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How to Recover From a Sociopathic Relationship

author image Ann Jones
Ann Jones has been writing since 1998. Her short stories have been published in several anthologies. Her journalistic work can be found in major magazines and newspapers. She has a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing.
How to Recover From a Sociopathic Relationship
A woman lying on the sofa while talking to a therapist. Photo Credit: michaeljung/iStock/Getty Images

Sociopaths can seem quite compelling when you first meet them. It's easy to be taken in by their confidence and charm. But somewhere along the way you begin to suspect they're lying, and that their emotions are not genuine. A person who is a sociopath lies compulsively, shows no guilt or remorse and lacks the capacity for love. Their lies can seem so genuine, and the self they've constructed so real, that when they're gone you can be left wondering if you'll ever trust anyone again.

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Step 1

Find a therapist immediately. A professional can help you sort through the anger and grief, and remind you that you can and likely will love again. Your sociopathic ex may have convinced you everything that went wrong in the relationship was your fault. Your therapist can teach you skills for battling this thought when it arises.

Step 2

Disappear from the sociopath's life. This means no phone calls, no emails, no contact of any kind. Remind yourself that no good can come of knowing this person any longer, and force yourself to stick to your resolve. The longer you are away from a sociopath, the clearer it will become that he was lying to you, and the more grounded you'll become in reality.

Step 3

Protect yourself physically. Change your locks, change your phone number and install a security system if necessary. Create physical distance from the sociopath if you need to. It's worth moving to another home if it allows you to fall asleep at night without fear.

Step 4

Document everything. This may be as simple as keeping a journal or as complex as taking photographs of injuries or property damage and filing a police report. Save all threatening voice mails, emails or letters. Hire an attorney if necessary to draw up a restraining order.

Step 5

Surround yourself with loving people. It can be easy to mistrust the world after being fooled by a sociopath. Take comfort in the company of friends and family who love you. Join a support group if necessary. Do whatever it takes to remind yourself, daily, that there are good and honest people in the world.

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