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“Soul mates.”

Those are the words victims use to describe the seemingly magical connection they felt in the beginning of a relationship with a psychopath. I didn’t even believe in the concept of soul mates, so I was doubly surprised and amazed when I thought it had happened to me. Most victims report feeling like they finally met their true love, and they describe the connection as powerful and intense. This nearly universal experience marks the beginning of psychopathic abuse on a personal, one-on-one level.

Dr. Paul Babiak, psychopathy expert, says

“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. You feel like you’ve discovered a soul mate. Once you’re in that bond — and we call it the psychopathic bond — you don’t want to break it.” He also says that once the target is hooked, “the psychopathic parasite begins to siphon off resources for his or her own gain — the target is now a victim.”

But how do psychopaths create this pathological bond (which is a one-way bond only experienced by the victim)?

Marriage counselor Gary Cundiff, MFT, describes his theory of how psychopaths use their ability to create a mask to become what victims believe is a “soul mate” relationship. He says that psychopaths select targets based on their best qualities. Then, the predators morph themselves into copies of their targets, so that they appear to be perfect partners.

Cundiff says, “Using each piece of information, they create the disguise — a mask carefully constructed to look like their prospective target. Flawlessly, they weave a picture of their mark… precisely reflecting the brightest, most honorable aspects of your personality, the most desirable and wanted details, literally stealing your persona, mirroring this image back, without the defects of character, flaws and shortcomings.”

“The pathological relationship is a one-dimensional interaction. You fall in love with yourself as presented by this reflecting object. The attraction is irresistible. People are attracted to those who are similar to themselves. By transforming themselves into a reflection of their prospective prey, the psychopath becomes the most alluring figure imaginable, and the propensity to trust that person becomes compelling.”

As a result, Cundiff says,

“You experience a sense of oneness like none other. At the emotional center of this connection is intensity never felt before, making the appeal and apprehension addictive.”

However they do it, finding out the love of your life never really existed and was really just a predator is a devastating shock and betrayal, one that requires a long and intense period of emotional, psychological and spiritual healing.

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