8 reasons why we can’t see what’s wrong with the sociopath

“I could smell the smoke, but I could never find the fire.” That’s how one Lovefraud reader explained her experience with a sociopath. She sensed that something was terribly wrong, but could never figure out what it was.

Other Lovefraud readers described the same situation this way, “I knew something was off, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.”

Why is this? Why can’t we see what later turns out to be massive lying, exploitation and betrayal?

Following are eight reasons why we may suspect that something about the sociopath isn’t right, but we don’t identify it.

  1. We don’t know sociopaths exist.

No one tells us that 12% of women and 16% of men — 47 million people in the U.S. — are seriously disordered. How can we watch out for trouble that we don’t know about?

  1. We don’t know the warning signs of sociopathic behavior.

Yes, there are distinct patterns of disordered behavior — I catalogue them in my book, Red Flags of Lovefraud — 10 signs you’re dating a sociopath. But no one tells us them either.

  1. Sociopaths seem so normal.

Even if we had heard about sociopaths, we believe they’re criminals, drug dealers or serial killers. Who knew they could disguise themselves as pillars of the community?

  1. We don’t know the sociopaths are lying.

Sociopaths lie like they breathe. They are totally convincing. And humans can only spot lies 53% of the time. We don’t stand a chance.

  1. The sociopath is saying, “I love you.”

We’re being told how wonderful, smart, talented and beautiful we are. Of course, we want to believe it — so we also believe everything else the sociopath tells us.

  1. The sociopath always has a believable explanation.

On the few occasions where we do question the sociopaths, they have a reasonable excuse or explanation.

  1. We try asking questions — but stop.

After a few attempts at disputing the sociopaths — and being told we are paranoid, bipolar or untrusting — we learn it is better to keep our mouths shut.

  1. Everyone else thinks the sociopath is wonderful.

Friends, acquaintances and co-workers all think the sociopaths are terrific. If we are the only people with doubts, we assume the problem is us.

So how about you? What blocked your ability to perceive what was going on with the sociopath? Please add to the list by describing your experiences in the comments below.

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Here are some I thought of:

9. We have beliefs that don’t apply in sociopathic relationships (ex: everyone wants love and is good, ‘deep down’. You should always ‘turn the other cheek’. There are always two equal-sides to the story, etc…)

Hope Springs

Yes, we are taught those things. Benefit of the doubt. Everyone wants and deserves love. Love unconditionally.

None of these things hold true when dealing with disordered people.


well said.


8. everyone thinks they are wonderful. well most are very 2 faced- nice to those above and abusive to those below, so most think they are o.k. because they pretend to be o.k. to most.


10. They are charming smooth talkers, and they love bomb the their victims until they finally surrender to their mercy. Then they become the sociopaths play toy.


11. The sociopath goes into victim mode and uses pity to win the sympathy of others. When things begin to unravel or the sociopath senses that people are onto him, the tears flow and we had it all wrong. He is really just a poor, pitiful person who needs some understanding and more time to straighten out his problems. How can we possibly be so heartless and blame the victim?


Whatever you do, do not fall for this and pay no attention to “friends” who try to make you feel guilty for not standing by your man. His problem is that he is a sociopath, and there is no therapy and no cure. Any addictions he has are a symptom of the sociopathy, not the real problems. Go no contact, or he will take you down with him.


In my case, MY friends/family did NOT like him..that made ME stamd by him even more. I don’t believe anybody in my life wanted us to be together, let alone get married. I didn’t listen, I was too blinded, had NO idea that guys like him were out there. And the marriage books I was reading all said “submit to your husband, just love him, try to understand him, stand by him’..he will be a good man if you do these things’..

[…] Previous 8 motivi per cui non riusciamo a capire cosa c’è che non va nel sociopatico Traduzione dell’articolo “8 reasons why we can’t see whats wrong with the sociopath.  “ […]


Happiness beyond silence nice translation. italian?


Hi. I’m not sure if this is the right place to jump in, but how do you all deal with the guilt of wanting to leave? My religious beliefs are really the only thing keeping me here … and the guilt about wanting to leave. He’s being nice right now, after a big blowup last week. How do I know if he’s really going to treat me better, or if it’s just temporary? Am I overreacting and not giving him the benefit of the doubt? His brothers don’t like him, but all of our friends think he’s awesome. Yuck. And please give me any advice you have. Thank you!


Kayo2, Not sure what religion has to do with guilt over leaving an abusive person, but I trust it must play into it for you. Maybe about breaking marriage vows?

I just cannot imagine any god wanting someone to stay in a relationship that harms them. But I am not religious. So, I think you need to (perhaps) look deeper into your connection to your religion, and maybe deeper into what your god would truly want for you?

As for his brothers, they are a much better judge of his character than any friends could be. They have known him more intimately, and for a longer period of time. Friends can be fooled, isolated from one another, and the truth can be hidden from them much more easily.

If he has a personality disorder and is a big fat narcissist, he is not sorry, and cannot really understand himself enough to change. He thinks he is perfect just the way he is, no matter what he says. WORDS are only weapons for these types, not a means of communicating in any meaningful way. So, listening to them is not helpful in deciding what to do.

Paying attention to what they do, over and over again, and paying attention to what your instincts/intuition is telling you is much more important.


Hi Kayo2, I think most victims (Including myself when I was still married go my ex h a sociopath) that are married, believe in their wedding vows, no matter what religion. Most vows state: together no matter what. Right? Some wedding vows are “For sickness & health, for better or worse, for rich or poorer”. These vows are a brain washing belief system. Yes, they are a brain washing belief system. To make you stick it out.? But, guess what? These wedding & religious vows do not state “ you must stay together even when your spouse is emotionally, mentally, verbally, finical and or physically abusing you. Why not?

Because the wedding vows give you an EXIT DOOR out of the abusive marriage!!

Say that again!!

Because your wedding vows give you an EXIT door out of the abusive marriage!!

The fact that he is continually abusing you emotionally & mentally etc IS your exit out of this ABUSIVE marriage!!

Your religious wedding vows give you an EXIT door out of your marriage!! Plain & simple.

You should feel no guilt. You have been trying for a long time to fix your marriage. Guess what is happening? You are trying to fix it endlessly, like spinning on a hamster wheel to no where ville…but your husband is not working on the marriage (maybe for a slit second to suck you back in after a big fight, only for him to go back to his abusive ways…he is creating the issues in your marriage! He is creating your marriage issues intentionally!!

Keep educating your self here at love fraud. Be sure to clear you history. Open up to your most trusted friends & family. And most importantly get help from your local domestic abuse center for an “Domestic Abuse Exit & Safety plan” out of your abusive marriage.

PLEASE KNOW THAT THE MOST DANGEROUS TIME FOR A WOMAN IN A ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP IS WHEN SHE IS READY TO LEAVE OR HAS JUST LEFT. So get help out. The USA National Domestic Violence Hotline is 800-799-SAFE where you can talk to a free counselor about this Exit plan and also get local numbers where you can go and get counseling & help out.

In addition Lovefraud offers a online education program to help you educate yourself so you understand what he is doing to you. Have all your ducks in a row before you leave.

Wishing you all the best in 2019!! Happy New Years! 🎉💜🎉

(ps Slimon’s advice for you is excellent).

LOOK UP THE “DOMESTIC ABUSE POWER & CONTROL WHEEL”…to see first hand the cycle that you are in at the hands of your husband.

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