Between Envy and Contempt: The Psychopath’s Emotional Pendulum

Envy and contempt don’t necessarily go together. They’re both very negative emotions, but in some ways they’re polar opposites. Envy is about wanting what others have and you lack. Contempt is about disdaining what others want or have. In a psychopath’s mind, however, these two emotions coexist. Psychopaths want what others have. They want to be loved, even adored, for who they are, despite continually lying to, cheating on and mistreating those around them. They want to have professional success, despite the fact they rarely put in the work for it and even cheat their customers or bosses. They want to be respected by their kids, despite the fact that they emotionally abuse them or regard them as mere possessions or trophies. They want to have what normal human beings often have in life but they can’t because of their underlying abnormality. This is why their main emotion is contempt for others and, more generally, for human endeavors, accomplishments and goals.

I became attuned to this pendular attitude when I noticed my psychopathic (ex) partner’s inexplicable and unjustified criticism of and disdain towards others. I recall in particular one incident, when he put down a friend of mine who is a very talented and successful fiction writer, who had just published a novel on the Stalinist era in the Soviet Union, which was very similar to my novel about communist Romania, Velvet Totalitarianism. His novel did very well not just in terms of sales but also in terms of critical reviews. My ex referred to that writer as “a Loser” and “a failure” because he didn’t sell in the same quantities as books like the Harry Potter series. I was stunned by the fact that this man (my ex), who had accomplished nothing with his life and got booted out of every job, would put down someone so much more accomplished than him, who was also a nice person. My friend hadn’t done or said anything to insult my ex. My ex’s gratuitous insult towards a talented, successful and nice person stuck with me. I didn’t see any reason for it.

Later, after I informed myself about psychopathy, I realized that he was indirectly also putting me down, so that I wouldn’t feel satisfied with the literary success of my fiction if it wouldn’t be on the scale of books like Harry Potter. Just like he had identified in his wife a low body image and conditioned her to feel fat when she wasn’t, to the point where she had joined Overeaters Anonymous, or pressured her to leave a lucrative job where she was very much appreciated by her colleagues, so he was hoping to find my insecurities and make me feel bad about my dreams and accomplishments.

There were many such incidents during the course of our one year together, which I went over in my mind retrospectively, after the breakup, when I was trying to come to terms with the pathological relationship. To offer one more telling example, I was equally shocked when he greeted the good news that his sister-in-law had just given birth to a new baby with the contemptuous statement: “The kid’s butt-ugly”. At the time, he was already pressuring me about wanting us to have a baby together. I realized that this is how he processed any news about others having something he wanted: with mean-spirited criticism driven by envy. This trait bothered me at the time but, as usual, I chalked it up to his emotional immaturity.

Psychopaths have contempt for worldly ambition, for money, fame or success in any field. They have contempt for human love, viewing it as a weakness that can be easily manipulated. They have contempt for bonds of friendship outside of casual fun or mutual utility. Envy and contempt, wanting what others have yet disdaining it at the same time, are not contradictory emotions for a psychopath. They form the essence of the psychopath’s pendular movement, which springs from an underlying narcissism: his natural equilibrium, or state of being. Psychopaths want to be better than others at everything we thrive at and hold dear, but at the same time they disdain human values and their fellow human beings.

Claudia Moscovici, psychopathyawareness

Dangerous Liaisons: How to Identify and Escape from Psychopathic Seduction

 


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44 Comments

  1. Financial abuse in intimate relationships remains largely undocumented, but here you’ve got its fingerprints!.

    I remember seeing my ex-husband’s face contort when any opportunity or praise came my way. At the time, I didn’t get it.

    I also remember that he rarely said anything positive about anybody else behind their back. Of course, to their face, he was full of congratulations or whatever.

    In two years, I got gutted like a deer and then thrown out with the equivalent of a financial death penalty..

    Have you seen “FIshead” yet? It describes the psychopath in society—and the traits you describe in this post ring like a bell in the film. Hare and Babiak appear.

    It also talks about the chemical psychopath produced by the “happy pills” we’re all encouraged to take.

    I’m not associated with the film in any way, but think it’s definitely worth viewing. http://www.fisheadmovie.com Password is fhmovie

    Would love to hear your take on it if you see it. Thanks for this blog and all that you do.

    Cheers!

  2. Anna, I didn’t see the movie Fishead but thanks for the recommendation. My psychopathic ex was the same way: oozing manipulative flattery to people to their faces, particularly when he wanted something from them. Behind their back, he remained flattering only when he was referring to how much person X or Y worshipped him. Towards everyone else, he focused exclusively on their flaws, in a mean-spirited and mocking way. Mockery is the key word. Even when psychopaths attempt to imitate us, it’s to mock us out of contempt and a sense of superiority. When coming from a psychopath, imitation is certainly NOT a form of flattery! Claudia

  3. Very well-stated post, and insightful. It will help explain much to anyone who has been, or is in, a psychopathic relationship. Very key traits!

    Thank you!

  4. Susan, you’re welcome. Unfortunately, I got to witness the combination of envy and contempt constantly during my year relationship with the psychopath! He mostly directed it towards others, but I’m quite sure I would have gotten the brunt of it had I moved in with him. Especially the mockery and contempt, which were his dominant attitudes towards other human beings. In fact, mockery is an expression of contempt. Claudia

  5. Anna, welcome to the ranks of the financially abused; I’m certainly one of them also, and my highly negative credit line is proof positive. And thank you for the link to the <fishead( movie; I'm a great fan of "Inside Job" and "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room" – two documentary films that are just FULL of "snakes in suits." I'm looking forward to watching it soon; not only do Babiak and Hare appear in it, but also John Perry Barlow who ALWAYS has something interesting and insightful to say.

    Although I haven't yet watched the film, I've just perused the website and I'm impressed by the fact that it appears to be a non-commercial "underground" production intended to disseminate valuable information rather than make millions at the box office. You can only watch it on your computer (for free, password fhmovie) via vimeo.com. – Julian.

  6. Claudia, thank you so much for an incredibly brilliant post. The vacillation between envy and contempt was a constant source of confusion for me during my recent psychopathic relationship. My ex, a personal trainer, would one moment be envious of her wealthy clients and their million-dollar beach villas on the Jersey Shore, and then moments later be contemptuous of their haughty attitudes and feelings of entitlement. One week she would bitch about how crappy their family relationships were, but then she would spin them her sob story about how she was “so poor” and struggling with her business and then we’d spend the next weekend at their million-dollar beach home. The envy/contempt pendulum you describe precisely explains how she used her manipulative tactics to obtain fancy weekend accomodations for free! Thanks again, – Julian.

  7. Julian, I really appreciate what you say. I think this oscillation between envy and contempt is also one of the primary forces that drives psychopaths to want to destroy others. If they can’t have what others have, then they try to dominate and destroy them, at least those within their grasp. Those are the people they take out all of their frustrations on, but usually in an insidious, hidden fashion that causes maximum harm. Sheer contempt disguised as love. The rest–meaning those outside their immediate reach–they gossip about, criticize and mock. Claudia

  8. Another great thought provoking article. I always found it weird almost annoying, no it was annoying. when my ex and I would watch a film or television. She would always cut down the actors for how they looked, what they were wearing or how they acted. Now I know exactly why. She would take the enjoyment out of getting lost in a story. The funny thing was a lot of her statements were very hypocritical. She was jealous of fictional characters who were good looking and had a lifestyle they can afford. Her and her desire to live a champagne lifestyle on a beer budget. Speaking of budget, I get to go to court next week. She is taking me back for more support. I actually am kind of looking forward to it. I have a bit of ammunition I’m going to use. What worries me is the court tends to rule for the mother. If I play my cards right and keep my cool I hope all will come out. I am nervous and hope I don’t have a mental block from nerves. I may have to stoop to her level a bit and use some manipulation to get her to show her true colors. I have to be very careful though because she is a master of disguise. I am so tired of crawling out of the hole she put me in, only for her to step on my fingers and make me fall again. I want to support my kids but not her. she is taking me back to court for her own financial gain and yet again the kids are her pawns.
    Gary

  9. Claudia,

    The thing the psychopath envies most is another individual’s HAPPINESS. They HATE happy people. HATE it. They take happy people and make them as miserable as they are, the monumental projection.

    The way to make a psychopath lose complete control? Be happy with your life. Successful in the things you love to do and the healthy, HAPPY, genuine relationships you have and boot his arse to the curb. NEVER show him you’re unhappy. I remember my psychopath having “competitions” with me whenever I stated I was happy. Condescending remarks such as “I’m glad YOU’RE having such a good day, but I’m NOT”, or “I’m glad YOU”RE happy, and could make others happy, what’s for lunch today?”

    He absolutely DESPISED anything I showed that meant I was happy. And he did anything he could to bring me down to HIS level. He would always destroy a good day and I’d feel GUILTY for being HAPPY. THAT”S crazy making!

    I believe this is part of the reason for their stalking too, Claudia.

    In your case, it’s because your ex envies your success, but more than that, he envies your HAPPINESS. True and real success is the happiness you carry in your heart, the healthy relationships you have in your life that encourage your growth and well being, worse of all for him is that you are even HAPPIER after the relationshit ended.

    In other cases, psychopaths stalk, harass and try to lure back victims that have seemingly moved on with their lives. That’s what they hate. If you’re happy or realize you can be without HIM/HER, than I think they have this seventh sense in that they sense your happiness even from a distance and no contact. This is why my NC is vital to me. Precious to me. It’s a gateway to my happiness.

    They often come back to let the victim know how happy they are with the current victim, or go out of their way to put themselves all over facebook, or strategic places in public to where you use to go, to let you SEE how “Happy” he is with the new victim. . ALL LIES. They do it, projecting THEIR envy onto you, because they CAN”T be happy at all with ANYONE. In fact, if you think about it, as swiftly as they move on to other relationshits, and that they’d somehow let you know, is not only a major boundary violation, projected envy and an attempt to destroy your recovery, but in its very nature is TWISTED.

    It also goes to the core of their contempt as well.

    They don’t want to see you happy. Claudia, you ARE happy and enjoying success in a lot of areas of your life and not just professionally either. in the end, that isn’t nearly as important as your husband and children and your lovely Jewell and they are a source of genuine happiness as well. Your ex tried to destroy that.

    Never show a psychopath you’re unhappy without him, even if you’re just out of the relationshit. Never show them nor tell them that you are affected by his “new life”. Be as bored as can be or act as indifferent as you can until you reach genuine indifference if he stalks you or tries to reach you. Ever.

    When you show a psychopath that you’re happy WITHOUT HIM, you’ve won. It is the ultimate NI that not one ounce of psychopathic contempt or envy can beat.

    It’s cliche, I know but in this case oh so true! Living well IS the best revenge.

    Kel

  10. Gary, isn’t that something? She was even jealous of FICTIONAL characters who were good-looking and successful. Imagine how envious she was of real people! Even if psychopaths don’t want what we have, be it qualities or possessions, they begrudge us having it. Yes, by all means remain cool and collected in court or in dealings with her. And keep your interaction with her very minimal. Claudia

  11. Kel, I remember those IM’s and the fact that your psychopathic ex always tried to make you feel unhappy and insufficient. When you spent time with your family, he’d pester you to be in touch with him and focus on him. And when you talked about your day, he’d try to compete with you in negativity. You feel bad, well, I feel worse kind of thing. I don’t think it’s because he actually felt bad. It was to get you to focus more on whatever was negative in your life and share it with him. You feeling bad made him feel better. That’s how psychopaths operate. Claudia

  12. Kelli, Good point happiness is something they cant feel. its an emotion. Its like They feel if they cant/don’t have something no one should. My ex almost has a sixth sense about my happiness. If I start to feel better she can sense it. I don’t even have to have contact, she picks it up from the kids. I almost have to tell them not to tell mom, which is not right. That puts them in a tough spot they don’t need to be in. At this point it may be necessary though.
    Gary

  13. Another great article. I had a real couple of Aha Moments when I read this. My own ex did a few things that were similar. When I was dating him and working as a healer he took would always take the p*ss out of his mother in law for working as a healer as well. I took it that he was taking doing it because she was working in a different modality and he had painted her as a really bad person.

    Another time I was promoting a book I had written on cheating and built my own website. He quizzed me on this and I found out much later he had built a website for his mother in law in pretty much the same lines as the one I had done for myself to promote my book although pretty much just hashed together and even put a recommendation on there for a book she was writing about Yoga. When I asked him why he would promote a woman he didn’t even like he said he had done it ages ago and yet the dates didn’t add up.

    With regards to babies. I wanted a baby with my ex, in fact it was the last chance I would have had to have one. I was looking after my brothers son for a whole year whilst we were together and my ex painted this picture of my brother being a “really bad parent” because he was unable to look after him himself due to personal reasons. He said he’s a terrible father and he said if I filed for adoption he would adopt him with me when we finally moved in together.

    Fortunately my brother fulfilled his fatherly promise and now looks after his young son full time. My own ex on the other hand left not only me in the lurch but both his two young sons by leaving his wife in huge financial debt and running off to another part of the country abandoning them when he got caught out with his lies. To try and hurt me he put up a picture of a baby on his facebook wall to make out he was having a relationship with another woman in the hope I might see it and it would hurt me. The irony is I don’t even think he had a baby or another relationship it was just another one of his grand fantasies.

    Claudia as you well know the oscillation between envy and contempt is also one of the many reasons why psychopaths go out and out to try and destroy victims long after the relationship ends doing things such as Stalking and son on. In their minds they think it’s not possible that someone could move on and be happy without someone as “fantastic” as them.

  14. Sarah, I’m not at all surprised to hear that your psychopathic ex wasn’t supportive of you. If he was in any way supportive of his mother-in-law, you can be sure it was to maintain a dominance bond over her and bolster his own image. My ex did something similar. He’d give his mother-in-law, whom he told me he couldn’t stand, free basketball tickets. They’d go to the games together. But years earlier, when she had been through a difficult divorce and moved in with him and her daughter for emotional support, he masturbated in front of her to make her feel uncomfortable and leave his home. When his wife (her daughter) objected to this appalling behavior, he raped her. (This is the same wife who, as I mentioned several times before, is both a victim and yet defends, idolizes and colludes with the psychopath).

    This behavior goes to show the scale of this psychopath’s depravity and how little image-bolstering “kind” or “generous” gestures or gifts pale by comparison to the tremendous harm done to everyone in his life. Whatever takes minimal effort and creates the false image of decency–such as basketball tickets or helping a little on the website–psychopaths may do. But when it comes to major help or fundamental human decency (caring about others, supporting them in times of need, helping their personal and professional lives, or being faithful and honest) you can count on the psychopath NOT to do it. Claudia

  15. Claudia

    He didn’t feel bad in the sense that we know of “feeling bad”. It was a game strategically set up to bring me down. I remember many more times when he’d do this throughout the relationshit. When I started school, the envy grew WORSE, as did the sabotage. He never felt bad, and it’s pointless anyway, because being a psychopath means none of your days are good anyway, unless you’re in power and control of another victim, but that’s a temporary fix. Nothing about them is real and if you were to assign emotions to a psychopath, it would be an underlying, uncontrollable rage, anger, envy…..nothing about that is at all positive. Kel

  16. Kel, that’s true, psychopaths never feel good, they just feel a rush (of power or conquest) and glee (at doing something bad to someone else and getting away with it). But by nature rushes and glee are very fleeting emotions, so all of their energies are focused on where to get the next rush and find the next victim (or still harass current and past ones, to milk them for all their worth). No wonder he envied your good relationships with your kids and your sense of direction in school. All the more reason to achieve your dreams now that you have that opportunity again and he’s out of your life. Claudia

  17. Gary,

    For your protection, you have the RIGHT To ask your children NOT to say anything about you. My ex’s ex wife has TOLD her children NOT to speak of her life in any way. So the children do not. He will still ask, but they do not respond. This is YOUR right to protect yourself and your sanity. It’s okay for you to step in as a parent and protect your children too from her as much as possible. Remember, they don’t think like we do. Any way she can bring you down, using your children to do it, she will. Stay strong and don’t let her! Kel

  18. Claudia this is a great article. Cluster B’s / psychopaths despise anyone having something that they do not. More than this I think, when they have discarded you and they know your on to them, their wish is to see you defeated, broken and down. They cannot tolerate the fact that they have lost their control over you and they know you will no longer fall foul of their self serving manipulative strategies, should they need to in the future. Even having a different point of view to them can be enough to trigger their callousness. Their lack of capicity for love and their absolute emptiness renders them ultimately dangerous and destructive.

  19. Thanks Michael! I’m glad you liked this article. I just found out today that my book Dangerous Liaisons, which was scheduled to be out in November, is already out in print, available on amazon.com and other online bookstores. I’m excited about this and hope it will help many people. I’ll post to let everyone know about this news today. Claudia

  20. I am so happy for you Claudia and wish you every deserved success with your book. I will order a copy from my local bookstore here in Ireland. Cant wait to get it.

    Your site here has played such a big part in my own recovering process. Still not quite firing on all cylinders but so much better and actually able to smile and laugh again. I honestly thought I never would and I had been known for my happy go lucky cheerful nature. He took it all away.

    I visited the area where he lives which is where we lived together, a few weeks ago. People who used to chat to me were barely acknowledging me! Even my ‘friends’ are more interested in his new girlfriend than me!! They didnt want to spend time with me even though I had travelled a seven hour journey and was alone. He did a great job in destroying my character – whatever it is he said it certainly worked for him! Its like a Hitchcock film.

    I find my memory is damaged and my concentration is not good. My motivation is very poor now also. I hope I get my old self back.
    But without this site Im not sure where I’d be now.
    Thank you again Claudia and all the regular contributors.
    Tricia

  21. Tricia, thank you for all your kind words. It’s so good to hear from you again and am glad that you are making progress in your recovery. Being able to smile again and enjoy parts of life is a great sign that you’re getting back to your normal self.

    As for how your ex’s friends acted, please don’t take it to heart. This is why:

    a) psychopaths conduct a smear campaign, so your ex may have criticized you to them and

    b) even if he didn’t do that, psychopaths select very superficial friends, whom they charm and manipulate. They don’t have deep and loyal friendships, but manage to fool people who know them in casual contexts and have fun with them. Those friends don’t really know him. If you read my article about Drew Peterson, you’ll see that while the family members who knew him described him as a bizarre control freak, his buddies thought he was cheerful and a great guy. This was the same great guy who stalked his wives, beat them, and killed several of them. So it doesn’t matter what his friends say.

    Needless to say, it doesn’t matter what he’s doing with his life or whether he still focuses on you. In fact, it’s far better for you if he doesn’t, since a psychopath’s way of focusing on you is very negative: stalking and control. Just be glad you’ve escaped from him and don’t look back. Claudia

  22. Tricia, you really had courage to go back and visit your “former life.” Mine is seven hours away also, and I’ve not bothered and don’t plan to. I like the distance.

    Like you, I still have difficulty concentrating and every time I do groceries I forget a couple of things. Motivation is difficult also, because I know I’m not playing with “a full deck” and anything I attempt will be difficult and take longer than it should. But then I compare my situation today with that of two months ago, and there’s been a HUGE improvement. Hang in there, it only gets better! – Julian.

  23. Claudia, I went back and re-read your Drew Peterson post, and immediately noticed the leering glee in his eyes in the photo. I hadn’t noticed that the first time around, nor had I noticed the difference in perception and interaction between my ex-girl-fiend’s family versus that of her friends and clients.

    In retrospect, that difference was absolutely staggering. Her father and sister were indifferent to her, and she and her brother had not seen each other or spoken in several years. Yet in social circles, she was charming and cheerful and everyone just worshipped her.

    I know a few really decent people who come from a difficult family background, so I don’t hold that against them at all. But they all have long-time friends. So in my opinion, it’s the complete lack of any meaningful long-term relationships whatsoever coupled with contrastingly superficial short-term ones which is a distinguishing feature of psychopaths. – Julian.

  24. Claudia, Tricia, I distinctly remember my ex telling me how I will end up alone. I thought it was a statement in anger. That was before I started my education into psychopathy. Now I think she truly meant it and set out to do it. I have noticed some of “our” friends don’t speak to me anymore, or maybe a hi if put in a no retreat situation. Which is fine. Another thing I’ve noticed about dealing with a Path is you find out who your true friends are. Its strange she wants me to be alone but wont leave me alone. Tricia they probibly are not true friends, but it still hurts. I know what you mean. It is frustrating seeing friends duped by the person that duped you. There have been times of frustration where I would like to sit those people down and explain psychopathy and how they are being duped. I think it would be a waste of time because she has more contact with them than I, putting myself in a position for her to strengthen her smear campaign. Claudia, congrats on your book. I will definitely be picking it up.
    Gary

  25. Gary and Tricia, I’ve given up on all my former mutual friends. Although I too once found it frustrating, now I just think of how easily she duped me and how easily and thoroughly she can keep her friends duped when she only sees them once or twice a week.

    I’ve also had to give up and leave my precious Persian cat with my ex, because she was using her as a manipulation tool against me. So of course, I’m so evil and nasty that I not only did I abandon my ex, but abandoned my own cat also.

    You just can’t win with the psychopath, and I don’t want any part of that former life at all any more. – Julian.

  26. Julian, I laughed when I read about going grocery shopping in your response to Tricia. I’m the same way. in fact just yesterday my son and I went to the store, arrived home, putting stuff away and I say shoot. From the other room I hear “What did you forget Dad.” You are right about motivation. That has to be the biggest thing for me. I would always have a project going on around the house. Now instead of doing it I say I should do it. If I do start a project my focus and concentration just isn’t there and it takes twice as long to do something, even if I had done it before in the past.
    Gary.

  27. Julian, psychopaths are all about their PUBLIC IMAGE. It’s how they manage to fool and use others. They can’t maintain that false good, cheerful image in deeper contacts, since that’s where they exercise dominance most cruelly. The real psychopath shows his teeth in intimate relationships after only a few months of love bombing and honeymoon period. However, they can maintain their fake, cheerful, decent image in the public eye with casual acquaintances for years. It doesn’t take much effort. Claudia

  28. Gary, psychopaths often say things that they want to happen to you. My psychopathic ex, for instance, keeps writing harassing comments on this website (which I don’t post, of course), which talk about the scenario he WANTED to happen: the scenario where I would have left my loving family to be with him, relented to his pressure to have a baby, then he promptly dumps me, then he comes back and I take him back, etc. etc. A nightmare scenario for me, which fortunately I never had to experience fully, but which so many victims have actually lived through.

    In a similar fashion, in telling you that you’ll end up alone, your psychopathic (or BPD) ex is letting you know what she wishes upon you. It’s her fantasy scenario for you because she wants your unhappiness and destruction. But I don’t believe it will happen and, hopefully, neither do you. You seem like a very nice, balanced man. Do you know how many decent women are looking for a nice, non-pathological man? I’ve heard from several female friends that dating websites are filled with pathologicals and they wish they could find there the kind of person that you seem to be. I think once you get back on your feet and regain your balance from the bad relationship, you will have wonderful dating experiences. Like I say often, I hope that the friendships we make on this website will help support us through the difficult moments and cheer us on for the beautiful moments and triumphs in our lives as well. I hope you’ll keep us posted on the good news too, so we can feel happy for you when it happens (which it will!) Claudia

  29. Julian

    while I respect what you’re saying here, I don’t agree.

    Many of us who have had pathological backgrounds and wake up from the last relatioshit, often find that almost everyone left in our lives is pathological too. Does this make me pathological because I kicked my long term “friendships” (except one!) to the curb?

    Some people need to eliminate MANY people from their lives after they wake up and start to study about pathology. It is not uncommon for this to happen. Sometimes what you see, or perceive about someone, doesn’t necessarily make them psychopathic and whether or not they have long term friends, isn’t at the priority list. Kel

  30. Gary,

    Welcome to the “fun” part, huh? I’m so sorry you’re having to go through all of this. As in my post above, sometimes, especially after a pathological relationshit, we DO realize who our friends are. Some of them were never really our friends, but ties to the psychopath. That doesn’t mean your truth isn’t real and it doesn’t mean that you cannot forge new friendships that are healthier for you and your kids. You can make new connections! Maybe through something you love to do. I realize it’s hard for you because you still have ties with the children, however, I think part of the NC rule, a lot of it, is in our heads. The more head space you give to her, as well as power over you in whom your friends are or aren’t, is giving into her desire to destroy you. They only do that to prove that they were “right” about you. Know your truth and make new friends, grieve the losses, but stay away from those that she uses as a proxy to destroy you. You can do it! Kel

  31. Gary and Julian, Interesting that you have also experienced the loss of motivation and drive. Im a bit worried about it because I was always full of get up and go. I think its all caused by the cognitive dissonance (terms we are all becoming familiar with) – where our minds are shooting back constantly to the psycho and all the scenarios etc. Im not doing it quite as much but still a lot. I had hypnotherapy where I burned him on a fire to get him out of my head but it didnt work!

    What it proves is the power of the sexual attraction and how they use their sensuality and sexuality as such an incredibly powerful ‘tool’. To such an extent that no other man (or woman in your case?) could ever bring you to the heights of ‘Nirvana’ that they brought you to and so therefore to the very lowest place you could ever be also.

    It’s mind blowing stuff and when I think about my ‘good friends’ who still live near him and see him often, I think they also even subconsciously, are lured by this charming, sexual, sensual creature – even the men. It is an incredibly powerful tool and that’s how he has always been successful. It makes him much more ‘colourful’ and interesting to these friends than a ‘normal’ person like me. In fact he is something of a ‘celebrity’ in their eyes?

    Tricia

  32. Tricia, I think what you’re describing is rumination, where you’re going over and over in your mind the past with the psychopath, trying to sort out the lies, his real identity, his actions, his motives etc. The mind gets stuck in a rut, or on replay, when you do this because everything about a psychopath’s behavior is fake and manipulative. Cognitive dissonance is when you can’t put together the memories of the luring phase, for example, which SEEM to be good (but really are just a form of conquest largely dependent on lying and hiding who he really is) with the monster you came to know.
    As for the psychopath’s sexual allure, take solace in the fact that everyone who’s lived with a psychopath for an extended period of time writes that it fades (at least the romantic nature of it does). It turns into perverted games (bringing more partners, more transgressions, more strangeness) or domination (even rape). Psychopaths are charming and romantic ONLY in superficial relationships: i.e. for new conquests who don’t know them well and for casual acquaintances or friends, who also don’t know them well. The bottom line is that once you do get to know a psychopath well, his charm peels off and what you see underneath it is a human monster. Claudia

  33. Hi everyone
    Another great article Claudia. Envy and contempt. That hits the nail on the head. My ex hated that i was funny, popular, open and people (his friends too) liked me a lot. He hated that when in public I made people laugh and they told him how lovely i was. So he would then, when we returned home, go in a mood, and list my faults, what he thought we did not have together, what was wrong with ME. Its truly awful what they do to their partners/children/co-workers. All because they can never ever have that feeling of genuine warmth or happiness. My ex proved that with his email i sent you, that he was always looking for someone with less faults or perfect for him. No one will be for any of these types as they have nothing but contempt for everyone.
    As Keli points out, the best you can do to beat them is to start to heal and not let them get to you, even when they do.
    Love to everyone
    lesleyxxxxxx

  34. Claudia

    IT was that way throughout our entire relationshit. Always a competition. Kel

  35. Lesley, I hope you’re feeling a lot better! And you’re so right!

    Trish, regarding your post above and the sexual relationshit with the psychopath. One of the things that helped stop the ruminating was knowing that this man had been cheating on me, and that he was having sex with his wife, which he lied about, but when he separated and divorced other women as well. He uses sex as the lure and then withholds, or his requests become more deviant in nature, or he becomes mechanical or cold. THe psychopath is successful with sex, because it’s the only thing that will keep you in the relationshit and putting up with his crap. Women bond through sex. Psychopaths know this. Another thing that helped me was that the psychopath wants you to focus on the sex, so you will overlook everything else. My question to you is this: If the sex were THAT great, why did you leave? WHy are you out of the relationshit? Because the relationshit as a WHOLE was a nightmare! Good, even great sex can be had anywhere and for a psychopath nothing is more true. It means nothing to them. It’s just a very potent weapon in their arsenal. Sex isn’t everything to a relationshit. That’s why you’re here. You want more for yourself. Kel

  36. Tricia, to Kel’s apt comments and questions I would that sex is usually the main power play for a psychopath. It’s first used as a lure, then to get you addicted, then to hurt and humiliate you, and finally to destroy you. There’s nothing truly hot or romantic about it when you understand its real purpose in the psychopath’s game. I’ll repost later on this week an article I wrote on this subject, which seems to be a recurrent theme in the comments section. Claudia

  37. Hi keli
    I’m ok..up and down but just taking an hour or day at a time. i find when you get knocks in life, when you are trying so hard to rebuild the mess, that is when situations upset you more as you are getting no good luck in trying to sort out your future so you then look back and we all know what happens then.
    Also yes the sex thing. They definitely use that to their full advantage. My ex then flung it in my face and said that was all we had between us. But its all THEY can give – and they also add the caveat that they can then be allowed to turn it into any deviant game they want to play with anyone and anything. And to prove how contradictory they are with this all I have to remember is my ex’s recent email regarding that his new relationship is based on trust and affection, not sex, anger and jealousy. Although with that said he doesn’t find the sex as exciting or good!! So you cant win really with them. They will turn anything on to you. However, i think the majority of paths have that underlying deviant, sexually manipulative nature so if they have someone that is not too bothered about sex in a relationship (which suits the paths in some ways as then they don’t have to have a lot of intimacy) then they can go out and get it elsewhere from anyone they choose whilst keeping their mask of normality. For a while!! At the end of the day nothing, no matter how good it is, means anything to them.
    lesleyxxxxx

  38. Claudia: I wanted to comment in response to the intense sexual connection with these psychopaths, since I dealt with SO MUCH sexual perversion. I was just another sexual organ to him NOTHING MORE, ALL the compliments, flattery he said regarding my sexuality was JUST WORDS, words he uses and used on EVERYONE he is with. Flattery and sex were his KEY two weapons – I now view his sexual organ as NOTHING but a weapon. As much as he TRIED to give me the impression he felt something for me during sex I started to see through it VERY quickly. I was the most EMPTY sex I have EVER experienced, the motions to him were as if he was just doing another daily activity and when he was done he would just carry on, business as usual I COULD FEEL in my whole being it meant NOTHING TO HIM, although he tried to interject some fake little moments afterwards like put his head on my stomach as we watched tv, IT WAS ALL FAKED, he would have rather said; “ok now get the hell out and go home so I can do my other business”. I CANT IMAGINE what he would be like sexually with someone he has lived with for 10 years being they get so BORED with the same stuff, glad I never found out what it was like to be maintained on THAT level, probably much like chancing the oil in his car something that had to be done every so often. x0x0x0 Linda

  39. Linda, that’s true. When the are genuinely excited, it’s for the conquest, novelty or perversion. Not for the actual person, and there’s never any deeper emotional bonding. Claudia

  40. Linda,

    My ex use to refer to sex with his ex wife as “maintenance”. Nothing could be more accurate.

    During the last two years, almost all, but one of my serious ex’s (there were only four and out of that, one I was married too), tried to lure me back. and EVERY SINGLE ONE of them said, “You were the best sex I ever had”.

    WTF?

    that’s because that’s all that it is FOR THEM. It’s just about the sex. When you think about this in terms of generalities, anyone can have sex and anyone can be good in bed. So what? SO WHAT? It’s not the be all end all of a relationship, but to a psychopath, it’s his/her way of CONTROLLING the victim by making them believe that sex is the crux of a relationship. It’s the most dangerous weapon in their arsenal. Women bond during sex. That’s a given, at least the normals do. Psychopaths play on this.

    So anyway, my ex’s using the line “You were the best sex I ever had”, was not only bullshit, but it was somehow suppose to be a compliment? No, it’s a PROJECTION. It’s also far from a “compliment”. It’s actually an incredibly destructive message of “you’re a whore, and I”d love it if you were my whore again!”

    Nope.

    NO amount of sex can make up for the absolute destructive mind fucking these people do during the relationshit. NONE.

    I think we are conditioned to believe that sex is of such importance that it almost precludes any loving exchange of normalcy and healthy interaction. It’s also exacerbated by our society in that sex sells. It’s all over the media, advertisements, daily.

    This is where the victims get really stuck, is with the sex, which is what the psychopath WANTS you to be stuck on. The only reason he was “the best sex ever” was because it was the ONLY thing he/she could keep you swirling about. It is so dangerous because it’s the most intimate act we will ever actually do in an intimate relationship. I also think the psychopath is “good” at his performance because he/she has had SO MUCH PRACTICE.

    We equate love with sex in this society as well, I believe. We show someone we love them by sharing ourselves sexually with them. Being a normal human being in how I perceive sex, it is only shared with someone I LOVE. Psychopaths know this.

    I believe its one of the main reasons women stay so long in these relationshits. And it’s very sad, because while she believes sex will save the relationshit, the psychopath makes her believe that, and she turns a blind eye to other incredibly abusive antics that he does out of bed. She means nothing to him as to be anything more than an object.

    But then again, while I hear women say that “he was the best lover I ever had”, and she’s out of the relationshit, if it was THAT great and the most important part of the relationshit, why are you OUT of it now?

    I wish these people didn’t exist. Sorry, not a good day here.
    Kel

  41. Hi Keli

    My ex was the same, apart from he referred to is as “boring girlfriend sex”. And he said just about the same to me too months after we split up, that he “loved f(cking me” well I suppose that was true in one sense with the emphasis on the word “f)ck” as these types cannot I think make love in the true sense of the word. Funnily enough though that was what my ex sold to me during the luring phase, that he would always make love to me. Another brilliant lie which was turned right around to the opposite and flung in my face.

    Sex, is really all these types have as a selling point, even though mine said it was all that we had in common. It is really all they have that they are interested in. They are not interested in you or who they are doing it with. Once when we were in bed I told my ex I loved him and you could see him physically recoil from me. It is so incredibly damaging after you have experienced such supposed “love” and what you think is a connection between you. And you are right, they know that is how women bond, so they really can cause maximum damage with the sex games etc. When we split up my ex told me i was too demanding in that I always wanted sex..hahahaha i do find that quite funny and ironic considering again it was projection as that was what HE was like, he didnt want it with me all the time just others!!

    It is their only hook they have that they can go back to when they are desperate for some supply – mine’s was anyway. They are rotten to the core Keli. Sorry I dont have any constructive to say about it, I just totally agree with you and hope you are ok.
    Lesley
    xxxxx

  42. Boy as I’m reading these responses I’m seeing so many, many similarities with my ex. He always said we had the best sex he’d ever had as well. He texted me just hours after our last break-up to tell me, yet once again that I was the best he’d ever had. He would tell me it was the only thing we had in common and he so wished he could love me more deeply. Then over time he would tell me he couldn’t love me because I was this way, or that way or did this, or did’nt do that. Like someone in an earlier response said he also hated it when I was joyful, laughed, friendly w/others. The happier I was, the meaner he was. He also would spend hours telling me what was wrong with me. Every fault he’d list were actually things HE was guilty of doing or being. Just like one of you also mentioned he would talk about how inferior his exes were in bed. It would all depend on his purpose though. Other times he would spend hours telling me about his previous sexual conquests and how incredible they were. This would be when he wanted to make me jealous or when he wanted to ask something of me that he felt I may not want to do.
    He had an incredible sex drive, unless and until he knew it was something I wanted. Then it would be that he was too tired, or just wanted to cuddle or any excuse he could think of. To make things even more interesting he would frequently instigate and arguement or do something incredibly cruel just before wanting sex. That way he was sure I wouldn’t be interested and he would have to work all the harder to get me to give in. If I wouldn’t give in, he would just force himself on me until I would get tired of struggling with him and eventual give up.
    If you think about it, if your psycho was like mine, the sex may have been passionate but was also very impersonal and completely all about his needs. Mine would refuse to kiss me, he would rarely if ever caress or touch me. Everything was about meeting his needs. If I could convince him to kiss me or touch me it would have all the passion of a slug. I realize now, it was because he didn’t feel anything. He was only interested in using me to meet his needs. I can’t believe how similar my ex was to those I’m reading about in this thread. Really opens my eyes.

  43. Lisa, psychopaths are excited by sex only when it implies conquest (of a new target) or subjugation, degradation and humiliation (of a target they’ve tired of). What arouses them most is control and power over others. For this reason, they also withhold sex and affection when they know their partners want it. It’s a power play, as is everything a psychopath does. Claudia


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