Without any other relationships you need them…..desperately. With one attachment, their words and behavior hold an incredible amount of power. Isolation is key to a sociopath. When they become your sole attachment and then refuse to validate any feelings or thoughts, you morph into a creature that looks nothing like your former, pre-sociopath-relationship, self. This is also key for a sociopath: their partner is “crazy.” As the victim becomes more and more "crazy," and without outside comparisons/insight, the sociopath is more than willing to offer "the explanation and diagnosis."
Abusers often try to manipulate the "system" by:
- Threatening to call Child Protective Services or the Department of Human Resources and making actual reports that his partner neglects or abuses the children.
- Changing lawyers and delaying court hearings to increase his partner's financial hardship.
- Telling everyone (friends, family, police, etc.) that she is "crazy" and making things up.
- Using the threat of prosecution to get her to return to him.
- Telling police she hit him, too.
- Giving false information about the criminal justice system to confuse his partner or prevent her from acting on her own behalf.
- Using children as leverage to get and control his victim.