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Why you can become addicted to a sociopath

Dream dateLovefraud recently received the following email from a reader:

Why can’t I get past this jerk? Why do I feel like there is something wrong with me? You see he dumped me for a female version of himself, i.e., drug dealer, liar, manipulator, violent ”¦ and he is stringing me along bad mouthing her to me and vice versa. Never in a million years would I think I would even associate myself with someone like that! Yet I’m beating myself up – why not me?? I should be grateful!! Why am I still pining for this creep?

Many, many Lovefraud readers have described the same confusion: I realize now that the person is a sociopath. I know he betrayed me. I know he is bad for me. But I still love him. I can’t get him out of my mind! (Please note: the sociopath may also be female.)

Why does this happen?

The sociopath hijacks the normal human bonding system. The sociopath takes needs and impulses that are rooted in our very survival, intensifies them and then betrays them. The result: Ending a relationship with a sociopath is often far more painful than a normal breakup.

Primitive reaction

The first thing to understand is that the bonds of love go very deep.

“Love relationships are held together by deep emotional bonds that were crucial to the very survival of our species,” writes Stephen Stosny, Ph.D., in his book, Living and Loving After Betrayal. “We have developed preverbal, prerational, automatic emotional reactions to behaviors and attitudes that threaten these emotional bonds.”

In prehistoric times, Stosny says, losing the kinship of the tribe meant certain death. So emotional bonds, and our reactions to losing them, are anchored deep in a primitive part of our brain.

This is one reason why losing any love relationship feels so scary we have an ancient memory that we might die.

Romantic love is a drive

Emotional bonds also insured the survival of the human race in another way the bonds kept parents together long enough to raise children.

Helen Fisher, Ph.D., a biological anthropologist at Rutgers University, and Arthur Aron, Ph.D., a social psychologist at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, have extensively researched human love and mating. They believe that romantic love is more than an emotion; it’s a motivation system.

A human motivation system, or drive, energizes and directs behavior to fulfill a need. For example, when people are hungry, they seek food. When people are cold, they seek warmth.

Fisher explains the traits that romantic love shares with drives:

  1. Romantic love is tenacious; emotions dissipate or change far more rapidly
  2. Romantic love is focused on a specific reward the beloved
  3. Romanic love, unlike other emotions, is not associated with a particular facial expression
  4. Romantic love is exceedingly difficult to control
  5. Romantic love is associated with elevated activity of central dopamine

For more on this, read:

The Drive to Love: The Neural Mechanism for Mate Selection, on HelenFisher.com.

More than a feeling new research suggests love may be a drive as primal as thirst or hunger, on apa.org.

Romantic love is an addiction

Fisher also says that romantic love is highly addictive. It is associated with “focused attention, euphoria, craving, obsession, compulsion, distortion of reality, personality changes, emotional and physical dependence, inappropriate (even dangerous) behaviors, tolerance, withdrawal symptoms, relapse and loss of self-control.”

Fisher conducted studies in which people who were happily in love, or had been rejected in love, were examined in fMRI machines, which allow observers to monitor the activity of the brain.

“Those who are happily in love express neural activity in a region associated with the ‘rush’ of cocaine,” Fisher says, “and those who are rejected in love appear to have neural activity in common with those who gamble for money, risking big gains and big losses.”

For more on this, read:

‘Romantic love is an addiction,’ researchers say, on LiveScience.com.

The bonding process

When we fall in love with someone, we form a psychological bond with that person. This process starts in the beginning of the relationship when we feel pleasure.

You know what the early stage of romance is like. Both of you are doing your best to impress each other. You smile, you pay attention to each other, you spend time together, you go on special dates, you give gifts. All of this behavior plants the seeds of a psychological bond.

When you experience intimacy, the bond is strengthened. The neurotransmitter oxytocin is released in your brain and bloodstream. Oxytocin makes you feel calm, trusting and content, and it alleviates fear and anxiety. Any kind of intimacy gets the oxytocin flowing emotional sharing, physical touching and certainly sexual relations.

Your feelings of love also cause dopamine to be released in your brain. Dopamine is associated with energy and motivation. It is also associated with addiction.

If you have sex with your new partner, it creates chemical and structural changes in your brain. This is nature’s way of making two people want to stay together so that they can raise children.

Enter the sociopath

All of the processes described above are normal. But suppose your new partner is a sociopath, although when the two of you first get together, you don’t know it.

In the early stages of romance, a sociopath doesn’t just try to be pleasant, he or she engages in over-the-top love bombing. You are showered with affection and attention like you never experienced in your life. The sociopath sweeps you off your feet in a whirlwind romance. The result? You don’t just fall. You fall really, really hard.

Sooner or later, you may feel like something is wrong with the relationship. Perhaps you suspect that he or she is lying to you. Perhaps the person is “borrowing” money, and not repaying you as promised. Perhaps you discover that the sociopath is cheating. Perhaps when you confront the person, he or she threatens to leave the relationship.

For whatever reason, the sociopath’s behavior is causing you to experience fear and anxiety.

Vicious cycle

You might think that this would cause you to back off or lose interest. But according to Lovefraud author Dr. Liane Leedom, research into addiction has come up with two surprising finding:

  1. Once a bond is established, continued pleasure is not required to maintain it.
  2. Fear and anxiety actually strengthen psychological bonds.

When you’re feeling fear and anxiety, you want the relationship to return to heady, heartfelt happiness that you experienced in the beginning. So what do you do? You ask what’s wrong. You try to work things out with your partner You may even apologize for something that you didn’t do. If the sociopath is blaming the negative behavior on you, you try to convince him or her that you are loyal to the relationship.

If you’re successful, you kiss and make up, and perhaps have make-up sex. All is wonderful again. You feel relief. This, too, strengthens the psychological bond you feel for this person.

After awhile the sociopath does something else to create fear and anxiety in you, and the routine starts again. So the relationship becomes a vicious cycle of pleasure, fear/anxiety, and relief. With each turn of the cycle, the psychological bond that you feel gets stronger and stronger.

Eventually the bond is so strong that it can be difficult to escape the relationship.

Romantic rejection

But what happens if your partner rejects you?

Dr. Helen Fisher describes two phases of romantic rejection the protest phase and the resignation/despair phase.

“During the protest phase, abandoned lovers express intense energy, heightened alertness and extreme motivation to win back their beloved,” Fisher says. This may lead to “frustration attraction” the observation that disappointed lovers begin to love the person who rejected them even more passionately.

Eventually, the rejected partner accepts the fact that the relationship is over. This resignation/despair phase is associated with less dopamine creation, which leads to lethargy, despondency and depression.

Sociopaths are different

Everything that I’ve just explained does not apply to sociopaths. Why? Because sociopaths do not bond in the same way that people without disorders bond.

Dr. Fisher has found that romantic love is essentially the same among people of both genders, all ages, all sexual orientations and all ethnic groups. However, I haven’t heard whether she or anyone else has studied romantic relationships among people with personality disorders. My guess is that she would find significant differences.

So why, if you’ve been rejected by a sociopath, does it hurt so much? I don’t know of any research to answer the question, so I’ll extrapolate from the above information to put forth a theory.

As human beings, social connections are  important to us, so rejection by any romantic partner hurts. But because of the initial love bombing, and the vicious cycle of pleasure-fear/anxiety-relief, our psychological bonds with sociopaths are particularly strong. Therefore, these bonds are harder to break, and rejection by the sociopath hurts more.

Plus, relationships with sociopaths don’t just end usually there is betrayal involved. As Dr. Steven Stosny says, “Intimate betrayal snatches the floor of personal security from under you.” This makes the pain even worse.

What can you do?

So how do you get the sociopath out of your head? Realize that you are breaking a very powerful addiction.

If you’ve ever battled an addiction before, such as quitting smoking, you know that you have to take it one day at a time. The following strategies will help:

No contact

Make up your mind that you will have no contact with this person. That means no text messages, emails, phone calls and certainly do not meet in person. Don’t even visit the sociopath’s Facebook page.

The longer you are away, the more the psychological bond will release. But if you relapse and have contact with the person, just like with any addiction, you’ll be back at square one.

Do something new

If you’ve experienced romantic rejection, less dopamine is going to your brain. So to boost the dopamine, do something new. Novelty drives up the activity of dopamine in your brain. Your partner is still gone (which is a good thing when your partner is a sociopath), but you’ll feel better.

Make the decision to recover

It’s not your imagination because of human biology and psychology, it is difficult to break your bond with a sociopath.

Time will eventually help you get over the relationship. But your recovery will go faster, and will be more beneficial, if you take affirmative steps to recover.

First of all, take care of yourself. Eat healthy, don’t overindulge in alcohol or drugs, exercise.

Most importantly, don’t sweep your experience under your own personal carpet. Make a decision to directly address the pain caused by the sociopath and also address whatever pain or vulnerability from your past made you susceptible to the sociopath in the first place.

You’ll find many articles that can help you in the Lovefraud Archives under Recovery from a sociopath.

The Lovefraud Recovery Collection of books will also help you. It’s available in the Lovefraud Store.

 


Comment on this article

133 Comments on "Why you can become addicted to a sociopath"

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Thank you Donna,

I need the reinforcement. If you’ve seen any of my post in the last 24 hours, I’m sure you recognize my struggles. This article covers them all.

You wrote:
“During the protest phase, abandoned lovers express intense energy, heightened alertness and extreme motivation to win back their beloved,” Fisher says. This may lead to “frustration attraction” the observation that disappointed lovers begin to love the person who rejected them even more passionately.”

This is where I find myself. Thank God for the LoveFraud army! Instead of spending this day pining over my Spath, I am much more prepared to face tomorrow and I have a deeper understanding of why I am feeling so much love for him right now. I do feel lots of love and almost defensive of any negatives about him. And that’s after all he’s done. I don’t want to feel like this!

Gosh, I make myself so mad when I slip back. My whole thought process gets messed up. I need to remember!

Thank you all for the help.

HopingtoHeal….

I’ve been reading your posts and would also like to reply. Donna makes such valid points about the deep bond that develops. While I was not married to the spath I was involved with for almost four years, I, like you, felt I truly loved him. But I’ve learned that the person I loved was not him at all. And like you, I dealt with the lying, cheating and manipulation at the hands of this man. It was extremely hard to break away. And even when I did, it was difficult to not get sucked back in.

It has now been over two years, and I can say with no uncertainty that I have healed from this terrible ordeal and life has gotten so much better. I am now back to a healthier, stronger, more aware version of me.

This is a very difficult process to go through. I found No Contact to be the best way. It’s not easy and for me the process was not quick. But it truly is so well worth moving on to a healthier, happier life!

Stay strong my friend. Those of us here on LF know what it feels like and are happy to help out.

carolann

Thank you cannh. Your words are comforting.

HopingtoHeal – First of all, you WILL heal. You’re on the path, and you will continue to get better.

Donna’s points are correct, of course. Maybe a bit of perspective will help. Keep in mind that sociopaths don’t care about you at all, only what they can get from you or get you to do. That’s it as far as they are concerned. You might want to repeat that a few times.

Virtually all sociopaths understand something that a normal person would never do – that one extremely powerful way to increase another person’s desire for them is to dump the person. Sociopaths understand intellectually – not emotionally – what this does to you. They’ll do it over and over and over, because it’s virtually always effective – until the dumped person realizes they are being played, and then the power of the trick drops very fast.

Donna is correct – break all contact – do NOT give in to the opportunity for anyone to ever mistreat you ever again. You – and everyone – deserves much better treatment.

Recognize that you are being used for what someone can get from you, and that’s all they are interested in. Period. No one deserves to be treated like that. No one. You’ve already left, now stay away, and work on healing.

Thank you russconte.

I learned early on in my recovery that I had to treat it just like detox from an addiction and everyone I have coached since then, that’s what I’ve said. The habits and tendencies must be replaced with others and your thinking has to be retrained. It took a while, especially since I was ensnared for 28 years, but I was determined. The journey through “detox” was well worth the work.

This posting was an ah-ha moment! I now have a much better understanding about my love addiction (self love defect).

It never made sense that I s/b so attracted to someone who clearly disregarded my feelings and questioned my character whenever I confronted him about his lies…but I was. Refusing to address issues, he’d immediately flip my questioning by LOUDLY proclaiming that something must be wrong with ME for questioning anything he had said/done…maybe I needed to realize that I was the one with a problem. His tactics (as in war maneuvers, not conversation) always shut me down!

Duh!…he was playing to my weaknesses…he recognized that those were fighting words! He was pushing my buttons to distract me from continuing the conversation. I would always end up defending myself…and my original questioning would always go unanswered.

Defending that I was not mentally defective became my main goal. My desire to prove this kept playing out with each confrontation (definition of insanity…doing the same thing and expecting a different result)…with the same frustrating unanswered results.

Every confrontation left me cowering in retreat. I’d try to stuff my questioning to keep the peace, but I have ADD…and eventually I’d blurt things out…with the same results. To avoid fruitless (for me) confrontations, I even tried playing the scenarios out in my head…all the way through to where I would end up frustrated and rejected. I focused on how to properly phrase my issues. Another tactic he used was to refuse to answer me because my wording was too confrontational towards him…huh? BULLSHIT!

It seems that my need to prove myself (over and over and over…)resulted in my questing my self worth. Crap!

Sheeesh! This post sure was an eye opener as to why I’ve hung in there!

THANK YOU, Donna.

I’m right there with you IMconfused. These last two days have really opened my eyes to who I am. I can’t believe the level of manipulation that I have allowed to be put on me. Even yesterday, I was feeling extreme love for this predator and defending that love, and I had just caught him cheating. Somehow he turned it around on me.

I’m not sure who posted this advice, maybe Stargazer or Nomoretears, but someone posted that if you’ve been cheated on you should be REALLY mad. That anyone and everyone who is betrayed like that should be so angry and get away. I believe that, but I didn’t react that way.

No, I listened to the words that “I drove him away”, “Please stay married to him, that he could forgive me for all I’ve done” (what have I done.) “he is confused of who he loves more-her the new victim, or me wife of 23 years”. I am so mentally exhausted that those words seem true to me.

Thank God for all of you who pushed me yesterday! I’m so serious, I was almost to the point of bending and giving in, no matter what he asked for. Your advice and prodding, and a good nights sleep has set me on the right path again.

I looked on line and found a practical guide for overcoming addiction. It is perfect for my situation, today, I’m getting a new clean notebook and I’m going to start the steps and start listing the bizarre evil events of our marriage. I’m going to make myself remember …no matter how bad it hurts.

I’m one day closer, thanks to y’all. As my son would say, “you are some good eggs”.

Good luck…you can do it!! Dont believe the lies. We all deserve to be loved an respected. I hate to say this but after 23 years I doubt this was the first time he strayed either….I had NO IDEA my husband was cheating. And with people I knew as well. It came as a shock. Since they dont think they are doing anything wrong, they dont act guilty…so its hard to see.

I had the same experience with my husband everytime I tried to confront him…
” he’d immediately flip my questioning by LOUDLY proclaiming that something must be wrong with ME for questioning anything he had said/done”maybe I needed to realize that I was the one with a problem. ”
It became so laughable that I finally figured out this was BS. I still was the one to go to therapy after he hit me not him as he suggested I should go. When I told him he needed anger management and couples therapy to stay together he replied, “Me what about you. Of course, its always me. What about you. You should go to therapy. It takes two you know.” Like you I kept trying to be a better wife, person and relived out conversation over and over in my brain driving myself nuts. he on the other hand, immediately recovered and quickly moved on to his next activity glib, smiling and happy like nothing happened. AHHHHHH.

I think it’s very important to keep reminding yourself that the man you love does not exist. This was a true turning point for me, when I finally realized it wasn’t my fault and my image of what I wanted him to be and reality differ greatly. Any time I thought of him, and the imaginary person I had made him out to be in my mind, I would quickly do a reality check. It was my decision to forgive myself and move on. This is no easy feat by any stretch of the imagination. Donna’s books were my bible. I read and reread them many times, with a yellow highlighter in my hand, highlighting the passages that most accurately described my ex husband. I am a true believer in what Donna wrote. I got through it and now, I’m happy to say, I’m in a great relationship. You will know when you are ready.

“the man you love does not exist”

That’s all you need to see to be free from him. The bond is based on his ability to play a fake person. The moment you see it, he looks like an evil clown.

Rousingly agreed, Rochelle! If you can get past the fact that this person is not a person, does not exist, anyway you can possible grasp that concept, it will help to break the addiction. You used the word “imaginary.” I remind myself that the spath in my life was my Imaginary Lover. Remember that song? The words are so perfect. We never had a physical relationship or even a date; he was the perfect Imaginary Lover.

Great article but what it all boils down to is trying to deal as best you can with the fallout from an experience with a being who is 3 yrs old emotionally. This is another “go-to” for me. I saw this in the spath in my life many times and you can believe I wondered what the hell he was talking about and why he sounded so off-the-wall. It was all about instant grat, lack of impulse control and inability to empathize, feel anything but for himself and lack of conscience. He used to flirt and say many amazing things to me and I was starstruck, absolutely filled with all the love chems, etc. It had been decades since I felt that way and where I don’t like the obsessiveness of that feeling or the forgetfulness that always ensues, I was floating. It completely wiped out my usual anxiety and fearful way of looking at life and allowed me to focus on him and his healing, comforting ways, when he chose to display them. Most of the time he wasn’t “available”.

We worked together and nothing ever came of our “friendship” except for his insane comments about going away together and/or how I was perfect in his eyes. I didn’t understand why he was coming on so strong with a much older and married (I’m ashamed to say) woman, someone who could rat him out to his superiors, so many unanswerable questions! But I didn’t care. I figured if he was willing to put himself out there, he must really care! OMG!!

I noticed that among his many personas, he had an edge to him. He was always right, in his quiet way and just disregarded anything I said that he didn’t agree with. Would mumble his retorts. As well, if I told him I didn’t understand why he was so highly complimentary of me w/out hardly knowing me at all, he would get frustrated. I was confused but he came into my life at a time when I desperately needed a “mental oasis,” so I took all of his garbage, knowing he was nuts. I told him so and made of joke of it. I did not realize the truth in that assessment. He pushed the right buttons and I was definitely addicted to the perfect Imaginary Lover.

I also caught a glimpse of his behavior with his child. The worst and the child did something to me that was pretty heinous. Spath did not even reprimand him or tell me he was sorry for the child’s behavior. These are the kinds of things I pushed out of my consciousness. I hate myself for it. I should have reamed him out for allowing his kid to behave that way to me. Not trying to sound selfish here. Any decent or sane parent would have immediately spoken to their child for the child’s own good, explaining that we don’t behave that way and to apologize to Ms Reeling. Later, if he were sane, he would have once again apologized to me and even explained that perhaps his child was a little ADD or upset w/his miserable marriage, etc., so they were trying to cut him slack. His never bringing this up again was such a huge red flag among so many others that were waving in my face. You can ignore a ton when the chems are in charge.

I want to say as I pretty much always do when I comment that my experience still haunts me and there wasn’t anything to it. Had I been younger, he may have pursued me more avidly but I think he had other things in mind for me. Who the hell knows?
My heart goes out to anyone who married, had kids or was in any kind of long term r.ship with a path. I am in awe of you and your efforts to recover. Just know these are not human beings and remember as Rochelle and others have said, “They do not exist,” so you are mourning an Imaginary Lover.
You have ALL my admiration and best, heartiest wishes for strength, healing, peace and happiness as you move out of the quicksand and into the sunshine. I mean it sincerely.

Hoping…It won’t change. Ever. I have gone back many times and it has gotten worse every time. The insane lying, conning, manipulating, etc. It’s absolutely an addiction. For the few good feelings you get when you go back remember the “100” bad things he did to you (that you know of). I personally have decided that I don’t want to live one more day of my life like that, much less the rest of it. You have literally become desensitized to his behavior and in the process kind of numb. As with any addiction….don’t give in and use the drug.

Just reading these articles and comments is so helpful to recovery from intimate betrayal. I cant believe how often the phrase “to a t” has passed through my brain while reading these articles. I also have the book referenced which I find helpful (although there are lots of written exercises).
The first part of the article rang true for me on all counts. My ex hubbie of 15 years is now with a 23 year old stripper who shares an addiction on pain pills with him.
We share 4 children and I am having trouble with the NO Contact. Advice? Should I just do everything alone and stop asking for his help with rides, science projects etc. Most of the time he doesnt show up, we fight, he enters my home and it starts all over agin. He helps himself to food, critiques my home, yard, dinner choices, asks me to use my camera, computer whatever it is….
We separated 3 years ago and I wish I had this site then. I didnt know he was a sociopath however (until a couple months ago when his current girlfriend told me about all his double life stories cheating with “too many women to remember” etc.). During our separation he kept asking me for loans, to help tow his car, get the boot off his car, make his resume, borrowed my second car and totaled it. You know with sociopaths they ALWAYS have some situation they need help with. And its like a dark shadow follows them around-at least in my case.
Lastly (besides needing advice on NO CONTACT), I want to add that another reason the break up is hard is because they dont experience the sadness, or missing you (or the kids) emotionally in a normal way. It continues to just be about their needs to be fed, get money and have sex. After my ex hit me I was the one who needed therapy not him and when i found out about his cheating (after we split) he didnt feel bad, ashamed or anything at all. Just annoyed he was caught. For me, this has been the hardest part – that he never felt bad about what was going on with our split…just annoyed he had to deal with stuff he didn’t feel like dealing with (and very begrudged about not getting the house).

I agree Jenniferjojo,

It’s hard to watch them cheerfully go along their merry way while we deal with the mess of a life that is left behind. It’s sickening and hard to grasp even when we logically know that they are incapable of true emotions. My husband is the reflection of a party boy, girl magnet that is always on top of the world. Happy, happy, happy. But in reality, he’s not feeling the joy, only pretending.

After I caught him cheating recently, he apologized and called me baby, said I was his wife and he was confused. Then he broke down and wept. He cried hard and for a long while. I admit that I felt bad for him. BUT caught myself and readjusted my attitude for the moment.

A dear friend, who has 20/20 vision of who he is, asked me that night “If you hadn’t caught him with that woman, would he be crying tonight? NO! He would either be LoveBombing you, or blaming you for something. He’s not crying because he’s sorry, he’s crying because you messed up his plan.”

She’s right. But I still fall for the bs if I hear it. NC means not hearing. That is helping me.

Hoping to heal…my two cents on the crying is acting. What better way to distract from the real issue. My ex did this many times starting 20 years ago and ending the day he hit me 3 years ago. Please don’t waste any more of your life. I wish I knew about sociopaths then, I would have POSSIBLY been able to navigate the lies, manipulation and general bullshit that constantly leaves one married to an spath feeling like something just isnt quite right.
You are lucky to have found this site.
Please take all of our advice. The more time you invest the harder it will be to recover. Because part of that is you will blame yourself (even though you shouldn’t) for not seeing the signs. Im in that phase now. I found out 3 months ago about ALL the affairs and escapades… even tho I have been divorced since November. First 2 months were really hard. 3rd month was ok. ow I am back is a very bitter, resentful, MAD phase I think at myself and him. Not fun or easy.

Jenniferjojo-
You say:”Should I just do everything alone and stop asking for his help with rides, science projects etc. Most of the time he doesn’t show up, we fight, he enters my home and it starts all over again. He helps himself to food, critiques my home, yard, dinner choices, asks me to use my camera, computer whatever it is”.”

I lived through the same thing…until I became angry enough to set down some boundaries!
Write him a note explaining that he must respect that this is no longer his home. He may NOT enter unless YOU personally invite him inside. Tell him that he is not to use the children as foils to get his way. You are the adult…he must have your permission…period! He is not allowed to remove anything or eat food from your refrigerator. If you need to use a restroom, there’s one at ___Gas Station. Also advise him that you’re sending dated copies to each attorney…(your’s too…and keep a copy for your paper trail.)

Fold the note in half and, if necessary, have one of your kids hand it to him…just make sure he receives it.

Regarding doing everything for the kids w/o help from him…mine purposefully told me he would not help…I wanted custody, so it was my job to fail w/o him!
I recommend that you do what you can 4 Ur kids. If there is a conflict, let them know that you’ll try to help, but there are some things that moms have difficulties doing. You could mention to “ask dad…he is better at that than I am”, but be prepared that Dysfunctional Dad will likely accuse you of trying to manipulate him by using the kids as pawns in your “evil” scheming.

He doesn’t show up…had that too…even on one Christmas Day…support your kids…tell them you know they must be disappointed…it’s OK to feel badly…you sure would. Broken promises s/b between dad and the kids….let them sort things out between themselves.

Not showing up was about controlling me…if he thought that I might have plans, not showing up was a way to punish me. Tell the kids you’re angry…he’s inconsiderate…you wish he’d just think about the everyone elses’ feelings.
Explain to them that UR upset, but it is solely because of dad who has chosen to brake a promise…they are not at fault.

Regarding NC…keep all contact kid related. If at all possible, have the kids tell him what they need and keep talking w/dad to a minimum. And when you do talk, keep it short and sweet…and stay on point! Refuse to participate in any conversation that belittles you…stop him in mid sentence…and say bye!

Just my 2 cents…and sometimes you get what you pay for! (grin)

Jenniferjojo,

I was wondering the age of your children. I know that at first, before I recognized who I was really dealing with, I encouraged my daughter to be supportive of her dad and to return his occasional text. She opposed the idea but obeyed me. Now that I know he’s a Spath, I let her make her own decision when to have contact and she rarely does. Also, she is old enough to drive so when they have plans, she meets him at the movie or a restaurant. I don’t want him at the house, but more importantly, she and I are both uncomfortable with her being alone with him.

I’m sure it’s very tough when you share younger children. But knowledge is power and awareness can help protect you.

I fight the urge to be “fair”. He makes me feel guilty if I keep him away from our marital home and lays guilt on me for not letting him move freely in the home if he is ever there. However, I am confident that keeping him away is the safest way for my daughter and me to live.

Maybe if you mentally play out his possible reactions if you refuse to let him in the home or allow him to borrow your possessions, then maybe you will feel more comfortable saying NO TO HIS REQUEST. My Spath husband ALWAYS retaliates, but I’ve learned to expect it and to at least be mentally prepared as much as possible.
I hope that helps.

This is the first time I disagree with you, Donna. Actually I totally disagree with your conclusions. Let me explain you why.

I was very addicted to the sociopath, we all know what that is, but I was very addicted to him till one day: the day I saw him as a sociopath. My bond, therefore, was not based on any of the argumentations you say, my bond was because I still believed he was the person I met first, the person in his loving face. Believing that he owed some of the qualities he had showed me in the first period was what kept me hoping to be with him.

That’s why I disagree with the no contact policy, unless you think your life is in danger or that you are in risk of believing his lies, go back to him to see his real self. You will not like it, and you will be free.

Cath

Catherine, You make a good point…”Believing that he owed some of the qualities he had showed me in the first period was what kept me hoping to be with him.” (wishing/believing kept you hooked)

“I was very addicted to him till one day: the day I saw him as a sociopath.”…good 4 U! How awesome! Unfortunately, I can’t say we both had the same reaction.

Your reaction reminds me of my grandfather. One day he decided to stop drinking alcohol (he was an alcoholic)…he abstained for the rest of his life…maybe another 16 years. One day he decided to stop smoking cigarettes (he smoked 4 packs of Lucky Strikes every day)…he never smoked again. So, I assume there are others who also have the fortitude to recognize an addiction an immediately stop “playing w/ matches”. Unfortunately not everyone has your ability to immediately turn off their emotions and/or go NC when they recognize that something/someone is toxic.

I was raised to give others the benefit of a doubt. I think myself out of believing what I know must be true…because I MIGHT BE WRONG. Perhaps I don’t have all of the information needed to eliminate someone from my life…what if I misjudged…what if I drew a wrong conclusion…he says it’s not true…how do I know 4 sure…I wouldn’t want to throw out the baby with the bath water and then discover I made a knee jerk decision…something has got to have been real/true, doesn’t it…am I really that bad a judge of character…what about the time when…yada-yada. I’ve learned to assume that I’m the one to doubt…not the person who clearly has cheated and lied to me! I tend towards second guessing myself, regardless of any obvious alarms of DANGER…High Voltage, Keep Away, STOP, etc…How sick is that?!!

I agree that not everyone needs to go NC, but for those who struggle with self doubt, I think that Donna is correct. Allowing/forcing yourself to abstain from any future involvement with an oppressive and self defeating relationship/situation (going NC) might be a healthy start towards regaining self reliance, removing self doubt, and ultimately taking back personal power.

My goal is to one day be confident enough to recognize and stand up against perps w/o allowing them an inch of squirm room.

IMconfused,

As you know, I ignore the danger signs too. I was raised as you were, to give others the benefit of the doubt. I still do even though the outside world sees this person clearly, I have trouble doing so.

Do you ever worry that your experiences with the Spath will prevent you from ever having that innocence and freedom of trusting other? At this point, I am hypersensitive and can see a “bad side” in everyone, some deserved and some not so much. I can see that’s going to be a huge hurdle for me. Does that concern you?

HopingToHeal,

At your stage of shocking realization, I did worry about becoming so jaded that I’d never trust anyone again.

Today, I absolutely HOPE that my REALIZATION of experiences with my Spath will prevent me from ever having that innocence and freedom of trusting another…that’s what got me sucked in more than once! It’s about time I learned to not be so gullible.

I failed to realize that my first husband (of 15 yrs) had been a real nightmare (had always assumed things were my fault, as he always told me). After living as a single parent for nearly 11 years following my divorce from #1, I married #2. Calling him #2 …that’s perfect!

More than a decade after divorcing #1, problems w/ #2 caused me to start experiencing flash backs of scenes from my first marriage. I slowly realized that my horrid experiences with spouse #2 were similar repeats of my first spouse. I eventually figured out that my first husband had done far worse things than I had ever suspected…maybe everyone around me knew…but I certainly was clueless.

Because I failed to acknowledge there was even a remote possibility of all of the awful things #1 had done to me and our kids, I unwittingly signed up for even more of the same behavior by marring #2!…Arrrgh!

I’ve paid dearly for my education, and sure hope I’ve learned something that will help me to make better decisions in the future!

I also think that you should not be so tough with yourselves about ignoring the danger signs. At the beginning I think that it is healthy to give anyone the benefit of the doubt. Otherwise we will end up as paranoids! (As you say “I am hypersensitive and can see a “bad side” in everyone”)

What we have to be aware of is when we are not talking about the healthy benefit of the doubt anymore, so to say, when we have enough actions of the Spath to make a case against him. That is the important moment; we pass from being normal good people to people obsessed in someone goodness though we have enough proofs to get rid of him for good.

The alarms are good, but not to act on them but to remember them in case they sum up one day. That day is when we should rethink with who we really are.

I found that I saw what was going on and stopped giving him the benefit of the doubt. I questioned everything and you know how that goes…lol. I found that I didn’t give him the boot as fast as I should have because I couldn’t PROVE anything. I was stuck on that….what if I make a mistake, what if he’s really not lying? Others have said on here and now that I’ve been through this nightmare, I wholeheartedly agree – you do NOT have to prove anything…just the fact that you’re questioning so much is ENOUGH to end the relationship. I will never make the same mistake again.

Oh, no, I’m sorry if I made it sound like stopping from an addiction, my point was the opposite. I don’t think I would ever be good quitting an addiction actually. This had nothing to with discipline but with something we reach to see that changes your how we perceive him.

My point is that he is an addiction to us as far as we still believe that he is a good guy. And we are pretty stubborn on that, even if he does things that are not ok, we excuse him, because we believe that deep inside he can’t be that bad. But the day we see that he is actually that bad, we don’t go back for more. Not because he is noxious to us but because we don’t want him. (Of course, this doesn’t apply with chemical substances because they do always have an artificial positive effect in or brains, but he is not a drug.)

“I was raised to give others the benefit of a doubt.” “Perhaps I don’t have all of the information needed to eliminate someone from my life”what if I misjudged”

This is exactly why I think that we are hooked: the doubt on his goodness.

There are two ways to end that:

1. The slower but permanent, it is to get enough information. At some point, if we are really interested in how he is and we don’t go back to him like religion believers, we can be able to spot his method of operation. And we will be able to determine beyond reasonable doubt how he is.

2. The fastest, we stop for good not knowing enough. We accept that to know people it is not easy, that not everybody has to be in our lives, that to eliminate someone is not like a punishment and that we have the right and it is good for us to eliminate those who make us more unhappy than happy.

In 1. we value more to know than our time. In 2. we value more our time than to know.

Option 1 was the option I chose, but if this would be happening to me again I would go for option 2. Life is too short to spend so much time in people who don’t behave properly with us, whether they are evil or not, it is not us to judge, we might rather judge if they are good or bad for our lives. But as I say, this is my opinion after being through option 1.

Catherine,

I think your point is very valid. You suggested two options how to take in the information that the one we love is not a good person:

You advised-
“1. The slower but permanent, it is to get enough information. At some point, if we are really interested in how he is and we don’t go back to him like religion believers, we can be able to spot his method of operation. And we will be able to determine beyond reasonable doubt how he is.

2. The fastest, we stop for good not knowing enough. We accept that to know people it is not easy, that not everybody has to be in our lives, that to eliminate someone is not like a punishment and that we have the right and it is good for us to eliminate those who make us more unhappy than happy.

In 1. we value more to know than our time. In 2. we value more our time than to know.”

I went with number 1 also. Had I just walked away without all the hurtful, yet enlightening information that I’ve come to know this year, then I would forever be drawn back to him by my doubt that he could really be so bad.

I also agree that number 2 is a faster more direct way to work through the process, but for me, it would not have brought the peace that I am finding as I go through each step! making the wrong decision over and over. Maybe it’s stubbornness that has kept me with him so long, and the breaking of my will to stay is a tougher process so I need to “see” it a little at a time as I readjust to an alternate future.

Very good point Catherine.

HopingToHeal,

But now that you did the whole 1. process (Maybe some of us need to proof it once) wouldn’t you also take 2. next time? (Hoping there is no next time, of course)

Awesome!! this is EXACTLY what I meant above about not having to PROVE what they’re doing. It’s not worth it. If they are making you miserable who cares if you have proof! Like you, I won’t make that mistake again. 🙂

We should keep what we have learned 🙂

Yes, it is very much like an addiction to be entangled with a kook. And they very much enjoy creating that “slow burn” chaos of self doubt that you feel when their psychological warfare worms it’s way through the recesses of your mind.
And like a horrible addiction, given the time and opportunity, they will eventually destroy you and everything dear to you. Wasting resources, evaporating good feelings, destroying anything of goodness and value to them, is winning. Losing is winning to them. That’s why we call them “losers”!

The kook who kept harassing and intimidating me in an attempt to make me capitulate and invite him back around for another swing at kicking me to the curb, got served a steady diet of No Contact and me reporting him to the police upon each attempt to contact me.

His schmoozing and b.s. routines weren’t working on me anymore so one of his most recent statements was that he was going to “ruin” my life on other levels, presumably, social.

We work in the same industry and in his mind, workplace bullying (whether he knows that it is dubbed as such is unknown) is his little leverage tool to get me to capitulate like the pathetic idiot he’s sure I am.

But like any horrible addiction that you’ve finally expunged from your life, I have fully decathected from any form of enticement or baiting that he can come up with. I have just gone through a hellacious bout of workplace bullying that could be sourced in him but either way, it’s good to know that I’ve fully ditched his evil machinations and he’s only useful as a horrible living case study of WHAT WENT WRONG.

And, oh, the PTSD! Never underestimate the PTSD that is a result of their assault upon your very essence! Be good to yourself! No one deserves abuse! These kooks are abusive and soul-wrenching like a noxious poison! It’s a long and very grueling path out of the gaping teeth of hell that tries to destroy everything of value and goodness in our lives, and it’s the path to which we must adhere in order to step away from the madness of the disordered personality!!

I withdrew from my “crack” cocaine like experience with a psychopathic husband of almost 20 years.

It’s been three years since he moved in with his last victim and left my shattered remains in our bankrupt 3000 square foot home.

I survived. I am doing so much better than three years ago. I share my story and experience of recovery with other victims and encourage them to move forward and learn from living with this anti-Christ evil on earth. We are the victors and our lives will never be the same, but in a good way.

All the best to all of you recovering from this horrendous emotional experience. Stay in peace with God and you will heal.

Hey, you got a 3,000 sq ft home! I had to move into a 1 br apt after my ex stole my bank account , he then bought a mansion with money he stole from me as well as my mother. She is now in a 1 br apt as well.

Can someone give any tips on how to maintain the No Contact while having 4 kids together? Just cut and dry? Dont let him in the house? No face o face? Im having a step backwards moment and maybe it would be better if I didnt see him. I find myself everyday thinking evil thoughts about one of his lovers who I knew as a “friend” for years. I need to accept that she was just weak or evil too. IDK. Also picturing them in a hotel over and over while I was away with our 4 young kids. Im in a rut…I wish i could just appreciate my kids and what I have now instead of feeling so MAD.

Jenniferjojo,

I think the most powerful tool I use for NC is that I realize that the control has been shifted to me and it’s empowering. They will use anything to talk to you, especially the children. I’d say if there has to be contact, then make it text. Take a week and slowly go from voice calls to text, not email. Then do just text. And make those less and less. Think over the things you Must discuss during the week and cover them all at one time.

sometimes, there is a part of us that longs to hear from them. It makes us feel validated, but it only validates the fantasy. What you felt like you had with him, the special connection, he never felt it. These people can move from person to person to person and “love” them all. It’s fake. They don’t love anyone but themselves.

It’s really hard not to think of the hurtful actions and replay them over and over. Being a good person and mom, you are just trying to reason it out and understand….help the pain. While we all do it, and it does help in the healing, If you are like me, it also gets your anxiety all stirred up and can make you feel helpless.

A friend suggested this technique to me and I will admit it is helpful. She said when you begin to ponder those awful, hurtful stories……yell to yourself “STOP” or wear a rubber and on your arm and snap it when those thoughts come to mind.

Once you stop the thought process, redirect to something else. This is where I had trouble, until I began my plan to get out, get away, and move on. Now, when I have no contact I don’t think of how much I miss him, I think of what I can do since I don’t have to put up with him. I read it here all the time – LIVING WELL IS THE BEST REVENGE. Truthfully , since they only care about control and they lose control when you live well, then this statement is correct.

I wish that the healing time could speed forward for you, but a life that created four babies is a pretty tight bond on your part, and the betrayal will take a lot of time to get past. He’s a sorry loser, and your children are blessed to have a wonderful mom who loves them. You did not deserve to be treated this way!

Hugs, and it’s ok to be MAD,

I feel for you. It must be so heart wrenching when you have 4 children. You need to focus on those precious kids and yourself. Don’t waste any thought on him. He is not worth any second of your time. I know it sounds easier said than done. Believe me I was there. I only have one child, he was 17 at the time we were discarded. I was exactly doing the same. I was constantly thinking about what I have lost, how he could do that to us when he claimed he loved his family. It still makes me sick to my stomach knowing that I prepared his lunch for work. Instead he went to her house and came home the next morning acting like he worked his deputy overnight shift. It still makes me a little upset thinking how easy it was for him to lie in my face. But you know what, it does get easier. After more than a year, yes I am still hurt but I do not cry anymore. There is no hate or anger. Just nothing I have left for him. In the long run he is the one who lost everything at the age of 46. He lost his home, his son, his respect , his integrity, basically his entire life. Knowing this gives me comfort to go on. Yes, I might not live the same “standards” that I am used to. But I am alive and most importantly I put an end to it by filing for divorce. I need to show my only child that it is not ok to hurt loved ones like this and not face any consequences. I thank God every day my son is nothing like his father.
The no contact has saved us our peace and sanity. I don’t know how you would do the no contact with minor children in common. That’s very difficult I imagine.
Goid luck and I am sorry for your pain. But keep your head above the waves even when you are in deep waters 🙂

My ex wanted me back and still does while keeping his status displayed as single and behind my back trying for a girl in my building. We both have broke up since 6 months now and i have maintained no contact but even now it becomes a desperation to see his fb profile or statuses.
I know I want to get over that guy but he lives in my colony. Among his friends he has done smear campaining.And after all this he still stares at me and loiters around me. He had recently put up statuses for me asking for forgiveness and confessing his love, I did not pay heed to it,and after a few days I realised he was trying to hook the new girl as well as me through the statuses.He has no idea that I know about this rebound of his.This continuosly keeps me hooked on.I cant have him off my head for a minute.I am obsessed.And theres no use of trying to get over, he is still seen sometimes when I get out of my house. What to do.This is getting on my nerves!!!

Thankyou for the support. Only you all know how all this feels like really.I am and will try my level best for coming out of this.I desperately wait for the day when he passes by and I feel nothing at all about it.All this is just because of the huge void that he has created that makes me yearn for the attention.Now suddenly it feels terrifying to know he can go out there and fall for someone else and give them that attention that I once had. And then I cant even get him back for whatever I want. This had never happened before.Infact this was my 1st relationship and im 19.
OK.This has to get over.Afterall its just a game he’s trying to play.I wont give in to his moves.It will take time,but it sure has to stop at once.

Maybe something like this can help you in your situation. When I left my ex-the sociopath, no contact was difficult. We had a child together. Over time what I found helpful was changing how I thought about the relationship. The way I looked at it, he was playing a game trying to draw me into drama – which I had amply provided for him for six years, and I was trying to not play the game by not being drawn into drama.

I dreaded his phone calls. My anxiety would go through the roof. He would try to push buttons and take me places I did not want to go to. He would remind me of the place he gave me in society. His phone calls could be as victimizing as his actions and I had to break that cycle.

From that day forward, for me, our “relationship” was strictly BUSINESS. It became about the business of managing the life of our child. From that time on, any phone call or email was evaluated and responded to as a business deal. The business of managing the life of our child.

He would say and write inflammatory things. He was trying to bait me. I was trying to stay out, so I would focus on the business aspect of management.

He would say something like,”I’m going to take MY son camping this weekend. I want to make sure that you are going to be on time. I’m tired of having to wait around for you to show up with that jackass you are spreading your legs with. I always knew you were a slut.” This is an example of a tame one. He had lots of creative names and descriptions for me.

My answer would be to count to three or five if need by during which I was focusing on the words that pertained to our son and the business at hand. “I intend to meet you at the designated place at the designated time.”

It sounded, even to my ears, robotic at first. Eventually, even though he would ramp up the nastiness, I remained flat and focused on the business of managing the life our child.”

I had post-it notes on every phone I answered with calming and inspirational words like… “You do not have to talk to this person.” “It is OK to delay if I am not in the right mindset for this.” “It’s about the business of managing our child.” “Focus on the business.” “Don’t play his game.”

This went on for two full years. I thought I might lose my mind in the journey. Anytime I goofed in responding to the drama he was trying to create, I would remind myself that it’s a process. I would record and transcribe all of our phone conversations (this was before email and texts) which I would mail to him certified, return receipt, giving him three days to dispute the content of the conversation. By creating the document and giving him a chance to dispute it, I made the recording admissible in court.

Over time, it got easier and became natural for me. I didn’t need the post-it notes and my anxiety level went way down.

Eventually, a judge terminated his parental rights to our child,in part based on the contents of my transcripts. The ex could not stop himself from showing his true colors while I remained focused on the best interest of our child.

After his parental rights were terminated, he went away and found new targets for his twisted sociopathic desires.

Long story short… I was no longer “fun to play with”. I took away his power by not responding to the buttons he was trying to push. I got my life back and was able to protect my son.

Srujata
You will get there one day. I am surprised at myself how I feel nothing now towards him. I was married for over 20 years and seeing him in court is like nothing now. At the beginning I was so nervous, my heart racing , sometimes breaking out in a rash when I had to face him in court. The truth is my attorney faced him, not me. And that gave me confidence and strength. After a few times in court I went in there with my head held high and I was so much better than that piece of sh…. Who threw is family away like a bag of weekly garbage.
Now I am in control. He can write as many e mails as he wants to. My son and I will never respond. Because we have a choice. The same choice he had when he dispose of us.

Kaya48
It is really heart wrenching to see so many cases of lovefrauds all over. Why do these people even exist on earth! x-(

Yes I know I have to be there one day.
I started nc 6months ago. Its all my mind that creates mess.I will have a control on it.
Thanks for sharing ur experience.
Regards 🙂

Apologies to Everyone here on Lovefraud. I posted something the end of last week and it has been deleted. I am assuming I wrote something that didn’t feel right to some of you.

For anyone who I offended I am truly sorry. I never want to rub anyone the wrong way here at Lovefraud. I am guessing my post was to abrupt.

I truly apologize.

Slim

Slimone…are you sure it has been deleted? Perhaps it is just in a different place than you thought? I don’t remember anything out of line at all. You are still great in my book! 🙂

Yaa your reply to my first post got deleted it seems.But there was nothing wrong about it.It is perfectly apt and true to the situation.I have infact saved its screenshot for reading whenever I feel low. 🙂

OH good! I am not losing my mind! And, I am so glad it didn’t hurt you, or make you feel bad. I see that you are 19. The good news about that is you are learning something that many of us didn’t even begin to understand until we were MUCH older.

I know it hurts. I know it feels SO invalidating. Again, remember, it is NOT about your worth. It is ONLY about him being mentally ill. No matter what other people believe about him, you KNOW what he is capable of. And it is NO GOOD.

Hang in there, and keep coming here for support.

Slim

Jenniferjojo-

Bets’ description of how she managed her ex is a great example for you! It’s rooted in the “Gray Rock” principle which means “behave as blandly as a gray rock.”

Her “all business” approach drove home the concept that he could not expect to get a rise out of her. As a result, he got bored and looked for stimulation and entertainment elsewhere.

In addition, she indicated how she obtained proof of his behavior so that the court was not mislead by his charm.

Along with addressing the legal link to a predator, parents must also counter the impacts of manipulation that their children are subjected to. Providing the child, if old enough, with books on the subject can build the knowledge needed to empower them. And it can also be extremely helpful to consult a therapist who is familiar with family relationships that involve a character disordered person. By doing so, your kids can see that you’re not alone in your perceptions of the other parent.

Joyce

Slimone
Oh yes.There was a time when I was considering myself a bitch.I was doubting myself.But after knowing about sp, things resolved in my mind everything got clearer.Now its just about accepting, moving on.

Some things happen to prepare us for future encounters with such sp’s. And now I have almost done a research on them that I can avoid such people to be there in my life ever.

Dear Donna,
Can a sociopath be ‘asexual’?? I think that the man I have been seeing for 3 years is a blend of a Cerebral Narcissist, a Peter Pan and a Sociopath!..He’s got the whole package. He is 45 years old, still lives with his 86 year old mother and complains about the system, the enviroment and the people who he feels they’re all responsible for not being able to get a job…Oh yes, he is also unemployed for the past like..10years! He is very inconsistent with everything in his life and now I believe he is also lazy! He inherited 300,000 Euros (not $)and wasted it ALL! Of course, he still complained it was because he ”was so depressed and did not have the right support to be more wise with his money”….. He prefers isolation and is a negative person although he enjoys good humor. Even if we do go out, somehow he wont be happy unless he finds something negative to talk about. On the other hand, he has confused me because he can be so sweet talking and supportive every time I need the emotional support-(I have major family problems of mine).
At first, he was very sexually active with me. After about 4 months into the relationship he started losing interest. He would give me different excuses each time. Also, he does NOT want to age and when he looks at me he tells me what an angel I am and tells me that I will never age either….He will give me compliments and he is not a cheap skate-he loves to spend-when he has or had the money. Each time I would advise him to be careful with his money he would ask me to ”trust him on this” and that one day ”he will win huge money playing the stock market”…
We havent had sex for 6 months straight and the 3 years we have been together, the times we had sex are easily countable!!!……..
He is addicted to his pc and plays Facebook video games while chatting with his unemployed buddies. He’d rather sit on his pc for hours or watch a movie with me (or without) than have sex with me……..I am fit and good looking. I decided to stay in the relationship because I thought he was sincere. Sincerity is something I never had in my relationships with other men and so thinking he is very sincere and honest, I thought to give him a chance. I am starting to think he is a mama’s boy and that he might have the Madonna/Whore complex and sees me more like his sister or best friend…. I almost lost my self with this man. As I am writing this to you I am making plans to leave him and will leave him ‘very quietly’……

I would really appreciate your input and opinion though on his sexual behavior towards me. Btw, I am 40 and have the feeling he prefers younger women with perfect bodies. I have seen him how he looks at me undressed and observes my imperfections. He has rejected many times my initiations for sex (he does not like to initiate sex) and I decided to stop. Now, I dont even want to have sex with him even if he begged me for it and I sleep alone.

Dear Odysseia
my experience is different but this is what happened to me…My spath was engaged for several years, and had other women too(me and the ex fiance talked, she took back her phone she bought for him and found this info). Well he kept giving me bacterial vaginosis(because he was having multiple partners)I couldn’t get rid of it for 2months, I was tired of having to take antibiotics, beside it not being good on my body. And the jerk, all the while just let me take them and keep sick to hide his lies-this incites me to no end. Well he kept being “Let’s just stop having sex” “maybe there is something wrong with me” We would argue and he would give me his spath death stare and I thought he was just acting worried. Well he didn’t mind not having sex because he was getting it other places. I swear that is definitely spath jerk mentality!!! I look back now and can’t believe that I didn’t put 2 and 2 together. But like Donna says, and what is written above in the article, he love bombed me and created this bond that I thought he was being a good boyfriend to me. Boy was I wrong.
We started having sex again, with protection, but then we stopped and guess what I got… bv again. When his ex fiance unloaded the truth this weekend, I confronted him via text that he needs to get himself checked out and to stop giving this to whomever he is seeing, he kept ignoring that part and just telling me that “I am no lady” and that “We were both so stupid”. It was just salt in my wounds.

My advice, do you really want to go on with this man and not feel sexually compatible? You are in your prime and you deserve a man who wants to be intimate with you. What I read is just not normal. Like Donna says, he is using it to control you and/or his addiction to porn is enough for him, and it could be a mixture of both. Take back your sex life, you deserve better and healthy sex is an important part of any relationship.

Dear downwitfakerastas,
Thank you for your advice. We are most definitely incompatible. But, he is not having sex with other women either. Though, he stares at other women-usually trashy looking and provocative-that’s the type he prefers. He picked me at a time when I was vulnerable I guess. He’d rather spend his time playing video games on his pc – 24/7 if possible..than have sex. This guy is not well in the head. I am taking back my sex life and my life in general. No more losers-enough of them.

Oh yeah, I didn’t mean your guy has other partners, I was just trying to show that when they go long periods without sex or have ways of avoiding it, there always seems to be something underlying behind the reason-multiple partners, too much porn, physical problems, lack of being able to be intimate, etc…..

Oh for sure! This guy has no physical problem at all actually…But he got used to be serviced all the time so why bother with the effort?..Also, I honestly think these kind of men are misogynists-they couldnt care less how to satisfy women or if they do, it will be short term only-just to win them. I was recalling how he would cry his eyes out for me when he’d sense that I am going to leave or when ever he felt insecure for some reason towards me. And now? He couldnt care less!

Odysseia ,,,,,,, I could have written some of your post almost word for word except for the working part Spathtardx does actually work……..he spent as little as possible and sexually, he could rarely be bothered to get off his back. In other words I serviced HIM. Sex(orgasm) is not THAT important or easy to me so at first I didn’t mind and throughout the entire relationship I enjoyed pleasing him sexually but I did want his to do things that would build trust and interest, in between the sheets, and gave him many suggestions which he basically ignored despite his repeated declarations of how much he wanted to make me happy. Whatever…..worst lover I have EVER been with. Hello?? He would fall asleep unless I wasn’t doing him but I’m sure that was all fake anyhow. AH
Anyhow, I just wanted to say this about the asexual question. !!!YES!!! Asexual, Bisexual, sexsexual……….they would do their mother, sister, dog if they would let them!! My belief is that they would have ANYONE who would have them, male, female, animal, vegetable, mineral, and if someone won’t have them they will manipulate them INTO having them.
I also believe they prefer and are addicted to masturbation, which is all I was to him,,,,,,talk about LAZY!

dorothy2…that was mine. He was brilliant, but very lazy. The only thing that mattered to him was control, power and getting what he wanted. After he got the sex, he was disinterested. He also absolutely preferred masturbation to actual sex and I believe he was addicted to it. Think about it…it doesn’t take any work, right?? It’s much easier to just get yourself off than to be with a partner…too messy and too much work. You were exactly right as far as the one I knew was concerned…if someone didn’t want him, he manipulated them into wanting him…100%!!! Crazy. But then they lose interest. It’s all about the conquest since there are never any “real” feelings there.

SER, this also sounds like ‘my’ guy. He is also brilliant-very smart indeed but his EQ is awful. He loves the chase for attention and once he gets it the interest for sex also vanishes! These men are also narcissists.
I found this great article on Cerebral Narcissists(http://samvak.tripod.com/journal21.html) who work with their intellectuality and prefer to stay celibate or masturbate until they find someone who will capture their interest only to lose it again. They are emotional vampires. It’s a good thing I am not in love with him- I love him as my best friend sort of thing and getting out wont be hard.

Odysseia…I have read things from Sam before. Thanks for this link. It totally sounds like my ex…swinging back and forth between cerebral and somatic. Messed up. Very messed up.

Yes they are very messed up! I am starting to believe all this might stem from a mother/son dysfunctional relationship. My guy has a very unstable relationship with his mother. He shouts and yells at her, breaks things in the house and then feels sorry for her..But, she also raised him to feel sorry for her and now he resents her.

Odysseia……disfunctional mother relationship?? Spathtardx has THAT all going on!! I actually think that she was in on the whole game and his sister as well. Now that the blinders are off the tells just pop out of the woodwork. One right after the other. I just discovered another one today and it’s been over a year since we broke up, but about a year since NC. What a sorry sack. You know, Spathtardx was really smart too but really, pretty much of a life waste idiot. and I would never EVER give them credit for being good at this (even though I’m thinking it might be the ONLY thing he excels at)……….it’s not that they are good at this or anything for that matter, it’s just that people are ignorant about their existence. Thats why I’m so thrilled Donna is on this show tonight. It may reach some people who have NOT been victimized. Those are the ones who need educated about these pigs……people who come on sites like this have already learned the hard way.

Odysseia…oh, yeah…my ex did not like his mum…didn’t get a long with her. There is absolutely a connection with the mothers there…they don’t really like women. He loved men, but didn’t like women at all…didn’t respect them and only liked them for what he could get which was mostly sex. Sick.

I hear you 100% Dorothy! My guy is also LAZY and easily would fall asleep anytime! We had morning sex only once! He prefered to sleep than have sex. I caught him many times when he’d be sleeping while holding his penis instead of touching me! For sure, these kind of men prefer to masturbate than learn how to be good lovers. They prefer to receive not give. Since I decided to stop sleeping with him it’s been a lot better for me. It would hurt me so much to have a man sleeping next to me and ignore me as a woman. I think he has low self esteem and wants to control me this way and break me to lose my self esteem. In reality I think he is a misogynist. Men who love their women-money or not-try to make the best of every moment with them.

Once, we went to a fashion show. I thought it was a nice day because we both had a good time and were with some nice friends. When we got home that night I went to my bedroom to change and he walked inside and started kissing me. I was happy with his initiative and hoped that this was going to end with some passionate sex (which we never had any passionate sex..) and while being on top of me kissing me, all of a sudden he stops, looks at me and says:”I’m hungry. I need something to eat”. That was it-and needless to say, we never had sex. I was furious and sad. He apologized only after I asked him to leave. He promised he’ll improve…Here I am, one year later after this rejection and sleeping alone…

I know I became addicted to my spath because I was lonely, he knew that from the beginning and I look back and realize I told him many times, this must of made him so happy knowing he could control me to no end because my loneliness was so deep. I seem to pick guys and have rollercoaster relationships because I am so ready to settle down and have a family, Im 36 and all my friends have families, Im still going out to bars and concerts but just not feeling fulfilled. This and loosing my baby two years ago is making me question moving back home and this is probably what I will do to end this lonely feeling and hopefully eventually get back into the dating game once I feel strong enough.

One thing that is weird though, I met my recent ex spath on a blind date. He was already engaged(obviously I didn’t know nor did my friends) , but managed to tell my friends(he did work on their house because he was a construction worker)that he was divorced and was looking to settle down again. Was he thinking that he could lie to the friends and see if they would set him up with someone? It is just so weird to me to lie to someone you work for and end up getting a girls phone number, rather than reading the clues in person from my body language. Donna if you read this, is there anything to that-the blind date…..was he just so in love with his lying skills he was seeing how far he could take it?

They ARE a lie….People Of The Lie…….They change (lie) to fit the situation at hand as easily as changing a shirt. The old adage/ joke……How can you tell if an attorney (Spathtard) is lying?? His lips are moving! Only a Spathtard doesn’t even have to open his mouth to lie because more than likely he is withholding the truth about SOMEthing….aka, lies of omission.

People of the Lie!! I love that, dorothy2. The Spath I’m involved with, asked me to tell him what my biggest reservations were about him. I told him I didn’t believe most of what came out of his mouth. That I had no faith in what he tells me. He asked for examples, and, true to form, either downplayed or denied them or turned them around so they were my fault. People of the Lie. I’m going to remember that one! Classic! Thank you!

I am starting to think Sociopaths are multiplying rapidly on this planet…..
Could it be because of the way we were raised and to its ‘chain reaction’? I married and dated men who resembled my mother’s toxic personality..
I wasn’t anything like her and this didn’t make her a happy camper. She was jealous of me and always tried to ruin my peace of mind. It took resistance to her manipulated tactics to avoid copying her in any way whatsoever. It takes self awareness, a hard core examination of our childhood and parents and then realization hits…

How are my friends on lovefraud today ? Taralev , how is your weekend ? I found an interesting statement :
“God guides us and blesses us in the real world – his world – not the world of our imagination. He gives us grace in the present moment – not in the past (which is gone) or the future (which has not yet come ). One of the devils tactics is to try to get us to dwell in the past (through regret, or shame, or missing the “good old days”), or in the future (through fear or hope or wishful thinking), or our imagination (through anxiety or daydreams). Then we are no longer focused on God’s real world, in the present moment. The devil has moved us away from the place of grace and blessing. The devil loves to sow confusion. Our best weapon against lies, deception and confusion is to stand firm on God’s truth.
The devil cannot prevail against effective prayer. ”

I think this all makes sense to many of us. Wishing you a peaceful, serene and happy weekend.

lovely words xx

Over the past two months, I have found your postings so helpful to read. Thank you for helping me feel a little more sane on most days, but I’m not feeling sane tonight, so I’m turning to you rather than calling him.

This week was a roller coaster. On Monday morning, I hadn’t seen the Spath for a few days. When I saw him in the parking lot of the gym, we talked for a while, and, as I was leaving, I gave him a hug and told him I loved him. Now why on earth would I do that?? He had ignored me for the past 3 days!!! He seized this as an opportunity to re-ignite our sex lives, and we met up at a hotel that night. I have never done anything like that in my life. On Thursday, he called me at 11:00 p.m., drunk off long island ice teas, and started to berate me, then told me how he had made a mess of things, he was miserable, and he didn’t want to die alone. However, between his observations about how miserable he was, he slammed me, including bringing up when I cheated on my first husband 27 years ago and how I should have treated my disabled son differently. He ended up passing out towards the end of the phone call. He was in a McDonald’s parking lot!!! Finally, we were supposed to have a big date tonight. I began to suspect he would cancel when I asked him what time he’d be at my place, and he was very non-committal. Sure enough, at 4:30 tonight, he called and said he was too tired to even come over and watch a movie on the couch. He made some vague comments about things he had to do and his general tiredness. This from a guy who was always criticizing me for not wanting to go to the bar late at night (including on week nights) and party it up.

Why am I spending one ounce of energy on this guy??? I’m starting to wonder if he is seeing how much crap he can dish out before I breakdown. No wonder he’s had restraining orders put on him. Ugh. I have no idea why I don’t just block his calls. Help!!! Why do I keep going back every time he discards me? I’m good looking, smart and have a great job. What am I doing???

….This guy is very messed up, no Respect for you and eventually will break you down. Unless.. you read your comment as if you were trying to give advise to someone else. What would you tell her? It’s interesting when we put ourselves as a third party and view our own issues from a spectator’s view. I have been through similar path with my ex husband. He was an emotional vampire and wanted me to fill his emptiness because men like yours and my ex have lack of compassion. They have no empathy. Your guys is also a Narc (narcissist)-total lack of empathy. Men like your guy are hunting down for compassionate women so they can have someone feel sorry for them and fill their needs!
You opened your heart to him and now he is taking your past and slams it on you to ‘bottom’ your self esteem, gaslight you and make you feel quilty so you become vulnerable and feel like you have to ‘serve’ his needs whenever he feels like it….He has no respect for you whatsoever. You deserve so much better – especially having a disabled son -you deserve a medal for this. Concentrate on yourself and YOUR needs and everything will become more clear to you. Educate yourself by reading material about these types of men to develop your self awareness – that’s what I did and helped me very much. What also helped me a lot was taking a self-defense class and working out. All this has made me stronger to know how to defend myself emotionally too. The guy I wrote about in my posts is someone I am not in love with and soon Ill be moving out of his studio. I defend and protect myself by choosing to be sleeping alone, keeping my boundaries and having my shields up. It took sometime for him to reveal his true colors-a very good actor too. There are Spaths-Vampires everywhere and we can encounter them anytime in our lives because they’re good actors! It’s what we do with them that counts once we realize what they really are. I am sure you will not want to have anything to do with this vampire one day. You’re smart and you have a great job so do NOT let this vamp sink his teeth into your heart and your mind each time. Having sex with spaths steals our energy and pass on to us their negativity! Stop supplying him with your sexual and emotional energy. Keep it for yourself!!!
http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/11/14/how-to-avoid-being-drained-by-energy-vampires/
http://psychcentral.com/quizzes/vampires-quiz.htm
http://www.drjudithorloff.com/Free-Articles/Emotional-Vampire-survival.htm
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/emotional-freedom/201101/whos-the-emotional-vampire-in-your-life

Wow, Odysseia. Your insight is amazing. “He has no respect for you whatsoever”, “….hunting down for compassionate women so they can have someone feel sorry for them and fill their needs”, “gaslight you” “lack of empathy”. Those describe this situation so clearly. I’m going to try your suggestion of looking at this as a third party. Also, when I think about how I would advise my “typical” 19 year old son on how to act with a girl, it would be everything the opposite of this guy. I’ve raised him to be responsible and caring and am very proud of where he is in life. Contrast this with the disrespectful, inconsiderate, self-centered jerk I’m sinking energy into. Thank you for the links. Learning about spaths is mind-boggling. I wonder if that is why I keep going back. I can’t believe ANYONE could be so awful. And he isn’t just awful to me. It’s pretty much everyone. He starts out thinking a new person he meets is fantastic, and then ends up hating and bad mouthing them or worse: firing them for no reason or not paying back money he clearly owes them.

I’m surrounded by really awesome, caring people with the exception of him. I’m amazed how one bad worm can ruin the whole apple. Thank you for responding. It means a lot of me.

Glad I could help!
Yes, GET RID OF HIM! He is a parasite – you need to weed him out of your life asap! It seems you have a very good life so please keep the good in it and throw away the garbage!
I did the same thing. In a few months from now, once you get rid of him, you’ll be amazed how much better you’ll start feeling! Go on a nice vacation and surround yourself with high quality people – he is of the lowest- generic brand…lol
All the best! Be an amazon warrior! 🙂

Elsa, read this Lovefraud Post…this is another reason why you are bonded to the evil sociopath.

too scary to contemplate!
I WAS too attached to him emotionally. I now know that! I don’t know why I was so stupid. he is everything I would ever warn someone to stay away from………… unethical, immoral, untrustworthy etc etc etc
I used to tell him there was no way I would ever even consider having a relationship with him and reel off the reasons why! He used to clutch his chest and say (in a pity me type of way, which was funny at the time) …. “(Elsa) you have such a poor opinion of me…… but youre right!”

Elsa…omg his words are so scary & manipulative. Evil man.

Remember hon dont beat yourself up & do not use words like “I was stupid”…YOU were not stupid he is just a masterful con artist period! This man can con anyone and everyone…remember he stated he has a long trail of victims…believe his words he does!!

he told me his girlfriend had fallen pregnant around the time his first child with his wife was born and that he regretted this because she was the love of his life. he said he chose to stay with his wife and had regretted it. he had had numerous affairs because “he couldn’t help it”…… I must be proper undesirable as he never tried it on!!
unfortunately (for me) his wife also bad mouthed him, which reinforced what he said about her….. that she had “rejected” him and had no interest in hi etc etc. blah,blah, blah
he “needed a good friend” …… and I was just that but he couldn’t handle a friend….. someone who sent him a text saying “hi, hows things?” etc
he used to tell me to back off (whilst still texting me randomly asking me to meet) and I did back off, only for him to ask me to back off again, which I did…… repeat!!!

I did realise in the end that all was fine as long as it was on his terms…. and his terms ended up to be zero tolerance where I was concerned!!

It was great to read this section as the more I read about the behaviors of a sociopath the more I realize that the only fault I have is not being more aware of the signs and getting out earlier than I should have.

In the beginning, the relationship was all I had been looking for in a healthy relationship. He wanted to know when he would see me next, at about two months he was ready to move in together (I was not ready yet) and we hadn’t even started having sex yet. He did things with me that I was interested in including going out and buying dance shoes so he could go salsa dancing with me . . . I really thought he was going out on a limb. He paid attention to my needs including getting me a long winter coat which he picked up on in just a casual conversation. Telling me this is one of the most healthy relationships he’s ever been in, he’d never felt this way about any other woman. Although all he ever talked about was himself, his stories were fascinating and he seemed so excited about life and the career he was building for himself.

After about five months, his interest in seeing me became smaller and smaller and when I asked him about he said he works with bitchy women all day and doesn’t have the energy to make time for me. He offered one night a week and I told him I needed to take some time to think it over . . . after five days we got together to discuss and he said that was not what he said at all but he also informed me that he was not interested in travel, salsa, going to the ballet and my response was . . . well then it seems you misrepresented yourself for the last 6 months. He responds: I’ve been thinking about that and you’re right, I have. Saying things like “it’s a good thing the sex is good or we might not like each other. What??? Why I didn’t leave then, I am kicking myself for today. So he sucked me in at the beginning and then, slowly started making comments of not being good enough or equal to, what I was saying wasn’t important and for his final act, I caught him videotaping us having sex on his camera phone without first asking me, in my own home and when I confronted him he would not admit that he had done it but simply said . . . I’m weird, messed up. I don’t know what part of any of our relationship was the truth and what was a lie. My integrity, my privacy, my security, my choice as to what I get to do with my body, my center has been violated.

And, yet, there is still some part of me that thinks maybe he will see the error of his ways and we could work it out. We’ve been split up for a month and no contact for two weeks. All I can think is that I am grateful that this was only a seven month relationship and not a two year relationship. I do my best not to take it personal but it is painful and I often find myself being so pissed off at myself for not acknowledging the red flags that were there in the very beginning. I mean I can’t sacrifice my integrity and morals for him and yet, there is still a part of me that longs for him to contact me. I don’t often ask for help but I need help letting go. I hope by sharing my story and reading from others, I can get back to myself.

To fall in love with an impostor is challenging because what we feel for their fake self is real, and to feel something real is hard to let go. Especially when is a feeling of happiness. Plus the fact that we do believe that people can’t be that bad, or at least that those that are that evil appear to be a little like that from simple inspection.

Once we have bond ourselves to someone it is hard to let them go if we don’t fully understand what happened. And this is something this people rarely show you because they live from their public image, so they will not disclosure themselves completely. Lying is one of their basics in their communication. Therefore we have to accept that when they sum up enough points to be considered not worth it, we should let them go. We are not going to know much more of those impostors unless we want to dedicate our life to become private investigators of their deeds. Your relationship was short, so you don’t need to do that, no properties in common, no children, etc. so simply learn that there are emotional impostors out their, who will play the perfect man/woman to fulfill some ulterior motive and when they had enough or they find another target they move on. No regret, no consideration, just pure selfishness to the extreme. But you know one thing, the role he played was good, but you are much better without him. And next time, you will see the red flags earlier. Though it is never difficult to screw trusting people, but we all have to accept that it is still better to be in the fair side.

To get back to yourself, enjoy the little things of life (there are a lot!) and look for people with healthy personalities. The contrast of meeting a new person who has a healthy personality did wonders to me. Good luck!

Cominghome…
Hi there.
I feel your pain.
My advice after dealing with this for far too long..
THEY COME BACK.
Have a plan for this. He will try to come back in your life when you least expect it.
Stay no contact. Please. If you see him again it will be a million times worse than now. Trust me.
He will NOT change. The abuse, and yes it is abuse will only get worse because every time you take him back he is secretly planning his next move to make you feel bad about yourself and make you feel that all of his lies, and videotaping you in your own home..it will only get worse because he got away with that.
I can go on and on, I do feel your pain. I struggle with this especially on the weekends when he took up every second of my time and attention.
We did everything together including showering together.
So, that’s my advice, have a plan of how you are going to so NO. I don’t want to see you.
Find a therapist in your area who specializes in this even if its to come up with the plan of how you will say no to seeing him again.
XOXO
Strong er….

Here is the scary part, it doesn’t matter if the relationship was for months or years, your abuser believes they will always “own” you, that they will always have control over you, till death do you part! Their arrogance precedes them and believe all that they considered close to them during their lifetime can still be manipulated despite time.
That is why it is so important to cut of all communications with them. Everything and all must go through an attorney. They know to handle vicious, evil people. We are so vulnerable after years or even decades of manipulation and control , we could fall right into their trap again.
Any cobtact with my ex would undo 2 years of hard work to recovery and healing. I now know that all those years I fed him his ego kibbles 24/7 while he was screwing the co worker during their shifts. Yuck .

I saw him yesterday, all full of smiles , telling me he was my friend…… I did grey rock but you knew what? After getting back in a decent sleep routine an feeling better, I woke up through the night and feel down and sad again!

I didn’t want to hate him. I just want to not care!!
I think I could achieve NC if I didn’t live so close to him! Wish I had never known him!!
Roll on Monday!

I think that is normal to feel something. It is normal to feel something for any ex with whom there was a painful breakup, even if he is not a sociopath. You should not feel bad to feel something, but feel happy to have clear your boundaries with him.

elsa
Sorry the rubbish spewed his slime at you. He tried to charm you and your body knew that was his manipulation M.O.

Since you are a very nice person, I understand that it’s hard for you when he’s all smiles, you know it’s because he’s using you to spin his image.
No wonder you had a bad night.

Someone gave me a solution when I ran into the same, my ex pretending to be SO caring when in fact, he tried to murder me.
Have a phrase ready. Something to break his spell. Something really silly. Ex: “Oh stop you silly silly boy, this turnip’s all out of blood for you!”

You don’t need to say it to him, say it outloud to yourself as you walk away from him.

By changing your brain from responding with sadness to silliness, you change the chemistry and it’s afteraffects (nightmares) The sillier the better.

Just came across this bible verse:
“I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our GOD.”
Psalm 40v1-3

I like that image – “out of the slimy pit” – I will have to keep it in mind whenever I find a bit of slime still clinging to me.

aintgonnatakeitnomore

This verse literally kept me from suicide more than one nite.
The whole bk of Psalms kept me sane, most of the time just barely sane, but nevertheless, sane 🙂

aintgonnatakeitnomore

Since my 2nd appt over the past 2 mos, my counselor has asked me, what do I want to get out of these appts? I tell her idk. If I knew, I would have done it already! I know cognitively that the narc will not change and I will suffer to be with him for any length of time. Thus cognitive therapy had seemed silly. But it’s a free option so I thot I’d try it out of sheer desperation.
She seems stumped as to what to do with me…I’m quite self-aware and cognizant already of all the truths, the facts. And, yet she doesn’t understand what I want “fixed”. She seems to think that knowing=being. I know my childhood wasn’t great, yet after doing some exercises I realize it was a rly nice childhood. So even with its horrors, ALOT of it was wonderful. Wth do I want fixed? Can she fix the losses in my life? No. Can she make me see my mistakes in life? Already know them.
Can she give me any hope for the future?
Thus far, no.
FRUSTRATING.

Aintgonna, FIRE her and find a new counselor who is extremely knowledgeable with narcissistic abuse. Most counselors are clueless with this type of abuse and will only frustrate you vs guiding you to a good place. contact your local abuse center or several centers to find out if they have an outside counselor recommendation.

If you have a racing mind, anxiety, depression, sleep issues, mood swings etc look into adrenal fatigue as the root issue….see sites like adrenalfatigue. org take the quiz/read/see symptoms list, Drlam. com see symptoms list/read and Mialundin. com see adrenal fatigue on her site, read her book/see her you tube video. PSTD = adrenal fatigue = most victims of abuse.

Just wanted to add that Steven Hassan author of Freedom of mind is a cult & abusive relationship expert states that most counselors will attempt to deal with “childhood issues” when in fact the victim mind needs to be awoken from being brain washed & mind controlled from her abuser. Working on “childhood” issues is NOT the problem the problem was you were married/dating a sociopath who is exactly like a cult leader and you were a cult follower. This is why it is important to find a qualified counselor who understands sociopathic/narcissistic abuse.

Steven Hassan’s site is Freedom of mind resource center. He has been on 60 minutes, CNN, Fox news, The JOhn Walsh show, Larry King live etc. He himself was inducted into a cult when he was in college. He has a video on his site explain the mind control aspect on his site. I am guessing that you need your mind opened up from the brain washing like all of us & to balance your adrenal glands/body.

Ain’tGonnaTakeItNoMore
Am echoing Jan7 about the therapist. A lesson I learned about counseling: You should walk out of the FIRST appointment feeling empowered and validated. If this doesn’t happened for you, something is wrong with THEM. Sticking with a bad counselor is like sticking with a sociopath, NOTHING you do will turn the counselor into a good therapist, besides, it’s NOT YOUR JOB to teach the therapist.

Remember. A lot of those therapists got into their field to fix themselves. Someone who is distant and calloused and blaming is not the right fit for us. You need someone who can actually HELP a trauma victim find themselves again.

FIRE that counselor and find someone who is extremely knowledgable with manipulative narcissistic abuse.

A different perspective about adrenal fatigue:
If you think the adrenal fatigue thing might be an issue for you, don’t rely on online help/tests. Seek a real doctor to assess you for stress. Stress affects people differently. What works for some may be totally wrong for ourselves. There are LOTS and LOTS of scams on this adrenal fatigue issue. I listened to bad advice, I got scammed and their “healing” made me very very sick, it set my health back enormously, and I was already sick! I paid a lot of money for someone to make me way worse healthwise. Scams abound when we are vulnerable. Healthcare needs to be face to face with a healthcare provider.

things you need to know about adrenal fatigue is it can take 6 months to 2 years to heal and that you need a good clean diet such as Dr Fuhrman’s Eat to Live (i personally went to him), no alchohol, junk food etc, adrenal fatigue vitamins such as Dr Wilson’s Adrenal stress formula (which is B complex) & adrenal rebuilder (my doctor gave me these vitamins several times per day), possible hormonal replacement most likely progesterone, plenty of rest & relaxation & sleep. Within days of these vitamins & hormonal my anxiety was half within a month I felt like closer to my old self prior to the sociopath.

The only reason why I posted the above sites is for the fact they have great websites to explain what adrenal fatigue is & how to heal.

I do recommend that you find a Adrenal gland doctor or a hormonal specialist who will test you for cortisol levels, vitamin & mineral deficiency and hormonal imbalance. Adrenal Fatigue.org has a list of doctors & in the back of Mialundin’s book she has a list of the National hormonal specialist sites to find a good doctor. Or you can ask your friends for a recommendation or/and google “compounding pharmacy” with your city name then call them for a list of doctors.

The stress that the sociopath put you under was all intentional to cause your adrenal fatigue to go haywire (they might not understood the medical condition that they caused but they continued to stress you out because they know that it will cause a person to have a stress breakdown).

The biggest issue with PTSD is adrenal fatigue which needs to be healed to fully heal from the abuse. Not all doctors are clued into adrenal fatigue so it is extremely important to find a very knowledgable doctor just like find a good therapist.

aintgonnatakeitnomore

i think my adrenals were roasted by my babydaddy spath. its been a long long time…since 2003. but the eggshell phase had ended yrs before i cud get him to leave. with the narc it wud take about ten min, i am so not kidding, n i wud be tense n wanting to get away. n cut his testicles off. just enragement on my part. at least after the initial 3wks wen the demanding started n i cud think outside the great sex n intense attention i was getting. i mean geesh, the spath wud not notice wen i colored my hair. i was invisible to him most of the time. it made my daughter so angry with him. theyd start screaming at each other. it was just a great time all around. i seriously blame him in no small part for her death.
a man i know who i am somewat close to, friendwise, tells me to get another relationship going. that would distract me at the least while i figure out wth to do with myself. i do agree. but walmart was out last time i shopped. good men are on backorder 😉
my aunt tells me that wud be using someone. but isnt that wat a rebound is for?? idk. im just frustrated that i care still at all about the narc.

aintgonnatakeitnomore

and somwhere to heal adrenals/ptsd would be utterly utterly a dream come true. where i live now is as stressful as a womens shelter. as bad almost as living with the narc was. i long for peace. just long for it.

Jan7
I am glad your health has been remedied and that it worked for you. But please recognize that you are giving medical advice to vulnerable people and stating it in such a way that implies fact rather than opinion or possibility.

The diet you refer to is one of those examples… Dr Furman has an agenda, a POLITICAL agenda, which he prioritizes that agenda over medical or health facts. Yet science has evolved and found that we humans NEED certain fats in our diet, such as Omega3. Dr Furman is anti meat, anti fish, and cuts all Olive Oil from the diet. It works for SOME people, but for others, it’s the opposite diet for their health needs. He also implies things that are simply untrue, kind of like lying when he doesn’t reveal the truth, but he lets the implication remain.

Also, PTSD is a complex issue and most times NOT tied to the adrenals at all.

“Adrenal Fatigue” is a MUCH bigger health issue than indicated, and people need to be aware that it is controversial, and research HOW/WHAT makes it controversial.

I repeat: I am GLAD that you found relief from terrible health issues. I take NOTHING away from your recovery. That is wonderful but one size does not fit all.

My cautions and advice to people to not make assumptions, to do massive research on all issues, to remember that recovery is as INDIVIDUAL as each person is, and to not bypass a medical care provider remains and stands as MY OPINION, an ALTERNATE opinion. (based on my experience as a person who suffered cardiac arrhythmias that could have ended my life because I blinded accepted that my PTSD cure was fixing my “adrenal fatigue”.)

Again, STRESS is a very complex issue. It affects people and their physiology differently. Our recovery is as individual as each of us are.

NotWhatHeSaidofMe, LOL…NO Dr Fuhrman does not have a “political agenda”…seriously where in the world did you get that idea?

I personally went to Dr Fuhrman because my internal medicine doctor was in the same town as Dr Fuhrman and referred me to him & they both worked at the same hospital. Dr Fuhrman is a former National Figure skating champion who then went on to medical school much like many former athletes do.

Dr Fuhrman works with professional athlete all over the world to keep them fit & health and yes even these pro athlete eat a vegan based with small amount of meat. If you read some of his books he includes diets with meat but if you are very sick he states the patent out on a vegan based diet to wean them off of what ever Rx drug they are on ie blood pressure med or diabetes med etc. also it detox the body while flooding the body with much needed vitamins/minerals which most victims of a sociopath are lacking because of the stress they are under.

Dr Fuhrman is a very passionate doctor about getting a patient’s body functioning again without medicine….which is how they did it back in the 60’s and prior. Trust me when I say that Dr Fuhrman although extremely successful is not into the money side of his practice he really wants to help people heal their bodies. I would often see him around at the local gym he is a doctor that practices what he preaches unlike most doctors. His methods work wonders I personally can attest to this. Guess what a vegan diet will not kill you just look at what horses & cows eat everyday = a vegan based diet.

I am NOT giving medical advise the only thing I am advising is for people to look into Adrenal Fatigue as the root issue for their anxiety, depression, mood swings, sleep issues, panic attack…the rest is up to them. I recommend that they see a hormonal specialist or a adrenal gland expert to get test for cortisol levels, vitamin & mineral deficiency & hormonal imbalance which are ALL issues with PTSD.

The only thing that Dr Wilson adrenal expert & Dr Lam advocate for adrenal fatigue recommend for adrenal fatigue is vitamins which most victims are deficient because of stress and they also advocate a good clean diet, plenty of rest & relaxation & sleep…what in the world is wrong with that? What is wrong with that??

Most general doctors advocate this too. Mia Lundin of Mialunding. com also discuss the hormonal imbalance side of things caused by adrenal fatigue. But there is nothing these doctors sale except vitamins the same vitamins you can buy in the supermarket. So it is clear you have not read their sites or info on adrenal fatigue because no Rx drug heals the adrenal glands from adrenal fatigue only vitamins, possible hormonal balancing, sleep, rest & relaxation. That’s it!!

The adrenal glands regulate the body’s blood pressure, blood sugar, cortisol & adrenaline levels and over 50 hormones including progesterone, testosterone, estrogen. The adrenal glands are a HUGE DEAL but are often over looked by most doctors because they lack the training. With continual stress such as a toxic relationship the adrenal glands end up fatigued people refer to “I am burned out” while they are correct their adrenal glands are burnt out (aka Fatigued).

Adrenal fatigue was discovered over 100 years ago and doctors back then did not have all the Rx drugs to mask the issue NO they did what doctors had been doing for 1000’s of years including Hippocrates the “father of medicine” did = change your diet to a more vegan based diet. Guess what Hippocrates lived well into his 90’s eating a more vegan based diet when most people died in their 40’s from eating meat during that time vs by eating a more vegan based diet.

Stress in NOT ’very complex” once you understand how the adrenal glands function and you remove your stress. I think it is not wise for you to belittle a post without being throughly educated on the matter. YES we were all vulnerable when we left our abuser…and like others I realized that it was not all “in my head” it was also a physical body issue that was causing my anxiety levels to soar. I am posting what is written by countless doctors around the world that if you have had toxic stress in your life you have PTSD which means you have adrenal fatigue.

Even on the site Narcissisticfree. com has info on this very subject (adrenal fatigue) for victim. I would ask you to please educate yourself & go to your doctor and get tested before you belittle a informative post about how to further heal from sociopathic abuse because you are doing a disservice to others who truly need to heal their mind & body to fully heal.

The victims here are very well educate and they can read the sites I have listed and google “adrenal fatigue”, Dr Fuhrman, Dr Amen and determine what is best for them. But I will continue to post the information because they need to fully understand what is happening to them physically gain it is not all in their minds like a counselor will lead them to believe. ANd not all doctors are educated on adrenal fatigue and because of that they will be pushed into taking medicine that is only a band aid for their issue not truly healing their body.

For those who want info on adrenal fatigue this is from DrLam. com other sites Adrenalfatigue. org and Mialundin. com or just google adrenal fatigue:

“Introduction to Adrenal Fatigue

Fatigue and lethargy are some of the most common complaints amongst adult patients. If you have symptoms such as tiredness, fearfulness, allergies, frequent influenza, arthritis, anxiety, depression, reduced memory, difficulties in concentrating, insomnia, worn-out, and the inability to lose weight after extensive effort you may be suffering from Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome.

Adrenal Fatigue has a broad spectrum of non-specific, yet often debilitating symptoms. The onset of this condition is often slow and insidious. Patients are told that they are stressed and need to learn to relax more. Yes, we all know that “stress kills” to a large extent. But, the question is how?

The real truth is that stress and Adrenal Fatigue are not a mysterious entity at all. Our body has a built-in mechanism to deal with it. Being able to handle stress is a key to survival, and the control center in our bodies is the adrenal glands.

Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome is one of the most prevalent conditions, afflicting almost every adult in one way or another. Despite effective diagnostic tools and treatment programs, most conventional physicians were simply not informed of Adrenal Fatigue and not prepared to take Adrenal Fatigue as a serious threat to health.

This condition was seldom considered as a dysfunction sickness Instead, Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome was considered a condition whereby the cause is thought to be associated with stress, and no remedy was available other than to tell the person to “relax” and take anti-depressants. Over time, the condition worsens as the natural progression of this pathology takes its course if not reversed. Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome is not a medical condition recognized by mainstream institutions, and for good reasons. Invariably, the adrenal glands are structurally normal. Low cortisol, the most common associated finding, may be caused by factors outside the adrenal glands.

Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome should not be confused with another medical condition called Addison’s disease where the adrenal glands are not functioning according to conventional endocrinologists’ standards. While Addison’s disease is often caused by an auto-immune dysfunction, Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome is largely caused by stress or by a host of other factors, including dysregulation of the HPA Axis, nervous system problems, immune system problems, and metabolic-nutritional problems. It is a complex condition with complex clinical presentation, depending on the stage of dysfunction. Those in neuroscience may prefer to label this condition Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) Axis Dysregulation because of its strong association with dysfunction of the HPA axis. Forward looking endocrinologist may be more comfortable with calling this condition Non-Adrenal Illness Affecting Adrenal Function because of the associated low cortisol output which does not meet the diagnostic criteria for Adrenal Insufficiency.

Conventional medicine only recognizes Addison’s disease as hypoadrenia. As such, do not be surprised if your doctor is unfamiliar with this condition. To put it simply, Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome is the non-Addison’s form of adrenal dysfunction sub-clinically. Because many causes may be involved, Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome is technically a more accurate nomenclature than Adrenal Fatigue. The addition of “syndrome” implies no definitive cause. It would be up to the physician to determine the list of symptoms and signs appropriate to the syndrome.

We will be using the terms Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome and Adrenal Fatigue interchangeably because Adrenal Fatigue is the most commonly used terminology recognized and used by the public.

Signs and Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue:

Tendency to gain weight and unable to lose it, especially around the waist.
High frequency of getting the flu and other respiratory diseases and these symptoms tend to last longer than usual.
Tendency to tremble when under pressure.
Reduced sex drive.
Lightheaded when rising from a horizontal position.
Unable to remember things.
Lack of energy in the mornings and in the afternoon between 3 to 5 pm.
Feel better suddenly for a brief period after a meal.
Often feel tired from 9 – 10 pm, but resist going to bed.
Need coffee or stimulants to get going in the morning.
Cravings for salty, fatty, and high protein food such as meat and cheese.
Increased symptoms of PMS for women; periods are heavy and then stop, or are almost stopped on the 4th day, only to start flow again on the 5th or 6th day.
Pain in the upper back or neck with no apparent reason.
Feels better when stress is relieved, such as on a vacation.
Difficulties in getting up in the morning.
Lightheaded.
Other signs and symptoms include:

Mild depression
Food and or inhalant allergies
Lethargy and lack of energy
Increased effort to perform daily tasks
Decreased ability to handle stress
Dry and thin skin
Hypoglycemia
Low body temperature
Nervousness
Palpitation
Unexplained hair loss
Alternating constipation and diarrhea
Dyspepsia
If you have many of these signs and symptoms, and you have ruled out other organic pathologies, it is time to consider Adrenal Fatigue as a possible cause. None of the signs or symptoms by themselves can definitively pinpoint Adrenal Fatigue. When taken as a group, these signs and symptoms do form a specific Adrenal Fatigue syndrome or picture of a person under stress. These signs and symptoms are often the end result of acute, severe, chronic, or excessive stress and the inability of the body to reduce such stress. Stress, once a “basket” term used by physicians to explain non-specific symptoms, undetectable by conventional blood tests, is not a mystery to the body at all.

The ability to handle stress, physical or emotional, is a cornerstone to human survival. Our body has a complete set of stress modulation systems in place, and the control center is the adrenal glands. When these glands become dysfunctional, our body’s ability to handle stress is reduced.

Adrenal Gland Basics

The adrenal glands are two small glands, each about the size of a large grape. They are situated on top of the kidneys. Their purpose is to help the body cope with stress and help it to survive. Each adrenal gland has two compartments. The inner or medulla compartment, modulates the sympathetic nervous system through secretion and regulation of two hormones, called epinephrine and norepinephrine, which are responsible for the fight or flight response. The outer adrenal cortex comprises 80 percent of the adrenal gland and is responsible for producing over 50 different types of hormones in three major classes – glucocorticoids, mineralcorticoids and androgens.

The most important glucocorticoid is cortisol. When this is lowered, the body will be unable to deal with stress. This happens in Adrenal Fatigue.

Mineralcorticoids, such as aldosterone, modulate the delicate balance of minerals in the cell, especially sodium and potassium. It therefore regulates our blood pressure and the fluid in the body. Stress increases the release of aldosterone, causing sodium retention (leading to water retention and high blood pressure) and the loss of potassium…..”

To read more just go to DrLam. com

I have no affiliation to any of the sites!

Notwhathesaidofme, I just wanted to post this info for you. I normally do not like to post other site on Lovefraud for the simple reason I do not like to take away from Donna & Terry’s hard work. But I think in this case it is very important to make sure that everyone clearly understands that adrenal fatigue is a very big issue with victims of sociopathic abuse and the adrenal glands need to heal to fully recover from the abuse & the PTSD: This info below is from Narcissisticfree. com (to read the full article please see that site):

“When I went to see a Psychologist after a long three year relationship with a narcissistic personality I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Not knowing much about the disorder at the time I was confused because I always associated Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was what war veterans had. I didn’t realize that it is very common amongst victims of abuse.

The thing that was most confusing for me was that it didn’t seem like I was in an abusive relationship. It was crazy making, at times, and very painful, a lot of the time, but he never physically abused me nor was there any obvious verbally abuse.

Narcissistic abuse is so very subtle that we don’t often recognize it as abuse and we don’t recognize what is happening to our emotions and our bodies. Stress can be looked upon like a form of pressure, like when you put weight upon a rope and it begins to fray, one fiber at a time until it finally breaks. We are like that rope. We don’t notice when we are being dismantled one fiber at a time. If someone were to come right out and smack us in the face, then there would be many fibers broken, perhaps the whole rope so we recognize what has just happened.

With Post Traumatic Stress, we really feel the stress when the relationship crumbles. It is often when there is a break up or an affair or something major that brings us in touch with reality.

War Veterans have to stay alert during battle and are operating on a constant state of adrenalin. When they are finally home and don’t have to operate from adrenalin anymore then they have the opportunity to recall just what they went through. It is like the after shock.

It is the same with Narcissistic abuse. We can exist in a constant state of stress and really not be aware of how we are being affected by it until the stressor is removed. Then we feel those fibers all coming unraveled at once. Suddenly we feel what we never allowed ourselves to feel before, out of our need to survive on the battle field. Like soldiers on the battlefield some of us have been existing on adrenaline and now our adrenal glands are fried.

I didn’t fully understand the consequences of an over taxed adrenal system until recently, when I went to a chiropractor for reoccurring pain in my head, neck and back. He did a series of tests and found out that my adrenal glands weren’t working properly and I had a type of adrenal fatigue.

The adrenal glands are what help us to deal with stress in our lives. If our adrenals are burned out, we have no physical method of coping with stress. Although the major stressors in my life were removed a long time ago, I had never dealt with the fact that my adrenal glands were fried over the course of several abusive relationships and I was no longer able to copy effectively with stress. Now when I was dealing with every day stress I would have body issues like headaches and other physical symptoms, including physical exhaustion. The exhaustion was worsened by the fact that I repeatedly woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t get back to sleep.

The Chiropractor put me on a nutritional supplement for the adrenals and is working with getting my body aligned and functioning properly. Although I’ve always been pretty health conscious I am not focusing on a diet that is good for restoring adrenal function.

Restoring adrenal function can take six months to two years or more so it is a process rather than something that happens over night.

If you are in recovery for narcissistic abuse you need to focus on restoring your physical health as well as your emotional health, as it all ties in together. Put together a plan for diet, exercise, sleep, supplements, meditation and whatever else is necessary to get you to the point where you are feeling the best you can….”

Jan7
Please read “I am glad it worked for you” !!!…

But it is not a one size fits all. It can be quite dangerous. You are clearly a strong advocate. I just want people to consider that recovery is as individual as we all are. As vulnerable people, we need to check things out, not just the sources by an advocate, but to know that Others have had experiences where the same treatments had the opposite outcomes.

Please allow the dignity of a different perspective if for only a suggestion that people seek knowledge for their own situation and not “TRUST” that one size fits all.

Notwhathesaidofme,

Your post makes absolute no sense…what is “dangerous” about healing your adrenal glands from adrenal fatigue?

I really think you are miss informed about the subject. Changing a diet is what most doctors will tell you if you are sick…including if you have heart disease.

So PLEASE explain what is “dangerous”

thank you!

This is an excellent article on the correlation of a Toxic Relationship, stress & adrenal fatigue. This is from Drlam. com he is a adrenal gland expert. the old saying stress will kill you…well it’s actually if your adrenal glands are burnt out it will kill you. Adrenal fatigue is very dangerous if it is not corrected. It is very important for someone coming out of a toxic relationship to heal their adrenal glands to fully recover from a toxic relationship.

Adrenal Fatigue and Toxic Relationships

By: Michael Lam, MD, MPH
and Dorine Lam, RD, MS, MPH
http://www.DrLam.com
The leading cause of Adrenal Fatigue is chronic stress. Stressors can be physical, financial, or emotional. Those who are over-exerting themselves physically, such as serious athletes have a higher propensity of developing Adrenal Fatigue. Physical stress can usually be reversed once the body is allowed to rest and nurtured back to health. Other stressors like overwork, poor diet, and overexertion, usually act as underlying triggers of adrenal crashes. Financial distress in and of itself is seldom the root cause.

The most common stressor of Adrenal Fatigue is emotional and mental stress and distress. Some unresolved toxic relationships, which gradually wear our bodies down over time, usually cause such stress.

It is truly amazing how much your emotional health can influence your physical health. Adrenal Fatigue, along with dysautonomia, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome(POTS), and a host of emerging conditions, represents a new class of conditions in modern medicine linking the mind and the body. Adrenal Fatigue can be considered a mind-body disorder. A strong mind-body connection is a powerful healing force you can harness for better health. However, on the flip-side, as in Adrenal Fatigue, the mind-body connection can be a devastating negative force capable ruining your body.

Numerous studies support the belief that people with an upbeat and positive perspective tend to be healthier and enjoy longer lives than those who are generally gloomy and cynical about the future. Epigeneticism is now emerging as a primary influence factor. This centers on the notion that environmental factors such as diet and stress influence the expression of your genes. It is the expression of your genes–not the genes themselves–that dictates whether you develop certain diseases. For example, if you have constitutionally weak adrenal glands at birth, stress may cause this weakness to be expressed, leading to Adrenal Fatigue. The absence of stress, on the other hand, can delay the expression of this weakness for an indefinite period. As you age, your genes do not change, but your epigenome changes dramatically. It is influenced by physical and emotional stresses–how you respond to everything that happens in your environment, from climate change to marriage to final exams to childhood abuse–that will ultimately affect your epigenome. A toxic relationship can influence the expression of your genes, and directly impact your tendency to avoid or develop many unpleasant conditions, from heart palpitations, and Adrenal Fatigue to depression.

Studies have shown:

Heart surgery patients with strong spiritual and social support have a mortality rate 1/7th of those who do not.

Meditation for just 30 minutes a day can be as effective as the use of antidepressants.

Elderly people with positive attitudes have an over twenty percent reduction in risk of death from cardiovascular disease and over fifty percent lower risk from all other causes.

Clearly, the ability to have a positive mental attitude greatly affects your physical health. This is true in the case of Adrenal Fatigue. In fact, if emotional stressors are present but not resolved, they can act as a deterrent to Adrena Fatigue recovery.

Being able to manifest positive emotions and happiness is perhaps one of the greatest characteristics you have as a human being. For some this can be a very liberating thought. You do not have to feel bad because you’re getting older or fatigued all the time, or because your life isn’t going exactly as you had planned. You actually do not have to feel bad for any reason at all, once you make your mind up to be happy.

Adrenal Fatigue may actually be one of the best things that happen to you if put in the right perspective. For many, it is a wake up call. Often, some area of life is out of balance or alignment. Addressing Adrenal Fatigue is often the starting point for a deeper exploration of self and of life at a deeper level. Most people live superficially. Correcting Adrenal Fatigue often causes a person to begin to live at a much deeper level and to understand the body and mind from a more spiritual perspective as well. It forces you to focus on what is really important in life-such as peace, love, forgiveness, contentment.

Adrenal Fatigue or any serious condition is not to be handled as quickly as possible with a quick fix. If you act this way, you may miss the greatest blessing of your life. Use this condition constructively as a way of really listening and getting to know your body; to let go of toxic and harmful relationships, and cultivate subtle changes in attitude and mental tendencies. Try to move away from a superficial life that focuses on victim and negative thinking into one that, no matter how painful, is far more peaceful and serene. Bear in mind that having a positive attitude is not about being happy all the time. Accepting that there will be times when you feel down is all part of being happy.

While in reality we already have the full potential to be happy and are in full control of our capacity for happiness, most of us find it extremely difficult. In fact, statistics have shown that the majority of society is unhappy with one thing or another-job, finance, or relationship. Out of all these, relationship remains the most difficult to overcome.

In Adrenal Fatigue, the healing of the mind has to occur before healing of the physical body, because the mind controls the body. Emotional baggage has to be discarded if present, as it is toxic to the healing process. Toxic relationships therefore must be minimized for the mind and body to heal.

Toxic Relationships

All important, long-term relationships go through problems at some point in time. Whether it is family, marriage, or friendships, there will always be some type of conflict, disagreement and disappointment. A hallmark of emotional maturity is to bond with the significant other during difficult times and grow through the experience. However, some relationships are just plain toxic. No matter how they try to work through troubles, the conflicts and friction are so serious as to continually hurt one or more of the people in the relationship. This type of relationship singles out at least one person in an emotional desert.

Toxic relationships do not necessarily mean that the people concerned are bad. It is more about the people not fitting well with one another. Goodness or badness might not have anything to do with it. One person’s style just clashes with the other person, creating a toxic relationship. There was good chemistry at one point, but with time, the people have grown and changed, thus altering the relationship. This is all part of human nature, and there is no one to blame. However, it can still be toxic all the same.

There are also toxic people who are a risk for emotional health. They usually have short tempers, mood swings, inconsistencies, denial and impulsive behavior. They might admit that behavior is wrong, but never try to correct their ways. They contradict the other as they say something, but do something else. Behavior might be quite abusive with only shallow feelings for their partners, shown through threats of leaving or holding back their love. A toxic person does not care about his/her partner and can even accuse him/her of self-centeredness. These people manipulate their companions and situations to keep their partner dependent on them even though they look down on them with shame, insult, and sarcasm.

Being in a toxic relationship can make you chronically tired, angry, and frightened. You worry about when is a safe time to talk to your partner or if you have the right to express yourself. Any abusive relationship can be considered toxic. Many people stay in relationships because they do not understand that they have rights and options. Their low self-esteem can come from depression, fear of loneliness, or harmful threats from an abusive partner. They might not see that life can be better without the toxic relationship.

Danger Signs

Your partner separates you from your family, friends, and children.
Your partner keeps watch over you.
Your partner verbally abuses you either in private or in public.
You lose your self-identity as you depend more on you partner, not knowing how to survive without him/her.
Your partner dominates you, not leaving any space for your preferences.
You are afraid of telling the truth for fear of upsetting your partner.
Your self-esteem is always at a low level as your partner makes you feel worthless and unattractive.
Your partner blames you for ruining the relationship and tries to make you change to make things work.
Your thoughts, words, opinions, and accomplishments have no value.
Your partner is overly possessive and overpowering.
Feelings that Define the Characteristics of a Toxic Relationship

Unsupported
Dis-satisfied
Fearful
Exasperated
Depleted
Drained
Unaccepted
Unrewarded
Judged
Guilt
Tired
Angry
Untrusting
Unequal
Stifled
Shame
Stressed
Recognizing a Toxic Relationship Cycle

Though most of us want to find love and intimacy, we also find ourselves fearful of being hurt, worrying about commitment, and dreading abandonment—also known as anxiety. Our relationship comfort zone is flanked by behavior patterns that are neither too close to trigger fusion anxiety, nor too distant to trigger separation anxiety. These boundaries have been formed in our childhood and seldom change without conscious awareness. They also create patterns that can lead to a toxic relationship cycle.

In a toxic relationship cycle, power struggles arise many times without finding solutions. Intimacy turns to conflicts, which lead to anxiety. These anxieties then lead to arguments, hurt feelings, and withdrawal. Though withdrawals might bring temporary relief, they ultimately become feelings of isolation and loneliness, thus setting off anxieties about abandonment. This separation anxiety leads to new proposals and renewed intimacy as the couple goes through a honeymoon period. However, this closeness will soon trigger fusion anxiety and trouble starts all over again, repeating the cycle. Each time the cycle occurs, the adrenals take a beating. With each stress, the adrenal glands demand for cortisol is increased. With time, this output eventually declines, and symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue surfaces.

Couples who do not understand the cycles they are going through might eventually forget the positive elements in their relationship. Many of the problems in relationships are the product of varying comfort zone settings. When one person hits one side of the comfort zone boundary and is already experiencing fusion anxiety, the other person might just be following his/her desirable depth of intimacy. As the first person reverses direction and comes back into the comfort zone, the partner might feel abandoned; their mutual anxiety explodes and accusations are thrown at each other. For many of us, not understanding about the role of anxiety in relationships condemns us to be hurt constantly. However, if we try to face our anxiety, we can change the comfort zone relationship into a healthy, relationship characterized by a mutually reinforcing growth process. Not only will our selfhood grow, but also the sense of couple-hood will deepen.

In order to change a static comfort zone relationship into an actively growing relationship, we must train ourselves to stop in the middle of a conflict and engage in self-awareness. Ask questions like, “How did this fight start?” and “What am I anxious about?” or “How am I feeling threatened?” Using these questions might allow us to figure out a path to self-knowledge and deeper peace in our relationships. Intimate relationships awaken our deepest anxieties, and therefore can help us to grow personally and emotionally when used intelligently.

Getting Out of a Toxic Relationship

Being around a toxic person for a long time might greatly decrease your sense of self-worth and capability. It is very important to stop the harm that people cause you. If your life is distressing, you are the only one who can change it. Here are some tips on how to live a better life by nullifying the negative influence of toxic relationships:

Take Responsibility. Understand that some part of you is contributing to the behaviors. Ask yourself why you are willing to allow the behaviors to continue. What can you learn from this?

Set Boundaries. Let your partner know that they cannot go around you. Describe what you are looking for and what your expectations are for the future.

Forgive. People are not usually toxic at birth. The environment and circumstances over time mold us in to who we are. Learn to see the good in a person beneath the toxicity on the surface. Learn to forgive and return love, which is our primary purpose on earth. Use love to heal one another.

List the positive characteristics of the person. This will help you alter your focus. If you continually focus on negative aspects, the person will be negative whenever they are around you.

Get a new perspective from a neutral party, who has no bias against your relationship—for example a counselor, coach, neighbor, or co-worker. The key is not to vent to the person or create someone to pity you. The point is for the other person to help you focus on the situation, the part you have played, and what you are willing to do to move forward.

End the Relationship. If nothing changes after you have tried all of the above, walk away from your relationship with your head held high.

Jan7
What is dangerous is for a vulnerable person to come to a website for help, and to be swamped with long overwhelming posts about their health written in an authoritative commanding tone.

What is dangerous is to take one word out of context from a post and attach a different meaning to it, one that was never meant, implied, or said.

I asked you to please allow me the dignity of a different perspective. It took a LONG time for me to assert such a perspective because you are very adamant that yours is the ONLY solution. You make it very intimidating to try to tell others that they should check whether their symptoms might have a different diagnosis. They could avoid the medical emergency that I endured.

I know there is a different perspective because I had a very very bad health scare because I actually did as you wrote and went through a medical nightmare. I know you did not intend such but it happened.

I know you believe strongly in what worked for you. I am glad it worked for you. But people should know that the same was very very bad for another, and to be careful about taking someone’s word for their health care, especially in this place where we don’t know each other, we’ve never met.

People need to know it’s a theory, an opinion, and not be so trusting of what they read online. It’s dangerous (another explanation when I wrote dangerous) to assume that advice here fits ALL. It does not.

Recovery is as individual as each person here. Including MEDICAL recovery.

Swamping me with huge long posts with the very info that put me into a medical emergency and ridiculing me for wanting to caution people that there can be a different diagnosis for the same symptoms doesn’t change that fact.

NotWhatHeSaidofMe, I can assure you one thing that if you went to a proper doctor like I suggest to everyone then you would not have had a “medical emergency” clearly you attempted something on your on. But honestly you have change your tune one to many times on this subject in different post that I actually do not believe your new statement now on the subject of saying you got sick. Your post are very similar of my ex h’s manipulative changing mind games.

You state in one post that Dr Fuhrman has a “political agenda” honestly where in the world did you come up with that now you are stating a new manipulative direction that you got sick.

I am not going to play your games any longer. I am done with this conversation with you. I have posted lots of links and books on the subject from professionals for all that are interesting in getting help for their PTSD. PERIOD!

Btw Adrenal fatigue was discover over 100 years ago it is not new to the medical world.

Jan7
You are right. It was not a proper doctor. I sought help from someone listed as a care provider on AdrenalFatigue.org.

It was a proper doctor that educated me that I had been misdiagnosed and how it happened.

And yes, I learned about Dr Fuhrman as well. But since you are so adamant, I chose to avoid tangential arguments and stay on my message because it’s VERY important for people to be careful about trusting online health diagnosis.

It’s hard for me to stand up for myself but people can be seriously injured so I will set this in print just so vulnerable people might think to ask those extra questions. I was stupid and turned my healthcare over to someone who harmed me. I was just so messed up and thought I’d found a solution. Instead I was made MUCH worse, I paid a lot of money for someone to make me even more sick.

One size does not fit all. Recovery is as individual as we all are, including health recovery.

Notwhathesaidofme, I can assure you that had you really gone to a doctor listed on Adrenalfatigue. org you would have gotten excellent care. The doctor would have done all the proper test that I have mentioned in past post (more testing then a regular doctor) and they would have only give you vitamins, possible hormones but only after being tested, they would have told you to eat a very clean diet no drugs, no alcohol, no junk food and would have told you to get plenty of rest, relaxation and sleep.

How do I know this? because I went to a doctor on his list without even knowing it. On top of it all you would have had to gone back to that doctor every 3 months to get tested again (4 times a year). They are that professional.

I dont know what game you are playing…but I am done with this conversation with you on this topic. It is very clear that you are playing some kind of game because in one post you stated that “Dr Fuhrman had a political agenda” and now you are saying that you went to a doctor listed on adrenal fatigue org and end up in the hospital. Funny because the doctors listed on adrenalfatigue. org only give out vitamins and prescriptions hormones the same type of hormones in birth control pills…so again not buying you got that sick from these professional doctors.

Not buying your story any more. Seems to be too many holes and some type of game you like to play.

Like I stated this conversation is done.

Jan7
I don’t know why you are so angry.
I’ve seen you give a different perspective as a response to other people’s advice.
It seems you are driven to invalidate me.

Again I say, I’m glad it worked for you.
BUT…I had a different experience.

That’s my message to FL readers:
To Beware.
We come here vulnerable and desperate for solutions. I certainly was.
Which makes us even more vulnerable.
Ask the questions rather than assume anything.
Because One Size fits all medical care does NOT.

Recovery is as individual as we are, including health recovery.

“You should walk out of the FIRST appointment feeling empowered and validated. ”

Yes. In good therapy, each and every session you walk out feeling like it was money well spent to give you a bit more healing and peace of mind, even if for some reason you never talked with that person again about your situation.

It’s that simple.

Each session may not answer everything in your life all at once. But it WILL give you something that makes it worthwhile. You won’t have to guess or be frustrated.

You may not want to go because of what it will uncover — but it will still feel like you’ve learned and regained a piece of yourself.

If you want to hesitate on leaving — then ask this person straight up — what they see is possible, what their plan is to get there, and to start that process. If the answer is that YOU aren’t providing them with what they need — it’s time to walk out.

Put another way – every time I talk with my sister and she’s cranky, she says “you don’t want to talk with me, I’m in a bad mood, and nothing in particular is wrong.” Within mins, she’s told me what’s wrong and she feels better. A good listen, with room for your issues, who’s caring (I care about my sister)… and it’s easy for what you need, to pop out.

aintgonnatakeitnomore

U know I laughed when I first saw that comment that I should feel empowered and validated. What I did the first appt was cry all the way to work (20 min drive). Not sobbing but crying. I cry alot. It makes me friggin CRY *still*. So tired of crying about an asswipe. Or the loss of the relationship. The inability to change it. So tired of hurting over that. The futility of my life.
75% of the appts I would cry afterward, talking to myself further about something we were discussing. I do that alot — have convos in my head with ppl. I did the entire time I would walk daily — when married to the spath…I was pregnant and he was with someone else. I had been discarded. I would talk to the OW, to the spath. Whole convos. Probably kept me outta trouble lol I wasnt conversing with the OW altho she kept trying to talk to me. Screw that. She finally threatened to kill my baby when it was born—left a vmail on my cell (STUPID GIRL). Told the spath so he’d tell her to shut up and he told a cop. Cop wanted me to press charges also. I was like uh, no. She’s a whole psych-unit by herself. She’s completely inept. Both things just like the spath lol
Anyway, I wasnt rly sad leaving the appts. Just nothing ever ever got resolved and I needed to talk waaaay more than 45-60 min at a time, once i got started. One more appt left and then im done as only so many on the plan.
Therapist doesnt seem to have anymore advice for me other than no contact seems good, dont think about it/him. Now lets get your life all great. Um, with 2 lil kids and no support? Not. She rly doesnt see why im concerned I wont stay away. I even told her I had had contact with him again whilst going to appts. She had nothing to say about that.
Shes just ignorant, nice person but gloriously ignorant—like i wish i still was.
SIGH

Sorry Ain’t
It’s the pits. We go looking for help. And it’s really hard to find sometimes.

I’d been through several therapists. I had gotten to the point of thinking yep, even therapists can’t help me, I am so far beyond help. Then my friend says you need to see my therapist. She’s the only one who ever helped me. And I thought, I’ll just try one time. Let me tell you, Ain’t, one time was ALL I needed to know that this therapist was a jewel. When I moved away, she allowed me to continue with phone appointments since she knew all my history. I only need her every now and then, kinda like a reality check about my daughter, which is my biggest heartache. Only ONE appointment and I left her office with REAL solutions, I didn’t feel so stupid. I had been mindfarked by a PACK of sociopaths, not just my now ex husband.

The local mental health care referral office can not say which therapist is the best when they give a referral. So I kept getting referrals that had space for a client…which is why I kept getting BAD therapists. One who couldn’t remember my name. Another who was a man hater, and told me I was to blame for getting married. Etc.

Going to my friend’s therapist was a lifesaver. My “gem” said that she only takes patients who want to improve. A lot of patients are looking to blame or to escape responsibility. My thought was… If I am to blame and am responsible, then surely I can do something about it. My therapist said that’s where I was wrong. I ASSUMED that his blame was true, but it wasn’t. And that’s why nothing I did was improving the problem.

I hope you try for another therapist. These days, they will let you “interview” them to see if there is a fit. My therapist helped victims of narcissists. So maybe you could ask a therapist if they do that and how they do it?

Clearly If a therapist doesn’t see your perspective (empathy), that’s not a fit, esp for victims of sociopaths. You mentioned some childhood traumas and I know I suffered the same. I had to face the trauma of having a pedo for a father. I thought I left that behind when I left home. But it pops up in our lives anyway. Just one example…

Please don’t wish for ignorance. I understand your sentiment but it’s not true.

I am glad I’m not ignorant anymore, it means I am not so vulnerable. And I take better self care, instead of feeling bad or selfish if I dare to say I am as worthy as the next person. I used to just try to be wall paper, not just a wall flower, but so flat that people didn’t see me. Well, I am better than that. I care about others, and just that small thing makes me worth more than any sociopath. Same with you. So please, seek help to reclaim yourself. Seek it until you find a gem like I did. I lost myself. But my gem had me learn to find ME, and find the things about me that make me worthy. I will NEVER let someone take that away from me ever again.

aintgonnatakeitnomore

What I want is to stay away from the NPD/BPD forever and ever.
And ever and ever.
Why is that such an unreasonable request?

Aintgonna, Follow the No contact rule this is how you stay away from a npd/bpd. Do a search on LF “no contact rule” & on the net “no contact rule narcisisst”.

Come here to love fraud when you feel like you want to contact him…vent by writing a post you can always deleted it after you write it…of you can vent in a journal. It really does help to clear your mind & your emotional state at the time. Also when you are emotional read, read, read lovefraud, psychopathfree. com, psychopathyawareness. wordpress all of these sites will help you open your mind up from your abusers brain washing and mind control.

Aint, Your counselor is first and foremost your advocate. She cannot “fix” you but can hold your hand and walk with you as you learn to grow and flourish. If you need a reality check and you trust her judgement then she can certainly provide that!!! Each one of us creates the hope for our own future based on our own systems and circumstances. We all get by with a little help from our friends. What I learnt through wading in the aftermath is that it is a solitary endeavor. Therapists and other professionals can support and cheer but no one can do it but ourselves.
Thing is, we are resourceful competent and empathetic. That’s what made us good targets….we need to use those traits to our own advantage. That I feel has been one of my lessons. Once you value self and start to nurture yourself you will notice quickly that there really IS nothing compatible between you. They loose their attractiveness. Then we can skip away. Its long and tedious….xxxx

I disagree…a victim of a sociopath is not like any other person walking into counseling needing help. Aint has only had two counselor appt. and the counselor should be extremely knowledgable with narcissistic abuse and know exactly what her/his client needs to move forward vs asking the client what they “want to get out of counseling”. LF has posted much on this subject the lack of qualified counselor who know how to help a victim of sociopathic abuse. Remember a victim coming out of a abusive relationship has been so mind controlled they can not think for themselves and need help again to open their mind up.

The biggest issue with a victim of narcissistic/sociopathic abuse is coming out of all of the brain washing & mind control. Not every counselor knows how to ask the right questions to open up a victims mind.

Steven Hassan of freedom of mind & book author of the same name himself was inducted into a cult while in college, he escaped and went back to college where he gained a masters in counseling. He is correct that a person’s childhood issues are not the issue when coming out of a sociopath abusive relationship. If you are in the USA you might want to contact Steven Hassan or even Donna Anderson of Lovefraud (she has a life coaching program) for help to open up your mind from all of the brain washing your abuser inflicted on you.

aintgonnatakeitnomore

ive been going since midJan. way more than 2 appts. she does not focus on childhood but in her attempts to fix me lol she tried that angle. she appears to think im well adjusted…not to worry tho she thinks im strongly opinionated too rofl
she tries to get me to focus on doing things that are impossible for me at this point. but its her training. women in crisis need A B & C. be self supporting with a degree, get childcare as much as possible, etc.
i will make her happy in a decade wen i do those things.
i have only one more appt with her tho. my EAP wont pay for more. she wants me to see a holistic endo she knows personally too but understands i cant. i am well aware my adrenals are fried n have been wkg on them for a yr now. just added st johns wort n 5http recently to bedtime cocktail of supplements.
i dont feel btainwashed anymore, but then again it was very much a conscious decision the whole process to be with him on n off. the counselor was pretty surprised wen i wud explain it to her.
this is why i know i wud do it again. twice now its happened. its pathetic.

So true. They will try to come back into your life , regain control over you, abuse you a little more and the discard you again. Usually they do this when their new minion supply runs out or did not work out as planned. That is why it is so important to remain in no contact. If they send you presents or letters, do not send them back. Just keep it and don’t acknowledge them. I am now almost 2 years in no contact.
Under the radar
I understand how out stories are so similar with being married to cops. Like yours mine had sex with at least 2 or 3 female police officers during their nightshifts. Also a nurse who worked there. And who knows, probably many others. One time he said to me “do you think it’s s big orgie at work , because it’s not “. Yeah right. He thought I believed this crap. I saw on TV all the time, where officers in the same dept got in trouble for having sex eith subordinates. But of course they protected them. It was sickening. I am so glad I have nothing to do with that sheriffs dept. no connection whatsoever. Who knows what my ex would have come up with ? I know he wanted me dead of in jail. He was working so hard every day to accomplish his plan. But God was with me, God was in control. God protected me from that evil cop and took him out of my life.

Wow, I am knew on here and reading stories, not sure how to begin my own story but I was just reading yours kaya48. I too am married to a cop and the getting out of it has just begun. He leaves me alone for maybe a day but then goes back to begging and telling me I will never find anyone that will love me as much as he does. He told me stories about everyone there that was cheating but never him, lol. Until the day the girl he was talking to got sick of him saying he was gonna leave me for her and never did so she sent me all of their emails and text messages. But he she made most of them up lol he didn’t do anything, she says they went out and had sex but he won’t admit that. Gosh, all the crazy things that I see now are unbelievable.

Hi Soconfused, glad you found your way to Lovefraud. I would highly recommend that you go to the very top of this wonderful site and read everything plus watch the videos especially when you feel sad, mad, or feel like you want to contact him. Donna’s book are excellent they are located under the “book store tab” and she also has a phone consultation service which I have hear is good as well.

Also if you go to the search section at the top of the site do a search on:

gas lighting abuse

no contact rule

(plus do a net search on these two things “no contact rule narcsiisst” and “gas lighting abuse”

If you can get a restraining order with the help of your local abuse center this will help you in divorce court as well as dealing with child custody issue. Document everything!!! Also the site Onemomsbattle. com is excellent for court issues especially divorce & child custody issues. They have a facebook site which is great to ask questions. If you are going to chat with them on facebook I would suggest that you open a fake email account and then a fake facebook page so that you can talk freely without your ex or his family/friends seeing what you are chatting about.

Thank you.

Soconfused, your Welcome. Is there anything specific you need help with? or just want to vent a little or a lot? it’s very confusing (like your name states) when you first leave & every over whelming too because you are not only opening your mind to all the brain fog your ex put you under but you are also realizing that the man you were married to was living a double life (sometimes triple secret life).

I am truly sorry that you have endured so much that it lead you to lovefraud but I am also grateful that you will learn the truth about your husband by coming here.

I caught my ex h in a two year affair with someone he worked with. I thought something was going on but never had the proof….I was advised to check his phone bill where I was shocked to see that literally every phone call that came in and went out was to his mistress.

He begged me to stay once I had the proof and was not going to listen to any of his lies anymore he said it was her that was “chasing him” she was out “trolling” for a new man (lol) he sucked me back into to his evil world by getting friends to convince me he would change & that he was sorry. I stayed another 7 years and guess what when I finally escaped I found proof that he was having affairs with 3 women in two different states I am sure their were many many more. My counselor who told me that my ex was a sociopath advised me that he most likely had 3 to 4 dozen affairs as this is what they do.

I just want you to know that it hurts so much when you first leave but I can tell you with time & the no contact rule you will get to a place you can not even imagine him in your life any more ever. It takes time to heal all the wounds so keep coming here to vent & ask advise. Also check itno your local abuse center free counseling and free women group meetings as they help too. Plus ask them for an outside counselor who is extremely knowledgable with narcissistic abuse as not all counselors are educate fully on the subject. Plus think about talking to Donna Anderson site creator of Lovefraud.

Have your friends & family come to LF too to educate themselves on the abuse you have endured and why they too need to go no contact with your ex.

You are out of the tornado now…and still in shock at the devastation your ex has left behind…but their is light at the end of your tune….please know you are not alone anymore we are all here for you!!

Take care.

I guess there isn’t anything specific, I just wanted to read and hear other stories. I am posting my story so that it can be read and maybe someone can say if it truly sounds like he is a sociopath. Some of the things I read sound like it and some don’t, I hate to think of someone in such a negative way and that not be accurate. I know I do have plenty of reason to be negative but I would still like to be accurate and some sort of confirmation I guess.

Thank you so much for all of your responses. I am not living with him anymore, just going through all of the begging and constant text messages and emails and statements like, “your gonna be the one to loose, you better think twice before you do this” And “God knows that I am a great guy and sees that I am trying so you will get punished and I will prosper”. And still, he always knows where I am at, kind of creepy.

I know things will get better and I appreciate LF for letting everyone share stories because I was feeling very alone, not many friends these days so this helps alot.

Soconfused, I think the most important thing is to realize that he does not treat you well & that you are coming to the realization that something is not right with him and his behavior. it’s more important to focus on you deserving to be treated with respect, kindness & love VS figuring out if he is a sociopath or not.

His text/email messages that you just posted are abusive…he is using blame shifting and also using guilt manipulation to get you to come back to him. A normal person would say I screwed up big time & I need to go to individual counseling to get help in treating people with respect. He is not doing these things which leans towards narcissist & maybe sociopathic traits.

The fact that he “always knows where I am at” is a big RED flag. Have your car checked by a professional to see if he has attacked any tracking devises and also see if your phone has a tracking devise. Look into getting a home security system if you are in the US Lowes & home depot hardware stores have home security systems for about $100 that take batteries and are easy to install yourself or look into a security system company where you pay a monthly fee.

Start using the No Contact Rule by blocking him from your email/text this will help you to clear your mind and to really see all of this behavior patterns. Be aware that by you blocking him he is going to become very upset so please contact your local abuse center for help now so that you can remain safe.

Some other sites for you to read that will help you to see your husbands patterns: Psychopath free (they have a facebook pages too) & psychopathyawareness. wordpress. Keep reading everything and see how it fits to your relationship.

I am really glad you found LF and that you are able to open up so that you dont feel so alone. I think that is one of the hardest parts in dealing with a abuser is the fact that they isolate their victims from the outside world to control them. Keep reaching out for help with the national domestic abuse hotline and your local abuse center.

Take care.

Soconfused, I just posted to articles for you to read they are listed on the main page of Lf left side just look for your member name “soconfused”

Thank you so much, I will deff. look into these things. And yes, that is why I didn’t block because if I don’t respond he starts saying crazy things.

Since he started saying “crazy things” (RED FLAG)… PLEASE contact your local abuse center for support before you start the no contact rule…remember the most dangerous time of a victim is when she leaves her abuser or is about to leave.

Protect your family too by telling them what is going on and that they should call the police if he shows up on their door step.

Soconfused…this might help you to see if your ex is gas lighting you. Gas lighting abuse is a very stealth psychological abuse that pushes a victim over their emotional edge and it leaves the victim very confused. Lovefraud has info on this just do a search on gas lighting abuse in the search box and also do it on the net.

How do you know if you are being gaslighted? If any of the following warning signs ring true, you may be dancing the Gaslight Tango. Take care of yourself by taking another look at your relationship, talking to a trusted friend; and, begin to think about changing the dynamic of your relationship . Here are the signs:
1. You are constantly second-guessing yourself
2. You ask yourself, “Am I too sensitive?” a dozen times a day.
3. You often feel confused and even crazy at work.
4. You’re always apologizing to your mother, father, boyfriend,, boss.
5. You can’t understand why, with so many apparently good things in your life, you aren’t happier.
6. You frequently make excuses for your partner’s behavior to friends and family.
7. You find yourself withholding information from friends and family so you don’t have to explain or make excuses.
8. You know something is terribly wrong, but you can never quite express what it is, even to yourself.
9. You start lying to avoid the put downs and reality twists.
10. You have trouble making simple decisions.
11. You have the sense that you used to be a very different person ”“ more confident, more fun-loving, more relaxed.
12. You feel hopeless and joyless.
13. You feel as though you can’t do anything right.
14. You wonder if you are a “good enough” girlfriend/ wife/employee/ friend; daughter.
15. You find yourself withholding information from friends and family so you don’t have to explain or make excuses.

I’d give a different reason why it’s hard.

A sociopathic relationship takes your soul. It twists it up, puts pieces out of reach.

In a normal breakup, you take all of you, walk out, and have some feelings about the loss of the person.

On leaving a sociopath, your very core has been confused, insulted, harmed. You’re trying to leave with anger that wasn’t allowed to exist during. You look to go back in because you feel incomplete. You know part of you is still there, angry, hurt, sad. It’s a totally different grieving and loss than a regular breakup. You have to reclaim all those damaged parts of yourself, as part of the grieving process.

It’s easier to get together with the sociopath and feel desire them. It’s part of the setup they’ve created. With them whenever you went to leave, and to get to your anger, and to get to your SELF WORTH, they did things to disrupt that. That included some form or another of a threat that if you left you’d be all alone in the world, and left with your damaged self (that was never actually a damaged self in the first place.) Instead while in the relationship, the fix is / was to be loved again by them. That wasn’t your idea. It was the only way they allowed for. You never got to have a real argument in which you genuinely got to your anger and fury at whatever they were as a sociopath. You got close, but they’d disrupt it in some sophisticated manipulative way (that is hard to figure out — so it’s NORMAL not to know exactly all of the “hows.”)

So it’s hard to leave, because it’s about finding a new path — back to yourself — and a new path through the mess they created. And it means finding it, in spite of some subtly planted manipulation to make you feel terrified to leave, and (a fake) calm if you stay.

The love feeling that they worked to trigger and create was merely there — oozing to cover up how rotten they were and were going to be treating you.

It’s a little different than the usual view. So for what it’s worth… hope it adds to the discussion.

I was compelled after reading this to respond to this part as well, and reading your comment, i think you added some of the many intangibles that do make it such a soul-crushing experience.

I’d like to add what was my initial thought as i read this; “So why, if you’ve been rejected by a sociopath, does it hurt so much?” it occured to me.. There is one very big difference in these breakups that IS tangible and i’d say obvious but i’d never thought of it until now, never seen it mentioned in this context..

Whenever we form these special bonds with another person, sociopath or not, one year or 20, the pain is often described as losing a huge piece of ourself. Anyone who’s experienced a breakup with a sociopath knows the pain is somehow worse, deeper, etc. I think all the reasons given make sense, but look at one trait of the sociopath: they don’t feel guilt, love, empathy etc. Think about that for a moment. .

Break ups leave us feeling as if a large part of us is gone. We feel empty, and sad. We think of the person on the other end, too. We might think them to be cold and heartless or any number of things when feelings are fresh. But, in a normal relationship, time heals and more objective, rational thought prevails what were just that rush of emotions overwhelming us. We know better, we know they hurt just as badly, that they had trouble getting on just as we did.

But what happens when the “rational thinking” is literally the same? When there is no possible resolution within yourself other than all that you gave, all of your feelings, the dreams you shared with this person – it was never real. We might heal and move on, see our resolve in the form of “i learned from it” or “i still have some good memories” – but we never do get all of what we gave back. Our time, our passion, love, hope, *trust.* see, in a “normal” relationship, no matter how bad the fallout, and even if we never are in contact again, we eventually get ourselves back because we realize the *relation* was real. We shared a connection. The end sucked but the good parts – they were real, we *both felt.*

Realizing the other person was not *sharing experiences with you* essentially robs you of memories. It doesnt just put a stain on them, what you thought and felt, and want to still feel, was a dream, and even that was just a puppet on strings.

We find connections thru our ability to *relate* to others. It’s part of the foundation of trust. There is NO relating to the drive/motivation, actions, thoughts or beliefs of a sociopath. All they take from you stays gone, tho, they may not have taken all you thought.

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