I 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.
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.”
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.