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When therapists like sociopaths

Therapists aren’t immune to the charms of sociopathic clients, including this therapist. Far from it. This is especially true in a couples dynamic where the client, as I’ve noted before, can disguise his sociopathic tendencies sometimes more effectively than when in individual therapy.

But even when the disguise is off,  and I know transparently that I’m dealing with a sociopathic individual, that still doesn’t necessarily innoculate me from enjoying him possibly as a very engaging, friendly, even if superficial and manipulative, individual.

This can, though, make for more difficulty, and thus more urgency, to be especially  watchful not to succumb to his engaging side at the expense of evaluating and confronting the reality that must be addressed.

In situations where I find a sociopathic client to be quite likeable I must be extra watchful for his efforts to position himself as the victim in the relationship; as the misunderstood, if self-admittedly sometimes wayward (but ultimately sensitive, devoted) partner; when, in fact, what he ultimately, fundamentally is, beyond what may be his high level of likeability, is manipulative, abusive, probably devious; someone who operates covertly—and, if audatious enough, overtly—in wielding, if not flaunting, his double-standards in an often degrading fashion.

Double standards he’s likely to try to “gaslight” his partner into believing he’s either not deploying; or, due to the oppressive conditions he will claim to have suffered, double standards he will rationalize as acceptable, and which he manipulatively asserts she should somehow tacitly accept as his rational response to the untenable conditions he’s lived under (thanks to her).

In any case, he will position himself as, if not the whole victim in the relationship (his generous concession towards balance) then, at the very least, as the principal victim.

Now let me be very clear here: he may state that he owns fifty-fifty of the problem in the relationship, and that he even fully owns many of his violating behaviors. He may state these things with seeming sincerity, and this may sound very promising and good.

But he really doesn’t believe this, and you can be quite sure that his failure to apply his ostensible self-awareness will affirm his underlying insincerity and his poor prospects for meaningful change.

What he really believes, at bottom, is that his partner (as I’ve noted) is the principal problem; it is she who obstructs the attainment of his gratifications and fulfillment; and because he feels entitled to gratification and fulfillment at all times, he can thus rationalize his pursuit of it—and how he pursues it—anytime he likes.

And so, sometimes I find myself sitting across from someone like this who, as destructive a person as I recognize he is, nevertheless in the limited confines of my involvement with him, I may experience as extremely engaging and likeable. After all, he may be showing me his “best” sides—his most charming, respectful, pleasant, humorous, “sensitive” sides.

He may be someone who leaves me feel very challenged not to lose my own grip on the reality I’ve discerned through my own eyes—and through his disarming engagability in my office.

In these cases, I have to remind myself that, while my job is to be objective, it is not necessarily to be “neutral.”

Sometimes my “objectivity” must lead me to the conclusion that I’m working with a couple in which one partner, however “likeable” may, in fact, be the primary, if not sole, perpetrator of abuse against his partner (perhaps serious abuse, for a long time); that, however persuasive he may be with regard to his own alleged suffering in the relationship, still it is he (not she) who is the truly destructive party in the relationship, even if she can also sometimes be destructive (but often, in such cases, as a function of her having been worn down into states of desperate rage).

Sometimes I have to recognize this dynamic, however unpleasant it may be to have to recognize. I may have to confront my own capacity for denial and minimization, to be sure that, from my avoidance, I’m not abandoning the client who needs my validation and support.

I may be in a very nonconfrontational mood and feel highly averse to confronting anyone, let alone an abusive sociopath; and yet the situation may call for just that—an effective  confrontation of the reality.

Because these are not instances or opportunities one can afford to waste. Too much is at stake. And so confrontation may become necessary. The client needs, in a very serious way, to be “called out.”

But with one caveat: I must be confident that, in “calling him out,” I’m not placing his partner at heightened risk to be punished more abusively than normally after, or in-between, the therapy sessions!

It is both easier and harder to confront, or in this case, “call out” a sociopathic client whom I may find likeable. Easier from the standpoint that, however superficial the  connection between us really is (particularly his with me), there is at least the comfort in hoping that an accumulation of goodwill may have developed between us arising from his experience of feeling respected and liked in the sessions; goodwill, I hope, which may leave him reacting less defensively to my impending feedback.

Harder in the sense that it’s awkward to risk, or test, that goodwill? Is the goodwill all illusory? Will the client seriously, maybe even explosively “go south” on me (and worse, “go south” on his partner)? Am I overestimating his goodwill and tolerance to hear the feedback I’m about to deliver?  Is my timing going to be right, or wrong? Will I go too far, or not far enough, in my feedback, and in the tone of my feedback? Will I be too strong or too aggressive in my tone, or just as problematically, too passive and weak?

And, importantly, who will benefit from this feedback?

Probably not the client, because he’s sociopathic. But even if he’s a sociopath, so long as I can be pretty sure that my feedback won’t result in the subsequent escalation of his abuse of his partner, then it’s possible that my feedback will benefit her, which becomes the sole purpose of my delivering the feedback.

It is really for her, not him.

And this may be feedback I repeat over a number of sessions, which can reinforce its impact (especially for her); and, because I offer it in the couples sessions, I can reinforce and elaborate it in subsequent individual sessions with her without violating his confidentiality. By this I mean that the feedback will have already been stated to him, in front of her, so that I can discuss it with her later, alone, in a private session.

Does the delivery of such confrontations of the unignorable reality risk alienating the sociopathic partner? Absolutely. It often spells the end of the couples sessions. But what’s really been lost? A superficially engaging connection with a client who will make no progress anyway in therapy, or as a worthy partner? Sure, this tenuous connection is seriously risked. And yet its preservation, at some point, itself becomes a form of destructive enabling and pretense.

In the end, the abused client has a chance for the freedom she deserves and perhaps can be convinced she is ready to seize.

(This article is copyrighted © 2011 by Steve Becker, LCSW. My use of male gender pronouns is for convenience’s sake and not to suggest that females aren’t capable of the attitudes and behaviors discussed.)

 

 


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40 Comments on "When therapists like sociopaths"

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Good points, Steve. I think Robert Hare said the way he can tell who is the psychopath in a group of patients is that they all ask him for money and the psychopath is the ONE HE GAVE IT TO. LOL So even the great Bob Hare can be conned by the likable Psychopath!

Steve

Wow, a complex job this is for a therapist. I had never thought about how difficult something like this would be.

My spath is going to a therapist now-he had a personal crisis – and took it upon himself to go in. He says he has been feeling like he wants to do strange things as well. He’s an amazing liar, he will tell you it’s raining outside when it’s sunny and you’ll believe him….i wonder how the therapist can tell, or IF he can tell that he’s a spath. I can’t imagine my spath would say, “oh, I want to do these strange things, and I lie to eveybody all the time, and I cheated on my girlfriend and then I married somebody else and I cheat on her too.”.

I don’t think so.

?

SK

I don’t think my exspath actually thought I was the problem. that’s not how he thinks. He knows he starts fights, he knows he wants to kill me. It’s not a matter of who is the problem, it’s only a matter of what he wants. He does also believe that I DESERVE punishment because I’m “weak”. But that isn’t a problem for him, since he would enjoy punishing me.

It’s like the old joke, “I don’t have a drinking problem, I drink, I get drunk, I fall down. No problem”

In my spath’s case, it’s, “I don’t have a spath problem, I’m a spath, I victimize others, they die, I get away with it, no problem.”

My spath daughter went to a therapist weekly. She manipulated her therapist to such extremes. She had her believing some of the wildest stories. The stories always involved her being a victim in some form or fashion. Her therapists finally confronted us with her accusations of mistreatment towards her. Try convincing a therapist that they are being manipulated by a spath, let alone a 14 year old. We had a very difficult time convincing the therapist her stories were not true. I think my daughter enjoyed the experience. I would assume there is a lot of satisfaction to a spath in manipulating a professional.

Dear Steve,

I could go on and on about the therapist who falls for the spaths charming facade. I still debate with myself if I should contact the licensing board about the phd’s treatment of me. Spath had more reason to mess with my head when we would get home from therapy. “It’s just your anxiety or angst, listen to the doctor, he knows what he’s talking about.” “It’s your childhood, that’s what wrong with you, your childhood messed you up.”

It would never stop and I’m surprised I didn’t go absolutely insane dealing with that madness.

The phd backpeddled about his treatment after other people validated my experience (his peers and people he respects) and I sent him the proof of all spaths lies. Here this moron told my therapist that it would be a travisty if we were to separate. Really? Just another example of poor human nature when said phd can’t even appologize or admit that he made a mistake. VERY damaging to an already damaged person (me) from the years of abuse.

Now my son’s therapist won’t return my phone calls and I think charming spath has used his manipulation on him. I seem like an anxiety ridden person when I discuss the situation because I’m worried my son may be abused. Who wouldn’t be filled with anxiety.

It makes me so sick to my stomach that the spaths can turn these supposed professionals against me.

When you talked about the spath playing the victim, oh boy, you have that right! Mine would say that he cared soooo much about me and just wants me to be better. He was so sensitive. Gawd, it’s mind boggling that they can work the system to their advantage while the true victims are victimized all over again.

Dear Hope4,

I WOULD take ACTION if the son’s therapist won’t return your calls.

I also think you had a legitimate problem with the first therapist that your X conned that you were the “problem”—the thing is though, like the old joke about doctors “What do you call the doctor who finished LAST IN HIS MEDICAL SCHOOL CLASS????? Well, DUH??? DOCTOR! Same thing with the PhDs in psychology and social work. I’ve seen my share of IDIJUTS who had a PhD in psychology (or______ fill in the blank) and didn’t know their arse from second base. Some times PhD means PILED HIGHER AND DEEPER….but the thing is a good, smart psychopath can con just about anyone, even someone who knows what they are.

Or as Abraham Lincoln said “you can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you can’t fool All of the people all of the time….” but a few psychopaths can fool a LOT OF PEOPLE MUCH OF THE TIME.

Dear Rush,

Welcome to my world! I also have a P offspring that when he was 15-16 had therapists, relatives and others fooled into thinking he was the poooorr abused child….he is now iin prison since age 20 for MURDER, but he is STILL Fooling my egg donor and a few others into feeling sorry for the poor baby. I no longer feel sorry for him, I have freed the umbilical cord from my brain and am no longer attached to the malignant “Rosemary’s baby” that I gave birth to. It was a struggle, because when you give birth to a child you love them, but when they mature into Rosemary’s Baby it is difficult to see that they are no longer what you loved and cared for, they are STRANGERS.

Welcome….and God bless.

Dear Oxy,

I informed my attorney today about son’s therapist and we’ll see what happens. This therapist called me back before but spath was pretty comfortable in the office last visit so I think the two of them had a nice little chat. Spath shook the therpists hand and thanked him up and down. Spath obviously thought that he had the advantage. He didn’t want son to go to therapy so it was odd that he was so at ease the last session.

The fact that spaths fool the supposed professionals irks me but I was fooled for a long time too. I call the phd a ‘poop head degree’ with this particular idijut.

Son has been on his best behavior, I wonder why?! I’ll know soon enough!

Well, Hope4Joy,

I don’t know if the therapy will do any “good” or not, but I am glad that you at least tried….the problem seems to be that X has conned the therapist and has told the son to be on his “best behavior” so that very soon here the therapy can be declared a “success” and STOP….I think I can “see” Daddy-o telling junior, “look if you will just cool it for a little while and be a good boy for your crazy mama, then we can get this therapist to say YOU and I are not the problems and we can quit the therapy.” DOES THAT SOUND LIKE WHAT YOU THINK HAPPENED? LOL ROTFLMAO

Dear Oxy,

We actually finished therapy because son didn’t really open up and the therapist said that he did not want to make it a bad experience by forcing son to go, so we stopped after 3 sessions.

The therapist said that son could come back anytime, that door would stay open. Just heard from my attorney telling me that I should write him a letter letting him know that I want to schedule a meeting with him to talk about son.

Dear Hope4,

Well, still sounds to me like Daddy-O encouraged junior to “be good” and “not open up” to the therapist….CREEP! You know, I sure do NOT like your X and I never met the guy! LOL ROTFLMAO

This article just confirms what I already experienced. I went to court ordered therapy with my NPD father after my parents split. My dad had this thereapist so twisted around his finger, she actually started to yell at me in sessions blaming me for the “trouble” with my dad and his new wife. (Oh yeah, my dad was married to her not even a year after he divorced my mother) When I asked for another counselor, the first session went really well and the 2nd counselor actually called out my dad on his behavior. But by the second session, my new counselor had spoken with the 1st and I was no longer understood. I was looked at as the bratty teenager trying to mess with my dad’s happiness. My counselor told me that my dad needed to look out for his happiness first because he spent so many years depriving himself of happiness. I was dumbfounded to say the least. I refused to go back with him anymore. I was so traumatized from that experince that it took me many years to go back to therapy. What still has me peved in many ways is that I really think the therapist was taking my dad’s side because he was the paying customer. That is still the problem I have with a lot of therapists in general. It’s a business and they want to keep you there to make as much money as they can. I am happy to say I found a brilliant one who is helping me immensely. I don’t think she’s taking me for my money and I am grateful.

Another point to mention is that if therapist can find it difficult to navigate experiences with spaths, no wonder the ordinary person in your life thinks your nuts when you try to explain all this to them. They really only see the charming side and even if they did see some mis-bahavior, they tend to excuse it or minimilize it.

Unfortunately we are all alone in this battle. Thankfully this site appeases that solitude if just for a moment in the day.

DearSisterhood,

Well, cyber support is better than NO support for sure! NO support is about where I found myself before I found LF.

What happens when the therapist turns out to be another sociopath! Remember Hannibal Lecter! LOL!!!

“What he really believes, at bottom, is that his partner (as I’ve noted) is the principal problem; it is she who obstructs the attainment of his gratifications and fulfillment; and because he feels entitled to gratification and fulfillment at all times, he can thus rationalize his pursuit of it—and how he pursues it—anytime he likes.”

Perfect wording! I kept coming back to this….

And it was exactly what my relationship w/ my SpathX was all about…

Thank you!

Folks I just had to post this doozy of a story! A good friend & myself were discussing our experiences with sociopaths.
He told me of his “sociopathic” uncle whom the family has disowned because of all of his shenanigans.
As it turned out a woman came to his mother two years ago claiming she was the uncle’s fiance and that he was dying from lung cancer. She showed them the big diamond rock on her finger.
Bottom line the reason she had come was because he wanted to make peace with the family before he died and faced his maker.
My friend and his family decided they would go see him one last time. So they went. When they got to the uncle’s house it turned out his fiance was there and his fiance was actually his therapist! LOL!!!
This goes to show you even female therapist’s can fall under the spell of a “sociopath.” (But you think they would know better)
Anyhow I thought the story was interesting so I posted it here. And I have also read on other blogs about wives who claimed their “sociopathic” husbands deserted them for their female therapists. LOL!!!

Dear Joanie,

It is UNethical for any therapist to have a personal and/or sexual relationship with a patient/client. So you can know that dear old Uncle Monster didn’t get anyone of any moral quality. LOL

Ox, let me ask you a question that’s been bothering my brother and me:

My mother was seeing a therapist; they ended therapy maybe three years ago. I’m not exactly sure how they reconnected, but now this woman and my mother are friends. They see movies, go to dinner, etc. and they have planned a trip together. Something about this doesn’t sound right to us. I think it’s crossing some big boundaries at best, unethical at worst. What do you think?

Hi Oxy,
Can I ask you a question??? This must be ask Oxy night! I wanted to email you, but I can’t seem to find the place where to do that on the left side of the page.

Sarah, I agree that it is SHAKY ground at best. I would never even consider a personal relationship with a therapist and I can’t imagine when I was doing therapy becoming “friends” with someone outside of the clinic.

Ana, go to the left side of the screen under LF authors, and click on Joyce Alexander and you will find my e mail address. I don’t put it on here in the comments as I don’t want it hacked by a troll.

Ah, thank you… When she was seeing this woman for counseling, she browbeat me into attending some sessions with her. (This is a whole ‘nother crapfest I won’t go into.) I DID NOT like this woman, and I can usually find something to like about pretty much everyone. She seemed smarmy and self-righteous and condescending, and I saw a lot of pandering to my mother.

My mother, although trying very hard to make some changes in her life, is very lonely and vulnerable right now. She wouldn’t know a boundary if it bit her. But I know if I say anything about this woman, I’ll get the freeze out; and I just can’t deal with that right now. Our relationship is currently in a DMZ, which is where I like it.

Oxy,
Thanks, I just sent it off to you. Appreciate it.

.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

hens, you bad! 😉

one/joy_step_at_a_time

i always thought she was way younger than i am…hmm, no just more gullible. (and this from the woman who was conned online by 20 never real characters. problem is, i like a good story.)

well your story is a good one onestep – win’s a blue ribbon for being the weirdest on LF…..

One Joy Step/Hens,
Hey who doesn’t like a good story…Hens you are bad..to the bone! She is younger than me too, Imagine..not by much mind ya..still younger. Aww, and she’s Leo like Bill..how touching.

Hens!!
ACK! how could you say that! LOL!

yeah, One Joy has an amazing story about the capacity of the human mind to be deceived. I mean, she’s gay and fell for a “boy” who was really an old, disgusting fat housewife. What the F, does that tell us about spaths? That they shouldn’t be allowed to learn how to type? cut their hands off?

Lewinski had it down, she saved the dress, she talked to a person who was all about bringing Clinton down. She just didn’t realize that it wasn’t going to work in her favor, no matter what. But she’s alive. According to rumor, many of Clinton’s OW’s are not. Clinton was so charming and a good president actually- just a bad spath.

Yes, it is hard to believe that we might actually have had a legitimate sociopath for eight years as president. I can’t think of anyone else who quite fits the bill, but I think Clinton is darn close.

In the “Mask of Sanity,” Cleckley spends almost fifteen pages discussing the unusually fascinating Greek character, Alcibiades. For those who aren’t interested in Ancient History, Alcibiades was both the lover of Socrates, and the person most responsible for leading the Athenians into the worst military disaster of the age (i.e., the war in Syracuse) Anyhow, Cleckley makes the amazing suggestion that Alcibiades was actually a classic psychopath. So on the one hand, I find it somewhat reassuring that the wisest man of antiquity (Socrates, that is) was completely duped by him. On the other hand, it reminds us that we are just as susceptible to this sort of thing today: Indeed, I once heard someone make the particularly insightful remark that, “Alcibiades was the Bill Clinton was the ancient world.” (As a History buff, I find that incredibly amusing!)

In any case, for those with an interest, there is a whole chapter in “Plutarch’s Lives” which is devoted to the career of Alcibiades. (It’s especially fun to read while looking out for the “RED FLAGS.”) If nothing else, it gives credence to the statement that “The only thing that changes are the names”!

Oh, and I would modify your remarks just a bit, Sky: “Clinton was actually an INDIFFERENT president, and an EXCELLENT spath”! haha–but this might be getting too political now!

And just for the record, I’m not a fan of George Bush either!

one/joy_step_at_a_time

awww sky, I am touched that you remembered my ultimate revenge fantasy!

(omg we get weird after spaths!)

oh my, and i see hens has been practicing his harry potter text again!

one/joy_step_at_a_time

constantine – yes, but bush was not a spath – just a brain damaged idiot with a strong and controlling advisory team; and his daddies’ butt print in the chair. i am sure they could have used jeb, if they could have cleaned him up. w. was just a puppet.

Constantine, Yep, the ancient histories are FILLED with examples of psychopaths, even Liane posted one article out of the Old Testament and there are plenty of them in the old Testament, I posted another one.

Funny thing too, we can find examples of people in the Bible that did some pretty bad and some pretty unwise things King David for one. Even though he had access to many beautiful women and many wives as was the custom of the day, he took the wife of another man who was away at war, knocked her up, then tried to get the guy to sleep with her so it wouldn’t be known that she had conceived a child by the king, when that didn’t work, he got the guy killed in battle….pretty P-type thing to do, but actually while David did some bad things, he didn’t lack a conscience and he did sincerely repent.

Another interesting story about him is how he ENABLED his son Absolom, who WAS A CARD CARRYING Narcissistic Psychopath in my opinion.

David unlike many kings of his time would take rebuke for his bad behavior and CHANGE HIS WAYS, proving to me at least that he wasn’t a psychopath though he was a man with many failings.

I agree with you Constantine, I think Bill is a psychopath, and though I met him when he was governnor a few times I do not claim to “know” him, but I do KNOW ABOUT a lot of things from good sources about him and Hillary as well that make me think they are BOTH psychopaths. In fact, I think it is almost impossible for someone to get to BE president of the US or any other country without being HIGH IN P-TRAITS at least in this day and age. Look at the many governors who have been outed as psychopaths in recent months (the last 3-4 years).

This new book about Obama’s father shows that he was definitely HIGH in psychopathic traits….multiple wives at the same time and lies, lies and more lies, irresponsibility with his children, etc….be interesting to see how that plays out in the genetic pool. Actually,, I think the pool may need more chlorine.

My counselor that I was seeing seemed to dismiss me when I talked about the affects of the narcissists in my life. I am just now seeing articles in the psychology websites warning those professionals that they may be seeing patients with narcissistic abuse syndrome. That is definitely how I feel. I am scared without the drama and don’t know what to do with myself without it. It makes me feel empty. How sick is that? I am also afraid that their narcissism is rubbing off on me-since I have been exposed to it my whole childhood and most of my adult life. I am fighting against it so bad and I am so scared that I’ll become one or THEM.

The Wiki definition of Narcissistic Abuse:

Adult relationships

Narcissistic abuse may also occur in adult-to-adult relationships, where one or both partners are very narcissistic – the ‘narcissistic couple’.[22] As a typical rule, ‘narcissistic people do not take responsibility for relationship difficulties’, and their relationships can often be characterized by ‘a period of intense involvement and idealization of the other, followed by devaluation, and rapid, sometimes explosive, severing of the relationship’.[23]

If ‘the core of narcissism is a hatred of the relational…one of the way that narcissism operates is to destroy separateness’.[24] This lack of separateness enables the initial romantic gestures of what has been termed ‘a particular type of male bastard’, dominated by narcissistic needs; but ‘those big romantic gestures that at first proved so alluring are in fact the whole deal, symptomatic of these men’s needs to show off and be the centre of attention’.[25] The absence of genuine emotional involvement helps explain why ‘the narcissist abuses others absent-mindedly, off-handedly, as a matter of fact…the mechanical, thoughtless, heartless face of narcissistic abuse’.[26]

In almost the same way, ‘the great charm of narcissistic women has, however, its reverse side; a large part of the lover’s dissatisfaction, of his doubts of the woman’s love, of his complaints of her enigmatic nature, has its root’ in the fact that ‘strictly speaking, it is only themselves that such women love with an intensity comparable to that of the man’s love for them’.[27]

Some, like Sam Vaknin, would go on to extend the concept almost indefinitely, maintaining that for adults ‘narcissistic abuse…is verbal abuse, physical abuse, put downs, manipulation, betrayal, lack of empathy, accusations, failure to communicate, lack of intimacy…it is all of this and more’.[28] Critics would here apply a pinch of salt, suggesting that (rightly or wrongly) ‘in Sam Vaknin’s terms…if he had been around today, Watson would be declaring to the world that he was the victim of narcissistic emotional abuse from Sherlock Holmes’.[29]

HOWEVER: Wiki is thinking of deleting this definition if it doesn’t have enough backers saying to keep it. To read the whole page:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissistic_abuse

Have a good weekend everyone.
Love ~ DUPEY

My spath was fantastic at befriending the therapist when he was willing to to counseling. The first guy was a feminine type guy (probably gay) and spath put an end to continuing by making fun of the guy. That counselor had no idea what/who had hit him!! He told my spath that feelings are valid. And he told me separately- didn’t have the courage to say it in spath’s presence that if our marriage was going to work, I would have to give him – or at least make him feel as if he were in control. Great, so I resigned myself to 10 more years of thinking I could make it work. Went again in 5 years, spath immediately befriended the counselor, this time a woman, whom he got her to believe that I was a loser housewife that really had nothing going for myself and that I needed a job. Yes, in addition to taking care of the household and all 3 children by myself, I can think of nothing better than a job to exhaust me even more, let the house go to hell, but hey, at least it would take the focus off of my shitting, miserable marriage and then he could fark around even more, and I probably wouldn’t notice. The final therapist did see through the spath, but pretty slow to stand up to him. When he was challenged, spath never went back again. That’s what they do, when they think someone is “on” to them. Fight or flight, mine flies (and lies).

Dear Honest,

That therapist telling you that your marriage “wouldn’t work” unless you let your husband think he was in control…..LOL was actually telling you that you could not have a “healthy” give and take relationship with a man who HAD TO BE IN CONTROL…I’m not sure what the therapist’s idea of “working” was in the relationship…I guess if you FAKED letting your husband bully you and pretended it would be okay, then your marriage would “work”????? (head shaking here)

WOW! What do you call the therapist who would say that? Incompetent? That might be it.

I’m glad that you are no longer letting him control you, or pretending he does. Good for you.

Constantine: I’m a Greek too! Alexander the Great was said to be a “sociopath” too.

Dear Joanie123,

Yes, I’ve heard people say that about Alexander; though I think it’s closer to the truth to say that Alexander had more the character of a hurricane, a tidal wave, or an earthquake: in other words, rather like an elemental force of nature, than something consciously ill-intentioned or evil.

Anyhow, I’m glad to hear that you come from the noble race of Homer and Plato–you can’t do better than that! (Actually, that reminds me: while “Constantine” is technically Greek, the only thing “Grecian” about me is the fact that I’m a “grease-ball” Italian! (And my actual name, alas, is quite prosaic!)

Dear Hopeforjoy,

how about finding another therapist for your son? A friend of mine is a therapist and she had to spend 3 months just playing games with a child before that child built up enough trust to open up and begin talking. I think kids of spath’s know something is wrong and they do not know who to trust….it takes patience on the part of the therapist to wait until the child is ready.

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