Rethinking Female Sociopathy, Part One

People hear the word sociopath and it conjures up images of Charles Manson, Bernie Madoff, and other serial killers, hucksters and con artists. Yes, these individuals are sociopaths, but they’re extreme and obvious ones.

Most sociopaths don’t reach the notoriety of Manson and Madoff. Even so, sociopathy is far more common than we like to think. Many people live next door to or with sociopaths, work in the adjacent cubicle or pray in the pew next to them without ever realizing it until they’re victimized or somehow exploited by these creatures.

Sociopaths who have cultivated the appearance of Susie the Soccer Mom or Larry the Little League Coach are more dangerous and do more damage because they practice and get away with their predations under the radar.

If we think of sociopathy on a continuum, there are degrees of sociopathy. There are subtle forms of sociopathy and, if you’re a woman, even socially acceptable forms of sociopathy. Many sociopaths wear masks of normalcy when in public and terrorize their nearest and dearest behind close doors; often with the assistance of Family Court and law enforcement. Instead of targeting and exploiting the general public, they target their intimate partners and family members and anyone else who gets close enough to see behind their masks.

What are the characteristics of a sociopath?

Psychologists Hervey Cleckley and Robert Hare both developed sociopathy checklists. The following characteristics are culled from their work.

Sociopaths have Jekyll and Hyde personalities and can be superficially charming. Their outward appearance is often very conventional or they disguise themselves as helpless victims. Alternately, sociopaths may come across as grandiose and narcissistic. Sociopaths come in all shapes, sizes, sexes, ethnicities and walks of life.

Sociopaths seem to have contempt for their victim’s feelings and believe their victims deserve to be hurt, taken advantage of and exploited. They have no empathy or very selective empathy (e.g., your wife shows empathy toward someone who hurts or bullies you). They lie, cheat, manipulate, and/or verbally and/or physically intimidate others to get their way or to “win.” To a sociopath, the ends justify the means.

Sociopaths may refuse to recognize that others have rights and believe they’re entitled to violate the rights of others. In fact, they often try to control and humiliate their victims. They see people as objects and value others based upon their utility and ease of exploitation rather than fellow human beings. People are either targets and opportunities for exploitation. They don’t have friends, but rather victims and accomplices who later become victims.

Sociopaths often have a gross and exaggerated sense of entitlement. They seem incapable of true love relationships and often confuse love with ability to control and exploit someone. They are unable to form healthy attachments with others.

Sociopaths seem to be able to lie very easily. You can have a video or audio recording of them perpetrating a crime or some abusive act and they will still pee on your leg and tell you it’s raining. They often believe their own lies and may even be able to pass a polygraph. They seem to lack the capacity for remorse or guilt. For example, many of my clients are more likely to squeeze blood from a stone than to receive a sincere apology from their wives, girlfriends or exes.

When sociopaths seem to be expressing positive feelings it is typically because they are mimicking others to appear socially and psychologically normal. For example, a man on the Shrink4Men forum found a note his wife wrote to herself reminding herself to act nice and to pretend to be interested in her husband’s day in order to get something she wanted from him. Warm and loving behavior may be a manipulation in order to be better able to exploit their victims. For example, they pull you close to be able to get a better swing at you – emotionally or physically.

Sociopaths have a need for extreme stimulation in order to feel emotion and are prone to feeling chronically bored. Some may resort to physical violence, gambling, drugs and alcohol, and/or promiscuity; while others create unnecessary conflict and drama for stimulation.

Sociopaths blame others for their bad behaviors and do not take personal responsibility for their actions. At their core, they are filled with rage, which is often split off and projected onto their victims. Sociopaths have poor behavioral and emotional controls and can be impulsive. They often alternate rage and abuse with small expressions of love and approval to keep their victims under their control.

Sociopaths lack boundaries and do not care how their behavior affects others. They may become enraged and/or desperate when their victims try to enforce boundaries on their abusive behaviors. They have difficulty maintaining friendships, and, is it any wonder given how they treat others?

They typically end relationships and/or try destroying former friends who have seen behind their masks. Some may have long-term friendships, but they either seem to be long-distance or friendships with incredibly damaged individuals with low self-esteem who admire the sociopath, i.e., sycophants.

Some may have a history of childhood emotional and behavioral disturbances while others do not. Some sociopathic individuals come from otherwise healthy and loving families.

Sociopaths are often irresponsible and unreliable. They have a history of breaking promises yet become enraged and vengeful if they believe someone has broken a promise to them. They have unrealistic life plans and often live beyond their means. Many live what can be described as a parasitic life in that they get through life by exploiting others.

Sociopaths may have diffuse identities. Many dramatically change their appearance or outward persona in order to exploit new victims or to avoid punishment. For example, when many of my clients met their wives and girlfriends, they feigned similar interests, beliefs, etc., and pretended to be someone they weren’t in order to secure the relationship.

Sociopaths are ungrateful and contemptuous of people who try to help and understand them. Oftentimes, they do not believe anything is wrong with them, which is why therapy rarely works. If they acknowledge a problem, they usually blame others for it. Or, if they are formally diagnosed with a mental illness or other personality disorder, they may use their diagnosis to absolve them of their abusive behaviors.

Sociopaths typically do not trust others. They can be authoritarian, paranoid and secretive. They seek relationships with others who will accept, tolerate, condone or admire their bad behavior. They like nothing better than to have a willing victim.

Sociopaths often try to control every aspect of their victims’ lives. They can be pretty territorial about their victims, which their victims often confuse with love and jealousy. It’s not about love. You’re their half-dead mouse and they don’t want any other predators messing with “their property.” A good example of this is when a woman becomes unhinged when her ex begins dating or gets remarried — especially if she’s already moved onto to another victim, er, I mean, relationship.

Lastly, and I think this characteristic will resonate with many of you, sociopaths have an emotional need to justify their crimes and demand that their victims show them gratitude, love and respect. In other words: 

Sociopaths expect that their victims show gratitude for being victimized by them.

In a few days, I will post the second part of Rethinking Female Sociopathy, so please check back.

Shrink4Men Coaching and Consulting Services:

Dr Tara J. Palmatier provides confidential, fee-for-service, consultation/coaching services to help both men and women work through their relationship issues via telephone and/or Skype chat. Her practice combines practical advice, support, reality testing and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Shrink4Men Services page for professional inquiries.

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Comments

  1. joesixpack says

    Excellent blog post, Dr T. This sums up my ex very well. Were it not for the child we share I would be happily rid of her. I wish this blog had been up ten years ago, I would have saved myself a lot of heartache.

    • Dr Tara J. Palmatier says

      Thanks, joesixpack. That’s kind of you.

      I’m sorry you went through so much heartache. Being in a relationship with an individual like this can feel like being run through a psychological meat grinder.

  2. Verbal says

    The Jekyll-and-Hyde comparison is very apt. Further, I think sociopaths live in abject fear of being “outed”. They carefully cultivate their “good” persona for the benefit of the outside world. When some aspect of their “bad” side is publicly revealed, they can become quite agitated. They desperately want to keep “Mr. Hyde” inside the family, because their entire well-being hinges on how they are perceived in the public eye.

    Cluster B’s will ban people (split black) from their lives when those people discover the truth.

    • Dr Tara J. Palmatier says

      You’re lucky if they just cut you out of their lives. Oftentimes, the cut-off is accompanied by a vile smear campaign, which can be horrific.

  3. Freedom says

    Living with a sociopath. Been there done that. Was raised by one, my father. The horror stories i could tell.

    From the time i was 16 to the time i was 25 i got kicked out of the house 5 separate times on my birthday.

    He refused to go to my high school graduation because i wouldn’t go fishing with him the next day. He KNEW that i had a party to go to in my honor at a friend’s house.

    The man hated cats and i loved my pet cat when i was a child. He would take the cat and throw it in the dryer and turn the dryer on and force me to watch it!! What kind of fucked up human being is going to torture his son’s beloved pet AND make his son watch it? A few years later my cat mysteriously disappeared. Come to find out my dad killed it.

    The beatings and the abuse, in every way, shape and form.

    I was a straight A kid and what i heard in return was “how can you get such good grades in school and still be so fucking dumb?”

    Our next door neighbor had people over for a Bible meeting. One of them parked in front of our house. My dad got pissed and said “I’ll show those holy rollers to park in front of MY house”, and he took a knife and flattened all four tires.

    When i was a kid I used to hear my dad talking with other women on the phone about how has was gonna fuck them tonight. Obviously my mom wasn’t within ear shot of this. But for most of my childhood i knew he was messing around with multiple women. Now if he’d ever found out that my mom had cheated he probably would have killed her.

    There’s plenty more but this small list is enough..

    ALL of these things, no matter how sick and twisted and flat out wrong, were somehow justified in my father’s mind, easily justified. I’ve spent most of my life trying to figure out how in the world anyone could ever do the things he did and still get a good night’s sleep. In the end I’ve come to the conclusion that he was not, probably never was, an emotionally stable individual. And I’ve had to come to terms with that being THE ANSWER. Absolutely brilliant, my father was. But incredibly unstable, cunning, and a predator. The running joke amongst family members was that when he put his mind to it, he could charm the pants off of a nun. Oh boy could he be charming. But once that charm had its intended affect, to disarm you, then you were his and there was little that was sacred. The irony is, he was always so worried about “the family name” and you never did anything to disgrace the family name. He did it all by himself, tho he could never, would never see it.

    Believe it or not, my father’s funeral was the saddest thing I’ve ever seen. When my mom died there were over 250 people at her funeral. When my nephew died there were over 400 that came to pay their respects. When my father died there were less than 15, and many of those came to comfort others. His funeral was truly like The Ghost Of Christmas Yet To Come. He’d ruined everything and turned away almost everyone… The were no respects to be paid because there was no respect ever given.

    • Freedom says

      bottom line is, if you’re involved with someone who fits this blog, run far FAR away. they will not get help because its never their fault. there is no problem of theirs and if there is a problem then its someone else’s problem. They will make it your problem, that way they can blame you. There is no sense-making because their world exists for them and you are either only a toy to be played with (even violently) or a servant to meet their needs. if there is a calm, its because the next storm needs momentum to build. Hurricane Crazy is coming your way…

  4. david says

    This could be the “crowning jewel” of the S4M site. Looking forward to part two. I have accepted fully that NPD, BPF and HPD are simply categories (defined by certain behaviors) of Sociopaths. And I agree with “freedom” and although it may not be a very popular view, unless you have children with one of these personality types….do not have any contact whatsoever with them. It is not your problem. I recently heard someone say “the only rule of engagement is DO NOT engage them”. In the PC pop psychiatry world we live in, I see so much bull being preached about “tolerance” and “understanding”. I understand that there is a reason I don’t swim with Great Whites, if other people want to….good luck with that.

    • justin_case says

      Couldn’t agree with you more. I get so tired of the PC apologist/be understanding stance. Of course this does nothing but worsen the psychopathy. A big part of the problem IMHO is that there’s many Codependents that may think or act as if society needs these sociopaths. I thought you’re Great White analogy was perfect and I’m glad that I never lost a leg to my ex. LOL.

    • SineNomine says

      It’s also frightening to realize that you are probably married to one. I can’t go into detail at this point, but I’ve seen a bunch of these characteristics up close and personal.

      • B Experienced says

        I remember when I was studying at a university and figured out that my own father was a BPD with Psychopathy. I remember it like yesterday. I was walking through his dining room after studying, and I thought that describes my father perfectly. I was floored and relieved at the same time. Then I was even more scared than I was before.

        • SineNomine says

          I certainly understand. It’s a really strange feeling. On one hand is the “ah-ha!” moment and odd sense of comfort with finally understanding (or at least categorizing) what you’re dealing with. On the other hand, now that you know what you’re dealing with, it frightens the crap out of you. I guess the good news is it allows you to plan and develop strategies for protecting yourself, when you couldn’t really do that before, at least not as effectively.

          • B Experienced says

            Sinenomine

            I have found that no matter what kind you are dealing with it is wise to have a Plan A, B, C and D and to consider the worst outcome so that you can protect yourself. If a normal person would do something, I think the opposite because psychopaths live reverse of what we do. Don’t give them a break either by giving them the benefit of any doubt. Because their narcissism is so high they are erratic creatures and their personality traits fluctuate. You want to set it up so that you are better safe than sorry. I have found these strategies to be very helpful not only in understanding them, but protecting myself from them. You will need all the stability, and security you can get within yourself.

  5. johnnycab says

    My divorce just cleared from my Sociopathic Ex-wife. Although the first few years in our marriage seemed like utter bliss (because of mimicry), the last year was a total nightmare. I still periodically have nightmares about her. She was a borderline Waif and a master manipulator, using and abusing my sympathies. She ended up cheating on me with 3 or 4 guys at her job. She went through such great lengths on hiding this from me (that and doing meth while I was at work). She bought disposable cellphones, gave her boyfriends secret female nicknames and then claimed she was spending the night down her friends house. She even had me drop her off there to prove that she was spending the night at one of her female friends. But, her boyfriends would just pick her up after I left.

    Dr. T, your article fits my ex-wife to a “T”. I am amazed how accurate it is. She was diagnosed with BPD, Generalized anxiety disorder and ADHD (although she would use the Adhd excuse for me to be a sucker and do everything for her).

    Once I confronted my ex-wife she didn’t want to give me up or her network of boyfriends (narcissistic supply)! Can you believe that?! I didn’t agree to an open marriage! Once she saw that I was serious and that I saw behind her mask, she agreed to divorce me “no questions asked”. She made absolutely no efforts to salvage our marriage. She found new victims to prey on. I am glad to be through with her. But I still sometimes wonder, “was she ever a real human being”?

    • johnnycab says

      Thank you very much Dr. T for your site. It has helped me countless times when I tend to fell down about myself and what happened to me. Please keep up the good work!

    • justin_case says

      I feel for ya. I have the same ruminations about my ex. She was so cold and dark inside that I truly don’t think of her as human. Physically yes, she was human but with me it seemed she just didn’t have a soul. It’s amazing how everyone can relate to the same stories and view the sociopaths that they’ve encountered in exactly the same ways. I personally want absolutely nothing to do with my ex at all. If I ever encounter her I will not engage her and if she engages me I will avoid her at all costs. They really aren’t so human- they’re toxic. Just being around them, having one in a social circle is damaging to everyone. Do you have a new wife or gf? Do you do things for them? I find it hard to actually do favours for my new gf because I wonder why she can’t do it herself. I get to wondering if she is in some small ways like my ex only I haven’t seen behind her mask yet. It’s just so hard to trust anybody after being in a relationship with one.

      • johnnycab says

        Toxic is the correct word to use for my ex. And believe or not, that is the word she used about our marriage!

        I am currently looking for a new wife. But in the the process, I am learning more about myself and why I was attracted to such a woman in the first place. I believe that a sociopathic BPD will always give signs early on that they are not who they claim to be. I am ever vigilant for those signs. I think I know enough about the condition and why I was susceptible to it to be able to recognize and avoid it like the plague.

  6. jackinthebox says

    Dr. T. is verbalizing what some of us can’t articulate. Great article!

    It’s funny because I left my wife 4 months ago and I just had a talk with my parents who want me to give her another chance. When I explain that she will almost certainly never change, and that she still thinks I’m the one with the problem, my family thinks I’m being too harsh. Some people just want you to grin and bare it. As if living with someone with these kinds of issues was a walk in the park. Little do they know.

    Thanks again for your insight.

    Jackinthebox

    • LT Greenwald says

      Don’t go back, brother! Don’t do it. Just read through the posts and comments on this site if you’re thinking about it.

      At four months you should feel pretty awesome. Even if you don’t feel awesome, you ARE awesome.

        • Freedom says

          One time when i was very much an adult, my father and i got into a huge fight to the point where i allowed him to physically throw me out of my parent’s house. It was either that or I’d go to jail for beating his ass (finally). I didn’t fight back out of respect for my mom. Unfortunately, since she was married to the man, she got caught in the middle of our problem, cuz i told him that i would never come around again until he apologized. Now everyone who heard the story all agreed that i was 100% right in doing what i did and he was 100% wrong, yet they all told me that i should go apologize just to make peace. My answer was “Hell no… part of the reason that this man is the way he is is because you all allow it, apologize for things that you didn’t do. Apologize for being the victim of his abuse. I will not, ever, allow this man to treat me this way again. Someone has to finally put their foot down against this man. I can’t speak for you all, but i can speak for myself and this is not acceptable ever again, and will not be tolerated ever again”.

          So no… it’s easy for people who are not in your shoes to think it’s best to make nice and be the good soldier. They’re not the ones dodging bullets. They’re not the ones who bleed when you get struck. They’re not the ones who see your efforts to minimize the collateral damage. You are truly in a situation where nobody can appreciate it unless they’ve been there. Further still, nobody else has the right to determine the amount of abuse and damage that you should have to go thru.

          • LT Greenwald says

            Right on, Freedom! Inspiring story…

            I had a similar fall out with my mother (but no physical violence). I will never forgive her for what she did. She knows that. I think forgiveness is overrated. It’s often a tool of manipulation used to bludgeon good-hearted people.

          • B Experienced says

            LT
            In your case, forgiveness is to only get the bond of hate and anger with your Mom out of your heart so that she has no power over you. It certainly doesn’t excuse or make any of her wrong doing acceptable. I forgave the Cluster B’s in my life; especially the one who deliberately demolished it so I have no connection that person. There is nothing worse to a narcissist than for someone to have no feelings for them. That was my incentive. Now I know I am really free of this person. It didn’t happen over night either because of how much damage was caused. I was, however, determined to be free and have me back again.

          • jackinthebox says

            B Experienced,
            And, having yourself back again is worth it. Damn it, I sound like a hair commercial now. :-)

          • B Experienced says

            Hi Jack:

            Forgiveness has a three fold purpose with the Cluster B’s. The first is to set yourself free, and the second and third are for retribution and justice in a moral and legal way. I knew the “psycho” therapist I was referring to above, hated me and wanted to destroy me because I was everything she was and never could be. When I looked back, I saw the patterns and it took on an eerie meaning. One of them was that she continually pointed out my intelligence, looks and capabilities. It seemed odd to me that somebody would mention it so much especially since I didn’t seek help because I had a problem with my looks or intelligence. Plus I was always humble, and I wasn’t raised to focus on people’s looks, or people’s smarts; especially mine the amount of time she did. I never liked that amount of attention anyway, and nobody normal needs it either. I remember thinking she needs help for her own obsessive problems and insecurities even before I knew what I do now about the Cluster B’s. She made it sound that good looks can solve your other problems. In my mind, it can’t and it doesn’t. In a narcs mind, it is a shallow attempt to do so.

            Then out of the blue, she started demeaning me. My physical flaws were pointed out in front of others as well as the areas that I simply wasn’t that smart in or ones that I needed to grow and learn in. I thought it was her way of trying to make the rest of me go away because she couldn’t take it anymore; yet I never even brought it up to begin with. She was only in a fight with herself from the start. I believe that it is a form of magical thinking when the narc splits and sets out to destroy you. As if focusing on my flaws would erase the rest of me. Really now. It only works in their mind because normal people balance it all and realistically assess themselves and others. I don’t have a problem saying that I suck at something or could use a library of Dummy Books for many a subject. I never did. Normal people don’t have a need to not think anything realistically negative about themselves either like the narc does. Normal people can also love themselves while they are doing it, and the narc can’t. Where does their intolerance go? On you, and it can come out like projectile vomit or in covert ways.

            At first, these realizations literally sent chills down my spine. If she weren’t a psychotherapist, I wouldn’t have found it as bad. Who thinks that they will seek help from a psychotherapist for a simple stress problem, almost be pushed over the edge by having your fears played with by a real “psycho” therapist, and then be on the run for three years after you flee because she is stalking and harassing you. I knew that this all was just a warm up exercise compared to what she was really capable of doing too. I felt like I was in a movie because it was all so surreal. It wasn’t ending with one flick either. It was continuing on like Nightmare on Elm St. It certainly wasn’t fair to be cast in someone’s psychodrama without your permission, and I didn’t like it one bit. I was completely alone with this problem too for various reasons. There was no support to muster up for me; which made it far more difficult to manage and deal with.

            It came to me that by forgiving her and having no bond with her was very appealing because a narc of any kind can’t take that you have nothing for them in any way. I couldn’t stomach the thought that she was with me in my mind and body either. Keeping her with me for life wasn’t going to happen. Even creepier, was the realization that it was her way of becoming a part of me. By regaining myself and forgiving her she would no longer have any power over me and that wouldn’t sit with her because power and control over others and situations is a need she has as vital as breathing is. I terribly missed myself as well. By forgiving her she could no longer destroy me then either because I had the power over me, and she wouldn’t. I remember saying that’s it, “I am coming back with a vengeance”. It took a long time, but I did it. When I did, I said to myself that I am back better and stronger now. Try and get me now. I can guarantee you that you will end up being in the shape I was in. I have no empathy or sympathy to give her either because she doesn’t deserve it. Nor will I feed her pathological need to be a victim. When I was a victim, I held myself myself accountable and kept my morality and obeyed the law. I didn’t wallow in self pity or manipulate people to meet my needs or walk around talking incessantly about it all. I found it pathetic, beneath my dignity, self respect and sickening. As long as it was moral and legal, I was going to dish it out. I was playing hardball this time, and I was going to push her in every corner that I legally could if she messed with me again. I knew her better than she knew herself and that was to my advantage as was the education I gained in the field. This is very important to know, because Cluster B’s have poor or no insight into themselves. You can use their psychopathology to your advantage in order to gain the upper hand. However, it often requires contemplation so that you don’t become like them.

            Ironically, I ended up with support and most people have left her from what I heard including one of her kids. Her anxiety is over the top and she is psychotic at times now. She is still licensed and practicing though and will harm others. Although the statutes were up for me to sue her and the State could have cared less, my justice was served to me simply by her being her own worst enemy. There isn’t much in life that lasts forever or comes with a guarantee or warranty, but you can expect all of that with a Cluster B; especially one with a BPD underlay. They are the lawbreaker, hanging judge and jury all rolled into one within themselves. Satisfaction guaranteed for their victim.

          • jackinthebox says

            Oh, boy. I feel your pain. The main thing I’ve done is to disengage. No eye contact when having to see her (we have two kids together), no emotional responses, and simple “yes” and “no” answers. I know that she wants to reel me in so I don’t get involved. That’s what she did for over 13 years.

            Life is too good to spend it with a psycho, needy, babbling cluster b.

          • B Experienced says

            Hi Jack:

            When I read the men’s dilemmas and know that they have kids with one of these women, I feel nauseated, and I feel sorry for them and their kids. No other scenario is as bad as that. Now that’s a life sentence. I read once where a guy went to jail over some charge his Cluster B accused him of. It wasn’t true, but he thanked the judge so that he could get away from her for awhile. I understood what he meant, and I didn’t think he was all that crazy either. At least he could control who is visitors were!

          • jackinthebox says

            I completely agree. If I could just walk away and never see her again, I would. That would be the ideal situation. But, when I consider the alternative of staying or just seeing her from time to time then I feel better. People with these issues cannot/will not ever entertain the notion of introspection. That chip is missing. I can’t believe how many times I tried explaining simple feelings, observations that she never grasped. Empathy is not there at all. How can love or real intimacy be possible with someone like this. They have the emotional maturity of a 5 year old; egocentric, self entitled, blah, blah, blah. What a waste of a life that will never, ever stare at another human being who truly gets them and loves them for their generosity, affection and real connection.

  7. db says

    Been a long-time reader and this is by far for me the most accurate posting of my former wife that i have seen to date. Very well done. Following countless affairs, some physical violence on her part, I was smart enough to pull the plug – with the help of great insistence by a marriage counselor – and have separated for two years now and officially divorced for six months. I’ve taken this site’s constant advice to go no contact to the best of my ability.
    Sadly there are children – two girls under 10 involved – forcing what my ex often refers to as ‘bond that will be there forever’ and allows her the ability to use constant phone calls, frequent emails and just showing up unannounced at my door as her means to get inside my head and keep toying with me as her ‘half-dead mouse.’
    I do luckily have primary care of the girls, although mom has plenty of access and visits.
    Whenever there is a period of calm, you know as your posting indicates, she is just building up to the next storm. In the latest case, it was triggered by mom being angry about court-ordered access during christmas break. Following her weeknight dinner visit a couple nights before christmas, she at the end secretly ordered my daughter to walk out of my house into the night. It was surreal since my daughter upon returning home after the visit was jumping on me, excited to see me and playing. Then after my youngest was asleep, almost exactly 11 p.m., she got up out of bed, walked around me unannounced, went downstairs and out the door.
    She turned on the hysterics and ran not to her friend’s house next door or her babysitter’s home across the street, but eight houses down the road and knocked on the door of mom’s barfly partner who within seconds called police. The barfly also called mom (waiting by the phone?) who was there within minutes. It was chaos for several hours into the night after that as police tried to sort through her charm, (surprisingly well-dressed with makeup after 11 p.m.) and what happened. Luckily the officers made some calls on the spot and had enough of her history on file where in the end they were sympathetic to my cause. But that still doesn’t change the lingering effects of having that adreneline pumping and trauma that occurred. It bothers me still greatly over two weeks later.
    Mom has obviously already entrenched fear into my children to obey her commands. They are in the mindset to never disappoint mom. Much of their bond has been created through mom’s born-again christianity since I filed for divorce. She has used that to beat down on the children, keeping them on this ‘island’ where constantly they pray together several times per day, when she has them, against all others in the world, most of all dad.
    I can not imagine the haze and confusion the girls are already dealing with and will grow up with. There are little answers from the child experts – and there are more than a few involved thankfully – than for me to be myself and provide them the stability they need. Eventually, they say the kids will figure it out and be glad they have a refuge to escape the madness.
    My hope is by then it will not be too late that they will have developed mental abnormalities themselves under the firm hand of their ‘well-groomed, convertible driving, owner of two masters degrees, bible-thumping’ mom. She is also the same during our marriage of the unforgettable right hooks, constant threats to ‘stick a knife in me’ or ‘put a bullet in my head.’
    As for me, I’m often just an exhausted mess. Combine demands of work, being a single parent and wrestling with own demons caused by her actions during the marriage and the separation since, there is rarely time to catch my breath and feel normal. Someone asked me recently if i had started dating? Just the thought of the word turns my stomach since not only am i too worn out, but I will never trust myself to open the door again and gamble that the educated woman in the designer clothes or ‘Suzie the soccer mom’ across the table from me will not double down on my sociopath misery.
    It does get better, right??

    • B Experienced says

      db

      It does get better, and you will recover. Most of our fears are born from loneliness and fatigue. You are just in a state of mind right now that can and will change. First you need to deal with your fatigue and get the support and help you need.

      The more that you learn about the Cluster B’s the safer you will feel because you will spot the signs. After you recover and feel safe again, you may just find a normal woman and want to date. Take it all one step at a time.

      • db says

        It’s been two years since the separation and several years leading up to it. I have learned and read tons of information on everything from npd, bipolar, borderline and all the others which therapists have used to describe her and i’ve come to learn about – a lot of it also from this site.
        I could get my own masters degree in the disorders, but knowledge has done little to ease the fallout from the latest ‘police’ incident triggered by her, dramatic confrontations during child exchanges or insulting remarks that cut to the heart through emails or phone messages.
        Common sense would say to ignore the messages and her, but common sense also says to listen and watch it all just to know how bad she is this week so you can better protect the kids – and yourself.
        I have therapists and tired of talking to them over and over a la ‘groundhog day’ as every new hurricane from her hits me…different, yet always the same.
        No, I don’t see myself recovering and feeling safe again…I used to think I might, but two years later and no sign of wearniness from her (among her assessments is hypomania), I feel pretty hopeless about that. Especially because the kids are so young and give her a good excuse to keep this up.
        Even despite tons of knowledge on the behaviors and illness, I sadly don’t feel I can no longer distinguish a ‘normal woman’ even if she came up and hit me in the face…oh, wait a minute that was the old woman.
        It is exhausting.

        • B Experienced says

          From what you just stated, your fatigue is from hyper vigilance because you are trying to ward off the next threat. You sound depressed as well. The only thing hyper vigilance does is put you into an obsessive state that is cyclic and the end result is the burnout and depression you are describing. Anybody would be exhausted. I feel weary thinking about what you are going through. I know you won’t recognize what is good at this point either because hyper vigilance will put you into the tunnel vision state of mind you are in because all obsessional behavior does this. People can even begin to believe that no other thinking and possibility exists.

          You need some verbs to get you out of it. A lot of the time therapists can talk up a storm but stink at really helping you “out” of something. Freud said to them talk, so talk they do. Your wife isn’t going to change even with all of your knowledge so you have to change what you are doing. Sad but true.

          For example: I would arrange for someone else to pick up your children and take steps to avoid her at all costs. I would only answer emails when there wasn’t any foul or demeaning language in them, and learn to let her abuse of you go in one ear and out the other when you have to endure it. Tape or visually record it when you can. I would get a lawyer and have her abusive emails stopped if it continues because it constitutes harassment and perhaps libel. She is still doing it because it bothers you. In her mind, you still have a real relationship this way because you have contact and it gets to you on an intimate level. Sick but true.

          In order to get out of hyper vigilant states, set up a time each day to problem solve your concerns, write in a journal to unload your mind or just worry. Stick to this so that you have some breathing room and can do other things besides focus on her. Then do them. Make sure you have some enjoyment each day even if you don’t feel it at first. This will most likely require discipline and dedication on your part and you may have to deal with your own resistance since these behaviors can become ingrained and believed they are helpful on some level. Remind yourself that you are doing it this way because your kids need you in one piece and in a good state of mental health. This way you will give your problem a structural plan and you can learn to live and deal without it consuming you. You will probably see that your worrying is taking up a lot of your energy in a non productive way and it should decrease this way as well. I suspect that you believe by focusing so on her will save your kids and that focusing so is what loving Dad’s do. You have to take care of you to take care of your kids first. The reality is that it is just another way your ex has managed to take your power away from you, and she is making sure that you are weakened and miserable so at the very least you are not able to enjoy your kids. She is setting it up so that you think about her a lot of the time and will never let her go. This insight might be helpful to counter any resistance you may have to try any alternative plans.

          • db says

            l certainly appreciate such a detailed and thorough response. Hyper vigilance is exactly what I dealing with and it’s very hard to break the cycle. Your suggestions are all very practical and loaded with common sense. Unfortunately, I really am struggling to break the cycle. As soon as I start to feel somewhat stable and healthy that’s when the next storm hits.
            Even when little is occuring the mind starts wondering on flashbacks of some of the horrific moments of the past.
            Everything she was/is is just so foreign to me and how I was raised and the kind of person I am. But then that’s what made me the perfect victim for this – right??
            It almost feels like some post-traumatic stress disorder. But just saying that makes me feel like a jerk when you think of people who truly have been through much more traumatic situtions than a wacky woman whose every moment in life seems fuelled by causing chaos, turmoil and pain.
            I know the answer is to snap out of it and start enjoying life, but that’s easier said than done. Just have to keep on and hope for better days.
            Thanks again for the encouragement.

          • B Experienced says

            db
            I think that you may have elements of PTSD that run more on the complex type of it which simply means that you are suffering from more than one trauma. You stated that you feel like a jerk because others have dealt with more than you and that you should snap out of it. Dealing with a wacky woman who comes in any form of the combo pack of the Cluster B’s is no minor matter, and I don’t believe that you will just snap out of it especially since you are being continually assaulted by her. We are all candidates to be greatly harmed by them until we get the coping skills and learn how to deal with them. Don’t carry on where she left off by mistreating yourself. Turn your compassion inward and be your own best friend.

            There is a pattern here, and I think she is timing it that way too. You get through one episode and then she knocks you off balance again. It is called stealth abuse. I don’t think that it is coincidental on her part either.

            I would talk to a doctor and lawyer about what is going on with you and how she is affecting you and not stopping. It is affecting your health and this is clearly harassment. You can’t do this alone, nor should you. Most of the time as adults we are expected to carry are own. However when it comes to dealing with a Cluster B, this is an exception to that belief. You will need all the help and support you can get.

    • chester says

      As for being able to trust another…get better? Nope.time and again, I read others on this blog….that have found that “good woman” Just often enough to perpetuate the myth and continue to suck men in. It’s a load of crap. Spend time with’em get physical, drop hundreds of dollars..but DO NOT EVER buy into the losing game called marriage. The deck is stacked and it is a game for fools. Period.

      • lifeonborder-line says

        Chester the deck is totally stacked. Too much power can corrupt honest people and the power deck is definitely stacked in favor of women in divorce/family court. I do think there are good women. I used to think I wanted the family/housewife type, but many men who have stay at home wives discribe cluster B behavior. Before I would get into any kind of LTR I would make sure she works, has goals, is self sufficient and can recover from criticism without emotional dyregulation. Marriage or having a child with a woman is definitely something that you need to go into eyes wide open

        • lifeonborder-line says

          Ohh and for those of you who don’t know I am married to a stay at home cluster B. I have not had extreme abuse but her sociopathic tendencies have been showing up more and more lately.

        • chester says

          I still think we are kidding ourselves. Buddys of mine who are attorneys and business people etc. that seem to have really married top notch women….would never do it again. They roll their eyes…at the mention of the Mrs. No matter how wonderful, successful, beautiful…for some reason, one day most all sport the SAME HAIRCUT as the husband. Take a look sometime soon..in a restaurant or wherever. Elderly, heterosexual, couples…with the identical male haircuts…

  8. B Experienced says

    Sociopathy or psychopathy as I refer to it is not a stand alone disorder. When you look at the manipulations and charm and rage of both the BPD and NPD you can bet that you are seeing Psychopathy. These are just two of the disorders that psychopathy presents in.

    I have long thought that BPD has components of a normal person whereas an NPD usually doesn’t, and the psychopathy is the part that messes the BPD’s normalcy up. I believe that is why people have hope for the BPD because they see the normal components of their personality. Psychopaths have little or no conscience and problems with morality that are organically based and that is the perplexing part of a BPD personality structure to people who don’t know why things go awry as well as for the BPD at times. This is where the hope fades out. They appear and can be normal and then boom all hell breaks loose. I think their desperation for love stems from a normal need a for it, but their narcissism and psychopathy destroy their own self love and others.

    I don’t buy the abandonment belief for the root of their problem either. It reminds me of the Schizophrengenic Mother delusion. I believe psychopathy and narcissism are the missing pieces of the puzzle not abandonment. This cause and effect belief doesn’t make sense when you dig deeper based on empirical evidence. If you are around these people long enough you can see that their perceptions are naturally different even when other family members or others don’t see it their way from young up. I believe genetics is the answer for that. I believe that abuse sets the course of how their narcissism and psychopathy will play out and can explain the BPD maladaptive coping style, but nothing more than that.

    I have known BPD’s that weren’t abused as well. Their narcissism would account for their BPD structure because of the sensitivity that a narcissist has. The psychopathy really heats the mix up. There are many people who are sensitive and get hurt and don’t go on to develop a BPD structure. Nothing but genetics could explain that.

    • Mellaril says

      “The Sociopath Next Door” by Martha Stout supports a lot of your observations. Stout discusses the “nature vs nurture” topic and lands somewhere toward the middle.

      I had a clinically diagnosed psychopath working for me in the Navy and one of my wife’s HS friends could have been a chapter in Cleckley’s “The Mask of Sanity.” One of the distinguishing traits of both of them was a kind of “cognitive void” in the areas of conscience/empathy. Both of them had this remarkable ability to be totally in the moment without any regard as to what effect this might have on themselves, let alone others. This was a marked contrast to my exgf, who while appears to be some flavor of Cluster B, while short on empathy, had a conscience and never demonstrated the slightest hint of malice or vindictivness to me.

      Like Dr, T says, it’s a continuum. There may be more than one axis. Conscience appears to be one axis. The less conscience, the more “evil” they may seem to be. Natural ability or luck may be others. Why does one sociopath become the CEO of a major coporation and live the good life and another sociopath end up dead in an alley?

        • Mellaril says

          We didn’t let him stay in the Navy.

          It’s an interesting story. The guy had phenomenal charisma. Over time, we began to see things were a little off. His shipmates noticed stuff missing. Stuff he was supposed to do wasn’t done correctly or at all. He’d misrepresnt events. For example, he requested special liberty to get his car fixed. I asked his roommate what was wrong with his car and was told there was nothing wrong with his car. He went on a picnic with his girlfriend. Things went south for him when s passed some bad checks in town and got our full time attention. He saw things closing in and checked himself into the naval hospital claiming he had problems and needed help. The Navy psychiatrist diagnosed him as a psychopath. The psychiatrist told us he couldn’t deal with him medically, we had to deal with him administratively. Shortly after, he commiteed some infraction for which he was sent to non-judicial punishment. His previous infractions, like the bad checks, were part of the record. The CO put him on restriction and told the guy if he blinked wrong, we boot him out of the Navy. The guy lasted 36 hours on restriction. We located him at his home, packing, and had his roommmate delay him while we sent 3 armed sailors to retrieve him in handcuffs.

          He went straight to the brig and we never saw him again.

          • B Experienced says

            That’s good to hear. I admire the Psychiatrist for speaking the truth when he said that he can’t deal with him. Smart and ethical person. I only wish that most of the shrinks outside of the Military would do what he did. This delusional love therapy for the BPD and NPD is yet another egregious failure in the field.

          • LT Greenwald says

            B Experienced,

            I like your phrase “delusional love therapy.”

            My mother’s delusional love therapy was the no-consequences feminist movement, in which feelings trump reason. It says that a woman’s feelings can never be wrong. Indulge the crazy in a world where you never have to say you’re sorry!

          • B Experienced says

            Hi Lt.

            That is one of my many pet peeves in the Psychology Field. A feeling is just a feeling and all of them are okay. Yeah right. Tell me another one. Where I come from feelings are usually messed up from faulty thinking and/or biochemical in balances. I don’t find a pedophiles feelings okay. I don’t find pathological anxiety or depressive states okay either. Even the psychotic has the real perception in their belief system, and we are the delusional ones. They really need to watch who they license and revere. The DSM still agrees with me on all of that which I find surprising.

            That whole line of garbage came out of the Humanistic Movement of Psychology and was the brain child behind the anything goes and let it all hang out psychotherapies; as well as the I am okay and you are okay nonsense model. It is all as simplistic, stupid and dangerous as narcissism is. According to them, I shouldn’t be saying stupid either because it is punitive and critical. You guessed it narcissists can’t take any criticism or balance it in a healthy way in their personality so they deemed it pathological. I am now on their hot seat . While I am on it, they do have the right to use humiliation tactics or whatever psychopathic measure it takes for me to see it their way though. That is okay. Sound familiar?

            The feminists picked that up from the Humanists because a new wave of feminists started up again when the counter culture in the 60’s was taking off with the Humanists largely leading the way at that time in Psychology. A marriage made in Hell.

            It was thought that many of the Humanistic big cheeses were quite narcissistic if not full blown ones. All kinds of hokey phrases came out of it. Feminist leaders around that time were very narcissistic so of course they would love nothing more than a Mental Health Professional to validate that they are Okay in the Okay land of their NPD bubble world. They all used that like a weapon because some shrinks said it was so. I remember that well. I think you already figured out that critical thinking is not one of a narcissists favorite or necessary skills.

            Off the cuff, by addressing you as Lt., I am reminded of the silver bracelet I wore for years in the 60’s that you could buy to support an MIA or POW in the Vietnam War. My guy was a Lt. Col. Vernon Coons. I never forgot his name. I never took the bracelet off either. I wore it for years. It broke, and I wasn’t happy camper about it either. As a matter of fact, I still have it. I tried to find him a few years ago, and his name isn’t even on the Vietnam Memorial. I still wonder if he made it out alive and if he is alive.

          • B Experienced says

            I am elated that you found that! I will look it up. Thank you very much.

            Thank you for the compliment. I did have some formal education in the field at a university many moons ago, and I have studied many other professionals in the field who were competent. I learned the rest the hard way like all of you are. Plus I had a BPD Cluster Father, Sister and Grandmother. I grew up with it. I am more fascinated these days with the genetic perspective of these disorders because they were night and I am day.

          • B Experienced says

            PS– I just looked. He is still alive. It says together forever, only he didn’t know that it meant me too and not just his wife! Only kidding.

          • lifeonborder-line says

            You are welcome. The spreadsheet I found with the 30th had no info. I suspect he probably lives near where his wife is buried or with one of his children if he has them.

            We all share so many experiences. Its just really scary. My gift is with google. That is how I found s4m and the other online support forums I rely on daily.

          • LT Greenwald says

            B Experienced,

            I’ll echo lifeonborderline, you’re comments are excellent. I feel like I’m soaking in years of knowledge and wisdom. The humanist/feminist influence on psychology is truly “A marriage made in Hell.”

            Nice note about the bracelet. I know a lot of guys who wear them. Luckily, none of my friends have been killed. A couple have been seriously wounded, and I had some close calls. It’s a serious business, that’s for sure.

            Also, it doesn’t matter to me whether you’re pro-war or anti-war. It’s a nice show of support for the young men who bear the brunt of our foreign policy decisions. Which reminds me…

            I actually had a nasty fight with my wife about the meaning of 9/11!!! She refused to respect my view — even though I was in Washington, DC on 9/11, then joined the Army a few months later and deployed to Iraq twice. She gets to tell me to shut up because I have a nuanced view of the meaning of 9/11. She is of the “Toby Keith School of International Relations.” She’s anti-intellectual.

            That’s why we can’t have kids. I’d like to have real discussions with my kids. And I don’t want her around as a “moderator,” dumbing it down. I hate dumb conversation. All I can say is that she tricked me… she wasn’t like this when we were dating…

          • B Experienced says

            I am glad that there are no kids. Unfortunately, I have years of experience with the B’s. Helping others is the only good that can come from it.

            I have no doubt that she tricked you either. I used to have that argument with people quite a bit because they would say that they knew what the person was like before they got married. So in other words it was their fault for marrying them.

            Being a woman, I was more privy to how women came up with guises because they let me in on them. I remember females years ago coming up with devious ways to get the man they wanted. Ironically, they were social workers living in an apartment building I lived in too. One even asked me if they thought it was wrong to get pregnant so that that the man married her and yet she worked in Child Protection Services. Very disturbing. She didn’t listen to me and ended up getting pregnant and married the guy. This same woman used to spend the weekends crying in bed for various self esteem problems and one of her worst fears was that she would collapse from anxiety at the front door of one of the families she was investigating. Her solution. Leave that job and become a psychotherapist. I kid you not!
            The program I got accepted for was very strict. What we had to go through to get accepted was tough; yet the social work department was accepting the unhinged like there was no tomorrow. Try figuring that one out.

  9. OHT says

    Excellent primer on Sociopathy, Dr. T.

    Please offer your views on the following: Expanding & extrapolating on your article and potential consequences of sociopaths in family and society.

    (I’m not a mental health professional, but a once naive, targeted parent with incredible patience, and a victim of what a PACE custody evaluator called an “obsessed alienator.” I’ve had the unfortunate experience of observing a 15+ year longitudinal case study.)

    Readers with additional interest might consider complementing your well written article by listening to research of Dr. Martha Stout, (see Youtube: “Sociopath Next Door”. Key on approximately 4+ minute mark, of part 1 regarding occupations that attract sociopaths.

    It’s reasonable to conclude that sociopaths’ relationships are more likely to end in divorce, and if they involve children, sociopaths are more likely engage in alienating behavior. Based upon Dr. Stout’s research, family law attracts an increased number of sociopaths*. Alienated children form an enmeshed relationship with alienating parents. (great research on this by Dr. Craig A. Childress (search youtube Parental Alienation Dynamic, videos 13-15)).

    It is no surprise that the number of sociopaths (and psychopaths) are projected to be on the rise from the estimated four percent, especially in the U.S. Dr. Hare’s (psychopath) test actually allows for a higher score in the United States, than, say European countries, before being diagnosed as such. Apparently, American culture tolerates it more.

    Some believe BPD and sociopathy have similarities so it may be worth considering:

    Feminists criticize Borderline Personality Disorder diagnosis (see Wikipedia BPD/controversies; BPD diagnosis in women is three times more likely than men. Their arguments include: gender stereotypes, women diagnosed if they reject female roles, but then feminists hedge the position by asserting that if it’s a valid diagnosis it’s because they were victims of sexual abuse as a child. Essentially, BPD doesn’t exist, it unfairly describes women, but if does, from the feminist perspective, it’s all the result of an abusive man…in either case, men are to blame.

    Feminists vehemently oppose (almost in a sociopathic way) acknowledgment of Parental Alienation (Disorder, Dynamic, Syndrome, its admissibility in courts, and inclusion in DSM-5 and/or ICD-10). Professionals who want to protect children from abuse and emotional harm, and seek acceptance and recognition of the scientific research that supports PA are careful to note that both men and women can be “alienators”. The increased number of women who are alienators is often attributed to the fact that more women are custodial parents and therefore are in a position to alienate more often. To my knowledge, there is not evidence to support that as the reason women are more often alienators of children (only correlation). It seems plausible that 1) sociopaths, narcissists, and those with BPD are more likely to engage in behavior patterns that result in divorce, 2) those divorces, if they involve custody issues, are more prone to false accusations, alienation and contempt. 3) Given that three times as many women as men are diagnosed with BPD, the causation for the increased number of woman who are alienators is a dependent (causation) upon their psychopathology, and not explained by an increase in mother’s having custody (merely correlation).

    From the feminist perspective, they can neither risk the validity of BPD (or sociopathy), nor the existence of PA, because it would be logical to look at the psychopathology of the alienating parent, more often a woman. Consider how family law attorneys, who are more prone to be sociopaths than the general population, can exploit the situation at the expense of all parties (including the children) for profit. They cultivate the alienating behavior, increase conflict and contempt, and take advantage the alienator, at the ultimate expense of the children… and they do so without conscience. They know the father will if able hire counsel to protect himself n court against the false accusations, and because he loves his children, will retain counsel to protect what he naively believes to be a right to remain in his children’s lives, despite the mother’s interference. That results in perverse incentive for lawyers, especially if sociopathic themselves, to exploit encourage the sociopathic behaviors of the alienating parent. (Childress explains lose-lose scenario in which targeted parents often find themselves). It is exploited by the family law industry.

    Dare the feminists consider that the increased diagnosis in women is a result of children, placed with mothers with personality disorders, and subsequently grew up without the benefit of a father? That the children are victims of a multi-billion dollar divorce industry with an increased number of sociopaths, incentivized through federal funding, who engage in promoting false accusations, alienating behavior and perjury and do without conscience and without consequence in court?

    No. Generally, feminists, family law professionals, and those who support gender biased VAWA legislation and programs, refuse to recognize 1) false accusation, its incentives, and the psychopathology of the a women that engage in false accusations 2) the facts regarding increased child abuse in single parent households (the majority of which are single mothers), 3) that Parental Alienation is abuse, and 4) the consequences to the children as a direct result of emotional and mental abuse from the enmeshed relationship with the unhealthy parent has life long adverse consequences.

    When mothers alienate good and loving fathers, they are raising a new generation of false accusers (daughters) who are more likely to disenfranchise loving fathers from the lives of their children, or in the case of sons, a new generation of males who show tolerance for sociopathic woman and their abuse.

    This benefits any and all organizations that receive VAWA funding and the like. Many stand to benefit from federal funding from such action. The states (and family law industry) are poised to capture federal funds through incentives from SSI from fathers, bankrupted from legal expenses to remain in their children’s lives, are burdened with excessively high child support, and are hunted down and jailed for inabilities to pay.

    The consequences of the aforementioned factors, in western culture, if uninformed men continue to fall prey to sociopathic women through marriage, will result in increased numbers of divorce, increased parental alienation, and an increased number sociopaths in society. There are many who are ready, willing and able to profit from such an outcome. It is of the utmost importance that individuals become educated about the increasing prevalence of sociopaths in society, in order to protect themselves, and their children.

    Additional thought provoking content:
    http://www.fisheadmovie.com/videoclips (Dr. Hare commentary)
    “People of the Lie” by M. Scott Peck (thoughts on “evil” in society)
    Search: “ponerology” or “political ponerolgy”.

    Understand that people without conscience are willing to look away as children are being victimized and abused. It is often systematic in nature and is justified for any number of reasons…Football programs (Penn State), money, political agenda, etc.

    *Opposing counsel met with minor children and instructed them not to comply with court ordered visitation. (left in an unsolicited voice mail). Guardian Ad Litem told the PACE custody evaluator who diagnosed the mother an “obsessed alienator “ (per Darnall): “This is not about helping these children, this is about the direction I can take the family courts…(on women’s issues)”

    • lifeonborder-line says

      Absolutely correct. My wife was likely alienated from her Dad by her Mom. She left our son’s bio before he was born.

      VAWA has the same problem that all social engineering legislation has. Its the governments job to fix problems in society. Whether it is poverty, abuse, drug use, etc big government solutions always end up destroying rights and not fixing the problem they were designed to solve. Interestingly enough almost all government social activism arose from feminism. Religious feminists were responsible for the temperance movement. Women are motivated by security for themselves. Find a provider. Protect their children. However narcissistic, sociopathic women cannot see the threat they are to their children because of their sense of entitlement.

      Yes the truth is threatening to feminists but only if men and good women band together to vote for freedom, accountability and real justice. I’m not sure how to educate men of this problem before they get married. Maybe some MRA group can pool money and donations to run some PSAs? Maybe Daddy Justice can up his profile.

      If I seek a divorce(unfortunately seems inevitable), it is very sad that I would likely have to wage war with my wife to get at the minimum 50/50 custody that should be standard. That isn’t good for my wife, children or myself.

  10. Funky Monk says

    “Sociopaths have a need for extreme stimulation in order to feel emotion and are prone to feeling chronically bored. Some may resort to physical violence, gambling, drugs and alcohol, and/or promiscuity; while others create unnecessary conflict and drama for stimulation.”

    I often wondered why my ex-wife could not simply live peaceably but had to instead create unnecesary conflict at almost every turn. Even now with the limited access she has with my son, she still tries to create conflict wherever she can. I can only hope that her continued belligerent attitude will bite her in the ass again, but I have given up hope that she will ever change her ways.

    • chester says

      Mine too was full of drama. Constant conflict with somebody, always. They didn’t do something, or react in a way, she wanted. I kind of enjoyed it sometimes, because mainly, the wrath was directed at someone other than me. The other thing she did was gamble for hours on end. Her own money…but definitely addicted. Have others on this blog have had this experience…NPD’s BPD’s being compulsive gamblers as well? I’d be very interested to hear if that was the same experience for any of you. Her gambling really did a number on me. I was screamed at- that it was HER MONEY…and she was going to gamble the rest of her life. Told me to fuck off about it. All the while berating me for being cheap…not making enough…spending enough on her. Thousands of dollars shoved into video gaming……wasted….now buy things you cheap S.O.B!!

  11. knotheadusc says

    I have read “The Sociopath Next Door” by Martha Stout. It’s a very good book!

    My husband’s ex wife fits the description of a sociopath to a tee. I have never met her in person, but I have noticed that everyone who comes into contact with her and spends any time getting to know her eventually ends up on her narcissistic wheel. What was truly scary to me was meeting my husband’s stepmother and hearing her talk about how things “were not her business or my business” and later meeting my husband’s ex stepson’s girlfriend (and now wife, God help her) and hearing the exact same things come out of her mouth. It’s as if she programs people.

    There was a time when my husband’s stepmother (SMIL) and I didn’t speak because she was mad at me for refusing to spend Christmas 2004 at her house with the ex. Ex had tried to set up visitation with the kids at the in laws’ house. My husband and I had barely been married two years, didn’t have much money for the trip, and I had no desire to ruin my holidays by spending them with my husband’s crazy ex wife and new husband. Moreover, ex had informed my husband that he and I would have to book a hotel, since ex, her husband, and the kids would be staying at my husband’s dad and stepmother’s home. I thought it was a guaranteed disaster, so I opted not to go. Ex cried on SMIL’s shoulder about it and got her mad at me. Incidentally, that was the last time my husband saw or spoke directly to his daughters. They are now young adults and are apparently still chained to their mother’s apron strings.

    SMIL, like ex, has also always hated my husband’s mother. My mother-in-law would tell me things that ex had said, telling her that she wasn’t an appropriate grandma because she wasn’t old and gray and didn’t sit in a rocking chair. Meanwhile, SMIL had heard from the ex that my husband’s mother was a better grandma because of all the things she did for the kids. It didn’t matter that the ex hated my mother-in-law and didn’t even let the kids see her. SMIL had no way of knowing that, except for when she would tell SMIL nasty things about mother-in-law to build solidarity and loyalty. She would bond with SMIL over their mutual hatred of my husband’s mom. Ex used MIL to keep SMIL in line and keep her trying to win ex’s favor and, by proxy, the kids’ love. Meanwhile, Ex would tell mother-in-law things about SMIL to make mother-in-law jealous and try to get her to compete for the kids’ love.

    When SMIL and ex finally had a falling out over lies ex had told and was caught in, SMIL finally sat down and talked to me. This was approximately five years after the Christmas debacle. We compared notes and determined that ex had been pitting my mother-in-law and stepmother-in-law against each other. Mother-in-law had told me things ex had said. Stepmother-in-law told me things that ex said. It turned out she was telling them different things to prolong their conflict. By the time our two day visit was over, my stepmother-in-law seemed a lot more understanding toward my husband’s mother and even asked how she was doing. But for years, these two women refused to communicate, all because of what my husband’s crazy ex had told them.

    Ex no doubt pits her kids against each other and probably even her husband and former husbands. It would not surprise me in the least if, during a quiet moment, ex told her current victim how much better a provider and lover my husband was. And current victim, trying to keep everything together and not lose contact with his kids with ex like her other two exes have, does everything he can to keep her happy. It must be like trying to fill a bottomless pit.

    I notice that the only information anyone gets about anyone in ex’s sphere is filtered through the ex. For instance, we heard that the kids hated us not from them, but from the ex. When my husband’s daughters sent letters disowning him, they arrived on xeroxed copies rather than originals. And we have no way of knowing if they actually wrote the letters or not. They probably did, but we have no way of knowing the circumstances of how they came to write the letters. She would never let the girls talk to my husband and tell him directly they wanted to disown him. She never lets anyone in her sphere talk to anyone directly. All information comes filtered through the ex and is spun in a way that upsets people or taken out of context.

    Unfortunately, it seems that most of the people caught in her sphere lack the ability to think for themselves. I think it’s because she keeps people so “on edge” and upset that they never have the chance to sit down and use their brains. I’m sure living with her must be like being a can of soda that is constantly shaken and never has the chance to settle. She uses children to fight her battles. I worry that now that three of their children are now adults, she will use their younger brother and sister to keep the older kids in line. Or, when they start having kids of their own, she will try to manipulate her grandchildren to keep her kids in line. I also wonder how these older kids are going to feel now that they are adults and people won’t be bending over backwards to win their love. Most people expect adults to act like adults. They won’t be so quick to hold their tongues to avoid hurting their feelings.

    Anyway, sorry for the long comment, but these have been my observations. I wish I could stop thinking and talking about ex, but it’s just astonishing to see the damage this woman has wrought over the years. She ruins relationships and doesn’t promote peace. I truly worry for the unsuspecting people who get caught by her.

    • B Experienced says

      I like your analogy of the soda can. It fits perfectly. The psychopath is very adept at causing internal chaos, yet we are supposed to have sympathy for the eternal chaos a BPD has. No way.
      I believe that it is a natural and healthy phenomenon to think about what a psychopath has done after one has had a profound experience with a psychopath. It is so out of the ordinary that it takes time to process it all and integrate it to rebuild yourself. It is like walking down the street and all of a sudden the trees start to dance. I can bet that if that happened, no one would forget that anytime soon and would want to know why.

  12. parmo1 says

    it seems to me Dr T. that you are describing the characteristics of the alpha males, the ones that women throw themselves at. To be a successful businessman, they have to to have most of those traits, and as a consequence of those traits they get to have the big car, house and big choice of sexy females. The rest of us normals get the duller, uglier but normal wives and small cars and houses.
    Excuse me for being contrarian, but i am interested what you think about this.

    • B Experienced says

      Parmo1
      You are describing the males who have the Dark Triad-Narcissism, Psychopathy and Machiavellian. There is some competent and interesting work on the internet regarding this.

    • chester says

      What those “alpha males” often posess is the BIG GUT, and often times, the sexy female sneaks- and humps the kids hockey coach. Eventually, the botox and fillers don’t work anymore. Sun damage and gravity catches up to them as well. So does that hoyty toyty wine habit. At least I choose to beleive these things… ;)

      • david says

        “Sun damage and gravity catches up to them as well. So does that hoyty toyty wine habit. At least I choose to believe these things…”

        don’t forget the pills….I had some people tell me not-so-long ago that my BPD/Sociopath had dropped a lot of weight, more wrinkles than a Gucci bag, bad complexion and has been seen with a guy on a regular basis…..at 26, she looks like she is 35….I don’t know what the cause is but, at the risk of sounding calloused, I don’t care what is going on….the less time she has to plot/hassle me….I’m good with that. I read once where they did a study on military personnel and the lack of nutrition causing “personality disorder” type symptoms. WOW….I can’t imagine a Cluster B on meth, not eating, not sleeping….hell on earth. Worry, drugs, liquor, anorexia, lack of sleep….they age quickly and not well. I remember my Mother looking way older than she was. It is sad to say but most of them end up alone….in the long run….the ones with looks, when young, have a chance….once that fades…all that is left is the ugly inside and it shows a lot clearer when pouty lips and good looks aren’t there to hide it.

  13. stupid cupid says

    I cannot thank you enough. I genuinely thought I was going crazy. I would try and pour my heart out with my (as of today ex) girlfriend. We originally broke up because she scared me. The arguments were so petty, so surreal and intangible that my friends said I had abandoned her. They never saw how she was behind closed doors. Soon after we broke up I met someone quite the opposite and told her the truth out of respect. Within a few weeks she slept with one of my (supposedly) closest friends. The situation confused me so much and left me doubting everyone, including myself. I let go of a caring girl because I thought the ex needed my support and because I couldn’t trust anyone. My friend’s sister says she did it to get in my head. She succeeded.

    She created an intricate web of lies which he cut through with the simplicity of his explanation when he told me the truth. I believed him within minutes, over time memories started to come back like when I got to her house he was there, he had eaten all the food I bought and she showed no empathy whatsoever. She was happy and chirpy but tried to tell me that she was crying on his shoulder. He had no reason to lie and it turns out there was no crying. Since I was stupid enough to get back with her, still love her I told her it haunted me, tried to calmly ask what happened and whenever I fell apart she showed me no empathy whatsoever, only anger.

    I found myself trying to communicate over and over. There are so many things I could share but I have read about ten of your articles and she is has many of these symptoms of borderline / sociopath… clearly deeply destructive. I could already tell her smiles were fake, that she moaned about everything that was wrong with the world and was uninspired with my wanting to change the world. She faked and mimicked my friends to bond with them.

    I made mistakes in the past and to this day feel so painful and sorry for what I did. I told her this. Every time however she would throw in my face what I had done when we broke up last year. With hindsight I had done the right thing because she was scaring me. I started to doubt myself, I talked of betrayal, how I couldn’t breath, couldn’t train, couldn’t think, couldn’t see my friends or work. It turns out she has done the same to all past boyfriends who were really nice guys, with their closest friend! She went from one friend to the next. Listening to your radio show a caller is talking about how persuasive his ex was. So I cannot express any more at the moment because it is all so fresh except to say I am so deeply thank you for this knowledge which has empowered me to be free of her physically and psychologically.

    Now you are talking about chasing the dragon, trying to get that back. I can finally give up. Thank you thank you thank you. I will now be positive, take care of everyone I love and change the world. I will write to you when I have had success because my stability is a foundation for the stability of whatever I touch and create. I am full of love because my family and friends are so deeply loving. I thought something was wrong with me but I am genuinely blessed by them and, now you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. I had a lot of the character changing / traumatic traits which I felt slip away as I read your article. I slept like a baby for the first time in a year and do not crave anything except the gym. Clicking send before I edit or change my mind. God bless you for this blog.

  14. jlevel says

    This so smacks of the woman I had been living with for a year.
    Wealthy and entitled with serious ownership issues.
    When she decided to finally be done with me,
    She attacked me physically, then called the police with a hang up 911.
    I was arrested, made homeless, financially ruined, and remain in various courts
    both civil and criminal. Life is a nightmare.
    She has shown so manyt traits of a sociopath….
    She is the best at ” the spin”….
    and though I was drug away beaten and bleeding
    by the police that early new years morning…
    I don’t stand a chance .
    I fear for my life.

  15. JenniferSmyth says

    Thanks for posting this. This article is incredibly helpful and informative. It describes my husband’s 16YO DAUGHTER from a prior marriage, to a T. This past weekend, she got thrown out of her mother’s house for the 3rd time. One set of grandparents threw her out twice. The other set threw her out once. This all transpired after she stormed out of our house 6 months ago, proclaimed that she hated us and then went around telling everyone that I threw her out and trashed me on Facebook. We refused to take her back in. Everyone is afraid of her 19YO boyfriend. He has a history of violence and has threatened my husband. His daughter sat there and all she had to say was, “Dad, you’re ruining my relationship.” The daughter keeps letting him in whatever household she is living in, and refusing to follow the rules. At one point, my 80YO father-in-law was sleeping with a knife under his pillow. She also lies compulsively about pretty much everything and seems to have absolutely no regard for anyone’s boundaries or basic personal safety. This has been fueled by her intelligence and good looks. She has this svengali-like ability to just suck people in. Her whole high school pretty much sucks her asshole because of her looks. It makes me want to fucking barf!

    Quite frankly, I’m just grateful that she isn’t violent. I guess that’s because she’s a female.

    Anyway, I’m really glad to have found this article. I’m glad someone is talking about this. It’s a bit of a taboo subject that really needs to be addressed more.

  16. CJhumbledvictim says

    I’m posting late, but I can humbly say that I have learned through therapy that I am a victim of one of the most cruelest forms of female sociopathy. I am in the middle of my divorce from her. I am so ashamed and I don’t know how I am ever going to tell my daughter about the real truth. I am so broken, and after being close to death I made te decision to live. Being the victim in an addictive bond to a sociopath can bring down ANYONE. I am proof. No one will ever believe my story except the few in my life who have been victimized in their own way by this “non-human.”. Dr. Thank you for providing awareness and a place where people of similar fate can learn and acknowledge that there IS life after this hell of criminalization we suffered through. The exploitation of decent han beings in this fashion is more criminal than rape or sexual abuse. Having lived through sexual abuse as a child, I find her sociopathic exploitation far worse. I loved her and gave to her the most my heart and soul could tender. My most private and intimate parts of my life were given to her as well, only to be exploited and discarded. My heart goes out to others who have been hurt. It can be fatal. Thank you.

  17. MikeE says

    “Sociopaths have a need for extreme stimulation in order to feel emotion and are prone to feeling chronically bored.”

    I find this extremely ironic considering I just posted a comment where I ended it by saying that she abused me that day because she was bored.

    It’s frustrating how people instinctively come up with excuses if I say “My ex was a sociopath”. Rather then ask for proof/evidence, or examples, they begin coming up with “examples” as to why I’m wrong. That only happens in the movies. Sociopaths kill people, and she couldn’t have been a sociopath since you’re still alive. Only men are abusive. You’re just trying to make her look bad… I even had a “therapist” who worked at a crisis center for abused women gloat about how it’s illegal here to give the location of the center which houses women fleeing violent relationships, but it’s NOT illegal to say where the men fleeing violent relationships are housed. The bias of society is so outrageous.

    The amount of emotion that my ex was capable of was shocking. She never appeared happy. Never sad. Only ever showed contempt, enjoyment, or blank. Enjoyment when she saw someone in pain, contempt when she wasn’t in control, and otherwise would just be blank. All other “emotions” were clearly faked as they would end the instant whoever she was interacting with was no longer able to see/hear her. Like a chameleon, would just morph into whatever roll she believed the person she was speaking with was expecting of her.

    The ability to lie with such sincere honesty. For a time, I thought that I was the one who was crazy. I’d catch her in a lie, but then she’d lie about lying. With such honesty that I would question if I was remembering things wrong. Then I’d catch her lying about lying about lying, and she’d lie again with complete and utter honesty. If only the people around me at the time would have taken my complaints seriously, rather then repeatedly telling me that I was over exaggerating or flat out lying. Always helpful when your friends tell you that you’re lying, and your abuser tells you that you’re lying, and you’re unable to tell if she’s lying, which causes you to question yourself. Even when you’re clearly right, it’s hard to maintain that attitude when everyone around you is constantly telling you you’re wrong.

    A loving mother doesn’t punch herself in the stomach when pregnant in order to retaliate against the fetus kicking. A loving mother doesn’t pick up an infant and throw it across the room because it’s crying. A loving mother doesn’t attempt to drown her child. “Oh you’re lying. If that were true then she’d have been arrested.” NO! Police only arrest if they have EVIDENCE. Pic or no proof attitude when it comes to abuse is absurd.

    She would regularly threaten to kill my cat. Going so far as to hide the cat in a closet and tell me that she had killed it. Since I’m unable to tell when she’s lying… Yeah. Luckly the abuse usually wasn’t directly targeted at my children. Instead it was targeted at me, and occasionally she’d abuse them in front of me, as a form of abusing me. She spent most of her time attempting to talk me into, or motivate me into killing myself. Creating fake accounts online, and pretending to be friends of mine. Then under the guise of being someone else, she’d list off all the reasons that she felt made me worthless and how the world would be better off without me. Luckly she wasn’t at all creative, so the reasons were generally very absurd.

    Unfortunately after a year and a half of being told daily that I was worthless and should kill myself, and having friends/family tell me that I was lying and should try harder to get along with her, I did attempt suicide. Which led to me finally realizing just how bad of a situation I was in. Afterwards, a lot of people called me stupid. That attempting to kill yourself is a stupid/selfish thing to do, because doing so hurts the people who care about you and their lives would be better off with you alive. My exes reason for calling me stupid, was very different. In her eyes, I wasn’t stupid for trying to kill myself. Instead, I was stupid because I had failed. I had tried to kill myself, and failed, because I was too stupid to know how to kill myself properly. Then gave me tips on how I could be more successful next time. Was my ex a sociopath? Yes, yes she was.

    I couldn’t leave immediately, as doing so would have meant leaving my children behind. Since she had harmed them in front of me, I had no illusions of what would happen if I wasn’t around to protect them. Especially with her regular threat to kill them if I attempted to distance myself from her. Instead I took a very long and grueling process through family court. Lasting five years, and taking place in four separate courts. Outside of court, she wanted nothing to do with them. Inside of court was a whole different matter. She’d ask for them, be given a “second chance” (judge always called it a second chance, even when it was her third or fourth), and then a week or two later drop them off at my place again.

    Then when custody was close to being settled, she played her trump card. Call the police, claim that I’m abusing her and my children, and press charges against me. I was immediately thrown in jail. Which turned out to be one of the best things to happen. A criminal has more rights then a father. I was granted counseling (which had been denied previously), and the for the first time ever, someone took the time to listen to my side of the story. Questions were raised, and more attention was put onto my case.

    Finally my ex did what she always does. She abandoned them. I was awarded sole custody and sole guardianship, and the criminal charges against me were eventually “dropped”. Technically they fudged things a little in order to maintain face. “Wrongfully charge someone? We’d never do that.” I enter into a recognizance with the court. In return for dropping the charges, I would prevent the “situation” from occurring again. Since the charges were based off of a false report, it was quite an easy agreement to uphold.

    Sorry about the long post, but one rant led to another, and eventually felt that I may as well finish the summary and end the comment on a high note.

  18. ninexlbs says

    What a piece. Thank you for writing this – even it does rings so true-and-familiar its set my guts on fire. I was – not incidentally – with this person you’ve drawn for us for about three years and a marriage that lasted three months. I was stupid – truly bloody stupid, DUI stupid – to marry her I’m divorcing her now. I remember when she spanked our 5-month-son, scolding him for “lying” to her. It’s the moment in her behavior when realized her she wouldn’t stop, not ever. This – fundamentally –
    – was the person she was. But now we had a son. Let me say: I love my young son. I’ve been the primary caregiver all his life and I’ve dedicated my life to raising him. She wants custody of him now but, as I see it, it seems to have very little to with him. She wants to win. Sure, divorcing folks might see their spouse that way, but, as you all seem to know, this case is different. It’s custody battle, chiefly. So, if you would, just imagine it all. Picture the pitch and fear in it. Then imagine, if you would, a world on fire. Then, if you would, please – please – send for help. Somebody just … help.

  19. Jbow says

    Thanks so much for this article. It is great to see that I am not insane. This article fits my ex-wife to the letter.
    I was always taught never to hit or be violent towards a women, so I just copped her games and abuse and victim playing for years, when I finally went to the police, she played the victim and made them feel sorry for her and tried to charge me for wasting police time and making up stories. When I got home from the police station I copped the biggest flogging with a leather strap and name calling and abuse ever. I couldn’t go to the police because they didn’t believe me. She ended our marriage and threatened to kill me if I told anyone we were seperated, because she didn’t want to look like the bad one. I finally called her bluff took the kids and left, I’m still alive and she begged me to get back with her, when I didn’t she told everyone she met that I had had an affair and she kicked me out…. Always the victim. The court fell for her act and she got 50% custody of the children.
    We are now however much happier and I have learned a lot about some women. What I still can’t cope with though is when people always think women are the victims. Some times they are, sometimes they are just nast sociapathic bitches.

  20. bjc7 says

    Ok, I have spent the last day researching this and am blown away. I have felt as if I am crazy and foolish all my 17 yrs of marriage. I began to feel I was wrong. My wife left me and the four kids two months ago and lives in a world of secretcy from me. She gives no explaination or closure. She filed for divorce and is trying to destroy me as a person not just divorce me.

    I have been crushed in a way that tops everything in life. I could not understand how she could just snap and have no concern. She even meet me 1 month into it for dinner, cried with me, then went to a motel for crazy sex. I could not have her come to the house the teenage girls of our despise her and there is reason.

    I found out she had an outright open affair while was deploy, she integrated this man and his kids into our children’s lives immediately. She is attracted to kids then to the man. She had an internet affair in 2003 while I was deployed. She has openly flirted infront of me and been to playful with teenage boys at our house.

    Two weeks ago I decide I was done. Is told my older girls and they told me that they have been waiting to tell me some things that would not if I still loved mommy.

    They told me she has been taking them to mens houses and being overly flirty with men since 2005 when I was deployed. they have woke at night and heard male voices in the house and they called for her. She would come and beat them telling them not to tell their siblings or me because it would distract me in combat. One daughter heard her bring a man into the house and have sex. When I got back in 2006 from this year deployment she had had breast implants, got Lasic surgery and started college at home. This was when I felt her withdraw. I asked her if her intent was to leave me and she blamed me for being crazy, unloving, and bothered by childhood fears. Which has always been the answer.

    After hearing this from my girls the lights came on. All of our marriage I have felt it. Asking and being made fun of for being untrusting and traumatized by my childhood experiences. All the things they relayed lined up with times I felt trouble. I see that this started right after we got married.

    Now I am no angel but this is beginning to unfold into the hardest thing I ever had to accept, she made 17 years dirty and I have nothing.

    She would tell me so many times of wonderful nice men she had met and spent time talking to. This was her way of confesing I think or to do some type of “gaslighting”. The things she would say or revile would destroy me. I caught her giving a show orally to a dildo at a Halloween party when she had been drinking. She looked totally busted. she will never drink around or with me, but drinks with friends. I think now she was not wanting the other person to comeout.

    I have always thought she was two different people. I have feared her anger and known she would do anything when she was made and always fearful she would leave and go screw someone just because. My daughters tell me as soon as she would drop me off for a deployment she changed and was totally different and made them care for the kids.

    Her Christianity has always been way up and none existant. I look back and place it at odd times.

    She has brought huge self-esteem issues to me and really made me realize I don’t know how to be loved. I have had to work for hers, she even told me She would despise me for doing nice things for her when she was being bitchy. She revealed the most intimate details of her affair(s) and almost seemed like she was telling me at times to hurt me, totally without emotion. She has told me things that I blew off and could never figure out.

    I am in counseling and was given an assignment to write out all the things she did to hurt me. I began and about 45 minutes later was devastated at how much I had overlooked. I actually was scared, thought I was wrong, and felt as if I could not have anything as good as her.

    Now I am not the most handsome fellow but I am not to bad and get a lot of attention. She got furious at my kids during visitation about them saying daddy gets hit on a lot. she is absolutely convinced I had an affair and is ruthlessly trying to destroy me for it. Without compassion or reflection of her deeds she works to destroy me. One of her siblings told me that she was worried and that her sister is wrong to try and hurt me like this.

    She would open up about once every 6 to 10 months and admit her “wrongs” of emotional walling off and selfishness. in six years she has had 2 breast enhancement surgeries, 5k for eye lasic, and I have paid almost 20k out of pocket for her degree. The kids and I have nothing and went without. She seemed to be “guilty” but only once a year or so.

    She has a degree, left us, now refuses to get a job. She quit coming home about 10 months ago, she is a realtor and stays there all evening. Always saying how much she loves reality and the people she meets. I now understand. I do everything at the home. she has picked up a part time job at her lawyers office and babysits at night. She seems to think she is entitled to me pay for her to live as she is and doesn’t care that the kids and I are going without. She was asked by my lawyer where is the money coming from, she just left and knows we have no extra. She just shrugged and went into I am entitled to this and this.

    When asked by the judge what she wanted in regards to the kids and she could not answer. This was very uncomfortable for the 30 seconds she was on the stand and brings to light who she is.

    I told her her daughter was awake and heard her have sex with another man. She said “I truly thought she was asleep. If she was awake that is tragic”. Wow. This and other replies lately just brought more confusion and pain. More thinking I was wrong.

    Yesterday I started researching Sociopathic women and other related topics. I think I have found the answer and it hurts to know that we really don’t matter and she feels not regret and is gone forever. this is only in Gods hands now. I am somewhat glad to know the terror I have lived in for 17 years is over.

    So I will stop, I could go on forever. Any help in this would be appreciated. I need validation in life and the only person in the world who knows her is her sister and we talk at time.

    Thanks

    • Mellaril says

      Keep reading. There’s a lot of good information here that can help explain things.

      Head over to the Forum. There are several vets and active duty that post there. If you’re looking for validation, that’s the place to find it.

    • Stressfree says

      Oh brother, I JUST left my own comment to this article and then read your story. I am sorry, and I truly sympathize. It definitely helps unfortunately to know that this is happening to other men and that NOW we know there are signs to watch out for. Just keep pushing on, love your kids, be their rock, and keep going to counseling. Your not perfect, but your can be a perfect daddy ;) DONT WAIT

  21. Stressfree says

    Luckily my story is only lasting a year, I am currently in the midst of the FINAL lie. I will give you all the readers digest version to spare pages of repetitive actions and nature from my soon to be finally EX girlfriend. She is the mother of 6 kids with Three different fathers. I have two ex wives myself so I could sympathize with her stories of why she had three different dads. It started about a month and a half into our relationship, there was an AMAZING bond and spark. She was soo beautiful and charming and charismatic….sound familiar?….I went on an ice fishing trip with my GUY friends, something I had never done in my life, and while on my way and during my shortened weekend she had fabricated a Stalker, texted me pictures from said stalker through “his” phone of her apartment and vehicle, sent gut wrenching messages through “his” phone of what he was going to do to her. A ton of horrific things to get me to Fear for HER safety and rush back to protect her. a couple weeks went by, enough for me to gather enough evidence that it was all a lie….fake facebook pages, pictures, phone numbers that were disconnected, etc. etc…. She kept it up for the entire time, texting and calling me with run ins from him and more stories about her getting him arrested while I was at work, etc. etc. Long story short, called her out with evidence in hand. She hated me, it was my fault, no real remorse, etc etc. After a while she worked her magic again and won me over, BTW sex is AMAZING and will be used to her FULL advantage of persuasion. Another long story short, Fake pregnancy and miscarriage, pulling on my heart with her belief that the baby was going to be a boy, something she knew I desperately had wanted years past. I couldn’t prove it was fake. But her sister asked me IF I actually saw ANY of the proof she was providing me live while it was happening….NOPE I didn’t. a few other stories have happened between then and now, YES I saw it right out of the gate with this relationship, YES I had a gut instinct the first few weeks we were together (I am very good at reading people), YES she is VERY persuasive, YES I have a nurturing want to fix problems sympathetic aspect to my personality, and YES I didn’t listen to any of my friends and not even her own family because love would prevail above all. Its taken me a year and one last I believe to be fraudulent pregnancy to finally convince myself that this will never be a real relationship and that I am just providing some type of fulfillment for her right now and when she is done she will rid herself of me just like all these other poor men on this site. In fact, I’m pretty sure as I am typing this she is having a “miscarriage” that has been set up since last night. The exact same way as the last. See she moved back home two weeks ago in a fit of drama of course because every day has to have drama for her, and with her leaving she informed me that she was pregnant and that I would not have any part in this baby’s life (that she is sure is a boy) and she would find a “real” father for this baby who will get to experience everything I will miss. She is probably having this miscarriage because I have convinced her that I am still in love with her and want to have this baby with her as a family and that I will be at the next ultrasound appointment to hear its heartbeat for the first time with her. A couple hours after me telling her I would be coming up for all of this she started feeling crampy and now is spotting……..THANK YOU sooo much for this website, I felt soo lost until I read these other comments. It is still going to break my heart and crush me to leave her even after everything she has done and even after reading all of this and knowing im just a pawn for her pleasure. Im sure she has cheated on me now looking back at how sexual she is and how much she CRAVES attention from men. Yes I thought I had arm candy too…Men I just warn you of how convincing this type of woman can be and how they will pull at your heart and claim to be victims of everything. If you have a gut feeling, its probably right. And love will tell you to look the other way or rationalize or give the benefit of the doubt but it will be followed by pure misery and a broken heart. I guess unfortunately none of you will know until you come across this site like I have AFTER the fact…..
    My short has turned to long, and I could go much longer but ill spare you.
    Smile every day, Love every day, Give every day, and most importantly DONT WAIT

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