Controlling threats and applying pressure

Once the sociopath has you where they want you (in love, weak and dependent), they begin to disarm you and remove you from other sources of life, which he cannot control.

Control is what the sociopath strives for, by controlling you, he has what he determines as ‘love’, or at least it is the closest that he will get to love. To the sociopath, control, and ownership, is love.

You will find that later in the relationship, the kind, charming, very helpful person that you knew changes.You see a different character. But this is done in a subtle way at first, to make you feel guilty for any other connections in your life – apart from him. You are made to feel that YOU are the one with the problem. YOU are the one who is doing something wrong, even though you have done nothing wrong at all.

The sociopath

  • Will feel threatened by close friends, even work colleagues and sometimes family too
  • Will keep close tabs on you at work
  • Will call you at work, or constantly call and text if you are spending time with someone else without him, you will feel pressured to respond to the text or call, as soon as possible. If you don’t there will be a deluge of further texts
  • Will go as far as to speak to those who you are having contact with to ‘warn them off’ of you (this will be done behind your back) or to your face, will threaten that they will do  this, instilling fear into you of what comes next?
  • Will make you feel guilty if you spend any time with anyone other than him – and will accuse you of outrageous things – you will get comments like – ‘oh you are wearing that’ or ‘you have make up on, did you make yourself up on purpose?’
  • Will tell you, if you do make plans, that they will show there too (after all they have a right to be there too)
  • Will go to great lengths to play ‘obsessive spy’ to find out information about anyone in your world. Its really ridiculous, to the point of obsession.

Applying constant pressure, is effective, as after a while, you will stop contact with others. It’s easier than the constant accusations thrown at you. Or at least, this is the way that you feel, until it is over.

This is how isolation occurs. It is sold to you under the guise of ‘care’ of ‘helping you’…. but its not this at all. Its control. Control to the sociopath, is ownership. Like owning a dog. Since when did you see a dog go off and have a life of its own?

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16 thoughts on “Controlling threats and applying pressure”

  1. It’s been 5 days since I have had contact with my ex sociopath lover. This particular reading/information has given me so much clarity. I can’t thank you enough. My story in my mind similar to some others that I have read. However, I did know that everything was wrong from week one… but the skills this man had, Pulitzer prize material. Blamed me, accused me for things I’ve never done to the point where I began to get ill. Became insanely dependent on him as he rescued me via various situations (home improvement, vehicle maitenence, landscape problems, plumbing problems… could fix any problem with his hands.. In the end, I called his bluff. I knocked on his girlfriends door (of 14 years). Had her teenage son answer the door & told him to tell me that she was in the middle of a nap.
    In his lies (I believed), she was just a roommate that he helped out—
    For nearly one year, I was convinced that this was my future husband. Even with all of his verbal abuse (me dressing too provocatively – flirting with other men- telling me I need lithium) because I take prescribed sleep medication.
    The ultimate killer was his ability to teach me how to love physically. After being married to a man (who most think is gay).. I was beyond shy. For a beautiful middle aged woman, he taught me how to touch and love physically. Only to accuse me of being so amazing in bed, accused of having hundreds of lovers as I was that good.
    Too many things to list here, I knew I need to run after month one. I chose to take the risks of believing in him. Which has ended me exactly right here, right now. I could write a book… could send him another email with the several hundred texts the past ten months. What could I gain from trying to convince myself that his love and actions were genuine. It was until this past Sunday that I called his bluff— Even then, I sold myself short 9 months ago. Mad at myself.. college educated, dedicated to my family and pride myself in volunteerism. I’m ashamed and want these ugly feelings to go away. Every sign was there– I chose to ignore them all. I lived high off the hog in his words…

    1. Hi Lisa, this is one of my earlier posts. I recall when I wrote this. You know. We have stayed friends. And he STILL repeats this exactly behaviour periodically (and that is wiith reading all my site and knowing what I know).

      I know how much it hurts when you give your whole heart to someone. Loving with all of your heart – and the other perrson is only faking their feelings. Don’t feel bad that you chose to stay – despite all you felt in the beginning. I did that too.

      Maybe???? Maybe???? you had the choice to walk away (By knowing the truth and so what you could be potentially go through) or you could take the risk – and possibly choose to learn a lesson…..

      This is how I like to see it anyway. I have chosen what I needed to learn – to grow as a person. Be removed from things that maybe were not good for me and to learn to both trust – and focus on myself and what is important to me. I guess that is what you chose too?

      Although it is painful…… it will make you stronger I promise. Just like you said how you have gone from sexually shy to confident this was probably good for you to experience and to know about yourself? Maybe?????

      PS – sociopaths like SMART people…. they suffer with boredom so like the mental stimulation they get with smart people….

      1. Hi Lauren, Pos Girl, I did this too, I got warning red flags in the 1st wk or 2 of seeing my narc & he just started living with me, pressuring me then & started to isolate me, from people, verbal abuse & bad temper showed within a week of knowing him when he moved in. Freaky.He taught me to be a better lover too & my counsellor, friends say I’m smart, I have Asperger too. I go on a Christian chat room only thing is he’s in it. He left when I first went into room then he realised I wasn’t going to back down, so he came back into room later. I just ignore him & he does same, like he’s not there. I guess he could be saying bad things about me to the people there? they know him better than me. they may know hes my ex, I don’t know. I just text talk, respond to their preaching & texts. I hope he dosnt think I’m trying to have contact, by going on paltalk. I don’t want to live in fear having to keep away from certain social network such as this, because he goes on it & he introduced me to paltalk 2 yrs ago. Conversation with others was refreshing. God bless all.

  2. Excellent points! True, I have learned to have confidence in other arenas of my life. It was insanely fun learning and feeling. Agree, I’m often told that I rarely bore (the most discerning folk). This man is extremely intelligent, conversation amongst other things became addicting. The difference between the two of us is the fact that he had no problems lying. Gazing into my eyes and telling me things that most romance writers can’t conjure up. Swept off my feet initially, thousand dollar shopping spree, being called ‘princess’ the list goes on about how I was lured in. Up until the severity of his verbally abusive accusations. They progressively got worse and he would always have an explanation and apology that I bought for ten months.
    I began to lose friends, not entirely but it was a beating for them to watch me allow it to continue.
    This blog that I accidentally stumbled upon helped save me. Yes, I had to muster the courage to full force end it. I miss the ‘highs’ this man gave me even though it was just an illusion. Day 6 no contact, I feel stronger every day. I take the positives that I have learned and will move forward. Thank you!

  3. First of all I would like to thank you for getting information out there for those of us who are currently with these ridiculous people. I am just waking up out of the mental fog and realizing that the man I’ve been living with is textbook sociopath. But I am scared as he is threatening me so he can manipulate me.
    I was married and with my husband for twelve years. He was an amazing person, but we were living like roommates and had no communication or connection and i was unsure about staying in the marriage. My husband gave me absolutely no affection. That’s when the sociopath D swooped in.
    We were friends first as he studied what I wanted. He was married, too. And I suppose the fact that we both were married posed a bigger challenge for him. He courted me, told me everything I wanted to hear, turned me against my husband, and convinced me to leave him.
    I take responsibility for falling for it.
    He left his wife, divorced her as soon as he kissed me, and spent the next few months making me feel like gold. I had never felt so loved. Meanwhile, my husband is trying to get me back, even forgiving me for leaving him. But D was controlling my time, phone calls, mail, etc. once I left, I couldn’t get back to my husband. D took my car, my money, and isolated me from family and friends….all while making it seem like it was my decision. A few months in, I realized I wanted to try to work things out with my husband bc D did not seem right. But D was making sure I was brainwashed to think my husband wouldn’t want me.
    The sad thing is, my husband did want me home….up to a year later.
    D got me to go on medical leave from my teaching career becoming totally dependent on him. He got me to stay at home with his kids while he worked. He was very good at knowing how to control me.
    Now a year has gone by, I can’t go back to my husband and I know who D is. When I tell him I am leaving and taking the van that I bought him with my credit, he threatens to accuse me of abusing his son…and I am a teacher who has never hurt his son.
    I feel stupid and more depressed than I have ever felt in my life. Oh, and trapped. Definitely feel trapped.
    It is the most awful decision I ever made.

    1. Hi kissy welcome to the site. What an awful situation to be in. I am so sorry to hear of your situation. As I know how it feels to be threatened and to be ruined or live in the fear of threat to be ruined. What are you going to do? Do you have a plan? Best might be to put him off you so it’s his decision not to be with you?

    2. Hi kissykrissy,
      I don’t usually post comments, but I find myself really sympathizing with you and wanted to offer suggestions (written below this first paragraph) as well as to simply say “I understand, and you are not alone in feeling this way.” To explain why I sympathize: 1. My sister was married to a man who matches the description of a sociopath to a T. She had a child with him, and only then realized what a horrible person he really was. Even though he was a drug addict who had been physically, verbally, and emotionally abusive to her, she didn’t allow herself to recognize who he really was until she realized she was terrified to leave their infant alone with him. They separated more than two years ago, and were officially divorced in the last few months. The custody battle was hell, but she eventually won full custody because the judge recognized that their child was not safe with this man. He still contacts her with various manipulative pleas and threats, which continues to be stressful for her and my family. I should add that she did not have the strength to leave him all on her own — my parents had to convince her to separate from him and to accept their help, and it took her a long time to get back on her feet emotionally. So don’t think you’re weak or guilty for having fallen for this guy, or for not being able to get away from him. 2. In my own experience, I made poor choices that landed me in two back-to-back relationships in which I felt trapped. The first also started when I was charmed by guy #1 while I was in a relationship with a long-term boyfriend who I loved, but who I had serious doubts about. I feel guilty because of the way my relationship with my boyfriend ended, because I allowed myself to get involved with someone else rather than end things cleanly. Guy #1 turned out to be needy in a controlling way; after cutting things off with guy #1, I quickly moved to guy #2, who was jealous, possessive, controlling, suspicious, and had anger issues. My situation was easier because these men were controlling, but not sociopathic, and because there was no real way they could blackmail me. However, in the relationship with guy #2, I had to hit rock bottom — basically, I was very depressed and thinking about death as a real alternative to my situation — before the logical part of my brain kicked in and said “this is bad” and I finally left the relationship. This all began 4 years ago and ended 2 years ago. I’m still sorting through all the feelings of sadness and guilt, and still struggle to feel consistently good about myself. I’ve gone to several therapists over the past 2 1/2 years, and found that when I go regularly, I function better, to the point that I’m now able to carry on a new (healthy!) relationship, to have fun, and to focus on my work. I recently started on a low dose of anti-depressants, which has been helpful in stabilizing my mood. So that’s my experience that I wanted to share with you; it takes time and effort, but you can get yourself out of this situation and feel better again. I understand feeling depressed, trapped, and unable to get up and leave. In your case, you actually have tangible as well as emotional reasons for feeling trapped, which makes it much harder. I can’t really relate to the tangible part, but I definitely empathize and want to offer some possible suggestions that might help you.
      So, these are my thoughts, which I hope will help you…
      – First of all, recognize (which I think you already do) that you need to get out of this situation, specifically to sever all ties with your sociopathic partner, even if you don’t go back to your husband. You CAN do it — tell yourself that often. You might need to do it slowly, but you need to start taking practical steps to get away from him, and you can get away, be it sooner or later.
      – Start seeing a psychologist. They will be able to help you a lot more than any of the advice you get from people online, because they’ll be there for you session after session. I’ll write more about this below, but overall I think a therapist would be able to help you decide what to do and to act on those decisions.
      – Does D usually act on other threats, or is he a coward in reality? I ask because it’s possible he won’t actually accuse you of child abuse. Not something to assume, but to consider.
      – Get a lawyer who specializes in topics related to divorce and/or domestic abuse. Make sure you feel that the lawyer you choose will help you. Note: In custody cases, if you see a lawyer, then the estranged spouse cannot use that same lawyer. I don’t know if the same rule applies for other types of domestic dispute cases, but you could look into this. If it does, you can have short meetings with a bunch of lawyers in your area, making it more difficult for D to find a lawyer, in the event that this goes to court at some point.
      – Get a banking account that D cannot access. Use this to pay for things like your lawyer and your therapy co-pay.
      – If you aren’t currently working, start applying for jobs. You need your own income so you can rely on yourself. You could start by advertising yourself as a tutor, if you don’t feel ready to go back to teaching full-time yet. You can go on craigslist and search for jobs under “education” — you will likely find ads from groups like StudySparkz, StudyPoint, Varsity Tutoring, etc. (BTW: To search online and hide the history from your partner, use Chrome, and do File –> New Incognito Window. Then it won’t show the websites you viewed in the browser history. I don’t know if other browsers like Safari, Firefox, or Internet Explorer have this incognito option, but they might. If you don’t have Chrome, you can download it for free — just google something like “chrome download”.)
      – If you don’t already have contact with friends and family, start talking to and spending more time with them. You need to build up your own life again, and having your own social network is an important part of that.
      – Related to this, start to do things that you enjoy, to build up your life.
      – I realize that it’s not easy to hide having your own account or having your own job from your partner, or that he might not “allow” you to spend time seeing friends or doing your hobbies, and that this complication might prevent you from doing these things. I’m not sure what advice to give for this — a therapist or other professional could help you a lot better. But, my thoughts: 1. If he gets violent when he learns about it, tell him you’ll cancel the bank account, the job search, the lunch with a friend, etc. You don’t want to be physically hurt. Then, as soon as you can, seek help from a professional (therapist, lawyer, anti-abuse social worker). Consider going to the police and/or to a woman’s shelter, getting a restraining order, staying with friends or family, etc., whatever you can do to physically remove yourself from him. I understand that it might not be possible to immediately leave, like if you are seriously scared he’ll follow you and hurt you or others. So try to have at least a plan A and B in place. 2. If he doesn’t get violent but just gets really pissed, stand up for yourself. Have a pre-planned explanation (lie) for why you want to do this. (“I want to buy something expensive, I want money to go back to school, I want to get out of the house, I’m bored and teaching is fun”, etc.). 3. You could deposit some but not all of your earnings in your joint account. Just lie to him about how much you’re actually earning.
      – Related to the above point: I think you can get professional help now, because you are kind of being held captive right now. I mean, there are people who are not in a romantic relationship, but otherwise are basically being controlled and manipulated by another person, and are forced to work for that person…those people are called modern-day slaves. So I would seriously suggest that you talk to a professional of some sort (therapist or otherwise) about what your legal options are, so you can get out of this relationship and have the law behind you.
      – I found this hotline: 800-799-SAFE. Don’t know if it or some other hotline would be useful, but the people there might be able to help you or refer you to someone who can.
      – Does he physically abuse you? If so, let a doctor know (as well as family and friends), and try to get an examination as soon after the physical abuse as possible. I know it’s not simple to just call the police or go to a woman’s shelter, but you should consider these options. Here, having a therapist and a lawyer would help.
      – Keep detailed records of your daily interactions with him, especially of the abuse (emotional, physical, verbal, whatever it may be) that you endure. This includes not allowing you to do things you want to do, like see friends, work, have your own bank account, etc. My sister kept records, which helped in court.
      – Tell your friends, family, and former colleagues (who can vouch for your good character) what is going on, including D’s threats of accusing you of abusing his son. I think it’s important for people to know in advance that he’s threatened to do this, because if he does do it, then you have people who can testify that you had previously told them about his threats. Additionally, having other people who know what’s happening in your life gives you a support net.
      – Maybe let someone at D’s kids’ school know about the threat. The teachers or nurse there would likely have noticed abuse if it existed, and would probably be interviewed by child services.
      – You might also consider telling the police, or someone working at a nearby organization for children (like National Children’s Alliance) or an organization for abused women (check out; As an example, my sister’s ex accused my father of sexually abusing their child, which was total bull. My father informed the police, who took it seriously, and her ex didn’t have a foot to stand on after that. Also, my uncle accused my aunt of abusing their children, and the child protection agency came, and they found no sign of abuse. So it’s possible that if he accuses you of this, it will be clear to the agency who investigates will clear you, but you can’t count on that.
      – So about the psychologist. I would suggest that you start seeing a psychologist regularly, if you haven’t already. By doing this, you will be better able to validate your own feelings, to regain confidence in yourself, your abilities, and your judgment, and therefore to rely on yourself more. You will also get to only express yourself to someone who will not judge you, will not abandon you, and is only there to help you, which is very freeing. If your therapist suggests seeing a psychiatrist to get medication, set up an appointment right away. You may be in serious need of a serotonin boost. (Note: It can take a few sessions to be able to tell if you like your psychologist, and can take a few months to start feeling better about yourself. Give it 3 or 4 sessions, and if you don’t feel comfortable with your psychologist, look for a new one. Don’t stop going to therapy altogether though — you need to give it at least a few months before you will feel better/stronger, and you may need to see a therapist for a few years to get back to really caring for and loving yourself. So start now. It is totally worth it.)
      – Allow yourself to miss your husband, to love your husband, to feel sad, to grieve, etc. — allow yourself to feel however it is you truly feel, rather than to deny your feelings, because this will give you some peace. But try to look at things logically as well. You might just feel guilty because you didn’t end your marriage in a proper way, but the reality is that you might have decided to end it anyway. There’s a reason you were able to fall for someone else, and that suggests your husband might not have been the one you really wanted to be with. And that is completely okay. You were manipulated at a very difficult and vulnerable time, and you made choices that you wish you hadn’t made, and you are owning up to that, which is really responsible and honorable. Try to accept this but then to focus on making your life better in the present. Having made mistakes in the past doesn’t mean you must punish yourself for the rest of time. Going to therapy can really help you through this process.
      – To find a psychologist, try looking for local therapists on That’s where I found mine. You can also just do a google search for therapists in your area. Find one who takes your health insurance. Additionally, if there’s a local school or university, you might be able to get help from a guidance counselor or from the counseling center, as far as finding a psychologist (I did this in the past, but I was a student at the time). If you are working in a school or at a company, there might be psychologists who have an agreement with your employer, so you might be able to get cheaper therapy if money is an issue. I should mention that with health insurance, I’m paying about $15 for a co-pay for each therapy session; of course this can vary, but just to give an idea of what it might cost.
      Ok, I know this was really long, but I really feel for you, I despise the notion of one person controlling another, and I hope this might help you even a little bit. At the very least, get started on helping yourself by talking to a therapist. I feel like having someone to discuss this with will help you decide what the next step should be.
      Best wishes. Trust in yourself, and seek help from others as you need it. You have the ability to get out of this relationship and start living your own life again. Keep telling yourself that you can and you will, and take the actions necessary to make it happen. Maybe it sounds weird, but even though I don’t know you, I’ll be thinking of you and hoping you are doing what you need to do to get your life back on track.

  4. Within the first month or so of dating my ex confessed he read my journal. He used the info in there against me and told me he couldnt trust me because of things that happened in my past. He used that as an excuse to further spy on me and control me. I had all my social media accounts hacked by him and he read all my private conversations with friends. Nothing could be kept from him…my entire life had to be an open book or else it meant I couldn’t be trusted. He wanted to take my phone from me so I couldn’t talk to anyone. My profile pic on fb was an issue because I looked too attractive in it and it meant I was trying to lure in other men. He walked out on me when he hacked into another account of mine and discovered me detailing his abuse to a friend and my discontentment with how he treated me. I had some accounts he didnt know about just so I could talk to friends and get support for what I was dealing with. Of course he found out about them(how, I still have no idea) and read my messages which further angered him and he accused me of hiding things from him and lying. He told me I was abusive and nuts and that he doesn’t want my daughter raised by someone like me( I’m currently pregnant) Even though he is the one that invaded my privacy through stalking me, I’m the crazy one! We haven’t been split up long and I worry about continued harassment.

    1. Sounds like the sociopath who I dated!! If you are pregnant, he will be back at a later date …. they rarely go forever. I have been where you are 😦

      1. Ahhh! Im ready to lose my mind over here. He emailed me this morning saying he wants nothing to do with me or our baby and that I am never to contact him again. That’s fine as I hadn’t planned on it. But then I found out hes been calling my relatives and friends (whom he barely knows) and telling them I was the abusive one and how I did such horrible things to him so that’s why he left. Fortunately they support me but holy $#%&! I’m at a loss for words.

  5. Hi I am not sure if he was a sociopath but the more I read about it the more I see the similarities. Everything seemed to be a threat of divorce, if I did not fit to the mold of his family, if I did not put my pay chk in the joint acct. Even if I tried to talk to him about my feeling about how his mom would put me down he would tell me his mom would never do that and i am lying and if he confronts his mom and she denies it then he will divorce me. He would record our arguments and has threatened to call cops bc of arguments. So based on this i feel he wanted to control me and when i would fight back he would then blame it on me that i have a temper and its all my fault. He then devised a plan to send me to my parents house then he sent me divorce papers when i was at my parents. Is this a sociopath I was dealing with bc when we first started to date he was this amazing guy that looked out for me and my family and once we got married and started living together he barely wanted to talk to my family, and those loving things he would do for me stopped and it was well before we were dating now we are living together so things change.

    If something bothered me he would not be there to listen as his response would be fix your thoughts as I cant help you.

    Every fight was publicized to his family and they only heard his version. His father even asked me to leave if I dont want to live by their house rules.

    All this would make me mad and we would have fights and he would just sit there stare at me and not answer back at all which got me more frustrated. He would then tell me that he is calm and collected bc he knows I am trying to get him mad. No I was trying to make him talk and make sense of my confusion. He refused to even go to therapy as he felt its a waste of money.

    Is this normal for a sociopath?

  6. I am in the same boat with feeling confused as to what just happened since he was an amazing guy at first then he flipped and started to control me along with his mom.

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