How do you help someone snared by a sociopath?

Lovefraud recently heard from a woman who was concerned for her daughter. Here is her e-mail:

Currently, our daughter is married to a sociopath. He has taken us (her parents) for thousands and thousands of dollars, then turned her against us. These people victimize people and are somehow able to make themselves look like the victim. They have 2 small children.

He has completely isolated her from her family, including her sister. He completely hates me and has made me the enemy, for I started seeing through him. Do you have any idea how I can possibly reach her to make her see the pattern? This man has felonies on his record for scheming to defraud; he has cheated people all his adult life. I have found out many other disturbing things about his past that she is not aware of. I want to inform her of these things, however many people feel she won’t believe it. Like your sociopath, this one said he was in the Gulf War; he never was. Instead he went AWOL from the service. He said he had a masters degree in accounting, but he has no college degree of any sort. He’s had over 20 jobs and moved over 30 times. He is 12 years older than our daughter, has a terrible temper. We worry about her and the babies all the time.

What’s a mother to do? On the one hand, she sees knows that her daughter’s husband is toxic. On the other hand, her daughter is a grown woman making her own decisions.

Sociopathic manipulation

The woman’s daughter is being manipulated by a professional. Sociopaths gradually draw in their victims with flattery and half-truths. Then they hold on to their victims with empty promises or threats. Eventually the victims, confused by the alternating charm and rage, are emotionally off balance and doubting their own perceptions.

It happened to me. It happens to everyone snared by a sociopath.

The problem for me was that I didn’t know about sociopaths. I had no idea that it was possible for a man who consistently claimed that he loved me, to lie, cheat on me, and take my money. I had no idea such evil existed.

Friends and family

Sociopaths put a lot of energy into maintaining the charade for their victims. They don’t put the same energy into manipulating people on the periphery. Consequently, the friends and family of the victim can often see the deception when the victim doesn’t.

I think friends and family should speak up, in whatever way will get through, while maintaining a relationship with the victim. I also think friends and family should not enable the sociopath by continuing to give money or whatever else he is demanding. The sooner the supply ends, the sooner the sociopath will leave.

I suggested that the woman do her best to maintain contact with her daughter, even though the sociopath has isolated her. At some point, he will abandon her. When he does, I recommended that the woman not be judgmental toward her daughter.

I know the devastation of being victimized by a sociopath. Once I realized the truth, what I needed was not criticism, but the support of people who cared about me.

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68 Comments on "How do you help someone snared by a sociopath?"

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I have missed reading your posts. I’m sorry about what you are going through. You did your best, attempting to help your son get on a better path in life. Hopefully, he will take better care of himself, turning his life around. I remain hopeful because that is how I am wired.

Buttons It is good too see you here and feeling so powerful and positive…I wonder how many of us have bad mikes in our lives..yikes mikes…

Dear (((((Buttons)))))

Darling you did the best you could, and taking Mike in and TRYING to help him was a futile effort, but wihtout giving it a TRY you could never have felt for SURE that you did ALL you COULD do.

So don’t beat yourself up for TRYING. Sugar, I did my BEST and I failed miserably to accomplixsh what I wanted to accomplish more than anyting—to save my sons from themselves. With P son it was a given that there was NO hope, and I should have accepted that a lot sooner, like when he was 17, but I didn’t. With Son C, he was collateral damage and dystunctional, not Psychopathic but for sure TOXIC to himself if on one else. He is also able to be in denial about his own bad behavior to excuse it, but I can’t change that, and I can’t help him because he is like Mike, he wants to do what he wants to do and doesn’t look forward to the consequences.

You gave it the old “college try” and that is all a jack ass can do, is the best it can do. There are just some things that no one can accomplkish.

Take care of yourself, work on things for YOUR healing, and just keep telling yourself you did the best you could with what you had to work with. Can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, no matter how you spin it, it is still a sow’s ear. ((((Hugs))))) and my prayers.


Only time will help heal this wound. I am so sorry to hear about Mike and his choices. They are his choices alone, you can lead a horse to water, and all that. As parents we take it as a personal failure when our kids make bad choices but it’s not your fault. Keep repeating that to yourself, it’s not my fault.

I’m glad you moved to a place where people can support you. It must have been hard to pick up and leave but (even with dial up), it’s still better to have a system of support to help you through the rough patches than to be without.

Know that you have helped me through some pretty rough spots and I hope that I can be here for you as well. You have a heart of gold!!! I have been posting less but still reading and I had been wondering where you had gone. Glad you’re still here because I missed you.

You are in my prayers tonight.

Oh, boy. Helping someone in a relationship with a sociopath — SEND THEM GOOD LITERATURE ON SOCIOPATHS. Slip these books into their purses, onto their car seats, on their nighttables… bookmark and underline with highlighter…

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