By February 14, 2017 7 Comments Read More →

For Valentine’s Day: 8 differences between sociopathic “love” and real love

Terry Kelly and Donna Andersen at the theater.

Terry Kelly and Donna Andersen at the theater.

Yes, there is love after the sociopath.

I divorced my sociopathic ex-husband, James Montgomery, in 2000. A little more than a year later, I met Terry Kelly. We dated for a few years, got to know each other, and then married.

Terry and I just celebrated our 12th anniversary. I can honestly say that I am as happy and in love as I was on our wedding day.

What’s different about love with a normal, caring person, and “love” with a sociopath? Just about everything.

1.  Real love is peaceful

I don’t have the stress, drama and doubt that I felt while married to the sociopath. Instead, with Terry, I feel calm and content.

2. Real love is supportive

My sociopathic ex-husband was demanding — and indifferent to how his demands affected me. Now when I need help, caring, or just someone to talk to, my husband is there.

3. Real love is teamwork

I’m not the only one working; I’m not the only one carrying the burdens of life. My husband and I are in it together.

4. Real love is balanced

Yes, we face our ups and downs. And when either of us is down, the other is there to offer a boost. It’s a true give-and-take.

5. Real love is sexy

Sex with the sociopath was exciting in the beginning — and then became rote. With Terry, along with the physical pleasure I feel a deep, soulful connection, a much more powerful experience.

6. Real love is companionship

My ex traveled a lot (seeing other women, I later learned). Quite frankly, I was happy to see him go. When Terry travels — or even goes to work for the day — I look forward to his return.

7. Real love is happy

When I was with the ex, I was miserable. Now, even as Terry and I deal with day-to-day problems, I feel light and joyful.

8. Real love is easy

I no longer struggle in my marriage. I know I can trust and depend on my husband, and he knows he can count on me. We share, we laugh, we travel the road of life together, hand-in-hand.

We offer this to you, Lovefraud readers, as a message of hope. With your own healing, anything is possible.

Love to you all,

Donna and Terry

7 Comments on "For Valentine’s Day: 8 differences between sociopathic “love” and real love"

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  1. Bev says:


    Thank you for sharing this.

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  2. Peace4me says:

    Thank you for sharing your journey and letting those of us at the early stages of trying to separate from the sociopathic relationship that there is hope at the end of the tunnel and that true love and a healthy relationship can and do exist. I’m very recently separated from a long marriage with a narc-sociopath and my head is still spinning. At this point, it’s terrifying to even think of trusting again, so many questions and fears inside of me, so your success in your new, healthy marriage is a glimmer of hope for my future. Wishing you both many years of blessings and happiness.

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  3. Redwald says:

    Donna, a happy Valentine’s Day to you and Terry both! 😀

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    • regretfullymine says:

      I do envy those who have found love that IS fulfilling, rewarding, kind, compassionate. In the years since my divorce, I’ve NOT dated. A couple of tries by people I know to ‘fix me up’ didn’t go anywhere, and I was glad (inside) that they did not. No online dating either. I’ve been teased, poked fun at, for NOT dating or having a new boyfriend. But, its MY business, not theirs. Yes, I do get lonely, but to combat those feelings, all I have to do, is remember some of those episodes with my ex. I’ll take being single and maybe lonely anytime! I am still figuring out WHO I am, and that’s a challenge in itself.

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  4. Thank you everyone for your kind words! Happy Valentine’s Day!

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  5. It Takes 2 says:

    Beautifully written, Donna.
    Most importantly though is that if you had remained in your first bad marriage, you could have potentially missed meeting your lovely husband, Terry.
    Happy Valentines Day. Thank you for what you do! ❤️

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  6. AnnettePK says:

    So very true. I was married and widowed from a wonderful man (before the ex psychopath targeted me) and we had real love just as you describe here.

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