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#1596 - 10/22/02 09:08 AM Red Flags
Anonymous
Unregistered


When engaging with a psychopath in an intimate relationship, there is so much "wonderful" that it is hard to spot the "red flags", and when we do, we tend to overlook and misinterpret them because of all the wonderful. I think it would be a good exercise to talk about the red flags, and I hope others will add to them. They are probably different than the red flags in relationships with less deadly undesirables. I only have a few in mind, right now, and will probably think of more.

Too Nice. This doesn't LOOK like a red flag. Once I started living with the psychopath, four months after beginning our relationship, I would go around wondering why he never, ever got mad, or even voiced any issues with me. When you live with someone, issues always present themselves. I had some...his slovenliness, the nesses I had to clean up, the way he flirted with other women, the never knowing where he was when he didn't come home, but Psychopath NEVER voiced any complaints with me (actually, neither did I voice complaints, I was afraid to lose this wonderful man), but Psychopath was perpetually sunny and pleased with me, never even a cloud on his brow. I thought I'd won the lottery. The real truth was he took his negative feelings and stabbed me in the back with them (lying, cheating, leaving me alone and wondering where he was, etc.) A psychopath is never direct with his feelings.

Too Passionate. Self-explanatory. I was only 20 when I met Psychopath, but I'd had a few relationships. Nothing that ever came close to this. Wow.

Passion Dies Quickly. From the pinnacle, to the ditch, in a period of months. This was accompanied by a shift from spending much time alone to being out socially almost every night, and the psychopath flirting outrageously with other women.

From Princess To Scullery Maid. A reverse Cinderella story. At first, the psychopath puts his victim on a pedestal. Then, very subtly, he shows her how to please him by doing things for him, that make him happy, while gradually withdrawing the enthusiasm of his approval, so that she finds herself working harder and harder to get the kudos. In my case, I was soon a servant, working around the clock to provide him the "back to nature" (doing everything from scratch) life he favored.

Distances. Soon after I set up housekeeping with Psychopath, he moved away from me, sexually, emotionally and physically. He said, "I spent alot of pursuing you. Now, I have to work on other things." Other things were socializing to a crazy degree, watching sunsets by himself, sleeping alot, and being away "at meetings" until 2 AM. Suddenly, he had almost no time for me. When we went out socially, he left me at the door, never sat with me, or talked to me.

Drops Hints As To The Truth. Early in our relationship, in the shifting phase, I once reached for him under the sheets, and he said, "Sex rears its ugly head." A few days before our marriage, he told me he was worried about what he would do to me. I should have taken these comments seriously.

Words and Behavior Don't Match. Even before I married him, his flirting was making me feel un-special to him. I would ask him, in private, how he felt about me, and he would rave about how I was the light of his life, I was his whole heart. It sure didn't seem that way.

Keeps You In The Dark About Where He Is Much Of The Time. You only see this once you become very close, or live together. I didn't know this wasn't normal (had never lived with a man before) and I accepted it, to the point that, ten years later, I still never knew where he was, ever. I never knew when or if he would be home for dinner. Then, I had a friend who was incredulous when I told her this, and at least then, I knew this wasn't normal.

I am sure I will think of more.

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#1597 - 10/22/02 09:56 AM Re: Red Flags
Anonymous
Unregistered


I have experienced all the red flags you describe with the exception of cheating, and carousing until the wee hours of the morning. My P is an isolationist. He hides his disease beneath the guise of spirituality, and runs to his blue bus in the desert to escape the world. We had a deal that he would not stay out at the bus for more than 3 days time. He has always honored that agreement. He did start flirting some before he moved out, but always got caught and rectified the situation at my insistance. One time, I discovered that he left a note on an X-girlfriend's door. I demanded that he take me to her home to meet her, and introduce me as his fiance (which I was). When I arrived, and saw her, I almost burst out laughing. She looked like my grandmother, and I am considered to be drop-dead gorgeous. In fact, all of my P's "Xs" are plain or borderline homely women. Despite the fact that I become co-dependant when in relationship, I am also a beautiful, independant, self-reliant woman. I guess he wants a shot at bringing those good qualities in me down. I think the biggest red flag waved by the P, any P, is the fact that they turn emotions, plans, convictions, goals - you name it - on and off like a light switch. They have rules - THEIR RULES - yet those rules are subject to change on a whim on a daily, or even momentary, basis. And, WE are expected to turn on or shut down along with them.

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#1598 - 10/22/02 10:33 AM Re: Red Flags
Anonymous
Unregistered


My psychopath did a number with spirituality, too, a real twisting thing. I will say more about that, later, but I wanted to say something about this ex-girlfriend. Another red flag is the interweaving of other women into the picture, no matter how they do it. It can look quite innocent ("Oh, she's just a friend!"), but he will be putting her in your face in such a way that you will feel hurt. Consider that you played into his hand when you met the ex. My psychopath changed our wedding date, at the last minute, because he had written in his schedule book that we were visiting frends out of town that weekend (another one of your red flags, changing the rules, plans, etc. on a whim). That weekend, I caught him on top of the wife at 2 AM, in front of the fireplace (I had gone to bed). She remains, to this day, the ugliest woman I have ever seen. Four-foor-something, 250 pounds of jelly, including her chinless face. I was a beautiful 21-year-old girl, in a model's body. And his bride-to-be. This was on my 21st brithday, by the way. Anyway, I just wanted to say that maybe the ex looked like your daughter before he got hold of her. Psychopaths see good things, and they are driven by envy and greed. They wanted to capture those good things. Then they want to destroy them. Don't ask me why I married the [censored] after this weekend. It's a long story and it has something to do with my mother. I just want to say, look deep for the meaning to what the psychopath does. The truth, turned out for me to be deeper than I was looking.


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#1599 - 10/22/02 12:56 PM Re: Red Flags
Anonymous
Unregistered


Subtly Twists The Truth. The psychopath subtly twists universal truths so that they are no longer the real truth, but false truths which serve his diabolical purposes. These truths can be spiritual or psychological truths; he will use whatever form of truth speaks to the victim. One of the best twists my psychopath pulled on me, in our early relationship was taking the truths, "You can't build a fence around love" and "Possessiveness destroys love" and mutating these into "Loving more than one person (sexually) is a sign of spiritual development". Even when I refused to continue the meange-a-trois he sucked me into, I did so, feeling I was an inferior, unloving soul.

Uses Other Women To Diminish The Victim's Worth. This started within a few months of my relationship with Psychopath. It took the form of ignoring me, at social gatherings, and flirting outrageously with other women in my presence. Also, confessions of sexual escapades. Then keeping those women in my face by arranging social engagements with them. But it could be as seemingly innocent as receiving many phone calls from a female "friend", or continuously mentioning the new girl at work.

Constantly Plays Switcharoo With Commitments And Plans. Few people would notice this in the beginning because life requires a certain ammount of switching, and flexibility is a virtue in a relationship. Most of us "go along" alot, early in a relationship. But the psychopath does this, constantly. If you are paying attention, you will notice that almost no plan he ever makes with you comes to fruition. It is replaced with another plan, at the last minute. The reason is because the psychopath lives in a world of ever-shifting selfish plans and moving targets. He is always in predator mode. He has to move with the prey. Anyone within his sphere is subjected to his wily shifts of movement.


Edited by kris (10/22/02 01:18 PM)

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#1600 - 10/22/02 01:31 PM Re: Red Flags
Anonymous
Unregistered


Kris:
It doesn't have to be an intimate relationship for these red flags. I feel like I am reading about my own experience with the P which was a friendship basis. Boy oh boy, how many times did our family get the "switcharoo with commitments and plans". After a while one begins to wonder if maybe they did or said something to cause all these switches, until you finally catch on, "I did nothing, I am fine, he is the problem". Boy they sure can mess up your mind!!

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#1601 - 10/22/02 02:16 PM Re: Red Flags
Anonymous
Unregistered


Pat, Yes, alot of the red flags will apply to other kinds of relationships.

They sure do mess up your mind. As the insanity speeds up, and you begin to question, and then to complain, the real mind-messing begins. It is a wonder the victims don't all end up in straitjackets.

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#1602 - 10/22/02 02:55 PM Re: Red Flags
Anonymous
Unregistered


Superhumanly Supportive Empathic Good Listener. No one ever listened to me the way my psychopath husband did, in the beginning. No one understood so deeply, and cared so much. Then, later, as I questioned things he did, which hurt me, those things I had told him were reflected back to me as the real source of the problem. Example: When I questioned why he would want to sleep with other women when he loved me so much, he looked at me with limitless compassion, and said, "I could never love anyone else the way I love YOU. Don't you know by now how much I love you? Please don't let those messages from your childhood make you feel unlovable. I...LOVE...YOU. It hurts me that you don't know that. That's what your mother did to you." What a pro!

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#1603 - 10/22/02 03:46 PM Re: Red Flags
Boo Offline
member

Registered: 07/06/02
Posts: 24
Hi kris,

Your post reminds me of a scene from the 1976 movie "Taxi Driver" between the child prostitute Iris (played by Jodie Foster) and her pimp Matthew "Sport" (played by Harvey Keitel). It goes something like this:

Iris: Sport, I don't like what I'm doing (working as a child prostitute)
Matthew: Honey, if you liked what you were doing, you wouldn't be my woman (hugs her affectionately and does a slow dance with her to the music playing in the background).

This is a movie, a fantasy, not real life like your post is, which I don't want to make light of. It just reminded me of this scene which seemed like a good example of how the psychopath can twist words any way he wants as long as he uses a sympathetic tone.

Boo

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#1604 - 10/22/02 04:03 PM Re: Red Flags [Re: Boo]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Yes, Boo, meaning and logic are jointly abandoned as the psychopath strikes the right empathic chords with his victim. Then, as her inner strength and intellectual powers grow, she begins to work at pinning him down on his illogic, and then, she is dead meat.

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#1605 - 10/22/02 10:48 PM Re: Red Flags
Anonymous
Unregistered


Here's one I have had a few abuser types do to me lately. This was just to show they were interested in me. I turned them down. The P did it to me, too. I call it the courtship of an abuser. What they do is "accidently" step on your toes, not once but a few times. Apparently it is a control and power tactic.

Another one is they will block a doorway while talking to you. Just lean their arm across the doorway. Sounds innocent? It's not. It escalates.

Another famous one that the P did was ( I also am an antique dealer, so I deal in a lot of furniture ), when we were moving furniture around in the store, he would give a little shove on his end, and I would fall down. At the time I thought it was just an accident, and I would laugh, but looking back I remember the shove. It happened too many times to be a coincidence. It's never happened to me ever before or since, only with him.

More later.

Betrayed

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