From a reader:
I emailed a couple years ago when I was still playing the victim and trying to change my husband. I still struggle with both, but less often. We were married almost a decade and recently divorced. I will email later in detail about my ongoing process of acceptance and a determination to be a good parent. I believe my empathy for my ex and honesty about who I am is vital, if we are to be good parents. I will not allow my anger to endanger what is important to both of us. My faults were many and destructive. I would not surrender. He does not pretend to think like many other people. He went from a life of addiction and behaviors that harmed others to now, with many years clean and sober and a PhD in counseling. He acknowledges being a sociopath and for many years was on disability for that reason, until he got through grad school. Trust me, I was the perfect toy, a whole lotta fun... until he was no longer having fun. The perfect match. It took me years to catch on. I have recently been diagnosed as Borderline at middle age. He taught me about me, though the outcome was not what he expected. I will not tell him he helped me of course. He still gets angry and threatens my life and then denies it, but today I know I am not, as he used to say, "psychotic, delusional, and hearing things." I just hang up and do not engage. Next phone call is civil of course. He really was good. I also exhibit many of his traits, though I feel guilt and remorse. I really tried.
I have had people say he will abuse our children. I do not agree. I have seen fear in him one time, when our daughter was born and was not breathing. I knew to be scared because he never showed fear before or since. He cried twice, both times about the kids and their safety.
Our children adore their daddy. They are with him 3 weekends a month and every time he gets time off work and holidays. Unless you can convince me otherwise, I believe he loves them fiercely. He has a great fear of their being mistreated at school. He was subjected to harsh punishment in elementary school. All he wanted to know was what he had done wrong. Our 5 yr old son seems to be an empath. Our daughter is 7. Wow! Her dad and I can talk constructively about how to teach her. If she knows what is in it for her, she will adjust her own behavior. She is fearless and passionate and I love that about her. As long as I keep my word to her, she feels safe and trusts me. I do not believe that it is impossible for a sociopath to be a good loving parent. Will you tell what you know?