How can you win after the psychopathic bond?

Some of you have asked me how you can win with a psychopath. The simplest answer is: you can’t. The psychopathic bond is essentially a losing cause for the victim. There’s no question you will lose for as long as you stay involved with a psychopath: the only question is how much. Chances are that the longer you stay with him, the more you will lose. Furthermore, even after the breakup, you won’t win for as long as you perceive winning as relational to a psychopath and his standards.

Here’s why: You can’t win by seeing him lose, because psychopaths aren’t ashamed of their failures. They boast and dominate others even when caught for their crimes and in jail. You can’t win by seeing the psychopath regret what he did to hurt you and others because psychopaths lack a conscience. They gloat about their wrongdoings and take trophies to relive the pleasure.

You can’t win by persuading the psychopath that he’s a psychopath, since to him this will only mean that he’s more Machiavellian, intelligent, manipulative and dominant than you and others.  Whatever normal people perceive as horrible character flaws—pathological lying, manipulation, a quest for dominance, narcissism and sadistic tendencies—a psychopath perceives as being human qualities that he excels at, which only make him (in his own eyes) superior to others.

Earlier I have explained that for psychopaths winning means playing games with others, assuming fraudulent roles, and putting others down or slandering them (the psychopath’s smear campaign) in order to maintain dominance. They are narcissistic in that they need admirers, followers and people to worship them in order to feel like they exist. However, they use and put down even their followers, in order to play games at their expense. Psychopaths and malignant narcissists respect no one but themselves and love no one but themselves. They’d rather waste their lives playing games indented to make others lose than accomplish anything constructive with their lives, as I explain in the posts below:

Obviously, you can’t win by playing the psychopath’s silly power games. You also can’t win by asking for or depending upon his approval. Keep in mind that he’s a completely worthless human being: a fraud masquerading human qualities. Consequently, showing him how true your love was, how loyal you were, how much you’ve done for him and what he has destroyed will accomplish nothing except reinforce the dominance bond over you. He latched on to you because of these qualities and destruction was his main goal. He will feel great that he was able to get you to love him so deeply. It means that the dupery worked: score!

For as long as you maintain the psychopath and his deviant standards as a frame of reference you can only lose.  Psychopaths view life and human relationships as a strategy game. For as long as you do as well, you are just one more game piece for a severely disordered individual.

You can only win after you sever the psychopathic bond. You will win by moving on, loving again, accomplishing your professional and personal goals and being caring to those who truly care about you. Living well (which  means a life free of the psychopath) is the best revenge.

Claudia Moscovici, psychopathyawareness

Dangerous Liaisons: How to Identify and Escape from Psychopathic Seduction


  1. Claudia: “Keep in mind he is a completely worthless human being”

    I have to be honest here as I struggle with this on a daily basis. I see all that he has; steady job, invested well, left some $$$ inheritance, he was one psychopath who thought WELL about his future or so it seems at least and no doubt along the way he played his mother ALL HIS LIFE to get her rich inheritance, I KNOW he did. None the less Claudia there he sits set up for retirement with the county now buying a condo in a warmer climate, a nice boat, and he is SET. Now, I have to remember, HE IS A WORTHLESS HUMAN BEING? The truth of the matter is I FEEL WORTHLESS, having lost my job, filed bankruptcy, and having to start over – I just dont quite know how to see him as a completely worthless human being, and I wish the hell I could!!!!!!!!!!! I know we measure worth by what kind of person we are but as a rule society does not, society sees him as a successful great retired sheriff who worked hard all his life and was smart with his investments – your article is true, you win by moving on but I DO NOT feel like the winner here I feel I have been beaten – x0x0x Linda

  2. Claudia: I read this article three times – these articles you write open up deep wounds that I have experienced; thoughts, feelings, Cog Dis we are left with….. for me at least it forces me to examine my personal damage I am struggling to work through and understand. This article struck a HUGE issue that is holding me back.

    I do not feel the need for revenge and I do not feel the need to beat him at his own game for it is a game I do not wish to be a part of. I simply fold my cards and walk away and I am ok with that, and dont kid yourself that took some work to let go of wanting to destroy his life as he did mine, I would have LOVED to let his GF listen to the SICK messages he sent me thru the years but he is TOO dangerous and it would have only caused ME grief in the end. How do we win in the end Claudia? Do we win because we can love? Ok so we can love and because we can love we hurt like hell in the aftermath – I am sorry but I am confused here I just dont feel like I came out the winner up against someone who is a surviving machine.

  3. Linda, I’m an ambitious person and believe in personal intellectual and artistic goals and accomplishments. Even so, I don’t believe one’s worth is measured primarily in terms of those, or in terms of one’s wealth or social status. It’s measured primarily in terms of one’s integrity, depth of emotional bonding, commitment to others and secondarily in terms of one’s career goals and accomplishments. Moreover, if those accomplishments are done through some kind of fraud, either by using others or by deceiving them, then they deserve no credit whatsoever. Many of these psychopaths are frauds in their professional and social lives as they are in their personal lives. They piggyback on the accomplishments of others, they lie, they manipulate, they use similar methods to get ahead that they use to seduce and destroy victims. This is why so many of them are fired for sexual and other types of misconduct when their true nature and behavior are discovered. For those who are not yet discovered, be patient, sooner or later many of them will be, since they can’t help but act unscrupulously in their jobs as they do in their homes. It’s the core of who they are. As Robert Hare and Paul Babiak put it in their joint book, psychopaths at work are Snakes in Suits. Claudia

  4. Linda,

    I understand your struggle. I feel very similar. Mine has worked the same job for 25 years. He was fired for unethical behavior with a client, me, and demanded a hearing and got his job back. He has now redeemed himself at the office, on top of having married someone else with money and social status. Do they win? Yes, actually, they do. I think saying that they don’t is really kidding ourselves. It is enormously depressing and painful to watch your psychopath mosey through life gaining momentum as he goes through new, devious ways to buttress his IMAGE. That’s what they do. I think this is one of the biggest struggles for those of us left in the aftermath with little or nothing to show for having been involved with these people. We see the image and that’s what we were initially drawn too,….then when it’s over, we see the image, and think we’ve lost something….and it was the image that got us into all the trouble in the first place.

    They can get away with this because they have no conscience, Linda. they can bulldoze, lie, manipulate, and shore up a good image, because they have no remorse and no regret about their actions. In their minds, all is forgiven and the dupes that don’t matter are gone, so it’s time to create a new and better image…without feeling at all. I think this injustice is one of the reasons that many victims don’t recover and those that do, truly struggle through that process. The term Life is Unfair, doesn’t even do it justice. The one thing I do know, however, is that wherever they go and whatever they do, they will have more victims. the only “happiness” that matters is their own. I’ve read your posts and I don’t mean to undermine anything you’re feeling, but in a way you’re really fortunate. You KNOW without a doubt that this man is a womanizer and unfaithful to his girlfriend, despite all the money or success he has. She is a cover. If I knew that were true about my ex, this would be MUCH easier to let go of. But I don’t. I don’t know why that is for me. My father was also a psychopath and made a mint, as well as having received my grandparents inheritance. He’s the most miserable human being alive and he also has many victims. He has his dupes who worship him, but they aren’t close enough to suffer the pain he dishes out. His money didn’t help him in his later years and he blew through two marriages, one live in relationship and several in between. He put two wives through absolute hell as well as his last girlfriend and her young children. she got out relatively soon after they began living together. He was incredibly cruel to her children. My point here is that while on the outside things look great, we really don’t know what’s going on with those that are closest to them. I can’t see that their core behaviors can be hidden for long, even if it takes a long time to move past disbelief and denial. But for those of us who have and are out, it is a process. You know the truth about him. That truth will never change. I understand how you feel. It’s hard. Kelli

  5. Claudia and kelli: I KNOW I view him as successful by his monetary gains and I am trying to work my way through this deception and see him as the PERSON he is rather than what he HAS. He NEVER supported a wife or family his whole life was focused on just taking care of HIMSELF not much better than a selfish PIG when you look at the whole picture. I on the other since the day my children were born tried to put them first, he would never put anyone first unless it served some purpose for him in the long run. Looking at the whole picture he really has nothing if I were to have 100,000 tomorrow would it erase what happened to me? Of course not it would only serve as a band aid – look how damn miserable actors and actresses are, we think they have everything but they really dont!!!!! In the end you can never fool yourself – you can surround yourself with objects that MAKE you look good; nice home, fancy car, expensive clothes, nice vacations, …… but who are you fooling in the end? Only yourself because sooner or later we discover those are not the things that we lack within ourselves, those are things you simply cant buy. Maybe the most I can hope for is that he suffers the rest of his life in the emptiness that he is. Linda

  6. oh oh I just left a nice reply and it didnt post, anyway I understand your views and what he lacks he will never be able to buy – hope he spends the rest of his life in the emptiness that he is Linda

  7. Linda, your thoughtful reply did post and what you wrote gets to the heart of meaning in human life. Objects and status can’t bring happiness in themselves. Psychopaths use people as objects to feel a sense of superiority and power. But they are empty shells emotionally and nothing feeds their egos for long, which is why they constantly forage for more narcissistic supply, more victims. (as I argue in the article Why Psychopaths Are Insatiable). I don’t think any feeling human being would want to trade places with them, and need more more more for a fleeting sense of glee gotten at other people’s expense. They are never happy. They are never satisfied with their control over others, status or power. They are always suspecting other human beings of being as manipulative and deceptive as they are. Once they get something or someone, they don’t appreciate it. They feel dissatisfied again and look for something or someone different, or more. Because of their incapacity to love, psychopaths suffer like in the proverbial myth of Tantalus. They see other people happy, loving, fulfilled and they can never get that because they’re constitutionally incapable of anything except for the most absolute selfishness. Claudia

  8. I can relate to this Linda. It is most awful when I see him functioning well in front of me. I struggled so much wanting a sense of justice and revenge. I still sometimes want to act like a vigilante to set things right. I did for a little while, but I am slowly learning to let this go. But know this (and I am repeating this for myself too): his relationships are not mutually loving and are at risk of being broken at all times, and there are many people that he has screwed over, so he is at risk of them seeking revenge at all times. At any moment, since he has done so many horrible things, it could all come crashing down. (Think of the guy from the reality show The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. He seemed like a classic sociopath, his behavior was about to be publicized, and he killed himself.)

  9. Claudia and Linda,

    You bring up an issue that leads me to believe it’s more for me with regards to possessions, money and psychopaths. My father was well off. We always lived in nice homes, my father traded cars in every couple of years for new ones, the house was always being remodeled, he was always into something new, they took vacations to Hawaii every year…..the beach on weekends….happiness? I was NEVER happy. EVER. He made sure that we all understood that HIS image was the most important. That having nice fancy things and making money was one’s measure of success in life. This stench is all over me still….no wonder I feel as if a failure. And even with all of the things they still have, the money they still make, the money I could have inherited had I decided not to put up with my father’s disgusting behavior…………

    I’m torn. Torn between what was expected of me, what I saw as a child that my pathologicals parents touted before me. Devalued me because I was a feeling child and not a monetary one. Any effort I made at success, my father sabotaged it. it took me years and years to realize what he was doing. That it was all about money. But deep inside, I know it isn’t. My ex used to say, “Money doesn’t make you happy, but it gives you options!”.

    Yea, it makes HIM happy. It never did me, yet I’m still permeated with the stench of its importance and the societal influences that say so as well. I get caught up in the images too, it’s what i lived, what was expected. What I really want, is to live in peace within. To have success based upon reality and who I am, or will become. And I know I could never morph myself on an online dating service for a man who had money. It isn’t just men who are psychopaths and parasitic, there are plenty of women too.

    So I’ll sit here poor for awhile, finishing school. Dealing with my issues in therapy, spending time with my children and grandchildren. I’d rather do that, then give up what is left of my dignity and integrity. Kelli

  10. Slowly slowly slowly I think we will all see what is valuable to us. I was at a drive in last night with my children and they leaned against me, and I thought, what a cliche, but THIS is what I value. This is a great memory for me and them. Although I never got it from my family just like you Kelli, I can give them unconditional love, a sense of responsibility to the world, and teach them deep and meaningful happiness. Or at least I can feel happy devoting myself to trying.

  11. Hi everyone
    I totally relate to all of what you are saying.
    I gave up everything to be with my ex – you all now know my story i think. When I left due to his behaviour i came back to nothing, no home, no job, hardly any money. My sister and my friends and the fact that I was good at my job saved me from..well being homeless. He could not have cared one bit. Actually his exact words to one of our mutual friends were “Lesley has gone back to Scotland, no damage done though..” – correct. To him no damage done. He still had his huge house, his car his £80k job, his pool of women. I had nothing. It took me ages to get over this and I still cannot get angry. I think the reason I don’t is because the way I see it is he wont ever have what I have. Humour, love to give someone that loves me, caring, i have great friends, a good sister, fundamentally I know I’m a good person and I am sure that i will be ok again one day. And funnily enough he said one day to me “you and I Lesley will never work as we are fundamentally different” you can say that again. I am human and he is not.
    They will never ever take responsibility for what they have done, the emotional pain, financial shit, anything they have landed you in. God my ex’s ex ended up in jail no doubt because of him and when she got out he dumped her as he couldn’t trust her!! Hahaha the selfishness is incredible and that is the one thing I think I find it hard not to screw myself up about. But time is a great healer as they say, and as it goes on I care less and less about how he looks to others. You can fool some people and all that…. I think the worst thing for me would be to find out what lies he has told his mum and dad about me, as I was so fond of them and them of me. That hurts me and concerns me but there is nothing i can do about that. The truth will out I hope for us all one day.
    Lots of love

  12. Claudia, Kelli, Sam and all: I think we win by discovery of what we personally find to be most important in life. I can sit back and imagine myself in HIS life; going to work everyday (soon to be retired) coming home to his elaborate custom built home, condo here, condo there, a few toys to make him feel all that and powerful but yet what is at the core of what he is is the CONSTANT need and drive for power over others that he can dupe, manipulate, con, pull a good one over on, and lets not forget their CONSTANT sexual perversion (which most of them have to some degree) mine has what essentially others work all their lives to acquire and yet this will NEVER be enough for him – its nothing but a show and front. I have read material things dont really matter to psychopaths nice this, nice that, they dont personally enjoy them as normal others would in that same sense – its ALL for image!!!! I saw his home ONCE and I never saw a home that lacked so many PERSONAL touches – it was COLD inside, rather looked like the inside of a fancy hotel room. I saw NOTHING that reflected personal memories in his home as mine does. It was more of a show piece vs a home that gives you a warm feeling. I had to laugh because its just the two of them living there and its HUGE, I made some remark as to Geez I dont think its big enough, why someone would want to build a home that HUGE with no children as they retire makes me wonder – trying to impress others I suppose. I know some people like LOTS of room maybe he built it that big so he wouldnt have to see his GF when he was at home, ha ha ha she has her quarters and he has his, who knows. Also he made all the rooms sound proof, ha ha ha maybe to hide all the noises of the orgasms or maybe when he strangles someone nobody can hear. All this doesnt matter what matters is a real psychopath lives there and that is all I need to focus on nothing is EVER what it seems with them – what you see is NEVER EVER what you will get. Linda

  13. Linda, his empty soulless house sounds like a perfect analogy for his empty soulless being. Claudia

  14. Linda,

    That’s funny. My ex’s house was the exact same way. I saw the house when his wife was there and there was warm touches and pictures all around. When she left, there was NOTHING. no pictures, except one of himself and two friend admirers and a few of his kids. Show pieces. Nothing more. It felt cold to me too. I’m sure new wife is spicing it up with warmth. it would be the only way that there could be any at all. He’d get mad at me if I didn’t like what he liked. He was able to pick out some nice things for his bedroom, but all that that meant was manipulation. The “lair” as I refer to it. I taught him about romance with candles and sensuality UGH! Ugh. I have no doubt that that became part of the lure as well. I’m extremely romantic and sensual and I shared that environment with him, set that up when we were together. All I did was teach him how to do it with someone else. At first he claimed to love it, then after a time, it didn’t matter anymore and he rarely mentioned it.

    I have my children. They are very important to me. I have my grandchildren and one on the way, and THEY are precious to me! I have a wiener dog that is my constant companion, silent without words, but full of mutual love. I have friends that I love, and new friends I’m getting to know, albeit it is a slow, cautious process….

    I guess I’m still needing to incorporate how the psychopath really operates and still learning to separate what was me, what was him. It is terribly confusing and upsetting at times, because I know I have flaws and faults. I wonder what my contributions were that ruined the relationship. what is about me that needs work and healing. Was it just me that the relationship couldn’t work with? Or is it everyone he is with? So many questions that are without answers. That is so frustrating for me. And so the confusion continues……Kelli

  15. Sam,

    My daughter told me about that guy. I never watched that show, but now I’m interested in finding out about what happened. She thought something was wrong with him too. Kelli

  16. Sam,

    That’s beautiful! My children (except youngest, still a little concerned about him), understand unconditional love, responsibility and care of others. They are so diverse in so many ways. Sam, have you ever thought it sometimes miraculous that you were able to give to your children, something that you were never given? I wasn’t the perfect mother, but I can say that my children always knew they were deeply loved. We are very close. My children are around home when they aren’t off with friends or activities with school and such. The ones that are grown and gone I talk to/or see often, some daily. that was something I was never able to have with my parents at all. I love seeing how close they are to each other too. They really do love one another. I love seeing that most of all. Kelli

  17. falling in love with a Narcissist Twice


    Hi. I am Sharharmony. I was on another site but some of the people surrounding my (n) found out the site so I nolonger feel comfortable posting there. It has been 2 weeks since my (N) ended our relationship he had to i kept texting his ex wife. I feel still that my heart is broken that bothers me. My therapist said my going back to him showed a lack of self worth. after you read my story please comment on this: One of the reasons I did not want to live with him was that in regard to his son he always comes to his defence so setting boundaries would be very difficult in a home where they both lived. I want to believe that him and his ex wife will be miserable and that one day shell throw him out for all the misery. Hello. My( N) just left me. We were engaged 15 years ago and got back together 8 months ago and fell in love. I believed he had a Narcissistic Personality Disorder 15 years ago and ended it. After a few years we became friends. I had moved to another state. I honestly never got over him. I though he had a NPD at the time because we were living together with my son(10) and his son (4-5). He kept doing hurtful things in regard to our children: unfair to my son constantly and not apologize. We went to a psychologist who asked me to come in alone and told me my man had a NPD and that was why all the craziness. I experienced projection, splititng etc. I left him got therapy but i never got over him. I never ever found someone who made me feel so loved and cherished and adorable and idolized. I never was again as happy as when I was with him. I lived in several states out west still dreaming of him. He married a woman for companionship. she is and was a millionaire. He lost his business so for 10 years supported him. he didn’t work but spent time developing a court case to win his business back. He did get his business back. He told me he still loved me; that she was so miserable and negative. His beloved son turned into a young man who is now diagnosed with Schoid affective disorder. He stole money 15,000 from his step mom lets call her (R). she wouldn’t even let the son in her home. That was a big problem for my man and he was very unhappy with her. He told me he would go to bed after she fell asleep so as not to be with him. He then a year ago told me as a friend he was still in love with me they were separated but living in the same house until he had enough money to leave. We decided to meet, had an affair and fell madly in love. For the first time in 15 years I felt really happy. Alive again, adored beautiful. He did leave(R) moved into an apartment and tried to start his business again. With very little money and no customers as yet. He came to my home on the west coast and our time was magical. we were madly in love. Perhaps i was wrong before about him being Narcissistic. I told myself. Then when I visited him on the east coast all hell broke loose.Aparantly his ex( I actually found out that they already were divorced but still live together)he said tried to kill herself. He went to her out of the goodness of his heart( he said,) stayed by her bedside. overnight but nonphysical-he had told me there was no physical ever between them-he wasn’t attracted to her and his intimacy life was dead. She did and does want him back despirately.He never told me about this and I found out when my little daughter and I came to visit. I was in shock. I tried to understand and let it go because he was supported by her for so many years I agreed it must be hard to break that dependency. He became confused as to whether he wanted to stay with me the woman he loves but was pulled to her because he felt security with her and was supported and what if he couldn’t make it and build his business up to make a living? he wanted to marry me, we even looked for rings. His business grew, he was just making it. 2 months later over this past memorial day I got a call that it happened again. sHe was going to hurt herself(he said). He went to her and abandoned me emotionally. he didn’t call didn’t text nothing. I again believed him that he does care for her and can’t just walk away while this poor woman who is going to kill herself. The crisis was over in a few days. He apologized to me profusely telling me he didn’t realize I was so upset and he didn’t realize our relationship was in jeopardy. I forgave him but I told him he has to cut the ties totally from her or we had to break up. He told me he went to a psychologist, David with her and got closure to break up- he told her he loved me and I make him happy ( he said). That was that and we continued with our plans. I was trying to find a job in his state, which is my home town as well. I sold my house, and currently my daughter and I are in an apartment. His son all along has a mental illness and living at a local dorm room in a university but really wasn’t being treated which I kept talking to my man(B) about but he seemed to be in denial. A sweet 23 year old boy but you could see had a thought disorder. Finally the boys mom (B)’s ex took the boy to a hospital and he was diagnosed with Schizoid affective dissorder.and was being treated and living with his mom. B and I were trying to negotiate about our future. He wanted me to move to where he lived in (P) buy a house. He wanted his son to live there as well when he became unstable up to a year. That’s where i said no. I have a young daughter I was frightened of the mental illness’s and not being able to the predict how he would behave. It wasn’t just my daughters safety, it was that our entire life would have to be sucked up into helping this boy and dealing with my man(B) who goes in and out of denial. I said no I just want to live separately. That’s when it basically ended. He wrote me a letter and said his son is very sick and he needs help. He doesn’t blame me for not wanting to take this on with him but he needs money, he needs a home for him and his son to live when he’s in trouble, and he can not manage his son illness alonn.alone. He asked me for a home, to move there right away , and he wanted money about 15,000. He said the the boys kept throwing his son out and he will soon have to live with his father.. He said he just needed a break to get his son stabilized and needed to focus. He couldn’t manage with me living on the west coast but when I get my job there it will be better. He didn’t want to cut the string to me. I hardly heard from him but a text once in awhile proclaiming his love for me that I was the love of his life and to hang in there it will all be ok. I asked him repeatedly to tell me if he ran back to (R) to save him. He vehemently denied it. But when I wanted to come in for a week to help him maybe taking a 2 day holiday to the beach for little reprieve from all this stress he went into a panic. I knew then that my suspicions were correct. He probably went back tom (R) to save him. This went on for 7-8 days. His energy was gone from me-once in awhile I got an email that he is dealing with his sick son is in a state of falling apart and to just let him manage that. He emailed me that I am the love of his life and that his love is real and pure. I started texting(R) telling her (B) had asked me for money and that I believed if he wasn’t with her now he soon with come to ask. Remember (R) wanted him back desperately. After my continued texting to (R) every time (B) texted me and told me he loved me I texted(R). I guess it was causing allot of problems for (B)’s plan. Because he called me and told me he has let (R) back in his life he felt he had no choice. He feels he can not stand on his own feet with his business as yet and he needs help with his son and she offered to let the boy live in her home. Being rich and desperately wanting him back she had already gotten the boy treatment. I found out yesterday from a friend of his family that (B) never let go of (R) he never cut those ties to her like he told me. He sent one more text begging me to help him so he isn’t forced to go back to live with such a miserable woman who he doesn’t love. Instead of helping him i texted (R) one more time. I told her what his text said. I did hear from (B) family. I was told that (B) is sick with a personality dissorder and mental illness and has been with (R) all along. He was just looking for the best deal. The family felt so bad that I became a victim in this. I am now left in shock. I thought I was the love of his life.He certainly was/is mine. I sold my home. I was in the throws of planning for interviews etc. back east to be near him. Now puff its all gone . I do know i am a victim of a (N)but I’m devastated. I need to let it all settle to then decide what I want to do with my life. I believe now he lied to me about almost everything. I do believe he wants someone to take care of him totally and his son and when I said NO be a man and stand on your own with my support. I know then that that was the end. He didn’t get what he wanted and more needed so back to (R) he went. I know he could never could made me happy and probably would have destroyed my life and my little daughters. But its torturing me imagining them happy together. I can’t work(hopefully will in a few days)
    Its killing me to think that all that in love was just not real. That is my story.

  18. I wonder what my contributions were that ruined the relationship. what is about me that needs work and healing. Was it just me that the relationship couldn’t work with? Or is it everyone he is with? K

    Kelli: Do you know what it is about you that needs work and healing? Thats an easy answer; the same thing about me because we had an encounter with a psychopath. We are so quick to always put the blame on US – what we had or didnt have that failed with him. I am not going to do that to myself and either should you. I loved him the best I could and I showed him love the best I knew humanly possible if he didnt like this or that about me he can go F himself and if his GF has what he wants then hey more power to her she WON THE PRIZE Kelli she won what was behind door number 2 and may they live happily ever after in dysfunctional relationship land. He is NOT RIGHT, and either was YOURS – try not to question yourself in how a disordered person views you. I am only concerned with how a healthy person would view me and we know Kelli it would be in a much more positive light than those that are disordered, they dont see ANYTHING as normal people do so why in the world should we discredit ourselves for someone that is a psychopath, DONT GO THERE dont take the whip out of his hands and whip yourself with it. They taint and cause such self doubt in their targets its one of their ways they keep their targets around, your little wiener dog has more love inside than these empty creatures – x0x0 Linda

  19. Sharon, what a complicated and tangled web psychopaths weave! When genuine people tell the truth, life is much simpler. It’s harder to keep track of all their lies and dominance bond than the plots of movies. The only solution is to get information about personality disorders and find the strength to disentangle yourself from this web. Claudia

  20. Linda, well put! If the prize is a sex addict, cheater, pathological liar, manipulator, I’d much rather lose! Escaping the psychopathic bond entails not only going no contact (disentangling your life from the psychopath’s) but also disentangling your self-esteem from his distorted criteria and judgments. That may be the most difficult part for some victims, if they pinned their self-worth on that personality disordered individual. Claudia

  21. Thanks Claudia. I started in therapy again(the last time was 15 years ago) and your articles and posts are helping. He comes on very heavy in the seductio and Idolizing phase-very heavy. He interlays the idolization often to keep me but I did feel him slipping away. He says he believes that because I wouldn’t agree to allow his mentally ill 23 year old to live in our home(when I moved to his town and bought a home) and his ex wanted him back and shes rich. She is allowing his son to live at her house part of the week, and paying for his sons treatment. I know I did the right thing for myself and my little daughter but it hurts claudia so much. I really miss being with him…what will life be like for his ex who is taking all this on this because shes so freaked out that I took him away from her. I thought they were through, divorceed and living in the same house just waiting until he had enouth money to move out. She will do anything. Their deal is as of now that she is letting his son stay with her half the time and paying for his mental health care during a day facility. My ex had to agree never to contact me. He did already once and i forwarded his email to his brother who then gives it to his ex. I have decided NC. found out he was seeing her all along. He in his emails to me are blaming his sons illness for ruining his life and forcing him to give up the love of his life-me.
    after the first week NC with any of them. I imagine her life will be hell when he finally gets her to let him move back in. I think what I am having trouble with is the cognitive dissodance. I never thought I was as adored as this before. I do realize that it was not love but why can’t the pain stop.

  22. Sharon, the adoration is only false, manipulative flattery for psychopaths. It’s to enable them to do as they wish with other people and play with their lives, not an expression of true respect and love. A simple analogy illustrates this point: imagine a serial killer telling a woman or girl that she’s pretty and giving her candy, or jewelry, only to kidnap and murder her a few hours later. Obviously only a small percentage of psychopaths are serial killers–fortunately–but ALL of them think like social predators because that’s what they are. The flattery is instrumental, not real. Imagine the analogy each time you recall his phony flattery and adoration and it will help put it in perspective. But, as usual and as I was telling Kelli, for victims the issue of independent self-esteem is key. For as long as you pin your self-worth on a personality disordered individual, your soul is his for whatever evil designs he has. Claudia

  23. ((((((((((( Linda ))))))))))))

    You’re right. I know you’re right. Michael just put a link on the last article post. Take a look. It sure has me in tears. Tell me what you think of it. It has a powerful impact on me, as do so many posts of others experiences and with mutual encouragement.

    Truthfully, Linda, I would want to live that way. It’s not honest.

    I just wish he wasn’t what he is. Trying to find meaning of ten years of my life wasted, loving an illusion. Kelli

  24. Sharon,

    Claudia is right, but I know you’re just newly out of this so the pain is especially intense. Just keep reading about N’s and psychopaths. Have you read any books on the disorder? I have to take my son to the dentist, but I would like to take more time to respond to you, and hope that it might help a little. There really isn’t anything to do but just to go through the pain. It’s hard, so hard. I’m so sorry this has happened to you. Kelli

  25. thank you. Its just that I felt so wonderful about myself when i was with him. I need to enhance my own self worth:

  26. thank you, Kelly. Its funny 15 years ago when I broke up with him-he wasn’t as bad as now but we went to therapy for a year. The psychologist said he was a NPD. he was not fair to my son with his son and couldn’t recognize that and make amends. There was no triangulation at that time. After xsecveral years we became friends. On some level I thought I was perhaps too tough on him and called him on all the unfair incidences. He was kind to my son as well but not in relation to his son. NOw after 15 years of being lonely I rationalized my way back to him. He told me he was living with his EX just because of life style and he was waiting to get money to move out. I fell for him again. hook line and sinker-I think I never got over him the first time. I’m working on self worth with my therapist. I am a beautiful, educated professional you would think I could see him for what he is and move on. Its the heartache. Its very hard.

  27. Kelli and all: I wish with all my heart also that this person was not deformed. It seems I have done nothing but the past two years especially trying to understand what it was that I lacked and quite frankly I am SICK OF IT. If it is my life’s ambition to be chosen by a psychopath because I would make a “better dupe” I need to seriously take a closer look at my priorities!!!!! Clearly Kelli we are overlooking something so vitally important; maybe just MAYBE we have ALWAYS been JUST AS THIS OR THAT when it comes to their chosen ones – I have done so much damn soul searching that I would have to die in order to get any closer. I wanted what I THOUGHT he was to be REAL but I will never consider it a “waste of my years” that it was all an illusion because I KNOW I AM REAL and have always remained REAL thru the whole awful experience or I would have never felt the pain of it all. Kelli it was an illusion on HIS part but NEVER ours the more we kept TRYING to make it real the more they became distant and started to abuse us simply because they can never be real with anyone. Always remember Psychopathy is something that can never be fixed, and they can never change so what makes you think he could ever be “normal” with any partner? I have read this link before Michael sent, it is very moving and yes its heartbreaking to read. Their disorder is heartbreaking – they think they can fool everyone but we are fooled by a fool himself because in the end it has always been them that will always be without the true capacity to interact among society in a true and real sense, they will NEVER NEVER EVER EVER have this ability; so their only choice is to always act, con, lie and betray. If they had a true self they would never have to do this. This is a horrible, ugly, dangerous disorder, a severe personality disorder that will always be with you until the day you die. I weep for the women who share their lives and love with someone that has this disorder for reasons that Claudia has outlined. A person that had this disorder invaded my life for FIVE YEARS, and it was a LIVING HELL ON EARTH thats the only way I can now describe it, for another human being to cause this much pain and sadness to my life is NOT a human being I ever want to be chosen by, that would be an INSULT!!!!! I want my life surrounded with GOOD people who have only the best intentions for my welfare, need I say more……..? Our hearts will FEEL the truth soon Kelli x0x0 Linda

  28. Sharon, psychopaths and narcissists generally make excuses about why they use and abuse their partners. But if we buy into those excuses, we not only become unethical ourselves, but we also end up the abused ones next… Because, to return to your ex’s excuse, there’s no valid reason to use someone for money while cheating on him or her. It shows very bad character. His wife didn’t deserve that. If he didn’t want to be with her anymore and wanted to be with you instead, he should have been honest about it, divorced her first, then moved in with you. In hindsight, I realize that my psychopathic ex’s constant criticism of his wife–as not good enough for him (not interesting enough, not educated enough, not pretty enough, not sexy enough, not exciting enough for him, etc)–was just an empty rationalization of his unethical behavior and a way to string both me and her along. He was even crude and cruel enough to share with me revealing incidents that showed his low regard for her, such as telling me about how when they were in a store trying on clothes, a little girl who saw them together mistook her for his mother. This may not even have been true, for all I know. But all of his accounts about his wife were meant to persuade me that he no longer loves her, that they’re not compatible, that she had moved to a different state because they were on their way to divorce and he was only waiting for her to establish herself there before “letting her down easy”. Uprooting a woman from her job and family, sources of stability and self-esteem, is not letting her down easy or preparing her for divorce. It’s isolating her and rendering her dependent, before proceeding to devastate her with bad news and maybe even destroy her. This malicious strategy was especially effective on her precisely because she depended so fully on his validation for her self-esteem (and on maintaining a false sense of the “special” nature of their complicity and compatibility as a couple). Compatibility with a psychopath is an illusion first based on deceit and, once the lies come to light, on accepting humiliating and unfair arrangements. I’m glad to read that you’re working on the issue of self-esteem and validation with your therapist because that’s the soft spot that gets victims first hooked (by the false flattery and lies), then literally emotionally addicted to psychopaths. Such an addiction is very difficult and painful to overcome if you don’t have (or develop) a strong sense of identity without him. Claudia

  29. The psychopath I was involved with I knew for more than 40 years. He married great wealth and made millions as a doctor. He is not a billionaire, but a multi-millionaire for sure.

    One of my favorite quotes is from Jean Kerr ” “You don’t seem to realize that a poor person who is unhappy is in a better position than a rich person who is unhappy. Because the poor person has hope. He thinks money would help.”

    I went through feelings like many of you are describing….it was part of his stench.

    For awhile I was looking at the world as I know he looks at it. It was an ugly place to be. For one terrifying moment a particular night that I will remember, I glimpsed what their emptiness actually feels like. It was indeed terrifying. I felt the envy they always feel. I’m not sure I had ever experienced envy before. What an awful feeling it is! My sex drive had been ramped up to the point it was interfering in my daily life and disturbing images were coming to me. I was super concerned about my appearance, the appearance of those around me. I was working out like crazy, buying sexy clothes, getting lazer treatements, on and on. All this is basically the opposite of my true personality.

    Finally, finally, I got his world view washed out of brain. I am back to being the very happy person I always was, rather repulsed by opulence, feeling like I actually have much more than I need in this life, drawn to true heroes who are putting their lives on the line to help the less fortunate, including animals. I was lucky enough to be at a conference of mostly hard working women from Africa.
    The passion on their mind was righting wrongs, not sex. They each had dressed with carelessness, had no time to devote to nails, make-up, hair. They were too busy living and loving. Did they have dreams? Yes…but not for riches for themselves, but for a new clinic for their community. And the love among them was enormous, they greeted each other with big hugs, lovingly brushing the hair out of another’s face, laughing, crying, supporting each other, all from different countries, coming together once a year. Among them, I got my soul back.

    I look back now over the 40 plus years I knew that man, though he seems more like a two year old to me. His only moments of happiness were things like cheating someone else out of highest honors at his school, sexually assaulting me (that put him in a super good mood), basically anytime he felt power over others. But most of the time he has been in a fowl place. When you are rich, there are always those who are richer. He took me to a hotel near a river, and then asked through almost clenched teeth…is your house closer to your river than this. When I said, no a few feet further back, he was immensely relieved. He had no ability to empathize, no ability to connect during a kiss or what he called sex. No ability to love. I tell you, when I was brainwashed into thinking like him, I was the most miserable I have been in my whole life.Yes, I think they always find a way to feel great about themselves, but it never lasts for long. A new conquest is needed. I hated that feeling of constantly judging, constantly having to prop up myself with something I could trot out for admiration. A secret win I could contemplate, but the good feeling was always fleeting.

    Claudia so very accurately got into the head of a psychopath in her fiction book. You can seem his constant gloating, his constant scams, his running from one high to another. But that is just it. They are always at battle, and what drives you to battle are not feelings of happiness, but rather of futility.

    So do we win? Absolutely. Claudia is right. What matters is how you feel about yourself. And the more you concentrate on giving, the richer and more blessed you feel. I really feel the psychopath is to be pitied. Their brains are damaged. Their inner world is so horrible that being alone is almost unbearable for most of them. Being quiet and restful is too. I just wish they had a distinguishing physical appearance to alert us to who they are, like a purple nose or something! And while I pity them, I would (and do) fight like hell to put them in prison for the things they do to their victims, both human and animal.

    It is difficult in this US culture. Narcissists are glorified. But there are other realities to immerse yourself in, there are always others in need, you can decide what you value is the world and hold fast to that.

    I sort of look at the p I was involved with as I would a rabid dog. I’m sorry for what happened to his brain, but there is nothing I can do but hope that he gets shot and put our of his misery before he does devastating harm to more. No malice. Just the world would be a better place without him. I mourn the dog he could have been, should have been, but that’s past praying for.

  30. Susan, thanks for sharing more about your experience and your thoughts with us. Before meeting the psychopath and reading about personality disorders, I used to believe that even evil individuals, who had killed others for no reason, had redeeming qualities and could be saved. Maybe they had been abused; maybe someone could appeal to the kernel of humanity within them. Now I’m convinced that some people–psychopaths–are irredeemably evil. Whether they’re born that way or made that way really doesn’t matter to their many, many victims. The world would, indeed, be a far better place without them. We wouldn’t have evil dictators like Hitler, Stalin, Mao or Ceausescu. We wouldn’t have the banality of evil like Eichmann either. We wouldn’t have serial killers like Ted Bundy. And we wouldn’t have the garden-variety psychopathic snakes such as the ones described on this and other blogs, who remorselessly poison the lives of millions, if not tens of millions, of victims. Your analogy to a rabid dog is an apt one, unfortunately, given the predatory nature of psychopaths and their incurable evil. Unfortunately, because we have a conscience and they lack it, it’s usually they who eliminate us or lead us to despair, not the other way around. Claudia

  31. Claudia,

    Yep, I believe that’s true of me too. I think I put ALL of myself, including my identity, into him. IN that state, how could i NOT believe everything he said about me and to me, which was severely abusive. I recall very vividly, just shortly before the relationship ended, and it was last summer, he came over for lunch and we sat on the back porch. He was quiet for awhile and my daughter was inside the house in the living room. The window was just slightly opened and she could hear everything he was saying to me. And he knew it. He was calling me a bitch, that he was leaving and not coming back, sick of my shit, that he’s sick and tired of hearing what a bad person he is, that he was done, etc….this went on for about a half an hour. My daughter, unbeknownst to me, hearing the whole thing. I just sat there, but my heart felt like, with every single word, that I was being beaten and I dared not speak nor move. I was literally, emotionally/physically paralyzed with the verbal assault. My daughter got angry, got up, came out and told him that she was sick of HIS shit and his abuse of me, of him treating ME like shit. He looked at her with a big sarcastic grin and said, “You have no idea what you’re talking about, you have no idea what she’s done to me!”. I burst into tears and left the house. He sat there in silence, I guess, for about five minutes and she said to him, “Well, you told her you wanted to leave, there’s the door, don’t it hit your ass on the way out!”.

    I was walking up the hill and he drove right past me, without stopping, never looking back.

    It was the last time he was ever at my place. He asked to come over again, but I refused to allow it because of that exchange. I did not want my children exposed to his abuse of me. THAT is how USE to the abuse I had become. That wasn’t the first, nor last time he would berate me in such a way. Part of the deviancy was his obvious enjoyment of doing it and watching my reactions to it. And after, i would sit there and question what I could have done, to change it. I loved him so much, I was willing to put up with anything….then I just snapped. And that is where school was my salvation, literally, between myself and that small spark of confidence within and him….his demands at the end, the incessant abuse, gaslighting, accusations, unpredictability, lying, purposeful hurtful comments was too much.

    There is apart of me that remembers the abusive moments like that. They are still very traumatizing to me. I think that if I had really wanted him, I would have put up with much much more, responded to his insanity when he continued to contact me every couple of months after it was over, until he got married. But i simply could not. So there must be SOMETHING good inside of me, in my soul, that now realizes that what I was dealing with was truly evil. It felt evil. When the mask completely slipped, it was as evil as evil could possibly be. He is gone because I called him out. Even called him a sociopath. OUtlined all of his behaviors. Even AFTER that, he continue to stalk me for several months, until he got married and knew I wasn’t going to play ANY of his games, including triangulation games.

    Linda, you have been extraordinarily helpful to me. it is so very sad that he has a personality disorder. My heart aches and aches. Part of this is not just having loved him so dearly, but that he was too sick to love back. What is very painful to me now as well, is that he has a smear campaign going on at work, through image rebuilding and it cost a friendship with someone he works with. Looking back, perhaps she was never really my friend at all, and her outing our relationship to her boss was nothing more than covering her ass. That is very painful. It hurts more than I can say. He knows much about my life, as I shared much of it with him. All of that was used to exploit, even to get his job back. I hate that I have to remain a client. I wish that were not the case, but I know that everyone in that office now thinks I’m to blame. He has redeemed himself. That is one of the hardest things to get over. But that too, is part and parcel of the disorder that is. He is very, VERY good at what he does. It’s hard not to take on the burden of shame and guilt, with regards to his family and also with his job, while he takes none. That is very hard for me.

    I know this will take a lot of time to sort through. The pain of it all. In some small way, I hope that he is so busy on his high, without me in the picture (he has not told his wife about me), that I’m not a thought or a mention anymore. Not even at work. I want to just fade into the background and hope I can recover from this and live a peaceful life. How to get back my self worth….I don’t know, or at least reclaim it from him……I don’t have the answer to that. I wish I did. I really do. Kelli

  32. Kelli, I know you’re still in pain about your ex. To heal, it’s far less important whether or not he allows you to fade into the background of his life and forgets you (something you can’t control because it depends on him) than that you reduce him, in your own mind and heart, to the total insignificance he deserves. And that time will come, slowly but surely, especially if you work on your self-esteem. Claudia

  33. Susan,

    I’m so glad you shared that story. I want to read it over and over…..

    Last night, my son was over to spend the night with us (I have six children, he is 21 and #4). He is very close to son #5. they love hanging out together. So they decide they’re going to go for a walk in the warm night air up to the store to get some ice cream. “Mama, would you like a Klondike bar?” …I hadn’t had one in so long. The simple pleasures that I use to enjoy that way, are distant memories now. I told him I would love to have one. They were gone for quite some time, and when they came back, I was in bed reading a book and he came into the room and through out his hand from behind his back and there was a beautiful, gorgeous bouquet of flowers. He stood there just beaming! LOL! It was so cute! I still see the smile on his face! “I got these for you, Mama, and just want you to know how much I appreciate you and love you!” ….then we had a big hug….

    Those are the things that I need to stay focused on. Those are things that money can’t buy. Yes, flowers, and klondike bars, but that smile and the joy he expressed from his heart, was worth more than any monetary item or dollar amount. I love my son so much. He is precious to me and blesses me with his presence and his music. There are times he will play for hours on his guitar and sing or on his piano, or his flute, or his violin…..sometimes, his playing makes me cry, it is amazing. He doesn’t know a note of music. It is a natural, God given talent. But that’s how he displays his love for others too. He’ll play outside on the front porch and the neighbors love to listen. He makes them feel good. I’m very proud of him and of that, because he knows how to give joy. My ex was terribly envious of my son and his talents. And hated him for it. Hating my son, nor exposing him to this man, was allowed. In this way, i’m glad I never married him. The triangulations he would have set up, myself and my children would have been completely devastating. I dodged a bullet there.

    Thanks susan and to you too, sharon, sharing about what happened with your now ex and your son and his son. If it had continued, guaranteed, your son would have been severely damaged. Psychopaths love triangulations and it doesn’t have to be with another woman, they can have several going at once. My ex even pitted his wife against his son and played rescuer. It’s always a mess.


  34. Claudia,

    I do know that. I think it would be a lot easier if I didn’t have to share the same city or environment with this man. Or even work place. I”m laying low for now. It’s safer for me and school will be starting soon again. Kelli

  35. Kelli, if you build up your life, as you stated, around your loving family and your academic and professional goals–plus, if I may add, all the good your contributions are doing for other victims on this website and elsewhere–seeing him again by chance (bad luck) won’t matter to you anymore. It won’t phase you because he himself won’t matter anymore. Claudia

  36. Susan, I’d like to underscore for everyone something very important you’ve just stated: psychopaths lead others to focus on shallow and ephemeral criteria of self-worth, usually having to do with body-image, wealth and sex. Not a healthy focus on these elements, but an obsessive focus on them which is both destructive and superficial (like the psychopaths themselves). A year into his marriage to his wife, my psychopathic ex got her to focus so obsessively on her weight that she became a member of Overeaters Anonymous for many years, even though it was unnecessary. Years later, during the time I was with him and she was in another state, she exercised compulsively four hours a day, thinking that losing weight would win him back. This strategy was not for her health or benefit. It was meant to make her feel insecure about her body image and dependent on his judgment, standards and approval. A lot of women develop eating disorders during their relationships with psychopaths: for instance, I wouldn’t doubt if Dr. Rey’s wife has (to me he has always seemed either extremely narcissistic or downright psychopathic while his wife seemed to literally melt before our eyes on the show). For as long as a person’s self-esteem is measured by such shallow and malicious standards as those imposed by a psychopath or narcissist, he or she will remain engaged in a losing battle that can only mean loss of his or her autonomy and self-esteem. That’s why when you dump a psychopath, make sure you also dump his deviant judgments and superficial standards. Claudia

  37. Claudia: I like this analogy comparing it to a killer that is luring his prey to kill, same criminal mind in what we were dealing with. I will insure trust in the victim, make her feel good about herself then I can get close enough to isolate and kill her. In sexual predation the SAME calculated thinking applies; I will make her feel like the most beautiful woman in the world, tell her we connect sexually, show her affection, give her passion she craves for, flatter her then I can get close enough to get her to do the sick things I ENJOY doing and she will think its ALL FOR LOVE, and as he walks away I could almost hear him say, ” stupid bitch, they are all so easy, they are all the same, they are ALL whores” Linda

  38. this (N) that just ended things with me is very dependent-needs someone to take care of him financially, emotionally, in every way. I was hoping hed stand on his own but he ran right back to his ex wife. (Mommy) I didn’t want that kind of pathology dependent on me-I was concerned about my daughters life. Why then am I so upset i can hardly function?

  39. Sharon,

    Because you were involved with a pathological person. He lied to you. He was weighing options. What a sad situation with his wife and their son. It’s a good thing it’s not your problem. I suspect that his wife has some issues because she knows about you, yet she’s begging him back and willing to allow his dependence. That situation is a very sick one.

    There was never going to be a happy ending with that man, Sharon and really, I think you know in your heart you were doing the right thing for your child. When you know someone has a personality disorder and you did and do, why would you want to expose a child to that? What kind of parenting would HE have to offer your child. Given what he’s been doing and who he is, nothing.

    Even if a psychopath can “stand on his own” (what’s that really- see Linda and Susan’s stories), he really isn’t “standing on his own”. He needs a mirror.

    My first bf was an N too, sharon. Twenty five years later, he was back in my life. Two weeks later, he was out of it. He called me yesterday. that was an easy one to get rid of. I just about allowed myself to get caught up after not having seen him again all those years. But I listened to my gut and I’m SO glad I did. Listen to yours. Whatever you didn’t know much about then, you can learn now. You were saved a world of grief by protecting yourself and your child, forgive me, but did you not mention that his parents knew and felt bad that you were a victim? That is so much more information than any of us had about our N’s, an actual diagnosis and people who believe it. You need to believe it too. It’s okay to feel sad, and grieve, but be proud of yourself for knowing and going with what IS true, and most of all grateful that others know it and BELIEVE AND CARE ENOUGH ABOUT YOU TO CONFIRM IT 🙂 . Kelli

  40. Linda, male psychopaths, though they sometimes pretend to be gentlemen and love women, are misogynists at core. This is especially true of those who are sexual predators or serial seducers, since to them women are interchangeable exploits. It’s also why so many of them are obsessed with rape, which is about humiliation and hurting a person through sex–sex as a weapon–not about sex per se. Claudia

  41. Kelli. OMG thank you thank you thank you. You have no idea how much your response meant to me. Just one clarification. My Ex (B) ex wife was not the mother of (B)’s son. She was the stepmother who after his son stole 15,000 from her forbid him to set foot in her house. She stood by this until their divorce and one year later (B) moved into his own apartment and wanted to be with me. they were divorceed but still living under the same roof-(B) said they have no relationship. She then told (B) his son with schzoid affective dissorder could live with them and she was sorry and will pay for his treatment. Shes doing that to get him back since she found out about me. . (B) told me he has no choice he loves me but he can’t manage his son alone and financially also he can’t stand on his own. I had said I wasn’t sure I would want his ill son to live under the same roof as my daughter-safety. I later found out he was holding on to both of us all along-8 months since Jan 1st. as you said going to the end to see who would give him the best deal. I realize my father had a similar pathilogy and used me to side with him against my mother. He robbed me of having a relationship with my own mother because he and I despised her so. We left my mother and lived just the two of us. He then started treating me the same way he treated her. I never got that adoration I felt from my father age 1-12 until, I met (B). How can I break such a strong familiar pattern.I had years and years of therapy and thought i had worked all this out. I know it in my head.

  42. Sharon, Kelli makes a great point. And, to add to it, I’d distinguish between dependency and exploitation. Psychopaths foster dependency, but are not dependent on others as individuals. Everyone’s an interchangeable pawn to them, to be measured in terms of their momentary use-value (for pleasure, ego-boost, excitement, money or image-building mask). However, they’re parasitical, if not financially and professionally, then at least emotionally. They feed off the exploitation and victimization of their targets. From what you say, your psychopathic ex was parasitic upon his wife, whom he regarded as a Mother figure. It may be a co-dependent bond, where she needs him for her own self-worth, or it may be that she’s blind to the exploitation. Either way, if he’s a psychopath then he’s a parasite and you’re far better off without him feeding upon you. Claudia

  43. thankyou Claudia. I agree they are co-dependent. She has very little self worth. She wants him back because on many levels she knows hes using her. She just wants a man. In a sick way I understand how she feels. I also need to build my own self worth and perhaps I have just alittle more than her. It was my therapist who called him a dependent. She said Narcassism is only a part of him. He is dependent in every way and has never really made a living for more than a couple of years and hes 55.But what you said about being a parasite makes sense as well although don’t most Narcassistic men make a living?

  44. Sharon, I know that psychopaths are social parasites par excellence. Narcissists may or may not be economically dependent. But they are parasitic in the sense of draining your attention and affection for their egos. As a general rule of thumb, narcissists feed off your adulation. They need validation. Psychopaths feed off your subjection. They need power. Both kinds suck you dry. Claudia

  45. Claudia: “For as long as a person’s self-esteem is measured by such shallow and malicious standards as those imposed by a psychopath or narcissist, he or she will remain engaged in a losing battle that can only mean loss of his or her autonomy and self-esteem. That’s why when you dump a psychopath, make sure you also dump his deviant judgments and superficial standards.”

    The impact of this statement gave me such a feeling of empowerment this evening I cant begin to tell you. Indeed what could a person who was nothing but a fraud, swindler and a pathological liar from DAY ONE possibly have to say to me that would warrant any measurement of truth? Why doesnt it stand to reason if all he said in the beginning was LIES then why would we ever start believing what he said in the end was the truth? We were idolized and worshiped in the beginning but these were not sincere motives on their part, in the end we were devalued – the reasons for the devaluing were ALSO LIES, they had NO reason in the world to treat us with such EXTREME opposite behaviors; this is the ONLY way they can cover their disorder by PRETENDING we failed them. Maybe we need to STOP thinking this idolization phase was so GRAND, because it was just as sick as the end phase and or cycle.

    His judgments are deviant and superficial just as he is, nothing but projection of himself at its finest! Thanks Claudia x0x0 linda

  46. Sharon,

    You’re welcome! I want to share with you that I also come from a pathological parenting environment. Both my parents were pathologicals. My father exceptionally so, as being psychopathic. My mother, I believe, had N traits. You CAN be targeted because psychopaths know vulnerabilities. Like predators, they sniff them out, so to speak. but because you came from a pathological environment, DOES NOT, IN ANY WAY, MAKE HIS PREDATORY BEHAVIOR YOUR FAULT! Honest, not shouting, just wanting to emphasize 🙂 I too, have been thinking a lot about this because of my own background. I worry that I’m pathological too. In fact, right now, terrified, but ya know what? It wasn’t our fault that we were parented by this. And it’s not our fault we were targeted by it. If you were raised in a healthy home (although psychopaths can even fool professionals so it’s sort of a lame analogy, but anyway), you probably would be more inclined to run from someone like this, and if you didn’t run initially, at the first sign of a red flag, you’d be outta there like gang busters! But the connection can’t be denied either. That gift is for you. To connect the dots, learn and absorb all you can about Cluster B’s and then implement changes to your life, grieve and mourn what you’ve lost (with me it goes waaaaay back, so it will be awhile), and forgive yourself.

    Have you read “women Who Love Psychopaths”? This is an excellent read and well worth the money spent for purchase. I’ve read it over and over. Another good one is “The Sociopath Next door” by Martha Stout. Her writing is less technical with a beautiful personal flow to it.

    One thing that I feel I need to clarify to you here about Cluster B’s, whether narcissist or psychopath or sociopath (not sure about boerderline just yet), is that they can have A LOT of money, or have worked the same job for years (mine has been at his job 25 years now) and STILL be parasitic. Mine just married a woman for money. That was the necessity of his next target. He met her online and married within five months. He was massively in debt. so you see, even when they HAVE their own money or a good job, they can still use a woman for money, the sex and if she’s gonna look good on his arm are an added bonus. It’s the power of the dupe that these men are after. And unfortunately, there are far too many victims that know nothing and will face a lifetime of wounding. Kelli

  47. Linda!!


    Just like pretending nothing happened after a fight. No past and not future. The same with the idealization and devaluation, they are BOTH lies, because neither really EXISTED!

    GOOD FOR YOU! That helped me soooooooooo much!


  48. Linda, you’re absolutely right. The idealization phase was a fraud, only a less transparent one than the devaluation phase. The psychopath’s behavior is the same throughout the relationship cycle. A psychopath isn’t really going to ever be faithful to you or anyone else. Why should he? He’s superior to others and he thinks he can get away with anything. If you discover his cheating and lies and don’t put up with that, he’s got several more women lined up. During the idealization phase he hides his infidelities better; during the devaluation phase he doesn’t bother with hiding them that much. But as he was claiming you were the love of his life, he was delivering similar speeches to at least one other woman: say, his wife, if he’s the simple triangulation kind and dozens of other women if he’s the sex addict kind. Every time you recall any of his false flattery and declarations of love, imagine how nicely he recited the same speeches to other women and you’ll be well on your way to being cured of the pseudo-idealization phase. This logic also applies to female psychopaths conning male victims, needless to say. Claudia

  49. thanks again Kelli. I felt so bad today and after I read your response to me Ai don’t know why but my spirit elevated. I went to therapy eith a new therapist for 2 hours yesterday. She was quite hard on me. I also read some text messages from just a few days ago proclaiming me as the love of his life. I later wept as his brother informed me he was with his ex-wife at her shore house that week-end. thanks more than you know

  50. Sharon,

    This will sound contradictory from me, given that I’ve been beating myself up a lot lately, seems easier to give advice than to take it :)………….anyway, be extra good to yourself. The last thing you would need is to go to therapy and have someone be hard on you. Or anyone for that matter. When you feel down, and you feel others don’t understand, come here. That’s what we’re here for. Kelli

  51. this therapist is new to me. I haven’t been to therapy in 15 years. She feels that i was ignoring my inner voice when i went back with him. she is tought on me-i never had that with a therapist. I feel alot better tonight. Thanks kelli. Its this cognitive dissonance thing I just can’t believe it his love was not real. My intuition tells me he really loves me but when i look at his actions it is not love. It just hurts so much. I was so happy to have found love( i thought) again.

  52. Sharon,

    I understand that it’s very painful. Unfortunately, that’s the grueling part of this whole process, but a necessary one. The cog/dis is really tough. If you can find a therapist that you’re comfortable with that doesn’t do further harm, it’s advantageous for you in your healing process. It’s too easy to be revictimized when you’re working to become a survivor.

    Words vs. actions and one of the biggest psychopathic give away.. Contradiction. Big time. Your intuition told you to get out of this. That’s your gut talking. I think it might be your wishful thinking that believes he loves you. They can’t love and that’s not your fault. I think we”ve all wished they could. You can find love again, Sharon. But next time, I hope it’s a real and healthier one for you. It will take time, but you are strong and you can do it! Your strength, in my opinion, was your ability to put your daughter before yourself. Kelli

  53. thanks. Its funny the first time i left him it was for not wanting my son to be treated unfairly; now it was not to have my daughter(who I adopted on my own from china) surrounded ny a mentally ill 23 year old and a very needy difficult man where all my energy would be taken up by this man and his son. The therapist who I am going to painted the picture of how things would be with me if I lived with this man and his son. She did wake me up and I told him I’d rather live separately and not together.

  54. Sharon,

    Yep. You would have wound up with two disordered men.. No bueno!

    You made the right choice! Kelli

  55. I agree. With everything yes living well and getting rid of the psycho but I found an added extra sorry to sound revengful but After 13 years of lies control etc and in the end violence I felt I needed justice As I missed out on the domestic violence charge I put him into the tax Dept including hard evidence he of course has been lying to the tax Dept for 13 years they were very pleased and I was told there is a possibility not only of a hefty 3 figure fine but a criminal conviction sure they have no remorse but they also think they are above the law and too intelligent to be caught but every psycho I believe one way or the other has their day

  56. Sharon and all:

    “I never was again as happy as when I was with him. I lived in several states out west still dreaming of him.”

    I am sorry I didnt acknowledge the story you posted, guess I was just too self absorbed in my own issues; Kelli was having a difficult day yesterday and I wanted to address some things she was feeling while I had the opportunity. MY GOODNESS, WOW you sacrificed so much for this man as I DID AS WELL. I actually separated from my husband and moved to the same state for three months and it was a DISASTER!!!! As I read your story all I could see was total destruction by this man to SO MANY. I would have turned myself inside out to just be NEAR this man and I almost did. As I look back now even after knowing all that I know I was never filled with more life and drive than when I was with him; however, I want to clarify that statement that SHOULD read: I never felt more alive or happy when I was with him in that illusion he designed for me. That is what the sick bond was for me Sharon and it has been the most difficult thing in my life to let go of and heal from. He most definately would have destroyed your life further. Try to not let the image of them together torture you because it is a love that is NOT REAL just as what you shared and I shared with them was NEVER REAL, they just dont turn on the “REAL BUTTON” sharon because they never had it to begin with. Amazing how they hit the jackpot when they find $$$$$$ targets, but all her money wont make him a NON disordered person he will just work much harder to keep that prey. They are such dangerous dangerous individuals and as much as this experience has wounded us its better to be out of harms way than to ever get tangled up with someone like this again. x0 Linda

  57. thank you linda. In May I saw a house on the internet that I loved. He went to look at it and loved it too.(of course he had no money ) I put an offer on the house. It was in the area he lives. The owner refuded my offer because I was living in the west coast and disn’t move there yet and took a lower offer. I realize how lucky I am in this realestate market to have lost that house. I would have been stuck and may have lost everything financially. During the 8 months however I was not able to keep up my job with all the drama and right now am very close to losing my job here. I’m holding on to it with a thread but am still having trouble working with this heartbreak. So I didn’t escape unharmed just lost less than I would have,

  58. Anna, if the psychopath does something illegal, definitely pursue that in court. I’ve mentioned that with regard to stalking and cyberstalking before, but it applies to anything else that’s against the law as well. The kind of revenge that doesn’t make sense from the victim’s perspective is the kind where you eat yourself up alive with anger doing things that are ineffectual and give the psychopath negative attention, which he enjoys as much as positive attention. Claudia

  59. Claudia: I wanted to get back on track on another issue I have regarding this article in “how to win”. It helped me a great deal working thru his financial success as I have had horrible financial struggles the past two years; you simply CANT compare their success to what OUR success is, they succeed by destroying and it makes no difference if they are worth millions, at their core they are ROTTEN individuals.

    Here is my other issue: I KNOW he was EXTREMELY intelligent not only because he had the ability to dupe others but in a business sense as well, I was NO MATCH for him on any level. I dont understand politics, I never went to Harvard, but I do have an Associates Degree (whoopie) However, I did study to become a concert pianist. This talent has given me so much gratification through the years; its a joy to see a piano and have the ability to play just about anything someone might request. I am so appreciate that I was given this talent.

    I struggle in the aftermath how utterly STUPID this man made me feel, he was always one step ahead of me, and it always took me days later to figure out some of his manipulative tactics he used after our conversations. He once said to me, “you are so naive its almost refreshing” What he really meant was “you are so STUPID and that is what I LIKE. I imagine his GF is probably quite smart or he would not have someone around 24-7 that he could not have a conversation with, she may be naive, but maybe he likes her level of intelligence? On the other hand she went to a junior college for two years and has no 8 year degree either so she does not appear to be a academic scholar. I KNOW this man laughed at MY expense in how easily he could fool me and to a psychopath we are ALL STUPID in that respect. So how DO YOU win by being made a FOOL OF, I was duped, taken for a ride and swindled and he rode into the sunset laughing all the way Linda

  60. Linda, I was an academic for 15 years and know from experience that having degrees from Harvard, Princeton, Yale or even teaching there doesn’t make you smart. In fact, often it teaches you how to play rhetorical games with others and act very snobby. I’m not saying everyone’s like that, obviously, and there are a lot of accomplished and brilliant individuals from or at these schools. However, the academia can foster in narcissistic personalities a kind of intellectual snobbery that is both repulsive and ridiculous. Keep that in mind when you feel less smart than your psychopathic ex. Psychopaths have no emotional intelligence or depth, which means they’re not fully human. And degrees don’t really matter, particularly when you use them to con and hurt others. What matters is what you do with your talents and abilities. Claudia

  61. Sharon,

    I’m so glad you’re in a place to be able to pick yourself up again financially. I could see the disaster this man would have brought to your life. NO ONE escapes unharmed from a psychopath. Even if not financially, emotionally, spiritually, sexually. NO ONE. Eight months isn’t so long, but I’ve met women who were in their relationships for lesser amounts of time and were very damaged. They just twist your into a huge neverending pretzel! I’m so glad you escaped the situation! I’m curious, now that it’s over, will you return to the west coast? Kelli

  62. Linda,

    I just saw this post. I’m just NOW getting close to my associates degree. It doesn’t mean I’m not intelligent by any means.. While degrees are a great thing to have and one has to work very hard to get them, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are “bright”. A lot of women who have higher degrees have been duped by these idiots. In Sandra’s book she states that they are SICKER than we are smart. If you think about this it makes a lot of sense. When you are without conscience, you can do ANYTHING. You CAN be two steps ahead, because a person with CONSCIENCE simply doesn’t think like that. so it’s not really about intelligence. It’s about emotions. Cluster B low/no conscience disorders don’t prey upon a woman’s degree, although he may be eyeballing her cash cow potential, he’s eyeballing her EMOTIONS,…how vulnerable she is. You can have 20 master’s degrees and still very vulnerable to a psychopath! Kelli

  63. Linda,

    Thanks for all your input yesterday! It really helped a bunch, you too Claudia. It was a REALLY bad day for me. They come and they go, but I find this place so helpful, I’m feeling soooo much better today!


  64. I live still in Colorado with my daughter. I am pursuing 2 jobs right now on the east coast because they were in the works. One is alot less than I am making one is more. If I get either of these positions I probably will take them and move. Thanks to you my orientation toward him is totally different. I do believe hes a psychopath and that I am a lucky one. The therapist said don;’t move yet but moving back there if i get a job-my situation here is not secure. My family lives back east cousins auntand uncle, childhood friends and my son is getting married and lives in NYC. I do want to move back eventually but may stay in colorado too. I have options that is a good thing. I’m trying not to freak out that I will be layed off probably in November

  65. Claudia: I dont normally like to share what music inspires me,for what I may find moving may not be the same for others. Guess I am going out on a limb here but I often found myself listening to this beautiful rendition that was performed by the late Laura Branigan. As one listener stated:

    “Any comment here…..? i will have courage to make one, because in hide of this video all can feel\remember a lot of memories and this deep question ” will you love me tomorrow?”………such a deep and painful question asked by Laura Branigan…… such deep love felt many times in our life….. i think that it’s a wonderful video, that lady who suffers on the ground……..yes, and even she is left still asking: “will you love me tomorrow?”…… tears, silence…. just wonderful!

    Claudia this article touched some issues with me that I needed to find closure with “How DO YOU win after an encounter with a psychopath?” Well I may not be the scholar he was looking for, but I have great wisdom, I may not be wealthy or as successful as he is, but I can love beyond what he ever could imagine or ever ever feel just as what this song expresses, I would never want to live without it. x0 Linda

  66. Linda, you sure do! And this negative experience has made you even wiser and stronger. At any rate, psychopaths as the ultimate narcissists, grossly overestimate their own intelligence and underestimate everyone else’s. They surround themselves with idolaters to uphold that false sense of superiority. But most people who get to know them see right through them and realize there’s nothing to admire or even like in them. Thanks for sharing the Laura Branigan lyrics. It sounds like a nice, evocative song. Claudia

  67. Sharon, I hope that (at least) one of the two jobs comes through for you. It’s a good move to pursue them if you think you’ll get laid off in November, so that you have a new job lined up in the meantime. Claudia

  68. Sharon

    I’m glad you’re feeling you have a different perspective. That also helps you make good decisions for yourself. Being close to family and friends is good for you if you have a healthy relationship. I wish you the best in finding a job and hope that it’s the right one for you. Kelli

  69. Kel and claudia. My therapist said it would be a bad idea to relocate to phila now where he lives, where the 2 jobs are and my family. Son in NYC. I dissagree. I may not be over the hurt but I am sure I know what he is now sure sure. did I say sure. I was partly to blame because my needddiness and wanting a man so much in my life left me wide open to a predator like this. One one hand i don’t want him to stop me to move there but as in yesterday when I felt so bad maybe it wouldn’t be a good idea feel weaker at moments. I’m not hoping he emails me as much today so I could ignor it.

  70. Sharon,

    Because this is such a very vulnerable time for you and you’re just very recently NC, I want to say this to you and I’m hoping you will take this in the way it is meant, with concern: If you are considering moving there, and he is there, and he finds out about it, he will SURELY take measures to keep in contact with you or to see you. They are infamous for just showing up somewhere when you are unaware. Secondly, make sure of your motives within. Sometimes we can say we are really strong, but the truth is, early in NC we are not and there remains this tiny flicker of hope, even when we know what they are, to allow contact or to HOPE for contact, EVEN WHEN WE KNOW. Putting yourself in his target range this early, may not be a wise decision, BUT, on the other hand, if you have very strong supportive family and you can discuss with them what has happened and they know you are NC and will help you stay strong through it, it might actually help you. Both are strong points to consider. Mine lives ten miles from me and works about five from where I live. I thank GOD I’ve only had a few “sightings” but it is very nerve wracking still, to think I could run into him where I shop and where he shops too. I still avoid those places for the most part, because I’m still somewhat raw. I wish I could move, as I would and remove the “threat” of that happening at all. Whatever you choose, we will support your decision and whatever you feel is best for you. It’s just very imperative right now that you try to be as clear as possible without that little flicker of hope living in your heart. That’s very hard to do when you’re so early in the process. Kelli

  71. Claudia and Kelli: I hope that you can listen to this song, its so beautiful and soothing – helps to remind me how deeply I am capable of loving and how RICH our lives are because of it. Some people take for granted that others can love, after an encounter with a psychopath I will NEVER take that for granted again. I didnt mean to imply that those who have high degrees would not be a target for these individuals, as you said Kelli, this predation is about EMOTIONS and sucking off of others who can feel and love and care for others. He just made me feel so stupid because he was such a clever clever manipulative bastard and he was always two steps ahead of me ALWAYS in his games;l then again I have not spent a life time as a predator as he has, I dont take joy in duping and fooling others for the sport of it. You are right though brains has NOTHING to do with this type of destruction, they are after those who believe in love and the dream of having theperfect partner. If I had a masters degree in EVERYTHING, it would not have saved my heart from this predator in the end. x0x0 Linda

  72. thanks kelli. Right now I have those same thoughts. I will go as far as I can go and when I actually get a job offer then I’ll decide. Right now I have no offers so I am staying here. I am up to the second phone interview with both companies. I’m not even invited yet for an interview. If I get one of those two jobs I seriously will consider moving. like I said my job is not a secure one right now(pharma sales)

  73. Linda, Kelli and everyone else: One thing that I’ve noticed about psychopaths (and narcissists, particularly malignant ones) is their need to be worshipped. Not respected, liked or loved, but worshipped. I have not noticed any victim on this website (except the occasional and sometimes amusing trolls I’ve had to block) express any sense of nostalgic, retrospective worship for a psychopathic or narcissistic ex. I’ve noticed pain, disillusionment, a sense of betrayal that what you thought was true love was a fraud, even anger. But no victim still idolizes a psychopath after the mask comes off. Usually those who do are either disordered themselves or don’t know him well enough yet. Processing the pain doesn’t involve a form of nostalgic worship of the psychopath or idealization of the love. On the contrary, it’s a process of de-idealization. Based on what I’ve observed, victims engage in a sometimes time-consuming process of integrating the negative emotions and impressions we experience about the psychopath into the past we believed to be genuine and meaningful.

    Because of their overwhelming narcissistic need for worship, psychopaths believe even those they have hurt still worship them and yearn for them and the (illusion) of the “Perfect Love.” I’ve read many comments on this and other psychopathy blogs (as well as speaking from personal experience) and I can say with confidence that the primary yearning victims feel is to get these pathetic losers out of our lives, for good. Every real love and human relationship feels wonderful compared to the shallow and fraudulent psychopathic bond. If anything, this experience teaches victims the meaning of true love and helps us appreciate those capable of real emotions. Claudia

  74. Hello Claudia. I have a few questions. I am not sure I am posting correctly because it may not be a question on this topic. This guy I was involved with had drama and a meltdown every month or so. One drama I know was a lie about his ex trying to committ suicide; another drama was because he had a difficult time when he was with his son. He sent me an email saying how embarassed he was to be seen with his son that it felt like a gigantic noose around his neck. I’m thinking that these meltdowns were an act to distance himself from me when he was hanging out with his ex. His feelings toward his son I bet were correct because his son turned out to not be ideal its very painful to be with him for this guy. He wants someone else to take care of him so he tried me i said no now his ex wife(not the boy’s mother will take care of him) I’m wondering if he really even loves his son? I’m thinking not

  75. Well said Claudia; and they often do! Through an insidious seduction that weaves a web of deceit around us; we are set up for the final toxic bite.

  76. Claudia; this is very true. But first in order to do so we must see past the illusion. The psychopathic illusion is in my view the most potent, the most toxic, and arguably the most nebulous of poisons. When we finally awaken from what we have interfaced with; we come directly face to face with questions around who we are, and what do we really hold dear.

  77. Sharon, if he’s a psychopath he can’t love anyone. They lack the capacity to love, but they do want to claim possession of people, especially children in situations where custody is contested. It’s a move against an ex spouse; a power game. I’d say that everything a psychopath does is disingenuous and part of a manipulation strategy. It’s impossible to sort out every sordid motivation, but when you see this bigger picture, the details are no longer relevant. It’s a good thing he and his entangled life are behind you. Claudia

  78. I was wondering. I am a believer in the law of attraction. what we think about we attract. This site has been really helping me totally but i think in awhile I will not want to be thinking about this kind of person constantly

  79. Sharon, I also believe in the law of attraction, but usually psychopaths attract those ignorant about psychopathy who place their trust in them. Had I known about psychopathy before I would have spotted the red flags and never become attracted to the psychopath. In fact, knowing about the permanent nature of personality disorders and knowing how to identify them is key to avoiding social predators in general, so that we’re repelled by, not attracted to them. However, you’re right that it’s best not to dwell only on one subject, whatever it may be, psychopathy or anything else. It’s best to lead a well-rounded life. Psychology information, however, is important to leading a more fulfilling life, surrounded by healthy rather than disordered individuals. Because when you allow pathological people into your life, the only thing you attract is misfortune. Claudia

  80. Claudia,

    That is so true! I dont know if i’m sold on the law of attraction though. In a way I feel that puts fault onto the survivors for their misfortune. I think knowledge is power. We just didn’t know. You can’t stop being attracted to something you’re not aware exists that presents as a prize package. I really like that link that Michael put up about A Soul Without Footprints. I think there is way too much victim blaming when it comes to human predators. If they exist without conscience, how can you be responsible for the deception they use for the initial attraction? What you were attracted to was never REAL. I was reading about this in an article not too long ago and it was SO good. It was faith based, but I need to print it out and keep it with me and read it often. These people are, essentially, evil. If we believe that evil didn’t exist at the time, and that everyone has a good heart, and were unaware of human predators and that we may be prey….how could anyone be to blame for that? It isn’t realistic. What happens once you realize what they are and process all of it, it becomes about you….”Okay, what do I need to learn about myself from this so that I’m not targeted again and if I am to get out quickly by noticing the red flags?” this experience, at least from my perspective anyway, has totally gutted me. It has helped me to realize there are things about me that need changing, fixing, recovery and it goes way, way back, but even those that don’t need to delve into their pasts to the extent that I need too, realize that evil exists, learn about psychopathy and hope for a better experience next time. I understand the universal human desire for a partner. I don’t know that I ever want to have another partner in my life again. Some people are forever changed by this experience in a fundamental way. Perhaps for me, that is something I don’t want to try again. I’m good single right now. I don’t always like it and it’s not always fun, but it’s necessary. Maybe, for me, as apart of the grieving process, it isn’t in the cards or meant to be. I don’t want to say never, but at this point, I can say, probably not for me. I think Linda is right though about not blaming yourself and that it wasn’t our fault. I think that’s part of the toxic garbage that a psychopath leaves behind. He needs it to be our fault. Just like he said it was. And that is a lie. Kelli

  81. Kelli: I do hope you dont shut yourself off to a healthy person that might comeinto your life one day, I am married but if I were single trust me I would NOT be looking for anything and even now in my marriage we have shut each other off, of course my husband has ALWAYS shut me off and does his own thing as I do mine and thats FINE WITH ME. I have no sexual demands, or any other kind of demands on me from another person in my life at this time. I am not sure if I can ever love another person as deeply as I once did,that illusion will be quite an act to follow by ANYONE and it will NEVER be the same. Strange how I always prayed even in my rotten marriage that I may one day find my true love and soul mate,ha ha better be careful what you ask for because I got just what I asked for but there was just one little itsy bitsy problem, he was a psychopath. oops didnt see that one coming did I? Now I dont wish for ANYTHING, I would be thrilled to death to wake up without this DAMN INTERNAL PAIN – to just wake up each day and not hurt and yearn for someone who could never love me. x0 Linda

  82. The psychopathic illusion is in my view the most potent, the most toxic, and arguably the most nebulous of poisons.

    OMG Michael thank you for expressing this as you did. It is because of that illusion that women STAY, it is because of that illusion that I stayed for 5 years long distance even, KNOWING this person was disturbed, I COULD NOT GET THIS ILLUSION out of my heart and head, its knowing WHAT he is vs the illusion he WANTS you to buy, dangerous dangerous dangerous Cog Dis and its the WORST form of Cog Dis you could ever ask for.

    I think they should call them THE ILLUSIONISTS much like magicians who can make things disapear, these individuals can make our negative thoughts vanish, poof gone and they can soothe you over like nothing ever happened and they do it again and again and again. You could catch them in the sexual act itself with another person and by that evening they will convince you you never saw it, they are THAT good and what you saw is not what it really is. I cant stress enough the key to escaping them is to KILL that illusion only then can you disengage and start to recover. x0 linda

  83. Linda,

    Yep, that IS an itsy bitsy problem. Ya know, I think part of this fantasy that we have a soul mate is a bit overrated and perpetuated by our society. I don’t think there is such a thing. In every relationship the honeymoon cycle ends, but companionship and what it really means to love take over. Real life isn’t as exciting sometimes, sometimes even boring, but I’d rather have boring than a psychopath. If it were possible Linda, I see what my next relationship might look like if I ever considered having one, which I don’t right now. it looks NOTHING like the psychopath did at all. To me it looks like friendship, mutual respect, appreciation for one another’s SEPARATE interests and independence, trust. Companionate. Psychopaths count on that fantasy that exists and is perpetuated to lure the next victim. As Sandra Brown says about the victim, “she has no idea what is about to be unleashed into her life with this shark like predator”. Boy isn’t THAT the truth!

    Linda, I wonder if part of the yearning and hurting we feel in the aftermath, is not in fact, mourning a FANTASY that isn’t real in a real love scenario, at least not a healthy one, anyway. I don’t think real love is all consuming as it is with a psychopath. It doesn’t look like giving your individuality up for an illusion. I think real love is quite different. I’m not even sure the honeymoon stage is as intense, or maybe it is, but it transitions into something healthier. Is that repetitive LOL…anyway….

    I do understand how you feel. But I’m not ready to say that I can’t love someone as much as I loved him, even if it feels that way right now. Perhaps down the road, I won’t see it the same way and maybe you won’t either. I’m believing that for both of us and with time being the great healer, we don’t have to exist in pain or bitter about what was, but more hopeful about what could be. I have to learn to love myself, before I can open that door to anyone coming into my life again. If ever. Kelli

  84. Linda,

    part of getting out of the cog/dis is to recall vividly what he did to you when the honeymoon was over. What you said last night was so profound for me, you have no idea. the idealization was a lie and so was the devaluation. You are so knowledgeable about your experience and you’re doing so much good here in your expression and honesty. One of the things you said here really caught my attention. Five years at a DISTANCE. in my opinion, that seems to be WORSE. I never lived with my ex either, but I can tell you that it would probably have been my WORST nightmare. In some ways, small, small ways, i wish I had because it might have helped me get over him FASTER, and as fast as his two ex wives split when they realized what he was. Women don’t always stay because of the illusion, some stay because the psychopath has used the children against her, her religious beliefs, her values, while she continues to live with him and put up with his worsening abuse, manipulation and outright misery. A LOT of women coming out of these relationships are mourning the time they LOST living with the bastard but lived with him long enough to hate his guts. I’ve seen that happen and it happened with my ex and his two ex wives. It’s so much harder, in my opinion to dump the illusion when the “We’ll eventually be together” carrot is dangled for years and you don’t get the day to day bullshit they dish out. What I’ve seen, not living with him, should be enough, right? Most of the time, it isn’t. It leaves the stench of a fantasy behind that he knew you wanted and never planned to give you and that’s what hurts so bad. Kelli

  85. Kelli and Linda, personally I’m very optimistic about victims’ capacity to find love again. If you read Donna Andersen’s book, Love Fraud, you’ll see that despite everything she endured at the hands of a psychopathic conman, she still had the courage to date again and found the true love of her life eventually. I know that Susan and I have shared our stories here: how much more we now appreciate our husbands and our marriages by comparison to the psychopathic ex’s, who seem as transparent losers to us. Personally, I don’t feel any nostalgia or have any positive impressions whatsoever of my psychopathic ex or of our past relationship. Those do fade once the reality sinks in: it just takes awhile for it to sink in not only rationally, but also emotionally. Moreover, Kelli’s right: the period of mourning victims experience is that of mourning a fantasy, not the reality of the psychopath, whom all of us have described in terms of qualities we despise, not idealize (pathological lying, malice, sexual addiction, lack of empathy, unscrupulousness, sadism, the list goes on). There’s nothing worth mourning about a psychopath and the fraudulent relationship with him. The mourning period, which victims eventually overcome, is always about the illusion created by manipulation and lies.

    Kelli, you also mention in your last comment Sandra Brown’s citation. I’d like to add that one of her books, How To Spot a Dangerous Man before you Get Involved–a book about several personality disorders, not only psychopathy–mentions how women who didn’t find out about personality disorders often experienced a pattern of picking personality disordered individuals, time after time. That’s why I often emphasize that information about personality disorders is key if you don’t want to attract the same kind of social predator in the future. But once you do have this information and can identify red flags, you have a great chance, I believe, of falling in love with a healthier person who can love you back. So I’d suggest, when you’re ready, do date again. Only you’ll know, however, when you’re ready. I’d like to end my comment with something I wrote in my upcoming book, Dangerous Liaisons, which I hope will encourage you to take a chance on finding love again: true love, this time, not the fraudulent kind:

    Not every misfortunate experience has a silver lining. Some, like fatal illnesses, may be purely tragic. Fortunately, overcoming a relationship with a dangerous man is one of those life experiences that does have a silver lining. After having been involved with a psychopath, for whom “love” means conquest, ownership and dominance, a normal relationship with a decent, respectful and honest partner will seem almost miraculous by comparison. Nothing about healthy human bonds can ever be taken for granted again after one has experienced the worst life has to offer.

  86. Claudia,

    I can’t WAIT to read your book, Dangerous Liaisons. Perhaps you’re right. I could see myself leaving my ex behind in my mind and heart with the passage of time and that real love can be found and had again. Just not now. But ya never know what’s ahead. I’m getting older, not a spring chicken anymore. The pickn’s are few I think, Claudia. I think I’d rather just try to enjoy my life and again, ya just never know who I might meet or what might happen down the road. One thing I think I”d like to make clear though, Claudia. I don’t believe ALL men are bad, I don’t HATE men, I don’t have bitterness towards the male population in general. I’m a spath basher, NOT a male basher LOL! There ARE some really good men out there. Some are my good friends. Most of them are gay, some are not, but they are all still really good people. Genuine human beings. But I’m not holding on for any miracles either and given my experiences with men, ALL personality disordered in my intimate relationships, I can tell you that for now, well, I’m kinda done. Kelli

  87. Kelli, absolutely. Nobody here bashes either men or women. We’re just arming ourselves with information about personality disordered individuals, be they male or female, so that we won’t be hurt by them again. And each person knows best when he or she is ready to date again. Better to be cautious and heal first rather than hasty and suffer again. Claudia

  88. Claudia….

    Some of the best relationships I’ve seen, with healthy couples, are those borne from friendship. I don’t know why that is. My ex was my friend FIRST. In thinking about it, that’s how I was targeted. It was brilliant on his part. I missed the signs because of that. I threw my moral compass out the window and engaged in something that I wish I hadn’t and for a long time, whirling in the psychopathic spin. My fantasy is what I think about now. What kept me there so long. I’m encouraged though, because not all psychopaths target the way he did. None of my male friends are like that at all and I don’t feel that way about them, the way I did about him during the “friendship” phase. In retrospect I see why I got sucked in and how. I’ll never allow that again in my life. Ever. I think I’m as vulnerable now, as I was back then at the time, with my marriage ending during the last phase of the “friendshit”, but sooo much more self aware and so much more cautious. I watch myself under a microscope and pay attention to my gut now. The fantasy is over. That part I am sure about. I don’t need to go lookin for more trouble. I’m trouble enough right now 🙂

  89. Sharon,

    believe it or not, early on in my relatioshit with my ex, I too looked up Narcissism. I remember this vividly. I remember looking at the information and thinking “He doesn’t meet all the criteria for this”…UUUUGGGGHHHHH!!!! Denial, such a blessed thing, isn’t it? Unfortunately, I overlooked some REALLY obvious behaviors in the beginning of the intimate part of our relationshit. It’s not until you really experience the dynamics, that you know, without uncertainty, what you’re looking at, unless you have been completely educated about this PRIOR to the relationshit starting. Unfortunately, I was waaaay in too deep to “believe” that what I was reading, was the truth about him. Kelli

  90. Kelli, unfortunately that’s why it doesn’t do much good to warn victims who are still in the idealization phase. They won’t believe you even if you give them a checklist with all the symptoms and behaviors for the narcissist or psychopath. Only once the mask starts slipping–a very sobering experience–do you start to see the pathological traits and, if you’re well-informed about personality disorders, realize what this means. Claudia

  91. Another great article. Your website is an invaluable resource!!!

    Would you ever consider writing a piece on the Silent Treatment? It seems like such a common trend in psychopaths/narcissists, using silence as a punishment. It would be so helpful to understand how/why that is so psychologically damaging to us, and how they use it as a weapon

    Thanks again!

  92. New Winter, it’s great to hear from you again! I hope you’re doing better and better. If you’re interested in reading an article on the silent treatment, Steve Becker (who, as you know, writes for posted about that subject on his own website, His article is called “The Silent but Deadly Treatment”. You might want to check it out. Claudia

  93. Kelli: You ARE so right there, in why many women stay, of course also as Claudia said they have some disorders of their own. However, I do think the women that do stay for so many years are living in an illusion that he created for them. The illusion he loves them, and that she is special in some way, I imagine there are also a good share who KNOW what they are living with and TRY to get away but he pulls them back in for other reasons plus they are so run down from all the years of his abuse. I think for me I can safely say it was the illusion, the promise of a life together and I stayed so long because I never lived with this person on a daily basis and he looked pretty damn exciting and wonderful to me being long distance my mind filled in the pieces of what I THOUGHT I was missing. I thought how LUCKY she was to be with him every night and how lucky she was to care for him, but in reality I HAVE NO IDEA what its like living with him and what she endures; his moods when he is off targeting someone else I am sure she is ignored, I am sure he lies and manipulates her almost on a daily basis. I always wondered if he treated her BETTER than he did me because she was his main dupe and her value was more important than myself just being his side whore, I will never know these things to greet him each day after work and sit down to a meal together or go to functions together; again as I said he only showed me what he wanted me to believe about him but his treatment of me gave me a pretty damn good indication that something was just not quite normal. So maybe it was HARDER being long distance to get a grip and see the REALITY of what life with him would have been like. Just my thoughts – Linda

  94. Claudia,
    I hope you don’t mind if I post a link to a song I heard. I’m the kind of person that uses music and song to get through tough times or even to enhance the good ones. The words to this song really hit me.


  95. Gary, thanks for this link to the Demi Lovato song. We all use songs to help us through our emotions. Music can be so soothing and evocative. Claudia

  96. Linda, I think you’re absolutely right. For some women the truth about the psychopath–and the fact that their entire lives being based on lies and illusion–is too difficult to bear. It’s most difficult to bear for those reduced to a state of emotional dependency by the psychopath, who define their entire identities in terms of the psychopath and their so-called “special” relationship with him. Psychopaths bank on their main targets’ total emotional investment, that’s part of why they brainwash and isolate them from others, much like cult leaders do their followers. If you don’t live with a psychopath and aren’t his main victim, as you state, you might have enough detachment from the toxic relationship to wake up and see through the inconsistencies, manipulation and lies. Because they hardly ever tell the truth, as Robert Hare observes, psychopaths’ narratives are inconsistent. They can’t keep their stories straight and change course very often. But if you are completely under their spell, you fill in the blanks and cover over the implausible narratives and its many contradictions with your own fantasies and wishful thinking. If you maintain some autonomy and distance, you’re more likely to eventually face those contradictions and see through the lies and to get out of the relationship, as you and almost all of the victims who post here and on other psychopathy websites have. Claudia

  97. Thank you!! And yes, better and better 🙂 I still have a bad/sad day every few weeks, and then I stop by your site and I feel okay again. Much better than looking at the OW’s (man’s) Facebook.

  98. Claudia: I have always believed that if had ever lived with this person It would have been 10 times harder for me to escape him; I know for a fact I would have become dependent on him in every aspect; I just have that type of personality that I can easily be swayed to believe this or that. It took so much strength on my part and some pretty deep soul searching to disconnect from this man long distance let alone under his sphere of influence on a daily basis. I also know I would have been miserable never ever trusting him and always trying to find clues of his cheating. I sensed a deep deeply lack of trust on her part just by HIS actions alone – she would never tell him of her plans if she had to go away until the LAST minute probably so it would not give him much time on his part to plan anything, there were also other indicators – I always had a suspicion that she had caught him cheating in the past it was just something I felt in my gut. He would always say; “she is like ALL women she does not trust men”, mmmmm or maybe JUST YOU? I know many married women who NEVER even think about their husbands cheating for they have NO REASON to suspect – I think his GF was given reasons to suspect during the past 8 years.

    At any rate, I wonder at times if his treatment of her is better than how he treated me? She sees a side of him I NEVER got to see and maybe I saw a side of him she NEVER will see I guess that works both ways. I saw his cheating side and I dont very much he has showed her that!!!!! He plays the attentive partner for her and he is accountable to her for his whereabouts – he told me once she keeps a short leash on him – probably another lie then again Claudia many of these Psychopaths use their wife and partners for excuses for unavailability with their targets, so I guess I will never know what their relationship is like. He was always saying, I cant get away because I LIVE with someone geez if I didnt know any better sounds like he is pretty committed to her. Maybe that what HE WANTS me to think ? I try not to think about this because its not healthy and it wont change what he is but I woud LOVE to be a mouse in that house – x0 Linda

  99. Claudia and NW: (NW I dont know your history but glad to hear you are recovering and frequent this site once and awhile, I want to get to that stage – I am for the most part over the SHOCK of it all just trying to process the whole picture – this site is the BEST we have a leader who is in my estimation is very skilled in helping others understand this disorder; it is with that understanding that I have come so far this past month. You brought up “The Silent Treatment” also known as stonewalling (right Claudia?) In my experience with my x path, they LOVE to punish their targets – seems he would give me the silent treatment knowing what this punishment would give him – I would call him MORE,,,, and that is what he wanted when he would sense I was pulling away. It didnt always work for there would be weeks that would go by and I would NOT GIVE IN and he would break down and call me but it worked like a charm the first few years. Silent treatment is telling the other person you dont exist, its a horrible form of punishment – my own husband did it to me for years rather than being HEALTHY and talking over what was bothering him he would just SHUT ME OUT, – About a year ago I called him on this behavior after doing research on this abuse tactic and pretty much told him IT WONT WORK ANYMORE, you want to be silent to me then I WILL LEAVE and you can stonewall the walls in our home for all I care – this behavior on your part will have absolutely no affect on me at all I will only go in search of others who WILL talk to me – He finally stopped it – my husband did this to me for over 20 years The Silent Treatment it would last up to two weeks as I ran around a mess trying to figure out what the hell I did so horrible, I would even call up my friend and say, he is doing it again not talking to me – I ended that BS now I dont know if I can ever ever forgive him for putting me through that torture, its SICK and not healthy. Just thought I would share – Linda

  100. New Winter!!!

    So glad to know that all is well with you and that you’re doing better! I shut my FB down. Was the best decision I’ve made in a long time! Kelli

  101. Linda,

    Mine was the KING of the silent treatment. It was EXCRUTIATING and he would employ it whenever he felt like it. sometimes I would know why, other times I would not. Sometimes he would be SILENT in front of me and give these weird vibes of don’t talk to me, if I attempted to talk to him, he would turn up music or tv, or not speak to me for days. I think that treatment is WORSE than any treatment you could possible get.Kelli

  102. Linda, I wonder if part of the yearning and hurting we feel in the aftermath, is not in fact, mourning a FANTASY that isn’t real in a real love scenario, at least not a healthy one, anyway. I don’t think real love is all consuming as it is with a psychopath. It doesn’t look like giving your individuality up for an illusion. I think real love is quite different.

    You are absolutely right Kelli, real love is NOT the illusion we experienced and THAT in itself is also difficult for me to come to terms with; besides the fact they played everything they KNEW we wanted its not normal for someone to just magically appear in your life as the answer to your dreams in the way they did. Like Claudia stated many relationships start off on a friendship basis THEN it can escalate into something romantic after trust has been established. Psychopaths want to establish our trust FAST and it comes at us like a whirlwind, for me it was overwhelming that this person INSTANTLY loved me maybe that is why I lost 25 pounds and couldnt hardly eat for three months my body was telling me something is not right, you are feeling uneasy and you are ignoring this, but of course they have to throw in some good passionate sex to make us think we are REALLY in love and have found the REAL thing – sex is their WEAPON just as Claudia said earlier. I will never forget one month into the relationship he said to me; “You are going to fall deeply in love with me arent you”? HELLO, HELLO why didnt the lightbulb go off in my head when he said that because that is what is WANTED me to do, I think I told him, I am trying NOT to

    NOW I know Kelli when I read article after article that warns us, “If you suspect someone in your life has psychopathic traits RUN LIKE HELL before its too late – but its ALWAYS too late with them x0x0 Linda

  103. Linda and New Winter, Yes, psychopaths do use the silent treatment or stonewalling, but usually only with those who want to hear from them. My psychopathic ex could be quite cold and curt with his wife and would leave after a fight with her rather than talk it through. However, when you don’t want to hear from them, on the other hand, and would like nothing more than to be stonewalled for life by them, then they cyberstalk you and harass you (as the psychopathic ex is still doing to me). I’m sure many of you wish for the silent treatment! It’s only when you were in these relationships and thought they were real that you got stonewalled. Everything is a power game for psychopathic personalities, hinging upon them being in control of every person and situation. When they feel they lose that control, they use the strategies that they know will hurt, or at least annoy, their targets most. Claudia

  104. Linda,

    We’re in the same boat. I feel your pain! I think about the EXACT same things. When they compartmentalize the way they do with the OW’s, you don’t know what’s going on with the rest of their existence, only what they tell you. I wonder sometimes, if it’s the reverse, The OW’s are the “Poison containers” (heard that from someone I once knew), and they save all their sweet behaviors for their wives. We get the toxic dump, then they go home and their nice to their partners. I think it’s easy to think and feel that way, because of that lovely madonna/whore complex a lot of them seem to have. THe OW’s in their minds, are the whores, the wives or gf’s are the madonna’s. Mine was at home all the time too. He saw me during work mostly, except towards the last two years. I have often wondered if I had not been his poison container, how much WORSE his wife would have gotten it at home. I think their cheating allows them to be able to tolerate their wives and gf’s at home. Knowing now that I was his poison container while she reaped all the benefits (as he never ceased to let me know in some way or other), is one of the issues I struggle with today in the aftermath. But how EVIL is that? Using another human being as a trash dump the way they did? This is done on purpose, to hurt. If she is “prized” to him in some way, money, arm candy, you can bet she will be treated better. Well, this time, after Mr. Healthy Living gets bored, it won’t be me that will be his toxic waste dump. SHE can take it on! Kelli

  105. Kelli, Linda and New Winter, the silent treatment works as a form of psychological torture upon victims who are still very invested in the psychopath. It keeps those victims wondering: what will be the outcome, will he leave me, what is he thinking, what have I done, how can I solve it and then, quite often they ruminate and turn the blame on themselves. To offer an analogy, how often have you waited for medical or other anxiety-provoking results and were extremely nervous and anxious, almost more so than if you actually found out the bad news? Not to know the result of something you care about creates a sense of suspense and anxiety that sometimes outweighs the actual bad news. To be stonewalled creates the same dynamic, only it becomes a control dynamic where the psychopath takes your emotions and the power of reaching some kind of resolution to the discussion or disagreement away from you. Here’s the link to Steve Becker’s article about this subject:

  106. Linda,

    I read Sandra Brown’s site each week, as she posts new articles. The one she posted this last week is in a series called “Living the Gentle Life” was about the sexual aftermath. How to deal with the sexual wounding that has occurred. I think that is one of the things that is the most utterly painful to me. I’m having a horrible time getting past the sexual part of it. In retrospect now, I see how some things even in the sexual relationship were faked. Moans and groans were FAKED. The intensity was FAKED. He use to say that to me all the time in the beginning, “It’s always sooo intense with you”. Novelty. Something “new”. That’s all. And we continued to have sex all throughout the relationship. A lot of sex. I think he was able to be as sexual with me as he was because, in his mind, I was the whore. I seriously believe mine had the madonna/whore complex issue. He and his wife had separate bedrooms (Yes I know this for a fact because I went out to his house many times and checked it out), He said she would beg for sex and he would say “I just told her no, but she wouldn’t let up, keeps begging me for sex”. I believe that it became a HABIT in his marriage to WITHHOLD sex on PURPOSE to hurt her. He tried this with me a few times during the silent treatments. But never like it was at home. One time he asked me, “Would it be okay to have sex with you and then have sex with her once in awhile for maintenance?” That wasn’t just a red flag that was a banner with neon lights in my face! I blew it off. He considered his marriage to be a “business deal”. well, he was only half right. It was a business deal with any of us who were intimate with him. When we dated he became completely different. There was no one there as the main dupe anymore. I was it. In the interim. It was miserable. This was where I found out more of his lies. He said she wouldn’t sleep naked with him and he knew that I DID sleep that way. He slept naked with me TWICE during the whole relationship. From then on, it was jammies all the way. I asked him about this. He denied he ever said it. Being around him was so nerve wracking and exhausting. I could just FEEL the evil radiating from him. The mask was completely gone. Completely. When he was getting divorced and his wife asked to meet with him one night to tell him that she still wanted the divorce and fast, she told him she hated him. He said, “She said I was mean to her and she went waaaay back”. That is probably the closest I will ever be to knowing how he treated her. Ever. But the sexual wounding, particularly towards the end when his deviancy really showed, is probably the hardest part to get past. Kelli

  107. Kelli: The sexual damage ranks up there on the recovery scale, I wish I could share EVERYTHING this deviant did and said in his brainwashing techniques to get me to have threesomes with him but it doesnt matter now as long as I know the whole encounter was a con and roost for this agenda. I felt like he was my pimp conditioning me for moral depravity down the road – I will share something that I found EXTREMELY SICK he once (gosh this is embarassing) he once compared the structure of his GF’s private parts to mine, saying hers were this and that and mine were this and that – SERIOUSLY? Well like I said much like a pimp – Many things were faked on HIS end sexually also, his focus was to maintain an erection making sure I was satisfied to keep me coming back for more – and foreplay was greeting me at the door ripping my clothes and sticking it in, I was never “ready” if you know what I mean so he would just use spit to speed up the entry process. Now I know why he always wanted me to bring KY, sort of a handy thing to have to make rape easier for him –

    When we can sit back and see how unhealthy the sex was with them we can REALLY see their inability to connect on a healthy level sexually with ANYONE. I have heard stories from some who have suffered bite marks on their breasts and were literally bruised after sex – but the best was yet to come with this sicko he made that clear when he said, “next time I see you I am going to inflict some REAL pain and I wont stop – I didnt stick around to let him further destroy me – so Kelli it could have always been worse and be glad we ended it when we did – what was done to me or you CAN be healed but it wont happen over night it will come with clarity and understanding of their disorder x0x0 Linda

  108. Sharon: It was a RELATIONSHIT with PRINCE HARMING!!!!!

  109. Linda, those psychopaths who are sexual predators/sex addicts commonly “pimp” their partners because they’re bored with normal sex and need variety, perversion and humiliation of their partners to get turned on. So, unfortunately, this is common too. The term “pimping” is highly appropriate not only because they reduce their partners to a more or less involuntary prostitution with sleazy people, but also because they lure and persuade them in a similar manner to how some pimps lure innocent women into prostitution: flattery, gifts, declarations of love, seeming romance, then gradually introduce other partners, voyeurism, threesomes, and other scenarios: at first in the name of “spicing things up” and “doing it for love”, then, once their target has already humiliated herself, in the name of ownership and commands without anymore pretense of romance and love. Claudia

  110. Linda ROFLOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  111. Linda,

    When you share your stories about what he did to you sexually, I can relate in small ways, but mine wasn’t as deviant in that way. I think it was his religious background that prevented the truly deviant shit you’re describing. His WAS deviant, exhibitionism, sex outside in the yard, all over the yard kind of crap. his fantasies of this were flat out weird and uncomfortable. Who wants to have sex just off the patio on ROCKS? I remember ONE time, early in the relationship where doing it outside was very romantic, AND AT NIGHT, with a full moon. Or in a hot tub, but what I didn’t see was the objectification. When the relationship went forward and in time, the deviancy became OBJECTIFICATION. Acting out HIS fantasies. I do recall him, MANY times, as soon as I walked in the door to his house or his to mine and literally taking my pants down then and there and doing his business and then walking away. It’s so weird the state of mind I went into IMMEDIATELY when he did those things to me. Like an out of body experience. I wasn’t present. I was shocked, numbed and hurt. It was consensual because I allowed this, but at the time, it felt like rape. Does that make sense? Sometimes, it could be VERY romantic though. Even towards the end, but only a few times. When I look back on that now, he was using me to practice on for the future target. Those memories hurt so much more because I wanted them to be real, but in my heart I knew. I wonder if I’ll ever get past the pain of that. I don’t even feel that I could ever be sexually open like that again for any man. I think he ruined me sexually. On top of giving me an STD for life. Part of the reason I don’t think I’ll have another relationship. I relate so much to your posts, Linda. It’s good to share, but sometimes they really do hurt, don’t they? Maybe together here, we’ll be able to work through it too. Kelli

  112. Claudia, and all; absolutely it would be a pointless exercise to try to warn their next victim, particularly as you say Claudia if they are in the idealisation phase of the relationship. I agree there is often a faint, distant, and ambient, wind chime that quietly sings that something is missing. We cannot quite put our fingers on it; it is drowned out by their almost lazer beam focus on us, and we are spellbound by their firery interest in us. We are, quite literally swept off our feet, and mesmerised by their attention, their enthusiasm, and it can feel as though they have melded to us and we are the best thing that has ever happened to them. They lift us to the dizzy heights of adoration.

    When the vortex arrives, and the gradual storm of chaos begins to cloud over our idealisation, and our “special connectedness”; we are stuck in the clouds. This is what keeps us stuck as they, as sandra Brown puts it “test out how much wiggle room they have in the relationship”. They push and devalue, and then dose; it is a continuing process of testing out our tolerance. They begin to work in gradations of sharp, spikey push pull manouvers. If they think they have over reached, they say what needs to be said to manipulate us back in. An evolving assessment process of our buttons, weaknesses, vulnerabilities, and tolerance is taking place. We did not, and could not have possibly realised that we had fallen prey to a relationship dynamic that in gradations, moves and manipulates us towards their increasing emotional dominance.

    We are disdavantaged and blind; we knew nothing, nor could we comprehend if someone had sat down with a flip chart and inducted us on the matter. We can only appreciate the nature of psychopathy through experience. Through lies and manipulation delivered in the most convincing of manners, they steal our reality. And they lead us into the world of total chaos, disorientation, as though a tornado has arrived and is sweeping through us and our lives. Then when they suddenly vanish, and we have a chance to survey the carnage this disordered person left in their wake; we are left in shock. The game is up and we feel devestated, numb, shocked, totally confused, and left to try to make sense of it all.

    I wonder oftentimes if that is what we are all doing here? Trying to make sense of it all. For fear of recapitulation- education is key. I knew after my head injury, during that final year, that I was an object to my ex. I was emotionally invisable to her; she could not feel me.
    Once we have experienced psychopathy up close and oh so personal; we are through the looking glass and there is no going back.
    My naivite has gone; and I would spot the red flags next time around.

  113. Michael,

    I think it is safe to say that I’m trying to make sense of it. In doing so, I find myself frustratingly stuck in the psychopathic spin. No amount of education so far seems to be helping me. One day I’m making it through, the next I’m a complete mess.

    Time for some serious EMDR therapy. Kelli

  114. Michael,
    You are right about warning others involved with your ex. I was warned, not to what she is but to some… What are now red flags. Yes when I entered “the”relationship I was blind to what others told me..The Narcissistic part of me said “Yeah but that was him and this is me.” Idealisation is a very powerful thing and very hard on the eyesight. The cover ups and lies are very convincing. Of course you are also hearing all the devaluation speak about who you are replacing. Who are you gonna beleive someone who is idealising you or someone who is being devalued? Good points as always Michael.

  115. Why is this sooo hard to comprehend? Nine months out and I still feel like my head is on the spin cycle most days.

    I warned his first target. She was glad I told her. She had money. Lots of it. I told his wife. She left, but not the first time when HE told her and then continued with me, but the second time.

    This new one? I could tell her I suppose, but she married him only after a few months of knowing him. She has money. But it’s not up to me anymore. I might be here all day warning victims and I can guarantee that if I had said anything to the one he’s with now, she’d discount all of it. It’s very sad. Because by the time he’s done with her, with all the investments he’s currently into, as well as paying his debts off, she will be a devastated mess. As much as I wish I could, I can’t stop any victim from learning this horrifying lesson. Kelli

  116. Hey gary,

    Good to see you around. how are you holding up? I wondered how you were processing the link that Michael put up for us?

  117. Kelli, I agree it’s not up to you anymore since it would involve you keeping up with him and his life, both of which are irrelevant to you, now that you’re well on your way to recovery, restarting school and focusing on your family: all far better and more interesting than this psychopathic ex. Claudia

  118. Gary, great point! When faced between someone idealizing us and someone being smeared as a sore loser and jealous (the ex criticizing the psychopath), it’s human nature to believe the one who is currently idealizing us. It’s only once we, ourselves, enter the devaluation phase that we recall the truthful words of the ex… Claudia

  119. Michael, as this blog grows, I realize we’re here not only to share information and our stories, but also to spread this information by being helpful to other victims. This is why I’m hoping that even as each of you gets over the trauma–and I’m confident you will, as I have–we invest a little bit of time to welcome and help others who are freshly wounded from the psychopathic bond. This passes on the cycle of information, support and healing, as we help others as we’ve been helped ourselves. Claudia

  120. Hi Kelli,
    I’m doing fine… Or as good as I can be in the current state. I completely understand the “spinning”, the good day’s and the bad day’s. I am starting to see as I become educated and learn. I start to feel better. Sometimes that feeling is short lived as I have so many unanswered questions. Questions I don’t even know how to ask yet, but I know they are there, I can feel them. Having a question answered gives me a feeling of completion in a sense. allowing me to bask in the glory of my new found knowledge. But and a big BUT. We all know how complicated this is. All of our stories are the same but different in many ways. We have all been idealised and duped by a very sick person. This truly is a process, its not an easy process at all. I’m finding if I take the knowledge I gain and apply it to myself, to say “oh yeah I see that now, what a sick bitch.” it gives me a much clearer picture. It takes the focus of of myself in a negative way and places distance between my ex and myself, chipping away the wall I’ve put around myself. Of course NC is critical (having kids is tough, but doable) I hope with your new found knowledge you are starting to feel better and starting to string together more good days. I have been dealing with this for over a year and I am just starting to make progress. I beleive the sooner you start your education the sooner you start to heal. I spent around 6 months or so as a complete uneducated basket case. Day by day Kelli that’s all we can do. Look at it this way, feel good that you are doing what you need to do to put that loser in the rearview mirror as you speed ahead. Like the song I posted says ” I will be rising from the ground, like a skyscraper.” Take care,

  121. Gary, I know it’s very tough for you since you have to handle your own pain and also have a child with your ex, which means no contact is impossible for now. It’s all the more important that you be the stabilizing force for your child–certainly your personality disordered ex can’t offer that–and that you channel as much as you can of the negative energy and pain into constructive goals. We’re here for you. Claudia

  122. Hi Claudia,
    Sorry it takes me so long to reply
    I have been NC for 1.5 years and I am struggling to get my life and my sanity back.
    Previous to that I was stupid anough to try to get back at him and yes it backfired so i ended up in court with charges against me that were removed.
    So I hope everyone heeds your advice. I am not perfect it has been a struggle my only regret is that I gave him a few chances and was not black and white and cut off the cord sooner.
    I am also sorry I humiliated myself and let him have the satisfaction of denigrating me.
    I am lucky he was after my home and although I am struggling and he ruined my career I still have my home.
    I am trying after 3 years to get my career back but its not easy . I know now evil exists and am trying not to be so traumatised when things go off course.
    I contacted the tax depratment it seems he has breached the law in 4 different areas. He also stole from his place of work but as he is respected at work I will not go anywhere near this one. There is I think in the future when I am finally financial again cause for a civil cqse.
    In the meantime he should be up for a criminal conviction and a hefty fine.Why should everyone else pay their taxes and he not?

  123. Anna how did you try to get back at him, if I may ask? At any rate, it’s good you’re looking into taking legal action against him, if he did anything illegal, without, of course, doing anything illegal yourself. Claudia

  124. Gary,

    So good that you’re making progress. It’s actually encouraging for me, especially that it’s been over a year now for you and still in process. I understand exactly what you’re describing with regards to your ex and those moments of clarity, coming and going the more educated you become. It takes awhile for it all to sink in. Thanks for sharing your progress. Kelli

  125. Keli, thanks for the kind comments above, and you too Claudia.

    Certainly being with a psychopath was the most “spin cycle” event of my life. But the “spin cycle’ in our head is a natural reaction to any trauma I think, a process of trying to put this new information into our world view.

    Have you ever been in a serious auto accident or something like that? Your mind keeps going over it and over it and over it. It is part of the healing process. Cognitive dissonance does add an extra hard task, though.

    9 months? I hate to think how long I spent in the spin cycle, even after no contact. Now if a memory comes back to me, I tap myself on each side of the head, back and forth. First of all, it is tiring and makes me want to stop. Secondly, it is sort of a self administered EMDR (Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) only using tapping, which works on horses. (to get horses to overcome a specific trauma….like a head piece that taps while a horse who is terrified to enter a stall enters to enter one calmly again). I think it helps break up the memory. So does retelling your story. I used to give a lot of speeches at conferences, and they involved emotional, moving stories. Well, about the 10th time I’d tell a story that used to move me to tears, it no longer did, and I had to work hard to even sound like I cared! If you tell your story enough times, the emotional component get lost. Time helps too!

    I was attacked while I was taking a shower. Traumatic. I had a VERY hard time taking showers after that. Someone else had to be home, and a big dog had to be locked in the bathroom with me. But I went to a comedy workshop, where they had us take the most traumatic experience of our lives, and make a stand up comedy routine about it. And I did! Like how my first reaction was to be polite and say “Sir!” (it really was!) ….like “how embarrassing for you, you just walked in here by mistake didn’t you sir, I’m so sorry that happened to you, that you had to see me naked, I won’t tell a soul, you poor man, let me dry off and get you a soothing cup of tea.” Anyway, finding a way to laugh at myself, and laugh at the situation took a lot of its power away from me…..not all, but it was a huge help.

    And I can do the same about my horrible, horrible experience with the P. “Let me get this straight… love and respect your wife, she’s just cold, so you want me to fly in while she’s gone and make love on the pool table in the house you share with HER? Oh god, I just hope that someday I’ll have a husband who loves and respects me that much too!!!…..but no, surely that’s too much to dream of!”

    WHAT WAS I THINKING? (Actually, I refused to go into their home, so once in awhile the highly improbable did not ring true with me!)

    Point is, there are lots of way to process a trauma, and it WILL get better!

  126. Susan,

    Thank you for your comments! I LOVE your last humorous spin about the pool table LOL! That’s great! I believe that’s referred to as reframing, if I have it right. I read about that in Sandra’s Brown’s book, but implementing humor….”So you like, dreamed about marrying a psychopath when you grew up, right”? “So…you want to give ten thousand more of your money to a psychopath, right?” …..

    My therapist and I have not started EMDR yet. She does not do the finger tapping. It’s movement with her fingers in front of the eyes. She feels it imperative to get to know me better first and for me to feel comfortable enough with the reactions I may have with it, given the trauma. I was a little discouraged when she told me it would be at least a year before I felt like I was actually getting somewhere. Even three months more of this feels like forever. I’m just tired of spinning over it. Sick to death of it, him and the aftermath. I want it to be out of my head so I can move on with my life. How long have you been out Susan? I’ve forgotten, although I think you’ve mentioned it?

    I’ll try the head tapping though. I think it helps me more to talk it through though for processing it. You’re right in that telling the same story over and over, seems to help, as well as input at times. I seem to discover something new each time, but then it’s right back into the spin cycle. It’s enormously frustrating when you want it to just be DONE.

    Thanks so much for sharing what works and worked for you. Kelli

  127. Susan, it’s true, time and repetition heals in itself because it erodes the rawness of the emotions. At some point, if you stay no contact with the psychopath, it becomes just a story about your painful past, but you no longer feel any pain. That’s where I am at as well.
    With regard to your ex’s perverted request, it’s so typical of psychopaths. He wanted to mark the territory with you, and relive the pleasure afterwards of cheating on and thus humiliating his wife. My psychopathic ex made a similar request, which fortunately I denied: he wanted us to make love in the basement while my family was at home. I found that so sadistic and, even then, when I was in love with him, I thought it was very bizarre, like he was trying to use me to humiliate my husband further. Which, as it turns out, he was! Nobody who cares about or respects you genuinely will ask you to do anything immoral or humiliating. That’s probably the biggest lesson we have learned, aside from the particularities of the psychopathic pathology. Claudia

  128. Claudia: I hope I dont sound stupid when I express this but tonight I had a light bulb moment. I was rereading some of the thoughts we have shared in our experiences and how we try to comfort one another with what we have lived through and there it is that word again – TRAUMA. In all the betrayal, and facade of the individual we were with I am starting to understand and accept that we have suffered a severe trauma in our lives. I actually said this out loud in my car this evening “Linda, you suffered a trauma in your life and you can and will recover from it” Like most traumas, many are left with great damage to overcome – when I think of trauma I think of the word shock for some reason, shock takes time to process – our minds and emotions are trying to catch up with what we were REALLY involved with. I am also confident each and everyone of us WILL recover from such a trauma and I am grateful for sites such as this and those dedicated as yourself in helping others heal. x0 Linda

  129. Linda, I tried to hit reply to your comment, but there’s no space, so I’m replying here. Absolutely, victims suffer trauma: sometimes while in the midst of these unsettling psychopathic bonds, but more often afterwards, when the illusion–and, with it, sometimes your whole world–comes crashing down. Have you looked up posttraumatic stress disorder yet? Here’s the Wikipedia’s description of PTSD. I’m sure many victims of psychopaths and narcissists will recognize its symptoms:

    “Posttraumatic stress disorder (also known as post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD) is a severe anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to any event that results in psychological trauma. This event may involve the threat of death to oneself or to someone else, or to one’s own or someone else’s physical, sexual, or psychological integrity, overwhelming the individual’s ability to cope. As an effect of psychological trauma, PTSD is less frequent and more enduring than the more commonly seen acute stress response.
    Diagnostic symptoms for PTSD include re-experiencing the original trauma(s) through flashbacks or nightmares, avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma, and increased arousal – such as difficulty falling or staying asleep, anger, and hypervigilance. Formal diagnostic criteria (both DSM-IV-TR and ICD-10) require that the symptoms last more than one month and cause significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.” (PTSD, Wikipedia)

  130. Linda,

    I was diagnosed with severe PTSD as a result of this trauma. From my experience with my ex, it wasn’t just one shock, but a series of shocks during the course of the relationship. I’m also reading up a lot on intermittent reinforcement, which is a classic psychopath technique the creates a trauma bond with the victim. My first major devaluing was so shocking, I was in bed for days afterward. At that point, I was slowly being “conditioned’ to take more and more abuse. I’ve heard it said that psychopaths cycle about every 90 days or so. I beg to differ once the honeymoon phase is over and devaluation sets in. I believe it is much more frequent than that, but not as “shocking” as it inevitably becomes with the “big hits” so to speak. I have had a really tough day today. Nighttime seems to be the best time in gathering thoughts from the day, but today I studied and studied all day about this and wanted to learn more about the EXACT traits and behaviors, the extremes and how it affects the victims throughout the relationship. And that is the key word, EXTREME. Everything is in the EXTREME after the devaluation starts. Extreme=shock. The START of the devaluation is the earthquake, every devaluation on from there are the after SHOCKS.

    Is it not a wonder why we are so traumatized after such a relationship as this? It helps me to understand the enormity, as well as the depth of the trauma inflicted. Kelli

  131. Keli,

    The last time I saw him was the summer of 07. The last time I talked to him (when I hung up on him) was Jan. of 08. I sent him a “don’t ever contact me, or I’ll ask your wife to tell you to leave me alone” email 2 or 3 days later. In the fall of 08, 2 years to the day from when I first saw him after 40 years apart, I sent a very severe email. Why? Because I needed to do it for me, though it is not recommended. I let him know what evidence I had, law enforcement had, and what girlfriends had. I also told him that he positively dripped with red flags, that he wasn’t that good of a manipulator or liar; that if he hadn’t hit me at a down time I would have ended our first conversation promptly and never had another thing to do with him. (Which is probably true, since I had kept rejecting him for forty years.) And that I had faked every orgasm, which was true, he was awful (and I’m sure I don’t have to tell you all why I did fake, we all got sucked into behaviors we are amazed at now!) and that he was frankly….boring. (which also is true!) And that if he ever spotted me, he better start running because I would verbally rip him up one side and down the other no matter who heard me and not to even think of ever messing with me again. I just needed to do that.

    That was closure for me. I didn’t care what impact it had on him. It had a great impact on me. So that was it. He actually was a good manipulator …I just said everything I knew that was counter to what a psychopath would probably want to hear and made it clear that I was not in victim mode. I guess I just needed to hurt him on purpose one time. Of course, in reality, he probably played some mind game…”see, she’s still thinking of me, I’ve still got it.” That was probably his REAL reaction, not hurt. You CANNOT win with these guys. Claudia’s fiction book illustrates that so brilliantly!

    But I did it because it made me feel good and strong. And like I said in an earlier post, I gradually got my soul back, by being around healthy and happy and dedicated and heroic people, and returning to my root values. There is a quote by someone that says “rock bottom is at least solid ground.” Yup! Better than the roller coaster ride the psychopath gives!

  132. Susan

    I absolutely LOVE your post! LOL@the faked orgasms. Yep, I said the same thing in my email after the relationship broke up. I understand what you’re saying in that you wouldn’t recommend doing that, but that you did it for yourself. If that’s what gave you closure than all the better! I know personal closure is different for everyone and it won’t come from a psychopath, that’s for sure! Your posts uplift and inspire me, Susan. I’m so glad you’re here and thanks so much for sharing your renewed positive outlook. I’ll get there! If nothing else right now, I still do have a little bit of hope 🙂 Kelli

  133. Gary, Claudia, Kelli, and all; the head spin analogy works very well. It can feel like our minds are tumbling around in jumbled confusion as we try to find answers to so many questions. I still experience this, and some days are better than others and it feels as though the tumbler slows and calms down as my awareness increases. Other days the tumbler is off on spin cycle again and I havee difficulty concentrating. These are becomming fewer and far between.

    Claudia, it is worth sharing information on PTSD symptoms. I think one of the reasons we experience these symptoms is because we find that all of our previously held beliefs systems are undermined, and dont work for us anymore- leading to amongst other things, hypervigilance. Like you Kelli, I’m content to be single; I realise I have some way to go before I can learn to trust again, and not broach a potential relationship with asking someone to complete a personality inventory questionaire on the first date!

    I’m going through a phase now where I shudder when I think back to the awful confusing behaviours I tolerated.

  134. Michael -we find that all of our previously held beliefs systems are undermined, and dont work for us anymore- But Michael, ONLY with the disordered. (but I know what you are conveying) I think with time what we once believed in WILL return fully to us. Presently things are a bit cloudy in my thinking – the dismay of it all how a human can actually not feel anything that we feel or understand the pain they caused us by their behavior.

    My belief system was seriously altered by how this person conducted his life and his general philosophy on how he viewed ethics, morals, standards, integrity all of which I have tried all my life to uphold and honor to the best of my abilities; this person comes along and throws all those things out the back door – the very things that people try to live by.These are the qualities that distinguish us from being like them, they go against the core and foundation of how most people live their lives. If I had to have this happen for a reason in my life I wish my exposure would have been brief, like maybe borrow a cup of sugar from him as my neighbor but we got close, in harms way – close enough to enter what their world is like and how they operate and behave. My heart is going to heal from being shattered and I will break whatever fricking spell this vampire put on me and one day I will walk tall and proud among the NORMAL and leave him/her to their permenately disordered life and not give him/her a precious second of my HEALTHY thoughts Linda

  135. Linda, you are doing that already. You’ve seen through the malice, the disorder, the manipulation and the lies and are walking proudly, leaving him and his disordered life behind you, despite the moments of pain you still feel, which will diminish with time too, and eventually fade. Claudia

  136. Michael, I will probably write, in the future, a longer post on PTSD or at least incorporate into the blog one written by someone else. So many of us have had or still have PTSD symptoms that it’s worth posting about that. I think we tolerated some unscrupulous behavior because we were lured by promises and lies that made them seem so small by comparison. The corruption happens so gradually, small step by small step, that it’s only when we look back that we see we’ve taken a giant leap in the wrong direction. But by then we’ve become used to the new, wrong path, and stand by the psychopath. Until we see that every wrong step we took together against others he’s also taken against us. The person we thought was standing by us is miles apart and we’re in the same boat with dozens and dozens of others he has wronged. Recovery is rejecting his deviant path and retracing our steps back to humanity. Claudia

  137. Susan, I think you were right to let him know that you know he was a psychopath playing a game. Even if it didn’t do anything to alter him or his perspective, it was closure for you. Closure is more important, usually, than letting other victims know. Because closure shuts down any avenue to the psychopath, from our own sides at least, even if he may continue to cyberstalk or harass us. Such a letter is also a necessary document to offer the police, in case of further harassment by the psychopath, to file a restraining order and, if he violates it, put him in jail for (cyber)stalking. So, in a way, closure can be a legal protection for the victim, not just closing permanently one chapter of our lives with a pathological personality. I love the quote about “rock bottom is at least solid ground”. So right! Claudia

  138. Kelli, absolutely, the first time we get devalued it’s like an emotional earthquake, then we gradually get used to the future shocks, since the devaluation increases with time and intimacy, after the idealization phase is over and the psychopath has established control over us and the relationship. Claudia

  139. I agree with all of the above. I think that LEAVING the psychopath is THE most courageous first step and going NC. It is an announcement to him and his disordered life that we are DONE. The PTSD is awful. There is no way to get around that. Linda, I think you’re doing well and you seem to have a very strong personality. This can only HELP you. I just want to let you know, that each woman that posts here that was an OW has provided much needed assistance to me in understanding my own experience with him. One thing about this blog and one other that I go to, is that we are all considered survivors, no matter what the circumstances were and that we were all targeted. It doesn’t matter what role anyone played in the psychos life. I need to let go of so much self blame. This is yet another struggle for me, as well as taking on not only my shame, but his too. It’s also a huge part of my cog/dis. What was he, what was me. Who he is causes pain to EVERY life he touches. NO ONE goes WITHOUT harm!

    Michael, LOL!! I hear you on the personality questionnaire of a potential date! It’s too much trouble. I don’t trust either. Let alone trust myself to make choices that say I won’t get my ass kicked by another psychopath. I’m content not only with being single for now, but also just enjoying the friends I do have. Anything else seems way too complicated! Especially after THAT mess!

    Claudia, my dear friend, thank you for your site. I’m finding a lot of healing here! Kelli

  140. Kelli, thanks. And you bring a lot of healing on this blog as well, with your insight and compassion. An initial letter letting the psychopath know you know he’s pathological may help some victims find closure, in their own hearts and minds. It probably won’t make a bit of difference to him, since psychopaths regard everything as a move in a sordid–and pointless–strategy game. But, beyond that, as you state, No Contact is the only real closure and sends the psychopath the clearest and loudest message that you’ve rejected him for good. Claudia

  141. Linda, I don’t know if this link will post here, but it takes you to Sandra Brown’s safe relationships site. These are articles that I thought might be helpful too.

    Let me know what you think. Kelli

  142. Kelli:There are NO happy endings in relationships with pathologicals. There are no pumpkin-drawn carriages, no sweet little house with three children…scratch that record! Stop attributing normal characteristics to a profoundly abnormal person.

    Well this is what I think of her site, I pasted and copied what we need to read everyday until one day Kelli we wont HAVE to read this to reafirm in our minds that they were indeed disordered. I think we are just hurting so much now, we are both still trying to detach from the sick bond we had with them – Not an easy process but I do think at some point I need to stop thinking he is happy with her and they live in sex- love- happy land, ITS NOT THE CASE but we sometimes think its the case because of the memories we had when it seemed so REAL – well you know what Kelli, its probably very real to their wives and GF’s they get doses of the promises and love we had and felt as they are off trying to get into someone elses panties. Someday Kelli we will be COMPLETELY awake and in reality the cog dis will be GONE and we will say whole heartidly THANK GOD its her and NOT ME!!!!! We will be counting our blessings we never were married or lived with them rather than wondering what it was she had that we lacked – SHE HAS HIM and what do WE LACK – we lack life with a psychopath no matter how much it hurts now, this is a life we do not want – Her life will not end like Cinderella she will always remain a Cinderella in his life, and maybe the only friends she will have in the end will be the mice guss and brutus just like the movie. She lost her slipper long time ago !!!!! x0 Linda

  143. Linda, it’s what I’ve told Kelli and everyone too. Believing that some other woman would be much happier with a psychopath is clinging to the vestiges of denial, where the victim still refuses to see that a personality disorder affects the psychopath’s whole character. He will follow the same pattern of behavior with anyone he encounters and view them with the same usurious, predatory mindset. Claudia

  144. Ya know what, Linda?

    I just tapped into something with all of this. My anger. I’m so angry, I can’t go through the day without anger. I’m older now. He stole my youth. He stole my sexuality. He gave me an std. He stole my spirituality. He LITERALLY raped me of everything that was once precious to me. That’s how I feel right now. ANGER! INTENSE ANGER! What man is going to want an older woman with an std and a set of dentures, Linda? Part of what i”m grieving is not what he stole from me in the most precious of ways, but also that there will never be another relationship in my life again. That was MY dream. And he took that too. The prospects for anything healthy for me are ZERO. Not only did he take the HOPE away from me for anything remotely close to another relationship, he removed my DESIRE for one. ANY desire is GONE. And what price does he pay? For all of his “trouble” he gets a rich young woman WOOT! WOW his life is sure hard after screwing over his first two ex wives and me and God knows how many other women he fucked on the fly. I’m angry.That bastard is not sitting around counting up his losses like pennies out of jar he saved for ten FUCKING YEARS! I’m angry. VERY angry!!!!!! Kelli

  145. Kelli, you’re smart, articulate, compassionate: you have so much to live for and so much to offer. I just posted a very smart article by Steve Becker on dumb sociopaths. Victims have, essentially, been fooled by fools. By losers who use and lie to everyone around them. Who waste their whole lives on meaningless power games and ruses. It may seem sometimes like sociopaths end up on top, but they are the dregs of humanity and for that reason will always be at the bottom of the pile. Your standard of comparison should never be the sociopaths–it can’t get any worse than them–but people with admirable qualities and accomplishments. For as long as you measure yourself by what the lowest kind of human beings can get away with, you’ll feel a sense of betrayal and injustice which will keep you from flourishing and reaching your full potential. Claudia

  146. Claudia, Kelli, Gary and all those ANGRY (as myself)

    I read your feelings of anger Kelli and I would like to explore this further; first lets dispense with the denture issue thinking nobody would want you because you have dentures, ha ha I know many people under 40 who have dentures due to just hereditary bad teeth I just had to get that out of the way!!! Maybe his penis will rot one day and I would rather have no teeth than no penis, ha ha so THERE!!!!!

    Now here is the injustice that was done to my life:

    1 – My parents died 4 months apart he was at both funerals and pounced on his prey (me) three days after my mothers passing when I was broken, (only child) felt alone and was struggling with a horrible marriage
    2- Had to take a family medical leave at my job at the hospital because I had a breakdown from this freak after realizing he pretty much F-d me over
    3- LOST my job at the hospital of 5 years because I was not able to focus and function just in general, lost about 30 pounds at this time, family started to wonder what was wrong with me but I had to keep ALL OF THIS from my husband and children – had a pretty difficult time trying to explain why I had to have counseling for almost a year. I spent many hours in the bathroom crying into a towel so my family could not hear me or see me so distraught.
    4- one job after the other the past two years, laid off, temp jobs,
    5- Husband and I filed partial bankruptcy last month as that bastard just inherited a million from his mother

    The STD, I am sorry that is something you can not change; however, there are things that I can never change and undo either I was unfaithful to my husband for WHAT? THIS SICK F–k? Against my better judgment I took a leap of faith and held on to hope and the promise of maybe what could have been a better life – a better life to share with a sick f—ing twisted, perverted, lying, cheating con man sexual predator that destroyed ME, not only was I affected but MY family was affected, my marriage will NEVER EVER be the same, . I stayed faithful to my husband thru all the miserable years; I was steadfast, and loyal regardless of his abusive ways because I had morals, standards and values. My close friends would BEG me to leave my husband said he was a mean abusive person and I didnt deserve his treatment or to live this way – but oh wait along comes Prince SHIT over the horizon who entered my life as my best friend – we were always meant for each other since children we played together, our history having so much in common, I was his lost love – he loved my parents, and knew my parents would want me to be happy and all the rest of the bullshit he fed me it was all LIES, it was all just an idealization honeymoon phase of a fricking psychopath!!!!!!!! Here is a funny one for ya,my parents always liked my x-path thought he was just a WONDERFUL WONDERFUL GUY, ha ha ha and they HATED my husband knew he did not treat me right – I stood over my parents grave last month and told them, ya he was a great guy alright I am Glad you never lived to see what this sick man did to your daughter. I am trying to NOT sound like a victim here but hey I call it like it is a GRAVE injustice was done to me as well as the members on this forum. YES I AM PISSED this happened to me and YES it was NOT fair, and NO I DID NOT DESERVE ANY OF THIS. But you know what? I was a victim to this horrible experience and as much as it was NOT my fault it is STILL my responsibility to recover from it and pull my life together again because nobody is going to do it for me.

    What helps my anger Kelli and all is the education and wisdom I have gained in what this experience has brought me. To take even the bitter things in life and STILL try to make something better from it. I dont want to be bitter and angry the rest of my life – If I choose to go in that direction I would be no better off than still being with him. Knowing he is about as LOW as a human can get helps my anger to subside in some respects. We will never win if we cant let go of our anger and I know that takes time and GOD knows I am trying. x0 Linda ….

  147. Linda, your psychopathic ex didn’t take away your sense of humor, that’s for sure. Is there a fairytale about Prince S..t? I think everyone should read that one rather than the one about Prince Charming or any frog becoming a prince. Kelli, the bottomline is that, ultimately, psychopaths lead lives consumed by envy, contempt and evil games and machinations. Even in the lowest moments, decent people shouldn’t measure their worth by their deviant standards. Ultimately, they don’t end up happy; they don’t amount to much; and the pursuit deception and destruction does not get them any real love or happiness. Claudia

  148. Linda,

    You’re right. I need to find a constructive way to let my anger out, as I have not. I’ve been repressing a lot. I don’t cry in front of my children, I don’t want to make them as miserable as I feel. I cry in my car, scream and yell, like I did today. The anger is coming up, more often than not now. He still has power in my life and I’m uncertain as to why. I have many questions and no answers. The things I thought were good about me, in the beginning when I had hope after a disastrous twenty year marriage to another P, I’m not sure are anymore. I struggle with what was him and what was me. I’m just tired of the whole damned thing. Every emotion that comes now, I’m working on letting it out. I’ve cried more in the last month or so than I have in eight months prior to that. I seem somewhat delayed in all the emotions coming up. I talk myself out of it. I stuff it and tell myself I have no right to feel that way because OTHERS were hurt WORSE.

    I caused a lot of grief and pain to a lot of people throughout this relationshit too, Linda and I’m having trouble forgiving myself. I struggle between I loved him soooo much to wait, that’s not right, I shouldn’t feel that way because that love I had for him, DESTROYED so many around me. Do you see what I mean in the confusion?

    I’m working something through, but there seems to be so much, I feel overwhelmed. Truthfully, I can’t stop beating the shit out of myself over all of this. I can’t because people I love and loved dearly, got hurt. All for what? HIM? Meanwhile, Prince HARMING, waltzes off into the sunset with his next rich victim without a care in the world to anyone’s pain. Even if his quickie marriage causes pain to anyone else close to him. IT matters not.

    How can it NOT matter? I can’t stand that I’ve caused so much harm and damage. I can’t stand that I believed all the lies. I can’t stand that there is apart of me that doesn’t want to be wrong about him and what he was, when ALL of it was so very wrong. I can barely look at my children without wanting to break down. The reality of the pain I caused, is almost too much to bear for me. I would never, ever in my wildest dreams ever, want to hurt anyone on purpose. I feel tremendous guilt for allowing what I allowed, not SEEING with CLEAR EYES, the forest for the trees. I was so mired in the pathological muck. The only GOOD thing I can see that I did was get out of it.

    It put a stop to further pain he could cause to others around me.

    But it hasn’t stopped mine. Not yet. I’m carrying the hurt, harm and damage I did in participating in the relationship with him. I haven’t yet figured out how to forgive myself, nor how to also grieve the loss of him at the same time. It’s a huge dichotomy, a contradiction for me. The biggest of the slime he left all over me. Kelli

  149. Kelli, part of the reason you hurt so much and are so angry is the severe trauma of years of manipulation and betrayal by this psychopathic ex (and others before him). It’s a cumulative pain that erupts like a volcano in anger. However, part of it is because you still use this disordered man as your standard of comparison. It hurts you so much that he seems to be doing well and moved on with his life. You give this man way too much credit. Who cares what a psychopathic predator is doing with his life? There are billions of people in this world, 96 percent of which are not psychopathic, and all but one which are not him. Why do you still focus so much on him, and making him your standard of comparison? It’s all kind of circular. For as long as he looms so big and important in your current life, you won’t be able to get over the trauma as quickly as you wish. Claudia

  150. Kelli, you are most likely still experiencing the rumination and obsession that is part of the aftermath experience. I think 9 months is still early days, but having said that if you can try to be mindfull of how much progress you have made over those 9 months this will help to give perspective. If you are experiencing some cog dis, have you tried making a list of all the awful behaviour, torment, and chaos he subjected you too? If not then try it, and whenever you think of Jekyll and the good times, read the list and remember Mr Hyde.

  151. Claudia, Kelli, and all; I would like to ask a question around your experience of the idealisation phase of the dynamic. If you could describe what the experience was like in a few sentences, what would you say?

  152. Michael,

    I’m working on that list right now, as I write this. I’m going to print it out and carry it with me. It’s odd that as I write it, I draw a complete blank or feel overwhelmed by the actions and behaviors I experienced, there are so many.

    Idealization phase? I didn’t have one. Kelli

  153. Michael, for me, the idealization phase was very obsessive, intimate and sensual: talking on the phone with the predator hours a day, seeing each other frequently, processing everything that went on in our lives together, thinking about each other constantly. He couldn’t wax poetic enough about me, was hypersexual and sensual with me, extremely flattering and romantic, criticized his wife, and spoke constantly about our future together and wanting to be with me the rest of his life. It was, at the same time, very anxiety producing, because he started pressuring me to leave my husband only one or at most two months into the relationship. I’d have daily nightmares, severe back pain, moments of depression from the weight of the pressure and guilt. When the pressure became too great, he’d back off and tell me he’s willing to wait 10 years, until both my kids are out of high school, to marry me. Then, when I felt better, he’d put the pressure to divorce on me again. I felt unhinged by the contrast between the incredible highs of the luring phase with him and the sadness about the life I may have to leave behind, if I’m faced with a choice. This ambivalence and extreme, polarized emotions never left me throughout the year together. There was not a calm, peaceful or stable moment throughout the whirlwind relationship because, for me, the stakes were so high and he relentlessly pressured me.

    However, once we told our spouses we want to divorce, the idealization phase abruptly ended and the psychopath began to sound as cold and calculated–at times downright diabolical–with me as he had been with his wife. That’s when I broke up with him. Basically, there was no normal love, respect or caring after the idealization phase was over for the psychopath. There was a very intense and long idealization phase for over a year, followed by an abrupt and shocking devaluation phase, overt manipulation and grotesque signs of sexual perversion. During the last few weeks together, I witnessed a 180 degree switch in personality from Prince Charming to a transparent psychopathic predator. This is what saved me and my family: the fact the psychopath dropped his mask, allowing me to glimpse at his real twisted personality, before I moved in with him. At that point, I looked up his symptoms on google. I found helpful information about psychopathy on and eventually started psychopathyawareness, to help other victims as well. Claudia

  154. Claudia; I have already sketched a few ideas for my book, I have a draft introduction; needs lots of work, may i send it to you?

  155. Michael, of course! I’d love to see it. Claudia

  156. Michael, I would have to say the idealization stage for me was great. I’ll give you a condensed version. I had been hurt in the past by a “normal” woman so I was careful, imagine that. I was the hero and she was the victim. I heard how horrible her ex was. He was the reason she was on welfare and food stamps. He was the reason she wasn’t successful. He hit her ( I don’t think it ever happened now, heck I think its its all lies). We were together or talked every day. She would always call. It was great. I finally met someone that I could let go and completely trust. I remember how great it felt to be able to completely trust someone. Not have to worry about getting hurt. She was good after all, I was her hero and she treated me that way. I wanted her to be successful and helped her go back to school. We went out a lot and she was always at my side, not like a puppy looking for attention but We stayed close to one another We were affectionate together. Anybody on the outside knew we were together and in love. We partied a lot, we did had fun. Then I wanted to settle down and be a family. The mask started to crumble and devaluation began. At first it started with her wanting to go out with friends. It was a burden to her if I wanted to go out. I became “the last resort” if her friends didn’t want to. Then I started questioning and the attacks on me began. Very cold, hurtful, heartless attacks. The blame game started and the lies were not even believable at times. My head was literally spinning. We never had one true fight, very rarely argued when we were together. It just ended, like we never spent 16 1/2 years together. No emotion from her other than anger. I’m still floored and its been over a year. I can honestly say I don’t even know the person/thing that I thought was my soul mate. No wonder why I have a very powerful wall up now. She took so much from me emotionally and financially. The poor kids, that’s another story.

  157. “Everything you say, everything you do….breathless!” He’d say crap like that. Loving words not backed up by actions. But that phase was basically via phone and email. But he was sadistic even then…let’s meet…no wait, I can’t. Blah, blah, blah.

  158. Susan, did our sociopathic ex’s read from the same (bad) script? Actions speak louder than words. And their actions were reprehensible. Claudia

  159. Keli, actually that was pretty true for me. Or it was 40 years ago. forty years later, all I got was a few sweet words here and there. That’s all I got. Hate to admit it, but truth is, once you’ve had one betrayal bond, as I did with my mom, you are very susceptible to another. He treated me just like my mom did, and we tend to repeat our traumas until we finally learn the lesson. And with the psychopath I was involved with, I was also LITERALLY reliving my childhood with the same person, trying to get it right this time. PLUS I had the hormone release that 1st loves revisited can recreate at hello. If you read about first loves, you will see that the feelings that reflood are a bit overwhelming. And I didn’t realize he had been so cruel to me. That kind of treatment had been normalized for me, and I just blamed myself for his cruelty when I was a teen.

    Keli, I hope the list you are working on are all the ways he was mean and cruel, a liar, etc. THAT is a good list to make. It helped me a lot. Now it is so crystal clear to me that EVERYTHING about him was BAD.

    I remember telling a therapist one thing he did to me and she looked at me and said “You do realize that is not normal, don’t you?” She was beginning to really understand that I needed help knowing what abuse was in some instances! I had fooled myself for decades about my mom, his treatment of me in the past, etc. etc.

    The whole healing process was like gradually waking up and saying …oh no….that was all manipulation…that was all lies…that was all about control!!!!!! With him, my mom, my brother, etc.

    But it feels so great to feel free of all that now! You will get there!

  160. Michael
    The idealisation phase I experienced was very similar to Claudias. He would spend hours on the phone to me, talking mainly about himself it has to be said, but making out we were perfect for each other, that i understood him so well. He would leave voicemails telling me how much he loved me, or he would leave songs from our youth that we both loved that he said reminded him of me. He even turned up at the flat I had with my husband and stood outside on another block’s outside stair and text me to say he was there and could i come to window just so he could see me. He also would phone a restaurant that i was going to with friends and pay for my meal. It was intense, as though he was thinking of me all the time, that he really wanted me, that we were meant to be together after all those years. He would email me asking me if I really would not rather live in England, and promises of all the “happy days” we would have, the things we could do together, the fun of just being a couple. His mask slipped a few times during all this, but as you do, I put it down to stress, that he was a bit moody, just because of the situation.
    The idealisation phase really went on from the January to the end of August (I had moved in with him at the end of June) – however he had started to slowly devalue me, just little things, trying to make me jealous stuff like that, from actually the week I moved in . When he realised that i was not stupid and that I kept tripping him up on stories he told that didn’t make sense, or finding searches for other girls on his computer, that is when the real belittling, mood swings, emotional detachment, hot and cold behaviour, unexplained absences, character assassination if you spoke your mind or caught him out on anything started. The beginning of the end.

  161. Lesley, it sounds that it went downhill pretty fast once you moved in with him. The mask cracks usually right after they think they have you. And you know what the “unexplained absences” were all about… But I’m sure that while he was prowling for other women, he kept a close watch on you and your whereabouts. Claudia

  162. yes Claudia..think it was the minute I was in too close proxmiity and it was all real…i think he coudl only handle “virtual” relationships. and of course i kept findng stuff on the pc that he was up to. But yes, he kept a tight rein on me for sure. Double standards!

  163. Michael, here’s a description of the idealization phase of my recent relationship. It’s somewhat different than many others I’ve heard of.

    First of all, the idealization phase lasted an entire four months, with absolutely no red flags to speak of. And it was just fantastic… after a few weeks I felt like a teenager having finally found my true love after a couple of awkward dates. She was everything I had ever hoped for and dreamed of, and more. “Soul mates” didn’t adequately describe our relationship — it was truly a match made in heaven. We had so many common interests and seemed to be fully compatible on so many levels. She was hugely interested in me and asked many questions, always listening intently and never judging or criticizing what I said. Her excellent listening skills made it so easy for me to tell her everything about myself (which would ultimately be used against me later on). A couple of months into the relationship, I caught a winter flu and upon returning to the hotel where I was staying, found that she had left me a pot of homemade chicken soup at the front desk. Wow!

    Such a long and euphoric idealization phase, combined with my dogged determination to take responsibility for and fix everything, was most probably what made me stay in the relationship for another three months after the devalue and discard cycle began about a year later. Never underestimate the power of a dream come true.

    I should point out that this rosy picture in the idealization phase turned out to be completely false. Everything that she had told me about herself turned out to be either a complete fabrication, a severely twisted half-truth or an outright lie. For example. “I put myself through university” (which I had done myself, so I was impressed) really meant “I got my ex-husband to pay for my tuition and mortgage and expenses for two whole years.”

    The idealization phase was unusually long and didn’t exhibit any of the “classic” behaviours, such as trying to accelerate the pace or force early commitments. I ascribe that to the fact that her thrill-seeking days were long over, and she had discovered that doctors, lawyers and engineers made much better targets than beach bums because they had much, much more money that she could spend. In retrospect, I strongly suspect that she had read up on psychopathy long ago, and thus knew how to carefully suppress the “classic” behaviours that would scare off intelligent, professional men earning decent salaries.

    Hope this helps… Julian.

  164. What is abuse? I found this remarkably succint definition of abuse on the Edmonton police department’s website the other day, and I thought I would post it here for the benefit of the members. It’s so, so simple that I will certainly never forget it:

    Abuse is an attempt to control the behaviour of another person. It is a misuse of power which uses the bonds of intimacy, trust and dependency to make the victim vulnerable.

    Full text is at

  165. Julian, this is a good definition. It’s general enough to include emotional abuse, which is the main form of abuse these psychopaths engage in. And their main goal is always control, as this definition indicates. Claudia

  166. Julian, she might not have read about psychopathy. Psychopaths have, as Sandra Brown puts it, a predatory intuition and a relationship thermometer. They instinctively know which buttons to push with which victim: what works. It’s only after the idealization phase is over, when they no longer want and focus on you that much, that their disorder becomes much more obvious and flagrant. Then they wave red flags all over the place. But by then a lot of their victims are sufficiently emotionally hooked to ignore or explain them away. Claudia

  167. Claudia, my search for a concise definition of abuse was prompted by a very disturbing incident last weekend.

    Three and a half months ago, the 22-year-old son of my longtime friend “A” committed suicide. He had been under a lot of stress to make the grades required for medical school, and was prescribed the anti-depressant Celexa –– which carries a serious “black-box” warning contraindicating its use in youth under 25, as clinical tests have shown that it induces suicidal thoughts in young people.

    A and I, having been close (and platonic) friends for 10 years, have been discussing taking a trip to the tropics soon, just for a mutually needed break. I mentioned this to my mother this weekend, and to my total surprise, she literally “lost it.” My dear mom went totally apeshit and started behaving like a rabid animal, foaming at the mouth and spewing all kinds of venomous lies about my longtime friend.

    I calmly asked where she had obtained her information, and she said she had talked to so-and-so who had talked to so-and-so who had talked to A’s mother. OK, so that is in effect third-hand gossip. I asked why she would prefer to believe third-hand gossip over first-hand information from her very own son, and my mom lost control of herself again, flying into a rage about how I need to take a course in identifying sick, evil people.

    Ironically, it was my mother who introduced me to A a decade ago, claiming that she was just “perfect” for me. We dated a few times, concluded that we weren’t right for each other, and have had a very close and honest relationship ever since. My mom was severely disappointed that we didn’t marry, and now suddenly thinks that A is sick and evil. I did manage to glean that “sick” was because she was supposedly “under psychiatric care” — no, she is seeing a grief counsellor once a week. Exactly what one would expect.

    I’m at a loss to explain this. My mom and dad (who died three years ago of natural causes) always had a loving and respectful relationship for over 50 years, and never did they yell at each other or try to control one other. Yet since my father’s death, my mom has become increasingly controlling towards myself and my two brothers also. It was her perverted animal-like attempt to control me the other day that led me to Google “what is abuse?”

    On the brighter side of things, I have certainly developed a keen ability of recognizing perverted reactions to ordinary situations. I don’t believe I need a “course” in identifying sick and evil people. But it deeply saddens me that my mom can’t feel empathy for a woman who has lost her one and only child in such a tragic fashion and won’t believe her own son’s first-hand account of her character, preferring to rely on gossip.

    My mother is now 76… perhaps this is some form of Alzheimer’s that’s affecting her judgement? I know this is totally off-topic (except for the fact that my mom is clearly exhibiting psychopathic symptoms, i.e a complete lack of empathy), but any insight or comments are welcome.

    I might also add that my friend A’s tragedy has been a healing thing for myself… her son’s suicide was just six weeks after my ex-girl-fiend discarded me, and although it was initially difficult, I managed to support her despite my own situation. There certainly are worse things than being betrayed by a psychopath.

  168. Julian, I’m so sorry to hear about your friend’s son’s suicide and about your mom’s illness. From what I’ve read, Alzheimer’s causes more than memory loss. One of its more disturbing symptoms is paranoia (sometimes accompanied by hallucinations). Here’s a link which might help. I don’t know if it’s official information about the illness, but it makes sense to me:

  169. Claudia, thanks so much for the link, it was very helpful. I didn’t attempt to argue with my mother, as I have learned long ago that arguing against gossip is quite futile. Your link implies that Alzheimer’s can definitely cause delusional behaviour, which certainly matches my mother’s recent behaviour.

  170. Julian
    My father recently went through major heart surgery and since then he has been extremely abusive (though my father was always quite aggressive but not as bad as this), muttering insults under his breath. i think that when a person receives a huge shock to the system, like your mum with the death of your father maybe??, that can cause mental health problems? I hope you can sort it out and find out the cause of her upsetting behaviour.

  171. Julian, You’re welcome. I first learned about this because a friend’s mother is going through this as well. Then I looked it up on the internet, and found a lot of information about the link between Alzheimer’s and paranoia/hallucinations. I’m really sorry your mother is going through this. Claudia

  172. Kelli and Claudia, thank you very much for your comments. Over the last few days, I’ve discussed the situation with my two younger brothers. The day before my mom burst out at myself, my youngest brother’s 10-year-old pet rabbit was at the veterinary hospital on the verge of death. Our mom callously told him to just put the poor thing to sleep, “he’s” so old anyway” (and it’s a she). Well, the rabbit is doing just fine now, but my mom (who I saw just a couple of hours ago) is not. She’s upset because my brother is upset that she told him to euthanize his pet.

    We compared notes and recalled that decades ago, our father had a two-year period where he often travelled away all week and only returned on weekends. Those weeks were hell for us; our mom would become so controlling and nasty. But as soon as Dad returned, things would quickly get back to normal.

    So we’re now of the opinion that Dad (who was a very calm, kind and gentle man) somehow kept our Mom’s controlling urges in check. This is underscored by the fact that Mom’s sister (our aunt) is extremely controlling and has long ago reduced her husband and two boys to sheer pulp. They’re all such wimps that we shudder to call them family.

    Now that Dad is gone, there’s nothing to keep Mom’s controlling urges in check, and we think that they’re now getting out of hand. The incident with my long-time friend and my brother’s rabbit are just the latest in an escalating pattern of “you should do as *I* think you should.”

    Fortunately, my dear father taught me a great deal about patience and tolerance, so I think it falls upon me to recall the gentle techniques that he used to keep my mom’s behaviour under control. In fact, I suspect he’s smiling somewhere as I write this, and I’m sure that he’s happy that all of his three sons are aligned on this issue. He always believed that family came first, and this week has certainly strengthened our family — even if in an unpleasant way. I miss my dad so much right now; I’m sure he’d have something enlightening to tell me.

    I find myself wondering how he could have developed such a strong sense of family, being orphaned at twelve years old during World War II and incarcerated in a Siberian labour camp during his teenage years. He was a truly magnificent man and I am so proud to be his son (and sorry for rambling about this).

    Thanks again for your kind comments, …Julian.

  173. Julian, your father’s inspiring life story sounds worthy of fiction: a Journey into the Whirlwind memoir/novel, particularly since you mention him being incarcerated in a labor camp in Siberia. I’ve heard that the older we get, the more our flaws and bad habits intensify, since age unfortunately strips away some of life’s pleasures and adds ailments in their stead. This may not be true for everyone, but it seems to be true for your mom. Probably Alzheimer’s exacerbates it. I hope you can remain patient with her nonetheless as well as somewhat detached, since you can’t remain calm in these situations without some distance. Claudia

  174. Claudia, thanks again for your kind comments. Given my recent psychopathic experience, I’m a little over-sensitive to abuse, so I find myself torn between insisting on how I need to be treated versus how I can manage to keep our family together. As you so succintly point out, our flaws tend to intensify with age, and this applies not only to my mother but to myself also. I can only hope that the things my father taught me will bring our family even closer together. Thanks again for your comments, …Julian.

  175. Julian, you’re welcome. Thank you also for sharing with us aspects of your life. Sometimes just expressing what you feel, life’s challenges and frustrations, and knowing you’re not alone helps. Claudia

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Comments RSS