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LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: People will never understand I am married to a sociopath

Editor’s Note: This Letter to Lovefraud was submitted by reader whom we’ll call “Juniper.”

I have been married for 22 years and have five children. I realized the first year of our marriage that I had married a “psycho” but thought I could help him with my unconditional love and support. He is completely controlling, manipulative, abusive, selfish, and has never shown empathy or compassion to me or our children. He doesn’t have relationships with his kids because he chooses not to bond with them.

I stayed with him because I believed there must be some good somewhere in him, after all, he was a born again Christian, knew almost every verse in the Bible from memory and sometimes preached on Sundays. Deep down he was a “good” man and I believed he just needed the love and support of a good woman to turn him around.

Married life was hell

Fast forward 22 years — I have lived a life of hell. He is addicted to pornography, television, food, exercise, work and every other self serving desire. His favorite pastime is yelling and lecturing the children and I about our faults. We have been to many therapists, etc. Read every book.

He would “change” just enough to give me hope and keep me around. I suspected infidelity but had no proof. He was verbally abusive to me and the children. Sometimes he was physically abusive to the kids, but very rarely (which I did put a stop to). He hated spending time with us on vacations, days off, etc. He just always wanted to do his own thing.

He has made me responsible for all our finances, everything to do with the kids, the house, etc. He basically just earns a paycheck and does whatever he wants. Of course, if there is ever a problem then he blames me — he takes no responsibility for anything. He is an extremely intelligent, successful, award winning doctor. He is respected and admired in our community.

Inappropriate touching

Last June a female patient of his accused him of inappropriately touching her. He denied it and since she is a “troubled” patient and on narcotics — it wasn’t pursued. However, they did require that all female patients to his office be chaperoned by a female nurse. I know my husband and I know, without doubt, these accusations are true. He sort of admitted it without really admitting it.

Blamed by the therapist too

I filed for divorce in February. Just today I met with our previous marriage counselor to update her on our status and see if she had any advice to help me and our children cope with this. After months of grieving and recovering and feeling stronger she has reduced me to a sobbing, insecure, blob in one hour!

She went on and on about how my co- dependent attitude just enabled my husband to continue his bad behavior. She said that if I had stood up to him years ago and given him consequences then he would have changed. Her thinking is that I let him behave badly and there was no motivation on his part to change because I would always be there for him.

It is so confusing to hear this because, part of me thinks she is right! The other part of me realizes he is a sociopath who is incapable of any compassion or love for me or the children and that nothing I did or didn’t do would change his completely self-serving attitude.

I’m married to a sociopath

This feedback from her is so hurtful. I realize some people will never understand the fact that I am married to a sociopath! But it is beyond hurtful and damaging to me that she somehow blames me for the demise of our marriage! I never believed in divorce. All I ever wanted was a happy family and children.

I will say that because my husband is a work-aholic and didn’t want to participate in raising our kids I was able to raise really wonderful kids who love others and respect others. Also, my 20, 18 and 14 year olds don’t want anything to do with dad. He has shown them his true colors and they barely know him.

I guess I am writing you because I know you get it. You know what it is like to be married to a psycho and to have some people just not “get it.” It is so hurtful to feel like I have been the strong one, the fighter, the good parent, etc., and then to have someone criticize me, blame me and make me feel like the one at fault. It just messes up your mind and emotions.

My husband has moved out and rarely contacts me or the kids. Thank God! He didn’t even ask to visit them. My younger two, ages ten and eight, wanted to see him so I made him set up visitations. I am asking for sole custody so I don’t have to deal with his controlling, manipulative behavior.

Looking for validation

I guess my goal in writing you is to have someone relate to me. Everyone sees this man as such a great guy and they think I am the one throwing in the towel for no good reason. It’s hard to be misunderstood but I am realizing that is just the way it will be with most people.

Deep down I know I did everything I could to make this work but others have seen us as a “good, Christian couple” who went to church every Sunday. I understand that from the outside looking in they would think it was this great marriage and great family. I feel like I have been perpetuating a lie. Now I have to deal with people believing I am the “bad guy” for divorcing him.

I know it will get better but, boy, does it SUCK right now!! It’s hard to not to wonder, “Could I have done more? Could I have done something different?”

 



51 Comments on "LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: People will never understand I am married to a sociopath"

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  1. LL Mequon says:

    Wow, I have been on this website over a year, and I am still struck by the similarities. My ex did the same thing during our divorce: hid financials, ran up my attorney fees, etc. Because I am in a community property state I am paying half of his debt (most of which I didn’t know about!) and he got half of my pension and deferred comp. Our house just sold more than a year after the divorce (and he would not move out! Is in in-law apartment) and I will be getting about $8000–a house worth more than half a million that we lived in for 16 years!
    I agree about the attorney being male. I had a VERY smart female attorney. But she just did not grasp the behaviors of a sociopath. I think she learned toward the end, but not soon enough to help me much. Of course, being in a community property state didn’t help!
    Ugh. I am moving in about two weeks. I am afraid about finances, but SO glad to have some distance from this creep!



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  2. aintgonnatakeitnomore says:

    Juniper,
    An education and a license don’t mean the therapist knows what’s she’s talking about. In fact, everything’s she’s said to you…think the opposite. Claim the opposite.
    You did brilliantly my dear, you survived!
    She’s a stupid person for whom…
    Wait for it…
    Ignorance Is Bliss
    And to pretend otherwise makes her a fool.
    Foolish ppl and their uninformed opinions don’t count. She is, in fact, not an expert. Ignore her words. She’s an ass.
    Grrrrrrrr these expert idiots make my blood boil.



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    • Kathleen says:

      That’s why I won’t go for therapy. It seems like everyone I know doesn’t even understand sociopathy including ‘professionals.’ I often read ‘you must go for therapy’ – I think it would most likely make me feel worse by not being believed and him coming out the victim/hero!



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    • Kathleen says:

      Just had an appointment with a lawyer today to make out a will. I’m separated (2+ years) and have to wait the full 5 years for obvious reasons – he would contest it, lie in court etc. The lawyer just told me she’s a divorce lawyer too. So I said ‘I don’t know how much you know about sociopathy…’ then ‘he married me for money, is promiscuous, a parasite’ she didn’t understand. See? They don’t understand. Just want money themselves but don’t even understand. Grrr. Don’t want to wait, but I have to. It’s a stupid law anyway. Wait 5 years? For what reason? It will still be the same result after I’ve waited and waited. She said I could go for unreasonable behaviour. Really? I told her he would lie, turn it around to me being the perpetrator and try for even more money.



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  3. OpalRose says:

    I would like some help to think straight today. I thank God for leading me to this site with people who completely understand and give great advice. Thank you Donna – thank you everyone here.

    I can feel the warrior in me rising up and wanting to bust him so hard. Because he has that sense of entitlement and arrogance to go with it, he leaves his cellphone with no password. It’s good that I can check what he’s up to, but this morning I saw texts that he is setting up a major sex party for today at a hotel which is nearby my workplace. Part of me wants to bust that party big time – not that I would know how or who to call or what to say. I want to pick a big fight with him – but this site has helped me see this is *not* the thing to do while I am making plans to get away from him.

    Here’s the thing – the title of this article is so spot on – there are times when *I* have trouble believing I am married to a sociopath. He has been so nice to me lately – most likely because he is going through a phase of heavy partying and is getting everything to go his way. Never mind that he is paying very young prostitutes 100’s of dollars so of course he gets what he wants. I actually feel really sorry for these 18-20 year olds who are dealing with him.

    I had found a house to move to, but the inspection found some expensive issues which the seller would not credit at all, so I let it go. Now I’m back to square one and even considering asking him to move out. I’m waiting until after his niece graduates from high school since he would take his drama to his family and ruin that occasion for her if I made a move either way prior to that trip. So I’m looking at July sometime to make anything happen.

    Right now – this is just so hard. Hard to stay calm, hard to keep focused on logistics, hard to believe the Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde I am seeing right before my eyes. He is 60 years old and totally out of control.

    Thank you so much for listening – it is priceless. I have to be at work all day knowing what he is up to. Thank you for any encouragement, support, advice. I will be away from my home computer until around 6 pm EDT just in case anyone posts back to me and I don’t reply until later.

    Very best wishes to all here.



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    • Stargazer says:

      OpalRose, here is my advice to you for what it’s worth. If you are not normally one to go to sex parties (as I don’t think you are), then let it go. You will just be stooping to his level and keeping his base-ness in your life. You can choose to be the type of person you want to be just be behaving like that person. If you want to be the kind of person who can rise about that mess, then just do it. Trust me, in time, you will no longer even have the desire to bust him in his lowlife activities. Your energy will follow your actions. Instead, figure out how you would prefer to spend the evening. For me, it would be dancing. For others, it might be reading, meditating, going to a movie, listening to music, etc. Do what you enjoy. Focus on YOU and don’t worry about what he’s doing. He will always be doing something, and it will probably not be something you like to hear about, so you have to learn to change the station and focus on your own life. Eventually, you will become resilient to hearing about it. Water always seeks its own level. That goes for him and the people he hangs out with. You are not at that level, but if you put your energy there, you will be dragged right down to that level.



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      • Stargazer says:

        OpalRose (BTW, I love your username), I am working on an article about raising your energy no matter what the circumstances. I’m hoping if I write it, Donna will post it. Basically, it’s about changing the way you think about any situation in order to rise above negativity and cultivate more positive feelings.

        One of the benefits of taking the time to be with yourself and cultivate your own life is that you start to see your own thought processes – yours and not what he told you to think! When you start thinking certain things, you can actually just substitute some different thoughts. It can literally change your day. And if you do it habitually, it can change your life. In the article I will give direct examples from my own life with some frustrating situations, and how I turned them around in my mind to have a blissful, peaceful day. This is why it’s important to spend some time by yourself meditating in whatever way you do that, without distracting yourself with any addictions (even the internet).

        When things come up that seem to threaten your ability to raise your energy level (rising above the vileness of a sociopath’s thinking), you can look at those things and decide what to do about them. Rage can be processed. Fear and helplessness can be worked with. Even if you are numb and in shock, there is a way to mentally put a pair of parentheses around this experience so you understand it and know what to do about it. It’s very empowering.

        The key is self awareness – being aware of your thoughts and the things in your life that prevent you from being the freely flowing creative being that you are meant to be.



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  4. slimone says:

    OpalRose,

    Please, please, please keep focused on your plans for the future and let go of anything that side tracks that. It is so not worth it to bust him. It will have zero effect. ZERO. And it could have monumental repercussions for you.

    You have come so so far. Just keep your eyes on the future. Your future happiness, security, and peace.

    I understand that knowing what he is up to is really triggering, and likely disgusts and angers you. It totally grosses me out from where I’m sitting.

    AND, he just isn’t worth it. His behavoir shows how little worth he has, and how little attention (no matter what he is up to) he deserves.

    No way to keep our bodies and minds from spinning. But we can HALT ourselves from taking action that will harm us.

    Vent here….stay safe.

    Slim



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  5. Stargazer says:

    OpalRose, What a great story about your username. Your aunt must have been very brave to leave an abusive relationship in her 70’s. What a great role model. I enjoy hearing about people who don’t let their age stop them from doing what they want. One of my idols in an 80-year old woman who is an acrobatic salsa dancer (!)

    In thinking about how all of my relationships in the past went south – even the ones with kind-hearted men – the common factor in all of them was that I didn’t really know myself. I had spent too many years protecting a fragile ego because I never really went through the appropriate developmental stages growing up. For me, spending time alone – and not just time alone, but time alone meditating and introspecting – is vital to my well-being. It helps me find my “voice”. Sometimes something happens that throws me off balance. For instance, today, I got a phone call out of the blue from an old lover with whom I had an affair many years ago. I’m still a little off balance – I seem to have had a lot of buttons pushed, and I don’t even know what they are right now. I realize now that I was always off balance with him before. But I didn’t know what to do about it. I didn’t know how to take care of myself.



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  6. Stargazer says:

    Slim, thank you for your sincere compliment. I’ll take it. But I’m not sure what there is to envy. I still have my daily struggles, areas of defensiveness, and relationship issues. It sometimes baffles even me, though, that I often seem to be smiling and happy. I do cultivate these emotions, so that I can handle the difficult things more gracefully. As you can read in the above post, I’m a overwhelmed and off balance right now from a phone call I had today. But at least I know I’m off balance. Knowledge is power!

    BTW, I always enjoy reading your posts too – so much wisdom from all that you have been through, too.



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  7. aintgonnatakeitnomore says:

    the thing is — with ppl to be responsible for, besides urself, u have to be very careful in a culture like west africa. even here u rly do. CPS can snatch ur kids at will. and they do. ive had several friends go thru this due to homeschooling. i personally know immigrants who have also dealt with this.
    the point is, in african countries its worse usually.
    so tread carefully, Staying.
    stay focused and u will win 🙂
    ur already halfway there. u know its not u, its HIM.



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  8. aintgonnatakeitnomore says:

    Staying–
    i waited 3 yrs for the spath to leave becuz of the kids. i totally can relate.
    i would do it again. it was the best way for me.
    i hope u dont have to wait 4 more weeks, let alone 4 more yrs. maybe he’ll find a new shiny to occupy him? lets hope!



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  9. HopingToHeal says:

    stayingfocused,

    I’m sorry to read your story and feel terrible for you and your children. It’s encouraging to read that you recognize what you are dealing with and are determined to break free eventually. One advantage is that you DON’T love him. Love alters our view of these situations so it is very helpful that you are not having that emotion.

    I agree with Ain’t about being very careful. You must always remember that his thought process is not normal and you should always expect the unexpected. My Spath husband and I are separated and he still is able to surprise me with his twist and turns. Thank God for this website and the revelation of how these personality disordered people work.

    Your and your children will be in my prayers. I look forward to hearing updates of your plan to break free. Best wishes!



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