The Marriage Masks: Three types of sociopathic relationships

Here at Lovefraud, we’ve heard thousands of horror stories of marriages to sociopaths. Thinking about these unfortunate involvements, it seems to me that there are three types of romantic relationships with sociopaths. I call them the Marriage Masks, and they are:

1. Calculated exploitation

The sociopath targets an individual for the explicit purpose of exploiting him or her, using the unsuspecting partner for money, sex, a place to live or something else that the sociopath wants.

My ex-husband, James Montgomery, targeted me because I had what he wanted: money, good credit, my own home and business connections in the city where he decided he was going to make a fortune. He sweet talked me, married me and drained me, and then he moved on without a thought.

2. Passing entertainment

The sociopath finds the partner to be a suitable involvement for the present—until the sociopath gets bored, antsy, or some other individual catches his or her eye. At this point, the partner is discarded.

Mary Jo Buttafuoco described her husband, Joey Buttafuoco, in her book, Getting It Through My Thick Skull. To me, it seems that Joey Buttafuoco was one of those sociopaths who was simply looking for a good time, for entertainment. He worked and she was a stay-at-home mom, so he wasn’t using her financially. But eventually he had an affair with a teenager, then visits to hookers, then a new wife. Changing women was like changing the scenery.

3. Image creation

In order to secure a coveted place in society, the sociopath may seem devoted to his or her spouse or family in public, but life at home, behind closed doors, is another matter entirely.

Here’s an example that was recently in the news. Stephen Green, founder of a fundamentalist organization in the United Kingdom called Christian Voice, preaches against homosexuality, abortion, Islam and Jerry Springer. “The enemies of God are having their say,” proclaims the organization’s website. “It’s time to hear the Christian Voice!”

Green portrays himself as the guardian of morality in the U.K. However, Caroline Green, his former wife, paints a totally different picture—domestic violence:

He told me he’d make a piece of wood into a sort of witch’s broom and hit me with it, which he did,’ she recalls, her voice tentative and quiet. ”˜He hit me until I bled. I was terrified. I can still remember the pain.

Stephen listed my misdemeanours: I was disrespectful and disobedient; I wasn’t loving or submissive enough and I was undermining him. He also said I wasn’t giving him his conjugal rights.

Here’s the whole revolting story in the Daily Mail:

In public he rails against immorality as the voice of Christian Britain, but in private he is a wife beater, says his former partner

Missing: Ability to love

These categories are not hard and fast, and some sociopathic relationships and marriages may show signs of two or all three types. But however the disfunction manifests, the root problem is that sociopaths are not capable of feeling real love.

They are, however, capable of acting like they feel love—at least in the beginning of a relationship. I call it the luring stage—the period of time when sociopaths do everything you’d ever dream that smitten partners would do. They call, they want to be with you, they give gifts, they make you feel cherished. They do this until they hook you.

Then, sociopathic behavior starts to reflect the real agenda—calculated exploitation, passing entertainment or image creation. The change may be subtle or sudden. The relationship may gradually devolve, it may swing back and forth between normal and unconscionable, or it may suddenly evaporate.

But at some point, the Marriage Mask slips, and we come face to face with the truth: We are being used.

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221 Comments on "The Marriage Masks: Three types of sociopathic relationships"

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Aussie-Thank you. I got Donna’s email and yours. I don’t know what’s going to happen yet. I am going to be leaving for work soon. I took my firearms to the home of the district commander of my city’s police department yesterday afternoon and she has locked them up for me. She told me to go to my hospital police department this morning and get an appointment and speak to the chief, who is a friend of hers and make a police report and let them know that due to these ridiculous accusations, that I have given her my firearms. She also wants me to go to HR, as does my parents, after I make the police report and don’t give my manager a chance to talk to me first. Initially we thought that they would become adversarial if I skipped over and went straight to HR. It seems though that with the egos that seem to be involved here, the relationship is going to be adversarial no matter what. I am going to ask the chief about it when I speak to him. I going to have an officer pull me out of my work area for the meeting because if I tell them ahead of time that I have a meeting/appt, they will do anything to keep me in a procedure room and not let me leave. They have done this with other people. I will let you know what happens today. I am also going to try to get an appt to see my MD to go over this with her and have the emotional distress documented in my medical record in case I have to take any kind of legal action. Gotta go to work.


If you’re out there, I want to share with you something strange that happened. Spath was out for the first time yesterday. So last night, I definately closed the garage door after son and I came home from hockey. This morning, the garage door was opened. There was also signs (on the snow), that someone was in driveway overnight.

Is this what I have to look forward to? Spath pulling crap like this? First thing daughter said was that it was probably dad and we should have moved where he can’t find us because he’s a sociopath. She is a smart cookie.

Just wanted to share this with you. Thanks

Dear Hope4joy,

YEP! That is exactly what you should expect.

Take photos of it, report it to police.

CHANGE LOCKS ON DOORS and change garage automatic opener or lock it shut when you are home and lock it behind you when you leave. Make sure your house is secure.

Go to Radio Shack or some other vendor (there are some good places on liine) that sell recording cameras. They are reasonably cheap now and install one to cover the front of your house.

I also suggest that you KEEP THAT INFORMATION FROM YOUR SON, due to the fact that I think your husband will use your son for a SPY against you. I hate to say that, but that is what the Ps do. So don’t let Junior know about the cameras. They are very small and can be hidden.

Or you can get an alarm/security company to put in monitors, which ever is the thing that is most comfortable and affordable for you. DO it ASAP is my recommendation. Other wise he will keep on breaking into your house.

Once you catch him breaking in, press charges. Get a restraining order. Whatever you can do.

You are his PROPERTY, the house is HIS PROPERTY. HE HAS A RIGHT TO BREAK IN—-in his opinion. NOT in mine. LOL


Thanks for the advice, I’m going to look up prices for cameras and not tell son. Poor kid, he shouldn’t be used like that but spath does everything covert and son has no idea.


A strange thing is happening with my N’ish daughter, and I wanted to run it by you real quick.

When she found out about my health, she completely freaked out. Crying, etc. Last night, she said to me on fb “If you need someone to hold your hand or a shoulder to cry on, I will be there for you”.


I proceed with GREAT caution with this child. Am I being manipulated? Is she capable of empathy? It’s rather disturbing that I have to question my own child’s motives. I love her, but I don’t want my health and her apparent empathy for me and what’s going on, to be used as an “in” to move home. I feel a sense of guilt in feeling this way, however, I just had to express my thoughts on it. CAUTION is prevalent for me right now.


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