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, wrote:
“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.
♥ Thank you for reading.
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17 thoughts on “Soul Mates and Psychopaths”
I was in the midst of commenting and must have hit the send key. Sorry. I was describing a confrontation with my son in law. I had watched him for some time as he interacted withy daughters middle child. He bullied this child unmercifully and I couldn’t stand to watch it one more time in my home. I told him to leave, called him a few unflattering names, all, unfortunately on front of my daughter and several of her six children. At present my daughter is studying half-way around the world, and he and his mother are caring for the children. I don’t know if I should forward this blog to my daughter or not because she can’t take any action until she comes home in January. In the meantime he will not let me spend any time with the children until I apologize to him for my actions. He now has complete control of the children. My daughter texted me today that he is spending time with this child, being very good to him, buying him gifts, etc. My daughter has asked me to apologize and I really have no choice if i want to see my grandchildren. They are the innocent ones in this situation. I’ve known for a long time that something was not “right” about him but he is able to so easily manipulate my daughter by going totally silent whenever she brings up any issue. He accuses her of spending money frivolously when the fact is he simply doesn’t earn enough to support six children. Ok, I’ve ranted enough. I don’t see how I can interfere without losing my daughter and my grandchildren. Am I being stupid no matter which way I go? Am I reading too much into his behaviour? I am so confused. Thank you for creating this blog. It has so much valuable information.
First, I’m sorry that you, your daughter and your grandchildren are involved in this situation. I wish I could help, but I have no expertise in a dilemma like yours.
“I don’t see how I can interfere without losing my daughter and my grandchildren.” My advice to you would be to consult a mental health professional familiar with abusive relationships for advice about what to do.
I would apologize to him, simply to appease him and be able to have contact with your grandchildren. Not that there is any reason to, of course! Just consider it a temporary measure to be able to see your grandchildren.
You say “He is able to so easily manipulate my daughter by going totally silent whenever she brings up any issue.” Please read about the silent treatment here, and consider forwarding the article to your daughter: The Silent But Deadly Treatment http://www.powercommunicating.com/
I wish you all the best in this very difficult situation.
I married a P in 2000 at the age of 22. I divorced him about a year later and yet it has taken me these 13 years to finally free myself. I have totally lost track of the number of times that he has left me and then talked his way back into my life, my heart, my home and my bank account only to leave me again in worse and worse shape each time.
After two years without a word from him, he decided to start the game again. I have spent the last year refusing to see him but unable to refuse the phone calls and text messages. Addicted, once again, to all the empty words like a junkie. This past weekend, for the first time, my eyes opened to the insanity and total emptiness of my relationship with him.
The truth of who he is and has been all along is more than devastating to me. I am broken, sad, angry, defeated, disgusted and ashamed. I am only in the beginning stages of this wake up process but I began No Contact immediately. I refuse to let him have my soul and my spirit any longer and I intend on fighting to get me back. But, honestly, I am frightened to see just how damaged I have become and hope that normalcy and peace are really achievable.
The tears come to my eyes even as I type this but I want to thank you for this website and this blog its helping me to feel a little less alone.
You are not alone.
You said, “This past weekend, for the first time, my eyes opened to the insanity and total emptiness of my relationship with him.” This is a painful awakening, but a necessary one.
“I refuse to let him have my soul and my spirit any longer and I intend on fighting to get me back.” Good for you! You will get yourself back. Don’t give up.
“I am frightened to see just how damaged I have become.” I think you’ll be surprised to find out just how resilient you are. Give yourself time and *don’t get discouraged,* no matter what.
Yes Eyes Open! You CAN get back your sanity, peace and joy. No contact is the perfect first step! You are on the right track. Write if you want email@example.com. (and yes, free girl is my handle because now I am free-after 59 years!)
I know this man well. My father is this man. My husband of 32 years, now ex, is this man. They gave me the gift of having a phd in narcissism, psychopathology and sociopathy. I lived in a fog for 56 years- feeling less than, wrong, stupid, sick, incompetent and damaged.
I am free two years, awake, aware and joyful. Please let me help any way I can. I am here to listen and see you. I here to support and nurture you. Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m happy to hear you have made such a wonderful recovery, and think you may have some advice for those who have just started the journey or who still have some healing left to do. Let’s talk about how you can share your wisdom with others; I will send you an email. Thanks for leaving your comment.
The damage can last for years, in my case 28. The relationship ended horribly and suddenly (on my part). What I thought was a love affair could’ve turned into something abusive. I pushed him so far back in my mind, he was too painful to think about. I journal to work thru issues. At first as you say, the perfect relationship, with intense sex. Then starts the manipulation, so subtle, he was a master, he turned it into a fine art, chipping away at my self-esteem, the looks of disapproval and dissatisfaction, I thought what is wrong, and I figured it was me, too experienced and threatening his ego. I didn’t ask, I didn’t want to go there. I thought it would make me vulnerable to whater suggestion he might make. I knew something was wrong when he asked how did I learn. It wasn’t asked in an admiring or loving way, he just looked straight ahead and not at me. He was sitting in front of me, his back facing me. I’m a strong person (sexually and emotionally experienced) deal with him. I think he wanted me to be be turned off and he could have something to be mad about. Perfect situation for rape. He was so damned manipulative. He worked hard to get to me; I was very emotionally involved. He starts to be a little distant, I begin to feel I would lose him. So I took some humiliation, till I couldn’t stand it anymore. Then I find out he’s cheating on me; I thought I was gonna go nuts. The ultimate in putting me down, I felt crazy. Crazy making. Then I realized as I was crying my eyes out and my head spinning; I’m feeling this way b/c of my attachment to him; I have to let him go. And if I stayed with him it would be my own damn fault for giving him so much power over me. So I dumped his ass, I was free. He could no longer turn me on and he could no longer hurt me. Absolutely no contact and w/i two weeks he left town. Now if that’s not suspicious I don”t know what is. It was a painful decision to make; it was the damn great sex that bound me to him Some damage was thinking will a man desire me, want me.
Good for you for having the strength to dump him. Yes, the great sex is a big part of what binds us to them, and you were strong to create that distance to get yourself free.
Best wishes to you.
I was targeted by a psychopath in Second Life, the virtual world. From there we had phone calls and then I met him in real life and we started a relationship. I realised what he was doing quite quickly and everything was over in three months. It still took me years to recover and to get to the point where I lost my addiction to him. I’m aware of four other women who’ve been targeted by him in Second Life and then moved into real life and have then gone through hell with him. Please be aware that these predators work online to find people and they will target the vulnerable. My psychopath targeted women who were ill or or bereaved.
It’s good you figured it out so quickly, but when you say it took you years to recover it speaks to the damage these predators do even in a relatively short amount of time. Thanks for your comment.
7 months in a “relationship” or “whatever that was” as he called it. I stopped all contact 3 months ago and i’m still grieving, if that’s possible. Not grieving for the husband i cheated on with this excuse for a man, grieving for what we had! How can this be? Now, i still feel attached to him emotionally, energetically. I feel broken, responsible and guilty, like I’m not worthy of walking this earth. I confide in my reiki healer and i’m told to let go of my ego. It hurts so much. I still miss what could have been… even though i’m aware now of his mind games, part of me still thinks we’re soul mates and that if he just grew up a little we could be happy together. I know he’s gonna contact me again soon and i’m afraid i’m gonna fall for it. Today i’m crying like a baby. What’s happening to me? Am i depressed? Am i the person with the biggest ego on earth? i’ve no idea what to do or how to heal from this mess.
You’re experiencing what could be best summed up as temporary insanity. “Temporary” is the important word in there. First, I want to say it’s tremendous that you stopped all contact and have been able to maintain it, despite the way you’re feeling. You are still attached to him emotionally and energetically, and although that bond WILL break, it is a slow and painful process. Yes, you probably are depressed; you’re most likely suffering from post-traumatic stress (not PTSD, but that’s also possible). I don’t think the ego-thing is helpful; “letting go of your ego” isn’t something that needs to be added to what you’re already dealing with. You will get through this, Nightowl, even if you’re not sure right now of how that will happen. Please take a look at the Road Map page, in the main menu above. It’ll give you an idea of what you’re dealing with and how to heal. I wish you all the best xx
Thank you so much for this, I couldn’t have worded it better. I am in the midst of recovering from the shock and betrayal you describe. It’s so very painful to realize that I poured my heart out to someone who was lying and faking the entire time, someone who is probably now using all my vulnerabilities in a smear campaign. I’m so grateful I had the wherewithal to walk away before I was discarded but the recovery is difficult nonetheless.
Hopefully he is not smearing you, Sally. It doesn’t always happen. Yes, it is difficult whether we walk away or are discarded, and I wish you all the best on your path to recovery. You’ll get there eventually; keep learning about psychopathy, and about yourself. It’s slow going, but well worth it xo
Very true. Good post.
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