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How to Recognize a Sociopath

My significant other was a sociopath. The lessons I learned from that experience made me want to help people hurt by sociopaths.


Do You Know Someone Who Is A Sociopath?

One of your friends, family members, or work colleagues could be a sociopath, and you might not even be aware of it. That's because sociopaths can be very charming, which makes them hard to spot. Even the smartest among us can be duped by a one of these individuals.

Furthermore, sociopaths come from all walks of life. They are not always victims of childhood abuse or neglect. They could just as easily have been raised in a loving, middle class household.

So, how can an ordinary person recognize a sociopath? If you happen to know one of these people, then how can you avoid becoming a victim of their abuse?


How to Spot a Sociopath

Although it can be hard to spot a sociopath, there are some common traits that they share. First of all, this person may seem very charming and sweet when you first meet them. They may also be unusually intelligent and can be interesting to talk to. Unfortunately, this charm is only surface deep. Underneath is something far less pleasant. They are excellent at controlling other people in order to achieve their own goals. They do not see their victims as individuals with rights of their own. Instead, they see others as tools to be used in order to get what they want.

A sociopath is usually arrogant and narcissistic in the extreme. They see themselves as being perfect and feel that they know it all. This person believes that he or she is entitled to do anything they want, and have whatever they desire. They think that they are superior to everybody else. They have an unrealistic view of themselves.

A sociopath will have no problem lying to another person with confidence and ease. They will show no physical sign of discomfort while telling a lie. What's more, this person is capable of creating a complex web of deceit. They can convince themselves that their falsehoods are truths, so that they actually believe their own lies. Hence this individual might pass a lie detector test, even though what they are saying could not be further from the truth.

A sociopath can do hideously cruel and immoral things to other people without feeling any guilt. To this person, other people are not human beings with feelings and rights of their own. What's more, they do not have real friends. Instead people are either co-conspirators, casualties, or both. This individual will see you not as a person, but as a prospect to help them achieve their ultimate objective. Nobody and nothing can obstruct their will.

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My Family Can Kiss My Ass: How to Deal with Toxic, Messy, Narcissistic Family Members (Volume 1)

Victimized By a Sociopath?

Sociopaths may appear to be able to experience the full range of emotions, but in fact they feel next to nothing. An event that would distress an ordinary person will have no impact on this person. Yet a sociopath can act out the normal range of emotions. They can easily pretend to feel what they do not, and they are very convincing.

An ordinary person spends time reflecting on the relationships they have with other people. Because sociopaths cannot feel ordinary emotions, there is nothing for them to reflect on. That is why they easily feel bored. As a result of this, they will create dramas just to make life a little more interesting. They may gamble, commit crimes just for the thrill of getting away with it, or be sexually promiscuous simply to fill their time. Some are also involved in acts of sexual deviance.

The victim of a sociopath may feel physical and/or emotional pain as a result of what has been done to them. The perpetrator cannot identify with the misery they are causing for the other person. Instead they are derisive of the pain of their victims, and they may use the upset they cause to their own advantage.

Sociopaths use a very clever method to manipulate their victims. For the most part, they are abusive towards their victims. Yet this abuse is alternated with short periods of ostensible love and appreciation. This cycle can be addictive for the victim. Consequently they continue to come back for more. This cycle of "love" and abuse can have a devastating impact on the victim's self-esteem.

The sociopath does not accept the blame for any of the harm and hurt they cause other people. In fact this person is convinced that the blame for what happened belongs with someone other than themselves, even when this clearly is not the case. They don't care that they damage and destroy other people's lives. Their only concerns are winning the game and getting what they want.

Sociopaths usually lack any kind of work ethic. They may move quickly from one job to another, or simply avoid working at all. This individual has a parasitic nature. He or she will use and manipulate others to get the money they need to survive. For instance, they may ask to borrow some cash and not bother paying it back later. They are also likely to break the law in order to obtain money. Yet they are adept at avoiding detection, so they very rarely have to pay for the crimes they commit.

There is no way of treating a sociopath with psychotherapy or counseling. This person does not acknowledge that he or she has a problem. Because of this, they will neither want nor seek any type of treatment. They do not suffer because of their condition. All of the suffering is inflicted on other people.

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How to Leave a Sociopath


If you suspect that someone in your life is a sociopath, then you should avoid confronting or accusing them. If you tell the person that you think they are a sociopath, they are likely to laugh in your face and scorn your attempt at comprehending them. That is why confronting this type of person is a waste of time.

It is also a mistake to forgive a sociopath for the wrongs that they have done to you. They are well aware that it is human nature to want to forgive others. They will exploit this need to forgive, and use it to continue the cycle of abuse. To forgive this type of individual is to invite them to hurt you again.

The best way of handling a sociopath is to get them out of your life for good. Do not forgive them for the wrongs they have done to you. Avoid finding a reason to tolerate their company again. This is easier said than done when this person is a family member, or long-time friend. You may even miss them to some extent, even though they have hurt you. Yet if you know someone like this, the only way of protecting yourself is to avoid them completely, even if it hurts.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2011 sociopath-free

Do you know a sociopath?

Dippy on May 19, 2017:

I find it hard when reading the comments with regards to forgiving a sociopath. These type of people have clocked you, homed in on you and devalued/discarded you! Yes you let it happen and was misguided by your own good nature and morals. Whilst with a sociopath they have a very good way of making you question yourself. I let my sociopath relationship do that on many occasions. That particular person trait gets pleasure seeing your self esteem leave you to a level of feeling worthless. The only person you should forgive is yourself for allowing this monster play you like some ride at a playground. I went 6 years with one and can tell you six years of big downs and very few ups and living hell when looking back. Why? Because empathic People think there is a reason for the strange behaviour and want to try and help/understand and heal to some degree. You cut yourself away from those close to you who don't have the blinkers you wear because a sociopath at the early stage of the romance as conditioned you to seeing them as a nice, caring, charming character that they are and when the bad times come you always seek the beginning the individual wearing the good mask therefore argue your own thoughts and mind. They brain wash you. My past partner/? Because it is ? Due to the fact there is no real anything with them. Everything they do as a interior motive and purpose for them. He described himself as fleeting and I describe it ultra ego that gets excitement from control and being selfish. Everything they do as some form of selfish act behind it. He caused a lot of pain within my family unit and will never forget nor forgive the masked individual he departed with.

SPRING on March 24, 2016:

damn. I guess I have to learn something the hard way most the time because that way the pain keeps me from ever fully forgetting and so I won't be stupid to repeat mistakes that hurt the most. I had managed to go through 36 years of my life without being seriously hurt or injured by being close to a sociopath. I didn't know about sociopaths until I had to start Google searching certain behaviors of a former friend. Other than that I had a truly narcissistic youth pastor who eventually was fired and a handful of managers in retrospect which explains a lot. I fricken despise these people. Now I will see them coming I hope. Thank God for gut instincts but even despite them I put up with Natalie for almost 3 years trying to keep giving the benefit of the doubt until I found the truth

AmyLOrr on April 07, 2014:

I know I have known sociopaths. Getting away from them is a positive step but its so difficult living with the memory that you did not confront them! Thanks for a great lens :)

Rose Jones on March 31, 2014:

Interesting - and a contribution to our knowledge. Pinned to my mental health and mental illnesses board.

Melanie Paige from Adelaide, South Australia on March 05, 2014:

I don't believe I've met a sociopath, but if what you say is true and that they are very convincing, then I very well might have without realising it. I'll definitely keep this advice tucked safely away in my mind.

Thank you so much for sharing this interesting lens. I hope it helps people :)

Shinichi Mine from Tokyo, Japan on February 27, 2014:

Unfortunately my ex was one of those people. Fortunately that's in the past.

anonymous on February 27, 2014:

This is really good! Hopefully I won't have to deal with a sociopath in the near future but articles like this help others. Thank you for sharing.

chuck7523 on February 23, 2014:

do i ever know one... not even two years ago, she stole my car to move three states away, she stopped all contact with me till about 6 months ago.. we talked it out, and she wanted to move back, which i reluctantly agreed to. not even two weeks have passed and she wanted to move to her aunts which is 4 hrs away, so again i obliged.. i gave her a ride to her aunts to find out that she had told them i'm an alcoholic who drinks every day till i pass out and i had kicked her out, all lies!! and just yesterday, she texts me 1001 times, none of which i responded to, telling me that she is just scared and she is just nervous i "would" have kicked her out eventually and made every attempt to make her actions somehow my fault.. I've known her for years, and she has done nothing but take advantage of my kindness, and abuse me at every turn, as long as it benefited her.. all along never taking any responsibility whatsoever for anything.. i am not man enough to deal with her any more, yet somehow i feel it's my "duty" to help her again( more like, continue being a doormat).. I'm at a total lose, but i do agree with protecting yourself at all costs, so i imagine seeing as how she made a conscious decision to do what she did, it is in no way, shape or form my fault.. good riddance to bad trash!!!

confused2013 on February 13, 2014:

Yes my husband and we have two kids. What do I do? I have no other support.

tonyleather on February 11, 2014:

Not if I knew about it!

sociopath-free (author) on February 10, 2014:

@TanoCalvenoa: Sorry :(

TanoCalvenoa on February 08, 2014:

I know three.

sociopath-free (author) on February 08, 2014:

@anonymous: Sounds like a classic. Blessings and healing to you.

sociopath-free (author) on February 08, 2014:

@anitabreeze: Most of us one into one or two in our lives.

sociopath-free (author) on February 08, 2014:

@pillarcandles: Amen sister.

sociopath-free (author) on February 08, 2014:

@anonymous: It usually ends when the woman isn't willing to put up with the BS anymore. Healing and blessings to you!

sociopath-free (author) on February 08, 2014:

@anonymous: You don't have to be scarred forever -

sociopath-free (author) on February 08, 2014:

@francescajohnston: Some have brain damage, many just born that way. Thanks for commenting.

sociopath-free (author) on February 08, 2014:

@Technus: Not sure seeing his daughter is a good idea, but you have to do what you feel is best. Blessings -

sociopath-free (author) on February 08, 2014:

@denise-patton-90: Thank you for commenting. Yes, the comments are heart wrenching.

sociopath-free (author) on February 08, 2014:

@CrossCreations: Unfortunately very true, and excellent book.

sociopath-free (author) on February 08, 2014:

@anonymous: I can feel the pain in your words. So sorry you had to go through that, but focus on your own healing now

Carolan Ross from St. Louis, MO on February 08, 2014:

Unfortunately I do have experience with one of these monsters. A sad situation, especially because very few in our society understand it. Read "The Sociopath Nextdoor" for more.

denise-patton-90 on February 08, 2014:

Thanks for such an informative post which I will gladly share. Some of the stories told by your followers are horrendous ... I hope thay all ind future peace, love and happiness xxx

Technus on November 10, 2013:

Try having a sociopath as the father of your children. He really duped me in the beginning and was charming and sweet. He wanted to have kids right away, but I wasn't ready and wanted to go to college. He tricked me into getting pregnant, but as soon as I did get pregnant, he started treating me like crap and was cheating on me. He then kicked me out of the house for no reason and blocked his number so I couldn't reach him.. I was 7 months pregnant at the time. He doesn't care about his child at all, never calls or writes or stops by, then tries to blame me for it. ARG! It frustrates me to no end because I really want our daughter to have her father in her life.. but maybe it's for the best. On top of that he actually thinks he's a good father! Ha! For what? Trying constantly to weasel out of child support and not seeing his child but for a few times in her 10 years? I have to constantly remind him of how crappy of a father he is. But he doesn't get it. He also has had people fooled, like his ex wife. He constantly told her bad things about me, like I was crazy and didn't want him to see our daughter, but when she met me in person and saw that I was a good person and how much I wanted him to see our daughter, she quickly realized that he had been lying to her the whole time. They quickly divorced after that because she caught him cheating on her with several women.. and they had 2 kids together... which he barely pays attention to as well.

anonymous on June 23, 2013:

I call him the devil.I just came out of a 10 year relationship when i met him.He said he had searched the world for me and that i was his soul mate.He built me up and turned on me just as quickly.I couldn't understand ??he caused arguments out in public and turned things on me saying i was a nutcase, i was starting to believe him He said he had a troubled childhood and bad things had happened to him.He had a fixation on my dog? said, he could not have a relationship with me because he hated her? shes a little dog jack russell/toy poodle. she was terrified of him and then i found out why.He was hurting her.I got away from him.He said he was going to destroy me :-( Why? then he attacked me and got away with it.Police where involved and he has now gone .It left me with ptsd , i have lost all my so called friends and shut myself away.I feel like i have been soul raped and its hard to get back up but i am slowly X

anonymous on May 24, 2013:

@anonymous: Listen to your gut feeling... something is really wrong! Be very careful. Try to limit your contact with this person.

anonymous on May 24, 2013:

@anonymous: do NOT go back!

francescajohnston on April 19, 2013:

I learned that sociopaths literally have brain damage.

Neglect or abuse as a child results in non-formation of the frontal lobe.

A sociopath literally has no way to understand empathy or emotion because he/she has no section of brain to process these things.

I don't think in general that they are able to be rehabilitated.

VERY GOOD info in the Lens!!

Thank you so much!

Blessings <3

anonymous on April 09, 2013:

I was married to a sociopath. It is mind boggling the damage they can do to another human being and feel not one bit of remorse. I will be forever scarred.

anonymous on April 07, 2013:

I fell in love with the nicest guy........until I married him. For 26 years I put up with the lies and horrific mind games until I finally had the strength and guts to leave. He was such a different person in public and still is. So charming and pleasant yet a real evil person when behind closed doors. I was always the blame for all his mistakes. A life of absolute hell. It is so true that the person I married never really existed. Finding this website has been an absolute god sent for me!!

anonymous on March 28, 2013:

@anonymous: Dear "InYourShoes"- thanks for the reply and I'm sorry we've both been in the same boat. I will say that I have turned a corner and am on the way to wholeness again. What he stole of my soul (which is their goal: they are soul-sucking PARASITES)I am claiming back - thru visualization, prayer etc. I read a phenomenon book ("Puzzling People: The Labyrinth of the psychopath", and it gave me tools to use. I also learned that psychopaths use their victims as tools-- I was a hammer to him that he needed for a while, but he also put the hammer down when needing a wrench, screwdriver,etc. He probably thinks one day he will need that "hammer" again-- but THIS hammer will be gone. He is "dead to me" now. I won't hate or love. That gives him energy. I will move on, as a better and stronger woman, now. He is pitifully pathetic. An "it"- not a real human. And I don't care about him anymore. Thank GOD! I hope you can get there too (if not already).

johnny-knox on March 21, 2013:

Really good info here, I never knew sociopaths were against society, learned something new... Just like the common cold, no remmedy. Thanks for for sharing your expertise!

pillarcandles on March 21, 2013:

I know a couple and the best advice is run away like hell is after you.

anitabreeze on March 15, 2013:

I certainly do know a sociapath or two!. Another good book is called Mask of Insanity.

anonymous on March 14, 2013:

@anonymous: Dear "In-Healing" I hope you are doing better and that things have gotten clearer for you. You really took the first REAL step by confessing to your spouse. I totally understand your situation - I could have written your post! Yes, self sabbotage- the NEED to know you are "right" but damn, if you just can't help wanting to be wrong and truly wishing he cared one iota for you... because feeling stupid that you walked into it willingly and could possibly go back sucks! lol

anonymous on March 03, 2013:

My ex boyfriend is a classic sociopath. He was verbally abusive and never had no remorse. He would always tell me "It's my way or the highway." He was so controlling and wanted to keep me away from my family. He would say horrible things about my son and my family. I was with him for nearly 7 years and I always thought that I could change him and that he would somehow get better. I don't know why I put up with it so long. If I confided in him something about me he would always use that against me somehow. He would sext other women and then say it was my fault. I always found out. My son is now scarred because of his behavior. I talked to his family about his behavior and they would make excuses for him as to why he was behaving this way. Apparently his own mother wanted to warn me when I first met the family but decided against it for whatever reason. When we broke up he was online scoping out his new vicim and within a week he found one and was talking to her. I let him stay in my basement until he found somewhere to live and I could hear everything he said while talking to his new girlfriend. He was telling he all the lies he told me and more.

anonymous on February 18, 2013:

All of what I have read talks about men who are sociopaths. I was married to a woman who during our divorce was diagnosed as a sociopath by a psychiatrist appointed by the court during the custody hearing. I always thought it was just me she treated as an object until it was revealed in the doctor's report on how she thought of our children. From my experience you have to get away from a sociopath as quickly as possible. Their abusive nature knows no relent. They will never change because they see nothing wrong with abusing anyone to reach their goal.

anonymous on February 18, 2013:

@anonymous: Believe me. You know plenty.

anonymous on February 13, 2013:

I believe my husband's ex is a sociopath, I only recently discovered the traits and it fits her personality perfectly. We could never understand how a mother could use her child as a weapon to make someone miserable. When the child was younger she would keep him from my husband, making up elaborate stories to tell counsellors why he shouldn't have visitation, saying the child has illnesses he didn't have, always claiming to be an over protective mom, when visits did occur she constantly called making the child feel bad for being there and then showing up at the door. Holidays and birthdays were always a nightmare, the list could go on and on. Courts were no help because she would never follow the orders. After she divorced her husband, by the way she took him to the cleaners in the divorce as well, she dropped the mother act and wanted to be single and partying. By the time the child was 14 he was so troubled she didn't want to deal with him anymore, so she gave him to us. This child who had been brainwashed into thinking our house was full of evil people never wanted to live with us. She moved out of the province with her boyfriend not even seeing the child before she left. But she returned a year and a half later when the relationship ended picking up the mother role again to get the child support. While the child lived with us my husband hooked a high paying job. So now there is a different constant battle she fights with the child, he moves out she still collects the outrageous child support amount and the cycle continues. Courts always believe her lies, she always acts as the poor pitiful single mother, when in reality she uses the money for plastic surgery and the best clothes and the child benefits nothing from it. Sadly the child who is now 17 acts very much like her, actually hates my husband. It has been very difficult watching my husband struggle with this, every attempt of having a relationship with the child has been ruined. It seems hopeless and endless every day there is a new dramatic story happening with them.

anonymous on February 13, 2013:

I ended a relationship with a sociopath about 4 months ago. Unfortunately it was an affair. Very convoluted. Not proud of it. Regardless, got very hurt. I ended it with NO contact. Had tried before but he knew how to play on my SYMPATHIES. So this time he tried to get me to "wait and break up after the holidays". I said fine. But then I confessed all to my spouse - my ONLY way put of the snake pit) and spouse texted the snake to never contact me again. Sociopath has tried a few times with fake phone numbers etc but I am on guard. I know the best revenge is for me to not care and be indifferent, with Zero contact, etc. doing that so far. HOWEVER-- I feel like I am going crazy. I will NOT give the snake that satisfaction. But I am ANGRY bc he is "getting off scott free"- his wife has no clue (20 years)- and he does this to other innocent women (his prey). I am finding myself obsessing with wanting to make him pay, or asking women I suspected he was also "with" if they were-- all so I can prove I was right about my instincts all along I suppose. I know this is self sabotage, however, especially as I try to reconcile my marriage. I pray constantly for these obsessive thoughts to go away. I need help.

anonymous on February 10, 2013:

I have been living with my partner for four years but started to realise there was no empathy in her for anyone. She only thought of herself. Now even her own family are not talking to her but she blames me for 'making her look bad' when in fact I am just doing what a parent does for them. It wasn't until I saw the sociopath test that made me realise she fit the bill exactly! I couldn't believe that she had ALL the traits. It explained so much. I have been mentally abused for so long yet always managed to feel sorry for her. Apart from her arrogance, the outside world only sees what she projects. She thinks rules don't apply to her and she feels she is above the law. I have been totally controlled and conditioned by her that I have lost my own identity and almost my own family too. I have finally left and she is full of apology and wants me back saying she has turned a corner. Will she change? Does she want me back for control or love? Or is it that she knows I may be the only man tolerant enough to have her? My head is telling me to stay away but my heart wants to give her a chance but know I've done this so many times before. She doesn't even genuinely love her own children but is clever at making the right noises just for good feedback. There seems to be nothing deeper than that. Am I foolish to go back?

anonymous on February 06, 2013:

I recently moved out from living with someone who I have continued the relationship with until this afternoon when I realised that despite my best efforts I just can't handle his infidelity, lies and emotional abuse. I was reading an artcle about why people cheat and there was a short paragraph on sociopaths and oh dear god does he fit the bill. No remorse, no reason to change, lies, lies, lies, everything always my fault and charming, intelligent and law breaking. I get frustrated that the charm means thatpeople think sun shines out of his you know where and they think im lying about him treating me badly. I have a horrible feeling that he may have hurt people in his care and I'm extremely frightened because in five weeks time I'm having his baby and don't feel I can tell the people around me I'm not with him. I don't want my mother her e as she is also emotionally abusive (and charming and lies..)

anonymous on January 19, 2013:

@sociopath-free: A hell no one deserves in their lives. I was married to one for many years. Made my life a living hell - he lied, stole from anyone who would believe him - did not matter if they were family or not - had a superiority complex - everyone was beneath him - bragged about his heritage and well to do family to anyone who would listen - stole money from anyone he could con - told outrageous stories about me so he could justify some of the God awful things he did - embarrassed his children - made his son think he was beneath him and that he would never amount to anything - engraciated himself to anyone he thought was of importance - talked vey negatively about people who were once friends - created the tension throughout my family by saying negative things about me - his children were embarrassed and ashamd of this man - he had no morals and considered himself above others in all areas of life - could never maintain employment for any length of time because he created problems in the workplace - his mother thought he could do no wrong until he went to live with her as an adult - she was in for a rude awakening - she should have seen this problem earlier in his life before he became an adult. Just to think about the awful things he did makes me feel sick in my stomach. Thank God my children and I are free from the person.

anonymous on January 16, 2013:

@anonymous: Get out of the situation ASAP. For years I dealt with my brother who dragged me down and took money

ArtzeeChris LM on January 11, 2013:

Very interesting read. My first thought of a psychopath is like a serial killer, I guess this is the most extreme cases. I'm not that familiar with the psychological profile of a sociopath but I see how they can wreak havoc on innocent victims in their way. They remind me of the dementors from the Harry Potter books who suck the life out of you. I'm glad I've been lucky enough not to have been involved with anyone like that.

anonymous on January 03, 2013:

My sister married one last year. So far he has has gone through $50,000.00 of her savings - in one year. She works. He doesn't. Yet, he can find fault with nearly everything she does and treats her as if he is the one paying the rent. Sickening. Really.

anonymous on January 03, 2013:

I have just got out of a 2yr relationship with a Narcissistic Sociopath. I knew something was off with him when I wasn't there for him at his beck and call.. he would do something to hurt me a little at first, as in I'll show her. Then all the lies, and grand stories. John does drink a lot and often. In the beginning he would be funny and contained himself but, shortly after it got ugly it would be a constant battle at times, he would just go off in a rage if I said you drink to much, all the other women I caught him texting and talking with. He would blame that on me of coarse, I was the crazy one. He wanted to marry me so bad. I am separated and have been for yrs happily. He used that against me for his behavior, I said I will not go and add more stress to my life when you are behaving this way. When you can show me you are going to stop texting other women, lie and drink so much I would Marry u. Well then the verbal abuse started, called every name in the book, hated my status, my family and my son and of coarse they ended up not liking him on what he was doing to me. He thinks he is the smartest, kindest, honest, can do anything kind of guy. Then the physical came, and threats of other women. sent me photos of him with another women. unbelievable!! He didn't like that i stood up to him and would start to ignore the verbal. I know he lies to his family about what he put me through and why I started to hide form people and be angry. He even after the first physical encounter I left my phone came back to get it, saw his mom there so i thought it was safe and she started yelling at me, I was embarrassed and ashamed of what I was putting up with and at times very angry. I know I had a right to be finally, that it was not my fault as he said I lost the best thing ever, Sorry John You Lost the best woman ever me, good luck with your new victim you had to throw in my face because you were abusing me again and I wasn't coming to take you to the annual Xmas party, so he met someone there and text me a photo of the 2 of them. nice guy!

anonymous on January 01, 2013:

I don't know a sociopath, but hopefully if and when I do come across one I'll be prepared.

anonymous on December 27, 2012:

@sociopath-free: There is evidence to suggest that traits of sociopathy are caused by some kind of damage to the pre-frontal cortex and amygdala. Two of my exes have these traits and, according to their parents, they were both asphyxiated during childbirth.

sociopath-free (author) on December 23, 2012:

@anonymous: I think you pretty much answered your own question.

sociopath-free (author) on December 23, 2012:

@Gail47: You're lucky! Thank you for commenting.

sociopath-free (author) on December 23, 2012:

@anonymous: Yes, they often show signs when young children. It's unfortunate but you have to recognize it for what it is. Thank you for commenting!

sociopath-free (author) on December 23, 2012:

@anonymous: Yes, they have a way of making you wonder if you're crazy. Makes you doubt yourself, but it's just a tactic they use.

sociopath-free (author) on December 23, 2012:

@Loganor: This is true. Some people seem to have crazy-bad relationships over and over. Thanks for commenting!

sociopath-free (author) on December 23, 2012:

@anonymous: Most are just born that way.

sociopath-free (author) on December 23, 2012:

@anonymous: Yes, I'm always glad to hear someone got out of this type of relationship. Hopefully people will read this and learn what to avoid. Thanks for commenting.

sociopath-free (author) on December 23, 2012:

@anonymous: Lock yourself in a room and read all the resources I list here. You need to detox from your relationship.

anonymous on December 16, 2012:

Yes my ex-boyfriend is a psychopath. I guess some people will say, some just say their exes are psychos because they are bitter. That is not always the case. It is real, it can happen to anyone. I have been through a lot in life that I was able to handle but this experience brought me literally on my knees. He was a textbook psychopath. He was a pathological liar but oh boy. They lie but they will look at you in the eye without any sign of nervousness. That makes them so dangerous cause you will be deceived. Who can lie about his education, job, race, almost everything and do not feel guilty and remorseful? That is a psychopath. He was abusive and manipulative. Who In the right frame of mind thinks that when you confront him, he says it is his life and he can do anything without even thinking of the people that he hurts. That kind of experience will tear you apart and will question your own sanity. They are narcissists and they do not care about you. They only care about what they can get from you. They are not remorseful and just do not care so they cheat and cheat with as many as they want. It was scary and dark and you are in a limbo. It made me weak but as time goes by it has brought the best in me. It made me a stronger person but I would never want anybody to experience the same thing.

anonymous on December 15, 2012:

I never knew psychopathy existed until I was one of the women targeted by my ex-boyfriend. I agree with one of the statements, those who have been wounded know very well that they are evil. My ex-bf was a textbook psychopath, pathological liar, abusive, manipulative, had no empathy, only concerned of what he could get from you, had a double life. Being in that kind of situation I understand why some take a while to get out because You Will Question your own sanity. You will tell yourself maybe you Are the one with a problem cause they will make you feel and think that way. I have been affected by my experience badly but when I got out of the situation, day by day I felt better. I am still recovering but now I am more empowered and the best thing to do is to keep those kinds of people out in our lives or if it is not possible for some to keep them from a distance

anonymous on December 13, 2012:

All socios do NOT have a dysfunctional upbringing. I personally know.

Loganor on December 12, 2012:

Some people seem to attract them like magnets. I have a dear friend who was raised by one (her mother) which left her with terrible mental and emotional damage - much of it because no one outside of the family could see that b*tch for what she was - charming, indeed. Like many abused children, she grew up and married another sociopath. Thankfully she got out of that relationship, and the next sociopath she dated (of course she did) she spotted early and ran! I'm glad she learned how to spot them, and to get away from them. Not all women are so lucky - thank you for sharing this important information on spotting sociopaths, and getting yourself out of relationships with them. You just might save a life!

anonymous on December 09, 2012:

Yes, my brother. For years, my family couldn't understand the way he led his life. Unfortunately, he is pushing 50 and has nothing to show for his life. As a boy, he showed signs of sociopath by a fascination with fire, bed wetting and cruelty to animals. He can leave people and pets without any sadness or remorse. He has times when he is manic and other times where he sleeps a lot. He schemes and breaks the law. He doesn't date and uses everyone he can. Although he prefers to be alone, when meetinf people he is remarkably charming. Right now, he's living in my spare room. He steals from all his family. He riffles through our belongs when we are gone. He makes us feel guilty and makes us feel like we owe him. He hasn't worked much throughout his life and is basically a drain on all of us. It isn't until googling this online did we have a name for his mental illness.

Gail47 on November 25, 2012:

No I don't and hope I never do. Interesting article.

anonymous on November 19, 2012:

I couldn't figure out how to reconcile the nice guy this person seemed to be, with the conflicting behaviors (such as making promises then breaking them; asking for help but not acknowledging once it's given; sleeping with everyone in our inner circle) and then charming his way out of his "transgressions" but never really accepting any responsibility. So, some sociopathic tendencies.

Here's my question: are there shades of sociopathy or is it "all or none?" i.e. Are there ever any times that they ARE truly honest or have an honest emotion? a twinge here and there? Or must all their actions be suspect and untrustworthy? What's the difference between a guy that's just really arrogant and a dick, someone who might be able to be shown the hurt they cause, and a sociopath? The frequency of their "go to" behaviors when caught? (i.e. just ignoring the elephant in the room and pretending like nothing every happened? Being all sweet and attentive?)

I know we can't feel bad for the sociopath because they, basically, "don't know what they're missing". It must be some basic (non-sociopathic) need to hear someone say they acknowledge they were wrong or "I'm sorry i hurt you"...but there is no use waiting for it because a) they couldn't understand it and b) even if they said it, it's not true.

I once said to this person "I just want back the guy i thought you were." I'm totally gutted bc if this person really is a sociopath, this person is just a big black hole of...nothing.

So all, is he? Do I even need to ask?

sociopath-free (author) on November 17, 2012:

@CristianStan: Yes, I consider them training films on what to do.

sociopath-free (author) on November 17, 2012:

@anonymous: Prayer will help you. Cutting off the sociopath will too.

anonymous on November 13, 2012:

@anonymous: Hearing all your stories helps so much. Ten weeks ago I learned the man I've been married to for 30 years (of course that includes me divorcing and remarrying him and all his disappearances) is a sociopath. Lies, lies, and more lies! I agree the hardest thing to accept is that he simply does not care about all the pain he has put me and our children through. It's heartbreaking. I also go back and forth from feeling hope for the future to crying all day at being left, AGAIN. My friends and family also don't get why I can't just be glad he is gone. But I have a psych nurse friend that said to me, "If it were that easy to turn off your feelings you would be just like him now wouldn't you?" That helped me look at my own feelings more objectively. Also, I have a strong faith in God and He helps me deal with the pain daily. I just hope I can move on quickly. Hard to change 30 years of bad choices. He always made me feel it was all my fault when he disappeared. And I do mean disappear. Ten weeks ago he left and said he would be back as usual but instead I got 4 texts saying he had been cheating and was so sorry. Said he loved me and he would call me the next day. Well it's a good thing I didn't hold my breath! I didn't know what he was until this last time. A friend suggested I read The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout. It took me a week to pick my jaw up off the floor. Sadly all the pieces that just never felt right began to slide into place. I am left with a severely broken heart once again, but this time I know what I have been dealing with. I don't know if he will ever try to contact me again (crazily it hurts to think he won't) but I know my kids and I are better off w/o him. I have always supported him along with myself and the kids bc he just never held a job and when he did it was sales and eventually his own ebay business so he could lie and say he was broke. Well good luck to all you that have been taken by one of these worthless snakes!

anonymous on November 12, 2012:

@anonymous: You are absolutely right they care about no one but themselves even if means dismissing others even though it may be a significant other they do nothing wrong they don't lie even though you have caught them in a lie they somehow explain it that it wasn't a lie. i have children from a previous marriage my children were losers in high school for smoking pot. and they had peer pressure now they still should be left on their own because i put them before her(not the case.fake tears really are something they do easy and if you give in to them like most kindhearted people would your back on the emotional ride of your life.It would be nice if they really new what love was but the disease won't let them know what Love is supposed to feel like cheating is just a mere if i get caught it wasn't me. You can have a photo with them eating ice cream and they will say that's not ice cream and that's not me(ha ha) i wanna laugh sometimes but this person is enough to make a grown man cry.I could say more but i know the pain first hand i pray a lot and never stop praying but this Christian woman is more christian then me.She says because i don't do everything she wants and that make her bloodboil as she says never a nice thing to say if i wanna grow my hair long a stain on shirt,no matter what she's a constant unhappy person unless she trying to charm you and they are good at that.I have more but that's enough for now

sociopath-free (author) on November 11, 2012:

@anonymous: You already know the answer.

CristianStan on November 11, 2012:

If you watch lots of crime dramas, this should be quite easy to tell, there is always one in these movies :)

anonymous on November 10, 2012:

@anonymous: This is the most ridiculous statement I've ever heard. Some sociopaths do nothing wrong?! To be classified as a sociopath, one must display at least 3 of the characteristic traits, all of which are considered socially unacceptable, harmful or wrong. And as far as the raised correctly part, most studies show sociopaths come from abusive and neglectful homes and their antisocial behavior starts as a child. Yes they know right from wrong, they just don't care about doing right by others because they have no conscience, guilt or remorse. If an individual is truly a sociopath, they are most definitely harmful and don't deserve anything more than our pity as they are pitiful human beings.

sociopath-free (author) on November 10, 2012:

@anonymous: I guess it's possible, but the one's I've run across are far from harmless. Thank you for commenting.

sociopath-free (author) on November 10, 2012:

@anonymous: Truer words were never spoken, "the person we fell in love with never existed."

sociopath-free (author) on November 10, 2012:

@anonymous: You need a detox. Lock yourself in a room with all the books I list here and don't come out until you've read them all.

sociopath-free (author) on November 10, 2012:

@anonymous: This is true.

anonymous on November 10, 2012:

I think you have many valid points, but I would like to point out that not all sociopathic people commit heinous crimes against other people. Raised correctly even sociopaths know right from wrong, and many of them do NOT do anything that would be considered wrong. While their decisions may not be based on emotion, some sociopaths know that they need to behave in a certain way so as to be a good, upstanding citizen. In fact, I feel somewhat sorry for these kinds of sociopaths because they are unable to feel the full gamut of emotions that non-sociopathic people do.

anonymous on November 09, 2012:

I was in a relationship with someone who I believe was a sociopath, but doesn't quite fit the full description. I met him when he was directing a film as part of an International Film Festival. He was charming and funny and had an addictive energy about him. I fell for him quickly but then early in the relationship I became unwell and he sat by my bed in hospital and held my hand and cried. He was another country and returned to his country. We decided to commence a long distance relationship. He told me he cheated on his first girlfriend and he found it so easy but said it messed with his head so he could never cheat again. He grew up watching his mother cheat and lie. I told him how my first boyfriend was mentally unwell and took his life and so I had spent the next 10 years trying to always be kind and good to everyone especially if they had a mental illness. He then told me that he suffered from anxiety and had been seeing mental health professionals. I saw him have an anxiety attack. He also told me that he couldn't feel empathy and had been diagnosed with several disorders including asbergers, but all the diagnoses where different. I started to see another side of him when he started to plot how to get rid of the head of his department at the university he worked at as he believed he was the only one qualified to do the job. He talked so coldly about his family yet would talk about how he had to give his wage to his mother to support his sister, so was always broke. I paid for him to come back to my country for Christmas. I had had a facebook message from someone telling me he had a girlfriend and i confronted him over it. He just went crazy and asked who it was because he would find them and ruin them. I told him I had deleted the message and I wasn't sure who it was and why did it matter if he was being honest. He just kept telling me unless I told him who it was there would be consequenses as if anyone dared to cross him he would ruin them.

The rest of his time with me was ok. I was meant to go across to visit him a couple of months later when I became unwell again and was hospitalised. My father offered to fly him out to see me instead and he told me his pride was more important than seeing me, I dismissed it as him being upset and he promised he would come out when his work paid for him to set up more film work. Over the next couple of months of long distance he became more agitated about his work at his university and blamed his work colleagues for all his problems and delayed in coming to see me. I asked him to have an STI test before he came out to see me and a massive argument ensued as he told me he didn't see what the issue was having STI's and why did I want him tested. He finally text me one night and said he had 10 days of work in a weeks time and could I pay for him to come travel to the other side of the world and so I didn't hesitate and bought him his plane fare of around $2000. I had recently resigned from my job so that I could move to the UK to be with him. I had save enough money to be financially independent for a year without the need for work and to help him with his mortgage. The day before he came out he called me agitated and told me he was so stressed from his work he didn't know if he could have sex. The night after he arrived we went to bed and he told me he was too stressed for sex (our relationship prior had been very physically active when we were together). He told me he had become asexual and needed time. I asked him if there was anyone else and he swore on his life there was no one else. I went and took a mental health course and joined a support group so that I could help him and I supported him through it each day affirming that I wouldn't leave him even if it meant our relationship couldn't be physical. I finally went to the UK and when I arrived he told me he still couldn't have sex and introduced me to his friends as a friend not as his girlfriend. He told me he was just a private person. As it turns out I was meeting a few of his lovers. When we left his "friends" he would tell me how much he disliked them all. My gut was telling me that there was something really not right. He would see how upset I became at being introduced as his friend and didn't seem to care. He told me I was just making him stressed and that he was private and I wasn't to tell anyone we were together. He showed no compassion or empathy for how I might feel and when I asked why he wouldn't apologise he told me he has never apologised as he never been wrong. I soon found out via a text message on his old phone that he borrowed that he was cheating. I confronted him over it and he just went crazy at me and told me that how could I question his honesty and fidelity when I knew he had a sexual disorder and what kind of despicable person was I to even question him and no wonder my ex had killed himself. He physically took the phone from me and said it was obviously a joke with a friend and that he was going out to make a call and he wanted me out of the apartment by the time he got back. He knew i had no phone, I knew no one except a couple of his friends and he knew i had no passport as it was at the embassy. I left distraught and feeling suicidal that I could have been so horrible to have even doubted him. I stayed on the streets that night in as I had no ID with me so couldn't check into a hotel or hostel and when I borrowed a phone to call him he didn't answer then switched his phone off. The next day I found a hostel and by chance a guy in the room I was staying with asked why I was in an evening wear and had no bags. I told him my story and he said by chance my boyfriend wasn't a tall ginger guy and I was shocked as he was. He told me he had reported me missing to the police. I went to the police station and they saw the bruises on my wrists and asked me my side of the story and they said he had told them that he had begged me to stay and not go out at night but I had left. I told the police my story and they told me not to go near him without a policeman accompanying me. I then called my ex to tell him I was fine and he told me he hated me and that I was pathetic and whilst he was glad I was dead that was as far as it went. He then asked me why I left and even tried to convince me that he had told me to stay and not to leave and that I was so selfish and that the police even had to worry his friend who had sent the suspicious text messages. I had written down the number of the person who had sent the suspicious texts and so I called her to let her know that I was ok. The police had never called her and when I explained who I was she was in shock as she had believed that she was in a monogomous relationship with him for 6 months during the time we had been together. I was left in shock and I had uprooted my life and moved to the other side of the world for him. All of this I could have dealt with if he had just said sorry, but instead he went to our mutual friends and the people I had met and told them that I was crazy and deluded and that he ended our relationship a year ago and that I just came to the UK anyway and he told people how horrible I was. So I was stuck in a city by myself being harassed online by people associated with him saying the most horrible things to me. It left me feeling suicidal. I am now back in my home country trying to come to terms with it all and understand it and when I have told people about it they said he sounds like a sociopath. It has all left my life in tatters and I am trying to understand how I ended up in the situation. Does what I described sound like he could be a sociopath?

sociopath-free (author) on November 07, 2012:

@anonymous: Glad you made it through Gail. Thanks for commenting!

anonymous on November 07, 2012:

@anonymous: Sounds like you need a non-molestation order or similar against her. Go talk to your local police. I did, about a bully, and it's kept him somewhat at bay.

anonymous on November 04, 2012:

@sociopath-free: the sociopath i was seeing became very nasty and threating he comes into my home and does terrible things to annoy me and of cause to hurt me. he could track me down through tracking devices if some one has experience this as well i would love the support right know. the police wont go near him at all, they look down on me instead, so i don't bother getting help. if any of you know why that is please let me know. i still miss him curtain parts of him where funny. but he had me up and down i

felt so bad in myself I have been healing with meditation. I am trying to fill up with what he took. I can't believe how much crap he is getting away with. he is a thief cheat and a liar, also dangerous. my name is gail from australia, i hope you will chat with me i would love the support as there isn't any one to talk to hear. good luck in love.

anonymous on November 03, 2012:

Sociopaths are VERY dangerous! I spent these last 4 yrs with one of the worst. He was not afraid to use the law to his advantage and did so several times by blatantly lying to the police to have me removed from his home whenever he saw fit or got bored and needed some extra drama. He is an expert liar, a cheat and a thief. He has stolen so much from me, my belongings, my trust, my self confidence, my self esteem but I'll be damned if I'll let him steal my sanity. I always knew something wasn't right with him but he tried to turn everything around and lay all the blame on me. Now I see I was right all along, he's the one whose insane. Sure it hurts, sure we were brain washed and cohersed into being codependent but to finally be rid of their false fake-ass fascades is totally worth it in the long run. the person we fell in love with never existed. It was all a lie, just like their entire being. Good riddance!

sociopath-free (author) on October 31, 2012:

@anonymous: Glad it helped. Thanks for commenting.

sociopath-free (author) on October 31, 2012:

@anonymous: The problem with sociopaths is that they look just like us and can act like us for a bit.

sociopath-free (author) on October 31, 2012:

@anonymous: Sounds like you have a good case for sole custody. Take care of yourself. Your kids need you.

sociopath-free (author) on October 31, 2012:

@anonymous: Yes, charm and intelligence is a hallmark. I list the book you talk about above. Thanks for commenting!

anonymous on October 31, 2012:

@anonymous: Hi there,

I just wanted to let you know that you're not alone. What you describe above is exactly what I've been going through for the past few months. The only way you can get through this is by a/ reading AS MUCH as you possibly can about sociopaths and arming yourself with as much knowledge as possible so you can see the signs and realise what you're dealing with, and b/ getting counselling. Do not let him ruin you. You've likely already given him your heart, your sympathy, maybe even your money. Do not let him take your sanity. It is so incredibly hard I know, but think about how much time you've already wasted on someone who essentially isn't capable of caring, and make sure you don't waste a second more. You deserve so much better, and you will find it. I was with a sociopath for only 4 months, and had to take 2 weeks off work with anxiety, take medication for depression, and seek counselling for the first time in my life. Previously I was a strong, independent, confident woman, and in only 4 months he almost destroyed me, so I can imagine your pain is much greater. Please just find the strength to walk away and realise that this is all a game to him. He simply does not have the capability of loving.

sociopath-free (author) on October 31, 2012:

@anonymous: Sociopaths usually blend in a bit more. Sounds like he may have tendencies but mostly sounds crazy. Watch your back.

sociopath-free (author) on October 31, 2012:

@JJNW: Your advice is dead on. You'll drive yourself crazy trying to figure out the who, what, where, when, and why. RUN to the nearest exit. Thank you!!!

sociopath-free (author) on October 31, 2012:

@anonymous: What causes a person to have blue eyes? Curly hair? Genetics. To quote Lady Gaga, they're just born that way.

sociopath-free (author) on October 31, 2012:

@anonymous: Buy the books I list here, lock yourself in a room, and don't come out till you've read them all. You need to immerse yourself in the truth.

anonymous on October 30, 2012:

I worked with a man who displayed the signs of being very charming and intelligent. However, as time went on there were cracks in his facade. At times he displayed completely inappropriate behaviour to co-workers and to clients. If you disagreed with him, you then would be his next 'target' for bullying. He essentially was a total bully to people who he viewed as less than and then to people who stood up to him, he woukd find a way to discredit and destroy them . There is a book called, 'Snake in a suit' and it is written by a University Professor who is an expert in the field of sociopaths. I read this book while I was working at the same institution as the 'sociopath' and he fit the scenarios and case studies to a tee.

This person that I had worked with managed to charm our bosses (basically, he was such a 'yes' man to them and the epitome of a brown noser) that our management when confronted with situations where there was actual harassment on the job....well, guess what? The bosses sided with the sociopath. But this guy was so spiteful in his revenge that he eventually got caught doing very unethical things and he quit tge workplace.

I will never forget this cold and unfeeling personality that took over my work life. My sentiments now (since this happened over four years ago) are that the workplace became extremely toxic when he came onboard and he was a very scary person. I had the intuition that he was capable of doing very bad things to people in order to advance himself. No Conscious!

anonymous on October 29, 2012:

There's someone at church who sits up front, twists and moves around to be in my line of sight, stares at me, smiles whenever I smile, follows me around, is angry because I refuse to have any contact with him. Notices my family just a little too, much and in fact walked into my house uninvited demanding to see me. He stands in the foyer after meeting and stares in a confrontive stance. Some kind of weird stalking game. He constantly calls and asks inappropriate favors - ie ride to work, let us put his things in our barn, let him show my daughter how to milk his goat, give us key to his house so my kids can water his plants, give organ lessons alone at church. I never will although he acts indignant. One time we did get a load a firewood for him to purchase, it was a several mile trip and when we delivered it he said it wasn't chopped small enough to fit in his fireplace so he wouldn't pay for it. Still he used it. I'm a leader and I have to see him every week at church. My gut feeling is that he is danagerous to more than just me. He's sits in front and plays the organ, a strategic position to hurt control and hurt others. He is upset with several people in our congregation: some for telling him he is not welcome to come to family luncheons whenever there is a funeral (he comes to every funeral though I don't think he really has any friends so he's not in mourning). I'm not sure who is more strange, this person with no soul (it's a black widow personality) or me for recognizing something strange and suspecting he can do terrible harm. Watch for our congregation in the headlines for the next terrible shooting. Am I weird? Who do I tell this to?

JJNW from USA on October 28, 2012:

Sociopath - Narcissist - Psychopath ---- there is a lot of overlap and a LOT of danger. My best advice - GET AWAY from disordered people. Blessed by a SquidAngel and thank you for speaking up from a victim/survivor.

anonymous on October 26, 2012:

yes, I most definitely know a female sociopath, she actually sought out a third husband purely based on his ability to financially take care of her. She manipulated him and twisted herself right into a game that nearly drove him crazy. He has currently filed for separation and she actually did contact her church to get them to feel sorry for her. It is pathetic. This man was taken for a huge ride and had to leave his home. She lied to him from the day she met him and from that point forward continued to do so. When he found out the truth about her she would not even discuss anything and turned it around to make it look like he was the bad guy, she had him arrested and thrown in jail because he finally raised his voice to her once. My question is....What do you think causes a person to be a sociopath and why are there so so many?

anonymous on October 25, 2012:

@anonymous: Fight it as much as possible! If you walk away it will not matter to him. He will find another victim. I split about the same time you did from my sociopath (can't even believe I'm using those words!), and I realize 3 days or 3 years - it means nothing. We gave, they took, end of their story. We are just the most current victims to them, with a history of tolerance to their hurtful behavior. If you become wise to em, they will be cunning enough to realize it & they will shrug it off and just find another target. It's a very sad truth. But now you know who he is - a total stranger, not the men we had hoped they were. And it's much easier to let go of a total stranger than someone you love (who never even existed).

Save yourself, do not spend another wasted minute giving for him to take from you!!! You are not alone!

sociopath-free (author) on October 25, 2012:

@Funkysi: Most likely you do. Thanks for commenting.

anonymous on October 25, 2012:

@anonymous: It is difficult, but please stay strong! I just broke up with a sociopath after 3 years, and I always thought his kids were kinda 'off' (ages 9-17). But now that I realize their dad is a full blown sociopath, I realize how much damage that has done to his kids. They are absolute shells of human beings. Sadly his problem molded their ability to be feeling individuals. And honestly, I think his youngest will actually be truly dangerous in the future. Very angry, hostile & deceitful, with zero remorse whatsoever. Protect your kids - being around someone like that puts their ability to feel and love in danger. Try to avoid any and all contact. I am trying the same - I am sure that after a bit of time we can look back as realize we are lucky to have broken free.

anonymous on October 25, 2012:

@anonymous: I hear you!!! My sociopath boyfriend & I broke up about the same time and it has been an emotional roller coaster. One day I feel free and like my life has been given back to me, and the next day I cry for hours on end (my birthday was a rough one!) I also have had my ex reaching out with stories of legal woes (that he brought on himself), but I must remember this isn't anything special about me (except my vulnerability). When they reach out this isn't for the same reason that people with feelings would reach out - It is not that they've realized they need us. It is not because they have had an epiphany of sorts and that they now know how wonderful we are and lucky they were that we tolerated their BS for so long. They are contacting us because we tolerated it, and they want more. They want us to give them more love, more attention, more validation, perhaps more money. And the most important part (that I have such a hard time remembering) is that if we don't give to them - THEY DO NOT CARE. They will move onto another victim. We are easiest because we are the most recent. We will cry - They will not. It is so hard for me to comprehend that... Years of spending every day together, and vacations, and family ... yet no feelings at all? I still can't grasp it, but I also can't grasp the science of a stick of dynamite - but I have to understand the danger to be a truth and not light a match. It will only hurt us to respond.

It has helped me a great deal to read about sociopathic tendencies - and the "yeah he totally did that to me!" moments help me try to accept that he truly is broken, and there is nothing I can do to fix him. :( The constant reinforcement of these truths is helping me stay strong. Besides, my friends have been hearing about my problems for years and frankly they are tired of it... They can't understand why I don't just simply walk away. The answer for the pain to stop is so obvious to them. And probably obvious to us intellectually, but the heart has been making some bad decisions in recent years! It is time to take our lives back... seriously!

I always thought sociopaths were someone that committed extreme acts like Manson or Bundy - I did not realize they live among us and their behaviors are much more subtle than expected. I would have thought you meet a Bundy and he kills you or leaves you... Not that he sticks around for years masquerading as a normal person.

Per your scars, I also feel like I have scars. I was a trusting person (not an idiot, but I trusted that people were good when you looked deep down - and if you treat someone well they will return that respect). It is such a difficult concept to accept that I have this person so much kindness and love and he never even flinched when hurting me. I will be very wary to trust again, and that makes me sad. But I look at others who have families and kids are involved (my ex has already damaged his kids beyond repair... they are also empty shells). At least I can make a clean break, assuming I can keep up the strength! We've broken up before, but finally I think this is for real. Keep strong, chica!!! Can you imagine this... We will find someone who looks across the room and sees us talking to someone else and it makes him smile, and it makes him walk over to us and whisper how much he loves us. <3

anonymous on October 20, 2012:

Many more situations like that exist, but this one with our daughter definitely takes the cake and squashes it. We're sorta split up, but still living together, and now things have turned into leaving me with the kids and telling me she's going to the market, and not showing back up until 4 or 5 am, liquor heavy on her breath and looking like she's let an entire locker room all have a turn. Telling me she's just been out with friends and trying me make ME out to be the jealous and controlling one. She won't answer me when I ask what's been going on, just repeating my question back to me or dodging it all together. Asking me to tell her where I think she was, to gauge how much of the truth I may or may not know. She's so hammered and her story is all over the place. I usually already know they're just lies. It really scares me to think she may not make it back one night and the kids'll be without a mom. But I guess they kinda already are...