The sociopath, dogs and manipulation

Editor’s note: The following another essay by the Lovefraud reader Quinn Pierce, who writes under a pseudonym.

By Quinn Pierce

The first thing I did when my husband and I moved into our first home together was adopt a puppy. I had grown up with many pets, and I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have a dog. I always felt dogs made a home more complete. So, I was thrilled when Ellie, a Border Collie, Golden Retriever mix arrived at my door step, literally.

At the time, I was working as a veterinary technician. I had graduated from college in May, gotten married the following fall, and decided to explore my childhood dream of becoming a veterinarian. One morning, when I arrived at the veterinary hospital to begin my shift, I was greeted at the door by a squirming box that made the telltale sounds of puppies that had been abandoned sometime that night. Unfortunately, this was not an uncommon occurrence. What was unusual, however, was opening the box to find eleven of them.

I remember taking Ellie home thinking my new husband would be as delighted as me; he always seemed to speak of his childhood dog with fond memories. It’s difficult to explain his reaction. He wasn’t angry, just more disappointed. He made statements that led me to think he was going to accept this because I wanted it, but he was not pleased. Ellie was most definitely ”˜my dog’. I accepted this with a slight unease that I quickly dismissed. Instead, I put my energy into enjoying my adorable new puppy.

My first baby

We had Ellie for eleven years. She was my first baby, and she was the furry nanny to my boys who were born a couple of years later. I became a stay at home mom, working from a home office and running a new business that my husband and I started together. Ellie and I spent every day together.

When she died of DM, the canine equivalent of Multiple Sclerosis, I was devastated. I could barely get through the quiet of the day. I remember vividly when my husband came to me a week later and said, “I know you can’t be without a dog, I know Ellie kept you company during the day and this must be awful.” I was grateful for his compassion and understanding, and felt I was truly lucky to have someone so caring who loved me so much. A week later, I adopted a new puppy from a local rescue organization. She was a small mixed breed, and I fell in love with her as soon as I saw her.

The new dog

To my surprise, my husband never really bonded with her. I couldn’t understand why he seemed constantly annoyed by this cute little pup. I slowly watched as his annoyance escalated into anger, and within a year, Lucy was a nervous dog who showed constant anxiety, especially when my husband was home. One day, to my complete surprise, he grabbed the cowering dog by the back of the neck and began yelling and swearing at her. I froze for a moment, and then pushed his arm aside yelling at him to stop. I was crying and asking what was wrong with him, why was he acting like this. He replied with clenched fist and scowling jaw that he never wanted another dog; he claimed that I went and adopted another dog without asking him.

Another dog? Was he upset about Ellie? I tried to make sense of the statement, but I really couldn’t. I reminded him that he told me to get another dog after Ellie died. He insisted that he did no such thing, he was just consoling me and never said I should get another dog. The implications of this conversation took a while to set in, but they would be monumental. I spent several days replaying the conversations in my head. It finally dawned on me that he never actually said I should get another dog. I interpreted his words at the time to mean that he wanted me to get another dog.

The set-up

I did not yet know the manipulative techniques of a sociopathic mind, so I was unaware that this was essentially a set-up and gave him justification for belittling and controlling my actions by making it appear as though I was the one who did something wrong. It wouldn’t be until years later that I would go back over the countless apologies I would make for his behaviors. And this was no exception. I had been trained, in a sense, to accept responsibility for things I hadn’t done. Mostly, it kept me off balance enough to question myself constantly. In those moments of uncertainty, he would pounce. It was a carefully calculated craft, and I had become the perfect mark.

As the physical and verbal abuse of my little dog escalated, I started to see my sons mimic the taunts and actions of their father. Sad and confused, I felt I had no other choice but to give Lucy a new home where she would be safe and my boys would not grow up thinking it was ok to abuse animals. I would be in for another shock once she was placed in a new home.

My husband gave no indication that I should keep her, or that his behavior was wrong, but when I returned home without Lucy, he saw his opportunity. I was sad, confused, and disappointed with myself. The perfect state of mind for an abuser to assert control. He started yelling uncontrollably, accusing me of upsetting the boys and making them feel like they had done something wrong. He reprimanded me for leaving him alone with them when they needed comfort, and he continued the tirade telling me how selfish and horrible I was. I was stunned. Was he blaming me for upsetting the boys when it was his fault I gave Lucy away? For some reason, this was not sitting well. I think he sensed my reaction was not what he wanted and backed off, but the damage was done. I was now questioning my weakness for not protecting my dog the way I should have.

Beginning of the change

I wouldn’t say this was the defining moment as far as me wanting to end my marriage, that would come a few years later, but this was definitely an important moment. I spent the next couple of years trying desperately to recover the unrecognizable bits of myself that I had lost along the way.

Eventually, I would begin my own recovery, which would send my marriage into a fiery explosion after which, I would ask my husband to move out. Not surprisingly, he did not agree to this request. For six months, I tried to convince him to leave without getting the police involved. I didn’t want my children to be exposed to this type of action, and my husband used that to his advantage. So, I continued to look for ways to get him to leave peacefully.

Another dog

All this time, Lucy was never far from my mind. I felt so much guilt for letting her down and not protecting her; also, I was angry at my husband for all the abuse we had experienced, including his abuse of a small helpless animal. And so, I decided I needed to reclaim my home and make amends for some of my bad decisions.

When my husband went on a three-week vacation to Europe with some friends, I contacted a rescue group and adopted a new dog. But this time, I didn’t get a cute defenseless puppy. By the time he came home from his vacation, we had Sammy, a five-year-old Great Dane. By now, I had figured out enough to know there are certain traits of all bullies that are universal. One of those traits includes not challenging anyone stronger than them.

Introducing him to Sammy was one of my greatest moments. I watched the flash of fear in his eyes with great satisfaction. I smiled a knowing smile that said, “Go ahead, hit her, I dare you.” I may not have been strong enough, yet, to stand up to him, but Sammy lent us her strength, and that was enough to turn the tide. He moved out shortly after. I made the wrong choice when I sent Lucy to live somewhere else; I wasn’t ever going to make that mistake again. And so, my slow road to recovery had begun, thanks to the dogs that rescued me, Ellie, Lucy and Sammy.

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I’ve often said that my next dog will be a Doberman!!!
Good for you Quinn!!!

Hi Quinn,

Spaths are incapable of bonding with anyone people or pets.

Like you, I always grew up surrounded by furries. Other kid’s dads would occasionally have a toy or book hidden in their pockets as a surprise, my father would have a dog or cat.

Background, I/we always lived with my parents.

In the late 80s my dad saw a car driving by and someone dump a cat. He ran out of the house and rescued the cat and the 2 really bonded. He sit at the table reading, Matchka would sit on the newspaper and watch him.

1991, the latespath returned from his first 5 year absence, and he targeted the cat. When the chance presented itself, he would ‘accidentally’ let Matchka out. Not a good thing for what became an indoor only cat living in a traffic heavy area. Luckily, we always managed to safely find her.

This was not a ‘one-off’, his behavior toward animals went on until his death. Furries are not only an easy mark but a emotional one as well. They make the perfect hostage, chip, for a sociopath.

Sometimes a pet will get it’s revenge, not involving aggression. When my mom went blind, she wanted a Scottie for a friend. She always loved them and our Casey crossed the Rainbow Bridge. I contacted the area’s Scottish Terrier club, explaining the situation and asked for a breeder. Enter Elliot into our lives.

First and foremost he is a terrier however being a Scottish, he is also a gentleman. He sized up the latespath immediately. Elliot never bared his teeth, on the other hand he rarely missed a chanced to pee on the latespath’s shoes.

The dog, by being a dog, managed to keep the latespath in his place, better than I ever could in a perfectly calm rational, to
Elliot, manner.

Quinn, you definitely aren’t alone in having a dog used as as set-up for manipulation, abuse, and failure.

My German Shepherd died 4 months after I started seeing the sociopath. I was absolutely devastated. 6 months later, I started talking to him about getting another German Shepherd. I had always had German Shepherds. These are the dogs that suit me. So I asked him to keep his eyes open for pups, since he knows everyone.

He called one night and said he got me a dog. I was instantly on pins and needles and kept asking him repeatedly if it was a German Shepherd. He finally said it was a sweet little puppy, German Shepherd for sure, and he had saved her from a man who chained her outside and never allowed her in the house.

I got to his house and the dog was a nearly full-grown black lab mix. It was covered in fleas and wormy. Nothing but skin and bones and anxiety. I said no, no, no, this is not a German Shepherd dog and it’s not a puppy. I wanted to train a puppy myself. He told me that if I didn’t accept her he would just take her outside and shoot her. Nothing I said could get through to him. So I took this dog I didn’t want because I didn’t want it to die.

I kept it for 6 weeks, long enough to get it healthy, and long enough to find a home in the country with no children. It had bitten two of my children (the noise of our household was very bad for her) and destroyed more things than I care to think about because of anxiety. It had never been inside a day of its life and wasn’t suited to a busy, noisy city home.

All that time I was begging him to help me find a place for this dog. He refused, called me a liar, a failure, and offered repeatedly to just shoot her.

After we split, I found out that the dog belonged to his ex-girlfriend who had mistreated it. The entire story of its origins was a lie. He told her he would find a home for the dog, and I was set up to fail.

I couldn’t help laughing as I visualized you introducing Sammy to your husband~he was a good exterminator,lol!

I laughed again as I thought of Elliot peeing on latespath’s shoes!We may keep our mouths shut to keep the peace…but animals have a way of letting people know how they feel without a word!

I grew up with cats;always considered myself a ‘cat person’,so when my husband kept insisting he wanted a puppy I said “no!” Especially because my husband kept me busy taking care of him!I didn’t need more work!

Spath did finally get a puppy.But they didn’t bond.WE DID!I held her and pet her from the time she was delivered to us,and she insisted on sleeping with me!I took care of feeding her and giving her fresh water every day.I wanted to take her outside,but spath kept making excuses as to why he didn’t want her outside.So I made sure she got lots of exercise inside our apt,by playing with her.No longer being the center of the universe angered my husband,and so he started making excuses as to why she should (frequently) be put in her carrier.

The puppy wasn’t the only reason I left my husband,but it helped me to see that something was definitely wrong;he had changed from desperately wanting a puppy to being jealous of her and abusing her by keeping her in the carrier too much.

Since leaving spath,the puppy and I have continued to be good companions.I have made sure she’s had her shots and is well taken care of.She enjoys going outdoors and the carrier is for going to the vet.

Hi Quinn,
I have 2 small dogs, Chihuahua mix. One is Chihuahua/Jack Russell mix and he is the smartest and craziest (in a good way) dog I’ve ever enjoyed. When I started dating my P the dogs loved him, and the P expressed a love for animals after all his family had three dogs too. He showed me pictures. His dogs were a mess, he told me his German Shepard was afraid of everything. After dating him for a while I noticed my dogs would leave the room when he came over. Over time (and towards the end of my relationship)I caught my P blowing pot smoke at my dogs, kick my dogs, and tease them with a bic lighter. The P always had an excuse, The dog scared me, I tripped over him, you get the picture. My poor pouches. The moral of the story – If your dogs/pets personalty change when someone comes over there is something definitely wrong with that person. Pay attention to your pets.

Interestingly, dogs and other animals have been found to pick up a sense of another animal’s energy. Since homo sapiens don’t have that means of protection, we have to rely on our dogs for what they grasp and convey.



animals do have a way of putting the behaviours of humans into perspective. we respond to how they respond to others, and how others treat/ use them to manipulate us.


my narc father: i grew up on a farm and always thought he was good with animals. found out 5 years ago that he almost beat a cow to death.

4 (?)years ago, one of my folks’ doxies wasn’t feeling well, and they took him to the vet. i had helped raise the doxie and his brother from their chubby little puppyhood onward, and the sick one was my fave – very sensitive and protective. turns out he was terminally ill, so dad had him put down. 2 days later i visited. mom was outside when i got there so we started talking, and i asked how the dogs were. mom said, ‘dog’. then she told me.

Dad didn’t call me and tell me (mom couldn’t use the phone by then – she’s demented) and give me an opp. to say goodbye to the pup, or even tell me after the fact. my dad has done this to me many times in my adult life. it’s his way of getting back at me for not being there and being supply. someone dies – someone i would have a connection with, and he doesn’t tell me. so i don’t get to go to the funeral, pay my respects, etc. the message is loud and clear: he does it to get back at me for not being his slave.

it hits me like this: my connections to others don’t matter – mean nothing, i don’t matter – mean nothing, and i feel abandoned. it goes so deep.

i couldn’t let grieve that little dog – it was a few months after the spath, and as soon as mom told me i buried and put a rock on my feelings. he was such a love. a real love. even dead he was protective – by seeing how my dad used his death to hurt me i could (from yet another perspective) see how perverse and narcissistically mean my father is.

Of all the spath stories I read here, the animal abuse stories get to me the most. I’m so sorry for what happened to Lucy, but so glad to hear what a triumph it was to have Sammy. I think a vicious pit bull might get the right effect for that evil sociopath.

I can relate to the guilt and remorse about letting a sociopath abuse a pet. When I was in my early 30’s I was living with a man who was some sort of sociopath or narcissist. I knew there was something wrong with him, and thank god I never married him. He turned out to be a child molester, but I didn’t know it at the time. We adopted a cat for him because my two cats didn’t like him. But the new cat didn’t like him either and always ran away from him (Gee, I should have taken the hint from the cats…). So one day he picked up his cat by the scruff of the neck in anger and threw her across the room. The next day I went out and got the only job I could where I knew I could make enough money to leave him – a stripper. It was a dangerous and unglamorous job, but within a very short time my cats and I were in our own place, and I never let them around anyone unsafe again. It was the best I could do for them, but I never forgave myself for exposing them to him in the first place. There had been a 4th cat who had run away, and we never found her again. I’m sure this was due to the stress of living in that house with him.


those fur creatures we are charged with protecting tell us so much. when i was 19 i lived with someone who turned out to be a violent alcoholic. he came after me 2 times when he was drunk. i left the second time. i snuck out the back door as he came in the front and I RAN. i stayed at a friends that night and came home the next morning with a cop to find the front door wide open, one of his cars in the middle of the street, the house trashed, the phone ripped off the wall – my things broken, his favourite things broken. man, he had so much hate and rage.(he was in the drunk tank as he had driven his van drunk in the wrong direction over a one way BRIDGE….in his jeans boots and my fur coat (not pretty))

i had adopted a rather traumatized cat from the animal shelter. when i came in that morning she was hiding in the closet in my room. 🙁 i took her and left.

when we know better we do better.

My x-spath did not like dogs but liked cats, highly unusual but almost understandable that sociopaths would not like dogs, as they are too “social.”

However, Hitler liked dogs and maybe I am reading to much into this.

Quinn…this is a very interesting and insightful story you wrote. I say this because when I was with my ex-spath, I literally inherited a little dog named Sophie from my hairdresser. She was moving from a condo to an apartment and couldn’t have pets there. Since I dog sat Sophie one weekend for her a few months prior, I offered to take Sophie and she was thrilled. She is a bichon/shih Tzu mix….just a beautiful young, precious dog. We always said she was a young dog with an old soul…she has a wonderful temperament.

However, my ex didn’t like her. Or, as he always would say, I don’t dislike her, but I don’t like her either. That is very telling, don’t you think? When I would arrive home from work and he was already there, I’d find little Sophie still in her kennel with the door closed….or often she chose to just stay in her kennel even with the door open while he was there without me. In thinking back, all of this is so telling. Sophie could read him well.

After the relationship ended, I chose to move 2000 miles away and left Sophie with my sister and her husband. She has an absolutely wonderful home there and is loved by all!


Because dogs are social creatures as BBE brought out;and read people so well as cannh said,they are often used for pet therapy.

My dog is a small lap dog,and it’s easy for her to climb up in my lap while I’m on the computer (she has to be part of what I’m doing!)Whenever I see the screen moving it’s because she has placed a paw on the keyboard,lol!

I always get a nice,wiggly welcome home! 🙂 The only “tricks” she knows is standing on her hind legs (she just does that;not on command) and “giving five”.

She knows when I’m not feeling well.And she also knows when it’s bedtime!So if I stay up a little late watching TV or on the computer,she’ll stand in the hallway (picture a parent tapping their foot!)and whine!It’s actually kinda funny!

Your observation about your dog telling you to go to bed is SO funny! I think you’re onto something.

There’s been times that I’ve had the strange feeling that MY dog was telling me to go to bed. I told myself that I was being ridiculous. There’s also times when she’ll come and lay her chin on me in a certain way and I get the feeling she didn’t like the person who’d come visiting. So maybe I am not reading into her behavior? Maybe SHE IS communicating and I am the dense one!?!

It’s not strange at all.Our furry friends do not communicate the way we do,but if we pay close attention,we will be rewarded in so many ways!Definitely when your dog lays her chin in your lap,she is trying to tell you something.Observe.Right now,mine is kissing me,desperately trying to get me off this computer! 🙂

My ex-spath had bought a dog as a teenager and the dog lived with my in-laws. He made a big display of loving the dog and I really believed that he cared about the dog. The dog unfortunately died a few months into our engagement. To my dismay he didn’t experience any grief. I found this disconcerting, but didn’t read much into it (one of the many red flags I missed). They can pretend to care about their pets, but they cannot really form true bonds

Years later, my ex-spath confessed that he didn’t experience grief even when the closest members of his family died (let alone a pet dog). In fact my ex-spath and his sister partied on the plane to attend the funeral of their only cousin who died tragically in a road traffic accident. I was more grief stricken than they were and I had met the cousin on only a few occasions!

Hi not, When it comes to furry, feathered or scaly children, we humans are ALL dense. We need to go to obedience school to learn from them.

They love unconditionally and ask for so little in return. If only people had their intelligence. The phrase ‘dumb animal’ is completely inappropriate; they speak volumes.

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to tell our stories! This has been a great thread!

I feel like this should be in a separate thread,but spaths really do handle grief in a very shallow way.When spath’s mother died,it felt rather strange,but I seemed to be grieving more than he was~and I only knew her for 3 yrs! He even reprimanded me for it.His sister shut him up.Then when my mom died in 2010,he tried to cry,and couldn’t.

And on that note,I must go to bed,I am being stared at by 2 big brown eyes and nudged and barked at! 🙂

Whilst cruelty to animals can be a marker of psychopathy/ anti social PD, psychopathy research does report the ability of some psychopaths to form highly sentimental attachments to pets, presumably as the pet is regarded narcissistically as an extention of the self , therefore a valued possession. The fictional portrayal of a psychopath seen in the character of Tony Soprano was well researched and showed Tony developing highly sentimental attachments to ducks, and a racing horse, whilst being capable of murdering ” friends” and relatives.As BBE says, Hitler loved his German Shepard.

The spath in my life is very close to dogs! Seems to have an affinity with them. Would agree with TL in that some spaths collect possessions.

I was married to a sociopath for a total of 18 months. 4 months into the marriage, after he’d calculatingly rid me of all my possessions, including a car, furniture, home and job, my daughter, a teenager (14) asked to get a small dog. He came up with all kinds of excuses..he was allergic, he was afraid of fleas, etc…but she found an answer to all his objections and she got and paid for herself a small 4 pound havenese/yorkie mix…named kiwi. He “acted” like he liked the dog, but as time went by, i noticed every time he came by her, she scowled, and crouched down, tail down. She never ran to him, but hid behind furniture. This made me very uncomfortable and I ended up taking kiwi with me everywhere i went if i knew he was going to be home. At the height of our departure, during an injunction which was quickly granted, he snuck into the house (we knew he was doing this because he “left” items like a knife out, a photo with hateful words in sharpie marker all over it, etc…). When i came back to the house one morning, and had left kiwi there, a bowl was in the middle of the floor…another item he “left” to show his presence…and to my horror, a very sick little dog. He had poisoned her intentionally. She threw up blood, I took her to my dear friend, a vet technologist, and she did save our precious kiwi over the next month. The toxology report came back and it was indeed poison. I could never nail him on this since his (very expensive) attorney called it “heresay”. We were very fortunate to have her alive, and are now enjoying our life in peace, away from this dangerous man. We left with nothing, got nothing because of a prenupt, but are in peace and rebuilding our lives…lesson learned. Thanks for this site..I’ve referred so many…and wish I had read about this type of person before I married one.

To Quinn Pierce,
Your words are like elixir to a soul (mine) that has been damaged…..I resonate with nearly every word. I am still engaged with my ex-sociopath, because of a child (now teenager) we ‘share’. Interesting how we see so clearly when it is another’s story – yet our own story? We doubt. A toast to strength generated by honesty, and sharing. Two toasts – one to our grief, and one to our courage! (from one of my favorite movies – Hanging Up, I think was the name – Meg Ryan). A toast!

Thank you.

My xspath burned our house down with my 4 rescue dogs inside when I told him we were through…he then proceeded to tell me they got out and let me look for them for days until the neighbor told me what I already suspected..he had found them in the house even after the firemen couldn’t find them and had them in trash bags borrowed from the same neighbor. She told me I went around the back of the house looking for them and he loaded them up in his car…the fire Marshall told me later he had to know where they were because they couldn’t find them. But he was never charged with arson..not in a million years did I think he would hurt them. He acted like he loved them as much as me. I see now getting back at me meant more to him then anything..it kills me to this day!

This is just awful what happened to your dogs. As a dog and cat owner I can feel your pain. It’s unbelievable, just pure evil. Be assured that he will get punishment some day for such actions. And yes they manipulate the pets also. I adopted a little mixed terrier dog, and my soon to be ex knew my son and I love that dog. He did not hurt her, but he ignored her, called her terrible names and blamed me for adding more problems to the family. My soon to be ex was the entire problem. Well I did not give in and this dog is the best one ever. Do the pets miss my ex? Absolutely not. Shortly after he left us, he came back to get sone things from the house. Well the pets didn’t even look at him. They know that he is evil. And in this divorce he can try to take all material things and money from me but I have my son and my precious pets. That’s all that matters. I am so sorry for the pain he caused you and your dogs. Keep your head “above the waves” even when “oceans rise” .

My ex-p’s treatment and reaction to my cherished fur babies was for me too, a turning point. Since I was not ‘allowed’ to have children, my pets were my children. Indeed, I have devoted my life to animal welfare, it is my greatest passion. He never objected to me having animals, but I now see that he viewed them as very effective leverage against me.
There were constant fights about the pets. My first dog was hit by a car while being cared for by family when we were out of town. His reaction was almost imperceptible. No tears, or even sadness really. I chose to view this as stoicism and strength. But now I remember that he didn’t really comfort me at all and I felt ashamed of my grief. I actually sought comfort with my Dad who held me and cried with me (hugely sensitive animal lover). I wrote a poem about Cleo, which the x-p threw away.
My second puppy was with me only a year. The x-p insisted on rehoming Chelsea, because he couldn’t stand her slower than usual housebreaking process (she was the runt & sick when I adopted her and I suspect had suffered some brain damage as a result of her untreated (by the breeder) infection as a baby. She was such a sweet dog, just not bright. But she had to go (something I could never do now!). I was rewarded with a return to the idealism phase for a very short while.
My third dog during this marriage was a sweet and goofy Doberman – Gretchen. High energy, the ex constantly yelled at her and berated me for not keeping her calm and behaved (she was 4 mos old!) I was determined to keep this one though, so I guess he thought he had to step up his game.
The turning point came during an argument we were having (a daily occurrence by this point)when he picked Gretchen up (by now 60 lbs)by her collar and threw her down the basement stairs (be assured gentle readers that she was not physically injured, or psychologically, that I could tell.) The major effect was on me. Despite the many cruelties inflicted on me (that I quickly rationalized and assumed the blame for), this act of abuse toward my innocent and loving dog, was impossible to rationalize. I could NEVER abuse an animal, I am incapable of that kind of thinking and behavior. I knew then that he had changed, or dropped the mask, as I now see it. At that point, my resolve stiffened and I (internally) declared a state of war and ceased my apologies and accommodations of his ridiculous and selfish demands. As you can imagine, the end came quickly after that. I now see that I crossed over to the land of narcissism myself, and no longer had a desire to work things through with him. I was stubborn, argumentative and steely in my resolve. I felt nothing but contempt and anger toward him. In this state of my own reactive narcissism, I was out to hurt him in any way I could -with lying, infidelity and drug use. I never felt any guilt….until after the relationship ended. Then I was consumed with regret and self recrimination for violating my own moral boundaries. Him, he continued to be righteous, cruel, arrogant and blaming. No ethical boundaries = no pain, I guess. I have never forgiven him for his abuse of my loved ones. It is one thing I find unforgivable in anyone, and truly sick.

Despite all this, I still had hope that he would see the light and deal with his problems (as I tried to do with mine). Obviously, this never happened and we eventually split (devastating to me, after 16 yrs and all my unacknowledged kindnesses and sacrifices on his behalf.) A couple of months after our separation, despite claiming to be destroyed by grief over MY behavior, he left town and I never saw him again.

There is some stunning irony to end this story. My x-p eventually moved back to our hometown. He is an entertainer and now performs at the annual Humane Society fundraising galas! I worked at this Humane Society for a decade and left in disgust and alienation after recognizing the narcissism, abuse and undermining of management toward staff. I also had strong philosophical objections to the corporatization of their direction and the cavalier killing that only increased during my employment there.
So, after 10 yrs of life altering dedication to the organization, I resigned with a less than amicable relationship with management. And now the x-p is their darling! I am amazed at the way life can deviously inflict these complex and twisted harms, even many years after disengaging with the narcissist.
AND! Mr Entertainment also does the galas for the local Mood Disorders Association! If they only knew the vicious shaming, mocking and derision that my (reactive) depression elicited from this soul-less cretin! Oh, the irony of it all!

We had two pet guinnea pigs when I was pregnant with our second child. Throughout the pregnancy my ex begrudgingly cleaned the cage. But when I ended up pregnant a year later with our third, the first time I asked him to clean the cage he told me he was done. He picked up them up and carried them outside an let them loose in our back yard which butted up against a park. He ignored my tears and pleading. He then placed the cage alongside our garbage that was being picked up that day. He told our then 7 year old daughter that he had given them away, because he thought they were making her brother sick (He had a lot of health issues at the time). I have never told her the truth about what really happened to them. I am sure a cat or something ate them, they starved or froze out in the elements, but they could not have lasted long outside where we lived. In the end what it was about was he did not want to have to soil his hands cleaning the cage while I was pregnant and afraid of getting some disease that would harm the baby.

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