adultery, affair, Betrayal, cheating, divorce, infidelity, other woman, psychology, relationships

Negative Consequences of an Affair

Thank you, TheClip, for providing this link from “About Relationships”.  It describes my cheating spouse’s behavior and treatment of me to the dime. It helps explain and confirm that healing from the side of the faithful spouse is a longer, harder journey especially when the cheating spouse continues to try to force me to pay for his bad behaviour.

Mutual Agreements Mean Happy Endings:

There are differing types of divorce and each one has it’s own emotional and psychological intensity. There is the bilateral agreement divorce where both spouses are unhappy and conclude that they will be happier being apart. In a divorce like this, the couple is often able to come to a mutual agreement, settle their affairs amicably, and stay connected as friends with little emotional upset.

Trouble Ahead:

Then there is the unilateral divorce where one spouse makes the decision to divorce to the utter shock of the other spouse. This type of divorce means more emotional and psychological intensity for the spouse who was unaware of the problems in the marriage.

The one choosing to leave has had time to think about, reflect upon and weigh the options and to emotionally divorce themselves from the marriage. The other spouse, who is caught by surprise, is normally mistreated and left to feel abandoned. There is a huge imbalance of power with the one leaving being the one in control of most aspects of whether or not the marriage will continue.

Enter The Third Party:

Add to this a third party and the issue of an affair and the emotional intensity is compounded. Not only will the left behind spouse feel abandoned but he/she will also feel replaced by someone better, younger, more attractive. The pain in this type of divorce comes from losing a position of importance in the life of your spouse, from beliefs about immorality, betrayal and feelings of failure as a spouse.

 When a third party enters a marriage, certain psychological things start to happen in the mind of the cheating spouse. Their thinking becomes skewed in order to justify their their behavior. Denial of any wrong doing means shifting the blame and usually it all gets dumped onto the faithful spouse.

Normally a spouse who falls prey to an affair is a decent person that is aware of their behavior and how it is frowned upon by society. Even though they are aware of the immorality of their actions, they continue with the relationship, which means dealing with feelings of guilt.

The Blame Game:

Feelings of guilt motivates them to demonize the faithful spouse in an attempt to justify their affair.

They will accuse their spouse of many negative and unforgivable traits and behaviors. The faithful spouse is portrayed as an inadequate partner, which left the cheating spouse no choice but to find an adequate replacement.

Not only will the faithful spouse be demonized, history is rewritten to make it appear that he/she has been inadequate for the entire duration of the marriage. The cheating spouse will recreate the marriage and what happened during the marriage to make it appear that they have suffered much pain and unhappiness throughout the entire marriage.

They may say things such as, “I was forced into marrying you” or, “You’ve never loved me the way I needed to be loved” or, “I have lived in hell for 20 years.” He/She will say anything as long as it will enable him/her to appear to have been the victim of the marriage and fully justified in abandoning their spouse by blaming the wronged spouse.

You Pay for Their Bad Behavior:

The cheating spouse will tell their story often and to anyone who will listen, to the point that they will finally begin to truly believe that the left behind spouse deserves punishment. The faithful spouse is the offender and the persecutor and needs to be dealt with harshly.

Punishment will come in the way of financial withholding or worse, fighting over custody for any children of the marriage. They may begin to believe that the faithful, demonized spouse is not entitled to receive any future benefits from them, sometimes not even those allowed by law.

Shocked and Awed:

The faithful spouse will question their own sanity and replay their marriage in their mind trying to find some hint of all the unhappiness they are told of by the unfaithful spouse. They will question how their spouse, someone they have loved and trusted could betray them in such a way. First to have an affair and then to rewrite the history of their marriage in such a way as to try and lay blame at their feet.

The faithful spouse will wonder how their spouse could blame them for having to have an affair and how they could defame their character after many years of being given love, respect and trust. They will wonder how their spouse cannot see how their words and blaming does damage to the children by depicting their mother/father in a bad light.

The faithful spouse will question his/her own memory of what they thought was a happy marriage. He/She will wonder if the marriage was never anything but a sham and a figment of their imagination. They will wonder why the unfaithful spouse never complained if they were unhappy or why they never made a request for changes in the relationship.

Being punished for your spouse’s cheating is an overwhelming state in which to find yourself. Recovery from the stress of such a profound emotional trauma is slow. If you have found yourself in such a situation, remember, with time comes healing and understanding. You will laugh again, love again and the sun will shine again. All you have to do is trust your memories, never forget that the insanity caused by an affair is not your fault and that you are not alone because in today’s society cheating is the number one reason for divorce.

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adultery, affair, cheating, difficult personality, divorce, Dr. Craig Malkin, narcissism, Oprah, parenting, psychology, relationships, separation

The Secret Signs of Narcissism

I recently received, in my inbox, an email from Oprah.com with an article entitled “How to Spot the Hidden Narcissist in Your Life”.  I watched the video that teaches you how to protect yourself after identifying an narcissist by learning how to engage and when to walk away.

Beneficial to me was the coping mechanism of “catching the narcissist doing something good.”  This direction on how to approach the narcissist in your life suggests that you point out times they show caring, concern or empathy. Research shows that the more the narcissist sees they can rely on feeling good from relationships the less they turn to the addiction of needing to feel special or superior in other unhealthy ways.

I tried this.

I thanked Dave for selling the 3 coupon books that I gave him for our daughter’s dance program.  I also complimented him on selling the 10 raffle tickets I gave him to sell. I thanked him by text for getting the money back to me and then suggested that he might want to even look at buying some gift cards for places that he regularly frequents, through her dance program fundraiser, for himself and Christmas gifts. A specific percentage, depending on the company, goes back to our daughter directly. He got back to me a few days later and said he had money for the poinsettia fundraiser, too.  He gets all the fundraising emails but he has never raised funds for her before.  My response, “Wow, you did poinsettias. That is awesome. I hear they are beautiful for the price.” He asked what he had to do with the order forms and I told him that I would hand everything in for him. He mentioned that the order had to be in that day so I just asked him to email the rep and let her know it would come in the next day and make sure that was okay.  He did.

A couple of days later I asked him if he was interested in picking up our daughter from dance on a night that I had a conflict.  He didn’t respond for 3 days so I made other arrangements but then he did respond saying he would get her. The day after he picked her up I texted him saying, “Thank you for picking up (daughter’s name). I am sure she misses seeing her dad every day.”

The blurb under the video I watched has this message:

It’s not always easy to spot a narcissist, but knowing who they are can save you from heartbreak. Dr. Craig Malkin, author of Rethinking Narcissism, breaks down the hidden warning signs of a narcissist. Watch as he explains how they work—and how you can protect your own emotional health.

The video is only 6 minutes long and worth the view.

Read more: http://www.oprah.com/own-show/How-to-Spot-the-Hidden-Narcissist-in-Your-Life#ixzz3sUMsqHFZ

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adultery, affair, cheating, divorce, lying, marriage, psychology

Monster in My Family

I saw an interview tonight on 20/20 with Melissa Moore. Her dad is serial killer, Keith Jesperson.

She was talking about his duplicitous life and trying to reconcile her experience with him as a loving father to one of a sociopath that killed 8 women. Looking back she realized there were signs of his cruel and uncaring nature (he killed 3 kittens she found and took pleasure in her grief over the situation) and she recalled the confessions he made to her that she didn’t realize at the time were true of how to get away with murder (thought he was reading detective magazines and fantasizing). Today she has no contact with him because of the disturbing nature of his letters.

Her father was involved in the interview. What hit me most about his nonchalant way of describing what he had done was his need to have the interviewer “move on”. He did what he did, wished he didn’t, wished he could make things “peaches and cream” but can’t change things so “move on”. This has been the catch phrase of my ex in every email to me over the past 2 1/2 years.

Keith Jesperson is so narcissistic that he confessed to the murders because he wasn’t getting any attention or credit for killing. 2 other people were wrongly convicted for his first murder. He wrote a confession on a bathroom wall saying he did it and when that didn’t elicit him any attention he started writing letters about the murders to media.

Keith Jesperson is psychopathic more than sociopathic but a lot of the traits are similar. I have had 3 friends who know my ex tell me, very seriously, they think my ex is a sociopath.

According to R. Preston McAfee, the Profile of the Sociopath is:

“•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.

Other Related Qualities:
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.)”

On the HealthGuidance website it details characteristic qualities of a sociopath further as follows:

“• Lack of empathy – Inability to feel sympathy for others or to understand the emotional consequences of their actions
• Cold, calculating nature – The ability and willingness to use others around them to personal gain
• Shallow emotions – Lack of real emotion in response to events, limited capacity to feel love
• Narcissism – A personality disorder in itself in which the individual feels strong love and admiration toward themselves (often a defense mechanism against deep seated low esteem)
• Grandiose self image – They might see themselves as someone who is superior to others and sometimes even experiences delusions. A sociopath might see themselves as a fitting ruler of a country or even the world, but might also have delusional beliefs such as seeing themselves as a God or having super powers
• Charming – While the sociopath is unable to fully understand the emotions of others, they are capable but rather highly adept at mimicking them and might appear to be charming and normal at first
• High IQ – Often sociopaths will exhibit a high IQ which they can use to manipulate and plan
• Manipulative – Sociopaths use their superficial charm and high IQ to manipulate others to get their ends, and their lack of empathy allows them to do this with no sense of guilt or remorse
• Secretive – Has little need for others and is highly secretive in their actions meaning
• Sexually deviant – The lack of remorse, guilt or emotional attachments means that the sociopath is happy to have affairs and to engage in questionable sexual activity without questioning their desires
• Sensitive to criticism – That said, like all narcissists, the sociopath will desire the approval of others and will be highly sensitive to criticisms. They often feel they deserve adulation and admiration of the world and might feel victimized
• Paranoid – Often their lack of understanding of emotion along with their incongruous self view means that they feel a lack of trust and paranoia
• Despotic/Authoritarian – Often the sociopath will see themselves as a necessary authority and will be in favor or totalitarian rule
• Lawfulness – Despite popular belief, a sociopath is not likely to be a problem to the law in later life, but rather will seek to find loopholes, to rise to a position of power, or to move to another area so that their behavior is tolerated
• Low tolerance for boredom – Sociopaths require constant stimulation and get quickly bored
• Impulsive behavior – A lack of regret and empathy means makes sociopaths more likely to make sudden rash decisions based on the current facts
• Compulsive lying – As part of their facade, and as a means to an end, sociopaths are compulsive liars and will rarely speak truthfully making them hard to pin down
• The MacDonald Triad – In childhood sociopaths will likely have demonstrated the ‘MacDonald Triad’ also known as the ‘Triad of Sociopathy’, traits that often are demonstrated in sociopaths from a young age. These include animal cruelty (pulling the wings off of flies etc, bed wetting, and pyromania (an obsession with fire setting)).

Sociopaths of course vary in their symptoms and might act differently in different cases. However their main trait is presenting themselves as having the same empathy feelings and emotions as others when in fact they lack this emotional capacity. They are thus cold and manipulative and rarely see any problem with their actions.”

Without a shadow of a doubt, my ex is a sociopath. He fits all of these definitions.  When I read every definition I have an example of what he did in our life together or stories from his parents and friends of how he acted as a child/teen that fits every trait. It is because of my history with my ex over 23 years that made it clear to me as soon as I found out about the affair and his reaction to me finding out that there was only one decision to make–file for divorce.

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