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Can a Sociopath or Narcissist Truly Love?

Asked by on with 1 answer:

From the U.S. I am unsure if my partner is a sociopath or narcissist. Many of the mentioned attributes are cross-covered by their behavioural patterns, which I am only starting to catch onto. (Actually, I have probably always noticed them, but believed that I could change and help them with unconditional love -naïve I know)….

So, while I know that I cannot broach the subject with them, nor even if they were to enter into help, would they change, I want to know if it is possible for them to love in the traditional sense that what I would consider a normal person would. (Although, I am probably co-dependent based on what I have gone through).

If I am only ever seen as an object at best, is it possible at all for any genuine love to be felt from them, or is this just denial to believe it is possible. (My mind is still trying to deny, probably because it still seems unimaginable for it to accept the reality of the situation.)

I would hang in there, if I believed there is hope. Perhaps to my own detriment though.

Can a Sociopath or Narcissist Truly Love?

Answered by on -

A.

If your partner is a true sociopath and/or narcissist, the simple answer to your question is “no.” People with those disorders are too self-centered to offer unconditional love to someone else.

That being said, it is dangerous to diagnose someone else without the training and expertise to do so. There are often reasonable (though perhaps painful) explanations for behaviors that look like symptoms of these disorders. If your partner has had significant trauma in her life or has lost trust in others, for example, she may be so self-protective that she can look self-centered and manipulative.

If the two of you want to salvage a relationship, it might be helpful to see a couples therapist together. The therapist can observe your interactions and help you both sort out whether the problem lies in your partner or in your relationship with each other.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Can a Sociopath or Narcissist Truly Love?

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Can a Sociopath or Narcissist Truly Love?. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 21, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2016/01/19/can-a-sociopath-or-narcissist-truly-love/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.