By | March 25, 2007 90 Comments

Understanding that sociopaths murder the spirit

Here is an e-mail exchange that recently took place between me and a Lovefraud reader:

Arlene: I was married to a man for 23 years. I found out so much in the last few years. He murdered my soul, my spirit, and financially devastated me. He moved another woman … brainwashed my children. My 18 yr old now is on cocaine…she was a nice girl…he has trashed her also and she is not living with me. The children now that were close to me are not empathetic and cold.

He grew in power and is an intellectual. He spread vicious rumors about me to cover his tracks. I am just to move on. Even though I was such a devoted mother and this family was my life. I have tried everything to recover and I am alone. You see I have no extended family. Some friends but they have their own lives.

For me I cannot forget my children… I am human…I have such pain daily. I feel nonexistent in my life. I cannot recover from the loss of my family and to see them turn out cold and unloving is too much than I can bear. I pray everyday for God just to take me home. Because living life without love is no life at all.

I was more into the connection of my family’s life and he made sure I was disconnected, so well planned. I repeat many of the scenarios I read on your love fraud…so I know I am not alone. Like one day … I was thrown out of my life planned…I was used all those years … and treated like trash and devalued. The loss of my soul…the loss of my smile”¦my hopes…my dreams. I just want to die.

Donna: Please do not act on your statements. I truly understand the pain Ӭand devastation that you are feeling, but you must not give in to it. ӬSociopaths are evil. They are professional manipulators. Whatever Ӭhappened is not your fault. You did not deserve it. The best thing Ӭyou can do is to recover.

Please seek professional help. Make sure whatever counselor you see Ӭunderstands sociopaths, because not all of them do.

Arlene: Yes they are evil. But you see I have been to counseling …and it does not make it any easier. Because normal people have human connections and emotions and they have none. I cannot forget the memories of my children…my children have turned out as manipulators themselves and with no empathy. I never thought it would be possible. But he not only damaged me…he damaged them permanently.

THANK YOU FOR CALLING it EVIL because no one understands but us…it is entirely different than a normal divorce or split up. When you come in contact with evil it seems to change you for the rest of whatever life you have. If you are young…there is a better chance of recovery because you can start maybe with a new family. I am turning 50 years and I was looking forward to the connections with my children for the future and the grandchildren and that is all gone now. It seems that I wasted all those years and all the work I did was for nothing. But thank you for your comments they mean so much as I know that you really understand where I am coming from.


I wish there was a formula, a prescription, a therapy, for making the pain inflicted by sociopaths—such as Arlene is experiencing—go away. I don’t know of any.

All Lovefraud can offer is understanding.

First of all, Lovefraud helps people understand what they are dealing with. Sociopaths have no heart, no conscience and no remorse. They feel no emotional connections to other people. They have no family and friends, only prey and pawns. People who have tangled with a sociopath are not stupid, they were targeted.

Secondly, Lovefraud is becoming a community of people who understand and can empathize with the experiences of those who have been targeted. We know what it’s like to be deceived, bankrupted, assaulted and then ignored by people in authority while the sociopaths go on their merry ways.

I can only hope that these two types of understanding can serve as a foothold, a starting point, a ray of hope, so that the victims like Arlene can begin recovery.

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Dear Arlene,
Feeling emotionally lifeless and hopeless may be symptoms that are helped by medication. Do not give up hope, your children still need you to be the one positive force in their lives.
You will have love again!

judy cox

i totally understand…i am recovering but it is a miracle i am here…i tried to take my life almost 4 weeks ago…carbon monoxide and pills..i was found in the woods…i don’t know how i made it but God had to have protected me….i was married for 1 year to a sociopath..he was very close to being like a minister when i met him..we prayed alot…he was very kind…he was extremely charming and romantic and ”swept me off my feet”…talked me into marriage in 2 months….then in about 3 more months the ”real” man came out…he was a binge drinking alcoholic..abusive verbally and physically..he stole all my money….took me to another state…beat me up and abandoned me…after i got back home..i did a background check and found he is a sex offender…he was totally the opposite of all he presented to me…i am in therapy and on an antidepressant and other meds for injuries to my body..i thought i was doing so much better..then i seemed to just be overcome with grief…i am better now and i have my hope again…it will take time to heal…


To Judy Cox: Yes the grief…but you are VERY LUCKY because your relationship was not very long. So yes you will recover. Even though he did those awful thi ngs to you … you will recover because of the time factor. So consider yourself very lucky…that is a positive thi ng. It is hard to spot a sociopath sometimes because they appear normal and the only people that get to know them are the closest to them. It did not take him long to get out of the closet and God was probably looking over you there. It is interesting how they appear to be so suave and angelic in the beginning.
I wish I were you honey…than to have been me in a 23 yr marriage.


To Judy and Arlene,
Two weeks ago I felt the same way and wanted to die! I went to the doctor and got some anti depressants and sleeping pills as sleeping was hard, I decided to take both along with a quart of alcohol not to kill myself but to dull the pain of it all and forget for a while, I fell unconcious and when I awoke the next day realized what an idiot I had been, I not only let this man use and abuse me but now I am abusing myself. I know it is hard but Arlene please do not harm yourself, it does get better it is noy going to happen overnight, I can tell you from my experience and I still love this man I bought Dr, Hare’s book “Without Conscience” and it really opened my eyes to what I have been dealing with, at first I could not beleive that I mean’t nothing to him but after joining this site and reading other stories we are not alone, Although it has only been a couple of weeks I feel better, I have my sad days but the urge to contact him diminishes with each passing day, trust me I know how you feel and I assure you it will get better in a way it would have been better if they had died you go through the same greiving process, unfortunatley they are very much alive and most likely on to then ext victim, remember sociopaths have no conscience their only concern is for themselves, keep reminding yourself that and as each day goes by you will feel better,


Arlene – My marriage to a sociopath lasted 26 years, I am 51. The divorce decree is 2 years old. The facts I learned AFTER beginning the divorce process put me in bed for days. It IS horrific the damage and deceit these people are capable of. I have four children that my ex is trying to poison. It feels like two have succumbed and the other two recognize his manipulations and simply ignore his lies about me. I have chosen to live. I still believe there is happiness in the world. If I were to allow the past to rule my life, then that man would succeed in ruining my life. I won’t let that happen. He may have had small victories, but ultimately I know he will lose. At some point, my children and yours, too, will see the true colors of their fathers’ personality disorder. They will come back to me and you. I only worry that their pain at the revelation will be worse than ours has been. Choose to live, Arlene. Your children need you and there are wonderful things left to experience. You have survived one of the worst expereinces……life with a sociopath.


I think there are two books that divorced/divorcing people should read when they have children. The books are: Divorce Casualties by Douglas Darnell, Ph.D, and Divorce Poison by Richard Washak, Ph.D. Both of these books give advice to people who have an ex who is trying, or who has already been successful in, destroying the relationship of the other parent and children. People can be very hateful and angry toward the other parent and can consciously or unconsciously destroy the loving/trusting bond between parent and child. It is comparable to brainwashing. These books give very practical advice on how to recognize and deal with this behavior. Unfortunately, brainwashing is very difficult to reverse, especially if physical contact is limited or nonexistent. I feel very sorry for Arlene. These books also give advice to people in Arlene’s situation. To feel like you have lost your relationship with your children must be like experiencing their death in a way. I can not imagine. I know my ex continues to sabotage my relationship with my kids, and at one point I thought I had lost my relationship to my oldest son. I felt heartbroken that he was so cold to me, that he would physically try to hurt me in front of my ex, but after reading a lot about parental alienation, I think I have managed to at least put it a little bit under control. Arlene, I think you need to keep yourself busy with things that do not relate to your family. One side of you can do its best to reestablish your relationship with your kids, but the other side should be dedicated to positive experiences that do not involve your kids. This has been very important for me. I went back to school, became a teacher and now a big part of my life is my students and my teaching. I have such positive experiences from it. It has nothing to do with who I am/was with my ex or who I am with my children. People are experiencing me for who I really am…not possibly tarnished by what my ex has said about me. I have made such wonderful friendships with the other teachers and feel really good about teaching. Dealing with my ex is such a negative downer in my life. It is really tough, so having a part of my life that is completely separate and positive for me has kept me going. I agree that you should also consider taking some medication and seeing a counselor. You are going through a terrible ordeal and you should make sure you take advantage of all the help that is available to you. Hang in there.


“…If you are young”there is a better chance of recovery because you can start maybe with a new family.” -Arlene

That is not always true. Being young doesn’t change your ability to overcome hardships and in many ways it is harder to get over being damaged when you are young.

Just look at your kids. If you hurt, imagine how they feel. They are the real victims in this. They didn’t ask to be brought into this world to one sick parent and yet they are expected to just be “good kids” you said yourself that one of them became an addict. Maybe she uses substances as a way of coping-your method of coping in a way, is this forum. You are an adult who knows better than to become a chemical addict (not that that ever stops anyone) but how else do they know how to deal? You are in pain yourself…do you think they want to add to your misery? I doubt that…I really do.

My father was the normal one, my mother was sick. He got over her destruction by moving on and marrying someone else, fathering 4 more kids. And yet the last time I spoke to him you could tell that he was not completely over what happened more than 25 years ago. So where does that leave me…the child…the “young”.

It leaves me alone. No mother, no father and socially isolated as a result of never having a parent to love me. I have become the “unloved”. But hey, maybe I can start my own family…maybe because I am 26 this will be easier for me…that statement could not be more wrong-I actually think it is a bit offensive. Yeah, I can maybe one day get married and have kids and then what? Poof it all goes away? I think not…more like those issues are still there and my children suffer because I never had a mother to teach me how to be a mother and I never had a father to teach me how to move on. He saw I wasn’t the “good kid” I once was and turned the other cheek to deal with his pain. He left me there to fend for myself. He was the “victim” yet him being with my mother was his choice…not mine. Then what about my future husband? Does any good man deserve to deal with all my emotional baggage? Sure if he loves me he will but is that fair? Not by my definition…not by a long shot.

I did not write this to attack or offend you. I wrote this to give an alternate opinion of a statement you made. Living with emotional trauma is not easy for anyone except maybe a socio/psychopath. Young, old, black, white, male, female-none of it matters. Pain is pain. Anger is anger. Recovery is recovery. And nothing is easy.


I divorced my sociopath ex over 3 years ago when he started using crack and he just won’t leave me along. It kills my spirit to hear from him. He will call me over and over and over on my job (I blocked his number on my cell phone) because a crack addict never has enough money. He is currently living with another man (an addict) as a partner but still calls to say the guy is mean to him, he needs a place to stay, etc. I refuse to help him and his last trick was to call me at work, crying and someone screaming in the background, saying if he didn’t get $250 to pay this dealer, he was going to be shot. I made him write me a check and meet me someplace but it was probably all a scam. Then I feel so low and used just because I hate to see someone I’ve know since I was 17 (I’m 55 now) get killed. There is currently a stay away order from the judge, but he just ignores it over and over and the police say I need to file a report and go to the prosecutor’s office and get yet another restraining order. I was doing well, bought my own house this year and starting to date. This has made me depressed again. I don’t want to let my bosses at work know he is bothering me there because there was a big problem when I first left him with him showing up at my job high. I would gladly buy him a on-way ticket to another state.


Wow, This is an old post, before my time here at LF, and it’s eye opening for me.

For a very, very long time I’ve wondered if my ex-spath was a SPATH or if he was SCHIZOID (avoidance personality disorder).
I have debated this daily, if not hourly, in my head.

And here I see it for the first time:

****First of all, Lovefraud helps people understand what they are dealing with. Sociopaths have no heart, no conscience and no remorse. ****They feel no emotional connections to other people***** They have no family and friends, only prey and pawns. People who have tangled with a sociopath are not stupid, they were targeted. *****

They feel no emotional connections to other people.

My SPATH only wanted to see me on occasion. He didn’t want to spend time with me going for a walk, or going to a movie, or just hanging out. If he was with me, he wanted sex. I always felt so terrible about this. I always wondered, why doesn’t he love me back?

Anyway, this line made me realize, all spaths have no emotional connections to other people? Really?

Have I been missing this the whole time?



Super thanks for pointing that out because I have a constant battle over mine really being disordered or not. when I think of how caring and loving he acted I ask myself how could it have been false. It’s confusing when people say he just didn’t like YOU because he was never this bad with anyone else. It hurts to hear this. Makes me believe that maybe I was just his whore and he did indeed love those before me. I comfort myself believing friends just never witnessed this horrible treatment with anyone but me.


you are sooooo lucky that this was the role he gave you. If he had married you the mind-f**k would have been much worse. It is so difficult to believe that they can fake it for so long. Who can do that? It’s unbelievable. But you know, maybe not.

I can imagine myself faking a completely different personality for 25 years – if I had no conscience, no empathy for others, no feelings at all, except envy. Then it would be easy.


Who do spaths marry? What’s the typical criteria?


Spaths marry narcissists. That’s why we have to admit that it was a bit of narcissism in us that attracted them.

Some narcissists are me, me, me, me. Those are obvious ones. Othertimes, narcissistic traits include thinking we can save the world, taking on more than our share of responsibility, thinking we are stronger than we are, trying to be everything to everyone.

Spaths love narcissists because they can play with their heads. Humility is the only thing that can save us from spaths. (it comes with a side of gratitude)


Sky – I disagree with ya darlin.

This is just so sad. Reading her words….she is right. Having this happen and then barely getting out at 50, losing the children, all that…he really took her whole life from her but left her alive. I mean he took everything that mattered and then left her alive to have to suffer with that loss.

It didn’t fully sink in until I read this how much harder it must be to go through this for such a long period of time and then only escape when your life is closer to be finished. 50 is not the end, but it is unlikely she can remarry and have children. It’s almost impossible that she could. That really is a kind of murder.

What a sad letter. I wonder how she is now and where she is. Does she post in here? This was 2007. I hope she is doing better.


that is your perogative, but may I ask why?

I am repeating what I’ve read the spaths on spathworld say. Specifically, a few female spaths have said that they are married to their narcissist husbands because they are so easy to manipulate. From watching my mother and father, I do believe this is so.

Then I think about why my spath was able to con me for 25 years and I think it was my belief in myself and my ability to be superwoman that made it possible.

I agree that it is murder. Spaths will steal your time on earth. They do this knowingly, in whatever way they can get away with. One minute, hour, or decade at a time. They can’t have it, but they don’t want you to have it either.


sky – i interpret as low self esteem wrapped in codependency some of what you interpret as narcissism. I do not beleive that all desire to fix, enable and sacrifice oneself comes from narcissism.

i think that these behaviors show a need to have a safe environment, and i have most often seen them in people who didn’t. I wouldn’t call my mom an n – but when i was younger i did call her a martyr, and i do def call her supply now. She came from a very dysfunctional home where she was assigned and took on the role of peacekeeper – she literally was the one who kept the peace, and sacrificed herself to do so. this has never changed. it’s why my saying ‘my dad is an asshole. he gets nothing fro, me’ is so threatening to her. she has falied at her job – which is to keep the peace so that she has a peaceful environment. the truth is not so important to her…of dealing with rumbles below the surface…she just wants to fe shallowly safe. she has never been able to figure out anything else.

she passed this instability and disease on to me. i was brought into a family where there was no truth and no real safety, BECAUSE THERE WAS NO TRUTH. she taught me to sacrifice myslef and put myslef last. and to accept being the scapegoat.

and now when i am so down as i am nwo, self care is a huge struggle…because it’s the last thing i have to sacrifice. right now when i feel so unsafe, i am still sacrificing myself – to no one.

i always respect your opinion and i do try to wrap my head around this one – haven’t yet, as i don’t believe that all people who try to help fix, etc are motivated by an unhealthy narcissism, but rather a damaged esteemed and way of interacting with the world.


I think it is very hard to talk about narcissism/narcissists, hard to talk about sociopaths, etc. (regarding criteria, definitions and so on) because truly it really is not perfectly understood. It’s like we each have a part of the elephant, and many professional “experts” have not had actual relationships with sociopaths. I have known mine for about 20 years, and I am still growing in understanding. Frequently, new insights either build upon what I thought I knew before, or completely wipe it out with a new, dawning and previously unfathomable realization (such as, “no emotional connections to people.”)

I think this difficulty in talking about it is a great reason to talk about it (agree, disagree) because we all have our own experiences with this personality type, this type with so many flavors, and I think the more that people like us who have lived through it (or are still living it) can share our experiences in discussions like this, the more the understanding will grow — and perhaps the people who “own” the definitions and the criteria will cease being ivory tower people or professionals who only come in contact with this type through research or institutions or occasional therapy — as opposed to having RELATIONSHIPS with sociopaths. Quite a different thing! Who says WE the ones who have direct experience cannot be the “experts” or the ones who get to define our experiences with sociopaths? I think we can.

I am interested in the comment about spaths marrying narcissists. I think, well, perhaps that is a spath point of view, and worth considering… but my understanding of narcissism is that it is also one of those things which exist along a continuum, with just a few “narcissistic traits” which hardly qualify as full-blown narcissism (and having a few narcissistic traits is NOT a bad thing!). and then there are those narcissists who are not malignant narcissists/sociopaths — big difference.

I look at the spath targeting me, as 1) my good will towards all people; 2) my naivete in not truly grasping the existence of human evil; 3) my faith in myself as “never giving up” and being very persistent to make a success of all of my relationships; 4) my empathy

Most people we think of as narcissists LACK empathy. And I think most targets of sociopaths are highly empathetic. We may have a few traits which are narcissistic or could appear that way to a spath. But I do not think we are narcissists (those of us who are on Lovefraud, anyhow!). Yet… I do see sociopaths/narcissists pairing up with each other. Where does one end and the other begin? I am not sure those relationships are predator/prey, but maybe one in thrall to the other, and together they make a very evil team against others (for example, their children).

I’m nearing 50 myself, but while the “battle” is not yet over for my children, they are showing a definite leaning towards empathy/kindness and resisting sociopathic traits (except I am more concerned for my son, who, at times, seems to sit on the fence between the two…)

I know this post was written in 2007, but if I could offer this, I’d say… focus on healing yourself (hobbies help) and that can include, at a certain point (once healthier boundaries are in place), volunteer work WITH children and forming friendships with people of all ages — not just people your own age where you will be frequently reminded of your particular loss — but be involved with people your children’s age AND people older than you who have successfully resolved crises like this, and you might find eventually that you can find another, “surrogate” family. I have seen this happen, so I am not making it up! Many people who come from non-loving or toxic families eventually end up forming new relationships that are by choice, and are beneficial to both. You could babysit. You might end up — who knows — finding a new partner who has children, and you become a stepmother and stepgrandmother.

Please do not ever give up hope. Life is certainly NOT over at age 50! 😉


It’s true that these PD’s are still being defined, so we each have a slightly different perspective depending on our experience with the spaths.

I used to think of narcissists as very selfish and “me, me, me”. While that may be how some present themselves, there is much more to the definition as I understand it now.

A narcissist, in my definition, is someone who has not completely grown out of their infancy. That is why they lack boundaries, as babies do. And that is why their beliefs are not completely grounded in reality – they still indulge in magical thinking. And they are still functioning in the dysfunctional way that they needed to do, when they were young and learning to survive in a toxic family of origin. For some of us, that means being the sacrificial scapegoat, over and over again. Or in other words, to indulge in malignant empathy (enabling behaviors) and taking on responsibilities that are not ours to take.

Most people don’t consider themselves narcissistic because their definition of narcissism is to be selfish and self-centered.
Which, it was never their (or my) intention to be. In fact, just the opposite. But when you are self-sacrificing, you are lacking boundaries between your responsibilty and those of others. The idea that you can shoulder so much and still be fine, is magical thinking. It’s all bad programming from our childhoods.

So that is what I generally mean by narcissism and it can include both the selfish assholes and the martyr christ complex.


but sky n is a PD, and what i describe as injured esteem and codpedency is something that can be changed. this is one reason i cannot bring them together,


Oh, I see.
I was under the impression that PD’s could be changed. Except for the spath PD.

I have been reading that borderline PD, which has always been considered very resistant to treatment, is now much more successfully treated with DBT. (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy)

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) combines cognitive and behavioral therapy, incorporating methodologies from various practices including Eastern mindfulness techniques.


((One Joy)): “No truth and no real safety” was my reality built on a foundation of quicksand. Shalom


sky: you said:’ incorporating methodologies from various practices including Eastern mindfulness techniques.’
hahaha- okay, excuse my humour, but the n ex was fake all over that. i’ll take a look at the link.

n ex was a big magical thinker -and youthful. unfortunately i confused immaturity with youthfulness and curiosity. same with spath.



I just went and read posts on Sociopath World. Eye opening. One young lady sounds just like me – or rather, that her experience was just like mine.

I am agreeing with elements of what you said about N’s. I don’t know my own boundaries. I thought I could fix my spath. My boundaries are goofed up.

I can’t even get my hands around other PDs. There are times I want to try, I’ve put forth soooo much effort into it. But mostly I just want to get my happy life back.



shalom – the lack of truthfulness, honesty and transparency; and integrity with the reality of our lives was a huge gaslight for me in my childhood…and this continues for me. my buddhist lama said: ‘yo have to tell people the truth about yourself or they can never be safe.’ he rarely said things like this, taught i a very different way, but this one phrase meant a lot to me.


first time on spathworld? It’s interesting huh?

I didn’t even KNOW what boundaries were until Kathleen Hawk explained them to me. I didn’t have any. I think it shows. Trying to learn though.

All these PD’s sort of merge into each other since they all have narcissism at their root, IMO. Then you add temperment and circumstance and you end up with different flavors of the same problem: being stuck coping with inadequate tools.

It really, really helps to be able to see your parents clearly. It’s like being a forensic investigator, putting together clues at the scene of a car wreck. I’m finally seeing what happened and how I ended up in such a mess.



Seems to me like you had 20 years of stress and confusion and abuse in your childhood and another 20 on top of that with your spath. Your body chemistry has to be permanently altered, like mine. I can’t imagine working through that on your own.

I was in my therapists office last week, again, like nearly every week the last 2-3 years, crying my eyeballs out.

I was mad at myself for letting myself get spathed.
Mad at myself because I grieve my N mother who no longer speaks to me.
My family is so flipping disfunctional.
It’s burned into my personality and I can’t undo it.

I guess I was so NEEDY, I let my spath abuse me.
I was so accustomed to being ABUSED, the fact that he was abusing me didn’t make me flinch.
I just kept going back for more.

I wanted to make him love me.

The joke was on me.


Spath men marry their mothers.



Any translation or interpretation you can provide on that?


We can undo it. It’s just hard. and takes time.
You have done very well for yourself. You’ve raised wonderful children. You take care of yourself. You are so strong. Nurture your strengths and look at yourself honestly and objectively, so you can also see your weaknesses. It’s the only way.

You said you were NEEDY. It sounds to me like what you “needed” was someone to rescue. He looks like a wounded bird to me. Is this how you were raised? to rescue others, like I was? He’ll play that role as long as you let him. If your “need” was different he would play that role. If you present yourself as a “princess” needing to be rescued, he would play that role. It all depends on how you present yourself, then the spath will re-organize his facade to reflect what you need.

They are story driven characters. Give them a story and they will run with it. But then, you know, we all are that way to an extent. I was reading an editorial article… I’ll try to find it. It was a criticism of Obama. The author was saying that Obama failed to give the American people a story that they could believe in. LOL! but of course, Americans are the most narcissistic people on earth. hands down. (in the conventional definition of narcissism, anyway).


I want to know too!



Sure. Of course, it’s only my personal observation, but I see that they marry their mom’s because we know they are infantile or just little boys in grown up bodies. So they need someone to take care of them. They marry someone who has the personality traits of their moms…the “take charge”, take care of everything type woman…just like their mom. Actually now come to think of it, I have also seen non spath men marry women who were like their moms. I think all men marry their mothers…just my observation and opinion. Haha, no wonder I apparently don’t make a good wife! I am very compassionate and empathetic, but I am not that take charge type of woman who wants to conquer the world and take care of everything. Seems to me that this is what ALL men want deep down inside.


makes sense to me.
my spath said, “you remind me of my mom”. Then I found out he hated his mom.

my dad was trauma bonded to his spath mom. So he married a spath.

We are all re-living our childhood. over and over again until we get it right and we can move on.


Sky, Louise

I do agree with that comment.

I went on a business trip with my controlling N boss recently.
I know how to deal with him in the office – he rules the roost. But outside?

He wanted me to pick the restaurant.
He wanted me to pick out the food.
He wanted me to pick what chair I sat in.
He wanted me to pick where we crossed the road.
He wanted me to pick the security line.

It was crazy. Until I realized, he normaly only travels with his WIFE, and SHE MAKES ALL THE DECISIONS! AHA!

My spath said that his former (and now current) WIFE was more like his mother than I was. Lucky for me, I suppose.



It’s comforting to see that you have seen the same patterns with men and their moms that I have. I see it all the time. As a matter of fact, OMG…this thought JUST came to me. When my oldest brother married his first wife, he told my mom, “She’s just like you.” Wow. Of course, I had forgotten about this because it was almost 40 years ago.

I agree that we are re-living our childhoods over and over. But how can we ever get it right if we are repeating it over and over?



Good question.

When we met, he wasn’t needy.

I needed a strong man – romance – excitement – via a dominant, take charge, interesting man, who was as high up on the corporate ladder as me.

So that’s who he became. A successful, interesting banker who was madly in love with me. Except none of it made sense. Yes, he was a banker. That was the only part that was true. He’d be madly in love with me, and then disappear without a trace for a few days – no phone calls, nothing, then suddenly appear professing his undying love for me again.

It made no sense, the entire “STORY” line he was living for me didn’t “SING” so to speak. It’s because he was picking up on a STORY I needed to be told and that’s all. There were incongruencies everywhere because it was a LIE.

The truth was he indeed was a high ranking banker, but, he lived a dull boring life.
No friends.
Hardly any interests except money and weapons.
Liked military junk.
Reorganized all his belongings over and over again. Counted his money over and over.
Bought clothes at GoodWill when he earned over $500K a year.
Limited his clothes to something like 3 pants & 3 shirts.
Totally OCD.
Had stamp and coin collections (how boring! Just shoot me now!).
Lied about them, said he stopped collecting when he was 13 but I discovered recent acquisitions. Ridiculous.
He played WAR VIDEO games for hours on end (hardly the interesting passtime I would attribute to a successful, very smart banker).




See! They are all alike! Even your X spath is currently married to someone who he says is like his mother.

Oh, and you brought up another very good observation that I have also seen. You say your boss is a controlling N at work, but apparently at home, HE is the one controlled. I have seen this…if a man is a tyrant at work, it’s because he is being guided arounded like a puppy at home. They can’t be the boss at home so they are the boss at work! Wow, they are really something, aren’t they?? I absolutely love it that we have them all figured out 🙂



That is precisely the question.


Narssisst are just as evil as spaths. I’m still trying to understand the difference. From observations I’d say malignant narcissism occurs due to a childhood traumatic injury and sociopaths are born that way? I’m still not sure. I font know if my spath/n was clinically diagnosed because there were so many secrets circulating in that family. He told so many lies I don’t know what to believe. He is in fact one of the other. I found this to be true from his mother and just researching disordered myself. For mine I think he will marry a woman that pretty much let’s him have his way. A dumb ass pretty much. Someone who believes the lies, never questions his contradictions, and loses herself. Basically a slave.


Recovering – my father is an n – no family trauma there. i think he was born that way and his mother catering to him (she was an n too i think) didn’t help.

many of us, were married to and are recovering from n’s and spaths. we were conned. intelligence and assertiveness notwithstanding.


Yes no offense to be taken. I myself was conned as well. Dumb-ignorant to the personality disordered, human evil. I don’t think any of us here knew of such until we actually experienced it. Even reading a book on the subject in school never means anything until you meet one of these people. I can’t make sense of it at all. That’s why friends,family, and some therapists can’t seem to understand the depth of our pain. No one wants to believe any human being is this evil and heartless. The reason I ignored red flags is because I too didn’t think people like spaths and ns truly existed to this degree. There isbrown any disorder less harsh than the other in my book. Some individuals more pathological than others maybe. They all cause hurt,pain,and ruin. There are some that kill and some a bit to coward to complete the act however I consider them all the same. I get confused when I go on other sites and they say the opposite of what we read and share here. To add to this discussion though,how do two disordered people marry? Wouldn’t that be disastrous? I read stories about people having two spath parents etc….how is that so? It’s like a game of tug of war.


Revovering – my mom isn’t disordered, she is supply, so i don’t have anything to offer on this. i always think of my spath as having dupes and partners in crime. but i always see her as the alpha. she even conned her real best friend’s adult child. pretended to be someone else online.

i think people are jerks. i feel that they should look at the state of us and understand that it must have been something out of the ordinary. instead i feel ashamed and abandoned by my so called friends…like i was too this or that that i got involved in the first place and I should have been able to get over it right away as it wasn’t ‘real’ anyway. not even knowing about the disordered i expected better from my friends. i know i would have given them better.

now i have little to give – i need so much gentleness and support to help me heal…and i have not enough of those things in my day to day. but i wouldn’t listen to me too deeply today, i am depressed and hurting and feel so very alone.


I feel that way a lot. Today in particular because I can’t get answers. I replay the situation over and over in my head and like you I too get no genuine understanding or support from friends. Everybody’s just in awe, like where did I meet such a crazy. I think more people have been under the spells of spaths yet they didn’t get what really happened. You have to get close for them to reveal themselves and some are so good they can put the mask right back on even after an unthinkable act. We weren’t created to go through life lying and conning. I used to think no man would be out to intentionally break a woman for his enjoyment. What hurts most is knowing he doesn’t give a fuck at all. Ivery been cheated on before but the spath experience is on another level. Some men cheat but they may really be sorry and contrary to their acts house know they at least cared. It hurts because spath did not and does not care about my heart, my bodily injuries he caused, and neverabout my feelings…trust me I know how it feels.



You are right. Many people just don’t get it. Perhaps they saw red flags and removed themselves from the situation.

They can’t know what it is like to be YOU, and to have been victimized by the SPATH.

I am in shock every day that my spath hurt me on purpose.


My spaths ‘ex friend’…eyes rolling…that now wants to date me said that was his plan. He stated when he met me he was going to drag me through the mud and play with my head( verbatim)….so, his deeds were premeditated. SICK!!!! And friend is sick too, who watches and wants to be around a person like this?


exactly. This is a perfect example of how spaths lie.
The ex-friend is telling you the truth, IN ORDER TO DECEIVE YOU. The deception is: since he tells the truth, he must really care. But you hit the nail right on the head, when you asked who watches and wants to be around a person like this? So, in this case the actions do not match the words and you know you are hearing a liar, aka, another spath.

I was reading a link on borderline PD and saw the name Alexander Lowen. A quick google search, took me to his book. It’s fascinating. You might find it interesting too.

There are some section on different types of narcissism, including paranoid pd, which I know interests you. It has a good outline of the spectrum of npd’s.


Sky friend is a total douche. He could have told me long ago if he was genuinely concerned. I know guys have their code of honor but if I had a friend well let’s say associate because I’d never knowingly hang around a person like this who uses drugs and cons people and is physically abusive I would feel it my duty to tell an innocent person whose life is at rusk from a promiscuous partner. Now they aren’t friends because he disrespected him so he says but had he not they’re still be hanging out. It’s toxic. I blocked his texts and calls.



Thanks for the link to the book. I’ll buy it.

I just bought the book Speed Freak ? Is that it? It was written by a former Lehman brothers banker who had a mental illness. Just came out.

You know what bothers me.

My husband wants me back (we were separated when I met my spath, dated my spath, got abused by my spath). And he still wants me back. I just can’t even go there. I am still stuck on my spath.

I want to get unstuck and move on and I just don’t know how.



this might be how:
I was looking into Alexander Lowen and found this site. I’ve been on it for hours. It talks about unraveling our emotional issues through access to the feelings in our bodies.

Before I stumbled on this, I was already thinking that most of our emotional issues are based on a disconnection to the feelings in our bodies. Numbing or misunderstanding the physical sensations in our bodies is part of how we end up with “false selves”. If I remember correctly, “The happiness Trap” addressed this too.

The site has some interesting descriptions of the schizoid PD (he calls it the creator) and the psychopathic PD, (called the inspirer)

I’m going to be looking in this direction for understanding.

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