Approximately 8 years ago I was the victim of a con-artist/sociopath. At that time I found “Lovefraud” and verified that my encounter had indeed been with a sociopath and con artist.
This was the first time in my naive life that I entertained and considered that such individuals existed and was my emotional 9/11. Little did I know at this time that this was merely an entrÃ©e for what lay ahead.
Fast forward 8 years and I now realise that the biggest sociopath that I had in my life was right under my nose, cleverly disguised as a magnanimous, caring, empathic individual, and who was also my husband.
I speak from a perspective of hindsight now, with an insight that only personal experience can provide, and I am still lost for words to know where to begin in telling my story.
The consultant surgeon
My story goes something like this. Young, attractive, unattached female (aged 22) fresh out of a traumatic and abusive childhood meets a consultant surgeon, 20 years her senior, who sweeps her off her feet and steals her heart. Two children and 30 years later. I am lucky to have survived and leave with nothing other than my sanity.
My story is really the classic tale. The “pretty woman” story of how someone with much higher rank, authority, status and money was able to win my affections under the guise of “love.” How I fell, hook line and sinker, into his world, believing that I was so lucky and fortunate to have this dream man enter into my life.
It took 25+ years for me to realise that our relationship was not “normal.” That his frequent verbal rages, financial control, sexual abuse and insanity were not normal. That this was NOT what married life was all about and that it was a very unhealthy and unbalanced relationship.
Enough was enough
Approximately 4 years ago I had my light bulb moment. That day was when he projected himself completely onto our then 13-year-old son in a verbal rage, by accusing him of being a psychopath because he had asserted himself verbally and challenged his father. That day was the day that I had reached my threshold of suffering and declared that “enough was enough.”
From that day forward until now I have been on the most mind bending journey, which has slowly but surely peeled back the layers of painful truth. I now realise that I have spent the best years of my life trapped in the deceitful web of a man that suffers from pathological/malignant narcissistic personality disorder.
In saying this I know from my wide reading and personal experience that this disorder is part of the Cluster B spectrum and overlaps in many ways with sociopathy. Speaking from a “clinical” perspective, my soon-to-be-ex-husband (STBXH) is a malignant narcissist who exhibits many sociopathic and antisocial traits. Being a spectrum disorder with overlap, I confidently can see that he sits in a zone which is approximately 80% narcissistic with the remaining 20% sitting in psychopathy/sociopathy.
For those that are familiar with the psychopathology of Cluster B personality disorders, you will understand that these are not static disorders which sit comfortably in one zone, but can shift according to altering external influences and that overlaps do occur in varying degrees. This is precisely my experience.
For many years my STBXH appeared to be a pure Narcissist. It is only over the past few years that he has begun decompensating and has shifted more into the realm of psychopathy.
I could tell so many stories about so many events but there is really no point. Anyone who has had the misfortune of being involved with individuals like this knows only too well that nothing is “normal” and that destructive insanity prevails.
Generalising my experience is a better way. I was married to a man who lived purely to have his own needs met and I was a willing participant in this dynamic. He had an outstanding ability in being able to make me dance to his tune and also in shifting the sands continuously, so that what pleased him one week was not sufficient the next. There was barely a day where he didn’t rage over something or exert his power and control over the entire family via his main breadwinning position.
All the while this day-to-day dynamic was being played out, he also was hard at work orchestrating deceptions that ultimately sucked finances out of all those near and dear to him.
He lived well beyond his means. His entire life was all about procuring something better than what anyone else had within his sphere of existence. Fancy cars, designer clothing, luxury holidays, etc. He was the man that everyone else envied, and yet it was he who actually envied everyone else.
Over the course of our 30-year marriage he effectively syphoned all my mother’s funds away from her during hard times, with the assurance that he would pay it back. That never happened and he now conveniently hates her and is accusing her of brainwashing me and the entire family against him (did I mention his delusions of persecution?).
He “borrowed” a significant amount of money from two of my closest friends and has not prioritised payback of that loan and now deems it “unimportant.”
He borrowed money from a friend of his and up until most recently had not paid one brass razoo back he has now taken a personal loan to part pay him what he owes, because that man is dying with cancer.
Six months ago myself and the children and my aged (86 year old) mother left. We are now in the process of untethering ourselves from him but it hasn’t been easy thanks to the web of destruction he has cast over all of us.
Modicum of assertiveness
The sum total of my experience with him is this. After 30 years of marriage all it took was a modicum of assertiveness and 6 weeks of refusing to be coerced into sex for him to ditch me and go elsewhere for sex without any compunction.
He then openly announced this to all including his children. He disowned his children and vocalised this repetitively because they grew into individuals with their own minds.
He is in debt to the tune of almost $1million dollars and still lives the high life.
In 2014/15 we had 8 police interventions due to his “decompensation.” He had become completely delusional and believed that he was at the epicentre of a conspiracy to bring him down and that I was the orchestrator of this.
He believed that I was intending to murder him and had a double barrel lock placed on his bedroom door.
He accused me of having an affair with a mutual friend and proceeded to call him and abuse him.
He had a restraining order placed upon him by Police because of his threatening behaviour to our daughter.
He was arrested by Police for breaching the conditions of this restraining order. He continues to tell people that it’s me that has a “severe mental health disorder” and appears to have a considerable army of support due to his professional credibility as a consultant surgeon.
He is currently in a relationship with a 20-year-old girl who is 1 year younger than our daughter. There is a 54-year age difference but he doesn’t see a problem with this because “it’s not my fault she fell in love with me.”
I come out of this with nothing. No assets whatsoever, but a mountain of debt which he has acquired via his reckless spending and addictive gambling behaviours and a broken heart and soul. He has stolen money from everyone close to me (my mother) thereby rendering us all penniless and still dependent on him for our survival.
As I type this he is in a luxury resort enjoying a 10-day holiday with his 20-year-old girlfriend. That resort was our family’s favourite place and one that we frequented for many years. It is embedded with fond memories and close attachments.
He has dug the dagger further into my heart by doing this, and yet still has the audacity to accuse me of doing wrong by him and proclaiming that I have a mental health disorder.
Myself and our two children are all engaged in therapy. Our minds have been completely screwed with at a level that is incomprehensible. We still have a long way to go but we are at least on the road to recovery.