10 Signs You’re Married to a Sociopath

Do you ever look at your partner and wonder if there’s something going on with them? That perhaps they aren’t the person your thought they were? If you can spot the giveaways early you may be able to avoid getting married to a sociopath. If it’s too late and you’re already married and in deep, then you need to know what you are dealing with. Check out these 10 signs you might be married to a sociopath.

What is a Sociopath?

Sociopathy is not a mental disorder; it's a personality disorder. You won’t find any health professional diagnosing anyone with sociopathic or psychopathic tendencies. They will neatly classify it as ‘behavioral traits’ and call it ‘anti-social’. The difference between a sociopath and a psychopath is simply a matter of degree. A sociopath is said to have some level of social conscience, whereas the psychopath has none. A psychopath is clever and calculating; a sociopath not so much. They have far less self-control than a pure psychopath.

are you married to a sociopath

Charisma On/Off Switch

A sociopath is typically charismatic. But not all the time. They have the ability to switch on the charm in the blink of an eye, and be able to switch it off again just as fast. They may be sitting with you in a bar or restaurant and as soon as someone moves into their sphere of awareness, they’ll press that old charm button and light up the room with delight and pleasure. As soon as the person leaves, they’ll be instantly back to whatever their normal is. They can’t keep up the pretense for as long as a psychopath can.

Love-Bombing

Love-bombing is one of their most irresistible and devastating traits. When you first meet them, they’ll be your dream partner. So genuinely besotted with you that you can’t imagine ever falling out of love. It’s just perfect. However, it always wears off. Unless they have a reason to turn it on again. For instance, after a fight and they want to make up. Or if you leave and they want you back. For a little while you’ll believe that they really do love and care for you. Should you repel their advances and refuse to play along, they’ll get mad. Sociopaths are highly likely to stalk their love-interest. And when ignored, do damage to their property.

Blame Shifting

A sociopath never accepts the blame for anything. Not ever. It’s never their fault. They never make mistakes. It’s always someone else’s fault. Doesn’t matter if it they forgot to pick up their dry cleaning as agreed, it’ll be your fault they forgot. Or their boss, or the traffic. If their career comes to a standstill, you caused it by creating problems in your marriage. If they lose money, it’ll be your fault for not warning them. 

Ex Partner Denigration

This is a big warning sign, and with any luck you’ll pick it up before you tie the knot. Listen to how they talk about their ex. A reasonable person will admit that there were failings on both sides. A sociopath will go on and on about how their ex lied, cheated and was a downright defective person. They will paint themselves as completely blameless and long-suffering. Imagine them talking about you in the same way. Don't kid yourself — they will.

Sweeping Statements and Generalizations

A sociopath is lazy, so they can’t be bothered to think things through. If the subject has little importance to them, watch out for completely ludicrous generalizations. All those people are wrong because they voted in such a way. Why does everyone do this or that? If one celebrity is tax evading, they all are. If you disagree, you’ll be informed that you know nothing.

Conversational Diversions and Gaslighting

Trying to have a reasonable discussion with a sociopath is like treading a minefield. Get into the realm of a differing point of view and you will find yourself led up the garden path toward self-doubt. Of course you would think like that because all your family are stupid/criminal/crazy. In fact you are probably crazy too. Point out something that proves your point and you will be told you have misremembered, that thing you refer to didn’t happen in the way you say it did. It probably never happened at all and you are being like this because of your dysfunctional childhood. Pretty soon you’ll find yourself in a land of confusion as you try to sort out your reality from their fiction.

are you married to a sociopath woman


Sticks and Stones, But Name Calling Hurts 

Making fun of you is showing how much they love you. Of course it is. Embarrassing you in front of other people doesn’t mean anything — where’s your sense of humor? Oh come on, you know I wouldn’t hurt you, I was just having a little fun. It was only a joke. Why don’t you lighten up? 

Sociopaths Must Have Full Control

They must have their own way. At all times. If they let you make a decision it’s because they don’t care and are happy to let someone else do the work. Step out of line though, and you’ll know it. They often achieve their aims by withdrawing emotionally, then if you object, they’ll tell you that they can’t be dealing with your obstinacy. Or they will act as though your refusal to go along with their demands is a personal slight to them. Eventually you’ll cave in order to keep them happy. They’re training you.

Extreme Risks

Sociopaths will take extreme risks. They tend to disregard laws and regulations because they don’t think they apply to them. Their crimes tend to occur spontaneously. They see something; they want it; they go and get it. They can’t see much wrong with this. They may act violently in a fit of temper and will even lose their own sense of danger.

No Remorse

A sociopath will only show remorse when it suits them. They feel no genuine remorse unless they have somehow hurt themselves. They feel nothing for others, but are able to ‘act as if’ in order to get what they want. What ever they do, they do it in their own self-interest, and that includes pretense. 

Married To a Sociopath?

Are you married to a sociopath? How do you deal with them? If you are split up, when did you realize, and how did you extricate yourself from the relationship? Please share your experiences.

The Psychopath — And How To Know If You Love One

How To Know if You Are Dealing With a Sociopath

Photos: Pixabay

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  1. By Michaela on

    I realized I dated a Socio/Psychopath a few short weeks after he cruelly discarded me.  It was hands down the most devestating thing I have ever been through in my life.  I nearly died it was horrible.  The weeks following were horrible, he signed me up on Porn websites, gave my number to many call centers, I got several texts multiple times a day, Installed spyware on my phone.  It got so bad I had to change my number.  I went absolute no contact of any sort after the discard.  I can only hope and pray he’s gone for the rest of my life.  Bless any of you who have been through this it is hell to say the least.

     

    Reply »

    • By Troi G. on

      Thank you for sharing your experience, Michaela. I expect he’s had his moment of revenge and has now gone for good.

      Reply »

  2. By Josie on

    I lived and was married to one for 11 years. I recently left after my fifteen year old daughter (not his child) confronted me. She had been learning about abusive relationships and recognized all the signs going back to her childhood having him as a father figure. She asked me when was I going to have enough of being abused!?….He is an alcoholic and a regular cocaine user. Did I mention I’m his fifth wife? When we met I was just separating from my first husband. And he just came in and took over my life and everything. Made all my decisions. Made me completely dependent on him. It’s a long story. But if it wasn’t for my daughters bravery. I’d still be there. 

    Reply »

  3. By Sharon on

    Hello I believe I am married to a sociopath. I began to realize he may be one after several people had pointed it out to me and I found out about his several affairs. He has gaslighted me from the start without my realization until years later. What I mean by that is I had that feeling he had cheated, one point in time in particular, I asked him several times and he said I was crazy, etc. Moving on I later had my own affair. I came clean and told him about it and told him that if he could forgive me I would like to work on our marriage. He agreed. The sad part is I still had no idea about his initial affair nor his many others. Until I found out about his affair he would publicly shame me for mine, in front of family, friends, heck even our children's friends parents. Talk about embarrassment! I felt at the time it was deserved (not knowing he had affairs too at this point) and I would sit quietly till the rants were over and I could dismiss myself and cry I private. That is not the only situation of fun making at my expense. He would do it constantly. Finally I found a hidden email account and found out about one affair that led into at least 7 that I know of not including the affair he had with our sons friends married mom, while he and I were home. He has told me that it was my fault and he was trying to make me jealous! He never takes responsibility for his own actions. Last thought of what cemented the idea he may be a sociopath is when we were really (or at least I was) we saw a marriage counselor together and separate. She saw us for several months (6) then after one daunting session together and he saw her alone that week and when it was my turn she made several statements about my mental health and how she would love to continue to see me but she could no longer help him and his next session she told him the same, there is nothing she can do for him. The biggest thing she would talk to him about in our together sessions was taking responsibility for his actions, or his lack of. He would profess how he does but never could concretely admit any fault of his to her. In our sessions it was always my fault. Of course she never said why she couldn't help him any longer but I believe it's because she saw no progress or remorse for his actions. Well she was right because the last affair (sons friends mom) happened after the counseling and the broken promises!

    Reply »

  4. By Will on

    Sorry, i guess i hit submit instead of caps lock

     

    Hello,

    The paragraphs above about tendencies of a sociopath could not describe my wife and our marriage any more accurately.  It is like the author was watching us when writing that.  I love my wife very much and the thought of splitting up with her breaks my heart.  But, her behavior is affecting me, our children, and everyone around us negatively.  Things have been getting progressively worse since I was injured and became disabled.  Every time we disagree about the smallest thing, she blows it up into fights and tactics I would not use on my worst enemy.  She is brainwashing my children that I am a liar and am abusive to her when in reality quite the opposite is true.  It seems like she picks the times when I need her the most to get mad and then leave.  Yesterday I was having a particularly bad day and could not get out of bed.  She came in mad about something our daughter had done.  When I told her to take a breath and slow down, she turned on me telling me i never take her side and always sitck up for whoever is against her.  Then she physically attacked me in bed injured as I am, and when I flailed my arms in self defense she ran from the room screaming as loud as she could that I had hit her.  This occurrs with some regularity sadly enough and both our children were home and heard this.  I am at my wits end and because she has spent every dime of my injury settlement and any other money we had I dont know how i can pay for a divorce.  I want out of this terrible cycle and am really quite afraid of her at this point.  Any advice?  I note most folks here are wives talking about husbands, does it ever happen in reverse?  I just dont know what to do!

    Reply »

    • By Troi G. on

      Oh Will, this is awful for you. And yes, it is very common that women treat men in this way too. We don’t often hear about it because so many men think it’s an admission of failure or weakness, when in fact, the opposite is true. I don’t know how you are going to do this, but you have to get out of there. There might be some charitable organisation that might be able to help you out. 

      A quick search turned up this: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/abuse/help-for-men-who-are-being-abused.htm and https://www.helpguide.org/articles/abuse/help-for-men-who-are-being-abused.htm#turn

      Please sort it out. And don’t think you can’t do it out of misplaced loyalty. You don’t deserve this.

      Reply »

  5. By Taniesha on

    I spent 10 months with a sociopath and when I tried to break up with him, he quickly turned on me. Everything was my fault when he got his personal things from my home I wasn’t there. I came home to broken glass in my kitchen aid mixer bowl, that left shards of glass stuck in the stainless steel. He stole my clothes, coats and anything I had that he thought meant something to me. He left a note demanding money for the return of my property. He even has the title to my car holding it ransome for $500 dollors! This is sick and twisted and I’m scared for my life. He was caught using meth and is in rehab for 6 months. So I have time to distance myself. I know after reading all of the information that I have to cut him off and never have anything to do with him. I feel so stupid to have ever trusted him, but he took over my life and tried to make me solely dependent on him for everything. It came to the point where I stop letting him buy me anything, but he made sure when he left, that I had nothing, especially if it came from him. He was the biggest manipulator when it came to telling a story. Nothing was ever his fault. He claimed not to eat pork and the first time I met his aunt she baked pork ribs for dinner and he sucked em down and licked his fingers afterwards, and then tried to say she tricked him into eating dinner.(lol) 

    Reply »

  6. By Mr. Ashamed on

    Hi, I am 32yo and just got married to a sociopath who is 41, had a previous marriage and has a child. I am live in a different country and she is American citizen. In the beginning, I didn't understand or accept some things, but after time dealing with this, I just realized her condition.

    Lies after lies, about small things, about her past, about our past together and always the same way. Even after get caught she keeps lying. Everything I know about her life I discovered by myself.

    Facts:

    Pretending she was sick

    Hiding she was married when we met and after

    Hiding she has a son

    Hiding she was still living with her ex husband

    Creating multiple fake profiles on social medias to stalk me (and probably her ex husband)

    Creating a story about being pregnant with me and having a natural abortion over stress.

    Using more faking profiles on socias medias to interact with me, to send messages to herself saying I was cheating on her and then showing me this "unkown" messages accusing me.

    I read something here saying I am probably part of her (the sociopath) plans, maybe because I am an electrical engineer and these professionals can make a lot of money in US. The way she talks about this all the time makes me believe this is the reason she got me.

    Oh, her son is a soccer player, and I am starting to believe that he is also part of her plan because of this.

    I love her and I am studying about her condition. Everything I read here or any other place just teaches me how to be more realistic. I have to accept and try to break all the ties I have with this woman. I am sad. I don't know what to do. Probably I do know, I just don't want to. I need help…

    Thank you for this space for sharing my story. :(

    Reply »

    • By Mr. Ashamed on

      Continuing…

      More facts:

      She also likes to be always too dressed even for simple events or no events.

      She is always she could work in any profession because she is good at everything, she use to say she could be a helicopter pilot, or work on FBI, or that she was a great soccer player back in years and other things…

      She contact my family and friends and ask them to don't share with me.

      She only say sorry once I am ignoring her for days and she never wants to talk about her mistakes.

      When I am out with friends she keeps texting me and texting me all the time. Controlling.

      The phone her bought me has a mechanism she can see where I am. She found me in a hotel room when I left the house, so I know.

      I really do need help.

      Thank you once again.

       

      Reply »

      • By Troi G. on

        Mr A. File for a divorce before life becomes even more unbearable. Why let someone use and abuse you like this? Walk away.

        Reply »

  7. By Mr. Ashamed on

    Do you think there is a solution?

    She bought a ticket to visit me in one month…

    We just got married… 1 month ago…

    What do you think about everything I told you?

    Reply »

    • By Troi G. on

      My previous comment stands. If you stay with this person, you are going to be very unhappy. How can it ever work? 

      Reply »

  8. By Beth Pace on

    Hi, I just wanted to share some things that happened to me, so I can know if they make sense to anyone else

    I was engaged last year, to someone I loved very much. He is well-known in our church circles and so it was pretty public. He courted me long distance for about six months before he proposed to me. I moved in with his family closer to our wedding. But the symptoms I couldn’t understand are these:

    He was adamant about pursuing me. He would drive overnight ten hours to surprise me, got me tons of little gifts, showered me with kisses and hugs and affection. But when I spent time with him, it would shift suddenly to him being really quiet, distant and sometimes seeming like he would just ditch me in public places. He was strange about cuddling, and I would start to feel like on eggshells a lot around him, especially about my appearance, etc. But he could also be really sweet and kind. I couldn’t put my finger on it. I thought he could just have ocd or little tics like me, or maybe be on the spectrum somewhat as he was also really smart.and that didn’t bother me at all. But when I would be with him around other people, he would say little jabs at me. Such as I wasn’t competitive enough for our board game, or that I was playing like a child. So I began to feel alienated. One time he snapped that I was crossing his limit, when I tried to snap a pic of him on my phone. I was shocked because I thought he was kidding. And he would act disappointed in me for the smallest things. But he would constantly reassure me when I would share my insecurities. It felt like he could be buddies with other women, and not with me for some reason. He would point out other women’s makeup and ask me to buy that. I wasn’t sure if his mom approved of me, even though we got a long pretty well. Closer to our wedding, he began to act annoyed at paying for my dinner in front of his friends. I couldn’t understand it. Finally, a week before our wedding he told me he couldn’t go through with it. I never got a very clear answer why. He didn’t have feelings for me, he said. After telling me he loved me every day and being so sweet and loving most of the time. It crushed me. I became paranoid about what I had done wrong. I still am confused. After our wedding, he went on our honeymoon trip. And posted it on social media looking very normal and happy. I was reeling with shock. He broke it off with me finally over a text, almost as if he didn’t know me. 

    Has anyone been through this?

    Reply »

    • By lynn on

      Just genuinely thank God that you dodged a bullet sweetie.:)  Don't try to understand it.  Simply appreciate the fact God was protecting you- REALLY protecting you.  May God continue to bless you.

      Reply »

  9. By Natalie on

    You have to realised they can't love, they can't feel fear… they are only part human and part inhuman. There is not way to make sense to crazy, they are happy in chaos, in making people get sad and unhappy. The best thing to do is to realised that it is not you, it  is the other person that has a personality dissorder and RUN RUN as far as you can and never look back!!. Hopefully they forget about you and you forget about this nightmare and you build yourself up, maybe stronger than before, realising that there are people out there that are not  capable of feel normal feelings and in that scenario they are not going to change because they cant change, every effort you make is a waste of your time and your sanity. Make the best of your life and forget about them.

    Reply »

  10. By Ray on

    I believe my wife to have sociopathic tendancies. Some call her stubborn, but she is constantly cruel. She completely ignores the truth if it doesn't fit her story, and she accuses me constantly of cheating while I'm working. I can send her videos of me working, turn location on FB but she won't even look at it because it doesn't fit her narrative.

         She has 5 children with 3 different men. I'm her 2nd marriage, and her first marriage actually lasted 6 years, though it was rocky. We have been married just over a year, and our last fight was because she told me she was never going to have sex with me again… because I was working and she thought I was cheating. When I got home I confronted her but she said she didn't want to talk, called her dad and had him pick her up. I told her if she left she couldn't come back. 

       Later I apologized and told her it was in the heat of anger, but she won't budge. I'm sure she'll want me back.. when she needs a pack of cigarettes or some alcohol.

    I got into trouble for tipping a female waitress 20 percent and she told me to have fun being single and to go back and get her number. There was no flirtation at all.

    I got into trouble for looking at a girl when her son cried out NO and she told me have fun being single, go get her number.

    I have never flirted with a girl while married to her. The closest was telling my friend of many years that her photograph belonged in a magazine. She is an aspiring photographer. Another time I told her friend, who I also was friends with before we started dating, that she could add me to FB.

    She has changed her FB to single, even though she's living with me, and doing all the married things.  She refuses to change it back and refuses to see the problem. She also has no photos of me on her FB… including times we did stuff together in Vegas… she just says "I had a great time in Vegas!" with a picture of herself. 

    She is not part of her son's life.. unless it suits her purposes. Her mom and dad watch the two oldest, the three youngest are in custody of her ex husband because of her multiple DUIs.  She routinely call off a visit with her youngest sons if she wants to drink the night before. 

    Can this be fixed? 

    Reply »

  11. By Sad lonely wife on

    I have just realized that I have been married to a sociopath by reading this and some other websites with information. We have been together a decade. At first we were picture perfect. Never an argument. He adored me. I felt so loved and protected. We got married. Had kids. Bought a house. I stopped working and he said he will take care of our family. Big mistake believing that. Then the random Craigslist hookups started. I thought I was the cause. Then I realized all these signs were there from the start. Love bombing, charismatic, and everything else on the list minus violence yet cheating and lying to me and emotional abuse…I realized that he feels literally no emotion. I have caught him fake crying when I mentioned the affairs. But then he did it again! I am beyond devastated. I am in a state of shock and depression. I feel trapped because now I don't have my own money or job and my health now prevents me from doing many things. We have a mortgage, cars, joint accounts… I want to leave but I am trapped. Sadly, I still love the person I thought I married and  I want to help him get treatment. It's so hard to face that the whole decade has been an elaborate fabrication. I hate my life now. 

    Reply »

  12. By Jill on

    I grew up with a mom who so accurately fits the description of a sociopath and narcissist. I'm now 25 years old and my parents are still married. My mom was and still is abusive to me, my sisters and my dad but my dad won't leave her because he has this unconditional love for her and a need to stay with her. My dad is such a kind and selfless person but my mom has always been so cruel to him and us. My dad is now very sick with cancer but my mom doesn't give him the time of day or act like she cares about him at all. The only time she shows that she cares about him is when we're in public and she puts on this persona of a caring wife and cries about my dad being so sick. She said she's "playing the cancer card" to get out of obligations. Anyway, my point is, my dad always thinks things are getting better with my mom but it doesn't get better. For years he has said things like, "she's getting nicer and we have more good times than bad times" but I've never really seen it get better. (For example, my dad was recently in the ICU for two weeks due to a complication from his cancer treatment but she didn't visit him once.)  She has tortured me and my family and I can't tell you how badly I wish my dad left her years ago. Because of her mental and phyiscal abuse, my sisters and I all struggle with major depression and other mental issues. I know it's extremely difficult and much much easier said than done but for your sake and your children's sake, you should truly consider leaving her. I can assure you that your children love you and recognize that you are not in the wrong. My mom always tried to talk badly about my dad to us and would tell us that he's controlling and abusive but we recognized that she was being manipulative and never believed her. We know that our dad is loving and caring and have never questioned that.  Anyway, sorry for the long comment, I just wanted to show you a different perspective. I wish you the best of luck with everything you're dealing with and I'm so very sorry you have to go through this. It will get better though. 

    Reply »

  13. By Tim on

    Most of this article rings true in the case of my wife: the manipulation, the inability (or unwillingness) to find fault in herself, how low she is willing to go to have things her way, and much more. The thing is, she doesn’t have the hallmark charisma that sociopaths are supposed to have. While she is great at seeming sweet, she is also genuinely self-conscious, socially awkward, and shy. There is something else off about her, and I can’t figure out what it is. For example, she will be having a conversation and suddenly start talking about something completely different without any verbal signal that she is changing the subject, and the other person will be left confused about what she is talking about until they ask clarifying questions. Also, when something out of the ordinary happens she often “remembers” the same thing happening before. She is generally suspicious of other people and often thinks people are secretly trying to cut her down in one way or another. She has me wrapped around her little finger and it is ripping my life to shreds. Any ideas regarding what I might be experiencing?

    Reply »

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