By | April 10, 2014 109 Comments

The Sociopath Creates a Dream

If you’ve been romanced by a sociopath, you know how remarkable it can be. In the first moments—the courting phase. In the time when you felt more desirable and more perfectly matched than ever before in your life.

The time you fell in love.

I wrote about my own sociopathic romance in The Other Side of Charm. And it was really hard for me after fifteen years of bad to go back to the good. It was more than hard. I cried a lot while writing about my early days with my ex, holing myself up in my house during any spare moment to write and to cry into the loneliness.

And even though I’ve written it all out by now, I still cry if I talk about it. If someone asks what it was like. I cry because it was a captivating experience.

It was my biggest young experience of love.

And it was meaningless.

Yes, that makes me cry.

Because my heart was captivated by a disguise. Everything I was wholeheartedly believing and investing myself in was a big, empty sham. My experience of feeling loved didn’t come from someone who felt it. And long after he took off his mask, I kept myself believing that it was who he truly was.

That need to believe did a lot of damage.

But it still happens to me today.

It happens by accident. It happens all the time. Because I still have to see him regularly—we have children together. And even though he’s trying hard behind the scenes to devastate me for going on two decades now, he’s smart enough to behave well in public. Which sometimes makes me question myself.

Today, for example. I’m standing at a track meet, filming and shooting photos of my son’s jumps. My ex walks up beside me and asks how he’s doing. He comes in close beside me to look at my phone. I respond pleasantly and show him the video because I can see our son watching us and he really wants us to get along. So I smile and share photos and then find myself instantly jumping to the idea that maybe we actually could get along. Because in that moment, we’re getting along. And I make it bigger than it really is because I need to believe that there’s hope for peace.

Back to reality.

The reality is that I received multiple angry emails from Mr. Getalong earlier in the day that were both degrading and untrue, and I also had a call from my attorney this afternoon about an email he received from my ex. In it, my ex claimed that I was interfering with his custody case because I wouldn’t communicate with the psychologist who’s doing our assessments. Truth be told, I’ve called the psychologist six times and can trace it on my records. And he’s the one who hasn’t called—the psychologist complained about it himself.

Back to reality, again.

This game of “I’ll accuse you of what I’m doing” is common among sociopaths, but it still catches me off guard at times. I have to remind myself not to get caught up in his stories even more often than I have to remind myself not to believe that he can be decent to me just because he’s acting like it for a moment.

Someone recently described it to me as being like a cobweb. That when you’re regularly dealing with another person’s mental illness or personality disorder, their condition can be webby. It can stick to you. Imagine walking through a cobweb and then trying to get it all off, right down to the last strand.

It’s hard to do.

It’s hard to get the cobwebs off.

It’s hard to stay on the outside of their chaos.

It’s hard to give up the dream.

It’s hard to believe that a person is dangerous if they’re talking about family life while hugging people and laughing a good, deep laugh.

It’s hard to understand how a person could be warm and nice to you while taking everything you have.

It’s hard to admit that it feels shameful and lonely to realize you weren’t actually loved when you thought you felt it.

Because we want to be loved, not duped.

We want to be wanted for who we are.

Or at the very least, we want to get along. To believe that tomorrow can be better.

That the attacks can and will end. We want to believe they’ll end.

And that’s a beautifully human thing—a critical survival skill.

But on the flip side, it can make it hard to let go of the dream.

A challenge.

To think about how all this may fit into your own life, I challenge you to consider how believing in goodness (sometimes against all evidence) can be both a positive strength and a self-defeating weakness. When is it a strength for you? When does it hold you back? And do you see any patterns?

If you’re dealing with a sociopath, clear vision can easily be clouded. How to you keep things in focus? Do you have strong skills in this area, or do you need more support?

More than anything, I challenge you to live your own safe life. Free from sociopathy and filled with your own real dreams.

Comment on this article

Please Login to comment
Notify of

H.G. – That is the real shocker – making ourselves understand and believe that everything we saw in the beginning of the involvement was fake. It wasn’t love. It was love bombing, intentionally designed to hook us and reel us in.

The fact that we were betrayed is bad enough. But then we question our own perceptions and our own ability to interpret reality. How could we have been so wrong?

The answer, of course, is that sociopath exist, and we didn’t know it.



This is a perfect article for me to read today. My husband and I are trying to arrange a time to get our taxes done. He is so nice and kind, wanting to see me (we are separated), calling often. My heart longs for what I thought we had. But just six week ago I found out he is in a relationship with someone else. He says she thinks he hung the moon.

Such typical, predictable behavior. He wants me to file a joint tax return to save him money and to know where my money is. He has no interest in me beyond serving his own cause. But, like you, I want to believe there is some true emotion. It’s such a battle when I still have communication. No contact helps, but is just not possible right now. Staying strong, remembering the bad, and support and communication with others who have been in the same place is the process I am trying to follow. And prayer….lots of prayer


This article will hit a nerve to most of us who still have contact…It rings loud for me…..
My ex started a love bombing program with me as soon as he got remarried, and thinks he has complete control… But recently I moved, bought a new home and am trying to start from scratch….He of course got news about this and blatantly and shamelessly asked me if he could come to help me move. I refused and all love bombing ended abruptly… predictable they are!!!!
Right after I moved he called me again and said that because I am so tech unsavy he has sent me an already programmed modem and router. The password was the same that we used when we were married, so it would be easy for me……
Ofcourse it also gives him the ability to covertly get information about who comes to my place….who and how much internet usage etc etc. I ofcourse hid the modem and the router that I use and have told him I am connected with the ones he sent me.
Waiting to see how long it takes him to figure this out.
If I had denied accepting the gift my spousal support would end abruptly. Its amazing the web they weave…..Only now I don’t get hurt when he plays these horrid games. Feel sorry for him and do what I need to….I think for a very long time I have lived with the mantra ‘a day at a time…the next right thing” It keeps me sane.


HG…wow !!!! great description…I like the analogy of cobwebs…I used to say I felt like I was in a twisty ,miry, mess!….caught in it…trying to explain and reason with someone who has no intention of being “reasonABLE”…twisting my words…not hearing truth….taking me to places and dumping me out…in a pile of quicksand …alone , stuck….
this morning I woke up thinking about the beginning of my relationship with the sp I was involved with for 6 plus years….I was remembering how at the time I was trying to discern…and make a good decision…I was thinking how hard they are to really discern and know….I can see now that he had a “plan”…he right away created OUR “DREAMS” …that he was going to make all our dreams come true!!!…I have gotton out and away from him…but having lived in this “plan ” of his… and brainwashed by this DREAM he created as OUR DREAMS ….I am lacking that clear direction …and at times the “gumption” to do my work …. I need to find purpose now…thank you for the challenge … H.G… live my own safe life…filled with my own REAL dreams……….
I have so much more to live for!!!…something REAL


You are so right about doubting yourself. I too have gone through instances when I thought ” am I the one being too hard on him, am I the one with the problem?” when he is acting nice or concerned. I love how you mention that prior to him looking at the video on your phone, he had sent accusatory and angry emails that same morning. My ex does this too. He will email me and say bad things about me, accuse of behavior that HE is doing, and file ridiculous motions in court, all while acting just as nice as he can! It gives new meaning to the description of being “two-faced!” His mother does the same thing to me and I now see that she was that way during our marriage. I thought I had a friend and a confidant, and now I know she was just acting nice to me to get info to give to my ex. Fortunately for me, I have friends and family who know what he is, and they keep me in check. I should have relied upon them more when I was married, and maybe my kindness and understanding towards him would not have been used against me. They remind me of everything he has done to me, and how he is always against me, and they validate my knowledge that he is a sociopath when I have almost stumbled and been taken in again by his niceness. It just blows my mind that someone can be so hurtful and angry, at the point of screaming at you and threatening you, and within seconds turn that off and put on the appearance of a kind, happy and concerned spouse when others are around.


Those little moments of getting along stir our oxytocin levels and make us feel interest. One of the reasons it’s so difficult to free oneself from a sociopath when children are involved is the continual stimulation of brain chemistry that we interpret as love, trust, etc. when we have to be around them. The chemistry that cleaves us to our love interest is powerful and exists, even if we don’t love them any longer.

Folks who don’t have children have a tough enough time getting onto and staying onto a healing track. But when kids are involved, there is reocurring stimulation. On one hand, we can mentally accept what our mind has figured out, that we want to be miles away from them, but our body’s chemistry works against us when we’re in their presence.

Oxytocin responds to the smell, the sound, the touch, etc, of the person it intends to cleave us to.

Your son, who wants you to get along with his father, is old enough to learn about how this works. The Moral Molecule, by Paul Zak is a good source.



This is so true. My husband (separated) and I have only seen each other twice in the last couple of months, both times at counseling appointments. I can feel myself getting stronger and stronger. I’m sticking to my boundaries with more ease. I’m feeling more like myself. He senses his lack of control growing and now is pushing to see me. “I need to comfort you”, he says. “I miss you so much”. “Baby, can I come spend time with you and put lotion on your feet?” …WHAT?

He acts like nothing has happened in our relationship. But he’s desperate to be in close contact with me. He’s clever like a fox. He knows that the only chance he has to affect me is for those chemicals to kick in. He’s learned that his presence (and overuse of testosterone) makes his women swoon. I’m so glad I know this now. Just another tactic in their game of manipulation. Nothing is off limits for them to achieve their goal.

I will look into that book The Moral Molecule. Thank you!


“It’s hard to admit that it feels shameful and lonely to realize you weren’t actually loved when you thought you felt it”

This was the chain that kept me from breaking away. And once I did the shame and lonliness was PROFOUND. Every heartbreak and disappointment I had ever experienced was brought into the mix. All grief was brought to the fore, and I had to live with it.

In some way I understand that this is human, and that no one wants to face that what we FELT was prompted by a lie, and that it is understandable. But at the time I had such a hard time empathizing with myself, and being good to myself.

And when looked at from a different view I could say that it was my own pride, my unwillingness to face my own shame and loneliness that would make me stay. I didn’t want to admit just how isolated and embarrassed I was when I realized I had fallen for a pack of lies and manipulation.

I couldn’t leave my house for about a month. Really. I didn’t work. I barely ate, shopped, or went anywhere. The shame nearly burned a hole in me.

Eventually I felt humility. I felt humbled. Then, slowly, over time I could face it. Then, by turns, I felt soft and new and vulnerable. Like something really tiny and fragile, that needed to be treated with great tenderness. Once I got to this point my healing and strengthening accelerated.

I am so grateful to have survived and gotten to the other side of that kind of shameful isolation. It has made me a much stronger, kinder, well-balanced, and wise person.


One of the hardest tasks for me was to accept my ex-husband for what he really truly is, someone incapable of connecting feelings/emotions to his behavior.

Once I got that into my little beanie, that NOTHING connected for him, it was easier for me to notice that his kindness or interactions were only apparent, that NOTHING, NO interaction with him was real. He is ALL image, no substance of character, nothing there to connect to.

It gladdened my heart to realize that I was NOT LIKE HIM. I made mistakes, but I was not wrong. I learned from my mistakes. I realized WHO I was, was someone worthy of being. That gave me a core esteem to rebuild my shredded disorganized hurting soul. I am a candle in the dark and that makes me more powerful than he will EVER be.


Your description of Your empowerment is so good to hear, NWHSTM! I’m looking forward to getting to that point. I still bend a little toward him when we have to communicate. I see that it was hard for you to accept also.
You are a great example for those of us rolling behind you in our healing. Godspeed on your recovery!

I just read the “word salad” post and was totally blown away! Everything I have experienced is articulated in that piece! I am stunned to find something that so accurately describes the daily give and take (or give and give!) of living with a sociopath! Thank you so much for sharing this!


To all the posts…….I cannot breathe as so much of what has been written here is so similar to my situation. I stumbled across this site only a few days ago.

What are the characteristics of a sociopath? Can I tell for sure? And is it possible for therapists not to pick up on this when you go in for joint counseling.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for sharing your stories, strength, and courage. This gives me hope…….


I felt the same way. These stories are my experience to a t. It is a great relief as my friends and family don’t understand what it feels like to be duped emotionally and in your intimate trust relationship.


Platinum, click on the tab above called “Beware the sociopath” and the then “What’s a sociopath.” You will find some descriptive articles there. The two most well-known books on the topic are “Without a Conscience” and “The Sociopath Next Door”. I would suggest reading them both.

The majority of therapists are not aware of sociopaths and are easily fooled by them. Sociopaths can be very charming and convincing. They can lie at the drop of a hat and seem very sincere about it. I would terminate with your current therapist and find another one just for yourself who knows what sociopaths are. There are some out there. I would not tell your husband you are going. Just do this for yourself.

The fact that you are on this site shows that you have a strong suspicion at least that your husband is a sociopath. If he is, being in therapy with him will cause you more harm than good because he will manipulate the therapist. The only thing sociopaths learn from therapy is how to manipulate people better. If the therapist is savvy enough to see that your husband is projecting everything onto you and not taking any responsibility for his own actions, this could be validating for you. But then there would still be no reason to continue with marriage counseling. Both parties must be willing to change and accept responsibility for counseling to work. A sociopath will never do either.


Here is a good article from this site identifying the key symptoms of a sociopath. From Robert Hare’s book:



I am going to look at the information you suggested right now. Thank you for taking the time to respond.



Platinum, even giving your husband the benefit of the doubt that he is not a sociopath, is this really someone you feel you can work with? I mean, your responsibility toward your marriage is 50%. But he has the other 50%. If he is that insensitive and blaming you for everything, IMO you should be pulling back and taking care of yourself instead of investing in HIS mental health. You cannot make him change. He has to want to do it for himself; he has to see the value in it; and he has to realize that he could lose you if he doesn’t. You cannot force a man to value you. He has to realize this on his own. And I’m talking about a “normal” man who is not a sociopath. If he is a sociopath, there is no chance he will ever love or value you. And there is not a thing you can do about it besides get out.

But I have to say after reading your posts, that his pathological lying is a dead giveaway to me. Normal neurotic people don’t do that.



Thank you for your response. Whether my husband is or is not a sociopath, you have made some very compelling and thought provoking remarks. You have validated what I have been thinking, but I think was too scared to admit it.

Do you know if there is a genetic component to this? Are they born this way? Is it learned? Are they a product of their environment? Wow, just caught myself……none of that really matters, I can’t fix him, I can only take care of myself and allow him the dignity of taking care of himself.

As I posted on another article, I am planning my exit stategy.


Hi Platinum-

You’ve asked the questions we’ve all asked as we struggled with recovery…’d they get that way?

To briefly answer…

The basis of all “Cluster B” personality disorders is lack of “affective empathy.” That’s the ability to care what’s going on with another person. Most of them have high levels of “cognitive empathy.” That’s the ability to figure out what’s happening, but they just don’t care. In fact, they use that razor sharp sense of cognition in order to gain whatever they want…. the hell with anyone else. They can turn the charm off and on to suit their needs.

How did they get that way? A combination of nature and nurture.

Many are born with a pre-dispostion to it, and the impacts of their early childhood can mitigate or launch them down a predatory pathway. I think Dr. Liane Leedom’s book, “Just Like His Father,” probably gives the best awareness of how sociopathy forms.

Keep in mind that there are a variety of personality traits in Cluster Bs that set them apart. Some become Narcissists, some become “Borderlines,” and there’s a whole host of others. But no matter what form their disordered moral reasoning takes, the best thing you can do is get as far away as you can!

Wishing you the best!


Yes, what Joyce said ^^^^.

It has a genetic component. And there are actually structural differences in the brains of sociopaths making it very unlikely that they can change, especially once they are adults. However, even if change were *possible*, sociopaths as a group are not very motivated to change. I know of no cases where one ever developed empathy or remorse, whether through meds, therapy, or any other form of treatment. However, there are accounts (on this site) of people high on the anti-social scale who are able to manage their behaviors to fit into society and have a modicum of things that normal people have – a stable sex life with a partner, a job with steady income, avoiding prison, etc. This often requires them being convinced that if they behave in socially acceptable ways there is a payoff for them. They then need to get their adrenalin jolt in more socially acceptable ways – skydiving, etc.

Keep in mind that lacking empathy and remorse alone does not make someone a sociopath. The traits that are dead giveaways outside of the lack of remorse and empathy and the pathological lying and the “pity play” that they use to make you feel sorry for them. If you see all three of these traits together in one person, suspect a sociopath. The glib, superficial affect and charm would be a 4th trait.


Now I am better able to understand why in our joint counseling he is giving the responses he is. For example, my adult daughters had talked with him a few months back about how their feelings had been hurt by him. In a “normal” family, no big deal, right? You listen, empathize, come to a resolution, and move on.

In this case, he got very upset, started saying all kinds of nasty things about my daughters dad, then screamed that I am the reason his adult daughters don’t come visit.

In our joint counseling session, when I brought this up and the therapist pointed out that my husband was clearly in the wrong to assassinate the character of my daughters dad in front of them, his response was to say it is his house and he should be able to say whatever he wanted to say.

I have seen him throw his adult daughters under the bus as well.
I think it is easier for me to see his behavior and lack of remorse/empathy for other people instead of me, because I think I ought to be able to do something different and all would be well. I am seeing now, that is what he wants me think, it is all my fault! Revelations are coming quickly now.

I have said it before, but again, thank you for your responses. You all have given me much to reflect, research, etc. Life can be so busy, and the fact that many took the time to respond means a great deal to me.


Ah yes, Platinum….. The Lord and Master of the castle gets to say and do anything he chooses. At least that’s how it was back in the dark ages. He has a “chattel” mentality. You are all his property, and he can behave any way he wants.

There’s no “fix” for that mentality. It’s inherent in how he conducts relationships. And everyone else is to blame, for everything! Once they are “found out” it’s almost laughable, except that he’s been so non-present and uncaring in so many lives!

All the best!


Good analysis Beverly – thanks!


I had some contact on and off with the NPD/BPD over the last month or so. Then I decided to catch him in a lie I suspected from the beginning of the renewed contact. So I did lol, like its hard, eh?
I needed to see he was lying now so I could believe he lied then, he’s always ONLY lied to me. I watched him lie to his employer, his best friend and others. Instantly, easily, no guilt. I knew he lied “little lies” to me and becuz there was enough to argue about, and for, in our relation-hell, I ignored them.
Now the thot of him sickens me again and this time I think I’ve got it thru my head that he only ever lied to me; that WHO HE IS is a *sham*. He HAS no true person to him. He’s not just sick, he barely exists as a human.
I made sure to open full-guns at him when I caught him, so he’d be offended and hurt. This will prevent him from contacting me. He takes GREAT offense and stays hurt like a little puppy–won’t even talk to his father or other family members.
I was doing very well in my recovery. I am doing very well now. It hasn’t affected my sleep or anxiety except for about an hour that night as I processed it and all it’s ramifications. Someday very soon, the thot of him won’t sicken me, it will just not affect me at all. Ive done it with the spath before, this person will go too.
The one word to understand in relation to a disordered person, on any level, is LIES or LIAR. I have no time for either.


My heart goes out to every one of you who has children with your ex and so have no choice but to see them regularly. It is hard enough without this challenge and I think the continued threat from contact would be more than I could handle.

During the relationship I struggled so much with the cognitive dissonance of the sweet man I loved vs. the reality of who he is and like all of us stayed much, much too long hoping. There was no hope.

I have done well in letting go of the dream that was the relationship with him, but I struggle every day with letting go of the dreams I had for my life. He set me up to lose so much financially that after a successful career that enabled me to retire in my early 50’s with few financial worries now I am back at square one. It is heartbreaking and most days I end up twisted in knots trying to figure out what to do, what I can do…what do I want my life to look like and how can I make that happen.

What keeps me going is looking back over my shoulder at how I responded and reacted after the discard and through the last three years how often I felt hopeless and without a future but kept going anyway. How much I weathered, how much I accomplished. I didn’t let myself go under, and it was hard and took everything I had.

I had hoped it would feel easier at this point, but it doesn’t. I question every decision I make and then second guess myself. I feel each decision has the potential to make or break me, to send ripple effects that could harm me down the line. I want to be careful, cautious. I am no longer the accomplished, confident decision maker I was before he abused me.

I thought the hard work of healing and working to reestablish some stability in my life would be over when at long last the shared house that he left me holding the whole bag for was sold. Boy was I wrong. I thought I would soar like an eagle when I was finally free and instead, I am paralyzed. I didn’t expect to feel this way and don’t know what to do with it. I’m trying to be gentle with myself, telling myself I don’t have to know or do everything at once, and I will get through it with the strength and determination I showed in the past three years. But I’m so, so tired and alone.


I hear your pain and hopelessness. I was there myself not too long ago. I hope you recognize that you are still the worthwhile person you were. Your relationship with a sociopath happened to you, it is not who you are.

Recovery and healing is a very tough road, and it’s often accompanied by financial decline which makes it even more complex. Some of us would be best with an anti-depressant to help us get back on track, as well as therapy. Even if you feel it’s unaffordable, check with the major hospitals in your area. Many provide low-cost, and no-cost mental health services.

Forcing yourself to do ego-building activities is another quick fix for pulling yourself out of misery. Try to find a volunteer organization to work with, such as literacy for children or a soup kitchen that needs a helping hand. Sometimes picking yourself up requires forcing your endorphins to start pumping again.

I wish you God’s speed on your way to recovery.



Thank you Joyce! You are right on the ego building activities…I am working on that right now.

I went through two years of therapy and it was a lifesaver on getting through the discard and understanding what had happened to me. I am confident that I am not clinically depressed. My last therapy appointment was about a month ago and I am now 700 miles away.

I feel now that I should have given myself more time to heal before exposing myself to a completely new set of circumstances and uncertainty but I couldn’t have known that until I was in the situation. It is going to take time.

Thank you for this piece. I feel this is the very crux of our anguish. And, so many who hear and read about our experiences simply have never taken the same road because they don’t get it. I went through a time of terrible loss of beliefs and faith. Being what I considered a relatively bright woman, I fell hook, line, and sinker. Looking back, at first I thought it might be do to the fact that I was not a beauty by a long shot, chunky, but compassionate. However, I have read about the same situations from most stunning ladies, too.

In my rather New Age world, I felt there was “good in everyone.” I no longer believe this is accurate. This isn’t a “poor me” statement, but something about which I think one should be aware. M. Scott Peck’s book, People of the Lie, is right on the mark.
I stayed much too long always feeling I could change the backdrop…God Bless…


Oh, Becky! My ex once “innocently” told me that he thought I spent too much money on my hair, but that he understood that fat women needed to do that because they couldn’t wear pretty clothes like “normal” women could. I am a size 14. I had been with him several years at that point, felt confident in our relationship and had never had body image issues.

By the end, I wouldn’t undress in front of him.

Women of all shapes and sizes and who are not considered “beauties” are in normal relationships all around us. Normal people see through the eyes of love.

Raising society’s awareness that socipaths exist in common relationships is a tough task. Most folks think that they’d recognize the signs, as if morally deficient people breathe fire from their armpits or have other differentuating characteristics. The concept that they are the person next store, and they have no humanity, is difficult to conceive, unless and until it happens to you.

Even when folks are close to the victim, they still may resist the reality that about 4% of the population have character disorders. That’s the concept what books like Donna’s, mine, Lianne Leedom’s, and more are trying to mainstream.


I had the same utopian view of ‘good in everyone’ and just like you, Becky, I came to see the horrendous naïveté in that line of thought. It was like a cloud suddenly lifting away, the moment I realized what was happening to me.


Thank you for this article. I too found myself after the separation thinking maybe this could work, getting those feelings of warmth especially because we have four children and I think we all want our partners to be the fathers of our children. This would quickly be followed by reality checks of threats insults abuse and name calling when my ex spath felt on the defense. And he was viscous. I didn’t know he was an spath which left me confused. At least now I know what and why these things happened. Over and over. Blaming you for what they r doing is huge. I wish I had known he was an spath during our marriage. But now I know and we are divorced which makes it much easier to stay away but I still find myself falling into his conversations advice and criticisms because I am normal feeling person. It is easier to stay away but hard when you share kids. So this is the huge challenge now….


I bought your book. The stories are so similar yet only those of us who have endured it really get it. Hopefully your information will add tot the awakening of society to psychopathy before too much more damage is done. Unfortunately, the knowledge is slow in coming and the ability to really grasp the sheer evil in congruent with our proponent value system that says everyone is good.

I too believed that. It is a warm and loving feeling of being part of humanity. And when it comes crashing down on us that the perfect relationship is and always has been a huge facade, we are left to rebuild from the ashes. The thought that a person you loved and trusted has purposely taken you hostage under the guise of love and marriage, tired deliberately to destroy your mind and spirit is unfathomable.

But we must trust that the unfathomable is true because there is no other explanation for it. It is not human disfunction. It is not human frailty. Nor is it even animal instinct turned bad. It is an ungodly pure evil. It is a creature in human form that is lacking all that is good, loving and decent. If I believed in the devil, I would say that is what they are.


I always felt I needed to have a masters of Psyco. to interept my husband ways. I’m a good person slow to anger. My ex seemed to have no emotional core. Any emotion he had was ,somehow, superficial. And didnt follow parameters.But the relationship was up and down. Just when i have enough, he would manage to bring everything back together again like nothing happened. Which would leave you scratching your head thinking, Im I nuts. I would never want to be in the mind of a sociopath for a minute,I think it would severely traumatise me. They do destroy your mind and spirit, I was so gullible. But at the same time a sociopath knows how to play you and work you, without conscience. They can sit there with a cold stare, saying I love you, your everything to me, your the world. But its a plot for some unforseen personal gain. Consistantly. My last straw was when he didnt show up home for the kids, so I go to my job. Found sitter last minute. Go to work late. In the end his excuse was, I did know you work today. I asked him what day it was? he said Monday. I said I’ve worked Mondays for the last 7 years. He said, you know how it is, you meet up with a friend have a couple beers and forget. I said, no I dont know! Then he changed his excuse. Says, oh, I mean I thought it was Sunday today. Beguiling look on his face. There was no humans being inside of him. I felt it. And of coarse the remedy, he says why get angry over something as insignificant as this. What the big deal. So your late to work once. So what. There not gonna fire you. He didnt see the big picture of what I went thru.



I can relate to your story. It’s frustrating, isn’t it?
My husband has that same look when he says things to me. And he changes his story if I refuse any of it. Your husband asking if you work on Monday, you answer with the fact that you’ve worked on Monday for years….so he immediately changes and says that he was confused on what day it was. What? He just said something completely different and then changed it two sentences later. I can so relate.

My friends says my husband just throws excuses and stories out there hoping they will “stick”. If I reject any of it, he’ shrugs his shoulders and thinks “oh well, let me try this other story”


We had bought a house together in another state…I had moved while he stayed behind to wait for his house to sell. My mom was close to him and he had promised to be there for her if she needed anything. Early one morning I got a frantic call from my brother (who is an alcoholic and lives with my mom and is useless) that my mom had just been taken to the hospital in an ambulance and he had no information other than it looked very bad. I tried reaching my ex repeatedly at both his home and cell and no answer. Finally, I got a call back with him a little huffy about why so many messages and sounding strange (note, this was a man who always answered the phone or called me back within minutes). I told him the situation and that he needed to get to the hospital asap and find out what was going on, since my brother wasn’t capable. His response? Right now? I was just heading to the gym. At the time I accepted that and found another way. (!!!!) It didn’t occur to me until after the discard (which came quite quickly after this) that he had been in bed with his new victim and didn’t want to be disturbed.



What a sorry jerk! That’s as nice as I can put it.

My husband and I are separated but have been in counseling with him daily declaring his love for me.
Last November, my sweet daddy became very ill. The day before he died, he asked to see me, my brother and my husband. He could barely speak because his breathing was so weak, but he shared with each of us,individually, how much he loved us and how that seeking God was the true answer to life. It was a moment I treasure.

Afterwards, when my husband came out from speaking to my dad, he hugged me and I cried. Then I said to him “This is so hard. I need you right now” and do you know what he said to me? My husband of 21 years, as my dad was dying, said “You aren’t going to use this to manipulate me.” Then turned and walked away.

A stranger sitting nearby came over and put his arm around me and said that he had never seen someone be so cruel.

The next day my daddy died. That is a clear picture of who I’m married to.


Oh, HopingToHeal, that is heartbreaking. Thank God for that wonderful stranger who showed you kindness.

My own dad died almost 14 years ago. The man I was married to at the time (not the ex in the story above) wasn’t there for me in the least and I’ll leave it at that.

I’m sorry for the loss of your beloved daddy. It’s tough. I miss mine every day.





Yes. My ex excuses did not make sense, they were disorganized, lacked insight. Like complex games to mess your mind.

Thank you Stargazer for being so helpful to Platinum. Your words are very wise.


Thank you for your kind words, Donna. This site was a Godsend for me in 2008, so it is a true pleasure for me to give back to the community. I appreciate your compassion in running this site. Your commitment to helping others is truly inspirational to me.

As easily as I can give advice here, it continues to be an ongoing challenge to find a great man for myself. You and several other on here are my inspiration that it can happen. I wish I knew what I could do differently – it seems there really are a lot of jerks out there, and trying to find a man with depth is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. I wish I could afford a dating coach. Funny how we always have a blind spot around our own weaknesses. This is why we all need each other. At least I’m practicing what I preach – I’m not leaping into bed/relationships right away. And it’s for the best. A lot of guys just looking for casual sex are weeding themselves out, and yes, they will lie and say all kinds of things – even the ones who are not sociopaths. There just seem to be so many of them (jerks), and an equal number of women in my age range willing to just throw themselves at these men. It seems the women are competing for men rather than the other way around where a man works to get a woman’s attention. I refuse to do this. This is my personal hell at the moment – it’s what I’m observing – and thanks for letting me rant about it.


I see the same thing, Stargazer. I don’t know your age, but I am mid fifties and I am shocked at how women behave so desperate and outwardly sexual. The men don’t even have to try. Heck, if they don’t try, they have even more women pursuing them. I hate to feel like I have to compete and I shouldn’t . But once I’m back out in that world, I dread the process!

Like Donna, I appreciate all of your advice here on LF. It is eye opening for sure.


never, ever compete Hoping to heal. tell them urself, i am worth the wait. i am a woman of quality. it will come up naturally in conversation. but wen you speak it, u have to believe it. u have to have gotten to that point. u have to be ready to “lose out on” many guys. even some good ones who are just jaded. but nothing is worth ur peace of mind.
i look at dating now as fun. thats it. maybe some knight on a black horse will come along, but for now, im just looking for fun. if i was pursuing a man, it wudnt change a thing, i wud just be twisted in knots all the time…and desperate. so hey, act like the guys and just be out having fun–RELATING, CONNECTING. not on deep levels. just making friends. the deep level will come wen its right. until then, you have ur self-respect and peace of mind and it forces u to develop a life outside of a man. nothing stifles someone more than having to be ur everything. i lived this on the side of having to be someone’s world. its a terrible burden. i thot *I* was needy lol. no one is so needy as a spath or disordered personality. they have nothing inside them. they live thru u, OFF OF UR ENERGY. dont be this person. give life, but dont give ur very essence. this is the balance ive come to see.
and that im rly not “needy or clingy” im just affectionate and passionate and involved and thats attractive actually! 🙂


Great advice! Hey, People do try to live off of our energy. I never though of that. Enlightening.

To be honest, Ain’t, I’m kinda looking forward to dating for fun. I’ve been a wife and stay at home mom for years. Now my baby is about to go off to college and I will enjoy meeting new people.

You’ve lightened my spirits at the thought of the fun of it all. Thanks!


Ain’t: I tell myself those things and I truly believe them. But I still get hurt when they leave. Love just hurts. It’s always a risk to begin to trust someone and open up to them. The guys I’m meeting aren’t sociopaths. But dang, there sure are a lot of players out there.


jerks, i just call them normal jerks lol
no one i want to get to know further but hey, they prob wont kill someones soul like a spath.
esp older men, just want one thing–no strings but all the bennies. they are happy in their boxers sitting around all Sat and Sun watching tv but Fri and Sat nite they wanna get sum. they dont wanna be cleaned up or have obligations. older men cud teach the young squirts a thing or about being playas! ~ick~


Hoping to Heal, I’m also in my mid-fifties, and I feel exactly the same way. I know that I’m extremely attractive, I am passable for 40’s, very intelligent, kind, and compassionate, and a lot of fun. But most of the men I meet who are also desirable, intelligent, attractive, and fun have SO many women to choose from! Younger women, gorgeous women, women who will have sex with them on the first date. How do I know? They TELL me these things! They tell me they are looking for someone like me. They even tell me that I’m someone they could totally fall for. But when it comes to courting, they just don’t/won’t. Too many available women out there they don’t have to court. They don’t even like to take a woman out to dinner anymore! They just want to “hang out”. It’s too much work to buy a woman dinner when they can go out and get laid any time. It’s sad and disgusting to me. I’ve been hurt several times over losing men I really liked because I refuse to compromise my morals. I will probably die alone with my morals, but this is my choice. There are a lot of players in their 40’s and 50’s just because they CAN.


they have so many women to choose from, but if they want to choose YOU, they have to win you. settling is just not an option. u have found lots of things to do to fill ur life. i cud find tons more to fill mine, esp as the yrs go by and kids grow up totally. BECUZ I WILL NOT SETTLE.
I soooo believe this now. it DOES comfort me wen i think of life without a man. i put that vibe out, i know i do. i verbalize it. i verbalize it to young women. i want them to know. there is a worse life than being alone and that is being with someone—who is a spath, a normal jerk, a cad. REALLY REALLY REALLY.
start speaking it out. i am becoming more and more believing that my energy i put out is determining my life. i have had too many things happen in the past 2 mos alone that are directly related to my speaking out as i walk in the morning. its almost scary 🙂


I agree. But even when I kiss a guy, it is very intimate, and I still risk my heart. It still hurts when they turn out to be a jerk. Sometimes you just can’t know until you know.


This line of conversation is depressing but so accurate. I just turned 59. I’ve been out of the relationship with the ex for almost 3 years and am not close to considering dating…I wonder what the chances will be for me when I do decide it’s time.

I have always looked very young for my age but feel that the stress of the past few years has caught me up and then some. I’ve been told I’m fine, and I’m only seeing myself through exhausted and battered eyes and heart, and that with more time I will begin to look and feel more like myself again.

It doesn’t help that my ex (who is around the same age) spent years reminding me that after 45 women are basically invisible. I know that’s not completely true but still.

Like you Stargazer, I will probably die alone with my morals, but I’d like to hope there is a chance to meet a nice, basic man who would be happy to have me and treat me right. I guess time will tell.


HanaleiMoon, I tell myself that I only need one. So I keep kissing frogs. Rejection hurts. And I’ve had my share of it in the last several years. Sometimes it takes me a long time to get over it. Sometimes it’s a little easier. With this last one, it’s been a few months. I am now ready to write him a closure letter so I can move on without any lingering thoughts. I live a very fun life – I have some good friends. I dance several days/nights a week, and for most of that I’m the assistant teacher. I am very passionate, deep, magnetic, and interesting. I am drawn to men who are similarly powerful and magnetic. I don’t go for the mousy ones lacking in confidence. These guys I like usually sought after, and yes, they are popular. Even in my salsa classes and clubs, there are always more women, and the men have their pick. It’s a reality I have accepted. It doesn’t diminish who I am or what I want or how brightly I shine my light nor how much I love to dance and let that shine through.

For anyone who feels they have healed enough to start dating, I recommend the book “Love in 90 Days”. It talks about how to heal your faulty dating patterns and how to put yourself out there. She doesn’t really address the realities of there being so many more women than men in our age group, but I think we just need to look past that and move on. We only want one, right? There must be ‘one’ out there. I did read an article in Psychology today that addresses the issue and talked about how single older women deal with it (by dating beneath them, or living in cooperative situations with other women, or taking ‘lovers’ without commitments – basically, meeting the guys where they are at). I don’t care for any of that. 🙂


you know whats funny, now that ive decided to NOT date beneath me…im attracting the college educated men lol i never thot of it as dating beneath me but even in high school, several teachers wud ask me, is my new bf smart? lol it IS hard to deal with someone is not quick or just dumb, but my whole life ive had to do it. now its nice to see other men who are even well read =:0
i have lowered my impossible standards of physical looks tho. i can actually be attracted to guys who arent that attractive. but sloppy overweight, uhuh. they have to take care of themselves somewhat. and be able to move around without sweating lol
wat helps me too star, is that ALLLL the available men are sooo broken. i am giving them the pleasure of my (wonderful, vivacious, witty, kind) company; they best appreciate it or im gone.


that is SOOO UNTRUE. women over 45 are very visible. first u’ve got all the young men trying to simply have sex, they are very flattering even if insincere. then u’ve got all the older guys, say 60ish who are flattered you pay them any mind and will treat you very well. the men in their late 30s-mid 50s mite not be interested (altho i am not finding that the case) but so what?
this another L.I.E. the spath drilled in ur head. drill it back out. it was simply a way to keep u down, like the poster who wrote about being “fat” so she “spent too much money on her hair”. lies told over and over again are very effective propaganda. but theyre still LIES.
all men are always interested in all women, wen it comes down to it. WE are the ones who get to be picky. it was always this way and now its time to reinforce it again as older ladies. women have, can and do live without guys. most men can not live without a woman. they hate it lol


Google this name: Brené Brown. Bks on amazon. She’s done a talk on TedX also. Her words resonate with this site. “Until we believe we are worthy of love and connectedness, we will not be connected.” The difference btwn ppl who feel loved and connected and those who dont—if they feel worthy of it. thats it, period. she studied SHAME for 10 yrs, thousands of interviews and focus groups and this is wat she finds.
there is a wealth of wisdom in her words, esp for the hurting souls on this site. we have learnt firsthand we are NOT worthy, didnt the spath drill this into our heads over and over? didnt we watch our children splinter in spite of our efforts to combat this influence of the spath? we have the shame of self-regret and self-failure, along with the shame society throws at us for “letting it happen” or “falling for the obvious”.
we have to break free of this shame. we have other shames also probably. we have to forgive ourselves for these wrongs also. possibly truly horrible things we have done. becuz we have shame, we are NOT spaths. they do not feel shame, along with empathy. we ARE redeemable, we made mistakes but we are not shameful beings. however, the only path to connectedness and freedom lies thru wilderness of conquering shame.
shame does not have to be true, as in the case of our relation-hell with the spath or other disordered personalities. the lie of shame, however does not mitigate its life-quenching effects. to be loved, we must overcome shame.
brené brown is a good storyteller with whom to start this recovery.


I ECHHHOOOO ECHhhoooo EChhoooo your recommendation of Brene Brown. I mentioned Brene here on LF on a different discussion just recently.

So much of how a sociopath hooks his/her victim is based in shame. Abusers use our conscience against us, gaslight us by saying we over-react, or misunderstood. The ability to feel shame and guilt is proof we are not sociopaths b/c sociopaths don’t have that ability.

Brene Brown also makes an excellent point, that our response (at least mine) to an attack by my sociopath was to shut down, to numb myself because the pain was so overwhelming. The problem is, that sensitive part of ourselves is also the most valuable part. As Brene says, it’s where our creativity, our compassion, our humanity lives.

No wonder I used to say “I lost myself”. I responded to abuse by going into avoidance, by trying not to let it hurt me so much, and I cut off my own individual self.

Brene Brown is GREAT for encouragement and empowerment. She takes on those myths and manipulations head on. She’s easy to find, on youtube and has been on Oprah.

Bravo Ain’t. I love that someone else thinks Brene is fab.


Thanks ain’t,
I will look her up. I think I have had a problem understanding and recognizing how the shame applies to me so this book could be very helpful.

I agree with all your assessment of how we are made to feel by our Spath and the relationship with him.
I’m glad to hear that you are using positive self talk to guide your thoughts. It’s so easy to get caught up in the negative. Thank you for sharing.


Ain’t: My last therapist recommended Brene Brown, too, so I will seek out her book. I think there is definitely something for me to learn here about self-worth, so I am taking all of this feedback to heart. I hope with all my heart that I can change this pattern, and that maybe it’s just a projection of how I feel inside. Anyway, after teaching and dancing at the club last night I prayed to release this attachment to the last guy I dated who just slowly faded. I felt some of it releasing. I will never know why he disappeared – he acted like he really really liked me. He came back around after 3-1/2 years to tell me he always really liked me. After one real date that went very well (I thought), he just strung me along after that and slowly faded. I felt a very strong connection that was more than physical, but the physical was very strong too. I did put the brakes on, fully expecting him to come back for more. I cannot help wondering if there is something I did that scared him off. I will probably never know. But it is counter-productive to judge myself. Even if I did scare him off, there’s nothing I can do about it except to continue doing my personal growth. The self-judgment is what really gets in my way. It’s very disappointing how it ended – that I couldn’t even get closure. At least with the one before him, there was closure.


it rly sucks wen we dont get closure
that is why sudden death is so much worse than knowing ahead of time that someone is dying. death hurts no matter wat, but that sudden, screeching jolt…we just cant handle that.
i got closure recently. it was a gift.
the jerk u were dealing with; well just try to be glad he didnt string u along longer. and i doubt YOU did a thing. pls try to realize wen ppl are jerks, it isnt us. he was stringing u along. bad bad bad HIM.
just jump on and find Brené’s talk(s). that alone will help u.
praying & releasing that dream, that hope, was excellent too. sex is usually wat soul-ties ppl together, but it doesnt have to be sex as u’ve discovered. i am driving a guy nuts right now becuz i am guarding my heart. he’s like–im doing everything ur saying u want! i told him–i know, but u have to keep it up, hon. my hearts not won yet. It Takes Time. Period. i will not give my commitment to only be with u, not yet.
consistency is the key. if its a facade, hes charming me, its going to fade. he cant keep it up.
idk wat happened with the man u knew, but my hearts a golden gift that no one will get from me without me being 10,000% sure i should give it.


I want some advice about my delemma….
I recently broke up with my fiance, and I now believe he might be a sociopath.
I know he is a pathological lier.
He swept me off my feet and asked me to marry him early on in our relationship.
Because he was a friend of a friend, and our daughter’s are the same age, it felt “right”.

He had been married and divorced twice.
We have many of the same friends, and live in the same community.

Then I started noticing some things that felt off to me, but I could never be sure.
I asked him about his “friendships” with other women and ex’s and he got very defensive and accused me of being jealous and triggering him.
I kept giving him the benefit of the doubt and tried to just trust him, even though my gut was feeling otherwise.
As time went on, I kept noticing more and more suspicious behaviors.
Intensely overly secretive and protective of his phone, constantly checking his phone, keeping all his personal devices within arms reach and locked with passwords all the time.

Eventually I felt so concerned that I did something very bad, and I snooped.
I checked his history on his computer and his email and managed to get onto his FB too.
I know, very bad, and I should have just ran at that point, but I didn’t because as described above, it was too hard to believe that he could possibly be bad, or not mean all the nice things he would say. He would always send me the sweetest messages saying things like” I feel so lucky that I found you”, you are “the one” I’ve searched for my whole life.
He knew all the right things to say to pull at my heart. And everyone in our circle thinks of him as the sweetest nice guy and most honest guy you would ever meet.

Anyway I found several things that confirmed that he was lying to me, so I confronted him.
And of course he created a very believable story and apologized and offered to go into couples therapy with me.

Now I need to tell you some disturbing things…
One thing I found out at this point was that he lied about many personal questions I had asked him about in the beginning of our relationship.
I asked if he had ever been unfaithful in either of his two marriages, he said no, but then he told me he had one affair during his second marriage and that was it and he learned his lesson and would never do that again. He swore he wanted to be monogamous with me.

He also lied about his sexual past. He told me he was straight, but then he later told me he had some experiments with men. Again he said it was in the past.

I wondered how those experiments took place, and he told me he did it through craigslist, with anonymous people.

I kept wanting to believe him, I was so in love.
He seemed to have this very tight grip on my heart.

When he went out of town one day, I decided to go online and read some of the CL posts in Charlotte NC to see if he was still doing this type of thing. I just had this feeling in my gut.
Well I found him, he had posted an ad, looking for a couple who wanted to come have sex with him in his hotel room. He very much wanted to do things with both. It was so explicit!
I immediately let him know that I found his add.
That it was over and then I moved all of his things out of my house.

But….yes there is more. Two weeks later he wrote me the most amazing apology and owned up to it. He told me all about his childhood and the sexual abuse he suffered. He told me he never told anyone about this only me.
Two weeks later I wanted him back. I know he is a crazy maker, and yes I started feeling like a crazy person. However after several emails he said he wanted to end the relationship. This didn’t make any sense to me, so i kept trying to convince him to go to therapy and stay with me. I read several books about sexual abuse and tried to offer him support. I also started going to SANON meetings for people affected by sex addiction partners. He refused to get help. he said he did not have a sex addiction, even though he said he did in his apology letter.

Today we have been broken up for 2 months. He now has a new girlfriend.
And for some strange reason I decided to try the only password I knew of his, and get into his craigslist account. It worked and what was there was completely horrifying. He had been posting ads in the casual encounters section for the whole time we were together, with both men and women, but mostly men.

He described such crude sexual desires, and he even said in one of them that it had to be on the DL, cause he identified as straight and has a girlfriend.

I have since been monitoring craigslist since then, this past week, and found several of his current posts, yes now while he just declared to have a new monogamous relationship.
BTW-seeing this evidence of the truth has finally helped me to let go. I no longer want him back.
I am also healing myself, and trying to get over the terrible feelings of betrayal. I feel validated, and violated at the same time. Its just so yucky!

I know I have to stop and let go, but now my dilemma is this:

I know I don’t want anything to do with him ever again, but what about the danger he is putting others in? Do I owe his new girlfriend any of this info?
I am lucky that I did not get a disease, but it seems that at some point someone might not be so lucky.
He also has three beautiful daughters that I care about. His ex-wife just wants to pray for him.

Should I expose him? Non of his friends even know that he is Bi.
I have told only my closest friends.
I spoke to his ex wife and she said she knew about this.
I wish someone had warned me, what if I had gotten aids!

This weighs heavily on my mind. Should I tell his sister privately and then let her decide?
I don’t know what to do.




this is my opinion…this man is extremely toxic, esp to you. u are way too close. u are not the one to expose him. u simply need to recover. that is a HUGE job u have ahead of u and will take ALL ur strength and energy. let him go. let go and let God. believe me HE is well-able to handle this sicko. completely.
u need to HEAL and recover from the horrific abuse u have endured at this “man’s” filthy, lying hands. this is no man, this is a childish pig.


Ok, thank you. I am slowly getting to the place where I know this is the wisest choice.
It is hard because even some of my close friends don’t seem to fully believe me.
I have anxiety attacks, and I am on the look out no matter where I go in town.
I’m always afraid that I will run into him.
I guess i feel like he is like a poisonous snake lurking in the grass, and I what to know where he is so I won’t get caught off guard.
Unfortunately he lives in the same community and we have so many mutual friends.
I’m trying to cut off the people who may side with him.
I am afraid.

Thank you,


You need to let it go…first, because continuing to check up on him is keeping you connected to him and not letting you move forward and heal and second, because it will do no good. Anyone you tell may not (probably won’t) have the reaction you want and it will just continue to spin you. This is a very bad person that you need to stay away from in all ways. I can’t emphasize no contact enough – and that includes social media and DEFINITELY checking into his craigslist antics. It’s keeping you connected to him – and twisted up. You will only save yourself through no contact. You know you don’t want anything to do with him but you’re still keeping connected via the checking up and you are vulnerable to him. I’ve been there. No contact!


another thing I was wondering about, is if there is a support group for women who where involved with men on the down low, men who were married but were sneaking around with other men sexually.
I think this aspect even further complicates this person.

He is in the closet and a sociopath? is it two different things? or does it matter?
I know there are many gay men in the closet that are not hurting people.
So I don’t want to generalize here.

It’s just so painful, and he has sucked all the energy and joy out of my life for a long time.
I am lucky that I have an amazing support group.

But people don;t seem to really get how disturbing this experience is.
Am I just playing the victim here or is this valid?

I feel like I was raped and deceived everyday for a year, now that I know the truth.

I’m trying really hard to do all the healing work, and I do have a good therapist.
I’m doing everything I can to move forward in a positive healthy way for me.

Thank you,


Sage, I also want to share with you something I’ve written on here before – it helped me to think of him as a demon, and if I even glanced in his direction I’d be instantly incinerated. And by glancing his way, I mean checking craigslist, fb, etc. and including thinking about talking to his family…about anything.

In my case I was close to his sister and leaned on her after the discard for awhile. I overshared. I know she was repulsed and cut him off (at least then, it’s been awhile so don’t know now), and eventually, she couldn’t handle the truth, or the complete turmoil that my life had turned into as a result of him. In my pain, I needed a confidant (or three) but found out when they would not or could not help the result was more pain.

HopingToHeal is right, he has probably already started his defensive plan and people will likely not receive you well if you do talk to them. If/when you find they think you are unstable, it is only natural that you will want to correct that thinking, resulting in more pain and prolonging your connection to him.

I sure do wish you the best. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. There is a lot of help here and be prepared for a long(ish) road to recovery. In my case, I find just as I master one thing, another thing I didn’t even know was there rears it’s head. But when I look back over the last almost 3 years and see how far I have come, the obstacles I have overcome, the sheer STRENGTH it took to get to where I am now, even in todays darkest moments, I know I will get through these too.


I’m so sorry that you are having to deal with this pain and betrayal. I agree with Ain’t and Hanale. You need to let it go. But I also realize that is harder said than done.

One thing that this site emphasizes is that the Spath does not think like normal people. Because you are a person with empathy, love and trust in your heart, this kind of information can/will throw your brain into trauma. When in trauma, the brain goes into fight or flight mode. Our brain tells us that we are in enormous danger and it releases chemicals that cause us to become anxious and hyper-vigilant. These feelings lead us to search, investigate to try to find some reasonable explanation. Snooping activities only add to more chemical release. It’s an endless cycle. I really does just draw you further and further down the rabbit hole that he’s created. But it’s SO hard to stop the cycle.

From my own experience, I took the advice of counselors and those on this site and when I catch myself going to those places,I say to myself “STOP”. Then I distract myself with music, television or reading self help material. I also plan self care for the next few hours. Distraction is always best.

I can empathize with your desire to spare others the pain of dealing with him, Like the others advised, at this point, no one will believe you if you Out Him. Most likely he has already started his defensive plan by making you look unstable or irrational in the eyes of others. He’s a total ar$3. He has no heart and is a classic psycho. Even if others knew your truth, they have been suckered and scammed just as you were. He is probably wonderful in their eyes. Ewwwww!

I hope you can shut all this down in your brain. I understand where you are. It is an awful, devastating place of despair and disbelief. Please take care of yourself. Just your comments about his daughters is evidence of what a caring person you are. I hope you can begin to restore yourself and feel good again. Hugs to you!


Thank you so much for all the wonderful feedback!
BUT my friends have been telling me to let go for some time now, but it wasn’t until I knew the truth that I was able to stop believing in the illusion he created.
It’s like trying to walk away from a jigsaw puzzle that is incomplete, I just couldn’t do it.
Or like watching a murder mystery and shutting it off right before they reveal who the killer is.
Finding out gave me peace of mind, and I was finally able to change my mind from hoping that he would change, to knowing that it could never be.
Yes he is deeply disturbed. I see it clearly now, and now i can let go.
It actually helped me much more to know the truth.
You know the saying “The truth will set you free”, that is what I needed.

I still need to get tested again to make sure i am ok.

Then I will stop checking, I just want real proof incase something more serious happens.
Luckily I have many close friends who believe me and are helping me to heal.

I’m just glad to know that I was not crazy and this had NOTHING to do with me.
I have finally learned the hard way, that I just really need to trust myself and honor myself, form now on.
I will never need proof again.

Thank you all so much!


Sage, the desire for justice and revenge can be very strong. You have to weigh benefit vs cost. They can be very vindictive and their smear campaigns can be very damaging. Also, They don’t play fair – they are capable of doing anything to get back at you. If it were me, I would probably warn the other victim if I could do it anonymously. But I don’t know if that’s the best or safest thing to do because it could backfire on you. She will figure it out soon enough anyway. I would not tell his family. In fact, I would cut them all out of your life.

If you wait it out, the desire to warn others will eventually go away as you move on with your life. One thing that helps is to realize that everyone has their own karma, and the new victim may need this lesson in her life for her personal growth. It is not your responsibility to save her. Taking care of yourself should always be your first priority.


I hope I come to the point of realizing that this period of my life brought a lesson that I was suppose to learn. Those are wise words from you. I would think that being able to absorb that truth can take one from the point of being a victim on into recovery. I don’t recall reading how many years you have been in this process, but your stable insightful view of your circumstances give me hope that one day I will make it out of this. Thank you!


Sage …I totally understand….there is something that we have to figure out in our brains with finding out the truth….no contact is important after that but first we have to face the reality …I too had a strong gut feeling….I went to dating sites…found him advertized there…….he used my computer and stayed logged in by accident…so I looked at his instant messages….I had asked him one time if he instant messaged with anyone else…because he happened to be the only one I ever did…he said no…well, then looking at his instant messages…I see he was in conversation with some woman that he knew but I had never heard of!….when I asked him…he made up some lie and changed the subject….then he had messages from “My F— Space” …I never even knew that egisted!!…he made up some lie about how he doesn’t look at them…they were from before he met me….we had been seeing eachother for 5 years!…so many indescrepencies!!!Still we have such a hard time believing it!They always deny it and turn it around on us!!!I wondered if I should somehow expose this man…my suspicion is that he is a pervert…sex addict …and very disturbed….coming to terms with that …helps…to say NO to it anymore…not accept such an individual anywhere near us ….I don’t think exposing them actually happens…they deny any wrong doing…as with your guy…apology…admitting problem… then all that vaporizes and he does not have a problem…welcome to Crazymaking…NO CONTACT now will bring healing …you won’t believe how wonderful it is….to have your mind back….!!!!


Dear Sage,
It’s been a couple of day so you may not see this.
After my ex-husband’s mask came off, I wanted to live in denial. I wanted to find a way for truth to make sense, for the world to be what I thought it was before the big BANG.

After I finally accepted what he really was, and yes it took me a while and lots of repeating, you’d think I had amnesia because I fought the truth so much, but I became obsessed with uncovering ALL of the truth. I wanted to know who and how long and how it was done, why was I such a dupe, did anyone have a conscience.

In my ex’s case, I discovered he had either accomplices or victims. There were no other categories of people in his life. Many of his accomplices didn’t know that they were also dupes. They were participating in their own destruction. But I won the lottery. As his wife and with my values and character, I was the ultimate patsy.

You are correct. You are NOT crazy. You were in a CRAZY MAKING situation. It had NOTHING to do with you. You, me, we all were inter-changeable with everyone. My ex trolled for whom ever took the bait. He kept the biggest fish and threw the rest back in to a capture pond, and when he needed someone for a task, he’d net a previous fish to do his bidding.

What people don’t realize is that it’s ALL proof. Once you realize they really are a sociopath, there are no half measures. Everything is calculated. Everything is a scam. Everyone the sociopath knows is toxic, must be perceived as a danger to you. Even small things are proof because NOTHING was sacred. NOTHING.

The stress is enormous because the reality is so crazy making that it’s hard to wrap your brain around it. It’s emotional trauma on an unmeasurable scale. It’s trauma after trauma that you don’t know when it will ever stop revealing itself. A

And that’s when I said to myself, STOP. I said to myself, you will never uncover it all. You need to accept it was ALL bad and start to heal. You have to take care of yourself, the trauma does terrible things to your body. You have to decide to live. To be the counterweight to his evil. To have revenge by living well. You don’t let go when someone says to. You let it go when you want something else more. At least that’s the way it was with me. I wanted to LIVE a real life for however long I have. To do that, I had to literally think and plan and do things to heal myself, to reconnect with my humanity, to reconnect with my spirituality, and to reconnect with my dignity.

That’s why it didn’t work for me to have someone say, stop and move on. Because for me, such advice felt like it trivialize all I’d been through and all I needed in order to heal and do just that. Move on.

But when I was ready. I did.

Hope this makes sense and isn’t some big ramble. I like to think I am getting my act together, finally. 🙂


NotWhatHeSaidofMe, what you wrote makes perfect sense and is profound and right on. Bravo!


I understand about how confirming the things he was doing that you suspected helped to end your cognitive dissonance.

With respect to warning others, you might consider contacting his new victim to let her know if she ever wants to talk to you or has any questions for you that you’d be happy to talk with her. This way if/when she is ready for the information you have, she knows that you are open to talking with her. When I was suffering in the midst of the worst of the ‘marriage’ with my ex Sociopath, I wanted to talk to his first ex wife to see what her perspective was to help me resolve the CD I was experiencing, and also to vindicate her by letting her know I knew he lied about her when he smear campaigned her. I wanted the support we may have been to one another. I did not contact her because I did not know how she would have felt about it and I did not want to cause her consternation.
With respect to you contacting your Sociopath’s sister or other family members or friends, I think that you don’t have a responsibility to do that since these are people who have had enough experience with the Sociopath to know enough to be safe from him. Also, these people are more likely to feel comfortable contacting you if they want to talk.


HopingToHeal, I was only involved with the sociopath (for whom I found this site) for 3 months in 2008. It took me a year to recover. But I grew up with narcissistic/sociopathic parents. I began the healing path 30 years ago when I went to my first 10-day meditation retreat. It was life-changing for me. I’ve been on the healing path ever since. I think it was because of all the healing I’d already done that I was able to get out of the relationship with the sociopath so quickly.


Thank You for all of your comments. I still feel very angry. I hate that he will just get away with all this, and continue to hurt others.
But I am trying to take care of ME and move on with my life. I am going to put my safety first.
I am a bit nervous because I don’t really know what he would do if I out him anyway.

For now i am gong to print everything out, incase I ever need it in the future.
I will only talk to people if they ask me.
If anyone contacts me, I will tell them the truth.
I think that is the best course to take for now.
Because if someone comes to me, it means they already have some doubt and concern about him.
The others probably wouldn’t believe me anyway.
It is all sinking in, and I am very thankful to be able to have all of you to share my experience with.
Friends don’t want to hear about this anymore, so I feel I have to heal all by myself sometimes.
I just hope I don’t run in to him around town. I am going to distance myself form people who consider him a friend.
But I still feel like at some point he is going to try to play me again.
I’m still very shaky, litterally shaky, and nervous.
Like post traumatic stress i guess.
My therapist is trying to help me.
I don’t want to be a victim, but I am still not clear on how to be a survivor, if he gets away with it all, and is able to continue the allusion in my community.
This is the thing I am still stuck on.
I just don’t feel very empowered if he gets away with it all.
It’s like I know he is dangerous, but I can’t warn anyone. There are other innocent people who will get hurt. Maybe even get AIDS. It just feels so wrong to just do nothing.
I want to contact a lawyer and at least try to see if anyone is trying to write a new laws in this area.
Or create some legal way to warn people.
After all we did create that for pediifiles.
I know for sure he is a sex addict, my therapist says it is hard to know for sure if he is a sociopath, because the behavior of serious sex addicts is very similar.
I think he is both. A sociopath, with a serious sex addiction, and also pot, and alchohol too.
Sorry for all the typos, I am just too upset to spell check right now!
Thanks for all your support.
I’m going to try and focus on my work for the rest of the day, and
take deep breaths, and eat healthy food and go for a nice walk.
Thank you,


Sage, what you’ve written here is very powerful. The details of everyone’s situation are different, and I have felt most of the things you’ve felt here at one time or another in this journey of healing. One in particular you wrote defines the first year plus for me: Friends don’t want to hear about this anymore, so I feel I have to heal all by myself sometimes. I felt it was a very lonely road. I have always been a sharer, someone who wants to talk, talk, talk things out with others. This healing process taught me to rely more on myself and realize that people weren’t in my shoes, couldn’t understand my shoes, and had little to offer…even the ones who wanted to listen. Over time you will find you will want to talk about it less. As you understand (and accept) what happened to you, you will be able to let more things go and move on.

Your post helped me today. I’m in a transition phase and I thought I was ready and could handle it like a piece of cake. It’s proving WAY harder than I imagined, and I’ve fallen back into my old, bad habits…wanting to talk it out over and over with people who are not in my shoes, obsessively thinking about it and I’ve worked myself up into a frenzy of discomfort and fearfulness. I am my own worst enemy. After three years of having no choice, I am now in a position to make my own choices and am terrified of making the wrong one. The first one I’ve made feels all wrong and I’m afraid that if I go back on it, people will be angry or disappointed with me. I was a secure and confident person in life before this experience, and need to rebuild the damage that was done. I look back and say to myself, remember how you felt after the discard? Like you couldn’t go on? And you did…and found ways to heal. It took time. It took patience. There were setbacks but there was also steady progress. Someday soon I will look back on this current difficult time and be able to say the same thing.


I’m 2 years out of having been with the “dream” for 5 years. The love bombing as it’s called, was incredible. Hours upon hours of non sexual seduction leading to an evening of sexual adventures, some of which I will never repeat (and don’t know how I succumbed to them in the first place).

My regular battle currently comes in the form of believing in my choices, and differentiating between normal bickering and red flag signs. Bc nobody really wants to hear any my struggle anymore, I just ponder to myself … A lot.

I find that I get “retraumatized” by present day situations that throw me off balance. There a was anime period when my kids sibling rivalry would send me into a panic and I would retreat into my room not being able to be round their back and forth… Fortunately that passed, but wow, it showed me how little tolerance I have outside of a smoothly flowing routine.

I enjoyed seeing your experience in words as it shows we aren’t alone in our struggles even if we feel we are…


Salvation2012, what you are experiencing is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which is very common after being traumatized by a sociopath for 5 years. Feel free to talk about it all you want here. This is a good place to do that.


As I read this article it brought back memories of my ex in the fact that I had never had anyone talk to me like he did. I felt, for the first time in my life, someone had accepted me for me. We broke up for the 3rd and final time 2 1/2 years ago. I’d like to flatter myself that he has tried to reach me or contact me and that I was able to fend him off and maintain no contact. But he has not tried at all. As if I have been erased out of his life. I have not recovered and I am despondent at my lack of being able to move on. So this has become less about him and more about me. Pathetic isn’t it.


No it’s not pathetic, hon. I was erased out of his life too. I have nothing. Nothing. He’s already with another victim. I sit alone,no car even, and I’m just sumone that he used to know.
But u know what? He’s the pathetic one. I survived him. I have strength down to my toes I didn’t know I had. I am a wonderful, warm, witty woman with a heart of gold. His loss. My world can come back now. My brain can function instead of simply getting thru the constant hurt…trying to cope with cognitive dissonance.
It’s not happening as fast as I’d like either. BUT it will! And when it does, look out lol


Dear Warm Witty woman with a heart of GOLD.
I love your post. I wish there was a Like Button.
You are someone that he was incapable of knowing, totally his loss. Brings to mind what I told my ex: “That I didn’t have to pursue revenge, because He’d do it FOR me, just by being himself.” Seems to me that’s what happened to your ex too. He wants gold but he is not capable of finding it, not ever. hehehe. What a loser he is and always will be.


Today I realized I can stop calling myself stupid for believing his complete fantasy.
It is not my fault.
I am not stupid. I am loving, compassionate, kind, warm-hearted.
I am not even naive; in fact, quite cynical. But I wasnt too stupid. I was loving him. And now I know, he never existed.
Alot of the ptsd we go thru is pure grief due to LOSS. The loss of a dream of a life and the loss of the person that never even WAS.


“I was loving him”.

So profound, ain’t.

Today, I was watching a video about the creator of the Mutts comic, Patrick McDonnell. And when he bent over a drawing, the side of his face looked exactly like my ex…and I was overwhelmed by a feeling of love. I haven’t seen him in almost 3 years and have NO feelings that are good about him at this point, but I was blown back in my chair with the feeling and thought to myself, wow, I really loved him.

Proof that I am NORMAL! This site, and all of you are truly a blessing.


And my babydaddy spath is his own worst revenge too. I just walked away from that and let him self-destruct. I was the only stabilizing influence in his life. He has been in a psych ward or two, since. I don’t think he could be a serial killer but he’s right up there with the nutso spaths.
The NPD I was with is much more capable and sexy and great in bed, lovebomber extraordinaire yadayadayada. He will stay coupled with a continuing string of women until he dies.
But he’ll never know love; he can not love.
I win 🙂


Shelby…I could have almost written your post. I’m so sorry. I know how hard it is because I feel just like you. I am here if you need to talk more as I understand your pain.


No it’s not pathetic. It’s NORMAL!

Celebrate that you are NORMAL, able to want an emotional connection to another person and willing to reciprocate acceptance. (the sad part is that a PREDATOR conned you, baiting you with NORMAL desires and implying that he was normal too. But… he wasn’t.) Your NORMAL got used to harm you. That’s what sociopaths are good at. Your next step, when you are ready to take it, is to reclaim your beautiful NORMAL.

It is also NORMAL for it to be extremely difficult to move. That’s because UNIQUELY, relationships with sociopaths tend to render their victim with PTSD. In short, you are traumatized and stuck in fight or flight (FROZEN in protection mode).

I am not going to tell you to stop kicking yourself for finding out that you are NORMAL (something spaths will NEVER be). But I will tell you that when you realize that you don’t want to feel despondent anymore, you will NATURALLY (b/c you are NORMAL) make different choices. (Am thinking that’s why you posted, b/c you are NATURALLY moving to that direction.)

I admit I had NO HELP. I did not know about LF and had no computer. So when I finally said that I was sick and tired of being sick and tired, I had to find help via library books. I read that you can’t think two thoughts at the same time. MY problem is that I’d dream nightmares of my ex’s abuse and rejection discard. So I felt like there was no escape. But…

I learned from a book to sit before sleeping and think on a phrase of a PICTURE that described what I wanted. Thinking of the PICTURE while saying the phrase is important because our subconscious thinks in pictures. I’d say, “I walk in flower woodlands” and imagine the pic. I used this phrase and image to replace thinking of him. I wanted it more than I wanted him. After about two weeks, I stopped dreaming of him. And funnily enough, it came true. I took a trip, a walking trip where I hiked through woodlands in bloom.

You’d say “two weeks before you stopped thinking of him every waking moment and all night in your dreams??!!” And I’d agree with you that yes, that’s a long time but I had been stuck for THREE YEARS. Once I got unstuck, it was faster and easier to replace bad thoughts with ones I had CHOSEN.

Not saying my weirdo solution is for everyone. But am saying, you know what works for you. Adapt it or make up your own. That is, when you are ready. Do it when YOU decide that YOU want more than how you are feeling now… because the beautiful fact is… you can change and heal. A sociopath can not, they are zombies doomed to wander and destroy, never to build beauty and love… even if we have to rebuild it one phrase/one picture at time, we are ABLE.

He will NEVER be so able.


Thank you.


I think this is a great therapy. To replace thots that pop into our mind or take over our mind, with thots of what would be so wonderful to be reality. Somewhere we are calm and happy and restful. And relaxed. Reminds of something Steven Stosny would say in his book.
Retrain Your Brain. That’s basically the jist of his book.
It’s the only way to survive the abuser. To erase him. He never saw the light of day only, he only lived in our wistful minds.


p.s. shelby333
The reason I said, “when you are ready…” is because you were traumatized by a creature devoid of their humanity, one of the most heinous attacks that can happen to a person’s psyche. You are frozen because, like a NORMAL person, you went into protect mode. When you feel safe, you will be ready to stop feeling despondent, etc.

I was alone. No family. No friends. My ex had isolated me completely. He did not allow me any support, nobody was allowed to be my friend unless they were loyal to him above all.

So… I did what I could to comfort myself. I got a Gund bear, big, soft, huggable. I got a lap blanket made of soft velour. My pillowcase is 600 thread count. I would take baths in lavender, surrounded by candles and piano music (no lyrics, I couldn’t handle words then). I’d cry and HUG MYSELF because there was no one else. That’s how I got to a place of feeling SAFE, where I began researching how to recover.

At the time, I thought I was pathetic. Same answer as Your though. NO. You, and me, are NOT pathetic. We are capable of feeling. We are Capable of unlimited possibilities, (Eventually). But… HE, my ex, your sociopath, is NOT CAPABLE of NORMAL human connection.

Even if you think it’s a little thing, give yourself credit, because you are FAR beyond, FAR evolved above the cold, calloused, unfeeling monster that he is.


NotWhatHeSaidofMe, what you’ve written touched me. Like you, I was completely alone. I had my kitty, and he kept me going. After about a year, I adopted a kitten and the little cuddlebug changed my home the minute I sat her down on the floor. She kept me going. I cherished the few hugs I did get, from my hairdresser, etc.

Shelby and ain’t, I was erased out of my ex’s life too…and three years later I am so grateful for that because I know exactly how dangerous he is. When I heard he was getting married, I had a fleeting thought of “why her and not me” before I was horrified and realized I was the LUCKY one.

In the beginning I thought I was totally pathetic, and over time I thought that less and less. I know now I wasn’t, and neither are any of us. We are NORMAL, we are SURVIVORS and even though the road is long, rocky, lonely and we often take two steps forward and three steps back, we are better off with our kitties, Gund bears, or whatever HEALTHY ways we find comfort and nurturing for ourselves. High five to us all.


I know why her and not me…*I* was nothing special, just another in a long list of victims. So when she soon starts to doubt reality, she’ll start the long process of disentangling herself from him. Even as she gets more and more mired in him.
I literally escaped, I now believe. He is a LIAR to the core.
And will never be anything but.


But don’t you see? Ain’t? YOU ARE SPECIAL. By virtue of having the ability to LOVE, you are capable of everything good. The sociopath, is only capable of destruction.

Ain’t it kinda funny… HanaleiMoon… all…?!
When I was growing up, I was neglected. Turns out to have been the best thing that a violent, pedophile family could have done for me. Then my now ex husband smeared me and erased me. Again, his discard turned out to be the BEST thing that he did.

I am aware now, of covert and overt abusers. Of shame versus guilt, of those with capacity to love and of those who are unable to connect with love to anyone.

I could sit and do NOTHING, and still be more evolved than my ex, b/c I have the capacity for love, empathy, remorse.

It’s a SCAM to say we are pathetic, or needy, or weak… a scam definition that comes from one who NEVER is truthful, the sociopath. Sheesh. Talk about projection. LOL!


NotWhatHeSaidofMe, YES, it is a scam! And also a scam from those who have a vested interest in keeping us weak.

We are the strongest of the strong. And even in my weakest moments, I knew that at heart.


Can’t help but smile HanaleiMoon.
You knew the truth at heart… at heart because… you have one!

I am SO glad to not have been “like them” (my birth family) and SO glad I was rejected because I was not “like him”… my ex.



Thank you for the responses of support. It is reassuring to know that I am not alone. I am trying to remain hopeful that one day his face will not cross my mind.


I’m so thankful for the supportive community here on LF. It’s encouraging to read successes, but also, to see that even the people who have successfully trudged through the process, still have moments of weakness or despair. It helps me see that two steps forward then three steps back may be normal in the healing process sometimes. I appreciate everyone’s honesty!


This is an old thread, but I just found it. Donna, I just watched your short Lesson 8, “Love Bombing.” And you are so beautiful and such a powerful speaker, in your gentle way. THANK YOU for your videos — this is the first one I’ve seen. Will watch more of them. Anyway, about Love Bombing. I was glad you mentioned that Love Bombing is often the first stage of brainwashing, and that it’s something cults do to lure people in. I also think it’s what certain powerful evangelical churches do — and TV Evangelists — do. (More about evangelicals that are The TV Evangelists rake in the dough from their gullible fans. The churches recruit people who (not all of their recruits of course) are in some sort of dire life circumstances. I’ve seen it happen in the mental health community, i.e. people who have severe and persistent mental illness. These people are lured into churches by Love Bombing, then told how to vote. These same churches evangelize in prisons. When the prisoner is released, she or he then moves from prison ministry services into the “real life” church of the same religion. Then they, too, are told how to vote. I was invited to one of these churches one time, and went. I experienced the love bombing. This particular church was run by the men. The man who preached talked about how women and children must obey — him! The word “obey” is common in such religions, as in “we must obey” God, i.e. whatever the person speaking claims God has spoken to him or her. I’ve had a lot of experience in such forms of religion, not just that particular church. Of course, not all evangelical churches are like this at all! One of my best friends is an evangelical. I’m not. She doesn’t try to sway or pressure me. She just lives her beautiful and loving life. Also, there’s the A.R.M.S. movement — Abuse Recovery Ministry and Service, and I attended some of their training group meetings, also fundraising luncheons. This organization knows more and shares more than any other abuse recovery groups I’ve ever tried. Another thing I love about ARMS is that they are actively working to teach evangelical ministers about women’s rights in their marriage and destroy the concept that women are there to “obey” and “submit to” their husbands. All the ARMS recovery groups are facilitated by women who have lived with abuse. In the group I was in, which was led by an evangelical woman, there were people of all faiths or none.


Typo correction for the above — somehow this got posted before I finished a sentence: Should read — “. (More about evangelicals that are NOT like this…. The TV Evangelists rake in the dough from their gullible fans.”

Lovefraud is being upgraded. Comments and forum posts are temporarily disabled. Dismiss

Send this to a friend