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Forget the checklist — after the sociopath pay attention to how YOU feel in a new relationship

When you’re romantically involved with a sociopath, sooner or later your entire relationship falls apart. The level of destruction may differ, but the bottom line is the same for all of these involvements: There never was a relationship — everything you thought you had was built on lies.

You’re devastated. But if you follow Lovefraud’s advice and allow yourself sufficient time to process and recover from the experience, eventually another opportunity for romance will come your way. Still, you may feel gun shy. You were completely deceived before. How can you be sure it won’t happen again?

The Lovefraud reader, “Slimone,” posted a comment recently that I believe is absolutely terrific advice for moving forward. It was directed to Emilie18, who sent Lovefraud her story, He got everything he could from me, and then discarded me.

emilie18,

A year out I was also not nearly ready or able to be in another relationship. In fact it took several years, then cautious dating, before I was ready. It just takes a lot of healing, and to get over the PTSD so many of us are left with.

I found, when I dated after about the first year, that I was comparing any man I met to the sociopath. Partly because he was still on my mind all the time. But also because I thought if they weren’t like him then they weren’t disordered.

I was wrong.

I met a caring, quiet, unassuming sort of guy (a therapist!). Not at all like the show off sociopath. But this quiet guy was TOTALLY personality disordered. He stalked me for YEARS.

After that I realized I just could not yet think ‘critically’ about what I was seeing. So, I waited. I spent my time with friends, recovering financially, in therapy, yoga, walks, reading, healing.

Then I met someone and went SLOW into it. We were just friends for nearly a year.

What I watched for were MY feelings, reactions, gut feeling, and comfort level as we got to know each other. I didn’t so much look for him to match a list of healthy relationship characteristics. Instead it was about ME, and how I FELT in each moment. And I was NEVER uncomfortable, confused, hurt, angry, ashamed, sad, yearning, or otherwise weirded out by him. Not once did he do something that was strange, and make me question my own sanity.

We have now been married 5 years. He is a wonderful husband and friend.

Slimone’s approach is brilliant. Yes, you need to be aware of sociopathic traits, and if you start seeing them, be careful. But the reason you’d start looking at checklists of traits to begin with would be uneasy feelings. Your feelings are an early warning system for spotting trouble.

Your feelings can also tell you when you are safe. When you’re not experiencing “what was that?” moments with your new partner, when you are comfortable, at ease and peaceful, then you’re moving in the right direction.

Thank you, Slimone, for your wisdom.


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6 Comments on "Forget the checklist — after the sociopath pay attention to how YOU feel in a new relationship"

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I used to believe that my intuition wasn’t working, when I was with him. But, when I look and think back..there were many many little ‘nudges’, jabs, small doses of verbal hurts. I simply overrode them all and went on with him. My feelings at the time, weren’t important, either in MY inner self or to him. But as I have learned since, my feelings ARE important to ME and I have every right to validate them by paying attention.

How long did this go on?

probably from the first I met him, and continued on, until we got married..I actually wanted to run out of the chapel we were being married in, just before dad walked me down the aisle..(wish I had, it would have saved me 30+ years of grief and misery)..I didn’t listen to those subtle feelings of upset, angst and uneasiness.

Oh, wow. I actually thought about bolting from my wedding, too. If the church had been in the city and not more rural I probably would have just walked away. I remember calculating how many people would be angry with me, and what the ceremony cost, as factors in my decision. I did not even consider the inevitable rage of my now ex-husband. He might have even murdered me. Luckily, I eventually got away.

Mine was a very small simple wedding, with mostly aunts/uncles grandparents; but still as Dad took my arm and said “are you ready for this”?? It crossed my mind to say ” NO, I’m not..and could we just get out of here?” Never gave a thought as to my soon to be married spouse would react! And, on our way to a short weekend get-away, it came to me sure as shootin that I had made a horrible mistake.

It’s true regretfullymine that the insults from them can be very subtle, and so can our internal response to them. It takes us paying close attention, and not discounting those subtle warnings.

Often, I would completely ignore the little clues my emotions and body were giving me, and would create intellectual rationalizations to explain his behavior. I believed that these subtle feelings I was having revealed that I was ‘too sensitive’.

But by the time I was well into my healing, and had some much needed perspective, I stopped ignoring even the most subtle feelings of discomfort. I honored them instead. And, I no longer cared if anyone else understood my decisions. I didn’t need anyone to ‘approve’. I didn’t need to understand the ‘whole story’ before I cut someone, or some situation short. I realized my sensitivity was a GIFT.

I simply honored my feelings, trusted my gut, and acted on my own behalf.

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