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Sociopaths keep the charade going as long as it suits their purpose

man in maskI was with my sociopathic ex-husband, James Montgomery, for two and a half years. During this time, I knew he was costing me money, but he attributed his lack of business success to “being ahead of his time.” I eventually discovered that he was lying and cheating on me. But although I saw eruptions of anger, my ex was never abusive towards me—nothing like the abuse many of you have endured.

Some sociopaths can treat people reasonably well for an extended period of time, if it suits their purpose. For example, Lovefraud received the following e-mail from a reader:

I was not in a disastrous relationship with my S. Our relationship was less than three years, our marriage less than two, when he openly cheated and decided to leave me, then played games of false reconciliation, which in hindsight were so he could have two sex partners.

The short end of my question is… How do you reconcile the basically happy marriage, the illusion of a man you married with the horrible monster he has become in trying to create turmoil in your life and use your greatest love (your child) to hurt you?

Expressions of love

I’ll get to this reader’s question shortly. But first I want to review some of the information Lovefraud learned in one of our surveys about people involved with individuals who exhibited sociopathic traits. One of the objectives of that survey was to investigate whether and how often sociopaths expressed love.

We asked the question, “Did the individual you were involved with verbally express love or caring to you?”

A total of 85% of all survey respondents said yes. And, when the individuals being described were the spouses or romantic partners of the survey respondents, rather than parents, children or others, 92% of the males and 95% of the females expressed love verbally.

How often did this happen? A total of 44% of survey respondents said the sociopathic individual expressed love daily.

Complete change

The survey also asked the following: “Please provide a brief description of the way the person you were involved with expressed love. How did this change over the course of your relationship?”

Now I’ve been hearing all kinds of stories about the games sociopaths play in relationships for years. Yet some of the answers to this question still made my jaw drop.

A small group of survey respondents reported a complete change of behavior the moment they were committed to the relationship—moved in, married or pregnant. This startling change was reported in reference to 7% of the females and 5% of the males. Here are some of the quotes:

“Initially with dates, flowers, gifts and little thoughtfullness’s. After I married him, he said, on the Honeymoon, ‘I can stop acting now.’ I thought that he was joking. I later learned he did not do jokes.”

“From very loving to cold indifference…started right after we were married — The change was startling — cold, distant, indifferent, condescending, mean spirited, accusatory — self righteous, irresponsible.”

“It changed the minute we got married. Then he owned me you see, I was nothing to him after he lured me in!  All he wanted was MONEY!”

“In the beginning of the relationship (before marriage) he was loving, caring, could not do enough for me. Called me his soul mate, his true companion in life. This continued until the day I married him, within hours after the wedding ceremony his personality shifted. It was as if I had dated and fell in love with one person, but married someone I was completely unfamiliar with, he was a stranger to me in all ways.”

Doesn’t exist

So, back to our reader’s question, “How do you reconcile the basically happy marriage with the horrible monster he has become?”

The man this reader saw during the happy part of the marriage did not exist. It was an act, a charade, a mirage that the sociopath kept going until it no longer served his purpose. The real man is the horrible monster.

Lovefraud originally published this story on Feb. 21, 2011.



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3 Comments on "Sociopaths keep the charade going as long as it suits their purpose"

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I regognise this behaviour only too well: I was so bewildered and hurt when I moved in with the love of my life as he was cool with me from day one. I endured six years of pure hell before he ran off with his therapist!
Within nine months of leaving me his new relationship was loosing its lustre and he was attempting to reconnect with me. He subsequently told me that he would love me for the rest of his days. “Love” is something he switched on and off like a commodity used to produce a desired end result for him.
His new lady is having a torrid time and as she over stepped a professional boundary when she allowed a relationship to form I have little sympathy for her. Given her background in counselling I’m a little surprised she failed to spot his problem.
However, I understand that she is giving him a good run for his money and his life seems to have taken a turn for the worse. He has told me that he no longer wants to be with her, can you see a pattern here? Who will he choose as his next victim and how long will the next
lady last?

That turning off and on of the ‘love’ can be very confusing for targets of these types. Because we cannot just turn it off and on we are super predisposed to give them the benefit of still loving us, over and over, even though they may have acted with total contempt and callousness.

It is so true. This love they pour out is really a tool, not an emotion, not a commitment, not a desire to truly connect. It is a ploy to get something. That something can be as simple as your reaction (whether positive or negative), or it can be more diabolical (like to kill you, or drain your bank account). Either way, what it boils down to is the desire to control other’s and gain some kind of energy from the experience. Lacking their own rich emotional life, they grow bored, and need to recharge their batteries with our desire, love, anger, angst, worry, tears, fear, etc….all of it gives them a little boost in energy; like vampires needing someone else’s blood.

Acting bored yourself, when confronted with another round of love bombing can often turn them away. They aren’t going to get a charge out of you if you don’t give them anything but the dullest of responses. Or better yet, no response at all, if that is possible.

I have has several of these kinds of romantic entanglements. Now, looking back, though the veneer of each man’s life was distinctly different, the pattern of the relationship was identical. Each one love-bombed, devalued, discarded, and then cycled back around for more. Sometimes the cycle took months, sometimes minutes! I think if you give many of them a chance you can, if you unwittingly provide enough emotional drama for them, keep the abuse cycle up for decades. It’s not HOW LONG, though, it is the pattern of the behavior that identifies them as disordered abusers/users.

the ‘real him’ was’nt the loving, SWEET talking, melt into your eyes with his eyes looks, the REAL him came out in bits and pieces; as time went on, my cuteness, my uniqueness, what he had loved, adored became ammunition used against ME..to be judged harshly, criticized, yelled at and worked like a dog. his ‘niceness’ to me in public, was just an act..and meant for others to see and regard him with favor..sad to say, I know now, that others did see through this ‘acting’..I was probably the last person to see him for what he is. His second wife saw through him, within a short time of their marriage and got a divorce quickly. His present wife is still with him, how they get along (or not) I have no idea.

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