Following 9/11, I moved back home and within just three years married my ex-husband. I think the trauma of 9/11 inspired me to hurry up and get a life, and in doing so I overlooked some red flags.
I was also naive in love matters. My ex-husband is the hallmark charming, handsome nomad.
Although even prior to marriage not all of his stories “checked out” it immediately escalated once we were married. He was using drugs, had a criminal record and two prior marriages. He also had a child he never knew/saw.
We were married and divorced within 2 years.
All of his abuse was secret. He would berate me and try to convince me that “everyone hated me.” He continued to use drugs and get arrested. He has stolen from me and my family.
I have a wonderful child of our marriage. But now, in addition to being the target of his psychopathy—so is my vulnerable child. He tries to influence my son in all sorts of criminal and pathological behavior like stealing.
The hard part is, my ex-husband has the support, financial and otherwise, of his family, who would pay or do anything to basically keep him out of their lives. So it’s me and my little one against a monster.
About two years ago I filed for child support and it’s been one threat and headache after the next. He refuses to pay and cries broke.
I’ve facilitated contact between him and my son and now I regret this.
My ex is so inflamed by the fact that I have filed for child support that he is now threatening (with the help of his rich parents) to destroy me. He has admitted that he wants to embarrass and humiliate me.
I work for a government agency and have managed to accomplish a lot without any help from him, and I think this makes him so jealous and hateful.
There are so many details missing in this but it’s hard to give a complete story without writing a novel.
I have felt afraid for my safety. He has made overt threats, like his plan to “destroy me,” as well as veiled ones like “telling me he’s learning how to hunt.”
Externally, he is handsome and charming and he knows just how to mimic a real human. I am less socially gifted and more of a wallflower. He is abusive and secretive and I don’t know how to fight against him.
My main concern is the toxic influence he tries to gain over my son, and the fact that he and his family simply DO NOT care about the well being of my child. His mother wants to assuage her guilt for being a “bad parent” to him at my child’s expense. And he simply wants his parents to keep bankrolling his life by “being a good father.”
He has left many paths of destruction in his lifetime … mine is just the most recent.
I’m looking for feedback on how to manage this situation.
Donna Andersen responds
I am so sorry for your experience. I wish I could say it was unusual, but many Lovefraud readers who discovered that they’ve married and had children with a sociopath know exactly what you are talking about.
The best thing you can do is limit your son’s exposure to his father as much as possible. If he is complaining about child support, perhaps you can make a deal: If he gives up his parental rights, you’ll give up his child support. I’m guessing that you’re already having trouble collecting the money, so you won’t lose anything.
Not all sociopaths go for this, but some do, so it may be worth a shot. If you can get the man out of your lives, you’ll be much better off.
Also, don’t think he is mean and hateful because of your accomplishments. He is just naturally mean and hateful.
And about his family — I’ve heard of plenty of families of sociopaths who want to pawn their problem child off on a wife or husband.
And the mother’s guilt — maybe, or maybe not. Sometimes the families of sociopaths just view themselves as sticking together against a common enemy. That would be you.
In the end, do not try to interact with any of them. If you do have to have contact with your ex and his family, keep it as “strictly business.”
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