Perfect love is… a fraud

So many of us are looking for a perfect love. Not perfect in general–something too vague to be imaginable–but perfect for us. Someone who accepts and even prefers us with our imperfections. Someone who instead of criticizing our neuroses and bad habits finds them cute and quaint. Someone with whom we have an instant connection. Someone who shares our interests and finds them exciting. Someone who promises fidelity and commitment, for life. Someone who knows us so well that he or she can divine our thoughts and finish our sentences. Someone with whom communication is engaging and effortless.

Anyone who tells us “you’re perfect in every way” we’re not likely to believe. We know we’re imperfect and we know what our flaws are. But someone who tells us “you’re perfect in my eyes, flaws and all” or “I love you just the way you are” seems much more believable and seductive. This is the extraordinary nature of the psychopathic lure: a complete acceptance of our imperfection, which means a complete acceptance of who we are. Let’s face it: most of us want what is too good to be true and extraordinary over what is imperfect and requires effort and compromise. Unfortunately, as many of us found out through very painful life experiences, the kinds of people most likely to offer all of the above are personality disordered individuals: particularly psychopaths.

This is because normal love, like normal individuals, aren’t perfect and don’t promise to offer perfection to anyone. We all know, rationally speaking, that perfection is an illusion: especially this perfection of the imperfection; the perfection of being accepted by another human being as we are, imperfections and all, unconditionally and for life. Even the wedding vows qualify to allow room for imperfection: in sickness and in health, for better and for worse. No normal individual offers such a perfect love precisely because all human beings are imperfect and, in real life, connecting and communicating with other imperfect individuals, like ourselves, takes effort and isn’t always easy or pleasant. In an imperfect world, perfect love is… a fraud.

However, emotionally, many of us prefer to imagine such a perfect imperfection: a person who loves and accepts us exactly as we are, without much effort on our part. This emotional dream isn’t necessarily unhealthy. It’s a horizon of possibility: something to aspire to in our imperfect relationships to make them better. This wish or dream becomes dangerous only when we expect it to be fully realized in reality. The  human beings most likely to mirror us so perfectly and to present an image of perfection are psychopaths, narcissists and other personality disordered individuals during the idealization or luring phase of the relationship. Generally speaking, normal human beings will not jump into a relationship offering eternal love and commitment before even knowing you. They will not love or even like everything about you. They will not have more in common with you than your own image in the mirror. They will not say you’re ideal: because you’re not.

Conmen lure their victims with promises of easy money and huge profits that never pan out and waste their resources. Psychopaths lure romantic partners with promises of perfect love, lifelong adoration, fidelity and commitment and a mirrored image of their own perfect imperfection. It’s almost impossible to resist a bond that seems to fulfill, so easily and so instantly, everything you’ve ever wanted in a partner or in a romantic relationship. But usually in these cases, keep your eyes wide open, because the red flags will start waving. Because real life doesn’t work that way and a love that seems to be too good to be true is often…a psychopathic fraud.

Claudia Moscovici, psychopathyawareness

Dangerous Liaisons: How to Identify and Escape from Psychopathic Seduction


  1. Claudia, I posted on “crazy roller coaster” earlier, before seeing this post. That post would have been a better fit here. As always you have answered my questions or placed order in my somewhat confused thoughts. Giving me direction towards “normalcy” Thank you for another great post.

  2. Gary, thanks. It’s after reading your comment that I wrote this post. Reader comments bring a lot of insight and provoke further posts. Claudia

  3. Claudia, an excellent post. I remember having a similar conversation with my ex. I believe that society and the media also feeds the notions of perfection………unattainable. I’ll take good and excellent any day.

  4. Donna, psychopaths know that what most of us want is not a vague romantic perfection–like in romance novels, which as a reality seems pretty cheesy to most of us–but the perfection of the imperfect. That’s more unique and subtle, and that’s how we come to believe, falsely, that we’re loved and accepted by the psychopaths as we are, flaws and all. As mentioned in the article, anyone who tells us “you’re perfect in every way” we’re not likely to believe. But someone who tells us “you’re perfect in my eyes, flaws and all” or “I love you just the way you are” seems much more believable. That’s why so many people fall for psychopaths: healthy, normal people too, not only narcissists who want to believe they’re perfect. Those of us who know we’re imperfect still desire to be loved with our imperfections. Psychopaths instantly offer us that promise. Claudia

  5. Yep LOL

  6. Claudia

    I was not expecting this post, but it’s so good and so true! this is why getting over the bond is so difficult. It requires me to look inward at my own narcissism….he appealed to not only a dream, but a “perfect” me….and it’s true Donna, media, movies, even families of our own backgrounds, our social circles, elevate the idea that perfect love exists. There is no such thing. Inevitably what comes is disappointment…and the reality that to have a true healthy relationship, two people who can truly love, have to work on it. This is where it stops with the psychopath. He is caught in his cycles of idealization/devaluation. NO ONE will ever meet his expectations. Ever. But “normal” people can strive for a healthy relationship with flaws, once the honeymoon stage is over. There is a honeymoon stage for ALL those in relationships early on, if not, then how would any of us procreate or get married or live together or whatever the circumstances are? The point being that with a psychopath, the honeymoon ends, and then abuse takes over once he sees that we are NOT the perfect partner, because as human beings we all have flaws.., the relationship, in their mind, is irrevocably over….and we are left to deal with the abuse and pain, without understanding that, for a psychopath, this is where the relationship really ends. When the honeymoon is over, but for those who are healthy, it’s really the beginning 🙂

  7. Kelli, the reason psychopaths lure people so well is because the honeymoon stage is far more filled with honey and nectar than ordinary love is. It’s more romantic, more sensual, more flattering, more exciting, etc. It’s like a regular honeymoon phase times ten. That hooks you in, then the abuse and inconsistencies begin, until the mask slips off completely and you see a person who is a complete fraud, as is the relationship with him. Then everything comes crashing down, because most people invest a lot of emotion, time, energy, hope and sometimes even money and career plans into their romantic relationships. It’s not just a phony relationship or the high of the honeymoon period that comes crushing down: often it’s everything. Claudia

  8. Gary,

    You WILL heal. I’m believing that for you. If that were not the case and it were all for nought, you’d not be here posting. Please don’t give up OR IN with regards to your ex. Keep moving forward, even if it’s just the littlest of baby steps. This is a long process, granted for others, it’s shorter, many variables come to mind as I write this… KIND to yourself, keep posting and NEVER EVER give up on a healthy life away from your ex. I’m in your corner. I’m believing for you that you WILL heal from this. Kelli

  9. Claudia,

    I totally get that. It is devastation all around. Complete and total. But this is the HOOK that keeps us in the relationship….we are so in love, so into the whirlwind,…and the psychopath knows this…and he waits, he has patience……he waits until we are REALLY hooked….then he does the bait and switch. This is the pivotal moment in the relationship with the psychopath, to where he tests our boundaries……if we have any left…”Just how much WILL you take from me?” There are variables for everyone insofar as how much and how long….but the shock of the bait and switch is so much, denial seems to be the answer for most….there is no logic or reason at that point. What amazes me is how FAST the psychopath can lure and then hook his victim, usually within weeks or just a few months. It’s almost culturally “ok” to have sex with a date either the first date, but no later than the third. this perpetuates the psychopaths agenda. But it leads to only sorrow and deep grieving. I’ve learned the hard way that the best and healthiest relationships are built over time…a long time….when one is in love, six months can feel like a long time, but I wouldn’t get involved with someone unless it had been AT LEAST a year….time is against the psychopath at this point…make him wait. Guaranteed he’s gone…..

  10. Kelli, everything you’ve said is so true and yet even waiting as just friends for a year offers no guarantee.We’ve read several stories here about psychopaths being willing to stay just friends for a year or even longer. When they fixate on a game piece, they can have almost infinite patience in the pursuit. They become impatient usually after they get their pray. Not necessarily before, when it’s a matter of strategy and game to them. It’s like a hunt. Psychopaths can take their time to hunt and woe some victims for a good long time, particularly since they’re already feasting on several other victims at the same time. They have plenty of food (sex). They’re not starving for you. They can wait… Claudia

  11. Kelli, my ex waited and was patient for three years being my friend. All the while he was also luring another woman who gave up her job, family members, friends and community activites for him. He stopped taking her out to dinner and spending time with her, she only saw him when he called for her, in the meantime he was seeing and trying to lure four of five other women. He always called women by their first and last names, I guess so he could remember who he was talking about. He also took pictures of me and other women to put in his phone so he knew who was calling. I saw alot at the beginning that’s why I didn’t move to another level with him. Now his patterns and the puzzle pieces are falling into place.

    Even as his friend I was (narc supply) and when his mask started to slip I played him back a little, a little of his own game, I believe there is probably some woman who will take him down, because he is getting old. He still looks OK on the outside but has to be rotting from the inside out.

    Kelli, you will heal my friend, just please don’t let anything cloud your judgement about going back to him. Be strong!!!

  12. Thank you Kelli, that means a lot. I hope the same for you. I think the key is to harness our subconscious and not let it control us. on the outside its easy to say “I’m done lets move on already.” But inside that little voice says “Well maybe? Remember that was everything you wanted?” I don’t know maybe our inner voices are slow learners, outside we know but inside we haven’t caught up yet. I am starting to think that’s where the confusion lye’s. That’s maybe why it takes a shorter period of time for some, Everybody is different. I have always had a powerful inner voice. It has kept me out of trouble and I believe it has made me a good person. The power of the psychopath lye’s in the ability to take control of our inner voice, painting the perfect picture in our mind. duping our inner voice to believe something that isn’t true and causing our inner voice to protect them. Its like the old angle on one shoulder devil on the other. We are almost left to where we have to retrain our inner voice. and that’s where sites like this can help. Hope this makes sense.

  13. Donna, the psychopath I was with called every woman he was involved with “Baby”. That way he didn’t have to keep our names straight, particularly since he (simultaneously) had a wife, several mistresses, a few more friends with benefits, several ex’s he was still frequenting, countless dating website chat friends and scores of flings, one night stands, escorts and booty calls to boot! All the while telling me that I’m the love of his life and that he’s divorcing his wife (and pressuring me relentlessly, for over a year, to divorce as well) so we can marry. He was, no doubt, using this line on any woman he found it necessary for the seduction to work. For those for whom it wasn’t necessary to proclaim exclusive love and commitment, he probably didn’t use this particular trick. Psychopaths have in their bag of tricks the lines for every occasion and type of relationship. As their priorities and relationships change depending upon who they meet and their whims, so do the lines they feed you. That’s why they can promise you commitment and plan your wedding one day and act like they never did a few months (or days) later.

    Since you also allude to pictures: I believe that the pictures they take are just trophies, to remind themselves and gloat about the details of their conquests. These psychopathic sex addicts have too many women (and men) to keep track of all their names… They’re all “Babe” or “Baby,” so they don’t blurt out the wrong name to the wrong person. Maybe nowadays, if they listen to hip hop, it’s changed to “Shoyte”:). I wrote about the (very common) phenomenon of psychopaths as sex addicts (since sex is a psychopath’s preferred dominance bond) in the article below. Claudia

  14. Donna,

    Thank you for your kind words. I think I know where I’m stuck in all of this. I’ve refrained from speaking about it because from an intellectual level, it sounds lucicrous and people don’t get why I’m stuck. I never knew about ANY other women. I WAS the OW in the relationship. After his divorce, we dated briefly until I found him on a dating website. When he secured his new wife, he got off the dating site. In my mind, this means he’s faithful to one at a time. I never saw him on a porn site, never saw him with other women, until I dated him, but he was divorced and not committed to me, so he was free to date. He didn’t want to be “alone” the rest of his life and was determined to find someone with money and willing to commit. She must not have liked him on his site. I guess what I fear is that what he always told me was true, “if I met the right woman, I can be faithful”. Apparently, his two ex wives and myself weren’t the “right” woman for him. It implies he can change, that I wasn’t worthy, nor were the ex’s and they were both good women. Because I didn’t have proof of anything more, it creates the cog/dis and increases the pain I feel. I wish I knew more, but I never will. In my mind, he is faithful now and happy with someone else. Kelli

  15. Kelli – Through all his degrading and devaluing me I failed to remember what you have outlined; Love should grow deeper and stronger NOT die and flourish when the honeymoon period is over. Over time healthy partnerships should only get better NOT worse as in what we experienced with our psychopathic partner. And furthermore what a far contrast to at one time be SOOOOO idolized, adored and cherished then all of a sudden we are the opposite to them, even as partners discover each others faults and flaws in NO WAY does it transform into how the psychopath treated us so that is just another fact that is proof of how disordered they are and how they are unable to bond or connect with others to grow in a relationship, your partner should become MORE and MORE to you as time passes NOT less and less. My goodness how can you possibly treat someone as the perfect soul mate then months later we are not only abused but discarded and we were still the same person we were when we met them we didnt just change into some horrible monster, it was them that changed into the monster.

    Its also interesting how they try to project on to us their change with in truth there is no justification what so ever – they have no excuses to explain why their behavior did a 180 so the only thing they can do is blame us, shame us and project on to us what their own sickness is. It was my personal discovery of this pathological behavior that was the key to my recovery and getting over the shock of what he did to me, after awhile I began to accept that I was played and conned by a psychopath predator and I did nothing wrong. During the last few months of contact I saw this behavior so clearly I would hang up the phone and cry and shake my head and say OMG he is so messed up. I cant even count the lies I caught him in I just let him believe he was fooling me I mean why bother, I really didnt care anymore. Strange how they are larger than life to us in the beginning and they become so small and trivial in the end.

  16. Claudia: This article sparked my interest because dont you find it interesting that Psychopaths despise love and emotions yet they put such a good act on to evoke these behaviors from their targets. They present to us the PERFECT LOVE as you describe to secure our trust, love and faith then they turn into what they really are after they have achieved this, Thats why I dont believe psychopaths fall in love but I believe their thrill is only getting others to fall in love with them. They never stick around for the true test of love they are only enthralled with the new body parts and the new target they have the opportunity to manipulate and brainwash. They LOVE THAT and thats the only thing that comes close to love in their life, they love how they can manipulate and get their partners to do what they want them to do for them.

    So we then walk away from this toxic relationship with those visions of having found the perfect love and we mourn, and grieve this perfect love that never existed. However, in reality as you state there is NO perfect love that exists in a healthy relationship; love consists of giving and taking and compromises and sacrificing but never sacrificing in a perverted or twisted way. yes we all in a way search for that perfect love but my search is long over. I realize now I always had an unrealistic version of what love should be and its FAR from perfect. Real love includes the good with the bad and not some masked man pretending he will give you everything you want in life and be everything you want him to be, nobody exists like that and nobody can give you that. Good article for those of us who are trying to forget the illusion of perfect love Linda

  17. Linda, that’s absolutely true. Psychopaths are excited by duping and dominating others, so creating the illusion of love to get others to fall in love with them and fall for their lies is a DOUBLE thrill and power trip. Claudia

  18. Claudia, it’s makes sense to me now that he uses different lines and bags of tricks to lure different woman for his preplanned purposes. Also he latched on to a very positive email I sent him very early on and mirrored back to me every value and decent personal view I held. Little did I know he was just setting me up to get him over, because he is so devoid of some common sense, and normal human beliefs and feelings. He’s a preditator, parasite in a healthy man’s body, who only exists because too many woman/men fall for his sh_ _,words, game and acting skills.

    I need to do this work to understand. I kept hearing a little boy in a mature man’s body and didn’t get because he learned how to push my buttons even though I questioned him and challenged him back. And so now I recognize that I became a big target/ the game to take down………But I am still standing, I refuse to let this man destroy me.

  19. Claudia what is your opinion on this; writing them and telling them that he is a psychopath and you know every dirty rotten mind game he ever played with you and tell them how sick and disordered they are. I DONT care if he answers me I know he wont, and I dont CARE if he laughs but what is important to me is to let him know I know what he is OR is it best to never tell them this and just walk away? To let him know he no longer impresses me that he is a fake, fraud and nothing but a rapist and he repulses me in every way— let him know he was never my perfect love and he is not even capable of loving another human being. ??? Linda

  20. what happens when the honeymoon is over with their wives and GF? Those that stay? Does the relationship continue to be a total lie for as long as the live in is fooled I imagine right?

  21. Donna, you have the right attitude! Claudia

  22. Linda, I did that right after breaking up with my psychopathic ex and… predictably, it didn’t do any good. His response ranged from denying everything, to accusing others of trying to sling dirt on him to break us up, to accusing my therapist of being full of bull crap, to stating that everybody’s a psychopath. Basically, you might as well tell a wall it’s a psychopath and it will make as much of a difference as telling a psychopath. If you choose to do it, then do it for yourself, for your own piece of mind, because it won’t make any difference to the psychopath. If anything, it will be just another move in this pointless game of chess they play. However, overall, no contact with the psychopath is still the best approach. Claudia

  23. Linda, some women adjust to the devaluation: either because they have low self-esteem (or have a background of some abuse that makes this new abuse seem normal and familiar) or because they’re disordered and find compensatory pleasure in the psychopath’s abuse of other women (as is the case with narcissistic women). Many others stay because they don’t know the psychopaths well, being just casual booty calls, friends with benefits or flings. They only see the psychopaths for sex, so they never get to see much of them (other than the physical). And many leave the psychopath when his pathology begins to show through and the emotional abuse begins. Psychopaths go through so many “relationships” that they probably run out of space to mark them on their bedposts. Claudia

  24. Linda, my new friend. Everything I have ever read sence Jan is that he doesn’t care about us now or did they ever. Any personal contact is just (supply) for his sick, little small ego. HE DOESN’T CARE ABOUT US, ANYMORE. He doesn’t care about our feelings, he doesn’t care that he caused harm or wounds, he just doesn’t care about anyone but himself. NO CONTACT, is the KEY. He just feeds off that we keep getting in touch. He is a sick Mfuth…..and you are getting well. Get and Be Strong……..

    We keep trying to make something right and it was his all wrong from the very beginning. HE IS EVIL, WRONG, DECIETFUL, CUNNING AND WILL GO TO HELL. THERE IS NOTHING RIGHT HE CAN DO, or make amends……..They are void of human feelings and we need to teach them that they can’t come back here/to us……..

  25. Claudia, Michael, Sam, Linda, Gary, Kelli, for some reason I need to go back to my roots, to move forward once again.

    My Mother, told me many years ago, that “Only Monkeys get bored”. It’s now that I am getting it. “Psycho’s are Monkeys.” He/she swings from tree to tree looking for new and different fruit to eat. As a number of recent news reports and documentaries, Monkeys and Apes have/will turn on their owners, adopted caretakers, and family friends and did their best to rip them apart and destroy the humans that loved and cared about them. I even know now my little pet dog that I raise from a pup would bit me.

    Psycho’s brains are still underdeveloped. (My point of View and Opinion……) Not capable of human of normal human emotionals/feelings.

    It’s becoming so hard to find the real deal, someone who truly cares about you, is willing to do some relationship work with you over time and doesn’t only want you to satisfy their sex needs. I like and enjoyed good intimate sex. So am I a freak?

    So guys, we need to heal our wounds and move. Claudia you and your work and attention are a “God Spend” for Me.

  26. Donna, good analogy to the monkeys being bored:). I’m so grateful for these reader contributions because they offer insight and mutual support. And recovery from a toxic relationship is not just about absorbing information about personality disorders. Information affects us on a rational level, but it doesn’t touch us emotionally as much. That’s why it’s important to be able to share with others who have gone through such a terrible, abnormal experience. Because very often people who haven’t been through this can’t understand that it’s not a normal breakup and it wasn’t a normal relationship in the same way as losing money to a con man or fraud isn’t the same thing as losing money in a bad economy. The fraudulent nature of the psychopathic bond is what is so unique and dangerous in this type of relationship. That’s why victims need both psychological information about personality disorders and a lot of mutual encouragement and support from fellow victims. Claudia

  27. Claudia and all: What is the reason why a woman would ever go back to a man who has beaten her? I mean to actually leave this man and then GO BACK to them? And tell them you still love them? I have never been beaten or hit by a man but I was severely abused, violated and raped by my x psychopath and I want to kick myself everyday for even having the sick man enter my thoughts WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME that I would THINK I miss such an animal such as this? I realize we were conned and I am also taking into consideration the fair amount of brainwashing and the illusion we were under but there is NOTHING illusionary when a man beats you this is REAL – Do you think its ALL trauma bonding. I had a friend who was beaten with fists by her psychopath and she CRIES over him and misses him and says she will ALWAYS love him, and I just dont get it? I also dont understand despite that I STILL loved and was betrayed why I waste my precious thoughts on such a sick person saying I love him would be a true testimony to my stupidity because it was never HIM that I loved it was the whole illusion of finding that perfect love – and I HATE him with every ounce of my being for taking it all away and playing dangerous games with peoples lives – Linda

  28. Claudia i figured as much but as I walk away he thinks he fooled me he thinks I believed all his charm and lies I also want to tell him I feel sorry for his Gf he uses as a dupe and cover he may laugh but he will know I KNOW THE TRUTH of what he is he will never be able to con me again but he WONT CARE either if I know what he is he will say PROVE IT I never promised you anything well he actually did but he will deny that. also. EVERYTHING he said was a LIE, lies lies lies lies constantly the man was a walking lie machine there is only one thing worse than a liar and that is a thief, and he was that also he took something from me under false pretense, so he is a thief, lair, fraud, con man, swindler, fake, immoral, shallow, empty ,callous, no conscience or remorse, We can conclude they are the worst human beings that walk the planet. I wish he would die he does not deserve to live and have pleasures of any kind. There are those that say we should cultivate indifference towards them, sorry I cant do that he should die for destroying lives of others x0x0 Linda

  29. Donna if he had the capacity to love and bond with others he would see what he did to me but of course someone who has remorse and a conscience could not do what they do to people. I realize of course Donna that he does this to everyone he didnt just become pathological with me although when we experience it it seems so. Your right it was always him from the very beginning that was WRONG they torture others by blaming them for their disorder and wrong doings. I cant tell you how many times I would stop him and say, STOP IT STOP IT, dont project this on to me that trick wont work anymore and he would laugh and say the truth hurts baby and you cant face the truth. You know he was right I couldnt face the truth of WHAT HE WAS and to this day I still at times cant believe I had an encounter with a psychopath of all the people in this world I HAD to attract the sick 20% or whatever percentage it is of the population. He will NEVER be able to recycle me years from now if he should contact me he will only hear silence when I press end on my cell phone, I have NOTHING to say to him he is dead to me. These days It seems I am angry for one reason; that he literally tortured me for over 4 years making me believe there was something wrong with me I walked through life for 4 years feeling like a worthless person who was no better than a whore and believed thats all he saw in me. I know better today, for I know he saw EVERYTHING decent that was in me and he could not wait to destroy all of the good he saw. Donna I WON and HE LOST because he did not achieve the one thing he set out to do and that was to destroy me. x00 Linda

  30. As I sit and read through all of these, I’m brought to tears. I’m in so much pain now, understanding that my ex has already remarried and we’ve not been apart eight months. I saw them today as I was going about my business around town.

    I feel your pain. Linda, I don’t even know what to say. there is such injustice with a human being who has no conscience and can feel nothing. I understand so well, your pain. It’s also easier for me to be an armchair psychologist than to experience relief for myself, for right now, I can’t.

    Just hang in there. I understand how hard it is.


  31. You as well Kelli, I am sorry you are hurting so much tonight from this poor excuse of a human being. It does not shock me they can remarry in such little time, if he had it his way he would have remarried within a month because they cant feel a damn thing for anybody, they just move on to the next trusting soul they can eventually destroy and leave in utter pain. Kelli dear dont hurt because he moved on so fast as you must remember they can do this because of their disorder it had nothing to do with what you lacked Kelli but everything to do with what HE lacks. One day his new bride will run into his new woman after he has left her – she too will experience the wrath of a psychopath.

    When I find myself crying I cry mostly because he was disordered WHY did he have to be a psychopath I often say how can someone go through their life and not feel genuine love with others. I cant comprehend it at times but what I can comprehend is the horrible pain he inflicted on me because of what he was. One day you will move on to meet a man that will cherish you as you should be cherished; a healthy normal man that would never ever want to hurt you as this man did. Of course when you are ready and you will look back at this piece of garbage with disgust and realize he wasnt even worthy to utter your name x0x0 Linda

  32. Oh Kelli: Do you really believe you are not worthy of a man being faithful to you? I KNOW I KNOW you wanted THIS man to feel you were good enough to be faithful to. This is NOT a man I would want to take that risk with. My X psycho has been with his woman for 10 years now is SHE worthy of being faithful to? I guess not because he cheated with me on her and I was the love of his life the one he should have never let go 20 years ago- she must be the ONE because he has been with her so long right? TWO x wives Kelli? Well he will have THREE x wives soon and if he doesnt its ONLY because he will be able to train and manipulate this one better NOT because she is the ONLY woman who can satisfy his needs!!!!!!!!!! If he is a true psychopath there will NEVER be ONE woman he will be satisfied with, NEVER!

    “If I met the right woman I can be faithful” That is BULL CRAP he has had many RIGHT WOMEN so that is not the reason he is not faithful Kelli just a bogus excuse for him to be constantly looking for the pot of gold at the end of his sick rainbow, Let me translate that for you: If I found the right woman that will believe my lies, and I can control and manipulate easily than I can fool this woman more easily than I did the rest besides she already has issues and is mentally weak so she will be perfect!!!!

    Kelli are you telling me a psychopath is capable of being faithful and happy with someone? They are NEVER happy and they are never faithful do you ever see the text books describe them that way? In your mind you are imagining this just as I imagine mine with his so happy together and just perfect, I remember that as he is sneaking into the garage to call me or cant WAIT for her to go some place so he can be with me for a couple days, I will also remember that as he told ME the exact same thing, “you and I are perfect for each other I dont have much in common with my GF I live with the relationship is dead” you are my one true match. Mine has never married but YOURS likes the idea of marriage obviously maybe he can secure them better that way who knows or they cant leave as readily as someone NOT married he may have more control over them married too. Marriage does not mean ANYTHING Kelli and obviously not to him for he is going on #3 pretty quickly. You were probably a woman he interviewed long and hard for that role of marriage and be glad he didnt hire you, thank GOD above whatever pain you are going through now is NOTHING compared to what it could have been if he married you. Think about it, Do you really want to be the wife of a psychopath? Of course you dont!!!! You are just THINKING you were chosen by someone better but you werent Kelli this woman is no better than you are and the woman mine stays with has NOTHING that I dont have there are other reasons why he married her and the reasons are not for love and not good. Would you want to live your life with a man who could never genuinely love you? I KNOW I dont no matter how great he might have seemed – trust me he is NOT GREAT and he will act for her also. Dry your tears and know you did not lose the love of your life, what you lost is just like the article states, it was PERFECT PRETEND LOVE x0x0 Linda

  33. Kelli, you know that what Linda and Donna and everyone here is telling you is true, but you still have the last shreds of cognitive dissonance between the fantasy and the reality of the psychopath. When one experiences cognitive dissonance, the rational knowledge about psychopathy doesn’t sink in on an emotional level. So you’re constantly moving back and forth between the idealized fantasy and the pathetic reality of the psychopath. Initially, when you’re the one being idealized by him, the fantasy is that a psychopath can love you and that he is committed to you and respects you.

    Then, once you’ve been devalued and/or discarded, the fantasy remains that he is capable of loving others, just not you. That you in particular weren’t right for him, but others can be. This is the fantasy that the psychopath tries to convince every victim once they enter the devalue phase. I think psychopaths truly believe this because they never see anything wrong with themselves or their behavior, so if they’re no longer excited by a person, they conclude it must be her (or his) fault; that she (or he) is deficient.

    Because you put up with emotional abuse from the psychopath you were with and recently been through the devaluation phase–in fact, for you it was long and drawn-out–you have absorbed this particular fantasy despite everything you know about psychopaths’ incapacity to love or even care about others. But with time and no contact, the rational knowledge and the emotional will merge, and this last bit of illusion about the psychopath will be dissolved. Claudia

  34. Claudia: I want to explore further into something that I believe is the reason I still experience days of pain and obsession from this encounter.I often wondered is TOTAL recovery something that just all of a sudden comes to you overnight? Do you wake up one day and say, OMG I am finally healed, I am finally over it? I am inclined to believe the recovery does not work that way even in our discovery of knowing he was a severely personality disordered person as caring, and loving individuals we must also as you said mourn the person we once thought he was. As you said, I am grieving the illusion, but here is the tricky part ……..

    I consider myself a fairly intelligent and logical person so I ask myself during these periods when I reflect back of everything he once was to me I say, Ok Linda WHY are you feeling this pain right now, why do you have this urge to call him at times why would you want to have contact with someone who did this to you? Strange how THEY need validation from others to lack what they have inside and in the end I find it strange we need validation from them to KNOW we were so much more than what they reduced us to, but you will never get it from them because they only see the good in others for their evil purposes. Mourning the illusion is pure hell because I am in essence mourning over something that never existed, I am hurting over a “pretend love” on his part, a facade he created only in order to secure what he wanted from me. If I were to ever write a book I would call it ” The Six Month Love of my Life” because even 4 years later what he created for me in my heart feels like it was the love of my life, Whatever dance we danced together during those 6 months (idealization stage) and whatever he mirrored from me I can only conclude if I was falling in love with myself during this process he was just more or less reflecting back to me everything he knew I wanted. There was no real self from him that he ever gave to the relationship, I realize now they have to hide their TRUE self from the world 24-7 and not just their sexual perversion because they dont have a TRUE SELF . Their behaviors are comprised of what we have read, Glib, superficial, selfish, and you now the rest we have read them a million times. There is NOTHING in his character, and make up that is REAL the only thing real about them is they are comprised of flesh and blood as we are that is the ONLY thing you know that is real and to be true. They are walking and talking artificial and superficial projection machines, they are artificial and superficial in ALL their interactions. And for those of us who have seen through that and no longer believe their facade they take their act elsewhere.
    When we start to question their behaviors and their act they start their projection games, I imagine that projection is a built in defense shield of some type to better hide what they are.

    I find it difficult to mourn over a person and/or relationship that never existed its a REAL MIND SCREW because you can sure as hell know We loved with all our hearts into this relationship that was only a lie from day one. Was I so betrayed I ask myself? When it comes to my heart YES of course I was betrayed but considering I was dealing with a person who was a complete and total fraud from day one and does not have the capacity to be anything other than that it was a betrayal that comes with knowing what psychopaths do. Well Guess what Claudia, he is starting to look “TRIVIAL” to me more and more a man that has to fake everything he is in order to secure the love and trust of a beautiful good and kind woman, for if he tried to secure me as himself he would not have had a chance in hell and that says so much about me in the end. It helps to write my thoughts down I hope others agree with what I am saying x0x0x0 linda

  35. Linda,

    I’m not sure there is ever a “final” recovery. I don’t think this experience is ever forgotten, but i do believe that in some ways, as time moves forward it can be a blessing of sorts. I can’t say what that is right now, as I’m still pretty raw, just something that tells me so….maybe it’s hope. I had a big realization today. I’ve really been grieving my ex remarrying. It’s just devastating and within not even eight months time. He has taken himself off his dating site and is exclusive with her. It’s the pain of the reality that he’s being faithful right now, that was my first thought when I heard and knew what was going on. This is where I really have to stop and look at the bigger picture. Not what he was with his wife or any other woman for that matter, if there were more, but what he DID TO ME. His reactions, responses, behaviors, the abuse. The very things that underlie psychopath as a whole. Will he do this to her too? Bigger picture: It’s inevitable. And it is given his past behavior. did he love his wife while he cheated on her half the marriage? No. He said it was too much work to work it out. The first marriage ended in divorce after four years and she took her child and RAN for her life! He signed off his parental rights to that child. I never really found out why. There are many things that are suspicious to me, that feel like lies, that I will never really get validation on, but isn’t the feeling “enough”? It’s red flag when you feel instinctively that someone is being evasive or lying to you. He lied to me all along, Linda. About his wives, his earlier life at home, his first child. He doesn’t give a SHIT about her. I remember after his divorce he said to me ” if it weren’t for MY kids, I would never see that bitch again”. Meaning his now second EX wife. Well, that’s what he does. He doesn’t recycle, he erases them from his life, as if they never existed. He brought up hisfirst wife only twice during our relationship. Never again. Even the target I found out about, never knew he had a first marriage or child from that marrriage. He conveniently didn’t discuss it, but he did play victim about his second wife, oh and he never mentioned that he had a ten year affair with me. On top of this we have the psychopathic acting out. The rages, the lies, the excuses, teh blaming, projecting, the pretending a fight never happened, etc etc etc. I believe those things are just apart of who he IS, no matter who he is with intimately. She will eventually see these things. She has only known him for a few months. She is in for a world of grief and pain and eventually revelations of lies and just purely bad behavior. Would you want to live that the rest of your life? I wouldn’t. Secondly, healthy men DON”T lie to women to gain their sympathy or to suck them into a relationship. Healthy men don’t want to get married five months in. Healthy men most of the time, have friendly friendships with their ex’s and do not talk poorly about them. Men who are divorced and are on good terms with their ex’s don’t talk shit about them. Or anyone else for that matter. They continue to exploit, even when they are not with us anymore. I know for a fact he has not mentioned his ten year affair with me. Imagine what it will be when this new wife finds out and eventually, she will find out. Too many people know. Way too many. Including where he works. we don’t deserve men like that, and the men here, don’t deserve women like that either, but a psychopath ripos you a new asshole Linda. And it takes awhile to understand what happened to you and that you didn’t deserve it. That you’re a loving human being, that seeing tem as INHUMANE and INHUMAN is almost unbearable. Oh and by the way, Linda, not that it would happen, but if ever new wife finds out about me, and contacts me, I will be honest with her, but I won’t seek her out. We have to learn our lessons the hard way. She may never do so, shit, she may never find out, he has a few dupes that are just like him, but I find it hard to believe that she wouldn’t eventually. When I think about this more, i also think about what it would have been like to be trapped with him. For me it was awful, but we were already ten years in. But if I take everything I know AS A WHOLE, past and present, his future and any life he touches is predictable with the outcome. He hasn’t changed at all. He merely exchanged victims. Yours will do the same. They all do it. “faithful” or not. Kelli

  36. Linda, I agree with Kelli that one never forgets a bad experience with a psychopath because it’s so anomalous and so horrific, to realize you’ve gotten close to a total fraud, to someone evil. However, with each month of no contact it will get easier for you and even the anger you feel will diminish. No contact is so important, even when you feel the urge to contact him, for whatever reason (even if it’s just to let him know that you know he’s a fraud). Write to us here when you feel like contacting him or responding to his harassment. If he cyberstalks you or stalks you keep a record of it because you have to prove a pattern to the police for them to take it seriously. I promise it does get easier, and you’ll find reward in helping others in this situation, on this website as well as in your own encounters and activities. Claudia

  37. Claudia, your most recent article / post has like many others before it reached and struck a chord; and has elicited and opened a number of stories and narratives that hold a striking and also soothing similarity between them. Recovering from a cluster B / pathological relationship I have found to be one of the most lonly experiences I have encountered in all my 45 years of life. I am not alone 🙂

    I agree with your position on Romanticism as being over rated; perfect love, ideal love, the perfect partner. The psychopathic seduction as I experienced it was like a kind of homecoming; natural, secure, a deep and everlasting connection, a specialness that underpins a companionship that promises depth and an increasing deep root connection that holds the promise of growing stronger as time progresses.

    A “normal” relationship begins after the honeymoon period. By this I mean we are then confronted with the reality that a relationship takes effort, compromise, communication, working through tensions, talking, relating, bonding!! We invest our emotions because that is the cradle of all relationships. But we do not invest our emotions as though we are floating on some kind of emotional stock market; any more than we move our emotions as easily as making a chess move.

    And yet that is exactly what cluster B’s do. Psychopaths are walking, talking, breathing dichotomys; they are a contradiction. As the “relationship” progresses we awake from the dream. I think a relationship can be analogous to a dance- normally as we tango we may step on our partners shoe or they may step on ours. But we communicate and the dance goes on. We pick up on our partners cues, eye contact, movements etc; and the dance is pretty well coordinated (mutual reality). The dance may be a bit awkward at first until the partners tune into each other.

    Psychopathic dance partners jump us from behind and tango with us with perfect rhythm from the first step. Once they have Trojan horsed their way into our lives, they turn the dance into – “you go that way and I will go the opposite way but I wont tell you which way I’m really going”!

    It is not suprising we have all experienced mass confusion; what the hel happened that this person who I thought we had such an emotional connection with can suddenly emotionaly (and physically) vanish over night?

  38. Kelli and Claudia: I agree as you both expressed that nobody will ever forget an encounter with a psychopath, but that doesnt mean it will pain and hurt us forever, my counselor said you will have a big scar from this but I guarantee you it wont hurt one day. Kelli the LIES you discovered about his other women and marriages and yes no healthy man can just dismiss an x wife like they never existed and remarry months later – most men would be afraid to death to marry again so soon I know some men who have been deeply hurt by their x wives this just only further goes to show how they dont truly feel love for anybody and if this marriage for him Kelli does not work he could care less. What is his thing anyway with wanting to marry so often?

    I think through my struggles I easily forget the behaviors of HEALTHY men vs the behavior of this man – They are also walking lying machines as well I have caught him in so many lies that it would seem he would feel STUPID having me discover the truth. In his eyes I am sure I was just another idiot for having fell for his mask but dont mistaken me for a COMPLETE idiot for the more you lie the worse you look. Thats good Kelli that you dont go out of your way to talk to his wife, I could very very easily tell his live in GF of what he does and have her listen to his sick sick perverted messages I have kept over the years so there would be no disputing or saying I was lying he would be caught RED HANDED and would have some explaining to do, he would say that I was nuts and crazy oh R E A L L Y? Then who is this person who left these messages on my cell phone? He is damn lucky I am a mature woman and smart enough to know he isnt worth seeking revenge on. I suppose in the recovery it really comes down to we did ourselves a huge favor by extracting these horrible men from our lives it was the best thing I could have done for myself – to engage with such a rotten rotten human being is not saying too much for the type of people I choose to associate with – his betrayal and disorder will hurt me for a long time but at least I recognize him for what he is and know it was never my fault for one minute for what he did to me or US. I refuse to even associate with ANYBODY that is in his life it will only hinder my own progress but by all means Kelli if this woman seeks you out for truth one day speak the truth and tell her you are sorry she was made a dupe for this disordered man.

    I have hope and faith that one day I will look back on this man and he will be reduced to NOTHING in my eyes hugs to u kelli stay strong (x0x0 Claudia too)

  39. Michael, as usual your comment is so thoughtful and eloquent. Yes, the analogy to a game of chess is perfect, since every move a psychopath makes, even seemingly impulsive ones, are overall part of a calculated scheme. Dupery and conquest are at the center of psychopathic schemes: power and domination through deception, manipulation and brainwashing. Love has no place whatsoever in such an empty emotional landscape. The psychopath I was with kept repeating a phrase: “Keep your eyes on the prize”. It wasn’t about love, it was always about the pursuit/conquest of some “prize,” which varied depending upon what woman (or man) he was pursuing that instant. There was a hierarchy of priorities of prizes in his mind, with one night stands and easy conquests on the bottom–pun intended–and harder to get victims higher up. But no victim could remain a priority for very long, since idealization is inevitably followed by devaluation as soon as a psychopath gets bored with his catch. Claudia

  40. Linda you bring up such a good point: no normal man would jump into another marriage so soon after a divorce because most men would be scared and cautious after a divorce. A divorce means nothing to a psychopath. It’s a springboard for a new whirlwind romance. This in itself is a big red flag. Some whirlwind romances may end up well, but so often it’s a very bad sign of shallow emotions. Psychopaths jump into relationships promising (but never delivering) commitment to attain control over their target before the idealization high wears off. It’s a control move on their part, not a sign of being madly in love. Kelli, the fact the psychopath remarried so soon after his divorce spells trouble for his new wife. An extreme example of a similar phenomenon is the psychopaths who hit on their wives’ friends at the funeral, after their wives have died. Claudia

  41. Kelli. The fact that your ex has remarried so quickly is a clear and well recognised red flag. The awful pain you feel is the result of experiencing a death of sorts; the death of your exe’s false persona he wore with you. It is a vanishing act- he took off one mask and put on another for his next victim. It is simply a matter of time before she is left feeling devestated and betrayed (unless she is disorderd herself). Let’s look at your scenario and appraise it realistically within the context of Claudia’s article. He leaves you, manages to work through the grieving process and the loss; meets someone else, they take their time to get to know each other and following the honeymoon phase they then begin to get to know each other and bond in an emotionally mature and real way; and then marry! all within 8 months. Now I do not wish to be cynical here but HELLO!!!
    I recognise though that this does not curtail your excruciating pain. But the pain you feel is your psyche going through a detox of having been seduced by a psychopath. Throughout most of last year I could not concentrate, I felt numb, I smoked 60 cigs per day, I felt emotionally destroyed in a way I never imagined was possible. Such is the toxicity of a loving heart that interfaced with a psychopath. Believe me it does get better; one day at a time. Hold on tightly to the mast Kelli; all storms pass. And when it does you will discover a new improved you with a finely tuned cluster B radar- you will pay more attention to your instincts in future….this was a valuable life lesson for me.

  42. Kelli, I truly hope that you remain on your road to recovery. Your physical and emotional wounds can heal. Like you I have good and bad days. You definitley have to grieve the lost of this fake man that you loved and cared for. As Michael mentioned the new OW will eventually suffer the same pain and loss you are feeling. They pretend but they do not get it and will probably die old and alone, unless they still have the money to pay someone.

    My ex friend is so truly a weak and unsensitive mindfuc’ poor excuse of a man. One of my last emails to him included this quote. From Edna St.Vincent Milay. “What lays between your beauty and my heart not even you can trouble or betray”.

    Yes, he sucked me into his webb, but did not burn me to the ground either. And yes, I still missed the sweet and caring side he showed me.

    Stay strong lady and keep seeking the care and support you need. Hugs, Donna

  43. Michael,

    Thank you for your words. 60 cigs a DAY? And you’re alive to talk about it? sheesh! A pack a day is enough for me LOL!

    I wanted to share something with all of you that slapped me upside the head today, on another website I was reading. I’m going to poster board this and hang it on my wall, it had SUCH a powerful impact on me. Maybe you can do an article on this subject, Claudia, regarding those who are healthy for us and those who are TOXIC to us.

    It was simple and i hope it helps all of you with your cog/dis.


    It is sooooooooooooo the truth. When I think of you, Claudia, I have no cog/dis. Michael, Gary, Linda, Donna, same thing. NO COG/DIS AT ALL. When I think of my ex’s it’s cog/dis all over the place.

    I want to think about this some more, because this is a CRITICAL part to our healing process. Thanks for letting me share that. I hope it helps.


  44. Donna,

    Thank you, I intend too. I recently (Thank GOD) was able to secure a therapist that is specialized in EMDR therapy. I”m praying this will help me.

    And **drum roll!**, last night, I found out that my youngest daughter is pregnant with my THIRD grandchild! I’m only 47, a young grandma, but I am thrilled about this child and he/she will mean so much to me, with a new life without my ex to screw it up. I will spoil them all ROTTEN! 🙂 I am thrilled!


  45. MIchael, Gary…

    I have a question for you both since you’re the men here who were taken by spath women. While reading your stories, they are so very similar in the tactics of a psychopath. This may seem a foolish question, and if it is, I’m ready to live with that, but it’s important to hear your perceptions: You both were healthy men taken by a psychopath. You both are hurting and/or have hurt about one. Did either of you jump into another relationship? What do normal, healthy men do when a relationship dies? Do you know other healthy men who are similar to yourselves in the perspectives you carry about relationships? Thank you. Kelli

  46. Kelli, congratulations on the new grandchild! Yes, your epiphany about cognitive dissonance is right on mark. It doesn’t happen in a healthy relationship or with a healthy person because there is no Jekyll/Hyde personality disorder to make you oscillate between the sad reality of the person and your idealized perception of him (or her). Cognitive dissonance is a common reaction to disordered personalities, such as psychopaths and narcissists, who have a dark side that peeps through: a dark side that those in love with them try to minimize or deny. Cognitive dissonance during a relationship happens when the denial is not completely successful and the ugly reality of the disordered person shows through, from time to time. Then, after a toxic relationship is over, it happens in reverse: when you realize that the person was horrible, but the denial and memories of when you were brainwashed and blind, and thought he (or she) was great, show through from time to time. Claudia

  47. Kelli, That is a very interesting question. it is not a foolish question, but a very real one. For me I have put op a wall. Its funny I have been thinking about this. I am not myself yet. I have been separated for over a year and divorced for 7 months. I have not been on one single date. I have interest. I feel a year is plenty long. I tend to run the other way. A lot of it has to do with the fact that my ex psychopath wife still tries to contact me. Even though I do everything in my power to have NC .I know what she did to me, I know who/what she is. I go a couple days with NC, start to feel up and she strikes me down. In fact Yesterday I received two stupid text messages, Dumb questions about our son that she knew the answer to. She loves to use our son and/or her/my son (she has a son from previous marriage that I raised and he calls me Dad, I am his emotional father and treat him as my own. Now I know why his Dad disappeared from his life.) as a tool. I ignored her text. THEN SHE CALLED! stupid me answers the phone. Oh and get this if I ignore her, I’m “playing games”. She doesn’t get we are divorced. I get yelled at for not answering her text or calls. Then I find myself dwelling on it, get pissed off and irritable.It ruins my night. I cant see bringing that into another relationship. I think that is what is holding me back right now. I don’t want to find myself talking about my crazy psychopath ex wife, bringing drama into a new relationship. In fact I’ve avoided it, Kelli I wouldn’t give up on men. there are some good ones out there. I do have friends who are sincere and are what I would call healthy. I don’t know if I answered your question but To be honest I kind of struggle with normal right now. I am still looking for it. I lived a lie for way too long.
    I decided I’m going to get another tattoo for motivation. Today I designed it. I’m having it done on my inner forearm. Its an antique scroll partially unrolled and it reads. “What Doesn’t Kill Me, Only Makes me Stronger! I will conquer!… I Will survive!!! That way I can just look at my forearm and have the strength and motivation to keep going. I may be a bit week right now but my strength will come back. Take care and stay strong. And congratulations on your news.

  48. Claudia,

    Yes, I really do agree with all of that.

    I do have a confession to make. feedback would be great here…part of my cog/dis here, I realize, is pushing away pain. this is SO excrutiatingly painful. I’ve never been through something that hurts to the core as this does. I avoid my pain. I DO cry, but I could cry so much more….Some wonderful things are happening in my life, but all I can think about is my ex with his new wife. I “shouldn’t” think that way, right? But i do. I read somewhere in one of Sandra’s articles, “feel what you feel, what hurts, hurts”….and this does. So much. I want to feel joy and happiness, and in some ways, that is coming back to me…but in other ways, it’s still dead/numb….I waited ten years, the carrot dangle………to live with him, become his wife, the promise of a future, spoken and unspoken. Then when he divorced, used me to get his job back, excuse me, but fucked me (sexually) while he was dating other women….abused me MORE and WORSE….and would say, towards the end, “go be happy, let me go, go be happy”, then call me and want to see me. My head was so spinning….I knew I had to get out. I spent a year trying to get out. Suffering with cog/dis, hanging onto my schooling at the time, with my very life! It was the ONLY thing I had that kept me focused and strong against his sabotage, abuse and back and forth. I never felt more tested. He never intended to give me forever…….yet he married within eight months of the ending of the relationship. WTF??? He was ready to give it to someone else. , what he promised me and carrot dangled for ten years. What was wrong with me that he didn”t want to marry me? Live with me? He wanted me to know, in some subtle way, that other women were worth it and I was not. THREE wives now. ONE OW. He didn’t choose me, although he held out the carrot big time. There is apart of me that’s glad he didn’t. Then there is the part of me, the narcissistic, low self esteem part of me that said I was somehow not worthy of him. I think it was his calling card for me. I wasn’t going to be kissing his ass. I wanted my life. And to be with him meant I wasn’t going to have one. It was the very last thing he could do to hurt me deeply, a lasting wound..he didn’t want me when I was doing well and becoming independent and I wouldn’t let him take it from me, yet he has a young woman with money now. Unbelievable. All of this is. I often wonder if the discard doesn’t happen faster when there is not another woman he is idealizing that he believes will kiss his ass. I just couldn’t do it. But I think he knew I loved him, an. d that somewhere inside i wanted that with him. This whole thing about not being good enough for him, has really hurt. That’s all. him.

  49. Hi all, I remember reading a post from Micheal. It made a comparison to death. and our feelings of loss, I’m not sure if I remember exactly how it was written or if that’s what it was even about; It made me think. though You know I don’t want my ex. I am mourning the loss of the perfect life she made up for me. Its like people that grow old together and are in true love. suddenly one of them passes away leaving the other widowed with a broken heart. I wonder If am feeling like a widow? Only difference I’m mourning a lie instead of a person. I think that’s why the psychopath can move on so easy. They don’t feel the bond. because they made it up for us to believe. I believe once we figure them out or they sense us figuring Them out they hurry and find someone else to start creating a new lie. leaving us widowed with a broken heart. In a sense they truly are dead they have no emotion. they are like a sponge sucking up our emotion and leaving us empty. The hard thing is how or why do we mourn something that isn’t real. Is That our normal human nature confused by a psychopath?

  50. Gary, yes, the mourning differs and is tinged with a deep sense of betrayal because we know we’re mourning a fraud. That is like pouring salt on a wound: betrayal on top of pain. The mourning of a psychopathic bond in itself is perverse, because the pain is for losing an illusion based on lies, not losing the actual person. Had we known what the psychopath was like in the beginning, we’d have instantly said: good riddance!

    Kelli, I realize why you feel the way you do, however, the bottom line is: who cares whom a psychopath values and chooses? He’s a completely trivial person. At some point, when you no longer hold on to any shred of valuing him, you won’t care about what he thinks of you, or of anyone else and whom he picks. It’s not at all a distinction to be chosen by a psychopath as his next victim. Nobody puts that on their resume:). Claudia

  51. Kelli and all; It is a good question Kelli. I tried dating but realised very quickly that I am not ready. I’m still dealing with a lot of the emotional fallout and while I have made good progress, I’m still feeling like I have been hollowed out in the middle; and still suffer from waves of anxiety from time to time. I also still ruminate about her and struggle with intrusive thoughts (cog/dis). I know I will never regain the innocence lost after my encounter. Not unlike Gary I have my guard up- I’m paranoid that there are cluster B’s, Spaths (whatever you call them they are essentially the same in regards to core psychopathy traits) everywhere. I would like a relationship but I know I’m just not ready.

  52. Michael,

    Agreed. I feel very similar. I wonder if that’s what separates us from the psychopaths we were with. When I try to visualize myself in another relationship, I just can’t. It wouldn’t be fair to the other person, nor to me, because I have a long way to go with my grieving and healing yet. Getting involved in another relationship or looking for one would be like putting on a mask of sorts, would you agree? That’s as close as I can get to seeing how the psychopaths springboard from one relationship to another in record speed. How could it mean a thing without taking time to recover from TWO broken relationships? I agree with you about being paranoid. I am too. I wish I wasn’t, but i am. At this point, no one seems safe. Kelli

  53. Gary,

    Thanks for taking the time to answer my question. I wonder, is there any way you can work with your ex through email only? My ex’s ex wife refuses to deal with him except through email. She will ignore texts and phone calls unless it’s an absolute emergency with her children. This keeps her safe and basicallly NC with him. She won’t budge on this. Is there anyway you could do that? Just put down stronger boundaries so she’s not allowed to ruin your day/night? I’m sorry you have to deal with that. Kelli

  54. Kelli, I cant find where you posted about Cog Dis, but I will reply under this. I am glad you brought this up in this way, COG DIS IS NOT NORMAL, and NORMAL AND HEALTHY relationships do not suffer from this. This is one of the damaging psychological inflictions they did to us, and its one of the hardest to overcome. It is normal for couples to have certain things that cause them to be irritated with each other, but to have two EXTREME opposite thoughts go in in your head with the same man that has shown you the perfect man and then shows you the devil himself you are left trying to sort out what he really is, what is true, and what is false. ITS CRAZY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! In my recovery I struggle with two things mostly: The Illusion and COG DIS, both having to do with with they seem like they are and what they arent. – I think there are many psychological mind things they did to us so not only is the love gone (at least the love we had) we also have to grieve over we have some truly mental damage to work through.

    Its important to KNOW and REALIZE these things so when we have those horrible days we can realize its some pretty bad damage to overcome. x0x0 Linda

  55. Gary, it sounds like your ex is holding on tight to the dominance bond with you, despite the separation/divorce and, as you yourself state, using your child as an intermediary. Stay strong and don’t communicate with her. If she has something to say that’s significant, she can do it through your divorce lawyer. Nothing good ever comes out of communicating with a psychopathic ex. Because they’re disordered and controlling, such people often can’t let go even when a relationship with them is long over. So it’s up to you to cut all ties and distance yourself. For as long as you still communicate with her, you won’t be able to heal as quickly as if you cut her off completely. She’s like an infection in your life. No contact is the antibacterial ointment that will heal the wound. The more contact you have with a profoundly disordered person, the bigger the infection that can spread in your entire life. Claudia

  56. There is love as described in the first paragraph. For my husband and me, it took 40 years to get there….to the point where both of us have proven our ability to forgive the unforgivable, where we know each other probably better than we know ourselves or almost, where we have nursed each other through difficult illnesses, where there is no doubt in either of our mind’s that there is nothing the other could do that we couldn’t forgive, because it would never come from a place of trying to hurt the other knowingly. And yet there is still passion. He can still make me lustful, with just a glint in his eye.

    The problem is, people expect perfect love instantly, as the movies usually lead us to believe. And it can feel like you have it instantly. But “perfect love” truly only exists after it has weathered the good and the bad. You are no longer PROMISING to love each other, you are living it. I feel sorry for people in serial marriages where they keep “trading up”…..finding someone new who is richer, better looking, more exciting, more understanding, etc. etc. Because they will never find a love that “perfect”….they think the answer lies in getting the best deal.

    I think the way to true love is to be certain of what you truly value in a person. That you value WHO they are, not WHAT they are. (Remember the old song “If I were a carpenter, and you were a lady, would you marry me anyway?” ) That is the foundation for a love that can endure all that life dishes out. But maybe that is just because of my personality. But the point is, true love is born through the journey of loving each other, forgiving each other, truly knowing each other, not through love at first sight. Nothing is amazing about love at first sight. Love after 40 years together….that is amazing.

    One thing my husband had to forgive me for was getting ensnared by a psychopath in a “affair”. I should say more accurately “a con involving sex”.

    No contact is the only way to heal.

  57. Susan, I’m so glad that you and your husband were able to heal and that your relationship is deeper and better now. If anything, the psychopath showed you the difference between shallow lust and your husband’s true and meaningful love. Claudia

  58. Kelli, contrats on the new grandchild. They are often blessings we need to keep our minds off all the other stuff happening in our lives and it’s great to be a young ggrandmother. It might be just what you need to take your focus of you know who……

  59. As always, your articles are so helpful, Claudia. Thank you 🙂

  60. New Winter, thank you so much. I hope you’re doing well. Claudia


    I hope you’re doing well too!!!

  62. Lesley,

    Michael is much more eloquent and articulate in expression than I. If i can gather what he was saying in his last post….a translation I suppose….

    One of the MOST shocking elements of my relationship with my psychopath was his ability to blow off an argument, hours or a day later, AS IF IT NEVER HAPPENED! This display was so much apart of our relationship, I grew accustomed to it as well as used to it in it’s unsettling nature………when I began to see that arguments were blown off, I also began to see that the good times between us, including sex, were also given the same treatment, AS IF IT NEVER happened. This is when I realized how sick it is with a psychopath. No past, no present. It’s all on a WHIM! From idealization to devaluation and everything in between, TOTALLY on a whim….how could a normal,HEALTHY person wrap their mind around such swings? It’s not possible. This is why we can’t understand their motives. I don’t think they even have RECALL for their motives. The past is over, the future is not. It is only in the PRESENT. Idealization to devaluation is INEVITABLE when perceived from this perspective.

    He/SHe can do what she does………because yesterday and tomorrow do not exist. ONLY NOW.

    this doesn’t eliminate the pain I’m currently feeling, but it does help to UNDERSTAND why the psychopath does what he/she does.

    Everything in their lives is FLEETING. No more than a decision as to what you want for breakfast….um, so will it be eggs, bacon and toast? Or cereal.

    I doubt even a psychopath gives that much thought.

    Hang in there.


  63. AMEN…..mine P waited it out 40 years!! Kept coming around again and again. They are unbelievably patient, because the actual victim means nothing to them. They can watch TV, make somebody cry, whatever…just to amuse themselves. So yes, they can keep coming around. Claudia is right, they are already feasting on several other victims during that time.

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