Sociopath, or just some form of narcissist?

This topic contains 5 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  marinapearl 7 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #46228


    I am so confused. I met this guy last year; our parents knew each other when they were younger. His parents both lived with him, as they were elderly and in poor health. They were both very nice, but they required a lot of attention from him. We had an instant connection. We had everything in common, shared the same values, sense of humor, etc. Right away we were using words like “soul mates”. He would say that our love was so much better and more pure than everyone else’s. He would send me flowers and chocolates. Within a short time we were talking about marriage; it wasn’t a question of IF we’d get married, but when. This January, we got engaged. He seemed like the perfect guy.

    Except when we had disagreements. For instance, he was late for our dates a lot because of his work, and wouldn’t tell me if he was going to be late. I told him it would be nice if he would at least send me a text to let me know if he was going to be late, and that it was getting frustrating because I could no longer believe him when he said he’d be somewhere by a certain time. He got angry and said he had to work to support his parents, and that he was working long hours so that he could afford to provide for me when we were married. I knew that was BS because his mom said he worked even longer hours BEFORE he met me, but I didn’t want to make him mad, so I just dropped it.

    That became a pattern. Every time we had a disagreement, or I tried to talk about a legitimate concern, he would make me feel bad for even bringing it up, and nothing would get resolved. If I said that I was frustrated because he was dragging his feet on the wedding planning and I was doing everything alone, he would say he had tried to make suggestions, but I shot them all down, and he eventually just gave up. I asked him what suggestions he’d made, but he couldn’t remember any. (Because he hadn’t made any.)

    I would say I was concerned because we weren’t spending time with any of our friends; we were just isolating ourselves up at his house, which was kind of in the middle of nowhere. (He expected me to live with him and his parents up there, but said he was building an apartment addition for us.) He would say I didn’t want to spend time with him and his family. Inevitably, he would say things like, “I’m just a burden to you”, and “I feel like you can’t stand to be around me”. And I would end up having to reassure him that I didn’t hate him, and that we didn’t have to break up. It was the weirdest thing. I just assumed he had really low self-esteem. I felt bad for him because he had a hard job, and had to take care of his parents, and I just wanted to help him in any way I could.

    Another thing that I found weird was that he would misinterpret everything I said. He would take my words and twist them around and apply totally wrong meanings to them. I’d never felt so misunderstood in my life. I asked him if he’d ever had anyone tell him that he took things the wrong way. He said no one had ever had that problem with him.

    He would also tell these crazy stories that didn’t sound true. And he was always the victim. His exes were awful to him, his older half-brothers tried to kill him, his BROTHER was a sociopath. He even told me there was a guy at his work who wanted him dead, because he tipped off the police about something he was doing. He kept saying he was going to quit his job, which alarmed me, because not only would that mean he couldn’t afford to support his parents, but our wedding reception was booked at one of his company’s properties, and if he quit, we wouldn’t have a reception place. I tried to tell him how much his constant threatening to quit was worrying me, but again he blamed me for making him feel bad.

    He also lied to me and my parents about the wedding planning. At my insistence, I finally got him to go with me to pick out invitations. The stationary store ordered them, and said they’d email him with the drafts for approval. Later I asked him if he’d approved the invitations, and he said yes. A few days later my mom said she’d been talking to him; he’d asked her (NOT me) if we’d be willing to postpone the wedding, because the apartment addition had still not been started, and in fact the permits hadn’t even gone through. She reminded him that we already had relatives who’d booked flights, and the cake and venue and invitations were already ordered. He said no, I haven’t approved the invitations yet. So he lied to me about them. Later he told me the apartment permits had been approved, and they hadn’t. So he lied about that too.

    About a month before the wedding, he started getting more erratic. In the beginning, we agreed we didn’t want children. If it happened, sure, we’d be happy, but we wouldn’t actively be trying to have kids. Then suddenly he calls me up, crying, because I didn’t want kids and he did, that he “would never be happy without kids.” Completely contradicting what he said before.

    Finally one night, three weeks before the wedding, he called me up and gave me an ultimatum. He said he couldn’t make me happy, that he had nothing to offer, and that it was up to me to decide whether we should stay together. I broke down crying, and he was just silent. We agreed to meet the next day, and I gave him a list of my concerns: about his behavior, his lies, his changing stories, his blaming me for everything, for the apartment which had not been built and now I could see never would be, and he just sat there. No excuses, no defending himself, no attempts to comfort me. I decided I couldn’t be with a defeatist — someone who wants to give up every time things get hard. So I ended it. Three weeks before we were supposed to get married. He didn’t even say goodbye.

    That was in June. Now I’m learning that he tried texting my best friend, but she knows about everything he did, so he had no success with her. He even friended one of my exes on Instagram; they’ve never even met. He and I are still good friends, though, and he told me because he thought it was weird. I just told him to be careful. I don’t know what my ex-fiancé is trying to accomplish, but I don’t trust him.

    I recently talked to another girl he dated, because she also knows my best friend. According to him, she was terrible, but that isn’t consistent with what I know about her. She said, “He will make you crazy. He is the ultimate victim, and he will make sure you know that your feelings are unimportant.”

    What I want to know is, is this sociopathic behavior? It seems to tick a lot of the boxes. But I’ve been reading about covert narcissists, and it seems to describe him to a T. I don’t know why it matters. But I just want to make sense of it. So it doesn’t happen again. Although at this point I don’t know if I can ever trust someone with my heart again.

  • #46250


    The short answer is yes, this is the behavior of someone with a personality disorder. It isn’t really a matter of is he a sociopath, or ‘just’ a narcissist. People with any kind of personality disorder are best avoided, do not know how to love other people, and end up creating chaos, hurt, and disappointment.

    This stuff exists on a continuum. So, maybe he isn’t a ‘killer’, but he certainly isn’t relationship material, seems to enjoy being in control and hurting/using other people, and will likely not be able to change.

    Plus, his ex girlfriend confirmed that this is true.

    Being confused about his behavior is a good indicator that you have gotten snared by one of these types, and you are having a hard time confirming your own reality.

    If you can just stay 100% away from him, forever. Keep reading here so you understand the warning signs, and look inside to see if there are any wounds and/or other issues you can work on to make yourself more whole.


  • #46259

    Donna Andersen

    marinapearl – I second everything Slim said. You saw that he lied, he cannot be trusted, he played the victim, he tried to isolate you, and more.

    Here is what is below the surface: The man cannot love. He is incapable of love. And he will never be able to love. No matter how many times he said, “I love you,” it was all an act.

    I am very glad that you called off the wedding. Do not let him into your life ever again.

  • #46264


    Sounds like my ex

  • #46272


    Thanks, everyone. I wasn’t sure if I was overreacting, because my story isn’t nearly as bad as many others I’ve read, but it’s good to know it’s not just me being paranoid or overly critical.

    I guess the hardest thing for me at this point is coming to terms with the fact that none of it was real. That the person I fell in love with doesn’t actually exist, and never did. It’s like… I’m grieving for a mirage.

    I just wish I’d seen it a lot sooner. I stupidly assumed that I’d be able to spot a sociopath or narcissist, because something about them would be “off”. But if that were true, then I suppose they wouldn’t be able to dupe as many people as they do. How can you tell, when they seem so sincere? How can you tell if ANYONE is what they seem to be?

  • #46313


    Aaaand just to confirm what a soulless husk of a human being my ex is, a mutual friend of ours just told me that he tried to pick up another girl. Just two weeks ago he emailed me telling me he still loved me and wanted to know what he could do to fix things. (She turned him down, thank God.) People are starting to see what he really is. At least some justice exists in the world.

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