I Married a Con Man, Now What?

If you’ve married a con artist, take steps to protect yourself: gather evidence, seek legal help, secure finances, set boundaries, and get emotional support.
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Key Points:

Identify red flags of a con artist, such as inconsistent stories, quick romance, secrecy, financial requests, and manipulation.

Protect yourself by gathering evidence, seek legal advice, secure your finances, set boundaries, and prioritize your safety.

Get support from friends, family, and professional support services like online divorce lawyers and divorce and life coaches.

Picture this: one day, you wake up and realize the person you married isn’t who they said they were. It’s a nightmare scenario, but it happens more often than you’d think. Marrying a con artist can leave you feeling betrayed, financially ruined, and emotionally shattered. If you’re in this situation, know that you’re not alone. There are steps you can take to regain control and move forward.

What is an Example of Marriage Under False Pretenses?

A marriage under false pretenses happens when one partner lies or deceives the other about important aspects of their life. For example, imagine you married someone who claimed to be a successful business owner, but later you find out they’re actually deep in debt and living off credit cards. They might have made up their entire background just to win your trust. Once you’re married, their true intentions and deceitful nature come to light, leaving you feeling trapped and betrayed.

What are the Signs of a Con Artist?

Con artists are often charming and persuasive, which makes spotting them early on tricky. However, here are some red flags to look out for:

  1. Inconsistent Stories: They frequently change their stories or provide vague details about their past.
  2. Quick Romance: They push for a fast-paced relationship, wanting to marry or make financial commitments too soon.
  3. Secrecy: They avoid answering personal questions and keep you away from their family and friends.
  4. Financial Requests: They ask for money or use your credit cards with elaborate excuses for why they need it.
  5. Manipulation: They play on your emotions, making you feel guilty or obligated to help them.

What is a Con Artist in Relationship Psychology?

In relationship psychology, a con artist is someone who uses manipulation, deceit, and charm to exploit their partner for personal gain. They lack empathy and are experts at reading and exploiting their partner’s vulnerabilities. These individuals often have narcissistic or sociopathic tendencies, making them adept at creating a façade of love and trust while hiding their true intentions.

What are the Personality Traits of a Con Artist?

Understanding the personality traits of a con artist can help you recognize and protect yourself from them:

  1. Charm and Charisma: They are often very charming, using their social skills to win people over.
  2. Deception: Lying comes naturally to them; they fabricate stories with ease.
  3. Lack of Empathy: They are incapable of genuine emotional connection and often have a history of exploitative relationships.
  4. Grandiosity: They have an inflated sense of self-importance and believe they are entitled to special treatment.
  5. Impulsivity: They often act on a whim, without regard for the consequences.
  6. Blame-Shifting: They rarely take responsibility for their actions and often blame others for their problems.

How to Fully Separate from a Con Artist

Separating from a con artist is tough, but necessary for your well-being. Here are steps to take to fully disentangle yourself:

  1. Gather Evidence: Collect any proof of their deceit and fraud, like emails, financial records, and text messages.
  2. Seek Legal Advice: Consult with a divorce lawyer who can guide you through the legal process and protect your interests.
  3. Secure Your Finances: Close joint accounts, change passwords, and monitor your credit report for any fraudulent activity.
  4. Set Boundaries: Cut off all communication with the con artist. This might mean blocking their number and social media accounts.
  5. Emotional Support: Engage with a life coach or therapist to help you navigate the emotional fallout and rebuild your life.
  6. Stay Safe: If you feel threatened, take steps to protect your safety, such as changing locks or even seeking a restraining order if necessary.

Gather Evidence

Before doing anything, it’s important to gather as much evidence as you can. This will be helpful in court and to protect yourself from further manipulation.

  • Documentation: Collect emails, text messages, and any written communication that shows their deceit or fraudulent behavior.
  • Financial Records: Gather bank statements, credit card statements, loan documents, and any other financial records that show irregularities or unauthorized transactions.
  • Witnesses: If possible, get statements from friends, family, or colleagues who have seen suspicious behavior or have been directly affected by the con artist.

Seek Legal Advice

Getting legal advice is a must. An experienced divorce lawyer can help you navigate the legal waters and protect your rights and assets.

  • Consultation: Schedule a consultation to discuss your situation and present the evidence you’ve gathered.
  • Legal Options: Explore your legal options, such as filing for divorce, seeking a restraining order, or pursuing charges of fraud or theft.
  • Asset Protection: Work with your lawyer to safeguard your assets, including freezing joint accounts and protecting property.

Secure Your Finances

Financial security is a big concern when dealing with a con artist. Taking immediate steps to protect your finances can prevent further exploitation.

  • Close Joint Accounts: Close any joint bank accounts or credit cards. Inform your bank of the situation and ensure no further transactions are allowed.
  • Change Passwords: Update passwords for all your online accounts, including banking, email, and social media.
  • Monitor Credit Reports: Regularly check your credit report for any unusual activity or new accounts opened in your name. You can also place a fraud alert or credit freeze with credit bureaus.
  • Separate Finances: Establish separate accounts in your name only and ensure your income is deposited into these new accounts.

Set Boundaries

Establishing firm boundaries is crucial to prevent the con artist from continuing to manipulate or harass you.

  • No Contact: Implement a strict no-contact rule. Block their phone number, email, and social media accounts.
  • Communicate Through Lawyers: If communication is necessary (e.g., for legal reasons or children), do so through your lawyer to minimize direct contact.
  • Restraining Orders: If you feel threatened, consider obtaining a restraining order to legally enforce these boundaries.

Emotional Support

Separating from a con artist can be emotionally draining. Seeking support from friends, family, and professionals can help you process your emotions and rebuild your life.

  • Therapists and Counselors: Engage with a therapist or counselor who specializes in trauma and abuse to work through your feelings and develop coping strategies.
  • Support Groups: Join support groups for individuals who have experienced similar situations. Sharing your story and hearing others can provide comfort and perspective.
  • Life Coaches: Consider working with a life coach to help you set goals, rebuild your confidence, and create a positive future.

Stay Safe

Your safety is paramount. Take steps to ensure you are protected from any potential retaliation or harm.

  • Change Locks: If the con artist had access to your home, change the locks and consider installing a security system.
  • Inform Trusted Contacts: Let close friends, family, and neighbors know about your situation so they can offer support and be vigilant.
  • Emergency Plans: Have a plan in place in case you need to leave your home quickly. Keep important documents, money, and essentials in a safe and accessible place.

Legal and Financial Recovery

Beyond immediate separation, work towards long-term recovery and rebuilding your life.

  • Legal Proceedings: Follow through with legal proceedings to finalize the divorce and any related criminal charges.
  • Financial Recovery: Work with financial advisors to repair your credit, recover stolen assets, and rebuild your financial stability.
  • Career Support: If the con artist affected your career, seek professional advice on how to get back on track, including updating your resume and exploring new job opportunities.

Moving Forward

Healing from a relationship with a con artist is a journey that takes time, but it’s important to focus on moving forward.

  • New Beginnings: Embrace new opportunities and activities that bring joy and fulfillment. This can include hobbies, travel, or education.
  • Self-Care: Prioritize self-care, including physical exercise, healthy eating, and adequate rest.
  • Personal Growth: Use this experience as a catalyst for personal growth. Reflect on what you’ve learned and how you can use this knowledge to build a stronger, more resilient future.

Support is Available

Navigating a divorce from a con artist is undoubtedly challenging, but remember, you don’t have to do it alone. DivorcePlus offers round-the-clock 24-hour divorce services, ensuring you have access to professional assistance whenever you need it. Additionally, you can benefit from free expert articles and resources to guide you through each step of the process.

For immediate support and personalized guidance, take advantage of the free 15-minute consultations with an online divorce coach. These sessions can provide you with the clarity and direction you need during this difficult time.

Conclusion

Separating from a con artist is an intense process that involves legal, financial, and emotional steps. By gathering evidence, seeking legal advice, securing your finances, setting boundaries, and seeking emotional support, you can fully disentangle yourself from their grip and start rebuilding your life.

Remember, support is available every step of the way. Whether it’s through 24-hour divorce services, online coaching, or personalized life coaching, there are resources to help you regain control and move forward with confidence. You are not alone in this journey, and with the right support, you can overcome the challenges and create a brighter future.

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