(Image: Psychology Today)
I met my dear friend, Andria, in college. We were standing outside of a classroom on the first day of the semester and I noticed that she looked just as nervous as I was. I asked her some random, unimportant question that sparked a conversation, and the rest is history. We’ve been the best of friends ever since.
As I got to know Andria, I thought she was one of the most amazing women I had ever met. Smart, hilarious, fun to be around, sensitive, and kind. But, what I didn’t know when I met Andria was that she was hiding a painful secret. She was sleeping with the enemy.
Actually, she had married a sociopath. At the age of eighteen, Andria walked down the aisle with a man who, for over twenty years, would make her life a living hell.
There were warning signs. Prior to their wedding day, Andria’s husband had exhibited controlling, insensitive, and abusive behaviors. But Andria was a young adolescent when she was proposed to, and did not have the social or emotional skills she needed to end the relationship. So, she married him.
It didn’t take long before Andria’s husband began to increase the amount of times he would berate and demean her on a daily basis. The physical, sexual, spiritual, and financial abuse also increased in the years that followed.
But she kept the secret. She hid it all. From her family. Her friends. She began to make excuses for her husband’s behavior and maltreatment.
“It’s my fault, I made him angry.”
“I’ll do better.”
Throughout her marriage, Andria was abused by her husband in diabolical ways. Her spirit was crushed, her body bruised, her mind manipulated, her heart torn to shreds, and her emotions decimated. At the end of two decades, Andria found herself in the barn on her property with a rope around her neck, ready to end her life.
Andria’s story is not only tragic, it’s miraculous. And it’s waiting to be told.
Please join me for the next few days to further explore the characteristics of sociopaths and the cycle of abuse. It will be ugly and scary, but it’s incredibly important to learn how to support a friend or loved one who has been abused or controlled by one of these masters of manipulation.
Understanding the mind and behaviors of Sociopaths is not an easy task. However, having the skills to detect their manipulative and devious ways is essential to escaping the hellacious reality that awaits those who step into relationship with them.