By | January 8, 2014 83 Comments

Why is it so difficult to detach from a sociopath?

by Quinn Pierce

The other day, in one of my counseling sessions, I was recounting a story about some family members who still interact with my ex-husband, despite my requests that they respect me enough to not have any contact with him.

I was no longer angry or annoyed by their behavior, I had since realized it is much easier if I lower my expectations for some people in my life and distance myself from others.  But, I was curious about their inability to stop contact with my ex-husband even after knowing everything he has done to my family.

The Inexplicable Bond

It led me to wonder: Why is it so difficult to detach from a sociopath?

It seems as though it makes no difference if some people know the truth about what damage a sociopath has caused, they are still eager to maintain some kind of connection.  At first, this was very hurtful for me, but over time, I’ve come to accept that I can’t be responsible for other people’s decisions, and I cannot take their actions as a personal attack.

For one thing, a sociopath, such as my ex-husband, can form strong bonds with those just outside their inner circle by presenting themselves as a respectable, caring, even adoring and genuine person.  This was what people around us believed for many years.  When we divorced, it was just too inconceivable for some of my family and friends to accept that the person they knew was actually a monster.

It would mean questioning their own ability to see past someone else’s polished exterior.  Not many people are willing to admit they had such a huge lapse in judgment. I actually understand this to an extent, because I know how foolish I felt after learning the truth about the man I had married- and stayed married to for over fifteen years.

Denial: The Easier Choice

Also, it’s easy for sociopaths to ”˜shine their light’ on people they don’t see all that often, and that is an addicting quality of a sociopath.  If my ex-husband wants to put someone on a pedestal, he will figure out just what that person’s greatest emotional need is and then exploit it in a manipulative way that makes him look like a hero.

For those of us in an intimate relationship with such a person, that trait is what we hold out for as we wade through the sea of negativity that surrounds the remainder of the relationship.  It’s like a drug, but only enough to keep you addicted.

My family members may actually prefer to believe he is the person they want him to be, because it is much more comfortable than giving up that praise and having to deal with my much less enjoyable reality.

Responding To Other People’s Pain

The final reason I came up with (and I’m sure there are many more) is that those of us who are not sociopaths have emotions such as compassion and empathy and we are capable of feeling bad for people who appear to be hurting.

My ex-husband still cries regularly when he wants sympathy for not seeing his sons as much as he thinks he should.  Others don’t realize it has nothing to do with a father’s love for his children and everything to do with the type of father he wants to portray himself to be to the outside world.

I can honestly say that I am guilty of this, as well.  Just after my separation, I agreed to allow my ex-husband to visit my boys every day after work.  I pushed aside my anger, fear, and resentment, because I still believed there was an intrinsic love that all fathers must have for their children that was instinctual, if nothing else.

Reality Check

I later learned that he was more interested in checking on me every day, making sure I wasn’t involved with another man, and making sure I wasn’t poisoning my children against him than he was in spending time with his children.

The visits soon tapered off, leaving my children wondering why their dad didn’t come by to see them anymore.  I’m sure I made up yet another excuse to soften the blow from his apathy.

Redefining Relationships

Detaching from a sociopath is definitely a complicated, messy, and unnatural process.  In a sense, we have to accept that there is a population of humans who lack humanity.  It is a frightening realization and an even more frightening reality.

Who wants to walk around knowing there are people walking by them right at that moment who have no empathy, shallow emotions, and use manipulation and abuse as a means of controlling those they proclaim to love?

So, I can understand, to an extent, why some people in my life refuse to accept these facts for what they are.  As I said, I cannot be responsible for their decisions.  I can, however, be responsible for mine.  As difficult as it is, I choose to keep a more superficial and distanced relationship with those I was once close with, simply because I cannot allow myself to be around unsupportive and unhealthy people.

No More Excuses

I spent half of my life making excuses for someone who was going out of his way to be hurtful and deceptive.  In order to be healthy, I have to honor myself, and that means not making excuses for anyone else, even if it means grieving the loss of a once close relationship with a friend or relative.

I would rather lose a friend or two than the parts of me that I worked so hard to recover.


Comment on this article

Please Login to comment
Notify of

Really great post, Quinn. Thank you. I’ve found that I had to do the same thing – distance myself from someone whom I once considered a friend. I was the victim of a sociopath (even learning later from his own father that his manipulative behavior was known from childhood) and it is still taking me time to recover. It’s been six years since I’ve had any contact with that man, but I still can’t shake the creepy feeling that he’s out there doing the same thing. What’s worse is that this friend of mine, a young woman, was equally exploited but still manages to get under my skin by mentioning his name, knowing that the very thought of him makes me want to vomit. She even made contact with him a few years back, even though I told her that it would ruin our relationship. And ultimately, it did. One of the things I know I need to overcome is regaining trust in others, but it is so hard to do. I find myself comparing everyone to the sociopath, and it is a daily fight to try and allow anyone back into my heart.

I certainly hope it’s out there. With that friend of mine, I made the mistake of butting in when I saw what he was doing to her. It shames me to say that I stooped to his level and was able to play on his own weaknesses in order for her to leave him. But everything backfired when I tried to explain to her what I did. As soon as that happened, he became the “victim” in her eyes. They say revenge is a dish best serve cold… but… I couldn’t do it that way. There’s so much more to the whole scenario, anyway. My mother always taught me to be independent of anyone else, so even though I still was duped and let my naivete get the best of me, it was no where near as detrimental (in my eyes) as it was to my friend. Her family has an authoritative male figure, and I think that ultimately led her (repetitively) to choose the side of a dominant male who could use her at his whim. The irony of it all is that she doesn’t see it, which just perpetuates the old adage that ignorance is bliss. I find myself simultaneously envious and distraught over that blindness.

And in terms of breaking free… I might have done it physically. But mentally? I just don’t understand why it still hurts so much after all these years.


I can totally understand, now, why people stay connected. Afterall, I did it off and on, with different disordered individuals for most of my life. As a child I had no choice. As an adult I was in and out of these types of relationships.

And for all the reasons you listed. It IS painful (and scary!) to become fully aware of the existence of these folks, and to know they wreak havoc on the world every single day. It was awful to realize I had spent a great portion of my childhood being groomed by a sociopath (my grandfather).

It Is MUCH easier, if you are not being directly abused, to ignore the damage being done to others’. It even feeds the ego to see others’ suffer the abuse, and feel that the spath holds you above all that because you are special. I fell for that trap, believing he only lost his cool with those ‘lesser’ beings. How foolish I was.

No one likes to feel ‘fooled’. It is so hard to feel that kind of humiliation and shame. So, if people don’t HAVE to, they usually don’t face the fact that they are being duped. I know I didn’t, for years.

Humans avoid pain.

Blanka….I have been out of the relationship that finally ‘opened my eyes’ for a little over 6 years. That person STILL permeates my thougts. I don’t get as worked up over those thoughts, and I can steer my thinking in another direction. But, there they are.

I don’t know if the is ‘right’ or not…. But I liken my experience to having been in a Tsunami, and having lost everything. I might be able, eventually, to go to the beach again, swim, and enjoy. But I would NEVER forget, or not feel sorrow for, the trauma of the event. I give myself a break for these thoughts because, in some ways, I think they are the minds way of protecting us from falling into the same trap again.

I bet you find redirecting your mind is easier than it was 5 years ago, right? And, I bet both of us will find it easier and easier as the years go by. But we underestimate the power of this level of trauma and awakening. It’s BIG.

Most people will not wake up to this reality: there is a population of humans who lack humanity (per Quinn). We have. That is intense.

Take good care all,


Tsunami is also what my friend, I met at a women’s support group, likens to what has happened to our lives. We have to start again and they continue on, retaining most everything but us. Continuing to live their life of lies.


Quinn great post. I think you’re spot on about the perception of being the good parent they need to portrey. My ex hasn’t spoken to our son since Sept 2011 or our daughter since July 2012. He was still living under the same roof until July 2013 so you can imagine the conditions they were living in. Needless to say his story is that ‘they’ don’t speak to him! He has a long history of falling out with people and not speaking to them beyond that – both his parents (who are divorced), his sister, nephews, aunts, uncles, friends, etc, etc. In fact the only family member he speaks to is his step father who I believe may well also be a sociopath. I don’t know him well enough to really say that but I have said for years they are like two peas in a pod. (Often my ex would tell me how ridiculous his step father’s behaviour was over something or other and I would look at him in total disbelief because his behaviour was exactly the same!)

And yet he creates this image of a great family man, a pillar of the community. I think this is one of the main reasons he stayed with me for so long – because it suited him both financially and for his image. I think that is what he feared most when I said I wanted a divorce. He agreed straight away – we both knew the marriage was over – but he then immediately dug himself a deep trench and went to battle canvessing neighbours, everyone we knew, on Facebook, in the street, in the pub, with constant lies about me, the kids, etc etc. He totally demonised me and our son and later our daughter, in order to deflect from the actual truth.

He teaches martial arts locally and more and more so in local schools so his clean cut image is vital. His website still uses the logo that our son created for him – he drew it himself – and he has stacks of father and son photos on there – its sickening.

I recently saw a post on his class FB page (I’ve not been blocked from that one yet!)and he was going on about how awful it is that the youth of today are so violent and disrespectful and blaming Grand Auto theft and yet it was he who insisted on buying this for our son when he was (in my view) far too young for it. We had a huge row about it and as usual, he made me feel like I was wrong so I gave in, in the end. When I see things like that, I just sit there blinking, stunned, mouth wide open because even now, when I have seen so many lies, I am still shocked by him.

Quinn – thank you so much for this insightful post. There is a lot of denial out there. Why? It’s easier.


Quinn, I found your post to be very profound. We cannot control what others do, but we have supreme control over our responses to what others do. I had to cut a man out of my life who was hurting me emotionally for about a year. In doing so, I tried to remain friends with others in the social circle, but it was too painful. So I distanced myself from all of them. But I did it in such a way that I didn’t burn any bridges. Since they are all part of a larger social circle, it makes sense to minimize the drama. At first, I felt a lot of resentment that I had to cut them off, and it left a big void in my life that they once filled. But I found that I was slowly able to fill my life with other things and other people. I am once again my cheerful, forward-looking self. I believe that when you are living in the present moment, there isn’t much room for regret over the past. I know about myself that I am a very sentimental person. I tend to linger a long time over failed relationships and romances that could have been. I have spent countless hours longing and pining for someone I couldn’t have. I am a hopeless romantic. Knowing this about myself, I give myself a little room to do this, and I forgive myself for it, but I know that my life will not progress forward until I fill my days with new things in the real world. I have found that the longing and daydreaming become less and less as I become more present. My challenge is to live my life in the real world and less and less in a fantasy world.

I am also letting go of my dream of one day having a good relationship with my estranged sister who would be my only family. It is just not working out the way I had hoped. This has been very sad for me. But today I had a great heart to heart with my office mate about our lives, our dreams, and our pain. For a magical moment, I felt the connection with her that I long for with my sister. I realized that that connection can happen at any time in any place, and with a number of people simply by being present and risking myself at appropriate times. Life can be perfect as it is, even without the people and things we thought we couldn’t live without. If only we would stop long enough to investigate, the world can be a magnificent and interesting place!


It’s not often that I have a chance to visit this site. Each and every time though that I do, I am in awe of the strength and the support of the amazing people who also come here. I, like you, have danced with the devil. NO CONTACT is a priority and it feels so good. I have a new love now, myself. I am alone but not lonely.
Now that I have had time to really reflect on what has happened, I have taken it and tried to find the good in it. I am now more myself than ever. My home is once again a place of peace. Believe me, things are not perfect. I still have “one of those days” but they are becoming less frequent. Each new day is a blessing. I thank God each night for His blessings and ask that He blesses and keeps safe one and all. Even if it’s once in awhile, please continue to visit here and lend your support to the many others out there who need to know that someone else understands. Peace!


I liked the part about you detaching without drama. If there’s anything generic to unsuitable relationships, it seems to be the drama… And after we’ve quit, we deal with internal drama: The personal torment about the whole lousy rigamarole.
I think that there are 3 reasons that our family or friends will continue a relationship with someone who has hurt us/our children badly. One, is a deficit in themselves with a need that is gratified by the harming one. Second is that we, who have suffered, may have had our suffering overstay its welcome with our support system. Third, most people don’t take up causes. (If they did, a lot of the world’s injustices would be rectified.) They don’t want their lives further complicated, so they will stay nice with our enemy as long as not much is asked of them or our enemy doesn’t overstay his/her welcome either.
We, who got into these unsuitable relationships, likely had our fair share of deficient folk around us. And we may see more of that in the raw when we climb out of the cesspool that we have been in. Yes, the sight of our family folk’s or friends’ warts isn’t welcome at the time… but it never was and they are who they are. We can accept them but set boundaries or we can move on to find people more suitable to us. What we can’t do is change them or control them.
I had an “ex” who hooked my mother and sister into his web of lies because both of them had needs that were gratified by him. My mother was in a loveless marriage with an alcoholic, then dry alcoholic. My sister’s marriage was going down the tubes for her mental illness and alcoholism. The “ex” came from a celebrity family, he was brilliant, multi-degreed (Doctor, lawyer, Indian chief)and had status. His attention on them meant a lot to both of them and they lapped it up (like I had, once) while feeding him info and junk that ultimately showed up in the court hearing for custody. The fact that he had written a diary of perversities which included attraction to young boys was not much a cause for pause to either my mother or sister… Sadly, my mother was forced to take the stand and attempt feebly to explain away her recklessness and betrayal. I don’t think she ever understood the deeper meaning to her lapse of judgement; ie, that she had betrayed my sister and I for as long as she remained in the life around alcoholism but, at least, she never again spoke badly about me.
We can set boundaries or get move on from our circle without much ado. It’s nothing to say to our friend or family member, “Listen, it’s no entertainment to me to hear about John/Jane and I want to enjoy our time together.” or, in an endangering situation, to say “It is not safe for John/Jane to know of my doings. I don’t want you in the middle nor can I risk that you inadvertently report something to him/her that would add peril to my life or childrens’ lives.” It is no big thing. The big thing is to be clear and clean in your aim: To aim for what you have power to invoke. You have no power to alter another’s opinion, reform someone’s ways or dictate who another has association with.
Recently, I found out that my sister still keeps up some correspondence with that ex (of 20 years). It’s a connection that stands on its own, though, because neither her or the ex have anything to do with my life or much to do with my children’s lives. And that’s okay. A funny thing is that apparently, the ex never picked up that there is something obviously off with my sister. There is no one who has had an encounter with her or letter from her that isn’t left to wonder about her. It was just this year that someone told the ex about her troubles and he was quite surprised. That’s funny to me given the ex is a good writer and was/is a therapy junkie always wanting to diagnose people with psychiatric ills. He missed a juicy mental dx with her.
Now for the “end of the story” because a lot of survivors wonder about their sicko ex’s future fortunes as a way of being assured that the culprit was the ex. (No, it doesn’t go well for them but that’s not any assurance that it will go well for us either. Our assurance that it will go better for ourselves rests in what effort we put into turning our lives around.) Anyhow, this ex has begun his 5th marriage, made the 15th job change and relocation, has not a pot to piss in (except for whatever the new bride has) and leaves behind other children that he vows to win custody of and drag across country and away from their mother… like he did with our son. Poignantly, these children were adopted and, of course, are at more risk should any of their bonds be broken. Apparently, this peril doesn’t occur to him and that maybe, he just ought to settle down, become involved in those kids’ lives and make the best of things regardless of his opine about their mother.
My last piece of healing came I could be absolutely sure that our son could not be swallowed up by any fault line within him for the sins of the father (and mine as an accomplice). I held my breath until finally this year when I could see that my son was solid. He is more than a career success: He makes the most of every opportunity made available to him and he doesn’t let junk bog him down. He has did reunited with his father and because I know that my son can hold his own.
I think for any good parent whose had to leave a lousy marriage, we cannot have peace of mind (or final healing) until we can see for certain that our children have lives that they love and prosper in..That they were not permanently harmed by our ignorance or misguided thinking. And, to that end, we need to turn our attentions away from our personal ordeal to put those attentions to our children’s lives….Our full and whole hearted attentions on them. What matters to our children is not what we might think. However, their needs will become evident if keep ourselves undistracted from anything other than their lives. That’s our job and our means to healing.


just to clarify, i was a responsible, loving parent.
i didnt get the letter. i will never get the letter.
life aint fair.
and truth is waaaaaaaaaaay stranger than fiction.
doing the right thing does not guarantee a good outcome. the good guys dont always wear white either and they dont always win in the end. alot end up broke and die alone.

but i did the right thing and God can take care of the rest. thats all He wanted, in the end.


I don’t doubt that you did do the right thing. And you are right that doing so is no guarantee of a good outcome for another and that truth is, indeed, stranger than fiction.
One has to wonder what is the greater burden: To live with knowing you did all you could humanly do for the greater good and it not pan out or to live with knowing that you failed to do all that you could have done and believe that the reason for a sad outcome…
I’d say the burden is greater for the former and you get my kudos for carrying that and still putting one foot in front of the other.


well not doing all u could is more socially acceptable…then ppl supply u an excuse if u dont offer one upfront…drugs, finances, workaholic (that 1 is GLORIFIED in our sick culture), illness.
wen u consciously chose and did all u could…wel then You Did Something Wrong –> acc to other ppl and of course the child/ren .
it seriously cracks me up. if i was a crackmomma i would get sympathy, if i would have ignored my children and just worked i would have gotten a standing ovation but becuz i lived outside the status quo, i am evil.
watever. idc. i just grieve my children.


Thank you for your article. In just one generation, we have lost what used to be standard behavior for men: bravery, honor, and inner fortitude. There are so many male vultures out there who use and bribe the police and courts in order to keep hurting their exes and children. Sometimes it is just a woman who wants a male acquaintance to leave her alone, so she tells him she is going to call the police, if he doesn’t. Then guess what? He turns the tables on her and calls the police. So many men have lost what used to be a hallmark of manhood: dignity. And it is endemic.

I read the article yesterday in the LA Times about the man who murdered his ex-wife in 1982 and got away with it. Now, 32 years later, his daughter is going after him. He is definitely guilty, but no surprise, it got thrown out. Where is justice?

Heart song

I absolutely agree, therose!

Sometimes, thoughts of my ex comes back to me and I need to expel them from my mind. I believe these thoughts that keep returning are actually unresolved issues that had me completely baffled and blind to the sociopath in my midst. When I finally put the issue (be it the lies, outlandish stories, angry rampages, other women, rich men’s clubs, con jobs, misappropriation of money, damage to property, abandoning his newborn daughter and the list goes on) within the right context – that he was a sociopath, then everything makes sense and I thank God again for revealing the “secret” of who this person actually was – a user, abuser and loser.

The flashbacks are painful, but every time I come to a deeper understanding of happened to me, I can let it go and make room for more joy in my life.

Thank you everyone for the amazing strength and grace with which you write about your experiences! I’ve learned so much and am eternally grateful.

Heart song


I believe I know why I go back, much of it is fear.

Fear of another broken family. I have a 13 yr old daughter ive never seen that was adopted out from under my nose, hence why I try so hard to make things work to stay with my BPD wife and 2 kids.

Fear of starting over, since she owns the house and business when I say start over I mean literally with nothing.

Then the fact that even after all this I still love her, I cannot just make that love go away in a months time, when I start to miss her and think of good times, I try to think of bad things to anger myself, it tends to help me through it a little more.


I know exactly how you feel. I still love the woman my wife pretended to be.
The day she became her true self was debilitating. that is the best word I can describe how it went.
It was like someone had cut off both my arms, but still expected me to dress myself.
Fortunately, she had gotten so bad last year that I really don’t have any good memories left.
If you are still with her, try as hard as you can to get your name on the business and the house. I tell you that it is only a matter of time. Sock away some money for the inevitable.
I had a chance to get my name on the deed, just by the sheer fact that we needed a roof. I had the money, and I should have told her, no name on deed, no roof.
It is time for you to protect yourself. She will eventually discard you.


too late Philip, im kicked out yet again, have been for 6 weeks.

She will probly never put me on the house or business, she is expecting me to come begging back, that’s usually how she plays this, that way she takes no blame and can set new rules/expectations. I will not play that game no longer, if I do wind up back with her, the ONLY way is if she puts me on house and business, that way if she kicks me out again at least ill get some of my hard work back.


Thank you, very nice article. It’s been 6 years since my divorce.
We had two children who are now adults. Time has healed my heart in many ways, yet my kids’ father continues to manipulate them with money offers; he also continues to use them in order to check up on me. It is sometimes difficult and stressful when either of our children visit because if they fly here, I have to drop them off in the driveway of his home. He will often come out on his porch with hand on hip and stare me down while I sit in the driver’s seat trying to back out to the road. Also, I have to be guarded about what I divulge to my kids about my health, money issues, my schedule, my comings and goings. It could be passed along to their father inadvertently. They do not realize how toxic he is because they are young and their dad is so manipulative.

Yes, after our departure from them, there still remain issues of which we need to pay attention and there will be those in the family with whom we may need to lessen contact or revise what we are willing to divulge to them. Sad that such toxic people can keep dishing out their poisons, but we have to deal with it. Thank you.


The best lesson to people who are uncaring to the person(s) who has been violated in a number of ways by a sociopath, is to cut off association with the so called “friends” and family who are stupid enough to carry on with them. It is best to drop them like a hot potato. Believe me, it will come back to haunt you if you don’t. IF they ask why, tell them. Or just write them a nice card and tell them why you have to depart from their company.

I have an ex-boyfriend that will sleep with family, friends, coworkers and even my employers to get information. They have gotten mad and even sociopathic like him towards me as a result. I used to wish he would drive off a cliff, only the last employer he slept with has Hepatitis C. So he got what was due him.


Karma baby! I can’t wait for Karma to catch up with my wife. After the horrendous things she did, if I could pick the Karma coming her way, well, lets say I wont go there. To divorce a man because he is sick is jut plain silly.

Heartbroken Mom of 1

I am sure the No Contact advice is hard for everyone but is there anyone who has had to have NC with their only child? There is a difference when it is your own flesh-and-blood, who you carried for nine months and raised. I know that it has to be this way but I can’t cut out my heart. I can truly say I know how it feels to have a broken-heart. I actually can feel pain deep in my heart. It is so hard to comprehend that your own child cares nothing for you….


heartbroken, i have 2 that want me dead. i understand ur pain. its been yrs and yrs. its a heartbreak no one can understand without experiencing it. but NC is the way to to go. one child writes me on fb, i ignore the disgusting filth she means to hurt me. if she were to call again, i wudnt talk to her. ive tried and tried. she doesnt want to go on. she can live in her psychosis. i cant live there anymore with her.
peace, my sister. i wish u peace.


I could not imagine. You must be a very strong woman. Peace is what you need, adn if you keep strong, peace is what you will get.


After reading Women Who Love Psychopaths (Sandra Brown) and Dark Souls (Sarah Strudwick) I thought long and hard about this question, then I realized that the mask was made for ME.

The man himself CANNOT bond, he can only attach. He doesn’t have the correct brain processing or chemical make up to love, bond, respond emotionally. He cannot love. However, Love is reflection. So my sociopath/psychopath cannot reflect properly, if at all.

We know this to be true because of the cognitive dissonance created by our attempts to bond with a ppath/spath. I have in fact, on a chemical/neurological level attempted to bond but couldn’t. My body recognized the problem with hippocampus and amygdala processing in his body and my body tried to mimic the brain that I attempted to bond to. I ended up with PTSD, the improper processing of the amygdala/ hippocampus on a normal brain. (I got all the other crap too like gas lighting and mind blasting, but you get the point.)

So where does the mirror image come from that we see in the ppath/spath? HE can’t reflect. He can’t love. AND the image was custom made from OUR needs, OUR desires, OUR hopes. . . .

His mask, the thing he hides behind is OUR projected perfect man image.

When we try to cut loose of it, we find so many positive reasons to keep it/ him because we want it so badly. BUT it isn’t HIM we want. It’s OUR projected image that we want. In fact I would say that we NEED the image because it is an innate part of us, like our own male side. To let go of it is to let go of half of our self.

We can heal very quickly acknowledging the difference between what is us and what is the spath/ppath. I want and love ME!! I have pursued ME for 22 years, with a true and undying heart. Little did I know!! I love the mask, it is ME!! I take it back inside me and I am whole. It NEVER belonged to my husband. THAT sick monkey can go. I will no longer allow myself to project that good image onto him again.

Now, I am on to protecting my goodness. I cannot simply assume that everyone needs or deserves my goodness, acceptance, corroboration in assessing their personality. I need to work harder on seeing people for what they are, protecting myself, and making sure those I love earn the respect, love, goodness from me.


I so want a different life. Without him. He’s involved in the middle of my business. If I pull him…the pin out of the company, I cannot afford to replace him. I have to attend meetings with him where he belittles me in front of others, continually chides by “lack of direction”, and does little else. Every once in a while he tries to cozy up in skype for an “US” chat.

I worked hard to get him out of my life. This man ruined his children, ruined me financially, and abandoned us. He also is involved in a very public romance with a famous european artist, and in our circles, I feel embarrassed professionally.

I tried running him out last year. I thought I had it done and beat it. He turned around, and did someting that would bring the whole business and my life to its knees. It was tit for tat, you wanna eat with devil, get a long spoon.

With every fibre of my being, with tears pouring down my face right now, everything he stands for is the antithesis of the growth I have made as a human being. He makes me want to vomit, literally, and my reaction to him is vile. Hot and cold chills, anxiety attacks, nightmares.

I cannot tell you the amount of meditating I am doing to find a peaceful resolution. I pray every day, for his departure, for the universe and the law of karma to do their job.

I want to walk free. Not just be attached for moneys sake. I am even thinking of trying to sell my company and begin a new career at 53. I feel desperately worn down because I believe in the “no contact” rule and cannot seem to get his stinking tendrils out of my business.

Why, why do i have to put on a public face to keep a company running? I feel like I have been forced, since his departure, to simply be a mute in the direction of my own life.

After working that hard to get him out, he found a way back, and you know what? My creativity is at a complete standstill. I spent 12 years with him in my head, and now its as if he’s still in the same office, where he used to corner me, for hours, making me listen to his violent diatribes.

I put a white light around me and this house, and I pray. I feel awful saying these things. I am a proponent of so many pro positive ways to get an spath out of your life, and when i did I got stuck. I screwed up.



i wud walk as far away and as quickly away from that business as i cud. nothing is worth ur peace. nothing. give it to him. go on food stamps. move in with ur mom. idk. but RUN. get YOU back. u so deserve it.

Heartbroken and Ain’t-

It’s been almost 6 years since my son asked, “Now that I’m independent, what do I need you for?” I saw him once since then.

A couple of years later, when I was told I had cancer, I decided to let him know. Fortunately, it turned out to be nothing too serious, and I’m fine. But he’d told me about his take on a girlfriend’s Mom having cancer surgery and not letting her daughter know. His opinion was that the Mom didn’t love her very much. So when I had to go for treatments, I looked him up. I didn’t want him to hear “third person” as his girlfriend had, and doubt that I loved him. I wasn’t going to pander to the worst son he could be. I thought the son I adored was in there somewhere.

He had one word for me, “Leave.”

The reality of “no empathy” struck me at my core and I realized that there was simply nothing even resembling love inside the child I’d nurtured and adored. He was as vacant as an empty shell. He had become just like his father.

Since then, I’ve learned to accept that my son is lost, not physically, but emotionally. The impacts of his father’s abandonment and psychopathy outweighed my love. And today, I would not be able to trust him even if he had a change of heart. I don’t think there’s a greater pain than losing trust in a child you love.

Having no contact with a lover or husband is a piece of cake compared to having no contact with a child. I’ve been through both. Even though you realize that no good can possibly come of subjecting yourself to their abuse, extinguishing the dreams and hopes of “family” from the child who grew in your womb is excruciating regardless of how cruel the child may have been.

Wishing you both the peace and comfort of knowing you did the best you could, and the best you knew how to do.



i dont think my daughter is a spath, but she is psychotic. and i must have done something, either wrong — or not right anyway. that is wat kills me. its not just one child, its 2. the other one is not under psychosis rly but he is deceived.


Just a general throwing it out there question for everyone……I have read somewhere, several times in discussions somewhere that Psychopaths tend to not have any BO, like armpit body odor. Spathtardx had none……zero, nadda……..A friend of mines X Spath, two different ones, had no body odor. I KNOW I have read others stories and observations about this. I’d be interested to see id anyone else on the blog can agree with this!


My wife had none either. Strange, I never really thought of it.


Phillip…….I am SO very curious about this. I can’t tell you where exactly, another Spath site or blog I’m sure, but everyone was just shouting it out!!! “mine didn’t either!!!!”
I can tell you right now, he is the first man I’ve ever been with who had no smell to his arm pits.


When I mentioned this to a fellow spath friend she almost dropped the phone. OMG Dorothy! He had NO B O!


Now that you mention it…neither did mine. Hmmmmm…..


i rly think its a brain chemistry thing. the same area probably controls sweating and typical emotions/behavior. its a sub-brain function, like breathing. so basic we cant control it. these spaths are damaged at the CORE.


my baby daddy spath has no BO, nor bad breath…even wen he got morbidly obese, it was only rare and certain areas stank as he didnt rly sweat.
the NPD/BPD i was with had little BO either but his breath often was yucky. however he wud go for days without a shower and by then he would need one in certain areas also, not bad, but it wud have been nice if he’d shower; more becuz he didnt change his clothes either…weird hygiene habits –>like, duh. he’d tell me, i dont smell. i’d be like EVERYone needs to shower daily. I WAS doing it, gee.
but wait, oh right, my needs were unimportant. he didnt want a shower, so damnt he was NOT taking one.


OK fellow posters!!! Keep jumping in with this missing BO, and I am referring to UnderArm BO. I think it has something to do with them having no fear and little if any neurotic self conscious awareness.

I am specifically referring to NO Underarm BO in spite of not using deodorant. Spathtard had a TERRIBLE diet, ate candy ALL the time, ate junk food, etc…….
of course all the meals that Mommy made him were fairly decent but other than that?? Not so much. They say that diet and hormones……all of that affect your BO but I know that especially when I get a nervous energy thing going on …….I STINK!! I don’t use deodorant as a matter of principle and I stink sometimes. I like it and I like the smell of a man’s underarms……animal musk like.
Sorry if this is TMI!! HE LOVED the way my arm pits smelled. HUGE turn on for him..


I am glad this site exists,,,although I am sorry you all have had or are going through your pain,,,I have been away from sociopath for a short time,not even a month but the final straw was drawn when violence came into the pic. I am trying to maintain NC, however,it is hard,,I miss him sometimes,even though I know it’s no good,it will never be anything but bad.And like someone on here said,Karma baby!!! that dude has lots of bad crap comin’ his way,,,anyway I wish all of you the best and healed hearts soon!!! And me too!!! 😉


When the yearning is at its worst, just remember, it’s your brain chemistry trying to make you feel loved again. It will get better the longer you stay away!



I spent 23 years with a sociopath and it has been 2 days after all these years of drug abuse stealing from companies he has 2 social security numbers so he also collects unemployment under both and works You can not imagine what I have been trough, and know I am left completely empty depressed and can not even put a sentence together. My adult children barely speak to me. And yet yes the yearning comes daily because know I am left unemployable
and poor and feel like a child abandoned on the side of the street. Pathetic right!!! where do I begin I am 54 and feel like just ending it all


hon, i am not very employable and get food stamps and live with a friend who loves me–for free. i am 49 AND have 2 kids to support somehow. u have company in ur sad boat u are in. it will be worth it all if u stay away from him and the mess there and go no contact. it will get ok and then even pretty good, ur life.
just dont give up. no matter what the circumstances look like. u deserve a good life and u can have it, it just takes time.
u dont yearn for him, u yearn for ur life back. that life was hell tho. dwell on that, the hell. till u can just let go. the little good u may remember was a complete facade anyhow.


Thank you aint, I have had noone to talk too, what happen to me that I would take this behavior all these years feel
Have you figured it out I know I have a crazy father and just think crazy is all I know!!!


u can overcome ur crazy father or any other craziness in ur life. u dont have to be a victim. u can rise above it. u have incredible strength to have survived this long. u can survive the spath.
start thinking sane. no more crazy thinking. dont allow urself. make urself think sanely. thats a good start.

edge of sanity

You need to fight back. Turn your spath into the IRS Criminal Investigations concerning his 2 social security #’s. Give them all the information, fight back. I was 58 yrs old, wiped clean of everything, including my clothes, and no job. I had to get a job,find a place to live with my
invalid mother. He left me 10,000 for the rest of my life, while he was selling the marital home for 255,000,and never paid a tax return for his company for over 14 yrs. I called the IRS and now it is his turn. Remember, the IRS restitutes
the victim. Remember, build your own life. Your children
will encounter his wrath, and they will see you were right.


I responded back to an email he sent me with a picture of us. Within hours he went from wanting me to telling me how negative I am, to telling me he has to get away from me because our relationship is so unhealthy – he turned the whole thing around. He did preface the whole thing with acknowledging he yelled and insulted me a lot, but he can’t stand that I point out all his faults. So he had to act as though he broke it off with me. Please tell me, does it really matter in cases like this who is breaking it off with who? I think at this point its just important to stay away. I had no contact since before New Years, I don’t know why I allowed myself to fall into this trap. I thought if I told him what he did wrong, he’d want to apologize or find a way to make it better. But he has no idea how to do that because he’s delusional.



i was with ur man’s clone, i rly think so!
run hon and dont look back
He IS delusional
(my bf even used the same words urs told u, rly kinda freaky…!!!)


I found this article very interesting. Even though it starts out about them, it ends up being about us. I’ve been NC for 2 years and there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about him. He changed everything for me and it has been something that I can’t seem to overcome. The reason being is that he was the first person I (thought) ever truly connected with. I’ve not met anyone since I last saw him and that has been as difficult as there is no distraction and I feel unwanted and unsuitable for anyone else.

I’ve been to therapist – even one that took his side but I’ve stopped that for the time being.

I am hoping that someday, I’ll be over him and over these feelings. That I’ll meet someone who is decent, honest and has some integrity.


Shelby, I understand where you are coming from. Even though you have come to terms with terminating the unhealthy relationship that comes from being with a sociopath, it is often difficult to forget the intense connection that drove you to that person to begin with! When I start to go to that place in my mind, I read my journal that laid out all the sick things he did to me…..and then I know I made the right choice…


this is a great idea, to list all the sick things. i list them in my mind, but always forget most of them, never all together. yesterday i thot of another one i hadnt thot of b4. wen i was there i constantly railed at the injustices, cud have told u all of them, instantly. i was hot under my collar all day every day. i am not easily controlled and i was letting myself be and i HATED IT.
the thing is i was saddened wen remembering the trauma, yesterday and i dont want to remember them and list them. its too hard right now. to read over the list would be heart rending. but someday i will be able to do it.
i am starting to rly believe that all the good was a facade. and that article about the mask he wore that was ME really…my reflection that i loved. becuz i am a good person (not good like Jesus, but not disordered anyway). i am able to love and be loved. someday.


Your life will improve over time. What you need right now is to have faith in your ability to get past this. Sometimes, when we’re really low, it helps to have someone to confide in, and a good anti-depressant can’t hurt.

If you can’t afford the help you need, go to your local hospital and ask if they have a mental health clinic. Most large hospitals do, and they provide services for free to people who are not able to pay. Often those services include both a therapist, psychiatrist, and medication.

At the very least, you’re never alone when you have people who care for you on this site. Many of us have been where you are today, and we now have joy back in our lives. We know that you will feel this way also. It’s a painful journey, but there is light at the end of that tunnel.

All the best!


my local hospital is an hour away and would refer me to social services. no one accepts medicaid. the county clinic is full of spaths and other sick ppl masquerading as shrinks –from wat my friend, who tried for yrs to find a sane counselor, tells me. she found one after 5 yrs and then he retired 3 yrs later. of course lol now she copes with unrelenting depression alone (shes on tons of meds, yes–she just needs yrs more of therapy) as its been 18mos now and all she encounters are CRAZIES.
there is no help for impoverished ppl in need of counseling. its a simple but unconvenient lie.


It’s very true that our sense of manhood is patterned after our fathers. And regardless of how bad our experiences were with them, we felt comfortable around men who were very much like them.

Rather than ruminating on what caused your association with someone who harmed you, at this point, you need to focus on feeling better about yourself. Make sure you go to bed at a reasonable hour, and that you get out in the sunshine and get some exercise every day.

If there is a charity nearby that you can work with, nothing puts a sense of dignity and self worth back into your life than extending a helping hand to others. You need to focus on the things that make you feel good about yourself, even if all you really want to do is crawl back in bed and pull the covers up over your head.

The more you do, the more you’ll feel like doing. And the more confident and capable you’ll feel.

Stay away from people who don’t validate your feelings. Be good to yourself.

All the best-


fsufan58: Thank you for your words. There are times when I am so sad and then I think of what he did. The lies and the cheating and then more lies and it is amazing to me how, no matter what he does, he always comes out smelling like a rose.

Do these guys ever get what’s coming to them? I mean really?


Yes! How do they do it? Do these guys ever get what’s coming to them? Wow. How many times I’ve said that! I do believe they will in the next life, it not in this one. I would have never known they even existed (except as serial killers) if I hadn’t been married to one. I kept telling myself he was normal, just had some problems, but then, it just didn’t compute. “DOES NOT COMPUTE” kept going through my mind when his actions were vastly different than his words and promises over and over. Yes, I was a naive virgin when I met him. It took me 13 years to finally wrench away from his clutches. Even then, he tried to get control of our children. Now he seems to live an idyllic life with a new victim and three more young children. I, however, hear about “cracks in the veneer” from my adult children. Even if you warn people about their behavior, no one believes you because they have already smeared your reputation with lies. My only regret is that I did not wise up a lot sooner. This website is such a great resource. It let’s me know I’m not insane after all.

edge of sanity

Karma is a b—ch! It takes time, but they always get caught. I went thru the same thing. People would think I was fabricating things in my mind, and exaggerating. I thought I married my best friend, WRONG! He took every dime, left me without a home, and never paid taxes to his company in over 14 yrs. I was fighting for my life, and trying to protect the people close to me. I may have lost everything, but I did not loose my mind. The other people are now going thru this, and I laugh. Glad It is not me!I recently visited our son’s grave, and attached to the grave was a voided check taped to the stone-call me with his new telephone number. What a sick bastard! I never responded, took the check home, made a copy, and sent it to the IRS criminal investigations. I am not putting up with the manipulation, and control -that ended. Keep your ground, and never, never any contact. Your day will shine one day.
Be positive, and the right person will be in your life.


im pretty sure spaths dont get wats coming to them in this life. they are soooo good at slimeing their way out of watever they need to and feel no remorse or guilt which brings miserable feelinds. BUT
once they croak.
even if they didnt, i dont care enough about the spath to care where or when or IF he gets any payback. my energy is on my life. hes just sumone i used to know.
so rly, my kids and i WON.

gettin strong

I still worry everyday that I will pay the price for something he has said or done in a lie. Right now I am without a vehicle because my daughter got into a crash with it, and he never put her on the car insurance like he said he would. Why would I believe he would? that was so stupid! he is always ignoring the rules or the law. It is so hard to think that I let his charm and his lies to me about how he loved me, make me blind or to ignore the things he was up to that would harm my family. I was so desperate for his love. I really wanted to believe someone could connect with me and love me as much as he said he did. I get so sick to my stomach and sometimes scream out loud when I think of how much he lied to my face, looking directly into my eyes and telling me he did not want me to hurt and he was goin to take care of me and love me forever, that I was beautiful and sexy and smart and caring, and he appreciates me, all the while, cheating and telling lies over and over. we were together for twenty years. when I found out proof of him cheating a couple times, I actually excused him for it due to our money problems(which he caused)and stress from his mother passing away, and I took him back, believing that he really did love me, and didn’t really want to hurt me. But one year ago, I found out about yet another girl, and this time he got extremely violent with me when trying to read her messages to him. He was protecting her and not me, and then calmly sat down on the sofa and asked if he could hold me as if he had not just done horrific acts to me. WHAT?! I was so lost and confused. since then,both me and my children have had protection from abuse orders against him. He still thinks he is coming back to the house in April when the next one is up. I keep telling him he is not, and that he needs to sign divorce papers. I have yet another year till the courts will enforce the divorce. He is at this point permitted by the courts to visit with our son. My son is so angry with him and sad, and never wants to go on the visits. I hate that he has to see him and I can’t be there to protect him. My son has become shut down and does not talk very much. I just keep reminding him that I love him and that things will get better. Will they? I fear they may get worse. I could go on and on and tell parts of my story that would probably even make your jaws drop, but I do not want to relive all the pain. I wish I could stop praying for God to relieve him of his demon self and grant him empathy and to really know how to feel, like I thought he once did. I know it can’t happen, but I still want it too. I told him that his first day in hell in the afterlife would be all the pain and emotions that others felt due to his lies, would rush into him all at once and he would know what devastation feels like for eternity


shelby – all I can say is I hope so but let God or Karma or whatever you believe in deal with that and concentrate on you and yours.

I know my ex has portrayed me as the biggest b*tch from hell. In my quest to prove he was having an affair 3 years ago I managed to work out his FB login. I saw with my own eyes how he portrayed me as alcoholic, couch potato. He would tell how the kids hated it when he wasn’t around so that’s why he stayed with me, for them. I would come in from my dance class and log in as him and laugh (out loud sometimes) at what he was saying about me – so far from the truth it was beyond belief that he would say these things. But it was all about deflection. On the other hand his portrayal of himself was positively saintly. Even though he was telling people about his affair he made it totally excusable. I would read these ‘friends’ saying “don’t blame you mate, who wouldn’t, not your fault’ and think you idiots! One of the funniest things I read was when he was saying we’d not had sex for years (which was the only true thing he ever said)he wrote: “I’ve had monks queuing up at the door asking me how I do it?” – I really laughed at that one but again, he was portraying himself as the poor victim here, the man who’s wife didn’t want him – how could he go without sex, etc. Truth is it was him who didn’t want it! For years I had tried and failed. I know the truth. I even have the divorce papers to prove it since the first two ‘reasosn’ for divorce I gave refer to him not wanting any intimacy after having our children and how he would insult me and took away all my confidence. In his solicitors’ reply he said that he disagreed with points 3-6 but he didn’t deny the first two points! Even though I know all this and so, so much more, I have neighbours I’ve known for 20+ years who don’t look at me now. I know he went canvassing immediately after I told him I wanted a divorce and with some of them a long time before that but he still walks around as if butter wouldn’t melt!

I think it will be the case for a long time but I am a firm believer in right and wrong and I do believe that one day, in one shape or another, he will get what is coming to him. Even if it is not what I would expect or hope it to be, it will happen.

In the meantime, myself and the kids growing happier and stronger now that he is out of our lives is probably his worse possible punishment!


Overthehump – I’m sorry that you have had to go through that. Luckily, my family has taken my side and most of my friends who knew my s-path, were horrified. But, I’m still left with the detritus of the relationship and have been extremely discouraged that I’ve not met anyone else to take the memory of him away.

The funny thing about the sex part is that my s-path had to start on blood pressure medicine which took the wind out of his sails. I had to sort of laugh at that.

I hope you stay strong and that you will overcome this and come out the other end a much happier person.

jenni marie

Hi LF peeps,

It helps me to be here and that all of you know that I couldn’t possibly be making any of the things up that happened with him if I rambled on for hours and hours and hours. I’ll try not to fall off my original train of thought that made me want to post it tonight.

I’ve been reading the posts from everyone and I know that I too have wondered if he would ever get what’s coming to him.

He just HAS TO feel some kind of heartache or pain that would be as equivalent or worse than the pain he caused me and everyone else he did his thing to!!! It has to happen some day right, it just has to? Karma? Circle of Life? Faith? idk

For 3 1/2 years, I allowed a lot of BS to keep being hurled at me and I’m gonna work on myself so I don’t let That Crap happen again, but, well…..I want to share something with other LF peeps who have been in shoes like mine, and you may not think it or feel it right now but, did you know that maybe, just maybe, deep down inside that you really might not care at all if they get what’s coming to them even after all that crap you went through?

Something happened yesterday.

First know that Jan 8th, last Wednesday was the end. I have come to that point, mercifully, where I finally, finally, finally, actually want to stay away from him forever.

I’m sure I wasn’t consciously thinking about whether or not he would get what’s coming to him during that last made-me-late-for-work-by-blocking-my-parked-car-with-his-car fiasco fight on Wednesday, but I’ll admit to thinking like that previously a few times for sure.

We’ve split up a dozen times or more, for days, weeks and there were 3 one-month long splits in the 3 1/2 yrs I was with him.

That ‘FOG’ started to lift a while back, but I kept trying to hold on to a stupid lie and that “illusion” I created in my mind about him and us.

Through it all, I can say that I’ve discovered how persistent I can be, and that this can be a good thing when it comes to not giving up too quick when things get tough.

I just didn’t know that my being a die-hard ‘persistent’ person would be the perfect ‘Mouse’ to his ‘Cat’.

Quite a weird ride I chose to stay on…….yuck. He deserves all the crap he gets!!!!! Right?

Today is one week of not seeing him and I plan on piling on the days to come of NO CONTACT but, yesterday……I heard his voice on my cell phone.

I’ve blocked his numbers. I didn’t recognize the phone number and I didn’t expect him to call me while I was at work because he never had before, but when my cell rang at 1:30pm at work yesterday I answered it. I usually let calls go to voice mail while I am at work, but I answered it for some reason.

He said “It’s M” I said Goodbye and hung up. He called right back, I answered it and he blurted out “I’m in the hospital”. I said he needs to call his mother, goodbye. I hung up.

Hmm, a Pity Play? Sorry, it won’t work on me. Not this time.

After about 15-20 minutes though, a different thought crossed my mind…what if he is in the hospital due to something contagious? ewwww. I need to find out.

I called that number back, got his room number and was transferred to his room. He really was in the hospital by the way.

I asked him why he was in the hospital?

— HEART ATTACK!!–the day before on the 13th

I asked him what he was doing when it happened. I guess I asked that because I could see him possibly actually bringing one on himself, when I flashed on the picture memory of him while he was yelling and ranting and pacing and screaming and foaming at the mouth that he does during most of the arguments we had.

He was driving a couple friends around to help them with errands and had just dropped one of them off at home, when he ended up having to get to the emergency room where they took him right in and did surgery and hooked him up.

I asked him if he was able to reach his mother and he said they had and that he thinks something they just gave him was going to make him sick or pass out and so I told him that I will let him go now and to take care.

I hung up. I’m not going to visit him in the hospital. I don’t like hospitals anyway and I’ve told him this before. I’m not going to visit him anywhere, anymore.

What happened yesterday that answered any question on whether or not I really care if he ever gets what’s coming to him or not?

Well, it was a nice surprise to me but, yesterday I found out that I am still ME in here, even though I was worried I had lost something in ME, I didn’t lose ME! He didn’t kill ME! I haven’t turned off my respect and care for other human beings no matter what heartache he/it/they may cause ME to react to.

I don’t care whether he gets what he deserves or not!! Hmm, I can hardly believe I can say this.

How do I know? Because when he told me he had a heart attack, I wasn’t glad to hear it one single bit. Sincerely.

It was like I was that grey rock some LF and other peeps have mentioned on how to keep any reactions from showing to a spath, without even trying to. It just happened. Just like it implies I had NO loving or pity feelings. I had NO feelings whatsoever about it one way or the other except that I was glad he was getting care and his mother was notified.

In the past 3 1/2 years with him, I may have thought “good, that’s what he deserves”, but I didn’t think it yesterday.

In a way, his heart just did experience a great deal of pain that he has never felt before. It’s just a different kind of pain. Same organ.

Did his Heart Attack cause him the kind of Heart-Ache that’s equivalent to the heart-ache he has caused? Who knows. I just know that I must have been so hurt and angry to ever think like that in the first place, because that’s just not ME.

I think that most of you would find that you really wouldn’t care if they got what was coming to them or not either. I know they are awful. It hurt like hell being with him. Heart-in-a-blender. But, somewhere inside of you is YOU! 🙂 YOU are still in there. YOU are still YOU. yeah, it came as a surprise to me too…… I AM STILL MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! Yay, I CARE! YOU CARE! You know you do, or you wouldn’t be reading LF. You want to be FREE and you want to be YOU. ME too. 🙂

I WIN, no matter what happens to him. See?
So do you if you Keep NO CONTACT.

Time, Peace,
Jenni Marie


YES YES YES i have been saying this in so many posts…dont try to get all that is (truly) urs, dont try to get even, dont try to make sense out of his behavior, dont wait to see ur revenge, cosmically-caused of course.
until the spath has become just sum1 u used to know, u are connected to him.
and that is poison to ur soul.
it also eats up ur energy to turn him into the IRS or FBI or whomever. its just ur way of exacting revenge. and revenge is a bitter pill, it’s never sweet.
wen we’re still caring that much about a person to hate, we’re still caring TOO MUCH. the spath deserves nothing, not one more iota of ur energy or thots.
let go of him FOR YOU.
much love to all on this site,


We talk here about our spath being someone that we used to know, but the truth is, we never really knew them. I used to ask my husband, beg my husband, to be himself, that I loved him and wanted/needed intimacy in the way you could feel the intimate closeness of a 25 year marriage. This was something I always gave. Myself. He knew so much about me and I knew very little about him. I thought it was because he was bad with feelings and now I realize he was. He didn’t have them. I was just his cover for a illusion he wanted to project. The reasons I tolerated this feeling of just being tolerated all those years are complex. A Nisstic mother, a shutdown dad, equally confused siblings, no really good role models of people with respect or self respect. Yes, I realize now what a perfect pawn I was. Bred from birth. Naive, empathetic, taught to give people the benefit of the doubt, one of my mothers favorite sayings. These are not the values I taught to my children and hopefully they have not built their lives around those who use and discard, but example teaches when words can not and I fear each day that what I lived negated what I said. Fast forward to now, the reality. I never really knew him.


You’re so right. Getting free is the best thing one can do. But grieving losses is part of the healing process.

One of the ploys I used to manage mine was to force myself to box it into a specific time frame. Each day I’d give myself a little bit less time to ponder, until I stopped needing to do so at all.

Writing my book was truly one of the most cathartic things to help me make sense of what happened and feel free from it. Putting it all down on paper, (or techno-paper), enables you to stop ruminating.



ive been wanting to write a book about how i survived the loss of my best friend, lover and husband when we were just 25, with 2 kids and an infant to raise alone, since about 3 yrs after it happened.
maybe maybe MAYbe someday i’ll write it still.
im glad u got to write urs.


My dad was also a ‘shutdown case’ and my mother was diagnosed with NPD. Actually, she may have been a sociopath.
Along came the sociopath in my life (who I found out years later had targeted me since the fourth grade!)


Anybody read Albert Camus? My favorite quote of his:

“Hell is other people”

Watcha waitin’ for? Just do it!

The interesting thing about writing is that inspiration happens in the doing. If you start at your first encounter, it will evolve naturally and on its own.

Like anything else, it seems like a huge undertaking until you begin. Then the purpose of getting from one end to the other will carry you through.

Even if no one ever bought my book, I’d be abundantly glad that I wrote it! And every time a get a note or comment from folks telling me that it helped them is a thrill! At least something good could come of the heartache I went through.



i always used to say i was writing 3 other bks…my children.
now im writing 2 more bks, my last 2 children.
someday i’ll be old and will have time.


AWESUM book i just happened to spot as i went out of the library. I almost passed it by as I thot it was probably for adultery and that wasnt a problem w/the NPD/BPD. But it also said BETRAYAL and i definitely felt that, i gave my love and he hurt me. that’s betrayal in a nutshell rite?
Well the bk said for ppl involved in emotional abuse, deceit, infidelity and chronic resentment. BRING IT ON lol So i picked it up.
Living & Loving, After Betrayal by steven stosny. He doesn’t seem to have had any experience with spaths in his counseling career….he even belittles labelling a douchebag u broke up with as a sociopath or personality disorder (ur just feeling contempt doncha know) BUT just ignore that as the rest of the bk is not affected by it. He does not think u should pursue a “second chance” if u dont want to or realize ur dealing with someone who CAN’T love.
if u can’t/dont wanna try again,be assured most of the bk is healing urself b4 u even think about whether or not u want to give ur relationship another shot. And the healing can be life-altering, IMO.
Now, if u do want to see, Stosny offers up ways to ensure its success this go around. Like — the betrayer signs a paper they will cut off their arm if THEY EVER BETRAY U AGAIN. They have to be that serious about their commitment, that much wanting to be with u. A normal jerk would do this, they would try to make it up to u, feel remorse, want to soothe ur fears. Want to learn to cherish u.
Stosny also speaks about the relationship cycle everyone has. Closeness, routine, drift apart/stress, distress/crisis, closeness, routine…
Now anyone in abuse counseling can tell u in a disordered person the cycle is normalcy/honeymoon, stress/watever excuse the abuser makes up, abuse, remorse (less & less as time goes on), normalcy (shorter and shorter time b4 the abuse each time till its almost constant).
BUT if u were dealing with a functioning brain in ur partner, u could use the bk’s methods if u wanted to give it a shot. U can tell pretty quick if its working IMO. AND u know its going to take about 3 abuse cycles worth of time b4 u will relax but no ones forcing u to “trust” or “quit living in the past”. Its all about you, the betrayed. If ur partner cant deal that, he can walk; u now have boundaries. U of course will receive the efforts ur partner puts out and give if u want to also. But u have to see it working in ur subconscious. Ur brain knows whats happening even when ur heart wont see it. Once ur brain accepts the betrayer as indeed trying, consistently (thru concrete methods) over a period of time (could be 3 mos to 3yrs depending on what the abuse cycle length used to be)and changing in concrete metrics, ur relationship can blossom even. U can learn to even trust again, it will just happen, Lord knows u can’t give trust when u’ve been hurt this bad.
I saw this as good for other relationships too where someone has screwed up bad…a mom doing drugs instead of raising her kids and then she gets clean, a kid who ruins his parents’ lives but then sincerely is repentant and has a length of restitution behind him, a friend who maybe cheated with ur bf and is now figuring out u are very important in her life.
The betrayer has alot of work to do on him/herself. The same work u do. Its about core values. The bk is a wkbk also with serious work for u do and then implement thruout ur day. Things u mite be asked to process thru if u were in therapy once a week.
Just using it for this will help me alot. It took me 2 days to get thru it, without rly doing the exericse yet, and i read very fast. Its deep and thot-provoking. It’s not condemning.
One chapter lists some quick red flags u can see at the very beginning of a relationship and that pretty much guarantee u will be betrayed–AND WHY (always important to me). Yeah, my recent ex flagged almost every one lol.
Hope this helps someone reading it…i’d buy it, its that good. Im going to get my clinically chronically-depressed friend to read it also. shes been thru decades of therapy but i think it would help her even if she applied it.

It’s important to know when there’s hope and when there’s not. Sometimes, people make mistakes. But sometimes, they have a Cluster B personality disorder and can’t be reformed.

All of us have a sense of whether the person we were betrayed by did so in a continual fashion, or whether they’re a person of moral decency that had a momentary lapse in judgement.

People can act out in an adaptive fashion to deal with a circumstance, or they can be purposefully manipulative and harmful. Once you recognize that the person who harmed you has no affective empathy, can’t put themselves in another person’s shoes, repeats wrongdoing but is always “blameless,” it’s time to acknowledge that they’re part of the 1-4% of society with Cluster B personality disorder and it’s time to protect yourself from further damage.

Betrayal can take many forms, defrauding, consistent demeaning and manipulation, threats of abandonment, violence, infidelity, etc. And yes, people who are morally intact may behave in the same fashion on occasion, but they not only will repent, they will not try to make it your fault.

So in determining whether or not to try to make things work, a victim of betrayal needs to think seriously about the empathy and sincere caring that exists in their mate, and not be blinded by the toxic glue in their brain that keeps them stuck in a relationship that will put them at risk.

I had the luxury of having a psychiatrist tell me that my ex was a psychopath. I’d put up with, as anyone who reads my book, Carnal Abuse by Deceit, will realize, a tremendous amount of harm. I had absolutely no idea that psychopaths walk among us with charming demeanor and abundant charm. I thought I could cure the problem with love. After all, doesn’t love conquer all?

Now that we know that there are really folks out there with mal-intent who can’t be “cured,” we need to make this fact recognized by society to spare others the harm we endured.



totally true, which is why i have been peeling myself off layer by excruciating layer for weeks now. this book offers ways to mentally dissolve that toxic dump of a glue, better and more completely. i have been doing the first exercises today and realize im probably halfway into the book’s method already just by my hard work b4hand. and my need to get better for my kids.
the NPD/BPD txtd me last nite 1st time in idk, a month (how ironic lol) that he “missed me but cudnt be with me”. like it was MY loss. LMAO
yes i shudnt have replied but i rly wanted to tell him…u are happy with who u are, and wont see u need help. so NO, u cant be with ME.
so i did say just that.
and ignored any other replies and felt delighted all day. not flustered or drained, just as happy as ive been lately. ive BEEN HAPPY for almost a week now. that feels like heaven to me. i have nothing to be happy about. my life is rly terrible. but i am happy. i am grateful.
i dont care that its his loss or if he ever understands anything about us or me. idc if he ever sees what he did. i dont need his validation of my hurt. wen i do feel like that…i can know how to get thru that.
i was soooo angry b4 i left, trapped there for several months and soooooooo angry wen i did leave that all the mushy stuff seemed to be easily disposed of (well if a month and a half whilst dealing with a major surgery interlude and kids is easy lol). i was angry at me too. but rly super furious at his treatment of me and the kids. it was rly unacceptable, i am not THAT bad for petes sake! lol
the more i am out of the situation the less i believe there was an US or any love, besides mine, in the relationship.
it was a facade as some1 posted about. a reflection of me.
this bk i described above, appearing wen it did, in my life, was perfectly timed. i wish i wud have had this available wen i dealt with a betrayal of infidelity decades ago. i cudnt stop the hurt no matter wat. i cudnt eat, i cudnt breathe at times. for MONTHS. and we got bad counsel from well meaning ppl. several different ones. he was a normal jerk, not disordered, who was very sorry and wanted to make it right. and it was super hard for me still. i can relate to the pain alot of ppl on here go thru with the spath infidelity. one time my “normal” man who was unfaithful tried to blame it in even a small way on me…he never dared again lol to not have someone whose brain works as the culprit, well thats horrific.
this way of regaining urself thru awareness of ur core values and implementing them daily…thinking, but also imagining right images instead hurtful feelings, practicing ur values… seems important to my healing.
i am going to get this right this time.
If nothing else, i have in concrete my boundaries!

Good for you, ain’t! Sounds like the book helped you get clarity and a way to cleanse your soul! Seems like a winner!



ah joyce, my soul doesnt need cleansing.
his does, eh?
i need to stay true to my values.
acknowledge to myself, to God, any failings i made–as of course i did, being human…but then act to stay true, from now on, to my core.
i’ll be alot farther along the road to that goal, processing thru these exercises over the next months.
10 weeks 2mrw i got free! YAY

still reeling

Quinn, great article but of course, so sorry you had to suffer the pain of involvement with a socio. You said, “In a sense, we have to accept that there is a population of humans who lack humanity. It is a frightening realization and an even more frightening reality.”
I believe this is the part the hangs me up. I continue to wonder if, in fact, the monster in my life was really socio, even tho he has basically all the characteristics. I just made excuse after excuse for his flirtatious, appreciative, amazingly perceptive behavior one day, quickly followed by dismissive, incongruous, opposing behaviors the next. One day, albeit very weirdly, he asked me to go away with him. A few days later, it was as if it had never happened, he never brought it up again. In fact, he told me I’d love it out West, I should think about moving there. I was at a complete loss, making excuse after excuse for him. “Oh, he has to pretend because we’re at work and he’s the boss,” “his marriage is going South and he’s mentally and emotionally a mess” (he had told me that, along with the fact that he was “in a fog.”” As I look back now, a few yrs later, I see him exactly as he was, someone who cared not a whit for me, someone who said supportive, strangely caring and flirtatious things one day, then diss’d me the next because I meant less than nothing to him. He said things that made it seem he felt I was a part of his life, always looking for ways that we were alike, sympatico. It is so difficult to accept that anyone could be so cold and I was completely addicted to the crumbs he threw me and totally excused all the things he said and did that were dissmissive. His ability to just walk away from me, to not respond to my emails, to be on it one day and off the next were impossible for me to understand (cog diss). Being an empath, I am unable to conceive of sociopathy, so of course, it just makes me sick to look back at those months spent deluded and not feel like a jerk. I am still very interested in what he’s up to, and I know he’s in a world of trouble, but I also know he is probably cool as a cuke about it and still trying to make it with everyone.
I had no physical relationship with this jerk, thank heavens. No way. For me, that would have been suicide.
As well, I have always chosen inappropriate, unavailable men (not married, just emotionally or physically unavailable), then angst’d over them, so you can see I have intimacy problems of my own. I call the path my “Imaginary Lover.” That is exactly what he was and basically all I can really handle. I got lost in what *could* be, knowing it was impossible (safe). It’s not him that I cared for and now mourn, it’s the high, the feelings of appreciation and support that buoyed me and made me feel, even look!! younger and beautiful. I could hardly believe the reflection in the mirror. I chose crumbs over a real relationship.


u know, just today i had burst someone’s bubble on FB as I posted a picture with the words: Walk away from anything or anyone who takes away your joy. Life’s too short to put up with fools.
an innocent (meaning, never dealt with a disordered person b4) basically commented how it was my fault i gave the fool that power to take away my joy. i replied, Tabitha…innocence is bliss…
so for u to doubt it possible is really really human of u. no one likes to admit these ppl exist.
or that they (or we) could be suckered into their sick, miserable world & STAY!
believe it.
its true.
its one reason they have so much power; no one likes to admit the boogeyman is real.
now that u know, keep moving foward.


Cluster B personality disorder really exists. It’s not important to define whether they’re sociopathic, psychopathic, borderline, etc. But that are all people who lack affective empathy and conscience. They manipulate in and out of relationships as it suits their needs.

Our relationships with them are not “love” because without affective empathy, they’re not capable of caring. That are capable, however, of wanting, but only as suits their needs. People they engage with are simply toys to be played with as you would a doll when you were a child, except, as a person with empathy, you would have taken good care of yours.

From the instant they know you, they size up your empathy level. If it’s high, you’ll be forgiving and caring, so they’ll be able to get over on you. If not, they’ll simply move on. The initial flattery is a “grooming process” to test your emotional makeup and put you under their spell. What they do, subsequently is totally a matter of what their needs are at the time.

While you thought they were attempting to build a relationship with you, they are actually figuring out how useful you’ll be to them, and manipulate you into a position of providing what they want.

Don’t for one moment think you did something wrong, in fact the very concept that you were the kind of empathetic, caring person that a psychopath would take time with, is a testament to your character.

Now that you know that such character disordered folks exist, simply be careful that you don’t let someone into your heart who lacks affective empathy.


still reeling

aintgonna, how right you are. “an innocent (meaning, never dealt with a disordered person b4) basically commented how it was my fault i gave the fool that power to take away my joy.”
There are times when I feel this way about myself, it’s my fault, and I am to blame. I did know I was doing the wrong thing by becoming friends w/this weird-o but I was attracted and he was my boss. I was very heady over it after years of misery from management at previous jobs and things not the best at home either.
I am still trying to stop wanting to figure out what happened. I still focus on him when I don’t want to face real issues and that is a bad thing for every reason imagineable. Thanks for your helpful input, aint.

Joyce, were you there?? It seems so! I so appreciate the generous comments. I know all that you say is true. I was played and I was not a favorite toy. He did not try very hard as we never ventured out of the office. But each time I thought I could untangle from the web, he would say or do something that pulled me back in. This guy was so good, most all of his comments were ambiguous or could be interpreted as just friendly, such as after I was away for 2 days and he stood there at my desk and said, “You’ll never know how much you were missed.” Since he was the only person there I really spoke or related to, he had to be talking about himself. There were other times he blurted things out that were personal but never any “I” statements.

I appreciate your kind comments as to why he chose me, and it helps. I just wish I could find out something about him that would turn me completely off. I can’t stand the guy, and had he pressed me very hard, it would have completely scared me away. He just wasn’t that into me. I sure wish he would have pushed harder. I would have fled mentally and emotionally, probably physically too. I was looking for another job and interviewing, wanted so badly to get out of there but he was dumped before me and that was what I was trying to avoid. Somehow I felt if I left first, I would feel like I had made the choice to leave him behind and that would make me feel empowered and more able to cast his memories behind me. With his leaving first, I felt each and every person there knew things I didn’t know, as most were there longer than I and it drove me crazy. The few people I asked said they had no idea why he was walked out. I knew he was in big trouble because he intimated that to me for months but never the particulars. Such a mind f. Sorry, but that is exactly what it was. That’s why I wanted to leave first instead of being immersed in more confusion. I would not be surprised if he told people I was hitting on and bothering him. OMG….geez.

Again, many thanks for words that soothe and help. Take care, Joyce, and hope you are doing well.

Hi Still-

Those of us that have researched these issues and come out from under the “spell” have an easier time seeing clearly. We’re no longer affected by the withdrawal from the positive feelings created by manipulative behavior. Keeping your distance will help you analyze it more clearly as well.

Their patterns are not unique. They perform their grooming, evoking a connection, and then spring their trap. Blaming the victim is a common occurrence and you need to go easy on yourself. They are very cunning. You wanted a connection, and there is absolutely nothing wrong in finding someone attractive and interesting. The problem is that some people that appear attractive on the surface, are simply wolves in sheep’s clothing.

It was his fault for being harmful. Not yours for desiring social contact.


still reeling

Thanks Joyce. Very sensible,and you are living proof that one can wrest themselves from the horror caused by a connection that never really existed but still wreaked so much internal and external havoc. I liken it to a brain parasite or worm that you have to find a way to kill or it just hangs there. For me, my job, working out and seeing friends are the best way to keep my mind off it. The minute I get into the car or by myself, I am back on analysis of a dreadful and sinister experience I am not able to embrace. It’s my nature unfortunately to obsess. Therapy over many decades helps keep my thoughts in perspective but I’ve been told by excellent therapists that treatment for obsessive thoughts or even behaviors is not very helpful. I’ve tried many things. Other relationships in my life that triggered obsessing finally melted and disappeared from my thoughts after a time, but this parasite has not yet died. I think there is still a part of me that finds comfort in the absolute detachment from the world that I find when I think about my experience. It’s not about being with him or thinking he’s great or anything at all positive about him. It’s the obsessive analysis of what happened and my reaction which I fully do understand but was so shamefully pathetic on my part. I absolutely allowed my psyche to make room for another personality, one that allowed all kinds of craziness and made excuses for it. I felt it was a sign of growth on my part to understand this “person” and not expect much of him. I know what I have to do and why I’m not doing it but your knowledgeable responses help so much.
Take care, Joyce.


Dear still, even when a guy is not a sociopath, I have a hard time getting over him – seems harder than the average woman I know. I’ve had a few men in my life last year that I still think about and sometimes obsess about. It has more to do with the bonding thing for me. I have come to dislike the way I am made – the way I bond with men from physical connection. This is not necessarily sex. I didn’t have sex with the last two. But there was sensual dancing – a lot of it – with one. And with the other, a weekend of cuddling and kissing and sleeping in the same bed together when I very spontaneously agreed to go on a cruise with him. I am amazed at the power of the bonding hormone. I am a touchy feely person by nature. Touch is my number one love language (per the book The Five Love Languages). This is one of the reasons salsa dancing appeals to me so much. I love all the touching and eye contact. But I constantly have to guard myself to keep from falling in love. It really sucks and I’m not really sure what to do about it. I know it’s different and 1000 times worse with a sociopath because of their all-out deception. But for me, it feels the same. Maybe it’s because I only dated the sociopath for 3 months total. With these other two guys, I knew one for about 8 months and the other for over a year.

Physical activity like working out and dancing seem to help with obsessing and keep me in my body. And just arranging my life so I have things to look forward to and get excited about. I think living your passion, whatever it is, helps with all things negative. I have been salsa dancing for a year and a half now. And recently, I’m starting to teach. This has brought so much joy into my life, there’s almost no room for the negative anymore. I just have to watch myself with these salsa guys. I fell in love with one last year, and we got close, but he didn’t want to get involved with anyone. It was a real awakening for me. I no longer date any of the guys I dance with. Even with some of my students, as they build more confidence, they become flirtatious with me, and a sensual connection can happen. It is my job as the teacher to keep it on a professional level. So far, I’ve been able to do this. But in salsa, the lines become blurred. The reason I dance so well is that I’m not afraid to pull out all the stops when I dance – sexy styling and flirtation, and of course, lots of touching, is all part of the dance. The dangers are ever present. It’s both a joy for a romantic person like me, and also a curse.

Still and Star-

I didn’t make my exit without help. At first I resisted because I felt that I wasn’t going to allow the CADs in my life to control my behavior in any way. But I’d ruminate, and couldn’t stop, particularly, when the heartbreak came from my son who has a character disorder similar to his father. As much as the loss of a lover can undermine you, there are no words that can express the heartache of losing a child, (even when they’re an adult.)

So if you can’t get the thoughts out of your brain, a mild anti-depressant can be just what you need to help you over that hurdle. It will give you power to manage your thoughts instead of your thoughts managing you.

Be sure not to self medicate. There are all kinds. A psychiatrist can prescribe the right medication for you, and so can a medical doctor. Having a therapist to help you focus your thoughts is a good idea as well. Try to locate one who has experience with sociopathic relationships.

Wishing you all the best-

jenni marie

LF hearts,

Why? Why? Why?!!!

IMO, it’s those things called “Feelings”.

This is why it has been so hard for me to stay away or not let him back in after many break-ups.

Albeit, detachment is difficult due to sociopathic manipulation of us, and not because of some great love that is about to be lost.

(please read about how his personality can make your feelings for him like the equivalent of having an addiction)

There were times during the 3 1/2 years with “M”, that I wanted to be able to just turn my feelings ‘off’ at whim.

It hurt being with him. He was so sneaky and evasive, coupled with all the lies and OW+.

I wasn’t able to turn my feelings off no matter how much I wanted to. I cried and begged on too many occasions for him to do ‘something, ANYTHING’ with me to make things better….. ha! futile, just plain futile each time. sick.

The last fight was ‘it’ for me. I’m done wishing and lying to myself.

He is disorderd and it hurt’s my feelings. He knows it does. He does nothing about it, but, I CAN.

I haven’t seen him in 12 days now. I am 12 days of no physical contact, I should say.

Apparently he might have thought that I may still have some supply for him, because 6 days ago he called me from the hospital to tell me he had had a heart attack the day before.

I asked if he was able to get a hold of his mother and told him to take care, then I hung up the phone and haven’t heard from him or seen him since.

Surprisingly, I had no urge to run to his side when he called this time.

So, now…..if I want to feel better…. ironically……. in the end….. I actually DO get to turn my feelings regarding ‘M’ all the way “OFF!!”

Ya hear that “M”? my feelings for you are now in the “OFF!!” position.

Goodbye “M”.

But, Hello Jenni! Where have I been? It’s good to see ME again.

Time, Peace,
Jenni Marie

ps: NO CONTACT really is the only way for YOU to get back to being YOU, the YOU before the pain and heartache of being with a spath caused you to have. NO CONTACT- One Day at A Time and sometimes 5 minutes at a time. Do it for YOU.

Lovefraud is being upgraded. Comments and forum posts are temporarily disabled. Dismiss

Send this to a friend