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Sociopaths

The first time I've even been in love was with a sociopath and I didn't realize I was even in love until he went to prison. I didn't realize what my subconscious version of being in-love was because my conscious version was expecting something completely different. We were always fighting, he was constantly gaslighting and polarizing my relationships to the point where I had no one but him. I didn't realize I cut off my siblings and parents and all of my friends for him until he left. He stole from me and told hundreds of lies and made up stories almost as if to pass time more interestingly. I layer found he was hiding a heroin addiction I had no knowledge of whatsoever. He was extremely careful and never used needles and was healthy looking and clean and tidy in every aspect of his life. What I'm saying is I still love him and for as long as I've known him he has outwardly confesses his undying love for me. Even to this day he says he will never love anyone the way he loves me. And he showed it and proved it many times when we were together despite all of his lies and decisions. Or is it all more lies? I've read so many articles that all say sociopaths are not capable of love. I don't understand how that is possible. I used to be piece it but now I don't know what to think. How can you say a type of human can't feel love, and that's its only manipulation to feel control and only receive affection? 

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Thank you for your honesty and openness on this topic. I'm not sure we understand sociopaths very well. They certainly do not feel for others or others feelings. They lack empathy and so have little on no reason not to hurt, injure, lie to, or take advantage of others. Opiate addiction seems to create a similar condition. When the addict ceases to be able to feel their own pain they also loose the ability to feel anyone's pain. Whether the sociopath can feel love may be a function of how you (or they) define love. They may be basing their declaration of love on feelings that do not involve empathy such as trust or familiarity. Certainly your feelings of love for this person should be examined in the light of past experiences that may have left you vulnerable to his manipulation and exploitation.

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Hi Jules95,

I’m no expert, and will just make up some stuff based on my intuition and personal experience, so please take what I say as just something to consider. For the purpose of discussing your question, I think it would be very good to try to consider “love”, “attachment”, “emotional intimacy” and “support” as four very different things that are often all referred to as just “Love”. In western culture, these things are often seen as the same, and that can be very limiting in how we think about relationships with ourselves and others. I think recognizing the differences can perhaps help immensely in understanding your relationship with the sociopath you describe, and with yourself.

Independent of your particular situation, I’ll describe what I see as the difference between the four things. These are not intended to be absolute definitions as much as just working concepts for the purpose of discussing any relationship. Different people will use these words differently at different times, so it can be confusing. But just recognizing that the word “Love” is used to mean so many different things can be very helpful, I think, to anyone trying to sort out there feelings.

In the words of Teal Swan “Love is to take something as part of yourself. When you love something you pull it towards yourself, you include it as you. … The exact opposite vibration of love is fear. To fear is to push something away from yourself. To dis-include it. You don’t take it as you. … The ultimate reality is that of oneness. … We’re all expressions of the very same energy. … and that collective energy has a consciousness, this consciousness is what we have been calling God or Source.” (From Teal’s video What is Love?)

I’m a big believer in unconditional love myself in that I recognize my unity with all there is. I love people who I just met. I love people I don’t even know. I love things too. I love beautiful crystals I have on a shelf. I love the poop I scrape from the cat box. I recognize everything as being connected and made from the same energy. And it is significant as I feel I can’t intend to harm anyone or anything without harming myself. If we all felt this way, we would stop fearing each other, and peace would be the order of the day. But “feeling love” is just a matter of feeling in touch with the ultimate reality of what we are, the unity that exists between us regardless of how kind or cruel we are towards each other, how much or how little we seem to be in each others lives, or whatever else we may feel or don’t feel in the moment. From our ego’s perspective, we reduce love to a feeling, rather than the reality, because our egos are designed to provide us the illusion of being separate.

To the extent that we feel actual love, we are simply in touch with the reality that binds us all together. This is not satisfactory to the ego that wants something romantic, affectionate, even magical. Thus we get the feeling of love mixed up with those of desire for attachment, emotional intimacy, support, and even things like drama, danger, anger and fear. The darker aspects pushing adrenaline into our bodies and causing to think things which when we really think about them, or highly delusional. Sayings like “Love hurts”, “Love is a battlefield” and “Love kills” for instance. Love, and feelings of love, never hurts us, but what we mistake for love can.

Love is perhaps confused most with feelings of attachment. But love is very different from attachment. Attachment can be thought of as the desire to keep something in your experience. I can love all people because I don’t confuse it with the desire for, or feelings of, attachment. None the less, to harm anyone, I would feel like I was harming myself. My feelings of love then inspire me to truly wish whatever is best for everyone, and still not be overwhelmed with attachment issues, or limited by what experiences can fit in my life.

It also allows me to let go of relationships that are not healthy for me. I can be fully loving of someone, but feel no attachment at all. Being a conscious being, I can choose attachments based on what is nurturing and healthy for me, or what brings me joy, rather than be stuck in a life filled with drama from being attached to a person for me that will encourage suffering in my life, and then staying in the relation not realizing that it is not about love, but an unhealthy attachment. Unhealthy because it does not serve my growth and expansion in life, but instead keeps me stuck in a painful and stressful situation.

Emotional intimacy has to do with trust, attunement, openness, empathy and trust. Emotional intimacy is being able to see the other person’s authentic self, and them see you. Personal relationships that lack emotional intimacy are inherently dangerous because people make themselves very vulnerable emotionally and physically to someone who has hidden needs. In other words, someone is getting used. And based on the law of attraction, it is generally both of the people in the relationship. One is lying, the other is accepting of lies, or is too oblivious to notice, or too needy to care, or perhaps both are telling lies. The point is, its not a healthy relationship for either party, and both contribute to the problem. Alternatively, relationships with real emotional intimacy may seem boring because of the lack of drama, or scary because of what they require from us, which is typically a lot of growth.

Support is another area of relationships that is worth recognizing on its own. Do you support the other person’s development, joy, and well-being? And do they support yours? Relationships based on mutual support can be very wonderful indeed. This, combined with emotional intimacy, can create an “emotional base” for the two people which can empower both people to meet even more of their own and each other’s needs and desires, and contribute to the world around them. Being supportive to someone can bring out the best in us, and their being supportive to us can do likewise for them. Healthy attachment combined with emotional intimacy can create an “emotional base” that not only facilitates our growth, but supports us in our individual efforts to help yet others.

So, you might already see where this is going, but let’s look at these different things in terms of your relationship with a sociopath. Regarding feelings of “love”, this can perhaps be seen best in how much you harm each other, harm yourself, or facilitate each other doing harm to anyone. I can not speak to what’s in your hearts, but from what you wrote, creating space emotionally and physically from this sociopath or any other is the best, and probably only, way to experience genuine feelings of love for yourself and others, verses just the many other things that can be confused with love.

You and him obviously feel some attachment towards each other, but without any consistent emotional intimacy or support. Keep in mind that when you allow someone to hurt you, you are facilitating their harm of another person (you), and in this way you are hurting them to. Thus, if a person has a personality disorder that is preventing them from not harming people they interact with, then yes, I would say they are not capable of feeling love as evidenced by their actions. And your subjecting yourself to harm from anyone is not helping them.

All the above is just my opinion. I provides some links below to Teal’s videos that I think are related to this topic. I sincerely wish you and the sociopath the best. I hope you find healthier relationships where you can truly feel love, and be loved. But don’t be surprised if such a relationship does not feel as good to the ego. The ego is a wonderful tool for experiencing unity by providing the illusion of separateness, and by contrast love. But it is only moving beyond the ego that we can truly be in love. - Aaron

What is Love? - Teal Swan -
https://youtu.be/L39DzzsixRQ

Personal Boundaries vs. Oneness (How to Develop Healthy Boundaries) - Teal Swan
https://youtu.be/hnKU-hL2Uag

ATTUNEMENT (The Key To A Good Relationship) - Teal Swan -
https://youtu.be/7OIOkd43ev4

Openness (Why it is Crucial to Be Open) - Teal Swan
https://youtu.be/9Kp_PlHHbrw

Fear is Good (The Benefit of Fear) - Teal Swan
https://youtu.be/jM-b9Dej-AI

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On 19/04/2017 at 7:04 PM, Jules95 said:

Sociopaths

The first time I've even been in love was with a sociopath and I didn't realize I was even in love until he went to prison. I didn't realize what my subconscious version of being in-love was because my conscious version was expecting something completely different. We were always fighting, he was constantly gaslighting and polarizing my relationships to the point where I had no one but him. I didn't realize I cut off my siblings and parents and all of my friends for him until he left. He stole from me and told hundreds of lies and made up stories almost as if to pass time more interestingly. I layer found he was hiding a heroin addiction I had no knowledge of whatsoever. He was extremely careful and never used needles and was healthy looking and clean and tidy in every aspect of his life. What I'm saying is I still love him and for as long as I've known him he has outwardly confesses his undying love for me. Even to this day he says he will never love anyone the way he loves me. And he showed it and proved it many times when we were together despite all of his lies and decisions. Or is it all more lies? I've read so many articles that all say sociopaths are not capable of love. I don't understand how that is possible. I used to be piece it but now I don't know what to think. How can you say a type of human can't feel love, and that's its only manipulation to feel control and only receive affection? 

You are very emotionally-involved because this is a very emotional issue, but I would like to point out some cold logic:

You already know that life to him is like a game, he doesn't care about anything and so he is willing to do "extreme" things that other people would not or could not do. This is not love, it's thrill-seeking. Something that looks like an extreme declaration of pure love might just be a game he is playing because he is bored. For a sociopath to feign extreme positive emotions is not only second-nature, but very appealing. It is an attractive game for them. Emotions are exotic and unusual to them, something to be manipulated and toyed with in any kind of extreme way. He loves the fact that he can make people like you swing from one extreme to the other with virtually no effort. All this is just speculation, full of "maybe"'s. But the thing is that you have enough evidence of his behaviour to throw into question ALL of his behaviour. This is one of those times when throwing out the baby with the bathwater is a good thing. Real sociopaths are "sticky" so I wouldn't recommend associating with them longer than you absolutely have to.

And although this isn't fun to hear, you need to accept that he is much smarter than you are and can predict your thoughts, emotions and behaviour far better than you can predict his. So maybe you want to try being more unpredictable, that's when his true colours might show more easily.

This isn't really about "can he feel love?" at this stage. Sort that out later. Yes he has reasons for being the way he is, and yes he does have feelings. It's just that, for the most part, he is too traumatized to access most of his feelings. There is virtually no hope of recovery for these people without extreme intervention.

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