I thought this was an interesting email from a reader regarding a recent relationship with a successful, powerbroker sociopath. There are a lot of stories about sociopaths wanting to scam or ruin the people they are in relationships with, but what about the sociopath who already seemingly has it all? What does s/he get out of the relationship? Could it be that a successful sociopath merely enjoys someone else's company? Or appreciates a fresh perspective, a companion who is "game" to try new things? And of course the question that has even less satisfactory answers, why would a "normal" person want to be with someone "abnormal" like that?
I am wondering if you can give me some insight. I've been involved with a man in a secretive relationship for two years. I'm married and so is he, although he strangely has a separate house in the same town. But pushing morality aside, here are the straight facts:The same reader wrote me this update:
He is a highly successful and manipulative business magnate. He controls corporations, people, money, you name it. He has ruthlessly succeeded in business for two decades and while he no longer needs to work, he gets off on the associated drama. He loves the thrill of a fast take-over or money made quickly and effectively, regardless of what other corporation or career goes down in the process. He is the type of man you would never wish to cross in business or life. He's an eye for an eye kind of guy, and will do everything in his own power to see that 'justice' happens. Never with violence, but quietly and effectively.
He was married for almost ten years, but found he wasn't good at it. He has disowned his grown son. He is, however, loyal to a small group of friends he has known for many years. They have a roaring good time in business and life. Their unique views are similar.
But let's cut to the chase. He is the hottest, most passionate lover I have ever known. He is insanely erotic, but dominant at all times in the bedroom. Not S&M, but simply put, he is always in control. He holds intense eye contact during sex and is a deeply passionate kisser. But if not in the throws of passion, he is not remotely touchy-feely. He can be as cold as ice, but when he is hot, he's the hottest thing I've ever known - or will ever know.
I have struggled over the past couple of years to know whether he simply withholds emotion, because of the illicit nature of our relationship or because he is a true S or P (likely P in his case). At times I have felt that he loves me insanely, and at other times I question whether he knows how to play me to get what he wants.
Additional info... He admits to:
Not understanding people
Being awkward, despite his extreme charisma
Uncomfortable living with anyone
There are many more things, but for the sake of privacy, I won't publish them here. Suffice to say, he'd get a gold star on the Hare check-list.
When I steal affection from him that isn't in the heat of the moment, he sweetly goes along, but in short order, he must soon pull away. I actually don't mind. I understand what his boundaries are. He was gentle but clear when he admitted that emotional and physical intimacy make him awkward. And yet, this man who professes to be awkward around people pursued me relentlessly for many months before landing me in the sack. I gave him every reason why we would and should never be together, but every argument I presented was counteracted with the most artful and intriguing response. It was an escalating and erotic debate that pulled me across moral boundaries I'd not crossed before. I caved, and I am no push-over. And two years out, I find that I've accepted personality traits I would never have accepted in the past, and I feel deep love and acceptance for him.
Empaths see the world through rose-colored glasses. Not this guy. He's taught me lessons in life that no normal person could possibly teach. We are in an insanely unique relationship and our cerebral connection is extreme. We spend hours discussing everything imaginable, including his highly checkered past. We also share a mutual zest for life and I don't judge or seek to change him. For clear and obvious reasons, I should fear him, but I don't. Through him I find clarity. I don't ever enrage him. I've learned patience, control and understanding like never before. I love him unconditionally and I loathe to admit that my interaction with my antisocial has made me a better person.
Tell me something: Can a sociopath truly love another, in their own way? He has never been unkind or cruel to me. He is brutally honest about who and what he is, although I've never asked him directly if he is a psychopath. I think I'm afraid of the blunt response that might be forthcoming. He does admit to being antisocial.
I sometimes think that if he is a P or S that he's hit the pot of gold in the relationship world. I have accepted every unique, wonderful and dark thing about him. I just want to know what I'm dealing with. I'm not even sure I would run if he is a sociopath. I get so much out of the relationship, in terms of intelligent and shrewd conversation and hot sex, that I seem compelled to stay for my own selfish reasons.
Thanks for any advice/thoughts/analysis you may have. I figure it's best to get it straight from the horse's mouth.
We have since split up. It was a tricky break-up for me, but clean for him. He brought down the hatchet quickly, and I didn't have a moment to respond. It took a couple of months, but he finally made contact and we have departed on good terms.
When I wrote the original letter, I was pretty sure of what I was dealing with, and I've researched more since then, and hung around this board. I no longer question what he is, and sadly, I better understand his capacity to feel the same things that I feel. But I'd love to hear feedback, particularly now that it is definitively over. But the 'over' was done with class and style from both sides, despite the chilling and brutal silence before-hand.
And finally, please tell me, is it ever really done with a psychopath? I should wish and hope for that, but sadly, I miss the excitement. I miss the ride. I miss the wild and hot sex and I miss him. Maybe I'm just a sucker with my own issues and low boredom threshold, complete with the need for drama and entertainment, but I loved the bastard. Truly, I did. It would be easier to feel anger after his abrupt dismissal, but I don't and will never fault him for what he is. And for what he is, he's damn good at it.