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Why sociopaths cheat

young couple conflictLovefraud received an email from a reader whom we’ll call “Ingrid.” She brought up a question that I’ve heard over and over:

Just wondering if you could tell me why sometimes they stay with others longer as I feel he wants this new woman for his main supply even though he was trying for a baby with me,  what does a main supply have that I didn’t? He seems settled with her.

Ingrid, most sociopaths cheat on their romantic partners. In fact, they are often cheating throughout the entire relationship, but it may take you a while to find out about it. Or you may have caught hints that the sociopaths were cheating, but they were able to explain the situations away. Eventually, however, you have so much evidence that you can no longer ignore their infidelity, even if they keep lying about it.

Admitting the truth to yourself, you are hurt and angry at their betrayal. You may also feel that in some way you were not “good enough,” and that’s why the sociopath strayed. The sociopath may actually tell you that — but don’t believe it.

What you need to understand is that sociopaths will cheat regardless of who your are or what you do.

Here is the basic truth: Sociopaths engage in romantic relationships not for love, but for exploitation. If a sociopath engages in a romantic relationship, it’s because the romantic partner is a target who has something that the sociopath wants.   

So what does the sociopath want? It could be anything. Here are some possibilities:

1. Sex. Even if you are having regular, rambunctious sex with the sociopath, he or she  will always be looking for a new sexual adventure. The new target may not be younger or more attractive — it’s just someone different.

2. Money. Many sociopaths are always on the lookout for someone whom they can scam for money. This is especially true if you are running low on funds because the sociopath has already convinced you to spend all your cash and run up your credit cards.

3. Housing. Sociopaths may like the new target’s accommodations better than yours. Or, the sociopaths may suspect that you’re getting ready to kick them to the curb, so they need a backup plan for living arrangements.

4.  Connections. Sociopaths are frequently cooking up some “deal” or “project” — code for a scam — and the new target may know someone who knows someone who could be talked into participating.

5. Entertainment. Sociopaths sometimes start romantic pursuits for the fun of it, just to see if they can catch the target. This often happens with online involvements. Sociopaths keep sending texts and emails, proclaim love, promise to get together — and never show up. They never planned to show up — the whole involvement is nothing but a game. 

These are just a few of the possible reasons sociopaths cheat. The truth is sociopaths do not even need a reason. The cheating may simply be that an opportunity presents itself and the sociopath pounces.

Sociopaths are incapable of love

If your romantic partner exhibits most or all of the the key symptoms of a sociopath, and you discover cheating, please don’t ask yourself, “What does that person have that I don’t have?”

Despite what sociopaths said in the past, they don’t love you and they never did, because they are incapable of love. So a new target just means that the sociopath has found someone else to exploit.

No happily ever after

So Ingrid, please understand:

1. There is no point in being a sociopath’s “main supply.” The main supply is just someone who has more to lose to the sociopath.

2. Perhaps the new target does have something that you didn’t have. Again, it means she has something else that the sociopath wants to take. This is not good for her.

3. If the sociopath seems “settled,” it’s only because the sociopath is engaged in a full-court press to snag the new target. Once she has been drained of everything the sociopath wants, she, too, will be discarded.

When sociopaths move on to new targets, you may want to feel sorry for them, but not jealous. No one lives happily ever after with a sociopath. All involvements are bad; it’s just a matter of how much damage the sociopath inflicts.



103 Comments on "Why sociopaths cheat"

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  1. slimone says:

    catnoch, Jan7, and All…

    Boy Jan, you really identified something that totally alluded my consciousness, years ago when I was going through the ‘withdrawl’ phase of the betrayal.

    For a brief time I was ‘happy’ that S was trying to contact me. What I didn’t really understand was that knowing he was trying and me not responding was still part of the ‘game’. However, in my confusion I thought this meant that he actually cared about me and felt ‘connected’ Even though every time I listened to his voicemail, or read an email I felt HORRIBLE. It was so painful and depressing. It was very difficult to take back all the control after relinquishing it so thoroughly.

    Luckily for me I was here, and I had a friend who insisted I change EVERYTHING and quit any contact. It really helped, and then NO contact really started.

    Initially this scared me, as I felt completely cut off from the pattern of contact I had with him, and because I felt like I needed to keep track of him so I would be safe. I worried that not knowing what he was up to would work against me (HA, HA…like I EVER really knew what he was up to!). Plus, once I really went no contact I HAD to face the lie that he was, and that our ‘relationship’ was. I could no longer entertain any fantasy that he cared for me. I also had to come to realize I didn’t even know him, so my own love was misspent. This was a painful process.

    But after not too long a time the fear and ‘addiction’ feelings subsided, and I started really being able to put my life back together.



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    • steps says:

      OMG slimone! you also brought me back to the “withdrawl” phase. He would call me, try to see me, take me out and I thought, oh he’s really sorry things worked out they way they did and i FELT BAD for him. Pathetic. I wanted to believe that he felt remorse and regret for his actions, and wanted to be a better person. I convinced myself I was too hard on him and needed to just lighten up. He would try to convince me I looked at the negatives of our relationship while he looked at the positives. Well, that’s probably because I didn’t cheat on him.

      It’s another form of love bombing– texting, calling, trying to find any connection that will bring you back into the web. Now I don’t pick up his calls and don’t speak to him when I see him. It’s awkward, I wish it wasn’t like this but it is.

      You’re right that the more distance you have the more you clear your mind and realize it will never change.

      That just really brought me back and reminded me of the excuses I would make for him. And Remembertoforget, I don’t care anymore either! It’s freedom!!!

      Thank you all!



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      • NoMoreWool says:

        I too would second guess myself – maybe I was wrong about the sociopath, look at the apologies and sad behavior! But without fail if I maintained the grey rock and refused to take the pity bait, the sociopath would turn and unleash a wave of nasty on me. Now that I have taken away the last tool the sociopath had to try to manipulate me, there is no more pretense of being some pathetic misunderstood paragon who would love me forever. The sociopath has moved on to a new game and I hope I am forgotten in the dust.



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    • twiceinalifetime says:

      well said. Sounds like me. I finally have started the NC.



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  2. Remembertoforget says:

    Slim, and you guys,

    Me too, same here. It wasn’t until about this month that I stopped wondering if he would one day call my job, because i’m the one that answers. FINALLY, I no longer care!!!

    WooHoo!

    Thank you guys!!!!!!

    Xxxooo



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  3. catnoch says:

    Jan7:

    I know I have this sick addition for him and I am kicking the habit slowly. Today he caught me off guard and used yet another number. Because I was waiting for a call back from someone I picked up. He begged me to listen for one minute. Again he wants back and told me he loves me deep and wanted to know if I still loved him. I told him I can no longer speak with him and his game is over. Once again he was using his tactic of trying to make me jealous and I pointed out I was aware of his tactic. He once again gave an ultimatum and I said GOODBYE!

    What I heard in this conversation was a very different voice. It appeared to be more lucid, clear and cunning. When I got off the phone I thought what is he really up to? I believe he wants to get even somehow and desperately trying to manipulate me once more. Also his meal ticket is now cut off and perhaps after two weeks and not getting another hook on the line he will hit two birds with one stone. He gets me back until he is able to secure another sucker and meanwhile get even for what I did to him.

    I read an article today that states he may be so angry that one way or another he will get even because he believes I wronged him even though it is the other way around. That the socio/psycho will one way or another get even so it is best to let them think it is they who did the breaking up Also, it said it may take 3 to 6 months to completely get them out of your life. My family will not allow me to be with him ever again. I hate to change my numbers because it is such a pain because I have gotten in trouble with bills and doctors because of it. I don’t know who has my cell or home number. I am pretty strong now and I know what I don’t want.

    He was cut out of my life the day I packed him up. He would have to get counseling, leave his family and perhaps get another job to make a few more dollars. Furthermore, I have not forgotten he made my skin crawl. I know there is a danger to even hearing his voice, but now that I am aware of the mechanism and the affects it has had on me, I cannot take the chance of endangering my health further. In time he will give up.

    Thanks once again.



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    • Jan7 says:

      Catnoch, your welcome. I am glad that you hear a different voice that appears more lucid, clear and cunning…for me this happened too but I realize now he was that way throughout the marriage but I just choose to turn a blind eye & “work on the marriage”….in divorce court I saw exaclty who he was throughout the marriage = pure pure evil and a pathological liar who would do anything to leave me completely destroyed.

      I have never read any article that stated “it may take 3 to 6 months” to get a sociopath out of your life. Everything I have read is cut ties immediately with the no contact rule unless you are in fear of your life then you should have an Exit Plan out of your relationship with the help of a domestic abuse center.

      Please read up on the “No Contact Rule” it really will help you to heal faster. I know it is hard to cut all ties as there is a extreme emotional bond with a sociopath that is very hard to break just like an addiction to drugs or alcohol. like some stated in a post below mine (can remember who??) but the withdraw period is not fun but once you are through it life is sooooo much better without the drama & chaos filled sociopath.

      Wishing you all the best.

      Please ask yourself this question:

      What am I getting emotionally with him still calling me?



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      • catnoch says:

        The answer is that I am lonely and depressed. This life I have is so isolating and he just makes it more pronounced. I can’t seem to do anything that will benefit “me” these days. Just going from day to day listening to voices in my head.



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        • Jan7 says:

          Hi Catnoch, we have all been where you are now. I promise you that you will be whole one day soon.

          I too was extremely lonely & depressed during my marriage and when I first left. My ex h had broken me down in spirit and physically I was exhausted from his constant mind games & gas lighting abuse. I thought that I could never walk away because of those reason who would ever want to love me in that shape I was in. He had me thinking in my mind that I could/would never have anyone else in my life…that I would always be lonely for the rest of my life. This is the mental control he gained everyday by breaking my self esteem down…just like your ex has done to you. They are masters at doing these evil games…they want to control their victims so the victims don’t leave them.

          When I finally escaped from my ex by packing my car & driving 3000 miles away, found a counselor who told me that truth that my h (now ex) was a psychopath I knew right then and their I was done.

          But the mind plays tricks on you when you have been under the mind control of a sociopath. When he did not contact me I wanted him….but when he contacted me I didn’t want him…funny how that works 🙂

          I knew he was evil, I knew he was never going to be good to me or anyone else. It was not until I finally went full no contact did my mind see him for who he truly was & at the same I knew that I needed to let go of my idea in my head of how a marriage should be….I was never going to have that kind of marriage like my parents & grandparents with this evil man I had married.

          I was lonely. But with time, educating my self on his disorder & a doctor who got my hormones balanced again & who gave me the right vitamins & minerals my body healed from the depression.These things change my thinking!! This is the missing link to fully healing = hormonal/vitamins = heals PTSD = heals adrenal fatigue.

          Don’t get me wrong I cried, sobbed, got angry (fully grieving steps) but one day I felt closer to my old self then I had in years. Now I do not feel alone…I am ok to be by myself just like the old days. YOU will get to this point you have only been out a few weeks.

          The reason why I ask you these questions is to open your mind up from your abusers mind control. They are exactly like cult leaders and we were their cult followers.

          I am glad that you answered back… because you are not alone Catnoch…we are hear for you.

          PLEASE look at the symptoms list on these website for adrenal fatigue

          Adrenalfatigue. org

          Drlam. com

          Mialundin. com (watch her you tube videos & read her book)

          Stress causes hormonal imbalance & you have been under a tremendous amount of stress from the first day this evil man walked into your life.

          PLEASE find a good Enidorcrimologist or Bio Hormonal Doctor who will test you for vitamin/mineral deficiency, hormonal imbalance, & cortisol levels.

          You must get your mind out of your head….go out for a walk in a park or your neighborhood and look at the houses, trees & flowers REALLY look at them and say what you like about them…I like the house color…or I love roses or the sky looks pretty.. This is what you have to do to “get out of your head” and for the “day to day listening to voices in my head”.

          Look at the site Meetup. com it is a site that list all of your city’s clubs, organizations, groups…find a all WOMEN group and join what ever interest you so that you connect with others. For now avoid the men/women groups because you are very vulnerable and could fall pray to another sociopath.

          I am so sorry that you are lonely, depressed & feel isolated. HUGE HUGE HUGS to you…please know we are hear for you hon.

          Keep posting here. And every time you feel sad, angry, cry, etc go up to the top of this site and read everything that Donna of LF has posted & watch her videos up there too as they will all open your mind up to the brain washing that your ex did to you.

          Take care



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          • Jan7 says:

            I just wanted to add that think about going to your local abuse center for free counseling and free women group meetings they both will help you ten fold.

          • Jan7 says:

            Hi catnoch, I posted this for “Step” but I think you should also have a look at this list of question regarding Gas lighting abuse:

            “….Gaslighting typically happens very gradually in a relationship; in fact, the abusive partner’s actions may seem harmless at first. Over time, however, these abusive patterns continue and a victim can become confused, anxious, isolated, and depressed, and they can lose all sense of what is actually happening. Then they start relying on the abusive partner more and more to define reality, which creates a very difficult situation to escape.

            In order to overcome this type of abuse, it’s important to start recognizing the signs and eventually learn to trust yourself again. According to author and psychoanalyst Robin Stern, Ph.D., the signs of being a victim of gaslighting include:

            You constantly second-guess yourself.
            You ask yourself, “Am I too sensitive?” multiple times a day.
            You often feel confused and even crazy.
            You’re always apologizing to your partner.
            You can’t understand why, with so many apparently good things in your life, you aren’t happier.
            You frequently make excuses for your partner’s behavior to friends and family.
            You find yourself withholding information from friends and family so you don’t have to explain or make excuses.
            You know something is terribly wrong, but you can never quite express what it is, even to yourself.
            You start lying to avoid the put downs and reality twists.
            You have trouble making simple decisions.
            You have the sense that you used to be a very different person – more confident, more fun-loving, more relaxed.
            You feel hopeless and joyless.
            You feel as though you can’t do anything right.
            You wonder if you are a “good enough” partner…”

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