The sociopath is in unexpected ways smoother and more believable than the classic narcissist. All sociopaths are narcissistic. Not all sociopaths end up in prison or harm people physically. No, they are too clever for that.
They are so “good” at sizing you up and getting you to relinquish yourself to them, that it makes your head spin just thinking about it. Often they are in positions of great power–private and public. There are more sociopaths now in the society than the statistics indicate. That’s because the high level ones don’t get caught and they know exactly how to operate under the radar and to protect themselves at all times.
You know a socialized sociopath but very likely don’t recognize him/her. Often successful and socially adept, these people are masters of knowing what you desire, need, want, must have. They are subtle taking your psychological temperature. They survey the environment like a red tailed hawk those they decide to possess. They know your moves, your attitudes, your fantasies, your reputation, your successes, your weaknesses. They secretly investigate your family history to determine if you are the right partner for them—the one who will benefit them the most.With meticulous calculation the meeting takes place. The sociopath makes a breathtaking opening move—unforgettable!
After the romance is in full bloom and thrall, it doesn’t take long to make plans for the wedding. You are his biggest “get.” You come from a prestigious family, have an excellent education, are attractive even beautiful and will present a perfect image as spouse to the sociopath.
Within a year or before the non narcissistic spouse feels twinges of regret and fear that she has made this marital choice. She is the recipient of constant criticisms, screaming fits, humiliations. There are clues that he is participating in unethical and illegal business practices. She suspects that he has a few women hidden away when she lies sleepless in bed not believing that he is working late into the night and early morning hours. but there is a part of her that keeps forcing herself to believe that he is loyal and still loves her. She makes millions of excuses for him, remembering the early days of their romance and his extraordinary promises he made. There is secrecy about bank accounts. When asked about their investments or money, he becomes surly and boils over with rage: ” You don’t trust me. How dare you?” “After everything I have given to you, you have the nerve to question my character.” This is spoken with such forthrightness that the spouse in the dark wants to believe her spouse.
Finally the last trap door opens; the reveal occurs; the horror is exposed in this “heart of darkness.” Now you know whom you have married—A user, an exploiter, a destroyer, a dissembler, a socialized sociopath.
Save yourself and know that you are worth it. As you proceed give no warning–not a hint. Outwit this socialized criminal, this dark being in human form. Make meticulous plans, get out and get back to yourself. You have begun your next incarnation—-Feel the joy running through your body/mind.
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.