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.
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.
Wickes and B&Q are both open today. Go visit one of them.
I counted 16 messages saying "change the locks". Please do it this week while you have the time.
Guys- thanks so much for your united front. You are all being so consistently supportive.
I've got a weeks AL & out having fun with my boy- happy in the fact all our time from now, is just for me & him.
In gonna date myself for years & years & my DS is gonna be my wee side kick. Good times ahead!
Ending the Relationship
Remembering that "The Loser" doesn't accept responsibility, responds with anger to criticism, and is prone to panic detachment reactions - ending the relationship continues the same theme as the detachment.
- Explain that you are emotionally numb, confused, and burned out. You can't feel anything for anybody and you want to end the relationship almost for his or her benefit. Remind them that they've probably noticed something is wrong and that you need time to sort out your feelings and fix whatever is wrong with you. As disgusting as it may seem, you may have to use a theme of "I'm not right for anyone at this point in my life." If "The Loser" can blame the end on you, as they would if they ended the relationship anyway, they will depart faster.
- If "The Loser" panics, you'll receive a shower of phone calls, letters, notes on your car, etc. React to each in the same manner - a boring thanks. If you overreact or give in, you've lost control again.
- Focus on your need for time away from the situation. Don't agree to the many negotiations that will be offered - dating less frequently, dating only once a week, taking a break for only a week, going to counseling together, etc. As long as "The Loser" has contact with you they feel there is a chance to manipulate you.
- "The Loser" will focus on making you feel guilty. In each phone contact you'll hear how much you are loved, how much was done for you, and how much they have sacrificed for you. At the same time, you'll hear about what a bum you are for leading them on, not giving them an opportunity to fix things, and embarrassing them by ending the relationship.
- Don't try to make them understand how you feel - it won't happen. "The Loser" only is concerned with how they feel - your feelings are irrelevant. You will be wasting your time trying to make them understand and they will see the discussions as an opportunity to make you feel more guilty and manipulate you.
- Don't fall for sudden changes in behavior or promises of marriage, trips, gifts, etc. By this time you have already seen how "The Loser" is normally and naturally. While anyone can change for a short period of time, they always return to their normal behavior once the crisis is over.
- Seek professional counseling for yourself or the support of others during this time. You will need encouragement and guidance. Keep in mind, if "The Loser" finds out you are seeking help they will criticize the counseling, the therapist, or the effort.
- Don't use terms like "someday", "maybe", or "in the future". When "The Loser" hears such possibilities, they think you are weakening and will increase their pressure.
- Imagine a dead slot machine. If we are in Las Vegas at a slot machine and pull the handle ten times and nothing happens - we move on to another machine. However, if on the tenth time the slot machine pays us even a little, we keep pulling the handle - thinking the jackpot is on the way. If we are very stern and stable about the decision to end the relationship over many days, then suddenly offer a possibility or hope for reconciliation - we've given a little pay and the pressure will continue. Never change your position - always say the same thing. "The Loser" will stop playing a machine that doesn't pay off and quickly move to another.
You need To be a bit hard nosed here, whist being kind To yourself.
His feellings are not your responsability.
You did not cause whatever he is feelling.
You are not responsable for the break up of his marriage
It is not your Job To make his Life all warm and fluffy.
In short, his shit is not your problem
Then do as previously suggested about changing locks and call 999 if turns up un invited.
And really, you don't need a man To make memories, and he doesn't a woman To make menories.
I stated before that he would contact you again and I have been unfortunately proved correct.
He is still doing a number on you and will not take your no for an answer. His wife likely left him due to his overt control of her as well and she had finally had enough. Inadequate men like him like supposedly strong women like yourself so that they can break them down. You were and remain vulnerable emotionally. I still think you should consider doing Womens Aid Freedom Programme.
You cannot reply further to him at all; any communiques from you just gives him an "in".
Love your own self now for a change and rebuild your own self worth because these men can certainly harm it no end.
If you continue communicating with him, he is going to turn up "to talk"
Possibly he will be in your house, cooking dinner, for when you get home. That's not a good scenario.
One more text to completely end all contact. Change the locks. The End.
Yes careful there - if he thinks you're just "feeling confused" & haven't ended it you are in for a lot more mind bending emails!!
Be kind to yourself. It's easy to fall into a relationship that isn't working at the best of times, much more so when you're already trying to pick up and move on while also dealing with a massive upheaval in a break up involving children too. Lots of grief emotions, guilts, and fears to deal with.
At first you hold to the hope that this lovely new distraction will be all you hope for; real and lasting. And it's really difficult to find yourself back at the starting point, on your own again, dealing with even more fall-out.
You won't stay there obviously, but it's a healthy place to be for a while until you've built yourself back up again, even though it can feel like this is how it will always be for you.
You've got a lot of grieving of the loss of relationship(s) and (am sure some 'false') guilt to deal with, not to mention adjusting to single-parenthood. All very hard. Do-able, but difficult for a while, especially when your emotions are pulled in a lot of different directions all at once.
So once again, be gentle on your self. One day this will be a horrible memory that you won't even need to look back on, from the new and much happier place you will have in the future.
If only we could see our good times shreds before we even get there. It would make the hard path oh so much easier!
You don't need a boundary OP, you need a 6ft electrified fence with barbed wire on top for this one!
You aren't "feeling confused" about him, you dumped him. He's pretending you said something different. And because you're a reasonable person you will of course respond to a reasonable-sounding approach.
Block his number OP. Don't get drawn in
Drip drip drip...he's pulling you right back in there...
deep - don't get into a dialogue with him, please. You're going to be right back where you started if you're not careful
Change locks, do not get dragged into communication with him (unless it's to tell him "goodbye, good luck, please do not contact me again")
He has text this morning, saying that he wants someone who knows that they want him for who he is. If I'm feeling confused about him, then that is his answer & I clearly don't feel the same way about him.
I replied & said- we both entered the relationship, when we were emotionally upset, weak, tired, low- all the things you are when marriages & relationships break up. It was never gonna be a good receipe -
I mean, we were both still grieving.
So many lessons learnt. I suppose it's still the start of me grieving & healing from my marriage.
I guess I wanted what he sold me. I know I was feeling bad for pulling our family apart. I know he was feeling bad, for having his family pulled apart. ( his wife left him last year- 5 year old son)
I guess he wanted a patched up version of what he had- so so wrong on many levels.
i have also been in this situation, feeling i couldn't say no and being stalked. I haven't read the full thread but please remain consistent and stay out of this relationship! How did you meet him?
Have you asked for your keys back or made plans to change the locks?
You must be vulnerable to give him keys so early/introduce him to your ds.. hard to admit I know.
I bet returning your keys will be an excuse to see you. I would change locks and prepare for him to be at your door, asking why the key doesn't work. I would have a letter in my coat about harassment and I would get a script ready in my head.
1/ why were you trying to enter my property without my knowledge and permission?
2/ this is unlawful and you know I should be calling the police right now to report you
3/ please give me back my old keys. Any further contact - written or verbal - will be considered as harassment and hand him a prepared letter.
4/ dial 999 phone in hand and tell him to leave immediately or you will ring 999.
Well, you're out now. You made a sensible move and many don't, so good on you.
CCTVmum- yeah, you're right, you kinda take it as them caring for you.
I think you're right about him waiting it out too. We had a lovely weekend prior, so he would know id feel confused & bad about my behaviour & get back in touch.
I must admit, I felt really sad yesterday. More so, as this 'idea' of our future was so great- we had so many plans, which I know he would have been proactive about... The scary thing is- I told him one of the main reasons I broke with my ex, was because we never did anything- we were never making memories.
I read on this website, he will have assessed me & become what I want- hence all the weekends away & plans with my son. When I asked what he did with his ex, he said just go to USA every year?
Bloody hell. I guess without wanting to admit it, I was vulnerable. Fuck I hate that. Killed with kindness. Whatever next. I can totally see how women end up in these situations & find it hard to get out!
When i worked at a sex chatline 11 yrs ago one of my callers claimed to be a copper. He used to CRY down the phone telling me he loved me. He had phoned up for sex chat Never even clapped eyes on me. He told me he had a 13 yr old son And that son actually walked in on him mid call I heard it from the other end.
Youve done the right thing OP Hope he leaves you alone and if he doesnt ...do speak to his boss x
You sound sensible, and so does your mum.
I wish you and your DS well.
Hope he doesn't behave according to (sadly) predictable form here. I second the advice from ExcuseTypos to make it clear you do not want any further communication from him.
Going back to something you said earlier -- I don't believe that he had to pull over on the occasion you describe. I think he correctly guessed that you were going to take him back after the argument you had, and it was just a matter of waiting you out. He probably knew you would be going to pick up your DS. My guess would be he waited in his car not too far from your house, or went to the local dog track or found some other way to while away his time while watching his phone for your anticipated message.
That is why a flat and clear statement like the one ExcuseTypos posted is very important.
you sound like you have it covered op. good luck!
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.