Sociopaths and cheating

Why sociopaths cheat | Lovefraud | Escape sociopaths

UPDATED FOR 2022. Lovefraud received an email from a reader whom we’ll call “Ingrid.” She brought up a question that I’ve heard over and over. Ingrid asked me why sociopaths cheat.

Just wondering if you could tell me why sometimes they stay with others longer as I feel he wants this new woman for his main supply even though he was trying for a baby with me. What does a main supply have that I didn’t? He seems settled with her.

Ingrid, most sociopaths cheat on their romantic partners. In fact, they are often cheating throughout the entire relationship, but it may take you a while to find out about it. Or you may have caught hints that the sociopaths were cheating, but they were able to explain the situations away. Eventually, however, you have so much evidence that you can no longer ignore their infidelity, even if they keep lying about it.

Admitting the truth to yourself, you are hurt and angry at their betrayal. You may also feel that in some way you were not “good enough,” and that’s why the sociopath strayed. The sociopath may actually tell you that — but don’t believe it.

What you need to understand is that sociopaths will cheat regardless of who you are or what you do.

Here is the basic truth: Sociopaths engage in romantic relationships not for love, but for exploitation. If a sociopath engages in a romantic relationship, it’s because the romantic partner is a target who has something that the sociopath wants.   

What does the sociopath want?

So what does the sociopath want? It could be anything. Here are some possibilities:

1. Sex

Even if you are having regular, rambunctious sex with the sociopath, he or she will always be looking for a new sexual adventure. The new target may not be younger or more attractive — it’s just someone different.

2. Money

Many sociopaths are always on the lookout for someone whom they can scam for money. This is especially true if you are running low on funds because the sociopath has already convinced you to spend all your cash and run up your credit cards.

3. Housing

Sociopaths may like the new target’s accommodations better than yours. Or, the sociopaths may suspect that you’re getting ready to kick them to the curb, so they need a backup plan for living arrangements.

4.  Connections

Sociopaths are frequently cooking up some “deal” or “project” — code for a scam — and the new target may know someone who knows someone who could be talked into participating.

5. Entertainment 

Sociopaths sometimes start romantic pursuits for the fun of it, just to see if they can catch the target. This often happens with online involvements. Sociopaths keep sending texts and emails, proclaim love, promise to get together — and never show up. They never planned to show up — the whole involvement is nothing but a game.  

These are just a few of the possible reasons for why sociopaths cheat. The truth is sociopaths do not even need a reason. The cheating may simply be that an opportunity presents itself and the sociopath pounces.

Sociopaths are incapable of love

If your romantic partner exhibits most or all of the the key symptoms of a sociopath, and you discover cheating, please don’t ask yourself, “What does that person have that I don’t have?”

Despite what sociopaths said in the past, they don’t love you and they never did, because they are incapable of love. So a new target just means that the sociopath has found someone else to exploit.

No happily ever after

So Ingrid, please understand:

1. There is no point in being a sociopath’s “main supply.” The main supply is just someone who has more to lose to the sociopath.

2. Perhaps the new target does have something that you didn’t have. Again, it means she has something else that the sociopath wants to take. This is not good for her.

3. If the sociopath seems “settled,” it’s only because the sociopath is engaged in a full-court press to snag the new target. Once she has been drained of everything the sociopath wants, she, too, will be discarded.

Learn more: What did they want? Psychopaths, antisocials and other exploiters in romantic relationships.

Here’s why sociopaths cheat: It’s just who they are and what they do. When sociopaths move on to new targets, you may want to feel sorry for them, but not jealous. No one lives happily ever after with a sociopath. All involvements are bad; it’s just a matter of how much damage the sociopath inflicts.

Lovefraud originally posted this story on August 17, 2015.

Sociopaths cheating and infidelity | Dating a Sociopath

Have you ever wondered why did the person I was with cheat so much? Has this person any clue how much their actions have hurt me or destroyed me?

Not all sociopaths are unfaithful. But a large proportion of sociopaths are. Simply being unfaithful, is not part of the criteria for sociopathy, in fact it’s not even in the DSM checklist. But many sociopaths are unfaithful, why is this?

Why do sociopaths cheat?

  • Boredom
  • Poor impulse control
  • Lack of guilt
  • Lack of empathy
  • To boost narcissistic ego
  • Lacking in emotional connection
  • Opportunistic
  • Additional source for supply

The sociopath rarely cheats because he has met the love of his life. He cheats, because the opportunity is presented to him. The sociopath will take on the persona of people that he is around, so being close to other people, gives new dimensions to his own personality.

Quite simply, the sociopath cheats, because he can. Without guilt or remorse, there is no reason not to. He doesn’t particularly make long term plans, and tends to act within the moment, if an opportunity arises.

Remember that the sociopath does not have the same moral compass as non-sociopathic people. Other people learn that cheating is bad, as it hurts people. It causes pain. The sociopath doesn’t learn from past mistakes and will repeat the same behaviour over and over.

The reason that some sociopaths will cheat repeatedly is:

  • Doesn’t learn from past mistakes
  • Lack of guilt, remorse, shame or empathy
  • Boredom factor, and sometimes for dupers delight and the joy of conning
  • Are self-serving, motived and centred

Betrayal is one of the worst feelings in the world. You have been betrayed, you feel stabbed in the back. You can ask yourself the following questions

  • Did he ever love me?
  • Why?
  • Was I not good enough?

It can really impact on your confidence, and self-esteem. You need to know the reasons why he probably DIDN’T choose to cheat

  • It’s not personal to hurt you
  • It’s not because the other person is better than you
  • It is not because you are worthless

It is simply because the sociopath is an opportunist with poor impulse control

Why do some sociopaths cheat and others do not?

Sociopaths are like everybody else in the human population. Whilst they follow similar patterns of behaviour, they are all different. Every human being (including sociopaths) will be affected by their own environment and how they were raised.

You might ask the question, but if they do not learn from past behaviour how are they all different? Each adult human being is affected by the following:

  • Childhood
  • Environmental factors
  • Genetics
  • Current circumstances
  • Previous life events

This includes sociopaths too. So, for example if a person who grew up to either be a sociopath or with sociopathic traits, if in childhood the father was always unfaithful to the mother and this had a profound developmental impact on the sociopaths childhood family life, and therefore developmental learning, he might display the following behaviour (not all, it could be any of the following), dependent on the personality of the sociopath (as I said all are different) – although they follow similar patterns of behaviour, they can be different also, you could find that the any of the following is possible:

  • Lack of respect for women
  • Sadistic thoughts about sex
  • A sexual (common with psychopaths)
  • Or could equally (with or without the above traits) be absolutely faithful to one person, and feel strongly against infidelity

How to recover when you have experienced the betrayal of infidelity

When you first discover that your sociopathic partner has cheated, it can be devastatingly heart wrenching. The sociopath is a liar and deceptive and to your face will do anything to protect the lie. Often the usual signs of infidelity will be absent. This is because the sociopath is used to being deceptive and lying, and feels more comfortable with the lie than the truth. The sociopath also feels no guilt remorse or shame. So will continue to lie, and unless you are smart, will not be caught out (unless he wants you to find out about it).

This can make the betrayal feel more acute, as just when you are coming close to finding you the truth, the sociopath will lie further to distract you, confuse you, or worse still, accuse you of having an affair to cover for himself. The sociopath is a master of words, and a master of illusion. He suffers with a poor boredom threshold. He also enjoys conning and duping people and getting away with it. This gives the sociopath great pleasure.

It is likely that when the truth comes out that the sociopath will blame you (nothing is ever their fault). Making you feel even worse. Many people uncover not just one affair, but a multitude of people that the sociopath was having affairs with

For good recovery

  • Get out of the relationship and establish No Contact
  • Realise that this is not your fault, the sociopath would have cheated before and will cheat again
  • Despite what the sociopath says to you, there is nothing that you could have done to prevent it
  • Understand that not all men cheat, not even all sociopaths cheat, but those that do, will continue to repeat this behaviour
  • If the sociopath makes promises that this will not happen again, this is a lie, understand it will happen again
  • Focus on the tips outlined in the section of recovery and healing
  • If you can book to see a good therapist for counselling – do NOT attempt couples counselling with the sociopath, he cannot and will not change, believing that he can will only bring more pain for the future
  • Surround yourself with good people, who really do love and value you
  • Take it one day at a time
  • Don’t focus on the past, and the betrayal, it will emotionally destroy you, let it go
  • Don’t compare yourself to someone else. Remember it is NOT because the other person is better than you, in anyway, the fault is with the sociopath not you
  • A sociopath who cheats and betrays will always do so
  • Remember nothing you do will change him, you can only change yourself!
  • Love yourself!!

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Aliens and predators. Where do sociopaths come from and are they so dangerous - Daria Varlamova - Psychology - Site materials - Snob

It is worth starting a conversation about sociopathy with two disclaimers. First, this disorder should not be confused with social phobia (this is a common mistake). Social phobia is a type of anxiety disorder in which a person is uncomfortable communicating with unfamiliar people and generally being in public; he is too worried about whether he fits into society enough and what impression he makes. A sociopath almost never worries, and the last thing he is worried about is the expectations and reactions of other people; anxiety is not characteristic of him at all. This disorder primarily causes ethical problems (although these are problems for the people around the sociopath, and not for himself, until he gets caught breaking the law). People with antisocial disorder are virtually unable to experience attachment to others, empathy, guilt, and remorse. At the same time, they are self-centered, impulsive, and constantly looking for pleasure or at least adventure. In combination, this gives an explosive mixture: approximately 20% of prison inmates are sociopaths.

Secondly, different specialists use different names: “antisocial disorder”, “dissocial disorder”, “sociopathy”, “psychopathy”. In Russia, this creates additional terminological confusion, because in our country, in the old fashioned way, since the 1930s, we have been accustomed to calling any personality disorder psychopathy. But in the West, a psychopath is an anti-social, and I will use this term for convenience.

Psychopath test

We owe the nerve-racking concept of “predators among us” to Canadian criminal psychologist Robert Hare. He created a truly demonic image of a psychopath in his books and developed a "psychopath test" of 20 criteria for identifying a disorder - it is now very popular all over the world. For each match to a specific criterion, the test-taker receives three points, and a person who scores 30 points or more can be considered a pronounced psychopath. Naturally, the results of the test should be evaluated by the psychiatrist on the basis of a personal interview and knowledge of the social background of the respondent; here the test is offered for fun and broadening one's horizons:

  • flattering, superficial charm;
  • significant reassessment of one's capabilities;
  • constant need for stimulation;
  • pathological lying;
  • manipulation;
  • no sense of guilt;
  • weak emotions;
  • parasitic lifestyle;
  • poor control over behavior;
  • promiscuity;
  • early behavior problems;
  • lack of long-term life goals;
  • impulsiveness;
  • irresponsibility;
  • refusal to take responsibility;
  • many short-term relationships;
  • crimes at a young age;
  • breach of obligation;
  • callousness and lack of empathy;
  • great criminal potential.

This is not the only diagnostic tool: the disorder is also listed in the largest diagnostic reference books of the ICD and DSM as "antisocial" and "dissocial". The descriptions of the symptoms there are somewhat different and do not fully correspond to the portrait of the psychopath created by Hare, but these are rather subtle nuances, the comparison of which is of interest mainly to professionals. The common man can get a fairly complete picture of anti-socials from any of these three sources.

Wolves from Wall Street and unlucky hooligans

According to various estimates, anti-socials make up 1-4% of the population (there are noticeably more of them among men). As with any disorder, there is a whole spectrum here: some patients are more aggressive and impulsive (and are more likely to end up in places not so distant before they have time to meet you), others demonstrate greater coldness, self-control and skills manipulation (they work well in law firms, corporations, the military and areas related to politics). There are also intermediate options. But with all the variety of manifestations in psychiatry, it is customary to distinguish between two types of antisocials: the more low-functioning are usually called sociopaths, and the more adapted - psychopaths. There is an opinion (however, not shared by everyone) that psychopaths are born, and the environment does not play a special role here, and sociopaths, on the contrary, are rather formed by poor upbringing and childhood psychotrauma. But in the second case, there must be genetic prerequisites - in 2002, a study by scientists from Florida showed that there is a certain variation of the gene that controls the synthesis of the enzyme monoamine oxidase A (a low level of this enzyme is associated with aggressive behavior), which “triggers” sociopathic traits in men, with who were mistreated as children. Boys without this gene, who grew up in similar conditions, did not show symptoms of sociopathy.

Show masks

The main competitive advantage of a successful psychopath is an enviable ability to quickly “read” information about people around him and use it for deception and manipulation, as well as a very talented imitate of ordinary human emotions. Such a person can for some time very convincingly portray a philanthropist, if it suits him, make friends and get married, and then calmly step over his loved ones, if necessary for the sake of the goal. Of course, the existence of such personalities causes paranoia - how to distinguish a truly good person from a prudent manipulator? Moreover, as a study by Canadian psychologist Angela Book showed, antisocials have a particularly good nose for the weak and vulnerable - it turned out that they are able to identify people who have already repeatedly become victims of aggressors, simply by their gait, without even talking to them.

The second advantage is the ability to maintain unusual composure in risky situations. This is due to the fact that the nervous system of psychopaths reacts more strongly to positive stimuli and poorly associates a dangerous action and a negative outcome. This means that they are so focused on the possible pleasant consequences of their actions that they do not have time to worry. In addition, their sense of fear is generally dulled compared to the average person.

Is it curable?

While most psychiatrists agree that antisocial disorder is incurable. It has not yet been possible to create a drug that increases emotionality and empathy, and psychopaths do not feel particularly deprived and are in no hurry to discover the bright world of humanity.

For the same reason, psychotherapy rarely leads to progress, even if the patient can be dragged into it - such patients try to provoke or manipulate the doctor, and also use the information received from the therapist about the structure of the human psyche to deceive others.

Perhaps more efforts should be directed not to treatment, but to the adaptation of antisocials to life side by side with ordinary people. According to Robert Hare, it is better not to try to reach such people emotionally, but, using rational arguments, to explain to them that destructive behavior is not in their interests, and to show how you can satisfy your needs without conflicting with society.

Although psychopaths are often associated with serial killers, this disorder does not always lead to homicidal tendencies. The smartest anti-socials are often served in the financial sector, where you can quietly get hold of fraud, and many have never broken the law at all. Therefore, all the same, one should not attribute all possible vices to them - due to the structure of the psyche, antisocials have a great potential for immoral and illegal acts, but real manifestations can vary greatly.

In 2005, neuroscientist James Fallon discovered a pathology typical of psychopaths on a brain scan. He came out - spoke at a TED conference, gave several interviews, wrote the book "Psychopathy from the Inside" and assures that he tries to control his psychopathic traits in order to stay in harmony with others. And Oxford psychologist Kevin Dutton, who has actively researched the disorder, believes that some psychopaths may well benefit society - for example, due to their composure, they make good surgeons. You can read about it in his book The Wisdom of Psychopaths.


* For example, Robert Hare and Martha Stout.

Daria Varlamova:

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A letter from a sociopath to people — Daria Gans on

In the modern world, one can hear more and more often: “I am a sociopath,” although a person means: “I feel better when I am alone. ” But people who call themselves sociopaths are not like Sherlock Holmes today. What's on him? In a modern interpretation, the image of the hero of the British television series by Hartswood Films, filmed for BBC Wales, is really a sociopath, he says the following phrase: “I am not a psychopath, but a highly active sociopath, learn the terms!”, I also decided to turn to the terms.


A sociopath is a person who makes decisions based solely on their own interests, they are often confused with psychopaths, who also agree to overcome many obstacles for their own benefit.

I analyzed the behavior of sociopaths and psychopaths and wrote "cards" on behalf of a sociopath.

Who are we?

Non-empathic sociopaths: we have no ability to read the emotions of others and no desire to help anyone. Also, we do not accept and do not perceive social norms, we ignore them, we live according to our own laws.

The Sociopath Oath

1. Being callous to the feelings of others

2. Disregarding social rules and obligations

3. Rejecting any kind of relationship other than manipulation

4. Being aggressive when you don’t get 903 5. Being aggressive when you don’t get 903 5. Never feel guilty and never learn from your own mistakes

6. Do not admit your own mistakes

7. Blame others for everything in the world

Some things we cannot control, such as arrogance and arrogance. Therefore, there are rules of conduct that we live by, and by which you can understand that you have a sociopath in front of you. Not to be confused with psychos - these are other guys.

Difference from psychopaths

All psychopaths are sociopaths, but not all sociopaths are psychopaths.

Despite the fact that we and psychos are similar in the lack of empathy and the internal barrier that determines what is good and what is bad, there is a main difference - the presence of conscience. Thanks to her, we understand our own characteristics. And instead of violence, we use manipulation, ingratiate ourselves with trust, constantly lie, but we don’t kill anyone – it’s too illogical.

Psychopaths don't know what they're doing, so they're dangerous.

How to communicate with us

First of all, think about yourself, if you are a person of will, having your own clear position and opinion, then we will not communicate - boring. But if you're easy to manage, welcome to our hugs (just kidding, we don't like to hug).

If you are an internally weak person and have become attached to someone who humiliates you, but you are waiting for support, then it is better to wait in the reception hall of a psychologist. In case of your lack of independence, we will not leave you behind until we achieve our goal.

But if the sociopath is your boss and there is no way to go somewhere, try to have fewer things to do.

How to help a sociopath become normal?

We are normal, but not in this world.

Learn more