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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.


  1. THis guy sounds like a narcissist. Sounds like he's making his own drama. I don't know if he's a sociopath, but he's definitely no picnic.

  2. Narcissism is the bottom line of every toxic relationship---"I want what I want and I want it now and I want you to provide it for me, and don't ask questions,,,,,just do it."

    For him to expose you to crass "friends" that would grope you and then not have compassion on you, not really even believe YOU, or try to blame the man's behavior on you is BASS-
    ACKWARDS--then to just dump you, not call after he said he would, the man in my opinion, is showing that he does not value you, your opinion, or your worth or dignity.

    People who care about YOU should be interested in protecting you from that kind of INSULT, not excusing his friends for being drunk. Sounds like he hangs out with a crowd of low-lifes that this may be standard behavior but it obviously isn't in the circles YOU prefer to be in.

    I am learning to look at how people ACT and pay much less attention to what they say. They speak more truth through their actions. I would dump this guy and NOT look back. If he wont stand up to your attacker (and that is what it was) as your boy friend, I don't imagine he would stand up for you if you were the wife and mother of his kids, I think the blame would be placed on your shoulders for BEING attacked.

    Find someone who respects and treasures you and I will bet the farm a man who treasures and respect you would have either clocked the guy's plow or made darned sure not to ever let him be around you again. Someone doesn't have to be a sociiopath to be a toxic jerk that will make your life miserable. NO CONTACT! DUMP HIM!

  3. A lot of what he did sounds like a sociopath to me, how he came on so fast in the beginning... that sounds textbook. As for the not calling you for a week... he did that to make you run after him (which you did) he did that to create anxiety (which he created). I say, follow your instincts and keep staying away from him, you are smart to do this. The red flags you were looking for... well you've got them now, don't ingore them. I don't think it matters if he's a jerk or a sociopath, whatever he is... he's toxic. By the way, sociopaths are great at pretending they are good parents, they are great at pretending they feel anything, they mirror you.

  4. Sociopath without a doubt.
    People of the lie. they don't actually exist, everything they do and say is phony.
    my exP had pictures of my cats on his computer. I had dressed one of them up as pussn'boots for halloween.
    He once said to me, "when I walk into a restaurant, to the waitresses, I'm just a scruffy guy, but when they see pictures of my cat: EVERYTHING CHANGES."

  5. Well my first words to you are: RUN!

    Bottom line, he is very abusive and if you need further clarification I highly highly suggest you pick up a book called "Why does he do that?" by Lundy Bancroft before you pursue the relationship with the gentleman/abuser any further.

    One thing that is very important to keep in mind, is that abusers will work 150% harder at trying to impress you and make you feel extraordinarily special, which for us women is very easy to fall for. Abusers are very manipulative and they know this works, that's why they do it. If they were themselves from the first date, they would never have a chance to have victims. Your first red flag was the speed of the relationship. I always used to think this was the dream type of relationship to obtain one day, but when a man moves in on you that quickly it is actually a huge red flag. They try to rope you and isolate you before you have a chance to think things through, instead you are so entirely wrapped up and consumed in their "love" and "affection" that you fail to see all the other red flags.
    I actually have a very similar story with my oldest daughter's father. He also dismissed my concern one night after his friends groped me up and said entirely inappropriate things to me at a poker game. Eventually, my daughter's father raped me over and over and over. I have my daughter who I am so blessed to have but please listen to my warning... my story started out the same and although my gut was screaming "oh my god there is something abnormal and wrong about this" I second guessed myself and went back to him because I loved him and paid for that mistake for years to come. Please be careful. I know how difficult it is to know what the right thing to do is in these situations. It may be easy for the outside world to see but when you are wrapped up in the dreams you have with this man, it makes it very difficult to know what to do or what to think.

    You are dealing with a very manipulative, abusive man. The worst is yet to come. Regardless, ask yourself this... why should you make anyone a priority who only makes you an option? My grandmother always said, You can tell a man by the friends he keeps. I wish so many times I would have listened to this advice it is all too true.

    If you would like to talk to me I am a very good listener and do not judge. My heart goes out to you.

  6. I'm surprised the guy didn't want to punch his friend for attacking you like that. Instead he did what any other asshole would do, which is completely disrespect you and not care about how you felt. You must have been terrified to be attacked like that.

    It doesn't sound to me like he's an actual sociopath. More like just a jerk who hates and disrespects women. If he was a sociopath, then he'd have the excuse of not having a conscience or compassion. But this guy doesn't have a valid excuse for his behavior. He shouldn't get off that easy.

    I'm really sorry you've had an abuser in your life, and I hope you are able to break free from him. I know it's hard when you've already fallen in love with him, but believe me, you can do way, way better.

  7. My take is that this guy is just immature. (Drinking games when you're in your 40's, really?) He's hanging out with other losers like him and just hasn't grown up. I can't say he's evil without knowing the guy, but it sounds like he's just in it for himself. Move on and you'll find someone better.

  8. I don't know, I think the ex is a sick person for not caring about the fact that his buddy assaulted her.