The Cycle Of Abuse In a Relationship with the Sociopath or Narcissist

 

What is the cycle of abuse?

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1. Tensions Building

You have just come out of the honeymoon stage of the relationship and things are looking promising.  Alternatively, you might have just got back together, and there had been a period of calm….  Your partner has made huge promises to change (Lies to seduce you).

Your heart starts to sink, as you realise that this was just the ‘lull before the storm’. You feel the tension. You can almost feel it in the air. You ask ‘what is wrong?’, but you are reassured, ‘nothing’ or told that ‘you are being paranoid’. You can feel it. You can feel it in the air, and you can feel it in your stomach, you start to feel uneasy. At this point there might start to be accusations about things that (you haven’t done).

There is tension, and you cannot understand what it is that you have done wrong. You haven’t done anything wrong. Normally at this point in the relationship with the sociopath, he/she has done something wrong.  You know that this is not in your mind. Something is wrong, and things are about to blow. You can feel it in your stomach, you have been lured in, and likely you have been here many times before…. you know what comes next…..

2. The Incident

You knew it, you felt it, but you were told that it was all in your mind. Suddenly, without warning, there is an incident. This can be verbal or physical abuse, deception, explosions and arguments. This feels stressful, and the atmosphere is black. It was only a short time ago, that things were good. You were feeling so optimistic.

Suddenly – you are right back at square one. Here we are again. It could be anything, stealing, cheating, abuse, verbal, physical, or an explosion after deception, blaming you. You are right back there again. This is stress, hell and drama. At worst you might feel in fear of your life (if physical abuse) Why did you go back? You ask yourself, and why does this keep happening? You can’t believe that this is happening again. Not after all those promises, and things had just been so good….

You cope after this by either retreating into your shell, or you fight back, and things escalate. In your mind you are thinking how did we get here? It hurts. You feel stupid, betrayed, upset. Yet again. How could you  have been so stupid.

At this point, you might decide you have had enough, you need to leave……or you stay, and become silent. You withdraw into yourself. Thoughts are racing in your head. You have had enough. We have been through this just so many times. ‘I cannot keep going through this, you tell your disordered partner. You partner blames YOU.

3. The Reconciliation

The Sociopath now knows that he is about to lose source of supply, and has to act fast. He starts to seduce you, but you are wary you have been here so many times before. The Sociopath will sell you back yourself, your hopes and your dreams. Other people might at this point think that you have taken leave of your senses. ‘You can’t go back for one more time?  Those close to you plead.

They do not understand, your heart is hurting. You feel broken. You want this to work. After all you have invested so much. You do not want that to go to waste. Hope… you want hope. You love this person, but you do not love this behaviour and how it makes you feel.

By now the Sociopath is kind and caring. Once again he is mirroring you, and offering you what you want. The sociopath makes false empty promises for the future. You want it to be right, you just don’t want to be hurt anymore.

You agree to reconciliation, but a part of you is wary. You are still on your guard.

4. The Calm

Things are going perfect, finally you have hope and you are full of optimism. You know that things didn’t work out before. During the reconciliation the Sociopath promises, this time it will all be different. You are feeling happy and content. Maybe everyone else was wrong. Your heart isn’t hurting anymore. You feel normal. You feel alive. Everything is happy smiles and laughter. This is what you were looking forward to. Maybe this time, it will last. This is the picture in your head.  This is what you wanted…..

Until the tension starts again………

A relationship with a Sociopath is an abusive relationship. Even if the Sociopath is a charismatic charming one, it is worse for the distempered narcissistic types,  but even with the charismatics, it still follows the cycle of abuse.

This cycle will continue over and over. It will NOT get better. If you try to  be friends afterwards the same thing will happen. For as long as you know the Sociopath you will witness this pattern of behaviour over and over.

Is it really worth spending your life, for a short period of time living with the picture of hope… in the calm period? For however long this lasts?

If you feel like you are going crazy, this is why. It is because you are being driven crazy. A relationship with a Sociopath is draining.  They will take everything from you. The longer that you are in a relationship with the sociopath, the more that you will repeat this crazy cycle over and over. Nothing will ever change.

Get out. Stay strong. Focus on YOU. Keep to No contact.

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80 thoughts on “The Cycle Of Abuse In a Relationship with the Sociopath or Narcissist

  1. Holy macaroni!!!! This soooo true…over and over and over…round and round and upside down…it’s groundhogs day everyday except no one is laughing….

    1. And to keep you on this merry go round in hell you will receive for your listening pleasure…”I love you so much baby, you are my everything”. “No one gets me like you do”. “You are the most beautiful girl”. “I think about you all the time”. “Your eyes are breathtaking”. “You complete me”. “No one makes me feel like you do”. Blah blah blah. What you are really being told is “don’t get off this ride cause I’m not finished spinning you yet”

      1. Hahaha Michelle that was BRILLIANTLY put, I really did laugh out loud!!!

        Isn’t it that is JUST the way that it is the circle round and round and round…. they can’t help it, its just the way that they are. I loved the way that you put that, really made me laugh, thank you!

      2. You got that right..men suck mine keeped saying your it cuty the one and only..then when i would queston his lies he would change the subject and when i would ask about his ex’s he would call them fowl name’s and blam them,i hard they ran like hell to get away from him…I finnally did and i feel so much better now…because he’s NO GOOD AND A FRAUD?

    2. hi everyone

      its really hard to tell everything that happened…it makes me sick to my stomach just to think about it…i dont know how i am going to feel while i am writing it…

      my story with this sociopath started 5 years ago…he was my roommates friend…he moved in with us…walking around in underwear or jeans only…very sexy…beautiful body…and believe me he knows how to use it…the way he walks around …everything about him was just killing me…then i knew something was wrong but you just cant see it …

      he started doing his thing…lets watch a movie in my room…had to be in his room…they have to be in control…do you wanna lie next to me…? and then foot rubbing started…it didnt bother me at all because i had fallen in love with him so much…he would find a way to make me touch him…i was melting everytime i touched him…we used to play rock band for hours…that was one of his ways to spend time w me…by the way i am gay and he is straight if you can believe that…i think he is bi…we used to spend the whole day together…i couldnt get enough of him…i would watch him sleep…he would hug me before he goes to work…i would hear every step he took in the house…i loved him so much…i cooked for him everyday…cleaned after him…but the ego that he has is huge…its just not enough…give give give give…not enough…he would wake me up…can you iron my clothes…can you make some meatballs…like a husband…and verbal harassment …mind games…says thing that doesnt mean anything to him just to keep you in his circle and play with you…like “i still remember the day we met…..”

      he even took me to his uncles house on thanksgiving…asking me at the table when he shaved his chest for the last time in front of everyone..my face turned red…didnt know what to say…it was terrible…but the family knows how sick he is…why did i feel bad…i think he was testing the waters that day..tells his aunt that his other roommate is gay…just to see the reaction…

      after a while he got bored of course…he was done with me…he found a girlfriend…she would come over…they would have sex and he would make sure that i heard everything…the next morning he comes home makes the same noise in the bathroom that he did a night before when he came…just to play with my mind…

      it was torture…to see him with a woman…and it was feeding his big ego….then they moved in next door…he didnt want to go far away because he knew it wast gonna work out…she dumped him after two months…in the mean time i moved out…i tried to call him but no answer of course…he was busy running around breaking hearts teasing gay people…i cried every night…i was missing those days so much…

      after a while we had a get together…my old roommates…he had moved back in with them…we started again…the same pattern…lets watch a movie..lets play rock band…a summer night we were in his room again…he is heaven in jeans…he had planned everything of course…he had nothing but the jeans on…no underwear…i could see it…rub my shoulders…rub my feet…i felt like i was gonna die…i was melting…in the middle of the night he puts a dvd on…a long movie…we are in his bed…he pretended like he fell a sleep…started playing w his … we were so close to have sex…i jo …he was in shock…he didnt know what to say…he says i thought she was gonna stay…i think i was a she in his head…i started touching him again…i was shaking from head to toe…i walked away…i dont know how i did that…

      that was it of course…then he started dating his ex…just to hurt me…i would c them from my apartment…or he would make sure that i did…i was living in the apartment that he lived with his girlfriend a while ago…that didnt last more than two weeks…he knew i was gonna stay away as long as he has a girlfriend…hurt so bad…it still does…

      the other day i dont know why i did this to my self but i looked at his pictures on facebook…he had blocked me long time ago of course…on my new facebook i was able to see his pictues with his fiance …it broke my heart so bad…i cried for a week…i prayed god to take this pain away…not hat i believe that it will ever work out but still…how easily they abandon you and move on…like nothing happened…well according to him nothing happened of course..

      the sad part is i really loved him…so much…and i still do…

      1. Hi haken, I am sorry that you are hurting. Do you know for sure that this person is a sociopath?

        I really don’t know whether this is a description of a sociopath? He could have been a narcissist, or just a selfish asshole. What makes you think that he was a sociopath?

    3. Wow, this is exactly what happens. The “crazy making” is so confusing and mind blowing. What is unfathomable behavior to us is normal behavior for them.

    4. I just ended it with my narcisstic/sociopath after yet another angry outburst for nothing and running away not speaking to me apart from abusive texts but I can’t get over him. Helllpppppp

    5. for 10 years I lived that nightmare over and over again.My children were ready to disown me If I went back one more time. so I finally left him for the last time never to return. It took a long time to get over it, long hours of counseling and no contact. It has been nearly 3 years and I know that I would never go back and you know I find myself at times still missing the bastard. Hang in there ladies and gentlemen, it gets better IF you leave the toxic relationship. They will not change, EVER…..

      1. Thank you for your words of encouragement further down the line Birgit, i am sure that it will offer a ray of hope to someone who is struggling right now. Remember that they create dependency and addiction to them, deliberately, this is what you miss, the fix of the addiction. Visualise him as a cigarette when this thought pops into your mind with cancer coming from the smoke.

      2. After ten years of being with a person, who I believe is a psychopath, a lot of these stories sound similiar. They are charming, sexy in their own way, and know what it is that will ‘hook’ you back into the toxicity. They chose us, we didnt choose them. And there’s a reason for that. They can smell weakness from miles away. I finally walked. After years of the cycle of abuse, losing 2 jobs, bankruptcy, and missing out on having better relationships with my kids and family. These people are predators. I am seeking counseling to keep me in check, and build confidence in staying on the right path. Life is too short to keep punishing yourself. Understand that even though they may have good points, overall… When its bad, its devasting to your soul. Get out of self blame, second guessing yourself, and understand its an addiction as well. Instead of using or drinking… Its being around a seductive person. We go downhill, while they continue getting what they want in life. The relationship never progresses, and they will blame you, just to keep you down and in ‘check’ when you feel like you’re coming to your senses. They’ll manipulate and knock you down again. Puppet Masters is what they are. Its really sick. You know, deep down, it doesnt feel right, it feels wrong. But you stay and miss them anyway. Like you couldnt imagine life without them. People… The only thing thats wrong with you… Is allowing garbage like them to be in your life. I swear, I used to think ‘Lucifer’ would be sitting in front of me, big smile, knife in my back, or someone else on the side…. Or some weird blame game or punishment on the horizon. Notice how nothing is consistently good and happy in your life when this person is in it. I suggest reading a lot about addiction, and understanding it, seek a counselor who specializes in addiction. For me it was like being in a dark prison, and then getting out and seeing sunlight for the 1st time in 10 years. When you stop blaming, and thinking its ‘you’ (its not), and realize people like this do exist, its very real… And we all need to follow the steps an alcoholic or drug addict would take to get clean and sober and turn their life around. Ask yourself why you want to keep punishing yourself. You are keeping yourself in your own personal hell… And these people are evil. Seek help, believe in a higher power… Be strong and get the hell away…. Be committed to do whatever it takes to leave. I did. And so can you. Stop thinking you’re not good enough, thats the lies we tell ourselves. Kick these bastards to the curb where they belong. And… Dont be jealous when they move right to another, think of what they’ll put that person through. Look at it like God is sparing your life. Get out. God bless.

      3. My kids keep telling me the same thing. My one daughter won’t even come over anymore. I can’t stand this cycle and it’s always right on time. I don’t know what to do anymore. I hate my life

  2. I so thought my relationship was over. I thought that his interest in me was gone. He came back and I now feel like I’m in the twilight zone. I’ve never dealt with a person like this….this is too draining!

  3. Hello there =)
    Don’t I know this cycle soooooooooooo well ..bahh you surely fall for it and you know!! That is the worse..they hoover you and you fall back into this crap! They are hoovers..they are leeches! I would think that even after they “moved on” “closed the book on this ” they still try to hoover you to suck you right back! For what??? They don’t love you.. as you know my sociopath borderline ex she did that always..and I fell ..she hoover me I knew this was hurting me and I try to leave many times..I fell for all the famous hoover words
    recall some of this types of hoovering lies???
    to get you back into this nasty cycle???

    * You’ll regret leaving me
    * I hate you
    * I never loved you
    * I love you
    * I miss you
    * I need you
    * I can’t believe you are ignoring me
    * I can’t believe you left me
    * Don’t ever contact me again (yes, this one is a puzzling one, indeed, especially when you broke up with the ex and have been NC lol)

    * Wanna hang out tonight as friends?
    * I have something important to tell you
    * My mom’s/dog’s/dad’s/mailman’s dying, thought you’d like to know. (why?) lol

    * My kids miss you <<< low blow that one is, but I've read it on here

    * I heard this song today, and it made me think of you.

    * Hi, haven't heard from you in a while…hope you're doing ok.

    Some are subtle. Some are not so subtle. "
    there is the one
    you never find any one better than me !
    and there is more
    my ex told me many sad stories..sorry to break contact I never wanted to talk to yo but my grandmother is very ill in the hospital "
    or
    the worse one I was like really?
    I was robed and they want more money they are saying they need more cos my father did not pay something he own.. I never asked you a thing nor I want from you..but ah if you could..
    I said I cant ..oh you could with paypal!
    I cant
    she got so mad ,if something happen to her would be on my conscience ..
    I cant help I said
    she did not get me back with those sappy stories
    so she try to hoover with:
    oh I wanted to let you know my brother paid them
    how are you?? sorry that I was so crazy the other day"
    BS
    I am so able to see how I fell into this damn cycles for 3 years.. on the first year I knew months later I was into something bad..but I was so sucked in…I was first hooked..then I fell for this creepy girl
    her looks yes I feel shame to say got me hooked:(
    superficial little liar sociopath borderline
    the cycles works!! and they are awful
    be ware of hoovering!!!
    and I self hoover when I took a look on her yt site..never again !!
    and I never reacted to that hoovering she did this week.. took a month for a direct try to get me to get off my NC non contact!
    She found love ( so she said) so why? dont they ever leave you alone??????
    Cos they want revenge they want you back in their control ..if you left them the more tey want to get you so they cant dump you right?
    this article is fab!! =D

    1. This is true, have you got another new name??!!!

      How has it been going for the youtube videos? Has she stayed away?

      You are right, it is all about supply for them, if you go back to give to them, they then decide that they didn’t want it anyway, and push you away. Which is their own feelings of insecurity.

      it is really tough when your heart gets caught up with a damaged person. I know what you mean too about the sociopath hoovering…. It hurts but it hurts more to be in contact with them.

      1. surely I am smart now!!! Thanks to you and myself getting smarter..and reading more and talking to those that understand like you.. this is not a normal breakup! I don’t want her..but they stay on your head..they push themselves in there..and try to never leave you..to own you for supply !! she left that reply under what i wrote on tuesday and I never ever reacted =DDD as I told you I would not.. and I have no clue what she does on her youtube for I dont enter!!! I am winning!!! =) I am going for a long natrure walk =D

    2. This is so true..mine said at one time the police were here and there was a murder next door and they searced my home,its funny but i tryed to find the info in his town and it never happened..he also said back in the 90s his home was bumbed and he built sky scarpers and the was the one and only whisaleblower to expose mortgage fraud ever,and the list go’s on and on,this guy is crazy as crazy can get,OMG………..

      1. Hahaha did you date the same one as me Lu? You should read sociopaths do and say the funniest things. They really do and say anything …… the lies are extraordinary!!

    3. It seems that alll of them read the same instruction book and try to win the best actor/actress prize (their prize is your soul, the control and power over the people that love them enough to try to believe on them)
      For the last three years I was spinning on and off the cycle I try to get off and then believed again that “Pinocchio” was real and have a conscience and a heart. It’s hard to acknowledge the truth, but as hard it is, it’s better than live with the dizziness and confusion
      The abuse cycle is really well explained on the book “Why he does that?”by Lundy Bancroft. not all abusers are sociopaths, but every sociopath is an abuser.
      The only one who can break the cycle is you, and you have the power to break it.

    4. The kid one is how I am still in a relationship with someone I pretty acurately pegged from the first incident….. everyone even his family Im (was) friends with told me to just leave and not let the kid get me sucked in, but he took him away from his mom (I dont know whether it was just or not which is another source of hesitation). I know he built and fostered the bond between us and the love that child has of me but that doesnt change anything because it seems like Im the only one in that childs life at the moment with any empathy and real care for him …his sister in law tried while they lived together but she now has her own place and baby to care for and I am not only worried after realizing I never bought his story on his ex and kid and what went down that stripped her custody and also realizing he is a psychopath and capable of anything …. but also, the kids abandonment issues are real whether he manufactured them or not….

  4. A washing machine cycle, where he made you feel as a stained dirty piece of rag…at the same time he is “cleaning the clothes” with other ones on a different part of the cycle.

  5. It’s not over until the “no contact” part comes true. I have distanced myself, but when there’s a child involved, sometimes the “no contact” isn’t possible. It can be a loooong process to end. All I can do is make sure I keep the distance as best I can and don’t let myself get sucked back in.

    1. I really feel for you. It must be difficult with children. They are so manipulative. And can easily suck you back in. Yes I agree the cycle will never stop until there is No contact. But you can make a form of No Contact. Only make conversation about the children only. Make access only on organised times. Do not engage in personal conversation about your own life (never give them information they can later use against you). To not get sucked into the game, just don’t play the game anymore.

    2. Please tell me how you did this. My husband left 2 years ago blaming me. He would come and go when it was convenient for him. My mom died in May and he stated he had everything in perspective and we had to be together. I had just finally accepted our marriage being over and was dating. He forced me to end all communication with any friends I made to “save” our marriage. Not 5 months later, after helping him secure a job after years of not working and he received money from his trust, he said he was done. Excuse: I had texted some guy. Totally untrue. Now, my home is in foreclosure and asking him to assist with our 9 year old and help make decisions about where my son and I will go, is annoying him. It is in fathomable to me that After 20 years of marriage; he can simply not give a rats ass about my well-being. When I get upset, I tell him this mess is your fault and now you can’t help me? He reply; “I did nothing to you.” Which infuriates me more. I know no communication works best; but it is not possible with a child involved. Please give me advice.

      1. It may just take time. You have to numb yourself to his comments, in which they turn from bothering you, to only background noise. When you can brush his comments off and think with a clear head it will become easier for you to deal with him when it comes to the child. But remember, the ex is never going to help you, you have to do everything on your own to progress with life, keeping in best interests for you and your child.

      2. I guess that’s the hardest part to accept. The person I spent 20 years of my life with, is not my friend and does not care about me at all.

  6. We always have the need to hear someone say sorry or comfort us when we’ve been hurt. I can remember the day that my reward-punishment cycle started with my x (even though I had no clue of this concept at the time). His words gutted me so completely and so deeply and involved my parents, my upbringing and compared me to his new young employee (I used to work for him) all in the one hit. It was so horrific, and I was so certain that I would never see him again, but when he hugged me afterwards and said sorry, I let my head fall on his shoulder. I didn’t touch him or put my arms around him, but I still needed so badly to hear that he was sorry. Towards the end of the relationship I had noone else to tell of these awful occurrences, they happened so often that I would look stupid if I told anyone, so I came to need his comfort more and more. It’s insane but so very real.

  7. Dear Ladie’s there are better men out there but there far and in between..But im starting to think all men are just crazy…im just sick of being blamed for things they did to make themshelfs look good…if you cach them in a lie they start calling you fowl name’s to make you look bad,,thats part of there illness..there mental and they were born that way and cant change,its sad but true..

    1. I am starting to wonder if it is a reflection of today’s society. So many men, either spoiled by mummy, or from broken homes, My mum said ‘whatever is wrong with men these days’ (And i know that there are male victims of female sociopaths too).

      Years ago, and even in cavemen times, the man was responsible for going out to hunt for food, whilst the woman looked after the cave and children…..

      I wondered is it a state of todays society, where people are selfish. Where a man knows that he can treat someone like dirt, and and then go online and pick up 10 more…. internet, mobile phones, email, texting, its all so easy for someone to be secretive.

      Years ago, life wasn’t like that. The man was expected to work to support his family. Working hours were scheduled. They had phones, but they were landlines and usually wife would pick up the phone.

      I wonder if today’s society (not just sociopaths) but assholes in general…. has a big part to play on the change…. I really don’t know….

      1. Men today are just mean.not to say they were not decades ago,But now you have cyber bullying and facebook lets anyone on now..i have filed a complaint agenst my ex for threatnig to expose pics that i never had of me,and telling my famly fowl things about me,i have put up with this over a year now,when i dumped him it got really bad….

  8. Holy man….this is a busy site! But it certainly helps me feel I’m not alone. I unfortunately cannot maintain “no contact” as we share children who are in their teens and reflecting the problems their father and I have with communication. It’s a long ugly story…I’ll abbreviate it and let you know its turned into a parental alienation situation. We are attending mediation because he wants to have full custody and I need to defend myself. He laughs maniacally and denies documented truths during mediation. I’m hoping to give him enough rope to hang himself. The kids are caught in the middle and have asked me why their dad does the things he does. Bless their hearts!….they recognize the craziness. It’s the mirroring BS that just makes me sick. It is so obvious to me now….I think to myself “loser, get yourself another schtick”. But I can’t tell my children their father is a sociopath…it seems like a defence and an accusation. I can only hope he doesn’t mess with their heads too much…..and I’m trying to go on as sane as possible.

    1. Hey great to meet you!!! I am going to have a support forum here (hopefully tomorrow night) – depends when my page is moved over so that it can be installed.

      I am going to be putting a category there for people with children as I know that it comes up a lot. Its nice to meet you.

    2. I told my children in trying to understand I am considering their father is one, as they saw me looking at this site and asked me. It has been such a crazy year of discovered infidelities, denials, tears when promising to change then cold aggressive behaviour. holes in walls and a bed flipped with me in it. So many lies. The last 19 yrs are a blurr now. But I am honest with my kids and say their father loves them. Right or wrong I treat it like any other mental illness.

      1. I think that it is the best way to see it Jo – this is how I see it too. As when the mind flips like that it can only be a mental misfunctioning of the brain. Probably also easier for your children to understand too. But a word of warning with this, is that if your children tell him this (and he will fish) sometimes it is like they have psychic powers…… he could use the fact that you told them against you. They appear to be masters at doing this.

  9. Wow this is brilliant, the things that Michelle listed, my ex said basically the same things to me too, what a crazy cycle, I used to think i could help him change or that his parents could work with both of us, I know now it could never have worked, as its a cycle over & over like a broken record. He promised to buy me jewelry & go away on a trip, not just 2 nites in Canberra, that’s the longest trip we had 2getha & it was to see my Dad as he wanted to meet him. My dad said he was worried that Trevor was treating me as a play toy at his convenience and Trevor had a loud maniacal laugh & was overbearing, domineering towards my father & my aunty when he met them. My aunty felt drained after he lectured to us about world govt, world bank, for hours. She said she could sense his anger eminating from him veiled in sarcasm, weird jokes. He had to be the centre of attention when he met my relatives. My mum didnt like him, from my & my aunty’s description of him. My family relieved that he broke up with me. Now I am so relieved to be free of him. Your stories, advice everyone are inspiring, thankyou for sharing, it does truly help. yes i wonder too if sociopaths, Narcissists are a result of todays society, spoilt for choice, technology, getting needs met as used to instaneous results at a touch of a button, thanks to technology email, mob ph etc. Love to all 🙂 The Truth sets us free. I had those words in my mind last nite, as i was going off to sleep, like a message from god/universe, wow! & i hadn’t read this post yet.

    1. Hey Dragonfly are you psychic. I was going to write that yesterday identical – how much is about todays society, technology, ease to get another person. Changes in working, mobile phones, emails dating websites, has this changed morals ……. my family are relieved that he is gone too.

    2. Your story sounds like mine..and i dumped my pain in the ass and i feel FREE free as a bird and i stopped getting headaces and i can sleep good…your right these jerks are draning and loud and full of crap and lies……This site is great ..And Ladie’s WE CAN DO BETTER AND WE DESERVE TO HAVE A HAPPY LIFE!!!!

  10. Here is a 15 minute version of the cycle of my sociopath:

    I caved and accepted a call from jail, I know, no contact, I failed. Once again I thought well, lets just see what he has to say: So here it is:

    In approximately 15 minutes he completed a full cycle:

    1. OH MY GOD it is so good to hear your voice. Thank you for answering this call.
    I hope your not worried about me. I know how you worry. I can’t believe I am in jail.
    I can’t wait to get out and see you. I am so sorry for ignoring you these past few months.
    That other relationship I am in will never work out. How are you?

    2. Please please put money in my account here at jail so I can call you, so I can buy paper
    and stamps so I can write to you. The food here is ok but if I had spending money I
    could buy better snacks and a radio. I would love a radio. I am reading the bible here.

    3. When I get out of here I am going to get a job and stay clean and sober. I never felt
    better in my life. I love you so much. Thank you so much for always helping me.
    My Mom and Dad never help me like you do. I put you on my visitors list so you can
    come and see me.

    Now here is what happens after I tell him that I am not putting money in his account and I am not visiting him.

    4. What??? You are not going to help me. I don’t get you. You used to always help me. Now when I really need help you refuse? What’s wrong with you?

    He hangs up on me.

    30 minutes later I get a text message and it reads:

    “Hey Michelle, this is Linda. I hope I am not bothering you but my boyfriend is Darren’s cell mate and he asked me to text you and tell you that he loves you and misses you and can’t wait to see you”

    This happened to me about two weeks ago. I got the 15 minute version of the emotional abuse cycle of a sociopath. Wash, rinse, repeat. It was almost funny obvious it was….almost.

    I blocked the number of the jail on my phone. I won’t be answering any more calls.
    He is truly hopeless and I am done.

    Its a sad existence.

    Michelle

    1. Michelle, I am sure that you didn’t mean to make me smile when you wrote ….

      OH MY GOD it is so good to hear your voice. Thank you for answering this call.
      I hope your not worried about me. I know how you worry. I can’t believe I am in jail.

      He can’t believe he is in Jail? ….. and I hope you are not worried about me? My gosh…. and you KNOW that a very short while after being NICE comes the ‘what can I have/take’ then comes the jealousy – or often – it is the jealousy which then gives them an excuse to take or ask…. it is just like that rinse/wash/repeat. I wonder sometimes just HOW stupid do they think we are?

    2. It isn’t funny at all but I was laughing only because I can picture that happening. Sounds like he has his manipulation very finely tuned. The interesting thing for me is that everything I’ve been reading is so spot on. Even down to the phrases and words used. Having support pages and other victims to talk to is key. The feeling of…”what’s wrong with me” is no longer. Knowledge is power and we must use this to our advantage.
      Lather, rinse, repeat should only apply to shampooing our hair!

  11. Wow thank you for sharing your stories. I’ve always been told I’m an intelligent beautiful woman. I believe I’m in a relationship with a sociopath. It’s been 3 yrs and the cycle described here by all of you is absolutely on the mark! I’ve been trying to get away for about a year but you know the story! I’ve been lured back over and over. I’m in the honeymoon phase at the moment. What am I doing! I’m actually thinking I will never find anyone like him. What is wrong with me? The point is I know I’m being manipulated but I like the good things about us. Cuddles all night (like I’m his possession I think) and the compliments. His morals which he says he has. Saying I’m the best he ever had. It’s a mind screw up. N C is good but the barrage of calls texts. Then the odd one to say “I thought you had manners and its rude not to return someone’s calls” . Nice calls that can quickly turn nasty. Begging cajoling pleading. “I’m sick, I want to marry you, I love you, I have something important to ask you, I need my beautiful nurse to look after me – just some of the texts. Interspersed with those of an overtly sexual nature – I have the best sex with him and he with me! It’s such a draw card and he knows it.
    So now I’ve just booked a trip for us. Things are looking good again. I’m on guard though. I feel stupid because deep down I think I’m prolonging the agony and perpetuating the feelings of loss and bewilderment that has been my story for 2 1/2 years now. One of the worst things is my family and friends dont want me with him, and even his parents know the story, but he tells them such BS about me. The people he knows must be tired of the stories he tells about his exes, must be getting old, but he’s such a charmer! What to do what to do!

  12. Everything one reads has this “sounds so simple-no contact” solution. What do you do when you have a child. I’m ready to give up custody so I can regain some normalcy. I cannot go on like this

    1. Frances don’t give up your child. The socuiopath is selfish and irresponsible. Your child deserves more than to live with a parent who sees the child as a possession. An object someone they own. Your child needs you. Read the post how to co parent with a male sociopath. If you put your question there you should have responses from those who are going through or have been. Same thing. Don’t let him win. Losing your child would kill you.

    2. Don’t give up, I am in my car, I just saw this!! Lol. I can answer you properly in a bit! I’ve been doing this for 14 years. I can give you some pointers! It’s trial and error. But do not give your custody over. You are the only normal your kids have. It’s not a fight over kids, he’s fighting for control over you!!!

  13. Just to let you all know…this party rains on men as well. After 16 years of abuse…my narcissistic wife left me, and took (as in stole) our 9 year old daughter with her. She tried to get the 13 year old son, but he would have none of it.

    The cycle for me begins with projection….she left me, and went to a ‘battered women’ shelter. The truth of the matter is I have never even raised a hand, nor my voice to my wife. The counselor there is testifying against my wife in our divorce trial…

    She has played the victim role..with anyone who does not know, or care. Her parents and family eat it up. She has told people at her workplace, but 3 of them called me (had to find my number to get me) and will be testifying against her in our divorce trial…

    Considering my wife is a scientist, you would think she would be more educated, or would know not to do these things. She doesn’t.

    1. Hi Abandoned, I am sorry to read your story. Welcome to the site. There are quite a few male victims of female sociopaths, I know that there is one in a similar situation with a child who has commented on co-parenting with a female sociopath.

  14. It has been almost 6 months…and she refuses to even speak to me. She will only text or email….of course I did have to have her arrested for coming to the house…7 times. We don’t co-parent..but she co-plots…how to make me look bad, how to get this teacher on her side, etc. She had an operation today….and it was far more serious than just the little outpatient thing than she thought. I am with our children. She refuses to come here, and let us care for her….so she went and climbed 3 flights of stairs…after stomach surgery with several stitches. I feel horrible…like I abandoned her…but it is exactly what she asked me to do….nothing. So she is the victim…abandoned and alone…and I am feeling guilty..when the truth is the only reason she has no one to care for her is she has used all of her friends and family…and she is too stubborn to accept the help offered to her….so she is making a woman (who is married with 12 -16 year old kids) stay with her through the night. Again…not about anyone…but her. Everytime…I get sucked back in, and feel badly for her. She complains about not having money (when she makes 3 times what I do) to me, after she beat me bloody, and left, taking every last dime out of the bank that we had. I have empathy for her…but its hard to have sympathy. The manipulations…they will never stop. I am convinced of it now..more than ever. The only relationship is no relationship. I have to figure out how to stick with that…and make it work.

  15. Well here’s my story. I was in a same sex relationship with a narcissist for 15 years, putting up with the cycle of abuse. We had two beautiful children together, they are 11 and 9. We have been ‘divorced’ for 3 years. Since then I have continued to, sadly, be completely in love with her, doing everything for her, even though she started a relationship with my previously heterosexual best friend. The other day, she stole my phone, read all the texts, and now hates me, as does my ex best friend because I said things to others about them….and now she won’t forgive me….and I am devastated… And embarrassingly, I was begging….
    How can I do the no contact thing – please help me, I am stuffed….

    1. Hi mid, welcome to the site. You see when you do not start no contact, you do not give yourself an opportunity to heal. This is simply feeding the addiction for the scraps that your former partner is feeding you. Not only addiction, but you were together for 15 years. There is going to be considerable attachment to each other. This is not good or healthy for you. You know this, she isn’t showing you respect, and this is going to damage your self esteem, and how you feel about yourself.You can do the no contact thing. Just say that you need time out for yourself. To take care of yourself and heal from your relationship. You define the time, perhaps a month at first. Then take it one day at a time, I am not going to say it is easy, as it isn’t. But it will give you an opportunity to heal and recover, and possibly to restore your self esteem that must be so smashed apart.

      1. Thank you so much, it will try by posting here when I feel like contacting her – this I reckon is a healthier strategy. I was so uplifted when I saw your reply…..I can’t tell you…please continue to support me xxxxx

      2. You are welcome mid. I remember it was a long time ago, when I reached out for support. I too felt like you did, that feeling that somebody had taken the time to listen. to take the time to reply.

        This is a post that I wrote about group support where others understand what you are going through and how you are feeling. There are wonderful people here – who are really supportive. https://datingasociopath.com/2013/10/27/you-are-not-alone-group-support-why-it-works/ Look forward to hearing more from you 🙂

  16. It’s been almost 2 years since I left my Narc/BPD relationship. One of the most painful parts was having to physically leave the place that I loved, my home because I knew after many years that if I stayed physically in the same place as him I would always be manipulated back into the same bullshit. I’m reading and writing because though I am in a healthy relationship with a wonderful, kind person now I still feel haunted and often have dreams that make me relive the pain over and over again. I have been perplexed because it’s been so long. I should be over it, right? Well, I’m not and I feel guilty and weak that I’m not over it. Right after I left Brett Gyllenskog swooped up one of my good friends, she was moved in with him within a month of me leaving. I thought that she was one of my best friends. I just have to remind myself that I also fell victim to his manipulation so many times. I thought it was my fault that I wasn’t good enough and that perhaps she is but I know now, from lots of therapy, that there is NO good match for a narcissist!! She is now in the same pain I was and although my hurt and anger are still here ultimately I feel pity on her.
    I just wanted to thank all of you that have commented and to those who wrote the article. Especially all the parts about, sleep, reactive depression, nightmares, etc.. I thought I was crazy and totally lame that I still carry the pain around and dream of him and her so often still.
    All of this has helped me feel okay about where I’m at and helped me to see how damaging these people and relationships can really be. I don’t have to feel so crazy and weak anymore about still reeling from this experience.
    Research characteristics of “REAL” Narcissistic/Borderline/Anti-social… Personality Disorder!!! It’s not just someone who think’s they’re pretty awesome and likes to look at themselves in the mirror. It’s so much more.
    Our society’s casual idea of what Narcissism is NOT the reality! They will manipulate you every time you try to leave. You feel like you can’t go on without them because they have groomed you to feel that way. That’s not real! – even though you feel physically ill and overly fearful at the thought of leaving. I promise that It will never end! It is impossible for them to change because of the type disorder they have does not allow them to look at themselves the way that we can and they NEVER will be able to.
    So ultimately please hear my advice…(I do realize that kids and marriage make this even more complex and difficult)…
    BUY YOURSELF A PLANE TICKET TO SOMEWHERE SAFE AND AS FAR AWAY AS POSSIBLE LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT….BECAUSE IT DOES!!!….even if it means leaving everything you love and where you want to be.
    ….and STOP BELIEVING THAT YOU’RE NOT BEAUTIFUL ENOUGH, STRONG ENOUGH, SMART ENOUGH, SKINNY ENOUGH, ETC…
    IT’S A LIE!
    THEY NEED YOU TO FEEL THAT WAY SO THEY CAN KEEP YOU THERE TO KEEP SUPPLYING THEM WITH WHAT THEIR DISORDER NEEDS TO SURVIVE.
    REMEMBER THEY ARE NOT WELL – THEY ARE MENTALLY ILL….you can expect “normal” behavior from them. So STOP TRYING!
    Love yourself and don’t look back.
    Lots of love and kind regards to all of you xoxo

  17. I am the child of this abuse. My mother was a severe sociopath. It’s affected my adult life as a result of her behavior. My entire life was met with ‘YOU’RE STUPID AND USELESS’, then with presents. She’d try to buy my love back because she wasnt able to mentally comprehend the damage she did. She went through the stages, “Hi, it’s so great to hear from you!”
    “We need to spend more time together, you should bring the kids over for an overnight.”
    “Hey, can I borrow $20?”
    “Well, I raised you for your entire life.”
    “You’re just an ungrateful piece of shit. I’ve done everything for you and you don’t appreciate anything I’ve done for you.”
    “I’m sorry, my foot hurts. I just dont have anyone here for me and I wanted a pack of cigarettes to help calm down.”
    “I can see you don’t care about me. Ill just go kill myself”
    And then she would go borrow $20 from a neighbor and post a nostalgic and obscure post about how alone and hurt she is.
    I was beaten, verbally abused, and isolated from my entire family, for my entire life. She threw me into things, called me names, went from severe angry, to apathetic, to euphoria, in a matter of minutes. I was taken away from home at 16 because she started a fight. I tried to escape by running out the door. She threw me into a wall, pushed me, hit me, and bit me. She was 250 pounds and me only being 130 soaking wet, I couldn’t escape. She called the cops on me and told them I was attacking her. She begun beating me in the head with the phone. When I finally escaped the door wouldn’t unlock. She wrapped the hood of my shirt around my neck and suffocated me until the police arrived. They threw me against a wall and pointed the taser at me. Took her in an ambulance because she ‘almost passed out’. She brutally beat me and I was put in protective custody in a home for a year and almost charged for a felony because I ‘obstructed her from calling the police’. I pushed thr phone out of her hands because she was beating me with the phone. And I was in the wrong. To this day, I hurt her. And I am always wrong.

    1. I’m so sorry for what you went through. Can you cut ties with your mom? It might be the best thing; it’s something to think about, anyway. My mother wasn’t like yours, but she was severely mentally ill, and it paved the way for me to see abusive relationships as ‘normal.’ I finally managed to get out of them. Some free counseling from an agency that helps the abused did me a lot of good. Wishing you the best.

  18. I’m glad you posted this. Have shared on FB & Twitter. I married (& divorced) the same abusive sociopath twice. The first time, I didn’t realize, consciously at least, that it was abuse. I just chalked it up to his mental illness. The cycle of abuse is amazing, in that it can hold otherwise intelligent and strong people for long periods of time. I’ve been out of it for years, now – I also had to end a couple of abusive ‘friendships.’ I owe many thanks to people on forums, a good friend who took me in, and to a couple of great professionals – an abuse counselor and a trauma therapist.

    1. Hi Patrina, welcome to the site. Thank you also for sharing. It is good to hear that you have people to support you. Interesting that you married him twice. They do not like to let go, if they are attached to you.

  19. It isn’t always the guy who is the Sociopath…my recent ex (we were together 7 years) is a prime example of the circle of abuse…. a continuous calm before the storm….gets happy, causes a row, gets sad, wants to reconcile…..etc etc etc…always made out to be my insecurities and my fault, never any ownership of her errors… (she was involved in an affair with her ex husband)

  20. Been with a live-in psychopath for almost a year and a half. Too many red flags I ignored but cannot any longer. My question is how long does it take before actually assessing a pattern of behavior? 2 years is a good run to determine whether to keep going or separate. About a year for the honeymoon stage. I’ve noticed Jeckyll and Hyde coming more frequent and more intense. I asked him to move out because he kept saying he was going to pay his half of the bills but never has. I’m a full-time mom of a 4 year old who is not yet in school fulltime and the agreement w his dad is to be caretaker, yet some how I still make the $1,500 a month to support the bills. He violently freaked out when I tried to end it, so I said I asked him to move out to go back to dating and make it fun again. I’ve asked him 3 times before(after he threatened to kill my cats.) He says hes signed a lease ( which is why he skipped put on bills again. He has 2 jobs and makes 80 k a year,) and moving out in a week but not entirely sure it’s going to happen. My best friend thinks he won’t; and when I offered to pick up boxes for him, since he works so much, he said he didn’t need any. I said we could date again but honestly trying to rid myself of his toxicity to protect myself and my son.

  21. I am very confused. Most of the week I have been strong and happy about not having my ex in my life. However I get these nagging feelings that maybe just maybe things will be different although he is showing all the signs of being the same thoughtless selfish person that he is. He always has a way of making me feel bad when he is in a bad place. However when its me that needs support he is never anywhere to be found. Always with an excuse that he is already broken, he cant be there for me if he cant be there for himself. Funny I flip it and tell him the same and I have to hear the sob story of how no one is ever there for him. When I gave and the support he lied cheated and never even acknowledged openly he had a good woman by his side, except to his family, yet he will go on Social Media when we have taken a break saying he doesn’t have anyone in his life, never had any support and he has to go at things alone. All the while when I was present never letting his so called “fans” on Social Media know that he was even in a relationship. I long to be in a loving healthy relationship, which what I had with him was not. Yet I feel this pull back in his direction and it scares me. I was unhappy with him. Completely miserable. I would either lose weight or gain weight. I’ve gained 20 lbs since I ended things last November. My doctor asked what in the world is going on because I’ve always been small. I get angry at myself when I look in the mirror because I have never been this heavy even to though who don’t know me I look great. I feel like I let him win. I cant fit any of my clothes, my self confidence is low. For months I go back and forth. I get back on my gym regimen and then fall back off. I don’t focus on my job or personal life like I used to and I haven’t slept over 3-4 hours a day since last year. I cannot seem to quiet my mind or stop thinking and replaying everything. Trying to convince myself I deserve better and can do much better. My doctor says lack of sleep and stress contributed to my failure to lose weight but instead gain. That’s just great! I should hate him for leaving me this way yet I don’t. I want my life back so bad. This really sucks that I am up a few days, then low another. I still listen to what I KNOW are lies when I choose to entertain his nonsense. I occasionally see what hes up to on Social Media. Anyone in their right mind would care less right? After all the hurt pain,lies and betrayal one would think I had enough. I want whatever hold he has on me to go…I want to be back to my old self. Happy vibrant confident and on top of my game in my career. Yet I feel like a zombie. I pretend to be happy and upbeat around others yet go home and just sit there wondering how I got to this point. No matter the positive encouraging words friends and family give me it doesn’t help. I don’t feel beautiful I don’t feel valued I feel empty lost and all to a lying loser. A man that cant do a thing for me, I have allowed to drag me down this low. My friends look at me and shake their heads. The only positive thing is I now have more money because I’m not always helping him. I want my money back that’s owed but hes such a liar he always hollers broke even when he has plenty money. I know I can kiss the money goodbye. Again I should hate an individual like him taking from me, putting me in a bad way financially and emotionally but I don’t.

    1. Nobody is there for him, for two reasons. 1. He pushes everyone away and his true side always comes out. 2. You need to get out of his way as they are just too destructive. Nothing changes that. They will always cause problems. Yes the zombie feeling, look up the post ‘sociopath mind control, how it works and its effects on you’….. this too, can improve and get better by doing no contact, its their hold over you and how they manipulate your mind.

  22. Holy crap,this has been the last 3 years of my life to the word with my girlfriend.Ive researched loads on the Internet to understand why all this has been happening,and I came to the conclusion she’s BPD,undiagnosed obviously.But this sounds like her to the word,but then all Cluster Bs have overlapping disorders by the looks of things.Im in the process of being hoovered back in for probably the 20th time in 3 years,but this time I totally understand how it all works,and it’s so true that NO CONTACT is the only option.Luckily she ain’t broke me fully.I was ok before she came along,and il be fine when she finally gives it up.I know she will come back around when the next supply tells her where to go,but I’m at the point now where I laugh at her monkey dance and pathetic attempts to lure me back into her web.Anyway I just wanted to say that your piece was the best I’ve read,and I’ve read a lot haha.Keep up the good work.Many thanks.

  23. oh the vicious circle… I was sucked in for 4 years. I was dating a spoilt man child narcissist, things were fine if I shut my mouth, grit my teeth and show no emotion like a robot while he went about his life putting everyone else first except his children and I. when I finally had enough and found my voice and expressed my feelings he would either give me the silent treatment for a week then come back like nothing ever happened or he would phone me up and scream at me, always somehow putting the blame on me. then out of the blue he would pull the ‘ I’m going to go for full custody for our kids cause your a bad mother ‘ and ‘I’m the king whos never made a mistake in my life cause dearest mummy and daddy put me on a pedestal and are always on my side and tell me I’m a great person and don’t make me take responsibilities for my own actions when ive beat the crap out of my girl friend numerous times and then taken off with our 6 week old baby to mummy and daddys house just to gain power and control.
    I went back to him about 30 odd times and in the same cycle as above.

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