How to Leave a Sociopath for Good.

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Sixteen years ago, I got engaged to the man of my dreams.

Most of the time he was the man of my dreams. When I was doing what he wanted me to, or when he had an audience. I left my career at the largest entertainment agency in Los Angeles, moved out of my apartment with the high white ceilings off Melrose Place down to Orange County to be with him six months before I had a ring, and two months after I met him at a car wash. I married him that Labor Day weekend just as he said I would on our first date.

He was charming, spontaneous, charismatic and domineering—but there was also glibness about him I hoped time and intimacy would erode. This is precisely the problem with the sociopath. They are all of these things when it serves them, but it is not genuine. They have an incapacity for love of any kind at all. They are incapable of any real human attachment. They are not worried about others’ lives or dreams. They are indifferent or oblivious to any and all devastation they will cause. They will never accept the blame, for no matter what they are always the victim.

It happens so fast with the sociopath. I didn’t know how to step out of the whirlwind even if it was what I really wanted to do. You know, deep down inside somewhere. He had enamored everyone in my life already so I had no ally. He could do a “Sales Job” on anyone, especially me. It was his gift.

His face bore a likeness to Paul Newman’s except with green eyes instead of pale blue, and his nose was a bit more Greek matching his body, that of Poseidon. He never learned to swim, but he played professional tennis until the prospect of poverty was still a possibility, and that’s when he became a salesman. Top in the company. Top in the country every year.

It took me nearly 12 years to divorce him. I filed the first time in 2003. He was charged with domestic violence. I went back to him the next week. My parents encouraged me. Nobody stopped me. It was the same whirlwind only more dangerous, and I jumped back in.

The second time, he had prepared. He was ready to destroy me, and after reading all of my journals he knew exactly how to produce terror and carry out the necessary punishments. He made a list and proceeded in his newfound goals. He also told me with regularity that he would never have to “OJ” me, because he would get me to kill myself.

So, how to leave a sociopath:

1. Understand that the sociopath is a different animal than the narcissist. The sociopath sees any conflict as a game, and the more distressed you become, the higher they climax. They are and always were incapable of listening to anything you had to say, but they will pay attention to all of your worst fears and they will take a mental note and use them all against you. So, maybe they do have some ability to listen, but they have no capacity for empathy. None. Nada. Zilch.

2. Think of OJ. He killed the mother of their own children while they were upstairs sleeping soundly in their beds. It didn’t cross his mind. He is a sociopath. Any time you or anyone else thinks, “How could he have done this or that?” it helps to have a reference point to a real event that happened in our lifetime.

3. No contact. Ever. Ever. If you have children, change the contact header to read: No contact!. Do not text. Do not take their phone calls. If they are indeed a sociopath, let’s hope you have full legal custody; if not, adhere to a strict schedule or do whatever it takes to abide by no contact. Think of any contact with this person as an illicit street drug. Count the days; count the hours, the minutes if you must. You will miss the texting wars. You will miss how things “used” to be. You must be strong.

4. Love yourself. We hear this all the time. It is trite. But, not if you have been entangled with a sociopath. I had no idea what it meant to love myself. None. I still struggle. I find the most beautiful love songs or poems and instead of attaching them to a man, I direct them at me. I’ve never told a soul, but it’s a valuable tool. Don’t rush to “love” someone else. This is a time to be selfish. Do not diminish what you have endured. You are a survivor. You are stronger than you think you are.

5. He may kill himself or follow through with any other threat. Protect yourself legally, financially, physically, and any other way you see as a potential risk. You are not responsible for a sociopath’s mental health. You cannot save him no matter how many precious years you give him. He will never change. Ever.

The man I married shot himself in the head one year after our divorce. There is no part of my being that feels relieved or any sense of peace from his death as others might expect. I am not a sociopath. I don’t know his exact reasoning, thanks to no contact, but I feel it has less to do with despair and more to do with his games. Sociopaths do not like to lose, and he called his own shots didn’t he?


Relephant Reads:

Do Psychopaths have Basic Goodness, too? The Buddhist Perspective.


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Author: Nicole Polizois

Editor: Caroline Beaton

Photo: Google images for reuse 

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anonymous Mar 24, 2016 6:37pm

My ex husband if 20 years was and still is a sociopath. Additionally he is a cop. He abondened my son and I did a young cop co worker had met during one of his nightshifts. Divorcing him took to a level I didn’t think existed. It was pure hell. With the help of my awesome attorney I survived and came out a winner. I initiated no contact shortly after he left. Today , 3 years later I feel so blessed and grateful for that little minion he met. I have my freedom , happiness and sanity back. I totally agree with not rushing into an new relationship. I am still learning to love myself again. He tried to destroy me , me self esteem ,my self respect. He did not succeed. He lost everything. No contact and divorcing him was the best decision I ever made. Thank God he took this evil man out of my life.

anonymous Oct 4, 2015 2:50pm

Thank u for sharing but it’s much harder than what u make it out to be especially with children involved…. sociopath what do whatever it takes to keep you around they will use your weakness of all weaknesses just to keep you around…. I know cause I’m dealing with it…. I been looking for the safest way to get my children and me out but always use my kids against me….

anonymous Sep 20, 2015 7:22am

I feel absolutely sick reading all of the above. What if you have 3 kids under 8 and getting out seems impossible? 15yrs I’ve been with him and at least the last 10 have been a living nightmare. My last attempt to leave failed. He told me to bring kids back to their house and he should be the one to leave not us. I was nicely surprised by his cooperation but didn’t think ahead, he let us get settled back in then two weeks later. Moved all his gear back in and told everyone I had begged him to come back and try again. People believe him, he can come across as a reasonable nice guy to anyone e he wants. Then the doors close on an evening and he’s punching walls, slamming doors, threatening to run off with the kids and using them against me to make me feel like I have to keep up the happy families act. Don’t even know why I’m commenting. I ain’t ever getting out.

anonymous Aug 24, 2015 12:15pm

for a moment I thought someone got in my head and wrote the story of my last marriage. my situation is different only in that my ex didn't threaten death for anyone – he is too much of a coward for that. I can relate to your points at the end, but specifically the toughest thing for me has been relearning to listen to my instincts, and trust them again. I was so upside down with who I was versus who I truly am that getting back to being me after leaving him has taken many years. but it sure does make you strong. xo

anonymous Aug 23, 2015 11:06pm

Beautifully written. Describes my past life to a T (almost eerily). I have never been able to convey the psychological horror they place on you, and you helped express that perfectly. Thank you for sharing your closed chapter. I hope your new life is filled with light and love, as I have found on my new path. 🙂

anonymous Aug 23, 2015 2:58pm

Hi Nicole, great article, but, I have a favor to ask of you…PLEASE don’t comment on the OJ case unless you have permission or know the family personally. I know the family personally, and if either of his children read this it would rip their hearts out. That’s all. Thank you for listening.

anonymous Aug 3, 2015 2:29pm

I also was dating a sociopath for four years. After I left him – he shot himself. Wild to read something so similar to my story. Thank you for sharing.

anonymous Aug 2, 2015 9:37pm

Wow!!! I think after reading this, its exactly my relationship over the last 10 years! Im a successful woman with 2 children. We are not married and dont live together. My relstionship has made me question every part of my life and decision making. He never wants to take responsibility, projects blame anywhere but best if its somehow my fault… how do you know youre in love with a sociopath?

anonymous Jun 16, 2015 7:37pm

You really have to rebuild every cell, every thing that made you once. Nd realize she no longer there. I feel like he injected poison into me..everyday away I feel less and less constricted. But it has not come with a price. I drank a lot and smoked. I hurt on so many levels I could not figure it out. Brain n heart fog. Xxxoo thank u for this <3

anonymous Jun 14, 2015 4:30pm

As someone that has ASPD the opinions voiced in the article and the comments are offensive and naive. I’m not doubting or disregarding anyones experience but they are individual instances and not indicative of a guaranteed outcome while interacting with someone with ASPD. A person with ASPD has a limited ability…not inability to make genuine intrapersonal relationships. They have the propensity to be predatory in many ways…rarely violently. I don’t want be argumentative but I will recommend that everyone who has posted do some research and educate yourselves on this as well as other behavioral conditions that people possess. Knowledge truly is power…and you know how us evil sociopaths love power and control. Hope everyone has a wonderful day!

    anonymous Aug 24, 2015 12:18pm

    my therapist told me that it's a scale – and the scale ranges from benign to evil (like, killers). So to your point, if you are on one end of the scale versus the other, then you aren't likely so harmful to others, at least not intentionally. I would bet you have to work really hard at relationships. But like you stated, everybody is different.

anonymous Jun 14, 2015 10:48am

Nathalie, sweetheart, if u ever want peace of mind, to sleep sweet in your own bed with an innate knowing that you will wake up and go on, RUN.!!! Run fast, run far,do NOT look back!!! Never,ever!!! It’s hard, I know. For the sake of your sanity, u have to do this. My 1st husband was a sociopath and put me through so much, so many hurts, clouded my mind and my judgement so badly, that even now, TWENTY-ONE YEARS LATER!!!! It still affects me and my marriage. I still have flashbacks and there are places that i cannot go, films I cannot watch and music I cannot listen to, I’ ve tried, I have nightmares we were together 3 1/2 years

anonymous Jun 9, 2015 1:55am

This article describes my ex husband perfectly. I am divorcing my husband who I married 6 years ago. The divorcing is proving just as traumatic as living with him. My advice to anyone living with this type of person is to get out of the relationship fast. Don’t wait for them to change because they won’t change please get it into your head that it ain’t going to happen . Also , when you do leave , take everything ( and I mean EVERYTHING ) that you hold dear to you. Because as the article says, they have no empathy, no care or concern for your well being whatsoever. On reflection, I should have planned my leaving very carefully. I should have cleared the house of everything I wanted and needed whilst he was away working. But now my ex is sitting pretty on our marital home and my belongings because I valued my sanity and I decided it was time to walk away after realising he was seeing another woman yet again. Now I am battling to get what is rightfully and legally mine. Solicitors letters are being ignored and and he is withholding the basic things I need to set up a home for myself .

Theresachristinethinnes – nobody is trying to smack labels on these people and turn them into demons. They exist …full stop . People here are expressing their experiences as part of their healing process, and, you being an empath , should understand the trauma I and others have been through at the hands of a sociopath. Believe me , it is not pleasant. The good you mention never actually existed in our world. It was only a figment of our imagination. Everything ‘ good’ was built on lies and the webs of deceit our partners wove to make us believe everything was ok. I have racked my brain till it hurts trying to understand why he did what he did. I’ve looked at it from every angle but in the end I came to the conclusion that I couldn’t help him anymore and I had to leave him and I suspect that is what happened to all of us who write here.

I wish everyone seeking a resolution from this type of relationship , love, strength of character , and the determination to succeed and move forward with the rest of your life. Namaste.

anonymous Jun 7, 2015 12:17pm

Wow. That must have been a rough life. But, the way the author describes his suicide makes me wonder if sociopaths don't attract each other? It's rather dismissive to take a person and smack on a label that turns a person into a demon. To suggest their self inflicted death served some selfish motive? That seems very cruel. Mental illness is a disease. Sometimes people can be helped and sometimes they cannot. Being an empath, I can't help but have compassion for people. I know people who are sociopathic and lack the ability to feel empathy. But there is more to the story. Living in Christ Consciousness means Loving and healing one another as best we can, and leaving or choosing a new path when we can't endure any longer. But, it doesn't mean shaming or ridiculing or destroying whatever good exists.

anonymous Jun 7, 2015 4:09am

It took me a long time to finally see that the person I had spent 2 decades of my life trying to be a loyal, loving, dedicated partner to was this way – and it is only after looking into those terms when close friends had used them before I realized what I'd been dealing with and the possible futility of years trying to make things work. We met when I was just entering adulthood at age 20. I waited a handful of years for him to "feel comfortable" giving up his bachelorhood (he is more than a decade older than me, which I thought made him more mature) to want a loving relationship and family -which he wasn't ready to do until his siblings had all done so 1st, leaving him to do so for appearance sake. I waited years for him to agree to have children, again only after his siblings had started and he had checking into that before deciding to do as they did – the "appearance" of normalcy, not an innate desire. There was no affection – a constant argument throughout our courtship and marriage was my trying to constantly educate him on the difference between affection, intimacy, and sex – that I was not a robot who could do as he wanted on command, that I needed and craved love and affection for any of that. He never did understand that, and I believe he still doesn't – our children are still struggling in dealing with this. When I could no longer give him the undivided attention he craved because I was caring for our children and finishing up my education (he had insisted I sign a prenup when we married under false pretenses that only came out when divorce was inevitable; he had insisted I quit my job at his company while working full-time, schooling part-time, and doing nearly all wedding planning – to also job hunt at that time; he insisted I stop helping to raise my nephews whom my parents were caring for to be with him calling them "heathens" and treating them 2nd rate; he insisted I leave my fulltime job after kid, then for years complain I was lazy and not pulling my weight needing to get a job – then it had to be part-time and not full-time because he couldn't help with our kids since it demanded too much of HIS time; now in the divorce process he is trying legally to push me to work full-time so that even though he is very financially comfortable he has to pay even more reduced child/spousal support than the reduced amount he already has because of the prenup). He wanted his sister to go on our honeymoon with us – I caught grief for standingup to say no. Our last "couple" trip before our children came along and I was 9 months pregnant we had his parents with us literally the entire time because he insisted. Nearly every trip we did together his siblings went on too – I can hardly remember any real personal, intimate time for us together before our children and even after on family trips.

    anonymous Jun 7, 2015 4:10am

    When he wasn't getting the level of attention he insisted on he began openly criticizing me as lazy, slovenly, not pulling my weight (a close neighbor countered him on this) and criticizing our sex lives subtly in front of our children and friends. Time and again I tried unsuccessfully with him in counseling – but he to this day refuses to believe he's ever done anything wrong in our marriage, that everything he did was an "unintentional" joke or accident… my discovering he'd created a secret email account linked to a secret and facebook account (to flirt with another female); my discovering a female subordinate I knew almost nothing about had known all of our personal information for years via secretly emailing him at all hours at our home, on our vacations, on her vacations, taking our children out with her unknown while I was working – only to find out from messages and my children but not him. To discover that while others in his company were terminated for anything remotely pornographic or sexual in computer content at work, a questionable friend and coworker with personality similar to his had sent him sexual material that they only elaborated on rather than shutting down and holding to the same company standards. When discovered, he thought I was irrational for seeing this as eroding our marriage and family and refusing to try to change any of it – that I had to follow his items of demand for him to keep the marriage I'd sacrificed so much to try to keep intact. To again protect against his "appearance and reputation" I had to hear through my children, friends, school parents and occasional coworker that he was calling me a liar and falsely stating I had a history of mental illness with medication – for which my dr wrote a certified letter discounting this – he in turn would tell me what i was hearing was false or misinterpreted. I had to find out through other indisputable documented means that my children and friends were not lying, which only angered him more. He is using his company to prosecute me criminally for those means of confirming his behavior and statements about me to others while we are going through divorce (he wanted to punish me with legal separation, insisting it was temporary to our children and he would reverse it once I'd learned my lesson, go through inpatient psych on his terms, apologize publicly to him and his family – I couldn't have our kids go through years of this via separation and possibly divorce, so I changed it to final divorce). He's tried to hurt me financially. He continues to make false statements about me, insist that the things my children see and hear him say are false. He's gone from insisting I'm a liar and mentally ill to telling our children they are liars or mentally unstable – that we all need psych help, that he would see to it one way or another that we do that, but that he still is completely blameless and unaccountable in any of it. My oldest daughter has said she knows he isn't right, that there is something wrong with how he treats them and me, that she doesn't want to live the rest of her life that way or have him treat her own children that way when she's older, and she doesn't want to marry a man who'd treat her that way either. None of that phases him, because he's very unempathetic even when he sees them or me cry over what we've been going through. I insisted on having my children in therapy to deal with the situation and his treatment of them, I'm in counseling to bring myself to terms that he will never change or become the person I'd hope who could be emotionally available, empathetic, affectionate and intimate, or behave in an outward loving manner. In custody talks rather than physically see his children more than he does (but have them live with me) he preferred to give up his days with them to see them less and in turn pay less for them/me financially. It made me sad and sick to even hear and go through that. It is very difficult to think that I am throwing away 2 decades of an "investment" in a relationship, partnership, family, and lost future because there doesn't seem to be any prospect of happiness in any of it. People who don't know him on a regular, daily, personal level are always surprised that his appearance of a good, Catholic, seemingly loving person doesn't mesh with his actual personal life and fallout with his spouse and children at home. Even after this, I don't doubt that people will feel badly for him saying he was the victim for years of a wife who didn't do enough for him and twisted children without ever knowing what we'd gone through or hearing otherwise. I find a little solace and warmth in the knowledge that very close friends and family do believe my children and me, have seen or heard what we've dealt with, do offer their time, help or a listening ear, so that the process doesn't seem so daunting on the worst of days to try to rebuild our lives over again.

anonymous Jun 6, 2015 10:39pm

I grew up with a dad who is narcissistic. I was hoping to never meet or date a guy that way.. but I did. I met the guy through a friend and he even told me that he could clinically be diagnosed as a sociopath. I tried not to think too much of it.. But every single thing you listed were him. It was scary to see that same personality in someone I thought I liked. Of course, he was charming, spontaneous, clever.. That gave me a bit of a weird gut feeling from the beginning. He rushed me into a relationship.. tried to make me not talk to all the people who seemed to already know who he is and what kind of person he is. Always the victim.. pity party.. never does anything wrong! He was very good at building you up on a pedestal just to tear you back down again. I was having family issues and was emotionally vulnerable. He offered to see me to help me out and be there for me. He gave me a big hug and told me he was always there for me.. he then tried to get in my pants. We had already broken up at this point. He said he still wants to be in contact so I don't lose my feelings for him and so we don't lose contact.. so.. basically so he can try to keep control over me! Sadly he realized he couldn't. He couldn't stand how smart I was and saw right through his shit. He would talk down at me , and that I was always wrong or didn't understand something, my way of thinking was not right because it wasn't the way he thought about it. And if I happened to correct him or call him out on something, all of a sudden I was a horrible person and I was being rude to him. Sadly he was so clever to somehow manipulate you into thinking that you were wrong.

anonymous Jun 6, 2015 1:30pm

My sociopath ex want to go to counseling. It would be nice to get out my truth and know I’m not crazy and expose him cause it would be great if he knew an inch of what he’s like. I truly want him to heal cause I think his trama is a significant cause of his behavior. No contact seems so harsh when you want to have compassion for all people. But sociopaths are so powerful with there manipulation even with the confidence in my strength I am feeling counseling is not advised? Not to get back together but to healthily split? We have been broken up for 2 months now and it was hard getting here but I feel this is what I needed to learn and I want to take my lessons and run! No exceptions for no contact right?

    anonymous Jun 7, 2015 9:26pm

    No exceptions. No contact. Find individual counselor let your voice be heard there. Don't try to fix him. He will take care of himself.

anonymous May 17, 2015 10:25am

I am a sociopath. I score an 85 on the cognitive test for sociopathy. I have no guilt. I have no remorse. I have no compassion. Even so, I’m a devoted father to three sons, and my ex-wife and I divorced amicably after we both realized I was harming the family with my inherent selfishness and controlling behavior. I shamed her daily and de-constructed her self-esteem to the point that she is on constant medication for depression and anxiety — neither of which she suffered from until meeting me. We were married for 17 years.

I’m still coming to grips with the realization that I am anti-social. And yes, I could kill anyone at anytime without batting an eyelash and go have a nice breakfast. But I don’t. Like the famous schizophrenic, John Nash, I have given over my confidence in my own ability to know what is right and wrong to society, and accept the rule of law over my actions. It is enough.

I’m amazed that your partner committed suicide though. It seems weak. Suicide is the last opportunity to control someone’s feelings. To try to make YOU feel guilty or to blame. And it might even work for awhile, but the sociopath that kills themselves loses the rest of life’s opportunities for enjoyment and fulfillment, so it isn’t something I’d choose to do. I want things. People, sex, experience, food, and the attention of my sons. Suicide ends all that.

Best to you, and congratulations on leaving him. His death is not your fault, but you may have been the one he wanted to hurt with it.

anonymous May 15, 2015 10:22pm

I agree but that is not the correct word you’re using. It’s a common misconception that sociopaths and psychopaths are the same but they are not.

Psychopaths are charming, charismatic, and externally ‘normal’ for the most part but are incredibly unempathetic and absolutely unable to form human bonds/develop a conscience.

Sociopaths are different however, a sociopath is extremely antisocial and unable to carry themselves with the same level of social gilding of a psychopath (They tend to not be as meticulous or well-educated/capable of holding jobs. Generally they’re more frequently found homeless or living with someone to take care of them). They also can have a faint conscience to allow them to differentiate right from wrong to a point and still can form emotional bonds with people (though this is also difficult).

In short: These are the traits of a psychopathic individual. Sociopathic individuals, (though have a capacity of being dangerous as well) fall more into the category of ‘special needs’ than a psychopath would (though a psychopath is equally deserving of whatever help they can get, they generally can still at least take care of themselves and provide themselves with a comfortable living).

anonymous May 15, 2015 6:29pm

Thank you for this. I got out after 8.5 years but even after our split, it took me an additional two years to really untangle myself, emotionally and otherwise. His ability to tear me down or cut me off at the knees is still remarkably powerful but certainly worlds better than when I was still deeply embroiled with him. After all these years, I am just now beginning to understand his complete lack of empathy. I think I always thought I could reason with him. He genuinely has no feelings. None. It’s shocking and yet it is not. I’ve seen it time and again. So good to read that I am/we are not alone. He is preying on someone new now and I will await the day she will reach out to me with echoes of my own story.

    anonymous Sep 15, 2015 5:03am

    Cynthia you are not alone. And UNTANGLE is the perfect description of such a person! I am getting out after 14years. Thanks for this article it helps to know that we are imagining what has happened to us. May we all grow and NEVER be involved with such and evil again. WE ALL STRONG that the reason they connected themselves to us in the first place its a twisted compliment.

anonymous May 15, 2015 5:51pm

It took me 10 years to leave the relationship I was in. He promised me at least once a week that if I ever left him, he’d kill me and then himself. I finally left him when I realized I was slowly dying by being with him anyway, and opted for the quicker way out, figuring I might get lucky and he wouldn’t kill me after all, and here I am, although he did end up being first hospitalized then later institutionalized after attempting suicide (and it wasn’t the first time). The whole thing was like a bad dream I could never wake up from. I will say, I learned a lot of important lessons, one being that you can never change a person, they have to want the change for themselves. As pretty as it sounds, love does not in fact conquer all. I also have slowly been learning over the subsequent years of leaving the relationship how to love myself, it really wasn’t and still isn’t easy. And yes, I, too, direct all love songs and poems AT ME! Nice to know I’m not the only one practicing this. <3

anonymous May 15, 2015 5:37pm

Yep. Yep. Yep. I am currently pregnant with ex’s baby and my time with my babys father was utterly disastrous. They are terrible, insidious, evil people. There was no real, genuine love just manipulation, gas lighting, projection and mirroring. It’s taken a lot for me to stay No Contact and move on from the illusion he wove before me. This has been the most painful, yet strengthening life experience I have yet endured and now feel quite prepared for anything. There is no hope for a narcissist – sociopath -psychopath. They like living the way they do – they always “win”!

anonymous May 15, 2015 2:58pm

Thank you for sharing your story, and I can relate. I do want to say that someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) can also be a sociopath. I think it misinforms to say otherwise. They are not necessarily exclusive.

anonymous May 15, 2015 2:58pm

Thank you for sharing your story, and I can relate. I do want to say that someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) can also be a sociopath. I think it misinforms to say otherwise. They are not necessarily exclusive.

    anonymous May 17, 2015 3:52pm

    Christine is absolutely correct that many personality disorders can overlap as well as being on a spectrum. Most mentally ill people do not fit neatly into any one slot, but rather land in the cracks. NPD are no less dangerous that sociopaths in their own way. And both may demonstrate traits of borderline and histrionic disorders although not meeting the full criteria for any one disorder. You may wish to look up the Dark Triad as well. PDs are more about pervasive life long patterns than any single trait. But NO Contact ever is key.

anonymous May 15, 2015 8:46am

OJ didn't kill his wife. They was a serial killer that confessed, And was executed in another state and never tried. He had detail the news didn't release.
But i agree with this article! All truth except that! Got out after 9 years and 3 kids.

anonymous May 13, 2015 8:18pm

My Father's Daughter is a sociopath and for many years I wanted to believe he did not know the impact of his actions, however, after conversations, fights, and tears I realized there is absolutely nothing I can do to change him. His lack of empathy is what really bothered me most. His manipulations caused me great stress and often left me looking like the "bad guy" and that I was the one to blame. His addictions only added fuel to his sociopath fire. Anytime I have to contact him about our daughter he makes sure I become distraught and feeling guilty for destroying our family. After reading this article I am going to do more research on dealing with these types of people as I am a highly empathic person who is susceptible to this craziness.

    anonymous Jul 10, 2015 7:11pm

    Please try to get your daughter away from him. She doesn’t need a father like that. Try to get sole custody with a restraining order. Good luck and God bless.

anonymous May 13, 2015 6:50pm

I had a very brief on-line brush with a sociopath before I figured him out and he tried to gas-light my suspicions. He then moved on to another woman whom moved out-of-country to be with him. Two year later she randomly messages me to apologize for the way she treated me online while with him, because of course he had spun lies and tall tales of how I was the crazy one and she admitted she was not in the right frame of mind. We talked for a couple of hours over Skype and she told me all of the insane things he did during her five months with him. She nearly killed herself at some point but finally she was able to leave. She began therapy when she moved back home and realized more and more how this man was a clinical sociopath. Last I knew she was still having email contact with him, though I urged her to cut all contact completely. I hope she is rid of him now, though I don't know, but he truly was everything this article speaks about. It gives me the chills to think about my contact with him and her experiences.

anonymous May 13, 2015 7:33am

Oh my gosh, you just told my story. Thankfully, he disappeared from the face of the earth once I divorced him. Thank you for sharing. There's a strange comfort in relating.

anonymous May 13, 2015 6:49am

This article is stunning, not just in the story it reveals but also in its profound advice. Though the author describes her own hell as someone who somehow was able to break out of the continuous cycle of abuse her sociopath husband poured on her every day, I believe her message also defines the healing process from such devastation as a life long work in progress! That couldn't be more true. Anyone having a sociopath in their lives under any condition becomes prey. I should know.

Through my childhood my father was the sociopath. My mother and I, and probably countless others, his victims. My mother? She had been a very successful model in NYC, a person filled with such love and devotion and ultimately, just hope, for a man who conned her every day and destroyed every bit of confidence and self image she once proudly possessed. And yet when she came to realize what he had and was doing to me (for the sociopath exhorts in multiple victims) she somehow had the strength to push me out the door to save myself. I was only sixteen. But I was the lucky one, for what I experienced then couldn't touch the never ending fear my mother lived with.

Eventually my father died. A natural, calm death. But that didn't stop my mother reliving the horror of what she endured every day for so many years. A note I received from her years after my father died was testament to that. And in it, with everything, she asked me to forgive (and to forgive her, of all people), before she took her own life.

It's almost impossible to leave a sociopath. The whirlwind of deceit, depravity, and destruction the author describes is all too real. And though psychologists may define the sociopath as someone mentally I'll, deserving of help – for the victims of such a person, total disassociation is only the start. Healing thy self a life long work in progress.

anonymous May 13, 2015 5:33am

This hits the nail right on the head. I am currently experiencing this in my current relationship. Different animal indeed. Worse yet, I don’t believe he knows he’s actually doing any of it. It’s his nature and it really does suck. I’ve known him most my life and it doesn’t seem promising.

Can there be a healthy relationship with said sociopath?

    anonymous May 14, 2015 2:55am

    No. Run. Run now and quick.

    Source: lived with a sociopath for 3 years.

    anonymous May 14, 2015 11:20am

    No. Unless you yourself are a sociopath, but this dynamic typically never works as they need someone to feed on in order to survive. You need to listen to what your instincts are telling you. Protect yourself first and foremost. Read more about what actually constitutes a healthy relationship and see how your current situation adds up. You won't see anything about uneven power struggles and dynamics.

    Source: Father was a sociopath, dated a string of sociopaths and NPDs for the past 10 years until I found a good therapist and actually started experiencing intimacy and love in a healthy relationship. There is hope, you just have to convince yourself that you are worthy of love and refuse to be objectified and treated as a plaything.

    anonymous May 15, 2015 7:46pm

    Agreed. Get out, now. Honestly, as much as you want to believe it, as much as he might claim it, it isn’t going to get better. Quite the opposite – it WILL get worse. I’m so sorry to have to say that, but it is absolutely true – despite all his wonderful words and promises and elaborate explanations. Much of the control is insidious and you don’t realise how truly warped your own perceptions and beliefs have become until they’re almost the entirety. Please, I know it’s hard and you want to believe the best, but get out now. I was with a sociopath for 2 & 1/2 years (thank god it wasn’t longer) and thought it would ‘work out’ – it only escalated. It was when I realised that I was seriously doubting some core beliefs about myself – that I am strong and that I am a good person – that it dawned on me how much damage he was doing, and I knew I had to get out. It was quite a process, but I did it. And I am thankful every day that I did. I seriously doubt I would be alive if I hadn’t. If he hadn’t have killed me, I would have been driven to killing myself. One thing that sticks with me is what a nurse at the hospital said after the last time he attacked me (I thought I had broken my hand punching him when he tried to strangle me). She said ‘This is really important – it’s about the language you use. You talk about ‘HE said I’m this, HE said I’m that’, but not ‘I AM this or that’. It means that you don’t totally believe him – yet. You’re at a crossroads. If you’re truly getting out now, then you are very, very lucky. Get out before you start believing his lies about you’. And that is what I would like to pass to you. Be strong. You are strong. Good luck xx

    anonymous Jun 6, 2015 11:45pm

    I was with a man for a year and 10 months. I knew there was something up with him…
    I moved out with him after he had a humongous fight with my mother, then talked to me for a whole week trying to get me out of my house to move in with him… promising me how "everything would get better"… I moved in 3 days after having gall bladder surgery…
    two weeks in and living with him, was the day I should of moved out…
    I was still on antibiotics, and he and a "friend" (who was a girl) came over to see the new place…
    I couldn't drink, but they had looooaaaaddds of drinks.
    I caught them making out in the kitchen of our new apartment.
    and I was never in a situation like this,too scared. so I took my keys and left the apartment.
    they spent the next hour trying to get me to come back…
    things didn't get better… the next 6 months were nothing but hell on earth… it got so bad that I started reading his text messages… I drove myself crazy trying to figure out what had been going on…I knew what was going on, the problem was I was denying it.
    walk away hun… I know it'll break your heart, it's been almost a year since this happened to me and the scars still hurt… but if you let him do it, it'll feel like he quite literally ripped your heart out and with no remorse, walked away with it. never giving you a second glance over.

    anonymous Jun 9, 2015 1:24am

    My dear, run for the hills as fast as you can. This from someone who has had to deal with this kind of parents and ended up married to a man of the exact mould. It has taken me 10 years to get out of this rut. And I still feel the after shocks of low self esteem, self doubts, and fear of all people and places. It feels like I am free to breathe now. It now feels like I have come out of some dark impossibly dark cave after being trapped there a long time. The damage they did to me is extensive and it took a lot of courage and desperation to finally break free and walk out. But it was worth it. I’m alive and glad to be that way… you are entitled to experience that too. Choose to be free

anonymous May 13, 2015 12:29am

Your story is empowering. Hopefully others, similarly situated, will follow your advice and find their inner strength to do what is necessary to live in the peace of forgiveness and independence.

anonymous May 13, 2015 12:23am

I’m still quite young but have unfortunately endured a one and a half year relationship with someone who I know is a sociopath. At first when I was doing my research I felt that he fit into NPD (I wrote a piece about my personal experience on ele) but there was always something missing… After months of research on sociopaths it finally fit. The thing is, is that I think I kind of knew the whole time but I didn’t want to admit it because I was ashamed of myself for ignoring all the signs… but that’s the other thing: you can’t see any signs when you’re with a sociopath because they gaslight you, everything is foggy as hell and you’re always left sitting there questioning what’s wrong with you when they are blatantly insane. It is humiliating.

The no contact part is crucial. I’m really glad you wrote about that part, as I would have liked to—it’s the FIRST thing I always suggest to victims who I speak with.

I am so glad I am away from him, if I stayed any longer I think that it would have become worse and worse and he would have either done something to me or himself.

Thank you for sharing your story, it’s important for people who endure this to know that they are not alone. I admire your courage for sharing.

    anonymous Jun 7, 2015 3:57pm

    You are right. It's important for people who endure this to know there are others out there that have gone through the same or similar situations. I felt so alone (until his ex-wife described her experience) and had low self-worth for a few years before truly understanding how psychologically disturbed he was and how making me feel "crazy" was a part of his M.O. I was often pointing a finger at myself for not acknowledging the signs (I saw red flags, but was too in love to and let them go by) and acting on them. But, I finally did after we had been engaged for several months. The "no contact" is very hard. I did it eventually, but still have fear that I will run into him one day although he lives 1400 miles away.

anonymous May 12, 2015 10:42pm

Thank you for sharing your story as I'm sure wasn't easy at all. Thank God I'm not married but we have one son. Dealing with his chronic addictions has led to domestic violence to being evicted from MY home. I deserve better and most importantly my baby boys. Every time that I want to allow him back I will read and reread this article to build my courage and strength. If you can do it so can I. God bless

Greg Hernandez Aug 13, 2018 3:24am

For the past 2 years now I have been looking for good and genuine spell caster to bring back my ex lover back and also help me to win lottery,and it has been a hard time for me finding the right place until I get in contact with Dr Oseiboh who gave me powerful prayer and assured me that it will take two days before the spell will be effective,unbelievable the next two days i got a call from unknown number so i decided to pick the call the next thing i could hear was my love voice she was pleading and begging me on the phone that i should forgive her that i should forget all that have happened that she did not know what came over her,she promised not to leave for any reason, that she was really sorry for what she did,i was so surprised because i never believed that this could happen,so that was how i accepted her apology the next morning she came to my house and still pleading for me to forgive her i told her that everything is okay that i have forgiven her from my heart, that was how we started again, we are together now. thank you Dr Oseiboh for making her to know that we are meet to be together and also making my dreams to come true. And he did a spell that make me to win the lottery, Please if any body needs. LOVE SPELL,LOTTERY,PREGNANCY SPELL, DIVORCE SPELL,STOP COURT CASE AND WIN ANY COURT PROBLEM,DEATH SPELL,BUSINESS SPELL AND MANY MORE YOU MAKE NEED. Email him now for your own help. via email [email protected] com https://droseiboh12.wixsite. com/spell add him on whatsapp line or call +2347017565415.All thanks goes to Dr oseiboh for the excessive work that he has done for me.

Nancy Willson Jul 30, 2018 7:28am

Good to read this article before i date any sociopath. There are few more tips people may know if they're dating a sociopath.

Rosila Mike Mar 2, 2018 2:22am

After being in relationship with him for seven years,he broke up with me, I did everything possible to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him back so much because of the love I have for him, I begged him with everything, I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to someone online and she suggested that I should rather contact a spell caster that could help me cast a spell to bring him back but I am the type that never believed in spell, I had no choice than to try it, I mailed the spell caster, and he told me there was no problem that everything will be okay before three days, that my ex will return to me before three days, he cast the spell and surprisingly in the second day, it was around 4pm. My ex called me, I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that he was so sorry for everything that happened, that he wanted me to return to him, that he loves me so much. I was so happy and went to him, that was how we started living together happily again. Since then, I have made promise that anybody I know that have a relationship problem, I would be of help to such person by referring him or her to the only real and powerful spell caster who helped me with my own problem and who is different from all the fake ones out there. Anybody could need the help of the spell caster, his email: [email protected] you can email him if you need his assistance in your relationship or anything. CAN NEVER STOP TALKING ABOUT YOU SIR HIS EMAIL ADDRESS IS:[email protected] CONTACT HIM NOW FOR SOLUTION TO ALL YOUR PROBLEM

Veronica Danie Jan 15, 2018 8:21pm

Been there. He is dead and I no longer live in fear for my son's life or my own.

Itxel Mendoza Sep 23, 2017 12:14am

I have been with a sociopath for the past 17 years. We met when we were 16 years old in high school. Thru the years I evolved, got an education, a career and had three beautiful daughters. I had goals and dreams! He on the contrary had none! The 1st red flag should have came to me when I miscarried our first baby. He didn't console me or comfort me. He instead went to a wedding party. Years later with tons of red flags, I decided that I was leaving him. That is when the full sociopath came to life. He put a gun to his head and without thinking of his children he said he would do it. I begged him and pleaded for his life. A year later I am being held hostage with my children in a relationship that is totally one sided. He is content because I am the bread winner. He hasn't held down a job the entire relationship. He isn't holding on for the family he is only looking out for himself. Mother in despair.

Dipa Patel Aug 10, 2017 1:31pm

Wow. What you write is sickeningly similar to what I have gone through. Why women just ignore the signs is beyond me. But I did it. I am certain there are a ton of women out there that think I am a raving psycho based on his words. But alas do I know the truth.

ÊhizsBrizsço Pecûnia Jun 11, 2017 7:06pm

JUNE 1st marked Ten years of our marriage.I am absolutely in love with this man.We both meet why in work place Love found its way through the highways and byways of the world.And we made a family out of it! We have beautiful twin babies together.I am so happy to live in a world where so many people of different backgrounds and cultures can build a life together,But over the last few months his attitude changed over me and my kids it was unbearable for me and I wonder how...and I contact Dr OKORO, of [email protected] for advice and help....and today my pain &sorrows are over My husband is back to stay forever,I am grateful &thanks to Dr OKORO...private email [email protected]

ÊhizsBrizsço Pecûnia Jun 11, 2017 7:06pm

JUNE 1st marked Ten years of our marriage.I am absolutely in love with this man.We both meet why in work place Love found its way through the highways and byways of the world.And we made a family out of it! We have beautiful twin babies together.I am so happy to live in a world where so many people of different backgrounds and cultures can build a life together,But over the last few months his attitude changed over me and my kids it was unbearable for me and I wonder how...and I contact Dr OKORO, of [email protected] for advice and help....and today my pain &sorrows are over My husband is back to stay forever,I am grateful &thanks to Dr OKORO...private email [email protected]

Jammie Campbell Jun 3, 2017 8:50am

Im still fighting for my life.

Maryn Russell Nov 25, 2016 11:55pm

Ugh, I need help. I'm in the grips of this. Trying to divorce him. We share a daughter. If we go two days without texting, he finds a manipulative way to get in contact with me and instigate some long, drawn out manipulation, that starts with painting himself as the good guy, "Let me know if you need anything", to "accidentally" sending me a text meant for his new girlfriend. I can't get away. Help.

Kimberly Ann Sep 7, 2016 6:34am

The chill that just crawled up and down my entire being was when I read the words...he will get me to kill myself..I kept that vm...yes I can recover but boy oh boy is this a rough one. Thank you for the honesty which at this time I feel so embarrassed just bumped me up a notch..

Amanda Baker Aug 9, 2016 1:08pm

This is so crazy, my husband and I met at a car wash and got married a little over 2 months after we met, now almost 12 years later I'm going to divorce him. This described him so perfectly, I mean it really did!

Curtis Norman May 10, 2016 3:07am

My heart has been broken for the past two years and it was as if i was never going to find what is called love again. I wept and cried for days and nights for the past two years in search for help on how i could get back my husband but couldn't get any help around not until i searched for help on the internet where i found Doctor Isibor been praised and glorified by so many citizens globally for his good deeds. I contacted him for help and he assured me and told me that my days of sorrows are over i doubted him at first because i couldn't bear the pain anymore. He prepared a spell for me and guaranteed me that my husband will get back to me within 24 hours after he has finished with the preparation of the spell and i hid to his words and followed his instructions and have trust in him and behold am happy again with a lovely, caring husband blessed with two wonderful kids and that is why i will not stop telling of his good work. Am Angela Jason by name and you can contact him for any kind of help on his Email: [email protected], website: or you can whatsapp or call him on +2348138900575.

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Nicole Polizois

Nicole Polizois is a proud mother, Southern California girl, certified yoga instructor, writer, swimmer, activist for our oceans, health food freak, hiker, Literary Nerd and world traveler. She loves to share inspiration and any wisdom she has acquired as a former model, housewife and shopaholic. She is currently working on a memoir. You can connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.