Are Abusers Narcissistic, Sociopathic or Plain Abusive?

March 6, 2013 Kellie Jo Holly

Labeling abusers as narcissists or sociopaths is hurtful to the victim of abuse and a waste of the abuse victim's time. Find out why.

I struggle with using the words "narcissist" and "sociopath" and the like in my descriptions of abusers. The words get a lot of online attention and would draw in abuse victims trying to solve the mystery of their lover's nasty behaviors. However, "abusers" do not fall into any specific category in the DSM-IV (the guide psychiatrists use to diagnose mental illnesses). By and large, abusive people are not mentally ill - even though to us normal folks, it sure appears that they are insane.

Due to some of the comments this post received, I want to clarify that I am talking about cases of domestic violence and abuse - two adults who chose to be together initially until one found out the other was abusing them. There is some peace in "diagnosing" your abuser as a sociopath, narcissist, or whatever as a layperson because your research will also show you these people DO NOT CHANGE and IT ISN'T YOUR FAULT they behave the way they do. This helps you to detach from them.

However, if you are a victim of abuse in a domestically violent relationship, then it does no good to wait around out of "loyalty" or "marriage vows" or any other reason if your abuser happens to actually go to a therapist and receive such a diagnosis. You will become disordered if you live with someone with a mental disorder that science has no way to treat or cure.

Labeling Abusers As Mentally Ill Hurts Victims of Abuse

sociopathIn fact, there is no more, no less mental illness in the abusive population than in the general population. Therefore, pigeon-holing abusers as narcissists, sociopaths, or any other disordered type can hurt the victims of abuse. As a victim of intimate partner violence (IPV, the psychological term for domestic violence), I searched for reasons why my husband acted the way he did. Going through the checklists online for different disorders left me empty-handed. Yes, he was somewhat of a narcissist and somewhat of a sociopath...but he didn't quite meet the qualifications for ANY disorder. According to psychiatry and the DSM-IV, my husband was "normal".

This was actually a GOOD thing for me to discover because, at the time, I was looking for an excuse for his nastiness (and a reason for me to stay). I mean, if he had a disorder (like my depression), then I "should" stick with him - he can't help his brain chemicals, right? That's what I would have thought . . . and I would have tried to get him into counseling for a diagnosis so he could accept what he'd been doing and change into a nice guy. You see where that thinking leads, right? Straight to more reasons to blame myself for not accepting him as he is and loving him unconditionally.

To complicate matters, stroke victims and those with traumatic brain injuries can emerge from their traumas as very different, very abusive, people. For example, one man's wife suffered a stroke and changed into an abusive jerk. Part of it is due to depression and the stress of learning to deal with life after a stroke, but part of it is much more ominous. For example, she told her husband that she acted out a dream while he was at work one day. In the dream, she took a kitchen knife and killed him as he watched television. She acted this out by herself, home alone, pretending it was real! She felt compelled.

Is she reaching out for help by telling her husband? Or is she purposefully inflicting emotional abuse? The husband doesn't know. I don't know. And if she did it on purpose, would she really tell that truth? There is no way to know what is in her mind. The man must decide for himself when he has had enough of the abuse (intended or not). Labeling his wife as a "stroke victim" doesn't help him at all.

Labeling your abuser as a narcissist, sociopath, or even an addict doesn't help you at all, either.

Trying to Figure Out the Abuser Doesn't Help You

On the flip side of the research, we have to consider this, too: most sociopaths, narcissists, and other similarly disordered people DO NOT seek counseling because they see nothing "wrong" with what they do. By and large, they're happy with themselves - it is the rest of the world that is screwed up. So, it is possible that abusers DO have a higher percentage of disorders than the general public, but we can't prove it. We don't know it for sure and blanketing "abuser" under other disorders hurts their victims more than it helps.

If you struggle to answer the question "Why does she abuse me?" you will find no good answer to the question. A better question is "What can I do to protect myself from the abuse?" That empowering question will lead you toward answers that will help you instead of contributing to your feelings of powerlessness, anger, and pain.

You can also find Kellie Jo Holly on her website, Google+, Facebook and Twitter.

*Both women and men could be abusers or victims, so do not assume my pronoun choices are an implication that one gender abuses and the other is victimized.

APA Reference
Jo, K. (2013, March 6). Are Abusers Narcissistic, Sociopathic or Plain Abusive?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 19 from

Author: Kellie Jo Holly

October, 10 2017 at 8:25 pm

You seriously think that abusers aren't mentally ill because there isn't a solid DSM entry for them? This is circular thinking with a touch of abstraction failure.
Your bit on how disorder is contagious is in no way supported by the official field. I'm wondering, have you ever been diagnosed with autism? You seem all over every part of left field but nowhere near center.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

K. Armic
October, 28 2017 at 6:22 am

How strange of you to attack a victim of abuse.

August, 10 2017 at 1:30 pm

can you label a narcissistic person as a emotional abuser or are they 2 totally different things?

Gramma C
August, 18 2016 at 1:37 pm

Sociopathic malignant narcissistic abuser. It is a description modern mental health sees as a mental illness. From what I've seen it is simply the way a person with a hole where his soul ought to be gains benefits and energy from. It is a soul illness. How do we know this? Because these types prey upon the weak, naive, and innocent and the do it behind closed doors and insist upon their victims not telling anyone. When around those with power to expose the wicked behavior, and/or stop the behavior and/or PUNISH the vile behavior the abuser will behave so well St Peter would appear reprobate by comparison! They don't want to get caught. They believe they are entitled to abuse and I don't believe for one second that they, poor babies, just don't believe they are wrong...they KNOW it us wrong or else they would not behave differently depending upon who is watching. THEIR WICKED BEHAVIOR IS A CHOICE, not an illness.
Btw, I've gained much understanding as I supported my best friend gaining emancipation from her abuser via a website that supports abused women called acryforjustice dot com.

July, 25 2016 at 10:16 am

These are some of the tings i noticed, they ask that you let the matter go, the incident, commenting that the other person has a substance abuse issue of some kind or another, or a mental illness, and, if they do not know the offending party at all, then they will simply say that the offender is simply engaging in human nature, but you will notice that they seem to relish the idea, as if underneath their remark they are saying that it is only natural... to attack you in some fashion or other for some contrived reason or anoter... because that is actually what the person in my case was up to, but not them alone, but all of the other members of my family as well... so sad. they are in the habit of meeting truth and good intentions, and good works, with hostility, dishonesty, and as if they represented adversity! what is more, if i were to point out any problem that exists today, they would reference a problem of 6 years ago, if the problem has anything to do with someone i know, and the problem at present has to do with someone they know. absolute insanity! and then, if i were to do anything wrong at all, and they will all go rooting around for such information, like pigs searching for truffles, it will be hurled in my face, but i am supposed to turn my cheek to the entire world! i realized when i was about 3 years old that if anyone at all were to accuse me of anything at all, my family would side with the person, without questioning their intentions, motivations, or the verasity of their statement. and what i thought then has been proven true innumerable times. it could make a person physically vomit. and it is not just the members of my family who behave this way! there are people all over the place who do this! their malicious game is that i must not say anything at all about anyone or any subject at all, but all and sundry are supposedly free to hurl mud at me, meaning the things they do not like about themselves or their friends, or society in general, or the things they enjoy but keep hidden, they hurl that trash at me! I let one guy run his mouth and as usual, these types get so carried away, I pointed out to him that I would have to be GOD to be responsible for all that he claimed! And he realized that it was true! People will try to fault me for things I have not done to people I have never met in places I have never been, and that is to lift their sense of guilt, powerlessness, and whatever other debris they may have hanging on their shoulders! The majority of people very likely operate according to primitive animal instinct and superstition, and they are given to ritual conduct.

June, 4 2016 at 5:11 am

your article is false and dangerous in fact when someone realizes what happened to them they can heal and while we all may play a part one who draws the sick men in can learn to heal if they are not already dead or a emotional wreck forever YES its that bad not a normal break up or disagreement or small abuse. There is a huge difference between abuse and a sociopath and so on not to mention it has now been proven that most abusive relationships contain a n/s or p it is very dangerous to even try to make light of it knowledge is power not the other way around there is no cure for these men or woman which is way less for woman there are way more men with this sickness, the damage is deadly and life destroying. colleges are teaching it as a course for people to have skills to avoid these types and they can take down anyone who is not prepared its not a game a normal person will win they are skilled monsters and yes there is a difference and people NEED to be aware and there is no cure for them they are empty loveless soulless creatures not human when woman learn this it will save them from these evil evil men its not abuse it FAR WORSE

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

October, 28 2017 at 8:14 pm

I agree. To deny the abusers have serious incurable personality disorders like sociopath/narcissist/psychopath/schizophrenia/hfa is to disservice their victims, because the biggest reason people stay is the hope that the abuser can be cured and also the victim abuser bonding which is reverse logic I've gone through so much he can't leave me now codependency and love for the abuser. However, to think of them as merely purposefully abusive leaves too much hope for their eventual improvement, and victims need to know, this goes way deeper than the abusers morals, rearing, education, past exposure to abuse, these are serious cognitive disfunctions and delusional behaviors that can never be cured, no matter how hard you try and how many years of effort and love you pit in. The abuser will NEveR change (sorry abusers).

January, 22 2016 at 6:52 am

I am married into a family of sociopaths..
They druged and killed my unborn baby.. 3 times.. 3 babies in 1 year. They needed my husband to marry onto a wealthy family and for me to have a baby then would just get in the way. Soon after they did just that without me knowing. I was abused over the phone verbally for 3 years if i would hang up the phone i was threatened with divorce... (i am from Asia and divorce is unheard of) i did'nt know he remarried or that he was putting on a show for his new wife. he needed to get into
uk with his new wife and needed me and my 6 year old daughter to help with that.
He is now living here for past 3 years his wife has moved here on a student visa. He denise he has another family. He forced me to have another baby when he got to the uk.. he needed to clear his and his sisters name. He has introduced my daughter to his wife many times. Publicly he and his family have labled me as the crazy one. I have heard many mental illness they claimed i have.
He will not leave my family wont let him leave. Everything in my life home has been violated by him and his wife. If i go out she is snooping around my house if i let him take my child to school they will try and brainwash againest me. He took my USB which has personal files ( drama script i wrote and a business plan). I had no idea until he mocked me about personal things that were on my diary on that USB that no 1 knows.they have stolen all my work are now on the verge of opening that business.. i spent 2 years getting research and business plan written.
He wants me to cook clean for him.. if he wants sex.. then he will get it there is no where i can go or escape. He see's me as nothing but a prostitute.
I am tired and scared i have no where to go have no money.. am in debt because of him .. he refused to pay any bills for 3 years or pay for food. Everything he earned he gave to his wife. He starved my kids beacuse i had little money because i was paying bills.
Am tired scared and alone.
No 1 will read this. Just writing it all down does not help i thought it would. God i feel soo num. My whole body hurts. I have to get through this for my kids sake.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

May, 20 2017 at 3:39 am

Run away with your kids don't deal with it another second. You and your kids need better. Just run away, if you have a car you can at least stay in it for a few days with kids of needed, or stay at family or friends or shelter until you can figure it out from there. Just get away from him, don't think about it anymore just go

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

August, 5 2017 at 2:03 pm

I reslly hope you have gained the courage to leave. If not, dont think or worry, it cant get worse than it is now. You are already starved and being violated in every way. Just go

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

August, 5 2017 at 2:04 pm

I reslly hope you have gained the courage to leave. If not, dont think or worry, it cant get worse than it is now. You are already starved and being violated in every way. Just go You need to for your child

January, 5 2016 at 5:30 pm

Kellie Jo,
What an insightful response. I see what you mean about a narcissist or sociopath having something deeply ingrained in their nature, as you are stating, and how they would essentially be faking their way through life (which I might argue just isn't possible, because sooner or later the true colours will have to show through). In fact, I think it would be terrifying to be a narcissist if you ever woke up to realize you were one, which by definition, they don't, and if they did, the only other choice would be that unhealthy one you mentioned.
I agree with you that abusers who would want the help will do it in spite of the stigma. They ultimately must own up to the behaviour and acknowledge that it is wrong. The fact they "chose" to seek the help is the key, I think. Unfortunately, I don't know the same experiences you do with knowing anyone like you have who have done so, but then that's why I ask these questions.
So taking into account the "abusive personality", which I also see as being nonclassifiable by a label (narcissist, sociopath, etc), am I correct in understanding you are trying to say the abusive personality may be something the narcissists and sociopaths have in common with the men you knew who got help, but the difference in the men who sought help weren't narcissists and sociopaths because of their distinguishable ability to recognize their behaviour?
And as for your final question about narcissists and the like loving anyone other than themselves, that's a damn good question. I do feel my mother does love me, but is still so empty inside with herself that she has done a lot of damage and can't help it. I know that I still love her. I think they can love, but they can't fill a void inside and no love returned to them could ever fill it. I know people might say that if you love someone you wouldn't hurt them, but everyone hurts someone sometime, whether we mean to or not; in the case of a narcissist, if it's something they can't change, I think it is still possible to have two completely polar opposite things going on in one person, love on one hand, and an emptiness on the other end of the spectrum.
I know I can't have the relationship with my mom that I want, and I do think she loves me, but I don't think that we can really be involved with each other, because every time we are, everything else in my life suffers. It's basically the whole "narcissistic family" thing, and my stepfather was always an enabler. I don't know. This whole things is just devastating and confusing, and I just don't know if she sees what she does and instead of stopping it, continues to do it because it outweighs the lack of empathy. Or maybe she doesn't see it at all. She has apologized for certain things, then later changes the story, leaving out the things that she did. Then if you tell her that that's not the way things went down, she plays the victim as if she's under attack, saying she'll never be forgiven for her past; but if she's sorry in the first place, why would she twist things and omit her role anyway, only blaming everyone else around her? She twists everything around. She claims to own up to things, but when it's pertinent to talk about what happened, she gets furious.
Maybe I'll never put all of this together. Maybe I'm too afraid to have some of the answers. Looks like ya got me thinking some more...

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
January, 6 2016 at 9:09 am

Recently I heard the statement "You can't reason with an unreasonable person." In looking up the quote (which I couldn't find) I did find a Psychology Today article with a similar title: "Don't Try To Reason With Unreasonable People" at…. It gives tips for getting by when you have someone close to you who is disordered or abusive. Basically, the tips are to limit the time you spend in conversation with the person. I imagine you've tried most all of them in your relationship with your mom.
When it came to my abusive husband, I eventually made myself stop wondering why he did what he did. It drained me thinking that if I could figure out the why then I could fix the problem Sometimes, all we can do is accept the relationship will not be what we hoped (or needed). It seems like you're at that point with your mother, but tend to go back occasionally to see if it will be different "the next time." With a mother, someone you can't just "get over," it would be difficult to stop testing her ability to love you, hoping it would change. Perhaps you don't give up on your mother, you just give up on her ability to be a reasonable person.
Your theory that a narcissistic person holds a huge emptiness that can't be filled by any amount of love (which they CAN feel) is intriguing. It would be like being a running toilet - never going to stop flushing, never going to hold water. I've got a running toilet right now, which is why I use that analogy ... had to turn off the water at the valve to stop wasting water, which is something a narcissistic person theoretically couldn't do to stop "wasting" love.
I'm going to think about the "polar opposite" possibility. I see holding infinite, uncapped, emotion/non-emotion as a possible reality. I wonder if many personality disorders and even mood disorders are a result of being unable to "cap" the feelings/thoughts on one or both ends of the spectrum.
I have depression, so according to your thought, I have a "happy" cap in place, but there's no cap on the opposite "depressed" end. For your mom, there would be no cap on "ability to love," but there's also no cap on "fear of not having love." I can recognize my depressed feelings as unhealthy because I have a cap on "happy" and can therefore compare how happy I feel at my best to the unending sense of hopelessness of my worst moments. A person with a personality disorder cannot recognize "abnormal" emotion/thoughts because they have no stable emotion to compare the opposite emotion to. Interesting thought. If we could somehow cap the ends of people with disorders, maybe we could cure them.
And yes, I see the difference between a narcissist and an abusive personality (AP) would be the AP's ability to recognize their behavior as hurtful AND have the ability to empathize with others enough to fix it.
Cool. You've given me something to think about. Thank you.

January, 3 2016 at 5:56 am

This is a great article, and it really got me thinking and asking so many questions; classification can be a dangerous thing:
You stated, "On the flip side of the research, we have to consider this, too: most sociopaths, narcissists, and other similarly disordered people DO NOT seek counseling because they see nothing “wrong” with what they do."
However unusual it may be that a narcissist or sociopath DOES see that they have a problem and seeks counseling, then let's entertain the possibility that one who abuses who seeks help does not fit the definition of a narcissist or sociopath, as supported by your previous statement: "your research will also show you these people DO NOT CHANGE and IT ISN’T YOUR FAULT they behave the way they do."
So if they don't fit the definition of narcissist or sociopath, what are they? The reason I ask this is because there are people on here who are saying their spouse will admit they have a problem but will sooner "bury [their] head in the sand". For me, this juxtaposition of how a narcissist or sociopath cannot change or even recognize they have a problem being paired with the admission by people who do admit to having a problem, this became a series of complex questions.
The first layer of it all is that if someone knows they abuse and yet don't seek the help, the first question is "why not?"
The first reason I can see is that they really are narcissists or sociopaths who see that they are doing wrong, and really don't care what they are doing, lacking empathy and compassion, etc. I would argue that a narcissist or sociopath could definitely see that they are doing something wrong and just not care that they are doing it, rather than not seeing what they are doing at all—which is, of course, another possibility.
There is another reason one might not seek the help even if they see they have a problem and do want to change. Is it because there is a stigma for reaching out, to admit they are abusers? After all, it is said that abusers abuse out of weakness and cowardice, and that they do it because they feel small and insecure, or because they've learned this behavior, etc. Pairing that with the attitude that they "can't change"—and some people really don't, but we're talking about the possibility that there are ones who really do want to—is it not possible that there are people out there who want and need the help but refrain from doing so out of fear of the cultural ridicule or disbelief in their ability to do so? There is a lot of stigma even for people with depression to ask for help; how about for those to say "I'm an abuser and need help"?
And say you have someone who admits they have a problem and they do seek the help; can these people really change? Or, will they find that they have sought the help in vain, only to discover that they are just a hopeless case? It seems rather paradoxical if that latter is true, for if it is truly in their heart to understand their behavior and change it, why couldn't they be able to if they've gone that far? And if any who have asked for help, or asked for help and have actually changed their behaviors, are they narcissists or sociopaths? If not, what are they? Once again, it gets hard to classify.
So I guess these questions all filter down to one fundamental one: If all narcissists and sociopaths can't change, are all abusers narcissists and sociopaths, and if not, what are they?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
January, 3 2016 at 10:57 am

There is a term I like. It's "the abusive personality." It seems to aptly describe people who use abusive behaviors to control their world instead of more healthful options. If abusing someone into submission didn't work so darn well, I'd be more apt to say that abusers could change. If someone knows they have problems relating healthfully to other people, but the way abusive they do it gets them what they want, then how likely are they to change?
For example, if some unseen force gave you $50 every time you picked your nose in public, would you pick your nose more often? Nose-picking can be a "gross" behavior, unhealthy and stigmatized by society. Yet, for me, the reward of getting $50 for picking my nose would be worth it. For any person, the action versus the reward, differs. For some, abusing offers a greater reward than going through the trouble of changing his or her personality.
To answer one of your questions (if all abusers are NOT narcissists or sociopaths, then what are they?), I'd say "the abusive personality" is not classifiable without further research AND advise anyone negatively affected by "the abusive personality" to get out of that person's realm of control immediately.
To answer the other (can narcissists and sociopaths change?), I'd say it would take an extraordinarily strong-willed person to change his or her personality, his or her very nature and the way the brain is wired. It seems to me that personality is so deeply ingrained in each of us, that to have a biological (possibly reinforced by environmental) personality DISORDER would by nature, disallow real, permanent change. The narcissist or sociopath could choose to go against his or her true nature, day in and day out, and therefore deny "who they are." But we would not advise mentally healthy people to be someone other than who they are, so how would that be healthy advice for someone with a personality disorder?
I disagree that abusers do not seek help due to stigma. I've known quite a few men who, upon understanding they were abusive to their partners, chose to attend counseling and learn how to relate more healthfully or found a batterer's program to attend. IMO, if someone wants help, then they can and will change their behavior so they can maintain or create a love relationship. Which leaves us with "can narcissists and sociopaths love someone other than his or herself?" And I don't have the answer for that.

November, 9 2015 at 10:36 am

I am glad to see this post. Labeling abusers as mentally ill also does another disservice to women and children; it relieves society of addressing and changing its imbalance of power between men and women. Abuse is a cultural issue, not a mental health issue. It stems from beliefs, behavior, choices and perceived entitlement of men which is ingrained in our culture and most patriarchal cultures around the world. Abusers learn their entitlement from their family of origin, school, communities and culture at large. They may or may not have emotional problems which make their abuse more extreme but usually abuse is a choice that serves the mental/emotional problems - the emotional problems do not create the abuse. Abuse is a tool. Men and some women use it to achieve certain benefits. The disordered use it as a tool as well. That does not mean all abusers are disordered. By calling abusers disordered, women have less power and less support from the community and the abuser is given an excuse and a pass on being forced to change their behavior. Women have to stand up and claim DOMESTIC ABUSE as a cultural issue and demand cultural solutions. By avoiding the term domestic abuse, women give away more of their power. It's as if it is not valid to be the victim or target of domestic abuse; the perpetrator must be disordered for it to matter. This in itself is abusive to women and children.

August, 31 2015 at 8:17 am

I married a narcissist 41 years ago. We were young, I probably had an idealistic vision of marriage. She was angry with the world. Had many tantrums with me and family members, terrible name calling and violence. she tried to run me over with a car, abused the children, had many affairs, just a mess. No internet and little support then. we divorced, and I met my second wife. She had a very abusive childhood, so My heart went out, but the abused became the abuser. her narcissistic skills were finely honed, and could make me wonder what happened and why am I doing this. I became responsible for everything except her laundry. the shopping, cooking, cleaning, dishes, renovating the complete condo,, paying the bills, maintaining the vehicles, packing for trips and doing all the driving. She actually admitted not doing her share of the work around the house but didn't change her behaviour at all. She has split my lip, kicked me out of bed, been arrested for domestic violence, run up debt and not taken responsibility for it. now we are getting divorced and she claims everything and I want to retire. She set me up.

August, 24 2015 at 3:30 pm

I totally disagree with the author that one shouldn't label a person because it victimizes the victim further. I believe in calling a spade a 'spade.' In my case, I grew up in an abusive household and did not understand why my parents behaved as they did until I went to see a therapist about it when my dad was dying. At 46 years old, the first words out of my mouth to her were, "I don't know who I am." I thought for certain she'd think I was nuts. But she asked me to describe my upbringing and I told her about my parents' abusive behavior and she told me that they were 'narcissists.' She then gave me a couple of books to read. I couldn't afford long-term therapy, so I quit after three sessions. I then went online and read everything I could on Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Slowly - but surely - I began to understand the disorder, and things started to make sense to me. I began to come out of the FOG (fear, obligation and guilt) and began setting up boundaries. I watched incredulously as the momster's fangs came out as she tried so desperately to clutch on to me with her poisonous tentacles. But since I had done my research and knew PRECISELY what I was dealing with, her wretched behavior came as no surprise to me. Then....lo' and behold..... just as was described in one of the articles I read, I discovered that there were SEVERAL narcissists in my family of origin. I have finally gone No Contact with the entire family, and nothing has ever felt so right. And because I understand that my narcissistic mother trained me to feel guilty, I feel zero guilt regarding my decision to go NC. My acid reflux and anxiety are gone, and I've never felt better. As a result, I now live a full and independent life because I took the time to label, learn about and understand NPD.

May, 29 2015 at 2:54 am

"Trying to Figure Out the Abuser Doesn’t Help You" - this is completely the opposite of what i experienced. The only thing that made me leave my narcissistic abusive ex was understanding him, his viewpoint, his feelings and his core values. I didn't have any friends or relatives telling me how bad he is and all, because we were living abroad together, so, you know, no friends and family to witness the whole thing. I would have never considered leaving him if I didn't try to feel the way he feels.

February, 25 2015 at 4:33 am

Well, my ex-husband was diagnosed as having NPD, by the DSS, A behavioral test was conducted and that was the results..btw,he was tested more than once. His behavior fit right in with many...if not all of the traits mentioned in the criteria for having NPD.
Living with someone, whose been diagnosed or not, many have not been pure hell. I think many of us, who have been victimized by these types, can certainly see this is not normal behavior, by anyones standards...If he had never been "tested", I would still know, from just how he acted, treated himself and others. His behavior was nothing short of abusive.
His mouth, oh that mouth of didn't matter where or who was around, he didn't care about that...he'd loose it! He seemed to love being in a social surrounding and going off on me, trying to belittle me publicaly. It was so humiliating, I dreaded going anywhere with him, so afraid of what he would do or say. He certainly didn't bite his tongue, nor was bothered by those around us, not even small children or women. His need for, letting me have it...was so much more important than who was offended by his actions.
His constant demands for "supply", blowing up his ego...was never ending, always there. No matter how undeserving he was of compliments, attention..or praise, he thought he was entitled to it. He also thought,it was never was sickening. Knowing, how he had treated me and he wanting to be praised for being so wonderful! How dare him! He was always excepting of adoration, no matter how fake it was. He would get just as excited over a stranger giving his ego a stroke, than anything i could ever do. he would even make comments about things people said to him, about how good he done something..or how smart he was..he ate it up, like it wouldn't be anymore.
Before i left him, after 12 years...I could no longer play that game with him, i had enough of it. Things had gotten worse and were getting worser.Yet, there he was, demanding all that undeserved attention and praise. He had gotten so desperate for it, he resulted to manipulating older women for their comments, of what a good Christian man he was! He had a few of them fooled real good, he also got some money from them...that he never returned back to them.He was a total con artist.
When i finally realized, that my feelings meant nothing to him..not even how I felt about him, it was time to roll out. Well, it had been time, i just was stuck with fear and unresolved co-dependency. i would over come the fear of leaving him, but the fear of going back...was what i was worried about. I became determined, realizing just how evil he was, how things were so bad..and how he didn't have any care or remorse. He sure never took any blame, but was ready to dish it out, especially on me. It was always my fault.
When i would try to make him see things, or something that was wrong he had done..and it was obvious, he would ignore it. He never, ever wanted to hear that he had done anything wrong what so ever, nothing. Trying to make him admit he was wrong, or wasn't right..was a reason for him to rage. He didn't accept any criticizing or correction, he seen that as..I don't know, being a failure or dumb. I got to the point, I would say nothing, just let him think he was always right, never wrong...and i took all the blame. I was to comply, not to offer any opinion or thoughts on anything, especially his behavior. I once literally watched him run a car into a tree, because he didn't want to listen to my advice. He "knew" that he could get by the tree, I suggested he might want to make a slight turn, to avoid the tree...but I was cursed out,because he knew more than me...and he was always right! Before he hit the tree, i got out of the car, offering to "advise" him, but he did it his way, as usual. He was more determined not to take my advice, than he was in avoiding the tree. BTW, i got really cursed out then, because i witnessed all of this. If he would have just listened,instead of thinking he was always right about everything. He would have rather failed at something, than to have listened to someone else's opinion on any matter. Opinions, thoughts..cares meant nothing, if they were not his. Totally self-centered about everything. These people are monsters.
Love him or hate him, it did not matter how i felt, even about him. that's how much he cared about my feelings, even towards him. Long before I left him, it was hate..I hated everything about him, he had to know it. it just didn't mean anything to him, that was not what was important to him. being told how wonderful he was, that's what was important...the wonderful, great... wife beater! That and putting up a big front in front of people. Trying to come across as something he was not.
Before i left him, i let him know...just how much i hated him, his behavior. I also let him know, i wanted to leave him..I let it all out, it didn't mean nothing to him. It did to me though, my feelings meant something to did my opinion about myself and him. It was beyond my way of thinking, to try to understand this, why he didn't want to end this, it was so bad! I just knew, i wanted away from him, no contact. I began plotting my way out. i ended up taking advantage of a situation. a situation, that he was running from. What he had done, was very bad..i took advantage of his need to get away from our house. He couldn't stick around to argue about it, or to cause an uproar for people to call the police. He was running from the police, that was great news for me..a way out! I just had to make sure, that i never went back..and I didn't. My dependency on him, was done and over.
Freedom felt so much better, than he had ever made me feel in all those years. It could not be compared, freedom or life with him. He contacted me a few times, being sneaky and trying to make me go back to him. He didn't have any remorse or acceptance for anything he had done, just blamed me for it all. I actually couldn't believe his nerve, after a bit of time had went by...and he thought his fear tactics and threats would work on me..not.After being away from him, even for a short amount of time..gave me more strength and knowledge of how he was...things he would do. It also made me realize, it was no way in hell i would go back to that ever again, no way! This was in 2001..I am now walking on air, instead of more more co-dependency.

September, 26 2014 at 2:26 pm

My son is living with girl I believe to be Narcissistic, Sociopathic. She just beat her four year old daughter in and about the face. The sheriff's office is investigating. I know she did this, I have seen her slap her son who was under the age of one in the face. I have seen her be so cruel to both her children. But, according to her, her ex is trying to ruin her life. It's always someone else's fault. She is so manipulative she has him convinced she didn't do it when there is no one other than her that could have. I want to make sure she doesn't get her children back. But I wish too that my son would see what is going on. She is a parasite. She will not work, clean or cook. I do not understand why he doesn't see what is going on right in front of him.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Jo Holly
September, 27 2014 at 6:07 am

It is difficult to see what's happening when you're in the cycle of violence. Give him the phone numbers for domestic violence hotline and tell him you'll be there for him when he is ready to leave her. Then take care of yourself first so you're strong enough to weather the storm. He is unlikely to "see" when you tell him. It will take time.

September, 10 2014 at 3:25 pm

The guy I dated last year, when I was 17, I remember meeting him for the first time and finding something alluring about him. He was cute, puppy-dogish. Wounded, intelligent, and promising.
I thought the best of him until the day I finally ended it, a year later.
During that time he managed to trick me into thinking this behaviour wasn't abuse:
He would pin me down for fun, even when I asked to get up.
Grab my breasts unexpectedly so hard that there's be little bruises the next day.
Slapped my butt to the point where it hurt worse then it should.
Said: "Seriously, If you do that, if you tell your mom what I told you, again, because you always do, I don't know how angry I'll be, I could probably hit you."
Made jokes like: "Phew! She's ugly, you're almost as okay looking as her." and
"No don't kiss me, you're too ugly! Haha, just kidding, come here!"
Would play mind games like: Drop something out of the car, have me fetch it, then drive off to make me think he left me on the side of the road. And, would suddenly not want me to touch him, not be near him, would tell me he needed space, then if I left to give him space, he'd act like I was punishing him for leaving his side and ignoring him.
Accused me of having too close of a relationship with my mom, telling me that I'm "obviously" not mature enough to get married because I'm always running to my "mom" when I need help. (I live with her, and when I did something he disagreed with, he'd go to her about it.)
Constantly condiscendingly held the fact that I don't have a job, agaisnt me, as a way to prove to me that I wasn't ready for a serious commitment or marriage, even when he himself didn't have a job.
Would constantly have "revalations" about his "bad behaviour" when I'd confront him with my mom and give him an ultimatum, then weeks after apologizing and then acting wonderful and kindhearted, would slip into the same behaviour as before, and "forget" all the times he admitted he was being cruel to me.
Made jokes about sex slavery, like: "Haha yup, you were sold to me, five bucks, you'll be my sex slave when we get married! *Slaps butt*" -even though he knows how sensitive a topic sex slavery is to me and how I fear being raped.
Became extremely angry and shocked at me when I asked him a question about sex slavery during a question game, saying that it horrbly disturbed him to hear me talk so lightly about it, even though he'd make the jokes written above.
Would mock me when we argued, making a high-pitched and shallow versions of my own words, to make me sound immature and selfish.
Would mock me the same way if I was pleading for him to listen, and even if I begged him to care about what I had to say, would continue mocking me right over my own voice, never apologizing.
Everytime I tried to talk to him about something vital to our relationship, if he didn't want to talk about it, or if it angered him, he'd say, "I'm not going to start an arguemnet." As if to make me feel like I was being argumentitive, instead of honestly needing to discuss important topics, and as if to tell me he already disagrees with whatever I want to talk to him about, and he isn't willing to express why.
Would take advantage of my foggy-headedness, which I get from stress and hypothyroid problems. Exp: Me: "Did you take my money that I had in my jar?" Him: "No? Why the hell would you think I'd do that?" Me: "I'm just asking, because it's not there anymore and it was yesterday." Him: "You probably spent it, maybe if you could remember things you wouldn't have this problem." -End result, I catch him by marking money with marker, going into his wallet, finding the money with the marks on it.
Accusing me of hurting him and causing him to "fear" losing me because of the few times i've nearly broken up with him, due to his bad behaviour. (I.e Lying, stealing)
Would tell me lies about certain people to get me to stop associating with them.
Wanted me to live in a log cabin in the woods at least 30 miles from any town, and miles from neighbors, didn't want internet or cell-service, -when we would get married.
when I explained to him that I would need to be at least NEAR a town, and I would need internet, he exploded, became very angry, and said things like, "You should know better, we won't be able to afford that, use your head, you might have had everything you wanted as a kid but part of growing up is accepting you can't have everything you want!" Making me feel selfish, ungrateful, and immature for wanting something that would keep me from being isolated and would make me happy.
If he wrestled with me and I wanted a break, or wanted him to stop because I was getting overwhelmed, most everytime he would ignore my words and keep trying to wrestle with me. If I tried to hit him to get him to let go of me, he would immediatly hit me back, a few times with his fist, much harder then I'd done to him, and would act hurt and repulsed right after by "MY" behaviour when he was "only trying to have fun." I'd be left in shock and with a bruise.
If he physically hurt me by accident, most of the time he'd feel sorry and hold me, but often after that, he'd self-punish himself, pull away from me, and talk about how "horrible" he was. If I didn't constantly reassure him that he wasn't horrible, he'd get offended. Other times he'd accidently hurt me, and act upset, impatient, and offended that I was in pain. (i.e He accidently elbowed me in the nose, and it hurt so bad my eyes watered up and my head throbbed, I clutched my nose, no longer wanted to "cuddle" with him because I was in pain, and he responded with an impatient, "Come onnn, seriously grow up, it wasn't that hard." then he got up, and then walked out of the room.
When he had a car, if he got angry with me about something and he was driving, he would race up to over 110 miles an hour on the highway, the car could hardly manage it without rattling, and I'd have to plead with him to slow down.
Even after telling him not to run up behind me and scare me or grab me in public, especially hiding behind corners at night, because I have anxiety and fear of getting raped, he would still continue to startle me. The moments when I'd tell him not to do it again, right after he did, he'd showed no body language, and no verbal response to my request, as if I didn't say anything at all.
He would put me in the "dog house" if I put boundaries on sexual things. He would coerce me into letting him touch me and grope me by guilt tripping me if I didn't let him. Then if I told him to stop, he would hesitate to stop, and then finally pull away from me and blame me for "doing this to him." and "leading him on." I would blame myself to the point of suicidal thoughts, which I tried to talk to him about, but I was always "corrected" for having suicidal thoughts because it would be such a horrible offense to him, and "how dare you think like that," and, "How dare you'd make me worry like that, you're scaring me so much, am i going to have to get your mom and tell her?" Which would make me feel worse.
If I let him do things to me, I figured I'd keep him satisfied enough to not want to do "more" things. Even when it "felt" good, I still felt ashamed and uncomfortable, and after a year of it, I started to ENJOY being, "pinned down" and him aggressivly or "playfully" not letting me up because then I could tell myself I wasn't guitly for feeling "good" because I couldn't do anything about it. I didn't realize that what I was picturing in my head as an exuse for feeling pleasure, was actually a type of rape.
A few times he'd stick his hand down my pants and I'd plead with him to not do it because it would be impossible for me to refuse if he kept going, because I'd get caught up in the pleasure, but he didn't respond and kept going. I would say, "Stop, stop!! STOP IT Joe!" long before he'd actually stop, and once, I told him to stop so many times that I freaked out and tried to get up and away from him, and he held me down tighter, not saying a word. When he finally did let me go, he acted confused, as if I was reacting to something other then him, as if I had some internal issue going on that he couldn't make sense of, and then he'd hold me, and try to make me feel loved.
Would pretend to sleepwalk and once attempted to jump out of my three story bedroom window in his "sleep" just to scare me.
Faked an attempted suicide to scare me and make me care about him.
Told me he got laid off, found out he actually got fired for stealing.
Even though I'm a virgin and my purity is important to me, he told his best friend we had sex, and talked about what it was "like" in great detail, talking about my genitals, ect. Would put pillows over my face when we cuddled in bed, as a joke, even though I told him that it freaks me out.
Would sometimes "test" me by putting his hands over my mouth and nose and "jokingly" and "affectionatly" to keep me from breathing for a few seconds, always wanted me to fight back.
Told me he would NEVER cheat. However when he spent time with a female friend that gave me bad vibes, and stole something at walmart for him, I then found her bra in the backseat of his car. He said he "didn't even notice it was there."
Told me people were following us when they weren't, told me dark creepy things that he knew would make me feel paranoid that weren't true.
Told me life altering things about my father that he pretended to know and sense, and changed my entire perception of my life and made me feel as if I was being watched by the government and my father, pretended he knew him, pretended he was an agent that was sent to my life without knowing why, but fell in love with me and then I "saved" him by praying for him.
Used my belief in God to manipulate me into believing he was praying and growing stronger as a Christian so that I would trust him more.
Had "visions" that "God" told him that we were supposed to be together and that God's happy with us, and that our souls are meant to be together in heaven.
Told me that God doesn't want me to tell anyone about these visions, so I didn't.
Told me he was "shown" that the world was going to end in two years. Vividly described it so well that it was breathtaking to listen to him.
Why is this so confusing? Because:
He would passionatly hold me, look me in the eyes all the time, as if searching or longing for me.
Would constantly tell me how amazing I was to him, and how much he loved me.
Would defend me whenever I needed him too, would listen to me when I told him things that were personal to me, would whisper how much he loved me, breathlessly, even when he was coercing me into sexual things. Would write me little notes about his love, how proud he would be to one day have me as his wife, how great I was at my talents, wrote me a two page list of all the things that he loves about me. Would buy me gifts, would be constantly affectionate and sweet when he wasn't being irratable. Would confess his insecurities and fears to me, and when I told him things I'd like him to do, like play with my hair or stroke my arms or give me a back massage, he'd do them. If I told him i'd like him to do something for me, he'd do it, however if I told him to stop doing something, he wouldn't stop. He told me he was in love with my soul, and wanted to be close enough to me that we were like "one person." Said he wanted to stay by my side forever, make me feel safe, take care of me, and make me feel loved.
But all of these things, I now realize, were things I told him. Things I told him a long time ago that mattered to me. It seems like he mirrored everything I wanted from him to the point of even feeling it himself, but it wasn't really how he truely felt. Because when it was more important to him, he'd do harmful things instead.
Made me once consider if I was going to lose my mind, because he put me under so much phycological stress with his thriller stories and conspiricies that I feared for my own life. At times I worried that he would accidently kill me, or deliberatly, during one of his "false modes" where he "wasn't aware of what he was doing." I would often comfort him from his flashbacks AFTER he would wake up from them, lunge for me, push me down to the floor and look like he was going to kill me. I forced myself to not take it personally, denying the fear I had, because I didn't want him to know I was scared of him, in case it upset him and made him want to punish himself.
After confessing to him how much I wanted to stay pure and no longer "fool around." He was willing to pray for us, and he prayed that we would be able to "avoid temptation." because he wanted to "honor God" so we could have a "happy marraige."
We played hide and seek and I hid so well that he got silly-string, and when he found me, used the entire bottle up on my hair, which I had to take a shower to get out. When I got into the shower, he came into the bathroom. He said, "Is it okay if I pee?" I said, "Yes. but please don't peek or anything, its really important to me that you don't." (I sounded formal because I didnt trust he'd listen to me if I said it casually.) he agreed not too.
Then he ripped the curtain back and stared at me, going, "Oooooo!! sexay ladaayyy!! Look at THAT body!!" I got really angry, and I felt violated, because 1) I didn't want him to see me fully naked until we were married, and I told him that, and 2) I felt degraded because he was making me the object of his "kidding around and joking."
What did i do? I snapped at him to stop, and he still stared and made jokes, so i splashed water on him, and he suddenly got hurt and alarmed and offended, that I would splash water on him for that. He then lashed out at me from behind the curtain, and hit me in the face, said, "WOW! Fine then!" before i could even whipe the water out of my eyes and get the curtain out of my face, he grabbed my towel, and threw it in the shower, ontop of my head, and bolted out of the bathroom, slamming the door so loud that it knocked something off the wall.
Never apologized.
Said he loved me with all his heart, would even cry at the thought of losing me. Would hold me close and stare into my eyes and tell me that I was all he ever wanted.
Never did anything that was sterotypical abuse, that I ever stated I knew was abuse, or was directly abusive, always did it subtly and found creative ways to express his power over me.
Convinced my mom and I that people were trying to kill him, from his past. (Too detailed to even explain this all right now.) and we defended the household with a gun, I couldn't go outside without wondering if I was going to get kidnapped or raped.
Told me he slept with over 50 girls, then told me that was a lie because he was afriad i'd laugh at him for being a virgin, even though i was. I don't think he's a virgin, either. Months later, he told me that numerous girlfriends had given him handjobs. Forgot to tell me that? Nice. He even started listing their names, even though I said I didn't want to know.
Used my fear of my father to instill more fear.
Confessed to him (and only him, for the first time in my life.) that I think I was molested when I was a child, he insisted that I get angry about it, to the point where he tried to force me to get angry, and even physically shook me (we were laying in bed at night with the lights off) to irratate me so i'd get angry at my father. Didn't listen when I told him "please stop...your scaring me." I started crying, he held me close to him, told me, "shhh, shhh, its okay," As soon as I started to calm down, he then suddenly turned over, so his back was facing me, and "fell asleep." I was crying intensly, and he didn't hear it. I tried to wake him back up, because I was feeling completly vulnerable, and he got mad at me "in his sleep" lashed his arm out behind him, and hit me in the face. Hard.
The next morning was like we never had the conversation, and he never brought it up or asked me about it again.
Would randomly slap my butt, pretend to hump me, or make a sexual comments if I bent over to pick something up.
Would never do this in front of anyone else, would never do any of this in public, and would get super protective and angry if anyone else spoke to me like that. I once asked him, "Why is it okay for you to make sexual jokes about me, but not other guys?" He said, "Babe...I'm your boyfriend, we love eachother, we're close to eachother, that's why."
If I ever hung out with another guy he would "light-heartedly" ask if I had a crush on whoever it was. Everytime. Even more then once about the same guy. I only hung out with two guys other then him and he knew them well.
He would sometimes pick a random guy on the street, or old guy that creeped me out, or a guy-friend of mine, and use them to make jokes like, "Oooh, you like him don't you? You want to have sex with him right? You want him to just...bend you over and stick it in you so you moan over and over and beg for more, mmm? and then he would make derogatory body-language about it, and fake girly moaning.
Would make sublte rape-related jokes. (Even though he knew the subject disturbed me, and would "get angry" with me if I spent too much time talking or reading about rape survivors) Rape jokes: "Mmm, now that moms not home..I have you all to myself. I'm going to just push you down on the bed and make you take it. hehehe" Then would start kissing me, "sweetly."
Told me he didn't like screamo or heavy metal, and as long as I'd known him, I never once heard him listen to it. Then michael told me he talked about how much he liked it, and how he "always had." Even though he pretended not too. The same with eminem.
Would "playfully," constantly put me in a head-lock, even if I was trying to comb my hair, put on makeup, or clean my room. Wouldn't help clean my room or keep his things neat or make the bed he slept in, unless I asked him more then once. Would act like It was a big favor, and it would make me feel like I was special because he would do something so sweet for me, even though it was basic curtesy for a guest to do if they lived in your house. Would use any mistake I ever commited as an exucse for his own behaviour, would bring up anything I did wrong in the past, in any argument, even if it had nothing to do with what we were arguing about, and would find a convincing way too make it relate. Even mistakes that he at one point addmitted weren't really my fault, but his. (Would constantly forget the times he had openly-admitted-and-asked-to-be-forgiven for blaming me for things I didn't do wrong.)
Would become evasive when I confronted him about things, and mix up what he was saying so it would make no coherent sense to me, and i would find myself confused and not able to reply, as soon as he confused me enough so that I couldn't respond, he'd say, "See! There ya' go, you can't even respond because you know I'm right, and you know what you're saying makes no sense!"
14 entire months of this, and this is only what I can remember right now. They'll be more things I'll remember.
To make it worse, along with THIS STUFF, this same year; My friend audrey tried to kill herself and went into a coma, just barely making it, i lost my best friend of 12 years, sophia, to insanity, and a shattered personality, (she'd been abused for such a long time that she finally snapped and lost herself, and turned on me, and has been "vacant" ever since.) I was stuck in a bad mind-game with her family, who played the same tricks on her that Joe played on me, and they tricked her into "hating" me. I lost a childhood school friend, milani, for no reason at all, she just dropped off the face of the earth and refuses to speak to me, or tell me why.
My father refused to pay for my medical bills, claiming he had no money, and a week later offered my older sister (Who makes 100,000 a year) a $1,000 check. She took it, knowing about my medical bills, and spent it all on a baby-crib. Killing my respect for the last family member I trusted, Her.
My aunt moved in with us after going homeless, she ended up being clinically paranoid and phyco, and spent all day studying criminal activity and "missing" children alerts, stole stuff, told lies to our family, and tried to attack Joe even though he'd done nothing to provoke her. (Suprisingly.)
I had no space in my own house, and she scared me. She made me so angry that I finally snapped, nearly blackedout, and physically stood up to her, screaming. (something I've never done in my life.)
I don't even remember all of it. Then Joe's friend, ben, who I tried to help and gave him a place to spend the night, and tried to give some hope too, killed himself.
Then shortly after, my cat of seven years, died. We couldn't afford to try to save her, and we couldn't afford to put her down, so she died painfully and slowly. My last few mins spent with her was inturrupted by my crazy aunt, who walked into the door way, stared me down, and loudly, flatly, blared: "IS-SHE-DEAD?"
We got my aunt out of the house, with much trouble and hassle. Then I finally gained the strength to confront my father with a public letter, (because private letters wouldn't work) about all of his abuse and how he treated me and my mom growing up, i spent days writing the letter, trying best to make it sound polite, but still brutally honest. I was asking him to help us with my hospital bills. After posting it, my entire family on his side, brothers and sisters, turned on me, and called me names, mocked me, and degraded everything I wrote, refusing to even address what was IN the letter, telling me that I was lying, and told everyone else that i was a liar and i just "wanted to destroy my poor father." My father never replied to the letter, blocked me on facebook, and his daughter told me she would now be in charge of whatever extra money my father gave me, which meant no medical funds. They told me if I wanted these "things" paid for (i.e surgery) that I had to be a "big girl and put your big girl panties on, and get yourself a job, and pay for it yourself like a real grown up." Then my sister on my moms side, the one who i valued most and was closest to me, turned on me and agreed with them, publically.
My oldest sister, on my dads side, posted on his wall, and told all of his facebook friends not to listen to me, because I had an "evil lying spirit."
This all happened on the day of my 18th birthday.
It made me physically sick, for weeks after. I had two panic attacks and ran out of college class.
Back to Joe, so a few months after this, which would be about a week ago, Joe asked me about my family, and what they "thought" of me. (He knew what they did to me earlier.) and I said, "Remember? They accused me of being a selfish, horrible, narrsicic ungrateul teenaged brat, for standing up to my father." and he pursed his lips, and sarcastically replied, "Weeeelll...sometimes" I was shocked. I asked him to explain what he meant, and he said, "I don't want to talk about it. I don't want to start an argument with you, because you'll get pissed and rant forever if I tell you." I demanded he tell me, and then he said, "You're not selfish or ungrateful..but brat, yeah."
You have no idea how toxic it was for him to respond to abuse like that. It's like being hit in the face, your family member saying you deserved it, and then your boyfriend's only response being, "Weeeelll...I guess so."
That same week he also snapped and angrily told me that he doesn't think my father should have any effect on my life, and that I shouldn't let it effect me, disregauding the fact that my father does something to hurt me emotionally almost every month, and lies about my mom and I all the time.
I couldn't take it anymore, and I broke up with him a few days later.
I have my mom, who I don't like to share all this with, because she's stressed enough about it all already, and Jen, who's a close friend but works a lot, michael , whom I dont want to get too close too, because his family's been very untrustworthy, (He's sophias older brother, the girl who went crazy i mean.)
beth, who's never around, doesn't come over when she says she will, and is too doped up and in the clouds to rely on emotionally, and jake, a bro that would see me leaning on him as his knight in shining armour duty, and would fall in love with me because of it. (Does it to every girl who's going through trouble)
Those are the only close friends I have in this state, in my homestate, i have a close friend who's in a bad situation himself, and he's also an ex boyfriend.
Those are my only friends, I have a hard time trusting or opening up to people, and Joe was the only person i opened up too, i told him everything i was scared off, everything that embarrased me, every crazy experience, mistake, and all my familys history and secrets, he knows everything about me that no one else knows, not even mother. He acted as my hero, the second half of me, my protector, the one person I ever had that I could fully trust and grow close too, who shared the parts of my heart that I was afriad of sharing with anyone. I looked up to him with all of my heart and soul, gave up my life for him, was willing to die for him,
and he was a lie.

March, 11 2014 at 3:11 pm

Let me start by saying I'm a slow learner. I say this because after 6+ yrs ofdoesn't cin a part time relationship (I saw him every other weekend), I'd bring up that for this to work, we need more time together - maybe LIVE TOGETHER. He strongly resisted (I love you BUT.....). Out of the blue 1 day he gave me a 'move in' date. Within a year I began to notice shady behavior (in middle of the night he'd get up to check his phone - when I asked him abt it he'd say he was checking the time. There was a clock 6 inches from his head). Then he started 'going to bed' @ 6 pm on a Sat, shut bedroom door & leave light on - each time I condront him about it he'd scream at me that he can't breathe, throw his phone at me & blame me when it fell apart. I'd attempt to address the trust issue - we need to be able to have trust in each other so we need to agree that we can check each other's phones whenever, wherever - he said WHY/NO...Now his phone never leaves his side. I lost my job 8 months ago so now I am dependent upon him for the bills my disability check doesn't cover (I'm working w/2 agencies to find & secure another job)...I've been monitering his email acct & KNOW HE'S BEEN LYING - he browses adult friend finder sites, solicits for sex, etc...I'm desperate to get away from him. I suffer from depression partially due to my disability but this amplyfying it.

March, 4 2014 at 3:04 pm

My daughters father a man i thought was God's sent turned to be a sychopath not just him but also his whole family including his x wife im sure they will also read this since they love to google anything related to me. Its funny how a man can have the nerve the balls to talk shit about the women he has children with. In this case he used to say his x was a disgusting nag whom had sexual intercourse at the public children's library twice with different men while she was married to him and how she used come drunk n how bad of a mother she was during that time etc. and he wanted to ask for custody now he is going the same thing to me and trying to torn ish my character n trying to take my daughter away with false allegations n lies. He was abusive to me n my 12 year old son used yield in front on my baby n his other child making my son cry n his lil one saying how mean he was for letting my son cry etc. i finally spoke n broke the silence from all the past agony been in a high risk pregnancy n had to put up with everything but now i finally took action n wont allow him to do what he wants.
This is my story n this is the definition of the man i once met n regret
Sociopaths aren’t just the serial killers and rapists we see on the 6 o’clock news. They are our neighbors, co-workers, friends, family members, and sometimes our “soul mates.”
Sociopaths are the charmers and manipulators. They are the people who appear together and well-groomed at first glance, but hide many secrets and lies underneath their mask of sanity.
Sociopaths, in the early love-bombing stage of an intimate relationship, use many superlatives in order to woo and control their victims.
They say things to intoxicate you into compliance:
“You are the love of my life.”
“I have never known anyone like you.”
“You are perfect for me.”
“I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”
“I never want to leave your side.”
“You are the most beautiful person I have ever met.”
“We are perfect for each other.”
“You are exactly what I have been looking for my entire life.”
Im afraid he will end up hurting or molesting my daughter. He secretly takes medication very high dose im afraid. He is bipolar sociopath

February, 22 2014 at 2:03 pm

A very good conversation Kelly thank you! In my situation I have to continue dealing with my ex because we have a 12 year old daughter. I understNd about domestic abuse & have worked predominantly from a feminist perspective with survivors of domestic as well as childhood abuse for many years. And I agree with every thing you say about how to deal with abusers. I also agree that not all abusers are personality disordered (which by the way I believe is different from a having a "mental illness" such as schizophrenia, bipolar etc), but I suspect many are.
i also agree with you that whatever the reasons might be behind why an abuser abuses for the victims is beside the point in terms of there are no excuses & the behaviour is unacceptable & 99.9999+% unlikely to change or improve but only get worse. and really the only & best option is to get the hell out & away as soon and as safely as possible!
After almost 10months of separation & after starting to recognise the true extent & duration of, in my case, the very covert, consistent & escalating emotional & psycholgical abuse & manipulation, to find out the true extent of what had been going on behind my back for many many years & as a result of the ongoing dealings Ive had to have with my ex (with a lot of expert guidance & support) I am in bo doubt whatsover that he is what is known as a Covert/Stealth Narcissist. The DSM descriptor of NPD (though not innaccurate) is limited and flimsy & only really describes the most obvious stereotypically flamboyant form of NPD.
What I am learning & absolutely stand by & have found empowering, is that it had been imperative for me to have learned as much about how & why Narcissists (& specifically Covert Narcissists) operate in the way they do, the specific tactics that have bern used on me to undermine my sense of self, reality & confidence in life to the brink of suicidality (NOT like me!) & the exact ways Ive been impacted as a result. none if this is to excuse, or to conpassionately understand the abuser but for my own psycholigical self protection & for that of our daughters. knowledge is power & knowing how the Narcissist operates means I have solid ground beneath my feet in order to understand & learn how I must protect myself & safely deal with the father of my child. it also arms me with knowledge if the things to look out for (the very subtle but typical warning signs, red flags) in the advent I ever cross pathes with such a person again in the future, whether romantically, in the workplace or elsewhere. they are not all obviously abusive or physically violent (although any if them are capable of it) - in fact after 15 years of not knowing what was going on but knowing I was going progressively diwnhill psychologically without knowing it was because of his insidious abuse until it was almost too late & a massive amount of psycholigical damage had been done, I really di wish he had punched my lights out years ago so I could have known immediately he was abusive & I would have been out of there like a shot!!
The dynamics of domestic abuse are fairly universal & apply also to abusers who are personality disordered but there ate also some unique differences that I believe are cery important to understand.
I am in therapy & use a specialised support group that assists me with learning to be what I nickname "a sprititual, psychogical ninja warrior"! :D And I am also dealing with the PTSD & the rebuilding of my sense of self, reality & confidence. I am also ysing this as an opportunity to identify not only the very "vulnerabilities" but the very strengths I have (or had at the time we met) that he honed in on, took great interest & pains to kearn ALL about in order to systematically use them all against me. Identifying these as ckearly as possible helps me to know what the vulnerabilitues or weaknesses I have (as a human being) that I need to strengthen & keep an eye on & to identify the strengths that I must protect and keep to myself until I am sure I sm nit dealing with someone who will not respect these but only attempt to exploit & use them against me.
I have had a lot if grieving & trauma to work through & it is oarticulsrly conplex because of the fact I finally discovered I had been living with a complete fraud for 15 years! At this revelation (which was horrifying shocking at the time) I likened it to realising Id been living in a nightmare sci fi movie all these years & that my husband was a pod person from Inbasion if the Body Snatchers! Covert Narcissists, Sociopaths/Psychopaths are SO cunning they can pull the wool over the eyes if anyone...for years! i diesnt matter how intelligent, self aware, well adjusted, conpetent & confident you are..these people can blindside anybody & suck your sould dry without you even realising what's hapoening until way down the track. They can fool everybody, including their partners, into believing they are the best rhings since sliced cheese - kind, conpassionate, caring, patient, loving, helpful, selfless & altruistic & in fact they are none of these things except in so far as this oscar award winning acting gets them what they want & "need" in life at any expense..& in fact they unequivocally do not give or are even capable of giving a genuine caring f**k about anybody but themselves...ever!!

Katie Solomon
February, 20 2014 at 8:13 pm

I respectfully disagree on some points too. Some abusers are just that ... abusers. However in order to be abusive you need to have no conscience, no empathy, no understanding of human relationships, not be able to manage your anger, be a misogynist (as most abusers - not all - are men, have no remorse, feel entitled. That sounds like a list of personality disorder traits to me!
I was abused. I didn't know it until I left. Then I found out about personality disorders and my ex fit the profile - not exactly - but when researching it (and there is a lot of information out there) he exhibited all the same behaviours. I needed that knowledge. I learned how to deal with him. (I have children with him and have to co-parent).
If I hadn't learned about personality disorders I would have gone mad. I would not have understood and kept trying to make it work with him. No I know you can't reason with the unreasonable.
And yes, looking back I realise that he displayed all those behaviours from the beginning but love made me ignore them.
So no - I don't agree. Many abusers have a personality disorder and learning about it is knowledge. And support. Because there are whole communities out there of others who understand and have to deal with it too. And it helps.

February, 17 2014 at 3:37 pm

Wow - what an eye opener it is to read these posts. Some of the stuff I could have written myself. Other parts, I'm like "he's not that bad - I'm over reacting". I'm just starting to research this and trying to figure out what I want to do/ what I'm able to do. My husband is retired special forces - and I totally believe that caused him mental damage...from shortly after we were married he has treated me like a "private". But, he doesn't go to the extremes - like isolating me. In fact - he often belittles me for not having friends and for not keeping in touch with my family more. I don't have a reason for not having friends or keeping in touch with my family...I guess I can relate to the fact that I don't feel worthy of any of them. I have been married for 22 years. He has never hit me and only a few times threw things or punched a hole in the wall. Once he did kick down the door where I had locked him out of the bedroom. But that was a long time ago. Now he is more distant. He stays out late into the morning hours without me knowing where he is....he communicates with tons of women I don't know (text, facebook, email) and I found out that he had a account. He has in the past (and I believe he is now) monitoring all my electronics (phone and computer). Because the closer I get to leaving, the nicer he tries to be. So for me, I do need to understand why he's doing this...if he's "normal" and this is just his personality - then he's plain evil. And I have a hard time accepting that - and blame myself for bringing actions on myself because he doesn't treat anyone else this way - EVERYONE else loves him and things he's God's gift to this earth. On the other hand, if I find out he's mentally ill - I did vow to love him in sickness and in health. I myself am bipolar, which he claims is the cause of all our problems...and he has stuck with me.

February, 16 2014 at 6:19 pm

It's very interesting, frightening & shockingly sad that an adult son remains involved with extremely abusive family pupeteered by mommy dearest & he is just beginning to realize why he feels worried, socially immature feeling inadequate, worthless & depressed! I was an eye witness of her degradating & humiliation rendering his demeanor that of a beaten battered woman with eyes moving & glistening & complying with her demands causing apathy & unrealistic delusions of grander! He seems like he needs a debriefed due to duration of designated scapegoat ("...servant, idiot, lazy..."& as Cinderella for family of intimidating vultures as he gives them entitlement to enter his house unannounced to verbally torturing & ridiculing him in my presence as he curls into fetal position cause he "doesn't listen"!? Please advice ASAP where he can find help & happiness

January, 11 2014 at 5:02 am

I have a blog providing information and support for victims of domestic violence because I finally broke away from a 10 yr long abusive relationship and hoped to help other women in the same situation avoid the hell I went through. Everyone deals and heals from things in their own way but I have found for myself and for 95% of the victims who come to my site looking for answers, once they discover they are with someone with a disorder that is not curable they feel free to leave. If their partner is diagnosed as "normal" they then feel obliged to stay and work it out or feel they are the ones at fault.
I am sure that not all abusers are narcissists, or psychopaths but I feel the majority are and no abuser is "normal". Women in abuse will on an average go back to their abuser 7 times before they break away completely, if they live that long. The consequences of prolonged abuse and returning to an abusive relationship are devastating beyond belief. Without fail when the victim goes back the abuse escalates and the abuser gains more control as the support systems of the victim fall away. The mental abuse is far more debilitating than physical abuse in many cases rendering the victim helpless to help themselves not to mention the financial abuse. The reason women tend to go back so often is; as long as they feel there is something more they can do to save the relationship they can not walk away.
Women come to my site looking for a viable excuse to leave without guilt knowing they did all they can do. If they can give a label to their abuser, such as narcissism or psychopathy both of which are incurable they know there is nothing they can do to help the abuser and feel justified in leaving. Without a diagnosis there is always the possibility that they are the cause of the abuse or they can fix it some how. Perhaps for you it was the opposite but in most cases that I know of when women or men discover they have been dealing with a person who has no conscience and never will, that they are truly dangerous and evil people they are able to break away and start the long painful journey to recovery.
The danger I have seen is that the victim is always looking for some excuse to stay and if their abuser doesn't exhibit all the traits of a narcissist or psychopath they think they aren't dangerous and stay. A person does not have to exhibit all the trait, only 5 of the common traits to be a narcissist, and 20 to be a psychopath and with most people with these disorders they are award winning actors who are able to hide their disorder most of the time and have learned to imitate emotions of others which confused the victim even further. is he or isn't he mentally disabled? My ex could be so sweet, loving, contrite, promising to change, etc and the minute I went back he acted like he loathed me which he did.
He didn't exhibit all the traits of a psychopath until it was almost too late for me. In trust he was exhibiting all the traits, |I just did not see them, as I found out about many of his lies after we split. For 8 years we had a normal sex life, I believed he was faithful and that he loved me deep down and was just dealing with "issues" He didn't fit all the traits of a narcissist. When I finally left with nothing more than my dog, 1/2 pack of smokes and $5 to my name he was exhibiting every single trait and I feared for my life. His own sister told me she was afraid to be in my company because she feared she would get killed in the crossfire. He was sabotaging my truck, video taping me without my knowledge, tracking me, was physically violent but also preventing me from working, denying me food and medical treatment, denying me use of a phone or computer and telling me it was all my imagination. After we split I found his journals and his website where he chronicled the way he manipulated me and three other women into believing we were the woman he "loved" and how he planned to pick his next victim because I was used up. When I discovered he had gone to Africa on a missionary effort I thought it was the most charitable thing he had ever done and took him back on his return. He told me he had contracted Malaria and had been given 6 months to live, tears and all. I discovered much later that he was run out of the country because he had impregnated a young African girl and stolen from the organization thousands of dollars. He escaped in the nick of time while the native people, and police closed in on him. The organization refused to help him and it was only through the efforts of his mother who begged that they send him home that he got out.
I knew none of this at the time I was with him, so just because a person does not demonstrate all of the traits does not guarantee they don't have them, it only proves what a good liar he is.

January, 7 2014 at 12:42 am

I really needed to read this post. I have searched and read everything I can to find out what's wrong with my husband. He's both physically and emotionally abusive yet he doesn't completely fit the profiles I've read. He loves animals for a start and seems to have some capacity for love and caring. There's just this anger and violent part of him. Which is confusing because I wonder if it's me who brings it out... yet he declares his love for me. And he does lovely things too.
We're separated at the moment after a particularly violent episode that left me terrified. I have suffered Post Traumatic stress since and that has made me react in strange ways. I think I am getting a little better now. We have been talking about trying to save the marriage but he's not keen on counseling...he went to a session but now he's frightened of what might come out. He knows he has a problem but doesn't know if he can change. I think he'd like to bury his head in the sand and not deal with's like he wants to come back but doesn't. I get the feeling he's frightened of what he might do or he just wants to keep the status quo. I wasn't silent this time I told friends and family so now he may feel that his good impression has of himself has been taken down. He has been self destructive at present which is also terrifying.
I do love my husband and would love to keep our marriage but if he can't change the violence there's no hope.
I thank you for your blog it has been so informative but also strangely comforting because it's so personal and you address many issues that are not usually discussed. You give me and I am sure many others hope that we too can get through this.

December, 6 2013 at 5:18 am

I recently became acquainted with the term "Machiavellian", considered by some to be the third side of the 'Dark Triad' of negative personality traits alongside narcissism and sociopathy. The description fits my abuser's behaviour exactly, and fits with the profile of an abuser as described by Patricia Evans and Lundy Bancroft, though I don't recall the word being used in any of their writings that I've read to date. The Machiavellian type, often associated with political leaders, is willing to use lies and deception to accomplish their ends and will feel no guilt about it. They will promise one thing, all the while intending to do another. They don't trust the motives of others either. Whilst I don't think it is considered an 'illness' and is not an excuse, it seems to be a deeply ingrained pattern of behaviour that is resistant to change; in their arrogance, they see no need to change, merely to do what is needed to get past the obstacle and then revert to their true intentions. When my abuser lied to the police about an incident with a neighbor, and followed through by lying in court, he could see that I was disturbed - usually he denies lying at all but this time it was too obvious. The incident went to mediation; my husband felt that he had the judge's sympathy over the other guy. He said to me 'see, it (the lies) was worth it in the end because I came out on top and he won't bother us anymore.'

August, 15 2013 at 6:55 am

I am currently divorcing my husband who is an extreme narcissitic sociopath. He has no remorse for cheating for lying for betraying. It is all my fault. Because after 20 years I do not look the same anylonger. He had go out and find new "supply". I was always afraid of being on my own. I questioned my self worth, was I going crazy in my head? He kept telling me I was mentally ill and I needed anti depressant medication, which I never took. Not only did he lie to me, but also to our son. He was living a life full of lies. I find strength through my faith in God. He will see me trough this mess. God hates divorces but he wants you to live in peace. That is the reason this deceitful man was taken out of my life. I know I will come out stronger than ever. I am doing this for my child. He does not need a father like this in his life. We deserve so much better.

Kim Miller
August, 7 2013 at 1:58 am

He doesn't drink anymore so no more black eyes, but screams at me if I don't pick his plate from his lap when he through eating. I've allowed this behavior too long. He admits he has a problem, but refuses help.

Kim Miller
August, 7 2013 at 1:49 am

I married a man who is physically, verbally, emotionally abusive and a sociopath. We've been married almost 5 years and I have BEEN over it, but don't have anywhere to move to. I have left several times before, only to come back to him because he pays the bills. He only works when bills are due, regardless, he has a history of abuse from 2 former wives. I obviously made a bad decision, but don't know where to go. I stay hidden in the back bedroom when I'm at home because I can't stand to be around him. Mean is mean, but this is craziness. Where do I go, besides the shelter, and no family in town.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Holly
August, 7 2013 at 5:01 am

Kim, it sounds like he provides a sense of false security to you. He only works when the bills are due, but I think you could and would work regularly - bills due or not. I don't know what your situation is exactly. Abuse affects the victim's mind to the point of believing s/he (you) cannot provide for yourself. What is it that keeps you hidden in the bedroom instead of venturing out to create a better financial situation for yourself? Is there a reason you don't want to move to where your family lives?

Elizabeth Wallace
June, 9 2013 at 12:23 pm

Perhaps new people to DV issues have no clue that 10-25 yrs ago this was not on the table for discussion, the closest we got was "Scott Pecks, People of the Lie: and yes, we all need and seek validation. Answers to why someone who has consumed your life, married you, had children with you,could be so cruel with no regard to seek help or mend a troubled relationship is very and justifiably in need of an good answer. You will not find NAMI doing anything to help with questions of mental illness in people like this, even of the nature of having addictions or dual- diagnosed issues. At least, a diagnosis would prove some reason for their behavior. But people like this do not seek help, why should they ? There is nothing wrong with them, its you of course ! A normal, non toxic spirit and daily behavior will recognize when someone is hurting around them due to their actions and reactions, with an abuser who is mentally ill a lack of empathy, remorse, edification of others is not just abusive and cold, it is questionable as to biology, spirituality, food-chemical-toxins. Bottom line here, if this person being presented the problem and possible reasons/solutions sees no need for doing anything, it is time to run and say away problem is when you have children and the courts get into it, living with toxic children who grow into abusive adults, mentally ill or not, they become a lifetime of endless unhappiness. None of this is healthy for anyone. DV and its scope for help, grants or anything for support is far too narrow a field, its limitations seem to focus on how much money a system can make in continuing the victimization for profit and future dysfunctional family members to feed off of, not to support and change a very sick world we are seeing now. Thanks

June, 6 2013 at 5:16 am

OH MY, it's been 7 years for me, seven years of a living hell and I was so in love and so understanding that it blinded me from what my partner actually was.
I had made notes on my calendar throughout the years every time something happened, and only until now have I understood what I was going through. It's a very sad situation when you realize you have wasted years of your life and have shed so many tears & depression over a person who basically just uses you & manipulates your heart, your mind and your life - for nothing but the fact that they have no conscience and they truly do have a psychological problem they cannot fix. Sadly they do not realize how much they hurt others, and that part alone is the scariest thought because they will continue their lives doing this to other pour souls who cross their path.
I've been through it all:
- lies about his home life, stated he was 'separated' only a year later did I find out he was married still living with his wife
- lied about his job which was non-existant
- flirted with friends/strangers alike to the point of starting orgies
- problems with strangers, as he is very blunt and does not care what he says to people
- problems with police officers, throwing water bottles, hot dogs, whatever he has in his hands after the bar and starts trouble
- always centre of attention, the joker, the one who goes on stage and entertains everyone
- very high sex drive / attractive man
- promiscuous nature, finding out months sometimes a year later of girls he met online/bar which he had one night stands with or a relationship with
- loving, kind towards me but within a week or two always dealt with verbal abuse over one issue or other which he caused
- blamed me for problems which arised due to his own actions
- never met his close friends or buddies or family members to see his other life (he always kept his personal life separate, there was always one reason or another of why it wasn't possible over the years)
- puts people against you, alienates you from your family and friends until all you have is him
- drinking problem, alcohol which made him grab women in bars (breasts, bottom etc) in front of me caught when I wasn't looking or when he thought i wasn't around, and there were many times it was done in front of my face & I was told it was just 'fun' and drunkeness that made him do it
- as much as i have a good heart, am shy, very attractive as a woman, it did not matter to him to lie in my face and have no empathy that he was hurting me with other women
- there were times i had proof of his lies and I wouldn't let him know what I knew & I watched him casually tell me otherwise like it was second nature, it hurt to see this knowing the truth
- always stated he was in love with me and wanted to marry me, but constantly cheated and lied nonetheless out of just pure thrill, I believe they unknowingly get some type of high from this to others, the lying & cheating is exciting
- very intelligent, yet uses this to their advantage to manipulate others
My last day was two weeks ago, I waited on him all day for a 'weekend' he supposedly wanted to spend with me..
Friday night excuse was he forgot about a friends husband's birthday party (i wasn't able to go as i live an hour away) I later found out he was at a bbq party with friends and women he had associations with.
Saturday comes along, I received many excuses in the morning as to why I was unable to join him at an 'antique show' due to him going early at 8am with family, he ended up not going at all as I later found out he as at this party from the night before and was still enjoying the festivities the next day and was lying to me all along.
I spend the day cleaning my home, changing my sheets, buying groceries for our weekend, buying his favorite wine.. he finally showed up at 7:30pm, said he was tired and wanted to stay in, he wanted to sit in the car when I sat in to let me know of his day while we were parked, I stated I did not want to sit in a hot car to listen to him tell me about his day, I suggested we could go to a book store if he was tired, sit and have a coffee and he can tell me of his day and then we can go home and hang in if he was tired.
I was stuck most of my day indoors, waiting on him and doing things for us in preparation, it wasn't too much to ask to step out.
Mind you at this time I had already known where he spend Friday night and most of Saturday and I was sad, and because I loved him so much I didn't bring it up not to upset him.
Well, as we are driving within 10min he gets angry because he wants to tell me about his day (his lies, not the truth).. I had expressed to him only that I would have liked to join him at the antique show Saturday morning ( I had asked the night prior but he said he was tired and wanted to go to bed) in the morning he just ignored what I said & left without me.. keep in mind you I said this calmly, lovingly and politely, as I do not like seeing his anger. Well within 10min into our ride, after me stating only that I would have liked to join him and wished he would have planned it with me - HE BLOWS UP, starts to get upset hitting & banging at the steering wheel yelling and screaming at me of how much stress he has coming from all angles (as he lives with his parents and has a daughter from previous marriage that only lasted 2yrs) as he is doing this acting like a psychotic maniac, he utters 'im turning around and going home, i had enough of this sh#t' WOW
For the first time, I snapped, I don't know what happened, with his yelling and telling me he was going home after the day I had I immediately opened the car door as he was driving along the lakeshore, I wanted to get out.
I have never done that before or acted that way the mere shock of what he had done and how he was treating me in my face, knowing full well he is lying to me, was something I will never forget.
He was in the center lane and he pulled over within a minute and watched me get out. Now, I know he is lying as I received photo proof of where he was and with whom, he knows he is lying but doesn't realize I know, and yet he still treated me that way? UNBELIEVABLE
It took me a little over a half hour to get home walking. Not once did he try to stop me from getting out of the car, he didnt come looking for me, but he did text me in capital letters how I could have caused an accident (we were barely going 20km at the time), and how I could have ruined his career (which he does not have, he is still going to college, his 3rd attempt, failing some courses already) but this is how narcissistic sociopaths are.. this is what they do, this is how they treat you and it was not the first time.
Sadly this happened once before after waiting on him most of the day, preparing for his arrival, he never showed up & cancelled on me using the excuse that I didn't want to drive half way and meet him..
I never responded to any of his texts after he made me walk home in the cold that night, I felt worthless, I realized I had been fooled for 6 years.I was numb on my walk home in disbelief that this has been my life
He has sent me angry emails and texts since this happened, it's been 2 weeks - I have not responded to any (as he enjoys the blame game and arguing to the point where he wont make you sleep for a week just from you trying to wrap your brain around all the harsh words and put downs he throws at you).
I always forgave him, for many many things he has done to me, in front of me and behind my back..
I guess it took for me to watch him lie to me for days knowing the truth, and it crushed me and devastated me to watch him do this to my face and not have a care in the world of how he was deceiving me and lying to me. It took this last time for me to actually realize the relationship was all a lie - I was faithful and loving and in it wholeheartedly, he wasn't.
As hard as it is, and has been, I have not contacted him, I have changed my number and I am having a difficult time because throughout the years he has alienated me from my family and my friends. I am alone more than ever, but I had to do this, my life, my self esteem, my self worth is all gone.
Sadly, the peace and solace I feel not reading or hearing his harsh words towards me, degrading me & not listening to the constant lies & stories, not being manipulated any longer, and not spending nights and weekends worrying or stressing over issues he brings into my life - has been the first feeling of peace I have felt in a long time.
It's a daily struggle trying to forget, trying not to call or text, because I was in love, this was what I believed to be my soulmate, my life. But it was nothing but a lie, I was just one of many, for no other reason but the fact that he cannot control his sociopathic nature.
I don't know what the future will hold for me, I don't know if I will fully recover, I don't know if I will ever heal from this, but I am going to try - it's all I have left to save myself from this.
For those of you who have experienced a relationship with a narcissistic sociopath
Good Luck to you all & God Bless you all

May, 26 2013 at 11:02 am

From your point of view it may seem right, but in my case it was the opposite. My mother was a Narcissist and I did not realize it until 30 yrs later and countless relationship problems.
I stuck in there hoping I could help them, and I actually fooled myself into believing I was always wrong.
As soon as I found out that my mother is a malignant Narcissist and my boyfriend is also the same, I cut off my ties to both of them and have never felt better!
I was able to make the right decision in knowing they cannot help how they are nor can they change.
I feel that I have no reason to torture myself trying to fix something that is irrepairable.
I wasted a good chunk of my life believing that they were "normal" people just a little more nasty than others, but could turn around and be normal. Sadly I was manipulated to believe it!
I do not feel sorry for a Narcissistic Abuser at all, nor do I feel like I need to help them drive me insane!

May, 14 2013 at 4:12 pm

I agree. Understanding helps, label the craziness, the behaviors, and puts it on the other person. I didn't cause it and I can't cure it. AND I can't live with it, without losing myself. I want a loving, sharing, trustful, respectful, monagamous relationship. Being with an abusive man, will never give me that. I must grieve the illusion of how he first presented to me, realizing I was vulnerable and naive and ignored the red flags. I need to be able to leave when it feels wrong very early on.

May, 5 2013 at 3:07 am

I respectfully disagree. My sister is one of those rare female sociopaths. Knowing that didn't make me feel as obligation to be around her, as my mother thought it should. It confirmed that she will never be stable and trustworthy so I should keep my distance for my own safety and sanity's sake. Recently, I was discarded by a narcissistic "friend". Looking up certain behaviors online brought me to the phrase Narcissistic Personality Disorder but I hadn't even considered it prior. (Admittedly a psychologist friend mentioned it months before but I dismissed it.) There, in black and white, were the behaviors I witnessed and with them, the gaslighting was dismissed, the confusion about being discarded dismissed, actually even his nontraditional living situation made sense. Healing from his abuse became easier knowing I wasn't the crazy one and I hadn't done anything to deserve what had happened. I even saw myself when reading how a victim of a Narcissist often feels. Freedom came from that knowledge. I am absolutely grateful to have found it.

Henley Hornbrook
April, 20 2013 at 6:58 am

I grew up in an extremely violent and abusive home. My father was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic (with violent tendencies) and my mother a narcissistic sociopath. As a child I didn't know there was a clinical diagnosis for their behavior. All I knew was verbal and physical abuse. It would be years later that I discovered the names for these disorders. More years would have to pass for me to finally accept that the diagnosis fit their behavior. It helped in that I knew they would never change and there was nothing I could do to make them different. That knowledge released me. I suppose this is a different perspective from what Ms. Holly experienced. I think it is vitally important that the abusers be identified for what they are as quickly as possible. If not, we will continue to be their victim even if we live on the opposite side of the country. The guilt of not trying hard enough to save them will never leave unless we understand we cannot.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Holly
April, 20 2013 at 2:32 pm

I understand why we search for answers, Henley. I wanted to "diagnose" my ex, too. I thought if he had a disorder, then I could learn to overlook the tragedy we called our lives. In this post, I am encouraging abuse victims not to look too hard for what is wrong with someone else before helping themselves. If you get out of the relationship (which you cannot when you are a child growing up with Narcissists/Sociopaths and the like) and then look BACK to find closure, then that can be beneficial. It can also be beneficial for victims of domestic violence only (unlike your experience of child abuse), but care should be taken when the victim attempts diagnosis. If s/he isn't willing to accept that the abuse will hurt him or her (the victim, I mean), then s/he may STAY in an impossible to "fix" relationship.
I added an introductory portion to this post to try to clarify that I'm speaking about domestic violence, not child abuse. There are two different dynamics there although the behavior of the abuser remains pretty much the same.

March, 23 2013 at 3:25 pm

I disagree on some parts-- My ex husband is a Narcissistic Sociopath. No i did not come to this conclusion on my own either. Knowing this after being in a ten year IPV relationship/ Marriage and then getting PTSD 4 moths after he tried to kill me, saved me from a lot of confusion. It was a blessing in part because knowing that these individuals have no moral, not capable of right or wrong, no conscious, allows me in my long road of recovery not to fall into the feeling bad for him, because he does not have an illness that is of a curable nature or ever able to change the way he is. And it is a progressive thing, they only get worse . They do not have the qualifications to be called human. Sub human is how they are profilled. Sorry not my best comment but extremely tired.

clara koblosh
March, 8 2013 at 7:23 am

I totally agree with this article. People who are abusive or just mean does no necesarily mean they have a mental illness. Some people are simply no good even if they exhibit some symptoms sociopath and narcisistic.

March, 7 2013 at 6:11 am

Hi, I see your point here and you do make a good one, however, for me part of my healing (still in progress) was finding out why my ex-husband did what he did. I went through the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for psycho/sociopathy and Narcissistic Personality Disoder, Schizophrenia as well. In my personal opinion (not a professional but I do have a good grasp of psychology) my ex-husband is all three of those things. He once told me straight up he sees all people to use as tools to his gain. Part of empowering myself to never be abused again by anyone was finding out why my husband did what he did. I think the whys are crucial to understanding the situation and the better one understands why it was happening, the better than can avoid an abusive circumstance in the future. My ex, according to him, which could be a lie, he was dx with schizophrenia and bi-polar. I don't give two craps if he has a disorder or not, I was not willing to stick around and make excuses for him. Mentally ill or not, he did what he did and the consequences would have stayed the same.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kellie Holly
March, 14 2013 at 12:19 am

It appears we are of the same opinion, Crystal. My point is that, in the end, it doesn't matter what if any disorder an abuser exhibits. For some, mental illness becomes a reason to stay, to prove unconditional love to a person who cannot return it. I hope my opinion intervenes on those victims' thought process and they decide to leave no matter what diagnosis they may decide on.

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