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 General Discussion Topics About Psychopaths
 General Discussion: How To Survive A Psychopath
 Leaving a sociopath - tips - add yours
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CBoo
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Posted - 04/24/2009 :  01:12:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply to Topic
I'm on a mission. When I left my ex sociopath husband, I was totally unprepared for what lay ahead of me and I made crucial mistakes in dealing with my situation. I'm painfully aware that there are people out there who are currently living with a sociopath and want to leave, but may be unsure of what to expect or of how to go about it. While all situations are different in some ways, leaving a sociopath, because of their very nature, is almost always complicated. Even more complicated when marriage, kids and financial factors are involved. I don't have all the solutions, but I will give all that I have and hope that others who have freed themselves from a sociopath can add their tips too. I speak only from my own experience and from what I have read from others' experiences.
Some of this advice may also be a applicable to men leaving women sociopaths.

~

Prepare yourself mentally. You cannot change the sociopath, not by love, not by therapy, not by time, not by seperation, not by anything. Especially not by having a baby with him/her. It's vital that you accept that and that you resolve never to return. When you leave a sociopath it must be for good, or else you are setting yourself up for a sick and protracted game with him/her.

~

Realise that what attracted you to the sociopath in the first place was a mirage, a false image. The sociopath is good at "sussing people out". He/she can figure out very quickly what it is that you are looking for in a partner and morphs themselves into your soul mate. Every so often that mask slips and you see the real person, but the sociopath knows very well how to put that mask back up at any time that it suits their skewered view of the situation. Do not be conned by that false persona again. And don't by intimidated by their appearance of supreme confidence, that's also a front.

~

The sociopath is able to moderate their own behaviour. Often, others think that he/she is a wonderful person. They never get close enough to see the other side. This is how the sociopath is able to function in day to day life. They do this for self-preservation, and it often makes us think we look like we're crazy. Remember that you are not crazy, you have emotions, you are normal. Its also common for a sociopath to suggest that you have mental issues by the way. Its just another abuse tactic.

~

Sociopaths very often try to isolate you from people that would be your greatest allies should you leave. Family, friends and potential friends - sometimes even his own family. Sometimes he will try to fill your "social calender" with his own friends, those he knows he can turn to his side in time to come. Typical tactics would be to bad-mouth you to them, or them to you or both ways. Also typical would be to fill your time in such a way that you lose touch with friends or to move you away from familiar territory. I have read so many times, and it was also the case in my situation, where a simple phone call to mom or dad or an old friend was such a relief to both parties and that bonds were never really broken. Its very good to have support when you leave a sociopath.

~

Often it is difficult to leave a sociopath because you have no income of your own, or he has been financially abusive and there are kids to consider, or you are scared he will be violent. In fact, I believe many women stay in bad marriages for these reasons. The best advice I can give here, and there is NO shame in this, is to visit your local women's shelter. You do not (unless you choose to or need to) have to sleep at the shelter. The wonderful people at these places have a wealth of advice to give - financial, legal, medical, housing, councelling etc. At many shelters they will even help you to find employment. I would advise paying them a visit even before you leave the sociopath, whether he has been physically abusive or not. Their support is also valuable if you do not have support from family or friends.

~

Limit any contact that you have with the sociopath. If you have no kids, cut all contact. If you have kids, limit it to only communication necessary for the kid/s sake. Insist on communicating only via e-mail, registered letters, or via/with a third party. A sociopath will mess with your head so badly if you allow him to talk with you direct. That I can guarantee you.

~

If you are going to divorce him or you have kids, start gathering all evidence immediately. Prepare yourself for a massive battle. I have yet to read of an amicable divorce/custody agreement from a
sociopath. If your finances are strained, apply now for legal aid, some countries have a waiting list for "free" lawyers. If you can afford a really good lawyer, don't spare the expense. If you can't then make sure you're on his case constantly from day one. Just by the way, a sociopath always tells his lawyer what to do and not the other way around. So take advice from your lawyer, get the options available and instruct him/her. Do not be lax with the legal system, make it work. And don't spare the awful, disgusting details about the sociopath and his/her behaviour. Paint a picture of the very devil himself because that is what he will try to do with your image.

~

Expect the sociopath to dart off to the family advocate or whoever deals with child welfare in your country. The sociopath will present himself well, so try to get in first. Don't just presume that these people will see him for who he really is. Tell them everything. Offer evidence of abuse if you have it.

~

Always work with the legal/child welfare system. You do not want to turn these people against you by suddenly running off with the kids or by breaching court orders.

~

Once you have left the sociopath there is a chance that he/she will stalk and/or harass you and smear your reputation around your work, neighbourhood, friends etc. Try to gather evidence of this and pursue a restraining order. All sociopaths are capable of anything and should never be underestimated. Check your car regularly - tyres, battery, water tank, breaks etc, and make sure where you are living is very secure. Notify neighbours and local police of any interferences near your home.

~

I may add more as I think of it. I hope this helps someone out there. I don't mean to scare anyone by the way, its just reality, sorry.

Take care of yourself, you deserve a good life.

Cboo
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FLMgirl
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Posted - 04/26/2009 :  19:43:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply to Topic
CBoo,

Excellent job, on providing invaluable tips for leaving a sociopath.


Everyday is a winding road...
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FLMgirl
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Posted - 04/27/2009 :  09:42:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply to Topic
Other possible tips:

~

Teach your children how to make a collect call, and how
to dial 911.

~

Ask a neighbor to call the police if violence begins.

~

Be sure to have all abuse (sexual and physical) documented.

~

Hide away some money.

~

Establish a code word for danger with friends, and family.

~

Do not tell the him/her that you are leaving face to face. Leave when he is not there, get somewhere safe, then call him, or have someone else call and tell him/her that you have left. In many cases, you aren't just leaving, you are escaping.

~

Check the laws where you are, as stalking is now a criminal offense in many states, and countries.

~

Hide an extra set of house and car keys.

~

When preparing to leave, try to have available:

--Social Security numbers (yours, his, childrens)
--Birth certificates (your and the childrens)
--Drivers license
--Bank account numbers
--Insurance policies, and numbers
--Marriage license
--Valuable jewelry


Everyday is a winding road...
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CBoo
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Posted - 04/28/2009 :  00:51:48  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply to Topic
Thanks for your kind words FLMgirl and for adding such excellent advice. Getting away safely and well prepared has to be the most important thing for sure.
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Sammie32
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Posted - 05/19/2009 :  08:48:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply to Topic
I also did not prepare myself for the long battle ahead. I made many mistakes and it almost cost me my life.

- When that sense of control is taken away, things can get dangerous. Be on Guard.

- In the state I live in as long as you are legally married, they are entitled to all property. If that is the case...MOVE. He can destroy your house, car, and your personal property, the law will not touch him. They will tell you it's legally his property too. Walk away.

- Always tell someone where you are going and when you will be back.

- Don't be silent. Tell a trusted friend or family member what is happening. If something where to happen...you will need a voice.

- Write all incidents down and keep them locked in a safe place. They may come in handy someday.

- If you have children together, have an iron clad Will drawn up by a good attorney. Make your custody wishes are very clear. I do not know if every state is this way, but here when you leave a minor inheritance their legal guardian if entitle to it even if it is in a trust. My ex would spend it and my son would have nothing. Leave it to a sibling with instructions that your child is to receive it when they are an adult.

- Always remember....It is not your fault. They may be able to take away possessions, people or even your sense of security. But, one thing you can never let them take is your spirit.
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Rhondab1968
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Posted - 08/16/2009 :  08:26:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply to Topic
Ladies,

Where were you months ago??? LOL...this advice could have been so helpful to me....i am happy to say that my sociopath is OUT of my life. Just last week he sent texts/called cell. I did not reply or answer......everyday is a 'new day' so to speak.

I am divorced w/2 beautiful children (not from him!). We have zero ties. Zippo. Much easier this way. He came into my life w/nothing and left w/almost $200,000.00. This my ladies, will NEVER happen to me again. Each day i feel stronger and more empowered. I decided not to feed into his abusive, manipulating words and actions. Best decision i have made in the last 2 years i wasted on this sociopath.

Now, im concentrating on MY needs. MY childrens needs. Life is good.

However, these forums are so theraputic im happy we live with all this technology!! LOL

Rhondab1968
xoxox
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LilKitten87
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18 Posts
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Posted - 08/24/2009 :  01:51:32  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply to Topic
WOW!! CBoo..this my first time visiting this site while i searched for some answers about leaving my bf who is a sociopath..sad to say i have a daughter with this crazy guy and scared on how to actually get out and stay out this time...?!?!

Tricia Hill
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CBoo
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Posted - 08/24/2009 :  04:19:51  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply to Topic
Hi Tricia, welcome. You know, all the time you were trying to have a normal, healthy relationship with this thug, he was working behind the scenes to strip you of your confidence and power. That is the mission of most sociopaths, ultimate power over the people in their lives. Knowledge though, is also power, and you are already building your defense by becoming informed. When you leave, it becomes a game for him. Its vital that you don't play his game. (Cont)
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CBoo
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Posted - 08/24/2009 :  04:48:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply to Topic
The trickiest part when you have a child, is his ability to use her to play with your emotions and also to get sympathy from authorities, family etc. Its unlikely that you can keep him from seeing her, however. But you don't need to be in contact with him for that. In fact, for a good while, I recommend you communicate through a third party, and strictly about the child. Its a good idea, in fact, to take the lead in this. Please realise that your life will be hell if you don't break away now. (Cont)
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CBoo
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Posted - 08/24/2009 :  04:58:50  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply to Topic
Sorry Tricia, I'm on mobile and have to split my post up. I think that my biggest mistake, was waiting to see what my ex's next move would be, and then reacting accordingly. Before I knew it, he had already turned people against me, including the child welfare authorities, and I was forced to play out his scenario. You can do better and play it your way. I know you can be brave, and you can do this. We're behind you all the way. Kindest regards, Cboo
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LilKitten87
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Posted - 08/26/2009 :  16:29:10  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply to Topic
CBOO..Thank you for the reply and more helpful information..i am doing my best to try to get my self a little prepared for leaving because i always so easily seem to go back and feel bad for him..its great that ive been reading so much more on other people going through all the same crazy things and feelings like i do myself..i lookforward to a much better life then im in now..and hope i get out soon..

Tricia Hill
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lisa25
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Posted - 09/07/2009 :  21:43:33  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply to Topic
Hi, my name is Lisa Iím 23 and I'm new to this site. I'm trying to leave a boyfriend that I've been with for 2 years now. I always knew something wasnít right with him (behavior/lifestyle). A friend once told me that he sounded like a sociopath and I thought he was nuts! The closer I got to him the more and more weird his actions, lies, excuses and behavior came. I thought he was just a compulsive liar. Then I decided to google the signs of a sociopath and he fit it 100%. I've been doing a lot of research and Iím sick to my stomach of what I've been reading. He fits the behavior to a T.

I guess Iím writing because I've ALWAYS given him the benefit of the doubt; even when I knew 110% that what he was telling me was a lie. I'm positive (in my eyes and friends eyes) that he's a sociopath. I brought this up to his mother (whom I'm really close to) and she said that he 'IS empathetic' and 'everyone loves him'. She said she doesnít think he's a sociopath (without reading about the signs/behavior of sociopaths) and she seems to think that his ADHD plays a role in his behavior. Yet, she canít comprehend why he canít get a job & why he wonít pay his rent at her house, pay his bills, get a car or get his GED. She knows something is wrong but totally dismissed what I told her. I sent her a bunch of info on sociopaths to see if she sees what I see.

Therefore, to make a long story short; everything that Iíve read, everyoneís posts and experiences, Iíve been through them all minus the children (thank god) and the financial problems. I donít find a need to go in detail because I know u all know what Iím going through with the lies and manipulations. I thought I was crazy to think this of him; thatís why I came here. I donít know why; but I love this kid SOOO much. He ISNT the guy that I met, all we do is argue, and I canít ever believe a word he says.

Recently I realized the he started becoming physically violent toward me. I think he always has been but the reason I never saw it before was because I would fight back; I would hit him when I was cornered or pinned down. I always told him that he "made me because I was put in a fight or flight situation" then I was told that 'I'm abusive and thatís what abusive people say to defend themselves'. I believed it and began to think I was. (Maybe I am. I donít know, itís never been a problem before)

So just recently when we got into it, (I donít have a fight in me anymore, I feel hollow and empty inside) I layed on the bed while he did what he usually did and I didnít resist him at all; just layed there. I never knew how much you can see by not fighting back. There was a demon in him, a side that I've never seen before and it scared the $#^& out of me.

Anytime that would happen before, we would fight, I would try to leave and he would change and say he 'needed me to hold & love him' so I would calm down and stay and the next day was better (so to speak). This time I left. It felt so good too because ANYTIME that I EVER needed him; he would walk off and say I was trying to control him. I was 'upset at an inconvenient time'. And I would lay in bed by myself and cry. Is that bad to feel good about that?

Ok. I think I might be rambling. I guess Iím just here to get help/advise and to vent.

And like I said, I know heís a sociopath but for some reason in the back of my mind, I'm second guessing myself. Is that normal for these circumstances?

I want to get away from him but I fear that I may be wrong about him UGH! =( (I know I'm not) but I donít know what to do.

I've begun to give him deadlines on when I want things done. For example; I know I didnít have an std before I started dating him and then I got symptoms and found out I had not one, but 2 (thank god both curable!). Prior to me getting checked, I asked him to and he told me he did and his results were negative!! (Whatdya know!) I have been faithful throughout the entire relationship, so I find it IMPOSSIBLE for me to have them when I knew I was clean before dating him and him to be clean! Oh yeah, funny thing about this situation is how he reacted. I was expecting to be called a wh$^e or s$%t but he responded the TOTAL opposite. I was actually the one calling him those names and questioning him.

So my deadline was for him to have the results for the test (which he said he showed me, but whenever I asked to see them again they were 'here or there' and then they disappeared all together!) by Friday or we were done. He didnít have them. He swears to me he never cheated and the ONLY brain raking conclusion that I came up with to how I got it was that a ghost raped me in my sleep! (Thatís a joke) There's SOOOO much more to this deranged relationship that I'm leaving out.

So, I guess, what should I do? I keep going back thinking that I'm just "nagging" or "over thinking" as he puts it.
Is it common for people in this type of relationship to feel this way?
There is absolutely NOTHING that can be done for him?

I see that he could amount to SO much but he is in an entire world of lies. It seems like he really believes himself too. =..( And I feel bad for him.

UGH!!!! SOMEONE PLEASE HELP!! My friend told me that I think with my heart and not my head because all the reasons are there for me to leave but for some reason I just CAN'T. I mean I know I can, but I feel like I'd be leaving him when he's fragile and can still get help.
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lisa25
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Posted - 09/07/2009 :  22:01:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply to Topic
I just want to say sorry if that post was jumpy or confusing. This is my first time getting everything out and using a site like this.

Thanks,

Lisa
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CBoo
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Posted - 09/07/2009 :  23:38:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply to Topic
Hi Lisa. Warm welcome to MyTherapy. You posted fine, don't worry. The important thing is that you got it out, and you're reaching out. As you may have noticed, I have to break up my posts into parts. Please bear with me. Its hard to decide for sure if someone is a sociopath. Even with the checklists available, its still really the domain of doctors to diagnose such a complex disorder. But in my opinion, you can't afford not to assume that he could well be. He certainly has many of the traits. (Cont)
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CBoo
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Posted - 09/07/2009 :  23:49:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply to Topic
Unfortunately, people who display the kind of behaviour that you describe, seldom even want help. And someone with the emotional attachment that you have toward him, is definitely not the one to do it. Under rare circumstances, some sociopaths do seek out and receive help, but mainly to modify anti-social behaviour. Otherwise, sociopathy is largely genetic in origin. Yes, I think its natural to want to help someone that you love. But Lisa, you're only 23. Your whole life lies ahead of you.
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CBoo
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Posted - 09/08/2009 :  00:05:09  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Reply to Topic
You need to realise that your self-esteem has probably taken a huge knock. But you must come first here. If you put trying to help him first, what will become of Lisa? Please accept that the chance of him changing is so unlikely. You noticed how emotionally detaching yourself during that horrible abuse that time, helped you to see the clear picture? You have already learned the secret to leaving him. Withdraw from his life completely, and you will be able to move on. Kindest regards, Cboo
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