The Psychopathic Relationship – Five Lesser Known Signs
Every so often, I get an email from someone asking me whether or not I think their significant other is a psychopath. This is a tough question without meeting the person, and I must note that I do not have a degree in forensic psychology. Having been in a relationship with a psychopathic serial killer, however, I have learned a thing or two about red flags. Before I get into red flags, though, I should note that sometimes flags can be “pink flags”. “Pink flags” are things that might make you raise an eyebrow, but don’t raise the hairs on the back of your neck. If there are things that don’t make sense in your relationship, and your partner’s story just isn’t quite coming together – listen to these “pink flags” because something is likely wrong.
Red flags to identify a psychopath have been written about a lot, but I am going to highlight some that are a little less discussed in popular media. If you recognize any of the below signs in your partner, you might want to run…fast:
1) Instant love connection – have you seen Frozen? Remember the part when Ana falls in love with that dude whom she just met? Remember when she almost died and that same dude revealed himself as a punk ass mother F? Well, this was Disney teaching us about psychopaths. (bravo Disney for trying to make up for allowing young girls to think that true love happens at first sight.) Psychopaths are intense and work to shower their target with so much attention that it is hard to not be taken with them and believe that you have fallen in love quickly. If you feel this way after the first date, slap yourself. I am not ruling out the possibility of just having a good date and enjoying yourself, but most normal people don’t stare at you the way a psychopath does. Most normal people are slightly cautious on a first date and don’t try to make you believe that there is an instant love connection.
2) “Everyone else is crazy”- Are you dating someone who has been divorced several times? Does he/she claim that she is just unlucky in love, and that all of his/her ex’s have been “crazy”? While I can completely understand making several bad decisions, there is something wrong if the person is claiming that all his/her ex’s were nuts. Psychopaths like to make it seem like everyone else is nuts. If they are well into their adult years, they have likely already made lots of enemies. They might even still be in litigation with some of them. If you meet someone who has a child, and who claims to not have a good relationship with the mother/father of their child because that person is “crazy”, it is possible that the real “crazy” is the person you are with. Luc was famous for claiming that so many people who had come and gone from his life were nuts. The only common denominator for all of these people, however, was Luc himself.
3) The Scary Rage: Before I met Luc, I used to think that people don’t really “look” crazy. Well, except for maybe the person wandering the streets screaming about cameras that have been installed in their teeth by the US Government – I guess I always knew those people looked crazy. But before Luc, I thought those were the types of people who looked crazy. Luc was great at hiding his crazy. Most of the time when he was angry, he would try and leave the situation or attack back in some weird passive aggressive way.
There were some times, however, when he would go into a psychopathic rage. The first time I saw the rage directed toward me was when I told him that I could not afford to pay his mortgage by myself. His eyes seemed to turn darker, his eyebrows crinkled, and the screws appeared to loosen in his head right before my eyes. He screamed, irrationally, that he would never forgive me. Just as I began to collect my things and try to walk out (and he saw his money walking away), things changed. As quickly as he went into the rage, he seemed to snap out of it.
4) Pathological Lying: We all know people who stretch the truth for story value. A psychopath, however, will get off on full out lying. Often, they are trying to cover up some deep seated insecurities that they have, or they just want to see if they can make someone believe something isn’t true. If someone is making grand claims that seem as if they cannot be true, it is quite possible that they aren’t. Not only would Luc lie about himself, he would often set his son up by lying about his son’s abilities. He would claim things that were impossible for his son to achieve, thus setting him up for grand disappointments (not to mention abuse when he couldn’t live up to these outlandish lies). Luc would also make incredible statements, before asking people to check the truth of the statement on Google. I guess Luc banked on nobody actually checking up on his lies via Google, or maybe he just figured that even when they realized it was a lie he would be long gone.
5) Gaslighting: Gaslighting is a form of mental abuse in which false information is presented with the intent of making a victim doubt his or her own memory, perception, and sanity. Instances may range simply from the denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents ever occurred, up to the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim.
I would often get into arguments with Luc where he would say something incredibly verbally abusive (or contradictory), and he would deny having said it. He would go on about how he wished he had tape recorded our conversation, but he must have known that if he had a recording it would only prove that he had actually said what he was denying. This behavior came to light glaringly during Luc’s deposition for our custody case. Per his usual behavior, Luc denied saying something inflammatory. My lawyer, determined to prove that Luc was doing this, had the court reporter rewind the tape and play it back. Once it was proven that Luc said the very thing he was denying, Luc attempted to twist the story in another direction.
Gaslighting can be really scary for the victim. The psychopath will do things to make you feel as if you are living in chaos without knowing the cause. He/she intends to disorient you, and make you believe there is something wrong with you. For example, a couple of days after Prince was born, I changed Prince’s diaper and handed him to Luc while I took a shower. When I came out of the shower, Luc began to yell at me about how I was a bad mother because I hadn’t put Prince’s diaper on correctly. To this day, I am sure that Luc intentionally took Prince’s diaper off and messed it up just so that he could chastise me about it.
This list is by no means exhaustive. There are loads of other bizarre things that psychopaths will do. My number one point of advice, however, is that if you feel that something in your relationship isn’t right – listen to your gut. While psychopaths are really good at catching their targets, it is hard for them to keep up the mask for very long. Watch for these moments when they lower the mask. When they lower the mask, don’t stick around long enough to dig their claws into you.
I really can identify with a lot of what you’re saying and I need some help. Can you please look at this (sorry rather stream of consciousness and tell me what you think?)
Can someone help me with this…I need an outside perspective very badly…I can’t list everything there but these are the highlights. I need some objectivity….
I don’t know what to do…mine would always have the last word and leave…never knowing when he’s come back…he moved up to WY without a conversation but screamed at me he was going…half our relationship was long distance. He was so kind and so present in the beginning and in intervals that those are my best memories in life….the last one after almost 10 years he broke up with me via text when I said I didn’t want to speak he said “I never want to talk to you again!!” as a response… I truly thought te entire thing was my fault I am not perfect and got drunk a few times through our relationship and I guess I exploded at him…. I was very suicidal….decided to quite drinking all together…
I called him to leave a message after some months and he said very coldly,”Introspections a nightmare, isn’t it??! and don’t call me again I don’t want to have to change my number…”
Later I had a very be feeling about him…like something terrible was going to happen so I contacted mutual friends to make sure he was okay….but the feeling didn’t go away so I texted him and told him I’m sorry for the contact but I had a terrible feeling and to ease not do anyhing…he responded with “I’m Fine!” …and then 6 photos of him with people I didn’t know having fun and the last one a meme saying,”I relax by walking through the forrest, it shouldn’t matter I’m dragging a dead body behind me…” He then said “Sorry! My computer accidently dumped those photos…” Then reems of physics….(he is pretty good with that stuff). This did not make me feel like he was okay! Also, how hard is it to accidently send photos via computer to text my phone…then the physics?! I assumed the physics was his work until a friend who’s a professor at UC Davis pointed out to me the physics actually came from a thread and where 3 different peoples works strung together and out of order….
Months later in December he starts texting me “You hurt me more than I can ever put into words but I’m still in love with you but you knew that..” “I’ll always be in love with you” and pics of his life…cutsey talk, jokes, ect….
I tried calling him once when he was texting and he said,”I’m indisposed at the moment” but kept texting…..New Years Eve I send pics of a special place we ha been to once where you can see the whole city (remember he’s out of state)….he texted “love the photos ;-)” and didn’t reply to me again at all….weeks went by and I became distraught…I was still in love with him and I felt bad for my mistakes….a mutual friend in TN old me after I told her my confusion,”He’s moved on…”
I flipped out and texted him “I’m sick of your lies and lies by omission!!!”
He then of course answered and said all he meant by that was he was happy I was moving in because he was too and he literally said FUCK YOU for using semantics (about interpreting the I’m in love with yous the way I had…) it broke my heart…he said I carpet bombed him with messages when I was pouring my heart out to him because I was so happy he was still in love with me…he told me it’s never going to fuckimg happen and that he was dating a friend who was “quite nice..”
I had a mental breakdown and got sent to a crisis center 3 weeks later after admitting to my psychologist I was suicidal…
I tried calling him one more time and he hung up….but then started video chatting me….I know I’m an idiot but we spoke about getting back together….I said profusely my sorries and he would say,”I know I fucked up but you!!!” So I took it…I thought after what I put him through he deserves to get it out. He told me he was coming down to see me and how he always thought we’d end up back together like a few of his fiends… Then he would scream he should have dropped me after 6 months only to apologize the next day….he told me I am the only one who he can talk to..who can keep up with him but, that he finally realized he was smarter than most people….that was a huge wtf moment….and so it went on like this until the text in December kept haunting me, twisting his I’m in love with yous around and saying fuck you for using semantics (Oooo and e told me he wasn’t seeing the girl anymore, she was younger and usin him…he also cracked a joke with me saying he would use that next he went picking up chicks only to later say sorry for it and that it was only a joke..) anyway I wanted to talk about that and he told me “You never let me speak!!!!” Even though I had told him if he needed to talk to me just let me know and that time would be set aside for him… So I told him that the stage was all his, maybe what I was feeling was coming from him…the next month was nothing but guilt trips (after talking for 4 months) and how he couldn’t handle the anxiety of thinking about it…all before he was supposed to be down to see me. (Also one more thing, I admitted to him that I had made out with 2 fiends of mine when I was drunk…so I’m not all good) So he screamed at me or would use underlying words to dig at me…was very vague stating he was like a beaten dog who just wanted approval and I several more than several time asked him to go through the shared experiences and what they were so I could understand how he felt in relation to what happened but he never told me what incidences made him feel that way…..and then after at the beginning him saying he always thought we would end up like so and so he texts me,”This was an exceptionally bad idea, I’m done! I’m off to marry Ben and Alesha!!!”
That wtf moment was thunderous….he must have been trying to rub it in my face….why would I care go he was going to marry (he’s certified to marry people)…and the fact he was saying “I’m done with you but these two people are getting married through me!”
It broke my heart some more…I had been with this person since I was 23 and he said he would be here by my birthday and I just turned 34….
It feels like all joy in life has been gone… I also lost my mind and called him dozens of times begging for closure….he just told me it was all shit…
Why did he come back then?!!! I’m not even sure what to do….
I don’t know how to pick up the pieces again…he was the love of my life…
Is this me?!! I don’t know….
and the thin is is he’s fine…and I look like a total psycho…I’ve admitted my wrongs…and I feel like it feeds it…feeds him…because “He’s not a saint, but….” Or him hitting walls early on he told me,”I know I’ve done wrong but I’m not the type of person to hit walls..” He told me he did not do that in any other relationship….. Or him pushing me down when I was concerned because he seemed distant…before I could finish my sentence I was on the floor…he thought I had insulted him about sex…then later said I got in his way….(which I have before when things became crazy as all get out….wtf??!)
He swears I got in his way but initially he was crying he was sorry…..
I’m not great either, like I said I had felt guilty for getting drunk and going off on him a few times….shit I don’t even remember saying…things these last 5 months I kept repeating I’m sorry….and I kept getting how shitty of a person I am..he told me I said that to him….that he was shitty but unless it was during tho drunk whatever’s I always felt like sunshine next to him….and hadn’t said anything of the sort…which he claims I did….
I don’t fuckimg know….but I need help. I feel so mindfucked and discarded…
After this last communication ..I have no energy at all…I force myself and feel so distant most times from the world…I feel to broken to be around anybody…If he rejected me and knew all of me…the only real person to…what else…Am I crazy?’ Is this crazy?? I need help…
This isn’t even the most part of it….he had lied about coming back for me after the WY move for me to only find out he was doing heroin with a friend of mine (he was in a lot of pain from a psych med build up in his brain) I had to collect the clues to confront him and told him if he didn’t tell his parents that I would….he disappeared for 3 months after…without a single reply to texts and phone calls….when he contacted me again he was clean and I went right back to him….but no deep talk and no explaination..except he went on a bender (he was not a drinker or user at all for years in our relationship..) he told me I’m a ducking hypocrite for judging him on that…that I had drank… When he stepped into my life I had just gotten off drugs myself and used drinking as a bs coping method after….I later cut way down to days I went out with friends…..but later as the distance and years and promises we were going to so this together, he had started up his own shop his parents bought him in WY….after years of hanging on I started drinking wine at night almost every night towards the end…. I just went to school and holed up in my apartment….I’m not proud of that….didn’t talk to him when I was drinking but I realized when things for really bad icut myself out from the world that way….
Anyway…I’m not all sunshine and lollipops but I don’t understand the lying and secrecy and making promises, future faking….Oooo yes, and when he started video chatting after my breakdown he told me,”You can only keep promises others let you keep..”……told me about my cycle which I took to heart all after the 3 weeks in December of I’m in love with yous…..
I need help…what is this?? I feel like he came back to wipe his new life in my face..
One last note he (all of his ex’s are crazy and the one who left him because she didn’t understand him for him, or his issues) he recently remembered the “one who left him because she didn’t understand him” commited suicide…..he told me this in confidence…and as a barb he finished with saying very coldly,”now you know why I feel the way I do about suicide…..” No compassion in his voice….nothing just steel. I think he used that to draw me in to feel sorry for him, it’s weird he would just remember but if his cover memory was “she didn’t understand him,” and also that he knew I felt like that before it was almost a barb towards myself. After him saying our relationship and arguments where out of control I shouldn’t have asked but he curtly said that they never argued like that and only had “normal couple fights…” Which made me feel like shite…after almost 10 years with this person…..Right before our actual breakup he would do the jekkl and hide thing where one day he just wanted to hear my voice and three days later would reem me out…well my grandfather who he knew passed right after a “I just want to hear your voice..” So I texted him I had something to tell him….when he did call he reemed me again..I said “Wait! Hold on, grandpa just died..” He told me I used his death to shut him up…..
I don’t know what to do…I don’t know which way is up….Is this all crazy?! I need a straight shooter out there.