I was exiting an abusive marriage and was set up by a much younger man for a long con. The objective: “lovebomb” me, gain my complete trust, enter into a marriage, take my private financial resources, and exit the marriage leaving me destitute.
How did the ex-spath accomplish this? I’m an educated woman and I don’t believe myself to be foolish. But, what I did have was a complete lack of personal boundaries. I also had a very low self-esteem.
- I made my personal issues public – I did not lay down boundaries, nor did I believe that I needed to
- I gave the predator information about myself – too much sensitive information about fears, hopes, and failures
- I had never addressed past issues of abuse, neglect, and abandonment
- I wanted to believe that there was “good” in everyone
- I maintained a belief in “benefit of the doubt” for all people
- I did not keep my financial issues private
- I gave my trust to someone in the expected exchange for approval and acceptance
The predatory individual has an uncanny ability to set their crosshairs onto any number of personal issues that their source target may have, regardless of how pronounced those issues may (or, may not) be. In my case, I never considered non-disclosure because it “seemed” deceptive, somehow.
When the predator had enough information, he began to romance me in a very subtle and “old-fashioned” manner. Sweet words of endearment and promises of a “better life” if I would only trust him.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls: if a person ever makes overt assertions about things that they “won’t do,” run away. Run away as fast as your legs can carry you. It is a clear indication that the person is attempting to gain trust through yet-to-be-seen assurances. False assurances. “I’ll never abuse you like that,” is what the exspath commonly said. Of course, he was speaking in reference to beatings, spousal rape, and physical abuse. And, he never did abuse me “like that.” The abuse was confined to emotional and financial abuse. Emotional via neglect and dismissal. Financial via outright fraud.
“Didn’t you sense that something wasn’t right?” Well, no I didn’t. This person had never really displayed sociopathic symptoms with the exception of a predatory stare, disdain/contempt of other people (especially, family members), and an emotional absence during sex. Little by little, the neglect and dismissal became a pathology, particularly after I had gained access to my personal financial investments. Once he had sorted out how to access my funds through outright forgeries and at-will use of my ATM card, the dismissal and neglect evolved into emotional abandonment.
Still, and yet, he continued to speak to me in “loving” terms, calling me his “dear” at every opportunity. He claimed to love me, but he could never tell me what it was about me that he loved. He would often joke that he only married me because I could cook – a “joke” at the time, but a screamingly glib and ridiculing remark, in hindsight.
So, the bottom line is that the exspath relieved me of nearly 300,000 USD in appoximately 3 years, and all with glib explanations for where my money had gone. I was aware of where some of my funds went – real estate, some household bills, and a few “fun” times. However, upon personal investigation of what happened to my accounts, I discovered that this person who claimed to have “loved” me, forever, had forged over 75K in checks written out of my personal account. Many of these checks that were processed by Wachovia Financial Services actually bore his own signature. Yes, that’s right – in his arrogant perception of ownership, the exspath wrote his own signature on my individual drafts. And, to this day, he has shown no remorse for the things that he’s done. He hasn’t even faked remorse. I made these discoveries after he had left the marital home, never to return.
Suffice it to say, there are dozens of Red Flags that men and women should be aware of when they are dating prospective mates. There is a superb book written by Donna Andersen titled, “Red Flags of Love Fraud,” and it can be purchased at www.lovefraud.com.
Some of the red flags include (but, are not limited to) the following excerpts from the “Don’t Date Him Girl” website http://www.dontdatehimgirl.com/article_view/empower/are-you-dating-a-sociopath-recognize-the-warning-signs-308.html :
“They are pathological lying, fits of rage, and being completely self-centered. The hallmark, defining feature that sociopaths have that connects these three things is an astonishing lack of guilt, remorse and shame despite the heartbreak and hardships they cause to others.”
I would also like to add that a pronounced sense of entitlement and grandiosity factors in to this. The exspath portrayed himself to be a stalwart, upstanding, honest, and well-educated individual with an artistic talent that simply hadn’t been appreciated. What he really is defies explanation or description. His sense of entitlement went so far as to taking my finances for his own use, whether it was to satisfy his own debts, or to make purchases for Things that he wanted, he “deserved” whatever it was that he wanted.
This person who fits the profile of a sociopath will see his name in print, soon enough. But, it’s not going to be the type of “print” material that he believes he deserves.