Trust after dating a sociopath

Losing trust

Trust is an important part of any relationship. We need to trust others, to be able to have a healthy normal relationship. When you have been in a relationship with a sociopath, there is no doubt that your trust has been abused. Not only has it been abused, the sociopath relied on your trusting nature to use you for whatever they wanted.

You probably ignored ‘red flags’ that were shouting and yelling at you ‘this is wrong’ ‘run’….Instead you listened to further lies provided by the sociopath. The sociopath takes great pleasure in dupers delight and the joy of conning someone. Of thinking that they are more clever than you. Having no regard for your welfare, your rights, and has no respect for you or your life. When the truth comes out about the sociopath it can be difficult to learn to trust again.



When you realise the truth about the relationship with the sociopath. It is the ultimate betrayal. Somebody that you trusted with everything that you have, abused you. It can take quite some time to:

  • See the reality
  • To accept that the person you have been with has lied and cheated
  • Get over the hurt and pain of being betrayed
  • Learn to trust again

Second chances

You might even, being deluded that the person might change, give a second chance. Only to  later discover that you have only set yourself up for another betrayal. The sociopath would come in with another mask and make empty promises, and for a short while, will be Mr Fabulous, Mr Amazing, Mr Everything. But remember, that the sociopath always does the following in a relationship:

  • Assessment
  • Seducing
  • Gaming
  • Ruining

They would have accurately assessed your needs, and sold you back your dreams to lure you in. But quickly the mask will slip. You will see the psycho keen for control return. In fact, it will be worse second time around, as this time the sociopath knows that you might take him back after he has done it to you once. There is no point ever taking back a sociopath. They cannot change. It is part of who they are. Taking them back will only reinforce that you will allow them to use you more.

Recovery and trust with others

Whilst in the relationship with the sociopath, it is likely that the sociopath isolated you from others. Gaslighted you, and turned you against others. Reinforcing that nobody can be trusted. All sociopaths gaslight, and take pleasure in the confusion that this causes, and ultimately the enhanced control that they have over you resulting from that confusion. It can be difficult to trust after being abused. How the sociopath treats people within a relationship is abuse. Whether they are charismatic or distempered sociopaths, how they treat others is abuse. The most important thing to them is control. Control over every area of your life. He will control your every move, and manipulate your actions with others (out of fear of losing control).

To learn to trust others, you need a plan. It will take time. But you can do this!

How do you learn to trust others after a sociopath relationship?

Many people report that after a relationship with a sociopath they are left with their life in ruins, and having to rebuild their life from scratch. Some people are lucky, in that they retained friendships, and people close to them. However, even in this case, if the damage done by ruining and smear campaigns was limited, it is important to take a step by step approach to recovery and learning to trust. If you jump in too fast, wanting to remove the pain that you are feeling, you could end up hurt all over again. After the smear campaigns (if this happened) you will be left not knowing who you can trust, and confused. Take a step by step approach to healing and recovery and learning to trust:


  • Do not go into another relationship before you have fully healed. Concentrate on your own recovery
  • Take things slowly
  • Realise that you have been abused, likely severe psychological abuse, and therefore your perceptions and view of the world have been altered.
  • Treat yourself like your own best friend
  • Start off small. If you have people in your life who you trust, who you have known for a long time. Talk to them, they will love you for you, and remind you of who you truly are (not who the sociopath made you into)
  • Realise that there are only two primary emotions in life, LOVE and FEAR. You need to get rid of the fear and replace that fear with love. That could be love for things you love to do, love for people who are close to you, love for your work, love of beautiful environments
  • Be realistic
  • Don’t beat yourself up, you might be a changed person, but you will also be a wiser person
  • If beforehand you were ‘life and soul of the party’, be realistic and don’t jump back into that zone. It is likely that behind your back the sociopath has done further damage to you than you realise. Keep it small, keep it simple, keep it beautiful – and find the beauty within you
  • Find reality, in your life there is reality. There is something comforting in knowing that whilst everything can change, there are some things which remain the same
  • ONLY be around (apart from work, where you have to be around others), as much as you can, only be around people you trust. For a while.
  • Write down a list of things that you love about YOU – write ten things down on paper
  • Write down a list of five things that you want to achieve – even if they are small things, write them down. You will feel good about you, once you tick off those things when you have achieved them
  • The purpose of doing the above, is important. It will help you to find YOU again. it will help you to find the real things that make you
  • Understand about the risks of meeting another sociopath after meeting a first. Take time out to heal and recover. Most importantly, to love yourself.

What is the point? I cannot trust….

As hard as this might be to see, there is a point. There is a point to all that has happened to you. No matter how difficult it seems. The point is quite simple – YOU SHOULD LEARN TO TRUST YOU!!! Nobody else can make you happy. Only you can do this. The secret of true happiness lies within.

Be your own best friend. People can come and go in life, but each day the one person that you need to wake up to is you. The one person you need to love every day – is YOU. Realise that the sociopath has taught you the most important lesson of your life. To trust yourself. Sometimes you need to meet a pathological liar, to learn to trust your own judgement.

If the sociopath has done a ruining or smear campaign. Know that this person can never cause long term damage to the true people in your life. You might lose, but additionally it causes a life clear out, so that you can learn who you can trust and who is worth having in your life. Those that doubted you, how much did they believe in you? Your real true friends will always be by your side. For they love the person that you are. Discover the true you again. Move on from the gaslighting and the abuse. Follow your heart, and focus on things that you love. Things that bring you happiness and peace in your soul. You are worth it.

About new relationships and dating again

trust as a brick

The important thing, before you go into any new relationship, is to ensure that you are recovered and healed fully from the relationship with the sociopath. First of all, you need to let go. Not use somebody else to get over the last person. This is not a wise thing to do, because the person that you are when you go into the relationship (if you haven’t healed) is not the true you. The sociopath would have warped your sense of self by controlling you. You might think that it is unlikely to meet another sociopath, but the reverse is true, because you have been damaged by the sociopath, your risks of meeting another are high. The reason for this is simple:

  • You are hurt
  • You have been lied to and betrayed
  • You are seeking something, someone to trust, for someone to take that pain away

A sociopath would be more than happy to offer to be that person. Would sell you your dreams, coming out of a relationship which was abusive, they would quickly take away that pain, simply for it to be replaced with further pain and betrayal in the future. When you are ready, when you do love yourself, and when you feel that you have something to offer somebody (rather somebody completing that missing part of you) – there is no missing part of you!! You just have to find somebody again…

  • Take it slow
  • Make sure that you go at your own pace, don’t be pressured
  • Be clear about what you want
  • Don’t brag about what you have to offer (as the sociopath would be attracted to this)
  • Be wary of online dating, they are often rich pickings for sociopaths
  • If you do use online dating, do not put too much personal information about yourself
  • Make a list BEFORE you look for someone to date (don’t be unrealistic) but also don’t compromise! Often those compromises are red flags that we are missing. Make a list of the qualities that are important to you. But don’t advertise what you are looking for. (as the sociopath can quickly be that person). Keep that list to yourself.
  • Actions are more important than words
  • Don’t talk about your ex in early days
  • Realise that you are worth it
  • If you see red flags – RUN and DON’T look back!! (there are plenty more fish in the sea)
  • Remember that trust has to be earned – if someone seeks trust before they have earned it, if it feels wrong, you are probably right!! Someone who loves and respects you, will love all of you, and be happy to wait and take it at your pace – if they are not, if they want to jump in fast, they are probably not worth it
  • Most importantly – HAVE FUN!

Only spend time with people who make you feel good about YOU. This might sound selfish. You need to be. Ending the relationship with the sociopath is only part of the journey. The next step is loving you. Discovering you again. Learning about your own hopes and dreams. Setting yourself up to fulfil those dreams.

The biggest lesson of meeting the sociopath

Is to learn to love yourself. To learn to trust yourself. To realise who YOU are. You can learn to trust again. But first, you have to find the wonderful, creative, beautiful you. :) You want and deserve somebody who you can trust to catch you when you fall… and to do that, you need to truly trust yourself!!

Trust yourself, so that you can trust somebody to catch you if you fall!

All rights reserved, Copyright 2013 not to be reproduced, re-written or re-published in any format, without the authors permission

55 thoughts on “Trust after dating a sociopath”

  1. Thank you. This is enormously helpful, especially the part about offering something to someone else in a new relationship-NOT having them fill something that is missing. Thank you thank you thank you.

  2. I just wanted to ask: What if someone asks you out during your healing/transition, and you wouldn’t mind getting to know them, but dating them seems a little daunting… ? What do you say without disclosing too much information?

    1. the risk that you have if you start dating before healing and recovery – is that you risk meeting another. When you have another relationship before you are ready your energy goes onto the other person – and not you. After the relationship with a sociopath you need your energy for you. If your mind is telling you this is too difficult it might be telling you this for a reason – trust yourself and listen to you! 🙂

      1. Thank you for this. I met another man and it has felt like pulling teeth. He’s moving too fast for me and I had a melt down. Now I know what to tell him. Bless you!

      2. Yes, go careful if they are trying to move too fast!! …. someone who is right for you, will go at your pace. Going too fast, doesn’t give you time to think for yourself. Take care of you, and have fun, love you, then love for others will radiate outwards!! 🙂

      3. Is there a forum or something related to this site? This is the first piece I’ve read that accurately described my recent exper

  3. That’s great advice. I guess maybe I was wanting to know more about what you would say? Would you just politely decline and say I’m sorry, no or… It’s hard to know what to do. I think at this stage for me, if someone was interested in pursuing me and was keen to know me, I’d be a bit suspicious now of their intentions. 😦

    1. I think you answered this one yourself ‘you would be suspicious of their intentions’…. maybe just say that you are happy to be friends, but not looking to date, you are taking some time out for you. Also, this person probably isn’t ‘the one’…. or you likely wouldn’t be asking the question? 🙂

  4. ME: Are you single?
    GUY: Not if you consider I have two tagalong 17 & 18 year-old boys. Otherwise, I am LOL… however, they might say different. How about you?
    ME: Do you have people who believe they are wives, gf’s, or mistresses? I am single.
    GUY: LOL… I don’t really have any control over what people believe… but I do know some wish they could be any one of those you listed, but I haven’t told them that. How about you?
    ME:Wow. This used to be a simple yes/no question.

    Guess I’ll have to ask his sons ? Sighhhhhh…

    1. translation: “I can’t say I am single because that would be a lie. My boys know all about it. Let’s turn this attention back to you now please. Asking again? Well, if you hear different from me being single, I can at least not have put my saying so in writing. I am stringing one or more women along already, hoping to add you to the list. I won’t give them any straight answers either despite their asking for a commitment. Now, let’s turn our attention away from this, and back to you…”

      To paraphrase… “No, I am not single, but dodging the question is not technically lying.”

      RUN Jesugirl !!!! RUN for the hills!!!!!

      1. Ha ha ha! Loved your translation, and probably right on the money too. That was our first and last conversation. I’m with someone now where that type nonsense doesn’t happen.

  5. Positivegirl is spot on about the energy & attracting another sociopath. I went out there trying to rebuild my self esteem because my sociopath attacked my sexual confidence & I fell in to a situation with another sociopath.

    He didn’t present like one but I had a dream about him being a sociopath & ignored it & he just made me more and more suspicious & them I freaked out & literally ran screaming from him.

    I am no longer dating!

  6. Strangely enough I have been asked out a lot lately. So I have decided to take on board positivagirl’s advice and say “I’m taking some time out for me and am happy to be friends.” I’d just like to add be ESPECIALLY wary of guys who come on way too strong when you’ve only known them for a little while.

  7. Unfortunately I didn’t see his dark side until I got pregnant. And although I love my son dearly and can’t imagine my life without him, I am contacted to his sicko father for life. I am not sure I will ever believe another man when he tells me he loves me. How did this happen? I had a wonderful relationship with my father/was a Daddy’s girl and my brother is my best friend. I thought this only happened to women who had Daddy issues/lack of father or bad or no relationship with father.

    1. Hi jh anybody can be a victim to them because they are incredibly deceptive. You wouldn’t know that you are dating someone with such deep dark psychological issues. They wear a mask of charisma and deception. This isn’t your fault. Or that you are stupid it is just that they are incredibly deceptive. Sometimes they deliberately target those who are successful and stable, I wonder if this is jealousy because you have what they never will have.

  8. Wow.. the more I read the more I’m grateful for people sharing their stories and for my own intuition. I dated a psycho for on-off 2 years.. Then moved out of town to forget him and met….. another psycho !!! I had all the alarms go off but no knowledge about their mental disorder. It was only my intuition that kept me away from moving in with him after 3 weeks as he insisted. Of course not for free , he never gave anything free. Everything was calculated and cynical, cruel and deceitful. .. I saw the signs gradually, all abuse and then of course cheating. I so badly needed a friend being new to town and kept this sick relationship for a year and a half. Tried to end it many times but he kept coming back with charm and promises. .. I discovered those sites and learnt it is not me. It’s him who is crazy. I thank God for giving me a strong intuition and every one of us. I will listen to it more. Thank you all, we will come out stronger like the positive girl. Hugs to all x

  9. Yes, don’t date until fully healed…I attracted three in a row. And it got progressively worse because I was subconsciously searching for someone to take my pain away. Everything you listed is great advice.

    However, my fear is there is no hope. Ever. Can anyone here please share a story about recovery and healing? A new, long term, HEALTHY relationship they are in? There seems to be a lot of sad stories, I would love to see some signs of hope to get us through this.

    Thank you all for sharing 🙂

    1. Hi B, there are a lot of people who come back. I was going to post a page about people who had healed and moved on. And people do. Once you know the truth and see it for what it is, you would recognise it again. Do you know that happiness is an inside job. If you are still looking for happiness in a relationship – perhaps this is key? Often you meet the ‘right’ person, when you are not looking and when you actually don’t want to be with someone. When you are happy being single, and happy with your life just the way that it is. does that make sense?

      1. “Often you meet the ‘right’ person, when you are not looking and when you actually don’t want to be with someone.”

        I used to think like that, Positivagirl. After divorcing my cheating husband back in 1995, my ability to trust any man was shattered, so took no action to re-enter the dating scene. Just focused on my own life and career. Learned that I did not need a man in my life, I could provide for myself, and be happy on my own.

        That did not stop a sociopath from private messaging me out of the blue in December 2012. Even though I told him–as I’d successfully told hundreds of men before–that I had no interest in starting a relationship with him, he insisted we would just be friends and take things slowly.

        But, immediately, he started working me as if he’d researched me and found out everything that I was interested in, and used it to convince me we had so much in common, we were meant to be together.

        I think just the fact that it had been so long since I’d had a man in my life, I might have been prone to falling for his ploy. Being happy by yourself, and not needing/wanting a significant other in your life won’t protect you from a sociopath. I learned that the hard way.

  10. Hey Positiva,
    Oh that absolutely makes sense and I completely agree. Gotta learn to truly love yourself, and it is an inside job like you said. I am working on that now, and will not be dating anytime soon.

    I just meant I wanted to hear stories of other women who had been through this and recovered…and are now in healthy loving relationships. My fear is maybe that isn’t possible…my fear is that I will die alone. I know I must work through all these fears myself, but I actually had done a lot of inner work and thought I had healed and attracted ANOTHER one. So I still have work to do.

    It seems like most of the stories are very similar….attracting it over and over again even if you felt like you had healed. Any hope others can share is always greatly appreciated.

    1. Hey B.

      I still occasionally have nightmares and sometimes in the back of my mind I wonder about things and others in my life, but after almost five years of torment and it taking literaly everything I had to break free, that kind of stuff is normal and I do advise that you steer clear of dating until you feel you are ready. I turned into a drunk who loathed men for a minute, esp men who gave me attention. I felt they were all liars and wanted to isolate myself and I did.

      Then I met my current bf. He wanted to get to know me and I was extremely wary of his intentions. I buffered and ignored him and he never stopped trying. We share the same group of friends and they know what I went through and they all had nothing but kind words about him and for the longest time I brushed them off becuase I thought he was getting them to do that. Then one of our mutual best friends looked me dead in the eye and told me to please give him a chance. I was really self focused but I caved. We started hanging out, talking, we really do have alot in common but I first wondered that he was acting (not the case). but I was really stern and telling him I didnt want anything seriuos. We were hanging out as friends.

      I nope’d my way into a relationship. I remember the heart attack of a million fears when he asked me after a while of hanging out to date him. He never asked anything else of me. He let me get back with an answer in my own time. This guy took my constant rejection and still wanted me, he burried my puppy and he never pressured me and he was sincere. So I eventually said yes and weve been together for over a year. In the beggining I warned him that I was scared that I still had trust issues and I didnt want it affecting us. And that was one of the main reasons I kept him at bay for so long. But I didnt want to ruin somthing that could be real. I did kinda push him away and accuse him of lying about things stupid like how he really felt about me. In the beginning I was torn because I know I deserve real love and to be happy but couldnt comprehend why all of a sudden theres a real man in my life. This had to be a joke or cruel trick was my thinking. I was scared of being with another soc.

      But he is nothing but understanding and supportive. I was still cracked and took it out on him a bit but in the end I chose to get into a relationship and I realized that its not his fault at all and relationship or not my healing is solely mine to take care of and to talk about it and to not turn on my bf and wreck him becuase I got hurt. Not every single man lies and is out to get me. He entered my life knowing where I was in mine. Even when weve had our arguements they never last longer than ten minutes and he never once got physical or degraded me or called me any bad names. We are a strong team and our arguements always end in “I love you” and his kindness never stops shocking me. It takes years to recover from the things weve been through and my best advise is to do always what makes you comfortable. Your intution deserves your trust. My bf also isnt the band aid to my old wounds and we both know that. Hes my best friend. Our friends are happy for us wich is also a very good sign.

      You can have a real loving relationship after a sociopath. Nothing feels wrong with him and he never lied and he has other real people in his life. He is helping to reshape my distorted view of men. Even when my senseless paranoia took over I understood its basicly ptsd and to open myself up and we talk about it. Its very possible to recover. I find it easier to trust becuase ive learned how to fill my life with trusworthy people and if you manage to get someone who wants to hold your hand and be there for the ride thats awesome but your journey to healing is key. And dont expect that wieght to go to anyone else. Sometimes we do find the right one when you feel its the worst time. But you never need anyone else to complete you. You find the person who just fits with your soul. I was scared of being unwanted and dying alone too. Work on yourself and be cautious, but remember that there are alot of decent men out there waiting for you to give them a chance when you are ready, and you deserve to be happy with real love too. Even if we broke up i know he will still be my best friend. Hope that is successful enough and helps you.

      1. That was very beautiful. Brought tears to my eyes. It reminds me of my own story currently unfolding right now. Thank you for sharing and god bless. I hope all the victims here can be as fortunate as us and with hard work I believe they can be.

  11. I definitely agree with what you are saying though. A relationship isn’t going to “make” me happy or “complete” me, and I do need to heal and be happy and at peace with who I am.

    Guess I’m just looking for that light at the end of the tunnel 🙂

  12. Just one comment – and please accept this in the spirit it is intended – it really is no use to tell people ‘there are plenty more fish in the sea’. At certain ages, there really aren’t. One of the things I found so hard to deal with was being alone after my sociopath ex-husband finally left me, broke, for someone new – was the realisation that at 40, with three small kids, living in a remote, rural area, that I might never date again. Ten years later, I am still on my own. I have now recovered and moved to a new city – and my children are healthy and happy – but the hurt plus being a single parent plus being now 50 makes dating nearly impossible.

    1. Hi Helen,
      At 45 and with 2 tween daughters, I can relate to your distraught. As we get older the pickings get a bit slimmer. An older gentlemen told me when I was newly divorced in my 30s, to just keep a smile on my face and be better and not bitter, learn to dance & that good men will appear. Well I was living with my controlling and manipulative parents and definitely not healed from the betrayal of divorce. I then had a string of at least 4 narcissistic men and the last two were definitely of the sociopath type. Textbook and exact. When I stopped being a ‘marionette’ (as I realized I learned to be as a young girl to keep peace) it was game over. The mask came off and they were enraged of my knowing the truth and calling them on their game. So all I can say is I am trying to heal and learn from the words of this website. I am focusing on being free from the abusive men I chose to date, and hopefully be wiser to share my stories and show my girls to run from the red flags I overlooked… Very Obvious red flags I am ashamed to say, but these guys and their charm are intoxicating!!! They say they adore you, never loved anyone like you, want to marry and make a beautiful life with you! The other reality is while they tell you their ex’s were cheaters and crazy, they then use that card on you! Amazing how common and how the disorder is so predictable now when you’ve learned more! I now desire to help others be spared from these abusive and lying sorts and am going to focus my energy on improving myself, i.e. learn to dance, cook better, take care of me, be My best friend, and make hopefully more ‘girl’ friends.’ We can be thankful, that while our pool of men maybe now a bit narrower, we know now when looking, that we will be wisely more selective and run from the red flags as soon as they are seen! Let’s all be top feeders and not a bottom feeder. The rare ones are out there and will appreciate a happy, mannerly woman that is healed emotionally and can give herself to the right man 100%. If not…. remember where we have been and be glad we are free. Better to be single than married and miserable!
      In closing, just an fyi, I love cruises and took a singles cruise for 40+ yr olds when I was 39… had a blast and made a couple friends for life:) Hope this helps~take care, don’t despair and know you are not alone.

      1. Hi Tmarie. I just wanted to say thankyou for your post. It has helped knowing that there are decent women still around. I am a bloke who finished dating a female sociopath 2015. And yes it really does take time to heal. So i am concentrating on me for 2016. It feels good to have new dreams and focus on one self. Thanks again. I wish you and the girls all the best for “your” future.

  13. Just wanted to say that I’m so grateful for this site. Whenever I’m haunted by my past experience, I come back to this site for a reality check 🙂

  14. Thank you for this website! I’m curious, what if you’re already in relationship with someone, and not healed? Because that is where I’ve found myself. It started good, and at this point, I don’t know if it’s my issues (2 exes with common children, both exes are disordered, toddler with current relationship) and I just see abuse everywhere, or, if current relationship is also with another one.
    I’m in therapy, and have been doing as much self work as possible. At the same time, I have some awareness that my current relationship is suffering. Current says that a big part of his changes (the ones that give me pause) is because of how hugely my exes loom in our lives. Court orders prevent me from going no contact. I’m stuck with exes until the children are adults.
    At this point, I’m not feeling supported by my current, and the exes are always up to something. And that something is never good.
    I’m in a place in my life where is rather salvage what I’ve got than start over (with three of them [exes], I just can’t).
    What say you to this scenario?

    1. Hi Geekery,

      Welcome to the site. Have you read the post ‘how to co-parent with the sociopath male’. Also I think that it is good that you are in therapy and working on yourself. It sounds to me, that you could have repeatedly been in abusive relationships, never given yourself a chance to heal. You don’t really say about your current relationship, is this abusive too? If it is, would you not be better off on your own, and focusing on you, at least YOU can take care of you…. and not hurt you.

  15. I recently opened my eyes to the fact that I am divorcing a sociopath. All the signs were there, I just thought he was selfish and a liar. The irony is that I recognized the signs in his 10 year old son and found an article (before we separated) that described his son to a T. When my ex read it he stated that it sounded like himself. Of course I dismissed it, I was too smart to be involved with someone like that. But now he has our son through intimidation and lies. I am fighting to get my 6 year old back- hoping the domestic battery charges will prevail. I find myself in the same situation. I have done therapy for the PTSD that his assault left me with. I am rebuilding my life with my 8 year old. After everything I have been through, I discovered I had surrounded myself with sociopaths. I’ve cut out these toxic people. Having a sociopath for a brother, I thought I knew better- but these people are good at what they do. I am left with a hand full of family and friends that I trust. I have been asked out by lots of different men and my panic always sends me running. I don’t know if I will ever trust again. I really thought me ex was a good guy, it took years to reveal who he really is. I have been left with concern for my step children and my son as well. I have decided to focus all my energy into healing and fighting for my child. Everyone else is backseat priorities until these two things are met. Do I get lonely? Yes, absolutely. Is it worth the potential cost to my and my children’s well being? Absolutely not. I find encouragement in these pages of recovering from a sociopath. I also realize just how desperate my situation is with my son. No matter how smart, how strong, or wise you may be- if you are a good person, there is someone who will try to exploit who are.

  16. I was happy with myself and not looking, as far as I saw it, someone to fill a part of me that was missing.

    The problem was, there was a very big part of me that was missing, and it was a part I was not aware of until I was seduced and made myself vulnerable.

    It’s a hard thing to take. To have your naive world view turned upside down. I swear I see sociopaths in the bushes these days. I feel like I live each day in a different state of PTSD, and on others, I feel “fine”.

    1. I think that this is key Jonathan, ‘to fill a part of you that was missing’….

      There is no part of you that is missing. If you confide in a sociopath about something that you feel is missing in your life, they WILL cease the opportunity and fill in the blanks. Even if that is all made up.

      You say that there was a very big part of you that was missing. Do you really think so? How can a part of you be missing? You are whole within yourself.

      I really believe in a type of therapy called gestalt. I studied counselling, and of all the types of counselling that we were taught this, I identified with the most.

      What happens to us, is that sometimes we ‘lose our way’…. maybe life takes us on another journey, or down another pathway that is not good for us. We remember the ‘old us’ as if that were a separate person, and feel that there is something missing in our life. Our life is not what it once was…. and we feel that ‘gap’. We therefore believe (wrongly) that there is something missing.

      BUT there is NOTHING missing within you. You are everything that you always were, and more. You are every experience, this is still you, and still a part of you. You are a person as a whole. Nobody can ever take that away from you, well… a sociopath might try and will be successful if you allow them to, by mirroring what you perceive to be missing in your life. this makes them attractive and exactly what you want… when it goes… you feel like you have lost a part of you again…. you haven’t.

      It is all there – within you, it always was. The trick is, to find it again – for you.

  17. I’m so glad I found this site. With my own sociopath just moved out, I’m still feeling the effects big time. I have trouble concentrating on my work and I burst into tears without warning. I feel ‘lost’. I’m wondering if this is PTSD? I’m still having trouble letting go because old habits, even unhealthy ones, are hard to overcome after thirty years of marriage. I’m still hiding my checkbook and credit cards, yet at the same time I’m texting him which I know is crazy. I’ve been so long in this relationship, I do wonder if I’ll ever feel normal again? I have no one to talk to about this because over the years I’ve hidden all the outrageous behavior and have lost contact with any friends I once had. I so want my life back, but I feel my spirit is broken beyond repair. I was divorced and very lonely when I met him. I loved his personality and we seemed to just ‘click’. I now can recognize red flags I either didn’t see then or flat out ignored because I was so excited with this new relationship. I agree with a comment above – not too many fish in the sea at my age (63) and I’m NOT looking to jump into a new relationship anyway. All I’m seeking is some sense of normalcy. He is my only ‘friend’ but he’s also been my worse enemy. I feel so
    alone now because….I am.

    1. I have 40 years behind me with the same, but no job, no home, no friends, no money and a small credit card for the first time in my life. I’d rather be right where I am that take any more abuse. I will find a way, you can too, don’t give in.

  18. Hello, I am 22 years old and I dated a man 20 years older then me who claimed from day one he was a sociopath but I don’t know why I always thought it was a front for his own emotional issues. I proceeded and observed his crazy behavior for 7 months finding out he had a vesectomy because he didn’t want kids, loved to go hunting, had that stare, let’s just say had the typical sociopath you read on the websites down pat. Sexually he made me curious and wanting more. But then it started getting really messed up and I realized he was into dark pornography and made a comment about a 14 year old girl offering to sleep with him. He was so messed up I don’t understand why I couldn’t walk away easier. I am not someone who comes off stupid, but clearly I am cause he was so much older. I had the worst support system around me which was a whore friend of mine who flirted with him many times right in front of me until I realized I had to get rid of her because she did it with every guy and loved older men. I ended up finding some other woman’s clothes in the spare bathroom and I never mentioned it cause I knew he was waiting for another victim to come along and then get rid of me. I ended up stuck with his house key and threw it away and just never contacted him again and that’s how it ended. What do you think was wrong with me? I don’t even know if that’s a sociopath or a pedaphile? Which makes me so uneasy. I have tried to heal and I haven’t talked to any man I couldn’t imagine sleeping with someone else it creeps me out too much especially when the sex started getting very sadistic. I’m so scared. And I can’t get him out of my mind in a way where I think I obviously have issues to stay with someone like that. I was alone at first but I built my way back up with new friends. I just feel so lost and I’m young and already encountered it which is what makes my mind go crazy.

  19. Hi, i have a question i have been meeting a man and felt a strong connection and attraction to him.He feels that too for me he told me. I have been for 2 years now without any man cause of being broken after the socialpath.Now i met this man i feel so attracted to and we had 4 great romantic days,everything was just right and in the flow. He was very open lovingfull and was telling me he was falling for me… Nowafter two weeks i am seeing everywhere red flags! i don,t know if it is my fear for being again with a sociopath or if they are realy red flags.I am so scared to loose myself again. And now that i am feeling in love i feel so vulnarable for that.What happened is this, first he was very enthousiastic and going also realy fast (red flag?). After seeing him for 3 days he asked me to meet his parents who where coming over in a week,.he said he told his daughters about me who are 9 and 15.and he was asking me to live together wth him. I said i was shocked he went so quick with that and told him he needs to take it realy slowly with me.He said he wanted to go with me to Paris for a holiday.He told olso about his ex,He left her since 2 months they have been 12 years together. he says it was not realy something anymore for allready 2 years but they stayed together for the she is not talking to him anymore even when they see eachother when he is seeing his daughters and he doesn,t know why she stays angry to him.(red flag?)I told him that maybe he is not ready yet for a realtion since he just left his wife.He told me also other story,s from people being angry to him.(red flag) okay so one day we had an argument,I got angry to him cause i felt like he was discouraging me with reaching my goals i was afraid that it was again a red flag with devalueing me.he said he was only thinking realistic and practical, but to me it was like bringing up all negative aspects with everything that can go wrong.Than after that,he didn,t communicate to me for a day.he didn,t reply to my chats(red flag). than after i searched contact i heard the pity talk (red flag)that he had time to think and that he changed his mind. That it was better not to meet his parents that it was not a good idea to think about living together that he has lots of stress and physical pains cause of that stress with his life changes etc.. he sayd he is sorry that he is stressed about many things and that he feels he is loosing himself..while i had to see a picture on fb looking jolly with his youngest daughter.this morning.
    he said he needs time for hisself and says i was wise to say to take it slowly he wants to get to know me on the longer term and that we should not hurry things.I talked to him and i said that this does not feel good for me and that i feel not right about all of this and that i am going to take distence since the situation gives me stress. He said he was late for seeing his parents he overslept, while i saw on fb that he was up allready for 4 hours he posted something 4 hours ago.I get suspicious about this and feels he lies to me to be out of the converstation and confrontation..So my question is am i too scared for meeting again a sociopath?being lied to? i see so many red flags the hot/cold acting, the devalueation, the silent treatment, the pity talk, that angry people he creates around him.What does it mean?.Am i not ready for a relationship cause i can,t trust a man? Or do i just have to run and forget him?
    I just met him and i don,t want to make to quickly conlusions..Also one scary ironic thing is he has the same name as my ex (the sociopath) and born in the same year.Is that a warning sign from the universe?I realy want to be ready again for romance and to share a good time with somebody i feel strongly connected to, but when do i know that i am ready for it, and when will i be able to open up again?With being able to trust again?I have been reading the advice above and will take that in mind.
    I just wonder what people here think about this situation and i hope it can be helpfull.
    I tried to talk with friends about this but they don,t understand what a sociopath is. A good friend of mine said i just have to forget the story about the sociopath and try to take chances and love myself and be open again for the good things.
    I agree with that but it just doesn,t work like that in practice and i can never forget about the sociopath and the damage it has given me.Thanks for any reply.

  20. Hi,

    I’m thrilled to have found this site.

    My 4-year relationship with a sociopath ended just under a month ago when he got married (yes, married) to someone else. I’d like to say it was utter shock, but there were so many signs I ignored because I loved him and he was so adamant in his denial of it. I never considered him to be a sociopath (although a few friends pointed out he likely is), but now that it’s over and I’ve been doing some research, he’s textbook. Even though I saw it coming, it still felt like the earth fell from under me. I rationalized it saying to myself there’s no way this is really true because of how he is when he’s with me, how often we are together, how I was around his family and friends. It just didn’t seem plausible so I held onto the hope that his denial of any relationship outside of ours was the truth.

    I’m having a very hard time emotionally. I can’t focus on important aspects of life. I burst into tears at random (and usually inopportune) times throughout the day. I started seeing a counselor and he’s been WONDERFUL. What speaking to him and find this site has shown me is this wasn’t my fault. A lot of people in my life feel that it is because I kept letting him do these things to me and even if I wouldn’t admit it, I did know, and should’ve walked away a long time ago. But for people who haven’t been a victim of this, it’s very difficult to understand. Looking back now, I see how obvious it was. But it’s very hard to do when you’re in it and in love with the person.

    I’m rambling. But anyway – I’m thankful this site exists. It helps me see I’m not completely nuts. ❤

    1. No it is NOT your fault. It is just the way that they are. Don’t think he will be faithful to his wife either. They love hiding and get off on being deceptive and leading dual lives. All the doubts u had she will too…. It’s not that she is better than you either. Maybe she is richer or has more to take. That is all. They use people. People are more valuable dependent on what they can offer them.

      1. Thanks. He’s been with her a considerably long time (over 10 years). I found out about her a year into our relationship and broke up with him. 6 weeks later he came back and apologized, cried, pleaded, begged, swore she was out of his life, etc etc. He loved me so much, blah blah blah. So I believed him. And continued to believe him for another 3 years. I found out for sure they were getting married the morning of the wedding when it was all over social media. He must’ve realized I knew and panicked because he called me over and over and over for a half hour straight. Texting me when I wouldn’t pick up. Told me he’d call me later to explain (seriously???) and that I better not show up and ruin it because I’ve ruined enough already (ruined what I don’t know because I’m pretty sure he did that all by himself). I haven’t heard from him since. He’s looked at my social media profiles (he’s since been blocked), but he hasn’t actually reached out or anything. I tried talking to this girl a few times when I first found out she existed and she refused. She believes he’s been faithful despite my proof otherwise. I feel sad for her because I know what it feels like when the realization hits you. It’s not fun.

  21. Hello, thank you so much for this article. I was in a relationship with a sociopath for 6 years, engaged twice, had two children, and almost 10 domestic violence cases (although there were tons of incidents that were never reported). Because of the laws in my state he was able to live in my house regardless of his abuse, so although we were broken up almost a year we still lived together. I finally was able to work around the law and get a new home. This is the first month without him in my law but we have children together that he uses to try and keep one foot in the door. He has never been to a psychologist and I have no idea how to get him formally diagnosed. I feel I always have to have him in my life because of our children and that terrifies me.

  22. Thank you so much for this. I thank my lucky stars I have ended a 12 month relationship with sociopath who was a nurse! Very caring nature was all a very good act. I’m happy also managed to give him a good slap across the face before he ran off. It was hard to accept the fake person I thought I loved showed zero remorse he just fed me more lies. I managed to get on his laptop to see what a seedy sleezy guy he was. Very messed up promiscuous individual. Pathetic individuals with sad sad lives

  23. Hi every one, I understand perfectly and can relate to what you have all said. My divorce is about to come through the family law court in Australia, after being married to a psychopath for 14 years. My ex started litigation….I still don’t have my money, but I got justice in court and got most of what I am legally entitled too. If he doesn’t give me my money, he’ll lose his prized possession…his home. At least I have a legal recourse if he doesn’t pay. I’m middle aged, been through over two years of therapy, live in my son’s garage and I’m unemployed. I was born into a pathological family. I still have a way to go to rebuild my life but don’t intend on getting back into a relationship again! I have met lots of guys since l left my husband. I know all the red flags and can safely say I keep attracting them!!! But I have learnt to love and find myself again. I trust myself and my own instincts now, it’s taken me a year. I know you feel lonely, I do too. But I’d rather be alone than go back to what’s been a lifetime of abuse. Don’t give up…..thank God for what you do have and remember there is life and love after a psychopathic relationship…….and that love you have is for “self”. There’s a great truth….that you can’t love someone else until you love yourself first. Remember your worthy to be loved and you deserve the best. Love and peace to you all

  24. Acid test: When someone’s behavior needs to be questioned. Then, think of someone who really loved you. Did you have to question it? When live is really love… are safe within it.

  25. Thank you so much for this post and educating people about the warning signs and nature of a sociopath! You will save someone’s sanity. I have just realized the disturbing reality that I was in “love” with a sociopath for a year. I met him at church where immediately I was drawn to his charm and the undivided attention he was giving me but that began a slippery, harrowing slope of confusion, anxiety and manipulation. I ignored all of the red flags that my friends had pointed out to me like when he would tell me empty promises then disappear from weeks at a time. I would blame myself for why he was not there and then when he was at church he would stare at me with an icy glare. It would give me more anxiety for when I would see him again what he would do. Recently, I hadn’t seen him in 5 months (we weren’t on talking terms) and when I saw him he embraced me in a tight hug. I was very confused but flattered by the compliments he gave me. I would joke with my friends that “he is acting like a psychopath” and later discovered by his traits he was a sociopath. I have sympathy for anyone who has been damaged by a sociopath. Read these red flags and run the other way if you encounter it!

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