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When women ‘of a certain age’ meet sociopaths

Photo by Free Digital Images.

Editor’s note: Lovefraud received the following email from a woman whom we’ll call “Annamaria17.” Donna Andersen responds below.

I met the SP in 2006 and he was a supervisor for electric utility company where I live. Due to a power outage he was the Environmental Rep and came to my home.  He had just moved here from out of state and I immediately fell for him.  We had lunch the next day and that was when I found out he was married.  Unhappily of course.

Over the next few months, it was agonizing as he would disappear and I had already become addicted to him, the sex and everything else about him. Long story made short, he moved in with me and a month later a friend of mine disclosed that he was not only still seeing his wife, but had another girlfriend who lived nearby.

There was  a 14-year age gap between us and I was living in a $1M home where he was living in a 1 room studio with his wife.  He had no money, but I did and paid for everything.

Fast forward to 2009, he was transferred for work.  Two months later he said he needed a break and I broke up with him, knowing that he wanted to be free of me to do other things I guess.  We were soul mates, our birthdays were the same day and he would start a sentence and I’d finish it and the same for me.  Everything was so perfect.

But, I was on antibiotics nearly the entire time we were together due to infections that he passed along.  He would disappear for entire days at a time where I could not reach him.  He would go on trips and never ask me to go along — aside from the fact I never really knew where he was going.

I loved him unconditionally though.  He never mentioned the age gap and it never came between us.

But, when we broke up it was devastating to me.  We spoke nearly every day (when I could find him) and then it went to nothing.  I had never in my life had anything like that before.

Since then I have heard from him, but only for him to rub in the fact that now he was really happily married to someone else.  He would ping my LinkedIn profile every month or so and I told him to stop.  He kept it up until finally I called his employer and they got him to stop, with the threat that they’d call the police for stalking.

I’d like to add that we were both in counseling, and after he had left the area, I kept on.  The therapist only told me a few years ago that the SP admitted to him that he was lying, not only to me on a consistent basis, but lied to the therapist as well.

So, with that said, I am still mourning over him and still cannot even look at his face on any social media (he is on all of them) without feeling like it was yesterday.  I’ve not been able to date anyone else, it feels like I have ‘loser’ written all over me, or desperation.

Therefore, that is why I reached out to see if there was any type of literature that would help.  I’ve left a lot out as there was so much more to say, but he lied about everything to me.  I’d like to think that he cared at some point, or that he tried, but after all of this time I think that he never did.  I also wonder if he is doing the same thing to his wife.

Are there any articles or information on relationships and the sociopath’s effect on older women?  I’ve been stuck for years and have never gotten over him.  He, of course, has moved on, but I’ve not recovered.  He was significantly younger than I, but I thought maybe there was something I could read on it?

Donna Andersen responds

I was 40 years old when I met my sociopathic ex-husband, James Montgomery. I had a successful career, made good money, but I had never been married. I was healthy, and I held out hope that I might yet have a chance for a family.

In other words, I was a nice, juicy target, primed for exploitation.

When sociopaths target women of a certain age — 40 or older — they have a very potent weapon to use against us: The fear that we’re running out of time.

Whether it’s a biological clock ticking so loudly that it can be heard in the next county, or we’ve endured a bad relationship and we’re hoping to finally find a good one, or we had many wonderful years with a kind, loving partner and are now widowed, mature women can feel lonely and desperate. When sociopaths sense loneliness and desperation, they shout “Bingo!”

One reason why sociopaths target mature women is because we have assets. We have careers, businesses, homes, investments and retirement plans. My ex-husband took a quarter-million dollars from me. I’ve heard from other women who lost far more.

Lovefraud’s research actually shows that people who meet sociopaths at a younger age — between 14 and 30 — suffer more harm. They suffer more physical abuse, lose more money, jobs and homes, and their lives are threatened more often. They also tend to stay in relationships with sociopaths longer — which means they eventually become mature women who have lost so much.

However we get there, mature women find ourselves with our lives half over, betrayed and devastated, and feeling like there’s not much time to recoup and recover. It can lead to a sense of hopelessness.

So what can we do?

I think the key to turning our lives around is to take two profound truths to heart:

  1. The past is gone, the future doesn’t exist, and all we really have is the present moment.
  2. It’s not over until the fat lady sings.

Yes, the sociopath pretended to love us just so he could exploit us. Yes, it hurts. But as mature women, we can make up our minds to live our best lives in the present moment. This will make it possible for positive change to arrive in our future.

So to Annamaria17, I recommend that you make up your mind that you will do the emotional work necessary to recover from the sociopath. The first step is to go No Contact. I’m glad that you took action regarding your LinkedIn profile. But YOU must stop looking at his social media pages.YOU must block any further contact. (And yes, he is doing it to his wife.)

Remember that relationships with sociopaths are highly addictive, and it sounds like you are still feeling the addiction. We have plenty of information here on Lovefraud about No Contact and other steps you can take to recover. The key is making the decision to do it, and then following through, one day at a time.

As long as you’re on this Earth, recovery is possible. Life can change. Opportunity may arrive at any moment.

I am living proof of that. I have been in a happy, healthy relationship with my new husband for 16 years.

 

 

 


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6 Comments on "When women ‘of a certain age’ meet sociopaths"

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my marriage began when I was 19 and ended when I turned 49. I should have taken the divorce settlement money and went back to school and got a new line of work, but I was too messed up mentally, too afraid to try..so I stayed where I was, as a schoolbus driver and clean houses. Now I am going on 66..newly retired from 30 years of a schoolbus career. I still live in the small town, where I drove bus, and clean houses. Other women I know, who have lost husbands or got divorced, seem to move on; many have new ‘friends’ whom they love and trust fully, or new lives which are rewarding and fulfilling. I feel ‘left behind the barn door’; I dont believe that my life will ever get better; there IS new rescuer coming to save me. I am NO CONTACT and stay that way. I do take better care of myself now.

and with the bad experience of a very BAD marriage when I was younger; Im even MORE afraid now, at 66, to try again. One of my close friends at 72, has a new boyfriend..I envy her, but it wont happen to me.

Dear annamaria17, I was targeted by the sociopath when I was 48 and still single. He was 10 years younger than me. He was also married (like yours) and, of course, lying about it. And during the time we were seeing each other, he was also reaching out to other women. I found this out later because I belonged to a website where I met him, and I spoke with other women on the site. If he wasn’t interested in a woman he was going to meet, he would wear his wedding ring and mention that he was married. With me, he never wore the ring. He told me he was in love with me early on and that he wanted to take care of me as soon as his pending divorce came through.

Though I figured out what he was after about 3 months and had both the support and courage to break it off, I was devastated same as you. Part of it was also due to my age. He fed into my every fantasy that he was the man who would finally be my soulmate and take care of me – that he was the man I was waiting my whole life for. He made me feel beautiful, desirable, and ageless. Fortunately for me, there was one saving grace, and that was that I am an extremely independent person. Even though I was falling for his lies quickly, there was a tiny little part of me that wondered if HE was right for ME or if I would get bored with him down the line. That was my reasonable rational voice speaking.

First of all, you need to get past the grief. It takes time. It took me a year after the brief 3-month relationship. Second – and this is important to realize – you are beautiful, lovable, and valuable – AT ANY AGE. Do not underestimate your feminine power – there are going to be men who will fall for you at any point in your lifetime. And they will be of all ages. I am 57 and have many opportunities with men. But third – and this is the MOST important, at least for me – when you hit menopause, it comes with a TREMENDOUS sense of freedom from the chains of romantic longing. Your hormones change, your mentality changes, and suddenly the things that were so important to you before are less important. You realize you don’t need a man, and you become very picky.

So please don’t worry about being old and ending up alone. Focus on all the creative things you want to do and maybe those that you CAN do now that you’re a little older. I have a whole list of things I’ve done since I turned 40 that I wouldn’t have dreamed of doing when I was younger! And know that when you are out living your happy radiant life at your mature age – there will always be men out there who will be attracted to YOU. Question is, will they be enough to hold YOUR interest? As a woman – at any age – you are a prize for the right man. A truly good man will be glad to have you, and your age and wisdom will be one of the things he loves about you. Please believe me on this! I recently ended a 2-year relationship with a man who adored me, because he was not right for ME. I am totally fine being on my own. I am writing my memoirs, investing in real estate, making lots of fun friends, and enjoying a great life. If a soul mate comes along, great. If not, great. Life is for the living, and I won’t settle.

Blessings,

Star

A fabulous post!

It’s so true, and I have never heard this from another woman’s mouth. With menopause, somehow comes such a wisdom and freedom…about what is really important in life.

Believe it or not, a spouse…and even family, is not what is most important. Not at all.

YOU are what is most important in your life. That is true for each and every single one of us. (Even the spaths, although they will NEVER come to that realization because their brains are literally screwed up).

True happiness lies in finding contentment and joy in the every day things that make you happy. It could be the birds singing, having coffee with a good friend, volunteering, reading a book or magazine, getting comfy in your bed, your pets, or even watching your favorite program.

We can be so fine, all on our own. Why don’t we know this earlier in our lives I wonder?

Other people don’t make us ‘happy’…only we can make ourselves happy.

Believe it.

Thanks, Bev. I worked really hard on that post. 🙂

Yes, once you get past the “I’m too old” or “I’m not good enough because I’m too old” thinking, life gets much easier. You realize you don’t need a man to be complete. I will illustrate that point. After the sociopath, there was a neighbor guy I liked very much. We flirted and went out and even had an affair. But he never seemed to want to take it to the next level. He seemed to want a friends with benefits situation, which I didn’t want. Anyone who blogged on here in 2009 and 2010 will remember my stories of intense longing and confusion, trying to figure out his behaviors. Everyone told me to just move on. I really really liked him and felt a connection though, but I was waiting for him to make the next move. Eventually, I gave up and moved on. We kept reconnecting, mostly as friends, and I always had a crush on him. He was 5 years younger than me. He always talked about the pretty younger women he was attracted to and he seemed to be into Asian women. I took it as a rejection and once again moved on, keeping him as a good friend until he just faded out one day. I truly believed I was not attractive to him because of my age.

I have not seen or heard from him in about 4 years. I rarely even think about him anymore, until the other day. I was visiting someone in that old neighborhood and found out through the grapevine that the guy I was crushing on actually did really like me back then. He wanted to take things to the next level with me (!) I was shocked when I found this out from his best friend. Apparently, he got very hurt by me (probably when I moved on and talked about other guys). All this time I thought he was not interested in me because I was too old for him. Turns out my crush was secretly crushing on me! It blew my mind to hear this, and I felt sad for the loss of something that could have been.

I learned a few things from this.
1. I learned how sabotaging it is to play games, and we both did it. I’m too old to play games now. If I like a guy, I will just tell him, whether he tells me first or not.
2. I learned that I have way more power with men than I ever gave myself credit for. I thought my age was a barrier to love. It’s not. I wonder how many other men I also missed the boat with because they were too afraid to tell me how they felt? Or vice versa?

After I learned this revelation, I did go knock on his door to say hello and tell him the truth – that I really did like him all those years ago. He didn’t answer the door. He may not have been home, or he may not have answered the door. And that was it. That ship has passed, and I am not interested in sailing on it again. But lessons learned will last forever, at least until I’m senile. 🙂

Never never underestimate your power and effect on a man, at ANY age. Never. And, as Bev says so eloquently, NEVER let a man be the source of your self-esteem.

🙂

Beautiful.

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