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LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: I wanted him to be the guy of my dreams, but he’s nothing but a fraud

Editor’s note: Lovefraud received this e-mail from a reader who we’ll call Loralei. At the end of her e-mail, I’ll comment on it.

When I was young, I was emotionally and physically abused by my mother. She didn’t give me any black eyes, but I did get slapped, my hair pulled, and it was clear that the world revolved around my mother. I lived in fear, and when I wasn’t the target of her anger, I was ignored.

Fast forward 40 years. I am a successful businesswoman, I live in a nice Chicago suburb, I have friends, I like to help people, and I was tired of not having a love life. For some goofy reason, I posted an ad on Craigslist; I met a really handsome guy named Robert. He said he was a banker, he also said he just got back from Iraq (that he was in the army), he was well dressed, he said he was “going through” a divorce, and he seemed articulate, and nice. We quickly moved into a sexual relationship.

I noticed some odd things. His communication was primarily email or text messages. It was extremely abrupt – no mention of feelings – just very minimal, concise, fact based conversations. And he was a white collar professional (a banker), but he said he just got back from Iraq? He didn’t have a buzz haircut, and he didn’t look terribly in shape.

Checking him out

While I thought I struck the goldmine, an inner voice told me I should check things out. I found that he didn’t live in the town that he said he lived in. I found that he wasn’t “going through” a divorce, but in fact he was already divorced. And I wrote to the military, and found out, yes, he was in the Army, but that was 20 years ago when he was a college student, and he was NEVER in Iraq.

Over the course of weeks and months I learned more. He actually lived in the same home with his ex-wife and their children.

Then he took a business trip, and he told me he took an extra day or two to go to West Point to visit his Army friends (well, of course I knew he never went to West Point) so I snooped and I found that he went to stay for a weekend at a romantic bed and breakfast with another woman. He took other business trips. I was suspicious, and I placed ads on Craigslist under the romantic encounter section in the city he was visiting. Sure enough, he was replying to those ads trying to stir up a one-night stand. Both times I was crushed, I told him straight up he was busted.

Kept falling for him

Yet, stupidly, over the course of weeks and months, I kept falling for this guy. He texted me every morning, “GM,” and every night, “GN,” we emailed and texted all day, we laughed, we flirted. We saw each other periodically, and he was attentive, and kind, and fun, and complimented me and held my hand, and was unfailingly polite. The visits were always during business hours. Why would that be, if he was divorced?

I confronted him with lie after lie. Some he acknowledged, some he ignored. The lies continued, along with the continued flirting, continued sex. I was baffled. I cried all the time. We would have incredible sex, it lasted 4 – 6- 8 hours and then there would be nothing for a whole month. I felt abused. I would tell him how I felt, he said he loved me, but nothing in his behavior changed. He would show no empathy at all. A woman called my home looking for him once – she said they had made plans to meet, and she wondered where he was. I didn’t understand. At one point I was so desperate I reached out to his ex-wife. I asked her if she was still sleeping with him. Her voice got really meek and scared-like, and she said she wasn’t sleeping with him. I thought it was really weird. But it told me she obviously knew about everything, and wanted to bury her head in the sand.

Couldn’t leave him

I tried to break up with him in May of 2009. I cried again. He was distressed. He said he knew he was shallow, he knew he was selfish, and he wanted me to stay. I felt bad, couldn’t leave him. We went back and forth and back and forth for about a year. I would leave him, then he would text me and make me pity him, and I’d go back. Then he would ignore me, and then, before I knew it, we’d be back together again.

It was a very addictive relationship. That fall he introduced me to a bunch of his colleagues as his “wife.” And he took me on a trip to Seattle on a train, and whispered in my ear how everybody could clearly see how in love we were. Were we in love? How could that be, if he spends every night and every weekend with his ex-wife? He said it was his favorite daydream to imagine me being his wife.

I couldn’t understand it. How could a nice, polite, educated man lie to me? So I read books. I read about avoidant personality disorder. I read about psychopathy, antisocial personality disorder, I read about anxiety disorders, I must have read 25 psych books. I read, “When your lover is a liar” and every other book out there.

So do I believe his words? They’re inconsistent. Do I believe his actions? They’re inconsistent too.

I began therapy, and I began to see how the way he was treating me was similar to the way my mother treated me. I invited the abuse on myself, apparently repeating a cycle I learned in childhood. Somehow I got strong enough to finally push away from him. The first few weeks I felt like I was going to die. Every day I think about him, and nearly every day I feel rage, I feel raped. I can’t believe I kept making excuses for him. I can’t believe I got sucked into this fantasy. I wanted him to be the guy of my dreams, but he’s nothing but a fraud. A lovefraud.

My comments: This is a classic Lovefraud story

Loralei’s story has every typical element of a sociopathic relationship. It is a classic Lovefraud story.

First of all, Loralei was abused by her mother. Anyone who has abuse in their history is susceptible to more abuse. The traumatic bonding that takes place during these relationships makes the dynamic of abuse feel normal.

Loralei, I strongly recommend that you read The Betrayal Bond, by Patrick J. Carnes, Ph.D. (available on the Lovefraud Store). It explains how abusive relationships affect you, and why it can be difficult to leave them.

Secondly, Loralei’s intuition was working. “An inner voice told me I should check things out,” she wrote. So she did. And she found out that the guy was lying to her. But she continued to see him anyway.

Why? Because Loralei was already addicted to the relationship.

Relationships with sociopaths are highly addictive. The relationships cause psychological and chemical changes in the brain that make victims feel bonded to the sociopath.

This is especially true when sex is involved. Sex enhances the natural human bonding process—it’s nature’s way of keeping people together to care for children. It doesn’t seem to affect sociopaths—sociopaths are famous for their callous promiscuity. But partners of sociopaths, who feel normal bonding, become attached. That’s why Loralei couldn’t leave him.

So how can Loralei get out of a relationship with a sociopath? She must treat it as the addiction that it is. She must cut off all contact with the guy, cold turkey. No e-mails. No texts. No phone calls. And certainly no get-togethers. Loralei must take it one day at a time. Get through today. Then tomorrow. Then the next day.

If Loralei gives in to her addiction and has contact with him, it will be like a medical relapse, and she’ll have to start all over again. But if she can maintain no contact, each day she’ll get stronger, and his hold on her will be less.

But here’s the most important part of this classic Lovefraud story. As awful as this relationship was, it has a nugget of gold in it. This lying, cheating abuser has brought to the surface Loralei’s original emotional wound—the abuse of her mother. Now, she has the opportunity to process and let go of that deep, awful pain.

Loralei, look at the gift of this situation. Give yourself time and permission to heal. You can do it. And eventually, if you want, you’ll be able to attract a healthy, satisfying relationship.



34 Comments on "LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: I wanted him to be the guy of my dreams, but he’s nothing but a fraud"

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  1. loralei says:

    Breathless and I both did some snooping. Intellius is a gold mine and gives you a lot for $15.00. Divorce records are a matter of public record. If you go to the court house, you can get a copy of the entire filing (with SSN’s removed) for about $2, it spells out addresses and property and asset ownership. Sometimes you can read between the lines. Military records are a matter of public record, you can write to them and they’ll provide whatevery information they can provide (legally). Classmates, Facebook and Linked In are all treasure troves. They can tell you who else knows your sociopath so you can always approach your investigation from a different angle. Simple google searches can turn up amazing things. Just listen closely and your sociopath will likely tell you where to look. They love flirting with danger.



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  2. Cat says:

    Dear Donna, Thank you for the link! I read the article and it makes sense. I was a sheep! It IS an addiction of sorts, I can remember feeling a false sense of security when he was still around and while a part of me knew it was false, I STILL allowed it.
    One of the great parts of what we’ve all been through is that it opens us up for learning about ourself and why we allowed the things we did.



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  3. Callista says:

    We stay despite knowing the truth about their lies. We stay because we think that somehow what WE have with them is “special” and they won’t want to lose the ONE relationship in their life that had meaning. The truth is, there was NEVER any meaning. The only meaning was in our imagination. The man we IMAGINED them to be. I do believe that there is a core and the core is good. But the thing about these people is that their core is so walled off it’s impermeable. NOTHING can get through. Not us, not anyone. Hell, they can’t even reach it. It’s sad really. But we need to be thankful that we can feel empathy and love and emotions. Imagine life without knowing what that’s like. Too bad these monsters use our sensitivity to their benefit.



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  4. ckitten says:

    One of the things I think that we forget once we immerse ourselves in knowledge about sociopaths is that most people have absolutely NO clue just how very present and real they are in most of our lives. The denial of their transgressions against us, and the belief in our “special” relationship with them is predicated by an idea that everyone is capable of change and truly good at heart.

    For myself, it took three and a half years to even remember just how bad it had been and to recognize him for what he was … some form of narcissist or sociopath. I now look around and see them or forms of them everywhere.

    I had a WONDERFUL childhood with loving, healthy parents who gave me complete unconditional love. How did I get to the point where I could be led into such utter darkness?

    My parents became part of a fundamental church run by a very spiritually abusive man when I was 10. Women were not celebrated, absolute forgiveness was preached. What they neglected to mention was that to forgive was not to trust or to change anyone else. God has absolute forgiveness for us, but does he sit around trusting us? Nawp … a lesson that went neglected.

    My parents were older and very naive about relationships. They were so loving and married earlier … not a perfect relationship, but loving and healthy. Their only advice had been to pray about my relationships, to not have sex before marriage, and to seek only God’s will for my future husband. I love ’em, but it wasn’t enough.

    When I left the church, I was angry, and very, very vulnerable. Guess when I met the SP? Yep.

    All I can say is that now I am focused on educating young people and young adults. Just a couple of weeks ago, a new co-worker and I were talking and the subject came up. Apparently the guy she had JUST broken up with had a lot of those traits. Because we talked and she is now doing research, she can at least make some peace with what happened to her.
    She won’t go back now that she truly understands what he is.

    It is my mission to help people understand so they don’t go there in the first place. Love you all!



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  5. OxDrover says:

    Ckitten,

    Your comments about “forgiveness” and “trust” are so right on!@!!! Unfortunately, the same person who preaches “absolute forgivness” (including restoring trust instantly) is the same one who will usually hold a grudge untiil the cows come home! The abusive use of “religion” cloaked as spirituality has been used to cover abuse for centuries, so is nothing new at all. It predated Christ and was something he preached against, and in reality was what caused the Pharisees to hate him and to plot to get FALSE WITNESSES to condemn Him so he could be crucified. The men who were seeking the false witnesses were so “holy”—at least they presented themselves as such. LOL It continues today!

    I’m glad that you have a mission to use the knowledge and wisdom you have gained from your experience with the psychopath! I think that each of us in our own ways spread the “gospel” of recovery from these experiences! Do I hear an AMEN! ((((Hugs)))))



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  6. Hestian says:

    I love the answer to this letter so much I posted a link to it on my blog. I have so been there.

    Now I am fighting to make him accountable and you should see the lies he tells in his court documents! All he does is lie, and like this person, my radar went off and I married him anyway, went back to him anyway, moved to a state I never wanted to live in and it was a trick!

    The point of seeing the “gold” might not come right away. I know lady who used to run a big victim support group in Illinois who is now running for office, told me I might find some way that what I have been through might help others. I was so not there when she said it. I didn’t think it would ever happen.

    I too have a history of abuse in my childhood. And a big breakthrough for me was learning that I learned to love people who hurt me. Not just learned but needed to do it, for the false sense of security as a child.

    ckitten, After he abused me, lied to me, etc, I felt I should give him grace! And the repayment for that grace was tricking me out of literally everything and into moving to another state, as I mentioned. I still gave him grace, and went to live with him so he could make amends, since he wasn’t going to be held accountable by law enforcement. I always felt he could at least be accountable personally and yes, I believed people could be redeemed! Not him. He cannot be redeemed. I know this now. It took him pulling the last scam on me and my listening to my own tape recordings of his psychotic babblings. And, I had given him an excuse of blackouts, which he admitted on tape weren’t so. He says he remembered everything and if I didn’t want to see those reactions I shouldn’t cause them!

    Illinois is a two party consent to record calls and that is a darn shame. Since this letter writer is from Chicago, perhaps she can do something to change that.



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  7. OxDrover says:

    Thanks Hestian–yes, we can use our new-found wisdom to help others…in both large and small ways. Sometimes just sharing or a kind word means a great deal…more than we may ever know.



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