By January 12, 2017 16 Comments Read More →

Sociopaths Triangulate To Keep You Off-balance And Doubting Yourself

Husband Liar Sociopath

Every week, a chapter of my book, “Husband, Liar, Sociopath: How He Lied, Why I Fell For It & The Painful Lessons Learned” (available via Amazon.com, just click on the title or book cover) will be published here on Lovefraud. To read prior chapters, please see the links at the bottom of the post.

Chapter 36: One Big, Happy Extended Family

Two years after starting A-M-P Consulting Solutions, we were stable enough financially to do something we had not done in years—go on a family vacation.

I was excited about getting away, just Paul, Jessica, Daniel, and me. My enthusiasm was short-lived, however. Paul and Anne-Marie realized if they conducted business while on “vacation,” they could write off part of the vacation as a business expense. From then on, Anne-Marie, her husband, their two girls, Paul, Daniel, Jessica, and I vacationed together. Paul’s soft, velvety voice was back when he spoke to Anne-Marie. The rest of his behavior seemed to dance along the line of professional versus personal. I could not get a good read on the situation. Maybe I could but was afraid to see what was right in front of me. They were now 50-50 business partners. My financial life depended on the success of their partnership. It was complicated. I begged Paul to have a vacation with just our family, but he would not hear of it. It wasn’t financially prudent, he argued. I was being unreasonable, illogical.

Often when on one of these shared vacations, if I planned an activity with just Paul and the kids, Anne-Marie would find out about it and ask if she and her eldest daughter, Rebecca, could join us. Rebecca was about six years younger than Daniel and almost nine years younger than Jessica—too big an age gap for the older children to regard Rebecca as anything but an annoyance, but Paul always said, “Yes.” Increasingly, I tried not to mention such plans to Anne-Marie, but Paul always let her know about our daily schedule. Once, I garnered the strength to suggest as kindly as I could to Anne-Marie that we had been looking forward to doing the activity just as a family, and that I was sure she would understand. (We never inserted ourselves into the activities she planned with her family.) Paul was horrified and told Anne-Marie in front of me, that, of course, she and Rebecca were always welcome to join us.

I pulled Paul aside and expressed how much I felt we needed family time together, and for the sake of our family to please back me up and ask Anne-Marie and Rebecca not to come along this time. I felt strong for standing my ground and expressing my needs and sure that, because I was so flexible and accommodating of Paul 99.9 percent of the time, he would be more than happy to take my very reasonable request into account.

Paul refused to back me up. I felt humiliated. Anne-Marie and Rebecca joined us that time and consistently in the future, sometimes even sitting next to Paul on a boat trip, lunch, or other activity before Daniel, Jessica, and I could find places to sit. I rationalized it as Paul bending over backwards to be nice to his business partner. After all, he was such a kind, considerate, thoughtful man, wasn’t he?

Over the years, I developed a closer relationship with Anne-Marie’s husband than with Anne-Marie. She never seemed at all interested in what I did or in my opinion. Her husband was the main caregiver to their children, so I talked to him more parent-to-parent than I did to her. I suspect Paul told her little about me. In his mind I was so unaccomplished and irrelevant, what was there to say? Although I had been one of the best squash players in the country during college, and Anne-Marie was getting Rebecca involved in squash at an unusually young age (which seemed odd to me), Anne-Marie registered surprise that I had even played the game, especially at such a high level. Paul seemed very interested in Rebecca’s evolving skill at the game, even though he refused to allow our kids to play squash. It was too elitist, he argued. The whole situation seemed beyond bizarre.


Start from the beginning:

Chapter 1

Go to previous chapter:

Chapter 35B


Identifying names, places, events, characteristics, etc. that I discuss here and in my book have been altered to protect the identity of everyone involved.

16 Comments on "Sociopaths Triangulate To Keep You Off-balance And Doubting Yourself"

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  1. becomingstrong says:

    Thank you for your continued installments. I’ve tried to keep up with all of them. I do find the your story fascinating. I must confess that the installment in which Paul cried on the floor I was rooting for you to leave. It’s like watching a movie. I haven’t posted in a while. I’ve moved out of my house, took an extended trip out of the country and been trying to piece my life back together. I’m still embroiled in divorce proceedings.
    Paul used Anne Marie to triangulate you. My spath used my children (actually writing me hateful emails from their accounts, he also would speak exclusively ignoring my presence. Thereby teaching I was unimportant. A lesson three of my children have take to heart. It wouldn’t matter how accomplished you were. You were going to made to feel that you weren’t worth the dirt under his shoes. They have an uncanny way of taking an accomplished person and turning them into dust. How to get information out there to those who might have a small clue before they invest twenty years?

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    • O.N.Ward says:

      Hi becomingstrong

      So sorry to hear you are still involved in the horrible process of divorcing a sociopath and that your children learned to disregard and hurt you by following the role model provided by their father. That’s brutally painful. It’s especially painful, because when you are under attack from a sociopath you need all the support you can get, not more pain. When one of my teenage children was alienated from me during my divorce and also turned against me, I felt my insides were being ripped out. It was a tactic used to weaken me and make me more pliable during the divorce negotiations. It also created “ammunition” for his side of the story–”See how horrible she is, even her own daughter wants nothing to do with her.”

      As living in that amount of emotional pain was unviable, ultimately, my way of dealing with it was to “let go” of the relationship with that child. Not only was her turning against me more than I felt I could endure, but I realized that my feelings for her and fighting to have a positive relationship with her were viewed as leverage points that my sociopathic ex-husband used to try to blackmail me (e.g, “give me $$$, or I won’t allow “Jessica” to do…”) In a way, to protect her from being put in this horrible position, I had to let go of having her or even wanting her in my life.

      Wishing you strength, all the support you need, and clarity.

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      • Bev says:

        How supportive and caring of you, O.W.Ward.

        We sometimes have to walk away from our own children to save ourselves. It is not what any mother wants or can even imagine, but until you have been through this, you could never fathom it.

        Thank you for the post.

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      • becomingstrong says:

        Hi O.N. Ward,
        I logged in today to read your next installment. For someone reason I scrolled back to the previous week’s chapter and saw your reply to my comment. I am sorry for the late response I guess I forgot to click “notify me”.

        You let go of your daughter. You felt it was the best thing to do. I did the same thing with three of my children. They became so venomous and the alienation so profound letting go was and is the only solution. I have two children who remained with me. My son, now in high school, became a target of the spath for choosing to live with me. Anything that required a simple signature the spath would be sure not to sign. The spath even evaded a well meaning volunteer who attempted over three months to get his signature so my son could accept a one year scholarship to study in another country. I had to take the spath into court and have the judge order the spath to sign. The one good thing that came out of that, was my son saw the spath in all his glory for himself. I understand trying to spare the child/children from spath parent, but in my experience, it doesn’t do any good. The children just become selfish, focused on what they want, wondering why you have failed to get it for them, while refusing to recognize that the spath is the obstacle. My son wanted to go abroad and for the first time ever I made him fight for what he wanted. I had done my part, filling out applications, taking him to interviews/meetings, paying application fees, paying the lawyer to go into court to force the spath to sign. But I told my son he needed to have an investment too. And if he didn’t work for it I was just going to give up and then there would be no program. He wanted to go so badly that for the first time in his entire sixteen years he stepped forward, not to defend me, but to defend his own interests. And he got to deal with the spath face to face in emails and telephone calls. He is actually a better person for it. No longer conveniently behind my skirt able to claim ignorance as to what is going on, having to pick a side, his side, and battling.

        I love reading your installments and often read them on the phone to my sister. Like you, i had the uncanny ability to live in abject misery for a very long time. What resonates throughout your book is your strength. Like you, i gave up a promising career to raise my children alone, so that my ‘husband’ could advance his career “for the sake of the family”. Like you, my ‘husband’ undermined me, tore me down to nothing, triangulated me with others, especially the children, and was sadistic… Like you, I have chosen to take these horrible years and do something meaningful to make sense of it all. Like you, i have let children go for their sake, mine, and the sake of children who remain. Like you, I was bereft when my children walked out the door. Now, I don’t miss them at all and I wonder if I ever loved them and I’m glad they are gone and I will never willingly take them back and i don’t want my other kids around them. But what I do have is a very loving daughter who adores me and a son who is slowly coming around.

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        • Bev says:

          Excellent post, as always, becomingstrong.

          Your posts always resonate so much with me because you are able to separate ‘family’ from true loyalty, caring, honesty, and love. Those things are the true meaning of family.

          The hardest thing we can do is to walk away from family, but it can be vital to our lives to do so.

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          • becomingstrong says:

            Thank you Bev,

            You are always on point. We mothers have to be willing to be honest about our children. When children become guided missiles to be used as an attack weapon against the parent who cared for them day and day out I say no thanks. I told my children years ago and reiterated it to them as they were walking out the door that I can’t and won’t protect children who don’t stand behind me. When they chose to stand in front of me there’s nothing I can do about that. I can only protect my children who want my protection.

          • Bev says:

            And, thank you.

            It takes strength to do what we sometimes have to do. You have shown me that and have helped me in too many ways to list.

  2. Bev says:

    Fabulous as always.

    Thank you for your continued writing 🙂

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  3. FleeingDeer says:

    Thank you for posting your book online. 13 days ago, I discovered my husband of 15 years is a narcissist psychopath. Once I had a professional opinion to put a name on all my “why is life not working for us” feelings plus the mental, emotional, verbal, and occasionally physical abuse, I began to work toward an exit. I fled with my many children just last Friday.

    As I am reading your chapters, I wonder “how long can this continue?” I can’t wait to hear how you exited the situation. I have a good lawyer and I am pursuing a divorce. (once we figure out whether or not I am legally married – that’s another story) and friends and neighbors are coming out of the woodwork to help me.

    Please keep the posts coming! I am sharing this online book with several other friends who are recovering or about to enter a sociopathic relationship!

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  4. Hafren says:

    I’m nearly 18 months out of a 10 year relationship with a man who is likely to be a narcissist/sociopath. I’ve moved away and rebuilt my life, in doing this I have read an awful lot about theses conditions and have found Lovefraud to be of great help to me and whilst other sites were of initial interest I have found this one to be of continuing benefit.
    I’m currently being hoovered, the new victim is being triangulated and devalued and it’s all being done very cleverly. I’ve met my successor and she reminds me of myself before he abandoned me, totally unnerved and bewildered. Thanks to clever counselling I know what’s going on and I’m immune to his advances.
    I can also see now how he devalued his wife so his children came to despise her, destroying her and driving her to drink. He met me in 2005 and remains married to her, a friend told me that his new partner is pressuring him to divorce, good luck with that!

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  5. FleeingDeer says:

    Been reading “Psychopath Free” about Triangulation. My husband never flaunted exes, and as far as i can tell, never was unfaithful. ( seriously he has a chronic illness and has not been able to work for 8 years or more and I for three years had a job from home and so we were always at the house together always) but i believe he Triangulated me with his mother. He always ignored me at his mother’s house, instead sitting and talking to them and spending time with them and never acknowledging my presence SEPTA fuss at me because I wasn’t caring for the children or I allowed the suitcases to get a mess. Through his eyes I have seen her as manipulating and controlling and I bet through his eyes she sees me as emotionally unstable. Because of the grandchildren one day we will start a new relationship on a new foundation and I will find out whether or not she is and manupulative and controlling on her own or whether that was just how my husband painted her.

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