How to Get Over a Relationship With a Sociopath

Gabrielle Applebury
Man talking in group therapy session

It can be incredibly challenging to get over a relationship with a sociopath. You may experience a range of complex emotions and thoughts that make it even more difficult to move through.

Understanding Your Relationship

A relationship with a sociopath often starts off really well. They were probably quite charming, said all the right things, and came across as incredibly confident and successful. Once they've lured in their person of interest, they may physically, emotionally, mentally, and financially abuse them. You may fear for your own safety and not know how to begin the healing process once the relationship has ended.

EMDR

EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. It is a trauma based therapeutic treatment that helps people target and process specific events and moments that they are having a challenging time with. EMDR operates on the assumption that traumatic moments are not properly processed in the brain, so it aims to target those experiences so you can reprocess and store them properly in the brain, thus leading to closure.

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy

If you aren't into in-office therapy but still want to see a counselor, equine assisted psychotherapy may be a great option for you. Typically in these sessions you'll have a horse expert and therapist who work together to help you move through difficult experiences. They may use one horse, or a herd, during your session depending on your needs. In equine therapy, horses and your interactions with them act as metaphors to help you process traumatic moments. You can think of your interactions with the horses during your session as a good snapshot or microcosm of your life. This can lead to tremendous growth and insight.

Targeted Support Group

Joining a support group with people who have been through a similar experience can help you better understand your own relationship with your ex and provide some perspective. Participating in a support group can normalize your experience which can help accelerate your healing.

Maintain Safety

If your ex made you fear for your safety, it's important to think about your options going forward so you feel comfortable living your life freely. You may want to speak with a lawyer regarding a restraining order, changing your phone number, and making your social media private. It will be hard to move on and heal if you are actively fearful for your own well-being.

Rewrite Your Story

Once you've moved through the initial shock of the relationship ending and what it meant to you to be with a sociopathic person, you have an opportunity to rewrite your history. Consider this experience as a part of your journey, one where you certainly learned a lot and grew tremendously as a person. You also became aware of the red flags associated with sociopaths which can protect you from being with an unhealthy partner going forward.

Release Your Emotions

It's important to find healthy ways to release your emotions. You can journal, write, paint, draw, or do something more physical. This can include hiking, boxing, practicing yoga, or heading to a "break" room where you can destroy a few things for fun.

Embrace Closure

It's critical to find healthy ways to cope with the traumatizing experience you may have gone through with this person. Continue evaluating your wellbeing and seek out help if you're experiencing distressing mental health symptoms that aren't subsiding. Remember that you deserve to be with someone who loves you and respects you, not someone who manipulates you and makes calculated moves to further their own agenda.

How to Get Over a Relationship With a Sociopath