"For sociopaths, control is like a drug; it's what drives them; it's like cocaine to their system. They need a victim. They need to have someone to control. So they create that victim through charm. Just knowing that they can always get back this person, even when they heap hurt upon hurt on them somehow boosts whatever's missing for them, whether it's a self-esteem issue or not. They thrive on having their behaviour go unpunished." http://www.outlish.com/loving-a-sociopath/For a sociopath/psychopath the need to have a victim to control is insatiable. They are master con artist. They appear to be the "boy next door", the suave business man, the romantic artist, they put on a show to become the person they know you're longing for. How do they know who you're longing for? Some say psychopaths have a 6th sense.Ted Bunday for example said he could spot a victim in 6 seconds by the tilt of her head when she walked. I don't think a psychopath has to be a violent killer to master this technique. They all have it. Amazingly how they are emotionally immature and shallow, yet they can read our deepest desire and thoughts like Kreskin. They've been doing it since birth. By the time a psychopath reaches adulthood he/she has a a lot of practice pretending to be something he/she is not. It's a matter of survival for them. A fresh live victim is their life's blood. Therefor it's primeval and instinctual to read you like a book and become what it is you want. Be vigilant in reading the subtle signs in the beginning. Some things simply can't be pretended away. If you know what to look for. I'll tell you what a few of those things are later in this post.
Mine would use sympathy. He would pretend to be so sad and lonely w/out me. He would flatter me and hold both my hands all night long while we slept. He'd tell me he doesn't hold other woman at all. He doesn't like to cuddle, except with me of course. I'm the exception because I'm special. At the same time he would rarely kiss me and tell me it's because he didn't love me enough. Kissing was just too special and saved for the woman he would marry. I would get incredible mixed msgs. In one breath, "I love you." The next breath I'd get, "I can't kiss you." Then the next breath "I only hold you this way. You are different than every other girl I've been with. There is something special about you." followed by "you're not special enough to marry, though I do love you." Can you see how confused a person can be?
Perhaps his best ploy though was to play on my empathy, which is the very reason he chose me in the first place. The more empathetic, moral and virtuous the woman, the more intense the challenge to conquer her and destroy her. She'll fall harder than someone whose already low.
Hope is eternal. Let's face it, we all want love. We all want that special person to spend the rest of our lives with. The psychopath is aware of this. The person he/she pretended to be, the illusion he/she created is what becomes that person you're longing for. So, when the bait and switch happens and you realize this person next to you is not who you initially began dating, you fool yourself with your own memories. You see this person through those eyes of the intitial courtship. You are sure at some point that person will return. He/ she won't. He/she never existed in the first place.
The sympathy and build me up ploy. I was asked several times each day, what do you like about me? Do you like my eyes? Do you like my lips? What's your favorite thing about me? What would you rate me on a scale of 1 - 10? I at first thought this was insecurity talking. In hindsight I see this was his way of feeding his ego. Tell me, tell me, tell me all the things that are wonderful about me!!
He spent a great deal of time telling me how he lacked confidence as well. How he didn't think he was attractive enough, smart enough, or charming enough to lure women. Of course I would always reply with compliments. Ego "Feed me, feed me feed me!!! Yet that is exactly what he did, continually. Lure women.
No woman likes to see her man cry. Now if you accuse your man of horning you or behaving inappropriately, and he doesn't want you to leave, he does several things, the top one being... cry. Now if he starts to boohoo like a big baby, with snatty nose and the whole works, you're more likely to dismiss his show. But when a man puts down a Denzel Washington tear a la John Q, something in your heart breaks, and you forgive him. In the back of your mind, you know something's wrong... very wrong, but how can you say no to such tightly wound up, deep emotion?
So how do you spot them early on if they are so good and charming? Remember, they are pretending to be someone they are not. They are pretending their emotions by mimicking and mirroring yours. You can cut to the chase by delving into deep emotional self reflective topics early on. Like date 1 or 2!
Ask him/her to reflect on past relationships.Sociopaths hate to talk about their emotions, because they have none. They aren't incredibly deep thinkers or largely self reflective. They don't have the capacity for it. If your psychopath is in the idealization phase and is pretending to idealize you and he intends to keep you his victim for a period of time, he may attempt to play along and discuss feelings and emotions of prior relationships. If he's already conquered you and he's in the devalue stage, good luck getting him to talk about anything that isn't his agenda. Let's say for arguements sake, he/she's agreed to delve into prior relationships with you. Here are some good questions to start with.
Where did he/she go wrong? How did he contribute to the relationship not working?
Did he feel the same in the beginning of the relatioship as he did in the end?
If he says yes, that's a red flag. If he knew from the start the relationship would go nowhere why drag it out and string the poor girl along building her hopes and letting her love grow only to leave her in the end? That act alone shows a man who is not empathetic to the needs of those he claims to care about. He was feeding his own need by keeping her around until she was no longer useful, then discard. Classic psychopathic behavior.
Did he lead her to believe otherwise?
Did he actually marry her?
If so, how are you to know his intentions with you are sincere?
Does he have a string of prior short term, or toxic relationships? If so, red flag.
How does he talk about prior relationship's? Does he show much emotion? Does he conjure up plenty of "ummm's" If so, another red flag. Psychopaths have difficulty talking about or recalling emotions for several reasons. First they don't have any. If they do have some, they are limited and shallow. Second, their memories aren't based on emotion like ours are. Their memories are based on strategic goals, and neutral win/fail occurrences. Psychopaths operate purely on a cause and effect basis. Every action they take, every word they say is for a specific purpose designed to create an effect of some kind. Most often the effect of creating an illusion to you of who they are. If you are in the devalue stage, you are already sure you're dealing with someone who clearly is "off" in some way. A psychopaths entire existence at that point is cruelty and pain dished out at your expense. They are working on getting you to eventually leave them because of the cruelty they inflict. By your leaving them they are completely absolved of any responsibility for the break-up. At least as far as they see it.
Is your man/women a blame gamer? Does he/she have to assign blame to someone for something that went wrong. If so, who is to blame? Why assign blame?
If you're lucky enough to get "references" from prior relationships. Talk with them. Ask them about their experiences in the relationship. Would they set that person up with their best friend? Why? Why not? After all who better to know what this person is like the another who was in your shoes at some point and time. Granted you may not know these people well either. You may not trust their integrity. But, if you talk to more than one and you get similar stories. That's a red flag that is waving high, loud, and long!
You can also bring up topics of politics, religions, introspection, these are all difficult topics for the psychopath to relate to. Depending on what phase relationship is in, he'll either humor you (idealize phase) yet if you probe for deeper thinking you'll see him/her become flustered. If you're in the devalue phase you'll get resistance to even discuss the topics. Most likely you be verbally abused for how inept you are in these areas therefor not worth your psychopaths time to even attempt discussing such matters.