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LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: A sorry senior citizen

Editor’s note: Lovefraud received the following email from a reader whom we’ll call “Regina.”

I am now 77 years old and my sociopath is 74. We were together almost 7 years. You would think at my age I would have known better. I have finally left the creep for the 4th time, and with the help of Lovefraud blogs, I am on my way to full recovery. It still hurts that I could have been so stupid, but here’s my story.

To try and understand why I let myself be sucked in to a relationship with this creep, I have to go back 18 years to when my husband died. Shortly after his death, my nephew, then 15 years old, robbed me to the tune of $6,000. I told my mother who went berserk and said, “no way did her grandson do that.” I stuck to my guns that he did do it and was ostracized by the rest of the family. They convinced my 3 kids that I was mourning their father and not quite in my right mind. I have always had a close relationship with my kids and could not understand why they didn’t believe me. The key here is that my youngest sister (the mother of the robber) is only 4 years older than my oldest daughter and she managed to convince my daughter that I was wrong. My oldest daughter, in turn, convinced my other 2 kids, a daughter 8 years younger and a son 11 years younger.  Since I am very strong willed I said to hell with all of them and continued to stick to my story. My mother died within the year, but not before telling me that she thought I had been right all along. Unfortunately, I was the only one she told that to.

The next year I went to Florida for the winter and met a very nice man and we had a long distance relationship for 9 years.  I knew the sociopath on a casual basis at that time as he tried to start up a relationship with me years prior but I was not interested.

Campaign starts

After my “long distance” died I was lonely and the hurt I had experienced from the treatment I received from my family, (3 kids, 3 brothers and 3 sisters) still lived with me. I didn’t really trust anyone. As it happened, I joined an organization in which the sociopath was very active. We became good friends. A year later he broke off with his current girlfriend and started his campaign with me.  Since, I had grown fond of him, I really did not want to have a relationship with him because I did not want to destroy our friendship. He won.

The first 4 years were good. We did a lot of things that people in their 70’s don’t do, i.e. boating on the river, bicycling, lots of walking down town, museums, you name it. I found he was very cheap but I didn’t mind, as I am independent and didn’t mind paying my way. He seemed to love me so much and was so attentive. Every day he would tell me “you’re all that’s important to me.” We kept our own homes but I had a nice summer cottage that he loved. He never put a cent towards the expenses of that cottage but he did some renovations (that I paid for), which I really appreciated. Every year he said he would pay the taxes but would conveniently forget it when tax time came around. He very seldom would buy food, even when we would invite 4 couples, all friends of his, down for a weekend. He told me that his share was that he would drive me down there and I wouldn’t have to pay for gas. We went to Florida a few times and took other trips but I always paid for half.

Other woman

After 4 years, I started seeing signs that a woman had been staying at his house … signs like hairs, glass stains on “my night table,” candles that had been lit and burnt out … When I accused him of having someone sleeping in his bed he emphatically denied it. His regular answer when I asked him to explain all these signs was, “I have no idea how they got there.”

I broke off with him 3 times and each time it was for the same reason. Our “apart time” was usually about 3-4 months. He never gave up pursuing me. He would email me, come and sit with me when I went to our organization, telephone me, cry to me. Once he went down on his knees and begged me to take him back because he couldn’t live without me. He had a litany which he used which went like this: “I have never cheated on you, it never entered my mind, you’re the only woman I ever loved, I’m going crazy without me, etc. etc.” It got so I could almost tell what the next statement would be.

Incidentally, he had a history of cheating on his ex-girlfriends. He was never violent with me but would fly into a rage when confronted. He has no fear of anything. He’s a retired Naval Officer, with a background in diving. I have found that he is very cold as far as his family is concerned, but still keeps in close contact with them.  He listens to their “sob” stories but remains detached.

Since I had no proof that he actually was cheating, I would go back to him. He became more careful about leaving traces but eventually would get sloppy and I would find new evidence that a woman had been there and so the pattern would continue. I would break off with him, he would beg and plead for 3 months, I would go back but the cheating would continue.

Called it quits

I broke off with him for the 4th time last month when he cancelled out coming down to my cottage with me. His excuse was a big lie and when I came back from the cottage and made a surprise visit to his home I found evidence that someone had been there. That’s when I called it quits. Now he is in his first stage, i.e. very angry with me for “shattering his life again.” I know in a few days he will start his campaign again. It is taking him longer this time because he knows he was caught in a lie so he will have to lie low for a while.

My sister-in-law, who is a psychologist, brought it to my attention 2 years ago that he was a sociopath. I didn’t believe her but when I did the test he answered 11 questions (I answered them for him). He is not violent, a good listener and is willing to help others, so it was hard for me to believe that he really is a sociopath. The reason I now know for sure is that he has no true feelings for anyone. He is incapable of real gratitude and does not feel sympathy for anyone. He is a serial cheater and is cheap. He is also a sex addict and a reformed alcoholic and an AA member. I guess those are reasons enough. All sociopaths are not abusers. By the way, I am very attractive and he is proud to be seen with me, although he very seldom gives me compliments.

I’m telling my story in case there are other senior women out there who get caught up with those creeps. Any advice anyone has for me to help me get over this experience would be greatly appreciated.

Signed,

A sorry senior citizen



15 Comments on "LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: A sorry senior citizen"

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  1. zoey says:

    Dear Regina, My ex did the big romance with me prior to marriage, and had all my family and associates believing that he “adored me”. Even the Jehovah Witnesses that canvassed our street weekly were given big lectures by him on how lucky he was to have found me and how much he loved me.
    Gradually, subtley, it all began to change.
    He told me it must have been my teenage sons when my jewellry disappeared.
    He claimed they must have pawned it, that is despite them being too young (under 18) to use a Pawn shop where I.D. has to be presented before you can pawn anything.
    When money went missing he claimed my sons may have been going through my handbag.
    They had never taken money like that and certainly were not in need of my cash as they each had part time jobs to earn their own pocket money and did not spend all they earnt.
    He gradually began criticising me in front of my sons when I tried to get them to do their nightly chore of washing the evening meals dishes, or if I requested they clean their own rooms on the weekend.
    He interfered every time I was correcting any of my sons.
    I had raised them singlehanded and done an excellent job teaching them to be self sufficient and to assist around the home by cleaning up their own mess and being responsible reliable people.
    I had always insisted on mutual respect between my sons, and by them, for myself, as well as reciprocal respect from me, for my sons as fellow human beings.
    My ex gradually changed that status quo by preventing me from keeping the usual routine and interrupting me even to the point of holding me tightly by the wrist, physically restraining me, so I could not walk into the loungeroom and speak to my sons, any time I tried to remind the boys to do their alloted and reasonable chores.
    despite me telling him several times not to hold me by the wrist like that as it triggered bad memories of past domestic violence, he kept doing this to me and I was not physically strong enough to remove his hand from my wrist and would have to stand still while he lectured me on why I should not make my sons do their chores.
    My young sons became very disrespectful to the point of being bluntly rude in the way they spoke to me, which then deteriorated to abusive and derogatory remarks and swear words.
    The ex violently assaulted me when I discovered his theft of all of my ID papers and embezlement from the equity of my home, he was barred from living in my home or coming near me by a Court awarded Violence Restraining Order.
    It took almost 6 months for my sons to recognise they had been coached to act abusively towards me, and to return to their previous respectful and loving attitudes.
    It was a big learning curve for us as we had to first recognise and identify the insidious and subtle, gradual erosion of our family relationships by his tactics.
    He had been so clever at his gradual erosion tactics that we had initially been unaware of the damage he had been doing to the fabric of our family.
    He fostered resentment in my sons against me by making them think that women did not know what guys need and want.
    He criticised my usual structure of everyone pulling their fair share of weight and taking responsibility for their own room and their own possessions, which was a training system for when they eventually left home and had to cope alone.
    When my two youngest sons left home they clearly realised how much I used to do for them and look after them, and they began to comprehend how much our relationship had been sabotaged by the ex.
    It takes time to repair damaged relationships like that, but with patience, mutual respect, and honesty, they can be restored.

    Some sociopaths hit you like a Mack truck with a full load and the damage is done quickly, is easily recognisable, and full on, with devastating results.
    Some sociopaths take the long path and bide their time.
    They seem to delight in deceiving everyone around you as they close in on their prey.
    The damage they do, tends to create self doubts and make you question wether you did something wrong.
    I found that friends and family would not listen or believe me when I began to see flaws in the ex and tried to discuss these observations with them.
    They were conned by him, into believing that I was dwelling on the past bad marriage and that the ex loved me so much and was troubled that I “seemed to be unable to put my sad past behind me”.
    He had been spreading such stories behind my back, long before I ever saw the first slip of his mask.
    My older children were admonishing me for doubting him in any way, ( but they did not live with us and did not see the small slips of the mask that preceded the final violent assault upon me).
    I wish you all the best and hope you recover to become a stronger and more knowledgable woman. GOD Bless.



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  2. mags says:

    Zoey,

    The first incident of violence from my ex came at the point where he had just began emptying my bank of the money from my house sale (but I hadnt found out at that point). He did this because I discovered an Msm message, and he beat me with a poker, and tried to strangle me just to get the Iphone it was on from my hand. He told me his actions were because I was paranoid and controlling and that the message was from a friend using his ‘sisters’ email address. Of course I didnt really believe him but I had already invested such a lot in the relationship because of my love for him and he had ostracised me from my mother that although reeling from the discovery I failed to act on it. I do believe that this initial violence was a desperate move to keep the control until he had finished taking from me, as he was able to stop being violent from then on, until he had got all of the money from the bank and had the other woman under his spell. During those few weeks though he became a full blown narcissist and I was in a state of shock seeing the man who had been so close to me (and controlling of me before) suddenly become someone completely different. That was when I checked the bank and confronted him … then the violence again and the hasty departure from my life (despite my still telling him that it was only money and if he had a gambling problem or anything we would sort it). It doesnt matter in the end how nice or understanding you are …. if you are no longer of use you are dead to them. Its a long road to recovery but there is no other road and the sooner we are on that road the better.



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  3. regina says:

    Zoey our stories are so similar. I just want to say how grateful I am for the support I have received from the posters on this board. I would also like to stress that not all sociopaths fit the pattern of abusers and violent people. Mine was never violent. He lost his temper at times but for the most part was even tempered. What totally fooled me was I thought he was so considerate of me and so loving. He would go out of his way to do “LITTLE” things for me that cost him nothing. When I look back, he had a habit of putting me down in the most sneaky way. Forinstance he would cut me off in the middle of a sentence by pointing out something to me and then he would say “now what were you saying”. Although it would infuriate me, I never saw through it until I started to read Love Blogs. I got an email from him last week telling me how hard he tried to make me happy and I rewarded him by doubting him and by accusing him of cheating. He ended up by saying “You owe me an apology” and you know what, for a second the thought flashed in my mind “My god, what if I was wrong about him”. See how that subtle brainwashing leaves a lasting impression?

    I am so happy I found this site. I check it every day. I still miss his telephone calls twice a day, and I miss having someone in my life that I thought actually cared, but I know I will never go back to him and now I know exactly how to treat him if he starts his campaign again. I just want to impress on you readers that not all sociopaths fit the bill. If your spath is cheap, lies, cheats and puts you down in very subtle ways then then I suggest that you do the Sociopath test and then run as fast as you can if he turns out positive.

    Regina



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  4. slimone says:

    Regina,

    It is SO true, that they can all ‘look’ different. I have said this multiple times on this site, especially when newcomers are trying to figure out if “theirs’ is REALLY and spath, and comparing all the superficial behaviors.

    It is what lies beneath the behaviors that is the clue. The motivations. Those are hard to determine, sometimes, without getting too close. What works best for me is to watch MY responses to someone. Do I have the jitters, feel over excited, confused, off-center, giddy, worried, anxious….or all of these simultaneously?

    Then it is time to take a step back and give myself permission to honor myself. I don’t have to engage, answer, commit, or otherwise cooperate if I feel any ‘offness’.

    Some of these folks look like criminals… some groovy new-age spiritualists (my last one!)… some like hard-working ‘real men’. Some are intellectual and want to stay with one woman for the image it provides them. Some are sexual perverts. Some loooove to cheat. I know one who does TONS of volunteer work, with the mentally disabled. He works for a non-profit.

    Just the one’s I’ve known: dance teacher, professor, manager of large hospital, drug addict in NA, hospice director, grandpa, nurse, ballet dancer…..wait! Personal growth workshop leader and motivational speaker.

    Think of them as cupcakes made of poop, that have different frostings covering them. No matter how good the frosting looks, they’re going to smell bad, and make you sick.



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  5. Nora says:

    Welcome Regina,
    I was in my mid-fifties when it happened to me a few years ago. I also thought I was old enough and smart enough to know better. Just goes to show, it can happen to anyone, at any age. One important thing is to share our stories in an effort to help and educate others. Most stories are very similar, and a reader might realize the same thing is happening to them, or help them realize the reason for their confusion, or realize things are never going to change/get better, and it’s time to get out and move on! Knowing you aren’t alone is also important! I discovered helpful information, advice and support at Lovefraud.com soon after I left my ex. My letter was posted in June 2010, and I’m a reader called “Nora.” The best advice I can give you is “NO CONTACT,” and in time, “This too shall pass.” What we experience never goes away, but hopefully we learn from our mistakes and support and advise others who make the same mistakes when trusting the wrong person. STAY STRONG!



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  6. Ox Drover says:

    SLIMONE! CUPCAKES MADE OF POOP COVERED WITH FROSTING…NO MATTER HOW GOOD THE FROSTING LOOKS, THEY ARE GOING TO SMELL BAD AND MAKE YOU SICK!!!!

    LOL ROTFLMAO SNNORT SNARK SNARF CHOKE!!!!! Oh, my goodness, I thought I would wet myself girl! That is goooood!!!! So true too! Thanks for today’s belly laugh!



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