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Dear Chump Lady, Is he a decent man with a series of unfortunate events?

Dear Chump Lady,

I meet this knight on a white horse 12 years ago when coming out of a violent relationship, he was charismatic, good looking, a successful business man and in general well liked but most of all understanding and supportive.

Not even a few months into the relationship I was contacted by someone I didn’t know very well to inform me that The Knight had taken his ex to Australia on one occasion and that he was in fact spending a long weekend with her at another destination not far from my home (and yes I got in my car and drove to the hotel to verify). He used the excuse that he was trying to let her down gently as she was very emotionally unstable and needy. I brought that excuse hook line and sinker….

So our relationship continued and we eventually married and had a gorgeous little boy who is now 5. However, there have been many instances through our marriage that have just broken me, broken my trust. He always had an amazing explanation, but mostly I was over analysing an innocent situation and that he was merely a good person doing good things for people.

My eyes were opened when I started noticing his behaviours towards people that would stand up to him. He would cull them quick smart and set about doing some really illegal and retributive things to them, things that would never be able to be pinned on him but left the culled person knowing exactly who it came from.

If all of this wasn’t enough, the worst situation was yet to be unveiled to me.

The months following the birth of our child, he went out on New Years by himself as I was too exhausted with a newborn. I understand this is where he meet his equal — a female equivalent of himself, but a victim all the same. The hiding of the cell phone began, all the lunch and tea dates increased more than usual, and when I would question why someone would be sending him love hearts on his cell phone, he told me that I was misreading his text messages. This whatever-it-was relationship continued for two years and I think I actually went insane mentally and emotionally. He always had excuses for all the fucked up examples of him cheating.

So, the Other Woman is now in jail serving a seven-year jail term for bank fraud. (She worked in a bank and ripped off customers). He promised me that he was not in contact with her, but I found the filling cabinet with piles and piles of communication. I gave him so many opportunities to come clean about them but he chose to keep lying to me until I produced copies of them, he then offered me the explanation that he was just doing what he needed to do because he stood to make a lot of money from this woman and her family!

Gob smacked.

So the here and now is my brain is on overload and my heart in tatters — is he the decent man with a set of unfortunate events that keep arising or really he doesn’t give a rats arse about me?


Dear Jodyann,

Wrong question. The right question is — how do I find a pit bull attorney to divorce this psycho? Or how quickly do I alert the authorities to the contents of his filing cabinet and indemnify myself from any of my husband’s illegal activities?

Jodyann, let’s connect the dots. He had a two-year affair with this woman, that you KNOW of, during which time she was defrauding bank customers. Gee, you think she came up with that scheme on her own? Or never shared it with him? He told you himself he thought he stood to gain a lot of money from her and her family. He was in the relationship for financial gain. And then, Holy Mother of Coincidences! She is jailed for bank fraud?

He’s an accessory to a crime, at the least. You’re dealing with a sociopath.

I’m sorry you married and bred with a sociopath, Jodyann. Join the chump club. But sweetheart, you must switch your brain out of the “does he love me and is he misunderstood?” gear, and shift into “GET THE HELL AWAY FROM HIM NOW” gear.

Does he give a rat’s ass about you? No. No he does not. Or your son. Or the woman rotting in jail for him. Or anyone else. He’s a disordered, scary, piece of shit.

Is he a decent man with a string of unfortunate events? Oh sure and I’m Britney Spears.

Do decent people lie and cheat? When decent people are called on their shit, do they cull them quick smart and set about doing some really illegal and retributive things to them, things that would never be able to be pinned on him but left the culled person knowing exactly who it came from.

No, you’re describing Mexican drug cartels.

This is what you need to do — collect every scrap of evidence you have on him. Everything in that filing cabinet, whatever you’ve got. Collect all your important documents and identity papers and put them in a safe place with a third party, or in a lock box. Meanwhile, play the chump to your husband. Act — like you’ve acted so many times before — like you swallow his bullshit stories.

Then you hire an attorney — find the toughest, hard ass attorney you can find. A former prosecutor would do nicely, who also does family law. Someone who can make hay on his connection to Miss Bank Fraud. You give all your evidence to this lawyer, and you plan your escape.

Do not ever HINT to him that you’re leaving or considering divorce. Get away and THEN drop the bomb of having him served divorce papers. He is by your own description a vindictive, scary person. You need the boot of the law on his neck. Never, EVER remove that boot. Do NOT try to mediate with him. Do NOT try any sort of diplomacy or appealing to his better nature. He has NO better nature. He wants to con you — and if you leave him, he will want to punish you.

Once you get away, you MUST go no contact. Because he will try very hard to draw you back  in, to manipulate you. He will try charm, and if that doesn’t work, he’ll try threats and rages. He will not want to lose control — your best defense against all of this mindfuckery is to stay no contact. All communication must go through your attorney.

Next, you need serious therapy. You were in a relationship with a violent man before and you chose another sociopath. You’ve got to fix that picker. You need a therapist to help you explore why you have stifled your voice for all these years. You KNOW what you saw. You KNOW what he is, and you refused to believe it. You denied your reality. You were gaslighted. A good therapist will help you explore these issues and stay no contact with this man.  A woman’s shelter would also be a good option. Talk to a domestic violence counselor. This fraudulent, mindfuckery is abuse. He doesn’t have to hit you to control you. He’s done quite a good job keeping you fronting for him.

That has to stop today. He is endangering you and your son. You need to leave this frightening, criminal person, Jodyann. Do not delay. Start the new year FREE.

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Sorry about the comments not appearing before. Some WP wigginess. Fixed now! Join the chorus.

  • Well, that’s frightening.

    Have to look past an awful lot of turd to see the diamond in that pile, I guess.

    I got to the stuff about illegality before deciding more turd than diamond, and the diamond is probably cheap glass.

  • If there was ever a way to scream “GET OUT!” louder than using caps, this is it. You really need to protect yourself. If the OW is in jail for bank fraud, and (lawyers, please help me out on this one in case I’m wrong) if there is any chance at all that your STBXH was involved, there might be a chance you would be named on any lawsuit as well due to the fact that you’re married to him, and by extension, possibly stand to lose a lot of money.

    This is one seriously messed-up situation, and you shouldn’t feel any guilt or remorse in getting out. Protect yourself and your boy.

    • To say nothing of the fact that there’s probably years of sketchy, if not outright fraudulent tax filings (JOINT) that have her signature on them.

  • I got goose bumps reading your story Jodyann. Your life sounds like a crime novel. You need to become the hero and not the victim in your story.

  • JodyAnn,

    Your story is so similar to mine in many ways, but I was blessed that he left me for the OW and threatened to kidnap our children unless I filed for divorce immediately. You’re thinking, “Blessed?” Yes, because that saved me from being dragged into his criminal nightmare, which I only found out about after he’d gone – I refused to believe he was capable of that until I’d been no contact for a few months, and then the truth rained down like shards of glass. Please, please, get away with your child. Be smart and safe, and go quickly. Play the game, so he doesn’t suspect anything, but get away. You will be investigated (I was), and you will be able to say honestly that you had no part in his evil. My daughter was 5 too – when this all happened. The truth will become clearer, in time, but for now, just get away and be safe. If he’s capbable of what you’ve described, he is capable of anything. Prayers to you and your son.

  • CL,
    I hope this story shows you how much, so many need a education / permission(?) on getting out of a toxic relationship .
    I have read stories of multiple “D Days “, the OW pregnant with a husbands child, wives getting an STD, and now an accessory to a crime.
    Yet, so many chumps still want to ” make it work”.
    I sincerely hope your book will start a national conversation, on infidelity , and the abuse is truly is.
    Best Wishes to All in 2014 !

  • This is borderline criminal. Unless you want to spend the rest of your life in jail, you need to take action NOW

  • JodyAnn, be very careful leaving, prepare well – this guy sounds like he has a lot of wealth too so that makes it harder. Don’t tell him any thing you have not already told him about what you know. And that filing cabinet is probably empty by now, or he’s removed the incriminating stuff, but maybe not if he still thinks you are “on his side” and “have his back”. Make sure he keeps thinking that “it you two against the world” until you can make a clean break or you may be in for a world of hurt. These people escalate when they loose control of you, and it can get life threatening. Be very careful. (jedi hugs)

  • JodyAnn – Yes, get away. But don’t let on yet. See an attorney (free consult, or pay cash, so your cheater doesn’t know) so you know your rights. Make copies of everything – financial, from his affair-filing cabinet, anything you might need, and keep them in a safe place away from home (a friend’s house, perhaps?). Get some money together. Open a credit card in your name only. Pick out a few valuables from your house and store them somewhere else, just what you really love, and nothing that he would miss. Your attorney can help you set a date to file, and plan the day so you and your son won’t be privy to his reaction when he gets the news. He may be rageful, or may be charming to win you back. Both are dangerous.

    Leaving is scary, I know. But it is more scary to stay with him. As a person with a big heart, you need to protect yourself, because **he won’t**. He is looking out for number one.

  • I’m going to be a bit tough on you here: this guy over the years did things to other people who crossed him in ways that couldn’t be traced to him. Right there you’ve got a bad egg. Then he cheated a lot? An even worse egg.

    JodyAnn, you’re trying to convince yourself he’s just misunderstood and has ‘problems’. I’m here to tell you you need to face up to the fact that he’s criminal and he’s a sociopath.

    I was married to a serial cheater who wasn’t a criminal – but screwed things up professionally several times and it was ALWAYS someone else’s fault. Loads of excuses and always delivered with great charm from his handsome face.

    Chump Lady is correct in that as soon as he realises you don’t buy his charming act anymore he will become cruel, he will rage and he will want to destroy you. He’s done it to others already and yep, he’ll try to do it to you, so take CL’s advice, lawyer up with a pitbull, get all your ducks in a row and protect yourself from this asshole.

    I’m still dealing with my ex’s fuckery two years on and it’s partly because I was too dumb and naive to see that no, he wasn’t some poor guy who made mistakes, he was – and remains – a prize asshole who cannot deal with anyone who doesn’t go along with his narrative.

    It sucks to have chosen such a shit for a partner and to have children with but you’ve got to work with what you have right now – and what you have is the element of surprise, along with a lot of damaging knowledge about him. Use it to your advantage to get yourself and your child away from him.

    Best of luck and I hope 2014 sees you free and living a much better life.

  • Is he a decent man? Jodyann, try and detach yourself, then read over your letter as if you were an outsider. Does a man who lies, cheats, is extremely vindictive, does illegal activities and is most likely at least partly responsible for the bank fraud that put his OW in jail sound like a “decent man” to you? If a friend was in your same situation, would you tell her she was married to a decent man? Would you want your daughter to be married to such a man?

    Your husband is way beyond just being a cheating, lying pig. He’s also a sociopath and dangerous. You need to be extremely careful, because people like him are capable of anything when the chips are down. Go into secrecy mode, and start gathering all the financial evidence you can, and anything that might help your case. Do not breath a word of your unhappiness to that horrible man. GET OUT AS SOON AS YOU CAN. Seriously, in your case it’s not even the cheating that concerns me as much as the very real possibility that your husband will get YOU put in jail for something HE does.

  • A *decent* man with a series of *unfortunate* events? More like an *indecent* man with a series of *predictable* events.

    Your spouse sounds like a selfish narcissist who is perhaps a cut above the violent boyfriend who preceded him but is several cuts below most other life forms including some that lack a spinal column and live in septic tanks.

    They recently made a movie about people like your sparkly fraudster. It’s called “The Wolf of Wall Street”:

    Perhaps this is an exaggeration of what you’re dealing with, but watch how the protagonist treats his wives, business partners and “friends” to get an idea of what motivates these people and how a life constructed with them inevitably implodes. Want an even better idea? Read this letter from the daughter of one of the associates of the REAL Wolf of Wall Street:

    It’s a sad and ugly picture. You and your child deserve better. Wishing you New Strength in the New Year to leave ugly and find better.

  • Jodyann, listen to Chump Lady. Every single word and especially the part about the boot of the law on his neck. This is serious shit. Please trust that we are not exaggerating.

    Be the best actress you can muster and take very strategic steps to get away from this disordered, criminal bastard. My cheater was a sweet, gentle, kind guy and it took me months to sober up that he was not my friend. Don’t wait to sober up, act now and the sobering will come eventually, trust me.

    You are not alone. Chump Nation is behind you. Your kick ass lawyer will be a new friend. A good therapist will be another new friend. Please let keep Chump Lady posted on your progress. Hugs to you!

  • Oh my god, get away from this man.

    CL is right. Do you think that the bank fraud was only the plan of the AP and that she never shared any of it with him? NOOOOOOOOOOOO. The comment of how “he could stand to gain a lot of money from her and her family?”

    I can guarantee you that the bank fraud was HIS idea and when they started feeling some heat, he threw her under the bus. I would put my own money down that it’s supposed to be him in prison.

    He’s vindictive, and retaliates against people he feels have slighted him in illegal ways. He is involved in bank fraud crime, and he threw his AP under the bus. He gaslighted you every single time you caught him red-handed.

    Do you really think that he won’t hesitate to string you up on the same gallows as everyone else he has retaliated against? He will. He absolutely will.

    No, he doesn’t care about you. You’re a front to him. If he were Walter White, you’d be the car wash business he uses to launder his cash. He’s a criminal and he needs a front to make him look like a normal, innocent person. “Who me? A fraudulent bank criminal? Couldn’t be! I have a lovely wife and a son, see? I’m a family man!”

    LISTEN TO CHUMP LADY. Gather all the evidence you possibly can. Keep it secret, keep it locked up and hidden. Don’t let him know you have it until you are safely out of the house and miles away with a lawyer on your side. And believe me, you need a lawyer with a crocodile jaw grip. Because this guy will not hesitate to “cull” you. And he’ll probably try to do it in the nastiest way possible because your evidence could land him in prison. If I were you, I would mention to your lawyer that he is dangerous and you are at risk of being retaliated against.

  • This whatever-it-was relationship continued for two years and I think I actually went insane mentally and emotionally. He always had excuses for all the fucked up examples of him cheating.
    1.You were already tired from caring for an infant of course you went alittle crazy.
    2. Defination of an excuse : a defense of some offensive behavior or some failure to keep a promise ect.
    My advice: find a lawyer know your rights. get all you financial and other information and store it off sight. Had sex with him? get tested for STD’s!
    This is not a Knight in Shining Armor this is a psycopath that you must protect yourself against emotionally and financially.

  • Jodyann,
    I’ve had firsthand experience in dealing with a husband like yours. This was an unfortunate situation, However as a result I also have firsthand experience regarding what a sociopath is capable of and how they think and function. Have learned a great deal regarding how important it is to protect oneself and especially to protect our children from being a pawn for sociopath abuse.
    It is important that you GET OUT ASAP However you are also in a situation where you have the opportunity to gather information and evidence that could prove to be very helpful to you, to your and your son’s wellbeing and for your future.
    It seems that you may actually be in much more danger then you realize. Shift your perspective asap to seeing only the obvious truth. Do not assume anything noble, good, kind, or human about your husband. i.e. “oh my husband would never do that”. Having empathy for your husband, being naive, blindly trusting or assuming anything that that would be connected to your belief that he is nice because you married him, this is all dangerous assumption. Know that he will use your propensity for trusting, for compassion and kindness against you.
    Also know this, sociopaths do not really care about their partners or their children and they will use their own children against a partner if this option is available to them. They will coldly use their own child as a way to control the power dynamic of a relationship situation. It is not unusual for a disturbed soulless manipulative person, that has no problem with criminal behavior, to very coldly use custody or their legal rights to a child, as a way of continuing to control a spouse or partner that is leaving or challenging them. True sociopaths do not care about the wellbeing of their children or anyone for that matter, however they are usually skilled at pretending and appearing like they do. Children need to be protected from psychopathic/ sociopath abuse. It sounds like your husband is clever and skilled in manipulation and revengeful acts and it seems he enjoys making life very difficult for anyone that gets in his way. Your husband has shown you that he can be cold and calculating against those that try to challenge him or his behavior in any way. He most likely will try to use anything that will serve his own self-aggrandizing evil agendas.
    Also- Now is the time to honor your intuitive function and to utilize your survival skills. Is there any evidence that is available to you that would prove that he is the criminal that he obviously seems to be? Is there anything that you know but do not know you know????? Go into your memory banks now and take serious note of anytime you remember having an intuitive hit or gut feeling that something was “odd”, “off” or “not right” in something he said or did or in any interaction you had with him or with those he interacted with. Pay attention to any and all intuitive hits you have ever had regarding him. Look very closely at these intuitive hits. Ask yourself “what was really going on?” Why did you experience these intuitive hits? Then make a timeline and start connecting the truth dots. This man most likely has a long history of criminal or pathological behavior. Has anyone tried to tell you this before?
    It is important that you do no not let on in any way that you are on to him. Gather any information now that may help you shed light on the truth. Anything you can do to insure that he will be very busy dealing with the reality of his own illegal behaviors will be helpful because he then will have less time and energy to direct to making you and your son miserable. If he has to cover his own hind side or if he is in jail for being accessory to a crime or for any other reason, he will be less likely to misuse or harm your child and he will be less likely to have time to direct his energy to destroying you for the fun of it. I wish you the best, Stay Strong and DO NOT SECOND GUESS WHAT YOU KNOW YOU KNOW!!!!

  • Things I did to hide money while planning… grocery store, use debit card, buy things you have no intention of keeping, such as teeth whitening strips, that cost a lot. Return them later. You get cash back for a debit purchase, it never shows on the account, put it some place safe, such as a in HIS CLOSET. he won’t search his own things for your stuff.
    PLAN, PLAN, PLAN! Go as far back as you need to. I got copies of his divorce prior to our marriage to prove what he had/did not have before we got married. I hid it in a suitcase in the rafters of the attic.
    Luckily my son’s prek teacher was married to the city attorney so I got referred to a shark lawyer. Over estimate anything you think you will spend money on.
    STRIKE FIRST AND STRIKE FRICKIN HARD. I was lucky, I purchased a house 3 years ago in my home town, 5 hours from x. when I hit, I was far enough away, he couldn’t hit back right away. FILE ALL YOUR SHIT, KISS HIM GOODBYE THAT MORNING, AND CHANGE THE LOCKS.
    he is the enemy. you think some random nobody who did some random thing pissed him off? oh honey, he will come for you hard.
    You can do this. Play smart, play to win. Play him because you only get one chance.
    Also, I was always too scared to copy his text messages to the computer, but if you know how to do it, or know someone you trust with your son’s life who knows how, do that too.
    Scariest thing I have ever done, but holy crap is it worth it.
    You know he is a pos, didn’t think I needed to add to the other posts on that front.

  • just as a side note, if you decide to go to the authorities, cover your ass. if he used marital money, or bought things/paid for anything in your house by illegal activities, you COVER YOUR OWN ASS FIRST. blackmail/threaten to use it, but be careful you don’t lose your stuff bcz he broke the law. get a criminal attorney to look at everything, get immunity as well as a guarantee they won’t take your home or freeze your accounts if you turn him in.
    Number one priority is protect yourself and your son.
    I am not heartless, I am not a bad ass. What I am is a mother. I will cut my own father to save my babies. I am over emotional at times, I am the first to lend a helping hand even if the person doesn’t deserve it. You may not be a bad ass either. You may be the sweet lady down the street who bakes cookies for her son’s entire frickin class on your way to the homeless shelter to knit blankets for the kids. Number one thing is, you ARE A MOM. treat this like your son’s life is at stake bcz it very well may be.

  • “He would cull them quick smart and set about doing some really illegal and retributive things to them, things that would never be able to be pinned on him but left the culled person knowing exactly who it came from.”

    For readers going forward: If your partner treats other people like that, it’s a dead-on indication of his character. If folks are slick/cruel/mean/doing illegal stuff, that should be an immediate deal-breaker.

    Be careful. The advice here is good. Best of luck.

  • Jodyann, please listen to everyone here and secretly plan your exit. Be smart about it and don’t be guided by your emotions. Plan intelligently with your and your son’s safety as the number one priority.

    Your ex is BEYOND help. He is who he is and will harm anyone who crosses his path. He has done that repeatedly. An unfortunate event is losing most of your 401k in the 2008 stock market fiasco. Knowingly defrauding others? Malicious intent to harm others. Please see this very clearly. We all want to spackle for 10,000 different reasons. But possibly landing in jail if you stay (as an accessory to his crimes) and not raising or knowing your son are definitely not reasons to spackle. Please see the truth NOW. Sending you strength to leave.

  • Jodyann, I just want to add that your challenge is to act like you didn’t read any of this stuff while remembering every word. My sociopath kept me in the dark about his sordid reality until i went looking and found the cesspool he lived in on the side. Once it was all exposed and I stood up to him, he went cold. What i mean is he didn’t have to pretend to be a warm empathetic human being anymore. you been given good advice. it a real cognitive dissonance to wonder if he’s good or bad, that’s enough evidence that he’s a psycho – that you are even wondering… So now you have to play the role of acting like you believe he’s good… and don’t worry as long as you are chumming up to him he won’t question your sincerity. I did experiments with my husband – i said things that would have been transparently bogus to anyone else – but he ate it up. He would respond with, “There is no me without you” – which is the truth, because you are just an extension of him. period, So act like he’s your best friend, but be stealthy and get the goods on the back end. YOU strategically make your move, and honey you can’t do one of those “now I know your dangerous” trembling heroine things – because they sense it and their instinct is to destroy. This is sick, serious shit. Ask me how I know. But you can do it – feign disinterest if that’s your MO – what ever you usually do, do it. There’s not one thing you can do to change him, but feeding him enough kibble to keep him certain of you narcissistic supply is your best cover – he won’t pay any attention and you can covertly make copies of the stuff you need. As the others have said, don’t leave your copies anywhere around your home, your car etc.

    The first thing I did was open a bank account and lock box in my own name. Start saving money by using your joint debit/credit card for groceries and getting cash back. My husband never questioned the extra 50 dollars, and sometimes I did it twice a week, at two different stores. Does he keep the book or do you? I did everything and after Dday, during false reconciliation, I would also write a check for cash ( 50-75) at the grocery store and put it in my account. You can also buy things, clothing – stuff for your boy and take it back. If you can’t get cash, exchange it for things you’ll need when you leave.

    Finally, don’t tell anyone what your plan is unless you can bet your little finger they won’t tell somebody else (that mean don’t tell anyone). The sickest irony is that the sociopath will betray without a pause, but if they think you are betraying them – they may rise to a level of anger that is truly dangerous. This often comes about when the person you confide in confides in another and the word gets out. Don’t let that happen. That also means don’t tell your child.

    I lucked out and found a woman attorney who had personal experience with a narcissist, so while they’re not your therapist, it is good to let them know that’s who your dealing with. Put your ducks in a row and don’t let him know your leaving till your gone. My thoughts and prayers go out to you. It is beyond rational understanding, and we have all been through the mental anguish of losing what we thought was real. But it’s not real, Jodyann. You are a fixture, you represent the affirmation of his worthiness – it a small supporting role and secondary to his “real life”, which is a never ending series of risk-taking thrills that get him off for the time they take to plan and execute. He doesn’t care anymore about the people in that realm than he does for those who genuinely love him. Trust that he sucks, and in your situation, trust that he is willing to harm those who cross him. Be careful. We are here for you.

  • Wowzer Jodyann! I started looking over my shoulder just reading your letter.

    PLEASE get away from this man. He is not decent and he is in no way misunderstood. He has absolutely no morals, no conscience and no character. That means he is extremely dangerous to anyone with whom he comes into contact, most particularly you and your son. Do everything the people here have advised you to do to protect yourself and your son, paying particular attention to Tracy and those who have advised you of the steps you need to take based on having had a similar experience.

    This man has been showing you who he is the entire relationship. He does not have the capacity to care about you or anyone else and he never will. I am so sorry that you are having this experience and I am praying for you and your son’s safe passage. (((HUGS))). Good luck and please be careful.

  • Having been married to a (cheating) attorney, the first thought which leaped to my mind was–get an attorney stat! And don’t just ask about the details of divorce. Get some competent legal advice so your ass is covered in case your *husband* is in trouble with the law because he was participating in bank fraud. Also, I’d find out what evidence you need to keep yourself safe, and obtain it quickly before you walk out the door. And read, and reread, CL’s advice, because all of it makes sense, and it would be sensible for you to act on her advice.

    Actually, it might be a good thing if your husband goes to jail. You’d be safe from him and the fear of retribution, and it might give you further grounds for divorce. I don’t know the laws in your country, but in my state, 2 years in jail is grounds for uncontested divorce.

    Whatever you do, act wisely and quietly. Be safe and get out.

    • Run. For. Your. Life.

      But prepare carefully & listen to CL and everyone else. Your husband is dangerous! Protect yourself & your child. Do not be a victim or martyr. Do not think he wouldn’t hurt you to save himself.

  • Jodyann–

    My sister was involved with a man who physically and emotionally abused her. She finally broke away and returned to my parents’ home. About 3 months afterwards, the FBI came knocking at the door. It was clear to them that my sister was a victim in all of this. She readily told them all she knew, and also told them that she stayed with the man because he claimed to have some kind of paper she signed that would link her to some sort of illegal activity–a signature that she had no memory of, that would have taken place while she was in hospital and taking significant pain medication.

    One of the agents–a woman–laughed, saying that even if such a paper existed, it would never stand up in court because she would have been so loopy when she signed it that she could have signed anything. The agents definitely treated her as an abuse victim.

    When they left, my sister said to them that it wasn’t always horrible physical or emotional abuse. Sometimes, it was good.

    The female agent looked at her and said, “Yes, and in those moments, he was being the most abusive.”

    Your sociopath is the same. When he’s nice to you, he’s at his most manipulative. The guy plotting the financial fraud and hooking up with the criminal? Jodyann–that is who he really is.

    I’m sorry. Run away from him, but carefully. He’s dangerous. Get your evidence. Talk to an attorney. You may eventually have to deal with both a divorce and a criminal case. You want to be covered for both.

    Pack up your stuff–as much as you’re able to pack quietly over time. Put it into storage. Do this for the stuff you don’t want damaged. Use the “pin money” method of getting some cash, unless you have your own source of income that he doesn’t see.

    Hugs, and all the best to you.

  • “I think I actually went insane mentally and emotionally. He always had excuses for all the fucked up examples of him cheating.”

    Dear Jodyann,
    You’ve suffered from sever emotionally abuse as serious as any physical abuse. If you can, get yourself a compassionate therapist. It’s taken two years of almost weekly visits to my “paid friend” to vomit up all the years of gas lighting and projection. There’s gut wrenching pain ahead for you, but you have to go through it to get to the other side. Every time you have contact, you will slip back down into that dark well and have to climb that much further by your fingernails to get out. It took me a long, long time to learn that–and a long, long time to not feel sorry or worry about him. I had to repeat to myself, “He NEVER had any compassion for me when I was on the floor crying hysterically. I don’t owe him.”
    Other things I learned the hard way.
    -He’s not the exception. He won’t change. He is a nightmare. What you know is only the tip of the iceberg.
    -Be good to yourself. The only self-talk allowed is how you would reassure and encourage your child or a dear friend.
    -There will be time later on to understand how you ended up with him.
    -Even though I didn’t believe it for the longest time, it does get better just like everyone says on this site.
    Sending you good thoughts…

  • Jodyann, Back in January 2013 I discovered my husband was not just a cheater and a liar but a serial sex offender. I cleaned out the bank accounts and went directly to a lawyer and put the funds in trust. Then, armed with some excellent legal advice, I called the police. He has a dozen criminal charges as I write and will go to trial later this year.
    Your FIRST priority is to protect yourself and your children. People who live double lives (sociopaths) are capable of anything and you could be in danger. You need a plan of action.

    1. See a lawyer urgently for advice. A tough one with an excellent reputation.
    2. Gather any and all paperwork (even the stuff you don’t think will matter or be relevant) and photocopy everything. Copies of his handwriting might be needed also. Give the copies to your lawyer.
    3. Open a separate bank account and transfer everything you can or withdraw the cash and take it to the lawyer to be placed in trust.
    4. Tell one trusted person what you are doing. I only told my parents initially.
    5. Keep your interactions with him as normal as possible in the meantime.

    Trust that he sucks a big one. This is not about figuring out whether you are loved. This is about protecting yourself and not going down with a sinking ship. Be strong. You CAN do this.

  • Jodyann,

    Some really great advice in the comments. I will add, utilize the MOSAIC threat assessment. You can take a 200 question survey (plan to allow 45 minutes to an hour) to get an objective idea of how much danger you are in. They will assign you a number from 1 to 10, and they will also assign a value of how accurate they think that number is (up to 200, which is pretty much airtight).

    They will also assign your survey a case-number. You can share the results with your attorney, and if your attorney believes it appropriate, with law enforcement and court personnel.

    Please do not make my mistake of keeping your mouth shut until there was no physical evidence left. I’m told if I had understood what was happening to me back when I was being treated for fractured ribs, my ex-husband would have a prison sentence and I would not be living three states away from my nearest family.

    No one on this site would argue that infidelity is a form of emotional abuse. But there is a big difference between not knowing about the affairs, and not knowing how to get out without triggering a homicide attempt.

    Until someone has lived with one of these sickos, spent their everyday life under the control, manipulation and eggshell temper with the unspoken threat of violence hanging over their head everyday like a fucking sword of Damocles, they don’t fully “get” the level of cognitive dissonance you experience as you are coming out of it. I’ve been there; so have many others.

    You are not alone.

  • Your decisions and actions should be based on where you live. If you live in a small town I can tell you that the local police dept will not be trained to help you. If you live in the US most STATES have their own police/detective depts.. Second, if your husband is well known and has sparkled all over town he might be too tight with local attys., judges and cops. You should find an atty. out of your local area if this is the case. Also, if you are using your own computer or other personal gadgets delete this site immediately and go to your local library to communicate. Open a safe deposit box and put your birth cert. as well as your son’s there. Include both of your social cards and any other persona info. When you get an atty. be sure to see if he/she has a place for storing a couple of changes of clothes for both of you. Find out the nearest women’s shelter. This is not over kill. I have had to help a mother escape with her children and because she had not planned ahead she had none of the essentials done.

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