Marriage has its ups and downs and requires effort on the part of both partners to be successful. However, there are situations where it sees no amount of effort on your part improves your relationship. If your partner is affected by a personality disorder such as sociopathy or psychopathy (many use the term interchangeably), the relationship can be a bewildering, hurtful, and destructive experience. Sociopaths differ from the rest of us in their mental "hard wiring," leading them to behave in ways we may not be able to understand or relate to, and that hurt us very deeply. While only a licensed mental health professional can diagnose a sociopath, here are 9 signs that you can look for if you have concerns about your partner:
1. Failure to conform to social norms. The sociopath often believes that the laws of society simply do not apply to him or her. There is a tendency towards criminal behavior and pushing the boundaries of what is socially acceptable behavior.
2. Lack of remorse. A sociopath does not have the same "conscience" that the rest of us possess. Guilt is a foreign concept. As a result, a sociopath may actually feel entitled to take advantage of and hurt others, because they look down upon the weak who "deserve" the treatment. If the sociopath tries to mimic guilt, it is just that, an acting performance, and is typically geared toward convincing you that they care for their own benefit and advantage.
3. Poor impulse and behavioral control. Sociopaths are big about instant gratification, and tend to be compulsively. This may lead to drug or alcohol addiction, and / or sexual promiscuity.
4. Consistent irresponsibility. These individuals may have difficulty holding down a steady job, paying bills on time, and / or honoring commitments.
5. A tendency towards boredom. There is actually some research that suggests that the fight or flight response in sociopaths may be muted or altered. This may lead towards risky behaviors and a need for greater stimulation.
6. Aggressive behavior, as evidenced by fistfights or other violent behavior. Not all sociopaths are physically violent, however.
7. Deceitfulness, conning, and manipulation. The sociopath may be an accomplished liar, using deceit to get what he or she wants. Frequently, sociopaths adopt a parasitic lifestyle whereby they exploit and con others into taking care of their finances and other needs.
8. Shallow emotional depth. There may be oodles of charm and charisma there, but true depth and substance of emotion is lacking.
9. Exaggerated sense of self worth. The sociopath may exaggerate accomplishes, behaving disdainfully towards others, and have a sense of superiority.
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Shannon E Cook