To this day, my ex does not believe anything he did was abusive and claims that the children ‘should have known he wouldn’t hurt them’. When the intimidation didn’t work, he suddenly switched gears and went in the complete opposite direction.This strengthened my resolve to get him out no matter what. Every day was filled with remorse, tears, and empty promises of how he was going to change. Possibly sensing the fake tears and false words were not working either, his efforts took a more dramatic flair.

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Techniques of Manipulation: Before our separation, my ex was going down the list of last ditch efforts to prevent the inevitable.

He did not want a divorce; he needed to keep the family unit intact in order for him to maintain the image he had cultivated for so many years. I remember going to marriage counciling and sitting across from him listening in awe as he painted a very different picture from what the reality of our home life encompassed.

I didn’t know at the time, but it was a checklist of sorts, and he tried each manipulative technique in rapid succession. He dismissed his abusive behaviors as responses to being upset by my actions, he blamed all of our children’s emotional distress on me, and he belittled my role in, well, everything. Then, he moved on to anger and intimidation, threatening to take the children, keep the house, and destroy everything he could that I loved.

By Quinn Pierce Shattering the Illusion Once I learned that my husband was a sociopath, it was a lot like looking at one of those Magic Eye puzzles that don’t look like anything except random, tiny shapes and then, suddenly, a three dimensional image appears out of nowhere.

Unfortunately, this lead to the realization that my entire marriage was an optical illusion covering up a very scary reality.

And once the illusion was shattered, I felt like I was living with a stranger who was capable of harming my children and me in ways I hadn’t even realized.

However, I also learned that separating from a sociopath and, subsequently, divorcing one is not any easier than living with one.

Needless to say, we did not make any progress in counseling. The tirades also included trying to verbally strip me of all my worth as a woman, mother, wife, and human being in general.

He accused me of deceit, lying, cheating, and manipulation.