Editor’s Note: This letter to Lovefraud was submitted by a Lovefraud reader whom we’ll call “Friend’s Keeper.”
I am writing this about a friend who I am trying to help who is clearly involved with a sociopath. My friend is a male, married to a sociopathic woman. Her acts and behavior are really unbelievable unless you see for yourself.
What he’s ‘allowed’
She takes his entire paychecks (salary plus state pension totaling $14,000/mo), and puts him on a $100/mo allowance, which he gets only if he’s good, while she takes the rest. She convinces him it’s all for him. He’s only allowed out of the house to go to work, and she times him on when he gets home. He’s not allowed out on the evenings or weekends unless it’s with her. He wasn’t even allowed to touch the remote control. He’s not allowed to leave work for lunch, as she gives him one jar of peanut butter and a box of crackers to eat for lunch every day, which has to last him for the month, while she enjoys whatever she wants on his money.
She abuses him psychologically and physically. She even forces him to sit down to pee. One time he snuck a glass of wine that was in the house, and when she found out, she beat him with the wine bottle right between the legs. She constantly tells him he’s ugly and that nobody would want him. If they go to a restaurant, he could only order what she tells him to order.
He used to talk to me about it every day. He is 70 years old, makes good money, and has (or had) no savings account, or access to money that he worked for (so he thought).
I explained to him that he has access, as it is his money. He was too afraid to try. I told him to find out the bank where his checks were being deposited into, and that it’s probably a joint account since his name was on the check.
I went with him to the bank (he snuck out at lunchtime after he called her) and sure enough, his name was on the account. I told him to get a statement, and when he did, he saw all the cash she was withdrawing every day. The day before payday, she would wipe out the account, while he would walk around penniless.
And he never knew what was going on. She never worked a day in her life, she just took everything he had, while abusing him. She stole his entire inheritance, as he never saw a dime of it.
Courage to leave
He finally got the courage to leave. He said he had wanted to leave throughout the entire marriage, but never had the courage or finances to do it, as she had total emotional and financial control over him.
I helped him get his own apartment, and helped him open up his first checking and savings account of his own. He was never so happy. He had his freedom.
But within a few months, she lured him back. She promised that she changed, and she threatened to kill herself if he didn’t come back to her. I explained to him that people don’t change, especially sociopaths, but he’s so convinced she changed. It’s like he’s in a trance.
Within two weeks of being with her, his checking and savings accounts were both wiped out with insufficient funds.
He still doesn’t see it. She is constantly seducing him to keep him under her spell. It was such a terrible life for him, he got away, and got lured right back.
He won’t even talk to me now because she warned him not to. I don’t know if the nice act is still going on, but I just don’t understand how he can’t see it. Is it common for people to go back to their abuser after finally escaping the abuse?
Update — two months later
He has opened his eyes briefly. After about a month or two of his wife being nice and constantly seducing him, she slowly started to revert back to her normal self. But even while being “nice” she was still taking all his money and literally controlling his every move to where he can’t even leave the house without her except to go to work. And the strange thing is is that he thought she was so wonderful.
He came out of the trance briefly, saw what was going on, and told me he realizes it now. She found out he was talking to me for the 10th time, put on her fake tears, made him feel so guilty, she told him that he’s killing her, and threatened to kill herself, then seduced him.
Within a few days he was back under her spell (this just happened last week) — still without a penny to his name. However, while he came out of the trance for a while, I showed him the e-mail that I sent you, and it really opened up his eyes. He said that it all happened, but he didn’t realize how bad it was until he saw it in black and white.
I would like to help others that are in a similar situation, and are involved with these predators recognize the signs of what a sociopath is. Especially, after witnessing the terrible abuse that this man has went through, and is still going through.