How to recognize and recover from the sociopaths – narcissists in your life › Forums › Sociopaths, narcissists, psychopaths as partners › Was I engaged to a sociopath?
February 8, 2021 at 9:59 am #65091sportwolf123Participant
I have been struggling for last few months with trying to recover and figure out if I was engaged to a sociopath or just a selfish jerk. Would anyone be able to help me figure out who I was with? My therapists have continuously tried to redirect me to just focus on healing myself, but I really feel that I need to know the truth of what I went through.
Just as a side note, when I was 14, I was in a physically, emotionally, sexually, and verbally abusive relationship with someone I know now to be a psychopath. I am now 30 years old, and part of the reason why I am struggling to determine what my recent relationship was is because my recent partner was only emotionally abusive, but didnt share the violence or super extreme lies that my first psychopath ex exhibited.
Background: We met in graduate school and had known each other through mutual friends for several years, but began a romantic relationship two years ago. He was an international student that was not from America, but spoke English and also his native language of Arabic. I was aware that this individual had a history of being blocked by past romantic partners, “Crazy” ex-girlfriends, burning bridges with friends ,a history of becoming a huge jerk when angry, and also was caught in several small manipulation lies by various friends. My perception of him was that he was a loner, struggled alot with controlling his emotions, and had emotional walls when interacting with people. He intrigued me because he shared (or said he shared) my ability to be very intuitive, we both watched people closely and could feel and understand their emotions and thoughts before even the other person did. He also said he shared my interest for helping people, we both wanted to volunteer and help others. At the time, he was VERY close friends with a engaged woman who was highly empathetic, he spent almost every day with her. She told me he was so empathetic and kind, and highly intelligent. He said that he hadn’t had great luck in relationships because most people bored him, but when he met me, he finally found someone who could relate to him. I also empathized with him because when I started getting romantically involved with him, he was in the middle of being forced out of his PhD program. I am a very empathetic, trauma survivor, who when I met him, was struggling with depression and trying to find my way in life.
The relationship: The romantic relationship began in March 2019. It moved superrr quickly because during the first month we were together because we both experienced alot of trauma in our personal lives. I was struggling in my graduate program, and he was being kicked out of his PhD program. Side note, he was kicked out of his program almost directly after I began struggling in mine, this potentially could be a red flag. It was absolutely amazing in the beginning, he was sooooo loving and perfect. He was super empathetic, so compassionate, and went above and beyond for me. He remembered all the small things, he would stare into my eyes lovingly all the time, like superrr in love with me. He was so in love that it was almost overwhelming to me, he literally would struggle to function because he was so “in love”. He was obcessed with me quite literally, he would do this big extravagant shows of love all the time. After he was kicked out of his program, he began a new program in a different state, so we started a distance relationship. It was tough, but he came to me every weekend. We did have alot of small fights, but it was mostly because of communication or small things. Our sexual life was amazing in the beginning, we would just stay in bed all day literally. He talked of marriage within 3 months of us dating, he would mention it all the time, how he knew I was the One. In December of 2019, he took me to his home country and introduced me to his family. I quickly noticed his dad was a master manipulator. Textbook sociopath, highly intelligent, super show boat behavior and massive lies and infidelity that lead to his parents divorce. After spending two weeks in his home country, he proposed to me there in an extravagant way. Side note: right after he had gotten into a fight with his father. After we returned home and to our separate states, the fighting increased between us. Three months after the proposal, in March, it was like a light switched, he completely flipped his personality. He became cold and withdrawn, even cruel. We lived together briefly during the pandemic quarantine and he still attempted to be loving, but would also pushing me away, both verbally and physically. He stopped having intimacy with me, he began only caring about his work and not at all about the relationship. He said all of it was because he was hurt by my behavior during the relationship, but never had told me, and this was him “blowing up” about it. We quarantined in different states, and it got worse. He stopped answering calls, he never did what he said he was going to do, and he continuously blamed it on me saying I was being to pushy and I needed to back off. I tried to back off and began increasing my therapy session to work on any of the problem behaviors he said he was struggling with. But no matter what I did to try to preserve the relationship, he didn’t care, he just kept saying I was the reason why he was different now. In July, he broke up with me. In the most cruel way possible, he just stopped answering all my calls and texts. I frantically kept calling him and his roommate, but he just didnt care. He eventually reached out, only to say he stopped loving me and that I needed to leave him alone. I was absolutely devastated, how could someone propose marriage but then drop someone without even caring or trying at all like that? He didnt let me go completely though, he said he may want a relationship in the future, but not now. He remained like that for two months, but kept texting me from time to time, and I stayed hopeful he would come back.
He did come back, in September of 2020. He said he decided he still loved me again and wanted to try. I was over the moon, and had worked on the things he said he didnt like about me before. We had two amazing weekends together, although he wasnt quite the same as he was before. He wasnt the loving person he used to be, he was cold still, but not as cold as he had been previously. I thought he was actually going to try not though, and I poured myself completely into the relationship. I said I could move to his state, I wanted to have our life together. He began pushing me away again about one month in, this time, it was more cruel than the last time. He stopped having sex again, he physically would withdraw. I noticed he was talking to alot of girls from his home country, but if I brought it up he would get really mad and tell me I was being crazy. He kept bringing up pretty girls he worked with, and when I got jealous he was like, you are being ridiculous. He would say I really just dont love you, but then the next day he magically loved me again. He would say he was going to come for holidays, but then not call or show up. He finally said, I dont want this anymore, I just dont have the same feelings for you. I couldnt take it anymore, I sent him a 9 page letter about how I think he needs therapy for his emotional instability, and that he was toxic for me but I still loved him. I then blocked him. He went crazy, calling me from fake numbers, emailing me. I unblocked him, and he called me leaving long voicemails sobbing about how sorry he was. He did this for two months, just constantly leaving me messages and calls about how I was amazing, he loved me, and he was so sorry for what he did, that he knew he was wrong.
This leads up to January 2021. He spent the week calling me about how he was now getting kicked out of his new PhD program and how devasted he was. I felt so bad for him, I tried to help and give him support. He showed up in my city, and said he was going back to his home country, and he wasnt sure if he was coming back. I said ok, we can spend the night together before you leave, since I dont know if I will ever see you again. We were intimate, and it was like he was back to his old loving self. He started love bombing me, crying hysterically about how sorry he was for hurting me, saying he loved me so much and wanted to be with me again. I was overwelmed and not sure what to do, so I said we could see if it could work if he goes to therapy and if he comes back to the US. He pushed hard for me to stay in contact, he said he would text me everday. He gets back to his home country, and stops contacting me. I reached out to him confused, and he said I was being pushy again, and he was just busy. This went on for an entire week, he didnt contact me. I got upset, and said he was hurting me. He blew up, and said he had contracted the COVID virus, and thats why he wasnt talking. I felt terrible and sent him many apologetic messages about how I didnt know, and I was so sorry for being pushy. He said he needed space and continued to not talk to me. I was so worried about him, I thought he may be hospitalized with the virus and had no idea if he was ok. I texted a friend of his in his home country to see if he was ok or not. His friend said he was “very well”. I was confused, why would he say that if my partner had the virus? Almost immediately after I had texted his friend, my partner texted me saying, dont talk to anyone he knows about him, that he was fine. I was so confused, I asked him why he wasnt talking to me, why he had said all those things about loving me and wanting to be with me before he left? He literally replied, he will never be together and thats it. He wouldnt reply to any of my texts or calls. I was hysterical. I blocked him on all social media. He has left repeated voicemails from different numbers, I delete them without listening.
Another side note: he also seems to know things that I am searching on my computer somehow. Several times he was brought up things I was just looking at on my computer. For example, I bought the book “Psychopath Free”. He called me the next day and said, you must think I am a psychopath…I was like, why did you say that? We have always had an intuitive connection, so I thought it was just that. But now I am not sure. He also responds strongly to any mention of abuse or psychopathy, he will not admit that he emotionally abuses me. He knows of my past psychopathic ex, and cant stand to be compared to him. He strongly feels he is a “nice, good guy”. Nothing is ever his fault, he blames everything on everyone else around him. But in conversation with me, he will say, oh its all my fault, and self blame. He would laugh about the idea of him cheating on me or hiding girls, but then get really mad if I was upset about him talking to girls from his home country. Its all very confusing. He would also sometimes admit to me that he knows he hurts people. We had long conversations about how he feels bad that he pushes people away and burns bridges with many friends. He would cry and say he needs therapy, but then never go to therapy, or say he was going but I never was sure he was.
The thing I do not understand is, why he wont let me go if he clearly doesnt love me or want to be with me? He has now repeatedly said he loved me and dropped me, 3 times! But when I try to cut him out of my life, he wont let me go, he reaches out and tries to get to me. I dont understand his behavior at all, its illogical and it doesnt make sense. I am sooooo confused. I am mourning this person I used to know, during our first year, and I dont know if that person is real or not. I dont understand how he could turn into this cruel person, literally overnight.
Thats the story. His behavior seems to match alot of the characteristics of anti-social personality disorder. But he doesnt match the extravagant lying behavior. I also do not know all the things he has lied about though, I only know that he does lie about “small things”.
Does this person sound like a sociopath? Or just a selfish and unstable person?
Thank you so much!
- This topic was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by sportwolf123.
February 8, 2021 at 11:52 am #65094funluvmusic25Participant
sportwolf- Thank you for sharing your story. I’m so sorry for your experience and what you have gone through. With everything you shared the numerous red flags are there for sure. There are many disordered personalities that do not always show physical abuse, yet the mental abuse is very much apparent and part of their disorder. They also are very deceptive and can lie by omission mixing a little truth with lies to purposely confuse us.
What you are currently experiencing is something all of us on this site have or still are grappling with…….the fog these disordered personalities create in order to leave us confused and broken.
I’m not qualified to determine what type of personality your ex falls under, but from all of your details in your story he definitely has displayed numerous classic signs of a disordered personality. He wants to hold on to you to continue the power hold he has over you, to manipulate your every thought and to keep his ego supplied even if he is not with you. It’s the rush they get from all of this.
I tried to end my relationship many times telling my ex I would step aside so he could figure things out and get his act together. He refused saying, “we are tied together.” I told him I can untie everything very quickly and he still pleaded even though his continued behavior was condescending and manipulative and he would disappear with zero communication for up to two weeks. I became frantic thinking he was sick, injured, etc and he would reappear just fine without any excuse for his behavior- like nothing happened and it was no big deal. I finally said enough is enough and ended my relationship with him. It too was a long distance relationship and I am now going on 4 months No Contact. At the end when he told me he doesn’t take no for an answer, I told him this time it is not his decision. That said, I’m sure his ego suffered a blow if only momentarily until he moved on to his next victim.
There are so many books out there as well as on this site that are so helpful. One is called “When Love is a Lie” by Zari Ballard. In her book the author asks us to think of our “Constant” …..someone in our life such as a close friend or family member who loves us unconditionally. Then ask yourself if your “Constant” would ever treat you the way your ex has? It helps us realize that the normal constant people in our corner would NEVER consider behaving like our ex. Keep that thought in mind when you ask if you are the crazy one!
Stay focused on yourself, continuing your path to recovery be it with continued therapy or reading, posting and venting. Recovery is a marathon, not a sprint and the choice of life without a disordered personality will be healthier, happier and less confusing. I wish you well as you navigate your journey and find your strength.
February 8, 2021 at 8:28 pm #65100thesmithsParticipant
Sorry this happened to you. It’s very confusing when a relationship starts out so promising only to experience turmoil and abuse.
I would guess that your ex has a personality disorder. Small lies count! I would say these two are big lies. He said he would text you daily when he left the country and he didn’t. He blamed you for being pushy when you were expecting him to keep his word. You had a normal expectation given his promise. He’s also calling you from multiple numbers. That’s dishonest and stalker behavior to say the least.
Their is a possibility as you go over the fine details of your time together that you’ll discover more incongruous statements he made to you. I didn’t think my ex-husband was lying to me during most of our marriage, but in hindsight and a lot of googling, I discovered he frequently lied about many things, including an unimportant detail like the real first name of his grandfather. It makes no sense other than he enjoyed lying. If I found out and I started a fight, he would enjoy winning the fight as it showed he was in control. His kindness was fake. The real person was the abusive and nasty guy.
It sure sounds like he has spyware on your electronics. That’s illegal but very easy to get away with, unfortunately. Here’s a site where they show you how to remove this garbage –
With all these fake numbers, promises he didn’t keep, love bombing and talking to girls from his home country, I would guess he cheated on you.
As you know this guy will continue to cause problems and may even bring you down so low it may effect your ability to complete your doctorate or pursue your career. It’s imperative that you cease all contact with him immediately. This is called No Contact or NC for short. Don’t try to convince him of anything. He has no conscience or morals. He will never do right by you or anyone.
After deleting all the spyware, change your phone number and ask your cell carrier to not give a forwarding number. Delete the email addresses he has for you. If one is from your university, ask the tech department to block his email address. There are ways they can discover behind the scenes numbers for his electronics (MAC numbers – called this with both Windows and Apple devices). Tell them this guy is stalking and harassing you; they will help you out. All US universities have a strict policy against this kind of behavior. He may even be banned from returning to school if you have enough evidence against him.
It’s not so easy to do NC. He he abused you to the point of creating a trauma bond – you may remember the good times with him if you’re feeling depressed, lonely, tired, etc. Fight the urge. Write down all the terrible things he did to remind yourself. Reach out to a friend. Give it an hour when you feel the urge to contact him. Most times the desire to contact goes away.
Stick to a strict NC. The trauma bond will weaken and you will see him clearly and for all time as the disordered, trouble making person he really is. If my opinion counts, this guy is looking to ruin anyone he becomes close to. He won’t change. Most of those who do enter therapy for a personality disorder do because their employer requires it or they hit rock bottom having burned every bridge and angered every friend with their nasty behavior.
One book I found very helpful was The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout, PhD. She outlined three different varieties of sociopaths – the lazy one (that was my ex), the successful but ruthless businessman, and the fake therapist who wreaked havoc on any client who was unlucky enough to see her. (This book is a little dated as therapists licenses are hard to fake these days.) I also remember Dr. Stout saying if someone gives you a sob story (like your ex did) and you catch them in three lies when you are beginning to know them (even small ones), that’s the time to dump them asap. You have a sociopath on your hands for sure.
I hope that you stay away from this person for good. There’s no there there.
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 1 day ago by thesmiths.
February 8, 2021 at 8:30 pm #65101Donna AndersenKeymaster
sportwolf123 – He definitely exhibits sociopathic behavior. He love bombed you, used you, and now doesn’t want to let you go because his main objective is power and control. He wants to maintain power and control over you.
Keep reading here on Lovefraud, and you’ll see plenty of stories like yours.
I strongly recommend that you go No Contact. It is time to put yourself first. He will never be what you want and deserve.
Also, it sounds like he has bugged your computer or phone. Lots of sociopaths do that.
February 9, 2021 at 12:16 am #65110sept4Participant
Sport Wolf I’m so sorry you went through all this. Yes he sounds like a sociopath. You have to end things completely, go NC, and replace your computer and phone and change your passwords.
Your question: The thing I do not understand is, why he wont let me go if he clearly doesnt love me or want to be with me?
Answer: Because he is still using you for something. First he is enjoying the control he still has over you, enjoying manipulating you, enjoying your confusion, enjoying your suffering. Second he might be stringing you along for some practical use later like money or favors etc. Third he is enjoying the ego boost that you still love him or boost his ego somehow.
Whatever he is using you for, he does not actually love you. When someone actually loves you you will feel good and safe and secure. Not scared and hurt and confused. It’s not love on his part. He is using you and controlling you.
And once he meets someone who is somehow more useful to him, he will discard you completely and it will be like you never even existed.
February 9, 2021 at 3:35 pm #65113sportwolf123Participant
I wanted to say thank you sooo very much for all your thoughtful responses. I appreciate the feedback so much and it is both scary and validating to hear that others have experienced similar things. I am so sorry to all the other people who have experienced the same type of abuse. I have a quick follow up question if anyone has any insights on this issue as well.
1. Can sociopaths feel emotions? Is it possible for them to fake crying and concern consistently? One of the things I am most confused about concerning my ex-partner is that he was very emotional. He would cry in front of me, and not in a way that would lead me to believe he was acting. This really made me believe he was honest and sincere, because truly I am usually very insightful regarding people making things up, and he really seemed to be an emotional person. I should probably add, I am an emotional person, so it is potentially possible he exhibited these behaviors for me, but I cant believe that someone would really be able to fake deep emotions like that, I cant even imagine the level of exhaustion that must cause. Is it possible for sociopaths to fake emotions to that degree?
Thank you to all once again for all your help and very helpful feedback!
February 9, 2021 at 6:44 pm #65114thesmithsParticipant
Hi sport wolf,
They feel emotions towards others, but not positive or empathetic ones. Perhaps anger or outrage. Their lives revolve around feeling superior to others and employing any means necessary to take things they want without earning them – money, trips, expensive clothing, laptops, etc., or trick someone into sex.
My late ex-husband used to cry at a drop of a hat with real tears. During love bombing, they were for me. That was the only time he shed tears for me.
During our marriage, he cried if I didn’t comply with his demands or when I called his bluff when he threatened suicide. (I offered to call 911 or drive him to the emergency room.) He did the crybaby routine all the time. He was a great actor to pull it off.
Your ex may be pulling the same stunt. It’s unbelievable to me that they do this, I never would dream of faking this, but they do.
February 9, 2021 at 7:20 pm #65117sept4Participant
Sportwolf yes I believe they are highly emotional. But their emotions are anger, a desire to dominate, joy at other people’s suffering etc. I do believe they can feel deep sorrow as well if their ego is hurt in some way. This is called narcissistic injury and can hurt them deeply.
But I don’t believe they experience genuine normal positive emotions such as genuine love, empathy, remorse etc. That would require them to experience other people as their equals. But to them other people are merely tools to use for their own purposes or to prop up their grandiose ego. They are incapable of experiencing genuine human connection as equals.
February 9, 2021 at 7:40 pm #65118Jan7Participant
I’m sorry that you are enduring this nightmare of a socioapth.
There are endless RED FLAGS with this guy….one of the biggest is the “on again, off again” relationship = nothing but mind games from him to bond you to him even more.
I have read & experienced the same with regards to my ex h (a sociopath) intentionally talking about other women to get their wife or girlfriend to feel insecure, to make them bond to them more & to accept their cheating ways by turning the girlfriend/wives head from the truth = he’s cheating. The girlfriend/wife feels confused and feel like they cant rely on their 6th sense…and this is what their abuser (the socioapth) wants…for their vicitms to depend on them for their 6th sense.
LISTEN TO YOUR GUT INSTINCTS WITH THIS GUY….your gut is screaming to RUN RUN RUN away from him = your gut instinct is correct!!
The book “the gift of fear” by Gavin Debecker is excellent to remind you to listen to your gut instinct. Your library will most likely have this book. If you do a search on LOvefraud Donna has written a book reviewe.
Also, do a search for “Oprha Gavin Debecker interview you tube” to find their very informative interview on listening to your gut.
I have read that the Middel East has one of the HIGHEST domestic abuse numbers. So it is not surprising that this guy is abusive. It is very common for women in the Middle East to be stuck in a domestic abusive marriage for life becuase women who are divorced are very low citizens once divorced…it’s very very sad. Look this up. This will also help you to see this guy lives in a culture that allows domestic abuse to happen with out laws really protecting the domesitic abuse victim.
“Another side note: he also seems to know things that I am searching on my computer somehow. Several times he was brought up things I was just looking at on my computer. For example, I bought the book “Psychopath Free”. He called me the next day and said, you must think I am a psychopath…I was like, why did you say that? …”
PLEASE GET YOUR COMMUTER PROFESSIONALLY SCREENED FOR ANY SOFTWARE THAT HE COULD HAVE INSTALLED EVEN BY A EMAIL HE SENT YOU!!! Donna has written on this subject too…computer being hacked & soft ware that they can read with every key stroke you type. So once again your gut is screaming that he did something to your computer = I agree with you. So please get your computer checked asap. Dont OPEN any emails you do not know who they are from.
But, better change your email once you get your computer scanned and change your social media accounts too. Dont give any of this new info out to his friends. Block his friends just like you are blocking him.
You are doing the right thing by BLOCKING hims…this is what you have to do with these evil people…if he comes to your door call the POLICE..dont answer the door…just let the police deal with him. Tell your neighbors to do the same if they see him around (if he comes back to America).
I’m sorry that you got sucked into this nightmare. But, please know you have a very strong gut instinct…and are making so many great steps to get him out of your life & to heal. Donna & Terry (lovefraud creators) have an incredible library full of inforation here so just go up to the top “search bar” and search the things that he has done to you because no doubt Donna has written a article on that subject.
Also, venting & asking quetion really do help to get things out of your mind & to clear the mind from all the socioapthic confusion.
Wishing you all the best,
February 9, 2021 at 8:38 pm #65119Jan7Participant
“The thing I do not understand is, why he wont let me go if he clearly doesnt love me or want to be with me? He has now repeatedly said he loved me and dropped me, 3 times! But when I try to cut him out of my life..”
ALL sociopaths do this!! My ex including. When I finally escaped his grips, I found out he had been cheating with at least 3 women in two different states…maybe 5 not sure about the other two.
He would not let me go…even would drag me back into divorce court over & over just to see me…even the Judge asked why he brought me back to court.
They see everyone as OBJECTS…like a car, or desk or any object…they dont see us as humans…we are just possession to them. Remember they do not bond like normal people.
They will also bomarange back into a former victims life when they need something…ie sex, a place to live, money etc. SO BEWARE ONCE YOU ARE FREE…AND HE TRIES TO BOOMARANGE BACK CALL THE POLICE, CHANGE YOUR PHONE NUMBER ETC.
I’m sure Donna can explain this better.
some things for you to search here on lovefraud:
Gas lighting abuse (very stealth form of emotional & mental abuse)
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