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**UPDATE** 2/10/13 - Co-Parenting with a sociopathic ex. At my wits end! Need advice/support! Long post but worth the read. May be an eye opener!!

Posted by on Aug. 9, 2012 at 8:10 PM
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2 moms liked this

 Hi ladies.  I'm fairly new to the group but not to being a single mom.  My husband and I divorced back in 2008 after 9 years of marriage and 4 children. I always knew he was a jerk but didn't come to realize that he had an actual condition until after I finally left him and was in counseling and my mother and I did some research on some of his personality traits.  Come to find out, he is known as a sociopath.  If you're not familiar with what this is, here is a rundown:


Thanks for all the support ladies!  Things have settled down quite a bit and he lost in court!!  All of his allegations were proven false and my daughter came home, on her own accord actually, before everything in court was even settled!  She went back to her law guardian and CPS and admitted that she lied about everything and that her father and his new wife pretty much forced her to say all the things she said.  Now, you would think that would raise a red flag with CPS and the courts as to what kind of person my ex is and maybe get them thinking he should have less involvement in the kids's lives but no.  He didn't even get a slap on the wrist.  But whatever!  Atleast I have all my babies safe and sound with me.  Now it's just a matter of getting my kids the counseling they need to understand why their father is like this. And I agree with what some of the ladies on here have said about not sugar coating everything for the kids.  I don't think it's right to try to keep convincing the kids that their father is wonderful man, despite what the courts have urged.  They need to know what they are up against and be protected from him because he is very evil and damaging, and his wife is not better!!

  • Glibness and Superficial Charm

  • Manipulative and Conning
    They never recognize the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible. They appear to be charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing their victim as merely an instrument to be used. They may dominate and humiliate their victims.

  • Grandiose Sense of Self
    Feels entitled to certain things as "their right."

  • Pathological Lying
    Has no problem lying coolly and easily and it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis. Can create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers and abilities. Extremely convincing and even able to pass lie detector tests.

  • Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt
    A deep seated rage, which is split off and repressed, is at their core. Does not see others around them as people, but only as targets and opportunities. Instead of friends, they have victims and accomplices who end up as victims. The end always justifies the means and they let nothing stand in their way.

  • Shallow Emotions
    When they show what seems to be warmth, joy, love and compassion it is more feigned than experienced and serves an ulterior motive. Outraged by insignificant matters, yet remaining unmoved and cold by what would upset a normal person. Since they are not genuine, neither are their promises.

  • Incapacity for Love

  • Need for Stimulation
    Living on the edge. Verbal outbursts and physical punishments are normal. Promiscuity and gambling are common.

  • Callousness/Lack of Empathy
    Unable to empathize with the pain of their victims, having only contempt for others' feelings of distress and readily taking advantage of them.

  • Poor Behavioral Controls/Impulsive Nature
    Rage and abuse, alternating with small expressions of love and approval produce an addictive cycle for abuser and abused, as well as creating hopelessness in the victim. Believe they are all-powerful, all-knowing, entitled to every wish, no sense of personal boundaries, no concern for their impact on others.

  • Early Behavior Problems/Juvenile Delinquency
    Usually has a history of behavioral and academic difficulties, yet "gets by" by conning others. Problems in making and keeping friends; aberrant behaviors such as cruelty to people or animals, stealing, etc.

  • Irresponsibility/Unreliability
    Not concerned about wrecking others' lives and dreams. Oblivious or indifferent to the devastation they cause. Does not accept blame themselves, but blames others, even for acts they obviously committed.

  • Promiscuous Sexual Behavior/Infidelity
    Promiscuity, child sexual abuse, rape and sexual acting out of all sorts.

  • Lack of Realistic Life Plan/Parasitic Lifestyle
    Tends to move around a lot or makes all encompassing promises for the future, poor work ethic but exploits others effectively.

  • Criminal or Entrepreneurial Versatility
    Changes their image as needed to avoid prosecution. Changes life story readily.


    1. Contemptuous of those who seek to understand them
    2. Does not perceive that anything is wrong with them
    3. Authoritarian
    4. Secretive
    5. Paranoid
    6. Only rarely in difficulty with the law, but seeks out situations where their tyrannical behavior will be tolerated, condoned, or admired
    7. Conventional appearance
    8. Goal of enslavement of their victim(s)
    9. Exercises despotic control over every aspect of the victim's life
    10. Has an emotional need to justify their crimes and therefore needs their victim's affirmation (respect, gratitude and love)
    11. Ultimate goal is the creation of a willing victim
    12. Incapable of real human attachment to another
    13. Unable to feel remorse or guilt
    14. Extreme narcissism and grandiose
    15. May state readily that their goal is to rule the world

    (The above traits are based on the psychopathy checklists of H. Cleckley and R. Hare.)


    And below are a few stories of other women who have experiened the same things I have:

    Carla complained that her ex won’t discuss the children with her and won’t offer any assistance as a father. He doesn’t call them during the week and only wants to play with them on his weekends. I’d recommend that Carla use this to her advantage.

    Here is the bottom line: Sociopaths are terrible parents. At best, they view children as prized possession. At worst, they actively try to corrupt the children. Therefore, the less interaction a sociopath has with his or her children, the better.

    Carla should actually be grateful that her ex is staying out of their children’s lives as much as he is. She should use her time with the children to shower them with love, nurture them and provide them with healthy guidance. None of that will happen when the boys are with their father. The kids will eventually sense that there is no real bond with the father. As time goes on, they may also witness him moving from girlfriend to girlfriend, and eventually start rolling their eyes at yet another one.

    Carla needs to be their rock of stability. She also needs to stop badmouthing the father—even if he deserves it. This is important for two reasons. First is the emotional health of the children—they should not feel in the middle of her issues with the ex. Second, she does not want to give her ex the ammunition to come after her with a parental alienation lawsuit, in which she could lose custody of the boys.

    Her best plan of action is the stay neutral about the father. One mother’s standard response whenever her children brought home news of the ex was a noncommittal, “That’s nice.”

    Kids are smart. Sooner or later, they will realize that the sociopath cares only about himself.


    Experts estimate that 1% to 4% of the population are sociopaths, depending upon whom you ask. That means there may be 3 to 12 million sociopaths in the United States, and 68 million to 272 million sociopaths worldwide. What’s worse, as adults, sociopathic men and women cannot be rehabilitated. Once a sociopath, always a sociopath.
    Sociopaths have no heart, no conscience and no remorse. They don’t worry about paying bills. They think nothing of lying, cheating and stealing. In extreme cases, sociopaths can be serial rapists and serial killers.


    A sociopath has no conscience and their whole bane of existence is to see people as targets and victims and how they can use them.  Children are no different for them, even their own children.

    One of the most important things I gained from that site is the knowledge that sociopaths exist for one reason and that is to win.  Simply to win.  It doesn’t matter what situation, what person, what entity; their whole goal is to win and they will do anything to achieve that.  Lying is nothing to them and because they have no conscience they spend no time feeling guilty about what they do or say.

    He started to say things to me in front of my daughter that were derogatory or demeaning but then laugh them off or act like I was crazy or over reacting if I got upset.  I’m not one to easily let things pass when it comes to mutual respect so there would be arguments.  However, Mr Poison is a relentless talker and would talk in circles, sometimes following me throughout the house.  I got worn out and would just give up or lock the bathroom door.  This is emotionally damaging to a young child, very confusing.  After baby was born things only got worse.

    Because I work in social services and have a huge affection for babies and children, Mr POISON made it his mission to discount me, to use my knowledge against me, to try to gain the affection of the children.  I can’t even explain how this confuses children because they love their parents.  When I would try to set limits as to his being at my home and would tell him to leave he would get in my face and call me awful names, just quiet enough so the kids didn’t hear but so that I would become upset and tell him to leave my home before I called the police.  Then he would loudly say things like “why are you acting like this?  I’m only trying to be here to help with the kids, I know how stressed you are, ” and on and on.  The kids would cry and not understand why I was ‘making daddy leave’.

    A sociopath has no fear and thrives on excitement so he became the “fun” parent.  This means spending money on unnecessary things instead of basic essentials.  There would be impulsive weekend trips with no planning whatsoever.  There would be no consideration for how any of his behavior or lack of planning affected the kids.  I can’t stress the emotional damage this causes any child because they truly do love their sociopathic parent.  They have no understanding, or they can’t define when something doesn’t feel right or they  have the sociopathic parent deliberately telling them that what they know they experienced wasn’t true.  Like I said, it’s very difficult to explain.


    And below is a story that is exactly what I'm going through right now with my kids and especially my oldest daugther:

    My ex husband left in 2000 when our kids were 4 and 3 to have a relationship with a 21 year old girl...he was 32. We were divorced in 2001. He only wanted every other weekend visitation with them. It was a struggle to get him to pay child support. I made sure my kids never went without and didn't discuss the pressure I was under. He was self-employed during this time so he knew the games he could play with withholding child support and did. My ex is a manipulator, has always talked down about me and my family to our children, plays mind games with the children, and loves to "pretend" he is there for the kids. In 2008 he finally got a job with an employer. Because of this child support staring coming directly out of his paycheck. He was furious! He talked to our kids about wanting them to come live with him full-time. At first my 12 year old son was on board and absolutely hated me. He would tell me that his dad has no money cuz he had to pay child support. That I am a LOSER! That when he is with his dad he can do whatever he wants, and that I am constantly in his business…like wanting to know who he is with and what he is doing on the weekend. My 11 year daughter wasn't really sure. Court papers were filed. My life became a living hell. I got away from my ex through a divorce, but now he was reentering my home through the brain washing he was doing to the kids. It took my son 13 months to realize what his dad was doing. He no longer wanted to live with his dad full-time, but go 50/50. My ex could no longer get to our son, so he turned his manipulation on our daughter. He has let her down so many times during the past 9 years that this new display of attention and affection is what she was craving from her father. She turned on me and since Dec 2008 has such loyalty to her dad. I believe that in order for her relationship with her father to continue, she has to hate me as much as he hates me. Every heard of a sociopath...that is my ex. All he cares about is winning at any cost. He uses the kids and there is nothing I can do right now to get them to see it because of their age. I have been told the parent they know will unconditionally be there for them is the one that takes so much abuse. The parent that has been absent...walks on water and can continue to disappoint them, but they get angry at the one who always follows through for this case, that’s me! I knew I could win if this went through court and a guardian at lieum...but at what cost? My kids would hate me cuz their dad wanted them and they wanted it to be fair, so in March of 2009 I decided to end this and agreed to 50/50 placement. My ex is still playing mind games with our 12 year old daughter. She tells me on a regular basis that she hates me, to "", that I am a loser, that I have no life, and has such a negative attitude and tone towards any normal conversation I have with her. Our son, who just turned 14, came to me and said, "Mom, I cannot understand why Kendra has such a deep, deep hatred towards you." I have always come to all her extra curricular events. Now she will not even acknowledge my presence. I can say "Hi, honey" or "Good Game" and she will just walk away from me. If her dad happens to come to an event, which is rare, she will make a big scene about ignoring me. Her dad and she will giggle about it like two teenage girls. I cry myself to sleep so many nights, because I love her, I have been there for her, and she treats me like a door mat. She is so blinded right now and I have serious concerns about her anger and lack of any type of empathy towards me and people other than her dad. I need peace in my life, but feel letting her go live with her dad full-time would only worsen her because of his "sociopath" personality.

    What do I do with all this???  Everyday is a struggle and a fight.  I have resigned to the fact that I will more than likely have to just raise and support my children all on my own and have already pretty much been doing that but now my daughter absolutely hates me.  She is not the girl I raised thus far.  She is distant and mean.  Cold.  I know teenagers get this way but it is a little more involved than that.  I see a lot of her father coming out in her and I'm really worried!!

    by on Aug. 9, 2012 at 8:10 PM
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    by on Aug. 9, 2012 at 8:23 PM
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    So sorry! My ex has sociopathic tendencies too, and I am terrified for my son's future because of this. No help, this is newer to me than you, but here is a bump, and a hugs

    by on Aug. 9, 2012 at 8:41 PM
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    OMG is all I can say!

    I am so sorry your going threw this.. Whats so strange is I lived this Life too and didnt know ANY of this very helpful info!

    Every single trait is Him.. Im in total awe...

    by on Aug. 9, 2012 at 8:43 PM
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    I have an ex husband who is a sociopath and a narcissist. He is also a recovering alcoholic. Luckily I have full custody, but i cannot imagine a worse pain than having your child turn away from you. I have learned to cope with him with therapy, and have both my kiddos in therapy too. It has been three years and we still are in and out of court because he wants to "win." its so exhausting to keep fighting. 

    by on Aug. 9, 2012 at 8:45 PM
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    I'm still reading and I hate to say this...but I see bits and pieces of my ex in there. SCARY thought..very scary...especially considering thelimited to NO contact he has with the kids....going back to finish reading..thank you for posting the information. I pray that in time and that time be SOONER rather than later that the scales be removed from your daughter's eyes and she see things as they TRULY are.hugs

    by on Aug. 9, 2012 at 8:58 PM
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    Ok I'm done and YIKES...I now see ALOT of my ex in this post. S C A R Y. I'm glad I got out when I did and that the kids are too young to know what's going on. Scary, scary scary how much of him is represented. Phew...Good information though..thank you for posting but still...I'll need a drink after the boys go to bed. WOW.

    by on Aug. 9, 2012 at 9:05 PM
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    Wooooo yeah. I learned about this when I dated one for a few months. I couldn't for the life of me figuire out how or why he behaved as he did so I started internet searches and man did he fit the profile. He was so manipulative and I was addicted to the sex. I thank God in heaven that I got away from him before I married him or got pregnant!!! I even got a tattoo to remind myself of how strong I was when I walked away!! :)
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    by on Aug. 9, 2012 at 10:42 PM
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    It's so frustrating!  I feel like there's no end in sight!  And it's so hard to prove in court so his rights are either revoked or he's forced to do supervised visitation.  I am trying so hard to relocate because it says the best thing you can do is get the person out of the children's lives but the cost of moving is making it impossible.  Just don't know what to do anymore!!

    by on Aug. 9, 2012 at 10:55 PM
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    Geez girl I am so sorry. I can't imagine having to deal with this. It seems like most people have issues. Some worse than others. My BD is a bad example for our kids. He has a weak work ethic, anger issues and for some reason he is terribly paranoid about someone breaking in his house so he has tons of weapons and has no trespassing signs all over his yard. He has been diagnosed with BP but I believe he has some sort of paranoia disorder. Trust me no one would want to break into his old POS. I had to threaten him with CPS to get him to lock up the guns. It is sooooooo hard to try to coparent with someone who has mental issues. I worry myself sick about my kids when they are there.

    Quoting designkal3:

    It's so frustrating!  I feel like there's no end in sight!  And it's so hard to prove in court so his rights are either revoked or he's forced to do supervised visitation.  I am trying so hard to relocate because it says the best thing you can do is get the person out of the children's lives but the cost of moving is making it impossible.  Just don't know what to do anymore!!

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    by on Aug. 9, 2012 at 10:56 PM

    So sorry.  *HUGS*

    by on Aug. 9, 2012 at 11:55 PM

    It is VERY frustrating!! Did u get the option of Supervised visits? Thats what my Ex has, one hour a week SUPERVISED Visits. As much as I wished hed be a part of our Sons Life, it isnt going to happen cuz hes all about "revenge on me".. Which is really sad.

    I also got permission to leave State. Thats the BEST thing for us.. there are no answers for ppl like this. I wish you the best!!hugs

    Quoting designkal3:

    It's so frustrating!  I feel like there's no end in sight!  And it's so hard to prove in court so his rights are either revoked or he's forced to do supervised visitation.  I am trying so hard to relocate because it says the best thing you can do is get the person out of the children's lives but the cost of moving is making it impossible.  Just don't know what to do anymore!!

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