Sociopath or Addict?

When I first caught my husband in his second round of infidelity in the course of our six year marriage, I was convinced he was a sociopath. It wasn’t merely that he was selfish, or that he didn’t love me. I kept asking myself, What kind of person cheats repeatedly on a spouse while simultaneously acting “in love” and professing to be happy in the marriage?

You see, while some sex addicts and their partners have relationships that feel empty and distant, that’s not always the case. In other cases, like mine, the partners might spend time cuddling, having quality conversations, making love, laughing together — seemingly connecting.

It was the idea that all of this interaction had been deception on his part — a long, calculated act — that made me think he was a conscience-less sociopath of some kind. Sociopathy and addiction share common traits, or so it seems to me.

If you’re worried that your partner is a sociopath and waiting around for “recovery” to happen is a waste of your time, which is a totally legitimate possibility, two questions may help you see things clearly:

One: is your partner actually trying to change? After being caught, did he seek help? Did she respond to treatment?

Two: is your partner this self-centered in general?

As always, Dr. Linda Hatch is far more eloquent on this subject: “Why Sex Addicts Seem Sociopathic.”