Monsters, Inc. (p4)


One sociopath I know tried to pin the end of his third marriage on his latest target, blaming her for the divorce and for his poor relationship with his emotionally disordered daughters. “I left my family for you! I woulda died for you!” he bleated, trying to make her feel accountable. The reality? He felt nothing but contempt for Wife 3.0 (he regularly posted savage details of her stupidity and their pathologically abusive sex life to entertain other men); he left her because he was bored. They had been having problems and seeing therapists for years.

A suggestible woman of low intelligence, Wife 3.0 didn’t mind his abuses too much as she enjoyed the lifestyle he provided; in this respect, they were a perfect match. Their relationship was characterised by high sexual sensation-seeking, inertia, indulgence and lack of intimacy.

The problem? Throughout the marriage, he’d had secret affairs, online and off, masturbatory and emotional, with other women, paid for cam girls and was addicted to extreme pornography: this was the “love” he tried to make Target 4.0 believe she had tainted. The reality was that he was a master game player who had a history of and reputation for abusive behaviour towards women.

I’ve had similar experiences with sociopaths – in particular, of their overtly – and covertly – controlling tactics. One made me laugh so much – laughter, like alcohol, is a disinhibiting agent – that I found it difficult to believe the pathology I could not help observing in his behaviour. Once I consciously recognised his cruelty, I inwardly stepped back, as if from a reptile. As John Fowles wrote, “He’s not human; he’s an empty space disguised as a human.”


Blame shifting, digression, charm, duplicity, humour: sociopaths only stop when they realise that you have seen them for what they are, because there’s nowhere left for them to go. It’s done. They have no option but to move on to a new target because you know too much about them.


The sociopath:

- Deflects attention from what they have done
- Gains sympathy, care and compassion
- Has your full attention
- Makes you feel ‘responsible’ for them
- Becomes the victim – and forces you to now become the carer
- Has a ‘get out of responsibility’ card

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