The marriage and the monster

Lovefraud received the following letter 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?

Range of behavior

One reason why it’s so difficult to spot sociopaths is because they are not all the same. Sociopathy is a trait that varies from person to person. You could compare it to a trait like intelligence—not all intelligent people are intelligent in the same way. Some people are smart in academics, some people have mechanical skills, some people are artistically brilliant. They are all intelligent, but intelligent in different areas of life.

Sociopathy manifests differently in different people—I like to say the disorder ranges from sleazy to serial killer. Some, therefore, are violent—but many, probably even most, are not. Some sociopaths are low-level criminals; others have successful careers in business, government, medicine, the military, education, the clergy—every possible field of endeavor.

The point is, sociopaths exhibit a range of behavior, so behavior by itself is not always a reliable way of spotting the disorder.

The mask

Sociopaths often wear a mask—until they decide that they can no longer be bothered keeping up appearances. I think that’s what happened in the case of this Lovefraud reader. The sociopath she was with played the part of the committed husband—until he had enough of that game and wanted a change. Oh, he kept it going for awhile with the false reconciliation. But when he was well and truly tired of the marriage, he became the monster.

The reader didn’t say how he was using the child to hurt her, but based on what I’ve heard from other parents, I can take a few guesses. The sociopath considers the child to be his property, and he wants to own it. Or, the sociopath thinks the child will be useful to his image—he’ll be able to play the doting dad, so that he can snag another victim. Or, the sociopath simply wants to win whatever battle their custody situation has become, and win convincingly, so that our reader never has the temerity to challenge him again.

The illusion

So how does our reader reconcile the “happy marriage” with the “monster”? She has to understand that the happy marriage never existed. It was an illusion, carefully crafted by the sociopath to reel her in and get what he wanted. Once he changed his mind about what he wanted, the marriage was no longer useful to him, so he dumped it.

This is what sociopaths have in common: They are social predators. They are users. They have no heart, no conscience and no remorse. You cannot interpret them through the way you live your life. You simply have to accept the fact that they are staggeringly different from us. We feel empathy for other people. They do not.

Regardless of how it manifests, the common denominator is that these people are empty shells pretending to be human. When you look carefully inside them, you’ll see nothing.

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253 Comments on "The marriage and the monster"

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muldoon –
this line really spoke to me: ‘I think he knew by then that I had no limits…’

I have really wide and wild limits, so willing to go the ends in some situaions that i sometimes don’t get that i am being taken for a ride.

I have also tried so hard to be ‘flexible’ in work situations which has amounted to my being abused.

thanks for the post.

I have seen you post on aoccasion in the last few months that i have been here. i am glad you have disengaged and are in less pain. i hope for even more for you…much much more.

one step

Its mad oxdrover & one step because he is now so sweet its sickly!! seriously, he is the man I thought he was at the start only now I have what I wished for its quite nauseating because it doesnt do anything for me and in fact makes me feel claustophobic, he is good with the kids, no longer goes on the internet…I sit there thinking this is just a bloody act with you, and when it suits you it will be another one, but years of practice have made me good at masking what I really think, and he is so up his own arse it all goes over his head.I think he has learnt a lesson with kids and how they need consistency, he was looking like a skeleton by the time he came back…he was unable to sleep, hands shaking…It blew him away that he wasnt as in control as he thought, I had given the impression for years he could do what he liked and I would take him back without question.Last time for months I wouldnt even speak to him, I know I created the monster in him, well my actions were nurturing to that side of him and he thought he was bloody invincible, I also set the bench mark of what he expected from a wife and no one else would pander to it. I now only pander to it if he is being nice , the minute he looks like starting I switch off, which used to be his tactic and invariably had me dancing through hoops to appease him. Its like a bloody game of chess..but its not blatantly so, everyone is the happiest they have been, I have explained to the older ones that its different this time, that I will never be that quivering wreck who missed him when he was gone but was scared when he was here.
Hi One step…yes boundaries used to be a problem for me too, I hated to displease, now I weigh up would the other person for me if the shoe was on the other foot, I no longer live for the easy life attitude of anything for an easy one
I see now that he is flawed, beyond repair so Im not gonna bother trying to, but there is a way to bring out the best in him, he was so neglected by his mother and bullied as the youngest he cant take criticism so you dont do it in the heat of the moment..its all about timing. He needs constant praise, but now he has to earn it..I dont know how long it will last..I know I wont be falling apart when it doesnt and neither will my kids..he as dessensetised them to his leaving and its lost its impact.
Yes its loveless but it is what it is…I dont think I would ever trust another man, give my heart, live for another as long as I live..Just wanna get through life as painlessly and comfortably as possible. I think I have become the sociopath I still have morals, still wouldnt hurt anyone intentionally and dont act with malice..but should I be met with those things I now have that arrow in my bow should I desire to get down to that level.

Muldoon, I offer you big, strong hugs…..I was in the same situation and I finally had to end it when I was able to see beyond the sickness in the marriage relationship, and on to what being raised in that environment was doing to my children. I made a choice to pick my ex spath. My children, on the other hand, did not have a choice as to whom they would be born to, or into what type of situation. It was they who captured my attention, and my eldest developed into a violent, unstable, and rage-filled sociopath, himself. I often wonder if he would have become such a monster if I had screwed myself up and left as soon as I knew that something was amiss.

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