Do sociopaths usually break up with people?

This topic contains 9 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Donna Andersen 1 year ago.

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  • #42818


    After reviewing signs of a sociopath, my ex boyfriend has many of them.
    He was overly romantic ALL the time, amazing in bed, always seemed too good to be true, told many little white lies and I even learned that he told big lies after we broke up, he was very needy, always wanted to know what I was doing, wanted to be in constant contact, and all of these things overwhelmed me however I set them aside because his romantic gestures, words, and actions were over the top.

    However, he broke up with me. He broke up with me, or atleast I believe he broke up with me, simply because he could not control me anymore. When I went back to school for this semester, I refused to talk to him 247, hangout with him 247, and be there for his needs 247 simply because I have a social life, school, and everything else going on outside of him. I truly do believe he broke up with me because he realized he could not control me anymore.

    However, I have never read stories about sociopaths breaking up with their significant other. Usually it is the other way around, is my ex really a sociopath if he broke it off with me?

  • #42829

    Donna Andersen

    makenziefox – Sociopaths break up with their partners all the time. There’s a term for it – “devalue and discard.” Usually the pattern is that the sociopath love bombs you – showers you with attention and affection, as you saw in the beginning of your involvement. Then, for whatever reason, the sociopaths decide they have no use for you, and the simply throw you away.

    If he sensed that he could no longer control you, then yes, he would end it for that reason. He may at some point come back to you, claiming that he made a big mistake. Do not take him back. The guy is disordered and you are better off without him.

  • #42834


    Hi makenzi! Do sociopaths break up with their partners? Certainly they do! I’d be interested to know where you got the idea that they don’t!

    Some people seem to have the idea that a person has to fit some exact pattern in order to be… (a “sociopath,” a “narcissist,” or whatever—fill in the blank!). They’ll say “my partner has all of these traits, except for xxx. Could he or she still be…?” As long as the partner fits the general pattern (not just a single trait), usually the answer is “yes.” Or else some people will say “These abusers are all the same!!” If they’re women talking about male abusers, they’ll say things like “It sounds as if we married the same man.”

    When people say things like that, they’re obviously focusing on one or two specific traits or behaviors, not on the complete personality. The fact is that apart from having angry or abusive or predatory traits, abusers in general, psychopathic or otherwise, can be as different as chalk and cheese! Some of them will do one thing, and some of them will do the opposite!

    When it comes to breaking up, narcissists in particular (who can be psychopathic, but not always) are well known for doing a “D&D” on their partners. That’s not “Dungeons and Dragons,” that’s “Devalue and Discard.” The partner who was all over you yesterday can be tearing you down today and off in search of someone else: a disorienting experience.

    How about your boyfriend? I don’t see quite enough to be able to categorize him with confidence, but what you’ve told us is certainly consistent with a psychopathic personality. There was all the love bombing, the unceasing attention, the amazing sex, the clinginess and possessiveness. On top of that, there were the lies. You haven’t said what the lies were about, what made some of them “white” lies, and what lies he was telling after you broke up. Was he blaming you for the breakup, slandering you to other friends? That would be typical. In any case psychopaths are inveterate liars, so telling lies fits the pattern as well. The only major thing missing in my mind is that I haven’t heard anything about him treating you badly—other than the breakup and its aftermath, that is. I’m not even clear if he was angry and tried to run you down when you wouldn’t talk to him 24/7, or if he just quietly “faded out of the picture.” But it’s perfectly possible that you hadn’t been with him long enough for the darker side of his personality to really start showing through.

    Did he break up with you because he “couldn’t control you any more”? Well, I wouldn’t personally put it like that, though I don’t doubt he broke up with you because you were no longer available all the time. I think this notion of all psychopaths being totally obsessed with “power and control” is overemphasized, often due to victim subjectivity. It may not always give us an accurate picture of what’s really going on in the psychopath’s head. What psychopaths “really” want is… whatever they happen to want! That can vary, just as it does with normal people. The main difference is that they won’t let other people’s rights or feelings stand in their way!

    Whether your ex-boyfriend is psychopathic or not, I think if he were so obsessed with “power and control,” you’d have a lot more trouble than you do now, with harassment, stalking, and revenge. So you may count yourself lucky to be rid of him relatively easily.

    There is one thing I would be willing to bet on above all, and that is that he has at least one new girlfriend out there. If he hasn’t been bothering you, that’s because his attention is now elsewhere! Of course, he could have been lining up spare love interests before you went back to college, “just in case.” That’s the way these types operate, I’m sorry to say.

    However, one way I look at psychopaths is that, because they don’t empathize with people as humans like themselves, I’m pretty sure they look at other people the way the rest look at objects. Objects to satisfy their wants and needs—which could be many things, and are certainly not limited to sex and money.

    As humans, we have different attitudes toward different kinds of objects. Some we regard as outstandingly valuable, and we get possessive about them. We don’t want to let them go. Nobody’s gonna take my car, or my retirement savings! They’re MINE!!! Psychopaths are just the same. Of course, the rest of us don’t want to “let go” of a truly beloved partner either, but the difference with psychopaths is that they don’t recognize that other humans have independent rights and needs of their own, which “objects” do not.

    But at the other end of the scale, many objects we don’t care about. They’re disposable, like a tissue, say, and we discard them without a second thought as soon as they’ve served their purpose. Psychopaths do the same with people who have served their purpose. We’ll hang onto a can of beer as long as we’re still drinking from it, but once it’s empty we toss it in the trash (or in the recycling container, if we’re conscientious). Psychopaths do that with people they’ve finished exploiting, for instance by abandoning a partner they’ve been assiduously cultivating, but whose bank account they’ve now drained.

    In between those two extremes, many objects are interchangeable and replaceable. An appliance may be useful—until it’s worn out. Mind you, we can get “attached” to favorite objects—to anything from an old car, say, or even in my case to a stapler I’ve had almost since the beginning of my career, which I’ve come to regard as an “old friend.” Note how we often “personalize” objects, referring to ships and cars as “she,” for instance, while psychopaths do the converse by objectifying people!

    But what if a “useful” object or appliance “goes on the blink,” or is not available or functioning at the times when we need it? It could be a car that won’t start half the time when we need to go somewhere. But in this instance a good parallel would be a cellphone—simply because so many people are using their smartphones constantly: to text people, to read and post on social media, to get directions, to look up stuff on the Web or whatever. What if a cellphone suddenly won’t work half the time? What if the battery is so old it needs constant recharging, and there’s no replacement available? Well, we’re going to get frustrated with it, and maybe angry. But in the end we’re going to toss the thing and get a new one. As long as we can afford it, that is. And we’d probably go complaining to friends about “that wretched old thing that never worked the way it was supposed to.”

    I submit that this is exactly what your ex-boyfriend did with you. He wanted you there to serve his needs 24 hours a day. Why, exactly? Well, some abusers are paranoid about a partner “cheating on them,” so insecurity and possessiveness can be factors. But another one, particularly with psychopaths, can be the constant need for stimulation. Psychopaths are easily bored, so part of your function for him could have been the need for entertainment. As long as you fulfilled that function reliably whenever he wanted you, that was fine with him. But once you were no longer available 24/7, things were different. It didn’t matter to him that you’re a human being with needs of your own, and other ways you need to spend your time. The point in his mind was that you’d ceased to be as useful to him as you had been. To him, nothing else mattered.

    This is why I think that sometimes—not always, but sometimes—it’s not truly accurate to talk about psychopaths being “obsessed with power and control,” because it doesn’t give the true picture or the right flavor of what’s probably going on in their heads. If we, as normal humans, got frustrated with a cellphone that only worked half the time, we’d never say we were obsessed with our “need for power and control” over the cellphone! Its availability to us, its responsiveness to our commands, is an assumption we take for granted! We just know we can’t do that same with other people, that’s all, because people are “like ourselves” and not “objects”!

    Some people refer to this attitude as a sense of “entitlement,” which is much closer to the mark. However, I have problems with that term as well, because as humans we are all “entitled” to be treated decently (there’s nothing overbearing or abusive about that), and some people become victims because they lack the sense of entitlement they should have, and are too tolerant of abusive behavior. So I dislike the notion of demonizing “entitlement” across the board. But there’s no doubt some people are overentitled!

    I’m sure it’s disconcerting, even dehumanizing, to realize we’re being regarded as “objects,” and worse, disposable objects, in the mind of a psychopath. It’s all the more horrifying if we’d been led to believe the very opposite: that we were adored and revered as only humans can be. But if the brutal truth helps us to understand what really goes on in some of these abusers’ heads (not all, but the psychopathic type at least), we’ve done ourselves a favor by seeing reality for what it is—and hopefully avoiding it!

    As a final word I do realize, as I said up front, that your ex-boyfriend can’t be diagnosed as “psychopathic” or anything else at a distance, and based on a limited summary of his behavior. I could be doing him a disservice; he might just be an insecure jerk with what used to be called “inferiority complex,” or some variant of it. If so, he’s still not somebody you want in your life. Still, I can’t dispel the lingering suspicion that he is a psychopath. As Sir Thomas More wrote five hundred years ago: “But of al this pointe, is there no certaintie, & whoso diuineth vppon coniectures, maye as wel shote to farre as to short.” Gotta love that Tudor spelling, which was probably just as much due to his printer as to More himself.

    Anyway I’m happy to hear you’re in school and having a social life apart from this guy who, in spite of his charms, was a mite too overwhelming. I dare say this experience, unpleasant though it may have been, was a gift to you. I had a gift myself this morning. A free newspaper! Whoever delivers the papers is always getting it wrong. I’m supposed to get the Wall Street Journal, which doesn’t publish on a Sunday, but for some reason they left me a copy of the local rag (which I wasn’t entitled to), and on the front page of the “funnies” was the “Family Circus,” featuring “Grandma’s Quotes.” In the middle one of these, Grandma is saying: “Remember, Billy—when you don’t get what you want, at least you get experience.”

    I think this is very true. You’re lucky you had this experience relatively early in life, with a whole life ahead of you—and you have been warned of the dangers! Tragically, too many people don’t find out what they got into with a chronically abusive partner until years or decades later, sometimes when most of their life is already over.

    One step remains. Do take a careful look at yourself and your background to see if there’s any special reason why you might have fallen for this type of guy. Maybe there is, but maybe there isn’t, since you seem to have extracted yourself relatively easily. Good luck for the future anyway!

  • #42836


    “Breaking up” is a subjective term when it comes to sociopaths. In my case, he spent a week love bombing me. Then after we got together and were intimate, he stood me up for an event with no call and no explanation. It was not the first time he’d done this. He then said later “I have no excuse and I understand if you want to break up with me.” Figure THAT one out!!!! I ended the relationship after several promises to call and no call, and after two no-shows. But really, who broke up with whom? I think if you have one that blatantly discards you, at least you will know where you stand at that moment. Dating a sociopath is probably one of the most confusing things you will ever do.

  • #42837


    Oh shit, Stargazer! So he breaks up with you while simultaneously claiming that you’re the one who broke up with him? How’s that for “confusing”?

  • #42838


    Right. Is that not the very definition of gaslighting or what?

  • #42851


    Because some people have asked… Here are some little/random things he did that I can think of. Let me know if these are any signs that you had.

    -Bought me things all the time, one time he gave me a jacket and said it was brand new when it clearly wasnt. He would always tell random little lies like that that were stupidly irrelevant and not necessary to lie about.

    -Would steal his brothers stuff and blantantly lie about it in front of me, he would tell me that his brother was crazy and that it was his brother who was actually lying.

    -Opened up to me very fast about how hard of a life he had, this definitely hooked me in because i felt bad for him and since he was so nice and so romantic i thought that these things had come from his rough life.

    -Would constantly make me feel bad about going out with friends, especially if I was out drinking with them. Would say things like “How would you feel if I was smoking weed? Thats how I feel about you going out and drinking.” I didnt give a s*** if he smoked weed and I told him that. Smoked weed behind my back the entire time but never told me because he would use this against me when I would go out with friends.

    -Was receiving over the counter adderal and selling it to friends. Lied to me about this, said that he didnt know what adderall was when he was prescribed it and that he just “gave it to a friend because he didnt want it”

    -always had money yet barely worked (selling drugs?)

    -Constant double texting. If I didn’t reply, he would send “???”.

    -Always wanted to know what I was doing. Claimed that he wouldn’t be mad if i wasnt constantly talking to him, but that I need to shoot him a text and tell him whats going on. literally wanted to know what i was doing every minute.

    -Whats funny about what i said above is that i actually never knew what he was doing? I didnt really care because im not crazy. But when he wasnt with me, i had no idea what was going on because he would just say things like “he wished he was with me every second” and that “we need each other”, very possesive comments.

    -Never hungout with friends while we were in the relationship. He knew my friends, but i did not know who his were.

    -His past relationship life was blurry. He made it seem like the girls he dated always had something wrong with them or he would be really vague about them.

    -OVERLY romantic. Literally every single day.

    -Mirrored my personality, from the start he made me feel that he was “just like me” and that we were “soulmates”

    -There was one incident in particular that is somewhat scary. he freaked out on me in front of my friends in the car over something little. I didnt talk to him after this because i was scared, upset, and embarassed. but at the end of the night he was crazily driving the car around with me and my friends in the car, slammed on the breaks and said he was not going to drive back home or move the car until i told him what was wrong. then we pulled into a gas station, my friends went inside because they were scared and he tried to come hug me in the backseat, i told him not to then he proceeded to leave and walk alongside the road and we ended up having to go find him. This was only 2 months in, I got back with him because I saw more “good” in him than bad since he was overly romantic, seemed to care so much, did so many nice things for me, so i thought this was a fluke incident and gave him another chance. Nothing this bad ever happened again, but who knows if it wouldve?

    -Family history is iffy. His father is a murderer (fact). Don’t know if that plays into any of my ex’s mental health

    -Would be hanging out with my family when I was not even in town. If i was gone for 5 days, he was at my house for 5 days.

    -When he broke up with me (OVER THE PHONE), he went back and forth. He broke up with me, and when i was sad about it on the phone and crying and confused, he didnt care at all and was acting very monotone and unamused. When I decided to show him whose boss and pretty much say “fine if you want to break up with me, screw you”, he freaked out. Texted me a bajillion times that night apologizing saying he was so sorry and even showed up to my apartment @ 2 am that night.
    I still wasnt talking to him, so the next day… my roommates were in my apartment and apparently he barged into my apartment without even knocking. they asked what he was doing and he said that he needed to talk to me and proceeded to barge into my room as well.

    That was the last time I saw him. After that, that entire weekend consisted of him going back and forth from sending me LONG messages that would say things like “i want to be with you forever, i dont want you to ever doubt that i will leave you”…. types of love messages that would go on and on, to being like “i dont really want to be with you actually”.
    Finally that Monday he asked me what I wanted to do, and i said i wanted to be with him and obviously i wasnt the one breaking up with him so he needed to ask himself that.
    Finally he ended it, saying that i didnt make him “happy” anymore. Immediately after the breakup he proceeded to go on and stalk tons of new girls on social media, reach out to them, and try to start up things with them (some including past girls he had tried to be with). He is continuing to do this today and I know this for a fact because unfortunately him and I met through social media when he randomly DM’d me one day (who knew a dm could go this freaking far!?!?!)

    • This reply was modified 1 year ago by  makenzifox.
    • This reply was modified 1 year ago by  makenzifox.
  • #42861

    Donna Andersen

    Makenziefox – everything you describe is typical sociopathic behavior. Do not let the guy back into your life.

    • #42872


      @donna Anderson,

      Do sociopaths usually attempt to come back into the lives of their victims? We have been broken up for around a month and a half now and he has not reached out to me. It seems like he is already targeting other women by his social media content.

  • #42874

    Donna Andersen

    Makenzifox – some sociopaths disappear, and some return. Here’s an article:

    Do sociopaths return?

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