By | January 7, 2010 455 Comments

The dark side of the man

A big problem we face in sizing up a partner is getting stuck on, or being seduced by, his “light side—”that is, his apparently (or genuinely) wonderful, engaging, admirable,  gratifying qualities.

However, when we’re dealing with a sociopath, there is also the other side—the “dark side.”

By “dark side” I mean, essentially, the sociopath’s exploitive side. And by exploitive I mean, very specifically, his calculated use of leverage to betray you somehow; moreover, to betray you with gross insensitivity to your experience of the injury or insult he’s inflicted. 

The “light side” of the man must never compensate for his “dark side,” regardless of how well-concealed, and rarely, the latter may surface.

Most of us would take six sunny days in exchange for one cold, dreary, rainy one. That’s a  trade-off we’d probably gladly accept.  It’s not perfect, but it’s good, and it does nothing to compromise our integrity.

Yet six days, six months, six years of the man’s light side must not mitigate a single instance, a single flash (let alone pattern) of his dark side. One act of exploitation, the very first, necessitates, however sadly, that we cut our losses with minimal delay and filibustering.

Yet, in case after case I see clients who, understandably, prefer not to see their partners’ dark side. They prefer, naturally, to see his light side—his strengths, what he can be, what he usually is, what he “really” is!

They seize on his capacity for sensitivity, thoughtfulness, tenderness, warmth, good humor, patience, soliticousness, you name it. They desperately want to convince themselves, if not others, that his capacities define his essence!

Because he can be thoughtful, his essence must be thoughtful! Because he can be sensitive, his essence must be sensitive! Because he can be unselfish and candid, his essence must be unselfish and honest! Because he can go periods when he’s not (apparently) screwing around, his essence must be faithful!

I’m not speaking here about flawed partners who screw up, who make mistakes, who lose their course, their priorities, and in so doing sometimes wound others badly. In our fallibility we can make a mess of things, and hurt the people we care and love. Whether our transgressions are forgivable is for those whom we’ve disappointed to decide.  

But the man with the dark side is a different case. When he reveals the capacity to exploit, he’s not revealing his human face, but his inhuman face.

He’s revealing the face of his dark side.

And while it’s a sight you might like to avoid, you musn’t. While you’d rather turn away until the view of his “light side” resurfaces, you must not. You must, instead, see him, unmasked, and recognize him, unmasked.

You must recognize him for who he is, in his essence.

(My use of “he” in this article is for convenience’s sake and not meant to suggest that females aren’t capable of the behaviors discussed. This article is copyrighted (c) 2010 by Steve Becker, LCSW)

Comment on this article

Please Login to comment
Notify of
Twice Betrayed

As usual, a brief-to the point- hard hitter article, Steve! I love your meaty, no nonsense style of writing!

You are so right….I always told myself….he is really good…he must just need some help expressing himself correctly….not so…just the opposite.


You have concisely pinpointed a crucial moment. I like the way you do this – like a sharp shooter!

This section of a line, particularly stands out:

“to betray you with gross insensitivity to your experience of the injury or insult he’s inflicted.”

I can remember EXACTLY the first time the ex S did this. I called him out on a whopper of a lie. We were on our way to a movie and he nonchalantly dropped information about a townhouse he was supposed to be moving into. From what he said, something hit me about a huge lie he was feeding me. So, I told him that he was lying. I KNEW he was. I questioned the glaring inconsistencies in his story. I was really angry and hurt. Unfortunately, I too quickly let my RIGHTFUL ANGER at the BIG LIE pass into tearful hurt.

What happened next was the dropping of his mask to show the absolutely ARROGANT, CALLOUS, NARCISSISTIC, EMOTIONLESS Sociopath that he was.

There was a GLIBNESS and ENTITLEMENT shown, if only for an instant. How did he show this? He did not react with any feeling whatsover to the betrayal and there was NO APOLOGY or recognition of the lie, ONLY EXCUSES.

As soon as the dropping of his mask (even though I didn’t recognize it as such), was shown…POOF! It was gone and replaced with the game mask again. He instantly TRUMPED the BETRAYAL of me with his DRAMA. There was no space, no room, no consideration, no validity given whatsoever to my feelings. Suddenly it became ALL ABOUT HIM.

He pulled out all the stops USING the sympathy tactic. He played the tormented, confused and abused husband going through a divorce. He turned on the tears and the empathy inducing act of normalcy. I fell for it. Hook. line and sinker.

I now know the reason that I would fall for this kind of manipulation is my original wound from the abuse in my childhood. I was groomed for it. I’ve been walking around with this achilles heel for the past 30 years without knowing it.

Now I am armed with that knowledge. I have received my street smart honors degree in sociopathic abuse. I paid a huge price for it, but it’s the most beneficial education I could have gotten.



I knew the P had a dark side and I found it exciting. I know…what does it say about me needing that kind of excitement.
There is something inexplicably attractive about the bad boy, what can I say, but after the harrowing experience I had with the P i can safely say bad boys can go to hell. I think what I was attracted to was a false sense of autonomy, he knows what he’s doing, he does not care what others think blah de blah NOT being robbed abused and cheated on!!! there is bad and there is psychopath bad…no essence, absence of essence…nothing there! lights are on but no one at home.

To be fooled once shame on him, to be fooled twice shame on me.

Ox Drover

Dear Bulletproof, welcome to LF–glad you are here, it is a healing and learning place. Welcome!

Steve, as usualy you are so right on, “He is such a great guy, when he is not robbing banks.” LOL (not original with me but can’t remember where I read it, but SO RIUGHT ON!

NO amount of the “good side” can outweigh the first glimse of the BAD SIDE, the DARK EVIL SIDE.

You are right, too, in that we all (humans) do things we shouldn’t do, even some pretty “bad” things, and it is up to those we have injured to decide to establish trust in us again if they choose, but trusting a psychopath, a manipulator, a DARK ONE is never good sense or a wise move!

THANKS STEVE!!! GOOD information! Good insight! Your two latest articles are the drift wood I am holding on to right now to keep myself afloat and they “floated by” at just the right time to keep me from sinking into the river of despair again! Your wisdom and insight is life saving.


Very very true Steve – we alll closed our eyes to the badness in them and reasoned with ourselves ‘But he was so nice last week – therefore he must be nice underneath and this must just be tiredness / stress/ something else’. In actuality the reverse was true – the dark side is his natural persona and the light side is his false public face. Yes they have no concern about how hurt we get when they bleed us – it’s like water off a ducks back.
Never ever again.

Twice Betrayed

bulletproof: We are attracted to the ‘bad boy’ because of their confidence and what we perceive as strength [which is actually cruelty]. If you notice in the movies and a lot of romance novels [why I could never write them even tho they are a very lucrative venue] they tend [used to any way] to give the bad boys a hidden tender side that only ‘his’ girl can see. They make the bad boy attitude the persona and the tender side his real self. Not so in real life with these P types…that bad boy persona is the real deal.


When people make mistakes it is one thing.. when someone exploits, mnaipulates and cons .. it is quite another…

I saw the manipulation.. and that is what made me hold him at arms length.. I saw and felt how he watched me…

his dark side wasn’t just the human flaws that we all have.. it was manipulation and control for his agenda.. with no regard to how it affected me.


Yes TB I was also attracted to what I perceived as confidence and strength. I am reminded of Liane Leedom’s red flag for children at risk – the absence of fear. That will definitely be a red flag for me in the future.

Style I agree we have to be careful not to cut people off for an honest mistake, but when it gets into the realm of repeat behaviour and manipulation then I will be outta there so fast!


I was also trying to focus on his “potential” – a word he suggested! He kept saying about himself that he was “work in progress” and that kind of thing – I only needed to be patient!


oh yes Eileen! The potential was there alright but never developed – he always used to say ‘I just need you to be patient with me’ Pffft I think I was more than p atient and nothing changed at all.


“Never fall in love with someones “potential”….I heard that somewhere ..hindsight….he is trying to get his life together…to be a better father….”still going on 13 years…later…OK when ?

Oh and dark side”don’t make the monster come out” you pushed until I made the monster come out… until I cry ..still didnt stop….

Twice Betrayed

They don’t want to change. They are perfectly and I do mean ‘perfectly’ happy just the way they are. Secretly in their hearts they are laughing at the con they run on us and the rebellion they carefully spin around to suit their whims. They win in the beginning but not in the end….and “He who laughs last laughs loudest.” After the looks, virility, and charm start to wane….they find they are working their magic less and less till they are delegated to the bottom of the heap and many times all alone. ” Good always trumps evil….the wheels of justice grind slowly…patience is the greatest virtue.”


Mine wanted a baby (with me and another gf at the same time!!) and said that would surely help him develop his potential!! It would give him the motivation he needed to sort out his finances, his diet etc. Yeah right…

Ox Drover

The baby with you is the final tether to tie them to you so that they will always have something you value that they can abuse and get you upset–your child! Yea, great thing to make him get himself “in order”—and develop his “potential” FOR EVIL!


Yes .. classic..

“Impregnating the woman is a classic method of “controlling” and “binding” her down. The narcissistic psychopath aware of the shallowness and transience of his own simulated emotions – attributes the same fleetingness to his partner. Saddled with a baby, she is unlikely to vanish on him.”

Think again…….


Excuses, Excuses, Excuses, Blame, Blame, Blame, until the cows come home, about why he hasn’t done anything with his life and then…..

“All I need to turn my life around is the love of a good woman.” <—– BIGGEST LIE EVER!!!!!!!!!

The ex S started getting some gray hairs this year, had a kunipshun fit and ran out and got some Grecian to cover it. He was also beside himself noticing a couple of crows feet developing. If my final strong will after he nearly devoured me was the cause of ANY of that than weeeehaaawww!!!


Mne told me that he needed a supportive woman…

I am laughing about that now..

Let’s see in the first few months of dating him I am helping with his dying mother.. taking her food flowers,, and a Tv to the nursing home, picking up clothes,, buying her clothes, even at times washing her clothes..
She went to my hairdressers for her birthday.. and sat in my dining for her birthday.. with her favorite flowers, desert, etc..
I held the phone to his mother’s ear so her granddaugher could talk to her…

The nursing home called me when she died and I called him…

I helped him do a garage sale.. I helped him pack and store things.. I cooked gourment dinners.. he lived at my fully furnished house and slept it MY BED!

I listened to his sad life stories.. I picked up his cleaning so that when he came home he didn’t have to..

I met his daughter and she caused a scene in one of my freguented restaurants.. where I am known…


I listen to his financial plans and question but am encouraging..

This was all in the first 7 months of knowing this man!

Who would’ve put up with it all?

No one but a kind, supportive woman like I am…

and he tells me that ‘he’ needs a supportive woman..


Style 1 – you “helped him do a garage sale”? While you could have done it all on your own! Actually if you had been a supportive person you would have given him more money, and then he wouldn’t have had to sell anything at all.
…I’m joking but I’m sure that’s the way sociopaths really think.
Brrr I would hate to be that supportive woman he’s looking for. Maybe he means he deserves more praise? Like build him a statue in your frontgarden? Have giant pictures of him as wallpaper? Kiss the floor wherever he walks? Brrr…


Mine also talked about a baby and something in me knew my life would be hell if I had one with him – I couldn’t put my damned finger on it though – I never twigged it was abuse. That would have beent he ultimate power trip for him – a permanent tie to me forever – thank goodness I had some wisdom on that.

I wonder if he’d like a street named after him … or a magazine …and certainly a posse of admirers – he is hanging out with 22 yr olds now – they’re certainly about his level intellectually .


BULLET PROOF! – LIKE the new name Stayingsane!


style1 – what you wrote about all of the things you did for him is all too familiar. It was the same for me. The things I did for that parasite…it makes me furious!!!!! I was working full time. He was working part time and even with that..only off and on and went through 3 jobs in a year with a months between 2 of them doing NOTHING but claiming to be depressed, which he wasn’t by the way, he is just f**king LAZY.

I drove him everywhere including his many trips to dealers (Gawd I’m in idiot) his late night job to and from – when I started work early in the morning.
He never paid for gas or offered once or thanked me and from someone who never drove, never shut his pie hole while I was driving and told me how to drive!!!!
I packed and moved him, not once but TWICE.
I cleaned HIS place (even admitting this I feel like the world’s biggest shmuck)
I cooked for him for which he never thanked me and complained. When I called him on that he denied that he complained.
I am a GOOD COOK by the way!! *ahem* What an ASSHOLE.

I made him an excellent CV so he could get a job. I spent hours on that. THIS one REALLY, REALLY pisses me off. To think he is benefiting from the glowing CV I wrote for him.

I bought him a new wardrobe of clothes. I bought him expensive shaving supplies. I bought him top of the line speakers…I could go on and on….pfffft it’s money. It’s the TAKING and never once giving that pisses me off.

I’m already getting sick of this list. I could continue for hours probably and I’ve already wasted enough of my life on him. What did I get for my birthday last year? SQUAT. I got an excuse and a feigning of illness and then he got ANGRY at me on the phone!!! On my birthday – while my daughter watched me cry my eyes out wondering what the hell I was doing with him. Then I got promises of this present or that present which strangely never materialized…kind of like him.


icanseeclearlynow: – wow, that’s a lot. want to date?


…….and i got a WHOLE lot of the never materialized thing. word gifts. no substance.

okay, gotta go back to resume writing. 😉


Style1, Regarding being nice, kind and supportive to your spaths aged Mum, you can definitely feel proud of yourself for this . Kind,altruistic acts like this are NEVER wasted. God sees them all and will reward you in ways you cant even imagine! I know this because its happened to me! You helped to make her last days fun,less painful,less lonely,more colourful, you took her mind off her suffering. You should be very proud of yourself for this. Never mind the spath,-he wouldnt even know or care what you were doing for his Mum.But God saw it all. Love, Gem.XX


🙂 LOL one_step yeah that was a lot and that’s only a fraction of it. The well is dry. Gee I wonder why?

Good luck with the resume writing!


I ask Lovefraud, when is fraud an actual crime to be prosecuted?

I have been suspicious my ex S has been stripping the security on a one time legitimate drug screen PDF file, altering the dates and perhaps results, and then re-securing it and submitting it to me, with falsified email headers as if he’s been being drug tested, per the custody order, for the PAST 14 MONTHS!!!! I became certain when he became defensive and refused to comply when I asked for invoices substantiating the past 14 tests. He also refused documentation that he is and has been, in fact, in therapy; another requirement of the order.

Ok, so I know this is a family law issue and my attorney is all over it like flies on the proverbial poo. However, what shocks me is when I reported it to the testing company, while they all but directly substantiated my claims (confidentiality limiting, of course), are not themselves addressing the problem as being theirs, as well. The fact that he’s used their doctor’s signature and company name in a falsified record to produce court ordered results, appears to be of little direct concern. They did move swiftly and answer rather quickly and couldn’t have been more clear the files were falsified without outwardly stating such and suggested my attorney have them subpoenaed.

And, while my attorney thinks we have a strong case to petition for contempt of the order and modification of the order in regards to visitation as a result, he highly doubts my ex S will actually be charged with contempt!!!! Perhaps family law isn’t the arena for criminal charges? Am I mistaken or isn’t such tampering and false representation, as well as document falsification, a crime?!?!?

Most importantly, I think this event, as well as other issues with his visitation, may allow me to protect my son a bit further from his father. Most disheartening is that a man who not only is capable of committing such crimes AND does will basically get away with it, AGAIN. AND, he works in information technology which means he’s able to make a living working with countless numbers of peoples’ data, records and information even after he proves himself, AGAIN, someone who does not respect such things in any moral or ethical way!


P.S. – “AGAIN” references the time he used a keylogger on my computer to obtain my log on credentials to my personal banking accounts to transfer substantial funds to his. They arrested him…but then didn’t prosecute as long as he paid the money back!


He paid me back for things and he did work and he did buy things.. but he couldn’t have gotten through what he did without my support.. now he thanked me.. he played the game well.. and I don’t regret helping his mom.. in that she was a lovely woman and she needed some kindness..

But towards the end when I was getting fed up with his dreams and promises … and he said what he needed was a supportive woman .. it was like some joke…

My friends were saying right off.. why are you doing all this?

And WHY was I …
Because he was so charming.. and told me that I was his soulmate.. blah blah blah.. and I am kind and I got caught up in the spin..

It was one problem after another.. one issue with a child after another..
He needs mother Teresa. but I don’t think he would think that she was high style enough for him…LOL


and he was ready to ust give all his things away… like he was some weathly man that could just go replace it all..

But gee.. I forgot.. I had a fully furnished house so … what care did he have..

I am too cautious with money and belongings to just throw perfectly good stuff away….

but gee.. he was this King of The world

and me.. just an unsupportive woman….


Yep I can relate to so many of these posts.

Mine too Style gave things away like we were rich. He worked fulltime but contributed very little to the house – was always secretive about money he had and always pleading poverty – he spent his money on food, coffees, alcohol at bars, computer games and technology and heaven only knows what else. I even made his lunches for him to try to save some money. We never had any savings. My whole salary was taken up in paying all the bills and all the living expenses so if an extra bill came up or one of his disasters there was no backstop fund to pay it. Unbelievable stress. I too can’t believe the things I did for him.

I also bought him a whole wardrobe several times – he would just wear his clothes till they wore through – shoes as well. He never bought an item himself – not once. He should have had some shame about that but he grudgingly accepted everything – made me feel bad for buying things so he would be presentable – I didn’t want to be seen with a bum. Just like the cooking and the housework ‘I don’t expect you to cook for me / clean the house / buy me clothes’ and then he wouldn’t do it.

If I complained about doing all the housework alone he would say ‘Well leave it and I’ll do it tomorrow’ and of course tomorrow never came. I recall waiting four weeks for sheets to be changed and five weeks waiting for the floor to be mopped. God help you if you reminded him about it – then you were a nag. It’s a wonder I stayed sane in that hell with him. What a pig.

How did we get so fooled with the words that didn’t measure up in actions? I feel like the world’s biggest idiot. I said again and again – your words and actions don’t measure up but then he would start the verbal spin of course and I could never bring up anything from the past – we could only discuss this particular incident – and then he wouldn’t even discuss this. He would raise his voice to accuse me of shouting at him and abusing HIM. Oh the irony!

Thank God he is gone from the house. I hate him. I hope he suffers horribly in his life and gets a taste of his own medicine one day but undfortunately karma doesn’t seem to exist and it’s bloody hard to console myself with ‘well he’s the one coming off worst when he has no emotions’ No he isn’t – he can wangle his way out of anything – no remorse, no regret and no consequences to him the B.


Thanks Gemini… I appreciate that.. I have no regrets there..
but my friends would comment .. why are you doing all this for the man’s mom? You just met him… and they were correct..

but the audacity for him later to say that he needed a supportive woman is like insane…


Style1 – When you write:

“And WHY was I ”
Because he was so charming.. and told me that I was his soulmate.. blah blah blah.. and I am kind and I got caught up in the spin..”

That’s exactly it. While writing some of my previous posts going over all the crap I went through and did for him and all the abuse etc. I couldn’t help but think to myself, “Gee any sane person would wonder what in God’s name I would see in a person like this and WHY? WHY? put up with all this????”

But, then when I saw the word “spin” that really hits it. .There IS so much constant SPIN. I was spun around and around (like that annoying song from the 80’s) with the unending putting out of fires and drama.



hi polly! busy busy and not time to read all the posts; hope you feel good in your heart.

in dharma we are not living out the karma from this life ….we have millions of years of karma to burn through.

hmmm, i haven’t thought about this and karma – said that we are born as humans as our strongest motivation is attachment – now, how does that work with spaths?

I will ask a lama.

Ox Drover

Dear Duped,

I’m not sure about our “justice” system, there are so many “crimes” that they plea down to “nothing” and most fraud or “family” crime, unless it involves a dead body they don’t seem to take “seriously.”

It upsets me, but not a lot I can do. It seems now that even “murder” is not much of a “crime” any more. I share your frustration with judges and DAs. I wish I had something positive to say to you, but all I can do for sure is to tell you I sympathize with you and agree with your frustration. (((hugs)))

Maybe the judge will see the truth and do something, like stop his visitation.

I do know that drug addicts will cheat on the tests and lie and cheat some more. I will keep you in my prayers for sure! (((hugs))))


I had a recall.. I walked into the room and he was YELLING at his ex-wife about something concerning ‘the daughter’ …. When he YELLS like that it is like the devil enters his voice..

He hung up the phone and I said.. you can’t talk to anyone like that and expect them to listen or to accomplish anything. A woman shuts down when she hearts a voice like that..

To which he shouted at me ” You don’t know what you are talking about. This is about my daughter. She is telling me what to do about her..”

I said I don’t care what it is about.. it’s that voice tone..

then he SHOUTS at me. “Traitor! You are a traitor siding with my ex-wife!”
It was BIZARRE!…

This was one of the last times that I was around him..
And I thought after that .. this man is a kook….
Traitor? Made no sense… and that gave me the proof that he talked to his ex exactly like he talked to me..


mine wanted a baby so bad!!! and he watched me constantly …it made me so uncomfortable ,,,and another thing was he knew everything about my movements and my sounds more than i knew myself….so scary now/.


Gem! i logged back in just to play! lama. 🙂

silly is GOOOD.

i would love to go to SA to speak wiht a llama. i spent time in CA and loved it. have been thinking about that warm sea water for the last few days.

the spath i tangled with has a ‘thing’ for incorporating ‘animals of interest’ into her cons….one of her’s was a llama. I will not hold it against the llamas – who i am sure would SPIT at the spath.


Oh God I am a mess – he just came to take one of the cats and she was crying and frighteneed in the cage. I started crying and saying sorry to her. He had to even control picking her up – txted me to say he’d be late and to have everything ready so I could take her out to meet him at the car. I didn’t get it so he rang and said ‘I am not coming inside the house’ I told him not to be so effing stupid and hung up on him. He arrived and said ‘Where is she?’ I made him come in to get her things – I was crying really hard as I gently carried her out to the car. It was all clinical for him – no upset no emotion. What a monster. I put the dogs outside so they wouldn’t get upset by seeing him and when I let them in they ran up the hallway crying for him – they had heard his voice. How could he be so horrible? How did I end up in this mess?


I’m so sorry polly 🙁 that must have been brutal (((hugs)))


Thanks so much one step – it was 🙁 I was apologising to the cat for picking such a bad partner that she had to go to a new place with him – I packed up food and toys and treats for her. Her little pink fluffy blanket and her special plate. At least I am not apologising to a child for their father I guess – that would be worse 🙁

One step = it’s all brutal at the end isn’t it? every action to get them out of our lives is horrible. It just feels so awful.


Hello Everyone……First I want to tell you all what a blessing you have been over the past 2 1/2 years I have been with an S. Yes, I am sure of that and have been for some time. I would like to tell my story for some insight but have not come here because I have not implemented NC and I know you all dont want to hear the daily drama………..
I have known for some time but tried to end it eaisly…by his choice so he could just discard me and disappear.

End of first year—-helped him get set up in his own place so I could prove to myself he was truly genuine in his future plans with me and my son and his but would support himself and stop dragging me under. It was working great and I convienced him that it was best because he wanted to grow pot and I wouldnt allow it in my home. Well……he got busted!

His son had noone but me to take care of him while the S was in jail so I felt I could hold on a little longer then they could move back home 3 hrs away to his parents…..
Well, he turned up the charm, started saying he wants to marry me and realizes that I am the best thing he has ever had in his life ( I know I am : ) noone else ever put up with him that long). Also, admitted that he had treated me and my sons badly, was lazy etc. and he was going to change and be the man I have always known he could be. He said he only did those things because he wasnt sure I was the one???

Well that lasted a little while but he went back to getting high, as well as all of the S traits I have ever seen posted-he did them all and more!
I will post the details later for my own self help and some insight from you all.
Anyway things got weirder and weirder and my boys as well as my family were sick of seeing me go through it all (They didnt even know the whole story!!) My oldest is at college but my 13 year old had enough! every complaint of his 12 year old son (Mostly amigined by the S) was blamed on my son. His son was always to be put first no matter what and I would get the wrath if he thought in any way he was not. Even things that noone could control like my sons team won a game and his didnt, my son was invited to a friends and his wasnt, much much more mostly made up in his mind. He started to steal my sons video games and trade them for games for his son. H would take my sons socks from his dresser and tell his son to wear them. (I feel like I spent most of my last three years buying socks for his son only to have them disappear????
Anyway, just a few examples but the point is my son was constantly questioned and had to hear me being yelled at and called horrible things.
Well right before he left for the summer to visit his dad it all blew up, the boys had a marshmallow fight in the house and the S came in in the middle of it. Well I am not sure what happened next but it ended up with my 13 year old pretty much telling the S off after the S called him several terrible names that an adult should not call any kid.

So my son goes to visit his dad and the S turns the charm back on saying how wrong he was and how badly he had treated me and my sons. Spent the whole 6 weeks telling me how he would fix it all and we would all have a wonderful life together. My college son also came home durring this time so he only saw the S good side. He repeated daily the great things he was gonna do for my son and be the awsome step father he always wanted. He had me beliving the dream and of course that was what initally attracted me to him.

Well my son told his dad all about the Bad Man and I was suddenly going to lose my kid to a father that only sees him once a year if that.
So without the long drawn out details, the S and his son had to get their own place so my son could come home and if the S truly wanted to prove that he had changed it would have to be from a different residence.

It was again another way for me to try to get on my feet financially as he was not working hardly at all and even when he was he would not help with bills or even food unless I approached him right after a bong hit (Very aggreable) or any of the other times I had figured out that I could get him to hand over some money.
Well he refused to support himself and said he would have to move in with his parents 3 hrs away if he couldnt live in my house. He spent 2 crazy months trying to get back in before he actually left town.

I was releived eventhough our relationship had been very intoxicating all summer and I did hope that he was sincere and could charm my son as he had before (ONLY MEAN IT).BUT MY SON HAD FORGIVEN SO MANY TIMES AND BEEN CRUSHED WHEN THE MASK FELL OVER AND OVER. Like my father told the S “You can bullshit your way out of everything in your life so far but my grandson is the one person that you cant bullshit anymore”

Well they moved out of town and I have just been waiting to be discarded (deep down knowing that it will happen and hoping it will ) HE JUST CANT SEEM TO DO IT ! I have tried to change the things that make him dependant on me but he still maintains he loves me and wants to work it out. He comes to town 1 day a week while my son is at school and I HAVE BEEN TRAINING HIM TO DO THE PART OF HIS JOB THAT i DO (HAHA ). I have set up a computer in his parents house, helped to fix up their 2nd house so he and his son can live there and he can move the rest of his stuff out of here.

So I KEEP WAITING……When will he discard me ???
Why am I so afraid to dump him????
He gives me nothing but intimate companionship but uses that as punishment when me or forces beyond my control make him unhappy.
He now has turned his anger toward my son(he is not ever in contact with him but tells me that everything bad that he does to me is because my son and his dad kicked him and his son out)
i FEEL SO STUPID WRITING THIS! But that is why I AM HERE NOW.I have completely lost control of my thoughts. My mind keeps blocking the extent of the bad things and he sucks me back in.
I made my screen name “Numb” Over a year ago because that is how I felt. While reading various support group blogs this week I found a word that describes how I have felt this week……………”Hamburger”
My son told me this week that he wants to go live with his dad……..I cant even think straight and just want to crawl in a hole.

I lost my job in May
I am about to lose my home
Now I am losing my son………….
Please help with any ideas that you have on how to get my head straight and deal with this.
You are all so strong for what you have been through……….I hope to be there soon.


Numb / Hamburger … sorry you are going through all this – I don’t have any great wisdom to share with you except this
DROP HIM – JUST DO IT. Like you I waited for him to end it as the relationship got worse and worse = they will hang on forever though parasitically = lots of people here have had to end it including me. Do yourself a favor = talk honestly with your son about the bad relationship and get this guy the heck out of both of your lives = you deserve it.
Maybe a break from your son will do the both of you some good = you will need lots of time to heal from this even though you have known for a while = I was similar in that I knew it was abusive for a long time but didn’t know he was a P.

You need to get away from this guy = everything is fixable after you clear him out of your life = you know this probably already though!

Hugs to you = you will get lots of support here for the journey ahead. Lots of other people have lost jobs and family members = these people leave a wake of devastation in their wake.


I know sex is not discussed here very much but why am I so controlled by the need for him to want me? He does not do anything else for me and I swear if I was the type to just go get another partner I could dump him. and it is not that great……even so bizarre at times that I am not sure what happened. But I am addicted to him wanting me and to pleasing him. He uses that to punish me by withholding. It had not happened since before summer but this week we engaged in sexual activity on our one day together for the week and he insisted on leaving in the middle of it all because he was late for an appointment (never cares about being late any other time) I was very upset and he knew I would be. We are not to see each other until next week.
Is it because I feel in control when I make him weak wit h pleasure? Is it because I need to be wanted by a man?
It feels so lame but the truth.
I was single and without for 10 years by choice raising my boys on my own and had few partners before my 10 year marrage. Is that a clue?

Hamburger (My brain is fried but I still can make myself laugh at this one)


When he accuses me of being with another man I laugh and say “If I had someone else why the hell would I keep putting up with you” I DO EVERYTHING , JUMP THROUGH HOOPS/NEVER ENOUGH AND HE DOES NOTHING.

Well he did buy me an $8 all you can eat buffett (I had been begging for weeks) after I painted his new place for 3 days while my kids visited their dad and delivered his son and him Christmas gifts. Rare giving experiance.

But he did give me the cuddling and sex everyday I was there and knows thats all he has to do……………Am I Crazy?


Numb – they are masters at using sex and cuddling … they usually are very agile in the bedroom and adept at giving pleasure … oxytocin which is released during orgasm provides an even more intense bond with them as it is literally a bonding and cuddling hormone. So the sex hooks us but we don’t know it rationally.

No you are not crazy = you’ve been with someone who has a personality disorder = they have two distinct sides = one that is parasitic, abusive, nasty and takes everything and then another fake side that is charming, suave, slick, nice and helpful and declares they are our soulmates. Mine could look me dead in the eye and tell me he loved me while doing actions that clearly said ‘I hate you’. When I confronted him with it he of course denied it = ‘How can you doubt me? I love you so much – we were meant to be together’.

He also accused me of being with other men or at a minimum flirting with them – apparently according to him saying hello is putting sex on a plate for a man. I lost all my male friends and he hated my female friends so gradually they all slipped out of my life too.. I had no witness to the craziness going on at home and he would only drop the mask in front of me. He had the audacity to call me abusive towards him too. They project what they are doing onto us.

Mine took everything from me and was happy to watch me suffer and go without while he always got what he wanted – selfish to the core.

Read through the archives here and you will see that many have experienced exactly the same behaviours and even the same lines were used. These guys are pretty much identical no matter where in the world they live. It sucks … they get to walk away with no remorse and no consequences while we have to pick up all the pieces and try to go on with life. Reading that other people had the same experiences was hugely validating for me – I thought I was the only one going through this and was going nuts!

You are not crazy. These people are extremely sick and dangerous and they do a lot of damage to normal feeling people. If you have some time, I recommend you get hold of the book Women who Love Psychopaths by Sandra Brown – it shows all the strengths and weaknesses of women who get into these relationships and why the psychos and socios use our qualities against us. It answered a lot of questions for me. You can buy it at the Lovefraud store and there is an ebook version, which is cheaper than the printed book. I read it in one go and was shocked at who I saw in the pages =- incredibly accurate.


Numb Hamburger,

I’ve got good news and bad news. The bad first – no matter how hard you hope and pray, this man will never be what you want or need him to be. Clearly he knows how to exploit you and your insecurities and attachment/abandonment issues.

The good news? If he’s gone and you, logistically speaking can cut all ties, all that’s left resides in your scope of control All you have to do is stop using focusing him as a distraction from what’s truly going on inside you and do some personal work and you’ll get better and better, most days.

I suggest getting a good therapist that knows how to deal with codependency and PTSD. You have clearly chosen your son over this guy before and must do so again! Be gone with him, keep your problems, let him own his, feel like crap and then start pulling it all together.

That’s my advice. I wish you the best. Nothing truly good in life is easy!




Thanks for sharing in the frustration and the hugs and prayers! Nothing’s played out yet and I’m trying to follow my own advice about being diligent without being hyper-vigilant.

I’m going to allow family court to work through some of this before I take measures to involve another court. I know upsetting judges doesn’t EVER work in ones favor.

I’ll keep you informed of how things progress.




They are attracted to our stability and our goals, because they are so transient they apply that to our lives… hence my always moving around to “rescue” him from his life problems….giving up my own goals to make him happier… which never worked…Our stability and our goals appeal to them…cause they have’nt a clue… to see a happy future…..


Numb hamburger – yes, you are crazy as all hell – but it it curable! it’s a response to being with a spath.

PLEASE – do you have any experience of healing from addiction? if you do, yo will know the benefit of ‘abstinence’, here it is no contact. You have the power to extricate yourself from this – you are the ONLY one with that power.

Read, read, read here, post post post – have you read the BETrAYAL BOND? turn that compulsion you are feeling towards saving and healing yourself. use the jumpiness you feel to jump toward freedom – one step at a time. You CAN do this. We are proof.


Hi Numb, I think we get addicted to sex with sociopaths because we feel that in those moments a connection exists. It’s the closest we ever get to those cold, distant, hateful monsters. The rest of our daily lives with them tend to be devoid of tenderness, care or concern for us on their part. That’s why we cling on to those illusions of intimacy, mutual respect, tenderness and love during sex…
Like you I felt I missed this connection with him, even though he was a complete disaster in bed, and it took me a while to figure it out – I reckon it was really a default thing, as in bed he would behave a bit less in-humanly than usual!


Numb, my dear, dear Numb-side
I read this article by Steve and thought: geesh, I needed that (though I’m scared of it!) And then I read Numb’s testimony. I can’t help but think this: yes, there are two sides to the psychopath/sociopath – the charming side and the evil side. And I think there are two sides to his/her victim – the terrifically intelligent, able, creative, adventurous (etc etc etc)side, and the side that is terrifically emotional and loving, and capable of becoming absolutely numb.

Numb, you are me before I let me intelligent side convince me that if I stayed with this man, he would hurt me beyond all comprehension.

I have my good days; I have my bad days. This morning, I woke up remembering the charming side of my S, thinking about how right now he’s so deeply hurt by me (who filed an Order of Protection against him.) And I want to call him (yeah, to break the order) and apologize and assure him I’ll always love him.

Then I remember his evil side, which I was only beginning to see fully over this past summer – his evil side is bitter, vengeful, deceptive, and sexually perverse. Yeah, that sex thing is a very important element, and I’m glad you brought it up. Sex was part of what he used to capture me, and to hold me (and what I used, unconsciously, to control him) But he was easily bored with our sex games, and very willing to move into terrifically adventurous (ok, ok, that might be fun, but we all have limits) and then sadistic sexualities. Yes, I say that in the plural. I began to wonder if he was bi- or trans- or something else. Not that I take issue with that, but if it involves tying people up and beating them, well, that’s just not for me. Or putting pillows over your face in the middle of “love” making. . .

Sexuality for me ended up being a big part of what drew me to him, and what made me run. . . and I keep hoping and praying that what I experienced is the worst his dark side is capable of.

Send this to a friend