PoeticaL
cluttering the net since 2001

The Sociopath I used to live with

Monday, Mar. 20, 2006
For their own reasons, sociopaths sometimes marry, but they never marry for love. They cannot fall genuinely in love, not with their spouse, their children, or even a pet. Clinicians and researchers have remarked that where the higher emotions are concerned, sociopaths can “know the words but not the music.” They must learn to appear emotional as you and I would learn a second language, which is to say, by observation, imitation, and practice. And just as you or I, with practice, might become fluent in another language, so an intelligent sociopath may become fluent in another language, so an intelligent sociopath may become convincingly fluent in “conversational emotion.” In fact, this would seem to be only a mildly challenging intellectual task, quite a lot easier than learning French or Chinese. Any person who can observe human actions even superficially, or can read novels and watch old movies, can learn to act romantic or interested or softhearted. Virtually anyone can learn to say “I love you,” or to appear smitten and say the words, “Oh my!” What a cute little puppy!” But not all human beings are capable of experiencing the emotion implied by the behavior. Sociopaths never do.

- page 128

The Sociopath Next Door – Martha Stout


I read this and realized, this describes my ex-husband to a tee.

10:58 a.m. ::
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