Three of my most serious relationships have been with sociopaths: my second marriage, an engagement, and most recently, with a man I was in a serious relationship with, lived with, and became pregnant by.
My second marriage was with a man I met at work, who had been sober for 5 years in AA when I met him. He suffered from (diagnosed) borderline personality disorder, but I believe was also a full-fledged sociopath.
He was a convicted abuser and had done jail time and anger management for that. He confessed to me that he was a prostitute for many years (with men), a porn performer, and a jewel thief. But because he was in AA and I believed honest, I thought he had changed.
The abuse started about 3 months into our romantic relationship, in the guise of him being “damaged” and “afraid” to enter a serious relationship with me. While it never became physical, he gaslighted me, had a double life (still prostituting on the side), would ignore me for days at a time, and “allowed” me to financially support him for most of our relationship. I would have to leave the house at regular intervals because his behavior scared and intimated me.
He told me himself that if he drank, he became “homicidal and suicidal,” and 2 years into our 6-year relationship, he started drinking again. When we fought he’d threaten suicide, and periodically he’d break up with me.
He enjoyed making me beg him back, never apologized to me, and toward the end of our relationship, began to physically intimidate me to such an extent that my parents had to move in with me to get him to leave. He continued to threaten and harass me via email for some years later…
Finally I am rid of him but learned so many things after the end of our relationship, including talking to another woman he had abused, and learning he’d been unfaithful to me. He was very guarded about his computer and phone and always erased Internet history, so I am quite sure there was more. He left me in thousands of dollars of debt, but I was so scared of him at the end I didn’t care, just wanted him out of my life.
During our last couple years together, I went back to school to become a therapist, and that helped me to find the strength to identify his personality disorder, and to leave him. He controlled every aspect of my life and isolated me from my family and friends.
After that I was single for some years until I met my next sociopath, a military guy who was a friend for a couple years before we dated. His service was not in question, he actually was special forces, but I do believe lied about some aspects of his military life, though I could not prove this.
He told me he enjoyed killing and even had photographic trophies of bodies he killed and desecrated in Iraq and Afghanistan. He asked to show them to me one time, but I refused. Why I didn’t run, I don’t know, but he sold me on a pity play, that he had PTSD and TBI (true) and needed me.
We were very, very close, but eventually I left him when I found out he was cheating, which broke me completely.
I was amazed at his ability to lie convincingly. One time when we fought, he picked me up from work blitzed out on drugs and nearly (intentionally) drove us off a cliff. Another break up.
He pulled so many crazy stunts I can’t even list them all, but “I loved him” and he was virtually obsessed with me it seemed, which I mistook for love. Eventually he ended up institutionalized for a psychotic break after making some high-level threats against gov’t officials, so I took pity on him and took him in again.
At this point he really was delusional and psychotic, probably from all the years of steroid and hard drug use in foreign countries, and I finally left him after he told me very soberly that he was going to build a black hole on our patio.
Fortunately for me he hooked up with his former girlfriend again and let me be. He was capable of great violence, I knew, and slept with a gun under his pillow for a long time. Though he was not physically violent toward me, he was intensely controlling and seemed to feel threatened by any life I had outside of him, including my profession.
Finally, my third sociopath was debatably my worst. Due to my earlier experiences, I devoured resources, including Lovefraud (which I found after sociopath #2), as well as applying myself to my own therapy.
I discovered that members of my own family, especially my brother, sister, a parent, and some aunts/uncles/grandparents, had these traits as well. I was really on the lookout for red flags.
Sociopath #3 did not appear to be high risk; he actually seemed a “safe” choice. He worked in education, had a masters degree, no tattoos, no motorcycles, had a wholesome image, made a decent living. He grew up poor and both parents had died when he was young, so he definitely made the most of the “pity play.”
But he was truly a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
In the beginning, he loved bombed me but somewhat subtly. He actually seemed pretty perfect, so much so that my best friend called him “the prince.”
After almost 9 months together, his double life started to unravel, beginning with some evidence that his sexual and relationship history wasn’t what it seemed. He was very protective of his cell phone, but one day, when I was 10 weeks pregnant and I suspected I was losing the baby, he left his phone at home. He gave me the password to check his messages, and I discovered his double life as a sexual predator.
Not only was he cheating with multiple women, but he liked to record his exploits, sometimes with the women’s permission, and sometimes not. I discovered nude pictures of me taken when I was sleeping. His behavior went underground when he was first dating me, but resurfaced with a vengeance when I got pregnant (during which he was troublingly absent, insensitive, and checked out).
He was having sex with an alarming amount of women who worked under him, and using his work cell phone to date and scam multiple women. Unbeknownst to me, he dabbled in drug abuse and took a lot of Viagra.
One weekend he took pictures of all my things in his apartment so he could move them and replace them all so that I wouldn’t notice, all so he could have another woman over and pretend he was single. His deception was absolutely breathtaking, and completely hidden.
The first two were fairly obvious types who didn’t exactly pretend to be normal (though they all also lied). But this guy was so cold, so phony, so unlike who he appeared to be, it was the most devastating experience by far.
When I started to miscarry, he was beyond detached, and really didn’t seem to care about his own baby, let alone me. I wrote him a letter telling him I’d expose him if he ever contacted me again, and I never heard from him after that.
Good riddance, but I am still recovering from how scarred I am from these cumulative experiences. It has been a long road for me, and I am not a stupid woman. I’m a therapist myself, and yet, these folks have fooled me.