Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
ZOMBIE THREAD ALERT: This thread hasn't been posted on for a while.
Am I dating a sociopath?(143 Posts)
Ok- I broke up with my exh in February this year, after quite a difficult relationship, but one that was full of love & a very deep connection.
In September! I met an older man, whom I got on with very well. He was quite literally a whirlwind in my life. He booked weekends away, brought gifts for me & my son. In the first 3 weeks together, he booked a trip to Rome in April. I was a bit confused by this, as how could we say, it was going to work out. He went overboard for my birthday and said he didn't buy me enough- he is planning similar for Xmas- as he keeps telling me every day, things he has ordered, have arrived. We now have 3 weekends away booked in the calendar. I offer to pay half of these, but in fact, I can't keep up.
I've started to feel trapped. It's all gone very quick. It was me who broke up with my exh and although I now realise I do want to be with someone- I was looking forward to healing time on my own, to just focus on me. There is some kind of spark missing. But I feel he is trying to control me with kindness. He has presented as Mr Perfect,he had a bad childhood, ( que, I feel sorry for him)he doesn't know why his ex wife broke up his marriage, at first he said they argued twice a year, I asked him again yesterday and he said, it was every month. He lives 3 hours away and always comes to me, his phone is always kept face down. I'm not suspicious at all, he rings me all the time,too much- he never lets me breath in fact. He gets upset if I don't answer , or I go to bed early, without speaking with him. He woke up the other day, said he wasn't speaking to me, because I didn't sleep cuddled into him all night!
Writing all this down, is sounding like he is a crazy man?
He is a Police sergeant, so I think he is used to getting what he wants and I have been warned me many people, they can be controlling men. I want to break it off, but he has planned to take me and my son and his, to Thomas land, next week and stay in a hotel, the whole thing has cost him Â£200. I plan on paying him half, in the N Y.
I am probably feeling uncomfortable, because I think I can see through I all, but then I wonder, am I just very bitter. I'm not used to this kind of spoiling, but it doesn't feel like it comes from the right place.
He also now and then, say hurtful things to me. I look tired, or old. ( I'm 33, he is 46- I bloody don't! When he pisses me off, I pull away and then he overloads me with compliments. ....??.?WTF!
What is going on!!!!!! I feel like I'm going mad.
listen to your gut, break it off
Maybe not a sociopath but lots of red flags there. Possibly emotionally manipulative with the guilt tripping. I would tread very carefully. Set some boundaries or get out now. Being generous he could just be needy and trying too hard but his need to control very worrying.
run, run, run
too many red flags for me deepbluewave
someone wiser than me will be along soon with a better post
look after yourself and your DS
Your spider senses are in the right place.
He's showing up at best as emotionally dependent, at worst emotionally abusive. Not talking to you because you didn't cuddle in your sleep? Seriously? How long didn't he speak to you for? Or did you apologise?
He's spending too much. Are you sure he can afford it? Does he have any debt?
Don't feel you have to pay your way through things you have no control over. Stop paying halves on those weekends.
How does he treat other women? Particularly waitresses?
How is he with friends and family?
I'd be dropping anyway, just for the cuddling tantrum.
The fact you've even written this thread and title tells you all you need to know. Walk away!!
If you don't feel it's what you really want at this point in your life, break it off. You feel trapped and even a little wary. You are feeling a bit controlled through the financial aspect of it all and you are feeling financial pressure as well as emotional. All of the above are solid reasons to call it a day.
There is clearly nothing going on except a sense of unease and obligation here. I get a feeling it is all a bit unreal in many respects. And you know the old saying 'If it seems too good to be true...' Never so apt as in relationships.
While some of it seems too good to be true, there are parts that are red flags. Vagueness about the previous relationship and what happened in it is one. Sulking at you for not doing something in your sleep is another. And the hurtful remarks - either he is testing you to see how you react to that sort of treatment, or he is an insensitive clod. The overloading with compliments after hurting you sounds to me like a small scale version of hoovering.
The fact that you managed to end your previous relationship without consulting the world at large about it, yet think you are going mad in this one after such a short time, and are feeling conflicted and confused, shows this relationship is not your comfort zone, at the very least. Don't wait until he has you completely on the back foot here, is my advice. I don't think this is good for you.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
<Passes red flag bunting to OP>
There is no reason for someone to say hurtful things to you - especially when you have only been together for such a short time.
The longer you stay together, the more this will seen 'normal' and you'll start to believe it's you with the problem.
I'd break it off.
At the very least this person is emotionally abusive and controlling with it. His poor childhood is something that you are not responsible for; he is making a choice to act like this and he acts like this as well because he can. Such types actually hate women. This man also has enough red flags about him to make bunting and there are numerous red flags here already this early on. Controlling men are abusive men. This man wants to own you by words and actions.
You need to break it off with him as of now. Be very careful however, he may well not let go of you easily.
I would also suggest that you enrol onto Womens Aid Freedom programme as this is specifically for women who have been in abusive relationships. I would also suggest you start reading "Why does he do that?" written by Lundy Bancroft.
Your DS also does not need such a poor role model of a man in his life either.
You need time and space also.
Yes. It seems like you are.
I would also suggest you read this as well:-
So, test him.
Tell him it's all going a bit fast. Tell him you feel uncomfortable with all the spending. Tell him that you feel it's unfair to be berated for not cuddling in your sleep.
See how he takes it. If he's understanding, and does what you ask, that would sound like a good sign. If he sulks, or tries to make you feel guilty for feeling e way you do, you will be starting to get an answer.
If you can't talk to him, there is no future to this relationship.
Also, his crappy childhood is not your responsibility. Really, it's not. You don't have to make his current and future life perfect to make up for his past.
Oh op I'm sorry but he sounds awful
And your post sounds like you're feeling very anxious about it. At the risk of sigh ding like a Victorian psychologist, it sounds a bit hysterical iykwim. Like you feel a bit panicky
I'm no expert but I have read here often enough getting overly involved too soon and declaring love too quickly can be a sign of control / abuse to come. He certainly seems to be over invested in you after 2 months.
Personally I would dump him now.
Hope you're ok
I know. I know. It's all too weird. I find myself watching him, being very quiet & puzzling over the things he says & does.
I went out with friends last night- I said I planned on doing it in email, but one friend ( who doesn't know the ins & outs) said this was unfair, I should tell him. Do I owe him this after 4 months?
Dear god woman, no - this isn't right at all!
The insults? The huffs? The not being happy if you don't check in?
All deeply concerning.
You do need to end it, and not go on the weekend either. The sooner you unravel this confusing situation for your boy tbh the better.
He's acquiring you, for his own reasons. He doesn't know why his wife ended it? A policeman who's been dumped by his wife and not got to the nub of the matter? Yeah right! Jimmy Reckon right.
He knows what reason he gave her. He just can't tell you, because otherwise you'd dump him too, hence the hoovering/gifts/creeping around to win your son over.
He's vile love, he'll abuse you and harm you son in the process.
Your instincts are screaming. Listen to them, they're right.
End this asap.
In a rush I had missed the put downs. Bad, bad, bad.
And never mind the weekend.
Break off now.
It sounds utterly awful and I can't understand why your son has even met him, let alone being taken on weekends away by him? This man is not safe, healthy or loving. He's controlling, manipulative and scary. Fuck the money he spent, did you ever ask him to spend all that money? So what if he loses money on this weekend, yours and your child's sanity are worth more. End it NOW and be very careful, I doubt he will let you go easily.
Only 4m? Email is fine.
Plus it's the most dangerous time with people like him.
End it by email today, and tell him anything.
You're not taking the relationship forward as you don't feel it's right. Nothing more. By all means apologise for the shock and suddenness of it, but tell him that it's something you've given a lot of thought over, and are sure of your decision.
Don't wax lyrical, don't explain as it then gives him room to interrogate/negotiate.
Can you change your number/email after?
"1. Rough Treatment "The Loser" will hurt you on purpose. If he or she hits you, twists your arm, pulls your hair, kicks you, shoves you, or breaks your personal property EVEN ONCE, drop them. Male losers often begin with behaviors that move you physically or hit the wall. Female losers often slap, kick and even punch their male partners when upset.
2. Quick Attachment and Expression "The Loser" has very shallow emotions and connections with others. One of the things that might attract you to "The Loser" is how quickly he or she says "I Love You" or wants to marry or commit to you. Typically, in less than a few weeks of dating you'll hear that you're the love of their life, they want to be with you forever, and they want to marry you. You'll receive gifts, a variety of promises, and be showered with their attention and nice gestures. This is the "honeymoon phase" - where they catch you and convince you that they are the best thing that ever happened to you. Remember the business saying "If it's too good to be true it probably is (too good to be true)!" You may be so overwhelmed by this display of instant attraction, instant commitment, and instant planning for the future that you'll miss the major point - it doesn't make sense!! Normal, healthy individuals require a long process to develop a relationship because there is so much at stake. Healthy individuals will wait for a lot of information before offering a commitment - not three weeks. It's true that we can become infatuated with others quickly - but not make such unrealistic promises and have the future planned after three dates. The rapid warm-up is always a sign of shallow emotions which later cause "The Loser" to detach from you as quickly as they committed. "The Loser" typically wants to move in with you or marry you in less than four weeks or very early in the relationship.
3. Frightening Temper "The Loser" has a scary temper. If your boyfriend or girlfriend blows up and does dangerous things, like driving too fast because they're mad, breaking/throwing things, getting into fights, or threatening others - that temper will soon be turned in your direction. In the beginning of the relationship, you will be exposed to "witnessed violence" - fights with others, threats toward others, angry outbursts at others, etc. You will also hear of violence in their life. You will see and witness this temper - throwing things, yelling, cursing, driving fast, hitting the walls, and kicking things. That quickly serves to intimidate you and fear their potential for violence, although "The Loser" quickly assures you that they are angry at others or situations, not at you. At first, you will be assured that they will never direct the hostility and violence at you - but they are clearly letting you know that they have that ability and capability - and that it might come your way. Later, you fear challenging or confronting them - fearing that same temper and violence will be turned in your direction.
4. Killing Your Self-Confidence "The Loser" repeatedly puts you down. They constantly correct your slight mistakes, making you feel "on guard", unintelligent, and leaving you with the feeling that you are always doing something wrong. They tell you that you're too fat, too unattractive, or don't talk correctly or look well. This gradual chipping away at your confidence and self-esteem allows them to later treat you badly - as though you deserved it. In public, you will be "walking on eggshells" - always fearing you are doing or saying something that will later create a temper outburst or verbal argument.
5. Cutting Off Your Support In order to control someone completely, you must cut off their supportive friends - sometimes even their family. "The Loser" feels your friends and family might influence you or offer negative opinions about their behavior. "The Loser" begins by telling you these friends treat you badly, take advantage of you, and don't understand the special nature of the love you share with them. In some cases, if they can't get rid of your best same-sex friend, "The Loser" will claim he or she made a pass at them. If you talk to your friends or family, "The Loser" will punish you by asking multiple questions or making nasty accusations. Eventually, rather than face the verbal punishment, interrogation, and abuse, you'll develop the feeling that it's better not to talk to family and friends. You will withdraw from friends and family, prompting them to become upset with you. "The Loser" then tells you they are treating you badly again and you'd be better to keep your distance from them. Once you are isolated and alone, without support, their control over you can increase.
6. The Mean and Sweet Cycle "The Loser" cycles from mean to sweet and back again. The cycle starts when they are intentionally hurtful and mean. You may be verbally abused, cursed, and threatened over something minor. Suddenly, the next day they become sweet, doing all those little things they did when you started dating. You hang on, hoping each mean-then-sweet cycle is the last one. The other purpose of the mean cycle is to allow "The Loser" to say very nasty things about you or those you care about, again chipping away at your self-esteem and self-confidence. "The Loser" often apologizes but the damage to your self-esteem is already done - exactly as planned.
7. It's Always Your Fault "The Loser" blames you for their anger as well as any other behavior that is incorrect. When they cheat on you, yell at you, treat you badly, damage your property, or embarrass you publicly - it's somehow your fault. If you are ten minutes late for a date, it's your fault that the male loser drives 80 miles per hour, runs people off the road, and pouts the rest of the evening. "The Loser" tells you their anger and misbehavior would not have happened if you had not made some simple mistake, had loved them more, or had not questioned their behavior. "The Loser" never, repeat "never", takes personal responsibility for their behavior - it's always the fault of someone else. If they drive like a maniac and try to pull an innocent driver off the highway to assault them - it's actually the fault of the other driver (not his) as they didn't use a turn signal when they changed lanes. They give you the impression that you had it (anger, yelling, assault) coming and deserved the anger, violence, pouting, or physical display of aggression".
This is only PART of the link I posted earlier but I can already points 1, 2, 3, 4 , 6 and 7 here already. The rest not mentioned will come later if you stick around.
Hills are that way ->.
It sounds like you feel you have no control at all in this relationship, because he's buckled you into a relationship with him and it's going too fast for you to stop.
Abusive and controlling relationships commonly start like this.
Yeah, lesson learned. Don't ever introduce your son to a man this soon. Wait at least 6m if at all possible.
And e-mail him to end it as well, you owe this man nothing and you are not his possession although he is already treating you as his trophy to parade about.
Be very careful, such men do not let go of their victims easily and he could go on to promise all sorts. You MUST NOT CAVE and have him back.
Join the discussion
Please login first.