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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.