The stages of healing and recovery after dating a sociopath – What to expect – a quick guide!

I have already written how at the end of the relationship with the sociopath you go through

  • Five stages of grief and the healing process
  • Grieving the person that you thought you were with

(See healing and recovery section for these posts)

It can be difficult when you are in initial stages of break up. The pain can feel overwhelming. A question that is often asked, is how long is this going to last for? Is this going to get worse? You feel awful, empty, bereft and the pain can feel overwhelming. You might be wondering how long is this pain going to last? Is this feeling forever? Will I ever recover from this? Is my life always going to be this way? You might struggle to escape, to break the cycle of addiction to the sociopath and the cycle of abuse.

Trying_to_Break_out_of_the_Box1

A quick walk through guide to healing and recovery

Stage One – Disbelief

As you read information, and you see virtually your ex waving back at you on the pages that you read. You struggle to come to terms with the truth. Many of you would not have heard the term ‘sociopath’ or ‘psychopath’ except, perhaps thinking of mass murderers, you look back with reflection, your ex could be so ‘ nice’ ‘charming’ ‘caring’. They often seemed like the victim. Maybe you have it wrong? You struggle to believe that your ex was a sociopath. You still focus on the good times and the happy times. You constantly question is he/she a sociopath?

Stage two – The fog of confusion

In this stage, you are so confused. You don’t WANT it to be true. You want the mask of illusion the ‘nice guy/gal’ to be the real person. Accepting reality is very difficult. During this stage of healing, you constantly read information. You reach out to others. It is at this time that you are the most susceptible to being lured back in by the sociopath. Having been constantly lied to, constantly let down, you no longer know what is real, and what is fake. You struggle to adjust to your life, and to understand what is real? It can be difficult talking to others who do not understand psychopathic/sociopathic behaviour. In their mind, they think ‘what is there to miss’ what has happened to you feels so difficult to explain. You continue to read, almost hoping that you will find something which will prove that your ex isn’t a sociopath. That there is hope, and that you will and can return to the glory days.

Stage Four – Heartache, depression and sadness

As the harsh reality and the truth sinks in, you sink into a depth of depression and sadness. You realise that this is something that cannot be fixed. It cannot be changed. Your heart hurting. You feel stupid and embarassed that this has happened to you. Your focus right now is on the sociopath. You are desperate for answers. You need to understand, why? Why has this happened? Why did you deserve this? Did your ex ever love you you constantly ask yourself? What was real? Was everything a lie? You struggle to come to terms with the harsh reality. The truth hurts. It hurts bad. You are now coming out of the fog of confusion and walking into the glaring truth of reality. Your heart aches so badly for the way that you have been treated, that you could take it out and put it away in a box in a cupboard – until you feel better. You almost think that life with the sociopath was better than feeling this hurt.

Stage Five – Isolation and emptiness

The harsh reality of your life and the effects of the relationship, is now hitting you hard. Perhaps you have lost a job, lost friends, family, finances, even your home and other losses. It is hard to believe that the person that you loved with all of your heart has betrayed you. You feel empty, isolated and alone. What has happened is so crazy, it is difficult for you to explain to others. At this time you might also be in the midst of ruining and smear campaigns by the sociopath. Right now you feel an empty shell of the person that you once were. Some of you feel so bad, so empty, so alone, that you might think of ending your life (DON’T!!) ….

Stage Six – Psychological Detective

In this stage you learn enough about psychopaths, sociopaths, and behaviour disorders, to gain a qualification. You become obsessed with understanding why? You read all that you can.  Understanding about psychological behaviour becomes your latest obsession. The more that you read, the more you learn, the easier you find things. Understanding how bad and messed up your ex is, in some way – helps you to feel better. If you could you would read about it 24/7. For some reason understanding is healing. Your focus in this stage is still on the sociopath, not on you. You are still hurt, and angry. You might feel a need for justice and to expose the sociopath.

Stage Seven – Acceptance, healing, recovery and focus back to you

Acceptance is always the final stage of recovery. In this stage, you start to  focus on you, and your needs. You might even be able to raise a smile, or at best a laugh. You have done well. You realise that your ex had a psychological disorder. That was not your fault. What happened and the behaviour belongs to them – not you!

In this final stage, you let go of the bad. You start to focus on the good. You accept that there is nothing that you could have done to change a thing. You realise that it was nothing to do with you,it was not your fault.  You are not stupid. In the final stage, you start to make plans for you. To rebuild your life. You are finding that the good times are outweighing the bad.

You realise the damage that has been done to you. Perhaps you are struggling to trust others. You are looking at what you have learned, and perhaps things within yourself that you want to fix. You start to make plans for your future. Slowly you begin to allow others back into your life.

In the final stage, you are not focusing on what happened, or why? You are no longer trying to understand. Your focus is back to you. You are letting go, realising that the person that you were with has a disordered mind – and feeling a sense of relief that whatever he/she is doing now – at least they are no longer doing it to YOUR life.

The final stage can feel slightly liberating. You have learned a lot and have grown. You realise that you want to not make the same mistakes in the future – or at least not date the same mistakes. You realise that you really do deserve better. For the first time, possibly in all of your life you are protecting you. Looking after you, realising that you really do deserve better.

Always focus on changing what you can – not what you can’t!!

You might be reading this, recently coming out of the relationship and are still in the early stages. The pain might feel overwhelming. The sadness, the emptiness, and the humiliation might leave you feeling absolutely devastated. You wonder how you can go on – will you ever recover?

The answer is – yes you will!!!

Remember  the following

  • Confusion is only a temporary phase – nobody stays confused forever
  • The truth no matter how painful it is to learn – the truth really will set you free (truth hurts huh)
  • EVERYBODY in the beginning goes through the fog of confusion. This is normal. You might drive people close to you, mad with your constant chopping and changing of mind about the sociopath. This is also normal too.
  • If something is hurting you – this means that you are learning and growing. Remember when you were a child, you fell over and cut your knee??… when your knee was healing it itched and itched -you wanted to scratch but if you scratched it – it would bleed and re-open the wound. This is like No contact – you might get the urge to contact, just like the urge to scratch…. but realistically all that you will do is to re-open the wound, and you will need to allow it to heal again. Don’t scratch the wound – don’t fall back on no contact. If you are struggling – if you have that itch – stop…. take some time out – read the articles on No contact…. stop bleeding. Its time for healing and recovery.
  • Take one day at a time. Realise that the longer you were in the relationship – the longer it will take to fully heal and recover.
  • That the sociopath creates an addiction to him/or her, you might get the urge to contact – don’t this will delay your healing and recovery

Focus on you, it is not wrong to be selfish. In fact after an abusive relationship, it is essential (you will be so drained you will need all of your energy for you). You can never fix somebody else, but you can fix you!

Words © datingasociopath.com

363 thoughts on “The stages of healing and recovery after dating a sociopath – What to expect – a quick guide!”

  1. I appreciate all the effort you are putting into this, Positivagirl.

    I might offer a few insights. My comments are anecdotal and not “evidence-based”:

    I have examined your Stages of healing against the Power & Control Wheel used in Domestic Violence treatment. The models differ in that Power & Control Wheel describes the dynamic between the 2 people and while your Stage model only reflects the victim/survivor’s experience. It would be interesting to see an intersection of the two models.

    I like to emphasize the word Process and not Stages because I have found that within even one day I revisit the various stages. It is like sometimes I in and out of different planes of experience. For example, while we may have progressed and physically separated from the sociopath, the addiction and lure continues. The lure has an ebb and flow to it. some days I am able to focus on life apart from him. I tend to my daughter and myself more. But then when I have some legal matter related to my sociopath, or I go near his environs, or someone mentions something about him and his girlfriend, I get obsessive. I experience veins of the one stage in another stage.

    This brings up another issue. We seem to be solely defining our experience upon the Sociopath’s pathology only. What about our own pathology or neurosis? Eg, codependency? Lack of identity? I know some may bristle at this because it hints that we are also at “fault,” which feels invalidating. However it is helpful to described our own syndrome during and after the relationship as well as the vulnerabilities the sociopath took advantage of before entering the relationship.

    Perhaps this is where the Maslow Self Actualization model comes in? When people are operating at the lower levels of the Maslow model, they are more vulnerable to a sociopath.

    Also, in addition to the addiction model, the sociopathic relationship is cultish. Cult deprograming and debriefing is something we should learn about too.

    1. @DRC – actually, I agree that for myself, I projected what I wanted him to be … and I refused to see him for who he really is. The warning bells were going off, for sure, and what I have realized is that I used him to give me the love I couldn’t give myself, and I chose to put up with crazy behaviours because I needed to validate myself by having a man in my life (even if I knew he was very unsuitable). That’s my story …. Sure won’t be going down that road again – this experience has served to open my eyes like never before.

      1. Ditto Darling….my Soc calls us all Darling so, he couldn’t get us mixed up ;) what an unoriginal man…we gave them our originality, without us they are nothing.
        Shine on Darling Girl, shine on :)

        PR xoxo

    2. Yes this interesting DRC. For me it has only happened to me when I was in trauma (severely traumatised). I had of course changed.

      I am unsure what you mean about only giving the victim/survivor perspective? Am just thinking… I dont think so?. I write about childhood having an impact esp with regard to the parents.

      I do see what you mean about two sides and interaction between two people. When you say how the lure of addiction is stronger at times than others. Did you notice that you also said the times when it is stronger is when you have been given a part of him for whatver reason? (Legal, going near his environment, or someone mentions him or his girlfriend) this is how addiction works. (The little monster feeds the big monster)..

      I think I wrote before how the socio

    3. Focuses on your weaknesses and how important it is for us to look at those and address those within yourself.

      For me there was a slight difference. 1 that I was traumatised ( which was interesting later when I was coming out other side of trauma) as they got a very different person :) 2. I would say even the real me before could expect others to fix things for me. Also being a Leo :) I probably wasn’t adverse to flattery although before (and now) would likely have seen through fakeness. I think because I was traumatised (for me) my radar was off….. But I still analysed behaviour exactly the same… If that makes sense??

  2. I thought I was healed. I go out Friday with a group of friends and I see my spaths friend that doesn’t know I know who he is and he doesn’t think I know he knows who I am. But I do because his reactions from the past two times I saw him out. It was almost like he couldn’t keep his eyes of me and my sister said that guy is starring at you hard it’s freaking me out. I knew then he knew who I was. Anyway, I watched him out of the corner of my eyes and could see him pointing his finger at my and talking to the other guys that worked at the bar I was at.. Which I knew right then and there my spath had been talking shit about me. I’m sure he told him I gave him and STD and blah blah blah. The shit he did to me. I haven’t slept in two days after this crap. I mean why would his friend make me feel this way? I feel like I’m crazy!!!

    1. Because, KJ, his friend is an idiot as well. Don’t worry, though – the friend will get f@cked over, too. And besides, you don’t want to associate with anyone that has had anything to do with your ex, including acquaintances. What goes around comes around, believe me.

      1. I didn’t want to associate with him, but why can’t I go out to a bar and not worry if him or his friend is going to be dj’ing there so he can have me kicked out.
        His friend was pacing at the door which tells me he called him and he was on his way with his new gal.. Thank god I left before that happened. I would of lost it. I’ve never lost it over any other man like him before and I don’t get it or understand it. He wasn’t even good at anything at all.. Everything he did got on my nerves.. So confused!
        This is day 3 without sleep now..
        I bet he’s sleeping good. Grr

  3. How helpful and eye opening.

    In 2011 I started dating a friend/coworker of 2 years. He was charming, smart, funny, sweet, life of the party type of person everyone loved to be around. We had spent time together with other friends/coworkers and then he starting indicating he wanted more than friendship. I was attracted to him but he had a girlfriend who lived three hours away. I told him I would not get involved since he was with someone else. He assured me he was ending things with her and they had no future and he didn’t love her. We started spending more time together and I was happy. Other than being raped as a teenager, he is the only guy I have slept with and he was so sweet and considerate about it. He told me he loved me and had never felt this way about anyone else and his feelings were so intense they scared him. I fell in love with him and was so happy.

    I got pregnant, it was not planned, and he changed. He tried to force me to have an abortion and then tried to pressure me into adoption. He bailed and I found out he had never broken up with his girlfriend. He tells her about me and the baby and she thinks I need to put the baby up for adoption and he says she won’t “let him” break up with her. I also find out he has issues with porn and finding women online for sex. I try to maintain contact with him for the baby’s sake, then when I am halfway through the pregnancy he comes to me crying and says he is sorry and wants to be a part of his child’s life. I was still in love and wanted my baby to have his father and foolishly thought he would change and we could work things out even though he was still with the gf. He then runs hot and cold with me and I never know what kind of mood he will be in from one day to the next. I feel the need to maintain a friendship with my child’s father even though he doesn’t want to be with me. He bails on drs apts and ultrasounds. He informed me his gf would help him raise his baby and proceeds to give me orders about what is going to happen and who will do what when the baby is born. I cut contact with him.

    When my son is born he shows up at the hospital with his gf. My brother refused to let her in the room. While I am lying in bed after a C-section this jerk tells my mother I owe his gf an apology for fooling around with her man and trying to steal him away. My mother got in his face and confronted him and asked specific questions. He got this evil sneer on his face and his eyes went wild and the tone of his voice changed. He told my mother he was telling me what I wanted to hear when he told me he loved me and he certainly didn’t up his game for me. Wow what happened to the charming sweet guy I had been friends with for two years and fell in love with?! He then told me he and his gf would be coming and taking the baby for a few days when we got home. (She has since moved very close to him.) I told him no. He showed up at my home and physically threatened me and my mother threw him out. He hates my mother, has issues with women. He had/has a weird relationship with his mother. Makes smart aleck remarks about his female boss and other women. I tried to tell his gf I was sorry she was hurt and I would have never gotten involved with him but he lied and told me they were through. They are living the fantasy that they were a loving committed couple and I am the whore that seduced him and tried to break them up. Even though he had multiple flings of cheating on her, this was all MY fault according to them! And she is now trying to play Mommy with my son to get back at me. They are both sick and deserve each other, but I don’t want my poor baby caught in the middle.

    I never refused to let him come and see his son but I didn’t let him take him out of the house. For one thing it was winter and you don’t get a newborn out and I didn’t trust him. He then sued me for custody. We went through three rounds of mediation and one trial. I have appealed the decision because in true sociopath fashion he managed charm the mediator, judge, and his attorney. My breastfeeding my son due to severe reaction to formula and acid reflux became, “mother’s selfish decision and action to keep child from spending the night with his father.” I have to work to support myself and my son and was already pumping three times a day and having to supply the babysitter with 20 bottles a week and the father was getting a few hours Wed, Thurs, Fri, and most of Sunday so I had to give milk for that too. My son was nursing every two hours. There was no way he could be away from me overnight nor could I possibly pump more. I was only nursing until he was 1 year old when he could have whole milk and then he could spend the night with his father. I was told I was going to have to mix breastmilk with formula (against drs orders) or figure out how to produce more milk! I had to fight for my baby’s nutrition but his father got all the major holidays in return for that. Yet I am the selfish one! And he is the poor mistreated father of the year! He actually got credit for overpayment of child support for that reason. ( I never asked for a dime, child support was court ordered when he filed for custody) My attorney has a background in psychology and told me, “He is no doubt a narcissist, but he is textbook sociopath too. I can see it in his eyes.” My son is almost 2 and we are still in a court battle. I have spent almost $10,000 in attorney fees but will do whatever I have to do to protect my baby.

    I have gone the tenth mile with him and been flexible with visitation. I buy gifts for him and his family from our son for bday, Christmas, fathers day, etc. But nothing I ever do is good enough. He demands rather than asks for anything. And everything is always my fault and he never takes responsibility for anything, he always turns it around on me. I finally saw the more I did the more he expected and used as an excuse to walk all over me. He has kept our son two hours later on three occasions. I asked him to respect the parenting plan and he accused me of keeping his son from him. I don’t believe his love for our son is genuine. He treats him more like a possession and a trophy.

    These articles hit so close to home and describe so well and give great advice. I feel so stupid for being duped by him. I would gladly cut all contact with him, but unfortunately I can’t since there is a child involved. I would love to read more insight on how to co-parent with a sociopath.

      1. So sorry for what you are going through as well. Thanks for your kinds words. It is so hard to deal with this type of personality. I really don’t think they have the ability to change. And I hope it isn’t genetic. I don’t want my son being like his father.

    1. This is the saddest, most terrible story. I am so sorry for your pain and what you are going through. These people are sick. His GF is sick too. I am so sorry xxxx

  4. Hi, its very difficult just where to begin with regard to my story? I’m in the initial stages of total disbelief that the girl who I fell madly in love with is a sociopath. I really don’t want to believe it and I’m searching old photos as I delete them for any signs but all I see is two people very happy and very much in love (so I thought). My storey….
    I emmigrated to Australia in 2006 with my wife and kids. My wife was beautiful and I know with everything in me she loved me with all my heart as I did her. Unfortunately she suffered terribly with depression which I knew about when we first met but loved her and supported her the best I could have. It was tough at times although to anybody else they wouldn’t have had a clue. In Jan 2011 she completed suicide which left me in Australia with my two kids, running a business and also studying psychology. I stook it out for well over a year and made many mistakes along the way trying to cope with the grief. I made the descision to return to England to my home town to have the support of family and to make a new start.
    I left this town initially when I was 16 to live with my dad. i set my kids up in school and family told me of a girl I went to school with whose son happened to be in my daughters class. When we first saw each other it was almost electric, she was very beautiful and looked amazing. We chatted and told me she was married, worked in a care home and asked the same of me, so I told her briefly my storey and why I was back. Within half an hour I was added on a networking site and she commented how much I’d changed and picked up on her interest.
    Everything from there was very full on with messages from both of us and was such a great feeling. It was two weeks later we saw each other again and spoke all day and she later returned that evening. I made no advance in the day but by her returning later on I knew where I stood! It was amazing and felt incredibly close and that was us. She left her husband and we dated. I was totally besotted and thought she was but looking back there was little niggles in my gut that something wasn’t quite right that I dismissed. Through family I knew her relationship with her ex was violent..very on and off throughout with numerous affairs on both parts. She said she never loved him and for the first time in her life she knows what it is to be in love with me. She could never see us arguing or falling out. After a hard marriage on both parts I desperatly wanted to make us work and just love her. I spoiled her, weekends away, jewellery, I bought a car as we were to be a large family and in doing so paid off her £11000 loan and put a further 5000 on the car. It was in her name for remaining loan as I had been out of the country but I paid the repayments. I bought a house for us all to live in and all seemed sweet but then things started to change. Previously I’d seen her being really irrational over something of nothing and never ever could reason with her despite it being cut and dry. She had a temper and appeared very aggressive at times and shoved me about a bit then pleaded she was sorry when i bit back! I took her in Feb to New York where we got engaged (crazy I know) but even when we was there I was excited by what I saw but without her saying too much I never got a sense of appreciation? I wasn’t looking for it but a bit more than a thanks would have been more expected. I always sensed something wasn’t right but carried on dismissing it as I truly loved her.
    After we returned it got very bad. My kids bear in mind had been through a hell of a lot where basically put through hell by her and her own! Nothing short of bullying and when I tried getting to the bottom of it by sitting down, as soon as the focus was on her son, she stormed out and didn’t listen to my sons whilst belittling my boy. She threw her ring and said she was leaving..which she did. Back to her marital home but ex had gone. I still stayed with her and tried working things out but in April after a birthday weekend for her it all kicked off again. Anyway she sold the car because it was in her name and bought another new one. I lost 18000 by this point but it was hers and nver did show any remorse. During this time trying to win me back she played on my emotions, told me I’d never supported her and in so many words indidcated that its no surprise my wife did what she did. She then said losing me she has lost her everything and said she was depressed knowing its a subject close to my heart…..I took her back. I also found out at this point she was messaging other guys via network site and was very flirty indeed! She always said that I would find someone else very quickly but I was broken and didn’t eat for two weeks whilst she seemed fine, although she said she wasn’t! Anyway I took her back…went on holiday to Egypt where she nothing short of bullied my daughter aged 8. I stood up to her and that was it again! Over but no, she played me again. She didn’t know at this point that the very next day she was back messaging same guy and totally bad mouthing, Im a bully and control freak! By the way through this I’ve lost contact with mum and sister because they warned me about her but I ended up taking spaths side! Thats another storey! Anyway I took her back again…she would do anything ‘Ill go to therapy’ Ill change, I siad ok…1 more chance because I cant take anymore but I love you so much! I meant it! All seemed good, she was on meds and seeing counselor. Then again I found out through my kids that she had change over this past few weeks. Was very hard on my daughter again yet her son could do know wrong! He is a terror by the way! She reduced my daughter to tears and threatened but despite this my kids hid it from me, not wanting me to be cross! But they couldn’t take it anymore and told me everything! She is now gone, said my kids are lying and just want us to split up. She was overheard by them bad mouthing me to her brother and bad mouthing them which she totally denied! There has been so much more but Im hoping you haven’t lost interest! We are over but I still question as I write this…could I be so wrong? I just loved her so much and did all I could but was never enough i always felt. I saw her in the playgound tonight, she was very smug and I had arranged to give all her stuff back that was at mine. She had a go at me and said something like…I’m not missing you? Strange! By the way,she had me remove a tattoo of my wifes name which I foolishly did but when I came out it was like I’d just bought a new shirt! That through everything I regret so much!! She removed my name from her within two days after Egypt holiday! Do you think I might have a sociapath as an ex?

    Sorry for long windedness, there is so much more to add, just can’t believe I have been taken in! I can’t and dont want to believe it :( Feel such a mug

    Thankyou
    P

    1. Wow p there isn’t many times that I am lost for words. I have my heart In my mouth as I think of your children. First losing their mother, and then this woman.

      I couldn’t say whether she is or not without knowing her. But that doesn’t matter. She clearly has issues. To treat your children in this way is appalling. Their mother only died in 2011.

      This comment has made me feel really sad. :( :(

      1. I should have put a smiley on the end of my question asking if she is a sociopath because especially after reading on here I have no doubt at all! Like I said I had grave suspicions back in April but she was so convincing when she turned up on my door, my son who was the target at that time said ‘Dad you have to give her another chance’, so I did!

      2. Your comment…. my heart went out to your children. It is the only comment I have read here, that has made me feel very sad.

        Perhaps that was because when this happened to me I was a grieving mother. Which is why the last one faked that his daughters mother was dying of cancer (it was all a lie) and his daughter was going to have to live with us…. my daughter had died…. you couldn’t make it up just how far they will go to get what they want. It is really sad. No care for anybody else except themselves.

    2. Whatever she is. You need to take time out for you. Your grief was such a short time ago. She sounds selfish and wrapped up in herself and not good for you or your children. You talk about all of her needs. Did she ever stop to think about yours or your children’s?

      How long ago did you split? Are you still in contact with her?

      1. After what was nothing short of abuse and bullying to my daughter whilst on holiday in Egypt in July, I thought I gave her it both barrels especially on our return…thats a story in itself and was over again. This was the time she admitted she had a problem and would do anything…ie therapy! I also sat her down and just explained to her that my kids have been brought up differently to how yours have, there mum was incredibly loving and absolutely doted on the pair of them, I also said that my daughter craves female attention and could really be so close to you…you just have to be softer with her! She said I know and Ill change! It didnt last and over this past month she slowly changed back and started snapping again then reducing my kids to tears! They said she is so different when your not around :(

      2. I think thats the hard thing aswell because when my wife died yes ofcourse it was devastaing and a shock, when I saw her gone there was almost instant closure….she isn’t coming back. I lived with her depression for years and suicide always came up in conversation…what Im saying is that there was always a possibility that this would happen and had no choice to accept and try to build a new life for us. It was incredibly tough and ofcourse still is, my wifes memory is with me constantly. I guess what Im really saying is that I thought I was ready to love and be truly happy! Thats like a double whammy and hard to accept at the moment!
        I am very sorry to hear that you went through something very similar…through reading I have caught bits of your experience but Im not fully aware! Just thankyou for this site, it is a great work you are doing and helpful to so many! Its incredible to me that the spaths are so programmed and predictable, machine like, but only when you see the truth or have expreienced it!

      3. Dude, rule #1… never get involved with/ flirt/ wink or talk romance a married woman… even if shes unhappy? Shes still married and is someones wife..thats the best way to start off with the scale of Karma tilted the wrong way… against you. . #2? she admitted to cheating and having affairs… Remember, once a cheater always a cheater… #3 , if someone tells you they never felt this way before, got married even though they never loved their spouse? and the relationship was violent? You can bet they were the instigator.. Getting married knowing you dont love that person breeds only one thing resentment, which is then aimed at the other person through self hate and that emotion is misdirected.. Im telling you this man to man.. Im also terribly sorry about your wifes suicide, that must leave you without the ability to completely achieve closure. My feeling is, and I might be wrong, just throwing out a bit of intuition after reading your post…No matter how long you dealt with her depression, and I know how trying that can be, you dont get quick closure when tragedies like that happen to people we Love… My feeling is you are still dealing with that on such a deep level , not realizing it since you might have tucked it away so far you wont let yourself see it… hence why you maybe were blinded to this person you were recently involved with… Take some time for yourself man, hang out with friends, family, etc etc.. its only been just over 3 years since the suicide… there is no possible way you are ready to date or get married again… Just some man to man thoughts… and I wish you luck in no Contact with this vampire…..

      4. I forgot one, Bewildered, you said you were studying psychology, Boundaries are a huge part of behavioral Psychology. Talking to , flirting with and romancing someones wife shows a huge lack of boundaries , as well as a huge lack of empathy for the spouse of that person . Please man, think about this very hard before you brush it off. Its pretty huge considering the site you’re posting on. Did she divorce her husband or just move out still actively married? Did she show you divorce papers? Did you feel the least bit gross romancing someone else’s wife?

      5. Christian…I knew her as an old school friend, we chatted about old times and aquaintances! I didnt pursue her and actually made it very clear that it was very important that she work at her marriage because I would not come between that! After two weeks of our first meet she had left him, filed for divorce which yes I saw the papers for! So no I didnt feel gross romancing someone elses wife as that didn’t happen! She told me that they had been on and off for years which was confirmed by my own mother who knew her! There was no affair with me, it wasn’t sordid!

      6. Dude, after 2 weeks of your first meet she left him… so you went out with a married woman before she was divorced… and as far as I know, divorce takes a a few months to complete and get papers on… Listen, im not attacking you, but I do question the validity of what you’re writing because you keep tripping up when you respond. Boundaries are extremely important in every aspect of life, especially this aspect. I also understand these types of people can con you, reel you in, and convince you what YOU are doing is perfectly fine even if it goes against your better judgement.. Keep your eyes open , your ears, and practice trusting your intuition… She convinced you to ignore Boundaries, and forget about empathy… The devil is very slick…. and you dated her.. Stay strong and stay away from her.. Mail her shit back, if you see her walk the other way, block her numbers and emails, smash your phone with a hammer if you have to so you dont call… it’ll get rough in the next few weeks but you can do it… Hang tight man…

      7. Yes Christian a divorce takes a long time to complete! If there are difficulties such as the spouse not wanting one or agreeing to the grounds of divorce then it can take years! Our relationship began when her relationship to him was over….no not her marriage! Like I said..I made it clear that I wouldn’t want to come between her marriage so she made the descision! He moved straight out of there marital home and in no time met someone else who he is still with to this day! He has never been hostile to me and in fact shook my hand on a number of occasions ie Christmas! I almost feel that he was glad to be rid as there relationship was very much on off….like mine! Thanks for your advice, been here before but feel this time things have gone way too far!

    3. Why would she want you to get rid of a tattoo of your wife? That is outrageous. You were a widow and she was the mother of your children. Did she expect you to banish their mother from their life?

      You must know that she clearly is not right. The things that she has done is not acceptable.

      You said that you were studying psychology – what do you think she is?

      1. Yes she did, it was high up on my back so when I was wearing a tshirt in the summer you could see it and she’d pull my shirt up! She actually said you won’t be coming anywhere near me with that…it makes me uncomfortable seeing it! I have such deep regret but I covered it with a rose which is symbolic to my late wife! I will be getting it altered and also having her name covered up next sat! Cant come quick enough! I feel so ashamed for how I have allowed this and to be controlled! To be honest I have messed up so many times since my wifes death and this is my wake up call!

      2. Hey don’t be hard on yourself. Grief changes us. For a while at least. Someone once said to me. With grief…. it is like your life is thrown up in the air, and who knows what it will be like when it lands back down? I think that is true.

        it is not a sign of weakness, to do things that are not right when you are grieving, but it is a sign of evilness to target a grieving person for your own selfish needs.

      3. Christian…thankyou for taking the time to reply and you are very much correct! It all is so obvious now but even back then I felt something not quite right in my gut! I used to wonder that her marriage was like that because she never really loved him? She said he had so many affairs…even slept with her sister ( which by the way from what I hear, she has very similar traits) Funny I was always warned by spath that if ever I got friendly with her sister and even sat and had a coffee with her then we would be over! All your insites are correct I believe, I was just blinded by the lies! I know now actually outside looking in….it was all so glaringly obvious! The way I feel right now I will find it very hard to trust again or certainly for a long while, maybe this really is a blessing in disguise to sort my head and my life out to get back on the right path! For the first time in about 4 years I sat and tried meditating yesterday, lit incense today as I really feel that in some way I have caused this by not listening to the inner me! So yes this is my karma, I accept it, I hurt but if this is what it has taken for me to sort myself out then I am grateful!

      4. Hi Bewildered77 :)

        Just chiming in :)
        I think you’ll find that the sister is probably onto the Soc so, that’s why you were warned off.
        Remember the Soc is a pathological liar so, I doubt anything she says about her ex husband/sister etc…is probably all lies.
        I bet if you spoke to the ex-husband you would find his story just like yours as he has also been duped by her.
        Just stop beating yourself up, we are all here & we have all made the mistake of trusting the wrong person with our hearts.
        I am truly sorry for the loss of your wife & you must remember to honour her life by living your best one from here on. You deserve happiness as do your children so, be strong & keep going….Your not alone, you have us & that’s a great place to start :)

        Love & Light :)
        PR xoxo

      1. Thankyou for your kind words (it is done) I just find myself asking how much more but I’m learning the lesson! Very proud of my kids, they are remarkably well balanced and happy kids and have and continue to cope brilliantly! Losing their mum, a move across the other side of the world and a disfunctional relationship in nearly 3 years is pretty huge! I will take all advice, take my time to heal and become strong again! Feel very tired now! Thankyou for all the support PR and a good feeling knowing you understand :)

  5. I wanted to post here on this particular blog page as i wrote a post on September the 8th on this particular blog and at the time i was still struggling and lost. I have come a long way in 2 months. I have come a very long way in the five months since my ex charismatic Soc blindsided me in the middle of IVF.

    It is 2 months since i wrote on this post (i have definitely written a lot elsewhere on this website) and i am now definitely in stage 7. I have no doubt whatsoever that he is a sociopath. All the bad/wrong/redflags memories that were in the relationship now far surpass the memories of the good. It’s amazing how much i suppressed during the first 4 months after break up. How even 1 month ago I was fighting to believe his lies and that the dream he painted was really real. But now i know that my gut was real and that his lies were lies. They were obviously lies but i just didn’t want to believe it. Most of the lies i will never be able to prove but i know inside of me what the truth is. He is not right in the head. He is without a doubt in my mind a sociopath. a very charismatic one but it is all his agenda, his plan and there was never any thought for me whatsoever. Never any real feelings, it was all about him and what i could do for him and when he was done there was no remorse or care for me at all. He was done. I accept that now…As this blog says, it is liberating to be in this stage of healing. It is empowering to have this understanding.

    In 2 days it is 5 months since we broke up and ironically it would have been our 2 year anniversary. It is also exactly 1 year since our first break up (6 weeks separated). 3 months since any contact at all (a legal email) but really 4 months since any real contact. But i knew the day i left the house that i would never contact him again. And i only responded to him where i absolutely had too. He has not contacted me in that 3 months and for a long time this really hurt. Now i am grateful as it gave me the head space and distance to fully understand the reality and to let my emotions catch up to my rational brain. Do i think that he will contact me again? I don’t’ know. Maybe when he gets bored with his latest conquest. I don’t think i care anymore. One way or the other. I don’t’ need anymore proof of what he is. And there is nothing i can say that will achieve anything. so what ever.

    I guess this really emphasizes the importance of no contact as i would not be this healed if i had had any contact with him.

    It is great to be in this stage of healing. at first I was so devastated. I had no understanding of how i got here. my dreams were crushed… a dream i didn’t even know i wanted before i met him. Dreams that he painted so masterfully and that got me in hook line and sinker. But i kept reading this site, relating so much to what Pos wrote and as understanding/reality sunk in i started relating more and more. Reading back over older posts I relate to them even more now than i did at the start. Also, reading everyone’s stories and that there are so many that are similar to mine (as they all play the same game) and there are so many that are so much worse than mine and I find myself thanking the lucky stars that I got off so lightly.

    I guess what i want to say to everyone that is new to the site, that are feeling such incredible pain and loss and confusion, that you will get better and it will get easier and out of it you will actually get a stronger sense of self and a stronger love of life. I know this as i am now there. Dont be hard on yourself. Grieve. Learn as much as you can. Reach out to those here and slowly you will get through this.

    I am now focusing on me. Building a plan for the future. restarting a new life. A better life than i had before i met him and definitely better than anything he was actually capable of sharing with me. I am focusing on getting healthy physically and mentally to give myself the best opportunity possible to have a baby. On my own. But better on my own than with a sociopath.

    I wish you all the best and all strength and peace and love. Remember to love yourself. We are all really good people that have had some bad luck but we will all get through this. I believe in me and you.

    xxxxxx

    1. What a beautiful comment and so good to hear that you are now doing so well!! ..

      Great for me to read this as it was the intention of the site :) to give the truth, to set you free and healing and recovery. Go you !!! :)

  6. I want to thank Positive girl and all the people on this site for the help & insight they have given me toward healing. The nightmares and chest palpitations have stopped. The anxiety has stopped. The confusion has stopped. I have stopped thinking about her. I have been making breakthroughs everyday & am feeling thankful. I am ready to move on. SO, thanks!
    Broken

  7. I agree Broken!! Thanks to the creator and everyone who posts on this site and shares to help others. I am getting back on my feet and back to my old self. I never thought that I would feel “good” again, but I am enjoying life again and enjoying not walking on eggshells every day of my life. The stories on here are spread knowledge, strength and support to those who need it. Wishing everyone the best!!

  8. Oh my word! I am right now out of a year long dating relationship with a sociopath. I am exhausted, and emotionally beaten up. My self esteem is at it’s lowest. I’ve gained 25 pounds since meeting him from stress eating. He immediately went to a new woman and I’m watching him treat her like gold and am believeing that maybe it WAS all my fault. Maybe I am insecure and argumentative and cold and distant and not able to may any relationship work (the list goes on and on).
    I’m a semi intelligent person and my friends do not understand anything I am saying. I have nobody who understands. My friends just can’t understand why I am not relieved and how I could put up with him for so long to begin with. I feel great relief at finding that I am not alone

    1. You are in good hands here, a lot of the people here have incredible advice and can help you see things for what they really are and kind of guide you through the mess you’re currently climbing out of. What I can tell you? No Contact, get your things in order, return his belongings, through shipping them if you can, and go cold… No contact at all.. get back to you and healing up…

      1. Merry Christmas Christian :)
        I hope the New Year brings you love & peace but, especially a new beginning to a more deserving life :)

        Love & Light :)
        PR xoxo

    2. Hi Confused :)

      You are not alone & are in the right place to help you understand & be understood :)
      It’s a really tough road but, remember that you are worth it.
      The Sociopath makes you feel worthless but, YOU are not :)
      Stay No Contact & try & distance yourself from watching him with the new OW if you can. No social media or anything that relates to him.

      Just love yourself & find yourself again. You are worthy & valuable & you must work hard to create this feeling of self-love.
      Merry Christmas & Happy New Year :)
      2014 is your time to start afresh :)
      You are not alone in this & many of us are doing the same so, just share,support,read but, most of all believe in yourself, you deserve better & you will be better :)

      Love & Light :)
      PR xoxo

    3. @ Confused – IT’S NOT YOU!!! It’s him, believe me. The jerk that I was with MARRIED the other woman a mere 3 months after breaking up with me – and she can have him. When she discovers him for who he really is, all of the lies and deception, the general doucebaggery she’ll be floored. Your ex is only treating his new squeeze like gold “for now”. He will show his true colours sooner or later, and she’ll be as shocked as you were.

      Be kind to yourself, spend time with friends and doing things you enjoy (or used to enjoy before this jerk showed up and took over your life). Get physically and mentally healthy again. I am convinced there are good guys out there – now you know the warning signs of the sp. Spend time on this site whenever you feel like you’ve failed.

      Take care … Hugs to you.

      1. Wishing you a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year Darling :)
        I hope 2014 is a fabulous year for you with many more too come :)
        Yay, Soc free finally & now it’s time for us to celebrate :)

        Love & Light :)
        PR xoxo

      2. @ PR – thanks so much, and I wish you a wonderful Christmas and all of the best in 2014.

        It sure seems a lot of us on this site have gone through a major learning curve this year. I have bought the book “Ask and It Is Given” by Esther and Jerry Hicks, as recommended by one of my spiritual advisors. My mission over the next week is to “script” the kind of life that I want to manifest. I am also going to buy a beautiful box and put pictures and words in it which represent everything I want in my life … including a romantic relationship with a GOOD man … The pictures I have chosen are beautiful and make me so happy just looking at them. It’s a great way to start a fresh new year without the residue of the “ex” hanging over me. Thank GOD!

        Merry Christmas to everyone else on this site, and I wish you all of the love and healing possible for this season and the year ahead.

      3. Hi Darling,

        I love that idea & will try & get a copy of that book as well :)

        I hope all your dreams become a reality & the life you dream of is finally yours & Soc free forever.
        After what we’ve been through, the Soc raised our awareness so, that we would finally realize how great we are :)
        That is the lesson I take from my journey as I would never have realized how much dysfunction had punctuated my life until now!
        It’s our time & we will live the lives we were destined to live as much fuller, wiser & grateful people. Life is the destination :)

        Love & Light :)
        PR xoxo

    4. Hi confused,

      The sociopaths undermine other people. That is how they operate. They can pretend to be helpful but actually they will put a seed in your mind that you have flaws (the ones that you don’t have, but they will make it look like you do) so that you think badly about yourself. I recognize this more and more. They are really disgusting creatures, but the more you see them through the less ‘powerful’ they will appear. Just like those agents in Matrix movie. Even Neo was afraid of them, but then in one moment they became slow and lousy compared to Neo because he became quicker and stronger than them. That is how we too become better equipped in dealing with sociopaths. The crucial point is in becoming sociopath aware, you will get better… Just keep the no contact and read, work on solving your existential, basic things. As one Chinese saying says : Even the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Focus on these first steps and you will progress. This site is great with posts and so many good quality comments of people that are going through the same. It will help you in your getting better. You are not alone.

      1. Merry Christmas Caerra :-)
        I hope you are doing well & enjoying the festive season. Its been a long hard journey but, with wonderful people like yourself, its been much easier.
        Take care & best wishes to you for ever:-)
        Love & light :-)
        PR xoxo

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