How to recognize and recover from the sociopaths – narcissists in your life › Forums › Sociopaths, narcissists, psychopaths as partners › Breaking up with a sociopath
May 31, 2019 at 9:46 am #52731
He told me that he’s been diagnosed sociopathy 4 weeks ago and since then I’ve been speaking only to my therapist about it, she told me to not tell anyone since it’s a delicate topic and my friends, even if trusted, may not understand it and diminish it.
I agree (the idea of a trusted friend telling me that I’m reacting too dramatically scares me) but I am finding myself having continuous emotional breakdowns and in the need to reach out to understanding voices.
This is my story (sorry for the lenght!):
We met 3 years ago, I remember I was immediately caught by his irresistible charm. We talked a bit, I was a bit shy because I couldn’t get how such a charming man was being interested in me.
We didn’t live in the same city, so I added him on social media (I never add people, but I was so curious about him that I couldn’t stop myself) and from that moment he started his seduction phase. He started writing me beautiful emails, he’s incredibly good at it (both seducing and writing) so I was completely sold.
We finally managed to meet again a couple of months later and ended up as a beautiful date completed with the best sex of my life.
From that, it started the love bombing phase. I am usually a very reserved, solitary person and very rarely open to new people, mostly because I don’t trust them and I don’t want to be annoyed. Also I was very happy to be single in that moment. But he felt literally too perfect to be true, so I was like “Don’t be the usual cold hermit! Trust someone, for once!” …and there you go!
We started seeing each others frequently, but in the meanwhile I got a good job offer abroad and I felt mortified when I accepted it, because I wanted to stay close to him.
So we started a long distance relationship, which I now think it was the best he could ever ask for, to keep his flirts and lovers around.
I remember I was so calm and sure being away, cause I felt so much loved, and cared for and protected. I started to help him out a lot on his business while I was working on my other job.
First time I lost it was when one of the few times we saw each others his ex called him in the middle of the night, while we were sleeping together.
Why would she? What’s her interest on calling him in at night?
Here was the first time his mask got a bit broken, he admitted he was using her for a job he needed and he kept flirting with her (and probably sleeping with her).
I felt horrible for months and a couple of months later I broke up with him.
He begged me to stay, that he would improve and he started psychoanalysis.
The analysis was the end of his “good” life, he started to see who he really was and why he was acting that way all his life.
We got back together, I really couldn’t trust him anymore like before but I was so addicted by him, he was the only one I felt could fully understand me (cause he studied well!) and reassure me, I thought it was real love.
Since he started therapy he started to abuse on XANAX and his behaviour was broken. In the meanwhile I was hating my job and wanted to go back to my country. He found a way to start a business together, saying it would help me out to come back to the country with a good job.
I finally managed to quit my abroad job and go back to my country and focus on this new business and our relationship (I have always been very independent from relationships but our interests really combined and I though I was really building something with him).
Since it was summertime we decided to live a couple of months together in his summer house.
I was so happy about it!
But this is where the nightmare officially started.
He was… a totally different person from the one I have dated until the day we started to live together. He didn’t touch me (the sex had always been the best and very frequent), he was distant, he was irritable and he was treating me very badly (insulting me mostly).
I asked what was wrong, if I should leave cause it seemed like he didn’t want to spend time with me, but he said that it was the analysis fault, and that it would take time to feel better.
I tried to be supportive (in my poor terms, cause I didn’t really know what was going on) until one night, after the biggest fights of all he screamed at me that I destroyed his life and that I should thank God I’m a woman otherwise he would’ve hit me. He took the car and left me alone in his isolated summer house in the middle of nowhere.
I freaked out, I was so scared, I couldn’t believe what just happened. I packed my bags with the intention of leaving with the bus early morning (I didn’t have my own place, so I had to ask for friends to let me stay at theirs), then after a couple of hours he came back and got crazy when he saw I was preparing my bags to leave.
I asked why he said I destroyed his life and he replied that I was the first person who made him ask questions about himself, so much to seek therapeutic help – and the things that come up were scary. That he would’ve preferred not to know.
I was so scared to have him around, I felt I couldn’t be myself, that every thing I did could make him angry.
I left saying I needed a break. He didn’t agree but let me go.
I went to a city distant from him and stayed at friends while searching for a house, which took way too long (3 months).
The difficult part is that I had to keep talking to him because of the shared business, and it was all an endless fights.
6 months after I left him, and keep in contact with him, I genuinely felt I wanted him back, that I wanted to be more supportive of his problems. He rejected me.
One day, together with his best friend, he revealed to us (the so called ‘most important people of his life’) that he’s been diagnosed as sociopath.
That he doesn’t feel empathy, doesn’t feel love, that he manipulates and emulates people in order to survive.
Suddenly everything was clear to me. All his sinister behaviours, all these people he wanted to keep around (all women), and all the lies started to float.
He then disappeared, leaving all of my questions unanswered and being incredibly cold. (He’s always been very present to keep his manipulation active, so it’s being weird)
I feel devastated. Everyday I examine a new part of the relationship and realise it was all lies.
I don’t know what to do, I feel like I’m going completely mad. And being alone in this doesn’t help me.
I left my full time job for him, I came back to start my new life with him and after a year I have nothing in my hands.
The business he wanted to start together was of course a way to use my expertise for his advantage, I haven’t earned anything from it. I am now trying to take advantage from it as much as I can, but I’m planning to leave as soon as I get my share.
But I can’t seem to work on anything right now, my brain is still addicted to him.
In this new city I live now I only have one friend and I started to develop social anxiety, so everything seems like it’s falling apart.
And as much as I know I need to be patient and have strength, a lot of days I feel like it’s all ending and I can’t take it anymore. It feel so hard.
Really sorry for the long post, hope it wasn’t too bothering but it actually helped me out to write all the steps.
If you have a similar story or you’re feeling the same way, please feel free to reply. I would appreciate a lot a conversation with you.
May 31, 2019 at 2:16 pm #52733
I am so sorry for your devastation and to hear how anxious you are right now. It is totally ‘normal’ to feel this way after what you have been through, but knowing that doesn’t make going through it any easier. IT WILL GET BETTER. The more time and distance you get from this experience, and the more you take care of yourself, the better you will feel. But, generally, it does take more time to recover from these traumatic relationships that it does normal break ups.
You wrote: “I asked why he said I destroyed his life and he replied that I was the first person who made him ask questions about himself, so much to seek therapeutic help – and the things that come up were scary. That he would’ve preferred not to know.”
This is such a total lie on his part (mixed with some truth). You ‘ruined his life’ because you simply became too much work. When we get really close to these kinds of people it ends up taking quite a bit more energy (that they don’t like to expend) for them to keep up the charade of being in love with us, and being a decent person. I kind of think they get mad because they know that they cannot keep the mask on, and that the ‘party is over’. God knows what he was really saying in his ‘therapy’ sessions, as these people lie ALL THE TIME.
The guy I knew totally lost his ability to maintain his image as soon as he moved in with me. He was in-between apartments so I let him (temporarily) stay with me. He was like a CAGED ANIMAL. He really started lying and cheating and stealing at that point. It was the beginning of the end. After it was officially over I figured out he had slept with a bunch of women while he was living with me. As soon as he moved out he escalated his abuse to the point that I completely cut any contact with him. But make no mistake, he was the one that orchestrated the ending.
In some ways I feel like they unconsciously sabotage everything when the other person gets ‘too close for comfort’, because they only feel comfortable when they can do whatever they want 24 hours a day. I think unless we have something the REALLY want (like LOTS of money, or LOTS of social prestige, a giant house, or the ability to take a BOATLOAD of abuse and not complain) they feel angry that they have to work so hard to keep us in the dark about what they really are up to.
Good on you for getting away. Good for you for being here, and being in therapy. These things will help you heal.
May 31, 2019 at 8:19 pm #52742
thanks for your message.
“I kind of think they get mad because they know that they cannot keep the mask on, and that the ‘party is over’.”
This is totally it.
After I discovered his intentions I could see he was very uncomfortable and acting weird. The first time he tried to ‘get better’, I think because my previous trust allowed him to create his perfect control/free play space.
But then there wasn’t trust anymore, so, as you said, it was too much work to keep these masks for me.
He never put photos of us/me up online (he did with previous partners and are all still there) and at one point I realised he didn’t even tell people that I existed. I then told him that my made up non-existence was truly disrespectful, and from there all started to fall apart.
And all the secrets, all the female ‘friends’.
Almost one month ago, when we met last time, I found a letter in his documents. It was written by him, the tone was very romantic, he wrote something like ‘now I’m ready for you, you exist so I exist too’ – I thought it was for me, but at the end of the letter there was the name of…a female friend?
I feel like he robbed 3 years of my life.
Who did I have the relationship with? Is it possible that this person was really made up?
Was I alone all this time?
How can they fake feelings?
I’m worried because deep down I need to know that person still exists, and the idea that it never did makes me feel completely lost.
June 1, 2019 at 2:14 pm #52744
That is the really heartbreaking and humiliating part of it with these people. They aren’t, in a sense, real. Because everything they do is calculated, and because they are still operating on a kind of primitive survival mode, they are not psychologically and emotionally fully formed human beings. One thing that truly set humans APART from animals is our ability to organize ourselves around ideas, to create societies that agree, with awareness, about rules, laws, values, and behaviors. That is not to say that we always agree all the time. But, in general, for civilizations to be created and thrive some level of agreement is required.
People with sociopathy cannot do this. This is why they are called anti-social personalities. They cannot consciously agree to social norms and values for the betterment of society. They can only, unconsciously, fight for their own dominance and survival. This makes them more like a predatory animal, and less like a pro-social human.
They wreak havoc in personal relationships AND in society. They misrepresent themselves for personal gain only. Anything they say (or even ocaisionally do) is only for ‘show’.
As for him not posting pictures of you online. THAT is because you are aware of what he is, he knows that, and will not risk exposing himself to any kind of scrutiny. The guy I knew never posted about me either. But the woman he is with now is plastered all over his social media, and has clearly drunk the kool-aid, just gushing on about what an amazing person he is. (I can look at his instagram because after 10 years it doesn’t bother me, and I find it fascinating).
They really only advertise their most ardent admirers. And believe me it is ADVERTISING. It isn’t love or a deep personal connection. They use all people for the purpose of elevating their own image, and taking what they want from them.
As for faking feelings. Yes, any actor can fake feelings. The better an actor is at faking feelings the better the actor is, and the more we want to watch their movies. Same for sociopaths. They are consummate actors. They have perfected the art of fakery.
June 2, 2019 at 6:46 am #52754
“They really only advertise their most ardent admirers. And believe me it is ADVERTISING. It isn’t love or a deep personal connection. They use all people for the purpose of elevating their own image, and taking what they want from them.”
Perfect definition, I will try to remember this anytime he’ll reach out (to get something out of me).
I am curious:
Did you talk about it to anyone when you found out/during the breakup (or after)?
Trusted friends or family?
I understand that my therapist is strongly advising me to not take for granted that people would understand, but I feel like bottling it up completely (apart from talking to her, which as a ‘stranger to him’ makes it easier and harder at the same time) is damaging my mind a bit.
Maybe I should be just patient, but my mood has completely changed lately and friends are noticing.
Also I’m finding it very hard to not call him and pour at him all my resentment/asking for all those unanswered questions, but I kind of know he would be just a cold wall/and would still feel powerful.
(And thanks again for the reply! This is helping me out 🙂
June 2, 2019 at 4:22 pm #52757
Talking to friends is a double edged sword. Unless they really understand, or are willing to believe you and be pretty unconditionally accepting of what you tell them, it may end up being more frustrating for you. On the other hand if they ‘get it’ and believe you, and let you process at your own pace, it can feel really good.
I talked to my closer friends and 3 of them are no longer in my life because they couldn’t fathom what I was telling them and going through, and therefore weren’t able to be particularly supportive. They just made it more alienating and painful for me. They wanted me to get over it. They wanted to label him a ‘player’ and not a sociopath. They wanted to normalize my pain and get me to ‘move on’. Super NOT helpful.
The other 3 friends TOTALLY got it, and were 100% supportive. They really stuck with me through the devastation, the obsessive thoughts, the depression and anger. I was such a complete basket case. But they just kept loving me and listening and checking up on me, and cutting me slack. They are still my friends. And interestingly they learned a lot from my experience and have developed some good radar for malignant narcissists.
So there was some housecleaning, in terms of friends. I accept this reality because at the time I also needed more support than I was getting from weekly therapy sessions.
I am glad my responses are helpful. I know when I came to LF I was in such a hole I needed all the help I could get to dig myself out. AND I DID IT. You will too.
June 2, 2019 at 5:02 pm #52759
ari- Don’t call with your resentments. He wants drama and that just feeds his desire for drama. What you want is no contact/no emotion.
June 3, 2019 at 7:47 pm #52787
Ari85- I am so sorry for your experience, but I am glad that you learned the truth, even though it is painful.
I am also glad that you are away from him. I recommend that you extricate yourself from the business as soon as you can – even if you have to take a loss. Do not count on getting your share. He used you in establishing the business; he will feel no need to compensate you as you are leaving.
The sooner you get away from him, the sooner you will be able to begin your recovery. Each time you have to deal with him because of the business is like ripping a scab off of a wound. To really heal, you need to be away from him.
Keep posting here – Lovefraud readers understand what you are going through.
June 4, 2019 at 11:46 am #52790
Ari85 – your story sounds very familiar. When I was abandoned for the last time by my ex, I was fortunate to find a therapist who educated me on psychopaths and reassured me that I was not losing my mind. Similar to you, I was alone in a city where I knew no one! I had no job, crushing debt he left me with and felt very alone, since when I tried to confide in old friends, they didn’t understand or worse, said all that had happened was my own fault. My therapist kept me grounded and I focused on myself. In August it will be 8 years since I have seen him and trust me when I say no contact is the ONLY way to go for your own peace of mind. Nothing good will come of any direct contact, or indirect, like checking up to see what he is doing – it doesn’t matter. YOU are what matters. I lost a lot of money and thankfully, had an attorney who saw him for what he is and advised me to let it go – I realize now that had I fought him, it would have kept us connected and caused me even more harm, which is exactly what he wanted. It takes time, a lot of work, and healing will not be a straight line – you will have ups and downs and even some sideways, but little by little you will see improvement, until you will notice that your life is starting to feel sane again. Be patient and gentle with yourself. Do not rush it. When I started feeling good again, it felt so good, and I wanted more of that feeling! We were together for 7 years, and now, we’ve been apart longer than we were together – and I’m so proud of myself for doing the work to overcome the abuse he piled on me, day after day. I had forgotten how wonderful it is to live with a clear mind, no constant worries, trying to figure out how to please him, who he was with, what he was going to accuse me of next. You will get there too! Everyone here has been there and knows what it like, you are not as alone as you might think.
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