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.

Are these sociopthic traits? (warning VERY long)

(151 Posts)
morley19 Mon 03-Feb-14 10:30:17

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.

Thanks xx

hollieberrie Mon 27-Jul-15 23:44:21

Ah thanks Morley, its so encouraging to hear how you've come through it! Well done, am happy for you smile

And bless your dad, i think its totally understandable to write a letter. I think for most people its really hard to grasp that anyone could be that cruel and cold, a letter sounds like him just expressing his shock at callousness of it all.

Gah, lets hope we never come across people like that ever again!

Take care xx

morley19 Mon 27-Jul-15 23:28:41

Ah hollie don't lose heart. I PROMISE you that you will recover

I felt exactly as you did, never thought I would recover but I did. He repairs me now!

I would say it took about a year and a half to be fully over him. You are doing it right, not rushing out on the rebound and picking up the nearest bloke but giving yourself time so that you fully recover before you move on

I can 100% promise you will get over it. Just hang in there

Take care xx

hollieberrie Mon 27-Jul-15 23:23:04

Thanks Morley. Tbh im not doing that great, but a lot better than i was. I'm only a year on though. How long til you started feeling better? I despair at ever being fully over it! Maybe its just learning to live with it.

Ha, yes any handsome princes i spot wandering around, i'll be sure to send one your way! ;-)

morley19 Mon 27-Jul-15 23:08:02

Hi hollie

SO sorry to hear you suffered similarly....I would not wish it on my worst enemy. What a shit to leave you after something so traumatic for you

I hope you are in good place now (you sound it) and I wish you all the luck in the world in meeting someone wonderful (and if he has a mate.......!)

X

morley19 Mon 27-Jul-15 23:04:58

Thanks destiny yes it was a blessing in disguise. I can see that now. I would have hated to be tied to him for life

time is such a healer, I look back to those early days and wish I could have been stronger, but I just couldn't. Life was a very thick fog for a very long time

The only thing that irks me now is gripe at how unjust the world seems. But there are many people in FAR worse positions than me that have a real reason to think like that

Onwards and upwards! Who knows what is round the corner....

X

hollieberrie Mon 27-Jul-15 23:03:25

I remember this thread OP. Not sure if i commented or not but your story is fairly similar to what happened to me. My ex turned ice cold and broke up with me just after my mum died. Similar to your experience, all the little signs were there too, but i didnt pick up on them at the time. Now looking back he is classic NPD. He's with someone else too but i doubt it will last..

So pleased you are moving on and doing well, fab cakes! Good luck with meeting someone new. I would like to too - fingers crossed for both of us :-)

Destinysdaughter Mon 27-Jul-15 23:00:22

I think it was a blessing in disguise that you didn't get pregnant tbh. He would not have been a good dad and you would have been tied to him for life! Lucky escape really...

morley19 Mon 27-Jul-15 22:49:28

Ah thanks footie

I think someone at the start of this thread said the same thing about my dad. I can see where they are coming from (I'm an adult etc etc). I think what happened is I was so devastated, I could hardly function, it was all my dad thought he could do, bless him. I think he was actually trying to at least get my money back

I think if I'd been lucky enough to have children, and someone treated them so badly, I'd have been very tempted to do something similar. I appreciate we're all different though!
X

Footle Mon 27-Jul-15 22:44:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

morley19 Mon 27-Jul-15 22:44:30

No problem at all bertie !

Yes i have moved on from him but thanks for posting. This thread was a life saviour to me at the time
X

BertieBotts Mon 27-Jul-15 22:37:23

Oh bum, just realised this is an older thread, so perhaps not so immediately helpful any more. I'm glad to see you're moving on with life anyway and not letting the bastard get you down smile

morley19 Mon 27-Jul-15 22:35:59

Thanks namechanged

BertieBotts Mon 27-Jul-15 22:35:25

Morley, go and read some of the Narcissistic Personality Disorder websites. The two I found helpful were Sam Vaknin and the other one Halcyon

Whether your ex is NPD or not, none of us can say but I certainly found it enlightening and startling to see all of these things collated together and written down.

morley19 Mon 27-Jul-15 22:35:22

Thanks for posting iflyaway I appreciate everyone's view

I am extremely independent. My father has never done anything like that before, he was just so appalled at the behaviour. Rightly or wrongly, he just ft he had to do it.

I do appreciate how it might sound, like I'd gone running to daddy. But that wasn't the case, I've never been like that

Thank you

shock those cakes are amazing!

Iflyaway Mon 27-Jul-15 22:23:51

Sorry, but fathers sending a letter to a daughter's ex {whatever happened, he sounds like a shit} is a NO NO.

unless she is 13 but then words are better

You need to get independence. That will help you avoid these kind of bastards. Not daddy dear who won't be around for ever....

morley19 Mon 27-Jul-15 21:57:41

Ah thanks Meeka

Yes certainly a charmer, a wolf in sheep's clothing! Vile man

thank you for your good wishes xx

morley19 Mon 27-Jul-15 21:55:35

Hope these work.....

Mika27 Mon 27-Jul-15 21:53:19

OP, I also think he looks for someone perfect but he may never find her as he is so picky. I do also think there are some psychological issues and poor that woman who gets married to him as she is going to be controlled by him. He reminds me of the film I think with Julia Roberts about towels. She had to stage her death to get away from the controlling husband. By the way it was written that psychopaths are complete charmers.

I wish you to move on and find a nice decent man. Good luck. You deserve it. X

morley19 Mon 27-Jul-15 21:51:16

So glad to hear that Namechanged I can feel in your message the sense of relief. Good for you!

Yes the cake decorating went brilliant thanks! I relaly enjoyed it and have done several cakes for people, just as a hobby, I am certainly no professional! I will try and work out how to post a picture of some on here. Hang on.....hope this works....

morley19 Mon 27-Jul-15 21:47:45

ShebaShimmyShake thank you SO much for your post.

You talk absolute sense and I totally agree with you. I think I've hinted earlier in the thread that I don't think he quite 'fit' the definition of a sociopath, just had some odd/shit behaviour.

You are absolutely right, it matters not what he was, just thank god that he is gone! I am actually totally over him in terms of any romantic feelings for him. The thought of him actually repulses me. I have to admit, I skipped through this post for the first time in over a year and I can't believe how distraught I was and the things that I typed! Time certainly is a healer! Even though I am devastated that I will never experience being a mum I am very, very glad I never had a child with him.

I'm just at the stage now where I am totally ready to meet someone new. I would love to!

Thanks for posting

I will be fine - like you were, I am struggling with the idea of being single again, but I know I could not have lived with H forever, I was desperately unhappy for a long time but tied to the relationship and marriage because of the children.

We have lots of support and I truly feel like I have finally started living since leaving H, and we can all breathe again without having our lives revolving around needs and unrealistic expectations of us, whilst all the time failing to be a decent partner or father himself.

We are much, much better out of this situation, and it sounds like you are doing great too. How did your cake decorating course go, did you go on to make amazing creations?

ShebaShimmyShake Mon 27-Jul-15 21:39:32

I haven't read the full thread so forgive me if this has been said. I am no expert and I doubt if anyone who'll read this is, and even if we were we couldn't really give such a serious diagnosis over the internet without any input from the person himself. If this interests you, you should read The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout.

From my limited armchair amateur psychological understanding, he doesn't sound like an actual sociopath, or rather, there isn't enough evidence to make such a claim. Some of his actions would be consistent with it but those alone really aren't enough to make such a serious diagnosis of an actual psychological disorder. (The problem with reading these sorts of books is that you get hypersensitive and hyperaware of the symptoms. I have in my life sometimes done things that hurt others because they benefited me, or used psychological manipulation, but I really am not a sociopath. Honest.)

He does, however, sound like an absolute shit. I'm so sorry for your fertility issues but still, imagine being chained forever by parenthood to this vile user of a man.

Even if he does happen to be a sociopath, it doesn't really make any difference to your situation. He treated you like dirt and now he has gone. I can't imagine how painful and hard this must be for you, and you must get the help and support you need and deserve, but please don't base your recovery on anything to do with him and his brain. You must make your recovery based on yourself and your life alone, and he must be irrelevant, like the shoe-scraped dog shit he is. It doesn't really matter why he has gone - the point is that he has, and you have so much life left to live that you must spend it on making yourself happy and fulfilled, and not on this turd.

morley19 Mon 27-Jul-15 21:32:01

Thanks Namechanger2015 but I'm SO sorry to hear your story.

It must be so much harder for you with 3 children but you sound very strong - every credit to you for making the right decision and walking away. That cannot have been easy.

I hope you have a lot of support around you and are OK?

Yes I think I have moved on and I fear that new wife/mother of his child may have a nasty shock one day. When I heard he was married with child I briefly thought 'to have got married and had a child he must actually be OK and not the sick person I thought he was' but I know that is rubbish and your story proves the point - these people do get married, but it doesn't change them. It may be all rosy for a while but they can't hide it forever.

I really, hope you're OK and wish you all the luck in the world for a rosier future - you certainly deserve it

x

Ragusa Mon 27-Jul-15 21:27:31

And yes, I agree with those who've arrived at Narcissistic Personality Disorder as a possible label. It seems to fit.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now