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Why didn't I realise my perfect man was a sociopat

 
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zsazsa View Drop Down
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    Posted: Jul 27 2013 at 11:52pm
Do you know one? apparently 2/10 people are Sociopaths (I made the figure up as I can't remember LOL but it's pretty high.) I suspect my old colleague had tendencies. 

Why didn't I realise my perfect man was a sociopath?

There's a picture of me that takes my breath away. It shows me on my wedding day; flowers in my hair, laughing towards the camera as I wrap my arms around my handsome new husband. 

Cameron, my groom, is looking at me. In a green suit, with hair falling across his forehead and a broad smile on his face, he is every inch the perfect partner.

I used to think those familiar, green eyes were filled with love, but now I catch my breath when I take a closer look — they are cold and soulless. On this, the happiest day of my life, I had unwittingly given my heart to a sociopath who was later going to strip me of my dignity, strength and money.

Mel Carnegie had unwittingly given her heart to a sociopath who was later going to strip her of her dignity, strength and money

Mel Carnegie had unwittingly given her heart to a sociopath who was later going to strip her of her dignity, strength and money



I thought I’d fallen in love with the best man in the world. But Cameron had learned to mimic emotions he was expected to show in certain situations — he worked out what I was looking for and deliberately morphed into that perfect being.

An estimated 4 per cent of the population are sociopaths like Cameron — that’s 272  million people — so it’s likely many of you have had similar experiences. 

Sociopathy, otherwise known as antisocial personality disorder, is defined as ‘a pervasive pattern of disregarding the feelings of others’ which begins in childhood and continues into adulthood. 

Sociopaths usually have a lack of conscience and may also have a history of impulsive behaviour. 
But because they’re highly intelligent, entertaining and charming, they blend into society. The truth is it’s just an act. Falling in love with one will break your heart. 

 


    Five years ago, I realised I’d been married to a sociopath and started writing a blog. As a result, hundreds of women contacted me claiming they, too, were victims.  

    But let me tell you about Cameron. He was a typical sociopath: deceptive, consistently irresponsible and, worst of all, had no remorse about his actions. 

    His guise lasted for ten years until the sham crumbled and I realised I had married a monster.

    When I met him in August 1998, it was love at first sight. I was a 32-year-old single mother raising my son Dylan, three, in Sussex. I was a development coach when I signed up for a week-long team-building course and met Cameron, then 29. 

    Mel believed that he was the perfect gentleman and she could not believe she had met somebody so wonderful, but that soon changed

    Mel believed that he was the perfect gentleman and she could not believe she had met somebody so wonderful, but that soon changed

    Handsome, 6ft, with a flashy sports car, he was like a character from a Jilly Cooper novel. He smiled rakishly as he introduced himself: there was instant attraction between us. 

    He was the perfect gentleman and I could not believe I had met somebody so wonderful. 

    Four days into our course, we were sitting together when Cameron took my hand and said: ‘We’re going to be together.’ I was in heaven.

    He moved in to the three-bedroom house I shared with my son. He adored Dylan and at weekends we would stroll along the seafront like a proper family. 

    Cameron would pour me wine, buy me flowers and give me CDs of love songs. He also loved to quote romantic lines from films: his favourite was taken from Jerry Maguire: ‘You complete me.’

    I’ve since learned that quoting films or lyrics is typical sociopathic behaviour. 

    Unable to understand emotion, they watch it carefully on films, then mimic the words and actions. In her book, The Sociopath Next Door, Dr Martha Stout says a main technique of sociopaths is intense charm — and Cameron had bags of it. 

    In October 1999, we married. Cameron handed me a card which read: ‘Thank you so much for choosing me to be your husband.’ I thought it was a typical, thoughtful gesture. 

    Since talking to other victims of sociopaths around the world, I’ve realised they often write notes along these lines. 

    They relish the impact of such grand statements on paper without having to actually express them in person.

    Cameron and I launched a management training consultancy, and as business boomed we rented a flat in Manchester. Cameron started to go up during the week to manage clients, while I stayed in Sussex. He would email with huge red letters which said: ‘I love you for ever.’  

    In August 2002, we went on holiday to Corfu — and suddenly my loving husband seemed distant. When we made love, it was mechanical and rather than wrap his arms around me he would shrug me away.  When I asked him if there was something wrong, he blurted out: ‘I just don’t feel the same way about you.’ 

     Sociopaths usually have a lack of conscience and may also have a history of impulsive behaviour. But because they’re highly intelligent, entertaining and charming, they blend into society. The truth is it’s just an act. Falling in love with one will break your heart

    I asked if he had someone else and he exploded with rage. When he apologised later, he said he felt I was so strong I made him feel useless. This kind of manipulation, blame and guilt are all typical tools of a sociopath. 

    When we got back I logged into his email account. On it, I found a note sent to an old male school friend via the Friends Reunited website. 

    ‘Great to reconnect. I could still beat you in the gym — and with the girls. Just left one on the South Coast to live with another in Manchester!’

    I’ve never known anguish like it. Cameron sent that email, but it was as if it was written by a stranger. 

    The swaggering style and the fact he had another woman. Over the next two days I could not eat or sleep. I rang Cameron and said: ‘I know about your other woman. Do you have anything to say?’ 

    There was a pause, then Cameron replied: ‘No.’ No emotion, no remorse, he simply ended our call by saying ‘OK’, as if I’d asked him to buy milk.

    As a typical sociopath, Cameron could feel no real emotion. With no conscience or empathy, sociopaths don’t respond as others do. In fact, Dr Robert Hare, the world’s leading expert on sociopath behaviour, says the only emotion they feel is annoyance they have been found out.  

    To this day, I don’t know how Cameron persuaded me to get back together with him a few months afterwards. He convinced me he still loved me, and he’d had a breakdown which he was embarrassed about. 

    I ached to be back with him and, after weeks of pleading, I agreed to give our marriage another go. When he suggested we buy a farmhouse in France and move there, I instantly said yes. 
    Looking back, I realise Cameron wanted to isolate me from my friends. 

    The move also gave him another false identity. He started boasting he was bilingual — he spoke schoolboy French — and strode around like the lord of the manor. I ignored it because I was thrilled to have my warm and loving husband back. 

    Sometimes I would rage at him and scream and cry, but he was so apologetic, telling me his cheating was a one-off and a horrible mistake. 

    I discovered my seemingly devoted husband had been on sex sites and for 18 months had even had a profile on a singles website describing himself as fit, 40 and flirty (stock image)

    I discovered my seemingly devoted husband had been on sex sites and for 18 months had even had a profile on a singles website describing himself as fit, 40 and flirty (stock image)

    In December 2008, Cameron was going for a few days of skiing when I noticed he’d been using Facebook on my laptop and hadn’t signed off. 

    A message popped up in and I spotted lots of kisses. I saw, to my horror, a list of flirty emails sent by Cameron to another woman. My eyes filled with tears as I read: ‘I missed the chance for a dance, another time,’ and, ‘I hope I might have been less of a gentleman if we danced...’ 

    His last message made me retch. He boasted: ‘I am what you call in married land — for now.’ 

    I contacted our mutual friends and one of them told him what I’d found. He never returned home. 
    The last I heard from him was a one-line email sent that week saying he was innocent of any wrongdoing, to which I replied: ‘Lies, lies, lies.’ 

    A few days later I discovered my seemingly devoted husband had been on sex sites and for 18 months had even had a profile on a singles website describing himself as fit, 40 and flirty.

    After that we spoke only through lawyers. I divorced my husband and haven’t heard from him since that email. I couldn’t believe how stupid I’d been taking him back: his cunning deception had been so convincing I’d fallen for it.

    Dylan is at university now and I’ve not found real love since my marriage ended four years ago. One day, I still hope to meet an honest man. But the experience has scarred me. 

    I’d like to warn others about the dangers of sociopaths — once they set their sights on you as a target, you will feel loved like never before. 

    But even in love, if something appears too good to be true, it probably is.

    THE 10 DANGER SIGNS

    Sociopath expert Dr Robert Hare has devised the following checklist to help people recognise sociopathic traits.  


    1. SUPERFICIAL charm. Smooth, engaging and charming, a sociopath will never become tongue-tied or embarrassed.


    2. OVER-INFLATED sense of self-worth. Sociopaths believe they are superior human beings.


    3. PRONE to boredom. They feel the need to be stimulated constantly.


    4. PATHOLOGICAL liars. Sociopaths will be deceptive and dishonest.


    5. MANIPULATIVE. They will say and do anything to deceive and cheat others. 


    6. LACK of remorse. No sense of the suffering of their victims.


    7. LIMITED range of feelings. Don’t expect them to express anything other than happiness or sadness. 


    8. CALLOUS. Cold, contemptuous, inconsiderate and tactless are apt words to describe them.


    9. THEY live a parasitic lifestyle. Sociopaths are often financially dependent on others.


    10. THEY can’t control their behaviour. When challenged, sociopaths will appear irritable, annoyed and impatient.



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    Limalady View Drop Down
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (10) Thanks(10)   Quote Limalady Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 28 2013 at 12:00am
    Daily Mail articles are so terribly written. It doesn't sound like he was a sociopath. It sounds like he was a cheater. I still don't understand what made him a sociopath. Yeah, sometimes he didn't display emotion. Maybe he was just cold. She thinks he pretended to display emotion for 10 years? Ok.
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    zsazsa View Drop Down
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote zsazsa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 28 2013 at 12:06am
    Yeah the DM is horrific when it comes to articles, I tend to just look at celeb pictures. 

    A sociopath and a Narcissist - what is the difference?! I read that article thinking it's the same as a narcissist.  
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (9) Thanks(9)   Quote AshBash89 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 28 2013 at 12:13am
    I'm pretty sure that we have a few on BHM.
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (5) Thanks(5)   Quote Lonisha87 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 28 2013 at 12:15am
    Um, he doesn't seem like a sociopath. Just a cheating douche
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Limalady Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 28 2013 at 12:16am
    Originally posted by zsazsa zsazsa wrote:

    Yeah the DM is horrific when it comes to articles, I tend to just look at celeb pictures. 

    A sociopath and a Narcissist - what is the difference?! I read that article thinking it's the same as a narcissist.  
     
     
    Well, usually sociopaths display anti-social behavior, because they are incapable of emotion. She believes that her ex-husband was highly intelligent, and thus studied and mimicked emotion for over 10 years. I think he was a cold, narcissistic, cheating, scumbag, but not a sociopath. 
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (17) Thanks(17)   Quote mizzsandra00 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 28 2013 at 12:18am
    White women are so dramatic.......charge it to the game and move on......
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote niecy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 28 2013 at 12:23am
    Well based off this article's definition of a sociopath I know quite a few
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Limalady Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 28 2013 at 12:23am
    Originally posted by mizzsandra00 mizzsandra00 wrote:

    White women are so dramatic.......charge it to the game and move on......

    Yeah, it seems like she thinks that because he didn't break down and cry when she confronted him about cheating, that he was a sociopath. Also the fact that he claimed to love her, but carried on various extra martial affairs. The lack of remorse seems to bother her, but I don't think he qualifies. Sociopaths are generally anti-social. Going on facebook, maintaining various affairs, having friends is contradictory to the nature of sociopaths. She believes he studied and mimicked these patterns to fool people, but it seems more logical that he just wasn't a sociopath. Confused 

    For those that want a definition...
     
    Sociopath: A person with a psychopathic personality whose behavior is antisocialoften criminal, and 
    who lacks asense of moral responsibility or social conscience.
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JamCaygirl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jul 28 2013 at 12:31am
    Originally posted by mizzsandra00 mizzsandra00 wrote:

    White women are so dramatic.......charge it to the game and move on......

    this.

    Got me thinking of this story, where the woman had to have known she was marrying a sociopath but did it anyway.... some women just ignore the obvious signs...

    Very biased article but echoed my sentiments...

    Wrong Choice, Bad Love: Why Bernadette Sugrim Makes Me Scream

    April 20, 2012 By Joanne McPortland 50 Comments

    This morning I did something I thought I’d never find myself doing. Watching the TODAY Show, I screamed at a woman who had been emotionally abused by her husband. And if I could scream at her in person, I would.

    There was Bernadette Sugrim, blow-dried and made-up and smiling, seated on the interview couch with her two children, talking to an empathetic Matt Lauer about how she had claimed the courage last summer, after years of marriage, to turn her husband in to the police–not for beating her, which he didn’t unless she got in the way while he was beating their children, and not for tying their 11-year-old daughter to the family dog and beating her to ribbons with a martial arts stick, which he did, but for the brutal murder of a prostitute he had committed in the family van and told Bernadette about . . . in 2003.

    Besham Sugrim wouldn’t be in prison today for that murder, or even for scarring his child because she failed to discipline the dog to his exacting standards, had the daughter not had enough. She managed to escape the beating and ran to a neighbor’s house. The neighbor called police, the first time authorities had been involved in the Sugrim marriage. Afraid not for her children–whom she hopes will maintain a relationship with their father because he was always so good at getting them to excel academically–but for her own safety (she says Besham told her he would kill her if the police were ever brought in), Bernadette told police they should look into the unsolved murder from 2003.

    That 8-year secret is bad enough. Women, even very smart, very capable women who profess to love their children, stay with abusive and violent men all the time, relying on the flawed economy of victimhood that says there’s too much invested in the relationship to disturb the pattern of abuse. But that wasn’t the only secret Bernadette Sugrim was carrying for her husband. Way back in 1996, when they were first dating, she watched him break her brother’s nose and break both legs of another brother. And she listened as he confessed to killing a man–a homeless man in the last stages of AIDS whom his parents had taken in to care for–just because he felt like it.

    It wasn’t fear that drove her to keep that first secret, or to go ahead and marry Besham. It was, she told Matt Lauer solemnly, love. “You know how it is when you love someone,” she smiled, as the camera cut away to show photos of the young couple nuzzling. “He loved me so much. He really needed me.” That’s when I started screaming.

    It gets worse. In an extensive interview with Kalamazoo Gazette reporter Ursula Zerilli in February, Bernadette goes into her motives for staying with Besham at great length. The fear is utterly unconvincing. What rings true is romanticized, self-aggrandizing crap like this:

    “For the first 10 years of our marriage, I felt I was put into his life,” Bernadette said. “It was my responsibility to make him a better person. I thought my love would be enough to break that. It bothered me for a long time that I wasn’t able to do anything for him or change him.”

    Throughout those years, this is how Bernadette Sugrim helped her husband become a better man: She let him try to pin the blame for the 1996 murder on his father, whom they both disliked. She watched him beat his foster mother into unconsciousness after the foster mother kicked the young couple out of her house, and then stepped over the woman and complained because she was going into labor with their first child and they had nowhere to live. She looked up at the police information photo of the murdered prostitute while applying for a handgun permit so her husband could elude gun-control laws, knowing she was aiding in arming a double murderer. She stood by while he regularly beat their children bloody with a whip. She concealed her husband’s status as an illegal alien, because if he were deported what would happen to her? She wrote a letter to her best friend to be opened in the event of her own death, suggesting that if there was suspicion of foul play the police should look at Besham for her murder (but making no mention of his other crimes). When asked how she was able to justify all this, Bernadette said, “I learned not to let it eat away at me. I put it out of my mind. I couldn’t survive if I thought about it all the time.”

    Besham Sugrim is, by his own admission, an evil man. But what made me scream at the television is the fact that no one seems to be admitting Bernadette’s cooperation in that evil, which may even outdo his. By putting the knowledge of his crimes out of her mind–consciously, continually, for the sake of her own ability to live with herself in the comfort of an anesthetized conscience and to sustain the fuzzy teenage dream of love–Bernadette is complicit. She abused her children more viciously than their father did. She as much as murdered the young woman Besham battered to death in 2003, by not immediately reporting the 1996 murder. But of course those two victims–an old man dying of AIDS, a drug-addicted hooker–weren’t really people. They weren’t worthy of love or saving. They weren’t worth letting it eat away at Bernadette, who now sits on Matt Lauer’s couch and talks about how great it is to finally live stress-free and enjoy herself.

    If it weren’t for Bernadette Sugrim’s 11-year-old daughter, though, who knows how many more disposable victims this “love” would have claimed? The problem is, I don’t think the daughter escaped far enough. She’s still with Bernadette, who wants her and her brother to have good memories of their father. When Matt Lauer asked the girl this morning what was going through her mind when she ran to the neighbor’s house, she licked her glossed lips and stammered. “I don’t really remember,” she finally said. “It was really just a fast blur.” It’s not likely to get less confusing, as Bernadette now thinks her daughter’s testifying against her father in court was “good practice” in overcoming stage fright for the singing career she has planned. The girl has already written a song about her father’s crimes.

    It’s tempting to generalize from this story, to talk about how our society makes it so easy for a woman to prioritize a man’s love over a child’s welfare, so easy to justify even the most heinous crimes on the basis of “what’s best for me.” It’s easy for me to scream at the media’s making Bernadette Sugrim a victim and and a heroine (she’ll be the focus of an NBC Dateline episode tonight), when what she is is a monster. But that won’t do much good. All I can do is refute, with every fiber of my being, Bernadette’s message.

    When Matt Lauer asked her this morning what the “takeaway” from all this is, what words of advice Bernadette Sugrim might have for other women in similar circumstances (even Matt had to catch himself–he started to say, “in the same circumstances,” but realized quickly that no one is), she smiled into the camera and had the audacity to say that she just wanted to tell women “not to let fear paralyze you, like I did, even though you have no choice.”

    Women, sisters, mothers, daughters, you always have a choice. Even if your ability to choose freely becomes limited over time by the pattern of abuse, by drugs, by violence, by literal captivity–which was the case for Bernadette’s children, but not for herself–you have a choice at that first moment. When Bernadette’s boyfriend first told her he killed someone, she had a choice. She chose wrong. And kept on choosing wrong. That wasn’t love, ladies. That was sin, and once you nuzzle up to it it’ll paralyze you worse than fear, and hurt you and your children worse than any beating.

    I just hope Bernadette’s daughter can hear me screaming. Run for your life, sweetie, and keep on running.


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