Editor’s note: The Lovefraud reader “Winifred” contributed the following article. She also wrote The Other Prey – loving someone previously married to a sociopath.
My husband’s ex wife is a sociopath with borderline personality disorder. Here are tips on how, over the past 9 years, I have learned to stay one step ahead of her and survive with my sanity and our marriage!
1. Do your homework
Remember even though you are nothing like them, you must learn to think like them so that you can anticipate their mindset and next deviant move. What they are going thru in their life at the present time will greatly affect how much hell they plan to rain on you, your children involved, or anyone close to you.
To stay ahead of their next move, get to know personal things about them—anniversaries, birthdays, benchmark dates, etc. … their moods will be elevated on these days even more than usual. Valentines Day, the day they separated, etc. … huge key days.
Info can be found on Internet sites from the yellow pages (Intelius), to local courts where they reside or have resided. I have learned that every action—from divorce, marriage, death, birth, and lawsuits against someone—are public knowledge. You just have to go to the court building in the area and ask.
My husband’s ex swore to the church she joined—and defrauded 24K out of—that she was never married before their marriage. Yet she had a son (claims she was raped) and was married 2 times before their marriage, and to her son’s father! Needless to say, the church found out the truth, but it took them 2 years to put her out.
2. Cut out drama
Remember sociopaths feed on drama, so whenever you have to take action, do it with the least amount of drama and show possible…even though you’d love to gloat for a time. Do it privately.
3. Watch your words
Be very careful of whom you talk to in your inner circle. Remember, they know your acquaintances and can con anything out of them. As ‘normal’ human beings, we are very unsuspecting prey until we have to deal with a sociopath for a long time. No one I know, including myself in the beginning, is prepared for what they bring to your life!
4. Think before you act
When you do have to act … think it over, don’t act on impulse or emotion. Use your head, sleep on it. Remember, you have to determine their reaction and next move with your decision … and what it will cost you or the children in the long term, not immediately.
5. Children as pawns
Prepare yourself as much as possible if you have children with a sociopath … especially if they have physical custody. Your children will definitely be used as pawns; their minds will be screwed with 24/7. All of this time their sociopath parent will prevail as the “victim” when it is really the children. Sociopath parents sometimes pass on the gene, stay as strong in yourself as best you can. (Ask God for help.) Don’t ever give up on your children; you are the only normal parent they have.
6. Document Everything Always
Be prepared when you go to court. Take paperwork and proof of any of your actions and claims … they will cry, con the judge, the lawyers, and will lie and get away with it almost all of the time. Remember, courts do not recognize sociopath parents … especially mothers. Document Everything Always!!!
7. Always have a witness
Never, never be alone with the sociopath … always have a witness to everything … record all phone calls regularly, and keep them for your files. We bought a small pocket recorder that my husband carried in his shirt pocket or jacket. It can serve as proof in court or when dealing with the lawyers.
8. Keep your guard up
Don’t get comfortable and think everything is ok, it is Not … that’s when they’ll pounce!
9. You may not be able to save the children
Lastly, if you have children involved, prepare yourself as much as humanly possible for the fact that when they become young adults and from then on … they may never come around to having any kind of relationship with you. They will be brainwashed and each relationship with your children is different. You can spend you life doing the right thing as a parent, and no matter how disappointing and frustrating, you may end up with adult children that despise you.
Move forward with your life and find someone who is very strong willed as a partner. It is possible to be happy again … we are!