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LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: How should I “be” around my ex?

In February 1999, my sociopathic ex-husband, James Montgomery, was finished with me. I had no more money, no more credit and no more earning capacity, because my business was ruined. So Montgomery arranged for me to find out that he’d had a child with another woman during our marriage. With this, I left, as I’m sure he expected.

Oh, he made a few attempts to reel me back in. “It’s not what you think,” he said. “Let me explain.” I didn’t. I kept driving.

I never saw him again. And now, after hearing so many of your stories about the sociopaths who won’t go away, I realize how lucky I was. I didn’t have a child with him. I didn’t have to attempt to co-parent with a sociopath, while the sociopath tried to turn the children against me.

My heart breaks for all of you in this unwinnable situation, stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Not long ago, I heard from a woman who is in this position.  We’ll call her “Marsha.” Marsha was married for 16 years to a guy who she now knows is a sociopath. They’ve been divorced for two years. They have five kids—two teenagers, three younger. Her ex has regular visitation times when he’s supposed to pick up the kids, although he hasn’t shown up for his Saturday afternoon time in months.

Marsha sometimes sees her ex at events for the kids, which is uncomfortable for her. She writes:

The last one was particularly upsetting for me, as he came over to my mom and gave her a hug, asked her how she was, and appeared to be very moved to see her.  I know it is all bs, but the cognitive dissonance it creates…

How should I “be” around my ex?  Do I speak in a friendly tone, similar to the way he is speaking to me, do I keep everything monotone, do I try to avoid speaking to him altogether, or is there some other option?

I don’t know how to advise Marsha. So, Lovefraud readers, especially those of you who are coping with similar situations, what do you suggest?



98 Comments on "LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: How should I “be” around my ex?"

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  1. Spirit40 says:

    Rosa,

    Facebook can be a great place to re connect with old childhood friends and also family members abroad. Personally from my experience it has been my connection to all of my cousins in other countries and great people I grew up with… my space on the other hand is blah……with facebook people can search for you but you decide whether you want to add them to your list of friends or family…….



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  2. Rosa says:

    Thank you, Erin & Spirit40.

    I knew there had to be something useful about FaceBook, because it is so popular.
    Everyone always talks about it, so it made me curious.
    That’s all.



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  3. LouiseGolem says:

    For me, Facebook has been a wonderful tool – I lived and worked abroad for several years, and when I went on Facebook, suddenly all my friends in other countries were there for me again–and it was so great and so easy to be in touch with them.

    Unfortunately, my S/P and his family and immediate circle of friends joined as soon as they saw my engagement in FB. At first, I thought it was fine, but I thought everything was fine. Then I started to realize what a freakish relationship I was in, and how, suddenly, his daughter in particular was taking great interest in topics that were near and dear to my heart and that she had never, for two years, even cared about. The further I pulled away from him, the more she was (I began to realize) drawing on details about me that she got out of the Facebook profile to keep me in their web.

    It was all very upsetting!! And I started getting very concerned for all my friends, since I was beginning to understand what predators my S/P and his daughter could be. So I deactivated my profile. I really want to activate it again, but as Jake has pointed out, it’s very hard to keep from looking. For me, this all happened not too long ago, and it still hurts an awful lot. But I can’t let him rob me of my friends. He’s robbed me of so much else. . . .



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  4. Cat says:

    Louise, you are more than welcome and I’m so glad you have it. They really do prove to be useful. Those anonymous phone calls ANNOY me. I’m getting them more and more and I know it’s him as well. I found a button on my new phone system. It says, “Do not disturb.” Use it quite often these days! He would think nothing of calling at 11 at night to say goodnight to our son, who it 10. DUH.

    Jake, Louise and EB, All of you make good points about FB. I made the choice to take my page down for awhile. I knew he was looking for stuff because my son told me. The upside of FB is that you can learn yourself. I use it at my discretion.

    Welcome back Ox! You have been sorely missed on here, but I’m also glad you took a break and hope you had a wonderful time! I echo your sentiments to Jake on his question. Evil does exist and always has. As you well know, I’m somewhere in the healing process and learning to pick out those red flags. I am finding most of them come right from my own intuition. If something doesn’t FEEL right, it’s a read flag.



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  5. LouiseGolem says:

    Yeah, Cat, the trick with those Protection Orders, as my counselor says, is enforcing them. These obnoxious Anonymous calls make it hard for me to say he’s doing it (aka: enforce the Order.) But I can change my phone number, and I’m afraid I may need to do that.

    Red flags — as you say, Cat “come right from my own intuition.” Like the night I woke up (towards the end) and my gut was just screaming SOOO loud. No one single reason, but I knew that my body was telling me to save myself.

    Listen to that gut, my friends. I’ve said this before. But then again, I think I”m preaching to the choir here, when I say that.



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  6. one_step_at_a_time says:

    Louiseg – does your carrier have a function where you can block un named callers? or specific callers? might be cheaper than changing your number.



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  7. OxDrover says:

    I thinkk of all the advice to ask the questions here that BLUES SHOES has the most appropiate advice. To be with a “flat affect” (marginally polilte) and actr like you were exchanging answers with the queen of England. Don’t speak unless spoken to, then answer in 1-2 word replies and that in a bored or neutral voice.

    Keep your posture straight, neither smile nor frown. If he wants to “make light conversation” tghere is always the old “Oh, I must go to the restroom,, or back to my car, or something” to get out of his face.

    I agree about your mom letting him hug her….I think that is ann insult to you and I would see if I could get that stopped if I could do so without making a big row. I think her demeanor should mimic yours.

    Don’t be the first one to make contact or start a conversation.

    If you can keep it so that there are long silences by using shoulder shrugs for answers away when he is talkin to youk, so he is talking to the side or back of your head.

    Not letting anything he says get you upset, or if you do get upset, do not let him know it. Just showinjg total disinteresst in him, or even interupting him by leaning over while he is talking to you and speak to someone else about a totally different subject.

    Anything short of spitting in his face to make him feel unwelcome. If this happens in front of your kids and they ask “why don’t you like to talk to daddy” yhou might just reply “Well, daddy and I are not married any more and I find it uncomfortable to speak to him now.”

    Good luck with it. I can only imagine how stressful it must be to co-parent with one of these jerks. (((hugs))))



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  8. tryingtoheal says:

    The police had to get rid of my sociopath for me, when I called them they said he was calling them every day to try for my arrest! He left vile and threatening messages everyday on my voicemail, demanding I see him. Since the police officer said he would stop him, I haven’t heard from him again. I’ve since found out he owes money to almost everyone in my locality. I looked after and kept him when he was ill in my home, and when I said I’d run out of money and didn’t believe him with his daily yells on his phone for people to bring him money, he threw a rage and I threw him out. Steve, your post about the sociopath as a practical joker describes him to a T, you write such amazingly descriptive posts about my ex S, its like you knew him personally! I can’t thank you all at lovefraud enough, I am so grateful, you helped me to make sense of it all when I was so angry at him – and at myself for being so gullible and I just hope I have learnt enough to recognise a sociopath in future, hopefully I’ll never see one again, I can only describe them as vermin. He exists on handouts whilst telling people he has $40 million dollars in a bank in the States! Tells people he was in the Military and umpteen other things to get pity, and all whilst being so charming. I fell for his accent too and his larger than life personality. He used to brag about what he could get away with and professed undying love for me, when really he was just so pathetic. I cringe and feel sorry for those he is continuing to dupe, how I wish I could tell them, tell them to run as far away from him as possible. I wonder why there aren’t programmes on TV warning people? I was so naive when I met him, I cringe when I think of it.



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