Tracking the False Tears of a Sociopath

by Quinn Piercequinn pierce blog

A Repeat Performance

I looked around the room trying to assess the damage.  With each tear that fell, I could sense a shift in the room.  All I could think was, “Oh great, how can I possible convince this entire group of people that this is an act?  These tears are not real!  These words do not mean anything!  He will leave here and continue to abuse and harass this child he cries for right now!”

Instead, I said nothing.   Such is the reality of having married and divorced a sociopath.  It’s a never ending struggle to maintain my composure when faced with lies, manipulation, deceit, and of course, his repeat performance as the consummate victim.

Minimizing Conflict

I have to admit that when we first met, I was already groomed to feel guilty for things that weren’t my fault.  I couldn’t handle the thought of someone being unhappy because of me.  If only I’d known that a sociopath is not capable of, well, feeling. Ok, maybe, it would be more accurate to say: A sociopath is not capable of feeling anything that makes him or her a decent human being.

As they say, hindsight is always 20/20 vision. At least I now have that vision looking forward,too.  Unfortunately, most people don’t understand what a sociopath is unless they have experienced some type of relationship with one.  Which means, those of us who have, spend most of our time trying to avoid drama, reduce the damaging effects, and avoid interaction at all costs while keeping our reputations intact from the ever-present smear campaign.

Pushed Past the Breaking Point

I have been very successful this year at avoiding face-to-face interaction with my ex-husband.  But lately, necessity has prevailed, and I have spent several days in prolonged meetings along side my ex-husband as we (I) try to present a united front as we (I) fight for our son to receive the support he deserves in school while he struggles with anxiety disorder.

The entire process has presented a clear, and despicable, portrait of a sociopath.  I can honestly say that before this summer, I could almost tolerate being around my ex-husband when I had to.

But, we all have our limits, and as I sat across from this sobbing man who was pouring out a soul he fabricated on the way into the meeting, I reached mine.  I was so tired of defending my children against this man as he manipulated sympathy from strangers.  I had no more patience for people who were quick to believe his attacks against me without any proof or substantiation.  I did not want to look at him or listen to him for one more minute, but I reminded myself that in order to help my son, I had no choice.

At that moment, I felt like something inside of me broke.  I started to cry.  I never cry in front of strangers, which is one of the reasons I was easily portrayed as the cold-hearted, bitter ex-wife to the sensitive, charming, mistreated ”˜good guy’.

A Flood of Emotion

And once those floodgates opened, there was no turning back.  Without meaning or wanting to, I stole the spotlight from my ex-husband mid-performance, and re-directed the audience toward me.  I realized my voice was over-powering my ex, I was blurting out everything in a rapid-fire succession, and I couldn’t stop.  I don’t particularly like the spotlight, and I was embarrassed to show such emotion, but I guess I was frustrated, and fed up, and exhausted.

I watched this man take everything I had done and claim it as his own work.  I listened as he took my words off the page and spoke them as his own.  I sat quietly while he gave demands to people I hired to help our children, all the while acting as though he was a different father than the one who refused to spend one cent on anything that had to do with our children’s education.

The meeting adjourned with an extension for the following week.  I had one more meeting to attend with him before the weekend, however, and I didn’t think I would make it through as civilly as the previous meetings.  But, he must have sensed my simmering anger and frustration, because he stepped back in his role of aggressor for the duration of the meeting.

This was one of those occasions that I could predict quite easily that there would be repercussions.

Constant Need for Control

It didn’t take long.  One thing I have learned over the past twenty years of dealing with this man is that he cannot tolerate the thought of not being in control of every situation.  Especially, when he thinks I am the one who is in control.

Reality and facts have nothing to do with his perception.  I suppose it comes from his own truth-challenged inner being, or maybe from his enjoyment of manipulation and harm of others.  Either way, his reality never coincides with the actual reality, which makes arguing with him a complete waste of time and energy.  (Another lesson I wish I had learned years ago.)

Predictability, on the other hand, is one thing I can always count on with him.  That very night, his revenge tactics began, starting with the son he was so concerned about during his tear-filled performance earlier in the week.  He bullied his way into seeing him, removed everyone else from the visit, harassed him with questions and comments that my son was not comfortable talking about, and kept him twice as long as my son thought he would, simply because he felt as though he could.

The next day, the torment continued on my younger son.  Ironically, he refused to allow him to see his cousins, despite having requested the boys get together as often as possible with these same cousins just weeks earlier.  It was a confusing and nonsensical situation for onlookers, but to me and my children, we knew exactly what he was doing, and why.

Projecting His Behavior Onto Others

He enjoys playing the puppet-master.  He orchestrates a scene, only to change the rules and throw everyone off balance, relishing the control and soaking in the satisfaction of knowing he has disrupted, inconvenienced, and hopefully, upset everyone else involved.

We also knew this was a direct reaction to what he perceived as his son’s refusal of him the week before, opting to go to his cousins’ championship games rather than sleep over at his father’s house (a very uncommon request by my son, I might add).  But, try to explain that to anyone who doesn’t know my ex-husband, and we would quickly appear to be bitter, alienating, controlling, vindictive individuals.

Hmm, everything he is quick to say about others, sounds an awful lot like what he actually is.  Projecting is something my ex-husband does very well, and it is usually a good indicator of what he is planning at that moment. Lately, we have noticed that he seems more desperate to try to exert control, and he definitely has been more outspoken, rather than hiding behind others

Control Slips Away

It’s also becoming more apparent that his children are growing stronger and healthier and more secure every day.  This is a real threat, because soon, they will be able to stand up to him and everyone defending him.  They will also be able to decide on wether or not they visit with him, and on what terms.  I guarantee that once he is not the one in charge of the visits, he will no longer want any scheduled visits.  He will try to plan some ”˜spontaneous’ get togethers that have been calculated to be as disruptive as possible for everyone, except him.

What he doesn’t realize is that while he stays in his static, prefabricated, un-evolved character, the rest of us are changing and growing and moving on.  We will no longer be the unwilling players in his tiresome games, because each day brings us closer to independence from his legal hold on the boys.  Then, when he is drowning in his sea of false tears, there won’t be anyone around to enjoy his performance, except his own shallow reflection.


Comment on this article

Please Login to comment
Notify of

I need to add, that if you have an ex-spath whom you know or suspect is involved in bad activities, you might want to look into tracking them with a GPS tracker. You can hire a PI to do this, but if you can’t afford to, you can track them yourself for a while, then hire a PI to track them only long enough to document the evidence you need. For example, if they frequent prostitutes. But that alone will not likely cause them to lose custody, so it’s not worth it, unless you know of something really sinister. More important is recording and documenting anything emotionally abusive to your children. I found it very easy to document this with my Ex-spath. He didn’t hesitate to send emotionally abusive text msgs to our kids. This hurt him tremendously with our sane, fair judge.


I don’t know about any of you, but I don’t hear a whole lot about how these relationships truly affected you. My relationship has left me completely broken. Bit by bit, the things I felt important were widdled away until I wasn’t even sure who I was any more. I felt punished for any good thing I did until I just stopped. When you’re given the silent treatment, denied intimacy, made fun of in front of your kids it starts to wear on you. When you’re constantly asked to help, this person then punished you helping them. They do this so that they don’t have to acknowledege that they needed you in some way. When you’re legitimately concerned about something and the sociopath realizes they didn’t think of it first, they are threatened and now must deny that your concern was legitimate. They will then create a new false situation to completely distract from the initial issue and it will be entirely to ensnare you somehow. I can state that anyone living with such a person for any number of years could actually be mistaken as the problem. Their sense of self is ruined, have no confidence left and sit there replaying history over and over again wishing they weren’t so gullible or stupid. As nobody is perfect, people who’ve been subjected to constant sociopathic behavior break down. They cry, they scream, they may get drunk a few times (maybe some even more). They become depressed, sometimes angry and bitter, regretting and wishing they never got involved with that person. People who are victims of these people often are co-dependent, enabling it for one reason or another. They may think they can handle it for the kids, or the other person will change, but it never works. They end up crushed.


I can totally related to how one comes to doubt themselves after years of manipulation. I am at the end of a 21 year marriage to a sociopath although I only recently became aware of who he truly is. The years of emotional abuse have taken a horrific toll on me. I’m nowhere near being the same person I once was. His lies were so convincing that I lost all faith in my own intuition. Like you, I have yelled, screamed and collapsed into heartfelt despair-all to no avail. He easily walked away from me during those times.

He claims we have poor communication, but after numerous visits to the marriage counselor I realize that the communication he will tolerate from me is total compliance and agreement with his lifestyle. My choice is to smile and “get over” his many lies and affairs or to get out of the marriage. Truthfully, he will take it either way. It makes no difference to him. He will just move on to the next victim. I’m wife number 4 and I can already see number 5 in the headlights.

He has made me feel like I’m crazy. He spends a great deal of time Love Bombing me and the just as I begin to lean back into him, he creates some drama or acts out in a way to push me away. And he’s never gentle with his actions; always brutally callous. So I retreat in a cloud of pain and anger resolving to never let him control me again. Of course, then he returns to be my comforter and encourager. The hurt in my heart is so great that I’m drawn for comfort to the man who has “loved” me all these years. My brains processes the compassion he gives and I long for. He relieves my anxiety. I feel better but my logic tells me that I’m ignoring an important detail-that I just caught him betraying me. So, to maintain that feeling of security and love, I justify his actions in my mind. My soul is soothed and he is in the clear to go on with his life with no repercussions. Thus the cycle begins again.

When I discuss the details of my life with friends or family, the sit stunned and appalled as I casually relay to them the facts. It’s no big deal to me. I can say “My husband was with a prostitute on Easter after having gone to church with me that morning”, just as easily as someone else can say “We hunted for Easter eggs”. Why? Because years and years of trauma has left me with the inability to react appropriately. I can’t allow myself to feel the pain completely because I may not be able to survive it. So I subconsciously react to almost. Everything inappropriately. If I relay my awful experiences I am detached, BUT if I sense danger in any way, I overreact. I shake and shut down. Life has become a hodgepodge of frustration, fear, pain, anger and sadness.

I’ve had counseling and I have a wonderful relationship with God. I have times that I begin to feel hopeful again. But just as soon as I feel a little more stable, he returns to snatch away my confidence and make me vulnerable again. My mind stays so cloudy and confused.

I’ve postponed divorce, mainly for fear of what will be thrown at me as we go through the process. I dread the pain he will inflict at the thought of losing control of me and/or damage to his precious ego. He has no emotion as I discuss the divorce with him. In fact, he blatantly and proudly told me he was seeing another woman, a point thrown out there to hurt my heart and throw me off kilter. The abuse never ends.

I relish the thought of more joyful days. It’s inspiring to read of those who have recovered or are in the process. There are many things that I have learned from this site that are ringing true inside my heart:
1. IT’S NOT MY FAULT. No matter how hard I tried, nothing was going to change his behavior.
2. HE’S EVIL, NOT CRAZY. He knows right from wrong but has no desire to abide by societies rules.
3. HE’S A LIAR. Every word he says is preceded by a plan to satisfy his selfish desires. He is not authentic.
4. I CAN’T VIEW HIS ACTIONS FROM MY REALITY. This is a very important point. I will never be prepared for the next ambush as long I am thinking from the perspective of “Whar Would I Do”. I must view his actions from strictly selfish, heartless point of view. Then I might be armed for his attacks.
5. HE WILL NEVER CHANGE! Refer back to #4. If selfish and heartless is all he knows, the he can never be open to real compassion and loyalty-or Love.
6. I’M NOT CRAZY. I’m traumatized, hurt, angry, confused, defeated, manipulated, spiritually and emotionally abused, sad, and very frustrated, but I’m not crazy. I am completely aware of the hell he has created and am doing my best to get through it.
7. I WILL SURVIVE!!!!!!! Because now I am awareness of his true nature. I’ve been informed through this site. I’m relieved to read that I’m not alone in my experiences. And finally I am hopeful. The process is difficult, but there are so many on this LOVEFRAUD site who have trudged this path and made it all the way to the bright, joyful place of a life without oppression. I’ll make through this. I believe it.

Sorry to go on so long, but today has been one of the tough ones. Better days are comin. For all of us.


HopingtoHeal, sending strength to you to get out. I have realized that I was lucky to be discarded and abandoned…I might not have gotten out otherwise.

His flaunting other women sounds familiar. Mine had a pattern of shutting me out whenever he needed time to devote to others, and I knew when I was “allowed” back in he had moved on from them, but what I didn’t know until after the discard was that he was always “dating” a variety of women, and bringing some home for sex, even with this daughters at home. I, meanwhile, was kept on a very short leash.

Looking back, I can see now that he had already moved on with another (or others) when we closed escrow on our dream home…almost immediately, he began nagging me because I hadn’t found another woman to be a part of our relationship, and expressing doubts about staying with me since I hadn’t kept a commitment to him that he seemed to think I had made, when in fact, he knew that was never going to happen. It was just a convenient excuse to blame me…it could have been anything.

He has a new wife now and I know she, like I once did, thinks she found the man of her dreams. I am sure the mask has already slipped and she may be losing sleep.

I worked with him a few years before we became involved and always found him to be a bumbling nerd with dandruff and a habit of dropping food on the front of his shirt. Of course it started because I felt sorry for him, but in private, he immediately became a different person with the love bombing, no more bumbling nerd, but a polished man I enjoyed being with. I was already hooked when I saw he really was the bumbler and worse, but by then, cognitive dissonance kept me spinning. Recently, I went through my computer files to delete all pictures with him and it was eerie, because over the years in some he is clearly the bumbler and others, the polished guy. There is no missing it. I am completely repulsed by him.


yes Haneli Moon, the best thing that could happen to a person is to be discarded from a person like this! For a long time I was crushed that he didn’t respect me even as the mother of his children, but thank goodness figured out this is clearly not the kind of person I want or need respect from. So much more important to be a strong and honest person for and in the eyes of your children!


Jmmira and Hoping to Heal,

I promise you both there are better and joyous days to come. I ended a 25 yr marriage with a sociopath and truly didn’t even recognize him as one for so many years due to the roller coaster ride he had me on. It is agonizing and terrifying because they go to any lengths to protect themselves and the masked reputation they have faked with family, friends, and their children. It took me 3 long years to divorce this man.

Hoping to Heal, my ex too was very involved with the prostitute scene and actually ended up being diagnosed with HIV 2 months after we separated. He was actually shocked to receive the diagnosis-again they live their life regardless to the rules of society. I, thankfully tested negative for HIV. He didn’t even bother to contact individuals he had been with. He said there were so many and he didn’t know how to reach them. Believe it or not, he found a woman that he charmed despite the HIV. Come to find out she is the female version of him anyway. They have recently married after our divorce just being final a year and half ago. I say have fun at the masquerade party of life they are in!

I urge anyone whose spouse has cheated on them to please, please go be tested for STD’s. Can truly be a matter of life and death!!


Just curious,how any women have had their ex spath cheat on them with other men? I caught mine hooking up with men who advertised for quickies, threesomes and group get togethers with other men. I never thought that this man was actually gay, and had a hard time believing what I was seeing. After learning more about the sexual activity of spaths, I see now why it happened.



From my experience I think promiscuity is inherent in all spaths, men and women alike.

After three children (all paternity tested) and a 6 year on/off relationship I eventually discovered that she had slept with at least 14 other men, and these were the ones that I gathered hard evidence on.

Just three months after our first child was born I came into the kitchen early one morning and sat down at the laptop to read the morning news whilst I prepared breakfast. At that time we would often share computers. I noticed she had left her hotmail account open. I respect other’s privacy and was about to close it down when an email with a curious subject text caught my eye. Against my usual instinct of giving people benefit of the doubt I click on the email to find that she had asked some guy (almost 20 years older than her) whether his vasectomy was effective because she thought she might be pregnant!

My whole world came crashing down at that time but over the course of the week she managed to convince me that they didn’t have sexual intercourse and it was just a one off ‘rubbing’ incident born out of an emotional void relating to an earlier violent relationship!

I probably bought the story because I could not comprehend how the mother of my child could possibly betray me in that way.

When I finally got to the point where living with her was no longer tolerable I began my investigations in earnest and was absolutely shocked and devastated by what I discovered.

Without going into all of the details, I discovered multiple sexual trysts for almost the entirety of our relationship. I also discovered that she lost her virginity at the age of 13 when she had always represented to me that she lost her virginity at the age of 21 after marrying her first husband.

I ran back through all of my past emails and sms communications with her over the years and overlayed them with the relationships I became aware of. The devastation ran even deeper, knowing that she had all of these sexual affairs at times I believed we were a somewhat family and at times we were ourselves sexually active.

I almost puked and ran off to get myself tested. Incredibly, I had not contracted anything. I assume the toxicity of her soul killed off any disease. Only a person with absolutely no conscience, soul or heart to do that to another.


My ex placed many personal ads all over gay and bi sites and frequented bath houses, etc for gay sex. He also pursued a married woman. I don’t know what his true sexual preference was, or if he even had one.


My ex cheated with both men and women. He first started with online meet-ups, then prostitutes from both websites then Craigs List. He then moved on to advertising as a bi-sexual to then encounters with younger gay men. Many of these encounters happened at my home while I was away on business or caring for my sick father. I tracked his computer activity with a program and fortunately or unfortunately saw every e-mail, chat, and pictures of he and these individuals. As I mentioned previously, he contracted HIV from one of these encounters. I am currently in the process of finding spouses of these other bi men involved with these encounters to inform them of the HIV and encourage testing. I know these women are not aware of what their husbands were doing.


Donna, I mistakenly reported a comment linked to this thread. I had meant to reply. Sorry for the false report!


I found gay men porn and child porn sites my ex P had been looking at. He also was a cross dresser. I don’t think he was particularly interested in adult women (although he married me, and adult woman). When we married I was quite petite, around 105 lbs; in retrospect I’m sure the few times we were physically intimate he was fantasizing about being with a child. I think pedophilia is probably his first choice; and among adults I think he’s more into men than women.


Hopingtoheal, you are spot on with your points. Some take a while to get your head around don’t they?
Its the opposite of the cliché- Its not you, its me- in these relationships it should read- its not me, its you!


jmmira, I was with the evil one for 33 years. How did it effect me? I was completely decimated. I couldn’t make a decision on which toothpaste to buy. I had panic attacks and was deeply depressed. The bitterness and anger was what kept me alive for more years than I care to admit to. I was not co-dependent to begin with. Over the years, these dark souls slowly chip away at your confidence, your boundaries, your skills, until there is nothing left. I am a shadow of my former self and it’s been 6 years. I miss that other person, the other ME. I still do not trust men. I have not dated, nor do I have any plans to.



I totally understand how this dark and evil soul chipped away at your confidence and your skills until you feel numb and just a shadow of your former self. He has “taken” 33 years of your life. Don’t let him take another day. I know that it is easier said than done but I can tell you there is so much joy and peace in finding your wonderful self again. And it is the best revenge on him! Most men are not like these evil men, you can trust again.

Turn your “mess” into a message for others!


It’s interesting that you use “evil” in your statement. That is the same word I would use to describe my Ex. The twisting of everything was exhausting. And when you mention anxiety attacks, that’s when I thought I was having heart attacks. Went to the hospital three times, they kept telling me my heart was fine. Nobody told me chest pains could come from anxiety!


These are “evil” people with NO moral compass, conscience, or character. They prey on people and are “wolves” in “sheep’s clothing”.


Oh heavens I hear you! I think I had all sorts of attachment stuff as well. It was so weird, it was the most horrible, terrifying, uncertain and mind stuffing place to be BUT when I was even in his presence I felt better (like children do when they see their Mum)and I felt VERY anxious away from him, more so the further I went into the pit of complete absence of hope that HE was pushing and shoving me into!!!
I felt SO shamed about that for the longest time afterwards, who does that?


Don’t beat yourself up. I think we all go through the anxiety of breaking the attachment. I just, two weeks ago, found out that my husband was once again involved in affair. While others in normal relationships would probably be so angry, I find myself waiting for his calls. I grow more and more anxious as the minutes pass. He absorbs my thoughts and thus my entire day. I melt as soon as I hear his voice when he calls. Once again, all is well in the world. THAT’S JUST SICK! I know that I am so addicted-code pendant. I pray for enough strength and resolve to just break away and have no contact.
I’m moving on with the divorce that I’ve had no choice but to file. I know in my head that he is a narcissistic sociopath but my heart just won’t catch up. Ugggh ,, it makes me so mad at myself,,
Hang in there. The moment of clarity can’t be that far away from us if we are recognizing our abnormal attachment. 🙂


Hopingtoheal, I was JUST the same. Nothing mattered for that time as much as he did, everything else I did was just perfunctory really. Except the kids, thank goodness I had them and that they weren’t his!!!Utter obsession, and I KNEW it was all wrong. In the end I took a short term contract in another city because I knew I was eroding or being eroded into nothing and had to get away BUT I still couldn’t break it off. Luckily he obviously had someone else lined up and three months later emailed me to let me know. I was SO broken then. Then I did the cleverest thing ever NOT and got involved with another spath. While he never took my heart and or smashed my soul (how could he, they still were beyond repair from number 1 spath) he took everything else, money, confidence, security, mental health, emotional health. I was a sitting duck for number two, in the early stages he was SO healing for my (what felt like) mortally wounded heart, ego and confidence.
Its four years on now and I have come such a long way and for the main part am so at peace (blessed peace!!) and Ive learned to live alone, something I never thought I would be able to do. It rarely bites me in the bottom any more and I am SO very grateful for that. I am happy a lot. Ive worked hard for that and sometimes that meant doing nothing at all except breathing and going through the motions. This site and the people here have been miraculous, sometimes the ah ha moments and identification were like knock out blows one after the other but such a relief!!One of the best things has been the absolution from the very points you have discovered also.
I am a good, loving, kind, worthwhile, smart, ethical and very STRONG person, that’s what those points told me. I always was, I just couldn’t see it anymore through the razzle dazzle mind-warping spath illusionistic black hoodoo. I survived two spaths. Some days I am in awe of my resilience and grateful for it, other days I feel like a total stuff up LOL.
I don’t think healing like this can be done alone and there is nothing as good as peer support and education (like we have here).
The thing I can tell you is it does get better, lots and lots better but its not linear. More like a tornado really, the middle is eerily calm but terrifying, followed by wild helpless motion but gradually moving out wider and wider until its a gentle soft tropical breeze with the odd little flurry 🙂


I too got such healing for my soul from the next relationship after the spath. Just that I was desirable again…spath never was attracted to me and told me once that sex was just a chore to him. That “next guy” was messed up also, but nothing like a disordered perso. He’s just a loser, normal and my kids still love him and we hang out together sometimes as friends.
EVEN the NPD i was with next, brought some healing to me! (incredibly so at first, so much that i wanted to do ANYthing to never lose him, at first) He was so much more normal than the spath. I just sometimes forgot how truly irrational, vile, piece of crap and subhuman the spath was. Even as an NPD/BPD, that man was more worth the air he breathed at least. ~shudder~
To have a disordered person bring relief to and be a balm on you shows how truly EVIL spaths are. As bad it has been with the NPD, I can think of good things about him still, the spath–none. If spath died, I would feel nothing, like I do now. Nothing. And i like it that way.


Dear Quinn,

After several years with my narcissistic ex husband fooling all those around him as yours has done, and even after the psychologist told me he was a malignant narcissist, I continued to try to bring peace for the sake of my daughter. She was in drug counseling by the time she was 16 and my ex said he didn’t believe she was taking the amount of drugs she said she was. Imagine your daughter trying to get out of hell and her own father said he didn’t believe her….

Your story here brings to mind the fable of the “boy who cried wolf” and we can interrupt that to the “man” who cries wolf….

The fable is about shepherd boy who repeatedly tricks nearby villagers into thinking a wolf is attacking his flock. When one actually does appear and the boy again calls for help, the villagers do not come thinking that it is another false alarm and the sheep are eaten by the wolf.

The moral is that liars are rewarded in this way, that even if they tell the truth, no one believes them.

Eventually, the truth will catch up with liars. One day they will fall into their own snares…..

I did smile at the fact you stole his limelight although you had no intentions of this…..He must have imploded…

I found in my situations from past ex’s.,sp’s, and the like, that the less attention I give their drama, the less trauma I have. Not all cases even with me, but in the after world of leaving them and being free, they come back if need be because of job or children, and being in the hereafter I can rule my world with none of their drama because it is my world…and the indifference I show and feel always will rule them powerless….and this they feel….losing the power and control….

Thanks for another great article…


My daughter is in the process of divorcing a sociopath—and it has dragged on for a year now. We have had some small victories,(thanks to mistakes her soon-to-be ex made) but the judge has only heard about one-tenth of all he has pain he has caused my daughter and granddaughters.
What amazes me is that our entire family has known this sociopath for many years—how did we not see his behavior sooner?
There were glimpses—but we didn’t get the clear picture until recently.
Now that I can see him for what he truly is—all the pieces of the puzzle have fallen into place. It was ALWAYS about him and he was miserable if he was not the center of the universe. And then there was the way he would gloat (with a smile) about using people in his life—whether it was his co-workers or his own grandmother!
The most telling moment for me came one day just prior to their separation when we were all together at our home. Since my former son-in-law liked to joke around—I had made some type of humorous, and very innocuous remark.
Apparently, I really struck a nerve. He waited until there was no one around who could witness it—then he menacingly got in my face and gave me the most threatening look I have EVER gotten from ANYONE in my entire life. It was truly horrifying. I was so stunned and completely taken off-guard that I said nothing to my husband until that evening after they left.
Now I fear for the custodial time that he has my granddaughters. He manipulates them constantly—one moment he’s unwaveringly stern and the next moment he’s tugging on their heartstrings by them that “he’s sad.”
He’s NEVER sad. He never feels anything at all. It’s all a big theatrical performance designed to get what he wants.
I just pray that once we are in court, that the judge sees him for the con-artist that really is.


4mydaughter, mine actually told me that he wished he could feel things like I did but he just…couldn’t. If only I knew then what I know now. As for theatrics, mine got married recently and I can just imagine him preening like a baboon at the public display of “normalcy”.

I have seen that menacing, threatening look too – during sex. It would reduce me to tears and then it would get worse as he told me tears during sex didn’t “excite him”. I clearly remember thinking then why do you intentionally make me cry? Afterwards he would treat me so well – cognitive dissonance at it’s finest. By the next day I would forget about that look until the next time…and so on. How I wished I would have followed my gut the first time(s) I saw it, but it always happened when we were on a weekend jaunt to Mexico and I couldn’t just get in my car and head home. I now see how calculated this was and it makes me sick.

I wish the best for your daughter and granddaughters.


Praying for your entire family! My ex devasted my mother also when he turned on all of us. She thought he was just like a son. I understand how hard this is to wrap your arms around and understand. I once read an article on this website regarding choosing and trusting this type of person does not make us naive or stupid. It actually means the opposite-that we are not manipulative and do not realize people in the world exist like this. If we understood this behavior it would mean we are just like them. Please don’t be too hard on yourself and reinforce this to your daughter.


From my experience of being married and thankfully now divorced from a sociopath, those false tears can really do a number on the children. My daughter who is now 25,and 20 when the divorce and truth began unfolding about her father had such heartbreaking, emotional conflict when he would conjure up the false tears of regret and remorse. This conflict kept so much hope in her heart and mind that he was truly remorseful and always going to be by her side. Of course, through false tears and charming words he convinced her of that every chance he got. 5 years later my strong, determined, and loving daughter has slowly come to grips with the fact that her father is an actor with many disguises. Ironically, as she was growing up as parents we taught her “Actions speak louder than words”. Sadly she has learned that lesson first hand because of an action of her own parent, but one I am so thankful I taught her. These sociopaths actions speak loud and clear!!



It breaks my heart to hear of the pain your daughters have faced. My own 18 year old daughter has fallen for the tearful apologies from her socio. dad. She would open her heart and allow herself to be hopeful, always to be disappointed. It is so hard to watch the roller-coaster of emotions she is on especially since I’m on a similar journey.

Slowly, she is having less and less contact and coming to terms with the fact that he will never be the father she dreamed of. I’m so sad for her and angry with myself for not seeing the obvious emotional abuse earlier and reacting in a way that provided her a more stable and healthy environment at an earlier age.

I love this quote from Maya Angelou- ““I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”

I trust that God has a plan to use this for good in our lives. and now that I know better, I’m trying to make better choice. It’s not easy.



I could have written your words! My identical thoughts about what I should have done for my daughter earlier in life.

My daughter just established a “no contact” with her dad. Had been heading in that direction for a few years. She had to get to a place where she accepted he was no longer the “daddy” in the pictures at Christmas with her growing up.

I do trust God has a plan to use this for good. In fact, early on in my divorce from this man I did bible study on Esther. Two of my favorite quotes from the story of that strong woman Esther- “Those that are silent will perish” and “For such a time as this”



I just saw an online Bible study of the book of Esther. Maybe I should look into that. Thank you for your reminder of this strong woman of God.

I’m hoping for “no contact” for both my daughter and I soon. I know it will help clear our heads and lead us out of this prison we are in right now.



The Esther study I did was by Beth Moore. If you can find online I think you will love and get so much out of at this time!!

I am sorry either of you are having to still have contact.


HanaleiMoon, I laughed when I saw your comment about “normalcy” and your ex preening around like a baboon at his wedding. My ex did just this at our wedding, and any other time when others were around and he needed to appear ” normal.” I cannot tell you how many times he used the word “normal” with me. I never did anything “normal” people did. Why couldn’t I act like a “normal” person. My family and friends were not ” normal.” I have always said he tried to act like he was living in a Norman Rockwell painting. Everything he did was with the intent of trying to make himself out to be “normal.” He often failed miserably, since it was all an act. I cringe when I think of the excuses I made for his behavior, or the times I actually toyed with the belief that maybe I wasn’t “normal.” After my child was born, he really laid into just how abnormal I was. That was the final straw for me, I was not going to have my child raised by a man who constantly belittled me and made my child feel less than “normal.”

And nomoretears2013, I too fell for the crocodile tears my ex would conveniently cry when he was trying to get pity from me or “repent” for his abusive treatment towards me. I know he uses them on our child now, and it makes me ill. I have seen the sad look, the quiet response, and the woe is me sighs or the glisten in his eye when he talks to my child on the phone or during video chats. All fake, and it gets the desired response from my child! Poor Daddy, he just loves me and misses me. Makes we want to vomit! Thankfully my child is already realizing that poor daddy doesn’t always follow through with promises, and can’t give honest answers to simple questions. It just breaks my heart that this child will have to go through this and learn over time just how pathetic poor daddy really is.



It breaks my heart reading about the reactions of your child to the “false tears”. I have been in your shoes with mine. It is heartbreaking. So important for these children to know that they had absolutely nothing to do with the behavior choices of their fathers. So often, children of narcissistic parents grow up feeling they are “not good enough” in attempts to get that parent to love and respect them.


Being discarded by my sociopath husband over a year ago was the best thing that ever happened to me and my son. I feel so blessed to finally have the peace in my life that I was searching for the past 20 years of marriage. My 19 years old son ended all contact with his “father” because he is old enough to clearly see the “true” nature of him. He is not caring or loving and protective of his family. Instead he us out to destroy us in this divorce. He is working hard at taking everything away from us. He finds pleasure in knowing that my son had to take out student loans for college. He finds pleasure in knowing that we financially have to struggle. He is pure evil. I cut of all contact almost 10 months ago. He still tries to reach out occasionally to my son. He has not realized that my son blocked him from his life. He will never play a part in his life again. We sometimes have to laugh how pathetic he sounds in his emails and text messages. He destroyed the image of his “perfect” family and it must not be pleasant for him.
My son and I are starting a new life. We don’t think about the past any longer. Yes we were abused, I was cheated on and lied to. But I put an end to it by filing for divorce. There is no cure or therapy for the sociopath. He can live in his own world of pornography and bitterness. I am not a part of ot anymore and it feels good. I still have a lot of healing to do. But the fact that I have not cried in 9 months is a sign that I am on the right path. And every sin in life will have a consequence. He lost his entire family, his house and his life. Just like his father who had cheated on his mother and discarded her after 20 some years. All for sex and to make him feel grandiose and irrestitible. His “minions” can have him because I am so much better without him in my life 🙂



I’m grateful for your inspiring story. I long for the day that pain, anxiety and indecision override my ability to live my life. It still amazes me that Evil people can look you in the eye and hurt you while having no guilt or emotion- even for their own children.

I love this quote from a Kristy Knockles song “Give me eyes to see you in the dark. You revive me Lord”

I will be where you are one day. Keep the strength and keep sharing. You are helping those of us who are still stuck.


“A sociopath/psychopath is one that wants you to give up everything to be their nothing.” To every woman/man on this thread everyday at least 3x a day remind yourself that you are worthy and that you are something valuable and great to this world. You will not give up another precious minute of life being “their nothing”. They are the nothings of this world-no character, no integrity, no moral compass,no conscience,no remorse, no guilt, no empathy,no love-without these traits one is nothing.


I am so glad my story can be an inspiration to some here on this site. I remember when I first posted here how devastated and lost I felt. Believe me, it was not an easy path and even now in midst of ugly divorce proceedings it is still difficult. I was surprised at myself how calm and pulled together I handle court hearings. I don’t even look at my husband because he is nothing to me now . Of course having my attorney by my side is a tremendous help. The best advice I gained from this site is the “no contact rule”. It made such a huge difference in my recovery process. No reaction is what they hate the most. Any reaction you give them, negative or positive, you feed right into their sick and distorted mind. Be strong, think positive and have faith . Their day of judgement will come and it will be ugly.
I am still in the healing process. And even after this divorce is final it will take a long time to ever trust a man again. But that’s ok. I am 48 years old but I survived going through hell and back. I came out a much stronger and more confident person than I ever was. Because during the 20 years I was really nothing to him. And now I can be myself again. And I have my peace and sanity back. And that’s priceless.


AMEN!! Our words and thoughts to ourselves and about ourselves everyday can and should be positive.I looked and continue to look around my world everyday and see those that are surviving positively despite illness or the loss of a child-those are the “somethings” in life that could make one lose hope. So we certainly can’t let these “nothing” evil people make us lose hope for the future!

First I want to sincerely thank you for this blog and your valuable posts. While I’m so sorry you – and many others – have gone through so much trauma, it has opened a new world for me hearing other people’s experiences with psychopaths. I no longer feel alone and isolated. Both of my parents were psychopaths, and much of my, and my siblings, lives were destroyed by them (particularly by our mother). We were mentally, physically, emotionally, and sexually abused. Our mom was SO good at the crocodile tears! She was so cunning, so convincing, many people believed everything she said, even if it sounded unrealistic. When my mom passed away after a heart attack, her “friends” hosted a luncheon to remember her. I was stunned when the luncheon turned out to be a bashing of our family, as each guest recounted how much she “cried” over the trauma WE caused HER! On top of grieving the loss of my mom (she was still my mother, regardless of her personality disorder), this public bashing caused tremendous pain for my siblings and I. None of those people were aware they’d been duped – that the life my mom described to them was all a fantasy.

I am thankful for your blog and exposing psychopaths for who they are. I am hopeful if more of us speak out, there will be more awareness of this disorder, and hopefully prevent future harm to others.

Wendysm – I am so sorry for your experience, but glad that you’ve figured out the truth of your mother’s disorder. At least it’s an explanation for the madness you and your siblings endured.

Send this to a friend