How to Avoid a Relationship with a Psychopath

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When we’re imagining our ideal relationship, absolutely no one thinks:

“I want to be in an unhappy relationship with a person who is only out to dominate and humiliate me, and who will use me for sex and entertainment along the way. Ideally, he’ll be someone who has no respect for me and who will manipulate me into losing all respect for myself. He must be able to take control of me so he can hurt me deeply and repeatedly, and yet keep me running back for more with just a few kind words or a worn-out promise. I want him to be a pathological liar and I want to be let down in every way. I want to give up all the dreams I ever had for myself in exchange for a few stale crumbs of false affection. I want to be kept on emotional tenterhooks, in constant turmoil as I wonder where I stand with him, what I’m doing wrong, how I can make him happy, where he really is right now, and what will happen tomorrow. I want someone who will waste my time while he abuses me and diminishes me until I don’t have the strength to stand up and walk away and I don’t even want to. I want to learn to blame myself for all of this. And I want someone who can make me believe this is love.”

Even though none of us wanted this for ourselves, it is exactly what happened to many of us. How can this be? People are sucked into these relationships by way of charm and manipulation every day, and they are kept in them for many months or many years. Harm will result.

Even though none of us wanted this for ourselves, it is exactly what happened to many of us. How can this be? People are sucked into these relationships by way of charm and manipulation every day, and they are kept in them for many months or many years. Harm will result.

 How does this happen, and what can you do about it?

Because of the incredible start the relationship got – the romance, the attraction, the mutual feeling of having found a soul mate — when things started taking one wrong turn after the next it will already be too late for you to walk away, especially if you went into the relationship without a clear picture of what you want and the determination to walk away when it’s not that.

That’s why it is vital to know what you want before your next relationship begins. Then you’ll have a chance of recognizing when you’ve become involved in something else, because you’ll see it’s going off the course you charted. You’ll have a chance to see it for what it is before your self-worth becomes so damaged that you are willing to stay in a relationship where you have learned to accept being treated very poorly and accepted not having your needs met (the needs to be loved, valued and respected are a few that come to mind).

What are your needs in a relationship, by the way? This is something to clearly and explicitly define for yourself. Make no mistake that your needs are every bit as important as everyone else’s. If you don’t believe that, you have a people-pleaser mentality and are unconsciously asking to be disrespected and treated like a doormat. Not because you deserve it, but because there are plenty of people who will take advantage of it.

It’s also vital to have a strong sense of self-worth and self-respect before your next potential partner comes along. If you don’t, those who can sense that will be the ones who take an interest in you.

How can you avoid becoming involved in a damaging relationship?

Start by doing some deep thinking and soul-searching and decide on the details of the relationship you want in your life. Describe the other person’s personality and traits. Describe how you’ll feel in this relationship. Set clear boundaries, and be clear with yourself about why you have boundaries (to protect yourself; to find out a person’s character by observing them over time and in different circumstances; to maintain your self-respect; to avoid wasting your time; etc.)

Boundaries include things such as, how much time will you spend with someone when you first meet? Will you maintain your current relationships and activities instead of dropping everything to spend every moment together? How long will you wait to have sex? What behavior is unacceptable to you?

When you can describe in detail the relationship you want in your life and the person you want to have it with and how you will feel in this relationship, and when you know what your boundaries are, you will be less likely to find yourself going along with whatever happens, less likely to get caught up in the other person’s agenda without even realizing that you’ve given up your own.

When you define these things and make a commitment to yourself to honor them, you will then know that giving them up for someone — making concessions, bending the rules — is a red flag. Anyone who is truly interested in you and who is trustworthy will respect you for taking care of yourself and will not pressure you to move faster than you are ready to, nor will they walk away because of it.

There still aren’t any guarantees, but this can provide some protection.

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♥ Thank you for reading.

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“I loved the author’s ability to simply and compassionately describe why, and how, I feel victim to a monster. For me, she eloquently describes the most complex, confusing, horrific experience of my life.. To the author, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

“Her writing was like discovering a mentor, a friend, a sponsor, a confident who understood, who explained in detail what happened to me in my relationship with this man. I felt like something in the universe directed me to her. Her books will help you understand the hows and whys of what you went through. Your healing can begin with her writings.”

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5 thoughts on “How to Avoid a Relationship with a Psychopath”

  1. too much too soon

    Boundaries really come into play in all of this. My Psychopath moved so fast so soon into our relationship that I could barely keep up. I look back at it and I am shocked at how he gained control of my life. I am so glad to be free of him.

    1. Admin

      They do move fast, and that seems to be a necessary part of the process. Boundaries might be the only chance to thwart future attacks. Glad you’re rid of him!

  2. anonymous

    “I want to be in an unhappy relationship…………And I want someone who can make me believe this is love!” (From the first paragraph.) Now add, “I want to grow up in a SOCIETY that tells me this and treats me this way,” and you get a clearer picture of the absolute and overall abuse that has taken place in our lives, and the absolute rape that is being perpetuated all the time.

    Article after artice in all the popular magazines lamenting with us to consider “this” or to allow “that” in order to fix, save or have a “successful” relationship. Movies and books abound framing-up picture after distorted picture of the manner of what a happy relationship should look like. You will find a common theme throughout all of them. The person with the conscience will be the one who will have to do all the work if they REALLY want things to work out. There will be no forewarning as to the true nature of the person who has no conscience, nor will there be any hint that something may be drastically wrong with such a person. As long as there is a conscienced person who is willing to play the sickening game of “working on a relationship” with a human who exhibits all the traits of the devil, those who control the game will keep throwing them back in the ring.

    What can we expect from a psychopath? What does the life-plan look like for such a person? For those who know the truth about them (which is that they are BORN this way and that they LOVE what they are even though they whine and moan incessently about thier mistreatment, this is simply because they expect and demand worship and self-sacrifice from all other humans and when their perceived way of receiving this is stymied, woe is them), this written portrait will be all too obvious. 2 Tim 3:13 “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.” What a short statement but one that sums up our hope for the life of a psychopath.

    The Bible commentary by Barnes states: “That is, it is the character of such men to do this; they may be EXPECTED to do it. …..Their progress will be CERTAIN, though it may be gradual…..He (Timothy) was to anticipate in them the operation of the general law in regard to bad men and seducers – that they would grow worse and worse….The word rendered “seducers” – γόης goēs – occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. It means, properly, a “juggler, or diviner;” and then, a “deceiver, or impostor.” Here it refers to those who by seductive arts, lead persons into error.”

    What day did you hear a sermon on this? What wise person told you about bearing children with persons of this nature? It seems only to be found in God’s word as no one who teaches from the pulpit seems to be proclaiming the truth and nature of such seducers.

    One psychopath I knew was the type of psychopath that could (initially) charm the pants off of any girl within ear shot. He had verbal diarrhea, but if one were in a weakened mind-set, he could lie and flatter and win his way in. He was a horror show to all who knew him for more than a week, but he rarely remained around long enough to be found out. The REAL horror though came from something his mother said. She said, “I wish Dickless would find a nice woman to marry.” I looked at this woman and replied, “Who do you hate enough that you would sick this man on her?” She seemed completely perplexed by my negative comment. And I think, this is what happens. We lie to all people by saying we are all born as a blank slate, even though we KNOW this is completely untrue. Then when we find some bait who will buy the lie, we sick our evil seducers on them even though we KNOW they will go from bad to worse. We confine our tender-hearted children inside a relationship with a person who wants to deceive and seduce. And we WONDER why we humans can’t seem to FIX anything. We ponder why all our best efforts seem to go awry.

    Amazingly, those of us who have found our way here due to such abuse, are our best hope. And guess what? Even though this may sound unthinkable to some of you right now, you may end up being the STRONGEST person you have ever met AND may have the most SUCCESSFUL relationship you will ever know about. This relationship may be with just yourself because you may live in a communitity with high numbers of psychopaths, but you are the one who has a CHANCE to be happy. Why? Because you were allowed to see the lie of this world, and if God works in your life like he works in mine, he will never relent or allow you to snuggle back in and believe it was just a rough spot. You may come to see that the statistics quoted by the experts about the number of psycopaths (1 to 4 percent) is so painfully low as to once again put us in a dangerous position. If you are brave enough to actually LOOK and OBSERVE without forcing yourself to accept that it’s only 1 to 4 percent, you may see how very rare you are, and how very prevalent psychopaths are. (Challenge: Pick ANY famous person you can think of, from any genre, and watch them. You will be hard pressed to find ONE who is not a psychopath.)

    For some personality disorders they say that one of the characterics is that they idolize the man/ woman/ etc. in their lives and that they never question the motives of this person and always see them in a favorable light. (It may be histrionic disorder.) But we as a society are FORCED to do this; forced to never question the motives of those who have established themselves as “good” in the public eye. It’s why whores like Lance Armstrong and Jimmy Savile and Jerry Sandusky and the millions of others are able to carry out their horrendous crimes virtually untouched for so long. How DARE we question them, as they once did something nice (seemingly nice) for someone. How DARE we judge or discern when a person seems to be the epitome of fakory or duplicity or even THINK that they aren’t all clean and kind-hearted and all-good. Who are WE to judge them?! So we turn off our internal radar, accepting all behavior as good, or misunderstood or the results of a bad childhood. How are we looking? Has denial of the truth of evil helped us or fixed us as a soceity? Or has our acceptence of any behavior as “normal,” raped our souls and our minds, and even destroyed our hope for the future?

    But this is where we can help ourselves, simply to save ourselves. We no longer have to buy the lie or internalize it. We may have to pretend in public that it’s not as horrible as it is, but don’t have to believe it any longer or try to cover for it. We don’t have to open our hearts to it and we can in fact learn to guard our hearts against it. (Proverbs 4:23 “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”) (NLT)

    It will take practice and work and tweeking, as you meet new versions of the same old psychopathic personality, but as you successfully navigate through one experience and then another, you will realize that you can do this. Why? Because non-psychopaths CAN learn from experiences and CAN grow and CAN gain wisdom. Believe it or not these are gifts from God and are only for those who have a CHANCE to know him. Those with a conscience.

    One last thing to keep in mind. To a psychopath, nothing means more than the other. What I mean here is that when they are angry about something or seem to have a certain thing that “gives them the right” to attack you, this is only a tactic. They are really only angry at everything, hate everyone (except themselves) and are a big ball of envy and greed. Even though you may have gotten into a relationship with one by your choice or accidentally, their hatred HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU. If you are able to stop reacting and still be safe, you will find that it was all a big ruse. But to take care of yourself, just remember that YOU are the only one who cares and gets hurt by the things said and done, but to the psychopath it means nothing more than his/her latest fix. Let go of feeling responsible and hide your heart and mind away. And once you teach yourself to simply not respond to them, and never engage with them, you will see that they are what the Bible says in Jude 1:12, “When these people eat with you in your fellowship meals commemorating the Lord’s love, they are like dangerous reefs that can shipwreck you. They are like shameless shepherds who care only for themselves. They are like clouds blowing over the land without giving any rain. They are like trees in autumn that are doubly dead, for they bear no fruit and have been pulled up by the roots.” (NLT) DOUBLY DEAD! AMEN!

    1. Admin

      Wow. Thank you for your comment; it is quite intense and you said many profound things.

      “Amazingly, those of us who have found our way here due to such abuse, are our best hope. And guess what? Even though this may sound unthinkable to some of you right now, you may end up being the STRONGEST person you have ever met AND may have the most SUCCESSFUL relationship you will ever know about. This relationship may be with just yourself because you may live in a communitity with high numbers of psychopaths, but you are the one who has a CHANCE to be happy. Why? Because you were allowed to see the lie of this world…”

      I agree and wish you all the best.

  3. Lillian

    This reading was helpful to me. I have met two Ps and been traumatized.

    Last week I met another as he faked his interest in me, overly flattering me and how happy he was, held my hand and used his charm, he manipulated me, saying he respected my boundaries and wishes in life, promised committed relationship. He manipulated me into sex without my wish. Asked if I missed him, I said yes, he said he missed me too. Next days I set my boundaries, wanting to get to know him first and wait with sex, like I said the night before to no avail, to see if he really liked me, he of course withdrew over the next days and vanished into thin air, leaving me with broken promise to see me, not one word from him.

    But at least, if I had not learned what I had learned from my first two Ps, if I had not set the boundaries and not be afraid setting the boundaries, I would probably been used for much longer time as he would have gotten what he wanted. It doesnt hurt any less what he did, but at least I saved myself from further abuse.

    I

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