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Coping with a sociopathic ex...

(40 Posts)
bwhiskey Sun 27-Feb-11 22:23:40

I was awarded sole residency of my now seven year old son after a very ugly battle where i faced all sorts of false allegations by a very, very angry and blinkered ex who had made his long term partner, prior to me, out to be mental and claimed she had tried to kill him... he has a long, long history of sociopathic behvaviour, not just against me but against anyone who crosses him (namely ex partners), but if you met him you'd never suspect given he is very smooth and highly intelligent. This combination has caused me continued grief just trying to raise my son in peace, which doesnt seem possible given he is a constant interference in everything i try to do - even little things like make a dentist appointment for him, dad has got to ambush it and be involved... he reinterprets court orders and tries to bully me, the list is endless... and its non stop.

So, even though i left him, I find that I am in no way free to live in peace, least until my son is 16. and its probably taken ten years off my life, the strain he has caused just dealing with him.

he has a very generous contact schedule. he always has done. i was never hostile to contact even though i knew what he was like. the courts awarded him half holidays in spite of my pleas that he was in fact an abusive sociopath (which went entirely ignored by the courts), who thought that as long as our son was not under physical threat he was fine with dad. they all treat me as though I've made it all up, and i tell you it makes you feel so very, very low and alone.

he also sees our son alternate weekends and one night during the week. and all of it, all of that time, he uses any chance to sideline me as my son's custodial parent. even his school treat me as a second class parent - i have missed out on information put in my sons' school bag because dad happens to collect him that day, and doesnt tell me, nor does the school, even though I've complained in the past... i was once chased on the school grounds at collection time by the receptionist who asked out of the blue did i still have 'parental responsibility' of my son, even though they had the residency order in their files... and latest news, they just made him parent governor, again, knowing some of the history. go figure.

just feeling really low because ive been through so much, and i still cant live in peace. ive tried hypnotherapy, exercise, loads of things, and i still feel so under his thumb. my partner of three years, and bless him, he is not a sociopath, doesnt understand why its so hard for me to just 'ignore' him. and to be honest im not sure either. i guess i worry that if im not on guard, he will pounce.

anyone experience similar, and how do you manage?

it has all seemed all about father's rights, and no one seems to consider my rights, or my son's best interest including the courts, who have let me and my son down in a big way apart from having the sense to award me residency. if i went into detail about all that my ex has done to me, all the strings he's pulled, etc, it would take up volumes.

he has used his parental 'rights' to cause all sorts of grief... and nobody cares.

finally, i note the story on here and in the papers about forced mediation before court. three years ago, i was made to go to mediation, not once, but twice, with my ex, even though i left him due to domestic abuse - so in practice that is NOT an exemption if you're on legal aid, you still have to go... and they are not without bias, either. the first mediator did not believe he was abusive x

cestlavielife Sun 27-Feb-11 22:41:55


the muscling in on appointments -yes been there....

on a practical level you could bypass ex eg on days he collects him, text another parent "any letter i should be aware of " or make a point of calling school that day to ask if there are any notes in the bag and could they put a copy in thursdays bag etc.

if you do this politely (ever so politely) without fail to school each week they might get the message soon enough and be a bit more proactive in keeping you informed ....

as he gets older it may get easier (your ds can tell you more) - or worse as your ex manipulates him more...hmmm

portaloo Mon 28-Feb-11 11:03:40

Watching this thread with interest. My XP is a sociopath too, and I haven't worked out a way of dealing with him effectively yet.

chubbleigh Mon 28-Feb-11 12:52:19

I put up with a lot of the same nonsense you have listed. I have made some daft decisions in the past and my mum tells me I am not tough enough but it is so hard to keep up a strong front all of the time. Here are some of my essentials:
My ex has never been in my home, he does not come to my house for pick-ups.
He does not have my land line number, only my mobile so I don't have to answer if I don't want to. I text him messages so I don't have to get into a conversation about things I have already decided if I don't want to.
My choice of school was my decision alone, I did not consult him, I am resident parent, it was my choice and I maintain the relationship with school and tell him the things he needs to know about.
I don't know how you stand him being a govenor, I would move house and school to avoid that situation. A full and frank discussion with the Head might be in order where you are clear about what you want irrespective of what he does. Have you thought about moving, would it be an option, or even saying that is what you will do?

want2sleep Mon 28-Feb-11 21:49:54

I have had to PM you bwhiskey....must warn you I am Passive Aggressivehmm...well so I was told last time I did thread on here because I was terrified of sociopathic/NPD X
Hope you dont get same nasty response

cestlavielife Mon 28-Feb-11 22:00:53

i can beat that - i am "despotic egocentric and abusive"

cestlavielife Mon 28-Feb-11 22:01:49

but that is acc to exP

want2sleep Mon 28-Feb-11 22:18:27

grin cestlavielife
I wish I was clever enough to be all those things..arnt socipaths usually extremely high IQs? That rules me out toogrin got to laugh about it...only way to cope in the maddness of it all!

I ordered a book that someone recommended on relationship thread hasnt arrived yet and cant think of woman's name who wrote it...when it arrives from amazon I will PM you the title....some extremely clued up mns on relationship thread who has got the T Shirt...very knowledgble on sociopaths etc..

Cestlavielife you told me to go to WA when I first posted...thanks hun they have been fab, got an outreach worker now helping

NotSuchASmugMarriedNow Tue 01-Mar-11 12:10:34

bwhiskey is it possible you could be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

BromptonBugle Tue 01-Mar-11 16:14:47

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

want2sleep Tue 01-Mar-11 19:55:49

I noticed BromptonBuldge keeps getting deleted by MNHQ? What is she advertising?

bochead Wed 02-Mar-11 00:05:51

google dr robert hare - he has some good suggestions.

grannydee Tue 08-Mar-11 22:35:17

Hi people, sorry if I am butting in but I am new today and don't know the ettiquette!
I was just interested in this ex being abusive and what to do when you break up because I have kept my kids away from their father for 2 years now for similar reasons but after watching that bbc programme about parenting and fathers being sooo important I am wondering if I am doing the right thing, or if it's even legal.
He went to court a year ago to ask for access but when they said he had to do full county court with witnesses to put his case - they weren't happy that he had been arrested for sexual abuse on my oldest girl, not his, although not charged due to lack of evidence - he dropped the case so has no legal agreement for access.
I have moved house, changed my name and the childrens' and all fone numbers but he could still contact me thro solicitor if he wanted.
So far all he has done is request me as a friend on facebook and messaged my sister and my eldest girl asking if he can see his kids.
Thing is, I KNOW he doesn't care about them, he only wants to punish me because I won and he lost, I didn't do as I was told. I also know he thinks we should all forget the fact he raped my daughter and nearly destroyed her mental health and mine over 2 years because it was ages ago and he was sorry, right? And it was not his fault....
So, advice, please! Do I just keep him away? And what if he gets in contact with them when they are older?

cestlavielife Tue 08-Mar-11 23:17:06

yes keep him away....

bochead Tue 08-Mar-11 23:37:14

Granny Dee - yes keep him away. Zero contact or you'll never forgive yourself if he hurts on of your kids. If you are fortunate enough to escape the clutches of a sociopath - STAY AWAY ffs!

he wasn't sorry - he doesn't FEEL sorry, maybe chagrin at getting caught perhaps? These people can mimic normal emotional reactions really well, but that's all it is, mimicry.

Kids do better with 2 mentally stable, loving, kind hearted parents who love and support them whether those parents live together or not.

However these undividuals will NEVER have any empathy for their own offspring. It's this that makes them sooo dangerous.(it's incurable and worse they are brilliant at manipulatng mental health pros and other "experts"). It's been linked to brain damage and demonstrated via brain scans. People like this are rare, but their existence is a scientific fact.

It's a natural human thing to want some friendly kind of bond with the father of your child. It's also totally normal for your children to desire some kind of bond with both parents. Sociopaths can't form these bonds, there is somthing really critical missing. Trying to understand them is not our job, raising the kids they leave behind is.

grannydee Thu 10-Mar-11 23:45:29

Thanks so much for that, bochead. You really do get it, don't you?! Makes me wonder just how rare these people are......
I suppose I just keep taking on the guilt, since I brought him into my kids lives in the first place, and now it's just me making all the decisions the responsibility gets a bit overwhelming. Especially since all this new research into how vital dads are in kids lives, feel like they are missing out.
Not that I am going to risk bringing another man into the mix, don't trust anyone anymore!
Thing is, SOMEONE made these men into what they are, surely they weren't born that way? So how do we as parents turn our sons into decent men? Can only do our best and pray that's enough..
To bwhiskey, I so feel for you! I know it sounds a bit weird but part of me is glad my older girl told me the truth however hard it was to deal with because it meant I could cut him from our lives. I am still nervous, scared he will turn up here one day and play his mind games with my kids, even more scared that if I see him again I may do something violent and permanent to keep him away. That way I lose everything! You are still stuck with him and so is your son until he is old enough to make the break himself. I cannot imagine how hard it is to let your little boy go to him not knowing what he is saying and doing. Its great that you have a new man, a second chance, and a good role model for your son.
Cannot believe the way the courts have treated you! Your ex must have been so careful not to let them see the real him! Why does everyone think they are so nice? Oh yes, I remember how blind I was in the beginning!
Hang in there, your son needs you and so does your partner, and you never know he may lose interest in irritating you if he finds someone else. We all live in hope x

bochead Fri 11-Mar-11 11:39:10

Mothers raised well balanced emotionally healthy sons after both world wars alone. They did it without half the support we have today too. Noone promised us it would be easy but it is possible. I really believe that. Talking to women who found themselves widowed from the older generations really helps Grannydee, as it can so heartening to hear their success stories.

lupinxlupin Sat 18-May-13 07:37:26

I too have a similar problem and have received therapy, now I have as little contact with my ex as possible. He has used all my friends to continue to abuse me, he hijacked them all tells all sorts of lies about me and our son, he went off and is having an afair with a friend and neighbor(our kid/s go to the same school) They both tramp bout the neighborhood making our lives a misery.
You should speak to your child's school through a solicitor if they refuse to listen to you. Good luck! Remember the only way to deal with a sociopath is NOT to deal with a sociopath. All the best

honey86 Sat 18-May-13 19:53:18

omg i wish id seen this thread before. i split with my sociopath ex last week. im 16 weeks pregnant with his baby and hes threatening court, called social services with malicious allegations and used my friends and facebook to abuse me, calling ME the unstable one!
he has mental issues is controlling and mentally/verbally abusive. his demands are all unreasonable ( his kid must go to a different school to my 3 kids, no other male is allowed to have contact/ discipline the child including its uncle) hes unhinged if he dont get his way.

i spoke a few times of not adding him to the birth cert (so he cant abuse it as a control tool) and going it alone for the sake of my kids stability and happiness but i keep getting lectures about it not being 'fair' on the child.
i find it unfair on the child to live amongst domestic abuse. i am a child that did and it destroyed my childhood.

people just dont seem to understand angry its all the abuse you cant see from the outside world sadsad so worried bout whats going to happen x

lupinxlupin Sun 19-May-13 14:53:37

Yes honey86 my ex would behave like the cat from shriek in front of neighbours/friends and... they would believe all his flattery and lies. At home was another story. Tried to make out I was crazy etc; I spent 22 years married to him but eventually I became so ill with it all, so depressed and just could no take it anymore. Ive got through the worst of it, although he still tries from time to time to abuse me but, I put on my lala ears and after two years seeing I don't respond, he gets bored and stays out of my life mostly. Have as little as possible to do with him, don't allow him to press your buttons in anyway, just don't respond. You should not give a damn what other people think. Sciopaths don't have relationships just victims he'll soon move on to his next victim/s. Its so strong of you to want to build a new life for your kids and yourself. all the best

BetterDaze Sun 19-May-13 19:12:51

honey86 don't put him on the birth cert whatever you do as I'm sure you know it gives him 50/50 rights. If you're not married to him at the time of the baby's birth he can't force you to do it without a DNA test which he will have to go to court to get. If you are married I think he can take you to court to get put on it, but by that time you can voice all your objections as to why you don't want him involved.

It is not fair on you or your child/ren to have to put with him frankly and keeping him off the birth cert. is one way of keeping some much needed control.

lucyloo78 Sun 19-May-13 20:08:29

My ex has bi-polar but after reading up sure he is sociopath too. He's taken me to court for shared residence / residence and has made up the most disgusting hurtful lies for his case. He sweet talks people, has a v charming act that he has perfected and has tried to put me through most hideous amount of stress and anxiety possible, which he's succeeded in doing. He can't bear not being able to control me directly so has done it thro malicious lies etc - the usual vindictive ex script of ss etc.
He is so manipulative and conniving that he usually gets own way. I'm petrified of him. (There has been dv too.)
Does anyone have strategies for coping with these exes? We don't yet have direct contact (as he's had police warning to stay away) but will have to at some point....and i'm v v worried. Also about emotional effect his lies and manipulation about me have on our son.

Any advice much appreciated x

honey86 Sun 19-May-13 21:27:31

lucy the one way ive kept him at arms length (other than the domestic abuse team of the police opening a log on him n giving him a warning) is to not respond to his games at all.. theres so much horrific stuff hes saying about me and my family that made me tantalisingly close to doing it back. but ive restrained myself and reminded myself not to sink to his level. its so hard not to retaliate it makes me so angry... but hopefully hell be the one who will end up looking like the obsessed one cos hes still going on to this day.

thanks ladies... im so anxious atm , i have my midwife appt tomorrow and theres a good chance hell turn up. im bringing my sister with me for support (and witness) in case he does... ive thought about little else... but what is better for these kids, born or unborn, whether its better to have a nasty disruptive unstable dad and a nervous mum.... or if it would be better to have just one happy settled mum... and i just reach the same conclusion.

i find it hurtful that narrow-minded people are saying 'not having him on the birth certificate is unfair on the child' ... as my daughter hasnt got her father on her birth certificate, purely because he died when i was preg with her and we were unmarried, so i wasnt allowed to put him on it. that was totally out of my control.

it drives me nuts how hes pulling off this good-guy-broken act and how so many, who i thought were actually intelligent and switched on, are falling for it so easily. blush he often uses my autistic traits as reasons why i am -in his words- 'unstable' and thats upsetting as theres sod all i can do about my aspergers. its an incurable developmental condition ive always had ffssad again, a narrow minded bloke who thinks autistic = doormat


honey86 Mon 20-May-13 11:07:46

oh god he turned up confusedsad police logged, feel so shaken n anxious... told him to leave n all he kept saying was 'you stopping me seeing my baby?' again n again. sad

lostdad Mon 20-May-13 11:30:37

It's a very hard situation and I've been on the receiving end of much of the same - be it being treated like I'm a violent nutter by mums at the school dates (presumably they've been told I am dangerous), being told by the doctor they've got to contact my ex every time I speak to them or being questioned if `it's appropriate' if I changed my son nappy at the contact centre he was forced to see me in.

My ex is like yours: Very plausible, very child-focused...whilst being the sort of person who would say black is white if it inconvenienced me.

Nothing you can do with a person like that. Nothing at all. Standard tactic to deal with people like this is to have nothing to do with them whatsoever but it's hard when you've got a kid with them so you have to do your best and ignore their stunts.

Gradually my ex is painting herself into a corner. At parents evenings I've been in the situation where I've raised a point about our son (things told to me about him by the ex) only to have the teacher frown and say `Where did you hear that from?', people have seen her ignore him (leaving him confused and very upset) because she won't speak to me and alienate, well, just about everyone she knows.

It's sad and it's unnecessary. I hate to see her like this - but as I've been told repeatedly by her and her solicitor it's up to her and either way...she's not my problem any more! grin

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