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My Boyfriend Is A Sociopath

Question:

I am 24 years old and have been living with my boyfriend for 3 years. For the most part everything has been fine. There have been times throughout our relationship that I have noticed a lack of emotion coming from him. There are times where, if I am upset about something, he doesn’t act like he cares, but still says he loves me. We have made compromises to make each other happy throughout our relationship. He is now coming out to tell me he has known he is a sociopath but has been trying to make a normal relationship work and lead a normal life, but he is not happy. He suggested we take some space away from each other and start over so he can introduce the real him to me. He would want to be the dominate one in the relationship and in control of things so he can be happy, but I don’t know if that would make me happy. I feel a relationship should be 50/50. I am so stuck and confused because I love him so much but I am starting to think maybe
I love a character he pretended to be all this time and not the real him. What should I do? Please help!I am 24 years old and have been living with my boyfriend for 3 years. For the most part everything has been fine. There have been times throughout our relationship that I have noticed a lack of emotion coming from him. There are times where, if I am upset about something, he doesn’t act like he cares, but still says he loves me. We have made compromises to make each other happy throughout our relationship. He is now coming out to tell me he has known he is a sociopath but has been trying to make a normal relationship work and lead a normal life, but he is not happy. He suggested we take some space away from each other and start over so he can introduce the real him to me. He would want to be the dominate one in the relationship and in control of things so he can be happy, but I don’t know if that would make me happy. I feel a relationship should be 50/50. I am so stuck and confused because I love him so much but I am starting to think maybe
I love a character he pretended to be all this time and not the real him. What should I do? Please help!

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Answer:

You present a very interesting dilemma. Your boyfriend of three years tells you he is a "sociopath." However, how does he know he is? I am not saying that he is or is not. However, what is his self diagnosis based on? You are aware of a certain lack of emotion when you are upset about something. Yes, that could be a symptom of a sociopath, but, it could be symptomatic of other types of things as well.

It has always been my belief, both as a mental health specialist and as a private person, that people do best when they follow their intuition or instinct. What I mean is that there is, in my thinking, an inner voice that we each have. Some people are better than others in listening to and heading that inner voice. In fact, there are those, after listening to their own thoughts and judgments, ignore that and allow themselves to be guided by emotions or wishes. So, what am I saying about you?

What I am saying is that your "inner voice" is telling you that something is not right with this boyfriend. In fact, you noticed this before but ignored what you were telling yourself about his lack of emotion. Now it is time to listen to yourself and your doubts.

First, I agree with you that a relationship must be 50/50. What he is proposing is that he be in control? Why? Such a notion would make most of us unhappy. If he is telling you that he is a sociopath and that he wants to be in control wouldn’t that put you in danger? After all, sociopaths are not trustworthy people.

You even doubt the validity of the person you have known him to be up until now. In sum, it would make sense for you to pay attention to your doubts and to your beliefs and preferences about relationships, cut your losses now, end things and look elsewhere for the kind of guy who can be emotionally empathic, trustworthy and with whom you can share a life on a true 50/50 basis.

In other words, stop arguing with yourself. There is no confusion. Your instincts are correct. Move on.

Best of Luck

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