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.
Are these sociopthic traits? (warning VERY long)(151 Posts)
Apologies this is SO long but I'm still struggling to move on from this a year on.
I got with my ex back in 2010. At the time I was 41, he was 3 years younger. I have no children and it is biologically impossible for me to have my own. My only option is complicated IVF with egg donors. Ex knew this right from the start.
He is a highly educated, successful man. Very successful in his field. He was also the most charming, decent man I had ever met (or so I thought, as did everyone else, including family and friends). There were a couple of things that maybe I should have paid more attention to but you know what it is like in the first throes of a relationship! eg whilst he was very sociable with colleagues during the working day, he didn't have any friends that he socialised with out of work, he was actually quite 'against' it, he used to say that he only needed that one person (me at the time) in his life. I could also tell he was never that keen on socialising with my friends.
Later on I also found out a couple of things about the way he had been with exes that I didn't think was nice/not normal behaviour. Eg he has only ever properly lived with one girl, years go when he left Uni, they bought a house together. To cut a long story short he finished the relationship by accepting a job miles away without even telling her. That night he told her he had got this job, she said 'but I can't leave my job and move?' he just replied 'yes I know.' That was his way of ending the relationship! Now I know you'll be thinking what an idiot I was to stay but it's easy to think that now in hindsight, at the time I said 'that's awful' but he said yes but you don't know what she was like blah blah blah.
He was so 'anal' about everyone else having 'manners' and 'behaving properly' etc eg if a driver dared not to thank him for letting them out at a junction there would be big lights flashing at them performance. Or if someone dared forget to thank him if he held a door open he would be like 'wow' in a big loud voice after them. Sometimes I would be on tenterhooks when out with him willing people to say 'thank you' etc!
He was out with another girlfriend once who I think was a bit of a maybe 'high maintenance' girl, liked going to the 'in bars' which was so the opposite of him. Anyway they were out one night and she had ordered a G&T, she was having banter with the barman about why would you have a gordons when you could have a bombay sapphire. He obviously thought this was a bit 'poncy' so when the barman asked him what he wanted he said 'G&T and gordons is fine.' And I can hear the patronising voice he will have said it in, just ridiculed his girlfriend in front of someone.
He was also very strong on the view that all contact with exes/exes family should be broken. I can remember being left an Xmas present by an exe's mum (which obviously I didn't ask for and hadn't heard from her in months) - well he didn't like that at all and said that if it had been him he would have handed it back (which I thought was the height of rudeness, the exes mother was lovely and had never done anything bad to me!). He got in quite a sulk bout it.
I know these all sound like really silly little things but I'm just trying to paint a picture of him. He was so anal about morals/values etc but I have since come to realise that they don't apply to himself.
Anyway back to me and him. After 1 1/2 years I sold my house and we moved into his. It was a big Victorian house, a huge renovation project, which I willingly took on with him and put months and months of hard labour into. We also decided to embark on IVF. Very complicated and expensive because of egg donors etc. We had the first cycle in August 2012, it failed, we were both devastated. We had the second cycle in Nov/Dec 2012. We got the results 6 days before Xmas, failed again.
Over the next 3 days he turned into the most cold, unsupportive character I have ever met, we hardly spoke. It was unbelievable. To cut a very long story short the outcome was that 3 days before Xmas he announced that actually things weren't right anymore and that was that! 3 days before Xmas and I was left homeless, devastated, with a body full of raging IVF drugs. He spouted on stuff about how all we'd been doing is the house and IVF, we'd stopped living and he'd fallen out of love with us! Looking back I think cheeky f***er - I put all that work (not to mention money) into your house and I get that thrown back at me like that.
He also owes me several thousand pounds, which I doubt I will ever see. He will have convinced himself that he doesn't owe it.
I have never seen him since that day (22/12/12) and haven't had any correspondence with him since last January. My dad got involved (my parents were distraught to see the state I was in) and sent him a letter (very polite I might add but just telling him what he though about his behaviour). He text my dad spouting on about how he had one side of story, fair point but he then went on to lie about how we had been 'constantly arguing' (complete and utter rubbish, and I have prove to show this wasn't how the relationship was), how he had lost everything, how I just wanted a child (that makes me livid as I told him a million times that being with the right person was more important than having a child and that is absolutely how I feel) but that he had just loved me etc etc
My family and friends that knew him were in total and utter shock (as I still am!). He sent a couple of emails last January that came across as so sanctimonious, how he had done brave thing, and how he'd been trying to help me achieve my dream (the ivf/children - cheeky f***er!) blah blah blah
Anyway, I am far from over it a year on. Whilst the logical part of me says I'm so better off out of that, I can't forget the wonderful years we did spend together, where he was the ultimate gentleman to me.
Some people have suggested to me that he displays sociopathic behaviour in the way he just switched off and moved on. He doesn't meet many of the signs of a sociopath eg no money worries, would never be in trouble with law etc but I think he is lacking in the empathy department.
The first time I met his mum (who now hates me) she said a weird thing to me - something like 'don't you think he's a weird one, when he goes off into his own world and I'll be saying what's wrong?'' She then quickly followed it up with 'but I think he's wonderful.' I remember thinking you're a bit odd, what a thing to say!
Do you think this sounds anything like sociopathic behaviour or am I just looking for reasons other than he just fell out of love with me (which is just so hard to accept given his behaviour up until that point). It is so hard to reconcile, to anyone that meets him they think he is this wonderful, absolutely charming person, they would never see the darker side underneath.
Hey, me again,finally got time to read the others replies. A lot of wise and kind people here :-)
By the way, that bit about in the busy bar doesn't sound Petty at all!! And fair play u for pointing out his rudeness!!
Thanks creamandsugar - there are indeed lots of wise and kind people on here. It was my friend that has children that suggested I post on here and I'm very glad I did. I think it is a brilliant site to get support and different views from (I don't care what that stupid Katie Hopkins says!).
Thanks for reading....it must have taken you a while! x
Please tell yourself this: He is the biggest loser, not you!
From now on make it your mission to be the person you want to be. Immerse yourself in the company of confident ,positive people. Try to explore different avenues be it bars, dance classes or whatever. Change your hairstyle, buy the dress you love but cannot ever imagine wearing yourself, in short pleasure yourself. The more we like ourselves the better the outcome of future friendships.
You will never get the answers you crave. This bloke sold you a dream and then dashed it because that's how he gets his thrills.
Your stronger and wiser now; you've had a very lucky escape indeed.
My own experience echoes a lot of what you have experienced. The healing process was painful, but when the clouds eventually lifted I was able to learn to be a little less trusting but have had a few ( if not long term) relationships since. OK so they didn't pan out, but I wasn't left bereft, there was no bitterness, just acceptance that it wasn't meant to be. In fact a lot of my old dates/boyfriends are still in touch.
When you are fully healed and ready to move on, you will meet someone decent, who is normal, not perfect, but loves you for who you are.
Thanks AmIatwat (the answer is no by the way!)
I really do appreciate the time you are taking to message me. I am definitely making progress with telling myself things like that. The thing that helps most is I ask myself what would I say if he knocked on my door tomorrow pleading for us to get back together. The answer is a resounding no! So I am trying to use that as motivation to move forward and stop obsessing about it. The clouds are definitely lifting.
Oh and I have hair appointment on Saturday so may well just try something different
so... I wrote to him a couple of weeks about the outstanding money. Unsurprisingly, no response.
I went on directory enquiries to check he is still registered at that address. He is.....together with the woman he is now living with. She is someone that started work where he does in May last year...oh and also 14 years younger than me.
So whilst I have been having the shittiest year ever he has been falling in love and now living with someone else. I will just be the 'mistake' in his past
Why does this kill me after so long? Feel like I've been punched in the stomach and back to square 1
Morley it was a huge post! But you definitely needed to write it. I work with women in abusive relationships and it is natural to look for a label to try and help understand the unexplainable. Every day I hear labels from confused and traumatised women like aspergers, narcissist, sociopath, psychopath etc. There are often elements of all of these but being an abusive and controlling person is not a diagnosable mental disorder. An arsehole is just an arsehole and doesn't need further explanation. You should think about what the other posters have said and access counselling to help you understand why you can't let go of trying to work it out. Make sure it is a counsellor who is experienced in the issues and it won't take long before your constant attempts to psycho analyse him are a distant memory and a good laugh! And i always say to women if you don't understand his behaviour, think yourself lucky because it means you have healthy thought processes. BTW have been through donor myself and the pain of this is a separate issue albeit got tied up in it because he is a man child fuckwit
thank Gettingmeback you sound like you work in counselling or something similar?
I love the 'an arsehole is just an arsehole and doesn't need further explanation.' Love that, am going to keep repeating that!
It's funny you say that about the healthy thought process as that is exactly what I said to my counsellor last night. I said that I am actually glad I will never fathom his behaviour because I wouldn't ever want to posses the mind that could.
Had an unexpected heart to heart with my dad yesterday. He said he had noticed little things that he didn't think was quite right in his behaviour. He said what he did at the end, and how he did it, is the sort of behaviour you would expect from a childish teenager not a grown adult who was in a very serious relationship. He said in all the people he'd worked with/met in his life (and that's a lot) he had never witnessed such cruelty in a person. I know he's trying to make me feel better but I need to keep remembering all this and trying to believe I am better off without him.
It's just so hard - the new woman he is with is young, gorgeous, successful and looks totally normal. So I torture myself with thoughts of 'there's nothing wrong with him, it was just you and they will now have a wonderful life together.'
When you say make sure the counsellor is experienced in such issues, how do I find out exactly? I am seeing one but I would like to know if I am seeing someone that is best suited to me
Thanks for your post
when you are feeling down just think of all the bad things about him.
From what you say, he won't change and she will have all that to come.
I've spent years dissecting my marriages (yes, I did it twice ) to sociopathic types, and I'm not going to do it again. Suffice to say you have my absolute sympathy, morley. There's one thing you mentioned - most of us do it - about wondering if he'll find the right woman who can make it work like you couldn't, blah blah. Despite the fact that this doesn't matter, a wrong relationship is a wrong relationship ... they cut such deep holes in our hearts & psyche, that painful thought remains just where he wanted it to remain.
XH2, I would say, is probably a psychopath. Cruel; machiavellian. No surprise he met the love of his life before we'd even sorted out the split (and were still shagging.) She adored him. Married as soon as the nisi came through, beautiful children, very successful business, perfect life. I don't 'search' him (I did for a while) but recently came across a Facebook photo of them all together: smiling, lovely; I thought bloody hell, don't tell me he's actually managed it! You know the comments people usually post underneath - you look beautiful, what a lovely family, just how I remember you all last summer, and so forth? There was none of that. Just comment after comment saying Wow! You all look so happy! Just that: wow, happy. You know what this says, don't you? He's doing it to her, and to those adorable children, and nobody's ever seen them happy.
You are so well out, morley.
Thanks garlic I really appreciate the response as I am struggling at the mo, feel like I'm back to square one (when it all finished)
I was managing because my mind had put him in this box where he's this screwed up person that no one would ever be with. But the reality is he is now living with a gorgeous, successful, much younger woman. In my mind they'll live happily ever after and I was imagining everything about him! I'm not thinking straight
Am so sorry to hear what you went through, I really am. I hope you are now in a much better place
Well, it's had far-reaching effects but at least I won't fall for another sociopath! I didn't have Mumsnet then; it was a good, strong resource when I came here, some years after imploding. Keep posting, morley, whenever you need to
... and, of course, a 'much younger' partner should be easier to manipulate. Poor woman.
Thank you garlic. Do you know the best bit, new woman is a psychologist! X
A doctor of psychology no less! Very successful
that's horrendous. Well rid
You resurrected this old thread just to say that??
Haha I've just found this old thread of mine. It is quite funny that someone resurrected it like that so long afterwards but, to be fair, I think some people just don't notice the dates! thanks anyway
How are you now morley? Hope things are good for you
Hey Letstessalate that's kind of you to ask.
I'm kind of OK thanks. I definitely no longer have any 'romantic' feelings towards him, I can totally see now what a sick piece of work he is (he got worse, I started a small claims court case to try and get my money back, you would not have believed the 3 pages of A4 he wrote about me - said that I'd been nothing more than a lodger and that he was just a sperm donor!).
I have recently found out that he has just got married and had a baby. The only way that it affected me is thinking 'how is that fair/justice?!' He gets to be happy after what he did and I am still single! I also do feel slightly sorry for his wife as I just don't believe that people like that change and I fear that one day she may see that side of him.
So I still struggle a bit - accepting infertility I think is something you have to find a way of living with and still being single, I sometimes feel like life is passing me by - but defo glad I am not in that relationships.
Thank you so much for asking xx
Dear god. I'm sorry morley
What an utter sack of shit that man is. To think he didn't have the decency to quietly give you back your money at least.
He is utterly hideous.
You, on the other hand, sound so lovely and I'm sure you'll meet somebody deserving of you when you are good and ready. Have you dipped a toe into dating again?
I know first hand how hard it is to get over head-fuckers but it will come.
Keep on doin' your Morley thing!!!
Hi LetsTessalate thanks for taking the time to respond. I'm lurking on here tonight!
I do actually feel like I am ready now, would LOVE to meet someone. I just don't know where to start! I have to admit I haven't really made much of an effort to put myself in places I may meet someone though! How do people do it these days?! I can't say OLD really appeals to me again (but perhaps I should be more open?) My work isn't somewhere I'm like to meet someone, all my friends are busy bringing up their young children (s0 not many nights out etc) so is it a case of the old 'joining clubs/activities etc??
I'm just not sure how to kick start things? The old 'you'll meet him when you least expect it, shopping in Sainsburys' hasn't happened! I know the obvious seems to be OLD these days but I just don't know if I want to?
sorry to hear you have had bad experiences too, I really hope you are in a good place now??
I remember this post. Glad yo hear you are ok. I am sure that things will turn a corner when you least expect it and life will be even better x
Thanks GoneGirlGone I appreciate that.
I am so ready for life to turn a corner! I really feel like I'm ready now and have got a lot to give!
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.