Reconciling with A Psychopath: The Dangerous Lure of the Honeymoon Phase

Many of the victims who are tempted to get back together with a psychopath have a nostalgia for the luring phase. They don’t dream of getting back with a serial cheater, a pathological liar and a controlling narcissistic individual. They long for the return of the seemingly loving person they first encountered. In other words, they want the psychopath to put his mask back on: only this time they want the mask to be real–his real self–not just a ruse.

During this honeymoon period the psychopath put on a very desirable front. He was helpful, attentive, respectful, flattering, generous, romantic and nice. He made promises that sounded great. He pledged  commitment, fidelity, loyalty and everlasting love. He looked into your eyes and told you he doesn’t need any other partners. You were the person he looked for all his life. Let’s face it: cheesy lines sound very truthful and romantic when they play on the chords of the tune you want to hear.

Psychopaths are good enough actors to make such cheesy lines sound plausible to their victims, not only because of what they say but also how they say it: looking into your eyes, speaking in a low, hypnotic voice, even blushing with emotion or shedding a tear or two at the right moment. For me, the Chris Rea music video below, called Looking for the summer, captures very well the nostalgia and the hope that you can return to the honeymoon phase of any romantic relationship  the second time around:

But the psychopathic bond is no ordinary relationship, as the one featured on this video. It’s an extraordinarily toxic relationship that involves predation. As seductive and appealing as the luring phase with a psychopath may be, as the victims who reconcile find out, this illusion only happens once. I’d like to analyze here some of the reasons why even those who make the grave mistake of returning to their psychopathic ex’s–and thus jeopardize their recovery, their happiness and perhaps even their lives–cannot recapture what they experienced with the psychopath in the beginning.

From the psychopath’s perspective:

1) You are no longer a new pursuit for him. Psychopaths are excited by novelty: by duping and seducing a new person. Within a few minutes, hours, or days of getting back together with a psychopath you will see that he considers you as familiar as a pair of old shoes.

2) You have demonstrated weakness in his eyes. A breakup with a psychopath happens because he has mistreated you: lied to you, cheated on you, stolen money from you, controlled you. Whatever form the mistreatment took, it was serious. You may have broken up with him as a result of the mistreatment or he beat you to it and broke up with you first. It doesn’t really matter. The relationship itself was at the very least emotionally abusive. If you get back together with a psychopath you’re letting him know that you are willing and ready to take abuse. And he will dish it out. To him, your willingness to accept the abuse will be an indicator of your weakness, not of your love and loyalty as you may believe. Rather than a more enduring rekindling of the old flame you can expect less respect and more mistreatment. The fundamental inequality of the psychopathic bond will deepen, creating an even bigger and more overt schism of double standards in his favor.

3) You are showing neediness. If you need him so much that you are willing to return to him even after the abuse, then he will continue to play catch and release games with you in the future. Psychopaths are psychological sadists and as such enjoy tormenting their victims. By engaging in a series of breakups and reconciliations you have proved yourself to be an excellent subject for these cat and mouse experiments.

4) Relatedly, you have also proven yourself to be a reliable backup. Psychopaths return to their former targets out of boredom and the compulsion to maintain control over you and your relationship. Usually, however, those targets don’t excite them as much as new pursuits. They therefore use them as backups, to return to them periodically, when they are bored with everyone else, when a newer and more exciting flame is busy or on vacation, or whenever they feel like it. By getting back together with him, you are showing that you think so little of yourself that you’re willing to be available for a psychopath on his terms, at his beck and call.

5) Last but certainly not least, the psychopath is getting back together with you to punish and destroy you. How dare you break up with him? Or, if he broke up with you, how come you didn’t grovel enough to get him back? If he didn’t finish you off the first time around, by destroying you emotionally and financially, he may this time. He has a good shot at it, thanks to your willingness to forgive him. At the very least, he will humiliate you by waving under your nose his wooing other women and the honeymoon phases with them, which are forever gone for you. Needless to say, this is not the foundation for the romantic reconciliation you envision. At best, it’s the groundwork for being friends with benefits. Only the psychopath isn’t your real friend, but your worst enemy masquerading as a friend to use and hurt you some more.

From the victim’s perspective:

1) You’re not blinded by novelty and love anymore. In fact, you’re not falling in love with the psychopath at all. You are returning to a relationship you now realize is deeply flawed, hoping that if you both work at it you can correct it.  You are therefore returning to the psychopath with a lost innocence (or blindness, more like it) expecting that he reform. It will not get better, however, it will get a lot worse. Which leads me to my next point.

2) Your expectations won’t be met. Psychopaths feign working at a relationship long enough to get what they want. If you already got back together with the psychopath, then he has pretty much lost the incentive to fool you, unless you have something else he wants, such as money. The more you see that the psychopath isn’t taking the relationship seriously again and willing to put in the work to improve it, the more you’ll express your frustration. In response, the psychopath will rebuff you and project the blame unto you. So what happens next?

3) You will either have to accept the fundamental inequality of the relationship or you will have to fight him tooth and nail on every issue. Either way, the result will not be particularly pleasant or romantic. You’ll either be reduced to the status of a subordinate in the relationship or you will continually fight for an equality and fairness that is impossible in a psychopathic bond. Such a relationship is predicated upon lies, inequality and dominance.

4) You are too aware of his deception. The original honeymoon phase was based on a huge pile of lies that you believed or at least wanted to believe. You believed that he loved you. You wanted to believe he could therefore be faithful to you. You wanted to believe he could care about you and your loved ones. You wanted to believe that he could consider your common interest rather than making purely selfish decisions. All these assumptions proved to be wrong. He was purely selfish. He loves no one but himself. He acted in such a way as to hurt you and your loved ones. They say that ignorance is bliss. But that’s not really true. Ignorance is vulnerability and what you didn’t know has hurt you. At any rate, it’s impossible to return to the original state of ignorance when you believed all his lies. You can’t even give him the benefit of the doubt anymore because he’s already proven to you that he doesn’t deserve it. Everything the psychopath tells you from now on will seem suspect.

So your relationship will be founded upon inequality, warranted suspicion and distrust,  wounded feelings and impossible expectations. Anyone who gives a psychopath a second, third, fourth or fifth chance based on the fantasy of the honeymoon phase will live a nightmare in reality. Real life with the psychopath will be filled with double standards in his favor, with jealousy and deceit, with constant tension and fighting, with higher expectations from him and fewer efforts on his part to meet you halfway and improve the relationship. Keep this reality in mind whenever the dangerous lure of the honeymoon phase haunts you.

Claudia Moscovici, psychopathyawareness

Dangerous Liaisons: How to Identify and Escape from Psychopathic Seduction

110 Comments

  1. Excellent and yes they will think you as a pair old shoes or worst a doormat to wipe their feet on.

  2. Claudia…again another brilliantly accurate article. I can relate to it all really. When i left my ex he did not try to get back with me as such (though if we had lived near each other it may have been different.). If i contacted him he would rant at me, full of hatred, anger, accuse me of not knowing the meaning of love(??). Then when I stopped contacting him he contacted me, I thought because he missed me..but no, it was to use me. Friends with benefits is exactly as he sold it really. His last and most hurtful display of showing how twisted he is was when he phoned me and made out we could try again. He invited me down to England to see him, we could go out on his bike (he knew I loved going on his motorbike), we could even go over to France again, I could stay for the Easter weekend and stay for four days..we would just have fun together again (his words not mine)…I checked with him over the next few days that he was SURE about this..SURE i was to come down..he was adamant, he was perfectly fine about it. Once I had booked the flights I got a text from him a day later (before an interview that he knew i had..) telling me he’d changed his mind and it was not a good idea that i came down…after several distraught calls from me where he would not pick up i then received a text saying “I’m dating someone, this is not fair on anyone”….when i later spoke with him he told me he had asked several girls out on dates and he wanted to do that instead of being with me. You can imagine (everyone here on this site can imagine!!) how upset i was….he then text me on the Easter Sunday to tell me that on hindsight he wished that he had just been with me as his dates had not gone as well as he’d liked…??!!! Audacity!! Arrogance??! Sick in the head??! These descriptions do not even touch it. He was text book psychopath Claudia. Text book. As i’ve told you on my other posts, I heard from him briefly again…when he wanted me to have a threesome with him and his ex gf from years ago (the one he goes back to when he’s bored or his main supply is, as you say, away or unavailable..) – that was the end for me with him. It dawned on me that he had been seeing her and god knows how many others when he was trying to take me away from my husband. When I confronted him on this point that is the last time i heard from him. The reason? Because i think he knew that I finally realised what he’d done, I’m not saying he cared. I’m saying that he knew I realised he was a lying, sick, twisted, sexually depraved, manipulative hater that used women and that I was no fun to play with anymore. He blamed me for “entering into dialogue with him..long after The Relationship was over” when it was him that would contact you or fool you into believing he valued you, when infact it is PURELY for what they can get from you. Sadly, once its over its over (and he even said that…he said “there is no hope Lesley..you have to realise you can never go back to the way it was..”) – actually that is the point of my post to you Claudia!! Haha i lost my train of thought there…He KNEW what he was doing, he KNEW that he was just playing at destroying me like a cat does a mouse – do you find this a lot? That the paths TELL their partners that they are aware of what they are doing to them on top of the hurt of actually DOING it?? They know that what they are doing to you is wrong but they not only do it but TELL you they are doing it?? Sorry i’ve ended up a bit rambled there..wish i was like the rest of you and could get what I need to say over so eloquently!!
    Love to you all
    lesleyxxx

  3. Wow, what a thorough and comprehensive analysis! And from both perspectives, no less.

    The nostalgic memory of the early days was what kept me in my toxic relationship for the last six months, and reading this article, I realized that it applies equally well to those who are presently with a psychopathic partner – as well as those yearning to return to their exes.

    By our first anniversary, the double standards were quite clear and I was fighting weekly to preserve a reasonable degree of equality. My expectations of a reciprocal relationship were crumbling quickly, she had obviously deceived me several times regarding significant issues, and I certainly wasn’t blinded by novelty or love (in fact, I was starting to think there wasn’t any). But she seemed to have an intuitive grasp of when I was feeling uncertain about our relationship – and would then actively feed my nostalgia by briefly becoming sweet and kind again. Happy to “have her back” again, I dismissed my doubts and the “abuse followed by uncertainty followed by sweetness” cycle repeated itself many times over the next six months. Yes, it took me that long to figure out that there was definitely a pattern here.

    Had I understood that I was no longer new and exciting to her and was now viewed as weak for having compromised my standards to remain in the relationship (which in itself is a sign of neediness), I certainly would have packed my bags and left much earlier. It’s truly unfortunate that I didn’t, because it was those last few months that were real hell.

    After reading this article, I feel a disturbing admiration for psychopaths. They have identified our nostalgic feelings of love and happiness as a “secret back door” into the human psyche, a way to dominate and control us without our being aware of the mechanism. “The passion that haunts your soul” as Chris Rea aptly put it.

    Claudia, thank you for another fascinating and illuminating article! – Julian.

    P.S. I enjoyed the video – Chris Rea also wrote an equally relevant song called “Road to Hell” many years ago.

  4. Thank you for this!!! I think you should publish another book with a compilation of these articles. They are so unbelievably helpful.

    I have a related question for you too — I came across the spath’s first ex. The spath had told me was a crazy whore who still loved him and wanted to sleep with him. He sounded like a monster to me (at the time), and it made the spath seem like a victim. Easy to sympathize with, right? This all changed when the spath decided they’d be friends again because he was bored of me. The new “friendship” was flaunted in front of me, which I always mistook for “Unintentionally insensitive, but it’s nice that he wants to be friends with his ex.” I see now of course that it was all very intentional and malicious. It served one purpose – to make me jealous. While he would feed me stories about the ex just being jealous of me, I’m quite sure he was feeding those exact same stories to the ex.

    So now I’ve come across the ex, and I think he’s still under the spath’s spell. The spath has a new boyfriend, but I think the ex hangs in there for the attention. I want him to know all of the horrible things the spath said about him. I want to send him this article so he sees how damaging it is to try to keep impressing the spath.

    But I know he’ll just send anything I write to the spath, and then they’ll laugh and bond over it. The person shouting “crazy” always seems like the crazy one

  5. Sarah, thanks so much. Lesley and New Winter, I appreciate your input. Your experiences resonate because psychopaths need to keep some of their targets as backups because of their constant boredom and need for dominance. They can’t be without targets: former, newer and plotting future conquests. Like I explain in the article Relationship Boomerang. Without dominance bonds they’re completely hollow, as if they ceased to exist. But I hope this article helps anyone who has even the slightest bit of temptation of giving the psychopath a second chance. Nothing good ever comes of it, only more abuse and humiliation for the target. For a few moments of fake pleasure with a psychopath (because it’s based on his phony mask and mountain of lies) you pay with as many years of unhappiness as you’re willing to give him, plus the time it takes to recover. Claudia

  6. Claudia. Your article most definitely will help anyone cut through the quagmire that is the path’s modus operandi. if i had seen this whilst i was going through all that upset and lies I would have read it and thought straight away..that is EXACTLY what he is doing..though, in my heart Claudia, i knew he was. I knew that he was just trying to manipulate any situatin to suit him. I once said to my friend that my ex was beyond selfish, beyond self immersed..i could not think of the word..but you described it in one your articles. Absolute narcissism. And absolute evil.
    lesleyxxx

  7. Claudia, Another great article. This one really hit home. In the beginning of my separation from my Cluster B I had hope, Which I have spoke of in previous posts. My hope was to have the situation where our relationship would grow and be stronger because all dirty laundry would be in the open. We would gain a much deeper connection. You’ve heard of relationships that had problems and once worked out both parties would say how much deeper their love is after reconciling. I’m obviously talking about normal feeling people. Seeing it explained as you have really opens ones eye’s. In a sense it has proven to me its not worth my emotional time to hope for something that is not humanly possible for this person. We all have dreams, some of which we will never realise but we keep dreaming. You know “when I grow up I’m going to be president” or I’m going to own a Ferrari some day. We keep dreaming because we don’t have those things but they are obtainable. I think the “hook” of a psychopath is they fulfill a “dream”. When the dream dies through devaluation we are left with a broken dream and a broken heart. I know in my case I guess you could say I lost my sense of reality. I questioned myself. ” I had my dream and I messed it up (she told me it was my fault anyway), now I have to get it back.” That is where the “Honeymoon” phase is so powerful for the path. they put so much effort into distorting our reality. We get hooked (I did anyway) The dream truly turns into a nightmare. Its articles like this that really put things into perspective. Sometimes a mind tormented and twisted by a Path isn’t functioning at is true potential and educating yourself helps you return to a normal functioning mind and aids in the repair of the damage done by a Path. Thank you again.
    Gary

  8. Gary, you’re welcome. Yes, in the beginning, psychopaths study us, ask us questions and find out our deepest dreams. For me, as for many women, it was romantic passion. But it sounds like a lot of men have that dream too. For me it was especially strong since I have even founded an art movement, postromanticism.com, which is the contemporary art of passion. My scholarly and personal life revolved around this. The psychopath I was with seemed to deliver passion and sensuality on a platter.

    Little did I know that beneath the romantic facade he was a sexual predator and sadist who enjoyed humiliating women and destroying them. I had not even imagined this kind of evil person existed under the guise of your best friend and romantic lover. Just as you didn’t. In normal romantic relationships second chances are essential. They test your loyalty, love and capacity for mutual compromise. But in the psychopathic bond, second chances are potentially fatal. They provide a predator the opportunity to control you further, debase you more and perhaps destroy you for good. Claudia

  9. Claudia: As I read this article I felt rather proud of myself having known this; unfortunately I gained this knowledge through trial and error as I experienced the 2nd go round with him after I broke contact of three months. Interestingly enough (but THANK GOD ABOVE) it was only in phone contact in what you described in your article that he inflicted on me. It was WORSE it seemed his transformation into the real self was complete. The charm was gone, and he hit for the juggler with the degrading, projection and punishing me for cutting him off, I can only imagine if I had taken him up on the two invitations in meeting him what he would have done. I knew as much as it pained me knowing I could never see this man again if I had seen him the pain would have been worse!!!!! He would have injected me with some lethal charm, and passion up close then the REAL sick destructive games would have begun when I got home.

    In my opinion disengaging from them and maintaining NC is the closest way of telling them they no longer intrigue you anymore and that you wise to them. Oh they wont care you have fallen off their chess board because you never meant anything to them and never will; however, they will miss the power they had over you for their amusement. They have so many others at different stages of their predation to keep them occupied so they run off sucking dry others of all their good qualities because they have no inner self and that well is always dry. Its as if they say; come on baby I will give you the world and anything you want if you give me the drug I seek VALIDATION because I am such a fraud, fake, swindler and this is the only way I can get in your panties and or your life. Lost and empty souls just jumping from one to the next thinking they are fooling the world when they are only fooling themselves because there is NO SELF Then they bask in the sun after their latest conquest and look over the horizon for the next.

    You only have your turn ONCE being on that pedestal with a psychopath, if I had the choice at the time I would have never never never wanted a turn but he gave me no choices. When your turn is up you are DONE, just like a toaster that doesnt work as well as it used to or a recliner that gets too comfortable and puts you to sleep you go into the pile of heap with all the other objects. I loved deeply and what he felt for me was what he feels for a kitchen appliance, he was once the love of my life and I was nothing but a toaster in his life a mere object he grew tired of. Well I grew tired of him as well because guess what….? HE IS BORING because there is NOTHING inside. He gave nothing back to me that could ever sustain me, not only did I stop growing with him I started to DIE. He viewed me as an object when HE was the cold metal object – I dont think I will ever look at my toaster in the same way again. x0 linda

    ps good article Claudia I would rather die than go back to that!!

  10. Claudia,

    Excellent article! Unfortunately, I had to play this out several times with my ex before it was completely over. I’m so glad it is though! This is very important information to get out there, as there are some who are probably experiencing this and not understanding what is happening to them. Kelli

  11. Julian, I’m glad that you clarified the misunderstanding with Kelli and appreciate your knowledge about Cluster B and input. Basically, this blog is mostly informational but also, hopefully, a warm and mutually supportive forum for victims. We all heal at different paces and in different ways, so how can we judge each other? I try my best to create a mutually respectful environment here.

    I’d also like to make a comment with respect to what you said earlier about other blogs fostering victim complexes. I have great respect for other blogs on the subject of psychopathy and narcissism. Each is helpful in its own way. In fact, we sometimes post each other’s articles with permission and giving the original author credit. We also read and review each other’s books about personality disorders. To my mind, there is no competition. Each of us wishes to spread this information to the mainstream public and to victims.

    I’ve often mentioned that without lovefraud.com in 2007 I’d have never even realized I was dealing with a pathological individual and his idolizing, toxic family. I dread to think what could have happened to me and my family without discovering this information on the web.

    I don’t believe other blogs foster a victim complex. On the contrary, I think that on the most successful support forums victims make the transition to survivor by doing something constructive, by informing other, newer victims about personality disorders and encouraging them to move on so they can heal. Based on my observations, if some participants stay on the blogs for years, it’s generally to help others not because they’re stuck in a victim complex. I hope this will happen on psychopathyawareness too.

    I just wanted to clarify this and explain why, generally speaking, I don’t allow comments criticizing other psychopathy blogs or individuals on this one. Hopefully this blog, like other successful support forums, will be about making constructive comments, sharing our experiences and doing what we can to help each other and to spread this information so that others won’t suffer the way we did. Claudia

  12. Linda, You’re fortunate that you only got back together with the psychopath ex by phone. In person he’d have been even more destructive. I’m so glad your attitude now is of moving on without ever looking back. Claudia

  13. Your article makes so much sense! Anytime I am tempted to try to contact or reconcile with my ex-P, I will re-read this article! It will be a lifesaver.

    My question however is this: sometimes a P will get married and stay married. So, what extraordinary thing do the wives in those marriages to P’s have? For example, my ex-P (I was the OW) has been married for over 25 years and has 3 children. How is it possible for him to stay in that for so long if a P’s normal cycle to is discard? I was the P’s last girlfriend before he got married all those years ago. He was engaged within three months and married six months later, so it happened very fast. She was a virgin when he married her, and she is very religious. I won’t mention the denomination here but it one that doesn’t believe in reality or sin. Maybe she offered the perfect cover, someone who will always look the other way and pretend everything is perfect in the marriage and that the lie is real?

    He is very devoted to the kids as far as I can tell. I read somewhere that narcissists and P’s can in fact be very devoted parents, because the kids represent something of themselves.

    Mari

  14. Mari

    HOw long were you involved with your exP? I think, particularly with a strict religious background, wives can stay committed forever to a psychopath. Discarding doesn’t necessarily mean that the psychopath tosses the victim out of his life. It can mean emotional discarding too. That’s what my ex P did in his marriage as well, although she did wind up divorcing him, but some women just are committed in a marriage for life no matter how they’re treated. I’m curious as to how many OW’s your ex has had and if she is even aware of them. Either way, it’s devaluation and who would want to live that way? I feel sorry for his wife. Or any woman that stays so long or feels somehow committed obligation for religious reasons. Kelli

  15. Superb post Claudia, as usual.

    Isn’t it ironic that seduction by a psychopath can be so powerful? It’s the art of the con wrapped in the beautiful illusion of love.

    Some women expect threat or violence when they escape and are caught off guard when the man’s reaction is a romantic overture. And sadly, many of them fall for it and find themselves in the abyss again.

    This info is sorely needed. The average number of escape attempts for women fleeing domestic violence is seven.

    About half the escapees get lured back by the emotional hook you describe here. The other half have been financially eviscerated. (It took me three attempts to get away for good due to financial damage.)

    Thanks for this wonderful blog.

  16. Anna and Mari, you’re welcome, thanks for your comments as well. It’s true, a lot of women get back together with their disordered ex’s. Most of them do so for two principal reasons: 1) fear and 2) emotional investment in the life/family with the psychopath and the fantasy of a loving relationship that he sometimes cultivates to reclaim power over the target and their relationship. Obviously, these reasons are very self-defeating for the victim. You should fear being close to a psychopath or other disordered individual far more than being away from him. The closer he is, the more control he has over you and your life, the more damage he can do to you and your loved ones. As for the fantasy, when the reality of the life with a psychopath is such a nightmare the fantasy no longer really matters.

    A small subset of women who stay with psychopaths are disordered themselves, as I explain in my earlier article, “Partners in Evil: The Psychopath and Malignant Narcissist Combo”. They are either sociopaths or malignant narcissists who idolize the psychopath, maintain his fake good image and cover up his crimes or wrongdoings. Such women/partners are as dangerous as the psychopaths when they are with the psychopath. However, most women who stay with disordered men are victims not victimizers. Each of them has the chance to become a survivor rather than stay a victim. But the road is much harder for some than others, depending on their degree of dependency, economic independence, fear and support system. Mari, I hope this addresses your question about why some women stay with psychopaths for so many years. Claudia

  17. New Winter, I’m glad to hear you’re feeling better than when you had just gotten out of the confusing relationship with the psychopath. Yes, everything he did to hurt you and make you jealous was deliberate. Psychopaths triangulate and wave new conquests under former targets’ noses to make them suffer more. It’s like pouring salt on the wound. The only antidote is not to care about them and anyone who supports them (they’re often toxic individuals as well). New targets are to be pitied not envied. In time, they too will be mistreated, unfortunately for them. The ones who adapt to the mistreatment and stick to a psychopath lead very sad, unhealthy lives, filled with manipulation, lies, jealousy and pain. Claudia

  18. I read where you stated yours was a sadistic sexual predator I was wondering how you discovered this? Were you living with him and caught him or did he cause you to discover this with his behavior towards you? Maybe many of them hide their sexual predation from their partners in the same way a psychopath who is into killing can come home to his family to a meal just after he has murdered and or raped someone. I think with these sexual rapist predators its the same concept; they almost always have a cover family or woman to come home to as they live this secret other sick life. Do you agree?

  19. Linda, I found it out gradually, especially towards the end when his mask came off. His wife told my husband (after we had asked them for a divorce and they were in phone and email communication to exchange notes about us) that he had raped her and an ex-girlfriend. He would get turned on by lying, which was a form psychological sadism. He boasted of having mistreated other girlfriends (but they always, somehow, deserved it). He boasted about his promiscuity. At the end, when I had agreed to leave my husband for him, he wanted to include rape (even though obviously it’s both wrong and illegal) as part of our prenup agreement. If that’s not a huge red flag, I don’t know what is.

    After having pressured me to divorce for over a year in the guise of offering love, commitment and fidelity, a few weeks after I finally agreed (and before I even moved in with him), he asked that we place ourselves on a dating website to see which one of us would get more dates. This exposed the love and fidelity he claimed to offer as a total ruse: a predatory conquest and a sadistic game intended to destroy my marriage and my family just for kicks. The unraveling our our “relationship” happened quickly at the end, as soon as I realized who I was dealing with. I then looked up his symptoms and found information about sociopaths on lovefraud.com, which described his character traits and behavior. Once I broke up with him after I saw who he really was, he threatened to come rape me. When my husband confronted him about this on the phone, he laughed it off (the most evil laughter I ever heard in my life) and boasted of being more “Machiavellian” than the rest of us. All the suffering he inflicted on his wife as well as on me and my family was a big joke to him (and lots of fun). The obsession with rape in itself is the sign of a sexual sadist. Rape is about control, anger and domination, not about sex. The kinds of cyberstalking emails he sent me after I broke up with him were often sadistic in tone and content. But all this didn’t become obvious in the relationship until the end, when he thought he had power over me because I had finally committed to him. Before that, during the year-long wooing phase, he acted like he was very much in love and “romantic”. He claimed that he was stuck in an incompatible marriage to a cold woman and I was “the love of his life”.

    I’m sure that’s the M.O. of a lot of predators during the wooing phase. For psychopaths the mask comes off gradually, testing our boundaries and pushing the envelope, and it’s fully off only after they believe they have us under their spell and control (which is also when they get bored with the relationship and thus lose the incentive to please us). Losing the incentive to please us really means losing the incentive to lie and hide their malicious intentions, since it’s by lying to us and hiding their real intentions that they lure us. If we knew who we were dealing with and what they had done or are capable of doing, few of us would still want to be with the psychopaths. I say “few” because there are some individuals who choose to stay with psychopaths (or are too frightened or dependent to leave them) even knowing how unscrupulous and cruel they are. Claudia

  20. Linda.
    My experience was very similar to Claudias. My ex offered romantic passion, a real connection, that feeling that you were meant to be together. When i was with him a few times before i moved to be with him he did things or said things that made me think “that is not a normal outlook” – he would say things like “when you are out Lesley, do you see people and think god you are hot, you are getting it..” and I said well, i see men i may think are attractive but I don’t necessarily want to act on it…he tried to back pedal slightly there but it was the first real warning sign and one that i stupidly ignored. When i went to live with him though i found out he was doing stuff on the internet, he had joined a thing called people hub, like a sex dating website, i found an email from another man to my ex saying “john 6565 thinks you are hot..” – from then it just got worse. He was contacting girls when i was away in Scotland visiting family, he was probably seeing his ex gf and countless others. He thought i was not computer literate enough to check all the history on his pc. He also had a file called “x” which he had password protected, i never found out what was in that. It all, as Claudia says, unravelled quite quickly after that and the end was when i found a link to an escort agency in Estonia (he was going there on business) – when i questioned him about this he said that it would be nice if he had the time to have an escort but he would be too busy working, and that i should not have been using his pc. The next day he told me to leave, that he’d never loved me and spent the next two days emotionally destroying me, i think so that i would plead to stay. I was so upset I couldn’t plead, but in my heart i knew that if i did then things would get worse and worse. I knew my ex so well i could almost smell it from him when he’d been up to no good, on the pc or otherwise. It is and will remain the worst experience of my life.
    Love to you all
    lesleyxxxx

  21. Kelli,

    I was with my ex-P for about a year and a half. That includes a three month period where we broke up and then he reeled me back in. We were also together for about a year when we were young and before he married. Back then, I knew he was a pathological liar, but I attributed it to his being young. Now that I am much older and have had more experience with men, I really think he is a P and have noticed many of the traits that I didn’t notice before.

    We do not live in the same city so I have no idea how many OW he has had. Of course, he tells me even though he has been in a “sexless, loveless, difficult marriage” for over 25 years, I am the only one he has ever had an affair with. (LOL, the things we want to believe!). If I could find out for sure if he has done this before, it would help me a lot in my recovery, but there is no way to find out as we really have no mutual friends anymore and I left that city when he got married.

    Mari

  22. Kelli,

    And you are absolutely right, I hadn’t thought of emotional discarding, but I am sure that is what he has done to her and who knows what other verbal and emotional abuse he puts her through? What a sad and cruel situation. I found myself feeling envious of her because she has been very well taken care of (financially) by him, but what horrible emotional price must she pay? And who wants to be with someone who cheats? I have never had an affair with a married man before but I did in this case because of our connection before his marriage and the need for closure/validation. When he married her, it devastated me and took me almost three years to get over. Mari

  23. Claudia, I appreciated and valued your response to Julian in relation to this forum and others like it, as offerning a judgment free sanctuary for us to openly share the impact of our encounter with a person who has a psychopathic personality construct. Without entering into a hyperbole of deconstructing the use of the word “victim” and all of the negative connatations attached to this word; suffice to say we were vicimised and seduced when we innocently opened our door and our hearts to a psychopath, that in the end left us with a deep icey chill that permeated us to our very core.

    We are left traumatised; puzzled, perplexed, confused, and we desperately need to make some kind of sense around what in the hell happened! We are not victims, we have been victimised in the sense that a cluster B after having scooped out our hearts; then walks away and leaves us with the impression that it was our shortcommings that brought about the demise of the relationship. Often their reasons are lacking in congruence, maturity, consistency, accuracy, and emotion. To put it another way, there was no theme; rather a dissjointed and inconsistent script flipping- and ultimately superficial and childlike baloney sandwhich. We are behind the mask.

    We are people who have had our innocence shattered; and I believe we will never be the same again,,,,,I know I wont. I cannot unlearn what I have learned. But it is through this learning that we grow and reclaim ourselves; we move through the process (more often than not kicking and screaming) of acceptance that the reality is that some people are simply incapable of love and compassion. Personally- I cannot emotionally comprehend this; and therein lies another dichotomy! We struggled and perhaps still do, to accept that while we naturally believed they were on the same page…It transpired that not only were they not on the same page; they were not on the same chapter, the same book, or speaking the same language.

    My experience of my exes final depature after she had consolidated her next source of amusement, novely, new toy to play with (which lasted all of 3 months) was completely devoid of any emotional narrative- does this sound familiar?

  24. Claudia and Lesley – Thank you for sharing a bit of history in discovering their sexual predatory nature. The discovery always comes after they have secured our love and trust which makes perfect sense naturally that is the whole foundation behind the psychopath to fool and dupe others in all their relationships. My first red flag was when one day out of the blue he asked if my husband and I swapped, I laughed it off and said are you serious? He knew my reaction was of such that I would not even consider such a thing so he didnt bring it up for a long long time – he was testing the waters so to speak at this point but knew he had some further brainwashing to do before he embarked upon that again, he did his best to convince me this in the years following that threesomes, etc were great and I would enjoy them and he would only marry someone who would agree to these things, …….. ya right I will go pick out my wedding dress as we line up others to share our honeymoon with and we will just skip the part as we exchange our wedding vows on fidelity right? .

    Their lack of ability to love, bond and connect with others is why they turn to sexual stimulation in a perverted, immoral and twisted sense and they masturbate so much because all they know is SELF LOVE I always said they were great MASTER BAITERS, ha ha sorry just had to throw that one in there. Mine was also revealed slowly over the course of years, I was one test subject he wanted to take down and he was willing to wait even if that meant years down the road for him, I know now why he never really discarded me because he was getting what he wanted elsewhere on a steady basis and I was just a bonus to him that he might get one day if not no christmas bonus for him this year oh well I still have plenty of other good sexual fortune..

    I often wonder if he played the same scam with others as he did with me? Promising them the moon, stars and the gift of love in one beautiful package? I know one thing his AGENDA was the same, he clearly is out for one mission only and he is NOT on a search for love or the perfect woman but more the perfect woman he could con and fool. x0 Linda

  25. Claudia – well we can chalk another one off with the obsession with “Rape”, mine used that term ALOT!!! I cant wait to see you when I do I am going to RAPE you, as well as wanting to see another man rape me – they ENJOY watching the pain and suffering of others gives them a sense of power, entitlement and great inner satisfaction – I find this particularly interesting wonder how he would respond to a distress call if I was being raped, as a sheriff he would probably wish the rapist would wait until he got to the scene so he could watch. I remember asking my counselor if he thought this man has actually ever raped another person and by that I meant not in the manner in which he raped me emotionally – my counselor told me, YES I KNOW this man has raped violently but no where NEAR his back yard most likely in another state.. Great huh I dated a fricking rapist, thug, swindler, thief, con man, all into one – no wonder he made the package look so pretty, all the better to fool you my dear………

  26. Michael,

    Had to chuckle at your very apt phrase “childlike baloney sandwich”! The US press has been talking about how the new debt ceiling legislation is a “sugar-coated Satan sandwich”. Never heard of that term before but it certainly describes a P well too, doesn’t it? Mari

  27. The video hit too close to home , though we weren’t quite that young when we met, but age 15. He dumped me cruelly, but there was no one to tell me it was because of HIM, not me. And even as an adult, 40 some years later, I was not looking back with educated eyes. I did not learn what a narcissist or sex addict or sociopath/psychopath was until I sorted out what had hit me when I got re-involved as an adult, when he finally hit me at a down time in my life. Wish the good times had been half as good as in the video. I really have no fond memories.Even the nanoseconds that seemed good at the time are tainted by the truth now. I just feel nauseous when I think of him. I had what I now know was a betrayal bond with him. Patrick Carnes’ book (The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships) was very helpful to me. I had a betrayal bond with my mother too, and once you’ve had one, you are at risk of more. A “Betrayal Bond” is another reason women stay with psychopaths.

    Thank you for this wonderful site. I am always so excited to see another post from you.

  28. My Last Comment

    Claudia, I’m surprised and disappointed with your recent “disciplinary action” against me, and wish to clarify a few things. I do indeed respect your views regarding other related sites, but I do have my own equally valid opinions based on my own experience, and they were neither critical nor insulting. Furthermore, I’m male and have an engineering degree, so I lean more towards calm, analytical thinking than emotional behaviour — something that commonly results in differences of opinion between men and women.

    You seem to have incorrectly assumed (and thus led others to assume) that I was referring to LoveFraud.com in my comment, and that appears to have struck a nerve with you. No, I was not referring to LoveFraud.com; in fact, I think it’s really good and even has an expert psychologist that often posts articles. There are a few others that that have a distinctly “pink feel” and I didn’t name the site precisely because I didn’t want to discredit it. I only wanted to point out certain inherent dangers related to the “majority views” of the members – nothing to do with the founders – something which I still believe to be valuable to the people here.

    You write about mutual respect, yet you disagreed with my views and quickly proceeded to not only delete the comment which offended you, but also deleted ALL of the comments I posted since joining – only the most recent one posted yesterday (after my offending post) remains; my previous contributions have been completely eradicated. That sounds almost vengeful.

    I have not seen anything like this since the Soviet era, where the KGB would literally make people disappear if they expressed any views that offended the ruling Communist Party. If you wish to take Draconian measures against those who don’t agree with your views, then I recommend that you publish a set of rules on the home page and include the consequences of disobeying them. As the author of this blog, you do have the right to run it as you please, but with that comes a duty to inform contributors of your policies and punishments (as most blogs do), especially when they go far beyond reasonable expectations. Please be mindful of the difference between moderating a forum and arbitrary censorship.

    I congratulate you for the excellent articles you’ve written and posted here. I think this site is a first-rate collection of highly relevant, lucid and very readable material on psychopathy, and the best I’ve encountered in this category. Since nearly everything I have carefully composed and posted here has been removed, I see no reason for further contributions on my part. Therefore this is my last and final comment. I’m not angry, nor am I upset – I just don’t wish to waste further effort if I can’t be confident that it won’t be misinterpreted and deleted en masse. I will continue to read the articles and comments without responding, and I wish the very best to you and the contributors here. – Julian.

    P.S. Since this comment certainly doesn’t belong in this thread (nor does yours above), you’re welcome to delete both, and I won’t take offense. I would, however, be pleased if you saved the text. I’ve contributed to many, many forums over the last 15 years, and my comments here are best viewed as suggestions for improving the way this blog is moderated.

  29. Susan, thanks so much. The Chris Rea video is more about the fantasy created by a psychopath rather than the reality. The reality is always sordid. I always welcome your comments too. Claudia

  30. Linda, Psychopaths are obsessed with rape because they’re obsessed with sexual power. When the excitement of the novelty of a fresh conquest wears off–and it always does–then their underlying sadism takes over as the most exciting aspect of a relationship for a psychopath. Claudia

  31. Michael, yes, this sounds very familiar. To my mind, victim is not an identity: it is a role we assumed in being duped, lied to and cheated on by a psychopath. It wasn’t a role we chose, because we entered a fraudulent, not a real, relationship with the psychopath. And victimhood doesn’t have to define any of us. All of us are more complex than this role, as we’ve shown in first opening our eyes to reality, then leaving the psychopaths and moving on with our lives. None of us have let this victimization define who we are or what we do with our lives. Claudia

  32. Julian, I appreciate your input and clarification. Yes, I did misunderstand your allusion (I thought you were alluding to lovefraud when you criticized a support group), but even if it wasn’t that one, as a general policy, I would like to be supportive of other blogs about psychopathy and narcissism because, after all, we’re in this together and for similar reasons. I also don’t want to make any of the victims on this website feel like they’re wrong to feel victimized or not healing in the proper manner or at a fast enough rate. As I wrote to you, we all heal as best we can in our own ways. I’d like to be as supportive as possible to fellow victims: which of course doesn’t imply that we view ourselves only as victims, just that we were, indeed, duped and victimized and need to address that emotionally as well.

    About the rules and regulations: the only general rules I ask is honesty and mutual respect and support for each other and for other blogs on this subject. I’d rather not make a list of specific rules and regulations, however, just use my best judgment, which of course isn’t infallible. The reason why I prefer to have a more intuitive approach to the comments I allow here is because I have found out that this blog on psychopathy gets the widest variety of comments I have personally encountered in any of my blogs. I’ve never moderated a blog on personality disorders before this year. I have two other blogs, one on art and one on literature, and they get either comments about art and literature or spam. This psychopathy blog, however, gets the kinds of thoughtful, honest comments you see posted, some spam, plus some comments that I decided not to post because they might be offensive or disingenuous or inappropriate in some respects.

    Some of the comments I have chosen not to allow on the blog seem to be written by sexual sadists. They remind me of my psychopathic ex’s offensive and menacing emails and cyberstalking and would no doubt trigger a lot of other victims here. I do keep those very offensive comments, however, in a separate file to have as potential evidence and track the IP addresses (which can be tracked even when rerouted). As we know, the threats of these sexual predators can’t be treated too lightly and at any rate, for any police action to be taken against the offenders, the victims need to establish a pattern of cyberstalking or stalking.

    As a general policy, I would not allow here comments that would sow discord with other bloggers on psychopathy because I believe we’re all doing this because we want to be helpful to other victims and that unity is needed, not a sense of competition or any tension among us. That’s my general attitude. I’m sorry I can’t be more specific about my standards, other than honesty and mutual respect for each other and other psychopathy blogs. I don’t know from one day to the next what kind of comments I’ll get in the approval file and have to (for the most part) play it by ear and trust my judgment and intuition about which ones I approve. If we have any issues to clarify or debate, we could also discuss them by email if you wish. I certainly don’t mean to be Stalinist, but will continue to exercise my judgment for the reasons I just explained.

    Sometimes I’ll err on the side of caution, but I’d rather do that than have comments offensive to other bloggers or to victims. Finally, since one can say and be anyone on the internet, I also have to rely on my intuition in determining “sincerity”: that the persons who post are who they claim to be and that their comments are genuine (this, of course, wasn’t an issue at all in your case). As you know, that intuition is not easily definable: it’s just a gut feeling which can be right or wrong, but often in life we need to trust our intuition since that’s all we have. In fact, many of us, myself included, find ourselves here because we ignored our intuition and the red flags we saw in our relationships with psychopaths. Now we may be too cautious at times, but hopefully the misunderstandings resulting from that can be worked out. Your comments are welcome here Julian. I’m glad you clarified that you were not trying to belittle other blogs or to be judgmental about how people heal, even if that’s how I originally interpreted your comments. I’m also glad you brought up this issue so that at least we could each explain our points of view and the reasons behind them. Claudia

  33. Claudia; you got me thinking with your posting of Chris Rea’s song. I recall hearing a U2 song called “so cruel”, and most of the haunting lyrics reminded me of a relationship with the souless psychopath: here is the youtube link-

  34. Oh boy; just watched it again and the version I posted has the lyrics on screen; it can only be a song inspired by a pathological relationship…wow!

  35. Michael, thanks for sharing this song link with us. Yes, this U2 song seems to be about the psychopathic bond! It’s also very poetic. The psychopath I was with would play another U2 song, which he stated was one of his all-time favorites, called “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for”. He kept telling me that since being with me he finally did. But, of course, he hadn’t. Psychopaths never find what they’re looking for, though they never stop looking either because they never see the problem is in themselves and project all the blame upon the flaws and deficiencies of their targets. They’re looking for hosts who are perfectly pliable to their will yet perfectly autonomous; who are always giving them the highest rush of excitement possible: as the song you cite states, “the drug that takes you higher.” Nobody can be that drug for them, since they can’t bond to anyone. They only momentarily attach to each target for the high of the honeymoon phase–to “disappear into” each host, as the song phrases it–based on deception, hiding what they did in the past (with and to whom), what they’re doing in the present and false promises about the future. Besides, a rush of excitement is by its very nature ephemeral, and it is much more so for those who can’t bond emotionally to others. Claudia

  36. Claudia, this is true; I believe their excitement is driven by their need to feel.

  37. “We are people who have had our innocence shattered; and I believe we will never be the same again,,,,,I know I wont. I cannot unlearn what I have learned. ”

    Michael/Claudia: What you have expressed Michael scares me but I TOTALLY agree with what you stated. I dont think I will ever be the same or believe in the things I once believed in. My feelings of what love is has been almost poisoned in a sense..Maybe that is attributed to the fact we experienced something that was so unhealthy and disordered; something that most of us never knew really existed on this level. He took something from me that I dont know if I can ever get back and that is HOPE and my HEALTHY innocence. Its OK to be innocent just not with a psychopath. Its ok to be vulnerable and naive at certain times in our lives but again, NOT with a psychopath. Mentally healthy people dont use those weaknesses to destroy you. How do I find hope and regain all that I once believed in!???

  38. Michael and Claudia. How true both of your comments are. My ex used to say he was always looking for his perfect life partner and Michael..one of his lines was “dont think, just feel..”..I find it so interesting that they all seem to use the same language whether they be female or male of the sub-species.
    lesleyxxx

  39. Linda, I don’t believe that most of us will get back that innocence because it was based on automatically giving people the benefit of the doubt without knowing them or much about them. That was our instinct. Now, having come face to face with evil, we proceed with greater caution. That doesn’t mean that we don’t trust people anymore, but that we don’t automatically trust everyone anymore. Personally, I believe that’s a good thing. Not everyone deserves our trust. Trust has to be earned. And even when proceeding with greater caution, we can still be fooled and burned. Just not as easily. Claudia

  40. Lesley, the whirlwind romance is a very bad sign because it’s meant to sweep us off our feet and into their vortex/control without giving us time to think and process the experience. Again, this control is based on getting our blind trust first, then our blind obedience. Both are symptoms of a psychopath’s need to control us. Having us under his or her spell means having us under his or her power, which becomes exposed as less and less benevolent as time goes on. Claudia

  41. Lesley, this is the very first red flag that we encounter; I say this with 20 / 20 power of hindsight. The idealisation is highly potent and intoxicating. While we are basking in having never felt “so special”, we failed to notice how unrealistic it is that someone we have just met sees us and treats us as the centre of their universe. My ex said to me when I called her after our first date- “oh thank god its you”! I was so busy having my ego inflated I failed to recognise that the way in which she recepted my phone call was an expression of her fear of feeling non existent due to her pathological psychopathic narcissism.
    Claudia you mentioned earlier that this period of idealisation is punctuated by moments of devaluation, disrespect, and emotionally abusive behaviour. You are quite right; even during the idealisation phase of the encounter there are occasional moments of devaluation at play. These I believe are some of the early markers of the revealing constellation of psychopathic traits at play…….Lack of empathy, impulsivness, and a here and now existence, not to mention a poverty of emotion, underpin this experience.

  42. Claudia and my other new friends, this is the first time I have had to post to this new article. So much is ringing so true in my ears and mind.

    I need to go back and read the other comments.

    Take care All.

  43. Michael, for me the moments of devaluation came when I didn’t go along with the psychopath’s pressure to leave our spouses and marry each other. He’d have moments of intense frustration, when he had to hang up the phone and take a walk to calm down. But then he’d call me back and the anger had dissipated, as if it were never there. He later told me that he had rape fantasies during those moments of frustration and anger. Their flashes of anger and frustration are quick but can be very dangerous to their targets. Although their anger is as shallow and temporary as their excitement–as you point out as well–it doesn’t mean that they can’t act on it. With someone who lacks scruples and has such a sense of entitlement, anything is possible. Claudia

  44. Donna, thanks for checking in again. I’m glad this article resonated with your experience as well. Claudia

  45. Claudia and Michael. Yes the whirlwind, full on passion and intensity is most definitely how they manage to get you under their spell. I think they are so into their own excitement, that here is another man/woman that has fallen for me and they carry you along with that feeling of adoration, however its actually only one sided. If any of you watch Tru Blood they have a term that the vampires use when the put a “victim” under their spell before they bite them…its called being “glamoured”….i think it describes the path’s M.O quite well.
    You both mention that it is punctuated with disrespect and emotional abuse, even during this “high intensity love in phase” and you are both right. My ex one day suddenly (when i was still living away from him) just changed his voice on the phone, everything i said to him he took the wrong way, he made out i was arguing,..his tone was monotone..dead and he said “Oh Lesley..i think we’ve lost our connection…” I ended up putting the phone down and wondering what on earth had happened to the person I thought i knew..I actually knew then if i’m honest that I was dealing with a total loon (that is a “sane” loon) but as we have all done, you ignore it. When i finally picked up his call (after ignoring him for a while) he said the exact same Michael..”thank god..(its you..)” trying to make out he’d been worrying that he had lost me. But it was not that he was worrying about really, he’d let his mask slip and that was his main concern.
    Claudia, my ex also used to really lose his temper on the phone if I had done/said something he didnt agree with. He would scream down the phone at me, abusive, swearing, calling me all the names under the sun…put me through hours of worry and hell and then be fine again a few hours later. But it is all to make you unstable, its all a game to unnerve you and make you scared. They either do it by full on abuse or by covert, underhand comments that you question and they make out you are imagining it.
    Thank you always for replying to my posts and helping me out.
    lesleyxxxxx

  46. To Claudia and my friends:

    I have an Annual HS Reunion Event coming up next weekend that we have both attended for the last two years. He has stared me down, done one armhand push-ups in front of me and then followed me around the Park in the past, and then started his D&D behavior.

    I plan on attending because I have many other friends I am looking forward to seeing and enjoying their company. I refuse to miss this event because he might be there.

    I don’t know if he will show up for sure, My Question is:

    How should I react to him if he approaches me? Confront Him, or Ignore him. Because I am an Empathic person, being mean is not my nature/style. Help!!!

  47. Claudia, thank you for shedding some light upon your moderation principles, even if they are somewhat vague to me. Being an engineer, I like clarity and precision and solving problems, but that’s just me. You’re intuitive and an artist, so we’ll simply have to respect each others’ differences.

    The main reason I’m here is because I’d like to help people recover and get on with their lives – I’ll soon post a reply to TryingToMoveOn as further evidence. If I point out the dangers of remaining stuck, please take that for exactly what it is, no more, no less. Our lives are the most valuable things we have, and the psychopath has done unfathomable damage to them; the only thing worse I can think of is murder. It’s essential to recover our lives.

    If I may be blunt, a focus on recovery is by no means a judgement upon the contrary, although it certainly is a diametrically opposed view. I’ve noticed that there are no categories on this site like “Recovery” and “Healing” although you have written articles and a book review (e.g. Dark Souls) on the topic. Adding such categories would be beneficial, I think.

    I think I’ve said all I have to say about our little dispute, and I’m certainly willing to consider this case closed. Now that I think we’ve cleared the air and understand each other better, I’ll also continue contributing to the forum. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

    Thank you again for the incredible amount of effort that you’ve put into this remarkable site.

    – Julian.

  48. Julian, I’m glad about that too. Your comments are very insightful and well-informed, so I’m sure they’ll be much appreciated by readers of this blog. As for standards, as human beigs we have to use both reason and intuition, especially with respect to detecting personality disorders. Logic is very important, as you point out, otherwise everything is vague and difficult to articulate. But there are intuitive, emotional red flags we get with predators and other disordered personalities that we don’t yet have the evidence to articulate, but, I believe, it’s best to act on. When I first encountered my ex I intuitively felt he was shallow (a “cool guy”) and very sleazy (slept with everyone). Both impressions turned out to be true, only understatements. I ignored this intuition and became friends, then more, as he verbally convinced me he wasn’t either of those things. The mask he put on with me was of being an artistic intellectual and looking for the woman of his life, his one true passion. That was a mask made just for me. For other women, he wears other maks. I regret not having listened to my intuitive first impressions. As I say to readers quite often, better to err on the side of caution. At any rate, glad to have you back on the blog! Claudia

  49. Donna, I vote for ignoring the psychopathic ex. Confronting a psychopath feeds his voracious appetite for attention. Besides he’s no longer important to you, so why give him any attention? You’re moving on. Claudia

  50. Lesley, they try out different strategies just like they put on different masks, to see what is most effective. If charm is most effective to lure someone, they use that in the beginning. If intimidation and humiliation becomes more effective later on, when the charm wears off and they no longer have the incentive to behave nicely, they put on that mask. Whatever works for whichever victim. Claudia

  51. Claudia; You describe what is a common experience with a psychopath- “But then he’d call me back and the anger had dissipated, as if it were never there”. We initially do not notice this (although I belive we do on perhaps a subliminal or subconcious level); non sequiturs, almost as though they have some kind of delete previous experience switch. I wrote to my ex partner last year saying that “often whatever you said in the moment seemed to be in no way shape or form influenced or informed by what you had said or did previously”. I eventually began to notice with increasingly clarity that the more her mask slipped, the more transparent her distorted cognitive rationalising became. In the end; it became impossible for me to ignore the following-

    She was unable / unwilling to see, aknowledge, and feel anything from my perspective at all.
    As the devaluation gathered momentum, she could not conceal her lack of ability for empathy.
    Her lack of accountabiltity I found to be astounding.
    She exposed her lacking in emotional depth, richness, maturity.

    She was cold, detached, vitriolic, dismissive, abusive, invalidating, belittling, and utterly emotionless. She told me- “I feel nothing, there is no feeling, whether i get that back who knows”. I challenged her as to why she felt nothing- her response was- “we havn’t gotton over the christmas issue yet”; I asked her what issue? and she said- “I carnt remember what it was but there hasnt been any togetherness since”; this conversation took place mid january- she had no feeling for me 3 weeks later for an issue that she could not even recall what the issue was. I was to find out later that she had cuckolded me and lined up my replacement before the final discard.

    I have read that psychopaths are whisps; they have no emotional memory, cannot bond, and have no real relationships with anyone. You exist in their life to simply validate and sustain their existence; a narcissistic mirror that has a pure utilitarian function.

    I believe we hurt so much because we belived we had a heart and soul story with this person; a narrative….and in the end we are uterly shocked to the core to discover the psychopath had an intensity and depth bond wise as though we had met them yesterday.

    Lesley; we try to reason, and do everything in our power to fight for their love and the connection we believe is genuine and congruent (based on what they have said to us). We strive for this to such an extent that we at some point realise that somewhere down the line we denied and gave up on us. We become disenfranchised and robbed of our personhood a little at at time; we become voiceless. But deep down we know this and our psyche always comes back to warn us that this person is toxic personified; our inner voice becomes louder as the psychopath reveals him / herself.

    A psychopath has no inner voice; they have no inner self.

  52. This is one thing that floors me… The ability to act as if nothing happened. This is the first thing I noticed when I started to figure out something was not right with this woman. It is just amazing no matter how bad, it just did not happen in her head. Not one shred of remorse, she would never feel embarrassment. She was just cold and emotionless. Which brings me to my point. Just once I want her to feel some of the pain that she has caused. I know that is not possible for her, she is not human. I know that, I’ve experienced it. That really bothers me. I will never recieve an inch of justice from her. She will never feel the pain she has caused. That I beleive is where a lot of my anger lies. to be blunt I want that bitch to suffer emotionally. I want her stomach to have that sick feeling, the sleepless nights. The going through your day with thoughts of confusion and the constant asking yourself questions trying to figure out what the hell is going on with me. One thing I’ve noticed about myself. I have become more emotional. Has anyone else noticed that in themselves? The past couple days have been tough for me. I have managed to stay no contact. But last night she pulled some crap and lied to my son. He knew it and I wanted to call her so bad and let her have it. Luckily I talked myself out of it. I knew it would be a waste of time and only spike my adrenaline over a waste of a human body. I just wish there was some way for me to feel a bit of justice. That has to br my biggest problem right now. I beleive that is where my anger, frustration and irritability come from. Does that eventually pass? I am a caring and compassionate person (which I’m thinking made me a good target). I find myself being short with people and my sense of humor isn’t as strong as it used to be. I feel I have unintentionally shut myself off and I don’t like it. All because I think I want something that will never happen justice!!! Sorry if I rambled here. Its hard to explain, So many different emotions and not a whole lot of understanding of what is happening to my present and future.

  53. WOW!! First, hello everyone. Been having a tough time. Michael, I had mentioned this on another article thread, such as when my ex and i would fight, he would call me, a couple of hours or days later and act as this argument or what have you, NEVER HAPPENED, BUT this was NOT the case at first. At first, in the beginning, he would “apologize”, but those apologies felt and WERE superficial. A few months into the relationship, when he started this “it never happened” stuff with me, I was genuinely SHOCKED inside, but I IGNORED IT! This is what angers to me to no end. I KNEW that something was wrong. It wasn’t until the relationship was over, that I began to realize, while obsessing about it, that not even the “good” or “sexual” times were any different in response than the arguing, AS IF IT NEVER HAPPENED. This is why all the novelty sexually too, I think. He lived in an eternal present! ALWAYS. This appeared to me to be SO fragmented and CREATED the cod/dis in the first place! It is one of THE most bizarre things I’ve ever experienced. Also, as time wore on the mask was slipping more and more frequently, he could no longer hide that there was a SPLIT in emotional cognition. EVERYTHING was blown off. Michael, I’m not as eloquently as articulate as you seem to be, but you are able to put things into a perspective that has me going YES, THAT’S IT! This lefel of sharing about the actual behaviors is so helpful to me and I believe also indicative of psychopathic behavior across the board. I think an article about very SPECIFIC behaviors like this would be so helpful too, Claudia. thank you for your contributions Michael.
    Gary, I completely understand how you feel. I’m hitting the rage part of the healing process and it’s NOT fun. There is also a deep ang3er at myself for having put up with it for sooo long. I feel lost as to my past and my future right now. I feel almost rudderless. I think that’s because so much investment goes into trying to figure out what the hell is going on everyday and that the longer you’re with them, the WORSE it gets!!. I have thought that not only was I addicted to him, but also became addicted to the drama and non sense that now life feels almost BORING to me without it. I’ve grown increasingly sick of the whole thing. I’m sick of thinking about him, sick of thinking about the relationshit sick of feeling anything about this bastard! I have six weeks till I go back to school. I have to work really hard at remembering the bad times and read posts over and over, books over and over to keep in mind how bad it was. IT”S SO HARD! I can’t imagine how difficult and challenging it would be to have a child with one of these people.. I’m sorry for your difficulty!

    Having said that, I need some advise here. I’m beginning to wondere if something isn’t wrong with me. I’ve been thinking a lot about all the obsessing and ruminating. At eight months out, this should have lessened. I don’t know. I’ve got a new therapist and we are going to be doing the EMDR therapy once we get to know one another better. But I’m tired from it all. Everytime I go to write down the awful things he did and said, I can’t write it. It’s as if it all goes out the window, but yet it sits there in my mind and there will be things that pop up that I remember. One of the difficulties I am having is that because I was the OW, were these behaviors just confined to me? Now on a logical level I know that can’t be true, but I didn’t experience all the love bombing and whirlwind romance all of you did. Each time I think new wife is getting something I did not, I think about the SPECIFIC behaviors that I experienced from him that are at the core of psychopathic behavior. Does this make sense? So how in the hell could that be something that would change with ANYONE? This pisses me off and keeps me STUCK and I’m just so TIRED of it all! I want it to go away now and leave me the hell alone! This is why this is so helpful to me, in talking about specific behaviors that you all shared about with your ex’s. I hope we can get more into this later. I hope you are all doing well and will spend time catching up on some of the posts, but this pretending as if nothing ever happened is a HUGE behavior that I do NOT see in normals.

  54. Gary, Im not sure if I should be the one to anwer you because I feel exactly the same. I also feel that never having our suffering validated in a way that any other crime would be, keeps us suffering longer. I’ve expressed this on another page here before. If I had been raped or beaten then the law would be there for me. Yet what has been done to me is far worse in my opinion. My mind, my spirit, my whole being has been tortured and tormented, leaving me in a bewildered/shell shocked state. My confidence was destroyed and my physical body has been weakened causing me to need two surgeries.

    Because the body produces too much of the hormone , cortisol when under severe stress. This also causes weight gain and muscle weakness. Severe stress ,as is well established, can cause serious illness such as cancers and diabetes. My blood pressure also reached very dangerous levels and its a wonder I am still here. I honestly dont know how Im still standing.

    But there is no law that recognises emotional abuse such as this. So the laws do not protect victims of Psychopaths unless they murder or steal and most make sure never to leave a mark!!! Ingenius!
    They are usually highly intelligent ,articulate and very hard to keep in step with. I must say I really tried at the end and did my own detective work and made some interesting discoveries which I feel give insight into their ‘strange’ world.
    I have kept a log of all of this and am considering what to do with this information.

    Exposing them for what they are to others is their biggest fear. That’s why they get the boot in first and tell everybody how crazy you are – so nobody will listen to the truth.
    With time, though, they do seem to hang themselves and people do cop on. Then they have to move on to new territory.

    I believe , however, that ,certainly in the case of my Psychopath, that they pose too much of a danger to too many people. His capabilities probably know no bounds. What I know is outrageous, yet only the tip of the iceberg. Hes been getting away with his machinations for forty years !!
    He’s with his new love and her young child! He should not be in contact with a child – I know that but what do I do?
    You are right this is what causes most of the suffering – no justice!
    Realising everything has worked perfectly to plan for him , is very difficult for me to bear.
    The only thing I can say is that with time the pain eases or maybe I should say the normal phases get longer. You can begin to see, smell, feel and hear again – for I believe early on we lose our senses. Every waking moment and even sleeping moment seems to be filled by them. I used to get angry with myself for not being able to shift my thoughts for more than the odd minute! Thankfully, I can say that has greatly improved. I last (literally) bumped into him on April 1st. He chuckled and said ‘ha ha Do you know its April Fools Day!! ha ha’.Just a last opportunity to put the knife in again. What an absolute p—k.
    Im thinking of producing some Narcissistic T Shirts – (Im a graphic Designer) Some good ones:- ‘Nothing Compares To ME’
    or ‘You Want Me All To Yourself – Dont You’ I was accused of the latter!!!! lol
    Sometimes its good to try and have a laugh at the absolute outrageous , nonsensicalness of these creatures. I have a good laugh now ocassionally about him – so that’s a good thing.
    Rambling again!
    Tricia

  55. Michael, their only common thread is an underlying contempt for other human beings and the need to control others. It doesn’t matter who those others are; they’re interchangeable to them. But psychopaths are a bottomless pit of malice and narcissism. Some victims they draw into their vortex with their charm, others they consume through creating an unbrakeable dependencies, in others yet they try to inculcate fear. The result for all their victims, however, even those who collude with them willingly is wasted lives. Claudia

  56. Gary, Kelli and Michael, they act like nothing happened when you are distressed; when they caused you harm. They’ve spent your use value, you become worthless to them, so they move on, but try to destroy you first, so that you can’t move on anymore.

    When you reject them, on the other hand, and undermine their authority and dominance bonds then they hate you forever. As I state in The Seducer: lovers for awhile, enemies for life. They never forgive and never forget those who undermine their dominance. But this doesn’t matter, since having a psychopath for a friend is the same as having a worst enemy (only you don’t realize it so you don’t protect yourself). With friends like this, who needs enemies? Claudia

  57. Tricia, you’re not rambling at all. What you say makes perfect sense. Many of the injuries caused by psychopaths and narcissists aren’t illegal, yet they are often just as devastating as crimes are. The crimes committed by conmen are sometimes punished by law: even if often they’re difficult to prove and even harder to retrieve the lost funds. But love fraud is even harder to prove, and yet it leaves so many victims behind. I don’t know any other remedy or protection for this except widespread information about psychopathy, narcissism and other personality disorders. The law can’t protect our hearts and sometimes can’t even protect our wallets from financial fraud. But we can, as a society, do a better job at recognizing the psychological features of conartists and protecting ourselves. Claudia

  58. Claudia

    This “pretending that nothing ever happened” is colored throughout the relationship with a psychopath and actually erupts from the ending of the honeymoon phase into the devaluation phase looooooooooong before the discard. This is over trivial arguments or good moments spent with them. BOTH are treated as if NEITHER happened. Perhaps this is why their impulsiveness often leads to “novelty” and is ever evolving IN THE MOMENT, not in the past and not in the future. THey are all about whims and the NOW. This helped me to understand that NOTHING meant anything to them and BOTH were treated as if they never happened, the good AND the bad. So it’s not just when you’re distressed, Claudia, it happens when they’re throwing you bones too! UGH!

  59. Tricia,

    The injustice is the hardest part. Unfortunately, I think it’s also the biggest hurdle in healing from the psychopath. I DO believe that they eventually DO hang themselves, but whether we get to see it happen or not, is another thing altogether. I think this is where faith comes in to some extent. I’ll never see it because I have no contact. I”ll probably never hear about it, but I want to believe that justice will be even if I never live to see it happen. I hope it will for you too. I think the biggest justice is pretty much what Claudia outlined, which is continued education about psychopathy to the general public. It is amazing to me that with as many victims as there are and all the financial, emotional, physical. sexual damage they do, that public psychopathic education isn’t as common as educating the public about the ills of smoking. Kelli

  60. Susan,

    Your story sounds similar to mine. I was 24 when I first met my ex-P. He married someone else and I was devastated. He came back into my life about two years ago after an absence of 23 years (he instigated it). He was a pathological liar then, and I knew it but it wasn’t until after this affair with him again all these years later that I realized that he is a psychopath, and that chronic lying is one of the main traits. This time around, I also noticed some other traits that I didn’t remember from before: he sleeps only a few hours a night, and he seems to be very hyper, almost ADHD with his non-stop talking. I don’t think he was that way before when we were younger. Also, I just got a creepy feeling from him that he was empty and dead inside. I think I am a lot more intuitive now that I am older, maybe he was always this way and I never picked up on it.

    Mari

  61. Kelli and Tricia, I may have some good news for you regarding how psychopaths eventually get their due and justice is finally served. They are so arrogant and full of themselves that they WILL eventually trip up, and quite badly too.

    Weeks after breaking up with my ex-girlfiend (the misspelling is intentional🙂 I decided to do some detective work on a few things that had bothered me for a long time. One was that I just couldn’t believe how much she claimed her tiny, dilapidated old house was worth, nor could I believe how much she claimed her mortgage and property taxes were.

    Turns out that the County Clerk’s office has all the deed, mortgage and tax records publicly available on their website, and it took only minutes to find the relevant information using her street address. Was I ever surprised! Her house was 120 (yeah, one hundred and twenty) years old, in a neighbourhood where all the houses are 50 to 60 years old. Of course, in classic Cluster B style, she had slapped fresh vinyl siding on the outside to “look good.” But the foundation is crumbling (I had to sweep the basement floor every time I went to the laundry room) and we were constantly battling ants in the house that lived in the rotting floor joists. In short, the house is overdue for demolition, and the property is worth little more than the land it’s built on.

    I recall her proudly bragging that she had saved so much money by not using a real estate agent and having her equally arrogant father check out the house instead of paying a mere $200-$300 for a qualified building inspector. The consequences were absolutely jaw-dropping: either one would have told her that the house is nearly worthless. Based on the age, condition and its tiny 1,100 sq ft living area, she would have been advised to offer far below the neighbourhood’s average value.

    But no, because of her ignorance and arrogance, she overpaid (in my estimate) by $50,000 to $60,000. Although I’m a degreed engineer and more knowledgable about housing than the average guy, I continued to dig deeper. Apparently, her mortgage lender agreed very closely with my estimate, as the mortgage filing shows that the bank required an enormous $85,000 down payment for a property that should have had perhaps a $25,000 down payment.

    It gets better. She bought the house in early 2002, just as the housing bubble in the USA was starting to take off. Now that house prices are tumbling, it won’t be long before it’s worth less than the grossly inflated price she paid for it.

    It gets even better. Blissfully unaware of the condition and true value of the house, she proceeded to pour tens of thousands of dollars into major renovations, and got her former husband to pay for a lot of that too. I figure maybe $60,000 total. And the next buyer will certainly offer a pittance for it and proceed to demolish it and haul her “valuable” renovations away in dump trucks. Last I heard, she was already planning to renovate the kitchen! Dumb and getting dumber.

    She is already suffering the consequences of her remarkably stupid actions. A few years after buying the house, she decided to become self-employed, so that (a) she wouldn’t have a pesky boss and (b) she could cheat on her income taxes because most of her clients paid her in cash. Well, that has really backfired on her. After the financial crisis of 2008, interest rates plummeted and have remained at an all-time low ever since. She inquired about refinancing her mortgage, and the bank told her, sure, just bring your IRS records and we’ll give you a much better rate.

    I so clearly remember that day when she returned from the bank. She was just fuming; she could not bring her tax records because her declared income was so low that she wouldn’t be approved for any mortgage whatsoever. She was so angry and frustrated because it was just so NOT FAIR of the bank to give everyone else 3% and “make” her continue paying 5%.

    At the time I left, she was still going through her divorce, and her ex-husband’s attorney had already questioned the pathetic annual income that she had reported in her sworn deposition, explaining to the judge that it was barely enough to pay for basic utilities and food and thus impossible to pay for even half the mortgage and property taxes. Our rules don’t apply to these people; lies, deceit, perjury – all the same thing, and all business as usual.

    The income questioning was the one and only time I ever saw her express fear (of getting caught, of course). I wonder when the tax man is going to catch up with her. If that happens, she’s going to have to pay five years of back taxes PLUS the associated penalties. If my perception from an old CSI: Miami episode is correct, the IRS is ruthless and will foreclose her home to pay the taxes and fines. The paltry proceeds of the sale will be split between the mortgage company and the tax man, leaving her as financially bankrupt as she is emotionally bankrupt.

    Perhaps it won’t happen exactly as I described it, but I think this true story sheds a lot of light on how deeply messed up the typical psychopath’s life really is. And I believe that its only a matter of time before she gets entangled in some other legal mess resulting from her completely cavalier attitude towards the law and people in general.

    So fear not, these people have such bad karma that it’s bound to eventually catch up with them. They’re arrogant to the point of complete ignorance, and thus make easy targets for – other psychopaths who recognize their ignorance and can take advantage of it! Live by the sword, die by the sword. I’m so glad to be out of there.

  62. Gary; The sense of injustice is indeed profound. I don’t know how helpful this will be to you and others who are currently at this juncture in their aftermath / recovery journey. It is an all consuming sensation: I can empathise with what you wrote above; an experience with a psychopath is a heart attack- as Claudia writes, it is as though their intent is to emotionally destroy you during and after the discard (they do not recognise that you are already emotionally devestated). It is experiences such as these that illicit thoughts that they are evil compassionless beings.

    These feelings do pass Gary. Thery are part of the aftermath symptoms of exposure to psychopathy; the longer the exposure, often the more severe the symptoms. Learning about the psychopath and their behaviour, and their inner landscape is an integral part of recovery. It is a huge challenge as we move towards acceptance that everything they ever said to us had no meaning- whether it be declarations of love, promises, or callousness and devaluation. This is not to say that everything they said was born out of a moustache twisting intent to lie (yes they lie often with deliberation about anything as long as they are getting their here and now needs met); I think it can help if we understand them for what they are- which is fundamentally empty, emotionally superficial, transient brief flickering feelings that are only toe deep; and they only exist and experience each of these flickering emotions one at a time…..It is difficult to explain, but once that feeling is passed in them, it is as though they never felt it; they have no emotional memory. This is why their “stories” are fragmented, nonsensical, illogical; imagine a movie reel- cut the whole reel up into small pieces and randomly edit the pieces back together and watch it!

    Gaslighting occurs as the more cognitively intelligent psychopath attempts to weave these incongruences together. In the end we experience their psychopathic internal deadness, emptiness, and malice. This shocks us like a new born baby taking its first breath as the air hits them for the first time.

    As we heal; we begin to recognise that our need for justice is gradually replaced by a sense of indifference. Their next victim will ultimately recognise that their “partner” is incapable of bonding and they will experience their psychopathy and perhaps one day join us here.

    Theirs is a life without meaning Gary, a life without compassion, love, spirit, and inner beauty; for now, let that be your justice.

  63. I’m starting to think education is key here. You mention psychopath to most people and the first thing that comes to mind is a hacker horror movie. Someone that physically harms people, a serial killer. I think the people we have dealt with in our lives are much more dangerous than the stereotypical psychopath. They do not cause physical damage in a sense but the mental damage is overwhelming. I try and explain to friends and I get looks like what are you talking about. You get the old “OK move on already.” Most people have no idea. They have nothing to relate to, only images of movies they may have seen. They even may know the psychopath, be “friends” with the psychopath. In fact may even stick up for the psychopath. They only know the false surface. Until you are involved intimately with a cluster b you may never realise. I beleive that is where they are so dangerous. They are chameleons, they take bits and pieces of all of us to “blend in.” Mirror us so they are excepted as one of us. I would love to see a documentary explaining the myth. If anyone knows of such please let me know. These people should be exposed. We are always told this or that food or chemical is bad and can harm us. what about our mental health. Society needs to be educated on the dangers of a cluster b personality. sites like this are a good start. educate, educate, educate. I am in my early 40’s I should be entering my best years of life. Instead I was destroyed and forced to find myself again. I will arrive there with time and education. I think I will always have a scar though. Thank you all
    Gary

  64. Gary; absolutlely education is the key. Psychopathy is almost always associated with physical violence, axe wielders, and so forth; out of control deranged “psychos” who have danger tatooed on their forheads—NO NO NO! I firmly believe that there needs to be a major paradigm shift in regards to pychopathy. Most individuals with a psychopathic personality construct have good jobs, they go to work and hold down their jobs responsibly and may even be efficacious and good at their jobs. Their masks firmly in situ. You are quite right that their “false self”, mask, persona or whatever is a patchwork quilt borrowed from, mirrored, emulated, adapted, adjusted, tweaked, assimilated from those around them. Without the constant feedback of what is coined “narcissistic supply” they do quite literally feel invisable and nonexistent. It is quite a mind bender isnt it? My ex is an Occupational therapist undergoing training in family therapy! Go figure.

    These very peculiar selfless beings can only see themselves in a mirror, i.e. you and me and whoever is around. An indicator is their busy-ness outside of work. My ex (particularly in between victims) attended a raiki couse, learned to play steel pans, glass art courses, jamie oliver cooking groups; the list is endless….never staying still.

    Custer B represents the medicalisation of these (more often than not) non offending, non physically violent sub- species.

    Consider this particular criteria for BPD for example-
    “frantic attempts to avoid real or imagined abandonment”

    One might be forgiven for thinking that someone with BPD is terrified of being abandoned by their loved one; the person they are in love with and have a deep emotional bond with.
    We know from experience this is not the case- I can translate this for you- It should read-

    “frantic attempts at holding onto their objectified mirror as a means of avoiding falling into their own bottomless emptyness and lack of core existence; which they do through pathological lying”.
    Note in BPD literature they suffer from chronic boredom and grow bored easily- sound familiar (psychopathy)

    Identity disturbance, chronic feelings of emptiness (psychopathy)

    Intense and unstable relationships (psychopathy)

    Problems with impulsivity (psychopathy)

    BPD literature is full of references of instant emotional detachment

    Regulating emotions? changing, chaotic, fleeting, superficial, lack of depth- mean and sweet cycles.

    Pattern of relating that oscillates between idealisation and devaluation (psychopathy)

    BPD diagnostics talks of a lacking in object constancy- Translation = if your not “here” and not “now” your nowhere, hence I can detach from you once I have a new mirror, as easily as a used hankey.

    Borderlines lack compassion; challenge them on their behaviour as their mask slips and observe how they withdraw not just civility but any concern for you whatsoever no matter what is happening in your life (and I mean anything!).

  65. Thank you so much Claudia and Michael. Again, both of you just hit the nail right on the head. My ex would try any tack with me, as I think we’ve said before..they always aim for your achilles heel, in whatever capacity that is, and then destroy your “self”.
    Also Gary and Michael, I feel the same, re the total lack of any care for your well being, or remorse, or any feeling whatsoever. When I left my ex, i had to pack and arrange to move my belongings 500 miles whilst he was away on business, I had no home to go to (i had to go to my sisters), I had no job, no security, I was absolutely broken, or rather i thought i was broken until the treatment I received from him after I left. That was worse. My ex could not have cared less. Actually, he cared more about himself (of course!), he went crazy at me for putting him under financial hardship as i cashed a £500 cheque (money that I had loaned HIM!) – he earned £80k a year!! I had been left with nothing! When he found out i was staying with a friend (on a campbed in her spare room!) he said that i’d “landed on my feet”…??? I had left a well paid job, a beautiful flat in a beautiful city, a husband, friends and came back to owning nothing, no money and sleeping on a camp bed and in his twisted mind he thought I had landed on my feet??!! As Michael you say of your ex, he had no accountability, no remorse, he only felt sorry for himself (as in he should never have gotten involved with someone like ME), i could get another job and I would probably get back with my husband..I mean it left me speechless, more than speechless. Shocked to the core. Words cannot describe how angry/hurt/destroyed/confused I was at that time. And Gary I most definitely wanted some form of revenge on him. Especially as he told his mum I’d found a job and had my own flat??!! Yes i had found a job..a temporary one on £15k less than I’d been paid previously and NO i did not have my own flat!! But this is how these types are…they just basically make up a load of absolute shit or they twist the truth in order to take what guilt they should feel (and dont!) off themselves. My ex referred to himself as a heartless beast (and of course there was a lot of admiration for himself in that statement).

    There is no point really wanting revenge on them though. As to be honest nothing bothers them enough for them to suffer, whatever that punishment would be they wouldnt care! My ex will NEVER see or acknowledge what he did to me as wrong, callous, malicious, vile, evil in all senses really. Because he is, evil. They have no recall, for anything or anyone. And that is actually maybe one of the hardest things to deal with when you leave or split up with them. Is that the minute you leave, you may as well be dead to them. I once said to my friend, if I died and someone told my ex his reaction would be like a pocket of air brushing his arm.., it would be just the slightest of flinches if even that. Then it would be gone. My revenge will be to one day be myself again and be happy – or as happy as I can be. You can never beat them, no matter what they play you at. They always think they win and they do in some sense because they’ve broken another person’s heart and then they skip off into the sunset and do it all again. But if their life long aim is to have a longterm partner to be happy and content with and have a real loving bond then they have no chance of ever achieving that. And we do. Its just a hell of a thing to get over that we thought we could have that with them!
    Love lesleyxxx

  66. lesley, How you explained “landing on your feat” through your ex’s eyes completely hits home with me. When I moved out I went to a friend’s house. I had nowhere to go I had a pillow and my cloths. I stayed there for a week then moved into another friend’s basement. I slept on an air mattress. Nothing was mine. Would you believe she looked at it as I was lucky. I had no bills, I could spend my money how I wanted. I had my son every weekend, so she could run around and be “free.” He slept on a couch that happened to be in the basement. She would harass me for money. “well you don’t have any bills, I have the kids and you can do what you want, It must be nice.” That was so far from the truth. I had nothing. I was still paying half her bills, helping my friend financially for helping me out.. In her eye’s I had no responsibility, I was rich. She was a victim. I left her??? So I should still take care of her financially. She felt as if my life should stop so she could continue hers as it was. She didn’t want anything to change. The only change was me out of the picture.I could not beleive it… Hell I still don’t and its been a year. To this day she uses the kids against me financially. Yet she is in the bar every weekend.she lied at our divorce hearing so she would be rewarded more money. After the judge handed down his order on support.. She contacted me and in her snotty way asked if I was going to give her more because she thought it wasn’t enough because she had the kids and she has more bills. It was funny how quick she forgot I had my son every week end. To this day he stays with me every week end. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy having him, that’s why I do it. Sorry went off a little. That really hits home. Once that mask came off she really didn’t make sense. her mouth would open and shit would spew out, no matter how absurd. She truly is like a two year old who is having a fit because mom or dad wont buy them a candy bar at the checkout..

  67. Gary and Michael, I too agree that education is key. Did you know that there’s a 90-minute made-for-TV movie, “Men Don’t Tell” to raise awareness of the plight of men abused by women? Sadly, it was aired on television only once in 1993 and subsequently “incurred the wrath of several womens’ groups” and isn’t commercially available. Fortunately, however, someone has uploaded the movie in its entirety to YouTube. Here is the link: http://youtu.be/U_gLDF2dGLY

    Michael, I strongly support your view that much more focus must be placed on sub-violent Cluster B behaviour. “Men Don’t Tell” describes violent female behaviour, but at least it clearly conveys the effortless ease with which the mask comes on and off and the damage that’s done to the spouse and the children. The acting is truly first-rate.

    The controversy surrounding the film underscores a very troubling fact: the general public remains woefully ignorant and, in spite of its ignorance, holds very strong and prejudiced views regarding domestic violence and spousal abuse. The American VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) of 1994 was a particularly damaging piece of legislation; how is it possible to afford legal rights and protections to one gender and completely ignore the other?

    I’ve also learned that at least two support forums (one primarily for women, the other mostly for men) have been viciously attacked over the internet by groups of crazy people claiming that “they have rights too.”

    I sincerely hope that the fragmentation among us will eventually end, and that mens-rights and womens-rights supporters will eventually unite in a powerful, common force to educate the public – especially our children – about the dangers of abuse in a balanced and accurate fashion. But honestly, I have yet to see any progress in that direction.

  68. Also, I want to sort of say I’m sorry to you all, all I do here is seem to bring back previous experiences which is not much help to all of you! Whereas all of you help me and you say such insightful things, you describe your exes and their behaviour and character traits so well – you all say exactly how i felt and thought about my ex and how i was treated by him. I think if i’m honest I wish with all my heart my ex had not been the way he was, as the boy I knew from school and the personality he was I loved to be with and I would have married. But the others and the way he was when the mask slipped then no, he was hell personified. When we split up he treated me as i’ve set out above but then would forget all that and try and get me to meet up with him for sex, first few times i agreed to meet him, as i wanted us to work things out, but of course, we never did, as that was not his game plan. So things got worse and worse really.
    I dont quite know what I’m trying to say to you in this post! Just thank you as when i feel down, which is a lot though not as raw as before, i read all your comments full of such intelligent, well rounded views and stories that we can all relate to, and I feel a bit better, still sad, but better. One day I shall write something on here that will help the way Claudia and Michael do!!

    Love lesleyxx

  69. Lesley,
    You don’t have to apologise to me. I feel it is healthy to deal with the feelings, The emotions. It happened. We were duped. This site brings memories to light for me, makes me think about them. Helps me realise I am not alone. It makes me want to put my experience in writing It actually makes me feel better and puts a bit of organisation in my confused thoughts. Sometimes I may vent, seam angry, frustrated and sad. I may ramble. my thoughts might be quicker than my fingers. The one thing I don’t want to do is bury my feelings for them only to come back and haunt me. I also don’t want to be stuck in my own head and thoughts. We have all experienced something that is in a way very hard to understand. We are at different points in our recovery. Some know more than others through experience and time. We can all learn and find some kind of peace from each other. Again its education, We need to learn what happened and deal with it in a healthy way. people sharing their experiences helps to add chapters to the text book. puts similarities in the light so we can learn and someday help others. Lesley after your previous post, I was fired up, I could totally relate. It made me want to talk about it. I thank you for that. I did feel better after posting. Its like yes, yes. yes, I know what you are talking about. Take care and keep learning.
    Gary

  70. Lesley, your comments are very helpful for so many reasons, including: 1) they help other readers identify psychopathic behavior from the way you describe your ex treating you and, relatedly, 2) they make them see they are not alone, and that these patterns of behavior are pathological, not healthy behavior in relationships, 3) your emails do offer emotional support through their honesty. Thank you very much for your comments. Claudia

  71. Gary, Lesley and everyone: as long as the comments are honest and attempt to be mutually supportive of fellow victims, they will be helpful to other readers of the blog. I really appreciate your input, and so do other readers. Claudia

  72. Julian, I too hope that the psychopathy awareness forums, be they primarily for female or for male victims, can come together and see that we are working towards the same goals and dealing with the same pain. It’s especially important, as you state, to educate the young, because then you are so much less likely to fall into the trap of a pathological individual (or series of them) later on in life. This psychopathy education should start in high school. Donna Andersen has already launched this kind of program in New Jersey and I’ve spoken with the superintendent of our schools to start one where I live as well. The bully awareness programs in high schools have received a lot of attention and have been helpful. The same kind of awareness programs should be launched, I think, for the main personality disorders. Claudia

  73. Michael, you bring up such an excellent point: just as psychopaths are assumed to be serial killers, which actually compose only a small fraction of psychopaths, abuse is associated with extreme physical violence, which a larger fraction of psychopaths engage in, but far from all of them. Abuse takes so many different forms, including pathological deception, gaslighting, hidden lives, belittling the victim, making them focus on their flaws, pressuring them into sexual activities against their will, isolating them from others, stalking them, etc. This form of abuse leaves marks that aren’t physically visible but destroys you, inside and out. If you don’t recognize the signs of emotional abuse and stay in the relationship, you’re left an empty shell of a person after a psychopath is completely through with you. Claudia

  74. Kelli, yes, nothing meant anything to your psychopathic ex, or to any of them, just momentary supply of various use-value. And also, keep in mind, that the fact he moved on to a new supply has nothing to do with you. After they exhaust the value of one source, they move on to another to empty it–destroying that person–as well. It’s what psychopaths do, as social predators and social parasites. Claudia

  75. Lesley: I think its important as Claudia stated that we share on the board our experiences, even though I am unable to help others in the way Claudia and Michael do with their inspirational writing techniques I still have the KNOWLEDGE of what happened to me. You said yours wanted to meet for sex, then nothing really becomes of it. I still continue to receive invitations to meet him, if this were a year ago I would have jumped at the chance to be with him; now, however as much as I miss the excitement of what he appeared to me as I have come full circle in my recovery and education to know the evil and rotten person I was involved with for over 4 years. I will be honest here it has been so difficult trying to forget the sex we had, like Claudias article on why they are so insatiable states, they are that way because they are unable to bond with others so they inject you with a lethal dose of intense sexual passion and send you on your way hoping that will hold you over until next time you are lucky enough to be with them, ha My body was used as an OBJECT, different body parts for him to explore all he had to do was give me a warm smile and some soothing words to make me feel he felt something for me, but he never did.

    It feels WONDERFUL to no longer be jealous of who he lives with and who he is with sexually, I no longer cry when I imagine him in his life with his GF and wondering who he is raping, excuse me I mean having sex with, its the same, empty, meaningless engagement with others for him to use and simply get off with, I am glad I am no longer loving someone with my every ounce of my being as he lies there empty and feeling NOTHING. I know he will NEVER connect and love ANYBODY he is with so I envy nothing in that respect!!! So when I receive these sex fest invitations I stand tall and am very proud of myself because I am very lonely now, I miss being intimate with a man, I am only human . I refuse to sell my soul to the devil to satisfy my lonely sexual needs. I am MORAL he is completely IMMORAL and while nobody is going to give me an award for that, I KNOW, in my heart I know I am and always was stronger than he could ever be, its EASY to give in to wrong, but of course they always take the easy path with sinful pleasures. I stay on the path, the path that is the truth and the path that will bring me happiness in the long run. Anyway Lesley just my thoughts – x0x0 Linda

  76. Lesley and everyone else who has found my contributions helpful; I really appreciate your feedback. I have found all the postings here really helpful and comforting; and it is such a relief knowing I am not alone in my experiences. Particularly your posts Gary, from another guys perspective. It is so true that friends and family do not understand and have a tendency to say “move on” etc. They cannot comprehend what we have been through; the times I have tried to explain I find myself getting tongue tied- it is as difficult to explain as it is to comprehend.

  77. Julian, YOU are very lucky to have discovered such a thing. I wish I could. I feel my ex lied about his house and the condition it was in as well. Not really sure. The property it sits on with the surroundings is worth a FORTUNE right now and he knows it. But heavily in debt, he continued to take second, thirds, out on the mortgage and consolidate credit cards left and right. He needed to marry quickly, someone to contribute to pay off his debts. is that justice? I think not. Glad to see you got yours! Kelli

  78. Linda, Your post above was amazing and something that totally resonated with me. I want SO MUCH to be where you are, not thinking about his sexual relationship with his new wife as if she somehow cuts the mustard when I couldn’t. WHen he said his wife couldn’t. Life, from what I hear (PLEASE STOP TELLING ME) is WONDERFUL for him! FIVE MONTHS after he met her, he’s married to her and the kids just loooooooooooove her. Amazing shit really. And excrutiating for me.

    I want SO MUCH to be where you are, not caring at all. Being in the role of the OW has been excrutiating for me in the aftermath, not only for what pain I caused EVERYONE with my involvement, but also with the smear campaign he has spread about me, even at work where i am still a client where he attempts and has successfully, redeemed himself for his outrageous behavior with me. It is SO incredibly painful I can’t’ even tell you. To add to all of this, today I realized, I don’t have adequate support. I don’t know how to get it. I have a great new therapist, but I have let go of my ENTIRE biological family to try to be healthy, and what I feel is even more miserable and lonely because THEY TOO are pathological. I have my sister, brother, my neices and nephews. My father. I cannot see them. To do so would be worse, talk about withdrawals!! I’m so tempted to contact any of them, even my ex, in my loneliness. I feel isolated and frightened by it all. I have my children and I dearly love them all, ironically, it is so interesting to see how much they love and support ONE ANOTHER……..after I’m gone, I hope they hang onto that with one another….my kids are supportive, but it’s just WRONG to expect more from them. I understand that healing happens faster if you have family that loves you. It is SO true!! IT IS SO TRUE! You are VERY blessed if you have a healthy family to surround you, to listen…friends that you didn’t drive away through your relationship with your ex.

    I’m so struggling right now. I’ve read everything that each of you has said here. I learn so much from it. While it helps me understand, it doesn’t take away the pain of the intensive losses I have, and all by choice……….. to try to reach for something more. It’s amazing how one’s dream can just be to have love and to love others, no matter your mistakes and without judgment.

    Right now, I’m seriously considering moving out of the town I’m in. Not only does snake ass ex live and work around here, but so does ex hubby P and his girlriend, my ex best friend from long ago.

    I’ve really struggled with this because my kids have lived here almost alll of their lives and are stable with their loving friends here…..and at the same time, i’m more and more miserable everyday and imagine my life being much more peaceful, even if still with pain, with all the memories and surprise sightings I endure.

    I’m tired. I want peace. I just want PEACE.

    PS. MIchael, if you are willing, I’d like to know some of your resources for study about this pathology.

    Kelli

  79. Thank you Claudia and Gary. Since I found this site and Claudia’s articles a few months ago I’ve felt so much better, as they describe so clearly and concisely what is all in a mess in your head and you cannot quite figure out whether you are going mad or not. I knew there was something seriously wrong with my ex path, but when you are with them and in the aftermath your head and feelings are totally scrambled. I first started researching narcissism then found this site and realised that my ex was most definitely in the “absolute narcissism” category. Everything that Claudia, Michael and you all really write, makes so much sense and i for one feel I have allies and help on this website, as your friends, unless they have been in this position, simply do not understand the mental trauma of what has happened to you.
    Gary, that is what upset me the most for sure, well out of many upsetting things he did!! That there is NO understanding, no consideration for your situation (which has been brought about by them lets face it!), and to add insult to injury they actually abuse you and belittle you! In one of my other posts I mentioned that my ex invited me to see him then told me he didnt want to as he was dating people..he also said if I turned up at his house he would barricade the doors!! All this from a man that was meant to have been in love with me and two days before had been on the phone with me for an hour talking about what we would do when I went to see him, which is typical of the behaviour Claudia describes in this article. I read on another site that they kick you in the teeth then expect you to say thank you for the service. How true that is!! And, Gary you are so right, you have to keep learning, it makes you stronger. Knowledge is power.
    I also think that there are not as many men come forward regarding female psychopaths, whether that is because men do not in the main “talk about stuff” or whether they just put it down to women being mad in general (!!) i dont know. It must be very hard for men to find a voice as most of these forums are mainly commented on by women about men. Its so interesting though, that female or male, the characteristics are exactly the same, the treatment, the abuse, the lack of emotions, they are just the same.
    Thank you to all of you. I have tried to talk to friends and they just dont understand the situation at all. They sum it up as “he’s a c*nt (excuse my language but that does sort of sum him up!!), move on, find someone nice” – but as we all know, its not as simple as that. There’s evil. Then there is our ex paths.
    Lots of love
    lesleyxxxx

  80. Sorry Linda just noticed your post – you are so right. That is how my ex made me feel, that you were to be thankful for him meeting you and letting you “be with him” as you were honoured and that should see you through til the next time he lowered himself to contact you. Totally totally correct. Yes the sex with him was amazing and yes, like you I miss it, but then, he mentally just about destroyed me…and it meant nothing to him as he was really only having sex with himself. It really can be just any girl or person. They get off on the fact they are wanted, not that they are with you.
    And you are right, though I suffer from loneliness, wishing that what we had had in fact been real..etc etc.. as I get stronger i find myself thinking..”thank god i don’t have to worry about that anymore, no more stress and upset, no more being accused of loving someone too much and being anxious and strained about who on earth they had decided they wanted next while you sat at home or went to work and they did what they liked. When i was on holiday I was on the beach (i was on my own it was great!) and there were so many beautiful people there and i thought to myself “if my ex was here he would be like a child with sexual tourettes or a dog with about five d*cks . I would not be able to relax as i would be made to feel ugly, not as gorgeous as other girls, while he eyed up everything that moved” he would have been like a 15 year old boy. That sort of peace in yourself is what you want to find all the time and it just takes time to get there. We will, but they wont.
    Love lesleyxxxxx

  81. Kelli and Lesley: I have never been in a role of being the other woman to ANY man as I have never in the 25 years I have been married cheated until Mr. B Cluster came into my life. I was given the promise of everything I had ever wanted in a partner it appeared to be such a sweet package vs the abusive neglectful husband I have. In the beginning I expressed to him how I DONT CHEAT and how wrong it is that I should separate first before I pursue a relationship with someone else but of course you know how that went over with a psychopath predator. I will NEVER ever as long as I live be THE OTHER WOMAN to any man, for I realize being in that role only shows utter disregard, selfishness, disrespect, dishonesty, on the mans part, psycho or not its plain undermining and WRONG to ALL parties involved. As soon as he told me he had a GF and the relationship was not good I should have RUN FOR THE HILLS, and focused on either disolving my marriage or seeking help for it. I was SOOOOOOOOOOOO very lonely, both my parents just died, I was an only child and I felt I lost my whole world when they died and here this perfect prince of a man enters my life I felt like he was sent from GOD above. Of course I had NO IDEA he was nothing but a swindling, sexual predator psychopath and I was about to be taken on a ride to hell and back. I actually DID separate from my husband last year but came back as he pleaded with me to try and make things work.

    These type of individuals have many many other women they keep on a string I was one in many. I will never play 2nd to any man or 3rd, 4th, 5th, as in his case I am sure. I will be FIRST and the ONLY in a man’s life that claims he loves me and if I am not he can GO TO HELL I will not lie awake at nights loving someone as he is with his wife or GF cuddled up in their bed together WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING that I put myself through that mental torture, I AM BETTER than that and I deserve to be loved and NOT ABUSED in such a cruel destructive way just to satisfy some sick, low life, con man that swindled my love. I also never deserved the horrible verbal abuse my husband did to me for so many years but strange as this sounds I think it took the psychopath to show me that – with all his devaluing, undermining, and betrayal that he did to me I believe it took me to such a place of pain that I realized I was allowing men to abuse me and it HAD TO STOP. My husband is not a psychopath but a damn good verbal abuser, horrible horrible things he would say. Its unfortunate the one time I strayed in my highly vulnerable state it had to be a psychopath, now I realize any good decent man would have NEVER taken advantage of a woman in the state I was in. He pursued me like a the wind until I gave in. What I failed to see during this whole SICK SICK relationship was not only did he have a GF that lived with him he was screwing many many others so why I was so jealous of the GF I have no idea, she was his main dupe and nothing more – so as I lie in bed at night crying I should have been crying over the fact he was probably not with her as much as he was pursuing his sick perverted sexual needs, the GF was just a front and an excuse he used with me to claim he was in such a serious relationship, ha ha what a joke, I told him once but I thought you said your relationship was not good, mmmm you must have gone to boyfriend and girlfriend counseling eh? Things are all better now after you professed your undying love for me –

    I will never know his OW and I DONT CARE, she is no greater or less than I am but she does have something that I will never have or want, she is living with a psychopath and she can have it, its ALL HERS. x0x0 Linda

  82. Lesley: ………and how would you like to spend your life with someone who constantly looks at others for sex? EVERYWHERE you would go with him he would be scooping out women young and old and seeing if he could get them, NO THANKS that would be a sad life for the OW and nobody deserves to live with a sexual predator sex addict, HORRIBLE HORRIBLE way to live talk about feeling inadequate because you are with someone that is NOT RIGHT, ISH NO THANK YOU. It comes down to sacrificing your own self just for the sake of being in the company of someone who can give you that illusion – It takes tremendous self confidence and self to remove yourself from them but once you do you will have it always. x0x0 Linda

  83. Kelli; and all- I am happy to share with you the resources that have broadened my knowledge around psychopathy and cluster B. I began studying cluster B in 2008 after a friend (a clinical psychologist specialising in eating disorders) suggested that the behaviour I was describing may be indicative of cluster B traits; most notably borderline. Also; a mutual friend told me that my exes previous partner of 10 years (who went through hell with her!) had told her that she was Narcissistic. The more I researched, the more I was able to draw out, recognise and condense the core traits of a psychopathic personality construct. It was a puzzling and often confusing endevour. Reason being is that there are plenty of information sites out there that only compound the confusion. For example I have come across many sites that that attempt to desribe and capture cluster B, narcissism, and psychopathy red flags in the following ways-

    “is he or she rude to waiters in a restaurant” ?
    “can he or she not stand to wait in line” ?
    “does he or she expect you to pick up some milk on the way home from work when they know you have had a busy day; and they get all mardy and stroppy when you forget” ?

    These are red herrings Kelli and this kind of shit does not help the victims of exposure to a psychopathic relationship dynamic! Anymore than sites that have a bias towards portraying the psychopathic personality construct as a killer, violent,,,,, a Hannibal Lectur.

    I strongly recommend fried green tomatoes; lovefraud.com; schari schrieber (BPD articles); when the mask slips (of which Claudia contributes).

    I have mostly focused on googling cluster B, psychopathy, and relationship dynamics.

    Recomended books include women who love psychopaths, snakes in suits, help i’m in love with a narcissist, borderline personality disorder demystified (actually the author clouds the issue rather than demystify it in my view; but he knowingly or not describes many psychopathic features seen in the BPD presentation).

    Without conscience is obligatory; but remember that Hare’s “research cohort” was predominantly incarcerated criminals; however his writings demonstrate an increasing awareness of the lacking in correlation between law abiding citizenship and psychopathic personality construct.

  84. Linda, I agree. Being the other woman, even with a more or less normal man, indicates poor boundaries as well as setting yourself up for disaster. Anyone who cheats with you is very likely to cheat on you. With psychopaths, however, since they often suffer from sexual addiction and need perversion and deception for excitement, you can multiply that principle by a thousand. Claudia

  85. Michael, thanks for these very useful information and websites about Cluster B personality disorders. As you state, it’s very important to be able to identify the psychopathic bond, particularly since psychopaths sometimes retreat and act nice if you seem to withdraw from them, and take inch by inch your dignity and happiness. If you don’t recognize the symptoms of their personality disorder as well as the fact it’s unfixable, you might be tempted to compromise with them or stick around and work on the relationship until you’re completely destroyed by the social predator. The sooner you recognize the personality disorder, the quicker you end the relationship, the better your chances are of surviving with less damage. Claudia

  86. Linda, psychopaths do that because it’s their natural inclination but also to belittle and humiliate their current targets, after the luring phase is over. If you felt inadequate with the psychopath when he was leering at other women (and not only leering!), it’s because that was his objective. Remember that during the luring phase they act so faithful and smitten. They can control their behavior and they modulate it according to which phase of the relationship you’re in and what they want from you. Claudia

  87. Claudia and all my site friends, I have been away for awhile because of a number of family issues, deaths and out of town family visiting. It definitely took my mind off of the ex-narc friend. However, today I feel like I am back to square one; home alone. I have been reading alot and found some interesting articles by Alexandra Nouri.

    Some of what she wrote about is being an emotionally generous person and emotional bonding. Boy did that hit home, because I recognize thoses traits in me, and he honed in on that I know. Even though we were only friends I bonded with him. I cared about him, his son, his financial situations, and fears. Somewhere here, I read that they play to your strenghts and weakness’s. I am a pretty tough cookie because of my past relationships with famly members, men and friends, but he got through. He must be the Devil’s Child.

    I learned when to say “No” and I thought I had pretty established personal boundaries and lines in the sand and he got me, he blindside me, because I questioned him.

    The next three weeks will the test that he leaves me alone, please wish me “Luck”. I refuse to stop living my life…….

    To everyone I wish you hope, forgiveness and some peace of mind that you can stop being in emotional pain…Hugs Donna

  88. Claudia.
    My ex path definitely had that letching side of it under control for a while but not for long I have to say. He got so bad I would just about turn my head 180 degree so i would not see him, it made me so angry that the back of my neck went up if you know what i mean! I eventually used to ask him if he’d seen enough which used to really annoy him, or i would say “do you mind??” as it was so disrespectful and rude. It is totally to make you feel insecure, belittle you and make you feel a lesser person. Its so embarrassing and pathetic as well.
    Linda i was never the OW, well i say never but i think we all are OW in the end, if you know what I mean, with these types. I lived with my ex path under the illusion i was The One. But as we all know, I was The Main Stupid One. When I found out what he was up to behind my back it was the beginning of the end. I thought it was karma for what I did to my husband, maybe it was in a way. But i dont know if deserved it to that extent.

    Donna try to not contact him if you can. Go on this site if you feel the urge to contact anyone! Though i know how hard it is.
    Love to everyone
    lesley
    xxxxxxxxx

  89. Lesley, thank you for your comments about abused men. I think I can explain from personal experience and from reading other male-oriented forum posts why fewer men come forward regarding female abuse.

    Society expects men the be “the strong ones” in a relationship. When my ex-girl-fiend reduced me to the emotional equivalent of a 98-pound weakling, I not only felt hurt and betrayed, but also deeply ashamed and embarrassed for not having lived up to those expectations.

    It’s difficult for men to explain their situation to others (men or women), because our explanations are met with almost universal disbelief. Remarks like “No woman would ever do anything like that” are typical of either gender. Unhelpful suggestions like “Just move on” or “Be a man and get over it” are also universally typical.

    On forums like this, we all know how hard it is to get over it and move on for women and men alike, but “out there” in the normal world, it seems like no one does. I think most of us here have experienced the deep feelings of loneliness and despair that result from trying to explain our situations to family and friends; it’s so painful and frustrating that I think it’s the main reason we tend to isolate ourselves afterwards. – Julian.

  90. Julian
    I thought that would be the case, that men are meant to be the strong ones, and that an outsider looking in would view them as “weak or pathetic” – which is actually how some of my friends view me, as I am not “moving on” quickly enough (and i’m female!). So i can imagine its even harder for a man. However we both know that it is very hard to move on quickly or have any constant increase in feeling better when you have been with one of these individuals. I find some days i’m fine, then I’m just not. its not that i want to go back with him, its more just the utter mess that my life is in due to him (and me being stupid). You are right, its just the most emotionally painful thing to deal with and get through on so many levels and people on the outside only have a set timebar for how long they can put up with you “not being yourself and (as my sister said to me once..”wallowing in it”… Thank god for forums such as these and comments and articles which can at least bring some clarity and support to us all.
    lesleyxxx

  91. Claudia can you remove my email address as it comes up on my posts. i must try and sort this as it must be something i’m doing wrong! thank youxx

  92. Julian, You are correct. I have even questioned my “manhood” in regards to the stereotypical “I am man hear me roar.” I have asked myself why is this so hard? What is wrong with me? I’m a man I should be tough. Well, a Cluster B can really strip a lot away from you. You lose your pride your confidence. I did anyway. Why more men don’t come forward? I don’t know. I felt I had to or I would become insane. A hermit. I cant even begin to explain the frustration I have dealt with because of my ex psychopath. I tried so very hard to help her, I was strung along just enough to keep me interested. She never wanted my help emotionally. She only wanted her freedom and me to pay for it. I was pushed. I would start to fight back, she would adjust her mask and everything would be good. Then little by little the pushing started again. She learned exactly where my breaking point was. But like a piece of plastic it can only be bent so many times before it weakens and breaks. She bent me way to many times ending up breaking me, turning me into “The one that has the problem” Boy have I heard that way to many times. Wanting to save my marriage only made her bolder and more arrogant. She developed a sense of entitlement. The mask came off for me but is still totally intact for most of “our” friends. It makes me feel weak. I know what/who she is but nobody believes me. I’ve noticed some people agree with me…Just to agree with me. To shut me up in a sense. They don’t have a clue. Only because they haven’t seen behind the mask nor may they ever. .
    Gary

  93. Gary,

    I read your stories and the other men here and it is just heartbreaking. I, for one, am really glad to see men posting here. The similarities in behavior continues to astound me given the gender differences, right down to identical sentences. This fascinates me and has me wondering, as we often say “do they operate out of the same playbook?” How is it that they are all pretty much the SAME, yet also very different? I hope as time progresses we see much more research done on this phenomena and the similarities.

    Michael, Thank you for your suggestions. I’ve read all of those books as well as visited all but two of those websites. My ex was more Narc/spath than borderline, so I don’t normally go to the sites that discuss it.

    THere is another book out called “Puzzling People- The labyrinth of the Pscyhopath” by Thomas Sheridan. I’m dying to read this book and it just came out a few months ago. I discovered that Mr. Sheridan has several videos on Youtube that discuss psychopaths and they are very intriguing.

    I had a therapy appointment today. After the hour was up, she let me know we have a lot of work to do with the PTSD still. The goal is to take down the cog/dis to a couple of times a week at MOST. EMDR will begin in a session or two to begin to slow down the PTSD symptoms. This therapist is great and she is one hundred percent knowledgeable about PD/s, understands the fallout, as well as PTSD symptoms. I’m really relieved. I hope everyone here is doing as well as you can.

    Kelli

  94. Julian, I think in general when you tell people about the psychopathic bond, they tell you to get over it. They don’t understand the PTSD that usually comes with being involved with such a disordered individual. This happens to both men and women because when people think of sociopaths (without conscience) they automatically think of violent criminals. However, you’re so right to say that it’s even harder for male victims, since men are assumed/supposed to be strong and to keep in their emotions. There’s also the risk that forums in which men complain about women tend to be quite hateful and mysogynistic or humorous in tone. There’s very little out there that can offer support for male victims. But I think forums like lovefraud, this one and others can offer information and support for both men and women, since psychopaths tend to have a similar profile and victims of both genders suffer similar effects as well. Claudia

  95. Lesley, I just did. It’s easy for you to do it as well, if you write ‘Lesley” instead of writing your email in the name rubrik. But even if you forget, I’ll try to remember to do that so your email won’t appear on the blog itself. Claudia

  96. Gary, as you know you weren’t weak, just compassionate. And I’m very grateful for men who speak about their experiences with Cluster B personalities–with as much courage and honesty as you, Michael, and Julian do–without becoming misogynist in general. Obviously, the women who made you suffer had personality disoders, which is not a reflection on women in general just as the psychopathic men who made women suffer are not a reflection of men in general. Claudia

  97. Kelli, I’m so glad to hear that you found a therapist well-versed in personality disorders because the talking cure in general is not enough for victims of psychopaths, suffering from PTSD. Claudia

  98. Claudia, thanks for the tip about Donna’s program. I checked it out on lovefraud.com and watched her YouTube video also. It’s very heartwarming to know that something’s beginning to happen to raise awareness among teenagers – I think that’s the very best place to start. Thanks again, Julian.

  99. I didn’t mean to say that it was harder for men, just different, and to explain the reasons why I think less men come forward than women. I agree fully that the psychopathic profile is the same regardless of gender, as is the damage done to the victims. The only difference I’ve been able to discern among genders is that psychopathic men tend to use women for sex, and psychopathic women ten to use men for money. And I don’t believe it’s an intrinsic gender difference, but rather one rooted in socio-economic factors – it’s easier for men to lure women for sex, and it’s easier for women to lure wealthier men for money. Of course, there are exceptions, such as Donna Anderson’s husband who fleeced her of her considerable life savings. But otherwise, things appear to be exactly the same regardless of gender. – Julian.

  100. Julian, I agree. I also think that the only way this information will become more mainstream is, unfortunately, if it gets more media attention: not just in terms of the horrific crimes some psychopaths commit (which have always gotten media attention) but in terms of the psychological phenomenon of psychopathy in general. This has happened for the issue of domestic abuse. I don’t know yet what will need to happen for the problem of psychopathy to get equal mainstream attention. It would prevent so much unnecessary suffering. Claudia

  101. Julian, yes, what you say is an accurate generalization. It seems though that many male psychopaths are conmen, who lure women or the elderly primarily to fleece them of their money. But, as you indicate, male psychopaths tend to be more the sexual predator type, and some do both. Psychopathic women are often the black widow types, looking primarily for money, but also for the thrill of destruction (conquer, fleece, and destroy your victim). Psychologically, however, it looks like these predators have no gender since their main motives (to use, dupe and control others) as well as their lack of empathy and capacity for bonding are so similar. Claudia

  102. Lesley, please don’t consider yourself “stupid.” We all have to take responsibility for once being ignorant, and I think none of us, including you and me, are ignorant any more. “Stupid” is being ignorant and staying ignorant, which we are most certainly not!

    Like you, I have my better days and my worse days, but I’m happy to say that the balance has been tipping in favour of the better days lately. And I’ve regained four of the 20 pounds I lost earlier this year. Still have a way to go.

    I’m fortunate, though, that I’m self employed, and that has given me the freedom to take a couple of months off to strongly focus on my recovery. If I were a salaried employee, I’d certainly have tried to go on short-term disability, which I highly recommend to anyone who can do so. The effects of abuse are so easy to diagnose by any mental-health practitioner familiar with Cluster B disorders (if you can find one).

    Take good care of yourself, Lesley, and know that we’re here to support you. – Julian.

  103. My new friends Michael, Gary and Julian I understand so well what you have endured and are trying very hard to recovery from. Besides my own experience with the psycho/narc I have had to watch my one and only male child go through it with his ex-wife(Psycho) and my grandkids.

    He has always been a gentle spirit and helped everyone that came his way. He’s an empath like me. He is a big, strong, smart and caring man and he can’t express his feelings in spoken words and has a very hard time saying “No”. I have always encouraged him to write, because he can express all his feelings in his written words very well.

    He is only 36, and has many good years ahead of himself and his new wife has been supportive. When your own child is going through this maddness it’s so hard to know what to do………Donna

  104. Gary, thanks so much for the supportive words. Thank you also, Claudia, I truly do believe that I was compassionate and understanding and not weak.

    I lost SO much pride and confidence at the hands of my ex-path. When the abuse started to get really bad – always on the edge, like you described, Gary – I totally lost interest in intimate relations. My ex blamed it all on me and told me I needed to get my testosterone levels checked, and a prescription for Viagra while I was at it. Well, the doctor said my levels were just a little below average, and didn’t want to prescribe anything at all. I had told the doc that I was going through a rough period with my SO, and she explained that once it’s all ironed out things will be fine once again.

    I related all this to my ex-girl-fiend, and what was her response? My doctor was obviously incompetent. Wow, narcissistic arrogance just has no bounds. Sure destroys your self-confidence, though.

    Hang in there, my friend. – Julian.

  105. Donna, I hope at least that going through a similar experience as your son with a psychopath has strengthened your bond with him, since you can understand what the other has gone through in a way few people can. Claudia

  106. Claudia, you REALLY hit the nail right on the head. My ex wanted only two things: (1) as much of my money as she could get away with, and (2) to beat me into a pulp. Since our relationship overlapped completely with her (probably still ongoing) divorce, I know for a fact that’s exactly what she wanted from her ex-husband also. And I’m quite certain it’s what she’s doing with her current victim also – she had him lined up before we even officially split.

    Your clairvoyance often amazes me. – Julian.

  107. Donna, I can only echo Claudia’s words. Your son is just so fortunate to have an understanding mother and supportive new wife. I wish I could say the same for myself.

    You’re all very lucky, and I’m sure that life will only get better and better for all of you. My very best to you all, Julian.

  108. Julian, thanks so much. Yes, she is doing it to the current victim too. All psychopaths have a pattern and an M.O. I’m so glad you escaped from her before more harm was done. Claudia

  109. Thank you Julian. Yes, you are right, none of us are in the least bit stupid. we were all kind, compassionate human beings who came across evil personified. Beings that were almost childlike, but with no capacity to learn and grow, they just needed an adult behind them to carry out the full force of whatever nasty deed they fancied at the time. hope you are ok, and that your days continue to get better.
    lesleyxx


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