You've helped me a great deal in the past when I was having to deal with my ex-husband. Your advice is golden and we're on good terms probably because you have showed me through your site exactly where he is coming from. We now get along better than we ever did when we were married.
I've been working with a psychologist who specializes in personality disorders and I talk to women who have been involved with sociopaths. Largely they are very unwilling to step out of the victim's role, which I think is the only way to recover from being taken for such a ride. I think much of the damage they suffer from has come from having someone torn out of their life so harshly. The unanimous advice when it comes from recovering from a sociopath is "run and don't look back".
This way of approaching the situation creates either a victim or something to be chased, neither of which seem productive to anyone involved. The small few willing to try a new route and learn about this way of thinking benefit greatly whether they remain in contact with their sociopath or not. Unlike those who readily accept the victim's mentality, they learn a new value system and can appreciate in themselves what the sociopath saw in them. They learn to once again value the person and not reduce them to a label like what goes on at the lovefraud website.
I always encourage women to keep their sociopaths in their lives if they think they can handle it. This involves accepting them for who they are and not expecting typical reactions or relying on areas that have previously been problems (I will never again count on my ex-husband to be on time with his payments or expect that he will not cheat on his current and future spouses). I've never seen a sociopath "get fixed" (I personally don't think anything is broken) but I have seen the positive effects of having someone who understands and can help re-direct potentially dangerous energy.
I completely reject that sociopaths don't have feelings, I think they have more intense emotions than empaths because they are entirely their own, not diluted by whatever else is around. It is harder to create an emotion entirely from scratch than to just pick up on someone else's and add to it, so these true emotions are much more rare. If you allow a sociopath to be himself, you get to be part of all of this. This is one of the reasons I prefer to be around such company. I think it's entirely possible to create a mutually beneficial relationship that will be unlike any other.
This approach is almost always rejected by the doctors I have talked to, despite huge success I've had in my own life and in my field research. I've been told this is too dangerous, that I'm still being taken for a ride if I think "these people" have anything to offer me and that no good can come from such relationships. I do not think I can have any effect working with psychologists and therapists because I'm going up against a whole establishment and have no credentials, the only thing I have is a very open mind.
Do you think this approach, changing your perceptions to change your relationship is progressive? I realize that most will not want to be close to someone who has hurt them but for the ones like me, nothing can be more healing or enlightening. I value your opinion more than anyone in the entire field and I would love to know what you think the most effective method of being able to help people would be if you approve.
Thank you for everything you do, you have helped so many and you are among my favorite people in the world for doing it.
M.E.: I think you are spot on. I think the advice that specialists are giving to sociopaths and people involved with sociopaths is rubbish (for the most part). It's too bad that there are so many basic misunderstandings about the nature of sociopaths. And I agree with you that sociopaths have a unique perspective that can actually be beneficial to people who ar able to understand and appreciate it.