A Lovefraud reader recently sent me a story from the BBC about a relationship with a sociopath, although the article never comes out and says it. Here’s the summary:
When Anna, an actress, fell in love with an older and more successful actor he seemed like the perfect man. They quickly became engaged – but then he began to change. It took time for her to realise that her fairytale romance had become an abusive relationship.
The article highlights typical behavior of a predatory sociopath, and the typical responses of his unsuspecting target. I point out 50 warning signs below. But first, I invite you to read the article.
Thom – warning signs of sociopathic behavior
- Thom immediately started following Anna on Twitter.
- After their first coffee date, Thom started sending Anna 50 to 100 text messages a day.
- Thom complains that Anna’s text replies are short, making her feel inadequate
- Thom took a massive interest in Anna’s life, childhood and family.
- Thom told Anna he was jealous about her previous boyfriends.
- Three weeks after they first met, Thom asked Anna to move in with him.
- When Anna asked Thom about abusive emails he’d sent to previous partner, he swore and changed the subject.
- Thom blamed Anna for causing him to neglect his family.
- Thom gave Anna many gifts – none of which she actually wanted.
- Thom gave Anna expensive clothes that he wanted her to wear.
- When Anna talked about a happy experience, Thom said he was jealous that he wasn’t there.
- Thom tried to control what Anna talked about.
- Whenever they weren’t together, Thom overwhelmed Anna with messages.
- If Anna was in a good mood, Thom would instigate a fight.
- Thom proposed after they knew each other only three months.
- Thom was patronizing and dismissive of Anna’s acting career.
- At their engagement party, Thom made no effort to talk to Anna’s friends.
- Thom got drunk at the engagement party.
- Thom became angry and threw objects across the room.
- Thom screamed and swore at Anna.
- Thom called Anna a slut, told her to take her ring off and get out of his house.
- Thom told Anna that she made him want to kill himself.
- Thom would begin an argument being aggressive and abusive, tear Anna down, and then turn on the tears, claiming to be the victim.
- Thom’s drinking escalated.
- Thom continued to control and abuse Anna.
- Thom turned the information he’d learned about Anna’s past into ammunition to abuse her.
- After making hurtful statements to Anna, Thom claimed he didn’t remember them.
- Thom kept bugging Anna to quit her side job until she did.
- Thom sent an abusive email to an ex-girlfriend and had no remorse about it.
Anna – warning signs that she was dealing with a sociopath
- The relationship felt like a fairy tale – too good to be true.
- A friend told Anna that Thom was bad news, but she couldn’t believe it.
- When the relationship got bad, Anna felt like an addict, hoping it would return to how wonderful it was in the beginning.
- Anna panicked and apologized for supposedly causing Thom to neglect his family, even though she did nothing wrong.
- Anna felt like she had to fit an image of what Thom wanted in a girlfriend.
- Anna felt obligated to respond to Thom’s many messages right away.
- Anna felt like she was in shock due to Thom’s sudden arguments.
- Anna hated her engagement ring, and felt like she was supposed to fit into Thom’s image of what he wanted.
- Anna didn’t want to believe that her fiance could be a drunk, screaming man.
- Anna was afraid to leave Thom.
- Anna was afraid of what Thom would do.
- The relationship started to affect Anna physically – she stopped eating.
- Anna didn’t want anyone to think badly of her fiancé.
- Anna told herself that all couples argue.
- If Anna invited a friend to visit, she became nervous about when Thom would come home.
- Anna constantly had to wonder, what will happen today?
- Anna had a ball of anxiety in her stomach.
- Anna began feeling that she didn’t want her family at her wedding.
- Anna made her career fit around Thom’s career.
- Anna felt like nothing was hers, not even her thoughts.
- Anna felt like she shouldn’t seek assistance from domestic violence counselors because Thom hadn’t hit her.
This BBC story is a highly accurate portrayal of a controlling relationship. If this sounds at all like your relationship, you need to learn about sociopaths.