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.
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.
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.
A sorry senior citizen