A Relationship with a Sociopath

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Every sociopath I have ever known, either consciously or subconsciously hates their mother. Sociopaths who consciously hate their mother may acknowledge the depth of their hatred publicly or only to a select few, but male sociopaths who subconsciously hate their mothers can put on a great performance of cloying sentiment in public, taking their hatred and contempt out privately on women through sadistic cat and mouse games or through abusive sexual practices and extreme pornography, in which women are abused for the disordered pleasure of viewers.

Substances, too, will often bring out the hidden aggression in sociopaths, which is why some of them avoid drugs and alcohol; as disinhibiting agents, substances reveal the perversions and disordered emotions that sociopaths normally keep on a tight leash.

The critical factor in any relationship with a sociopath is power play: they must win and to win, the relationship must be perceived as a terrain of opposites rather than two people working with and for each other in harmony. To the sociopath, the partner is the opposition, never the beloved; they are a target to be seduced and played, because the goal of the exercise is victory to feed the sociopath’s bottomless appetite for narcissism. And if they cannot win, they want to destroy.

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“We’ve seen how psychopaths use women’s capacity to love and their tenacity – their high emotional investment in the relationship – to keep them on the hook. They lure them with strategic withdrawals and empty promises to improve, which are belied by consistent, though often hidden, abuse. They dangle whatever women want most in life before their eyes – true love, fidelity, commitment, a happy life together, returning to the romantic and exciting honeymoon phase of the relationship – only to make demands that erode their partners’ dignity and self-respect …

- Claudia Moscovici, Dangerous Liaisons: How to Identify and Escape from Psychopathic Seduction

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From Sam Vaknin, an expert on narcissism and psychopathy:

“The sociopathic narcissist is never whole without an adoring, submissive, available, self-denigrating partner. His very sense of superiority, indeed his False Self, depends on it. His sadistic Superego switches its attentions from the sociopathic narcissist (in whom it often provokes suicidal ideation) to the partner, thus finally obtaining an alternative source of sadistic satisfaction.

It is through self-denial that the partner survives. She denies her wishes, hopes, dreams, aspirations, sexual, psychological and material needs, and much else besides. She perceives her needs as threatening because they might engender the wrath of the sociopath …

The sociopathic narcissist recreates for the partner the sort of emotional ambience that led to his own formation in the first place: capriciousness, fickleness, arbitrariness, emotional (and physical or sexual) abandonment. The world becomes uncertain and frightening and the partner has only one thing to cling to: the sociopathic narcissist.”

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Dr Seth Meyers writes:

“By definition, the psychopath doesn’t have successful relationships. Actually, the truth is more about capacity than quality. With the psychopath, there is an absence of emotional connection and true empathetic feeling. The psychopath simply isn’t capable of trusting and depending on another individual. To sit with them and assess them as I have in forensic settings, it’s as if you’re talking with someone who’s part ice. Though they engage in sex (and other trappings of relationships), their experience of sex is vastly different from their non-psychopathic peers.

“First, let’s quickly review the most disturbing traits of the psychopath: According to the Antisocial Personality Questionnaire (Blackburn & Fawcett, 1999), primary psychopathy is characterized by hostility, extraversion, self-confidence, impulsivity, aggression, and mild-to-moderate anxiety. Though the psychopath may commit illegal crimes, a psychopath can go through life wreaking harm on others and yet never commit an actual crime. The traits of the psychopath are deeply troubling when applied to sex and relationships.

“Sex is never a mutually emotional experience with a psychopath.

“Conventional wisdom suggests that sex should be an emotional and intimate experience. Think of any popular ballad on the radio, and you know what I mean — songs about idealistic, perfect love in which both partners love and trust, and make love until dawn because their emotional connection is so strong. Simply put, a psychopath would be the last person in the world to have that kind of lasting, sustainable connection. Psychopaths are chiefly oriented around getting their most important needs met, regardless of the expense to others.

“Because psychopaths don’t have mutually dependent and respectful romantic relationships, they can’t have a healthy sex life, either. The psychopath is often a pro at seducing and getting someone into bed, but the process is more a calculated game than an organic emotional — and then sexual — experience. So what turns on the psychopath?

The psychopath is sexually motivated by power — everything is a means to an end. If having a sexual relationship with a woman means that she will then trust him more or give him more money, he will perform the sexual task with Herculean bravado …

Like much of their behavior, psychopaths have mastered the art of performance. They perform in areas of their lives most people wouldn’t even imagine — saying ‘I’m sorry’ with the right sensitive tone, having seen an actor do it really well in a movie; professing love as if the world were to end the next day, reminiscent of lyrics from a popular song; and always dressing the part wherever they may be, understanding that image and first impressions can lure others into their lair. When it comes to sex, psychopaths perform, too.

“The psychopath who seeks to drain the bank account of a vulnerable but wealthy individual will have as much sex — or provide the best sex possible — if it helps him or her achieve that goal. Similarly, another psychopath who has sexual urges seeks a willing partner on whom to force himself and have sex as rough as necessary to discharge the dysregulated, hostile energy.

The psychopath frequently engages in promiscuous sexual behavior or has many short-term marital relationships, both items on Robert Hare’s seminal Psychopathy Checklist—Revised (1991). Ali and Chamorro-Premuzic (2010), for example, found that primary psychopathy was positively associated with promiscuity (e.g., psychopathy meant more promiscuity) and negatively associated with commitment (e.g., psychopathy meant less commitment).

Psychopaths don’t engage in promiscuous sex because they love sex so much; it’s more about boosting their ego when they feel rejected, obtaining power, or defending against the boredom psychopaths often feel. Plus, sex — especially with a stranger —allows the psychopath to get incredibly quick access to another person at their most sexually intimate and vulnerable. Because psychopaths constantly have their eye on a goal, getting someone in a vulnerable position allows them to take more advantage of them. If someone is lonely, they may be more susceptible to the sexual advances of a psychopath—even if their instinct tells them something about this new person seems off or, as is sometimes the case, they seem too good to be true.

“Bars and restaurants with active happy hours are especially popular spots for psychopaths to sexually pursue individuals. With the wheels greased with alcohol, men and women alike are more willing to fall prey to the psychopath’s highly calculated strategies to ensnare. The psychopath in this setting can be spotted by picking up on the following signals: excessive, forced flattery; looking for pity or sympathy; creating a sense that the two share a deep, almost destined connection right from the start; and asking extremely personal questions too soon in service of the need to ascertain the target’s emotional weaknesses. Finding victims when they’re lonely, depressed, or emotionally lost …

“In essence, the psychopath’s emotional needs are all about serving their own grandiose self-image, and not at all about mutuality or reciprocity. Most important, the psychopath will never truly honor the victim’s feelings, especially when it comes to asking the psychopath to take accountability for their deceitful and conscience-less ways.”

Read more here.

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1. Sociopaths cheat

“Sociopaths are promiscuous – it’s one of the traits of the disorder. They start young and engage frequently. What they really want in their sex lives is variety, including a variety of partners. No matter how they may proclaim that they’ve changed, that you’re the person they’ve been waiting for forever and they’ll never need to look at another partner well, sociopaths also lie a lot, and that’s one of their biggest lies. If you want a monogamous relationship, you will never get it with a sociopath.

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2. Sociopaths will push your boundaries

“Sociopaths want excitement, stimulation and variety. They also get bored easily. So once your novelty as a new partner has worn off, they’ll want to shake up their love life, perhaps by engaging in practices that you find uncomfortable. They’ll make suggestions, and if you resist, they’ll lay on the guilt trip – ‘if you really loved me, you would do it.’ They’ll chip away at your protests, until one day you may find yourself doing things that you once thought were degrading.

3. Sociopaths use sex to manipulate you

“Sociopaths target you because you have something that they want, and it may not be sex. Perhaps you have money, a nice home, social or business connections. Sociopaths know that if they can hook you sexually, you are easier to manipulate. So they take you to bed, and then press for what they really want. This is especially dangerous if you are married to someone else, work for the same organization or hold a prominent position all of which would make you susceptible to blackmail.

4. You’ll catch a sexually transmitted disease

“Sociopaths are promiscuous. They are also reckless. And they want their stimulation. Taken together, this means they often don’t want to use protection. In a survey of Lovefraud readers, 20 percent said acquired an STD from the sociopath. In some cases, the sociopaths knew they were HIV positive, but continued to have unprotected sex, intentionally infecting multiple partners.

5. Sociopaths may lie about sexual orientation

“Some sociopaths are straight, some are gay, and some are neither straight nor gay – they’ll have sex with anyone. In the Lovefraud survey, 18.5 percent of respondents said their sociopathic partners lied about their sexual orientation. Why? It’s not necessarily because they are gay and still in the closet. More likely, they’re looking for variety, or you have something that they want, and they are using sex as a tool to manipulate you.

- Donna Andersen, LoveFraud.com

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