Cupcake invitationIs it really possible? Can we accept a sociopath for what he is and live with him? In some cases, like work and family relations, we may have no choice. The sociopath could be our boss, or the sociopath could be our brother or even our son. We are left with little choice but to accept him until we can find a new job or gather enough resources to move far, far away.

However, accepting a sociopath as your intimate partner or spouse is absolutely out of the question unless you are willing to lose your immediate family…

Within a very short period of time after beginning a relationship with a sociopath, you will discover that your sister isn’t calling you as often as she once did. Your mom comes up with excuses not to visit you, and your dad simply can’t be bothered to pick up the phone when you call. It’s not because they stopped loving you. They simply hate the sociopath and what he has done to you. The more family you have that loves you, the less family you’ll have once the sociopath gets his way.

Family can see through the facade and mask of a sociopath much easier than we can as his intimate partner. Why? Because the sociopath isn’t interested in pleasing your family. He’s interested in pissing them off so they WILL desert you. He wants all of your attention for his narcissistic supply.

For example: The boy in my story spent Thanksgiving with my family one year, and it was a disaster! In addition to bringing his lap dog (the Marquis de Púbol), he brought a very needy attitude. In a house filled with aunts, cousins, siblings, and everyone else’s dogs, the boy expected me to sit next to him and entertain him personally the entire day. Anyone who knows big families knows giving one person your undivided attention at gatherings is impossible. My nieces and nephews were there and loved to play and run around and enjoyed when I joined them. So I did, not thinking I was doing anything wrong. After all, my family is very friendly and very welcoming. It’s not as if he had no one to talk to.

At one point, I ran after my niece through the kitchen where the boy was talking with my mother and step sister. As I passed the boy, he grabbed my waist to stop me. I thought it was normal and gave him a hug and tried to continue passing through only to discover his grip had tightened to the point that his fingers were jabbing into my sides. It hurt and I said it hurt. He let go and looked at me as if I were being cruel and insensitive to even suggest he was hurting me by wanting me close to him.

I walked off in the direction of one of the bedrooms and the boy followed. We entered one of the rooms and closed the door. We were alone. I explained to him that this was my family and that he shouldn’t expect me to ignore my family. He said I didn’t love him enough and that he needed me to be next to him. I explained how impossible and childish that sounded. Immediately, my refusal to give him my undivided attention was met with hateful accusations that I was uncaring, insensitive, and disloyal. I kept shaking my head and told him he could leave if he couldn’t handle how I spent my time with my family. We left the room.

I tried relaxing after this conversation but kept feeling guilty for making the boy feel so unwanted. I had never experienced anyone getting so hurt by me being me with my family. Yes! I felt guilty for making a grown man in the company of MANY great people feel uncomfortable and unloved. A few days later, my mother called and voiced her concerns. She said that the boy is far too needy and possessive and that she did not appreciate how he tried to control me on Thanksgiving. In my naiveté, I assured my mother that it was the boy’s lack of experience with large families that made him so insecure and that he should do better at our next holiday get together. My mom felt otherwise.

The following November, my mom called a week before Thanksgiving and asked us not to bring the Marquis de Púbol (his lap dog) because the dog she just adopted from the shelter was in heat and she knew Púbol was not neutered. She didn’t want a pregnant dog. I couldn’t blame her. Upon giving the news to the boy, he seemed relieved and asked me what our new plans for Thanksgiving would be. I chuckled and said, “I’m taking my son to my mother’s for Thanksgiving. You can put your dog in the really nice doggie daycare in Alexandria and come too.”

Wow! You would have thought I suggested leaving the dog with a bunch of untrained professionals who would feed him people food and make the dog sleep on his own feces or something. The boy went nuts! He couldn’t believe I was still going. He couldn’t believe I would ever suggest a doggie daycare. He couldn’t believe I was choosing my family over him.* Thanks to this explosive reaction, I gladly went to my mother’s without him and even turned off my ringer, so I didn’t get interrupted by his  phone calls and incessant texts that were questions like: “Do you love me?” and “Do you miss me?” For pity sake! Really? He had a choice but he chose to be a narcissistic sociopath. No. I don’t love you. And no. I don’t miss you. And either does my family.

*The more I write and think back on my experience, the more I realize how defiant I was with the boy’s demands.  I was often given ultimatums like “Choose me or X. You can’t have me if you choose X.” I always chose X.  I flat-out refused him many, many times. But refusing him and choosing me (because X was always something about me) didn’t mean I understood why he was making such demands. I often questioned if X was really that important or if X was really hurting the boy. I could never understand why the boy always perceived X as such a powerful enemy that needed eliminated. Trying to understand the “why” is what caused me so much grief and confusion. After much reflection, I realize now that there is no answer to the “why” behind the boy’s actions and refusals to accept X. The boy is just shitty. There is no explanation. He is what he is. And X was just a part of me he couldn’t possess, and it pissed him off. Coming to terms with this has allowed me to finally stop feeling so damn guilty. 

Category:
abuse, Cluster B disorders, domestic violence, Emotional Abuse, Family, Forgiveness, Friends, Health, Journaling, Lessons, Love, Mental Health, Narcissist, Peace, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Psychopaths, PTSD, Relationships, Self Improvement, Sociopaths, Spirituality, Writing
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Join the conversation! 33 Comments

  1. […] sociopath will single-handedly make all of your friends and family members disappear. In record time. It’s like magic, really. One day you’re getting calls from your mom, […]

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  2. OMG!!! I’m married to “the boy” now! Sounds like it anyway. I threw him out a couple of months ago.

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    • Hehe!! Good for you for kicking your boy out. There are too many of these fools out there trying to destroy the idea of simple living. 🙂

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  3. Just a curious question. The boy had a dog as a pet? But aren’t sociopaths against animals or kids? I mean they perceive them as weak and hence cannot stand them. I know because my ex-husband was a sociopath.

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    • Great question!! He had a dog that he “loved.” He loved the dog because it was the one thing in his life that he had 100% control over. The dog made him feel like a king. He used the dog for his narcissistic supply. He also used the dog as a tool to control others.

      For example, my son was not allowed to have certain toys. Why? Because his dog could choke and die on that kind of toy!!! It was all BS. I brought those toys into the boy’s home knowing it was BS. He didn’t want the toys because it was how he could control me and my son. Period.

      You should have heard the boy whenever the dog ran off or entered a neighbor’s yard. He was less concerned about the safety of his dog than he was about the dog not listening to him or not being satisfied with the boy’s backyard.

      As for other people’s dogs…the boy could give shit! Other people’s dogs were garbage and not permitted to be near his animal. He would NEVER dream of putting him in a kennel or pet daycare. He’d get influenced! He would never dream of allowing him to share a bowl with another dog if we visited others with dogs. That’s beneath him!

      So, you see, he treated the animal as if it were an extension of himself. The dog was just a thing, really. Another tool to use. But it represented how he wanted to be able to control others. 🙂

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  4. I spent MANY holidays without my husband either at his family home or mine. Often because of his dogs but more often because we had an argument. I learned as soon as he seemed to be looking for a way out of going to my family’s house, just suggest he stay home. I had to deal with the calls and the texts, but then we got to a point where he would not call or text (he was likely drunk, high, or maybe cheating?) It was only a matter of time before my brothers-in-law would have beat him to a bloody pulp anyway. Much less stressful without him around no matter what he was doing. So glad he is gone!

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  5. Hi, Paula, Thank you for this post! I don’t know if my husband falls under the category of sociopath, but he is definitely passive aggressive, emotionally abusive and the relationship is so, so toxic! My family is not comfortable around him; they don’t know how to take him. My whole family comes to my house for Thanksgiving and we have a great time together. But my husband always complains that I don’t pay enough attention to him while they are here. A house full of about 20 people and I don’t pay him, a grown man (in theory, any way) enough attention! Last year, he wanted me to make place cards to make sure that he got to sit beside me. At our Thanksgiving, people just sit where ever they want. They’re adults. They don’t need a place card to tell them that they are allowed to sit by their spouse if they want to! I could tell you other stories, too. It gets so ridiculous! And while I am really, really looking forward to seeing my family again this year, I am NOT looking forward to the tension he creates when they are here.

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    • Place cards!?! That’s hilarious and VERY, VERY telling of his insecurities and delusions. It’s not our job as their intimate partner or spouse to stroke their egos 24/7. Just because they hate themselves and NEED us to maintain their delusions doesn’t mean we should do it. There is no where I have read that love is about helping a person hide from themselves. Without us, they must face reality. I think that’s why the boy can’t be alone for long. There is always SOMEONE (i.e., a new girlfriend, an old girlfriend, a guy friend who feels sorry for him, etc.). His brain is not capable of introspection. He will NEVER see that all of his crappy relationships were his own undoing. He’ll continue telling people we were all CRAZY! Hehe!

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    • You know, I really have helped him hide from himself! All these years, whenever something has been wrong, I have been the one to step in and fill in the gap and fix it and he really has not had to face reality!!! What a lousy “relationship”!

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  6. How happy are you now that you didn’t let him keep you away from Thanksgiving over a dog? Every one of these little victories are what keeps us alive. You were a member of your family that day, and he tried to ruin it, but you didn’t let him. I’d like to think it’s a piece of these moments that we store up and use for energy to escape. We can remind ourselves we didn’t always bow to them.

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    • That dog was his favorite tool to use to control EVERYONE! I felt sorry for the dog but couldn’t stand the damn thing, at the same time. I am VERY glad I didn’t cave into his neediness. His true colors would come out every time I denied him. It was the same mind-numbing rage followed by the same annoying tears and anguish. So tiresome.

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    • It is tiresome. So very very tiresome.

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    • EVERY time I denied him. Every time…ugly true colors…so so very tiresome. I feel like I’m going to rest now for a very long time. It does make me laugh too, thinking otherwise. 🙂

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  7. Wow! We’re you and I married to the same person?? How familiar, how validating! its like im reading my own experience here. Yes, and when I finally started seeing the absolute absurdity of that guilt, I started getting free. (My father was a sociopath, a very intelligent violent one. Thankfully, my mom got out when we were

    very young. It still effected my entire relationship life!). This last one was the end all. As gertmcqueen said, there’s hope for all of us! Thank you Paula, and all who read here.

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    • How horrible that your father was one. I love comments like yours because I get validated, too! Thankfully, I was never married to the boy, the sociopath. But I will admit to wasting far too much precious time hoping and wishing he’d snap out of his delusions and change and be normal. Hehe! That makes me laugh. 🙂

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    • Thank you Paula. I’ve been out for 3 months now. Slow healing. The most amazing and synchronistic thing is that the very last day I was in that house with the monster, I found out that my father died that day…July 26, 2012 . I moved to freedom on July 27. I really believe that generations of sociopathic abuse were healed by this process I went through, and am going through now in getting my life back, better than its ever been. Instead of escaping, only to be hunted down (yes, that happened..) I walked out through the front door, able to say No More. With grace, with strength, and with a power over my own life. We are blessed in our connection to the truth through each other! Thank you.

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    • You are a wonder woman, Linda! I was still trying to figure out what hit me after 3 months. After leaving him, It took me many back-and-forths with him over a 12-month period to realize and be convinced that he was mentally disturbed. In the beginning stages after I had escaped, I feared I was the one with a mental disorder. I spoke to many doctors. None were convinced I suffered anything more than depression. I was really lost in my mind until I finally embraced the fact that his behavior could only be explained if I honestly believed he was a sociopath. Who wants to go there? I had to. And since I did, I have been able to heal and grow and share my story. I’m the type of person who needs to be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt in order to believe something is true. This was the first time I took a leap of faith (I had no diagnosis of him from a doctor or other healthcare professional) and have never second-guessed that leap since. All I get is validation and support. I wish I had believed in this evil before. It would have saved me many, many months of grief. 🙂

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    • Oh Paula! Much too long of a story to tell here but the fact is, I stayed there with him for a whole year having finally realized that he is an out and out sociopath. I started researching all the facets, the first article I saw on the Internet about it said in big bold pink letters “You Are Not Crazy!.” When I could find time alone somehow, I started calling friends whom I had ignored because of him. I started getting some support secretly. I started “starving” him little by little. While doing so , I began to feed myself with secret nourishment for my soul. I even bought a pair of shoes and hid them from him like a bluejay does, keeping my treasures both material and
      psychic/emotional/spiritual to myself to give me power and strength. I knew I had to release the guilt and shame, sever the connection and let him whither with nothing more to prey on. It was so grueling but in doing so I know now I will NEVER go back into abuse again. This is so incredibly healing to write about this and share with you, as I know you KNOW! I too am still reeling. Every day I feel so so much thanks for being free in any small way. Yes, it really really was that horrible and that bizzare. Not our imagination. Everything you write about is so very familiar and so very true, these people are monsters. I’m going to buy your book tonight…the title is perfect! Bless you for connecting with all of us.

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    • Weren’t you brave. All I knew before I left was that our relationship was toxic. I didn’t know if it was me or him, but I knew it was toxic. I would say that knowing I am not crazy has been the most empowering of realizations for me. The people who lash out and can’t think of any other defense for themselves and call the other person crazy are actually the crazy ones. The boy liked doing that. He liked to point a finger at me and call me crazy or tell me I was borderline or bi-polar. And hell, I nearly fell into that sick trap of believing it. I think I DID believe it for a while. But no more! Good people don’t project their sickness onto others. He is sick, he’s not good, and I don’t have to listen to his shitty mouth anymore. Hehe! Someone else can be burdened with it if they choose. Not me. I love that you bought and did things for yourself to empower yourself prior to walking away. VERY intuitive and powerful decision on your part. I hope you enjoy my story (as much as anyone can “enjoy” such a story). I tried to make it as short and direct as possible. No diving into too many details and specifics. Just the gist. Thank you, Linda, for supporting me. 🙂

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  8. well you set yourself up again you know i love you for it paula. you said trick question? The trick is that we, sorry people, are tricked into living with these things, sorry unhumans. On a serious note, You have to accept and live with it or you suffer the consequences!!!! – your loyal and loving friend kristin

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  9. Yes, their demands for constant “love’ and “attention” is exhausting for us and an insatiable need for them that can never be met. Very familiar story that you told Paula.

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  10. oh man i can relate to so much of this with the father…ugh so glad we are both out!!

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  11. for sure I did…shortly after that I met my David…it’s been 15 plus years of a warm loving violence free life! There’s hope for everyone, but, as all these stories show, we have to learn to see the warning signs and get out early…

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  12. This reminds me of a episode, thankfully it was short lived ‘dating relationship’, in between real relationships. Known the guy couple of weeks, seemed too moody, angry sort of and that rang the bells in my head, but I didn’t pay too close attention. So, we were invited to a dinner with my friends, I’m driving my car. We need gas, so I pull into a station, he goes in to ‘pre-paid’. As I walked to the pump I noticed a sign on pump that it was closed, so I get back into the car and go to another pump. The guy runs out of the store, waving his arms, yelling at me, what are you doing, I just paid for the other pump! I said that pump is closed so I moved the car and ignored him as he goes back into the store. Back in the car, he was silent!! 60 miles of silence! I know enough to be quiet when there is a ticking bomb in a moving vehicle. When I pull into my driveway I told him…get out and don’t come back! He said he had to use the bathroom. So I let him in…big mistake. He started right in yelling and screaming calling me names and telling me what’s wrong with me. I said, as I closed and locked the bathroom door, if you are not gone in 2 minutes I will make so much noise that the neighbor downstair will call the cops. He left. Was so shaked! I couldn’t believe that a guy age 50 would act that way…I had been out of the dating game a long time!

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    • Holy cow!! Sounds like how the boy will be at 50. Dodged a bullet with that one, Gert. 🙂

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    • i know a 40 year old man child who does exactly the same thing. They are so draining and I’m so glad you got rid of him. Move forward. Life is good

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    • thanks, I recall during that time period, about a year’s worth, when I was out there, alone again, and to see how juvenile so many were, and to be fair, the women too. all I wanted was to ‘resocialize’ myself in the broader world and all I got was stupid kindergarden games and BS…and yes I have been very very lucky and life is very good!

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    • Man-child is a great way to describe them. And it’s funny now, but it certainly wasn’t funny when it was happening. I’m glad life is good for now.

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