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Finding meaning in the betrayal by the sociopath

When we realize that we’ve been involved with a sociopath, and that person has callously betrayed us, we inevitably ask, “Why? Why did this happen to me?”

To help find the answer, one of the books that Lovefraud recommends is The Betrayal Bond—Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships, by Patrick J. Carnes, Ph.D. The book explains the deep psychological wounds caused by trauma, and offers a way for us to identify and overcome abusive relationships that we may have experienced.

When I read the book, I was struck by what Carnes wrote on page 68:

My experience with survivors of trauma is that every journey of recovery depends on the survivor coming to a point where all that person has gone through means something.

I believe there is meaning in what we have experienced at the hands of sociopaths. Here it is: The object of the exercise is to force us to jettison mistaken beliefs about ourselves.

Promising to fill the void

When sociopaths come into our lives, they snag us by promising to fill some void. For most of us on Lovefraud, the void is our missing soul mate, but sociopaths can also promise career success, monetary rewards, spiritual enlightenment—any number of things. (Please note: This dynamic doesn’t quite apply when sociopaths are family members.)

Sociopaths are experts at identifying our vulnerabilities and exploiting them. So the question becomes, why do we have the vulnerabilities in the first place? Here’s where the mistaken beliefs come in.

We believe we cannot attract a fulfilling romance.

We believe people only want us when we do something for them.

We believe we cannot succeed through our own efforts.

We believe we aren’t good enough.

We believe we are unlovable.

We believe there’s something wrong with us.

We believe we cannot cope with life by ourselves.

We believe other people come before ourselves.

We believe someone will come and make all our troubles disappear.

These just a few of the erroneous beliefs that create voids within us. Where do they come from? Perhaps from abuse in our past, as outlined in The Betrayal Bond.Perhaps they come from simple misperceptions. In any event, the sociopath steps right in to fill them.

Feel free to add your own mistaken beliefs to the list.

Critical juncture

So the sociopaths make promises—and break every one of them. At some point we wake up, come out of the fog, and realize that our lives have crumbled into piles of debris. That’s when we ask why? Why did this happen to me?

This is a critical juncture. We can certainly blame the sociopath—they are evil, and they deserve to be blamed. We can say it was fate, or luck, which is sometimes true—there are sociopaths who randomly assault or kill people. But in most of our cases, we believed the sociopath, went along with the charade, for a period of time. Why did we do this?

If we can find the answer to this question, we can discover the meaning in the betrayal by the sociopath.

As much as I hate to admit it, I did benefit from the destruction wrought by the sociopath I married. I am not the same person that I was before him—I am wiser, healthier and happier.

Why? Because I found and released all those mistaken beliefs.

Yes, it was painful. Yes, it was traumatic. But by looking for the meaning and undertaking the healing journey, my life is now much richer than it ever was.



432 Comments on "Finding meaning in the betrayal by the sociopath"

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  1. geminigirl says:

    EB I think were all BAD TO THE BONE!!!
    Love, MamaGem.XXoooooXXXXXXXX



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  2. ErinBrock says:

    Conomo….
    WHY would you step right out and use the word you just offered an appology for immediately after offering an appology???

    And I have NO idea what your referring to in the 4:50am post referring to tenacity.

    Seriously, I think it’s time for bed…..put the wine glass down and nighty night!



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  3. conomo says:

    The reason is that it came as natural.

    Tenacity is a good thing…I think your tenacity is what helps you persecute your spath.

    Without a doubt …….but it’s up to me to put it down



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  4. conomo says:

    Coller/Roller Coaster??? Sorry really think I should say thank you



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  5. conomo says:

    Not quite sure why I’m trying to vindicate myself yet again…but I am thankful for the education I received. I wish you all honesty, acceptance and healing..

    I am not sure why “swear” words should preclude a conversation, especially under the circumstances.

    Now I am thinking /// I know you have no duties



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  6. silvermoon says:

    Sometimes, what is left is to just move on.
    I discovered the fantasy.
    I grieved for it.

    I looked at my part and saw where he connected with my ideas about my own defficiency and proposed to love bomb thouse wounded places in exchange for a free ride to conduct his own business: womanizing other people.

    Now there is the therapy and self examination and reprograming.

    Soon, there will be the ending of the legal realtionship.

    And then, its done.

    Kind of like being on the beach after a storm. the weather is clear and bright and the sea is calm again but everybody is talking about the storm last night….

    Well, it is the best time to pick up shells.

    And so this day is about picking up the shells. And listening to the ocean in them. Because the waves come and go relentlessly. That is what the ocean does.

    It is a rythmn of the natural world. A simple, powerful,known thing that the waves keep coming.

    The storm for now has subsided and in coming out to inspect the damage and make repairs I see that the landscape has changed. Beaches never stay the same.

    Yes, he filled my needs handsomely. He knew just where and how. And it made me feel happy as long as I believed that he was true.

    The storm came on the discovery of what in fact is true and now has subsided as I accept the facts, make and execute the decisions to act, heal and move on.

    Here we are on the beach and we say to one another “wow, what a storm! It took the roof off MY house and blew away the fences and sucked 6 feet off the beach-Wow”.

    It is an incredible experience. And everyday, it is diminished by that much.

    I am reminded of TS Elliot’s poem about spiritually exhausted people- Prufrock…….

    I grow old … I grow old … 120
    I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

    Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
    I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
    I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

    I do not think that they will sing to me. 125

    I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
    Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
    When the wind blows the water white and black.

    We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
    By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown 130
    Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

    Today begins quietly
    Sea calm
    Winds fair
    Visibility unlimited

    The lesson is about how to get from there to here-

    Remember Toy Story when Woody says to Buzz Lightyear:
    “That’s not flying, that’s falling:with Style”

    Well, it may not be a day to fly, but it just might be a good day.

    See you on the beach?



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  7. kim frederick says:

    Thanks for that Silver. I think that healing comes from having faith that the “mermaids WILL sing to us.”
    I have always loved that poem, and I think that is the saddest line.
    How ’bout this from ol’ T.S.:
    April is the cruellest month, breeding
    Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
    Memory and desire, stirring
    Dull roots with spring rain…..

    That speaks to me of cycles, and regeneration..Rebirth, hope.
    But also of sadness and loss, of coming out of the numbness and fog….

    That is from, “The Waste Land” if anyone would like to access it…………Let’s all have a wondrous, healing day.



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  8. one_step_at_a_time says:

    Kim – T.S. was a master at conveying grief…this exerpt is simply stunning.

    hugs.

    one step



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  9. silvermoon says:

    K +1,

    Love the exceprt and will reread it. I love TS.

    Yes, faith, hope and love.

    And the greatest of these is love…

    It IS a great day!



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