As many of us have painfully learned, before sociopaths dump one victim, they usually have already targeted another. In the following letter, a Lovefraud reader asked what she should do about the new victim:
I am finally away from the sociopath, although he still continues to contact me from time to time demanding money. He has a new target—as always, a financially secure woman, vulnerable and he has “given her a shoulder to cry on.” Her father just died, her mother has cancer and she stands to inherit some valuable land and she is already “hooked” thinking that he is “so caring” and “has been there for her and she for him.” He has told her I left him took all his money, etc.—the same story I got 10 years ago.
I’d like to be selfish in this, and just let him wander on to the new target, which means he will leave me entirely alone, but I feel so bad knowing he is going to ruin the life of a naive, vulnerable woman. My predecessor told me she “thanked God every day that I came along,” and part of me wants to do the same and let him “move on,” but I feel somewhere I should warn this woman. Had my predecessor told me everything she eventually told me, things would have been a lot different. I lost everything, including my social standing, my reputation, my integrity and self respect, not to mention my company and all my assets through his wild spending and lying about “business deals” and his abilities.
My question is this: Should I contact the other woman and tell her what I know? Or can I just “mind my own business” and let nature take its course. I wish someone had told me what I was facing.
Try to warn
This is a question I’ve heard many times. Should you warn the next victim?
In my opinion, if you can do it safely, I think you should try.
If you believe the predator fits the description of a sociopath, it may help to describe him or her that way. When people realize there is a personality disorder called sociopathy, and the disorder has distinct symptoms, it may make the warning more effective.
For example, if you said, “the guy (or woman) will cheat on you and take your money,” the next target, having already been told by the predator that you’re a disgruntled lover, may assume that you’re just bitter.
But if you said, “I believe the guy (or woman) is a sociopath, and to learn more about the disorder you should read Lovefraud.com,” maybe the person will go to the Internet, look up the behaviors and then recognize the symptoms.
Will the new victim listen?
The key question, of course, is will the new target heed your warning? We all know how good sociopaths are at flattery, soliciting pity and manipulation. The sociopath has already told the new target about all the terrible things you did to him or her. The sociopath may have the new target partially or totally brainwashed. Your words may or may not get through.
Still, you know what will happen to the new target. You know the pain and devastation the predator will inflict. You know what you’ve been through, and you don’t want to wish it on anyone.
In my view, you should try to prevent another casualty. But what do you think?
Should you try? Do you think the new victim will listen? Did someone try to warn you? Did you listen?
Please post your views on the Lovefraud Blog.