10 Red Flags You May Be Marrying A Sociopath

10 Red Flags You May Be Marrying a Sociopath

By: Susan Deborah Schiller     This is a follow up to "The Perfect Prey"

Lee Grady, at Charisma Magazine, posted "10 Men Christian Women Should Never Marry". As I read through the list I thought about Bethany Deaton, dead at the age of 26, and how a young woman like her – like so many of us who have survived marriage to a sociopath – must have checked her way through a similar list prior to her wedding.

Most of the survivors I know have prayed, trusted their intuition, and used prevailing wisdom to make the best decisions they could. Some of us ended up dead or nearly dead.

Lee Grady's advice is not enough, and here's why:

A sociopath looks just like a really good believer in Christ. Jesus said even the angels are unable to distinguish between the "wheat and tares".

Your chances of marrying a sociopath significantly increase when you are what a sociopath considers "the perfect prey"… someone who is empathetic, has compassion for even the worst sinners, wants to make a difference in the world, is creative, is a sincere believer and loves God with all her heart, soul, mind, and strength.

I'm taking Lee Grady's, "10 Men Christian Women Should Never Marry" and offering you a behind-the-scenes peek into why his advice only works for normal "wheat" and does not work for "tares". By the way, I realize that many sociopaths are females, but statistics shows us that the majority are males. For simplicity, I'm using male sociopaths as examples.

Here's what I believe to be the signature marks of a sociopath, or 10 red flags you may be marring the wrong Mr. Right:

1. The "anointed" believer in Christ who is well known for spiritual sermons and lessons that genuinely make a difference in many people's lives. Lee Grady rightfully cautions you not to marry an unbeliever or to engage in "missionary dating". I heartily agree, but having met my husband in a Christian college, and in speaking with hundreds of survivors, nearly all of our abusers have been and still are active Christian leaders. These anointed believers may operate in signs, wonders, and miracles – and it's real, people do get healed! Their ability to operate in the supernatural realm creates a strong allegiance and devotion to these "Christians" which causes us to silence the victims and cover up the crimes.

2. The Persuasive Speaker. Sociopaths make successful salesmen, superb statesmen, and they are persuasive speakers. We love to love these charming ministers. There is a level of deception where even the strongest Christian's liar detector will not buzz when a sociopath is involved. Jesus said to the PHARISEES, the top religious leaders of his time, that their father was the DEVIL! He made a clear distinction between children of God and children of Lucifer. Mind you, Jesus was talking about the local church leaders of his day. The bottom line: Children of Lucifer can lie in such a way that you won't know it – until it's too late.

The Christian abuser is the worst kind!

3. The Chaste Con. Lee Grady says: "If you marry a guy who was sleeping around before your wedding, you can be sure he will be sleeping around after your wedding." That is good advice, but a sociopath is going to play it safe. Until you take his bait, until you're hooked (as in engagement or wedding bells have rung), he's going to play Mr. Chaste.

4. The Martyr. A sociopath will have any number of GREAT and believable stories to tell you about how he loves, adores, and cherishes his ex-wife, kids, parents, ex-girlfriend, etc. And oh how much he has been hurt, deceived, and ripped off! And you will likely feel sorry for him, especially if you are the perfect prey! You probably won't want to, because you have been convinced they are truly evil, but talk to his ex(es) with an open mind, if you can.

5. Mr. Clean. Lee Grady says: " And don’t get into a codependent relationship in which he claims he needs you to stay sober. You can’t fix him." Stellar advice. I have no disagreements on this point. BUT, a sociopath's vices, just like his lies, are cleverly hidden! More than likely, since you are probably not living with this person before marriage, you won't see or hear about these addicitons until after you are hooked.

6. Mr. Promise. A sociopath will appear to be hard working and successful! He may boast about all the money in his bank account or about his plans to do such and such. Wait until you are hooked (engaged, married, or emotionally entangled and dependent) and the truth may come out in startling ways! He may very well convince you to give and give and give until you are drained dry financially, mentally, and emotionally.

7. The Stud. He may be quite good looking and an impressive catch in many ways. In the beginning of your relationship, a sociopath may appear to worship you. It's quite exciting as he makes you feel like you're the belle of the ball. Once you are hooked, watch out. Suddenly he's hard to please. Nothing you do is right. He becomes critical and only his needs are important.

8. The Smooth Talker. Lee Grady says, "Angry men hurt women—verbally and sometimes physically. Find a man who is gentle." A "Christian" sociopath usually has a great amount of impulse control. The verbal abuse likely will not begin until after you are hooked. As an example, my husband used to confess to me, during a time of false repentance: "You haven't done anything wrong; there's just something inside me that wants to hurt you. But don't worry; I have it under control."

9. The Big Man. He likes to think he is big, strong, intelligent, and needs you to affirm all of the above. His mother sees nothing wrong in her son and still mothers him, perhaps does his laundry or cooking. If you are far enough along in your relationship with Mr. Right there's a good chance that your brain is already chemically addicted and you might perceive his close relationship with his mother as "endearing". Be careful.

10. The Man-god. Lee Grady says, "If the man you are dating talks down to you, makes demeaning comments about women or seems to squelch your spiritual gifts, back away now. He is on a power trip." Absolutely right! Except, with a sociopath, he will NEVER behave like this until after you are hooked. No, it's just the opposite. He will build you up and make you feel like a princess. Your self-worth and self-esteem will blossom and he will sweep you off your feet with all the right kinds of attention. He will pray for you, speak encouraging prophetic words, and treat you just like Jesus would do. You'll feel like you're living a fairy tale come true! No one can love you like a sociopath – they are experts at creating illusions of love!

Life with a sociopath can be very good at times – better than anything you can imagine – until you wake up and realize you've been dragged through hell backwards all this time.

Here's what makes it so tricky to use any of the above as a marker for potential sociopathic behavior: The man cycles in and out of all of these behaviors. False repentance (which seems genuine) turns into "honeymoon" seasons. He does and says all the right things again, and life becomes GOOD!

Your awakening is the most dangerous time and you will need to ask yourself some very hard questions and discover the truth that will set you free. Let's chat about that in part two.

Next Part: Did You Marry the Wrong Mr. Right?

PS  You may also be interested in reading: Can A Pastor Be a Sociopath? and "Why the Christian Abuser is the Worst" and "The Marriage Covenant: How We Prevent Divorce Before Saying "I Do""


My Full Story     What I Believe    Contact Me

With all my love,


Susan Schiller knows how it feels to lose everything: marriage and family, church and reputation, finances and businesses, and more. Susan's upcoming, interactive memoir, "On the Way Home," tells the story of how she came to be known as "the most abused woman" her counselors had yet met and how she learned to navigate to freedom and fullness.  
Today Susan helps people write their life stories, unearthing the treasures of their past and sowing them into their future, creating new family legacies.

Copyright © 2010 to 2015 Team Family Online, All rights reserved.   For reprint permission or for any private or commercial use, in any form of media, please contact Susan Schiller

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

islandgirl March 14, 2017 at 6:45 am

Hello Susan,

I am so blessed to have found your website! I too am a Christian and am engaged to a man who has most of the characteristics described on your list and other lists of sociopath characteristics I found on the internet. The others characteristics here probably haven't been revealed to me yet, but it is good for me to know the possibilities for the future because we plan to get married this year! And after researching about sociopaths at first it seems hard to believe that this is really happening to me. Though come to think of it, we have only known each other for two years and it seems like everything is happening so quickly as he rushes into getting engaged! I remember him saying he loved me in only a few months after meeting me. He does seem like the perfect man with his charm and his care. He always has the right words to say. I have started noticing that this is not a normal relationship since he started accusing me of cheating on him countless times and coming up with stories that I know for a fact are not true but he makes believe that it is true! There is no way I could reason with him when he is on his role of accusation. I have caught him lieing to me one time at the start of our relationship, but that was before we were seriously dating. He was with other women (yes, more than one) when we just got to know each other and said we were interested in each other. He kept this a secret until one day I found out on his laptop when he lent it to me. His excuse was he just wanted to remain good friends with them but it didnt make sense to me because his texts to them are similar to his texts to me! I was so stupid to have ignored it at first, because i thought we were not official then anyways. But I realized I was accepting his lies to me when he said he was only interested in me, when actually he is also interested in a few other women. I want to say that I still really love and care for him, because he even got baptized in my religion to show how serious he was so we can get married! My parents are very religous people and they believe that we should not marry unbelievers. Actually, we should avoid dating nonbelievers. But I didn't listen and I thought I was capable of having a missionary relationship. I am glad to have found your website, other non-Christian websites didn't really give me the satisfying information I was looking for. God lead me to find you and I just want to let you know that you are an inspiration to me and I pray that God will bless you even more. Do let me know if you have any tips and suggestions for me as I make my next decisions to try and break our engagement. It will be hard because we have both met parents on both sides and are already planning the wedding. I believe this is not too late for me but I just hope his parents and family will understand because they are really caring and loving people. Thank you once again and I hope to hear from you. God bless you.


TruthWithLove May 13, 2016 at 6:04 pm

Wow! EVERYTHING i JUST WROTE TO YOU WAS LOST WHEN THE COMPUTER SWITCHED SITES FOR SOME UNKNOWN REASON.  CRAZY!  I know I need to ask questions and write a lot.,  May I start by saying i am new to much of this but making up for lost time over the past 3 months.  I now understand that by my special sensitivity to others I would be considered a highly sensitive empath.   I always knew I could truly sense an understand people, and that people would just come up to me from nowhere and knew they could trust me and just talk with me, a special gift from God, which has helped me help others in my Christian walk.  Now I know why.

I wish I had found this article before.  And I ma sure many of your readers would say the same.  I guess you know the traits you mention just as easily be applied to women as welll….I thik I recognize at least 8 in hindsight that would apply ot my narcissistic wife and all I know to do is to pray for her at this point.  You see…..

I also unknowingly married a narcopath (covert narcissistic sociopath)  Yet, within 5 months she was gone and had already completely destroyed family connections, decades long friendships, work, career, my community and legal standings and finances, leaving me destitute and homeless and friendless without resources.  She took all my personal records and phones, computers, cash and reputation; everything with her when she left.   We married last summer, we are supposed to still be on our honeymoon and by her own hands that  is already done and this is where we are.  Might I say complete Evil and the handiwork of Satan?

Unfortunately I have to do battle with her and the court system.  revenge is not the goal.  Thank you Lord I can forgive.  But I am wired for truth and have no problem revealing it irregardless of the consequences.  I know education and trying to restore a semblance my good name are my goals…yes, I know, nearly an impossible feat but I have to try.   And I have no illusion that she, and her friends and family (all of whom she has disrespected and even filed court actions against time and time again, yet they are still there supporting her) will do everything they can to literally annilate me.  They have already made that crystal clear.  The lines have already been drawn.  I am no fool.  But  I do have faith. I know I may not win, but I may serve to reduce the future body count of others.  And that is enough for me.

So now I find myself getting a crash course in law, the legal system and a taste of how it really doesn't work and how I will need to be my own lawyer.  I guess I will need to prepare for the Bar, since no one else is going to represent me…unless you can help steer me somewhere. I anm looking forward to lerning more about what you have here on your site and am very open to any responses any of you may have for me. 

 And of course I now realize my mom was and is a narcissist and my youngest sister who has constantly "tortured" me is a sociopath.   So many things answered.  So overwhelming!   I hope you understand me when I write this.  I have lost so much of myself so quickly and being made homeless doesn't help.    I would like to  share more.   And I would like to seek advice and will keep it in general terms. 

I really appreciate your site and the courage it must have taken and continually takes to continue doing what you do.  May I JUST SAY THANK YOU!  To all of you hwho have suffered at the hands of an egocentricpartner may I say I am truly sorry and I really do empathize.  


Susan Schiller May 13, 2016 at 6:40 pm

You’ve said a lot here, TruthWithLove… as if you’ve processed a great deal already and have come to conclusions that took me years to swallow and digest. I’m so sorry you are facing legal battles and more. Being homeless and having lost everything… yes, that is a common result. 

When you’ve been face-to-face with evil and have been married to it, it’s life-changing in a deeply scarring way that most cannot begin to imagine unless you’ve been through it. 

Please feel free to share more, as you wish… I, too, have found very little help in the legal system. It seems to benefit evil more than the victims. Sometimes it’s hard to know how to keep going on. It takes a lot of faith, hope, and trust in Love…. to keep choosing Love every moment of every day. It’s not easy.

Please stay in touch, if you wish!


sunny September 12, 2015 at 2:37 pm

i'm in so much trouble now :(. there was this guy i was about to go on a first date because i thought that he is the "one ", he seemed so perfect with his handsome face and manners and words. we talked on the phone for days and he was always charming as a prince, then when the first date meeting date came closer i dont know why i just had this intution that something is not right :/.. i could'nt sleep whole night before our first date feeling anxious and negative… the next morning i called him up and cancelled the date.. in the most graceful manner i told him how the date is not going to work out, instead of respecting my decision and understanding  me, this guy completely showed me his most dangerous/real side of him… since we are both above 20s i was expecting this thing to work out rationally, but he just completely transformed into a dark psycho person hurling the nastiest words and slangs he can find and used on me.. he knows my weakness and now he has starting blackmailing me and in exchange he wants to get physical with me :(… he harrasses me daily on phone and texts me really lewd and nasty words to me… his true self is now completely revealed… he makes me feel as if im the one who is guilty…. this has been going on since weeks and im unable to sleep or eat… all he says, " have sex with me or else i will destroy you"…. i'm completely broken now 🙁 i only have jesus.. please pray for me


Endurance! July 29, 2015 at 10:31 pm

I read the article and read the comments. I am sadden that you people just ignore the fact when Paul shared that the war we go thru is not against flesh and blood but… a spiritual warfare.

I bet, you people probably even believe that God thinks your better than the intolerant confused sociopath.

Truth boils down to spiritual war!!!
Paul mentions, that a when their is an empty vessel 7 demons pass thru, and it continues as a cycle until they are attached. What do you think bad thoughts that come to your mind are?? Or even; all our emotions and diseases that attach themselves.

These, people are in spiritual bondage, and are chained and the reason that any of these women are in any of these relationships is: because at some point in their life- they asked God to teach them to LOVE as HE LOVES.

When you want to really know GOD you better be sincere, because God puts up with a lot of “us” and HIS LOVE ENDURES!

I married a man that would have fitted your list, and I suffered and was became bitter and blah blah….. but- I prayed, God teach me to LOVE like YOU and I suffered more. But I prayed, I a lot of times retaliated and became this evil vengeful woman and I found GOD’s GRACE AND UNDERSTANDING. It’s about recognizing what spirits are binding us. That is why Paul said “pray with out seizing”.

God has told us to carry our cross, and Paul said suffer as Christ, it’s not about who’s sin is worst or bigger- it’s about Loving and learning to Love in spite of what others especially our spouses do to us.

I have been brutally beaten and tormented, but I did horrible things back when I broke. – I will testify, God heard my cry and my cry and the persistent forgiveness and the final recognition that “I WAS NO BETTER THAN MY HUSBAND. MY SMALL SINS WHERE JUST AS FOWL -AS MY HUSBAND’ S EVIL SINS WHERE TO GOD, BECA– USE – Paul reminds us, WE HAVE ALL FALLEN SHORT OF GOD’S GLORY” GOD forgave me first and teaching my husband in Loving words or with laughter when the Holy Spirit directed. I will testify we are married, going on 11 years, better communication. I failed and failed, I understood I could not change him, but I had to accept my sins where just as bad – then God brought peace.

Kinda boastful for anyone to think they can do better than who they have now. God wants to protect HIS children, but HIS true children are the ones that can forgive or that ask God to help them forgive. Because above all these, the greatest is LOVE!

May every one of you, find God’s PEACE and not be shaken by your troubles the mind is a powerful tool, be strong in your Faith and Trust in the Lord HE WILL see you thru and you too will learn that you been praying dynamic prayers.



Susan Schiller July 30, 2015 at 6:09 am

Hello Endurance,

We have experienced many of the same effects of the very prayer you suggested is the source of our suffering, “Father, I want to love like you love…” or a similar prayer. My one constant daily prayer all my life has been, “Help me to see, hear, speak, and do as You today. I want to love and be loved. Live through me.” And it did plunge me into the heart of the plague – with sociopaths and crucifixion and everything – and some of those stories I have written about on this blog.

You are right, it’s not about whose sin is worse… it is about choosing love. I do believe we must have wisdom and discernment, to see beyond the natural battleground and to understand the spiritual realities. Sociopaths, in my experience, are men and women who have become, to one degree or another, possessed by evil. 

I believe God allows sociopaths in our lives to BLESS us and to enlarge us, to enhance us, even. Pain is a gift. (http://loveyourstory.org/when-pain-is-a-gift/) One word God gave me is that evil enhances our beauty…. they are “glory enhancers” and that comes from the Psalms. I write more about at http://loveyourstory.org/ultimate-revenge/

ALL things work together for our good and for God’s glory, even our deepest suffering. 

You write to me, “Kinda boastful for anyone to think they can do better than who they have now.” – and perhaps it’s hard to read in one solo post, but I actually believe that God wants to redeem our abusers, and so I want to feel His love for the ones who have tormented me. You might see more of this at http://loveyourstory.org/flesh-eating-christians/

Many times God has given me great trials so that I might learn more about his nature, because He GRINS in the face of his enemy… and He’s told me that He wants me to learn to do the same. http://loveyourstory.org/what-scares-you/

I can agree with you, that we are not to be in despair or overwhelmed when our spiritual enemy uses the people around us to gag us, torment us, and even crucify us. In fact, we are to rejoice, and in so doing, we find the path to real Life. 

We are blessed… I am glad you shared, Endurance – I’m glad you have reached this point where you feel confident to encourage us. I’m glad you’ve received the uncommon peace that Christ offers us. It’s a peace that has been tested by the worst the world can offer. http://loveyourstory.org/experience-uncommon-peace/

When we come to this state, abundant life is just the beginning of life and more life… it’s the Great Adventure… http://loveyourstory.org/be-fruitful-and-multiply-not-an-option/

Blessings, Endurance…. thanks again for sharing! 🙂


Susan Schiller July 30, 2015 at 11:37 am

For more on true forgiveness and repentence, Kimberly Dimick is one I trust most on this topic: http://loveyourstory.org/repentance-forgiveness-bible/


Christine December 4, 2016 at 10:08 pm

Seriously, Endurance, your type of suffering is called been addicted to saddisim.  And that's your choice but don't burden the rest of these poor souls with your self afflicted suffering.

And secondly by adding blessings just doesn't justifry your advice.



Christine December 4, 2016 at 10:19 pm

This is seriously twisted thinking and not taking into the whole counsel of God.  The whole thing encourages abuse and then puts the blame back on the victim because she is not loving enough.

I don't even know how this comment was even allowed to be on this site.  I would recommend that you remove this comment from this site as it goes against everything you have written in the article.  


fill May 30, 2015 at 9:39 pm

To think an unbeliever is worse than some pious narcissist wrapping himself in a cloak of righteousness is folly.  Put yourself under the foot of a holy man or woman at your own peril.  They can behave any way they like and (according to them) you are bound to their nasty selves forever because of some nebulous oath.

At the very least, an unbeliever who is honest may be friendly and do things helpful or right simply due to empathy and not being guided by the hope of some future reward or fear of punishment for doing something that a higher power won't like.  The trick is finding someone sincere who is friendly and not playing sick games.


Susan Schiller May 31, 2015 at 4:28 am

True… you may also find Henry Cloud’s description of the three different kinds of people:

ome people are WISE, some are FOOLS, and some are are EVIL. … The reality is also, all of us have all of these parts (and some make a career out of them).


When light comes to them, that person adjusts themselves to match the light. When truth comes, they change something. “Correct a wise person, and he will be wiser still.”

Another quality is that they smile, and thank you when you give them feedback! When asked, “Would you like some feedback?” the WISE will say, “Yeah, give me a gift.”

So, what do you do with the WISE? Talk to them, feedback, resource them, etc! …


A fool is basically someone who is gifted, talented, producing… but…

When the light shows up, they adjust the light. They try to dim the light, and adjust the truth. The FOOL will try to change the truth (minimize it, excuse it) or shoot the messenger. They deny it’s reality, they minimize, externalize it, shoot the messenger, and you don’t get a smiley face, and a lot of the times they get angry, and have the meeting after the meeting, triangulation, and now you’re the problem, and they split the company/organization. And every time you talk to a person like this, they do not own it.

Here’s what the Bible says, and here’s what all research supports: Do not confront or correct a fool, lest you incur insults upon yourself. Stop talking!

Let’s talk, rather, about how talking doesn’t help. You can say to the foolish person: “I want to know how I can talk to you so that what I talk to you makes a difference.” It may be that they are foolish for shamed reasons. If they reveal this, you can ask yourself: “What will I do if I talk to them about the need for them to change, and then it doesn’t happen (they don’t change). I want to plan for the conversation after this conversation if there are non-effective consequences. Fools do not change when truth comes to them, they change when they must camp out in truth, and the pain of change is less than the pain of not.

There is great hope for fools. Fools you can change. But this takes guts. Sometimes these are the hardest calls to make.

Limit your exposure, make it clear about the consequences, give them a choice, then follow through. “You know what we need … is someone who will listen to truth and reality. I hope you’re that person.”


They have destruction in their hearts and they want to inflict pain. It’s hard for optimistic people to believe this, but there really are bad people in this world. You can’t talk to them, you can’t fix them.

Here, you have lawyers, guns, and $. Sometimes you have to call the police.

 You can  read Cloud’s original teaching here or watch it on Vimeo.


Nathaniel January 27, 2015 at 9:09 pm


I understand your perception and the world you grew up in where mysoginism dominated, but that has not been my world – unfortunately for me, most pastors, cops, etc. also grew up in that world.

Your list scares me.

The word scares me.

My wife, soon to be ex-wife, is a monster. And few people listen when a man comes forward. They don't want to hear, or look down about abuse. They don't relate that she's playing "innocent" and trying to isolate you socially, or make you look wrong. You feel…trapped.

It took me a year to escape. And I am a fairly strong willed, military man. I had to go through her fake police reports, death threats from her boyfriends, death threats from her family, my bosses freaking out over things she was making up (I work for ladies, typically – just how it happened).

I wish you would, while expressing the experience of your generation, understand what I've experienced. And that is that sociopath, especially within Christianity has changed from male to female for us young bucks.

And I know, because I've watched. The best Christian guys I know have the worst wives, change that age to 40+ and the opposite is true.

I just know how much extra I've been through because I am a man, and I hope that all of us who've been victimized can stand with one another and understand.

Thank you for the postings, it hurts to think about all of this…BUT THANK GOD I'M FREE!!!


Susan Schiller January 28, 2015 at 6:35 am

Hi Nathanial,

I am glad you are free and have access to information to help you to move forward at a younger age than many of us. The rise of darkness on our planet is of a terrifying nature and it’s affecting men, women, and children. Even children are becoming monsters, as well as wives and mothers. 

There are three types of people (https://www.facebook.com/LanceWallnau/posts/10152818843614936) as Lance Wallnau teaches. He attributes his info from Dr. Henry Cloud:

“There really are 3 categories of people. Learn to DISCERN

Correct them and they change. (Assuming you are correct! Not always the case.) The wise thank you. So what do you do when you’re leading a wise person? You give them feedback. They listen. You may need coaching on how to coach them, but they respond to truth.

Good hearted people assume fools are wise and they get very confused when things get strange.

This is tricky. Fools are often very bright and gifted and charismatic. They can get results a lot of the time. This is why they’ve gotten as far as they have. But here’s the problem. With the wise person, when the light comes on, they adjust themselves to the light. With a fool, when the light comes on…it hurts their eyes. They try to dim the truth. FOOLS ARGUE WITH FEEDBACK!

The wise man changes himself; the fool tries to change the truth. 
“It’s not like that.” 
“You’ve got it all wrong thats not what happened.”
Or, they shoot the messenger. When you give someone feedback and the first reflective move is defensiveness, let that be a warning sign. A lot of times its they get angry and start raging on you and others.

Here’s what the Bible says, and all research validates: “Rebuke a wise man and he will become wiser.”

But then the Bible changes its tone. It says: “Do not correct a fool, lest you incur insults upon yourself. Do not confront a mocker, lest they hate you.”

Here’s your strategy: Stop talking. Why? They have stopped listening.

You need to have a different conversation. Set a time limit and consequences. “Here’s whats going to happen.”

Fail to create boundaries and you empower the problem. Henry Clouds book on Necessary Endings gives you some scripts.

It is sad to see good hearted Christians get hurt by evil people. These people can be seductive yet steal you blind. Hack your database. Falsely accuse you. Destroy your reputation. ISIS, Gangs and Drug Cartels as well as many activists are loaded with evil cause the people are demonized. They literally can’t think straight. Paul said “pray that we be delivered from wicked and EVIL men…” (2 Thess 3:2)

Evil people actually intend to destroy. They want to inflict pain. I’ve seen this, and you have to believe it. There truly are bad people in the world. I’ve seen it in board meetings, I’ve seen it in high levels of leadership. Paul writes: “Reject a divisive person after a second warning. Have nothing to do with them.”

Your Strategy: Don’t return calls. Don’t reason.
This is where Lawyers and money and guns and armed security provide protection and I would add – warfare prayer needs to disrupt the enemies attack. You will meet all three types. Be like Jesus who “trusted Himself to no man for He knew what was in him” on one hand yet “loved” to the end, those the Father gave Him. Discern who the Father puts in your life!”

Nathanial, I’m so glad you are free and I appreciate you sharing your perspective here. My readers are largely women from my own age group – 40 and up – who have been abused for multiple decades, due to Christian teaching that has imprisoned us behind walls of false “grace”. 

The evil one hates all of us, but he especially targets the innocent, the weak, and the most vulnerable. I hope you will consider sharing more of your story and that like many of us, you will be one of God’s avengers and help us expose this evil while loving our enemies in doing so.

The worst thing that can happen is that we get so enmeshed in the wickeness, even in judging it, that we become like our enemies. We need young men like you will speak up for justice… and most of all, take action to help!

Many victims are approaching retirement age or beyond, and they have absolutely no hope of recovering all that they’ve lost. Some are so sick they cannot work to support themselves and they have no one on their side. 

In Ezekiel 34 we are shown God’s heart for these least ones. Nathanial, I hope that in your youth and strength, you will use the wisdom and discernment you have to reach out for these least ones who are lost and alone. 

Some of these female victims of sociopaths have become like the enemy but they are not…. I’m not saying this is true for your situation, but I do see it happening. Women who have grown up under a misognyistic father can be man-haters. Some truly do become full-fledged sociopaths themselves. Some are simply wounded warriors who react abusively.

The best “Christian man” I know is Christ Jesus who laid out his arms and legs to be pierced. We need more of us, men and women alike, who are willing to be pierced, to carry our cross, to be tortured. Why? I don’t know. All I know is that Christ demonstrated that kind of love and called it the greatest love of all, to lay down our lives for our friends. And he commanded us to pick up our cross and follow him. 

The path of God leads to torture and death but also to resurrection and life. I wish more “Christian men” could understand the power they have, as spiritual leaders. I don’t advocate that men should be doormats and allow themselves to be abused. But if they could understand the spiritual authority and power they have, as males (Ephesians 5) to lay down their lives for their wives, even as a wife lays down her life for her children (pregnancy, childbirth, nursing, childcare, etc). 

The family is the backbone of society. If we as Christians can understand what God’s plan for the family is, truly – we could eradicate the evil in a day, I believe. Simply because we would be walking in the Light… and that Light would be the Light of the world. Christ in us, the Hope of glory…. and one day we will all see the glory of the Lord fillling the whole earth, as Scripture says.

Thanks, Nathanial, for speaking up. Please continue to share. I need your perspective – we all do!


Cyndi Murphy August 21, 2014 at 1:41 pm

Not all sociopaths are men. I wonder about an article about women that vulernable men shouldn't marry. My brother is married to an abuse woman. Men can be victims too, but the stigma is so severe that most don't come forward.


Susan Schiller August 21, 2014 at 2:11 pm

Your words are true, Cyndi. We have lived in a primarily misogynistic world, a world where men have stastically and traditionally held the most power. I know men who have endured abusive women in their lives, and I grieve for the pain they have endured. When they leave, or are left, it’s a bit easier for men to manage restarting life. It’s just the world we live in. I focus on reaching women who are in abusive relationships, but you are definitely right – in fact, some women can be even worse abusers than men.

When I consider Christ’s love for the church, His bride, I read in Ephesians 5 how he lays down his life for his bride. He demonstrated that kind of love when he went to the cross. Men are created to be stronger, mentally and physically. They are designed to receive even more strength directly from God, their source. Women are not lesser and are equal to men, in terms of personhood, but we are generally weaker and more vulnerable. We are designed to be protected and nurtured. We are designed to lay down our lives for our children.

There is an order of Christ –> Husband –> Wife –> Children. It’s not hierarchial so much as protective and nurturing.

When a wife becomes an abuser the husband is called upon to lay down his life for her, and in so doing, his own life is protected and nurtured. Many men today are not truly men, but they are children looking for their wives to protect and nuture them. There are far more men who are immature today than there are mature men who are Christlike in their love for their wives. We live in a cold, dark world – and that’s the current reality.

If I were to write an article that would safeguard a man from marrying a potentially abusive woman, I would encourage the man to first look to himself, and to ask himself if he is ready to bear his wife’s burdens. If the woman he is thinking of marrying is carrying a heavy load, if she bears the signs of being abused, if she has a history of depression or mental anguish, those are red flags he should be aware of. For this woman will need him to lay down his life for her, as Christ did for us. 

He may get bloodied, bruised, and broken on her behalf. He may suffer while bearing her burdens. But he doesn’t do it alone. Just as a woman bears burdens for her children and suffers greatly while they are growing up. She nurtures her children from her own body’s resources via uterus and breast. She wakes up in the night to calm her child’s fears. She bends over to pick her toddler up. She carries her nursing child everywhere she goes. Such is the love we have the privilege of learning to give, in marriage and family.

A man is designed to work outside of the home, whether in the fields or in industry or an office or wherever…. he doesn’t have the same opportunities to lay down his life for his family, but for his bride… yes. Wherever he during the day he can be praying for her, planning surprises, or sending her romantic texts. The woman usually does these things naturally (not always), but she is designed to RESPOND to love.

A woman is a responder. Sometimes a wife become bitter because her husband refuses to mature. Ten years into the marriage and three children born, and he’s avoiding responsibilities like the plague. The wife is left with everything: discipline, income generations, and daily care. She may become angry, bitter, and verbally abusive. In those cases, the husband can choose to rise up, to take on the heavier load, and to love his wife to life.

I know there are a minority of women who are so far beyond responding to love, no matter how mature the man is. It’s incredibly sad to see the suffering that happens when a woman becomes abusive. She has chosen to no longer care, to go numb, to live a sub-human life. Yet, there is still hope. It’s a rare husband who could see beyond his wife’s aggression into the core of her wounded heart.

Likewise, an abusive man is usually very insecure and has been wounded himself, usually in childhood. But a woman is not designed to heal her husband’s heart. She is designed to be a helpmeet – someone who sees his potential and speaks life into him… but she is not called to lay down her life for him, as she does for her children. The line of authority must stay in tact, according to Ephesians 5, which shows us how the family is designed to cooperate.

I don’t have all the answers, Cyndi, but I do know that many of us need to be loved to life. Women are built differently than men. We are responders. As head of the home, men are intiators. If a man has an abusive wife he has options. He can choose to lay down his life for his bride. He can get counseling. He can demonstrate agape love. Or he can leave in a gracious way. His pain will be great, and I don’t want to minimize the suffering of such a man, but when I look at the possibility of this man laying down his life for his wife, I see so much potential for them both.

Most counselors, especially Christian counselors, do not understand pathological relationships. If you depend on common Christian teaching for marriage and family, you will fail in a painful way, most likely. Most of us have gone that route and it’s a hopeless dead end. Pathological relationships do not respond to normal counseling. It takes a wise counselor who understands pathological relationships… psychologically and spiritually, combined.

What it boils down to, Cyndi, I believe, is that whether we are male or female victims, we want to rise up. We don’t need to remain victims. 

I value your thoughts and feelings… other opinions than mine are welcome here!


Jennifer May 31, 2014 at 3:27 am

I am a person who is DEFINITELY married to a sociopath. I am now trying to recover as we are in the midst of a divorce. I have two daughters by him, I can only say in this comment box that I feel lucky to be alive to show my girls that their mother is going to be ok. They have NO idea that my meltdown and their brother’s suicide 11 months ago is related to their father. I kept a smile on my face throughout our 20 yr marriage, covering up my pain and disintegrating while he pretended to everyone else that he is normal. I feel luky to be alive tonight. I would write more but due to my brain lesions from progressve MS that I believe I developed after years of stress with this man, I can’t type very well. Thank you


Susan Schiller May 31, 2014 at 7:37 am

I weep with you, Jennifer – literally. 20 years. Disintegrating while smiling on the outside. Covering up your pain. Pretending so that you can grasp the dream of a normal life.

Oh Jennifer, my heart goes out to you right now. MS is a common result of living with a pathological person. Fibromyalgia, cancer, and so many other diseases, as well are a direct result of the damage inflicted on our souls.

Please stay in touch. I am praying for you. I know it's hard to read and hard to write. I'm going to add a feature to my site – speak pipe – so that you can speak a message to me directly (and privately) if you wish.

Thank you for sharing. I wish I could give you a hug, and I am…. Shalom, brave heart… may nothing be missing, nothing lacking, nothing broken in your life as God restores double for all your troubles. 



LINDA HONEA February 18, 2014 at 12:48 pm

Sue, thank you, thank you, thank you. 
We need clear definitions and directions BEFORE we fall prey or fail to see.
believing, L


Susan Schiller February 18, 2014 at 3:01 pm

If not for us, for the next generation, we need to share our life’s lessons. I’m looking forward to reading your stories, Linda! 🙂


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