OOP Survivor Blog

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Is my ex-boyfriend a sociopath or just a jerk?

I've just received an email from a blog reader who really wants to share her story and seek advice, so I'm posting it here. If anyone has an opinion or just wants to offer support to her, please feel free to comment below. It sounds like she's gone through a hellish dating experience, so I imagine that any words of support would be very welcome. Here's what she wrote me:

Kristin, I've been following your blog and I think it's great that you're sharing your story and helping to educate people about sociopaths. I just came out of a relationship and my head is spinning. I want to know if my ex-boyfriend is an actual sociopath or just wrapped up in himself and emotionally abusive as a result.

We had what I thought was a real connection and things moved very fast from the beginning. He kissed me only an hour after we met, and things went at light speed from there. I was so crazy about him - he seemed perfect for me and it all felt very comfortable. I've known jerks in the past, and I was looking for any red flags with him. There were none. He's divorced and has a couple of great kids and seems to be a loving dad. His life revolves around his kids, which impressed me.

We were at the point where we were getting very serious - he told me he loved me and that I was "the one" and that he could see himself spending the rest of his life with me.

Then we went to a Halloween costume party. It was awful. All these older 40-something couples were playing endless drinking games with beer (and no, believe it or not this wasn't a frat party) and getting really crazy. We were at the party for five hours. At one point during the party, the host (my ex's good friend) groped me when no one was around - he literally felt me up my dress and also pulled down the top of my dress and grabbed my breasts. He pulled his penis out of his pants and said he wanted to "f--k" me. I was so scared. I pushed him away and told him that I didn't think his wife would like it. I immediately got away from him and found my (ex)boyfriend and told him we needed to leave. As soon as we got in his car, I told him what had happened and his response was, "Oh, well, he was just drunk."

I couldn't believe his response. I felt so hurt that he didn't seem to care. To make it worse, a couple of days later my ex asked his friend about it as well as some of the other guys who had been at the party. He said he wanted to find out what "really" happened. Naturally, the guy who attacked me, and his friends, all told lies about me, like that I had come onto him, etc. So my ex basically blamed me for what had happened and believed I had caused it.

I was beside myself and completely devastated, so I broke up with him. Then just a few hours later he texted me that he had changed his mind and believed me. I told him if that was true, then I wanted to try to work things out. I still loved him so much. He said that he was very hurt that I'd broken up with him, but he thought there was still hope for us, and he would just need some time to get over the fact that I'd broken up with him. I told him that I was so sorry for breaking up with him, but I hoped he understood how upset I was when he said he didn't believe me.

A few days later we spent the night together and I really thought things were going to go back to the way they were and that we'd be able to move past what had happened at the party. The next morning as I was leaving his house, he said he'd call me. But he didn't. About a week went by. Before this, we were calling each other once or twice a day and texting dozens of times every day. I finally texted him and asked him why he hadn't called me and also asked if our relationship had all just been fake, made up of lies. He texted back, very angry, and said that he was completely offended that I would accuse him of such a thing. There was no additional communication and that was over a week ago. I basically wrote him off and was starting to get over him. Then he emailed me today out of the blue, apparently still very angry, saying that he can't believe that I would think that our relationship hadn't been real when he really had meant it when he said he loved me.

I just can't continue this drama. I don't know what he wants from me now. And I think it's so ironic because he's the one who told me repeatedly that he didn't want drama in his life. Is he just a jerk? I don't really think he's a sociopath because he seems to truly care for his kids and tries to do the best for them - I don't think a sociopath would care like that. I'm just trying to get a handle on what kind of personality type this is so I can avoid it in the future.

I'm grateful for any advice.