The sociopath’s isolation campaign: Keeping you from the people you love

A sociopath looks deep into your eyes.

“I never loved anyone like I love you,” he says. “We are so special together. People will never understand why we’re so attracted to each other. They say we shouldn’t be together, but they’re just jealous about the intensity of our love. Love can overcome anything, you know. It’s you and me against the world, kid!”

With words like these, sociopaths launch one of their most important strategies: Isolating you from friends and family.

It doesn’t seem that way at first. In the beginning, sociopaths want to be with you all the time. They proclaim that they are so wrapped up in you that they can’t bear to be apart, and it feels flattering to be so desired. Slowly, this morphs into the sociopath always wanting to know where you are, which morphs into jealousy if you spend time with anyone else, including your family and long-time friends.

They want you all to themselves. Not because they love you, despite their flowery proclamations. It’s because they want to control you.

Isolation tactics

Sociopaths employ many tactics to keep you from the people who love you. Here are a few of them:

  • Sociopaths intercept phone calls and mail, and “neglect” to give you messages.
  • Sociopaths purposely insult or pick fights with your family and friends, so that the people you know find it easier to just stay away.
  • Sociopaths say they are “protecting” you from the people who want to drive the two of you apart.
  • If you do see your family and friends, the sociopaths call and text constantly, interrupting your visit and making others uncomfortable.
  • Sociopaths make up lies about what friends and family are saying about you.
  • Sociopaths lie to family and friends about you, trying to turn them against you.
  • Sociopaths rage at you when you leave, and rage again when you come home.
  • Eventually, sociopaths forbid you to have contact with family and friends.

My experience

I remember how James Montgomery worked it with me. At first, he was solicitous towards my family. But nine months after we met, my family was suspicious of him, and my brother wanted to run a credit check. I knew Montgomery’s credit was bad—he’d already told me so, put expenses on my credit cards, and wiped out my savings.

I informed Montgomery, in anger, about my family’s concern. His first reaction was to tearfully ask if I wanted him to leave. Believing that my husband was working towards out mutual good, and wanting to get my money back as he consistently promised, I said no, we’d stay married.

But from that point on, he used the incident to drive a wedge between me and my family. He refused to attend my other brother’s wedding reception, stating that he wouldn’t go where he wasn’t welcome.  He raged that I was an adult, I’d made my decision to marry him, and in some places people could be sued for interfering with a marriage. He disparaged my family and friends.

So as life with my husband became worse and worse, there was no one for me to talk to about it.

Pleas from family members

Isolation takes away your support system. When your contact with other people is limited, it enables the sociopaths to control the information you receive. And the more control they exercise, the more you lose your sense of self.

Periodically, Lovefraud receives distraught calls and e-mails from people who have lost sons, daughters or other family members to sociopaths. They want their loved ones to return, but the victims refuse. The sociopaths have so much power over them that it seems like the victims are lost forever.

The sad thing is that frequently, very little can be done until the victim himself or herself is ready to end the involvement. Psychologically, Dr. Liane Leedom explains, the victim has to take on his or her own distress. If family and friends are distressed, they are carrying what should be the victim’s emotional burden. For healing to begin, it’s up to the victim to start making a change.

For more information on this, read Dr. Leedom’s blog, How can I get my _____ away from the psychopathic con artist?

Find the strength

Are you in this position? Has a sociopath separated you from all your friends and family, so that you feel like you have nowhere to go?

Know this: If the sociopath is the one telling you that your friends and family want nothing to do with you, that the sociopath is the only one who loves you, there’s an excellent chance that he or she is lying.

If you’ve always had a good, or at least decent, relationship with friends and family, they’re probably worried sick about you, and willing to help you escape the prison built by the sociopath.

All you need to do is find the strength to contact them.

Comment on this article

89 Comments on "The sociopath’s isolation campaign: Keeping you from the people you love"

Notify of

I have read your story, at least most of it. The age difference is pretty staggering, and the dynamic of your relationship seems way, way off balance. But I still don’t think her wanting to be alone is unusual; 2 months alone in the country with her dog just doesn’t seem that weird to me. As far as what she’s doing, I can think of a few things: meditating, writing, reading, painting, playing music, cooking, gardening, photography, hiking…

I do all of those and more when I go for long stretches alone. So my POV isn’t different in that respect. I do think she is either not too balanced or is some kind of predator, or both. What doesn’t seem normal is going after a young straight woman and expecting any kind of a healthy relationship.

Professors sometimes see their classrooms as a ‘hunting ground’—a male professor, married, went after a friend of mine to the extent she went to see the dean about it. He had a reputation for doing that…the dean just told him to knock it off. He has tenure, not much can be done, at least not at that university. It’s a lousy thing to do. I’ve had bosses who did the same thing, always caused huge stress to their targets. I’m older than your spath and remember being really harassed at jobs when I was young. The women’s movement has helped a huge amount with that.

You sound really depressed. The circular thinking is common to depression, and wondering about her and your relationship is very normal and takes time to sort out. Please keep in mind she behaved badly with you. The age difference is too great, Lost, just too great. If you were older maybe not so much, but 20 and 50 is too big a spread.

Skylar, I don’t know about going off to the mountains for a few weeks with 2 young guys. Are you sure he actually was there the entire time?


Poor Brittany Murphy 🙁 She has been gone a little over a year now…so sad that she ended up the way she did b/c of a sociopath. I just found this article on yahoo today.


Wow mending, thanks for posting that. I always thought there was something fishy about Brittany Murphy’s death… what a waste. She was such a lovely person, singer, and actress.

I at first read this and thought, my spath “jerkface” didn’t isolate me.


there were times, in hindsight, he made up lies about what friends and family are saying about me.

1)After my baby shower he said his mom was mad at mine for saying something to her, which neither my mom or I recall ever being said.

2) Soon after the birth of Jr. he said his mom was mad at me for not allowing her in the delivery room. YUck, in hindsight I wish he wasn’t there!

Those are only two I can specifically remember.

There was a LOT of tension between he and everyone for some reason or another. Looking back, he was always trying to keep me in the honeymoon phase by creating drama and difficulties for us to “overcome”.


Thank you Mending the broken pieces
that story explains the smell coming from the original reports.
My ex was also devious in his plans to isolate me. Illegal activity and secrets where his basic MO.
Slandering me to all the neighbors Was another one. The trojan horse was his best though. In the end he railed because it didn’t work to make my parents hate me. He blames his failure to accomplish the deed (my suicide) on my parents. Turns out he didn’t realize that he was doing with a couple of sociopaths more subtle than he was.

they try.

Wow!!! These are all Spot on!! Thankfully I’m actually not the one with the sociopath….my poor sister that so love & miss do very much is. Is there anyone out there that can pass info to help us family members that are absolutely torn apart from losing their once very close sister/loved one? I know she has to figure this out on her own, but after reading this blog….i would love to beg her to please just read this one, but she will hate me even worse. We went from talking daily 5-10 a days to NOTHING for the last year and basically nothing for 4 years now since he came around. This has been the saddest thing ever in our family. I truly know in my heart right that my sister is not herself and would NEVER not want to talk to her sisters. I also feel that when she snaps out of this she’s almost going to be mad that we basically didn’t kidnap her away from him. He has her totally convinced we’re evil and he is all she needs. Thank you all for being brave enough to get on this site and try to help people with sociopaths!! Blessings to you all! And Donna, your site (and my sisters sociopath’s ex-wonderful-wife) have been a life saver for me!! Two amazing women you are! Thanks so much for the encouragement I get after reading articles like this! God Bless you!!

Sister= she has to stop it.

They do try.

1 7 8 9

Send this to a friend