Not only does the sociopath groom and prep his primary victim in the early idolization phase of the toxic relationship, the sociopath also grooms and preps the victim’s closest family member or best friend as secondary supply.

The sociopath does this to build an illusion of trust between himself and a person who came into the life of his current victim many years before the sociopath.

If the sociopath can establish this false trust with a victim’s best friend or closest family member, then the sociopath is able to successfully triangulate and gain support when his primary victim begins to question the sociopath’s motive.

The secondary supply is only privy to all of the so-called love and respect the sociopath has for the primary victim. The secondary supply, whenever alone with the sociopath, repeatedly is fed lines by the sociopath such as:

“I love her so much. She and I are perfect for each other. She came into my life just when I needed her the most and she needed me. You see that, right? How beautiful is that!?!”

The secondary supply is so happy for her friend, the primary supply, and even repeats the sociopath’s shallow declarations to others in their inner circle. The secondary supply is enveloped in the same fog as the primary victim, but the secondary supply never experiences the reality of the sociopath’s dark side the way the primary supply eventually and insidiously does.

So when the primary supply starts confiding her misgivings and doubts about the sociopath to the secondary supply, the secondary supply is there to immediately counter the concerns with what she thinks is love, support, and reassurance:

“Don’t be silly! He loves you so much. All he tells me is that you saved him and he saved you and that he wants to grow old with you. Other women don’t matter to him any more! He loves you! Give yourself more credit and stop worrying. You need him and he needs you. He tells me all the time. He’s good for you.”

This just perpetuates and deepens the primary supplies confusion and cognitive dissonance.

And if the primary victim doesn’t go to the secondary supply with her concerns and instead starts by confronting the sociopath, the sociopath will direct her to talk to the secondary supply:

“Don’t be silly! You’re imagining things. I love you so much. Just ask Alice.”

In my case, the sociopath found supply from my elderly mother. My sisters were no match for his empty and transparent compliments. All they saw was an arrogant fool who was fooling their sister.

But my mother…she was blindsided by the sociopath’s feigned concern and charm, as are all secondary supplies…at first.

And it wasn’t until my mother, the boy’s only source of secondary supply that could possibly influence me, suddenly dropped her support of the sociopath that I too began to really question his motives and authenticity.

This past Mother’s Day, my mother approached me, because she couldn’t figure out how to delete messages between the boy and my mother through Facebook. She had been too ashamed to ask me for help to delete them sooner. She was ashamed of her part in the perpetuation of the toxic relationship. She also feared I would be triggered and become angry after reading the messages.

The only thing the messages proved were what I have known all along. I assured my mother that she did nothing wrong, that I wasn’t upset with her, and that reading the messages validated me.

Delete!! Poof! My mother is no longer haunted by the King of Cons.

Who was your sociopath’s secondary supply?


abuse, Cluster B disorders, domestic violence, Emotional Abuse, Family, Friends, Health, Mental Health, mindfulness, Narcissist, Narcissistic Sociopath, NPD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Psychopaths, PTSD, Recovery, Relationships, Sociopaths
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Join the conversation! 17 Comments

  1. My youngest daughter, her husband and two small children were my sociopaths secondary supply. He always wanted them with us, wanted to do ” nice” things for my grandchildren. But my daughter saw right through him…even before I did.


  2. Insidious is a good word…. they are all-consuming. It has been years — many years since my marriage ended and he is now deceased. I tell myself he deserved to die and feel bad… sometimes.. and then just dismiss all thoughts of him away. I can do that .. now. I’ve never remarried… though I did have a couple of relationships that lasted about two years each. I think I’m scarred for any relationship. I was always, often subconsciously, looking for the signs and capitalizing on innocent mannerisms. I have a good life now, though I’m alone… I concentrate my interests and energies elsewhere and accept what is. I’m not unhappy, though can’t say I’m really happy, either. I do have happy moments and I’m not miserable. I just am. I like it this way!


    • What you describe is contentment and peace, Jeanie. It’s a beautiful place to be…really. We create illusions and expectations BEFORE we experience the evil on earth as we experienced it. Having those expectations opens us to evil, I believe. Once we get to a place of contentment, being influenced by evil diminishes considerably. We don’t have the cravings that evil fools us to believe it can fulfill. We have less of a need for instant gratification because just to breathe is gratifying; we know what it’s like to be suffocated, actually and figuratively in many cases. 🙂


  3. We didn’t associate with many of my friends but him and my brother bonded very quickly and when I went to my brother and told him JC had hit me he was totally unsympathetic and when JC ambushed my son and I he took JC’s side and totally defended him. It totally screwed me up, I trusted my brother’s opinion, so I thought maybe I WAS wrong.
    The last time he begged me to take him back he worked on my son. My son hated him with a passion so it was no easy task to win him over but he managed to do it knowing that the only way I would ever take him back was if I had my son’s blessing. He was telling my son how he could see us as a family, how sorry he was, cried, shaking hands, acted so ashamed for his actions in the past. I felt so good because my son was free from that hatred he had been packing for years. It was the best 3 months out of the whole 10 years I was with JC because the two men I loved more than anything were getting along so well I felt like a 3rd wheel sometimes. I cherish those days even though I know now that it was all an act, because we really did have fun the three of us.
    JC drove my son to Alberta when he got a job out there and that was the end of the acting, my son and him talked on the phone often and I didn’t want to tell my son what was going on because I didn’t want him to be worried about me while he was so far from home and I knew he would seriously hurt JC if he knew he was hitting me and I didn’t want my son to get involved.
    JC also used his mother to influence me, A LOT! We would be fighting and he would suggest I talk to his mom about it. For one thing I just feel it is wrong to criticize a person to their family and for another thing what is she going to say? It’s her son? but when things got really bad I did eventually talk to her because I thought I was being too negative and looking for fault with him and she always came up with some reason for his behavior and would make him sound like some sort of saint.
    She lied as much as he did. I don’t know how she lives with her conscience, she couldn’t look me in the eye when we finally met face to face, now I know why.
    I remember how defeated I felt when I finally got up the courage to tell my best friend about the abuse and she said
    “Don’t be silly! He loves you so much. All he talks about is what a good cook you are, how you are so talented with decorating, how hard you work around the house. I see the flowers he brings home for you all the time, I should be so lucky. It’s obvious he’s crazy about you. You’re just being too sensitive, I am sure he loves you.”
    I remember saying, “But he acts like he loathes me.” and realizing how silly that sounded after she had just expounded on all the signs that he really loved me. She just looked at me and shrugged and I never mentioned it again.


    • Dearest Carrie, so sorry that you had to go through all of that. I hope that you were able to leave this person and start your journey of healing.
      love and light out your way



    • It’s funny, because the boy tried to direct me to his mother. He’d say, “My mother knows how much I love and need you. She knows. She cares about you and your son, too.” I always rolled my eyes at that, because his mother knew nothing. The one time I tried discussing something with her in regards to my son and school, she was so dismissive and wanted me to be dismissive and to not be so sensitive. Wow! She was so lost herself, how could she possibly know what her son and I were up to. Besides, directing the “love of your life” to go outside of the relationship to be validated is so preposterous! He also tried directing me to his best friend, Fernando. Fernando? You mean the guy who was cheating on his wife? Fernando who had two beautiful boys, yet disrespected his entire family by sneaking around with another woman? What the hell! They are delusional. They are trash. They destroy lives…well, at least they tried in our cases, right? 🙂


  4. The ex did this with a couple of co workers, one of which I considered a good friend. They took on their roles of flying monkeys after I left, with great zeal. Needless to say I don’t consider the one a friend at all anymore. He still tries with my other friend, but she consistently shoots him down. She knows his game.


    • That’s a good friend. And, yes, most who fall for the charm of these fools were not our friends in the first place. The entire experience wakes us up to what we deserve and should expect from those who call themselves friends. 🙂


  5. My abusive father had an army of secondary supplies, an elaborate web of his weaving to isolate each family member and confuse us all. He seemed a perfect, charming, caring father and we all seemed horrible for ever thinking otherwise.


    • The dynamics when it’s a parent, someone who is supposed to protect us when we need protection and free us when we need to fly, are most devastating.


  6. I think the narcissist in my life was foiled in his attempts to do this…the only person he had in that spot died several years ago from an overdose…no one replaced her, but not for lack of him trying! Great post💜


  7. I think when we were in Malaysia he was setting up my friend Lisa for that spot. After he and I would have a fight he would seem to be in a cozy conversation with her–to the point where I felt jealous of my best friend.


    • That’s the point! They want you to be jealous! And then when it doesn’t work out with you, they can bed your best friend who thinks you were crazy for neglecting his needs, not fully realizing it was YOUR needs and humanity being disrespected and assaulted the entire relationship by the very man she has invited into her bed and probably sacrificed another relationship for. Aaaahhhh!


  8. Another beautiful, aware post. It helps us to remember that those we love can also be caught in this web of abuse. First and foremost we need to trust our instincts and be aware of the dynamics at play – in our own lives and the lives of those around us.
    Your post made me think again about how entangling these individuals are. They permeate everything.


    • There influence is insidious. I use that word often, but there is no other word to describe how they are able to fill up all the nooks and crannies of our lives and within the safe boundaries we THOUGHT existed. The game is so obvious once we understand that it IS a game. People who are not pathological do not need to declare their undying love repeatedly and with great frequency and urgency to everyone and in every circumstance in which they have an audience. I don’t go around declaring to everyone the intimate feelings I have for my husband. Who does that? Who needs to do that? Only the insecure and pathological mind of a sociopath and narcissist. They NEED to be validated and to hear themselves talk while an attentive and adoring person nods and smiles in the affirmative. Wow! So sad. What a sad life.


    • I have been surprised with the narcissists in my life that when I think they are “contained”, they find another way to wiggle through every crack and cranny that is not first filled with awareness. The amount of energy they require is fatiguing.

      But, as you point out, there way in life is also fatiguing for them. To constantly have to put out and create false worlds filled with false sentiments is exhausting.


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