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LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: This is What Five Months No Contact Looks Like

Editor’s Note: This article was written by the Lovefraud reader who posts as “Snow White.” She previously wrote “He is not Prince Charming, and you are not Snow White.

After months of pursuit and ultimate seduction by a psychopath, which eventually lead to an affair with this man, I can now honestly see that I am making my way down the road to recovery. When I first started to open my eyes and began noticing red flags in the psychopath’s behavior, coupled with the deep sadness I was experiencing about ending my marriage, I took the first gigantic step of actually listening to MY feelings. Even though the love bombing was so intense and the psychopathic bond well established to the point that I completely believed his declarations: “We are destined to be together. You are my future wife. We are soul mates. You must leave your husband”…well you all know the routine…. my gut instincts persisted, increasingly telling me to get out.

Although I didn’t know if our marriage could be saved at that point, I did know that I could not end my marriage because someone was telling me to do it. If my marriage is to end, it will be because he and/or I decide we cannot be married, not because someone else is pressuring me to do it. The control he had over me was so powerful that it rendered me helpless in thinking for myself—that is until I woke up and saw through his hollow eyes, the soulless person he is, the strange behavior, manipulation, and lies. Reflecting on the last five months of recovery, a pattern in the healing process has emerged, which I’d like to share.

First few weeks

The best way I can describe the recovery process so far is to separate it into months. During the first few weeks, I was in emotional turmoil. My weight was at an all-time low. I was so confused as to “what” he is, what had happened to me, who I had become, and if my marriage would survive. After much prayer, the first step I took was to refuse to see him and ended the relationship. But I needed answers. I contacted the psychopath’s ex-girlfriend. She was the one who educated me on his personality disorder. I had no idea what psychopathy was and began researching it. Over the next month, I read everything I could get my hands on such as the Love Fraud site and books. Claudia Moscovici’s work, Dangerous Liaisons, profoundly described what I experienced. Additionally, Red Flags of Love Fraud precisely delineated the process of the relationship and his characteristics. He exhibited all the traits except for defrauding me out of money.

I started simultaneously educating myself and working with a marriage counselor. Although I sought help from a counselor before my affair became physical, I was too far gone to stop it. In retrospect, I can see how the luring and honeymoon phases played out. He innately moved me through the process. While in the midst of it, I did see that what I was experiencing wasn’t normal and continued to see a counselor. However, either I wasn’t accurately articulating what was happening, or the counselor wasn’t schooled in psychopathy, or I was already too emotionally controlled to really hear her advice. When I learned I had been involved with a psychopath, I told her about the books I read, but she was not interested in reading them. Even though she wasn’t able to point out the possibility that I was dealing with an emotional predator, I do credit this counselor with helping to save my marriage. Fortunately, the marriage counselor we are working with was open to reading the books and resources I listed above to better understand what I had experienced. Never having sought therapy before, I now know that it is a process, and there isn’t a quick fix. It simply takes time.

Month 2 — cognitive dissonance

During the second month, I continued reading and posting on blogs. On one site, I met a woman from the UK who experienced exactly what I did and was much further along in the recovery process. She spoke with me about her experience and provided so much support. I also began phone counseling sessions. Within the first five minutes of our session, I realized I had finally found someone who could explain what I was experiencing psychologically. There was a name for it—Cognitive Dissonance—and it doesn’t happen when normal relationships end. There would be no closure from him. He is simply not capable. I have to come to terms with it and create my own closure. Most importantly, I must know and feel that what we had and who he presented himself to be is not real.

Month 3 — learning about me

While the first two months were spent on learning about psychopathy, by the third month my focus shifted to healing. I continued to read, but whereas before I gravitated toward reading about HIM, now I started reading about ME. Some might say it is unhealthy to continue researching, but I find that the more I educate myself, the more empowered I become. I also continued working with my counselor. Her goal for me is to eliminate any doubts about whom I was dealing with so that I could develop a clear picture of the dangerousness of this man. She had me complete a checklist of his behaviors. One would think that even after seeing it all in black and white and living it, there would be no doubt—not so simple. Cognitive dissonance is a tricky thing.

Month 4 — feeling peace

By the end of month four, moments of feeling at peace within myself and my marriage are more frequent. I learned that I must practice mindfulness, or living in the moment. Focusing on the past leads to depression. Focusing on the future generates anxiety. Being present is the path to peacefulness. Learning to live in the present is a gradual process for me. Like learning to play a sport or an instrument, I must practice it. The moments of mindfulness are becoming more frequent. This is what it looks like: When I’m out with friends and it hits me, I look around and say to myself, “Wow! Look at me. I’m actually having fun surrounded by people who really care about me. I am not tied to my phone having to answer his incessant texts anymore.“ I started noticing myself enjoying the moment. For me, the moments of “noticing” my enjoyment with my husband, children, and friends is practicing mindfulness.

July 4th

The intrusive thoughts have not entirely ended. I still have nightmares about how I drank the Kool Aid and was so brainwashed and manipulated by some manufactured, fraudulent fairy tale. However, they are lessening. While watching July 4th fireworks on the dock overlooking the lake near our home I felt at peace, truly living in the moment. Last year on the fourth, the love bombs were exploding, I was being held captive by his texts, and the emotional control was well underway. This fourth, I said to myself, “Look at me. I actually feel peaceful and am enjoying the evening with my husband. I am at a good place. I’m free!” I don’t know why I have these internal conversations with myself, but they help.

The night before the fourth as I was lying in bed, I actually said to myself as I felt the breeze blew across the room, I’m ready to let this go. I asked the wind to take the intrusive thoughts of him and our relationship and blow them out of my mind and life. They say that psychopaths intuitively know when you are letting go. If that’s true, I’ll never know for sure, but that fourth of July, just as the fireworks were about to start, I received a friend request on my phone. It was from a man I do not know. I hit ignore. Half an hour later, I receive another request. The next day, I received a third friend request. The first two may have been a coincidence, but the third??? So I looked at his page, which was public. I know that looking at the page could be considered breaking No Contact. I got weak. I looked.

It was a fake page. The photo of the man was taken off the Internet. There is a website where you can match photos to photos posted on the internet, called Tineye.com I was able to identify that a fake persona was created using someone else’s photo. Other signs of a fake page I noticed were that he only had one friend, a Russian woman, sketchy biographical information, and the time of the postings corresponded within minutes of the time the friend requests were sent to me. The most disturbing parts of the page were the postings that directly related to our relationship. Two that smacked of misogyny and the other two were pity play tactics.

Minor setback

Fright was my first reaction to the FB postings, and I thought about deleting my Facebook page. Doing that would disconnect me from my family and friends. I refuse to live in fear. I learned how to lock down my page further so it is not searchable to strangers. I blocked him and will block any strangers who send friend requests. Should it happen again, I must simply click ignore and NOT look at the page or risk staying embroiled in his sick mind games. This was a minor setback for me, bringing more intrusive thoughts and nightmares. When the experts say maintain No Contac … they say it because they know that it is essential to our recovery.

Process of recovery

While I am not proud that I allowed myself to succumb to his pressure, cross boundaries I never imagined I would, and hurt the person who has always been there for me, my husband, I am committed to doing to the hard work necessary to getting back to the person I was before my involvement with the psychopath. The process of recovery involves:

  1. Awakening to the dangerousness of the person and his pathology and ending the relationship
  2. Educating yourself on psychopathy
  3. Leaving no stone unturned in your quest for knowledge
  4. Reaching out and seeking help from people who “know”
  5. Working with a trained counselor to learn the strategies to break free of the memories of the idealization phase
  6. Rebuilding the relationships in your life that matter, and
  7. Living an honest, healthy lifestyle.

Most importantly, it is not enough to just “know” what he is. The knowledge I’ve obtained about psychopathy and my feelings must be in synch, and therein lies the work to be done. Periodically, the cognitive dissonance surfaces, and when it does, I take some time to keep myself in check by reading from the Love Fraud articles or Claudia’s blog. Slowly my outgoing, energetic spirit is returning, and I am rebuilding the bond with my husband. Thanks to the work of Donna, Claudia and others, my questions have been answered. I must now use the strategies I’ve learned to continue moving forward.



116 Comments on "LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: This is What Five Months No Contact Looks Like"

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  1. rgc112063 says:

    Scarlett, it sounds like your walking on eggshells. ok i’ll be blunt here. your not crazy. but when i look back at all the red flags that popped up and waved right in my wifes face. when i put myself back there in those days when i didnt understand the spell. yeah girls, she looked like a manson woman. and yeah i thought she’d lost her mind.
    when she’d cry i couldnt tell if it was cause she missed him, or if it was because she was sorry. way back, i caught her texting him oh, spring of 2011 had a big blowup fight. all 4 kids knew about this cause he is a child molester and id be damned if i was gonna let them be unprepared for him showing up at our house again. anyway, my oldest daughter overheard her talking to him, and suspected she was texting again. my oldest is the one my wife mistakenly sent a love text to a month or so before that. anyway she ratted mom out and the result of our fight was 4 kids standing in the front lawn iether yelling for me to kick her out or pointing down the driveway or bawling or both. so i kick her out. next day she beggs her way back in. and she sobs for hours. i cant help but wonder what she’s crying about. turns out later i find out she was with him that night. and i’m sure he gave her some of the good stuff again so she’d fall over him. turns out though that she identified a flag that night. he was sooo happy that she’d been kicked out. had no consideration for her kids or grandson. probably gave her the happy “your finnally mine” and i think that hurt. point is here…. i didnt KNOW. and i’m NEVER gonna know what was going on in her heart unless she learns to slug through and tell me. yes at times she looked like a freak to me. sorry but she reminded me of the people on tv who do things like live with the grizzly bears, or hoarders. people with obviouse problems, putting themselves in peril, and not seeing it.
    Scarlett, your going to have to do a lot of sharing with him in order to make him understand. and for a long time i dont think hes going to be calm about it. at least not at first. god i challenged my wife later after she confessed and before she went nc, to tell me details i wasnt ready for. and i think it really messed me up till it finally sank in what a total loser he is and i saw her letting go of some of the last little bits of admiration she had for him. she’d sigh and say”well at least he has a good work ethic.” then a month later she bumps into his supervisors wife and finds out his implied career is totally fake. all lies.



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  2. snowwhite says:

    Scarlett

    I’m so sorry you are going through this. When my husband gets upset over little things, I remind him that we have been through hell and survived. He should not swear the small stuff. However, if I find myself living in misery over nonsense that is cover for deeper issues that can’t be resolved, then we may have to face a breakup. We are commited to making it work a d I hope it does. But if it doesn’t it will tremendously sad but we won’t die. I guess what I’m trying to say us do everything you can to save your marriage. If it doesn’t work, you wi be okay.

    Rgc
    I understand what you ate saying about the crying. I went through the same thing. I was crying over the lie if the illusion if what I thought was
    the perfect love and also because of hurting my husband. I love my husband and always will. It’s is his face I want to see when I wake up, before I fall asleep, and his is the last face I want to see before I die. Not to worry your wife no doubt feels the same way. She just had to get beyond that emotional facade sosth boy created. I must be the natural process of healing as we all seem to hi through the same thing.



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  3. scarlett says:

    rgc,
    Your right, if I take a second and look at myself as if someone on the outside, not knowing all the details, I would look crazy as well. My only saving grace was that my P was in another country, I can only imagine the damage he would have caused if I had him living down the street. I think that as important as it is if for my husband to understand what it was like for me I need to understand what it was like for him. Right from the beginning, everyone of my friends warned me that I was being played and to run the other way, the horrible thing was that I knew it also. I went to great efforts to catch my p in the act. I set up a fake facebook profile, even when the evidence was starring me in the face I didn’t want to believe it. So what is more crazy, me falling for a man that EVERYONE else so clearly see’s as a fraud, to actually having the proof that he was one and still continuing contact for another year. Part of it was my search for answers trying to understand, find closure, but all this did was show him my weakness which gave him more power over me. My husband would ask me to explain what I was thinking, because it just doesn’t make sense, I had no explanation. The only answer I had, which just wasn’t good enough was how do I make you understand something I can’t even understand. It got to the point that I was only left with the belief that I was purposely sabotaging my life, self-destructing. Which then prompted the question, how much do I hate myself to want to do that? I’m just starting to understand the dynamics of what the true reality of my life has been for the last two years. Every email, every blog I take something valuable, knowledge and it gives me hope that I will be able to one day give my husband and my children all the answers to their questions. With knowledge comes power, and I can slowly feel my life getting back some normalcy.

    I’m curious, how many of you also experienced that during the time you were with your p, there were other potential p’s trying to also get their claws into you. During the last two years I’ve had 2 men with stalker tendencies , and half a dozen male acquaintances, try to sleep with me. I avoid facebook completely and I never go out, unless with my husband. I have ended all contact with all of these men, which has been difficult on me because some of these men have been friends for 10 – 15 years. People I’ve worked with and do business with. I just feel like I can’t trust anyone.



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  4. snowwhite says:

    Scarlett

    I am so wary of men now. I won’t even make eye contact when I’m out and about. Since this happened a few male friends messaged me in Facebook. I won’t reply. If it was innocent they would post on my page, NOT send private messages!!!



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  5. rgc112063 says:

    scarlett. i remember my wife trying to catch him on tape. she hid the recorder in the door handle of her car. never heard it though. i think he said some stuff she couldnt let me hear. it all adds up though.
    funny thing. as ugly as this was and as much as it hurt, i still somehow admire her for totally loving the toad. when she loves, she really loves! i’ve been on the receiving end of that. its pretty awsome. i’m still proud of her for her strength. and for her resolve. and for who she is.

    rgc



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  6. rgc112063 says:

    Snowwhite,
    my wife reads things into my facial expressions and the tone of my voice, and i’m sure my posture. i think its part of how people read each other. especially those who are on a higher level when it comes to emotive power. thats you. you have some kind of wonderful power to read your man here. problem is you might be wrong sometimes. his pain is his pain. and if he is upset over something else you might mistake it for being aimed at you. i think beautiful and gifted people like you have a kind of super power. and i also think that you must use it. but it can be dangerous too. difficulty is knowing when to use it. and being sure of it.
    this last weekend i observed my wife three times getting upset by my reaction and placing blame upon herself. now that i see this, i am going to try to gently reveal to her each time i notice her reaction that i’m not mad at her or that its not about her or that if i’m just trying to help it does not mean that i think she cant do it herself. i am also going to let her know how proud i am of her.
    each time she does something nice for me i am going to simply let her know how much i appreciate it and leave it at that.(he would try to make her think that everything she did was a big sign of destiny )
    rgc



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  7. darwinsmom says:

    Scarlett,

    Yes, when I was with the spath there were many man who tried to get me interested and dissed on him, telling me I deserved better. Meanwhile though, those were guys that gave me the chills and I didn’t trust. It was like when you end up with a spath that other spaths see it as a green light to go for the same meal or something.

    Healthy men might have expressed concerns to me but they also tended to tell me to find out myself within the relationshit, and certainly didn’t try to sell themselves to me.



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  8. snowwhite says:

    Rgc

    It sound like you and your wife and my husband and I are going through the same thing in repairing our marriages in the aftermath of it all. I am just an ordinary person. And yes it’s hard when I see my husband with a sad expression….it makes me wonder what he’s thinking about. Your strategy to show appreciation for the little things us good. I’m going to work on doing that more often. I think the fact that we are trying shows how much we love our spouses. And again from my perspective, I truly felt brainwashed. At the very least, I was smart enough to GET OUT of his control….not smart enough to have fallen into it…but enough so that
    I did so before it was too late. As I said before, you guys are the real deal.
    I also believe that ANYONE could be lured with the persistence and complete adoration…..unless youre educated on their mo that is. It just seems that unless it happens to you, you have no reason to research psychopath. Today, let’s be happy we have our marriages. Someday down the road the Spath “b”oys won’t even enter our minds:))



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