Children of Sociopaths

I can’t believe I am even contemplating writing an article with the title Children of Sociopaths.

To be sure, I never would have had children with a known sociopath…….. who would?  If I had known then what I know now (famous last words?) I would have gotten as far away as possible, as quickly as I could.  That being said, I love my kids with all my heart and can’t imagine my life without them, sociopath father or not.

When I first realized that the father of my children was truly a sociopath I was scared to death of what that would mean for them.  I realized I was dealing with a sociopath when my kids were very little so most of their lives so far have been about me trying to protect them and shield them from the very worst parts of their father.  It’s not that he is physically violent towards them (see definition, as sociopaths are not typically what you see in movies).  It’s more the subtle things; the manipulation, the lies, the lack of safety when they are with him that have prompted me to be acutely aware of what is happening when they are around him.

One very blatant example of how little my children are valued by their sociopath father is the way he has used their names and social security numbers for his own financial gain.  My kids each have outstanding bills in their names (5 years old!).  This “father” also acquired a copy of his oldest daughter’s birth certificate (for unknown reasons) by writing a fraudulent check.  When his daughter later tried to get a copy of her birth certificate for college or work purposes she was told that she could not get a copy unless the check charges were taken care of.  She had to pay for her father’s fraudulence before she could get a copy of her own birth certificate.  She had no recourse because he was her “father” and had a “right” to the information/copy.

Children of sociopaths can be easily confused.  Children love their parents unconditionally, especially small children.  Sadly, positive attention from the sociopath parent is typically only for the parent’s gain and not genuine so children don’t have the opportunity to experience true love and connection with this parent.  This becomes more and more difficult the older children get because it can affect their self esteem (am I worthy?), their sense of reality (but he says he loves me), and their perception of what a healthy person and healthy relationships look like.

At best, a sociopath parent will be attentive and demonstrate loving gestures when they are being observed or are in “competition” with the other parent.  At worst, the sociopath parent is abusive and/or extremely indifferent.  No matter what the extreme, the lying and manipulation will probably be the hardest and most confusing.  Kids are so trusting and literal.  In our home there was a lot of this type of situation:  Dad would tell child to go in and get a coat on.  Child would tell dad she is hot and doesn’t need a coat.  Dad would insist and in subtle ways, almost unnoticeable ways, lead her to become hysterical.  I would try to find out what was going on after hearing the chaos.  Dad would then say something like “she is upset because she is tired and wouldn’t get her coat on even though she is cold”.  Daughter, who by this time is so upset, says “but I told him I’m not cold (no one else has a coat on, it’s quite warm out really) and he won’t listen”.

In the end, the situation ends up that daughter no longer knows whether she was right about her own body/feelings/decision, etc.  Daughter can no longer articulate herself clearly because of being upset.  Dad is confirming to me and to daughter “see, she is tired and thinks she can get her own way and you just let her get away with being spoiled”.  This is a random example with random words, but the type of scenario and the end results are typical.  Dad has manipulated an entire situation where he can affirm that I am crazy and child is ridiculous.  To watch your child go through this over and over again, knowing in your heart what is happening is part of the crazy-making and it is devastating.

The sociopath has no conscience so does not care about the long term affects he has on the child (his own or others).  Children are simply possessions to serve a purpose.  Consider yourself lucky if the sociopath parent makes no effort to spend time with his children.  In my case, the sociopath has fought in court to no end for the sheer reason of trying to win or to try to make it as difficult as possible for me, financially and emotionally.  It’s not that he wants or cares about the kids in any real parental sense.

The scariest thing of all is that there tends to be a relationship or genetic factor to becoming a sociopath.  Statistically speaking, there is a higher chance of becoming a sociopath if you have a parent that is one.  How do you prevent that?  Well, you work extra hard at becoming the stable figure that your children need.  You limit, as much as you possibly can, the contact between sociopath parent and child.  You demonstrate love, nurturing, and healthy relations as consistently as possible.  You be as honest as you can with your children to demonstrate the benefits of truth.  Try not to destroy the image of the other parent for the sake of your children; the truth about the other parent will usually reveal itself to the children in time.  Be sure to be there full force when your children do start to discover the truth about the sociopath, for they are sure to be confused and hurt.

It’s not easy to protect your children, especially when you are forced to go through family courts and the sociopath parent is awarded visitation.  In my case it has taken an incredible amount of time, money, and documentation to slowly reveal what my children’s father truly is.  Most people don’t have the luxury of time or money; it has certainly taken a toll on our family.  I’m sure if I had the kind of money that most attorneys require, my case would have gone differently and would have been done by now.   Don’t give up.

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205 Responses to Children of Sociopaths

  1. Roxy710 says:

    It is mind blowing for me to read a lot of the things that are written here, it’s like looking in a mirror…

    • Peace247 says:

      Scary isn’t it? But affirming to know you are not alone.

    • It is freaky!!! A sociopath is a sociopath is a sociopath. They are all alike because their bran function is limited. They hold a myopic and inflexible view of life. — So glad to have found this blog. I have friends who grew up with sociopath fathers and are searching…. and the women of the sociopath I married have his children. I will share this.

      • Maria says:

        I have been visiting and reading this blog for quite a long time already and right now I am not replying to anybody in particular but I just want to reach out there somebody that has had an experience with a sociopath mother or wife. My grand kids are really in danger living with their mother and my son was (now finally divorced!!) in an abusive relationship for 6 years. The only reason that she doesn’t give up the children is the child support, because she doesn’t love them, she uses them as cash cows.We have already our strategy to relate to her and never let our guard down. It’s always good to hear from somebody else’s experience with a wife or mother that is a sick diabolic person. This blog is full of comments of sociopathic fathers/husbands and so far I just found one comment of a brave man that wrote about his wife mother of his children. There has to be someone out there and if there is, please share. I would love to get some help and advise so me and my son can help my grand kids even more.

        • roxane31 says:

          A sociopath is exactly that, it’s not gender specific, so I’m curious is to why gender has been made a factor in your comment. Children grow and eventually see for themselves. The best advice that was given to me was to just be honest and good, and raise the children with a strong sense of right and wrong, morals and values. Children learn from what they see and how people carry themselves, if your son is good and does good, that is what they will learn from and gravitate to. True Story.

          • Lisa says:

            Roxane31, it is because sociopaths generally are men. It is very rare for a woman to be a sociopath. So in this case, the issue is with a woman. The focus should be on the man’s request for assistance, not if it’s a man or woman in his experience. I have found great advice so far on this network that keeps me sane, helps me know my son and I are not alone and that there are others looking for help and support- there isn’t enough out there.
            My advice to Maria is to follow the advice that many have given. The bond between mother and child is strong, so tread lightly when talking with the kids – but be upfront, honest and point out the truth to the stories. Make sure too the kids understand what their mother is really saying, not the words. For example, my son has a phone at my home to reach out to others and to me when I am at work, etc. He asked his father at an exchange if he could bring it with him to his father’s house. His dad said, “Sure.” My son, wildly excited, started to go get his phone when I stopped him and said, “Hold on. One more question.” My son, who is learning from these examples, stopped dead in his tracks realizing he’d just been had again. I asked, “He can bring the phone, but will he be able to USE the phone?” The answer, “At my discretion for who he talks with and when, if I let him use it at all. But he can bring it.”
            This is a trivial example but hopefully poignant. What a sociopath says and what it’s true meaning is – night and day. Teach your grandchildren to LISTEN for the truth (and lies) so they are better protected. Also, have a safety plan. I don’t know their ages, but if young – get neighbors involved if possible (or nanny or whoever). If they are older, teach your grandchildren what to do in the event of an emergency, where they can go and what to tell the person they are going to get help from – or what to say to 9-1-1. I was informed years ago that when a child calls 9-1-1, they will call back to check to make sure it’s not a prank. My son has been taught to tell the operator DO NOT CALL BACK, this is not a prank and I am in serious danger (or whatever the issue is) and to please come quickly. If he’s in danger with his father and not at home, get help but give MY number (not his father’s) so I can be alerted to come to his aid and to call 9-1-1 for him. He has neighbors he can go to and a safety plan.
            Long winded but the issue is – educate your grandchildren, stay strong, ALWAYS be there, and let them know that lies hurt people so they must tell the truth. Teach them empathy and compassion so the sociopath doesn’t teach them to be a sociopath. If they are being neglected, validate their hurt, thoughts and feelings and let them know you can’t stop their mother – but you are there for them and they are loved – and it’s not their fault.

          • roxane31 says:

            Lisa, when stats are based solely on data collected, society also dictates those stats, statistics are not fact. There is very little information on sociopaths outside of the legal system, which also skews statistics. So no, this is not fact, women just have the advantage of society and information collected thus far. I welcome you to go and read about it.
            Maria, there are many books available to you and your family that will help. Stay strong, the more you learn, the easier it will be to deal with.

          • Maria says:

            I agree with you Roxane, a sociopath is a sociopath no doubt about it. And Lisa, thank you for the words of advise. We are hanging in there with this situation. Every day is something new, but I live with hope in a better future for my grand kids.

          • roxanne31, Sociopaths are both men and women — the comment presented above by Maria, is indeed a real issue. Not any sociopath loves their children. Female sociopaths avoid having children – except in a case in which they’re married to a man they can then sting for child support and alimony. This is the only reason they have them and the only reason they pretend to want them. Male sociopaths don’t want their children. – At all. They like to have children within some of their scams to seem respectable and have children to present to the world to make them look lie good people. They always abandon and do not want the kids. They are too much responsibility and an expense. Male sociopaths typically can con no money via their child. — Sooooo the issue for the normal mate and families of them in regards to the children is largely when the mother is a sociopath. – The mother ignores the kids, abuses the kids, does not love the kids. (Their brains make that impossible – all sociopaths – both male and female – have a partially non-functioning amygdala. They’re born this way and this is why they do not feel love) – So a female sociopath does everything they do to grown-ups to their own children; using them as a shield to make themselves look good and to gain money via child support, be able to keep the house, property and other goods in a divorce. The sociopath makes the male target who married them look like the abuser in court and to others. That’s it.

          • Maria says:

            I wanted to reply to roxanne31, but couldn’t find a reply just above her comment. I can not agree more with you and the way you presented and described your comments in regards to sociopathic mothers. I started visiting this blog about 2 years ago I think, and it has been a tremendous help with our situation. Thank you all for sharing because some times I fill so sad and hopeless and worried about my grand kids. I pray that God will protect them from their own mother. And some times it seems a horrible thing to ask for protection from evil that comes from a mother!! when it is supposed to be the opposite! I could never imagine my prayers will be about this. My son is also doing a great job and also his new girl friend that has been amazing to them. Thank you again roxanne31. Well said. I hope some brave men also come forward in this blog and tell their stories about these monsters.

  2. Michelle S says:

    Thank you so much for sharing. Comforting to know that I am not alone. That someone knows how this all is, even though the only one I need to understand, is the judge that reacts as typically as every bit of information I am finding tonight promises he would. 🙁 Pray.

    • Peace247 says:

      Dear Michelle,
      I do understand and the court process is the hardest thing I’ve had to deal with. It has been a year and half of me being consistent and documenting EVERYTHING for there to finally be some acknowledgement from the courts and my own attorney that it is not good for the kids to be around their father for very long at a time (very short version of a VERY LONG story). The time, the money, the damage of having to go through this is asinine. I have a new understanding of why women stay in unsafe and emotionally abusive situations. The price you pay to get out and away is sometimes just too much. If you don’t have the financial resources and if you don’t find the “expert” or the attorney/judge with some knowledge of what a true sociopath is, you go through hell just to try to protect your kids.

      DON’T give up hope, stay the course! It is hard, but please do come back for venting, support, or whatever you need.

      • May says:

        Hi PEACE247-
        I am currently up against a sociopath and soon will be in family court. What advice would you give on how to present to the judge the challenges one has in parenting with a sociopath without sounding like you’re attacking what judges might see as just inadequacies, and not detramental psychological and emotional abuse/behaviour? He is a narc/sociopath who has been away for 9+ years and now wants 50/50. He has moved 20 times in the past 9 years and owes $95k in support.

        • Peace247 says:

          Hi May,
          This is such a tough issue and, unfortunately, the family courts are not equipped to recognize the patterns of behavior that indicate a harmful disorder because of the (sometimes) subtle manipulations and convincing lies, etc. They are also ill equipped to support the parent being harmed and can outright deny the damage done to children. However, don’t let that deter or discourage you! It’s very important to present factual documentation of specific instances/incidents. The child support (or lack thereof) speaks for itself. The moving shows a pattern of behavior and lack of stability. There are too many variables and unknowns for me to give specific advice – but, I’m happy to offer support and answer questions at
          Thanks for reaching out and for visiting the site! Jen

        • Cheryle says:

          First, does your ex have a clinical diagnosis of sociopath/antisocial personality disorder? The judge will not look favorably on you if you come in there labeling your ex without a diagnosis from a medical professional.

          Next, have you kept a log documenting all of his interactions, or lack of, in the time you’re talking about? Do you have tangible evidence of everything you want to assert in court? If you don’t have the proof of his arrears from the courthouse, get a copy to present? I put together a very detailed log, with everything I could show that illustrated my ex’s inappropriate, negligent, dangerous behavior. You will have a surprisingly short amount of time with the judge, and if you get to say 20 words, you will be lucky. Have something prepared for him to look at; and have it organized meticulously.

          Last, even if he gets some amount of custody, you will have to watch his interactions with your kids very closely. DO NOT speak badly of him in front of your kids, or anywhere they can hear you talking…not even a negative facial expression, tone of voice, or planned silence about something. Trust me on this one. It destroys your kids from the inside out. If they ask questions that the answer will be negative, figure out a way to present the answer to them in a loving, helpful, positive manner. My ex and his family thoroughly destroyed my relationship with my son for 5 years. They almost managed to do the same with my daughter by making her an unwitting spy in the middle and twisting anything she said out of context to call CPS. It has taken almost ten years for me to recover. My daughter still wrestles with the fallout of having been in a no win situation for so long. My son is addicted to opiates and alcohol. He’s overdosed 3 times, died and had to be brought back once, been in rehab twice, and still can’t purge the demons. His father and his father’s family emotionally murdered my son. He is not the same person inside as he was before them. I miss him terribly.

          Stay vigilant, and best of luck to you.

      • Rebecca says:

        I’m fighting standard visitation right now w/ my abusive ex that is clearly a sociopath. The courts won’t take the DV seriously & won’t accept that 1 of the kids wants NOTHING to do with his father. I fear for them. Their physical safety is in danger, and their already weak psychological state is even more so at stake. They are possessions to him. Objects to control. How do I get the judge to believe me? He goes to court and lies & has his family lie. It is very frustrating & scary. The judge forced me to give him our home address that he previously said I could keep private. I don’t know which is more scary, the fear of my children physically being harmed or the fear of them growing up to be just like him.

  3. Rosalyn says:

    I am ready to give up. I can’t take it anymore. I have been through hell with this man. I lost everything spiritually and financialy as well as my family of orgin. I see my 12 year old son following his father’s road. I don’t know if I’m willing to attempt to prevent something that is going to happen anyway. My ex refuses to allow my son to get therapy, he controls everything. He had a great attorney I had a crappy attorney. I will attempt to get help again, I will hang in there for 2013 but I’m no longer willing to give up another year of my life. I have gone through all the proper channels for help and still have had no success. In so many ways I wish my ex would have punched me in the eye and then I would have proof I’m not crazy. Sometimes I think the court does more harm than just staying with your partner. When CPS came to my home the children were afraid to tell the truth. Sometimes I wonder if I’m imaging what I have been through with this man, maybe this is normal and I’m the one that is crazy. I mean if the court/the judge says 50/50 is okay well maybe it is. I know one thing I need me back, I need my self worth back.

    • Peace247 says:

      Dear Rosalyn ~ I know how hard it is and I know the feeling of just wanting yourself back. That’s what sociopaths do……….they rob us of us – our true sense of self, our ability to trust ourselves and what we know, our own realities! Please do what you need to do to gain some sanity back. Talk to your boys, present truths, live honestly……….they will figure it out.

    • paula says:

      wow! Your story is so incredibly similar to mine…it is chilling. That being said, it is certainly comforting knowing that someone else is going through the same BS and has similar thoughts. I would like to communicate further with you, but not on this public forum. Is there any way we can connect?

      • rosalyn says:

        I would love to connect but how do I do privately without exchanging info publicly. I know dumb question but I’m limited on skills

        • Peace247 says:

          I would love to help you both connect with each other. I think if you send me your emails (to my private email address) I can then forward the information to both of you. Support is so important and I love that you are finding ways to connect and support one another. I will look into forming a support group, although I don’t know how it would work with everyone spread out so far. My email is

        • Deborah says:

          My daughter father came home from prison moved in my house to make it up to the grand kids. Meanwhile is treated the kids terrible was just looking for a adress

    • christine says:

      Hi, you’re not alone. I’m still battling a sociopath father and we are at the ten year mark. I have a 7 year old daughter. We’ve been divorced nearly 2 years, nothing is any better. I will find a solution though, I can’t give up for my daughter. I want to find a test, like how psychopaths have a certain pattern to their brains, but with socios, I’ve found very little about true tests for them. Don’t give up, there’s plenty of us out there fighting.

      • rosalyn says:

        Thank you, it’s an endless battle. I swear these people sit around and figure out how to keep chaos in the lives of innocent people. It’s constant. The thing is the only that know the truth about the psychopathspath are their ex spouses and the children they wound.
        Saddly this is a never ending battle.
        As far as my child, he’s nothing like his father, my son has been diagnosed with autism

        • rosalyn says:

          My son is on the scale with Asperger, he’s high functioning Asperger. My ex his father fought me not to get the diagnosis. I finally had to go through a back door to get the diagnosis.
          I’m highly suspicious my ex and his family were aware of their Asperger and never wanted to deal with it.
          When I think about if my son had never gotten a proper diagnosis he would’ve never understood himself and why he’s different. My son is now able to see his asperger qualities. Until Asperger came on the radar my son was lonely. Now that he understands himself

          • rosalyn says:

            My son has friends at school for the first time. He goes to more birthday parties than the other kids in my home. . Girls like him but he doesn’t notice it. What’s the painful is the jealousy his father has for him.
            At this point in my life I don’t believe in hell as an afterlife I think it’s here on earth because living with this situation has been hell. He is the devil. He’s soooooo heartless. He has no soul, everything about my ex is an act.
            To be clear, I don’t think it’s the Asperger that makes him that way. (My ex) when I look at their family (now I see it, couldn’t back then) the majority of the family has asperger and none of them has ever considered that their problem stems from being on the spectrum.. the most difficult thing is to see the family members that are NT, the NTs’ in the family think there’s something wrong with them, they’re the outcast. The story of my ex and his family is so incredible that anyone would think I was making it up or it was an “ex files” story.
            I’m so frustrated. Everything my ex presented himself to be was an absolute LIE. The person he is I would’ve never engaged with. What’s so crazy he has no guilt at

      • Jat says:

        Mmpi 2 test….

    • Ann says:

      Hi. I’m 12 years old and this year I found out that my dad is a psychopath.Maybe your son will find out one day too.It’s hard fighting a psychopath but you have to keep going. And don’t let your ex control everything. Your ex will try to twist things and make you seem like a horrible person to your son.Try to be with your son as much as possible and try to gain his trust.Don’t give up.

      • Parent survivor says:

        Ann, It is hard to hear/find out, but fortunately you found out early enough to learn from this. Do all you can to learn about the condition to protect yourself. Children who grow up in this environment have difficulties with trust in others, but particularly themselves. Simple example, but my children, when ill or injured, would say they didn’t feel well or something was hurt and the father would tell them, “No, you’re fine.” Or “You’re just using this to get out of…” Except when coming home, they were then immediately diagnosed with strep, pink eye, back injuries, fainting and dehydration, and a host of of things which obviously they weren’t fine from and had medical professionals on alert about. It also teaches a child to doubt their own instincts. Without the knowledge I have on the subject, I wouldn’t have been able to teach the kids that they ARE hurt or sick, how to get help or at a minimum when they return, they will get help. If I didn’t know what they were up against, they would begin to think that the injuries and illnesses were in their head and let them go/not trust their own judgments about their bodies and what is occurring around them. Again, this is a simple example of how children are manipulated by their sociopathic parent. We were subjected to it for years until finally someone explained what we were dealing with. Since then, armed with research, data, books and sites like this, we know how to handle (most of the time) situations that occur, as well as my children know I’ve got their back. They aren’t alone. Please research all you can and find a friend, family member, coach, pastor, teacher – an adult you trust to help you through this. As for anyone else reading this, don’t give up on your children. They need you more than children growing up without a sociopathic parent. It’s literally the hardest thing you can do to stay “in” the situation for your kids, but their futures depend on it to come out of this. Having validation from someone they trust who isn’t manipulating them is what will help. As for them turning against you, I have taught my children that when told something negative about me, our family or our situations from the sick parent that they MUST consider the source, #1, and they must consider all factors. Would they want me to punish them simply because their father told me they did something or would they want their views/side heard before judgment? Then tell them to look at the facts of the situation, facts can’t be twisted (in a normal setting, as i know they can in this), then let them know you’ve always been there for them, this is no different. Help them learn to interpret the words and actions of the sociopath so they learn what half-truths, false truths, and the stories, body language and statements REALLY mean. Teach your children without bashing the parent, particularly if you feel the child has become a sociopath and/or favoring the sociopath. Be mindful that they are learning manipulation from their sociopathic parent too, so you may be getting sucked in too – educate yourselves, find someone you trust to rely on for validation and trust your instincts.

      • Freedimfight says:


        So sorry about your father. You sound wise beyond your years and that you have a stable loving pArent to rely on. My prayers are with you and that you get a childhood with good memories as you deserve.
        Your response is inspiring!

  4. Horselover says:

    I literally almost fell out of my chair reading this! You just wrote the story of my life literally! I have two elementary age kids who are confused by their dad’s behavior. My young son is especially confused as he wants to be with his dad 24/7 but cries because he will do the “push-pull” stuff with his mind. I am starting to see him breaking things, and not telling the truth. I am worried he will follow in his footsteps. I don’t know how to leave him knowing he will have unsupervised access to my kids..that is why I stay.

    • Peace247 says:

      Dear Horselover,

      I understand how difficult it is to make the decision to leave when there are kids involved. However, you have a valid concern regarding your son’s behavior. If you are not already, it might be worth it for you to start documenting the behaviors of your (husband?) and how it impacts the children. Eventually you might have enough to warrant limited visitation. At any rate, have conversations with your son whenever you can about wrong vs right decisions, the importance of being honest and how to treat people in a kind and respectful manner.

      There is no easy or right answer so please feel free to come back for support whenever you need to.

      • Rosalyn says:

        Horselover, My kids had to see who their father really is on their own. I taught my kids love by giving them lots of it. I have always been HONEST with my kids. If there is something you don’t think they’re ready to hear tell them I’m not ready to talk about it. But they need to see for themselves who their dad is, just hold a place for them, they will know where love and truth is. My son was exactly like your son about his dad but he finally saw his dad’s coldness on his own.
        Love and honesty are your two best weapons. Something a sociopath will never understand.


      • Rosalyn says:

        After a long day of dealing with the after effects of my past relationship I’m so glad I can come here and get good support.
        Today I went to an outside shopping mall and I felt like an alien, I have been so isolated for so long from the world I didn’t know how tattered I looked. My clothes are shabby, my hair is a mess and the dark circles under my eyes. I was out of touch with myself and the world for so long. This feels like a journey and I will not know the end until I get there.
        I would say it was a”Rip Van Winkle” day.


        • Horselover says:

          I know what you are going through..I have been there too. It is easy to just feel like “giving up” as our energy is constantly drained by these “men”. All I can say, and I am just speaking from my situation, is that they WANT us to lose our self esteem, our beauty, or confidence, and therefor they feel that have “won” by stealing everything we have. As hard as it is, DO NOT let him get the best of you! I too was at a point where I was depressed, wouldn’t wash my hair, wore old tattered clothes and drowned my sorrows in tons of sweets. What did I gain from doing that..about 15lbs, and a shell of my former self! As hard as it is, you have to form a plan to get yourself back. Whatever that may be, and be aware that whatever you do to better yourself and get healthy you will be STOPPED, or at least the attempt will be there. DO NOT LET THEM WIN! I noticed my confidence coming back when I started doing the things I loved, changed my diet, started exercising, buying new clothes, making new friends and trying to be the best role model for my kids..not a “shell” of a person that my husband was. I am happy to say that after a year of this transformation, I have shed the weight, look better but most of all feel better and have become emotionally strong. Sure, he still tries to pull his usual stunts..but they don’t work anymore. Whatever life throws at me I am now able to laugh it off, no matter how painful. Instead of absorbing his abuse I now deflect it..and now I am focused on arming my kids to his behavior and hope and pray that there won’t be lasting damage to them. We all love and support you Rosalyn..and stand behind you 100%!!!!

        • Carol Witney says:

          Wow, that’s exactly my experience this past weekend – exhausted by my ex’s behaviour

    • Rosalyn says:

      Horselover, I once read a comment on the web in regards to relatiinships like ours is to stop covering up, not that you are, and let the world/kids see the true him. All the protecting I was doing was not helping. Take YOUR energy out of it and see what happens because once I did that the kids knew their dad for who he was. The sooner they know the truth will save them years of therapy. When I went to DV meetings and I would listen to women in their 50s and 60s in regard to their adult childern, they covered the abuse so well, the kids end up being angry at mom. These women did not have the compassion they dwserved from their adult kids

      • Rosalyn says:

        Horselover, love your kids the samé way Sarah Conner loved her son John. Because your husband is the Terminator. He will terminate anything and everything that is beautiful and human becase he is none of those.
        May I suggest another movie? The moviw Double Jeooardy with Ashley Judd

      • Horselover says:

        I thank all of you for your words of encouragement and heartfelt advice, and I will use them in my life…thank you! Just a bit more to add regarding this topic, I knew I was married to a verbal abuser early into our marriage, during out dating years I just didn’t see the depth of how disfunctional the who scenario was..until we were married. I new he was abusive, narcissistic, and controlling but after reading the symptoms of APD I finally had a label to attach to this..since many in the outside world don’t see the true person he is. I no longer respond to his abuse, but rather ignore him..or act uninterested. Since he noo longer has control over my actions and emotions his out of control behavior has skyrocketed and is now geared at punishing me no matter who or what it hurts..that being the kids. I have always made our home a “no secret house” and I am completely honest with them about what is going on, and they have seen it for themselves as well. The kicker is knowing that the kids know yet they still want to love their dad. I hate it because I know he is just using them and bribing them with gifts, candy, money etc. while I am the one that makes them do their homework, eat their veggies etc. I feel I cannot leave him until the kids are older as he has put their safety at risk numerous times..and is just…well… creepy..for lack of better words with my daughter especially. If I leave he has total access to them without me being there. Believe me I don’t protect him…I call him and his behavior out for what it is. I just sometimes fear for our safety even though I have no proof. I guess what I am asking is has anyone else had kids that ended up “alright” after having one parent being a sociopath? I know a lot of this is out of my control as long as I do what I can to keep them informed yet protect them from verbal and physical harm.

        • Rosalyn says:

          I am so sorry for what you are going through. Much love and respect to you. You are the only one that knows the correct answer. I used the same words for staying, I tols my therapist one more year, and she said can you really hang in there one more year? I said yes. But when I realized one more year of hell I could not do it. The descion was taken out of my hands and this crazy super woman took over and I made it out with my kids. It was not easy, it was painful and scary. When we got into mediation I was up front about the abuse and I was afraid of him. We were ordered into more mediation. Because he had the eyes of the law on him he could not continue doing the same behaviour. He still drivez crazy with the kids and I pray every day that my kids are in the car with him. Do what you need to do but I was not going to give up one more day with him.

        • Rosalyn says:

          I’m thinking about you. Be strong and know you are a good mom. I know it gets lonely. If you need support I check my messages often.
          Just keep going even if it seems you are not getting anywhere.

          I know it’s silly but XOXOXO’s


        • Daina says:

          I am in the same boat as you. My son is 11, has recently been diagnosed with AD/HD and anxiety. I have been married to my husband for 13 years, and never should have married him. He has lied about so many things, and he has used our home equity behind my back to purchase stock that failed. When I found out about it almost a year later, he told me that he did it for me, that I was so stressed at my job that he wanted to help. I have gone back and forth about divorcing him. In my heart, I know that’s the best thing. However, I worry about my son. I worry that when he’s visiting dad, who is a dynamic and charming man to the outside world, that dad will verbally degrade him and hit him. If my son doesn’t act the right way, my husband calls him a baby. He often makes fun of him. My son just broke his arm. I was not thrilled that my husband was hanging out in our pool while my son was in his bedroom upset about not being able to swim. When I confronted my husband about his, he said that my son had to learn to deal with things not going his way. I thought this was a bit harsh. This is what happens over and over again.

          I am rambling, but the thing is, I don’t know what to do. I want to leave, but I’m afraid to leave my son alone with him. I wonder if it’s better for me to stay married until my son is older and more able to protect himself if he’s left alone with dad? The abuse is subtle most of the time, and I am certain that I wouldn’t be able to prove it in court, he’s that slick.

        • Cheryle says:

          No. My ex’s sick mind games destroyed my kids, my son much more than my daughter. My son is an opiate addict just trying to purge the demons of how his father could have done what he did to him. I’m scared to think I may bury my son before he makes sense out of all this. Nothing has helped: therapy, rehab, IOP….nothing.

        • Hell and back says:

          I have 2 children, now 25 and 24.
          They have been through the whole ugly process with my ex. Yes at times they were lead to believe I was crazy. After all, I seemed to be.
          My ex did all of what others have said, from having me charged, lieing, deception, games oh really ingenious ones, he is a dangerous man. He still thinks he is intimidating, but I have no personal contact with him. I eventually applied for DVO against him, the Judge called him a liar and told him he had traumatised me. I just broke down there and then, to hear those words come from a judge was a miracle in itself. I have better than a DVO, the judge told him he was to never contact me again.
          With that said, my 2 kids, have lived the past 10 years in the sidelines of his games.
          He still tries to get to me through them. But I know how he thinks, what he will do and can avoid it.
          I have been very open with my kids and yes it took years to get them to understand I wasnt just being nasty cause its “dad”. He does things and I can explain it to my kids. I can even tell them what and why he will do something.
          They still see their dad, but on their terms and when trouble starts, they know to walk away.
          As long as you take yourself out of his game, and be honest to your kids, they should start to work it out as adults. Things just start to make sense with them.
          Now his currently separated partner is going to hell and beyond, and Ive just put my hand up, to tell her she’s not crazy and help her.
          I have to figure out now, how you help, give evidence (I have plenty) without him having to deal with him.
          I couldnt sit back and watch it happen to her.

          • Peace247 says:

            Just be very careful because if she isn’t ready to hear what you have to say, it will back fire. We all know how manipulating and convincing these people are and she may not fully have realized this yet.

          • Hell and back says:

            Yes, I have been very careful. I have sat on the side of their relationship for 12 years, at the start I did let her know what he would do, and to remember what Ive said. They have been separated for 9 months, he has both houses, the kids, had her charged and she was a mess when I contacted her. I know people dont understand sociopath when theyre informed of it. Thankfully she had remembered what I said many years ago, and it all happened and she has joined the dots. But not before he has caused total destruction to her abilities and life. The rules with sociopaths from where I see it are, no personal contact, always an official middle man ie police/solicitor, the best thing Ive found is never play their game, only ever do anything to stop their most recent games and keep them cornered. Then keep your distance. Any further contact by them, have shut down as soon as possible….refuse to play their game, at any length.
            Dont take what they do personal, and try and keep your emotions in check, theyll read them and create more de

    • Rosalyn says:

      The best thing I did was face the fears I had for my son. Once I did that I was able to see how vulnerable my son really was to.his father. It was like facing the fear gave me clarity on how to help my family survive this. Being honest with yourself is a gift and your best weapon. These men want you to stay in denial or be in a fog. Face the truth head on at all times.
      Good luck

    • Jackie says:

      Dear Horselover-

      This is a very personal question and I’m sorry to ask this on a public forum but has your husband ever physically abused you? There is a way to get supervised visits. If he does hit you, first of all let me apologize… NO ONE should ever have to live that way(nor should you or your children have to live with
      a sociopath)! If it does happen, call the police immediately and have him arrested. I know its scarey-lock yourself in a room if you have to and call 911. Because its a domestic dispute you will get a summons to appear in court the next business morning. He will
      be taken away in handcuffs. This will be your opportunity to get an Order of Protection. As soon as you have that go to Family Court and file for divorce or immediately hire an attorney and let the Atty file the papers and to also get an Ex Parte Motion granted that states you get primary custody of the children and their father will get limited supervised visitation. You will most likely have to go through a custody evaluation after that but that will entail but not limited to a psychological evaluation of their father (and
      yourself). Let him try to fool an expert who can smell a sociopath in seconds.
      Stay strong and remember… you deserve to be happy.

      • Horselover says:

        No, he has never hit me, and I know he wouldn’t. He is one of those people that is more concerned how he is perceived that he walks in the grey area…never overtly obvious. It would actually be easier if he did just hit me because I would call the police and have him arrested.

        • Lisa says:

          …walking the grey line….

          Could not have stated anything any clearer than ya’ll have written!

          The difficult thing is… WE KNOW IT; we have learned the hard way with almost no way out. We need not only to totally get&understand these sociopaths close to our children BUT teach our children how to spot/”feel” them. It’s easy to find again once you “taste that flavor” but seems nearly impossible to convey to others in words or open their eyes. Very very difficult throughout the courts, involved GALs, etc. — i guess they believe if the person is not a serial killer there is no extreme danger ! Frustrating beyond belief ! Look at our kids and our schools and we have to wuuuunder…. obviously just by this page, the sociopath is very common and if we are all not EXTRA-diligent we will just be creating more.

    • Cheryle says:

      My ex destroyed my son in the very same way. If I could do ANYTHING differently, I would’ve moved out of state and cut all ties with my ex… or not. My son is addicted to opiates now and has overdosed several times. It’s gotten to the point where I’m just waiting for the call from the coroner. My ex’s mind rape did that to my son….and his family supported it.

  5. hopeful808 says:

    Rosalyn, stay strong. I understand exactly how you feel. Its like a terrorist who is under cover acting wearing a disguise and your the one trying to explain who they truly are. . Its exhausting beyond words. I know. I am exhausted too but we are given this experience for a reason. Never underestimate yourself. Breaking you down is his goal. Take each moment you have out of court to focus on yourself..take a walk mediate learn to! Hang in there keep notes but don’t let him rob u of your day. Organize time for dealing w his antics n treat it like a business chore. Then give back to yourself. Its war they like. Living being able to still laugh makes you the one living. Much love and strength to you.

    • Rosalyn says:

      Thank you so much for your support. I will not give up. Some days are better than other days. I love my kids to much to give up. I have been with them loving them every moment of their lives. I can’t stop now.


      • Horselover says:

        Beautifully said Rosalyn! As loving moms we CAN’T give up on our kids..without us they have nobody. Don’t let the covert mind control take this away from us…as it will ultimately harm our kids. I know it is hard to wrap our heads around this whole thing..and why did WE fall victim to these idiots..yet we wouldn’t have our precious babies without I understand the vicious cycle in many of our minds on a day to day basis. Stand strong and know NONE OF US ARE ALONE…and we have a place to go for support..thank GOD for this beautiful page! Blessings and hugs, and don’t give up! 🙂

        • Rosalyn says:

          I mean this with all my heart. I don’t know you but I love you. Support is so important right now. I thank you so much.

          Funny you called them idiots. I saw my ex today at an appointment for my son, OMG, he was so gross I could not look at him. His twisted hair piece, his expensive clothes and his dumpy body. I mean really? What was I thinking. I know, I ended with my stalker, the beautiful thing though I have two awesome sons from him. Ironically, my youngest son looks just like my great, great granpa. So my ex served his purpose.
          The beautiful thing I’m moving on as a wise woman I’m no longer a naive little girl. What I take from this relationship is I learned to love myself enough to walk away. I told myself

  6. 2 Spread Love says:

    Hello…I am so thankful for this opportunity to gain some perspective. I have read up about the sociopath thing on so many different websites, and after reading this thread, felt that this was the right place to seek some advice. My situation, in a nutshell, is this…
    My husband and I have made a close friend, over the past 4 years, have gotten to know this person very well, had become like family within his family, and even began a growing, successful business with him. Well, about a year ago, we began to discover the “cracks in the facade” and about 6 months ago, realized completely that our friend’s father, whom we had also become very “close” with, is a full-blown, textbook, sociopath. Neither of us had ever discovered a sociopath in our lives until then, and we didn’t know much about it at all, so it has been quite a learning experience. Anyhow, our friend is 24 years old, and is the classic child of a sociopath, based on other accounts I have read. He is an extremely nice, and usually upbeat, positive person, qualities that have been used by his father as a showpiece to lure in the victims. Also, our friend has also shown himself to be a very solid, honest, and trust-worthy business partner, with a good ability to keep his father out of our business, thus far anyways. He has been completely screwed up by his father, and is still in complete denial and victim mode, although we think he may be in the process of waking up. I don’t think details are necessary to bore you with further here, because they are basically exactly the same as everyone else’s accounts with sociopaths. But, I have two main questions, and they are this. Is it right to share the information about his father with our friend? Should we just disclose everything we know…all the lies, the drama, the mind-games, the research and information about sociopaths, etc. as soon as possible? What is the best way to “break the news”? We are struggling with this. And the other question is, should we care or do this at all, or is it better to just break all ties and let him figure it out on his own? I guess as background, it would help to say, we all live in a small town where his father has made a lot of trouble (a mild way of putting it), and is still living here. We feel concerned for the security and reputation of our business being tied with our friend and his family. But we also care about our friend and see the potential for intense spiritual growth for him right now, as well for us…so we want to be here for support if that is the best thing.
    Thanks for listening! I hope this has made sense. Sending blessings and light to all…keep shining it strong!

    • Peace247 says:

      Dear 2 Spread Love,
      I’m so glad you found this site! And grateful to know people are finding support here. I recognize your situation and it’s unfortunate. In answer to your questions……
      1.Is it right to share the information about his father with our friend (disclose everything we know)?
      While it may seem “right”, it’s very difficult to explain/prove, especially to someone who may not be ready or willing to hear it.

      2. Should we care or do this at all, or is it better to just break all ties and let him figure it out on his own?
      My guess is that the sociopath’s son has some gut instinct that something isn’t right, or normal. But, you are talking about his father, which is tricky.

      You are right to be concerned about what the repercussions could be for your business. Sociopaths are all about winning, and it doesn’t matter to them the methods they use. Personally, I have tried to “warn” others when I know they are becoming the next target of the sociopath in my life. I tried to send information to his parents (who have continually enabled his behaviors for many years). What they did was to tell the sociopath, which made my life even more miserable. The sociopath is expert at deception and lies and can easily twist things around. Rather than have a discussion or give information outright, you might try buying a book about sociopathy, or something similar and leaving in an obvious place where your business partner can see it and pick it up. Or, you might try mailing information in an anonymous envelope to his PO Box (this is to avoid someone else picking up/stealing his mail, which is a common thing that a sociopath will do). Or, you might try a different tack and express concern for his father (ie. “your dad seems to have some issues that he might need help with, is everything alright?”, etc).

      I am hoping that others might have some suggestions for you as well. Being in a small town is an extra challenge so be careful. Best of luck to you!

    • Horselover says:

      2 Spread Love,
      Coming from being a child of a sociopath as well as having a husband that is a sociopath, and being from a small town..I understand your situation. Others may disagree with me, but I would just cut ties and let him find out himself. He probably already knows his dad is “off”..or worse he could be a sociopath too but you might not yet realize it. Getting involved in family matters such as this one is like sticking your hand in a are going to get stung. Better to let him he probably wouldn’t listen or believe you if you told him anyhow. Good luck!!

    • Rosalyn says:

      I ditto what peacemaker said. These sociopaths have so much experince manipulating and lying you will never be able to beat them head on without getting yourself twisted and then you are the bad guy, crazy biycj, thief, whore, seductress you name you become it.
      That being said, this young man is your friend you be there and support your friend. You are probably the most honest person he knows. And he needs that example to see his dad for who he is.

      • Rosalyn says:

        I wish I had met people like you at 24. I had no idea what a socio was until I was griwn woman with a family of my own. I’m sure friend knows something iswrong but he can’t put his finger on it. The pain it takes to amit your parent does not love you is tje hardsst thing to face. I had to walk through hell to face my socio parent if I had understood what my instincts were telling me at 6, 10, 16, 24 it would have meant a different course in me. I would not have chosen sociiopath partners.
        Horselover is correct the need to run from these people is chosing life for yourself but maybe this young man is in YOUR life for a purpose.

        • Rosalyn says:

          Sorry about so mant post, my smart phone is not intellgent.
          Last comment.
          The conclusion I havepersonally come to it is not about what you do for the victim of a sociopath, it’s alsowhat helping some one from your heart does for you, it’s also about your blessing and you helping some one not for selfish reason but pure love and compassion. It’s to bake cakes, send a card for something but helping some one with this is true giving from the hurt. Dealing with messed up sociopaths will change your life. It’s the surving and then thriving after the experince that is the blessing. You see mankind in its worst way when you deal with those peope. This may sound dramatic but this is no exaggeration. After reading what peacemaker has written about her personal experince with her sociopath hers is just one of many and she is lucky because she made it out. Most people never make it out and when they do they still never know what hit them.
          Your friend will need you. For him to see the truth and deal with years of denial that is when you need friends to say you are not crazy.
          Sorry, one more thing. People like your friend tend to marry sociopaths because it is familiar and you don’t want a whole new generation of that.
          Always be honest and don’t sugar coat what you think when asked a direct question but don’t go out of your way to point things out.
          My poor dad is still with the effects from the woman he was marrief to and my mother. When says something his wife has done I just listen and give him so much love.
          Good luck, I hope this is a success story and business.

  7. Free36 says:

    I am 5 years out of being with a Spath for 25 years and I’m not sure how to help my teenage children.. The youngest is brave and got mad at him when she found out he’d got his cleaner pregnant (she is the youngest and the girl=how dare he have another girl, she told him), the middle son has Down syndrome (and is nothing but a financial burden to the Spath so I’m too scared to have him stay with his dad in case he “loses him” or something terrible) but is the eldest son who seems to be struggling the most. He was the first and the Spath had time for him (the Spath got totally bored with kids after the first one, but had the other two to keep me trapped as I, and three children, gave him the cover of respectability while he lead his double life of promiscuity and exciting travel). This eldest child is extremely clever and a good reflection for the Spath. This child is very gentle and is torn as he is loyal to his father (he does realise the Spath is a bad man) and I do think confused. He jumps when his dad says jump as he is afraid of him. The Spath also pays for his university fees (as long as he gets good grades) and buys him things. The Spath’s family (especially his mother who is also a sociopath) plays guilt trips on him and tries to turn him against me his mother (tried to get the two children to live with her when they were little. She didn;t want the disabled boy of course-she would have aborted him if she were me she told me). I just don;t know how to keep this eldest son safe. Ideas would be appreciated.

    • Peace247 says:

      Dear Free36 ~ When it comes to our children, it’s the toughest thing. I’m sure your son is very torn. Every child deserves to have a devoted and loving father and these kids come to know what they are missing. If your son is in college, he is old enough to hear some truth. If he already knows his father is not a good man, it might help him to understand why so there is no self-blame. Kids can take their parents rejection personally and bury the pain. Unfortunately, encouraging your kids to maintain some distance from their father would be a good thing. Eventually they will figure it out and will be old enough to make their own decisions. Keeping our kids safe and protected in these situations is very difficult, especially when sociopaths are so adept at manipulating and skewing things to their favor. Educating yourself and your children and seeking out support is vital. Best of luck to you and your children.

    • Horselover says:

      I commend you for leaving, and for picking up the pieces and raising 3 great with special needs which really only has you (sickened and stunned about what your mother in law said!). You sound like a very strong woman, and are a beacon of light for your children. I understand that it is hard on your son, it is on mine as well, but we also have to let them experience the SP (I call my Sp “dingleberry” :)) Rosalyn was right when she stated earlier that protecting them from ANY of the dysfunction will only be more harmful in the long run. Know that we are all here for you, whenever you need us!!

  8. Bella says:

    I am pretty sure my father is a true Sociopath… He lies every time his mouth opens. He lies to manipulate and gain control over EVERYONE. Smooth talker and very well liked by women. He needs control in every situation. When I played sports I only won a game because I listened to him. If I lost it was obviously because I ignored his advice. He has had so many affairs and multiple children out of wedlock. He only shows interest in some of his children. I was always his “favorite” so, even as an adult with my own kids, a relationship with him is confusing! Even when I point out his obvious lies… he denies it… gets mad at me, tells me I must have misunderstood then yells “I have NEVER lied to you!” (If I had a nickel for every time he said that… better yet a nickel for every time he lied to me!) I LOVE your example of the “coat” because I have always had a hard time making decisions because I was never sure of myself…. Living with a sociopath is allowing someone to have complete mental/emotional control over you…. Now if I only know how to handle our relationship! Thanks for the article!

    • Peace247 says:

      Bella, If you understand the coat example, you know what you are talking about. Learning to trust your own self again is difficult, especially if you were raised with a sociopath influence. Distance to gain your footing is the first step. It’s extremely hard because keeping you in the web of deceit will become his goal and remember, sociopaths love to win. Please come back for support whenever you need it and feel free to email. Jen

  9. Alison says:

    Thank you for your honesty! My father is a sociopath; I have suspected it for years but, am now certain in my mid-thirties. I am very relieved reading this as I see that I am not alone and am not crazy or over-reacting. You’ve done more of a service to your readers than you realize 🙂

  10. Angeline Thompson says:

    This is the first place I have found regarding having a child with a sociopath. Without going into details about him, I have done my research and he is 100% sociopathic. He talked me into moving in together and having a baby when I had known him only 6 weeks. I didn’t think it was likely, but I was pregnant within 8 weeks. Fast forward to now. I have a beautiful 4 year old daughter that yearns for and fantasizes about her “wondeful” “superhero” father, who blows her off and doesn’t give a shit about her birthdays, lying and saying he will send this and that and never does,, Please, it took me a while to regain my self esteem and I am over this creep but what do I tell my baby girl who desperately wants her daddy?? It is eating me alive everyday. So far I say, Daddy loves you, he’s so busy working but we look at each other and it’s like a heaviness in the air, an obvious lie. I need help! My baby is an intelligent, insightful, sensitive littke thing and I want her to thrive! Also, she has no other male in her life..only me. I am dying over this! Please help me!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Peace247 says:

      Dear Angeline ~ I understand completely. I have little girls too. It is heartbreaking. The biggest thing to stress is that her father’s behavior has NOTHING to do with who she is. She very much deserves to be loved and adored by a daddy. With my kids we talk about honesty a lot and role play different things that are similar to what their father does but I don’t use him specifically in examples. My kids are smart too and eventually you can tell when they start to figure some things out. It absolutely does not take away from that “want” that they have and it’s not fair. But remember, it’s much worse if the sociopath has daily contact with them. That can wreak havoc on their very being and cause irreparable damage (not that this doesn’t). There is no easy answer and either way you look at, it hurts the child. I’m happy to be a sounding board for situations that come up and I know there are women that have written on here who have fathers that are sociopaths. There needs to be more support and more answers for people in this situation but I haven’t been able to find them. That’s why I created this site, so at the very least, you know you are not alone. Please come back any time!

  11. Jehnc says:

    I have been living this nightmare for almost 8 years. My children are almost 3 and almost 5. My ex husband is a sociopath and he is on the prowl. He has already destroyed another woman and her 10 year old son in less than 15 months time. We have already finished our custody case and my ex has supervised visitation only. I am scared. My ex is abusive and he molested my daughter at age 1 (my almost 5 year old now). My youngest is medically fragile and I fear for her safety as well as my other daughter, even with a supervisor. How do I prove to the courts that no contact is in the best interest of my children? We are in court now for child support contempt and I want to let the judge know my dilemma. Any help? I feel alone as my ex does not have a written medical/psychological diagnosis but he did have a verbal one. That psychologist is no longer around so how do I prove to the courts that he is a threat and a sociopath when he is the master of magical manipulation and illusion?
    Thanks Jehn

    • Cheryle says:

      Find a job out of state and move! Then severely limit the amount of contact on the phone and for visitation. Go with them to visit their dad if you have to let them visit.

  12. thetruthisinme says:

    I am the daughter of a sociopath.

    My father was a sadistic pedophile and a serial killer. He forced me to go on his “hunts,” forced me to watch him, and forced me to “participate” with him in committing criminal acts.

    I was three years old the first time I saw him commit a crime.

    My father physically, emotionally, and sexually abused me.

    I am still in recovery with severe PTSD after 25 plus years of therapy. To survive what I witnessed, I buried the memories and divided myself into many parts. After my narcissist Mother died several years ago most of the memories emerged. Although, I had my first memory in 1988.

    I wish there was a support group for children of sociopaths. I grew up in my father’s ‘war zone’ and my mother’s ‘war zone’ in two separate households.

    • rosalyn says:

      I’m sorry to read about your horrible story. To allow those memories to come to the light is the bravest act one can for self. It has taken me almost 40 years to look at my emotional scars.
      The sad thing the person I thought I was is.not me I had built a false person/ a false face to deal with world. I became what people toldk person in my life with the exception of my kids has told me. I’m not worth it, no wonder why I ended up with a man that would finish me off by attempting to destroy the little bit of me I had left.
      In a lot of ways my family had done all work of destruction. Now that I see that truth that is the real pain.They stood by watched and did nothing. I know I’m suppose to forgive for my own sake but I’m still not there yet. I don’t hate my parents or other family members but I feel nothing for them. The same wth my ex-sociology he’s just a big black hole. A bag of hot air.
      I hope you can stay strong I don’t have answers for you but you do have my compassion.

  13. Mickey D says:

    Wow, I am so afraid of my ex husband, that I let my Daughter stay their more than home anymore. I get the blame for everything. He moved to Las Vegas, and It was my fault. He told her that. I made him leave, because I was taking her away from him. He has destroyed my current Marriage, and I let him do it. I knew better. I always have that why I asked him for a divorce when our Daughter was only 6 mos. He didn’t help me with with her for so many years, and when she got older. He became her best friend. I can’t discipline, because he doesnt believe in it. She constently blames me for everything as well. She is not like her Father for a fact. I can tell there is some beautiful heart in her. Just not so much for me anymore, and all I have wanted is her happiness. So I never told her what her Father has done to me or what he has done to her. nothing physical.. just alot of mental anguish. He makes her feel sorry for him.. It’s so sad to watch, yet I don’t think I can deal with it anymore. My ex had relations with my Husbands ex when they were going to court for child custody of their 2 kids. He got in the middle to get to me. He had a wonderful girlfriend at the time to.. This is when I knew he is truly sick, and I will never be able to please him in anyway. I have made him a huge part of her life to please him. And now I know why. I am and have always been in fear of this man. He also has my family convinced that I need help, and they won’t talk to me anymore, because my Daughter has them convinced that I don’t take care of her good enough. I have 3 other kids, and she is her Fathers only Daughter. She does Love me and wants to come home all the time, but is very munipulated and quickly by her Dad. I just let it go. I become outraged at my family once or twice a year.. but I’m ready to call it quits, change my number, and move. I can’t sleep, eat and I’m really numb anymore. I don’t like people, and I was the biggest people person until a few years ago. I hide out all the time, and I never did before. I know I have to keep going for my Daughters sake, because I am the strong one for her with advice and life situations. I can’t handle the recourse anymore. what about my hubby and 3 other kids?? I’m not perfect, but this has destroyed my whole well being. I just want him to never talk to me again even about my Daughter.. so sad but I am really done. really… not much left to give or recieve not much..

    • rosalyn says:

      I have been through this with my daughter, you have three other children and they need you. If you love your husband save your marriage. If you and your husband are strong. You can get through this.
      your daughter has to see for herself who he is. If you chase her she will run to him. It’s heartbreaking but it’s true. I had young kids also but what helped me get through it was knowing I raised her with love and being honest and true to myself. I was a good mother. And I knew that. This is going to require a lot of patience.
      Your little guys need you.
      Your ex will never change you just need to be there to help her pick up the pieces.
      when I came to this blog a few months ago I was afraid of my ex but I knew that was his power over me and I had to fight it, now I see him as a clown and a bully. Start taking care of yourself, continue to live and each day it will get better.
      I also cut my family off. It was not healthy for me and the younger kids.
      You have to be brave. D what ever it takes to heal yourself

  14. Apple_42 says:

    I stumbled upon your blog when doing some reading about trying to help my preteen daughter – whose father is a sociopath. I can see it beginning to really affect her now that she is not a “little” kid anymore. I just want to make sure that I AM everything she needs as she deals with this “father” of hers every other Saturday for visitation.

    A little background:

    I met him when I was 19. Had a decent relationship for about a year. Then my friends and family began to see straight through him. He lied, cheated on me repeatedly and made excuses for everything. I started to see that this guy wasn’t just a jerk – there was something “off” about him. Something deeply rooted that made him like a shell of a person. He had no empathy, no thoughts of his own. Every action was selfish. Even to his own grandmother. His mother told me to run as fast as I could in the other direction. HIS OWN MOTHER. I didn’t listen.

    At 22 I had my daughter. And I wanted nothing to do with him. I knew he was not good for her – and have proven he couldn’t truly love or care for ANYTHING. Then even MORE crazy came out. He would break into my house and sit there while I was gone. He would slash my family’s tires. He would come to my job and trash the place (I worked at a store). He would send my friends “Congratulations!” cards when there was a death in their family. It was HORRIBLE. I went through three restraining orders to try to keep him away from us and bring some RULES and LAW to the craziness. He did not see our daughter – he would only visit with her for a few minutes while she was with his family.

    He failed to develop any sort of bond with her from the ages of newborn to 7 years old. He spent that time job hopping, racking up felony drug charges, evading child support and shacking up with random women. I stayed as far away from him as possible. I was busy raising my baby girl.

    When my daughter was 7, suddenly he met a new girlfriend who was not a crackhead or gang member. She was normalish and seemed to come from a nice family. I was expected to immediately let my child go with this maniac because he was dating a “normal” girl? Uh – no. I could see straight through his “intent.” He needed my daughter so he could uphold an image he was trying to portray to this new girlfriend. I think not. My daughter was confused. Why all this sudden interest in her? Lavish birthday parties. Trips to the zoo. Then it came to a screeching hault when he was thrown in prison on drug charges for 2 years. I kicked myself for letting my daughter see him at ALL because now he was gone AGAIN.

    The new girlfriend waited for him to get out of prison. Not only did she wait – she purchased a home for them, made his vehicle payments and eagerly awaited his return so she could serve it all up on a silver platter to him. I was not as thrilled about the prison release. My daughter was 9 years old. And had gotten back to normal after having the rug pulled out from underneath her when he went to prison. I didn’t want him to hurt her and mess her up again.

    However, the courts see it differently. In a year’s time she was forced to go to two overnight visits per month. These visits were not with him. He was physically there – but off in the distance while the girlfriend and her family entertained my daughter. Over time, his lack of any involvement proved over and over that it was all a charade. I begged, yelled, screamed in the mediator’s office for him to spend ONE HOUR of the visit with my daughter to get to know her and establish that BOND that never HAPPENED between them. Nope. He refused. Why would he want to do that? He’s got everyone else taking care of her. He can just sit back and pretend to be Mr. Superdad. HA!

    My daughter tried to just take it as it was. Just tried to have fun while she was there and ignore the fact that she didn’t even know him. Any time an “issue” was brought up (her fear of him leaving etc.) – was quickly swept under the rug. She learned quickly that you paste on a smile and fake it. (Which is NOT how we do things at home! We are honest and REAL and talk about EVERYTHING.)

    He and the girlfriend got married. And quickly had a baby of their own. A little boy who is 12+ years younger than my daughter. This has been really tough for my daughter because she can see him faking with the baby. The fantasy is quickly crumbling and I feel the need to prepare my daughter for when his whole facade falls to the ground. It’s a very hard line to walk. I do not speak badly of her father – but I won’t be gullible either. I know what this guy is about. I know what he is capable of. It kills me to see her experiencing it for herself at this age. It’s only a matter of time before he snaps. He will never see the damage he is doing and has already done. He’s incapable of it. I am consistent with my daughter – but she is at that age where this kind of manipulative, sneaky, selfish, void “relationship” with her father can really scar her. What can I do? Without “badmouthing” him?

    • Peace247 says:

      Dear Apple,
      In answer to your questions – “What can I do?” and “Without badmouthing him?”…………You continue to be the solid, ‘real’, honest, stable person in your daughter’s life. You have more resolve than I do. I started telling my kids the truth, in bits, about their father’s behaviors. When he broke the law (repeatedly, and is still doing so), I brought up and explained why his behavior wasn’t okay. I explain the expectations of our home and of society and I ask them their thoughts. I ask them what they would do.

      Here’s the heartbreaking thing about having a daughter with a sociopath… know what your beautiful, thoughtful, wonderful daughter deserves. She deserves to be adored and loved by an attentive father who puts her on a pedestal (but not up too high). She deserves to have that healthy relationship that teaches her how to pick future boyfriends that will treat her the way she deserves. Unfortunately, with a sociopath, she will never get that. That thing that is “off” about her dad…she will sometimes think that she’s unlovable, that she’s done something wrong, etc. You have to be able to provide her with a strong sense of self, a strong sense of self worth. She needs to know the truth.

      Not only is it important to protect our children from being emotionally damaged, it’s also important to protect our children from becoming victims. A sociopath will use their own children for financial gain, for criminal purposes, etc.

      This is THE most difficult aspect of becoming involved with a sociopath and there are no easy answers. Most therapists, counselors, teachers, attorneys, courtrooms, mediators, etc. have NO clue what we deal with on daily basis. Nor do they have any clue what damage they do when they “recommend” or “order” visitation. Being vigilant becomes your job…..on top of all your other jobs. It’s exhausting. Come here any time to bounce ideas, get support, offer support, find similar situations….whatever you need.

      I completely understand,


      • Lisa says:

        I am new to this group so catching up on the threads.
        I read what you said, Jen, and I am now on the same path with my son. I once tried at every turn to foster some kind of relationship between my son and his father, my ex-husband, knowing who his father was but still holding out hope that they could have something special between them and really because when my son finally understood who his father was, it was on his terms, in his time and without my input.
        That time came last fall. I no longer shield or dismiss or try to “look at the bright side” of things trying to find the silver lining in a behavior or issue – we sit and have open honest discussions now.
        I tell him the truth and we discuss how he feels, what he things is the true meaning behind his father’s words and actions, and when asked I give hardcore examples of what his father has done to help understand that my son is not the reason for the behaviors/words of his father.
        I validate his feelings, opinions and values. I help him work through the manipulation games to understand when his father says/acts a certain way – what it really means.
        My son as the emotional intelligence as a tween and the rationalization skills to “get it”. My job since his realization has been to find him the resources to assist him further. He’s alone with his father far more often than he should be because the justice system thinks he’s Mr. Wonderful and superdad because he wants to try.
        My son keeps tabs on the date – he’s counting down until the day he doesn’t ever have to go back to his father’s again. He’s got at least 4 years to go, which to him seems like a lifetime but in reality is very soon.
        But 4 years is a long time that a lot of hurt, damage and issues can arise. So my goal is teaching my son the tools he needs to survive, understanding that he is a good, honest, wonderful, talented and very much loved young man with a mother, siblings and maternal family and many friends, his school and his extracurricular activities friends, parents and coaches there for him. He is not alone and he is not the “reason” for his father’s behavior. I give examples such as if my father were to go next door and punch a neighbor in the face, is that my responsibility? Did I make him do that? Did I have any involvement? No, of course not. So if his father does something that is wrong, it’s not my son’s responsibility.
        The mindgames – that’s the issue I’m teaching him how to weed through. When my son has an important call to make, he asks me to listen now. I do not because I want to invade any privacy or the relationship between him and his father but to answer his questions and help with the games his father plays.
        The twisting of logic and truth, the avoidance of the issue, turning the entire conversation and attention on his father and/or a non-descript issue with no substance or value to the issue my son is calling about that feels more like a Seinfield issue than a young boy’s life and attempt to reach out to his father.
        We talk. We discuss how the conversation started at Point A, veered off to a cliff, reined back in to Point Z, then to Point F, then about nothing in particular, to Hey, Buddy, gotta go. Great talking to you and a hang up before my son has the opportunity to realize that his opinion, his issue, his reason for calling – wasn’t even discussed. Phone line dead. Dad is gone. Nothing accomplished. Confusion, dread, despair.
        Until now. Now he has answers. He’s not so confused anymore because he’s learning that these conversations literally hold no value and that he didn’t do anything wrong.
        He’s learning that the actions and words of his father’s are his father’s, and has no bearing on him.
        He’s learning that his thoughts, feelings and values ARE his and are okay. I know how my son feels when he tells his father, my ex-husband, “I have a headache.” “No, you don’t.” “Yes, I do.” “No, you’re just saying that because you’re avoiding X,Y,Z” or any situation along those lines. “Dad, I’m upset about X,Y,Z” “No, you’re not.”
        Yes, he is. I have taught him that how he feels IS his feelings, and no one can tell him how he feels, physically or emotionally – that’s his ownership. Don’t let his father take that from him or confuse him or confuse the reasons.
        I’ve also taught him to expose. If he has a headache, request assistance when others are around. To look like superdad, he’ll assist. Do it alone? “No, you don’t” or “There’s no medicine around here” (when at a popular Orlando resort, home – or anywhere)
        If he needs help with homework? Let it be known when others are around.
        Supplies, extracurricular gear, etc? When coaches, parents, etc are around.
        Talk, openly, honestly and with conviction about how he feels when others are around.
        His dad then can’t hide the truth. And since we’re not together usually when these things happen – can’t blame me for it either.
        I’ve also taught my son how to protect himself when his father hurts him. This hasn’t happened in awhile because he knows a) he’s being watched diligently, b) my son WILL call for help and c) he’s resorted to less physical and more emotional tactics that you can’t “see”.
        But I’ve taught him what to do in the event of an emergency, how to call 9-1-1 (and I don’t mean the dialing, he’s known that since 3) but what to say to the operator since he’s a kid. Where to go if he can get out to make the call – then give that person MY number not his father’s, and call 9-1-1 too if necessary (actually in reverse).
        With that, I can only teach so much. He’s still a tween and has awhile to go yet before he can break free. He’s seeking answers, reading materials, support groups – answers of his own.
        There’s very little out there. It’s hard enough for adults to understand all this. I spent years thinking he was a narcissist and passive/aggressive. It took going to a counselor with a focus on learning the tools to protect my son (because my ex wouldn’t allow him to go to a therapist so I was going there to learn the tools to relay) that this therapist all the information together and informed me he was a sociopath. He’s never been formally diagnosed because he won’t see a therapist to do any analysis, but I began reading voraciously found that OTHER than the criminal activity – he meets every item on the “checklist” and I could’ve written most of the books, articles and blogs I’ve gotten my hands onto at this point.
        And I get it now after nearly a decade. My son now gets it too (without the label). The manipulation and the gas lighting are over.
        But now he’s over the top hostile and angry. So I also teach my son not to directly confront. I have to balance the line that I’m not teaching my own son to be manipulative but there’s a fine line between protecting himself and being confrontational- he will end up in the hospital again if he is, but could end up being a passive/aggressive manipulator if not handled properly. So he’s taught that the skills he’s learning are NOT to hurt or lie or do something wrong – but to protect himself from his father. These are survival skills mean to assist the next few years. And meant to assist him in recognizing these behaviors in others so he doesn’t get entangled.
        Which is why I’m seeking assistance for him. If anyone has anything they can offer, we’d be so grateful.

    • Amy says:

      Apple 42,
      I am at a loss for words after reading your post. Saying “I am so sorry” sounds so cliche..but I ache for the sheer pain this madman has caused in your lives! I am in the same situation with my husband and I have two kids..I am preparing to leave and expect all hell to break reading your post gives me a glimpse into what my future might be. But I did want to tell you one thing that HAS seemed to work for me so far. I do not badmouth their dad, but when the kids show anger and frustration about the situation we are in, I help them try and make sense of why they are feeling the way they are. I point out inconsistencies with what their father says and does..then ask them if they see the same inconsistencies with any one else they are close too…obviously they don’t. I am very open with my kids and tell them the truth..that our “marriage” isn’t normal..most marriages and relationships are not like this. Also that their dad has a “problem”..which he does..he isn’t normal. I have many books I have read about verbal abusive relationships from Patricia Evans that I plan to let them read when they are old enough (right now they are 6 and 8). I also let them know they did nothing to cause this. I am very open and honest with them about the behavior they well as point out the inconsistencies in front of their dad with the kids int he room. It may backfire eventually..but I feel being silent and covering up for them will be worse. I grew up with a verbally and physically abusive father and my mother didn’t know how to stand up to him and protect us, and I want to be as open and honest as possible. I suggest if you haven’t already, get your daughter into therapy to help her navigate through the crap that this guy is dishing out..and hopefully help her to be able to tell the courts that she no longer feels safe being with her father. Good luck and let us know how things go! Hugs.

      • Peace247 says:

        Dear Amy,
        Thank you for offering support here! I love what you say about “pointing out inconsistencies with what their father says and does”. That is very accurate and works well. I’ve also had the conversation with my kids about what “normal” looks like and make sure we spend as much time as possible around couples that are loving, respectful, etc.

        Again, thanks for offering support to other readers, it’s so vital in our positions.

  15. Spx says:

    I’m a child of a sociopath and experienced what you described (and worse). I wish my mother was as perceptive as you though I don’t blame her for the bad that happened but… realizing my father was a sociopath wasn’t hurtful, it was freeing. I use to feel so much guilt for hating my own father but now… I realize the hate is justified. Sometimes I fear I’m sociopath because I’m freakishly charming, I can see and feel people intensely attaching themselves to me the first minute I talk but I’m careful not to manipulate – I talk just to talk. Anyway, thanks for sharing. It’s unfortunate that most mothers can’t protect their children from a sociopath and by the time they reach your blog, it’s too late, the damage is done and the rage is ingrained. It’s disturbing how fun I find it to torment my father with his own game, I provoke him into rage and then call the police. Don’t worry, if your kids are infected by the sociopath’s poison, I doubt they’d turn out to be a sociopath, I’m not even though I sound like one. I don’t find it fun to torment normal people, it’s more like I don’t view sociopaths as people, they’re just walking evil to me.

    • Peace247 says:

      Dear Spx, Thank you for your honesty. I appreciate your perspective as it offers some insight into my own children. As far as you being a sociopath……do you feel empathy for others? Do you feel guilt? Those are two indicators. I think what often happens is that children of sociopaths that are not protected simply end up with some learned behaviors based on what they witness and experience. You also have some resentments and anger, understandably so.

      I wish you the very best as you navigate through and please take care.

    • rosalyn says:

      Hi, Sox
      I thought I might be a sociopath when I first started figuring something wasn’t right with my family and relationships. As I got tho counseling and started to “defrost” from all those years of abusive relationships. For so long I thought I was bad or crazy, dumb, stupid, whore, liar “who would believe you, you’re nothing but a liar and a whore.” I lived that abuse the whole time I was growing up. I believed those things about myself even those I was still a virgin. I was so confused who or what I was I let whatever man I was determine it for me.
      My point is don’t identify yourself with your family circumstances. The person you imagine yourself to be is the true person you are. I can remember the type of mother I wanted my mom to be strong, courageous, kind and compassionate, tell me I’m beautiful (even though it wasn’t true as long as she thought I was was all that mattered) I never got it from mom but I am that for my kids. I didn’t think I could be any of those descriptions for a mother, it was my fantasy that shaped me to mother my kids.
      You determine who you are.
      I had the coldest heart and thought I was evil, again, that’s what my father told me and I believed it for so long. I didn’t remember my true self until I was well into womanhood.
      Try and remember that sweet five or six year old until I that I considered myself nonhuman, just dead inside.
      Thankful I found myself for my kids and my sake, now we have a chance in this life

  16. celeste says:

    Hello, just reading people’s accounts so far, may be that both my parents are sociopaths and narcissists, my Mother certainly is a sociopath and also possibly adhd as well as the above. She subjected me, my brother and sister to terrible physical mental and emotional abuse, and encouraged paedophiles around us. I was mildly abused a few times under her nose, and my sister repeatedly by a different man aged 8 when I went to stay away from the family home. She encouraged enmity between us as kids and teens for her own enertainment, we were also starved and neglected. I am 50 and horrified that my sister allows Mother into her life,(but you will see it’s understandable that she has-I do understand too) it seems she has charmed most of my sister’s teenage kids (and the 2 teens of my sisters fiancee and him so that he gets annoyed if I hint that Mum is a cold hearted b****, I therefore have withdrawn from him emotionally) ..My sister had cancer twice and needed help, so Mother joined her household for long periods. I suspect my niece is also a sociopath, and my daughter age 28 has always said of her (from a young age, niece is now 15) “she scares me, she has no empathy, and it’s like she is pretending feelings”she has been diagnosed with adhd and oppositional disorder so that may be the cause as well .
    My daughter also recognises my Mother’s sickness, and says “she is like a spoiled attention seeking 15 year old”
    Mother has deliberately hurt my daughter by bringing up a subject I specifically asked her not to i.e ANY reference to my daughters sexual abuse. After much agonising, we decided (Me, my daughter, partner and I- partner said “you do NOT have tohave her here” as I was afraid of how she might behave and rightly so) we had to let her see my newly born granddaughter, so she came to stay with me and my partner ( she drove him mad with her endless inane chatter, he certainly was not charmed-phew!) .. Anyway, while we took our eyes off “Nana” we were cooing over the baby in the same (big) room, she quickly cornered my daughter and whipped out some photo’s of my daughters abusers kids (my daughter was repeatedly abused by him age 9, no charges have been made and he has kept himself and his partner close to my Mother) and said ” look these are L***** ‘s kids they are about the right age for abuse now”…
    My amazing daughter kept this entire story to herself until “Nana” had gone home,she told me she was afraid I would punch my Mother on the nose, and also she sobbed “why would my Nana want to hurt me??? why Mum??- I never want to see her again ” … so far she has not been invited back, and I keep and was keeping her very much at a distance, and have her blocked on facebook. I only give her the minimal contact to be polite/oil the wheels.

    I told my therapist this story and he was horrified, there are many many more true and horrible tales about her. He was the one who used the word sociopath. I feel my Mother’s hippy culture, drug taking and promiscuous messy life when I was growing up, helped me to choose my sociopathic ex, which culminated in my daughters abuse and neglect at his hands, during regular school holidays . He, and many others in his social group, and My Mother should probably be in prison. My therapist said my Mothers behaviour , done now, would put her in prison.
    I see her as my abuser, and regret asking her to see her great g’daughter. I personally would not let her near any teens I had if I had any, but my sister is partially sucked in by the charm part of Mum and by needing help, which I really get, Mum does it out of the need to look good in the eyes of others, she is incapable of love. She also loves how it keeps me away from my sister,as she has some dominion in her home as “fun Nana” with everyone… My sister in her turn constantly tries to persuade me to “forgive” Mum but has no idea what she is asking…Mum uses crocodile tears about “losing ” me, to manipulate and get sympathy. I was not able to handle being in my sisters crazy making chaotic home (my daughter thank God agrees with me and understands ) I feel so guilty still for only helping a little bit staying only when Mum was not there during my sisters cancer. My sister has just been diagnosed with adhd too by the family therapists she has, to help her with her unempathic daughter I mentioned before.
    I am sorry this has been a bit rambling, it is both a relief and a shock to know that my instincts are correct – to keep her away from me and mine as much as possible.
    My Father fits the more grandiose version of sociopath,and did not bring me up, as he left when I was 3 to pursue his artistic ambitions. He has married repeatedly, cheated, lied and exhibits unbelievable egotistical traits that make me laugh. He rarely praises, but if it reflects well on him he does and regards all of his children (7 – one has no contact with the rest of us 6, we have no idea who they are, male or female? the mother said “eff off_no contact!” can understand) — as HIS works of art, rather than people- everything is about HIM. I used to call him “our father does art in London” — this my witty teenage joke. I at least enjoy praise from him and like to provoke it for my own sense of well being. I have a lot of real love in my life, despite trouble with intimacy – working on that, I am gradually transcending the crap. There is life after sociopathy, sadly I long for my Mum to pass away, so that I can get my sister back,sent to live with my Nan when my father left, she was all I had age four, so jealous Mother took her from me, and I feel she has again, through the loophole of my sisters life being threatened there is a demon presiding in my sisters home full of young minds. I am so glad I got away from her. Thanks for reading and for being here xxxx peace love and tranquility, Celeste 🙂

    • rosalyn says:

      Thaml you for sharing. I can see your pain in your writing. Watching a vulnerable sibling is very hard. Stay strong, sister.

  17. Ms. Ryan says:

    It’s scary, but comforting to know I’m not the only one dealing with a person like this. If I only had myself to worry about I wouldn’t even be commenting but I am desperate for advice. I finally left my ex over a year ago. He disappeared completely form the kids and I for almost 9 months and now he’s back fighting for full custody. I wish I could say I trust that no judge in their right mind would give someone like him custody but his lies and manipulations of reality are extreme. He is doing his very best to make me look like a horrible parent. I know for certain I am a great mother and I do everything with their best interest at heart. But he constantly calls the police and DHS on me and even comes to my place of employment and corners people to tell them what a horrible person I am. Luckily everyone who really knows me realizes he’s full of nothing but UN-truth. But it’s still frustrating and the worst part of it all is that he is hurting the children. When they do see him he interrogates them and tries to brainwash them into thinking horrible things. He tells them if they are loyal to him they would be on his side. Overall I don’t worry about my kids not loving me…I know they are aware of how much I love and care for them. But what I do worry about is that he will do something to make me look like a horrible person and get one of the kids to go along with his story either by manipulation or threats or guilt. How can I get lawyers, judges, custody evaluators, therapists to see his true colors? As you know, a person like this can be very charming and for this reason, the person hired to supervise his visits with the children recommended unsupervised which terrifies me! Any suggestions? I’ve kept my cool around the kids and refrain from any negative talk about their father, but it’s getting harder and harder. When my son comes home saying I stole money from his dad it hurts, especially when I’ve been raising them on my own with NO help from him whatsoever. IDEAS?

    • Peace247 says:

      Dear Ms. Ryan,

      I really do empathize with you. I completely understand your fears and, unfortunately, the very thing you fear has happened to many people who have been involved with a sociopath. The very best advice I can give is to document. I must sound like a broken record to some of you but it’s so important to have a record of issues, specific events/examples, lies vs. truths, etc. Sometimes it can take a very long time before the courts start to acknowledge, or recognize the pattern of behaviors. The best you can do is remain consistent. Stay detached and unemotional, state the facts. The court system is very broken and it can feel overwhelming, but find support and stick with it. Your children will “see” the truth. If you can avoid interaction with your ex, that would be best for your own health.

      Stay strong! Jen

  18. Richard says:

    This is almost overwhelming to me! I always knew my mother was a mean, manipulative and vicious b*tch, extremely selfish, yet charismatic to the outside world. Today I learned (from my therapist!) that my mother is both a narcissist and a classic sociopath… and now I found that I am not alone! WOW!! What a bittersweet discovery! The wonderful thing for me, besides realizing that I’m not alone, is that I think I learned how to deal with her on a day-to-day basis. I discovered that the way to deal with these types of MONSTERS is to remain disinterested, almost robotic in our responses. Like vampires they feed off of our emotions and weaknesses; take that away and they are powerless! I learned this by accident a few days ago. At her Dr’s office she tried to bait me into a fight “I’m VERY UPSET WITH YOU” she hissed. I said calmly “what else is new,” to which she hissed “DON’T GIVE ME AN ATTITUDE.” I slowly turned to her and said “I’m not arguing with you now, this discussion is over” and I left the waiting room. What threw her off-balance was the fact that I did not react with emotion, I wouldn’t let her push my buttons (IT WAS AWESOME!!!). As we got into the elevator she started with her fake tears. My sister was concerned and asked her what was wrong. She dramatically said “I can’t even discuss it, I’m so furious right now.” I just ignored her as if she was a fly on the wall. After 10 minutes she cheerfully asked “So! Are you still coming by for breakfast Saturday?” I said yes and we parted ways. For me the key is to remain firm and disinterested “I won’t discuss it. I’m not discussing this with you. It’s not up for discussion,” etc… like a broken record. It won’t undo the decades of emotional and verbal abuse I endured but it gives me a new sense of empowerment and freedom! What a release!!!

    And by the way… we’re not young adults, my mother is 83, I’m 60 and my sister is 55. We’ve been dealing with this mercurial monster all these years!

    • Peace247 says:

      Richard, Good for you! I’m glad you are experiencing some sense of freedom and empowerment. We are never too old to learn and you have been given valuable information. You are spot on in how to deal with a sociopath, thank you!

  19. Juh says:

    I am the daughter of a sociopath mother.
    Thank you so much for your article, I am discovering many things about myself and it helps to read that there are good people being strong and helping their kids.
    I understand how hard it is, no one should have to deal with a sociopath.
    My mother is always trying to “destroy” me, and through the years I’ve learned that, if you are the target, the best thing to do is to not feed them any information. Ignore them.That does not stop her completely, but it slows her down.
    Thanks for writing and good luck for everyone out there that has to deal with a sociopath

    • Peace247 says:

      Hello Juh, Thank you for your comments. You are wise in your words! Ignoring is right on target. When it’s at all possible, cut all communication. I hope you have lots of supportive people in your life and come back here any time. Jen

      • Lisa says:

        I agree with you, Juh and Jen. Less is more. I used to respond to questions. I used to email for co-parenting decisions. My questions, my requests – ignored or his response was to attack or answer my question with an unrelated question – veering the discussion on a different path that inevitably led to “email wars”.
        He then took those emails to the state and filed federal harassment charges, pushing for a year in jail, $250k fine and filed several civil suits stating I was unstable and for modification of custody. He motive was exposed, the state stated I didn’t have intent to harass and he incited the arguments, dismissed the charges (and expunged them from the records) and the civil cases also were dropped and he lost some custody. Unfortunately, this infuriated him further so he tried new tactics.
        Since then, I respond to nothing if at all possible. He will send emails and texts already knowing the answer (when is our son’s game this weekend when there’s an online calendar and it’s listed that he has access and awareness too) to lure me in. Simple question? No, it’s to bait an argument or start in on something.
        I no longer ask for opinions, he has “control” then to not answer or to attack. I simply state solid facts (Our son is not feeling well and has an appointment at this time and place.)
        No other details. Why? Because I was accused of harassment or psychologically accusing him of not being a good father for not knowing his son or what’s wrong with his son and all kinds of twisted things. Follow-up to the diagnosis/appointment? No longer given for the same reason.
        So, less is more. I also found that even while arguing with me, labeling me, inciting arguments, and his own bullying and harassment when I gave him the information – he was contacting the doctors directly, speaking to them and getting the reports. He already KNEW the information but was baiting me and fighting with me – because he could.

        I no longer answer. Now I’m accused of parental alienation and refusing to coparent and make joint custody decisions because I don’t answer, give the information and refusing to “work” with him as our son’s father. I’m labeled as “hostile” and “angry” and “preventing access”.

        Avoiding a sociopath sometimes incite them further because they are losing control, which is the case of my ex-husband. Our son is older now, but still too young to leave completely, and sees what is going on, knows I am his rock, knows he is not alone and is learning the tools to protect himself.

        Just because he labels me as something – doesn’t make it true. Just because he does things or says things to our son doesn’t make it our son’s fault or the truth.

        I just means my ex is sick.

        I no longer engage with my ex-husband. When it’s important, I tell him the information, but only the minimal (a sentence for him – you get paragraphs!) so there’s little to twist. He’ll twist it anyway, but less is more.

        Those times I want to lash back, get back, vengeance, etc? I don’t. Why? Because my silence and lack of response, I’ve found, actually doesn’t more than getting sucked into an argument with him.

        I am extremely worried about his deep anger and misogynist character, he will hurt me and my son one day, I know this. But until then, we live a life of more peace, as much as you can have with a sociopath in your life that will not free the reins, and expose him for who he is – so when he hurts us one day – he won’t get away with it this time.
        Steer clear of your mother is really the best way to handle it. But if not, just keep doing what you’re doing. But be aware, the charm she throws at you when you don’t respond – is a bait to suck you in, and you see it but may be responding to that also.

        • freedomfight says:

          I recommend reading the book Splitting: protecting yourself while divorcing someone with borderline or narcissistic personality disorder by Bill Eddy and Randi Kreger. It was recommended to me by my children’s psychologist when I filed for Divorce.

          Very informative and regardless of where in the process you are with your ex or soon to be ex this book is a great resource.

          There is a section in the book on how to communicate: remember the word BIFF, Brief, Informative, Firm and Friendly.

  20. Amy says:

    I wanted to first welcome the new people to this group. I hope you find the support you need to deal with the “monsters” in your life. I use the term monster because in my opinion sociopaths are not human. I have only been a member for a few months, but in those few short months I have been able to be real with myself, and realize that sociopaths, no matter who they are, only want to destroy. Destroying a healthy person is what feeds is what energizes them. When I came her at first I was going to stick it out for the sake of my kids..but they know about their dad being weird and mean..and I don’t sugarcoat anything with them. They have more or less said to that is what I am preparing to do in a few weeks. I am buckling down for the nasty fight ahead, but I know that keeping a sociopath in ones life will only kill that person..physically, mentally and socially. I also have come to terms during this preparation that my father is not only a narcissist but a sociopath, so are both of my grandmothers, as well as two of my aunts. I have cut them out of my life except my dad and husband..but that is coming. Nothing ceases to amaze me anymore..when I think something can’t get worse it does. I discovered my father is now in cahoots with my soon to be ex. Any advice from those that have divorced their spouse that is a sociopath is appreciated. I feel both thrilled and scared to death!

    • Peace247 says:

      Hi Amy, You are right to prepare yourself emotionally and mentally. It will be very tough! The biggest thing I can tell you to do is to document, document, document. Even those small things that seem insignificant may matter a whole lot at some point. Documenting serves as a reminder to you when you question the reality as we all know that sociopaths are cunning, masterful liars, and talk in circles so as to lose the other person. Be as specific as you can with any legal documents so there are no loopholes for the sociopath to utilize. Hire a competent attorney, ASK if they are familiar with sociopaths!

      Come back to let us know how you are doing and to ask for support when needed. Best of luck to you!

  21. Libertybluesky says:

    Where do I begin…I had the classic whirlwind romance moved from the city to the countryside rented a barn conversation by the coast. I was pregnant within 3 weeks which was a shock considering I was 42. He proposed a few times always in front of an audience and I refused as it’s not my thing. I can remember thinking in the first three years that it was too good to be true and of course I was paying for everything they are such parasites.
    We bought a run down house for him to do up in his home town and that’s when the problems started. I was very unhappy but I had my baby to look after. I sold my city house and bought another by the sea and moved in with my son. The father would visit at weekends and remain in our town house during the week and I have to say I was happy. Unbeknown to me he started an affair with a female lodger which lasted 4 years only ending when she told me. He made her pregnant twice, she lost the first one and he made her terminate the second at 19 weeks!!! Of course everyone knew of his goings on but I knew things would never be the same as I couldn’t trust him. I didn’t kick him out but insisted on relationship counselling which backfired what a waste of time. I did kick him out when he messed up Christmas and due to his drunken abusive behaviour in front of our 9 year old son and friends albeit his. To my regret I took him back they are so convincing and things were ok for a while. I realised that things could never be the same but for the sake of our son I thought it best that his father was constant in his life. If only I knew what I know now I would not have let him back in. I became very anxious and now I know depressed and thank goodness I went to my GP who prescribed anti depressants which have made such a difference. I can now think clearly. This blogand others have made me realise I’m not alone. I do have friends who believe me but I’m being very selective as to who I tell as his manipulation know no bounds. My son loves his dad but often says he never keeps his promises. I do feel I have more control in my life and I watch the father of my child with morbid fascination. I will start to document things and have informed my solicitor who also knows the situation. Although I do not love him, I don’t hate him there’s no point. My soulmate died 21 years ago and not a day goes by without me thinking of him. I must concentrate on my lovely son who is a delight. I’m sure he will need support which I shall seek now that I’m able.

  22. Eleonor says:

    I see there are a lot of comments of people telling their stories etc. I just want to say I’m one of the “children of sociopaths” I am the daughter of what I think is a socio. My dad is very wealthy, and you can’t imagine how much money he put to the 5 years court process my mom and dad went thru. It could be about anything – my dad only wanted to find wrongs and reasons to sue my mom so that she would become weaker. He always used to tell me when I was little (before my parents divorce) thy he loved me and that one of the reasons why is because his parents never told him that. (I think his dad at least abused him too, and im so frightened to end up the same) But I wonder if he really does, or if he even cares about me since everything he does for my family (my “new” family; me, my mom and 20 yo brother) is sabotaging. I’ve been ignoring him for 3.5 years and he has tried to reach out to me since now. I wrote him a letter and tried to explain some stuff. Now he hasnt replied. Oh and btw everyone who is talking about how the father always was in the way of desicions for the child; my mom has sole custody. This was supposed to be a short comment but I guess it felt good to write some stuff off.. If anyone wants to talk to me, please tell me; I would appreciate to talk to someone who understands.

  23. Andrea says:

    I am so happy to have come across this page, no point in going into all the details of my 20 years with a Spath and 3 children as its the same story as all of you.I always new there was something’not normal’ about him and as we met at 21 I thought he would change as he grew up…how wrong I was. I had 3 children, 2 boys and a girl and lived out of town -isolated,he orchestrated it so my family couldn’t contact me anymore, so we lived in what I can only describe as ‘A Cult’ he controlled our minds and thoughts, its hard to explain but he tells you what you are thinking or feeling and repeats it until you agree so you don’t know your own mind. Well he had nothing to do with the children -he showed them off in public but behind closed doors we all had to live and eat in another room as we all annoyed him too much, I kept hoping as the children got older he would take an interest in them. Biggest reality check was when my 17 year old son was in an accident and was flown by helicopter to hospital with possible brain injuries he couldn’t be bothered to get off the couch -he said to me ‘you are obviously enjoying this -go by yourself’ I waited nearly 18 years for him to love his first born son and when he was possibly going to die he watched the rugby on the tv. So I woke up and started to plot (my son was fine by the way)You all know how cunning and clever they are,well he picked up on something and confronted me -he said are you planning on leaving me’ I replied Yes (there was no point in trying to lie to him) he said ‘get out now’ I replied no you go I have a right to stay in the house with the children’, he replied Get out now before I get angry’ I picked up my handbag, the kids got their school bags and we got in my company car and left. That was nearly 3 years ago,he got everything, the house and all the contents I don’t even have a baby photo of the kids, he was court ordered to give them to me but to this day he has just ignored it.The next 2 years were horrible, my advice of escaping a Spath is first go and get some psychological counselling for you, stay strong for the kids and document EVERYTHING. They are so clever and use the law so cleverly and as some of you have said, its just a game to win. My kids are 20 (he got a friend to call his Father and tell him he is dead to him -the Father didn’t even realise it wasn’t his sons voice….that’s how little he cares) My middle boy is now 16, he is confused because he knows what his Father is but hes not ready to hate him, he sees him maybe once every 2 months and its usually out for dinner because Father has someone to show him off to. My daughter (who is the one at 11 said to me ‘Mummy when are you going to get us out of here?) Has refused to see him or speak to him for the last14 months,she hates him and all of a sudden Spath now wants to see her (hasn’t bothered for the last 14 months) and is carrying on about court etc, he just sent me a long email of what he is going to do etc and my daughter is absolutely refusing to have anything to do with him -which is the best thing for her but of course courts don’t see it that way. does anyone know if she is safe from being forced to spend time with him? We have been to mediation twice but they won’t mediate with Spath because the case has been deemed ‘domestic violence. Any advice? Oh, one more thing….to give all of you hope out there, I have now met the man of my dreams, we have created two really successful businesses and I am blissfully happy, I still pinch myself as I am so lucky to have found a real normal loving man and I can’t tell you how amazing that is after 20 years of mind games and cruelness. So please don’t give up and don’t let them win.

  24. Sherri says:

    What a freeing experience in reading these posts! I used to think I was crazy until I found out what a sociopath was and could attach a definition to my husband. Early on in our marriage I tried to leave and he threw me up against the garage door and told me “you made me love you – you better not leave me”. I didn’t and so wish I did. Now 15 years later and 2 precious children I so regret that decision. He had a 2 year affair with one of my best friends and when I found out it started a whole string of violent acts. There had been abuse before such as throwing me up against the wall and down on the ground while I was pregnant with both children but it got worse. He would rage at me and tell me the affair was my fault. He threw me down in the back yard over and over again one night. One time he sat on me and was pounding my head against the ground till I thought I was going to die. He has played Russian roulette with me. He has kicked me in the ribs and either dislocated them or broke them. He owns his own business and lies to his customers, steals equipment and commits fraud – I don’t understand why he never gets caught. I’ve tried to divorce him but he manipulated my son from a previous marriage with a job, house and car to the extent he wouldn’t talk to me. He was manipulating our younger children who at the time were 4 and 6 saying I took his money and the pots and pans and furniture. It’s always chaos with him. It’s like he thrives on it. He would slap or grab my 18 year old daughters butt and she asked him many times not to. She told my sons girlfriend that she felt like she was being molested and in turn the girlfriend told my husband. He chased my daughter out of the house screaming at her “so you’re calling me a molester?” I’ve stayed thinking I was protecting my children from manipulation and the saying “keep your friends close and your enemies closer”. I think I’ve been crazy in staying but he seems to get everyone to think he’s such a good guy including the judge at the time I filed. I’m the one who had to move out. It was impossible for me to make enough money. I was spending $800 a month in just counseling for the kids, myself and us together which was mandated by the judge. Now 6 years later I have to do this all over again. Why do these kinds of people get away with everything ?? What can I do to expose this man for what he really is?

    • Rosalyn says:

      My suggestion, don’t try to expose him, nobody will understand and they think we’re crazy. I decided to become the best woman I can be for me. Ironically everything he has done to you my best friends ex did to her. My ex did crazy mental, emotional, lying and eventually left me for his mother. Probably the best thing to happen.
      Work on you, all the way down to your core. You want to thrive not just survive.
      After getting my kids reasonably stable I decided to go to retreat for a month. I’ve had to save my money, I gave up my apartment so that I could pay for it. It took a lot of therapy and finding very few supportive friends to make thus happen.
      my youngest says, I’m ready for a normal divorce, and he’s correct. My kids have been hanging in there but it takes a toll on them. Hardest thing was putting my mother sword down and taking care of myself. I was never taught to care for myself.
      Girl, fight for your right to be here. And Yesssssss, your ex is a molester for smacking your daughters butt. Not okay.

  25. Cori says:

    I lived a nightmare for 8 years watching my daughter’s father first physically abuse her, gain visitation rights back through the family court through manipulation – he manipulated everyone around including law enforcement, excusing the abuse by stating my daughter (at 4 years old) was so out of control that he was forced to take action. That I allowed her to do whatever she desired in my home and had no structure.. Etc, etc. He was highly intelligent, as most sociopaths are, collage educated with a masters degree and a retired police officer as a father. He used his wealth of knowledge, his creative manipulation and since he was well off financially, attorneys to completely avoid jail time though he left out daughter traumatized and so beaten she couldn’t sit down without crying in pain. He used the court system as a legal way to harass me and my family. Motion after motion with the court. Parking outside of my home taking pictures of my family, our house and even hiding behind a tree at our daughter school with a camera. The emotional abuse was horrendous. Forcing our daughter to eat bowls of cereal that were a week old, punishments in public of being forced to do 200 plus jumping jacks (in the middle of a Costco, restaurants, parks) watching her shower (at the age of 9 when she hit puberty) all with the excuse that he wanted to make sure she washed her hair 3 times with shampoo and didn’t sneak conditioner from home. Even going as far as making her run laps in his back yard at 113 degree temp (Arizona summer heat) while refusing her something to drink and dumping buckets of water over her head periodically. He would request parenting time from the courts on holidays like Christmas and provide his two sons from his new marriage with Christmas gifts to open Christmas morning but would tell our daughter that he paid child support and that is the reason there were no Christmas gifts for her. Taking her for her Birthday and doing the same thing, Easter – even denying the tooth fairy when she lost a tooth or allowing her to take it home with her to place under her pillow. Feeding his other children junk foods like pizza, hamburgers and different deserts and telling our daughter she was to fat to eat the same foods. Forcing her to to odd chores like sort a bucket of screws, nuts and bolts for hours at a time. Forcing her to do their family laundry (over a weekend visit) clean their vehicles, their garage. Not allowing her to play with any toys or bring any personal possessions to his home. He kept her overnight bag in his car truck so she couldn’t sneak a toy or hair conditioner into his home somehow. It was a nightmare – a little girl who would tell everyone, daycare, CPS, Social services about all of the things mentioned above and there was nothing they could or would do. (Even with a prior CPS substantiation of abuse) my daughter was forced to wet her pants at night because she was told she could NEVER get out of the bed made on the toy room floor without permission from him or his wife. She would pee because she was to scared to wake them up yelling to ask for permission to use the restroom. After 3 or 4 attempts to gain custody or remove me from her life he finally decided that he wanted to “sever his parental rights” to our daughter. Money was very important to him and he owed arrears in child support and was paying what he deemed, more than I deserved in support. He knew if he offered to sign off his rights I would waive it all. He made sure of that, between the abuse, the fear, no longer wishing to have a stalker following us around town or watching our daughter he had me right where he wanted me. He even later changed his agreement for me to allow him to claim her for two years on his taxes or he would come and pick her up that weekend if I failed to sign, return every support payment collected into his account immediately or he would threaten to come take his weekend visitations and keep her for makeup time. You would be amazed at what the court system was aware of and stood by and watched him do. My daughter is now an emotionally distraught 12 year old and every day getting along with others, dealing with depression and anxiety is a feat for her.
    It destroyed my relationships, marriage and left my two other children with less attention because protecting her became high priority. The damage a sociopath can cause is beyond comprehension to those around. We moved states after the juvenile court allowed the severance. We sold everything we owned – for good reason. Even after the severance old neighbors have called me because he was parked outside of our previous home.

    I pray for the children involved with these parents as they have no interest in the child as anything more than a pawn in a sick vendetta. It’s so easy for a woman to become involved and entrapped by a man like my ex. Stability and charm from
    The outward appearance, in fact a very successful engineer, with a masters degree, charming – until you scratch the surface. The emotional manipulation leaves a woman wondering if she is insain, not the other way around. The battle, the trama left me completely drained both financially and emotionally. Finding myself again after that whole ordeal has been a struggle. Leaving behind the pain and paranoia it caused is something I may never accomplish as it still effects my daughter. Thank God she is such a strong girl and seems to be healing a little more every day.

    • Lisa says:

      I could’ve written your story. How eerie. And my ex-husband is an engineer too.
      I’m sorry about your children and what you went through. I completely get it – I went through many similar experiences.
      The water over the head with the running? Not the same, but similar. My son had a baseball game, then soccer tournament on the same day and it was one of the first hot days we’d had for spring so kids weren’t adjusted to the heat/sun.
      Mid-game, my son asks for a drink – can’t find his water bottle. Dad responds, “Oh, it’s in the car. I’ll get it.” Then proceeds to talk with parents, walk very slowly to the car, stop to check emails/texts/something on his phone. Game starts again (I usually bring drinks as a backup because my ex has played games with hydration during past events but had forgotten it that day) and my son is out there playing, dehydrating, lagging.
      Comes back to the bench, dad walking down the hill with the drink, stops about 20 feet from our son – opens the bottle and drinks almost 1/2 of it before handing it to our son. My son was in tears! I gave my son “the look” that he’s now learned means I’ve got his back, left the field quietly and ran to the store to get extra bottles of water. I returned in time for him to get back to the bench for a drink (his bottle from his father was now empty) and gave him a bottle but showed him the rest (if I left them all, his father would’ve taken them).
      These types of parents are very sick and enjoy hurting others. They thrive in the control and getting people to react. Once recognized, use that information to protect yourself from the ability of these crazed maniacs.
      Sadly, no one else say what my ex did. No one pays attention to him – he’s super dad! One parent actually thought that my ex was giving HIS drink to our son as a loving father because all they saw was him drinking the bottle, my son asking for the drink and then giving him “his” bottle to our son.
      That’s how they get away with it. Perception. Teach your children, and yourself, that perception ISNT reality and that if you think something is wrong – it really is and take measures to protect yourself and your children going forward.
      I learn from each experience how to help myself and my son. It’s too bad that we all have to go through this, but the worst tragedy would be to not learn from it, grow from it, validate yourself from it and take measures to protect from it in the future. The sociopath will try new things when old ones are exposed or the game gets old, but with each experience and with each learning curve comes knowledge, strength and the ability to endure, move past, survive and overcome.
      Hang in there

  26. Christine Barker says:

    Of all the material I have read this has the best precise examples of how “crazy making” takes place with the kids. The coat and the cold. That example in my opinion is quotable in custody issues.
    My teenage son has started this “crazy making”. I started recording our conversations and play them back to him. When I reflect back, this was the stuff that my son use to try to bring to my attention when the “crazy maker” came into our lives. My son was 6 at the time.
    I had two beautiful girls with him now 8 & 9, that just returned from an over night with “Good times Dad” that refuses to pay child support. As I sit here typing this I am listening to them bickering over all the things there dad just gave them that he found at his “favorite shopping place, the dump” (his exact words). That’s all fine and dandy, one mans trash is another mans treasure. It’s an ecological thing to do but at least make an above board business out of it and pay child supports so your girls can eat. He does not work, found another women to take care of him. Thank goodness her kids are grown and moved out.

  27. Delyn Brown says:

    My son is obsessed with his 3 year old daughters mom, and I am starting to be fearful for my granddaughter. She fits the sociopath traits right down the line and coupled with meds abuse. this last week my GD told me mommy hit daddy right in front of my son and I just said hitting is wrong for everyone, and told my son to address it right now, but not deny it happened. I get a text saying that my GD has told her mom I am asking too many questions and that my GD doesn’t like it. It is a lie and just the start of her mom getting her to lie and to hide what goes on. My gd is very verbal and smart, and I fear that as she gets even more independent, her mom will get violent with her and she will hide it. It’s been tradition for me to say to all my kids and GKs that my job is to keep them safe. If you ask them they will tell you that’s my job, but without putting her mom down or questioning a little, how will I know how to keep her safe. I have talked til I am sick of myself to my son about the dangers and effects of her behavior, to no avail. What do I do for my GD?

    • Peace247 says:

      Dear Delyn,
      I know your heart must be breaking for your little granddaughter and how frustrating it must be to see your son in this position. Your son is a grownup though and your granddaughter is not. If you ever suspect or have first hand knowledge of any type of abuse, I would really encourage you to report it. Having something begin to be “on record” is important. And don’t ever stop giving your granddaughter the message LOUD and CLEAR that you are there for her no matter what……give examples of honesty and why it’s important; keep extending the message that hitting is never okay, etc.

      I hope your son is able to do what is right for his daughter. Please let me know how it goes.


  28. Jessica says:

    You must be one of the lucky parents. My parents have been together for almost 30 years, and mum’s still in complete denial about my dad’s behaviour. I only started to recognise his crazy-making behaviour when I was about 18. Still trying to work through it all, which is hard when nobody else in the family seems to realise… Good job with your own kids, though. I can understand how hard it must’ve been.

  29. Anon says:

    Wow – just found this site and the stories here mirror my own experiences. I fought a hard court battle only to have the judge give him 50/50 of young daughters. And after all the evidence I had of physical and mental abuse…it didn’t matter in the end. I understand being ready to give up.

    • Rosalyn says:

      Stay strong, siste,r it gets better.
      It’s coming on one year for me and life has changed so much since I found this sight. This place to to vent has been a lifesaver. Here I found true understanding of my my challenges with my ex.
      Best suggestion, the judge made his decision live your life to the fullest and be the best person you can for your girls
      I can say from experience life was hell. I promise you with hard work life will get better.
      The hardest part is over and you made it out. Keep it moving, sista.

    • Peace247 says:

      Dear Anon,
      I won’t pretend to understand how devastated you must be regarding the court’s decision. I know how frustrating and emotional my own case has been and how maddening it is when a sociopath’s behavior becomes so obvious to us……….certainly others MUST see how obvious it is as well?? Not so much. As I’ve stated before, the court system is broken and I wholeheartedly now understand why women stay. It is so difficult to explain some of the behavior and subtleties of the damage that is done to the children in these situations. Please don’t give up!! Keep fighting for your daughters. That can be as simple as documenting each thing, no matter insignificant it may seem now. It has taken me over two years of VERY HARD court battling (not to mention the time before I chose to begin the legal process) for a difference to be made. I’m still fighting and won’t ever quit because I don’t want my daughters to be exposed to the craziness; I want them to know and understand that this is NOT what normal is. Come back to vent whenever you need to ….

  30. kirk says:

    This is all sounding very familiar. I am just now realizing my ex-wife is a sociopath. We’ve been battling in court for a year now because she refused to renew my son’s passport. So I began a court action to get the authority to renew it myself. Again and again she has delayed and adjourned the hearing. We had a hearing on Tuesday and the judge said that we had to cooperate until Friday and meet with him again. (that’s tomorrow). I’ve been emailing her suggestions and trying to cooperate and she keeps insisting that we meet in person face-to-face. NO WAY! If we met in person, there would be no way to document what was said and she would manipulate anything said to suit her needs. It is so obvious that my son is meaningless to her except as a pawn to manipulate me. How do I convince the judge that she is a sociopath without having any real proof?

    • Peace247 says:

      Dear Kirk,
      I understand your frustration. There is really no way to convince someone, especially a judge. The best thing you can do is to document over a long period of time. I support your decision to avoid face-to-face meetings, it’s a bad idea. You should always try to have a third party present, and make any necessary contact very brief and business like.

      Best of luck to you and your son.

  31. daughterofasociopath says:

    I am a 25 year old daughter of a sociopathic alcoholic. My mother also has a history of substance abuse and is a narcissist. Dad was a criminal defense attorney (until he was disbarred) and they divorced when I was 7. I am the youngest of 3. My Dad remarried, and was able to manipulate the legal system to his advantage to win full custody of us all. We were nothing more than pawns and a way of exacting revenge on my Mother.

    My older sister is severely agoraphobic and lives at home with my Mom. She does not work and has no social life to speak of. My brother has been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder, but I suspect he too has sociopathic tendencies.

    My Dad opened many accounts in our names, stole from us, pawned our things, and subjected us to severe emotional and psychological abuse. He turned everyone against each other in his bizarre divide and conquer games.

    I am the only child that still speaks to him on occasion, because I’ve realized that even though he will never love me, I still love him. I feel responsible, though I shouldn’t.

    I fell in love with a psychopath when I was 18, and after realizing I was being lied to and manipulated, managed to escape. I am now married to a wonderful, normal man and we have a happy life.

    my brother and sister aren’t so lucky. It is hard to tell how much is nature or nurture,but I feel very blessed to have been spared and seem to be the only person in my family capable of empathy. This has been a tremendous curse, and a terrible burden. I am in therapy now, and have many, many issues to work through. I suffer from severe anxiety and fits of depression.

    I had a horrifying childhood. We lived like gypsies, constantly moving because of evictions and there was absolutely no stability or security.

    At times, my Dad was wonderful. He could be a lot of fun,and sometimes seemed to care (he coached my brothers little league and basketball teams) and sometimes came to my ballet recitals and plays. But he would just as soon exploit, manipulate, and torture us. I don’t think he is evil, I just think he is totally devoid of a moral conscience. He has been arrested several times, but always defends himself and gets acquitted. He is above the law (so he thinks) and has a brilliant legal mind, but just cannot stay out of trouble. He calls me every couple of months looking for money or to rant about his new wife or to complain about how cruel the world is and poor him he is such a victim. Nothing is ever his fault and he shows no remorse for anything he has done. And when he does, it is all an act.

    If a sociopath’s mouth is moving, he is lying. If I ever had a child with one, I would leave town and change our names. Having a sociopath for a parent is the worst thing ever to happen to a child… An absent father would be preferable. Keep your kids as far away from him as possible. I am still learning how to trust reality and others, and have so much unlearning and work to still do.

    If you are with a sociopath, do yourself a favor and get away as fast as possible. They CANNOT change… They will promise you over and over again they will change, but they are lying. They will exploit your vulnerabilities and use your own emotions against you. They cannot love anyone but themselves, not even their own children. We are nothing more than possessions and tools they can use. There may be nice moments that feel genuine, but it is all illusion. They are experts at mirroring to lure in their victims… They mimic your behaviors to gain your trust and love. Do not trust them, and don’t think that your love and understanding can save them or fix them. Aa far as they’re concerned, they are totally normal and people who actually have empathy are the disadvantaged ones. They love to deceive and manipulate because it gives them a thrill and strokes their inflated egos. They think they are more clever and better than everyone else. I’d you love them, they will use you and abuse you. Run.

    • Peace247 says:

      Dear Daughterofasociopath ~
      Thank you SO much for your comments! This is what we all need to hear, particularly those of us with children. Your perspective is much needed and I appreciate it. I often wonder what the long term affects will be for my children when the legal system prevents me from protecting them. How did you come to realize what your father was/is? How old were you when you first realized that your home life and parents weren’t “normal”? Thank you again!

      • daughtersofasociopath says:

        Hi Peace247, I am happy that my post was insightful. It took me a long time to realize how warped my Dad was, he was an expert an parental alienation and was very successful at convincing my brother, sister, and me that our Mom was crazy and hated us. Their custody battle went on for 5 years, until I was 12. It was around that time of that I knew there was something very wrong with him. I started to hate him around 10, but thought I was crazy.

        We were coached and prepared, in much the same way a client is coached by a lawyer, to say and act a certain way when with my Mom and in therapy. We all had a battery of psychological evaluations to help determine who should have custody. Dad told us that Mom would hurt us, and was crazy, and unless we did exactly as we were told, she would get custody. Therefore we acted like abused terrified kids in her presence, and as a happy,loving family with him.

        My step mom was not a nice woman. She was abusive, and certainly didn’t want us around. She and my Dad made a sport out of humiliating and punishing us. My brother and sister were extremely passive and submissive but I started to act out. Fortunately, I had very good friends with great families where I could find refuge and get a sense of what was normal.

        At 12, shortly after the custody battle was final, I threatened to kill myself in hopes of getting out of that house. Since my Dad had won, there was no reason to keep us around anymore and he threatened all of us with military school and institutionalization, regularly. When I had my outburst, my Dad and step mom were all too eager to drive me to the hospital. I told the doctors everything. I told them I wouldn’t leave with my dad or step mom and only would talk to my mom. The doctor, my mom, and dad all agreed that I would be better with her, and fortunately, I got to go live with her. That jerk made a big show about how.much he loved me and only wanted me to be well and clearly I was nuts. The doctors concluded I was perfectly normal, by the way.

        At the time, I was very angry with my Mom and blamed her for not saving us from him. I know she fought, and she fought hard, but I felt abandoned. I felt unloved, unwanted, and betrayed by both my parents. Part of my resentment towards her came from the years of brainwashing my Dad did. Her alcoholism during the early years of the divorce didn’t help.

        2 years later, my older sister moved in with us after becoming pregnant and having an abortion, and basically being disowned by my Dad.

        My brother didn’t talk to my Mom until he was 19, after he overdosed and was hospitalized for addiction.

        I was really the lucky one. It was pure hell at the time, but at least I lead somewhat of a normal life now. I think both my siblings still hate dad and resent Mom. It is really not her fault we had terrible childhoods, but I think the tendency is to place responsibility with the “normal” parent.

        That’s why I said if I ever found myself in that situation, I would do whatever it took to protect the kid. Having a sociopathic parent is extremely damaging. I wish I had a word for what my Dad was when I was young and vulnerable, and some sort of understanding. It is the worst feeling to realize that your parent doesn’t love you, never has, and never will. It is even worse to realize that all of the emotional manipulation and psychological torture was not only very intentional, but a form of entertainment and pleasure for him.

        • Peace247 says:

          Thanks for your raw honesty. The fact that you know what you experienced was not okay and not normal is already part of your healing. Please stay in touch!

    • Rosalyn says:

      WOW! Thank you so much for sharing.

  32. Kate says:

    I’ve read all of these comments, and I’m another one who feels like you’re telling MY life story. When I left MY home and ex-husband, it was March 1, 2008. It’s been 5 long years, and the divorce is final 5 years this coming July 2. I pushed it RIGHT through. At the time of my departure, my children were 3 1/2, 2 1/2 and 8 months. Now that they’re 5 years older, we’re having truth and trust issues BECAUSE of their father, and I can’t protect them much longer on my own from him. So we’re starting the counselor route, the lawyer route, I have documented things for years, etc… I’ve been training myself for years with no-contact, and to this day it’s still hard, but keep at it.

    Ultimately, I’m trying to do the right thing by protecting them, not giving too much information because I don’t want to be seen as the bad parent, and not saying anything negative about their father. It’s EXTREMELY hard. And I KNOW in about 5 or 6 years from now they’ll understand it all. I just have to keep doing what I’m doing, and hope that it will be enough. I’d LOVE to connect with anyone here, so if you would like to get a hold of me and we can support each other, e-mail me at

    Stay strong!

    • Peace247 says:

      Thank you Kate for your support of others and for sharing what you are going through. Good for you for sticking with no contact, I know how difficult it is. Sometimes I ask my kids questions about things their dad says or does so they can start to gauge for themselves the truth of his character and so they don’t question themselves internally. Finding the balance between protecting our kids and being honest about negative or illegal behaviors is tricky. I’ve blown it at times for sure. Thanks for sharing your email and feel free to email me as well anytime. Jen

  33. Rosalyn says:

    Thank you so very much for sharing the position from the adult child.
    I posted on this site a long time ago dealing with the father of my children but not until recently did I come to understand my own own child and the personal pain I lived with my family of orgin. I blamed and hated my father for years years but I realized it was my mother who was pulling the strings and my father carried out the punishment. My mother was so sweet and well loved and respected it had to be my father.
    the information you shared was so clear and I received it in my life at the right time.
    Sociopaths are like a horrible disease and there only goal is self gratification.
    Thinking back on what my mother stole from my father and me hurts so deep. My father’s ability to be a good father was shafted.
    Again, thank you for helping myself and thank you for my kids.
    Ironically my kids know they’ve had it tough but they tell me I had it tougher, really, the only difference is they have someone to talk to and I didn’t.
    Thank you, sweet girl. I’m happy you have a wonderful man to share your life with.
    Surviving a sociopath parent is akin to walking through hell and coming out the other side.

  34. Stacy says:

    I am dealing with this right now. my son is 6 and is suffering with the consequence of his dads actions. I have an incredible family that has given all they have to pay lawyers doctors court fees ect we are just finishing an evaluation from a doctor to say what’s going on. he has cost us $3,000 . Iwithheld Kaleb from his dad after the pediatrician called social services for his dad hitting him again and Kaleb had picked his toe nails off. He went to the courts while I was at my grandma’s funeral got an order forcing return but lied to the judge on 5 accounts to get it. I refused and was arrested and put in jail for the weekend for the first time in my life. I was terrified but would do it again. Kaleb was taken screaming for help tears kicking begging even the officers cried because it was out of their hands. his dad has sent our son to tell me he is going to shoot me in the head bang your dead. social services despite being told by Kaleb this and that his dad hurts him they have seen hand prints on his strap Marks down his body telling Kaleb to hit me not listen to me. he ended up having a breakdown biting kicking screaming to the point of hospitalization after listening to his dad lie to a neurological psychologist about hitting yelling and everything else. Kaleb is sweet and loving and finds comfort in the love and support of me and my family but my heart breaks watching his lip quiver each time he tells me the truth which I spend so much time instilling the benefits of telling the truth. his dad is actually teaching him to lie so he can say Kaleb statements are unreliable that I am making him say these things. the last 9 years of my life have been terrifying. I have found my strength. his dad told me 4 years ago when we split to give up I will never beat him. I told him then and stand by it that I will never give up on protecting my son . he even put him in a daycare when we broke up and he and his parents blocked the doors and wouldn’t let. me have my child that Kaleb didn’t know who I am never met me that I am crazy . we already had 50/50 I found out where he was a week later took my papers and got my son. I would never wish this life on anyone but its comforting to know we are not alone. thank you for bringing attention to this subject . I am sure that you know that in dealing with a man like this there is so much more u could include but you get the picture. if you have any advice I would be grateful. This process to prove the emotional abuse has taken all my families money and devastated is emotionally though each day we wake up smile and go on making as many happy memories we. can. his dad since the evaluation process started has spent thousand on gifts to keep Kaleb quiet but my brave boy is sticking to the truth just out of dads ear shot as he will and has been punished for it than handed a hundred dollar Bill for legos . ok I’m done now bless you and your family

  35. Stronger now says:

    I love this article. I left mine with two little boys. I stayed longer to protect them but really I knew I couldn’t protect them by having them watch the abuse daily more importantly endure it. It was hell at first but here is something you who are living through this should know: kids are so smart and if you are educating yourself by reading articles to help yourself, you are arming yourself. I read everything I can on it and when he tries to suck me into his game by screwing with the kids’ heads and hearts, I call him on it. I do this very factual (emotional pleas don’t work, he is incapable of empathy). It is amazing, the stronger I am, the more he backs away. Learning to walk away without a word when he twists things leaves him without control and speechless. The kids learned about his disorder all on there own–he is not quite as sly as he thinks. Stay strong and know that their is a light and the end. Positive light!

  36. Maggie says:

    This has been my life for many years now. It has been a long, terrifying, and emotional path, but we (my two kids and I) continue to focus on the positives and keep moving forward. “Forward” has most often been a slow-moving, painful direction, but it allows us to have hope. Nearly two years ago my children were finally protected by the courts and no longer have unsupervised contact with their father. The only reason this happened is because his younger sibling finally stepped forward to the courts and told of the sexual abuse he endured as 9 year old at the hands of his older brother- my ex-husband and my kids’ father. While the nightmare continues on a daily basis with this sociopath- both for me and my children- we have each other’s love and strength and continue to move forward for and with each other. The best thing that happened to my children was the moment that they truly realized, on their own, that their father was a monster. It hasn’t made it easier for them, but they are able to file even the most hurtful things away as an act that their dad did rather than something that they caused. Keep fighting for your lives and well-being, love as much as you can to those around you, and show your children how they want to be as a person when they grow up. Much love and support to all of us living in these nightmares…

  37. Pam says:

    My son is a sociopath and is married to a woman who is very much like him and in some ways, worse. I am very concerned for my grandchildren. Both my son and his wife leave the kids with me often and I try very hard to be a positive influence but I know I can’t negate all of the emotional neglect and emotional abuse. I really can’t prove anything and honestly, I am as fearful of CPS as I am their parents. Do you know of any books that would be helpful?

    • Peace247 says:

      Dear Pam,
      You are in a very tough position. If you choose to involve CPS (and you have a valid reason for your reluctance) you risk alienating yourself from the children through their parents angry response. If you choose not to involve CPS your grandchildren remain in a situation that is unhealthy at best, and unsafe and damaging at most. The most immediate thing you can do is to take the children as much as you possibly can and instill in them, through conversation and example, that you are there for them for ANYTHING. You don’t say the ages of the children, but if they can use the phone give them your number (or provide an emergency phone for them). Expose them to situations and people that are loving and “normal”. Tell them your hopes for them, etc.

      I can’t think of any books for your particular situation right off hand but I will research a bit and I’m hoping others that see your request might have some ideas as well.


      • rosalyn says:

        Jen’s advice is the best. The best thing for the kids is you. And showing them normal relationships and activities is important.
        Good luck.

  38. Mimi says:

    This is my 9th year after escaping my sociathic now ex with two young boys. I have been a silent reader in the background for many years. I went through an emotionally and abusive relationship studded with frequent infidelities and daily walking on egg shells. I was a battered woman unable to leave so when he finally moved out to live with one of his girl friends, my painful road to freedom began. That girlfriend of his was a bamboozled police officer with a masters in psychology, and she even fell for his bs. Nobody is safe from them. Luckily I have normal supportive parents and wonderful supportive friends that had to watch this whole train wreck happening without being able to stop it. As this nightmare un reveled I found out that our marriage was a hoax that he was married to another woman in another state. But he slipped through the cracks and this polygamist went unpunished by authorities. Finding out his other wife lead the same life as me, being abused, belittled and controlled. Except they never had children. He staged an incident when he claimed I tried to murder him. He was picked up with an ambulance with a bleeding headwound. He filed for custody after that and also had issued an order to prevent me from going 50 feet of him. That was the first of many times he called CPS to try to have the children because he claimed they were in danger with me. The police never charged me because I was able to pass a polygraph test. But the authorities never did anything in return to punish him for making false statements etc.. The boys were 5 and 3 when that happened but still remember the frequent visits from police at our door for false claims against me. He has been and still is manipulating the boys. When they were younger it was easier for him nowadays he makes them feel guilty and makes them feel sorry him him to gain sympathy. They are 14 and 12 now. I was able to get past most issues with a wonderful psychologist. The still ongoing court battle has cost me over 100k and I am in so much debt. My lawyer is very understanding of the issue and “gets it” but I feel let down by the courts. They are wrapped up in “involving the poor fathers in the children’s lives” rather than doing what is best for the poor children. Even after two extensive parental assessments which pretty much states that he has these character flaws, not likely to change and can’t understand the needs of the kids they still see him unsupervised for a lot of time. I met a wonderful man in 2007 and we have a daughter together born in 2008. He is normal and such a good male role model for the boys, the treats me with respect and loves my boys like his own. 4 years ago my now husband had to move states because of his job and we were able to move on a temporary basis with the consent of sociopath. I am sure after the last strong assessment the judge would have likely ordered it anyways. I figured by then the boys will understand the situation. Now I can call the shots and we are the primary residence. They still spend too much time with him in spring break, summers and Christmas. The sociopath has not changed and is still working on those boys. To my horror they have him on a pedestal, he is their hero. I know they love me and my husband and their sister but they wish to live with him. They don’t see it. I am bound by the court order not to tell them anything. Now we are in court again and my worry of losing them is like never before in my mind. After we moved 3000 miles away they finally were removed from the day to day struggles, their grades improves and we were able to quit the child psychologist. They breathed. Now it has been picking up again, the acting out, lying, being secretive. I am scared. I don’t want them to turn into the monster their father is. How can I protect them from becoming their father? I fear I will lose them if they decide and are placed in his care. I worry myself sick.

    • rosalyn says:

      I am truly sorry to hear your pain and anguish.
      Remember you have taken all the correct steps to raise your boys with love and commitment. . Everything you put in to the is still there. Remember 0-5 is the most important time in a child’s life, they have the oops to be good men when they grow up. Another thing because you have done an excellent job with them, good grades, manners, , clean loving boys that’s why he wants your boys. If your boys were lazy slackers he would want nothing to do with them. An Apathy will use anything and anyone and claim it as their own. If the boys had been raised by him and they were his nasty reflection he would want nothing to do with them. It hurts to the core of your (my) body to have this knowledge. My ex had no involvement with the kids but to impress upon his mother and her church about what a great dad he is. And the kids know it.
      Two days ago my daugh

  39. Mimi says:

    The worst fear became a reality. My boys decided to live with their father. We’re they again manipulated? Are they still to young to see it. They only see him during vacation and fun times now. I know they love me. I feels like a stab in the heart, it is killing me to know that they will live with that monster. Why is evil winning? Why is the court system so screwed up that a court ordered report that is a few year old has no value as evidence today. Although it says in there clearly about his character deficits and narcicist im, histrionic personality traits and that he is likely not to change. He is patronizing, bullying, antagonistic and controlling. How can the family court judge sleep at night? How can I go forward from here?

    • Roxane says:

      I feel your pain, as I know anyone reading your heartache does, we can all relate to a degree as though we are looking at our own reflections. My children see the same in their father, and it pains me every day. Children do not have insight, or wisdom as we call it and unfortunately until they experience this with their father, they won’t. For a sociopath, it is all about the ‘win’, once they feel they have won, they no longer feel they have to keep up the game they so easily play. We all try so hard to protect our loved ones from the pain, so they don’t have to experience what we have gone though ( and continue to go through), though it seems that is the only way with these types. You have done everything you can, know this and understand it is not your fault. The courts, that is another story all together, and because these types are masters at what they do, they can fool even the brightest. They have no moral compass, will lie, cheat and do anything they need to and for the most part, what they see in their own world, is what the truth is, it is their reality. Your children will see their father for what he is, you just keep being you, they have your values and morals. As my father always told me, eventually everything comes out in the wash.

  40. Jayjay says:

    I grew up as the child of a sociopath. It was incredibly hard because as a young child I had no idea. I still thought my father was normal and I’d done something wrong. It’s only in my adult years I found out he was a very typical sociopath. Everything to him was a game, but he never truly loved me. He was so cruel. It’s a hard way to grow up – but knowledge is the best weapon – once you know they’re fatally flawed you can remove yourself as a source of blame and move on in life.

  41. Andrea says:

    Thank you for starting this site! I’ve been searching for more information on how to deal with having a child where his father is a sociopath and narcissist. Neither of these terms are words I was familiar with until a couple of months ago. My son just turned 10. I’ve been away from his father for 5 years now. (His father thinks he’s allowing me to live on my own. That makes me laugh.) It’s just been this last year or so where I’m finally actually feeling like a normal person again. I was with his father for 15 years.
    I finally cut off any verbal communication with my ex this last February. I find it ridiculous how long it’s taken me to finally realize he can’t hurt me. Apparently I still believed that he’ll make good on his threats. And I kept trying to attempt to “co-parent” with him. (I shake my head at myself) So far he hasn’t followed through on any of his threats – thank God! We only talk now via email, text or some other written form and ONLY about our son. I’ve been doing even better since I’ve made that decision however, I believe because of this my son’s father is starting to make things worse for my son. Trying to get to me through him. From this site I see that’s a sad but real pattern.
    I’ve just made my first appointment to have my son talk to a psychologist. I think he and I both are going to need help getting through all of this especially as my son gets older. I know I’m going to have to work extra hard at countering everything his father does. So far it’s what I’ve been doing but with him getting older and his father getting meaner in his manipulations, I’m afraid I’m just not that clever and I’m now needing help. My son loves his father as any child should love their parent. I don’t want to take that away from him but I do want to protect him. I know my son will eventually figure all of this out on his own. I wish so hard sometimes that I could just tell him how his father is but I know that it wouldn’t end with the result I’m hoping for. I’m not so sure about going to the courts just yet for custody. Heck, I’m not really sure what to do about anything right now. But I know something needs to happen. My son is such a sweet boy. He has a sweet good nature about him. Thoughtful and loving. I’m hoping that with his good hearted nature and my constant love, understanding and support that he’ll come out of this without turning into anything like his father. I’m really hoping this psychologist turns out to be the right decision. I don’t want this to turn into more stress for my son than he’s already dealing with. I just want him to know that his father’s mental/emotional games and violent temper aren’t right and he doesn’t have to be like that. That there’s a different and better way to be and live. Crossing my fingers!

    • Roxane says:

      From what I can read, you are doing everything you can :). My advice when it comes to help for your son, either make sure the doctor is well read on issues such as these or, as I did, my children went to from and individual counseling though a woman’s center. It taught them more about wrong behaviors and re-enforced that they don’t have to allow others to treat them poorly. It also helped them to understand what abuse is and how to identify it. These counselors mostly had degrees in social work and psychology. If that’s not an option in your area, maybe try finding a therapist that has a social work degree but works as a counselor.

  42. Maria Oliver says:

    How about when is the mother the sociopath?

    • Peace247 says:

      Dear Maria,
      Much of the same applies. It’s difficult no matter which parental figure is affected. I’m not a professional but my hope would be that the child has at least one adult that can offer nurturing, love, and affirmation of reality. Thanks for the note.

  43. Alexis says:

    I’m on the flip side of this. I’m the kid. My father has not been clinically diagnosed as a sociopath, but both my mother and I have been researching and we think he displays a significant number of signs. I am applying to colleges in a few months, and he decided to take my mother to court on criminal charges because she was “obstructing his visitation” with me. He only filed these charges after I told him I no longer wanted to see him, and stopped replying to his emails. I just do not know what to do anymore. In the past year and a half I have had many epiphanies about his behavior when I was a child, and I am still having realizations about the implications of his behavior. I just turned seventeen, so we have a whole year before this situation becomes irrelevant. What confuses me is that he exhibits sociopathic behavior, but at the same time he was never absent from my life. He made sure to be a part of it and involve himself in my life. He made me feel loved, but if I doubted him I always felt guilty because I thought I was suppose to trust him inexplicably. But he would put me in situations such as leaving my in the bed of a truck while he took a nap in the front, roomed with shady people, etc. and just put me in overall unsafe situations. And he felt as though it was okay because he thought he could protect both of us no matter the situation. And he always used me to get to my mother and took her to court numerous times to try and get custody. He made it seem as though it was a “me against your mother” mentality, and I felt as though I had to choose a side. He would always put down my mother, and encourage it when I talked bad about her. He has a heightened image of himself, and thinks he is capable of doing anything he wants to do. He subliminally puts himself above the law, exhibiting behaviors that could get him arrested but does not because he knows how to get around the law. He’s smart, and that’s the worst part. He knows society’s laws, and knows how to conform and hide his actions and behaviors so no one catches him. He feels as though it is his responsibility to “teach lessons” when people go against him or make him angry. That’s what I’m afraid of in this impending court case is that if we lose, what will he do to my mother and I? He knows where we live, as we have lived in the same place for ten years, but we have no clue as to where he lives. We do not even know what city he lives in. I am terrified, and there is no way to sit him down and get him to be clinically diagnosed. So what should I do and does he sound like a sociopath? I related to a lot in your article and thought you might be able to help. Sorry for such a long comment…

  44. Tasha C says:

    I’m so relieved to have found your article! I have 2 beautiful children with my ex, who has torn our family apart. The time, emotions, heartbreak and money that have been a part of our lives is never ending. My son (17) has been successfully manipulated by his dad to the point our once close relationship is hanging by a thread. My children have been emotionally, physically and had one situation of sexual abuse at the hands if this monster. I’m so tired if feeling crazy! We are currently in a custody battle, and I’m terrified! In October it will be a year since my kids were convinced by him, and his therapist ( whom I feel is quite possibly a sociopath himself) that I was emotionally abusive to them. My heart is broken. This last year has been sheer torture. How do you do it? How do you prove what you know to be fact? I’ve shared situations with the evaluator, as well as the the prosecutors in the custodial interference case against him, and they look at me like the jaded ex! Help! I’m at a loss. I feel so alone and helpless as he drags my son especially, down with his actions.

    • Roxane says:

      Hey Tasha, first off, are there any advocacy groups for women in your area? Secondly, why is his therapist even been ok’d during a custody suit to interview or treat the children? In any situation it is someone impartial ordered by the courts to prevent this sort of bias. If he tries to enter that as even evidence, it can be looked at as corrosion, would be the same as if you had your therapist do anything of the sort, know what I mean? Be strong, I know it’s hard, but remember who you are, and don’t loose sight of that, this is what he wants. He wants you to become frustrated and angry, that’s why he pokes at the kids, more than likely telling them lies about you, so they have doubt. Don’t play into it, and don’t react. With your son, sit him down and simply tell him no matter what, you will always love him. Stay focused and I can’t help but stress, be yourself!! Be transparent, and honest. When they ask you something about the situation, be honest without malice towards their father. Almost in a way as though you are talking about someone else’s situation, try and look at it from the outside. Your kids know who you are even though he is filling their heads, eventually they will see, action and consistency with who you are, will outweigh his lies. Seek out some support groups, sounds to me as though you need some good people in your corner :). I’m also here, to talk, or even to just remind you, it’s okay, you are not crazy :). <3.

  45. Maria says:

    It is very helpful to read the comments. I have not find a situation yet where the mother has the custody and she is the sick one. Well here is my story in a few words: I am the grandmother, my son had his first daughter with her when he was only 19 years old, they got married and had 2 more children one after the other. After six years of my son been in an abusive relationship (women can abuse men too) finally she wanted to divorce him and after 15 months of back an forth to the court, he is finally free. I am very worried about my grandchildren and that is why I came to visit this blog and found out that her character and personality is described here. I think is more difficult in court when the mother has custody. But she is sick, she is an evil person with no conscience and no remorse. Very sad situation, very sad…

    • Roxane says:

      Abuse is abuse, it is what it is and unfortunately it is more likely a man is the abuser and this is a historical fact, nothing I’ve come up with on my own. The only thing I see and have seen in my own experience is that time and providing a good, healthy relationship with your grandkids will eventually show them as they grow how unhealthy their mother is. Be open and honest about right and wrong behaviors of others and themselves and through this it will only be natural through the good in their life, they will one day see her for what she is. Yes, it is sad that these types can constantly trick and fool, but mark my words children only stay children for so long and as adults, even young adults, they will gravitate to those who gave them unconditional love, just as we all do. It just feels better.

      • Maria says:

        Thank you for your response. This is my only hope, as you say, that they will eventually see for themselves who she really is. I pray that God gives me life and health to see that day.
        Thank you, I will come back to this blog, is really comforting.

        • Roxane says:

          I think we all find comfort here, it is one of the only places that helps me know, I’m not alone. I forgot to say that it is just as common for women to be sociopathic, and in my eyes being subjected to these types is abuse. So aside from historical male dominated physical abuse, emotional abuse is worse especially considering it is harder to prove regardless of who is doing it. Be the good in their lives ( as I’m sure you already are :). If you get a chance, there’s a good book called, The sociopath nextdoor. It really helped me to understand, and more so how to cope. Keep in mind, never make excuses for her, if what she is doing is outright abusive, take appropriate action in protecting your grandchild.

  46. Lee Rigazio says:

    I also see very real similarities with my ex-partner and mother to my two young boys aged 5 and 6. I have a court order that I had to fight for because in the early days she would use the kids as tools and still does to some extent now. I worry that because they spend more time with her and not with me that they will become sociopaths themselves and also develop OCD’s as she has. I know I have the rest or their lives with her playing mind games with the children and just need to stay strong for them and not fall apart as I have done. She works so hard to reveal a polished and hard done to exterior to the world! ……I know her too well! She cant fool ME!!

    • Maria says:

      I wanted to reply to you Lee, because out of all the comments that I find here, I think this is the second one that it is written by a man about his sociopath wife. All the comments are in reference to husbands which has the same negative and destructive impact on everybody. But what amazed me the most is the similarity in all of the cases, man or woman, as if they use the same pattern of behavior which make us (the victims) stronger and stronger. I am a grandmother of 3, my son is already divorced and was abused during almost 7 years of his life by this evil person, so young and so pretty…because she is a beauty on the outside. My son was very much in love and wanting to preserve his family above all. She lied, she was unfaithful and like a predator she tried (and still tries) to destroy him, and uses my grandchildren with lies to confuse him and them. Sometimes people don’t understand that men could be abused in a relationship by a woman, and this is understandable because of all the domestic abuse done by men mostly, but men can be abused too, psychologically and physically. I love this blog, because reading every comment, as I said before, make us stronger and determined every day to continue this never ending nightmare. I try to help my son every time his has his children, they are very young, but the pain is still there, because I know he loved her and specially I worry for the kids, like you said that they don’t become sick like her. Another comment made by someone here says that” they will try to destroy everything that is human and beautiful, because they are not either one”. And this is true. My son has moved on with his life and thankfully he is stronger now and enjoys his children now more than ever before. He learned now the rule SOCIOPATH = NO CONTACT. I hope everybody here is able to survive all of those different situations with one denominator in common: evil and pure evil.

  47. Alex says:

    Thank you for the article. My father is a sociopath and psychologically tormented my middle sister and I growing up. My mom worked hard to be the stable figure in our lives and I’m so thankful she did. Your article described my family situation. I started to show sociopathic traits around the fourth grade, but my mom intervened, worked hard, and today I’m healthy and have healthy relationships. Thank you so much for writing this!

  48. Meg says:

    I grew up with a father that was a narcissistic-sociopath…he did a lot of damage to my siblings and I, but luckily my mother is the most wonderful being on earth. She kept us sane. She truly is a goddess among women. So stay strong for your kids! Without her who knows how we would’ve turned out

    • Sam says:

      Even beginning to write a comment on this website I can hear his voice in the back of my head telling me I’m mad, and laughing saying look at you your mental, your nasty you’ve ruined my life, I’m only the way I am because you made me like it.
      I can honestly say I have had the most eye opening, soul destroying, traumatic upsetting and enlightening 7 years of my entire life.
      I have a 5 year old son, I left my ex 2 years ago and up until today ( I have just changed every telephone number, email, cancelled Facebook) I have been harassed or threatened or love bombed everyday of my life. He has had a love child with a prostitute, cheated hundreds of times, lied about them all even the child until I found out, put every aspect of my looks character and being down everyday but one thing that is without a doubt, NOTHING is ever his fault. I am the nastiest evil person he has ever met apparently, but he loves me and wants me back too. He only sees his son if there is a chance we can speak about is being together and if there isn’t I’m told I can keep him. My son is 5 and loves his dad so much, and when they are together they hve a great day out, it’s sporadically a day every month o so, but after that day he will think he’s done something wonderful and will think all is forgiven, when he realises I’m not interested he tells me to keep my son and doesn’t turn up for the next visit stops all contact, stops paying maintenance and basically doesn’t want to know my son anymore. I have always begged him to see my son. I know I’ve been wrong and I’ve been stupid. 5 years my son is and that’s how long it’s taken me to stop begging him to pmease see his son

      • Cheryle janasiak says:

        Let your ex leave for good. I wish to God I would’ve moved my son and daughter out of state at that age. I think their lives would be infinitely more peaceful now. Maintaining that toxic, inconsistency from your ex will not only keep destroying you, it will end up destroying your son too. Good luck.

    • Sandy says:

      Dear Meg,
      It warms my heart to read your comment. Maybe there is hope

  49. Stevie says:

    Thank you all for your words. Like all above have written, it is like listening to my own life story. I met this wonderful man, had a baby with him and the day our son was born my life turned to hell. 8 years together and he finally left me. I tried many times to have him leave and he refused. I always knew there was something wrong with him but didn’t have a name for it until last night talking to an old friend. She told me to look up narcissistic sociopath and it was overwhelming reading everything. I thought I was the only one going through this. It is sad that so many of us are experiencing the same thing. His ex wife tried warning me all the time when we were first together, but I thought she was a crazy drunk because that is the picture he painted for me. Now he has a new gf and I would love to warn her, but I know she would not believe me and he would only make my life even more difficult. After reading all the online posts I am so fearful for our upcoming court dates for custody. He has no money buy has got an attorney to do pro Bono work for him. When our son is over visiting his father, he calls me and whispers and cries that he wants to come home. He is scared for his father to hear him, he is only 6. It breaks my heart and there is nothing I can do. I am also worried because he has many tendencies like his father. I am currently looking for a counselor who may specialize in this type of thing. I have seen what this man is capable of over the years ( he has 3 other children by 3 other mothers). His youngest child’s mother (ex wife) was dragged into court so many times, she finally just gave up feeling good that I was in her child’s life as a role model. I have raised this child as my own for the past 8 years and now he refuses us to have any contact with each other. She is old enough to know that her father is only using her as a pawn to get even with his ex’s. She is so sad and confused and I can not help her. Everyone thinks this guy is so wonderful and it is sickening that they don’t know the real man. Good luck to you all and I pray that one day this will be a recognized issue in court. Please pray or send good wishes my way as I am just starting this battle and I know it will be a very very long one.

  50. Emma says:

    As many others have said, I find this website very helpful so thank you for keeping it going. I was married to a sociopath for 14 years and have 2 daughters. I only realised he was a sociopath this week. It was quite an emotional moment for me, but I am now feeling more desperate as another court battle is about to start. I have been naive and have been thinking “the truth will out” or “it’s about right and wrong”. How wrong I was. I don’t recall seeing many mothers on this thread that are the “part time parent”. My ex stole our daughters in front of my eyes. Laughing as he drove them to their new home over 200 miles away. He’d turned my girls against me as soon as I had the courage to tell him I was finally leaving (I had tried 3 times before) and they were happy to go with him. It was awful seeing them disappear that day. He’d planned everything in secret and then three days later I was summoned to court – with no warning and no mediation. The court date was 5 days later and I was completely unprepared. I hadn’t met my solicitor and had never been in front of a judge before. As my eldest daughter (13 at the time) had chosen to live with her father, the judge awarded my ex custody of both girls. He lied on his order against me (said I was mentally unstable and emotionally abusing our eldest daughter) and at the time I thought if we went back to court, I’d get my say this time and would be stronger as I’ve been away from his clutches and brainwashing for over a year now. I don’t have any faith in the justice system now I’ve realised we’re dealing with a sociopath. My 13 year old daughter came back to live with me after 9 months of hell living with her father and being emotionally and physically abused and lied to. I have gradually nursed her back to health physically and mentally, although this is a long road. His family members also treated her like a piece of dirt. They told her not to waste her tears on me as I didn’t want her or love her. How people can do this to a child is beyond my comprehension, but then again, I’m normal. This time I am fighting to get my 10 year old daughter back before it’s too late and she’s “turned” completely. She has nothing to do with me between visits (every 3 weeks) and he’s now moved into his new fiancé’s home with her 3 children. My daughter is now one of four children and being brought up by a woman she barely knows. It’s heartbreaking for me, but I’m glad I have my eldest daughter back with me. He will use this woman for her home and money as he did me. (I worked constantly whilst he was the primary carer) I bailed him out more times than I can remember and he stole from the children’s bank accounts too. Don’t trust them!! I do not use my daughter as a pawn in my game. I do not play games, but if I’m going to have a chance of getting my youngest back – I think I’m going to have to learn how to. And pretty quick.

  51. Sandy says:

    I was married to a man who fits most of the characteristics described. Our twin daughters are 23 and we’ve been apart over 5 years. I want to help our daughters work through their emotions and get to have healthy relationships.

    • Stevie says:

      Sandy, I have tried to play the game. But it is more difficult then it sounds. If a person is not wired that way it’s hard. I still fund myself feeling sorry. One thing I am finding is that everyday it slowly gets to where I am feeling less sorry for him. Good luck!

  52. Sue says:

    It is a relief to see that others have experienced similiar situations withe an ex sociopath and children. It’s a weird thing to say a relief. But when you are in this world you feel like no one will understand or believe you. My kids are teenagers. It has been a rough road. The ex has been in jail or on run for two years almost. The thought of him getting out is unbearably. I am so filled with anxiety about it bec I fear the manipulation and confusion he will put on my kids in all kinds of ways including trashing me in the eyes of my kids. I can’t take that anymore.

  53. kissthegyrl says:

    Thank you for writing this. You are describing my life. Simply put this man’s aim is to cause havoc and madness in our children’s and my life. Problem is I’m a hot head with a hair triggered temper, (especially when he runs a foul to our children) we’re constantly at each other’s throats. I’m exhausted, and concerned- this is dangerous.

  54. Dawn says:

    It feels good to hear from people who have the same experiences with a sociopathic ex-husband. It is such a profoundly lonely experience because most people don’t even know what sociopaths are. As the spouse, you are usually the only one who sees the evil side of the spouse, because they are so good at faking in front of most of the world. When I try to tell other people about the things he does, they don’t believe it, they have known him for so long, it couldn’t be true. So they would rather believe that I am a liar. I have the same concerns as all of you. We have three children, 15, 12 and 10, all girls. I worry that one of them will grow up to be a sociopath too. I used to see the same manipulation, fakeness, inability to accept responsibility for her actions, lying, need to make people feel sorry for her, and pleasure at inciting drama from the time she was 7, I think. Just like her father. Thank you to Meg and Alex for letting me know that it is possible for a loving parent to change the course of a child’s life that has inherited sociopathy. I bring my kids to church and talk constantly about morality, empathy, truth, freedom, all of those things that their father lacks. My daughter is now 12 and seems to have gotten much better, but how do I know she isn’t faking it? I love all my children dearly, and it breaks my heart to see them grow up like this. Stevie, I know how the sociopaths can make everybody think you are crazy. I also know the profound rage that they induce. I can’t even look at him and hearing his voice even for a few seconds is excruciating. I look back now at some of the habits he has and I can understand why he is like that. Even little things, like the way that every time I tried to have some sort of conversation about feelings, it always took him a very long time to respond. Now I know that it was because he doesn’t really have any feelings, and it took him time to make some up and guage which feeling would best manipulate the situation. If you’ve ever read the book “The sociopath next door” it talks about the look in the eyes of a sociopath, how you think you are seeing the mind of a lizard, some lower form of life. You come to realize that to them you are just a thing. Every time in the past when you felt that they loved you, it was always fake. So frightening. Thanks to everyone for your words.

  55. Christie says:

    Thank you for telling your story. I also had kids with a sociopath.

  56. Cheryle janasiak says:

    My ex manipulated and ignored my kids to the point that my, now, 23 year old son has liver damage from the drinking he did to squash the pain. My ex went to extreme measures to use them as weapons against me, even after we were told by a family therapist to move out of the state- as far away from as possible. When my son was in his early teens and struggling, my ex used that to turn him against me. They called CPS together to get me to allow him to move back home. CPS told him never to use the system against me as a weapon again. My foster son’s caseworker wasn’t as calm about it. She threatened to remove my foster son because of the chaos…the kind of craziness that they took him out of in the first place, so I let my son move, thinking he would be back in a few months when he got a realistic picture of who his dad was. I never expected my ex’s family to turn on me. My ex and his family fueled my son’s teenage angst and turned him against me for 4 long years. The more I fought with them, the more they twisted it into “mom’s craziness”. So I stopped. The only things I would hear about my son were from the teachers at his high school who said he was fighting so much they were putting him at an alternative school. (WHAT?!?! My son? Fighting?) I found out that his dad was so under the influence of drugs that the sister moved my son to her house. I told her to send him back, that wasn’t the agreement or the custody order. She refused, and then her and my son called CPS again. It was surreal. I don’t drink, smoke, use drugs, yell and scream, or any other thing they accused me of. In fact, that’s what their father was doing! CPS found the accusation unfounded. I found out that my son had no curfew, no boundaries, no accountability, and no expectations whatsoever…so all he did was drink and get in trouble with the law. I finally called the sheriff department to ask if I came and physically removed him from the environment, according to the custody order that wasn’t being followed, would they take us to the airport and put him on the plane. They said he was too big and they couldn’t do that to a 16 year old kid. My ex overdosed and died. His sister promptly threw my son out since she had no use for him anymore, and he was living at his best friends house. I quit my job, sold my house, packed up and moved home. He is a mess. The ER doctor who told him he had never seen numbers on a liver panel like my sons. They looked like that of a 50 year old alcoholic. He told my son hee has damaged his liver, and to quit or he will die. My son won’t stop drinking, and he just had a baby girl. So the cycle continues. I can’t even talk about it because I cry every time. I have to keep myself together because I’m a teacher and I have to support myself. I’m afraid if I let myself grieve it would incapacitate me.

  57. Mary Robinson says:

    Right on target!!!! I had this admiration of my husband and when I realised that who he REALLY was I tried to explain to my children that I had painted a false picture. Standing up to him was virtually impossible as he would up the “anti”. My older children were angry because they did no believe the things I told them. It is a tough situation. The child who was affected the least spent the least time with him and I had her in therapy for additional support in helping her understand his Jekyll and Hyde personality.

  58. Lee says:

    We are in MA, I have been divorced for 10 years. My son will be 11 at the end of the month. I am after reviewing my life with my ex, and in talking with my ex brother-in-law & his family over the holidays (they recently have had a falling out with my ex and his mother), and in reading several websites about sociopaths and narcissists, I believe that this is who my ex husband is. Kids are also very perceptive. My son has been exclaiming for YEARS that he does not want anything to do with his father. They have never bonded. My ex has all the classic traits of a sociopath. When I was married to him, and we were on the verge of separating, I was thinking maybe he was bipolar. He was quite the different man when I first met him and we first started dating. He was so charming and so put together. Then, as we got closer, things changed so drastically. I started making excuses – especially after we got engaged, 10 months later, and moved in together – I thought to myself – and out loud, to friends and family – “It’s the stress of a new apartment” “It’s the stress of planning a wedding”, “It’s the stress of buying a house”, “It’s the stress of infertility treatments”,…..the list went on and on…..Finally, after berating me non-stop one day, I had had enough. I packed up an overnight bag for my baby and myself and told him to say goodbye to his son, that we were leaving. I walked out and never looked back. 2 weeks later, I returned with my father. My dad went upstairs to dismantle my son’s furniture and pack up his things. I sat downstairs with my husband to talk with him and tell him I would be filing for divorce. He went through a whole range of emotions, starting with sobbing tears, then faster than you can blink your eyes, he flew into a rage, whipped his finger in my face and told me “You have messed with the wrong person, Young Lady”. From that point on, it has been a roller coaster with many downward spirals.
    I fought with him for a good 2 years to keep visitation at a minimal. His visitations started at every other weekend with an hour and a half, and very slowly progressed to overnights (not until my son was 3). Now they go to every other weekend Friday nights at 7 to Sunday nights at 6:30. My son will be 11 at the end of the month. He gets 2 weeks vacation with him
    A few years ago, he dragged me to mediation; he wanted more time. He worked an hour a way and wanted a minimum of 3 hours every other Wednesday with him, starting at 7:00. That’s when my son was 8 years old. He thought returning him home at 10:00 on a school night was reasonable. He also wanted to keep him til Monday on weekends that he had him, but he wouldn’t be able to get him to school (he lives 30 minutes away from us) and get to work in time.
    The mediator decided to have him call once a week, instead.
    He calls every single night – my son dreads when he calls. I have to force him to talk to his father. I try to foster a relationship. I try to foster respect and love between him and his father. There is none there. My son is a loving, caring, gentle boy. He respects people around him, in his life, who respect, love and care for him. He has strong bonds and ties to everyone in his life, except for his father.
    He keeps asking how old he has to be to not see his father anymore. I have no answers for him that he wants to hear. My answers hurt his heart and his feelings and his spirit. My answers lie to him because my divorce agreement tells me that I may not disparage my ex to my child.
    Is there an age in Massachusetts where a child can have his say in court, about whether or not they have the right NOT to continue visitation with a non-custodial parent?
    Are there any laws that protect children against sociopathic parents? How do I prove that he is sociopathic?
    When I was married to him, I was fearful of him “snapping” if I didn’t respond a certain way/”play the game”. My son is starting to see through his lies and through his personality and see him for who he truthfully is…..I’m really fearful that my ex will snap if my son doesn’t play the game – especially during visits, when I am not there to shield/protect him/help him watch his tone or attitude when he is dealing with his father. ….
    Any advice you can offer is greatly appreciated! Thank you in advance!!

    • Freedomfight says:

      Hi Lee,
      In New Jersey we have a battered woman’s shelter who offers a tremendous amount of information and support for families dealing with sociopathic abuse. The one I have been to has therapists, attorneys for legal advice, and support systems in the county court house. I also have an attorney but have found the battered women’s shelter more informative and understanding of what I am dealing with.

      My 13 year old daughter refuses to have any contact with her father. I am taking her to the reunification therapist (which was the court’s solution upon her father’s request).

      I know we are bound by court not to disparage our children from their father, however, I do make sure my children are not blaming themselves for his abuse.

      It sounds like you are doing an awesome job with your son, and the fact that you got out so early is a huge advantage.

      Good luck!

  59. Freedomfight says:

    Wow! I found this sight looking for information on the effects a sociopath has on their children because I am trying to prepare myself for the future and how to help my children through this.

    My heart goes out to all of you who are victims of a sociopath as am I. I left my sociopathic husband of 14 years last year because he sexually assaulted my son’s 18 year old girlfriend and solicited her for prostitution. The shock and horror of finding this out from my hysterical son is unimaginable. I fled our home with the children and filed for divorce. Then to found out my husband was doing crack! Then to find out that people who claimed they were my friends knew and didn’t tell me because they didn’t want to get involved and were afraid of him.

    I lived in this abusive, controlling, and demeaning marriage to protect my children from being alone with him. He totally ignored the children and didn’t so much as read a book, take them to a park, drive them to school or attend any of their athletic games. I felt so bad for my children. My daughter when she was 3 would see a Dad playing in the pool with his children at our shore condo. My little girl would swim over to the Dad in her swimmies and start playing too. I actually had to at one time get in the pool and physically remove her from a Dad’s back. I had to cry. I thought I could wait until my younger children were of an age they could defend themselves or have a say in custody because he constantly threatened to take my children from me. Every day in one way or another he frightened me, threatened me, angered me, humiliated me, constantly controlled me and conditioned me to only make decisions he approved (including my hair and clothing). I couldn’t even go out and socialize with friends and feel good about it unless he approved.

    What you don’t realize while going through this are the changes it makes in you. I remember watching a movie (12 Years A Slave) and thinking I’d rather be a slave than be in this marriage. I caught myself thinking this and realized wow! This is bad! I have come to a place where I would rather be a slave than in this marriage.

    Getting back to my reason for staying in this marriage for so long…big mistake! He hurt my 18 year old son under my nose in a way that it will take my son years of therapy to get through. He told me he doesn’t trust anyone any more. His girlfriend of 1 year when the monster sexually assaulted her is still his girlfriend. She is a very bright, beautiful and strong girl who is now attending college on an academic scholarship. She braved through going all the way to court and confronting the monster and his team of attorneys with no representation knowing there was a good chance she would lose because the decision had to be beyond a reasonable doubt. She told her story to the public (and we live in a very small town) and lost her case. I commend her bravery. It inspired me to face my fear and keep moving forward with the Divorce.

    I endured years of suffering thinking I was protecting my children from their sociopathic father and from the ugly truth of what their father was. The expense was all of their wellbeing and mine. Each and every one of them (4) are in therapy. My 13 year old has anxiety and fear of crowds, my 8 year old had an emotional breakdown and is now in a special needs school, my 19 year old son who was in his first year of college attending Penn State in University Park couldn’t finish his last semester and had to take summer classes and hasn’t been the same, my 22 year old daughter has anxiety issues and sees a therapist.

    I don’t know if I will ever forgive myself but right now I don’t have time to think about me. I am in the fight of my life. Not long after I fled our home with the children he manipulated our 8 year old “emotionally disturbed” son to steal my cell phone and give it to him during a visitation. He had access to all my attorney emails during this time up until I went to the police station and filed a report. He got to keep my phone because the service was under his business’ name and he claimed it was his property.

    The following day I went to the county court and filed for a restraining order. He was thrown out of the marital home, I was able to bring my children back to their home, and got temporary custody of the children. The only reason this happened was because I taped every time the monster picked up my son and dropped him off. When the court heard the hurt and hysteria in my son’s voice when he had to tell me his dad made him take the phone and promised to return it but didn’t they were disgusted.

    After many months of supervised visitation only with our 8 year old son, he managed to convince the courts to lift the supervision and provide him with overnight visitation every other weekend. He was granted this because the supervisor on our case was so taken by him she went above and beyond the call of duty to help lift the supervision.

    Right now we are being evaluated by a court appointed evaluator for custody. I filed for full custody. I can’t even get the younger kids the help they need because the professionals all quit because they are afraid of my ex. He is constantly creating false allegations and wants the court to believe I am an unfit mother. I have had Child Services here too many times to count. They got to the point where they asked me to file a lawsuit against him for harassment.

    I am just documenting everything, taking pictures, and taping him every time he comes near me. Prior to leaving I had the foresight to document the abuse and tape him in a rage. These all have been a tremendous help in court.

    I am truly upset with the courts and their treatment of children. It amazes me how little the judges know about children, their needs, and wellbeing and yet they have the power to decide where they live and how. I found out our judge was a business attorney prior to becoming a judge in the family court.

    The professionals (psychologists, psychiatrists, reunification therapist) have all informed me that my 13 year old daughter who has a strong sense of self-preservation and refuses to engage in any relationship with my ex should have a relationship with her Dad so she can develop properly. These are the very same people who quit because they are afraid of my ex. We lost a psychiatrist and a therapist so far because of his aggressive and threatening behavior right in front of them! Every one is warning me about Parent Alienation. They tell me I have to force my children, even threaten them if they don’t want to go with their dad on a visit. If I don’t it is perceived as Parent Alienation.

    The most upsetting thing I am experiencing right now are the professionals being manipulated by my ex. They think they get him but when I discuss it with them they have very little understanding of the harm he can do.

    I am one year into my journey of freedom. So far it feels really good to get my life back and see the children heal. I have a long tough road ahead.

    Does anybody have experience with the PAS and protective mothers being accused of this?

    • Cheryle janasiak says:

      My ex and his family alienated my son against me for 4 years. The courts did nothing except allow the situation to deteriorate to the point that my kids were all but destroyed by the time he overdosed and died. The minute I found out he was dead, I thought “Thank god the abuse will finally stop”. I was repulsed that I could actually feel relief at someone’s death. I am in therapy for PTSD, and I have finally convinced my son to allow me to help him find emotional help. My daughter, whom he completely ignored while showering my son with attention, is finally coming out of the emotional cave she retreated into for the last 5 years. She is moving back home and wanting to find professional help as well. This has been the most destructive experience I have ever gone theough. Watching my kids being emotionally battered by him and his family has felt like nothing less than being raped….for 17 straight years. Good luck with your children. Get therapy and stay in therapy.

  60. LadyJayn says:

    Reading the article above and subsequent posts have left me feeling a bit numb. It is all my story told ten times over. I represent myself in court – every attorney I’ve had has left me and no one wants my case since I have no money and my ex files law suits against everyone who opposes him. He has even filed law suits against his own attorneys. I’ve been homeless twice and am still on welfare. We have seven children together and he has succeeded in alienating them all from me in various degrees. Three of our children 16, 19 and 21, live with him. They are not allowed to see me and he has taught them how to tell the courts they don’t want to see me. The courts let them choose. Once they go to live with him, they become involved in all kinds of self abusive behaviors that I won’t write publicly about. If you look up Munchausen by proxy and combine that with Stockholm syndrome, that is my situation! The courts know what he is doing but refuse to incarcerate him, take the children from him or even permit counseling for the children and I together. How bad is that!?! Judges don’t like being appealed. The hard truth is that most of them really don’t care about our situation. I have reached out to the Governor’s office, senators and freeholders. I have proof of my ex committing fraud and perjury and nobody wants to touch it. If he had at least hit me – even once, then I would get the help needed for my children and myself. I’m beginning my sixth year battling in the courts. I go to school now for legal studies. Now some cases I win – even against his attorney in the appellate and supreme court. I may never see my children again; this is a physical pain and grief that never leaves me, but if my experience and education can help change some laws in family court, and help another mother and her babes, then that is what I will do. If anyone reading this can help me, please reply.

    • Cheryle janasiak says:

      I applaud your tenacity with your ex. I wish there was a movement to force lawmakers to recognize how these types of parents can and do destroy their children. A Million Mom March.

  61. Esther June says:

    I married a sociopath. He manipulated everyone he could, lied about the smallest things and was viscous and vindictive. He was also sexually deviant. Previous rationships including him s children all report the same experience. After 2 months of.marriage I had enough.

  62. Marie says:

    I am seeking self-help books and/or support groups for my tween son who’s father is a sociopath. He doesn’t know the term “sociopath” but he’s fully cognizant, on his own, that his father is “sick and has an illness” and is seeking answers. I can only help so much, plus he needs answers on his level and a support group for children his age to see, as he knows internally, that he’s not alone to gain more support and to give it back. Please, if anyone knows a group(s) and/or reading materials for him, we would be grateful.

  63. Simone says:

    I read a lot about people married to sociopaths,but none about being the son. I am 22 years old and made it intil now,but it’s getting constantly worse and though I will get out of my house as soon as possible,I still have to deal with him for a while.

    • Peace247 says:

      I would love to hear your perspective. I know many of us with children wonder what damage could be done to our children, whether the damage is permanent, what our children are thinking – do they see the truth, do they crave the love and attention they deserve, etc.?? Please feel free to share as you are comfortable. Thank you, Jen

    • freedomfight says:


      As you become more and more independent, he will get worse until you are completely severed from depending on him. Dependency gives him power over you. Stay strong and beware of the manipulation tactics to suck you back in.

    • Lee says:

      Hi Simone – I am so sorry for your situation. I will add you to my prayers. I completely feel for you. I have an 11 year old son, who sees his father every other weekend. His father calls every single night and demands to speak to him. We are to drop everything – no matter what, and answer the phone – or else he gets angry and harasses us to no end. He is constantly telling us my son is over scheduled (he does 1 sport a season, he is an altar boy at church (occasionally) and he does boy scouts once a week. )
      B/c we live with my parents (and have for the last 10 years since our divorce), he says our son has grown up in a dysfunctional home b/c he hasn’t grown up with a father.
      I force our son to talk to him and force him to go with him every other weekend. His father takes hundreds (not exaggerating) of pictures when they are together – or if we have functions/games that our son participates in. At a boy scouts banquet last week, his father kept pulling him aside from his friends and wanting pictures. He said NO – GO AWAY. His father stormed out of the banquet and when we got home that night, he called our son and told him the following weekend, when they were together, he would be punished. Well, the kid came out and said it doesn’t matter b/c he just stays in his room all weekend and that his dad never does anything with him anyway. Then he said he doesn’t like talking to him and he hates to spend time at his house and he just wanted me. My ex blamed his lifestyle and said it’s just separation anxiety.
      He later that night called again – stating he had been too harsh. Said he WOULDN”T be punished and that he also had a gift for our son for his banquet (he had texted me about an hour before saying that he wasn’t going to give him the gift b/c he didn’t deserve it).
      My son went this weekend. He spent the weekend in his room b/c he asked his dad to play games with him, and he was told no.
      His dad asked him Friday night why he was torturing him with saying he doesn’t want to be with him. My son ignored him. Sunday, he asked him why he was being cruel to him by saying he doesn’t want to see him. My son ignored him again. I asked my son how it made him feel when his dad said those things. He said (now he’s 11) – “I felt kinda sympathetic, but I know it’s not real sympathy – I know my dad was trying to manipulate me.” I asked if he knew what that meant, bc that’s pretty strong and mature language. He said he did but he didn’t know how to explain it. He thought about it for a few minutes and came back with “Manipulate means you trick someone into your own world of thoughts”. And he started crying, asking why his dad always tries to do that to him. He’s screwing with my kid’s head and I can’t do anything to protect him. He is talking with the school counselor and I have an attorney who is going to try to reduce visitation until regular counseling can be put into place. However, I am so afraid of the explosion that will happen when this letter is sent to him. I’m also afraid he’s going to take it out on our son.
      It scares me to the point of not knowing what the right thing to do is.

      • Lisa says:

        First, Simone, at 22 – get out now. If you have to stay at a friends or rent a room – get out now. Life may be hard for you for a bit – but you will be happier, freer and able to move on to the next stage of life. As long as you live at home, you are under the “spell”. Give NO warning to your dad. Find a place, save your money – and when he’s not home, move out. Why? Because less is more. You tell him your plans, you give him the opportunity to manipulate and control. Who’s in control of your There are so many children dying to be in your position. My son is 10 and has a calendar counting when he’s old enough to tell the judge (I hear conflicting reports of 14 and 16) he wants emancipation. Get out now – you have a whole life in front of you, and right now your father is blocking that access.

        Lee – same advice. Less is more. Do you have a court order that requires your son to speak to his father? Visitation? Your access? If so, does it limit the times? I don’t need the details, but for example, if it says he can have phone access with his dad daily for reasonable amount of time, set a time – and keep it. All those calls and texts? They are happening because you are responding. Yes, he’ll get angry you don’t respond…so? I was once in your shoes. I jumped every time in fear of what he will do – until I realized that I wasn’t protecting my son or myself but still being controlled and manipulated. My son has reasonable phone access. I set up a home line, he has access to an iphone of his own (no phone calls, just messaging and facetime w/wifi) or my own cell phone to use “at will”. I informed my son and my ex that he can call his father when he chooses or vice versa. My son never calls and because his father feels that since he’s the father – he should be called/not do the calling. So there’s no contact. Yes, I get harassed by messages, texts and calls accusing me of all kinds of things – but the calls are to me, not our son. I listen, save – and do not respond. Yes, he’s gotten hostile, made threats and all kinds of things -but he has NOT elicited a response, I will not allow myself to get upset anymore and he no longer causes the issues he once did because I don’t let him control how things are done in my home.
        Emails – I set up a filter to go to a special folder. I get notification it’s there but it’s not blaring in my face when I open my inbox. Why? Because it gives me the chance to gather my thoughts, prepare for being thrown under the bus again and/or gas lighting and/or threats (from the notifrication) and then I choose when it’s the appropriate time. Reading something nasty while helping my son study for a big exam or when he’s upset about something would have me agitated and not focused on real issues (not my ex’s). Having the notification, ignoring the calls, saving the tirades – all help to “run away” without being free completely (because of our son) but breaks that control.

        You are not required to answer every phone call, text, email or demand from your ex. This is a business relationship. Facts only. No emotions.

        So if he does do something to your son – teach him the tools prior to protect himself (a cell phone, stash of cash to call you from a pay phone, a neighbor you trust he can go to, how to call 9-1-1 and when he goes for help – what to say. He is to give YOUR number, not his father’s. And when calling 9-1-1? He MUST insist that they come to help – do not call back to verify, as they do with kids to ensure it’s not a game/misdial/etc.)

        And if your son is hurt or something bad happens, although very unfortunate – would be the last time because you already have all this other documentation of the harassment, his visits to the school counselor, his abuse/what happened. You wouldn’t have to worry about changing custody – he would have handled it for you.

        I do not wish any harm to your son – but teach him how to protect himself, what to look for, where to go in the event he needs it. He will. As he gets older and more rebellious, he’s going to need this information.

        In the meantime, Lee AND Simone, disconnect entirely or as much as possible. You owe yourselves, and your son, Simone, much more than these men can ever provide. If you had a friend treat you this way or if you worked somewhere, you’d stop calling or living there or find a new job…so treat it the same. Get out/disconnect/move on.

        • freedomfight says:


          That is great advice. I like your idea of filtering the email. I try not to look at it all day long but it’s there in your face and I am compelled to read them because I feel like I need to defend myself right away. As a result the issues are ever present and get in the way of living my life and focusing on my children.

          I have a couple questions though. Has anybody ever heard of Family Wizard? I went onto the sight and it is a website for co-parenting communication/schedules/information exchange on medical, etc. It was recommended for high conflict divorce cases. Has anyone heard of it or used it?

          Also, my son is 9 and he had an emotional breakdown over a year ago because he couldn’t handle the intensity of my ex’s anger while he lived with us.

          Now, after 6 months of supervised visitation he was granted overnights every other weekend and my son doesn’t want to go. I have to force him to go and to do his daily phone call too.

          My 14 year old daughter refuses to see him or speak to him and is in reunification therapy. They are talking about putting her into an intense reunification therapy program.

          My crazy ex is making up stories and emailing me and cc the reunification therapist and making a documentation trail for the parent evaluator. I am resisting the urge to respond as the messages are getting crazier and crazier.

          I am astonished the professionals allow this. Does anybody have experience with this and what do you recommend I do? Do I respond, defend, and set the record straight? Or do I just let it go and let him (hopefully) bury himself.

          It’s hard to know what the right thing to do here is.

          • Lisa says:


            I use Family Wizard. I admit I like it for many reasons, although it’s not perfect. My emails used to go into “black holes” as I called them – he would say he didn’t get them, so I would resend. He then used the voluminous emails to file federal email harassment charges against me pushing for a year in jail and $250k. I spent $5k and nearly a year defending myself until the State’s attorney prosecuting the case realized what was happening, dropped the charges and expunged the records. Thankfully, I ordered the audio CD of the hearing, had the hearing transcribed and kept all the records – because now he’s claiming I’m lying and “histrionic” and that he never filed any criminal actions against me or anyone – ever because there is no record in the system. Even when I mentioned I have all the documentation, audio, final court transcript and the expungement paperwork and final paperwork that it was removed from the system that was given to his attorney in discovery!

            Family Wizard shows each time a person logs in and what tabs they went into. You can produce reports to show this also. When you send an email, it logs when sent and when the person read it and when they replied (if they do).

            It has eliminated a large portion of the garbage because everything is traceable. If you have a parent coordinator or mediator, they can be ordered (or request) to moderate. Kept communication to minimum – facts only.

            It also helps with calendaring things. If you add something – he can’t delete it. He may choose not to click on that tab – but that’s his problem. The FW system will send him a notification that an item was added to the calendar. What he does with that information is on him – you’re only requirement, as the state’s attorney told me once, is to inform the other parent – one time. What they do with it, or not, is their responsibility – not yours.

            As for the experts, mine was very adept at manipulating them. Be very careful what you say to them, if anything at all. Long story short, any information you provide is not confidential and will be shared – and manipulated by your ex. For example, I had a court order that stated when my ex took our son to any residence but our own, I was to be given full contact information, location, phone, etc for each night he was away. My ex would leave the state and not inform me. When I asked for enforcemtn, I was told I’m micromanaging. When I stated it was a court order, he stated he was afraid I would stalk or harass (because of those federal harassment charges that he “didn’t” file but come up at will when he needs to use it) which given I refuse to go to his house for any reason (even when he asks) and the harassment was found to be falsified – she believed him merely because he said it. My court order meant nothing at this point because he’d manipulated for a year. Phone calls – court ordered every night before bedtime weren’t happening or he’d have him call around 11:30 at night (he wasn’t even 8 then) so he was too tired to remember what he did or to talk or wasn’t coherent. I bring it up, she says I have no proof, I state i’ll bring to the next appointment – then was labeled litigation collecting, inflexible, and micromanaging – “the man fell asleep for God’s sake and is human and makes mistakes, give him a break and get off his back.” Yup, her words. I remind of the court order…I’m inflexible and the court order is merely a tool.

            If he’s able to manipulate, you are going to have a battle on your hands. But don’t ignore the “experts” completely either – just be very, very careful what you say, how much you give and watch your back.

        • Lee says:

          freedomfight – Thank you so much! You are very strong and offer great advice. I live in fear of him “snapping” while my son is there. My son is hoping to be rid of him. I need to do everything I can to protect him. I have my attorney. I have filled the school and the pediatrician in on what’s happening. I am waiting from a list of psychologists from the insurance company.
          My son has his own phone. He has my number programmed, and also his father’s neighbor (who also happens to be a cop in the city where his dad lives) – but he is in FL for a few weeks. I spoke to the officer last week and he said we could contact his department, or 911, but all they would do would be to treat it like a domestic disturbance of the peace. That didn’t offer any warm and fuzzies for a helpful outcome. I do know my son is miserable and hurting emotionally. Starting to take a physical tole, to – as he is constantly complaining of stomach aches and headaches. Last week, after his emotional outpouring, he missed a 1/2 day of school the day after, b/c he physically could not lift his head off the pillow. It was baby steps all morning, to get him to get up and get ready for school. As the week went on, and he spoke with the counselor at school, and with me, and hung out with his friends and got into his activities, he did return to his usual self. Last night, he came home from his weekend, and we were going to play a game, but he changed his mind and wanted down time, instead. He did his nightly bedtime routine and wanted to play xbox with some of his friends – and I listened and watched him laughing and talking. So at least he didn’t seem downtrodden.
          Today, he complained of his stomach being upset, but carried on with his morning routine and went off to school.
          I agree about not responding to emails. I turned the notification of his texts off on my iphone. They still appear, but I don’t get the sound. As far as emails – they don’t come often. I have to forward emails when I receive them from a coach or the church, to let him know schedules. As far as phone calls – we went thru mediation a couple of years ago – it said “The father may call the child’s cell phone directly a few nights a week at 6:30 p.m.”
          He calls my phone – and starts anywhere from 5:00-8:00 – every single night…..leaving it for him to call my son’s phone would only leave my son open to numerous manipulating texts and phone calls throughout the day. So, I don’t mind that he has to call my phone – We have told him we eat supper around 5:30 and that my son gets ready for bed around 8:00 – but he still calls at those times. Telling him what mediation said does nothing, as he feels he is above that. But, I will take your advice to heart and stop responding and giving him an outlet. I do the less is more when I do respond, I supply only facts. The other day – I was proud of myself (with my lawyer in the background, watching from afar) at a school function. He was yelling at me that the roads were bad and I needed to get my son to leave with him as soon as possible (an hour before the event was over). And after I sent him an email about altar serving for Sunday, he yelled at me for sending him the email and that our son was overscheduled – I looked at him and said “I do not make the schedule – these are things that B chooses to do. But I do not schedule when they happen.” and I walked away from him. I felt stronger, and I didn’t hear any more “complaining or bashing” from him…..
          But I will see if ignoring the texts/emails altogether make him stop.

          Thank you so much for your words of encouragement! Good luck to your and your family, as well!! And good luck Simone – I hope you’ll be able to move out and move on peacefully!!! oxo

          • Lisa says:

            Although your mediation agreement says 6:30 on your son’s phone, I can see why you don’t want him to do that. I’d suggest writing a short email that simply says something like this, “As per our agreement regarding phone calls, I will turn my phone on from 6:15 until 7:00 pm for you to reach our son.” Period. Turn off the ringer/do not respond outside of that window – ever -unless an emergency. Why? Because the rules mean nothing to someone who is above it all. You must set boundaries – and keep it no matter what. That is how you regain control. You are not obligated at any other time due to your agreement for anything else. If he starts to contact your son’s phone because he can’t do it through you – put on the parent controls that will allow/prevent calls during certain times. If you are unaware how to do it, contact your cell phone carrier. There’s a small fee – but the peace of mine and regaining your life and sanity back is worth the $5 a month. I promise!

            As for the altar server, coaches, sports, extracurricular, even school – simple answer? “If you have questions or concerns about the schedule, contact the rectory/coach/school and be added to the email distribution list.” And walk away. You owe him nothing more. He’s a grown man. You found out the information…

            Another thing I’ve done is when I’m on an emailing list, I send that contact person an email and cc my ex indicating that I appreciate the information, would they please ensure my son’s father (email included) in any future email distributions going forward? They are always glad to do it, it takes away any responsibility he attaches to you (you didn’t send me the info or you didn’t send in time, etc.) and takes his “fight”.

            Little things to remove yourself from your ex, while regaining your life and maintaining control of the information for your child will absolutely work wonders for your sanity and your child’s. I know firsthand how great it feels!

      • Stevie says:

        I I am so happy that I stubble across this website. I have been going thru similar situation as all these people on here and it is good to know that I am not the crazy one ( as I’ve been being told for so many years).

        I met this wonderful charming man 9 years ago that had had bad relationships with some really horrible women. He was wonderful and we moved in together. He had a daughter about the same age as my son (7-8) after about a year we decided to have a baby of our own. I got pregnant with his first son. His ex wife warned me always about what a terrible man he was, but I didn’t listen. After all she was a drunk and was always losing her visitation (my ex was constantly taking her to court, should have been the first sign). The first night in the hospitall after having out son he starts screaming at me and cursing me out for our son waking him. My jaw hit the floor. He had never spoke to me like that before. After that day, it was down hill. Same scenariois as the rest of you, constant craziness and then there would be a week of normalcy. Back and forth for 7 years. I knew there was something wrong with him but nothing I looked up fit his personality. Last year he moved out, hoping I would beg him to stay. I was so happy that he was leaving. I had supported him financially for our whole relationship because he couldn’t keep a job. He had mad my oldest sons life a living nightmare as he would make up lies about him to try and get him into trouble. His daughter (who after 8 years was like my own) he used as a slave making her do everything for him. So he left, moves into a friends house leaving our son and his daughter behind. Whenever I didn’t give him what he wanted in terms of our son or his truck (that I continued to pay for) he would threaten to take his daughter away from me. So I would comply. I went away for a weekend that he had both kids and decided to not let me see her any more stating I was a bad influence.

        We both have lawyers and have still not been to court the set up custody. My attorney told me that I have the rights over what happens with out son right now because we were never married and have not been to court. I have been letting him dictate how visitation is scheduled because he kept telling me that the judge will look down on me for not giving him 50% and how he will take him from school or switch his bus. When I call the school they say that they can’t stop him because he is on the birth certificate. So I have been letting him run it for fear of messing my sons head up and for the aftermath of taking control away . I finally got the school to contact their legal dept and realized my ex has no rights to our son other than his school records until we go to court.
        So as soon as I finish this story, I am sending my ex an email telling him the “new” schedule. I know that he will flip out and I am still very scared. Please pray for me….
        Good luck to you all

        • Lisa says:

          You are being prayed for.

          Let him flip out. You don’t control him and you don’t own his behavior.

          Keep it very simple and don’t engage when he responds. He can’t fight with you if you aren’t responding!

          He will try different things, but tell your child the schedule. Let your child know that if dad comes on a day he shouldn’t to go to the office or a teacher and have them call you to ensure it’s okay (because he’ll try, “Mom texted/called and said to pick you up, she’s running late” for example) Teach your child to be empowered.

          You also. Just because your ex says something or threatens you doesn’t make it true. What does he know other than bullying you to get what he wants?

          And there’s another issue. It’s status quo. If you keep giving in to visitation/demands and it goes on long enough? He can claim it’s the status quo (there’s another term but it’s slipping my mind right now), it’s working and therefore a change would be disruptive for your child. So if he has 50/50 now – no judge will give him less (or you more) unless you can PROVE it’s not working. A child with a stomach ache? Not gonna work. I hear you – mine had rectal bleeding, hair twirling, crying, stomach issues, ran away (at 9)…all discounted as the kid is just dealing with divorcing high conflict kids – get him into counseling even though he told all “experts” what was going on and he didn’t want to go to his father’s anymore.

          So set the terms you want now – and keep it! If you have to make changes, demand “makeup” time and make it clear it’s a one time instance (family reunion, funeral, wedding for example)

          Good luck and stay strong – your child is watching, learning and absorbing and will need your strength and the tools you use to deal for himself in the future.

          • Stevie says:

            Thank you! It really is empowering reading all this. People in our situations feel trapped and controlled. He always makes me feel like I’m doing our son wrong and that im going to get into trouble. My fear is that we have been doing 50/50 since like August or September and I’m just now getting the nerves to change it and it’s too late. I get mad at myself for being so weak and fear that I’ve lost already. But, I need to make a change now just in case. I’m not sure if a judge will understand about being mentally abused?? My son is now 7 and is so sweet when he’s with me but it takes a couple days to get him back to normal. Right now our son thinks his dad is awesome so that makes me sad also This is all very stressful and I worry for my safety as he is big into guns. And everyone thinks he is such a great guy.

          • Lisa says:

            Do not beat yourself up – your ex has done enough of that. This is the new start for you and your son. The past is over. His control over you – gone. He will try and you will falter at times, but stay strong and keep your head up. You were dealing with a situation as best as you knew how to deal with it and what you thought best at the time. You now that a change is needed. The only thing that would be “wrong” (and not the right word) would be knowing the change is needed and doing nothing about it. You know you have to be strong. You know that changes are needed. And now you know that you are not only not alone but that there are tools, resources, people to help you stand strong.

            Talk to your lawyer too. I am not a lawyer and not giving legal advice – just been through system and dragged through the courts since 2007 continuously. I have another hearing on Wednesday because of unresolved issues from a hearing 6 months ago!

            I’ve gone to a counselor for a couple of years with the focus of learning tools to pass on to my son because my ex wouldn’t allow him to go to a counselor. It was very, very helpful not only for my son but for me.

            My search now is because my son does have tools and knowledge but now has questions I can’t necessarily answer – until after the fact. I found this sight in search of help for him. I’m looking for focus groups, blogs, books and reading materials/workbooks for him so that he can become empowered on his own journey. So much is written on children as adults and what happened. My son knows now but isn’t old enough to stop some things and still too young to completely comprehend.

            My focus is teaching my son the tools he needs to “survive”, validate and get past this so that when he’s old enough to make that tough decision – he’s empowered through his own knowledge and will, as well as had the strength of a mother who stood by him through it all, to do what’s best for him.

            Good luck!

  64. Melinda says:

    I’m sorry you are all going through this. I didn’t realize there were so many people dealing with a sociopathic ex. My ex not only is cold, never attempted to care for or interact with our daughter as a baby, he also harmed her when I wasn’t looking . Ex: feeding her hot sauce. He stabbed himself as a teen, and also reported he hears voices in high school and college. I’m so scared he will harm our 3 year old if he gets her for 6-8 weeks in the summer. We went to court and he did a good job at lying throughout the proceedings. Before I could tell my lawyer he was lying he was spilling out another lie. He was ordered to take a psychological test and refused to take it and especially refused to pay for it so the court asked me to pay for it if he agrees to take it. ($5,000). I’m scared for my daughters life and can’t stop crying. I don’t know if a good liar can pass those exams but it’s scary to put all the eggs into that one basket. If he passes he gets to take her for extended time in the summer. Right now we have supervised visitation . Any advice on what else I can do?

    • Peace247 says:

      I’m sorry to hear you are going through this. It seems like you should be able to choose the evaluator if you are paying for it, but I’m not familiar enough with that process. Hopefully someone else will have some suggestions for you. Maybe make sure the evaluator has access to the case file for history and documentation of your concerns?

    • freedomfight says:

      Hi Melinda.

      DOCUMENT, document, document.

      Get a recorder and turn it on EVERY time he is in your presence. (Even phone calls).
      Keep a journal of lies and events. Sociopaths repeat the strategies that work for them. I keep them in a log Date/type/Incident. I broke the types into categories. PT (parenting time) H (harassment) L (lie) S (stalking). Go back as far as you can remember and enter it on this timeline. Keep it up to date by the day. Also, any communication to him should be BIFF. Brief, Informative, Firm, Friendly.

      Read the book SPLITTING. It was recommended to me in the very beginning by my children’s psychologist.

      PUT HIM IN A MENTAL BOX. Don’t read or take the emails/texts/phone calls from him as they come. Save them for certain times and respond to all of them at designated times and deal with him. Then close it and make a life for yourself and your children. (Very hard to do but very good advice.)

      STAY CALM. Professionals are trying to figure out who the nut is. Quite frankly, I was acting like a nut trying to get them to understand what I was going through. When I stopped, they paid attention. Be very careful with the supervisor. My ex wrapped her around his finger and used her to support his case to stop the supervised visitation.

      I don’t think you can outsmart the test and I would be shocked if a court ordered an extended period of 8 weeks coming from supervised visitation. Usually the judges are more careful than that. I would also be surprised they would put a baby through that. At that age they should not be separated from either parent for that long.

      I am sorry you are going through this too but know that you are not alone and we get it!

      Stay calm, strong and get in physical/mental shape. Make no mistake you are running a marathon.

  65. Summer says:

    This resonates with me in a profound way. So affirming. I know I’m not crazy. But man, he can make me feel like I’m looney. And we’ve been divorced for 9 years

  66. Corina says:

    I have a sociopathic father and It makes me sick to my stomach just thinking about him. He has no remorse for anything or anyone.
    He and my mother divorced when I was 4, my sister was 5 and my brother was 10 (I am now 26). My brother remembers a lot more than me and some of the stories scare me. My father was jealous, controlling and mentally and physically abuse towards my mother. After their divorce I rarely saw him, possibly once a year as he moved to another state. At this stage I was unaware of what he was really like as my mother shielded me from it until I was about 20 years old. I wanted to spend more time with him, get to know him better so i moved closer to him. I decided to regularly meet him out for coffee. It was fine at first but the things he said and did were unforgivable. He once said to me “all woman are accessories”. I was very offended by that. He was also very secretive about any of his movements saying “I have secret mens business to attend to, It doesn’t concern you”.
    After re-locating to another state (where my father lived), I enrolled into uni and he openly offered me a room in his home. As the home was technically owned by the family trust (his side), his brother approached me the first day I moved in with a contract, stating that I would only live there for 3 months. I was instantly offended and told my father that I wanted to leave immediately. He insisted I stay, not letting me leave the house, even grabbing my arm aggressively. My pregnant sister who was there for support, stood up for me and told my dad I was leaving. He forcefully threw her metres to the ground. This was when his true sociopathic qualities started to become aware to me.
    This was when my mother started telling me more about my abusive father. I was 20. My mother has never been a big talker, bit of a closed person. Now I finally understand why.
    She told me that he would constantly call her names, push and kick her, control where she went, go mental if dinner wasn’t on the table by 6pm every night. He once smashed a bottle over her head. When she finally got the courage to leave him, he said that if she tried to take any of his money that he would kill her. And this is just a snippet to what I have witnessed and head about him over the years.
    My mother was a housewife, with no money and 3 kids…
    She tried to shield me for 20 years and told me that she wanted me to have my own opinion of him.
    I have over-time convinced myself that I am not worthy of love. I honestly don’t know what a real relationship consists of because of my mothers relationships following her divorce to my father. I have also had an on-and-off eating disorder for years and can’t seem to fully kick it. I was in a relationship was a man that had similar qualities to my father, emotionally manipulative, controlling, jealous. It’s been 3 ½ years since and I’m scared to be with another person because I don’t want anyone to know the depths of my family and my personal struggles. And I don’t want to end up with someone like m father. On the plus side I am university educated, very career focused and determined to make it by myself without a man by my side.

  67. Gabrielle Felix says:

    Besides the fact that my x husband didn’t use my kids’ identities for frodulence, the behavior and our story is so very similar. In our case when my x does not get his way or if you’d stand up for yourself or your children in defense, he would get scarily physical, so we have never argued nor negotiated with him. His ugly attitude I always covered in front of the kids for peace sake – until my daughter was catching on last year at age 9, like you say they start realizing how nasty their father is, and then I was fully there for her to support her – which of course broke us financially and have a long, chaotic, living in fear for 11 years ahead of us, until my younger child is legal age. Thank you so much for this share. It reassures that my kids and I are not crazy, and that perhaps kids can heal from this unfortunate trauma that they do not deserve.

  68. Jennifer says:

    Try, for one moment, to imagine your sociopath ex is one of the highest ranking Law Enforcement Officers in the state in which you live with your 3children. It is pure hell on earth.
    ~ Anonymous

  69. kate says:

    It makes me sad to read this because I am the child of a sociopath and the example you have described with the coat has been how most days of my life went. Manipulation at its very best with me feeling like I am a piece of ice dissolving in a hot drink. It is horrible to go through and now as an adult I feel really bad knowing what my mum was going through. I can safely say that I am not a sociopath BUT I can also say that if I choose to I can con and manipulate anyone at the drop of a hat because I have learnt how to do it by growing up in such an environment. I choose not to do it because in my heart I recognize how disgusting a sociopath is and I am repulsed by my parents mere existence.

    You should be proud of yourself for what you are doing and you are giving hope to other mothers who have children with a sociopath.

    It has taken me years and years to finally accept, and come to terms with the fact that everything I have been feeling in my life (inadequacy, frightened, invisible etc) were a result of my father being a sociopath. Once I realized that and I stopped justifying his behaviours and when I stopped trying to love him I started to be free. This happened after 2 years of therapy and I am still on the road to recovery.
    Lastly, never deprive yourself of the right to acknowledge the damage that a sociopath has done to you. Once you acknowledge that you can begin to realize how horrible things were and how your way of thinking and sense of being has been changed by the sociopath. Only then can you begin to change it.

    Take loads of care and remember, not everyone you meet in life will be your sociopathic father/mother. 🙂 xxx

  70. marchellesams says:

    my grandkids’s mother is a sociopath my son is having a hard time in family court because she always makes herself look good. her lawyers defense.. its not against the law to be a bad mother!! Are you kidding me. When did we loose the humanity!! As Adults where did we go wrong that we cant even protect children!!

  71. Julie says:

    Thank you all for sharing. Sad that so many have to deal with this. I am 8 years on this side of the traumatic divorce and now moving through the painful hell of my daughter being twisted by her sick spo Dad since she is now considered of age to decide where she wants to live his interest is renewed. My ex and his new wife are constantly doing everything they can to poison my children. My relationships with my older sons is slowly moving towards healing. All of your posts and shared stories are treasure! Thank you. Praying and a supportive healthy husband has helped. Truth and love are so important for our children!

  72. Simon says:

    Although I notice most of the commenters are women, I will nevertheless relate my experience. By divine grace alone, I am still breathing and surviving. Grief overwhelms me more often than I let on to decent family members and friends. I was emotionally assassinated for years by not one, but TWO extremely juvenile, predatory, self-absorbed, semi-literate excuses for adults. I’ve minimized and excused their sickening behavior out of fear of losing it entirely. I’m 28, a native of California, writer, vegan, and Seventh-Day Adventist Christian.

    Thanks to the likes of them, I have nothing in the way of family support. My church has been an absolute lifesaver. The friends I have met are truly godsends. I fear what I may have become if not for God’s gentle and empowering help.

    What’s critical for victims to understand is that most western governments are controlled by absolute sociopaths, which through the media, have attempted to spread their degenerate and depraved mindsets. Needless to say, Hollywood has sold many Americans on the “survival of the fittest” mentality, which inevitably pollutes the dynamics of intimate relationships creating division and broken families. No matter how politically correct and supposedly intellectually superior secularism has become, the fact remains that a dark spiritual realm definitely exists and influences the behavior of those that give permission for it to use them for its purposes. I’ve seen firsthand this influence in my own family’s actions. It’s a rabid and heartless spirit of sadism and inhumanity. It’s pure darkness mixed with zero human decency.

    I’m in the process of freeing myself from all communication with the previously mentioned adult children and disarming their attempts at sabotage and meddling.

    Thank you for reading.

    – Simon (pseudonym)

    • Maria says:

      I totally understand you Simon. My son is 28 years old and he also has been destroyed by one predator, and as you rightfully said only by the grace of God he survived and it is finally divorced.
      Confidence and trust in God is why basically kept me going. Now I pray for my three grand kids that are still with their psycho mother. I pray that He protects them from the evil that surrounds them and the hell that they are living in right now and every day.

  73. Laurie Syme says:

    Loved the article, however, my 25 year old daughter is fully in her Sociopathic fathers camp. He is very rich and successful and attracts many people. He rewards her loyalty with “money”, and she thinks he’s the greatest man on this planet. My heart is broken. 10 years I’ve been legally divorced from this man, he has remarried, and together they travel, and play all over the world. I’m now realizing that my daughter is so enamored with her father, she doesn’t call me or spend time with me. I fear I’ve lost her for good. She would never allow me to tell her the truth, although lately she has been in contact with me saying she is suffering from “homesickness”. I know she has the ability to hear the truth and heal, however it may be too late. I feel lost and alone. I’m broke, how is it possible that this very mentally ill man has been allowed to be filthy rich?? Money gives people power, makes them attractive to others. Well, I’m tired, been fighting this for most of my adult life, want to be surrounded by loving and caring people.

  74. Becky Elliott says:

    Thank you for telling my story. I pray for my daughter and strength for her each for when the day comes he tries to re insert himself into her life. How and does she , have the strength and courage , to get and keep him away from her?

  75. Bob says:

    I just got out of a relationship with a sociopath who has 2 children. Fortunately, they aren’t mine. One has Aspergers and major self esteem issues. The lies and manipulation are devastating to children trying to learn fundamental social skills. I feel terrible for her kids. Worse, she ghosted me as the relationship ended never giving me an opportunity to say goodbye to the children I spent a year and a half building a bond with. She wore a mask of kindness for the first year but my instincts kicked in just in time. I’m an empath, which makes it even more complex. Anyone else an empath who had a relationship with a sociopath? Thanks.

    • Maria says:

      Bob, best thing that could ever happen to you. Keep her away from you as much as you possible can. They are evil people.

  76. Ирина says:

    The typical sociopathic parent is deceitful, irresponsible and indifferent to others’ feelings. Lack of remorse for wrongdoing and impulsivity are commonly held traits.

  77. Marie says:

    Reading your article was like reading the story of my own thirty year marriage to a sociopath. I have since left, but the children and I are still trying to recover from the damage. I have a teenage son who is just like his father, he is now my tormentor. I am working to try and get him the psychological help he needs, but he is a master manipulator. I carry the guilt of not being able to find our freedom sooner. Thank you for writing this.

    • Cheryle says:

      If your son truly is a sociopath, you will not be able to get him help. He thinks nothing is wrong, except that you are weak for allowing him to walk all over you.

  78. Kim says:

    I just discovered that my mother is a sociopath, at a young age I was diagnosed with depression by a school guidance counselor who blamed my mother for my illness.. She made me starve myself because I was “too fat and needed to lose fifteen pounds” (which didn’t make sense because I was healthy and very physically active as a child), after a neighbor of ours said I was getting too skinny and looked unhealthy, she made me gain the weight back.. She ruined relationships, opportunities, and kept very important information of mine away from me (passport, social security card, birth certificate), and her reason was because she’s afraid I’d “lose everything” even though she new how bad j needed it.. And made it almost impossible for me to take control of my life even after trying to get too involved in my pasts jobs.. She was never supportive in any aspect of my life, she would give me gifts to later use them to manipulate me.. My senior prom was all about her, the night I dreamt of for years became a night that I’d dread and wished to never remember.. I attempted suicide that night after prom had ended and my life was saved by my cousin who was at prom with me and friends.. Years later I told my mother what I tried to do and asked her for help, instead she reminded me that I was a person with “issues”, and was only depressed because I had “nothing going on in my life”.. Now I’m trying to get my things together, leave, and cut ties with her forever.. I never knew what her issue with me was until I learned what a sociopath is and started doing a lot of research on it..

    • Peace247 says:

      I’m sorry this had to be your experience. I’m also glad that you have the wherewithal to realize that it’s not about you. When you arm yourself with information you are better able to make healthy choices. Please continue to learn and grow and know there are others in similar situations who are so willing to offer support and love.

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