Stages of the Psychopathic Bond

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Big Bad Wolf Kiba courtesy of Christine Taylor

Stages of the Psychopathic Bond — Idealize, Devalue, Discard

The predictable yet completely unexpected and devastating pattern of a relationship with a psychopath is broken down into three stages: Idealize, Devalue and Discard.

This relationship starts out like heaven on earth…but ends in a place worse than hell.

When you’re targeted by a psychopath and deemed a suitable victim for his or her or her game of power, control, and self-gratification, stage one — the idealization stage begins. You think you’re entering an exciting, romantic relationship and that you’ve met the love of your life…but what you’re actually entering is a game that you’re guaranteed to lose. The object of the game: He or she will gain control, damage you emotionally and spiritually, take what he wants, and leave you an emotional wreck.

The psychopath lures you with charm, attention, flattery, and other covert emotional manipulation tactics. He will say anything to get what he wants because he’s a pathological liar, and what he wants at this point is to win your love and trust. His or her loving persona is a complete fabrication. Even so, you’ll believe that you’re “soul mates” because he’s able to present himself as your perfect partner.

This stage is often called “Love Bombing.” The manipulator will saturate the target in as many ways possible with love and adoration, without a moment to come up for air. They’ll spend as much time as possible with the target, and keep in frequent contact. There will be many verbal declarations of appreciation and of their feelings about you and all your wonderful qualities, and amazement at all the things you have in common or at how lucky you both are to have found each other. You’ll believe it’s the best thing that ever happened to you, so you won’t even suspect you’re being played. The manipulator may tell you he or she believes you’re “soul mates” or say “isn’t this magical?” or tell you that you must have known each other in a past life.

The psychopath is not able to bond with another human, but he is good at getting another to bond to him. This is known as the psychopathic bond. The whole idealization stage is a sham the psychopath creates intentionally in order to create that bond, which makes you vulnerable to the manipulation and abuse that will follow.


Big Bad Wolf courtesy of Octackoon

He or she never idealized you as a person; you were only idealized as an object of desire, one to use, denigrate, and discard. He was never interested in you; he was only interested in gaining control over you, manipulating you, harming you and getting what he could from you. As such, his interest was shallow and short-lived, and he moves on to new sources of diversion and pleasure. It’s too bad that by the time this happens, you’ve already pinned your expectations, hopes and dreams onto him or her.

The perfect “honeymoon” stage lasts until the psychopath becomes bored with you (and he’ll get bored quickly once he knows you’re hooked).  At this point, he has no incentive to hide his true nature any longer, so stage two — the devaluation stagebegins. You believed you were once the center of his life, but you sense he’s pulling away. The psychopath is skilled at what’s known as “dosing,” which is giving you just enough attention and validation to keep you on his hook. He begins to change the game to one of giving you just enough positive reinforcement to keep from losing you, while pushing your boundaries further, gradually and steadily devaluing you and taking you lower. You’ll find yourself tolerating continually worsening treatment, which diminishes your self-respect.

“The more infrequently the crumbs of love are offered, the more hooked you are. You become conditioned, like a rat in a cage.”

As you become less exciting to him, he devalues you even more. You stay because he or she has manipulated you into thinking less of yourself and to accept poor treatment, and you stay because you’re still holding onto the memory of your love from the idealization stage. Fearful of losing that completely, you go into denial and tolerate increasingly worse behavior. You’ll experience cognitive dissonance as the truth about him comes into your conscious mind, but is battled by your denial; your thoughts ping-pong back and forth relentlessly as you try to figure out what’s really going on.

During the devaluation stage, he will continue to use his arsenal of covert emotional manipulation tactics to keep you under his control, to keep you doubting yourself, to keep you putting up with his deplorable behavior and to keep you believing his lies. Learn about these tactics so you have a better chance of recognizing them. No one is immune, especially when a strong emotion like love is involved.


My Mom Don’t Like Wolves courtesy of D-Kitsune (Laurene)

Because your self-esteem has been lowered so drastically, you blame yourself for not being enough for him or for having another woman in his life. He doesn’t take responsibility for his own behavior, and blames everything — including the demise of the relationship — on you.

And in your state of mind, you believe it.

“From beginning to end, all this phony relationship can offer you is a toxic combination of fake love and real abuse. He constructs the psychopathic bond through deception and manipulation. You maintain it through self-sacrifice and denial.” ~Claudia Moscovici, PsychopathyAwareness

Now comes stage three, when he or she discards you. He’s gotten everything he wanted from you — including your self-respect, your happiness, and your dignity. You may have also lost friends, family, and finances as the relationship took over your life.

“The psychopath discards his ex-lovers with a degree of vitriol and hatred that astonishes his victims and exceeds any boundaries of normality.”

~ Psychopathy Awareness

You may be the one who finally puts an end to it and walks away. Either way, you come to the realization the entire relationship was a fraud from day one. It was a betrayal in the purest sense of the word. Along with betrayal, the victimized person feels deep disappointment, profound loss, anger, bewilderment and incredulity.

The stages of the psychopathic bond are what describes emotional rape, which is devastating. Some people find little understanding or support from those who are close to them, because others often see it as a typical ‘love gone wrong’ situation. It is far more than that. Please make sure you get the help you need to recover from this experience.

© 2012 – 2015 ‘Psychopaths and Love’ All Rights Reserved

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137 comments on “Stages of the Psychopathic Bond

  1. Althea Sinclair on said:

    It’s almost impossible to ‘win’ when you’ve been the subject of a psychopathic relationship, but in the short term, you must find a way to block all means of communication, just prior to that though, make him think that he’s won.

    Relish the fact that he thinks he has won the game, although it’s something that he actually is about to lose, and for the first time understand the pleasure his type gains from subterfuge.

    With no means of communication and believing that there is nothing more to gain, from a position of peace, you can start to recover.

    To start your recovery, think of a pet, like a goldfish, and how much it loves you as you feed it and fuss over it, then realise, “it’s a fish, it’s got the brain of a fish, it doesn’t have the capacity to think like me.” When you can start to think of your very own psychopath in these terms, you actually have a chance to win the game, and that is all it ever was.

    • I think the goldfish analogy is a bit generous. How about a piranha?

      • How about just accepting the TRUTH, WE FELL FOR A AN EVIL, PIECE OF RUTHLESS SSSSH,
        LIVE ALONE SINGLE Ladies, youll have a better PEACE of mind, and able to stay focused on your, own life and goals and family..
        Nothing but sexual predators, Psychopaths out here today & if you think you met a Man now your attracted to, please checkout his history and lifestyle before, believing, his charming broadcast of lies,
        go online and do a background check, investigate his name, where he lived, criminal background…get a physical come him, you need, everything any employment would request!!
        be bold about asking him, and 1st sign, body language attitude he gives you, red flag right their!!!!
        change ur # no contact, don’t live to make the same mistakes twice after what you already suffered in the padt..wake up, be aware…stand like the GODDESS you are, i am today and thank GOD, for giving me the strength for walking away when i did:))))
        You can do it!!!!!

        • Good for you, Annetta, you’re sounding strong! I agree with almost everything you said, although I think there are plenty of men out there who aren’t psychopaths. I can’t agree more, don’t be desperate for a relationship! Become content with your life as it is now (in other words, don’t have the attitude that you’ll be happy some day when you have a BF or get married), and have confidence in yourself — don’t ever let your self-esteem depend on what someone else thinks of you. Focus on your own goals and life, and do NOT give those up for anyone. Thanks for your comment! Best wishes to you xx

          • Trish on said:

            Anneta you are so right about loving yourself more and living alone. I know a lot of women i have met on psychopath awareness site for like 6 months that they don’t get it that psychopaths can not love. I studied so much about them and what i was amazed about is that there brain is formed different than ours. the part of there brain that differs from ours is that they have no conscience , no remorse , guilt , they are P’s without a soul and they have an ego and the only emotion they have is hate. Anyway , a lot of women don”t understand theres absolutely nothing and i mean nothing u can do to make this illiuson u think u love love u no matter what. I realized after my D&D that all alone this creep hated me and bull shitted me and made me believe he was my dream come true but when he started to abuse me and fight for power and control something he never got cause he could not control his own life so i would not let him control me. but he played the part all the way to the end and screwed me over and even though he vanished without a trace for months i was so sick and wanted to die for an idiot that would be happy if i did. time heals and believe me i learned from this experience that only women like yourselves would understand cause its that sick and so painful but when u get better and u will with no contact be stronger than ever.

        • Tammy on said:

          Right on Annetta! You hit it dead on. May we all heal and call everyone these soul suckers out and promote awareness of the sinester predator!

        • Trish on said:

          I am finally over my relationship with a psychopathic husband and he was the real deal evil and he put me thru the D&D and that was when i knew real pain he amazed me with the way he handled himself to destroy me and all for what how stupid but at the time i was so heart broken. just recently after 2 years later when he kissed me after we had sex telling me he couldn’t live without me and hours later i was going crazy looking for him and worrying and all kinds of stuff for months and months and he vanished without a trace and i was able to move on and still am but when he called i am glad it was a few years later after the D&D and he acted like he did nothing wrong and said he missed me and how was I . i laughed and thought what a creep i thought he was the best thing that ever happen to me and after the honeymoon he started putting me down and not showing and giving me the attention i was hooked on he was a 12 in bed and looks and now he is a – 12 piece of crap and i learned a hard lesson being married to a man i never knew and even his name was not real and to think i was bullshited the whole time used to make me sad now i don’t care and i think i did have fun a lot and he made me think i was so beautiful and that was ok but i can spot them now. all i could say is time will heal and be careful another P could come your way if u don’t get your head together before u date again and u will. I will never let anyone do to me what this idiot has done and rob me for all he could on his way out . i hate him and feel sorry for the victims in his past and futute

          • Trish, I’m terribly sorry to hear of what happened to your marriage. I totally agree with your advice to others to take plenty of time to heal before dating. I wish you all the best.

      • clientA on said:

        right, the goldfish is not a bad goldfish. I am in the process of distancing myself from my psychopath. I am deriving pleasure by making him think he might have me back. I’m actually hoping to get that last $500 he owes me. Then I will stop all communication, and win my life back

      • I was manipulated by one. I’ve never been so traumatised in my entire life.
        I couldn’t understand his motives for cruelty to anybody, let alone his girlfriend.
        I was emotionally raped,humiliated and he enjoyed the ride. I began to unpick the relationship. My last sight of him was an enraged nutter. I didn’t know who he was and that is why I was frightened,paralysed with fear amidst a bar full of friends.
        He found fresh meat whilst I was broken and afraid.
        He has switched the Hoover on but I’m not engaging. I’m not safe to engage.
        The strangest thing is that he expects me to harbour fond memories ? To overlook was he did and maybe meet for coffee.
        Why was I chosen and why do these controlling maniacs go to such efforts to get us when they don’t like who we are.
        I would never go to any effort to bag a partner I didn’t like or need the conquest to bolster my ego. What is the point they are desperately attempting to prove.
        I feel so sad for his new partne, she is my go away card as far as the coffee is concerned.

        • I’m sorry you’ve been traumatized so badly. I’ve been there, and I know how deeply hurt and confused you’re feeling. You’re very wise not to engage with him! Below are two blog posts that I hope will answer the questions you asked. At some point, please take a look at the page in the main menu titled “Road Map.” My intention with it was to make the healing process less confusing, and I hope it’ll do that for you. I wish you all the best as you recover, Joanne.

          Why was I chosen? why do these controlling maniacs go to such efforts to get us when they don’t like who we are?

          The Game You Didn’t Know You Were Playing

          Why You? And How Did You Get Trapped?

    • TRISH on said:

      I was married to a psychopath for 4 years and i understand the psychopath trip now and everything that i learned, which is power is all he was and i can help others that went through the experience of thinking that the P was there dream come true cause all he ever did was mirror me and tricked me in the beginning cause he was a 12 unlike other men who could be a 10 he was a 12 so he could win me over and once he did the show began and what a experience i wouldn’t wish on my worse ememy. How dare he hate me and me not know it and the worse pain was the D&D and he disappeared without a trace and i had no idea and never expected something like this and for 4 months i was lost and never heard a word from him and the last moments i had with him we had great sex, was told he wouldn’t want to live without me and i was beauiful and let me get u breakfast for my beautiful wife and he never came back and never saw him again. i could go on and on

      • I’m sorry to hear that. It’s a devastating way for a relationship to end.

        Trish, I don’t publish contact information for the simple reason that you and others who visit here are traumatized, and I don’t want someone with devious intentions re-victimizing you or anyone else. I realize it could happen anywhere, but it’s not going to happen on my website. Thank you for your comment. Best wishes.

    • Hey there. I have a psychopath in my life. I was sitting around thinking about this fecal sample one day and it occurred to me that it would be fun to make this person confused,mentally agitated, fried in the hell they know how to create so well. Create one freaked out, stressed out individual! It is totally possible and a whole lot of

      I learned all I could about NLP and how to disable their use of it. I learned about the language, body language, narcspeak. I tried my best to find out what the hell might be their problem.
      I found out where their weakest points were. I used all of the knowledge I had gained from my studies of these subjects (and many more), to cause great distress for all the psychopaths I knew.When dealing with them.
      I like to play tennis and used some of my strategy in that to assist me.
      I actually looked forward to playing my game and loved to watch the disbelief in their eyes when they realized they had been figured out. I laughed so hard ,I thought I might have to call 911. Mental Meltdown.
      More fun than a barrel of monkeys!!!
      I only play this game with these disgusting psychopaths. It is not to be played anywhere, anytime, with anyone. Use with care and forethought.
      Always remember that when the “mark” laughs, the “con” is afraid. FUN,Fun,fun……..
      Have a great day and thanks.

      • Always remember that when the “mark” laughs, the “con” is afraid.

        That has a nice ring to it, elp.

        I don’t know if your story is fantasy or reality. I wouldn’t recommend that others try this at home.

      • TRISH on said:

        yes its fun to mess with the psychopath but if he knows u are on to him they end up taking off like they do best. Its not like we could ever as much as we want to do we can never hurt there ego. they never take responsiable for shit its always someone else fault but the mess with them for fun like i said it is funny but honestly they will still get you in a jam up and it will surprise u .


  2. This is the first time I’ve ever heard of all this but now it makes sense. I’m gay and my partner of three years is a psychopath or a sociopath, can’t tell, but everything here is exactly what I’ve experienced over the past three years. I’ve had to support us while he hid a secret heroin habit and pretended to look for work. I suspect he had men over while I was working. The violence has been so extreme and includes trying to burn me and the house with gas and a lighter. He’s choked me and left purple bruises. It’s been too bad to explain but it’s intermittent. Goes from loving to anger & hatred. It makes you feel crazy too. It’s just been bad but I finally got away for good. He’s now homeless, penniless and addicted to drugs with no resources. He’s now sponging off his mother at age 33. I’m 32 and have my own home and a full time job. He did NOT win. I got away having spent THOUSANDS on him over three years. It’s just been bad…

    • Zach – You did well and are obviously very strong! I can empathise with what you have said but you kept your home. He deserves to be homeless and so typical sponging off his Mum. So many people lose their homes, dignity and self worth to these people.

    • I have experienced this very thing over the past 3.5 years, i have finally been discarded for good as it has been 3 months since he coldly hung up on me as i heard a ” friend ” of his in the background egging him on. I can say now that i can finally SEE i am no longer blind, and that in itself is freeing . I am However, a shadow of my former self. I feel empty, and lost sometimes. I just want to get back to where i was prior to this twisted nightmare. I have faith I will, but i do feel discouraged at times. People don’t understand . They think it was just a ” bad” or ” unhealthy” relationship. I wouldn’t wish my experience on anyone, in fact i feel sad that others have been through this as well

      • I’m sorry this happened to you. It’s over now because he discarded you, which is the very best thing that could have happened. If he hadn’t been the one to end it, you may have been victimized for many more years. Now you can begin the healing process. And the best thing you’ve got on your side is that you know what really happened. It’s normal to feel discouraged at times (that’s probably putting it mildly, I think) and to have a lot of ups and downs. Just keep that faith. Also, keep reading and keep a journal — it helped me. A therapist who is familiar with the aftermath of emotionally abusive relationships and the toll they take on self-esteem might be able to help. It’s important to have someone to talk to when the people in your life don’t understand.

        Good Luck to you.

  3. I, too was with a non human being like this , for 2 long years. I caught him Cheating with a neighbor, who lived 2 doors down, I was going through fertility treatments and was pregnant, but lost the baby. Who does that to someone they like even a little bit. At this point, I threw him out of the house, this was last year, went through the loss of a baby alone and listened to him profess his undieing love for me, threaten to kill himself, and even got a job where I worked to continue the mental abuse.all while sleeping around with 3 other women, probably telling them how cruel and crazy I am. I did feel like I was the crazy one, sometimes I was so upset I could not breathe, like he would not be happy til I was sobbing uncontrollably. Big red flag (thinking back three were many!) I missed was , he has children all over and sees none of them, of course, its the mother’s fault, not his. He had me convinced the all of his bad luck was everyone else’s actions. Meanwhile, hes ostracized from his family and friends but dummy me took pity and quickly began to pay for everything for him and continued to support him til he was out of my house I thought I’ll be better then all those women, I’ll love him best., hell be so happy he’ll never leave or cheat. I was wrong, this website and the many books I’ve read all describe him. Now I’m trying to get on with my life but its so hard to move on. Why do people like that get to keep doing this over and over, in his case, I’m the sixth one. Does karma exist? I try so hard not to think of him and am thankful that I was strong enough to cut off contact but still think of him or the person he portrayed himself to be. I just dont know how to forget, how do I move on, will I ever be in love again? Am I as worthless as he often told me I was. It feels good to get this out.

    • I’m so sorry this happened to you!

      Yes, people like this do it over and over, because they can’t do anything else. That’s what they’re wired for. But you were able to cut off contact and save yourself, and that’s definitely something to give yourself credit for. In that act, you were incredibly strong and you put yourself first, as you should. Good for you! Now you can move on with your life.

      You said, “I still think of him or the person he portrayed himself to be. I just don’t know how to forget, how do I move on…” Realize that your feelings are universal in those victimized by this kind of person, in the sense that you’re dealing with two very distinct issues: One is the loss of the person he portrayed himself to be (the loss of someone you loved and who you believed loved you), and the other is the betrayal by what/who he really was. These truly are two separate and distinct issues, because of his extreme duplicity. Each one will take different measures and a different amount of time to resolve.

      Of course you are not worthless. You are worthy, as you always were and always will be.

      • psychomagnet on said:

        I can relate. I was in a relationship with a Psychopath for 7 years. He sucked me in with his charm and as soon as I showed feelings for in (within a month), he started the mind games. He did something that he knew would hurt my heart. Told me about it and then watched me break down over it. He NEVER apologized for anything he did. Nothing was his fault. He would cycle twice a year like clock work, from Mania to depression. He was Narsassistic, always looked down on others. Killed cats for fun. I walked away thinking I was very lucky once I figured out what he was. I educated myself on Psychopaths/Sociopaths to arm myself in case it happened again. I recently fell for a Sociopath who was glib, layed back, soft spoken, kind, giving and caring. He wanted to please me in every way. My Red Flag was, he was too overly attentive and tried too hard to wait on me hand and foot. My guard was up the whole month I was with him. When we had our first disagreement he couldn’t comprehend what I was saying to him. He took a simple issue and made it out to be something bad. He went into a major rant, from I care about you, to the extreme. I realized what he was and all the clues I was gathering added up. It has been a week of avoiding him and he is loosing control. All of the education of a Psychopath/Sociopath paid off. He thought he had me right where he wanted me but I outsmarted him instead. Educate yourself until you know it like the back of your hand, then go back over it when you think you need to. They are very smart and skilled at what they do. This one got me into the first stage of his trap, but I knew enough to run and never look back. He said he has PTSD, Bipolar, Depression and Anxiety. He also said he had a very bad childhood. All RED FLAGS!

        • “All of the education of a Psychopath/Sociopath paid off.” So glad to hear your education paid off for you (I haven’t had to put mine to use yet, and hope I won’t have to, but my theory is that it will). It’s not about recognizing them at first sight, which isn’t possible — it’s about recognizing them when the signs are there to see. Great job. Thank you for your comment.

        • TRISH on said:

          knowledge is power for sure . I went through all this with my x husband of 4 years that broke my heart. I don’t care anymore but i never thought i would get to this point and i have met several psychopaths since then I never knew of them before my experience but now i can spot them and i would never let them know i know as they mirror me i mirror back and there is no way i am going to ever love someone that cannot love but they are very smart and make u feel on top of the world for that moment was great at the time till the end knowing it was all a lie but life goes on and i will fall in love again and i will not deal with the ups and downs of the P ever again. I am glad u got rid of that guy that was grooming u and starting his bs and thats why i say knowledge is power right

          • I’m sorry to hear what happened, Trish, but so glad to hear that you’ve recovered and have a positive outlook on life. To all of those who think that day will never come, it will come in time.

    • I, too was with a non human being like this , for 2 long years. I caught him Cheating with a neighbor, who lived 2 doors down, I was going through fertility treatments and was pregnant, but lost the baby. Who does that to someone they like even a little bit. At this point, I threw him out of the house, this was last year, went through the loss of a baby alone and listened to him profess his undieing love for me, threaten to kill himself, and even got a job where I worked to continue the mental abuse.all while sleeping around with 3 other women, probably telling them how cruel and crazy I am. I did feel like I was the crazy one, sometimes I was so upset I could not breathe, like he would not be happy til I was sobbing uncontrollably. Big red flag (thinking back three were many!) I missed was , he has children all over and sees none of them, of course, its the mother’s fault, not his. He had me convinced the all of his bad luck was everyone else’s actions. Meanwhile, hes ostracized from his family and friends but dummy me took pity and quickly began to pay for everything for him and continued to support him til he was out of my house I thought I’ll be better then all those women, I’ll love him best., hell be so happy he’ll never leave or cheat. I was wrong, this website and the many books I’ve read all describe him. Now I’m trying to get on with my life but its so hard to move on. Why do people like that get to keep doing this over and over, in his case, I’m the sixth one. Does karma exist? I try so hard not to think of him and am thankful that I was strong enough to cut off contact but still think of him or the person he portrayed himself to be. I just dont know how to forget, how do I move on, will I ever be in love again? Am I as worthless as he often told me I was. It feels good to get this out.

  4. thank you for helping me. The best website to help me understand this horrible person

  5. I am in it and are trying extremely hard to get out!!!

  6. Mimi Estar on said:

    I also am trying to get out…I have a plan to get out !I have a stepson living through this, and am very scared to leave him on his own with his Dad :( But I have to save me, my health is a stake, as well as my LIFE ! I am in such a low place, but my family and friends are there. I pray that I can get healthy again and eventually live a happy life…
    I realized a couple years ago that he was very sick, non caring and has no empathy for others, you think if you love him enough, or make his World all smooth that it could help. It never does, it never will. His son actual brought a web site to my attention last year, about psychopath liars. He told me this is just like his Dad :( And it was, even though I tried to deny it, I knew deep down inside and knew there was no help for him ! It is always everyone else fault, and ALWAYS will be ! I am truly surprised I could have ever been fooled, I was always such a strong, loving, giving person. They can fool ANYONE. I’ve read a lot of sites, and they have helped me get strength and believe these people are really out there. the best advice I can give, and have gotten is ” GET OUT ” !

    • Glad to hear you are getting out, and that you have supportive family and friends! Keep moving forward and save your own health and life. No one’s needs are more important than our own. Those of us who were taught that and believed it were sold a bill of goods, one that cost us much.

      “I am truly surprised I could have ever been fooled, I was always such a strong, loving, giving person. They can fool ANYONE.” Yes, we are all very surprised; and yes, they can fool anyone.

      I don’t know the details, but I’m very sorry to hear your stepson must stay with his psychopathic father. I wish both of you all the best.

  7. The more I read, the more I fear for what’s to happen. I’m at the stage where he finally decided to leave me and move on to the next victim. I suspect that I am victim #6. He likes to keep his foot in the door with everyone of us by sprinkling the person we all fell in love w in every so often. In my case, he finally left me bc an ex girlfriend who he could never fully win reached out to him after 2 years. She’s very self absorbed and selfish and it always seemed to me she pushed his buttons. He cheated on her and was in the process of grooming me, when she found out about his lies, she said goodbye and closed the door on him completely. He moved from PA to Ohio to supposedly marry me and live happily ever after but neglected me the entire time and emotionally abused me. As I read this information, I saw my life all right there in black and white. When she demonstrated weakness to him after 2 years following telling him to never speak to her again, he left me right away, moved out and had been spending every pay check he can to travel back to PA to woo her and win. I basically took care of him when he was jobless, got him a good job and he merely used me to take care of him, taxi, cook, clean and I cried myself to sleep every night, gained 40 lbs and was then abused for my weight to add to the long list. I feel blessed that this selfish woman (I know her) reached out to him bc had she not, there wouldn’t have been a reason for him yet to finally move on. I was in the stages of wanting to take my life. He did all the steps of the covert emotional Manipulaton and even my kids were siding w him. I now see that by him getting me to react unrashional that it was his way to use my behavior to validate his accusations that it was all me and I was fat, crazy etc… He even mocked me with the Jodi Arias trial and said that was me. He pretends to b a victim to his brother who’s a dr in PA and I even saw where he was researching borderline personality disorder so I would see it. He has cut all ties w me now that the ex girlfriend who he didn’t win is in the picture but to b honest, the part that loves him fears that like he did w all the others, will find a need to use me again in the future. All of them women including myself have over 15 years in. My pain tho was only after all the stages in this past 4 years. I hope to b strong enough if and when that happens to keep the door closed.

    • Sorry you were caught in the spam trap.

      The games this person played with you are prototypical, and your reactions to them are exactly as any normal person would react. Please read the book “Who’s Pulling Your Strings? How to Break the Cycle of Manipulation and Regain Control of Your Life”
      Best book ever on the topic.

      I understand when you describe what a creep this guy is and yet still fear he will come back and you won’t be strong enough to keep him out of your life. The reason is this: you were in a “relationship” with two different people, and you still love one of them. But the problem is that one doesn’t exist, and he never did.

      I feared for a while afterward that I would see him somewhere and of course he would look exactly like the man who loved me so much…and it would be like seeing a ghost. I made a PLAN for what I would do and/or say in that situation, and for a variety of scenarios. Maybe you should do the same. Another good move is to block him from calling, texting or sending an email, as hard as that may be. Put yourself first. When you do that, you will have nothing to fear anymore.

      “What the psychopath does is they weave a picture of a person that’s really a dream. It’s a spirit. It’s not real. And you feel like you’ve discovered a soul mate. A deep intimacy. And you’re experiencing one of those rare moments that makes life worth living. And before you know it, you’re involved in a deep personal bond…with a psychopath. Once you’re in that bond — and we call it the psychopathic bond — you don’t want to break it.” P. Babiak, PhD.

      • Please tell me there is no such thing as a happy ending for a psychopath?..Can one really live causing so much destruction in other human beings?.Not in a relationship with a psychopath, but I work with one. It is the hardest thing I ever had to do.I know iam constantly manipulated and in arguments I always lose..Everything gets twisted..I go home and am confused as to what happened at work and it always comes back to the same thing..My heart bleeds for all of you out there.I can not begin to comprehend being romantically involved…I have been trashed to the point that the only thing that gives me comfort is that one day they too need to give an account before God..Yes I believe they might be born handicapped, but they can also learn a certain amount of control like we do with our weaknesses. Trying to find other work,,but should I lose such a good job because of this non feeling, stoic, robot like creature?Are they even human?..sadly coping….

        • There is no happy ending for a psychopath. The most they can get is “contemptuous delight” — sneering amusement at the effect their manipulation has on others.

          I’m sorry to hear you’re working with one, but so glad that you figured out what’s going on. I think looking for another job might be the best answer. While it may not be right for you to have to do that, the cost is too high to stand on principle. This person ruins your workdays, and I’ll bet a lot of your time off is spent thinking about it and your emotions follow suit.

          In the meantime, please read this article about how to make a psychopath lose interest in you, and follow it to the letter: The Gray Rock method of dealing with psychopaths

          Best of luck to you, Liz.

  8. I cannot even begin to tell you how thankful I am to have stumbled across this website. You have put an enormous amount of time and effort into helping others see the truth. I had no idea I was being manipulated. The only thing I knew was that my life revolved around his, my emotions around his, and I felt like I was living on autopilot. He has ruined me emotionally. I have gone from a very confident woman to one that’s uneasy and questions whether I can love again. I’m still hooked on him. He has nothing to offer me…never has. He showered me with adoration and his time and I fell for it. I’m trying desperately to pull away, yet he reels me back in. I’m currently going through the stage where he only gives me enough to keep me begging for more. I’ve lost friends and self respect…he is financially destructive to me as well. I KNOW what I need to do, I just don’t know how. I’m tangled up in a web and I am very carefully trying to remove the residue so I can free myself and live again. Whenever I start detaching and pulling away, I get sucked back in all the while falling deeper.

    Your site will show me the tools to free myself from this once and for all. I cannot thank you enough.

    • Of course I don’t know all the details, but from what you’ve told me your situation sounds prototypical. I understand what you’re going through right now; you know you are being manipulated and you know that you’ve lost confidence and self-respect and you know that you need to end it, yet for some reason you can’t. I was lucky — he ended it. Maybe yours will do the same, but maybe not, so you have to take back control of your life. I was just as hooked despite what it was costing me, and that’s the classic definition of an addiction. Keep searching for the way out, because you are the only one who can save yourself. You are worth it, and you know that or you wouldn’t be doing it.

      I’m glad my website is helping you. Please also check out the resources in the sidebar; I learned a lot from those.

    • leasa on said:

      For all those that are broken- I have healed my pain through homeopathy and a very good homeopath. The healing process has helped me to strengthen myself by enabling me to get in touch with my true self and not the one he had me believe (or who I believed) I was. You have to believe in yourself in order to be free. Love to all and good luck on the path to freedom x

  9. you save yourself these monsters do not change NO CONTACT WITH THESE PREDATORS

  10. all this makes alot of sense abd surely i have been dating a psycho online..i met his so called sister physically but i think she is the same person i talk to on phone and online…pretending to be him.. this seems crazy but i met the girl and believed that the guy exists..he promised heaven in earth and showers me with money through her.
    we have been chatng day n night that am so addicted to him n his words…but i have not met him still.
    i think am dealing with a female psycho with about six personalities and am trying to get off the one i fell in love with… its hard but no one seems to understand…i need help.

    • Your story adds another layer to it all, with this questionable “sister” as the go-between…

      I do understand that you’re addicted to his words and what he offers, and that you want him to be real; I get that. And I’m sorry if it turns out that he’s not real and he was this “sister” instead.

      I wish I could give you some advice. All I can say is doubt is your friend, but don’t ever doubt yourself (even if you don’t want to believe what it’s telling you).

      Best wishes to you.

  11. SuckerNoMore on said:

    In many ways I am ‘acting’ like a psychopath. I am on to their ‘game’. So I play it back for now because I understand the strategy they use. It almost makes me laugh. I am stuck right now, so this is the best way for me to handle the situation. I am being very careful. You would think I was wonderful – I’m cheerful, pulling my own distance, don’t let anything bother me…all those same things he does and it is driving mine crazy!! I can almost see him scratching his head. Works for me right now. I’ll never allow another person to do this to me again. Information is so wonderful. Thank you.

    • oooo be careful….don’t be too confident, it is a dangerous game..nothing can prepare you for a true psychopath..they don’t have do…you will always be a little more are not a machine…I hate to see you get hurt,,,

      I would stay away…they are as cunning as the devil…
      mmm do they learn from him??.interesting food for thought..

      • It seems like they learn from him, but the way they are is simply the result of not having a conscience and not being able to love or feel guilt or anxiety. Their lives are pretty empty, so they fill them up with petty and meaningless pursuits. Even so, they consider themselves superior, somehow. Learn all you can, Liz. They’re everywhere we are. xx

  12. Joanna on said:

    I was just recently discarded by a married man that I used to work with. He made me feel like he loved me deeply. He wanted to take care of me. He always empathized with me. He loved my intellect, humor, creativity and always told me how beautiful I am and how much he loved my face. It was the first time I ever felt truly loved. He also would do things for me all the time. He told me he’d never leave me, that he loved me in bold letters while we were messaging online. Every time I tried to end the affair due to the pain of him being married, he knew exactly what to do to keep me pulling mr back in. I don’t think his wife knew about the affair. I believe she had suspicions. He lead me to believe his marriage lacked intimacy and sex. His wife ended up leaving him about 3 mos. ago. He did a complete 180 on me and became extremely intolerant of everything and the way he made me feel. He said I was selfish because I let his pain affect me. And I should understand what he was going through. I was never demanding or expecting a committed relationship right away. I wanted to support him and comfort him as I always did. I’m human. I didn’t think his wife leaving him would make him such a cold and careless person, especially towards me.

    It ended badly. I became a train wreck because he told me I needed to get emotionally healthy. He made me feel like I was crazy. He stopped spending time with me, but we had sex occasionally. It was nothing like it was before his wife left him. One night I had a weird feeling. I wanted to spend some time with him and he stopped texting me when I brought it up. I ended up driving by his house and he and another woman was standing outside with him. He saw my car and called me. He told me he had never been more angry at me then he was now. I knew he had a lot of female friends. He would always tell me when he had plans with them. That night he didn’t. He had mentioned the woman before, however, he failed to mention she was going through a divorce as well. He swore they weren’t romantically involved. So, they were bonding and consoling each other. He said he would talk to me tomorrow about it, but I ended up full of rage and said some terrible things to him. It was festering for some time. I knew something wasn’t right. He called me and told me what a self centered spoiled bitch I was and that I always did this when I didn’t get my way. He ended up telling me to remove his number from my phone. I gave him the perfect excuse to discard me and place the blame on me. It’s been the most painful experience of my life. He was my best friend for a year. I made him feel really good and wanted more than anyone.

    I hate myself for missing him. I thought he was so different from most men. Little did I know he was much worse. Now I’m grieving badly and I so want to get rid of this heartache and heal. I don’t know if I’ll ever completely recover.

  13. Joanna on said:

    That is uncanny. He also stated that he felt as though he and his wife were roommates. They were together 8 yrs. and married less than two years. He gave his wife an ultimatum last year around this time expecting her to change. I, however, was getting one side of the story.

    We were platonic friends for four years. I was in love with him from the beginning. He never even hinted at the fact he was even attracted to me. It was one sided. But, we spent a lot of time together.

    Things changed last year because he started acting out of character. We became intensely intimate and close. He said that was a catalyst for realizing his marriage lacked intimacy and passion. However. He wanted to give her the chance to change while the whole time he was carrying on an emotional and physical affair with me. Things seemed to just keep getting worse in his marriage. He always said he loved his wife. But, he was miserable. He thought the both of them would sit down and reevaluate their relationship in a few months. In July, she decided she was done and up and left him with no warning. Afterwards, he was cold and full off intolerance and rage. I didn’t even know who he was anymore. I tried to be patient and understanding. I do believe his ego was bruised much more than his heart. He, I believe, had no intention of leaving her. I was there to be the fantasy girl and fill his void. And when his wife left, what purpose did I have for him? He moved on quickly with another woman also going through a divorce. He claims they are platonic friends, but I don’t believe him. They were spending a lot of time together and I was no longer important to him as he always used to say. He stopped texting and spending time with me. He stopped saying things like that as soon as his wife left him. And as I said, things ended horribly. I said horrible things to him. He retaliated, and then I became insane begging him to come over and comfort me. I felt like a drug addict going through withdrawals. She was there that night and spent the night. I took every gift he bought me and laid it on his steps to his door. It was 4 am and her car was still there. He claims she stayed there because he was upset about our fight and that they weren’t intimate. I don’t believe it. I think they started being intimate long before that. He just didn’t want to reveal his true character to me. It happened a month ago. I’ve been up and down, but, mostly manic with anxiety. (I’m diagnosed with bi-polar). I contacted him a couple of times. I was ignorantly seeking closure. That didn’t turn out too well. He wants nothing to do with me. I have been discarded and replaced. We used to work together, but, in the midst of all this he found a new job, which turned out to be a blessing. However, everything there reminds me of him. I have crying spells and my heart aches more than ever. I keep bargaining and try to convince myself that he really loved me. But reality is the ugly truth. He wasn’t who I thought he was, and he never loved me so deeply as he said he did. I told him he was a brilliant sociopath. That didn’t settle well with him. I hope it was enough to deter him from ever trying to enter my life again. I know I have a long and difficult path ahead of me. I just have to keep looking ahead instead of analyzing a mirage in the midst of my insanity.

    • They will say whatever it takes to get what they want.

      “I said horrible things to him. He retaliated, and then I became insane begging him to come over and comfort me.” I know it all too well. And they won’t come and comfort us. It’s inhuman.

      “I was ignorantly seeking closure. That didn’t turn out too well. He wants nothing to do with me.”
      Closure is one more thing they will never give us. In time, you will realize him wanting nothing to do with you is the best thing he ever did.

      “I have been discarded and replaced.” Me too, and that is incredibly painful. But please remember you have been discarded and replaced by a person who couldn’t respect you and didn’t deserve what you had to give. I know that doesn’t mean much right now, but eventually you will get it.

      “I just have to keep looking ahead instead of analyzing a mirage in the midst of my insanity.” A mirage in the midst of insanity is a perfect way to describe it.

  14. I met a psychopath six months after losing my 22 year old daughter in a car accident. He swept me off my feet, and was exactly as described here. My youngest daughter & I moved to his town & a year after we met I married him. There were already big red flags, but I was so blind. I remember that feeling of confusion & became real angry with myself for moving my eighth grader to a new school & into a horrible situation after our loss. I had been divorced 4 years from my x, and just graduated from college before I met him. We were then married one year & after me running away several times he filed for divorce. My daugher & I stayed with a friend for six months until we got into public housing, where we lived until she graduated high school & then went to college. He would continué to pursue me, starting the cycle over again, until I finally broke away & moved back to my town. My younger daughter witnessed this, besides both of us grieving. But we always talked about it & although she saw me down & out at times, she witnessed me never giving up. I could not keep a job, but I did take care of her, so we lived on a shoestring. My family never understood & all lived away, although they would make it possible for us to attend gatherings etc. My daughter now is doing well. She did get into a relationship similar, and successfully ended it while in college. And she always called for my advice.
    Im single, working, successful & happy. If I meet a significant other fine…if not, that is fine too. It’s in God’s hands. But I do quickly see the red flags today.

    • I am sorry about your loss. I can’t imagine it. And I’m sorry you were victimized when in such a vulnerable state. But I am so glad to hear you broke away from him and are back on your feet, and that your daughter is, too!

  15. Natasha on said:

    I was with my ex for 2.5 years and was discarded 2 months ago when I found out that he was on dating websites and trying to meet up with other women. Like your website said it started out like the perfect romance and he completley swept me off my feet but within 3 months he changed and it’s like the mask came off and the devil came out. I can’t believe how much heartache and crap i’ve put up with and we’ve split up so many times but now it’s over for good and he has a new girlfriend that he is parading around where we used to go. It hurts so much cos i thought i was getting over it and deep down i thought he might try and come back to me but he hasn’t and it hurts somuch and i feel like i’m never ever going to get over it, i guess if he had tried to come back and turned on the charm i would’ve taken him back and the nightmare would’ve continued so i guess it’s for the best i’m out of it but i can’t believe he’s moved on so quickly, it’s like i never existed or meant anything to him. I so want to contact to him and speak to him but i think he would relish the thought of me being in pain. Please give me some advice i’m huring so much, i can’t eat or sleep:(

    • I’m sorry you are hurting so much. I know you want validation from him that he really did care or to hear him say he’s sorry, but from what you’ve said I don’t think you will ever get what you’re looking for. So please don’t contact him! It will only result in more heartache. You’ve been conditioned to put up with all that “heartache and crap,” but you deserve so much more. You’re at the stage where you know the truth about how harmful he is to you, yet you still can’t break away emotionally. Don’t give in to this intense desire to contact him. Write in a journal instead and get your feelings out that way. It really helped me. Keep reading and learning. And know that it takes time, there’s just no way around that.
      Stay away from the places you used to go with him. Find new places to go, don’t torture yourself.

      Be very kind and compassionate to yourself right now — you need gentleness after being emotionally brutalized. Best wishes.

  16. Sorry to be a pain but i have another question. Do you think that he will eventually treat the new girlfriend badly or maybe she won’t put up with his behaviour and put him in his place and they will be happy? It’s funny cos the first time he was really nasty to me was after only 6 weeks of dating and he screamed and shouted at me and made me cry and I was so shocked and bewildered that my so called ‘Prince’ could be like this and i wanted to believe it was a one off so i let it go and hours later he said ‘ I thought you were going to dump me’. I think that was my first test!

    • “Do you think that he will eventually treat the new girlfriend badly?” Yes, without a doubt.

      “…or maybe she won’t put up with his behaviour and put him in his place and they will be happy?” She will never change his behavior, no matter what she does. He didn’t act that way with you because you did something wrong; he acted that way because there’s something wrong with him. If she won’t put up with his behavior, the only thing she can do is leave.

      When they bring another woman into the picture it makes a terrible situation a thousand times worse, and it’s easy to get carried away wondering if she has what it takes to win him, or if he will fall for her in a way he didn’t with you, and other torturous things like that. She is the next victim of this abusive creep, and nothing more than that. But I know seeing him with her is agonizingly painful. That’s why I say please stop going to the places he goes, even if it doesn’t seem fair to have to give up things you like; think of it as a temporary measure to regain your sanity. It will take time and distance to break free emotionally.

      You’re not a pain, BTW. My heart goes out to you and I wish you the best of luck.

  17. Lizard on said:

    I too was once married to a man who fit these descriptions of a psychopath. Lies and nothing but lies. He was also addicted to alcohol, cigarettes, pot, gambling, and sex. I used to hope he’d change, but that would not happen. I got out after two years, bought my own house, and did not look back. Made a nice profit on the house. My new motto is: Rehab houses, not men.

  18. Worthless? on said:

    After more than three tortuous years of back and forth with a man I thought was my perfect match I finally getting it. I knew him for years through business and then shortly after my divorce was final we hooked up. At the time he was recently disengaged from a woman who he described as very crazy. I can so clearly now hear all the things he said about her and realize that it was him that made her that way. We had a long distance relationship for 9 Moa during which the idealization and devaluation cycled back and forth. Then close to birthday trip we were to take together he discarded me for a woman 17 years younger than him who unbeknownst to me became the one who would be part of triangulation for two years. We got back together a little over a year later when I moved out of the country only to have that fall apart four months in when I discovered pictures of him and her on FB and ended things. I couldn’t get over him and 8 months later we started up again. This last time his idealization of me was stronger than ever. In the midst of this I lost my job, returned to the states with my three children and am now homeless, jobless and because of him only a crumb of the confident, successful woman I was when this all started. He started devaluing me again about 6 weeks ago and would continually feed me the lines that he hasn’t gone anywhere, loves me, wants the best for me, blah blah blah. I felt the pulling away or pushing me away and then last week discovered on FB yes you guessed it a recent picture of him and her together and he kissing her cheek. Once again I was devastated! I confronted him and he told me to give him a f’ing break that he had taken her out for her bday and that he thought I was done with being jealous . I told him I wasn’t I’m the least bit jealous of her and that she could have him and all he is. And that’s where it is today – he hasn’t contacted me since. I’m dealing heavily with the cognitive dissonance. Some days I’m ok and see that moving on from him is the best thing for me and some days I don’t want to get out of bed and feel worthless. I find it so incomprehensible that someone can be so cold and callous and have no idea the pain and hurt they have and continue to cause! I’m glad I found this thread and site and hope to break free now!!!

    • I’m sorry to hear you’re going through all of this. You are most definitely NOT worthless — but feeling that way is a normal reaction to having been involved with someone incomprehensibly cold and callous (which none of us could have ever predicted would happen). Please stay away from this person who has put you through hell and left you feeling so bad. Part of not contacting him means to stop looking at his Facebook page.

      You will once again be the successful and confident woman you used to be, never doubt that!

  19. Hi, i would like to tell you my story ( excuse my Englisch, it is not that perfect).
    It was 4 years ago, I was just ending a long relationship and was devastated and so alone and then I met him ( the love of my Life). He was so perfect, he was repeating all the time that he loves me and I am the other half of his broken heart. Crying and telling me I was so beautiful, and ofcourse I believed him. After a week, he started acting strange, asking me why I love him and one day I will hate him…I couldn’t understand what he was trying to say with that. He has a son, but never married (best friends). I moved to his Flat, after a while he said that his son and the mother are coming to visit him ( they live in another country) and I had to find a place to stay over for 2 weeks, my heart was broken, he just let me go…when they left he begged me to come back and promised he will never do that again ( till the summer)…and so on…dont want to get to many details..He started his Game, I was so in Love that I would give anything, he stopped working and I paid for everything,after that he made a Company with my money and all I had was gone…I cryied everyday because he didnt love me the way he used to, he was cold and didnt care about me, telling me that nobody wants me even my Mother doesnt and I believed that. He was so manipulative that I tought I was worthless and must stay with him because he only wants me. I I moved out far away from him, to another Country, but he didnt stop, coming and leaving and swearing and lying, he wants a Family with me and I am the only one, I believed him again…After a while got pregnant and all he said was : This is what you wanted and didnt even call me again until I made the abortion, and started telling me that it was my fault and because of me we now dont have a Family…(BTW, between my story he had a relationship with other women and his ex- she is still falling into his lies after 12 years), he was leaving and coming back, all the same with all those women, took their money, their soul and their love away,like a Vampire…He loves them all and want to have a Family with them until he gets bored and moves to the other one ( the ex got devorced,because of him). I was even planning to kill myself, my mother was about to go crazy because of him and what he did to me.
    I am so scared, I think I may have had a relationship with, and loved the Devil…We have to stop people of doing this and hurting others

    • I am so sorry you went through this truly horrible ordeal! You had a relationship with someone like the devil but he is not the devil — to say that gives him way too much power, and causes you more harm. Thank you for telling your story. Please come back and let us know how you’re doing, OK? I’ll be waiting to hear from you.

  20. I had a friend like this senior year of college. At first the friendship started out great. We go to know each other. We hung out, had movie nights, and talked music. It was really great.

    But then something strange started happening. She started treating me like I was stupid, and humiliating me in front of fellow students. She thought I couldn’t handle walking on my own after I pulled an all-nighter. (Something I had done many times before.) She didn’t think I could do simple tasks on my own, asking if I could put a DVD in my computer. It hurt. Sometimes she was the nicest, coolest person ever to hang out with, but other times she was rolling her eyes and treating me like I was beneath her. It hurt and confused me so much.

    I took some space away from her over the summer after I graduated. She wouldn’t leave me alone. She incessantly texted me. Once, when one of my friends was moving out, I asked her to give me space for a week. She ended up sending me a ton of texts the day he was leaving and I got angry. She acted like a victim and that I had done something deeply disturbingly wrong in our friendship when I know I had every right to be angry.

    We had a long talk after that and it looked like it was going to get better. But there were some things that stuck out in that talk now that I realize showed it wasn’t. When I told her about treating me like I was stupid, she put the blame on me and said that I should have said something. (I did.) She blamed her loneliness over the summer on me and said I was the only one who could sure it, when I had a lot going on and she had a ton of friends to talk to. She never really took any responsibility for her actions. But said she wanted a more honest friendship.

    I believed her. The friendship was going normal again for about a month. I was still getting incessant texts from her, but I was picking and choosing when to answer. Then, something totally unexpected happened. She asked me to come to school for a weekend. I said no (my last semester wasn’t that good) and then I remember she started pestering me asking me why I wasn’t coming. What happened next, I’m not sure I should have done but I’m glad I did anyway. I sent her a very long text saying the truth: I am ready to move on from my life and I am ready to move on from school. I don’t want to return. I’m happy I graduated. I can’t wait to move to the city. I’m happy getting older and being able to get more life experiences and I have no desire to go back to school.

    She didn’t take it well. She went from nice to angry in a millisecond, it seemed. Saying that what I said was unfair and she’s so disappointed I’m not coming. Then, she started using the silent treatment on me. She wouldn’t acknowledge me on social media, which hurt. I sent her a text saying that I was sorry I hurt her feelings and I had no intention of doing that, but I have no desire to go back to school now. I was depressed and I have been getting better over the summer. I remember her sending me a very nasty response, even though she knew this information for awhile now. She told me a few says after this that she didn’t get a Little at school. I tried to be nice and move past our last conversation. I told her not to worry, that me and my Big didn’t get Littles until senior year and we were absolutely okay with this. (Yes, this manipulative girl was my Little.) That being in a sorority was all about spending time with cool women and making the most of that. She sent me another nasty text that I only skimmed.

    After that, she kept on sending me angry texts that we needed to talk. The last text she sent me was a very angry one. That I had to call her up when I had free time and LISTEN TO EVERYTHING SHE HAD TO SAY. I was angry. She was pushing all this responsibility onto me for a fight I didn’t even start. If she had a problem with me why couldn’t she take her own damn responsibility and tell me her problems with me??? I wasn’t gonna take out time in my day to do something she was very capable of doing, only to have her scream all the problems she had with me at me. It was unfair. I decided to take the high road, deleted her number and just let the friendship end on this note.

    It’s funny. When I was graduating, she would tell me again and again how she wouldn’t be able to survive college without me. She did it until I had head aches. She wouldn’t let me out of her sight. She followed me around everywhere and stuck to me like glue. It was draining. But ever since I didn’t comply with her wishes, she has been giving me major silent treatment. She won’t acknowledge me on social networks. She did not do the mature thing and call me herself when she saw I wasn’t complying with her wishes. She has taken no responsibility for what has happened to us and pushed all the blame on me. (Recently she posted a couple of photos on Facebook, saying wish we could go back to the beginning of the relationship. I told her we could and tried to make contact with her again, but she ignored them.) It’s been a few months now since she’s started ignoring me and not acknowledging my existence. I was surprised how quickly she could turn like that, since she always plays up the “sweet and innocent” card.

    She will talk to my Big (who she’s never even met and never put the time, money and effort I put into our friendship) but not to me. I’m glad I was honest, though. If honesty is what breaks apart a friendship like this, then I guess we never really had anything in the first place.

    I know she may not be a psychopath. I was never married to her for year. But this year in this friendship caused a lot of hurt and confusion in me. It’s taken some time to become myself again. I didn’t realize how much of my confidence, humor and personality I had lost along the way. Without knowing it, I had become her puppet. And I don’t know what hurts more: losing myself, or losing somebody I thought was a friend.

    This is my story. Sorry it’s so long. I just had to get it out somewhere.

    • Thanks for sharing this. It’s interesting to have the point of view of a friendship instead of a romantic relationship. I don’t know if she was a psychopath either, but she was definitely someone who was draining the life out of you. Some people are like bottomless pits of need that can never be filled, and who will only drain dry those who dare to come close to them. I’m glad you’re back to being yourself again!

    • This person sounds borderline – read about it and I bet you will see her there. Borderline is more commonly diagnosed in females but the newest findings are that borderline is evenly divided between males and females – they just express it differently. Borderline is in the same “cluster” of personality disorders as antisocial (which used to be called sociopath and psychopath interchangeably but it’s all the same thing) – cluster B – so people who have a personality disorder in that cluster will usually have traits from one or more of the other personality disorders in that cluster. Hope this helps!

  21. Mine is a long story – 7 years actually. I had lost a guy in a boatfire and was very vulnerable. I was 58, divorced and very sad. I met a guy on a dating site and at first it was very intense but quite quickly he wanted to end it. To be honest I kept chasing him as I had slept with him and couldn’t understand why there was no real reason for it all to end. Eventually he told me he had been in prison for rape of his stepdaughter but that he was innocent. I believed him as he seemed genuine and nice. He was always wanting sex and I did enjoy it but then he left and I didn,t hear from him for ages. He only ever came for a night or 2. Then I think he had a relationship but he did not tell her the truth and eventually the police told her as she had a grandchild and he was on the sex offender list for life. Then he came back to me and he had a car accident and lost his licence thru drinking and I gave him some work in my house and picked him up from the train. I also lent him some money for a car once he had his licence back. I was totally besotted with him and kept trying to help him and hoped he would get better. He was drinking alot and blamed his behaviour on his time in prison. He does not have any contact with his family. Usually he would go off for weeks and then suddenly appear. He was good fun but always wanted sex and would never take me out except for the odd meal. I tried to look after him as I thought I could make him better. I feel so utterly stupid as I know I have wasted 7 years on him and I am now 65. This year I have allowed him to treat me even more badly but somehow I have been unable to stop contacting him – like I am addicted and it is so frightening. I used to be outgoing and fun but I have done nothing but angst after him for the last 7 years. One kind word from him would make my day!! I have two good friends who have been so supportive but most don’t know what has happened to me. He always told me he wasn’t having sex with anyone else because he didn’t want to tell them his background and I was the only one who knew and maybe I am but he is a compulsive liar. None of my friends liked him and still I pursued him! I do know for a fact that he is a convicted rapist. My family do not know anything thank goodness. He has tried to end it between us but still I have continued – I just felt I needed him. When I was not with him he would sometimes text me sexy texts up to 10 times a day and demand them back. I am ashamed to say that I would usually oblige. I was his fantasy. I still hanker for the man I first thought he was – funny and kind. This year I found out he was seeing a lady who has money. He is a very intelligent, articulate guy who I’m sure has wormed his way into her life. He completely denies sleeping with her and says they are good friends and of course I don’t believe him. I know they don’t live together as he lives with his mother who is in her 90s. He kind of looks after her as well as decorating for people but when he’s away he has carers in. He has been in constant contact with me by text and calling but I also think he went away with her in his caravan for a month as he put his phone off and just contacted me every now and again. When he came back I asked him to come over but he kept making excuses not to and the last 2weeks he has been horrible. I began asking for .,rmy money back and he keeps making excuses but I know he now has another car plus his old one, The thing is I do know I have to leave this as he has pretty much discarded me but I really want my money back. He says he will sort it but hasn;t. I know the name of this woman and where she lives but he doesn’t know I know. I also know that she has bought a holiday house in a remote part of the UK and he has been doing it up for her though he says its for a male friend. I think he wants to live there eventually when his mother passes away and he will be away from the police and he can live his life. I feel I want to go and tell this woman about his past but am fearful of any repurcussions. I have been used and emotionally abused and quite often feel it is my fault but he hand even now has always blown hot and cold and always offers a carrot until now. I hope I can be strong enough if he tries to come back. This is so not like me and I feel I have wasted so much of my life at an important time. This website has been so helpful as I thought I was totally on my own.
    Thank you for reading this. I have 3 lovely children and 3 lovely grandchilden. He has never been remotely interested in my life.

    • Your story is heartwrenching. But at the end you say you have 3 lovely children and grandchildren, and that is amazing. You deserve someone who is truly interested in you and your life. You deserve to live without the emotional angst this man is causing you every moment.

      It’s hard to break away when you have invested time and emotion into a relationship, but don’t throw good after bad. You may regret the time you devoted to him, but please don’t blame yourself. Best wishes to you.

  22. Popo:-) on said:

    I am a Christian woman……he is also a born again. He has known my family for years……I am close to his sister. I mistook her beautiful qualities and mistakenly thought he had these too……..when I look back at what i thought we shared, in truth it was not a relationship…….I crawled after him when he went silent for weeks, compromised my otherwise sane boundaries shamelessly. He bought me gifts…expensive ones but i now know this was the Idealization stage. Without going into all the finer details, after 3 years id had enough……the devaluation stage was too much and i told him I no longer wished to be with him. He tried to make me so angry so that I would mirror him with rage so that he could go Ha! told you you were crazy…..I didnt do this…..instead I told him what i thought of him (pointless) and am now 4 weeks NC. The space gave me clarity……..people whether your a man or a woman……when you come out of th ‘fog” you will see their games a bit more clearly…… will see how much we compromised ourselves as we strived to be the person who made a difference to these broken individuals………I find solace in my belief in God and remembering what a strong individual I am……I havent always been confident but this has mad man has madee me see just how strong I am. He has also introduced me to the term Psychopath which will help me to know who to keep away from. Yes he abused my trust, flagrantly lulled me into a false sense of security…..made me feel like a worthless loser…….but ultimately people we know who the losers are…….its not you or I…….we are blessed beyond measure for we know how to give and receive Love…..they dont, wont until their bodys are old and gray…….so whos the Loser:-))))

  23. Popo:-) on said:

    Pease believe me when I say that yes we wasted tender years on these people……..but you speak as though your life is over……..your stilll breathing arent you??? Its tempting to want to get your own back by telling this woman…….I think I would……but he is no longer your business… have been discarded. Get your own back…HOW fall in love with YOU again. Give yourself two months to let it sink in how you were hoodwinked….(i was too) how disgusting these people are, anger, pain hurt…..go through it then move to the beautiful woman, mother, grandmother you were before. You say you want your money back, im afraid for your sanity call it a small price. Good luck and God bless

  24. Stephanie A on said:

    This just rings so true to me I met my husband (separated) 18 yrs ago. We went out on a date and he stayed that night and never left. We were married the following year. It started fine but once caught the need to woo was no longer there. The confident independent woman I was had disappeared. We moved 650 miles away from my family and friends. We had six children – the more children the bigger the man, having twins made him a legend – the sperminator! He didn’t work, he didn’t help in the house etc etc I did work and was expected to keep house in order and meals cooked too. Not a penny was put into the house. in 17 years I got 3 birthday and christmas presents a man jumper, mans leather trousers for the bike – that he wears, the only time I got something nice was if he went shopping with a friend. When I lost my breast and hair through breast cancer, I became repulsive to him. I got no support from him at all. When I was strong enough the children and I all left and haven’t looked back. He still tries to get to me and has said I am shit on his shoe. He knew the buttons to press but those buttons are not working anymore a good deal of the time. After years of feeling worthless and incapable, I am finding myself again. He is trying his tricks with the children but the older ones are showing their strength having none of it. Many people thought we had moved away to the fairytale life but they were all so wrong. I guess it made it easier to keep up the pretence when you didn’t see much of people. I never had friends back to the house.
    Do psychopaths ever change?

    • No, they never change. They aren’t capable of it, and there are no drugs or surgery for it, at least not yet. So if he tells you he’s changed, please don’t believe it.

      Your story is heartbreaking. You have described a truly despicable man.

      I am so glad you took the kids and left him! and that you’re finding yourself again! Don’t look back.

  25. Stephanie A on said:

    Thank you,
    You know what I don’t even think he feels he needs to change, he has thrown so many accusations at me and blame for breaking up the family, and says to others I thought we had a happy marriage etc etc he is playing the wronged husband and father very well. His world has fallen apart…. he has to do things himself now and earn his own money – life can be tough. Because I am now standing up for myself he reckons I am the crazy person who shouldn’t be allowed near the children. And I am proud to say that I have still not sworn at him called him names put him down to his family and friends……I will hold my head up high knowing I am the better person and me and the children who have blossomed in the past year can get on with the best years of our lives. He is ultimately the looser and I guess there will always be pity for him but that’s it. :)

    • I have a new hero — YOU! I’m serious.

      You deserve to hold your head up high, very high. Thank you for sharing this.

      All the best to you and your children

  26. I was recently discarded. I saw so many signs, lies and even emotional cheating. We live a few hours away so I never saw the physical signs. Everything that was portrayed was false, and the emotional abuse was over the top looking back.
    It only lasted 9 months, but looking back it matches everything said.
    I allowed it, knowing better I did. I believed she loved me.
    Until I got the ring, then when she came close to my area to a wedding I wasn’t invited to, she send a text saying “it’s over” then hours later a brief text explanation saying she didn’t love me anymore and that she even
    Prayed about it. But she loved and cared for me.
    She didn’t at all. It was all a sham. So hurtful.
    What’s even worse is she did it to me before when we dated, but it was a shorter period of time. Makes things worse, is in that year apart, I dated another psychopath.
    Both women had multiple relationships, the one I between even had me and the other guy buy the same ring.
    Both girls said all the right things, hounded me and I for some reason thought they loved me.
    I have some fixing on myself to do.
    It’s hard letting go of this last one, as I tend to think thru the day about how sweet and loving she was in the first phase. So hurtful.

    • That’s what makes it so hard — thinking of how sweet they were in the first phase. Somehow, that overrides everything else.

      You don’t need to “fix” yourself; you need to get to know yourself better, and learn where you’re vulnerable. We’re all vulnerable somewhere.

  27. Following what I said up. This last one when we first started dating was telling me her ex of months before was stalking her and she tried to get a restraining order. None of it made since, as he had went to the coffee shop to get a coffee, he picked up his nephew from school and ran into her little sister and said hello. He is a police officer, and almost lost his job.
    She said their lawyer struck a deal with him to have no contact, or even attend the same religious place.

    I contacted him, it was thrown out cause their was no evidence of stalking. Also he said her and her mom basically threatened him with the restraint order if he told anything about the mom having an affair to the religious elders. She took him all the way to getting a marriage application before dropping him. Also we talked timelines, her and I already started talking again before the application was signed, then when we officially started dating is when she sent him the text then tried to file the restraining order. We compared other stories as to how she would act, exactly the same.
    He even gave up a scholarship to a high end law school for her.
    Then informed me, she also did this to two coworkers.

    Her family I have known for 5 years and spoke to some of them on a weekly basis, even when we weren’t dating, didn’t even call me to say sorry it didn’t work out. I talked to the grandma and great grandma, the great grandma didn’t even know she left me. The grandma didn’t even know I had gotten her a ring.

    So mad at myself for allowing myself to be treated that way.

    • It’s hard to see it when you’re in the midst of it, but now you do and you’ve learned a lot. A lot of us are in that same boat with you. But we’re not sinking — we’re sailing now

      “If the highest aim of a captain were to preserve his ship, he would keep it in port forever.”
      Thomas Aquinas

      “I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning how to sail my ship.”
      Louisa May Alcott

  28. lover entanglement on said:

    I’ve been involved in an extramarital affair with a man for about 3 years. I caught him cheating once about a year ago and he wooed me back, then again, caught him again recently. This was suppose to be a way to find happiness outside our marriages due to my spouse being ill and his spouse is bisexual.
    As I read about psychopaths i realize that I have been a fool for his manipulations. He let me listen to conversations with his wife to confirm her sexual desires outside of their marriage. It was always just enough truth to convince me of his loyalty and that what he was saying was valid.
    The truth is that he actively seeks women on sex sites and is sexually involved with them while seeing me.
    He made me feel exquisite, his ability to show empathy was uncanny. I am taking it one day at a time to stay away from him and reestablish my identity. The best thing I have read is that I feel I am in love with what I THOUGHT was an incredible man, instead I need to see the master manipulator that he is, that this is for his own satisfaction. It is hard to understand because so many times he took great care of me and was never selfish when I was in his presence, yet completely selfish in his carnal pursuits.

  29. You can’t win against a psychopath …you’ ll be always on the losing side … I was being manipulated for over a year by a female one …and the thing is that she found me .. I didn’t’ do anything to provoke her interest … she was the one who attacked me with masseges and so on ….so my question is how psychopaths tend to choose their victims on what base? and another question -why some tend to kill people or make crimes and end up in prison while others are non recognizable and go freely in society where they make there devastating moves ???

  30. Thank you so much for publishing this…

    They will traumatize you and keep doing it for years if they can. It’s how they destroy you without killing you.
    It’s difficult to tell if you have PTSD … I just found out after 27 years of the abuse!

    You really should change the gender of the psychopath to she/he
    There are female psychopaths and they do the same things.

    Cut all contact with them when you are getting out of the relationship…
    This includes court, lawyers, medical… Move if you can!
    Get a place to live where the doors are monitored. Get a video security alarm! Keep the children with you! This is their most destructive weapon… They will use the children to emotionally abuse you and they will emotionally abuse them too, if you allow them to keep custody. It’s been 27 years since I left her and the abuse has continued all that time!!!

    Can you prove emotional abuse? I don’t think it’s possible! And they lie so much. They use the love bombing on therapists, lawyers teachers, religious people and judges to keep the injustice flowing.

    • Hi, Tom. Thanks for your comment. I removed the forum recommendation because I’m very wary of them, and in fact I’m in the middle of writing a blog post about that.

      You’re so right, cutting all contact is vital. If it’s at all possible, that’s the best thing to do. Of course some people with children aren’t always able to get full custody, and then the kids are used as pawns by the abuser.

      27 years…I can’t imagine it. Such pathological persistence! You must be a very strong person. Yes, it’s very hard, if not impossible, to prove emotional abuse. They manipulate everyone to make sure that can’t happen, like you said. I hope her abuse will end soon, if it hasn’t already. Best wishes to you.

      I’m working on the he/she thing, doing my best, and I do realize it’s a big problem for men and women.

  31. In the forum I was talking about… There seems to be a lot of people who have been in relationships with psychopaths and have PTSD because of it.
    I occasionally see these type of people there, but they don’t last long! We all call them on their bs.

    When you’ve been through the Idealize, Devalue, Discard sequence, you will have a tendency to recognize a psychopath in a short time talking with them… And run! There can be a feeling that something is not right with this person or these people. That’s your subconscious trying to tell you to RUN!

    You have to learn to listen to your subconscious (the reptile brain) it knows what a psychopath is like and can let you know… These kinds of personalities have been around since time began. And our ancestors who took the warning lived to have children, the ones that didn’t hear the warning were killed by them. Don’t let your logical mind minimize the danger!
    When I met my ex I didn’t know what I was getting into, she seemed really nice ect.ect. but when I met her parents, I knew something wasn’t right… My logical mind said ” you can’t judge her by her parents” … It minimized the warning… I stayed when I should have run screaming from the building!!!

    That was a group of them, that’s why it lasted so long for me, that and my kids being in their hands.

  32. Brey W on said:

    It’s been 4 months since the discard phase and my healing has grown gradually to just educating myself. In the beginning with him it was too good to be true…he told me he loved me within a week of meeting me, and I felt odd about it…but looked past it. He would
    Tell me these stories about his childhood like I was his best friend for 10 yrs. at this time I barley knew him, later on while id tell tell him about me, and my past…. He would give me this intense stare, that gave me a gut feeling. Boy did I expirence 10 of those. I felt like it was me vs him in the relationship. He would accuse of me doing this I never did. And saying things I never did. I had to look back and think….”did I really say/do that?” No, I didn’t. He always wanted to spend time with me in the beginning, and I had to let him know that this wasn’t ok. Simply because I knew it was unhealthy: him on the other hand he had a whole bunch of excuses. Later on I became clingy, needy, and insecure about the relationship and him. I don’t know why I couldn’t trust him but I just couldn’t it. And I was never those things in any other relationship with a dude. Let alone was I those things before him and after him I’m perfectly fine. When he went off to college that’s when the discard phase took place, he blamed me for being too insecure needy and clingy. He started to withdrawl from me cruely….and now I felt like he knew what he was doing. A week after our breakup he posts a picture of him and a girl on social media….and the picture resembled something I knew that looked so familiar…….a picture of me and him the first day we hung out. It was like starring at the eyes of the devil. He was telling people I was too jealous, that I was “starving myself” ( I lost some weight from stress, but when I heard this I just had to laugh) and he doesn’t even call me by my name, he calls me by “that girl”. His ex of 2 yrs reached out to me and come to figure out he put her thru the same thing ! That’s how I knew it wasn’t me, it wasn’t her, it was him. ANY time you get a gut instinct do not ignore it, anyone who has expierenced this trauma my heart goes out to you I know it’s hard. But eventually the world will see these individuals for who they are. They can’t expierence love, but you can. They may seem so happy now without you, and they have used you to their best abities. But soon they will have to face themselves….and when they do we won’t be around. The universe has helped us heal and we will gain another gut instinct that will let us know that karma has been served, now focus on you.

    Peace, happiness and most of all LOVE. Xoxo

  33. Louise on said:

    Hi there, I’m so intrigued by this subject as I feel I have just had a lucky escape. I became involved with a guy and it went from 0-100 in days from his side anyway! He was constantly ‘love bombing’ me and I obviously loved the attention but at the time I was like ‘I can’t work him out’ as he had a bad past but seemed so lovely! But when you read about psychopaths / sociopaths he fits the bill perfectly! Luckily he asked if I wanted to settle down with him after four weeks or he’d leave the country to work the summer season abroad, thankfully I told him to go! I just find it really scary that he isn’t who I thought he was and that it was all false! A question I have tho is – do these people do this subconsciously and it just comes naturally or do they ‘perform’ as such to lure you in?? I feel so lucky to have got away but feel so silly to have believed in him and what he said! Thank you

    • They do both at the same time — it comes naturally, and they use it to lure us. They’re predators. Once in a while, one might become “enamored” with one of us, but their goal isn’t a normal relationship, because they can’t love — their goal is to own, to control, to possess; and then they become contemptuous of our “weaknesses,” and it all goes straight to hell. Their manipulation is purposeful, but their “drive” to do so is subconscious. They repeat the cycle of idealize/devalue/discard over and over with one victim after the next.

      To understand it better, read

      I’m so glad you sensed trouble and told him to leave. Best wishes to you.

      • Louise on said:

        Thank you so much for your quick reply! It helps me make sense of it all! It makes me feel unsettled when people aren’t who I thought they were. I know he would have ruined me due to my already lacking self-esteem! Lesson learnt! It’s great to have people like you to help others going through this

  34. brosef on said:

    Hi! I would like to contribute to your female psychopath post as another anonymous story, where can I submit? It’s in-depth. Thank you! :)

    • That would be great, thank you. I’m sorry you have a story to tell, but I will add it to the post. I believe it’s very important to tell your story to others who believe you, and to record that story somewhere. Please send it by email to me at pathsandlove at gmail dot com, and I’ll add it to the post. All the best to you.

      • brosef on said:

        Thank you for your quick response! I will send it right away. I’m sorry I have a story as well, thank you for your kindness, I’m sure you have had to deal with a similar situation so I’m sorry if you have a story to tell as well.

  35. betternow on said:

    I made a lot of concessions because he is bipolar. But the cruelty, manipulation, and lack of empathy from this man is not bipolar. 8 weeks into the relationship he got in his truck and moved to another state because I confronted him about a lie. Really? You can leave someone you supposedly love. Just like that? He came back. No apologies. Its been on and off for 10 months. I’ve been told I’m crazy, needy, Glenn Closey (Fatal Attraction), psycho. When I set boundaries – clean, sober, medicated, I was texted that the thought of me made him want to vomit. I blocked him. That was 3 weeks ago. I was scammed. They scam your heart. And that’s worth more than anything else you have to give. I pray that all of you find the strength you need in your situations. Its gut wrenching I know. But I consider it a good day when my stomach is no longer in knots because there’s no chance I’m going to get a nasty diminishing text from my abuser.

    • Wow, I’m sorry you were subject to such abuse. We never fathomed how things would turn out, after starting out so wonderfully! Our hearts are worth more than anything else we have to give. What they do is cruel and totally undeserved. You should block his number so you won’t get anymore nasty texts. Best wishes to you.

  36. Thank you for all the genuinely kind responses made here.
    I feel broken sometimes by the many people who just do not get it or care. Reading these responses really helps. I have two more years of paying off my sadistic crazy con man (yep, he got half of everything I owned) I will then have worked as his slave for 14 years and I will be way past retirement age when I manage to finish making him a very rich man. They take EVERYTHING.

    • Hi, Anna. I think most people can’t get it — it’s the kind of thing you have to experience to understand. It’s disheartening to feel you’re not understood, and therefore not being supported as you need to be. I experienced the same thing. Writing this website helped me a lot, because people showed up who knew what I was talking about.
      I’m sorry you have to pay him off; I can only imagine what that’s like. It’s true, they take as much as they can possibly get away with. There are some things he can never take from you, though, that are yours and yours alone. Your heart and your spirit are two things that come to mind, and I’ll bet you can think of more. Please take good care of yourself. Best wishes to you.

  37. Nirmal on said:

    Good article, had the same thing happen to be with my best friend. She did everything that’s stated in this article and I never understood why. Never knew that people can be like this, so it’s good to know now. Have a hard time letting anyone get to close to me now, or trusting anyone the way I trusted her.

  38. I’m thankful I found your site and I’ve purchased your books. But my only suggestion to those here is that the psychopath knows no gender. Because my psychopath was my girlfriend. I am a guy and she left me an emotional wreck. I’ve learned that it is uncommon in women like 1% of population but the mental and emotional abuse was like hell on earth. I’m trying to put my life back together

  39. Ioannis on said:

    The ignorance is real.

  40. Silvia on said:

    Im glad I found this ad. I just broke up with my psychopath husband after a relationship of 4 years. I caught him engaging in very deviant sexual behaviors and I ended it. The funny thing is that I went through the three stages described here (at least the first two) and I didn’t realize he was a psychopath. I didn’t know enough about it but now I know. After the honeymoon stage where he told me I was the most important person in his life and I was the most gorgeous woman, he went on to say that I was a useless person and he couldn’t be attracted to me any longer. He would say these things with a complete lack of empathy. He would not return my calls, for example, and pretend that it was normal behavior. He started to hate everybody and everything around me and say things like we have nothing in common after just one year of marriage. He always gave me enough to keep the relationship but it became increasingly worse. He told me he wanted to work things out so since I was committed to our relationship, to my promise to him to love him forever, I kept going with him. Now he’s acting as if nothing happened. No apologies or regret whatsoever about what he’s done. I’m afraid he’s going to try to keep communicating with me because I was the one ending the relationship. Thank you for being there. Finding sites like this at these difficult times is very valuable.

    • Hi, Silvia. I’m terribly sorry to hear what happened in your marriage. How heartbreaking and deeply disappointing. Of course you stuck around; no one just walks away from their marriage without trying, or gives up on the person they love at the first sign of trouble. Especially when they keep telling you they want to work things out! You did what a normal, loving person would do. Now we know that actions are what’s important, that words mean little and sometimes nothing at all. Making a commitment to “No Contact” and having a plan may help you to be less anxious about him trying to communicate. Be sure to read about the Gray Rock Method of Dealing with Psychopaths.

      I’m glad this site helps you, and I wish you all the best!

  41. Silvia on said:

    Thank you for your reply. It does feel encouraging. As my husband pretended like nothing happened after mistreating me or cheating, I started to feel like I was the crazy person, even questioning what marriage and love really meant. Phycopaths do have a distorted perception of reality, of what emotions are. I struggled to understand him for the past year. I’m glad I don’t have to do that anymore. Now I know why he had these strange behaviors and reactions. Thanks again!

    • It is so perplexing when we don’t yet know what we were dealing with. When we try to find a reason for their behavior within our own frame of reference, it can never work. I’m glad you don’t have to do that anymore!

  42. Christina on said:

    I need a help…, my love was a psychopath…and all this is true..but i love him ,i never want to lose him. I really know him well and i’m scared ,but i wanna know if he loves me… i’m comfused,well we live in a different city,but we talk almost 2 years,and we thinking to live together forever in 1 year. Well i guess the only think i could do is to survive, i will never live him so yeah. It’s my decision to be with him forever. I know what person he is and i’m not afraid anymore. I know how it feels, i feel suicidal 5 moths for him,but i understand now and i’m used to it,so yeah.. the only thing i NEVER want is to lose him. It’s fine for me i’m strong and i will survive for him cause I love him. Even if he hates me i will continue love him.. well maybe cause i’m insane but its fine. So any question? what can i do?… it’s true that psychopaths are danger people,but i’ll take the risk and be with him forever. Some people say that we need to leave but i can’t… if i lose him ,i feel like i wanna suicide… dont know whats happened to me… i feel crazy for him and i think i’m starting to change inside in my mind, am i starting to be psychopath as well? i’m not afraid and i feel like i dont care for anyone anymore,i lose very much people ,i only care for him and i love him..sorry for my bad english ,i’m trying to explain as much as i can.

    • Hi, Christina. You sound like you have your mind made up, yet at the same time you’re here asking me to help you, so I’ll share the thoughts I had while reading your message (which has left me feeling very concerned about you).

      A good, loving, and healthy relationship is not about feeling suicidal, crazy and confused, and it’s not based on the FEAR of losing someone.

      A good relationship does not include asking for advice on a website about psychopaths and the devastation they cause.

      A good man does not inspire these feelings. The only one who does is a cold-hearted scoundrel and loser with absolutely nothing to offer you except pain and desperation. He has manipulated you out of any concern for your own needs or well-being, and into caring only about HIS. Christina, that is the definition of being used.

      The choice is yours — do you want to be loved or do you want to be used? Has this man lowered your self-worth to the point that you feel you don’t deserve any more than that? That, in and of itself, tells you to get out now.

      Sacrificing yourself for someone is not romantic — it’s a sickness, one that reflects your relationship with him.

      Psychopaths are NOT capable of love. The most a psychopath can do is objectify you and use you — and in the process, destroy you.

      Christina, you have to rescue yourself from this darkness he’s pulled you into. In rescuing yourself, you will show yourself that you know you are worth so much more than this heartless predator (and that’s what a psychopath is — a predator, and nothing more than that).

      If you stay with him, he will keep you in a constant state of fear of losing him. You will never have peace of mind. He will treat you in a way that keeps your self-worth very low, BECAUSE HE KNOWS YOU WOULD NEVER STAY WITH HIM IF YOU VALUED YOURSELF. He KNOWS what he is! That’s why he has to diminish you and make you feel afraid and crazy in order to stay with him.

      If you leave now, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. He’s destroying you. The fact that you’ve come here asking for help means he hasn’t been completely successful yet. You still have a chance to save yourself, and you must take it! This is serious — your LIFE hangs in the balance.

      Christina, you have a chance to avoid making the biggest mistake of your life. Do you know how many people here wish they could turn back the clock and have that chance? And you know what he is — yet you don’t really understand it, because you can’t comprehend that someone could be so fundamentally different from you. If this man is a psychopath, he is nothing more than a predator and a parasite who will suck the life out of you and destroy you. You say you love him, but there is nothing and no one to love.

      Please take good care of yourself.

      • Christina on said:

        Thank you.. but I don’t think i can leave him… we talk day and he says that… ( i’m tired with the distance,i’m really tired, so i guess its better to have a distance for a while,untill we meet ,1 year? 2 years? 3 years? then wait,i will come back to you when we meet) i was freaking out…im starting to breath really hard… and i tell him(yea sure.. in 3 years you will forget me) and said( naahh. i’m not. You are the only girl that its different from other girls) and i said (so you find another girl and you will come back to me later?) he said (yeah maybe, but dont worry you are the best ) well.. we have a sexual relationship.. so he calls me slave sometimes.. but its weird dunno,i like it but i hurt myself,am i machohist? he knows it… but dunno , he said that hes really sad thats why he want to stop to talk with me for a while… ,yesterday i tell that.. (i love you…please dont leave me..sorry i talk like this…) and he said( baby i love you too, dont feel shy to tell this,but my moob is really bad so leave me alone for now,i’ll send you when i feel better but its take a big time for me) dunno what to do… we all day,2 years now and never stop talking ,we talk ALL DAY. we never stop for 1 day.., we talk with big texts.. he said to me that (i’m a jerk and i know it , i know you will hate me some day for this,dont hide it for yourself,you can find a better guy then me,i will only destroyed you) but i tell him that (NO YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE) and he said that ( how the hell you are still here? omg..) but yeah i guess i’m the only girl that never wants to leave him. btw.. he’s a good actor (more important that) sometimes i said him (i love you) and he said( i don’t care,i hate you,you are a thrash slut for me ,i used you only for sex) and i said (…… okey..) and he said( WHY YOU BELIEVED THAT? IT’S JUST WORDS,you are my hobby i like to play with you ,you know that i love you :3) and i’m like (ok… :( ) well…thats all for now.. but it’s more stuff behind this…

        • Christina on said:

          btw..sorry for my bad english again.. he said that its secondary-charismatic psychopath..dont know what that means..

        • I tried, Christina. I gave it my best shot.

          Your attachment to him despite his disrespect and mistreatment is known as a Betrayal Bond (or a Trauma Bond).

          Basically, you’re addicted to him, just as people become addicted to nicotine, alcohol or heroin.

          Betrayal bonds are highly addictive attachments to those who have hurt you. Exploitative relationships often become betrayal bonds, and with them also comes deep shame. Someone in a betrayal bond is essentially addicted to the relationship with a person who is destructive and hurtful. Indications of a betrayal bond include the inability to detach and self-destructive denial.

          Learning theorists have found that a pattern of intermittent reinforcement, which is positive reinforcement alternated with punishment (a pattern of abuse and reward) develops the strongest of emotional bonds.

          “Powerful emotional attachments develop from two specific features of abusive relationships: power imbalances and intermittent good-bad treatment.”
          (Dutton and Painter, 1981)

          Intermittent good-bad treatment triggers biological changes as well as emotional ones. Going ‘cold turkey’ (having no contact with him) seems impossible. It is actually the same as an addiction, to drugs, alcohol or gambling. This is why you can’t stay away despite knowing how bad he is for you. This bond is basically a compulsive relationship fostering specific patterns of compulsive behavior.

          Ideally, it would be helpful to find a psychotherapist who is a specialist in trauma and abuse, who treats people suffering from trauma bonds. You can learn more about these pathological bonds by reading the book “The Betrayal Bond, Revised: Breaking Free of Exploitative Relationships.” Getting out of this is hard, but not impossible! There is help for this.

          I wish you all the best, Christina. Please take good care of yourself.

          • Christina on said:

            Thank you for all this.. i will see what can i i have to hide these messages…hes a hucker and i’m scared if he finds it.. he knows very much things about me…Thank you again…….It means a lot to one helps yeah…

            • You’re welcome, Christina. I sincerely hope you’ll find your way out of his trap and back to the light! Come back any time you want to talk again. xo

  43. Danielle on said:

    I began a relationship with a psychopath who was 18 when I was 16 and I am now 18. We broke up after a few months because he ended up sexually assaulting me but I still can’t seem to stay away despite the fact he’s awful and, regarding the circumstances, I should want nothing to do with him. He’s now in a relationship with a girl who used to be my best friend and has cheated on her multiple times (as he did so when he was with me as well) but he has cheated on her with me. I gave up after months of no contact and decided to shoot him a text, which lead to us meeting up, which lead to him kissing me. I didn’t tell his girlfriend until a few weeks later and he claimed to hate me after I did so, yet every time I attempt to break contact I always fail and talk to him again, and he welcomes me back with open arms. There’s obviously more to the story but it’s so long I’m not sure I could even type it. I just don’t understand what’s wrong with me. I want him out of my life and out of my head for good, but the emotional and physical trauma he’s caused me has me in a trap. I don’t know what to do or who to turn to. My parents don’t understand and hate the fact that I still think about him and want to talk to him. I don’t know what to do. I’ve given up and the more I let him back in my life the worse I feel. I’m not strong enough to break contact for good which I have proven countless times in the past. Please help me if you can.

    • Hi Danielle. You’ve been through a lot, and now you’re perplexed by your own feelings and actions because they don’t make sense: You want him out of your life and your head because he traumatized you, and yet you haven’t been able to stay away from him. Don’t despair — what you’re experiencing is not uncommon and it’s not hopeless.

      When you say he has you in a trap, you are exactly right. Although it seems that since he traumatized you so badly you should have no trouble staying away, the trauma actually causes the opposite to happen. This phenomena is known as a Betrayal Bond (or a Trauma Bond).

      Betrayal bonds are highly addictive attachments to those who have hurt you. Exploitative relationships often become betrayal bonds, and with them also comes deep shame. Someone in a betrayal bond is essentially addicted to the relationship with a person who is destructive and hurtful. Indications of a betrayal bond include the inability to detach and self-destructive denial.

      Learning theorists have found that a pattern of intermittent reinforcement, which is positive reinforcement alternated with punishment (a pattern of abuse and reward) develops the strongest of emotional bonds.

      “Powerful emotional attachments develop from two specific features of abusive relationships: power imbalances and intermittent good-bad treatment.”
      (Dutton and Painter, 1981)

      Intermittent good-bad treatment triggers biological changes as well as emotional ones. Going ‘cold turkey’ (having no contact with him) seems impossible. It is actually the same as an addiction, to drugs, alcohol or gambling. This is why you can’t stay away despite knowing how bad he is for you. This bond is basically a compulsive relationship fostering specific patterns of compulsive behavior.

      Danielle, you must find a psychotherapist who is a specialist in trauma and abuse, who treats people suffering from trauma bonds. Getting out of this is hard, but not impossible! You already recognize that it’s not love that’s pulling you back – rather, it’s a powerful emotional attachment, one you didn’t understand (until now). What you’re experiencing is normal. You are not crazy or weak, and there is help for this. I wish you all the best in your recovery.

  44. Laura on said:

    Oh my, everything you said is exactly what happened to me word for word. The last few days, what’s really helped me get through is relearning that I am the better person. That I may be sad and a bit broken right now, but eventually I will heal, get back out there, and actually fall in love with someone. He never will

    • Laura, you’re definitely on the right track. You realize that you’re the better person, and you have positive thoughts about the future. Stay strong. I wish you all the best.

  45. Princess on said:

    Hi I have a story to tell about my marriage to a psychopath. The mask fell off one week after the marriage. Pls contact me via email so I can share my story with other women as this predator is still on the loose.

  46. I have been involved with someone for 3 and a half years and more and more I think he is a phsycopath. Initially I thought he had aspergers as he appears to have no understanding of empathy and he has a brain like a calculator, he also is obsessive about his collection of things. He has an emotionless face and voice. Except when excited about something then he is hysterical ! He has a very short temper. He initially love bombed me but I was ok with that as men have always done that with me anyway. He still gives me loads of flattery. He doesnt always fit the description of a phsycopath but thereis a lot of cognitive dissonance going on and I feel he is and thats enough to tell me to watch out. He phones and texts me all the time which I take to mean he likes me but on the other hand I am entertaining so maybe I am just there to relieve his boredom. I am completly nuts about him , this also worries me. He has never had a girlfriend before me and lives in an unhealthy relationship with his sister ,brother in law and their children , both parents have died young. His sister is like a wife and he has to keep me secret from her. This is weird. He can only phone me from his house when she is out though he texts me from his bed every night. We meet twice a week. He is spookily calm and I cannot get my head round him at all. Every now and then he stops contacting me and goes quiet. Preceeding this he goes kind of ‘off’ then silence. The longest he has gonewithout doing this is 6 months. But he always does it. Then normal again. I just kind of ignore it now and use it as a time to do my own thing. He also tells me sometimes that he hears by gossip that I have met a new man. I have no idea why he does all this weird stuff. Most of the time he is great and we share the same hobbies so we talk happily together. I cant see us ever having a normal relationship. I think he has another side and I cant get my head round it

    • ps he looks like how you imagine a phsycopath to look like ! But he speaks so soft and gentle. He is beautiful but ugly. I want to thank you for this blog and forum as it really really helps me get some clarity

    • He’s an odd one. But one thing I can tell you is this: Never allow yourself to be anyone’s secret.

      I can’t help but wonder if his sister isn’t really his sister, but his wife. Sounds like he could be married with kids to me.

  47. Ha ha no shes definitely his sister ! We live in a small town and everyone knows each other. Iam not a secret from his friends, we meet together, he just tries to hide me from his sister. Though I think she must have guessed by now . When he is with me his phone goes a lot and its usually her, he ends up answering it and she just likes to check up on him. She really is his sister though ! His friends and neighbours are my friends too though we live about 40 miles apart. I have known them all a long time, before me and himself started up

    • Ah, I see. But so strange that he has to hide you from his sister! And that she’s so controlling! Is she older? How old is he? It seems he must be young, not to have had a GF before and not out living on his own. Is he her only family? Maybe she’s afraid of losing him like she did her parents. He might maintain that living situation because it provides a ready excuse not to be involved in a full-time relationship. He sounds like he could be psychopathic. He’s definitely something!

  48. Ha ha yes he definitely is something ! If you met him you could tell me ! He is 46 now and I am a bit older, his sister is about 40. Their house is tiny and they all live in it with her husband [ who is nice] and small cute wee daughter. My bf dotes on the wee girl. He is a workaholic and likes to get home to his dinner made and washing done . His clothes are always nice and clean so I dont mind ! He always asks me about my life and takes loads of interest in just mundane boring aspects of it like what I had for dinner, and he always contacts me first and is very consistent with contact . Apart from his dissapearing acts. He never demeans me or uses words to hurt me. Because of this I like having him in my life , but he does weird things that I cant get my head round, and he has zero empathy though he tries

    • It could be Asperger’s, because they have zero empathy. But it doesn’t seem to fit that, either. Whatever it is, if he can’t feel empathy, he really isn’t capable of a relationship, at least not one that can meet someone’s emotional needs. And that’s the basis for close relationships — being known, being seen, being supported emotionally and cared for. It sounds like you might be giving a lot up.

      I’m reading a book by Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen called “The Science of Evil.” Although Asperger’s is used as an example of zero empathy, he says it takes more than that to make someone “evil.” Aspies aren’t evil — they’re just clueless when it comes to how other people feel. They still drive their partners crazy, though. I once dated an Aspie for a few months (he didn’t tell me he had it) and it was frustrating and maddening. I was livid when he finally told me, livid that he would try to keep something like that a secret, which of course was impossible. It was second only to my experience with the psychopath.

      Aspies learn ways to compensate for their disorder, and if your guy is one, he might be compensating by showing interest in the mundane details of your day. If he doesn’t have empathy, it might be the only thing that he can understand and that makes sense, and that can make it seem he cares for you.

  49. Hi thanks Adylyn, yes it takes its tole , at times I feel like an emotional wreck. But on the other hand it has taught me loads and I am very happy in my status of single but not single really. As I say he encourages me in all I do and I tend to aspire to more since I have known him. However there are times when I need him and he is not there and I can guarantee in times of real need I doubt he would be there for me. I get by though and at this time in my life it suits me to be in this kind of relationship. I will keep looking for signs to see if he is just very good at disguising any real badness.

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