How COULD this happen to you? How could you have dated a sociopath?

Β squeeze the life out of you

The one question that you might ask yourself, is just how did this happen? How could you have been so stupid. Sometimes this thought is compounded by others who could clearly see what was happening and tried to warn you. Being in love, you wanted to believe the lie, it was more painful than the truth. Perhaps you shut out those people who did care, and tried to warn you.

The biggest pain in healing and recovery is learning to forgive yourself. The aftermath of dating a sociopath can also change your perception about you, and who you are. If you are an intelligent professional (and I know that a lot read this site), you can raise questions in your mind – ‘are you as smart as you thought you were?’ It is, after all embarrassing. Β There is a sense of shame, and also of guilt that you allowed this to happen to you.

These thoughts can cause intense pain

  • Others judgement of you (that the sociopath will use to intensify your pain)
  • Your losses
  • Your foolishness at believing a liar
  • If you are a professional – how did you not see this, when you are trained to detect it?
  • Did you deserve this? Is this all that you are worth?

There are three senses of self

  • The image that you have of yourself
  • The image that others have of you
  • Who you really truly are

The sociopath focuses on the gap, the grey areas that exist between those three. Obviously you cannot be all three (or perhaps some people are). But usually people think either more of themselves than they are (ego), or less of themselves than they really are (low self esteem). For some people others opinions of them are important. This is particularly true for those people who are in jobs that are held highly in regard.

The sociopath focuses on this ‘gap’ between who you think you are – and who you really are. They know already who you really are. They check with others – what they think about you. Sociopaths focus on the gap and grey areas

  • The difference between who you think you are and who you really are
  • The difference between how you think others perceive you, and how you are really preceived

The sociopath manipulates those gaps in perception to manipulate and abuse you. They manipulate the grey areas. Examples would be

  • Massaging your ego (telling you how great you look)
  • Saying how popular you are
  • Saying that you are a hot catch and very desirable
  • Being in awe of you intelligence
  • Being the perfect man/woman

What the sociopath is doing is a very deliberate manipulative tool that is pre-planned by information that you have already given, gained, or stolen from you. The sociopath is the ultimate predator.

Next time that you are punishing yourself, asking ‘why was I so stupid‘ think of this in a different way. It is not that you were stupid, it is that the sociopath is very experienced at being manipulative, deceptive and hiding who they really are.

By focusing on manipulating the gap between the three senses of self

  • Who you really are
  • Who you think you are
  • How others see you (and how you perceive that others see you)

The sociopath is easily able to plug the gap within you. To find the missing piece that will make you feel great and amazing.

This is what causes the addiction. This is what causes the loss and the huge pain once the relationship has ended.

It is, in its simplest form, the ultimate con – the illusion. As real as the emperors new clothes. It was never that you allowed this to happen to you. You didn’t give permission for this to happen. it was that you were manipulated, conned and deceived.

Forgive yourself. What has happened is NOT your fault. Neither is it a reflection of you. But what it will offer is the opportunity to get to know yourself better. The ability to be able to focus on you and to trust yourself.

Love yourself, forgive yourself – your worth it πŸ™‚

Words @ datingasociopath.com

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56 thoughts on “How COULD this happen to you? How could you have dated a sociopath?”

  1. I love this! So needed to hear this today! That is exactly what I’ve been doing for weeks now..asking myself daily “what the hell is wrong with you?” , “who am I?” “something is wrong with me.” and “how did this happen” and on and on..over and over. It’s like the fog has lifted since the relationship ended. I seriously feel weird. Like I’ve been gone on a mental vacation..ugh..now I am getting back to my kids, friends, job everything..it’s crazy and very overwhelming! I feel sometimes too like I was brainwashed…

    I was explaining my feelings to my closest friends who have painfully watch me go down hill with this man for over a year that not only am I getting over a breakup but I am also getting over the fact that it was all just a big fat lie. I was lied to from day one. It’s a hard pill to swallow.

    Some days I just can’t take it and feel really sad and ashamed. I hate how he just disappeared like …oh my gig is up with you..so BYE! So unapologetic..it’s sickening..I now understand that I am not dealing with a normal human being.

    I am a professional and a good mother and woman and take pride in my work and family. Obviously though since my divorce I should of sought some counseling before I entered into a relationship that would later be the biggest mistake of my life and has left me with nothing but grief.. 😦

    1. Aw hugs for you Maria. I am sure that he used your morality your professionalism and your sense of family values against you. Whilst at the same time – faking that he would support you with this. That he shared the same values…. its that grey area. It is not you… there is no way that you could have changed this. there is nothing wrong with you. You were targeted and abused – at a time when likely you were recovering from a previous relationship.

      1. Hi Positivagirl,

        Happy Birthday for the 15th πŸ™‚ I hope you had a fabulous day/night xoxo
        I turned 50 on the 5th Aug πŸ™‚ another Leo πŸ™‚

        Re this Post….I think the Soc’s are attracted to us for our strengths & can only gain access to us when we are at a low point & our reserves are low.
        This was my experience anyhow πŸ™‚
        It’s not our weaknesses they want it’s our strength because we are survivors & they need to survive but, cannot without us.
        I also believe that the Soc is attracted to people that they can learn the most from about normal behaviour i.e. councillors, psychologists, doctors etc…who better to learn from.
        They also need to study us so, they can continue to blend in & go about their business which is more primal.
        They need us to survive & we know that they feed on us for everything.
        They also use the ‘Fight or Flee’ instinct & usually flee when they feel threatened hence the whole discard scenario.
        If they fight it is usually because they hate the thought that you have wised up to them as you already know.
        I am in no doubt that what I taught my Soc made his next quest easier because they are generally lazy, empty ,boring etc…they just take all our strengths & use it to impress the next & so on & so on….
        We were just too good for them & they don’t deserve us in their world, nor do we want to be part of it!

        Posi,
        Everything you post is incredible & accurate & even if you don’t study further then you have more than enough material for your book & sequels!
        You already have an army of followers & supporters so….what are you waiting for?
        Go for it…..you have helped fast track my recovery & I would never have gotten to this point without you & all these other wonderful people whose honesty & sharing has helped me heal πŸ™‚

        Love Always πŸ™‚

        PR xoxo

      2. I know that therapy for me would have been the way to go but unfortunately I couldn’t afford it. All your writings have saved my life and I was so, confused devastated and never knew what I was with but my life was hell.. I got beaten, financially hurt and so on. Now he is on to his new victim. I would like to know will he do the same things to the new one. I just can;t imagine that he can go thru another 7 years doing the same things. Can you enlighten me. Thank you .

      3. Hi Marion πŸ™‚

        I am not sure but, I think you want Positiva’s advice on this?

        From Phoenix Rising πŸ™‚

        My Soc he has repeated his pattern of behaviour on 4 other women that I know of & I know that there are many more but, a lot will be married women he has affairs with & casual sexual encounters etc…
        Of the 4 I know including me for 10 years, his wife of 25 years, his mistress for 5 years & another one like me for at least 7 years that I am aware of. You must remember that a lot of us overlap as his current lady has been with him 3 1/2 years during my 10 & I was unaware of any of them except his ex wife (never divorced though separated?) & the mistress of 5 years that I replaced!

        Yours will continue his pattern of abuse as he cannot help himself….so, feel sorry for her because she will experience the same hell as you 😦

        You are free so, heal your heart & rebuild yourself into the wonderful person that you always have been πŸ™‚
        Read & learn everything including the healing as it is crucial for you.
        You are not alone & we will support you anyway we can but, the rest is up to you.
        Believe in yourself, you are a true survivor πŸ™‚

        Love & light πŸ™‚

        PR xoxo

      4. Thank you so much for letting me know this. I thought that I might have caused him to do all the ugly things he did or maybe just feeling very hurt that I did allow someone to abuse me in this fashion and it was real abuse to having surgery on my arm and recovery and losing my business after 30 years. I tried to warn this woman but she said God would handle it and they would have to work things out. I just couldn’t believe she said that after not knowing about me and all the lies he told her. She said God wanted her to hear this and I said to myself she is using God to justify his lies and things will get real bad and I do pity her but I did warn HER. thank FOR TAKING THE TIME OUT TO READ MY LIFE AND i PRAY ALL WOMAN HEAL AND ARE BLESSED. Love mARION

      5. Awww Marion thank-you & you did nothing wrong.
        Loving the unlovable is a great gift & you just need to find your inner peace & you can withstand the coldest heart & still be a warm, loving, compassionate soul.
        The other woman has been brainwashed & like you cannot believe he is like you say.
        Even when it’s right in front of her, she is blinded by his words etc….LOVE is blind remember.
        Don’t blame her because she is like you, she thinks she can save him but, we know where it will all end 😦

        He’s a predator & she’s his latest fix, probably others as well.
        You can only save yourself so, remain NO CONTACT or forward his emails or texts to her.
        I did this & I don’t know what happened & I don’t care πŸ™‚

        Be strong, you are a wonderful person & you will be loved….it starts with you first πŸ™‚

        Love & Light πŸ™‚

        PR xoxox

      6. Thank you Phoenix for helping me come to terms with my last blog. I did warn the new victim but all she could say was that God wanted her to hear what I had to say. He lied to her and say he had been in Alabama she knew nothing about me. She said they had to work things out having hear from me that we had been together for 7 years She said we all needed to pray and I just thought wow she is using God to justifies all the lies. She still doesn’t know he texts and tries to see me when he comes to San Jose. I don’t think it’s my place to warn her any more because I already did. She will have to see for herself. She thinks taking him to church will change who he is but in order to change for a normal person you have to be willing to look at yourself and know theirs changes to be made but he always blamed me even when he lied he said it was my fault because I never believed him so, why be truthful. Sick huh. So, P. I don’t feel sorry for her because she knew he was leaving me and didn’t care one bit how I felt so, she will have to come to terms with her actions too. Thank you for reading pieces of my life and supporting me. Love to you

      7. “I am in no doubt that what I taught my Soc made his next quest easier because they are generally lazy, empty ,boring etc…they just take all our strengths & use it to impress the next & so on & so on….”

        Cha cha. Yes they learn from us. For my SP ex, I brought and almost handed book on psychopaths, Snakes in suites. Just last minute, his mask slippeed away and I changed my mind.

    2. oh my goodness…………everything you shared is what I am going through. in detail from ‘what am I doing” “who am I” “am I the crazy stupid weird person” I was on a mental trip also, i was mind F**ked. i have been ashamed and embarrassed from it all. i get really down about it and sit in a funk for days. i divorced in 2011 and then went on a spending spree for instant gratification and met a man who’s eyes i got lost in. i feel damaged, broke, crushed and i am in my head too much. its very overwhelming. thanks for sharing

  2. My counselor said the word con man comes from the word confidence man. Not only does he have self confidence in himself but he got me to have confidence in him and pulled me into his web of deceit.

  3. No one should feel stupid, it is not our fault that we were duped, spaths are another species, this is what they do. We are kind and loving people capable of all the good emotions we have and being able to express them freely and openly. I pity the socio. He or she will never experience the joy life and love have to offer. Peace and love

    1. You are so right bewildered & I prefer to now think of them as lower on the evolutionary scale, still primitives with a predator attitude (a sub-species πŸ™‚
      They actually need us for their survival as we are the great survivors πŸ™‚
      The Soc’s feel superior to us because they can manipulate & game us but, it’s the thinking, feeling, loving, caring people that are the superior beings in this world. The Nelson Mandelas, Ghandi, Dalai Lama, martin Luther King, Daw Aung San Suu Chi etc…have all been victims of Sociopaths because they fear them.
      They so realise this & have to use all the low premeditated tactics to aid their survival. When you really think about it they are nothing without US but, we are so much more without them! πŸ™‚

      Love & Light πŸ™‚

      PR xoxo

  4. Needed alot today, I was feeling guilty today because it is his birthday and for 7 years I always made it his day. He text-ed me on mine , so I felt less then not texing him but I had to realize his text on my birthday was manipulation. Everyday keeps a little EASIER AND THANK god FOR THIS BLOG. i SO, APPRECIATE THE HELP. It has saved my life and sanity.
    GOD BLESS THESE WOMAN

    1. Omg!! I feel the same way. Aug.15 is my ex’s birthday and I have tried to be busy all day. All I can remember is the last time I spent with him on his birthday and he told me how much he loved and wanted to spend the rest of his life with me, all lies. I wanted to call him all day, but I didn’t want to get my feelings hurt. As I sit here in the dark reading your story, I’m glad that I’m not alone, and that ther wasn’t anything wrong with me, it was him. We will make it through this together. Thank god for this blog, I don’t know where I would be without it.

    2. Marion … I just wanted to say I have gone through warning other woman. It is true, as out there as it sounds, God puts these people in this world for a reason. We are tested to the max and surviving is what God wants to see us do. I think it’s also like the picture above. It’s the message that ” you don’t know how good life is until you’ve had it squeezed out of you ” For whatever reason we all I believe are put through this and SP walk this earth to remind us about what life is meant to be. Maybe to make us realize how good we really have it. That our vulnerabilities that left us open to this attack from the SP were never as bad as we thought. I can say that before I met my ex I thought I was in an awful place … And now looking back… That place was not nearly as bad as the hell he put me through. I myself feel it is my duty now that I have survived this to really look at how good life is … I know what hell looks like now.

      1. Hi Amy πŸ™‚

        Well said & like you I wouldn’t wish a Soc on my worst enemy because, they are our worst enemy 😦

        Love & light & thank you πŸ™‚

        PR xoxo

  5. I have been with you for a while, on all your sites, and this post effected me differently. My relationship with my spath was different. It was an affair, so there were no ties to the outside world. But I am a professional, college degree, my own business, etc., etc., so yes, I have asked myself this question so many, many times. I know the answer. My marriage was not sound, and that is the angle he took with me. He gave me something that was lacking in my life… love, sex and closeness to a person that I haven’t felt in years. How could he tell I needed that? Well, he and I exchanged stories of our horrible marriages… that’s how. He gave me exactly what I needed at the time. But he walked away… no explanation… nothing. A month of acting strangely… (after asking me to leave my husband, and of course, I said, “no” — I just didn’t know him in the outside world, and I was smart enough to know that I didn’t know him well enough in the real world.) Of course if I wasn’t getting any answers to his strange way of acting, he wasn’t getting the sex! HA!) At that point, he started distancing himself, and we had our one and only fight a month later (leaving each other and still no answers), but with him, he. of course, moved on to his new source. I don’t feel stupid. I know what happened now (thanks, in part to you!). I can honestly say to myself that I fell to prey to a sociopath because it was what I needed at the time. It had been so many years without love or affection that I should never say I was stupid. This horrible person just happened to be in the right place at the right time in my life.

    1. It effected me differently as well. I recognize my own deficit at the time that allowed someone I wouldn’t ordinarily allow close to gain entrance into my life. I justified it sometimes by thinking I could maybe “help”, before I knew the depths of his issues.

      I feel that it may also be giving them too much credit to assume that they can see our “gaps” better than we know ourselves. It may sound like “ego” to say this but, I have a career, have built creative talents over years, and am well-educated. Did he possess ANY of those characteristics? No. Sure, he may be a professional liar and deceiver, but even that only gets you so far when you come up against intelligent people with other life experiences. And, let’s be real honest, we let them do some things because we were enjoying some of the associated benefits… until those stopped and it became all bad, right?

      More than one person here has cut loose a socio because he’s fallen short, and the moments of weakness, as some of your other posts attest, are about mourning the better benefits. I think it’s a matter of how much tolerance you have for ongoing “crazy” in your life. There was a checklist I read somewhere about the personality characteristics of women who attract these kind of men, and one was risk tolerance. One of the very first things the socio said to me was, “I think we both live somewhat outside the box of society.” Mmm hm. How did he know that? Because I was associating with HIM! Truth.

      I also want to be fair here as I post about a lot of ill treatment. There were times he tried to give me insights (without sending me away voluntarily) to lesson the inevitable blows. He knew I was asking *him*, “What am I missing here?” Didn’t make him smarter than me. He knew I’d never seen anything like him before. There’s a lot of advantage in meeting someone with a worldview that people will predominantly try to do the right thing. It doesn’t require a great mastermind of deceit to manipulate that false reality.

    2. Positive Girl,

      Is there a way you could get a message 123cindy that I would like to correspond with her about her relationship with the S. Her story is my story and my story is her story. I have learned a lot from this site and am a dedicated reader. This is an older post so I was wondering if she still made contact here. I have learned so much but as 123cindy wrote…I know how she feels. If you have a protocol that does not allow this…that is ok. I understand. trueblue

  6. I was so ashamed of allowing all this insanity, that I kept all this pain to myself. Thanks for your words! I hope that after this hurricane I will find a treasure under the debris…myself.
    😎
    PD After the three weeks silent treatment, my Pinnochio returned with all his venom, he is trying to contact me. I’m still fighting to not react to his multiple calls, messages and emails that go from “Please call me, I’ll be respectful” to a “Why we can’t be friends? Answer the phone” to “For me you are a whore, that is the reason that I’ll never can be with you, I am so ashamed that you introduce me as your boyfriend I saw how everyone look at me” It will ever finish?

  7. The best thing my domestic abuse counselor said to me when I was feeling so dumb for marrying this man who turned out to be a psychopath was:

    “You were just trying to have a better life.” It’s true, I didn’t know everything he had offered me was a lie. And I was doing something I thought would give me a happier and better life. What’s to be ashamed of in that?

  8. Wow, so much sharing here…I applaud all the women who’ve dealt with these kinds of people. I do believe that because they are so cunning that they can sense the grey area(s) whether we can admit it to ourselves or not. I have hope after reading the original post because I left my marriage for this man and the thrill he gave me when we were together and just about lost my life in the process. I fought very, very hard to get what I deserved from my divorce but hadn’t been happy for a long time but looking back, no amount of unhappiness prepared me for the ride this man took me on. I am questioning my decisions now and wonder if I deserved what I got bcause I was unfaithful. But…I had been asking my ex husband for years to be emotionally available to me and he refused, said I should be happy he worked, didn’t cheat or drink or hit me. I was so starved for any kind of attention and affection, I went from the frying pan into the fire! Thanks for your help, it does make a difference!

    1. It seems we have the same story. I am somewhat relieved that I wasn’t the only one, and I also thought I got what I deserved for being unfaithful, but I now know that this thinking is wrong. No one deserves that!

      1. That makes three of us who share a very similar story! I left a troubled and unhappy 34year marriage for a charismatic Spath that sized me up as his prey, gave me attention and love that I so desperately needed, which all turned out to be lies. this Man literally turned my life into a living hell. The Spath made my Husband look like a Saint!

  9. Dear Positvagirl,

    Thank you for those healing infused words of wisdom. May I pitch an idea for a future post? Since you’ve come across so many spiritual people through this blog (who’ve mostly been the victims of sociopath abuse i.e. a pattern) and also felt that there were certain types of people these sociopaths are attracted do, may be you could write a little post about that?

    May be there’s something to do with these sociopaths being attracted to empaths / spiritual / grieving / naive people who either a) are healing b) haven’t discovered themselves or c) have little experience in relationships. They live off our energy likes parasites! That could perhaps serve as a cautionary post even for the young adults who may be searching for their “soul mates”, either in the wrong places or in the cyber world. Just so that sociopaths who pretend to be the victims and write pro-sociopath comments, play the subtle blame shifting game *know* that the smarter they try to appear, the dumber they actually look.

    I loved your post about social networking as a tool for sociopath. It’s breeding a whole new generation of ‘cyberpaths’. May be that’s because they have nothing of real value to offer to the real world.

    P.S. To all the sociopaths reading this blog: You aren’t a higher form or intellectually evolved beings. You are just a damaged piece. A byproduct of parental neglect living off a parasitic life. Know that the victims have something which you can never have: pure sincere and genuine feelings. The closest you can get to them is just by mimicry. So watch carefully as I present my rainbow sprinkled a** for you to kiss!

    1. Hi SD yes I had suspected that there was a large amount of people who were victims/survivors that were spiritual – which is why I ran the poll. I think the results spoke for themselves of 419 people 319 of those were spiritually inclined as a very important part of their life. I am going to run some more polls, so that we can collect data to see patterns of behaviour. I think it is our tendency to see the ‘good’ in people. To think we can fix with unconditional love…… it makes us good targets as we tend to see past the bad and see the good in someone (everyone has good) even sociopaths….. only thing with sociopaths is that their bad can be absolutely intolerable and desctructive (often deliberatebly) to our own life.

    2. Hi Soc-Detector,

      You will probably find some of the answers to your suggestions already here in other posts, re the poll that Positiva took etc…I agree with everything you’ve said & I love that Rainbow comment πŸ™‚
      Our awareness is growing & our shared knowledge & support is a beautiful thing πŸ™‚

      Love & light

      PR xoxo

  10. Excellent site. Powerful post. better than Lovefraud. consider changing name to ‘Recovering from the a sociopath? Once at the self education, healing research stage you are certainly no longer ‘dating’ Plus so may are not ‘romantic’ (ha ha ha ha!! A Spath, romantic?) but other ‘relationships’. family, work colleagues, boss…neighbour etc. Regardless of the type of relationship the disorder is the same. The traits are identical.

  11. dear Phoenix Rising. It is absolutely so. Your post is perfect:
    I think the Soc’s are attracted to us for our strengths & can only gain access to us when we are at a low point & our reserves are low.
    I also believe that the Soc is attracted to people that they can learn the most from about normal behaviour i.e. councillors, psychologists, doctors etc

    1. Hi Tropic πŸ™‚

      Yes the Soc’s need us more than we need them which becomes more obvious as time goes on πŸ™‚
      They are emotional vampires who take,take,take & we give til it hurts & then some!
      Still we are all here sharing & learning thanks to Positivagirl so, our awareness is growing which can benefit others.
      Knowledge is a beautiful thing πŸ™‚
      We have found a lot of survivors here & this site has helped heal us because we are not alone, others understand, we have found our voice πŸ™‚

      Be Strong,Be Brave & above all else Be Happy πŸ™‚

      PR xoxo

  12. I understand this. I was left bewildered and upset when the sociopath slept with a bullying coworker. Then she proceeded on a path of destruction using sex as a tool with two other coworkers. Whilst using the pity play on me.

    Yes sociopaths are adept at stimulating artificial levels of shame to disempower you.

    The key thing is to minimise to only essential contact if no contact is not an option. The other is to avoid them “setting you up” in positions to possibly shame you.

    This is best done at a distance and realising the sociopath views you only as a target. THEY DO NOT LOVE YOU. They only want what they can get.

    Equally they will be on to their next target before long. At that point you can laugh when the mask drops. It inevitably does.

    1. Hi CS πŸ™‚

      It does drop eventually but, it’s a shame so many really good people get hurt & damged though 😦

      Still we have survived & good on you for speaking from your heart πŸ™‚

      Love & light πŸ™‚

      PR xoxo

      1. Pheonix when you say their mask drops does that mean the person that they love will see a different person. Why in the beginnhing all is good in love and what causes the mask to drop. Can you please inform mean?

      2. Hi Marion πŸ™‚
        The Soc doesn’t feel love & the next person is just a new source of supply for either, sex, housing, money, social networks etc….they are users & abusers & as they get bored the masks slips. First stage is assessment to see what you have to offer them.
        Next stage is seduction or lovebombing the honeymoon faze….this is where they lay the ground work before they start the gaming. Gaslighting is another term you’ll come across.
        Google it as it’s based on an old movie where the Sociopath starts to drive his victim mad so, he can get her money etc…
        In Gaming stage they play with your emotions, testing you & making you question yourself.
        This stage is also when they may be having other women in the mix so, always going somewhere, texting but, generally losing interest in you so, working on the next victim.
        Next comes ruining so, this stage they may start compromising you or name calling or demeaning you sexually….pushing the boundaries so to speak. If you complain they can get angry or they up the gaming & start repeating the seduction etc…the fina; stage is the discard.
        Your no longer of use, the next victim is primed so, they can generally just cut you off without warning & leave you devastated, humiliated & confused.
        When you realise they are a Soc it’s overwhelming as they have been playing with you the whole time & they have no emotional attachment, it’s a game & they don’t care & never did.
        To a normal person this is heartbreaking & can plunge you to the depths of despair.
        It is hard to fathom that someone can callously do this damage & then just leave you for dead as if you never existed….that’s what happens & continues to happen as they do this repeatedly 😦
        You know have to rebuild yourself & live the best life you possibly can as this is all you can do….we are all on this journey & as hard as it is we will survive.
        You are a great person & worthy of great love especially starting with yourself πŸ™‚

        Love
        PR xoxox

        I hope I answered your question?

      3. I’m not sure what phase we’re in, or if we’re repeating a cycle. Sometimes, I think it’s something else other than sociopathy, milder, since he has no violence or rage tendencies and would never call me names ever, like some say. He does bring me down by the absence of not lifting me up, and by sort of nitpicking. I’ve called him out on it and made it obvious in our exchanges. I told him I didn’t want to hear constant negativity, that he needed to adopt an 80/20 rule (80% positive; 20% negative) for me to be able to hear anything he had to say. He basically looked stunned. It has impacted our communications though, I think.

        After being arrested, he had basically cut down our communications channels to just email (didn’t have a phone). I suspected he was in the doghouse with wife because of her learning he was still seeing me although he said, “We don’t do that here”. He eventually said he remembered he had IM and added that channel. This went on for about a month. This last week, he asked for my phone #. I really feel like he has been able to communicate that way (by phone) the whole time, but just cut me off. I didn’t give it to him, but caved later and emailed it. He didn’t add me because I didn’t give it when asked. Who does that?

        I asked what had changed (and I meant technically speaking—couldn’t call before but suddenly can now), but he wouldn’t answer that part and only said, “I changed and thought it was time but you don’t.” ??? – What is going on?

      4. Hey Jus,

        My Soc was high functioning & I never lived with him etc…but, we had been together 10 years before he was exposed to me by the OW so, I don’t know how much longer it would have continued.
        My Soc didn’t start saying demeaning things until much later in the relationship & was never overtly violent just would bite & slap during intimate moments.
        In the first few years he tested & gamed me a lot then bit by bit introduced some stuff I wasn’t into….again testing me & for the most part I would challenge him & he would back off & pretend he was joking???
        I am like you & if he was being negative would call him on it & he would once again back off & try something else….you must remember that a lot of this was happening & I wasn’t catching on but, I knew something wasn’t right….he kept me in a state of confusion if I started to question or become suspicious etc….& now I have realised a lot more in hindsight & with the knowledge I have gained via this site & research etc…
        The thing is this whole situation is abnormal & you are now onto this fact.
        Normal people in normal relationships don’t do this stuff…..so, it’s up to you if you want to be with someone that does this weird, crazy making stuff?
        Knowing what I know now, I would rather not have been involved with my Soc.
        Life with one is just a game that you cannot win & life is far too short to waste playing games.

        Love & light πŸ™‚

        PR xoxox

      5. Thank you, PR. It sounds like he is still testing me for responses, and that makes sense. I’m sure I don’t respond like others, not having come from a physically-abusive background. And I’ve always been indignant, even in the face of emotional abuse. If what is believed about soc’s is true—that they are often bored, and have time—it would make sense that this wouldn’t dissuade him. Especially if it took yours 10 years to manage you!

        If he can be believed, I’ve come to learn that a couple of his other previous women “friend”ships that annoyed me, have ended. He seems to really go through them (or more likely, they’ve seen enough). The only constants he seems to have are his ex’s with the children, and his crazy lying, cheating, hustling family members.

        It is beginning to resonate with me what you and some are saying about the cost of all this though. I do feel a releasing. I haven’t felt well, and I had a string of days where I confess I wondered if my life would be boring from here on out if he wasn’t some element of it. But I can see I can’t win at this, as he will change the rules, or change himself/his mind, or introduce some new monkey wrench. What that means to me is that I’ll never get what I want out of this situation, and hoping for the sake of hope is really no hope at all.

        I haven’t been living up to my own potential, and recognizing that is frustrating. Why not? Is it harder than wanting someone else to build me up, help me, complete me? You bet it is. But I know how strong I am when I’m “working for” myself, and maybe I wouldn’t have been susceptible to something like this if I hadn’t been condoning my own weakness. It now seems ridiculous to me.

        Last night, he “pulse checked” with an IM/text saying he had a “family function”, did I care to join. I knew this was b/s. He was checking to see if I still wanted to be with him anyway, regardless of whether or not he added me to his phone contacts. I replied, “Sure, call me,” to which he said, “I will once I get back out… getting cleaned up now.” Of course that call never came, and I didn’t bother with any follow-up conversation/comments.

        You are right in that it is crazy that this is even an issue. It is not normal behavior from someone who likes you. And what have I done wrong? Not jump when he tells me to? Why *would/should* I? This kink and that he is going out of town will slow things down for awhile. Maybe that will give me enough time to work on myself and grow stronger. I do want to put energy-sapping, cyclical nonsense relationships behind me. But this one sure has created a trainwreck in my world (read: psyche) for me to not immediately tell him to get lost.

      6. Hi Jus πŸ™‚

        They are train wrecks & the sooner you finally disembark the better your life will become.
        You have been brainwashed & manipulated into needing him, it’s the old hypnotist Soc effect. It never fails as you battle normal emotions, the Soc doesn’t so you are easy game 😦
        Mine would wait until other things had my attention then he would start the game over & over.
        I recently looked back on the last 10 years & tried to think how could I have missed so much????

        This is why:

        10 years ago my 19 year marriage ended….went into PTSD 😦
        Lost my home, car, business. Ex walked out with our receptionist & my friend. 😦
        Relocated,new home,new car (met Soc because I needed a car he’s a car dealer & fireman).
        My brother had massive psychotic episode (I love my brother). Hard to witness 😦
        My Father fell & broke, hip,ankle,wrist…my Mother has been his carer,he had dementia & emphysema etc….25 years all up.
        My own health suffered, had major surgery,rehabilitated myself πŸ™‚
        I work full-time & am sole employee so, business is my lifeline.
        My boss got bowel cancer just after I started so, I ran the business.
        My son has had major issues due to marriage breakdown etc…both children traumatized.
        I lost my father in 2010 & my much loved mother-in-law same time.
        My Mother had some health issues, she’s my rock & my hero πŸ™‚
        A midst all this drama, lost best friend to cancer,had my own scare & life went on.

        My Soc was around for all of this & never did a thing accept advise etc…why didn’t I see the red flags??? Basically life was swirling around me & I was in survival mode, I couldn’t see what he was doing & I didn’t have time!

        I am not a martyr nor am I anything special, I am a survivor however & still standing.
        You would never guess if you met me just what I have lived through & this is just some.

        What I’m trying to say is, you are a survivor & you will survive the Soc.
        Life is not meant to be a train wreck caused by someone you love.
        You have to get off the train.

        I have a lot to be grateful for, most of all I have me. I have endured as we women tend to do.
        I am not alone & neither are you πŸ™‚

        Be strong, don’t look back or be held back.
        Move forward & be happy πŸ™‚

        Love & Light always πŸ™‚

        PR xoxo

      7. I relate to your story, PR. When I met him, I was also in survival mode… and he knew it because I was in an extended-stay hotel, while I waited to settle. I was coming off a list of things as you were, and I couldn’t give this situation with him my full attention. I noticed some things, commented on some, but cared less than I usually might’ve because of my personal distress. Maybe you too “didn’t see the flags”, because you didn’t have the time/energy to make that the priority. Puts it in a different perspective when you think about it. Makes me think about ambulance chasers…

        And you are right about the hypnotic effect… before I read about the predatory stare, I thought we were gazing at each other. He still does this, without comment or conversation. I started responding, “What?” and he’d reply, “Nothing,” and look away. I asked him why he did it once and he said, “You tend to look at things you like,” then added, “And, things you don’t like too, I guess.” I was like, “Huh??” and laughed. He said, “Not that the second part’s what is happening.” Yeah. As confusing in person as in print. When he was here last, I just didn’t indulge the gaze/stare. Seemed to make me more comfortable.

        Some of your own pain seems fairly recent, yet you seem very optimistic. Makes me hopeful. And, I’m glad to have recognized the situation sooner than later. Thank you for helping facilitate that.

      8. Your welcome Jus πŸ™‚

        My Soc likes to pick up at funerals so,ambulance chaser is a good description πŸ™‚
        They always strike strong people at vulnerable times so, that is why we do miss the flags!
        Mine would always watch me & read me & I would say “You Win!” the staring competition & he would just say he was admiring me blah blah….couldn’t really say, I’m gauging all your reactions & then I’m going to play games with your mind, which is what he did!

        I was always trying to counteract his moves so, that’s why he kept me around for so long I guess & had it not been for the OW probably still would be?

        Just keep working on healing & supporting yourself as I have found Gestalt Therapy & mindfullness & CBT really has helped me in a very short time.
        It was only April this year that all was revealed so, I have focused on not letting this break me πŸ™‚
        I have too much life running through my veins & I am loved by many & needed by many so,that gives me strength & focus πŸ™‚

        Love Always…PR xoxoxo

  13. Hi Positivagirl,

    Thank you so much for your brilliant blog.

    I I’m still reeling with the realization that the guy I dated earlier this year (and fell head over heels for) is a sociopath. We were only ‘together’ for 3 months, but the way he reeled me in, and subsequent ‘relationship’ were absolutely textbook – the flattery, complements, constant attention, common interests/values, talk about the future. And that stare – when i read about that it sent chills down my spine…

    The first time we met he was married and my first impression of him was arrogant and aloof. The next meeting he was totally different – sweet and utterly charming. By then, he had separated from his wife after less than a year of marriage after finding out that she was cheating on him (though now I wonder if that was actually true – and if it was I understand why). I wouldn’t usually dream of dating a guy so recently out of a long relationship, but he completely overwhelmed me – hugely charismatic, funny, good looking, clever, successful, rich. The perfect catch (too perfect). There were things that niggled me – he obviously had a vain and selfish streak, but I told myself that anyone would be self-centred after such a betrayal…

    After three months together, the silent treatment started. One day it was ‘I want to spend more time with you’, and planning for the summer. The next, communication just dried up. I was devastated, but told myself that he needed space (the divorce was just about to go to court), and in time there was a chance that he’d come back to me. Every few weeks he would email me out of the blue, but my replies went unanswered. And then about a month ago, he invited me to his house party. After deliberation I decided to go, and in the fortnight leading up to the party we emailed back and forth 6 or 7 times. At no point however, did he bother to inform me that he had a new girlfriend – he let me discover that for myself when I walked into the kitchen to see her running round making drinks and serving food as though it was her house. At no point did he introduce us, but when she came up to me and demanded to know who I was (she obviously realized that there was something between us, and possibly recognized me from photos on his FB page) he was watching so intently that I don’t doubt for a second that the whole reason for inviting me was to torture me, and to make her feel uncomfortable and on edge.

    After reading some of the experiences on here I realize I’m extremely lucky that this didn’t go any further, and that I can now see him for what he really is. But I’m finding it really hard to come to terms with the fact that the man I loved was just an illusion, and questioning why on earth this psycho targeted me! I really think that it was purely for his own sick amusement, and now he’s moved on to a new victim I feel so angry that he is going to keep getting away with this (in addition to his ex wife, he had a litany of other exes who were all portrayed as crazy women). 😦

    1. These people are NOT people you can have in your life period. I understand your disbelief and what it stirs in you when a guy you loved uses other woman to make you feel replaced. There is no replacing any one of us. We are loving woman that trusted and were looking for a good man…plain and simple. We believed the SP was our soul mate… Or at least I did. It’s an extremely painful process of letting go. I went through it all over and over for 6 years hoping for change. Not only will they never change but they can never be your friend. It’s always going to be a chase of pray and predator. You being the pray of course. They love having woman fight over them. THAT is NOT a man that loves you OR them. I wish you the best and all the strength you can dig deep inside yourself for to turn your cheek and walk away with grace… And DO NOT look back.

      1. Hi Amy,
        Thanks so much – I really needed to hear that!! Soul mate is exactly what I thought he was, and struggling a bit with the idea of never seeing him again, and maybe we can still be ‘friends’… Behind that I realize quite a large part of me is secretly hoping that I’m wrong about him being a SP, but the more I read the more sure I am, and what is the point of ANY kind of relationship with someone like that?! In hindsight, I now see that my closest insight of the real him was our very first meeting when he wasn’t trying to impress me – and what did I see but arrogance and a strong feeling of dislike on my part? Painful but true!!
        So sorry that you had to endure six years of craziness:-( Who would have dreamt that so many of these people are out there, wreaking havoc in our lives…
        LG xoxo

    2. Hi London Girl πŸ™‚

      We are all crazy because of these fools 😦
      Welcome & please remember you are not alone & share, vent & support as you are safe here πŸ™‚
      There is the odd Soc on the site, some are harmless & some are quite nasty but, hopefully we will warn you if ones starts playing 😦

      Remember you are a wonderful, strong, caring, compassionate soul otherwise the Soc wouldn’t have chosen you.
      They want something from you always so, take back your heart & your power.
      Stay NC & be happy πŸ™‚

      Love & light πŸ™‚

      PR xoxo

      P.S. I was with mine for 10 years, glad I’m free πŸ™‚
      & so glad you got out quicker, very smart πŸ™‚

      1. Ah, thank you so much for your lovely words, PR! Thank goodness for this site, or I really would have thought that I was the crazy one!
        Well done you on being free at last:-) Mine pretty much discarded me after three months (plus several more months of dangling promises to keep me hooked), so guess I can be grateful to him for that, otherwise I would still be there, blissfully unaware of what lay in store down the line… It was only purely by chance reading of a magazine article that I realized what he is and part of me really wishes I hadn’t found out. But ultimately I needed to know the truth, and hopefully now I won’t make the same mistake twice – or be forever comparing future guys to ‘Mr Perfect’ who never existed!
        LG xoxo

      2. Awww LG πŸ™‚

        Your welcome & I am glad you are so strong & have taken a valuable lesson from your experience.
        Remember you deserve to be treated with love,compassion & truth so, never compromise πŸ™‚
        You know the flags so, be astute & smart but most of all expect the best & it will come πŸ™‚
        Never compromise your own self or moral compass & you will be fine πŸ™‚

        Best of luck & have a great life πŸ™‚

        PR xoxo

  14. Everything mentioned here is EXACTLY my ex. I have been holding on to an illusion for 6 years and finally see what I knew but didn’t want to believe. What I can say is that I have learned more about myself in these past years than I have in my entire 33 years of my life. It has never rang so true that you don’t know how good life is until you have had it squeezed out of you.. My realization is NOT easy … It’s painful and it’s extremely difficult to have a memory arise that seemed VERY real and genuine. A song, a place or a smell can bring back a memory in flash that I replay and still remain astonished that I was the only one truly feeling love in those moments. However, like blood rushing back into a limb that has had it’s circulation cut off, I feel a surge of energy and life filling me now that I have cut my ex out of my life. I also refuse to allow the gift of compassion and empathy to be stripped from me just because it was exploited. From my experience, it seems the sociopath lacks the ability to feel empathy, compassion, and love. Also, one thing I may add is that my ex had little to no sense of smell or taste. Their brains are for what ever reason wired completely different. From their eyes, seeing others feel deep emotion and experiencing satisfaction must pain them. It seems they feel that they themselves may obtain those abilities if they can rob them from those that do. I think history has proven who eventually rises and falls. I feel like I went through a sort of war but the only thing that died was the illusion… I came out a survivor and I feel empowered for finally learning what it truly means to let go and love and trust in myself. Six year war and finally I have peace.

  15. WOW, what a great site! For the past 10 years I felt like I was going crazy, told I was crazy. My journey back is only just beginning, there are so many things I still do not understand, and may never, but looking forward to finding peace.

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