Reply To: Married to high functioning sociopath



In my experience it appears that there are intelligent spaths who function well/don’t get caught. They are not the ones we read about who have been caught for fraud, violence, etc. Their manipulation, exploitation, and abuse is much much more subtle, and just as harmful, often more harmful, than straightforward physical violence.

You might take what he tells you with a grain of salt – it may or may not be true. You might consider examining his behavior taken as a whole that makes up the difficulties, abuse, rages and insults you reference. That sounds pretty intense, and sounds like a different problem than Asperger’s. You might consider that if he can intellectually understand that these behaviors are harmful, he could choose not to do them. You might consider if he is manipulating you into thinking he ‘can’t help it’ in order to get away with continuing to abuse you. Can he control himself when he interacts with others in situations in which he can’t ‘get away with’ raging and insulting? If so, he is able to control his choice to rage at you and insult you. He just doesn’t want to.

You wrote that he ‘has no contempt for me (unless triggered. Then hell breaks lose)’. This means that he does express contempt and he blames it on you.

My ex psychopath abuser blamed his abuse on me and everything else in the world, besides his choice to abuse, because he liked what he was doing and he didn’t want to stop. He would tell me that he ‘had to do such and such, because otherwise I would do such and such.’ He was blaming me for what I would do, not anything I’d actually done or said. It took me a long time to figure out what was going on – I blamed myself and everything else in the world for his behavior, and I did not recognize it for what it is – run of the mill abuse. Your abuser is more clever, and from what you describe he has manipulated you into believing that you are responsible for his choice to treat you with contempt.

It sounds like you are questioning whether he is a spath, and you are describing what sounds like severe emotional abuse that you may be minimizing and are taking responsibility for. Consider reading about abuse, particularly emotional abuse, to gather information to help you understand his behaviors clearly.

Take care of yourself. If he is intelligent, he is likely to be more dangerous to you if he feels threatened.

From what you describe, he is not likely to change. He understands he is hurting you, and just says he can’t help it and it’s your fault. Love is action, as well as the emotional/psychological motivation that underlies it. Regardless of how deeply he does or doesn’t feel empathy, he can choose not to hurt you and that is love. You might consider how his behavior affects you, and consider your options.

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