I Lived with A Sociopath

The Sociopath

I Lived With a Sociopath

I married a man who turned out to be a sociopath. I served him divorce papers in 2002, but the divorce was not final until 2004 because of his need to fight. I thank my loving God I can look back now and know the wrath of my ex husband is over. Those days were dark for me, but I can say that I am thriving now. I have had 12 years of cathartic healing. My faith, supportive friends/ family and therapy helped me through this hard chapter of my life. I have my Master's degree in Counseling & Psychological Services. One would think I could have flagged the behavior and known the territory I was about to embark on, but No. Me, like many others, are blindsided when entering into a relationship with a sociopath. Researchers state that one in twenty people are sociopaths. What does this term mean? There are many defining factors that show the behavior of a sociopath.


Characteristics of a Sociopath

  1. No feelings of empathy
  2. They do not know how to love
  3. Grandiosity
  4. Narcissistic
  5. "It's all about them"
  6. Manipulate to get what they want
  7. Prey on victim's vulnerability
  8. Power driven
  9. Lack of social cues
  10. Robotic in terms of social behavior
  11. Charming
  12. Calculated
  13. Egocentric
  14. Have no desire to change since they see no problem.
  15. Incapable of real human attachment
  16. Emotionally dangerous
  17. Pathological lying
  18. View others as objects or pawns
  19. Shallow emotions
  20. Superficial
  21. Need for drama/stimulation
  22. Extremely convincing
  23. Lack of remorse, shame, guilt
  24. Con artist
  25. Feigned expressions in relationships
  26. A fraud
  27. A chameleon
  28. Deep seated anger/hostility
  29. Need to be in control
  30. Believe they have great power and abilities
  31. Let nothing stand in their way, whether that is the next victim, project or mission
  32. Not genuine
  33. Love, warmth and compassion shown by sociopath are used as a ulterior motive or a means to an end
  34. Try to confuse you with words and details
  35. Very convincing
  36. Great ability to talk in circles and never really say what they mean
  37. Make you think your crazy
  38. Hold you to an impossible standard so they can constantly tell you how marred you are
  39. Hypocritical- Ex: Create a rule for you that the sociopath feels is fine for them to do, and the rule can change at any time
  40. Blame others

You are not bad or stupid because you didn't see the signs

I wanted what all girls dream of: meeting a man who would love me. I wanted children, a great family life, to be supported and cherished. That dream withered and died for me. Like they say, hindsight is 20/20 and I did not see it coming. The red flags were there, but it's very hard to believe and understand that someone that is supposed to love you, not only loathes you, but is indifferent to your joys and pain. Like my therapist said to me many times, "Laura, I am glad you don't understand it, because it does not make sense. You can't make sense out of nonsense."

I was taught to believe that most people are good deep down. I believed this until I met him.This is what makes it easy for a sociopath to pull you in. They are banking on the fact that most people are trusting and good. I met him during an exciting time in Minnesota, when the Twins baseball team was in the play offs for the World Series. I had just finished dinner at a local restaurant with my twin sister and father. My sister and I were going to meet up with friends at a local pub and watch the Twins game.

My sister and I landed ourselves at a booth where we could see the T.V. perfectly. The atmosphere at this pub was electric and all of Minnesota was giddy with hope that we could win this 1987 series against the St. Louis Cardinals. Across the bar, I could see a handsome, clean cut man that I had met a few years before. I had dated his cousin who had introduced us. That was the beginning of hell on earth for me. Like many, I was charmed by this sweet talking man who knew just what to say, except his words I would learn, were as shallow as his soul and personality.

Definition of Sociopath, Psychopath & Anti-Social Personality Disorder

If we look at the Wikipedia definition of Anti-Social Personality disorder, it states it is characterized by a pervasive pattern for violating others and their rights. Two manuals; the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual & International Statistical Classification of Diseases & Related Health Problems, see the Sociopath and Psychopath as interchangeable. I don't want to focus on this part of the sociopaths profile, except to say that not all sociopaths get in trouble with the law or have criminal records and most sociopaths do not kill.

I am writing this article to educate you all on this personality, so you can try to avoid the pain that I have endured. The other reason I am writing this is to make clear, not all people are good. This was a very tough lesson for me as I want to believe we are all good. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way that this personality type lives and breathes in too many circles and live among us. I have learned to be a "Healthy Skeptic." I am an enthusiastic, positive person who see's the glass half full. I did not let the Sociopath in my life take away my happy demeanor or my spirit. I do however want you to have a healthy, not naive view of looking at people with realistic glasses. In my research, I found that it is not easy to spot a Sociopath because they are chameleon like. They act as if they are in a play and know what people want to hear. A way to know if your in the bad company of a sociopath is that they lie consistently. This trait combined with the fact that they are preying on others weaknesses in order to use them against you, is another piece to this wicked puzzle.

Strategies on how to deal with a Sociopath

The best way to deal with a Sociopath is to be very well versed in what your strengths and weaknesses are because this is where they will sting you. Sociopath's are skilled at finding out your secrets and vulnerabilities. Once they have these tidbits, they will use the information they gain from you to keep you in their web. They have no empathy at all and in fact are indifferent to the pain they may cause you if you dare rebuke them. For me, all I had to do was disagree with him or have my own opinion. The name calling would start and I would be told all the reasons why I was such a piece of trash or he would use violence against me. The worst of it was after being hit, he would say what a weak person I was If I cried and then he would glibly state that he did not hit me and it was all in my head.

Once he knew I had realized he had no empathy and was devoid of any genuine love, he was very calculated. His mission was clear and I knew he was like a train going so fast he could not see what was in front of him. Thank God my therapist helped me see him for what he really was. She taught me that 'love is an action'. Once she said this, the light went on for me and I could see how evil he really was. I could recount time and time again how he was setting me up. His actions toward myself and my children were not "love." He was so calculated, and now that the veil was off of my rose colored glasses, it was so apparent to me. So many in the community thought he was a good man. I did not know if anyone would ever believe me and what I was going through. What I knew is that I loved my two kids and had a great God that would protect us. My faith guided me and held me up.

My Ex Sociopath Husband's, Mind Games

My ex and father of my two children was a doctor of Chiropractic. He had a device called a dictation recorder. I remember him asking me incriminating questions so he could somehow show a judge my answers. He was trying to take my children away from me. He even stated that he knew all the skeletons in my closet and would gain full custody of my children. I knew he was recording me, so I talked about the concerns I had with his behavior instead of mine. It felt surreal pretending to not know what he was doing. Now that my heart knew he did not give a damn about me, I saw him for who he was, a wolf in sheep's clothing. It was heart wrenching dealing with the loss of a marriage and the loss of the dream family. This life with him was a living nightmare. I remember the women in my Domestic Abuse Group I had come to trust and love, often said things like, "Laura, your life is a Saturday night horror flick."

One day he followed me down the stairs and kept repeating over and over that I was having a heart attack. I was young and in good shape and knew what he was saying was ridiculous, but he just kept saying it over and over. I think the most troubling piece is that he was getting joy from watching my agonizing reaction. I mean, here was the father of my two children telling me I'm having a heart attack with a sinister grin on his face. He continued repeating this mantra all the way down the stairs. The trauma and anxiety of this confusing and terrorizing incident had me rushing out the front door breathless. I truly thought I was dying and prayed no neighbors witnessed this bizarre scene. When I walked back in the house, he softly whispered in my ear, " you have fear issues.", with an evil grin. He then lectured me for several minutes, telling me I was too fear based. I knew he was trying to break me down and destroy me. I heard he was telling family members and friends I was crazy, depressed and suicidal. I knew he wanted me to die mentally and physically, but I knew I could not give up because of my children. I knew with God, everything is possible and I would not give up.

After these incidents, I would pray incessantly when he left for work. My therapist helped me with a safety plan and I had neighbors standing by in case of emergency. It was obvious he was spinning his ugly web to prove to people how unstable I was.

James 3:5-10. "So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great exploits. How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire! {6} And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is placed among our members as a world of iniquity; it stains the whole body, sets on fire the cycle of nature, and is itself set on fire by hell. {7} For every species of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, {8} but no one can tame the tongue--a restless evil, full of deadly poison. {9} With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse those who are made in the likeness of Yahweh. {10} From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this ought not to be so.


If you or someone you love is with a sociopath, run. They will never change and are a danger to the human spirit. Please go to your faith based organization for support. Pray, ask for support from friends and family and go to therapy or an abuse group. I did all of the above and it saved my life.

I survived this living hell and you can too. Please know there is hope.




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The Sociopath Next Door

The Sociopath Next Door

© 2014 Laura Arne

Comments 31 comments

breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 2 years ago

I am so sorry you had to go through this awful experience. I am relieved and happy that you found your way out of it. Don't be so hard on yourself. Sociopaths can be quite charming at first. Our nation was pulled into the grip of one,in my opinion. He's sitting in the White House. Up, interesting and useful.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 2 years ago from Wales

My heart went out to you as I read but what shines through without a single doubt is your strength. Voting up and thank you for being so brave and caring enough to share this experience . This hub I am sure will help many others. Enjoy your day Healing Touch and lots of love from Wales.

Eddy.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida

Laura, you were in a living hell! And none of this came out until after you were married? I find it quite disturbing that your ex is a doctor. Does he help heal them? Or does he make the sicker? Worse, how many have died?

Thank God you got out of that situation. How have your kids been affected?


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 2 years ago from Minnesota

Those were dark days dear sister. I am so proud that you had the courage to get out, even though you knew it would be scary. I love you and am so proud you go out in the community and talk about it. You are an inspiration to me and many others.


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 2 years ago from Arlington, TX

I had one for a while and tried to deal with the individual. She could shift gears faster than I ever saw anyone do it. Sweetness to abject hatred in a blink. I did what I had to do and am glad you found your way out of a truly horrific situation.

The Frog


Nadine May profile image

Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

Thank you so much for sharing your difficult journey. When I read it all I could think of my my daughter and the hardships she went through for fifteen years living with a sociopath. Thank goodness she is now free and happily married to a wonderful man, but those fifteen years were a nightmare for me as a mother seeing your child hurting and you can do nothing about it because its their journey, until the day she woke up!


Mekenzie profile image

Mekenzie 2 years ago from Michigan

Amazing what you lived through dear lady - Yet you have used your nightmare to reach out and expose the enemy for who he was.

I am sure you will help many people by sharing and educating people about this destructive mentally disturbed personality type.

God Bless You!

Mekenzie


Healing Touch profile image

Healing Touch 2 years ago from Minnetonka, MN Author

Mekenzie

God is so good. I am so happy and free. I hope this helps others and prevents them from diving in.


Healing Touch profile image

Healing Touch 2 years ago from Minnetonka, MN Author

Eddy,

Thanks so much for your kind words. I always treasure when you come by. I feel very grateful for my freedom.


Healing Touch profile image

Healing Touch 2 years ago from Minnetonka, MN Author

Breakfastpop,

Thanks so much for your comments. Yes, unfortunately they live among us in every nook of society. I hope men and women everywhere take heed. Thanks for the thumbs up. Good to see you.


Healing Touch profile image

Healing Touch 2 years ago from Minnetonka, MN Author

Shauna,

Your questions are wise ones. I will have to defer to send you an email on answering you poignant questions.


Healing Touch profile image

Healing Touch 2 years ago from Minnetonka, MN Author

Frog Prince,

Isn't that quick switch confusing to watch? I am happy you are no longer in that relationship. I am free and happy. Thanks for coming by.


Healing Touch profile image

Healing Touch 2 years ago from Minnetonka, MN Author

Nadine May,

I can't imagine how difficult that was for you to watch your daughter. My sister just had so much pain for me and knew Only I could be the one to leave it, even with great kids. Thanks for the great feedback.


Healing Touch profile image

Healing Touch 2 years ago from Minnetonka, MN Author

MT,

Thanks for always being there for me even in the thick of this horror. You helped me to see there was a way out and never pressured me.


Lisa Luv profile image

Lisa Luv 2 years ago from Conneticut, USA

Wow... I am speechless... voting up and sharing... just Wow....


Bk42author profile image

Bk42author 2 years ago from New York

Thank you so much for sharing your story. You are a very strong person and I am so happy you are no longer with that monster and that you are safe. Voted up!


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Dear Laura,

I am grateful you emerged from this nightmare stronger, more aware and knowing how very much you are loved.

Thank you for sharing your story, as well as this comprehensive list of characteristics to raise awareness in us all. Love, Maria


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 2 years ago

So sorry that you suffered so much from this person. But, I am glad to hear that you moved forward with positive results. God bless you.


Healing Touch profile image

Healing Touch 2 years ago from Minnetonka, MN Author

teaches12345

Thanks for stopping by. Life is so good now. God Bless you for your support.


einron profile image

einron 2 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

Christians are supposed to stay in marriage for life. The only reason for divorce is infidelity. Did you pray for him at all? I am not judging anyone but that is what the Bible says. May God help you. Peace.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

I'm so glad you are a survivor. Thank you for telling your story.


BeatsMe profile image

BeatsMe 2 years ago

It's a story worth reading. Thanks for sharing. Glad you're over it and can now live happily. :)


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 2 years ago

You are brave in many ways. First for having the courage to get out of the relationship. Many people stay in unhealthy relationships bound by fear. Secondly you are also brave for sharing your story because it takes a lot of courage to talk about and share what you have had to deal with. Know that your story is worth telling. Manipulative and sociopathic people hide among us with their charisma, charm and compelling stories that make them the victim and you the villian. There is no way to tell sociopaths apart from the rest of us, except perhaps through a self awareness about how we react to others. Your hub has great value in exposing a sociopath. Perhaps others will question another person's motives before they allow themselves to be manipulated by the calculations of another. Thank you for a good read and a well written article with a story that needed to be told. You are an inspiration to many people and a role model that shows beyond the darkest moments sunshine awaits.


Healing Touch profile image

Healing Touch 2 years ago from Minnetonka, MN Author

Einron,

I appreciate your feedback but I have changed so much. I knew my Lord Jesus Christ did not want me with this man who treated me like trash and I could not fulfill the life Jesus wanted me to fulfill with him. I was too involved in being afraid and making sure we would not die.


Healing Touch profile image

Healing Touch 2 years ago from Minnetonka, MN Author

Einron,

I pray for him daily. Always have. Feel so sad for his soul.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 2 years ago from Minnesota

I also might add that when your with a abusive person like this, the lord doesn't see this as a marriage anyway. Marriage is a sacred bond between two people that respect and love each other,=- not abuse and manipulate and hurt. So glad that you trusted in God and were courageous enough to leave that man. Again, those were very dark days sister :-0 I thank God everyday that he did not break your beautiful spirit.


torrilynn profile image

torrilynn 2 years ago

I am deeply sorry for the pain and the torture that you had to go through. I am glad that you are better now and that you are in a better place. Your children and your health are what matters most. Blessed you are indeed.


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 2 years ago

Healing Touch ,first I am so sorry that you experienced this from ANY man . It actually shames me to think of any men who act so towards the beauty of womanhood . One of the traits of a good man is to be a good listener and I take pride in being that way , but please help me out here , as a listener I have heard over and over and over again a good woman talk about how for them they give so much and don't get in return in a relationship with so and so , it seems that they [woman ] actually know - that the relationship is in the negative for them and their children . Yet , they don't break it off . I have listened to such beautiful women as they tell me things all the time wondering , Why ? Why do you stay , or why date someone like that ? And especially as there seems to be other [normal ] men out there . It's actually hard to sit and listen without advising as to what they should do , I am so glad you learned to break that cycle though , a woman's mental health is all important to her family first , we all have to think of what we are teaching our kids !..........Ed


Healing Touch profile image

Healing Touch 2 years ago from Minnetonka, MN Author

Torilynn,

Your spot on, I am so blessed and so free now. My kids and I are so happy. Thanks for stopping by.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 2 years ago from South Carolina

Dear Laura,

Thank God you had the faith, strength, family support and therapeutic support to extricate yourself from this man.

You have great courage and character as shown in your willingness to share this information so it may help others, and as shown in the work you do with other victims of domestic abuse and violence.

Also, your writing was powerful, gripping, heart-stopping, and read like fiction, even though I know every word was true.

May God Bless You & Your Family and May You Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving,

Gail


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

Healing Touch and Happyboomernurse,

To you both and All of My Valued Followers,

Happy Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas. I am thankul to have you all in my life. God bless you, your families and friends.

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