanding people, but underneath, the whole time, they are calculating, manipulating, vile and ugly. Nope. No more.


Welcome to LF Oneday…this is the place to get your ‘heal’ on…Stick around and read some more.

The same way their deceptions kind of snuck in on us…is the same way this blog helps people heal and grow…it’s the validation that we aren’t insane and of others who understand that makes it so healing.

Happy Day to you Oneday…



There are so many amazing comments, where do I start?

New Beginnings:

I can completely understand your feelings of being a mother who has chosen an inadequate father for her child. I don’t think we actively knew how inadequate our partners were at the time, so hopefully when we heal some more, we can let ourselves off the hook for it. We were actively duped, after all! Having my daughter was all part of his agenda. He pressured me to have a baby with him throughout our relationship (not to say I didn’t want her or a family, because I did. It was that dream that was preyed upon.).

Now my daughter has to see him twice a month at supervised visitation and he’s laying it on thick over there! He barely saw her the first year of her life, and now he brings musical instruments to the visits and plays her music, and sings her songs at the visitation center. It’s infuriating, because I know how charming he can be. My goal is to eventually get my daughter and myself away from him and his wacko mom by leaving our state. All in due time, it will happen. I would do anything to keep her safe from his insanity.

How old is your little boy? My daughter is coming up on 14 months. Does your son have any contact with dad?

I have finally stopped telling people about APD/sociopathy and just describe the disturbing behaviors. This approach seems to have a better response.

I recently had to give a taped interview to a detective regarding a missing person that my ex claims to have killed, and I focused not only on what he told me, but also on the behaviors I saw in him over the course of our relationship. I noticed her perk up when I was describing the cold, callous behavior. She was listening very intently when I told her that he appeared to lack remorse for anything, that for him, life was about getting over on people and the system. Winning, at all cost, was what mattered. I referred to him as “the most disordered person I had ever met in life.” That I had never experienced anyone as manipulative and decietful as him. Later, she asked me if I would be willing to take a polygraph. I said I would do anything possible to assist with the investigation. I think she believed me. She probably has to deal with low lives of this variety on a daily basis!


You said: “If it is horrid for us, I wonder what it is like for them? To never have a point to their lives. Such a huge void to fill.”

With my ex, I believe only one thing he told me was true. It was at the end of our relationship and he was high on meth at the time. He genuinely looked bewildered when he told me “I don’t understand anything about love.” And I believe, at 47 years old, he meant it. He seemed pathetic to me in that moment. Not in a tragic way… I think I realized how loveless he really was in that moment.

I like how you write about 8 months of NC and the peace you are experiencing. I’m with you! I even saw him on the side of the road today, and at first I was filled with anger. He looked so tanned and healthy. But I remind myself, he’s still an empty shell of a person. And at 48, his mother is undoubtedly still funding his pathetic existence. And meanwhile, my life is progressing and my child is thriving in development. I am deciding he can never hurt me again, no matter what he tries to pull.


I love crap-a-doo! It’s on par with my personal fav: craptastic! Usually as an adjective before a disordered person, as in “craptastic friend” lol.


I felt some panic rise up in me when I read your post. I will look into the book you recommended. He is one of my supervisors in the military, but we are only part time. So I don’t have to deal with him often. Other people know something is up with him, but not everyone. I decided to do a little damage control and call his supervisor who I have a good rapport with. I know her to be trustworthy, and I asked her to keep out conversation private, between us ladies. I told her I feel increasingly uncomofortable with him and I feel he may be intentionally not passing messages forward, etc. I asked her if it would be okay if I reported directly to her in the future. I didn’t get into specifics, but told her he has repeatedly blown me off and treated me disrespectfully. She was cool with it. Right now, there isn’t much I can do about him, but he did not want to allow me to complete training that I need to in order to stay in my job. She just agreed to sign the paperwork and get my equipment needed! I do believe she will keep our conversation between us and she will not let him influence her regarding me and my position. But I do think reading that book would be a good idea to help me negotiate this situation with the minimal amount of damage. One thing in my favor is that I have demonstrated an ability to persevere throughout the awful situation with my ex, and it did not go unnoticed by my senior leaders. Some have told me how strong they thought I was and that they could see how I have improved. Another told me I had come a long way. I think the decent folks stay true to their own perceptions. The military can be somewhat of a viper’s nest on it’s own, and there are some really great people who are above it all, despite the snakes among us. I’m not as worried about the job because it can be a kind of transient environment with personnel and I suspect he will advance soon. He may be able to smear my reputation some, but I have had that done to me throughout my career. I feel powerless to control any of that. I dunno…


I’m so sorry for the insanity you went through. I could relate to much of what you wrote. He would often tell me things would be better if I just did what he told me to do. I always thought he was kidding. And that was a problem with a lot of his Spathy behavior. In the whole spirit of the article above, I could not see his behavior as what it actually was, because it was so foriegn to who I am and what I would do as a person. I couldn’t fathom the things he said and did were not some form of a bad joke or him being clueless. I had to finally realize what he was doing was intentionally cruel and he was intentionally malicious to me.

At the end, I was so sick and stressed with his abuse while simultaneously trying to take care of the new baby, health issues and complications from my c-section, working full time, part-time military service and an online class (insanity!). Spathy was telling me in a sickeningly sweet voice that I was free leave if I couldn’t handle being a mother and his NPD, possibly Spath mother would help him raise the baby. They wouldn’t hold it against me!

When I would get overwhelmed and finally yell at him, which was a lot in the final weeks of insanity, he would say I was yelling at him and the baby. I would be quick to say “Do not include my daughter. I’m not yelling at her, I’m yelling AT YOU!” I started to see what kind of sick head games would be in my daughter’s future with him and his sick mother if we stuck around, although I didn’t realize he was a Spath and she has NPD or is also a Spath. One time something fell when I was closing the hatch on my car, and his mother told the baby “your mom’s trying to hit you with that.” There were several instances like this and I finally woke up and realized these crap-a-doo’s (to borrow aloha’s term!) would turn my child against me if they were in her life. It was hard, but I had to go NC with everyone in his family, which left me with no support except the newly hired daycare center and a craptastic friend I recently cut ties with.

I’m building a safe support network now, with carefully chosen people. Since I can’t leave yet, I’ve decided to “bloom where I am planted.” Every day, I take a step, no matter how seemingly small or insignificant, toward my health, healing and progress for the future. Each day is a truly a new beginning! Nothing is perfect, and some times time seems to move too slowly, but progress is being made!


I am so very greatful to have found this ‘blog’. I am currently having huge difficulty moving forward with my divorce that I filed last week. I finally realized that my husband (dated for 2 years, and married the 3rd year) is a text book DSM IV sociopath (minus only three sentences in the entire description). I got physically ill after I read it, sad, angry, resentful, ashamed.

How could I have been seduced, conned, exploited, verbally abused, endless looping of mind games, insults and grandiosque compliments. How, and why continually slam me. I have no answers other than to self doubt myself that perhaps if I changed to suit him, give in, and become enslaved by him….perhaps then I could of been unhappily ignorant.

I have knowlege now, and knowledge is power. I have people that I hardly know come to my side and help me. My attorney who is handling my divorce Pro-Bono, people offering me emotional support, and brining me into their safe haven.

I want to thank everyone here for sharing, as I will be reading a lot from today…forward.

“He is begging me now, pleading with me, making huge promises, and crying.” I must remain clear headed, I must never forgot who he really is, how he really behaves when he feels he has not lost control.

I describe him now as a bully in the playground, taking the kids toys, throwing sand in their face, stepping on their hands and calling them names. I describe myself as having been one of those kids, though this time, I took my toys, and walked out of the playground where he reigned.

That’s why he pleads, crys, and begs me back. It’s not me he wants, it’s the sick pleasure of winning, being in charge, and having power.

What do you think? Anybody? Am I making sense, or do I seem over sensitive, emotional? I use to think I was a well educated, internatinoally travelled, empathetic, intelligent woman….now….I feel like a sad, broken doll struggeling to make sense of all this.



TO: Oneday
Your remarks of the ‘word games’ and the ability to compartmentalize is scary. My soon to be ex-spath is exactly like that. He actually has said to me ‘i have the abilty to compartmentalize’ this is how i function!’

He never admits ANY wrongdoing, and my gosh he is an expert with how he words things, how he explains himself and has the ability to not EVER take ownership of any wrongdoing.

Please know this, the spath is and has done a analysis of who and what you are. They know your emotional pathways, your strength and your weakness. They will exploit you, they will make your doubtyourself, and they will always leave you feeling like it was your fault.

Be strong, listen to your ‘little voice’ in your gut, deep down, you konw he is wrong. Be strong, confide in those you trust and know your heart. You will break free one day.




Welcome to LF! I’ve only been on here a few months and have found such a tremendous form of support through the shared experience with the people on this site. Keep reading and sharing what you feel comfortable sharing. The people here KNOW *exactly* what you are talking about and can help you make sense of the madness when it’s hard to do on your own!

As for your comment: ”

What do you think? Anybody? Am I making sense, or do I seem over sensitive, emotional? I use to think I was a well educated, internatinoally travelled, empathetic, intelligent woman”.now”.I feel like a sad, broken doll struggeling to make sense of all this.”

Big (((HUGS))) to you. You make pefect sense. Our spathy ex’s make us out to be over sensative or emotional or down right crazy in order to keep gaslighting us into thinking we are actually all of these things and worse. It keeps us down, keeps us open to their control and abuse. I’m glad you found this site. You are still all of those things you used to think you were, you are just suffering the damaging effects of having tangled with a sociopath. You will find yourself again as you continue to heal and you will grow stronger as a result of this experience. Back in July, when I was completely overwhelmed, I couldn’t imagine writing what I just wrote. But it gets better. Hang in there and come here for support. No one “gets it” as well as the people on this site.


Paris: Welcome to LF. Read and feast your starving soul on the words you will find here.

I believe you and everything you said.
I have been down that path too, just like you.

MY experience lasted 10 years though.
Almost lost my life on a couple occasions and several threats.

It was like throwing ten years of my life (the last years of my life, now that I have a fatal heart condition) right smack down the garbage disposal.

Everything you said about them is true.

Love and wishes, Paris…




What do I think? Are you being oversensitive?
I think you know
what I’m going to say to that little conundrum!!

Btw, liked the playground analogy. I used to say mine suffered from BBS.

Big baby syndrome.

Ps. Well done for kicking it to the kerb


strongawoman: I have another favorite word for my favorite words list….conundrum. I think I have only ever heard that word perhaps once or twice in my life. I like it! I am also very fond of DEBACLE. hahaha THAT is exactly what my world has been the past ten years letting “IT” in the drivers seat!


Okay, done with the kerb…hehehehe

(((Happy Day strongawoman)))



Hi, how are you feeling? Hope you’re having a good day too friend.
Glad you appreciate my words.
Funny, I use debacle a lot too.

Incidentally, I’ve picked up a few choice words and phrases from you guys since bein on LF. Especially shiat! I love that. Think that came from Oxy.

In the driving seat girl! Yep a doody xx



Thank you for asking. I am doing well.
Having as good a day as I can and to tell you the truth:
crazy old spath around!!!! I can actually THINK …
The peace and quiet without that madness permeates my life…

As Ox would say: ‘shiiiiiat!’
I like relationshit too. hehehe
The Dictionary of Ox Drover…

((hugs strongawoman)))



Sorry to hear about your heart condition. I felt saddness when I read your words about wasting the last years of your life with a Spath. I’m glad you’re free now and get to enjoy some peace. God bless you.



LPMarie13: thank you so much!
How very thoughtful and sweet.

Yes, I am ‘free’ now and so grateful.
Now I can finally get some peace and quiet…

God bless you too LPMarie.



I too have collected words and phrases.

You turned a very nice phrase that goes in my collection: “feast your starving soul.”

That is SO right. Our souls are starving after being drained dry for far too long. Great phrase girlie.

ps Add me to your list of well wishers. I have some severe health issues too, which I stupidly revealed here on LF, but have since stopped discussing. Only to say, I understand what you’ve gone through and myself was only able to stop the freefall when I got to a more emotionally healthy place. We can’t stop the consequences but we can stop the freefall!



I’m sorry to hear about you, too 🙁 Why did you say “stupidly revealed here on LF?” I’m just curious. Was someone giving you a hard time?

It was so necessary for me to go NC not only with him, but his family as well in order to get to a more emotionally healthy place. Sometimes I feel guilty about my daughter not having more people around us, but I also feel like it’s more important to have a select few of chosen individuals who are healthy than to have a large extended family that is disordered and pyschologically harmful to her development. Quality vs. quantity kind of thing. I believe I’m doing the right thing. Sometimes it’s difficult because I only have the daycare center and a paid nanny to rely on for support, but I keep telling myself that it’s better than people who REALLY make us “pay” for their “help.”

Ox Drover

Paris and OneDay, Let me belatedly say “welcome” to you both….I’m glad you found your way here to LoveFraud. It has “saved” many of us from that terrible feeling of being “alone” in what has happened to us. There are many sisters and brothers here who have shared your experiences, your terror, your pain, your grief, your confusion. This is a wonderful place to sort it out and to learn and to acquire knowledge which =s POWER!

Welcome to our “club”—one no one wants to have to join, but the best one there is if you NEED to join! (((hugs))) and God bless.


KatyDid: Sorry you have health issues as well. I know all about what it is like coming through all this with health issues!

Sometimes I think that’s why they targeted us: ‘easy prey’; hey?
Already on the down and out…easier to kick than someone strong enough to handle themselves…like a vulture picking bones is what it reminds me of.

Yes, my soul has been absolutely STARVING since I met “IT”.
It didn’t get easier and more calm and relaxed as our relationship went along, it got more ugly and more violent. And, “I” am actually expected to believe any of the love bombing and gas lighting was nothing more than a ploy? Hm?

Thanks for the well wishes…
I will say prayers and send wishes your way as well.

Oh yes, that ‘free fall’ is one heck of a drop; ain’t it?
Luckily it’s padded when you finally smack the bottom.
You smack the bottom by recognizing what this has all been and you decide it’s time to move on and forward and to carry one heck of a HUGE STICK! xxoo
{And that emotionally healthy place deep inside….}
~ Blessings to you ~ Dupey


Thanks for the warm welcome. Yes, the ability to compartmentalize things so well, and the ability to be so “logical” and the word-splitting. Those things alarm me.

Can I just share something for a second, and say that I feel this is so crazy to ask but — I have noticed something, and now I am afraid that I may be getting paronoid. BUT I need to share this.

I’m the only person who drinks coffee in my house. I have a special coffee maker that brews coffee 1 cup at at time. My husband got me this coffee maker last year. He has a habit of filling it up with water from time to time. Sometimes I notice it is all filled up for me in the morning. I wonder why he takes the time to do this when he is so REMOVED from me in other ways (emotionally). We’ve been having some major problems for awhile now. Anyway. The thought has occured to me more than a few times. This thought is a horrible thought, and it’s almost embarrassing to share but that thought is — WHAT if he is putting something in my coffee water? How horrible to think this, but YET it’s not so far out of the realm of things. This is awful, yet I think that it COULD happen because I’ve experienced some things that I thought could NEVER happen and they have. So I basically have this idea that nothing is out of the realm of possibility.
We’ve been having major trouble lately, and we have considerable assets that could be divided in the case of a divorce. Quite substantial as in multiple homes, and other assets. We have these assets and yet he gets highly CRITICAL when I toss out an empty tube of tooth paste (and I do mean EMPTY to core). So he is majorly a miser, and attached to THINGS as well as IMAGE. Sure, it would be so so so much easier if I wasn’t in the picture any longer. This is horrible, I know. But these thoughts have crossed my mind.
He is also very worried about me LEAVING him. He saw a part-time job opportunity as a THREAT to him. I thought it would be a good way for me to get some exp., and to meet people, etc. He basically told me that he thought that I get this job and it’s my way of saying, “F-you, I’m outta here!” HE tells me this. Naturally my sense of esteem is low — I feel damned if I do, damned if I don’t.
Yet he goes off to work each day as a normal person.

I would like to get the water tested. Can anyone tell me how, and also, ease my mind about these thoughts?

Thank you.


as someone who was poisoned for over 20 years, I can’t ease your mind. Maybe a hidden video camera can do that.

Are you experiencing any physical symptoms?

Spaths are crafty and conniving. My spath said, “you would be so EASY to poison because you take so many vitamins supplements.” That was a tell and a misdirection because in fact, he was poisoning my food not my pills. I realized this when I left him and he emptied the refrigerator of all the evidence right away. But he didn’t touch the pills. Within a week of leaving him all my symptoms of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue had disappeared.

So with that in mind (and not to make you more paranoid but only more careful) consider that the water may be a misdirection. Or he might be doing that in order to set it up as a habit so that later, when he does poison it, you won’t notice anything different.

What I would do is simply clean it out when he isn’t looking and before you make your coffee.


I read your posts and feel HUGE concern for you. Where are you at in this process? Are you contemplating leaving him? Trying to figure out how to restore your relationship? Trying to make sense of things?

I see you at the same place I was before I realized how dangerous my husband truly is. You’re asking the questions but maybe not quite realizing that asking these kind of questions IS your answer.

My quickie response is that if you are at a place in your relationship where you wonder if the water is safe in your coffee pot, you already KNOW what he’s capable of and that realization is very scary. It means you are NOT in a safe place! I am not a person who believes that living with a dangerous man is a healthy life plan. But I do understand you may need more thinking.

By all means, rinse the pot and put in fresh water. If he questions it, simply say that coffee tastes much better when water is fresh. (irony of metaphor: ‘wake up and smell the coffee’ comes to mind.)

I’d suggest getting a therapist to help you sort things out but I have found that most therapists don’t get it and their direction may be very dangerous. Perhaps Donna has someone on her list that would work better. She has a resources guide on the main page.

I do recall that one thing I did was set up an emergency plan, clothes/cash stashed in an offsite location in case I needed to run. I will also tell you the last day I saw my X! husband was the day I got away during my intended murder. My injuries from that incomplete murder are permanent.

Take care. And I mean that literally!


Oneday ~

Sorry !! To answer your question, your county health department would probably test the water. I would have it checked out.


Oh. I didn’t think of that MiLO. What an ideal solution.

As coastal ranchers, we used to have to have our water tested but we had to tell them what to test for. Does the county test for drugs in water? Or is there a general test to show whatever is in it? I can’t get a phone answer! They refer to help online! Although I am in a city now and the bureaucracy is SUCH a joy. (not 🙂 )


Katy – Hi

That brings up a good point, I am coming from a rural community where we have our own wells. Our health department would do the test if you took a sample and told them you were looking for possible toxins. I honestly don’t know about “city water”, they may wonder why you would think there would be toxins in that water. Hmmmm

My son works for a company that makes and installs water treatment systems and I know they will test your water (for free) again if you ask about toxins I would think that they would do it.

Don’t you just love bureaucracy at it’s best.

New Beginning

Little White Horse:

I just read about your experience. How very, very frightening. A nightmare indeed. They can only hold it together for so long before something causes a major fracture in the mask or compartmentalization (sp?) and everything crumbles. Photographs, well I’ve separated out any that include my ex and have tucked them away. There is family history and mostly I know they still may hold some sense of family for my son.

LP Marie:

My son is 24 yrs old and was brought up primarily by me so he had a stable upbringing. Sadly he still lives with is Dad but they work opposite shifts and soon my son will be out on his own. It is so frightening to learn what they are capable of and to think of how many times we went to sleep next to them thinking we were in a nice, safe place. Hang in there – one day at a time.

One Day:

Ditto on what Sky said. I’m another one who had a couple decades of chronic fatigue and a laundry list of other maladies. Like Sky, mine disappeared once I removed myself from that situation.

Paris / One Day:

If I hear any of those word games or someone telling me they compartmentalize I’m headed in the other direction faster than the Roadrunner runs from Wiley Coyote.

God helps us, each and every one.




Thanks! I hope things work out for the best for your son.


New Beginning

Thank you, Marie. Only time will tell.



Thanks for a great post. This is sooo true.

“we understand according to your own experiences”

It’s why victims of a spath fill in the blanks. We make connections that aren’t there, we assume! We don’t realize that a spath is not human the way WE think of “human”.

And it’s also why when, as victims, we struggle to recover from the experience of a spath that our friends and family just don’t get it. They say “just get over it”. Because our friends and family HAVE NO POINT OF UNDERSTANDING of what it is to recover from a spath. They have no experience to draw on.

Great post.



Littlewhitehorse –

“I now look back …. many red flags in hind sight. Car brakes that failed. Unexplainable death of a kitten that I held dear. …. A fall that nearly killed me down some stairs. A sister that I was kept from seeing that confided to me many years ago that it was him that drove her to suicide.”

Snap!!! I had car brakes that failed and a petrol tank that was repeatedly filled with sugar, clogging the carburettor so that the fuel could not get through and causing my car to break down.

I had a tiny lamb that I was hand-rearing that was the love of my life; he unexplainedly died after I had had him 3 weeks and the tests I had the vet do showed he had been poisoned with something he could only have been deliberately fed. I wailed as though I had lost my own child and Superspath stood and watched my grief with great interest, as though studying what enormous distress looked like so that he could mimic it when required…

Shortly before Superspath left me, he sent me up a very large tree with an electric chainsaw, after only allowing me 20 minutes to practice cutting wood with it on the ground. I had never used one before and I was scared of having an accident with it – but I was more scared by how angry he became when I told him this. He also had his 12 year old son climb the ladder before ordering me up it; the boy tied the ladder to the tree for “safety”. The rope was loose so I refused to do the job until I had re-tied the rope myself. For my troubles I was berated and screamed at abusively – according to Superspath I was belittling his son by re-tying the rope so that it was secure. We are talking 30 foot up a tree, where I have to climb while holding onto a heavy piece of machinery; then hold on with one hand while attempting to cut branches with the other, even though the chainsaw was too heavy for me to use one-handed and even though the electric cord for it kept getting in the way and I had to keep stopping to move it so that I did not electrocute myself. Superspath? Stood underneath the tree and took photographs. I am now convinced that I was supposed to die and that his photos would be his “alibi” that he was nowhere near the tree when it happened….

I lost a good friend after he propositioned her then accused her of lying when she telephoned to tell me what he had done. She was also suicidal….

Same play book folks – just change the people and the places.

sharing the journey


The car brakes episode always bothered me but I had put it to the back of my mind. What had happened is that we were short of money for a while and had no car. He brought home this heap of junk and I refused to get in it as I was the primary one who car ferried the kids. I asked him to get it checked out first to see if it was safe.

After much arguing because I dared to question his choice of car-he drove off with it to get it tested. He came back and said verbally that the guy who tested it said it was that safe he would allow his wife to drive it. I remember joking ‘what if he didn’t like his wife’. I asked for paper proof-but he said they don’t give it in a free MOT.

Stupid me–I believed him. The brakes failed after he had driven it a few times to let me know it was safe. I got in the next morning with our 5 year old daughter and this is when they failed. It could have killed us both on a busy road-but luckily I was in a side road that was empty.

The stairs–We were staying at a overnight dinner dance. Night went fine and we had had a few drinks. Not drunk. At the end, we got up to go to our room. That’s the last I remember as I woke up in hospital getting my head stitched. I had fallen or was I pushed down a steep flight of stairs and had hit my head on a door jamb. I remember nothing. E.G tripping etc. I went back to the hotel a few days later to see if I could find a cause. There was nothing and the receptionist comfirmed that it was only me and my ex there when it happened. I put this to the back of my mind too. I suspected nothing sinister–but it bothered me.

The little kitten. My youngest daughter then five had been asking over and over for a cat. He said he hated cats so we had never had one. I begged him to change his mind claiming that I didn’t want to go to the grave having never having another cat. I had one growing up. I told him as he hadn’t had one how could he say that he didn’t like them. I got my way-and I wish I didn’t. We got this teeny kitten and my daughter and I as well as the other kids were delighted. It collapsed and died two weeks later suddenly. We had just had it at the vet two days before and it was fine.

My daughter and I were distraught. I felt so guilty-thinking that perhaps I am not meant to have a cat. He took it away quickly to some place and I never got to find out what it had died of. There were plenty of emotions to feed off that day and consecutive nights. This stuck in my mind also.

This was in his loving stage–but for some reason I filed these away.

I asked around a lot if anyone else had suffered brakes failing in there lifetime. I have never met anyone who has.

I asked around about kittens unexpectedly dying. No one had experienced it. I kept thinking-what are the chances–getting one after twenty years and it dying-how unlucky can you get. I had the best vet care and he had only been seen two days before. It nearly put me off getting another one, playing right into his plans.

Knowing how devious that he is now–these incidents come to the forefront.

Thanks Aussiegirl. I hate that it happened to you too–but it validated some strange and dangerous incidents.

New Beginning

Mask fracturing-multiple personalities?-cruel, sadistic-filled with rage. It must have always been there–under the humble, likable exterior.

P.S. Now that he is gone we have two lovely cats named tinky and millie–We have a little ornament that I found in a junk shop to remember little Tiger by.

Thanks for listening.


sharing the journey

Another thing that bothered me. When I first married him I thought his family were strange but had no name for it. They seemed to lack empathy and I always felt the odd one out. So I stopped going over unless I needed to. I didn’t like the way they spoke to children, so I kept mine at a distance.

Now I can put a name to it. They are all N’s. They are quite a closed family. No other relatives and friends and an N dad who discouraged contact with these. He was a vile man and my ex knew how I felt about him. His mum was completely dominated and controlled.

His sisters are all N.s and I felt sorry for him. Of course. I was the one who was going to give him all the love that he missed out on.

When his dad died-you would have thought that some sort of superhero passed away with the pomp and ceremony involved. My ex H was asked to perform a speech at the funeral. I was extremely surprised when he agreed to do it as he normally preffered to stay in the background and listen.

But he went up-and I felt so proud of him. He started crying profusely when reading the speech–But I had this funny feeling that he was laughing.

I knew him better than anyone in the room as I was the one who lived with him and I can’t shake this feeling that he was laughing.



Please listen to your ‘gut’ instinct, I hear a forensic psychiatrist talk about how people push that little voice inside them that warns them of danger and/or something is wrong. He went on to say that people must listen to that voice deep inside, that it may very well save your life one day.
This crosses things like relationships too, like you meet someone and your gut says…he/she is not for me. Listen to your self and walk away.
Please be safe, please if you feel this then there is merit to it. At a minimum I hope you find the strength to get away from him.



Hello Everyone!
I want to thank you all for the replies, I feel good having read the responses. I feel …not so alone, isolated, and scared to think that my situation is rare.

I gain strength daily – and being here reading/posting helps me.

I went out yesterday with friends to a happy hour, and I felt safe and happy until my male friend complimented me that I looked very pretty in my new dress. I burst out crying, I was overwhelmed with emotion. I felt so sad, my friends all hugged me until I stopped crying. It was so peaceful to be hugged with empathy and understanding.

Funny, I didn’t really realize till last night how lonely and isolated I have been with my soon to be ex-spath.

I’m going to the acquarium today, I think it is a nice peaceful place to be. I’m also thinking of adopting a kitty from the local shelter.

Have a beautiful day everyone, I check back in soon.


Ox Drover

Dear Paris, glad to have you here and glad that you are gaining strength and doing nice things for yourself. The sudden outburst of tears is a “normal” response to stress and grief, so don’t let it embarrass you or upset you…it will eventually quit.

More than anything, give yourself time to feel the feelings you feel to be alone as well as to be out with others, a balance of those things. Healing takes some time to ponder, ruminate and to just think about what has happened, what effect it has had on us and how we could have seen it coming.

We learn to set boundaries and to NOT allow people who are toxic, dishonest, not responsible, nasty, etc in our lives. We realize that other people’s problems are not ours.

God bless you and Again, glad you are here at LF!

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