By | March 26, 2012 184 Comments

Sociopaths and double lives

Recently, a reporter was inquiring about people who live double lives. Why do they do it? Can they maintain double lives for a long time? What are the dangers?

Like most of us at Lovefraud, I have some experience with this. My ex-husband, James Montgomery, cheated with at least six different women during our 2.5-year marriage. He had a child with one of the women. Ten days after I left him, he married the mother of the child, which was the second time he committed bigamy. And of course, he took a quarter-million dollars from me—spending much of the money entertaining these other women.

Not everyone who lives a double life is a sociopath. Some people, like spies and undercover cops, are doing their jobs. But for all those people who don’t have a legitimate reason for creating an alternate existence—why do they do it?


Sociopaths are social predators who live their lives by exploiting others. When sociopaths live double lives, the prime reason is probably because it enables them to exploit multiple people simultaneously.

This is especially true of the parasites that sponge off of their romantic partners. I’ve heard of many, many cases in which sociopaths, both male and female, are involved with two, three or even more romantic relationships at once, and taking from all of their partners—money, sex, cars, entertainment, whatever. Essentially the sociopaths are looking for supply, and the more sources of supply they have, the better.


Another reason for double lives is the promiscuity of sociopaths. Most sociopaths have a high appetite for sex, amazing stamina, and get bored easily. Consequently, what they really want in their sex lives is variety. So they hook up with a variety of people, in a variety of places, and engage in a variety of sex acts.

Often, however, the sociopaths’ sexual partners do not share these wide-ranging proclivities. But the sociopaths don’t bother to tell the truth about what they’re doing. The sociopaths simply pursue their sexual agendas with multiple people, but keep everyone separate. Sometimes this involves elaborate ruses and manipulation.

Thrill of the game

This leads to another point—many sociopaths simply love the game. They love getting over on people—one expert called this “duping delight.”

For example, one night shortly after we were engaged, my ex-husband came to visit me. He was driving a strange car. When I asked him whose car it was, he told me an elaborate story about it belonging to a military buddy. The truth was that he had another woman staying with him for a week, and he drove her car to my house. I don’t know what reason he gave her for taking her car, but whatever it was, it was unnecessary. He could have driven his own car. I believe Montgomery just wanted to take her car to visit me for the thrill of getting over on both of us.

I’ve heard of other cases like this. A woman brought one man that she was dating to a trade association dinner in which another man she was dating was being presented with an award. Why? For the fun of seeing one guy squirm, and the other guy clueless.

Mask of normalcy

Finally, some sociopaths hold a job, have a family, maintain a house and go to church to provide cover for their true pursuits—sex, drugs, crime and perhaps even murder. This is how some famous serial killers operated, such as Dennis Lynn Rader, the BTK killer. He worked, was a church deacon, and killed 10 people. His wife of 34 years never knew of his desire to “bind, torture and kill.”

Even when they aren’t killers, many sociopaths establish “normal” lives to make it easier to pursue their exploitative interests. Some sociopaths are also extremely concerned about their image. They want to keep their places in society, and having a spouse, family, job and a hot car all contribute to their status.

In answer to one of the questions at the beginning of this article, many sociopaths can, indeed, maintain the double lives for many, many years. I’ve heard from plenty of women who were married 10, 20, 25 years—and then were shocked to discover what their husbands were doing throughout their entire marriage.

Dangers of the double lives

Yes, I suppose some sociopaths face danger because of their double lives—but honestly, I’m not overly concerned about them.

But the dangers to unknowing partners are serious. Sociopaths bleed their partners of money to fund their extracurricular activities. As I reported in my new book, Red Flags of Love Fraud—10 signs you’re dating a sociopath, 20 percent of Lovefraud survey respondents said that their sociopathic partners infected them with sexually transmitted diseases. In this blog, I’ve reported at least two cases of men who were convicted of knowingly transmitting HIV to unknowing sex partners.

But even when partners aren’t physically harmed by the double lives of sociopaths, the psychological damage of betrayal is profound. Discovery of the truth leads to two kinds of shock: The shock at the callous actions of the sociopath, and the personal shock that the partner was totally in the dark.

Recovery, for the targets, can be long and difficult. In the meantime, the sociopaths simply move on to another life.

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This is exactly what happened to me.I was the other women being lied to.the wife as well as myself were total victims. It’s been 6 months no contact and a long but brighter road ahead. I am so grateful that this site exists. It’s my only insight on the mind and working of these disgusting people and the damage they cause. This man has almost all of the red flags and now I get it. It was easy for this man because I knew him since I was age six. An old family connection so there was instant trust when we reconnected. I was blind but was important is now I see.


Donna, thank you so very much for this article – it couldn’t have been posted at a more appropriate time.

I have been sort of backpedaling and trying to convince myself that the exspath had held a government position for nearly 2 decades, that we owned real estate, that our bills were paid (so I believed), and that it really wasn’t THAT bad, was it?

Dear godalmighty, he compartmentalized his interests in violent sex against women even before we were married. He maintained this interest and his vile activities with others throughout our marriage. Sex with him was like having sex with a stranger – always – no words of endearment or whispers of love. Just a thoroughly icy distant stare throughout the process without any concern for my pleasure. His self-indulgent legitimate “nonsexual” hobbies that changed nearly like clockwork every 9 months.

THEN….the liquidation of my private resources. NOW….he’s exacting financial retribution for having been kicked out of the deviant closet and being exposed for the Thing that he is – a USER and TAKER.

Here, I’ve been feeling sad for what I’d lost on an emotional and financial level. I’ve been questioning whether things were as bad as all that to end the marriage. Anyone else do this in their process? PLEASE, advise on this!

I should be feeling righteous indignation and moral outrage! Instead, I’m feeling sorry for myself, I guess, and how I shouldn’t be IN this position! OKIE DOKIE!!!!

I really need some “Towanda,” at this point! LOL



Truthspeak, most of us have done that very thing, question ourselves when confronted with the truth. Deep down I knew what was wrong but I sure didn’t want it to be so and doubting myself seemed reasonable. NOT! But getting through that was tough. Stay strong and believe in yourself.



It’s cog/diss and it’s horrible. We all do it. I think it’s because we wanted it to be real and not a lie…we wanted all the lies to be true. It’s really tough, but we will all get to peace someday.


Donna ~ Very timely article for me. I come from an entirely different side of this “Double Life” and for me I am not sure there is any recovery.

“Another reason for double lives is the promiscuity of sociopaths.” “Consequently, what they really want in their sex lives is variety. So, they hook up with a variety of people, in a variety of places, and engage in a variety of sex acts.” Well, that about covers it for my daughter.

While I have been aware for a long time that she is on multiple dating web sites, advertising herself as straight, bi-sexual and lesbian, depending on the site. I have been aware that she has had countless sexual partners. Last week was the final piece of information in her “thrilling” “double life”. She was arrested and convicted for prostitution.

How does a mother recover from that, how will her son, who I raise, recover from that when he grows up, how will her three year old daughter recover from that when she is growing up? Where will our recovery come from?

And you are right Donna, she will “simply move on to another life” She is living “Bella Vita” (beautiful life)



I have no words of wisdom that might help you, right now. Just commiseration and comfort. If I could, I would gather you up, hug you tight, and pat your back and cry with you. OxD knows too much about this horrible burden that you’re carrying, as well as others. We’re all here to accept your rants, your raves, your despair, and your resolve.

Peace, Milo.


Truthspeak… it is the cognitive dissonance indeed making you try to lessen the outrageous acts your ex has done.

Our mind is prone to twist reality and facts to our own convenience, to make it concordant with our investments and choices. If we buy an expensive cell phone with all the gimmicks that we don’t even use or need, especially when it wasn’t totally within budget limits, we’re not likely to admit to oursleves or others that we bought the wrong phone for us… we’ll ignore the fact that we’re annoyed at not making certain features work because the phone is just not programmed in a handy logical way, and meanwhile praise the rest and even blame ourselves for not beig able to use the phone as the sales guy told us we could. That we bought a bad design will be overlooked.

When you are confronted with factual aspects that are not in agreement with your choices and expectations, the this creates a state of cognitive disssonance mentally. But the mind dsilikes being in a cognitive dissonance state and will foremostly try to alleviate it so that it feels right again in the brain. Since you cannot undo your prime wrong choice, the easiest way to do this for the mind is ignoring the wrongs, giving superior weight to the good (more points), and blaming yourself instead of the obect of the choice.

And this is what your brain is tryng to do right now, Truthspeak… trying to escape out of the cognitive dissonance. Unfortunately, to recover from a spath, the only healthy choice is to live in this state of cognitive dissonance, even though it makes you momentarily less functioning (it costs more energy to remain in a state of cognitive dissonance, than to rationalise it away with distortion of reality). The state of severe cognitive dissonance you’rein right now can take several months to ease off. Once you reach the state where you accept your last choice (to go NC and rid the spath out of your life) as THE RIGHT CHOICE, rather than the old choice of being in a relationship with the spath, the dissonance will wear off, simply because then you’ll be using all the arguments and rationales to ease off the dissonance PRO staying away.

In order for you to accept that your last choice was the right one, you must be able to face the reality that your initial choice (and all the subsequential ones whenever a red flag was thrown in your face and you ignored it) was a wrong one.


Truthspeak ~ Thanks so much, hugs (((()))) right back to you, sounds like you could really use some of those too.

I guess I really don’t care about the recovery, I have reached that indifferent stage. I have disconnected with my D even though I am under a court visitation order that makes it necessary to communicate with her. Gray rock, rocks for me.

BUT, what will having a “mother” like this do to her children? Even with all the love and support we give our Grandson and the limited contact he does have with his egg donor, sooner or later he will have to come to grips with this kind of “double life”. And what an example to set for a little girl, I can’t begin to imagine.


Again, another article spot-on regarding my x-spath, who is a flight attendant, the perfect profession for a gay male wanting to leave a double life.

Exploitation: “This is especially true of the parasites that sponge off of their romantic partners…”

It’s nice to have a guy in New York City with a nice apartment, who took you to nice restaurant and bars at his expense isn’t it?

Chilling fact — he lives in London, but in an online profile, in answer to about what you are mostly likely downing on a Friday night, his answer was “passed out on a sofa in Manhattan.”

Promiscuity: To what extent I will never know, thankfully. I do know he has a liking for “bareback” sex porn.

Thrill of the game: Mine like to pretend he is innocent and naive. A profile name of his is “clueless lad.” At 38, he is hardly either.

Mask of normalcy: At first meeting, he is quite, polite and charming, the “next door” type guy. Looking at him, you would never think, for example, that he has a penchant for unsafe sex. However, if you get to know him a bit, the darker side comes out: quirky, controlling, manipulative, evasive. But online, on the phone or in emails, his mask is rock solid. Thus, each time I saw a red flag, it was easily dismissed when I was not communicating with him in person.

Dangers of the double lives: “20 percent of Lovefraud survey respondents said that their sociopathic partners infected them with sexually transmitted diseases…”

This is the most chilling aspect of my x-spath. I am 99.99% sure, on very strong evidence, he is HIV+. Although he did not tell me. Think of the damage an HIV+ flight attendant can do.

Ox Drover

Dear MiLo,

Of course you worry how this will effect your grandchildren, and though you are not bonded to the little girl like you are Grand, I do not need a “crystal ball” to know that child is in for a difficult life, starting early. You mentioned her hyperactivity etc. I know all the things you are going through to help Grand, and that little girl will NOT have someone there going to BAT FOR HER. She is on her own, and by the time she is 12-15 she will be following in her egg donor’s footsteps is my guess. It is a shame, but not anything you can do.

I applaud your and your hubby’s decision to concentrate on the ONE kid that you have. At your ages, you are giving a lot to be a parent to a child with so many special needs. It would have been a whole lot easier to just call CPS and let it ride, go NC with the whole bunch of them….but at the same time, I hear the joys you get from the Grand.

What does her husband think or say or react to the promiscuity? the prostitution? Does he know? He must with her arrested and in court? Was he there I wonder?

Sigh….I am so grateful that I do not have any grandkids to go NC with, to worry about their welfare and safety. My husband’s grandkids that I love dearly are all doing well, but they live remotely so it is widely spaced visits and pictures on FB.


Hi. I am new here, and would like to share something.

Currently there is this guy, he like likes to pull pranks on handicapped
People and those he deems “morons”, order things online with other peoples CC information, always seems nice at first and to casual aquaintances but if you spend enough Time with him you will see he never has anything good to say, refuses To see the good in other people and refuses to acknowlege their
Abilities and talents unless he’s , judges people and deems his targets worthy of harrasment if he perceives them as cocky or moronic. He’ll
Call them, send others to call them, harrass them with repetetive words
Like saying their names over and over and trying to recruit other people to harrass his current targets. He likes to tell mentally handicapped people lies and promise them things but then break the promises on purpose.

Is this man a sociopath and dangerous or a harmless pranksetr?

Ox Drover

Ponyboy, welcome to LF…from your description of this person he is a BULLY that is for sure. He is DISHONEST, mean spirited, and seems to lack empathy or compassion. There is no way to “diagnose” someone as a psychopath but I would say that he is definitely high in those traits if this is typical of his behaivor.

How old is he?

I would suggest that you spend NO time with this young man, because having “friends” like this isn’t a good thing for anyone.


I sure wish I knew…. But I don’t think a mother can recover from this? Not in the true sense of the word recover, anyways.

In MHO the only thing a mother CAN do is reach a point of indifference or emotionally disconnect as much as possible. Or try to find some other “state of mind” that isn’t quite so painful to live in.

Although this isn’t a perfect solution towards recovery… I am not sure what else would be possible for a mother to achieve?

Grand is so lucky to have you. And you are doing everything possible for him. In addition you have an awareness of the fact that this is something he will have to come to “grips” with (his mom) on an emotional level as he is growing up.
Having that awareness is so important.

And Grand also has grandpa….That ALL important male role model figure, growing up.
So many boys of divorce don’t have that these days.



He’s 36, he spends his days looking for people to mess with. He told this psychotic dude that some girl was in love with him, so he made him rent a limo and go 4 states away, the girl did not exist. He has this girl who
He’s constantly hiding her things, blaming her for abusing him, alternating between being nice and then
Acting nasty, slandering her name to other people etc.
He has her living with him in seperate rooms and let’s
Her live there for free, but he’s highly abusive to her.
He swore on his mothers grave many times when lying
About small things of no consequence…hours earlier having greived over her death.

Messed up right?

Yeah I think I won’t hang out with him. I have a history
Of being “friends” with bullies. The bullying isn’t ever
Directed at me and I am not a bully myself. They just
Like to brag to me about themselves and what they do
To people. I just sit and listen. I always end up stopping
Contact and they stalk me for a little and then move on.

Ox Drover

Ponyboy, I would suggest that you find better and more productive friends than bullies. If this guy spends his days doing all these things, I’m not sure how he makes a living, but it doesn’t sound like he as anything going for him except being a bully.

You are obviously aware of your tendencies to gravitate toward bullies as friends, so you might want to find out why, so I would suggest that you might think about some therapy for yourself to help you find ways of having more uplifting and productive friendships in your life. Good luck. God bless.



I’ve been contemplating how cognitive dissonance ease off can be sped up… I know I sped it up, with several tricks, and I never looked back… it helped both with the addiction and cognitive dissonance.

In order for the cognitive dissonance to ease off, you need to make “a choice” around which your brain can start to rationalise for the good of you that you were right to leave him, in a way that you feel there’s no turning back. In order to make it the dominant choice over the active choice of the past to be with him, you must make the choice to leave a very active one, and one from which it seems there is no return possible – in other words, when you burn your bridges in your mind.

It is actually what I did in the first two weeks after he broke up with me and I realized how severely he had deceived me and I knew he was a spath. I threw away and destroyed “evidence” of there ever being a relationship, I pushed him in little ways so he severed any tie to me (and it included giving him one private message in which I ripped his mask off… I let him know that I knew what he was, but I could do that because he was far out of harm’s way), deleted phone numbers, etc… To my mind, all these actions meant such a severe break that there were no routes left for me( or him) to return. If I wanted to mend the burnt bridges I’d have to grovel, and I accepted enough about him and knew I’d have enough self-esteem to not even try that.

I still had a lot of healing to do, but the cognitive dissonance did not stand in the way anymore then. I think I only had doubts about my conclusion in that first week, about 3-4 times. It never resurfaced after that.

To deal with the addiction. Although I didn’t doubt my conclusion anymore, I could still feel I missed the illusion he had created at times. I dealt with that in the following way:
– I cited every vice I knew of him, every bad thing he ever did to me and to others
– Whenever an unwanted ‘good’ memory rose into consciousness, I forced myself to recall a ‘ good’ memory of my life where I was single and alone… memories that were strong, happy and emotional enough to convince myself that I’ve been equally and perhaps even more happy, by myself than with him.

Since I progress better under encouragement and with a positive midset rather than a negative, especially the latter method was very empwering and the most powerful. After a month, I had no “missing him” moments anymore.

I hope those are helpful tips


truthspeak and darwinsmom,
part of the problem with cognitive dissonance relates to where the good memories are stored in our brains. The right brain stores many of our emotions and the right brain exists outside of time. In other words, it doesn’t comprehend time, it always exists in the NOW. So if you are remembering those emotions, you are remembering them as if they exist now. I guess those memories will always exist, but hopefully they will fade, if we don’t reinforce them. Instead, it’s better to reinforce the memories of the truth.

I keep a series of recordings of what he said and a journal of what happened during the last con. It really helped me to reinforce the knowledge of how evil he is.

It’s amazing though, that almost 3 years later, if I allow myself to remember how protective he was of me, I begin to go into cog/diss myself. I begin to think that he DID have some kind of love at the root of his intentions.

Maybe it is true, and his desire to possess me was the closest thing to love that he could feel. Unfortunately, his fear of intimacy made him willfully turn his love into hate toward me. He didn’t want to love me so he had to hate me.


So does that mean it is useful to us to think: It wasn’t all THAT GOOD.

Most of the time, I think it is the case that the performance falls short of the real deal. And that we see the little clues better when we look back.

A few years after I look back and I don’t remember the part that seemed so dreamy at the time. I see all the little hints that the whole thing was BS.

And it makes me wince.

So, I shrug it off. That was then, this is now. Not so important to remember what he did, but to know that people like that are out there and if I’d trusted my gut and the loved ones who tried to warn me, I wouldn’t have to think about it at all.

They say hind sight is always 20/20….

Well, whatever else is true about him, he’s gone. Its done and I will think on it differently when I do. If I do.

More compelling to think about is from where I stand right here, right now, what next? What now?

I lost a lot of time thinking about the disordered one. If I had one wish, it would be to recover how much of that I lost for time is precious.


Great article and discussion. A lot of relevant and timely information for me with what is going on for me at present.

I’ve come to grips with a very difficult decision. After struggling for more than a year in a remote location with an ungodly commute, gas prices only growing more expensive, the support system still non-existant, I’ve decided to stop waiting for a better market and go the short sale route. I finally got the courage to ask the healthy part of my family (who live clear across the coast from my unhealthy family of orgin) for the safe landing place I’ll need to reestablish my life for a while. They were hinting for months and their answer was “Get here as soon as you can.” Instant relief, followed by “How will I do all of this with a 16 month old?” The answer to that, “The best that I can.” And not perfectly, and not up to anyone else’s expectations of me.

My daughter had one of her supervised visits with “daddy” yesterday. And I peeked into his car, which is now spotlessly clean as opposed to the literal trash heap it used to be. On his dashboard was a book about child development. I wanted to scream outloud. This is the same a-hole who didn’t open emails from me regarding health care plans for our daughter during my pregnancy. I intuitively know he’s going to pull out the big guns WHEN he takes me back to court for increased visitation.

Though I feel completely overwhelmed, and I have had my own cog/diff struggles these past few weeks, thinking how much easier it would be if I could just have SOME support, the abuse from him and his Mom wasn’t that bad, right? WRONG! All I have to do is remind myself of all the ugliness that these people are about.

I recently remembered that after my horrible childbirth ordeal in which my baby was in danger, and ended in emergency c-section for me, Spathy refused to let me hold my own baby. I literally had to cry and beg to hold my own child when I was finally able to see her in my hospital room. He is such a cruel monster. I am filled with such rage when I remember actions such as this, and how supportive and loving I was to him, with not an ounce of it ever returned to me. How dare I even expect him to reciprocate always seemed to be the attitude when he wasn’t buttering me up for something he wanted or to hang onto me in order to keep bleeding me.

I think when I am finally away from here and not dealing with the huge amounts of stress I have as a result of letting a sociopath call the shots in my life, and my daughter and I are safely relocated in a new life, I can finally put him and his sick family behind me.

Silvermoons words really reached me: “I lost a lot of time thinking about the disordered one. If I had one wish, it would be to recover how much of that I lost for time is precious.” I spend too much time bitter and angry, but doing the best I can to get through each day. I, like most everyone who finds themself on LF, have lost a lot that meant so much to me. I struggle to find new meaning, even though I have my blessing of a baby to keep me moving each day. I want better for us.

Maybe it’s just been a long haul these past few months because I am struggling with recurrent pneumonia and have been threatened with a reduction to part time status due to all of my absences. What can I do? The best I can. I have to continually remind myself.

Thanks everyone here at LF for being here for me to talk about my feelings and circumstances.


16 days and NO CONTACT and I’m having a melt down! My mind is confused by my perception of who I wanted him to be vs. who he really is/was…but, ohh I miss him terribly! This is the longest I’ve gone NO CONTACT so far..



Skylar is very wise and I will repost what she said above:

“Part of the problem with cognitive dissonance relates to where the good memories are stored in our brains. The right brain stores many of our emotions and the right brain exists outside of time…

It’s amazing though, that almost 3 years later, if I allow myself to remember how protective he was of me, I begin to go into cog/diss myself. I begin to think that he DID have some kind of love at the root of his intentions…”

Anytime you start “feeling” this way, go back to cold, hard objective *facts* and only facts. The lies, the manipulative or abusive behavior, whatever…


LPMarie ~

I think you are very wise in not waiting until the finances are just right. Short sale or whatever, if the courts allow you to leave (visitation wise) get out of Dodge, run like the wind and don’t look back.

You have the rest of your life to rebuild your finances, start another profession or whatever. Get that little girl and leave. I’m so glad you have somewhere to go and a soft place to land. Don’t worry about being perfect or what anyone else thinks. The best you can is GOOD enough.

Best of luck to you.



This addiction is the hardest thing to break. However, I can guarantee you that if you break it, you will regret it.

Go for a walk, do some deep breathing exercises, buy a hypnosis audio book, anything to calm yourself down. The guy hasn’t changed. These are only your chemicals calling.





Your comments always make me wish I could hug you right through the screen. Thank you for encouraging me and putting it into perspective the way you do. I do have the courts approval to leave, and I’ve been realizing that if he takes me back to court, that could change. I could get stuck here in “paradise.” Ultimately, if I got stuck in Hawaii, it would destroy my limited finances completely.

I used to be a pretty good waitress while I was getting my undergrad degree. I think I would go back to doing that to make ends meet when I relocate if I couldn’t find a higher paying job. Honestly, I enjoyed it a heck of a lot more than my boring desk job now! And I used to make enough to pay the bills…

I’m sorry to hear about the latest events with your daughter. I didn’t realize she had a little girl in addition to your beloved grand. I understand your concerns for the kind of example she is setting and how the kids will feel when they are older and I wish again that I could hug you through the screen. I admire you and your husband for the way you stand by your grandson. I hope to be the same kind of pillar for my child.

Ox Drover


If you have to to get away from him, pack a suitcase and walk away from him, RUN AWAY…no forwarding address, whatever you have to do to protect yourself and your baby!

Wait tables, clean toilets, whatever you must do to get settled.

You can do it!

Ox Drover

Libra girl,

Donna is right it is like an addiction, like quitting smoking or drugs or booze…but you must maintain it and YOU CAN DO IT! I quit smoking a couple of years ago and it was tough…but I stuck it out and now I am glad, so will you be! ONE DAY AT A TIME!!! (((HUGS))))


Thanks Ox Drover. You are another LFer who I sincerely appreciate. It’s been a really rough year, but I can keep on keeping on. I’ve done the paperwork for the bank and I will meet with the realtor and broker this Friday.

I did ask the realtor if I could possibly leave before it’s sold and continue transacting via the internet, all I need to do is buy a printer when I go! As long as I continue to pay the mortgage and maintainence fees, I can’t imagine there being an issue.

One positive is that the domestic violence laws where I am relocating to may allow me to receive unemployment if I can prove I left because of domestic violence. I have the TRO and some emails where a third party indicated a threat. Even if I don’t, I’m not to proud to scrub toilets! I’m just scared, but I know in the long run, getting the heck outta Dodge will be the best thing for my daughter and me.

Ox Drover

Marie, I totally agree with you, and you know I had no doubt that you would scrub toilets if you had to to provide for yourself and that baby girl! You are a CAN DO gal! I hope you have family and friends where you are going to help you get settled, but getting away from him is the best thing you can do for yourself and the baby!

I have been there with a kid on each hip, and it is difficult, but you can do it…just remember to take time to smell the roses once in a while. That was one thing I did NOT do enough of. I spent way too much time working and doing for others and not enough for myself, so take my advice and spend your time wisely—and that includes recreation.

Where ever you go, keep in touch with us here at LF I hate not being able to keep up with “the REST of the story” when people drop off LF and “disappear.” LOL (((hugs)))


Thank you all so much for your support! I have many more negative interactions to recall with my Spath then good one’s that’s for sure.

The straw that broke the camels back (well, my back..) was a very intense demand from him for money. I’ve given it to him time and again. And, more than likely if I would have had it *again* I would have…but, I didn’t. So, he chose to sell his cellphone (2 days earlier I allowed him on my cell plan *again*) for cash, but that wasn’t enough. He said he had a tooth abscess (had come in a week early from offshore because of it) and needed to go to the dentist for pain meds and appt. I was working that day and unable to answer his emails(because the idiot sold his phone) in a timely manner. So, he became threatening told me he was going to get me fired from my job, and he was on his way to get $150. Well, at this point he borrows his sister’s phone and calls degrading me”stupid B” I need pain meds! You need to give me pain meds and money! I am crying and defending myself at this point. My boss hears my conversation. She walks over to my car (I had stepped out to have this conversation). And, she says “Don’t let him take over your life like this”. “This is ridiculous.” “You are at work taking care of 28 senior citizens”. And, at that moment I realized what a mess I had become for him. I was constantly manipulated and degraded by him for the simplest things.

So, in this timeframe, I go back to work and I hear my name over the intercom to come to the office. And, there he is…I walked outside with him as he said “you gonna help me or not”..I said, “I don’t have any money”. And, from that point he said the most awful things to me. “I’m going to burn you.” “I’m gonna make sure you lose your job”. Etc. Etc. Etc. Yes, he threatened to blackmail me.

Never trust a sociopath. Never ever do for them what you might do for your mom or dad.

After that encounter, I barely got an I’m sorry. He didn’t care that he ruined my entire day, or caused unnecessary stress and anxiety just so he could say the most awful things to me. And, he did this very often.

I didn’t hear from him until very late the next day. Apparently, he had gotten another phone and sent a text. “Hope your day was a good one”. Can you believe that?


He doesn’t care about the money. He only cares about controlling you. He needs to know that when he says “JUMP!”, you will jump first and then ask, “was that high enough?”

If he takes you to a bridge and says, “JUMP!”, he needs to know that you won’t question him. IT’S ALL ABOUT POWER AND NOTHING MORE.

But I’m going to tell you a secret. This is what I found out when I read, Why is it always about you? The seven deadly sins of narcisissm, YOU have the power and it’s a very simple power because he is an addict and his addiction is control over you. Since he cannot actually control you, YOU control you, that means you have power over him. This is what scares him so much and makes him want to control you. Furthermore, he knows that he has control when you REACT to him. ANY REACTION confirms his power. If you run or if you cry, if you get angry or if you give him money, if you want an apology and demand it, these are all signs of his control over you. The only response to a spath is NO RESPONSE.

I had left my spath 3 times in 25 years and then I always took him back before. Why? Because he controlled my emotions instead of me controlling my emotions. I let him suck my emotions. I fed him the power he needed. I didn’t KNOW that this was his goal.

All the things you write about – the interactions, the details – these are just red herrings, distractions from the real motive: to make you squirt emotions. I could write a book filled with details and the rest of the LF crew could do the same: money getting thrown out the window, promises broken, bills unpaid, rages, tantrums, envy, triangulation, sex with multiple partners, drugs, alcohol, murder, suicide, theft. It’s a veritable soap opera. But all that drama is just means to an end for the psychopath because what he really wants is YOUR EMOTIONS for fun and games.

Your job is to not let him have any.

Once I understood what the spath REALLY wanted. He was putty in my hands. I played that game for a little while and he gave me money instead of me giving him money. Then he figured it out and it got harder. I really had no interest in it so I Gray Rocked him and he went away, for the most part.

Please read the article on Gray Rock, if you haven’t already. It explains the mechanism for getting rid of a psychopath with out drama.

I see you’ve gone NC for 16 days – CONGRATULATIONS! If you can avoid contact with him KEEP IT UP! If he shows up at your work or you encounter him somewhere that you can’t avoid, use the Gray Rock method.

Ox Drover

Libra girl,

He is treating you like his own personal ATM and he expects you to give him money when he pushes the button and if you don’t then he pounds on the machine, cussing it like shiat!

If he keeps up this harassment, get a restraining order…your boss is your witness.

If he shows up at your job, do NOT step outside to talk to him. Say simply and CALMLY, “please leave now, or I will call the police” then if he does not leave, CALL THE COPS. Change your telephone number, get the cell number you gave him canceled. Change your e mail address or block him (if he’s using other’s phones and computers which h e probably is then you may have to change it in order to keep him blocked) but if he does e mail you don’t read it, just put it in a file to keep to show the cops if you need to get a restraining order. Keep your doors locked, change the locks if he has a key….

The point of all this is that he will drag you back into the drama rama and you will continue to be his personal ATM, and that is all you are to him. He didn’t have a dentist appointment, he wanted drugs….maybe he should get a job instead of coming after you for money. Maybe he never thought of that.



Its about making a decision and following through. What makes it tough is not the decision to walk out. That, as you know is the easy part.

You could walk away with nothing more than the clothes on your back and build another life where the spath has no access to you.

There comes a time in life when you realize that you are not what you own, that’s stuff. And there is plenty more stuff in the world to replace it.

You are not your job. That is what you do and you can do it again or do something else.

Those things are easy. There are lots of ways to resolve them. And you can get lots of help to make the resolutions.

So what ties you to the drama?

WHen I was a child, one of my favorite stories was bout the horse. Black Beauty. Many years later they made a movies of the book I had loved so well.

In it was a chapter about how the barn the horses lived in caught fire. And they had to be blindfolded to be led out.

Because the animals knew they were safe in the barn and they were fed there. When the instinct to find safety in panic set in, their instinct was to run back to the barn.

Since (in the story) the building was on fire, it was not a safe choice.

But, like the horses in the story, we make choices based on that same inclination to stay where and do what we know to be familiar. It is a huge decision to strike out and change everything all at once.

And even making interim decisions to manage one thing (like no contact with a spath) can be stupefying when it rattles what we are familiar with.

Because what the spaths take from us besides money and stuff is our confidence. Our courage. They rob it first by isolating us and then, when we realize what they are and what we have been caught up with, the shame torments us in to thinking that it is all the same and we can not free ourselves from that misery either.

It is a horrible burden we are given in exchange for caring to begin with. And it is harder still to know where to lay that burden down. As though we have to find some special place to put it before we can be free.

So we carry it with us from home to work and back again. Into social gatherings. Out with us wherever we go and who ever we go with. We carry the weight of being responsible for being involved with these disordered who have used us and made us feel really bad about it when we discover what is true.

Its as though we’ve swallowed something as heavy and awkward as an anvil and then, unable to digest it tried to walk around like nothing is wrong.

When what is wrong is carrying that anvil around. Because when we feel threatened by the enormity of not having it in our lives, we are uncertain. We experience cognitive dissonance. We do something that doesn’t make sense. We try to own the anvil we have swallowed.

Somehow, just letting go of that anvil has an amazing effect.

Herman Hesse wrote something about how until you make your decision, nothing can be done, but once you do, then Providence moves with you.

Based on experience, I would say it is so. And until you let go of the anvil so that you can pick up your adamant with both hands and the full capacity of your mind, the ambivalence always leaves the door open for another drama.

Comforting because even though your adrenals are pumping, its what you know. Its familiar. Its drama.

I know. I lived through a lot of those dramas. And then an attorney who was very sane showed me how easy a restraining order is. And when I went in front of the judge. I didn’t have to explain much after the part about the threat to kill my dog.

And I realized, that there is a whole world of sanity out there. In it, some days are like a slow moving muddy river on a hot summer day. And on those, I find that it is very pleasant not to be carrying the anvil any more. On those days, when its exciting is because of something truly wonderful and beautiful

Something like noticing the first blossoms of spring. Which, before I might not have noticed in my hurry to run back into the familiar drama. Heart pounding, breathtaking crises tend to blur your ability to see detail and keep life moving fast… And there is always a story to tell about it. One is never bored. But how can you be when you are entertaining a spath who regards you with the same level of interest as a fly tied to string?

I am grateful for the sanity that the law enforcement and legal community showed me how to find. From the attorney, to the judges to the marshalls and the others they have opened that door and showed me that there are some places to put the anvil down and enjoy something entirely unfamiliar that today, I will fight even harder to keep than I was able, by myself to fight to gain.

There is nothing special about putting down the anvil or blindfolding yourself to the “barn on fire” so you won’t run back in there. And there are people who can and will help because like us, they know that what you are going through isn’t they way things have to be.

When you decide, Providence moves with you.
And we, will be right here.


Wow, it happened to me exactly like this!!!

The guy was living with me, got engaged to me, planned a child with me (was his idea, i was on the pill), and when i got pregnant he wanted to get rid of me, but in a way i wouldnt suspect him, so he continued lying and having a double life.

During this time he had a wife with another child, lived with her as well and maintained a house with her the way he did with me..

He succeeded this by lying to both of us about his job- he told her he had to work during the night while he was with me and to me that he has to work during the day….

the truth is he never worked a day in his life, the bank account we used (i never saw her name on it) was their mutual account and he was stealing small cash from her and telling me he worked for the landlords for small cash because they didnt pay him for the job!!!

while both of us (his women) were starving to death, me pregnant and her saving from diapers to her child, he was going and gambling in casinos….

Ox Drover

I survived, that’s the way they do it all right! What a horror for both of you! I’m glad you are free of him! I’m assuming you get no child support from him. Does he demand to see the baby?

Well, good luck to you and your “sister wife” that you didn’t know about each other.


OxD, Silvermoon, Donna, Skylar, BBE, and everyone else – THANK YOU SO MUCH for responding to these combined cries for sense! The explanation of cognitive dissonance was extraordinarily helpful to me, and the sharing that others who have loads of healing time under their belts experienced the same danged thing.

I had my mini-meltdow and took OxD’s advice to look at beater vehicles – no luck as I don’t make enoug per month. That was yesterday. This is Today. I’m going to approach some people to see if I can’t borrow this money to get me through this divorce.

I would like some feedback about attorneys in these matters. There are no children involved. He lived a double life that was maintained before we married and throughout the relationship. He also drained my private assets and I won’t go into details about that simply because I believe that he’s been visiting this site. I ask my attorney to provide an answer that I can give the bank about the vehicle, and I’m met with silence since last week. NO response and no reassurances from her.

Anyone else have these types of experiences with their attorneys?

Once again, THANK YOU ALL for the boost of confidence and Towanda. I AM GOING TO MAKE SOMETHING HAPPEN if my attorney won’t. Sheeeeeesh, for all of the money that they earn, you’d think that they’d actually WORK for it.



Isurvived, LPMarie, et al… thing that I can say with absolute certainty is that spaths follow a distinct pattern of behaviors, even if each situation is different from the next.

When I began reading back some of the older articles and the responses and replies, I could clearly see that there are specific behaviors that are almost always conducted in the same pattern from one spath to the next. The METHODS and details may be quite different, but the patterns are almost always identical.

My mutual love and encouragement goes out to those of you who are struggling, right now., especially those who are struggling with NO CONTACT. No matter what we want to make ourselves believe in order to cope with the pain a bit easier, they do not – do not – DO NOT “feel” anything for us other than ownership. We have no more meaning to them than a disposable lighter and this rings true with the offspring that they produce. In the World Of Spathy, there is ruler and one citizen, and they are both one and the same Sociopath.

Brightest healing blessings.

Denise Guiney

No they feel nothing, you are simply an umbilical cord. They have no feeling for their children and exploit them as well if they can, bringing them in as accomplices in their fraudulent schemes if they can and controlling them too if they can.


LpMarie ~

Now you know why I am so impressed by you. You are the daughter I wish I had. You are the mother I hoped and prayed my daugher would be. You and all the other mommies on here that are doing what is right and good for their children have my admiration.

Ok, when my oldest started college I wanted him to have the least amount of student loans possible so I went back into the “work force”. I did not want to go back to the politics that surronded my former career – I just wanted a job = cash. I started waiting tables – I LOVED IT. The one on one with the people, the daily cash, the challenge of getting good tips – Loved It.

Great idea for your immediate needs.

And again, yes, yes, yes, get out of there are soon as possible. If he goes back to court, you may be stuck for the next 17 years. In the county where our custody was decided, court rules only allows the custodial parent 2 weeks away (for a vacation etc.) from visitation obligations.



When you go look for an attorney, make sure you hire one who “gets it”.

If they have a conciliatory approach- move on.

That’s ok except with a spath.

I remember the one I hired who helped me untangle from the P and he immediately took a very dim view. Even before I did.

The divorce attorney was a fellow who despite his gentle humor, had zero tolerance for nonsense and liked to win.

Education and track record count.

Best connected in your county, counts.
Good luck!



Personally, I think that it’s healthy to feel sorry for ourselves at times (you just don’t want to stay in this mindset). What we’ve been through as a result of being married to these oddballs has taken a toll on us (eg. emotionally, financially, etc.). Take it one day at a time, doing what you can to get on track. Peace.

sherry winter

This is totally what my ex-jerk did! I was living with him part time, while the only GIRL FRIEND his mother knew about was the one back east. I helped clean his house with her, went to masonic meetings with her, and all the time he kept lying that we were just friends. Talk about a stupid woman, but I was just as stupid to not spell it out and to believe his bull.

He has HPV, and swore he didn’t, just that his ex wife had lied about it. The last month we were together, I saw him broken out with it, and STILL he lies about it. It almost killed his ex wife, when they discovered she had cancer from it. It was a year after she had divorce the jerk, and she tried to warn me but I just wouldn’t listen. It took two years of catching him with other women to finally make me dump him.

The jerk STILL has power over my life, and over 4 yrs after the break up, there isn’t a single day that goes by that he doesn’t stomp around in my head making me an angry bitter person! I was threatened by my work place ever time I tried to warn others about his pathological lying or to warn women he was obviously trying to stalk that he is a carrier and DANGEROUS. He took great pride in saying, THEY CAN’T PROVE a man has HPV, there’s no test for it! So he continues to spread it to women and justifies it by saying they could get it from any one.

I was threatened with discharge from my job for 3 yrs for telling the TRUTH about it. Never, not even once did they accuse me of LYING about it, only telling INAPPROPRIATE things about his private life that I had NO RIGHT to tell. But he is protected by UNCLE SAM and the UNION to screw as many women as he wants in the work place in peace, because adults have the right! There should be a law on the books that puts these men behind bars when they knowingly spread desease! And there should also be a law on the books that protects women “or men” from being threatened or fired for TELLING THE TRUTH!

Luckily I have a new job… but I also have to work with someone who every day for the first week put down all the people I used to work with that I liked, and SANG THE PRAISES of the two a-holes that made my life hell for the last three years! I finally got mad enough at her, that we made an agreement to NOT talk about mine/her old job there. She can talk all about any other job she’s had, but that hell hole is off bounds! I will not be told how NICE someone is, who’s explanation for exposing me his ex wife, and the three other women he as cheating on me with to HPV, was simply he did it because HE CAN! He should be in jail for attempted murder if you ask me, no matter HOW “nice” he pretends to be when it suits his goal. He was NICE to me too. If you want to call manipulation and lies nice.

How do we make it so that we are protected from the LAW and WORK PLACE punishing us for telling the truth?


LibraGirl I am right there with you. I have been dealing with my ex for over a year now and hopefully have finally gotten to the point where I wont go back.

It’s been 5 days and for once they don’t seem as long as before, it’s refreshing.

Last Thursday he went on a rage because I didn’t get him a bday present since he didn’t get me one. Haha, we all know that is not the same thing to them. He lashed out with his words for two days straight trying to break every part of me down. Saying that I am ugly, plain, boring, that no one wants me and never will. Then when that didn’t get a response because I am not ugly, plain or boring he tried to say that he was never faithful to me but that a new girl asked him to be with him and he is going to be faithful this time. Perfect timing huh? When that didn’t get a response he said that at one point he liked all of my friends and asked me to give them his phone number that he would like to talk to them and to tell my sister that she is very pretty unlike me. The desparation was pathetic. I told him to go to hell and that he is a psychopath to which I no joke got the response “I just said all that cus I was mad. I don’t mean it you know that. I will never say dumb shit again. I love you Christina. I am sorry”

My response…”don’t you have a girlfriend now? Go tell her all of this not me.” lol.

Anyways, I stopped telling family and friends about him because they don’t understand the type of hook they have on you. It’s like to them it’s as plain as day to just get over it. I end up looking like a masochist that deserves everything coming to me.

It’s the beginning romance that you chase, the way they weave words into everything you believed was your dream come true. His viewpoints on philosophy, art, and music — so deep. But then they turn into a cold-hearted monster. My ex actually has a tattoo on his collar bone that says “Ice Cold Mackin”, so I should have taken the hint right?

He would read books on the female brain and body language psychology. Oh he was also in San Quentin for 4 years…he is only 25 years old. What a story of taking the blame for a family member. I knew his family and he met mine…everyone thought he was great until they saw more of the red flags.

He is very handsome and doesn’t look like a convict, he looks vulnerable and is god-like beautiful to me. Sickening to think that.

Such a sad life for him to live, he had a chance at a great life with someone that would have been there by his side but he chose his wreckless ways and will prob go back to prison.

I think the reason why I don’t let it get to me as much is because I know he is sick. It reminds me of an aggressive dog, they are so sweet but when there is a trigger they wont snap out of it. I remember pleading with him to just snap out of it to come back to me. He would continue on.

I think that he knows there is something wrong with him at times…he definitely knows that I know and it scares him.

It helps to think that I wouldn’t want to have children with this man. I wouldn’t want to have a future with him. He will continue to go through women and friends draining them of their supply and moving on.

I woke up this morning after dreaming about him. He told me that he was sorry and we walked together. This is my reoccurring nightmare.

I can’t hate him, that’s too much energy for me. I can’t forgive him either. I just take it as a loss, like a death of someone that I used to love. There is nothing I can do about it and just move on hoping that there is something better waiting in my future.

Thanks for this site, when I woke up this morning with pains of heartache it helped to see an email from this site as a reminder for what I can’t change.


thanks for sharing your story so eloquently.
It made me laugh when he apologized after you called him a spath! You had his mask in your hands and he desperately wanted you to give it back. I could just picture it. LOL!

I didn’t know what Mackin’ meant so I looked it up!
OMG! Yes, that was a huge TELL.

You have the right attitude about it, IMO.
An encounter with a spath is like a dream that turns into a nightmare. Yes, it was full of emotion, BUT NONE OF IT WAS REAL because HE ISN’T REAL. His life is an act and he chooses whichever roles give him the most dramatic script and the most attention from the audience.

I’m sorry your heart hurts this morning. The longer you stay in the world of reality, the sooner it will fade. Stay NC. If you need help, we will be here to offer encouragement.


I am at the stage of no contact as we speak. As we all know when you really love someone you can’t just turn off your emotions. I realized what he was within a few months of meeting him and it made me feel sorry for him. Of course I was angry at the betrayal but I had never met anyone like him in my life it made me want to study him him. At my expense of course. I truly believe that these people are incapable of being truthful in any aspect of life. The amount of energy put into playing mind games was astounding. All that told me was that when left alone with himself he had nothing. No real thoughts or feelings on anything that really mattered. He needed a victim/s just to have something to do. I love him still and its taken everything in me to do so knowing he really hates me in return. Once he knew I knew what he was the abuse and threats got worse. He didn’t respect or love me for the fact that I loved him without his mask I think he hates me more for it. I can feel him to his core…there is a man trapped deep within him that longs to be freed, but ego wont allow it. He has imprisoned his own mind thru evil acts and know is held captive. A slave if you will…only the power of God can save these individuals. Nothing else



I like the attitude with which you told the story of five days ago: yup, you had just ripped the mask from his face, and he desperately wanted it back… LOL, he must have been thinking, “I’ll make her feel bad and worthless and guilty…oops, damn that backfired… euhm, what to do, what to do…” The demasking can feel very empowering, because suddenly you can see their werid behaviour in a clearer light and don’t take it personal anymore.

It scared my ex-spath enough to break all contact with me.

As for your recurring dream… Don’t feel guilty or bad over it. It’s normal. I had a few dreams like that in the beginning too. But they didn’t return, once I regarded them as my brain telling me that, though everything was fake, I had originally chosen him for his act of kindness and gentleness to me… Yes, it was all fake, but I didn’t know that at the time, nor did I know about spaths in such an understanding way. I loved the illusion he presented… but that illusion I chose at least meant that I loved myself enough to want to be with a kind man. There’s no shame in the things that made you love him… it’s just that it was never real. If you can accept that you felt love for the right reasons, just the wrong man, a faker… then those dreams will probably cease to occur. Repetitive dreams imply you’re not getting the lesson in it yet.


Hello yes a lot of us here can relate to this article. I was one of the other women and conned as a lot of you here. It has been over two years now since the night mare has been discovered. I have contacted his wife a good few times and she does not answer my emails I am not sure why ? It least I tried on letting her know the truth and what all that happened. I was convinced that he was in a bad situation and getting divorced and I was helping him out a lot.. financially, as always promises all broken did not pay me back and never going through any divorce it’s a way of feeling raped inside and out for the psychopaths are disgusting people, yes and we are all so loyal and were far too trusting. Trust I finally am starting to do that now and I am finally almost healed over all that occurred I honestly feel none of us here either the other woman lied to or the ex wife will totally be over the destruction they put us through…. Yes God has helped heal me in my belief and my children.. Still in counseling seems like it does help.. I hope all of you here do start to feel better and don’t change who you are for all of you are beautiful and no one should steal who we are from us, God bless all of you…


you are exactly right: the more love we have for them, the more they hate us. They HAVE to hate us. It is their armor that they wear to protect them from being human, feeling love and being vulnerable.

Hate is a protective mechanism. Being human is what scares them the most. To be born so vulnerable, grow up, love, lose loved ones and then die just sounds so scary and boring too. They don’t get that there is more going on beneath the surface. To them the surface is all there is.

If you can, just for a moment, imagine a world like that. Imagine a cartoon image world without dimension and without meaning. Yuck. It makes sense that they would try to do anything to avoid facing that empty reality.

There is nothing we can do. They are too willful and too fearful. They won’t give up that hatred as long as it keeps them safe.

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