By | November 12, 2012 84 Comments

What feels like pain is really progress

Lovefraud recently received the following letter from a reader whom we’ll call “Cassandra.” My reply follows the letter.

I don’t even know where to begin but I’ll try and make it short. Won’t be sweet though.

I am a long time advocate of Lovefraud. I was a victim of a psychopath over 7 years ago. I was with him for 5 years, we had a house together, dogs, like a married couple. Finally a girl confronted me and told me he was living a double life, as well as having sex with both men and women. And I was not shocked. Just angry at myself for not facing the truth for so long. I ended the relationship. He tried to get me back. I got a restraining order. To this day he still tries to email and call me every few months. I’ve accepted that I will have to deal with that for the rest of my life.

Fast forward to now. It has been 3 years since I have even considered dating, or even touching a man. I am a brilliant career woman. I am successful, make decent money ”¦ and live totally alone. I am scared of men, afraid to date, but am getting tired of not having any male companionship. So, for the first time in 3 years since I was with the psychopath, I went out on a date. First time.

It was an incredible date. Gorgeous guy, even though he looked like a computer nerd. Glasses, Jewish, intellectual, shy, artistic and unfortunately the kind of man I crave. Incredible connection, incredible sex, and I was the one in fact telling him that we needed to take this slower. Except ”¦ he knew exactly what to do. Constant texts, wanting to see me immediately the next day, insisting that he wanted a relationship with me and then changing his tune an hour later saying he wasn’t sure, etc.

At first, I was disgusted and knew I didn’t need any of this crap. I called him on the bluff and told him let’s just back off. 24 hours later, I was the one wondering what he was doing and where he was. He would say “I’m going to see you this afternoon,” and then he wouldn’t show. I would get a text at 10 pm saying his brother was in the hospital and perhaps I am available “tomorrow?” I would fret and stress, wondering if my own paranoia was keeping me trusting this individual, and that this certainly couldn’t happen to me two times in a row that I would date a psychopath. So I gave him the benefit of the doubt and said sure. The next day he did not show. He texted again saying something came up but he’d love to see me that night. With false hope, I agreed but didn’t bet on it.

That night, I was more anxious and worried than ever before. I sat there on my couch, the house all cleaned, the fire going, a perfect romantic atmosphere. I sat there, and 9 pm came and went. I called and texted “Are you on your way?” No response. At 10 pm I turned off the music, the lights, and found myself just staring at the fireplace. I was in what I call a shock of realization.

I turned off the lights, went to bed, lay there until 2 am. At some point I just broke and cried.

Donna, I wasn’t even looking for this. I was not even looking for someone to suddenly “love” me. I just wanted to meet someone who would appreciate who I was on the inside, without being impressed by my career. I just wanted a night just one night of being with a man and having good conversation, good talk, and affection. And that one person that I reached out to after years and years of not dating due to being with a psychopath ”¦ turned out to be another one.

I woke up this morning with my eyes hurting from crying and just drained, as if I have been up for weeks without any sleep. I got up, did coffee, lay on the couch and suddenly broke down and sobbed again. And I can’t help but sob to myself, even though I know I shouldn’t ”¦ that “I’m so stupid.” I am so stupid. I am so stupid. I absolutely hate myself right now, and I hate that I am talented. I hate that I am successful. I hate that I am pretty. I hate that I am a target. I hate that I can’t relate to anyone with the lonely road I take with work. I hate that I am not understood. And most especially, I hate that a psychopath got me the minute I snuck out of my hole after three years.

Now I’m back in the hole. Feeling stupid. Feeling more alone than before. And more hopeless than before. And that I gave all my built up talent and energy to a stranger that got drunk off it, and is doing god knows what with it right now to someone else.

I hope to get over this again as well, but I can’t stop crying and I can’t stop staring at the floor and just whispering, I’m so stupid.

Am I destined to be alone? Working career woman, never being appreciated for who she is on the inside and only being admired on the outside? That means nothing to me. And the minute that I show my true self ”¦ it’s a psychopath that eats it up. Why am I here on this planet if this is always going to be the case?

Dear Cassandra,

I am so very sorry that, on the very first time you looked for companionship again, you ran into another psychopath. It is so painful. I know exactly how you feel, because I’ve been there, or at least someplace similar. It really hurts.

You demand of yourself, the universe or whatever higher power you believe in, “Why me? What did I do wrong? Why did this happen again? How long will this go on? Haven’t I paid enough? Am I destined to remain alone and unloved for the rest of my life? Why can’t I catch a break? When will it be over?

I’d like to offer a different perspective of your most recent experience: I think you’re making progress.

Here is what has happened: You were ready to take the next step in your healing. And that step was to access, and excavate, the residual pain still buried within you from your first psychopathic ex. Or, perhaps there was an incident of betrayal the even predates that first relationship maybe something from your family of origin, or a relationship from your youth. Whatever it was, you were still walking around with negative energy within you, and it was time for the energy to come out.

The universe has a funny way of helping us release our pain: It gives us more pain. It presents us with an opportunity to get our hopes up, believe magic will come, and then it all comes crashing down. With that, the thin dam that was holding back the residual pain bursts, and all we can do is cry.

That’s exactly what you did. You broke down and sobbed.

If you were to look at this incident from a “rational” standpoint, you’d wonder why you reacted so badly. After all, you didn’t spend much time with the guy. He was a jerk pretty much from the beginning, so it’s not like you had a lot invested.

So why did it hurt so badly? Because of all your old pain, the disappointment from the past that you’re still carrying around. Because you so wanted a change.

Here’s my advice: Roll with it. Allow yourself to feel the pain, disappointment and betrayal. Honor the experience. You’re cleaning out the old wounds—and once you do, you’ll be in a much better place to attract a new relationship.

As the negative emotions dissipate, replace them with joy. Notice joy wherever you can perhaps in a lovely view, the affection of a pet, a checkout clerk who’s nice to you. Then, feel gratitude for the moment of joy.

Eventually, if you keep going, the balance will shift. You’ll feel less pain and more joy. And then you’ll be ready for a wonderful new relationship.

I promise you, this is not a setback. It is a step in your healing.

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Ox Drover


Thanks for sharing your story of being “scammed again”—if you’ll look at my last article it is about guess what??? GETTING SCAMMED AGAIN, FALLING FOR A LOVE BOMB! It happens because we want to believe it when someone says nice things to us, in business or love, doesn’t matter which.

So do what Donna suggested, look at the good things in the situation. You learned another valuable lesson. You are also ABLE TO FEEL which is a good thing and even feeling the OLD PAIN is a good thing, because it will help you heal from the old pain/injury from the past so that in the future you won’t be as likely to get really SOLIDLY HOOKED BY A PSYCHOPATH.

You “got off light” this time, you weren’t married to the jerk, or didn’t have a kid together or buy a house together—

The lessons come when we need them and I’m glad that you are feeling the lesson….but it is progress! So hang in there! (((hugs)))


Stay out of bed.

first off congratulations on being a brilliant career woman. You have one goal down, now you just need to work on the other goal: becoming who you need to be to attract the right man.

Donna’s advice is right on. We do keep repeating the same patterns over and over because there is still something for us to learn about OURSELVES.

I was talking to a friend who had been involved with a spath and she said that she still hurts so much that he couldn’t love her. We compared notes about our involvement with spaths and we both realized that this pain of not having our love reciprocated, originates from the first time it happened when our MOTHERS couldn’t love us. We tried so hard to make our mothers love us but we ultimately failed. Then we went out and found men who also couldn’t love us, so that we could try again. and we failed again.

None of this was done consciously. Somehow, our subconscious picks up on little clues about people, something FAMILIAR, (from the root word for family) something that reminds us of the first person who couldn’t love us. But all this is going on under our own radar.

You are a smart woman, you will find a way to peel back the layers of how you came to be in this situation. You are NOT stupid, just a bit lopsided right now. You’re going to succeed and be happy.

Louise, we posted past each other. Your advice is excellent and succinct. 🙂

the sisterhood

Cassandra, I totally agree with Skylar. I was very angry when I was first told that the pain I was feeling from my ex-spath wasn’t really all from him. I was like, “Um, yes it was and how dare you suggest otherwise.” I was stuck thinking that if I didn’t attribute all my pain to him that somehow my experience with him wasn’t as bad as it was.

The truth as I see it now is that my ex-spath slowly opened the window to me seeing the truth about my family of origin and the extreme pain I endured but was never allowed to express. That in no way invalidates what a tremendous a-hole my ex-spath was to me and all of the emotional abuse I endured because of him. He was bad news for me and I am still healing from that. But I am now able to see that the pain goes beyond him and includes the pain of all the rejections before him.

I don’t want to say that I am happy that I experienced such devastation from my ex-spath, but I am relieved to finally see things for what they are. You see, by being educated about my ex-spath and all the disorderedness that he is, I was able to finally understand all of the other influential disordered people in my past. Especially my parents.

A whole new healing started to take place along with the healing from that one relationship. All of it is helping me understand who I am, what I have endured, and what I want for my life going forward.

It’s hard to see any lesson when you’re in the midst of deep despair and pain. But I truly believe the lessons are there just waiting for you to discover them. Be patient and gentle with yourself. I’m confident you’re at the beginning of a beautiful journey.

Blessings and peace to you.


Hi Cassandra,

You don’t deserve this and you did nothing wrong and Donna knows how to explain it best while the others above chime in who have years of experience watching this and learning hard lessons and then applying them to their lives. That’s the part where being successful in your career helps you know you too CAN do this.

I am a bit concerned about Skylars lesson above about not getting our mothers to love us! YIKES, I very clearly in my mind gave myself ONE SHOT to accomplish this and it scares me that I know I thought that long ago. I held on to #1 for many, too many years for that reason. I hope I didn’t really set myself up for just ONE SHOT cause I blew that!

OxD, Makes a good point that with this lesson you got out quickly and without too much damage. The move I made to ‘start dating’ after spath recovery, I was love bombed and saw red flags (used protectionm, use 2 kinds since you are successful:)) and bailed but found out I was pregnant! Later found out due to being successful, new spath made some decisions without me being informed. Holey condoms.



Hi, Cassandra–
I’ve been involved with two men I consider subclinical psychopaths. I still want the dream of marriage and children and a happy family, so I continue to work on myself and to date. I find that I’m attracted to the same kinds of men–the ones I might not be interested in at first, but who quickly win me over with that extra sparkle and charm. Last summer, I started to fall for a friend of a friend. After he treated me disrespectfully and then moved halfway across the country, the friend (a therapist) finally admitted to me that she thought he might be bi-polar. Sometimes it’s so difficult to put yourself out there and to trust anyone–including ourselves. But that’s just it–I’m getting so much better at trusting myself, at reading three or four sentences and seeing right through the charm, at knowing what I’m setting myself up for even if I’m still too stubborn to stop plodding along. It’s a long, slow learning process, but I’m learning. And so are you. Someone suggested once that I pick the most boring guy in the room and date him for a while. It might not be bad advice.
I’ve been in tears for days, as well. I’m trying to spend time with friends rather than focusing on dating, but I’m relatively new in the area and am still building a base of friendships. My friend X started dating a girl, A, six months ago, and A and I are friendly in the group setting. I learned through X that she is friends with Spath Nick’s fiancee. X had been telling A about his friends’ lives, and had shared with her my story about extricating myself from a psychopath. A had said, “Wait–I’ve heard this story before, from another perspective!” The perspective, of course, that I was crazy. I’ve long known that the only way to prove you aren’t crazy to consistently act not crazy–to just be myself. And in the interest of “no contact,” I never raised the subject with A. I was friendly to her when we were in a group, but left it at that. I’d almost gotten to the point where I no longer associated A with Nick or Nick’s fiancee. Until last night. A had a few too many drinks and said, “So, are we ever going to talk about how we really know of each other?” I tried to play it off. I laughed and said, “Why ruin a perfectly fun evening with something like that?” But she persisted. She said she and their other friends had tried to point out to the fiancee that there was something not quite right about this guy. That there was something fishy in his “sympathy story,” and he didn’t seem trustworthy. I had a few minutes alone with A before X and the others arrived, and I told her only that I’d contacted family of the real victim in his “sympathy story,” and that she’d been afraid of him. That he was dangerous. A told me that her friend is an heiress to a large fortune, that she’d been in love with a guy who worked at a gas station and couldn’t afford their rent prior to meeting Nick. Her parents hadn’t approved. But when she met Nick, who wore Gucci shoes and owned a sailboat, she jumped at the chance because he was everything she was supposed to have. I asked A how close her friendship is with this girl. She said they’re quite close, so I agreed to meet A in the near future so that I could give her details I thought might be helpful to her friend in the future, because her friend needs to protect her finances from this predator, although she’s clearly unable to protect her heart. Or the child he’s going to impregnate her with as soon as they’re married.
I couldn’t sleep afterward. I was shaking, long into the following day. I’ve been distracted, because now the story that I will have to tell at the end of the week is replaying itself over and over again in my head. But at the same time, there’s something about this that’s healing and cathartic for me, too. I’ve wished for months for an opportunity to do something–and now I can at least pass along information that may be helpful to her on a day his poor fiancee can’t yet see coming. It’ll be an uncomfortable few days, but I know I’ll feel better on the other side of this discussion.

IMO, don’t bother meeting with the heiress, meet with her PARENTS.


A share – perhaps some fresh air…

Love ~ Dupey xxoo



It’s not your fault that they exist in the first place. Also, while it took you 5 years with the ex, you now realized it after 1 date and two missed dates and lovebombing. That’s a HUGE learning curve.

It doesn’t say on people’s forehead that they are spaths. You need some time and mishaps with a person to see the red flags.

So, actually I would say TOWANDA to you!


Cassandra, I am so sorry that you had this experience, but I agree that the Universe has a way of helping us to sort out whatever our issues are. At least, opportunities are thrown out there in our paths for us to examine our vulnerabilities, our system of beliefs, and what our strengths are.

I agree with Donna that you’ve made progress – I am envious of this progress because I don’t believe that I’ll ever get to that point in my recovery. Experiencing the “lovebombing,” again, is just another opportunity for you to shore up your boundaries and disallow the lovebombing, again.

I’ll echo the TOWANDA!!!! Yeah, it wasn’t pleasant and your feelings were hurt, but you put the stops on that train-wreck LONG before it hit the bridge! GOOD FOR YOU!!!!

Brightest supportive blessings!

Ox Drover

Hilary, I think that Skylar is on to something. If you meet with this girl she may already be so love bombed she may not listen, but I bet her parents would listen, so I’d meet with them both. At the same time if possible.

Do it calmly, take any documents you have to prove what you say, and name names of past women or others that he has conned.

It might help, it might not, but at least when his maskk starts to slip they may get out quicker.

The thing is though, you can’t go around spending your life trying to keep every person in the world safe from this man. YOU also need a life separate and apart from him. Apart from even thinking about him. God blesss.


OxD, you’re spot-on with Skylar. Would any of us have altered our courses if someone had approached us with facts (not feelings) about the spaths in our own lives?

Seriously. I would love to warn the new target about the predatory exspath, but she’s “in love” with the illusion that he’s created and she isn’t going to WANT to hear the truths because nobody that she loves could ever be “THAT bad.” She’s going to go down a similar path of destruction because she’s a human being that wants to believe in the best of humanity, and nothing that I could present, say, document, or “prove” would cause her to accept the facts over the feelings that she has.

Yep – a life separate from the exspath is a personal imperative for me.

Brightest blessings


As a strict aside with regard to the notion of “warning” someone about what we’ve experienced: early on, my own mother hired a private detective to have the second exspath investigated. She paid to run a background check on him, as well. Guess what? No blemishes on HIS record, and this goes to demonstrate that some of these illusions are so well-crafted that they slither under the radar of seasoned investigators.

Sheeeeyit, I would NEVER have continued with the exspath if I had known what he really was before we even met. Having typed that, if some woman had contacted me to tell me that the exspath was addicted to a violently sexual deviant lifestyle and was living a double-life, I probably would have scoffed and continued living in denial. And, at the time of the background check, the exspath was still too young to have developed his financial issues, though there were “tells” about his irresponsibilities, early on. Denial, denial, denial……

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzt……..ew. (shaking head in disgust) Just……ew


John Bradshaw used to say that life keeps bringing you things in bigger doses until you get it. What happened to you is what has happened to me. And the women to whom I was attracted got more and more vicious to the point of making babies to control me.

Ox Drover


Yep, females who are high iin P traits will indeedy make babies to get a financial and emotional hook into a man,

and by the same token males high in P traits use getting a woman preggers to control her.

That procreation thing is used both ways—but it is about control, control, and more CONTROL and usually at the expense of the poor children who AT BEST have only one nurturing parent, and sometimes those kids don’t have ANY nurturing parent to protect them from the worst one.

Bradshaw is totally right we get the LESSON repeated over and over until we finally GET IT. I have so many hours at the Unniversity of Hard Knox that if they were all credit hours, I would have a PhD in PSYCHOPATH, however, since I generally FLUNKED the classes repeatedly, I’m still working on my “degree” and have to repeat a class again every now and then. LOL ROTFLMA


Did I miss something in the above post?

I read the story three times and it sounds like she jumped in bed a little too quickly.

As soon as you do that – they have you where they want you to be. Under the “spell” of hormones and sexual tension.

Back out of the bedroom and you might have more success next time. It’s the sex that clouds your ability to think and process the relationship.

Relationships grow, they dont explode overnight.

I am sorry for your pain, but this should become a huge motivator in future relationships.



I agree with Donna, anything that triggers residual pain, hurt and negativity within you is tremendous healing….it’s having the courage to face into that, which you have. It’s not about meeting someone, it’s about meeting ourselves, deeply within…xx

kim frederick

(((((BP)))))). Hi. Where you been? Great to read you. You been doing ok?


Thanks for all of the words of wisdom on my upcoming meeting. I probably wasn’t as clear as I need to be–I agree with you all about a woman in the stages of love bombing. She probably won’t listen, and if she’s the “perfect victim” for the spath, it means she actually won’t be able to hear me because of decisions she’s already made about herself and about him. I’m actually meeting with a good friend of hers, who is in a serious relationship with a friend of mine. This woman, A, already doesn’t trust the spath. Ever since she heard his sympathy story of his ex from years ago, and ever since she heard he’d been leading this double life with me and her friend. She knows and I know that her friend won’t listen right now, but A will. And then when her friend starts to experience all that we know she’s going to–the confusion, the dissonance–she’ll have a friend standing in the wings who already understands. That’s all either A or I can hope for.
I’m interested to hear what others might have done had they been warned. I was talking with a friend’s wife last year, and her ex and the father of her son is a spath. She’s warned various women about him. Some listen, some don’t. She swears she would have listened. That she got pregnant accidentally (or maybe “accidentally”) and therefore married him. She wasn’t wrapped up in him to the point she couldn’t have heard an external warning. With the first spath, I don’t know that I would have understood a warning. But with the second, I had an awareness. I knew I’d fallen for a sociopath before. I knew sociopaths existed among us who didn’t fit the media image of Ted Bundy. If an ex of his had warned me about him, I would have listened. The women who come before us can be our most important teachers. Is there anyone out there who would have listened had an ex of his (or hers) warned you about the spath? Would you have listened the second time around? Cassandra, would you have listened either time?
As for jumping in bed with someone, I get it. We’re sexual beings. At certain ages, we crave it more than others. Unfortunately, I meet very few men to whom I’m attracted. When I do meet one, and I haven’t had sex in ages, it’s hard to hold back until I can determine whether that sparkle comes from a healthy place or not. Is it a good idea? Probably not. But in a couple of cases it’s allowed me to have some fun, to feel good about myself, and to move along to something more long term without feeling starved for physical excitement and thus prone to more bad decision making.

Ox Drover

Hilary, I have been warned and NOT listened
I have warned others and they have not listened, ARE STILL not listening.

Over all I think most people would LIKE to think they would listen but in real life, most don’t listen. The love bomb overcomes reality. Sometimes even the 2nd or 3rd time around we won’t listen to reality checks.


Cassandra, I feel for you, I can relate so much, I have been away for about a year from the ex, I am scared to death to even think about dating, I am still putting all the pieces of my life together, my ex, was just the topping on the cake as far as abusive people my entire life, no love, affection, attention from mother or father, I just didn’t have then resources to go out into the world and “be normal” I think if I had know about Lovefraud before it would definitely have changed my actions, all the stories I hear I would have been able to relate to very early on in the relationship!!! Stay strong, be independant and try to hold off on the sex…..I KNOW God/The Universe has a plan for each and everyone of us, the holidays are coming up and it’s hard to go “solo” but we all have to be strong and support each other!! This site has saved my sanity!!!!


as far as warning the new “victim” we can plant the seeds of doubt, most people are curious by nature and will check it out, we can open the door but they have to walk thru it!!


Reading this broke my heart because I know how Cassandra feels. I finally got rid of my spath over the summer after 4 years of off and on heartbreak. His 17 year old son called me this weekend wanting to know the truth about his Dad because bill collectors are calling his house because his crazy dad listed his ex-wife as a personal reference on his car loan, and me too, without our knowledge of course. I didn’t know what to do….I told him what I knew but didn’t lie to him either. His Mom knows I talked to him and she was good with it. Anyway, not about me, this is about Cassandra, I know how you feel. I have my own business and I feel like I have a lot to offer someone, but I feel like men don’t want to seem to get to know me for ME, only what they can get from me, and sometimes I think my paranoia is extreme because of everything I have been through. Like Donna said, try to look at it at a healing experience because until you are right with yourself, you won’t be able to love or trust another man, and when you aren’t looking the right one will come along. I know I am not there yet which is why I stay home alone. Good luck to you, doll.

Ox Drover


You are right,, getting into a new relationship BEFORE your healing is “pretty complete” is a recipe for DISASTER because we are still vulnerable and our “picker is broke.” WE are easy prey for a psychopath at that point in our healing. I found that out the hard way.

Plus there are few men out there in my age range that are 1) single 2) that I would have under any circumstances—even say baked, on a tray with an apple in its mouth! LOL



Talking about it is futile. I have given up on talking about the no sex thing. Very frustrating.


FROM Louise: “Stay out of bed.”

Normally, I never post negative comments. We have enough negativity in our situations not to add flip little one liners to an already painful post from the website that for some of us is the only place we find any consolation.

AND she DID stay out of bed. For THREE years. There was nothing wrong with her looking for some comfort and closeness from a member of the opposite sex and in the long run, it may have given her what she needed for a while so that now she can work on her internal issues.

Cassandra: Remember when they hold up the mirror, it’s really ourselves we are looking at. You liked what you saw, nothing wrong with that. You’ve worked hard to become that wonderful person. We all have to get to a place where we can recognize our own goodness, without having to have someone else show it to us. We all need to love ourselves and not those evil jerks who are hiding behind the mirror reflecting us.

I know it hurts and for whatever it’s worth, I know that I feel the same way as you do. I am worried that I will either A) live the rest of my life by myself or B) end up hooking up with another sociopath, since they are everywhere and the odds of me choosing another one are greater since my last relationship! My service manager where I used to work, asked me what was bothering me one day. I was having relationship problems and I told him a little about what was happening. I said, “R, why is he acting this way?” And he replied, “N, all men are a**holes!” Well, this was certainly news to me! So I did an office survey, and to a man, every single one of them admitted they were a**holes. And this was BEFORE I met the spath! WTH!

With hindsight, I understand what he was trying to tell me. Even the normal ones are not like us. Sigh! But would we really want them to be? That’s what makes them interesting, desirable and special. (I’m talking about the normal ones). You were NOT STUPID! You were lonely and were ready. So make a new decision based on new information. Pull back a little, thank your lucky stars you escaped from the nutcase (Again, yeah, good for you! You were so smart to see it so quickly!) Whatever negative thing you say to yourself, immediately find the polar opposite and argue your case against it. Also, what Donna says about gratitude is a guaranteed mood-lifter. Be grateful for everything, the flush of your toilet, your heat, your car, your home, the food you eat, EVERYTHING! Totally changes how you feel.

Certainly be grateful for your near-miss! LOL! Whew! That was a close one!

PS: Louise, maybe we teach what we need to learn.


Instead of getting upset, I just want to cry (no pity here, please). Because like I said above, it is futile and now I see very clearly how futile it really is. Defeating. People just cannot see it and that makes me very, very sad. Not upset, just plain old sad. 🙁

OK, on this subject, just like the other, I will now shut up. Nothing is any of my business anyway.



I say hooray for you. You got it, quick. You are hurting. But there is NO reason to doubt yourself. He is a psychopath. He looks for targets. That’s just what he does. And you sound like a wonderful person, and have a brillant career. YOU are a catch, right?

I had the same experience. I dated a man a few years after my ‘awakening’ to psychopathy. I met him online (I know! sigh).

I had sex early on.

He love-bombed me.

I got it really fast and excommunicated him.

It still hurt like hell. And I felt totally stupid for having ‘fallen’ for it. But with a bit of time, just weeks really, I saw how far I had come, how quickly I realized my involvement, and how I hadn’t truly fallen for this person, and could count the brief involvement as another opportunity for my personal growth and advancement.

And it was really validating that then this guy started to stalk me, leave things on my porch, email me, send me ‘anonymous’ gifts, etc… Basically NOT leave me alone, despite my request to never contact me again.

It felt GOOD, then, to see how I had chosen to act on MY behalf, and that I was RIGHT. I didn’t go back to him over and over. I didn’t try to figure out what I had done wrong. I didn’t question it any further.

He was disordered. Period. I noticed it quickly. Period. I could move on…..

I do agree with Donna and other’s who say this pain is much deeper and more ‘fundamental’ to our own wounding, likely from very early in our lives… isn’t ‘just’ about this sick man, or even the one before.

This experience will help that wound heal. Give yourself a few days, and a few more, the fog will clear.

xo, Slim

kim frederick

Loise, I agree with you completely. It is very unwise to s;eep with someone you don’t know well. It is very unwise to sleep with someone when you haven’t completely dea;t with the past relationship(s). I think most of the posters would agree with you, so please don’t feel that you aren’t being heard. YOU ARE.


Cassandra. I am so sorry you encountered yet another Spath. I am still healing from my own experience of 18 months with an Spath. Thankfully I didn’t marry him although he demanded we sneak off and get married without our families knowing. He also monitored my menstrual cycle and tracked it on an App on his phone so he could impregnate me. He was trying to lock me down. He lived 130 miles away and lived a complete double life. I know I will never know the depth of his deceit but I know enough. I am back in the dating pool as well. And I think what happens to us women who have been “lovebombed” is we are disappointed when the men we date don’t pour on the attention. But as my therapist explains, it is because they are the ones who are “normal”. Lovebombing isn’t normal behavior. But because that is what we are used to the others guys come up short. And that is how a smart girl can fall into the hands of another Spath. The guys I date now don’t text me all day long. And you know why? Because they have jobs and outside interests. My Spath didn’t have a job. His full time job was preying on women on the internet and lovebombing, manipulating and controlling me!!!! So the guys I am dating now don’t do that and I am learning to appreciate it because it is normal behavior. I thought I meant the world to my Spath when in reality I meant nothing to him except an endless supply of money, travel, sex and attention. So don’t despair. You saw the red flags early on! And you walked away. So cry all you can. And then celebrate that you are done and move on. I know there is a guy out there for me and you who will love us the way we are supposed to be loved. I know first hand what the despair feels like. I wasn’t able to eat or sleep when my Spath discarded me. But every day I am thankful that I don’t have to feel frantic anymore – like a hamster on a wheel. That I can go where I want with whom I want and I don’t have to send pictures by text to prove it. I have freedom. And for every dime that he took for me, I still paid less of a price than most. For every woman he slept with and refuses to use protection – I celebrate that I didn’t get pregnant. That I didn’t marry him. That I didn’t move him into my home. That I don’t have to pay his gas money anymore for him to visit me. I try and celebrate all of these things. I agree with everyone else when I say you are making progress. Celebrate that!



Get this, I (due to my own place in knee deep shiat) I thought you were telling the person NOT TO ISOLATE!! Lol.. It wasn’t until someone told you “what for” that I realized you may have meant something else.

So NO everybody isn’t going to “get it”. I truly thought you were suggesting she spare herself the downtime from being depressed in bed when in fact you were maybe suggesting no SEX. LOL See each of us is in a different place.

We read it based on our own selves. My biggest battle has been I was always a workaholic which is how I survived, had a business and was able to raise a child alone but this round of trauma drama, I decided to take it easy due to previous health problems which are exacerbated by stress. But now my BED is my zone and I tell myself EVERY day “get out of bed”. LOL Don’t take it to heart. Sensitivity is needed but everybody is a bit overly sensitive today due to the emotional explosion…………….


Louise: I am not negating your comment based on the content, I am negating it based on the flippancy. Those stinging little one liners, i.e., the one I tossed out at the end of my post to Cassandra that was aimed at you, HURT you! It was very thoughtless and judgmental. That’s not what we’re here for. We’re all capable of being judgmental, but that’s why we’re here, not to be judged. For a little understanding, because God knows, the rest of the world truly doesn’t get what we went through!

She was starving! You don’t throw an alcoholic into a bar after 3 years in jail and expect him to not even be tempted to partake. So she made a mistake. So what?! But that’s all it was, and now, if in fact the sex was amazing, she isn’t totally starving anymore and maybe it will give her the perspective she needs. She got out quickly and hopefully, can forgive herself the mistake, learn from it and move on. Be nice to the next person you meet that’s hurting. That’s what she has to offer. And keep up her guard.



I don’t take the comment that way. If I read that and it was directed at me, I would think, hmm OK, yeah I know. Mental note, STAY OUT OF BED. I wouldn’t feel judged. If I said it myself, I wouldn’t be judging just saying what I know from experience.

I feel like it’s getting very touchy here. I do understand how it could be taken as harsh or like what I call a “hit and run”…….. Idk………..



I just talked about this with my sister recently. When I met den I had been in a loveless marriage for many years. I felt cheated. I thought my sex drive was gone. He turned it back on in a big way. I thought maybe it was “my turn”. Totally clouded my judgement. After 4 years, the sex was still incredible but, the emotional abuse and devaluing were more than I could stand. Addiction is very powerful. Now, I’m not attracted to anyone I meet. I would be afraid if I was attracted to someone. I would probably run the other way or totally ignore the red flags and get sucked in again. Irrationally, I am still looking for someone who looks and probably acts like him. You are not stupid. My family background is pretty normal. Grew up in the midwest, father worked, mother stayed home and took care of the home and family. Regular stuff. No abuse, no alcoholism. I don’t know what your background is but, anyone can get conned. I was missing a lot from my marriage to my husband. That played a big part. I’m 56 yrs old and I can relate to the age range dilemma, Ox Drover. It’s almost like the “time clock ticking” thing.

3 years isn’t starving. Try 15 years!! lol.
Seriously, when I left the spath I found myself with an old friend and doing the friends with benefits, thing. Big mistake. He was a jack ass. It only lasted about 3 weeks, but I could see what he was up to. He wanted to get me addicted so he could discard me.

But yeah, we are only human and we want to feel physical affection and when you are starving, the feelings are more intense.

I see now though that Louise is right. A good man, won’t pressure for sex on the first date or the second and if they do, that’s a red flag.

On the other hand, my evil spath didn’t even ask for a kiss and I was a very cute 17-year old kid. He never pressured for sex for several weeks… it was complicated but anyway, he was playing it very very cool. So you just never know who you’re dealing with unless you give yourself plenty of time to notice the little details.


Eralyn: That’s pretty funny!! Thanks for the laugh!


Skylar: Mine didn’t pressure me for sex either. I didn’t have a sexual relationship with him for almost 6 months. I was being so careful…hah! What a laugh! But I was tempted many times, because I was so lonely. He was so cute and respected my wishes. Still can’t believe I fell for it. Oh well! I made a mistake, too. A really big one. I’m working on forgiving myself and letting it go. Hopefully, Cassandra can do the same.


Hello, this is my first time posting anything. I want to thank all of the regulars, I have enjoyed and learned from all of you!! I have been on a journey since my early 20’s to figure out “Why?” Why do I always feel on the outside looking in. Why did I get involved with the wrong person over and over again. Why did I feel homesick so often for something, never knowing what I was homesick for.

I am in my mid 50’s now. I am on my 4th marriage. I have had 3 children, I have moved all over the country with 3 of those husbands. I have gone into my past and healed my inner child. I have done a 12 step program. I have read “The Courage to Heal”. I thought that all of my issues were because I was molested by at least 2 people before the age of 5. But life has a way of showing you what the truth is. It can be a long , painful journey. But I wouldn’t change the woman I am today. I am pretty awesome, if i do say so myself. Other peopel say it too. The people I let in my life value me, love me and give as much as they get .

The real cause of all of my “issues” didn’t reveal itself untill just a couple of years ago. It turns out, my mother is a sociopath. Her father was most likely one too. My 2nd husband was one also. My mother hated him, and he hated her. Now I know why. They each knew what the other was, and didn’t want to share me. No worries, I allowed both of them to manipulate me for many years.

Through some very interesting happenings, it came to light that my mother had divorced my father. They had been seperated and got back together. He said “what about the divorce”(which she had filed for). She said, don’t worry, I’ll take care of it. She did, she divorced him and didn’t tell him. For the next 30 years, she lived as Mrs., but wasn’t. It only was found out because her other daughter realized she was fooking around(at 73) on our father. She told dear old dad about it. He confronted Mommy and she retorted, “Your not my husband anyway!” She then told him how she divorced him and hid the mail from hiim 30 years ago. He sent for a copy of the divorce papers because he couldn’t believe that he had been fooled for that long. But he was. We all were. The person that we thought was our mother was really not a real person. She was a facade put on when necessary. I knew that I had never trusted her as a child. I knew that she didn’t care about me , and that I had to look out for myself.

When my sister and I found out all of the horrible things she had done for the last 50 years, it was unbelievable. My sister had a different father. Wow. How could someone live a lie for 30 years ? I asked people. I work in a large health care organization. One of the people I asked printed out an article from Lovefraud. Finally, the answer to why I was so messed up. Why my sister is so messed up.

There is a happy ending for me at least, I am whole and happy all by myself. I am married to a man that truly loves me, doesn’t want to control or use my in any way. I’ve been able to keep my children from experiencing the pain that I did as a child. They knew they were loved and wanted every day of their life. It’s so wonderful to not feel that doubt, or wonder why my mother never loved me or treated me like a human being. To her I wasn’t one.

My father remarried her, he was never able to stand against her. He knows his life has been wasted on her. He does his own thing and stays with her because she cooks and keeps the beautiful house he worked so hard for clean. We begged him not to remarry her. But at 74, he just couldn’t deal with all that leaving her would entail. We understand.

I no longer feel any need to even try to have a relationship with her, I have never had an emotional attachment to her so it’s not hard at all. It’s good to understand at last that it wasn’t me!!! There was never anything wrong with me!!! I wasn’t bad or dirty or ugly or useless or any of the other things she would say to control me. It’s all about finding the original pain. I thought mine was the molestings. Nope, not so much. It was the fact that my parent was not taking care of me. She made sure I didn’t die, I was fed and clothed and sent to school. But pedophiles pick up on the uprotected child pretty quickly. We are the easiest targets out there.

I don’t get that homesick feeling very often anymore. Was it for the love and cherishing I never got as a baby? I’m not sure. I never had the resources to seek professional help. When the student was ready, the teacher appeared. My Creator took care of me and made sure that there was always someone to learn from when I was ready. I try to pass it on and be that someone for someone else whenever I can. I’m thankful for the radar I have now, I can pick out the pedophiles and the spaths from a mile away. I can look at any given situation and predict the outcome just like all of you awesome people. We are all special, we are all precious.

I bought an old Carly Simon greatest hits cd, the song I keep singing to is “I haven’t Got Time For the Pain”. The only way around the pain is through it, that’s so true!! I have walked through it, come out on the other side with a few burn marks . But it can be done, and you can heal and you can be happy and make good life choices. Thank you all for your help. I will probably never post again, but I will keep reading and cheering you on!! Love to you all, and as Carly would say,let that bright light pouring down from the heavens shine on you!!

Wow Girl!
you ARE awesome. Congratulations on surviving a spath mom and everything that brought with it.


Thanks for your post. It’s always heartwarming to read of those who have come through the other side and entered into loving, healthy relationships.
As for sex, I know it can cloud judgment. But I’ve also known plenty of people who waited months to get into bed with someone only to find that the spath was excited by the challenge. It didn’t change the outcome. I don’t regret the physical encounters I’ve had since the spath. I am, in fact, grateful for them, because as newlife43 said, it’s kept me from feeling like I’m starving, from feeling so distracted. It’s made me feel good, and lord knows we could all use a little of that! I’m not saying that my choices are right for everyone, I’m just sharing my experience–as in, I know how hard it is to want that physical connection as badly as you want the emotional one! And for everyone, the choice is going to be unique in how we choose to address that. I hope each and every one of you find and make the decisions that work best for you, because we all deserve some sunshine…


Hi kim frederick !!! I’m popping in and out and hope to catch up with lovefraud again, find out what everyone is saying, as this psychopath thing evolves out there. There is a film coming along called 7 psychopaths…it looks like a comedy, but I won’t be laughing! Colin farrell is in it, guess you guys have probably seen it already.

Kim, getting your hug and greeting tonight meant alot…hey, thanks! You are sounding strong and expressing yourself as ever! I am okay…5 years on, still very suspicious of men, especially the ones I find attractive. I’m dealing with Family stuff at the moment and recognising alot of traits there and pulling well back. I’m not doing the traditional Family christmas, I’ll be on my own. I’m feeling strong however and less stressed now…..onward and upward! I am ten times less tolerant of emotional blackmail, gaslighting and manipulation….one day I may meet someone decent, but for now…on my own and happy

Great to read these posts again, so much little time!!


Dear Cassandra,

When I read your post, I actually thought of how SMART you were to find him out! …You DID see the did the right thing by first kindly giving the chance because it might have been that the excuses were real…but you saw how it was a pattern right off the bat…..good for you that you recognized and smelled the rat out….It could have been far, far worse…

.Hey, even in any normal dating, woman go through all types of men that are not sociopaths but just not our type ….men with the brain the size of a walnut …men with the big brawn but the IQ of 32 … with mother hangups …men who are just not interesting ..and not interested in our thing….men who just ain’t got that zing….but as we venture forth we must realize that we are now equipped with the armor….that we have the stuff now to smell out the sp’s….AND you did!! or you’d be worse off…..

I too have been reading here for about 6 years and non stop reading the books Donna offers here on this site. Try to read The Betrayal Bond….that sure helped me!!!!! All my love and you brush yourself off and perk up…..dry those tears….like Donna said go out and spread your wonderful heart to the kindly people around you….Trust me… will heal further….you are not damaged….you are in healing…..AND there are wonderful men out there….try reading the book The Law of Attraction….it helps to think really positive….you can make the list of qualities you would like in a real good man….list your boundaries….and have FAITH….”the assured expectations of things hoped for.”…HUGSS (((((((((()))))))))))))



THANK YOU! It is wonderful to hear about your recovery and that you flourish in a new life.




Hooray!! 🙂


What a loser. This man is a no good stupid turkey and does not deserve your tears. Thank God you got out so fast. No man is worth that kind of pain.

I did not date for years after the psychopath either. I had no desire to ever date or get married again. All I wanted was peace. I had children and they filled my life.

Finally a good married friend took me out to a singles bar where we met some men in town for a plumbers convention. Nothing against plumbers, but we still laugh about it 40 years later.

The next date was a fix-up by the same friend who could not stand to see me without a man. :0. I needed a man like a fish needs a bicycle. He had a PhD in sexology and took me home to see his library…literally. OMG, thought I would never date again.

Next blind date was so boring we were both ready to go home before dinner…and not for sex, just to get rid of each other.

Finally I met some single women and started going out with them. Sometimes we met men, sometimes we did not. I started to enjoy the flirting and chasing with no strings attached.

After that I had a few relationships some better than others but not abusive. I was actually “in love” with some of them but knew it was not forever. It was a wonderful time in my life. Some hurts some tears but no one was ever going to be “that” important to me again.

Eight years later another blind date set up by the same friend. I heard about him for years before he called and he about me also. Neither of us were excited about another blind date. But we went and had a nice time. Right after the date I went on vacation for two weeks and did not think much about him. When I got home he had been calling and we went out again. Third date and he never went home. We have now been married for thirty years.

It was a simple wedding where he married me and my two children at our home. We lived together before we took the leap. He has been a wonderful father and husband with only normal difficulties.

Finally I am safe. But that old fear and pain still pops up and I even get afraid of him when he triggers old stuff; it is a miracle that he tries to understand and still loves me.

Today I sobbed like a baby for an hour as he drove me home from my sister’s house. My sister has terminal cancer, my daughter is her caretaker and almost completely ignores me and will not let me see the grand children The old pain of childhood, the psychopath, the lingering pain from the psychopath taking away my daughter, the more recent pain of my daughter taking away my my grandchildren, the new pain of my sister’s imminent death and the attempted balancing act to maintain my sanity is almost mote than I can bear.

There is a song that says “The tears are the healing” I pray it is true. Right now I feel like the pain will kill me. I used to cover my pain with anger or haughtiness. I have none left and fear I will not survive without them. It seems strange to have had a happy ending only to end up back it boiling water that is worse than the psychopath…the psychopath using my daughter to hurt me. I just want to be vaporized.

I am old, I am tired, I am weak, I am worn. My fight is over. The pain will either kill me or heal me.


…I think what happens to us women who have been “lovebombed” is we are disappointed when the men we date don’t pour on the attention. But as my therapist explains, it is because they are the ones who are “normal”. Lovebombing isn’t normal behavior. But because that is what we are used to the others guys come up short. And that is how a smart girl can fall into the hands of another Spath. The guys I date now don’t text me all day long. And you know why? Because they have jobs and outside interests. My Spath didn’t have a job. His full time job was preying on women on the internet and lovebombing, manipulating and controlling me!!!! So the guys I am dating now don’t do that and I am learning to appreciate it because it is normal behavior. I thought I meant the world to my Spath when in reality I meant nothing to him except an endless supply of money, travel, sex and attention. So don’t despair. You saw the red flags early on! And you walked away. So cry all you can. And then celebrate that you are done and move on. I know there is a guy out there for me and you who will love us the way we are supposed to be loved.

In my (no doubt inflated) opinion, that post from DLD1965 deserved to be FRAMED. Why? Simply because so many posts here can’t help but describe ABNORMAL behavior from psychopathic and other dysfunctional partners. But this one refers to NORMAL behavior.

Learning to recognize abnormal behavior is one thing, important as it is; but how is anyone to link up with NORMAL people and build a NORMAL life if all they know is ABNORMAL behavior and don’t know what “normal” looks like?

What grabbed me especially was this description of would-be suitors texting people “all day long.” It’s a behavior I’ve heard about time and time again—from undesirable partners, that is. And I agree with DLD1965; it’s just NOT NORMAL!

All right, I must make some concessions. First of all, I admit to being an “old codger” (read “over 30”) who was born before the days when cellphones and texting became a normal part of everyone’s life, from the teens on up. Constant texting is not a habit I grew up with, unlike today’s “Generation Z” or whatever letter they’re calling themselves now.

Second, in spite of that, I do “dig” this texting business between love partners. I can’t help recalling for instance an occasion more than a dozen years ago when I was working in Copenhagen for several weeks at a time. One Saturday night, having nothing special to do and looking to entertain myself, I visited the famous Tivoli Gardens and there was a rollercoaster. Having a cellphone at the time (they were just becoming more widespread), I called up my wife in the U.S. “Hey, wanna come for a rollercoaster ride?” She couldn’t be with me in person, of course, but we could still do the next best thing. We could IMAGINE being together! We could still be together “in spirit.” As the ride began, I gave her a running commentary over the cellphone of what I was seeing and experiencing as the ride progressed. It was fun!

My one regret was that I couldn’t give her a visual impression of the ride at the time, only a verbal description of it. However, I was in possession of a video camera with which I was simultaneously taking pictures of the ride. My wife just had to wait until I got home a week or two later to see the pictures, that’s all.

That much is completely “normal” behavior, in my view. Now I do confess to being a romantic (despite any cynicism I may have expressed here on one subject or another), so I don’t suppose every man (or woman) is like me. I’m just saying that keeping contact over the phone is normal enough in itself. However, I do point out that this was a Saturday night, and it’s not as if I was constantly texting or phoning during other times when I was occupied with business matters!

Finally I have to make some allowance for those wonderfully heady moments when we’re first “in love” with someone, intensely excited about the person, and they occupy so much of our attention. In the beginning, anyway. Yes, I can see how a lot of texting might go on, in the beginning.

But not all the time, surely? That’s where I come back to that sentence: “The guys I date now don’t text me all day long. And you know why? Because they have jobs and outside interests.” Absolutely! It’s no reflection whatsoever on the lady (in this case) if the guy isn’t texting her—or even thinking about her—“constantly,” because he’s got too many other things to do. Normal men, good providers, have JOBS! And there’s nothing “wrong” with that.

That’s NORMAL! And “NORMAL” behavior is the precursor to a “normal,” healthy relationship!



I am without words. I feel sad for you right now. Dealing with terminal cancer with a close family member is really hard. I went through it so I know. It does bring up all the feelings from our whole lives and all the crazy family dynamics. I’m sorry. 🙁


I don’t understand how this guy was a sociopath or psychopath. I am hoping someone can explain it to me.


Hugs to Cassandra. I encourage you to say, “I am human, instead of I am stupid.” Just keep breathing. I believe you handled the recent situation quickly, and that’s great. I agree with a lot of the affirmations spelled out in these comments. We’re all here for the lessons. And love and forgiveness. It must begin with ourselves. Feel the pain. Every single time it comes up. One of my favorite expressions is, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”

Many blessings of love to you all,

Ox Drover

Afganexwife, “sociiopath” and “psychopath” are many times used to mean the same thing. There are tons of articles here on Love Fraud to educate you on the kind of people they are, so no use in me “rewriting” everything again.

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