A guide for healing and recovery

When the truth comes to light of the crazy life that you have been living with a sociopath, when the lying, cheating, betrayal, deception comes out, you are left feeling massively confused and so very hurt, it is the ultimate betrayal.

The person that you loved, that you shared everything with has used you, for what they could get. No doubt at the end, there will be endless:

  • Strives for contact – abusive emails and abusive texts 
  • Attempts at personal contact
  • Lies told about you and smear campaigns against you
  • Hacks into your privacy like emails and social networking sites

Your head is already reeling from everything that you have been through. Additionally, there is now intense ‘punishment‘ for establishing no contact. For ignoring them, and trying to get on with your life.

This isn’t easy. This is no normal break up. This time you are breaking up with someone who has lied to you, betrayed, and used you. You may be in debt, you might have lost your job, or even lost your home. You have probably isolated yourself from people who were close to you, or maybe they gave up and walked away.

Picking up the pieces of your life when this has happened, can be difficult. You would think, by the behaviour of the sociopath, that they would be glad to get rid of you? After all, they have treated you so badly. The point is, that they treat you this way because they can. So why will they now not go away?

When you have been controlled, manipulated, and abused in this way for a considerable time, when what you thought was real, actually isn’t real. Nothing you thought was true, actually was. When you were used as supply simply for someone else’s entertainment, you can be left in a fog and feeling massively confused.

Because of this, you need a plan to recover. You have been so used to being controlled, that spending time on you, and your recovery, is the best investment that you can do right now.


  • Establish No Contact and stick to it
  • Focus on you
  • Try to catch up with old friends that you were isolated from
  • Remove everything related to your ex, put them in a box, and put them away, photos, keepsakes, letters, cards. Anything at all. Put it away out of sight.
  • Stay away from things that remind you of your ex, do not sit moping, listening to music that reminds you of him, or anything else, sat in memory of him. Get up, get out, and do something.
  • Take one day at a  time
  • Read as much as you can, and reach out to others who have been/are going through same thing
  • Try to do one thing every day that will make you smile. Put a post it note up to remind you
  • Stick with the present, today, don’t let your mind wander back to what has happened, focus on right now, it is all that you have control over
  • Do NOT contact your ex, or respond to empty promises from him – block him
  • Write a list of EVERYTHING you have in your life that you are grateful for
  • Write a list of all the reasons that you are better off without him
  • Write a list of what you want to attract into your life – focus (it could be anything)
  • Keep a diary so that you can track your recovery. Writing is therapeutic 
  • Make sure that you eat properly, and get enough sleep
  • Treat yourself, and love yourself, like you would a best friend who is low, down and needs support
  • Try not to focus on the past. Stay with the present. Do not focus on being a victim. Focus on being a survivor, and how you can use this experience to  your benefit. Look FORWARDS not BACKWARDS
  • Do NOT be afraid of being alone, learn to value your own company, for now. Focus on healing and loving yourself. 

Take it one day at a time, and try not to panic (if you have lost your job, your home, friends, your finances, or all of this) DON’T panic!

Find someone you can trust. If you cannot trust anyone because of what has happened. Then go easy on yourself and treat yourself like your own best friend!!! – even this is therapeutic

You WILL recover from this. It is important not to throw yourself into another relationship before you are healed, as you risk meeting another one. Focus on you. And most importantly, learn to love you. Focus all of your love on you, because you are special. You are worth it, and YOU deserve YOUR time!!

If you are reading this, and you have recovered, is there anything else that you can think of which is good for recovery? Please add your comments, anon comments are welcome!! :)

Words © datingasociopath.com

140 responses »

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  1. Lydia says:

    O my word….I’ve just realised last night that my second husband is definitely a sociopath…and I’m devastated! This has now been going on for 5 years….and I am completely in love with the man I married (the lie) and I HATE the emotionally abusive one that just doesn’t want to go away anymore (the truth).. I have absolutely NO idea how to start to try and get my life and my self-worth back…I have never been so unhappy…I soooo wish he could stay the man I’m in love with…BUT I know it’s all a lie…..I just need to try and get my brain to accept this… :-(
    How to start a new life….????

  2. Connie says:

    One year ago I hit bottom and for the 3rd time I finally ended a 20 year marriage to a sociopath.
    Everything I just read on this blog over the past 3 days has signaled all the red flags I needed to recognize the truth. I haven’t been able to move forward with my life before now.
    I believed that my husband loved me soooo much in the beginning and he was my Soulmate who described his sol purpose on Earth was to ‘be my protector’.
    I felt so responsible for his happiness and for allowing him to fulfill his purpose.
    I ignored all the red flags and became his source as I witnessed him betray and abandon his and my family members and friends over the years. I knew that if I crossed him I would be discarded just as easily but chose to beleive I was ‘ the only person who he ever loved’.
    Once he found his next victim he made it so unbearable for me to stay in a relationship with him that I finally called it off.
    I put myself through hell over the past year not knowing who I was dealing with because I truly loved him and still wanted the relationship I deserved to have but could never have with him.
    I am so grateful to have found this blog and realize that I was waiting for the impossible.
    The truth has set me free
    Now the true healing can begin!
    Thank you!

  3. anonymous says:

    I was married to a “sociopath” or so my opinion and therapist opinions suggest. I have an intj personality. I think constantly. So for a very long time I was very disappointed in myself and I hated myself for what I allowed to happen because I sensed something was wrong with his emotions from the beginning. What I mean is, his words didn’t reach his eyes, his reactions and actions were text book reactions to human emotions but they didn’t seem real. He was in love with himself. I think he mistook me as a fellow sociopath at first. He described to his mother finding someone like himself. I read that intj’s are often mistaken for sociopaths because our emotions don’t show easily. (I’ve been screamed at by other girls for being unfeeling before… I was only trying to suggest a solution to the complaint) Anyway, I always had a low self esteem (I’m my harshest critic) I grew into confidence later but my time with this sociopath I had esteem issues. Also, I want to add that I grew up with a highly intelligent bi-polar sibling and another sibling who has Dravet Syndrome (a developmental disability in the epilepsy family) so I started out making friends and dating allowing a lot of wiggle room for strange behavior because abnormalities were kind of normal for me growing up. So I excused a LOT of abnormal behavior for him while we were together.

    Before I met him I had a list. (Intj’s often plan out their lives… Anyway I’m aware plans don’t always happen but anyway I had a list) The list contained negotiables and non negotiables for my future husband. Plain and clear. I was raised Christian I wanted someone who was Christian as well but not excessively judgemental. Someone who had logic and goodness in him. Also on my list was someone who would accept that should anything ever happen to my parents that we’d take in my developmentally disabled sibling. He had to be taller than me of course… Anyway, he was everything on the list to the t. Gradually he changed after we married he started isolating me from people. Toward the end I wasn’t allowed to be around friends who got divorced or my mother because he claimed I was too emotional after seeing them… intj remember? I started questioning my well thought out list… he was everything but then I was worth a group of his friends who were all atheist and he was claiming to be atheist and he told them to be careful what they say around me because I’m “super religious”. I questioned him on it, he said he never told me he was religious… He went to premarital counseling with my pastor and we had a religious ceremony??? Also on my list was to want children. He didn’t want children… Anyway, a lot of these things may not sound like a big deal but what bothers me is the lie… The claim he never said it. My husband now, yeah sure things change but we discuss it, like adults. Oh, I should also mention I happen to have type one diabetes and during our arguments (my ex and my) I would suddenly get separated from my insulin for hours upon hours also all of my money went toward insulin, food, gas and my car. I believed we were right on cash (but he made way more than what I knew about, oh and we didn’t have an account together I was an “authorized” user unknowingly and I was putting my earnings in that account. Thankfully I followed my mother’s suggestion of keeping a side account with some money because thankfully that’s how I survived) anyway, I would go grocery shopping and the food would disappear in a matter of days, every last trace. I’d go to work far away, so I cut into gas and insulin money. Eventually, I wound up going to work 7am-7pm no food my schedule changed a bit so I went 8-5 no food or scrounging for crackers then break at home then I’d go to college 7-10 and when I got home if he was in a good mood and I was in his good graces he’d get me fast food. I went from a size 12 to a size 4 during that time (in less than 8 months). My a1c was very bad (who knew it could go up without eating) Anyway, a lot of my thinking abilities were non existent during this time, I was in survival mode. After getting married I finally had insurance and I was put on the insulin pump. (Ding ding ding… constant flow of insulin.. finally) all of a sudden logic came back. He had this habit of telling me that I was imagining things, things never happened, he was embarrassed about something I said, etc. A lot was manipulation, I was paranoid about the bi polar family history so I’m sure he used it to his advantage to say things never happened. I walked around thinking I was literally crazy. But then suddenly logic came back and “if I’m crazy, I should see a psychologist or a psychiatrist and get help” I told him I was seeing a therapist about my past. After listening to everything, the professional showed my the circle of behavior and informed me if I tried defending myself I might get attacked physically. I didn’t want to believe her because I wanted to focus on the “Christian” thing and focus on proactive things for the marriage. Anyway after setting some boundaries for him he attacked me,dragged me, slammed me down and spit in my face. I lost 8 toenails. It’s been almost 5 years since. The big toenails haven’t grown back and I had to get 5 surgeries for the damage done to my types.

    Shortly after the attack, I made up an excuse of babysitting my sister and I went to my mother’s friends house (who was a police detective at the time) I told him everything, (my ex happens to be a police officer and I was terrified to leave him but he also told me about a lot of rules that aren’t true, etc. And threatened to have his officer buddies drag me out of our home when I was out of line) anyway, I was sent to the department where they tried to do a phone sting but it was unsuccessful. (He didn’t answer) the next day I got a temporary restraining order and a police escort happened a few days later to get my belongings out. An OIM was filed but there wasn’t enough evidence to do anything. When toenails are damaged it takes months for them to fall off and during the time of the attack they were painted blue so I had no clue they were damaged.

    Also during the week I stayed with him after attacking me I didn’t sleep one night. The last night I stayed with him he went down to the gun safe, dialed the code for the safe, opened it, closed it, walked upstairs, opened the door, I sat up asked him what was going on, he said nothing and that he was messing with the air conditioning (the air conditioning doesn’t beep). He did this over and over and over. I was beyond terrified. Also a few days prior he cleaned his assault rifle. During dinner he commanded me to look at the site, he pointed the barrel at my face, I was looking down the barrel. He kept commanding me to look at the sight and asked if I could see it. I kept telling him yes I see the sight. I was never so terrified in my life.

    So anyway, this type of person does not like being caught or losing control. To this day I’m terrified he will murder me. I have all sorts of security devices to ensure my safety because I have seen him follow me and watch me from afar on multiple occasions. So my advise to anyone involved with this sort of person is to run as far away as possible. Don’t give any sort of clue you’re leaving just go. It’s not worth your life. Also, when you start dating someone, if they mention that all of their exes left town and you can never meet them… that’s a huge red flag.

    Please be safe… everyone.

    • positivagirl says:

      Omg thank you for sharing your story. I am pleased you are safe. This is exactly what they do. Mirror you to be what you want. Play with your mind, take everything they can from you and then some more so that you are left with nothing. Do you have ptsd now as well? From the gun incident? I am sorry that this has happened to you.

      • Anonymous says:

        I am not formally diagnosed with ptsd. It has been said I could have it. I’d like to think that people who have seen far worse things such as combat in a war are the ones who get ptsd… that is not true, many people can suffer from it. The way my therapist explained it to me is my experience is like a bruise on the brain. Emotions get triggered when reminded about the incident. For example, what happened to me for a while was I’d see a police officer or a police car and I’d have to pull over because I’d start crying uncontrollably. And I’m a calm person. So I opted for neuro feedback. You watch a movie or play games. Every time your brain thinks about something it shouldn’t the game or movie stops working until you’re back on task. I did that twice per week for about 3 months. I was much better after. Now I can see a police car without panicking. I don’t have any sort of ptsd diagnosis, it was suggested I could have it and the neuro feedback was the treatment I used. I don’t like the idea of medications. I’m the type that starts least intrusive to most intrusive. Neuro feedback can also help control add and adhd and it helps people who have chronic pain. There are military studies on it right now too. Anyway, it doesn’t work for everyone but it helped me. However, I also have a security system, that gives me peace of mind as well. Besides I think he knows that for his job it’s best to keep a distance. From what I read, sociopaths attack when exposure is threatened. I’m not really exposing him. I let certain things go so I could get away safely. There is a police report but I dropped the restraining order hearing because I knew it was a his word against my word case and if they did (however unlikely) grant the order he would’ve lost his job. I didn’t want to get stuck with a house payment or vehicle payment so I dropped the restraining order (which was denied but also had a hearing or something like that). I didn’t know the laws for divorce so I didn’t want to get stuck paying for his lavish lifestyle so I dropped it and got as far away as quickly as possible.

  4. Deb says:

    Wow, just read all of this. One year ago I left a person who I believe was a sociopath. I am still in the “how could someone treat another person like this” stage. My ex had a 2 year affair, then we went to counseling, only to find out that the affair never ended. I went back 4 times!!! Apparently the affair partner was being told a story as well, they were told that I was still in the house because I could not afford to get on my own, it was crazy. I was told that asking them to make a decision was like asking them to cut off their right or left arm. geez…. Anyway, I ended the relationship. The affair partner and I are now friends, lots of talks, discovered lots of lies, lies from the very beginning. My ex is with another person, they had a commitment ceremony 6 months after I moved out. This blog was helpful. I have had such a hard time getting over this. I am very bitter about my retirement money and the years going poof. Rebuilding when you are 55 is not fun. For the past months I kept looking at cards, pictures, and thinking about the fun times we had. I kept thinking “what happened”? this person loved me. I now realize it was the con, the being exactly what I wanted, being the perfect person. It was exactly as described here. It is good to know that I am not the only one that could be taken by someone like this. So, what do I do now? My gut feeling is to warn the new person. But that person is convinced that I am some horrible person that did horrible things and took advantage of my ex. How could I get them to believe the truth? I now realize that my ex had no friends from their past. That should be a give away. But I didnt see it. So to anyone reading this. What are your thoughts about me trying to warn the new person? I am struggling with this and feel guilty for lettingn them walk into the trap.

    • positivagirl says:

      Hi Deb, I am sure that there are millions of victims around the world. If each one goes through how many victims? Just think how many of them there are?

      Yes, you are right, in terms of what you are thinking, yes it was a con. If you tried to warn the new person, she wouldn’t believe you, simply as he has already covered that ground, and already said that you are crazy and how he was so hard done by, if you tell her, it is doubtful that she would believe you, and likely it would cement their bond further. As he had already warned her, and then he looks more desirable than he actually is. You cant get her to see the truth, this is something that she will have to learn for herself. Please don’t feel guilty for her, as bad as that sounds, it would only keep the game going with him, which is what he wants. Try to focus your energy onto you.

    • Mapurisa says:

      i was warned but i never listened..he convinced me … do i wish, i had listened and saved myself the anguish…yeah, but now that i am moving on, i am doing it because of what i went thru and not what peoplw said…besides, it helps to know that i contributed but it wasn;t all me…should you warn them? yeah, but you will be regarded as a jealous scorned woman, they are grown, it is not your responsibility to save people…that is what makes us attracted to these kinds of people to begin with..you have u to care for..worrying about others takes attention from the work u have to do..maybe subconsciously that’s what you r doing..sorry, i do not mean to diagnose you

    • richard says:

      I found Omg , that sounds like me.When I met “ann” she was visiting her mother who lived nextt door .we engaged in conversation about ourselves and how my girlfriend lived 35 miles away and never came to visit me. Ann asked me if I knew anything about toilets because hers was broken and the good for nothing ex who crashed on her sofa woildnt fix it.I agreed to pop in and have a look. (How easy was that for ner to do).
      The next day I popped round as agreed and and did the easy fix on her loo , and then it began.Her ex had been kicked out but came back , rashed in the spare room or sofa and wouldnt leave. Was this a red flag? She then proceeded to repeat my story from yesterday about how cruel my girlfriend was and how she wouldnt do that to her boyfriend.
      Before I realised it we were rolling about over the floor .
      For the next six months this carried on with stories of , dont tell anyone , we dont want to upset Rich (the ex). Our daughters were in the same class , so I brought her with me to play and often spoke to Rich..
      He was a rubbish dad and did nothing but play on his ipad (her words) whereas I was a fantastic single dad..We wnt to the same village functions and hung about all the time and still Rich came to the functions with her.I used to think he was such a sad case.
      Six months later she went on holiday with friends and she told me that Rich insisted on going too as he had a ticket , but he would be staying in the friends appartment.
      Two days later all hell broke lose when he read her phone texts from me. And I still believed he was an ex that had hopes of getting back with her.

      Looking back

      I found she had manipulated things from the start by breaking the loo to get me round.She had used my insecurities from my girlfriend to twist my mind. She told me I was the best dad , partner soulmate and sucked me in.I felt soo sorry for her for having good for nothing ex , that wouldnt leave .

      3 years later , after I have totally refurbished her house , I am now (the ex on the sofa)
      Confused , heartbroken destitute….how on earth did this happen

      I tell myself that no one could be so calculated , but then remember back to the lie that started it all…that bloody broken toilet

  5. Jen says:

    I wld like to say thank you to all of tht commntd. My question is prob going to shock all but wat does the sociopath do with their disorder if they r to recognize it, lets say…or mayb they already do but dont realize tht they r hurting people they really want to love? Wen i went thru childhood and young adulthood, i had too late to realize tht my anger as a rage aholic was killing every relationship i had and tht i truely had an addiction (to rage) tht needed recognized and changed if i wanted to keep any of those who i loved who were still around. Thts my example…
    Anyway wat abt the sick person in all ths?
    Im in love whom im inclined to diagnos as a sociopath and although im now informed, i actually feel much more relieved tht he is not intentionally hurting me and confusing me but he is sick.
    Did he choose to b a sociopath? From other material ive read recently, it is very likely childhood related and environment ally induced. The issue being the inability or lack of being taught to trust and therefore , understandably, emotionally detatched.
    Therefore, i wanna love this,man and help him if i can where no one else has tried. Any thing from anyone will b helpful. ..thank u

    • positivagirl says:

      Jen, they cannot change their patterns of behaviour. I wrote this website an then returned. He had read everything on this site, he knew who he was. He really tried and wanted to make some change, but he pattern repeated and he went around in the same circle. You cannot help him. You need to understand and realise this. You cannot help him because the issue is in the brain. Even if they wanted to be normal, they can’t be, they have a need to control to dominate to own and possess. They can’t help it, they thrive off of other peoples energy. They cant even see that there is anything that is wrong with their behaviour. To them they do nothing wrong and if you react to their irrational behaviour you would be the one who is in the wrong. Any change is only minor and temporary, always the pattern will repeat.

  6. rve8Roxanne says:

    I was in a relationship with (what i know now as) a sociopath. HE convinced me about things i had proof of. eg. i caught him out sleeping with someone else. I LITERALLY saw the messages. Till this day he says he did not. I FREAKING saw the messages. He would even lie about stuff he didn’t need to lie about.It craziness I tell you!
    I am over him, as a person. BUT I am not over the love I felt for him. He became everything I wanted in a man. We even planned moving in and getting engaged. We were going to build our careers together. I thought I was the only one for him and he for me. That we were made for each other. But what i realised that all our “dreams” and “life goals” were actually all MY dreams. He became everything I wanted in a man. He made me believe that he couldn’t live without me. He cried in my arms and went down on his knees in a public place, begging for me to take him back AND I foolishly did. 2 days later a friend of mine saw him in a club with another chick.
    Getting over the fact that the EVERYTHING was a lie yet to me it was so real makes this the worst thing ever.
    I always had my guard up with men. but he really pulled every stop to make me love him, and eventually when I let my guard down, I started to see a different person, and even seeing THIS person, I still loved him.
    At this point, he still with the woman he cheated on me with. I have made a new life for myself, moved into a new apartment, making new friends, going to different places, i even have a new hobby.
    I have blocked him from EVERYTHING! I pray every night and day for strength to get over this and my prayers are being answered.
    The most positive thing that came out of this is that: i have achieved so much more in these past 5 months then I ever did in the past 3/4 years.

    The best tip I got is: you can never really lose something you never had.So there was no love lost.

  7. Debra says:

    I have been in a relationship with a sociopath (at least I believe he is) for almost 20 years. I am 7 years older than him and when we met I was 44 and he was 36. My daughter at the time was 16 and my son already in the Navy. When me and my S met, he pursued me. I was not in a relationship and I took him up on his offer. He moved in with me 3-4 months later. We lasted 8 years before I fond out he cheated on me. I was devastated. Absolutely, he blamed me for throwing me into her arms. Not true. In any event we worked through it only for him to encounter with another woman who he told I was an old hag. this time when I found out it became violent and I had him thrown out of the home for 6 months with a restraining order. He beat me up in front of my granddaughter who was 9 at the time. After the 6 months were up the court made me move as the house was in his name and I just participated in the payment of the mortgage, utilities, food, etc. I left and found an apartment and moved out for 4 years. One day as I was picking up my granddaughter from school, as the bus stop was two house down from where my S lived (and my daughter and I didn’t want to change her school and we kept the same address because my daughter and granddaughter always lived with us), my S approached me with asking to become friends again, maybe with benefits. As I was not involved with anyone during that time, I at first told him no. he kept pursuing me until finally I became weak and gave in, thinking he still loved me. What a joke. Even worse, after 4 years, I moved back into the house where we purchased together and it’s been 2 years now. He did it again, the cheating and blaming it on me. This time I am so devastated that the hurt has turned into extreme rage wanting to just hurt him so bad. It doesn’t work. He just throws it off as if he has nothing to do with his actions and it’s all my fault and has told me so. I can’t move out right now as I have custody of my granddaughter who is no 16 and my daughter is incarcerated. My goal is to be there for another year or so and move out to another State wherein I can save enough money to move comfortably and not struggle or suffer any financial loss. I have told him so and his reply to me is you’re going to do that to me? My answer is Yes I am. I hold nothing back verbally and let him know exactly what damage he has done to me and that I will never be sexual with him again (and I’m not) and that it can never work.

  8. beth says:

    I got lucky. After a year the sociopath moved on to another victim and I’m free at last ! Sure I feel sorry for her but she will have to figure it out herself. The truth always comes out in the end

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