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Archive for August, 2006

Red flags–if you see them, run

Last week Lovefraud posted an article that described one woman’s experience of romantic manipulation by a sociopath. Another reader responded with advice.

This woman had been married to a narcissist, which in many ways is similar to a sociopath. Once she divorced him and started dating again, she relied on a list of red flags. “If I saw even ONE flag, the guy was OUT of my life, period,” she says. Here is her list.

Red flags

1) Needing to be around you as much as possible and knowing where you are at all times.

2) Refusing to have any meaningful social life, even with his own family.

3) Telling you what to wear and advising what is “appropriate clothing” for you.

4) Requesting that you spend all your free time with him and NONE with friends. (In the beginning, you can see friends on a limited basis, but he has to be there.)

One woman’s experience of romantic manipulation

A reader recently contacted Lovefraud about her experience with a sociopath. Although she does not want to be identified—she still fears the man—she is willing to share what she learned. Following is her e-mail.

I am 41, newly divorced after a long marriage and new to dating. While my two-year separation was a healing period in my life, I was not prepared for the emotions and loneliness that followed the divorce being final. I met a man who is a stone-cold predator and struggled between what my gut knew to be lies and ongoing romantic manipulation and wanting to believe that I was wanted and adored by this new person in my life. I don’t see myself as the village idiot . . . I am a successful professional woman with my own home, but I do tend to trust, to yammer on about anything and all about my personal life and feelings, and these very same characteristics are what allowed this predator to come knocking.

My story in the newspaper

D Andersen Press.JPG

Last week, my picture was on the front page of the Press of Atlantic City. There I was in a teaser above the masthead. “The high cost of love,” it said. “An area woman’s story of how Internet love connections can breed impostors who take you for all you’re worth.”

The story itself was on the front page of the “Life” section. There I was again, in a full-color close-up shot across the entire top of the page, with the headline, “Winning their hearts, taking their money.” Another photo showed my computer, displaying the Lovefraud.com story about my ex-husband, James Montgomery, who I believe is a sociopath. Scattered on the keyboard was his collection of fake military ID cards–like Special Forces and Delta Force.

Sociopaths and sex

Lovefraud has heard from many people who have been romantically involved with sociopaths. They often comment on the “amazing sex.”

Many sociopaths are skilled lovers, and there are reasons for this.

First of all, sociopaths are hard-wired for sex. They have an excessive need for stimulation, excitement and sensation. They also have no fear and no inhibitions. From a sexual perspective, that means a voracious appetite and anything goes.

Secondly, sociopaths get a lot of practice. They usually start young—precocious sexuality is one of the early behavior problems typical of a sociopath. As they get older, sociopaths continue to engage in frequent, casual sex. Sociopaths have plenty of partners, and plenty of opportunities to learn.

Sex but no love

But just because there’s sex—even what appears to be wild, passionate sex—doesn’t mean there’s love. Sociopaths may be technically competent lovers, but there will never be any true intimacy or emotional sharing involved.