Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

Stand by Your Sociopath

So it’s been a while. This is the longest I’ve gone without posting in… I don’t know. Maybe since I started the blog. I don’t want to get into it. I’m here now and I’ll do the best I can to be coherent.

No promises.

Last week there was a post in DoubleX called, Sociopaths and the Women Who Love them. Pointing to a couple of recent/prominent cases, it raised the question, Why do stay with bad, bad men?

Which got me to thinking about a lot of things. Like how much I miss The Sopranos. And how people find ways to rationalize all kinds of inexcusable behavior from the people they .  And that sometimes, I guess, becomes a slippery slope.

Having found myself, on more than one occasion, making excuses for some pretty outrageous behavior from guys, I gotta wonder where I would draw the line. I’d like to think it would be far short of criminal behavior. Heck, I can’t even bear to watch someone be mean to waitstaff.

People (men and women) have all kinds of reasons for staying in inappropriate relationships. It’s easy to point fingers and say, “I’d never do that.” But things are rarely as simple as they seem. And people have complicated reasons for staying. Or not going. I’d imagine.

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10 to “Stand by Your Sociopath”

  1. One needs to define sociopath – but I’ll take the broad definitions of a borderline personality from the psychiatric world. Sometimes we simply don’t see it- we might get a sense of it, and something might peak up every now and then, but we just don’t see it.

    One lady I was involved with for a number of years had all the signs- they were all there- but those little things just were blown off. It became clear that the relationship would end- and when it ended, it ended poorly. She dedicated her life to trying to destroy my reputation, eliminate friends, she cleaned out bank accounts, and took my dog. Did I see it in her? Not really, I saw a bit here or there but discounted it to “passion.” I have not seen her in over two years, and still if she gets a chance to irritate me she will.

    So I came to the conclusion that dating is a great way to find chemistry, but it is not a great way to objectively evaluate someone who you might want to spend more time with. That some people out there are just nuts- really seriously ill, and yet they can compensate so well for it.

    So it is not that you over looked it, because those little signs can be in perfectly normal people. And face it- who really is normal? But, people who are borderline are very good at hiding it, until they can’t.

    No solutions here- as usual. Sorry

  2. Chiara says:

    One of the few blogs I actually LOVE to read on my google reader. Don’t ever go this long again. Ever.

    I like this post because it’s realistic. Life is so complex. I’m sick of reading things that tell you all about the black and white and never touch the gray area.

    None of this justifies bad behavior, but you really never know someone’s story until you live it.

    • Simone Grant says:

      Thank you so much Chiara. You have no idea how much it means, now. I’m struggling right now to get back to writing. But hopefully it will get easier soon.

      • Chiara says:

        Chin up to the sky. If it happens, it happens. Sometimes we break for a reason. Loyal readers will wait… & won’t show up at your door with flaming poop bags. I promise.

  3. Camla says:

    I think I stayed with a total jerk just so I could feel that someone loved me (he didn’t even). I get mad (at myself) and sad just thinking about it. I’ve struggled my entire adult life with self-esteem and although I have made strides, it’s still a battle I fight daily.

    • Lennie Ross says:

      Camla, the first step is awareness. Most women deny they even have low self-esteem and deny they have made mistakes. Now all you have to do is raise the bar. That’s why I’m the queen of first dates. I don’t date assholes. If a man is not going to make an effort, not going to pursue me, why should I pursue him!

  4. SimplySimone says:

    I think the reasons women stay with let’s say undesirable characters is complicated at times. A laundry list of factors can influence a woman’s choice. From finances to family opinion, from self esteem to a desire not to be alone.

    You can never know where another person is coming from in their decision. I think the most important thing is not to judge.

  5. True sociopaths–someone with Antisocial personality disorder (not what you may think of as “anti-social”…a dud)–tend to come across as quite charming and are very emotionally manipulative by nature. They tend to seek out/attract those who are very vulnerable with low self-esteem. I feel like the appeal of a sociopath to such a person would be the perceived confidence, abhorrence of standard rules and regulations,impulsivity, and phony affection that may come across as innovative, exciting or refreshing when it is in fact criminal…and psychotic. Basically the sociopath is filling a void.
    Sociopaths aside, I think that at some point or another, if you’ve done a fair amount of dating, many of us put up with some pretty ridiculous and perhaps even unhealthy behavior from a partner. It’s a learning process and the key is to recognize it, why you stay, and getting out. I touched on it a little here:

    Sorry for the long reply, but this topic so interests me!
    Glad you’re back 😉

  6. Lennie Ross says:

    Your right, I’ve been guilty of it myself. I think people fall into a sense of comfort, and think ‘even though they do these terrible things, they really love me’.

    Or you love them so much you overlook it.

    It’s a tough cycle to break out of, but you gotta do it!

    Lennie Ross

  7. Tori says:

    I agree with Chiara, it is one of my favorite blogs also. I think the main reason why we stay in bad relationships (men & women alike) is not so much as we want things to change but more that we want to be the ones who will change them. We will notice little things over time and pay them no mind because we don’t want to see them or we think oh this person will change this for me. So most people ignore the signs and they just stay. I was in a 3 year relationship like this and finally I got out and no matter how much I would want him back I stayed away. He pretty much treated me like a plaything. Picking me up and discarding me whenever he felt like it. I didn’t like the way it made me feel and I finally got out. I made myself realize he wasn’t going to change himself or his ways for me, and I was tired of trying to change myself for him. Now I couldn’t be happier. =)