UPDATED FOR 2021. Why do we escape one sociopathic partner, only to be hooked by a sociopath again? It happens. A lot. Here’s an example:
A reader first joined Lovefraud in 2008, as she was scrambling to get away from a man who she thought was her true love, but turned out to be a sociopath.
She read Lovefraud articles and posted comments for a couple of years, and then moved on.
Six years later, she sent me an email with the subject line, “I’m back.” She’d become involved with another sociopath.
“How could I be so stupid?” she wrote. “And this time is much much much much worse than the last.”
Why does this happen? Why do we get rid of one problem person, only to be hooked by a sociopath again?
Before we are educated, we may run across one exploitative individual after another, but don’t realize that there’s a common denominator among them — that they are all sociopaths. We haven’t yet learned that there is a psychological reason for their manipulative behavior.
But once we spend time on Lovefraud, we know.
Read more: Recovery from the sociopath
We know that some men and women are simply disordered. We know that these disordered people are not going to change. We know the warning signs to look out for.
So after we know about sociopaths, why do we fall for them again?
Is it a case of, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me?”
No, it’s not.
If we fall for another sociopath after we’ve learned that they exist, it means we have more healing to do.
The healing may be related to the previous sociopath, the one that initially led us to Lovefraud. But most likely, the healing that we now need is related to an older and deeper emotional injury.
Remember, sociopaths are able to hook us because they target our vulnerabilities. Sometimes the vulnerability is obvious, like a woman who is single, getting older, and wants to have children before it’s too late. (That was me.)
But sometimes the vulnerability goes back further. We may have had disordered parents or siblings. We may have been abused by a teacher, clergyman or family friend, but were afraid to remember it.
Sometimes we weren’t mistreated at all. But we had deep-seated beliefs that we were unwanted or unlovable — beliefs that made us a target.
Whatever our vulnerabilities, sociopaths sense them, like sharks sense blood in the water.
Ready to heal
Believe it or not, another encounter with a sociopath may be a good sign — a sign that we are finally ready to work on the really deep wounds within us.
The first sociopath may have drawn our attention to the emotional injuries that were fairly close to the surface of our awareness. We cried, we kicked and screamed, we released the negative emotion of the relationship.
But when we encounter another sociopath, one “much much much much worse,” and begin to process the pain of the experience, we may see that it is directly connected to a deeper injury.
When the deeper injury occurred, we may not have had the awareness or strength to deal with it. So we swept it under the carpet, walled it off in a corner of our being, and did our best to move on.
But now we do have the strength.
Embrace the healing
So Life brings us another sociopath. Why? To help us excavate all of the remaining pain, from this relationship and every negative experience that came before it.
Embrace the healing. Focus on letting go of any internal injuries that you’ve tried to ignore.
When you make a complete recovery, you won’t be hooked by a sociopath again. You’ll be able to spot any future sociopaths much more quickly and prevent them from entering your life.
You’ll also be happy, healthy, vibrant and totally alive. Life will respond by bringing you wonderful people and experiences.
Learn more: Sociopathic seduction — How you got hooked and why you stayed
This article was originally posted on September 8, 2014.
Vision here! I too got started here on LF back around the same time. Sure miss Oxy….she really gave us some sound advice and I keep her iron pan on my “wall” just in case I start to act stupid..LOL
At any rate, yes, I too mirror your situation. When you said,”I’ve gotten into a rut with my office job, and after two weeks of vacation, am figuring out a way to quit and do something I love that will pay my bills. The dancing, sunbathing, blogging, shopping, and socializing ”“ strangely ”“ doesn’t do it. lol I think bringing more happiness into my life and having a job more congruent with my gifts and talents will put me more into contact with like-minded people.” ……….
exactly what I said yesterday.
Same situation. I took some extra time off and spent time at the pool in our community and at least made a very nice friendship with the lifeguard. He is young enough to be my son. Its not romantic. But his maturity and kindness, his insight and good heart has shown me what I was missing from my last relationship with the sp. I got more empathy, understanding and adult conversation in the two months of knowing him then the 5 years of roller coaster riding with the ex.
I just got word that my superiors on job want me to give more of my time to the projects on hand. Its a contract job so I can just move on but can’t right now. Need another. So if we have a situation that isn’t working for us then we have learned by now to change it to something better…..
I am confident I will find a way. I too want to have that special relationship.
How To Find A Good Man:
I believe that the way to “find” someone is to not “search” for anyone…..I know that even so right now I am not in a job I love. My situation where I live is not what I want. I feel that changing our lives to bring harmony, peace and love into our hearts, doing what we really love (and not to sound cliche!!) but real, by doing this we will be more open to the right relationship.
We might view ourselves as Zena Warriors when we come out of bad relationships. With full body armor and wielding our swords, protecting our hearts with our shields…..at least I did..LOL
We set up a fortress around ourselves. A huge boundary none dare pass…..Up goes the drawbridge….down goes the iron gate….and there are no dashing knights on white horses to declare love to us and scale the tower….
But there is just the average male….the good guys….we know we can be vulnerable like our friend who involved herself again with another sp. as told above……
But those good guys are out there. somewhere. and they are looking for you….and me….someone just like us…..but we can’t go hunting like Zena and her sidekick Gabrella for that man…..more then likely we will run into another sociopath….
I have confidence in my attained skills in recognizing an sp and I have found many in the last couple years and stayed away or got them out of my life, both males and female. At work, at play….
I am on my quest of improving my present arrangement of work and where I am living. I am improving me…
So I am not looking for that right man….He will find me….am I really open to that? …..is my heart open? …..the answer is a yes, because I won’t let my past experiences or the ones involved rob me of my soul…..and Zena Warrior Princess is waiting around to defend me just in case one comes along again…..
Love to you all. Us oldtimers need to stick together as Oxy would probably say….Love that woman!!!
Thanks for letting me vent here!
Vision……”I see strong women with loving hearts happy in love with the right guy”
Love finds you when you least expect it. But what Vision said is so true. The way to find a good man is to stop looking. Find yourself first and the rest of it will follow. I’m 4 yrs out of a disastrous relationship, complete with millions of dollars lost and finding out he was a pedophile. Now I speak to none of my children as they blame me for not stopping his insane behavior. I met a lovely man on Match right as I exited that relationship, with the clear intent (which I verbalized to him) that it would not be serious or long term. I have my own company, my own money and didn’t need a husband or sugar daddy. He accepted the date with this in mind. He has 3 teenage sons and he is a devoted father, an ethical business owner and one of the most honest people I ever met. I know his mother, his extended family, his college buddies, and even his high school friends. No red flags, no broken promises, no drugs, gets buzzed on a single beer. Monogamous and loyal. Almost too good to be true. 4 yrs later, he has never given me a single second to doubt his character. We maintain separate homes 10 minutes apart from each other and see each other every day. The words I would use to describe my life now? Peaceful, content, happy, sensuous and fun. No drama, no BS. I walk around with a silly grin on my face just out of sheer joy.
A few weeks ago, my 12 yo niece came to live with me. I had proclaimed to all that I wanted NO MORE KIDS. But here I am, raising this young, very sweet, very smart girl , and I’m amazed how centered I feel. I’ve learned to be vigilant without smothering, and the importance of paying attention – really paying attention.
Do we get second chances? I believe we do. Will I do this right this time? You betcha. As is tattooed on my back, “Life is Good”. Not a day goes by that I don’t count my blessings.
What a great encouraging story! I liked the “silly grin on your face just out of sheer joy”!!
I too count my blessings…I also liked the “vigilant without smothering and paying attention”..great advice!
You’re an inspiration to al of us that life can be a happy place and we can find a new and improved partner that doesn’t cause chaos, nit that I’m ready for it yet as I’ve only been out 10 weeks. I do hold the vision of one day enjoying the things that I like with a special someone and you are confirmation to hold onto those thoughts â˜…
I admire those of you that have ventured out to connect with another partner and wish you all the best that life has to offer. It’s been six years since I have been divorced from a spath. I still do not date. At almost 60 years old, I’ve realized that I will spend the rest of my life alone. Why not, it’s not so bad. It is actually peaceful. I was alone the entire time I was legally married. The life that I had was full of betrayal, abuse and deception. Any “good times” were nothing but an illusion anyway. I guess my “trust gland” is still in need of treatment. Is there a serum on the market for that?
I don’t know if you sought the help of a therapist, but if you haven’t, please try, and if you have keep trying until you find the right one. I’m no spring chicken and I NEVER imagined starting over at 51. But it’s possible. You’re right, being alone isn’t bad and it sure beats being in bad company. But I get the feeling that you want more out of the decades you have left. Fill your mind with good thing, good books, good movies, good people – they ARE out there. Volunteer, adopt a pet, little steps to fill your life and heal your heart. AS for your “trust gland” you just have to learn to trust IT again.
I am not well…
Got all my medical tests back from last week….
ALL BLOOD NORMAL. NO STDS.
My hair is coing out in clumps! How is is possible that stress could do this?
I have to admit to you. I fell in love with this man. Truly did. I am so confused.
do not worry…. I am seeng a therapist tonite….
but I cant sleep.
my appetite stinks and to be honest…. I wish I would die.
no…. I am not suicidal…..
but I think it is too much too have loved someone this deeply….
and to feel so rejected.
My body has betrayed me… if you saw the hair in the shower this am… you would think I had none left on my head. thryoid… blood… iron all fine.
Oh gosh…I can feel your pain, right in the pit of my stomach. I am really sorry you have to go through this. So many of the people here (and not here any longer) have lived (and hated it) through this part of the process. It totally sucks. I know.
That’s why I go by ‘slim’. When I started posting here I had gotten down to 99# when I was dumped. I weigh 108# now, and am still slim. So I was a bag of bones. I couldn’t eat, sleep, think straight, smile, plan, organize, or care. I was so depressed I couldn’t perform at my job, did some CRAZY things there, and was eventually invited to leave my position (which I did, but not until I made a complete fool of myself).
It is a tough tough time, when our hearts have been filleted.
Grief opens us up, makes us raw. But it can be gotten through. You will make it, as so many of us have. It means taking each painful moment as it comes. It means getting support from people you TRUST, who are completely supportive of you. It means staying away from situations and people who make you feel weird, no matter how little. It means eating bites and sips. It means doing all the things you would do for a little kid, who cannot take care of themselves, and with that amount of love. You are soft, hurting, and sick right now…..go super easy on yourself.
Good for you for seeking therapy. I did too, and for me it was a lifesaver. Truly. So were the two aware friends I had, and my kitty.
Also, think about reading the entire series of articles on ‘Healing from a psychopath’, here on Lovefraud. The articles are by Kathleen Hawk. They are a superb blow by blow description of all phases of healing. I found so much of myself in her articles, and felt really validated by that.
Take good care…every little act of kindness you show yourself will help you
thank you so so very much.
I work with seniors. Music therapy. I tried palying piano yesterday and had to apologize b/c I could not step messing up.
as for my kitty… she is saving my life!
Her name is Natasha. A long haired… black.. manx mix.
Thanks goodness for Natasha. Mine was Obi. He was a flame point siamese, and a giant lover. Try to love yourself like you love your kitty. Be as kind to yourself as possible.
I finally have give up on relationships with men after Spath # 3! I think I must have the words K I C K – M E written in Spath ink across my forehead that only THEY can see so when ANY man looks my way I RUN as fast as I can. I have come to the conclusion that no matter how much I know and should know what to look for, it makes no difference. I even feel I may have been harmed and scarred so much emotionally it may be IMPOSSIBLE for me to hope to have a “normal” relationship. I hope the reader who returned does not suffer the same fate as me as a repeat offender. I still have faith in love because I see others being so happy. Its just not going to happen for me because I cant allow myself to be put through that pain again as I may not make it out alive..
My recently ex Path was a psycho. I was born to a Nac, moved to another Nac, then had a sociopath and finally the psychopath. It scares me knowing this pattern of attraction – what the hell is next?… but I won’t be defeated by it! I will go on to meet someone new, with the HOPE (hope is something they’ve never beaten out of me) of finding a normal decent man, if not I know the signs and I’ll be running away singing “your loss, next!”
I hope to one day find the courage to venture back out in the world without my coat of Armour and I wish this for you to.