Why I believe I dated a Sociopath: An Analysis

This is the final installment of the Sugar Saga, related to “I think I dated a Sociopath…”and “I believe I dated a Sociopath…”

Now, dear Readers, I know I made some strong claims in the titles of the previous entries labeling Sugar as a sociopath. I claimed to have observed one of the most interesting case studies in maladaptive behaviors. Here, I will translate my observations of Sugar’s behaviors and the testimony of others into an unofficial psych profile.

Disclaimer: I’m fully aware that I am not a trained professional. This analysis holds no true merit. Please accept this as purely an exercise in personal catharsis and nothing more. Perhaps my experience and analysis will help others dealing with an unhealthy relationship and I hope it gives them the courage and resolve to take paths toward a healthier and happier life. I’m happy just to get it out and let it go.

What is a Sociopath?

Antisocial Personality Disorder Overview by Derek Wood, RN, BSN, PhD Candidate, asserts the following:

  • Antisocial Personality Disorder results in what is commonly known as a Sociopath.
  • People with this disorder appear to be charming at times, and make relationships, but to them, these are relationships in name only. They are ended whenever necessary or when it suits them, and the relationships are without depth or meaning, including marriages. They seem to have an innate ability to find the weakness in people, and are ready to use these weaknesses to their own ends through deceit, manipulation, or intimidation, and gain pleasure from doing so.
  • They appear to be incapable of any true emotions, from love to shame to guilt. They are quick to anger, but just as quick to let it go, without holding grudges. No matter what emotion they state they have, it has no bearing on their future actions or attitudes.

If you read the previous articles, you might see how I would lean into this particular diagnosis from those few excerpts alone. But being thorough is my forte so I found another reputable resource from which to build my analysis. According to the Mayo Clinic, Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD) has the following signs and symptoms:

  • Disregard for right and wrong
  • Persistent lying or deceit to exploit others
  • Being callous, cynical and disrespectful of others
  • Using charm or wit to manipulate others for personal gain or personal pleasure
  • Arrogance, a sense of superiority and being extremely opinionated
  • Recurring problems with the law, including criminal behavior
  • Repeatedly violating the rights of others through intimidation and dishonesty
  • Impulsiveness or failure to plan ahead
  • Hostility, significant irritability, agitation, aggression or violence
  • Lack of empathy for others and lack of remorse about harming others
  • Unnecessary risk-taking or dangerous behavior with no regard for the safety of self or others
  • Poor or abusive relationships
  • Failure to consider the negative consequences of behavior or learn from them
  • Being consistently irresponsible and repeatedly failing to fulfill work or financial obligations


Disregard for right and wrong and persistent lying or deceit to exploit others

Sugar had suggested I lie on several occasions when I would talk to him about things going on in my life. Sometimes he would tell me, “just say [something related but not relevant]” and while it could be considered a true statement, it wasn’t an honest one. At first, I didn’t think too much on it because it seemed sweet that he was invested in helping me with my problems but I would hardly ever heed his advice unless it was to say nothing at all, which I did too often in hindsight. (Omission of truth is still dishonesty.)

I explained in Part One that I had lied to his wife after asking him how I should proceed. After that incident, I expressed to him that I was not comfortable with being dishonest and I would not lie for him again. When we reconciled, he was up for his Promotion Board. On the day of, he messaged me stating he was missing pieces of his dress uniform and requested I go to the shop on post to purchase them because he couldn’t leave the boardroom waiting area. If you are unfamiliar with military installation protocols, you must have a military member or federal employee sponsor you if you are a civilian.

I was able to procure a visitors pass to gain access to the base under my credentials as a citizen in good standing with the law because I was being sponsored by Sugar. But I had no privileges to making purchases on base as items are tax exempt and generally at discounted prices as a perk for serving our country. Transactions begin with clerks asking for your federal identification.

When he asked me to procure these items for him, he told me to “just say you left your id at home”. I told him to make other arrangements just in case because I knew that he needed these items as soon as possible but was aware that my inability to lie might hinder me from being able to procure them. I proceeded to the shop and when asked for my identification by the clerk, I explained honestly why I was there and why I was purchasing them without proper sponsorship. She was kind and made an exception for me. I thanked her profusely and felt proud of myself for being able to fulfill Sugar’s request being completely honest.

When I asked him where I should go to give him the uniform adornments, he told me not to worry about it and that he would have to go without them, there was not enough time anymore. So I went back home and began to stew on his casual suggestion to lie, and I realized it was because it was something he needed and he didn’t care what position it would put me in to have to lie for him, again.

Back when his wife had discovered he was with me in Oklahoma through Facebook, she had asked him who I was and why I was tagging him and checking in with him places. He told her I was just a friend from a running club (OKC W3H3 – A kennel of the Hash House Harriers). I had introduced him to this club because I wanted him to attend those activities and knew I wanted to continue being a part of their beautiful boozy world. (We’re a drinking club with a running problem.) The lie was that I was just a friend and he wrapped it in truth to secure his lie.

He lied to his local girl fiancee about the paternity of his child, same as he told me, down to the person he said was the biological father. He showed us the same sets of photos to prove that there was a resemblance, one of the man and his son from behind holding hands (blond hair being their only common trait) and one of each of their faces, separately and not side by side. He knew such a big lie would need a little more substance to be convincing.

Being callous, cynical and disrespectful of others combined with arrogance, a sense of superiority and being extremely opinionated and failure to consider the negative consequences of behavior or learn from them resulting in lack of empathy for others, lack of remorse about harming others, and poor or abusive relationships.

There were times when I would confide in Sugar about a person in my life that I admired and the reason for my admiration, and fairly often I was met with his disdain for them and he would explain how he found not only himself, but both of us, to be better than them. I myself struggle with arrogance and have often thought of myself as superior to others so this played really well with me. He would feed my ego whilst bolstering his own by talking down about others. After a time, I stopped bothering to tell him any admirable thoughts I had of others.

It was only afterwards that I was able to see the pattern of whom he had no respect. They were confident, strong, and opinionated people who could talk sense into me if I were to confide in them instead of him. They were attractive people who I held in high regard, so they were a threat to his hold over me.

We had extensive conversations regarding my anxiety of the toxicity of our relationship, especially when we were arguing about his jealousy a lot. After failing to get him to understand that I saw his actions as controlling and manipulative and him adamantly accusing me of behaving the same way, I tried to think more clinically about it.

I knew from my marriage what being controlled and manipulated felt like, so I knew that’s what was happening with Sugar, but I was wrapped up in my emotions and wasn’t communicating my concerns well. I realized I was failing to maintain boundaries with him, compromising a little more of my freedom and autonomy with each subsequent argument. But I was unwilling to accept that I was worth more. I loved him and he loved me and we could work through this. We are both intelligent and devoted people, certainly we could overcome.

My first attempt at trying to reason with him scientifically and academically instead was a breakdown of an article called “20 Signs Your Partner Is Controlling” published on Psychology Today. Upon reading it, I was able to find 17 out of the 20 listed signs that applied to Sugar. When I brought it up to him that I would like for both of us to analyze it in relation to our situation, he criticized that it was no better than going onto WebMD (he had often criticized my sources as being biased for other topics of discussion I had tried to engage him in), and that he would take no part in it if I intended for it to be only one-sided against him and that I had to be willing to accept fault for any that pertained to my behavior.

We went down the list, point by point and we explained how the other was exhibiting that particular behavior. This attempt backfired on me. About halfway through the list, I began to understand how I was manipulating him, how I was controlling him, how I was trying to change him fundamentally, how I was exhibiting a lot of the toxic traits I had accused him of having. Sugar then sent me a link to a different article, “Marriage Problems: How crazy is your spouse?“. He then copied the following excerpt from the article:

Instead of diagnosing, try to understand your partner’s experience of you and of the world. The only way to judge the emotional reality of your relationship is to hold his/her perspective alongside your own. One perspective of your relationship, even when it is right, is incomplete. Relationships must have binocular vision to flourish. You do not need a diagnosis to evaluate your relationship. All you need to determine whether it is viable and repairable is to feel as much compassion from your partner as you give and to know, through your binocular vision, that your partner sees your perspectives as equal to his/her own.

After reading that and the rest of the article, it seemed I was the one at fault for not recognizing his efforts to work things out with me. I apologized to him for bringing it up. He called me over Skype and said he was not sure what he was going to do with himself but he would be signing off to go do something stupid (which had been a code phrase for feeling suicidal). Given that he was prone to depression over his separation and how his life seemed to keep falling apart, I was worried about him, especially after bombarding him with seemingly false accusations. I got in touch with a soldier who was living with him at the time asking he check in on Sugar. He reported back to me that Sugar was fine. Then Sugar asked me if I had contacted his friend and wanted to know why.

I want to touch back on apologizing to him after he pointed out that I was being crazy. He exploited my Bipolar diagnosis as a weakness and was able to get me to believe that some of my emotional reactions to his mistreatment of me were just symptoms of being crazy. I’m remarkably self-aware for someone with a mental illness and know the difference between my valid emotions and erratic mood swings. It’s taken me a long time to get to this point but he was slowly damaging my ability to tell the difference.

And as for apologies, I am also at fault here. I thought that I could lead by example with Sugar whenever it came to resolving arguments. Often, I would apologize thoroughly, explaining what I was apologizing for and recognizing how it made him feel, then affirming that I would do my best to never let it happen again. This fed into exactly what he wanted from me, which was my submission to his way of thinking.

But then, I started feeling like I was apologizing for every single argument. And I rarely felt I got a sincere apology in return. Eventually I started telling him I was no longer interested in blanket apologies. If he couldn’t communicate to me why he thought he needed to apologize and why I thought I deserved one, then we would never be able to resolve our problems. And that’s why we kept having the same arguments over and over. I never felt heard or understood and I desperately needed it from him.

Using charm or wit (also pity and desperation) to manipulate others for personal gain or personal pleasure, impulsiveness or failure to plan ahead, combined with being consistently irresponsible and repeatedly failing to fulfill work or financial obligations

I mentioned before that Sugar was quite charming. When he first engaged me, before I was wise to any of his bullshit, he came off as confident and devoted, and his singular focus was quite thrilling. Once in my good graces, he then began to use my attraction to him, my blossoming feelings, to coerce me into fulfilling his deviant desires. He was fixated on his fetish very early on and explained to me his desires and why he thought he enjoyed it and just asked me if I’d be willing. Once I said I was, then it was brought up several times a week.

I had shared a few of my own deviant desires with him, being open and casual about sexual play. I have a few particular kinks that I enjoy but I don’t consider myself to have any fetishes, wherein I need something external from intercourse to be able to be satisfied. For me, it’s just novel and fun supplement to my sex life, not a requirement. But this was not the case with Sugar. So, I agreed and was not that bothered by it as it seemed to keep him happy with me. But it wasn’t something I enjoyed and so I didn’t think to maintain his appetite as frequently as he. He reminded me often.

I had sent him videos of me with other men to satisfy his appetite. I know that he had videos of his wife with other men, shown to me as evidence of her adultery when he discovered the messages containing them. His local girl fiancee confessed that she had been with another man for him. It became glaringly apparent to me after the fact that he was purely seeking out someone to fulfill this one particular fetish. Using women who love him as human sex-toys for his own sexual pleasure. I believe that’s the deeper fetish, of which he may not be aware.

I added pity and desperation to the list of tactics used to manipulate others in this case. While charm and wit tend to come from a confident and assertive place, pity and desperation come from an insecure and meek place. Sugar was master of all these. While he was able to make me believe all of these horrible things had happened to him, all the while he was taking instances of times he had been horrible to someone else and flipping it so that he was the victim.

His said his wife had cheated on him when in reality it was he who cheated on her and using the videos she made for him as blackmail (which sounds like violating the rights of others through intimidation and dishonesty to me). He said his soldier was amassing massive debt and was in danger of losing his security clearance if there wasn’t any intervention, which Sugar would have to deal with being his superior officer, but as I came to find out afterward, that’s exactly what he was doing. Anytime I demanded an apology for something he had done, he would defend himself against the fact that he did it because I had been doing it to him. How easily he played the victim of his own indiscretions.

Sugar rarely planned ahead. Often he’d ask me to help find things in his home for him, before unpacking, not knowing where anything was. Do you recall me having to get his missing dress uniform pieces? He rarely thought a few moves ahead and would procrastinate when he knew what needed to get done. But also, he was impulsive, that I initially just saw as spontaneity. Taking me on a trip to Muskogee, buying me expensive Medieval costuming, flying me overseas.

When he was having money problems, it was because the military was fucking him over, not because he was racking up uncovered charges or because he was not paying his minimum payments. When he tried to get loans to cover the deficit (FYI: getting more debt to help with your growing debt problem is a slippery slope), he asked his wife to refinance her car so that his name would no longer be on the lien, in hopes of increasing his credit score (she’s actually helping his credit with that lien by making extra payments but that’s none of my business).

Unnecessary risk-taking or dangerous behavior with no regard for the safety of self or others

This is my final point as I feel I’ve covered most of the symptomatic behavior. Sugar was a speed demon in his Nissan 300ZX. He had sent me video of him driving at breakneck speeds in efforts to get to me sooner. He often spoke of how he was sure he was going to get a ticket for running lights or speeding. I had been taken on drives where he could really open her up.

He often used his suicidal ideations as validation for having a deadline for happiness in his life. He used to bring up 35 to me a lot. That was the age he intended to kill himself if his life hadn’t started going right. I often told him that I was uncomfortable with him saying that to me as it made me believe he had no hope anymore, much less hope in maintaining a relationship with me. And if he really had no more hope, that he needed to seek counselling. He told me he knew it would affect his military career, to have the stain of mental health checkups on your record, so he wasn’t there yet. He still had hopes to make something of himself. But he still kept bringing up 35.

Profile Deduction

I believe Sugar to be the sort of Sociopathic archetype in line with Jung’s “The Vampire”.

The Vampire lives off the lifeblood of its victims — they are the source of its life. Without being able to suck the blood, it would die. The Vampire has no life source from within. Often the victim is seen as an innocent female who is simultaneously attracted to the erotic nature of the Vampire and equally repelled. The victim grows increasingly weak and helpless and drained of any capacity for self-protection.

It is my deduction that Sugar uses manipulative tactics to gain favor of loving and empathetic women because he is incapable of generating positive emotions within himself and must leech these feelings out of others. His particular fixation on a specific fetish has some sort of psychological root but I have yet to decipher its cause. On one hand there is the typical subservient cuckold who enjoy degradation and humiliation, while on the other is due to possible unrealized homosexual urges.

There is also some Oedipal shit that leads me to believe his particular fetish is closely tied into his views towards women who love him, particularly his own mother. I suspect unrealized misogyny. I have seen no true effort on his part to realize his condition and believe he will remain ignorant to it, and every tragic thing that happens to him will continue to be someone else’s fault but his own.

Never a Victim again, but a Survivor

According to Sociopathic Style, victims of Sociopaths tend to exhibit these common traits:

  • A belief that if you love enough the person will change
  • A belief that if you love enough the relationship will succeed
  • Difficulty establishing and maintaining boundaries
  • Unable to say no
  • Being easily influenced by others
  • Wanting to be rescued from your life situation
  • Wanting to rescue others from their distress
  • Being over-nurturing, particularly when not asked
  • Feelings of shame and self-doubt
  • Low self-esteem
  • A lack of memories about childhood or periods of adulthood
  • Shyness
  • Difficulty communicating
  • A lack of self-confidence
  • Wanting to please
  • A lack of motivation from within and being motivated by what others want

I identify with around 75% of these 16 traits. So, now I know there’s a lot I have to work on, but knowing is half the battle. Since removing myself from Sugar’s life, I feel I have been able to really focus on making myself the best version of myself that I can be. Some of these traits are just who I am, and I’m okay with that. But I can certainly work on establishing and maintaining my boundaries, finding contentment and security within my own life, retiring my Superhero cape when it comes to rescuing others, becoming a better communicator and finding my purpose in life. I’m motivated to make my life the best it can be because I’m worth it.

While I know I made many mistakes, I’ve been practicing a lot of self-compassion. I am learning to forgive myself for those mistakes. Accepting that I am flawed has been liberating. I have always held onto a certain degree of perfectionism and have realized that it was doing me no favors. I will become a better version of myself, that will be imperfect and able to take on the challenges that life has to throw at me. I’m committed to being a good person and enjoying my time here on earth while I can, because life is too short to continue to feed the ego of a Sociopath.

Thank you so much for reading my blog. I would love to hear your comments!

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