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By | January 21, 2008 87 Comments

Differentiating narcissists and psychopaths

Editor’s note: This article was submitted by Steve Becker, LCSW, CH.T, who has a private psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, and clinical consulting practice in New Jersey, USA. For more information, visit his website, powercommunicating.com.

We can begin by noting something that both narcissists and psychopaths share: a tendency to regard others as objects more than persons. Immediately this raises concerns: you don’t have to empathize with objects; objects don’t have feelings worth recognizing. You can toy with objects; manipulate and exploit them for your own gratification, with a paucity of guilt.

Welcome to the world of the narcissist and psychopath. Theirs is a mindset of immediate, demanded gratification, with a view of others as expected—indeed existing—to serve their agendas. Frustrate their agendas, and you can expect repercussions, ranging from the disruptive to ruinous.

Distinct explanations for their actions

The behaviors of narcissists and psychopaths can look very similar in their staggering disregard and abuse of others. Distinctions arise, however, in the explanation of their actions. The narcissist will crave recognition and validation. He will demand that others notice and appreciate his special qualities; his special qualities make his needs special, which leaves him feeling entitled to their satisfaction. He demands all this as if his inner self is at stake, and it is. Disappointment leaves him feeling unappreciated, neglected. Anger and rage then surface in aggressive and passive-aggressive displays, often in proportion to the hurt and vulnerability he can’t own.

The psychopath is less obsessed than the narcissist with validation. Indeed, his inner world seems to lack much of anything to validate: it is barren, with nothing in it that would even be responsive to validation. An emotional cipher, the psychopath’s exploitation of others is more predatory than the narcissist’s. For the psychopath, who may be paranoid, the world is something like a gigantic hunt, populated by personified-objects to be mined to his advantage.

Example: narcissists and psychopaths as cheaters

As an example, let’s take a hypothetical narcissist and psychopath: Both males (females can be narcissists and psychopaths), both married, with families; and both compulsively conducting extra-marital affairs. Both have managed to avoid exposure principally due to the ease and remarkable skill with which they routinely lie and dissemble. They are equally persuasive in declaiming their fidelity to their wives as they are at contriving their unmarried status to their mistresses. Nevertheless, from time to time, their wives may approach them with uneasy suspicions, to which they’ll respond not with accountability, but as with outrage to have to deign to address their wives’ anxieties. They will impugn their wives for raising doubts about them, leaving the latter feeling defensive, guilty, and perhaps ashamed.

Narcissist is insecure

To this point, there is little on the surface to distinguish them. But going deeper, we discover that our narcissist is actually terribly insecure and needy. For him, having affairs validates his masculinity. His seductive abilities reassure him of his manhood. If he can no longer seduce and sleep with women, he is nothing; he has “lost it.” Feeling his nothingness/worthlessness, he grows depressed, despairing. He might even feel like killing himself. To salvage his collapsing self-image, he needs an infusion of reassurance, sought in a new affair. In the narcissist’s world, the more his psychic welfare is threatened, the more hers is disposable.

The narcissist will rationalize his actions with his greatest defenses—blame and contempt: My wife has been nasty to me for a long time, and doesn’t remotely appreciate me anymore. She’s lucky all I do is cheat; I could leave her instead, with nothing. The fact that I’ve stayed is almost charitable. And these women I cheat with”¦sure, they all think I’m unmarried, and you know what, I basically am.

Our narcissist, as you see, has a dim notion of ethics; but his ethics are corrupted by alarming rationalizations. He is expert at furnishing these rationalizations seamlessly, leaving him as if with the untroubled conscience of the psychopath.

Psychopath plays a game

Our psychopath, meanwhile, has no ethics, and thus no need for rationalizations. He has affairs because he wants to. Life, for him, is a game. The game is about figuring out how to get what he wants now, by whatever stratagems necessary. And it’s a game without rules. Without rules, there is no violation, no exploitation; and even if there is, it’s part of the game. So our psychopath makes up the rules as he goes along, duping this individual and that, lying like a shameless child as he improvises his way in and out of his schemes, sometimes smoothly, sometimes not—but always heedless of, and absolutely indifferent to, the damage he causes.

The psychopath will sit back, reflecting on his infidelities, and laughing, think, “I’ve still got it.” He will mean, “I’ve still got the ability to maneuver these women like a puppeteer.” This will amuse him. The narcissist will sit back, and likewise think, “I’ve still got it.” But he will mean, “I’m still attractive. Women still find me irresistible. I’m okay, for now.”

Commonly, the psychopath is upheld as the incarnation of the murderous bogeyman. While it’s true that many cold-blooded killers are psychopaths, most psychopaths are not killers. The majority of psychopaths would find a messy murder too inconvenient and personally unpleasant a task to assume. This—the personal inconvenience and unpleasantness, not empathy for the slaughtered victim—explains why a great many more psychopaths than not, with chilling non-compunction, are more likely to target your life’s savings than butcher you, and dispose of your remains in several industrial-strength Hefty bags.

This doesn’t make the non-murderous psychopath “less psychopathic,” or “more sensitive” than the murderous psychopath; it merely reflects the calculus psychopaths apply in their decision-making: how can I get, or take what I want, for maximum instant gain, at minimum personal inconvenience?


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EnnLondon

I must say the distinctions confuse me, as they seem to vary in all the books I read. The books also tell us that comorbidity is common with the personality disorders in that particular cluster.

My ex did claim to suffer from depression but that to me seemed like part of the ‘pity play’ and the ‘if you don’t do what I want I might kill myself’.

If we can’t rely on the honesty of any of these people, how can we really know if deep down it’s fuelled by neediness and insecurity, and not just tactics?

I know that sociopaths/psychopaths are meant to be Antisocial Personality Disorder on that scale, but are they really all that different? I thought sociopath and psychopath simply meant ‘not having a conscience or empathy’ – doesn’t that apply to narcissists as well as people with ASPD and even those with BPD?

I think the psychopath you speak of here is schizoid as well as psychopathic. The psychopath I was involved with fit this but was clearly psychopathic:

The narcissist will crave recognition and validation. He will demand that others notice and appreciate his special qualities; his special qualities make his needs special, which leaves him feeling entitled to their satisfaction. He demands all this as if his inner self is at stake, and it is. Disappointment leaves him feeling unappreciated, neglected. Anger and rage then surface in aggressive and passive-aggressive displays, often in proportion to the hurt and vulnerability he can’t own.

Studies also show that many narcissists do not have unstable self esteem. Impulsivity seems to differentiate the two more than anything else, other than perhaps the hypomania that is part of psychopathy.

I would like to see clinicians and researchers debating these points for the public on this site. So feel free to debate away!

Also EnnLondon-

My next book explains the association between ASPD/sociopathy/psychopathy and narcissism-

MANY people lack conscience and empathy BUT because they are also NOT driven to do evil, they don’t damage others much. Perpetrating evil requires BOTH poor conscience/empathy AND motivation to hurt others.

Those with conscience and empathy may be motivated to hurt but these hold them back.

EnnLondon

I can’t wait to read it! I never thought I’d get so interested in a subject again – I could almost thank my ex some days! 🙂

What was it about what I said that made you think schizoid? From the descriptions I think my sociopath fits closely to either ASPD or NPD. I don’t think he fits so well with schizoid (endless sexual relationships and ‘relationships-in-waiting’) but it never occurred to me before.

The whole thing’s made me think about ‘evil’ and what it is a lot though. I thought that they didn’t necesarily have motivation to hurt others – quite often it seems to be a happy accident, as by-product of their desire to dominate everything. Oh I don’t know. It’s all scrambling my brain! (But it’s something to think about! 🙂 )

It is not EnnLondon’s description that overlaps with schizoid it is this quots from the post above:

“Indeed, his inner world seems to lack much of anything to validate: it is barren, with nothing in it that would even be responsive to validation. An emotional cipher,”

again though many have described narcissists with those words.

EnnLondon

Ah thanks for clarifying – I thought you must have meant that.

alohatraveler

My ex is definately a Narciccist but he is very predatory as well. I am tried to figure out for sure what he is but “no one has a good clean disorder” (I read that in a book by the way).

Anyway, I enjoy the clarification and I will definately read the new book when it comes out.

:o)

Beverly

When I read all the classifications, my ex is definately a Narcissist, then he seems to be abit of all of the classifications! The classifications are not cut and dried. When I read Sam Valkin’s narrative on Narcissists, he is describing my ex perfectly, because he picks up the behaviours that may not at first appear to be Narcissist, but are a different blend in that Narcissistic category.

peggywhoever

My ex was a narcissist, and my former was a sociopath. It is sometimes difficult to distinguish between the two, but apparently both (according to the article above I have tried paraphrase to understand it better) have 1) blatant disregard for people 2) regard people as objects 3) both demand gratification 4) people exist to meet their agendas

But they vary in the following:

Narcissists:

1) Can have rage and passive/aggressive tendencies , 2) they view themselves as “special” 3) they are insecure and needy 4) affairs validate their masculinity 5) they rationalize their behaviors (a dim notion of ethics)

Sociopaths:

1) are more predatory 2) have no ethics 3) view life as a game WITHOUT RULES 4) they are indifferent to the damage they cause 5) having an affair will amuse him that he can manipulate people

My narcissist husband didn’t damage me emotionally, but the 3-year relationship with the sociopath has caused emotional devastation (4 months hence). The sociopath’s blatant disregard for the pain of others, and his statement “done is done” meaning that when they walk out that door, they’re gone, and they aren’t coming back. Furthermore, they’ll never think of you again (unless they have an agenda that there is some way you can benefit them). I think of an analogy for the sociopath’s departure as a diaper… after you’ve thrown it in the trash, you never consider it again.

Both my ex and former had affair(s), but the former (sociopath) was so smooth and cool in his lying that I thought he was a man of integrity and I trusted him implicitly. Even when I had evidence of the sociopath’s affair…pictures, e-mails, phone records, etc., he denied it and then accused ME of having an affair (I didn’t). Only much later did I realize that he was just the best actor I had ever met. Nothing in life has prepared me for the deep sense of betrayal in this relationship. Of course he has moved on to his next victim…within 4 months he has conned himself into an expensive house, car, etc. He’s good. He’s very, very good (at “loving” and at conning).
[email protected]

CZBZ

I do have a question about the differentiation between NPD and Malignant Narcissism. The latter has been defined by Kernberg as falling between NPD and AsPD. Malignant Narcissism is manifested by more aggression, exploitation and sadism than NPD itself.

Even though the Malignant Narcissist displays similar characteristics to someone we might deem to be psychopathic, the Malignant Narcissist retains the capacity for feeling ‘guilty’, being loyal and caring about other people (if it suits their needs; definitely not altruism).

I appreciate this passage in particular: “He demands all this as if his inner self is at stake, and it is. Disappointment leaves him feeling unappreciated, neglected. Anger and rage then surface in aggressive and passive-aggressive displays, often in proportion to the hurt and vulnerability he cannot own. ”

When a Narcissist is threatened with defeat (after all his heroic efforts to maintain the False Self have failed), he may protect his fragile ego and shame-based emotions with increased aggression towards others; though it’s not a sustained pattern of criminal behavior such as we see in sociopaths/psychopaths.

While narcissists are frequently referred to as Predators, I think it’s imperative to make the distinction between people suffering from a NPD and those who are Malignant Narcissists (predatory).

Also, the narcissist is terrified of being exposed and thus ‘shamed’. My understanding is that this is not the same with psychopaths who lack even the most basic of human emotions.

Thanks for any clarification…it’s been very rewarding reading everyone’s replies. (Lots of confusion ‘out there’ about Psychopathy & Narcissism. ) I’d love to have a clear understanding about the distinctions.

suzymae

I don’t know where to go from all of this”I am convinced I am in a relationship with a sociopath, narcissist, psychopath”and I tell him all the time even though he gets pissed”but my story is somewhat”not a lot different but different. My sociopath always tries to push me away. when we met I had just suffered a nervous breakdown and lenghthy separation from my now ex. he helped me and my son with bills and self-esteem but never touched me physically. He did however, dominate certAIN ASPECTS OF MY LIFE (I ALLOWED HIM TO) I was getting my Masters degree (he helped me get it too) but he took my raggedy truck from me pretending to get it fixed while sending drivers or letting me drive his vehicles then he pissed me off and i threatened him for not giving me my truck back after three months. he reported my vehicle abandoned then pretended that a neighbor did it and wouldn’t take me anywhere anymore. I got my own truck back just to show him fuck you. Mind you he would let me drive his expensive cars and trucks. I drove my raggedy truck around like it was his Benz. He owned many of the homes in our neighborhood and had lots of money and power and still does, so I was afraid for my life cause I threatened him so bad. Nobody talks to him like that, although I genuinely loved him and he never physically hurt me. but he stalked me somewhat. He divorced I moved and we fought for a year”only verbally”he cancelled me out of his life and my egotistical ass couldn’t handle the rejection. finally I received a large sum of money and called him back into my life”why or lord why? We have been very intimate and have a ball when we are together but he will not commit and has hit me up for over 10K and i am pissed. he found me a home that i paid cash for and will help me when he gets ready but he is such a scary psycho type that I don’t know how to break away. He says he will not penetrate me cause he wants us to stay friends and not complicate things by sex but we do everything else and he keeps hitting me up for money. I also have close ties with his children. Although he says we dont go together, I told him about an old beau who was helping my son get a job and the next thing i know the windows on my car were busted out twice”i rationalized it wasnt him cause he’s too money hungry to make me waste two deductibles but now I’m not so sure. He treats me indiffernetly when I am all over him and stalks me when I ignore him but that still doesn’t make him feel bad about lying or not keeping dates or business arrangements”It’s a viscious rollercoaster, especially because I really love him. He has Tourette Syndrome and I heard Bipolar disorder but I am bipolar and dont do dirty crap to people and Im honest and trustworthy. I don’t know who or what I am dealing with”I just want to feel safe in moving on. His friends and guys that work for him on houses etc. treat me like a queen and are afraid of him and jump when he says frog and are always amazed when I say we don’t go together”they say he loves the hell out of me but he wont tell me that nor make full love to me. He is a control freak and I bitch and fuss and cuss him out and tell him what a satan he is and he hardly ever verbally fusses at me, cause I would cry like a baby if he said some of the stuff to me that I say to him but only when he hurts my feelings, intelligence or acts indifferent about doing low-down shit to me. He is patient and nothing bothers him and I just dont know what to think”i know I have dependency issues but I do my thing(I have all my friends and family and am not isolated or any of that) but I never cheat on him and am loyal to only him and he knows that and I am afraid that if i leave that he will harm me or my family cause he is a gangster in our town. I cant even believe i am posting this because anyone knowing our story will know who this is. I left many details out but I really would like some feedback from everyone. He is very mannerable, we can talk about anything and we do”its scary though, he remembers every freaking thing I have ever said to him from 2004 til now. He does all kinds of wonderful things for people but expects things in return that you don’t see coming. He has more patience than a saint. I just know that he will con you into business deals and then keep lying that he is gonna come through and then not feel bad when he doesn’t. Player or sociopath or both. I love my house but not how he took my money and then didn’t complete all the work. I am not a meek receptor though”I go off and threaten and sometimes it works, other times he really hurts my feelings and leaves me hanging. he has this new crying wolf game that he has done 3 times in the last month”He’ll call and say he ran out of gas to see if i will come to his rescue and of course I always say yes but am pissed and then he says naw I’m just f’in with you but thank you. I’m pissed that I keep passing the test cause there have been some life events in my family that he hoed me on and I don’t ever know when he can be trusted but I am afraid to let go. Your thoughts?

Friday, 25 January 2008 @ 7:33pm

jules

my ex the s path i think after reading here is a part narcissist too. as when he get s rejected by one of the girls he is so heavily persuing he seems low and angry but its like hidden anger and he would act like tis not affecting him but you can tell it has. since we broke up nearly every time he gets rejected by a girl he calls me and wants to get together, and this could be after weeks maybe months of him not even calling me. then when we see each other if i agree to get together he will try to have sex with me almost every time this happens. its like he is trying to make himself feel better after they rejected him by having sex with me. strange way to act if your upset i would think the last thing on your mind would b e to have sex with someone else. sometimes in the begining i would go along with it cause i still had feelings for him but then i felt bad after we did it it wasnt like making love it was just sex he didnt say anything nice he didnt show any affection during or after. i felt like a prostitute without getting any money. i would like to know is it damaging to my mental health and well being for me to have had this sort of sex without emotion from him, is it bad for me. any of the doctors please i would like to know if you an answer or any one else reading for that matter. at the moment i feel lost at sea very lonely he isnt calling which should be good right but no one is calling. and i wonder if i am ever going to meet a decent nice man i feel attracted to so i can get on with my life, the slience is deafening at the moment. i think with him the attraction was so strong because he was trying so hard to pull me into him and make me want to be with him he must of been acting so much to make me feel this way. also now i find it is hard to compare the feelings i get when i meet other guys cause it feels like that strong pull or connection isnt there it is a totally different feeling. i guess no one and nothing stroked my ego as much as he did to make me fall like that. well im trying to be strong now but some days its all too much.

Tami Newman

I’ve struggled with trying to determine whether my ex husband is a sociopath, a narcissist, or a sex addict for over a year now. Maybe he’s all of the above. I thought maybe if I shared my story…someone on here could help me understand.

He was 8 years my junior and had accomplished very little in his life. Drove an old beat up truck and wore ragged clothes. I, on the other hand, had just bought a new house, drove a new car and had been on my job over 20 years. He was so charming and sweet. He told me that he wanted to be somebody, said he was a good person and wanted others to respect him for who he was rather than looking down on him. He told me how beautiful I was and how much he wanted to be with me. I felt I could see inside him and that he had a good heart and deserved a chance. I helped him get a decent vehicle to drive, bought him new clothes and basically cleaned him up. He looked sharpe and we looked good together. He showered me with attention and told me how beautiful I was and how much he loved me all throughout the day every day for nearly 8 years.

There were red flags that popped up even before we were married a year. He made some flirty comments to a young girl who worked one of the fast foods in my neighborhood–it got back to me. I confronted him…he told me he was just aggravating her. He called his brother’s wife (whom he had had a brief romance with before any of us ever married each other) on the phone and told her that he was going to sneak over there when his brother was at work and they could basically pick back up where they’d left off. She told me. He discredited her and said that everyone knew how she was and that I shouldn’t pay her any mind. He made an inappropriate comment to a co-worker of mine during a time when I was serving as interim first in charge. I removed him from the property to avoid a sexual harassment mess. She was a very attractive young lesbian and he told me that she just “had a problem with men and that he was only trying to compliment her”. I also learned of an incident in which he was accused of inappropriate behavior with a child years before I met him. Then, I found 2 ladies’ phone numbers in his truck. He told me that he never called them and that he just got them to see if he could. When I confronted him about these incidences, each time he would break down and cry and ask me if I was going to divorce him, tell me that he made and mistake and was sorry. I’ve forgive but if I brought an incident up later…he’d get angry and tell me that I had to let it go. He continued to shower me with attention, affection and wanted sex daily. After awhile, I started to feel like an object to him rather than a person. Over time, he also stopped helping me out with household chores and would not seek steady employment. Most of the financial burden was on me. I was getting more and more stressed from taking care of both of us and trying to buy him things that he wanted–some small and some expensive. At times, I’d come home and he would burst into tears, ask me if I was having an affair and tell me that I no longer cared about him nor found him attractive. He’d say that he wasn’t good enough for me and that I was way out of his league and that he never dreamed that he could ever have a woman like me. I’d comfort him and tell him that I indeed still loved him very much but I needed some help because stress was taking a toll on me. I also entered menopause about the 4th year of our marriage and didn’t feel quite as sexy as I once did. I forced myself to have sex with him at any rate because I knew he expected it. I actually became quite the actress!When I would try to talk to him about the effects the hormone imbalance was having on me and explain to him that the docs would eventually get me balanced, he made it all about him by saying that I just wasn’t interested in him anymore. So, then I’d go overboard trying to show him that I was very much still interested in him and our marriage.

At any rate, one day out of the blue, he announced to me that he was unhappy and “had” to leave. I was totally shocked! Things seemed fine as far as his loving and wanting to be with me. I assumed it was another woman because I knew that he was too insecure and incapable of taking care of himself. He denied it, told me he loved me more than anything but had to prove to himself that he could make it on his own. I tried to reason with him and found myself reassuring him once again of his worth. I was heartbroken and devastated…his mind seemed made up and he seemed to take on a totally different personality. He was so changed, I honestly feared that he was sick. I couldn’t figure out how this had happened–things were fine only days before. He stayed 3 weeks after telling me that he had to leave because he said he had nowhere to go. During that three weeks, he still came to me for sex and I obliged…I was trying to save my marriage. Then, he’d say cold, heartless things to me. His face would go totally dark and he’d look at me with eyes of steel. He told me he didn’t see what the big f*ing deal was, we’d still be friends, he’d call me and maybe we could even hook up sometime. Then, he’d approach me telling me how much how beautiful I was and how much he loved me and how hard leaving me was going to be. However, he acted totally unconcerned that I was heartbroken. He’d turn the radio on and sing along to the songs and act as if nothing was happening. He laid down and slept like a baby while I stayed awake all night. I couldn’t force myself to eat and he had to see the weight falling off me. However, he seemed totally oblivious to any of it–almost like he was in a dream state. I finally learned that indeed it was another woman–29 years old–married–and with a good job. He had been seeing her for 3 weeks. I then told him that yes, he had to leave and had to leave then. I also told him that he came with nothing and that he’d leave with nothing. He left walking.

He went straight to the other woman. She left her husband. Before they had been together a full 2 months and before she had even filed for a divorce from her husband, my ex convinced her to finance a double wide to put on his mother’s property, buy him new clothes, and a jeep to drive. He had no credit history–she had to do it all. I was still very heartbroken wondering what I did that made him leave me when his friends started to come forward and tell me the things that he had done during our marriage. Basically, he had slept with other women throughout our entire marriage–not necessarily affairs–but with anyone he could. From 17 year olds to women who were over 60. All of of ill repute and one didn’t have a tooth in her head! I am an attractive, well liked and respected woman. I couldn’t comprehend how he could do these things and then come home to me and seemingly be the perfect loving husband and continue to have sex with me almost daily. His friends told me that he’d always been like this and that he had a problem and one even referred to him as a predator.

I’ve been through 2 failed marriages before and although they were difficult, I was never left feeling as though I had been violated and raped. After learning the things that he did during our marriage, his leaving me for another woman became the least of my concerns. I feel unclean and very foolish in that I could have allowed someone to mislead me this badly for as long as he did. Looking back, I can now see the fakeness in him. He was always “Mr. Nice Guy”. He refused to talk to me after he left and forced me to communicate the details about the divorce, etc. to his girlfriend through her myspace page. I actually feel sorry for her in that I strongly suspect that he’s doing the same things to her that he did to me. I knew the girl before and am old enough to be her mother. I tried to warn her but of course she thinks that I just want him back. She says she believes he is trying to change and that he loves her because of all the attention and affection he gives her. She says that he has admitted all the things he did during our marriage to her and says that I didn’t deserve any of it and his telling her the truth is why she stays with him. He didn’t reveal these things to her until I told her about them and she confronted him. Of course, he says he’d never do these things to her. So, I’m confused and still reeling somewhat trying to figure out what makes someone like this tick.

jules

well reading this is like my story being replayed my ex s path was younger too but i am attractive he had nothing compared to all my other partners had achieved. but he layed all the love talk and compliments on so thick i fell hook line and sinker. like you he was always saying i love u im not good enough for you and when i caught him doing something bad or lying he too cried and begged me i cant lose you. things happened in the begining too he worked at the same place as me and the girls there had complaints about him too being inappropriate and flirting. i also think now there were other girls he was calling and poss seeing while i was out working. i became paranoid in the end and second guessed everything he told me i resorted to looking at his phone bills which did reveal somethings, but he was a master at this craft. in the end when things got really bad i too like was under massive stress and could not sleep while he slept like a babe all through the night he was plotting to leave me. he even told me aobut a week before he left that he loved me. i was depressed i too had been thru a broken marriage before this but not lik ethis break up it killed, i also lost weight and my mind was spinning trying to work out all the things he did while we were together and some of i did but a lot i still dont know what he did behind my back. also when we split he still clung on to me and wanted to see me a friends but for him tha t included sex and in my depressed state i went along with it wcih mad eme feel worse. it is two years now and i am trying to meet some one nice who i can trust he and i are still friends sort of but he still lies to me even now about stupid things hes had a few woman since me but nothing has worked out for him i also think he has few he just strings along for sex. he also seems to prefer the younger girls now i think easier to con for him. you will never work it out and prob go mad tryin to like me and everyone else on here. it i slike doctor jekyl and mister hyde so different to how he used to be when he was trying to get me first off. the best thing is i now know how his mind works and it makes it easier to handle any contact with him and protect myself. i did really love him. but the best thing you can do is know that there brain doesnt work right and they are in a sense disabled emotionaly i have recently learned this thru reading on here and other books and it is helping me to know its not me its his ill brain not working and it nevr will no matter who he thinks he is with that will change it it wont. now i am spending time on me and my life and getting what i want . i do feel for you they seem to even use th same words and behaviour in lot of these stories ive read so how can they all be the same because they are all ill . my ad vice is just focus on you and your life.

gillian

Tami Newman,

Ooh boy, can I ever relate to your story. In my case, and only because of some wild flukes, I figured out my socio husband’s plans before he actually left me for another woman. Otherwise he would have abandoned me and our daughter, under false pretenses, without any warning whatsoever. Most likely he would have said he needed some time alone, and then never come back (like he did to the woman before me).

He had already arranged for a place to stay. Not with the other woman. Not yet. She was still going through a divorce from a spouse she had also been lying to for years. (I met the other woman–“K” I’ll call her–and she told me how her husband was insanely jealous, psychotic, how he was stalking everyone she talked to, how he scoured phone records; she must have had a cell phone he didn’t know about or he would have seen the hundreds of phone calls she made to my husband.) Plus her husband, having heard “the rumor,” had threatened to kill my husband if he ended up with K, so my husband and K had to angle things just right.

No, he was going to move in with her best “friend”–“D,” a woman he and K had both worked with (he still does)–who lives only 30 minutes from K, and whose house I don’t doubt he and K often rendezvoused at–that is, when they weren’t at my house. (I found evidence of K being at my house on two different occasions, but my husband–like any good sociopath–was able to come up with plausible, if highly unlikely, explanations, which was helped along by my willingness (banging head here) to dismiss those discrepancies as unexplained mysteries of life.)

But by the time my husband finally moved out (almost a month after he had originally planned to), he was no longer welcome at D’s because, three weeks earlier, I freaked her out.

What happened is my husband had to go to the ER with an injured knee, I accompanied him and, by glorious coincidence, D ended up being his nurse.

When my husband and I walked up to the nurses’ station, even though I’d never met D before, I knew right away who she was. Middle-aged, buff, Farrah-Fawcett smile. My husband had described her to me after revealing how she would often take phone calls from K and then transfer them to him so that other employees–who would have recognized K’s voice since she worked there until pressured by her husband to quit–wouldn’t know the real reason she was calling–a scheme my husband admitted to while trying to wiggle out of one of my more probing questions.

While my husband spoke with the other nurses, I simply stared at D. No expression on my face. Just stood there silently staring. She flitted about nervously behind the desk and kept her head down. Three times she glanced up at me and each time looked right back down.

Then, when my husband introduced us I said I’d heard a lot about her. “Uh oh, no bueno,” she mumbled to herself as she led my husband to his bed. An hour later she asked me: “So…what has [socio husband] told you about me?”

I just shrugged my shoulders and hummed a wordless I don’t know.

So that was another plan dashed for my husband. Ultimately he ended up moving in with some guy and is trying desperately to figure out how to make it look like the end of our marriage isn’t his fault. He tells everyone who will listen that he loves me and wants to come home. He’s gone to counseling, he’s going to AA. Look everybody! See how hard I’m trying; I really want to go home, but Gilly won’t let me (sniff sniff).

His machinations are crazy. Of course he and K are still seeing each other. Plotting their next move, no doubt. Plus he’s scamming on women he meets in AA. He goes to meetings in different cities, so this one won’t know about that one and that one won’t know about this one. He is such a predator. I knew his voicemail password (up until telling him a few weeks ago), so I heard a couple incriminating messages he had not deleted. Later I told him and was that a shockeroo. He sat there stunned for about five minutes. Then he demanded to know what I’d heard. I didn’t tell him because I knew whatever I’d say he’d deny it. I could have him on videotape and he would still deny it. He would say I had the videotape doctored. I could have an eye-witness and he’d come up with something. He always does. He thinks the truth is whatever he can make people believe, or whatever he believes he’s made people believe, or at the very least the last thing he said.

In addition to all that, since he left, he’s pressured me to have sex and, though I’m ashamed to admit it, I relented a couple of times. I know I was still somewhat in denial. I couldn’t handle reality; I was hoping for a miracle, hoping he could come home and be the man I always thought he was. I was heart-broken. Plus, I still couldn’t quite grasp that anyone so sincere sounding could be so full of shit!

One of my best friends (who was once married to a psychopath) told me that I was like a rubber band. My husband would pull me back, back, say he loved me, he was sorry, he couldn’t live without me. He’d stretch me back so far, totally pull me in, and then wham, he’d release me, sending me flying off into space.

In a way, I knew what was happening. I knew it was hopeless. But I wasn’t ready to let go of the dream. I had loved him for so long. I thought he loved me. I can remember a couple of times he called me and just before answering the phone I whispered, “Please lie to me some more.”

I wasn’t yet ready to handle the truth.

Now I’m doing much better. I’ve reached a point where although I grieve for what I’ve lost–my dreams and the past and the future I thought I had–I realize I am better off without him, that I can find happiness, that I can survive, and that, finally, I have absolutely no reason to be jealous of K. She’s actually getting just what she deserves and she’ll be sorry soon enough.

Tami Newman

Thank you so much for your responses. I will say that I am glad that he has never tried to come back and that he was never violent. Does one have to be physically violent to be a sociopath? However, I do believe that if the younger woman hadn’t been such easy prey and willing to dash out of her marriage so quickly and open her purse up to him that more than likely he would have tried to come back. At the time, he had no other options–it was either me or her. Bless her heart, and she thinks SHE’S the winner! And, one thing that I know for certain about him is that he will NEVER be alone–it seems that he just can’t. A few days after he left, they went for a weekend getaway–took pictures and plastered them all over their myspace pages as well as mushy public comments. His leaving was devastating enough and he knew how hurt I was…it was almost as though he wanted to see just how badly he could hurt me–why–I have no idea. And, the craziest thing of all was that they somehow convinced her parents to allow them to live with them although they were both still married to their spouses and divorces hadn’t even been filed at the time! It just amazed me that a 39 year old man would actually live with a woman’s parents whom he didn’t know from Adam! He must have really laid some heavy charm on them! I can just hear him now telling them how he loves their daughter more than anything in the world and would never do anything to hurt her! That’s how he operates–always wants to be Mr. Nice Guy.

As of tomorrow the divorce will be final a year. I have good days and bad days. I’ve learned not to expect any compassion from my friends in regard to my marriage and divorce from him. I don’t think they understood that this was NOT the typical divorce. Within a month after he’d left, my friends and family were telling me to get over it and move on. I honestly thought that I was the crazy one in that I kept allowing it to eat at me so badly. I finally found the understanding I needed to begin my healing through a family counselor. It was he who told me that he felt my ex is a sociopath. He also explained to me that those people with the “get over it” attitude had never been involved with one or they’d understand fully how I felt. He explained that there is a huge difference between being a jilted lover and the “victim” of a sociopath.

At one point, I became determined to save the girl that he left me for–she’s so very young and after I learned all that I had learned about the horrible things that he did throughout our entire marriage and that he had conducted himself in the same manner in all previous relationships–I almost felt as though it somehow was my duty to inform her. He didn’t even try to deny that he had done these horrible things and told her that I was a good person and didn’t deserve these things and that he was really sorry for what he did to me! Poor girl! She really ate that one up! She told me that she believed that the was trying to change because he said that he REALLY loved her and because he has been truthful with her. Am on right on target in seeing this as his way of continuing to play Mr. Nice Guy by not saying anything bad about me, admitting that he did indeed do these things to me and other women before me while at the same time convincing her that she’s that special one that he’s been waiting for all his life? He’s 40 years old now! I’ve tried to tell her that he told me the same thing! As I’m sure he told all the others before me. I reminded HER that his apology to her for what he did to ME was just another tactic to convince her that he is a changed man. If he was truely sorry, he’d apologize to me but he never will because he doesn’t need me for anything now that she’s providing him with what he wants. If she’d stop, she’d get a taste of just who he really is. But like I once did, she feels sorry for him and loves him because of all the attention he showers her with and the worthless words that come out of his mouth. She doesn’t stand a chance up against him and of course, believes that I’m the interfering ex that just wants my husband back! I wish she could crawl inside my brain for 5 seconds! I’ve stopped talking to her completely. It wasn’t healthy and it was very frustrating! I suspect that my revelations about him were only helping him become better at what he does at any rate. I also have a strong suspicion that he just may have met his match in this little gal. She continues to talk to her ex husband on the phone and declares that they made a pack to stay friends. She openly flirts with other men in an attempt to make my ex jealous–very immature high school behavior. She reminds my ex that if he screws up that she has a long string of men “just dying” to take her out. She’s hasn’t a clue that she’s spinning her own web and it will be these things that he’ll use against her someday once he’s identified his next victim and used her up financially and sexually. Am I on target here?

alohatraveler

You are absolutely on target. The problem is people don’t know what Sociopaths are. And once a person is showered with that romance and over the top affection, there is nothing you can say that will get through to them.

I wonder if you talked to her parents, if that would help? I mean you don’t want him back and he didn’t run off with your money so what would be your motivation?

I might say something like this, “If you love your daughter, you might want to educate yourself about Sociopaths. I believe Mr. Nice Guy is one. He sure had me fooled.” I think the only thing we can do is put the idea and the word “sociopath” in their head. Then when they get that strange feeling, they might start on their journey and figure it all out.

And this: “there is a huge difference between being a jilted lover and the “victim” of a sociopath” Thank you for that!!! This could not be more true. Being a victim of a Sociopath is not something you just walk away from. I think it is because of the way they appeal to our innermost desires, our most sacred dreams, and we give them access to our hearts… and then they betray us in a way that is so clever… it’s like a movie with a twist that you didn’t see coming… or like seeing something so horrific that you never could have imagined and wishing that you hadn’t seen it because now it is forever in your psyche… that is why we can’t just “get over it.” We can get over it, but not in the way that people would like us to.

Beverly

Just saved a friend from a potential ‘hitman’. She was dating on the internet, and I was telling her my story, and the guy was very charming to begin with and then turned nasty, so she read my ‘red flags’ and ditched him. There was a story this week in the Daily Mail a UK paper, talking about a woman of 63 who was robbed through love from a man who pretended to love her, but he had a partner, he stole £100,000 from her, persuading her to buy land and property in Jamaica. The headline said ‘How could I have been so stupid’. There was no mention of lovefraud, or of him being a predator, and women of 50 and over are particularly vulnerable to being ‘had’ and seduced, especially as older women have more assets and available monies. I would like to see more publicity around this in the UK. I have seen many articles that describe but do not categorise narcissist/sociopath behaviour, so it is still unidentified as such. The problem is that once these women have been robbed, there is no mention of them getting their money back. People go to court for miniscule sums of money than this.

gennyrabbit

i think my x-roommate was a narcissist. in some ways he reminded me of my dad and x-boyfriend who are both sociopaths (i believe).

i think that sociopaths in a lot of ways are pretty socially inept. their facade works but they also fail massively. i think they can disregard caring about what other people think of them. but my x-roommate cared all the time. his major was PR because it helped him with socialization. he would throw tantrums if he didn’t impress people how he wanted to. and immediately he would lie in order to build up a facade. sociopaths do that to but his facade was based on bragging.

Tami Newman

Here I am again! I guess I’m still trying to “make sure” that I’m not wrong about my ex being a sociopath. I’m wondering if this is a typical sociopath trait: my ex would NEVER be the bad guy. If he had a perfectly leggit complaint or concern that he voiced to a friend, relative, or even a co-worker in regard to themselves–he told them that I was behind the complaint. He once asked for a raise and told his boss that his wife (I) would not allow him to work for the wages he was currently receiving! I could have died from embarassment! If he had a complaint with a neighbor–he’d tell the neighbor that I had the problem with them. Is this something that socio’s typically do? Also, he was described by many as being “too damn” nice. I keep hearing a lot about socio’s and aggression or violence. I guess one could say that he was passive aggressive but mainly when it came to me. He was mostly very passive but a few times when he became verbally aggressive, it certainly was a drastic change. Basically, it was like he went overboard in trying to impress other people. Is this what they do?

changedforever

That’s because they charm, and manipulate everybody. They have chameleons like behavior and can be very convincing when they want to impress people. That’s why only people who have an intimate relationship with them can recognize the other face. Usually on other’s people eyes they seem to be very nice people and everybody loves them. They do this on purpose to drive you crazy. Who’s going to believe you? That’s how they live. Don’t forget that they are pure evil. Everything they do is calculated to serve only their ultimate purpose. For them this is a game where everybody involved with no exception is part of their evil puzzle.

changedforever

Tami

My last comment was for you.

Tami Newman

Thank you, Pitanga. You know, after reading the above description of a narcissist as a cheater, it is THAT description that best fits him; however, he acted more like a sociopath in other ways–mimicking grief, concern, spirituality, etc. He was very much a drama king. And he REALLY acted like a sociopath when he was leaving me. His family described his actions as being the way he’s always acted when he was “through”.

It seemed that he needed constant validation and reasurrance that I found him attractive and loved him. He also seemed to base love purely on sex. He even told his new girl that he needed sex at least once a day and asked her if that would be a problem. She told him “no” because she was a very sexual person. He also informed her that he was a very needy person and that if he didn’t get the attention and sex he wanted, he would seek it elsewhere. She doesn’t seem to understand that nothing she does will ever be enough–he will consume her soul with his constant needs. He didn’t even want me to cook or do housework–said it took too much time away from us. And when I was cooking or doing dishes, he would be right there pulling and tugging at me copping feels. It was NOT normal playfulness! It interferred with my ability to carry out normal household tasks and certainly did NOT allow for anytime for myself whatsoever. I couldn’t even bend over the sink to brush my teeth. I’d had never experienced anything quite like it. And, when I’d ask him to stop so I could finish dinner, dishes, etc. He’d pull back and accuse me of no longer loving him or finding him diserable. I felt as though I tried so hard to keep up with his sexual needs and give him the attention he needed. And yet, he could go out and have sex with literally the first willing woman he found, and then come home and be the perfect loving husband and have sex with me within hours of being with someone else.

He was also a dreamer. He would conjure up ideas way beyond our means and act as though he expected me to be able to make them happen somehow–like buying a nightclub, or investing in other business ventures that I certainly could not afford when I was mostly the only one working out of the two of us. It was like he lived in a fantasy world. He was serious about these adventures and would get aggitated with me when I’d take a practical standpoint. He felt we should use the house payment one month and take a vacation on it. He didn’t understand why the grass had to be cut. He said it took too much time. When he wanted something, he wanted it right then and if he didn’t even seem to take into consideration that he didn’t have a job. I often feared that he thought I had some endless stash of funds somewhere that I kept hidden from him. It seemed that he expected that I could make anything happen that he wanted.

The girlfriend told me that he’d told her that he had been looking for another woman for a long time (to justify his infidelities–I’m sure), but that she was the first one that he had encountered that was “worth” leaving me for.

And, one last thing. He was very happy go lucky with me–giggly and to the point of being downright child-like and silly which I found a little annoying during stressful moments. It felt as though I were raising a child all over again. When he was leaving me, he developed this dark look and a coldness in his eyes. He’s been gone and with her for well over a year, but the darkness is still there. People who see him say that he looks terrible and still has this dark look. His brother tells me that he seems very full of aggression and acts mad at the world all the time. I don’t quite understand that unless it’s part of the chameleon thing and that’s who he feels that he needs to be now.

His father has told me that he felt he is a sex addict like he once was and now that he’s 40–he’ll stop all that and settle down.

I’m sorry for the many and long posts but this site is the most informational and helpful site I’ve found. I’ve actually told his girlfriend that I feel he is a sociopath and that he’ll never change simply because there is a very strong pattern to his behavior with a long history. Of course, she thinks she’s the special one that will turn him around and maybe she just might–I don’t know. Evidently, she believes this as she has invested a small fortune in him and says she’s going to do everything she can to keep up with his needs for attention and sex. She’s more woman than me! LOL!

jules

what i would like to know is why do they see sex as power? it is so similar in every story on here its such a big part of there sociopathic ways. it seems to get worse with some of them perhaps with age? Dont all little boys and girls get taught about sex when growing up that its about love affection caring and sharing . so how the hell do you get to the power part of that. i mean some people are very sexual but they dont set out to get power from it or hurt or manipulate anyone by means of sex. in fact i dont see that they always do gain power from the sex, in my relationship with the s path it wasnt like a power play, he definetly liked sex a lot but i didnt see him winning anything from having sex with me except maybe to try and prove to me that he loved me so much. in fact he was so careless with the sex in the begining not using protection and trusting me to cover that side of it, i could have easily gotten my self pregnant and then i would be the one having the power over him in fact, not that i wanted power like that. really my s path seemed very careless about a lot of things for all his scheming and plotting to do evil to me none of it was very well thought out really not in the begining now that i think about it a lot of the things he did in the first half of it all was more helpful to me in a lot of ways. but i guess it was all for him, and in the end his plotting was a lot more definite and not as messy as a lot of ther things he did during our relationship. i had no idea he was going to leave and he was plotting it for a while. in fact he tried to get me to end it by faking a message on his phone from a woman, i have no duobt there were other woman but on this occasion he faked it cause he knew it would be the last straw and i would probably end it forever but to his dismay i didnt so that back fired, i totally knew he faked it and what he was trying to do to get out the easy way to make me end it for him. who thinks like that . that was one of his famous sayings who does things like that? or who says things like that? yeh well he did . how ironic is there behaviour. i really think they are in the category of people who dont know how to have a relationship no matter how much they want something they screw it up eventually. i think he actually did want to be with me and to make it work in the begining, i think a big factor was security i had property and a secure life where as he had nothing and never had a secure life even growing up. but when things dont g o there way even a little bit things changed, he felt like he wasnt getting his own way, so he started thinking how can i get my own way ect ect we all know the story.

jules

i was reading an article in australia about this famous footballer his name is wayne carey he is on ddhg i think i saw a profile of him on there. anyway hes is always in the new s and papers over here. the latest thing he has done is he smasheda glass into his girl friends face, then when the police arrived he asaulted the police man. anyway i am pretty sure he is a sociopath if you want more info see ddhg. anway there was a doctor who read this wayne careys girlfriends my space page she wrote how she loved being in love she loved the extreme highs and the sometimes low lows she felt by being in love. the doctor said that after reading her my space that he thought her feelings of love where like an addcition like an addict feels the highs and then the lows and the rush you get from that. he felt that is why she didnt leave this man cause she was a addicted to him and the feelings she was getting in extremes . i feel this guy is really a sociopath and this poor pretty girl with a slashed face is very much his victim. but it was interesting how the doctor explained it like being addicted to the feelings and this was stopping her from leaving i hope she leaves now, and he should go to jail. another example of a high profile sociopath who is always in the media, hes a classic example. and sadly she is too a victim.

Tami Newman

Yes, I think security was a big part of what my ex was looking for as well. I had the house, the credit, the long-term job, etc. I also agree with what you say about the football player’s girlfriend being addicted to love. However, I don’t necessarily think that the partner of an s has to have an addiction. For me, I was approaching 40 and starting to feel a little insecure about myself–the mid-life thing. He flattered me constantly by telling me how beautiful and desireable I was as well as how intelligent he saw me to be! All the things we’d like to hear about ourselves, right? Looking back, he told me that stuff TOO much. A normal person does not flatter someone with compliments at least 5 times a day of nearly 8 years! I think this way his way of getting out of me what he wanted. He’d feed me a compliment with the hopes of my giving him something in return. The younger woman (I knew her before and we’ve talked about what happened)he left me for has told me that she feel in love with him becaue she had never had anyone show her that much attention and affection. Like I once did, she has her own set of complaints about him but stays with him because of the way he makes HER feel. She married her husband when she was 16 and had been with him for 13 years before my ex broke their marriage up. I guess her husband had moved past the flattery stage along time ago. That’s another thing…what’s up with them breaking up marriages? I was married when I met him and allowed him to lead me into divorcing my husband. I can’t even bring myself to be angry with the woman he left me for because deep in my gut, I feel I know that he is using her the same as he has everyone else. She’s already invested a fortune in him in just a year’s time!

jules

tami and aloha, yes my s path flattered his way into my heart over the top too your so beautiful your strong i love strong woman, your a real woman not some little girl, i dont normaly meet people like you, bla h blah so many can t even remember, swamped me with it all and it is flatering i was older too, but in my gut i thought this is too much too soon. i should have dstoped it all then and saved myself more damage, i did break up with him early on after a short while i thought he was a bit young and a bit hopeless he didnt have anything not a car, good job nothing not that im material istic but something just told me get rid of him so i did and he was devestated. he cried and said thank for making me happy even if it was short, i felt so bad the guilt trip was strong he got so emotional. but i got real lonely and started to see him again as freinds but he wormed his way back. but he knew i wanted to be with someone, he was sly he asked me when we first met what did i most want in life. then when i read these pages how they find out your dreams and become them thats just what he did but i did not see that then in the start. you are lucky in a way to talk to his new woman i wish i could but he gards every detail of them so i cant find out anything . they are not smart but he seemed to know every way to get around me and i am smart intuitive, he just had this ability which i would not expect someone who is not that smart to have it was like he read my mind sometimes. but now i have learned a lot of things and i can read him very well. does their cunning just come as another extra sense we do not have or is it learned. aloha, yes it is much harder to get over them but why is that the case, do you know. is it because they are so exrtreme in all the attention they pour onto us. i keep asking why cant i just get over it and stop wondering what he is up to now. i also go over things he did to me in my mind and try to figure it out , but i know i never will and i dont like that. it is totally different to any other break up ever even a marriage break up i had. love to hear your thoughts and getting lots out of wrtiting here and getting responses. so thnk you all.

You never realy get over a narciccist like you would a norma person, they leave no sense of closure so the mourning takes longer.

Jules I understand you like you are me..I went through similar things and I thought I would go crazy and its all in my mind…however although I though he was with other women I never realy had any proove and I wasnt the kind to bother to ask these things….

my STORY:
http://thepsychopath.freeforums.org/viewtopic.php?t=7694

alohatraveler

Diaz,

I read your story but I didn’t read all your posts. But I did see that you said that you are not sure your ex was a Narcissist and you think you brought out the behaviors in him. NO WAY. This is so classic of a response. He wants you to think that. So, you will keep trying to change yourself and you will break down and break down and break down… and you will wonder if he is having a perfectly normal relationship with someone else… and that will majorly bum you out but guaranteed, he isn’t and you aren’t. That is to say, he isn’t having normal relationships with others and you aren’t bringing these things out of him. He needs you to think this is all your fault… it’s part of the hook. So you can keep trying to be better and worthy of the “love” he showered on you in the beginning before he realized you were so unworhty… get it?

I figure if someone lands on a page of information on Narcissism or Psychopath or Sociopath… you are probably in the right place.

righteous woman

Alohatraveler is 100% correct. Until it is accepted that we have been victimized, there is always that nagging doubt. It was put there by the Sociopath, on purpose, to have control of you, for their pleasure for whatever it may be.

It took me 18-years (I started up with him when I was 16) to accept that he was not having a normal relationship with subsequent women either, cause he SWORE he was. One girlfriend took a restraining order out against him, and the next girl moved out of an apartment she shared with him, and she shared all the reasons with me when it was all said and done and she couldn’t get him to leave her alone…I started to get the “satisfaction” of knowing that it was not just all me. Same tricks.

Best advice: Detatch, and when it comes to the sociopath think only of yourself(they do). I had one friend put it like this “If you were eating a hamburger, and it was raw in the middle, and you threw into a dumpster, would you climb in the dumpster to go get it and finish it? All of Your questions should be, unfortunately, held in as rhetorical. The Sociopath will only set you up to be pulled in again if you go back to the “source” and ask for them to be answered by “their evilness”. They have no empathy for their victims, they will not accept responsibility for any of their actions – not one!!…No one says “it is all about me” like a Sociopath!

My sociopath still attempts to blame me for my reactions to catching him in the act. That is when I say to myself “had it not been for HIS actions – none of that would have ever happened” I have said that to him in the past and His response to that is that he felt like I was trying to control him from the get go – so this is what he went and did – and it goes on and on and on – I am sure all victims can agree. Doesn’t matter what it is…Could be a vacation that you are paying for that you were supposed to enjoy together, or a day out with the kids, instead of saying “no thank you, i have this planned or that planned” like a kind and decent person – it becomes what could be laughingly identified as passive aggressive behavior; by not showing up,or showing up late, while you wait sometimes for hours, while the kids wait (mine used to answer the phone and say he was at the corner – Then I’d call – and he wouldn’t answer the phone) – for you to find out he fell and tripped into some womans vagina, played cards with his friends, it doesn’t matter – it is all about them trying to control the victim. As we are all courteous people – we would have accepted if they had just declined the invitation to begin with. But when it blows up, (and I believe sociopaths LOVE drama – makes them feel alive) according to them it is our fault?!

It is just sick, it always continues it never ends as long as answers are needed, this is why No Contact is the simplest, although not the easiest, answer. It is the beginning of the end of the torture.

alohatraveler

Oh! I think NO CONTACT IS the easiest answer (but I am lucky that I don’t have children with this man.) It’s the easiest because it means the game is over and you can reclaim your thoughts and let the fog lift and breathe again.

They are so good an sucking you down an emotional bottomless pit, a black hole.

But I do feel for all of you that have children with their Sociopath… and I do feel for his ex-wife because she has 5. Blessings to you K, if you ever do see this. I would do anything to help you.

Aloha…

James

psychopath vs narcissist

My narcissist did indeed need recognition and validation. But would never give that to her children or myself or anyone for that fact. I remember once, she walked thru our apartment, yelling at nobody in particular “YOU GUY’S WOULDN’T LIVE WITHOUT ME!!!!”. I of course just told her, “yes, we could” and we are today.

About psychopathic or narcissistic tenancies, In my NPD, I see many psychopathic tenancies but “hope” she isn’t. Being NPD is bad enough, I really wouldn’t like “raising the bar” on this issue.. Anyway, I just thank God she is gone and my children (her as well) are getting back to some kind of normalize in there life.

Thanks aloha.,.just went through a crisis when I heard he was with somone else and of course I started the whole self blame…iunfact the signs were always there, I just refused to see them…I now pay more attention to my intution, learning to trust myself more than others and appreciating my wonderful friends and family…irrespective of the hurt, he left me with a great appreciation of the people around me and the little things people do for us , the questions they ask us…just those little acts of caring that I didnt even realised I crave..all I can say is that I went through years of depression and didnt even know what was wrong with me..I had gone through having several test done with diferent specialist and apparently all my issues were due to stress….hmmm… I breathe lighter but I am yet to laugh so freely again..I was the most carefree person before I met him, people also wondered what mad eme so happy and joyous all the time and now I am this gloomy person who cant even enjoy the beautiful weather we have had this winter!

I need to remind myself often that I AM better off
without this person in my life and this blog helps in that regard as well as daily calls to my family and friends

I am thankful to this person for several things

-He made me realize my Capacity to love

-He made me appreciate all the little things my friends and family do for me

-He helped me connect at a deeper emotional level with some friends and my mother

– He thought me who my friends are and who I can depend on in my time of need

-And most important he thought me to set up boundaries and to begin loving myself enough not to let others take precedence above me..because how else can you love if you cannot love yourself.

-And knowing that some people lack empathy, I am glad I have it although I have to learn to translate some it to sympathy

I also know that even if he is not as sick as I think, he made me feel worthless enough to question my own mind and intuition and therefore I need to learn to trust my intuition a lot more because God gave it to me for a very very good reason. There is a time for everything and instead of letting God take the wheel , I wanted to control the vehicle of life by myself no matter how many warning and signs I was given along the way. I pray constantly that the lesson has sunk in finally and I hope you will get there one day and very very soon..I still struggle, but I have to keep going and believe in the power of prayer”call a prayer line if he cant handle it , they will help you pray

chaos

My father: Narcissist
My Ex: Psycopath

As a child, I knew my father was a difficult person. I was never comfortable around him, because he always finds a fault in me and criticizes me. I escaped home when I was 18 but my siblings stayed. As a result, two of them now have Schizophrenia. I also had psychological damage, but I thought I worked very hard to fix myself. Recently, I realized my long-term boyfriend (now ex) was a psycopath. I asked my therapist why I was attracted to this man and why I stayed in this relationship for a long time. He told me that my ex know enough that I was too passive and I would not stand up for myself. So, he targeted on me. My father visited me a week ago. After learning about personality disorders, it became very clear to me that my father has the traits of a narcissist, which my therapist agrees. I was so used to his mental abuse. He wanted to be superior to anyone including his kids. He devalued us to make himself feel better. My mother used to tell us to accept him as he was because he was our father. As a kid, I did not learn to stand up against mental abuse. My father always wanted to tell us how great he was. He needed validation and recognition from us, which he never gave us. On the other hand, my ex was very content and confident in himself. However they both used people very close to them to achieve their goals.

change06

Chaos- My father is a narcissist
My Ex-Husband a narcissist
Next involvement a sociopath who is now an ex
I understand about your upbringing. I had a similar one. My father was always wanting the role as supreme, king, the great one. Always putting down and commenting on all others around him. Especially his wife and kids. My mother did leave him but the damage was instilled in me and my two sisters. One who is 39 and never had a serious relationship, another who is 37 and married but struggles with therapy and meds to get her through. Me, I am 40 and am NOW seeing what “this” all is.
Really, as much as it HURTS SO BAD, we should be glad that we have come to this point of understanding. It is so hard for me. I am trying because I do want true happiness. I do want a BETTER example and life for my children. When you have the daggers of father, ex-husband and the stab from a recent ex relationship it makes for a steamy hot lava of emotions to deal with.

Ox Drover

My biological father (he did not raise me, I got to know him as an adult) was definitely a malignant narcissist, but also a psychopath.

I have boxes of news and magazine articles where he was interviewed, that are filed with lies (very often contradictory ones) and self agrandizement. He viewed himself as “the smartest man in the world” and held all other people in contempt.

He had no conscience and no empathy and was easily violent. He used people like toilet paper, using, abusing and discarding them.

He was married 7 times and never was faithful to any of them. His 4th wife he hit so hard on the back of the head that he blacked both her eyes. She fled for her life, leaving behind her three children.

I know of two murders that he committed, but due to his position and money, he got away with them both. He actually claimed to have killed many more, but I am not sure if that was a lie or not. He told more lies than truth, so it is hard to say.

His mother died before I was born so I never got to know her, but from the stories about her that I have heard, I can say that I think she was at least a Narcissist. Her father was a bigamist (also a minister) and that is about all I know about him, but there is a family pattern there for sure.

Two of my 3 half sibs turned out to be “good people” and to lead normal lives even though they were brought up by this monster. The youngest son I believe also to be a psychopath. He totally admires his father, and emulates him in many ways.

My bio-father was filled with hate, contempt for others, violent rage at any person who questioned or defied him. If someone would not bend to his will, and literally worship at his altar, he would “smear” them with the most vile lies imaginable.

The more you defied him, the greater the smear, both verbally, and in print. He eventually became very wealthy and well known in his field, and there are people that think he was simply “eccentric” but he used to say that “poor people are crazy and rich eccentric”–money is the ultimate “power” and he used it as a weapon on those he hated.

I contrast the way my bio-father died, though, with the death of my wonderful step father, who was a former teacher, and whose death bed was surrounded by about 30 people who all loved him dearly, even his hospice nurse who was off that night, came on her own time (even though another nurse had been sent by the hospice) to “be there” for him, with the way my bio-father died, with only his one adoring son beside him.

My step-father was a selfless and humble man who lifted others up, out of poverty and ignorance. He was a true Christian man with a faith so powerful that it inspired others to be like him. I credit him with every good thing in my soul to this day. His strength and love for a child he adopted was a wonderful gift to me. If my mother never did anything good for me except to marry my step father, it was definitely a life saver for me.

gennyrabbit

oxdrover, that contrast tells us what we forgot after being with a P/S/N. even though we have all been very unlucky in to personally know S/P/Ns, at least we are lucky NOT to BE S/P/Ns. we can have real lives and genuine loving connections to other people.

i found this link ‘how to spot a narcissist.’ it is an almost perfect description of my x-roommate. you have to scroll down. http://www.drirene.com/spot_abuser_date.htm

Ox Drover

Gennyrabbit,

You are so right, I would rather fight one than to BE one. Thanks for the link–I am so glad that there are SO many good sites on this DV situation, and was readiing an article in a medical professional journal yesterday about screening for domestic violence in family medical practice.

The Joint Commission on Accrediation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) requires that all patients be screened for domestic violence. Unfortunately not all medical practitioners do so…back in the days when I was in family practice in rural health care (I am a now-retired Registered Nurse Practitioner) I found that many patients had DV issues.

The article I read said that 25% of all women will experience DV at some time. It said that in spite of the JCAHO recommendation only 10% of primary-care practitioners routinely screen for this during regular office visits.

In practice, too, I think some people who ARE abused don’t recognize that what they are experiencing IS abuse as long as it doesn’t involve overt beating. I think many women feel “unhappy” with their marriage, or that their husband is “insensitive” or “nasty tempered” but don’t realize that it is ABUSE or know exactly what the “problem” is, much less how to fix it.

I had a foster kid once, high school age. His mother was/is a co-dependent enabler, his father was a P if ever there was one. This young man eventually SEEMED to be doing okay and would keep in contact with me periodicly just to call and talk. A couple of years ago he, WITHOUT ANY WARNING, committed suicide.

I realize that our schools struggle to even teach “readin’, ritin’ and ‘rithmatic” to our kids, but to me, I think positive personal interactions and mental health should be taught as well. I am glad to see that “bullying” is being addressed in some of the schools. I do living history programs for some middle schools, and I have noticed the signs up about “bullyiing” which is addressed more now by the schools.

When I went to school, I went to small rural schools that had a more “personal” knowledge of what was going on with the kids and also most of the teachers actually knew the parents and such of each student. However, as a second grader, I was physically bullied by another student who was older and bigger than I was. She would hit me each day to the point that I got afraid to go to school, and yet, I never told, until one day she eventually broke my jaw with a coke bottle, and it became apparent something had happened.

An immediate stop was put to the bullying by this girl, who was the youngest of 22 kids from the same family, and I imagine that she was bullied at home and in her frustration came to school and “picked on” the youngest and smallest kid in her class. The fact that for whatever reason I kept this some “deep dark secret’ even from my step father who was a teacher in the same school system is still a mystery to me. Was it the thing we were told about being a “tattle tale”?

When my kids were growing up I tried to instill the differnces in being a “tattle tale” and “telling”—that saying “Johnny called me a doo doo” is being a tattle tale, but saying “Johnny is setting the house on fire” is TELLING which is good. Even at young ages they seemed to grasp the concepts of the differences in the two.

Sorrow

I am a danish woman, in the mid-forties. I would like to hear some comments on my story, since I’m not sure what to make of it all. Is my ex a sociopath, a narcissist or simply a good guy, who has difficulties when it comes to relating closely to a woman?
During September 2007 I was contacted on a datingsite by a man, who is six years older than me. We had similar educational backgrounds and therefore common interests: Literature and language. Besides I was in a proces of recovering from a serious earinfection, and it turned out that he had had similar problems but in his case he had gone deaf on his right ear. We exchanged photos, and immediately I thought: Oh dear, I’m not pretty enough to match him. (Usually I have been considered both pretty, charming and intelligent, however.)
Well, a few weeks later, after several phonecalls and deep conversations, we met at a café, and we spent the next 36 hours together in my hometown. He was very handsome, polite, interesting to talk to, and at the same time he seemed timid and shy, which I liked immensely.

I was the one who caressed him first, and later during those first hours he made love to me. (Apparently he did not want anything for himself. It was not untill the next day that we made love to eachother, and it turned out, that he seemed to have a small problem which I thought had something to do with his age or anxiety or whatever.)

A few weeks later I went to visit him in at his place in a remote area far from my own locations. He lived in a small house surroundede by beautiful nature. We talked by the fireplace, we went on long walks, and we prepared good meals at his house.
In his melodic voice he told me about this place, where he had also grown up as the youngest of three children. He told me that both of his parents had died. He told me that he had been teaching literature in Austin some years earlier. Concerning prior relationships he told me that he had lived with an alchoholic and had finally ended it some years ago. He also told me that he had known a girl who had committed suicide – probably due to some traumatic events in her past.
I myself had been in two abusive relationships, one with a violent psychopath (named so by a therapist I consulted then) and later I had been stalked by an ex. So it seemed we had both had our part of hardship.

After we had seen eachother maybe three times and also spoken about fidelity, which we both seemed to agree upon as essential to a good relationship, I suggested that we closed our profiles on the datingsite.
He denied that rather fiercely I thought, telling me in a mail, that he could not take such expectations of feelings and that he was writing with old friends on that site. I felt cold inside but I backed off, telling myself that perhaps I was moving too fast. I decided, however, that I would not close my profile since he didn’t close his.

During the following months we visited eachother from time to time and spoke a lot on the phone. He usually called me. I felt more and more confident that this was for real, eventhough he seemed a bit reluctant when I sometimes spoke about dreams for the future. Once he said to me, that he was afraid of loosing himself in a relationship, so he dared not move in with anyone. We did however have a common dream, it seemed, about starting our own company. For a while he seemed very interested in this idea and told me that he had been speaking to his friends and relatives about it.
He was not at all eager to meet my family. Evenually, after about four months, he met my son on one occasion and claimed to like him a lot, and later he met my mother, whom he called nice. But I know he was bored, when she reached for the familyphotos and showed them to him.

I used to come visit at his place also during his workdays, and one afternoon a woman called on the phone. At first when I picked it up and stated my name, nobody spoke, but as I kept asking who was there, she finally told me her name and asked for my firend (now ex). I told her I’d leave him a message and I did. When I told him he said: “Oh yes, that is an old girlfriend”, but he did not want to call her. Later that evening he accidently called me by her name.

I did not have any plans for christmas but he was planning to attend a family dinner at his sister. At the last moment he changed this plan and invited me to his house. A long time beforehand I had sought out presents for him, but it turned out that he had bought no gifts at all. So the day before christmas we went to town and he bought some things for his family and for me. In the evening he wrapped them in paper and the disappoinment of him not trying to surprise me was to some extend relieved because he had put small sweet notes on each present for me. We did have a lovely evening all dressed up and eating a good meal. He always complimented my looks and my coocking and was always attentative to my immediate needs bringing me coffee, buying whatever food he knew I liked etc.

A few days after christmas we were invited to lunch at his sister and I finally met her, her husband, her daughter and son in law and their two little boys. My ex who has no children of his own was a darling with those kids and I was so happy watching him with them. His family was very nicew to me, but already then I thought that they looked at me with an expression of sadness or concern in their faces. Well, I thought, perhaps they are trying to figure out what kind of a person I am.

Around christmas my ex had some trouble in relation to his job. He told me that the headmaster of the school where he’s teaching wanted to find some kind of solution because some students had complained about his hearingproblem. He seemed truely sad and frightened about it, and I supported him as best I could. In the end, however, nothing much came out of it, and I know that for this coming semester he is sceduled to have even more hours. (Strange, isn’t it?)
Well, we also spent New Years Eve together, and then I went back to my apartment.

In the middle of january, after having made love to eachother and having been very open to one another, as I felt it, my ex suggested that I should try to find a job in his neighbourhood, since I was looking for a job anyway. I was very happy that he asked me that, and a few days later I called to tell him that I would now apply for three jobs there. Suddenly he went silent for several seconds. When I asked him what was wrong he said: “It’s a bit close, isn’t it?” I backed off, I even appologized that I must have misunderstood his intentions and I should have known that he’d just been joking about it. After that conversation my ex went “missing” for three days. I could not reach him and he did not contact me. I worried, because I knew that he often worked alone in the woods surrounding his house, and that he was working with both a chainsaw and some other heavy and potentially damaging tools. (We used to work together cutting down trees and preaparing wood for the fireplace.)
On the thirth day he called me. He sounded very happy and he told me that he’d been ill in bed and had not wanted to get to the phone, but that same day he had gone with his sister to an art exhibition and had just returned. I was relieved that nothing had happened to him, and I told him so. But during my next visit he showed me all the work he’d been doing with chopping up wood “last week when I had a few days off work”. I wondered about that. Wasn’t he sick in bed? But I told myself I must be mistaken og perhaps he’d just needed to be himself for a few days. It did, however, leave me worrying about little things.

He was always extremely kind to me. He did not buy me roses or champagne, but he took good care of me, he held me in his arms during the night and he always seemed happy to see me.
But after he’d been “missing” in january he started pushing me away, whenever I tried to touch him in an erotic manner. He said that it tickled, and I told him, smiling, that it was supposed to. I bought new clothes, I tried my best seductive strategies, but he did not respond. For some months he would not even let me into his arms, when we were sleeping together. I felt so rejected and worried a lot. I thought that perhaps he was impotent and could not bring himself around to tell me. Eventually I discovered that he was watching porn on the Internet. I did not tell him at first.

He did continue to kiss me and hook me when not in bed, and he used to invite me to sit with my feet on his lap, while we were watching a movie. He’d coress my feet very tenderly, but on two occasions he suddenly held a cigarette close to my feet, and when I pulled back he lokked at me with an expression as if he’d just fallen off the moon. He would then say that he was only teasing me. I found this kind of fun rather strange but I told myself that okay, he had been drinking a bit too much on these occasions.

I did not like the fact that he was very interested in talking about prostitution and prostitutes. He was always hinting at it when we passed red lights in the streets, and he was asking about my opinion about prostitution. I told him that I’d probably prefure that there was no such thing as I believe it damages people. The he’d say that the prostitutes were apparently often women who had been violated as children so they didn’t mind so much now. I did not comment on that. What could I say? I myself was (mildly?) violated as a child, and he very weel knows.

One day while I was visiting I was expecting him home from work around eleven in the morning. He’d told me, he’d be back around that time. At half past one I called his workplace to ask if he had left. I was told that the secretary would loóok into it and would I call her back in ten minutes? Before I got to call back, he arrived home with a big smile on his face. I started crying because I’d been so worried that he might have been in a car accident. I told him and he said, that he had not promised to be home at any particular time. He’d decided to do some paperwork at school. I said that he had certainly told me that he’d be back at around eleven, but he was sure that I’d gotten him wrong. Then I said that I had called his job and that I would call them back now. He insisted then that he call them and I noticed – for the first time ever – that he turned pale and bit his lip and looked angry. I heard him call and tell the secretary that there had been a misunderstanding, but then I left the room. I was very frightened because I felt that he’d been lying to me, and I started wondering if he’d been with another woman.

During the months from the middle of january and untill may he would on several occasions not pick up his phone when I was calling. (He could not see my number, but we had a certain time each evening when we used to talk.)

He visited me during the easter holidays and at that time I asked him: “What is it with us not having sex anymore? Tell me, honestly, even if it might be difficult, are you simply not attracted to me any longer?” He looked very gently at me and said: “Well, you should know yourself that that is NOT the case”. I also asked him, he had some wishes in that area that he did not like to tell me about, but he refused that idea.
But I did not get a straight answer out of him.

A few weeks later at his place, I told him, that I had thought about the whole thing, and he should know, that sex was not the big issue for me in our relationship. I’d be with him forever even if for some reason we could not have sex. He came up to me and held me very tenderly and when he turned away his eyes were full of tears. During the folowing weeks he increased his invitations and he began to tell me more about his childhood with a very strict father and a mother who could not stand up to her husband. He also mentioned his fear about whether he could trust me or not. I said: “Sure you can trust me, I have held back on my feelings for you out of fear that you should feel intimidated by them. Time will tell that you can trust me. Do not just take my word for it, let me show you as time passes.”

During the beginning of May I visited him again. I must admit that I was a bit annoyed that he did not seem the least interested, eventhough the sun was shining and I was sitting outside not wearing much clothes. Eventually that last monday evening he asked me what I was thinking about, and I told him, that I could not help thinking that perhaps he saw other women. I told him by then that I knew about the pornsites, he’d been visiting, and I told him that I worried because of his interest in the subject of prostitution and because he had seemed angry when I had called his job because he came home too late. I asked – politely and emphatically – to get some answers so we could try and work it out. I pointed out once again, that it was not because I needed sex badly but simply because I needed not to continue worrying about what was going on.
He then told me that he simply did not want to have sex anymore. We sat and talked for a while and agreed that it might be due to the stress he’d been under during the winter with his job and all.

The tuesday morning he drove me to the train, kissed me and complimented me on my looks, and then I went home. The following days he’d call me in the evening and we’d talk as usual.
Thursday evening I called him and he began to talk about something he’d read or heard: That lovers can not be friends and friends can not be lovers. I told him that I disagreed on that one. I think that lovers should be friends, I said.

Friday evening he did not call me and I could not reach him on the phone. I was at home because I was going to a family feast sunday which my friend (ex) had declined to participate in because, as he somewhat reluctantly told me, he had a kind of phobia when it came to meeting many new people at a time.
Then I opened my mailbox to see if he’d left a message for me.
He had! Immediately after my last call he’d written a short message telling me: “It’s over between us. I’m not sexually attracted to you and I cannot pretend something that is not!”
I could not believe my own eyes. I had to read it severeal times because little black dots filled my vision and I felt as if someone was punching my stomack and preventing me from taking in air at the same time.

This was the man who had once said that if we were to die – say in a fire – we could only hope and pray that we died at the same time. This was the man who had told me that I was way off when I had asked him that very same question: Was he not attracted to me anymore? This was the man who had invited me over and over again during the last months and who had just said yes, he would love it, if my son and my grandson could come visiting one week at his house this summer. This was the man who had changed his mind again about me looking for a job nearby, so I had only been writing applications for his area for the last two months.

I tried to call him. Then I sent him a mail asking him to call. He would not speak to me untill the next evening, he wrote.
I did not sleep at all that night. I did not cry either. I guess I was in chock. I could hardly breath. I felt so bewildered and lonely and as if my whole world was crumbling. The next day I wnt around as if in a trance.

That evening he called me and told me in a low and apparently sad voice that he was sorry for both of us, but he had felt a lot of pressure. I asked him to define that pressure. “I have felt that, eventhough you did not say so, you wanted it all: Sex and love and living together.”He said.
I told him that it was not true. That I had given up on the idea of living together a long time ago, that I had been happy even without sex and that I had only wanted to be free from my worrying about his whereabouts. I was sure that we did care about eachother, I told him. He agreed to that. He told me that it is very seldom you meet someone with whom you can share so much as we did and feel immediately understood. But, he said, he had also started getting bored, when I visited, or rather, he rephrased, he had started feeling sad because of the pressure. When I asked if we could at least be friends he said that certainly, he would love that. Then he said that we could talk, when I came back from the party the following day.

My tears came when I was on my way to the familygathering on sunday. It was in the countryside and every green tree and field reminded me of him and his surroundings. I only wanted to talk to him again.
I came home at seven in the evening and he did not call. A few days passed and I went to see my doctor because I could not sleep and I could not stop crying. My doctor gave me some sedatives and told me that it was no big deal. “You have been in love before, haven’t you?” He said.

I wrote and asked my ex to call me. He did and I dared not tell him how bad I felt because I feared he would back off even more, if he was really afraid of “loosing himself in a relationship”. I had taken some sedatives and we talked about other things. But I felt as if I was choking. Neither of us mentioned the fact that he had not called me as he’d promised.

The past three weeks I’ve been crying all the time. I have not been able to think about anything but this situation. I simply do not understand how you can be so kind to anyone for so long and tend to their every need and say that you ARE attracted to them and tell them that you love them – and then break up in an e.mail saying that you are not attracted to them and cannot pretend.

I have spoken to him a few times on the phone. He sounds as if nothing has happened. The day before yesterday I finally cried on the phone and told him how much I miss him and how my whole life has fallen apart. He said: “Oh, that’s a pitty!” But there was no emotion in his voice. I told him that I had started wondering if it had all been in my mind, if it had not been real at all, if his reoccurring references to the movie “Sleeping with the enemy” had been him hinting at something, thinking he was funny and clever. I told him that I hated these thoughts.
He said: “Of course it has been real!”
But then he started yawning and told me that he would go to bed early. I told him that I had written him several letters without sending them. Then he said, that he’d love to read my letter, would I mail it to him the next day? I made him promise that if I sent him my letter he would think about what it said and get back to me and let me know about his thoughts.

I mailed him a letter which was held in a gentle tone of voice but in wich I confronted him with all the worries I’ve had and with my feelings. I wanted him to know that I am not blind to his flaws and that I have been suspious about his behaviour from time to time, but also that I want to help him and be with him if this has something to do with the fear of not being good enough. (Something suggested to my by a thearapist I counseled by e.mail on this issue.)

He has not called me yet, and I do not think he will.
I have looked at his profile again on the datingsite, and I can see that he is on almost every night and was on again last night. He has been that from time to time also during our relationship.

I don’t know what to think about him. Is he scared of me and of being in a relationship? Is he a sociopath? Has he led me on putting on an act of the poor timid guy? Is he impotent and too proud to let me know? Is he a sex-addict? Has he been lying all along or am I seeing spooks?

I have been inches from killing myself. Yes I know it sounds as if I am the crazy one here, and I am aware that I am a sucker for true love. I haven’t had much of it ever, you see. One night I had to call a womens’ helpcenter at three in the morning because I had such a desire to take all the pills from the doctor. Only the thought of my son kept me from doing so.

I really loved this man. Nobody has ever been so good to me. I have been in some bad relationships and this time I felt certain that I was loved for my own sake and for whom I was. Especially because it went on for such a long time without us having any sex.

How does this look to you?
Perhaps I should mention that during my last visit, while we were walking around on his property, looking at the wood we had chopped that day, he said – as if someone had said that to him: “Psychopath, ah?”
I should also say that he has – regarding his own looks – very low self-esteem. Once he turned my photo of him around, because he thought he looked “fat”. And another time he claimed, that I had told him, that his tommy was ugly. I was so surpised then and told him that someone ells must have told him that, because I had never said that. On the contrary I thought he looked wonderfull, and I loved his tommy.
What is wrong with him? What can I do? What should I do?
No doubt my former husband who abused me in every way possible was a psychopath. He was charmin while talking to family and friend, but he was mean and violent towards me and our dog and eventually towards his own children.
But is my friend (ex) also a psychopath – only a different kind?

Beverly

Dear Sorrow, your grief and pain are coming across loud and clear in your writing. I cannot say whether he is a Psychopath or a player, but it is very clear that he has drawn you in and messed with your heart and your soul. Your doubts were there from the start, but we often accommodate and bend ourselves out of shape. He has led you on appallingly but he is not worth losing your life over. They have this ability to make their relationships into such an appalling mess. I did get the feeling in your writing that he is a wolf in sheep’s clothing and that he has been keeping some kind of other option open in the background, whilst keeping you on the merry-go-round. My exNarcissist went off sex too, and some of the scenarios you describe are clearly those of a man who has no intention of committing to you, his behaviour is erratic and inconsistent, but I guess you know that and have known all along. He could also be a dating site predator, hence his reluctance to take his profile off.

Dear Sorrow, you sound such a nice person, please hang in there and get some support whilst going through this difficult time and presumably your son has an inkling that you are in distress, but eventually you will piece it all together and you will come out all the better, even if it is to learn to avoid cheaters and players in the future.

Sorrow

Dear Beverly and dear Free
Thank you for your answers. When I read my own story I can easily see all the red flags. What I am not able to bring across to anyone is all the other impressions of him and of us together. I felt such peace within myself when he was around, or when I was alone in his house. I opened up and a lot of beautiful choildhood memories tht I’d forgotten came to me. I felt that I was coming back to life again after having been in several hard relationships throughout the years. I recall the warmth of his body, the way he’d turn to me, smiling, reaching for my hand. How he’d call me out into the yard at night so I could see how beautifull the moon was. When the first snow was falling this past winter we were standing side by side in the woods surrounding his house and looking up into the dark sky. We needed no words on such occations. We simply were, if you know what I mean.

As I told him once, he seemed to me to part of this beautifull landscape in which he grew up, and he carried it around with him. The soft hills, the tall trees, the smell of wod and green plants, the light shifting over the fields during the day. It was such little things we pointed out to one another when we spent time together. And then we’d read poetry to one another infront of the fireplace, and we’d talk about literature, writers, society, politics, our past. He seemed so tender – and at times somewhat troubled. I did not see any “ice” or “coldnesss” in his behaviour, when we were together, eventhough at times he would seem a bit introvert.

He did not use big words, he did not fill my rooms with roses. But when we rose in the morning and I tried to hide my messy hair and teart eyes he’d tell me, how much he liked the way I looked in the morning. When I came to bed at night wearing my white nightgown he’d call me “the white lady”.

Since I wrote my last post here I have continued surfing the internet for more answers. Last night I found this page: http://www.bpdcentral.com/resources/basics/indicators.shtml
And I recognize so much in him, so I can’t stop wondering if he has a borderline personality disorder, which to me would explain why I have felt this as being for real. I mean: If he does suffer from BPD then he has probably not been faking his feelings – but it would mean that his feelings are ambivalent and his moods shifting.

I do believe that he has a pretty good idea himself about what is wrong with him – perhaps he has even been diagnozed at some point. It seems to me that he has been trying to give some hints now and again. But I do not think that he is having any treatment for such a disorder. I also think that his sister and her daughter might know about it and that might be the reason why they looked sad and worried when we met. Mental illness is, at leat in Denmark, still a large taboo, so perhaps that is why neither he nor his family has told me anything.
On the other hand, both he and they might only have an idea that something is wrong and they might be denying that.

I know that it sounds as if I am only trying to make up excuses for him but I do love him so much that if I could only get him to consult a doctor and a therapist (it is said that BPD’s can get better when treated), then I could stay his friend and in time – perhaps – we could be together again. I mean: What if he is a BPD who is using sex, alchohol and gambling (he hasn’t been gambling while I’ve known him but he has told me that he has been an internet pokerplayer earlier on) in order to get the kicks that I read in the article that a BPD is craving for. In that case he might become better when treated with medicine and therapy.

Mind you, he has not ever harmed me physically (apart from the threathening or “teasing” with the cigarette, that I mentioned in my post above). He has never yelled at me or anything like that. It is true (I’m certain) that he has been lying to me about where he was and with whom. It is also true that he has been using porn (most men do, I’m told) and that for a period of time he drank too much.

I would like to try to get him into treatment but I do not know how to approach the issue in a proper and intelligent manner. I would also like to talk to his sister about him but I have only met her once and I do not know if she’d be appalled by me calling her on this subject, or if she’d reject to any knowledge about him – or if she’d go straight to him and tell him. Of cause one would automatically try to protect one’s own family thinking that everybody ells must be loony. I understand that.

I’m pretty sure that you’ll tell me to simply let go and leave him to his own mess. Everybody does. But I do not feel ready to do that. I do not cry each hour of the day any longer. But I do a couole of times each day and I do use sedatives in order to sleep. There’s no joy in my life any longer.

I have no friends to talk to. When I called the two I had, one of them told me that I ought to get a life of my own and that we are all lonely, so what’s the big deal, and the other one told me that the angels had providede this test for me to make me stronger. I do not feel stronger. I have not ever felt stronger after any of the things I have gone through in my life. But I find that I am often ahead of the few therapist I’ve seen over the years. I haven’t been in therapy for long cause first of all I have never had the money to do it for long and secondly I haven’t felt that I received much help. They simply asked me to look inward and do nice things for myself. I am observing my own mind and yes, I know that I might have some degree of dependent personality disorder, and yes I have a wish to help others to recover from their wounds. But all that knowledge doesn’t change the fact that I am as lonely as ever (and I have lived a lot of my life alone) and that I long to be with the man I love.

I do know that it sounds as if I do not want to listen to you or get your help. That is not entirely true. But I need to express how I truely feel and what I think.

Sorrow

I have talked to my ex-husband (not the psychopath) about my situation. It helps a bit as far as he listens to me. But he does not believe in psychological explanations such as antisocials or BPDs.

He tells me over and over again that my ex probably just was too much of a coward to tell me that he wasn’t physically attracted to me – and that he probably kept trying to find it himself because he may have liked me all the same, and finally he discovered that he could not go through with it after all.
He does not see him as evil or manioulating – only as a scared man who might have had the most honourable of intentions.

Am I listening to crap here, or might this truely be the way it is?

I mean: If my ex liked me and respected me, which he insisted that he does, when I asked him about it on the phone after his breaking up, how could he – how can he – treat me this way, leaving me with so many unanswered questions, time and time again sliding off when I try to get him to talk to me?

As I’ve said before: I truely believed he was my soulmate and that he cared about me and that we would solve whatever differences we might have – given time and going slowly on my part.
I do not wish to be a mean, revengefull or bitchy woman. I do not wish to be unjust. But the more I think about the whole thing and the more time that passes without him getting back to me on the subject of my questions, as he promised, the more I feel betrayed.

He has taken the joy and the hope out of my life – just after having provided me with it.

I want him to know how much he has hurt me. I want him to feel the pain I feel. I want him to feel sorry and worry about me and take a long good look inside himself.
But I can not reach him. He has slipped away the few times I have spoken to him. He does not answer his phone and he does not get back to me even when he has promised me he would.

Right now I want to confront him. If I could just get him to laugh at me or tell me that he’d never cared a bit for me, then I could let out my anger and yell at him and tell everybody what a mean and cold person he is. But he wont even give me that. No, for some reason he is either trying to avoid me yelling at him or he wants me to pitty him. I do not know. But right now I feel hatred and anger one minute and fear and sadness and sorrow the next minute. I remember the way he held me in his arms at the station while waiting for the train. He seemed so committed to me. He looked as if he loved me. That makes me cry again.
I may begin to feel more calm for an hour or two and then it comes back. This is hell. And I feel so lonely. No, I AM lonely!

And yes, he has succeeded in getting to me with his words: “I am not sexually attracted to you.”
I know very well that I do not look like a twenty-something, but I am relatively slender, I do have nice curves – or at least I thought so. I used to wear my best clothes for him. I used to keep a tan and go to the hairdressers. I used to work out, so I could look my best. But now, when I look in the mirror, I see a somewhat masculine elderly woman and she looks pale and teart and depressive and appauling to me. And I blame myself for parading in my underwear infront of him, for having put my body next to his in bed. Sure I tell myself that this was what he wanted: To take away any selfesteem I might have left after four months of not being touched erotically by him. But all the same my body wants to hide away now, and I wish I couldn’t feel a thing.

I do not want to be so alone all the time. I do not want to spent the rest of my life sitting in my one room flat in this city that I know all to well and with no friends and with my mother and my exhusband as the only relatives within reach. Yes, I have my son and my grandson, but my son lives hours away and I do not want to take this out on him anyway. This winter he left his child’s mother who was wearing him down with her screaming and yelling at him, with her flirtations with other men and with her attempts to make alliances with me up to the point when I had to break off the contact with her because she made me cry telling me that I had harmed my son mentally by my many encounters with men during his childhood. Need I say that this could not be true? After I left my son’s father my son and I lived alone for two years and then we lived with the same man for about eight years. When my son was fifteen, I met my psychopath husband, and we moved in with him. After that my son soon moved in to his own apartment and luckily he did not experience my psychopath husband at his worst – and I never told him the whole story, such as his treathening to strangle me, his attempts to hang our dog in its collar or his manic drive for porn and other women. Believe or not: This guy was a police officer. Was I scared when he came around with the gun in his belt? Yes, but I was more scared once when he put on a porn video in the living room, hung carpets before the windows, fixing them to the wall with nails and an axe – because he could not find the hammer – and made me have sex with him on the coach while watching the video. And to some extent I blamed myself then. I had attempted to meet him halfways. Knowing porn was important to him and being told by other women that this was an ordinairy male thing I myself suggested that we watched some of the soft stuff on TV. But then he told me that it had to be this cardcore thing or he wouldn’t do it. I never told my son this. Looking at my story it seems to me as if it must have happened to someone ells. I cannot truely relate to this. Normally I consider myself an educated and intelligent woman but somewhere inside I must still be a small kid without any boundaries.

Well, I may have harmed my own son, since he could get involved and have a child with such a woman. Around Christmas, when he discovered his girlfriend’s affair with another guy and finally moved out of her apartment, he had to start taking sedatives himself and I was so worried about him and had to be there with him when he was taking care of his child, because he was going to pieces. Eventually he decided to go to Norway with her and his child for Christmas to visit her family, and some time after they returned, he found a new girlfriend nad things calmed down somewhat eventhough she kept bathering him for some time.
He invited me to Copenhagen earlier this week, and he looked very well, but I hated the fact that I broke down a few times so he had to take care of me. It should be the other way around.
Besides we can not go on a holiday together as we planned and we have never had a holiday together, because we haven’t been able to afford it. Remember, we were supposed to have our holiday at my ex’s house, and by now no cheap holidayapartments are vacant – and we do not have a car or any money.

I feel devastated. I just sit here all day long not knowing what to do or where to go. Around me there is only the city and a lot of unfamiliar people who look at me as if there’s something wrong with me. Well, there is! And everybody seems to have a loving partner, holding hands in the sunshine, laughing as if the world is still going ’round.
In the evening it’s even worse because I used to talk to my ex every evening half past eight.

How can he not miss me? How come he doesn’t think about all the suffering and disappointment he has caused in me and in my son – who truely liked him and over and over again told me, how happy he was for me, that I had found such a good guy?
My son told me, that my joy and my improved health radiated from my face and my posture. That’s all gone now.

Beverly

Dear Sorrow, I think there maybe an element of truth to what your ex husband says and that did cross my mind too, BUT, a decent man would not share his deepest core with you, and lie to you, the two just dont fit together. My exN was very introverted as far as thoughts went, he did a great deal of thinking but never shared his thoughts with me, When someone is not upfront and honest, this covert behaviour can really mess your heart and soul, also you are left guessing (and you are) what has been going through his mind, did he really care for you, what else he may have been up to.

I think that when a part of them doesnt want to let you go, but the other half of them is seeking out other partners or experiences, (they call that Polite Disengagement) and you are not privvy to the reasons for that, then that gives him the upper hand in the control of the relationship and over YOU and it leaves you feeling weaker, needy and its like you have to tolerate one set of behaviour in order to want back the nice experiences you had. I was glowing with my exNarcissist, but they say that when you love someone, the glow you feel is the love you projected to them being projected back to you – in essence it is your own beautiful love that you bask in.

I am aged 55 and I have realised that I HAVE to get a life, not put all my ‘happiness’ eggs in a guy’s basket but have an all round scenery in my life of happy and fulfilling people and experiences, that a guy may or may not want to share, so I am going to exploit the fact that I am now single and use the time to enhance ME and I have decided to try and get a better paid job and travel more, whilst I can. I loved travelling and backpacked all over the place when I was younger and I want to do it again. Find some things that you like that you can do that wont single you out.

What I have found is there are also guys searching for perfection, they like part of you, but they like part of someone else, or they are always going to be searching for that, which may leave you vulnerable to being traded in down the line, sometimes they put you on the back burner, they dont want to lose you, your admiration, but they want to see if someone ‘better’ for them is possible. I think this is always the most hurtful phase, when we sense something is adrift (the purgatory stage) . I would really tune into your gut instincts over this and keep examining it and picking over it (we will mirror back to you), until you can form the experience into something you can understand and work with (or chose not to) as you will. Without him talking to you, you dont know what his thoughts are, is it he doesnt want to talk because he doesnt want to open up to what he has been doing?

Beverly

Dear Sorrow. I had many nice experiences with my ex Narcissist, but if I am totally honest I had MANY NASTY ones too and I was not prepared to weather one set for the other, because when the bonding (honeymoon) stage wears off, the reality sets in. What would your future long term reality with him honestly be like? Ask yourself these questions. You must act in your own best interests.

Beverly

Exactly, if he really respected you, he would be open and honourable to you, even at the end. The way they end ther relationships are so indicative of people with BPD. Good website by the way, I answered ‘Yes’ to nearly all of the questions.

Beverly

sorrow, the guy you have been seeing is aged around 50? What is his history, has he been married? He is no scared puppy at his age, he knows exactly what he is doing. Does he have friends, when you first met, was the dating normal? have you met his friends, what do they say about him. I know you are reluctant to speak to his family, but if you really must make contact you could say that you are bewildered as to what has happen and has this happened before – they may have the key to what is REALLY happening and if they feel compassionate to you, they may reveal some information

Sorrow

Hi Beverly
Yes, “my” guy is 51.
What I know of his story is only what he has told me himself:
I know he had a highschool-sweetheart but his dad made it impossible for them to see eachother during a holiday, because he wanted his son (let’s call my guy U) to stay at the familys’ house in the countryside and work instead. So the girl ditched him. I sense that U has a tremendous hatred against his father but that he rarely lets it out openly. (Ironically, U looks a lot like his father, the same beautiful blue eyes, similar smiles and masculine charm with some sweet softness in their facial features).
Later, when U was in his twenties, he had a relationship with a young woman. She got pregnant but had a miscarrige. When U was just around thirty he went from Denmark to Texas to work there, returning home during the summerholidays. At that time he was in a serious relationship with a woman in Denmark but when he came home to visit he found out that she had had an affair with another guy. (I’m not sure but as I understood it, he may actually have walked in on them:) He told me that his friends in Texas had said to him that he seemed changed after that. In other words: It showed in his face.
While he was in Texas he came to know a danish woman there. They had a somewhat difficult relationship because she had been abused by her father for several years. So the relationship ended.
When U moved back to Denmark he met another woman. They moved in together too early, he told me, so he did not know about her periodic drinkingproblem untill it was too late. Apparently she’d hang around in bars for weeks at a time – then return home and work hard for some weeks or months, before she went out again. She also got pregnant but U told this girlfriend that she ought to get an abortion as he would not foster the child of an alchoholic not even knowing for certain that it was his own child. They broke up.
Five years ago U got in touch with the danish woman whom he’d met in Texas. Just when he returned home from some journey and thought they were about to make serious commitments to one another he learned that she’d committed suicide while he was away.
He told me that he’d been meeting with about four women from the datingsite before getting to know me. I think he said that he’d been with one of them for about four months. (Perhaps she was the one calling that time while I was visiting?)

I have considered if U has been sexually molested as a child. He has several times asked me if I thought there might be such a thing as a “happy incestuous relation”. I found that to be an odd question to ask but then again: His former girlfriend, the one with the suicide, had been molested rather badly I guess, and he also knew that my brother in law had had his hands in the wrong places when I was anbout nine years old. However, I have been wondering about U’s relationship to his parents. He hasn’t said much about his mother, but I do believe that I look somewhat like her. I’ve seen some photos, and in the photos U is always sitting close to his mum even as an adult and listening carefully, it seems. His father appears to have been somewhat of a charming tyrant, the way he has been described to me and the way he looks in the pictures. There were some photos that U would not show me when we went through the albums. At least not yet, he said. That was around Christmas.
Both of his parents died from cancer. U’s mother was only in her early fifties when she died.

His friends: They are few. He has a friend who calls quite often at odd hours. They went to school together, I was told. This friend has had a drug and alchohol abuse since he was young. He has some diagnosis unknown to me and is on some kind of pension. U calls him “my best friend”, eventhough U once in a while gets a little tired of his friends many old stories about “once when we were young”. I have spoken to him once on the phone and he invited U and me over for dinner some time in the future but we never got around to it.
Apart from that I have been told about two other guys from his youth, whom U has only seen a few times while I’ve known him. They are academics as well but both of them have settled down with wives and children and nice houses in the city. U speaks of this with some strange mixture of envy and contempt.
I have never met any of his friends – only an elderly couple living at a farm nearby. A farm that used to belong to U’s family (two generations). U is very mad at his father who sold the place when he grew old instead of signing it over to his children. (U has his big sister, whom I met at Christmas, and then there is a brother who lives with his wife in South America.) This was the farm where U spent his childhood and his youth working with impovements on the house and in the garden. He now lives in a small cottage close to the farm. A cottage that his father build as a summerresidense for the family and later occupied up untill his own death.
It seems to me that U is a little afraid or overly respectfull when it comes to his sister. At the same time it seems that he loves her very much. She appears to me as a somewhat more introspective or slightly more sad and worrying copy of Lauren Bacall. (Just to give an impression.) I liked her but I felt that I could not get close to her. When U visited me during Easter – while his sister and niece were staying at U’s house – he brought me a box of chokolates with kind regards from his sister.
U is extremely fond of the two little boys that his niece has. And they look almost exactly like him. Same features. I once told him that they might as well have been his children.

I think it is a strange story: The family relating to this one geographic place in generations (you hear about that in the movies but it is rather unusual in Denmark). The harshness of his father. The mother whom nobody speaks about. The strict big sister. The brother who went away. And U, the youngest of them, who says that this is the only place on Earth where he feels at home.
Well, it is a particulary beautiful place and it is known to be one of the most spectacular and idyllic places in Denmark. I myself called it Eden.

I know it’s all tangled up inside me. I loved this man, I’d go anywhere with him. But I also loved his surroundings and I liked this idea of “one family – one place”. I felt at home the instant I arrived at his house (one cold and windy evening in October). I felt at home in his arms. We have never had a quarrell, I have been more patient and nice around him than with any other man I’ve known. I just don’t get it!

Sorrow

As I wrote in a previous post above I have tried to contemplate whether my ex might in fact not be a P but might suffer from BPD instead. I haven’t been able to fully believe that my ex could have faked his feelings for me.
I called a psychiatric helpline today and told them the whole story. Then I asked what they thought most likely could be the reason to his behaviour. I had convinced myself during the last 24 hours that he must be BPD or perhaps bipolar. I wanted him to get some treatment, I felt sorry for him as weel as I do for myself. I asked how I should approach the subject when speaking to him?
The woman at the other end of the line found it likely, she said, that he might be suffering from anxiety in some form and perhaps he might indeed suffer from some mental illness which he was afraid to let me know about. I felt glad, she said that. She advices me to approach the matter directly instead of just hinting at it.
So I called my ex. He sounded surprised at first that it was me. He’s not used to me calling in the afternoon. He sounded fine. (Which hurt me – but I tried to stay witty and ok myself.)
Then I asked him if he’d received my mail? (I have written about that mail in a previous post above. It was a mail I’d told him that I’d been reluctant to send him because I were afraid how he’d react to it. He’d urged me to sent to him telling me that he’d really like to know my thoughts on this breaking up. He also promised me by then that he’d get back to me on that one and offer me his thoughts in return.)
Well, yes, he said, he had received my mail. I then asked him if he’d comment on it. Oh, he answered reluctantly and drawing back, it is difficult to talk about.
I tried to push him a little bit. I told him that I had only hinted at some things in my mail but by now I’d tell him straight forward that I had considered whether or not he might have a mental disorder as I could not comprehend his behaviour these past weeks when I compared it to the way we were only five weeks ago. I asked him if he had ever been diagnozed with something and if he had been to afraid to tell me.
He calmly told me no to all these questions. Neither had he himself considered that he might have any kind of mental disorder. I told him what signs I could see when I looked back at our relationship and I held them up against the symptoms of a BPD.
Then he started telling me a bit more about his parents and his father’s parents. Apparently his grandfather had been a charming outgoing man “with some dark sides”. His grandmother had been very religious and she’d held her husband on a short leach. U (my ex) thought that his father had been caught in the middle and that this had somehow influenced the father so that he, when he was a grown man, became very shorttempered and bullying towards his own wife and kids. “My mother tried to protect us as best she could” he said. But she did not always succeed. I have not been beaten or sexually molested, however, he said. But I have spoken a lot to my sister on this subject.
I told him that if he should at some point find, when he thought more about it, that he might have some kind of mental disorder and if he wanted to go into therapy he should know that I’d be there for him. (The psychiatrisk whom I’d spoken to had agreed with me that it was important to let him know that I cared about him and would not disregard him due to possible mental illness).
U did not fall into a rage or seem in any way disturbed by my asking these questions. But I do imagine that I sensed a small hesitation in his breath when I told him I’d be there for him. Then he asked me how I was doing and what I was doing. Ordinairy social converwsation it would have been five or six weeks ago, but now it seemed almost offending to me. I told him calmly that I had begun to apply for jobs again. I haven’t been able to do that for the past four weeks, I told him. This is extremely hard on me, I miss us and I miss our friendship.
He only said “yes” in a meak tone of voice and then he wanted to break off our conversation as he had some work to do. I got annoyed, and I said: Does it bather you that I call you?
No, not at all, he said. And then he said “well, we’ll talk sometime, bye!” His goodbyes has some high pitch to them since we broke up that they have never had before.

After that I sat starring into the wall again. He had given me something by revealing more about his familybackground, but apart from that I only felt as if he didn’t give a damn about me or my feelings. Well, that’s not entirely true. I felt that he was uncomfortable with me calling and telling me about the way I feel – how much he has hurt me. I almost seems like he feels a bit embarassed. It would probably be too strong a word if I said ‘ashamed’.

Thinking about this conversation and feeling so “hung up upon” I once again started to change my thoughts about him. Right now I’m probably most inclined to say that he must be a narcissist. I’m not certain he is intentionally evil towards me or other people (and that may have triggered my thoguhts). On the other hand it seems that even if he may have enjoyed my company at some point he has become bored with me and by now he has indeed – as my sons’s father told me – moved on. He simply does not seem to give me a second thought. I’m sure that he will not ever call me again. He’ll leave it open to me and sometimes he might pick up the phone and sometimes not. I thought I’d give him the benefit of the doubt when I called him. I actually wanted him to tell me that yes, he had at some point had a diagnozis. That would have been so much easier for me to relate to. Then I might have excused him, I could have kept feeling that he needed me and wanted me somewhere behind all his passive-aggression and withdrawel.

Now – once again I feel left with nothing but emptiness. My Paradise was – if not a painted world – then merely an enigma, something as fragile and shortlived as a soapbobble. His feelings for me may well have been there – for those few hours and days while I was present, but as soon as I was gone, he must have forgotten all about me. This also accounts for the strangeness in the fact that he came home three hours too late from work one day while I was visiting without calling to notify me. By then, when he saw my tears of relief that he had not been in a car accident as I’d imagined, he just said: “Well, I’m not used to have anyone to think about except myself, you see”. At that time we’d been a couple for six months allthough we did not live together.

I feel alone. I cannot communicate this to anyone around me. Nobody has experienced such a thing. I come out to them as hysterical, obsessed, overly dependent (well, I might be), naive and a bit stupid. Therefore they cannot take my grief seriously. Besides I have been involved with at least one psychopath (more likely three) and one narcissist before. My red flags should have alearted me earlier on. And you know, I even went into therapy at one time, and the therapist told me to not be so distrustfull in the future. I had to take chances, she said. I should listen to my feelings and not to those suspicious voices inside my head. Even if I’d gone wrong before this did not mean I’d continue walking down the wrong alleys. It’s a laugh. Or it would be if it wasn’t so tragic.

I believed in this guy. I’ve said it before. Noone had ever treated me this nice before. I’d never had such a close friendship with any man before. Right up until the time when he dumped me changing his moods over night it seems.

I do not know how to recover from this. Yes, I’ve read about NC. But I still feel that I need to ask him these questions: Why did it take you six months to end it, if you knew for the past three that you were “not erotically attracted” to me?
Why can we not keep our friendship the way it has been for the last three months?
When did you start pretending, and why did you do it?

I want him to acknowledge that he has behaved very badly. If he’s a bastard, he should admit to it.
And if he’s not a bastard, then he should start showing some kind of true affection and concern for me in this breaking up process.
But he doesn’t, does he?

He’ s calm, clever and ‘kind’ – keeping his distance. Nad whatever issues I bring up – evn so politely – it is “difficult for him to talk about”.

Beverly

Dear Sorrow, When I read your posting, I felt that there are explanations missing that he doesnt want to share with you, particularly around his family.

My exNarcissist had been badly abused by his father as a child, and he refused point blank to talk about any of it, infact he sent me to see his sister for her to tell me about two incidents that happened to him when he was a boy, and when she told me I cried for two days, my heart was bleeding. Even in his family they do not talk about things, especially the past and we can only take at face value what they tell us and of course they may leave our important information.

When I met my ex I was flavour of the month, but then he started hijacking the relationship, looking back I am almost convinced that he either read the Art of Seduction or was certainly carrying out some of the ploys suggested therein. I went from being the most gorgeous creature on earth to someone he would barely cross the road to speak to, and of course they often dont share their inner thoughts, which makes things so much more difficult. I think most people can eventually accept a breakup if explanations are available. He told me at one point I was his soulmate (but I never believed it), but as soon as he realised that I was too much work for him, he flirted with other women. I also felt with my ex and with your partner that he has given you a round up of reasons concerning his past partners that you have no way of checking on. Take good care of yourself Sorrow.

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