Help! I don't know where to go from here, this seems hopeless.

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    I am in a marriage with a man who I strongly believe to be a sociopath. I have looked up information trying to make sense of what could make a person be capable of displaying these types of actions and lack of remorse and purposeful manipulation, everything I have read has brought me to the same conclusion. He is a sociopath. Some of the articles discussing the behaviors that sociopaths will exhibit in a relationship, I feel like I could have written them myself, word for word. I have recently reached a point where in my mind I’m quite sure that I should find a way to exit this marriage, but I can’t seem to find the strength to actually make that decision and stick to it. I have days where I feel strong in that decision and that it’s definitely the best thing for me, but then most days I just feel like it needs time and I need to figure out another way to approach it or that there has to be a way to figure things out OR that he is surely going to come to his senses again and start standing by the promises he has made. He lies, cheats, and uses money to manipulate me. He has money and buys me big gifts when he is displaying the good version of himself, but I have a good job as well and he always manages to somehow find a way to keep me in a situation where I am the one paying for things to the point that I have to come and ask him for money. Even as I type this, we had an argument last night in front of my family members because I was at an emotional breaking point and I made the mistake of calling him out about his actions and behaviors in front of people. I have never done this before and I was immediately in fear of the repercussions, and I still am to this very moment. This of course angered him beyond belief because I smeared his image (what appears to be the most important thing in his life) so he has basically cut me off from all contact and is refusing to talk to me or acknowledge that I exist. I know in my brain that I just need to use this as my opportunity to get out and not look back, but as I sit here and type this I am fighting every feeling inside my body to want to go find him or find a way to talk to him and try to figure out a way to work it out because I feel completely lost and scared to let go for good. I actually feel guilty for making a scene about things in front of my family and like I need to find a way to make it better, even though I didn’t say anything that wasn’t true and I also don’t believe that he feels guilt for one moment for all of the things he did to me emotionally that pushed me to the point of feeling so alone and on the verge of an emotional breakdown. I know he will be back eventually, probably right when I’m at the point that I feel strong enough to move forward. I say move forward, but those moments when I feel that strength to move forward are fleeting and then I’m back to doubting myself and just wanting to look to him of all people for comfort! This has been an ongoing situation with him for the past 9 years. We have been together the majority of that time, but we have also had periods of time where we split up and I was left completely devastated and did not know how to cope and definitely couldn’t really date anyone else or let them close because he never really lets me go even in those times. He keeps enough contact to keep me so confused. I have to find a way to work through this and figure out what is right for me and get to a point of being strong again. At this point, I seriously feel like there is no way that I could ever actually feel normal again or ever actually love someone else again. It’s an intense feeling and it makes me ill. I feel broken and confused and like I can never make sense of any of it or have any type of closure or peace and definitely can’t ever seem to get this relationship right. I feel like I need someone who actually understands this type of person to be able to make progress. I have tried counseling before, but it makes me feel terrible to try to discuss the fact that I feel he is a sociopath and to be treated like I’m just being overly dramatic about a troubled relationship. I just want to scream at people sometimes that they have no idea how deep this goes, how far this manipulation, lies and deception have gone, how far he will push me just to get a reaction out of me, how completely cold and hateful he is to me as a human being (much less his wife), how neglectful and cruel he can be when it comes to my emotional needs. People don’t want to believe me, especially when they have met him before and he is so handsome, polite and charming and generous. He is a well liked member of the community and his church, known for being generous and outgoing. I am 34 years old. I was a single mom when I met him. My son was 4 and I was 25. Now my son is 13 and I feel like I’ve wasted so much of his life being depressed and confused. I do everything in the world for my son, but I hate that he has had to see me in such dark places so often and sometimes for long periods of time. He and I are extremely close, but my husband is jealous of him and my relationship with him. He mocks me as a parent and mocks the things I do for my child constantly and also tries to find fault in my son. He is a straight A student, highly academic and also a very successful athlete in multiple sports. He is well behaved and well mannered, but my husband just seems to want to find error in him constantly (or on the other extreme- he wants to find a way to take credit for his success now that he’s getting older). At times, I have felt like I have to hide my closeness to my son and only display it when my husband isn’t around. We currently do not live together, but have still been in an active relationship and functioning as a family for the most part. He also has 2 children, which he allows to walk all over me and treat me like dirt (unless he’s being the nice version of himself), when he’s mad or upset with me his kids know they can pretty much do or say anything they want to me. His children struggle in school, are in trouble frequently, do not pass a lot of their classes and can’t stay eligible long enough to participate in sports (I think this fuels the jealousy of my son even more). He tries to hide the issues they have from me, not letting me know about any trouble they have been in at school, or lying about their grades and not letting me see the. He also of course blames the schools, teachers or anyone else in the world for the issues his children have. He always keeps a hold on me because when he is good to me he is so good to me and we have had some of the best experiences and times and memories together. He has also been my best friend and the person that I have shared so much with. There is so much more detail and depth to the stories and things he has done and I would love nothing more that an outlet to discuss this and try to sort it out and also just advice about how to handle the feelings I have. How do I find the strength? I feel alone. Please help me. Thank you.

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