Psychopaths and Duplicity by Lisa Jean

A cool crisp autumn afternoon and I’m lounging around the house recovering from a severe cough that has left me too weak to do much else. Doing some channel surfing I come across a movie with Clive Owen and Julia Roberts called Duplicity. While watching it I am reminded of how duplicitous a psychopath is. How duplicitous anything a psychopath says is. As well as how duplicitous a relationship with a psychopath is.

The dictionary definition of duplicity is:

“1.contradictory doubleness of thought, speech, or action; especially: the belying of one’s true intentions by deceptive words or action

2: the quality or state of being double or twofold

3: the technically incorrect use of two or more distinct items (as claims, charges, or defenses) in a single legal action”

 The first definition is “contradictory doubleness of thought, speech or action.” This would be the very definition of a psychopath. In the beginning of the relationship when they are in the idealization phase the person they present to you is nothing like the person they truly are. Additionally, the intent of their relationship with you has little if anything to do with what they are saying to you or showing you. If the psychopath is intending a romantic interlude with you, or even a romantic relationship with you their actions, words, speech and thinking is rampant with lies. They may present themselves as being smitten with you and wanting to be your everything. If you are a single parent, they’ll be the man/woman who loves children and is happy to be there for you to help with watching the children, help with cooking meals, doing homework, or playing catch with the children. At night he/she may be ready to draw you a bubble bat, bring you a glass of wine, pamper and care for you. While in actuality they really couldn’t care less about your fatigue, or stress, or feelings of being overwhelmed. In fact they are probably rejoicing in your suffering because it is making the door for them to enter into your life so incredibly easy to walk through.
Any gesture, action, or words you hear them speak that appear caring or thoughtful is duplicitous. The only care or thought a psychopath feels centers around himself or herself. If your psychopathic partner has ever seemed thoughtful, or generous, take a good look at what may have motivated the seemed generosity. For generosity and the psychopath are a contradiction in terms. The psychopath is generous to himself alone. When I reflect back on some seemingly generous or selfless acts or words my psychopathic ex told me, or did for me I can always trace back a selfish motive. Even if the only motive was to keep me in his life for the next time he needed me for a victim. Had he completely burned our bridges and severed the relationship to a place that would be irreparable he wouldn’t have a sure thing lined up in terms of future victim supply.
Apparently, even the simplest of generosity or thoughtfulness is full of duplicity. The entire relationship is wrapped and woven very tightly in a mask of duplicity. The loving relationship I thought I was a part of, the connection I felt with this person and all the moments of intense emotion and passion we shared was duplicitous. I and I alone was experiencing them. What he was experiencing was a series of accomplishments, victories and defeats that were and remain completely about himself. There was never an “us”, there never is an “us” with a psychopath. There’s a me against you. There is “I will conquer and destroy you, I will win, I will come out on top, I will have control and power over you.” I, I, I, I, I. This is the crux of the relationship with a psychopath. There is no “us” in “us”. There is “I”, victory and defeat for me and me alone in “us” for the psychopath. Once again, duplicity.
The psychopath has been in the practice of living a duplicitous existence since their very first recollection of “self.” As soon as the psychopath is aware of themselves in relationship to a world outside of themselves they are aware of the difference between themselves and others. In order to simulate being like others and fit in with “them” the psychopath has to appear like “them” i.e. us. Hence the beginning of duplicity. They watch, mimic, pretend, learn how to be like the rest of us. Much like the big back wolf learns how to be Grandma in Little Red Riding Hood. Appearing like Grandma is what will get him the meal he so desires. The Big Bad Wolf may be one of the first introductions we as children have of a psychopath. He is extremely duplicitous. He pretends to be Little Red Riding Hood’s friend. He pretends to want to help her deliver her basket to Grandma’s house. But his real intention isn’t to help Little Red Riding Hood at all. His intention is to help himself to whatever it is he wants.
Another red flag was the self-deprecation. I saw this as insecurity and vulnerability. In actuality this too was duplicitous. The focus on his flaws turned out to be more narcissism. It was another way to have his ego fed by the attention and empathy of others. When he would ask me if I found him attractive, he’d get to hear exactly what he’d been craving. “Of course you’re handsome.” He’d ask me what I liked best about him. What I would rate him on a scale of 1 – 10. He would ask these almost daily for nearly all the 7 1/2 yrs we were together. Duplicity in action. Feigning insecurity when his ego just needed a constant supply of feeding: narcissistic supply. He never did return the gesture to tell me I was beautiful of course.
When allowing someone to enter into my life I intend to err on the side of caution. Not that I’m going to be paranoid and assume everyone is out to victimize me. However, I do intend to keep some distance until I know I can trust that person. This may mean a person who would have gotten a second chance from me in the past will not get it in the future. To some this policy may appear harsh. But upon further thought, it’s not. I have never hurt another person intentionally. I’ve never done something so thoughtless that it was in complete and total disregard of another’s feelings to the degree that it directly hurt them deeply. I’ve been thoughtless and careless, of course, I’m human. I’ve made attempts to change my behavior and been sincerely sorry when I’ve hurt someone. But, I never expect them to roll out the red carpet and welcome me back to do it again. I understand I need to prove my trustworthiness to others, before they can also trust me. I think if we entered our romantic relationships with this healthy assumption we would have been safer from duplicitous individuals.


  1. This is a really good post, Lisa.

    It took me quite a while to figure out that there never was a “we” and that I was engaged in the ultimate battle with a person whose only goal was my destruction. I’m grateful to find this site and others that provide all this incredible information on such a malignant personality disorder. Thank you!

  2. Lisa, Thanks for this excellent post. I also noticed how the psychopath I was with framed everything in terms of “us,” but when it came down to reality, he drafted a prenup where he kept his house entirely in his name, cheated constantly behind my back while urging my fidelity in the name of “us” and only thought about how to exploit, deceive, use and abuse me while claiming he was acting in “our” best interest. Psychopaths know only one motive–predation–and have only one interest–their own. Everything else is a rhetorical game and a sham. Claudia

  3. Thank you Dawn. That probably is, and still remains the most difficult reality to face when involved with a psychopath. It’s the crux of the entire lie which is that there isn’t a “we.” Never was. Never will be. They think of themselves as islands who invite you as a visitor to torment you then throw you off the edge of the shore. It is the realization that “we” never existed that was the catalyst for helping me find indifference. I hope it helps you that regard as well.

  4. Claudia, Mine would do that as well. Do things that he was would say were for “me”, or for “us” that were completely self serving to him in every way. He’d discard me for “us”, or to protect “me.” He’d then want me back for a time then tell me for my own good he’d stay away. Of course this was only long enough to have a brief fling w/another then he’d be right back knocking on my door. “I can’t stay away from you!” In reality, “I’m bored w/her so here I am until I’m bored with you again.”

    They truly are incapable of acting in anyway for anyone’s behalf except their owh. To thine own self be true, which should go both ways. We(I) should live that motto more often and not dole out my empathy so easily. Something I can learn from their disordered personality. It’s not ALWAYS a bad thing to be selfish. Sometimes being selfish is the most lovely thing we can do for ourselves.

    I like how you phrase it “rhetorical game!” Perfectly said.


  5. Lisa,

    Very good post! What I find interesting about the “we” when it comes to a psychopathic bond is that there are several “We’s” that share it with them lol! We can be used as a generality in terms of “many” as well and this definitely applies to the psychopath and his MANY “we” relationships.

    Lisa, with regards to your above last post here and not doling out your empathy so readily, this is more about trust, I think. We give our trust away too easily to people who haven’t EARNED it. This flies under the assumption that everyone is good, when everyone is NOT good. What i’m also discovering is that there can even be GOOD people out there, but no CONNECTION, thus not fitting into our lives. Claudia and I were discussing this this morning with regards to another issue in what it is to act in one’s self interest. I really don’t care to apply the word selfish in any way when it comes to being cautious and protecting ourselves from those that are toxic. I can have LOTS of empathy for others that are toxic (still do) but I don’t have to be around them or have them as apart of my life.

    The other day, after activating my FB again, I noticed a woman who is a self proclaimed radical Christian, posting about her narcissistic, abusive ex husband coming to get his things from her house as they are in the middle of a divorce. While I’ve encouraged her over the last several months, prior to my departure from FB, privately, that he was disordered and that God wouldn’t want us to be someone’s doormat, that marriage isn’t about that, she was HIGHLY resistant at first. She believed that a miracle was going to happen for him. It took a long time to help her see that it was not enough to divorce him. What was interesting in her post, is that it was posted about him, but as if TO him in that “Now you’ve really done it, you’ve kicked out everyone that mattered in your life and wind up in a cheap motel! But God does miracles and I’m going to pray for one for you!”

    She still has a way to go in understanding that some people are not redeemable, that some people engage in evil, which is the thread of a psychopaths life, and choices, and that some people, psychopaths and the Cluster B, enjoy that evil.

    I once told her that if you believe as you do in God, that people are in your life because God sent them, then you must also realize that there is “Satan” and that he can send people into your life too, to disrupt and corrupt you and your faith. The good is not there without the bad too.

    This is why giving out your trust so willingly, as well as the moral belief that there is good in everyone is so dangerous and why we must be proactive in acting in our individual best interests, even when sometimes it may even mean risking letting go of something that could potentially be good. I think our boundaries, having been severely violated by a psychopath, mean that adjusting them accordingly is going to look pretty odd after the fact lol! But it balances out eventually, i believe. Great food for thought, Lisa. Kel

  6. Michael,

    I’ve been to this site a couple of times. It was very, very interesting. Kel

  7. You’re absolutely right Kelli! Trust must be earned. In order for us to make a blanket belief that people are all good. We must also be willing to make the blanket assumption that anyone is capable of evil as well. This is what I’m taking away from my experience with my ex with. I no longer will give my trust away blindly. I will look at anothers intentions and consider both good/evil intent until one or the other is proven otherwise. I’ve always felt it was the fair thing to freely offer the benefit of the doubt to everyone. I now realize, the fair thing is to allow others to prove themselves before giving any benefit one way or the other. When I say this I’m mainly thinking in my mind of romantic relationships. But, it does apply to all relationships. I think romantic ones to a deeper degree though.

    I can think of many experiences I had during my 1 yr & 1/2 w/out my ex and how I was overly forgiving of others transgressions as well. All the while thinking I had learned a lot from my time with my ex. This time I now clearly see my error. I’m still kind. I’m still fair. But, I am also discerning to a higher degree than before. I also no longer feel guilty if I hold a higher expectation for others to prove their trustworthiness before I grant them my trust. I’m not responsible for how another is feeling. I’m not responsible for protecting another from being hurt or offended by expecting my needs be met. Regardless if that other person thinks they are fair. What matters is what I’m feeling and whether I feel I can trust them or not.

    I don’t think I’m articulating my thoughts well at the moment. lol. I’m on high doses of cough medicine. In the words of Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail, “My head is getting fuzzy!” LOL.

    But, I think you get the idea. I’m no longer going to operate on protecting someone over doing whats right for myself first. That’s all I’m trying to say.

  8. Hey Michael! I’m at work all day today and tomorrow from 8am – 8pm. I can’t access the broadcast. Any highlights you want to share or elaborate on?

  9. It does help me quite a lot. I didn’t think that I could ever begin to fathom such a sick, twisted relationship. Now if I could just let go of all this resentment I would be in a much better place.

  10. Dawn, you will! It comes in stages (the healing). Resentment left along with the belief that “we” ever existed for me. As soon as I realized this person never was “in” my life. In physical form only, but never emotionally, I was able to begin releasing all other feelings associated with him, good and/or bad. I won’t deny there are still triggers. But, the are quick and mild. This morning for example. We are both teachers, as is his new gf. Today and tomorrow are parent/teacher conferences when we begin our Thanksgiving break.This is typically a week he and I would enjoy being alone together. His kids would be with their mom and he and I could just be together all day and night and do whatever we pleased. It was sort of a romantic week for us. For about 5 minutes I began to feel sad this morning knowing he and her were now experiencing that together. The reminiscing was fleeting and I got over it very, very quickly. There will also be conflict, arguments, and some berating. So, I’m good w/out all that.

    I can light some candles, play some great music, go in the kitchen and bake w/out any conflict or distractions what so ever! Life’s great. Who needs romance and sex. Takes to much energy, 😉


  11. Lisa:

    RE: one of your above posts that had no reply button below it (one of the drawbacks of this blog, but minor), I wanted to comment on.

    When you were reminiscing about your ex and the week you shared and who needs sex and romance, with all the rest (berating, distractions), the psychopath brings to the table, I had a thought: Romance and sex are great! Providing it’s not with a psychopath. I think many of us stayed because of the “good” times that you outlined. That’s part of why it’s so hard to get past, because whether we like it or not, or how we try to reframe our experiences in order to live with the ensuing damage, there WERE good times from the VICTIMS perspective. The psychopath could care less. It was all part of the game for them. What I find amazing is how they can do it so convincingly as to give us the presentation of our lives when those good times do appear.

    But what is reality? The berating, degradation, lying, manipulating, coercion, lies and more lies, sex without meaning, romance that is entirely faked.

    Yep. Sounds like a great relationshit to me! NOT!

    THis is what it really was. What it really is and even so, the good times are things I think are okay to embrace on some level of our memories of them, because WE were operating within the scope of love, even if they were not. So when the right person comes along for you, or for anyone else here, the romance and sex will be even better, because it will be REAL. Kel

  12. Kel, well said! Very true it’ll be infinitely better when it is real! I was being a bit flippant and facetious regarding the who needs romance and sex. I for sure long for and want that back in my life. I just pretend I don’t to fool myself so I don’t miss it. 😉

    I understand your wanting to remember the good times. But, I don’t even allow myself to go there. It’s just another lie and it keeps me connected in that relationship. As long as I stay connected in any way, I can’t reach or stay in a state of indifference. Being indifferent is the absolute only way for me to remain detached and objective about him. Any other way of thinking is dangerous for me because I know myself self well enough and I know our history well enough to be cognizant of how those thoughts keep me vulnerable should he try to waltz back in my life.

    The road to indifference for me is only paved when I know I’m leaving a place I’ve never been to. If I keep that place familiar in the recess of my mind, it’s no longer a stranger. A stranger can’t hurt me or influence me. A familiar face with a history can.

  13. Lisa,

    I’m glad that works for you, but it wouldn’t for me. I don’t want to deny that some good memories exist, even though they are not prevalent in my thinking unless I’m triggered. I had a bit of a huge cog/dis moment tonight due to a major epiphany, but they don’t last long. My therapist advises just going with whatever is showing up in my mind at any given time, rather than resisting it, which perpetuates anxiety and makes me MORE unprepared to handle my triggers in the future when I DO resist. If I look at it as an observer and ask myself questions as it goes through my mind or simply just observe until it passes, I do relatively well. This also happens with the abusive moments as well as the same observable habits apply. It is true that it helps tremendously in dealing with my triggers. I prefer to see that there will be triggers, but will lessen as time goes on. Some may never go away, so it’s best to learn how to handle them now, rather than resisting them or pretending they didn’t exist, because they did exist, for me. I realize everyone will have their own way in dealing with the aftermath, it won’t all be the same, just as none of us are the same, healing, the time it takes to get there, the amount of the work involved as well as therapies executed to assist in the process will also be different for everyone. I’ve been doing some serious study on meditation and my son is a buddhist. It’s pretty cool and gets the body and mind into deep relaxation states. THAT is a mindblower because it DOES work so well! Kel

  14. Kel, OH Yes meditation is wonderful!! I’m glad you’re doing that. I agree it doesn’t work for everyone to completely just let all the memories go. I’m sure it helps that for me it’s really been almost….3 years? I’ll have to do some figuring to see. If I don’t include this brief little interlude this summer with him. I really have been w/out at least 2 years. I guess not 3, but for sure just over 2 years. I think with time and distance it gets easier and easier. It an ever evolving process. I suppose just as they have different victims lined up, or moving out at varying stages so are we at varying stages of healing and moving forward. ::D Lisa.
    Gnight. 😀

    I DO want to hear more about your epiphany? Do you care to elaborate or do you want to save that for our lunch date?

  15. Lisa,

    I’ll save it for our lunch date. I need to work it through with my therapist today and I have a HUGE exam I need to keep studying for UGH! Can’t wait to get together though! Good luck with your conferences and thanks for the article! It provokes much thought! Kel

  16. Towards the end mine also discarded me “for my own good” then called me later wanting to see me again because he missed me so much. It didn’t take too long to see the pattern but I didn’t know what it was all about. He still tries this occasionally.

    Yesterday he gathered up about half of the things I bought for him and dumped them on my front porch while the kids and I were inside. I didn’t find them right away – he was definitely creeping around quietly. There were dirty clothes there, a shirt with long blond hairs clinging to it. I had run into him in a public place on Friday evening while I was with friends and he behaved very badly when I refused to engage. I’m trying hard not to guess what the motive was; it was just weird.

  17. Kel and Lisa, I think that those who are stuck in either the “romantic” idealization phase–which was, of course, the biggest lie–or in the hatred and resentment phase after they learned the truth have a very difficult time healing. The former because they can’t get out of a fantasy; the latter because they can’t escape the nightmare. I can see why meditation works, because what victims need most is peace of mind, neither one extreme nor the other. Moving on with one’s life and focusing on that, not on the past with the psychopath, be it the fantasy or the nightmare. Claudia

  18. Dawn, the motive was to rile you up emotionally and not let you heal by restarting the drama/dialogue. I hope you’ll give those clothes to charity and not engage with the psychopath in any way. If he doesn’t want your gifts, all the better. Fewer trophies for him. Claudia

  19. Hi Claudia,

    A couple of months ago this would have devastated me but not today. I laughed because the whole thing was so ridiculous.

    There’s a local charity org that gives clothes away to the needy. I’ll wash all this today and drop a box off tomorrow. I think it will make me feel good knowing someone has warm clothes and pajamas.

  20. And no, I will not engage with him in any way. I’m done with all this madness.

  21. Precisely Claudia! I recall both those phases very well. Both equally painful. Glad to be out of them and out of a life with him. Moving on is the best cure of all and the most difficult to swallow initially. Yet, the most rewarding at the end.

  22. Kel, I look forward to it as well! Thinking is a good thing, most of the time. lol. I’m glad if it provokes some of that. Good luck with your exam and therapist visit today. I hope both are very productive. 🙂

    Off to deal with the big kids…..

  23. Dawn, I’m glad to hear this. Those clothes will go to someone who really needs them. Claudia

  24. Hi Dawn,
    Yes, mine would creep around my back yard in the dark, or the daylight – but typically in the dark. The times I KNOW of are the times I saw him and/or the times he would eventually tap on my back door and startle me. Who knows how often he crept around when I wasn’t aware of it at all. I”m always in the habit of closing all my blinds when home alone, as soon as the sun starts to go down and keep all the doors locked. He’d often come inside and spie on me as well before I’d see him in the house. They are sneaky little buggers.

    I suspect yours is getting bored and in need of some stimulation. Hence, he’s going to get you all riled up for his own amusement.

    Good choice to donate the clothes to charity. I still have a bag of my ex’s undecided what to do with them. Burn them? Give them to the Goodwill? Throw them away? Or, put them in the mail and return them. Haven’t made my final decision yet. I”m glad you’re getting stronger. That’s a great road to be on!


  25. Lisa,

    I don’t like the idea of him creeping so close to my safe place. I also leave doors locked all the time and pull the drapes closed. This is the first time I’ve actually known he was so close but I’m sure he’s probably driven by my house and done other things to check up on me.

    It seems to be my physical presence that gets *him* riled up, otherwise he pretty much leaves me alone these days. (I blocked his phone numbers so he can’t even call or send a text msg now.) I do many things to make sure I won’t be in the same places as he is but this is very difficult in a very small city. Frankly, I’m not digging the idea that I won’t be able to attend community events because of him. Now I don’t know whether to just leave, turn my back on him or walk away when he tries to talk to me. Ignoring him and standing far away doesn’t seem to work so far. He walked right up to me like we were long lost friends then got angry when I wouldn’t engage. He did indeed make a complete ass of himself in full view of a hundred people and was asked to leave.

    FWIW, I gathered all the things he gave me and threw them away. Getting rid of all reminders of him was definitely a good thing for my peace of mind. I’d definitely burn anything that he left here but strangely enough he never did leave a thing.

  26. Well, I guess its more accurate that I would burn anything from BEFORE-not these clothes he dropped off yesterday. I like the idea of re-gifting these birthday and Christmas gifts from me to him, giving anonymously to someone else. He accepted them so grudgingly anyway.

  27. Dawn, you’re right to feel uncomfortable. Part of the reason your psychopathic ex left those things at your house, aside from riling you up, is to show you he’s still around, still circling you like a prey. If this continues, it’s a pattern of stalking behavior. But hopefully it won’t and he won’t find yet another excuse to bother you. Claudia

  28. Dawn, MINE would do that too! Accept gifts begrudingly. As if “You thought I’d want that?! Why didn’t you get me the other instead? Gee thanks.” (Now let me throw this on the floor and stomp on it. Oops it broke. Sorry.) So, ridiculous when I would get him things he’d say he wanted them.Then when he got them, he’d want something different.

    Claudia, regarding the stalking issue, ooooo…circling like a prey. Creepy and precise. Yuck. Mine would do that sort of thing too. However, we’ve gotten to a point now where I don’t think he’s interested in harrassing me any longer. Additionally, he’d typically find another prey quickly that was less effort with more reward. But, for Dawn w/out knowing her ex, would it be adviseable to pursue something like a restraining order?

    (Dawn, how long were you together and how long have you been apart?)


  29. Lisa, we were together 16 months and have been apart since August 2. We had a 10 week separation from June until July when he got violent, then I went back with promises of better behavior. It lasted two weeks before I caught him lying and it was the last straw.

    Besides his wife (high school sweetheart, married young, divorced quickly), I think I may be the only one who refused to be “friends” with him after the big breakup.

    He hasn’t been overtly stalking so far. I know that can change in a heartbeat. I guess after thinking about it I feel like this was a “Reject me? No, I reject you and your gifts!!” thing. I’m not entirely sure, it’s just a gut feeling. I also have a gut feeling that it isn’t over yet and I don’t know what’s going to happen next.

  30. Hi Lisa, apart from the wonderful opening rendition of the Beatles “I’m looking through you”, there are many highlights in Palmatier’s broadcast. Her opening statement covers the honeymoon idealisation stage which is normative in many respects; in a pathological relationship this hyperbonding approach by the personality disordered is one of the most dangerous stages of the relationship. Idealisation renders us vulnerable for the later stages of the dynamic.
    She describes clearly the bait and switch and the devaluation cycle that always emerges. Projection, denial, transference and other elevated extreme defense mechanisms surface at this time and Palmatier covers these, and the harm and confusion they cause, and the lack of emotional maturity, insight, and introspection that cause their partners so much emotional and psychological harm.

    She covers the spiral and vortex of our becoming drawn and sucked into trying to mend the relationship by giving more and more; believing that we can have an influence on making the relationship work. Of course we discovered that none of our efforts meant anything or had any currency. She covers a lot more; check it out when you get the time Lisa. Michael

  31. Michael, Thank you. Well, that typically is how the dance goes. Sounds like it’ll be interesting to listen to. I’ve had several parent “No shows” this afternoon which means a bit of time on my hands. But, the district has denied access to the broadcast. So, I will check it out tomorrow. Lisa

  32. Dawn, that sounds about right. He probably was doing the “you don’t reject me, I reject.” game. I hope he starts to bore with the stalking and leaves you alone soon. That’s difficult when you’re in such a small town. What are the chances you’ll run into him again? Any way to avoid common public places?
    You mentioned a wife. Is he still married?

  33. Michael,

    I just want you to know that I listened to that radio program and found it to be extremely enlightening. Thanks for providing the link. It’s an excellent site and Dr. T really goes into detail that make so much sense to me and helped me to untie many more knots. Kel

  34. Lisa, he was married to a very distant cousin of mine right out of high school. They were together for a total of six years according to him. Their marriage lasted about two years. They moved far away from family and when they split my cousin took off for another state and only has short visits here. That was 15 years ago. I’ve never talked about it with her – he had me convinced not to say anything to her because she still wants him, would kill me for touching him (she’s a cop), and her family would shun me forever.

    I’m supposed to go to another community event of Dec 10. It’s likely he will go there. I have to consider now whether it’s even worth going.

    Apparently he made a comment to one of my friends Friday and she took it as a threat to both me and her. She and I belong to the ladies auxiliary of a men’s fraternal organization. There’s a private club attached but the public can get in with a member chaperone. He’s not only threatening to come visiting the club but also to have a “talk” with her boyfriend who works there. This is my one entirely safe place to socialize.

  35. Michael, I had a chance to listen to it as well. I like how clearly she defined the stages of the relationship. As well as the Beatles song at the start. Perfect!!

    The part I liked best of her explanation of the stages is how the abuser remains in the power struggle stage while the partner is moving through the next phase of reevaluating. I think this was definitely true in my relationship.

    Thank you for sharing the link Michael!

  36. Hi Dawn, I think until things settle and calm down with him I’d avoid any situation that would involve contact with him in any way. Can you talk with the club to let them know he is in essence threatening you and not to allow him in?


  37. Michael, I also love how she said she will blame you for her self created unhappiness. I often would say this about my ex. He creates his own misery and then tries to place the blame on me. Classic.

  38. Yes, I went to the organization’s leadership today and explained that he might come tod start trouble with me and another member. They assured me that he will absolutely not be allowed to enter the club. That takes a load off my mind. It’s still my safe place.

  39. Lisa- I found your article to be quite interesting. I could apply this “duplicity” not only to my personal predation but also his past predation of others; ITS THE SAME with every victim for the most part. What question your article triggered in myself was: OMG, how could I have ever thought or believed a NORMAL, or HEALTHY individual would have wanted to become involved with a woman that was suffering such personal problems in her life? Now if he would have offered me his friendship that would have been different but he brought sex into the relationship ASAP and that was a huge red flag that should have warned me.and not to mention the fact he was promising me the VERY THINGS that were missing in my life – solid relationships are not built on the weaknesses of others as a go sign for entering; however my overwhelming need for what was missing in my life overpowered my logic and common sense that this was just TOO DAMN GOOD TO BE TRUE. Like you stated so well in the article they basically pretend to be everything you are missing in your life. I have come far though even as I am STILL missing many things in my life there is not a person alive that could ever fill in the missing pieces, it starts with being whole within myself. Linda

  40. Hi Linda, Oh absolutely the duplitious nature of a psychopath applies to all the their relationships. It’s their general state of being. Watch, learn, mimic, become. Become what your victim needs so your victim needs you. That’ll create the enmeshed bond that is so codependent, addictive and difficult to get out of. It’s like their web.

    You are right of course about needing to be whole w/in ourselves first. When I think back to who I was 8 years ago when I met my ex, she – that person I was, is nothing like who I am now. I was in a very vulnerable place then. As was he, having just been through his divorce and still at the tail end of his custody case. A recipe for disaster even for 2 relatively healthy individuals.

    I think the most important lesson, (certainly for me!) is that EVERYONE does not have others’ best interest in mind. There are people and it is not rare, that there are peolpe who’s first, and foremost agenda is numero uno. Take care of me, my needs and get you before you get me sort of thinking. I used to think these types of thinkers were obvious and rare. Not so. In fact, I think that type of thinking is the most hidden and difficult to spot, and relatively common. Because it is the very mask that hides their true intent and allows them freedom to be so duplicitous without us, “emapths” as they all us, catching on, it becomes an incredily easy, accessible mask to garner.

    People who have our best interest don’t ask for favors in return. My ex would often say, (and it drove me crazy!!) “You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.” When he wanted me to do something I was reluctant to want to do. I would always tell him. I will do things for you because I love and care about you, not because I want something from you. Besides, had I wanted some back scratching in return I knew full well by then, it’d never be comin’! It’d be “I’m too tired. Not tonight. Later. Oh you don’t need that.” Any excuse to not follow through. Boy, what a jackass. I love that I am now so able to pull up all his BS w/out any of the duplicity clouding me thoughts. 🙂 I hope you are getting to that place as well Linda.


    PS: Julian, don’t know if you are out there lurking somewhere reading any of this. But, if you are I’ve been working on Building a Mystery today. I think I’ve got it down. A fun one!

  41. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

    Here is Building a Mystery. It’s all about the duplicity a her partner.

  42. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. I’m thankful that I found this blog with all this outstanding information and even more amazing people. I hope that all of you, whether you celebrate this holiday or not, have a wonderful day surrounded by people and things that bring you joy.


  43. Susan,

    I’d like to say something to you from my heart. You are an incredible person. One of the things that is a gift for you and that i see, is your ability to love. Even though your wounds have healed, you still can place yourself into the the position of empathy for others who have been there. You can still relate to them as if they are equal to you. This is what love is and does. You do not come off as patronizing, because you’ve moved on in your recovery, but as someone who is genuinely joyous in your own life now and yet extremely encouraging to others who are just starting out or are in process. You SHOW love, to everyone and have on this blog. Of all here, I have learned most from you, as well as from Claudia, what love really means, what it looks like in action, even when you’re over the psychopath. Your joy expressed at your indifference towards your ex, does not come off as a win position to others who are still hurting from their ex’s. You are living proof that after the psychopath you have elevated what it means to genuinely love, not just yourself but others as well as respecting their process. Your encouragement is something i’ve seen as consistent and immensely kind. Love really does heal. I hope, that as I progress further in my recovery that I will never forget what I’ve been through, but not allow it to be a position of power over others, but one of more love to give in encouraging others healing. BIG HUGS. Kel

  44. Wow! That is so incredibly kind of you to write. I just write from the heart and I thank you so much for your very kind words. I’m a bit speechless, that is the nicest, sweetest note!

  45. Susan,

    But that’s just it. You write from the heart. And it’s your heart that makes you a really special person. I realize exactly where you’re coming from and with your background of pathology too, you give me reason to hope. It is love that makes you REAL, and love that heals. XXOO Kel

  46. I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving! I’m also grateful for all your input. Claudia

  47. Linda and Lisa, I agree, psychopaths are fraudulent and duplicitous in all their relationships, without exception. In some they try to hide it better or covertly abusive; in others they are more overt, or openly abusive. It boils down to the same character disorder, however, which pervades all aspects of their lives, both personal and professional. Claudia

  48. Michael, this sounds very interesting, and it’s crucial to understanding the psychopathic bond and how psychopaths can gain control even of strong individuals, gradually pushing the envelope and getting them to invest more and more into the toxic relationship. Claudia

  49. Dawn, I believe your gut feeling is correct. Psychopaths are always about control: either gaining more control over the targets they dominate or regaining control over former targets. They’re completely obsessed not just with power, but with the confirmation of their false sense of omnipotence. Claudia

  50. Susan, I have to agree. You show both strength (and having moved on) and a lot of compassion for those who are still recovering from the psychopathic bond. Claudia

  51. Susan, Doesn’t it feel so wonderful to be able to move on and move past all that misery? It seems that is about the only gift a psychopath can leave us with. I am so happy for you that you’ve come so far in your healing. 😀 Lisa

  52. Thank you everyone, you are very generous and kind. And thank you Lisa for this excellent article! The word “duplicity” conveys so much about psychopaths, as you articulate so well.

    Yes, it feels wonderful to be out of the misery, But it is ourselves who do that (get out of the misery), so it is a gift WE give to ourselves. I refuse to be thankful to the p for anything! LOL!

    How can anyone who has been through this NOT feel compassion for anyone who is going through it now? Much of my interaction with the p was via email, and while I do NOT reread what he wrote, I have reread what I wrote as I was “waking up” and am amazed at how close I came to the truth, yet missed it, over and over and over. But that is because of the cognitive dissonance, and because we are such good people that at first we think we MUST be part of the problem. We really are not. Just like the p is NEVER part of the solution. We are. At first I thought he could be part of the solution, if he would just get some help. But of course, a p cannot be helped or cured, not until medical science comes up with something that instills a conscience!

    So we are NOT the cause, just as a rape victim is not the problem no matter what she was wearing or what she was drinking or where she was….none of that forces a man to rape her; and likewise the pyschopath is NEVER part of the cure. No contact!

  53. Susan,

    This is an incredibly important point, particularly with the holidays coming up. The psychopath is NOT the cure for loneliness either which happens to be jacked up for people this time of year.

    Susan, you would be very surprised how many who have been through this, believing that it’s done and over with, and whom DO NOT have compassion for those who are still living with a psychopath and trying to get out, those who are in the process of the aftermath, and those that are stuck in certain stages of healing. I say this because I had a recent indirect experience that only confirmed my radar about another blog to which there is MUCH pathology in the hierarchy. These people are supposedly “healed” of their encounters with their ex’s, yet use their positions of power in that VERY light to exploit other victims who are still in their situations or are just out of it. I’m hyper aware that people who come to this blog are very vulnerable and are not expecting exploitation here when they are just looking for answers. This is part of why there is NOT a hierarchy here. I have seen victims damaged further by power induced “recovered victims” using the veil of helping others to promote their own dysfunction. And you think I might be kidding!!!! I’m completely serious.

    This is why your posts are totally invaluable to this blog. I can see who is real and who is not. You’re REAL. When you can pass over to the other side in having indifference about your ex and can still put yourself in others shoes, and not come off as having a holier than thou attitude about it, but yet also share about your indifference of the ex and encourage others in a way that says “you too WILL be happy again!”, I know it’s a healthy approach. YOu want the best for everyone, and have it now for your own life. I have found myself in a very interesting position lately in helping others walking through the fire. It is so healing for me to help. Ironically, this is helping me to reach the point of indifference with my ex now, however, I never want to forget where I have come from, what i have been through and I pray constantly that God keeps me humbled on this journey so that I don’t take on an attitude that I somehow made it while others are still struggling, pontificating with a pina colada in my hand.

    I hope you will continue to move forward in your life Susan with much joy and peace and it’s my hope that you’ll continue to come here and post about your life post P, as well as offer encouragement to others who are in pain. Much love. Kel

  54. Kel, I also believe that helping others recover from the devastation of the psychopathic bond is therapeutic for those who help as well as for those who find here support and information. Claudia

  55. Susan, Kel, Claudia – I agree that I don’t see how anyone who has been through it can not have compassion for others in the same situation. It is such a horrendous experience. I truly wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. It got to a point where I literally felt like it/he was physically killing me. The stress, drama and turmoil were devastating to such a degree that my body was physically breaking down. I was continually loosing weight and was unable to eat most of the time. Getting sick more and more frequently and to a higher and higher degree. (As Kelli’s situation illustrates) I sort of felt like a dying, wilting, flower.

    Kel, I can’t believe there are blogs out there the way you described. For me that type of thinking is unfathomable. There I go with my propension for believing the goodness in everybody. Lesson relearned.

  56. Lisa,

    It’s the conceptual “I can’t believe it” that creates cog/dis between what is good and what is evil. The ironic part of it is, that these other blogs DO help people. The key is not to HANG OUT there when there is a hierarchy. Sometimes it can be just as damaging as the psychopath can be with the dynamics that evolve, the longer you stay there. It’s very easy, while vulnerable, to become dependent upon a blog with a hierarchy because after awhile those running it are given a level of power that appears as an authority on the subject of personality disorders when in reality, they are PEERS who have also had an experience with psychopaths. Nothing MORE. I’ve also learned that it’s possible to have had an experience with a psychopath, while also being disordered, but to a lesser degree. These people often end up in the hierarchies of those boards and they STAY there because they have POWER. You can never assume that just because someone pontificates about the psychopath, that they themselves are not disordered as well, particularly online. We really don’t know someone online. When you’re vulnerable, it’s especially dangerous to give your power to ANYONE online. Caution is where it’s at. I really love Claudia’s blog because it is NOT hierarchy based. Everyone’s opinions are shared, expressed and respected here. Everyone’s opinion and their experiences are not one above another. Lisa, sometimes there APPEARS to be good in everybody, but get to know someone in REAL life and you find that it isn’t so. I think to an extent a “mask” is worn by everyone who is online that we have never met. We really don’t know what goes on behind THEIR screens, just as they don’t know what goes on behind ours, but even online, if you know what you’re looking at, the power trips do erupt and exploitation of victims happens again. Kel

  57. Kel, I think all decent blogs are monitored in some way: be it through a structural hierarchy, like the Huffington Post and Wikipedia, or through a process of selection of who posts on it (weeding out offensive remarks, fakes and trolls). This blog has no structural hierarchy, but to compensate for that, we are selective about who we allow to post and very vigilant in weeding out the trolls. Without some kind of monitoring system, a blog would degenerate into a spam container filled with trashy comments that don’t help anyone and don’t serve any constructive purpose. Claudia

  58. Claudia,

    Those entities do not deal with personality disorders. For some reason, blogs that are about PD’s often attract MORE pd’s because it’s ABOUT pd’s lol! Also, as you’ve stated before, there are many disordered people who get involved with the psychopath. They’re still disordered when they get out of the relationship, hence, a portion of the hierarchies on other blogs are, in fact, filled with disordered ones. You are RIGHT in that monitoring is absolutely necessary. But there is a huge difference between monitoring and a hierarchy that DOES the monitoring. I think the fact that you monitor your own blog and keep it somewhat intimate, excluding trolls and a hierarchy creates a sense of safety and the freedom for survivors to be themselves without fear of retribution of the hierarchy or being scapegoated out of the “clique” of the hierarchy because you don’t agree with something. Here, disagreements are respected as well as others process. I’m not suggesting that other blogs do not assist other survivors, because they DO, but it’s kinda like going to a certain church, Claudia. Most people wind up following the pastor and not God., This is why psychopaths also thrive in churches everywhere! kel

  59. Kel, good point. I check the spam folder every day and see some stuff that belongs in sociopathworld, not here. Claudia

  60. LOL! I bet, Claudia. I’ve seen some of it and it’s pretty interesting stuff lol!


  61. Hi Everyone sorry for the silence. i’ve been working some more hours in the shop i work part time in. Great article lisa! and so true! i’ve got to the point that anything my ex said, or will say i know are all lies. and once you are at that point there is no good in listening or reading it! i hope you are all ok. i think this site is the best one ever Claudia and i know it sounds weird, but i am so glad to part of it and you all.
    love to everyone

  62. Lesley, it’s great to hear from you and I’m glad you reached the point of indifference. Yes, everything a psychopath says is manipulative: psychopaths even know how to manipulate the truth to their purposes; but most of the time they lie for the sake of lying, to manipulate others and to feel superior to those they dupe. It’s a good thing you’ve stopped ruminating about the psychopath’s statements; they’re completely inconsequential once you realize they’re all nonsense. I’m glad you’re our friend too and hope that your shop is going well. Claudia

  63. Hi claudia. thank you. its getting busier with xmas coming so that is good. Its strange with my ex but since being on this site and learning more I now just take what he emails, nice or nasty, as just utter rubbish. its just all done to hurt, whether its nice or nasty. i do get hurt when i think back on some stuff that he has said to me, but i dont analyse it anymore. i think when you realise that its them that will never be happy with anyone and you could have done nothing right then,well that made me feel better. i’ve learned so much from you and everyone here. I really thank god that i found it. i tell everyone about it!

  64. Lesley, that’s exactly how I feel about my ex’s daily spamming. It’s all deranged drivel intended to manipulate, intimidate and annoy, so I toss it unread (as soon as I realize it’s from him) where it belongs, in the garbage. I’m so glad you don’t let that trash get to you anymore either. In that sense, you writing less on the blog is a good sign, of your recovery, which I’m so glad we’ve helped you with. With friendship, Claudia

  65. Lesley,

    I’m so happy to hear that things are going much better for you! Indifference is bliss. I hope this Christmas is a special one for you now with all you know and your emotional release from your ex gives special meaning to the holidays. 🙂

    Claudia, speaking about those moving on from the blog. I’m so glad that this is a starting point for the healing paths of others. I LOVE seeing people move forward. It’s sad in some ways, because I will miss some of them, but in most ways, it’s great because I know they’re happier and healthier.

    I’ve given much thought, been back and forth, as you know, with whether or not to be here and if it was healthy for me. I make a decision not to be here and then I come back. I realized I was fighting pathology, rather than embracing it, but in a different way. Not where I want the toxins in my life, but that I want to help other victims/survivors. It’s not just here now either, it’s many other places and the need is just tremendous. I’m finding that helping others through their experiences and educating them on pathology is helping me heal in big ways. This is what I feel I’m called to do. I’m ok with that. I see others healing and helping them makes me feel so good. It’s like giving back for all that was given to me in being walked through all of this. It won’t be everyone’s purpose in life, and others will move on from this, but for me, it’s what I love doing. So I’ll just keep doing it 🙂 Kel

  66. Kel, I’m so glad that you’re dedicating part of your life to informing and helping other victims of psychopaths. That’s what I’m doing as well. I agree that for those who don’t plan to do so, moving on and reaching indifference towards the psychopaths is the best thing that could possibly happen. These psychopathic losers aren’t worth a single brain cell or ounce of emotional energy from their former victims. If we can help people see through their masquerades and move on then we’ve achieved our goal. I’ve also reached indifference towards my psychopathic ex and couldn’t care less about our past, what he did, what he does, or what he will do. But I’ll continue with the mission to inform and help others, via my own posts and those of guest bloggers, for as long as I can. Claudia

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