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Archive for June, 2011

Defending marriage

The State of New York just passed a law allowing same sex-couples to marry. Opponents of same-sex marriage complain that the practice undermines the institution of marriage. Therefore, Congress enacted the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 1996, which bared federal recognition of same-sex marriages and allowed states to do the same. DOMA also created a federal definition of “marriage” and “spouse”. Marriage is defined as a “legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife,” and spouse is defined as “a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.”

To all those who really want to defend marriage, I say that nothing undermines the institution of marriage more than sociopaths who use the institution to defraud others. I spoke with someone yesterday who is trying to protect a friend from just such a situation. The sad truth is that it is not a crime to lie your way into a marriage then use the marriage to prey upon an innocent spouse.

Donna Andersen articles on YourTango.com

YourTango.com is a big website—3.5 million unique visitors a month—that focuses on information about relationships. I was recently invited to contribute articles to the website. I welcome the opportunity. I hope to educate people about sociopaths before they get hooked, rather than picking up the pieces after they’ve been betrayed, as we do here at Lovefraud.

Below are links to my articles. Please help them circulate in the blogosphere by voting for the articles and “liking” them on Facebook.

I married a sociopath on YourTango.com

10 Signs you’re dating a sociopath on YourTango.com

TARGETED TEENS AND 20s: I can’t help but wish he was the sweet, “genuine” person I fell for

Editor’s note: Lovefraud received the following e-mail from a young woman whom we’ll call “Krista.” She needs support. If you have any words of encouragement, please offer them.

I am so lost and upset. I am 22, I was with a guy for about a year … he swept me off my feet with his charm and seemingly genuine character. I am a good girl, never got into anything bad, partied in college but never got in trouble. I met my ex out of pure boredom, knew him from high school (he had a terrible “bad boy” reputation). He literally said all the right things, charmed me and I fell hard.

Another slimeball con artist

His birth name was William J. Cosentino. He also uses James Abbink, Marco Domincio, Tomas Sarentino and a multitude of other aliases. He’s been duping people—mostly women—for 20 or 30 years. He gets out of jail and gets right back in the game.

Read The grift that keeps on giving: What you have is what he wants … and gets on Philly.com.

Recovering from a sociopathic relationship is different

A Lovefraud reader asked me what I thought of advice offered on a website called “Womensdivorce.com.” In a post about relationships after divorce, the website says women should start dating as soon as possible. It also seems to advocate that women engage in brief sexual affairs, and find a transitional partner who can help a woman heal, but whom she shouldn’t marry.

Read Your first relationship after divorce, on Womensdivorce.com.

My reaction is that this advice may be okay for someone involved in one of those amicable divorces, where the partners simply grew apart, are still on speaking terms or even friends, and want what is best for their children. The advice is terrible for someone who has been heavily damaged by marriage to a sociopath.

People who have endured marriage to a sociopath need time—perhaps a lot of time—to rebuild themselves. Healing may have two distinct dimensions.

Corrupt and incompetent forensic psychologist

Stuart Greenberg, a forensic psychologist who wrote reports that often decided custody and sexual assault cases in the Seattle, Washington area, had been disciplined by the state, but managed to get the records sealed. He made a fortune while producing biased and unsubstantiated opinions. Greenberg was also a voyeur. Read this expose:

Seattle Times special report: Twisted ethics of an expert witness

Story suggested by a Lovefraud reader.

Arizona Sen. Scott Bundgaard to face domestic violence charges

Arizona State Senator Scott Bundgaard was the Senate majority leader until he allegedly had an altercation with his girlfriend, Aubrey Ballard, on a highway. After attending a benefit, they began arguing in his Mercedes. She says he dragged her from the car. He says he didn’t. But five witnesses testified that Bundgaard was the aggressor.

As part of the 105-day investigation, police talked to Bundgaard’s former wife, who was so scared of him that she left him in the middle of their honeymoon in Hawaii.

Read the following articles from AZCentral.com. This case has all the signs of a psychopathic drama—stay tuned.

Sen. Scott Bundgaard charged with 2 misdemeanors

Bundgaard faces domestic violence charges, due in court on June 28

Bundgaard was scary, ex-wife says

Story suggested by a Lovefraud reader.

 

Self-diagnosing sociopathy

A 24-year-old guy described himself in an Internet forum: He doesn’t feel emotion, is an excellent liar, becomes bored quickly, and experiences an adrenalin rush when deceiving or angering someone else. He asks, is he a sociopath?

I’d answer yes. The post is an interesting insight into how a disordered young man perceives himself and others.

Read Self-diagnosing sociopathy on the Dr. Robert forum.

LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: Hooked by an Internet predator

Editor’s note: Lovefraud recently received the following e-mail from a reader whom we’ll call “Greta.”

After being married for 23 years to an alcoholic, being sad and lonely, I was vulnerable and targeted by a sociopath online through Facebook. I live in the US, he was from the Netherlands but living in Italy at time. He sent me a random friend request, I accepted, we talked on instant message chat occasionally for about 9 months and then he zeroed in.

He speaks 5 languages fluently and has traveled to many countries. He is very bright and articulate. We had similar interests, especially spiritually, or at least the illusion was that we did. He convinced me to use Skype and after that I ended up leaving my husband, family and job and sent him a plane ticket to come to the US. (Of course, he had no money and used the excuse that he lost his job several months ago and was unemployed in a terrible economy—pity party.)

Advice for women not involved with sociopaths

In the wake of Weinergate, CNN posted an article entitled, Stop calling Huma Abedin a victim. Abedin, of course, is Anthony Weiner’s wife, who I’m sure was, at the very least, embarrassed by the scandal, and perhaps angry enough to consider divorce.

The article quotes a couple of authors telling women to choose not to be victims. Instead, women should choose to define their own happiness. Oh, there are a couple of caveats—the advice doesn’t apply to women who fear for their safety or are facing financial ruin. But there is no discussion of what to do when your relationship is so emotinally abusive that you are psychologically traumatized.

In short, this story offers advice for women coping with infidelity whose partners are not sociopaths. Which is fine—these women need advice as much as anyone. But the article also reinforces society’s “just get over it” attitude, which makes life difficult for women dealing with true exploitation.