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Sociopaths drag their families into the con

Sociopaths will manipulate anyone. Let me repeat that. Sociopaths will manipulate absolutely anyone, including mom, dad, brothers, sisters—anyone. One way that this happens is the sociopath gets his or her family—knowingly or not—to participate in the victimization of the target.

Lovefraud received an e-mail from Rod in Nebraska. Rod’s daughter had been targeted by a sociopath. In his e-mail, he wrote the following:

One thing that I do believe should be approached about a sociopath is his ability not only to control his victim, but also his family. The sociopath works his family to the extent that he manipulates his immediate family into believing that none of his problems in life are his fault and consequently the blame falls on the one he wooed into a relationship. In this manner he deliberately cons his family into enabling him in his behavior. Oh, poor guy, the world is against him, he has a seizure disorder and has the gout. Thus concluding my opinion that he controls his universe and his family’s.

Family ties

There are parents who continually bail out their sociopathic children—even as grown adults. There are family members who continually acquiesce to the sociopath’s demands, maybe just to maintain the peace.

Sometimes the families are just as clueless as everyone else. They don’t understand the sociopath’s behavior, but they feel family members are obligated take care of each other. They believe the sociopath when he or she blames the victim for whatever is going wrong.

Other times, the family members are sociopathic themselves—the risk of developing this personality disorder is genetic. So they see absolutely nothing wrong with predatory behavior.

So to escape, the victim must often stand up to not only the sociopath—which is difficult enough—but the sociopath’s entire family as well.



168 Comments on "Sociopaths drag their families into the con"

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  1. ErinBrock says:

    It’s an attempt, unless we fall for it!

  2. Rosa says:

    Watch for those Red Flags, so you don’t fall for the Black Magic!!

  3. Delta1 says:

    “There are parents who continually bail out their sociopathic children—even as grown adults. There are family members who continually acquiesce to the sociopath’s demands, maybe just to maintain the peace.

    Sometimes the families are just as clueless as everyone else. They don’t understand the sociopath’s behavior, but they feel family members are obligated take care of each other. They believe the sociopath when he or she blames the victim for whatever is going wrong.

    Other times, the family members are sociopathic themselves—the risk of developing this personality disorder is genetic. So they see absolutely nothing wrong with predatory behavior.

    So to escape, the victim must often stand up to not only the sociopath—which is difficult enough—but the sociopath’s entire family as well”

    OMG – this is soooooooooooo true of my own case. Am posting my story as confirmation of how true this aspect of sociopathy/narcissistic personality disorder this is.

    Abreiviations:
    Mother in Law (MIL) – or more correctly monster-in-law
    Nasty Narc ex (exN)
    Foolish Me – (FM)

    I had been with exN for about 18 months when he decides that he needs to move back to his hometown, he’s finally managed to get himself a good job (only after a massive and sustained support campaign by FM) and he really wants to get his act together (allegedly). One thing and another we decide to move in together. I’m a little unsure about the whole plan – afterall I’d be moving away from close friends, a place that I love living, will have to get a new job etc etc. Still ‘he loves me’, I’m the ‘best thing that’s ever happened to him’, I’m ‘his best friend’ etc etc – he ‘needs my support’ with this thing and so on and so forth.

    Next thing is – exN tells me that MIL is moving to a foreign country in a couple of months and that she’s suggested that we move into the ol’ family homestead to kind of look after the place & solve our problem of where to live. I resist this – the place is a rental not owned and I’d like us to choose our own place and make an independant home for ourselves. I’ve lived financially independently since 17 and proud of it. Also because it will involve living with MIL for at least 6 weeks prior to the supposed move abroad and ‘there’s just something about her I can’t put my finger on’ – but anyways I’m not keen to live with her.

    Anyway – there’s real pressure, and with fake crocodile tears in his eyes he tries to persuade me that this is a really good plan, he loves this house, he grew up there etc. He has memories of his father there (deceased when exN was 18) Moreover he says that ‘we can be a proper family there – and you are part of my family now’. This is a particularly potent argument because he happens to know that I had an abusive childhood (physical, emotional) and I guess I’ve always wanted to ‘belong’ to a decent family.

    Reluctantly FM agrees to give it a go (temporarily) and we move in.

    BIG MISTAKE! The biggest mistake EVER.

    MIL – does not even give me one cupboard in the whole house to put any of ‘my things’.

    MIL – routinely rummages through the dirty linen basket in our bedroom- takes out exN’s dirty underwear and then washes it. She leaves my stuff in the basket of course When I asked her (nicely) not to do that – she just gave me a basilisk stare and refuses to say a word.

    MIL – is a major benefit fraudster as it turns out. (This is a big no-no-no for me as I have a job that requires police checks/evidence of good character). When I state (quite calmly) that they are well aware it’s not possible for me to live in this fraudulent/illegal situation, they accuse me of ‘trying to tell them what to do’.

    MIL talks only in her own native language to exN when I’m present – which I only partially understand.

    MIL spends much of her time crying, being depressed and carrying on because exN does not do enough for her . It’s clear that exN’s only job in life is to ensure MIL’s happiness – she has no proper life of her own!

    MIL comes into the room without knocking when we are having sex. More than once!

    MIL kisses exN – on the lips – all the time – yeurch!

    FM pays all the rent ‘owed’ to MIL – exN doesn’t contribute a bean.

    But – I think – what the hell it’s only for 6 weeks right? WRONG. 6 weeks come and go, 8 weeks come and go, 10 weeks come and go and there’s a stunning wall of ‘silent treatment’ going on. When I try to talk about the situation/future plans witth either exN or MIL there’s suddenly complete evasion from MIL and exN. Suddenly the TV programme is really interesting, or someone needs to run an errand immediately. This starts to make me go a little crazzzzzy!

    I talk to exN about things – he tells me – “Well I can’t force MIL out of ther house”. I say OK – then we need to make another plan – this isn’t working. ExN agrees and I started looking for another place to live. Unfortunately exN suddenly reveals significant debts – news to me and another MAJOR RED FLAG. Still I work out a plan that works and figure we can still get by on what I’m earning etc.

    Then I come home one day to discover that MIL has agreed to pay off all MLS debts and they are talking about buying the house we’re living in currently ‘as an investment’ and all living there as a ‘gruesome threesome’.

    I’ve had enough by now and tell ex N so– FM explains to exN that I’m planning to start back over in my home town – but I still want to be with him – just living with MIL is not working out for me. I’m not even rude about her – as I’ve quickly deduced that it’s relationship suicide to say anything about supposedly saintly MIL.

    I think it’s at this point he desperately started the final ‘devalue & discard’ phase. If only I’d known I was dealing with an N and then I would’ve known not to announce my intention to leave the situation and end their controlling b/s.

    Ex N and I decide to go for some couples counselling to get through the next few weeks in a civilised manner if nothing else and to help me to deal with my ‘trust issues’. HA HA HA. In 10 weeks I’ve been living in this house I’ve gone from sassy, secure, funny, friendly and sexy to a shadow of my former self.

    Ex N is spending lots of time out of the home, he doesn’t answer his phone when I call, he tells me that ‘he needs space’ that ‘I’m crowding him and being controlling’. He suggests that I spend time with MIL ‘if I need company’. I suspect cheating of course I do – but can’t ever get proper proof. ExN is sooooooooo desperate to pull the wool over my eyes and make sure I don’t find out about the cheating for certain whilst I’m still in the sociopathic hell-hole.

    ExN had conveniently forgets to mention during counselling that he is cheating. He told me in counselling – 2 weeks before the final ‘devalue and discard’ that ‘he wanted to be the one man to show me that it was possible to love and trust in this world’ – he knows that I’ve been let down before and he PROMISES PROMISES PROMISES that he will alway treat me with the respect that I deserve’.

    By this point in the whole sorry tale– I’ve started to realise that I’m dealing with people who are incredibly abusive to one another. My gut knew that this was ‘wrong wrong wrong’, but I wish I’d known about LoveFraud and more about N’s S’s and P’s as I do now.

    MIL calls exN names behind his back, talks complainingly of all the terrible sacrifices she’s made for him, reminds him of every mistake/bad deed he’s ever done (numerous!), shows him no respect and generally acts like he’s a badly-behaved 10 year old – who’s a complete & utter disappointment to her.

    Ex N in return – borrows money which he never pays back, lies constantly about his whereabouts, agrees to do things in the home and then ‘forgets’ on the day, complains endlessly to me that MIL doesn’t ‘respect him’. (Couldn’t argue with him there!).

    Near ‘the end’ after a fierce row with exN, where I’m basically calling him on the fact that I believe he is lying & cheating he is physically abusive to me (slaps, punch & shaking me till my teeth rattle). MIL is there – she later tells me that she ‘can’t intervene’ because she ‘doesn’t know what I did to provoke him’. GRRRRRR! GROOOOWL!

    I move out a couple of days later – to a temporary address – don’t have a job or a proper permanent home to go to, but situation in ‘sociopath land’ is too crazy making to endure. I’m devastated, ruined emotionally, wrecked etc (like everyone else here TOTALLY GETS).

    The day after I move out exN’s new target is on the phone to me – telling me to ‘stay away from her man’ – they’re in love and blah, blah, blah. ExN is desperately trying to persuade her not to speak to me even as the conversation is going on. He’s in a TOTAL panic at this point (losing control of the situation).

    Target no 4 and I swap some pertinent information and she’s a little less sure of herself my the end of that conversation let me tell you! I was angry with her of course, she was ‘my instrument of torture’ but still it’s good she got to find out about exN much earlier that I did in ‘the cycle of abuse’.

    I find out some of the following bits of information from various sources:

    ExN has targetted at least 3 different women whilst we were together:- and these are only the ones I know about for sure.

    Target no1 – a girl he had sex with at a party not long after we got together (2 months). Although I had long suspected this was the case– I didn’t ever actually know for sure until just around the time we were splitting up. He must have denied it like 100 times to me. Why oh why – did I give him the benefit of the doubt at the time, or believe his desperate avowals of “you’re the one I want – I’m sure now” instead of trusting my instincts and getting the good goddamn hell outta there?

    Target no 2 – someone I work with and still have to have regular contact with to this day. He slept with her on Boxing day, sneaking off just after dinner and pretending he was going for a quick visit to his male friends in town– meaning that I have especially lovely memories every holiday season! Didn’t use a condom…………

    Target no 3 – some poor woman who he slept with on the very same day that she was sectioned under the Mental Health act 1983– yes really! And he fully knew the CPN’s and doctors were coming round to assess her that day! Didn’t use a condom,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    Target no 4 – His current source of NS supply. A trusting woman from his workplace who he’d been confiding in about his horrible difficulties at home and in his relationship. Naturally she agrees the best way for him to deal with this is for them to start having sex with each other. She was so suckered in too – she actually believed we were sharing a bedroom but not having sex. In my case sex was always relatively consistent, even towards the end. My exN is a somatic narcissist and use of sex is a major tool of his.

    ExN told target no4 that I was ‘a nervous wreck’ and he couldn’t tell FM about their incredible and pure ‘one-true’ love – because he was scared that I would kill myself. (Hoping more like!)

    Target no 4 was deeply touched by his caring attitude towards this poor little weak/crazy/pathetic woman i.e FM. However ExN also told her that I was ‘his best friend’ and that he ‘always wanted to be my friend’. Thereby using her jealousy of me to make himself more attractive to her. Still didn’t use a condom with target no4 though…………..

    At this time target no4 was in full honeymoon phase and was absolutely prepared to ‘fight for her dream man’ at this point. She thought that ‘I’ was the problem.

    After this one phone call, the irony is that it was target no 4 who was the person I had the most time for in a wierd way.

    ExN refused to come to the phone properly on that day to discuss issues of sexual health (no condoms used!), money owed etc etc. Instead– later on the same day he gets MIL to tell me that he’s not prepared to talk to me ever again, and that I need to stop ‘harassing him’. He’s in love with target no4 etc.

    It’s impossible to describe clearly- the ecstatic pleasure MIL got from passing on this message to me. She tells me to ‘stop acting so desperate’ – and I just need to ‘let go’ (can’t argue with her there!) I just told them that the new gruesome threesome ‘truly deserved one another’ – or words to that effect anyways (possibly a little less polite!!!!).

    Anyways – I kinda got lucky in some way. I was OUT OUT OUT and have had very little contact with any of them since:

    I was lucky – target no 4 contact me after 6 months to tell me that she was dumping exN’ as he had cheated on her 2 more times and had stolen money from her. She apologised to me for ‘everything that had happened’ and thanked me for my words of warning about his character (though I didn’t really know about N’s properly at this time).

    Turns out she’d been in a 5-year domestically violent relationship previously and was really starting to ‘clue up’. about these kinds of guys too. This is a pretty positive outcome – though I’m still cross with her from time to time I guess this apology was pretty cool of her.

    Anyway – Sociopathic Tag Teaming. He clearly couldn’t break me on his own and needed reinforcements!

    ExN still contacts me from time to time – fishing and seeing if he can reel me back in. There was a flurry of activity when he realised I’d started seeing a new boyfriend for example. Ha! He won’t get me again!!!!

    Be warned everyone – don’t let it happen to you!! Watch out for the sociopaths friends and family – they can be ‘the straw that breaks the camels back’.

    Delta1

  4. Cat says:

    Delta1,
    Thank you for sharing your story! On the mouth? Ewww!
    You are right, we most often have to stand up to not just the spath, but the family as well. In my case, I had to stand up to his family and mine as well. He had my family pretty well fooled. And in my case, that straw did indeed break the camel’s back. I’ve had to deal with Family Services being called on me, which went nowhere as they saw it for the vindictive move it really was. There’s far more, but that’s a whole book. You are lucky to be OUT, OUT, OUT as you say. No contact is by far the best. MIL from hell?

    I have seen, in the past, my ex’s mother run around like a chicken with her head cut off, getting money and whatever he wanted to him. They use fear with their own family members as well sometimes. At least, that was the case with my ex. They use the EXACT tactic with family members that they do with us.

    I’m really am glad Target#4 apologized. It was a noble thing to do and something she didn’t HAVE to do. I understand that you may not necessarily like her, but I give her kudos for the apology.
    Hugs!
    Cat

  5. OxDrover says:

    Dear Delta, Welcome to LF—your relationshit qualifies you for “membership” here! Sorry, but at least you have found the best place in the world to learn ab out them and about healing! Glad you are here. God bless.

  6. Delta1 says:

    Hi Cat,

    Thanks for reading my story. I work in UK Children’s Services (Child Protection) and am glad that Family Services in your area/country appear to have been reasonably ‘on the ball’ in your particular situation. I hope you were well treated. Sometimes people tell me they feel very upset to have ‘us’ come to their home and victims having to explain themselves and worry about not being believed or fear the consequences of us being there. Other people say they’re relieved to tell their story – as long as they feel believed of course.

    I’ve written elsewhere on the site about ‘doing what I do for a living’ and also ‘being a victim of an N-abuser’ and how I hope I’ll be better able to protect children from N’s S’s and P’s in the future.

    You write “In my case, I had to stand up to his family and mine as well. He had my family pretty well fooled. And in my case, that straw did indeed break the camel’s back. ” Are you comfortable to share more about what happened? I guess I’m a little curious! But don’t write anything that you aren’t 100% ok to talk about. Also please don’t mind if my job is a ‘trigger’ for your particular story/circumstances – I’m kind of anticipating that some LF members may have strong feelings about any involvement of social workers/therapists etc with their own stories and situations, though people so far have been very kind and supportive to my posting here.

    Are things any better with your family at all?

    Also, I kind of ‘have to agree with you’ about target 4 apologising. I felt she did most likely mean it sincerely. Though both of us probably feel mixed up by the ‘weird intimacy’ from having loved and been abused by the same N. I wasn’t mean or anything when she apologised, I hope I was quite ‘mature’ about it and said ‘all the right things’ – even though I privately had v.mixed feelings – including anger and feelings of satisfied vengeance as I’ve admitted here.

    Anyway – blessings to you!!

    Delta 1

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