How the tables turn
Sadly, sociopath relationships are nothing but manufactured illusions. What empaths fail to realize is that insecurity was never the real issue for the sociopath. “If you’re the female partner of a man who tends toward the insensitivity or callous end of the psychopathic spectrum, be prepared for rough times ahead. His inability to empathize with you may only make you retreat further into yourself,” explains Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D., an author and Professor Emerita of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Sociopaths hook empaths with sympathy. Due to their natural instincts, empaths perceive these psychopaths as innocent souls who need to be built up. The problem with empaths is that whenever they sense insecurities, the first instinct is to cure it with love, care and compassion. Psychopaths, on the other hand, are always ready to abuse insecurities and manipulate it for their own benefit.
Read also: The Empath And The Wounded Narcissist
During the initial phases, sociopath relationships allow the empaths to build their sense of self-worth from making their seemingly miserable partners happy. As they become increasingly hooked, empaths become obsessed with helping sociopaths and filling their lives with happiness. This strengthens the bond between them and builds trust and love. They can go to any and all lengths to make the sociopath feel loved and taken care of and all they receive in return is false overwhelming appreciation.
However, before they can realize, the situation changes at the blink of an eye. And soon the empath finds themselves vying for the sociopath’s attention. The empaths become desperate for their appreciation and approval as it builds their self-esteem. As the sociopath slowly begins to reveal their true selves and show how unimportant the empath is in their lives, the empath begins to feel increasingly insecure, unattractive, stupid, worthless and needy.
This is how the empath becomes addicted to the approval and attention of the lying, deceiving and manipulative sociopath.
Recovering from sociopath relationships
Eventually the empath begins to realize the truth. They begin to see all the abuse and the dismissal of their self-worth. As empaths learn to walk away from sociopath relationships, it becomes a battle for them to rebuild their self-esteem. Not only do they have to detach themselves from someone they believed they loved, they also have to come to terms with the truth – that they were cheated and manipulated. They have to accept the fact the romantic encounter was nothing but a lie. However, the greatest challenge for the empath is to rebuild their sense of self-worth from scratch.
However, as the empath begins to recover and heal emotionally, they become stronger than ever before. They begin to realize that their self-esteem depends on themselves and not on the approval of their partners. As the toxicity and negativity begins to disappear, as the broken heart begins to heal, the empath begins to redefine themselves. They begin to realize that only they can create happiness in their lives. They realize that it’s okay to be compassionate and kind, but it’s never okay to sacrifice yourself to lift someone else up. They realize they are not responsible for someone else’s happiness, but only their own.
Read also: How Empaths Can Recover from Trauma And PTSD