It takes a long time to catch on to a sociopath. Sooner or later, everyone sees through them. But it takes a while. Normal people don’t expect layers of lies. They try to make sense of the lies, and they want to believe others, especially others who seem so confident, passionate, and free of shame.
But sooner or later, the house of cards falls. Truth prevails. And despite the sociopath’s best intentions, the ex-spouse escapes.
It just takes time, patience, and lots and lots of stamina.