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I think he is a sociopath

(54 Posts)
nothinglefttogive333 Fri 23-Aug-13 11:31:04

I have NC'd. If you recognise me, please don't out me.

Been with DP three years and we have an 8 month old DS. We are supposed to be getting married next summer.

After we had been together for a year, it became apparent that he had lied. Huge lies. Lies that affected every part of our lives, it was a web. When I look back now, I don't know why I believed him. I feel like a mug.

Anyway, it all came out and his parents helped us get back on our feet. I was checking up on him a lot and in time I was able to trust him again, as he hadn't lied. Then our DS was born and things were good. He had been out of work for a while but started working again early this year. That's when things started to unravel.

He got paid ok the first few weeks, then there was a problem with the bank (!) Then his employer wasn't paying on time. Then the job ended (agency work so I understood that bit.) He then got a new job, but it turns out he didn't. Fuck knows where he was, but it wasn't at work.

We have been surviving on tax credits and child benefit.

Thing is, I can't trust a word he says. He is grumpy, which I always put down to not having a job. Its clear that he isn't happy with himself. He gaslights me, talks over me in arguements, he could have made me believe the sky was pink. I feel so fucking stupid. He is flipping between blaming it all on me and apologising and saying he knows he has a problem.

When confronted with the lies he gets angry but he has never hit me. If he was depressed, I could deal with that (he has supported me through PND after DS) or if he was just a compulsive liar we could get him into therapy. But I fear that it goes so much further than that. I think he is a sociopath (after a lot of reading) and the only advice for dealing with a sociopath is to get as far away from them as possible.

Not sure what I want from this thread. I just needed to get this down. Any thoughts or advice is welcomed. Though please be gentle. I post on relationships occasionally, I have been in 3 abusive relationships, when I got with him it really felt like I had broken the cycle. sad

Tortington Sat 24-Aug-13 18:00:49

i Don't have any advice at this stage - but i just wanted to say that you come across as a very able, highly intelligent person. You have put strategies in place to make things happen in your life, and you recognise what is happening to you now - believe it or not, i reckon you are infinatley capable of having a great life without him. best of luck x

springytoffy Sat 24-Aug-13 17:53:06

Well, let's hope the time will come when the decks are cleared and It's Time - to deal with this shit. I appreciate your huge reluctance, I remember feeling exactly the same way, that I would explode/implode somehow, that my body wouldn't be able to take it, take the pain and the horror. (I was far 'happier' (hollow laugh) ignoring it. Only it wasn't ignoring me! Jabbing away constantly in every possible area.) But it's not like that tbh. It's slow and manageable. A good therapist will 'hold' you (not literally!) and keep you safe, ready to face the world between sessions.

I say you have to 'do it' and by 'it' I mean you have to grieve - what you lost, what you didn't have, what was taken away. It's a process and it takes time - and it has nothing to do with your head. all the books in the world won't do it.

Have a look at codependency btw - and by that, I mean go to a group (don't do any more reading lol). It's not what you seem to think. It's very ordinary and manageable: basically, a room full of people who have been fucked up, abused, subjected to narcs, neglect etc; who have found dysfunctional ways to deaden the pain. It's basically coming out of that and learning to live in a whole way. Lovely, actually. Not dull.

nothinglefttogive333 Sat 24-Aug-13 14:53:33

There are things that I would like therapy to help me deal with. My family and my mum for a start. But I cannot afford it, and right now I couldn't even commit to it if I was getting it free, I have DS and I don't have people to mind him.

Its a total mess. To be honest, I don't want to open the lid on my mind, how can I? There's too much there.

I miss him. I hate him and I love him all at the same time. I can see that he has abused me, I suspect I have abused him in certain ways too. I don't believe that he is malicious. I think he has had to face rejection and criticism his whole life. He has been the scapegoat in his family just as I have in mine.

Co dependancy might be unhealthy, but so is never being able to work at a relationship.

springytoffy Sat 24-Aug-13 14:35:59

I am slightly appalled that you have not had any therapy - not unless we're counting the derisory 6-wk sticking plaster (when in reality you needed open heart surgery). I could be dark and thunderously angry about the neglect you poor head and heart has suffered.

Knowledge doesn't do it btw - it certainly goes some way, a long way, but nowhere near all the way. You have to experience healing, not think it.

It sounds to me that people have stuffed you back in the box. Toxic 'friend' re you were 'enjoying thinking about it' (I have a lump in my throat about that - whether because of anger or sadness, I'm not sure); the GP who stuffed you back re come back later. Perhaps you are more than happy to switch off the light and close the door, yourself? yes, understandable, I get that - who wants to look at it when it was bad enough at the time.

BUT your current life and relationships are screaming out that you need to address this stuff. Please, get on to it, get it started: no time like the present. You can get cut-price therapy if £ is an issue eg womens orgs; and most therapists offer a sliding fee scale, just ask. But please, get it started. I'm sorry to be so sure, but there will be a 4th, 5th etc abusive relationship. Reading won't stop it from happening.

If you read about severe back injuries until you had it all off to a fine art, it wouldn't heal your injured back: you have to do the therapy, actually do it. Willpower, knowledge etc won't touch it.

nothinglefttogive333 Sat 24-Aug-13 14:17:42

I don't need a diagnosis. But a the term sociopath is interchangeable with psychopath (I have read a lot) so I need to know what I am dealing with.

Whether I am his partner or not, he is still DSs father. Its not as simple as the others who I never ever see now. I am going to be in contact with him for the rest of my life, and for the next decade that will be substantial contact every week. If he is a psychopath I need to know!!

cozietoesie Sat 24-Aug-13 14:11:48

But why do you need him to have a diagnosis? The relationship is not just unworkable, it sounds actively bad for you and your DS - and you're not his mother or therapist.

Your primary responsibilities are to yourself and your child and if you haven't got those sorted out, everything else will go to hell in a handbasket.

nothinglefttogive333 Sat 24-Aug-13 13:52:43

No, I haven't had any therapy at all. I had a period of sessions with a counsellor after my ex accused me of murder (yes really) but that was 6 sessions which focussed solely on relationships.

I have never told anyone about the rape, because at the time I turned to a friend and she told me that she thought I enjoyed thinking about it all the time and that it wasn't rape. Its only really been in the last two years that I have been able to admit to myself that I hadn't asked for it, and that he was preying on me, he was 23 and I was 15. So basically I was groomed. I try not to think about it now. I get up each day for DS despite wanting to hide under the duvet.

I went to the doc and told him I had PND. Told him how I felt. It took me 4 weeks to build up the courage. He told me it was normal to be stressed with a new baby and to come back in 8 weeks if I felt the same. I started to feel better soon after that so I didn't go back.

I am working really hard on myself. I am feeling better. I can understand the notion of co dependency, I will read up on that too.

He would never be diagnosed as a sociopath as he doesn't fit the criteria in the DSM. He hasn't had a conviction below the age of 15.

springytoffy Sat 24-Aug-13 13:40:25

Look (I hate posts that start with 'look'), you can't have a relationship with someone who has the depth of difficulties he has. Maybe a social worker, or someone official, can 'help' him through his shit. but not a partner imo. If you're putting your 'ignore my needs, see to his', even for short periods, that makes you his mother, his therapist. You have enough needs of your own - and, even if you didn't, I don't think it is a healthy dynamic.

But that's easy for me to say. You're not is such great shape yourself (speaks as one who is not in such great shape myself, hardly a catch LOL) so maybe wounded people can wobble along together? I really don't know. My significantly wounded other and I created a godawful mess, that's all I have to go on. There were kids involved though, as there are in your situation. I wonder if those of us who are fucked to high heaven just can't have relationships while the kids are growing up, are consigned to a nun's life. I'm deadly serious (unfortunately).

Codependence yeah, heard of that? I expect you have. I get what you mean about relationships having to be all clean - when that just isn't reality - but there are some things that are non-negotiable. It does look to me that this is one of them, I'm sorry.

I'm so very sorry to hear you were raped at 15. You've had a lot, a lot, of therapy yes? It's the long haul, but it really does address these deep wounds over time.

Support groups do it for me re the myriad difficulties I face eg CoDA is good for codepedence (we can kid convince ourselves, but not the group).

cozietoesie Sat 24-Aug-13 13:21:35

I don't know about any sociopathy. (I just genuinely don't know.) But I do recognize what you're talking about in him. They can lie simply because it's easier. (And not lie when it's just as convenient to tell the truth.) Small things, big things, lie, not lie - and it doesn't change because they have no real idea of how they should relate to other people, just what makes life more convenient for them.

I'm sorry but I don't think he'll change. You're better off without him in your life.

nothinglefttogive333 Sat 24-Aug-13 13:13:03

Its my 3rd abusive relationship, not including being raped at 15. I have a toxic mother. I have had depression on and off since I can remember. I used to hear voices between the ages of 9 and 14. I never told anyone and they went away, haven't had them since.

Everyone lies. I lie and have lied. White lies, lies that spare peoples feelings or that don't matter. I do not make up lies that have consequences and need further lies to cover them up.

I don't want to go into the lies he has told as it would out me. But they serve no purpose. Some of them I suppose are to make him look good, but most are just shit that benefits no one. The cover ups are deceptive, calculated and premeditated. I can see how easy it would be to lie to a direct question, but to then create a whole story around that?? That's not nornal.

I am worried that he wanted me to be vulnerable. That he somehow prayed on it. But it really wouldn't have been apparent to him straightaway. I was in a job with a lot of responsibilty when we met, I had my own car, rented my own flat, had a social life. I didn't discuss the past abuse for the first 6 months, and he didn't learn about the rape until I was pregnant with DS.

His parents favour his younger sister. They are extremely and very openly critical of him, they think its funny to go on and on about what an awful and naughty child he was. His mum is extremely difficult with mood swings and guilt trips galore.

He is adopted too, this I know is absolutely true. I have been supporting him in finding his birth family. That has been very very hard, as his mother has said yes to meeting twice, then disappeared for months both times.

The question I have is, does it make me weak to feel like I want to support him through all this? If he is not a sociopath, is there any hope? Do relationships have to be so cut and dry that we say either it works perfectly or its over?

NothingsLeft Sat 24-Aug-13 12:49:00

So sorry you ate in this situation. I just wanted to add that PND & abusive relationships often go hand in hand.

The stress of dealing with the big change to your life, a baby, a lier, gaslighting and relationship stress will do it. It happened to me.

I had hideous PND and it was easy to attribute our problems to that. DH 'supported' me through it but caused a lot of it too.

springytoffy Sat 24-Aug-13 11:58:26

Please don't answer JCB, you'll be here all day with posters picking holes in what you say

Just take it as a given that OP has done the research eh (which she says as much upthread)

springytoffy Sat 24-Aug-13 11:49:32

ok then, so this is your 4th? 3rd? abusive relationship. Which would be a pattern. Your next step is to do some serious, longstanding work to get out the roots of why you are being repeatedly attracted to abusive men.

yy it wasn' obvious when you met him. It rarely is tbf. I'm so sorry this has turned out to be yet another - gutting for you, I'm so sorry. We all like to hope we're progressing somehow: to have to face the same thing yet again is deeply dispiriting. YOur frustration and despair that 'here it is again ffs' is obvious.

NOT THAT I'M BLAMING YOU. No, he does what he does and that's his responsibility. We;ll see if the counselling comes to anything, but that's his concern. meanwhile, of course, you have to knock the relationship on the head - you can't have a relationship with sand shifting the entire time.

(I'm sorry if this is trivial but I host foreign students and for 3 weeks over the summer had a student staying... who lied constantly! It was just so confusing, especially as the lies were often unnecessary. I couldn't trust one single thing he said. I can feel my heartrate going up just at the thought - and he was some kid who stayed here for 3 weeks. I was very fond of him, though - perhaps these types somehow hook you in to their [supposed] adorableness?? It must be so hard for you to have lived with this!)

So he was there for you when you had PND. I don't want to be too woo about this, but I can look back in my life and see how certain people somehow moved in to bridge the gap at a crucial and vulnerable stage. Yes, he was there for you; but he's also fucked you over in a way that isn't tenable - whether intentionally or not is immaterial for your future together iyswim. (Also, I had supposed PND but it was actually abusive marriage depression imo. You also can't know if some people like you being vulnerable so they can feel they aren't the vulnerable, weak one for a change. etc etc etc. There could be many reasons why he stepped up to the plate at the right time; some 'good', some not so good. Even if it was all entirely good, he has nevertheless led you a merry dance since. You can't live with someone who lies on this scale.)

I'm sorry you're having to wave off a relationship that has truly made you happy.... if it weren't for this fatal flaw. the grief must be huge, I'm so sorry.

JaceyBee Sat 24-Aug-13 10:55:18

Not sure why you think he's a sociopath based on the fact that he lies a lot and gets angry and defensive when caught out? Surely loads of people lie, doesn't mean they're a sociopath. What else makes you think that? What are his parents like and how was his upbringing?

gamerchick Fri 23-Aug-13 22:01:48

Pnd can be fixed. What he has cannot. You don't owe the rest of your life to him.

nothinglefttogive333 Fri 23-Aug-13 20:42:51

He makes me happy, we have been so so happy.

But even I know that if there is no trust its all a mirage. Its not real.

Chl0e Fri 23-Aug-13 20:33:37

So, maybe he's not a sociopath then? If you kept it all going when you couldn't.

but labels aside, you don't need anybody's approval to call it a day. You don't need our approval, or his. Just tune out the cacophony of voices doing laps in your head and ask yourself if you are happy. Maybe he is not 100% bad. Maybe you can't quite handle coming here and reading people criticise your situation and your relationship, because even when you're not happy, you still have your pride? or your dignity? And if you have pity then you have nothing maybe.

I say that cos I recognise a defensiveness in you that I had in myself when I was with my x, and for a while afterwards too. One off the cuff remark about what the children's benefit was spent on (which I took to be outrage on your behalf) was taken to be a benefit bashing snipe.

Change is scary but you don't need anybody's permission to make change. Being happy is a worthy enough reason to bail. You don't owe him your life just because he has occasionally been supportive. That was really hard for me to wrap my head around, that I didn't owe it to my x to stay with him because he occasionally made a show out of trying to change, trying to be nice.

Chl0e Fri 23-Aug-13 20:21:44

Nobody can make you marry him.

Imagine how bad you'll feel if you go ahead and get married and you know that you knew he was a sociopath.

Cut your losses and walk away. My x had narcissist personality disorder I think. I don't know how that overlaps with being a sociopath, but there can be no reasoning. You can't hope that they will show empathy, behave decently. Honestly the only thing to do is to cut your losses and call it a day.

nothinglefttogive333 Fri 23-Aug-13 20:08:42

I wish I could feel better. But I don't. I was vile when I had PND. I did nothing around the house, I was horrible to him. He took it all, kept the house going, looked after DS, encouraged me to go to the doc.

He could just as easily have walked away. Made me leave then. And now I am turning him away. Giving up on him.

nothingleft, you should be feeling the weght lifting from your shoulders. You tried with this man and credit is due for that - but don't feel a failure. You're doing what's right for you and your child. Well done.

nothinglefttogive333 Fri 23-Aug-13 18:40:15

Thanks Poppy.

We had a long chat. I think he is definitely a pathological liar. Whether he is a sociopath, I am unsure. If there is some kind of personality disorder I could easily see why. There are aspects of his life that a lot of people would struggle with, that even his parents have confirmed. However, that doesn't help me or our relationship.

He has left. No idea what happens now. He has emailed a therapist, but that's just too little to late.

Forget the money issue for a minute
He's a pathological liar and you suspect a sociopath. So you can't marry him can you?

PoppyAmex Fri 23-Aug-13 16:43:58

your wall = your way

PoppyAmex Fri 23-Aug-13 16:43:41

OP I very rarely post in Relationships, but I just wanted to send some support vibes your wall.

You clearly didn't post for advice on your financial arrangements and both your employment situations seem to be temporary, so I'm a bit mystified as to why it has become the focal point.

Anyway, please don't think that your feelings aren't important just because they weren't acknowledged on this thread in the way you expected.

I don't have any direct experience, but if you believe your DH might fit the profile of a sociopath, I can understand why you're scared and confused and I hope someone more useful will come along with some solid, relevant advice.

Best of luck.

CinnabarRed Fri 23-Aug-13 16:27:44

That sounds like an excellent plan.

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