May 12, 2015

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.


This is a new kind of relationship that’s truly sustainable, passionate and fun:



Author: Nicole Polizois

Editor: Caroline Beaton

Photo: Google images for reuse 

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Kaya48 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.

no name 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….

S 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.

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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.