Major relapse after one year of breaking free (could use some comments/feedback)
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October 17, 2016 at 5:22 pm #23878
Last year I spent 6 months with what I think is a sociopath. I am still recovering. I’ve been reading this website for the past hours and most of the things sound so familiar it gives me the shivers (although the recognition also gives some comfort)
It was the typical story of complete devotion and perfect love story from day one. He tricked me into committing to the relationship by asking me whether I was really serious about it, as his father was dying and he liked me so much and he would not be able to take it if I broke up with him. I met his father on his dying bed, 2 days before he passed away. We had been together 7 weeks when his father died (I know for sure because I went to the funeral ;)). I was there for him all the way. Although he was never really actively mean to me he could be surprisingly dismissive, even though most of the time he was not. All of these hickups he (and I) blamed on his fathers death and his mourning. I was perfect, it had nothing to do with me, he said. I should have been suspicious because (like every body) I am not a perfect person either.
I began to find out his true colours after my friend was at a birthday party and ran into a woman (let’s call her K.) who was telling people she was his girlfriend. Of course I heard about it and confronted him. After him insisting for days that she was lying about this to ‘get back at him’ and make him look bad (although it never became clear about what), and telling me I was the woman of his dreams (etc etc, you know how it goes) she contacted me and I found out he had started a new relationship with her a month earlier when I was away on a work trip (which he made me feel guilty about telling me how much he missed me)
I was crushed, not the least because I heard – through K.- how he was portraying me as a crazy unstable bitch he didn’t care anything about. While he had repeatedly raised the topic of having a baby with me. Also during that last month.
I felt very lucky with having K. as ‘the other woman’ because she was very sweet and understanding. Together we ‘outed him’ by confronting him after he thought he was meeting just me. Afterwards the same game continued: he bombarded me with message that he wanted me backe and how he couldn’t live without me while, all this time, he was with her. Talking shit about me, saying he couldn’t get rid of me and how crazy I was.
By that time I was already detaching from him but it was extremely painful and he continued to gaslight me. It took another meeting with K. during which we discussed many of his extensive lies (he had for example boasted to her about a cool trip that we were planning to make in a few months :’)). Finally I decided to cut all contact. I did, I became clinically depressed and am now still on medication. I was so happy to be doing better. I am about to finish my PhD and I have a really cool job lined up next and I thought I had tackled the beast.
And now what this post is actually about: I still had K’s phone number in my phone, because she had been such a great support, and somehow by accent I see her Whatsapp picture…. With him. I checked facebook and she moved in with him. I cannot believe this.
Somehow I again feel like I am the stupid one. Like I wasn’t good enough. Like I couldn’t change him (even though I know people who lie like that don’t change). Some brief moments I even have thoughts in my head saying that I am wrong about him, that I am crazy, that I made it all up. It brings back so many feelings and thoughts from back then, now over a year ago. I am so angry. I am so sad.
I know that her nor his relationship is any of my business. None of my problems even. I know it is her mistake to make. But I cannot understand how she could have heard me talk about what he did, what he said about her (nasty things) and how he promised me the world while laying in bed with her (we reconstructed this during our second meeting over wine and laughed about it). I just cannot understand. I know I don’t have to but it still makes me feel terrible.
I hate how I have not even been close to starting a new relationship because all of the issues I still have to deal with while he just goes on as if nothing happened. I hate how he has someone to go on holiday with and I don’t. I feel very alone.
I also know this is just another layer of hurt coming off and I’m embracing it and I know I am strong enough to take it and that time will make things better. Still I hate it. I didn’t deserve this.
It already made me feel a little bit better to type this. I wonder if anyone here would want to share some of their thoughts with me. I have a good support system but frankly, they do not understand. I don’t blame them but it makes me feel very lonely.
Thanks for this website. It means a lot.
October 26, 2016 at 8:55 am #23958
I hope this isn’t too blunt and maybe it’s something I need to tell myself too… He is not that great and she is a fool for taking him back. He was playing both of you with ‘take me back’ only she’s the idiot who took him back, probably on the proviso that they live together (so she can monitor him more). His mask will slip off again, she will continue to die inside and eventually they will break. You are free… No man will compare as long as you like the types who are ‘treat em mean keep em keen’ and those you need the drama from. You are great. You are wonderful. You are beautiful. You are worthy… and you know what, you are better than he is. You WILL find someone better. I’ve been listening to Christina Aguilera’s Fighter this morning. In fact, there are so many songs from female singers that are about relationships with socipathic men I’m only realising now… He’s made you stronger. Love you, date you, treat you well and take some time to work on yourself and the right man will come to you one day, probably sooner than you think. Good luck. x
October 26, 2016 at 1:08 pm #23960
I know how much it hurts, because you were not only betrayed once, but twice. You confided in her and she used this to gain the upper hand in the game. However, this is all it is to them both, a game. A game that both of them will lose. He will eventually die a lone and she will get what is coming to her. The best revenge is letting her have him so she can see how evil he is and how miserable she will be. You are way a head of both of them. Think about it. Who would want to be sleeping next to a man that you have to continuously wonder where he’s been and with who. She will forever be stuck on this, while you will find someone who doesn’t take you for granted.
November 21, 2016 at 6:59 pm #24191
Thank you for your kind words. You are completely right, I am better off. Today I came in contact with the girl before me, and although he was not able to play her like he played me, she confirmed his manipulative behaviour and we exchanged experiences which was good and nice. Off course, I also found out that he was still sleeping with her when he was ostensibly so head over heals in love with me. I was already suspecting it but now I know for sure. It just leaves me numb at this point.
The problem I’m having is that I cannot reconcile what I KNOW about him and what I’ve SEEN from him. He has always been loving, understanding and kind to me. He was the perfect man until he was not and he had never been. And it has shattered me and all of my understanding of human relationships.
I can understand getting fed up or being confused about how you feel about a person or a relationship. I can understand being confused because your father just died. I can understand people getting fed up with me and not wanting to spend their lives with me. Still, regardless of my rational knowledge about psychopaths/sociopaths/compulsive liars I cannot understand telling someone she is your world and then acting in a completely opposite way without any sense of remorse, shame or self-awareness. I have never met anyone else like this.
I thought assholes were, in some way, always upfront about the fact that they were assholes, that there was a way of knowing. Now I know there is not. I hope I have a better sense of it next time I come across a ruthless person like him. But perhaps this person is EVEN BETTER at hiding his ruthlessness and I again get fucked over because I like to see the good in people and that is just who I am.
I am not stupid. I am very critical. I have learned to follow my gut feeling. But I am just too empathetic. Too nice. Always understanding someone’s struggle, heartbreak, sorrow. And I wouldn’t want to live my life any other way. But that means I expose myself to the risk of another predator like him. I cannot take another of these episodes. In fact, I’m not sure I can ever trust anyone again.
These past weeks I even started thinking I should prepare for a life by myself. I like myself, I have a very nice life. I have a lot of fun and I am fully capable of taking care of myself. It’s just that I would like to have a baby, with a man. But maybe I do not want to bring a baby into this world after all. Maybe I should choose freedom and independence over the childhood dream of family life. I do not want to be screwed over again and I am not so sure anymore about bringing a kid into this world, where people treat each other like shit and seem to become increasingly intolerable.
I’m sorry for this depressing rant but at the same time I am not and I am happy there is a place where I can write stuff like this and people understand. I know I will feel better tomorrow, and I am grateful I am sad but not upset. I have overcome the complete panic, even though it is with the help of medication. Hang in there, all of you.
November 24, 2016 at 10:49 am #24212
The behaviors you are describing of his are exactly what makes him a sociopath and what makes him so dangerous! They are so sweet and charming like the guy next door. It’s hard to understand that they are so conniving and game playing. I know firsthand. I have nearly a masters degree in Psychology, and I was led right down the garden path by a sociopath. I had never seen those kinds of games before. If they weren’t so charming, it would be easier to walk away when they were outed. Please consider that the other woman who took him back is confused and mixed up and she is at a disadvantage to you because she is still in his clutches. You cannot help her nor should it be your job. It is her own path in life to sort these things out. Her actions were not personal toward you. And even if they were, it would be out of her own dysfunction.
It is definitely a rude awakening to see that there are sociopaths walking among us, and sometimes it’s hard to tell who they are. When you are first traumatized and starting to recover, the world can seem like a scary place and you don’t know who you can trust. This is normal. As you get some distance from the situation, you will slowly recover your faith and trust in humanity, but you will be more cautious because you now know they are out there! Most people on the planet are not sociopaths, and sociopaths do come with warning signs, if you know what to look for.
The best thing you can do for yourself right now is to cut off contact with him, his other women and any contacts or social media that would give you information about him. It will continue to traumatize you if you keep a string of attachment. You need to cut all ties. You will eventually recover. It will be painful, but you will get through it. As I mentioned in my post to Cindy, prayer, imagery, and even visualizing something better….all of these things can pull you out of the emotional bond you feel with him. Make sure, too, that any counselor you seek knows what a sociopath is. They are harder to recover from because of all the reasons you mention. You are normal. Normal people are not designed to understand how a sociopath operates. The best we can know is that they are dangerous, and we need to walk away.
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