Editor’s note: The Lovefraud reader who posts as “Missymooz” sent the following e-mail.
I also was married to a sociopath!! For 15 years!!!! We had 4 children together, bought homes together etc., etc. I just left (for the third time) 2 months ago. I would like to tell my story, just in case it may help someone else out there. I feel very stupid to have stayed for so long. But here goes:
I met him briefly when I was only 16, but we both went our separate ways. I married another guy when I was 19. This marriage dissolved when I was 25, and guess who was there to lick my wounds??? It all seemed like fate!! So I dated him for a while, and craving a child by then (my first husband did not want children), he was happy to oblige, so we fell pregnant with our first daughter. Then the wedding plans began.
Looking back, I think that’s when the abuse started. He had me trapped! I kept thinking I was getting too sensitive because of being pregnant! I was imagining it!!! Anyway, when I was about 4 months pregnant, he had got a job interstate! What would I do? Of course, I followed him, leaving a good job (justifying this with, well I can’t continue working once I have this baby!!), all my family (and his) behind. Going where we didn’t know a single soul!!!
Well his behaviour really changed then! He treated me like dirt. Wouldn’t walk down the street beside me; I had to walk behind. Not acknowledging to anyone that I was with him! Constantly telling me to book myself a ticket home!! Then of course, apologising and saying he didn’t mean it!!
Made him marry me
Eventually I did leave. He “said” he didn’t want me to leave, so I was the bad one!!! I didn’t hear from him for 5 months. I had had our baby girl by then; I had tried to ring him but he had changed his contact details!! I was through with him at this stage, but of course, he wasn’t through with me!!! He turned up at my door, and of course I wasn’t going to stop him seeing his daughter! So he apologised, turned everything into my fault, and I took him back!
I “made” him marry me!! I thought if he was serious he would marry me! Well of course he married me, in the time we were separated I had bought a house for my daughter and I, and had a part time job! Once we were married the abuse got worse, escalating to physical abuse. I left when he took my daughter from me and wouldn’t give her back. I got custody of her.
After awhile he begged me to come home. He promised he would go to anger management. Which he did only once mind you, because apparently they encouraged him to let out his anger and of course in consideration for me he didn’t want to do that!!!!! But the physical abuse did stop! I couldn’t believe it!!! Verbal abuse continued though.
I thought he changed
For 13 years I thought he had changed and that that was a huge effort on his part. Whenever anyone would say how horrible he was treating me or the girls, I would always say, “You don’t know how much he has changed. No one is perfect, he will get there!!” Can you believe it!! I was excusing his abusive behaviour, even towards my gorgeous girls!
Anyway, finally his abuse escalated again and I was in such fear of him turning to physical abuse again that I left (I was 7 months pregnant with our 4th daughter by then) and asked him to seek professional help and maybe medication. (I thought it had worked last time, it may work again.) As I was waiting for him to get the help he needed, my fourth daughter was born premie, underweight, not breathing, she was touch and go for a couple of days.
What did he do?? He was busy wining and dining other women. I was so hurt, especially when he told me that he found someone else, he wasn’t going to wait for me forever! It had been 6 weeks!! Anyway, I fell in a deep hole; I tried to pretend I was happy to be rid of him. Everyone around me reminded me that we were all the better for it! All my friends were supportive! But for some stupid reason I missed him like crazy!!! My friends used to joke and say, “Do you miss the abuse?” I couldn’t understand it either; we had some good memories but a lot more miserable ones!
Took him back
Amazing how he must have sensed it though, because around that time he started begging me for forgiveness, promising everything under the sun! He even started seeing a psychologist, acknowledged he had a problem (he couldn’t be a sociopath; he is admitting he has a problem!!!). He went on strong medication. He seemed to have changed. Against my daughters wishes, I took him back and decided not to talk about the past! Well that suited him fine.
And for about 10 months, I thought he had changed. Even moving interstate again!!! He did not verbally abuse us; he did not lose his temper at all!! Even when we did have problems he remained calm! I, though, was becoming more and more depressed and more dependent on him. I felt that I was too old to start again (I’m only 42), I was not attractive, no one else would ever put up with me, etc etc.
My oldest daughter told me it was him doing it!! I couldn’t see it, and when I asked her how, she said she could not explain it, but she could see that it was him bringing me down!!! When he went away for a few weeks (apparently for work) he ignored me completely. After feeling sorry for myself, I realised I needed to snap out of this depression and look after my girls! So I forced myself to take them out, have fun with them according to their age.
Well when he came back he was surprised to see us “living”!!! He wanted to know what had changed??? He did not like it!! I just asked him not to ignore me when he goes away again. Well his comment to that was that he was leaving!! I did not argue, and that seemed to baffle him. Of course, he didn’t!! Then he tried to threaten suicide! I did not react to that either. Then we recommenced just living together, as if nothing had happened, except he punished me, by not giving me any affection!!! Then a couple of weeks later, he informed me, matter of factly, that he was not happy, and that we had given it a good go, and no one would blame us for separating again. So I agreed with him, and immediately started asking for financial assistance off friends so we could fly back home.
He never changed
Well, he wasn’t going to have that! He said that he was going to get a court order stopping me leaving the state with his children. Therefore we “fled”!!! He does not know where we are exactly. I would say that he knows what state we are in as all our family and friends are here. I have changed all my contact details. But my eldest daughter wants to keep in touch with him via her mobile.
What I have realised is that he never actually changed! He only changed his tactics! From physical abuse, to verbal abuse, to intimidation (hence my depression). My biggest regret is that when my girls talk about how he made them feel the whole time, and in a way it was my fault, it was never their decision to stay or go, they were forced to do whatever I decided. I have to live with this guilt now, and the only silver lining is that the younger two have not been subjected to it for as long.
So if anyone is out there living with someone who does not respect them or cherish them for who they are, stop justifying it!! He may or may not be a sociopath, but he is still not a nice person to be around. If he is not a sociopath, he will seek help for his behaviours and it will be evident in time. But if he is a sociopath, he will never change.
I realise that each person needs to get to the realisation themselves when enough is enough. I once thought that perhaps I was being too harsh labeling him an abuser, but now realise that I wasn’t harsh enough!! But the last 10 months I could really see the sociopath in him. And even though now I have escaped him, the girls and I have less in a financial way now than we did before I took him back!! How he managed this I am not sure, but he did!! I am also not stupid enough to think he will leave me alone, entirely. I can only try and protect myself and my children and hope he does moves on. The only flaw is that he will need to find another victim to do that, and that is not fair, but it is not my fault nor my responsibility.
My oldest girls
My two oldest daughters, 15 and 12 want to see him. I am putting conditions on it and applying for a court order to help protect me when he breaks our agreement. I would prefer that they don’t see him as this gives him more opportunity to manipulate us all. I will not be allowing him to come to my home, but will be dropping the girls off at his mums or somewhere else. What else can I do to minimise the impact on my children? Should I talk the older girls into not seeing him? The other two girls are only 3 and 1.So if the older two go they will be going also.
Please help me!