I have lost count of the amount of emails that I have received from people who have said that they had an affair with what they believed to be a sociopath, that they were having an affair behind their partners back. Often this is also combined with the fact that the sociopath that they became involved with, works with them too.
Why do sociopaths target married or attached people?
You might think, if they are so controlling, charismatic and charming, why would they want to obtain someone who is with someone else? If the victim was so in love, why did they cheat?
First of all, remember what it is that the sociopath loves most of all?
2. Being in control
What better way is there for them to achieve BOTH of those things, than by targeting a married/attached person in the workplace? Not only can they ‘win’ the victim from their partner, they can also use the threat of exposure BOTH in the workplace, AND threats of informing the partner to enable to them to retain control.
Remember that the sociopath has a secret radar, and is an opportunist, they are always listening out for information that you readily give away, ready to capture their next victim. The sociopath knows that if they target you in the workplace, this is somewhere that they can have and retain full control over you, and you will find it very difficult to escape.
- You won’t want to be exposed to your work colleagues/bosses and look unprofessional
- If they are also attached, this makes it highly unlikely that they would be exposed and found out
- They can retain control over you. Even after the relationship has ended, causing you to constantly live in fear
- They see you every day at work, see your interactions with others, see how you operate, the things you say the way that you work.
- As you only see the sociopath in the ‘work’ situation, it is easy for them to be whoever they want you to see, as you don’t get to see their real life, real family/friends. They can feed you the story of how they are unhappy at home, likely how much of a hero they are, that they only stay …. because…. (often the children, or their sick partner), how their partner is the bad one
- They listen out for subtle clues that you give away. So if you are complaining about your current partner, what your partner is NOT providing, they take mental note, then enjoy the opportunity to be everything that your partner is not
- Knowing that you will not be able to expose them, without looking unprofessional, if they are using you for any kind of supply, they can continue to do so. They know that you will have no choice but to ‘put up and shut up’ or ‘leave and get another job’.
What to do if you are in this situation
In some senses, you are trapped. Likely you will find it difficult to escape as the sociopath has blackmail and personal knowledge that can and will be used against you to threaten you with, they will always have this if you continue to work in the same place as them. Constantly you live in fear of exposure. No contact is hard if you choose to end the relationship, as you are forced to be in contact with them for business reasons, and this will enable them to remain in control of you, controlling you through fear.
There are many people who want to get out of the relationship, but know that they are stuck, and unable to leave the relationship, if the sociopath does not want the relationship to end. You would become aware, that you risk losing everything if you were exposed.
- Current relationship
Yes it might feel that you have dropped into an absolute nightmare. Often people go into these relationships not ever having heard of a sociopath. Not knowing what they are, they are reassured that this can only be a genuine connection, after all, often they are risking the same as you, their relationship, employment, finances, home and reputation.
The sociopath knows that none of this is true, and that they have the upper hand. If you choose to have an affair with a workplace sociopath, be prepared for a very bumpy ride ahead, should you choose NOT to be with them anymore (and they don’t want to let you go).
One thing to bear in mind
Sociopaths love to THREATEN, by threatening you they hold the upper hand. Once they have carried through with their threat they lose control, as there is nothing further for you to lose.
People write to me and ask me how they can make this situation better? They say that they admit that they have made a mistake and want to end the affair, but are scared. They wonder how they can minimise the damage to their life.
Remember that sociopaths control through fear, and manipulate using fake love and flattery.
What to do if you are in this situation
First of all you need to take personal responsibility for your actions. No matter how seducing, and enticing the sociopath was towards you, it was you that gave information that highlighted weaknesses in your current relationship (nobody else can get in, unless you leave the door open)
It was you that cheated on your partner
It was you that (if relevant) broke company policy by having relationship within the workplace
It is so easy to seek answers of what to do, now that they realise that their partner was a sociopath. They look for answers of ways to get the sociopath off of their back. They look for answers that will say that the sociopath is the bad person etc, basically looking to place the blame elsewhere.
This is one time that you need to take ownership, possession and control of your own misgivings, and realise that you were the one who chose to have an affair. You took those risks.
Once you have taken responsibility you bring back the focus to you. If you continue to look to blame them, you will be looking for an easy way out.
The truth is that that there IS no easy way out. This is one time in life, where you have to take personal responsibility.
If the sociopath doesn’t want to let you go, they WILL threaten you with exposure. Whether this is said, or unsaid, they will threaten you and cause you to live in fear.
This is one time that you have to take responsibility for your actions
Sociopaths don’t have respect for that much. Hey they even struggle with self respect, they don’t respect anyone that breaks the ‘moral code’ and there is nothing that they love best, than to cause you to live in fear, make you squirm and feel uncomfortable. They won’t be feeling the same way as you do, as they know:
- You would be unlikely to expose them, as this would expose you
- Quite frankly they don’t really care if you did. They are pathological liars, and if you did expose them, they would lie far better than you.
What to do if you are in this situation
The best hope would be if you have information that you know you can hang on the sociopath, if they exposed you and to make sure that they know this . This would need to be additional to the fact that they broke office policy, and/or they cheated on their partner.
While they like to be in control of others, and thrive on controlling others, they also take great pride in the occasions when they manage to control themselves and hate to lose control. Remember the sociopath is the greatest hypocrite on earth, while they love to have control over others, they hate losing control.
- Do not display emotions (they feed off of this)
- Look to see if you can transfer to work elsewhere
- Prepare for a bumpy ride ahead, unless you don’t actually mind being exposed
- If you think’it can’t get worse’ believe me, it could, don’t be complacent. Sociopaths are very good at ‘killing’ their victims at the end, absolutely destroying you, and your world, and making themselves look good. No doubt they have already thought through the possible scenarios and what they would say. They think fast, and are probably more convincing liars than what you are. They would say anything about you, to make themselves look better, and would play victim, creating further trouble for you.
- Think about your own relationship, the value that you have with your relationship. Would you have an affair if it was a relationship that you were happy in? While you might not want to hurt your partner, think about whether they deserve to know this information – would you want to know? I would.
- Remember that the sociopath is probably unlikely to actually tell your partner (they might) – but they are unlikely to, if they have a partner themselves. If they don’t the risk that they could expose is higher. However, sociopaths thrive more on ‘threats’ than actually carrying out those threats. Once they have carried out the threat, yep your life is destroyed, but they no longer have control over you.
- Remember that No Contact is healing, and this can be difficult to achieve in the work place. Again, for your own sanity, it might be a positive for you to look at seeking employment elsewhere.
- If you are forced to work with them. Do not display emotions. Only talk business, and keep it professional. Do not allow them to see that you are unnerved.
- Do not continue the affair, to keep the sociopath happy and to stop them from exposing you.
- Do not talk about it in the office – if you do, the sociopath is likely to use this thread of truth, to twist the truth, and make you look bad (other people would think it IS true what they are saying, as they recall the part of the truth that you told them)
Take responsibility for your actions. Keep a calm head, and focus not on what could go wrong, and what they could do to you (living in fear) instead address what you can do, to put things right. How can you make this situation better? What would make it better for you? Often, getting another job, is the only option, for peace of mind, and your own sanity, and being able to work, earn a living, and not live in constant fear of exposure.
What are your thoughts? Have you been in this situation? Did you overcome it? What did you do to overcome it? What happened?
Do you know someone that that this happened to? Or how did it feel to you, if your partner was the sociopath who had an affair in the workplace?
Doh! I just realised that I didn’t answer what the actual title was!! ‘Why do so many sociopaths target married/attached people?
The short answer is
- Because they can
- They have a sense of entitlement and think that they are better/more superior to anyone else
- When you are attached, they have something over you, to report you to your significant other
- They don’t have respect for people who cheat. (despite they can do this themselves) – we know they are hypocrites and a false sense of morality, so feel justified to ruin you – or threaten to
- They enjoy being in control and winning – taking someone from someone else, achieves this, they take you from someone else, they win your emotions from someone else, there is no greater prize than this!
Copyright datingasociopath.com 2015