My mom married a psychopath, part 1

My mom married a psychopath. It may sound like a new movie release, but this is no joke. Here is how it happened.

My mom grew up in a small town, the youngest child – nearly 20 years younger than her siblings. I never knew my Grandma, but I can only imagine her surprise to find herself pregnant when her other kids were already grown and having kids. My Grandpa died when my mom was only 2 years old. So it was just my mom, and her nearly elderly mother. They struggled for money. Grandpa had not been rich, and did not leave much for them. Grandma was proud, refused food stamps, and even continued to donate heavily to needier families.

My mom was (and still is) quite beautiful, and got lots of attention from boys. That was the time of the weekly sockhop at schools, my mom speaks of those times with great happiness and longing. Grandma encouraged my mom to date and find someone to marry, but no one seemed right. She was in no hurry, but Grandma was in poor health and wanted to see her baby taken care of. Mom accepted a job after high school working as a secretary for the company my dad was working for.

My dad brought my mom gifts every day, stopped in the office at every break to see her, bought her flowers, jewelry, chocolates. He was very charming. Always smiling, joking, and making promises. He told my mom she was the most beautiful girl he’d ever seen and could not let her get away. He told my Grandma he intended to marry my mom. Grandma encouraged my mom, telling her it was time. So in just a few months of dating, my mom got married at age 19.

After the wedding, everything changed. No more gifts. No more promises. No more kindness. Instead, the woman he cherished became a target of ridicule. He told her daily that she was fat (5 ft 8 and 110 pounds in her wedding picture) that she was stupid, and so lucky he married her or she would have never found anyone else willing to have her. Her cooking was terrible, the house was never clean enough, she did nothing right. Now these things did not come out all in one day as it sounds. A true psychopath knows how to gently warp someone’s world so they never feel the need to run.

My mom never had any male role models. She did not know how a husband should act. She was told by her mom and her church to obey her husband.

Mom did not know what she had done wrong, and worked even harder to please him. She felt like a failure. She prepared him elaborate meals and ate none of it, trying to lose that weight he complained about. She tried to keep their nasty apartment tidy, but was scared of the cockroaches that he would not allow her to spend money on an exterminator. He refused visits to or from her family and friends, cutting her off, making her live in isolation. She quit her job at his insistence, gave up her dreams and lived only to make her man happy, not knowing it was an impossible task.

(to be continued)

11 thoughts on “My mom married a psychopath, part 1

  1. Very sad to read this and have seen this type of behaviour so often. I hope your mum has managed to let go of this man.

    • They are divorced, but I’m not sure she has truly let go. She still feels guilty for not protecting us, her kids, from this terrible man. But time is healing, and bringing us together – mom and kids.

  2. I nearly fell for a psychopath’s trap of charm, promises, gifts, and absolute attention. Luckily, I didn’t cave into the rush or I would have surely ended up in a similar situation. I will continue to read your entries. Thanks for sharing.

      • Well, I listened closely to words he would use when talking about his ex-wife and ex-fiancée. He seemed proud, too proud, that he could just forget about them after seemingly being so head-over-heels for each at some point. I watched things he didn’t do: he never hugged his parents or brother (he claimed his relationship with his family was somehow more evolved than most), he never said “I love you” to them, and he never talked much about good times he had spent with them over the years. I became suspicious of his motives early but continued the back and forth for 3 years. I desperately wanted the fantasy he had created. I fell in love with a character from a book, essentially, and I needed to awaken to reality.

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  6. Your mother’s story sounds so very similar to the marriage I extricated myself from a year ago – the over-the-top charm in the early days, being called the most beautiful woman in the world, the gifts and holidays lavished upon me, the heady promises and intoxicating romance. It changed almost on the wedding night itself – the denigration, humiliation, put-downs; the constantly trying to work out what I’d said or done wrong (nothing!); trying to make this man happy when, as you so astutely point out in your mother’s story, he could never be made happy. It must have been so incredibly difficult for you as a child and I hope and pray you’re healing and moving forward with your life. I hope the same for your mother.

    • I am so sorry to hear you had a similar experience, but happy you have gotten out. I do hope you are also healing and being gentle with yourself now, it can take so long to recover from this. I am moving forward, some days back a little, but always trending forward. My mother? not so much, but she has taken a few important baby steps that just may begin her own healing journey

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