lf2
By December 17, 2015 35 Comments Read More →

Sociopaths and a Greek Tragedy Revisited

GreekTradegyPic2

Now that I’ve had my own life derailed by a sociopath, and now that I know up to 4% of the population is sociopathic, I see sociopaths often in everyday life. I also see sociopaths in literature and film.  Yet, before my own life was train wrecked by a sociopath, I viewed these stories and characters as entertaining aberrations, not as anything or anyone about which I really had to worry. Weren’t sociopaths rare, and wouldn’t I somehow know if such a person entered my life?

I’m guessing I’m not that unusual.  Before it happened to you, did you know how high the odds were that your life could be profoundly scarred by a sociopath?

Why Aren’t We Warned?

Why isn’t every young adult repeatedly warned about sociopaths by their parents or even by teachers?

Young children are told to be wary of strangers. But the odds of a child being abducted by a stranger are miniscule.  The odds that someone will grow up and encounter a sociopath who will inflict significant physical, emotional or financial harm are palpable.

Examples of sociopaths wreaking havoc in people’s lives go back to the earliest times and appear in early literature—in Greek tragedy, for example. Yet, even as we study the behavior of these sociopathic individuals, teaching opportunities are lost.  Even worse, we are taught to explain away sociopathic behavior as strong responses to profound love, jealousy or betrayal, not to some individuals simply being hard wired differently—truly lacking a conscience and lacking empathy.

We Sidestep The Simple, Correct Answer

By not correctly attributing horrible behavior to a lack of conscience and empathy, the unstated implication seems to be that we all have these types of responses in our repertoire if the right buttons are pushed. But do we?  I’m not convinced.  I have studied enough psychology to understand that many of us are capable of behavior we cannot even imagine if put in the right situation.  Yet, I’m also guessing that it is often a sociopath creating that toxic situation, and the range of what a typical sociopath is capable is far beyond the range of behavior for most nonsociopaths.

What also shocks me is that even when people see behavior that looks to be caused by a lack of empathy or ethics, we excuse it away as if that simply cannot be the answer. Why aren’t we better at using literature dating as far back as Greek tragedies like Medea to reinforce important cautionary tales about life? Why is it so unpopular and deemed so unsophisticated to believe that evil people walk among us? They do and, apparently, they always have.

Medea

In the play Medea, a 431 BCE Greek tragedy by Euripides, Medea is the wife of Jason.  After Medea helps Jason obtain the Golden Fleece, she murders her brother to distract her father in order to allow her to escape with Jason.

Even after this dreadful act, Jason maintains a relationship with Medea. (Perhaps he attributes this as an act of love and loyalty for him, not a glimpse into Medea’s hollow, dark soul—a profound mistake.)  However, to forward his political aspirations, Jason soon leaves Medea for another woman—the daughter of a king.  Medea poisons the princess Jason hopes to marry, and her father, the king, is poisoned as he attempts to save his daughter.

To exact further revenge on her unfaithful husband, Medea murders two of their own children.  Medea gloats over the pain she’s caused Jason.

Wow!  Now that’s a Greek tragedy.

How Is Medea Analyzed?

When students study this play, what lessons are they encouraged to learn?  One online analysis of this play states that the play is about how Jason’s betrayal transformed Medea’s love and passion for her husband into rage, revenge and unbridled destruction.

I’m a believer in the complexity of human behavior and motivation. Yet, all science classes I ever took stress simple solutions over complex ones, all else being equal, of course. Why is it that with the prevalence of sociopaths in our world and the destruction they cause, the analysis of this play is not even simpler?

Medea is a sociopath.  Everything flows from that root cause.  She aligned herself with Jason hoping for things sociopaths crave—power and prevailing. Yet, when things did not go according to plan and Jason discarded her for another woman, Medea did what sociopaths do—seek revenge and try to destroy.

As Jason is not sociopathic (he is pained by the death of his children), there is nothing that could hurt him more than the loss of his own children.  So even though they are Medea’s children too, Medea kills her own children as a way of exacting the ultimate revenge against her husband. No remorse. Mission accomplished.

As a sociopath, other human beings, even her own children, have no value to Medea other than as pawns and leverage.  Her own children trigger no empathy, love, or maternal feelings. None. Their usefulness is in the fact that someone she wants to control, manipulate or hurt cares for them.

To A Sociopath, Children Are A Smokescreen At Best; Pawns And Leverage At Worst

Beware; as this tactic is not only part of Greek tragedy, it is part of life with a sociopath if you are a parent.  A sociopath will not hesitate to use your children to manipulate, hurt and drain you emotionally and financially.

I know this from personal experience, because my ex-husband used his considerable wealth to “buy off” one of my teenage children, insisting the child not see or contact me if the child wanted a constant flow of money and gifts.  Having this child alienated from me was emotionally gut wrenching and traumatizing.  This contributed to the profound insomnia I developed.  But, that was clearly the plan. The more my ex weakened me while we were in mediation and litigation, the less clearly I’d be thinking and the more I’d just want it all over. Years later, I still have virtually no relationship with my oldest child. Letting go of wanting a relationship with a child, with whom I was once very close, has been brutally hard.

What was best for my youngest child was used repeatedly to try to extort money and concessions from me (e.g., in exchange for allowing one child to continue in karate, a sport in which he excelled, my husband wanted me to pay him thousands of dollars so he’d allow our son to attend classes the weekends my son was supposed to be with him.)  My ex-husband is wealthy and does not need the money, but he knew I needed the money to continue defending myself against him in court.

A sociopath will use any means possible to hurt.  He or she will not hesitate to use their own children—think of Medea.

A Red Flag Ignored; A Huge Price Paid

Like so many victims of sociopaths, Jason had a huge red flag, but ignored it.  Medea murdered her own brother so she and Jason could escape. Perhaps she framed her brutality as a sign of the depth of her love for Jason. But wait a minute!  She just murdered someone.

To think that that kind of evil would always be used for his benefit and never turned against him makes Jason beyond naïve. Yet, we do this all the time. We excuse behavior that is callous, unethical and unfeeling, even sometimes glamorizing it as being savvy and “just business,” (Wow, he really screwed his ex-wife in their divorce”¦ha, ha, ha, ha, way to go!).  At the same time, we fail to take away an important kernel of truth—even in the absence of any unusual circumstances the person at issue is capable of monstrous, unethical behavior.  That should bother us. But even if it doesn’t, to think that someone capable of horrific acts will never direct such behavior against us or someone we love”¦well, that’s naïve.

Medea As Sociopath—The True Lesson Of The Play

That Medea is a dangerous sociopath and that Jason missed a pretty big warning flag should be the moral of the story, not that once betrayed, Medea’s deep love and passion were transformed into rage and revenge.  After all, if she was a sociopath, she was not capable of feeling love for anyone.  She always craved power and prevailing.  Looked at that way, she was never transformed, but remained true to her dark sociopathic self throughout. If she ever appeared any other way, it was just a ruse to get what she wanted from other people, because that’s what sociopaths do.

(What I learned about sociopaths from my corrosive marriage and toxic divorce is chronicled in my book Husband, Liar, Sociopath: How He Lied, Why I Fell For It & The Painful Lessons Learned, available via Amazon.com.)

Identifying names, places, events, characteristics, etc. that I discuss here and in my book have been altered to protect the identity of everyone involved.


Comment on this article

35 Comments on "Sociopaths and a Greek Tragedy Revisited"

Notify of

Great post!

Children as a smokescreen and pawns…yes.

A sad fact.

Well maybe this is the best thread to place my comments/questions. I have exposed my sociopathic husband with whom I’ve been in divorce proceedings for almost 1.5 years (I’m no closer to being divorced than I was back then and in fact I’m becoming depressed as then I had hope to be divorced and now that is fading). In fact I have tried being super nice, amenable, and that didn’t seem to work. Being divorced from the narc to me doesn’t just mean I’m free of his physical abuse and legal ties (which is huge) it means I can go get a job, move out of state-begin my life. Back to exposing him. I sent his medical group receipts of his alcohol consumption gallons and gallons of Vodka (he could “explain” that he has parties but that would be a hard sell since they know he doesn’t have parties and he works 75 hours per week). These receipts are two months old and included three months of non stop purchasing of cheap vodka. I also sent them copies of his drunken vicious threatening v/m’s (his “explanation” the v/m are years old-not true). I haven’t gotten a reaction directly from him but some of his flying monkeys let me know what he is saying/his lies. I’m not sure what work is going to do but the truth is out there and I’m sure there will be more “truths” to come. I did this to protect my reputation/set the record straight. My question is this. He has spent more than a decade developing his fake facade at work. He has so protected that image I wasn’t allowed to go near work for longer than I can remember. He has no other outlets but his image at work. So I really expected my divorce to settle-nope it hasn’t happened. Why would a sociopath allow (he knew this was coming) his image to be hurt to drag out a divorce that is inevitable? My friend said he’s the kind of guy who would sever his artery just to spurt blood on your face. What insight can you give me as to what is going on? He seems to be willing to lose everything and has even stated he is willing to go to prison. Please help.

Becomingstrong,

Forget about becoming strong, you are clearly already strong! I’m so sorry to hear about your situation. What a nightmare. I don’t have experience with divorcing a spath, although from reading your posts I can offer this much…it doesn’t matter what you do, his reputation or what consequences he may face. It sounds like his ultimate goal is control. Of you. And it’s working. He is maintaining control by dragging out the divorce.

You may have exposed him, however keep in mind the outcome of exposing him may not be what you expext. As you say, he has his reputation and is a charming manipulator. Often the more we try to expose the crazier they make us seem to other people.

Consider trying to focus solely on your actions and what’s best for you and your children. Easier said than done. You are concerned about your reputation and rightfully so. That’s something that I’ve had to let go of for my own well being and safety. The more I tried to change people’s opinions the crazier I seemed and the more reaction he got from me, which is exactly what he wanted.

Have you looked into the gray rock method? If not, Google it. It might be a good way for you to communicate with him moving forward when dealing with him and his minions. Speaking of his flying monkeys, they are not to be trusted, ever. It might be worth not communicating with mutual friends unless you know for sure you can trust the person. Even then it’s hard to say. I thought I could trust my own best friend of many years and I found out she was sharing everything with him.

My heart and prayers go out to you. Hopefully your divorce will come to an end in the near future. In the meantime, consider not adding any fuel to his fire, which means all contact, especially emotional contact (being nice, sad, angry, mean, trying to prove yourself, etc). He will love and feed off any reaction you give him, doesn’t matter what it is. Any reaction from you means he still has control. That’s where you might find the gray rock method helpful.

I hope all of this doesn’t sound harsh. I just speak from my personal experience. Fortunately I was able to go no contact. This is clearly not your case.

You are taking steps forward and it sounds like you have found at least some peace. You’ve come to a good place. This site saved me. We’re here for you.

Keepingon,
Thank you for insight. I think you are right it dangerous waters to take these types on. Unfortunately/fortunately, I have a license to protect and if I allowed the allegations to go unaddressed I could lose it. Exposing him for exposure sake was secondary. I also was very careful not to insert emotion, opinion, adjectives or anything when I sent the information to his work. Sure it’s sour grapes but hard to call me crazy (which is something he already has done) when I gave them no fodder. Fortunately, hearing him rage on message after message definitely makes look the crazy he is. And I didn’t have to say a word. I can only look better when I am myself than when he keeps me at bay and is allowed to paint an ugly picture. I have tried greyrock and it got me nothing but more evasion of court orders, slander, angry children. Because of the nature of the proceedings I have to go on the offensive but I always try to look blank and show no emotion when doing so. I also have gone no contact and I haven’t spoken to him, emailed him, etc… for more three months. You don’t harsh you sound like you giving sound advice and direct and to the point. I’ve no contact to protect myself and he has gone no contact to punish me and the children who live with me. Good. These flying monkey’s who work under him who got my email and said, “those receipts are not xxxx they are yours and you got his account from the where house in the divorce.” So I knew what the lies were, not his account, not purchase, and he’s divorced. LIES. I just deleted and blocked. Luckily for me he has inroads into my life. I have removed my relationships away from him a long long time ago. Those children of ours who wanted to live him do. I just wonder if this will ever end. I have no more children to lose to that Spath.
Thank you again and please keep your advice coming.

Becomingstrong,

Thanks for sharing and explaining. It makes sense that you would need to protect your license and reputation on that end. Not your personal reputation. You have certainly come far and have taken/explored all the right steps.

I loved that you pointed out you’re no contact for your well being and his is for silent treatment and punishment! Pretty sure a lot of us know that feeling all too well!

I don’t have much to offer on the divorce side of things, however I know many LF readers do. My ex husband was a spath and the divorce was a nightmare. We didn’t have children so it didn’t drag on like yours. That was years ago.

I do know first hand what it’s like to want something to end and to move on. I’ve been stalked for a long time. I’m finally coming to some peace with it although it’s hard to manage my life and live how I’d like while being stalked. Now I just look at what I can do for myself. I get to chose my reactions and responses to every thing he chooses to do, no matter how little or how small. He doesn’t get to choose how I handle things, that’s all me. I look at the things I can change, the things I can’t and go from there. Sometimes there are things I can change and I don’t do anything. I get tired of making changes (phone numbers, emails, etc) because of him and feel better when I take action on my own time and own accord. I would love it to all stop and live free of him. Until then, I stay patient for my own sanity. He is relentless. Sounds like your ex is too.

Becoming strong were we with the same guy? mine also forbid me to go to his work and would not include me with any social events with these people. As far alcohol, minimum 1/2 gallon a day (drank all day and night ) Although i do not know your guy i do feel that they do this to keep up their image. Its almost like they do not want the superficial people in their life to actaully know you as when things go south its easy for them to trash you. I feel your pain. Mine has done the same thing to me. People easily say ” dont let it bother you” but it hurts me deep. Everytime i hear a new lie about me or find out about yet another thing/girl he lied to me about..it reopens the wound.

Keepingon, That is terrible. How long have you stalked, if you are comfortable to answer? I don’t get it. I’m just learning about this and what I’ve read most sites said that they move on to new prey pretty quickly. Is that not correct? Or do some stalk while grooming the new prey? What do you think are the differences between the one’s that move on and the one’s that don’t? I do wonder once I’m finally divorced, if that ever happens, if he’ll just move on or I will continue to be the focal point. How does one ever shake these types, emotionally and physically? Personally, I didn’t want to play the visitation nightmare game that they play. Been there done that. He would go from pounding on my door in the middle of the night and calling incessantly to not calling the kids for months. I did’t want kids crying for their daddy blaming me for keeping him away. A daddy who was never around and when was always had a drink clinking in his glass. A dad who pummeled mom and then would go play Mr. Sweet Wonderful Everone Loves Doctor. A dad who managed to brainwash those kids into believing he was all important, with very little effort or time invested in the programing, and I was dirt. Thank you for responding and I hope to hear more about your ordeal. Is there a way to look it up on the site so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel if you don’t want to?

whathappened, that is a boat load of of alcohol. Could he function at work? What kind of image did he have at work? How much contact do you have? Mine would drink half a gallon of vodka a week, on average (in fact his alcohol consumption was as regimented and predictable as everything that pertained to “his” schedule/life”-I used to say he whipped up a hurricane and we all were thrashed around and he never moved an inch). Mine would drink and still put in 70-80 hours a week at work. That was the interesting part for his work. He is a permanent fixture down at work and manages to down that amount of alcohol. How did yours keep you from work? Mine would use a mixture of keeping so emotionally down I could barely function, to, when I did get a job, coming down and begging me in front of my office to quit as I was “neglecting” my motherly duties, to see how much I love you that I afford you the “luxury” of being a full time mother. The fact is he couldn’t afford to have be leave the house I might have a life and discover his shenanigans. He blamed me for his drinking and told me he never drank before meeting me-lie. I do understand when you say it upsets you to hear/see him with another girl. I too grapple with that. The benefit of having no contact with them is you don’t hear it. I share no mutual friends with him. I have removed him from my life as much as possible. I do know that he find a “mommy” for the three kids who live with him. I keep asking myself and remind myself of this question, if will take one month or one year before he belts her across the face. Mine was such a expert deceiver (a name I use because he rarely ever told an outright lie since he’d have to remember it) he managed to hide his infidelities though I always sensed he was a cheat. I could never find the evidence but I know he did. Look at what we loved, “mean alcoholic, abusive, demeaning, soul robbing, life sucking creeps..” But we cared/care and it hurts and of course it bothers us. It was our life for christ sake.

Becomingstrong,

My story is a very long and complicated one. At this point I’m not comfortable sharing too much. I know the harm it can cause, this being a public site. I’ve been on this site under different names. I’m sure some have figured it out, which means there’s a possibility he has. That said, I’m fine revealing even this much because I’m to the point I don’t think me sharing would matter much anymore and have even considered sharing my story with Donna for the world to read.

I consider myself a survivor of stalking, although it continues and no one should have to go through this. I shouldn’t have to live this way but I do.

My therapist gives me a lot of insight. Just recently I told her how it doesn’t make sense, this continuous stalking. Her response is that abusers never make sense and it’s not up to us to figure out why they do what they do. They have their own motives, mainly control. A woman may only go on two dates and be stalked. He may feel she’s wronged him or has a right to her. Who knows.

Yes, they can still stalk while grooming and while in a relatonship(s). Did your ex ever sleep? Mine didn’t. He didn’t sleep, was on his computer, was always on the go in waking hours. I think it’s very possible I’m not the only one he keeps tabs on.

I used to feel in danger of my life. I still do sometimes. But now I think of myself as his human facebook page that he feels the need to check up on me (covertly) and sometimes adds fear factors that are more obvious. It’s like he wants to know what I’m up to and sometimes I figure he anticipates I’ll react somehow. I’m sure his anticipated ideas of the fears he thinks he’s causing me excites him. Again, control.

Some of these people discard and move on. Many don’t stalk but never truly go away. In your case, your ex is not letting go and is very controlling. Even after your divorce is finally over, it’s a big possibility he still tries to manipulate and find ways. He’s already proved this through the courts and your children. How old are your children?

I assume, because you have taken so many steps and seem thorough, that you have documented a lot. If you have in fact documented pay attention to his behavior patterns. Their patterns are key and tend to stay true. I imagine his patterns would stay similar even after the divorce. Unless he just goes away, which is unlikely considering your history/children.

For example, I don’t have enough details, but his relenlesness in court, his silent treatment…all of that is for a gain. Usually there’s some kind of cycle within things like these. Think about his behaviors/cycles when you were together and his behaviors when you first split. You may find a commonality.

I mention the cycle, only because it’s helped me with my stalking, however I also have a friend dealing with an ex husband spath (they share a child) and his patterns prepare her for what’s coming next, even if she doesn’t know exactly what he may do. Their patterns benefit us.

I understand, safety first. I have relative who has been stalked three times. She was very active in her community and attracted two stalkers over a period of years who were stingers and one was a boyfriend. These stalker types are insidious. One eventually went to prison, yes prison and I’m not sure what happened to the second and the third is currently being investigated for stalking. The pattern about which you speak for me have changed as far as his tactics. Really, when I look back he discarded me a while ago.I don’t think for per say another woman. So I was hoping when I filed for divorce things wouldn’t be so awful. But I guess he wasn’t done with me entirely. You are right about the high energy. I was amazed at his energy level and little sleep. Where does this come from? some days he would go in at 6 a.m. come home at midnight, sleep for two hours and go back at 2 a.m. and come back at 5 a.m. and not sleep till the night at 11 p.m. I couldn’t keep up with it I was always exhausted. He seemed like a machine. What are your thoughts about this? Interesting observation. I hope to move far far away and sad to say until things calm down I’m not doing visitation. I hope that you are finding some measure of peace.

I am curious. I have seen others post about being afraid that their stalker would find them on these sites. My question is how would they know these stalker types even know to look on websites about sociopaths unless they know they are labelled sociopaths and we consider them sociopaths. In my case, I only have used that term once. I really didn’t know what I was dealing with until I did what I think most people do and start googling characteristics and then it leads us to these sites. In fact, I’ve looked at sites, this one included, where I notice posts going back years and I find myself scratching my head wondering where I’ve been all this time and why didn’t I know.

With mine i think he has. He knows something is wrong with him. He diagnosed himself with bi-polarII. (gotta love web md) of corse he would never see the total evil in himself at his core. Think with them they are in denial. I think he actually believes the lies and stories he tells.

Yes, I think that they really do believe the lies and stories…because they want to believe so badly that they really did do something they said they did or that they really told the truth and did not lie.

It’s really quite manic, when you get down to it.

It’s like they are trying to make themselves believe, just like they are trying to make us believe…

Becomingstrong,

That’s horrible about your relative being stalked. I’ve had more than one and can only hope they’ll be in prison one day. Just like love fraud, I think stalking needs to be taken way more seriously.

As for the high energy, I stated making connections when reading others posts and then I researched it. It’s a trait for sure. So strange. My ex would sleep only a few hours and be ready to go! He exhausted me. And when I was tired he’d intentionally find a way to disrupt my sleep. He used my time, energy and sleep in so many ways. It’s a manipulation tactic to wear us down. We’re easier to abuse that way.

Sorry I didn’t get back sooner. Been reading some of your posts. How are you doing?

High energy is right. I thought his “schedule” alone would break me. Up at 5 a.m. on Sunday, just because. He would say, “Why are you always so tired?”- Really??? I need to research this. My kids a few months ago told me that he now naps (really? strange). I guess he doesn’t have me to feed off of and has low energy levels???

I don’t see an end to this divorce. His goal is to prolong this divorce, rage to his attorney (which I saw him publicly do), drag this out, accuse his lawyer in court of malpractice, and leave me without an attorney because it is becoming too much for my attorney (who btw has a reputation for being a hard ass willing to go to trial). Really? In spite of having motions set in my favor, the judge is getting what I’m up against and has set hearings on his own (highly unusual) that couldn’t be heard during the last hearing because of my husband’s gas lighting, Having him by the proverbial balls and now my lawyer is waffling. Confusing and demoralizing for sure.
Do you ever think you will be free of him? Have things improved at all? My husband used to call me, when he was at work in the middle of night. I used to tell him that he never called me during the day why did he call in the middle of the night and to stop. He wouldn’t stop until I started having my friends call “me” in the middle of night and waking him. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

Becomingstrong,

Of course you’re ex is taking naps now! And that he would call in the middle of the night after you asked him not to. They always do opposite of what we ask. Controlling much?

Your divorce process sounds horrible. It’s a blessing the judge is aware of what you’re up against. About your lawyer, wow. So is he waffling because your ex is convincing or he’s just over it? I enjoyed heard of lawyers throwing in the towel when things get to be too much. Have you considered hiring a criminal attorney? Kaya, which posts on here, went that direction and it served her well. Criminal attorneys know the ins and outs when it comes to people like this.

Can’t really say if my situation is improving. He’s still up to his tricks but it seems more intermittent now. He’s covert, so who knows. All I care about is that I’m handling things better and have taken my life back. I take steps when absolutely necessary to fix things he does but other than that I let things go. Keeps me sane. I’m intentionally boring in hopes he goes away, although my therapist says me being “boring” most likely doesn’t matter much to him. I still live my life and enjoy it, I just remain on the down low.

Becoming strong i LOVE your description “mean alcoholic, abusive, demeaning, soul robbing, life sucking creeps..” i am going to write this out and carry it around with me. I was a mess at my job but kept it together because i had to support myself. I had no idea til a year into it how bad his drinking was. As far as How mine functioned..have no idea how he managed to keep his job he called out sick alot. And unlike yours being a doctor, mine was more of a bottom feeder in the employment world. He actually ended up homeless! I have been ashamed to share my whole story on here. It does help to hear others and i admire everyone’s courage to share. I do find the more i share it does help. Even as a type this out i think…wtf. How is it we pitty and mourn the loss of these creeps?

And like you too i know mine cheated. He could totally twist facts but the truth was there. It was like i had a sick connection with him. I always knew before he actually told me a lie. I can’t explain it, I’d wake up in the morning and have this odd gut feeling that today he was going to lie about something…and sure enough EVERY time…i never want that kind of connection again!

Whathappened, I understand the need to have mean, lying soul robbing Ps in our lives. What great achievement and act of love is there than to donate our own soul to someone who lacks one. When I left my P I decided that the biggest difference between him and me is I’m not ashamed of how I treat people and he is (well he probably doesn’t feel shame but more like it wouldn’t be good for people to know). I will never again live in a lie and I will shine the light on the whole thing-while he recoils in the shadows and lurks in the dark. There is nothing bad about me he can say he only has lies. I will never live in the dark again the truth is my greatest weapon. I will go armed into battle with it. If they can keep us living in the dark and in shame they’ve won. I’m not ashamed that my husband blew out my eardrum when I was pregnant, I am not ashamed that he belittled and verbally abused me in front of my children, I am not ashamed that he ran me out of my home in the middle of the night in the winter with only a nightgown on, I am not ashamed. I am ashamed that I hid it because if I didn’t hide it maybe history would be different so I will never hide again. Don’t you hide. Hold your head high you have nothing to be ashamed of.

Wow! Excellent point!! Guess if more people are willing to expose them for who they truely are than they wouldnt be able to hide and act the victim. Its so strange how they only slip with those that get closest to them. Makes me feel like he was aware of what he was doing. Otherwise he would have treated everyone like me. Which goes against what ive read that they can’t help it? So confusing?

Of course he was aware that he was treating like dirt and how do we know this because they lie. My husband would say it’s normal to drink like I do, it’s normal to behave the way I do and if you don’t like it you can “go preach it to the choir.” Knowing I wasn’t a card carrying member of the choir and I was virtually imprisoned in my home and I had a strong need to “protect” my family aka: hide the truth to protect him, that wasn’t going to happen. But when I did expose him he was singing a different tune to his work, not my receipts, Voicemails were a momentary remote one time occurrence. I say what happened to this normal and okay? It isn’t okay is it. If I roll over all I get is more but if I go on the offensive it knocks him off balance-see how it works? He knocked me off balance all those years. I think if you can move on and not be ashamed and not hide who he is when asked is the best. If you can cut the deadweight out of your life even better. But when we go out in the world and think everyone but me is picture perfect and I’m the oddity so I better hide my scars then you are doing yourself a disservice.

Good point lie after lie. Mine also said real men drink. I have him out no contact, or more like he went silent once he secured a replacement. Its just cruel how they are. And thanks for your advice you are right if they are going to lie about us we should not pity them or feel shame for sharing the facts of what did.

I believe our strong heart can be used in their favor while they control us but once the control is over it can be used against them. You see, unlike them, we have the courage of our convictions. We stand for something greater than ourselves, they don’t. This is why you courageous victims of these horrible people are on here, helping yourselves and helping others. They do no such thing. When we’re done feeling shame, and we’re done protecting them, and we’re just done with them, we can finally realize our full potential. And about this discarding part of the relationship, isn’t really we discarded them? Isn’t we were tired of the abuse and distanced ourselves, try to protect ourselves and became less and less useful to them? They recognized our discarding them before we did and they just did us the favor? Just a thought.

True. I tried to leave once , than did the mistake of talking to him again. And listened to his words forgetting his actions. He would say that he felt i was too good for him and one day i would leave him. Just thought he was insecure..i could show i loved him and would stand by him through anything. Isnt that what we all want? Its like a game..they want you to want them and when you are done they put on the show again to confuse you. And i will start thinking of it like you stated, they did us a favor. It was now that i think about it the only loving jesture he ever did for me, even if he doesn’t realize it.

They can’t help being mean because they have no regard for you. But they know they are being mean because if they didn’t they would just beat you in public and not behind closed doors. They would guzzle vodka at work and snarl at work. They don’t because work has boundaries we don’t. Work wouldn’t hide their behavior but we do. And why because we have zero credibility by the time they are done. I’ve learned to use narco lingo when I speak about him, “I am concerned about his increasing erratic behavior (concerned for myself of course but they aren’t) I hope he’s okay.

Yes we were their punching bags for all the issues they had going through their head. I cant figure out why this one destroyed me emotionally. Becomingstrong your words have helped me so much. Part of my shame is that he was not my first psychopath/alcoholic. I divorced one too. And i can relate to what your situation having children with one. Although we have no contact he still scares me. And through the long divorce i had to obtain a restraining order to keep him from harming me. This is where my shame lies. It took me awhile to trust. I never let any man get too close. I thought i found the right man and totally let him into my heart and soul…and surprise! Way to repeat the pattern. It scares me it will happen again?!?

What happened,well you are in good company, my husband is not my first sociopath either. In fact, I can safely say I have never had a “serious” relationship with someone other than a sociopath. My first serious relationship lasted 10 years and he was actually on his best behavior for 8 and then we got married and all bets we off. He actually underwent psychological evaluation and was diagnosed as a narcissist. My friend says that if a man becomes interested in me it is proof they are a sociopath. How’s that for encouragement for ya😉. But I do choose my friends well and I have wonderful friends some we’ve been friends for over 25 years (and yes I did meet them when I was 2 years old- got to insert humor when you can). These abusive types can be so damaging and so addicting we can hardly see straight. My friends are always asking me ever time my husband does something mean, which is his usual course of action, “aren’t you disgusted with him he’s really gross?” I say yes I am but I still love him. But time has shown me that I can have all the unhealthy feelings for him without ruining my future. I can just treat my love for him like a pet hamster, take it out of the cage now and then and pet it and then out it back and go on with my day free of the real him.

I guess my point is it is difficult to stop “loving” the sociopath. Maybe instead of trying to fall out of love as a way to heal, I find that putting that love in a place in which you can feel the love you had (until it slowly dies) without feeling like you have to be with that person physically. I started with small exercises in which I told myself I’m not going to think about him for the next hour, then two hours and so on. In that hour I didn’t think about him I forced myself to do something positive for myself. As far as the future goes, I am going to just out one foot in front of the other and try not to think too far ahead-which is a behavior that kept me in the marriage.

Good idea. Baby steps. Im doing better today. Closed all my social media so I’m not tempted to peek. Althought when i did it just confirmed that is still telling lies. He even lied about his education. I tell myself when i think of him he will continue to repeat the pattern with everyone he is with. The fantasy i created is not him. Today i am ok with knowing i loved him and he is incapable of loving someone in return. He will always be on the train wreck to hell and i am grateful to be of that ride!

whathappened,

Glad you are doing better. You are right about him always being a train wreck and you don’t want to buy a ticket on that train. My son, who is usually very quiet, asked me, “mom why didn’t you get dad help for his drinking, why didn’t you push the issue?” I told him, “first it was not my job to convince an adult to fix himself and secondly, the drinking was never the primary issue, it was just a symptom of his real problem.” My son then said, “what was his real problem?”, “his intense desire to destroy anyone who got close to him, the drinking was just camouflage to distract us from the real problem.” Interesting that I always knew that the drinking wasn’t the issue though I didn’t real understand what the issue was. I never did address his drinking with him. No thanks, I think I’ll walk.

Kids are so observant. Mine asked me “why does daddys voice change when he drinks his drink? Will that happen if i drink too much milk?”. Again thank you for making me count my blessings that i do not have kids ith the latest. I had miscarried a child, i was so scared to tell him i was pregnant, didnt know how than god interviened and i never had to. You would think he would have noticed something was off? Wow it really does help to share!
Can i ask, how long did it take for you to get to this point in healing? You have great insite. Thanks so much for sharing it really has helped change my perspective!!

becomingstrong, are you still with him? if so, do you know if there are others “sharing the marital bed” as it were? i didn’t think my ex was cheating on me. He was extremely careful but after being with him for more than 20 years I discovered that he’d been cheating on me throughout our marriage. You need to ask yourself, “What will I do when he’s taken everything he can and takes off with one of those women OR MEN?! (that wasn’t really a big shock, he admitted to being bisexual just before he left, NICE!) You still need to be able to live your life in reasonable comfort. I also discovered that my ex had been squirreling money away for years, especially my family trust fund. Save yourself more heartache and trouble in the future, hire a private investigator, find out ALL of the marital assets and get a good divorce attorney. in the end you’ll be glad you did. You may be able to recoup the money, your self esteem and start over, but you’ll NEVER get back the years you wasted with him. How many are you going to give him? By the way, love is not a one way street.

Dear Rosie,

No I am not with him. I filed for divorce almost a year and a half ago. I don’t know for certain whether he cheated. I grappled with that question for a while until I figured out it didn’t really matter whether he did or didn’t. If cheating “was all” he was guilty of maybe I could have gotten to the bottom of it but he was a mean drunk and I didn’t feel at all safe locked behind closed doors with him. Thank you for your advice. I have managed to, because he was too lazy, be the one in charge of the finances (except for his earnings during the pendency of this divorce). I have secured enough money to see me through this divorce without the constant worry. I once hired a detective when I really wanted to find out if he cheated, nothing came up. The hardest part is accepting that some of my children adore him, want to sacrifice their future and happiness, and live with him. I can’t and won’t try to convince them they are wrong. How are you doing? how long have you been separated/divorced? What do your children think of him? What steps have you taken to move on with your life, both emotionally and financially?

Kids are observant and so is yours. I notice these sociopaths don’t notice much unless they have to. Mine would never ask me anything otherwise it might mean I thought he cared about me and we couldn’t have that now could we. If one of my children looked like he/she was in a down mood my husband would address it immediately, however, I could look like a beaten down piece of trash and he would never ask. Every day he had remind how ignored me. It’s interesting that you think I’m healed. I’m not, far from it. I walk around with a pit in my stomach most days. I just know that I can’t continue with him unless I am prepared to become a robot. I think I would become a robot if I thought I could but no matter how hard I tried not to care what he did or said I couldn’t stop caring. So I decided three months ago I was going to become informed as to what happened to my life. Now I know, I married a sociopath, not once but twice. To keep on the right track, due North, I remind myself every day that I was someone’s daughter, and I was loved, and invested in, and my parents didn’t want this misery for me (both my parents died in my twenties). I think about all the things large and small that my mother did for me, I did deep most days. The healing for me will happen when I get divorced and move away. I am determined to make that happen. I am determined to be better. I am determined to be in charge of my own life and when I shut the door and the end of the day I know I am safe place, I am locking out the bad instead of being locked in with the bad. I do take pleasure in showing him I am smarter and stronger than he is. I love showing him that an empathic person can flick a person they love off when they’ve have had enough. I love that he cannot control me physically and the emotional control will whither away. I love watching him blow in the wind.

Good girl, get out. You and your kids deserve so much better.

Dear Rosie,

I have gotten physically out and live on my own but he won’t move the divorce forward and I’m terrified that I will never get a divorce. I’ve hired the very best attorney I can one with a reputation for taking on the hard cases and going to trial and I’m beginning to sense my attorney is waffling. I hope I’m wrong would hate to change attorneys midstream, both for financial reasons and that I have finally positioned myself legally in gaining/will gain the upper hand. He hopes to wear me down, after a year and a half, we still don’t even have his paystub. He has been held in contempt and fined and more to come but I fear my lawyer might throw in the towel. Then what?

Send this to a friend