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Archive for March, 2007

Abuse, domestic violence and visitation

Last week I defined four types of love fraud that constitute points on a continuum from predatory love fraud to adultery. In all these relationships, one member of the couple inflicts physical, mental and/or financial injury on the other. Unfortunately, the presence of children does not necessarily deter violence in relationships. The fact that children can be caught in the middle in violent relationships is illustrated by the following news story reported this week.

According to the MainLineTimes.com, the police were called to a domestic dispute in Narberth, Pennsylvania, Tuesday night. Upon arriving at the scene, they found a 34-year-old woman in critical condition. They discovered that the assailant was likely Glenn Minsk, the victim’s live-in boyfriend and the father of her child. The child, an 18-month-old girl, was missing. An Amber Alert was issued and the child was recovered in good condition at the home of Minsk’s parents. Minsk apparently brought the child there after he allegedly assaulted the child’s mother and stole her car.

Allergic to the sociopath I take action to stay free of the allergen

I’ve developed an allergy that is visible on my face as a red, angry-looking rash that is very itchy and sore. The doctor isn’t sure what is causing it — neither am I. It could be the air or sun, or something environmental in the house. It is a process of recording when it flares up and if I can’t eliminate the source, of undergoing allergy testing. In the meantime, the cream is starting to calm the redness and puffiness of my skin which is a relief. It’s been irritating to say the least.This morning, as I applied a ‘thin layer’ to my face, I was wishing it would hurry up and work. Couldn’t it do its job faster?

Sort of like after the sociopath was removed from my life. Couldn’t I hurry up and get over it?

Posted in: M.L. Gallagher

ASK DR. LEEDOM: “My ex-husband acts perverted around the children!”

Recently, a reader posted this in a comment about the father of her children. The comment contains several questions, I’ll address the most concerning first. To read the full comment, see Love Fraud: A spectrum (Part 1).

Another common behavior of my ex that I think affects my children is that he is kind of perverted in what he says and does. When I was married to him, he would continually grab my crotch and butt, and pinch and twist my breasts in a hurtful way, always in front of the children and always against my wishes. He also would say very sexual, inappropriate things. I notice this behavior in my oldest and youngest boys when they come home from his visits. They continually hit and grab the privates of each other in the same way my ex did. I have had to make it very clear that this behavior is not acceptable in my home. My daughter also complains that he says a lot of perverted things to her that make her uncomfortable. She says when she calls him on it, he hangs up and won’t talk to her. 

Understanding that sociopaths murder the spirit

Here is an e-mail exchange that recently took place between me and a Lovefraud reader:

Arlene: I was married to a man for 23 years. I found out so much in the last few years. He murdered my soul, my spirit, and financially devastated me. He moved another woman … brainwashed my children. My 18 yr old now is on cocaine…she was a nice girl…he has trashed her also and she is not living with me. The children now that were close to me are not empathetic and cold.

He grew in power and is an intellectual. He spread vicious rumors about me to cover his tracks. I am just to move on. Even though I was such a devoted mother and this family was my life. I have tried everything to recover and I am alone. You see I have no extended family. Some friends but they have their own lives.

Love fraud: A spectrum (Part 1)

The recent post on marital misconduct, and the many letters I have received from Lovefraud readers, have caused me to conclude that love fraud is a spectrum. Because love fraud is a spectrum, there is some confusion about it. To clear up the confusion, this week I will describe the range of motives for this fraudulent behavior. Remember that one of the most important biologic/social functions of love relationships is to produce and raise children. In my opinion, love fraud that involves children is the most serious. These children did not ask to be born and are at the mercy of the adults responsible for bringing them into the world. Next week we will discuss the implications of the spectrum of love fraud for children.

Love fraud perpetrated by predators

Divorce and marital misconduct

Editor’s note: The following article, written by Laura Johnson, is reproduced from SmartDivorce.com. It offers tips that may help people who are divorcing a sociopath.

Even though your state may be a no-fault divorce state, it doesn’t mean that you or your spouse won’t have to answer in some way for any misbehavior during the marriage. It’s what divorce lawyers and courts refer to as marital misconduct and, in certain states, can affect the outcome of the division of property, an award of spousal support, or an award of attorney’s fees for the victim-spouse.

The legal definition of marital misconduct is any conduct that undermines the marital relationship. It becomes a factor in a divorce when the offender-spouse’s behavior forces the victim-spouse to assume extra burdens in the marriage. It isn’t meant to punish the offender-spouse or award him or her an inadequate amount of property or income, but to fairly compensate the victim-spouse.

ASK Dr. LEEDOM: What is the difference between bipolar disorder and sociopathy?

A Lovefraud reader sent the following question:

I have friend who is diagnosed as manic depressive. He displays or exhibits some of the traits of a sociopath, but I read that being manic depressives clouds whether someone is a sociopath. I don’t want to believe he is a sociopath, but I also do not want to be a fool. Suggestions or thoughts? I have one person telling me he’s a sociopath and I need to run away from him as fast as possible. That seems like the cowardly thing to do though. If we approached all people with problems that way, where would our society be?

People with bipolar disorder have sociopathic traits only while manic

It’s up to me!

Once upon a time I fell in love with a dream. Well, actually, I thought I fell in love with a man, but he turned out to be a sociopath, and my life became a nightmare. But that’s a whole other story about a whole other lifetime ago! (You can read about it in The Dandelion Spirit. A true life fairy tale of love, lies and letting go.)

Today, my life is far different and even better than before I met the sociopath, and it’s not because a man made my dreams come true! (Which is sort of what I was hoping and looking for when I met the sociopath.) My life is amazing because I am living my life to the fullest, working on making my own dreams come true and stepping with grace and dignity through each moment. Even on those days when I feel like I’m bumping into furniture or moving at a snail’s pace, I feel graceful. I feel alive. I breathe freely and know that this is my one and only life. And only I can live it to the fullest.

Posted in: M.L. Gallagher

Employee from hell sounds like a psychopath

The cover photo of Fortune Small Business magazine’s March issue is a guy sitting on top of a water cooler. He’s wearing a red striped shirt and a blue and red tie. He has red horns popping out of his bald head. The topic: “Employees from hell.”

One of the cover stories is about The turncoat No. 2 who tries to take over the business. A woman who started a company hired a guy, called Benedict Arnold in the story, as her second-in-command. After about a year, she noticed that Arnold was inflating his expenses, taking two- and three-hour lunches, and showing up late for important meetings.

She was about to discipline him when Arnold dropped his own bomb. He told her she had to resign from her own company.

ASK DR. LEEDOM: I don’t understand why I still care

One of our readers wrote the following, nearly everyone of us has expressed the same sentiments:

One phone conversation with him could go from loving words in the very begining to total ugliness toward the end and he would often get really mean and hang up on me. It was like he was Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde all rolled into one. You never knew what he was going to be like…