By | April 28, 2016 134 Comments

Sociopaths Count On Getting The Benefit Of The Doubt

Husband Liar Sociopath for storeBy O.N. Ward

Every week, a chapter of my book, “Husband, Liar, Sociopath: How He Lied, Why I Fell For It & The Painful Lessons Learned” (available via, just click on the title or book cover) will be published here on Lovefraud. To read prior chapters, please see the links at the bottom of the post.

Chapter 3: Sociopath Math 

I can almost hear the collective cacophony. “Onna! That can’t be the whole story. There has to be something more to it. There are always two sides.”

In an attempt to be fair and to give everyone involved the benefit of the doubt, we tend to discount and dismiss malicious, destructive behavior. Sociopaths count on this. Contrary to the popular saying, there are not always two valid sides to any story (and it would not surprise me if it was a sociopath who first planted this idea in our collective unconscious). Are there two sides to the story of Bernie Madoff’s multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme? Does the heart-breaking story of Laci Peterson and her unborn son’s 2002 Christmas-time murder at the hands of her philandering husband Scott have two sides? What about the conviction of ex-policeman Drew Peterson for murdering his third wife—are there two sides to that story? (His fourth wife has been missing since 2007.) It is critical to realize that there does not have to be more to the story of Paul and Jenny—not if Paul is a sociopath.

Since we have empathy and a conscience, it is almost impossible for us to imagine that there are people, like Paul, who are devoid of both. Yet, there are—lots of them. To help silence those voices in your head that want to give Paul a legitimate side to the story, I would like to give you a crash course in what I call sociopath math.

Although simplistic, I’m guessing we make tradeoffs and choices when we balance our needs against the needs of others by some implicit mental math: We compare the importance of a person to us and the importance of their needs to the importance of our needs. As a result, sometimes we will compromise our needs in favor of someone else’s, and at other times we will allow our needs to trump those of another person. But a sociopath does not and cannot care about other people, so the importance of any other person to the sociopath is always zero (unless the sociopath is valuing the other person as part of a long-term manipulation). Let that simmer in your mind for a moment. Since a sociopath always values every other person at zero, the sociopath’s need, no matter how small, always trumps the other person’s need, no matter how big. It does not matter if that other person is the sociopath’s child, parent, spouse, sibling, or a total stranger. Of course, a sociopath does not act like this at first, because his initial priority is to lure you into developing a relationship—one that can be leveraged for his gain.

For Paul, his need for a wife to be a built-in maid, cook, errand runner, dog watcher, and source of sex trumped Jenny’s need to lay a solid educational and financial foundation for her future. As a sociopath, Paul never gave her needs or her future a second thought. It was always only about how Paul could use Jenny to serve his needs. End of story. There are no two-sides to this story, no footnotes needed. No happy ending possible for Jenny, me, Paul’s new wife, or any of his future targets.

Speaking of footnotes, the sports car Paul took from his first marriage is likely also a manifestation of sociopath math. I am not suggesting that the purchase of a hot sports car is a sign that someone might be a sociopath. However, for Paul to have purchased a sports car at that point in his life suggests warped priorities, the kind associated with a selfish, stimulation-seeking, status-hungry sociopath. Why on earth would a man with no savings, an entry-level job, and a wife in college with prohibitive student loans choose an expensive sports car as the family car? Wouldn’t the money saved on a more practical car have been better spent on the education of the woman he “loved,” who gave up her free Stanford education and relocated across the country to be his wife?

It would have been helpful if I had investigated and determined the truth about Paul and Jenny’s relationship earlier, because it contained multiple early warning signs. Why did Paul get Jenny to marry so young? Why did he get her to give up so much (a free Stanford education) to become his wife? If they were destined to be together, why not wait to get married after Jenny graduated? Why did Paul not make any tradeoffs so he and Jenny could be together? Who really suffered disproportionately by their short marriage?

Unfortunately, what I did not have was the knowledge that every woman needs to be vigilant for signs the man with whom she is falling in love might be a sociopath. Paul exhibited many signs that only now do I realize are relevant: a sense of instant compatibility; someone clearly interested in being in charge or being in control; a life-story that elicited “pity”; emotional isolation of a partner even, ostensibly, for valid reasons (i.e., Jenny’s emotional isolation as Paul’s wife); short relationships; lack of fear or strain in situations most others find stressful (e.g., a rigorous graduate program that did not faze Paul); and selfish behavior (the sports car, getting Jenny to give up her Stanford education). A dangerous constellation was already starting to form, but I didn’t know about sociopaths. The water was receding from the beach, but I certainly did not know the warning signs. It never occurred to me that a feeling of instant compatibility with an attractive, smart fellow Yale MBA candidate who was comfortable taking the lead and who seemed calm when others were stressed could be warning signs of anything dark and malevolent. It seemed more like a dream come true.

Start from the beginning:

Chapter 1

Go to previous chapter:

Chapter 2

Go to next chapter:

Chapter 4


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

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O.N. Ward – You are so right. It is so hard for people to understand just how one-sided sociopaths really are. It is literally all about them. Empathetic people like you can’t possibly think that way – so you don’ t see it coming when they exploit you.


Thank you O.N. Ward another important lesson taught in educating 75% of the population about the dangers of associating with the other 25% of the population. The calmness that they exude seems to be a running theme.

My spath, part of a small subset of the 25% who thrives and whose only game is sadism. He would deposit all his income in our jt account, never impose any budget restraints on me, hardly ever bought himself anything, appeared not to care one bit about money but spent all his time making it. Oh how I was misled by this behavior. Fact is every now and then he would wipe out our savings and send it to his family overseas without my knowledge or consent. Kept me on pins and needles that I’d wake up to our retirement account, with a click of a mouse, being wiped out, truth is I now know he watched the accounts like a hawk, he made sure if I bought a new dress for some occasion that I’d never get to wear it, if we went on a trip he made sure to carp throughout the trip (i.e.: we were in Paris and I spent the day playing tour guide going to see all the sites, walking miles and miles so we were sure not to miss a thing, so that at the end of the day as we were leaving Notre Dame he turned to me and said, “So when are we going to see the real Paris”.), so I would never want to go on another trip, our home was not enjoyed it was nothing more than a cage, etc.. The money was only another added layer to his torture and game. He now lives in a dirty apartment, driving around in a small car he professes to hate (of course he made me pick out the car, so he could use it as a another torture weapon) doesn’t take any trips, won’t pay for adequate childcare for the children in his care , earning more money than he did the year before. So what does he spend on these days? He spends unlimited amounts of money on legal fees to keep this divorce going and never ending. He files motions and sets hearings so that his lawyer can sit in court for an hour waiting in advance of his scheduled 30 minute hearing to ask for a continuance (he has done this repeatedly) to do this repeatedly, pays his lawyer to attend hearings over his lack of compliance with discovery month after month rather than turn in four documents, he has been sanctioned thousands and thousands of dollars for his noncompliance and is taking on great financial risks with this behavior and has no problem paying, nor does he seem upset by it. The goal money is a means to an end and the end is my torture and destruction, even if that means he sinks himself in the process.


I had an experience and it lasted off and on for 4 years. Initially, I literally didn’t know what hit me. It was so embarrassing yet not quite knowing what kind of individual i had run into. It was so weird i took to the internet and just researched some of the things that was happening to me and each and ever search led me to psychopathy and sociopathy. When i try to talk to other people around me they just brush it off as another bad man. I have experienced difficult relationships but nothing like i have experienced with this man. It has been almost 2 months since our FINAL separation and this time no amount of pleading or begging will lure me back. It is all a twisted game and they prey on the fact that you have compassion something they don’t have but enjoy the fact that others do and it only makes you their target.


So glad you’re out and free. I hope you recover fully from the damage your ex spath did in your life.



“pays his lawyer to attend hearings over his lack of compliance with discovery month after month rather than turn in four documents,”

…that is what I’m experiencing now, as we enter Year 5 of my divorce from Spath attorney with 2 other attys in his psycho family.

But I am fine. I said from Day One… he’s not going to rob me of any more of my life. Well, of course he has, but I’m limiting it as much as possible! I no longer care what happens with the court case, but I’m standing firm in my trust in God… that the outcome is what I need for my life.


5 Years, omg. Do you have children with him? What is his ploy in court to drag it out? I do understand what is like to try and move the divorce forward an inch. It is taking only my 100% dedication to inch forward. It is a full time job for me. My spath is nearing the end of his stonewalling discovery as the court is losing patience. But I’m sure he’ll find new inroads to continue the battle. However, once I have the discovery I can ask for a final hearing. My hope is be out of here when this is over. I feel as though I’m being smothered. I have only one choice which is to dedicate myself to getting this divorce (with a few moments of calm here and there) and make it my full time job. I’m guessing your spath is representing himself and it costs him nothing to drag out your divorce. Meanwhile, you are having to pay for representation. It is extremely difficult, bordering on impossible, to shake these types. I wish he’d totally discard me and move on.

Hope Springs

Absolutely spot on, as usual, Onward. Thank you for sharing your insight, as always.

My SP son got a brand new Toyota truck, right when he and my DIL’s marriage was coming to an end! Right when she threw him out. He had always wanted a ‘cool’ truck and he was going to have it no matter what. That is how selfish he is. I am sure now, it is simply a status symbol to make it appear as if he is doing so well in his life.

Not only was he newly single, but a shiny new Toyota truck could and would attract new females to him as well…! He was surely thinking ahead in acquiring this shiny new ‘chick magnet’.

Of course, he justified the purchase of the truck by saying he needed this reliable vehicle for work so that he could keep ‘earning’ to pay his new rent and support his family. AND, of course, now, he cannot pay child support because of his monthly truck payments.

What a crock of shit. Now he whines and cries about how he cannot afford child support and how seemingly immoral it is for him to be expected to pay it. He laments that he NEEDS that truck to make money. Some people actually feel sorry for him now!

Can you believe that???


Much love to you Bev.

Hope Springs

And to you becomingstrong 🙂


Thank you, O.N.Ward

The concept of a P treating other people as having zero value isn’t new to me, but I always assumed that they were the people who were of no use to him and that Bosses, Flying Monkeys, other ‘useful’ types and most of all partners DID have a value – but it was always a low value.

Having read some of the P blogs it seems that as you say everyone else has zero value to them, even their ‘friends’ who they can ditch without a moment’s glance backwards. So now I’m trying to absorb this concept into my world. 🙂

At the moment one of the ways I see P’s are as smiling crocodiles. So now maybe the people around them who are useful are like tables or chairs. They have zero value to the crocodile but are still useful.

Yes, even though I’ve long gone past the Cognitive Dissonance stage I’m still getting continual ‘Ah ha!’ moments!

Gah! (Against the P). Words aren’t adequate. I hope I haven’t misread the tone of your comment (it’s difficult with just the printed word) but anger (rage?) is very healthy in one way as it creates a barrier or boundary between us and the P and pushes us away from them. But when it becomes consuming (with stress, anxiety, worry as well) it becomes a burden that we yearn to drop. But we can’t because we have to keep our defences up, ready and alert for the next attack. Horrible. If this is what you’re going through (and I can only guess, hope I haven’t got it too wrong) you have all my sympathy (on top of my sympathy for all the crap you’re going through.) Wish there was something useful I could say that would help. 🙂

‘Now he whines and cries about how he cannot afford child support and how seemingly immoral it is for him to be expected to pay it. He laments that he NEEDS that truck to make money. Some people actually feel sorry for him now!’

Have you read Cleckley’s ‘The Mask of Sanity’? (There’s a free version somewhere online.) It’s relatively old but the sixteen (?) outlines of different psychopaths are fascinating. (Ignore everything before and after those sixteen characterisations as it’s heavy-duty stuff and 95% boring.)

If you haven’t read it I think you’ll find a lot in there that resonates with your experience with your son. Just glancing through it again there’s one character, Milt, who causes grief for his mother.

Hope Springs

Wow, NoLongerShocked…

I am reading what you suggested, The Mask of Sanity. I found it online no problem. Not only does ‘Milt’ smack of my son, but the two following subjects, Gregory and Stanley, also do. I am sure that perhaps all of the subjects will resonate to me pertaining to my son. Those two are the only ones that I have read about so far.

Utterly fascinating to me, this account that you suggested I read. These SPs seemingly actually BELIEVE that they are not lying, in a lot of cases. Also, they cannot see that they are indeed disordered. They seem to believe that they are getting along in life quite nicely. In their own minds, at least. Even when others can see that there is clearly something wrong with them.

It is no wonder that there is no helping them. They think there is nothing ‘wrong’ with them.


Hi Bev, it is indeed fascinating. And as you say they don’t realise that there’s anything wrong with them. One of the first diagnostic criteria that Cleckley put forward – as one of the founding fathers of psychopathy – was ‘specific loss of insight’, which included this phrase, ‘He has absolutely no capacity to see himself as others see him.’ This is in line with the blogs written by psychopaths. They see themselves as ‘superior’ and ‘advanced’. They look down on us because they see empathy, conscience and emotions as ‘weakness’. They don’t WANT to be like us. I think of psychopaths as 2-D people in a 3-D world, completely unaware of what they’re missing. It’s very sad. But they’re very dangerous, so I don’t allow myself to have pity on them. This is why in my head I think of them as ‘smiling crocodiles’ so that I don’t get taken in.

One way of looking at psychopaths is as ‘high-functioning’ or ‘low-functioning’. I’m sure youve come across this stuff but it might help others.

Broadly speaking low-functioning Ps have poor family backgrounds, poor education, low impulse control and low intelligence. They go straight to jail.

High-functioning psychopaths have good family backgrounds, good education, good impulse control and high intelligence. They end up as bankers, psychiatrists, presidents etc. etc. They’re able to hide themselves near-perfectly.

‘Mid-functioning’ psychopaths is a word I’ve made up to describe the inbetweenies. They might have good family backgrounds, good education BUT moderate intelligence and low or moderate impulse control. With LOW impulse control they bounce in and out of prison and psychiatric hospitals but their education and good family background mean they can count on their family to bail them out and they know the words and behaviours necessary to talk themselves out of trouble. Most of Cleckley’s subjects appear to be in this group.

Mid-functioning psychopaths with MODERATE impulse control manage to keep themselves out of prison entirely. Their families might bail them out of trouble occasionally in their early years. This type can go on to become Presidents or Prime Ministers constantly in the middle of very obvious scandals but quite able to wriggle out of trouble.

I hope that the ‘Mask of Sanity’ character studies help. I found that reading them enabled me to pick out different patterns of behaviour and remember them in a ‘human’ way rather than a theoretical way, if that makes sense.


Dear NoLongerShocked,
I agree with you, that there is an in-between, not just low and high functioning psychopaths. Psychopaths can be a mixture of the two. My psychopath is highly educated, comes from a dysfunctional family, depending on the victim, he can either exhibit poor impulse control (he’s very good at assessing with whom he can directly and openly beat on and those with whom he has to be more careful as to how he hurts and inflicts injures on them. But make no mistake about it, he will inflict life threatening injuries). Hence the difference between injuries he inflicts through “accidents” and those he can put in the hospital with a direct blow. In my case, “poor impulse control” is a manifestation of his assessment of how much his victim will tolerate and based on that assessment, the manner in which he inflicts his injury to his victim. In the case of my spath’s first wife, he knew to mask his life threatening injuries he inflicted on her in the form of an “accident” and with me, he slowly but surely inflicted the same egrecious injuries on me, as he did his first wife, but through a slow method of escalation of violance and grooming me to be conditioned to his violence. He could exhibit a higher degree of open “poor impulse control” with me versus a more covert version with his first wife. My spath has to apply his same assessment in the divorce. He has to assess how much the court will tolerate. He petitions the court for things he will never get, doesn’t comply with court orders trying to assess the outer limits the court will tolerate. But how much “poor impulse control” he can exhibit in court is based on the same assessment he uses towards his out of court victims.


Wow, becomingstrong – just wow! I know that spaths use instrumental violence, as in deciding fairly coldly how much violence to use to achieve a certain aim. It sounds like your spath coldly makes the decision as to what is an ‘appropriate’ level of violence to use depending on who he’s with. But it also sounds as if he gets a kick out of the violence itself.

I treat mine spath as extremely dangerous. The fact that there’s been no violence in the past doesn’t mean it can’t happen. I’ve read warnings from other targets about THAT.

‘Accidents on purpose’ are so common with these characters.

They’re always pushing boundaries, seeing what they can get away with. Since he has to ‘win’ is there anything you can do to decoy him? Sacrifice a small thing in order to win a larger?

Hope Springs

OM goodness, yes, the character studies have helped me so much! I thought that I knew almost everything, but it seems that I am always learning more and more. (BTW, I meant in my previous post that I had only read about THREE of the ‘patients’ so far, not the two I said, including Milt, that you suggested might resonate with me pertaining to my son).

I am also floored by the degrees of psychopathy that you speak of. I would definitely consider my SP/P son in the middle…a mid-functioning case. He will never end up in prison. He is too careful and would never do anything to cause himself to be put there.

It is all so interesting, and frankly, sad. They really are in their own worlds. Thus the name ‘personality disordered’. They are not right. They are devoid of most of the traits that make us ‘social’ or ‘human’.

Like you, I cannot feel sorry for my son. I feel sorry for my husband and myself, but not for our son. He can stoop so low and be so seemingly ‘evil’ when he WANTS to be. He has a choice, I believe, yet, cannot see what he really is. I know that he is capable of bad things, perhaps even violence, if pushed.

A smiling crocodile. That is a good way to describe how I really SEE my son. We are just like a table, to him. Useful when he needs a ‘table’ to put something on. Forgotten, when he is off in his own world…


Dear Nolongershocked,

I didn’t put all the pieces together until recently. I think figured out what happened to his first wife just past October. I understand what I couldn’t understand/accept when he was in my daily life. As far suggestion that I come up a decoy, I certainly can use some suggestions. I don’t know what else I can do. I put my house up for sale, my car, all the furnishings, I didn’t custody over children who wanted to live with him. The only thing left that he wants and he can’t have is my 7 year old daughter. What else do you think I can do? I’m out of ideas. We have custody hearing at the end of the month. I don’t think the judge is going to award him custody. Then he has nothing left after that hearing.
I believe you are right about your spath being capable of violence. This violence can take the form of things a normal person wouldn’t even consider, i.e.: not getting you proper medical care, leaving items on the floor so when you trip and fall, wasn’t it an “accident”? When you figure out what you are dealing with and with whom you are involved it makes you cringe and shudder thinking of all the ways they can hurt you if they want, or when the timing is right.

Bev, hope you have been well. How is daughter in law doing? Has your son moved on to better prey and is leaving her along. New prey is the only solution for these types and even then it’s not a guarantee they will leave you alone. I hate to wish him on someone else but sometimes you can only hope he’s passed along like a hot potato.

Hope Springs

Hi becoming!

LOL…A hot potato…good analogy.

I hope that you had a nice and relaxing ‘getaway’.

I am not sure how my (our) son is doing at all. After I mistakenly sent him that email telling him exactly what I think and feel about him, and after he just HAD to send me a rebuttal email back, he has stopped factoring into our lives at all! Joy!! He has not contacted us since.

Because I also copied my DIL on that email, she received it and I have heard nothing from her either, which, really is just fine with me. We are happier and at peace when we are not involved in their circus at all.

Just FYI…HIS rebuttal email was all about how he is not angry, but rather truly ‘hoping’ that I can ‘heal’ my ‘unhealthy mind’ from the anger that I have for him.


Dear Bev,

I had a great getaway, thanks for asking. I visited a place in Mexico which reminded me that there is a God.
I am glad that you have reached a place that you are free of your son. You deserve so much better in life than to be dragged down by him. I hope you put his email in the “I would delete file but I might need it for future litigation file”.
Thinking of you…

Hope Springs

So happy to hear that you had a good time. I think about you all of the time…in a wonderfully good way. 🙂

(I also agree with NoLongerShocked in that you can now change your name to very_strong. You have come such a long way)!!

What you said is exactly how I feel when my son is on my life…’dragged down by him’.

Well, not any more! I refuse to ever let that happen again.

Cheers to you. I am so grateful that you are here for me, and all of us.


Dear NoLongerShocked,

Thank you for your kind words. You didn’t misread a thing. I can sure use a lot of kindness these days. Being in the trenches of serious litigation with a psychopath with bottomless pockets certainly has taken its toll. I consider myself a “strong” person and yet the set backs are sometimes more than I take some days. Somedays I regret my decision to file for divorce and just wish I had packed a bag and fled with the shirt on my back. But slowly I am chipping away, piece by piece at his veneer. It is a full time job.


Prayers that the legal process will be over soon and result in safety and peace for you and your daughter. It sounds like you’re nearing the end of it.


“Unfortunately, what I did not have was the knowledge that every woman needs to be vigilant for signs the man with whom she is falling in love might be a sociopath.” —- I never felt that I needed to be guarded when it came to this. When it came to love – especially when these people are SO good at faking it. All the websites say that if they were a nasty ass jerk from the beginning, of course they wouldn’t lure us in. And I thought that because I had been in an abusive relationship before (and abusive childhood) that I would NEVER allow someone to treat me this way again. So, when a guy came along that finally treated me the way (e.g., lovebombing) I thought I deserved (at least initially), I was overjoyed. One of my friends who had been in a similar relationship with an ex- N/S/P/whatever was always skeptical about my relationship with my ex – she genuinely felt that when things are too good to be true, they usually are (SO TRUE). I was blindsided though and SO wrong.

I didn’t question his nice behavior. Initially I thought – wow, he must REALLY like me, he is so into me. This feels great. I didn’t question his desire to talk on the phone/skype with me EVERY night before we actually met in person (we met online). I didn’t question when he said he wanted to be my boyfriend after we met in person (which was 3 months after chatting online with him). I was a little hesitant when he wanted me to move in with him after only a few months of dating (Oct, we became official at the end of May 2014), but he assured me that everything would work out, that he was super in love with me and that I was in love with him, and that our love would conquer ANY problems that came up. That as long as we were two reasonable people (HA!), then we could get through issues together and always. He used to always say to me: “only you”

Once I moved in, everything started to change. We had a third roomie and the first time I realized something was a little off (there were other red flags/covert manipulation/things that didn’t add up before this event that I ignored). He freaked out on our other roommate and then left the apartment without notifying me (like freaked out, tried to give back all the stuff our other roommate gave my ex through the years, b/c this friend had ate some of our ice cream and my ex thought it wasn’t fair. So he freaked out on our roommie and that roommate was like: I’ve given you so much over the years for free and I have some of your ice cream and you freak out on me? My ex HATED this and freaked out on him and went to our room and started angrily compiling everything our roommie had given him. Then he SLAMMED it outside our roomie’s bedroom door and then just left – this was the FIRST time he exhibited this extreme behavior and extreme ANGER). This was not the only time that someone either slighted him or upset him or didn’t go along with him that made him freak out and leave. OMG. Just thinking about it all now. All the signs that were there that I ignored. Was he just immature? Did he realize he was behaving this way? Did he realize he was managing down my expectations so that when he freaked out and left again I couldn’t be mad at him for his behavior? Which he later blamed on depression and of course my empathetic self, I felt obligated to help him. I am also a big believer in depression and anxiety, etc and that mental illness is not something that we should be ashamed about. So of course, i was understanding and respectful and I tried really hard to do everything I could to help him with his depression. And help him forgive himself and heal from his outburst(s) – which I soon realized that his mother had been dealing with for years and enabling. (they had a very sick relationship; not sexual. But lets just say when I hung out with him and his mom, I, me, his gf, felt like the third wheel).

I started to realize that his “depression” was very convenient. It was why his life was ALWAYS more important than mine. I found myself always trying to pick up the pieces. Constantly walking on eggshells and helping/accommodating him. He would be mean and irritable toward me, at one point told me to move out and leave him alone. I was SO confused. Everything had changed. In the beginning, I was the most amazing person he’s ever met, that he liked EVERYTHING about me, that I gave him energy, that I wasn’t boring like his last girlfriends, that he’s never felt this way about anyone, that I was the best thing in his life, that I made everything better, that I liked in him what he hated in himself, that I was his “dream girl” – ALLLLLL LIES. Now I couldn’t do anything right. “I didn’t read this article he sent me about depression” “I was demanding too much” – In reality, I read a TON, talked to his mom (remember; I needed to learn how to deal with his temper tantrums), talked to some of his “friends” (that conveniently he isn’t close to at all, but thought he must really have some mental problems if he acted like this), etc. I did all this to help him.

Sorry, I know this sounds jumbled and I’m unable to hold a coherent thought at this moment. I’m just now figuring out what happened to me. For too long I believed it was my fault, that it was something I could have done better. If only I didn’t nag him about listening to my feelings. If only I didn’t have childhood issues I was working through (flashbacks of my dad raping me). If only I didn’t have triggers of him cheating (I NEVER accused him of cheating; at the VERY beginning, I realized I must have a problem because I was having trouble with night terrors about him cheating, and b/c of a relationship in which my first bf led a double life of lies and cheating – in which I had developed triggers, but never thought it would carry over into my new relationship, but it did, and I felt awful and had been in counseling for a long time to figure it out, cuz I didn’t want to self-fulfill prophecy my ex (believe that they would leave/cheat, only to “force” their hand in doing so; anyway – each time I had a trigger, I would tell him and talk it out, but I profusely apologized (I FELT TERRIBLE ABOUT IT) and never accused HIM of lying or cheating (they literally were just flashbacks; which he was SUPER understanding at first and I was very honest from the start), even though thinking back on it, I probably could have), if only I was better looking, didn’t have tattoos (he told me at the beginning that he loved my tattoos, and then later he told me that that was one of the reasons why we couldn’t be together – WTF), if only, if only, if only. What could I have done to fix it? This thought pattern was one of the reasons I let him back into my life after 3 months of NC and another reason why I’m pouring my heart out on this forum. I couldn’t be more sure that the is a N/P/S or whatever – the idealize, devalue, and discard phases are just too familiar and telling of EXACTLY what I experienced.

Why do we feel this way? Why are some of us so easily manipulated? Just like the silent treatment – he doesn’t have to do any work for us to scour our brains and try to figure out what WE did wrong. The worst I felt mentally (which had EVERYTHING to do with him and the little games he was playing with my head), I agreed with him when he told me I was to blame for the mean things he said to me. So if you are feel you are the one to blame then of course you don’t question the culprit. Any legitimate claim I would bring up, he would invalidate – either tell me to get over it, I was reading into it, or it was my fault or it was because of my PTSD and nothing else. What he really meant is “I don’t want to hear about what is going on with you. Especially if you are going to blame me or insinuate that I am in anyway responsible for it; because of course, you deserved that silent treatment!!!” (that silent treatment where he told me that he needed to “think” about us being together, while at the same time belittling me for thinking that he obviously must want the relationship to end, in which is response was: “How can you still doubt that I want to be with you” – funny because those are the words he said to me right before he discarded me.) HE WAS THE ONE THAT WAS WRONG. Gosh, how could I have been so wrong about someone? How did I lose myself in him? in taking care of him, worrying about him, worrying about myself, worrying about the two of us, what did I do to make him so angry when he barely showed anger before? Etc. I used to think: “I must be such a bad person to incite such a bad response out of him”, etc. etc.

Again, I know this is disjointed and I apologize. Hopefully some of you will reconcile with the stage that I am in.


I believe most women that have encountered a psychopath or sociopath have a story that sounds like the exact same person. The silent treatment o how i can remember those times. It a do as i say not as i do relationship. However, in my case i gave him some power over it that’s before i researched to see wtf i had gotten myself into. They create stories to justify their ill distorted behavior and then immediately turn into the victim. When i say NEVER accept responsibility for any of their wrongdoings to others. We see the signs but we are just in disbelief because you just don’t believe GOD could create such a soul. All I can say is from my experience they are the DEVIL on earth. When i say even when we initially begin talking I always believed there was something a little off but then the overloads of charm kick in we hear and ignore what we see before us. This man was so crazy if someone is about to lose their jobs or get into trouble he say better them than me. I understand that you wouldn’t prefer trouble but to make comments of that nature is very selfish and insensitive and if i ask him why he’s so insensitive he begins to say i have to be able to decipher bullshit from what’s real. That’s to make it seem as if he’s joking but please believe it’s no joke they mean all of the nasty evil twisted things that come from their lips. They are empty souls even the eyes are cold and dead. We have all experienced something that had we not experienced it first hand we’d still be in the dark. Further, what saddens me is that noone seems to understand how horrible these people are.


Hi blackgirl71052,

Thank you for the response!

Your comment: “The silent treatment o how i can remember those times. It a do as i say not as i do relationship. However, in my case i gave him some power over it that’s before i researched to see wtf i had gotten myself into. They create stories to justify their ill distorted behavior and then immediately turn into the victim.”

Yes yes and yes! he was allowed to freak out, go silent on me, get mad, etc. but if I did any of those things, I was in the wrong. I was to be punished. And the power, oh the power! In the beginning when I wasn’t so mentally fucked by him, I was able to push back. Call him out on his behavior. He would apologize (but it would NEVER change) and then there came a time where I gave him ALL the power and he just trampled and crushed my heart and soul. Ugh. And your comment about how they create stories to justify their behavior – you couldn’t be more right!

Do Narcs vs. Sociopaths KNOW that they are doing this? I feel like Narcs might not realize it (to an extent) while sociopaths intend to do harm and know full well what they are doing. maybe this is my last plea hoping that he was just awful but that it was mostly unintentional. :/ I feel like i’m lying to myself when I think those things though. I feel like he knew, he just didn’t care because he felt justified.



Every detail of your experience is pretty typical of an encounter with a harmful spath. It sounds like you are thinking pretty clearly and doing a good job of figuring him out.

The night terrors were most likely your subconscious knowing that your ex spath is dangerous to you and that it is right to fear him.

He took advantage of your normal and generous emotions and motives, because his motive is to lie and exploit others. The way you think, feel, and respond, will work very well in a relationship with a worthwhile man of good character.

The process of recovery is difficult. The emotions you feel, the PTSD from being manipulated and exploited and harmed, are normal responses to having been abused. Because of spaths’ pathological lying, blaming and impression management, it is often difficult for others to understand what really happened to the victim. The loneliness and lack of being understood makes recovery very difficult.


Hi AnnettePK,

Thank you for your comment.

You’re so right! My night terrors were warning me – my subconscious saw who he really was, while I was blinded by love and his “false self.”

Yes! Thank you for saying that. I seriously, to this day, keep thinking that if maybe i hadn’t been so damaged from childhood and my previous abusive relationship I could have been better for him. But then I remind myself that no one can help how they feel, but they can try to help how they react. When I was having triggers/flashbacks/memories of abuse, I always felt awful and would apologize and I was NEVER mean. I’m not kidding; I just don’t think I have it in my to be mean. But yet, during his “depression” he was allowed to be nasty, irritable, crazy, etc. and yet he told me that he couldn’t handle my PTSD because it was directed AT him and I was like: and your depression wasn’t? There were so many logical comments I could have made against his illogical reasoning, but he already had me under his thumb and it became where I could only see myself and the relationship through his eyes (e.g., I was the wrong one). Or if I did notice something was wrong, I wouldn’t bring it up because he wouldn’t actually listen or respond appropriately. If I said anything it would probably have warranted another silent treatment.

YES! You are so right. And the tactics are so covert. It’s hard to explain to someone that at the beginning of a relationship with someone you were at your most confident, outgoing, loving, trusting self, and then at the end, you feel stupid, ugly, worthless, ashamed, unloved, and now you cannot trust, you cannot look people in the eye, you have panic attacks, etc. But no one gets it! They don’t understand what we went through. And so you’re right in that the road to recovery is a tough one because no one understands. Even my therapist who i love, when i started telling her that I was thinking my ex was a N/S/P she was basically like: couldn’t he have just fell out of love with you? (when i mentioned lovebombing with how he treated me later, etc). So, even she doesn’t get it or care to get it.

At least we have online groups like this! It is really great to have a place where I am understood and that others around me understand EXACTLY what I’m going through.

Thank you!


Sounds like your ex spath was using whatever he knew about the difficult experiences you’d had against you – to make you feel responsible for his bad behavior. A normal man of good character would make choices that avoid triggering your past bad experiences, and do all that he can to enhance your recovery.

Falling out of love is not a reason to treat someone badly. Depending on one’s commitment to the relationship and beliefs about what love is, if one decides to leave a relationship for whatever reason he tells his partner as kindly as possible and does everything he can to make the process easier.

Love is a set of actions, which is a choice to keep commitments and to treat others in ways that enhance their well being.


YES! All of of what you said is so on point.

I remember telling him that certain actions would trigger me and I would kindly ask for him to be more considerate of that. Well, at the beginning he sort of was. But definitely not after I moved in and he already started devaluing me. I remember I had to actually have a conversation saying: you know, if we are a couple, then you should help me through this and not make it worse for me, because I should just be single if I’m expected to handle all this on my own. And he responded and said you are right, and vowed to change. was different for maybe 4 days. And then back to the games. UGH. I was SO blind.

Yes! I agree. I remember when we talked about breaking up, he gave me the silent treatment for weeks – we didn’t even have a discussion about breaking up. He already knew he wanted to end it, but he tortured me with the silent treatment right before he discarded me. When we met up after weeks of not speaking, he basically told me that “I hurt him” and it was over. I couldn’t figure out exactly how I hurt him, he would never tell me, and when I said, “well you definitely hurt me too” he would sort of ignore it. Although he would insinuate that he played a role in our break up, he wouldn’t admit to anything or apologize. Instead “I hurt him” and so it had to end. I keep telling myself that a normal, nice guy with a good character would NEVER do something like this! He would have sat down with me, told me exactly how he felt and if we agreed we couldn’t fix it, then we would break up and move on. w

“Love is a set of actions, which is a choice to keep commitments and to treat others in ways that enhance their well being.” — YEP. And because N/S/P do not love, no wonder they can treat others like shit.



Your ex spath sounds so very much like my ex psychopath in a lot of ways. It was absolutely horrible. He was a sadist, I called his behavior his ‘torture sports.’ I’ve been out for about 4 years, and my life is incredibly wonderful and happy now. You will feel better and you’ll have a good life, and you’ll share your good and valuable and generous personality with good people who appreciate you and care about your well being.



I go by slim here at LF, and check in every once in awhile, to support people, and to keep myself educated about the morally insane people that actually DO exist in the world.

You have clearly met up with one of the crazy-ones, and I am sorry for your pain and all the questions this has left you with.

The simple answer to all your questions probably won’t alleviate that nagging feeling that you did something wrong. For that to go away takes time and healing.

And, so, the simple answer is: you existed, and your world collided with his.

See? Not much relief there. Unless you unpack what that really means.

Firstly, these types target ALL other people. An individual disordered person may have a favorite ‘kind’ of target (old, rich, young, naive, athletic, well connected, etc…). The point is we are ALL targets of these twisted people. You don’t need to be particularly messed up or vulnerable either. If they have your particular ‘number’ and decide to lie their way into your life, well….they are generally successful.


Because they are complete and total liars. Everything they say is only a move on the giant ‘chess board’ of their life, and they use what they say and do to move us into whatever position they want us in.

So, first they make the moves so we feel like they really LIKE US. They lovebomb, get us to do a little favor or two, buy us something, or generally just tell us how much we have in common. They move us into position to be open to them, to start the love hormones flowing, and to create receptiveness.

Then, once they have us they start the process of controlling us, our feelings, and the circumstances. This is really where they feel ‘powerful’, which is a feeling they like, a lot. Control is the drug of choice for those with personality disorders. Watching people dance on a string is their favorite form of entertainment. I don’t think they actually have any capacity to even ‘see’ someone else as a ‘person’. Because everyone and everything they see is only, in their narcissistic minds, an extension of them.

Once they have accomplished that they may keep this phase going for decades, or (if they are fast movers) may start the devaluing (outright devaluing, they have been doing it all along) phase relatively quickly….Either way, during this phase the mask comes off more, and they test you to see if even when they are mean, disrespectful, and insulting you will turn the other cheek.

Like I said this can go on for a long time, depending on how well they mix this abuse with a return to the lovebombing of the previous phase. If they are good at mixing the two, and feeding us ‘love crumbs’ we are more likely to forgive them and continue on.

If they are not so skilled, or they get distracted by a ‘better target’ (someone who has something they REALLY want), they may just do some things that are so awful that we are forced to leave them. Or they will just disappear.

So, to be taken by a N/P/S we need to exist, and run into one of them.

To NOT be taken takes more skill.

If you keep reading and learning, shore up your self love and boundaries, and promise not to put up with one iota of BS, you stand a chance of living without being taken again. It means NO contact. It means NO second chances for liars or mean types. It means NO responding to love bombing and attention that is abnormally enticing. It means NO fear that if you stick to your guns that you will be alone (you won’t! Believe me).

It means, in a NORMAL way, placing yourself first. Protecting every precious moment of your day for good things, for solid people, for goals that build you the life you want to create.

For me lovefraud played a huge part in keeping me on track. My life is SO good now, and I know the same can be true for just about anyone.

Don’t blame yourself, but do take this as an opportunity to GROW!

take care, Slim


Hi Slim,

Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words!!

When you wrote: “Then, once they have us they start the process of controlling us, our feelings, and the circumstances. This is really where they feel ’powerful’, which is a feeling they like, a lot. Control is the drug of choice for those with personality disorders. Watching people dance on a string is their favorite form of entertainment. I don’t think they actually have any capacity to even ’see’ someone else as a ’person’. Because everyone and everything they see is only, in their narcissistic minds, an extension of them.”

Yes! One of the things that I loved about my ex was that he was always putting me on a pedestal about my accomplishments/ who I was etc. He would brag about me openly to other people and it made me feel like he was really proud of me. when I look back at those moments, it was more like “look at my trophy. She’s everything I’m not and she makes me look good.” I also wrote in my journal that even though he was always complimenting me I received subtle signs that instead he was actually jealous of me for how I was able to interact with people (I’m not as bubbly as I once was), at my academic success (I’m getting my PhD), etc.

Anyway, you are right in that I have to practice my self love and put up those boundaries. Both things that have been hard for me. I’m a codependent that does not have any boundaries. For myself or others; and that needs to change. i’m working on it in therapy! I also have never really learned to love the one person I should love: myself. All that is changing. And at least i am aware that these people exist and I will NEVER put up with this shit again because I’m going to shut down all lovebombing attempts and not give second chances to people who lie. I am going to make people earn my trust rather than give it to people that don’t deserve it etc. And I will take all my next relationships slow!

Thanks again for all your support. 🙂


Hi becomingstrong,

I spent last night racking my brains, having re-read your previous posts. My thoughts on the ‘decoy’ were along the lines of letting him ‘win’ some battles. You seem to have covered all possible options. And you’ve taken a break which would have been another one of my suggestions.

From past experience with non-spaths I’ve learnt that there comes a point where I’ve done everything I can think of, taken risks, followed my intuitions and there’s literally nothing else that I can do except wait and see what happens. At such times it seems like I’m wading through treacle, as if I’m just ‘existing’. If I’ve any energy left I help life out in small ways like picking up worms or snails off the pavement or giving a small amount to charity. That can have an ‘unblocking’ effect on the logjam of my life. I also pray, even if it’s only a resentful ‘Hi, God’. That connection does something in some way. Talking to others can also be a life-saver but the difficulty is finding the right, safe people to talk to, people who understand the experience. Thank God for the internet!

I think you should change your screen name to very_strong. 🙂


Dear Nolongershocked,

I was brainstorming with a friend and we’ve come up with decoy plan. Your idea was brilliant throw a wrench in his plan to not get a divorce by making it tempting to be divorced-sweetening the pie so to speak. But of course this offer/decoy I’ve made to him to this morning is contingent on one thing-that we get divorced as soon as possible. Thank you for your idea, it just might be the winning stroke. I let you know how it goes.

P.S. I think my screen name to “No longer a mess”


Be sure that your ex spath won’t see through the decoy plan. If he does, he is likely to feel a ‘win’ in getting you to engage, to be thinking about him, to be planning about him, to be making ‘moves’ in a game he controls. A decoy may work for you, but it’s worth considering whether less ‘moves’ in his game are more likely to lead to his getting bored and going away. I’m not trying to dissuade you, just suggesting it’s worth considering any risk of a decoy plan.

I found that with my ex psychopath, less of everything on my part worked best. It may be that a decoy will work very well in your situation.


The sociopath has worked on taking my son 1.5 years ago and now my daughter this past week away from me. He never was in their life until the divorce, now is overbearingly in it, inserting himself in everything and the best guy ever. The terror I still have over being near the S, the lying in his manner over his presentation of himself as this good guy when all of us have experienced the extreme other end of niceness (and now apparent lovebombing /medication of the children to counter that), the loss of my daughter to him with her claiming I was abusing her and listing all the things he did is so mind blowing. I would have never thought this could happen and then it does. The manipulations and lies, even the control of others with seeming mindbending ability is unbelievable.


What you’ve experienced is heartbreaking. Prayers that things will turn around for your children in time. The only thing I know of that may help you is the greyrock technique of dealing with a spath. You may already be doing this.


Bev, I feel such a comfort from you. Some days when I feel like the bottom is falling out of my world I get Lovefraud and I know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I do have a question for you. Do you “love” your son or do you feel nothing for him? Or something in-between? I ask this because I sometimes wonder what is I feel for my children who went to live with the spath.

I know you are in shock and probably inconsolable at this time. But like you I lost children to the spath. In my case I didn’t wait for a court order I just sent him the children who are like him and wanted to be with him and whom he told he wanted them to come. I watched in awe as my young children skipped off as though they not leaving the only parent they’ve ever known and ever lived with but as though they were off to some amusement park. I was disbelief. I shut my emotions down and put whatever I felt for those children on deep freeze. Now that they’ve been gone almost a year, I have only seen them once and spoken to them one time, they know their phone number and they do not call, I have clarity. I see that I was living a lie “pretending” that my children cared about me and that I mattered. The shock that you are feeling will wear off and you will see things differently. You will see how dangerous of predicament you were in and will feel grateful to be away from it. Your children have spoken and put themselves where they want to be. Why they had to lie to get there is another question? There is an unholy definition of motherhood and I am not sure when we bought into it? I no longer believe motherhood means you have to fight tooth and nail for kids who don’t want to live with you. And subject yourself to defamatory courtroom proceedings and criminal liability. Or that you even have to visit. If they want to go let them. And to hell with what society says. Because we know what society says about your mothering because we know that the male is out spathing at best they have no opinion and don’t want to hear about it and at worst it is your fault you invited it. Now you have to ask yourself why are you hurt over your children? Is it because you have to explain to everybody why your children don’t live with you and you feel that’s it mark of shame and your failure? Or is it because of some other reason? When my children walked out the door and never looked back I have come to realize that they were really never mine. And it almost feels like I never knew them. And I’m glad that I let them go. They’re happier and I’m happier.

Hope Springs

You are a comfort to me, as well.

As for the question ‘do I love my son’…I don’t really know how to answer it.

From the time he was born almost…or a few days after I guess…something was not right. The failure to breastfeed. The extreme fussiness. And, I do mean out of the ordinary, not colic, extreme. He seemed and was so unsettled, if that is the right word. He seemed angry and frustrated from the time he came out of me. He did not even want to be held. At all. I felt disconnected almost from the start. How sad is that? For him…for me…

The question is so hard for me to answer. Do I love him deep down, and feel that I have to turn any love off, so as to have no contact? Perhaps. I know that I certainly do not like him…and I do not hate him.

It feels more like indifference. Like a grey rock? I don’t really know how I feel about him, to be honest. No one has ever asked me! I never ask myself. Maybe I should figure it out.


Dear Bev,
Your answer was fascinating. Especially the part where you said nobody had ever asked you if you love your son and you never asked yourself. In dealing with a divorce and the fact that I voluntarily relinquished custody of some of the kids, I’ve had to answer questions from shocked onlookers, including my own lawyer. I understand what I’m doing completely. I guess the question is what is love? I have to reach back into history and ask myself do I feel love toward anyone? And is what I feel toward my children is that same feeling? The answers is yes to the first question and no to second question. I love my mother and some of my siblings very much. It is a very positive and intense feeling that I have known since childhood. When my mother was dying it was hard for me to conceive life without her. As life ebbed out of her my heart was breaking. It’s been years since she died but I think about her everyday all the time, I quietly thank her for all the wonderful gifts she gave me and I miss her. It’s actually a physical pain. I loved my husband when I married him. I love my siblings and I would walk through hell for them and be glad to do it. Those are not the feelings I feel towards my children. I’m afraid of them. I don’t trust them. I feel a strong sense of duty toward them to prepare them for their future. But nowhere in that repertoire do I feel anything that comes anywhere the fringes of what I feel for my mother and siblings. In fact, I think about them getting married and I pity their spouses. In fact, if I will ever to be invited to a wedding of theirs I would not go out of respect to the unsuspecting dupe. I also understand that is absolutely taboo for a mother to admit to these things. I think that needs to change. I no longer cringe when I say some of my children live with their father. It is the best for them and the best for me and the children who live with me. There’s nothing wrong for seeing your children for what they are. And some of my children bear no resemblance to the moral, decent, loving people I was taught one should strive to be. There you have it. And I’m okay with it.

Hope Springs

Wow, becomingstrong.

You have explained what I think that I was trying to. I LOVE my mother, too. Intensely. The same for my husband, intensely, but in a very different way, of course.

I often think that if either of them were to die, that it would be so physically painful for me, that I would be a total mess. It would be a very long and hard grieving process for me. Almost unimaginable. Like you said, a deep painful physical hurt. I can feel it right now, if I let myself think about either of them dying.

I think that I actually HAVE questioned myself before on why I did or do not FEEL that kind of ‘love’ for my own son. I thought that it was me. That something was wrong with ME.

AnnettePK’s post, below, is so true, as well. I have never felt love FROM my son, in any way at all. He can’t love. I know that now. When he was little, however, it slowly ate away at me and ‘killed’ me that he was so incapable of any real emotion. Perhaps all the years of that has made me pull any love that I had for him inward or away at least. I feel now like he does not deserve my love. Oh boy, does that even make sense?

Also, I feel like I have to protect my own feelings. It is like self preservation to not FEEL love for him any more. It hurts too much if I do???

I am not even sure I feel anything for him. How terrible. It is not something that you can just say out loud.

Thank you both, as always.


Love is difficult to define and it means different things to different people. Falling in love with a partner elicits warm feelings of love that are based partly on what is known about the new partner, on how we believe the new partner feels about us, and on hopes and expectations. Warm and inspiring emotions are natural in a relationship that’s going well, and especially in a relationship that is based on commitment and mutual concern for one another’s well being between adults.

Between parents and children, there is a lot of natural joy in watching a child grow and learn and make right choices. It’s easy to feel warm love for a child who’s responding well to all the things we give to the relationship.

For me, the strongest and most meaningful love is actions. This type of love is a choice. A spouse who has ‘fallen out of love’ with his/her spouse but chooses to remain faithful to his/her commitment and to continue to treat his/her spouse with kindness and passion, is ‘loving’ his/her spouse in the most powerful way possible.

I continue to ‘love’ my ex psychopath (despite not being ‘in love’ with him) by being honest in my dealings with him, and being willing to forgive him for the harm he did if he ever chose to repent.

A parent loves a disordered child by treating him/her fairly and appropriately, and by being willing to forgive and willing to have a good relationship should the disordered child ever change even though that is completely unlikely in this lifetime. If one’s choices are honest, fair, and considering the best interest of the child when possible, then one is treating the child with as much love as possible given the child’s choices. That love is much more difficult and much more powerful than the warm feeling inspired responses that come naturally in relationships with normal people of good character. It would be inappropriate to express love to a spath in the same ways that work well in relationships with normal people.

Hope Springs

Oh, btw, we were invited to my son’s wedding, and we did not go.

Looking back now, I likely knew at the time, in my mind, that it was all a sham. They barely knew each other! My son seemed in such a hurry to wed and then to have kids.

I also remember when we first met our DIL, my son said ‘she is not who you would ‘expect’ me to be with, is she’? He added that she was overweight and not very pretty. Plain, he said. We had never even met any of his other so called girlfriends before. It struck me as strange then, but now, well, it all makes sense. He said all of that, as if he was too good for her, and was giving her the gift of him! Poor girl…what a prize he turned out to be. I had forgotten all about that conversation, but I had told my mother about it, and she reminded me of it the other day. I mean, what an asshole my son is! He was embarrassed of her at the start and I did not even clue in…

Luckily, they were being married in Hawaii and we did not want to travel there due to the expense. Thank goodness, now, that we did not attend.

In hindsight, it was not meant to be for us to attend.


When a relationship or potential relationship that is naturally meant to be love-based is destroyed, it is a great loss – like a death, but much more difficult to grieve because the loss is not easily recognized and there’s not widespread support. When I was widowed my loss was obvious and I grieved wholeheartedly and got infinite support from friends and family. When the fake ‘marriage’ to my ex Psychopath ended, I also experienced a huge loss, but it was not easily defined and more difficult for others to support me. It seems like it’s no big loss to get away from a bad person, but the expectation I had that he was a good man who loved me created a loss to be grieved. A good and wise friend told me, “You loved who he said he was.”
A child disordered in such a way that he does not love and bond with his mom who naturally loves and bonds with him is a huge loss and I imagine very difficult to grieve. It is as much a loss as a death, as a relationship does not exist. A mom loves who her child would be/could be if not for the disorder.

Hope Springs

Thank you AnnettePK,

Please read my reply above.


Becomingstrong, I am curious about what your children who chose to stay with you think about all this. Do they understand the situation? As for the ones who left, how can they be happy even if they are disordered themselves because it’s not like spaths treat eachother well, they are basically sharks.


Dear satya,
They’ve been gone for months and I haven’t heard from them. My guess is they are happy. They get to do things they want to do many of which they didn’t get to do in my care. Through the grapevine I understand that my teenage daughter has many late nights on her phone (I wouldn’t allow her a phone), dates with boys (she just turned 14) and lots of foul, lewd language on social media. I think she’s on hog heaven and I think water finds its own level. I think the others are probably somewhat disappointed but there is no supervision, lots of fast food, trips to the mall, and new toys and clothes every week. Nothing like that over here. Over here there are rules and consequences if you break them and expectations and an occasional toy or game or treat. Why do the kids who stay stay with me? Because they know he is bad. And I am good. They followed their instincts. They never ask to call and when I offered to send them up for spring break they both said no. They have actually said they don’t like him. My oldest doesn’t like me either but he stays because he knows I afford superior opportunities, i.e.: education, travel and just in general respectability. He is very much like his father and I have told him that he may live with me but it is a privilege. The youngest clings to my very shadow. I wasn’t always this way. I was a doormat that my children would wipe their boots on, a lesson they learned from their father and that I permitted them to learn by having him in our lives. There is a price to be paid having these spaths around and I am paying it. Are my children the way they are because of nurture or nature or both? What’s important now is that I know what they are, however they came by it. And they aren’t going to be that way with me anymore. They can go live with him as some have and I think that was the right decision for them and if they stay with m. They are going to exhibit respectful and kind behavior. They don’t have to lie about me and accuse me of abuse to get to go live with him. They know I buy them a one way ticket so fast it will make their head spin. Now the intended consequence of this, which I get a chuckle over, he is beside himself with rage that he has them, the children he claimed to adore and would bring to live with him as soon as chances permitted I was no longer standing in the way. He was blaming me and they were mad at me. When I heard that I pulled them out of their schools, packed their bags, and sent them up the very next day. And they were elated to go. Now when I hear from him by email he whines about their childhood illnesses, school work, and claims I ruined them. He’s really angry. He just wanted to dangle the carrot in front of the children and watch their hostility toward me so J would take him back. It was a win win for him. I either take him back or I’m stuck with kids who hate me all alone. Because my children are so strange and disconnected to what we know as normal human feelings I don’t detect that they miss each other very much. The two who live with me don’t like each other and never talk to each other. Trust me I don’t recognize my own life. I grew up in a large sibling bunch and were close to most of my siblings. I enjoyed them. In fact when we got a little older we shared friends and went out together. It is weird and i know it’s weird. But is this is what happens when you mate with a spath. Scary isn’t?


When a spath is involved poisoning everything and causing every kind of negative emotion he can, etc; it’s difficult to discern normal childhood mistakes from immaturity from disordered evil motives and behaviors. I was blessed that my ex psychopath is gone completely. I expected more of my son than was appropriate for his age, given the circumstances. I expected his recovery would be faster, and that our life and my son would get back to ‘normal’ within a few months. That didn’t happen; bad choices and bad motivations continued. Now that I am 3+ years out and away from the psychopath, and my son is also naturally maturing, I am encouraged by positive changes in his choices and attitude.

I am so sorry for the horror and the heartache in your situation. It sounds like a situation that doesn’t foster joy, trust and general happiness.

Have you left your door open in any way to your children who currently live with your ex spath; such as letting them know that if they agree to live cheerfully according to your rules they are welcome to return to live with you? It may be that as they see the reality of your ex spath and his lies and motives play out and the harm he does in their lives, that they may come to understand the value your way of life offers.

I have read that children often go along with/choose the disordered parent because subconsciously they know that the disordered parent offers only conditional ‘love’ and approval. The healthy parent loves the children unconditionally, (though not condoning bad behavior.)

I was deceived by my ex psychopath and eventually woke up to the truth about what he is and does; but others continue to be deceived by him. It takes time and experience to get clarity; is it possible that some of your children will grow and learn and come to see the light as they mature and experience their spath ‘father?’


Hi Annette,

My phone and door have been and are open to the children who live with him. With that said I don’t forsee that we will all reside under roof again. We all are coming into our own and there is a great divide between who they are now and are allowed to be and those children in my care. It will never be back to the way it was. In other words, they don’t want a mother who isn’t a door mat. I don’t believe they would know how to behave with me now. I want everyone to be where they want to be and with whom they want to live. I don’t ever want to stand in the way. Maybe one day, when they are done with the malls, cheap plastic toys, and all the trappings they may come around. My children have my telephone number and I have attempted to call in the past. I’m not going the bang my head against a brick wall anymore. But whether or not they regain contact we going to live our lives and forge ahead. I believe they have moved on. I am not going to lament what isn’t. I’m going to focus my attention, expectations and hopes on the children in my care. It is all I can do to protect the children in my care from the spath. You make some valid points as to why they are the way they are. However, I don’t really care anymore why they behave the way they do. I don’t spend too much time on it. I’m not interested in fixing them. This is very liberating for me.

Hope Springs

Oh becomingstrong, do I understand what you are saying.

You can go round and round and neat your head against the wall and second guess yourself and generally feel terrible…and for what? How long do we do that to ourselves? Do we kill ourselves doing that?

Like I said before…I will not DIE for my child…not unless I am pulling him from a burning building or saving him from drowning or protecting him from a grizzly bear attack. But emotionally?

No way.

Hope Springs

BEAT…not neat



Thanks for your reply and sharing. It sounds like you have found a good balance in doing what you can do and not taking responsibility for others’ choices, ie. ‘fixing’ others. Probably because of my ex psychopath’s constant blaming of me for everything, it took me awhile to stop taking responsibility for others’ behavior, and to allow my son to make his choices and to let the natural consequences happen including the consequences from me. It’s allowed him to learn and grow which wasn’t happening so well when I was in the codependent trying to ‘fix’ him mode. I did so many things that were banging my head against the proverbial brick wall, that resulted in my frustration and didn’t help anyone else. I’m hopefully finding a balance where I use my energy in effective ways for myself and others, and don’t waste it on people and situations that don’t appreciate my efforts and don’t benefit from what I give.

I didn’t think that my situation would get better as it has, although it took several years to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It sounds like you are doing the right things to facilitate good relationships with and between your children. I hope they’ll come around with time and experience; and I hope you have the life of peace and happiness you deserve. Spaths want us to feel nothing but pain and darkness and they put all their efforts into facilitating others’ unhappiness.



I understand your point. There’s no reason to give one’s life, or anything, to someone who gets no real benefit from whatever we sacrifice. I’m not sure I’d save my ex psychopath from drowning even if it wouldn’t cost me anything, if I discern he’s just going to spend the rest of his life harming people.

Hope Springs

LOL…I don’t blame you!

‘Your’ P is not your child, so I can totally understand not even wanting to ever save him from anything.

‘My’ P (or SP or whatever) is my own son, so I meant that I would die trying to save him when he was a child…

Now, however, I am not so sure that I would. It may be maternal instinct that might still make me try…lol…but I also may ‘save’ other future victims of HIM, if I did not try and save him from a drowning, a fire, or a bear attack now.

Yikes. What a quandary! Luckily, none of those scenarios will ever happen, because I have no contact with him and live far away and I will never come upon any of those scenarios.


Now I know. When my brother-in-law said to me, “There are two sides to every story”, I remember feeling really irritated with him. He was defending his other brother who was very jealous and abusive to my husband and I. This brother was even physically abusive to us. Where was the ‘other’ side of the story?


Sounds like a smokescreen comment to deflect blame from the truth of what he did and said, by hinting that there is some other unknown fact – the ‘other side of the story’ that somehow changes the truth about what he did. When people toss word salad at us, we can get too off balance to ask, “What is the other side of the story that no one knows that somehow magically changes the truth?”


What I have learned: while there definitely ARE “red flags of lovefraud” it is not foolproof and yes, we can continue to be fooled. Some sociopaths are very good liars and manipulators. And normal people are — normal. So it is good to be sociopath-aware, but it is not 100% so don’t feel bad if you get hooked into another relationship. Just recognize it earlier, protect yourself a bit more at the beginning, and get out as soon as you recognize it. Don’t give the “benefit of the doubt.”

With regard to those liars, and there being “two sides” to the matter. No. If one person is telling the truth, and the other person is lying or deceiving, then there may be “two sides” to the matter (a lying side and a truthful side) — the TRUTH does not lie somewhere “in the middle.” The truth lies wherever the truth lies — period.

Lies mixed with truth are simply lies. It is like a little bit of salt (lies) mixed with water (truth): you get salty water. Lies.

The task for normal, loving people is to learn and accept that some people are liars and deceivers. And to eventually learn to discern the lies, and not take everyone at face value. Even just ONE stupid lie that you uncover — trust me, that is more “salty water” and there is not just one lie. There will be more — many more. Definitely run!


Dear Annette,

You are right about what society can recognize. And what society can’t. As for what Bev wrote, I think what I heard her say is that she never bonded with her son. And therefore, there was no loss of bond to grieve over. I think this is very hard for a mother to say. We are to expected to bond with our children even if they’re jackals. I think this the discussion women need to start having. When you are involved with abusive people its okay to want to get away from them, even if they are your own spawn. And maybe what you are grieving is that you are not grieving because it is not a loss. These spaths cause you to question your own humanity which is very dangerous. Once you recognize something is wrong or even bad aren’t we saying to run for the hills on this website. So why do we feel the need as women and mothers to retain destructive ties to the spaths in the form of dangerous and destructive children? Food for thought.

Hope Springs

Yes, I think that I never bonded with my son. That is hard to say. Especially when I was young. It is much easier to say now.

It is not something that I ever tell any one, though. Only my mother, and on this site. It is nothing to brag about nor be particularly proud of. It goes against humanity. And, yes, it does make you question your own…

Thank you for what you said. We are expected to bond with our children, at our own peril, no matter what. Look at Ted Bundy’s mother. Or Paul Bernardo’s. I have heard people say that a mother should always love her son (or child) no matter what. Should always stand by them. That ‘those’ people need love to. Really??? I don’t think that they do need love at all. They just NEED a parental cover at times to make themselves ‘look good’ to others.

I did, however, still grieve the loss of ‘my son’, but perhaps not to such a larger or deeper extent, as the bond was never really there to begin with.

Yikes…that sentence looks like word salad…sorry about that.

Hope Springs

‘That ‘those’ people need love TOO’…sorry for the grammar.

I am finding myself extremely sad after this conversation.

What a tragedy it all is, really.

Thank you all so much for all of your support and kindness. What would I do without you all??

I am so happy that I found this site. I can talk on here, like I cannot talk any where else. I appreciate that.


I believe I understand what you say, I don’t perceive word salad.

I found this site the best of several that I participated in. I felt sorry for victims, like my ex psychopath’s first ex wife, who went through the spath experience before the internet. I don’t think I would have survived – probably would have committed homicide or suicide.

Most people, including me before my spath experience, think people who do bad things are normal people like us who are mistaken, misguided, etc. Sometimes that’s true, but it was my first awakening when I realised that the psychopath I was ‘married’ to wanted to be doing what he was doing. So true that spaths don’t need, appreciate, nor deserve the normal expressions of love. No contact is probably the best way to express love for them. That is a complete tragedy because is is the opposite of what human life is about.

I was thinking the word ‘tragedy’ just now, too. For me, understanding, and indulging to some extent, the pain and loss the psychopath caused me, helped me recover.


I understand what you’re saying. There is no way someone is going to have the warm fuzzy feeling of ‘love’ that results from a normal relationship, in a relationship with a spath. The loss is, like you said, the loss of a relationship that never was. For a parent of a child who died as an infant the loss is more easily defined and grieved. The loss is the expectation of a happy life raising a child. I imagine that the disappointment, frustration and pain of a parent who loses a child to the disorder of psychopathy can sometimes be harder to define and grieve a loss of the hopes and expectations of a relationship. Spaths always cause pain and harm in others.

When I realized amidst the insanity and pain of covert abuse, pathological lies, manipulations, etc. that the ‘man’ I loved (because I am capable of love, not because he deserved it) was a horrible disgusting evil person, people in general did not recognize my grief because there’s no great loss getting away from a harmful evil person. But I grieved the loss of my expectations for the relationship and for the person he deceived me into thinking he is.

Hope Springs

You are so good at putting into words that which I cannot.

I grieve for my son…I grieve for me…I grieve for my husband.

I think I have been grieving for almost 35 years, (all of my son’s life), for that which will never be.

I have no ‘love’ for my son on the sense that I should have. I know that he has no love for me, or any one, at all. That actually makes things easier. I had to accept that before I could get to where I am now.

I accept it and I am moving on. It is all that I can do.

Hope Springs

IN the sense, not ON the sense…gosh


When you say you don’t love your son as you should, do you mean you don’t love him in the ways you would if he loved you as a son should love his parent? It seems like your response to him has been very giving and caring. You can’t make a relationship happen that he is not wired and motivated to have. Anger, resentment, pain, and just plain wanting to beat the cr*p out of people who harm and exploit us (including our children) is normal; and you’ve apparently not indulged in those feelings, and in that way you’ve done the action of love towards your son.

Giving to someone harmful to you when it doesn’t benefit them makes no sense. I concluded that I’d give even my life for my ex psychopath if it would benefit him, but it would not in any real meaningful manner. (I’m sure he’d be ‘happy’ if I were dead as his alimony obligation would end, but that’s another story) I have no contact with him because that is the absolute best I can do for him.

Consider that if there were something you could do for your son that would really help him, and you would do it. That is loving him as you should.

Hope Springs

Yes, that’s right AnnettePK.

I feel as you do…as if having no contact is not only the best thing for me, but it is also the best thing for him. It is the best thing that I can do for him, not only for myself. I feel like it will save both of us.

I will not die for him. Not unless he were being attacked by a grizzly or I had to save him from a fire or drowning.

When I am witnessing the things that he does in his life, and seeing who he is and how he thinks about and looks at life, I feel like I am indeed dying. I can and will not let that happen.


Dear Annette, P.S.
In other words, all that glitters is not gold. And mean, treacherous, perjurious children are no exception. Women who find themselves in this unfortunate situation need to follow their instincts more and worry about what society says less.


Absolutely. The worst situation is to pretend something is good and right when it is not.

Whatever the level of loss is, from a mom who never really bonded with a spath child, to a woman who bonded and committed to the fake spath wearing a mask who appeared to be a good guy who loved her, it’s more difficult to identify the loss and grieve it than in a straightforward death. Unfulfilled expectations and hopes for a good and normal relationship that is supposed to be loved based can be a loss.

Something else that comes to my mind is the idea that was prevalent in the 50’s and 60’s that autism was caused by the mother being cold and not bonding to the child. The truth is the opposite – because autistic babies and children fail to return the eye contact, smiles, and other interactions initiated by the mom, most mothers naturally don’t continue to initiate interactions that get no response.

Hope Springs

Yes. Yes.

My gut tells me that I am right. It has all along, but I questioned myself for years and tried to make it all work out. Tried to be a supportive and loving mother.

It just wasn’t ‘right’. It felt wrong.

It is gut- wrenching.


You were and are a supportive and loving mother, because you are capable of love and giving support and you choose to do so. You son’s response based on his motives due to his disorder is what is wrong. You did what you discerned was best based on the information you had. Reading and posting here, examining/questioning yourself, is doing everything within your power to do do the best you can for yourself and your son. That is what love is.

Hope Springs


Thank you so much AnnettePK.

Thank you.


Thank you for sharing here; it’s been good connecting with you.


Anyone with suggestions, please comment – I am lost……I feel like here I am the sister that is trying to save my little sister, who is battling breast cancer, from this psychopath she has been dating (he lives with her) & met on a dating website WHILE HE WAS MARRIED & he has 5small kids (girls, which my dad tells me to be patient because his daughters will see how he is and one day their husbands/boyfriends will see how he is and probably move them away from him) for over 2 years. The more I read – I am positive he is one of the worst ever!!! He is also ex-military, so he is trained well. As my sister told me, “You damn right he’s a manipulator – he’s one of the best because he was trained by our Military”. He fits EVERY description I have read. I have left literature about Gaslighting, Psychopaths, etc. emailed & texts her links, etc……..and now she basically hates me and doesn’t want to talk to me. I feel like this is going to be a long road to make up when she wakes up – she continues to tell me she is smart and no one will take her for a ride….he already had her borrow over $100K against her house that was paid off. What triggered anyone’s mind to eventually say, “Hey, maybe my two sisters that I have been so very close with my ENTIRE life, and we used to talk and be together at least 2-3 times a day/week may be looking out for my best interest and I should actually try to see what they have to say” . I know a lot of places I read they say she has to learn on her own, but I feel like he has her brain (especially while she has had chemo) so messed up she can’t even think for herself. She has even went as far as saying I caused her to have cancer because I stressed her out about trying to tell her, “I know this guy is manipulating you and you’re not yourself anymore”. That was like putting a knife in me…..hurt very bad. Did I deserve it? Am I being ridiculous? I can understand now by reading up on this so much – but I miss her so much and we were the closest sisters ever – I can’t understand why she thinks I would ever want to hurt her. She would normally be the person talking about one of her friends being taken – this is NOT like her. Thanks for anyone’s comments who has been in my boat – I am pretty sure I just have to wait it out – but it’s killing me. Thanks!!!


It sounds like you are right about him. It has to be so painful to watch what he is doing to your sister and how he is exploiting and harming her, and not be able to protect her. He is likely to be controlling her, even using hypnotic techniques, in powerful ways.

When I was under the control of my ex psychopath, my friends and family who were aware of what was going on tried to help me, to get me to ‘wake up.’ But until I was ready to leave, nothing anyone could say to me made any difference.

It sounds like you’ve let your sister know about your concerns. Even though she doesn’t believe you’re right now, she will have your comments to think about when she is ready.

If you can maintain a good relationship with her, so she knows you’re there to help her when she’s ready to get out, she may accept your help when she’s ready. If you keep a close relationship with her and don’t criticize her to the point where she stops sharing with you, you are more likely to know if she gets in physical danger. If she tells you things that make you feel like shaking her into her senses, consider asking her questions that might help her gain some insights. Even if she doesn’t hear you at the time, she will have what you’ve said to draw on later.

I read many things and was told many things that I ignored and/or disagreed with at the time; but when I was ready to face the truth about my ex psychopath I had them in my mind to draw on.


Dear AnnettePK,

Thank you – this makes me feel better. Yeah, I have been trying to tell her I will not mention his name and that I want to be sisters again like we have always been. She hasn’t replied……I don’t think she trusts me because I am the sister who does say it like it is, but I am really going to try so I can be close with her. I have told her over & over again we will all be there for her when he takes her down….I guess I could leave the “when he takes you down” part off, but again I am trying. He recently had her evict our mom who lived in my sisters garage converted apartment so right now she feels like she is in a litigation with our mom, & other sister. Tonight she is going to dinner with our dad & my 4 kids. My dad asked her if myself & my other sister should come and she told him no. That hurt! Our dad (my parents are divorced) who we worship does like this psychopath either but he hasn’t told my sister because he is trying to keep somewhat of a relationship with her so we can at least keep up with her cancer. We were so sick we haven’t been able to be there to take care of her and rub her poor little bald head after losing all of her beautiful hair!


Dear Bev,
and Annette
There are so many posts I can’t find your last one but I want to point an observation out. I see just from this morning from your posts that you are evolving down to the issue. And that is it is possible and probable that good mothers don’t feel love children. And if that’s the case what’s the reason? And we as good and loving people flinch at the thought. But I actually accept it. And what to be done with this charade; they pretend to be respectable and I pretend to love them. Of course I’m talking about children like your son. Where there’s nothing to plug into. Why continue the pretense? Why allow to society to act like spaths don’t exist and why allow society to make us pretend to love the spath? In all of my readings on this one thing I’ve learned is that we train ourselves out of our animal instincts and we step into the role that other people want us to assume. Which in some cases is feed the spaths, nature the spaths, hold the spath out as respectable, keep the spath next to you. What foolhardiness and why would I continue to ignore my instincts-when they are screaming out at me? I think more women feel this way than we know. Who knows what Ted Bundy’s mother felt? I don’t believe she was dumb. I’m inclined to think she knew but she couldn’t say. When your eyes see something why act like you are not seeing what you are seeing? I find it liberating. I’m not dragged down caring forward people who don’t love me and wish me ill. I guess what I’m saying is in these extreme circumstances its okay not to love your children and its okay to say it. But by saying this spaths want us and other to think there is something wrong with us for not “loving” other spaths just because we have the name “mother”. I say there’s nothing wrong with us. Right now in my life I’m looking for the truth and I’m looking for solutions. It’s easier this way.


Thank you for this good summary. Yes, spaths will use our humanity and whatever else they can twist around against us to manipulate us. Much of the world buys into their spin.

Love defined as an action, rather than just a warm feeling, is what one can choose. Seeking truth and solutions is the most loving thing one can do – for oneself, the spath, the universe.

The Biblical definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13 essentially defines love as a set of actions, including, “(love) does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth” (vs. 6). Feeling warm towards someone in the face of being mistreated, manipulated, abused, lied to and lied about, is not part of the Biblical definition of love. In general, the Bible’s instructions for dealing with people who are harmful is to stay away from them and not to act like them (Matt 18:17). 1 John 5:16 says there are some people that we are not even to pray for. I discern it’s useless to pray for my ex psychopath because he is doing exactly what he wants to be doing. He doesn’t want what I would pray for him. My prayers for him would be useless.


I think of Love as the quality of vibration of our energy. An analogy might be, a continuum of “poison” vs “nutrient,” or negative to positive. Or destructive to nurturing. Love is nurturing rather than harmful. So yes, it is kind of a feeling. I like the way you put it, that Love into action is the choice we make of how to apply it. But I do think of it more as a motivating quality, as in the Biblical passage you reference. It is HOW we do something, not so much “love is a verb” because it just seems more (to me) to be a quality. And it is this ability to receive and transmit this love vibration, that sociopathic relationships interfere with. I think of them as toddlers with baseball bats in a china shop. It seems way more fun to them to declare ownership by destroying through smashing, than to appreciate the beauty without harming or interfering with its expression.

Hope Springs


Love IS truth.

There is NO truth in my son.

Hope Springs

Oh my, yes!

That is where I feel like I am at now, as well. It IS liberating.

I used to have dreams of being ‘trapped’…like I was in a building that I could not find my way out of. There would just be more hallways and rooms and no doors to exit out of. Almost like a maze. Or, I would be trying to get down off of something, like a mountain top, or even a large piece of equipment, like farm equipment (a plow) or a freaky too tall semi truck…and I just can’t do it! I cannot find a way off or down. The dreams intensifies when HE brought two children into the world. Perhaps I felt an obligation to them, as their grandmother. I know now, that I have no obligation to make up to them for, what HE is not.

Since I have been realizing the obvious of my situation with my son, I have had fewer of those dreams. I have complete realization of my situation now, so I feel less trapped, I suppose.

I really do know that there is nothing wrong with me, now. It took a long time to figure things out, that’s for sure.

Like you, I only accept truth. Trust. Love.

AnnettePK has the definition of love underneath my post here. From the bible. It is all about TRUTH.

My son has no truth.


You are a kind person and your story about your son has helped me come to terms with my own children. It’s okay what you feel. That’s what I’m trying to say. It’s okay to love , i.e.: our mothers, our husbands and not to love. Let’s keep talking. Let’s keep plumbing. Let’s keep healing. The closer we get to the bone the more we can heal. You have suffered too long.

Hope Springs


What a lovely and warm post. You know, I feel like it is YOU who has helped ME come to terms with how I feel about my son. Isn’t that something, huh? I hope that I have indeed helped you as well. That is so wonderful to hear.

Even though I feel the way that I feel towards my son, and it goes against the human grain, I do now know that it is right to feel the way that I do. I know that I am a wonderful person. I need truth in life, that’s all. I NEED IT.

You, and others, and this site, has helped me to realize all of this.

Over the weeks and months I have read all of your posts, some to me, some not To me, and I see that like you, I too can become that strong and confident person that I once was, again. You certainly strike me as strong and confident. I will put money on that you do not feel 100% that way, but that is what you exude. Strength and confidence and truth.

You also exude SO much warmth and love, that I KNOW that I too am the same warm and loving person that you are. That I ALWAYS have been. That we both always have been. In fact, likely ALL of the people on this site are just that…and we have lost confidence in our own humanity, as AnnettPK said. We have doubted ourselves and our wonderful qualities because of the SPs in our lives and how our experiences with them they have literally changed us.

You, too have suffered much. And, we are healing for sure.

Oh yes, let’s keep plumbing, let’s keep talking…let’s heal!!


Dear Bev,

I am so sorry it has taken you so many years to come some terms with this nightmare. I envy you that you live with your mother who obviously is a loving person. What a support system. My life with this situation is pretty awful. But I have to say it pales in comparison as to what you had to deal with. You have had to come to terms with the unfortunate and essential fact that your only child is bad to the bone, diagnosed bad to the bone. And that his legacy and his future will be one of hurting human beings, the last thing a good mother wants for her child. You were going through this before the internet, before chat forms, before CPS involvement was so prevalent, basically in the dark ages. You are stronger than you think. And now we have learned it is okay not to “love” our own children. When we love someone we can’t control it. It just comes forward whether they deserve it or not. It’s a feeling. And we don’t love someone, or we stop loving someone, we can’t control that either. It’s just a feeling. I’m done with pretense. I am done with trying to make think my marriage is okay, that my husband is respectable, that my children love me, that I love them. What for? It’s just too much work and it’s too painful. Talking about not loving your own children is worse than admitting to be a child molester. Why? The truth is worse than a dirty word. Look at what we are forced to live with. We were dutiful, caring, responsible, ever vigilant, put the needs of our children first, until we had no option but to face the truth.
Michele started this whole discussion saying she lost custody of her children when they took the stand and falsely accused her of abuse. Michele seemed to be focused on the spathic husband, but not at all focused on the dangerous lying children. I would be very leery of children who could testify in court voluntarily that their abused them, even if were true, but I’m especially afraid of children who would expose their mother to public vilification, criminal charges, arrest, and loss of employment based on a lie. But Michele is going to have to get there on her own. And we mothers need to put our foot down and distance ourselves from such children. And once we do then we also move solving the problem of spaths and remove one weapon out their arsenal, using the kids. And there be consequences for these children. I’m sure everyone wants to hear this but there it is. We are always looking for ways to get out from underneath the abuse. We have physically peel them off of you. I don’t want to spend a lifetime trying to convince my children I am worthy of their love. I now see how ridiculous that is.

Hope Springs

I cam across this post today…it is pertinent to a lot of our collective situations.

We are supposed to naturally separate from our families of origin and it is healthy to do so.

It is one of the BEST posts that I have ever read. I hope my link works…I have never done this before…lol.

Hope Springs

I forgot to say, that while I do not actually live WITH my mother, we do live very close to each other. 5 minutes away! How fantastic is that.

I am extremely fortunate to have her in my life, and yes, she is my biggest supporter, and also has shown me the most pure and unconditional love of any one in my life.


I loved the link. Yes we are “individuals” Once we recognize that we are “ourselves” first, mother’s, wives, daughters etc.. second we will be more likely to establish healthy boundaries. I couldn’t agree more. Now when I introduce myself at a school function I will always say my name first and then I say “I’m xxxx mother”. It’s just a little reminder to myself that I should and do have my own identity. I believe that when we teach our children that we have our own identities and show them by example that we are our own people in our own right, they’ll be respectful of us and of others, including themselves. I grew up with a very selfless mother, however, she was doormat and we knew that she had boundaries if we crossed them there would be consequences. We knew if we made an accusation against her we could pack our bags right then and right there. We knew she would not put up with rotten kids. I greatest fear was that we would let her down. Not that we didn’t act up, we did, and weren’t perfect. But we new there consequences. I was doormat. I equated selflessness as having no expectations and no boundaries and that was the wrong way to go. Thank you Bev for the link.
P.S. Your mother and you are lucky to live so close.

Hope Springs

I know…isn’t it a great article.

Individuation. I have never even heard of that. I agree with everything in it.

Yes, that’s how it was in my childhood, too, with my mother (and my father). I did not want to ever disappoint them or let them down. They expected certain behaviors of me and taught me well. I think that it a good and healthy trait.That means that we are loving and respectful towards our parents. And empathetic as well.

I don’t know why I thought this link would be pertinent to our conversation here, but as soon as I saw it…for some reason, I wanted to share it with everyone. If nothing else, I think it explains why many marriages or unions break apart.

I almost think that people who dysfunctionally ‘cling’ to their origin families, are somewhat disordered. It is healthy to want to let go of familial traits that are ‘bad’ or that you do not agree with. Keep the good and let go of the bad. Seemingly, it is also healthy to want to ‘let go’ of a family member who may be disordered, then, as the relationship is uncomfortable to you and does not ‘feel’ healthy or right.


Very interesting dialog between you Bev, Annette and becomingstrong on the subject of emotional feeling toward the disordered person(s)in our lives. And I enjoyed reading the link you provided, Bev about Individuation, which I too had never heard of. I can apply it to my own life in that I feel my marriage is all the more strong and stable due to the fact that we moved 600 mi. away from any family members on either my or my husband’s side 30 yrs ago. So my husband and I grew as a couple over the years and leaned on eachother for support. We didn’t have a lot of familial meddling in our lives on a daily basis. And as a result we’re not as close to either of our families, but that’s okay and probably for the best. Turns out neither of our families of origin are all that great anyway.

Bev, one comment I have about your feelings toward your son is that it is much better to see the reality of the situation as you do than to view everything through “mom goggles” as my own mother does regarding my sociopathic sister. When a mother refuses to see their sociopath child for what they truly are, they become part of the lies, part of the ongoing charade and drama. They become the sociopath’s enabler making them that much more powerful. This enabling by my mother has pretty much destroyed my family of origin. My sister has all the power in the family and can lie, steal and manipulate to her evil greedy heart’s content. I love your assertion that truth is paramount to relationships. Like you, I have no interest in people that are not to be trusted. Without trust you have nothing in a relationship, and that includes siblings, children and spouses.

I guess I’m rambling a bit but just wanted to share those thoughts and that I empathize with the human tragedy of having to distance our hearts from someone that we “should” be close to, but are unable to due to their disorder. It comes down to self preservation. To someone like me that values trust it is just impossible to deal with someone that deceives me repeatedly. My heart just can’t take being duped and deceived. There is no other choice but distance and cutting ties. I grieve for the loss of my sister but at the same time I realize I never really had a true sister. She was always lurking behind me ready to stab me in the back at the first opportunity. I don’t hate her, I just choose not to make myself available to her for her to manipulate, lie, gaslight, backstab, slander…and on and on. It never ends. Thanks to all of you for sharing your experiences and helping eachother to heal. I too would be lost without forums such as this where I can discuss my feelings and emotions. So hard for anyone to understand us that hasn’t dealt with disordered people in their lives.

Hope Springs

My goodness, Wounded1, I always feel as if you say exactly what I would say, were I better at putting into words. what I really want to communicate.

I am beginning to think that perhaps people that say ‘family is everything’ and people who thrive on dysfunction in their families, anr disordered in some way.

That may sound harsh and perhaps even judgmental, but how many times have you seen that play out? On the news the other night, there was a story about the son of a fire chief, who burnt down and totally destroyed a train bridge, vital to the town where they all live. The son has a lot of other prior crimes, even some with fire. The son is also a volunteer fireman! Well, the father gets on TV and says, ‘I will stand by my son, no matter what, just like I always have. He is my son. Family.’

All I could think was…what an idiot. What a fool. What an enabler.

Am I wrong to think that way? Or, are there too many people enabling disordered family members. Are they themselves, disordered, or are they only seeing things through parental ‘goggles’, like you say?

I do see my son for who and what he is. I have never been that mother, though, that justified any of his behavior. I don’t know why, I just never was that person. I did give him plenty of benefits of the doubt over the years, because I did not know about sociopathy (or any personality disorders) and what it meant. I did not know that people existed without a conscience or empathy. But, I never excused any of it. It is just not who I am. Too bad for my son, I guess.

You are not rambling. You never do. Everything you say is so spot on and needs to be said so that we can understand it properly. That is why all of your posts (and your writing) is/are so excellent.

I love reading your posts and am always thrilled when you do post!

Thank you.


Firesetting and arson is a classic sign of psychopathy. I think it’s difficult to discern exactly where the Dad stands from that one quote. He may have said more that qualified his statement that wasn’t included. He may not really understand his son’s disorder, and he may mean that he supports his son in doing right, but doesn’t condone nor justify his criminal activity. It may be that the dad is in denial, and/or doesn’t understand psychopathy. Whatever his level of understanding and experience, his son’s choices are likely to be causing him and his family a lot of pain. He is likely to have had a difficult journey behind him and a difficult one ahead of him.

It sounds like you did the best possible under painful circumstances. Even if it did not facilitate positive change in your son, I doubt it was bad for him.

Hope Springs

Yesa, that is a fair and good point AnnettePK.

I believe that my husband was doing that for a long while, regarding our son. First, my husband (nor I for that matter) knew the meaning of a personality disorder. Then, I think what you said about supporting the possibility of our son getting on the right track, also came into play.


Dear Wounded,
I loved the “mommy goggles”. Isn’t that the truth. Good that you are far away. When mother’s ignore what is plain in front of their faces they end up hurting themselves, they deprive themselves of healthy relationships, and they hurt others as a byproduct. I am sorry. But good you see it. I don’t want to be one of those mothers.



‘I am beginning to think that perhaps people that say ’family is everything’ and people who thrive on dysfunction in their families, anr disordered in some way.’

‘Am I wrong to think that way? Or, are there too many people enabling disordered family members. Are they themselves, disordered, or are they only seeing things through parental ’goggles’, like you say?’

I think an awful lot of people do this. And althoughh I’m guessing that you mean ‘personality disordered’ I think parents whose children have other problems do the same thing. Parents whose children are on drugs have to make difficult choices – I can remember on T.V. a Dad who’d done everything he could think of and finally it was ‘consequences’. No more rescuing. It will be what it is. Whilst I can remember a Mum on a different programme getting drugs for her daughter on the grounds that at least she knew where the drugs were coming from (i.e. they were safe), so she was going through the same journey.

In some ways it’s possible that ‘losing’ a child to psychopathy might be very similar to ‘losing’ a child to drugs, extreme criminal behaviour or abuse. Not exactly the same, but similar.

Hope Springs

Yes, interesting.

Some people are always saying ‘family is everything’ and many of those people seem dysfunctional, themselves. Like, as in, I know more than a few ‘heavy drinkers’ who particularly like to lament these trite sayings while they are half cut. Then, they throw back another shot or drink. This, after they have told a sad or bad story about what is going on in their family. I always wonder…are these people happy? Why are they drinking so much? Is that ‘family is everything’ dynamic really comforting them and bringing them happiness, or, perhaps, is it actually hurting them instead and they cannot or will not see it.

I do love the word FAMILY. It denotes trust and warmth and safety. I love my mother. I love my husband. I love some other people in my family. THEY are everything to me, HOWEVER, some family members are NOT everything to me. In fact, there are a few that I want nothing to do with at all, ever.

Hope Springs

AND, I am not in denial or afraid to say it any more.


You have two principals in your life whom you consider to be family, your mother, and your husband. I’m going to go out on a limb here, but I’m assuming your husband isn’t related to you by blood. You chose him. And brought down your specter of family and dubbed him family. We can chose who family is. We have that control and must exercise it. They want to enslave us to their definition. For example: This is your son, he is your family, no matter what horrible thing he does to you. Since We have decided your son is your family, because you are related by blood, you must love, cherish and protect him. Even when he’s gouging out your eyeballs. And if you don’t do that, you are a bad person. And since you are not a spath you are sensitive to wondering if you are a bad person. I say to hell to these corrupted notions. I will bring people into my fold and call them family as I see fit. And I will banish those who are hateful and dangerous, even if their names is son or daughter, as I see fit. As far as legal obligations, I will comply them, i.e.: possible child support assignment, education, but that’s it. I will not make excuses for them, lie for them, or cloak them with my respectability. I have no moral or legal obligation to defraud society because I’m related to somebody by blood.

Hope Springs

Perfect. Exact.

You are a wonderful and aware person becomingstrong.


Thank you Bev I feel the same way about you.


Hi Everybody,
Update: My spath had until today to turn over signed releases to get financial accounts under his control to be turned over to me. Did he do it? You got it the answer is no. But it is not ruining my day. I just took a nice walk and I’m going to have a lovely homemade lunch of steak, roasted jalapeños, roasted Hatch chilies, bell peppers and new potatoes. But to start off with my sister and best friend are going to first devour a small vat of the most delicious pico de gallo on the planet. Washed down with a glass of chardoney. If only we all could spend our lives in such lovely company all the time. This is actually a very good day. And the further I get away from him the more time I have to have days like this. To use your expression Bev- cheers. I hope we can all count our blessings.

Hope Springs

Ooh, what a lovely post becoming!!

It is no surprise that you know who did not follow through (sorry, the rhyme there was unintended). You already knew what would happen.

Your day is indeed, perfect.

You make it so!

Hope Springs

Oh…and, how could I forget…



The three of us are sitting here chowing down on the chili, discussing this week’s events on Lovefraud. Of course we are talking about you and what an amazing person you are. And the terrible road you travelled and how this week we talked about love. We are sending you and your mom lots of love this Mother’s Day weekend from our dusty corner of the world. Our friend lost her mother. As is mine. And we are so glad for you that you have your mother. Cheers.

Hope Springs

That is the sweetest thing to say. Thank you. Thank you for thinking of me. I hope you are at least having some laughs out of the conversation about SPs!

I am so sorry that some of you do not have your moms. I know how fortunate I am to still have mine.

We celebrate Mother’s Day for her only. I do not consider myself a mother and that is just fine! No sorrow about it, only happiness and love for my own mom.

My husband is out of town this weekend and I am actually meeting my Mom in about 40 minutes at a great place for Mexican food. On Sunday, her and I are going out AGAIN for Greek food! We are putting on the lbs this weekend… 🙂


Sounds like a great time with good food and even better company. We had so much fun we are going to do it again tomorrow. This time I will be the hostess. What better way to spend Mother’s Day than with the people I love.

Hope Springs

Oh my, YES!!

I agree! I am not sad at all…I used to dread Mother’s Day, but not any more.

I wish you a fabulous Sunday…and every other day too 🙂


More women are in the same position than we know. The more I talk to people the more either they or someone they know have a spath child. Many who do not have spath children but have mated with a spath have been alienated from their children and as a byproduct they are emotionally disconnected from these children.
I hope that you celebrate tomorrow and all the kind, wonderful and nurturing relationships you have fostered in your life. You get to define what Mother’s Day means and not some card company’s definition of it.

Hope Springs

I agree that there are many women in the same position, having to say or show that they ‘love’ their children, simply because that is how it is supposed to be. Here is a Mother’s Day gift for all of us that are in that vortex….

Hope Springs

Of course, this article only sort of touches on borderline personality disorder, which, apparently can be treated? I was not aware.

As for SP/Ps…well, as far as I know, once they are adults, there is no help, if there ever really was.


Thanks for the article. I liked that the author acknowledges that there are children who are disordered. She goes so far as to say it’s okay not to “like” the disordered child. But I had difficulty with her position she can love a child she dislikes. Does she really love that child? Or does she equate her sense of duty toward her child as love? I say duty and love are two different things all together. You can be dutiful, protective, caring and feel not one ounce of love. How can you love someone you cannot plug into? I wish the author took “love” out of article and just left it with count your lucky stars when your disordered child becomes an adult and moves on.

Hope Springs


That is what I saw right away as well….god forbid you should ever say that you do not LOVE your child…well, what would people think? Would that not just make you a terrible ‘mother’?? (You know that I am joking here).

Duty IS what we feel. Duty is is different than love, for love is that warm feeling that you cannot help but have for someone. Duty is just a sense of responsibility.


In my experience there are always people who agree with me and always people who disagree with me, over a particular point. Some people think I’m a terrible person and others respect my choices. As I get older, I find I don’t care so much what people who don’t really know me think – I value my friendships with people who care about my well being, who understand some of my experiences, and who know better than to judge others.

Hope Springs

Yes, that’s right Annette.

People sometimes just drift away from each other naturally, in life. Likely because they have different outlooks and/or opinions.


How you define ‘duty’ is part of what I define as ‘love.’ You define ‘love’ as what I call emotion that’s related to love, but not the substance of love.

Most people probably define love as the warm feeling emotion, so when someone says, ‘How could you not ‘love’ (ie. warm feeling for) your child?’ this person has not experienced a spath disordered person. They do not understand.

From what you describe, you’ve experienced and known about spaths and spath behavior for most of your life.

Until my ex psychopath experience in my middle age, I did not understand. I held some views of abusive relationships and abused women that I understand now were completely inaccurate. Until I encountered the psychopath who victimized me, I did not know that someone like that could exist.


Consider that it depends on one’s definition of ‘love,’ and that different people define ‘love’ differently. Each person comes to terms with difficult experiences in his/her own way. And people often change their viewpoint over time as they find a way to have internal peace about their experiences with difficult people and difficult circumstances.

Many religions teach the ‘love your enemies’ concept, which does not mean condone wrong hurtful choices, nor ‘like’ others’ bad behavior, nor continue to interact with a harmful person. This ‘love’ is defined as not harming others out of vengeance, and always doing good for others if it’s possible. It does not mean doing what an evil person wants one to do, or going along with bad choices to please an evil person.

In the Greek language that the Bible’s New Testament was written, there are 3 words for ‘love’ – agape, phileo, eros, and storge. Each word describes a different variation on the emotions and choices of actions that are all lumped together in one word – ‘love’ – in the English language.

There is also a book (I haven’t read it – someone told me about it a few years ago) called The 5 Languages of Love. I think it’s about love between spouses, I’m not sure if it covers other relationships. The premise is that different people express ‘love’ differently.


Good morning ladies,

I see we are having a debate as to whether some women love children. Good. Annette, being a Roman Catholic and having had twelve years of Catholic education what that means is we never read the bible. And I know there is some philosophy. But I do have an inkling as to what you are trying to say about the differences in love in Greek that our pitiful English word does not convey. Having said that, I’ll share with you the fact that my parents divorced when I was older and my father treated my mother miserably in that divorce. Being a spath on the sadistic end, he literally tried to drive her out a window. Watching it at the time I didn’t know about spaths but I knew he was bad and that I didn’t like him and that I didn’t love him. Now keep in mind this divorce was extremely public and occasionally its still mentioned in the newspapers. I took up for my mother, the non powerful party. That of course has cost me over the years given his power and prominence. Now I’m going to get to the point. Sometimes his name will come up in a conversation and I will make it clear that yes I was his daughter and I had nothing with and I found him to be a despicable person. More times than I care to count this person would tell me, “Oh you don’t mean that. Of course you loved your father.” I cannot tell you how disturbing I always find that comment. Because I know my own heart. I don’t love or like my father. I adore and like and love and cherish my mother. So I know the difference. Now Annette what I’m asking you to consider is to just accept it at face value when a woman tells you she doesn’t love her child/children. Just accept it don’t try to find a way out. It makes it harder for us who don’t love a child to say it out loud. You accept that there are different forms of love, please accept there’s also no love. As for mother’s day yesterday, I had a great time. Because I spent it with someone I love and someone who loves me, my sister. My youngest daughter gave me a card and a rose and a song and a dance and that delighted me. My son didn’t even wish me happy mother’s day, nor had he given his little sister a birthday present last month, nor did he give anyone a gift at Christmas time, nor has he given anyone a gift in my memory, ever. But he gets gifts and birthday parties, he’s been taught the protocol.


Thanks for your thoughts. I’m glad you explained your viewpoint. And I’m glad you had a good mother’s day. I agree it’s regrettable that people who don’t understand another’s experience say ‘of course you love so and so….’ and are critical of your choice in how to deal with someone. I agree that there are times it is best not to continue a relationship with a harmful person including children.

I am sorry that your son chooses such hurtful behavior. If he suffers from the ‘spath’ disorders, it is likely he acts this way because he’s angry he’s not successful in manipulating people and getting something he wants from them. It’s not really possible to have any kind of love based relationship with someone who is operating under those motives.

I think you’ve misunderstood my posts. I accept every point of view and all emotions experienced by anyone, and am not trying to ‘find a way out’ of anything. I’m trying (not very well I guess!) to express my philosophy that I define love in such a way that I can honestly answer someone who may criticize my choice not to interact with someone – even my parent or my child – and to withhold my ‘affection’ when it’s not appropriate to interact, that I do ‘love’ that person in the best way I know how. I hope you can accept my paradigm and definition of ‘love’ as I accept yours.

It’s helpful if everyone allows others to choose to deal with a matter in their own way, even those who don’t view things the way any one of us does.

I hope this helps, and I hope that you don’t feel consternation at my viewpoint.

Hope Springs

i think I understand AnnettePK.

I also know that wonderful warm people (like you) feel compassion for those of us who experience this mother-child break.

We know where your heart is, believe me.

Hope Springs

I agree with you, becomingstrong.

At times in my life, I have also heard people say to other people, ‘surely, you love you mother” (or your father, or whoever the subject of topic is).

That has made me ‘squirm’ to hear that. How does someone know what another person really feels? It’s like they are trying to make you ADMIT that, yeah, okay, I guess I must LOVE that person, I mean otherwise, that makes me one screwed up person.

Yes, I would feel bad (awful actually) when someone says to me…oh, you don’t and can’t REALLY mean that. Mind you, I never come out and SAY that I do not feel motherly love for my son to anyone. Just on this site and to my mother. Perhaps that is why I don’t say it out loud. I am afraid of other peoples’ reactions to that.

I think AnnettePK may be trying to help us to actually accept how we feel and that it is okay in that there are different definitions and possibly even different tyopes od love.


It made me feel angry, frustrated, and ‘squirm’ is a great description of the feeling, when people did not understand and made similar un-helpful comments to me about the psychopath I was fake ‘married’ to. There was no way I could make them understand. It hurt to lose some friendships and some acquaintances I valued.
Being able to interact here with people who understand is incredibly valuable to me. I don’t think I would have the recovery process I’ve been blessed with, without resources like this and the people I’ve ‘met’ on this site.

Hope Springs

Yes! I posted that just now.

How, I think that I have found true friends here, in you and becomingstrong.

It feels so good to be able to talk freely.

Hope Springs

Oh, btw, my son has NEVER wished any Mother’s Day greetings to me, even when I still had contact with him.

He does not care about ANYONE except himself. He always expected birthday, Christmas, Easter, etc acknowledgement, but NEVER reciprocated himself. Of course, everyone always excused him for that. Just a ‘dumb’ male. That’s how they are. God forbid if you ever forgot to acknowledge him, you would end up on his shit list and receive the silent treatment! Asshole.

I do not want any of his made up fake acknowledgements ever anyway. Let’s count ourselves fortunate! This was MY best ‘Mother’s Day’ yet!!


typs correct:
… as to whether some women love their children.


Being open that I thoroughly disapproved of my father’s conduct and that I shunned him, I was in turn shunned by large segments of the community because I was going against the grain and the order of society, I was being unfelial and that rocks the boat and the power structure and I’m doing it again now. And once again it’s disturbing to people that a woman would dare to break out of her chains and say I reject this. And I don’t love bad people. And really, until women feel they can throw these shackles off without being excommunicated and left to wither outside the town walls. They really are just going to be running in place. Not loving a child does not mean you are derelict and shirking your duties. It’s a tall order to expect women to be superhuman. Men get a pass when they abandon children they proclaim to love and women are told they’re bad or they are too simple to know their own heart. When they take of a child they claim they don’t love. Consider the injustice of this.


I don’t define love as a feeling. I didn’t make that clear which probably led to misunderstanding. In my paradigm love is primarily choices of actions, for example the choice of a long term commitment between people. I recognize there are various strong and warm emotions connected with a love based relationship; but love does not consist only of these emotions.

I agree that one can’t generate warm feelings with no basis. Also, warm feelings are not appropriate with disordered people. Spaths take advantage of their victims’ natural emotions and use them against us for their selfish evil motives.

Thank you for this interesting discussion.


Whoops, I meant this to reply to your post below about feeling for anyone.


The world is full of injustice, and it sounds like you have experienced a lot of it in a painful way. What you describe sounds like spath behavior along with spath excuses and blaming others.

It is truly infuriating to me that it is totally acceptable for men to abandon their wives (and vice versa) for just about any reason like they just aren’t ‘happy’ in their marriage. Abandoning children, who are powerless and innocent, while saying they love them is a contradiction.

My ex psychopath was constantly burdening me with trying to do the impossible, and blaming me for failing to do things or somehow make others do something I had absolutely no control over.

Maybe it’s possible to fix the world’s system and institutions. Or maybe another solution is to completely reject the system that is doing the excommunicating and leaving victims to wither outside the town walls; and build a new town to live in based on justice, that excludes spaths and leaves them to wither outside the town walls.

Hope Springs

becomingstrong and AnnettePK,

I can see and feel that both of you are two (here come those words again) warm and loving souls who are wise beyond words.

You are helping each other, me, and everyone else on this site. You are helping us all to be able to express our feelings, unabashed, in a safe and friendly setting.

I have never said that I do not feel the love that I am supposed to feel for my son, to anyone, except my own mother. EVER. I feel safe to do so, here. Thank you for that. It has been such a burden to carry.

I really think that I LOVE you both!! In whatever way that means in this situation. Perhaps in the way that I feel that I know you and your acceptance.

Hope Springs

Wow! You go girl!!

You are so wonderful and so strong.

Does it make us happy to not have that ‘love’ that we are SUPPOSED to have? NO. Do we wish that it could be different. HELL YES.

Are we going to let this KILL our spirit? HELL NO. We only have one life after all.



What I’m getting is you can feel towards anyone and I can’t. Thank you for your thoughts.


Dear Bev and Annette,

What was painful about my parent’s divorce, was not that my mother left my father, I personally was glad, It was watching my mother suffer and being terrorized by that asshole. It was difficult to watch my mother’s house get broken into, her cars vandalized, hateful comments directed at her, lost friendships, courtroom tyranny, her life fall apart but the worst of it was the broken heart she suffered that I believe wholeheartedly eventually led to her early death. It was a sense of helplessness and a desire to want to protect her. I would awaken many nights truly frightened my mother would die. I tried to be a good daughter. I would come home from college for the weekends and I thought if I showed my mother how much I love her she will survive the divorce. Watching what was the spark in my mother’s eyes fade. It was horrible to watch what was a beautiful, loving, energetic, dutiful, smart, witty, hardworking woman barely able to get out of bed. She eventually regained her vigor but the spark in her eye never returned. Okay what did I do? I went and married my own spath and had a bunch of kids with him. And it has been a process of getting away. Part of it from him and part of it sending the children who wanted to go live with him and getting away from them. And I now realize I spent the last 15 years, living with and pretending they loved me and I loved them. I have two children who are rotten to the core. And I have two children while I don’t think they are rotten, they simply have no love for me. And then I have one child who may be capable of loving me. But honestly I’m not sure. I’m on my guard. So I went from the fire to the frying pan. And I’m getting some perspective as the fog clears. And I’m running toward the good and I can see now who and what that is. And I want the bad off of me. I strongly believe psychopathy is genetic and my children have it on both sides of the family.

Hope Springs

I feel that way as well.

I cannot pretend, I have learned that about myself. It took YEARS to realize that I was pretending. I will DIE if I have to try to pretend any more. I will literally die. I want to LIVE.

What is, is what is real.

What I feel and DON’T feel for my son is REAL.

Hope Springs

AND, my son simply has NO love for me…or anyone else for that matter.

He isn’t capable.

I can’t be involved with that.


Dear Bev,

You deserve so much more in life than to live a lie. I love you Bev and wish you only love and kindness. I am glad you see you are not alone.

Hope Springs

I already posted my love for you, as well, becomingstrong.

I just feel that way. I can’t help it…lol.

We both deserve a truthful and love filled life. Especially loving myself, for that is all the love that I really NEED.

Nobody should live a lie, don’t you think? Only the SPs can live a lie, and still exist.


This should be a lesson taught in school with as many sociopaths that are out there!!
It’s also too bad that there isn’t a law against these people.
Sure, we can TRY to fight for what was taken but it’s not ALL materialistics that they rob us from.
What about the emotionalistic robbery?
And good luck with THAT side!
SO FEW therapists trained in that field.

There oughtta’ to be a LAW!
There JUST oughtta’ BE!

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