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Q: My husband, who is from a country in Africa, travels there often for business. He has permanent United States resident status. But when he was suppose to come home for Christmas last year he sent an e-mail stating that while he appreciated the time we have spent together, four and a half years of marriage, he was "discontinuing this relationship." He never answered my phone calls or replied to my e-mails. And he did this while his mother was visiting us for months.
I instantly filed for divorce as soon as the courts opened after Christmas, which was final in March. Now he is calling me? What kind of a person does this? Please give me your thoughts.
Dr. Schwartz: He's probably a sociopath. Let me define my use of that word for you. A sociopath is someone who only cares about their own needs, never someone else's. When people are needed they do what it takes to charm them and when people are "inconvenient" they dump them, or worse, without any remorse. Some are homicidal, some dishonest, but they will never take the blame for anything they do because it is always someone else's fault. They're usually quite smart and very slick, but that's because they need to be good psychologists to gain people's trust, even people's love, so they can get whatever it is they want.
It sounds like to me you've had bad luck and good luck. The bad luck you know already: You were married to someone who did not know how to love. The good luck is you are divorced. So in order to keep your good luck, stay divorced, don't listen to any entreaties or apologies and make it the end of a bad deal. He'll tell you what he knows will reach your heart, but judge him by his past heartless acts.
Dr. Schwartz answers questions every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Submit your question here. Read of Pepper's columns here. And be sure to follow Pepper on Twitter @pepperschwartz.