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Was I ever loved?

Mary Ann Glynn adOne of the most confusing things people grapple with during and after a relationship with a sociopath is wondering if any of the “love” was real. It’s a total mind f—.

You think of the beginning of the relationship in which your partner was the most romantic person you ever dated — how attentive he was. (I’ll refer to male sociopaths, but they may be female as well.) He may have even been thoughtful and empathetic if you confided in him about someone or a situation troubling you in your life. He may have remembered each occasion with wonderful gifts.

You remember times being part of family and friends as a couple, even when things started to get bad. You may have felt secure and proud when he seemed to be an attentive father or generous neighbor. You think of the time last week when you both glowed and felt proud over an accomplishment of your child. You think of a time not long ago when you laughed together with friends over dinner, or, when you made up with electric sex. You have in your memory times when there seemed to be genuine caring and thoughtfulness.

What is love?

Love is not chemistry. Love is not a feeling of attachment. Love is not romantic feelings. Love is not the high feelings you experience at the beginning of a relationship when it is new and super-affirming by the good feelings you get and the best selves you’re putting forward. Love is not a “feeling” at all; it is an action. Love is the ability to first feel compassion or empathy for another, and then act to meet their need, even before your own. Think of what you would feel for a crying child. You would feel their pain, and this would move you to try to comfort the child, even if you are weary and would rather be relaxing.

Since a sociopath is lacking empathy, and, therefore, the ability to love, what was going on? This statement isn’t entirely true as a sociopath may feel compassion or empathy for something which s/he sees as an extension of themselves, e.g. a child, colleague, friend, pet, even a spouse if s/he never challenges him or needs anything from him. These things do not threaten his sense of control or the image he likes to put forth in the world. But the minute you have a need or a conflict to resolve, which is what every normal healthy intimate relationship requires, what semblance of compassion he may have will go right out the window. Protection of the way he needs to see himself, or whatever he is hiding, is his priority. Everyone and everything else is sacrificed at the altar to his in-control, blameless awesomeness.

Often what happens is that at the beginning of the relationship, when he appears to be more engaged and romantic than anyone else you’d ever been with, can be mistaken for love. Then you get addicted to the intense sexual fireworks, which will release large amounts of oxytocin, the hormone that causes attachment. So, you’ll become very attached early on, believing that he feels the same close connectedness as you. He may be very turned on and very sex-centric at first, and/or is deliberately being manipulative, knowing consciously or subconsciously that sex will attach you to him. Then, after that perception has been firmly imprinted with a particular idea about him — he’s a great, caring, sexy, smart guy — it has the power to put a veil over the red flags that follow after.

The biggest mistake

I think the biggest mistake that partners make is to think that a sociopath operates in the same way they do. Sociopaths look for partners who have a larger than average dose of the qualities that will make a good relationship work: compassion, trust, loyalty, and the ability to love — someone who will think the best of him, feel for him, and jump backwards through hoops of fire to tolerate his behavior in order to make the relationship work.

What partners don’t get is the way a sociopath’s mind works. For him, sex does not have emotional connection like it does for you. He can’t feel your pain or your wounds like you do his. He can’t respond to your need if it doesn’t correspond with his own. He trusts no one. He isn’t honest with himself and can’t be honest with you, period.

Ask yourself, how much has your sociopath been able to feel compassion/empathy for you or your needs, and respond? That tells you how much you have been loved. Realizing this is a bitter pill to swallow. Love isn’t something you show only when it’s easy, convenient or gets you something. If someone is truly loving you, there is no question in your mind about it.

 


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98 Comments on "Was I ever loved?"

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Thank you Mary Ann. I know from talking to Lovefraud readers that the hardest part of these involvements is the realization that all the expressions of love were fake. They are so good, it seems so convincing, but it was a mirage. So painful.

That’s a powerful reading. Makes so much sense. Much like grieving, going through an experience with a sociopath takes time to heal. It’s unfortunate that a lot of people believe one can just turn the page. I have been very lucky to have very supporting family members and friends who are patient to walk the grieving path with me. At first it was extremely chaotic and I often think about the question of love. What makes this situation even harder is the fact that my relationship was so good before the lies were unravelled, that I think I will never find one as good. Why? Because the relationship wasn’t real. Bizarre, huh?

Angel, Ditto Ditto and Ditto!!!!
Isn’t it absurd that they so very much follow a script???
Wish I knew all this thirty years ago!!

Wow this is a powerful statement. So the answer to the last question is that I was never, ever loved I this entire marriage. It makes me sad that I was merely a convenience to this man. Thank you so much for reminding me again that I made the best decision in my life and that was filing for divorce. This website has helped me tremendously to see the truth, and also to see that there is hope for me and my son to recover and heal. The above statement brought tears into my eyes.

Thank you Mary Ann.This is a very timely article,no matter what stage of the journey we’re at.From my own experience,I couldn’t really concentrate or remember the red flags of our relationship at the time I left.I just knew my life was slowly slipping away,that I was miserable and that I hadn’t loved my husband for yrs.It was just BAD.

But once I came to Lovefraud,the light exposed the darkness that I had been shrouded in.I began to understand.YES!The reason I hadn’t loved my husband for years…was because he NEVER loved me! I had exhausted myself jumping through those fiery hoops,accepting his humiliation in order to try to show the compassion and love that would help him change.NO MORE!I’M DONE!

I found out today the filing fees for my divorce have been waived.So now the court can proceed with filing!

Wow Mary Ann, As I read this I could almost visually see that what you are saying is exactly true. When I realized what he was it was like I could instantly see all that I had been trying so hard to hide. Even when I think that right now he is with his new girlfriend, going against all the personal beliefs he ever shared with me, and will no doubt have a child (I can not have any more children and he would rub that in my face from time to time) and how happy he is it is not true happiness it is just a game he plays. Every time I log onto this site my eyes become so much clearer.

Although it hurts to the core to know I was never truly loved it all makes since at the same time. I don’t know if I will ever trust my heart again but I do know I will pay attention to all the signs when I look at any man in the future.

Thank you Mary Ann. Your last paragraph opened my eyes and I actually typed it in big letters, laminated if and it is on my refrigrator now.
Blossom, I am so glad for you that they waived court fees. Another step forward.
Katareaux,I am so proud of you for changing phone no and trying to be strong in the no contact.
I truly believe that we will all come out of this much stronger and happier. I still believe that “God took these evil men out of our lives so we can have piece. “

This is a very articulate and clear explanation of how a sociopathic mind works. And how they choose US to draw into their web. I have to say that–paradoxically–when I figured this out, it provided me with some peace. Before I understood, I was constantly confused, upset and heartbroken that someone who loved me could act the way he did (when what I call “phase 2” started.) The stress and tension I felt when I tried to reconcile the person I thought I knew–and who he was still often pretending to be–with the increasingly callous, selfish and hurtful behavior was very painful. When I figured out he had NEVER really loved me, however, it al made sense. I no longer had to reconcile the “two” parts of his personality. Horrifying as it was, it was also freeing.
Thank you SO much for this blog. It’s a lifeline.

It’s really so simple for them huh? And yes, I did make the mistake of expecting “normalcy” from a clearly disordered person….But then I’m figuring out that I’m the queen of excuse making for most people….two days ago the Wall Street Journal had an article on ‘The Friendship Bank’ and it really hit home with me!!! Most of us who are targeted are loving giving people. We need to learn to give ourselves balanced loving relationships before all else. The pain of dealing with these relationships can be soul searing.

I forgot to comment on the fifth paragraph of your article…”Since a sociopath is lacking empathy, and, therefore, the ability to love, what was going on? This statement isn’t entirely true as a sociopath may feel compassion or empathy for something which s/he sees as an extension of themselves, e.g. a child, colleague, friend, pet, even a spouse if s/he never challenges him or needs anything from him.”

I saw this clearly in action with the birth of my daughters;especially the firstborn.In fact he put her on a pedestal for yrs,which hurt her sisters,and when the pedestal was abruptly pulled out from under her,led to her devastation.
It was during this time that I began to understand that my part in the picture was to “serve a purpose”;not be his lover.

A good example of a sociopath or at least a narcissist in action is “Adam Newman” – character on “The Young and the Restless”. You can see the above phenomenon clearly in the current storyline about his ex-wife giving birth to his son, and his feelings about the baby, etc.

My ex husband, after 2 years of no hear from him text me 2 weeks ago saying I am sorry for all the pain I cause to you and the kids (they was his step kids)you didn’t do anything wrong I am the one who is screwed up in the head” again you didn’t do anything wrong, I always think of you as an amazing woman and I regret that I hurt you so badly. I will always love you. I hope you forgive me I need that because I am in pain and I want to get it all behing me.

I know that what he is saying all that are lies but what is he looking with this performance? I feel bad again, down confuse ,I don’t want to go again to all that pain he cause me 2 years ago and before that.Thanks for your answers and help.

Columbian51 – He is probably testing the waters to see if he can come back to you to exploit you again. Do not respond.

I had my ex call me and tell me that he wanted to meet and figure out a way for us to work again. When I spoke to him on the phone and agreed we had contact for another two weeks and now he is been MIA for four days. What is the point of all this??

Control. Don’t meet with him–best to stay no contact.

Now I know but it took a long time. I was fooled into letting my psychopath exhusband move back in and was rewarded by him coming in with a moving van while I was at work and taking everything he wanted. My children and I cam home to a house that looked vandalized and they felt frightened and violated. Then he moved in with his new girlfriend…the one he previously told me was “just some slut and whore that slept with me on our first date”.

They are not human.

columbian51,
My husband used the very same line on me! He was so convincing with his ‘crocodile tears’!:(

I was separated from him from 2003-2008.Great years! I was stupid for going back to him.But after an accident,I started having panic attacks and couldn’t stand to be alone.And he convinced me he had changed.He set me up to take his revenge!SO NEVER BELIEVE A SOCIOPATH! I suffered more in the next 4 yrs than I had in 18 yrs!
I was slowly dying when I came to my senses.Don’t let that happen to you!

You need to go No Contact with him…get rid of all means of communication;phone,texting,email and social media.It’s the only way to break the control they have over us and to have peace in our lives! wishing you the best!

Hi,
I have not posted before but tonight I have the need to vent. I just broke up with my boyfriend. I know he is not a sociopath but he was some weird tendencies, mental issues. Anyhow, he didn’t understand the concept that you are not to insult other people (me) and expect them to be ok with him. See, we were planning to get married, however, last week his mother came to visit him and she told him that he was making a mistake, that I wanted him for his money and so he called the wedding off. Well, he still wants us to go out for walks, I am sorry, but right now I am hurting and I am angry at him. By the way did I mention that he is 50 yrs old and still sleeps in the same bed with his mother? He has a 4 bedroom house yet, they choose to sleep in the same bed…. like I said I am just venting…but in time I will be very thankful.

Amara
I not sure if he is a sociopath but something is just not right. Sleeping in the same bed with his mother? Take a good look at him. I know learned that if you have the feeling if bring in a “fog” something is off. I have been married to a sociopath for 20 years and only realized about 7 months ago why I always felt there was something off. Be careful. This website is excellent. I must say that I learned no contact is the best way to deal with someone like that. Good luck to you.

Amara – welcome to Lovefraud. I don’t know if the guy is a sociopath, but there is definitely something wrong. Sleeping with his mother? You should run far away from this guy.

Amara,

I would like to weigh in on this, as well: run, don’t walk, as fast as you can. Get away from this guy!
You need some space to see how dysfunctional this is. Sometimes when we are in a relationship that has gone bad over time, we’re like the “frog in a pot”. If you throw a frog into a pot of hot water, he’ll jump out. If you put a frog in a pot of cold water and gradually turn up the heat, he will just sit there and cook! We’re the frogs in the pot–things get weirder and weirder for us, but we gradually become accustomed to it.

Jump–now!

And Columbian51,

Please stick with no contact. There is NO WAY anything good will come out of reuniting with him. He is likely manipulating you. You got out–it’s best to stay out.

Ok everyone, I still have not desire to ever have contact with him again and my hate for him is so strong that I constantly have a sour stomach. However, as I sit and think about the years and the lies that I believed I can’t help but think that maybe something is wrong with me. I mean why didn’t I see it was all fake? Why did I believe everything he told me? How can I even trust myself again? How weak can I be to want to believe in the dream so bad that I didn’t see what was obviously in front of me? Why, when I knew what was going on, did I stay? Tonight the idea that it was all a lie is so hard to fathom because it felt so real.

I don’t even get to remember the good times with joy because the good times were all fake. There was nothing good, ever. It was all make believe. I know I will never understand why he is the way he is but I don’t understand why I allowed it to happen to me. He is so different now, so not the man I ever once knew, that it scares me. I can’t even look at a man without wondering what their underlying motive is. I don’t like feeling this way. I was always such a fun loving, carefree person and now I am filled with such hate and bitterness and resentfulness that I physically become ill at times.

All I can do is look back at this article and keep telling myself that what I thought was real wasn’t and that hurts my brain and my heart. Although I am strong in the no contact, I am so lost I don’t know what to do at times.

Katareaux
I totally understand how you feel. I also question myself often why I did not see how fake and “wrong” he was. Can you believe I held on to this marriage and dream for 20 years? When I got discarded over 7 months ago my entire world shattered into pieces. I now know that I will never get an answer or an appology. He easily moved on with his life with another woman. The difference from then to now is that I realize that he never loved or cared for his family . Most importantly I know that a man who is capable of inflicting such devastation not only on me but also on his only child, has no place in my life ever again. Marriage or a relationship is a commitment in which you put the other person or spouse before you . And by all means I am not perfect. I was a faithful, loving , supportive wife and I was thrown away like a piece of trash. I will never talk to this man in my life again. You will
Soon see that it gets a little easier with time. I know my heart is slowly healing because I now have piece in my life. And that is what God chose for me. Stay strong in your no contact.

Kataroux, there are very good biological reasons why you didn’t see that he was a fake. It’s the way our minds are designed. I was with a man for 3 years who – after the honeymoon phase ended – disrespected me all the time. I just took it and took it because I believed that deep down he really loved me like I loved him. Even when I hated him, deep down I believed we loved each other. I felt bonded to him and considered him my life mate. I honestly believed that he felt the same way, even though his behaviors said otherwise.

We believe the things that fit within our framework and belief system. We imagine that others are like us – basically motivated by love. So if they behave in ways incongruent to that, we convince ourselves that there is a reason – maybe we didn’t love them enough, if only we could be a better partner for them….. This is called “cognitive dissonance” – the little trick our mind plays on us so we can make some sense of a crazy, chaotic situation. It’s so foreign for us to believe that there could be a creature so dark and empty inside that they would toy with our feelings, use us and exploit us. But there are people like that out there. Rude awakening. Anyone who’s dated a spath learns this.

The other biological reason is oxytocin, that bonding hormone that is released when you have sex with someone. This creates a bond with the other person that is designed to keep people together in times of hardship.

You were just doing what you were designed to do as a human being. You didn’t know what a sociopath was. None of us did until we did.

Once again, so well put Stargazer!

And not just tricks of our own mind, but don’t forget the extra effort the sociopath puts into manipulating – even brainwashing a person to become even more attached than one would naturally be. At least that is the M.O. of mine.

I can so relate to this story. I would really like to find a support group of women in my area who have gone thru what I have…as stated in the story above, I so get it. I am tired of carrying around this residual pain, anger and resentment that my past relationship caused me. I so hope to be able to connect with other women who have experienced the hell I have.

The story of my life……so painful to read. That is the single hardest thing for me to deal with, and that is the acceptance that I was fooled into thinking I was loved for 10 years. I learned to live without the craziness of my relationship only because my spath got himself thrown into prison for 2 years and I got much needed time away from him and his manipulation of me. He did not know how to deal with it when I threw him out after all his lies were found out, but he just found new and improved ways to torture me. What I have found helpful, as in the above article “Was I ever loved” is to concentrate on the fact that HE IS NOT LIKE ME – He never acted or reacted in a similar way to show love like I did, which only made me try harder. Its still hard for me, especially since I have chosen to be alone, rather than go through this again. I think a group of others who have experienced the same kind of abuse would be helpful, not only for support in exiting a bad toxic relationship, but also for guidance in staying out and staying away from the same type of people. I thank God for this website everyday as it has been the only outlet for my anger frustration and hurt as well as a source of healing and helping others. Thank You Donna!

That’s so true. I was told so often that I was worthless, fat and ugly and dumb. Who else would want me in this world? Yes I was manipulated into thinking that I was a worthless wife who had to stay with him. It “only” took me 20 years to get my peace and freedom back. I feel lost sometimes and scared for the unseen future. But nothing will make me live his life full of deception and lies anymore. Just this morning a friend asked. “Why did you not leave him if he was so bad” “oh he lived you in his own way”. They just don’t get it. From now on I will only speak with people who know who he really was..

I’m so glad I found this site just this morning. I’ve been trying to recover from a devastating relationship with someone like who you are describing. I was only in it for six years so can’t even imagine how hard it has been for you to move on. Even after six years with one of these animals though I feel crippled. I have been in counseling but only felt more frustrated. It’s like people who have never been in this kind of relationship don’t have a clue what it’s like and how damaging it is. Moving on isn’t as easy as you’d expect. I have to move on though. I feel my life slipping by me. I’m afraid of everything and everyone. I expect to get hurt again by anyone I have any kind of relationship with and am skittish when anything goes wrong in even a friendship of family relationship. I can’t seem to get it through my head that there are good people out there who don’t mean to harm me or my family. If you want you can use me as a sounding board because I know what you went through. At one point I felt so crazy, scared and isolated that I attempted suicide. I still have health problems for all that I went through. I can’t shake the guilt and regret.

Hi Annajanna,
Welcome!Glad you found us,though sorry you needed to.Yes,such a relationship really does take a heavy toll on one’s physical and emotional health!

Unless you find a counselor who has had training about sociopaths,they usually won’t “get it”.Is there a domestic violence shelter in your town?They don’t just provide shelter;they also provide other services such as counseling and recognize other forms of abuse than physical battering-such as emotional and psychological abuse.

Be kind to yourself.It takes time to heal.Each person heals in their own time.Start by learning to relax.Listen to music.Enjoy smelling lavendar or some other scent.Watch the sunset.Rent some comedies and LAUGH!Put off new relationships right now.You will learn to trust again in time.

Thanks. I did go to the DV shelter to seek someone to go to court with me and she was very, very understanding and helpful but overwhelmed. Lots of DV where I used to live. I moved to get away from that psycho & where I live now I’m still picking up the pieces of my shattered life. It helps enormously to find women in my situation even if it’s online & not in person. My new friends here don’t understand either because they’ve never been through anything like what we went through and I can tell they get frustrated with me, but they are nice and good people to do things with. I did have a male friend here but he started getting too physical and now I want nothing to do with him. I can’t even stand to be touched by a man anymore unless it’s someone I totally trust, like an older gentleman who has a partner I know or family. I definitely felt very alone until this morning. I don’t think our situation is that common because although you see stuff like what we went through on TV programs and in the news, it happens only randomly. I know I’ve made quite a bit of progress but it’s hard to see some days. I could forget it all I think if there wasn’t the fear that he will come after me again and if my daughter was OK, which I am not sure she will ever be after being molested and chased behind my back for years, I don’t know. Anyway, thanks for this site and for women like you who understand. That alone helps me a lot.

Annajanna,
I’m glad you have friends that you’re able to do things with.And yes,this website is a life-line!You’re so right about another thing,our situation isn’t a common one.

I’m sorry to hear about what your daughter has been through.As a mother of three daughters,believe me,I have regrets and worries.But we’re here to help each other.One day at a time.One step at a time.

kaya48,
Do you know how you can differentiate between those who sincerely care and want to understand and those who are “just making noise”?
Those who sincerely care are not going to TELL you the WAY it WAS;they’re going to LISTEN and ask questions if you feel like talking.They’ll do research so they can understand.

I’m glad I found this site. I have wondered many times how many women there are out there just like me, women who loved someone who ruined their life.

I’m glad for this site also. I read it regularly and it is the only place I’ve found that understands how these people manipulate others and especially how the justice system offers absolutely NO PROTECTION! I’ve been involved with my sociopath 15 years now (thanks to shared custody by a corrupt justice system). It has been fairly quiet lately (always scary) but I think something is about to blow since his child is now getting older and doesn’t want to see him so often (she still does though).

I would love to go to court to get custody changed but since the court was corrupt (and after 30 visits I learned to give up) I don’t trust the system, and worse, I feel if he loses custody he will resort to something drastic since his child is the only possession he has left that he cares about. My child says he is angry all the time and I worry about her, but still feel it is safer to keep status quo than to try to take his favorite toy away. Two more years and she can legally “disappear”……

That’s the scariest part of involvement with one of these evil monsters, our kids. Kids are so vulnerable and how are they supposed to protect themselves? They need us to go to bat for them and to protect them and we depend on attorneys and courts to advocate on the child’s behalf, but so often the evil one wins because the court needs evidence in order to rule on anything and the evil one knows this and really can outwit the system. I too dealt with a corrupt system, from the police to the attorneys to the courts. With a previous husband I got fair rulings from a certain woman judge, with no attorney, but with the evil one I had to fight to get any protection at all and couldn’t find an attorney to represent me. He got an attorney right off the bat, more money I guess. I finally did get an attorney but laws weren’t in place to assure my protection so I left the area and can only hope police/lawyers/courts here can intervene on my behalf if he comes after me. But through it all, it’s not me I’m worried about, it’s the kids. Laws are still better than they were 20 years ago, but we still have a long way to go. In the minds of the evil ones, us and the children are only property just like two hundred years ago.

I know, I feel I let my child down because I could not protect her from years of shared custody with this monster but I finally ran out of funds and am now for the first time in my life on food stamps. 🙁

I had one good judge in my county that has been wonderful about granting my protective orders every two years (spath fights them but I still get them) but in the county the divorce happened they would not even give me a P.O.!

He has some mental illness along with the sociopathy (he is also quite paranoid and thinks everyone is out to get him) so if he doesn’t like the court rules, he won’t abide by them anyway. So if he loses her, I am sure he will come for us. So we are trying to bide our time since he has not been physically abusive towards her and soon she will have a job and won’t be able to visit as often anyway, and since that is not a rejection of him, I feel he will handle it better than if she goes to court and says she doesn’t want to see him. He gets quite violent at rejection and there is nowhere for us to hide right now……

You are so right about the courts, stillinshock. I have had to use every trick in my book to protect my youngest from my ex. I have been able to prevent him from visitation (spath has a compulsive porn habit–will NOT allow my son near that!) through sheer willpower. My son is now 17, so my days of worry are numbered…at least that worry!
Re: the courts. My ex took me to court to have his child support reduced–because I told his client that he had embezzled from her, and she fired him! And the judge did reduce it! Unbelievable. Though I will say, I do think the judge’s sympathy was mainly with me. I may appeal it, but not sure. It’s hard to keep fighting, right??

It is hard to keep fighting. You get worn out. You have to make it a point to document though. Courts can’t do anything with no evidence. Maybe you can infiltrate the porn site and catch him that way, like one of those x-rated dating sites, and record him on it. Could come back to bite you though as his attorney could ask why YOU were on there. Hard one. Almost need to be a detective or police officer to deal with these jerks. The porn is worrisome though as your son could think it’s acceptable behavior. Dangerous people on those sites. Predators.

Can you imagine I have to deal with a divorce from a sociopath who is a police officer. It makes everything triple worse. I protected my son also from my husbands porn addiction. After my 17 year old son saw his so called “father” exchanging nude photos with a female deputy so young she could be his daughter, he lost all respect for him. He definetely does not accept this behavior, I am so glad this evil person/monster is out of our life. I am on day 82 no contact with divorce proceedings in progress. I am so proud of myself for taking this huge step. My son will be a better person, husband and father than he ever was. Because to us he is nothing. Never existed and never will be of any worth.

I imagine that dealing with a police officer spath is similar to my situation of dealing with a spath that is part of the legal community here. Even my application to “legal aid” here was turned down. “They” said because my case was too complex. The translation: “he is part of the legal community so we won’t touch that with a 10 foot pole”. All my money was gone. Spent by him on his kids and himself. For 3 of the 5 years we were married, he had no job. I found out later that he had been hiding money from me all along. During this time my health continued to decline to the point that I had to quit work, and apply for disability. Anyway, for the divorce, I ended up with a friend of a friend, pro bono lawyer, that did absolutely nothing.

Interesting that my spath was addicted to porn too. Is this typical? What is the psychology of that?

Mine had his child support reduced 3 times. It went from $400 per month now to $150 and he still does not pay. He saves every receipt he buys something for her to prove he is “paying” for her but she doesn’t need expensive boots, she needs food and school supplies…..

It is difficult to keep fighting especially when you feel you are fighting the justice system as well as your sociopath. Plus, it is insane to keep expecting different results from the same behaviors so I have finally given up on getting anywhere in court. I am trying to figure other ways to keep her safe until she can finally get away….

Hey, what if the spath was Not attentive at the beginning but was more distant? He has all the makings of the spath but the beginning fireworks were not there? Was it that he knew I did not require that so he chose different tactics???? Just wondering

You don’t have to fireworks and with mine….he has always been somewhat emotionally distant. He has sociopathy along with something else. He was only diagnosed with the sociopathic tendencies but the doctor said he had another underlying disorder but would need to see him more to diagnose it and ex-spath quit going.

I definitely saw what LOOKED like caring and compassion for my ex’s children and grandchildren. Turned out he was only talking about it, on facebook, to other people, bragging how wonderful they are so that people would be impressed. Truth was, he didn’t even go to the hospital with his daughter’s son’s birth and then posted in the middle of the night about his name and weight all like he was there when he really wasn’t. I was there but I could see the hurt in the kids eyes that he again, was letting them down. It was over and over this way. They would call and he was say, “Yeah what do you need”? And they would talk a few minutes and he was say, “Is that all”? They rarely called and later I knew why, didn’t even call him on Father’s Day or his birthday and I always thought that was strange. When they would visit, he hardly interracted with them at all. On facebook you would think he was father and grandfather of the year.

Karen,

No–you don’t need complete fireworks. Mine was emotionally distant, as well. But he did move in on me quickly (HUGE red flag) and verbalize things he knew were important to me: wanting family, a home, etc. Sadly, my background as the child of at least one narcissist (and the other parent at least self-involved and depressed) left me with very low expectations. So my ex–who was withholding by nature–found the perfect patsy. I made few demands. I’m sure he was thrilled to find such a self-sacrificing partner. At least at first! But I grew over the years and gradually figured out that I did not have to subjugate my needs to others. Plus, I started to see cracks in his armor. Needless to say, that’s when things went south. And now I’m trying to pick the pieces up after almost 30 years! Ugh. Glad I got out, but unfortunately it’s hard to get completely shed of these vipers.

It’s unbelievable how these stories are so much the same.I know it will be very difficult to fight him in court. I have no other choice. Nobody like that stays married to me. The day he left after I exposed his affair, he left his wedding ring on the counter and told me he did not love me anymore. This is how I was discarded after over 20 years. But the worst that happened is that he continued telling our only son that he had no choice but leaving, because I am a crazy psycho bitch. My son is so smart though and knows his true person and decided he wants nothing to do with his “father”. That was almost 8 months ago. I know there will never be an apology or an explanation and I accept this. My 18 year old son and I will move on, we cut off all contact and we enjoy our peace and freedom. Just a few days ago my son told me that out life is so much better without him and that he is truly happy now. Right then I knew filing for divorce was the best decision I ever made. 🙂

I wonder if life is sweeter now because you are free of the psychodrama? I know I appreciate that part, but can’t get over the regret of the wasted years and damage to my kids. I keep working on them, trying to make it all better, but know our relationship would be better, we’d all be healthier, and that we’d have more money than if I’d never met him. But, like another poster said, I had no self-esteem from being raised to think I was unimportant at best, and maybe I was just psychobait and no matter what would have wound up with a sociopath. I’ve had plenty in my life but wasn’t pretty enough to be focused on by any but the pedophile psychopath who was after my daughters all along and just used me and my low self-esteem to get to them. Hopefully in another year I’ll be put back together. I’ll keep working on it.

It would be interesting to find out now long recovery takes for different people. I suppose it has a lot to do with support network, if involved in counseling, if work is good, etc.

I have been abused by a sociopath 11 years..he left me for a woman who was my friend and a narcassist or socipath as well.-..-.just hav one question…it says they usually look for victims like myself who are loving, giving etc…how is it possible my ex chose a woman like himself??? Isn’t this unusual and does it last??

My soon to be Ex also chose a woman/girl like himself, a narcissistic person. I found that very interesting. She is just the opposite from me, loud, selfish, cold and manipulative. I would think they would chose a compassionate person. I am sorry to read your story. 11 years is along time, mine was almost 20. My counselor told me not to waste any time thinking or judging the new/other woman. It was my husbands responsibility to keep his commitment and morales but he chose not to . So the blame belongs 99 percent to the cheating spouse. After 8 months now I am at a pretty good place and verb though I will never forgive in my heart I don’t think about him/them anymore . After all they are guilty and they must live with that burden. Not that it would bother them in any way but he is the one who lost his beautiful, smart, loving son.

mine actually told me after that she was bd and he was unhappy..but after 2 years now I still am so sad and try to find WHY he did this to me..

bella65,
The reason he did it is because he is disordered.He cheated on you.He abused you even before that.So his being unhappy is HIS problem!It’s not your fault.Look in the mirror and repeat those words everyday until you BELIEVE them!

Start doing the things in life that bring you joy.They don’t have to be things that cost alot of money.Wear makeup.Do something different with your hair.Polish your nails.Buy yourself some flowers.Listen to music you love.Walk.Watch the sunset.These are things we couldn’t do as abused women.

Bella, imagine a life where your sex drive and drive for power are completely cut off from your heart. So when you get bored, impatient, or lose control over your love object, it’s easy to just discard them and move on to the next shiny object. These people are not comfortable in their own bodies – they are constantly bored and seeking excitement. They have no sense of self. They are very disconnected, even from themselves. So what they say and do may seem sincere at the time. But they are not grounded, so what they say is not reliable. What they do is not predictable. This is probably the best explanation I can offer for “why he did this to you.” The biggest thing you should know is that it’s not personal. It really has NOTHING to do with you. It’s just what they do. They will do it with the next love interest, too. They are not capable of deep, sustaining love, as you are.

stargazer. this makes complete sense. Hubby just seems to be a shell. He copies what others’ say even people on the radio. He quotes people like they are his own words. he fakes kind words to his daughter and acts eerily happy when I see him (we are divorcing) It’s so creepy.

I don’t know what kind of person the spath that ruined me & my daughter’s lives ended up with, but based on what I’ve seen other really, really selfish awful men choose for a partner, if they do choose someone like them, the relationship does last because they have respect for cold, selfish, manipulative, money-hungry women. They understand that. Also, there’s the psychology of trying to get what you can’t, in that some men prefer a challenge and trying to get an emotionally cold woman to love them is a challenge they will subjugate themselves to for a long, long time. A happy, loving, giving relationship is out of their understanding. They only understand ruthlessness and control. How does that saying go, “you get back what you put out there”? All the men I’ve been involved with are to some degree cold and selfish if not outright sociopathic (I am one of those nurturing, responsible, loving mother types) and all of these men have lost their children. Kids usually have no respect for a man who disrespects their mother and women in general. These men will spend their later years alone because no one trusts them, or they will spend their later years watching the bank accounts and their back because of the sociopath woman they wound up with.

My ex actually confided in me even when his new woman moved in ..he told me hpow she was his punishment and was given to him to shpw him hell–he praised me and foul mouthed her…one year this went on behind her back…until I confronted him…then he dissapeared..,,he just used me to buy time with her..tp see if it will work out…when he had no where to go he went NC,,,,this hurt me even more han before….I am starting to live again but his image is imprinted in my soul….he promised me heaven as she moved into his house….lies and more lies towards me and her…do they even know how to be honest?

Nolongersilent,

Yes–the open is pretty much a given. They are selfish users–and unable, of course, to sustain a real relationship.

the worst part is everyone believes they are wonderful.. so therefore something is wrong with you… really?????

Exactly. I just wanted to be loved and have a normal life for my kids and I.

Oops! Meant “porn” above, not “open”. Must have been auto-complete. OMG–is anyone else feeling scattered and crazy all of the time?!
🙂

i appreciate the definition of love. This really helped me. thanks.

“Love is not a feeling of attachment. Love is not romantic feelings. Love is not the high feelings you experience at the beginning of a relationship when it is new and super-affirming by the good feelings you get and the best selves you’re putting forward. Love is not a “feeling” at all; it is an action”

It is so true what you say about ‘thinking the S operates the same way as you do’. That has been my downfall all these years… Thinking i could make him understand how he made me feel, thinking he cared about making the marriage work and be healthy.Thinking he suffered like i did.
I realized recently he doesn’t care AT ALL about these things because it’s not hurting him and he’s not bothered by it at all. I am no longer falling for his ‘token gesture’s’ as evidence that he does care – I realize I am just conditioned by his lack of care.

I think the porn addiction is a given because they have no respect and compassion for anyone. They are selfish and it’s all about them. To the question is it easier now that he is out if my life? Absolutely it is so much more peaceful and drama free. After I got discarded I went through many stages of denial, hurt, anger, sadness and finally acceptance. I totally accept now that the marriage is over. I do feel almost guilty of letting him abuse me for so long. But the truth is that it tooke to be discarded by him to realize this. The hardest part of all this is that he kept telling my son that he had no other choice but leaving because I am a “crazy psycho bitch”. But of course my son who is 18 knows better than to believe something like that . He know that his father is a sociopath and we cut if all contact except through lawyers. Having minor children might be different but just provide them with nod loving parent and they will see the truth. To be honest these last 7 or 8 months have been a battle but every day it gets easier and again no material asset is worth being abused and mistreated. Today I am thankful for the coworker to have an affair with him. She did me the greatest favor in the world. Because of her me left me and I found myself again. My son and I will be ok no matter what. He can live in his misery full of porn, emptiness and so on. One day he will have to answer for his actions and it will not be pretty .

I wish my husband’s computer were impounded! That way the hardrive would be checked;I’d love to know if he is addicted to porn! I only know of one time for sure that he was looking at something he shouldn’t have been looking at.

Blossom, you can bet on it. These guys are all the same–self-centered base individuals. Ugh.

Every day of my life since I heard the words “I never really loved you, not in the way a man loves a woman”….something inside me recoiled, and crawled into a deep dark place.

In 15 minutes, he booked a flight to Europe, spent two weeks hammering at me to empty the bank account for him, and left.

That was 3 years ago. I kept him in our company, paid him, listened to him, and slowly began to pull away, however in truth, and not until very recently did this concept fully sink in. My life changed forever on a dime, in that moment.

It was crystal clear, but the pain that I became a prisoner to in the years I spent as his wife, and then his bleeding prisoner, was unreal.

I picked up the phone and very quietly but emphatically fired him, called him to the carpet on everything he did, even though he denied it all, blamed it on me and asked me to not hurt his new lady and her kids by making him financially bankrupt. I could care less. There are three little words that keep me sane….”YOU DID THIS”…

I remember days with no light, weeks with darkness, months where everything I valued in life crawled to a halt and simply stopped. I had to rewire the love mechanism inside of me to accept this.

And most importantly, to accept that I dreamed an ideal of a man in my head so that in reality I could suffer the indignities he flung at me in everyday living.

If there is anything we can learn as a group, as individuals, each suffering to understand, to find some light? It is that they do not feel what you do, and find peace with that, let go. Walk back into the light and reclaim those parts of yourself that were you before him. Do not let this man or woman steal the sunshine you so deservedly should walk in.

Build your life. God it hurts, so deep. Yes it does. But to all of you from me, you can understand this and move from it.

HurtTerribly…

Thanks so much for sharing. Your written word is wonderfully expressive and in many ways, mirrors my own thoughts and feelings.

In knowing that they do not feel what we do is truly the peace we need to let go. And yes, it is terribly difficult. But we can come out much stronger, much wiser!

carolann

I was with a man for 11 years..who cheated 5 times of that I know of..last timeit was 2 years ago when we bought a house and he wanted a child..in the mist of my euforia he wnet behind my back with my friend..I wanted ti die…after 2 weeks she moved in and after 3 weeks he called me talking bad behind her back ..wanting us back again..its been 1 year now he has called, promised and been so kind..but I saw through him this summer nad found the strenght to confront him..He dissapeared and ignores me now 3 months…what kind of person does this??? not one day goes by that I ask myself how can a peson do this..his new love is a narc-.–she is the same as him…he always talked shit about her…they look so happy and are together all year..he has changed with her..as far as I see anyway…can they change if they meet someone new?? I am crushed

Maybe they last longer because they have a mutual admiration society going, but one will work hard to do exactly the same thing to the other. Its their modus operandi.

My ex husband spent his entire life doing this and I never knew this until AFTER he left, when all the well meaning friends came forward.

Of course you are crushed. You should be, you were hurt. Im sorry. I’d love to hear an expert weigh in on relationships between sociopaths. It sort of reminds me of grifters who scam together, that kind of thing, they search for higher highs, and they love it, until one of them scams the other.

yes they are the same..she has lived her life cheating and using men as he has women…so they came together…I am still shocked because I never tahught he would choose such a woman…the other woman he cheated with were highly educated and loving as I have found out later on..this one is the mirror image of him..depressed, suicidal and cold.-a lonewolf as he is..I have tired to contact him just to get a closing on all this he has ignored me 3 months now…I would never know what makes him do this….

Very well put. It sounds like you need this site as much as I do. Keep checking in. It’s really weird, but since I found this site last week my life has improved tremendously. It’s like I was lost and couldn’t find the path to get back to living. I had tired of trying to find the path and had shut down. I was not living but felt each passing day go by and think “I’m closer to death.” Then, the day before yesterday I was out and about, dressed in my working clothes (old jeans, old shirt) with no makeup and everywhere I went people were laughing, smiling, talking to me, and these are people I’ve never seen before in my life (I live in a big city) and will never see again. It’s like my life changed overnight. I was letting that sicko control me and ruin my life, but finding a community of fellow former prisoners has helped me so much. Note: ALL OUR STORIES ARE BASICALLY THE SAME!!!! Hang in there sister. Make a conscious effort to get the evil out of your life and start living a good life with purpose again.

Hurts Terribly,

What an eloquent expression of his evil and your pain. But how brave you are. You dug deep and did what you knew was right. And did not allow yourself to be swayed by his manipulations. You are really an example of the strength inside all of us. Thank you for your insights.

Thank you for your words of inspiration. I can tell you I argue, I have a running internal dialog about how I handled this. I feel that I let my family down for so many years, by allowing us to be a prisoner and watching my children get hurt in the process. It comes with a price, and that is the balancing act to stay sane. I would have said to you 12 years ago I would never consciously do anything to hurt my children, and in the process of all this I did. I made a horrible choice in partner, partly because I am a very trusting loyal, loving partner, and also because I put hubris ahead of those kids. Wanton hubris. I wanted to be loved so specially, so uniquely, that rare kind of love I looked for all my life. My goodness it was rare indeed. To be tortured by a psychotic sociopath. I have to be honest, to hide my part in the complicity is to deny that it existed. Every day I work with both of them, to understand the loss, the abuse, the reasoning, and to get them to understand that I am fully aware, I AM HERE NOW. One child is in therapy, finally. The other has a real love hate connection with SPath and me, he doesn’t want to give up the dream of the man he idolized. I work on him in bits and pieces, and he is growing into a strong beautiful young man, all I can hope for. But I will be with them, helping them until I am ASBOLUTELY sure they walk into the light, and embrace themselves with love.

You probably feel as I do that you could recover so much easier if there weren’t children in the middle of the mess. That’s what I feel most badly about, what he did to one of my kids, molestation and verbal/psychological abuse. I will never get over the guilt. However, she seems to have moved on. She seems a lot more insecure than she should be, but I think she’ll build a good life eventually.

You’re doing the right thing, focusing on getting them to a good place. One book that I bought for my daughter is Dr. Phil’s Life Code. If you haven’t read it, you should. Also, “The Sociopath Next Door” is a real good read. I can identify these parasites now and have none in my life, but I sure wish I knew then what I know now.

Keep the faith. Hopefully if you look back you can see how much you’ve recovered and that might give you hope and strength for the next stage of the journey. I learned to knit and that really helped, and I take classes in random subjects just because.

I am getting her the book, and thank you for the reading materials and support. Its funny what we “choose” to do! I smiled from ear to ear, because I started taking random classes 🙂 I like being with people again, I have to form an identity outside this miasma, and learn to be with people. I struggled a long time with thoughts of terrible unworthiness, and really had trouble coping with being a part of the human race.

I take the classes of course, in subjects I love, books, spiritual wellness, I train 4x a week pretty hard, run 3 miles a day, but its more about re-integrating socially. It seemed a very hard thing to do, its like you walk in a room with a giant scarlet “S” on your chest. Its starting to fade, I have to keep trying.

Thank you, for posting and for the support.

Wow, it’s really too bad we don’t live close together. What you went through had to have been identical to what I went through because I feel the same way. I isolated myself almost completely for three years. I met a really nice man who treated me better than any man had since college, but he turned out to have wandering eyes and last winter I found out he’s very, very heavy into porn, hard-core stuff, so I broke up with him and haven’t talked to him since. Needless to say that relationship actually did nothing for my self-esteem and I shut down again. It’s hard to maintain any kind of relationship when your self-worth is nonexistent from all the abuse you suffered. I can’t say I’m much better but I’m keeping myself entertained with all the stuff I’m involved in. I know life is short and it’s important to be happy, but you have to heal first and learn to treat yourself good, which also means not associating with mean people and it’s a long lesson just learning what their characteristics are when they are like chameleons and are predators, so shutting down to figure this out might be essential. We were hurt in the worst way and bandaged ourselves with isolation while the wounds healed. But, we will have the scars for the rest of our lives. Ne pas?

I find I keep coming back to this article to remind myself that what I had with the Spath was not real to him at all. I have heard that my Spath has quit smoking, gives his money to his new interracial girlfriend (of which he was totally against when he was with me), shows affection toward her, is getting his “act” together, and looking for better employment. All of the things he would not do with me he is doing for someone else in just a months time after throwing away 7 years. If it were not against the law I would kill him just for hurting me and making me feel like my feelings don’t mean a thing. I know, my feelings never meant anything to begin with, but still.

I will always maintain NC with that man, but I will never forgive him for doing such a horrible thing to someone who loved him so completely. I know I am better off without him and I even feel better without him. It is just so hard to believe that after all the years of wanting him to do “the right thing” and the moment he discards me he begins to do what I always asked him to do.

I just feel like a piece of trash tonight and am just mystified that someone would do such a thing to another human being. I was so darn good to that man, to good if you want to know the truth, and it was all for naught. Just…..WOW! Love…..I can’t seem to get that right and when I think I have it figured out……it turns out to be totally fake.

kataroux,
It is hurting you to hear that your ex is “getting his act together” finally.He really isn’t.It’s just as fake as the relationship that he had with you.As soon as he starts getting bored with her,he’ll start slipping.Right now everything is new and exciting.Especially because he either knows or is pretty sure you’re hearing about!That excites him!So what can you do about that?! Show him you could care less!!!

Blossom:

I know he is fake and everything he does is fake but it does piss me off that he “seems” to be so happy by just walking away from the life he had with me. I know that he will never be truly happy in life but that does not make me feel better…lol. I don’t want to think about him anymore but the back of my mind tries so hard to understand that it is a constant thought. I know he knows I am getting word about his “happiness” because he is telling crap to my ex-husband.

I am trying to move on with my life and figure out who I am. Today makes day 8 of NC and I feel good about it. I honestly don’t ever want to see or talk to that man again. However, it still makes me feel like a huge piece of garbage. I guess I will never understand.

Kataroux, you’re not fake! You’re real, you count, you exist. Never let spath wipe that out of you. I dont know if this makes sense, even though you feel like a piece of trash, you’re not. What you are feeling, and experiencing is authentic, real and very human. Its also the best part of you, because you are able to express it honestly and openly, sharing it with all of us here. Nobody can take that from you.

HurtTerribly:

I know I am not fake and I count but it does just, simply, hurts my heart that someone I loved so completely. I am trying not to feel like garbage but it is hard. I just want to physically hurt him so bad sometimes.

But, you are right. I am a good person and deserve to be happy in this world.

Oh god sweetie it hurts….it hurts on levels I didn’t think even existed. IT wouldn’t stop, night, day, I would dream so it would follow me.

In my situation he left for another country, I could never GET at him. And I wanted to just lunge…….I think these are normal feelings. This is what keeps us alive. What makes us not quit.

There are moments now that I fight myself. I am still amazed that one person, one man, could do this.

I read an interesting book years ago called “Bioenergetics” by Alexander Lowen. Lowen was very well-known body worker who worked with the breath and various exercises to release blocked energy in the body.

He talks about the different types of body armoring and the corresponding personality disorders. One of the types is the sociopath. According to Lowen, the sociopath has most of his energy displaced up near his head because he/she is very concerned with control. He claims you will often see a sociopathic “body type” where the upper body is big and towers over the lower body. In this type, he says, the person is capable of love AS LONG AS HE IS IN CONTROL OF THE OBJECT OF HIS LOVE. This is pretty much what the article here is saying. In this type, there is an energetic blockage between the upper and lower half of the body. The upper body is actually disconnected from the lower body, so the person is not grounded, and does not connect sex with the heart. My stepfather was very much like this, right down to the exact body type – small legs and big upper body. I think there may have been a second body type for a different kind of sociopath, but I’d have to check.

He also talks about the oral personality, the narcissistic personality, the schizoid personality, and the rigid personality. Each one of these has a different physical “type” to correspond with the location of energetic blockages in their body, and each one having been traumatized at a different age range in childhood.

The implications are that if a person can become grounded – i.e., release these blockages in their body – they can become whole and healthy. I am on the fence about this regarding sociopaths, after being on this site for so long. But Lowen did work with them and claimed they could heal.

This is interesting.

Wow that is so interesting about the upper body and lower body. It totally applies to my soon to be ex. Katareaux, him getting his act together is just a fake temporarily act. They will never get “their act together”. Don’t waste your time thinking of him any longer. Try to accept the truth that he discarded you. As harsh as it sounds it will help you heal. I used to ask the question WHY? over and over. You will never, ever get an appology or an explanation. Now I focus on myself and my son. The spath has no place in our life anymore. He does not deserve any thoughts. I do agree with you about the hate part. I do hate this man for putting me through hell. But I survived and he will not destroy me. Even his so called “cop powers” won’t be enough.

Stargazer I think its fascinating there are body types associated with personality disorders. Wow……Id love to know more and am going to look up the author. Thank you for sharing.

Kaya…..”The spath has no place in our life anymore. He does not deserve any thoughts”. Its how I started to reclaim my life, in bits and pieces. Every time something familiar would strike me, a song, a show, a movie….I would force myself to go back BEFORE he came into my life, and accept who I was and who I am, I reclaimed those things for me instead of shunning them. I have to work on that every day though. I am also careful to avoid the ones that make me recoil back into that corner.

Kataroux,
When you were with him did you ever play-act as though things were just peachy when they definitely were not? Well public pretense might be what you’re observing in the two of them.

Public appearance vs. private reality…might not be the same!

Try to not be concerned about the “fun” he seems to be having with someone else. Perhaps to observers the two of you appeared happy at times when you were feeling miserable…you put on a good show…I’ve often done that. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover…that applies to sociopaths in relationships too!

I keep coming back to this article “was I ever loved?” I think it is one if the best written explanation here on lovefraud. It makes so much sense. How they can just go on and never look back. Because they are so fake my entire marriage did not exist to him. Just go on and get a new victim. It’s unbelievable. I wish I found this website 8 months ago, I would have handled things so differently. The first few weeks I begged this man to come back. Now I am thinking why? So he can abuse me some more, so he can devalue me, so he can put me down, make me feel worthless, so he can blame me, lie, manipulate , cheat and betray, devalue my son. I am so at peace now and I accept the fact that I was married to him and that I was just a nice convenience for him. Good things happen to good people, the evil ones will live in misery . Katareaux you will find peace soon. It does take time, keep your strength and let them have their “fun”. Behind closed doors it probably is anything but fun for her .

I too keep coming back to this article.I’s hard to comprehend that u can be with someone fill with emptiness of emotions for a long time – it really takes a toll on your mind body and soul. I been 10 month on and off with this special kind of species and only when i told him what his problem was – that he has a socio disorder did he stop tormenting me-actually i send him the definition

Of what a sociopath was – he actually thanked me and wrote that he was going to read up about it and see if he could change lol. The good news is he has not send me text since then .i cant lie- i do look for them is like and addiction- it takes a long time to recover- 12 yrs is a long time – i just hope it doesn’t take that long to recover.

tvomptis
They don’t change. I tried to change my cop husband for 20 years. At one point he knew he had a problem and we went to marriage counseling for about 6 sessions. I actually had hope during this time. The truth was that he carried on with his affair while going to counseling. Even there he lied and blamed me. My advise is to get out of this relationship as soon as you can. I waited 20 years to realize that I adapted to this abuse. I always thought it was “normal” unt I discovered the porn addiction, the affair, untily son and I were discarded. I filed for divorce because I know I cannot let another person disrespect me like that. I hope you will come out ok. It takes a long time to recover and I don’t wish this to anyone. The no contact is the best way to go.

I think spaths get “infatuated” with ideas rather than people, they approach the love thing from an angle, whats in it for me, what will I get out of it, and how long will it take me to achieve my goal. When it doesn’t stay as rosy as they like it, or they find the goal unobtainable for them, they cut and run or they make your life hell.

It will always, always stick in my craw, that he didn’t love me. After all that, there was no love, there was only what I dreamed up. Hard to swallow sometimes.

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