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LETTER TO LOVEFRAUD: Leaning on his family while battling his wife

Editor’s note: The following letter was sent by Lovefraud reader; we’ll call him “Bob.” Other names and locations have also been changed.

We were living in a midwest city; she moved there for her job transfer several months before the children and I could move. She had one previous affair with a co-worker in our previous city. After I discovered the affair, she sought out the job transfer. I believe the reason being to get out of town and not have to face her co-workers and our friends once the news of the affair and our failing marriage got out. She moved to the new city ahead of me, I stayed back with the children to keep them in school and sell the house. Five months later when we all finally moved to the new city, I discovered she had been having another affair in the new town. I agreed to separate and move into an apartment before I discovered that affair. Her new man even helped me move. I held on to our marriage for a while, then I finally gave up. She kept pulling me back through manipulation, attempts to control, using the children as pawns. She was able to draw me and her other men in to do for her. She still seems to have control over some of her previous lovers.

She had a great relationship with my family up until the first affair was uncovered. She could charm anyone. But when that happened, she completely cut off communications with them. She pointed fingers at them, claimed they attacked her and said bad things about her to their friends and family. My parents were deeply hurt to see what she had done to me, and they had loved her as well. She then convinced me that they were steering me in a bad direction. She turned me against them. They knew what she was all about, but my family couldn’t convince me of it. She was successful at alienating me from my family, my support network. This is how they work.

I initiated our divorce, as she would not do it, even though she continued to see her second affair regularly. She wanted the benefits of having me around to do for her, wanted to give the perception that we divorced amicably and where able to co-parent effectively. During our divorce negotiations, she found a way to get herself terminated from her high-paying job (I had stayed home with our children for four years at that point) to avoid child support and spousal maintenance. She received a one-year severance and immediately hooked up with a childhood friend who lived across the country. She began flying to see him every other weekend, leaving the children behind with me. The two of them lobbied me to agree to move to his town as, what she termed as “a family unit”. After almost two years of the harassment to move, I gave in. After I had some time to think it over, I decided it wasn’t best to move. Not good for me, not good for the children to be uprooted again for her fantasy. I had to do decide how to tell her; I was scared of her wrath. I had not worked for six years, was beaten down, emasculated, low self esteem, and likely depressed. I was tired of the continued boundary violations, manipulation; it was a toxic relationship I had to terminate.

Where I am going is that I finally had clarity, so I sat and wrote the following email to my family (note: names and locations changed). The end result… She moved away without the children, sued me for custody and she ultimately lost. I fully believed she wanted me to move so I could continue to take care of the children while she moved on and did as she pleased. This cost us close to $300,000 jointly. It has almost broke me financially. She visits the children frequently, gets them for the summer, and continually attempts to alienate the children against me and my new wife. She did not, nor has intentions to, move back to our state to be with her children. That is very telling.

Dear Family,

I would like to offer an apology to all of you, and thank you for your ongoing support at the same time. You have supported me throughout this personal hell that I have endured during the past several years. I am regretful that I have pushed off your support at times, suggestions and ideas as meddling at times, but I do know that it was because you care for the kids’ and my wellbeing. It was manipulation by Angie that caused me to do that, and you knew that all along. I didn’t want to be burden to any of you, or appear to be seeking sympathy or empathy.

Many things have occurred in the past several months that have finally opened my eyes to whom and what I have been dealing with in Angie. Of course, I saw this before but never acted upon it. This woman has pretty much destroyed my life, my self-esteem, my emotional and physical health. I could say that I blame myself for allowing this to happen. Yes, I could have stopped it. I now have clarity that what has become of me is a direct result of my relationship with her. I can only equate it to having a personal relationship with Satan.

I have now decided that it is now time to take back my life, take a stand, and do only what is best for me and the boys, regardless of the impact on Angie or the repercussions that I anticipate. I realize that trying to be friends with her is only detrimental to all of us. We might be friends in the future for the children’s sake when she understand and respects boundaries, but for now, that needs to wait. I now fully understand that everything she says and does is manipulation. She got this hold on me years ago, and I was always afraid to break free of it. The fear of recourse, anger, attacks, of being alone, self-sufficient, etc. was paralyzing. Her tactics are appalling, and you have witnessed this and attempted to open my eyes to it. Now I am ready take anything she throws at me and fight it off. I felt that being friends with her would be good for me and the children. But that only gives her opportunity to use, take advantage and manipulate for her needs. Every time I give an inch, she tries to take a mile. I lose sleep, have anxieties and fears over what I feel would be her reactions to me standing up to her. It has takes a terrible toll on my wellbeing, which affects the children as well. This is like breaking a bad addiction.

What has made me change my course, you ask? Working on the house to get it ready for sale, for one. Being in her presence for extended periods of times opened up opportunities for her to attempt manipulation, to use me for her needs. What I see as her inaction in attempting to find work in Texas. I am now convinced that she has no intention of finding sustainable work in TX. The move there is solely for her benefit, so she can sit on her ass, and I get the short end of the stick.

So what do I plan to do? I drafted a long letter a couple of days ago to be sent to Angie. I have attached a copy for you, just so you see where I was going with it. It is laced with personal attacks and examples of her behavior, and my demands necessary for me to consider a move to TX. I did not send that. Upon drafting that letter, I stopped into Barnes and Noble and began to read a book about manipulation (Who’s Pulling Your Strings – How to break the cycle of Manipulation and Regain Control of Your Life) – recommended reading for all of you. I perused this book for 20 minutes and immediately realized the book was written about Angie, and about me. It had an immediate impact on me. Everything in the book is true to life as to how she operates, and the effect the manipulation has on its victim. It also provides very clear and good information on how to counter the manipulator. I remember after reading the book on narcissism (Why is it always about you? The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism) two years ago how that held true too. This book takes it all that much further, and sheds light on how those narcissists, and other personality types, operate and crush those in their lives to succumb to their wishes and needs, and psychological impact on those victims. I also realized that the letter I drafted would have no effect on her, other than for her to attack me, and try to further manipulate me to believe I am wrong and she is not this way. Bottom line, as I had speculated before, she is a very sick woman, and no person alive could ever convince her of it.

As much as I fear the recourse, I am prepared to deal with her in a calm and controlled fashion. This may lead another of her signature emotional breakdowns, which I now fully believe her past emotional breakdowns were manipulation tactics. If she cannot control me, she has lost something valuable to her, and she cannot handle that. This might even be crippling for her. She has attempted and been successful in convincing me that others in my life have been steering me in bad direction. That I should listen to her, that she is right, and everyone else is wrong. Well, I am done listening, because I now understand the true motivation, and I understand how I combat it.

When the shit hits the fan, which will be later today, I will need your ongoing emotional support to stay the course.

Just on a side note, I have no hard feelings about Dan (her boyfriend). I almost pity him. He is a nice man and I feel he is also a poor victim of her manipulation and lies, and has no idea what he is dealing with. But it is not my responsibility to inform him of her evil ways. From what I can gather, it is her intent to move there, have him support her, and she live the life of leisure, dabbling in hobbies for income, with no regard to what I want or need. That would also result in a legal battle to collect child support.

I know this has been a very difficult period for all of you. I know it has been tough for you to watch endure this. I know what you say to me is out of love for me and the boys. She has destroyed many lives, namely mine, but crippled others as well, and does not understand that, nor does she care.

I love you all,
Bob

After sending and mulling over the email above for a few weeks, I ultimately only sent an email to my ex advising that the children and I would not be moving. Simple as that. That put the whole custody suit in motion. She ramped up job search efforts in her boyfriend’s town, bought a huge house, all to convince the children to want to move and to convince the court that she could provide for the children better than I could. Her lies in affidavits, to the parent custodian, custody evaluator, her attorneys, expert witness, friends and in court were so appalling. It was almost uncomfortable for me to watch her as my attorney ferreted out her lies under cross-examination, to see her squirm and attempt to spin in front of the judge. I have the children now, and her antics never stop.



27 Comments on "LETTER TO LOVEFRAUD: Leaning on his family while battling his wife"

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  1. OxDrover says:

    Dear Eyes,

    My P-sperm donor I think “told the same lies over and over” that he “almost believed them”—he was frequently interviewed in the newspapers an dfor magazines, and since his lies were a) proveable as lies and b) VERY inconsistent over the years, when he got to the point he wanted to appear “respectable but eccentric” he had some real problems with the past interviews etc. Which I think were very embarassing to him because he did not want to be exposed for a liar. Soometimes if he were “caught” or confronted about one, he would, like your x just “don’t go there” with the implied “threat” along with it.

    I don’t think there is any “deep thinking or planning” I think they do it “on the fly” more or less. Some of it I honestly think is a kind of confabulation….like a 5 year old may tell you a story as “truth” about how he went to the moon in a rocket ship and all the things he did while he was there. It is just making interesting conversation to get your attention and maybe make you think they are an “important” person (or whatever thing they are trying to promote in your esteem) It is quite normal for a five year old to do this on the fly, but for an “adult” to do it is pathological. Even the five year old doesn’t believe it himself, but still gets some enjoyment out of telling it, imagining it, I imagine the psychopaths get some enjoyment out of making you think they are so “wonderful” and sort of believe it about themselves.

    I also think that the need to feel superior is OK with them as long as it is “believed” even if it is not “technically true”—the fake “navy seals” are examples of this to me. As long as YOU believe they were “navy seals” they tell themselves they could have been navy seals if they had the opportunity….of course because they (they tell themselves) didn’t have the opportunity, it isn’t their fault. LOL

    I may be wrong, and it may only be some of them, but it seems to me that many of them while feeling “low self esteem” build this personna, and yet, at the same time, they feel special and entitled at the SAME TIME…sort of conflicting emotions about what they are. Kind of a “catch 22.”



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  2. witsend says:

    Ox Drover…..When I read your post about the lies I just become heart sick….Because that is exactly how my son lies. And it is as if he has mastered this in a VERY short period of time.
    It was in fact the very first troubling thing I noticed when I saw these troubling personality traits when my son was about 15 years old. He would lie and it could be an “over the top”
    kind of lie. It would be the kind of lie that is an insult to your intelligence, and he not only EXPECTED me to believe him but became very angry when I didn’t. And I would SWEAR up and down that he believed his own lies. As absurd as they might be.
    These lies were actually the begining of many more troubling traits that my son displayed when I first became aware that he wasn’t just going through normal puberty.

    Because these lies were so constant/consistent I was usually tried to pick my battles as you do with any teenager and yet the DEGREE of the lying was very troubling to me. More troubling was the way he delivered them. As if they were the truth ABSOLUTELY and how dare you not believe HIM.

    If he lied and there was a consequence extended the punishment would not only make him angry but he actually would appear to be almost blind sided by it. As if the punishment was REALITY but the lie never happened. So no “lesson learned” was ever accomplished in a punishment. Just anger.

    Another troubling thing I have seen if my son is caught red handed in a lie is just NO RESPONSE at all. As if it NEVER HAPPENED….The false reality….

    There is no way to confront him about a lie or troubling behaviour as he doesn’t own it…..And I’m not talking about admittance here….Lots of teenagers won’t admit they did something wrong……
    This is where words don’t do justice on trying to describe…..
    It is hard to confront because in HIS reality it never happened….So I am confronting him on something that NEVER happened.
    I know that manipulation is also involved in here. Often it is hard to tell where the lies ends and the manipulation begins.

    These things are just some of the things that don’t just “fit” right with what else I see…..

    I don’t have to be a doctor to know that my son is depressed. That is pretty obvious.
    The lies and manipulation and lack of reality and all of the rest, I’m not sure what all that means.
    And how a parent sets boundaries when every confrontation of boundaries crossed/house rules broken turns into a nightmare and goes nowhere? Its kind of an impossible situation…..

    Still waiting for the call…..



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  3. learnthelesson says:

    Dear Witsend…

    Found this link for you… not your EXACT situation at all…but maybe something in it will be of help for the phone call.

    http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2009/jan/06/double-take-teens-lying-borders-pathological/



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  4. learnthelesson says:

    This is a better one with some phone numbers if you feel totally at your witsend after the phone call or the phone call doesnt come fast enough! My prayers and support to you! Hang in there! Somethings Gotta Give!!!

    http://mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/publications/allpubs/SVP-0013/SVP-0013ch8.asp



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  5. S O S says:

    Lies: At what point does rationalization (unconscious self-deception) become deception (conscious gamesmanship)? One extreme is obviously self-delusional, the other takes delight in duping others. And of course the gray area in between. I’m curious what emotional component(s) makes the difference between one extreme and the other. Or is it just intelligence?



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  6. OxDrover says:

    Dear Witsend,

    Yep, I can relate. With teenagers in general, I think they try to make you “give up.” But with P-teenagers, it truly becomes a NIGHTMARE.

    I laugh though at a confrontation I had with a normal teen aged foster son I had for about 6 months. He had NO idea how to wash a load of clothes or wash a dish. My kids were taught from an early age how to do house work, wash clothes, etc. I felt it was my duty to teach them. Anyway, the first Saturday morning when I got up and was going to show this young man how to clean a bathroom, he looked at me with widened eyes and literally said “BUT THAT’S WOMAN’S WORK!” It never occurred to him that a male could clean a house! For six consecutive Saturdays I spent ALL DAY with this young man to clean ONE bathroom. By the end of the day I was WORN out. Of course it would have been EASIER to do it myself rather than continue to work “with him” when he did not want to learn. I was SO FRUSTRATED with this kid, but after 6 Saturdays of this, he gave up and did it right, and from then on, I never had a problem with him.

    After his death a couple of years ago I learned that in his married life, HE was the housekeeper at home, as well as working a regular job! So I did make an impression. But he was simply a normal kid who was troubled and didn’t want to do things that were “woman’s work.” He had to be taught, and he got it.

    With the P son it was all about REBELLION against rules. Funny thing, though, my P-son never focused his rebellion on cleaning! LOL It was just about following ANY rules. Make a rule and you gave him a challenge, catch him violating the rule, give him a consequences, a bigger challenge….

    I’m like SOS, where does the line between the balky egocentric teenager stop and it become a psychopathic resistance to control?

    All teenagers to one extent or another think the world revolves around them. But so do psychopaths and narcissists! I think most if not all teenagers push the boundaries their parents give them, and some cross those boundaries pretty far. since the teenager’s frontal lobe is not fully developed they don’t have the awareness of the possibly terrible consequences of their thrill seeking behavior and too many literally ruin their lives because of the risky behavior with driving vehicles, drugs, drinking, sex etc. I used to work in head and spinal cord injury and almost 90% of our patients in rehab were 16-20 years old and their injuries related to vehicle accidents from risky driving, either on their parts or they were in the the car or on the motorcycle with a friend driving. They were in wheel chairs for the rest of their lives, or walking on prosthetic legs, or had head injuries that would make them unable to hold employment, or in some cases even be aware of where they were or who they were.

    I was more concerned with my son physically wrecking his life by his risky behavior, then later I was concerned with him wrecking his life by petty criminal behavior that he saw as “no big deal” but I saw as a FELONY CONVICTION that wouldn’t do him any good in life.

    Then after the first felony conviction, I still hoped that in spite of that he could be salvaged and have some sort of life in spite of it. When he was arrested for murder 5 months after being released on the first adult felony charge of robbery, I went into a tail spin because I knew there was no going back from that. At best, he would spend the bulk of his life in prison.

    Even then, I would still periodically cling to the malignant hope that he could reform even after decades in prison. That at least he could have some sort of life on the outside that would be productive, etc. I held on to this DELUSION until a couple of years ago. In retrospect, I should have given up when he was 17….but hind-sight is always 20/20. Just like my paternal grandfather, I kept hoping….



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  7. henry says:

    I read this somewhere many months ago. [It is emotionaly impossible to simultaneously feel pity yet suspect deceit , the mind can only do one or the other] That only applies when under the influence or fog purposely created by someone out to undermine your reality.



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  8. AKA Bob says:

    I am the author of the Letter to Lovefraud above. A few years back I began seeing a therapist to dive deep into the troubles and anxieties I was having at the time of my divorce negotiations and my troubles motiving to find work. I described my ex to him. In my first session he had identified that she had emasculated me many years prior, sucked my self-esteem from me. He advised I needed a clean break from that woman, and one important piece of advice he gave me, “don’t tell your ex about any women you date until you are completely and fully involved with the woman”. He felt that she sought out the job transfer and moved the family to a new town to isolate me from my support network, to keep me off balance while going through the divorce process.

    This whole idea of moving to a new state to be with her boyfriend was purely selfish. He wasn’t going to leave his children behind and move for her. The ex wanted me in close proximaty because she knows I would do anything for our children, allowing her to abuse my kindness and dedication to the children.

    She met my wife to be before I was was completely committed to her, and the ex tried to charm her. My new wife is smarter than that though. Then the ex told me behind closed doors that she wasn’t good enough for me (classic). The ex did not want to see me happily involved with anyone. She wanted me to be attached to her. She prefaced everything she wanted me to do for her as “in the best interests of the kids”, knowing that if I felt it truly was that I would give in. I did for a long time. My new wife really opened my eyes to everything my ex tried.

    One day I was at the ex’s home using her computer and accidentally left her home with my email still signed into. The ex began to read my emails to my girlfriend. I wrote to her that “I hate just about everything about her. But I will continue to help her out until our divorce is finalized”. The ex went nuts, and had her classic emotional breakdown seeking pity. It’s all too clear now how she operated.

    My children see therapists now. It is really more for my new wife and me to discuss the issues we have with my ex who moved away than for the benefit of the boys. The funny thing is, as much as these therapists can identify those who we talk about in sessions are sociopaths, many will not come out and actually say that.

    My ex now refuses to communicate with me on most issues, but always through email and text (I keep it that way). She communicates through our oldest child as well, which I don’t appreciate since she is alienating him against me. I use our divorce decree, court custody order and a parenting consultant to keep her in line. You cannot give an inch, she will take a mile. she is never reasonable, everything becomes a negotiation, but I stand me ground. She is now attempting to convince me to switch consultants, claiming biasness on her part. I have exposed her lies to the consultant, so sure, their may be some biasness. But this is how they work. Once someone is on to their games, lies and methods of manipulation, they attempt to extricate them from her life any way they possibly can. They just move on to the next victims. This is what happened with my family, the consultant, my kids’ therapist, our joint friends – once she knew they were onto her, she cut off contact completely. Fortunately, she cannot cut off the consultant or therapist without a court order. She has requested to mediate this with me, but I gave conditions of her paying for the mediation and that my wife be present, as mediation is futile with this people. It is a zero-sum game dealing with these unreasonable people. It has to be win-win for them.

    This is a great website. I can imagine its so eye opening for so many. Thanks Donna



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  9. OxDrover says:

    Dear Bob, You are such a welcome addition to LF because you have so much good advice and experience with dealing with the “co-Parent-P” and I know that those of us here who do have issues like this will appreciate and benefit from your input! I’ve had a lot of issues with Ps but never as a co-parent, so I ca’nt even truly imagine how painful it must be. Thanks so much for your input here!



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