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Have you ever been in a relationship with/close to someone you thought was a psychopath?

(37 Posts)
TemporaryMary Mon 03-Oct-11 08:24:45

Inspired by alias' thread - I commented there about a former partner under my usual name. The whole relationship still bothers me and I wondered if talking here might help.

I've always wondered whether my ex might not fit this category. When we met he was incredibly charming, personable and generous and quickly seemed very into me. He was estranged from his parents and sister over an argument with gps (who he was in touch with) and didn't seem very bothered about this.

He was incredibly intelligent (tough Oxbridge phd on full scholarship) and while we were dating got a job with a notorious management consultancy and the money that goes with that.

He was very sexually adventurous (whereas I was fairly naive) and over a period of about 6 months escalated through S&M games through to photos on the internet, advertising for other couples and taking me to sex clubs. I didn't really (really didn't?) enjoy this but had tremendous self esteem issues and I wanted to please him.

For the second year of our relationship I lived abroad. He cheated on me halfway through with a colleague and whilst apologising, managed to get me to agree to an 'open relationship'. I developed a serious eating disorder and had a manic period where I made very unsuitable choices - I honestly believe that had it not been for this toxic relationship I would not have got this bad.

He eventually suggested that I see a psychiatrist. In fact, he suggested one he had slept with while we were dating.

Does this sound psychopathic, or just fuck witted? Does it even matter?

eandz Mon 03-Oct-11 08:32:47

This sounds horrible. I think I know this guy, thankfully not in the biblical sense.

My question is, how in the world did you break up with him? was it drama free?

toptramp Mon 03-Oct-11 08:35:19

OP- I am you re the eating disorder and mania from being involved with a psychopath. This relationship still haunts me now and it finsished 10 years ago. It is the feeling of being so close to someone so dangerous and abusive that chills me. I will watch this thread with interest.

AnyFucker Mon 03-Oct-11 08:57:53

This man certainly sounds like a massive narcissisist if not a psychopath

I am glad you are free of him, so very glad

MsGee Mon 03-Oct-11 09:08:24

He sounds awful. I have a particular deep set hatred for men who treat women like shit, crush their self esteem and confidence and when they (quite rationally given the treatment) unravel, start calling them mad and unhinged. Makes my blood boil. I am so sorry you went through that.

My first boyfriend (aged 14/15) was definitely heading towards being a psychopath and I thank my lucky stars that I got out before things got really bad. It did, however, set such a low baseline for relationships that I made some bad choices for many years after.

He would be very violent, punching walls around me, probably only a matter of time before he started on me. Refused to walk me home after a night out, saying that I would be safe because I "wasn't worth raping". Would grope and humiliate me in front of his friends. Always cheating and telling lies and then getting aggressive if I noticed the inconsistencies. When I ended the relationship he would ring me up regularly threatening suicide.

I moved countries a couple of years after we split up. His best friend (who was actually lovely) told me that he wouldn't tell ex till I left the country in case he made trouble for me. As it turned out he was in prison when I left - for breaking into a car - with an axe. It fills me terror to think of my life had I stayed with him.

Oh and he contacted me on facebook recently! Cue me shaking for an hour, realising he is thousands of miles away and blocking him.

RufusTFirefly Mon 03-Oct-11 09:17:33

When I was a student I had a traumatic breakup with a guy I loved. I had had depression since the age of 16, so went to the student health centre doctor. Whackjob, he was. He put me on a cocktail of meds and with the benefit of hindsight I now realise I went hypomanic for the first time.

I had no boundaries and no sense of self preservation. As a result I got involved with a truly dangerous man. He led a shambolic, disordered and dishonest lifestyle (working and signing, neglecting his dog and keeping a filthy flat). He was pig ugly as well. He was extremely controlling - I had to dress to please him and take down my political posters in my place (he didn't even LIVE there!), do my hair his way and speak in a way that reflected credit on him; i.e. put up with being called "bird" and "it".

He had nothing good to say about any woman, generally and personally, and was even spiteful when my dad was knocked off his bike by a coach driver (as in "fell off his bike - like a kid ha ha ha"). I began to detach from him after that - and then he played his ace. He tricked me into going to his friend's flat "for coffee" late one night. The pair of them raped me. After that I attempted suicide because I felt so dirty and ashamed. In the end I upped sticks and went back to live with my parents hundreds of miles away.

I didn't tell anyone about the rape for years, and never told my dad as it would have broken his heart. For a while I was scared the filthy skank would find a way to make me return to him - some idiot gave him my home address and he had some very dodgy friends. Took me ages to relax and accept he had really gone from my life.

MsGee Mon 03-Oct-11 09:22:04

Rufus, I am so sorry that you went through that.

AnyFucker Mon 03-Oct-11 09:24:13

Rufus, you poor, poor thing, I am so sorry x

AKissIsNotAContract Mon 03-Oct-11 09:28:02

He sounds so much like my ex that I'm wondering if it was the same guy. His initials aren't L.M by any chance are they?

BlobChob Mon 03-Oct-11 09:30:02

Yes I have. I was in a relationship with one when I was 19. He tried to kill me on several occasions. When I did finally escape he stalked me for a while. It was the most frightening experience of my life but one I did eventually become free of thank goodness. I feel for anyone who has been through similar!

Here is an excerpt from a book you might find interesting:

"The Sociopath Next Door: The Ruthless vs. the Rest of Us" by Martha Stout Ph.D.

RufusTFirefly Mon 03-Oct-11 09:31:57

Ah, bless you both. I was able to reflect on it and put it behind me (the worst that could be said of me was that I was naive; the worst about them is that they were evil), and the so-called BF is dead now - died in 2002. I found out about his death in a roundabout way.

Oddly enough, in June 2006 it all started to come back - intrusive memories and the rest. It was thirty years to the month since it happened. I wrote it out of me by writing a poem that I called "Soul Murder". It went away again after that. What is so mortifying is that I ever slept with the filthy bastard voluntarily.

I worry for my nieces now and hope their happy upbringing will be enough of a preventative to avoid their getting involved with a bad 'un. They've also had the standard issue Auntie talk about trusting your gut feelings and staying safe.

RufusTFirefly Mon 03-Oct-11 09:33:08

Akiss - nope, his were GHM (full name) or SM (nickname and surname). I'm sorry you fell foul of one too.

AyeBelieveInTheHumanityOfMen Mon 03-Oct-11 09:35:29

Rufus, I am so sorry that they did those things to you. I hope you have managed to heal and, if not, that you have some lovely supportive people around you now.

TemporaryMary, I am sorry that he treated you like that. I think he sounds dangerous to women, like the other men described on here. Do you need another label for his behaviour? I understand why you would want to, so that you can make some sort of sense of what he did to you and I found it helpful to read into these sorts of conditions when I recovered from a prolonged psychological and financial mauling by an ex. His behaviour didn't make sense to me because I had been quite sheltered up to then and I needed to know that it wasn't my fault. I don't really care why he is how he is now - all that matters is that I know that he is a danger to me, as are men like him. Does that make sense?

AKissIsNotAContract Mon 03-Oct-11 09:47:14

Sorry I was talking about the man in the op. He sounds so much like my ex that I got chills down my spine when I read that.

Sorry for what you went through rufus.

I'd like to know how to protect any future daughters I might have from going through the same shitty experiences with men. I always thought a lot of my problems were caused by having a narcissist dad but then I hear of other women going through similar who had lovely dads.

RufusTFirefly Mon 03-Oct-11 09:57:12

Very interesting link, BlobChob. I recognised my mother in there, as well as the loser/abuser.

Not to worry, Akiss. A pity that there's so many men like this out there.

I think the best way to protect young women is to make sure they value themselves, and teach them which red flags to look for so that they bail out in time.

MadameOvary Mon 03-Oct-11 10:09:07

Yes, my ex. He was warm, open, charming when we met and I was miserable in my relationship and probably close to a breakdown. Had an instant connection and attachment and were talking about love and marriage within days. His (apparent) vulnerability and willingness to support my decisions (which I think now he was subtly influencing) were a big factor in trusting him.
He was very intelligent as well as very open and it was quite a combination for me. I thought he was The One. There was an early indication of what was to come but I let it go, and things were ok till I moved in with him (although the night before we were at a wedding and he accused me of fancying someone else and went in a mood).
There was a momentum about things that I had no desire to stop, so when he started to become moody, controlling and jealous I just saw it as something to challenge and deal with, after all we were a couple and could work it out hmm

During the course of the relationship he (just a selection) :

Walked out in the middle of the night and when I protested, said that it was "self-protection" and that I was "relentless". This was a week after moving in and I was in a strange town and totally isolated.

Heaped verbal abuse on me

"Affectionately" called me "bitch"

Called me mental

Undermined me

Isolated me

Physically assaulted me.

Regularly threatened me with homelessness when we lived together. If he didn't like how I late I'd slept, for example, he would say I was lazy and order me to start packing.

Manipulated me

Minimised the abuse and said I was to blame

Played the victim very effectively to defuse my anger.

Twisted things I said

Gaslighted me

"Forgot" things he had done to me so could deny them.

Constantly used his past as justification for his behaviour, so that I automatically said that I was sick of being the scapegoat for his anger (thereby accepting that the anger was justified)

Left me when our DD was 8 months for a woman who he was later convicted of assaulting, leading to DV programme. I took him back (I know, I know)

The DV programme was instrumental in making me see that the relationship could never have a future, and that he would never change. I dumped him a few months ago. I'm still working through it.

He has such a convincing public face, so charming, so warm, so affable, that in contrast to the real him...I would not be surprised if he was a psychopath.

MadameOvary Mon 03-Oct-11 10:10:37

Rufus, so sorry you went through that. sad

TemporaryMary Mon 03-Oct-11 10:17:39

Thank you all for your replies. How worrying that this story is familiar to others.

AKiss, I think this is a different guy. Might be the one eandz knows though. Initials PK.

I got out because I met my now dh and thought to myself you know, this guy would be so much nicer to be with. It gave me the impetus I needed to move out. I actually carried on heading downwards for a while after that and ended up having a breakdown a year later but with support from family and proper treatment I am now much better.

toptramp - it's so odd to look back and see what a state a relationship with him got me into. I mean, obviously I was already vulnerable but looking back my behaviour was really typical of someone with a serious psychiatric disorder for a while (ED, PND all I have ever actually been diagnosed with). I spent money I didn't have, I slept with people I wouldn't have touched with a bargepole (including one who brought along a friend), and I binge/purged 2-3 times a day. Absolute fucking mess.

McGee, sounds like you had a lucky escape. Fucking Facebook, eh. Block, block, block!

Rufus, what a hideous experience sad

Blob, thank you for the book recommendation. I'm going to see if I can download it.

Aye - I think I'm looking for a label so I can get more of a handle on what was really going on. I'd like to do a bit of reading around. I know that this period of my life is still impacting on my current relationship, partly because I think my dh would be horrified if he knew the full story.

solidgoldbrass Mon 03-Oct-11 10:17:43

I also think the best way to protect women from sociopaths is to teach them to value themselves and also that it's OK to be single. Because women are still very much socialised to believe that they Need A Man, some women will put up with horrendous treatment in order not to be single.

TemporaryMary Mon 03-Oct-11 10:29:56

Blob, just read the extract properly grin

Let us call him a sociopath. And a misogynist, of course.

TemporaryMary Mon 03-Oct-11 10:30:43

Oops, that was supposed to be a shock

mummery Mon 03-Oct-11 11:07:21

Yes, I did - 9 months with a textbook psychopath. It was a few years ago now but I'm still suffering the fallout. Actually I posted on mumsnet at the time under a different name, when things were starting to get bad but not really bad, everyone told me to drop him and run, but I didn't sad

The thing about psychopaths is that they usually appear in society as conmen, habitual liars and manipulators. My ex was of this type. He extorted money by a two-pronged rouse of a) his business being in trouble and b) him being treated for cancer. He pretended he was in hospital while he was actually abroad with another woman, paid for by my money.

He lied and gaslighted all the time. Said he was out when he was in. Gave me fake phone numbers. Denied knowing things/people or being places when he did/was. Very passive aggressive eg pretended to take an overdose of pills when I tried to break up with him; drove like a maniac if I was in the car with him. And, as well as all that, he just didn't care about me or feel attracted to me. He'd pretend to be asleep when I got into bed. I'd arrange nights out and he'd make up stories for why he couldn't go. Never introduced me to family or friends. We'd only ever talk about him, or smalltalk. He never asked me one question about myself, my life or my experiences/opinions except once, when I pulled him up on it, and he said, "OK....what's your favourite colour?"

Re. the fake cancer treatment, he told me all about it, about his op, who was in his ward with him and the conversations he had with them, the food they were served. All lies. Terrifying. I often wonder whom he's dating now and worry for them.

When my grandmother died (she raised me, which he knew, so a very big deal) he came round a couple of hours after I'd heard and I told him. He didn't offer any condolences, he just asked me if it was ok for him to smoke in my room. I think that sums it up. Psychopaths are not interested in people except as tools to help them achieve their own ends. They lack empathy, compassion. I've read a lot about them since my own experience, people think I'm being dramatic when I say my ex was a psychopath, when people hear that word they think of Hannibal Lecter. Yes there are plenty of violent psychopaths out there but there are ten times as many non-violent psychopaths.

eandz Mon 03-Oct-11 11:16:58

nah, the dude I'm talking about, last initial I.

He blames a lot of his weirdness and controlling behavior on religion.

TemporaryMary Mon 03-Oct-11 11:25:28

I almost wish it had been the same guy...

seriouschanger Mon 03-Oct-11 11:29:42

Rufus I am so sorry to hear what this evil monster did...I hope one day he gets his Karma big time...he will! Hope you can get some counselling /good support network etc to help you heal emotionally. I hope you you and all other women are far from him.

Gosh the 'it' things etc are so common arnt they treating us like dirt on shoe etc...

My ex (of 8 years) has been trying to break into my home to possibly kill us (well it isnt to make a cup of tea). It has been going on for 3 yrs in total after the other forms of abuse he was unable to access phone/email/our ds

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