Accepting reality after dating a sociopath!


You might need to go around the wheel, and the cycle of abuse many times before you come to terms with the fact that the sociopath was only playing a game. How long that game continues, really depends on you.

It doesn’t make any difference to the sociopath. If they weren’t playing games with you, they would be with somebody else. Often they play the game with multiple players (isolating each from the other so that their deception is not dectected). Nothing is as it seems with the sociopath. The sociopath works hard to present a false persona to you. Whilst hiding the tacticle manoveours of the game and keeping this to him/herself. The sociopath takes great joy and pleasure at deceiving you/. Each move is pre-meditated and calculated.

When things feel good. When the sociopath is being nice, kind and caring, you might doubt your own mind, telling yourself, that perhaps you have it wrong? (see the post confusion of kindness). However, it is the same person that is always there behind the mask. The sociopath is devious and manipulative.  Remember that the sociopath plays the mirror image of you, of your own wants and needs. The sociopath mirrors you, and reflects this mirror image back to you, twisting the reality to their own manipulative advantage.


The sociopath is a master at grooming others. If you watch BBC Iplayer Eastenders on 1st November 2013 you will see the character of Michael, who is playing the part of a psychopath. I thought that this was interesting as it is typical behaviour of psycho’s and just how far they will go.

Sociopaths groom their victims. Many victims struggle to move on after the relationship, as they rememember a person who was

  • Their best friend
  • The only person who understood them
  • Kind and caring
  • Helpful

It might appear that the narcissistic rage of the sociopath is only temporary. That usually things were good. You felt good in their company they made you feel good about you, and ‘special’.


Sociopaths isolate their victims. They do this, systematically. Cleverly removing every body who is in the victims life for support. The victim will not be aware that this is happening. The sociopath is clever to hide their tracks. In fact the victim will only notice later into the relationship (or even at the end) that there is a significantly less people in their life than there were when they went  into the relationship.

I have written previously how the sociopath manages to isolate the victim from support, so i won’t write in depth about it in this post. The sociopath manages to make the victim feel like the only person that they want to spend their time with is the sociopath. It is this sense of isolation that makes it very difficult for the victim to leave. Afterall, where would you go? What life do you have left to go to? (likely the sociopath if he/she isn’t happy for you to leave, will threaten to ruin what is left of your life.

As the relationship with the sociopath continues, you might start to wake up to the reality that has became your life. Slowly the sociopath had groomed you. Had cultivated dependency, had made you feel special to ensure that you are captured, and ‘owned’ so that now you belong to them, and only them.

It might be a special feeling, but the price is your freedom and your life. Also even your own thinking process. You are manipulated to believe that this is special. That this is good. If others try to warn you, you are told that they are trying to split you up, or they are jealous. You are told false stories about others to turn you against them.

Cold turkey and the harsh reality of No Contact!  

It is very easy to write the words, establish no contact, and focus on you. However if you have been in a very abusive controlling relationship with a sociopath, after the initial isolation techniques, and then the subesequent ruining and smear campaigns. The reality of your world, can feel empty, isolated, desolate and baron. Enforcing no contact and sticking to it, will give you an opportunity to gather your thoughts to think for yourself. Space and peace to heal.

However, if you have been abused for a considerable length of time, the silence of No Contact, can feel overwhelmingly painful. The best advice to get through it, is to see it as an addiction. If you had faced significant losses in your life, this means that once you were wonderful and managed to build a lot. You can do this again. You can rebuild your life, afterall, hadn’t you managed to do this before? You have more chance of rebuilding without the sociopath in your life, than you do when they are in your life.

Yes, it might feel lonely rebuilding that house. But, which option would you prefer?

  • To live in a house of illusion, manipulation, control and abuse
  • To continually try to rebuild your house – only for your abuser to return and smash the house down again?
  • To rebuild your house – on your own, but to know you can build this house as you want. it wont be your prison, you can have flowers in the garden. Build it just as you want, paint the walls whatever colour you want, and invite people into your house

Which option would you choose? As it is only the last option that is the one that is acheived by sticking to No Contact. No matter how kind, caring, helpful the sociopath appears to be, they always have their own interests at heart. You can be sure, that the sociopath will happily rip down your shiny new house, and put bars on the window to create a prison….. without you realising it.


This is the hardest part, when splitting with a sociopath. When you decide to go off and to rebuild your world. You might be stuck with the harsh reality of starkness, a baron empty world. Reality might be a harsh place.

You might look back at the time when you were with the sociopath, your mind might be clouded, after all the sociopath was the master of illusion.

Remember that with the sociopath, nothing was as it seems. Nothing was real. It was only the reality that the sociopath allowed you to see. It is a false reality. This is why victims go into the fog of confusion after the relationship. The one thing you want to prove is that they are NOT a sociopath. However, the more that you read, (if your partner was/is a sociopath), the more you realise that you cannot deny the truth that is staring you in the face.

Breaking No Contact

There are many people who write here, almost ashamed sometimes to admit that they broke No Contact, and returned to their abuser. Everybody is different. Sometimes people need to see the truth for themselves. Sometimes the truth is hard to accept and to believe. However, when you return to the sociopath, after reading about sociopathic behaviour, you will be in no doubt what the truth is. The sociopath has to control. Not just some things, they are in control of everything. You will know the truth and strive to leave.

Finding reality

You might not like your world that you go into after being with a sociopath. After the constant contact from the sociopath, and the deliberate addiction and dependency that they create, it might feel hard, cold and lonely.

However, what IS important…. is that this is YOUR reality. This is a reality that you have control over. This is a reality where you can grow flowers in the garden. This is a reality that you can start to TRUST…. when you start to trust your reality, you can start to trust you!

Give yourself a chance…. if reality is hurting you right now, use this as an inspiration for change. Use this to inspire you to build a new world, and have the confidence that nobody can alter that reality – unless you allow them to!


Copyright 2013


74 thoughts on “Accepting reality after dating a sociopath!”

      1. Oh yeah! Lol! I’m back with “it” temporarily. I feel like a caged animal. Dying to get fed up with him enough to move on already!

  1. Now I get the whole lying manipulative stuff doesn’t help but I still don’t get why you lot fall for it so often, I mean come on surely there is a difference between seeing the good in people and accepting torture, maybe I just don’t allow myself to be deceived as much, I genuinely do wonder what it’s like on your side sometimes.

    1. This is the point though…. its not torture is it? …. if it were it would be easier to rationalise and to leave.

      When you lie, and manipulate for your own ends. You can really alter someones reality. You don’t know that you are being manipulated – because it is a good disguise of what is reality.

      Until the truth comes out…. you dont know that it is all fake and a lie. After the relationship has ended. you are left still trying to figure out – what was the truth and what was the lie.

      It is the mask of charisma, the fairytale picture that is painted. Its quickly turned around as well…. the sociopath is good at playing victim. If you are isolated from other people, you wont often notice that until later down the line.

      You fall for it, because you dont expect it. To us, you dont lie and manipulate those you love.

      1. OK that would explain the first few times (I don’t really think you need to tell me what socios are good at btw) it just seems obvious to me after a few times it gets noticeable.

        For the record you might not lie and manipulate that 1 person you truly love but every other relationship you have is teaming with lies and manipulation, at least that’s what I’ve seen of society.

    2. Why do we fall for it more than one time? If you know so well what Socios are good at then you know the extent they go to prove to us they have changed. It’s called faith and love. When you love someone you believe they are capable of being their best, you forgive them and you value the relationship enough to think its worth believing them. I often wonder myself why they come back time after time only to commit the same acts and to crush a human heart over and over. Why they don’t value someone that is loyal and has hope in them. Maybe you could shed some light on that for me?

      1. And for the record… The Socio tells you they love you and that you are their 1 person. We are led to believe that it is that ” 1 relationship” and that they just mess things up and don’t know why but are sorry and that they don’t know why they don’t value anything … It’s a sad seat to be in on the other side to see someone literally not capable of loving themselves and truly loving or receiving love from someone they know they can count on and trust.

    3. i thought the same thing JK until it happened to me. I thought i had great radar and great boundaries. And when an ordinary person lies to me, I often do know it right away. There are verbal and nonverbal cues, for one thing. No so for a psychopath. The lies and manipulation are not always obvious, especially at first. Remember, this is a person who convinces you you are the center of their universe, who makes you feel enormously happy and special, with whom the sex if frequently the best sex of your life. Mine didn’t immediately make it obvious when that was changing. it was subtle. they use a technique called gaslighting to confuse you and make you doubt your own sanity. My gut was telling me i was being lied to and manipulated; at first i didn’t want to believe it, then i couldn’t find any evidence, and so i wanted to believe i was wrong. They slowllllly break you down, pushing small boundaries at first to see what you’ll tolerate, and then systematically breaking the rest of them down until you are so tired and confused it’s hard to think straight. i am a very, very smart person and i would try to show him his inconsistencies thinking he would see what i was talking about because a normal person would then do something about it. i had no idea what his real motives or mind was like under the mask. By the time i realized how much trouble i was in, the pain of breaking it off for me was so extreme it was literally intolerable, and lacking any kind of social supports, i went back. Twice. also in the beginning one typical tactic is they play on your compassion with the sad story. mine had been horrifically abused as an infant (i was able to verify that was true later). So when he misbehaved in small ways, i was forgiving because i enjoyed the rest of the relationship so much at that time. I figured as long as the happiness outweighed the pain, i would stay. By the time it got to the point where it was intolerable i was being held physically and financially hostage and that went on for months before i was able to escape.

  2. Have read until i cant stay awake anymore,sociopath,ocd,narcissist,personality disorder,everyone who has dated my ex,has the same story,at least 60 people have told me she is crazy she is no good we all know about her, we just dont like to get involved ( thats until someone like myself falters) then everyone hits you with told you so..Never did anyone tell me how this person was..Learning lesson..Yet I go to work she is so happy or as I now see a new mask,this guy the best ever,Big fall coming off that pedestal as we all know,yet i want to be with her…Sick isnt that we all say..Its a constant reminder about how evil she is, and manipulated lied and cheated so many times i cant count and it was only 10 months..And i feel like it was 10yrs..4 yrs of having to look at her, I change my entire routine and she still finds me..UGH!!! First and last time i ever want to meet anyone like this again..I pray for everyone on this site..No Contacting her 4 months and it still hurts…

  3. Yep, I thought mine was my best friend, too. Thankfully I kept contact with my circle of friends, though obviously not as much, as he almost completely took over my life. (that’s the isolation trick they use – they don’t want to spend time with you because they love you, they spend time to control your life)

    One of my guy friends had told me that my ex probably decided to start trolling for someone else when he realized he couldn’t control me. I refused to purchase a house with him, as I told him that the timing wasn’t right for me, and that I would only do that with a husband. Oh, AND he wasn’t yet divorced from his first wife, AND he was being sued for 1/2 of everything plus support by another ex. What a douchebag.

    Once I was commiserating with another male friend who said to me “Better to sleep alone than to sleep with a traitor”. So true!

    It took my about 9 months from breakup to feeling fantastic in my own life. Think of it – that’s the human gestation period – the time it took to “birth” a new life for myself.

    1. Hi Darling,
      I think the same happened with my ex Soc. When he realized he couldn’t control me anymore and that i was becoming more independent/stubborn not less and when he asked me to start putting more money into the mortgage and i said not until i was on the deed, I am pretty sure that was when he started his plans to replace me… it took him another month to do so and all the while telling me how much he loved me and couldn’t wait for us to have a child… right up to the end.
      I’m almost five months from the break up and am really understanding it more and more. My rational and emotions have pretty much aligned.
      The future looks good.

      1. @It is done

        the future looks great! Now that we know the signs, we can use a little more discernment when it comes to choosing the people we let “in”.

        My big thing is to not date again until I know without a doubt that I will NEVER compromise myself for another man. The right man would never ask that of me, anyway, however – it’s the toads in between that I have to watch out for LOL.

        Best of luck! Hugs …

  4. Hello All You Beautiful and Amazing Survivors!!!

    I feel I am finally in the Acceptance phase and I have released my Anger and Hatred toward the man I thought I loved and knew. This has not been easy, I was an emotional Mess for Moons….while in the ‘relationship’ and after he left. I am Finally getting back to the Bright and Beautiful Woman I am….I have not felt so Happy and Healthy and Create since Before I met the assclown.

    No Contact: This is Essential. Though, I have not been so good Blocking him. He usually sends me an email about every two weeks…strange emails…I am at the point where I do not get sad or angry…I am intrigued as I SEE him for who he Really is: A Sociopath.

    Other relationships from my past, when they ended, they ended. Whether I broke up or he did, there was not more contact, no game playing…Healthy People Break Up Healthy. When you are breaking up from a Sociopath…they will still try and Game with you. This is NOT Healthy. This is NOT Normal. A Sociopath may ‘discard’ you, though they never ‘really’ go away. People who have no Empathy, have no boundaries.

    My encounter with the Sociopath began like a Fairytale, literally, I knew in my Heart and Soul the man I met was too good to be True. And, he was. Slowly, the ‘real’ person came out…like the unveiling of a Mask: SPOOOOOOKY. Verbal, Emotional & Physical Abuse followed.

    I have never been with a man who Abused me. AND, I never will be with another man who Abuses.

    His Control, Jealousy and Accusations were Draining. I spent most of the time Defending my Truth, instead of seeing what he was really doing “projecting”.

    Below is an email he sent to illustrate how sick these people are. He is clueless. Rationalizing his abuse. Remember, this is from a man who abused and pathological lied about most everything. I find it rather Amusing. Enjoy and the pain you feel now, WILL be replaced with Inspiration and you will be, as one blogger here is named, A Phoenix Rising!

    (( I blog on another site…obviously he tracks my blog, I do not have a boyfriend nor am I dating (again, Projection). He made this up. Yeah, he is the sort of fellow who would slap me across the face then go to a Meditation Retreat. You get my drift.

    “you look good in your new photo. Your new bf is working out well for you ; ) so do you finally concede that i wasn’t being jealous? ok i admit this, well what you call jealousy, is part of a larger pattern, a habit if you will. Tonight I began to see it for what it is. During meditation I had a glimpse of the issue. Of course I am jealous that MM (or someone else) is dating you but that does not translate to jealousy per se of the male. If i’m right what it amounts to is projection, yes as you pointed out, and a lack of commitment on my part.””

    ****** I love the lack of commitment bit…HE is the one who claimed he wanted to Marry me, have children, THEN, when we would go ANYWHERE he would accuse me of flirting …men, women, whomever was around. If I smiled at someone I wanted to sleep with them. He accused me of secretly wanted every man I came into contact with (even men young enough to be my children!!!!).

    Be HAPPY THEY ARE GONE! I am soo Happy. And, I know the Signs now…there were Red Flags from Day 1….even my Gut Instinct said something is OFF. Loving Someone deeply does take Courage, and we will All Love again…

    My Heart goes out to All of you. Hang in there…things DO get Better…the Up in Up!

    1. Wow! Thanks for sharing Illumnite13. He sounds troubled for sure. They choose power over love that’s way it boils down to. They don’t know the difference.

      1. That reminds me of a saying that came into my head a lot after psycho 2 …. When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace…. Unfortunately that will never happen with a sociopath!! 🙂

    2. Yes, mine too would be convinced that I was with another man, and would tell mutual acquaintances that I had been the one that broke his heart and was with other men. (The truth is that this was a fantasy of his that actually turned him on, he WANTED to hear that I’d slept with other men, ugh.) However his little cute comment about the new bf being good for you is such classic bait. This is “bait”, using flattering at the same time, is an attempt toget you to say “no…I’m alone…I couldn’t even be with someone if I wanted to because I’m so shattered….” SNAP, trap shuts and they have you, weak, lonely, and alone. The perfect opening to say how amazing and beautiful you are, or anything else they know you want to hear.

      I had to laugh when one of the last things my SP said to me was that I’m not that easy to live with. Ohhh hello pot says the kettle! Their reality is so incredibly distorted that it is comical when you get enough distance from it.

      You have to laugh at their tactics, see them for what they are, see how predictable they are, they are like sinister little bobble heads with recorded messages. (I like to use visualization to remind me what he really is.)

      No contact really is the best way. If he’s finding stuff out about you and making his comments, don’t take the bait. It’s soooo tempting to “tell them how it is”, to “set them straight”. What I did instead in a similar situation was I started sending out misinformation, various tid bits that didn’t add up, were fairly innocent, but was basically just lies and made up fiction. This took away his ammunition while distracting him from looking for the real story. Eventually they will lose interest, it feels like it will never end sometimes, but eventually, if you take away anything they can “get” from you, and any real information about you, they won’t have any choice but to go find the next target.

      1. Thank You Blue and Amy

        I Blocked him forever last night. I can not take any more emails….they bother me and I can not let him get under my skin anymore. I was doing so well, this morning I woke up ANGRY. I have never been lied to, manipulated and abused like this.

        On a Positive, I had a dream of a wonderful man last night…hmmm….at least we are all wiser and wont be duped again! These days, I am much more sensitive to any ‘signs’ I notice in men and women I meet and know….spooky…….the plus, I am also more sensitive to those who are Authentic and True…..those are the folks to give our time to…Authentic & True….

        My ex got to the point where he would stare off in space and blink his eyes like crazy when I was talking with him….liar…ooof…..not sure why I thought of that other than I was thinking, he probably blinks his eyes like crazy when he types those stupid emails of distortion and lies. Sounds like we have been dating the same guy. There should be a warning site for these criminals. “Beware ,….sociopathic womanizer on the loose”….

      2. In a way I suppose we did date the same man, even 7 time zones apart. In both cases it sent us on a path of discovery and research, (We probably have even had some of the same books on our beside tables.). What else can a person do after going through this madness for so long? You went one step further and created this amazing blog and you continue to write fantastic posts. I think everyone who reads the posts and comments is gaining more and more insight, as well as just feeling the support of those who really understand what they are going through. It’s simply fantastic.

    3. Wow that reminds me of my ex too. He got jealous of any male frnds i had, i lost them & most of my gfs too, 1 was too kind = to tell me she wasnt game to meet him when he offered to take me to visit her. He didnt like anyone who was strong,who could sus him out. I also had off gut feeling from 3 days into the rshp, as he got jealous of an ex plus me wanting to go to a concert, he did the lecturing, talkg fast at me. I was shocked, but decided to give him a chance & it turned out too many chances. Now 8 wks no contact.
      Yes i feel much healthier more energy he is gone, I do miss the dream, false person he pretended to be though. Never mind. I’m also reading the Love Fraud, Red Flag books, they’re awesome & want to study psychology.

      Mine has not tried to get me back this time, no emails no sms’s or calls from his parents, maybe he has let go of me at last. Probably has found a new, good source of supply, from what i’ve read in your experiences.
      love your inspiring, kind, positive words, outlook. Feel sorry for her if so. He hid his tracks well, he didnt take ph calls in front of me & we had fri nite apart, so he had time to look for someone new, groom her . Lots love,light, stay strong, this site & everyone is inspiring. xxx

      1. I hope for you that he has let you go at last. Keep remembering how ridiculous he is and if he does resurface you’ll be able to dismiss him as the little petty thing that he is.

  5. Accepting that what seemed so wonderfully real is a complete lie (or six) is one of the hardest things. My life was all planned out in a way I couldn’t wait. Now I find it was all a lie.

  6. positivagirl –

    Thank you so much for another wonderful essay. I am amazed at how much there is to say about these people, and the hurt they cause us. You always approach it in new ways, to help us victims find our way out of our nightmares.

    After two and a half years trapped in my situation, because I lost everything – I gave up everything to marry this man – who then later revealed he was a monster. It has taken so long, but I am finally in a place to get away from him. Your writings are a light in our darkness, and we need that light day after day. To keep going on until we have the opportunity to escape.

    I know things are tough for you now, and yet you still find the time and energy to write to help us. I cannot thank you enough…


  7. The main thing I always remember in my X Pyscopath was he would also say that “we connect, iv never connected with some one like you before”

    Always asked what I did, where I was going and who with but when you ask about them , they don’t seem to go in to much detail…

    Very clever “con men” you could call them… They ruin lives and it’s a very hard situation to just leave when all you’ve known was a lie in the first instance.

    All they do is play a game of winning and everyone else to them (including their family) becomes possession or collateral damage!

    When you finally realise what they are about… Run far from them – they are masters at their game, they have no feeling or emotion… Hence they have nothing to loose.

    Still in the early stages of my break up… But the more you read up and have that extra support and help you realise you are not to blame.

    It’s not your fault – unless you have physically been in a relationship with one… Many people will never understand. Surround yourself with those who do.

    Just remember their SP..the ones who can’t love, can’t feel emotion ( I’m sure they can feel pain though if you punch them square in the face…) all you need to know is they will never be complete….

    In time you can be x

  8. Mine said when God made us he molded us as one and that we shared the same bone marrow…huh…what a joke…leaves me after 2 weeks of marriage and moves back home 1000 miles away to never see him again…not ever a single fight…weird! and we were destined to be together! NOT!

    1. we barely had any fights either. he said this time We were going to be forever. When he broke it off he then devalued the relationship by saying “we were only together a short time, and implied it wasn’t serious. ummm… we were living together, on IVF, buying furniture, planning our holidays for the next 5 years, talking about marriage… but it wasn’t anything special or serious as we were together such a short time… what an arsehole!

      1. and bought a house together.. .which at the last minute i had a flash of sanity and decided not to go on the mortgage…

      2. That is devaluing. 20 months is hardly “nothing”. These guys and their pretend commitment. Makes you wonder what they do value, aside from themselves, obviously.

      3. They also value material possessions… well mine did anyway… until they got bored of it (pretty much the next day) and then it was time for the next item.

        It is interesting that I have thought how lucky i was that mine wasn’t so incredibly bad as some stories on here show they can be. but i realise now that he was constantly devaluing me and what was important to me, he was just so goddam subtle. But i also allowed it because i didn’t think i was worthy.

      4. Yes mine did he was like a magpie. I don’t know whether it was because he valued possessions…. or because he valued taking mine away from me…. in a short space of time he had conned money, food, roof over his head, tobacco, a mobile phone, ipod, expensive watch and a bike…. he did well. And with that lived off of me for 6 months. All with the deception of faked jobs that never materialised … with no pay in fact the jobs didn’t exist. he just pretended to go to work for material gain.

      5. I cant believe how low they go. It is just so bizarre to me. My ex was wealthy and had a job that paid very well… i also think he was taking “perks” on the side. So although he didn’t leach off me like yours and so many others did, i somehow still ended up broke, yet he was almost a millionaire. I think that the main reason he broke up with me was because i had stopped giving him so much access to my money. He wanted me to start putting extra money into the mortgage (i was paying $1500 a month in rent – which was way too much!) and i said when i went on the deed… the look on his face was as if i had just asked him to cut his penis off. After a few lame attempts to get me to put money in without going on the deed i think he finally realised that it was to much effort for no reward and therefore started actively searching for my replacement. Of course i didnt’ know this until final discard a month later

      6. I am being gaslighted as we speak! I asked for answers,as to why he says he is home when he is out. He pretends I’m talking to a guy and keeps pounding me (over a fake guy) lmao! He says “you’re instigating”! He admitted he lied, yet won’t explain further. I feel like I’m on the spin a wheel toy! Lol! 🙂

      7. HI bunnyshy, At least you are aware of it now… it must be weird to know what he is trying to do, while he is doing it… i only have retrospect. That would make me angry me thinks.

      8. It is done,
        Why am I still with this guy? I’ve come a long way. Instead of crying I am cracking up over the crazy making.(I used to cry a lot). It’s not working and he is probably getting more pissed off. He stopped texting me to play further! Haha! They bring it on themselves. I’m deeply sorry for what you went through. It’s hard to get to the stage I’m at. It’s not really funny per say but I am just fine. Not what he wanted! Keep coming here for support. It’s an important part of getting stronger.

      9. letting go is hard. I like how Pos in some of her posts likens it to giving up smoking, even though you know its bad for you, will be the death of you, you just keep going back for one more. I tried to give up smoking for many years and know exactly what she is talking about. I finally gave up after reading a book by Alan Carr “how to quit smoking”, in the book it actually said don’t quit until you have finished the last page of the book. I got to the second last page and stopped reading and kept smoking… however, what happened was that i kept going through what he said in my head, everytime i would light one up, i would realise that everything that he said was true after about 3 months of htis i read the last pages of the book and gave up. But this time it was different to all the other times… i really was finished with it, the mental addiction was broken.

        Maybe this is what you are going through now… youve read everything but the last page and are seeing everything with different eyes, seeing it as it really is and soon will come a day when you will read that last page and you will be done. You will be able to quit for good.

        I went cold turkey with my guy and although i sometimes still have a tiny doubt that what happened was real (1%) i am done. I have come a long way in a short time because of this wonderful support group.

      10. Amen girlfriend! We are here for each other, no matter what stage we are in. That is so important, since I went back to him. Everyone here understands.

    2. Speaking of giving up smoking – when I look back and am where I am now four years after, I still think of that relationship as an “addiction” and like any addiction, it is hard to quit. I would never, ever get back with this guy EVER because it was toxic – so are drugs.

      I think it’s just a daily struggle sometimes – it is getting easier, but do I still feel duped and stupid – you bet. That is the battle for me right now. Also, I find it distressing at times when I have absolutely no thoughts of him, yet something pops in and I get physically ill in my stomach.

      That’s the stuff now I can’t stand. That he still controls me to an extent – yet I know it is my choice to not allow that to happen. The subconscious is a powerful thing. I have no “love” feelings towards him anymore, yet, still he lingers like the smell of fried fish long after you’ve eaten it.

      It’s all about loss of control and addiction to something unhealthy. Logically, you never really held any control – but the spath made you feel like you did because it served his purposes (even if your control was only emotional-you loved him with everything you had, you at least had that control only to later find, it was bs)

  9. i am still dealing with the reality that the last 10 years of my life was all a lie, nothing was real. i lost everything . . . moved 3,000 miles away from home to be supportive of his dream, then he just left me there!

    1. They are horrible horrible people. The only consolation is that they live in a world without love or real emotions. They will never know the joy of loving someone wholeheartedly. They will never experience compassion, friendship, love, HUMANITY. They are empty shells. They get bored because they don’t have emotions to fulfill them. Even saddness brings growth and a stronger love and happiness in the future… does not winter make summer even warmer? bring gratitude for the warmth?

      1. Something interesting I watched the other day that helped explain the disconnect in emotions in spaths for me was that this guy who is one, but didn’t really understand what was wrong with him.

        He said that what made him “seek” out a diagnosis and realize this was when 9/11 happened. In his mind, he was thinking “I’m glad I don’t live in NY” – meanwhile, he watched as neighbors gathered outside, visibly upset and shaken and he was not and did not get why they felt that way.

      2. Wow, the 9/11 reflection is a very succint example of the sociopath mind inner-workings. I, probably like most people, remember exactly where I was and how I felt when I first learned of it. I was the first in my office to let others know as had been listening to the news through computer in real time while I worked. I went to the marketing secretary and said, “I think you better turn on a radio now.” Most of us had troubling focusing the rest of the day.

  10. My story: I was severely depressed and most definitely an empathetic person. It didn’t help that I chose to self medicate with alcohol about six months before I ran into my spath. He made me feel good, he made me feel like I was “it” – we were soul mates and I often question now (almost four years later) whether the “coincidences” that happened were actually planned mind control on his part.

    For whatever reason I fell hard. My spath never “asked” for anything and yet I felt compelled to do things for him because he was, in my mind, taking care of me (even though he had no job). He cooked, cleaned and did draw an unemployment check – what man does those things? I was in an 18 year marriage with four children which I left for this “soul mate fantasy” because I thought this guy was a “real” man and meeting my emotional needs – what a punch in the gut to me when I realized this wasn’t at all what was going on, nor was it a “chance” happening but a cold, calculated plan to victimize.

    I did not expect to leave my children permanently and the spath seemed to understand this claiming to me that he “wanted to be involved but my ex and my children were preventing him from this”. In retrospect, he wanted nothing but an object (me) in his life to control and we continued to move around placing me further from my intended goal of working things out with my kids and ex.

    Now, four years later, I have my ex-spouse(remarried now) back, my kids – but our relationships are forever changed. I have no friends and where I used to be very involved in lots of things – I rarely leave the house. I have built walls so high that even I could not scale them. (I am trying, though at times, it seems useless)

    My spath also gave me the “truth” up front about certain aspects of how his life was before I met him – thereby, when a relative might mention “he did this, did you know he did that” – well, of course I did – he already told me and because of the manipulation – I believed and reasoned his justifications for his actions. After all, if he was trying to hide anything, why would he tell me to begin with? It made sense at the time.

    Of course, before I was with my spath, I had never been in a physically/mentally/emotionally abusive relationship either and until we moved in together – just two months after we met – that is when he started the control. He had me isolated, he had me under his thumb and he also was stripping me of all that mattered to me. Things I enjoyed in life and thought of as precious, he became “part” of, so that when the relationship was over, I had a very difficult time (still do) doing things that I regarded as “sacred” in my life until I met him.

    I guess I got the point that things may not work out, yet still I stayed and continued to believe I would have a life with this man. The biggest turn around for me was being pulled over while with him by the police, I had never been in trouble before this, though my spath had definitely put me into situations that absolutely could have sent us both up the river.

    I got some minor charges and was ordered to seek counseling. After my first appointment, my spath was seemingly “happy” for me – but as I continued as ordered by the courts to do, he did not like it at all and tried to mind-game me into “you are weak because you keep going” when in reality – it was him being worried of what I was saying and also being told by a therapist. Thank God for that Judge!

    The two events I remember vividly were one day him claiming yet again “his love for me, his life was depending on me, were we still getting married (got me onto this fantasy within about a month!)… blah blah blah to which I answered calmly, everything is find now, why don’t we just wait and go with what we have. Not to mention that my spath was still married to his first wife (he’s left her 10 years prior), but through my divorce before I knew this was extremely agitated and blaming me for the process taking so long (as though I was the one holding things up purposely-which I wasn’t)

    It was about a year after the relationship started and I had a “real” job that I had just started that things really began to unravel. He constantly called – came to have lunch and complained about me not returning his calls. He did not like it at all that I might actually be talking to other people and forming a life outside our relationship.

    I went to the bank and of course, he was with me everywhere I went so he sat next to me as I did not put his name on the account. The joint account we held together had a debit card and he sat right in front of the bank person, took his card from that account out of his wallet and tore it into little pieces by hand to show his disliking of that move. Later, he would spit in my face and corner me and say “you think you’re so big now that you’ve got a job”. Yeah, real nice – mind control.

    I never fought back to my spath. I am a talker (as you can see) – but that year and a half was the quietest year of my life.

    My spath constantly lied, stole and manipulated not only me, but the people HE knew. I did not realize any of this until after I made him leave and started to get sober again. Also, something I want to mention is with my spath – he was not going to leave… I know now looking back he was WAITING for ME to oust him, then he could move on and make it look like my fault. Some of his last words to me were “I’m not going to be alone”… needless to say, he was with a girl (I believe now long before he ever left me) within days and married a month after (bigamy!).

    Also – my spath did the following that brought me to the conclusion that this is what he was – he was an addict in every sense of the word (alcohol, pills, sex). He took risks – some of them unknown to me until after (like shoplifting when I was with him) and many more that could have involved personal injury or arrest, he blamed me when we got pulled over and told the officers his dope (which I did not smoke) was mine, I’m convinced now he cheated – probably repeatedly. He tried to hack into my pc, something I never knew until after he left. When I was laid up in the hospital at one point, he went and took photo’s of MY things to sell (also, did not know this until after he left because God forbid I was ever allowed on my computer when he was around). Much, much more – and all the lists they have/guidelines for being a sociopath – he meets them all!

    The first time I saw the list, (because I never knew what a sociopath was-I thought it was the same thing as a psychopath) – I couldn’t believe it.

    The hardest thing is what brought me to this article and the choice to share some of my story – while I was genuine in all things with my spath, coming to terms with him not being genuine even though he seemed to be – has been the hardest battle I’ve ever had to fight.

    Realizing that I am not “young” and feeling very stupid after considering myself a smart person and also a good read on people got slammed right into my face and also into every aspect of my life. I am still processing the facade because he was such a pro, which makes sense because he’s been doing this a very long time.

    I often wish I could just wipe the non-reality completely out of my mind – but the truth is, that will never happen.

    It is an uphill battle because I’ve lost trust in people in general. While my ex (spouse) decided to take me back, I am a completely different person than I was before and have lost more inside myself than the depression ever could have taken away by itself.

    I take a little satisfaction from a recent encounter with people he introduced me to and found out that I am not CRAZY because they also are onto him and his illegal activities and I cried when I found out what he has done to them (they are older). It is all about opportunity for him.

    Anyway – it helps to talk about it and also to read posts and things sometimes about it knowing that I am not alone.

    I wish peace to all those who have and will have someone in their life like this. I know we are not “bad” people – otherwise, they wouldn’t have chosen us to manipulate.

    1. Wow thank you so much for sharing your story. You write it so very well. How they isolate to control. Create dependency and addiction by being so very helpful and indispensible. Their goal is to have you as someone that they own and control. Its the ultimate mind fuck. Thank you for sharing your story. How are you doing today? Was it the counselling that got you away from him?

      1. I believe if I had never been “forced” into counseling, the relationship would have continued. I had nowhere else to go and no way to get away from him, which at the time, I was not trying to do at all.

        My mother often said near the end of that socio-ship (LOL it certainly wasn’t a relationship was it?) that he never wanted to see me well and it was so true.

        He would feign “Do what you need to do, honey” in different scenarios – but by the second or third time I was doing those things I needed to do, he would go off on a rant – clearly not happy – especially therapy.

        Two other things he did, showing the isolation – I was in the hospital for just three days, he would not leave my side (again, you can’t talk to others- paranoid).

        Another time, my father was in the hospital on life support and socio was NOT happy at all that I stayed by my fathers side the entire time thinking he may die (he was supposed to die when they removed him from the machines, but miraculously survived!). Still in the fog – I excused his behavior although I was not at all happy about it.

        It was my therapist who told me he felt that my ex may be a socio and I had no clue what that was until I looked it up when the socio was (for once) out of the house. Of course, I continued to justify the actions for another four or five months before booting him out for good.

        We also went to an AA meeting together (promised me he would try with me to stop drinking). I was succeeding at not drinking, him being a lifetime alcoholic was much harder however.

        The second AA meeting we were to go to, we were a half hour early to and he emphatically stated to me “this is bs, I’m not waiting” and we left – needless to say, he never went back. I went to a few more.

        Also – one time I kicked him out after being sober I think 2 months. He called me and told me that “if you need a drink, I have a bottle of vodka hidden in the dresser”……….now – who on earth wants to see you get better and does that? Answer = my socio. (just a note, I did not drink that night).

        I want to add one more thing – when I tried to call my socio out after I booted him by saying he will never have his claws in me and also bringing to his attention that I knew he had his claws in the very few friends he had (mostly older, like in their 70’s, good hearted, easy to take advantage of)

        – oh boy, he did not like that at all and said “I must be living in some movie land, where did I come up with this (cause I’m crazy) and how dare I even attempt to come down on him about his other friends who he has knows his whole life???”…

        well there was more to it than that but it’s been so long I don’t even remember the rant I got from that LOL. I never outright called him a socio – more made it clear I knew his game though.

    2. Hi Judy,
      I relate to your story. It’s painful to read of your depression though and feelings of loss of self. I do hope you will be able to come to terms with the fact that you don’t deserve punishment for rest of your life. You have obviously made the moves to set things right. You should know that this happening doesn’t make you unintelligent or bad, just manipulated, as you said, by a professional deceiver. We hardly have a chance when confronted with these types. If still with counseling, maybe that’s something you are already working through. I wish you and family the best as I’m sure you will grow stronger and stronger.

      1. I know – in therapy now, the question is “for how long am I going to punish myself for this?”

        Also – when asked “what is the biggest obstacle that will prevent you from attaining your goals?” – my answer, ME!

        Thanks for the kind reply!

  11. I have been split up with what I now have only realised is my sociopathic ex for 2 years and finding all this out now has hit me like a bus. We have a child together, moved away from all my friends and family as he got us put on witness protection while I was pregnant! Knew from the reasons we got put on it that he wasn’t right but just was taken in by his adoration for me, he put me on such a pedestal and I just believed his reaction to things and his behaviour was just because he worshipped the ground I walked on. We were only together a few months when he convinced me to come of the pill and because I was vulnerable as he knew when he met me I was devastated about the break up of a previous ex and always wanted kids I felt so special. I put up with his sometimes physical (jumped on my leg while standing above me on the bed, shoved me into doors so I’d have massive bruises, through water over me but was always careful not to slap or punch me cos I think in his eyes was different) emotional and mental abuse for 6 years until he said he didn’t want to be with me any more. I knew I had to wait for him to say it as he would of made my life hell and threaten to kill himself. Well I was relived….till months later he found out someone else was interested in me and then the hell happened. But I just thought his insane crazy jealous was just because he found it hard because he loved me. Now I know its because someone else was taking his pawn, his prize possession. Oh and also he would have occasional bouts of seizures and memory loss and wake up a completely different person and he would woe me all over again. Yes it sounds crazy I know. But then, just like that he just forgot about me, had no interest and for 2 years I haven’t been able to move on with my life as I’ve been wondering how can someone who adored me so much, to this day tell me I’m the only girl he has ever loved then not give me a second thought and start sleeping around (something he said he would never do) and I was so confused about how I felt….I didn’t know if it was just confusion because of our whole, intense relationship …or if it was because I was still in love and wanted him to notice me…I just didn’t know. Until I by chance, came upon an article on red flag signs you are dating a sociopath. And I haven’t stopped crying. I’m relieved, in a way to know it wasn’t my fault and I did nothing wrong, but also in mourning kinda, knowing I gave up my life for something that was never real.
    We have remained ‘friends’ as we have joint access to our child so its not like I can just cut him out of my life and have no contact.

    1. Hi Reality, welcome to the site 🙂 You can’t cut him out of your life. But there are things that you can do, to protect you, and to stop his ability to manipulate and control you. To do this, you need to not display emotion. As for sure he will manipulate your emotions.

  12. UPDATE –
    Tonight I went to dinner with a friend that i met through my ex-SP. After he and I split, I hadn’t talked to her for a long time, but she moved to the same city as me a while ago, and wanted to touch base. I was uncertain, only because I didn’t know what was being said about me (she was one of those who warned me about him when we started dating)

    I am so glad I met up with her, because I realize that she sees my ex for who he really is, and she told me she was so glad that I had escaped. She also said that she and his sister can’t stand the new wife, and she thought he was well on his way to cheating on her too. (which she also said would serve her right, since the new wife knew he was with me when she started seeing him)

    She also said that he only has good things to say about me, and even defends me when his new wife starts dissing me. (and I asked my friend – “well, wtf did I do? I gave him the very best of myself, and it was him who used me”) My friend told me that he acknowledged it was unfair to not pay me rent while he lived with me, but it’s his wife who doesn’t want him to pay me back. He could be saying that only to look like a standup guy, but at least he’s not smearing me – because NO ONE who knew me would buy any of his bullshit anyway, and would completely call him on it.

    Anyway – he has created a complete shit show for himself, and there is no one else to blame. I told my friend that at the time he and I were together, and looking at rings, and I “thought” I was happy, that I never would have imagined that my life would be so fantastic as it is right now (without him).

    So, you see, there are people who CAN see through the veil of illusion. And I want those of you who are still suffering to know that you can rebuild and get back on track. Be kind to yourselves, and get back to who you are.

    No man (or woman) who really loves you will use you, or take advantage of you. When it is right there is no question – he (or she) will accept you for who you are, and you won’t have to “put up with” inappropriate behaviour, or feeling like you don’t matter in a relationship.

    Hang in there, it will get better.


    1. Oh, and one more thing. Both my friend and his sister feel that he was “grooming” me for quite a while before we got together. When I told her the classic SP strategy as I learned on this site, she thought for a minue, and I could see the lightbulb go on.

      Thanks, Pos, for helping so many of us through this maze and confusion.

  13. Sigh. I broke the non contact. Wow, did it bite me in the ass. He was the same mentally ill person as before (oh the promises of change…lies, lies and more lies).
    I literally ended it by saying “You are sick. There is something wrong with you”, and there is….he is a sociopath. He does not care about others. He lies and deceives and uses others in order to get what he wants. He is sick.
    And he’s been getting help for bipolar, but can’t address with therapist the main issue, that he is a sociopath.

    1. Thing is, the patterns always repeat. They might hold it together for a while, but then when they feel they are losing control (or things a’re going too well) it all kicks off again. Don’t feel bad sometimes your heart takes a while to catch up with what your head already knows.

  14. No Contact is definitely going to be the hardest part. He goes to my church, and is soon going to become my bible study leader. I don’t want to let him chase me out of the community that I love (And one of my few support systems), but that also means that I’m going to have to see him at least twice a Sunday. He still offers to walk me home after dark so I can be safe, told me he’ll beat up creepers for me, offers to buy me dinner, etc… he acts like we’re still the same, and that makes me fall in love with him all over again. I’ve only been back to him once, asking to work with him and try again, but he’s made it clear he’s not willing to get help. Just last night he talked about how things were just really hard right now and he was really stressed, and before I could think I declared ‘Do you want to talk about it? I’m willing to help you.’ Thankfully, he declined, saying he just had things he needed to work out on his own. It’s just hard seeing him being that charismatic and charming person he’s always been and falling in love with him over and over again, knowing that I hae to move on.

  15. Hi I’m currently no contact with my ex sociopath for 5 months now. He done all that love bombing stuff, after 1 month his mood was changing a lot. He lied about having cancer. Being evicted from his house, buying planes, he came out of the toilet with a huge mark around his neck, he lied about having whiplash in the car accident I was in. when I tried to speak up to him he would go into a rage, when I told my parents about his ‘cancer’ he went crazy at me calling me names, my head was spinning I didn’t know what was going on, he claimed that he lost his passport (lie) I know myself that I never had great boundaries, when I tried to leave him his aunt came on the phone to me and said to me that N missed me, and asked me all these question like ‘do you like him’? I felt like I was being dragged back into it. I completely lost control of myself I lost 2 stone within one month of being with him, I ended up with insomnia due to the stress, when he got mad at me he started banging his head against the wall, he kept saying to me that he will go to the doctor or there was a letter to come In the post for his depression. He emotionally, mentally and sexually abused me. When I finally got away from him his aunt phoned me and went mad at me, she said to me what an awful person I was for treating the N in the way I did, she basically spent 15minutes digging into me. I broke up with him when I found out that he lied about his passport being stolen and being stranded all night, which stressed me out even more. His parents confirmed that his passport wasn’t stolen but his aunt sided with the N and I couldn’t make head or tail of it all. Every time I tried to get away or even disagree with him he played the victim. After the phone call from the aunt. The narc started msg me abusive messages ‘don’t accuse me of f*****g lying and I will rip your f*****g head off. He tried to get my attention by trying to get someone to lie to me about the N being in a car crash, to try and get my attention, but I saw the message and the Narc even wrote ‘lol’ beside ‘car crash’. The narc then sent me a picture of a rope around his neck to my inbox which still gives me nightmares with a text msg saying ‘I told you I’d do it’. He then sent me suicide poems and tombstone messages with his date on birth.
    One month ago he started sending me friend requests with new profiles but I kept on blocking him, then he sent me a message to my fb music page saying all his achievements since we broke up and how great his life is and how he is not suffering from depression, the then sent me a picture of him and his new boyfriend saying ‘he is good to me’ I failed my uni exams because of all of this and I’m trying to get myself back together again. It’s really hard. I get a lot of flash back of all the events and nightmares. I am redoing all the exams again for uni. The narc seems to have forgotten about me now
    If you have any advice it would be greatly appreciated 🙂

    1. Well first of all, he sounds like a sociopath and not a narcissist. They really are crazy. Their behaviour is beyond crazy. The aunt is calling you as he is lying to her about you. She doesn’t know the truth and he is playing victim to get sympathy. He isn’t a narc I don’t think he sounds like a sociopath. You will identify with everything I have written on this site My ex faked cancer too.

  16. Once my ex convinced me over time that almost everyone in my life was “not really my friend” or “not supportive of us” or “had ulterior motives”… The list goes on… He started in on my kids. My first husband and I enjoyed a relatively comfortable co parenting arrangement at the time. my narc started with him,” he doesn’t need to use our restroom”, “how rude he’s 10m late”, “he doesn’t respect me as head of this house…” Blahhhhhhh until I found myself taking my kids father to court to appease my narc. He actually convinced me he would leave me if I didn’t because I “was too weak to see what a terrible person my kids father was”… I lost custody that day. It was the worst day of my life.

    Then, 3 years after I finally left the narc he manages to somehow actually BEFRIEND my first husband- convinced him that all of that drama was my fault and my idea. When the narc wrote me an email about what great friends the two of them now are having escaped my “lies and manipulations…” A HUGE lightbulb went off for me:

    There is simply no act that is beneath their pursuit of ego supply and torture. True evil DOES exist and those of us who survived being in bed with the Devil himself are fortunate beyond measure.

    1. I am sorry that you went through this. I do understand. It is absolutely horrific what they put people through. Why do they do it? For no other reason than power, control, and to ruin someone else. Did you manage to regain friendship with father of your children?

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